The organisers of what had been described as “Australia’s first ever electronic cruise ship festival”, Sea ‘N Beats, have abruptly cancelled the event, which was due to be held 5-8 March 2016.
The Sea ‘N Beats website and Facebook page carried news of the cancellation yesterday. All ticket buyers had been individually contacted via email and a full refund offered, organisers said.
Publicity for the event on Facebook over the months has spoken of “the ship” while remaining coy about naming it. Photos and deck plans on the site, however, showed P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn.
An impressive array of acts and DJs were listed on the show bill, including the world-beating Peking Duk and hip hop upstarts Allday and Tkay Maidza.
Just last month, the promoters announced the release of a limited number of additional tickets “due to overwhelming demand”.
Yesterday, however, on the festival’s Facebook page (which had gathered 18,890 likes), organisers blamed “challenges that could not be overcome” for their decision to axe the event.
Their announcement said:
“Australia’s first cruise ship Festival, Sea ‘N Beats, announces with regret the cancellation of their March 5-8, 2016 event.
“Whilst every possibility in the hope of proceeding with Australia’s first cruise ship festival has been looked at, ultimately all parties involved concluded that conducting a music festival at sea comes with challenges that could not be overcome.
“We believe that the most appropriate decision was to not continue with the event.”
The organisers say that “at this stage” they are not looking at another departure date for the cruise.
“The risk factors surrounding the event were ultimately assessed by all parties involved as too great to continue,” a statement said.
“Whilst every potential avenue to save Sea N Beats was exhausted, ultimately we have been left with no option but to cancel.”
The event had been billed as “4 amazing days and 3 nights on board one of the world’s top cruise ships” with “seven stages of entertainment on the ship, including a huge pool deck”. Sea ‘N Beats was to depart Brisbane and include “a full day at a mystery island for the Exclusive Island Festival”.
Travel Superstore advised yesterday it would refund all money paid but any other travel bookings related to the cruise were not covered.
Music festivals aboard cruise ships have been held before, one of the best known being 70000 Tons of Metal, an annual heavy metal music festival at sea operating out of Miami and using Royal Caribbean ships.
Written by Peter Needham