AJ Maddah: “Soundwave Will Go Ahead No Matter What”

The promoter has assured this weekend's festival will go ahead, despite current public transport chaos.

Nastassia Baroniby Nastassia Baroni

Soundwave chief AJ Maddah has assured punters that this weekend’s festival in Melbourne “will go ahead” despite the current chaos and uncertainty surrounding the public transport situation at the event.

As the transport dispute between festival organisers and the Victorian government continues, Maddah has stayed firm that Soundwave “will go ahead no matter what”, even though the lack of public transport available to punters could potentially leave thousands stranded.

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Maddah directed his anger at the Victorian government, labelling the state’s Premier Daniel Andrews and its transport department “lying scumbags” who pulled public transports from Soundwave and other events in favour of Melbourne CBD’s huge White Night festival.

“We’re one of 14 or 15 events that have had their public transport pulled in order to get additional driver hours for White Night and the cricket,” the promoter told 3AW‘s Neil Mitchell.

“They’ve been aware of our event and the date since late April, early May, last year. That’s when Flemington gave them notice of the event.”

While Flemington Racecourse was the original venue for Soundwave Melbourne it was changed in December last year with the announcement that the festival would be returning to its original home of the RAS Melbourne Showgrounds.

It is unclear if this is at the centre of the dispute, though Maddah has accused the government as “using change of venue as an excuse” to deny the festival services. Neither Public Transport Victoria nor Soundwave organisers would comment to Crave about this issue.

Maddah also alleged that festival organisers were told a few weeks ago “in writing” by the transport department that Soundwave’s event permits would be compromised if they mentioned or complained about the public transport situation.

Reports The Herald Sun, Premier Andrews said Soundwave organisers should have secured public transport “back before we were in government” last year, a comment that was reiterated by Transport Minister Jacinta Allan who told media this morning that Soundwave organisers didn’t meet “some of the earlier guidelines”.

Both the Premier and the Transport Minister have stated they are willing to work with Soundwave to find a solution but Maddah told 3AW he hasn’t heard from them.

In a previous statement, Soundwave announced they will run a return bus shuttle service to and from Footscray and North Melbourne stations. Tickets for that service must be pre-booked. Additional parking options are also available.

UPDATE 16/02/15 5:06pm : Public Transport Victoria have issued a statement attacking Soundwave’s “haphazard” planning, while offering Melbourne Soundwave punters a solution to their public transport woes.