In a statement this morning on Facebook, organisers of Hevy Fest have announced that the festival will be “pulling the plug,” after six years. Citing that the festival had become “financially untenable.” Organisers have left the following message for their fans and supporters:
“Hevy Fest is no more. After 6 years of incredible bands, legendary hangs, and a lot of monkeys – we’re sorry to announce that Hevy Fest is pulling the plug. Despite the best efforts of our dedicated team, the festival has become financially untenable. Many things have contributed: Port Lympne being unable to continue hosting the event, the increasingly difficult task of putting together a line-up with more and more exclusives enforced each year leading to difficulties confirming our final headliner, and the pressure to offer good value with spiralling costs. The odds are stacked against anyone taking on the challenge, and they have proven too great for us to overcome.
“There is a great community of hardcore, punk and metal supporters in the UK and we hope that other small festivals will be able to grow into this space, and to deliver the event we aspired to. Ticket holders will be automatically refunded. All monies will be returned in the next 10 working days (including booking fees and postage). As a small independent event, we want to thank everyone who has supported us over the years. Hevy Fest // 2009 – 2015”
Hevy Fest is just another nail in the large scale festival coffin, most are finding it far too difficult to make ends meet. Fortunately, this time Hevy Fest have done the right thing and seen the writing on the wall early and appear to have made sure the punters are looked after immediately with refunds. Although, once again, the travelling fan has lost out if they had already booked hotels and accommodation.
In Australia, our biggest festival loss was Soundwave, but there was also Stereosonic not so long ago. It’s certainly not just a local issue, it’s now being shown all over the world and across all genres that this format isn’t working. There’s so much overhead required for these festivals that if the early tickets don’t sell like hotcakes the promoters really end up in a bind, and quickly.
The Squamish Valley Music Festival in Canada, CounterPoint Music and Arts Festival and the Wickerman Festival in the United Kingdom, the Maitreya Festival and Future Music Festival have all been abandoned in 2016. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones and certainly won’t be the last.