Economic Crunch Hits Aus Fest

After a 10-year relationship, Toyota pulled out of its six-figure sponsorship of major Queensland country music festival the Gympie Music Muster.

The Japanese car manufacturer said it was cutting back its marketing expenditures as a result of the economic climate.

Its sponsorship constituted 40 percent of the festival’s production costs.

The Muster managed to find a replacement – camping and outdoor leisure company BCF Australia. The Muster is scheduled for August.

Sponsorship dollars have also dried up for the Australasian Recording Industry Association’s ARIA awards in October.

It has yet to book Sydney’s 20,000-capacity Acer Arena, its home for the past eight years. It is looking at smaller venues, possibly in other cities.