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Music festival case study, 2013

Stereosonic is an electronic dance music festival featuring Australia's biggest line-up of international DJs. It caters primarily to young people, with over 60% of attendees aged from 18 to 24. Initially located in the eastern suburbs, the festival moved to Sydney Showground in 2010, due in part to its central location close to potential audiences.

Key challenges

Following extremely strong attendance in 2011 and 2012 (when the event was co-located at ANZ Stadium due to the redevelopment of Spotless Stadium), our client SFX Totem Operating returned to Sydney Showground in 2013. Their goal was to grow the event to a two-day festival and increase attendance numbers to 65,000. This posed significant challenges to ensure patron safety, government approval, and adequate provision of transport.

What we did

The Sydney Showground team worked closely with the client to prepare a risk assessment for the expanded two-day festival, drawing on extensive experience in planning Australia's largest and most complex events. We met with key stakeholders NSW Police, Fire & Rescue NSW and Sydney Olympic Park Authority, with whom we have strong relationships, to demonstrate that the site could handle 65,000 people. We also completed an independent risk assessment. Our staff liaised with Transport NSW to provide major event buses to service the festival with integrated event ticketing.


Stereosonic has grown the capacity of its event by over 40,000 people since moving to Sydney Showground. It is now reportedly the nation's largest electronic dance music festival. Due to its success, our client uses Sydney Showground to stage highly successful stand-alone concerts with major electronic dance music artists such as Swedish House Mafia.