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Benn admits Olympics weren’t main reason for cancelling Big Chill

By | Published on Wednesday 25 July 2012

The Big Chill

Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn has admitted that the original reason given for the cancellation of this year’s Big Chill festival – a clash with the Olympics – wasn’t strictly (or, at least, totally) the case. Rather, doubts over its creative direction caused him to can the event’s 2012 edition back in January.

As previously reported, Festival Republic acquired the previously independent Big Chill in 2009, after a tough few years for the event forced it into liquidation. Plans for the 2012 edition were already underway, and some bands had already been booked, when Benn announced that it would not go ahead.

At the time, Benn said: “I looked long and hard late last year at moving the date so it didn’t clash with the Olympics, but with the mix of the festival fans desire to keep the date and an inability to find an alternative date that works, I plumped for maintaining the existing weekend. Sadly, the artist availability and confirmations we were achieving led me to conclude that I couldn’t risk going ahead with the event [in its usual form] this year”.

However, yesterday he told BBC Newsbeat that he is trying to come up with a new format for Big Chill, saying: “I’m sure something will return that will have a completely fresh take on what a festival should be. The Big Chill [cancellation this year] was [due to] a clash with the Olympics [in part]. But more importantly with The Big Chill, it was me not being absolutely certain where I wanted to take the festival and what I was doing with the festival”.

He added: “I’m actually going down there next week to the very same site to have a look. I’ll go with a couple of people that I hope will be working with me on – not The Big Chill, it won’t necessarily be The Big Chill – but a replacement or something to be born out of that”.