The staging company responsible for the annual ARIA Awards, as well as major music festivals including Good Vibrations, V Festival, Future Musical Festival and Parklife has collapsed.

Smart Company reports that festival and event company ES Group has collapsed among allegations of poor management and excess in staff wages.

The company’s website claims they are a “world leader in staging, project management and logistics”, whose previous productions include major music festivals as well as many of Australia’s corporate, government and sporting events like the Grand Prix, the Australian Idol final and Melbourne’s Commonwealth Games

Having expanded to international markets, including Japan and the UK, since its 1998 inception; ES Group’s page boasts of over 30 years experience, claiming, “the many years we have spent serving the rock and roll industry have left us with a distinctively creative and flexible company culture. In turn, this has enabled us to develop unique methods of satisfying our clients’ needs on time and on budget.”

According to Giles Woodgate of  accountancy firm Woodgate & Co, that time has come to an end, with ES Group entering into administration on April 12 2012. A business decision that was reached after the company experienced what Woodgate, whose firm is handling the administration, called “fundamentally bad management” suffering from “poor cost control” of “excessive wages and salaries.”

“For the level of activity and for the way it was project orientated,” says Woodgate, “the ES Group was undercapitalised.”

Essentially, the staging company was taking on too many contracts and projects, absorbing “considerable financial resources” that they did not have at their disposal. In fact, the company’s collapse now leaves a long list of creditors (Crew on Call, Mojo Barriers, Butlers Events, Opera Australia and the Australian Tax Office among them) with $6 million ‘in the red’.

ES Group has currently ceased operating and creditors have organised a meeting at the end of the month, on June 29, where the company deed will be put forward.

The solvency of the festival and staging group has many business implications for its investors, but for music fans, there’s an obvious and immediate concern over the future of the large-scale productions the company had a hand in.

Good Vibrations have already called it a day for another year, and Future Music Festival 2013 is still some ways off, but Parklife 2012, who recently announced their official lineup with a bill showcasing The Presets, Passion Pit, Plan B and Robyn, is just around the corner.

Could the collapse of ES Group have an immediate effect on Parklife’s 2012 staging plans?

Let’s hope not… if it’s one thing Australian Music Festivals don’t need right now, it’s another victim.

Write a Letter to the Editor