Music, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Stone Music Festival – The Final Word

It started with lots of promise.

Just days after the announcement the Baby Animals pull out because the festival simply “wasnt feeling right” to them.

Aussie promoter Andrew McManus told fans to be careful on Facebook, which was then removed.

News outlets started to run with stories of the drug past of Richard Cartwright, the CEO of Platinum Entertainment.

Platinum Entertainment was listed as one of the organizers. After the stories came out of the drug history, the Stone Festival PR team distanced themselves from Platinum, by stating that Cartwright’s involvement is purely based on the fact that he owns the rights to the Stone movie. However other press releases contradicted this statement.

The website Tone Deaf reproduced the statements from Andrew McManus. Tone Deaf then received a letter from lawyers representing Stone Music Festival and SEQ; the financier behind the festival. The letter asked Tone Deaf to remove the comments by 5pm as “they believe the statements have caused, and is continuing to cause, loss and damage to the business of their clients.”

Ardline Media is credited with securing talent both local and international. This causes more speculation, that something was fishy about the festival. Ardline Media is a small Sydney-based promoter and agent with no history of hosting an event on this scale.

Van Halen has a history on pulling the plug on promoters and these fears started spreading. The organizers released a statement that said the headlining acts have already been paid.

Aerosmith then joined the line up due to low sales for the same venue. Aerosmith’s tour promoter is Andrew McManus, who we all know was critical of the Stone Music Festival in the beginning.

Promoters cut ticket prices.

The ticket debacle escalates. Fans that paid $300 for standing platinum tickets. They are then told these have changed to reserve seated. Aerosmith is added, and in order to accommodate the Aerosmith fans that purchased tickets for their show, the existing Stone Festival ticket holders are told that their allocated seats are now back to standing. Then the existing ticket holders are watching people buy reserved seating in platinum for half the price.

Lifehouse pulled out in the last minute.

A day before the concert fans still haven’t received their tickets.

The rain came down, but the show went on.

Kings of Chaos stole the show.

Aerosmith and Billy Joel still have it.

David Lee Roth doesn’t have it.

Van Halen need Michael Anthony back.

Jimmy Barnes doesn’t have it.

Buckcherry was the surprise packet.

The Living End played slide guitar with a VB bottle.

And, unofficial numbers for the two day event combined is close to 30,000, which is a far cry from the 160,000 the organizers were expecting.

The Australian story

The Daily Telegraph story

The Herald Sun story

The Music Feeds story

The Tone Deaf Stories

Music, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Stone Music Festival – Day 2

It’s over. Done and dusted. The people have spoken and the organisers are counting their losses. Will there be another Stone Music Festival in 2014? In the current format, I don’t think so. In a different format, maybe. Will the people trust the Stone Music Festival brand after the debacle? I don’t think so. Furthermore, the Stone Music Festival, was created to celebrate the movie Stone, and the work of its director. Somehow, that all got forgotten, and in my view, this was just a marketing gimmick from the organisers to push sales. It was never their intention to honour the movie.

Here is a summary of comments doing the rounds on social media..

Would’ve been good to have had the second stage inside the stadium so while changeover was happening on the main stage the indie artists could play! That way they get to play to a massive number of people & get their music heard and we don’t have to lose our seats every time we go out to the second stage!!

I agree with putting both stages together …… as one act finishes another act starts on the 2nd stage. Unfortunately we didn’t see the independent artists …..cause we knew we would lose our seats. Congratulations though…..Looking forward to SMF 2014 !

You never got to see the ‘indie bands’ if you wanted to see the ‘Main stage’ acts.

Access to toilets, food and bar facilities were a pain in the ass as you missed the show. And yet band like the Choirboys were delegated a spot outside of the arena, during Aerosmith??? Come on people, FFS, next year pay me to schedule and organise it, think I have a better clue than the pros…

That was a stupid decision, have the two stages so far apart. What was Andrew McManus thinking when this was in the planning stages?

The music saved the day for sure and I had a fantastic time, hopefully if there is another next year the organizers will take on board all of the issues that have been so well highlighted on here, my suggestions as well as the obvious re ticketing issues such as not sending them out on time would be to make the tickets a reasonable price from the start so that you don’t have to give so many away at the end and annoy people who purchased in the beginning. Keep the website updated as not everyone finds you on Facebook where the information is more up to speed though still not 100%, minimise the blocking of views of the stage by camera people, open the indoor merchandise when the gates open especially if it is raining, better signage to explain where the second stage is, sort out sound issues, always reply to people on Facebook asking for help and advice instead of asking them to Post Messages (PM)to you and then you don’t respond with an answer on the page so that everyone can see it and you don’t have the same questions to answer repeatedly.

If you are doing a festival, you need to have information up to date and concise. You need to do it on a grand scale, not on a one on one basis. Stone Music Festival needed to have a team of social media strategists and marketeers. That is how it is done. Connecting with the fans. It’s from the bottom up these days. They should have started promoting this event last year, not in February for an April show.

Flew up from Melbourne just to see Billy. Scored sears to Saturday night… I know can say that I have seen Aerosmith and the god that is EVH play. Was pleasantly surprised by all the acts before Billy on the Sunday night, but the absolute highlight for me was sitting front row to my idol BJ. Best 90 minute set of the weekend for me !!!

Billy Joel and Icehouse were amazing!

Brilliant!!!!!!!! Had the best weekend….worth the trip from Qld!!!! Thanks for bringing us so much talent in one rockin weekend!!!

Didn’t get to go to Saturday gig, but saw Sunday that was freakin awesome! Billy Joel was brilliant, Diesel was fantastic, god you can play the guitar and the rest of the artist were great too! Had a fantastic night!

It was absolutely awesome. Billy Joel stole the show .

Loved it, Billy Joel, Icehouse & Diesel were amazing!

Both days were amazing!! Thank you for one of the best weekends of my life 🙂 Please do it again next year

I didn’t want it to end. Billy Joel rocked the Harbour City better than ever. Thank you!

Did billy Joel do a sound check , worst feedback ever

Good time? It was fantastic! Two days of rock music and so many legendary acts in on place. It was amazing. it was a rock-fest of epic proportions. something I will never forget being a part of. Loved it! Better publicity in other states would have been good.

Definitely a great weekend and well worth it despite all the complainers.

Billy Joel still has it. There is something different to bands who paid their dues. Billy Joel played the club circuit as an unsigned artists for a long time before he was picked up by a label. Then once he was picked, the hard work still continued and his brand grew. Young artists these days, don’t have that drive in them anymore. There is the expectation that if they write a good song, they deserve to be paid forever on that one good song.

You cancelled Lifehouse to save $$ for your failing festival!! SMF can go to hell!!!!!!!!

Not sure if there will be another stone fest as I imagine the promoters would have lost huge $$$ with the small crowds and big costs but we can hope!!

So I am looking at all these pics and I’m thinking…. One of the biggest arenas in the country and they are playing to a quarter of it??? Where are the people???? If it was such a success, why is there not 50,000+ there???

$5.80 warm bucket of chips!!!
$80 badly stitched hoodie!!!
$259 concert ticket!!!! (What a rip!!!!!)

Hats off to the organisers of stone music festival, they will received the award for the most poorly organised concert in modern history.
I received 3 lots of tickets because they couldn’t decide whether to stand, sit, stand, stuff it let’s do both. Then to us poor suckers that brought our tickets early, were punished by paying $50 more per ticket, when I emailed promoters regarding compensation for this I was promised a complimentary ticket to be sent. After sending countless emails over 2 weeks, (and not getting 1 reply), surprise, surprise didn’t receive any ticket or email!!!!! LIARS!!!!
To top it off, The Stone Run, which was the reason for the whole concert in the first place. Was just removed from their website and other advertising thinking that nobody would notice. Ticketek here promised to refund the brought tickets for this, and again still waiting, it’s been 3 weeks, have send emailed of course, with no reply!!!!!
Then I could go on and on. but will end a on lighter note to say that Living End were awesome and really rocked!!!!!!

And that is all she wrote.

Music, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Stone Festival – Sydney Australia – What A Disaster?

What a disaster?  It’s 10.52pm.  The rain is pelting down and wind is swirling at 90km.  Fans have left their homes from other states in Australia and their purchased tickets have not arrived.

Message posted on the Stone Music Festival Facebook page;

Anyone from Stone Music Festival going to answer my email regarding my $300.00 ticket not arriving to my address? I’m flying to Sydney at 6:00am with no ticket!

The festival is flawed.  They have two different line ups over two different days.  That is the first fault.  They are doing the show towards the end of April, which in Australia is a crazy month for winds and storms.  So what do the promoters do, they do an outdoor gig.  Van Halen is meant to carry day 1 and Billy Joel is meant to carry day 2.  Both artists are not strong enough these days, to carry a festival on their own.  The supporting bands under them are not worth a mention.  Well that was until Aerosmith got added to the Van Halen show.

Van Halen are getting $3 million for the one concert. I like Van Halen and the Van Hager era, but $3 million for one show.  Are they really worth it these days?  Judging by the dismal ticket sales for the festival, i guess not.  How would you feel?  You purchased pre-sale platinum tickets for $330, plus holding fee of $20, plus delivery.  All up a $365 purchase.  7 days ago, the same tickets where on sale for half the price on Living Social.  

Aerosmith was added to the bill at the last-minute as their outdoor Sydney show wasn’t selling.  Seriously, did they think 40,000 people would pay to watch them.  Especially after the abysmal Music From Another Dimension album.  What was the promoter thinking?  Book them into the Allphones Arena, where Kiss and Motley played (and even that show didn’t sell out).  What a shame to the bands that were told that they are playing the Aerosmith show, only to be told they are not playing it.

Fans vented their anger on Facebook at this.

Gutted. Have plane tickets to Sydney for nothing. Good on ya Aerosmith, hope you get the $$ you are chasing, never mind your fans.

We paid for Gold tickets, return airfares Perth-Sydney and accommodation. Cost us a fortune. Fuming!

Really Aerosmith, some people have parties that weekend and cannot just change plans to suit you… it’s so not fair big timed annoyed!

Bloody sooks! Lost all respect for them now. Can’t go to Stone Fest and was looking forward to seeing Wolfmother too….And to top it all off, when we were suppose to see them on the 28th, they are now playing 2 gigs in Melbourne! So disappointed :o(.

Maybe that is why Lifehouse pulled out.  Stupid organising.  At least Van Halen is getting $3 million, regardless of ticket sales.  One thing is clear, the fans have been treated like shit.  Would the bands care?  I don’t think so.  They are so far detached from the fan level and surrounded by their enablers who tell them they can sell out 40,000 to 80,000 seated stadiums.