Sarah McLachlan puts the final nail in Lilith's coffin
Put a fork in it, Lilith is done.
The female-fronted music festival rose like a phoenix last year after a long hiatus only to subsequently sink like a stone as poor ticket sales led to many cancellations.
Sarah McLachlan, who co-founded the original Lilith Fair multi-artist concert series as well as the rebirth, told Calgary’s Globe and Mail newspaper that, despite proclaiming last summer that Lilith would live on, it is over.
“It’s done,” McLachlan said “And that’s okay. It’s actually a really good thing."
McLachlan went on to say that when planning the revival, she and her partners didn’t take into account how much times had changed since the original Lilith Fair, which had a very-successful three-year run starting in 1997.
[More after the jump...]
"[It’s] about learning more from our failures than our successes, and it was a beautiful organic event that happened at a point in time when it was really needed,” she said. “And bringing the same thing back last year really didn’t make any sense, in retrospect, without due diligence being done on how women have changed. Because in 12 years, women have changed a lot. Their expectations have changed, the way they view the world has changed, and that was not taken into consideration, which I blame myself for.”
Perhaps another reason for the end: McLachlan recently parted ways with her longtime manager, Terry McBride, who was also her partner in Lilith.
With 20/20 hindsight, there were a number of reasons Lilith didn’t do well in its 2010 incarnation: First and foremost, McLachlan and co. decided to bring back the festival in the midst of the worst touring recession in more than a decade so their timing was just off. Plus, the line-up was never consistently strong enough with great acts like Mary J. Blige only committing to a handful of shows instead of the entire tour or the bulk of the route. Therefore, from the start, despite spelling it out clearly on the Lilith website, there was confusion about who was appearing on which date. Thirdly, before the tour even started, fans who had been enthusiastic enough to buy tickets early got a huge slap in the face when promoters discounted sales to move them along and didn’t offer early full-price purchasers a rebate.
Once the stench of failure hit Lilith, it couldn’t shake it. This is despite generally positive reviews and artists who played the event raving about the experience.
May it rest in peace. We prefer to remember it in its robust, late ‘90s state than the crumbled, fading latter edition.