A sad day for Perth – One Movement festival cancelled

It is with great sadness today that I read about the WA Government’s decision to abandon the One Movement festival which has been held the past two years in Perth.

One Movement was run over 5 days, at several venues around the centre of our beautiful city here. It was crammed full of live music, industry showcases, and opportunities for not so well known bands to be heard. It is the closest thing Australia has to a SXSW. And, in my own opinion, had the potential to become the equivalent of SXSW.

I see the cancellation of One Movement as a loss for two reasons.

Firstly personal.
One Movement is a festival entirely driven by curiosity and excitement. It’s not about the headline band, but about who you can discover. Much like SXSW, bragging rights come from ‘i discovered this band 2 years at One Movement’. There are certainly opportunities to discover bands at festivals such as Southbound, but at Big Day Out, Soundwave, On The Bright Side et al. the crowd swells towards the latter part of the day are more apparent. Only the truly dedicated are watching the first band.
One Movement was geared towards this experience and discovery.
This event was quite important not only as a music fan but as a music blogger. Last year i had tickets and couldn’t use them due to sickness. This year was going to make up for that.

Secondly there are the success stories that have come out of One Movement.
Stonefield were a particular success, who after being seen at One Movement were invited to play at glasonbury. One Movement was a perfect springboard to perform in front of so many industry professionals, and also to get advice from industry professionals.
It had an important function within the Australian music industry and deserved its spot in the calendar.

One Movement was always an overly ambitious idea for a city like Perth. And no doubt much of the criticism will focus on the stale and backwards thinking stereotype (perhaps warranted) of Perth.

Yes, apparently they were making a loss at tax payers expense. But this tax payer will happily pay for it.

Maybe that’s why there is a government enquiry. Perhaps changing the business model is the answer.
Instead of canceling why not cut it from 5 days to 3.
Or maybe try hiring less venues.
Look at Perth Festival for inspiration.
Think about the bigger picture. The tourism money that can come only once a reputation has been established. The boost that you’re doing to the music industry as a whole. The exposure that young bands can get, which can only be a good thing for the city.
Imagine if Perth became the next happening place for musicians to come, be inspired, and be heard.

Please just don’t admit failure.
Particularly when you were offering such a unique product which had the potential to become the next SXSW.


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