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Top dogs: Fat Dog lead ESNS Exchange bookings

UK and Ireland acts are leading the way on Eurosonic Noorderslag’s (ESNS) European talent exchange programme in 2024, securing festival slots across the continent this summer.

British band Fat Dog top the ESNS Exchange chart with 15 bookings for festivals outside their home country including Winterthurer Musikwochen (DE), Poplar Festival (IT) , Electric Castle (RO), Siren’s Call (LU), Bad Bonn Kilbi (CH), Lowlands (NL), Pukkelpop (BE), Eurockéennes de Belfort (FR) and Colours of Ostrava (CZ).

Next is English Teacher (ENG) with 10 bookings, Kingfishr (IRE) and Lambrini Girls (ENG), with eight each, and Chalk (IRE) and Picture Parlour (ENG), both with seven. The top 10 is completed by Leila (CH), Nusantara Beat (NL) and Freekind (SI) on six bookings each, while Ireland’s CMAT and Yunè Pinku are tied on five alongside Loverman (BE), UTO (FR) and YĪN YĪN (NL).

The festivals to have booked the most ESNS artists in 2024, meanwhile, are the UK’s The Great Escape (23), Germany’s Halden Pop Festival and Reeperbahn (12 each), Hungary’s Sziget (11), Slovenia’s MENT Ljubljana (9), Estonia’s Tallinn Music Week (7), the Netherlands’ Best Kept Secret, Iceland Airwaves, France’s Le Printemps De Bourges and Festival Europavox Clermont-Ferrand, and Germany’s Winterthurer Musikwochen (all 6).

Helen Sildna, founder of Shiftworks Company and Tallinn Music Week (TMW) says: “ESNS Exchange is an important building-block of TMW’s music programme, offering an opportunity to book the most exciting talent that Europe has on offer in a given year. ESNS programme choices provide a high-quality guarantee that is valued by promoters, also reflecting the wide geographical diversity of the EU and giving a spotlight to artists that otherwise might not end up on bookers’ radars.

“We hope the programme can continue – it’s a smart tool for both the artist and the bookers”

“The combination of high-standard pre-selection and a support mechanism, helping to cover part of the costs – is a smart incentive to make sure fresh European talent has more opportunities to break borders and enhance their international careers. We hope the programme can continue – it’s a smart tool for both the artist and the bookers.”

Co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, ESNS Exchange facilitates the booking of European acts at festivals outside their home countries and works with the EBU, Yourope export offices and local media to generate media exposure for those artists.

For more than two decades, ESNS Exchange and its partners have supported 2,159 European artists from 37 countries in performing 5,336 shows across 192 partner festivals in 44 countries. Artists to have benefited from the scheme via formative festival slots include Editors, The xx, Iceage, Anna Calvi, AURORA, Kae Tempest, Phoenix, Shame, Fontaines DC, Sigrid and Priya Ragu.

“Making circulation of new European artists on festivals easier. That’s what it is all about,” adds Andraž Kajzer, artistic director and festival manager at MENT Ljubljana. “ESNS Exchange is an important pillar for new talent supporting our cause and making it viable.”

 


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Primavera Sound Porto 2024 generates €43.4m

Portugal’s Primavera Sound Porto generated €43.4 million in economic impact this year – around €5m less than in 2023, according to a new study.

Held at Parque da Cidade from 6-8 June, the 40,000-cap event hosted around 50 concerts, including acts such as Lana Del Rey, SZA, Pulp, The National, Arca, PJ Harvey, Mitski, The Legendary Tigerman, Justice, Mannequin Pussy and Billy Woods.

It also featured a tribute to the late producer and Shellac frontman Steve Albini, who was an annual fixture at Primavera Sound Porto, with a listening session dedicated to the band’s recently released album To All Trains.

The festival’s 11th edition attracted in excess of 100,000 visitors across three days, although The Portugal News reports that attendance was hit by rain and the cancellation of some concerts. In comparison, it brought in €48.5m last year and €36.1m on 2022.

The report by ISAG-European Business School and the Center for Research in Business Sciences and Tourism of the Consuelo Vieira da Costa Foundation shows that attendees spent an average of €126.85 at the festival site. Three-day festival tickets cost €195.

A total of 14.1% of all festivalgoers came from outside Portugal, of which 18.7% were from Spain, followed by England (14%), Brazil (12.3%), France (7.6%), Germany (4.7%) and Italy (4.7%).

“Among international visitors and residents outside [the local area], 91.8% went to Porto to attend the festival”

“Among international visitors and residents outside the AMP [Porto Metropolitan Area] – who represented 37.2% of the sample – 91.8% went to Porto to attend the festival,” notes the study.

Residents from outside the AMP recorded an average daily expenditure of €397.87 in the city, with accommodation the most significant expense at €117.74 per day.

“Once again we have a poster that I think is mostly female,” festival director, José Barreiro told The Portugal News ahead of this year’s festival. “When we started this [trying to achieve gender parity] in 2017 it was risky to do so. The future proved us right because at this moment it is much easier. The biggest sales champions in the industry are currently women.”

Next year’s Primavera Sound Porto has been confirmed for 12-14 June 2025.

Primavera Sound’s flagship Barcelona edition drew an overall attendance of 268,000 in 2024, including 130,000 unique visitors – 15,000 more than last year.

 


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Ambition pays off: The Electric Castle phenomenon

In the last decade, Electric Castle has evolved from a bold idea into a leading force in the festival scene, setting new standards for both audience and artist experiences. Held annually at the Bánffy Castle in Transylvania, Romania, the festival is a showcase of the power of ambition and the relentless pursuit of improvement every year.

A bold musical journey
Many events today opt for lineups that guarantee immediate success. While this approach can be effective, it often comes at the expense of the event’s unique identity. Electric Castle has always aimed to be more than just another festival. Avoiding the easy route of relying solely on big names and popular trends, the festival curates a diverse and adventurous musical journey. Superstars like Massive Attack, Queens of The Stone Age, and Bring Me The Horizon might headline this year’s edition, but the lineup also features numerous hidden gems, encouraging festival-goers to look beyond the usual suspects. By exploring European showcases and promoting local and regional talents, the organizers ensure that attendees experience fresh and exciting sounds.

Unique landscape creating unique experiences
A beautiful 16th century castle might be enough to build a festival around, but not for Electric Castle team. Using creative solutions to enhance the natural environment around the historical domain, the festival surprises in terms of event architecture solutions developed to perfectly integrate 11 stages, dozen of activities and a generous camping. Few festival would consider moving their main stage just to make sure that the crowd enjoys the sunset every night, but Electric people are the kind to think even at this. Add a sandy beach, a labirith through the trees and yet these features still don’t encompass all that the festival has to offer. Each element is carefully designed to create a unique and memorable experience, making Electric Castle truly one of a kind.

The ambition to create a unique event has truly paid off, attracting a very special crowd

A lineup for food and drinks? Why not
Food and drink at Electric Castle are given as much thought as the music. The festival has transformed dining into an integral part of the experience, blending high-end culinary delights with more traditional festival fare. A top-tier restaurant set within the castle grounds offers fine dining, a delightful contrast to the food courts that cater to all tastes. Just an extra layer of enjoyment to the festival experience and another proof that everything should be considered in detail.

Celebrating Romanian Talent
Launched at a time when the festival market in Romania was struggling and lacked direction, Electric Castle took on the mission of promoting local culture and talent. Romanian musicians, craftsmen, designers, and producers are given a prominent platform to showcase their work. The festival has created an ‘anti-mall’ – a unique space dedicated to young creators, where innovation and creativity thrive.

And a crowd like no other
The ambition to create a unique event has truly paid off, attracting a very special crowd. Known for their open-mindedness and eagerness to embrace quality over trends, the festival-goers contribute to an atmosphere that is both welcoming and vibrant. It’s no surprise that many artists eagerly return to the castle, knowing they are performing for an audience that genuinely appreciates the art and effort behind each performance. It’s so natural to see people attending the festival for the fifth or sixth year in a row that the only question left is, “Why haven’t you?”

 


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Rock am Ring & Rock im Park score strong presales

Twin German festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park have already sold a combined 50,000 tickets for their anniversary editions in 2025, organisers have revealed.

Rock am Ring has shifted around 30,000 tickets for next year’s festival and Rock in Park 20,000 in the first 24 hours of the presale beginning on Monday.

Nürburgring’s Rock am Ring celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, while Nürnberg’s Rock im Park turns 30, with metal icons Slipknot the first headliner to be confirmed. Weekend passes for the former cost €179, with camping tickets for the latter event starting at €248.

The events are set to return from 6-8 June next year and will feature around 100 acts – more than ever before – made possible by a fourth stage introduced especially for the anniversary editions. As per Frontstage, there will also be new camping categories as well as other innovations announced in the next few months.

The 2024 incarnation of the FKP Scorpio/eventimpresents/DreamHaus-promoted festivals each attracted in the region of 80,000 fans last weekend to see artists such as Die Ärzte, Avenged Sevenfold, Queens of the Stone Age and Green Day.

“The positive response to this year’s festivals was overwhelming, so we are all the more pleased that fans are just as excited about the big anniversary year”

“The positive response to this year’s festivals was overwhelming, so we are all the more pleased that fans are just as excited about the big anniversary year as we are and are securing their tickets early,” says DreamHaus CEO and festival organiser Matt Schwarz.

FKP expanded its collaboration with CTS stablemate DreamHaus by forming a strategic partnership to co-promote Germany’s Rock am Ring/Rock im Park and Hurricane/Southside festivals together from this year. Previously, DreamHaus and FKP Scorpio had already jointly organised the Tempelhof Sounds Festival in Berlin in 2022.

Last year, FKP’s Hurricane and Southside, which will be held from 21-23 June, also set advance booking records after putting tickets on sale for 2024. The festivals will star the likes of Ed Sheeran, Avril Lavigne, The National, The Kooks, The Offspring, The Hives, Jungle and Fontaines DC.

Fans bought over 50,000 tickets on the first day of the presale, setting a new bar in the 20-plus-year history of the twin festivals in Scheeßel (Hurricane) and Neuhausen ob Eck (Southside), which have a combined capacity of 143,000. Each batch of 10,000 tickets for the first price level of €199 sold out within just 20 minutes for both festivals.

 


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Festival news: Expansions, cancellations and lineups

With the 2024 festival season fast approaching, a raft of major events have announced updates on what’s in store this summer.

The lineup for the inaugural edition of KALORAMA Madrid has been finalised, with LCD Soundsystem, Raye, Massive Attack and Sam Smith topping the bill.

The festival is set to take place at the Recinto Ferial Fairgrounds between 29–31 August, the same dates as its Portuguese counterpart, MEO KALORAMA.

Peggy Gou, The Smile, Jungle, The Postal Service, Death Cab For Cutie, The Smile, The Kills, Gossip and Fever Ray are also set to perform at KALORAMA Madrid, promoted by Last Tour (Bilbao BBK, BIME).

Wireless Middle East has also fleshed out the programme for its second edition, which has been pushed back from spring to winter this year.

“This change aims to create an even more unforgettable and enjoyable event”

The Abu Dhabi event, set for 23 November at Etihad Park on Yas Island, will be headlined by SZA, 21 Savage and Yeat.

Karan Aujla, Fridayy, Flo Milli, Raf Saperra, Faris Shafi, Dina Ayada, Mazen, Lancey Foux, Seedhe Maut and Stick No Bills are also due to perform.

James Craven, president of Live Nation Middle East, which promotes the event, apologised for the rescheduling but said that it would allow them to curate the best possible lineup.

“This change aims to create an even more unforgettable and enjoyable event, allowing us to curate a lineup that surpasses all expectations,” he said.

The debut edition drew 25,000 fans and was deemed a “huge success” by Live Nation Middle East.

“The success of last year’s Country Bay Music Festival was immensely rewarding”

Also returning for a second edition is the Miami-based Country Bay Music Festival, promoted by Loud and Live.

Scheduled to take place 9-10 November at the Miami Marine Stadium, the second edition boasts headliners Zac Brown Band and Carrie Underwood.

Dustin Lynch, Chase Rice, Diplo presents Thomas Wesley, Chris Janson, Parmalee, Gabby Barrett, Chayce Beckham, Niko Moon and Redferrin are also due to perform.

“The success of last year’s Country Bay Music Festival was immensely rewarding,” says Nelson Albareda, CEO of Loud And Live. “As a first-year festival, we not only hosted a premier country music festival in Miami featuring stellar artists, but also provided an exceptional experience for our music fans and partner sponsors. The festival reaffirmed our city’s reputation as a vibrant playground and established Miami as a must-visit destination for country music enthusiasts from around the world.”

Elsewhere in the country music sphere, Florida’s Kickoff Jam (30 Aug – 1 Sept) has been cancelled.

“We are going to cancel Kickoff Jam and provide refunds”

Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and Alabama were due to headline the 2024 instalment at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach.

“After the success of Gulf Coast Jam [held May 30-June 2] this past weekend in Panama City Beach, we realised the weekend after Memorial Day is a much better time to host a festival,” Kickoff Jam producers stated in a post on the festival’s Instagram page. “So, we are going to cancel Kickoff Jam and provide refunds.”

Needtobreathe, Lauren Alaina, Restless Road, Randy Houser, the Oak Ridge Boys and Rhett Akins were also due to perform.

Meanwhile, Dutch festival Mañana Mañana has announced that its upcoming 10th edition will be the last.

The festival, promoted by Superstruct-backed Feestfabriek (Party Factory), will bid farewell between 13–16 June in  Achterhoek, in eastern Netherlands.

The organisation indicates that despite all efforts, ticket sales are not good enough to make the event profitable.

Swiss new music festival Radar is expanding with new locations and more days

“In the week before the festival starts, we had to make a difficult decision: Mañana Mañana 2024 is the tenth, but also the last edition,” Feestfabriek wrote in a statement.

“We want to be honest with all the dear and loyal visitors who have been looking forward to next weekend for months. That is why we choose to inform visitors and other involved parties in advance about this incredibly difficult decision. We don’t want to go out like a night candle, but like a crackling campfire with all our friends around it: we are going to make it a fantastic farewell party with laughter and tears! Let’s say goodbye to this unique discovery festival with a party. And for those who have never experienced our wonderful event, this is the last chance.”

In more positive news, Swiss new music festival Radar is expanding with new locations and more days.

The Gadget-promoted event will return to Langstrasse Zurich for two days, 13 and 14 September, showcasing 25 national and international acts performing in eight locations.

Earl Sweatshirt, Swim School, SKAAR, Fiona-Lee, Chubby Cat and Somebody’s Child are among the acts set to perform at Radar.

Venues include Frame, Gonzo, Zukunft, Bar 3000, Alte Kaserne, Waxy Bar, Plaza and Longstreet Bar.

 


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40+ UK festivals cancelled: What’s going on?

Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) CEO John Rostron has unpicked the key issues facing the beleaguered UK sector this summer, with more than 40 festivals already postponed, cancelled or shut down in 2024.

The family-run Towersey Festival – the UK’s longest-running independent, having launched in 1965 – became the latest casualty earlier this month, announcing that its upcoming August edition would be its last, citing “increasing financial and economic challenges since the pandemic”.

It joined a list of losses from this year’s calendar that already includes NASS Festival, Bradford’s Challenge Festival, El Dorado, PennfestConnect Music Festival110 Above Festival, Leopollooza, Long Division, Bluedot and Barn On The Farm, with the majority of organisers blaming significant increases in operational costs.

Rostron tells IQ that promoters have described the current climate as “the most challenging time it’s ever been”.

“It’s an incredibly challenging environment, because they’ve got multiple things that have all come together at the same time – some of which is long wind from Covid and Brexit impacting,” he explains. “There are a couple of wise people who saw this coming out of the pandemic, but obviously it is very different seeing it to now feeling it.”

While the supporting data is limited up to this point, Rostron says the indications are that the cost of living crisis “has definitely come to bear” ahead of this summer’s season.

“What we feared would happen, is happening – and it will get worse before it gets better”

“One thing we have picked up on is that the overall sales pattern is changing,” he points out. “A lot of people might want, or intend, to go to a festival, but cost of living means they won’t buy their tickets as early as they used to. They’re waiting a lot later – and that ‘later’ adds to the problem.

“Somebody saying, ‘I’m going to go, but I haven’t bought a ticket yet’ is no good to a festival organiser who’s got to pay a bill for a stage upfront. But it’s understandable, because we know what cost of living feels like. We’re all in it, so we’re probably all making similar kinds of decisions.”

Former Welsh Music Foundation chief Rostron, who co-founded Cardiff’s Sŵn Festival, says he was first alerted to the unfolding situation within a month of taking the AIF helm in November 2022.

“I had an individual say to me, ‘There is a cultural crisis coming; I can see a real problem coming down the tracks,'” recalls Rostron. “At the time, it was the only voice saying that, because a lot of the festivals were feeling incredibly energised because they’d finally put Covid to bed. But what I hadn’t realised is how many of them had made a loss on the events they’d delivered in 2022. They’d sold out, but they’d still made a loss.

“This one voice said, ‘I think there’s a cultural crisis’ and then as some festivals began to fall in the spring of 2023, that voice became loud in my head. What we feared would happen, is happening – and it will get worse before it gets better.”

Rostron suggests that headlines about record-setting A-list global tours and more than one million people attending live music events in London in a single week had distracted from the growing concerns lower down the food chain. But there has since been a reality check.

“We talk to the supply chain a lot, and they need two or three years of relative calm in order to be able to build back and relax their terms”

“There were a lot of people in the ecosystem doing well and feeling very optimistic, so the voices of errors and problems felt like they were on the fringes,” he says. “But that is coming home and you can see it in two big areas: grassroots music venues and festivals. And it’s not just our voices anymore – you hear it from other people in the talent development pipeline: artists, managers and agents, because they’re not getting as many bookings this year.

“The number of stages and events has gone down and they’re like, ‘Oh, this is a problem, because we’re not getting the opportunities we used to get; what does that mean for the future?’ Those voices are beginning to join with us now.”

Regarding escalating supply chain costs, from fencing to toilets, Rostron says there is no simple solution for either side.

“Within their world, there’s been a lot of upheaval,” he says. “A lot of it is Brexit and the pandemic, but they have other issues – their ability to buy new gear is challenging when there’s high interest rates, and it’s challenging to store them. Those things add pressure to their ability to settle prices, alongside that foundation of Brexit, which has caused huge problems for the supply chain in terms of locations and costs.

“We talk to the supply chain a lot, and they need two or three years of relative calm in order to be able to build back and relax their terms. Everybody’s under pressure, so the prices have not just gone up, but they want their money upfront and that is incredibly difficult. That’s not the environment that existed in 2019 where if you had a loss one year, you could cover it the next year. That’s all gone.

“There are lots of great people in the sector working very hard to try and come to deals and help people through – from generator and audio companies to agents and artists – but they can’t always make it, and that’s why you’re seeing so many fall.”

“It’s clearly already too late for 43 festivals, and it’s going to be too late for four more that I know are going to go”

In response to the developing crisis, the trade association has launched a campaign called Five Percent For Festivals to encourage festivalgoers to contact their MPs to lobby for a VAT reduction on tickets. AIF states that a reduced VAT from 20% to 5% on ticket sales for the next three years will give festival promoters the space they need to rebuild, and will resume its campaigning in the wake of next month’s UK general election.

“I’m very optimistic that we will get something,” says Rostron. “I’m very confident. Naively confident? I don’t know. We’ve had regular conversations and we haven’t had a ‘No’. The sad bit is, the more festivals cancel – and what we said might happen begins to happen – the stronger those conversations are.

“The CMS inquiry into grassroots music venues made a recommendation to look at modelling of VAT in the grassroots, and the conversation has widened to say that should include festivals. All of that will take time. It takes time to model, it takes time to implement, and there’s still obviously a chance that it won’t happen – they can make the recommendation and then say, ‘No’.

“I think there will be intervention. My concern is that by the time something does happen, how many [festivals] will have gone? We’re going to see more independent festivals go because they’re not going to be able to make it to that point of intervention, whatever that intervention looks like. It’s clearly already too late for 43 festivals, and it’s going to be too late for four more that I know are going to go.”

He continues: “What’s good for us is there is an election about to happen, so we’ll have a new group of politicians with a five-year mandate, and that is stronger to work with than where we were, which was with a group of MPs that didn’t know how long their futures would be.”

“We’ve had a lack of new energy and blood and ideas because of Covid, and we’ll begin to see that trickle back”

Indeed, sounding an optimistic note, Rostron can already picture a brighter tomorrow for the industry – with Generation Z leading the charge.

“What will the festival sector do creatively? Well, they’re already planning it,” he observes. “You’ve got people going, ‘There’s a headliner issue? We’re going to change the way that we book.’ A lot of festivals sell the majority of their tickets without announcing any artists – people go because they love Shambala, or Mighty Hoopla, or Green Man, or End Of The Road. And as long as those artists are of good quality and fit with the audience’s expectations, they’re not really looking at who’s playing, so I think festivals will double down on that.

“For some of them, you’re going to see degrowth. You’re going to say, ‘As we expanded, we got to the point where we needed those [big] headliners. If we shrink down a bit, we don’t need that anymore.'”

He concludes: “You had this big gap with young people that couldn’t go to festivals because of Covid, and that’s impacted us in ways that we can’t understand. But some of them went to festivals in 2022 and 2023, and they’ll go again this year. And guess what? They’ll now start to leave their footprint creatively in the festival sector.

“You will see some of those individuals be inspired to create their own events, or pockets within existing events. You’ll see that magic start to sprout up because that’s where innovation always comes from. We’ve had a lack of new energy and blood and ideas because of Covid, and we’ll begin to see that trickle back.

“Next year, I think you’ll see the seeds of some future great festivals and some others change quite dramatically. That will be quite Gen Z-driven, and I’m really excited to see what they do.”

 


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Boomtown creates ‘blacklist’ over hateful comments

The UK’s Boomtown Festival says it will “blacklist” people from attending the festival after a post it made online to celebrate Pride Month was met with “hateful comments”.

Boomtown marked the start of Pride Month on 1 June with a social media post, paying tribute to “some of the incredible queer talent” that had graced the Hampshire event’s main stage over the past couple of years.

“We’re forever in awe of the LGBTQIA+ crew, artists, performers and citizens that bring the colour and make our city vibrant,” it said.

However, it has since disabled comments on the post, saying it attracted “negativity” that “goes against everything we stand for”.

“Recently, we encountered hateful comments on a post we shared celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community at the heart of Boomtown,” says a statement by the festival. “We are deeply proud of our beautiful LGBTQIA+ crews, artists, performers and citizens and we will wholeheartedly continue to celebrate the diverse communities that make our city come to life.

“We want to make it very clear that anyone with this type of view is not welcome at Boomtown”

“The kind of negativity we saw… goes against everything we stand for at Boomtown. We sincerely apologise to those who were targeted and to anyone and everyone who was affected. We were angered and saddened by the hateful comments. There’s no place for that here.

“We have a zero tolerance on any type of hate speech and our team swiftly removed the offensive comments and blocked the accounts. Unfortunately, further comments required us to disable comments entirely to protect everyone.”

Warning it would seek to ban those responsible, it added: “We’ve also created a blacklist to prevent these individuals from spreading hate on our platforms. Where possible, we’ll be taking steps to prevent them from attending the festival now or in the future. We want to make it very clear that anyone with this type of view is not welcome at Boomtown.”

Featuring 12 main stages and more than 50 hidden venues, Boomtown’s 2024 edition is titled: “Revolution of Imagination” and will be held at the Matterley Estate in South Downs National Park, near Winchester, from 7-11 August. Tickets cost £310 (€367).

First held in 2009, the festival has previously hosted acts such as Gorillaz, Lauryn Hill, M.I.A., The Streets, Wu-Tang Clan, The Specials, Cypress Hill, Limp Bizkit, Chase & Status and Madness. Live Nation, Gaiety and SJM Concerts took stakes in the event in 2022.

 


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Cancelled Swiss fest announces compensation scheme

Promoters of a cancelled Swiss festival are offering ticketholders admission to two other events as compensation after saying they were “unable to provide refunds” as a result of financial difficulties.

Vibiscum Festival’s third edition had been due to take place in Vevey, Switzerland, from 30 May to 2 June, starring acts such as Hardwell, Lost Frequencies, Hamza, Shaka Ponk, Zola and Crawlers. Ticket prices started at CHF95 (€99).

However, festival director William von Stockalper axed the event last month due to poor ticket sales, with no refunds offered. Amid criticism, he indicated there would be reimbursement “in one form or another”, with organisers insisting they were “fully committed to finding a fair solution for all affected festivalgoers”.

An alternative compensation scheme has now been announced after Murten’s Stars of Sounds Festival and Neuchâtel’s Openair Fluo agreed to open their doors to all Vibiscum ticket holders.

Fans who purchased a ticket for Vibiscum’s rap night on 30 May will be able to exchange it to gain entry to Openair Fluo, which will feature artists such as Franglish, Gambi and Niro, on 31 August.

In addition, people who have bought tickets for Vibsicum’s days dedicated to rock (31 May), electro (1 June) or classical (2 June) have the chance to attend an evening of their choice at Stars of Sounds, which runs from 4-6 July. Acts set to perform at the event include Gotthard, Scorpions, Paul Kalkbrenner, Calum Scott, Ray Dalton and Take That.

“Unfortunately, no other compensation can be considered”

Tickets to Openair Fluo and Stars of Sounds cost CHF93.22 and CHF109, respectively.

“Unfortunately, no other compensation can be considered,” says a statement from the Vibiscum team. “We would like to warmly thank the Stars of Sounds Festival in Murten and Openair Fluo in Neuchâtel for their support and solidarity, and hope that you will be able to enjoy their great programming.”

Reaction to the proposal has been largely negative on social media, with one fan branding it “shameful”, adding: “We don’t want ‘compensation’, we want a refund.”

Launched in 2022, Vibiscum was sponsored by Vevey-headquartered food and drink conglomerate Nestlé and drew 32,000 people across three days last year, headlined by Orelsan and DJ Snake. But Von Stockalper told Blue News that he pulled the plug on the 2024 edition after it reached “only half” of his 18,000 ticket sales target two weeks before it was scheduled to start.

“To be frank, we had been thinking about it for a week but we were still hoping for a significant jump in sales,” he said. “For a festival like ours, the current trend is to sell at the last minute, but given the sales, it would have been too risky to bet everything on that. It was a terrible choice, the most difficult decision of my professional career.”

Elaborating on the reasons for the cancellation, a statement on the festival’s website read: “The lack of ticket sales has made it impossible for us to cover the costs of artists and other vendors essential to making the festival happen. Despite all our efforts to promote the event, we have not achieved the objectives necessary to ensure its financial viability.”

 


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Glastonbury could take fallow year in 2026

Glastonbury Festival is likely to take a year off in 2026, according to organiser Emily Eavis.

The event, which takes place at Worthy Farm, Somerset, has a history of taking fallow years to allow the ground to recover and most recently took a break in 2018, although the 2020 and 2021 festivals were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sidetracked podcast, Eavis said: “We are due a fallow year. The fallow year is important because it gives the land a rest, and it gives the cows a chance to stay out for longer and reclaim their land.

“I think it’s important, I think it gives everybody time to just switch off and the public as well. Then you kind of go away for a bit and it feels lovely when you come back. And I think it’s quite good not to be seen to be cashing in.”

Glastonbury dropped its full 2024 lineup last week, complete with stage times. Late additions to the 26-30 June programme include James, Tems, Femi Kuti, Seasick Steve, Jamie Webster, the Staves, the Skatalites, Jalen Ngonda, the Vaccines, Johnny Flynn, Soft Play, Rachel Chinouriri, The Zutons and the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

“It’s great to see so many new features in this year’s Glastonbury app, and I hope it will enhance everyone’s experience of the festival”

Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA are this year’s Pyramid Stage headliners, with further acts including LCD Soundsystem, PJ Harvey, Little Simz, Burna Boy, Janelle Monáe, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Kiwanuka, Seventeen, Paul Heaton, Keane, Paloma Faith, Oliva Dean, Ayra Starr and Shania Twain, who will occupy the coveted Sunday teatime “legend slot”.

Vodafone has launched the new Official Glastonbury Festival App for 2024, which includes Spotify integration for the first time. Fans will be able to link their Spotify account to the app, which will provide them with personalised recommendations on artists performing at the festival based on their listening habits.

When connecting to their Spotify, users will be served with their top 10 artists from the bill, in addition to a wider selection of recommendations via the Discover More option.

The app also includes several major upgrades to the Line-up feature, offering the ability for fans to pin their favourite stages to the top, show performances grouped by stage, as well as Map Pinning, which lets festivalgoers drop pins anywhere on their festival map and share them with their friends.

“It’s great to see so many new features in this year’s Glastonbury app, and I hope it will enhance everyone’s experience of the festival, whether they’re watching at home or joining us at the farm,” adds Eavis.

 


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Festivals update: Rock en Seine, Roskilde, Open’er

Some of Europe’s biggest festivals have added to their lineups as the 2024 summer season gets underway.

Notable events taking place across the continent this weekend include Best Kept Secret in the Netherlands, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park in Germany, Primavera Porto in Portugal, Sweden Rock Festival, Orange Warsaw Festival in Poland and Parklife in the UK.

Meanwhile, France’s Rock en Seine, which is set for 21-25 August at Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, outside Paris, has announced 38 new acts, joining headliners Lana Del Rey, Fred again.., LCD Soundsystem, Måneskin, Massive Attack, PJ Harvey, The Offspring and The Smile.

Del Rey, who headlines the opening night, will top a 100% female line-up, supported by Rori, Towa Bird and Pomme. Other fresh additions include Kae Tempest, Venna, Sofie Royer, CVC, Joy (Anonymous), Loverman, New West, Rachel Chinouriri, Nell Mescal, BINA, Soft Launch, Monobloc, Vox Low and Yoa.

Also featuring are Durry, Emily Jeffri, Aili, Dynamite Shakers, Martha Da’ro, The Scratch, Astral Bakers, Merryn Jeann, Rallye, Dog Park, Madam, Nina Versyp, Clara Kimera, 135, Please, Geagea, Menades, Past Life Romeo, Bada-Bada, Lisa Ducasse and Joe la panic.

Elsewhere, there has been a change at the top at Denmark’s Roskilde, which runs from 29 June to 6 July, with Charli XCX stepping in to replace Kali Uchis on 5 July. SZA, Doja Cat, Foo Fighters, J Hus, PinkPantheress, 21 Savage and Skrillex are among this year’s headliners.

“Charli XCX sets new standards for hyperpop, and we are pleased to add an international name of such high calibre”

“Charli XCX sets new standards for hyperpop, and we are pleased to add an international name of such high calibre,” says Roskilde programme director Anders Wahrén.

Charli XCX has also joined the bill at Poland’s Open’er alongside Don Toliver and Hozier, who has been confirmed as the 3-6 July event’s final headliner. Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa and Doja Cat also top the lineup, with other acts including Måneskin, Disclosure, Ashnikko, 21 Savage, Ice Spice, Air, Loyle Carner, Michael Kiwanuka, Floating Points, Kim Gordon, Tom Morello, Sampha and Slowdive.

Croatia’s biggest open-air music festival InMusic, which was forced to cancel last year’s edition, has released the full lineup for its 2024 return from 24-26 June. The Zagreb event will be topped by The National, Hozier, Paolo Nutini and the Smashing Pumpkins. Also set to perform are Röyksopp, Gossip, Viagra Boys, Dogstar, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Gaslight Anthem, Squid and Sleaford Mods, among others.

The legendary Montreux Jazz Festival has unveiled the free programme for its 58th edition, which will take place on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, between 5-20 July 2024.

With more than 500 activities on 15 stages, the free programme is largely dedicated to promoting emerging artists and represents more than 80% of the festival’s total offering. Highlight include Kenya Grace, Good Neighbours, Sid Sriram, Marcel Dettman, Jazzbois, Venna, Dargz, Elmiene and Black Coffee.

“After careful consideration and evaluation of various factors, we have decided that this is the right time to close this chapter”

In addition, daily workshops will include members of Deep Purple and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason sharing their memories of Montreux in the 70s, as well as jazz artists such as Lakecia Benjamin, Faraj Suleiman and Roni Kaspi, while  a workshop and four events will be dedicated to iconic French artist Serge Gainsbourg on 14 July.

The free events will run alongside the main festival lineup, which will star the likes of Raye, Sting, Massive Attack, Kraftwerk, Janelle Monáe, PJ Harvey, Smashing Pumpkins, Jungle, Duran Duran, Rag’n’Bone Man, Yussef Dayes, André 3000 and Alice Cooper.

Also in Switzerland, hip-hop festival Openair Frauenfield, scheduled for 11-13 July, will feature acts including Nicki Minaj, 21 Savage, Offset, Don Toliver, Apache 207, Gunna, Ice Spice, Skepta, Shirin David and D-Block Europe.

However, Weihern Openair has come to an end after 10 years. The Swiss festival traditionally took place in St Gallen in mid-September, after the main season.

“This decision was not easy for us, but after careful consideration and evaluation of various factors, we have decided that this is the right time to close this chapter,” says a statement.

Glastonbury has dropped its full 2024 lineup, complete with stage times

The association behind the event had reportedly run into deficits over the past two years due to declining visitor numbers.

“One of the main reasons is that at the end of the festival season we were unable to motivate enough people or visitors to come to the Weihern to enjoy music,” says Kajo Bischof, organising committee member of the Weihern Openair Association, as per FM1 Today. “We noticed that the demand to go to festivals at this time of year has dropped significantly.”

Plus, the UK’s Glastonbury festival has dropped its full 2024 lineup, complete with stage times. Late additions to the 26-30 June programme include James, Tems, Femi Kuti, Seasick Steve, Jamie Webster, the Staves, the Skatalites, Jalen Ngonda, the Vaccines, Johnny Flynn, Soft Play, Rachel Chinouriri, The Zutons and the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Dua Lipa, Coldplay and SZA are this year’s Pyramid Stage headliners.

Lastly, London concert series BST Hyde Park has fleshed out this year’s supporting cast, with Hans Zimmer, Seal, Zucchero, Katherine Jenkins and Matteo Bocelli joining headliner Andrea Bocelli on 5 July.

In addition, Gary Clark Jr, Cannons, Somebody’s Child, Red Rum Club, Keo, The Meffs, Daydreamers and Nieve Ella bolster Kings of Leon’s 30 June show with previously announced special guests Paolo Nutini and The Vaccines. Plus, MARINA, Anitta and ALTÉGO will perform before Kylie Minogue’s headline set on 13 July, and Maisie Peters, Alec Benjamin, NMIXX, and KIRE will support Stray Kids on 14 July.

 


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