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Sorry Gym Bros, Australia's Stereosonic is Probably Done

Unless its promoters pull off the equivalent of a Netflix revival, the outlook isn't great.
via Ryan Polei on flickr

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Stereosonic, the iconic Australian touring EDM festival you love to hate, has been cancelled forever. Gym bros across the country took to social media to express their grief, pinger prices plummeted, and Armin Van Buuren was forced to start brainstorming alternative November plans.

But while the festival has been plagued by financial difficulties, drug-related deaths, and cruel internet memes, it appears those initial reports of Stereosonic's imminent demise may have been greatly exaggerated.


According to a recent update on the official festival Facebook page, Stereo is cancelled this year but will make a triumphant return in 2017. Bigger, better, and more shredded than ever.

Screenshots via Facebook

The Law of Large Numbers means it's statistically likely that some people will be happy to receive this news, but it probably isn't worth rushing out and taking advantage of those deflated pinger prices just yet. For one thing, the festival's Melbourne office is being put up for lease—not exactly inspiring confidence in the ability of its organizers to bring the goods next year.

Sadly, with music festivals as with TV shows, the word "hiatus" is often used just to buy time, while executives scramble to find more money. We saw the same pattern of denial when the Big Day Out and Soundwave valiantly struggled on, refusing to acknowledge their own irrelevance until it was too late. Unless Stereosonic finds its equivalent of a Netflix revival, the outlook isn't great.

Some might say that Stereosonic's troubles began in 2015, when two separate drug overdose deaths marred its summer run. First, 25-year-old Sylvia Choi lost her life at the Sydney event. Just a week later, Stefan Woodword, 19, died at the Adelaide festival.

The drug-related deaths made national headlines and incited a police crackdown on illegal substances at festivals. But despite last year's bad publicity, it seems more likely that the reason behind Stereosonic's "hiatus" is largely financial. The festival's parent company, SFX Entertainment, went bankrupt earlier this year, and its future has seemed more than a little unstable ever since. SFX had purchased Stereosonic in 2013 for around $75 million. At the time of its collapse, the US-based company was running at a loss of around $48 million.

When Stereosonic inevitably bites the dust for real, it will be laid to rest in a well-populated Australian festival graveyard - joining the likes of Parklife, Harvest, The Great Escape, Good Vibrations, Homebake, Soundwave, and the Big Day Out.

May you rest in peace, old friend. As you draw your last heavy breaths over the next few months, know that Diplo fans across the nation are wearing their brightest wife-beaters today in your honour.

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