Legion Music Festival Shifts To 2017
Following an email originally sent to the Pozible supporters of Legion Music Festival (which was subsequently leaked earlier today by Music Feeds), the event’s organisers have since confirmed that the fan-run Soundwave replacement fest will be going on ice until 2017. It’s not dead yet but it seems there’s still some hard work to go.
The reasoning behind the move seems to come down to time and timing; it’s too short a turnaround for bands to commit and Easter isn’t prime metalhead concert-attending season. The plan is to relaunch the festival in the popular January festival slot next year when (hopefully) all those disappointed Soundwave punters have actually got their refunds.
“We did everything in our power to make Legion happen this year but, given a couple of hurdles that we’ve had to faced over the last few weeks, we made the positive decision that it’s in everyone’s best interest that we do this in a way that’s as sustainable as possible”, says Devil You Know’s John Sankey. “Not to mention that the Australia Day weekend has always been home to Australia’s most successful and long running festivals and we love the idea of honouring that memory and establishing something that can stand the test of time.”
With a bonus year now in their pocket, Legion’s organisers are in negotiations with several major international headliners and they have grand plans to diversify the line-up with more punk, hardcore and rock acts expected to join the 2017 bill. According to Legion’s Mark Spillane, the Pozible campaign will be re-launched, adding 60 days to the time period to ensure the goal is reached.
“We had very specific reasons for launching this as a crowd funding campaign, rather than just putting tickets on sale off the bat without knowing 100% that it would go ahead”, explains Spillane. “It’s a brand new model that was always going to take a bit of time to explain to the industry but we knew there was no way we could ask people to buy tickets, then change the goal posts if we have any chance of making this sustainable.”
As per the email, Sankey cited the main reasons for their decisions to move the date as follows:
1. Given the current Aussie music festival landscape, a lot of the international headliners were worried about attaching themselves to a festival at all, especially in such a short amount of time. Since we started contacting artists many have been extremely hesitant over committing due to all of the turmoil over the last few years. Its a huge commitment for them to travel all this way when a large number of them have had issues in the past, as well as many experiencing short term issues with availability due to the timeframe. Establishing the event over the Australia Day weekend opens up our opportunity with a wider pool of top tier headline acts with time to be able to plan their visit properly.
2. We were having some trouble securing the best possible venues and didn’t want to have to settle for anything less than our original vision just because they didn’t have enough time. Although we have a number of acceptable options in each city, several key venues were having trouble handling timing issues in our March plan. Historically, as a big weekend on the festival calendar the Australia Day weekend makes perfect sense for both the venues we want, and the fans.
3. Some council issues arose in terms of obtaining the right permits in time. Unfortunately with some of the venues we have identified as perfect for Legion, councils simply did not have the time to go through their approvals process in time for the event.
4. Fans were having trouble justifying the expense given that some Soundwave refunds are yet to be processed. Although unlike a normal ticketing situation that takes payment immediately, where our crowdfunding pledges do not have any funds processed at all, the delay on refunds have still had a major impact on people pledging. By extending the campaign we know we have a large number of supporters who are right behind the event once their refunds come in.
5. The timing of organising not only the headliners, but also the associated visa applications was becoming difficult in the timeframe. Unfortunately the turnaround on attaining visas for over 150+ people is cutting it very fine, and its the safe course of action to give ourselves more time. Again, we have made a commitment to be able to deliver something very special for our first Legion and do not want to invite any issues at all with something so important as getting the acts into the country.
6. An overwhelming response from the fans that the Easter long weekend was too difficult for them given family commitments as well as the cost of travel at that time of year. Initially, we had looked at the Easter weekend as a positive step to get something done this year, however with the massive support Legion has received, our small idea has now grown to a major music festival experience, that we just have to get right in year one. The Australia Day weekend holds much more ongoing opportunity and flexibility for us each year.
7. The opportunity to work with major sponsors in order to increase sponsor pledges and lessen the contribution needed from the fans to reach the crowd funding goal. Since announcing Legion, we have had an incredible amount of support by potential industry partners and sponsors, all whom want to be involved and get behind this event. Working now with some additional time, it will enable us to finalise key arrangements that assist us in being able to deliver the best festival experience for the fans as possible, as well as potentially lowering the amount we need to raise via the crowdfunding campaign in future years.
Organisers have said that the festival will go ahead in 2017 and include three major east coast open air shows, plus the previously announced two mini-festival club shows in Perth and Adelaide. Those of you who put your hard-earned towards the fest will be recognised with organisers arranging extensive additional benefits to reflect the support, but you’re also free to opt out and relinquish your founding benefits.
Legion Music Festival 2017 Dates
Sat Jan 21st – Perth
Sun Jan 22nd – Adelaide
Thu Jan 26th – Melbourne
Sat Jan 28th – Sydney
Sun Jan 29th – Brisbane