Australia's Splendour in the Grass Fest Sells Out in Record Time

Musical group Empire of the Sun performs during Day 2 of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2011.

Australia’s Splendour in the Grass festival did some serious business this morning, selling-out its entire allocation of tickets within an hour of going on sale.

The mid-winter fest in Byron Bay shifted all its three-day, camping and single-day passes soon after the onsale at 9am this morning -- a new record, organizers say.

Independent company Moshtix handled ticketing services for the July 26-28 show, which moves to a new site at North Byron Parklands with a raised capacity of about 25,000. The campground alone can accommodate 15,000 campers.

Splendour is the brainchild of Dew Process founder Paul Piticco and Village Sounds director Jessica Ducrou. The pair had waged a hard-fought battle with local council to relocate the event this year to its new home. “What a perfect start for Splendour at our new home, North Byron Parklands,” Piticco and Ducrou said in a joint statement issued today. "Our housewarming party is going to be awesome. Please don't bring a pot plant.”

Today’s “unprecedented” rush for tickets seems to make a mockery of Australia’s saturated live entertainment market, and the big prices put in front of concert goers. Single day tickets for Splendour cost Australian $140 ($143) plus booking fees, while a three-day pass is Australian $350 ($358) plus booking fee. For a camping ticket, add $99 ($101) more -- and a booking fee. All of those tickets have been snapped up. At deadline, the Splendour Website was still offering the special “country club” pass -- presumably "VIP" entry – which is priced at a staggering Australian $699 ($715) plus booking fees.

So how does Splendour do it? The fest has a handful of factors in its favor which rivals simply can’t match. For starters, it’s held in one of the country’s most sought-after holiday spots. And it has built-up years of goodwill. Also, its 2013 line-up is as strong as ever, with the likes of Mumford & Sons, Empire of the Sun, Frank Ocean, the National, Of Monsters and Men, TV on the Radio and James Blake all confirmed. And Splendour has no direct competitors in the mid-winter timeframe

As tickets for Splendour were selling like hot cakes, Bon Jovi’s four-date December stadium tour of Australia was announced with a bottom-end ticket price of just Australia $35 ($35.70). Bon Jovi’s promoter Paul Dainty explained, “We wanted to help every Bon Jovi fan get past all the economic doom and gloom and come along to what will be without doubt the best concert of 2013.  This band totally delivers live on every level and I don’t think we’ve seen tickets from $35 for a topline act like Bon Jovi for many years, so this should be a great big Christmas party for fans.”