The domino effect and the door sales lottery

Something just wasn’t working out this year. And it didn’t begin with the surprising cancellation by Sound Struggle. We had been trying to set up a new Generation Prog Festival since late March, talking to several potential headliner bands. Nothing worked out. When our original plans for a two-day festival in November fell apart in July, Haken suggested doing something on the weekend of October 21, as they’d be in Europe to prepare for a gig at the ProgStage Fest in Israel the weekend before. With Conner and Diego living in the US and Mexico, that was an important factor for our decision to choose this date. We went ahead with the plan.

Sadly, as we learned last week, the ProgStage Fest isn’t happening as planned due to low ticket sales, with Haken definitely not going to Israel. This meant that we’d need to fly Conner and Diego in from the US and Mexico just for the one gig. We tried to find some solution for this problem, but in the end it was just too difficult to pull this off financially. We simply weren’t in a position to add more money to our band budget this year – the truth is, our own ticket sales were behind our expectations, too. We would have to bet on door sales to be far higher than they had been in the last two years. Without a significant improvement, we were looking at losses of several thousand Euros. And we felt that was too risky seeing how we’d already misgauged last year’s demand (despite our best lineup yet, the 2015 festival just barely broke even – without our sponsors we would’ve lost a lot of money). There wasn’t enough time left to find and sufficiently promote a new headliner, and without Haken as the main draw, our overall calculation wasn’t working out anymore. Promoting gigs is always a bit of a lottery, but in the end there were just too many obstacles for this to work. That’s why, with a heavy heart, we decided to cancel the festival in the end.