All Tomorrow’s Parties, Pitchfork, and Primavera Sound were all set to present the inaugural Jabberwocky Festival this weekend in London, and the lineup looked stellar: Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Darkside, Caribou, Kurt Vile, Sun Kil Moon, Panda Bear, Cloud Nothings, Liars, Mutual Benefit, Perfect Pussy, METZ, Forest Swords, Jesu, Iceage, Clipping., Thee Oh Sees, Deafheaven, the Bug, Speedy Ortiz, Big Ups, Ben Frost, and more. Alas, as CoS points out, the fest has been canceled just three days before it was scheduled to start. Refunds are being offered to all ticket buyers. In a statement, festival organizer Barry Hogan said going on with the show would have been the end of ATP:
We have put everything into promoting Jabberwocky, and despite healthy ticket sales; all our efforts could not take those sales to the point that we needed to finally stage the event. Over the past month and all the way up until this moment we have tried every possible course of action to follow through in delivering Jabberwocky to you, but the position we unfortunately find ourselves in as a result of a succession of events that have lost money in an increasingly aggressive festival market, means we are no longer able to do so. In the past ATP has weathered losses such as this and gone on with the show, taking huge direct financial blows as an independent company. But on this occasion, with an event of this scale and the high production costs that come with it — if we had gone ahead; it would have 100% been the end of ATP. We do not take this decision lightly and it was the hardest we’ve ever had to make. All other ATP Presents shows will go ahead as planned, including ATP Iceland with our local partners there in 2015.
As of last week tickets were close to selling out, so I wonder what went wrong financially? Tweets from Speedy Ortiz and the Bug indicate some of the artists are working to schedule replacement gigs. (Probably not Caribou, unfortunately.) This is a huge bummer for all the bands that were counting on that payday to fund the rest of their tours and the fans who must have been stoked on such a solid lineup. Can you imagine buying airplane tickets for this and finding out now that it’s canceled? Ugh.