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Wacken Foundation unveils corona rescue fund

The Wacken Foundation, a non-profit organisation run by Wacken Open Air founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, is providing aid of up to €1,000 to support musicians, bands and organisers struggling with the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown.

The foundation, which forms part of Hübner and Jensen’s International Concert Service (ICS) network, announced its corona rescue fund today (14 May), as the music industry is facing “one of its biggest challenges to date”.

Applicants are eligible for funding if they have incurred financial losses due to cancelled tours or shows; have incurred additional travel costs because of cancellations; have incurred losses due to short-term cancellations as an organiser or crew member of a heavy metal event; or are unable to cover the cost of a rehearsal room, among other reasons.

The Wacken Foundation is providing aid of up to €1,000 to support those struggling with the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown

Applications must be sent to [email protected], with a description of the applicant’s circumstances and a calculation of costs.The Wacken Foundation team state they will “approve every single application personally”.

Regular applicants, who applied for funding before the coronavirus crisis took hold, are asked to have “extra patience” during this time.

More information on the Wacken Foundation fund can be found here.

Wacken Open Air, which sold out its 2020 edition in under 24 hours, is among the many festivals to have to cancel its outing this summer, as large-scale live events remain outlawed in Germany until September.


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times. 

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W:O:A founders to receive EFA lifetime achievement gong

Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, co-founders of German metal festival Wacken Open Air, will receive the lifetime achievement award at the 11th European Festival Awards (EFAs) on 15 January 2020.

The other nominees for the awards, which take place during Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, Netherlands, were revealed last week, with over 350,000 votes cast across the 14 other categories.

Jensen, the bassist in a band called Skyline, and Hübner, who was working as a DJ, co-founded Wacken Open Air in 1990.

Nearly 30 years on, the festival is arguably the world’s most important metal/hard rock event – Wacken 2020 sold all 75,000 tickets in the space of a few hours – and their company, ICS, also includes a roster of other hard rock festivals, a touring division, a booking agency (Seaside Touring), ticketing platform Metaltix and the Wacken Foundation, a nonprofit which provides tour support and other assistance to young bands.

Last year’s EFA lifetime achievement award was collected by Eurosonic founder Peter Smidt, with Wacken picking up best major festival and Roskilde Festival being awarded line-up of the year.

Read IQ’s special 30th-anniversary feature on Wacken Open Air here.


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Reeperbahn Festival gears up for 14th edition

European conference and showcase festival Reeperbahn kicks off on Wednesday (18 September), with more than 300 panels, networking events and showcases taking place over four days in Hamburg, Germany.

Sessions in the conference’s live strand include ‘30 Years of Wacken’, an interview between the metal festival’s founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, moderated by IQ’s Jon Chapple and German journalist Birgit Reuther. The panel will celebrate the event’s 30th year and explore what the future holds for the popular metal gathering.

The festival season 2019 /2020 sees Stefan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Roel Coppen (Friendly Fire) and James Wright (UTA) among those asking whether 2019’s slow festival season was a one-off, or the beginning of a worrying trend. And Live Nation GSA managing director and chief operating officer Matt Schwarz discusses the company’s goals in the region and worldwide, as well as the wider music ecosystem in a keynote interview led by ILMC MD Greg Parmley.

In more festival-related content, former MTV news editor Steve Blame will interview Woodstock festival co-creator Joel Rosenman about the event’s inception and legacy, with new documentary Creating Woodstock aired later in the day.

‘Agents Agenda: The New Food Chain’ will see Jake Leighton-Pope of 10 Thousand Steps Management, Paradigm Agency’s Lily Oram, Toutpartout managing director Steven Thomassen and more discuss the effect of external investment on the industry, in a panel moderated by IQ’s Gordon Masson.

The festival season 2019 /2020 will see panellists asking whether 2019’s slow festival season was a one-off, or the beginning of a worrying trend

A secondary ticketing panel, also led by Masson, will examine the EU’s new legislation against ticket bots, asking how to grant consumers greater protection.

Talk will also turn to Brexit as tax advisor Kevin Offer discusses the potential impact of post-Brexit taxation, permits and customs clearance on the European live music industry.

EU funding will be the topic of conversation in ‘Europe Calling’, a panel featuring Olaf Furniss of Wide Days and Exit Festival managing director Ivan Milivojev, among others.

Members of German promoters’ association BDKV will gather for the yearly Live Entertainment Summit to present their report on the situation of the national and international live entertainment market.

Other topics of conversation include festival sponsorship, music export, country music, food at live events, the Caucasus music market, electronic music and digital media.

Foals, the Subways, Alfie Templeman, Hatari, Inhaler, Sorcha Richardson, Sports Team and Squid are among acts playing at Reeperbahn 2019.

A full Reeperbahn conference programme can be viewed here, with remaining tickets for the event available here.


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