As the old journalism saying goes, to get the complete picture, you simply have to “follow the money.” Now, the same rule appears to apply to the ongoing Electric Zoo debacle.
As ticket holders still await refunds, new reports have exposed Electric Zoo’s dire financial straits, perhaps shedding new light on festival operations that many fans have called a “money grab.”
In a new report from Billboard, insiders at SFX Entertainment, Electric Zoo’s previous owners, said that EZoo 2023 could cost organizers up to $25 million, including refunds for fans and performance fees for artists who never played on Friday, after the festival canceled day one.
This expenditure is $10 million dollars more than the $15 million Avant Gardner paid to purchase the festival last year, according to IQ Magazine. While trying to recoup their initial investment, Electric Zoo’s organizational shortcomings—like failing to secure a Friday permit—have come back to bite them.
Electric Zoo 2023 went down as one of the worst festivals in recent memory, filled to the brim with logistical nightmares, including overselling tickets and a dangerous gatecrashing incident.
A reported 7,000 fans were denied entry to the festival on its last day as a result of overselling—a practice that the festival’s Avant Gardner ownership group knows all too well.
As the prospect of refunds grows more bleak by the day, it appears this won’t be the last time we read EZoo’s name in the headlines. Class action lawsuits are now being organized and it seems the legal system will now be deciding the festival’s fate.