Boardmasters return brought ‘a lot of joy to people’
Surf and music festival, Boardmasters, returned to the Cornish town of Newquay this month for the first time since 2018.
Last year’s edition was called off due to coronavirus restrictions, while the 2019 event was cancelled due to severe weather warnings in the UK.
The festival’s return saw 50,000 attendees flock to Watergate Bay in Newquay between 11–15 August for performances from the likes of Gorillaz, Jorja Smith and Foals.
Despite subsequent reports that the festival may be linked to 4,700 Covid cases, Cornwall council’s portfolio holder for public health told a press briefing that cases were expected but that he was “reassured” they were not “translating into a serious life-threatening illness”.
The health official, Andy Virr, was also keen to emphasise the benefits of holding Boardmasters, adding: “Covid will have lots of impacts ongoing, and one of them is around loneliness and isolation and mental health problems.
“That festival brought a lot of joy to people. And, yes, there are some things we are having to deal with, but that was part of the judgement.”
“That festival brought a lot of joy. There are some things we are having to deal with, but that was part of the judgement.”
Recent data from the government’s Events Research Programme (ERP) – which included Blossoms’ Liverpool show, the BRIT Awards ceremony, Download Festival and Latitude – shows that “mass events can be conducted safely”, but caution must still be taken around specific aspects of event participation.
Cornwall’s public health team said they won’t know the complete picture of the infections for another few days, though it is clear that about 800 of the positive cases are people who live in Cornwall.
“Since the government allowed live events to return, we have worked closely with Cornwall council’s public health team, putting in place risk management measures above and beyond national guidelines,” say festival organisers.
“These included use of the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry, which was introduced during the government Events Research Programme earlier this year and is being recommended as best-practice at other large events. The system detected over 450 people who would otherwise have been at risk of passing on the virus and as a result did not attend our Watergate Bay site or left the festival early. We are grateful to them and everyone else who took the extra steps this year.
“No event is able to eliminate risk entirely and the latest Test & Trace data includes reported infections among the 76,000 people who visited the festival or related activities at Fistral Beach, in Newquay and the wider area during the week of Boardmasters.
“We will continue to work with our public health partners to understand the extent to which attendance at the festival has contributed to the figures. We look forward to sharing our experience with our local authority partners and other large events so we can all continue to provide much needed economic benefit to our communities and entertainment to our loyal audiences.”
All attendees over 11 years old were required to prove their Covid-19 status through the NHS Covid app before entering. Face masks were not compulsory but were encouraged.
People who camped at the festival had to take a second NHS lateral flow test during the event and log their results in the app.
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Green Guardians: Staffing and Personnel
The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly iniative highlighting some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.
The inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, selected by the Green Guardians committes, which includes representatives from some of the sector’s most respected bodies, such as A Greener Festival, Go Group, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle and Vision:2025.
Following on from last week’s feature on artists and activists doing their bit to make the world a cleaner and better place, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those pioneering ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices.
Staffing and personnel
My Cause UK
My Cause has provided more than 6,000 proactive front-line volunteers to the UK’s biggest events such as Boomtown, Boardmasters, Bestival, Download Festival, Noisily, NASS, Love Saves The Day, Lovebox and many more.
My Cause offers event organisers an ethical and sustainable alternative to existing staffing providers by channelling its fees to the charities its volunteers nominate. That provides My Cause with a switched on, engaged and reliable team to represent client events in the best possible way. So far, it has donated almost £150,000 to more than 1,000 charities chosen by its volunteers.
My Cause director Rob Wilkinson notes, “When you are looking to book crew, volunteers, or staff from any supplier don’t just look at your bottom line but ask about what they do to care for and support their team. Well briefed, motivated and well cared for staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could.”
“Well briefed staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could”
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings; to support initiatives benefitting children and young people; and to support humanitarian and cultural work.
Festival volunteers participate year round in the decision-making, planning and troubleshooting processes, and in the recruitment and management of other volunteers.
The volunteer community is motivated by teamwork and a sense of all being in it together, and due to actively participating in the development of the festival. This has an impact on volunteers signing up and participating for the first time.
Roskilde’s core management team supports the organisation by providing leadership training (also developed and run by volunteers) and by providing tools for supporting feedback processes, allowing volunteers’ voices to be heard regarding the many ideas they have on how to improve processes and co-operation.
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings
Greenpeace was actually founded with a concert in Canada, in 1970, when James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and the late Phil Ochs performed a benefit gig to pay for the fuel that allowed a Greenpeace ship to sail into a nuclear testing zone.
Glastonbury was the first major festival that Greenpeace attended, in 1992. Many concerts and festivals have followed and continue to play a major part in helping the organisation to raise awareness of its international work.
The majority of its event volunteers come from the network of local Greenpeace groups, but it also advertises on its social media platforms where potential volunteers complete a questionnaire and Greenpeace asks for another person to vouch for them.
In terms of sustainability, Greenpeace endeavours to lead by example, calling out areas where improvements can be made. Festivals give Greenpeace access to an audience that it can inform and entertain, allowing it to communicate vital messages such as: “Don’t count the cost; DO IT! As otherwise it’s costing the Earth.”
Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 90, or subscribe to the magazine here
The 1975 to only play festivals with 50/50 gender split?
The 1975 frontman Matty Healy has announced that he will only agree to play at festivals that commit to featuring 50% female and non-binary performers, saying “this is how male artists can be true allies”.
The statement evolved from a Twitter exchange with journalist Laura Snapes, who suggested the artist add a condition to his rider to stipulate a boycott of festivals dominated by male acts.
“Take this as me signing this contract,” wrote Healy. “I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who have tickets. But from now I will.”
“This is how male artists can be true allies”
Healy admitted that he was sure “my agents are having kittens right now”, but stated that “people need to act and not chat”. The 1975 are represented by Mike Mori at Paradigm (North America) and Matt Bates at Primary Talent International (RoW).
The 1975 are headlining a one-day event at London’s Finsbury Park this summer, in a special eco-friendly show. The band are also making appearances at UK festivals Boardmasters and Edinburgh Summer Sessions, Bonnaroo and Boston Calling in the US, and Rock for People in Czech Republic.
Over 300 festival, industry organisations and events have now signed the Keychange pledge, committing to achieve a 50/50 gender balance by 2022.
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Boomtown weathers the storm for sold-out fest
The 11th edition of Boomtown took place this weekend amid high-speed winds, as “robust planning measures” ensured a successful event.
High winds and heavy rains battered the UK over the weekend. Despite the cancellation of Boardmasters and Houghton festivals, organisers of Boomtown decided to brave the storm, with 66,000 people attending the event from 7 to 11 August.
Strong winds caused the temporary closure of Boomtown’s Relic stage on Friday, after part of the stage fell into the crowd. All acts were rescheduled to perform on another stage, with Relic reopening on Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported.
“It was inspiring to watch the entire Boomtown community come together, demonstrating nothing but support, patience and respect for each other”
Campsites were also affected by high winds. Festivalgoers were encouraged to contact festival staff if they wished to move campsites or obtain alternative shelter due to weather conditions.
Organisers admit that the weather was “challenging”, but say they are “humbled by how everyone pulled together” to ensure the show went on to the standard expected.
“It was inspiring to watch the entire Boomtown community come together, demonstrating nothing but support, patience and respect for each other,” reads a statement from organisers.
Artists including Prophets of Rage, Chronixx, Groove Armada and Lauryn Hill performed at Boomtown 2019.
Severe weather wreaks havoc for UK festivals
Following record temperatures in July and one of the hottest Glastonbury’s ever, the weather is taking a turn for the worse in the UK with heavy rain, high winds and storms causing problems for event organisers.
Houghton festival (10,000-cap.), due to kick off today (8 August) in Norfolk, is the latest event to take a weather-provoked tumble, following the cancellation of Vision Nine’s Boardmasters festival yesterday and Rewind North earlier this month.
The UK’s met office have predicted torrential rain and 60 mile-per-hour winds, warning of flash flood risks.
“Overnight, weather conditions onsite at Houghton festival have dramatically worsened and are set to deteriorate further into the weekend,” read a statement issued by organisers this morning.
“Tragically, following this morning’s reports and further consultation with authorities, health and safety and all the festival directors, the decision has been made to cancel Houghton 2019.”
The Houghton organisers, consisting of the team behind north Wales’ Gottwood festival and DJ Craig Richards, say they are “utterly devastated” to cancel the festival.
“Public safety is the absolute priority and if it comes to it, evacuation or cancellation would be considered to ensure the safety of those in attendance”
Organisers of 66,000-capacity Boomtown, which opened its gates yesterday, say “severe weather plans” are in place to prepare for conditions on Friday.
“Our experienced team have been constantly monitoring the weather forecast,” a Boomtown representative tells IQ.
“Public safety is the absolute priority and if it comes to it, evacuation or cancellation would be considered to ensure the safety of those in attendance.”
The Boomtown team has advised festivalgoers against putting up gazebos or windbreaks in the campsites.
Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, the Streets and Groove Armada are among acts to play at the festival near Winchester in the south of England.
Production experts at the ILMC Production Meeting have often discussed the measures that ought to be taken to ensure safety and the smooth-running of events in the case of extreme weather conditions.
Boardmasters axed amid weather worries
Vision Nine’s Boardmasters festival (50,000-cap.) has been cancelled twelve hours before gates were due to open, as severe weather warnings hit the UK.
The organisers of the live music and surfing festival announced the “potential risk” to attendees’, performers’ and crew safety was “too severe” for the event to go ahead.
Campers were supposed to arrive at the festival site in Newquay, Cornwall today (7 August), with music beginning on Friday.
Wu-Tang Clan, Florence and the Machine, Foals, Jorja Smith and Dizzee Rascal were all billed to play the festival.
“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled,” organisers posted on social media at 11 p.m. last night.
Organisers say they “sincerely regret the disappointment to fans” and apologise for disruption to local businesses.
Information regarding refunds will appear on the event’s social media pages in due course. Tickets were priced from £69 for one day to £205 for a five-day camping pass. VIP camping options cost £280.
“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled”
James Barton’s Superstruct Entertainment acquired Boardmasters from Global Festivals in April, along with the UK’s South West Four, Kendal Calling and Tramlines, as well as Croatian dance festival Hideout.
Prior to forming part of the Global portfolio, Boardmasters was owned by Impresario Festivals.
Severe weather conditions caused the cancellation of Rewind North in Cheshire, UK, earlier this month and was cited as the reason for the axing of Roxodus festival in Canada. Flood risks also forced the last-minute venue move which resulted in the cancellation of Neo Sala’s Doctor Music Festival in Spain.
The consequences of extreme weather has been a subject of discussion at the ILMC Production Meeting for many years, with production experts urging more long-term monitoring of weather conditions.
AIF appoints new board members at 2019 AGM
The UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) added three new board members at its 2019 annual general meeting (AGM) today.
Rewind Festival’s Katt Lingard, Kevin Moore of Vision Nine (Boardmasters and NASS) and Nozstock’s Rob Nosworthy were all added to the trade body’s board of directors, increasing the number of board members to 11 from eight. They join representatives from AIF members Deer Shed, ArcTanGent, Kilimanjaro Live, Broadwick Live, Greenbelt, Standon Calling, Liverpool Sound City and the Fair.
The AGM was AIF’s first as a fully autonomous body, having separated from the Association of Independent Music (AIM) in April 2018. The event welcomed guest speaker Ellie Giles from Step Music Management, who spoke about independent approaches to artist management and the importance of the live sector and festivals to artist development.
“We’re delighted to welcome Katt, Rob and Kevin, all of whom bring a range of skills and unique perspectives to the table, to the AIF board”
At the meeting, AIF CEO Paul Reed delivered an overview of the association’s first year as an independent company. In the year since becoming independent from AIM, AIF celebrated the introduction in May 2018 of a standalone PRS festival tariff, which it had pushed for and championed over the previous three years. It launched the Drastic on Plastic campaign, which sees member festivals committing to eliminating single-use plastic by 2021, this year.
Commenting on the new appointments, Reed says: “We’re delighted to welcome Katt, Rob and Kevin to the AIF board, all of whom bring a range of skills and unique perspectives to the table. With a membership of 65 festivals from 500 to 60,000 capacity, it is important that the complete range is represented. These are excellent appointments and it feels like we’re in a strong place going into 2019–20.”
AIF now has more than 65 members, with recent additions including Love Saves the Day, Mutations, Walthamstow Garden Party and We Are Fstvl.
O2, AEG win big at UK Sponsorship Awards
O2 won the silver award for the best sponsorship of the last 25 years for its partnership with AEG at the UK Sponsorship Awards last night, with AEG taking away a total of three awards at the ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel.
The UK Sponsorship Awards reward effectiveness across all sectors of the sponsorship, partnership and brand activation industries with campaigns judged by a panel of experts in each field.
Sponsored by CSM Live, the silver award follows a public vote on ten shortlisted partnerships, with the top five campaigns making the final shortlist which included British Airways’ sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics and Carling’s partnership with the English Premier League.
The awards committee described the O2-AEG partnership as “more than a sponsorship”, saying the deal had made O2 “an indelible part of the London landscape”.
O2 and AEG agreed a deal to turn the Millennium Dome into the O2 in 2005. An early example of the modern naming rights deal, the partnership has been renewed ever since the venue opened in 2007, most recently in 2017.
“As part of the team who negotiated the original deal in 2005 when working for O2, this is one of the biggest highlights in my career so far”
“As part of the team who negotiated the original deal in 2005 when working for O2, this is one of the biggest highlights in my career so far,” says Paul Samuels, executive vice president of AEG Global Partnerships.
“This partnership is so much more than just a naming rights deal. It’s a successful collaboration of likeminded brands with a shared vision for delivering the best in customer experience and benefits,” states Samuels.
Samuels was also named 2019 sponsorship champion for entertainment at the awards ceremony, principally for his work on the O2 naming rights partnership, which “will be his legacy, both at AEG and O2.”
AEG Presents also won the live entertainment and event sponsorship award for Barclaycard presents British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park, which enables the sponsor “to engage with audiences, through a journey of awareness, purchasing and on-site experiences.”
“This trio of wins is testament to the strength of AEG’s global partnerships team,” comments Samuels. “I am of course delighted to be named as a Sponsorship Champion, but that doesn’t happen without the backing and support of an immensely talented team that I am proud and honoured to work with.”
“This trio of wins is testament to the strength of AEG’s global partnerships team”
AEG Presents also reached the shortlist in the brand sponsorship category for its BST Hyde Park Barclaycard partnership and for the first time sponsor award, for its partnership with All Out Beauty at All Points East.
AEG rival Live Nation took home the special award for the best rights holder, for its “unique ability to leverage the power of live music for brand owners.”
Live Nation was also shortlisted in the live entertainment and event sponsorship award and best use of social media and online platforms categories for its festivals partnership with Co-op, which became the first UK retailer to have a supermarket at four UK festivals.
Other music industry shortlisters included Boardmasters festival for its Voxi Beach Cleans campaign (best use of sponsorship to encourage sustainability, effective use of a smaller budget) and Global and Smirnoff’s Equalising Music campaign (best sponsorship of women’s activities). Victorious Festival received special commendation in the live entertainment and event sponsorship category for its “simple, low cost sponsorship” by comedy TV channel Dave, the official commentator of the Portsmouth-based music festival.
Boardmasters, Download reveal new sustainability plans
Cornish surf and music event Boardmasters has announced plans to reduce waste at the event, shrinking the carbon footprint of the festival.
The festival takes place from 8–12 August, and will play host to 50,000 festivalgoers on the picturesque beaches of Fistral and Watergate Bay in south-west England. Headliners include Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Chemical Brothers and George Ezra.
This year, the festival – part of the Broadwick Live portfolio acquired by Global in October 2016 – has teamed up with charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), which has received £20,000 from the Boardmasters Foundation to help its cause. The charity will also be a recipient of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s charity wedding gift money.
Planned changes at Boardmasters include the implementation of a reusable cup scheme, the introduction of food banks, an emphasis on the use of reusable water bottles and the banning of plastic straws, in common with other UK festivals.
Surfers Against Sewage has received £20,000 from the Boardmasters Foundation to help its cause
Off the back of Boardmasters announcement, Festival Republic’s Download festival has similarly unveiled plans to create a more sustainable – as well as more accessible – event.
The improvements will include British sign language (BSL) interpreters, and the first-ever eco campsite, hosted by Greenpeace.
The festival was recently been awarded a four-star creative green certification from Julie’s Bicycle, a not-for-profit organisation helping fight climate change.
Download Festival takes place on 8–10 June 2018 at Donington Park in Leicestershire. Headliners are Avenged Sevenfold, Guns N’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne.
Festival Focus: 6 Music, Lovebox, WayHome, Flow
With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for 2017 to ensure we cover as much news as possible – keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in the festival world with the minimum of waffle.
Read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold), or click here for the previous FF. And if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, feel free to drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at [email protected].
6 Music Festival, UK (BBC, 24–26 March 2017)
Depeche Mode, Father John Misty, Belle and Sebastian, Temples, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Goldfrapp, The Lemon Twigs, Ride, Sparks, Cate Le Bon, etc. (Father John Misty photo by Ana Violtti/Side Stage Collective)
Cheltenham Jazz Festival, UK (Cheltenham Festivals, 26 April–1 May 2017)
Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, Ben Folds and Jamie Cullum, Chick Corea, Booker T. Jones, Jack Savoretti, etc.
Sea Star Festival, Croatia (Exit, 26–27 May 2017)
Fatboy Slim, Paul Kalkbrenner, Modestep, Pendulum, Elemental, Bad Copy, Brkovi, Artan Lili, Jonathan, High5 and Kukus, Kiša metaka, Krankšvester, Matter, Sassja
Roots Picnic, US (Live Nation, 3 June 2017)
Pharrell and The Roots, Lil Wayne, Solange, 21 Savage, Kimbra, etc.
FPSF, US (Free Press Houston, 3–4 June 2017)
Lorde, Flume, G-Eazy, Cage the Elephant, Solange, The Shins, Groulove, Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Carnage, Post Malone, Jon Bellion, Lil Uzi Vert, Jauz, etc.
Pinkpop, Netherlands (Mojo Concerts, 3–5 June 2017)
Justin Bieber (photo by Lou Stejskal)
Lovebox Festival, UK (Mama Festivals, 14–15 July 2017)
Chase & Status, Jamie XX, Jess Glynne, Solange, Annie Mac, Giggs, Andy C, Rag’n’Bone Man, Mac Miller, Seth Troxler, Kurupt FM, etc.
Rock Werchter, Belgium (Live Nation, 29 June–2 July)
Prophets of Rage, The Kills, Crystal Fighters, Kaleo, Warhaus, Benjamin Clementine, Mark Lanegan Band, Mura Masa, Maggie Rogers, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Soulwax, Rae Sremmurd
Colours of Ostrava, Czech Republic (Colour Production, 19–22 July 2017)
Jamiroquai, Imagine Dragons, Norah Jones, alt-J, Birdy, Moderat, LP, Laura Mvula, Benjamin Clementine, Unkle, Booka Shade, Nouvelle Vague, Afro Celt Sound System, etc. (Jamiroquai photo by Eva Rinaldi)
Truck Festival, UK (Global, 21–23 July 2017)
The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, The Vaccines, The Wombats, Slaves, Maxïmo Park, Nothing but Thieves, Loyle Carner, British Sea Power, Twin Atlantic, Jagwar Ma, Mr Motivator, etc.
WayHome Music & Arts Festival, Canada (Republic Live/Fource, 28–30 July 2017)
Frank Ocean, Imagine Dragons, Flume, Justice, Solange, Marshmello, Schoolboy Q, Vance Joy, Tegan and Sara, The Shins, etc.
Boardmasters, UK (SW1 Productions, 9–13 August 2017)
The Flaming Lips, The Vaccines, Stormzy, Frank Turner, Lethal Bizzle, Ziggy Marley, Gordon City, Giggs, Jagwar Ma, Kate Nash, Kurupt FM, etc.
Flow Festival, Finland (Flow Festival Ltd, 11–13 August 2017)
Frank Ocean, Ryan Adams, Moderat, Young Thug, Sampha, Sparks, Car Seat Headrest, which was originally born as a solo vehicle for frontman Will Toledo, Larry Heard, Model 500, Princess Nokia, Oranssi Pazuzu, Töölön Ketterä, Mikko Joensuu, Pykäri and Ahjo Ensemble, Litku Klemetti, The Holy, Vesta (Frank Ocean photo by Per Ole Hagen/NRK)
Appelsap Fresh Music Festival, Netherlands (Applesap, 12 August 2017)
Lil Wayne, Dave, Kempi, Yung Nnelg, 67, Jarreau Vandal, Siobhan Bell, Vic Crezée, etc.
Lowlands, Netherlands (Mojo Concerts, 18–20 August 2017)
Bastille, London Grammar, Cypress Hill, Michael Kiwanuka, Architects, Billy Talent, Future Islands, Glass Animals, Nina Kraviz, Robert Hood, Talaboman, Baloji, Denzel Curry, Palace, Shame, SMIB
Summer Sonic, Japan (Creativeman, 19–20 August 2017)
Calvin Harris, Liam Gallagher, 5 Seconds of Summer, Charli XCX, Justice, Kesha, Phoenix, Royal Blood, Sum 41, Circa Waves, Good Charlotte, G-Eazy, New Found Glory, etc.