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Inaugural One Tribe Festival canceled just weeks before coming to Southern California

One Tribe Festival

One Tribe Festival //
Lake Perris State Park – Lake Perris, CA
September 25th-26th, 2015 //

In what came as some surprising news this week, EDM promoter SFX has canceled the first edition of One Tribe Festival after ticket sales failed to meet expectations.

The two-day, electronic-leaning festival located outside of Los Angeles in Riverside County was supposed to feature sets from Norwegian DJ and record producer Kygo, San Francisco ambient-techno outfit Tycho and glitch-hop act Gramatik. London-based house/techno DJ Damian Lazarus, Israeli DJ/producer Guy Gerber and renowned Detroit techno producer Carl Craig were also slated to perform this year, with the festival offering other activities such as camping, yoga, swimming and paddle boarding.

On Tuesday afternoon, One Tribe officials issued a statement on their website, Facebook and Twitter, stating that the event had been “postponed indefinitely due to a mix of unforeseen events and circumstances.”

However, Jacob Smid, managing director of SFX Live North America, revealed to The New York Times that it was low ticket sales that in fact put the kabosh on having One Tribe later this month at Lake Perris State Park.

“We had an ambitious plan to bring an innovative and unique experience built around the spirit of community, art and music to an amazing venue in Southern California,” Smid told The Times in a statement. “Unfortunately, disappointing ticket sales put us in a position of choosing between compromising our vision and the overall experience at One Tribe, or canceling it.”

As Billboard reported, SFX has fallen on hard times, with its stocks declining more than 80 percent in 2015. SFX chairman and CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman had plans to complete a bid to take the company private but recently changed course and announced that it would instead entertain minority offers from potential stakeholders. A parent company of Dutch dance promoter ID&T, SFX also organizes and promotes Electric Zoo, the three-day music festival which returns to Randall’s Island in New York City this weekend, along with TomorrowWorld, another three-day music festival that hits Chattahoochee Hills, Ga., outside of Atlanta later this month for its third straight year.

But One Tribe’s cancellation speaks louder to the music-festival market in California. With music festivals spread across The Golden State throughout the summer and into the fall, it’s worth asking if we’ve hit a ceiling point on how many are actually sustainable. Lightning in a Bottle and Symbiosis Gathering (one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015) are both multi-day festivals in Central and Northern California and already offer similar experiences, with camping, yoga and music all apart of the overall packaged deal.

If anything, One Tribe’s inability to reach a larger audience in one of the country’s biggest music markets throws caution to the wind for other concert promoters looking to tap into California’s festival scene. We’ll see if SFX gives One Tribe another shot in 2016 or conversely scraps the idea altogether.

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