“We understand that you may feel disappointed and emotional reading this."
The Grass Is Greener has announced that its Canberra and Geelong events this month have been cancelled as headliners withdraw from the remaining shows in Gold Coast and Cairns.
In a lengthy statement posted to Facebook, organisers confirmed the shows had been axed and that ONEFOUR, Ty Dolla $ign, ZHU and Maya Jane Coles would not be playing the remaining two shows.
“As we believe in honesty and ethical practice, we also believe in sharing the circumstances truthfully with you,” they said.
“The reason for cancellation doesn't rest upon a single factor. Rather, it's related to the culmination of multiple elements that have affected not only us but our industry partners and siblings across the entire event industry in the COVID/post-lockdown period.
“Festivals start being planned at least 12 months in advance. After a successful 2021 campaign in Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba, Mackay, and Gladstone, we were excited to finally take TGIG to other states, and expand nationally. Like many others, we expected purchasing behaviour to return to pre-pandemic levels, curating a lineup that we felt our loyal customers deserved.
“In that time, there have been staggering, exponential cost increases across the board from staging, production and site infrastructure to security, portable toilets and more.
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“We've been running large-scale events for seven years, and have not - during this time - seen such sharp increases within such a short period. This has drastically affected our planning to an unprecedented degree.
“Understandably so, consumer confidence and purchasing behaviors have completely changed. With so many reschedules and the nature of conditions over the past two years, we understand why, too.
“From an event standpoint, especially heading into these new markets, a festival team relies on certain milestones to enable us to run events successfully. What's more, the weather warnings we're receiving from Canberra and Geelong have also played a large role in this decision. While the shows were selling slower than predicted, we still had full intention of seeing them through - loss or otherwise. However, when coupled with the chance that sites might not even be built due to the impending weather, we knew we had to make a call as soon as possible.”
Due to the cancellation of the two events, organisers were “unable to agree upon new payment terms” with the artists who have pulled out of Gold Coast and Cairns.
“We were especially excited to host ONEFOUR,” the statement continues.
“Although they graciously tried to work with us, we weren't able to find a way forward that honored our original agreements. We hope that our willingness to host ONEFOUR displays to other promoters that welcoming them on their lineups is a mutually beneficial endeavor, and not fraught with the controversy that mainstream media cares to peddle.”
It’s been stated that refund information will be made available in the next 7-14 days and that all Canberra and Geelong tickets will be valid for The Grass Is Greener Gold Coast and Cairns as well as YG's Melbourne on October 31.
“We understand that you may feel disappointed and emotional reading this. We completely empathise.
“More broadly, we ask you to kindly consider that this is an extremely challenging time in this industry, and that we'll always do our best to give you an amazing experience. With a long history of running successful events, we were not immune from being affected by the number of factors outlined that have contributed to this decision today.
“Nonetheless, we make this call keeping in mind the long-term sustainability of the events you've come to love.”
In the lead-up to this afternoon's announcement, both ONEFOUR and ZHU revealed they would not be performing at the festival, with fans of each demanding answers from organisers who had yet to comment.
Following today's news, one punter on Instagram noted, "I am extremely disappointed to see that the Canberra edition was cancelled last minute, and even more disappointed to see that the organisation closed the comments section (probably to avoid negative feedback)."
Another stated: "This is so horrible on the organisers end. You should be able to respond to comments and address the one four issue instead of running away and avoiding it like children. You're running a whole dam event get your fkn shit together."
YG, PNAU, Sticky Fingers, Alok, Boo Seeka and more will play The Grass Is Greener Gold Coast (Oct 22) and Cairns (Oct 29).