Earlier today, there were two hip hop festivals set to tour the nation next week, going head-to-head with dates that clashed in capital cities around Australia through the Anzac Day Weekend. Now, there will be none.

Following shortly after today’s news that Live Nation and Niche Productions Nas-curated Movement Festival has been cancelled, organisers of the all-ages urban music festival Supafest have announced that the event has been postponed.

Confirming previously reported rumours that it had been dumped by the venues at its Melbourne and Brisbane legs, set at Flemington Racecourse and RNA Showgrounds in just over a week’s time, Supafest promoter Dwayne Cross has released a statement on the official festival website saying that the entire event will be moved to November 2013.

Issued this afternoon, the statement reads:

SUPAFEST 4 will have new dates in November 2013 following the decision to postpone the event planned for Australia next week.

As had been reported on various forums over the past 24 hours, Dwayne Cross, Principal of Chase Records, has confirmed that there was difficulty completing venue contract arrangements for the Melbourne and Brisbane legs of the festival and, as such, he has been unable to proceed with the tour at this time.

While this news will come as a great disappointment to ticket holders and urban music fans alike, Chase Records is optimistic that all artists currently promoted on the bill will be available and willing to be part of Supafest 4 in November. The actual dates and venues will be released shortly.

“We want Supafest 4 to be the biggest and best Urban Music Festival in Australia and we want it to be here for our fans every year. This year we simply need more time to get it right. We are so grateful and fortunate to have the support of the Artists and I believe our Australian fans,” said Cross

Promoter Dwayne Cross had previously optimistically told media that this year’s Supafest would be a ‘drama-free’ event, with a “safe” and “promoter friendly” lineup, while downplaying the controversy of lineup dropouts and spiralling debts over last year’s Supafest, with Paperchase Touring owing investors nearly $2 million in debts, as well as refunds to disgruntled fans seeking reimbursement.

But just one week from what was to be the event’s kick-off in Perth, details began surfacing that Cross and the promotions team had lost both their Melbourne and Brisbane venues.

The Victoria Racing Club issued a statement saying it had provided the promoters with “the opportunity to meet its contractual obligations with respect to the venue booking of Flemington Racecourse for their event Supafest 4. However, the promoter has failed to meet those contractual obligations and accordingly, the Victoria Racing Club, has had no alternative but to cancel the booking.”

Likewise, there was no confirmation from Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds, and no trace of Supafest promotion on the venue’s official website, showing no listing of the event.

There were also mounting concerns that a number of the headline acts for the event – featuring 50 Cent, T.I., Akon, Ne-Yo and more – were not secured to appear at Supafest 2013, echoing last year’s turn of events in which P, Diddy, Missy Elliot and Rick Ross were pulled off the lineup days out from the event; with some revealing that they were never even booked for the event in the first place.

Former Supafest promoter John Denison, who left the Supafest promotions team last year amidst the broiling controversy, also (somewhat fortuitously in retrospect) hinted at his former business partner’s lineup woes:

Interestingly, Supafest 2013’s reschedule to November could put it in competition with Denison’s own newly announced urban music festival called Hype, the promoter recently teasing plans of the November launch with a lineup featuring one act who “has never been here before, one is a legend, and the other 3 are very very cool!”

Meanwhile, Supafest’s new postponement announcement is hoping that the bulk of its own lineup will make the trek back for the newly scheduled dates this November. Stating that they are “optimistic that all artists currently promoted on the bill will be available and willing to be part of Supafest 4 in November.”

The postponement will also no doubt rile the thousands of ticket-holders already agitated over the promises made to make amends for delayed refunds over last year’s ticketing woes.

Those still awaiting reimbursement were assured there would be compensation, even as Supafest organisers rolled ahead with announcing their 2013 festival plans despite surmounting debts of $2 million to creditors. But there has been little communication over the free tickets to this year’s event that festival-goers were promised in place of a refund.

This afternoon’s Supafest Management announcement notes:

All current tickets (sic) holders are able to retain their tickets to participate in what will be an epic spring festival event as tickets purchased for Supafest 4 will be valid for the rescheduled dates in all cities.

Alternatively, ticket purchasers are entitled to a refund, should they wish to cash in their Supafest 4 Tickets. All ticket holders will be contacted directly by the company from which they purchased their tickets in the next 48 hours, with details of the revised ticketing arrangements and refund process. More information will be made available shortly.

The news of Supafest’s postponement comes eerily close to today’s surprise news that Movement Festival had been axed by promoters, owing to setbacks it

Suffered last week last week’s announcement that Movement Festival had suffered setbacks, including losing headliner 2 Chainz and Angel Haze from the lineup and downsizing to indoor venues

Despite already announcing set times last week for the lineup, featuring Nas, Bliss N Eso, Chiddy Bang, Joey Bada$$, Spit Sydnicate, Thundamentals, as well as adding Diafrix and Iggy Azalea to the ranks; the promoters have pulled the plug on Movement, just one week out from its kick off at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Friday 26th April.

A press release from Live Nation and Niche Productions also framed the Movement cancellation as much a point of pride, stating that the major changes “prompted patron feedback that the event no longer reflected what had been advertised.”

As a result, organisers felt they could not meet their “intention of providing a well-organized, fully funded multi-artist Hip-hop and urban music festival, to overcome the disappointment that has occurred in the past due to event cancellations and talent withdrawals from similar events in recent years.”

A various obvious reference to the patchy history of touring events and festival in Australia in recent years, such as Supafest, but also the debacles involving Flo RidaPitbull, and Mos Def’s Australian tours, and the spectacular financial crash of Heatwave.

From the evidence of today’s troubles with Movement and Supafest, it would seem that Australian hip hop festivals are doomed to be cursed by failure, and there’s the sneaking suspicion that this won’t be the last in the storm of controversy for the stricken Supafest.

Supafest 2013 Lineup


Supafest 2013 Dates & Tickets


Thursday, 25th April – Perth Arena

Friday, 26th April – Sydney ANZ Stadium

Saturday, 27th April – Melbourne Flemington Racecourse

Sunday, 28th April – Brisbane RNA Showgrounds

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