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Festival Focus: Lolla Berlin, MTA, Burning Man

In this edition: Disconnect returns, Lollapalooza sells out (again), Rudimental play 'China's SXSW', "parasite class" under attack from Burners

By IQ on 08 Sep 2016

Lollapalooza Berlin 2015, Tempelhof

Lolla Berlin 2015 at Tempelhof

image © Stephan Flag

Lollapalooza Berlin sold out for the second year running.

The Melt! Booking-promoted event, which won the European Festival Award for best new festival for its debut at the former Tempelhof airport (since converted into temporary housing for migrants) last year, overcame opposition from residents and even the former Soviet Union to its move to Treptower Park to shift its entire inventory of 70,000 tickets before the festival last weekend.

Festival director Fruzsina Szép told the Berliner Zeitung the weekend “went well and ran according to plan”, and that 50% of attendees came from outside Germany. She also  revealed the 2017 event will take place in a new location, to be announced “very soon”.

2016 performers included headliners Radiohead and Kings of Leon, Major Lazer, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, New Order, James Blake and The 1975.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day, Steve Higgs

Green Day have been confirmed for FKP Scorpio’s sister Hurricane and Southside festivals in 2017.

In a statement, the promoter says it is “already looking forward to an epic live show by the legendary punk-rock trio” in their “first appearance” in Scheeßel (Hurricane) and Neuhausen Ob Eck (Southside).

Both festivals were called off early this year after being hit by severe storms. FKP Scorpio CEO Folkert Koopmans told IQ at the time the Southside site was underwater by Friday night, “with all the offices flooded, the backstage area flooded, the stages damaged, all the bars damaged… I had never in my life seen rain that heavy.” (Green Day photo by Steve Higgs.)

Russell Marsden, Band of Skulls, Kelsey Weaver

Chairlift, Band of Skulls, Japandroids, Shapeshifter, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and BadBadNotGood are among the first acts announced for Australia’s Disconnect festival.

Taking place from 2 to 4 December at Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra, Western Australia, Disconnect debuted last year as a European-style festival promoter Chris Knight/Spring Fever Promotions says he hopes to turn into a “mini-Glastonbury”(Russell Marsden/Band of Skulls photo by Kelsey Weaver.)

New Chinese desert fest MTA Festival, pitched as a homegrown alternative to Coachella and SXSW, took place for the first time last weekend at in the Sky Desert, 90km from Beijing.

Mixing local artists with line-up heavy on major international acts, including headliners Example, Rudimental, Alan Walker and Alina Baraz, the event also featured a tech showcase with VR and robotics demos, a wine festival and a conference component with panel discussions. (Bridgette Amofah/Rudimental photo by Thomas Hawk.)

Bridgette Amofah, Rudimental, Coachella 2014, Thomas Hawk

Demi Lovato will replace Selena Gomez at fifth Global Citizen Festival this September after the latter dropped out due to anxiety and depression caused by Lupus.

The charity festival, the brainchild of humanitarian group Global Citizen, was co-founded in 2012 by filmmaker Ryan Gall and Poverty Project CEO Hugh Evans. Its nearly 50,000 tickets aren’t for sale, but instead can be won by promoting Global Citizen’s work (by signing petitions and contacting governments, companies and universities to advocate for the charity, for example).

“The Global Citizen Festival combines music and activism in a way that inspires and affects millions around the world. I am proud to support this amazing organisation’s ongoing efforts to improve global healthcare and to end extreme poverty,” Lovato tells People(Demi Lovato photo by Jennifer Linea.)

Demi Lovato, Jennifer Linnea

The luxury White Ocean zone at Burning Man was attacked by “hooligans” at Burning Man last week, its owners have said, with raiders stealing and cutting power lines in protest at what they see as a betrayal of the festival’s ethos by those – largely Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs – staying in the camp.

Writing on Facebook, White Ocean said: “A band of hooligans raided our camp, stole from us, pulled and sliced all of our electrical lines, leaving us with no refrigeration and wasting our food, and glued our trailer doors shut, vandalised most of our camping infrastructure [and] dumped 200 gallons of portable water, flooding our camp.

“This year has been quite the challenge for our camp. We have felt like we’ve been sabotaged from every angle, but last night’s chain of events, while we were all out enjoying our beautiful home, was an absolute and definitive confirmation that some feel we are not deserving of Burning Man. We actually had someone from the organisation tell us that, [to] paraphrase, ‘It makes sense that you have been sabotaged as you are a closed camp and not welcoming’.”

The anarchic festival, which regularly attracts crowds of 70,000, has been transformed in recent years by an influx of moneyed tourists. One commenter praised the attackers for “taking Burning Man back from the parasite class, back from the EDM tourists. Taking Burning Man back for the people.”


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