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Success for Hurricane/Southside after difficult 2016

A storm on Thursday notwithstanding, Mother Nature was kinder to FKP's twin festivals this year, with 138,000 people lapping up the German sun

By Jon Chapple on 26 Jun 2017

Wolfmother, Hurricane 2017

Wolfmother at Hurricane on Sunday 25 June

image © Frank Embacher Photographie/Hurricane Festival

FKP Scorpio founder Folkert Koopmans has hailed the success of this year’s Hurricane and Southside festivals, which last weekend made a triumphant, (mostly) sunny return after a disastrous 2016.

A total of 138,000 people attended the sold-out sister events – 78,000 of them at Hurricane, at the Eichenring racetrack in Scheesel, northern Germany, and 60,000 at Southside, in Neuhausen ob Eck, near the Swiss border – from 22 to 24 June. Performers included Green Day, Linkin Park, Blink-182, alt-J, Royal Blood, Imagine Dragons, Die Antwoord and Editors.

Both festivals were hit by severe weather in 2016, with one day of Hurricane and two days of Southfield called off amid widespread flooding. “I’ve never seen rain like it,” said Koopmans at the time.

It looked initially as if Hurricane was in for a similar run of bad weather this year, with the start of the festival delayed by a severe thunderstorm. Festivalgoers were asked to remain in their cars until the storm blew over.

“Hurricane was supposed to open at 10am on Thursday,” Koopmans tells IQ, “but we had to delay the opening of the campsite until 2pm. It was a huge storm: I drove to the site on Friday morning, and there were maybe 15 big trees lying in the road…”

“I am very happy that, after last year, everyone was able to have a great time in bright sunshine”

The storm, however, disappeared almost as quickly as it had started, while Southside had its “best weather ever”, says Koopmans.

After the brief scare in Scheesel, both festivals went ahead without a hitch, with rapper Haftbefehl the only cancellation after his flight was delayed.

The introduction of Wo geht’s nach Panama? (Which way to Panama?) – an anti-harassment initiative which allows festivalgoers to ask for help discreetly if they feel unsafe– was a success, adds Koopmans, who estimates between 30 and 50 people used the service. “It’s good that people can go somewhere and say, ‘I have a problem, please help me’, without having to tell everyone why,” he explains.

Festival producer Benjamin Hetzer was also satisfied with the weekend, saying he is happy fans could enjoy a largely uninterrupted festival experience after the difficulties of 2016. “I am very happy after last year that all those present were able to have a great time in bright sunshine,” he comments. “With this year’s festival atmosphere and the smooth cooperation between all stakeholders, we can’t wait for 2018.”


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