AEG Presents unveils new outdoor concert series
AEG Presents is launching a new outdoor concert series at Warwick Castle in the UK, called The Castle Sessions.
The inaugural sessions comprise four concerts between 4–7 July, headlined by The Darkness, JLS, Craig David presents TS5 and Mika respectively. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Castle Sessions marks JLS’s return to the medieval castle 14 years after their 2010 concert there with Diana Vickers.
“Warwick Castle is such a unique setting and fans across the UK have shown their appetite for seeing the biggest acts in these special places,” say AEG promoters Chloe Pean and Rachel Lloyd in a joint statement.
“Fans across the UK have shown their appetite for seeing the biggest acts in these special places”
Liam Bartlett, general manager of Warwick Castle, adds: “We are so excited to welcome these artists to Warwick Castle as part of The Castle Sessions and hope that this event, along with others in 2024 will bring lots of new visitors into this magnificent town.”
Last year, Warwick Castle saw concerts from the likes of Gwen Stefani, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, UB40, Bastille, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Rag’n’Bone Man, Kaiser Chiefs and Will Young.
Meanwhile, AEG Presents has announced that The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie will co-headline Sunday 25 August at All Points East in London.
The show celebrates 20 years of their albums Give Up and Transatlanticism and marks The Postal Service’s first performance in London in a decade.
The two bands join previously announced headliners Loyle Carner (17 August) and LCD Soundsystem (23 August).
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UK lineups for 2024: All Points East, R&L and more
The UK’s 2024 festival season is beginning to take shape, with lineup announcements from All Points East, Reading & Leeds, Boardmasters, Slam Dunk, Lytham Festival and Summer Sessions.
LCD Soundsystem have been announced to headline London’s All Points East 2024, promoted by AEG Presents.
The New York-hailing electro-punk band, who headlined the inaugural edition of the festival back in 2018, will return to top the bill at Victoria Park on Friday 23 August for the Bank Holiday Weekend.
They’ll be joined by Jai Paul, Pixies, Floating Points, Jockstrap, Nation of Language, Sofia Kourtesis and Eyedress.
The news comes after Loyle Carner was announced as All Points East’s first headliner, to be joined by Nas, Ezra Collective, Sainté, Joe James, ENNY and Navy Blue. More headliners and other acts are expected to be revealed soon.
Reading & Leeds 2024, meanwhile, will be headlined by Liam Gallagher, Lana Del Rey, Blink-182, Fred Again.., Gerry Cinnamon and Catfish & The Bottlemen.
The legendary twin-site festival is due to return to Little John’s Farm in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds across August Bank Holiday Weekend (21-25).
21 Savage, Jorja Smith and The Prodigy, Raye, Skrillex, Spiritbox and Digga D are also set to perform at the Festival Republic-promoted event.
The first wave of artists appearing at Boardmasters 2024 have been announced, with Stormzy, Chase & Status and Becky Hill leading the line-up.
Next year’s edition of the Superstruct-backed festival will be held between 7-11 August, and take place on the usual sites on the Cornish Coast – Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach.
Over 30 other acts have also been locked in for the 2024 edition, including Becky Hill, Bicep, Nia Archives, Tom Odell, Soft Play, English Teacher and Katy B.
The surf and music festival is hoping to increase its capacity to 65,000 by 2025 after submitting a licensing application to Cornwall Council.
Slam Dunk festival will make its return to Hatfield Park and Leeds Temple Newsam Park on 25 and 26 May, with acts including You Me At Six, the All-American Rejects and I Prevail.
Also on the bill is Boys Like Girls, We The Kings, Funeral For A Friend, Asking Alexandria, I Prevail, The Interrupters, Waterparks, Palaye Royale, Pale Waves, Bob Vylan, Pennywise, The Skints, Goldfinger, LA Dispute, Mad Caddies, Mom Jeans, One Step Closer, Artio, Røry, Set It Off, The Bouncing Souls, The Selecter, The Wonder Years and L.S. Dunes.
Lytham Festival, the biggest in the North West, has also announced the line-up for the 2024 edition, featuring artists including Hozier, Courteeners, Madness and more.
Rick Astley, Johnny Marr, The Kooks and more are also booked to play the next instalment, set for Lytham Green from 3–7 July.
Summer Sessions, Scotland’s long-running live music series, has added Tom Jones, James and Johnny Marr to the bill.
They join the previously announced Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Jess Glynne and DJ Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics as headliners.
As previously reported, Live Nation, DF Concerts and Cuffe & Taylor are expanding Summer Sessions to five new destinations in England and Wales in 2024.
The new 15,000 to 30,000-cap events will take place in Bedford’s Bedford Park, Chepstow Racecourse, Derby’s Markeaton Park, Plymouth’s The Hoe and Southampton’s Guildhall Square.
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Jim King talks building AEG’s summer festival hub
AEG’s European festivals CEO Jim King has spoken to IQ about the firm’s efforts to cultivate a “strong hub” for touring artists through its collection of late summer festivals.
The company’s All Points East (APE), Rock en Seine and Forwards Festival are all coming up in the next few weeks, while it has also aligned with Spanish independent promoter Last Tour on the latter’s Cala Mijas and MEO Kalorama festivals in Spain and Portugal, respectively.
First held in 2018, APE returns this Friday in London’s Victoria’s Park with the first of two weekends, featuring Stormzy (18 August) and a Field Day event headlined by Aphex Twin and Bonobo (19 August). It will then welcome headliners The Strokes, Jungle, Dermot Kennedy and Haim from 25-28 August.
“We’ve got a strong All Points East again this year,” says King. “It’s an event we’re still building and a relationship that we’re still building with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the community there.
“We’re really pleased with the way their programme is going. They’re really well curated lineups, which our team put together very passionately. So that’s great and it’s allowed us to consolidate our European position at the end of the summer.”
“The artists moving between those four shows has created a really strong hub”
AEG switched APE from its previous May slot to coincide with Rock en Seine at the end of August. The 20th anniversary French festival, which was acquired by AEG in 2017 in partnership with media investment group LNEI, takes place in Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, Paris on 23 and 25-27 August, topped by Billie Eilish, Florence + the Machine, Placebo, The Chemical Brothers and The Strokes.
“Rock en Seine had its best year ever [last year] since it started and I think we’ll go beyond that again this year with sold-out shows every day,” says King. “I love that show. It’s such a great site. We’ve talked about London being super-important culturally, but magical things happen when you’re in Paris and I always find it really exciting. You go there in an elevated state of emotion, if you like, and then you’re more receptive to being entertained.”
Meanwhile, AEG’s relationship with Last Tour on Cala Mijas and MEO Kalorama festivals, set for 31 August-2 September, will see Florence + the Machine headline both events, with The Strokes also performing at the former.
“The artists moving between those four shows has created a really strong hub,” says King. “We’re calling it ‘The Camino’, which allows these artists to move between as many or as few of those shows as they want. It just creates a very strong end of August, beginning of September run for artists coming into Europe or those who are based here.”
In addition, AEG teams with events company Team Love on 30,000-cap Forwards in Bristol, UK. The metropolitan festival, which debuted in 2022, returns to Clifton Downs for its second year from 1-2 September, headlined by Erykah Badu and Aphex Twin.
“It’s a very demanding industry at the moment. If you’re not on your game as a promoter, you’re going to be challenged”
“Forwards forms part of that run of shows as well,” notes King. “We had a great show last year – we broke even in year one, which is beyond our expectations for any new festival, and we’re building on that for year two. So that’s been a really good start. We set up our European festival division a few years ago now, and the building of that is still taking place, but the benefits of it are thankfully already with us, and we think it puts us in a really strong position for the next five years.”
Around 550,000 tickets were sold for AEG’s flagship BST Hyde Park Festival earlier this summer, topping the previous best of 530,000 set last year. The London concert series was headlined by Guns N’ Roses, Take That, Blackpink, Billy Joel and Lana Del Rey – plus two nights each from Pink and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. And King says he is not surprised by the number of successful shows to have gone ahead in the UK this summer.
“Certain parts of the industry, one could argue are outperforming expectations, but that’s not to say that we weren’t confident they will be successful,” he adds. “If you look at events out there, you can see the quality ones in terms of the way they’re presented and operated, and the value point for them and the lineups which they have.
“I’m not surprised at all that they’re being successful. I’m also not surprised at all that the ones that aren’t presenting that level of quality aren’t as successful either because it’s a very demanding industry at the moment. And if you are not on your game as a promoter or as an artist, then you’re going to be challenged. But if you are, the chances are you’re going to be rewarded for it.”
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Officer sacked for lying to get backstage at APE
A Metropolitan Police officer has been sacked after admitting lying to gain free entry and backstage access to All Points East (APE) festival in London.
PC Hasnain Awan worked a shift at the AEG-promoted festival on 28 August 2021 and returned the following day while off-duty, when he gained entry to APE for himself and a friend without paying the entrance fee.
A misconduct panel heard that Awan deceived staff at the festival accreditation desk by saying he required a new wristband as his own had been “seized as evidence after getting stained with blood”.
“Former PC Awan omitted to tell the staff that he was not working as a police officer and he was therefore given a second wristband,” the panel was told. “Former PC Awan then gave his friend the second wristband and both then entered the festival without paying the £95 per person entrance fee.
“Later the same day… Awan then sought to gain entry to a restricted, backstage area using his Metropolitan Police Service warrant card. There was no proper policing purpose for his showing his warrant card.”
Awan then attempted to put himself on duty by then contacting a colleague and asking to change shifts.
The panel found that the allegation was proven at the level of gross misconduct
“When Inspector May-Robinson, who was responsible for policing at the festival, was informed of former PC Awan’s actions and spoke with him, former PC Awan sought to mislead Inspector May-Robinson by saying that he had informed the festival staff that he was not on duty that day,” the panel heard.
“He also sought to mislead Inspector May-Robinson by suggesting that festival staff had been prepared to allow his friend free entry into the festival albeit they were aware that his friend was neither a police officer nor contractor.”
Awan resigned from the police on 19 February this year. However, the panel found that the allegation was proven at the level of gross misconduct, therefore Awan would have been dismissed without notice had he still been serving.
“Former PC Awan deliberately chose to repeatedly lie first to festival staff, by fabricating an account that something had happened to his wrist band which was untrue, then by seeking to use his warrant card to gain access to a restricted area, then by seeking to ‘cover up’ his inappropriate actions by putting himself on duty by swapping shifts with a colleague, then by lying to a senior officer Inspector May-Robinson about how he came to be in possession of a second wristband and how he and his friend had come to be in the festival without purchasing tickets,” concluded the panel.
Acts who performed at APE on 29 August 2021 included Bicep, Floating Points, Hot Chip and The Blessed Madonna.
European festival lineups stack up for 2023
The final week of January has brought a flood of festival announcements from events across Europe for this summer.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary France’s Rock en Seine will return to Paris on 23 and 25-27 August, headed by Billie Eilish, Placebo, The Chemical Brothers, Florence + The Machine and The Strokes.
The Strokes will also star at AEG’s All Points East in Victoria Park, London, on 25 August, while the UK’s Wireless Festival will feature headliners Travis Scott, Playboi Carti and D-Block Europe in London’s Finsbury Park from 7-9 July.
Also in the UK, Kendal Calling will be topped by Nile Rodgers & Chic, Kasabian, Royal Blood and Blossoms at Lowther Deer Park in the Lake District from 27-30 July, and Love Saves the Day will take place at Ashton Court Estate, Bristol from 27-28 May, topped by Fatboy Slim and Years & Years.
Travis Scott, Playboy Carti and Meek Mill will top the bill at the second annual Rolling Loud Portugal
Afro Nation Portugal will host Burna Boy, 50 Cent and Booba in Portimao, the Algarve, from 28-30 June, and Travis Scott, Playboy Carti and Meek Mill will top the bill at the second annual Rolling Loud Portugal, also in Portimao, from 5-7 July.
Elsewhere, Stormzy is a new addition to Belgium’s Rock Werchter, scheduled for 29 June to 2 July and Wizkid and Blur have been unveiled as headliners for Norway’s Øya Festival from 8-12 August. The latter two acts have also bolstered Finland’s Flow Festival Helsinki, which is set for 11-13 August, while Ellie Goulding and The Kid Laroi have joined Sam Smith and The 1975 on the Orange Warsaw Festival 2023 line-up from 2-3 June.
And Denmark’s Tinderbox has 19 new names including Black Eyed Peas, Lukas Graham and Dean Lewis. The event takes place in Odense from 22-24 June.
All Points East partners with crypto platform Luno
On the heels of its link-up with London’s Koko venue, cryptocurrency exchange Luno has been announced as presenting partner of this year’s All Points East festival.
According to Luno, the partnership, which has been facilitated by AEG Global Partnerships, will enable it to “educate festival goers about safely harnessing the power and possibilities of cryptocurrency”.
Taking place in East London’s Victoria Park from 19-28 August, All Points East is expected to attract more than 350,000 festival goers over the course of the event. Headline acts will include Gorillaz, The Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk, Tame Impala, The National, Disclosure and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
“Every day, the relationship between crypto and music grows stronger”
“We’re delighted to be the presenting partner for All Points East this year,” says Sam Kopelman, Luno’s UK country manager. “You only have to look at the line up to see that it’s a festival with real cultural relevance that attracts a forward thinking crowd. As such, it’s the perfect partner for us to develop a long term relationship with music fans, artists and the broader industry. Every day, the relationship between crypto and music grows stronger, with blockchain innovations beginning to revolutionise the industry.”
The deal also includes the creation of the ‘Luno Lounge’ on the festival site, a space which will reflect the themes of both accessibility and opportunity. Luno customers will be offered exclusive access to promotions and competitions for festival tickets via social media, as well as fast track entry and other on-site benefits such as VIP upgrades.
Luno will also have a number of crypto themed environments on the festival site and will work with artists to create unique content about the opportunities of crypto.
“We’ll be working with Luno to add value to both fans and park users across the whole festival”
Luno is becoming increasingly active in the UK’s music and entertainment space as it aims to build on the growing interest in digital and blockchain technology amongst the cultural sector and creative industries.
“All Points East has grown from strength to strength over the last four years,” says Jim King, AEG’s CEO of European Festivals. “2022 arguably has the strongest line up to date and so it’s the perfect opportunity for us to welcome Luno as the presenting partner for the festival. We will be working with Luno to add value to both fans and park users across the whole festival, especially during our midweek ‘In the Neighbourhood’ programme.”
AEG Presents’ Jim King shares forecast for 2022
This article is the second part of IQ’s interview with Jim King, originally published in December 2021. To read the first instalment, in which King discusses Adele and BST Hyde Park 2022, click here.
Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents, warns the industry to be careful with thinking that the pent-up demand seen in early summer 2021 will remain.
“I have some caution over 2022 and the concern remains that the industry has reacted, in some areas, by oversupplying the market with rescheduled tours sitting on top of new tours which now sit very closely to summer festival periods,” he says.
“The industry needs to pause and reflect on how many tickets it feels can be sold in 2022 and 2023 and then react and plan accordingly. The problem is that our industry has a problem saying no.”
Alongside a slew of rescheduled tours, 2022 is also set to gain a multitude of new events, extended editions and revived festivals.
Tomorrowland (Belgium), Primavera (Spain), Mad Cool (Spain), Standon Calling (UK), InMusic (Croatia) and Summer Breeze (Germany) are among the existing festivals to be extended in 2022 – in some cases by entire weekends. Meanwhile, promoters including FKP Scorpio, Goldenvoice, Primavera, Live Nation and DreamHaus have marked brand new festivals in 2022’s increasingly busy calendar.
“The industry needs to pause and reflect on how many tickets it feels can be sold in 2022 and 2023 and then react”
In light of concerns about oversupplying, King says AEG has hit pause on pre-pandemic plans for new events and is instead focused on rejuvenating existing festivals. One such event is Rock en Seine (ReS), the responsibility for which which recently passed to his team, allowing a “total review” of what the enduring Paris festival could be.
“The challenge, like with many long-standing events, was that we needed to reset what the event stood for and what we wanted to say to fans, artists, media, and sponsors,” explains King.
In October it was announced that the 18th edition of the annual event will take place in an extended four-day format with a “new vision and one of the most impressive line-ups in the history of the festival”. Stromae, Tame Impala and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds are to headline between 25–28 August in Domaine National de Saint-Cloud.
“The challenge, like with many long-standing events, was that we needed to reset what the [Rock en Seine] stood for”
“We just feel that the new format offers a more compelling commercial framework and one that aligns with the modern festival industry landscape which has changed a great deal over the last 20 years,” says King.
“ReS needed to reflect these changes. More days means we get to work with more artists and that’s another great reason to expand. Plus, Paris is one of the most accessible and culturally vibrant cities in the world. We felt that we had the opportunity to reflect that and widen the appeal of the festival to more fans.”
King says he prefers to look forward rather than backwards but that the lockdown was “tough” financially. “We are very fortunate that our owner was hugely supportive of our company and so we were able to plan through that period,” he says. “It’s our job now to repay that commitment and recover the losses from 2020 with a solid strategic plan for 2022/23 that builds on from the successes we were able to deliver at All Points East 2021.”
“It’s our job now to repay that commitment and recover the losses from 2020 with a solid strategic plan for 2022/23”
King says that strategic plan is to take a “new and fresh approach” to line-ups that were announced before the pandemic.
“That didn’t mean that we stopped working with all the acts from 2020 but we sought to reshape and strengthen the line ups,” he says. “Examples of this included Bombay Bicycle Club who instead played with Foals in 2021 [at All Points East] and Kraftwerk now playing with The Chemical Brothers in 2022.”
Discussing how he sees the recovery of the international live music industry progressing, King says the challenge will be whether the industry can approach 2022 and 2023 with the spirit of collaboration that was fostered in 2021.
“I think we saw the resilience that the industry can offer in some of the successes in 2021. The ability to mobilise quickly and work collaboratively throughout the supply chain to deliver high-quality shows demonstrates how strong we can be when we work with a common interest. If we can do this again, then recovery will be quicker and built on much stronger foundations.”
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.
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.
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.