No Day on the Green in Mudgee this year

Attendance numbers have been dropping while costs have been rising.
Attendance numbers have been dropping while costs have been rising.

Those looking forward to booking tickets to a 2018 Mudgee A Day on the Green better prepare for some disappointing news.

Speaking with the Mudgee Guardian this week, Michael Newton, Promoter at Roundhouse Entertainment who organises A Day on the Green said that it’s simply not financially feasible to continue with a Mudgee tour however there is a glimmer of hope in 2019.

Michael knows better than anyone how much people enjoy the concert.

“We’ve been getting a lot of enquiries about this, people asking when a date or lineup is going to be announced,” he said.

“Look, really the reason is that we can’t find a bill we think will work properly.

“I could be wrong, but I think people are a bit tired of the lineups we’ve been putting on.

“A lot of people in the area wait and see who’s playing in the Hunter and go to those bigger shows instead.”

Going back through past lineup announcements on the Mudgee Guardian Facebook page shows that Michael’s theory is correct with many – though not all – comments echoing the sentiment that people are tired of ‘classic rock and more Jimmy Barnes.’

Not only that but attendance wasn’t providing enough proverbial ‘bums on seats’.

“One of the nice things about Mudgee that can also present as a bit of an issue is that it holds only so many people.

“It’s really difficult for us to afford an artist that we’d get in the Hunter where the capacity is closer to 12,000 or 20,000. It's a completely different experience,” Michael said.

Between a rock and a hard place

If you ignored the capacity and entertainment issues A Day on the Green is facing in Mudgee, Michael tells us costs just aren’t what they used to be.

“Since we started playing in Mudgee in the early 2000s, the cost running a show has gone up dramatically and it’s really difficult for us to afford to actually do the show,” Michael said.

“The last few we’ve done haven’t been financially favourable to us and it costs a lot to get everything to the show.

“Freight; security; staff; toilets; fencing; staging; generators; the screens and the three-camera shoot we do. Everything comes at a high cost.

“Combine the smaller capacity and a lineup people are a bit tired of, you know, we’re not getting the out-of-the-box numbers that we used to.

“We love playing in Mudgee, we really do. But we just can’t afford to keep losing money there.

“That’s the honest truth.”

But what if?

Michael wanted to stress to A Day on the Green fans that they share your frustration that they can’t make it work.

We love playing Mudgee, we really do. But we just can’t afford to keep losing money there.

Michael Newton, Promoter at Roundhouse Entertainment

“It’s a tricky one, we’d love to be playing there. But if we did play in 2018 it would be an Australian bill with a lineup that we’ve done before,” he said.

“We’ve tried to think outside the box and be creative, but as a promoter you’ve got to go in to a show knowing it’s going to work and the risk that you're taking – which is substantial – is going to have a return, and at the moment I can’t see that happening.”

To those wondering if certain aspects could be cut or the budget adjusted, Michael is quick to set the record straight.

“We’ve done 470 shows - 20 of them being in Mudgee - we do some meticulous budgets,” he said.

“It isn’t a decision we’re making flappantly or lightly, we’ve given it a lot of thought.”

Angry Anderson.

Angry Anderson.

What about 2019?

Michael is hopeful something special can be worked out to bring A Day on the Green back to Mudgee in 2019.

Michael and his team at Roundhouse Entertainment have been working hard behind the scenes on securing a “big international act” to perform in Mudgee but stresses nothing is set in stone.

Without getting into specifics, Michael explained why an international act also presents its own set of issues.

Concert-goers braved the rain in 2014.

Concert-goers braved the rain in 2014.

“For an international act to play in Mudgee, they have to forego a night playing somewhere else with a potentially major earning capacity,” Michael said.

“So we have to try and get that artist to come to Mudgee, do a gig for an okay fee that they’d easily get elsewhere. That’s where we’re at.”

Assuming Roundhouse Entertainment can secure a large international act to perform in Mudgee, success still lies in the number of people that come to the performance.

If Mudgee can’t continue being a feasible location for a concert tour like A Day on the Green then it’s just as likely that another town in the region with a bigger population might try to snap it up.