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Festival organisers have called for a Geelong live music strategy after pulling the plug on their annual event.
The blamed the demise of Motor City Music Festival on the economy, insufficient ticket sales and a “clear reluctance” in Geelong to pre-purchase tickets, even when heavily discounted.
The failure of the event prompted the organisers to “question the viability of large-scale music events in Geelong”.
The first three Motor City festivals attracted thousands of patrons to Geelong Showgrounds over the March long weekend.
The events hosted a combined 150 Australian and international acts for 174 live performances from 2014 to 2016.
“While we’re naturally saddened the event will not continue, I’d like to thank everyone who supported this event over the past three years,” said promoter Hugo T Armstrong.
“We acknowledge the support of the City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Major Events committee, Tourism Victoria, Geelong Connected Communities and our many sponsors as well as our volunteers, staff, artists and those who attended and participated.
“The Motor City Music Festival has worked with key stakeholders over the past five months to review the event and identify whether there was any scope to continue in its current format.
“Being early-bird tickets have traditionally been released in September, now is the right time to inform our customers.”
Mr Armstrong said the festival finished without outstanding debts after its parent company and his family underwrote all losses.
Refunds were available for the “limited number” of discounted 2017 tickets already sold, he said.
Ticketmaster would email customers with information about refunds on its own sales.
Anyone who bought tickets through the festival’s merchandise stand or who was unsure about their point of purchase could email info@motorcitymusicfestival.com.au to “facilitate your refund”, Mr Armstrong said.
“Any refunds not claimed by 17 March 2017 will be donated to our charity partner, the Karingal Foundation.”
Mr Armstrong said he now wanted to work with authorities on developing a “much-needed live music strategy for Geelong”.
“I note that many other cities of a similar nature to Geelong including Ballarat, Bendigo, Newcastle and Wollongong have developed and implemented live music strategies with great success.”

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