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By Meg Watson
April 23, 2014
By Meg Watson
April 23, 2014

Cover your ears if you love local music; another Aussie festival is in serious trouble. Newcastle-turned-Sydney experimental darling Sound Summit has announced they'll be taking a 2014 hiatus in order to reassess their "ongoing financial viability". Cue anxious collar pulling and angry pub rants about the end of festivals altogether.

However bleak it sounds, organisers aren't yet throwing in the towel. "This decision has not been made lightly and was made with the aim to develop a more robust platform for the festival’s long term sustainability," said festival representatives. "Sound Summit [are] currently seeking out a range of funding and partnership options within a revised business plan."

With a history spanning over 13 years, it's definitely a cause worth fighting for. Originally held in Newcastle as part of the This is Not Art Festival (TiNA), Sound Summit has since made a name for itself in the realm of experimental and alternative music; and looked to be on the rise after expanding to Sydney just last year. The 2013 lineup boasted the likes of Oval (Germany), Tyvek (US), Heatsick (UK), Angel Eyes, Bushwalking, The Stevens, Ooga Boogas; and past years have seen bigger names such as Aloe Blacc and Ariel Pink.

Times are tough all 'round for festivals these days with the cancellation of Harvest, Homebake and Pyramid at the end of last year alone. Throw in the ongoing drama with the Big Day Out/pretty much anything AJ Maddah touches, and the outlook doesn't look great.

Sound Summit, for the moment at least, are staying resilient. Festival co-director Liza Harvey will be conducting an in-depth review of the festival to find a way to stay afloat and MusicNSW are on the lookout for any feedback from ex-festivalgoers that can help. They will also be holding smaller isolated events through the year, to ensure an ongoing platform for innovative new artists.

If anyone out there's solved the problem facing Australian festivals, feel free to speak up now. For the moment at least, we got nothin'.

Published on April 23, 2014 by Meg Watson


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