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April 2014 News

Easterfest looks ahead in uncertain times

  • Written by  Ian Anderson
Easterfest organisers are not taking anything for granted, but are believing for another great year. Photo: Josh Woning

As the Easterfest team prepares to host Australia’s largest Christian music festival this month, the cancellation of New Zealand’s Parachute Festival is a sober reminder of the delicate nature of music festivals.

Just last month, the Parachute Festival in New Zealand, one of the largest Christian music festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, announced it would close after 24 years.

"Parachute have been good friends of ours and have been for a very long time, so my first reaction was sadness for them,” said Easterfest director Dave Schenk.

At the same time, Dave knows that Easterfest operates on the same tenuous ground.

“For us, there’s not a year that goes by where we are not fairly close to the wire financially. So we know that our existence is very much year-to-year,” Dave said. “But we trust that God will have His way.”

“Every year we hope we sell enough tickets to keep going, so there’s always a bit of uncertainty.”

Dave said a lot of the reasons for Parachute’s decline in recent years sounded all too familiar to him and his team.

“We’ve faced a lot of the same challenges,” he said.

“And reading the things they tried to do to turn that around sounded very familiar to us as well. Things like investing more in ticketing, marketing and artists.”

He was also interested to see peoples reaction to the announcement on Parachute’s Facebook page.

“So many people said things like ‘I was really hoping to get to that next year.’ There was a sense that people expected the festival would always be there.”

He said it was the same with Easterfest.

“Don’t always assume it will be there. We don’t know what the future will hold. If people are keen to be a part of the experience, then they should be a part of it now.“

While it may be uncertain times, Dave and his team also wanted to assure people that they are looking to the future.

“We don’t want to sound negative. We are excited about another great year and are believing for another great year!”

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