The struggle continues…!
It is with great pain in our hearts that we have to announce the cancellation of Into the Castle 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Music Goes Further, the company behind the festival, has been struggling to survive since Into the Factory in Sweden was shut down by the police only two weeks before the event was planned to take place in August 2017, and caused us a massive loss of over €400,000.
The relationship between dance culture and the police in Sweden is in a terrible state right now. Last year it was the police’s violent efforts at Into the Valley that scared the venue owners and the municipality from continuing to support the project and forced us to move. As the police again aggressively denied the permit for Into the Factory we had to raise our voice and we approached the Swedish Minister of Culture. The response has been less than satisfying but we will keep the debate alive, pushing for progress.
Our feeling is that this situation is both untenable and unacceptable. The Swedish war on drugs has transformed into a collective punishment of an entire culture, its audience, and its organisers.
These terrible events, paired with Into the Valley 2017 in Estonia losing more than €150,000 in its first year, caused the downturn to become terminal. The failure in Estonia was partly due to a lack of interest from the local crowd and also due to really bad weather. We were granted funds from Enterprise Estonia, funds that four months after the event still have not been paid. This money was supposed to pay both suppliers and artists to the festival.
Due to the ill-fated start of the overall initiative in 2017, Into the Castle 2018 in Cape Town will be postponed indefinitely. There are no words to express how sorry we are having to communicate these sad news. This is due to an acute liquidity shortage in our organization and the fact that we still owe money to artists from both our previous festivals.
2017 was an absolute nightmare for us, and still is. The initiative is on a total pause at the moment and we are working day and night trying to clean this situation up. If we do not make it, it will be the end of our brands, Into the Valley, Into the Factory and Into the Castle, and also for us as festival organizers. It would be beyond sad but we could just never imagine such a series of large setbacks striking us one after another.
With this said, the struggle continues and we will never give up. We will continue to fight and push forward and do absolutely everything we can to keep our vision and the initiative alive. But for now we need to be transparent and let you all know the current state of affairs. Our team is shattered and all the money invested in this start-up is gone. We need to take a big step back in order to be able to come back with new energy in 2018.
It is our goal to produce a festival in Europe during 2018, but at this point it is too early to plan for this or make any promises. We keep toiling and praying for things to start moving in the right direction.
Again, we are deeply sorry for how this has affected ticket buyers, artists, agents, partners and suppliers. We still hope you find it in your hearts to understand our situation. We also want to seize this opportunity to thank Nina Kravitz, Adam Beyer, Mathew Johnson and Larry Heard among other artists who told us that they do not want any money from the cancellation in Sweden. We are beyond words in expressing our gratitude for such kindness, understanding and generosity. We hope that more artists will follow their example as this cancellation was really out of our hands. Doing so, and refraining the fee, would be vital and a huge help for us to get back on our feet.
We have been booking artists in our scene since 2000, altogether more than 1,000 Swedish and international artists. We have paid all the artists in full without exceptions for the last 17 years and we intend to keep on doing so. But with all the troubles and obstacles from this year, it is just going to take a little more time.
If you have festival tickets and flights booked for Cape Town, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together with our local partners we will offer a program of music and dance experiences in Cape Town during the week the festival was supposed to take place.
If you are a ticket buyer and want a refund and have not yet emailed us about Into the Factory or Into the Castle, email email@example.com and we will pay you back during 2018. The exact date for the refund is still too soon to specify.
With all this said we hope you understand the complexity of our situation and want to support us going forward. We promise to never give up and to keep fighting for our amazing culture and the music that brings joy and hope to so many of us.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your support!