UK prepares for biggest festival weekend in two years
More than half a million people are expected at open-air music events across the UK over the next four days for the biggest festival weekend since summer 2019.
Among the major festivals making their long-awaited, non-socially distanced returns after a year off this long weekend – Monday is a public holiday in England – are Live Nation UK’s Creamfields (Thursday 26–Sunday 29 August), AEG Presents’ All Points East (Friday 27–Monday 30 August), Festival Republic’s Reading and Leeds Festivals (27–29 August) and Superstruct Entertainment’s Victorious Festival (27–29 August), as well as a handful of smaller events.
Citing the success of the national Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, the UK government did away with the last social distancing regulations in England on 19 July (so-called ‘freedom day’) and a number of music festivals, notably Tramlines, Latitude, Standon Calling and Boardmasters, have taken place since, most with a system of Covid-status certification in place based on the NHS (National Health Service) app.
After its cancellation in 2020, Creamfields, the UK’s biggest dance music event, returns to its long-time home in Daresbury, Cheshire, with performances by Basement Jaxx, Jaxx, Tiësto, Peggy Gou, Eric Prydz, Chemical Brothers, Carl Cox, Andy C, Scooter, Paul Van Dyck, Pete Tong, Martin Garrix and more.
Though Creamfields has not announced a capacity reduction for 2021 – a full complement of ten stages of music will be in operation from Friday to Sunday – the event will be fully cashless for the first time, with only electronic payments available at all bars and concessions.
The return of twin festivals Reading and Leeds, Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Disclosure and Biffy Clyro, will be “a real[ly] emotional time” for the mainly young people attending, who have had “the worst 18 months for that generation almost since the invention of the teenager in the late 50s, when teenagers became a thing,” Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn tells the BBC.
The festivals will also be home to pop-up vaccination clinics which the NHS says will make it as easy to get a jab as a burger or beer.
“The live music industry is holding itself to a higher standard than any other sector in terms of Covid measures”
London’s All Points East, which this year incorporates Field Day, is AEG Presents’ first festival in the UK since British Summer Time in Hyde Park in July 2019. Moved from its traditional spring dates, the festival opens with London Grammar headlining tonight, with other headliners across the weekend including Jorja Smith, Jamie XX, Kano and Foals, as well as Bicep at Field Day on Sunday.
The festival, held in Victoria Park, will be attended by in excess of 40,000 people a day, having boosted its capacity since 2019.
“We are already experiencing such a great feeling from everyone on site: happy faces of fans, artists and staff coming back together for a brilliant music festival,” AEG’s head of European festivals, Jim King, tells IQ. “There is excitement and anticipation, everyone getting to know each other again and discovering their new favourite artist or looking forward to the big headliners. For us at All Points East, it is our first opportunity to put into practice what we do best and that in itself is a brilliant feeling.
“We have sold 160,000 tickets for four days. It’s clear that everyone is eager to get back to live music and after All Points East being away for 817 days, it is really satisfying to know that. The live music industry is holding itself to a higher standard than any other sector in terms of Covid measures. We can be proud that our industry is leading the way in staff and customer safety.”
In Portsmouth, Madness, the Streets, Royal Blood, Manic Street Preachers, Supergrass and Nile Rogers and Chic are leading Victorious Festival’s return.
Like all the festivals mentioned, Victorious festivalgoers will need to demonstrate their negative Covid-19 status – proof of full vaccination or immunity, or a negative test – to gain entry.
While concerns have been raised about the impact of large events like festivals on Covid-19 transmission, scientists say the trigger points for spreading the virus are public transport and shared cars to get to events, Reuters reports, as outdoor gatherings can be relatively risk free, as demonstrated by pilot events in the UK and elsewhere.
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Field Day partners with APE for Victoria Park return
Broadwick Live’s Field Day will return to its original home of Victoria Park in 2021 as part of a tie-up with All Points East, the AEG festival that replaced it as tenant of the east London park in 2018.
Taking place as part of APE Presents, the concert series which takes place around All Points East (APE), Field Day 2021 will take place on Sunday 29 August with an electronic/dance music-focused line-up headlined by Bicep.
Moving three months later into the year, to the 27–30 August bank holiday, All Points East/APE Presents has already announced its Saturday (28 August) line-up, with headliners Jamie XX and Kano joining Tom Misch, Slowthai, Little Simz, Arlo Parks and more. More shows are set to be announced for the weekend, including for free-to-access community event In the Neighbourhood.
Speaking earlier this week, Jim King, CEO of European festivals for AEG Presents, said: “It feels so great to finally be announcing our first day of All Points East 2021. The chance to be back in the summer sun in Victoria Park is itself alone a reason to celebrate. The fact we are coming back with such a great first line-up announcement makes this an even sweeter moment.
“There are some exciting changes this year, including our move to the August bank holiday weekend. We welcome two sensational co-headliners for the Saturday, Jamie xx and Kano, as well as a host of amazing artists. We can’t wait to welcome back live music in the UK and be back dancing with you all later this summer.”
Commenting on Field Day’s return to Victoria Park, Broadwick’s Gareth Cooper says: “We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing Field Day back to its spiritual home of Victoria Park, where it all started 14 years ago. We are going to deliver the best day out of the summer, in one of London’s best parks, with an amazing crowd, and a top, top music line-up led from the front by the brilliant Bicep. It’s going to be ace.
“Working with Field Day … stands for everything good that is emerging from these challenging times”
“We cannot wait to partner up with APE on presenting this show and provide some hope and excitement to finish off what’s been an awful 12 months. The future starts today.”
Field Day previously took place in Victoria Park but was forced to move to Brockwell Park in Brixton for 2018, before settling on a new home at Broadwick’s industrial Drumsheds space near Enfield for 2019.
“Field Day have been friends of ours for many years, and coming together and working with them on APE Presents Field Day stands for everything good that is emerging from these challenging times,” continues King. “We respect what they do and we align so closely with what they stand for and so it’s a great feeling to be able to welcome them back to Victoria Park where they delivered so many amazing shows.
“They have a great line-up headlined by the incredible Bicep, and the larger capacity that APE offers means more fans will be able to see Field Day deliver what they do so well.”
Joining Bicep on the Field Day line-up are Floating Points, the Blessed Madonna, Mount Kimbie, Adelphi Music Factory, Ross from Friends, Special Request, Mall Grab, Artwork and more.
Tickets for the festival start at £79.99 and available from 1pm today (11 March) via ticket seller Kaboodle.
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Wireless cancels as more UK fests call time on 2020
Festival Republic’s Wireless Festival and an open-air the 1975 show are the latest losses to the UK’s 2020 summer calendar, in a week that also saw Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Music Festival and metal event Bloodstock move to 2021.
The UK’s summer festival season is looking increasingly uncertain, as organisers wait for the government to reveal details of its exit plan. The country has been in lockdown since 23 March.
“Wireless Festival will no longer be taking place this year,” reads a statement from organisers. “As you know we’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation, and it’s become clear that cancelling is unavoidable.
“Subject to contract, Wireless Festival will be back next year on 2 to 4 July 2021 and will be worth the wait,” continue organisers, urging fans to “keep your eyes peeled” for news on the virtual edition of the festivals.
The urban music event, which had booked ASAP Rocky, D-Block Europe and Lil Uzi Thug for this year, has encountered licensing restrictions imposed by the local council around its home in Finsbury Park.
The promoter has also announced the cancellation of an eco-friendly show by the 1975 at Finsbury Park, scheduled for 11 July. The show, which was also to feature Charli XCX, Clairo and Pale Waves, was set to be the Manchester band’s biggest show ever.
“We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation, and it’s become clear that cancelling is unavoidable”
Festival Republic had previously called off the 2020 outings of Download Festival, set to feature Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down, and Latitude, which had a line-up including Liam Gallagher, Haim and the Chemical Brothers.
This week also saw the cancellation of the 20,000-capacity Cornbury Music Festival, which was to feature Dido, Jack Savoretti and the Waterboys, as well as Judas Priest-headlined metal festival Bloodstock. Organisers say the event will be back for a bumper five-day edition in 2021.
Other major UK festivals to cancel due to the coronavirus outbreak include Boomtown (Wu-Tang Clan, Underworld, the Libertines), Bluedot (Bjork, Metronomy, Groove Armada), Black Deer (Wilco, the Waterboys, the Dead South) and Y Not Festival (Royal Blood, Richard Ashcroft, Bombay Bicycle Club), adding to cancellations of AEG Presents’ All Points East and British Summer Time Hyde Park, Live Nation’s Parklife, Lovebox and Isle of Wight Festival, and Glastonbury Festival.
In Scotland, which has limited self-government within the UK, DF Concerts’ Trnsmt (Courteeners, Liam Gallagher, Lewis Capaldi) and Regular Music’s Summer Nights at the Bandstand (Rick Astley, Van Morrison, Primal Scream) cancelled after first minster Nicola Sturgeon suggested public gatherings would be banned for the foreseeable future.
In the neighbouring country of the Republic of Ireland, festivals including Longitude and All Together Now cancelled last month, as the government announced a blanket ban on events over 5,000 people until 31 August, although it recently indicated that smaller events would be permitted from 10 August.
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All Points East 2020 cancelled
AEG has announced the cancellation of its London festival All Points East, which was due to take place across two weekends in May.
The 40,000-capacity festival, which has taken place for the past two year’s in London’s Victoria Park, was this year set to be headlined by Tame Impala, Kraftwerk, Massive Attack, Bombay Bicycle Club and the Kooks, with a final headliner yet to be announced.
Other acts scheduled to appear at the 2020 event included Loyle Carner, Caribou, Thom Yorke, Iggy Pop and the Wombats.
“Following the daily escalating developments in the Covid-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision that All Points East 2020 will be cancelled. The decision was made following a constant review of recent government actions and statements, and after further consultation with key partners and agencies it is clear that we are unable to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of those working at and attending the event,” reads a statement from organisers.
“Safety always comes first and what is happening across the world clearly takes precedent and there was simply no alternative”
As well as the ongoing “enforced period of social isolation” in the UK, the government has announced that emergency services will not be available to support major events. Organisers say they are conscious not to cause “any distraction” for the country’s national health service.
“We have a responsibility to our staff, fans, event workers, suppliers and sponsors and for this reason, we felt compelled to seek answers to all our questions before making this final decision. However, safety always comes first and what is happening across the world clearly takes precedent and there was simply no alternative.”
Fans will be contacted by the ticketing company they bought from about the refund process. Organisers urge fans to get in touch with ticketers directly if they have not heard anything by 9 April.
All Points East, which won the New Gig on the Block Award (best new event) at this year’s Arthur Awards, debuted in 2018 to a “phenomenal” response, after AEG was awarded a five-year exclusive on the use of east London’s Victoria Park. It follows a similar format to AEG’s successful BST event in Hyde Park, combining two weekends of music with a BST-style free-to-access midweek offering.
The All Points East team “will be back with plans for 2021 shortly”.
Arthur Awards 2020: All the winners
The 26th annual Arthur Awards, the live music industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, took place at London’s Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel last night. The awards, which take place as part of the ongoing International Live Music Conference (ILMC), honoured the industry’s best and brightest across 11 awards categories.
The prizes were handed out during the Arthur Awards Winners’ Dinner, hosted by CAA’s Emma Banks, who took to the stage in a full hazmat suit and gas mask emblazoned with the letters CAA across her back in hazard warning tape.
As the evening culminated with The Bottle Award, the unique industry achievement gong, Emma was invited back on stage to receive it, to loud applause and a standing ovation. “If I should say anything, it’s that we should all pick up the phone more,” she said. “You can’t have a relationship via text message or Whatsapp. We need to speak to each, to be more nice to each other.”
It was a successful night all round for CAA, as Summer Marshall won the Second Least Offensive Agent award.
The prizes were handed out during the Arthur Awards Winners’ Dinner, hosted by CAA’s Emma Banks
Elsewhere, Live Nation’s Kelly Chappel took the best promoter gong, French festival Eurockéennes was crowned best festival, All Points East won best new event, London’s Roundhouse received the best venue award and Charly Beedell-Tuck from Solo Agency won the Tomorrow’s New Boss award, which recognises the industry’s most promising new business talent.
Notably, all Arthurs for individuals – the prizes for best assistant, professional services, new business talent, agent and promoter, as well as the Bottle award – went to women.
The full list of winners is below:
Venue (First Venue To Come Into Your Head)
Promoter (The Promoters’ Promoter)
Kelly Chappel, Live Nation
Festival (Liggers’ Favourite Festival)
Agent (Second Least Offensive Agent)
Summer Marshall, CAA
Production Services (Services Above and Beyond)
Professional Services (Most Professional Professional)
Tina Richard, T&S Immigration Services
New Gig on the Block (New Event)
All Points East, UK
Assistant (The People’s Assistant)
San Phillips, Kilimanjaro Live
Ticketing (The Golden Ticket)
New Business Talent (Tomorrow’s New Boss)
Charly Beedell-Tuck, Solo
The Bottle Award
Emma Banks, CAA
Prior to the Arthurs, ILMC head Greg Parmley presented two special ILMC Medal of Honour awards for longstanding service to the organisation. Production manager Bill Martin and agenda consultant Allan McGowan were both invited to the stage. “Bill is nothing short of a magician,” Parmley said, “He juggles set design, lighting, stands, stages, and a hundred other elements to make the conference and this dinner happen every year.”
And speaking of McGowan, he said, “Across two decades, Allan has been a central figure in all of ILMC’s panels, putting hundreds of them together. And for ten years, his role as associate editor on IQ was instrumental in the magazine’s growth.”
Environment top of agenda for major UK events
The 1975 and Massive Attack, two British bands at the forefront of the effort to make touring more sustainable, have recently announced headline performances in London this summer.
Festival Republic, whose managing director Melvin Benn has spearheaded various environmental projects at UK live music events, is promoting a one-day event headlined by the 1975 in North London’s Finsbury Park on 11 July – the Manchester band’s biggest-ever show and, according to a statement from the promoter, the greenest event ever put on in the park.
Charli XCX, Clairo, Pale Waves, Phoebe Bridgers and Beabadoobee will also perform at the event, which will be entirely powered by sustainably sourced Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel – a form of renewable diesel produced from vegetable fats and oils lowering the show’s carbon footprint by 90%.
In addition to the 1975’s one tree planted initiative, which sees the band plant one tree for every ticket sold to their shows, Festival Republic will plant 1,975 trees in the park’s surrounding boroughs of Haringey, Hackney and Islington, in partnership with charity Trees for Cities.
Fans are encouraged to bring old band t-shirts to the show for reprinting with new logos, as part of the 1975’s sustainable merchandise range. Other eco-friendly measures include the use of hybrid-powered generators with solar arrays, and a traffic light system to highlight the carbon footprint of food options.
The 1975 and Massive Attack, two bands at the forefront of the effort to make touring more sustainable, have announced headline performances in London this summer
Elsewhere in London, Massive Attack are headlining AEG Presents’ All Points East festival on Sunday 24 May, adding to previously announced headliners Kraftwerk and Tame Impala. Nils Frahm, Young Fathers, Neneh Cherry and Sevdaliza are among other acts performing on the Massive Attack-headlined day.
The Bristol-hailing band have been vocal on the subject of touring’s environmental impact, commissioning a team of researchers to look into how the live industry can reduce its carbon footprint, performing at the Extinction Rebellion climate protest in London, and pledging to tour Europe by train.
The eco initiatives employed by Festival Republic, the 1975, Massive Attack and others will form part of the discussion at leading live industry sustainability gathering the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) on 3 March. Tickets for GEI 2020 are available here.
Tickets for the 1975’s Finsbury Park show go on sale at 9 a.m. on 31 January, priced from £52.50 plus booking fee for general admission, with VIP options also available.
Massive Attack tickets will come on sale in due course. More information can be found here.
AEG partners with Festicket for UK festivals
Festicket has signed a deal to become an official ticketing and travel package partner for the 2020 editions of AEG Presents’ All Points East and British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park.
The festival travel marketplace will provide exclusive transport packages and official tickets to All Points East, which will be headlined by Tame Impala and Kraftwerk, among others, across two weekends in May.
The ticketing company, which has raised almost US$30 million in funding since launching in 2012, is also among official ticket sellers and travel package providers for BST Hyde Park, which takes place from 3 to 12 July with performances from Little Mix, Pearl Jam and Taylor Swift.
Jim King, CEO European Festivals, AEG Presents comments: “We’re excited to be announcing Festicket as a partner. They’ve built a strong audience base and a dynamic marketing offering which complements our wider ticketing strategy.”
“Festicket has built a strong audience base and a dynamic marketing offering which complements our wider ticketing strategy”
“We’re delighted to be working with such a prestigious promoter in AEG Presents, and with American Express presents BST Hyde Park and All Points East in particular,” adds Greg Holmes, commercial director at Festicket.
“We’re really excited to show what the Festicket platform can do for fans, streamlining their usual booking process, reducing stress and ultimately allowing them to enjoy the event to its fullest.”
The AEG events join Festicket festival partners including Coachella, Tomorrowland and Reading and Leeds. Last year, Festicket acquired ticketing and cashless payments platform Event Genius, which works with events such as BPM Festival, Ibiza Rocks and Summer Daze.
Festival Fever: More festivals reveal their 2020 line-ups
Following on from last week’s round-up of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ looks at a selection of festivals to see which acts will be gracing the stages in summer 2020.
(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)
When: 2 to 5 July
Where: Festival Park, Werchter, Belgium
How many: 88,000
Pearl Jam and Twenty One Pilots are the first acts announced for the 2020 edition of Rock Werchter, playing on 2 and 4 July respectively.
Founded and promoted by Live Nation Belgium CEO Herman Schueremans, Rock Werchter last year saw headline performances from Pink, the Cure, Tool, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons and Muse, in an edition that Schueremans deemed “a top result compared to a lot of festivals in Europe and the USA” that year.
Speaking at the International Festival Forum (IFF) in September this year, the Rock Werchter founder stressed the continued importance of festivals, saying they “sustain the live industry just as the Amazon rainforest sustains the world’s climate.”
Tickets for Rock Werchter 2020 go on sale on 6 December at 10 a.m. (CET), with a full festival ticket costing €243 (£207) and a single day-pass priced at €110 (£94).
Pearl Jam and Twenty One Pilots are the first acts announced for the 2020 edition of Rock Werchter
When: 9 to 11 July
Where: Passeio Maritimo de Alges, Lisbon, Portugal
How many: 55,000
Everything is New’s Nos Alive festival runs on the ethos that “all stages are main stages”, last year programming acts including Johnny Marr, Primal Scream, Greta Van Fleet, Idles, Bon Iver, Grace Jones and Vampire Weekend.
The 2020 edition of the festival sees headliners Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and local favourites Da Weasel playing alongside Caribou, Two Door Cinema Club and Haim.
Portugal’s preeminent annual annual rock festival, Nos Alive is now entering its 14th year, having expanded from three stages in its inaugural year to seven, while striving to keep ticket prices low.
Tickets for Nos Alive 2020 are available now, priced at €69 (£59) for a one-day ticket and €159 (£136) for a three-day pass.
The 2020 edition of the festival sees headliners Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and local favourites Da Weasel
When: 16 to 19 July
Where: Henham Park, Suffolk, UK
How many: 40,000
Latitude is one of a number of Festival Republic events to have enjoyed back-to-back sell-outs in recent years. The 2019 edition, which saw headline performances from George Ezra, Stereophonics and Lana Del Rey, contributed a season that, according to Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn,“genuinely couldn’t have been better.”
The 15th edition of Latitude includes headline performances from Liam Gallagher, the Chemical Brothers and Haim, with the Lumineers, Michael Kiwanuka, Keane and Charli XCX also appearing on the bill.
Gallagher, who is currently playing around the UK on the Why Me? Why Not? tour, is returning to the festival after playing as the ‘secret act’ in 2018.
Tickets for Latitude festival 2020 go on sale on 6 December at 9 a.m. (GMT). Adult weekend tickets cost £210, with accompanied teen tickets priced at $145 and child passes at £15.
Latitude is one of a number of Festival Republic events to have enjoyed back-to-back sell-outs in recent years
Isle of Wight Festival
When: 11 to 14 June
Where: Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight, UK
How many: 90,000
The Isle of Wight festival yesterday (3 December) revealed its 2020 headliners, with Lionel Richie and Lewis Capaldi playing the mainstage on the opening night, Snow Patrol and the Chemical Brothers heading up the second evening and Duran Duran closing proceedings on the Sunday.
The 2020 festival will mark the 50th anniversary of its 1970 edition, which saw headline performances from Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Joni Mitchell and constituted the last festival on the island until its 2002 resurrection.
“I’m excited to be playing at the Isle of Wight Festival next summer,” says Lionel Richie, who will make his debut appearance at the event. “It’s a festival steeped in music history – Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones have all headlined and I’m honoured to be joining the esteemed list.”
Other acts on the 2020 line-up include Happy Mondays, Kaiser Chiefs, Sam Fender, Dido, James Arthur and Primal Scream.
Tickets for the Isle of Wight Festival 2020 go on sale on 6 December at 9 a.m. (GMT), with adult weekend tickets priced at £185.
“It’s a festival steeped in music history – Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones have all headlined”
When: 15 to 19 July
Where: Bannfy Castle, Cluj, Romania
How many: 50,000
Romania’s multi-genre Electric Castle festival is returning for its 8th year in 2020, with already announced acts including Twenty One Pilots, Foals, Floating Points, the Neighbourhood and Fisher.
The 2019 edition of the festival, which takes place each year in an old Transylvanian castle, saw performances from Florence and the Machine, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Limp Bizkit, Bring Me the Horizon and Chvrches.
For the second consecutive year, Electric Castle will have an area dedicated to visual artists, called the New Media Castle, which will house art installations from Robert Henke, James Clar and Claire Hentschker.
Tickets for Electric Castle 2020 are available here, with general tickets costing LEI 499 (£89) and camping passes priced at LEI 539 (£96).
Romania’s multi-genre Electric Castle festival is returning for its 8th year in 2020
Bilbao BBK Live
When: 9 to 11 July
Where: Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain
How many: 40,000
Set in the mountains near to the coastal city of Bilbao, BBK Live has nearly doubled in size in recent years. The Spanish festival welcomed 112,800 people from 100 different countries to its 14th edition last year, with performances from the Strokes, Rosalía, Liam Gallagher and Hot Chip.
Founded in 2006, BBK Live has seen the likes of the Police, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, New Order, Depeche Mode, Guns N’ Roses and Lenny Kravitz perform over the years.
For the 2020 edition, Kendrick Lamar, the Killers, Pet Shop Boys and Bad Bunny top the bill, playing along with Caribou, Four Tet, Supergrass, Kelly Lee Owens and Slowthai, with more acts still to be announced.
Tickets for Bilbao BBK Live are available here with a full festival pass costing €140 (£119) and camping tickets priced at €158 (£134).
For the 2020 edition, Kendrick Lamar, the Killers, Pet Shop Boys and Bad Bunny top the bill
All Points East
When: 22 to 31 May
Where: Victoria Park, London, UK
How many: 40,000
All Points East has announced another headliner since the last edition of Festival Fever. German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk will perform their only UK show of the year at the festival on Friday 29 May, supported by Iggy Pop, Johnny Marr, the Orb and others.
Kraftwerk mark the second UK exclusive for the festival, adding to the headline performance from Tame Impala on Saturday 23 May.
AEG’s other London festival, British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park has added Taylor Swift and Pearl Jam to its 2020 headliner list, following the announcement of its first headline act, Little Mix, last week.
Pearl Jam will perform on Friday 10 July, as part of their 13-date European summer tour, with Swift playing on the following evening. Pixies and White Reaper will join Pearl Jam on the Friday.
Little Mix will play the opening Saturday of the concert series (4 July), along with newly announced special guests Rita Ora, Kesha and Zara Larsson.
Tickets for Kraftwerk at All Points East go on sale on 6 December at 10 a.m. (GMT). Tickets for Taylor Swift at BST will become available 6 December at 9 a.m. (GMT), with Pearl Jam tickets going on sale on 7 December at 10 a.m. (GMT).
Festival Fever: how summer 2020 is shaping up
The 2020 festival season, and the long nights, sunny days and happy times that come with it, may seem an age away as winter proper sets in for many across Europe. However, as the festival booking window moves ever earlier and line-up announcements come in thick and fast, there’s no better time to take a look at the top talent gracing the stages of major festivals next year.
Positivity characterised the reports from festival chiefs IQ spoke to at the end of the 2019 season, despite some having expressed concerns around the lack of talent on tour.
Full 2019 festival analysis will appear in the the European Festival Report in the end-of-year issue of IQ Magazine, providing an in-depth look at capacity and attendance, ticketing and pricing, VIP sales, challenges and concerns, new technology and much more.
Right now, however, we turn our focus to the 2020 season. Over the coming weeks, IQ will post regular updates of the line-ups that have already been revealed.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at what our first round of festival bookers have in store for us over the summer to come…
British Summer Time Hyde Park
When: 3 to 12 July
Where: Hyde Park, London, UK
How many: 70,000
AEG’s British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park has announced Little Mix as the first of six headline acts. The girl group will play on the opening Saturday (4 July) of the 2020 concert series. Taking place across two weekends, BST last year saw performances from Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Robbie Williams and Barbra Streisand.
BST, this year sponsored by American Express, was founded in 2013, after AEG signed a contract with the Royal Parks, the body that manages Hyde Park.
Elsewhere in London, AEG’s three-year-old All Points East has made its first line-up reveal in the form of Australian psych-pop titans Tame Impala.
Tickets for Little Mix at BST Hyde Park go on sale on Thursday 28 November at 9 a.m. (GMT). Tickets for Tame Impala at All Points East are available here, for £65.
AEG’s BST Hyde Park has announced Little Mix as the first of six headline acts
When: 12 to 14 June
Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire, England
How many: 110,000
Festival Republic’s Download festival is embarking on its 18th year in 2020, with headline acts Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down playing alongside Deftones, Gojira, Korn, the Offspring and Baby Metal.
Download’s popularity in the UK has led to an extension of the brand, with sister events spawning over the years in Australia, Japan, France and Spain. The rock festival has also been praised for its efforts around accessibility, sustainability and inclusivity.
Tickets for Download 2020 are available here. Weekend camping costs £250, with the non-camping option priced at £216.
Download embarks on its 18th year in 2020, with headline acts Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down
When: 19 to 21 June
Where: Eichenring in Scheeßel/Gewerbepark in Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany
How many: 68,000/60,000
FKP Scorpio’s twin festivals, Hurricane and Southside, contributed to the German promoter’s best-ever weekend last year. The 2020 editions of the festivals see recently announced acts the Killers and Rise Against join a bill also featuring Martin Garrix, the Lumineers, Twenty One Pilots, the 1975, Kings of Leon, Seeed and Bring Me the Horizon.
Stephan Thanscheidt, CEO and head of festival booking at FKP Scorpio, recently lauded the diversity of the Scorpio festival portfolio, which includes “intimate indoor festivals” as well as multi-day open air affairs like Hurricane and Southside.
Tickets for Hurricane/Southside 2020 are available here, priced at €189 (£161) for three days. The price will go up to €199 (£170) at 12 p.m. (CET) on 2 December, when a limited number of €99 (£85) day tickets will be released.
The 2020 editions of the festivals see recently announced acts the Killers and Rise Against
When: 8 to 11 July
Where: Espacio Mad Cool, Madrid, Spain
How many: 60,000
Changes are afoot as Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival enters its fifth year, with a 25% reduction in capacity and extra day of programming. Already confirmed acts for the extended 2020 event include Taylor Swift, the Killers, Kings of Leon, Faith No More, Billie Eilish, Twenty One Pilots, Foals and Anderson Paak.
“Our promise to the music world and the audience is this,” state organisers, “that Mad Cool 2020 will be better quality, more exciting, more spectacular, more memorable, safe, comfortable and sustainable than ever before.”
Tickets for Mad Cool 2020 will be available on 1 December at 12 p.m. (CET). A one-day festival ticket costs €65 (£56), with a four-day pass priced at €159 (£136).
Already confirmed acts for the extended 2020 event include Taylor Swift, the Killers, Kings of Leon and Billie Eilish
When: 25 to 27 June
Where: Törnävänsaari, Seinäjoki, Finland
How many: 32,000
Founded in 1979, Fullsteam Agency’s Provinssi festival counts System of a Down, the Chemical Brothers, Hassisen Kone, Korn, Gojira, Deftones, Charli XCX and Hatari among its 2020 acts.
Provinssi recorded its second-highest attendance in history (76,000) at it 40th anniversary event in 2018, contributing to a record-breaking summer for Fullsteam in 2018, which forms part of the FKP Scorpio group.
Earl bird tickets are now available, with one-day passes costing €89 (£76) and a three-day ticket priced at €149 (£127).
Fullsteam Agency’s Provinssi festival counts System of a Down, the Chemical Brothers and Korn among its 2020 acts
When: 27 June to 4 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
How many: 85,000
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, non-profit Roskilde festival has announced a handful of acts so far including Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Pusha T, Mura Masa and Whitney.
Speaking to IQ following a “fantastic” 2019 edition, Roskilde chief executive Signe Lopdrup stressed the importance of having a future-facing attitude as the anniversary event draws near, stating that, “one of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before.”
Tickets for the full eight-day festival experience plus camping are available here for DDK2250 (£257).
Roskilde festival has announced a handful of acts so far including Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke and Pusha T
When: 10 to 12 July
Where: Glasgow Green, Glasgow, Scotland
How many: 50,000
The fourth edition of DF Concerts’ city-centre festival Trnsmt will see headline performances from Courteeners, Liam Gallagher and Lewis Capaldi.
Ian Brown, Sam Fender, Foals, Keane, Snow Patrol and Rita Ora are also on the bill for the 2020 festival, following a sell-out third year in which the event became “an established part of Glasgow’s cultural calendar”, according to festival director Geoff Ellis.
“The response that we’ve had to Trnsmt since we launched in 2017 is amazing to see,” comments Ellis.
“The fact that it has become such a pillar of the UK festival scene every year is testament to the incredible music fans that we have here in this country.”
Tickets for Trnsmt 2020 go on sale on Friday 30 November at 9 a.m.
American Express named BST presenting partner
American Express is the new presenting partner for AEG festival British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park, taking over from Barclaycard.
The new partnership, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, sees the festival take the name American Express Presents BST Hyde Park. Cardmembers will have pre-sale access to tickets to all of the BST shows, as well as on-site benefits.
The festival, which last year saw headline performances from Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Robbie Williams and Florence and the Machine, will return in 2020 after securing a new two-year agreement with the Royal Parks for the use of Hyde Park.
“American Express is a valued partner of ours and I’m thrilled that the success of our relationship has expanded to the new signing of our flagship festival,” comments Paul Samuels, executive vice president of AEG Global Partnerships.
“They offer Cardmembers and fans access to the very best events and the addition of American Express Presents BST Hyde Park, will further connect fans to unforgettable live AEG experiences.”
“American Express is a valued partner of ours and I’m thrilled that the success of our relationship has expanded to the new signing of our flagship festival”
Brandy Sanders, vice president of global entertainment partnerships and experiences at American Express adds that the company is “excited to bring American Express Experiences to the heart of London culture”.
The collaboration between AEG and American Express began 15 years ago and has developed into a multi-faceted, global partnership with over 100 venues, sports teams and events across five continents, including LA Live, AEG Presents Global Touring, the O2, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stockholm Globe Arena, Accor Hotel Arena Paris, All Points East and Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
Launched by AEG in 2013, the BST concert series has featured acts including the Rolling Stone, Paul Simon, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, the Cure, Bon Jovi, Michael Bubler and Roger Waters.
BST last year received a gold status from charity Attitude is Everything for its commitment to improving accessibility and implemented a range of sustainability initiatives for its most eco-friendly edition yet.