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UPDATE: Soundwave’s AJ Maddah has released a fiery statement calling out Adelaide City Council for “punishing Soundwave for being successful”.
ORIGINAL STORY: Soundwave Festival may be dead and buried, but the embattled Aussie metal bash is continuing to cause headaches from beyond the grave.
The once great festival — which was axed at the end of 2015 amid a mountain of debt — has now ended up costing ratepayers in Adelaide around $75,000, after Adelaide City Council reached a decision to wave the festival’s debt.
Soundwave was last held in Adelaide’s Bonython Park back in February 2015 (the Adelaide leg was canned a year before the festival itself) and promoter AJ Maddah‘s management company, Soundwave Festival Pty Ltd, has reportedly failed to fork out the event fees it owed.
According to News Corp Australia, liquidators appointed to recover Soundwave’s debt to Adelaide City Council in 2016 had managed to claw back a payment of two cents for every dollar owed to them (totalling just $1,529), but they’ve since confirmed that they don’t expect to receive any further payments from the now defunct festival.
This week, councillors agreed to permanently write-off the remaining $75,391 as “bad debt”, meaning the bill has essentially been footed by local ratepayers.
But the good news is that the local Government has promised the debt won’t affect the chances of future festivals securing event spaces in Adelaide.
“The City of Adelaide plays a key role in events that aim to increase visitation and cultural activity year-round,” a council spokesperson has said.
“While the outcome of the Soundwave Festival event was disappointing, the council will continue to support applications for events that encourage a wide range of cultural experiences throughout the city.”
On the topic of whether council would consider working with AJ Maddah on any more festivals in the future, the spokesperson said it would “assess any future applications from event organisers on their merits”.
Around six months after the last-ever instalment of Soundwave Adelaide wrapped in 2015, Soundwave Festival Pty Ltd went into voluntary administration with up to $25 million in unpaid debts to some of the biggest rock acts in the world (including Slipknot, Soundgarden and The Smashing Pumpkins), the Australian Tax Office and other creditors, although ownership of the festival had been transferred to a new company prior to this.
Music Feeds has contacted Maddah for comment, along with the councils of other ex-Soundwave cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth).
Relive 11 Unforgettable Soundwave Festival Moments below, and read more about The Truth Behind The Death Of Soundwave, here.
UPDATE: Brisbane Council have confirmed they didn’t provide “any support or sponsorship for the Brisbane Soundwave Festival”.
Gallery: 11 Unforgettable Soundwave Festival Moments
Gwar – Soundwave 2014
Interstellar gods of metal GWAR well and truly made their mark on Australian audiences at Soundwave 2014 when front-thing Oderus Urungus used his mighty sword to decapitate an effigy of our widely-loathed PM Tony Abbott and soak the cheering crowd in his blood. Not even Napisan Plus could remove those pink stains which, for many, would soon become a sweaty memento from one of the last performances Urungus would ever give. His human alter ego, Dave Brockie, died tragically just weeks later from a heroin overdose.
Mike Patton – Soundwave 2010
Nothing like a bit of mid-set nudity to make Faith No More’s headlining slot at Brisbane Soundwave in 2010 even more, uh, Epic. Frontman Mike Patton proved he was Just A Man by unleashing Mike Jr. from his trousered hideaway and literally rocking out with his cock out.
Bloodhound – Soundwave 2009
An honourable mention must go to the Bloodhound Gang, who took the stage in 2009 to effectively reduce the throng of adult metalheads into sexually frustrated 13-year-olds. They did it like they did on the Discovery Channel, with healthy dose of Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo. Nostalgia was everywhere. As were bewbs.
Alexisonfire – Soundwave 2010
As anyone who was on the scene for Sydney Soundwave 2010 can attest, that was the hottest fucking day in the history of the earth. The festival, then-held out near Eastern Creek Raceway, was one giant dustbowl, and those who withstood the 40+ temperatures were coughing up dirt for the next three days. Alexisonfire must have pre-empted this outcome and decided: fuck it. Frontman George Pettit jumped into the crowd mid-set and gave himself a dirt-bath in the middle of the pit. Who needs sunblock when you’re covered in a 2-inch thick layer of dust anyway? Epic.
All Time Low – Soundwave 2015
When the sky opened up and unleashed a rainstorm of hell upon Sydney Soundwave earlier this year, right in the middle of All Time Low’s set, the Baltimore pop punk’s gear got wrecked, and the band were unable to play on. However, instead of letting the storm beat them, frontman Alex Gaskarth ploughed onward, leading fans in an a cappella singalong of his band’s track Weightlessas well as some of Queen’s We Will Rock You. Many people became All Time Low fans that day.
Dallas Green – Soundwave 2008
Dallas Green performed a musical screaming eagle in ’08 when he appeared as the frontman of both Alexisonfire and City + Colour. Crushing skulls and melting hearts. All in a day’s work.
Fucked Up – Soundwave 2011
The spirit of punk was alive and well at SW11 when Fucked Up gave an expectedly insane performance, complete with hair-ripping, sweaty hugging, and beast frontman Damien force-feeding the mic to members of the crowd. This set will probably go down in Aussie festival history.
Killer Be Killed – Soundwave 2015
After a hurricane of hype leading up to their global live debut at Soundwave 2015, metal supergroup Killer Be Killed – featuring Max Cavalera, Greg Puciato, Troy Sanders and Ben Koller – did not disappoint, delivering an absolutely pulverising set.
Blink-182 – Soundwave 2013
A Travis Barker-less Blink-182 shot their love all over the crowd during their headlining set at Soundwave 2013. With Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman filling in on the skins, the pop punk trio capped off their first show in Australia since 2004 by wheeling out a massive confetti canon and opening fire on a sweat-drenched mosh pit, absolutely smothering fans in the coloured stuff. Many shower drains got clogged, that fateful night.
Slash – Soundwave 2012
Alter Bridge pulled a rabbit out of their hat during their Sydney set in 2012, and by hat we mean top hat and by rabbit we mean guitar legend Slash, who was wearing the hat. The ex-Guns N’ Roses icon wasn’t even known to be in the country at the time, but he majestically appeared to claim an unused Marshall stack and Gibson Les Paul and join his singer Myles Kennedy for a few choice AB jams. You really never can tell just when #wunterslaush is going to turn up somewhere.
Jane’s Addiction – Soundwave 2010
Soundwave 2010 was bittersweet for Jane’s Addiction fans, marking the band’s last ever tour. As ladies danced onstage and punters tried to mask their lonely tears, Eric Avery’s words rang home: “That’s it. With equal parts regret and relief, the Jane’s Addiction experiment is at an end.”
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