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Another Beloved Festival Folds Due To Rising Costs

8 February 2023 | 12:39 pm | Mary Varvaris

"The final party is happening and you’re all invited."

Ninch Fest 5

Ninch Fest 5 (Pic by Beatrix Fisher)

The sixth edition of Ninch Fest will be its last one, festival organiser Drew Heyes has revealed. 

The all-ages beachside festival, situated on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, is picturesque and contains a massively diverse musical line-up. Featuring Butchulla hip-hop artist Birdz, psychedelic garage leanings in the style of Nice Biscuit, R&B singer Bumpy, songwriter William Crighton, DJ Dexter (formerly of The Avalanches), and many more, it's the kind of festival where you never know what you're going to find.

Previous iterations of the festival have hosted the likes of Amyl and the Sniffers, NO ZU, Bad // Dreems, Cable Ties, Private Function, Clamm, Caitlin Harnett and the Pony Boys, The Meanies and more. 

In a new interview with Jenny Valentish in The Age, Heyes cites slow ticket sales and rising costs as the reasons why Ninch Fest is ending in its sixth year. 

While the festival's capacity has doubled in recent years, the uncertainty of running a festival with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic still reverberating through the music industry is too much for an independent event like Ninch Fest.

Heyes recalls members of the public approaching him, hoping that the event hasn't sold out, "But door sales on the day make it hard to predict what to do and how much money to spend."

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The festival organiser also notes that the cost to put on the inaugural Ninch Fest was $35,000. Six years later, the price to put on the festival has skyrocketed to over $300,000.

"The prices of everything have gone up, from building materials to temporary fencing, which used to cost us about $1 a metre and now it’s $9, and the stage, which went up $2000 in just one year," he said. However, Ninch Fest won't be going out with a "sob story", which is why the event's last year is dubbed "the final party."

"Weather for the final party is looking really special. Sunny and feelin' fine," a Ninch Fest Facebook post reads. Ninch Fest returns to its beachside base at St Andrew’s Beach Recreation Club for the final time on Friday, 10 and Saturday, 11 February. Buy tickets here. Doors open at 4 pm Friday and at noon on Saturday.


Friday 10 February

The Grogans
Rot TV
Freya Josephine Hollick
Zig Zag
The Domesticated Animals
St Andrews Beach Community Choir

Saturday 11 February

William Crighton
DJ Dexter
Peter Bibby
Nice Biscuit
The Prize
Ali (Indonesia)
Boing Boing
The High Heaven
The Double Agents
The Bloody Norahs