Culture / Music

Why was Splendour in the Grass 2024 cancelled?

splendour in the grass crowd

Well, ladies and gentleman, I regret to inform you that today is another sad, sad day for Australian music. After only releasing the highly-anticipated lineup for its 2024 event just two weeks ago, it has been announced that Splendour in the Grass has been cancelled this year.

Yes, you read that correctly. Australian radio broadcaster, triple j, dropped the breaking news around midday on March 27, and at the time of writing, Splendour in the Grass is yet to make a formal statement about the cancellation.

Why was Splendour in the Grass 2024 cancelled?

While an official announcement from the festival organisers has yet to be released, many people online are speculating about the cause of cancellation. Most of the comments on triple j's Instagram post points the finger at the current cost of living crisis, which many believe is causing the Australian music industry to suffer with usual participants and festival-goers unable to afford the cost of purchasing a ticket.

In 2023, it was announced that the festival failed to sell out, which is a significant shift from the festival's popularity just a decade ago. Some music enthusiasts have suggested that the festival's recent lineups have also contributed in the change in demand.

Here are some reasons why Splendour in the Grass might have been cancelled this year.

Extreme weather events

The increasingly higher incidence of extreme weather events makes it a challenge for organisers to put on festivals. When there’s a higher likelihood of floods, fires or even extreme temperatures, running an outdoor event is risky.

Distance for international acts

For many international acts, travelling to Australia is extremely costly. Especially, when you need to fly out entire teams. It makes it hard to attract well-known talent to the country, which was one criticism of the latest Splendour in the Grass lineup.

Sky-rocketing insurance costs

You’ve probably noticed that your car insurance and home insurance has almost doubled over the last few years. Well, it’s a similar situation for public liability insurance. The cost of insurance for festivals is huge and only getting bigger every year. To the point that it is unaffordable for smaller operations.

Low Australian exchange rate

Many international acts will require payment in their local currency – fair enough. But since the Australian dollar only buys roughly 60 Euro cents and 60 American cents, it means that it costs us close to double to pay an international artist to come to Australia.

High ticket prices in a cost of living crisis

There needs to be a delicate balance when it comes to pricing tickets. All these immensely high costs then have to be passed onto ticket buyers, it’s the only way to make the festival feasible. Unfortunately, if the ticket prices end up too high, many people are unable to access them. If a festival does not attract enough attention during the presale phase, the festival can’t run.


Who was set to perform at Splendour in the Grass 2024?

This year's line-up offering certainly had some heavy hitters. Grammy-winning music and fashion icon Kylie Minogue was set to headline, with indie-pop queen Lizzy McAlpine and Irish alt-rock group Fontaines D.C also featuring on the list. Here's the full Splendour in the Grass 2024 lineup.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more details to come.

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