R&B and hip-hop festival Soulfest has been cancelled less than a fortnight before it was set to begin its Australian run, citing "poor ticket sales".
The festival -- which planned to bring full-scale festival set-ups to Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, as well as smaller side show dates in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney -- was to have begun its tour in Sydney's Domain on October 24. An impressive lineup of Mary J Blige, Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Miguel and more were set to thrill thousands across the country.
However, in a statement posted to the festival's Facebook page on Wednesday morning, Soulfest organisers confirmed the festival's demise less than two weeks before it was to have kicked off.
"Despite a stellar line-up of artists and the best promotional endeavours on Soulfest’s behalf, the event has simply not received the support via ticket sales, and the financial loss that would be incurred by the event if it were to go ahead as planned would be devastating," the statement claimed.
Organisers claim tickets bought online or by phone will be automatically refunded within 14 days, while people who made bookings at ticketing outlets must return their tickets for a refund.
As of 8.15am, the Soulfest website is still advertising tickets on sale. Despite organisers citing poor ticket sales as a factor, the VIP ticketing options at the Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland dates are all shown as "sold out."
The cancellation decision seems to have been made quickly, with Soulfest's Facebook page posting this image late on Tuesday night.
No Soulfest artists have yet posted any reactions on social media.