2012 Olympics not main reason for Big Chill cancellation

Melvin Benn of Festival Republic has admitted that initial claims blaming a clash with the 2012 Olympics for the cancellation of this year’s Big Chill festival may not be entirely accurate, citing doubts over its creative direction were the main reason the event was canned, CMU has reported.

Festival Republic acquired the previously independent Big Chill in 2009 after the event was forced into liquidation. Plans for the 2012 evetn were already underway, with some bands having already been booked, when Benn announced early this year the event would not go ahead.

At the time, Benn said: “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 this year”.

However, Benn has now stated that he is trying to come up with a new format for Big Chill. He told BBC Newsbeat: “I’m sure something will return that will have a completely fresh take on what a festival should be. The Big Chill [cancellation this year] was [due to] a clash with the Olympics [in part]. But more importantly with The Big Chill, it was me not being absolutely certain where I wanted to take the festival and what I was doing with the festival.”

He added: “I’m actually going down there next week to the very same site to have a look. I’ll go with a couple of people that I hope will be working with me on – not The Big Chill, it won’t necessarily be The Big Chill – but a replacement or something to be born out of that.”

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