Words By: Freya Parr
Image Credit: Future Music
It has been announced that EDM festival Future Music has been cancelled for the foreseeable future, only a month after its 2015 event, headlined by The Prodigy and Drake. The statement from the festival reads: “It’s been a difficult decision to make but in the end travelling the festival in its current form across Australia simply doesn’t make financial sense anymore.”
The Mushroom Group, who bought into Futures just two years ago, have announced that they are developing a new festival concept, planned for the same time of year as Futures previously occupied. It is not yet clear whether it will be another dance-focused event. Futures’ sister festival Good Life, which generally shared the same lineup as Futures but was a juvies-only festival, will continue as a separate event.
The reason for the decision is primarily due to the low ticket sales and rising cost suffered by the owners. There were rumours that the previous owning company was also saddled with vast amounts of debt. Chairman of the Mushroom Group Michael Gudinski has explained that “the cost to physically stage the event has significantly increased, even in just two years. The fluctuating dollar also hasn’t helped and the increasing popularity of EDM in the States has seen DJ fees escalating out of control.”
Beginning in 2006, Future Music is one of the many ‘touring festivals’ that is being phased out, suggesting that the model is becoming outdated, with stand-alone festivals going from strength to strength. Gudinski discussed the necessary changes that need to take place in the music festival industry, including the elimination of multi-day festivals and the appeal of destination events.