Axed-Maitreya Festival Act Blast Organisers As Police Declare Event 'Public Safety Risk'

10 March 2016 | 12:44 pm | Neil Griffiths

"We were promised fee payment months ago, but of course that never happened."

Belgium dance act Digicult have blasted the currently-unauthorised Maitreya Festival after they confirmed that their set at this weekend's event has been axed by organisers, who are currently embroiled in a battle with police, officials and council as the festival has now been declared a "public safety risk".

The trance outfit confirmed the cancellation in a Facebook post today, however speaking to theMusic, they felt the writing was on the wall months ago. 

"We were promised fee payment months ago, but of course that never happened," the duo said.

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"The promoters promised many times to take care of it, even once told me it had been taken care of...after being told ten times it would happen, you kind of stop believing when they say it for the 11th time. 

"I believe they already knew about possible trouble for their festival a long time ago, but deliberately kept artists in the dark and stalling as much as possible to avoid negative comments...and keep people buying tickets."

Digicult believe the worst of this entire situation is yet to come. 

"I suspect many [artists] will be left without payment and worse, probably many will even be left at the airport...having to cover their own hotel and other expenses." 

Read the group's full Facebook statement below.


We feel sorry to inform you that we won't be performing at the Maitreya festival. After many weeks/months of getting...

Posted by DigiCult on Wednesday, 9 March 2016

It appears that Digicult aren't the only act whose performance at Maitreya has been brought into question, as many fans have speculated that DJ's Sebastien Leger and Robert Babicz will no longer be appearing. 

While Babicz confirmed on his Facebook page last weekend that he is still scheduled to perform, Leger responded to a fan via his own social media page, writing, "I am playing at Maitreya. Just waiting for confirmation if it is happening. So far it seems it is still happening."

Meanwhile, police have amped up their efforts to deter punters from the festival, announcing in a statement this morning that they, nor paramedics and fire services will be on site during the four-day festival "for safety reasons".

"Without a permit, there’s no accountability to ensure the environment is safe for patrons and free from hazards," Swan Hill Local Area Commander Inspector Dan Davison said.

"We’re looking at a situation that involves the gathering of potentially thousands of people in an area that has not been declared safe, with a lack of basic services such as water, toilets, medical care and emergency response.

"The health and safety risks associated with that gathering are a real concern."

Davison did confirm that they are working to ensure that there will be resources in the community if an emergency occurs. 

"We have a duty of care to our people as well as to the community," Davison said. 

“Organisers who show little regard for the health and safety of patrons should not be running an event on this scale without appropriate planning and services. 

"We have no choice but to warn people about the risks they are taking by attending."

Following on from comments made yesterday in which he described organisers' actions as "arrogant and disgraceful", Stereosonic co-founder Richie McNeill said their stance paints other festival promoters in a negative light. 

"This illegal activity basically tarnishes rainbow and fellow promoters, making us look bad," McNeill said.
"We all get tarnished with the same brush."

Maitreya organisers announced that earlier this week that Emergency Medical Management, who claim to be "Australia's first and only holistic first aid service", will be at the event, while last night, not-for-profit organisation, Dancewize, a program of Harm Reduction Victoria, confirmed that they too will be at the event.

The Music has contacted Swan Hill Police for further comment. 


“The canonical texts are unanimous in stating that Maitreya will not personally bring about the Golden Age; rather, he...

Posted by DanceWize on Tuesday, 8 March 2016