Soundwave 2015 Will Be Adelaide’s “Last Ever”

Promoter confirms the news less than a week out from the festival.

James Arnold-Garveyby James Arnold-Garvey

The writing has been on the wall for months, but now it’s official — Adelaide is following Perth as the latest city to be stricken off Soundwave Festival‘s touring schedule.

Festival promoter AJ Maddah confirmed the news on Twitter this evening, referring to this weekend’s event as the “last ever” in Adelaide. “We can’t bring a show of this magnitude down again for so few people,” he said.

Despite warnings in the last few weeks that ticket sales had been “pathetic” and needed a big boost to save the festival, Maddah now says that “numbers picked up, but nowhere near enough”.

Adelaide Soundwave fans were quick to tweet their condolences and thanks, the promoter returning the gratitude and vowing to make the now two-day event “a great farewell show”.

The loss of the South Australian leg of the festival means Soundwave 2016, should it go ahead, will likely be an east-coast affair. Soundwave’s city of origin, Perth, lost the festival in 2015 due to high production costs and low ticket sales at the 2014 event

Maddah has cast doubt on the festival’s future in South Australia in the past, expressing similar concerns about the Adelaide leg of the festival last year, at the same time as he cancelled the Perth event.

It’s been a predictably bumpy ride for heavy music fans over the festival’s seven-year tenure in the city of churches. Ticket sales have often struggled to match expectations, and clashes with competing events, notably the Clipsal 500, often meant accommodation and transport costs for artists, crew and punters were exorbitant

The festival has also had public struggles with Adelaide City Council. Last year Maddah accused the council of trying to “get rid of Soundwave” after they encouraged public feedback about the festival.

“They’re not going to come out and say they’re going to get rid of it,” he said at the time. “They just keep turning screws behind the scene.”

“Easiest way to get rid of an event is to keep adding hoops and costs til [sic] you kill it. They have adopted the Perth model.”

For their part, the ACC insisted that it welcomes music festivals and “recognises the importance of them and the enjoyment they bring to many people.”

Plans for the festival’s Melbourne leg this week descended into chaos when it was revealed public transport arrangements to Soundwave’s traditional Victorian home, RAC Showgrounds, had not been finalised.

This sparked a last-minute flurry of activity from both festival organisers and Public Transport Victoria to provide transport options for punters. PTV CEO Mark Wild said the festival’s “haphazard planning” nearly led to Soundwave Melbourne being cancelled this year.

The “last ever” Soundwave Adelaide kicks off this weekend, taking place over two days at Bonython Park on Saturday, 21st February and Sunday, 22nd February. The festival is headlined by Slipknot, Faith No More, Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins.