“It Is What It Is”: SITG Organiser Worries Reputation Is Damaged After Splendour In The Mud
"There's nothing we can do about it. You know, it is what it is."
The co-CEO of Splendour In The Grass has addressed the string of issues at this year’s festival, apologising for long delays but ultimately asserting that “it is what it is.”
SITG, a beloved fixture in the Australian festival scene, returned for the first time since 2019 over the weekend, but not without its fair share of hiccups that ultimately resulted in major delays and the first day of main stage performances being cancelled entirely.
Jessica Ducrou, the co-CEO of Secret Sounds — the company that runs Splendour — appeared on triple j’s Hack on Monday to discuss the issues at the festival, blaming the first day’s cancellation on safety concerns.
“Unfortunately, these weather sort of patterns can happen. And our first priority is to make sure that everyone’s safe,” Ducrou told Hack. “I know it was really disappointing for all of us after so long, but it was the right thing to do.”
But the cancellation of the first day was just one of many complaints with this year’s event, which also included punters waiting more than 10 hours to enter the grounds, issues with buses leaving the festival on Saturday night, and a reported lack of communication from festival organisers.
However, Ducrou seemed more concerned with the festival’s reputation than the safety issues the festival presented.
“It wasn’t the idea for people to not have a good time. And of course, [a hit to our reputation] concerns us greatly. There’s nothing we can do about it. You know, it is what it is,” said Ducrou. “I think people would have been very disappointed if we cancelled, I think it would have been very difficult for the music industry moving forward… So you know, we just did the best we could under the circumstances.”
Despite the issues with this year’s event, many festival goers have already indicated they would return next year.
“If I can survive this Splendour in the mud, I can survive anything so I probably will,” one festival goer who had his car bogged when exiting the festival told the ABC of his chances of attending next year’s event.
Ducrou also stressed that festival organisers could’ve pulled the pin on the event altogether, but kept it alive for the punters.
“We have insurance, we could have cancelled the entire event. So it wasn’t a financial decision for us to go forward, which I think it’s really important to share with everybody. It was more about considering how long it had been since Splendour had happened. The fact that so many people had come into the area for it, that so many people were relying on it,” she told Hack.
The festival has refused to rule out increasing ticket prices for next year’s event amid rising costs. This year’s festival tickets sold for $399 plus booking fees for the full festival, or $189 plus booking fees for a single day ticket.
Ticket holders can expect refunds for Friday, as well as Saturday night’s bus tickets in the coming days. Festival organisers have urged anyone who chose not to attend the event due to safety concerns to contact Splendour directly to discuss refund options.
Photo Credit: Gabrielle Clement / @gxbriellemxry