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Festival Fever: a further glance at 2020 line-ups

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ takes a peek at what organisers of Hellfest, Longitude, Lollapalooza Stockholm, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park and NorthSide have up their sleeves for the summer to come.

(See last week’s edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Hellfest

When: 19 to 21 June
Where: Clisson, France
How many: 50,000

French metal festival Hellfest celebrated one of its best editions ever last year, which included an extra day to host the Slipknot-fronted Knotfest within the festival site.

The 2020 festival will feature headliners Deftones, Faith No More and System of a Down, playing alongside Incubus, Korn, Deep Purple and Judas Priest.

Earlier this year, a man was sentenced to a month in prison for hacking into the onsale of the French festival. The hacker, who works in cybersecurity, claimed he had only wanted to buy tickets to Hellfest 2020 “without having to queue”.

Tickets for Hellfest 2020 are sold out. Organisers advise fans to use fan-to-fan resale site TicketSwap to buy or sell tickets to the festival.

The 2020 festival will feature headliners Deftones, Faith No More and System of a Down

Longitude

When: 5 to 7 July
Where: Marlay Park, Dublin, Ireland
How many: 40,000

MCD Productions’ Longitude festival is returning in 2020 with headline performances from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Asap Rocky.

The event will also see performances from the likes of J Hus, AJ Tracey, Young Thug, Aitch, Playboi Carti and Dababy.

The Longitude line-up announcement comes shortly after the news that Denis Desmond-led MCD is bringing back alternative-rock festival Sunstroke in 2020. The event, which takes place from 13 to 14 June at Punchestown Racecourse near Naas in Ireland, features headliners Faith No More and Deftones.

Tickets for Longitude festival are available here, priced at €89.50 (£75) for a day ticket and €199.50 (£168) for a weekend pass. Tickets for Sunstroke can be bought here, with day tickets costing €79.50 (£67) and weekend camping tickets costing €169.50 (£143).

Longitude festival is returning with headline performances from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Asap Rocky

Lollapalooza Stockholm

When: 26 to 28 June
Where: Gärdet, Stockholm, Sweden

The debut edition of Lollapalooza Stockholm took place last year, signalling the festival franchise’s first edition in Scandinavia and third in Europe after Lolla Berlin and Paris.

The festival, which is produced by Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell, WME, C3 Presents and Live Nation Sweden with subsidiary company Luger, features headline performances from Post Malone, Pearl Jam, the Killers and Kendrick Lamar, as well as appearances from Ellie Goulding, Zara Larsson, Kacey Musgraves and Camila Cabello.

Launched in Chicago in 1991, Lollapalooza events now take place in Sweden, France, Germany, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, as well as the US.

Three-day early bird passes are available here for SEK 2,295 (£185).

The debut edition of Lollapalooza Stockholm took place last year

Rock am Ring/Rock im Park

When: 5 to 7 June
Where: Nürburgring race track/Zeppelinfeld, Nürnberg, Germany
How many: 90,000

Marek Lieberberg’s twin festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, the biggest in Germany and among the largest in the world, are turning 35 and 25 respectively in 2020.

Headliners for the anniversary events come in the form of System of a Down, Green Day and Volbeat, with performances also coming from Babymetal, Korn, Gojira, Deftones, the Offspring, Weezer and Yungblud.

The past two editions of the festivals have proved successful, following three years plagued by inclement weather and possible terror threats.

Tickets for Rock am Ring and Rock im Park are available here for €194 (£163) and Rock im Park here for €244 (£205).

Headliners for the anniversary events come in the form of System of a Down, Green Day and Volbeat

NorthSide

When: 4 to 6 June
Where: Aarhus, Denmark
How many: 40,000

The 2020 edition of Down the Drain’s NorthSide festival will be the last at its current site in the Ådalen river valley, near the Danish city of Aarhus, as the event prepares to move to a new site, more than twice the size of its original home, in Eskelund, also near Aarhus.

Described as ‘a controlled chaos’ by festival CEO Brian Nielsen, NorthSide has already confirmed acts for 2020 including Green Day, Robyn, Weezer, White Lies, Johnny Marr, Franc Moody and Jung.

Down the Drain Group, which wholly acquired the festival from FKP Scorpio in 2018, earlier this year received investment from Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment.

Tickets for NorthSide 2020 are available here, priced at DDK 1,935 (£218) for a full festival pass and DDK 1,195 (£135) for a day ticket.

 


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Xenia Grigat joins Luger Denmark

Three months after stepping down from her role at Down the Drain Concerts, Xenia Grigat, one of Denmark’s most experienced concert promoters, has joined Luger Denmark.

Luger, a Swedish promoter and booking agency owned by Live Nation, expanded into Denmark in early 2018 when it opened an office in Copenhagen. At Luger, Grigat will lead the company’s Danish expansion, as it transforms from being an agency for local artists to promoting shows by international acts.

Sarah Sølvsteen, director of Luger Denmark, comments: “There are good days and then there are absolutely fabulous days, like today, when we can announce the addition of Xenia Grigat to our Danish Luger team. With her sublime taste and love for her artists, Xenia is a perfect match with Luger Denmark’s philosophy and values​, and it makes me really proud that she has chosen to become part of our team.”

Ten acts, including Lord Siva, Efterklang, Ida Laurberg and Hugorm, have joined Luger Denmark this year. They join a roster that includes established artists such as Mø, the Minds of 99, Jada and Phlake.

Grigat, named head of international artists, explains: “I’ve had amazing 12 years working at Beatbox and then Down the Drain promoting shows and festivals, but the time is right for me to take the next step in my career. The opportunity to create a new chapter with Luger Denmark and their team is an offer I can’t resist.

“The time is right for me to take the next step in my career”

“I’m really looking forward to getting started and present artists, agents and managers with a variety of new opportunities, such as our extended Scandinavian reach.”

Adds Ola Broquist, director of Luger Sweden: “It’s a big day for our Scandinavian Luger family. In Sweden, we have clearly seen the synergies when working with both Swedish and international artists under the same roof and how it benefits the artists. With the new offerings structure in Denmark, we will collectively be positioned much stronger in the Scandinavia market.”

“We have clearly seen how Luger Sweden has been able to develop their business for a number of years by heavily focusing on their artists as both agent and promoter,” says Jesper Christensen of Live Nation Denmark. “With Xenia Grigat’s addition to the team, we will have a star capacity on board, which will strengthen Luger Denmark’s position both locally and internationally.

“I have great respect for Xenia as a promoter, and have always admired her unique ability and special care for the many strong artists she has worked with over the years”.

From today (1 November), Luger Denmark’s team consists of Sølvsteen, Grigat, Emma Markvad, Dorthe Hyllested, Freja Becker Anthonsen and Martin Rintza.

 


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The New Bosses 2019: Karolina Hansen, DTD Concerts

The New Bosses 2019 – the biggest-ever edition of IQ‘s yearly roundup of future live industry leaders, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 85 last week revealing the twelve promising agents, promoters, bookers and execs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2019’s New Bosses, to discover their greatest inspirations and proudest achievements, pinpoint the reasons for their success and obtain advice for those hoping to be a future New Boss. Snippets of the interviews can be found in the latest IQ Magazine, with all interviews being reproduced in full online and on IQ Index over the coming weeks.

The next New Boss is Karolina Hansen (29), a promoter at Down the Drain Concerts in Denmark. Born in Szczecin, Poland, Hansen has lived in Denmark since she was three years old. She began her career at Down the Drain Concerts (then known as Beatbox Entertainment) as a promoter assistant in 2015, after an early career that saw her working in the punk and hard-core scene in Copenhagen, and interning at UTA in London.

Hansen’s roster now includes the likes of Khalid, Billie Eilish, Little Simz, Steve Lacy, and hard-core band Refused. (Read the previous interview with Melt! Booking’s Florian Czok here.)

 


What are you busy with right now?
I’m busy finalising the last headline shows for the fall, booking spring 2020 shows and putting together the festivals [NorthSide, Tinderbox and Haven] with the rest of the festival team.

Did you always want to work in the music business?
I didn’t know you could do this for a living to be honest. I started out doing non-profit punk shows and didn’t think about the fact that you could do this full-time. Later my mum sent me a link to a music management course and I realised that my hobby could become my work. Happy days…

What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
I am super proud of presenting artists that I believe are the sound of our generation right now, like Billie Eilish and Khalid – they are both amazing artists. In September I have my first arena show as a promoter with Khalid – that’s huge for me.

“I am super proud of presenting artists that I believe are the sound of our generation right now, like Billie Eilish and Khalid”

How has your role changed since you started out?
Dramatically and quickly. I started out at DTD Concerts as an intern after I finished school in spring 2014 and got the opportunity to start as an assistant. Two years later, I had booked my first show, and since summer 2018 I’ve been working independently as a promoter.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt while at DTD Concerts?
That it is okay to say “no” and believe in your gut. At first I agreed to promote everything sent my way because I thought I had to in order to keep everyone happy, but it is okay not to do that. However, if you really believe in something, push for it and do everything you can to make it happen.

What, if anything, would you change about how the live industry is run today?
I would like for everyone to believe in and listen to each other a bit more. We’re all experts in our own markets, and Denmark being a really small one, it is super important that you work on long term plans together.

What do you do for fun?
Right now it’s summer time, so going swimming in the harbours of Copenhagen is a current favourite.

“There are so many different things you can do in this business – find out what you want to do and just start doing it”

Do you have an industry mentor?
For the past four to five years my mentor has been Xenia Grigat, who was a promoter at DTD Concerts, but has now decided to start a new chapter in her professional life. She will be greatly missed – she has taught me a lot about standing your ground in this business.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into, or is new to, the business?
There are so many different things you can do in this business – find out what you want to do and just start doing it. You almost can’t have too much experience in this industry, so until you find where you belong, just try different things out.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else other than being a promoter. Nothing beats finding and presenting an artist to an audience, standing in the corner and getting excited about everyone having a great time. I hope that feeling is still there in 10 years.

 


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Down the Drain celebrates festival success

Independent Scandinavian promoter Down the Drain Group has hailed the 2019 festival season a success so far, with fair weather, high attendance and advances in sustainability.

Down the Drain Group, the promoter behind several Danish festivals and the parent company of concert organiser Down the Drain Concerts (formerly Beatbox Entertainment), acquired Tinderbox and Northside from FKP Scorpio in April 2018.

Tinderbox, which took place from 27 to 29 June in the Danish city of Odense, welcomed a record 45,000 festivalgoers this year to see performances from Neil Young, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, the Chainsmokers and more.

Elsewhere, 35,000 attended the tenth edition of Aarhus-based NorthSide (6 to 8 June), which saw 100% organic food options at and a ban on single-use plastic bottles. Danish brewery Tuborg launched recyclable glasses at both Tinderbox and Northside this year.

The environmental effort harnessed praise from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon: “We’ve been to about a hundred billion festivals and this is the first one where there are absolutely no plastic bottles,” said Vernon. “That seems just a little bit more important than drums, guitars, and bass.”

“With Superstruct backing the group, we are very much looking forward to taking these amazing festivals to the next level”

“Five years with Tinderbox have flown by and it’s incredible to think that we have created 20 editions of festivals including Northside, Tinderbox, Haven and GrimFest in just ten years,” says Down the Drain Group chief executive, Brian Nielsen.

“In this time Down The Drain Group has emerged as a serious contender on the festival market – not just domestically, but throughout Europe. Now with Superstruct backing the group, we are very much looking forward to taking these amazing festivals to the next level.”

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment invested in the Danish promoter in May. Superstruct owns and operates festivals across Europe including Sziget (Hungary), Sónar (Spain), Øya Festival (Norway) and Flow Festival (Finland).

Early Bird-ticket options for the 2020 edition of Northside have already sold out (4 to 6 June), with some remaining for Tinderbox (25 to 27 June).

 


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Superstruct partners with Down the Drain

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment has invested in Down the Drain Group, forming a partnership with the largest independent concert and festival promoter in Denmark.

Down the Drain Group is behind a number of Danish festivals including North Side and Tinderbox, and is the parent company of concert organiser Down the Drain Concerts, formerly Beatbox Entertainment.

The news marks a busy few weeks for James Barton’s Superstruct. The company took control of Global’s festival arm at the end of April, acquiring festivals including South West Four, Truck, Tramlines and Boardmasters.

Superstruct split the festival portfolio with former Global partner Broadwick Live.

“Our ambition is to be part of the world elite when it comes to music experiences, and with Superstruct as part of the team, we can match the global competition for the greatest artists,” says Brian Nielsen, Down the Drain Group chief executive.

“Our ambition is to be part of the world elite when it comes to music experiences, and with Superstruct as part of the team, we can match the global competition for the greatest artists”

“Superstruct represents the strengths and values ​​that we value as a company, and what we create our festivals from. We can, in other words, not imagine a better match, ” adds Nielsen, who will continue to run the daily management of Down the Drain along with Flemming Myllerup and Mads Sørensen.

“The Down the Drain team has built an impressive platform and series of events over the past nine years, and we look forward to combining our expertise with the strong brands and take the company to an even higher level,” says Superstruct chief executive and Creamfields founder Barton.

With the partnership, Superstruct gains a further foothold in the Nordic region, following the acquisition of Finland’s Flow Festival in November and August’s investment in Øya Festival in Norway.

Other festivals under Superstruct’s control include Sónar in Barcelona and Hungary’s Sziget festival. The company has also invested in Spanish promoter Elrow.

 


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Beatbox Entertainment becomes Down the Drain Concerts

Scandinavian concert and festival promoter Beatbox Entertainment has rebranded as Down the Drain Concerts, after its parent company, Down the Drain Group.

Aarhus, Denmark-based Down the Drain Group, which describes itself as the largest independent concert organiser in the Nordics, is behind festivals such as Haven, Tinderbox and Northside, the latter two it acquired from FKP Scorpio last April.

Copenhagen-based Down the Drain Concerts, which began life in 2005 as Beatbox Concerts, organises more than 200 shows annually, and has worked with artists including Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys. Mads Sørensen, founder of Beatbox and now CEO of Down the Drain Concerts, joined Down the Drain Group last year.

Sørensen describes the merger as a “natural step for all of us”. “The year-round process of booking artists for festivals, and other concerts, hangs inseparably together,” he comments. “With a strong team of people with broad experience from both the festival industry and the touring industry, we can ensure optimal utilisation of the synergies of the merger.

“I am very proud that what started in 2011 as a booking collaboration now ends up in a joint company”

“I look forward to joining the management and helping to lift Down the Drain Group to the next level.”

“It has been a fantastic journey for us,” adds Down the Drain Group CEO Brian Nielsen. “Mads and his team have been one of the leading forces in the creation of Northside, Tinderbox, and Haven Festival. I am very proud that what started in 2011 as a booking collaboration now ends up in a joint company under the Down the Drain Group banner.

“Mads Sørensen is one of the most reputable and successful concert organisers both in Denmark and internationally, and, together with his fantastic team, Down the Drain Group is strongly geared to the future.”

Already announced shows for Down the Drain Concerts in 2019 include Shawn Mendes, Tenacious D and two sold-out Ed Sheeran open-air dates.

 


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FKP Scorpio parts ways with Tinderbox and Northside

FKP Scorpio has sold its stake in leading Danish festivals Northside and Tinderbox for an undisclosed sum to Down the Drain Holding, which now owns 100% of both events.

Down the Drain, owned by festival directors Brian Nielsen and Flemming Myllerup and Beatbox Entertainment founder Mads Sørensen, is also the majority owner of Beatbox, and the co-owner of the new Haven festival in Copenhagen.

German-based FKP will continue to own a minority share of Beatbox, which books both festivals.

“We would like to thank the Danish team for their good collaboration so far, and are happy that we will continue to cooperate with Mads Sørensen and the rest of the Beatbox Entertainment team”, says Folkert Koopmans, CEO of FKP Scorpio.

“We have long wanted to consolidate the festivals under the Down the Drain umbrella”

Down the Drain Group CEO Nielsen says the company will now operate as an independent player in the Danish festival market.

“We have long wanted to consolidate the festivals under the Down the Drain umbrella, which today serves as Scandinavia’s largest independent concert and festival organiser,” he adds, “and we are pleased that it has fallen into place.”

In addition to Tinderbox, Northside and Haven, Down the Drain will in 2018 organise Sommertid i Søndermarken (1–2 June) in Copenhagen, Komos Festival (22–23 June) in Odense and Copenhagen and, through Beatbox, shows by Arctic Monkeys, Haim, the Black Angels, Calexico and Bon Iver.

 


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