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Live Nation Denmark collaborates on new festival

Live Nation Denmark is collaborating with the municipality of Esbjerg to launch a new festival this summer.

Suset Festival will debut from 16-17 August and has confirmed Danish pop duo Nik & Jay as its first headliner. Its lineup also includes Andreas Odbjerg, D-A-D, Medina, Barselona, Gobs, ICEKIID and Pil, with further acts still to be announced.

Located in Esbjerg Harbour, the site will be set against an industrial backdrop of offshore wind turbines, cranes, containers, cargo ships and drilling rigs.

Festival director Tobias Kippenberger, who hails from the city, is the former frontman of Danish rock band The Floor Is Made Of Lava and is fulfilling a longstanding ambition of creating a festival in his hometown.

“Suset will be a festival with big ambitions and high quality, and we can all look forward to some magical days together at Esbjerg Harbour,” says Kippenberger. “With Nik & Jay, we kick off the ball by bringing one of the country’s strongest live names back to Esbjerg after a seven-year absence, and I’m sure it will be a huge party when the audience gets to experience Suset for the first time this summer.”

“The festival adds a new dimension to the perception of what Esbjerg is, at the same time as we mark the city strongly on the cultural map”

Day tickets are priced DKK795 (€107). While its inaugural programme focuses on domestic artists, organisers say the long-term goal is to create a festival bill featuring leading names from home and abroad.

“We have allied ourselves with the very best in the music industry to create a musical lighthouse right out on the quayside, where we can really feel the rush from the North Sea,” says Esbjerg Municipality’s mayor, Jesper Frost Rasmussen. “The festival adds a new dimension to the perception of what Esbjerg is, at the same time as we mark the city strongly on the cultural map. Suset is a big and decisive step in our efforts to make Esbjerg an even more attractive place to live and live.”

The concert venue is being lent by offshore energy supply base operator NorSea, which will move its activities to another location on the harbour for six weeks around the festival dates.

“We want to support the culture in Esbjerg and also the ambition to raise the culture to a new level,” says NorSea MD Jesper Høj-Hansen. “If this means that we must change the logistics for a period of time, we are happy to do so.”

 


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Iconic Danish venue files for bankruptcy

One of Denmark’s largest indoor music venues, Tobakken, has filed for bankruptcy after a turbulent few years.

The former tobacco factory in Esbjerg, southwest Denmark, began hosting concerts in 1993 for up to 1,200 visitors.

It was announced on Monday (27 March) that the Tobakken board filed for bankruptcy as the Esbjerg Municipality decided not to grant the historic venue an additional DKK 5.8 million (€778,606) requested to make it through 2023.

Esbjerg mayor Jesper Frost Rasmussen stated in a press release: “We had all hoped that Tobakken would overcome its challenges, but now we have reached a turning point where we, from a political standpoint, agree that the best solution is not to provide Tobakken with more money. It hurts us to make this decision, as we believe in a future for a rhythmic music venue in Esbjerg, but it must be in an economically sustainable model, and it opens up a new and fresh start.”

“The losses have simply been too great to financially and morally sustain Tobakken”

Chairman of the culture and leisure committee Jakob Lose added: “We still have great confidence in the music scene in Esbjerg, and of course, we must also have a strong rhythmic music venue in the future, which will host both established artists and the entire growth layer. The way forward is to create a new strong organisation that can safely lead a new rhythmic music venue into the future. We now need to take the time to figure out how to do this best.”

Peter Amstrup, chairman of the board for Tobakken, said he understands why the municipality has pulled the plug: “It is a sad day, and one could hope that someone would see the potential in Tobakken and start a new music venue. But now it is the trustee who takes over. The losses have simply been too great to financially and morally sustain Tobakken.”

Tobakken has had negative equity since 2016 and negative annual results in five out of the past six years, according to a statement on the venue’s website.

The statement goes on to say that “costs had been cut significantly over the past six months by reducing the number of employees and focusing intensively on optimising operations, it has unfortunately not been enough to offset the extensive deficit that has been accrued… Tobakken’s debt is primarily to the bank, the municipality and a few major suppliers.”

The venue closed immediately but the appointed curator will decide whether an attempt will be made to carry out some of the upcoming concerts and events.

 


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