This year will be remembered as one of huge turmoil in the Australian festival market. A large number of start up festivals fell over before they even got started, but more worrying for promoters were signs that even long term players were struggling.
Good Vibrations announced in July that it would be delaying the festival until December 2012 with promoter Justin Hemmes saying at the time, “It was a tough year last year. It’s a very competitive market. There’s one hundred and one festivals on and there’s a lot of choice. Prices are inflated, demand is down.” There are now unconfirmed reports that the festival may be canned altogether.
Other promoters persevered to mixed results. Summadayze failed to sell out for the first time in years, Parklife also had a mixed turnout, and even the darling of the festival scene Splendour In The Grass couldn’t sell out despite a huge blockbuster lineup.
But amongst all the excitement of recent announcements for Soundwave, Golden Plains, Big Day Out, Future Music Festival and more, we’ve all apparently overlooked that promoter Fuzzy has been decidedly quiet about Harbourlife in Sydney which it has been running since 2003.
Harbourlife has been run in the last weekend of November for a few years now, has sold out in 4 of the last 8 years, and has had a huge array of artists play such as Boys Noize, Felix Da Housecat, The Temper Trap, Metronomy and more.
The announcement of the lineup traditionally takes place sometime in September which has well and truly come and gone now. So what’s happened to this annual event? Last year Fuzzy looked to expand the brand out of Sydney by running a sister event in the Gold Coast. The event was quickly scuttled however without much fanfare with a spokesperson saying to Inthemix at the time that the event was ‘postponed’ into 2011 due to a ‘complex number of deciding factors’.
It is now 2011 and not a peep from Fuzzy about the Gold Coast event or the Sydney event. At this point we think it’s pretty safe to assume the event will not be happening. We’ve reached out to Fuzzy for comment.
UPDATE: Fuzzy director John Wall has told Tone Deaf, “Harbourlife is moving dates to the first half of 2102. A clash with a private event nearby has proven impossible to resolve so both events could go ahead, so we’ve opted to move Harbourlife to a time of the year when we don’t have any other events on (Fuzzy has no regular events after new years’ until Parklife in Sept/Oct). More info will be available once the new date and details are confirmed.”