Caloundra Music Festival Reveals Its End After 2024 Event Was Canned

25 June 2024 | 1:08 pm | Mary Varvaris

The 2023 edition of the festival turned out to be the final run.

Caloundra Music Festival

Caloundra Music Festival (Credit: Richard Musumeci)

After this year’s Caloundra Music Festival was cancelled, festival organisers confirmed that the struggling yet beloved community event will not return.

The 2023 edition of the festival turned out to be the final run. Caloundra Music Festival also received funding from the Sunshine Coast Council, but following the reveal of the 2024-25 budget (shared on 20 June), which finds the event no longer funded by the council, the rising costs of the live music industry have forced the festival’s end.

The Caloundra Music Festival was founded in 2007 and ran each year until 2020 when it was forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, rising operational costs and slower ticket sales have plagued the festival, and this year’s event has not gone ahead.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Rosanna Natoli said of the council’s decision to discontinue funding for the festival, “Rising costs, falling ticket sales and uncertainty in the music festival industry were felt to be too great a risk in the current climate.”

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Adding that the council recognises that music and cultural events are “important” for the local community, Natoli promised the delivery of “smaller events of programs” and the continuation of its Community Grants Program and Major Event Sponsorship Program.

Division 2 Councillor Terry Landsberg urged live music fans to support other events to be held on the Sunshine Coast.

Landsberg stated: “I urge you to support other events, like the upcoming Big Pineapple Music Festival and Council’s 10-day multi-arts Horizon Festival, which will be held May 2-11 next year, coinciding with the 2025 Labour Day Public Holiday.

“I know the artists and patrons will be greatly disappointed, and I encourage festival fans to support other festivals, venues and artists by purchasing tickets often and early.”

Earlier this year, Caloundra Music Festival organisers cited the cost-of-living crisis, namely “higher interest rates, rent, fuel, power and food costs on household budgets”, meaning that potential punters have less disposable income for festival tickets, as another reason for its struggles.

Caloundra Music Festival is often a real money maker for the Sunshine Coast region, with an estimated $4 million pouring back into the local economy annually.

In its time, the Caloundra Music Festival has hosted Powderfinger, Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, John Butler Trio, Jimmy Barnes, Empire Of The Sun, The Cat Empire, Jet, The Temper Trap, and more while supporting interesting international acts such as Michael Franti, Arrested Development, George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic, Tower Of Power, and The New Power Generation.