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More US festivals pushed back to autumn

Following the postponement earlier this month of California’s Coachella, other major US music festivals are falling prey to the coronavirus outbreak, with Bonnaroo, BottleRock and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival among those to have rescheduled for later this year.

Live Nation/AC Entertainment’s Bonnaroo Music & Artists Festival, based on the ‘Farm’ in Manchester, Tennessee, announced yesterday (18 March) it will take place from 24 to 27 September instead of the originally scheduled 11–14 June.

Bonnaroo, one of the longest-running multi-genre music festivals in North America, was to have been headlined by Tool, Lizzo and Tame Impala, with Miley Cyrus, Flume, Bassnectar, Lana Del Rey and Vampire Weekend also confirmed. It is unclear if all artists will play the rescheduled event.

“Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will be rescheduled to take place September 24–27, 2020, out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of all Bonnaroovians, artists, staff and our community,” reads a statement from the festival.

“Please continue to radiate positivity through this uncharted time in our world,” it adds. “Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you on the Farm this fall.”

BottleRock Napa Valley, originally scheduled for 22–24 May, has, like Coachella, been pushed back to October (albeit a week earlier, 2–4 October).

“The health and safety of the community, our musicians, festival fans, participants, sponsors and staff are paramount”

“It is with great pleasure we can announce that all our headliners, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, Dave Matthews Band, Miley Cyrus, Khalid, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, Zedd and more are confirmed for the rescheduled dates,” the Napa, California, festival – also a Live Nation event – says in a statement.

“Additional line-up updates will be announced as soon as possible,” BottleRock adds.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, whose 2020 line-up features the Who, Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, Lizzo, Lionel Richie and Dead and Company, is also now taking place this autumn, though organiser New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has to announce the new dates.

“At the direction of the City of New Orleans authorities, in response to ongoing Covid-19 health concerns, the 2020 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will not occur this April and May, as scheduled,” reads a statement from the festival. “The health and safety of the community, our musicians, festival fans, participants, sponsors and staff are paramount, and we urge everyone to follow the guidelines and protocols put forth by public health officials.”

Jazz Fest was originally scheduled for 23 April to 3 May.

The postponements follow the outright cancellations of the 2020 editions of South by Southwest, Ultra Music Festival Miami and the UK’s Glastonbury Festival.

 


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Festival Focus: BST, Sziget, EDC Japan, Sasquatch

With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, there’s a lot to fit in the first festival round-up of the year.

With that in mind, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for the new year 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.

So, without further ado, read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold) – and if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at jon@iq-mag.net.

 


Stevie Wonder, Austin City Limits 2011, Thomas Hawk

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Jazz & Heritage Foundation, US, 28 April–7 May 2017)
Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds, Kings of Leon, Usher/The Roots, Harry Connick Jnr, Meghan Trainor, Lorde, Snoop Dogg, Alabama Shakes, Pitbull, etc. (Stevie Wonder photo by Thomas Hawk)

EDC Japan (Creativeman/Insomniac, Japan, 29–30 April 2017)
Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Fatboy Slim, Kaskade, Martin Garrix, Sander Van Doorn, Yellow Claw, Zedd, etc.

Sasquatch! Music Festival (Live Nation/Adam Zachs, US, 26–28 May 2017)
Twenty One Pilots, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, The Head and the Heart, The Shins, MGMT, Phantogram, Mac Miller, Bonobo, etc. (Twenty One Pilots photo by Clark Terrell/Do512)

Bunbury Music Festival (PromoFest, US, 2–4 June 2017)
Muse, Wiz Khalifa, G-Eazy, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, The 1975, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins, etc.

Twenty One Pilots, Austin 360 Amphitheater, July 2016, Clark Terrell/Do512

Isle of Wight Festival (Solo, UK, 8–11 June 2017)
Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Vamps, Clean Bandit, Zara Larsson, The Strypes, The Second Sons, The Amazons, The Novatones, Judas, Germein Sisters

NorthSide (FKP Scorpio Nordic/MKS 64/Down the Drain, Denmark, 9–11 June 2017)
The Prodigy, Richard Ashcroft, Agnes Obel, When Saints Go Machine, Peter Sommer/Tiggerne

Parklife (Parklife Manchester Ltd, UK, 10–11 June 2017)
The 1975, Frank Ocean, Boy Better Know, A Tribe Called Quest, Jess Glyne, Two Door Cinema Club, Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Damian Marley, London Grammar, George Ezra, Flying Lotus, Chaka Khan, Eric Prydz, Above & Beyond, etc. (Frank Ocean photo by Andy Holmes/Pemberton Music Festival)

Roskilde Festival (Fonden Roskilde Festival, Denmark, 24 June–1 July 2017)
A Tribe Called Quest, Lorde, Against Me!, Gucci Mane, Bryson Tiller, Rag’n’Bone Man, Av Av Av, etc.

Frank Ocean, Pemberton Music Festival 2014

Rock Werchter (Live Nation Belgium, Belgium, 29 June–2 July 2017)
The Chainsmokers, Royal Blood, Bazart, Bonobo, White Lies, Agnes Obel

British Summer Time (AEG Live, UK, 30 June–9 July 2017)
The Killers (exclusive), Elbow, Tears for Fears, White Lies

Bilbao BBK Live (Last Tour, Spain, 6–8 July 2017)
Royal Blood, Brian Wilson, Explosions in The Sky, Joe Goddard, Idles, Aterciopelados, Los Punsetes, Zazkel

Trnsmt (DF Concerts, UK, 7–9 July 2017)
Radiohead, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro, Belle and Sebastian, Catfish and the Bottlemen, The 1975, London Grammar, George Ezra, The 1975, London Grammar, etc.

Kasabian, Lotus @ Lollapalooza Chile 2015

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (Maraworld, Spain, 13–16 July 2017)
Kasabian, Liam Gallagher, Ride, Blossoms, Bonobo, Tyler the Creator, Slaves, Surfin’ Bichos, Mourn

Kendal Calling (From the Fields, UK, 27–30 July 2017)
Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Franz Ferdinand, Brian Wilson, Tinie TempahFrank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, Jake Bugg, Seasick Steve, Editors, Slaves, Lethal Bizzle, The Coral, Kate Nash, etc.

Sziget (Sziget Cultural Management, Hungary, 9–16 August 2017)
Kasabian, Billy Talent, Jamie Cullum, The Kills, Clean Bandit, Metronomy, Interpol, The Pretty Reckless, Jagwar Ma, Charli XCX, Crystal Fighters, Flume, etc.

Reading Festival/Leeds Festival (Festival Republic, UK, 25–27 August 2017)
Kasabian, Two Door Cinema Club, Flume, Fatboy Slim, Wiley, Circa Waves, Jimmy Eat World, The Amity Affliction, Rat Boy (Kasabian photo by Lotus @ Lollapalooza Chile)

 


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Austrian festival biz reaching ‘saturation point’

Austria’s festival market is reaching saturation point, a leading music industry figure has said, as news emerges of the cancellation of a third high-profile event in as many months.

The 2016 editions of Nuke Festival, in Graz, and One Drop Festival and Jazz Fest, in Wiesen – all promoted by Vienna-based Arcadia Live – were called off due to poor ticket sales, in what Music Austria (MICA)’s Rainer Praschak calls a symptom of a market overwhelmed by “too many festivals”.

Speaking to IQ, Praschak stops short of calling the current situation unsustainable, but notes the Austrian festival business is in a period of transition following the entry into the market of a number of new promoters. “There was only one really big festival promoter [Skalar] for quite some time,” he explains, “but in the past few years there has been a big change.”

Praschak says there are now “more promoters than ever before”, and while he cautions that “we have to see how this develops”, “at the moment”, he says, there are simply “too many festivals with too many artists”.

Arcadia Live, a joint venture between FKP Scorpio, Chimperator Live, Kikis Kleiner Tourneeservice and the Four Artists booking agency, signed a deal last September giving it exclusive use of the historic 8,000-capacity Wiesen festival site for five years. In addition to Nuke, which returned last year after a five-year hiatus, and the long-running Jazz Fest, which was scheduled to return on 18 June, the company earlier this year unveiled a raft of new events for 2016, including genre festivals One Drop (reggae), HipHop Open Austria (rap), Out of the Woods (indie/alternative) and Nu Forms (drum and bass) – all of which, with the exception of One Drop, went ahead.

“At the moment there are too many festivals with too many artists”

Aracadia Live’s head of booking, Silvio Huber, says 2016 was an “interesting year” for festivals in Austria, with one in particular “doing really well; better than expected” and others struggling.

Part of the problem for the country’s promoters, says Praschak, is that Austrian festivals traditionally relied on tourists from eastern and central European countries, which traditionally lacked their own world-class events. This influx of foreign visitors, he explains, has slowed in recent years, with more choosing to visit homegrown festivals such as Sziget in Hungary, Exit in Serbia, InMusic in Croatia and Positivus in Latvia.

Huber “absolutely” agrees: “They’ve grown a good festival scene over there,” he says. “There aren’t that many reasons left for them to travel abroad [to go to a festival].” Praschak says the lost custom will be “hard to lure back”.

Huber adds that festival traffic is actually now increasingly heading in the opposite direction, with Austrians taking advantage of the eastern events’ strong line-ups in countries where “everything is cheaper” than at home.

The picture is further complicated by the explosion in popularity of other live entertainment of the non-festival variety – much of it free. “Fifteen years ago there was not much going on in the summertime,” comments Praschak. “Now there is a lot more stuff to do.” He gives the examples of the free Popfest and dance/performing arts event ImPulsTanz in Vienna as alternative distractions for Austrians who don’t want to trek to a village on the country’s eastern border for their live fix.

“They’ve grown a good festival scene in eastern Europe. There aren’t that many reasons left for them to travel abroad”

Praschak says next year “promoters will learn” from 2016, adding that he expects to see several festivals “get smaller, and some might focus on a specific genre”.

Huber, whose company’s line-up of small, specialised festivals met mixed fortunes in its first year at Wiesen, says Arcadia was “maybe” too ambitious with its plans for the Austrian market this summer and is currently considering its options for next year. “Right now we’re thinking, ‘OK, if there’s too many festivals, what should we do next year?’,” he says. “Maybe the time was not right, maybe we should reconsider certain things…”

However, he’s reluctant to attribute the cancellations solely to a glut of festivals, saying instead it’s going to “take some time” to establish Arcadia Live’s new festival offering in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“Booking a festival is an endless development and adventure,” he says. “Does any booker ever have a point where they say a festival is so perfect they won’t change it for another ten years?”

 


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