The MFW Deadpool: 5 Fests that Cancelled in 2018, 10 Fests that Won’t Happen in 2019

Festival No. 6. Photo Credit: Vito Valentinetti

The lifecycle of a music festival can be treacherous. From the birth of a debut fest to 40-year veterans, nobody is safe from the changing dynamics of the economy and the industry. In our year-end wrap-up to the MFW Deadpool, we take a look at festivals that called 2018 quits, why they cancelled, and if they’ll be back for more.

Lost Lake 2018

Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Year Started: 2017
Reason For Cancellation: The well-received debut of Lost Lake demanded a sequel but organizer Superfly pulled the plug. They give a pretty long statement below with zero reasons why they’re out.
Chance of a Return: We think the odds of this festival being back are sinking to a 1 out 10 chance of resuscitation.

FYF Fest 2018

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Year Started: 2004
Reason For Cancellation: It was a rough year for what would be the festival’s 15th anniversary. Founder Sean Carlson was forced out by Goldenvoice after a series of sexual misconduct allegations. The new direction of the lineup didn’t inspire fans to buy tickets and Goldenvoice pulled the plug with the claim they “felt unable to present an experience on par with [fan] expectations.”
Chance of a Return: Goldenvoice has some deep pockets, but Los Angeles is always a difficult spot for festivals. We’ll give this a 5 out 10 chance that we’ll see another iteration of FYF.

LouFest 2018

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Year Started: 2010
Reason For Cancellation: Financial reasons and the weather. The Missouri festival lost two sponsors, accumulated debt from the last two years, and were worried about impending thunderstorms. Full statement is below.
Chance of a Return: The end of the official statement makes it sound like LouFest may be calling it quits for good. 3 out 10 chance of return.

Field Trip Festival 2018

Location: London, England
Year Started: 2007
Reason For Cancellation: Venue issues. Field Trip tried to make a move to the Bath Racecourse and it didn’t work out according to the official statement.
Chance of a Return: 8 out of 10. Even after being cancelled, it was one of the most popular UK fests on Music Festival Wizard, so if they can secure a spot, there’s a good chance Field Trip will make a return voyage.

Day For Night 2018

Location: Houston, Texas, USA
Year Started: 2015
Reason For Cancellation: The critically received Day for Night hasn’t officially been cancelled but once again, we’re dealing with a festival founder, sexual misconduct allegations, and the organization forcing them out. Word on the Reddit grapevine (so take that with a hefty scoop of salt) suggests that the festival also owes quite a bit of money to creditors.
Chance of a Return: We’ve heard nothing but good things about Day for Night, which combines performance art with unique performances in a historical post office. It sounds too cool to cancel forever so posting an optimistic 7 out of 10 that Day for Night will see another night.

Photo Credit: Mark C Austin

Last Call: The following festivals won’t be back for 2019

Sasquatch

Location: The Gorge, Washington, USA
Year Started: 2002
Reason For Cancellation: This one hurts. Sasquatch was one of the US festival seasonal anchors, so its cancellation after 18 years is not a strong sign for the rest of the North American festival scene. The Northwest has been struggling for the last couple years with a number of high profile fests calling it quits.

Photo Credit: Matthew Lamb

Warped Tour

Location: North America Tour
Year Started: 1995
Reason For Cancellation: An even more venerable institution on the festival scene than Sasquatch was Warped Tour, which somehow not only made it through the late ’90s festival culling, but managed to thrive. This was one of the few traveling festival tours, well known for up and coming bands, but its legacy will be the fact that they brought the festival scene to parts of North America that the industry often ignores.

Festival No. 6

Location: Portmerion, Wales
Year Started: 2012
Reason For Cancellation: This boutique festival celebrating summer’s end marks its final year after having a few tough bouts with the weather. We’re sorry to see it go, but happy that we at least got a chance to check it out in 2017.

Okeechobee

Location: Okeechobee, Florida, United States
Year Started: 2016
Reason For Cancellation: The official statement says Okeechobee is taking a fallow year, but the unofficial statement is that their parent company is bankrupt. A true highlight of the spring season, OMF was poised to become the “Coachella of the East”, but like so many festivals that have tried to claim this crown, they flew too close to the sun.

Photo Credit: Alex Peters

Country 500

Location: Daytona, Florida, United States
Year Started: 2016
Reason For Cancellation: It’s not stated, but our best guess is that Country 500 didn’t make enough money, or if you’re looking for a lengthier PR statement: “Daytona International Speedway will continue to explore new opportunities to host non-traditional events such as music festivals and develop a business model that can be successful for all parties involved.” 

Photo Credit: Country 500

Jamboree in the Hills

Location: Belmont, Ohio, United States
Year Started: 1977
Reason For Cancellation: The “Super Bowl of Country Music” has been around for 40+ years and Live Nation has given no reason why “Jambo” has been cancelled. They’re calling it a “hiatus”, while we’re calling it the end to one of the strongest runs of country music festivals in the world.

Country Crossings

Location: Central Point, Oregon, United States
Year Started: 2017
Reason For Cancellation: No official reasons, but multiple outlets are reporting on unpaid bills and issues with the parent company.

Mountain Home

Location: Mountain Home, Idaho, United States
Year Started: 2015
Reason For Cancellation: “After 4 great years in Idaho, we’ve made the tough decision to go on hiatus for the 2019 edition of the festival.” Mountain Home’s parent company is the same as Country Crossings so there’s that.

Fort Rock

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Year Started: 2013
Reason for Cancellation: Producer Danny Wimmer and AEG are currently engaged in a bitter festival divorce ,and it looks like Fort Rock is one of the unlucky kids who will have to go live with grandma in upstate New York.

Godsmack @ Fort Rock Photo Credit: Chris Bradshaw

Eaux Claires

Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin, United States
Year Started: 2015
Reason for Cancellation: Our advice would be to “not keep your a lineup a secret”, an experiment Eaux Claires tried in 2018 that clearly backfired. It turns out that festies actually want to new what artists are on the lineup. Organizers of the hipster fest want a “better experience” and are promising they’ll be back in 2020, hopefully, and we can’t state this enough, with an actual lineup this time.