Wanderer Festival Set To Skip 2024 In Move To Biennial Format

22 February 2024 | 11:57 am | Mary Varvaris

"Events are all-consuming for everyone involved, and moving to a biennial format feels more sustainable."

The Teskey Brothers @ Wanderer Festival

The Teskey Brothers @ Wanderer Festival (Credit: David Rogers Photography)

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Pambula Beach, NSW festival Wanderer will skip 2024 in a move to a biennial format, instead announcing dates for 2025: 3-5 October.

This is another sign of Australian music festivals struggling (and cancelling) amid the current economic climate that involves cost-of-living pressures, inflation, and increasing costs to bring international artists down under and ensure that insurance covers significant events. Wanderer won’t go ahead this year but will be back in 2025 - hopefully grander than ever.

Event founder Simon Daly, confident that the festival needs longer than 12 months of lead time between events, is promising to offer something special in 2025. Daly has explained that the move to a biennial format can be more sustainable for festivals - particularly regional ones - as they allow more runtime to secure government funding and lock in international artists.

You can read Daly’s statement about Wanderer’s move to a biennial format below.

Wanderer Festival made its debut in 2022, booking acts including DMA’SWolfmotherThe Teskey Brothers, Confidence Man, Hayley Mary, Body Type, The Dandy WarholsAlice Ivy, and Emma Donovan.

Last year’s festival offered over 45 acts across three days, such as The Jungle Giants, Spiderbait, Kevin Morby, Lisa Mitchell, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Ocean Alley, Thelma Plum, Django Django, Art vs Science, Kim Churchill, Montaigne and many others.

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According to Daly, stakeholders have been “100% supportive” of the change to a biennial festival.

Simon Daly’s statement about Wanderer moving to a biennial format and announcing its 2025 dates from now:

We have created something very special and really important for the NSW Far South Coast and there’s a great sense of responsibility that comes with that. We have to make sure we are always taking the best pathways to keep producing the most amazing and sustainable event possible.

An event of this scale really needs more than 12 months lead time to prepare. We’ve been incredibly lucky with the quality of artists so far, but we don’t want to rely on luck – a longer lead time opens up so many more options, particularly in terms of international artists who plan their touring schedules 1-2 years in advance.

Events are all-consuming for everyone involved, and moving to a biennial format feels more sustainable. An event every two years gives everyone a breather and more time to plan. It also gives our audience a chance to do other things every second year.

We are conscious that major events, particularly regional events, are heavily dependent on grant funding. The biennial model not only makes the long lead times typical of grant rounds more achievable; requesting support only every two years means we are needing less funding over time.

Feedback from stakeholders has been 100% supportive of the change, and we look forward to planning the most amazing Wanderer yet once funding has been secured in the coming months for the 2025 event.