Sound On Sound Festival Called Off

Sound On Sound Festival organizers broke the news to fans today that the second annual event has been canceled, citing “several recent roadblocks.”

The Nov. 10-12 fest at Sherwood Forest Faire in McDade, Texas, was supposed to feature Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ first gig since 2013, along with performances from Iggy Pop, Grizzly Bear, The Shins and more.

Refunds are available through the festival’s ticketing partner, Eventbrite. Sound On Sound’s announcement points out that refunds are automatic and will appear on ticketholders’ credit or debit card statement in the next five to seven business days.

“This is one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make,” organizers said in a statement posted on the festival’s website. “Due to several recent roadblocks outside of our control and in an effort to do right by our fans, the decision to cancel the event was our only real option.”

Sound On Sound 2016
– Sound On Sound 2016

Sound On Sound director/booker Graham Williams told the Austin Chronicle that ticket sales were “on track” with expectations and that the cancellation is a result of a primary investor exiting a week and a half ago.

Williams, who is behind the live music promotions/creative events/marketing company Margin Walker Presents and founded Fun Fun Fun Fest, told the paper that the investment was supposed to go to production and talent and that those teams are requiring more funds in advance following canceled events like Fyre Festival.

The Chronicle notes that Sound On Sound was produced by Barracuda co-founder Johnny Sarkis.

A bit of good news – festival organizers are in the process of rescheduling that majority of the Sound on Sound artists at other venues in the area. The new shows will be announced Oct. 16.

Sound On Sound ticketholders will get the first chance to purchase single tickets to the makeup shows, beginning Oct. 16. Emails will be sent to the ticketholders with details. The public onsale will begin Oct. 19 at 8 a.m. CDT.

“We truly love our fans. We appreciate you sticking by us while we work hard to make this right. Be on the lookout for new show announcements from Sound On Sound Fest artists and ticket links for these replacement shows,” the statement added.

Williams’ comment to the Chronicle about financial requirements from production companies and artist agencies falls in line with a prediction from WME Head of Music Marc Geiger, who spoke to Pollstar in May after Pemberton Music Festival filed for bankruptcy and canceled its 2017 event.

Geiger said that moving forward, WME and other agencies are most likely going to tighten up financial requirements and deposit requirements.

High Road Touring’s Frank Riley – who also works with a number of artists who were supposed to play Pemberton – echoed Geiger’s comments in May.

“It really does destabilize the independent festival promoter,” Riley said. “These two events [Pemberton and Fyre] make everybody more wary and it may result in further consolidation of the live music touring business, which would be a shame and, on a lot of levels, a disaster. Keeping the independent promoters alive and viable and productive is a way of keeping music alive and viable and productive. The corporate world is a little bit less about music and a little bit more about money and that’s what’s really upsetting here.”

Pollstar reached out to Sound On Sound for comment and will update this post if more information becomes available.