While Adelaide ratepayers will be left to foot a hefty $75k bill owed to its council by collapsed music festival Soundwave, the festival’s former operator AJ Maddah has lashed out at the council, accusing it of charging them exorbitant fees and profiting of its success – a claim the council has fiercely denied.

Speaking to Music Feeds, Maddah accused the council of laying on “ridiculous” charges despite the event bringing “jobs to thousands of South Australians”, not to mention “entertainment for South Australian youth, the most marginalised and forgotten section of the South Australian population with the highest rate of boredom, despondency and suicide.”

“Over that decade Adelaide City Council constantly punished Soundwave for being a successful event,” he continues, “Doubling and quadrupling the rent at Bonython Park and charging us close to 10 times what it charged other events that used the park and employing every third world tactic imaginable to squeeze the event.”

The City Of Adelaide responded to his accusations, telling the publication that “Soundwave paid normal rates to use the space as per our rates schedule, plus standard remediation costs which are charged to all event organisers who use the Park Lands and Squares to ensure they are returned to their pre-event state.”

It added that all events are “assessed against the same criteria”, but didn’t comment on Maddah’s further complaints about elected officials who “abused the festival’s hospitality” by demanding backstage access for their children, whom he describes as a “nuisance”.

“Soundwave incurred catastrophic losses in 2015, with Adelaide accounting for a high portion of the loss,” Maddah summarised. “We were simply unable to meet the council’s post event demands. But over its lifetime, Soundwave was a net contributor to ACC and the taxpayer by a very significant margin.”

Whatever Soundwave may or may not have contributed to the Adelaide economy, it certainly resulted in a net loss for many high-profile bands who were owed millions, folding after its final run in 2015 with a debt of over $25 million.