Business News Gigs & Festivals Live Business

Big Chill is cancelled

By | Published on Friday 20 January 2012

The Big Chill

Melvin Benn, the boss of Festival Republic, yesterday confirmed rumours that had been circulating all week that The Big Chill festival would not take place this summer.

Benn’s company acquired The Big Chill in 2009 after the previously independent festival, which had had various financial issues over the years, when into liquidation. Co-founder Katrina Larkin initially joined Festival Republic as a Creative Director for the event, but moved on a year later.

Plans were already well underway for the 2012 edition of the festival, and a number of bands had been booked. And as recently as last Friday organisers were running a competition for tickets on Twitter. However, it seems that by last weekend it had been decided this year’s event would not go ahead.

Officially the Olympics are to blame. The Big Chill is, of course, an August event, and will clash with London’s big sports bash, though some in the live community say that they are not convinced by that explanation, and that while the Big Chill brand is still popular, its flagship summer event has been in decline for some years. It’s thought some pressure was put on Benn regards The Big Chill by Festival Republic’s backer Live Nation, though it’s not known what the company’s actual concerns were.

Either way, Benn said in a statement yesterday: “It is with a considerable amount of regret that I have decided not to go ahead with The Big Chill in 2012. 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. Efforts are being made to look to stage a smaller event indoors this year, with the anticipation of The Big Chill being back outdoors in 2013”.