A little more than a week after announcing the inaugural WRXP TaKLIBERTY Testival at PNC Bank Arts Center, the radio station has scrapped the event. No reason was given beyond the dreaded "unforeseen circumstances."
Ticket sales couldn't have been the problem. Coldplay, one of the world's most popular rock bands, was scheduled to headline the September 18 event. Sets by Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft, U.K. hitmakers the Kooks, and NYC guitar-pop favorites the Pains of Being Pure at Heart had also been announced. The TaKLIBERTY Festival had promised a full day of music on two stages.
The news of the TaKLIBERTY cancellation comes on the heels of news of WRXP's sale to Merlin Media, a group headed by radio entrepreneur Randy Michaels. Whether Michaels intends to maintain the station's format has been a matter of recent speculation.
In the Daily News, David Hinckley quoted station Vice President Liz Aiello saying “this unique opportunity to craft something new in such an established industry is an exciting challenge.” Those words ought to elicit a gulp or two from area rock radio fans. WRXP is currently the only commercial alternative rock station in New York City.
Ticket refunds for the cancelled festival are available at points of purchase.
Richard Ashcroft's official website has stated the cancellation is due to the "new owners of ROCK 101.9 RXP radio station changing the format of the station."
- Source: Tris McCall, The Star Ledger