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Credit Crunch Causes Connect Cancellation (and sets ELM Alliterative-Headline Record)

DFC Promotions yesterday announced the cancellation of this years Connect Festival, via a cheery little email which stated that it was due to the Credit Crunch (TM) and that they would instead be planning ‘a series of intimate events’, in smaller venues, under the Connect banner. Concerts, you and I would usually call them, but let’s not beat DFC up too much.

Or should we? Connect 2007 was a mid-level success, but failed to build on it in 2008. The reason for this was the bill – 2007’s was genuinely innovative, exciting and quite out-of-the-box. It was different, it was special and it attracted a different audience from DFC’s other big programme, T in the Park. 2008’s, whilst not bad, seemed much more of a mish-mash which, as we wrote at the time, had a much broader appeal. But this isn’t really the way for a boutique festival to go. You can’t hope to entice 20,000 people to see four or five bands, you need to have them wanting fourteen or fifteen. DFC’s second year saw them lazily thinking they’d hooked the weirdoes, now they’d get the mainstream punters too. It was neither fish nor fowl, and suffered accordingly.

But Connect will be missed – it was set in a stunning location in Argyll, the food was superb and even the mud seemed fresher. The little town of Inverary – it’s got a rare wee inn, you should really check it out – seemed genuinely pleased to host it and the vibe was so much more pleasant.

I suspect that DFC’s early decision to pull it completely ushers in a new era of conservative decision making by promoters. Simply put, if it ain’t gonna sell, they ain’t gonna bother. It’s understandable. No-one is in the music promotion business for altruistic reasons. DFC will probably even have to work a little harder to sell TITP this year, when normally tickets go faster than they can print them.

I hope that they do decide to keep the Connect banner going, if only in name, for the simple reason that it is a brand which still has a lot of potential. But if last year was the year of the festival feast, this year may see a famine. This cuts off a huge source of revenue to touring bands – especially overseas acts, who can afford to come and book their own dates based on the guaranteed pay day from the big event – at a time when they are dropping anyway.

Connect may be the first to be pulled; it won’t be the last.

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23 Responses

  1. It was a strange festival…..who were they after? They tried to bolster sales by adding ‘name’ headliners but not many of the older, left-field music fans who attended would care about Duffy, Franz Ferdinand or Kasabian etc.

  2. Yep, some strange bookings.

    But what a place! And they got the food right, the booze right, the vibe….it will be missed.

  3. I found myself only attracted to one of the days, and perhaps 3 days was ambitous anyway…..there could be room for a smaller festival, like Green Man or End Of The Road now….5,000 folk, smaller campsite, only 2 days etc.

  4. Yes, 5,000 people who love almost all of the bands. Small festivals can and will make money.

  5. I have a master-plan for restoring global confidence and putting right this financial anxiety-fest we find ourselves living through.

    It`s a plan elegant in its simplicity.

    Its a plan that stems from the knowledge that this ” crisis” is ,in reality , nothing more than a crisis of doubt in a commonly held set of abstract beliefs related to money.

    Its a plan that says ” we must lose our fear “.

    We need to REBRAND this monster !

    The phrase ” credit crunch ” holds many threatening, dark under-currents.

    I say , lets start calling it the ” Cwedit-Cwunch ” with an Elmer Fudd accent applied .

    yes , the “Cwedit-Cwunch “- who could be worried about that.?

    Go on , say it to yourself.

    We will learn to laugh in its face and rise – phoenix-like – into a new dawn of optimism.

    Brothers and Sisters , pump up the volume !

  6. I like that dusty!

    I have an idea how to solve the cwedit cwunch;

    instead of giving the banks all the money, why don’t the government give it to us, and we’ll pay the banks back what we owe them?

    That way, the money ends up with the bank anyway and we’re all out of debt. Soopoib!

  7. See ?” Cwedit- Cwunch ” its cwatching on !

  8. Or we could get the government to give the banks all our money whilst not bothering to ensure that they lend any of it back to us, and in fact without even checking that the bank staff who caused the problems won’t award each other enormous bonus payments.

  9. Yes, it did seem an odd one…..

  10. I wish I was a betting man……Blur headlining T In The Park. As I suspected.

  11. Dusty, you drink too much.
    ELM should put together its own “alternatve” alt festival.
    All the good bands that you’d really like to see would go for a weekend at say, Sleazy’s, for appearance money.
    No cunts allowed in at the door. A couple of “boutique” acts, a supporting cast of local/UK/breakthrough bands a la Great Escape Festival in Brighton without the NME trendy pish.
    I’d pay to see that.
    What about it, ELM?
    Money where mouth is etc?
    How much do you think Television would take for a show?

  12. We could just bill it as Television, REM doing Murmur, Paul Westerberg, Pictish Trail, phantom band etc and then, when people turn up on the night, have the wookie playing acoustic covers of Tom Petty songs. Then point out the bit on the ticket that says ‘the promoters reserve the right to alter the bill’.

    Split it two ways and you do security? 😉

  13. I would pay to see the wookie doing acoustic covers of tom petty songs never mind the rest of it.

    In summary I think an ELM festival is an outstanding idea. I’ll help

  14. I`

  15. Cryptic Dusty. Cryptic.

  16. Ok Adrian, you can book the trendy bands as you know more about it than me!

  17. I`ll play , so long as you`re happy with my new concept stage show ” neil young on ice “.

    If you cant do the ice a couple of skateboards , some gaffer tape, a longish guitar lead and a vivid imaginationwill suffice.

  18. I would pay to see that too!!

  19. ” cryptic ” ? I think this laptop is reading my mind before I`ve made it up .

  20. Right, dusty’s booked!

  21. ” booked ”

    straight red-card for that is what I deserve.

  22. as long as everyone is happy with an acoustic cover of ‘Freefallin’ and ‘Yer so bad’ you can count me in.

  23. I’ll beatbox over the back of it. Does anyone remember ‘Fallin’, the cover of ‘Free fallin’ by Teenage Fanclub and de La Soul. It was pretty cool.

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