Update: Organizers have now scrapped this year’s event. A statement issued Oct. 1 reads, “Due to unforeseen last-minute changes in artist availability, the partners involved in FestivalX have agreed not to proceed with the 2018 event. We set out to deliver the very best experience and the compromises to the proposed line-up did not meet the vision that we have for FestivalX. More news will follow on our future plans for FestivalX.”
Australia has a new, roaming dance music festival.
Hardware and Onelove, the creators of the Stereosonic brand which, at its peak, could shift more than a quarter million tickets, has teamed with Live Nation to launch FestivalX.
The new fest will visit four cities across Australia and New Zealand during the southern summer, and promises a heady bill of hip-hop, pop, EDM and electronica performers.
According to a statement issued late Friday, FestivalX will kick off Nov. 29 in Auckland, followed by dates in Brisbane (Nov. 30), Sydney (Dec. 1) and Melbourne (Dec. 2). Venues, prices and the talent lineup will be unveiled in due course.
“We’ve been working on this for while now and the time is right,” comments Hardware chief Richie McNeill, who pledges a “value for money musical experience” to ring in the end of exams, and the start of the long, hot months.
Live Nation Australasia CEO Roger Field added, “FestivalX is going to showcase the best local and international talent while bringing fans a new festival experience. It’s going to be huge, and it’s going to be the pre-summer party fans have been waiting for.”
FestivalX takes a slot on the calendar left vacant by Stereosonic, which began in Melbourne in 2007 and expanded to a five-city trek, visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, before it abruptly disappeared. The fest expanded to a two-date format and, for its 2013 run, sold more than 280,000 tickets sold across its five shows. That year, SFX announced it had bought Totem OneLove Group Pty Ltd for $75 million, and two years down the track, Stereosonic had reverted to a single-day format. In April 2016, organizers said the event would take a “hiatus.” Stereosonic hasn’t been seen since.
It’s been an unusually busy week of announcements for traveling music festivals in this part of the world. On Thursday, a new, three-city Good Things Festival was revealed, with a bill featuring The Offspring, Stone Sour, All Time Low, Dropkick Murphys, and BABYMETAL. The inaugural east coast trek will run across three dates in December.
FestivalX adds another festival brand to LN’s growing portfolio. Earlier this year, the concerts giant acquired a controlling stake in Rhythm and Vines, one of NZ’s most popular festival brands. And through its partnerships with UNIFIED and Secret Sounds, LN this year debuted Download Festival in Melbourne, an event that will return in 2019 with an additional show in Sydney.
In related news, Live Nation Australia has struck a multi-year exclusive partnership that will provide special perks for customers of the Optus telco’s postpaid, prepaid and broadband services. The partnership kicks off this month with promotions that include ticket presales for some LN tours and premium events experiences.