Update: Harvest Festival Has Been Cancelled

UPDATE 17/9/13: Promoter AJ Maddah has confirmed via Twitter that the 2013 Harvest Festival has indeed been cancelled.

He went on to say that the team “Will be announcing headline shows by most of the harvest Artists (sic) in the next 10 days”, with preferential ticketing going to those who had already bought Harvest tickets.

It’s been a big few days for Maddah, with musicfeeds.com.au confirming that “the most powerful man in Australian music” has bought out Ken West‘s share in the Big Day Out festival. While niether Maddah nor West have spoken publicly about the buy-out taking place (aside from Maddah tweeting yesterday that rumours of the transaction were “exaggerated and not quite as sensational”) , West’s former partner in Big Day Out, Vivian Lees, appeared on triple j’s Hack program last night, admitting “I’m hearing that Ken is withdrawing from the situation and I’m very
concerned for him. I am alarmed at what I have heard.”

16/9/13: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Fuel Harvest Cancellation Rumours

The future of the Harvest festival is in doubt, as promoter AJ Maddah has admitted via Twitter that he’s having a “crisis of confidence” over poor ticket sales for the November event, citing competition from Big Day Out‘s “very top heavy Harvest-centric line-up” causing a “lack of interest, particularly in Brisbane”.

The Big Day Out has this year taken a bigger than usual slice of the
indie rock pie that Harvest usually feasts on, with bands like Blur, Arcade Fire and The Lumineers on the bill. Harvest‘s lineup boasts Massive Attack, Franz Ferdinand and Primus headlining, with a smattering of more than credible acts filling out the list.

A second line-up announcement for Harvest is due later this week, with
Justin Vernon’s Volcano Choir leaking their inclusion on the bill
recently. A solid second announcement (which Maddah has described as the
festival’s “biggest” ever), would usually boost ticket sales, but the festival bigwig admits he’s worried about “(digging) and even deeper hole”, fueling fears that losses will be cut and the whole festival cancelled
before the announcement is made.

If Harvest were to be called off, it would be a massive blow to the Australian festival calendar, which has seen a number of big players drop off recently due to financial woes, or being fucked over by Flo Rida. New Years Day fluro-shorts/no-shirts celebration Summadayze is unlikely to go ahead in 2014, with The Age reporting yesterday that three companies linked to promoter Future Entertainment have been declared insolvent, “leaving a string of angry creditors in their wake”. Pyramid Rock is out too, with promoters for the Phillip Island festival announcing “Due to tough economic conditions in recent years the Festival has become
unviable for Inversion Productions and their only option is to cancel
the event.”

Festival fatigue is claiming victims left, right and centre.