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Way Out West smashes attendance record

Swedish festival Way Out West has reported its highest attendance yet, with 55,000 fans flocking to the recent edition.

Blur, Wizkid, Boy Genius, Caroline Polachek and Sam Fender appeared on the bill for the three-day event (10–13 August) in Slottsskogen park, Gothenburg.

The festival – which launched in 2007 – is organised by Luger, a Nordic promoter owned by Live Nation.

“Despite starting off the week overcoming a major storm and heavy rain, when we opened the gates to the site on Thursday the sun was shining and we were blessed with great weather across almost the entire weekend,” says Luger’s Natalie Ryan-Williams.

“This edition was really special to us, and we ended up with a new attendance record of over 55,000 unique visitors, having the most attended day in the history of the festival on the final day.

“Making each festival as if it were the last is our motto”

“We are very happy to find that even in a time of financial difficulty the audience – which includes a younger generation finding their way to us – seems to want to prioritise coming to the festival and for that, we are very thankful. Making each festival as if it were the last is our motto, but the truth is that we always look forward to being back next year – hopefully without any storms!”

Alongside its usual musical offering, Way Out West this year partnered with Swedish streaming titan Spotify to mark hip-hop’s 50th birthday and celebrate its cultural impact in the country.

On one of the festival’s largest stages, the two companies presented a live showcase featuring new and emerging talent, as well as some of the most prominent names in Swedish hip-hop history. Dizzy, Jelassi and Mohelá topped the line-up for the stage.

In addition to Way Out West, Luger organises Åre Sessions, Lollapalooza Stockholm (Live Nation) and Malmö & Beyond, and co-organises Popaganda. The company also promotes over 300 shows a year.

Way Out West will return to Gothenburg between 8–10 August 2024.


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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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