A Queensland-based festival organiser has blamed a post-pandemic surge in operating costs behind the cancelation of The Grass Is Greener festivals in Canberra and Geelong this month.
The Grass Is Greener has built a successful roster of festivals in Cairns and the Gold Coast and was planning on expanding its reach to the ACT and Victoria this month.
But a combination of slower than expected ticket sales and rising operational costs forced the last-minute cancelation.
The festival organisers said in a statement they believed in full disclosure to share “the circumstances truthfully with you”.
“The reason for cancellation doesn’t rest upon a single factor. Rather, it’s related to the culmination of multiple elements that have affected not only us but our industry partners and siblings across the entire event industry in the COVID/post-lockdown period.
“In that time, there have been staggering, exponential cost increases across the board – from staging, production and site infrastructure to security, portable toilets and more. We’ve been running large-scale events for seven years, and have not – during this time – seen such sharp increases within such a short period. This has drastically affected our planning to an unprecedented degree.
“Understandably so, consumer confidence and purchasing behaviors have completely changed. With so many reschedules and the nature of conditions over the past two years, we understand why, too.
“From an event standpoint, especially heading into these new markets, a festival team relies on certain milestones to enable us to run events successfully. What’s more, the weather warnings we’re receiving from Canberra and Geelong have also played a large role in this decision.
“While the shows were selling slower than predicted, we still had full intention of seeing them through – loss or otherwise. However, when coupled with the chance that sites might not even be built due to the impending weather, we knew we had to make a call as soon as possible.”