The latest in a series of high-profile festivals to fall apart in 2017, the Karoondinha Music and Arts Festival abruptly cancelled its scheduled July debut this week, leaving those who made travel plans for the July 21-23 event in central Pennsylvania in the lurch.
Organizers for the event near Penn State University told Billboard.com that costs had spiraled out of control and ticket sales fell far short of expectations, necessitating the cancellation. The festival website was taken down on Tuesday, the same day vendors and staff were informed the event was being called off.
Siblings Kaleena and Paul Rallis raised $5 million from local investors to host Karoondinha at Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania. Working with Starseed Entertainment’s Shannon McNevin, creative director Steve Gross and talent buyer Drew Pompillio, the Rallis siblings booked Chance the Rapper, John Legend, Odesza and The Roots to headline the family-friendly festival and forecast tickets sales between 25,000 to 30,000. Despite a stacked lineup and a hefty promotional and branding budget, ticket sales never came close to meeting expectations, and earlier Tuesday, Kaleena and Paul made the decision to pull the plug on the 2017 event.
Unlike the similarly cancelled Pemberton festival in British Columbia, fans who purchased tickets for Karoondinha will reportedly be refunded for their purchases, as Eventbrite notified ticket holders via email Wednesday. Obviously, any travel or lodging expenditures will have to be dealt with separately by anyone who has made such purchases in addition to their ticket outlay.
“Unfortunately, we were notified that this event will no longer take place as originally planned,” the email read. “As an event technology platform ticketing millions of events each year, we were not involved in the production of this specific event or the decision to postpone it; however, we are committed to providing a high level of customer service to anyone who purchases tickets through our website. As such, we are working closely with the organizer of the event to finalize next steps for processing refunds and will send you an update with details by the end of the week.”
Ticket holders will also have a chance to attend the Deep Roots Mountain Revival festival in Masontown, West Virginia. That event, which is about a three hour drive south from the Centre Hall, Pennsylvania Karoondinha was to play, features Brandi Carlile, Dr. Dog, Lettuce, JJ Grey & Morfro, Moon Taxi, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band and White Denim, among others.