AJ Maddah, the outspoken promoter behind the Big Day Out and Soundwave, has indicated that ongoing battles with local government and councils over in Perth could put an end to the future of the flagship music festivals over in the WA capital.

The comments come in response to a dedicated Megadeth fan in Perth, who tweeted the festival promoter about his plans to hit the Eastern seaboard to catch the metal titan’s headline Soundwave 2014 sideshow (with Volbeat and Newsted) this February, as Music Feeds points out.

Maddah giving this worrying reply:

In a follow-up tweet, Maddah said that a possible festival absence from Perth in 2015 was not due to lack of demand; “It is not ticket sales which I am very happy with. It’s state and Local Govs making it impossible,” he explained.

More specifically, the antagonistic attitudes of local council at Claremont’s RAS Showgrounds. Claremont Council have a long, storied track record of making life difficult for major music festivals, including battling Big Day Out and Soundwave over curfews and noise regulations, and labelling last year’s Stereosonic punters as “the worst ever,” before voicing concerns that attendees of this year’s newly expanded two-day event would rather become overnight squatters than to have the common sense to book accommodation.

Mayor Jock Barker and Claremont constituents were also the catalyst for Big Day Out’s last-minute venue change in Perth two weeks out from its kick-off, shifting from the Claremont Showgrounds to Arena Joondalup after Council noted they were furious that Big Day Out had snubbed the council in an application fortheir 10pm curfew. Following the Perth venue change, speculation arose that Soundwave 2014’s WA leg would also shift to Joondalup. “I certainly hope so,” came Maddah’s reply to a fan enquiry about a shift.

Adding in a follow-up tweet: “It’s all about pushing events out of Showgrounds so it can be flogged off to their developer mates for apartments & town houses.”

It’s hardly the first time Maddah has accused Perth official of foul play, following power cuts to the 2013 Soundwave WA leg, the promoter slammed local government for their “cheap political stunt.”

The experience soured Maddah’s view of his own town enough that when it came time to launch the Aussie return of the Vans Warped Tour, the festival skipped Perth entirely, directly blaming government for the snub while emphasising that state laws and stuffy attitudes were as much at fault as costly touring logistics.

Fellow Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit feels the same way, saying the move from Claremont was prompted by the council’s anti-live music stance.

“[Mayor] Jock Barker has led a campaign in media and with all political leverage at his disposal to force events like Big Day Out away from Claremont,” Zammit told Music Feeds last week; referencing public comments from the Claremont Mayor saying the event is “not welcome” back in January 2012, “we don’t want the Big Day Out or Soundwave back in Claremont at all… they contribute nothing.”

While the City Of Joondalup and the VenuesWest operated Arena Joondalup have welcomed Big Day Out with open arms for their Sunday 2nd February appearance, they may not be able to accommodate Soundwave 2014 as well, given that Future’s underage Good Life 2014 festival already has Arena Joondalup booked for the same date as Soundwave’s Perth leg.

“We’re trying to move. Not sure if we can,” Maddah tweeted one music fan, while telling another that if a rescheduled date in Joondalup doesn’t come through for Soundwave, he’d probably prefer to not host the WA leg at all.

Big Day Out 2014 Remaining Dates, Tickets

View full Big Day Out 2014 timetables & maps here.

Friday 24th January ~ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Sunday 26th January ~ Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney
Friday 31st January ~ Bonython Park, Adelaide
Sunday 2nd February ~ Arena Joondalup, Perth – New Venue

Tickets and info at www.bigdayout.com

Soundwave 2014 Dates

Saturday 22nd February – Brisbane, RNA Showgrounds
Sunday 23rd February – Sydney, Olympic Park
Friday 28th February – Melbourne, Flemington Racecourse
Saturday 1st March – Adelaide, Bonython Park
Monday 3rd March – Perth, Claremont Showgrounds

Tickets on sale via: soundwavefestival.comoztix.com.au & other outlets

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