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Fatboy Slim, Madness to headline new Dreamland festival

Fatboy Slim and Madness will headline Hi Tide, a new festival taking place at restored amusement park and live event space Dreamland Margate, as part of the venue’s 100th birthday celebrations.

DJ Fatboy Slim, real name Norman Cook, will perform alongside special guests on Saturday 4 July, with ska band Madness heading up the bill the following day.

The launch of the event saw Cook and Madness frontman Graham McPherson, or “Suggs”, give away 100 free weekend tickets from an ice-cream van on the seafront of the town of Margate, in south-east England.

The festival is one of the headline events marking Dreamland Margate’s 100th anniversary this year. Organised by Fifty Six Group, the creators of Gorillaz’ Demon Dayz festival which took place at Dreamland in 2017, Hi Tide is the biggest music event that the 15,000-capacity vintage amusement park has hosted since it reopened in 2015.

“This is a going to be phenomenal event for Dreamland, and for the people of Kent,” comments Dreamland CEO Eddie Kemsley.

“We are thrilled to present not one but two incredible headline artists over one epic weekend at our beautiful park in our centenary year”

“We are thrilled to present not one but two incredible headline artists over one epic weekend at our beautiful park in our centenary year. We can’t think of a better birthday party,” continues Kelmsley, adding that the team is “really pleased” to work with Fifty Six Group again.

“After Demon Dayz we really saw there was a need to bring a major festival to Margate and for the local Kent community,” says Fifty Six Group CEO Mags Revell. “Hi Tide will become a yearly event that we hope will be taken into the hearts of the local community and in turn they will help us create its personality as it grows.”

Dreamland was last year singled out in a UK Government report as the most notable contributor to the success of the regeneration of the seaside town of Margate.

Upcoming events at the venue include performances by Julian Cope, Mike Skinner, Faithless, Annie Mac, Andy C and De La Soul.

Tickets for Hi Tide go on sale at here at 9 a.m. (GMT) on Friday 31 January. Day tickets are priced at £72.50, with a weekend pass costing £130.


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Government praises Dreamland for seaside regeneration

A new government report has praised theme park and outdoor live music space Dreamland Margate for its role in the successful regeneration of the seaside town.

The House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns visited Dreamland for its report entitled ‘The future of seaside towns’, published yesterday (Thursday 4 April).

The report held up Margate as a positive example of coastal regeneration, with Dreamland singled out as one of the most notable contributors to this success.

Referring to both Dreamland and art gallery Turner Contemporary, the report stated: “The emerging arts and cultural scene is having a significant impact on sustaining these two assets in the town and will continue to drive (new) audiences. This follows a long-term strategy for creative and cultural-led regeneration in Margate.”

First opening in 1880, Dreamland was a staple attraction of British seaside town Margate for over a century until the decline in favour of seaside holidays led to the amusement park’s closure in 2003.

Thanet District Council purchased Dreamland in 2013 and brought it back to life in 2015, restoring fair ground rides and landscaping the site to allow for art installations, food stalls, bars and an “eclectic programme of live events”.

Live events take place in Dreamland’s Hall by the Sea (1,000-cap.), which has seen the likes of the Who, the Rolling Stones, Groove Armada and Maribou State.

“Margate remains a benchmark for other seaside towns in terms of what collaborative, arts and leisure-led regeneration can achieve”

The site also has an outdoor Scenic Stage, which has been the setting for the Dreamland Block Party, headlined by Big Narstie, Sunset Sessions featuring Jess Glynne, Dreamland By the Sea festival (Everything Everything, Metronomy, the Libertines) and Gorillaz’ Goldenvoice-promoted Demon Dayz Festival.

Dreamland’s new season begins on Saturday 6 April, with free entry to the site over Easter. The site will play host to Annie Mac, Happy Mondays, Rudimental, Mac Demarco and Rob Da Bank’s Camp Bestival Easter Party.

Dreamland chief executive Eddie Kelmsley welcomes the praise, saying: “Margate remains a benchmark for other seaside towns in terms of what collaborative, arts and leisure-led regeneration can achieve, and we are extremely proud to be part of the story.”

However, Kelmsley stresses that there is still work to be done. “Seaside towns cannot focus only on the summer peaks – there must be a year-round offer,” she says. “This is the goal for Dreamland, as we work towards a full 12-month offer with numerous events planned throughout the year plus our award-winning Halloween event, Screamland, and a brand new Christmas event planned for 2019.”

The Dreamland chief also outlines the importance of including all the local community. “In Margate, it is important that we regenerate not gentrify,” explains Kelmsley. “We must also include tertiary education in conversations and initiatives, so the next generation feel invested in their town’s future – and feel they have a place in it.”

Annual Dreamland Membership starts from £50 and includes unlimited rides and use of the Roller Room, exclusive food and drink discounts and special offers on ticketed events.


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Beyond the Tracks: We want to be B’ham’s flagship fest

The man behind Birmingham’s first three-day rock festival has told IQ he hopes to turn Beyond the Tracks into the “flagship festival” of Britain’s second city.

Event manager John Fell – who is also event manager/head of booking for Moseley Folk Festival and Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul, both in Moseley Park, Birmingham, and Lunar Festival, held in Nick Drake’s home village of Tanworth-in-Arden – says he hopes the new event will become Birmingham’s leading festival – and that, if ticket sales are any indication, it’s off to a good start.

“For an inaugural event we are delighted with the ticket sales so far,” explains Fell (pictured). “We have certainly sold more, at this point, than predicted, so we are excited to see how the trend continues. We would be over the moon with a sell-out in the first year, and with the line-up we have it is quite possible.”

That line-up is topped by Orbital, Ocean Colour Scene and Editors, who respectively headline three themed days of music: electronica on Friday 15 September (Leftfield, Faithless, Jagwar Ma) indie rock on Saturday 16 September (Maxïmo Park, The Coral, The Twang, The Libertines’ Carl Barât) and alt-rock/shoegaze on Sunday 17 September (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Wild Beasts, Slowdive, Peter Hook of New Order).

Fell says the booking philosophy behind Beyond the Tracks was was to “create three diverse days for music fans”. “The programming is definitely different from our other events, but it has given us the opportunity to offer something different,” he explains. “The prospect of putting on Orbital, Leftfield and a Faithless DJ set in Birmingham city centre on a Friday night is something we are all far too excited about!”

In addition to being his first festival targeted towards towards a primarily adult audience, Beyond the Tracks is Fell’s inaugural event in Eastside City Park, a 6.75-acre urban park in the Eastside district of Birmingham. The park, which opened to the public in 2013, has yet to host a festival, and Fell says the city-centre location is a major selling point. “We have secured the perfect grassed area, surrounded by the iconic buildings of Birmingham,” he comments. “I think this one is about location, location, location.”

“The prospect of putting on Orbital, Leftfield and Faithless in Birmingham city centre on a Friday night is something we are all far too excited about”

Fell says a large proportion of ticket sales so far have been to people outside the local area – something he also attributes to the Eastside location: “Ticket sales so far are showing a large percentage of people attending are coming from outside Birmingham. We believe the location and the convenient transport links make it an easy festival to attend, attracting people from the north, south, east and west [of England].”

The past few years have seen an increase in the number of greenfield, city-centre festivals in the UK, with DF Concerts’ not-a-T in the Park-replacement Trnsmt, Goldenvoice’s Demon Dayz at Dreamland Margate and LWE’s Junction 2 in London all making their debuts since 2016. Fell attributes this to a “combination of festivals abroad offering a cheap option with the guarantee of sun [and] the convenience factor. Inner-city festivals offer great transport links and the option to go for a single day. Plus, when the festival finishes at 22.30 there is the option to head to the local pubs, making it a great day-and-night option.”

Greenfield festivals, being located in residential areas, present a different set of challenges for promoters, but Fell says Beyond the Tracks has been “very lucky with how accommodating the council have been”.

Aside from the logistics of putting on a 10,000-daily cap. music festival in Birmingham city centre, what has been the greatest challenge in getting Beyond the Tracks off the ground?

Probably artist fees, says Fell, which are “becoming more challenging each year, as the bigger festivals with bigger budgets are able to lock artists in early on”. He is, however, confident that will become easier as the festival finds its feet, with pressures on booking “naturally eas[ing] as we become a more established festival”.

“With that said, we are delighted with our inaugural line-up,” Fell concludes, “and think it’s up there with the best.”

The inaugural Beyond the Tracks runs from 15 to 17 September. Weekend tickets are priced at £145, with daily tickets available from £54.45.


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Robbie, Gorillaz fans scammed by fake ticket site

A fraudulent website which sold non-existent tickets to a number of popular events, including Goldenvoice’s Demon Dayz Festival in Margate and dates by Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart, has been shut down.

Victims who handed money over to were told as the shows approached that tickets could not be sent, with calls and emails requesting a refund left unanswered.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) warned last March that ticket fraud rose in the UK by 55% in 2015, and a year later more than 1,500 people attempted to buy tickets from Surfed Arts, a fake secondary ticketing site set up by the City of London police.

According to NFIB, the site told buyers “they will receive physical tickets along with further correspondence nearer to the event date; however, as the concert or event date has drawn closer and victims have attempted to contact for an update, a response has been received suggesting a number of reasons why tickets cannot be sent.

Ticket fraud rose 55% in the UK in 2015

“These include an overbooking of tickets at the venue, a delay receiving the tickets from a supplier or that the tickets have simply had to be cancelled.

“When victims have responded to the email or attempted to seek further information via’s social media platforms, there has been no further contact. Some reports have also indicated that victims have been promised a refund, though we are currently unaware of any refunds being awarded.”

NFIB says affected events include Demon Dayz and a Robbie Williams (pictured) show, while the Shropshire Star quotes another customer who planned to see Rod Stewart at Shrewsbury Town FC last week.


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Gorillaz, AEG ‘planning Demon Dayz Chicago’

Gorillaz have international aspirations for their new Demon Dayz Festival, according to frontman Damon Albarn.

Goldenvoice/AEG Presents has already announced the launch of a UK edition of Demon Dayz, set for 10 June at the new 15,000-cap. venue at Dreamland Margate in Kent, but the promoter is also planning a Chicago event, Albarn said in a recent interview with Q Magazine.

As spotted by user Theef, Q reports Albarn is rehearsing for “Gorillaz’s forthcoming live dates, which include Demon Dayz, two one-day festivals in Margate and Chicago” (emphasis ours).

No location has yet been announced, although it’s probably safe to say Grant Park (the home of Live Nation’s Lollapalooza) is off limits.

Gorillaz, whose new album, Humanz, will be released on 28 April, are already confirmed for the UK Demon Dayz and San Francisco’s Outside Lands this summer.


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Dreamland continues live revival with new events

Independent punk and ska event Undercover Festival – it of pissing-off-the-NRA fame – is to relocate to Dreamland Margate for 2017, bringing the theme park’s slate of confirmed music festivals to four this year.

Undercover joins Margate Wonderland, a spin-off of east London hipster festival Hackney Wonderland; Hipsville Seaside-a-Go! Go!, which presents the “wildest rock’n’roll and soul sounds of the 1960s and beyond”; and Gorillaz’ Goldenvoice-promoted Demon Dayz Festival on Dreamland’s 2017 festival calendar, as the Victorian seaside resort bids to recapture former glories by positioning itself as major touring and festival destination for the east of England.

By the Sea, which took place at Dreamland in 2015 and 2016, has not yet announced any dates for 2017, although the festival is promoting a solo show by Slaves in July.

Dreamland, which dates from 1880, was once one of Britain’s best-loved amusement parks, but closed in 2003 after a long period of decline as seaside holidays fell out of favour. It was compulsorily purchased by Thanet District Council in 2013 and reopened two years later, bringing together “lovingly restored vintage rides set against a backdrop of art installations, adventurous street food, unique bars and an eclectic programme of live events”.

“We believe we’ve captured something truly special with this newly imagined incarnation of Dreamland”

Housing its live events offering are the original Hall by the Sea – a 2,000-capacity venue that played host to mod greats including The Who and The Rolling Stones – and a new 15,000-cap. venue, which will debut with Demon Dayz on 10 June and which Dreamland says “sees us put Margate back on the music venue map”.

Jennie Double, Dreamland Margate’s commercial director, says she “cannot wait to unveil the new park to locals and visitors alike. By combining contemporary food and culture with authentic vintage rides and the uniquely British heritage that only we can offer, we believe we’ve captured something truly special with this newly imagined incarnation of Dreamland.”

Undercover Festival 2017, which runs from 8 to 9 September, will feature performances by Tom Robinson, Geno Washington, Doctor and the Medics, Jilted John, UK, Ruts DC and Angelic Upstarts. Its promoter, Undercover Promotions’ Mick Moriarty, says the new venue will provide “an experience that defies all other conventions and festival templates. Not only do we have a cracking alternative line-up, but festivalgoers can experience many retro rides and amusements. Plus, it is once again held undercover –  ie not outdoors – so if it’s peeing down come September it’s not a problem and your beer won’t get diluted.”

Speaking about Demon Dayz, Mags Revell, vice-president of live music at Goldenvoice/AEG Presents, told Music Week in March: “We have been planning the all-new Demon Dayz Festival, which sold out in 10 minutes, for some time, and Dreamland Margate is the ultimate venue for Gorillaz to make their long awaited return to the stage.  The location and the backdrop of the amusement park will be the perfect playground for the full festival line-up.”


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Festival Focus: Lollapalooza, Arroyo Seco, Sziget

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].


Gorillaz, 16 December 2010, Adrian Pua

Demon Dayz Festival, UK (Goldenvoice/X-ray Touring, 10 June 2017)
Gorillaz (Gorillaz photo by Adrian Pua)

Arroyo Seco Weekend, US (Goldenvoice, 24–25 June 2017)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Weezer, The Shins, Andrew Bird, etc.

Global Citizen Festival Hamburg, Germany (Global Poverty Project/Live Nation, 6 July 2017)
Herbert Grönemeyer, Coldplay, The Chainsmokers, Ellie Goulding

Trnsmt, UK (DF Concerts, 7–9 July 2017)
Stormzy, The View, Cabbage

Deadmau5, Club Answer, 2009, Hyunji Choi

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain (Maraworld, 13–16 July 2017)
Deadmau5, Stormzy, Crystal Fighters, Pete Doherty, Courteeners, Dua Lipa, Mura Masa, Kaytranada, etc. (Deadmau5 photo by Hyunji Choi)

Glastonbury Festival, UK (Glastonbury Festivals Ltd, 21–25 June 2017)
Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters

FYF Fest, US (Goldenvoice, 21–23 July 2017)
Missy Elliot, Björk, Frank Ocean, Nine Inch Nails, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Solange, Iggy Pop, Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus, Anderson .Paak, MGMT, etc.

Karoondinha Music & Arts Festival, US (Hawk Eye Presents, 21–23 July 2017)
John Legend, Odesza, The Roots, Chromeo, Alessia Cara, X Ambassadors, Needtobreathe, St Lucia, Alunageorge, etc.

Rita Ora, 87th Academy Awards, Disney–ABC Television Group

Lollapalooza, US (C3 Presents, 3–6 August 2017)
Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Muse, Arcade Fire, The xx, Lorde, Blink-182, DJ Snake, Justice, Alt-J, Run the Jewels, Cage the Elephant, Wiz Khalifa, etc.

Osheaga, Canada (Evenko, 4–6 August 2017)
The Weeknd, Muse, Lorde, Major Lazer, Alabama Shakes, Justice, Solange, Vance Joy, Cage the Elephant, MGMT, Foster the People, Father John Misty, Die Antwoord, Liam Gallagher, etc.

Sziget, Hungary (Sziget Cultural Management, 9–16 August 2017)
Pink, Wiz Khalifa, Rita Ora, Paul Van Dyk, Alex Clare, Dimension, The Courteeners, The Vaccines, Her (Rita Ora photo by Craig Sjodin for Disney-ABC Television Group)

V Festival, UK (Metropolis Music/SJM Concerts, 19–20 August 2017)
Pink, Jay Z, Rudimental, Craig David, Pete Tong, Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne, Stormzy, George Ezra, Madness, Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, Dizzee Rascal, James Arthur, etc.

Eminem, Lollapalooza Chile 2016

Glasgow Summer Sessions, UK (DF Concerts, 24 August 2017)
Eminem, Run the Jewels, Danny Brown, Russ (Eminem photo by

Reading Festival/Leeds Festival,UK (Festival Republic, 25–27 August 2017)
Eminem, Haim, Migos, Giggs, You Me at Six, Blossoms, Frank Carter, The Pretty Reckless, Billy Talent, Everything Everything, Cabbage, Milky Change, Lethal Bizzle, Black Lips, etc.

Rock en Seine, France (Nous Productions, 25–27 August 2017)
At the Drive-In, PJ Harvey, The xx, Flume, The Kills, Franz Ferdinand, Cypress Hill, Frank Carter, The Pretty Reckless, Ty Segall, Mø, etc.


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