Music

Mountain Sounds Organisers Confirm They’re In Liquidation, Blame Last-Minute Cancellation

"This is yet another example of the catastrophic impact the new policies will have on not just festival organisers but all parties involved should the new policies go ahead."

Mountain Sounds Festival

Towards the beginning of February, beloved and long-running Australian music festival Mountain Sounds announced the cancellation of their 2019 event.

Since then, while Gladys Berejiklian and her state government have been desperately attempting to blame anyone but themselves for the festival’s cancellation, and rumours have swirled that the festival had been forced into liquidation.

Now those rumours have been confirmed via a statement released to Music Junkee from the Mountain Sounds organisers. In the statement, the organisers cite being “forced to cancel the event a week out from when it was due to take place” as the primary reason for the liquidation.

“Cancelling the event has meant we have had to forfeit all artist and infrastructure deposits and many other upfront expenses plus have forgone all on day and sponsorship revenue expected meaning we have been unfortunately forced into liquidation for now,” reads the statement.

“This is yet another example of the catastrophic impact the new policies will have on not just festival organisers but all parties involved should the new policies go ahead.”

The statement also hits back at previously reported claims that Mountain Sounds owe booked artists huge sums of money — the organisers claim that they have paid back “the majority of acts deposits required of them at the time of cancellation.”

In particular, it was being reported that headliner Courtney Barnett was owed nearly $100,000. According to organisers, that is incorrect: “Courtney Barnett was paid her 50 percent ($47,850) deposit as per contract prior to the event cancellation,” they clarified. “[Barnett] is owed $47,850, which would have been paid if the event went ahead.”

When the fest was first cancelled, organisers claimed that a sudden increase in user-pay police made it impossible for them to keep up with swelling costs.

“Despite receiving an invoice for 11 user pay police at 10:46am on February 7, at the meeting — a mere 14 minutes later at 11am — we were advised this number had increased to 45 user pay police, amounting to an upfront cost of approximately $200,000,” organisers explained at the time.

“It is outrageous that we and every other event in this State have had zero opportunity to have any consultation or input into the new policies.”