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Festivals ’24: Wireless, Release Athens, Longitude

The latest round-up of festival bills from across Europe also includes Italy's I-Days, Spain's Mad Cool and the UK's Camp Bestival

By James Hanley on 02 Feb 2024


Festival lineups from across Europe have continued to flood in for 2024, with the UK’s Wireless, Greece’s Release Athens and Ireland’s Longitude among the latest to confirm.

Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat, 21 Savage and J Hus head the first wave of acts for Wireless, which will take place at Finsbury Park, London from 12-14 July.

The bill also features special guest Future, plus Ice Spice, Sean Paul, Asake, Gunna, Rema, Tyla, Digga D, Vanessa Bling, Veeze, Ragz Originale, DJ Target and Remi Burgz. Sexyy Red, Fridayy, Skillibeng, Byron Messia, Shallipopi, Strandz, Kenny Allstar, Seani B, Uncle Waffles, Ruger, Teezo Touchdown, Nadia Jae and Snoochie Shy.

In Greece, concert series Release Athens has so far unveiled headliners The Offspring, Megadeth, Jain, Pulp, Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, Duran Duran, Judas Priest and Behemoth between 9 June and 28 July. The Smile, Black Pumas, Blind Guardian, Telenova, Pestilence, Bruce Dickinson, Testament and Accept are also on the bill.

Set for Marlay Park, Dublin from 29-30 June, Longitude‘s first round of acts includes Central Cee, Doja Cat, Becky Hill, 21 Savage, Belters Only, blk., D-Block Europe, Sonny Fodera, Joel Corry, Jazzy and Kenya Grace.

Italy’s I-Days has headline shows with Metallica, Lana Del Rey, Green Day, Doja Cat, Tedua, Queens of the Stone Age, Bring Me the Horizon, Sum 41 and Stray Kids. The gigs, which will be staged in Milan between 29 May and 12 July, will also feature a supporting cast including Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills, Nothing But Thieves, Hemlocke Springs, 21 Savage, Royal Blood, Yungblud, Bad Omens, Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan.

Jonas Brothers are the final headliner announced for the 20th anniversary of Rock in Rio Lisbon. The trio will play their first ever show in Portugal at the event alongside Scorpions, Ed Sheeran and Doja Cat over the weekends of 15-16 & 22-23 June. The likes of Camila Cabello, Jake Bugg, Evanescence, James, Lukas Graham, Ivete Sangalo and Callum Scott will also appear.

“It’s thrilling to announce such an incredible range of groundbreaking artists who are shaping the music scene in real time”

Spain’s Mad Cool has added The Killers, Måneskin, Rema, Tyla, Sexyy Red, Nia Archives, Alec Benjamin, 2ManyDJs, Claudia León, Dead Posey, Depresión Sonora, Lord Huron, Bar Italia, Andres Campo, Picture Parlour, Sea Girls, Nadye, Comandante Twin, Julia Sabaté, Choses Sauvages and Slix.

The acts join Pearl Jam, Motxila 21, Dua Lipa, The Smashing Pumpkins, Avril Lavigne, Keane, Janelle Monáe, Bring Me The Horizon, Garbage, Sum 41, Jessie Ware, Soccer Mommy, Greta Van Fleet, Larkin Poe, Rels B, Chinchilla and Jet Vesper on the lineup from 10-13 July.

Back in the UK, Reading & Leeds has announced more than 50 new artists for 2024 including Reneé Rapp, Fontaines D.C., Denzel Curry, Pendulum, Neck Deep and Nia Archives, who will join the six headliners, including UK festival exclusives Fred again.., Lana Del Rey and Blink-182, as well as Liam Gallagher, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Gerry Cinnamon. Organisers have also teased the launch of a new stage called The Chevron.

“It’s thrilling to announce such an incredible range of groundbreaking artists who are shaping the music scene in real time,” says Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn. “Reading & Leeds doesn’t stand still; our audience demands the best and our line up strives to reflect what people are currently listening to. We’re proud to always be at the cutting edge and keen eyes may have spotted another evolution for the show on the poster; ‘The Chevron’ – details of which will be revealed soon.”

K-pop superstars Stray Kids are the latest headliners announced for American Express presents BST Hyde Park in London on 14 July. Andrea Bocelli and Robbie Williams have previously been confirmed.

Completing Boardmasters‘ 2024 bill is Sam Fender, who headlines alongside Stormzy and Chase & Status in Newquay, Cornwall between 7-11 August. Other acts include Courteeners, Declan McKenna, Overmono, Kate Nash, Wunderhorse, Los Bitchos, Charlotte Plank, Newdad, Sprints, Redro, Flo Crowe & The Dilemmas, Girls Don’t Sync, Hedex & Eksman, Billy Gillies, Charlie Boon, 24hr Garage Girls, a Dick & Dom DnB set, Elkka, Syreeta, Kara and Pola & Bryson.

Family festival Camp Bestival lands in Lulworth Castle, Dorset from 25-28 July with artists such as Pete Tong, Paloma Faith, McFly, Orbital, Jake Shears, The Darkness, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Roger Sanchez. It will then be held at Weston Park, Shropshire between 15-18 August with a similar lineup including Faithless, Paloma Faith, Rick Astley, McFly, Orbital, Jake Shears, The Darkness and Level 42.

Elsewhere, following the announcement of Sheryl Crow as headliner, Black Deer Festival has bolstered its 2024 lineup with the likes of Seasick Steve, Hermanos Gutiérrez, The Shires, Courtney Barnett, The Staves and Villagers. Running from 14-16 June at Eridge Park, Kent, the UK’s festival for Americana will also showcase rising talent such as Dylan Gossett, Divorce, Michele Stodart, Prima Queen and Holly Macve.

“We really are at a critical point for the UK’s festival sector… UK festivals need time to recover and rebuild. They need help from our government”

Plus, the inaugural Plymouth Summer Sessions will star Tom Jones, Bryan Adams, Madness and Sting from 13-16 June, with support from Gabrielle, Cassyette, Lightning Seeds and Blondie, while Stirling Summer Sessions will welcome Busted and The Darkness on 28 June, with Tom Jones to perform on 30 June.

Meanwhile, UK trade body the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has launched a new campaign for a VAT reduction on festival tickets, which it says would save many event promoters from closures in 2024.

The 5% For Festivals campaign seeks to inform festival-goers about the problems that music festival promoters have faced over the last five years, encouraging them to contact their MPs to lobby for a VAT reduction on tickets.

AIF research suggests that at least 36 festivals cancelled before they were due to take place in 2023, with six UK festivals having announced some form of cancellation already this year: NASS Festival, Leopollooza, Long Division, Bluedot, Barn On The Farm and Nozstock The Hidden Valley, which will make its 2024 edition its last.

“We really are at a critical point for the UK’s festival sector,” says AIF CEO John Rostron. “Five years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that promoters would have to endure something as damaging as the Covid-19 pandemic – but many of them did, without passing the inevitable cost onto the consumer. To think that, since then, they have had to manage the effects of Brexit, war in Ukraine, inflation and an energy crisis is staggering.

“That festival-goers were able to enjoy some of the fantastic events they did in 2023 is testament to the resilience and passion of those promoters. But we lost 36 festivals last year, and with six festivals having postponed activity in 2024 or closed the gates for good, we are on track to see well over double the number of casualties this year.

“UK festivals need time to recover and rebuild. They need help from our government. A reduction in VAT on festival tickets from 20% to 5% for three years is an evidence-based, simple, sensible remedy that would ease the financial burden on promoters enough for them to return to health. We need this action now.”


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