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Rewind Festival Canceled

02:01 PM Monday 10/17/11 | |

The inaugural Australian version of the '80s-themed Rewind Festival was canceled Oct. 17 following controversy including being investigated by New South Wales' consumer watchdog.

Promoters Shane Sanderson and Terry Youngman, who licensed the name from the UK festival, planned three days in November outside Wollongong, a few hours' drive from Sydney.

About 30,000 were expected to see a bill including Kool & The Gang, The Human League, Dire Straits offshoot The Straits and Sister Sledge, as well as Aussie acts John Paul Young, Pseudo Echo, Mondo Rock's Ross Wilson and Mental As Anything.

Word was circulating for weeks of low ticket sales and sponsorship revenue and the venue was supposedly yet to receive permission from the local council. Artist manager Simon Watson was getting worried that his client and headliner The Human League's visa had not been cleared. "We weren't getting the information we were looking for whenever we asked," he said.

On Oct. 13, Rewind was moved to the 5,500-capacity indoor Hordern Pavilion in Sydney with a downsized bill. Expected storms were cited as the reason.

Ticket buyers angered by promoters' refusal to offer a full refund - only for camping tickets - posted the promoters' cell phone numbers online and kicked up enough of a fuss for the NSW Fair Trading department to start investigating.

Rewind UK emphasised it has no connection to the Australian promoters and declared they were "not happy" with the turn of events.