A major new music festival has pulled the plug just weeks after the promoter talked up its move from Tauranga's McLaren Falls to Auckland.

Echo Festival had promised fans a multi-stage summer event featuring headlining sets from Disclosure, Flaming Lips, Jamie xx and Kurt Vile scheduled over two days in early January at Auckland's Vector Arena.

It today pulled the plug, with festival organiser Paxton Talbot blaming "slow ticket sales".

"The event simply hasn't had sufficient ticket sales to date to make the festival viable," he said. "We have today made the hugely difficult decision to cancel the event. It would not be fair on the bands, the suppliers or the audience if we were to continue pursuing the project."


The festival had suffered early problems, originally calling itself McLaren Valley Falls and billing itself as "the Glastonbury of the Pacific" being held over three days outdoors amongst the picturesque scenery of McLaren Valley near Tauranga.

Echo was forced to move and change its name after failing to gain consent from neighbours, shifting to Auckland and downsizing to a two-day event, January 11 and 12.

Talbot had talked up the changes, telling the Herald that Echo was "going to be great".

"I'm surprised we've turned this thing around so quickly ... This [Echo] can't be the Glastonbury of the Pacific but it's a different opportunity. It can be just as much fun, as relevant and poignant and culturally important."

Echo Festival director Paxton Talbot.
Echo Festival director Paxton Talbot.

It's the latest cancellation in a chaotic music festival season that saw October's R&B festival Soulfest axed and Raggamuffin losing its headliner Cee-Lo.

It's also a big blow for the Kiwi acts on Echo's bill - including Avalanche City, Beastwars, The Chills, David Dallas, The Datsuns, Fazerdaze, P-Money and Tiny Ruins - who were looking forward to playing alongside some major international names.

Overseas acts scheduled to perform who now won't include Alison Wonderland, CW Stoneking, Mac DeMarco, Courtney Barnett, Elliphant and Young Fathers.

It was also the first time Vector Arena was going to be used to its full potential, with its huge indoor arena accompanied by an outdoor stage, smaller neighbouring indoor venue The Tuning Fork, and markets and art installations in the park.


Those who had already purchased tickets expressed their disappointment on Twitter as news broke this afternoon.

Echo Festival's now scrapped site map for Vector Arena.
Echo Festival's now scrapped site map for Vector Arena.

Summer festivals still going ahead include Laneway, Raggamuffin, Splore, Rhythm & Vines, Northern Bass, Homegrown and Auckland City Limits.

Refunds for ticketholders are available through Echo Festival's website.

- nzherald.co.nz