Bernard Fanning: was due to perform at Homebake.
The Australian festival scene lurched further into crisis with news on Wednesday morning that the iconic Homebake music festival – which had been repackaged as a boutique event on the Sydney Opera House steps for 2013 – has been cancelled because of poor ticket sales after a date clash.
The event promoters released a statement saying “it is with heavy hearts that we announce that Homebake 2013 has been cancelled” and that developments were “heartbreaking”.
So far this year several music festivals have been cancelled, including Harvest, Movement and Pyramid Rock. Parklife was downsized, while indigenous event Boomerang went ahead despite disappointing ticket sales. Supafest is understood to be in deep financial trouble and many believe it won’t go ahead next month. The Big Day Out cancelled its planned second day in Sydney for 2014 and is understood to be facing a big loss.
“Over the last four weeks since the initial launch of Homebake 2013, it has become apparent based on the feedback from social media sites and the box office that the traditional Homebake fans have rejected this change in format from one day to three nights and the change in venue,” the promoter’s statement read.
But social media reaction to the change also included criticism the line-up was not strong enough and that the ticket prices were too high.
Former Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning, Paul Kelly, Gurrurmul Yunupingu and The Presets were among the acts due to play at the event, which had been moved to the steps of the Opera House after a near date clash with Harvest Festival – which was to be moved from Parramatta Park to the Domain, but was later cancelled because of poor ticket sales.
Homebake promoters felt they did not have time to reschedule Homebake again, back in the Domain, after Harvest was scrapped: “What is achingly ironic is the reason that forced the change in venue [and with it the format] cancelled shortly before Homebake 2013’s launch, but by then it was simply too late to revert back to our true home.”
“Because of the commercial implications and risk of being one of two music festivals in the Domain two weeks apart, reluctantly our hand was forced to reconfigure and relocate Homebake from the usual one day event in the Domain to the Sydney Opera House over three days to celebrate Homebake’s 18th anniversary.”
Reaction on social media was immediate and sad rather than angry: “Sad day for Aus music [sic]” wrote Dean Ingram on Homebake’s Facebook page, while many echoed Justine McNamara’s comment: “That’s what happens when you mess with perfection.” Dean Mitchell wrote: “The festival bubble is beginning to pop,” a sentiment there can be no argument with now.
Refunds will be handled by the Sydney Opera House box office (02) 9250 7777. Oztix ticket buyers should contact Oztix direct on 1300 762 545 or via email at http://tickets.oztix.com.au/contactus.aspx.