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Download Madrid on hiatus

The organisers of Download Festival Madrid have announced that the event will not be returning for 2020, while the team works on remodelling the event.

The festival, an expansion of Live Nation’s Download brand, has taken place at the Caja Mágica, Madrid, for the past three years. The inaugural edition of the event “exceeded expectations” in 2017, attracting over 100,000 fans.

The 2019 edition of Download Madrid took place from 28 to 29 June, with performances from Slipknot, Scorpions, Tool and Sabaton.

The Download Madrid organisers shared the news via the following statement:

“We would have liked this statement to be the announcement of the fourth edition of Download Festival Madrid.

“However, as we haven’t achieved all the conditions that we believe a festival of this nature requires, we have chosen to take some time out in which we wish to look for a way to replace it and find a new direction. For this reason, we are confirming that Download Festival Madrid will not be held in 2020.

“The team that has made each of these three editions possible  is already working on the new future of Download Festival Madrid”

“During this time, we will evaluate different options, with the aim of offering the best experience possible, which is what the 250,000 metal and rock fans that have already passed through three previous editions of Download Madrid deserve.

“Over the past three years, Download Festival Madrid has positioned itself on the main festival circuit in our country, with memorable performances from [artists] such as Guns n’ Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, Avenged Sevenfold, Marilyn Manson, the return of Tool to the capital after 13 years, the return of Slipknot, System Of A Down, Scorpions, Judas Priest and, possibly the performance we will remember with the most affection, that of Linkin Park, one of the band’s last shows with Chester Bennington as frontman.

“The team that has made each of these three editions possible  is already working on the new future of Download Festival Madrid.”

The flagship Download Festival has taken place at Donington Park, UK, since 2003.  Download has since spawned sister events in Australia, Japan and France. The Paris edition of Download, which launchd in 2016, went on a hiatus in 2019. The planned 2020 return of the festival was cancelled last month, due to work on nearby railway infrastructure.

Tickets for the 2020 edition of Download’s flagship UK event, which will take place from 12 to 14 June with headliners Kiss, Iron Maiden and System Of A Down, are available here.

 


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LN promotes rock specialist Stephanie van Spronsen

Live Nation UK has announced the internal move from associate to full-time promoter for Stephanie van Spronsen, who adds to the company’s female promoter base.

Rock and metal specialist van Spronsen joined the Live Nation UK promoter department in 2017, becoming the first woman to work on the Download festival booking team.

The promoter has since worked on tours for artists including J Cole, Zara Larsson, Architects and Parkway Drive, as well as helping to launch the World Wrestling Entertainment NXT UK live shows in 2018.

“It’s great news that we can add Steph to Live Nation’s growing female promoter base,” says executive president of UK Touring, Andy Copping.

“Steph’s ability and drive are phenomenal. Live Nation is wholly committed to recognising talent like hers and nurturing it for future leadership”

“Steph has been working with me on Download and her ability and drive are phenomenal. Live Nation is wholly committed to recognising talent like hers and nurturing it for future leadership,” adds Copping.

“Our long-term investment applies as much to our promoters as it does to our artists,” says Denis Desmond, chairman of Live Nation UK and Ireland. “The UK team just gets stronger and stronger and I am delighted for Steph and excited for Live Nation.”

Van Spronsen began her career at Visible Noise records, working with acts such as Bring Me the Horizon and Bullet For My Valentine. Joining specialist rock PR agency, The Noise Cartel, van Spronsen worked with Alice Cooper, Asking Alexandria and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, as well as overseeing festivals including Sonisphere, Bloodstock and Hellfest.

 


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Free entry at festivals for volunteers

Caudwell Children, the national charity providing practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, is offering fans the chance to volunteer at UK music festivals this summer.

Volunteers will gain free entry to any of 34 festivals across the UK including Glastonbury, Reading, Download, Bestival and All Points East, as well as a range of VIP perks during the events.

Volunteers work during daylight hours either stewarding, facilitating environmental and recycling programmes, or taking tickets for a maximum of three, eight hour shifts across a six-day period at weekend festivals (Wednesday to Monday). The hours worked at other festivals may vary.

“We’ve partnered with the not-for-profit organisation My Cause UK, to raise funds for Caudwell Children, by encouraging existing and new charity supporters to volunteer their time at the UK’s top festivals,” says Megan Hayman-Tansley, fundraising volunteer manager at Caudwell Children.

“This is a brilliant way for people to make new friends, get experience in the music and events industry and see some amazing bands for free”

“This is a brilliant way for people to make new friends, get experience in the music and events industry and see some amazing bands for free. The charity simply gets a donation, from My Cause UK, in exchange for your time.”

Volunteers will receive training before the event and must pay a refundable deposit, allowing them to register for as many festivals as they wish. The deposit is returned upon completion of a volunteer’s final shift.

The participating festivals run between 25 May and 22 September. The early bird waiting list for volunteers is now open for registration. Caudwell Children urges those interested to register now to avoid disappointment as places are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

 


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Ex-Download promoter Dave Bradley launches new creative agency

Dave Bradley, former co-promoter of Download Festival, and Andy Pritchard, founder of design studio Designsixtyfour, have launched a new creative agency, CMND/CTRL, to offer design, digital and event solutions to “the noisier end of the industry”.

The friends recently collaborated on the Heavy Music Awards, which celebrated its second year at Koko in London in August.

Pritchard, who has run Designsixtyfour since 2012 and worked on projects for acts including Muse, Slipknot, Kanye West, Craig David and Bring Me the Horizon, says: “It’s a privilege to work in this industry and we have both been lucky enough to build our careers within it.

“I think it’s our dedication to and understanding of heavy music that helps us produce campaigns that are effective and help to tell the artist’s story the right way.”

“We’re not here to reinvent the wheel – we just believe in working hard to make a really great wheel”

Speaking on the launch of CMND/CTRL, Bradley – who co-promoted Live Nation’s Download until 2017, alongside national tours for the likes of Ghost, Gojira, Architects and WWE – comments: “Andy and I have had ambitions for a long time to team up and use our combined talents to offer clients across music and entertainment a company that is as passionate about their artists and clients as they are.”

He adds: “Heavy music doesn’t stand still – it’s built on passion and innovation. We are learning constantly, engaging with different demographics to find out what can work in other spaces and seeing what can translate to our own brand of music marketing, and to our clients’ needs.

“We’re not here to reinvent the wheel – we just believe in working hard to make a really great wheel.”

 


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Copping confirms Download Australia in 2018

Download booker Andy Copping has confirmed to IQ rumours that the long-running metal festival is heading down under.

After rumours of a 2017 event were quashed by Copping last July, a website, downloadfestival.com.au (now offline), briefly went live on Friday, bearing the message “We’re coming for you, Melborne” [sic].

Download Australia 2018

Copping confirmed today the event is indeed on, despite the disappearance of the website, which was originally registered by Live Nation Australia Pty Ltd last year and updated on 12 October.

Download Australia is billed as being promoted by Live Nation, Unified and Secret Sounds, with which the company has a strategic partnership and is the majority owner, respectively.

Similar to Lollapalooza and, more recently, City Limits, Live Nation has over the past two years launched local editions of the UK-born festival franchise in other markets, including France and Spain.

 


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Sunny 15th Download Festival “a huge success”

Festival Republic (FR) has hailed the “huge success” of the 2017 edition of Download, which returned to Donington Park in Leicester, UK, for the 15th time last weekend.

After flash flooding at the 2016 festival, the company installed 3,000+ metres of new drainage for 2017, more than quadrupling the site’s run-off capacity in preparation for a similar downpour this year. (According to Download, more than 70 million gallons of water fell on Donington in 2016 – equivalent to 106 Olympic-sized swimming pools.)

As it happened, the weather gods saw fit to smile on Download 2017, leaving the festival largely rain-free and the improved site “greener than ever”, says FR. More than 80,000 people turned out to see headliners Aerosmith (in their final UK show), System of a Down and Biffy Clyro, with other performers including Prophets of Rage, Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Machine Gun Kelly, AFI, Simple Plan.

Other highlights included a full-size wrestling arena courtesy of WWE NXT, the return of the Wall of Death with vintage motorcycles, a silent disco, a cinema and a mobile tattoo studio.

In addition to the new drainage, FR introduced additional security measures, including armed police on site, and a new traffic plan to ease congestion following the closure of the M1 motorway.

“It’s been another really good year, with a great atmosphere and low levels”

The extra police presence was well received, with officers encouraging fans to pose for selfies using the hashtag #copaselfie. Supt Martin Ball of Leicestershire police says the festival was also a success from a policing perspective: “It’s been another really good year with a great atmosphere and low levels of crime reported to us. The success of our operation lies in our great working relationship with the organisers, Festival Republic. Although it is too soon to give definite crime figures, early indications are that reported crime is very low. Officers worked hard day and night patrolling car parks and campsites and they talked to hundreds of rock fans, swapping hats, giving high fives and having their picture taken.

“We had visibly armed officers patrolling for the first time this year following the tragic events of Manchester and London and they were all overwhelmed by the positive response from festivalgoers, who thanked them for keeping them safe. They were happy to have their picture taken many times, which was a new experience for the usually camera-shy firearms officers.”

Festival promoter Andy Copping, Live Nation’s president of UK touring, says the vibe at the festival remains unchanged, despite the security challenges posed by the Manchester Arena bombing. “This is the home of rock, and has been since 1980, and I love reading people’s social media when they get here when they say, ‘We’re home’,” he tells the Derby Telegraph. “There is something about the spirit of the place – you can feel the vibe.”

Since 2016 a sister festival has taken place in France, as Live Nation seeks to replicate the success of the UK event on the continent. Linkin Park, System of a Down and Green Day headlined Download Paris, which also took place last weekend, with the first Download Madrid set for 22–24 June.

 


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IQTV: Andy Copping, Live Nation

Welcome to the second episode of IQTV, IQ’s new YouTube video series featuring revealing interviews and insights from some of the biggest players in the international live music business.

Following last week’s inaugural episode with Live Nation’s chairman of international music, Thomas Johansson, we continue our series of interviews commemorating the company’s 10th year in the business with Download festival booker and president of UK touring Andy Copping.

In an interview filmed at ILMC 28 in March, Copping talks advancing from regional to national promotion, the genesis of Download, the rise of social media marketing and and the “roll of the dice” that led to AC/DC’s return to the festival circuit…

 


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Festival Focus: Snowbombing, FIB, Download

Broadwick Live’s music ‘n’ ski event Snowbombing today announced an avalanche (geddit?) of new acts for the 2017 festival.

Blossoms, Slaves, De La Soul, Grandmaster Flash, Giggs, Dixon, Shy FX and more will join previously announced headliners Chase & Status for six days of “luxurious spas, igloo raves, rooftop hot tubs, forest parties [and] snow-yoga” at the Mayrhofen ski resort in Austria from 3 to 8 April.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’ll also be “special guest appearances” from everyone’s favourite spandex-clad ’90s early-morning TV fitness instructor, Derrick Evans (aka Mr Motivator), and loveably inept British ski jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, whose life story was the subject of a recent film starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman.

Fingers crossed for a Grandmaster Flash/Mr Motivator duet.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nova Rock 2016, M. Krobath/ANSPress Society News

In today’s other major festival news, Red Hot Chili Peppers will be headlining Festival Internacional de Benicassim (FIB) next July.

The American four-piece, who wheadlined Reading and Leeds, Lollapalooza Chicago, T in the Park, Fuji Rock and more this year, are also confirmed for Super Rock Super Bock in Lisbon the same weekend (13–16 July) and Rock in Rio in September 2017.

FIB, which takes place in the Spanish coastal town of Benicàssim, is promoted by Maraworld, part-owned by Denis Desmond’s MCD Concerts. (Anthony Kiedis/Red Hot Chili Peppers photo by M. Krobath/ANSPress Society News.)

System Of a Down, Santiago Gets Louder 2015, Macarena Viza

The second edition of Live Nation France’s Download Paris has announced its three headliners for 2017.

System of a Down – revealed last month as the first act confirmed for the new Download Spain, the second international spin-off from the long-running UK metal festival – will join Linkin Park and Blink-182 at a disused airbase in Le Plessis-Pâté, in Île-de-France, from 9 to 11 June.  (System of a Down photo by Macarena Viza.)

Also playing will be Rage Against the Machine/Public Enemy/Cypress Hill supergroup Prophets of Rage.

The first line-up announcement for the UK Download is expected this week.

Update (4/11/16): It’s System of a Down, Biffy Clyro and Aerosmith.

Linkin Park, Montreal, 2014, Kristina Servant

Other notable developments since the last instalment of Festival Focus:

 


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Lolla Paris, Download Madrid confirmed for 2017

Two major Live Nation festival brands look set to be increasing their presence in continental Europe in 2017.

In an interview yesterday with French magazine Télérama, Live Nation France’s managing director, Angelo Gopee, revealed Paris will host its own edition of Lollapalooza next July. Taking place on 22 and 23 July at the Longchamp racecourse – the home of the French edition of fellow Live Nation event Download – Lollapalooza Paris will become the fifth international version of the long-running Chicago festival, founded in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, after Santiago, Chile; Sao Paolo; Buenos Aires; and, most recently, Berlin.

Gopee says the promoter wants to take advantage of the lack of any competing events in the French capital on that weekend, “when many tourists are present in Paris and France”. He declined to name any potential acts, but promised Live Nation would focus on booking “the best possible artists”.

Live Nation is seeking to take advantage of the lack of any competing events in Paris on that weekend

On the same day, reports surfaced in the Spanish press that metal festival Download – held since 2003 in Donington Park, UK, and since 2016 in Paris – would take place in Madrid for the first time next June. The news initially leaked via a Bandsintown listing showing System of a Down playing at Download Festival in Madrid, Spain, before an official website launched later in the day.

No venue has yet been revealed, although IQ has contacted Live Nation Spain for comment.

 


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Copping confirms no Download Festival Australia

There will be no Download Festival in Australia in 2017, festival booker Andy Copping has confirmed.

Despite speculation that Live Nation’s flagship UK metal festival – which launched a well-received international spin-off, in Paris, last month – will set a course for Down Under in 2017 or ’18, filling the void left by the demise of AJ Maddah’s Soundwave (Music Feeds reports that a line-up announcement in expected in 2017), Copping tells IQ it’s not happening, adding that he’s “confused as to why the Australian press would pick up on something in July from February”.

Live Nation Australasia partnered with local promoter Unified for a joint touring venture, Unify Presents, in February.

Copping first alluded to an Australian event in a Twitter exchange with fans in February, telling them to not “give up hope” and “watch this space” for further news.

Maddah added fuel to the fire a few days later by namechecking Download, Perth’s Legion Music Fest (announced for 2016 but delayed a year) and former European touring festival Sonisphere, which has been on hiatus since 2014.

But they’re barking up the wrong tree, says Copping: “It’s a non-story.”

 


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