THOUSANDS of pop fans were heartbroken last night after organisers cancelled RockNess, saying it would clash with too many competing events.
Directors said the three-day festival – which typically draws crowds of 35,000 to the banks of Loch Ness – would be up against the World Cup and Commonwealth Games. The decision has been made to take a year off.
Hundreds of music fans took to social networking sites to voice their disappointment.
RockNess has attracted some of the biggest acts in the industry in recent years including Fatboy Slim, Madness, Ellie Goulding, Biffy Clyro and Mumford & Sons.
But The Scotsman revealed in January that questions were being raised as to why entertainment giant AEG had not confirmed dates or line-ups after some estimates suggested attendance in 2013 was more than 10,000 short of capacity.
RockNess said in a statement on Facebook: “We’d like to thank you for your support over the last eight years. Due to the addition of a number of events alongside the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games we’ve decided to take a year off. We’re using this break to make the event bigger and better than ever in 2015 so have an amazing summer and see you back at the Loch next year!”
Jess Massie, who attended in 2013, wrote on Twitter: “I’d hate it if this was gonna be my first year at rockness and was looking mega forward to it, glad I went last year.”
Ailie Rodgers wrote: “Gutted Rockness isn’t on this year it is definitely one of the best weekends of the year.”
James Davidson expressed his disappointment on the RockNess Facebook page, having attended every year since 2006 and travelled 350 miles for the round trip.
If the event had been held in early June, as it was last year, it would have been close to the World Cup in Brazil – which kicks off on 12 June; Bannockburn Live on 28-29 June – with 20,000 set to attend; and the Commonwealth Games in July-August. UK festivals are also increasingly competing with those on the Continent.
Tickets cost £99-£149 last year and while this is in line with similar-sized festivals in Britain, fans on Facebook noted festivals in Europe are much cheaper, such as the four-day Benicassim festival in Valencia, priced at just £85 for early bird tickets.