The seventh annual Buku Music + Art Project will return to New Orleans in 2018 on March 9-10 - but without Huka Entertainment, the hard-pressed New Orleans-based events promotion company that has previously co-produced the festival, among many in its portfolio of concerts and events around the U.S. Tickets go on sale Oct. 11.
A statement to Billboard confirmed that "the festival will continue to be operated in New Orleans as a Winter Circle Productions and AEG Presents event with no affiliation with Huka." A report from Pollstar says the company is "on hold."
Headliners and performers on Buku's 2018 bill will be announced at a later date. Past headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Run The Jewels, Future, Bassnectar, TV on the Radio, A$AP Rocky, The Flaming Lips, Passion Pit and Dan Deacon, among others, bridging the latest in hip-hop and EDM with electronic and indie rock artists as well as a diverse sampling of New Orleans scenes.
The immersive two-day festival is the brainchild of New Orleans concert promoters Winter Circle, which helmed the inaugural festival in 2012. In later partnered with Huka as well as mega-promoter Goldenvoice, which promotes Coachella, and its parent group AEG, which also promotes the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. (Winter Circle founders Dante DiPasquale and Reeves Price also were tapped to run AEG Live in New Orleans.)
Huka has endured several controversies over the last year, including the cancelations of Vans Warped Tour stops it was promoting and the end of the long-running Pemberton Music Festival, which pulled the plug after producers said it was going bankrupt. Huka and producers each released reports defending business decisions that led to the end of the festival.
Tickets to 2018's Buku Fest will begin to go on sale at 11 a.m., Oct. 11.