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Festival Focus: Stephan Thanscheidt, FKP Scorpio

As FKP’s head of festival booking, Stephan Thanscheidt is responsible for a programme of over 25 festivals across Europe. The company’s festival repertoire includes Southside, Northside Highfield, M’era Luna, Rolling Stone Beach, Metal Hammer Paradise, A Summer’s Tale, Plage Noire and Deichbrand. In addition, FKP joined forces with DreamHaus and Loft Concerts to launch open-air festival Tempelhof Sounds in Berlin last year.

In an excerpt from IQ and Yourope’s European Festival Report, Thanscheidt talks gender-balanced lineups, sustainability and lingering challenges in the festival sector.

How did you and the FKP Scorpio team manage during the pandemic?
The pandemic was challenging for all of us, although I think it ultimately strengthened our team spirit. Experiencing something this drastic brought us closer together, but for that to happen, open and frequent communication was key. We also offered anonymous professional mental health counselling for employees through an external institution.

Additionally, we made it clear from the start that all jobs would be safe. As a result of these measures, we had a strong team to get a head start for the very busy period that followed. Financially, of course, the pandemic was a disaster. However, we’re fortunate to have had some very successful years before 2020, which enabled us to fall back on funds to keep everything together.

All the more, I’m very grateful that we succeeded in bringing back our festival brands like Hurricane, Southside, Highfield and M’era Luna in a way that didn’t feel downscaled – quite the opposite, in fact. All were sold out and were intense reunions for artists and fans, resulting in 2023 seeing the best presale onset ever. We’re very fortunate and extremely proud of this strong comeback and our incredible team, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.

“[Tempelhof Sounds] was the first major festival in Germany with a gender-balanced line-up”

After many delays, you finally managed to bring Tempelhof Sounds to life. It felt like a progressive event with a core philosophy of diversity, inclusion, sustainability, gender balance, and so on. Can you talk us through your thinking behind taking that approach?
From the get-go, we wanted to create a festival revolving around diversity and social, economic, and cultural sustainability. I think it’s clear why these things matter, especially nowadays. As a team, we created a company charter detailing our business ethics – these matters are integral for the people working for us and hence for the company. In truth, all our festivals have detailed sustainability measures in place, and Tempelhof Sounds offered the chance to build on them.

As for the diversity of our line-up, we’re very happy that it worked out the way it did and that we were the first major festival in Germany with a gender-balanced line-up. We aspire to more diversity at all our festivals, although this is an ongoing process.

“We’re seeing rising production costs of about 30% across the industry, and there remains a shortage of qualified personnel”

What trends do you think we will see play out in the next few years at festivals?
I’m not comfortable with calling it a mere ‘trend,’ but I’d say that social and ecological awareness will continue to play an integral role in the future, not because it’s beneficial to claim those words for your events but because it’s a necessity. We’re working hard on backing those claims with meaningful measures while being open regarding the things we’d still like to change.

What challenges does the festival industry face? And how are you aiming to address them?
We’re still facing challenging times. The last crisis wasn’t really over when the next one started. While (with some exceptions) demand for culture is still somewhat dampened after the pandemic, Russia’s horrible war in Ukraine has profoundly changed our society and economy. We’re seeing rising production costs of about 30% across the event industry, and there remains a shortage of qualified personnel because people left the business during the pandemic in order to make a living. That being said, we’re very confident that we’ll overcome yet another challenge because we’ll have some very strong acts on our stages.

“Given the many challenges we’re facing globally, the escape from everyday life that a well-made festival offers is important”

What role do festivals play in the cultural landscape?
Festivals are extremely important for large parts of our society. This is true for all kinds of live entertainment, but festivals offer a safe space for creativity, freedom, and congregation over several days. Given the many challenges we’re facing globally right now, the escape from everyday life that a well-made festival offers is an important and much-needed factor for recovery and mental well-being for a lot of people. And although our festivals tend to be international events, they wouldn’t be possible without the support of local communities. For example, it’s great to see how proud the inhabitants of Scheeßel are about Hurricane and how much they contribute to making the festival distinct and successful. These events fulfil a very important role in society and ultimately bring people closer together.


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Festival Focus: Anna Sjölund, Live Nation Sweden

In addition to her new role as SVP touring international for Live Nation, Anna Sjölund continues her festival work in Sweden overseeing Summerburst and serving on the board of Sweden Rock Festival. She brought Lollapalooza to Stockholm in 2019, which had a highly successful debut and then the pandemic hit. Here she tells us what it took to get through and looks ahead to the future.

How did you and the team get through the pandemic?
The first Lollapalooza Stockholm was fantastic. We had a great bill ready for the second year and then the pandemic struck. It was really tough for us mentally. In 2021, there was a window where it looked like we could have festivals, so we announced, but then everything closed down again. That was particularly challenging. I spent my pandemic time – apart from cancelling and moving shows – being one of the leaders of the industry movement that worked with authorities and politicians here. We’re a commercial company and never relied on government funding before. When the pandemic hit, we realised the people that held the crisis funds didn’t even know what the music business was, let alone festivals. So, we came together as an industry and spent time educating politicians about the value of our industry.

We got great support from [tourism organisation] Visit Stockholm. They see the value in Lollapalooza, especially considering that as a first-year festival 15% of our visitors came from outside Sweden (and this year, that increased to almost 19%). Those numbers are important for a city like Stockholm. So, we got funding – not enough to cover our losses but it meant we kept the majority of our team intact, thankfully.

When we finally got to have the festival this year, it was fantastic. We’re so happy that we got support from many of the acts who stayed on the bill and from everyone who came. It was just amazing to come back and do the festival again.

“I think that the ‘experience’ will be increasingly important”

What trends do you think we will see play out in the next few years at festivals?
Rock music seems to be coming back at the moment, which I love. I also think that the ‘experience’ will be increasingly important. A festival is something you attend all day, and we want people to have a great time from early until late. People expect more every year because the ticket prices go up, but we can offer a great experience for everyone. We have high-end stuff for the people that want that, which means we also can deliver a great product for the kids that saved up their money to come.

Local artists are going to be very important in the coming years because touring costs are up, and the dollar exchange rate is challenging. Having strong local talent that attracts a local audience means you don’t have to programme only the very expensive international talent. We’re in a great position for that because we have very strong local talent in Sweden.

What challenges does the festival industry face?
Staffing, production costs, and the dollar exchange rate. We’re aiming to improve the staffing issue by launching a trainee programme, which will see people working on our festivals on six- to 12-month contracts; we’ll train and pay them. We’re focusing the recruitment outside our standard channels because we want new people. They aren’t obliged to stay with us after the programme, but I hope they will.

“Now more than ever, we need places where we gather and enjoy things together, no matter our background or political views”

Together with Spotify we are the main partners to IFPI on You+ Music, an initiative for youth from urban areas of Sweden. The aim is to open the door and inspire young people with a love of music to work with it – they’ve heard you can be an artist, producer, promoter, or manager – we’re showing them how to get there.

Why are festivals important, and what role do they play in our cultural landscape?
Festivals have a huge role in people’s lives. Live music is very important for many reasons, but festivals in particular, because now more than ever, we need places where we gather and enjoy things together, no matter our background or our political views.

With Lollapalooza, we have people travelling from all over the world to come to Stockholm, and we’re showing the best we have here, so festivals are a great way to showcase your culture.
Finally, festivals employ so many people, from cleaning squads to food sellers, and that’s really important. You’re putting together teams of people who don’t know each other. And it’s a great way to integrate and find communities together.


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Festival Focus: ACL, Summer Sonic, Karoondinha

With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for 2017 to ensure we cover as much news as possible – keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in the festival world with the minimum of waffle.

Read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold), or click here for the previous FF. And if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, feel free to drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at [email protected].


Hurricane Festival/Southside Festival, Germany (FKP Scorpio, 23–25 June)
Kakkamaddafakka, Twin Atlantic, Dave Hause and the Mermaid, Fatoni, JP Cooper, Louis Berry, Stu Larsen, Amber Run , Leif Vollebekk, Rebels of rhe Jukebox, Mikroschrei, Luke Noa & the Basement Beats, Tuesday Night Project, Die Boys

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain (Maraworld, 13–16 July 2017)
Biffy Clyro (Spanish exclusive), Years & Years, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Temples, Dream Wife, Tiga, Honne, La Casa Azul, Joe Crepusculo (Jim Reid/Jesus and Mary Chain photo by pj_in_oz on Flickr)

Latitude, UK (Festival Republic, 13–16 July 2017)
Katherine Jenkins, Leon Bridges, The Coral, Mystery Jets, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Beth Orton, A Blaze of Deather, Childhood, Black Peaches, etc.

Karoondinha Music & Arts Festival, US (Hawk Eye Presents, 21–23 July 2017)
Chance the Rapper, Paramore, Sturgill Simpson, Porter Robinson, The Revivalists, etc.

Jim Reid, The Jesus and Mary Chain, V Festival 2008, Sydney

Pukkelpop, Belgium (The Factory vzw, 16–19 August 2017)
Ryan Adams, Stormzy, The Shins, Sampha, Halsey, Armand Van Helden, Jake Bugg, Enter Shikari, Richie Hawtin, Jackmaster, 2manydjs, Youngr, etc.

Summer Sonic, Japan (Creativeman, 19–20 August 2017)
Calvin Harris, Foo Fighters, Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian, Sum 41, 5 Seconds of Summer, Justice, Charli XCX, Good Charlotte, Royal Blood, Kesha, Above & Beyond, Rick Astley, etc.

Reading Festival/Leeds Festival, UK (Festival Republic, 25–27 August 2017)
Liam Gallagher, You Me at Six, Vince Staples, Pvris, Goldie, Muna, Mura Masa, Jagwar Ma, Sub Focus, Kurupt FM, etc. (Liam Gallagher photo by Anthony Abbott)

Rock en Seine, France (LNEI Live, 25–27 August 2017)
Band of Horses, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Lemon Twigs, Grouplove, The Shins, Her, Car Seat Headrest, Timber Timbre, Slowdive, Romeo Elvis, Her, Deluxe

Liam Gallagher, Beady Eye, Isle of Wight Festival 2011, Anthony Abbott

Made in America Festival, US (Live Nation, 2–3 September 2017)
Jay Z, J. Cole, The Chainsmokers, Solange, Kaskade, Marshmello, Sampha, Migos, Stormzy, 21 Savage, Run the Jewels, Little Dragon, Pusha T, DMX, Vic Mensa, Yung Lean, etc.

OnBlackheath, UK (Crosstown Concerts, 9–10 September 2017)
The Libertines, Travis, De La Soul, Metronomy, Craig Charles’s Funk and Soul Club, Jake Bugg, KT Tunstall, Seasick Steve, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Black Honey, Tom Williams, Steve Mason, etc.

Beyond the Tracks, UK (Moseley Folk Ltd, 15–17 September 2017)
Orbital, Ocean Colour Scene, Editors, Leftfield, Faithless, Maxïmo Park, The Coral, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Peter Hook and the Light, Jagwar Ma, Wild Beasts, etc.

Austin City Limits, US (Live Nation, 6–8 and 13–15 October)
Jay Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Gorillaz, Martin Garrix, The xx, Ice Cube, Ryan Adams, Solange, Run the Jewels, Spoon, Vance Joy, Zhu, Royal Blood (weekend one), Eagles of Death Metal (weekend two), Foster the People, etc.


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Festival Focus: Lollapalooza, Arroyo Seco, Sziget

With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for 2017 to ensure we cover as much news as possible – keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in the festival world with the minimum of waffle.

Read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold), or click here for the previous FF. And if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, feel free to drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at [email protected].


Gorillaz, 16 December 2010, Adrian Pua

Demon Dayz Festival, UK (Goldenvoice/X-ray Touring, 10 June 2017)
Gorillaz (Gorillaz photo by Adrian Pua)

Arroyo Seco Weekend, US (Goldenvoice, 24–25 June 2017)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Weezer, The Shins, Andrew Bird, etc.

Global Citizen Festival Hamburg, Germany (Global Poverty Project/Live Nation, 6 July 2017)
Herbert Grönemeyer, Coldplay, The Chainsmokers, Ellie Goulding

Trnsmt, UK (DF Concerts, 7–9 July 2017)
Stormzy, The View, Cabbage

Deadmau5, Club Answer, 2009, Hyunji Choi

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain (Maraworld, 13–16 July 2017)
Deadmau5, Stormzy, Crystal Fighters, Pete Doherty, Courteeners, Dua Lipa, Mura Masa, Kaytranada, etc. (Deadmau5 photo by Hyunji Choi)

Glastonbury Festival, UK (Glastonbury Festivals Ltd, 21–25 June 2017)
Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters

FYF Fest, US (Goldenvoice, 21–23 July 2017)
Missy Elliot, Björk, Frank Ocean, Nine Inch Nails, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Solange, Iggy Pop, Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus, Anderson .Paak, MGMT, etc.

Karoondinha Music & Arts Festival, US (Hawk Eye Presents, 21–23 July 2017)
John Legend, Odesza, The Roots, Chromeo, Alessia Cara, X Ambassadors, Needtobreathe, St Lucia, Alunageorge, etc.

Rita Ora, 87th Academy Awards, Disney–ABC Television Group

Lollapalooza, US (C3 Presents, 3–6 August 2017)
Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Muse, Arcade Fire, The xx, Lorde, Blink-182, DJ Snake, Justice, Alt-J, Run the Jewels, Cage the Elephant, Wiz Khalifa, etc.

Osheaga, Canada (Evenko, 4–6 August 2017)
The Weeknd, Muse, Lorde, Major Lazer, Alabama Shakes, Justice, Solange, Vance Joy, Cage the Elephant, MGMT, Foster the People, Father John Misty, Die Antwoord, Liam Gallagher, etc.

Sziget, Hungary (Sziget Cultural Management, 9–16 August 2017)
Pink, Wiz Khalifa, Rita Ora, Paul Van Dyk, Alex Clare, Dimension, The Courteeners, The Vaccines, Her (Rita Ora photo by Craig Sjodin for Disney-ABC Television Group)

V Festival, UK (Metropolis Music/SJM Concerts, 19–20 August 2017)
Pink, Jay Z, Rudimental, Craig David, Pete Tong, Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne, Stormzy, George Ezra, Madness, Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, Dizzee Rascal, James Arthur, etc.

Eminem, Lollapalooza Chile 2016

Glasgow Summer Sessions, UK (DF Concerts, 24 August 2017)
Eminem, Run the Jewels, Danny Brown, Russ (Eminem photo by paniko.cl)

Reading Festival/Leeds Festival,UK (Festival Republic, 25–27 August 2017)
Eminem, Haim, Migos, Giggs, You Me at Six, Blossoms, Frank Carter, The Pretty Reckless, Billy Talent, Everything Everything, Cabbage, Milky Change, Lethal Bizzle, Black Lips, etc.

Rock en Seine, France (Nous Productions, 25–27 August 2017)
At the Drive-In, PJ Harvey, The xx, Flume, The Kills, Franz Ferdinand, Cypress Hill, Frank Carter, The Pretty Reckless, Ty Segall, Mø, etc.


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Festival Focus: 6 Music, Lovebox, WayHome, Flow

With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for 2017 to ensure we cover as much news as possible – keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in the festival world with the minimum of waffle.

Read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold), or click here for the previous FF. And if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, feel free to drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at [email protected].


Father John Misty, Ana Violtti/Side Stage Collective

6 Music Festival, UK (BBC, 24–26 March 2017)
Depeche Mode, Father John Misty, Belle and Sebastian, Temples, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Goldfrapp, The Lemon Twigs, Ride, Sparks, Cate Le Bon, etc. (Father John Misty photo by Ana Violtti/Side Stage Collective)

Cheltenham Jazz Festival, UK (Cheltenham Festivals, 26 April–1 May 2017)
Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, Ben Folds and Jamie Cullum, Chick Corea, Booker T. Jones, Jack Savoretti, etc.

Sea Star Festival, Croatia (Exit, 26–27 May 2017)
Fatboy Slim, Paul Kalkbrenner, Modestep, Pendulum, Elemental, Bad Copy, Brkovi, Artan Lili, Jonathan, High5 and Kukus, Kiša metaka, Krankšvester, Matter, Sassja

Roots Picnic, US (Live Nation, 3 June 2017)
Pharrell and The Roots, Lil Wayne, Solange, 21 Savage, Kimbra, etc.

Justin Bieber, Lou Stejskal

FPSF, US (Free Press Houston, 3–4 June 2017)
Lorde, Flume, G-Eazy, Cage the Elephant, Solange, The Shins, Groulove, Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Carnage, Post Malone, Jon Bellion, Lil Uzi Vert, Jauz, etc.

Pinkpop, Netherlands (Mojo Concerts, 3–5 June 2017)
Justin Bieber (photo by Lou Stejskal)

Lovebox Festival, UK (Mama Festivals, 14–15 July 2017)
Chase & Status, Jamie XX, Jess Glynne, Solange, Annie Mac, Giggs, Andy C, Rag’n’Bone Man, Mac Miller, Seth Troxler, Kurupt FM, etc.

Rock Werchter, Belgium (Live Nation, 29 June–2 July)
Prophets of Rage, The Kills, Crystal Fighters, Kaleo, Warhaus, Benjamin Clementine, Mark Lanegan Band, Mura Masa, Maggie Rogers, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Soulwax, Rae Sremmurd

Jamiroquai, Sydney, new year's eve 2011, Eva Rinaldi

Colours of Ostrava, Czech Republic (Colour Production, 19–22 July 2017)
Jamiroquai, Imagine Dragons, Norah Jones, alt-J, Birdy, Moderat, LP, Laura Mvula, Benjamin Clementine, Unkle, Booka Shade, Nouvelle Vague, Afro Celt Sound System, etc. (Jamiroquai photo by Eva Rinaldi)

Truck Festival, UK (Global, 21–23 July 2017)
The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, The Vaccines, The Wombats, Slaves, Maxïmo Park, Nothing but Thieves, Loyle Carner, British Sea Power, Twin Atlantic, Jagwar Ma, Mr Motivator, etc.

WayHome Music & Arts Festival, Canada (Republic Live/Fource, 28–30 July 2017)
Frank Ocean, Imagine Dragons, Flume, Justice, Solange, Marshmello, Schoolboy Q, Vance Joy, Tegan and Sara, The Shins, etc.

Boardmasters, UK (SW1 Productions, 9–13 August 2017)
The Flaming Lips, The Vaccines, Stormzy, Frank Turner, Lethal Bizzle, Ziggy Marley, Gordon City, Giggs, Jagwar Ma, Kate Nash, Kurupt FM, etc.

Frank Ocean, Øyafestivalen 2012, Per Ole Hagen/NRK

Flow Festival, Finland (Flow Festival Ltd, 11–13 August 2017)
Frank Ocean, Ryan Adams, Moderat, Young Thug, Sampha, Sparks, Car Seat Headrest, which was originally born as a solo vehicle for frontman Will Toledo, Larry Heard, Model 500, Princess Nokia, Oranssi Pazuzu, Töölön Ketterä, Mikko Joensuu, Pykäri and Ahjo Ensemble, Litku Klemetti, The Holy, Vesta (Frank Ocean photo by Per Ole Hagen/NRK)

Appelsap Fresh Music Festival, Netherlands (Applesap, 12 August 2017)
Lil Wayne, Dave, Kempi, Yung Nnelg, 67, Jarreau Vandal, Siobhan Bell, Vic Crezée, etc.

Lowlands, Netherlands (Mojo Concerts, 18–20 August 2017)
Bastille, London Grammar, Cypress Hill, Michael Kiwanuka, Architects, Billy Talent, Future Islands, Glass Animals, Nina Kraviz, Robert Hood, Talaboman, Baloji, Denzel Curry, Palace, Shame, SMIB

Summer Sonic, Japan (Creativeman, 19–20 August 2017)
Calvin Harris, Liam Gallagher, 5 Seconds of Summer, Charli XCX, Justice, Kesha, Phoenix, Royal Blood, Sum 41, Circa Waves, Good Charlotte, G-Eazy, New Found Glory, etc.


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Festival Focus: BST, Sziget, EDC Japan, Sasquatch

With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, there’s a lot to fit in the first festival round-up of the year.

With that in mind, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for the new year to ensure we cover as much news as possible, keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in the festival world with the minimum of waffle.

So, without further ado, read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold) – and if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at [email protected].


Stevie Wonder, Austin City Limits 2011, Thomas Hawk

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Jazz & Heritage Foundation, US, 28 April–7 May 2017)
Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds, Kings of Leon, Usher/The Roots, Harry Connick Jnr, Meghan Trainor, Lorde, Snoop Dogg, Alabama Shakes, Pitbull, etc. (Stevie Wonder photo by Thomas Hawk)

EDC Japan (Creativeman/Insomniac, Japan, 29–30 April 2017)
Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Fatboy Slim, Kaskade, Martin Garrix, Sander Van Doorn, Yellow Claw, Zedd, etc.

Sasquatch! Music Festival (Live Nation/Adam Zachs, US, 26–28 May 2017)
Twenty One Pilots, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, The Head and the Heart, The Shins, MGMT, Phantogram, Mac Miller, Bonobo, etc. (Twenty One Pilots photo by Clark Terrell/Do512)

Bunbury Music Festival (PromoFest, US, 2–4 June 2017)
Muse, Wiz Khalifa, G-Eazy, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, The 1975, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins, etc.

Twenty One Pilots, Austin 360 Amphitheater, July 2016, Clark Terrell/Do512

Isle of Wight Festival (Solo, UK, 8–11 June 2017)
Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Vamps, Clean Bandit, Zara Larsson, The Strypes, The Second Sons, The Amazons, The Novatones, Judas, Germein Sisters

NorthSide (FKP Scorpio Nordic/MKS 64/Down the Drain, Denmark, 9–11 June 2017)
The Prodigy, Richard Ashcroft, Agnes Obel, When Saints Go Machine, Peter Sommer/Tiggerne

Parklife (Parklife Manchester Ltd, UK, 10–11 June 2017)
The 1975, Frank Ocean, Boy Better Know, A Tribe Called Quest, Jess Glyne, Two Door Cinema Club, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Damian Marley, London Grammar, George Ezra, Flying Lotus, Chaka Khan, Eric Prydz, Above & Beyond, etc. (Frank Ocean photo by Andy Holmes/Pemberton Music Festival)

Roskilde Festival (Fonden Roskilde Festival, Denmark, 24 June–1 July 2017)
A Tribe Called Quest, Lorde, Against Me!, Gucci Mane, Bryson Tiller, Rag’n’Bone Man, Av Av Av, etc.

Frank Ocean, Pemberton Music Festival 2014

Rock Werchter (Live Nation Belgium, Belgium, 29 June–2 July 2017)
The Chainsmokers, Royal Blood, Bazart, Bonobo, White Lies, Agnes Obel

British Summer Time (AEG Live, UK, 30 June–9 July 2017)
The Killers (exclusive), Elbow, Tears for Fears, White Lies

Bilbao BBK Live (Last Tour, Spain, 6–8 July 2017)
Royal Blood, Brian Wilson, Explosions in The Sky, Joe Goddard, Idles, Aterciopelados, Los Punsetes, Zazkel

Trnsmt (DF Concerts, UK, 7–9 July 2017)
Radiohead, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro, Belle and Sebastian, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The 1975, London Grammar, George Ezra, The 1975, London Grammar, etc.

Kasabian, Lotus @ Lollapalooza Chile 2015

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (Maraworld, Spain, 13–16 July 2017)
Kasabian, Liam Gallagher, Ride, Blossoms, Bonobo, Tyler the Creator, Slaves, Surfin’ Bichos, Mourn

Kendal Calling (From the Fields, UK, 27–30 July 2017)
Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Franz Ferdinand, Brian Wilson, Tinie TempahFrank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, Jake Bugg, Seasick Steve, Editors, Slaves, Lethal Bizzle, The Coral, Kate Nash, etc.

Sziget (Sziget Cultural Management, Hungary, 9–16 August 2017)
Kasabian, Billy Talent, Jamie Cullum, The Kills, Clean Bandit, Metronomy, Interpol, The Pretty Reckless, Jagwar Ma, Charli XCX, Crystal Fighters, Flume, etc.

Reading Festival/Leeds Festival (Festival Republic, UK, 25–27 August 2017)
Kasabian, Two Door Cinema Club, Flume, Fatboy Slim, Wiley, Circa Waves, Jimmy Eat World, The Amity Affliction, Rat Boy (Kasabian photo by Lotus @ Lollapalooza Chile)


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Festival Focus: Reading, Primavera Sound, Sónar

Festival Republic’s Reading and Leeds Festivals today confirmed their first acts for 2017.

Headlining, in a UK festival exclusive, are Muse, who will return to the festivals for the sixth time (their third as a headliner) in the last weekend of August.

“I’m thrilled to be able to announce Muse as the first headliner for Reading and Leeds 2017,” says Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn. “Their incredible live show promises to be an unforgettable performance. We have so much more to announce and I can’t wait to reveal the rest of the line-up.”

Also confirmed are Major Lazer (another UK exclusive), Bastille, At the Drive-InTory Lanez, Architects, Glass Animals, Andy C, Danny Brown, Against the Current and While She Sleeps. (Walshy Fire/Major Lazer photo by pitpony.photography.)

Walshy Fire, Major Lazer, pitpony.photography

Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, The xx, Aphex Twin, Grace Jones, Slayer, Solange (of Beyoncé’s sister fame) and, unexpectedly, Van Morrison top the “daring line-up” for next year’s Primavera Sound.

In a wordy press release, the Barcelona event says the bill bears “the inimitable stamp of Primavera Sound that is the very essence of the contemporary scene and which, at the same time, consolidates the festival as an international cultural reference and reinforces its inescapable commitment to the history of contemporary music”. Well, quite.

Here’s the full line-up:

Primavera Sound 2017 line-up

Both Arcade Fire and Solange will also appear at Roskilde Festival, which yesterday announced the second wave of its 2017 line-up.

Joining them are Blink-182 – the US pop-punk trio earlier this week confirmed, “for some reason”, for Norwegian metal festival Tons of Rock – Justice, Erasure, Jagwar Ma, Kano and 18 other acts drawn from Europe, North America, Africa (one: South Africa’s Bcuc) and Asia (South Korea’s Black String).

Arcade Fire have spearheaded a new generation of indie rock, and they’ve grown tremendously in terms of both ambition and popularity since their last visit to Roskilde Festival 10 years ago,” says the Danish festival’s head of programming, Anders Wahrén. “We look forward to a majestic and overwhelming night when they play our iconic Orange Stage in 2017.

“The acts that we’ve announced today are from 10 different countries and represent a myriad of different styles. On a larger scale, this sort of diversity is what’s so important to us. From Korea’s Black String to a trendsetting urban artist like Kano, from a political star like Solange to something heavier like Red Fang, these artists all do something unique in totally different ways.”

A total of 39 acts – around a quarter of the line-up – have now been announced for Roskilde 2017. Foo Fighters were the first, in mid-November. (Solange Knowles photo by Toni Rosado/scannerFM.)

Solange Knowles, Primavera Sound 2013, Toni Rosado/scannerFM

The Foos will also appear at Live Nation Belgium’s Rock Werchter, which has, since we last checked in, added Arcade Fire, Blink-182 and Kings of Leon to its 2017 bill.

The line-up as it stands: Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire play on Thursday 29 June, Radiohead on Friday 30 June, and Blink-182, Linkin Park and System of a Down on Saturday 1 July. (Caleb Followill/Kings of Leon photo by Daniel Patlán.)

Caleb Followill, Kings of Leon, Lollapalooza 2014, Daniel Patlán

Back to Barcelona, and festival and conference Sónar has announced the first details of its programme for next year.

Justice, Nicolas Jaar, Moderat, Eric Prydz, De La Soul (playing their new album in its entirety) and Daito Manabe are among those heading to Catalonia for Sónar’s 24th year, while virtual reality (VR) and “immersive experiences” will take centre stage at the Sónar+D tech/digital culture conference, with speakers including Jessica Brillhart of Google, Gabo Aroro of the United Nations’ VR lab and Japanese interactive design collective Rhizomatiks. (De La Soul photo by Mikael ‘Mika’ Väisänen. Here’s hoping they turn up.)

De La Soul, Splash festival 2002, Mikael 'Mika' Väisänen

Other notable developments since the last instalment of Festival Focus:


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Festival Focus: Sziget, Electric Picnic, ETEP

Hungary’s Sziget festival today made its last major line-up announcement ahead of the seven-day event in August.

The Chemical Brothers, Tinie Tempah, Editors, Boy, BørnsFedde Le Grand, Laidback Luke and 17 other acts have been booked to perform on the independent festival’s ‘Island of Freedom’ in the Danube from 10 to 17 August.

The festival, founded and promoted by Hungarian entrepreneur Károly Gerenda, last year saw a record-breaking attendance of 441,000. Tickets for Sziget 2016 are, according to the festival, roughly 90% sold out. (Editors photo by PJGDesign.nl.)

Editors, Taubertal 2013, PJGDesign.nl

Morrissey (who, by the way, after the uncertainty of two weeks ago has confirmed he is appearing at Riot Fest after all) has added a second festival date in the form of Flow Festival in Helsinki.

Described by boutique foodie event Flow as a “lyricist with a penchant for songs that do not shy away from controversy”, the ex-Smith will headline Saturday 13 August, joining FKA Twigs, The Last Shadow Puppets, M83 and The Kills at a disused power station near the centre of the Finnish capital. (Morrissey photo by Mark Oshiro.)

Morrissey, Coachella 2009, Mark Oshiro

British singer-songwriter Tom Odell, drum and bass act Chase & Status and recently reformed Australian plunderphonicists The Avalanches (also playing Primavera Sound, Field Day and Australia’s Splendour in the Grass) at A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (that’s Lowlands for those in a rush) in August.

Lowlands 2016 will take place from 19 to 21 August in the Dutch village of Biddinghuizen and also feature Muse, Disclosure, LCD Soundsystem, The Last Shadow Puppets, Foals and Sigur Rós. (Chase & Status photo by Chase & Status, Taubertal 2013, PJGDesign.nl.)

Chase & Status, Taubertal 2013, PJGDesign.nl

It’s not just those who want to vote in the EU referendum the old-fashioned way who are going to miss out at Glastonbury 2016: football fans won’t be able to watch the Euros between bands either.

In a statement, the Eavises explain: “With this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament in France fast approaching, we have being asked about our plans for screening any matches during the Festival. With the kick-off times of the tournament potentially clashing with headline sets, the decision has been taken that no matches from the tournament will be shown at Glastonbury this year.”

This means your correspondent won’t be able to watch England ignominiously lose to Germany, thus ruining the rest of the afternoon, as he did with the World Cup at Glastonbury 2010. More’s the pity.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Summer Arena Assago, Milan, Massimiliano Motta

Festival Republic’s sold-out Electric Picnic last week added no less than 22 new names for its 13th edition, which will be held in County Laois in the Republic of Ireland in the first week of September.

Fifth headliner Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds along with The 1975, Nas, The Shins, Bat for Lashes, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Local Natives, Joey Bada$$, Editors, John Talabot, DJ EZ, Toots and the Maytals, Mura Masa, Kano, Kevin Morby, Shit Robot, Jessy Lanza, Little Simz, Whitney, Frankie Cosmos, Lemaitre and Pumarosa will all make the journey to the Stradbally Hall Estate from 2 to 4 September, joining headliners LCD Soundsystem, Lana Del Rey, The Chemical Brothers and New Order and dozens of other local and international names. (Noel Gallagher photo by Massimiliano Motta.)

Blossoms, Eurosonic 2016, Jorn Baars

Finally, today saw the release of this month’s ETEP results, which rank the most-booked acts for European Talent Exchange Programme-affiliated festivals in 2016 so far.

Nineteen-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora is still on top (as she was in March and May) with 12, with Blossoms (11) just one booking behind and Dutch blues band My Baby (6) jumping up to third. (Blossoms photo by Jorn Baars.)

Festival Focus: Glastonbury spinoff, On the Pitch

Quashing speculation that Glastonbury Festival is to move from its current home at Worthy Farm in Somerset to elsewhere in the UK in 2018, festival co-promoter Emily Eavis has revealed that plans are afoot to stage a separate festival during the ‘fallow year’.

“It’s going to be the whole team behind the Glastonbury Festival but it’s not going to be called Glastonbury,” Eavis tells the BBC. She revealed that the new festival, tipped for Longleat in Wiltshire, will be a “visual feast” with “larger-scale installations, as well as music”.

“The main thing to set straight is that Glastonbury Festival itself will always be at Worthy Farm,” she adds.

A host of new acts have been announced for this year’s festival – which will, Eavis says, feature a number of tributes to the late David Bowie, including a giant Aladdin Sane-style lightning bolt on the Pyramid stage – over the past week, including left-wing singer-songwriter Billy Bragg for the Left Field tent, Newton Faulkner, Turin Brakes, Will Young and Corinne Bailey Rae for the Field of Avalon and Delta Heavy and Sub Focus for the Common, which “embodies the true spirit of the festival” with “tribal temples and dark caves, incredible live music, ritualistic paint throwing, tomato fights, a Celtic festival of the dead and a jaw-dropping waterfall”. (Will Young photo by Richard Heaven.)

Will Young, Isle of Wight Festival 2009, Richard Heaven

Festival of House, the new Scottish dance music festival which IQ last week reported might struggle to obtain an entertainment licence after councillors highlighted “significant gaps” in its planning, will not go ahead.

In a statement on the event’s website, posted the day before Festival of House was scheduled before a council licensing board, festival director Craig Blyth writes: “We are extremely disappointed to have reached this decision. The gap between all parties in terms of key plans is such that it is incapable of resolution in the time left before the event [10–11 June] and that to go forward with tomorrow’s licensing hearing would be harmful to the relationship between the parties involved.

“We have proposed a formal debriefing to Angus Council, presenting an opportunity to look forward to planning another event timeously for next year. Lessons can be learned by all parties from such an exercise.”

Promoter Jigsaw Events and Management had booked Rudimental, Underworld, Leftfield, Erok Alkan and Dubfire for the inaugural event. (Anne-Marie/Rudimental photo by Thomas Hawk.)

Anne-Marie, Rudimental, Coachella 2014, Thomas Hawk

Breton alt-rock festival La Route du Rock has announced the first acts for its summer 2016 event. Belle and SebastianLa FemmeTindersticksBattlesHælosBattlesMinor Victories and Lush will be among the 30 performers at the Association Rock Tympans-promoted festival, which takes place from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 August in the ruins of a castle in Saint-Malo.

Neo-krautrock act La Femme will also play two weekends later and some 250 miles away at Rock en Seine, just outside Paris. She’ll be joined at the festival, headlined by The Last Shadow Puppets, Foals, Iggy Pop and Massive Attack, by a number of new additions, including Soulwax, EditorsPeaches, Aurora, Logic, Miike Snow, Slaves and The Temper Trap.

Mark Ronson, Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, 2010, Kmeron

Hælos and Minor Victories, meanwhile, will also pop up at Positivus in Latvia in July, as will producer extraordinaire and five-time Grammy winner Mark Ronson, who will play a DJ set on the main stage on Friday 15 July.

Interestingly, Ronson – a co-writer and producer of one of 2014/15’s biggest songs, ‘Uptown Funk’ – isn’t billed as a headliner, indicating that Positivus promoter Ģirts Majors sees Iggy Pop, M83, Hot Chip, Air, Years & Years and John Newman as bigger draws for Baltic fans. (Mark Ronson photo by Kmeron on Flickr.)

Steve Tyler, Aerosmith, 2007, Daigo Oliva

Stateside, San Diego festival Kaaboo – described by local paper The San Diego Union-Tribune as “the Coachella for older people seeking more creature comforts than most festivals offer” – will return for its second year in September.

It last week announced Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz and folk-rock duo The Avett Brothers, who will join an eclectic bill that also includes kings of smooth Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson and Hall & Oates, rappers Cypress Hill, Ludacris and FloRida and electro-house DJ Steve Aoki.

Kaaboo is the brainchild of Bryan E. Gordon, the chairman of billion-dollar Denver private-investment firm The Madison Companies. (Steven Tyler/Aerosmith photo by Daigo Oliva.)

Ricky Wilson, Kaiser Chiefs, Pinkpop 2008, Anne Helmond

Kaiser Chiefs, Simply Red, Dizzee Rascal, Everything Everything will perform at a new two-day festival, On the Pitch, at The SSE SWALEC cricket stadium in Cardiff on 16 and 17 July.

Hugh Morris, the chief executive of The SSE SWALEC (formerly Sophia Gardens) says: “Our vision was to secure a bill of top talent and to provide a festival feel for a summer Saturday crowd. We’re delighted to have secured such prestigious acts to play at The SSE SWALEC and we look forward to welcoming them to Wales.” (Ricky Wilson/Kaiser Chiefs photo by Anne Helmond.)

Plus, in case you don’t read IQ at any other time than for Festival Focus on Wednesday (and if not, why not), Tomorrowland 2016 will be streamed to seven countries worldwide, T in the Park 2016 will go ahead with a reduced capacity, Blossoms, Louane, Gold Panda and Get Well Soon will play Reeperbahn and that Goldenvoice ‘megafestival’ with the Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who is definitely happening

Festival Focus: Goldenvoice ‘megafestival’, Paléo

The Who’s Roger Daltrey has let slip that the much-rumoured ‘megafestival’ – featuring his band on the mother of all heritage line-ups alongside Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters – is going ahead, masterminded by Coachella promoter Goldenvoice.

“What a great weekend it will be,” Daltrey told BBC Radio 6 Music. “They’re all going to be there, on the one spot, at the one time.

“It’s amazing really. It’s amazing we’re still here.”

The festival is expected to take place from 7 to 9 October on the Coachella site at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

Nas, SxSW 2010, whittlz

Rapper Nas, pop-punk acts Good Charlotte and Tonight Alive – all UK festival exclusives – Frank Turner, Kano, Coheed & Cambria, Hælos, Black Foxxes and The Temper Trap are among the 76 new acts announced today for Festival Republic’s Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Veteran US prog-metal four-piece Mastodon were also earlier this week revealed as headlining the rock-focused Pit Stage (on Saturday in Reading and Sunday in Leeds). The Georgia band were set to headline the same stage last year but were forced pull out due to personal reasons.

Headlining the main stages at the sister festivals, held across the August bank holiday weekend (26–28 August), are Red Hot Chili Peppers; Foals and Disclosure; and Biffy Clyro and Fall Out Boy. (Nas photo by whittlz on Flickr.)

Napalm Death, Steve Leggat

If you like your rock a little heavier, you’ll be pleased by the initial line-up announcement from Hard Rock Hell and Metal Hammer’s Hammerfest, which will welcome Alestorm, HammerFall, Napalm Death, Armored Saint, Grand Magus, Venom Inc and Evil Scarecrow for its ninth, ‘Welsh Warriors’-themed edition.

Like another, more ill-fated, festival which will rename nameless (until the next paragraph), Hammerfest 2016 takes place in a holiday park: Haven, in Pwllheli, Gwynedd, Wales, from 23 to 26 March. (Napalm Death photo by Steve Leggat.)

Flamin' Groovies, Yoshiaki Ito

First the venue didn’t get paid. Then the promoter took out a payday loan. Then a festival was uprooted and moved halfway across the country. And now the sad saga of both of All Tomorrows Parties’ ATP 2.0 weekenders has come to an end: Stewart Lee’s with a “nightmare start” that saw John Cale pull out, Roky Erickson not get paid and guests left without chalets, and Drive Like Jehu’s with outright cancellation.

The band, who curated the festival line-up and were due to perform with Hot Snakes, Rocket from the Crypt, Diamanda Galás and the Flamin’ Groovies, announced scathingly via their Facebook feed that: “After four months of a long and bumpy ride, the wheels finally fell off the wagon and crashed and burned. A search party was sent to Monkey Island to scan the wreckage for survivors and only found [promoter] Barry Hogan/ATP collecting bits of luggage and body parts for his next show, ‘ATP 3.0: The ’90s Deconstructed’. Tickets on sale now at GoFundMe.com.” Yikes. (Flamin’ Groovies photo by Yoshiaki Ito.)

In happier news, Iggy Pop, Foals, The Kooks and Crystal Fighters will headline new Prague festival Metronome, which will be held concurrently with the international, multi-genre United Islands of Prague festival over the weekend of 25 and 26 June.

Held in the Vystaviste Holesovice exhibition grounds, the event will also feature domestic artists and is promoted by David Gaydecka and Martin Vonka’s Metronome Productions.

“I like the idea of people coming to the Czech capital for a long weekend, doing some sightseeing and spending their afternoon walking Prague’s islands and parks and listening to young and talented musicians at the United Islands of Prague,” says Vonka. “In the evening, they take a tram to the Vystaviste and get to enjoy world-class music stars.”

Steve Harris, Iron Maiden, Graham Berry

Joining Blossoms on Kendal Calling‘s Calling Out Stage bill will be Libertine, Babyshambler and Bataclan re-opener Pete Doherty and Mercury Award-nominated London singer Ghostpoet (Obaro Ejimiwe to his mum). The 11th Kendal Calling, co-promoted by Andy Smith and Ben Robinson, will return to Lowther Deer Park in the UK’s Lake District from Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 July.

Finally, a big-name line-up for Paléo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, for its 41st edition: Muse, Iron Maiden and The Chemical Brothers, no less, are among the headliners for the six-day event, with The Lumineers, Courtney Barnett, Massive Attack, Bastille and chanson superstar Michel Polnareff also on the bill.

2015’s 40th-anniversary event welcomed around 270,000 festivalgoers to see performances by, among others, Robbie Williams, Robert Plant and Sting, and was sold out within the hour. (Steve Harrison/Iron Maiden photo by Graham Berry.)