Last Friday I heard via promoter acquaintance that Auckland Zoo's annual Zoo Music concerts had been canned. I asked Auckland Council via Twitter, who referred me to Auckland Zoo to see if this was true and why. They replied this afternoon, telling me it was true, but failed to say why.
The folks at Amplifier jumped in (on Friday), telling me via Twitter "Just spoke to the Marketing and Comms Manager for Akl Zoo and yes, Zoo Music won't be happening this year.... that it was a saturated market and that they'd left it too late to do anything to revamp it this year. Hence a next year return."
The other report I heard on why Zoo Music was canned for 2012 was that it had proved unpopular with respondents in a recent Council survey on events. Never mind that this event had attracted big crowds for the last eight years. I also heard that they had changed event management for the event, and the new company in charge had managed to run the event at a huge loss this year.
Still waiting for official comment from Auckland Zoo.
ADDED 458pm Monday 3 Oct: Auckland Zoo responds "After review, Zoo Music in its current form doesn't stack up in this financial environment, so we are investigating what else we can offer to our visitors over summer."
Further response from Auckland Zoo, via Twitter: "On the whole it's been successful, and we have been really proud of what we've achieved over the past 8 years with our supporting partners and artists. Now we are looking for new ways to provide innovative zoo experiences."
ADDED Tuesday 1.15pm 4 Oct: Here's 5 pages of feedback on the Ticketmaster site from ZooMusic concert goers, all raving about what a great event it is/was. If you want the event to be revived, let the Mayor know. His contact/email details are here.
ADDED Friday, 7 Oct: Auckland Now's Bridget Jones wrote a story on the cancellation of ZooMusic for 2012. She got a statement from the Zoo about it...
"For 2012 we have made the decision to focus our energy and resources on delivering other innovative Zoo events. However, we have not ruled out having Zoo Music as part of our events calendar in future years," a statement from the zoo said.
"While Zoo Music was initially part of the new-look events calendar, a number of factors have led to the decision not to hold a Zoo Music series in 2012."
The zoo cites a number of similar events in the Auckland events market, the availability of suitable artists and "the challenge in finding a mutually beneficial ticket price point for the Zoo and its visitors" as contributing to the decision.