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Ten of Europe’s brightest independent festivals

IQ speaks to ten of the continent’s best indie gatherings to find out what makes them so special – and why they remain so fiercely free

By James Hanley on 29 Sep 2023


With so much of the European festival scene now falling under the management of multinationals, IQ news editor James Hanley spoke to ten of Europe’s brightest indie gatherings to find out what makes them so special – and why they remain so fiercely free…

Becka Whiteley: Shambala was born over 20 years ago – when a group of mates opened a little vinyl store in Birmingham (Jibbering Records) and started throwing parties. The parties got bigger and bigger until we had to make them somewhat more official and thus, Shambala was born! Over two decades later, Shambala is still wholly owned by the same five mates. It takes place over the August Bank Holiday in a (terribly kept) secret location in Northamptonshire. As well as being known as a legendary party, Shambala’s sustainability efforts and achievements are considered globally pioneering. Expect an incredibly creative, joyful, silly, family-friendly, four day escape from reality – with quite possibly the most colourful and friendly audience on the planet.

Daily capacity: 20,000

This year’s dates: 24-27 August

2023 line-up: Congo Natty, Say She She, L’Entourloop, The Go! Team, Grove, Fabio & Grooverider, Chali 2na, Dutty Moonshine Big Band

Stages: A frankly ludicrous amount for an event of this size. We have over 45 venues in total, covering music, poetry, puppetry, dance, workshops, performance, wellness and yoga and everything in between. Eighteen of these venues are music based – or at least 18 of the ones we’ll tell you about are – there are a few secret music spots to stumble over every year, from top secret jazz clubs to a secret woodland ska bar.

Sponsors: Absolutely no one – not our style. We fully appreciate this is essential for most festivals to make things work financially but for us personally, it’s a total no-no and we just have to make it work. We’re about Adventures in Utopia, not Adverts in Utopia!

“We prioritise putting together a wicked soundtrack that complements the weekend, over bringing in the big names you see play at every festival that year”

How it stands out from the crowd: The total lack of brand sponsors is pretty unusual, even within the independent festival scene. However the big things that we feel set us apart would be our pioneering sustainability credentials (we’ve reduced our carbon footprint by over 90% in the past decade, been proudly meat and fish free since 2016, we’ve been 100% renewably powered for years and banned plastic bottles and disposable bar cups around a decade ago, and that’s not the half of it). And, last but certainly not least, the musical line-up!

Our music director, Dan, does things rather differently, and the Shambala line-up is always one of the most unique on the circuit. We prioritise putting together a wicked soundtrack that complements the weekend, over bringing in the big names you see play at every festival that year. In fact, a recent study by Pirate named us the best festival in the country for booking new acts. We also try and avoid having a ‘two tier’ society within the festival. There are showers across site that are totally free to use, there are no pamper parlours or swanky expensive feasts – it’s more of an old school, DIY vibe, which we love.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
Budgets! Budgets are far, far tighter, across the board, without any sponsorship money or corporate investment coming in. And, unlike a lot of large, corporate event companies, we can’t cut multi-event deals with suppliers or artists, which makes everything a bit more difficult – but it’s completely worth it.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
Freedom! The freedom to make radical decisions about our own festival – and the freedom to be as political and gobby as we wish to, when there’s a cause or issue we want to shout about, which there almost always is.

“The important thing is that our team is always listening to our public”

Ben Barbaud: Hellfest is an extreme music festival dedicated to metal, hardcore, punk, rock, etc, born in 2006, in Clisson France (30km, South-West from Nantes). Created by Ben Barbaud and Yoann Le Nevé, the festival became the biggest festival in France and one of the biggest in the world for rock/metal music.

Capacity: 60,000

Next event: 27-30 June 2024

2023 line-up: Iron Maiden, Pantera, Slipknot, KISS, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Hollywood Vampires

Stages: Six divided by metal style: Mainstage 1 & 2 (headliners/metal/alternative rock), Warzone (punk/hardcore), Valley (sludge, doom, rock), altar (death/thrash), Temple (black metal/pagan

Sponsors: Hellfest is auto-financed at 90%, partnerships represent 10% of our budget. The biggest are Kronenbourg (Carlsberg group), Credit Mutuel (French Bank), Weezevent (ticketing) and Arte Concert (French/German TV)

How it stands out from the crowd: Hellfest is dedicated to extreme music and also provides a real experience for festival-goers through the decoration and the ground capacities. Each year our team propose new arts installations and facilities for the public (roads, equipment). The important thing is that our team is always listening to our public, and we’re trying to improve the experience at Hellfest each year.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
To always listen to your public and challenge yourself each year

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
To feel free to give the public what it wants and be able to reinvest in comfort for their experience every year.

“We managed to evolve from a student-led protest into an internationally acclaimed music and cultural event, promoting social engagement, tolerance, and unity”

EXIT (Serbia)
Dušan Kovačević: EXIT Festival is an award winning, annual music and cultural event held in Novi Sad. EXIT was born out of the fight for freedom in the year 2000, which will forever be remembered by the unity of many young people who gathered to bring peace through culture for everyone in Serbia and the Balkans.

Each year, EXIT takes place at the Petrovaradin Fortress, one of the biggest medieval fortresses in this area, located on the banks of the Danube River, which provides a unique and picturesque backdrop for the event and is definitely one of the most unique festival venues in the world.

As the years passed, we grew into one of the biggest independent festivals in the world and gained three best major European awards to confirm that. Attracting an increasingly diverse range of artists and musicians from various genres, as well as audiences from all over the world, EXIT easily became the synonym for great entertainment and even greater, irreplaceable experiences.

Throughout our history, we managed to evolve from a student-led protest into an internationally acclaimed music and cultural event, promoting social engagement, tolerance, and unity. Today, we represent one of the biggest independent festival groups in the world with more than 26 events in ten countries in the world organised solely in the last year.

Capacity: 50,000

Next event: 11-14 July 2024

2023 line-up: The Prodigy, Wu-Tang Clan, Skrillex, Eric Prydz, Alesso, Chase & Status, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nina Kraviz

Stages: The festival has 40 stages and fun zones, with many genres across the entire fortress. We have two main stages, one completely devoted to live performances by bands and live performers, completely taken over by rock and roll, metal, hip-hop and mainstream electronic acts. The other one is our Dance Arena, which is reserved for the best techno and house DJs and live electronic music acts.

Sponsors: Over 20 years we’ve been supported by the national telecommunications company MTS, and many international partners such as Visa, Coca Cola, Heineken, Red Bull, Phillip Morris and others. This year we established a great sponsorship agreement with one of the biggest F&B Serbian brands with an important legacy called Gorki List.

How it stands out from the crowd: Our festival has been around for 23 years, it has a tradition, it is massive, it has a very specific and important location, but the most important thing that differentiates it from other festivals is its eclectic spirit. When coming to EXIT you get an endless kaleidoscope of experiences you can gain in four days.

The location allows us to provide many different genres within the festival without one overpowering the other. There are so many so-called hidden gems at the Petrovaradin fortress, a lot of small stages and zones that have a life of their own. Yes, the biggest stages are the most popular and they host the biggest stars. However, small stages are the spirit of the festival.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
The increasing costs in the festival industry. Corporate-backed festivals often have significant financial resources and more established connections that allow them to obtain the necessary funding with more ease in times of crisis. The pandemic was by far the biggest challenge of that kind, yet it is not the only one.

What are the benefits of remaining independent?
Freedom is undoubtedly the greatest benefit. Independence allows us to think and grow beyond financial reports. Excel sheets are not the ultimate god of the festival, creativity and artistic expression are. This way we get to cultivate the spirit of the festival that made it so magical in the first place.

My personal belief is that staying independent will become the ultimate value in the festival world, as festivals are not classical business or consumer products. Indeed, we are dealing with people’s emotions and staying independent allows us the freedom to express our vision and nurture the soul of the festival, without having to worry about short-term financial influences that would significantly limit us.

Being able to maintain a strong bond with our community while bringing positive change to society is one of our organisation’s top priorities, despite it sometimes not being a profitable activity. We are flexible to make quick and bold decisions which ultimately resulted in EXIT becoming the first major festival in the world (and the only one in continental Europe) to be held after the 2021 pandemic.

“In Montreux, the proximity between the greatest artists and their audiences encourages the emergence of rare moments”

Mathieu Jaton: Created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become an essential event, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances. Nearly 250,000 spectators come to the festival on the shores of Lake Geneva every year, enjoying a breathtaking setting, concerts with renowned acoustics and many free stages.

In Montreux, the proximity between the greatest artists and their audiences encourages the emergence of rare moments. Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie delivered historic performances in Montreux. Deep Purple and Prince even helped to write the legend of the place in their songs, while David Bowie and Freddie Mercury came to live in the region and record albums.

While jazz and blues are at the heart of the event, other styles of music quickly found their place there. More recently, Muse, Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Adele, Lady Gaga, Tyler The Creator and Rita Ora have played in Montreux and honoured the legends that preceded them.

Since its creation, the festival has been a forward-thinking organisation that has carefully recorded all its concerts. With more than 11,000 hours of live music, this unique collection of audiovisual archives is now registered in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. According to Quincy Jones, it is “the most important testimony in the history of music covering jazz, blues and rock”.

Capacity: 15,000

Next event: 5-20 July 2024

2023 line-up: Bob Dylan, Lionel Richie, Lil Nas X, Sam Smith, Simply Red, Iggy Pop, Generation Sex, Norah Jones, Seal, Joe Bonamassa, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Mark Ronson

Stages: 13, 11 of which are free

Sponsors: Audemars Piguet (watchmaking), Accor (hotel group), Julius Baer (private bank), Super Bock (beer brand), Vaudoise (assurance), Swisscom (telecoms)

How it stands out from the crowd: An eclectic line-up of legends from the past, present and future. A special, privileged relationship with the artists. A unique proximity between artists and audience. A rich history that has put the festival firmly on the map of the world’s most important music events. A magnificent setting between Lake Geneva and the mountains.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
To maintain our position as a key summer music event in an increasingly competitive and saturated industry and to continue to offer a rich, high-quality programme in such a small capacity.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?

“Only the programme on the main stage requires a ticket”

DAS FEST (Germany)
Markus Wiersch: DAS FEST Karlsruhe has been around since 1985 and is one of the largest family festivals in Germany’s southwest. Since 2014, it has been organised by the Karlsruhe Marketing and Event GmbH. Das Fest gained national fame as a music festival, which is the main component of this event. Around the music stages, where regional, national and international artists perform, there is an extensive sports, children’s and family programme, which is free of charge.

Capacity: 65,000

Next event: 18-21 July 2024

2023 line-up: Alligatoah, Rea Garvey, Casper, Alvaro Soler, Tones and I, Freya Ridings

Stages: Six: Hauptbühne, Feldbühne, Kulturbühne, DJ-Bühne, Cafébühne, India-Bühne

Sponsors: dm, Sparkasse, Hoepfner, BGV, Graf Hardenberg

How it stands out from the crowd: DAS FEST is a non-commercial, family-friendly event. Old and young from all walks of life meet here in the Günther-Klotz-Anlage and celebrate together peacefully and happily. There is an appealing programme for everyone on the different stages that is free of charge – theatre from cabaret to theatre to acrobatics and artistry, as well as something for children. Only the programme on the main stage requires a ticket for €15 a day, which is very cheap.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
Whilst DAS FEST is independent, it is also invested in the image building of the city of Karlsruhe, and so we as organisers (as a subsidiary company of the city) also have different conditions than organisers with a commercial environment.

Important for us is that everyone should be welcome at DAS FEST and find an appropriate and appealing environment.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
With our non-commercial background, we have a high level of acceptance among the public and the city community. In addition, we are not involved in corporate strategies.

“Remaining an independent entity offers us the freedom to execute our creative vision without constraints”

David Nguyen: Founded in 1995 by two passionate music enthusiasts, our event emerged as a charitable festival in the quaint town of Český Brod. Its inaugural edition garnered an unexpected attendance of 1,100 visitors, catalysing the journey that lay ahead. The resounding success of this modest beginning propelled Ameba Production to elevate the festival into a full-time pursuit, ultimately establishing it as one of the foremost festivals in the Czech Republic. Notably, the event’s evolution prompted a pivotal relocation to the former military airport in Hradec Králové in 2007, a decision that was driven by its burgeoning popularity.

Despite facing adversity in 2012 due to a significant storm, our unwavering determination enabled us to regain our position among the best Czech festivals, culminating with the sold-out 2022 edition and subsequent site expansion.

Capacity: 40,000

Next event: 13-15 June 2024

2023 line-up: Slipknot, Muse, Architects, Machine Gun Kelly, The 1975, Papa Roach, Billy Talent, Hollywood Undead, Nothing But Thieves, Lorna Shore

Stages: In 2023 we had 11 stages of different formats and sizes, ranging from large open air ones to small tents and pop-ups.

Sponsors: The general partner is Komerční banka bank, aligning with our shared commitment to ecological sustainability and long-term goals, including achieving climate neutrality and energy self-sufficiency by 2030. Toyota’s support has been instrumental, with their electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles facilitating transportation for our guests and artists. Additionally, Google/YouTube and Evropa 2 radio are among our main partners.

How it stands out from the crowd: The distinct charm of our festival is best experienced in person at Rock for People. Its intimacy is unparalleled, with stages and camps just a short stroll apart. Our attendees defy genre boundaries, evident in moments like circle pits during a classical music performance by a philharmonic orchestra. We take pride in hosting more international talents than local acts, setting us apart from other Czech festivals.

Several stages harness alternative energy sources such as solar panels and hydrogen, while our commitment to recycling 17 kinds of waste underscores our dedication to sustainability.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
Package tours sold to large promoters limit our ability to curate a lineup according to our plans as some artists are exclusive to multinationals. Raising production costs and skyrocketing booking fees are other notable complications.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
Remaining an independent entity offers us the freedom to execute our creative vision without constraints, enabling us to curate a unique and authentic experience for our attendees.

“We are dedicated to consistently enhancing our event’s quality, rather than focusing solely on quantity, year after year”

Eva Castillo: Taking place in the Basque Country – located in northern Spain – Bilbao BBK Live has already welcomed more than one million attendees since its first edition in 2006. Renowned artists such as Gorillaz, The Strokes, Florence + The Machine, Depeche Mode and Radiohead have headlined the festival throughout the years. The line-up has also featured daring artists like Childish Gambino, Brockhampton and Die Antwoord, and music legends such as Brian Wilson, Pixies, The Police and R.E.M.

Across its three days, up to 120,000 people attend each edition of Bilbao BBK Live in search of a magical experience where they can enjoy the natural space of Kobetamendi, a gastronomic offering designed by and for its audience, the cosmopolitan city of Bilbao, and above all, the most exciting and groundbreaking musical variety.

Last Tour, the organising company of the festival, has become B Corp. B Corp is a global movement that evaluates and verifies the efforts that an entity like Last Tour makes to generate a positive social impact for society, people linked to it and the environment, as well as to continually revisit its purpose of social transformation.

Capacity: 40,000

Next event: 11-13 July 2024

2023 line-up: Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Pavement, The Chemical Brothers, Pavement, Idles

Stages: In 2023, the festival boasted a lineup of 11 stages. Seven were situated within the Kobetamendi venue, while an additional four were strategically positioned in the city centre, constituting the day-programming named Bereziak.

Sponsors: While several sponsors contribute to the event, the primary sponsor is BBK, playing a pivotal role in its organisation and success. In fact, Bilbao BBK Live and BBK have come together to launch two collective projects that emphasise the importance of preserving the unique enclave of Kobetamendi and raising awareness, sensitising and taking action against climate change.

How it stand outs from the crowd: The remarkable setting and the hosting venue are crucial to comprehending the enchanting nature of Bilbao BBK Live festival. Furthermore, the festival’s ambience and the array of performances showcased across its 17 editions have played a significant role in establishing it as one of Europe’s most renowned festivals.

The city that embraces the festival stands as another hallmark of the event, where its cultural and gastronomic vibrancy combine to elevate the festival as an exceptionally comprehensive proposition for all its attendees.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
Preserving our distinctive identity while ensuring the highest-quality experience in each edition. We are dedicated to consistently enhancing our event’s quality, rather than focusing solely on quantity, year after year.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
The primary advantage lies in maintaining complete control over decision-making processes, which in turn safeguards the festival’s original and unique identity, as it was originally conceived.

“Being indie gives you the flexibility to create unique events like festivals in the way you want”

OPEN’ER (Poland)
Mikołaj Ziółkowski: Open’er is one of the biggest festivals in Europe and a three-time European Festival Awards winner for Best Major Festival. Throughout its 20 editions, the Polish festival has welcomed iconic headliners, like Prince, Bruno Mars, Lana Del Rey, Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Depeche Mode, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, Radiohead, Kylie Minogue and Arctic Monkeys. In 2023 it hosted the only festival performance by SZA and the only show by Labrinth in Europe. Every year it welcomes over 100,000 festival goers over its four days.

Although filled with crossover lineup, Open’er combines music with other forms of art and culture, including theatre, movies and visual art. It also serves as a platform for debates on the most important social issues.

Open’er is a creation of Alter Art – the largest independent promoter of festivals and concerts in Poland, and one of the biggest in Europe. The European Festival Award winner for Promotor Of The Year (2016), it is also responsible for events like Orange Warsaw Festival, or most recently – bringing Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour to Poland for three shows.

Capacity: 75,000

Next event: 3-6 July 2024

2023 line-up: Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, SZA, Anne-Marie

Stages: 6

Sponsors: Orange is our main sponsor. Heineken and Rossmann are sponsors. There are also many great and involved partners: Samsung, IQOS, Disney+, Red Bull, Jägermeister, Aperol, Bacardi, L’Oreal, Persil, M.A.C. Cosmetics and many more. Also, the city of Gdynia is our strategic partner.

How it stands out from the crowd: From the very beginning, our ambition towards the festival was to create a quality, balanced and diverse line-up at the highest world level and for years our investments have been focusing on this. This is a programming challenge and satisfactory results are not always achieved, but we are thrilled with the final outcome in 2023 because it accurately reflects how we strive to build a diversified, modern, progressive and up-to-date programme, which reflects the values ​​of the festival and characterises the event. Open’er Festival – open for other cultures, possibilities, horizons, perspectives. It’s not a coincidence, but a conscious decision.

Each year we’re also trying to do exclusive shows: Labrinth’s show in Gdynia was his unique European summer festival performance filled with celebration of special events. Furthermore, in 2023 at Open’er SZA played her only European festival show. What we are proud of is the vibe and atmosphere, that you can experience only at Open’er! The festival goers are “hungry” for the music; the mood is exceptional and you can feel it from the moment you enter the grounds.

The ART project is very important at Open’er too. In 2012 we’ve decided that the festival venue will become a platform for presentation and inspiration for the artists. We finance it and put a lot of pressure on those matters (e.g. theatre, museum, installations).

For years Open’er has been putting great emphasis on the social matters. In 2018 we created Civil Open’er, a platform for debates on the most important issues, which drew a lot of attention this year. Also the number of NGOs at the festival was absolutely record-breaking in 2023.

Finally, what adds to the festival’s uniqueness is its localisation in Gdynia – right in the heart of the Polish seaside, which makes it a synonym for summer vibes. As far as we are concerned, Open’er is the biggest festival event in the entire region.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
If we look at the festival market and the whole music market, there is no doubt that there is high capital concentration. This hinders competition and is not healthy for the development of the festival market and its diversity. To maintain a much needed balance, uniqueness and historical spirit within the festival market, a variety of entities is needed, and independent festivals play an important role. The DNA of festivals is their diversity and we all should fight for this – independent festivals are its emanation.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
It’s not just about the benefits, the festivals are unique – their history is unique. Being indie gives you the flexibility to create unique events like festivals in the way you want. It gives you a sense of freedom and also reflects the soul and values ​​of the promoter.

“I’m a little bit afraid that those festivals will become too similar, too uniform, and that’s why independence is very important”

Michal Kaščák: We started in 1997 as a small festival. The first year was very simple: eight bands on one stage, and then it grew very slowly, year by year. In 2004, we moved to Trenčín Airport and have been there ever since. It used to be a military base, so we changed it to artpop, which I think is perfect and very symbolic. Since 2010, we have had a limited capacity of 30,000 per day. We started as a music festival, and now we are an arts festival. Every year, we added something – more stages or other arts – and now we have 20-plus stages, including small stages for visual art and theatre. We also have a lot of debates at Pohoda.

Capacity: 30,000

Next event: 11-13 July 2024

2023 lineup: Central Cee, Jamie XX, Caroline Polachek, Ben Howard, Wet Leg, Arca, Suzanne Vega, Amelie Lens, Sofi Tukker, Shygirl, Perfume Genius, Sampa The Great, Dry Cleaning.

Stages: 20+

Sponsors: Our main sponsors are Urpiner, which is a Slovak brewery; Slovenská Sporiteľňa, which is a Slovak bank; and Orange.

How it stands out from the crowd: I see it as very important that we are open to all ages. We have a big family park with a good quality programme for kids. When I was at Glastonbury for the first time, I saw that it was a meeting of all generations, and I took that as very symbolic as we didn’t have free festivals during the communist regime, so there was a big gap between the generations. For example, my parents’ generation was not able to go to free festivals, and we did our best to also make them feel welcome. So the majority are young people aged between 20 and 30, of course, but we also have a few thousand kids and older people every year.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
Corporatisation is changing the setup of the whole music scene, so the biggest challenge for us is to survive and stay in close contact with big agencies and be able to confirm strong artists and creative line-ups, because it’s becoming much more difficult. Also, we must think about ticket prices, because we want to be affordable for young people. And to do that, in combination with the situation in Slovakia, which is a country of 5m, with not such a good economy, is a super-big challenge.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
Total freedom with all decisions – starting from creating the festival and ending with budgets.

I don’t want to make some big border between independent and corporate festivals – there are some great corporate festivals with great people doing them – but we can do what we want. I’m a little bit afraid that those festivals will become too similar, too uniform, and that’s why independence is very important and plays a very crucial role in the music scene. We choose our partners very carefully: we don’t work with oligarchs, we don’t work with companies that don’t have the same value as our festival. And we are doing our best to also be independent from the state, from public funds, because we want to continue to take risks, as we did when we started. When I was 13, we were part of the Slovakian alternative scene, which was strongly against the communist regime, so I want to keep hold of that freedom.

“We don’t like to rely on bosses or structures that have goals not directly connected to promoting shows”

GHENT JAZZ (Belgium)
Pascal Van De Velde:
Held since 2002, the international jazz festival takes place annually in Bijloke, Ghent, across two weeks in July with some of the world’s best jazz performers. After previous organiser Jazz en Muziek went bankrupt at the end of last year, the festival was acquired by Ghent-based concert promoter and booking agency Greenhouse Talent. The 2023 edition pulled in around 40,000 visitors across 74 concerts.

Capacity: 5,500

This year’s dates: 5-15 July 2023

2023 lineup: Ludovico Einaudi, Norah Jones, Gregory Porter, Joe Bonamassa, Nils Frahm, Herbie Hancock, Snarky Puppy.

Stages: 2

Sponsors: We had a beer sponsor, Omer. But we missed a few of the historical sponsors because we could only start negotiating in February, which was too late for the summer.

How it stands out from the crowd: The location is very beautiful. It’s in the historical city centre of Ghent, so you’ve got restaurants, hotels, and the centre of the town all around the festival. We have four acts on the main stage and four acts on the garden stage, so it’s not hectic; it’s more relaxed and comfortable. Every act plays at least a one-hour set in the best acoustic conditions. We can also do seated shows, which is not possible at a lot of festivals.

What is the biggest challenge about remaining independent in 2023?
To protect the content and identity of the festival. Whenever festivals are taken over by bigger machines, they start to get streamlined and become a little bit samey. That is something we would like to avoid.

What are the benefits of remaining indie?
Your decision power – the speed of decision. We’re a very independent company. We don’t like to rely on bosses or structures that have goals not directly connected to promoting shows. We are concert and festival-driven, and to keep that purity is very important.


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