Recently posted on Aonia’s facebook page:
Now for the less happy update. As you are likely aware, our final show had a last minute change of venue. This was in NO WAY a reflection on South Sea Live or the sponsors of the gig (Femetalism). Both the South Sea and Femetalism have been nothing but good friends to Aonia and both contacted us to apologise for our trouble.
What happened is as follows: on Friday night, Black Mass (the promoter for the Female-Fronted All-Dayer) contacted Nico (our Tour Manager) regarding a band who are booked to play Nico’s festival, Valk-Fest, in November. There is an exclusivity contract in place which prevents bands at Valk-Fest from appearing anywhere within a 30 mile radius of The Venue in Selby for six weeks either side of the show date. Black Mass wanted a particular band who has booked to play Valk-Fest to appear at a Black Mass event that fell within the dates covered by the contract. Black Mass contacted Nico and told him to release the other band from their contract or he would pull Aonia, Alwaid and Lost Effect from the show on Sunday. Nico then sent a screenshot of the conversation he had with said band – where he said he would discuss the issue with the sponsors; he didn’t actually say no – to Black Mass.
Black Mass then pulled our show, announced that we would not be appearing and took all three bands off the lineup on the Facebook event. We were in Dudley at the time – Alwaid was onstage – so we began contacting venues we know. Ian at The Venue agreed to help out and created an event page and we made an announcement on Facebook. We were then contacted by Black Mass again who said that everything was okay and we could still play. However, as we had already had the show cancelled with no warning, we couldn’t take the risk of it happening again and really messing around the fans.
On Saturday morning, the owner of the South Sea called Mel to personally apologise and ask Aonia to reconsider. Mel and Tony, as co-managers of Aonia, took the decision on behalf of all three bands to remain at The Venue: firstly, to avoid further confusion for the fans and secondly, because the whole situation had left us feeling uncomfortable. The tour had been very enjoyable and we did not want to end it on a sour note.
We can only apologise profusely to our friends and fans in Sheffield and try to rearrange for an Aonia / Lost Effect show in Sheffield at some point in the near future. We were upset as well on a personal level because we were looking forward to watching the other bands on the bill, so will make every effort to see them soon when they are local.
We wholeheartedly thank our fans who changed their plans last minute and came out to support the three bands in Selby, where we had a fantastic night.