The Annual Big Chill Festival Called Off

Due to the lack of interest shown by artists and the poor confirmation provided by them, The Big Chill festival has been cancelled. The managing director of Festival Republic blames the unavailability of the right kind of artists. Scheduling conflicts and that coupled with artist unavailability, the festival that happens every summer in Herefordshire, London had to be scrubbed.

The Big Chill is more than just a music festival. It all began in 1994, as a series of parties at the Union Chapel, London. It then became an outdoor festival in 1995. Even then it was an unlicensed event. Only in 1996 it became a licensed event and the festival happened unsuccessfully at Norfolk. In 1998 it moved to the Larmer Tree Gardens, England and stayed there for 5 years. It’s during this time the festival established itself and became popular for its unusual combination of food, visuals, line-ups, masseuses, healers and alternative therapists.

It was only in 2002 that it moved to Estanor Castle where it still takes place. It’s just not the venue of The Big chill festival that has been changed quite a few times. The management of the festival has been through a series of hands as well. It was started by Pete Lawrence and Katrina Larkin in 1994 and when the festival went bankrupt, it was bought by Cantaloupe Group; that owned a chain of bars. In 2009 when the festival again went under, Festival Republic bought them.

Over the years, the festival has gone through varied changes and it has showcased a diverse range of music including Jazz, African and Dub. Apart from the music it also stages poetry, art, circus, comedy and much more. Chemical Brothers, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Robert Plant, Kanye West and many others performed at last year’s festival.

The Big Chill isn’t the first festival to take a year off. More than 30 festivals have been cancelled in past year alone. With tickets selling rather slowly and festivals feeling the pinch of the onsite losses, a lot of them are being pulled.

Maybe, people want just more festivals and traditions, or maybe it’s just the economy.  Compared to 2011, that saw festivals prosper, 2012 is a disappointment. But organisers are quite sure that there is still a market for the festival culture.

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