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Best Kept Secret festival targets next generation

Best Kept Secret festival director Maurits Westerik tells IQ the event is targeting new audiences for its landmark tenth edition this summer.

Disclosure, Justice, Paolo Nutini, PJ Harvey and St Vincent are among the acts on the bill from 7-9 June in Beekse Bergen, Hilvarenbeek, the Netherlands.

This year, promoter Friendly Fire is introducing New Generation tickets, priced €199, for people up to 21 years old. The 30% discount is being offered to combat the rising cost of living. Ticket buyers must be born on or after 8 June 2002.

“In the last couple of years, I had three interns aged between 18 and 22 and they had never been to a festival because it was so expensive for them, and I felt a little bit heartbroken about that,” explains Westerik. “When my team and I were that age, we saw all these bands performing live for the first time and it was mind-blowing, so we thought, ‘Maybe we should just do a discount on the weekend tickets for people until the age of 22 and see what happens?’

“I’m very pleased it’s been received well and people are coming down for the first time.”

“We’re not that headliner-driven anymore. It’s not all about those one-and-a-half to two-hour slots”

General weekend camping tickets cost €285 for Best Kept Secret, which was named Best Medium-Sized Festival at the 2023 European Festival Awards.

Since launching in 2013, the Dutch gathering has hosted artists including Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, The Strokes, A$AP Rocky, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Bon Iver, Kraftwerk, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, Beck and The National.

However, Westerik says the BKS programme places less emphasis on headliners than in the past.

“We’re not that headliner-driven anymore. It’s not all about those one-and-a-half to two-hour slots,” he notes. “I’m trying really hard not to keep putting ticket prices up, and if all the money is going to go out to the main acts then a lot of the art, decoration and new areas will disappear, and that’s not enough for us. There’s lots to see and I feel that maybe 20% to 40% of the acts on the smallest stages will become way more popular in the future and return.

“People are coming to discover new acts and to see bands like Big Thief or Porridge Radio or Sampa the Great for the first or second time in the Netherlands, so that really drives us. We had Aphex Twin as a headliner last time and it was packed. Ticket sales are going better than last year so we feel good to go for 25,000 per day with this edition. Although, of course, Radiohead are welcome again!”

“It gets trickier on a yearly basis, because socials are taking over”

Other acts on the 2024 lineup include Vince Staples, The Mary Wallopers, Slowdive, St Paul & the Broken Bones, Jockstrap, The Mysterines, Floating Points, Viagra Boys, Omar Apollo, Amyl & the Sniffers, Libianca, Baxter Dury, CMAT and Australian duo Royel Otis, whose cover of Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Murder on the Dancefloor went viral on TikTok.

“We booked them for an area that is quite small and intimate but because of their viral hit there will be a lot more people wanting to see them,” reflects Westerik. “It gets trickier on a yearly basis, because socials are taking over. It’s not about radio or record shops anymore, or Paul Weller recommending a new band.

“Of course, an underplay feel is always good for your festival. Lizzo was [originally] booked for one of the smaller venues [in 2019] and then it went through the roof.”

While Westerik is coming up to five years in the role, the 2020 and 2021 festivals were cancelled due to the pandemic.

“It was quite a ride,” he says. “I started the job in our last pre-Covid edition in 2019, and then the whole shebang started. It was pretty rough but we managed to survive and are really back on track. It was great to build it up again and it’s going better than ever.

“There are always issues, whether it’s Brexit, war, rising steel prices – and it’s harder for artists to afford travel costs – but we’re in a good position.”

To celebrate its tenth edition, the festival is also presenting three exclusive BKS TEN events in April and May, based on its pillars of music, food and culture, visiting Muziekgieterij in Maastricht (13 April), The Goat, Rotterdam (20 April) and Pier15, Breda (3 May).

 


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European festivals expand 2024 lineups

Rock en Seine, Rock Werchter, Primavera Porto, NorthSide, Bilbao BBK, Paaspop, Sweden Rock Festival, North Festival, Best Kept Secret and Release Athens are among the European festivals that are taking shape for 2024.

AEG Presents’ Rock en Seine has detailed its 20th-anniversary edition, which coincides with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

Fred again., LCD Soundsystem, Måneskin, Massive Attack, PJ Harvey, The Offspring and The Smile are all set to headline the event, slated for 22–24 August at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud in France’s capital city.

Moonshine, The Hive Jungle, Olivia Dean, Soulwax, The Kills, Inhaler, Blonde Redhead, Róisin Murphy and Zaho De Sagazan are also on the bill for the 40,000-capacity event.

With Rock en Seine taking place just days before the start of the Summer Paralympic Games, the festival will curate a programme titled Cultural Olympiad, alongside four other major cultural festivals (Festival International de la BD d’Angoulême, Festival de Cannes, Festival d’Avignon, and Rencontres photographiques d’Arles).

Rock Werchter has added 11 new names to its 2024 lineup, which already includes headliners Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa and Måneskin

The Cultural Olympiad of Paris 2024 aims to foster dialogue between sports, culture, and Olympic and Paralympic values throughout the territory, according to a release.

Meanwhile, Rock Werchter has added 11 new names to its 2024 lineup, which already includes headliners Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa and Måneskin.

DEUS, Snow Patrol, Yungblud and Sum 41, The Last Dinner Party, Róisín Murphy, Nothing But Thieves, Avril Lavigne and Khruangbin, Michael Kiwanuka and Royal Blood will perform at Belgium’s biggest festival next year.

The Live Nation Belgium-promoted event will return to Festivalpark, Werchter, between 4–7 July 2024.

Primavera Sound Porto has also unveiled the poster for its 2024 edition, a week after announcing the Barcelona instalment.

Lana del Rey and SZA top a female-dominated bill, as Primavera continues to pave the way for gender-balanced festival lineups

Lana del Rey and SZA top a female-dominated bill, as Primavera continues to pave the way for gender-balanced festival lineups.

Mitski, PJ Harvey, Kim Petras, Pulp, The National, Justice, Ethical Cain and This Is The Kit are also among the 48 names due to perform at the 11th edition, scheduled for 6–8 June 2024 at Parque da Cidade, Porto.

Elsewhere in Portugal, the organisers of North Festival announced that next year it will move from Alfândega do Porto to Parque de Serralves, taking place on the 24–26 May.

Keane are the first name announced for the 2024 edition, returning to the country on the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough debut album, Hopes and Fears, which includes ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and ‘Everybody’s Changing’.

“Serralves, due to the quality of the infrastructure, large spaces and excellent location – a premium space in the heart of Invicta – is a natural choice for a festival that is also premium,” says Jorge Veloso, director of the promoter Vibes & Beats, “We feel that this is a change that will allow us to raise the quality of the experience offered to our audience.”

The organisers of North Festival announced that next year it will move from Alfândega do Porto to Parque de Serralves

In Denmark, NorthSide festival has unveiled the first 12 names for next year’s instalment, including Massive Attack, Troye Sivan, Unkendt Kunstner, Coi Leray and Kaytranada.

Kaizers Orchestra, Amyl & The Sniffers, Shame, Barselona, August Høyen, VETO, 070 Shake will also appear at the Down The Drain-promoted event, set for Eskelunden in Aarhus from 6–8 June 2024.

Live Nation’s Sweden Rock has added 18 names to the 2024 poster, after previously confirming Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Parkway Drive, Avantasia, Bruce Dickinson and Electric Callboy.

Joining those acts are Five Finger Death Punch, Rival Sons, Steel Panther, Graveyard, Beast In Black, Gloryhammer, Thy Art Is Murder and Ice Nine Kills.

Primal Fear, High On Fire, Richie Kotzen, Riverside, The Baboon Show, Mystic Prophecy, Dewolff, Vicious Rumors, Kebnekajse and Prins Svart will also appear at the Sölvesborg event between 5–8 June 2024.

Best Kept Secret is this year introducing New Generation tickets, offering those aged 21 or younger a 30% discount on a weekend ticket

Massive Attack are also set to headline Bilbao BBK, slated for 11–13 July 2024 in Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain.

The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Jungle, Overmono, Ezra Collective, Floating Points live, Underworld, Noname, JPEGMAFIA, Jordan Rakei, Death From Above 1979 and Parcels are also on the lineup for the Last Tour-promoted event.

In the Netherlands, the 2024 lineups for Paaspop and Best Kept Secret are taking shape.

The former has announced acts including Editors, Tom Grennan, Tiësto, Die Antwoord, August Burns Red for the 29–31 March event in Schijndel, North Brabant.

Best Kept Secret has announced the first 63 names for its 10th edition. Disclosure, Justice and PJ Harvey, among others, will come to the Beekse Bergen during the weekend of 7–9 June 2024.

Promoters Friendly Fire is this year introducing New Generation tickets, offering those aged 21 or younger a 30% discount on a weekend ticket.

Elsewhere, Greece’s Release Athens has secured 2024 concerts with Pulp, Massive Attack, The Smile, Judas Priest and Bruce Dickinson at Water Plaza across June and July.

 


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Netherlands latest EU country hit by summer event ban

There will be no festivals in the Netherlands this summer, as the Dutch government imposes a ban on all large-scale events until 1 September.

The move follows similar decisions taken in some of Europe’s biggest festival markets including Germany, Belgium and Denmark, where events are banned until 31 August, as well as slightly shorter bans in France (mid-July) Austria (end of June) and Luxembourg (31 July), and is in line with European Union guidance.

The government in the Netherlands had previously stated public events were not permitted until 1 June, affecting festivals including DGTL Amsterdam, Awakenings Easter and Dauwpop.

The extended ban has resulted in the calling off of major festivals organised by Live Nation’s Mojo Concerts, Friendly Fire – part of the CTS Eventim-owned FKP Scorpio group – and dance music giant ID&T.

“We all saw it coming, but the hammer has finally fallen: there will be no Lowlands this summer,” reads a statement on the Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (Lowlands) website, set to take place from 21 to 23 August with performances from Stormzy, the Chemical Brothers, Foals and Liam Gallagher.

“Like you, we are heartbroken. All we can do now is look to the future and promise you that we’ll make Lowlands 2021 an all-out party beyond your wildest dreams.”

“Like you, we are heartbroken. All we can do now is look to the future and promise you that we’ll make Lowlands 2021 an all-out party beyond your wildest dreams”

Mojo-promoted Lowlands is part of the Netherlands’ ‘Save your ticket, enjoy later’ campaign, supported by the Dutch government and competition watchdog ACM, encouraging fans to hang on to tickets for a later date, rather than request refunds.

Lowlands will return from 20 to 22 August 2021.

Fellow Mojo festivals, Pinkpop (Guns N Roses, Post Malone, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Down the Rabbit Hole (Tyler the Creator, Disclosure, FKA Twigs), North Sea Jazz Festival (Alicia Keys, John Legend, Lionel Richie) and Woo Hah! (Kendrick Lamar, Asap Ferg, Aitch) have all moved to 2021 following the ban.

The cancellation of the 8th edition of Friendly Fire’s Best Kept Secret, which had a line-up including the Strokes, the National and Massive Attack, is a “massive blow”, say organisers.

“This news has an enormous impact on our festival and everyone involved. For us it makes an enormous difference if you decide to stay with us in 2021. By doing so, you’ll help secure the foundation of Best Kept Secret so that we can organise a fantastic edition for you next year.”

Best Kept Secret returns from 11 to 13 June 2021.

Netherlands-based dance music promoter ID&T has also had a number of events affected by the extended ban. The group states “we will do everything in our power to find an alternative date for all concerned events,” with the 2021 dates for festival including Defqon.1, Awakenings, Mysteryland and Amsterdam Open Air already announced.

 


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Dutch govt bans all events until 1 June

The Dutch government has tightened up restrictions on live events, extending its existing ban on public gatherings until 1 June, applying the ban to events of all sizes and issuing fines to those not in compliance.

The new measures were announced by the cabinet on Monday evening (23 March). Under the new rules, groups of three or more not keeping one-and-a-half meters apart will be fined. Previously, events were banned until 6 April, and gatherings of up to 100 people were still permitted.

Companies not complying with the new rules will face fines or up to €4,000, whereas individuals will be charged €400.

The extension brings the event ban into festival season. Following the announcement, the organisers of DGTL Amsterdam cancelled the 2020 edition, due to take place on 11 and 12 April. Acts billed to play DGTL included Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth, Bonobo, Marcel Dettman and Honey Dijon.

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all. After closely following the advice and precautionary measures from the Dutch government and health officials, it is with deep sadness that we have to officially inform you that DGTL Amsterdam will not be taking place as scheduled,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

“Despite all the hard work that everyone has put into the organisation of the festival, this obviously feels like the only right decision. Our current priority is to play our part responsibly in the fight against this global health crisis.”

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all”

Organisers will reach our to ticketholders in the coming weeks, offering a ticket exchange for the 2021 event or a full refund. In accordance with recent government advice, fans are urged to give organisers “time and space” and to resist getting into contact regarding refunds.

Organisers of Kingsland Festival, set to take place on 27 April in celebration of Kingsday (the Dutch King’s birthday), are currently working “to find a suitable solution with all authorities and parties involved” and ask for the understanding and patience of ticketholders.

The one-day festival takes place simultaneously in the cities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Tilburg. Acts scheduled to perform include Afrojack, Wizkid and Fisher.

Awakenings Easter, a four-day series of events across Amsterdam over the Easter bank holiday, will no longer take place. Awakenings Festival is still set to go ahead on June 27 and 28, with acts including Amelia Lens, Avalon Emerson, Charlotte de Witte, Helena Hauff, Ricardo Villalobos and Maceo Plex.

Mojo festivals including Paaspop (2 to 4 April), Momo Festival (16 to 18 April), Dauwpop (21 May), Ribs and Blues (30 May to 1 June) are no longer taking place, although all will return in 2021.

Major Mojo festivals such as A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, Woo Hah!, North Sea Jazz Festival, Down the Rabbit Hole and Pinkpop are all currently going on as planned once the ban is lifted.

Other Dutch festivals going ahead this summer include Mysteryland, FKP Scorpio’s Best Kept Secret and Defqon.1 Weekend Festival.

 


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Festival Fever: 2020 line-up announcements continued

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ rounds up line-ups from Spain’s Primavera Sound, Belgium’s Tomorrowland, the Netherlands’ Best Kept Secret, Italy’s KappaFutur Festival, Norway’s Tons of Rock and the UK’s 2000 Trees.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Primavera Sound

When: 3 to 7 June
Where: Parc de Fòrum, Barcelona, Spain
How many: 35,000

The 20th anniversary edition of Primavera Sound sold over 10,000 tickets in under 24 hours.

In keeping with its 2019 line-up, which rejected the “pale, male and stale” festival bill model, this year’s festival sees an equal balance of male and female performers, with Lana Del Rey, Brittany Howard and King Princess among prominent female acts on the bill.

The Strokes – who were also recently added to the Rock Werchter and Nos Alive line-ups – Iggy Pop, Massive Attack, the National and Bad Bunny are also performing at the festival.

Primavera Sound Barcelona is – alongside festivals in Oporto, Los Angeles and Benidorm – one of four Primavera Sound events planned for the tastemaking festival’s 20th year.

Tickets for Primavera Sound are available here, priced at €195 (£165).

The 20th anniversary edition of Primavera Sound sold over 10,000 tickets in under 24 hours

Tomorrowland

When: 17 to 26 July
Where: Boom, Belgium
How many: 70,000

Dance festival franchise Tomorrowland is returning for the 16th year of its flagship Belgian event, with acts including Eric Prydz, David Guetta, Marshmello, Amelie Lens, Afrojack, Helena Hauff and Maceo Plex making up the line-up.

The festival, which takes place across two consecutive weekends in July, is part of the mega Tomorrowland festival brand.

A winter edition of the festival launched in the French Alps last year. Tomorrowland Winter returns in March 2020, featuring acts including Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki.

The presale for Tomorrowland Belgium begins on Saturday 25 January at 5 p.m. (CET), with general sale starting on 1 February.

Tickets cost €295 (£249) for a standard pass and €510 (£430) for a comfort pass. Fans can pre-register for tickets here.

Tomorrowland is returning for its flagship Belgian event, with Eric Prydz and David Guetta

Best Kept Secret

When: 12 to 14 June
Where: Beekse Bergen, Bergen, the Netherlands
How many: 25,000

Another headline slot for the Strokes, FKP Scorpio’s Best Kept Secret festival also counts the National and Massive Attack as headliners.

Badbadnotgood, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Belle and Sebastian, Metronomy, Diiv, Jarvis Cocker and Etep winners Fontaines DC also appear on the line-up.

The FKP Scorpio festival portfolio includes twin festivals Hurricane and Southside, Provinssi, M’era Luna, Seaside Country Festival and Gården.

FKP Scorpio is majority owned by German powerhouse CTS Eventim, which earlier today took a majority stake in the newly founded Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG, uniting abc Production and the wepromote group.

Tickets for Best Kept Secret festival are available here for €184.

Another headline slot for the Strokes, Best Kept Secret festival also counts the National and Massive Attack as headliners

KappaFutur Festival

When: 4 to 5 July
Where: Parco Dora, Turin, Italy
How many: 20,000

Italian electronic music event KappaFutur Festival is this year hosting acts including Amelie Lens, Diplo, the Black Madonna, Carl Cox, Denis Sulta and Motor City Drum Ensemble.

The festival, which is part of the European Commission-funded soundproofing project MONICA, is helping to develop technology and best practice to limit the impact that inner city festivals have on nearby communities.

Tickets for KappaFutur Festival are available here, for a discounted price of £38 for a day pass and £59 for a weekend ticket.

KappaFutur Festival is this year hosting Amelie Lens, Diplo, the Black Madonna and Carl Cox

Tons of Rock

When: 25 to 17 June
Where: Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway
How many: 10,000

The biggest rock and metal festival in Norway, Tons of Rock will be headlined by Iron Maiden, Faith No More and Deep Purple in its second year under Live Nation ownership.

Other acts appearing on the bill include Bring Me The Horizon, Disturbed, Airbourne, Within Temptation and Gojira.

Launched in 2013, the three-day rock and metal festival received recognition from the Norwegian Concert Organisers (NKA) in 2017, being crowned the best Norwegian festival.

Tickets for Tons of Rock are available here, priced at NOK 3040 (£257).

The biggest rock festival in Norway, Tons of Rock will be headlined by Iron Maiden, Faith No More and Deep Purple

2000 Trees

When: 9 to 11 July
Where: Upcote Farm, Cotswolds, UK
How many: 15,000

Independent UK festival 2000 Trees released its first line-up wave earlier this week, with acts including Jimmy Eat World, the Amazons and Creeper appearing on the bill.

Previous acts to have performed at the festival include Frank Turner, Enter Shikari, Deaf Havana, Slaves and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes.

Tickets for 2000 Trees are available here for £156.

Photo: Julian Dael/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 


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Massive Attack announce latest eco initiative

Bristol band Massive Attack have announced they will travel by train when touring Europe in future, in the group’s latest attempt to tackle the live industry’s carbon footprint.

The announcement follows the band’s commissioning of the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to look into ways in which the live music industry can reduce its carbon footprint. Band travel is one of the three key areas the research will focus on, along with audience transport and venues.

Massive Attack were also among acts to perform at the Extinction Rebellion climate protests in London in October 2019.

Currently on tour in North America, Massive Attack will return to Europe in summer 2020, making appearances at the Netherlands’ Best Kept Secret Festival and Les Eurockéennes in France, among others.

“The challenge now is to not only make personal sacrifices, but to insist on the systemic change that’s needed”

Lead singer Robert Del Naja, also known as 3D, told the BBC: “[As musicians] we have enjoyed a high-carbon lifestyle. But as a society we’ve all existed in a fossil-fuel economy for a long time and had very little choice in that.

“The challenge now is to not only make personal sacrifices, but to insist on the systemic change that’s needed. Business as usual is over.”

Coda Agency and A Greener Festival (AGF) launched the Green Artist Rider at the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) in March last year, in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of touring. Tickets for GEI 2020 are available here.

 


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Festival queues a thing of the past with mixed loos

Introducing gender-neutral toilets at music festivals would eliminate long queues for the ladies’ loos, according to two Belgian researchers.

Scientists Kurt Van Hautegem and Wouter Rogiest, both of Ghent University, used mathematical formulae to find the most ‘female-friendly’ toilet lay-out, concluding that a move to mixed male/female lavatories would help “put an end to this misogynistic toilet culture” (in which women are forced to wait longer than men) by reducing waiting times by up to 63%.

Outlining their findings in science magazine Eos, Van Hautegem and Rogiest demonstrate a model for festival toilets in which the average waiting time for women is cut to one minute and 27 seconds (from 6m19s).

Male waiting times increase only slightly, from 11 to 58 seconds, owing to a reduction in the number of urinals.

Van Hautegem and Rogiest’s model has already been rolled out at several events in Belgium, including the recent Best Kept Secret and Rock Werchter festivals and Coldplay’s June shows at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.

North Carolina won’t be happy…

 


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Radiohead announce more 2017 festival dates

Radiohead’s 2017 is fast starting to take shape.

Following their confirmation last week for Glastonbury Festival, Belgium’s biggest rock festival, Rock Werchter, has announced the band – whose ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, was released in May – will perform on Friday 30 June, presumably as headliners.

Radiohead last played Rock Werchter, promoted by Live Nation Belgium’s Herman Schueremans, in 2008, and the festival says it’s “going to be going to be great to see this band again”.

Some 145,000 people attended Rock Werchter 2016 – down 4,500 on 2015, but still the festival’s third-best attendance since its founding in 1976.

In addition to Rock Werchter, Radiohead will also play FKP Scorpio’s Northside in Denmark; Best Kept Secret in the Netherlands, Open’er in Poland and Live Nation France’s Main Square.

 


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