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Festivals 2024: Primavera, Superbloom, TRNSMT

Primavera Sound, Trnsmt and Superbloom are among the latest batch of European festivals to reveal their 2024 bills.

Set for 29 May to 2 June, the 22nd Primavera Sound Barcelona will be headlined by Lana Del Rey, Pulp and SZA. Other artists will include The National, PJ Harvey, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Disclosure, FKA Twigs, Justice and Mitski.

Once again, the lineup highlights the event’s commitment to equality (42.36% women, 42.36% men and 15.28% mixed projects), which has been its hallmark since the historic 2019 edition balanced the gender distribution for the first time.

Germany’s 50,000-cap Superbloom Festival, which debuted in 2022, returns to Munich’s Olympic Park on 7-8 September with artists such as Sam Smith, The Chainsmokers, Louis Tomlinson, Nothing But Thieves, RIN, Tokio Hotel and Kenya Grace.

Held on Glasgow Green, Scotland, from 12-14 July, DF Concerts’ TRNSMT will be topped by Liam Gallagher, Gerry Cinnamon and Calvin Harris. The bill will also include the likes of Garbage, Courteeners, Chase & Status, The Snuts, Rick Astley, Tom Grennan, Declan McKenna, Dylan John Thomas, Blossoms, Sugababes and Example.

Elsewhere, Metallica will star at the 10th anniversary of Norway’s Tons of Rock, set for 26-29 June in Oslo, joining the previously announced TOOL, Judas Priest and Greta Van Fleet.

“Bringing Metallica to Norway and Tons of Rock is bigger than words can describe”

“Bringing Metallica to Norway and Tons of Rock is bigger than words can describe,” says Tons of Rock CEO Jarle Kvåle. “The journey here is longer than anyone can imagine, but at the same time there has never been a shorter gap between us as fans and us organisers. Seeing Metallica is every metal fan’s childhood dream. To see them at Tons of Rock in our 10th year is indescribable.”

Finland’s Flow Festival will welcome Pulp, Fred again.., The Smile, PJ Harvey, Jessie Ware, Denzel Curry, Kenya Grace and Overmono, among others, to Helsinki for its 20th anniversary event from 9-11 August.

The UK’s All Points East, which has announced a naming rights partnership with Uber Eats, runs from 16-25 August. Promoter AEG Presents has confirmed Loyle Carner as its first headliner for 17 August. He will be joined at London’s Victoria Park by special guests Nas, Ezra Collective, Sainté, Joe James, ENNY and Navy Blue.

Portugal’s NOS Alive (11-13 July), which last week named Dua Lipa as its first act for 2024, has since added the Smashing Pumpkins, Khruangbin, Benjamin Clementine, Kenya Grace, Black Pumas and Nothing But Thieves.

Meanwhile, Måneskin have joined Dua Lipa and Foo Fighters as headliners of Belgium’s Rock Werchter from 4-7 July. The Italian rock band will also headline Portugal’s Super Bock Super Rock, which takes place from 18-20 July.

Croatia’s biggest open-air music festival INmusic, which pulled the plug on its 2023 edition due to a myriad of financial challenges, returns to Zagreb between 24-26 June next year, when it will feature artists including The National, Smashing Pumpkins, The Gaslight Anthem and Viagra Boys.

“It is a great honour for us to collaborate with such a significant excellence”

And Italy’s Lucca Summer Festival (LSF) has revealed the first four headliners for its 2024 series: Ed Sheeran (8-9 June), Rod Stewart (7 July), Kolkata (11 July), Diana Krall (15 July). The festival has announced a new sponsorship deal with Lucca-based U-Boat watches.

“It is a great honour for us to collaborate with such a significant excellence in the territory as U-Boat is,” says LSF founder Mimmo D’Alessandro, CEO of D’Alessandro e Galli. “Two great realities that meet and collaborate for the city and for the Lucca Summer Festival project represent an important example of mutual support and that of the city.”

Plus, Lollapalooza India is back for its second edition from 27-28 January, featuring headliners Sting, Jonas Brothers, Halsey and OneRepublic at Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai. The event will also welcome acts such as Keane, Lauv, Jungle, Royal Blood, JPEGMAFIA, Meduza, Malaa, Caribou and The Roseat.

 


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Flow ends Heineken partnership over Russia war

Finland’s Flow Festival has announced it has ended its brand partnership with Heineken Silver due to the lager firm’s operations in Russia.

Heineken has been in Russia for 20 years and is the third largest brewer in the country, with around seven breweries and an 1,800-strong workforce. But despite announcing it is “committed” to leaving Russia, the firm is still working towards detaching itself fully – prompting Flow to cut ties ahead of this weekend’s festival.

“When we were informed about Heineken’s situation in Russia in the spring, we had discussions with the festival’s main partner Hartwall about the presence of different products at Flow and evaluated the situation together,” says Flow Festival CEO Suvi Kallio.

“Based on knowledge at that point, Heineken was to leave Russia during the spring. Unfortunately, this has not happened up to this point.

“We have reassessed the situation and come to the conclusion to end the partnership and brand cooperation with Heineken. Heineken Silver will be replaced with Hartwall’s other products at the festival.”

Amsterdam-headquartered Heineken said in April that waiting for the Russian Federation to approve the sale of its business in Russia.

“Heineken is committed to leaving Russia and we’re doing everything we can to find a suitable new owner for our business”

The Dutch brand released the following statement earlier this year: “We are shocked and saddened by the war in Ukraine. The strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people is remarkable, despite the continuing horrors that are happening in the country.”

It continued: “Heineken is committed to leaving Russia and we’re doing everything we can to find a suitable new owner for our business while taking care of our local employees.

“The situation in Russia is unprecedented and the reality for businesses with large production and manufacturing operations in the country is challenging and complex.”

Flow Festival takes place at Suvilahti, Helsinki, from 11-13 August. The event will feature around 150 acts including Lorde, Blur, Wizkid, Kaytranada, Christine & The Queens, Tove Lo, Devo, Pusha T, Caroline Polachek, Suede and Moderat.

Finland’s largest arena Helsinki Halli has been left unused since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. The former Hartwall Arena is owned by Arena Events but has laid empty since two of the company’s co-founders, oligarchs Gennady Timchenko and Boris Rotenberg, were added to the UK’s sanctions list shortly after the war began in February 2022.

Beverage giant Hartwall ended its 25-year association with the building due to its Russian ownership, while scheduled shows by acts such as Kiss, The Cure, Eric Clapton and Queen + Adam Lambert were relocated.

 


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Perfect partnerships: 2022’s innovative activations

Sponsorship is a key revenue stream for festivals, whilst music and arts events are excellent ways for companies and charities to expose their messages to receptive audiences. In an excerpt from IQ and Yourope’s European Festival Report, we profile some of the most innovative partnerships in 2022.

Roskilde: Culturography
Commercial partnerships are key for most festivals, with many companies eager to benefit from the association with a festival brand and access to its audience. However, it’s important to create an activation that not only aligns with the company’s goals but matches the audience’s expectations without damaging the event’s reputation.

But how do you ensure your partnership brand is met with approval by festivalgoers? How do you know the partner you’re working with won’t be viewed negatively by them? And even if they are receptive to your brand/message, how do you calculate the success of the activation when the measurements of success are not as sophisticated as they could be.

Well, thanks to a new big data collaboration with Aalborg University’s techno-anthropologists (yes, they do exist), Roskilde festival in Denmark might have solved these issues.

Together they have created a new online open-source platform called Culturography, which enables organisations to understand and visualise how their target group – and the broader public – engages in different aspects of societal issues online.

Roskilde’s online tool analyses social media posts from fans and the public that show where interests of different groups of people overlap

The online tool analyses social media posts from fans and the public that show where interests of different groups of people overlap. This use of big data enables festivals to understand whether a brand and its activities are a good fit.

“Every time we engage in a commercial partnership, there are three basic steps that we go through. There’s finding the partnership, signing the partnership, and then monetising it. This method was very helpful for all three,” says Roskilde’s head of partnerships, Andreas Groth Clausen.

“Normally, when I present the idea of a partnership with Roskilde Festival to a company, it’s just me, and I’m hoping that the person I’m talking to is a fan of a particular festival or can see the idea. With this digital database, we can actually tell them what our audience is interested in. We can show them our fans are really engaged with some of their competitors, but they’re not interacting with them. So, the starting point changed significantly when we introduced these visualisations to our partners.”

The tool also helps the festival and the brand design an activation onsite that hits the appropriate demographics, by identifying the key touchpoints certain groups are interested in. This minimises the risk of running an activation that doesn’t chime with festival-goers.

As a non-profit organisation, Roskilde festival is making the software available to everyone. But there’s still some development required – currently the data is interpreted by experts from the university, whilst the goal is to develop the software further so that it removes this requirement.

“Trasholution” incentivises people to pick up litter by gamifying the process

“That’s the last challenge for us – to build a tool that’s just plug-and-play for everybody. As good as it is right now, it’s still a work in progress, but we can make it even better. We are going to do that in the years to come,” says Groth Clausen.

FKP Scorpio: Trasholution
FKP Scorpio festivals Hurricane, Southside, Highfield, and M’era Luna launched a new concept for waste management in summer ‘22. “Trasholution” incentivises people to pick up litter by gamifying the process – and it was used to benefit social causes, too. Every full rubbish bag was counted by the festival and triggered a donation of €1 to social projects in the region of each festival. This was live-tracked and visible for all festivalgoers, further motivating them to hand in their rubbish. As soon as a donation goal was achieved, the German company launched the counter for the next one.

“This is so important because if the festival waste is separated cleanly, its recyclable materials can be sorted out much better and returned to the material cycle,” says FKP Scorpio managing director Stephan Thanscheidt. “So, we’re achieving two good things with one concept: donations for social causes, as well as more sustainability.”

Flow and Polestar
As one of the world’s first carbon-neutral festivals, Finland’s Flow fest is renowned for its environmentally friendly credentials. So, it was especially important for them to work with brands that shared its ethos.

Polestar’s commitment to bring 100% electric premium car products to the world, led them to partner with the Superstruct Entertainment-owned event to bring their brand statements to Flow’s highly eco-conscious fan community.

With a campaign aimed at building brand awareness and affinity in Finland, Polestar gave selected ticket holders exclusive drives to the festival as well as pairing with Tiilikello venue for an exclusive art installation, matching both the festival and brand’s minimalist image.

At Latitude and Wilderness, professional Bacardí mixologists offered cocktail-making classes for attendees

Live Nation and Bacardí
With 2022 being the first full year back after the pandemic, Bacardí partnered with Live Nation in the UK to join the celebrations for the return of festivals, signing a multi-year deal to be the official spirit partner across ten events.

A drinks brand could be considered an expected sponsor for a festival, which was exactly what inspired Bacardí to create spectacular spaces full of thoughtful surprises and touches.

The partners created physical spaces that became destinations in their own right at festivals. Each was tailored to the festival audience’s tastes and preferences, such as Casa Bacardí (at Reading, Parklife, and Wireless), a two-story dance destination programmed with world-renowned DJs and premium rum cocktails; or Haçienda Patrón (at Wilderness and Latitude), a Tulum-inspired space.

Bacardí also used its spaces creatively by inviting fans to experience its brands in new ways. At Latitude and Wilderness, professional Bacardí mixologists offered cocktail-making classes for attendees. Bacardí also programmed established and up-and-coming DJs at Casa Bacardí to support its Music Liberates Music initiative, an ongoing programme designed to champion underrepresented voices in the music industry.

The results reached 3m in-person attendees and 10m followers on social media.

Jay Williamson, VP of marketing partnerships for Live Nation UK, said: “The Bacardí team truly understands how live music is one of the rare things that can bring people together, and the opportunity to work with them this summer on creating lifelong memories for fans was an incredible privilege.”

Wacken Open Air partnered with brewery Krombacher to put together a band made up of rare native species under threat

Wacken Open Air and Krombacher: Growling Creatures
Have you ever heard an endangered animal sing metal? Well, now’s your chance. This year, German festival Wacken Open Air partnered with brewery Krombacher to put together a band made up of rare native species that are under threat: Growling Creatures.

To raise awareness of the plight of these animals, three songs featuring the calls of a variety of animals were released by the ‘group.’ Nest Destroyer included the sounds of the cuckoo and grey shrike over a melodic death metal tune. The brown hare and lynx contributed to metalcore banger Furry Inferno. And the female bison and grey seal joined together for death metal song Small Number Of The Beast.

The songs were released on Spotify and videos were posted on YouTube and social channels, as well as running on stage screens between bands. Band T-shirts were also sold.

All proceeds from the campaign will be donated to the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) of Germany.

“The audience response as well as the media was very positive,” says festival spokesman Peter Klapproth. “All three songs were professional produced and went down well in the metal scene. The campaign created a reach of over 8m, which made the whole cooperation very successful for all parties involved and most importantly created the awareness for the endangered species.”

The partnership was such a success that plans are already in place to continue it next year.

Emerging artist Madalena Pequito ran a workshop of festivalgoers that positioned art as a pillar for sustainability

MEO Kalorama and Underdogs
While audiences filled their ears with music from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Arctic Monkeys, and Disclosure, new Portuguese festival MEO Kalorama also filled their eyes with art, thanks to a partnership with Lisbon-based cultural platform Underdogs.

Promoter Last Tour invited the art organisation to undertake three different initiatives that involved several people from the Underdogs’ diverse roster of Portuguese and international artists.

The first part of this collaboration was a large-scale intervention by Portuguese visual artist AkaCorleone called Temple of Sound, which saw the entire main stage decorated with work, as part of his ongoing Temple of Light project.

Elsewhere, an art gallery was built dedicated to displaying over 30 exclusive Underdogs artworks by a diversity of artists, including Felipe Pantone, Okuda San Miguel, Tamara Alves, Vhils, Wasted Rita, and many others.

And sustainability was a key theme for the third intervention – emerging artist Madalena Pequito ran a workshop of festivalgoers that positioned art as a pillar for sustainability. She invited the audience to illustrate the 17 sustainable development goals established by the United Nations.

Jazz in the Park bought six GoPro cameras, which festivalgoers borrowed for 45 minutes at a time to record their experience

Jazz in the Park and Mega Image
Most people who work on festivals never get to experience it as audiences do. But for its 10th anniversary in 2022, Romanian festival Jazz in the Park set about changing that. Thanks to a partnership with supermarket Mega Image, the festival bought six GoPro cameras and set-up a station that saw people borrow a camera for 45 minutes at a time and record their experience. The 180 people shot 96 hours of footage, which was edited into a “People’s Aftermovie,” which was released on social media.

“We were a bit nervous about people’s response[s] to being invited to film,” admits festival founder and manager Alin Vaida. “But the cameras were used almost all the time. People love the opportunity to just fool around and film their family, their preferred concerts, and so on. After the first day, people started asking about where they could get the cameras, and there was a good level of interest in the activation.”

The resulting film is unlike any traditional marketing movie, showing the event in a truly authentic manner, as even some of the ‘less desirable’ elements of the event, (such as the poor weather on the first two days) were included.

Communications manager Sergiu Topan says when the first draft arrived from the editor, he ran into Vaida’s office and shouted “It’s great!”

Vaida adds: “We are a relatively small office, and it’s usually quite noisy. But when the team got the video, there was just seven minutes of total silence. People were trying to be poker-faced about it, but I could see some of them wiping away tears. It was amazing. Watching the film was the first proof in 10 or 11 months or more that we had done something brilliant.”

He says sponsor Mega Image’s response was “really good.” So much so that there are now plans to increase the budget next year so they can buy more GoPros and have more people involved. “The word-of-mouth regarding the brand activation was excellent, too,” he adds.

EXIT’s fortress walls were painted with words of emotional and psychological support

EXIT and mental health
With global events such as the pandemic, the economic crisis, and the war in Ukraine continuing to impact people’s lives, organisers of EXIT Festival in Serbia had a special focus on mental health at the 2022 edition.

The walls of the festival site’s fortress were painted with words of emotional and psychological support, while the messages were also presented on the screens of the big stages.

Many people have encountered anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, and other related difficulties in the past two years. This is why the festival further strengthened its relationship with Novi Sad-based suicide prevention and mental health support organisation Srce Centre. The festival has worked with the centre for years, and this year the partnership was extended to bring more mental support locations to the fortress, namely at the Foodland, the OPENS State of EXIT zone, and in the EXIT camp.

And it’s not only the audience that could get help. EXIT says it is the only organisation in the music industry with two mental health experts on the team throughout the year. Over the course of the festival, other psychologists and psychotherapists were onsite to support the backstage teams and performers whenever needed.

The Power Hour sees attendees gather at Defqon.1’s main stage for 60 minutes of DJs mixing high-energy tunes

Defqon.1 and Red Bull
One of the key moments during Dutch hardstyle festival Defqon.1 is the Power Hour – which sees attendees gather at the main stage for 60 minutes of DJs mixing high-energy tunes with lightning transitions – it’s an intense moment that sees the audience go crazy.

Festival organiser Q-dance (a brand of Superstruct Entertainment-owned ID&T) partnered with Red Bull to make this year’s Power Hour truly something to remember. Opening with Red Bull athlete Bicho Carrera, it featured an aerial display that included multiple Red Bull assets such as an aerobatic flight and the helicopter from The Flying Bulls.

During the left-to-right moment, which sees the whole crowd dancing from side to side, the Red Bull helicopter joined in, hovering from left to right, too. Additional activation included special Power Hour-branded Red Bull four-packs, which were sold onsite and in the campsites and included an illuminated LED cup.

This moment was captured in video and generated significant reach and viewership over digital platforms on both Red Bull and Defqon.1 channels.

“We had almost 4m (organic) total online reach and counting,” says Q-dance brand partnerships manager Jack van Mourik. “When answering the question ‘How would you rate the Red Bull show moments during Power Hour?’ the average score was an 8.59 out of 10 in our Defqon.1 survey and was experienced as ‘very positive.’”

At Ab geht die Lutzi Festival and Rocken am Brocken, a small PENNY.Festivals Kiosk was set-up

Many festivals and PENNY
For many years, German supermarket brand PENNY has supported the German festival scene – most prominently with its sponsorship of Parookaville. But for the return after Covid, it wanted to expand its help. So multifaceted festivals platform Höme used a survey of 37,000 festivalgoers to find out how the 2,150-store company could offer the best support. What they discovered led them to develop a broad range of activations across multiple festivals under a new sub-brand, PENNY.Festivals.

Alongside its activations with Parookaville, which include two big stores, the DJ-Tower with its legendary pre-party on Thursday and up to 20,000 visitors, the brand ran smaller and different modules at 16 festivals.

Among the activations were the PENNY.Festivals Shuttle, which saw festivalgoers at Burning Beach and Happiness Festival able to leave the festival site free of charge, drive to the nearest PENNY branch, and stock up on food and essentials. At other events, such as Ab geht die Lutzi Festival and Rocken am Brocken, the smaller PENNY.Festivals Kiosk was set-up; while elsewhere the PENNY.Festivals Food For Good Foodtruck offered vegetarian and vegan food. A number of festivals had digital partnerships.

And it wasn’t just audiences that benefitted from the support. PENNY also supported November 2022 conference Festival Playground, which brought together 150 different festivals of different sizes and genres.

“With this new concept, PENNY is once again strengthening its position as a reliable partner and supporter of the German festival industry,” says Höme’s Laura Pfeiffer.

“The response from the audience was great. For example, the Kiosk was always almost completely sold out after the first day (even though we ordered more than twice as much from the first to the second time). PENNY saw recognition at a huge variety of events. Our Instagram channel reached 10,000 followers within seven months. Festival attendees, especially from smaller festivals, are always happy to find our services at these events because it’s unusual to find big brands like PENNY there.”

Pfeiffer says this new approach is part of a three-year plan with the brand. “The first year was all about testing. Next year is all about improvements and taking the learnings from the first year to another level. Last but not least, the issue of scalability and the long-term implementation should also not be ignored.”

Read the European Festival Report in full below.

 


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Flow Festival plans revamp after record year

Finland’s Flow Festival is planning a shake up of its formula as it builds from a position of strength following its biggest edition yet in 2022.

Organisers of the Superstruct-backed festival, which welcomed 90,000 visitors to the post-industrial Suvilahti area in Helsinki over three days last summer, unveiled their first raft of acts for 2023 last month.

Set for 11-13 August, the line-up will include FKA Twigs, Caroline Polachek, Suede, Devo, Amyl & The Sniffers, Shygirl, Jockstrap and 070 Shake. Three-day tickets cost €225, with gold passes priced €345.

“The festival is shaping up really well,” Flow Festival creative director Tuomas Kallio tells IQ. “We are super-happy with some of the bookings for 2023. The effects of Covid, as well as geopolitical changes in Europe, affected international sales in 2022, so we are now looking forward to those numbers bouncing back in 2023 and welcoming even more visitors to Helsinki this August.

“Also, we are very excited to be able to use the festival area in the current, well-tested and iterated formula one more time. After this year, we will see some quite dramatic changes in our festival area, since it will begin to undergo drastic construction and developmental projects.

“Our 2022 was a successful return in numerous measures”

Kallio explains that a number of major production and technical changes are already in the works.

“Our biggest tent provider is new and the Main Stage structure will also change this year,” he says. “Otherwise our festival concept and vision remains the same it has been from the very beginning: to create a responsible high-quality and international festival, that is first and foremost a content-driven overall experience.”

The 2022 festival hosted more than 150 artists including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Gorillaz, Florence + the Machine, Burna Boy, Michael Kiwanuka, Jamie xx and Princess Nokia.

“Our 2022 was a successful return in numerous measures,” he says. “We made our sales record with a sold-out attendance of 90,000 and nearly 50,000 unique visitors during the three-day festival weekend. One of the absolute highlights was the new indoor art space we introduced at the festival area. Our festival is held at an old power plant area and has some amazing protected buildings from the beginning of the 20th century.”

Kallio opens up on his hopes and concerns regarding the wider festival market.

“There are festival and concert operators who are unfortunately ready to lose a lot of money to book certain acts”

“After Covid, a lot of artist tours have become dramatically shorter than before and thus, the competition even harder,” he says. “There are festival and concert operators who are unfortunately ready to lose a lot of money to book certain acts. This makes ever-raising artist fees even higher and, at times, unfeasible for a healthy festival market in Europe. A ‘multistage music lover’-based concept with a lot of various artists becomes financially harder compared to the years before Covid.”

In closing, Kallio stresses Flow’s commitment to retaining its status as a forerunner in festival sustainability, standing among the world’s first carbon-neutral festivals in its scale since 2009.

“The carbon footprint of Flow Festival Helsinki has been calculated and compensated for over a decade, but in 2021, this work was taken up a notch as a more extensive research project into the sustainability of the festival was launched in collaboration between Flow Festival ltd. and D-mat ltd,” he says.

“This research has, for the first time, captured the material footprint in addition to the carbon footprint of the festival and advanced the calculation of the carbon footprint to include indirect emissions related to the festival as widely as possible. This provides a more comprehensive view into the environmental impact of Flow Festival Helsinki than earlier, and presents the opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts holistically with new solutions targeting the key hotspots in terms of the festivalʼs sustainability.”

“A big part of sustainability for us is also to take into consideration the social side of it”

He continues: “A big part of sustainability for us is also to take into consideration the social side of it. This means promoting equality, safety, diversity, and accessibility. As an employer, we expect our entire staff, as well as our associates and distributors, to adhere to the same values. We also have developed an equality plan and a code of conduct that all our staff and subcontractors commit to following.

” We also participate in the European Keychange initiative. In 2022, approximately 55 % of the groups that performed at Flow had women and non-binary members. For some years, we have also worked with Startup Refugees, a non-profit voluntary network supporting refugees and immigrants with employment and entrepreneurship in Finland.

“All in all, we think creating a high-quality, comprehensive festival experience and working towards a more sustainable future can and should be mutually inclusive.”

 


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2023 lineups: Øya, Flow, Hurricane & Southside

Øya (NO), Flow (FI), Hurricane & Southside (DE), Paaspop (NL) and Welcome To Rockville (US) are the latest festivals to beef-up their 2023 festival line-ups.

Norway’s Øya festival has detailed its gender-balanced line-up for 2023, which includes Sigrid, FKA Twigs, Caroline Polachek, Amyl and the Sniffers, Devo, Håkan Hellstrom, Shygirl and TV Girl.

The Superstruct-backed festival, which will return to Oslo’s Tøyenparken between 8–12 August, will once again put sustainability at the forefront of its operation.

The site operates free of fossil fuels, with 98% of its power being renewable and all construction machinery is run on biofuel.

That approach is also applied to everything from recycling (75% of all waste is recycled, having been sorted by hand) to travel (98% of attendees arrive by bike, foot or public transport).

The Øya site operates free of fossil fuels, with 98% of its power being renewable

Superstruct’s Flow Festival has also revealed the first acts for next year’s edition in Helsinki, Finland, between 11 and 13 August.

FKA Twigs, Caroline Polachek, Suede, Devo, Amyl & The Sniffers, Shygirl, Jockstrap, 070 Shake and more will perform at the culture, music, arts and debate festival in the post-industrial area of Suvilahti.

In Germany, the 2023 editions of FKP Scorpio’s flagship festivals, Hurricane and Southside, are beginning to take shape.

Billy Talent, Muse, Die Ärzte, Kraftklub, Placebo, Casper, Peter Fox and Queens Of The Stone Age will top the bill for the twin events, which this year sold-out and attracted 150,000 attendees.

Southside and Hurricane will return to Neuhausen ob Eck and the Eichenring motorcycle speedway in Scheessel, respectively, between 16 to 18 June 2023.

Danny Wimmer Presents unveiled the line-up for its longest-running annual festival

In neighbouring country, the Netherlands, The Event Warehouse is putting the final touches on Paaspop 2023.

Limp Bizkit today (15 December) joined next year’s line-up which already included 90 names including Antoon, Armin van Buuren, Calum Scott and Danny Vera.

Davina Michelle, De Staat, dEUS, DI-Rect, Flemming, George Ezra, Goldband, Reinier Zonneveld, Rondé, S10, Son Mieux and Triggerfinger are also lined up for the festival, scheduled for 7–9 April 2023 at De Molenheide in Schijndel.

Also today, Danny Wimmer Presents unveiled the line-up for its longest-running annual festival, Welcome To Rockville (US).

Tool, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, Pantera, Deftones, Rob Zombie, Godsmack, Queens of the Stone Age, Evanescence and Incubus are the first name to be announced for the 12th edition.

The event will return to Daytona International Speedway In Daytona Beach, Florida, between 18–21 May 2023. This year’s edition brought together 150,000 fans.


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Major Scandi festivals hail bumper comebacks

Last week saw some of Scandinavia’s best-known festivals welcome back record numbers of music fans.

Norway’s Øya Festival (Øyafestivalen) reported a total attendance of 88,000 over four days (or 22,000 per day) at this year’s sold-out edition, smashing its previous record of 80,000 in 2019.

The Superstruct-backed festival returned to Oslo’s Tøyen Park last week (9 and 13 August) with headliners Gorillaz, Florence + the Machine and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

“The festival was fantastic,” Jonas Prangerød, press manger for Øya, tells IQ. “Artists, staff, volunteers and, of course, the audience enjoyed Øya finally being back. People came very early to the festival area and there was a good crowd for every band and artist.

“Both new talent and the big, established favourites impressed. I think a lot of people have got a few new favourite acts now. The warm weather suited Øya’s comeback really well. The whole week was as good as we could hope for.”

Sweden’s Way Out West also broke its own attendance record, drawing 50,000 unique visitors over three days (11–13 August) to its 2022 edition.

The Luger-promoted festival once again took over Gothenburg’s Slottsskogen city park, offering performances from the likes of Tame Impala, Beabadoobee and Fontaines D.C.

“The whole week was as good as we could hope for”

“Way Out West 2022 could not have ended up better,” Filip Hiltmann, marketing and communications manager for Way out West, tells IQ.

“After two years of silence, it felt great to finally be back in Slottsskogen doing what we do best. The sun was out the whole weekend (a rare phenomenon in Gothenburg!) and we experienced first-class sets from the likes of Burna Boy, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, First Ait Kit, Fred again… and many more. We can’t wait to be back next year, mark down 10–12 August 2023 in your calendars.”

Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Finland’s Flow Festival celebrated an attendance record of 90,000 over two days (12–14 August) or 30,000 per day.

The Superstruct-backed festival took place in the Finnish capital of Helsinki this past weekend (12–14 August), with performances from more than 160 acts including Jamie xx, Princess Nokia, Bikini Kill, MØ and Fred Again.

Notably, Gorillaz’s performance at Flow was the band’s first-ever appearance in Finland.

Next year’s Flow dates have already been set for 11–13 August, 2023, and a limited number of Super Early Bird tickets went on sale yesterday (15 August).

Other festivals that took place over the weekend, elsewhere in Europe, include Superstruct’s Sziget (Hungary), Follow The Step’s Fest Festival (Poland) and Boomtown Fair (UK).

 


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Finland: No events over 500 people until end of July

Finland has extended its ban on major events until at least 31 July, forcing the cancellation of many of the summer’s biggest music festivals, including some of Europe’s oldest open-air events.

Among the festivals affected by the extension, announced following a government meeting yesterday (23 April), are Ilosaarirock (17–19 July) in Joensuu – the second longest-running festival in Finland – and Fullsteam’s Provinssi (25–27 June) and Sideways (11–13 June), as well as several smaller events.

In near-identical statements, Provinssi, which debuted in 1979, and Sideways (which would have been headlined by System of a Down and the Chemical Brothers, and Kelis and Belle and Sebastian, respectively) say they are “heartbroken” by the cancellations and hope to announce the first performers for 2021 soon.

Joensuun Popmuusikot-organised Ilosaarirock says it “understands the government’s decision and accepts it”, and plans to make its delayed 50th-anniversary event in 2021 “the best festival ever”. Tones and I, Yungblud, Machine Gun Kelly and Sam Fender would have played Ilosaarirock 2020.

Elsewhere, Ruisrock – the oldest festival in Finland and the second-oldest in Europe, after the Netherlands’ similarly cancelled Pinkpop – was cancelled earlier this month on the order of Turku city authorities. It would have featured performances from Khalid, DaBaby, Zara Larsson and more.

“The decision … is the only responsible option in the current situation”

“Cancelling the festival is an extremely difficult decision for the organisers. We have been working for almost a year to bring more joy and happiness to the world through Ruisrock, like in the previous summers,” says Ruisrock promoter Mikko Niemelä. “For us and thousands of others, this festival is the highlight of the year, and it is heartbreaking to imagine a summer without Ruisrock.

“However, the decision we have made is the only responsible option in the current situation. The coronavirus spreads when people get together, so now is not the time to gather tens of thousands of people in the same place.”

The new guidelines in Finland follow similar decisions taken by governments elsewhere in Europe, including the Netherlands, where large events are banned until 1 September, and GermanyBelgium and Denmark, where a ban is in place until 31 August – as well as slightly shorter bans in France (mid-July) Austria (end of June) and Luxembourg (31 July) – and is in line with European Union guidance. In neighbouring Sweden, meanwhile, events over 50 people are off-limits for the foreseeable future.

“As far as events in late summer and early autumn are concerned, an assessment will be made no later than the start of June,” reads a statement from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, announcing the new restrictions.

Those events include Superstruct’s Flow Festival (14–16 August) and Live Nation Finland hip-hop event Blockfest (21–22 August), both of which are still on at the time of writing.

 


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Festival Fever: updates on 2020 summer

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ rounds up line-ups from Bluedot, Sziget festival, Reading and Leeds, Lowlands, Flow Festival and Montreux Jazz Festival.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Bluedot

When: 23 to 26 July
Where: Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire, UK
How many: 16,000

From the Fields’ Bluedot festival, which takes place each year at the Jodrell Band Observatory – a recently declared UNESCO World Heritage site – is back for its fifth outing in 2020 with another packed programme of music and science.

Friday night sees dance act Groove Armada head up the main stage, with indie-electro group Metronomy headlining on Saturday. The final day of the festival will close with a UK festival exclusive from Björk, who is performing alongside Manchester’s Halle Orchestra to a backdrop of bespoke projections on Jodrell Bank’s crowning jewel, the Lovell Telescope.

Elsewhere, performances will come from 808 State, Roisin Murphy, Crazy P, Spiritualized and Daniel Avery.

Last year’s Bluedot, which coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, saw headline performances from Hot Chip, Kraftwerk and New Order.

Tickets for Bluedot 2020 are available here, priced at £168.75 for a weekend camping ticket.

The final day of the festival will close with a UK festival exclusive from Björk

Sziget

When: 5 to 11 August
Where: Obuda island, Budapest, Hungary
How many: 60,000

Hungarian mega-festival Sziget released the first wave of its line-up last week, with a total of five headline acts announced so far.

Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, Kings of Leon, Major Lazer and the Strokes will head up the main stage at the week-long festival, with ASAP Rocky, Khalid, Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Foals, Mark Ronson, Foster the People, Diplo and FKA Twigs among other acts performing at the event.

Over 530,000 people attended Sziget 2019, which saw nine headline performances over seven days from Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Florence and the Machine, Martin Garrix, the 1975, Twenty One Pilots, the National and Macklemore.

Providence Equity partners took a 70% stake in Sziget promoter Sziget Cultural Management in 2017, as the festival became one of the first assets in the now-significant Superstruct portfolio.

Tickets for Sziget 2020 are available here, with a full seven-day pass costing €299 (£249) and a VIP pass priced at €599 (£499). Prices go up on 3 March.

Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, Kings of Leon, Major Lazer and the Strokes will head up the main stage

Reading and Leeds

When: 28 to 30 August
Where: Richfield Avenue, Reading/Bramham Park, Leeds, UK
How many: 100,000

Festival Republic’s twin festivals Reading and Leeds will be headed up by Rage Against the Machine this year, with fellow headliners Stormzy and Liam Gallagher.

Other performers at 2020 events include Run the Jewels, Courteeners, Migos, Gerry Cinnamon, AJ Tracey, Sam Fender, Rex Orange County, Slowthai and Idles.

The festivals last year recorded their hottest and biggest year yet, with nearly 200,00 people a day collectively attending the twin events over the hottest August bank holiday on record. Headline performances came from the 1975, Foo Fighters and Twenty One Pilots, with then-rising star, now multi award-winner Billie Eilish producing what “may well have been the biggest crowd at a Reading show ever”.

Tickets to Reading and Leeds festivals are available here, with a weekend ticket priced at £232.20 and day tickets priced between £81.50 and £86.50.

Reading and Leeds will be headed up by Rage Against the Machine, with Stormzy and Liam Gallagher

A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise

When: 21 to 23 August
Where: Biddinghuizen, the Netherlands
How many: 55,000

Mojo Concerts’ A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, or Lowlands, has confirmed the first 55 acts for its 2020 festival.

The Chemical Brothers, Foals, Lewis Capaldi, Liam Gallagher, Stormzy and Michael Kiwanuka are among acts playing at this year’s event.

The 2019 edition of Lowlands sold out for the fastest time in years, with a line-up featuring Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, ASAP Rocky and New Order.

In a bid to make future events more sustainable, Mojo is working together with renewable energy producer Solarfields to develop a 35-hectare solar farm on the Lowlands festival car park, due to be completed in time for 2021 festival.

Festival tickets for Lowlands 2020 have sold out, but €605 (£504) group camping tickets (up to 8 people) are still available here.

The Chemical Brothers, Foals and Lewis Capaldi are among acts playing at this year’s event

Flow Festival

When: 14 to 16 August
Where: Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki-based, multi-venue music and arts event Flow Festival is playing host to acts including Bon Iver, Mac DeMarco, Stormzy, the Strokes, FKA Twigs and 070 Shake.

The festival marks the Strokes’ first-ever Finnish appearance and comes in a string of Scandinavian festival appearances, adding to slots at Norway’s Oya festival and Way Out West in Sweden.

James Barton-led festival owner/operator Superstruct acquired a stake in Flow Festival in November 2018.

Tickets for Flow Festival 2020 are available here, with a one-day ticket costing €105 (£88) and a three-day passed priced at €195 (£163).

The festival marks the Strokes’ first-ever Finnish appearance

Montreux Jazz Festival

When: 3 to 18 July
Where: Montreux, Switzerland
How many: 200,000 (whole festival)

Lionel Richie, Lenny Kravitz, Brittany Howard and Black Pumas are the first acts announced this year’s Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF).

Taking place on the banks of Lake Geneva, MJF celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 and last year played host to performers including Elton John, Snarky Puppy, Lewis Capaldi, George Ezra, Lizzo, the Chemical Brothers, Mac DeMarco and Quincy Jones.

The MJF team last year launched media company Montreux Media Ventures, which is working together with luxury hotel chain Fairmont Hotels and Resort Group to establish a concert series across the group’s properties and keep the MJF spirit alive all year.

Tickets to Montreux Jazz Festival 2020 will become available on March 27, the day after the full programme is released.

 


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Flow Festival collaborates with Finnish National Opera

Helsinki-based Flow Festival has announced a collaboration with the Finnish National Opera, bringing contemporary dance, electronic music and audiovisual to the Opera house at Almi Hall (500-cap.).

The Almi Hall performances, which will take place on the two nights preceding the festival on 7 and 8 August, are the work of British choreographer Wayne McGregor.

McGregor, famed for his work with the Royal Ballet, will present his dance portrait Autobiography Edits, in collaboration with experimental electronic music producer Jlin. The piece will be performed by ten dancers from Company Wayne McGregor, accompanied by live music performed by Jlin.

Both nights are opened by Fractal Fantasy’s Sinjin Hawke and Zora Jones, who will present a mix of electronic music and audiovisual art.

According to Flow’s artistic director Tuomas Kallio, the National Opera collaboration will “kick things off with something different this year”.

Kallio tells IQ that he has “great expectations” for this year’s Flow Festival, which features performances from Cardi B, the Cure, Tame Impala, Robyn and James Blake.

“Many European bookers say it’s been a very difficult year to book bigger acts but looking at the Flow Festival 2019 line-up, I guess we’ve been quite lucky”

Many European bookers say it’s been a very difficult year to book bigger acts but looking at the Flow Festival 2019 lineup, I guess we’ve been quite lucky,” says Kallio, adding that the Flow team has been happy so far, despite “fees getting crazy” and “competition on the most-wanted acts getting harder.”

Another new addition for the 2019 edition of Flow Festival is “Pink Space”, a conceptual indoor venue that “celebrates Flow’s diversity and inclusivity”.

Flow has been working towards achieving a gender-balanced line-up since 2010, and Kallio admits that it has proved more taxing to increase the presence of female performers within some musical genres than others.

“What worries me,” says Kallio, “is that people mostly talk about binary gender male/female and there are many artists who don’t want to place themselves into that binary picture at all… and that’s the problem to start with. We need to be careful that we do all this the right way or we end up making things worse for certain people.”

Providence-backed Superstruct Entertainment acquired a stake in Flow Festival in November 2018.

Flow Festival will take place from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 August. Tickets for both the festival and the pre-festival opera events are available here.

 


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