“We can’t walk into a show like that hoping on walk-ins.”
This weekend’s Let’s Wing It Country Music Festival has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales.
Organisers Dusty Edwards and Phill Doring made the decision on Monday to postpone the event, revealing that only 500 tickets were sold, far below the 3200 required to break even.
“People are just waiting to buy their tickets, and, in all honesty, we can’t walk into a $300,000 festival if we can’t see how we’re gonna cover it,” Edwards told the Newcastle Herald.
“We can’t walk into a show like that hoping on walk-ins," he continued. “Slow pre-sales have been problematic for various parts of the live music industry since the pandemic, which a large number of punters waiting until the last minute to purchase tickets.”
Edwards said the winter time slot and competition from other events like Smoke in Broke BBQ Festival and Merriwa’s Festival Of The Fleeces was also a factor in low ticket sales.
In late May, the three day festival was condensed into “two jam-packed days and nights.” Scheduled for June 10-11, it was to feature Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, Fanny Lumsden, Catherine Britt, Andrew Swift, Matt Cornell, The Bushwackers, Raechel Whitchurch, Melody Moko, Gretta Ziller, Rory Phillips, Piper Butcher and more.
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Edwards and Doring stated they were aware of the current trend of people taking their time to buy tickets, and that downsizing the event was the way for it to go ahead.
“We are no strangers to that thinking and we had to downsize our three-day festival into a two-day event to make it viable,” said Dusty. “We strongly feel two days brings together a more wholesome jam-packed weekend of entertainment for the fans.”
The cancellation has disrupted the plans of many artists including Gretta Ziller who was to join Andrew Swift this weekend at The Royal Hotel and The Stag & Hunter.
The alt-country artist shared on social media, “Unfortunately, at times tours are like a stack of cards, if one falls the rest follow. With the cancellation of the Let's Wing It Festival this week I've had to make the decision to pull out of the weekends tour [with Swift].”
“I am frustrated we couldn't make this work this time,” she added. “But I will be announcing an album preview tour in the coming weeks with shows in those areas for later in the year.”
Additionally, making the event across two days meant Swift had to change his initial plans.
“Bit of news for y’all, Let's Wing It Country Music Festival is now a two-day event… it does mean that I’m now performing on Saturday 10th and have had to cancel my show at Flow Bar, Old Bar apologies to anyone that has purchased tickets, you will be refunded,” he said.
Festivals that have been cancelled or postponed in 2023 include Play On The Plains, Boardwalk Country Music Festival, Falls Festival, Newtown Festival and more.
Organisers are looking at rescheduling Let’s Wing It Country Music Festival for next year.
“We’re trying to lock in a new date, it looks like it’ll be in the new year,” Edwards revealed. “We’ve got a meeting later in the week to discuss all that."
Ticketholders can elect to receive a refund or carry the ticket over to Let’s Wing It Country Music Festival’s future date.