Promoter exits V Festival down under

Michael Coppel Presents severs ties with annual music event

BRISBANE, Australia -- The future of Australia's V Festival is unclear after Australian promoter Michael Coppel Presents severed its ties with the annual music event.

MCP had worked with Virgin Group on the previous three editions. However, the Melbourne-based promoter noted in a statement, "The presentation of V Festival in 2009 concluded this arrangement, and the partnership is not being renewed."

The statement added that further announcements regarding V Festival in Australia should be expected in the coming months. The Killers, Snow Patrol and Kaiser Chiefs headlined the most recent run, which played four major Australian shows -- Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth -- from March 28 to April 5.

Despite its big-name international line-ups, V Festival has struggled to find its niche on a busy Australian festivals calendar, which is dominated by the Big Day Out festival tour.

Organizers of the 2010 BDO recently put up sold-out notices, after shifting upwards of 260,000 tickets across its seven Australian dates in less than two weeks on sale.

Now entering its 18th run, the BDO 2010 kicks off Jan. 15 at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium, before moving on to venues at the Gold Coast, Sydney (two shows), Melbourne, Adelaide and concluding Jan. 31 at Perth's Claremont Showground.

The V Fest experiment doesn't spell the end of MCP's festival adventure, however. The company has vowed to make "further announcements regarding future festival presentations during 2010", although the company's founder, Michael Coppel, couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Virgin Group recently strengthened its brand in the Australian live arena through a naming rights deal with Sydney's Metro Theatre, which becomes the Virgin Mobile Metro.