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Stereosonic may have been permanently cancelled

Reports say the Australian festival juggernaut is over

  • 6 April 2016

Australia's Stereosonic festival is believed to have been permanently cancelled, according to a report from Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

In an article hidden behind a paywall on its site, the paper reports promoters Totem OneLove and its parent company SFX Entertainment "are understood" to have cancelled the touring event following the deaths of two attendees, Sylvia Choi and Stefan Woodward, in different cities last year.

The Daily Telegraph reports it received no response from Totem OneLove and SFX when it contacted them over industry speculation Stereosonic had been permanently cancelled. The article says festival founder Frank Cotela, who SFX kept on as a consultant when they bought Totem OneLove, said: “I just don’t know what is going on there at Stereosonic,” when he was contacted. When asked if he was working on another festival, Cotela said: “Not at this stage no. Maybe in the future I will do something but at this stage there is nothing on the go.”

The article goes on to say Cotela and another Stereosonic founder, Richie McNeill, "are planning on capitalising on Stereosonic's demise by starting a new venture."

Despite SFX's bankruptcy in the US, Totem OneLove announced in February it was "cash-flow positive" and would not be affected. But it was a horror summer for Stereosonic. As well as the tragic deaths, which sparked increased calls for pill testing to be made available at Australian festivals, there were a number of other drug-related incidents, including at the Perth event where three police officers tested positive for ecstasy and meth.

Mixmag has contacted Stereosonic for comment.

Scott Carbines is Mixmag's Australian Digital Content Editor, follow him on Twitter.

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