Parachute Festival Folds

New Zealand’s longest-running festival, Parachute Music, is canceled, organisers announced March 27.

The predominantly Christian-themed event, which annually drew 30,000 at its peak, operated for 24 years. “While we celebrate a great run in this country, it’s important to us that we end well,” said CEO and founder Mark de Jong. “This event is no longer viable financially and our board doesn’t believe it is prudent to continue the event. Continuing the festival will put all the other activities of Parachute Music at risk.”

In recent years, the festival responded to what De Jong cited a “saturated” market by slashing ticket prices, operational budgets and artist payments.

“The festival over the last few years has declined significantly in numbers,” de Jong admitted. This January’s event last saw it broadening its bill to include R&B singer Stan Walker and boy band Titanium. But the event lost NZ$250,000 ($216,350), according to media reports.