Big Chill Canceled
The Big Chill is the latest of a run of cancellations from major UK festivals, falling victim to the London Olympics and a shortage of headline acts.
The Games were bound to put some pressure on the British outdoor market, but the main concern among mainland European festival chiefs visiting Eurosonic-Noorderslag in The Netherlands Jan. 11-14 was who they could get to top their various bills.
Festival republic managing director Melvin Benn says he “looked long and hard” at changing the date of the festival in order to duck the Olympics, but couldn’t come up with a workable alternative.
“Sadly, the artist availability and confirmations we were achieving led me to conclude that I couldn’t risk going ahead with the event as an outdoor,” he explained.
Benn’s now looking at creating a smaller indoor festival for this year, with the anticipation that The Big Chill will return outdoors in 2013.
It’s the second setback within a month for Festival Republic.
Orlando Calling, its U.S. venture, expected around 100,000 punters at The Citrus Bowl Nov. 12-13, but the event’s future may be in doubt after about half that number turned up.
The loss of The Big Chill follows Glastonbury chief Michael Eavis’s decision to postpone his festival’s regular break from 2011 to 2012 and the cancellation of Ireland’s Oxegen Festival.
Eavis, who made his announcement October 2010, said he envisaged difficulties with staging the event close to the London Olympic Games.
For MCD chief Denis Desmond, who owns Oxegen and has a half share in Festival Republic, the Olympics appears to be one of a number of reasons for taking a break in 2012.