Australian Festival Scene Faces Financial Crisis in Newly Released, ‘Soundcheck’ Report

Australian festival scene in crisis. Image courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay

If Australia was trying to keep its financial crisis regarding festivals a secret, then Soundcheck doesn’t have their back, as they expose everything that’s going wrong.

Published earlier this week, ‘Soundcheck,’ overseen by Creative Australia, provides insights into the current situation in the Australian music festival sector. The report dives into different aspects including ticket-buying trends, demographics, and what’s going wrong. 

Australian festivals face cancelations

The document being a first of its kind was presented by Creative Australia’s reps, along with Music Australia’s founding director Millie Millgate, who provide tools to Australian music festival organizers for their decision-making.

Additionally, this report covers various issues that came up for organizers. These statistics include the lack of available funding (39%), insurance costs (31%), and extreme weather events (22%). It also finds that one in four music festivals in Australia was electronic dance music. Lastly, researchers mapped 535 festivals in 2022-2023 with Victoria and New South Wales hosting the highest number of festivals.

Australian festival scene discussed in ‘‘Sector Sessions’’

The Soundcheck report is seen as a starting point to turn around the situation of the festival sector in Australia. Music Australia has started a series of discussions called ‘‘Sector Sessions.’’

These sessions focus on key issues in the industry. This time, the main focus is on the state of Australia’s music festivals, which led to the Soundcheck report being created and distributed to the different stakeholders in an effort to push forward a movement of action.

How can we revive the Australian festival sector?

During the Soundcheck presentation, Millgate mentioned that audiences can help the sector by buying tickets early and buying often. Furthermore, it was stated that to help the sector, more Australians need to listen to more home grown music. As well as show support through subscriptions, and social following.

Creative Australia was given the task to undergo this research as part of the Federal Government’s National Cultural Policy: Revive, in collaboration with the Australian Festivals Association. Creative Australia pitched an interactive tool that collected data on the location and characteristics of music festivals held in Australia during 2022-23.

Written by Juliana Zammit

Juliana is a Bachelor student studying Journalism, and photography. Allowing her to narrate stories through text and images.

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