Australia's inaugural Soundwave Revolution tour, featuring Van Halen, Alice Cooper and Bad Religion, was abruptly canceled this week.
The brainchild of promoter AJ Maddah, the five-city tour was intended to kick off next month. However, news of the cancellation spread wide early Tuesday when a member for the booked band Steel Panther announced the situation via his Twitter account.
Maddah's team later issued a statement Tuesday confirming the cancellation, but not before explaining the background to Nova radio network. Maddah told listeners that the problem could be blamed on an unidentified second headliner, who had apparently pulled out and left the organizers with little alternative but to pull the plug.
Now the blame-game has started, with observers blaming the likes of Van Halen and even Limp Bizkit for the cancellation. At press time, no one had put their hand up, although some reports online suggest that the tour was canceled due to poor ticket sales.
In a statement, organizers said "many of the festival bands" will be coming to Australia as part of "multi band/mini festival line-ups" in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Details will be announced in the coming days. Fans who bought tickets will be refunded.
Maddah has carved out a niche in the harder end of Australia's festivals market. In a handful of years, Maddah's flagship Soundwave event has grown from a single hard rock and metal event, into a national beast which sold roughly 200,000 tickets when it last roamed the country in February and March.
Maddah, a keen user of Twitter, at one stage confirmed through the micro-blogging platform that production costs for Revolution were in the region of $12.4 million Australian ($12.8 million U.S.). The launch of Revolution bucked the general industry consensus that Australia's festivals circuit had already reached saturation point.
As if to prove a point, Maddah's team recently announced another festival brand, Harvest, which will take place across three dates in November, and is headlined by Portishead, the National, the Flaming Lips and Bright Eyes.
Sources close to Maddah say Revolution was only ever intended as a one-off lap after a raft of harder-rock talent had essentially fallen into his lap.