We want to provide you with some background on Summer Camp – this isn’t to ask for your sympathy, it isn’t to be defensive, we simply want to provide some information and perspective for those who have been asking.
We began planning Summer Camp during Covid in 2020 – The vision was for an inclusive festival with the best LGBTQIA+ artists and allies from around the world & all of the great local talent we have here in Australia.
We waited until November 2021 when NSW reopened before we went on sale, planning to launch at the end of February 2022 as part of Mardi Gras in Sydney & tour queer pride to other cities.
The immediate response was amazing, with thousands of tickets sold each day – so we were assured that you were ready for an event like this.
Just weeks after we went on sale, Omicron hit, the states shut down again and 3 weeks before our festival, we were forced to postpone due to the public health which included no dancing. We postponed like every other festival in Australia at that time.
In April 2022 we were confirmed with all the 150 artists on the line-up and had locked new dates for November. Every artist except two were back on board, as well as additional international acts.
We specifically decided to wait until November to reschedule to give this festival the best chance of success after Covid-19 – and at that point there was no discussions or reports La Niña weather patterns would be continuing until November and beyond.
Less than a month from our event, Centennial Park cancelled our contract exercising their right to decide the event could not proceed if the parks were unsafe or damaged. We 100% respect that decision. After months of rain the festival site is rained out and unsafe.
We could have cancelled the entire festival but we didn’t want to let this beat us, knowing so many of you were excited about this new event, and how much people are needing some fun and connectivity again.
We put in new development applications for other outdoor spaces, scoping out more than 20 options, but the applications were still not approved 14 days before the event. The City of Sydney council were nothing short of amazing but it takes time with traffic, health, noise, medical, security etc and we were very apprehensive about staying outdoors and having to potentially move this again due to weather.
We scoped every indoor space in Sydney that holds 3000-10,000 people and they were all booked; The Hordern, Carriageworks, the ICC Theatre, The Cutaway, Luna Park, Manning Bar, Randwick Racecourse +++
For a city of 7 million people, Sydney has an incredible shortage of large live music venues – that’s just the fact of it. The Roundhouse was available so we locked it in, and reissued tickets to as many of you as possible.
We know this situation isn’t ideal, it’s a position we never wanted to be in – but here we are. We know we have disappointed many people, we have had more than $500,000 in refunds to people who wanted to attend our events – and it’s a really sad situation for attendees and the organisers. This isn’t where we wanted to be after years of planning.
Covid and La Niña have created challenges we couldn’t ever foresee, it’s really been the perfect storm.
For those asking about the ticketing companies, we partnered with Festickets, a European ticketing company who aligned with what we needed as promoters. They were operating 1200 festivals globally, including some of the biggest including Tomorrowland in Belgium, Primavera Sounds in Spain and other Australian festivals like Good Things and Lost Paradise.
Unfortunately, two years of global cancellations and rescheduling caught up with them and they went into administration, and added a layer of stress and anxiety for our event.
Now tickets have all been streamlined to our ticketing partner Moshtix.
We have seen so many festivals and events cancelled in the last 3 months but we are cracking on after all this because we believe in this show and are so passionate about what we do.
Thanks for your patience and understanding. x