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FKP Scorpio festivals set advance ticket records

FKP Scorpio’s flagship Hurricane and Southside festivals in Germany have set advance booking records after putting tickets on sale for 2024.

Fans bought over 50,000 tickets on the first day of the presale, setting a new bar in the 20-plus-year history of the twin festivals in Scheeßel (Hurricane) and Neuhausen ob Eck (Southside), which have a combined capacity of 143,000.

Each batch of 10,000 tickets for the first price level of €199 sold out within just 20 minutes for both festivals, which will take place from 21-23 June next year. At the end of yesterday (20 June), more than 50,000 tickets has been snapped up, surpassing the record of 40,000 tickets sold on the first day from last year.

“This response means a lot to us personally, as we see it as a clear sign that our guests had a great time at Hurricane and Southside 2023,” says FKP founder and CEO Folkert Koopmans. “As we have not yet released any acts for the coming year, this result is also an enormous vote of confidence, which is perhaps even more valuable than any economic success.

“In any case, we will thank our guests with a great festival – the preparations for this are in full swing, so we will soon be in touch with the first acts for Hurricane and Southside 2024.”

“The fact that we were almost sold out in view of the current economic challenges makes us grateful and we consider it a vote of confidence”

The 2023 festivals, whose line-up included Muse, Die Ärzte, Placebo, Queens of the Stone Age, The 1975 and Loyle Carner, were held from 16-18 June and came close to selling out, according to organisers.

“We have a festival weekend behind us with the best weather and great music, which our guests turned into a euphoric and peaceful music festival,” FKP MD Stephan Thanscheidt tells Visions. “The fact that we were almost sold out in view of the current economic challenges makes us grateful and we consider it a vote of confidence from our guests.”

Elsewhere, Southside festival director Benjamin Hetzer praises the event’s sustainability initiatives.

“In addition to the fact that the festival went smoothly and our guests had a great time, I am very pleased that we are consistently developing further in the area of ​​sustainability,” he says. “We now cover more than 50% of our electricity needs from sustainable fixed electricity. In concrete terms, this means that we can operate the Green, Blue and Red Stages, as well as many other trades, with green electricity. Our investment in the local power grid has more than paid for itself.”


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FKP Scorpio launches show production division

FKP Scorpio has launched a new company specialising in musicals, shows and family entertainment.

FKP Show Creations, has confirmed a live adaptation of the hit TV show The Masked Singer as its first project, which will tour 13 arenas across Germany. Other productions are set to include Paw Patrol Live and Dita van Teese’s Glamonatrix.

The firm will be managed by Jasper Barendregt, formerly director of festival production at FKP Scorpio, alongside CEO Folkert Koopmans.

“This long-planned start-up allows us to explore new and exciting avenues”

“This long-planned start-up allows us to explore new and exciting avenues,” says Barendregt. “I am very much looking forward to the challenges ahead, even though I will miss the festival business after twelve exciting and fulfilling years.”

Barendregt’s previous role will be taken over by Benjamin Hetzer, who has worked in festival production for FKP since 2012. As event manager, he has overseen events such as Southside, Highfield and A Summer’s Tale since 2015 and is also responsible for the new Tempelhof Sounds festival in Berlin.

“I am very excited about my new task and would especially like to thank our team, which has also shown consistency in the past years of the pandemic and does a great job in every situation,” says Hetzer. “I am proud and grateful to work with this team to plan our festivals again in the future.”


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IPM 13: Don’t Stop Me Now: The consequences of show cancellations

Eps managing director Okan Tombulca introduced the session explaining that, although production-related cancellations were to form the bulk of the panel, the issues thrown up by the coronavirus (Covid-19) were now impossible to ignore.

Two of the panellists were forced to drop out for coronavirus-related reasons, as GMC Events’ Graham MacVoy was called to an emergency meeting and Benjamin Hetzer of FKP Scorpio joined by Skype due to a travel ban.

ASM Global’s Tim Worton said he was “blown away” by the number of reasons for event cancellations nowadays. Worton referred to the “fairly significant” bushfire crisis that gripped Australia until only a few weeks ago. Events including Lost Paradise, Day on the Green and Secret Sounds’ Fall Festival were cancelled due to poor air quality as a result of the fires.

Although not much can be done to prepare for this kind of natural disaster, said Worton, promoters and others have to be aware that cancelling may be the only option.

Hetzer spoke about different kinds of weather-related cancellations, referencing the storms that lead to the axing of Scorpio festival in 2016 and 2017. Hetzer stressed the importance of cooperation between organisers and the authorities in these situations to ensure the safe evacuation of any site.

“We want to work out how to sort things out before getting to that point”

In terms of deciding to call off an event, Martin Goebbels of Miller Insurance Services said insurers have to trust the judgement of production crews, promoters and local authorities. “I would always advise getting insurance as early as possible,” said Goebbels, emphasising that insurance should be used as a backstop, and not relied upon too much. “This is not an insurance panel, but an anti-insurance panel,” said Goebbels. “We want to work out how to sort things out before getting to that point.”

Worton said there is much more emphasis on verifying who goes in through the back door nowadays, as well as security and safety measures in general. “Productions are getting so big and complex, that the potential for problems increases exponentially,” he said.

Delegates from countries in Eastern Europe discussed the variations with health and safety practices in different countries, with issues such as corruption, market size and local regulations affecting events of all sizes.

Talk then turned to coronavirus, which has caused recent show cancellations in Asia, as well as in France, Switzerland and Italy. Tombulca stated the virus is throwing up lots of questions but no answers at the moment.

“It’s such a nuanced subject,” said Worton, referring to the different restrictions on mass gatherings and cancealltions of some shows. The on sales for a number of tours are being pushed back, said Worton, which “looks like it is going to be a recurring theme.”

Tour accountant Mike Donovan spoke from the floor saying that even losing a fraction of shows in a tour has a massive impact on profits. “It’s impossible to say what’s going to happen, but we will likely have a very serious downturn,” he said.

“As an industry, we should set a positive example and not overreact”

ITB agent Steve Zapp said it is very much about approaching the situation on a daily, or even hourly, basis at the moment.

Tombulca asked that if it came to a worst case scenario of shows being stopped for the next six months, who would be prepared? A resounding no came from the room, as different delegates explained that although board-level meetings, new procedures and hygiene standards were being put in place, uncertainty remained high.

“This is an unprecedented worldwide situation,” added Goebbels. Asked how the insurance industry is reacting to coronavirus, Goebbels explained that most UK insurers are excluding coronavirus from cancellation insurance cover from now on, saying that he imagined it would be the same for a lot of insurers elsewhere.

Tombulca wrapped up summarising the effects that coronavirus is having across different sectors of the industry, but shared information from a senior UK medical advisor saying there is “no clear rationale” for closing events to prevent the spread of the virus.

“As an industry, we should set a positive example and not overreact,” said Tombulca, stressing that currently in most countries, such as the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, no cancellations are being made because of Covid-19. “Let’s hope we can resume normal business soon.”

Tombulca added, “we need to prepare ourselves as much as possible for all potential scenarios, but at the end of the day, people need us and we are a very positive industry – we are working in the best industry of the world and make a lot of people happy every day.”

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