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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 rescue-fund@wacken-foundation.com, 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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Festival Fever: more line-up announcements for 2020

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ rounds up line-ups from US festivals Coachella and Bonnaroo, and European events Wacken Open Air, Pinkpop, Melt! and Pohoda.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Wacken Open Air

When: 30 July to 1 August
Where: Wacken, Germany
How many: 75,000

Leading metal event Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) sold all 75,000 tickets for its 2020 edition in under 24 hours. Slipknot, Amon Amarth, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate are among those playing the 2020 event.

Speaking to IQ for a special 30th anniversary feature last year, W:O:A co-founder Thomas Jensen said the event was “kind of a home for a dedicated group of people”. Jensen and fellow Wacken co-founder Holger Hübner are to receive the lifetime acheivement gong at this year’s European Festival Awards.

Jensen and Hübner’s International Concert Service (ICS), which includes a roster of other hard rock festivals, a touring division, a booking agency (Seaside Touring), ticketing platform Metaltix and the nonprofit Wacken Foundation, received investment from James Barton-led Superstruct Entertainment last year.

Fans can sign up to the waiting list for Wacken 2020 tickets here.

W:O:A sold all 75,000 tickets for its 2020 edition in under 24 hours

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

When: 10 to 12, 17 to 19 April
Where: Empire Polo Club, California, USA
How many: 125,000

AEG/Goldenvoice-promoted mega festival Coachella is returning to the Californian desert for two consecutive weekends in April, marking the start to the international festival season.

Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean are headlining the event, alongside performers including Calvin Harris, Thom Yorke, Lana Del Rey and Flume.

Coachella 2019 saw headline performances from Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala. Last year’s festival also saw the introduction of a new, AR-enabled stage.

Tickets for both Coachella weekends are now sold out. Fans can join the waiting list for tickets here.

Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean are headlining the 2020 event

Pinkpop

When: 19 to 21 June
Where: Megaland, Landgraaf, the Netherlands
How many: 60,000

Pinkpop, promoted by Buro Pinkpop in partnership with Mojo Concerts, last year celebrated its 50th anniversary, with founder Jan Smeets receiving a special commemorative coin to mark his achievements.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone and Guns N’ Roses are headlining Pinkpop for its 51st edition, which also features performances from Twenty One Pilots, Rag’n’Bone Man, Anderson Paak, Nothing But Thieves and Keane.

Artists including Fleetwood Mac, Mumford and Sons and the Cure played the festival’s anniversary event last year.

Tickets for Pinkpop 2020 are available here, priced at €230 (£195) for a three-day pass.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone and Guns N’ Roses are headlining Pinkpop for its 51st edition

Pohoda

When: 9 to 11 July
Where: Trenčín Airport, Slovakia
How many: 30,000

Pohoda, Slovakia’s biggest music festival, will this year welcome acts including Stormzy, the Libertines, Metronomy, Thom Yorke, Wolf Alice and Floating Points.

The festival, which has sold out for the past two years, won the Take a Stand Award at last year’s European Festival Awards for its commitment to peace and tolerance, with festival director Michal Kaščák winning the prize for excellence and passion.

Pohoda, which means ‘peace’ in English, is nominated for the best medium festival award, line-up of the year and the health and safety innovation award at the upcoming European Festival Awards 2019, taking place on 15 January at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Tickets for Pohoda 2020 are available here, with a three-day festival ticket priced at €109 (£93).

Pohoda, Slovakia’s biggest music festival, will this year welcome acts including Stormzy, the Libertines and Metronomy

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

When: 11 to 14 June
Where: Great Stage Park, Tennessee, USA
How many: 20,000

Tool, Lizzo and Tame Impala are headlining Bonnaroo, in the festival’s first year under full Live Nation ownership.

Other announced acts include Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Vampire Weekend, the 1975, Flume and Bassnectar.

Live Nation, which had a controlling interest in the festival since 2015, acquired the remaining stake from the event’s co-founder Superfly last year. Fellow co-founder AC Entertainment continues to promote the event alongside Live Nation and C3 Presents.

Tickets for Bonnaroo 2020 are available here, with prices ranging from US$329 (£251) for general admission to $3,275 (£2,502) for a platinum pass.

Tool, Lizzo and Tame Impala are headlining Bonnaroo, in the festival’s first year under full Live Nation ownership

Melt!

When: 17 to 19 July
Where: Ferropolis, Gräfenhainichen, Germany
How many: 20,000

Melt! Festival, one of the biggest open-air electronic music events in Germany, this year features sets from Bicep, Floating Points, DJ Stingray, Marcel Dettman, Nina Kraviz and Helena Hauff, as well as performances from Burna Boy, Little Simz and Woodkid.

Taking place at Ferropolis –‘the city of iron’ –, a former open-cast mine complete with enormous, decommissioned industrial machines, Melt! Last year featured acts including Bon Iver, Skepta, Jorja Smith, Asap Rocky, Four Tet and Solomun.

Melt! Festival creative director Florian Czok, who also works as an agent at Berlin’s Melt! Booking, was named as one of IQ’s 2019 New Bosses.

Tickets for Melt! 2020 are available here, priced at €124.95 (£106).

 


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Superstruct buys into Wacken promoter ICS

Superstruct Entertainment has invested in Germany’s International Concert Service (ICS), adding leading metal event Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) to its stable of European festivals.

The Superstruct-ICS deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is structured as an “investment and partnership agreement”, in which each company invests in the other, according to Superstruct. The company has similar arrangements with Norway’s Øya Festival, acquired last August, and, more recently, Next Events, the company behind German hip-hop festival Parookaville.

In addition to W:O:A, its flagship festival, ICS produces and promotes ancillary events including Hamburg Metal Dayz, Wacken Winter Nights and motorsports and music festival Werner Race.

ICS founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, and the current leadership team, will remain in place after the transaction (the terms of which were not disclosed) closes.

In a joint statement, the pair say: “Joining the Superstruct network is terrific news for our team and our fans. We will continue providing world-class experiences through our portfolio of live events, and now we are able to additionally benefit from a partner with a global network and experience. This will help us grow further and make what we do even better.

“We are very excited to join forces with ICS, the global leaders in metal”

“We very much look forward to working with the Superstruct team to continue pushing the envelope. Our goal is always to inspire and enthuse heavy metal fans around the world and to make people happy with our live activities.”

All 75,000 tickets for Wacken Open Air 2020 sold out in just 21 hours, following a successful 30th-anniversary event with Slayer, Sabaton and Prophets of Rage this summer.

James Barton, CEO of Superstruct, says: “We are very excited to join forces with ICS, the global leaders in metal. Led by Holger and Thomas, and supported by an experienced team overseeing a portfolio of quality events, we are confident that together we can continue to expand ICS and take the company and its events to the next level.”

Superstruct Entertainment, backed by private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners, additionally owns and operates Sziget (Hungary), Flow Festival (Finland), Sónar (Spain) and Spanish party promoter Elrow. In addition to next events, its most recent acquisitions are Down the Drain (Northside, Tinderbox) in Denmark and several UK events formerly owned by Global.

Read IQ’s special report on 30 years of Wacken Open Air here.

 


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Cobra Agency joins forces with ICS, 5B

Newly launched Austrian hard-rock agency Cobra has formed an alliance with US management company 5B and German promoter ICS Festival Service.

“We’re extremely thrilled to announce the partnerships with 5B Artist Management and ICS Festival Service,” says Guenther Beer, who established Cobra Agency in January with fellow former RTN agent Dominik Meyer. “Both of them are absolute leaders in their fields, with 5B managing Slipknot, Stone Sour, Amon Amarth, Megadeth, King Diamond, Behemoth, Kreator, Lamb of God and Trivium, and ICS Festival Service promoting the world’s largest and most famous heavy metal festival, Wacken Open Air, as well as Europe’s biggest metal cruise, Full Metal Cruise.”

While concrete details of the new partnership are still being finalised, Meyer says the joint venture is “going to offer extraordinary opportunities to our clients”.

Cobra’s full roster includes Amaranthe, Amon Amarth, Amorphis, Arch Enemy, Backyard Babies, Battle Beast, Behemoth, Beyond The Black, Blues Pills, Danzig, Eluveitie, Equilibrium, Kreator, Mantar, Me And That Man, Sepultura, Powerwolf, Sabaton, Tesseract, Testament and Watain, all of which it represents throughout Europe.

“We are very much alike: authentic, honest and loud”

“We have known these two successful Austrian guys for quite some time and are happy to be part of this enduring joint venture with our American colleagues,” says Holger Huebner, CEO of ICS Festival Service. “We are very much alike, as we are authentic, honest and loud.”

Justin Arcangel, director of management at 5B, adds: “5B Artist Management is thrilled to announce this new partnership. This alliance is a natural outgrowth of 5B’s core mission: to serve our client roster.

“The Cobra Agency is more than a booking agency. They provide myself and their clients with a wealth of insight with the greatest attention to detail and insight into the European market, and their advice goes into ancillary opportunities that go far beyond the conventional roles of a booking agent.”

 


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