Big Chill boss Melvin Benn: Tough decision to cancel

20/01/12

Big Chill festival crowds

The organiser of the Big Chill has defended his decision to cancel the festival because of the Olympics.

Melvin Benn said: "It was a difficult decision to make. But I had to protect the festival.

"The whole country is going to be obsessed with the Olympics. There will be so much focus on the events, we won't be able to move for them."

It was a difficult decision to make. But I had to protect the festival
Melvin Benn, Big Chill organiser

It is not the end of the festival, held in the grounds of Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire.

It is hoped the music gathering, which started in 1994, will happen again in 2013.

"I'm very keen to do something," said Melvin Benn.

"What I need to do with the Big Chill is to make it a little smaller to make it financially viable, and if the first step is to make it indoors then that is what I will have to do."

Financial problems

The festival wasn't as successful as he hoped for in 2010 and 2011.

"I had two financially difficult years and for this year, I didn't feel the headliners I was hoping to get would come in."

If the 2012 festival had gone ahead it would have competed with the middle weekend of the Olympics.

General ticket details and the line-up had yet to be announced for this year's festival.

Last year, The Big Chill was headlined by The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West and Rodrigo y Gabriela.

It also featured performances from Jessie J, Calvin Harris and Katy B.

When asked if he thought other festivals would suffer because of the Olympics, Melvin Benn said: "I don't think it will affect the more established festivals like Latitude, Leeds, Reading, Download and V.

"They all have a much more dedicated audience than the Big Chill had.

"The Big Chill is re-establishing itself in preparation for 2013."