Budget cuts blamed for cancellation of Adelaide music festival

Budget cuts and a “decimated” Arts SA sector has been blamed for the sudden cancellation of an international electronic in Adelaide.

After six successful editions, Unsound Festival said it would not be coming to Adelaide this year.

The three-day music festival includes talks, film scores and visual and sound art installations.

“After six editions, Unsound Adelaide will not take place in 2019,” the organisers said in a statement.

“Thanks to everyone who has attended over the years – and stay tuned for information on our future activities in Australia.”

Festival organiser and former Adelaide Festival artistic director David Sefton said the funding required to run the festival in 2019 was not renewed or extended.

“The total subsidy we would need from the government this year to run Unsound Adelaide would be around $150,000,” Sefton told The Advertiser.

“I’ve spoken to everyone I can who is responsible for funding in the arts in this town and it’s just basically, ‘sorry, we haven’t got the money’.”

The South Australian Government Department for Innovation and Skills said the subsidy wasn’t approved for 2019.

“Unsound is an experimental avant-garde electronic music festival which was supported through the Live Music Events Fund in an attempt to seed fund its first years,” they stated.

“While the Live Music Events Fund continues, there is not the level of funding available to meet the amount required to stage Unsound without additional (non-government) investment secured by the producers.”

Sefton said that while Unsound Adelaide did not attract then same numbers as WOMADelaide, it still had 40 per cent interstate visitation.

“The city makes lots of claim for its creative status, and its UNESCO City of Music Status, and being at the forefront of those things; Unsound Adelaide was one of those things that gives you the right to make that claim,” he told The Advertiser.

“You look at the decimated Arts SA and all the signals are is that money is just being cut out of the arts, and they may keep making terrible TV ads with crying old men but no one is going to come here for no reason.

“It would be nice for somebody in government, or somebody who makes those decisions, to understand that there is a value to Unsound Adelaide but not a huge investment, and to watch that investment just disappear, maybe to another state, is just foolish.”