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Scotland’s Trnsmt 2020 cancelled

Scotland’s biggest music festival, Glasgow’s Trnsmt, has called off its 2020 edition following comments made yesterday (23 April) by the country’s first minister which suggested public gatherings were likely to be banned for the foreseeable future.

Large events such as sporting matches, concerts and festivals may not be permitted for “some months to come”, said Nicola Sturgeon, who explained: “I cannot conceive that in the near future we will be going back to having large numbers of people gathering together at large events, given the need to keep some kind of social distancing.”

Trnsmt, launched in 2017 as an unofficial replacement for DF Concerts’ T in the Park, was this year scheduled for 10–12 July, with headlines Courteeners, Liam Gallagher and Lewis Capaldi.

In a statement, DF says: “We are absolutely gutted to announce that, due to the comments made by the first minister of Scotland during the daily briefing on 23 April, Trnsmt will be unable to go ahead as planned in July 2020. We did not want to take this step but it is unavoidable.

“We are working hard to try to get the 2021 line-up as close to this year’s as we can”

“The health and safety of our fans, artists, staff and community will always be our top priority. We are now working hard with all the artist teams to try to get the 2021 line-up as close to this year’s as we can, and will be able to update on this fully over the next two weeks. We’d like to thank the artist teams for their hard work in helping us to try and achieve this.”

Fans are urged to hold onto their tickets for next year’s event (9–11 July 2021), though refunds are also available.

At press time, DF Concerts’ other major summer event, 8–20 August’s Summer Sessions in Edinburgh, is still on – as is as is Kilimanjaro Live’s Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival (30 July–1 August), though organisers concede cancellation is “looking more likely as time progresses”.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, was called off on 1 April.


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Outdoor entertainment tax threatens Glasgow festivals

Geoff Ellis, chief executive of Scottish promoter DF Concerts, has warned Glasgow City Council that he may move flagship Glasgow event Trnsmt festival (50,000-cap.) out of the city, if a new tax on outdoor entertainment comes into force.

Council leaders voted to introduce a new concert ticket tax to raise money for the council’s budget and balance the toll taken by big events on the city’s parks. The levy would result in an additional charge of £2.50 to each ticket.

The council says that the tax would raise £650,000 a year from events such as Trnsmt, which debuted in 2017 and takes place on the weekend formerly occupied by T in the Park, Glasgow Summer Sessions (35,000-cap.) and Kelvingrove Summer Nights (2,500-cap.), with £150,000 dedicated to the upkeep of the city’s green spaces.

Ellis of DF Concerts calls the levy “well-meaning, but ill-conceived and short-sighted”.

Ellis says he now has “some difficult decisions to make” concerning the outdoor events that he runs in the city. The DF Concerts boss states that his events generated an economic impact of more than £10 million last year.

“Quite simply we are now accelerating towards the cliff edge in terms of outdoor events in this city,” Ellis told the Evening Times.

“Quite simply we are now accelerating towards the cliff edge in terms of outdoor events in this city”

“It is of concern to me that promoters and other event organisers will now be encouraged to start events in other cities knowing that our ability to attract strong artistic talent to Glasgow is compromised by hundreds of thousands of pounds per event,” states Ellis. “I now have to decide whether to lead or follow in that respect.”

As long as they put this tax in place, Glasgow’s going to suffer and it will be to the benefit of other cities,” adds Ellis, mentioning that cities such as Stirling and Dundee “are very keen for us to make use of their assets and the rental prices they’re offering us are far less than Glasgow.”

A spokesperson from the Glasgow City Council comments: “The public has told us how much they value our green spaces and how they would like to see a more direct connection between the events we host and income being invested back into our parks.

“The environmental levy is about striking an appropriate balance between supporting our green spaces and using parks to host large events,” adds the spokesperson.

According to the Trnsmt promoter, event organisers already pay “substantial environmental maintenance sums” for the use of greenfield spaces.

Trnsmt returns to Glasgow Green this year from 12 to 14 July. The three-day festival will see performances from Stormzy, Catfish and the Bottlemen, George Ezra, Snow Patrol and Jess Glynne.


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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

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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Summer Sessions, Samphire win NOEA awards

DF Concerts’ Glasgow Summer Sessions was presented with the award for large festival of the year at the 13th National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) Awards late last month.

Some 60,000 people attended Glasgow Summer Sessions 2016 (pictured), headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Biffy Clyro, which was praised by judges as “a big festival within a city working hard to deliver with the council”.

DF CEO Geoff Ellis comments: “DF Concerts and Events [is] delighted to win this prestigious award. We are proud of how Glasgow Summer Sessions has grown since it began in 2013, and it has truly become a real fixture of Scotland’s musical calendar.

“We have worked hard to improve it year on year, and would like to thank Glasgow City Council and the local communities around Bellahouston Park for their collaboration. We are very grateful to the fans who have helped make the festival such a success.”

Other winners included small festival of the year Samphire, the crowdfunded, phone-free event in Somerset; event team of the year Lee Denny/LeeFest; and event organiser of the year Goose Live Events (Silverstone Classic, Regent Street Motor Show).

While plans are underway for next year’s Summer Sessions DF Concerts’ flagship festival, T in the Park, will not go ahead in 2017.


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Summer Sessions 2016: A “fantastic improvement”

Scottish police and councillors have praised DF Concerts following the conclusion of this year’s Glasgow Summer Sessions, which was hailed as a “fantastic improvement” on the controversial 2015 event.

In contrast to last year – which saw local residents and the Labour party’s justice spokesman, Graeme Pearson, call for the event’s cancellation after police made 38 arrests amid alcohol-related violence – the number of arrests fell to an all-time low at the 2016 festival, held in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August.

Superintendent Mark Hargreaves of Police Scotland, says: “The number of arrests [was] lower than any previous year, with six people arrested on Friday and no arrests deemed necessary on the Saturday.”

“DF Concerts have listened to the councillors and residents… it has been a fantastic improvement”

Total attendance was close to 60,000.

“It is a marked improvement on previous years,” adds Cllr Alex Wilson of Craigton. “DF Concerts have listened to the councillors and residents. I was there both nights monitoring what was going on, and although I received a few complaints on the Friday about road access, it has been a fantastic improvement.”

Similarly, Elaine McSporran of Mosspark & Corkerhill Community Council says: “Security and police did a great job and there was little if no disturbance to residents.”

Glasgow Summer Sessions, now in its fourth year, was headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on Friday and Biffy Clyro on Saturday.


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