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Copenhagen to gain ‘top-tier’ music venue

The Danish capital is set to gain a new 2,500-capacity music venue this winter.

Stagebox will open this November in Refshaleøen, a former industrial site in the harbour of Copenhagen that has been dubbed a ‘cultural playground’.

The venue, which is being opened by new operator Live Partner Denmark, will be located at Refshalevej 189 – an old and historical construction hall in the post-industrial shipyard.

Stagebox’s CEO Daniel Vangsgaard and head of partnerships Stefan Petersen (previously a booking agent and promoter at All Things Live Denmark) say they have kept the hall’s original features but the sound and lighting have been elevated.

The pair expect approximately 200,000 guests at Stagebox over the course of 2022.

The official opening concert, along with additional concerts and information on partnerships, will be announced later this month.

“I daresay that Copenhagen has long lacked a venue that was built exclusively for events and concerts”

“Speaking for Danish concert organisers, I daresay that Copenhagen has long lacked a venue that was built exclusively for events and concerts, where the sound and surroundings have been prioritised in order to provide the ultimate audience and artist experience,” says Vangsgaard, director and venue manager.

“And we’re incredibly excited to present them with such a space – both Danes and internationals.”

Refshaleøen is also home to major music festivals and events, as well as Michelin-star restaurants, food markets, plant halls, and exhibitions.

In 2017, Beatbox Entertainment (the promoter behind greenfield festivals Tinderbox and NorthSide) launched the brand new Haven festival in the shipyard – selling 20,000 tickets.

More recently, Live Nation Denmark, along with nine of the country’s biggest festivals, held a one-off event at Refshaleøen to mark the reopening of the country.

 


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Nordic music biz reveals Top 20 under 30 list for 2021

The fourth annual Nordic Music Biz Top 20 under 30 list has been revealed, honouring the ‘young forces driving the Nordic music industry forward’.

According to organsiers Nomex (Nordic Music Export), the winners were chosen by a panel of 15 judges from the Nordic music industry, based on “company growth, career path, recognition in the industry, influence in the industry in 2020, artistic development, innovation, concert revenues, sales, streaming, campaigns, radio and television publicity”.

This year’s Nordic Music Biz Top 20 under 30 list comprises:

Nina Finnerud, head of UK at Music Norway, commented on the list: “With the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen that the recruitment of young people into the music industry is more important than ever.

“It’s crucial to show the new generation of managers, labels, agents, festivals etc that it is a safe and rewarding industry to work in and choose as a career. It is also vital to make sure the artists have talented people to work with them and look out for their best interest in the future.”

This year’s Nordic Music Biz Top 20 under 30 will be honoured with a ceremony during by:Larm festival in Olso, Norway, on the 30 September.

Nomex was set up to facilitate growth and development in the Nordic music sector, and is a collaborative organisation set up by Export Music Sweden, Music Export Denmark, Music Finland, Iceland Music Export and Music Norway.

 


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Europe’s first stadium show since Covid-19 sells out

Live Nation Denmark has announced the first full-capacity stadium show in Europe since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The sold-out show will see Danish post-punk band, The Minds of 99, perform to 50,000 people at the National Stadium (aka Parken) in Copenhagen.

The concert is slated to take place in the Danish capital on 11 September, a day after the Danish government drops all remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

This means attendees will be able to enjoy the show without social distancing, wearing masks or showing Covid-19 certification.

Ulrik Orum-Petersen, promoter at Live Nation Denmark, told IQ that it’s a “historic day” for the European live music industry.

“[This is] a manifestation of the strong fan confidence towards our industry… it gives our whole industry incredible optimism”

“It’s also a manifestation of the strong fan confidence towards our industry and it gives our whole industry an incredible optimism and strong faith in a bright future ahead,” Orum-Petersen added.

The Minds of 99 say: “This concert has turned into something far greater than The Minds of 99. It’s about what the whole world has been through the last year and a half. It is about the full reopening of live music in Denmark. The live music that so many people live and breathe for. It’s not about us anymore. It is beautiful.”

Denmark is the EU’s third-most vaccinated country, according to Our World in Data, with 71% of the population having received two shots.

The high vaccination rate prompted the government to start the rollback of restrictions at the beginning of this month.

After 10 September, the Danish government will no longer categorise Covid-19 as a “socially critical disease” or legally impose any Covid-19 restrictions.

 


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Denmark drops all Covid-19 restrictions for live music

Denmark’s live industry is on the road to recovery after the government yesterday (1 September) dropped all remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

The requirements that have now lapsed include Corona pass requirements for indoor cultural and sporting events with more than 500 standing spectators, and for outdoor cultural and sporting events with more than 2,000 seated spectators. Social distancing has also been scrapped.

Corona passes will be required to gain entry to nightclubs until 10 September, after which point the government will no longer categorise Covid-19 as a “socially critical disease” or legally impose any Covid-19 restrictions.

“It is gratifying that restrictions are a thing of the past for the country’s concert organisers,” says Esben Marcher of Dansk Live – Denmark’s live music association.

“Now that corona is no longer considered a socially critical disease, we are facing a time of great reconstruction work. The organisers must find a foothold after almost two years of complete or partial closure and this is where our focus will be in the coming time.”

“The organisers must find a foothold after almost two years of complete or partial closure”

Minister for culture, Ane Halsboe Jørgensen, adds: “I am simply so happy that the cultural and sports life today can more or less say goodbye to the corona. For a long time, great demands have been made on culture to keep track of the pandemic.

“It has been necessary, but I am very pleased that we can now seriously begin a new chapter with a hopefully really good autumn for our cultural life.”

Denmark is the EU’s third-most vaccinated country, according to Our World in Data, with 71% of the population having received two shots.

The country was one of Europe’s first to impose a partial lockdown in March 2020 and one of the earliest to begin reopening, launching its Corona pass on 21 April this year.

Since that date, Dnanish restaurants, bars, cinemas, gyms, sports stadiums and hairdressing salons have been open for anyone who can prove that they are fully vaccinated, have a negative test result less than 72 hours old or contracted Covid within the past two to 12 weeks.

 


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Sweden’s TADC expands to Norway and Denmark

Swedish promoter Triffid and Danger Concerts has rebranded as TADC and opened offices in Norway and Denmark.

The company, formed in 2015 by the merger of Edward Janson’s Triffid Productions and Chris Rotenius’s Danger Music & Media, promotes more than 300 concerts a year in Scandinavia, as well as festivals such as Gefle Metal Festival and Atlas Rock in Gävle and the summer series Rock På Skansen in Stockholm.

“When we started the company six years ago our focus was on rock and metal,” says Rotenius. “In the future we will broaden our focus, and the change of name is a logical step, even though rock music will still be close to our hearts.”

In Norway, the business will be run alongside Jon Enger of Live Wire Concerts. TADC says it will launch a festival and summer concert series in Norway over the next few years.

“During the last couple of years the company has grown quickly and it feels like the right step to have a presence in Norway and Denmark as well,” says Janson. “We are looking forward to a lot of successful shows in all three countries.”

 


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Live Nation, Roskilde and more plan test project

A number of major players in Denmark’s live music industry are organising a test project to gather knowledge and evidence on how major events can take place safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The partners behind the project include Live Nation Denmark, Dansk Live (Denmark’s live music association) and major Danish festivals such as Roskilde, NorthSide, Tinderbox and Smukfest, as well as organisations outside of the sector.

The project, dubbed Safe 2.0, will take place in late summer and autumn with an aim to find out:

Safe 2.0, funded by the ‘Restart’ team for culture and sport, will use a similar model to the one used during a test series of football matches earlier this year.

All attendees were required to show proof of a negative antigen test in order to gain entry to the 3F Superliga competitions, organised by the Divisional Association.

“The hope was initially that we could secure knowledge that could ensure a faster reopening for the benefit of festivals”

Organisers say Safe 2.0 will implement Denmark’s vaccine passport (Coronapas) as soon as it becomes available in autumn.

“Safe was originally developed together with the Divisional Association in the autumn of 2020, but we are now at version 2.0 of the project, where the focus is on cultural activities,” says Dansk Live’s Esben Marcher.

“The hope was initially that we could secure knowledge that could ensure a faster reopening for the benefit of festivals and venues. Even if it did not succeed, we are happy to be able to start the project now and secure knowledge that can prove crucial in the future.”

Safe 2.0 comes too late for the raft of festivals that were called off in May due to government restrictions.

Roskilde (26 June to 3 July), Smukfest (4–8 August), Northside (3–5 June), Tinderbox (24–26 June), Beautiful Party (4–8 August), Jelling Festival (20–23 May), Copenhell (16–19 June) and Heartland (27–29 May) were cancelled this year.

Vig Festival (8–10 July), Thy Rock (25–26 June), Nibe Festival (30 June to 3 July), Ringsted Festival (5–7 August), Langelandsfestival (18–25 July), Radio ABC Beach Party (17 July) and Kløften Festival (24–26 June) were also called off.

 


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Danish festival giants join forces for comeback event

Live Nation has teamed up with nine of Denmark’s biggest festivals – Roskilde Festival, NorthSide, Heartland, Copenhell, Smukfest, Tinderbox, Jelling Musikfestival, Nibe Festival and Grøn – for a one-off event that will mark the reopening of the country.

‘Back to Live’ will take place at Refshaleøen, a former industrial site in the harbour of Copenhagen, on Saturday 4 September – days after the country’s current Covid-19 restrictions are due to be lifted, allowing large events to take place.

According to the organisers, the concert will also serve as an opportunity for the festivals involved to “gain experience and collect empirical data on Covid initiatives” in relation to organising large live events.

“Two years without festivals have been hard for the entire music industry and both the audience, artists and organisers need to feel the community,” reads a statement from the organisers.

“The crisis has also strengthened the dialogue and cooperation between the festivals”

“At the same time, the crisis has also strengthened the dialogue and cooperation between the festivals and revealed a pronounced need to focus on the importance of live concerts and their significance for community and unity in society.”

The one-day outdoor concert will kick off at 2:00 pm (CET), hosting performances from “some of Denmark’s biggest names in rock and hip hop” including Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, Dad, Suspekt, Tessa and more to be announced.

Tickets for Back to Live are on sale now for DKK 545 (€73).

Currently, in Denmark, 10,000 people are allowed at “public events”, thanks to the country’s Covid-19 ‘passport’, Coronapas, which certifies that the bearer has either tested negative for the coronavirus or is immune/vaccinated.

The government recently clarified the restrictions from August onwards but the news came too late for Denmark’s major music festivals, which cancelled en masse last month citing a lack of information.

However, a number of the festivals – Roskilde, Nibe and Smukfest – have planned alternative events this summer.

 


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Netherlands and Denmark go full capacity this summer

Live events will be permitted at full capacity in the Netherlands and Denmark – pre-pandemic, respectively Europe’s fifth- and eighth-largest live music markets – as early as this month provided fans can produce proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.

The Dutch minister for economic affairs, Mona Keijzer, announced today (11 June) that ticketed events in the Netherlands may go ahead at 100% capacity after 30 June if they require a vaccination certificate or negative test (the latter a maximum of 40 hours old) from attendees. Currently, a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is required between each eventgoer.

The decision to lift the Netherlands’ final social distancing regulations comes on the back of encouraging results from Fieldlab Evenementen’s Back to Live, the world’s biggest pilot event programme, which revealed that the Covid-19 risk at live events is about the same as bring at home when following hygiene and testing protocols.

“It is great news that events such as festivals and concerts will soon be possible again thanks to the hard work of Fieldlab Evenementen,” says Keijzer. “We now use the insights gained by the Fieldlab organisation to adjust the roadmap. If you have been vaccinated, tested negative or have recovered from Covid-19, you can go to a festival or concert as you could before.”

The new rules initially apply only to ticketed single-day events, though multi-day events and overnight stays will be possible from 29 July, according to NU.nl.

“If you have been vaccinated, tested negative or have recovered from Covid-19, you can go to a festival or concert”

In Denmark, meanwhile, up to 10,000 people will be allowed at “public events” as of Monday (14 June), AFP/Reuters reports, thanks to the country’s Covid-19 ‘passport’, Coronapas, which certifies that the bearer has either tested negative for the coronavirus or is immune/vaccinated.

“We will be able to do everything that we have missed, because we now have the epidemic under control,” Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke told reporters earlier this week.

The loosening of restrictions initially applies only to outdoor events, with 11 August the date when any form of assembly limit (indoors or outdoors) is scheduled to attend, according to The Local. Additionally, there are different rules for music compared to sport and other live events: The live music industry is currently permitted only 2,000 guests for outdoor events and in sections of 500. From 1 July it will be 2,000, in sections of 1,000, and from 15 August it will be 10,000 attendees, albeit in sections of 2,500.

The Danish government is aiming for the Coronapas to be phased out completely by 1 October, when it is hoped enough people will be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The clarification on the rules from August onwards comes too late for Denmark’s major music festivals, which cancelled en masse last month citing a lack of information.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Female urinals developed to eliminate festival queues

Historically, equality at festivals has fallen over when it comes to fans answering a call of nature. While male attendees are often catered to with urinal installations, their female peers have to endure waiting times of up to 30 times longer to use the facilities.

However, a number of companies are addressing the situation with the introduction of female urinals, designed to vastly cut queues for festivalgoers, which could, in turn, result in higher concession sales, with ladies able to spend more time waiting for food or drink without having to meticulously plan their day around toilet breaks.

At the Green Events and Innovations Conference in March, the order books of Lapee became busier after numerous festivals were impressed by its advantages, while the latest operation to enter the market is Peequal, which is making a similar system available to event organisers.

Former University of Bristol students Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane developed their hands-free Peequal after interviewing 2,000 women in focus groups and spending their summers working at music festivals. According to McShane, during their work breaks they had to choose between going to the loo or getting food, because the queues for the toilets were so bad.

“Peequal has been created by women, for women”

As a result, the pair took on the challenge of designing a better toilet solution as part of their master’s degree project, and the outcome could very well be seen in a field near you soon.

Like Lapee, Peequal provides users with a degree of privacy, and delivers a much greener solution for toilet facilities at events.

The standalone, touch free Peequal units claim to be six times quicker to use than a lock-door loo. The design is flat-pack and its developers say it is six times quicker to pack, as well as being made from 100% recycled material and they produce 98% less CO2 than portable toilets. The unit can be configured in three ways, making it easily adaptable to different environments.

“Peequal has been created by women, for women,” say the inventors. “We have been endorsed by WaterAid, Glastonbury and many more customers, who also see this problem and want a solution. Initially we intend to rent to early adopting and influential customers, and then scale up to reach the global market where we have identified a demand.”

 


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Nordic test shows: Too little, too late?

After effectively ruling out the 2021 festival season, the governments in Denmark and Norway are now in the process of organising large-scale test events to determine how big gatherings can take place during the pandemic.

According to Denmark’s live association, Dansk Live, such experiments were proposed in December 2020 and also in March 2021 by the government-backed ‘Restart Team’.

Both proposals were “kicked to the corner by the authorities,” according to Dansk Live’s Esben Marcher, but it seems that Denmark’s minister of culture has had a late change of heart.

This week, minister Joy Mogensen asked the government’s Restart Team to assess the possibilities of conducting experiments with large events this summer.

The minister’s request comes three weeks after the government’s roadmap was published, which stated that a maximum of 2,000 participants will be permitted at festivals between 21 May and 1 August 2021.

The announcement was followed by a raft of cancellations from 15+ festivals including Roskilde (26 June to 3 July), Smukfest (4–8 August), Northside (3–5 June) and Tinderbox (24–26 June) – rendering the country’s 2021 festival season over.

“The hope was that knowledge could be created that could ensure better opportunities for this summer’s events”

While Dansk Live’s Marcher has welcomed the news of potential test concerts, he also expresses disappointment that large-scale pilots weren’t approved earlier in the year.

“Already at the end of 2020, we proposed to the minister of culture that experiments be carried out in events that bring many people together,” he says.

“The hope was that knowledge could be created that could ensure better opportunities for this summer’s events. Although it is positive that there now seems to be support for making trial arrangements, it is, of course, a pity that there has been no political will to launch trials in the past.”

The Norwegian government has also shown little political will to organise test concerts up to this point – though, after some uncertainty, this morning the cabinet finally approved a pilot series proposed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The institute is planning five test concerts in Bergen and Oslo with up to 5,000 people attending each one. As previously reported in IQ, 15,000 participants will be recruited for a control group and will not actually attend the concerts.

The series is expected to kick off in June and concerts will take place in a number of venues including Oslo Spektrum and Grieg Hall in Bergen.

The Nowegian government this morning approved a pilot series proposed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

The research project will investigate whether the risk of the spread of infection is reduced to such an extent that rapid testing can replace the distance requirement during events.

Bergen Live, Øya festival, Palmesus and other Norwegian concert organisers will be involved in the test events – many of which were forced to cancel festivals due to the government’s preliminary guidelines, which restrict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August and 10,000 thereafter.

Live Nation-owned festivals Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival among events have been cancelled since.

Compared with other countries in the northern hemisphere, Norway and Denmark have been slow off the mark with arranging test shows.

Germany began conducting test shows as far back as August 2020, with Restart-19, prompting other nations including Spain, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and Luxembourg, to follow suit. See an extensive timeline of pilot projects here.

While the test shows haven’t necessarily guaranteed the security of the 2021 festival season – many of the aforementioned markets have already seen the summer season obliterated due to government restrictions – nations like the UK are surging towards a full reopening thanks to reassuring results from the government’s Events Research Programme.

 


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