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Sydney Festival abruptly cancels high profile three-day music festival – as organisers blame ‘cost of living pressures’

todayDecember 2, 2023 4

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Sydney’s first ever Summerground music festival has been axed just weeks out from the event. 

The three-day music extravaganza was organised by Sydney Festival in 2024, and was meant to take place at Tumbalong Park from January 5 to 7. 

Unfortunately, organisers announced on Thursday that the entire event had been axed for financial reasons. 

‘The Summerground mid-city music festival planned as part of the 2024 Sydney Festival has sadly been cancelled,’ the official notice read.

‘Changing consumer behaviours, cost of living pressures and mounting operational expenses are having an impact on many large music festivals nationwide and unfortunately, Summerground was not immune from these factors,’ it continued. 

Sydney ‘s first ever Summerground music festival has been axed just weeks out from the event

The Sydney Festival has promised to fully refund all ticket holders.  

‘We remain fully committed to the spirit of live music and are proud to present a wide range of other music offerings in the 2024 program that showcase the diverse talent our music scene offers,’ they said. 

Summerground boasted a lineup of local and international talent, including Australian soul group The Teskey Brothers and Indigenous rockers King Stingray. 

The three-day music extravaganza was organised by Sydney Festival in 2024, and was meant to take place at Tumbalong Park from January 5 to 7. (Pictured: The Teskey Brothers, who were meant to perform at the festival)

The three-day music extravaganza was organised by Sydney Festival in 2024, and was meant to take place at Tumbalong Park from January 5 to 7. (Pictured: The Teskey Brothers, who were meant to perform at the festival) 

British acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies were also scheduled to perform, along with Tanzanian-Australian singer-songwriter Beckah Amani and Cuban musician Cimafunk.

A single day ticket cost $89, while a two day ticket set patrons back $140.

A pass for all three days cost $210. 

British acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies (pictured) were scheduled to perform at the festival

British acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies (pictured) were scheduled to perform at the festival 

Cuban musician Cimafunk (pictured) was also booked to perform

Cuban musician Cimafunk (pictured) was also booked to perform 

Festival director Olivia Ansell previously described Summerground as ‘a three-day luscious summer oasis’ during an interview with Sydney Morning Herald in October. 

She said at the time that tickets had been moderately priced to make the festival accessible among the cost of living crisis. 

‘We are listening to the current rhetoric around inflation and costs, and I believe there’s such a huge demographic out there for this type of music that isn’t getting this type of festival in the heart of Sydney.’ 

‘We are the biggest city in the country and we should be offering this.’ 

SydneyCost of Living Crisis



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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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