December 23, 2011 | Leave a Comment
Event giant National Fieldays Society has elected to cancel new music festival RetroFest, in the face of slow ticket sales and the withdrawal of one of the festival’s headline acts. Scheduled for 9-11 March, 2012 at Mystery Creek Events Centre; the move to cancel was purely a business decision by the Society’s Board of Directors.
Set on Mystery Creek Event Centre’s 92 hectares of land, RetroFest intended to be a three day celebration of music and culture of the 1950s to 80s. Entertainment included; 10cc, Village People, Leo Sayer, Gerry and The Pacemakers and Hello Sailor. Regardless of the event’s offering and promotion, ticket sales remained significantly below targets; to the point where continuing the event was no longer sustainable.
The concept of RetroFest was researched 18 months prior to development in October 2010. Due diligence suggested there was a gap in the market for a music event of this type but despite positive public response, interest hadn’t translated to ticket sales.
Established 44 years ago, National Fieldays Society are renown for thriving events including the Transport & Heavy Equipment Expo, the Waikato Boat Show and one of New Zealand’s largest exhibitions; National Agricultural Fieldays. Mystery Creek Events Centre is a seasoned music event venue, hosting Parachute Music Festival since 2003, More FM Winery Tour and Shiverdown 2010.
The success of the Society’s new equine event, Equidays, which saw 12,000 attend in November, proves there is clear demand for more events in the region. Organisers are still committed to bringing new, Society-owned events to the region however, new events can only prosper when there is public support and it’s proven financially viable.
Chief Executive Officer, Jon Calder, says they will be using this as a learning experience to hone their offering to the market;
“The move to cancel RetroFest was a responsible business decision; we are not in the business of putting on events that aren’t fiscally responsible. We need to listen to our market and in the current economic climate where we are competing for discretionary spend across a multitude of alternatives, ticket sales were just not there.”
Calder says the Society have a robust strategic program planned for 2012;
“We have a program of key projects based around realising venue potential. There has been over $500,000 invested in improving facilities and infrastructure over the past 12 months and a significant capital investment program will devote several million into our facility in 2012”.
The NZ National Fieldays Society is a not for profit with any surpluses generated invested in further development of the events centre and facility, and used to fund significant donations to the community. This year gross contribution from hosted events at Mystery Creek Events Centre increased from 42% in 2010 to 58% of total income to the Society. This was an encouraging result, given the challenging period for events in the region.
Last week representatives of Gerry and The Pacemakers advised the cancellation of his Australian tour, including his only New Zealand appearance at RetroFest.
National Fieldays Society is grateful to those who supported RetroFest and purchased tickets. All buyers will be refunded the full ticket price.
For ticket enquiries contact Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538).
For event enquiries contact Mystery Creek Event Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 843 4497.