Elements Festival
– Final Update –

Dearest Elementals,

We are coming to you with heavy news that has consumed the last remaining scrap of hope we were using to push ourselves forward. Elements as a festival was already gone, but we were holding out hope that the brand, the community, and the spirit that we created would live on. 

We put everything we had into making this happen, but a relentless series of setbacks has meant we’ve had to accept defeat. 

Our intention on this journey has been to bring Queensland a level of production beyond what has ever been presented before. We put our entire hearts and souls into creating a space that elevated artists, musicians, and performers in new and exciting ways, giving them opportunities to connect with a loving audience and create transformative shared moments. We know you were with us on this because we did have great success in our early years. However 2022 changed everything. 

We invested every bit of profit from the success of the previous year’s festivals into building something truly grand. However, a string of events outside our control brought us to our knees. After a run of successful events at Landcruiser 4WD Park it was sold without our knowledge, and we lost everything we had invested into the space. We had very little notice to move out, and much of our infrastructure was destroyed. If this hadn’t happened, Elements would still be profitable and financially sustainable. But there was nothing we could do to stop it. 

Not only was the move horrifically expensive, but we then found ourselves at square one, with a new, completely undeveloped property that we had to build up. From land clearing and creating roads and access to plumbing and more, we built (and paid for) everything at this new site. But Queensland weather did what Queensland weather does and gave us 9 straight weeks of solid rain in the leadup to our first 2022 winter festival in this new space. This left us with an underdeveloped and unsafe-to-access site, giving us no choice but to cancel the 2022 Winter Festival. 

Fast forward to the summer of 2022, and the obstacles were still piling up. Moving costs, inclement weather, and low ticket sales put us in uncertain territory. Despite these hurdles, we were determined to make Elements profitable. In terms of the experience on-site, the festival was a genuine success, and we are so thankful to all of you who joined us that year. You created such a vibe of love, community, and respect. 

Sadly, ticket sales fell well short of what we needed that year. This left us in an incredibly precarious position. But our faith in the vibrant community we’ve nurtured inspired us to keep going. We chose to plan another festival, a streamlined event that would capture the heart of Elements without demanding too much financially. The idea was to get back to our roots and deliver an uplifting event that could help us meet our financial obligations and get back on track.

As we planned the 2023 event, low ticket sales made a depressing comeback. We were already creating a more modest event, needing fewer ticket sales to break even. However, we were struggling to meet even this reduced target. Based on community feedback about December being too busy, we moved the festival to January, hoping for a better fit and more time to boost ticket sales.

We made every effort to cut production costs without compromising the signature Elements experience, even making the tough decision to cancel the Sonic Sorcery stage. However, there was one massive, unavoidable problem. No matter how small we made the festival, our biggest expenses—medics, security, permits, and infrastructure—would not drop by even a dollar.

On top of these major financial and logistical setbacks, the whole country was struggling with the post-pandemic economic state. This caused our expenses to increase by 30-40% while at the same time knocking down our ticket sales. Government regulations and council requirements also became increasingly strict, and every new test we had to take and plan we had to make cost us thousands of additional dollars. 

We worked tirelessly to cut operational costs and increase ticket sales. But when our biggest expenses were due in early January, the gap still hadn’t closed. We couldn’t risk hundreds of thousands of dollars on the hope of last-minute ticket sales, which have been dwindling for festivals across Australia post-pandemic. With no other options, we were faced with the horrible but inevitable decision of canceling Elements Festival 2024. 

Determined to find a way forward, we decided to bring the festival to you. With our Elements in the City events, we were trying to deliver as much of the festival as we could in the hopes that our tribe would come together in the spirit of friendship, community, and love that festivals like Elements are built on. Many of you did, and you genuinely warmed our hearts in these dark times. We cannot thank you enough for how supportive and understanding you’ve been as we’ve struggled through these last two years. 

Much of the feedback we received when we asked about low ticket sales pointed to the related costs and inconvenience of the 4-day camping events. So we hoped that the inner city events would bring the best bits to you in a way that wasn’t perfect but that did deliver the festival vibes you love in a format that’s more in tune with the current economic climate. 

The plan was that after these events, we would consolidate our debts and carve out a new path, providing inner-city gigs that deliver a taste of festival life in a way that fits into your lifestyle. Unfortunately, we were overwhelmed by the level of debt we were still left with after consolidation. We knew we needed to make the most responsible decisions for all involved, so we sought urgent professional advice. The idea was to get help with stabilising our cash flow and developing a plan for paying everyone back. 

After consulting financial advisors and then lawyers, we were given one option and one option only to resolve this situation. That resolution is something we’ve been fighting to avoid for the last year, but we’re in checkmate now, and we have no choice. Elements has been liquidated, and the owner has been forced to go personally bankrupt. 

We hate leaving you on such a depressing note, but sadly, this is where the Elements story ends. Please know that if you’re owed funds, there are steps you can take. You’ll be receiving an email from the liquidation lawyers with details of what you can do. We know many of you will have questions, and many of you will want to discuss your unique situation, but since the company is now in the hands of the liquidation lawyers, that’s where you’ll need to direct your questions. The Elements inbox will no longer be monitored as there are no staff to monitor it. Anyone who formerly worked for the brand is no longer involved and won’t have the answers you’re looking for. 

We are deeply sorry and truly ashamed that it has come to this. It’s no exaggeration to say that the last-standing staff members have been gutted by this turn of events as the last thing we ever wanted to do was let our community down. Our heartbreak comes from the fact that we failed you and that we failed to achieve our dream of creating a safe space where everyone was welcome, where art was celebrated, and where sustainability and community spirit were valued. 

With this in mind, our final appeal to you is to please support festivals, small businesses, and events that mean something to you. We can tell you that many of them are in the same boat as we are at the moment. Australia’s creative scene is at great risk right now due to inflation and a multitude of other factors. Festivals specifically are struggling under the burden of costly and restrictive regulations.

So please be understanding of organisers and, if you can, buy your tickets early to support the work they’re doing. If we don’t come together, make compromises, and support each other, the scene that’s given us so many life-changing moments may fade. Our individualistic, consumer-driven society needs places where like-minded souls can gather. It needs these intentional micro-communities and the access they give us to environments where we can express ourselves freely. 

We know you’ll do whatever you can because you, our beautiful community, have quite literally been the only thing keeping us going through these dark days. So many of you have shared the transformative experiences you had at Elements, and we have been consistently awed by your kindness and understanding. Although our festival is over, with no hope of revival, those moments will stay with us forever. 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Elements journey –- our creators, performers, staff, contractors, and beautiful tribe – for being the heartbeat of our festival. Your unwavering support through thick and thin is a testament to how truly amazing you all are. This is an era that we collectively created together, the moments of connections, self expression and pure love for one another are memories none of us will ever forget.

Full Lineup Dropped

This is just a TASTE of what we have in store for you. View the full lineup genre by genre for the full spectrum.