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R&L, Clockenflap, Hangout and more detail 2023 events

Reading and Leeds (UK), Clockenflap (HK), Hangout (US), Open’er (PL), Colours of Ostrava (CZ), Ejekt (GR) and Rockwave (GR) have unveiled fresh waves of artists for next year’s events.

The UK’s premiere rock and pop festival Reading & Leeds has revealed Lewis Capaldi, Foals, Billie Eilish, The Killers, Sam Fender and Imagine Dragons as next year’s six headliners.

Other acts lined up for the August bank holiday (25–27) bash include Wet Leg, Slowthai, Bicep, Becky Hill, Steve Lacy, Central Cee, MUNA, The Snuts, Tion Wayne and more.

Clockenflap, Hong Kong’s biggest international outdoor music and arts festival, has also announced the first wave of acts confirmed to perform at Central Harbourfront from 3–5 March 2023.

Headliners Arctic Monkeys will be joined by French synth-rockers Phoenix, local hip-hop protegee YoungQueenz, Norwegian folk-pop duo Kings of Convenience and German electronic supergroup Moderat among others.

Clockenflap last took place in 2018, with the final pre-coronavirus edition (2019) cancelled at the last minute due to pro-democracy protests. The 2020 and 2021 editions were both cancelled due to strict restrictions on large-scale outdoor events.

Hangout has announced Red Hot Chili Peppers, SZA, Calvin Harris, Paramore, Lil Nas X, Flume, Skrillex and The Kid Laroi

Elsewhere, US festival Hangout has announced a number of blockbuster acts including headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, SZA, Calvin Harris, Paramore, Lil Nas X, Flume, Skrillex and The Kid Laroi.

Joining them on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama, between 19 and 21 May 2023, is Mayday Parade, The Maine, Tove Lo, Alison Wonderland and more.

The festival, which is produced by Sean O’Connell in partnership with Goldenvoice, is touted as “the most anti-winter, adulting-be-damned, carefree getaway possible”.

Poland’s Open’er festival is also taking shape, with Lil Nas X confirmed as a headliner for what will be his first-ever show in the country.

Rap royalty Kendrick Lamar has also joined the bill, which already boasts Arctic Monkeys, Lizzo, Queens Of The Stone Age, OneRepublic and Nothing But Thieves.

The festival will return to Gdynia Kosokowo Airport between 28 June and 1 July 2023, and is once again promoted by Alter Art.

Poland’s Open’er festival has added Lil Nas X and Kendrick Lamar to an already stand-out lineup

The Polish promoter is also firming up the bill for its other marquee festival Orange Warsaw, which has so far secured Sam Smith and The 1975 for next year’s instalment.

The 14th edition of the 10,000-capacity festival is slated to take place at the Horsetrack Warsaw-Służewiec between 2 and 3 June 2023.

Across the border, Czech Republic’s Colours of Ostrava is coming together, with One Republic, Macklemore, Tom Grennan and Sleaford Mods among the confirmed artists.

The festival, which takes place in the industrial area of a former mining site in Ostrava, hosts acts over two dozen outdoor and indoor stages, as well as providing a programme of cinema, theatre, literature and art. The event will return to Dolní Vítkovice between 19–22 July 2023.

In Greece, Ejekt festival has confirmed Florence and the Machine for next year’s edition, slated for 2 July 2023 at Plateia Nerou, Athens. The 2022 event, which was the 21st, featured Muse, Yungblud and Nothing But Thieves.

Elsewhere in the country, Xlalala’s Rockwave has confirmed Robbie Williams, Deep Purple and Saxon for the Terra Vibe Park festival, which will run throughout July 2023.


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Greece’s 2021 festival season undergoes shake-up

Greek festivals are in fight-or-flight mode as the summer season draws closer and uncertainty about the Covid restrictions looms.

Ejekt Festival and AthensRocks have cut their losses and pulled the plug on 2021, while Rockwave and Release Athens regroup after cancellations from international acts and The Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival and Athens Music Week assume hybrid formats.

The organisers of Ejekt festival say they ‘did everything possible’ to avoid cancelling this year’s event, which would have taken place on 26 June at Markopoulo Park near Athens.

“Unfortunately we find ourselves in the very sad position to have to cancel Ejeckt Festival for the second year in a row,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

“With our main priority being the safety of fans, artists and festival personnel, we worked for many months on various plans and we tried to come up with solutions. We did everything possible in order to make the festival take place this year. But, our efforts and hopes are again thrown in the garbage bin due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are as devastated as you are. We miss live music and we miss you so much. Even though we don’t like it, at this point all we can do is move on.”

“Our efforts and hopes are again thrown in the garbage bin due to the Covid-19 pandemic”

The festival has taken place each year since 2004 and is said to attract around 55,000 visitors.

Red Hot Chili Peppers would have made their second-ever appearance in Greece at this year’s Ejekt festival. It is not yet known whether the band will perform at the 2022 event – the date of which will be announced soon.

Those who have already purchased their tickets can roll them over for the 2022 event or from 7 June can exchange with a voucher of equal value, which will can be used at any concert of the same organiser.

AthensRocks, which would have taken place on 12 June at Athens Olympic Complex in the Greek capital, will also forego 2021.

The festival’s promoters High Priority Promotions have not commented on the cancellation apart from to say that the 2021 headliners – The National, Idles and Balthazar – are not able to return for the next edition, which will take place on 16 July 2022.

Athens Music Week and The Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival have decided to hedge their bets by adopting a hybrid format

Ticket holders will be refunded, rather than offered vouchers, ahead of the 2022 line-up announcement.

Elsewhere, Release Athens Festival, an annual concert series that takes place in Athens each summer, is forging ahead despite Pet Shop Boys and Judas Priest pulling out of this year’s edition.

At the time of writing, Massive Attack, Sabaton and Slipknot are due to play the series, which takes place throughout June and July.

Rockwave, an open-air rock festival that has taken place in Athens since 1996, is also “reviewing the festival programme” after Deep Purple dropped out of the June event.

Meanwhile, Athens Music Week (22–26 June) and The Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival (27–29 May) have decided to hedge their bets by adopting a hybrid format for 2021.


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Modern culture matters, too

Greece is a country famous for its antiquities and history. And modern culture is by no means a priority for our government.

It is fair to say that they have, at best, a vague idea about the important issues in our field. To add to this, over the last few decades, the – many – Greek ministers of culture have been people unrelated to culture.

So, it is hard for these people to now, all of sudden, realise that something that they have been ignoring for so long is actually worth supporting.

In our case, EJEKT Festival has been a leading music festival in Greece and the eastern European region for 16 years. Every year we bring thousands of tourists to Greece; in 2020, our main headliner was the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and we were expecting around 10,000 visitors from other countries across the two days.

It’s clear, then, that we are generating a lot of income for the country and for Athens, and that we provide work for many people. But in our 16 years, we have never had any sort of support from any government or municipal office.

Our company’s turnover will go from a few million euros in 2019 to zero in 2020

Even though the government first banned all shows on 10 March, only on 7 May did they announce that no shows are to happen until 15 July. After that date, shows can happen only in open-air venues but with 40% attendance and with people standing 1.5 metres apart. In reality, it is clear that concerts and festivals cannot happen.

In light of the above, this year EJEKT Festival cannot take place. The same goes for all our other concerts. This means that our company’s turnover will go from a few million euros in 2019 to zero in 2020, and we have no idea what will happen in 2021.

But we have to pay our employees, our taxes, our rent and our other expenses. As far as we understand, many companies in our field cannot sustain this, and will go bust.

On 7 May, after two months of lockdown, the Ministry of Culture finally informed us of their plans for the summer. Clearly, we – the concert and festival producers – are not included. The only positive thing we heard was that they are planning to create a voucher scheme for cancelled events, but they gave no details about it, so we have to wait for that, too.

So, for now, we will keep asking for financial support to pay our employees, tax breaks for the live entertainment sector, and more wide-ranging support for the numerous people who work in our field. They deserve it.


Giannis Paltoglou is the owner of Detox Events and Ejekt Festival.