Squamish Valley Music Festival cancels 2016 event
Squamish Valley Music Festival organizers have announced that their event will not take place in 2016, with all signs seemingly pointing to an indefinite hiatus. In a statement released via the festival’s website, the organizers revealed:
We have made the extremely difficult decision to not proceed with the 2016 festival, due to take place in August. This decision was not made lightly and we sincerely apologize to all the people this decision affects: the fans, artists, industry partners, corporate partners, suppliers and all of our supporters within the community of Squamish.
Squamish now joins Tomorrowworld and Wakarusa on a growing list of scrapped dance music events prompting rampant speculation that the dance music bubble may have finally neared bursting. Though the festivals were stalled for different reasons, the pattern itself is troubling. The string of cancellations comes on the heels of news that embattled dance event titan SFX has decided to dump Beatport at an auction only a month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In the past decade, festivals have become an increasingly integral part of the international dance music scene and the market has flooded with global iterations of previously exclusive events. Ultra Music Festival, once a day-long event in downtown Miami, now brings a hedonistic weekender to 17 countries on 5 continents and even Coachella has announced an East Coast version of their iconic event. The resultant overlap in even the more multidimensional lineups and the increased physical reach means less incentives for potential attendees. Buyers are significantly less likely to pay several hundred dollars for headliners who were previously booked or touring regularly–let alone cross state lines.
This phenomenon appears to be a crippling factor for Squamish, which takes place in British Columbia but generally draws a significant amount of American attendees. Compound the debilitating exchange rates with the wide range of alternative festivals that take place in the Pacific Northwest and the hiatus seems like an inevitability.
Although the news is sure to disappoint, it only strengthens the standing of festivals like Shambhala or Holy Ship! where exclusivity and niche focus attract a dedicated following likely to attend regardless of ticket price or extenuating circumstances.