After their biggest line-up ever last year with Coldplay and Kanye West, Splendour In The Grass producer Jessica Ducrou has ruled out that calibre of headliner for 2012.
“Obviously moving from Woodford to Belongil Field the venue is smaller,” Jessica tells Noise11.com. “17,500 is what we run at there. That obviously effects how much you can spend on your talent. No, we won’t be having acts like Kanye and Coldplay who are some of the biggest acts in the world. We have some great bands people will be very happy with”.
While she cannot say who will headline at this point she can say who won’t. “I can tell you who is not playing and that is Radiohead and the Stone Roses,” she said. “We thought maybe we could have a new strategy and every week release who is not playing. Then by process of elimination people would work it out by the time we normally announce”.
Unlike other festivals like that now offer million dollar pay packets to headline acts, Jessica says Splendour will be keeping it real this year. “I think that is a decision that each individual event will make according to their show,” she said. “Talent is expensive for sure. When there are a lot of events there is a lot of demand for that talent. When they don’t like what you are paying there are plenty of other options for them”.
With some festivals struggling and others like Ragamuffin and Heatwave evaporating, Splendour In The Grass is plodding along nicely. “We actually came though it quite well compared to other events,” Jessica said. “There is not a lot of profit in events, contrary to popular opinion. If you reduce your figures by 20% you are pretty much starting to lose at that point. It was inevitable that the amount of festivals that there was going to be a market correction. Keep in mind that with the economic times that is what we are all going though”.
Since Splendour started she has been slowly working through her artist wishlist and has crossed a few names off along the way. “We have a hit list of a dozen since we started. Some were The Strokes, Flaming Lips and Supergrass (funnily enough) and we got them. Still on our list Radiohead and The Arcade Fire we would kill for but they don’t tour a lot. And when they decide they want to come but its not when our festival is on we don’t get them”.
The 2012 line-up announcement will happen in late April.
Splendour In The Grass will be back in Byron Bay at Belongil Field from July 27 to 29.