Last year, the Canadian component of the Virgin Music Festival enterprise expanded, going from two summer festivals to five and hosting such acts as Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Ben Harper & Relentless7, The Roots, Pixies, and Pet Shop Boys among others. However, now faced with a “dearth of available talent and continued worries that consumers are cutting back” (boy, does that sound familiar), promoters have decided to cancel Virgin Festival concerts across Canada, for at least this year, reports The Globe and Mail.
Like everybody last year, 2009, for the entire world, and in every industry was a bit different and a bit challenging. And when we got into 2010 we didnt have luck in securing the headliners that we would have liked to have pursued. In the last couple of months as weve been trying to put the list together, it just didnt get to the stage that we thought, ‘This is an event that we want to present to people who have been to Virgin Festivals. If we cant produce a festival that provides a talent lineup that we think is appropriate, we wont go ahead with it,” explained Virgin Mobile Canada Chief Marketing Officer Nathan Rosenberg (via Toronto Sun).
Rosenberg did go on to note, however, that he does believe the festivals will return next summer: “As we move into 2011 we believe that consumer confidence will return, peoples discretionary income will increase and as a result well certainly feel a greater level of confidence in presenting the festival as a marquee part of (our music strategy) as well again next year… Assuming we get the right talent. We have a desire to do that again. From a Virgin Festival point of view, we still absolutely believe in the property.
Promoters will instead host a series of free concert across Canada this summer, including performances by Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Karl Wolf, Bedouin Soundclash, and Faber Drive.
Virgin’s US festival, the reworked Virgin Mobile FreeFest is still set to take place this summer, currently scheduled to take place on September 25th at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. A lineup has not yet been announced, but we’re told it is “coming soon.”
Hat tip to Bryan for the head’s up…