Legion Music Fest pushed back to 2017

18 January 2016 | 4:33 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Organisers behind new upstart organisation Legion Music Fest have confirmed the respective events will now occur in 2017.

Organisers behind new upstart organisation Legion Music Fest have confirmed the respective events will now occur in 2017.

Initially (and confidentially) reported to current Pozible supporters, the company, created in lieu of Soundwave's demise, was forced to observe the developments earlier than expected following the news quickly disseminating online.

In a detailed statement, Legion Music Fest outlines reasons for the postponement and notes January 2017 as the revised timeline.

The new festival has so far raised A$323,766 of its bold A$3,275,000 target.

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A statement reads:

Hi All,

We had hoped to let all our Pozible supporters know 24 hours before everyone else so that they had a chance to be the first to know but, given the current circumstances, we were forced to announce the below today.

Following extended discussions with industry partners, bands and the Legion Fan council, John Sankey and the Legion Music Fest team have made the decision to change the dates of the debut festival to January 2017 to coincide with the Australia Day long weekend.

Sankey said that the initial March 2016 date was set in response to the disappointment so many hard music fans faced once they received the news that there would be no Australian festival in 2016.

“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”, he said.

“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”, he added.

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.

In the wake of the date change, organisers are now in negotiations with several major international headliners that are much more comfortable to committing to the lineup now that they have adequate time to prepare.

They also mentioned that the added time gives them a lot more opportunity to inject real diversity to the line up in year one with a number of Punk, Hardcore and Rock acts expected to join the line up.

Read the full statement here: http://bit.ly/LegionMusicFest-UPDATE

Legion HQ