Goddamn. YesFest, the one-off concert bringing together a bunch of Aussie artists in support of marriage equality, has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales.
The festival was slated for next Sunday 29 October, and was set to feature performances from artists like Client Liaison, Flight Facilities, Megan Washington, Kirin J Callinan, Killing Heidi and Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes.
Tickets went offline earlier today, with a message appearing on Ticketmaster that they were no longer available online.
It was due to be held at Spotless Stadium, which has a capacity of 24,000.
YesFest organiser Jonno Seidler confirmed to PEDESTRIAN.TV that they had been forced to pull the festival due to an unfortunate combination of factors including ticket sales and issues with corporate sponsorship.
“We can’t blame the people who weren’t buying tickets,” he said, stressing that it was a huge combination of things that led to the unfortunate decision to pull the fest.
The timing of the festival also had a huge impact. While most festivals have a lead time of six to twelve months, these guys had just three, hinging on the Senate’s decision to go ahead with the postal vote. And while their intention was always for YesFest to be a final, glorious push for marriage equality towards the end of the postal vote, fatigue from the debate was definitely a factor.
“As it became clear that we were in real trouble over the last 72 hours, I have had recurring nightmares that I would end up being the guy who ran Australia‘s Fyre Festival, or worse, Ben Wyatt‘s Ice Town from Parks and Recreation, where one mistake haunts you for the rest of your professional life,” he wrote in a Medium post.
He stressed the incredible help he’d received from big hitters of the industry, including organisers behind Frontier Touring, Laneway Music and Arts Festival, Fuzzy, and veteran promoter Michael Chugg.
Everyone who bought tickets will have their money refunded, with more news about that coming soon.
Seidler ended his post by encouraging everyone not to be complacent about the vote.
“Get out there and vote. Make some noise. We have incredible power and it’s time we started using it.”
When in doubt, listen to Elton John.Image: Getty Images / Mark Metcalfe