Australia’s Great Escape Festival Cancelled

Australia's Great Escape Festival, due to be staged Oct. 4 and 5 outside Sydney, has been cancelled.

The festival's promoter Mi5 cited "unexpectedly low ticket sales" in a statement issued today (Aug. 8). Tickets priced $180 Australian ($163), which included free on-site camping, went on sale in June.

In 2006 and 2007, the event was held over the long Easter holiday weekend in April, with domestic acts Silverchair, Wolfmother, Hilltop Hoods and Missy Higgins topping bills that also included less mainstream attractions as Sigur Ros, Martha Wainwright, The Black Keys and Kaki King.

The festival site, the former naval base of Newington Armoury featuring abandoned ammunition factories, officer quarters and underground bunkers, was seen as a drawing point.

In its third year, MI5 felt the heat from other Easter events, including the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival (81,000 payers this year) and V Festival (Sydney show attended by between 35,000 to 40,000), and shifted to October. The promoter declined to reveal ticket sales for the 2008 festival; in previous years it drew in excess of 15,000.

This year's line-up lacked big name acts, but featured familiar names from the U.S., U.K. and Canada including Conor Oberst, Joan As Police Woman, We Are Scientists, The Futureheads, Supergrass, Ladytron and The New Pornographers. Additional club dates in Sydney for these acts will go ahead.

Great Escape is not connected to the U.K.'s Great Escape festival held in Brighton in spring.