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Austria’s Racino to host two new 60,000-cap events

Live Nation and Leutgeb Entertainment Group are hoping to establish a new 60,000-cap concert venue in Austria with two huge events this summer.

The promoters are teaming up to stage Rolling Loud Europe – 2024’s only European edition of the hip-hop festival franchise – at Racino open-air venue in Ebreichsdorf, Vienna from 5-7 July, marking the brand’s debut in the country.

Rolling Loud Europe will be headlined by Nicki Minaj, Playboi Carti and Travis Scott, with other acts to include Ice Spice, Offset, Shirin David, Gunna, Lil Tjay, Don Toliver and NLE Choppa, among others. Remaining weekend tickets cost €259.

The same venue will also host the one-day Racino Rocks, starring Metallica, backed by a supporting bill including Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills and Mammoth WVH. General sale tickets cost €149.00 to €223.70. Punters also have the option of arriving onsite a day early for €25.

Speaking at a press conference, Live Nation’s Marek Lieberberg, André Lieberberg and Matthias Rotermund, and Austrian promoter Klaus Leutgeb declared that both events are expected to welcome 60,000 fans per day.

“We are extremely satisfied with the response,” said Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg, as per Vorarlberg Online and oeticket.

Lieberberg said he was “very happy and proud” that Leutgeb had secured a year-round contract for the location, which he described as “one of the most beautiful festival grounds in Europe… embedded in nature, close to the metropolis of Vienna”, after a decade of working with Racino.

Moving forward, the promoters plan to organise smaller 5,000 to 10,000-cap events at the Racino each year, as well as larger concerts

“We are here to stay,” he added. “We are putting the metropolis of Vienna and its charisma at the centre. The visitors come from Vienna, will go back there and spend the night there.”

André Lieberberg noted that 50% of the visitors to Rolling Loud Europe will come from Austria along with a significant from southern Germany, while almost 1,000 tickets have been sold in the US so far.

Moving forward, the promoters plan to organise smaller 5,000 to 10,000-cap events at the Racino each year, as well as larger concerts for up to 60,000 attendees.

Launched in 2015, the Miami-hailing Rolling Loud has also run events in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Sydney, Toronto, and is also plotting a debut event in Thailand for November this year. In Europe, most recently Rolling Loud has been staged in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, Portimão on Portugal’s Algarve and Munich, Germany.

Marek Lieberberg also played down reports that Rolling Loud’s 2023 German launch had been married by crowd trouble. Nine security staff were reportedly pelted by bottles and stones by festivalgoers on the event’s first day, as police described a “remarkably aggressive” mood among the audience.

“You should classify it,” Lieberberg told local media. “No people were hurt, no containers burned.”

 


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Barracuda Music partners with lake festival

Austria’s Barracuda Music has inked a three-year partnership with the long-running Mörbisch Lake Festival to bring international acts to the open-air stage.

The town of Mörbisch, Burgenland, has hosted the 6,100-seater festival since 1957, showcasing opera and musical productions each July/August, with pop and folk shows also held at the site in collaboration with promoters Showfactory and Stargarage.

CTS Eventim-backed Barracuda, organiser of events such as Nova Rock, Frequency Festival, Clam Rock or Lovely Days, has now been drafted in help establish the lake stage as a location for rock artists.

“The Mörbisch lake stage with its 6,100 seats requires very careful planning for events with which we can fill the stands and which can also be financed on this scale,” says Barracuda CEO Ewald Tatar. “I already have a few names in mind that fit Mörbisch well, but we first have to place the new location on the market.”

The first concert confirmed under the link-up is by Italian singer-songwriter Zucchero on 15 July.

“This premiere marks the beginning of a three-year partnership through which Mörbisch Lake Festival will also be established as a pop and rock location”

“With the ambience of the lake stage, which in itself is an argument for a visit, we will definitely succeed,” adds Tatar. “This is also proven by the advance sales for the concert with Zucchero. Half of the tickets were gone within a few days.”

Tickets are available in various categories, priced between €59.99 and €199.99.

“This premiere marks the beginning of a three-year partnership through which Mörbisch Lake Festival will also be established as a pop and rock location with Barracuda Music as a partner,” adds Burgenland state governor Hans Peter Doskozil. “With Ewald Tatar, we have the most experienced and successful representative in this industry on board, who will initially hold two to three concerts per year in Mörbisch. If this plan is successfully implemented, there could be more in the future.”

Vienna-based Barracuda also has early 2024 shows across Austria with the likes of Jason Derulo, Simple Plan, Nothing But Thieves, James Arthur, Crystal Fighters, New Model Army and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

 


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Rolling Loud streamlines European editions for 2024

Hip-hop festival franchise Rolling Loud will launch in Austria next year and will be the only European edition in 2024, according to organisers.

This means the US-hailing brand will not return to Portugal, the Netherlands and Germany, where European editions have previously been held.

The inaugural Austrian edition, dubbed Rolling Loud Europe, will take over Racino in Ebreichsdorf, an open-air venue on the outskirts of the Austrian capital of Vienna, between 5–7 July.

Mojo Concerts, promoter of Rolling Loud Rotterdam in the Netherlands, said there would not be a second edition because the brand “the rising costs of organising a festival of this size makes it a risky venture”.

This means the US-hailing brand will not return to Portugal, the Netherlands and Germany

The Germany edition, which debuted this year in Munich, was marred by a spate of incidents, with police describing a “remarkably aggressive” mood among the festival audience.

The event, headlined by Travis Scott, WizKid and Kendrick Lamar, was promoted by Live Nation and Austrian promoter Leutgeb Entertainment Group.

And the Portuguese offshoot launched at the Praia Da Rocha Beach, Portimão, in the Algarve in 2022 and was Rolling Loud’s first foray in Europe.

Last month, plans for Rolling Loud to return to Australia next year for the first time since 2019 were cancelled due to “circumstances beyond our control”.

Launched in 2015, the Miami-hailing festival has also run events in Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Toronto, and will launch in Thailand next year.

 


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OVG ‘very disappointed’ at Vienna arena veto

Oak View Group (OVG) has expressed its disappointment after an Austrian court revoked the decision to award it the contract to build and run a new “world-class” arena in Vienna.

OVG was identified as the ‘best bidder’ in July this year, with construction on the 20,000-cap venue scheduled to begin in 2025, aiming for completion in late 2029.

The €384 million arena was to be largely financed by OVG, with the City of Vienna contributing an amount in the “double-digit million range” according to the final offer.

However, Kurier reports the tender process is now back to square one after the award was “declared void for formal reasons” by Vienna Regional Court, following an objection by rival bidder CTS Eventim.

“Of course we are very disappointed with the result,” says OVG CEO Tim Leiweke, as per Die Presse. “This beautiful city has always been the jewel in Europe’s cultural landscape, but it had no arena to match it.

“We are pleased that the court assessed our offer in such a way that we meet all the tender requirements and also require the least amount of effort for taxpayers.”

“Should we decide to go ahead and continue the procedure, we remain confident that we will be able to overcome the court’s objections”

Jessica Koravos, president of OVG International, adds the company is now considering its options.

“Together with our partners in Vienna , the Oak View Group will now analyse the procedure and decide on the next steps,” she says. “Should we decide to go ahead and continue the procedure, we remain confident that we will be able to overcome the court’s objections and our project of a bespoke, contemporary venue with the latest technology will ultimately prevail.”

The opening of the arena was originally planned for 2024, but the City of Vienna began looking for a partner due to the expected high costs.

The Vienna arena was to have marked OVG’s ninth arena project in the last two years. The developer oversees the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY, and Moody Center in Austin, TX as well as arena development projects for Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA and Co-op Live in Manchester, UK.

Its other projects include Arena São Paulo in São Paulo, BZ; CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD; FirstOntario Centre Arena in Hamilton, ON; a new arena and entertainment district in Las Vegas, NV; and a new arena in Cardiff, Wales.

Last week, it was announced that Climate Pledge Arena had become the first arena in the world to achieve International Living Future Institute’s Zero Carbon Certification. The certification is awarded to buildings that are energy efficient, can demonstrate a significant reduction in carbon footprint and offset the remaining embodied carbon and energy use through high-impact offset programmes.

 


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Nova Rock adds fourth day for 2024 edition

Austria’s Nova Rock festival has added a fourth day for the 2024 edition, after originally announcing the event would run for three days.

All tickets already purchased are automatically valid for the additional day without any surcharge. The current ticket price, which ranges from €219.99–339.99 for three days, will remain unchanged until 3 November when the first wave of acts are revealed.

The 55,000-capacity festival will take place between 13 and 16 June 2024 at its longstanding home of Pannonia Fields in Nickelsdorf, Burgenland.

The current ticket price for three days will remain unchanged until 3 November

Launched in 2005, the festival – promoted by Nova Music Entertainment, a part of CTS Eventim’s Barracuda Music – has varied between three and four days long.

The 2023 edition took place across four days and was headlined by Slipknot, The Prodigy, Tenacious D, Bidlerbuch and Die Ärzte. Ahead of last year’s event, organisers invested hundreds of thousands of euros in site improvements after the 2022 offering was marred by adverse weather.

Around €300,000 was spent on renewed lawns and drainage, a new network of paths for arrival and departure and a new shuttle service.

In other news, Barracuda Music was recently sued by the Austrian government over several clauses in its general terms and conditions, primarily regarding the cancellation of events.

 


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Barracuda Music sued by Austrian gov over T&Cs

Promoter Barracuda Music has been sued by the Austrian government over several clauses in its general terms and conditions, primarily regarding the cancellation of events.

The CTS Eventim-backed firm was taken to court by the Ministry of Social Affairs for six clauses which “violate legal prohibitions, are also not sufficiently transparent and are sometimes grossly disadvantageous”.

Barracuda Music intended to issue vouchers instead of refunds in cases of event cancellation for force majeure such as bad weather, in addition to the accepted use of vouchers brought in for the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Supreme Court (OGH) declared this illegal.

“The legislature created the KuKuSpoSiG for the historically unique exceptional case of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said The Association for Consumer Information (VKI), which represented the ministry in court.

“This regulation massively interfered with general contract law and the interests of consumers, also because it placed consumers at risk of insolvency with regard to claims for compensation converted into vouchers. There is no justification whatsoever for contractually extending this regulation to all other cases of force majeure, such as bad weather.”

KuKuSpoSiG (the Art, Culture and Sports Security Act) was a law introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, which stipulated that organisers of art, cultural or sporting events that were cancelled due to the crisis could give a voucher for the amount to be reimbursed instead of the fee to be repaid.

The clauses “violate legal prohibitions, are also not sufficiently transparent and are sometimes grossly disadvantageous”

It was extended until mid-way through 2022, during which time Barracuda’s Nova Rock festival experienced “the rain of the century”. This led to the promoter investing €300,000 on renewed lawns and drainage, plus a new network of paths for arrival and departure.

Also in its T&Cs, Barracuda stated that date changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic or other cases of force majeure would be minor and reasonable if the new event date is no longer than 18 months after the original date.

“However, this change in service is neither minor nor reasonable for consumers because it gives Barracuda Music the opportunity to set any new date for the cancelled event,” according to OGH. “Those affected cannot be expected to remain interested and available for the event at a specific date within the next 18 months.”

Another clause deemed inadmissible by the OGH read: “In the event of a refund, any fees cannot be refunded because the relevant services have already been provided as part of the contract processing. The amount of the fees can vary, but is usually around 10%”. Again, OGH disagreed.

The promoter had initially appealed the judgment of the Vienna Commercial Court.

Barracuda has previously promoted concerts with Bob Dylan, David Gilmour, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Robbie Williams. Its festival portfolio includes Nova Rock, FM4 Frequency Festival, Butterfly Dance, Clam Rock, Beat the Fish and Lovely Days.

 


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Robbie Williams concert cancelled due to storms

Storms in the Carinthia region of Austria have led to the cancellation of Robbie Williams’ concert at Hochosterwitz Castle tomorrow (22 July).

Promoter Barracuda Music says severe storms have “taken a toll on the park and event areas”, with further intense rainfall and thunderstorms forecast for the day of the event.

“Necessary inspections by the operations centre have shown that under these circumstances, the traffic volume and the event can no longer be handled safely to a sufficient degree,” a spokesperson tells Puls 24.

Austria has been hit by storms of up to 161km an hour in recent days, reports The Local, causing damage to buildings, railway lines and power outages.

Barracuda says the decision to cancel followed lengthy talks with the local authority and emergency services.

“We are very sorry to announce that the event with Robbie Williams scheduled for Saturday cannot take place”

“We are very sorry to announce that the event with Robbie Williams scheduled for Saturday cannot take place,” says the company in a statement posted on social media.

“After hours of discussions with all participants and the authority, it was established that safe adherence and implementation in accordance with the knowledge is not feasible. The safety of our visitors is a top priority for us, as organisers and location operators.”

Williams, who is represented on the live scene by Ian Huffam of X-ray Touring, is approaching the conclusion of his XXV 25th anniversary solo tour, which continues with headlines slot at Lucca Summer Festival in Italy (28 July), Summer in the City in Bucharest, Romania (19 August) and Zurich Open Air in Switzerland (22 August).

The 49-year-old will then perform in Malta at the Granaries in Floriana on 24 August, presented by Greatt and NNG Promotions, followed by two dates at Norfolk’s Sandringham Estate in his native UK from 26-27 August as part of the Heritage Live Concert Series.

He will also play the Singapore F1 Grand Prix (17 September) and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena (18 October), prior to touring New Zealand and Australia in November/December.

 


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OVG to build and operate new arena in Vienna

Oak View Group (OVG) will spearhead the construction and operation of a new ‘world-class’ arena in Austria’s capital city, Vienna.

After an 18-month process, the world’s biggest arena developer was identified as the ‘best bidder’ for planning, constructing, financing and operating the new venue.

Construction on the arena, which will have a minimum capacity of 20,000, is scheduled to begin in 2025, aiming for completion in late 2029.

The €384 million arena will be largely financed by OVG, with the City of Vienna contributing an amount in the “double-digit million range” according to the final offer.

OVG states that it intends to build “the best [arena] in continental Europe, enabling Vienna to compete with other worldwide capital markets and to host more of the world’s top events.”

While the City of Vienna acknowledges that OVG cooperates closely with Live Nation, an important part of the bidding process was a guarantee that the arena would be open to all event organisers, “and that there are no exclusive rights for certain event organisers,” as it states on the City’s website.

“Vienna is a capital market that deserves one of Europe’s top entertainment arenas”

Ticketing, too, must be designed in such a way as “not to impair the existing competition among the various ticket providers,” it adds.

Commenting on the news, Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO of OVG, says “Vienna is a capital market that deserves one of Europe’s top entertainment arenas”.

“As the gateway between Western and Eastern Europe and again ranked as the world’s most liveable city this year, it needs an arena that can attract the world’s best events. For those that doubt our commitment and wherewithal, there have been 7 new arenas built in the world in the last 2 years and OVG did them all. We are committed to this project and will deliver on our commitments.”

Francesca Bodie, president of business development and lead negotiator on behalf of OVG, adds: “We have huge admiration for the City of Vienna for having the vision to deliver continental Europe’s best arena, as well as the initiative to find a partner with a proven record of delivering outstanding new arenas that minimise the cost to taxpayers and prioritize innovation and sustainability.”

The next phase of the award process will include planning, zoning, and environmental impact assessments for the project before the contract signing later this year.

The Vienna arena marks OVG’s ninth arena project in the last two years. The LA-based developer oversees the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY, and Moody Center in Austin, TX as well as arena development projects for Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA; Co-op Live in Manchester, UK; and projects for Arena São Paulo in São Paulo, BZ; CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD; FirstOntario Centre Arena in Hamilton, ON; a new arena and entertainment district in Las Vegas, NV; and a new arena in Cardiff, Wales.

 


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Arcadia Live hails ‘successful’ debut of Lido Sounds

Austria’s Arcadia Live has reflected on the successful premiere of open-air concert series Lido Sounds.

More than 66,000 fans flocked to Austria’s third-largest city, Linz, between 16 and 18 June to watch performances from 35 artists, across two stages.

International stars Florence + the Machine, Alt-J, Phoenix, Arlo Parks, Interpol, Anna Calvi, Ashnikko and Sleaford Mods topped the bill, with support from German-speaking acts.

FKP Scorpio, parent company of Vienna-based Arcadia Live, hailed Lido Sounds as “an exciting addition to our festival cosmos”.

“I see the potential to firmly establish this event as a prominent highlight in the city’s cultural calendar”

“I am happy that Lido Sounds’ first edition was such a great success and that our concept for a city festival in Linz is working out,” says Folkert Koopmans, CEO of FKP Scorpio. “The team has done a great job and I see the potential to firmly establish this event as a prominent highlight in the city’s cultural calendar.”

Arcadia Live managing director Filip Potocki added: “I see people’s faces and it seems that a lot of people liked it. We got great feedback from the artists. A lot of them couldn’t believe that this was the first time Lido Sounds was happening, because a lot of things already worked so smoothly and were well thought out.”

Potocki says that Arcadia Live will use the coming days and weeks to assess areas of improvement and discuss the future of the festival with city officials.

“The following weeks will decide how Lido Sounds can be constantly integrated into the FKP festival program and establish itself within the European cultural scene,” he adds.

In addition to music, Lido Sounds featured culinary offerings, emerging domestic talents and afterparties at the nearby concert hall Brucknerhaus.

The event’s location, on the left bank of the Danube river (Urfahrmarkt), was easily reachable from neighbouring Germany and the Czech Republic.

 


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Nova Rock invests €300k to protect against weather

Organisers of Austria’s Nova Rock have invested hundreds of thousands of euros in site improvements ahead of this year’s festival, which begins today.

The four-day, 55,000-cap event runs from 7-10 June in Nickelsdorf, Burgenland, headlined by Slipknot, The Prodigy, Tenacious D, Bidlerbuch and Die Ärzte.

The 2022 event was marred by adverse weather, leading promoter Nova Music Entertainment, which is part of CTS Eventim’s Barracuda Music, to spend €300,000 on renewed lawns and drainage, plus a new network of paths for arrival and departure. A new shuttle service is also in operation.

“Of course we were nervous about the weather report, but last year sunshine was announced throughout and that wasn’t right,” Barracuda’s Ewald Tatar tells Kleine Zeitung. “In any case, it will be a great festival, both the visitors and the bands are very motivated.”

“The first acts for 2024 have already been confirmed and the weekend is also set”

Alas, heavy rain hit the site yesterday and continued throughout the night, with more rainfall expected today.

Other artists on the bill include Disturbed, Parkway Drive, Yungblud, Sum 41, Incubus and Casper, while another highlight promises to be a special performance honouring legendary Austrian musician Falco – 25 years after his death – which will take place directly after Die Ärzte’s headline set.

“His band and several guests will close the programme with the Falco Tribute,” says Tatar, who reveals he has already started booking acts for next year’s Nova Rock.

“The first day after the festival is the first before next year,” he adds. “The first acts for 2024 have already been confirmed and the weekend is also set.”

 


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