By now the festival announcing season is in full swing. With every festival releasing slews of line-up's almost weekly. All seems bright for a summer full of good tunes. And then comes in this shocker. The Belgian MFVF calls it quits!
Why?!? The festival just went trough a 2015 sabbatical and had their reboot successfully last year. Alas, thé leading female fronted festival is no more. This started out as a tiny initiative in 2003 and grew out to be a household name worldwide for the female fronted lovers. In fact, it is probably thanks to them that we speak about the female fronted genre.
I have personally been to one of the very first editions after they have relocated to the Oktoberhallen in Wieze. And i find it really sad they don't see any possibility to continue. We Belgians have the best and most creative Festival scene and culture of all of Europe. And we have produced several of the worlds leading festivals along the way. I am sure the FMVF crew will return in some form to produce something even more amazing.
Here is the integral MFVF statement from their page.
"After a long discussion, reflection, many thoughts and overview of all possibilities, we have decided to put the festival on hold for the moment.
You probably jumping up from your seats, wondering why??!!! Well, we will be honest with you all, because you deserve our respect and the truth, after so many years of support.
Now let us explain our decision a bit more…
In 2003, we launched for the 1st time in Metal history, an event solely for metal bands with female singers. For the 1st time, female singers could express their Art in front of a big audience, play on a huge stage in professional conditions. Every year, we reviewed the event and learned what we had to improve, in order to make it better, year after year. Although the last MFVF (2016) was not as successful as the previous years, for us it was the best edition ever! We were happy to once again gather many people, fans, the staff and bands, who all had a lot of fun.
Maybe for now the "circle is complete"... we at least feel, that what had to be accomplished, has been accomplished and well so. This is most certainly not the end, we wrote “on hold”, because this is not a final goodbye! Things for now are done, but since the future is unknown, anything can move, change and be reborn!
We all hope, that you will understand our decision. From our side it's heartbreaking, but we want to upkeep MFVF with a positive note. MFVF was a beautiful experience, the opportunity to meet great people, the place to start new and real friendships, even the place were some people found Love... MFVF realised the dream of many bands, also brought to many of us beautiful travels.
So, the reasons we decided this pause…
Since a few years, we noticed a certain decline of the scene, many factors are probably responsible:
1) Money: People are struggling more and more, to afford the costs to attend festivals (travel, accommodation, etc).
2) Too many events: Over the last years, we’ve seen the amount of concerts & festivals increasing quite a lot and the ticket prices for most of them became very expensive. People have to think twice before attending an event, due to the costs. Since the MFVF concept was successful, we started to see the same kind of events blooming in other parts of the World. Now, people HAVE to choose between many events, instead of attending maybe 1 or 2 per a year. We should in fact be proud, it means our idea was great ;)
3) Headliners: within this concept, headliners are limited and some people are surely bored to see the same bands again and again. Some became too big and now seem not interested in playing in a smaller festival anymore, some want a huge fee, just because the word "festival" is appearing in our name, etc. And it is no secret, a festival needs headliners... Some of you will say that they prefer smaller bands, but headliners are needed to cover the festival's production costs, by attracting the fans ;)
4) The concept is not new anymore and we know that people need a bit of change once in a while...(we have some ideas in mind if we come back though...) All these factors create the conditions, that make it very hard to continue the festival, at least with the same kind of quality. We just didn’t want to cut the budget, cut corners, to save money here and there and provide a cheap festival. Through the high quality we had, we showed our respect to the bands, the audience and the people working during and for the fest.
We have never had sponsors like most of the other festivals. MFVF has always been self-financed and even though we are a non-profit organisation, when there are monetary losses, it's the promotors responsibility. There are no "company bankruptcy” excuses possible ;)
You might wonder why we didn’t ask for financial sponsoring or a governmental subsidy? Believe us, we tried for many years to get them, but in Belgium it's next to impossible, unless you "know some people" or do something different from Metal... Some people didn't believe this and said they would find us sponsors, but in the end had to agree, it is just too difficult.
Of course, we had a little sponsoring here and there, to get our 1st stage banners, some lanyards, crew t-shirts etc. These little drops were really helpful, we will not forget these private donations! Thank you all for your support, the good memories, amazing moment shared all together! We hope to meet you again soon :)