Stereosonic Permanently Axed, Or Just For 2016?
Reports this morning were that Stereosonc has been permanently axed by promoters Totem OneLove and SFX Entertainment. But they say it’s just taking a break in 2016.
There has been no response from promoters. The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported that Totem OneLove’s Simon Coyle did not respond to its request for comment. It then contacted founder Frank Cotela who told them, “I just don’t know what is going on there at Stereosonic.”
However, the Daily Mail says it was told by a festival spokesperson, “Totem OneLove Group is currently working on bringing Stereosonic fans the best festival experience possible. As part of this, Stereosonic is taking a hiatus during 2016 and will return in 2017 bigger and better than before.”
Stereosonic has been under the pump since two deaths from suspected drug overdoses, 25 year old pharmacist Sylvia Choi in Sydney and 19-year-old Stefan Woodward in Adelaide. Scores of others were arrested for possession, with 70 in Sydney, 60 in Melbourne and 139 in Brisbane.
The festival has a zero-drugs policy and constantly reminded patrons of this on its website. But Woodward’s family attributed blame to promoters. Totem OneLove was also the first to publicly declare it would allow pill-testing on its site to protect patrons.
Some reports suggested that Stereosonic’s rumoured cancellation may have had something to do with the financial issues of its American parent company SFX Entertainment which filed for Chapter 11. But Totem OneLove emphasised at that time that it was not affected because it was only a US issue. “We are cash-flow positive, can and will pay business expenses and remain committed to planning for, preparing, and producing the festival and events we are known for.”
There are also reports that Stereosonic has downsized its staff and that its Melbourne office in Windsor is up for lease.
Update: Stereosonic has officially been cancelled for 2016, confirmed by a statement released through Stereosonic's Facebook: "Totem Onelove Group is currently working on bringing Stereosonic fans the best festival experience possible. As part of this, we are taking a hiatus during 2016. However, we will return in 2017, bigger and better."