In news today that probably won’t surprise all that many people, Legion Music Fest will not be going ahead in 2017.
In a post to Facebook this afternoon, organizers announced that due to “a number of business considerations” (which I’m just going to assume is code for a lack of funding or poor financial management), the festival will not be going ahead next year in January. The full statement reads below:
“Legion Music Fest Announcement
The organizers wish to thank all Aussie metal fans for their continued support of the Legion project over the last 10 months.
Due to a number of business considerations, we have made the decision to not proceed with the proposed launch of Legion Music Fest in January 2017.
*Edit* Please note – no transactions have been processed at all and no fans are out of pocket.
The lineup for the festival, which was intending to hit Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, included Aversions Crown, Dream, On Dreamer, Devildriver, Darkc3ll, Caligula’s Horse, Darkest Hour, amongst a handful of other bands. Of course, while I (and many others) enjoy a lot of the bands on the bill, I must admit that I wasn’t that ecstatic with the lineup and was definitely not clambering to grab a ticket. That’s just personal taste, of course, but that was also the same vibe I got from many of my friends too and up until a few months ago, I forgot that this damn thing was even happening! (Hey, let me have my anecdotal fun, goddamnit).
A quick scroll back through the event’s Facebook page shows next to no updates or info about the actual festival itself, save for this recent and subsequent final update. What you will find, however, is plenty of posts and updates relating to the new releases and announcements of others tours from the bands that were set to supposedly play this festival. Which is fine to share around, but when that’s the only thing that people see for months on end and little in the way of info about this event, the writing starts to show on the wall me thinks.
From the very beginning, the heart and the good intentions were all there, but this one just felt so…rushed following Soundwave’s demise. The initial upfront crowd-funding goal of three million plus was a bit much and for a lineup of bands that just aren’t really buzzing enough amongst Australian audiences now, let alone in a larger, touring festival environment.
Now, I’m sure that many will blame this current situation on the Australian punters that just don’t support music festivals, or that there is simply no market for festivals in the current national climate. Which is fucking bollocks! Sure, it is no easy task but one must look at the success and interest around Unify Gathering, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, and Yours & Owls or hell, even Rainbow Serpent (for your recreational drug users and hippies out there) to see that there is indeed a market for music festivals in Australia; heavy, alternative or otherwise. As the people will support festivals with good, relevant and interesting lineups (of both national and international acts), whether or not they cater to a particular market or are a really solid blend of various styles.
Again, setting up and then running a music festival is no small or easy task, but it can be done and it can be done well, no less (see: Soundwave, Unify, and more). And yes, the festival scene is in a really fucking rough patch at the moment, but it can thrive again and it can get back to it’s “heyday”. But look, Legion Music Fest was just never going to be the one to get it back there (and I’m sure that was never the sole intention of the festival either), but it was probably never going to go ahead for the reasons listed above and more.
Well hey, at least we will still have Download Festival and Sonisphere still coming over to Australia, right? Right!? Ha.