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Festivals ’24: Wireless, Release Athens, Longitude

Festival lineups from across Europe have continued to flood in for 2024, with the UK’s Wireless, Greece’s Release Athens and Ireland’s Longitude among the latest to confirm.

Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat, 21 Savage and J Hus head the first wave of acts for Wireless, which will take place at Finsbury Park, London from 12-14 July.

The bill also features special guest Future, plus Ice Spice, Sean Paul, Asake, Gunna, Rema, Tyla, Digga D, Vanessa Bling, Veeze, Ragz Originale, DJ Target and Remi Burgz. Sexyy Red, Fridayy, Skillibeng, Byron Messia, Shallipopi, Strandz, Kenny Allstar, Seani B, Uncle Waffles, Ruger, Teezo Touchdown, Nadia Jae and Snoochie Shy.

In Greece, concert series Release Athens has so far unveiled headliners The Offspring, Megadeth, Jain, Pulp, Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, Duran Duran, Judas Priest and Behemoth between 9 June and 28 July. The Smile, Black Pumas, Blind Guardian, Telenova, Pestilence, Bruce Dickinson, Testament and Accept are also on the bill.

Set for Marlay Park, Dublin from 29-30 June, Longitude‘s first round of acts includes Central Cee, Doja Cat, Becky Hill, 21 Savage, Belters Only, blk., D-Block Europe, Sonny Fodera, Joel Corry, Jazzy and Kenya Grace.

Italy’s I-Days has headline shows with Metallica, Lana Del Rey, Green Day, Doja Cat, Tedua, Queens of the Stone Age, Bring Me the Horizon, Sum 41 and Stray Kids. The gigs, which will be staged in Milan between 29 May and 12 July, will also feature a supporting cast including Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills, Nothing But Thieves, Hemlocke Springs, 21 Savage, Royal Blood, Yungblud, Bad Omens, Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan.

Jonas Brothers are the final headliner announced for the 20th anniversary of Rock in Rio Lisbon. The trio will play their first ever show in Portugal at the event alongside Scorpions, Ed Sheeran and Doja Cat over the weekends of 15-16 & 22-23 June. The likes of Camila Cabello, Jake Bugg, Evanescence, James, Lukas Graham, Ivete Sangalo and Callum Scott will also appear.

“It’s thrilling to announce such an incredible range of groundbreaking artists who are shaping the music scene in real time”

Spain’s Mad Cool has added The Killers, Måneskin, Rema, Tyla, Sexyy Red, Nia Archives, Alec Benjamin, 2ManyDJs, Claudia León, Dead Posey, Depresión Sonora, Lord Huron, Bar Italia, Andres Campo, Picture Parlour, Sea Girls, Nadye, Comandante Twin, Julia Sabaté, Choses Sauvages and Slix.

The acts join Pearl Jam, Motxila 21, Dua Lipa, The Smashing Pumpkins, Avril Lavigne, Keane, Janelle Monáe, Bring Me The Horizon, Garbage, Sum 41, Jessie Ware, Soccer Mommy, Greta Van Fleet, Larkin Poe, Rels B, Chinchilla and Jet Vesper on the lineup from 10-13 July.

Back in the UK, Reading & Leeds has announced more than 50 new artists for 2024 including Reneé Rapp, Fontaines D.C., Denzel Curry, Pendulum, Neck Deep and Nia Archives, who will join the six headliners, including UK festival exclusives Fred again.., Lana Del Rey and Blink-182, as well as Liam Gallagher, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Gerry Cinnamon. Organisers have also teased the launch of a new stage called The Chevron.

“It’s thrilling to announce such an incredible range of groundbreaking artists who are shaping the music scene in real time,” says Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn. “Reading & Leeds doesn’t stand still; our audience demands the best and our line up strives to reflect what people are currently listening to. We’re proud to always be at the cutting edge and keen eyes may have spotted another evolution for the show on the poster; ‘The Chevron’ – details of which will be revealed soon.”

K-pop superstars Stray Kids are the latest headliners announced for American Express presents BST Hyde Park in London on 14 July. Andrea Bocelli and Robbie Williams have previously been confirmed.

Completing Boardmasters‘ 2024 bill is Sam Fender, who headlines alongside Stormzy and Chase & Status in Newquay, Cornwall between 7-11 August. Other acts include Courteeners, Declan McKenna, Overmono, Kate Nash, Wunderhorse, Los Bitchos, Charlotte Plank, Newdad, Sprints, Redro, Flo Crowe & The Dilemmas, Girls Don’t Sync, Hedex & Eksman, Billy Gillies, Charlie Boon, 24hr Garage Girls, a Dick & Dom DnB set, Elkka, Syreeta, Kara and Pola & Bryson.

Family festival Camp Bestival lands in Lulworth Castle, Dorset from 25-28 July with artists such as Pete Tong, Paloma Faith, McFly, Orbital, Jake Shears, The Darkness, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Roger Sanchez. It will then be held at Weston Park, Shropshire between 15-18 August with a similar lineup including Faithless, Paloma Faith, Rick Astley, McFly, Orbital, Jake Shears, The Darkness and Level 42.

Elsewhere, following the announcement of Sheryl Crow as headliner, Black Deer Festival has bolstered its 2024 lineup with the likes of Seasick Steve, Hermanos Gutiérrez, The Shires, Courtney Barnett, The Staves and Villagers. Running from 14-16 June at Eridge Park, Kent, the UK’s festival for Americana will also showcase rising talent such as Dylan Gossett, Divorce, Michele Stodart, Prima Queen and Holly Macve.

“We really are at a critical point for the UK’s festival sector… UK festivals need time to recover and rebuild. They need help from our government”

Plus, the inaugural Plymouth Summer Sessions will star Tom Jones, Bryan Adams, Madness and Sting from 13-16 June, with support from Gabrielle, Cassyette, Lightning Seeds and Blondie, while Stirling Summer Sessions will welcome Busted and The Darkness on 28 June, with Tom Jones to perform on 30 June.

Meanwhile, UK trade body the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has launched a new campaign for a VAT reduction on festival tickets, which it says would save many event promoters from closures in 2024.

The 5% For Festivals campaign seeks to inform festival-goers about the problems that music festival promoters have faced over the last five years, encouraging them to contact their MPs to lobby for a VAT reduction on tickets.

AIF research suggests that at least 36 festivals cancelled before they were due to take place in 2023, with six UK festivals having announced some form of cancellation already this year: NASS Festival, Leopollooza, Long Division, Bluedot, Barn On The Farm and Nozstock The Hidden Valley, which will make its 2024 edition its last.

“We really are at a critical point for the UK’s festival sector,” says AIF CEO John Rostron. “Five years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that promoters would have to endure something as damaging as the Covid-19 pandemic – but many of them did, without passing the inevitable cost onto the consumer. To think that, since then, they have had to manage the effects of Brexit, war in Ukraine, inflation and an energy crisis is staggering.

“That festival-goers were able to enjoy some of the fantastic events they did in 2023 is testament to the resilience and passion of those promoters. But we lost 36 festivals last year, and with six festivals having postponed activity in 2024 or closed the gates for good, we are on track to see well over double the number of casualties this year.

“UK festivals need time to recover and rebuild. They need help from our government. A reduction in VAT on festival tickets from 20% to 5% for three years is an evidence-based, simple, sensible remedy that would ease the financial burden on promoters enough for them to return to health. We need this action now.”


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Ireland to permit some shows, festivals in August

The Republic of Ireland has released its roadmap for reopening society and business following the Covid-19 shutdown, which sees shows and festivals return from 10 August, provided that capacity restrictions and social distancing measures are complied with.

Under the five-step plan presented by Irish prime minister (taoiseach) Leo Varadkar, “festivals, events and other social and cultural mass gatherings” will make a comeback in the final stage, under certain constrictions.

The reopening of events will be contingent on “both indoor and outdoor number restrictions”, according to the exit plan, although the specifics of such capacity restrictions are not communicated.

It was announced last month, however, that events over 5,000 people would not return until after the end of August, leading to the cancellation of MCD Productions’ Longitude and Sunstroke festivals, as well as Pod/Aiken Promotions All Together festival.

Under the five-step plan “festivals, events and other mass gatherings” will make a comeback in the final stage, under certain constrictions

The plan also mandates that “social distancing” must be adhered to during events. Once again, the details of such measures are not laid out. Currently, social distancing in Ireland implies maintaining a distance of two metres between individuals.

The fifth phase of Ireland’s recovery will also see pubs and nightclubs open their doors, “where social distancing and strict cleaning can be complied with”.

The capacity reductions and social distancing measures referenced in Ireland’s reopening roadmap are akin to those imposed on venues in Spain, which released its exit strategy last week. Spain’s plan indicated that concerts could return as early as May with certain capacity and distancing restrictions, but was criticised by members of the live industry for being “unclear” and unrealistic for many promoters.

Photo: Peyton Edward/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)


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Festival Fever: a further glance at 2020 line-ups

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ takes a peek at what organisers of Hellfest, Longitude, Lollapalooza Stockholm, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park and NorthSide have up their sleeves for the summer to come.

(See last week’s edition of Festival Fever here.)



When: 19 to 21 June
Where: Clisson, France
How many: 50,000

French metal festival Hellfest celebrated one of its best editions ever last year, which included an extra day to host the Slipknot-fronted Knotfest within the festival site.

The 2020 festival will feature headliners Deftones, Faith No More and System of a Down, playing alongside Incubus, Korn, Deep Purple and Judas Priest.

Earlier this year, a man was sentenced to a month in prison for hacking into the onsale of the French festival. The hacker, who works in cybersecurity, claimed he had only wanted to buy tickets to Hellfest 2020 “without having to queue”.

Tickets for Hellfest 2020 are sold out. Organisers advise fans to use fan-to-fan resale site TicketSwap to buy or sell tickets to the festival.

The 2020 festival will feature headliners Deftones, Faith No More and System of a Down


When: 5 to 7 July
Where: Marlay Park, Dublin, Ireland
How many: 40,000

MCD Productions’ Longitude festival is returning in 2020 with headline performances from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Asap Rocky.

The event will also see performances from the likes of J Hus, AJ Tracey, Young Thug, Aitch, Playboi Carti and Dababy.

The Longitude line-up announcement comes shortly after the news that Denis Desmond-led MCD is bringing back alternative-rock festival Sunstroke in 2020. The event, which takes place from 13 to 14 June at Punchestown Racecourse near Naas in Ireland, features headliners Faith No More and Deftones.

Tickets for Longitude festival are available here, priced at €89.50 (£75) for a day ticket and €199.50 (£168) for a weekend pass. Tickets for Sunstroke can be bought here, with day tickets costing €79.50 (£67) and weekend camping tickets costing €169.50 (£143).

Longitude festival is returning with headline performances from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Asap Rocky

Lollapalooza Stockholm

When: 26 to 28 June
Where: Gärdet, Stockholm, Sweden

The debut edition of Lollapalooza Stockholm took place last year, signalling the festival franchise’s first edition in Scandinavia and third in Europe after Lolla Berlin and Paris.

The festival, which is produced by Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell, WME, C3 Presents and Live Nation Sweden with subsidiary company Luger, features headline performances from Post Malone, Pearl Jam, the Killers and Kendrick Lamar, as well as appearances from Ellie Goulding, Zara Larsson, Kacey Musgraves and Camila Cabello.

Launched in Chicago in 1991, Lollapalooza events now take place in Sweden, France, Germany, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, as well as the US.

Three-day early bird passes are available here for SEK 2,295 (£185).

The debut edition of Lollapalooza Stockholm took place last year

Rock am Ring/Rock im Park

When: 5 to 7 June
Where: Nürburgring race track/Zeppelinfeld, Nürnberg, Germany
How many: 90,000

Marek Lieberberg’s twin festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, the biggest in Germany and among the largest in the world, are turning 35 and 25 respectively in 2020.

Headliners for the anniversary events come in the form of System of a Down, Green Day and Volbeat, with performances also coming from Babymetal, Korn, Gojira, Deftones, the Offspring, Weezer and Yungblud.

The past two editions of the festivals have proved successful, following three years plagued by inclement weather and possible terror threats.

Tickets for Rock am Ring and Rock im Park are available here for €194 (£163) and Rock im Park here for €244 (£205).

Headliners for the anniversary events come in the form of System of a Down, Green Day and Volbeat


When: 4 to 6 June
Where: Aarhus, Denmark
How many: 40,000

The 2020 edition of Down the Drain’s NorthSide festival will be the last at its current site in the Ådalen river valley, near the Danish city of Aarhus, as the event prepares to move to a new site, more than twice the size of its original home, in Eskelund, also near Aarhus.

Described as ‘a controlled chaos’ by festival CEO Brian Nielsen, NorthSide has already confirmed acts for 2020 including Green Day, Robyn, Weezer, White Lies, Johnny Marr, Franc Moody and Jung.

Down the Drain Group, which wholly acquired the festival from FKP Scorpio in 2018, earlier this year received investment from Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment.

Tickets for NorthSide 2020 are available here, priced at DDK 1,935 (£218) for a full festival pass and DDK 1,195 (£135) for a day ticket.


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ASAP Rocky awaits Sweden assault trial verdict in US

Rapper ASAP Rocky has returned to the United States after a temporary release from custody in Sweden, where he was being held on suspected assault charges.

The rapper, real name Rakim Mayers, and two of his entourage were detained on 3 July, charged with assaulting a 19-year-old man in Stockholm, Sweden.

All three have pleaded not guilty and claim to have acted in self-defense.

Following the conclusion of the trial on Friday (2 August), Mayers was released from Swedish detention and given permission to leave the country, along with co-defendants Bladimir Corniel (Bladi) and David Rispers (Thoto).

The three men will receive the verdict of the trial on 14 August. The prosecution has asked for the rapper to be jailed for six months.

Mayers was in the country to headline a two-day hip-hop festival, Smash x Stadion, on 2 July.

“This has been a very difficult and humbling experience”

While detained, Mayer had to cancel a host of European tour dates, including headline festival appearances at Ukraine’s Atlas Weekend, Longitude in Ireland, Spain’s Sónar and Wireless festival in London

The rapper is scheduled to play at Blockfest in Finland and the Netherlands’ Lowlands festival later this month.

In an Instagram post, the rapper “fans, friends and anyone across the globe” who have offered support throughout his detention.

High-profile acts including Tyler, the Creator, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone and Jada Pinkett Smith, have voiced their backing for the rapper through the online #JusticeForRocky petition.

US government has also supported the rapper, with president Donald Trump celebrating Mayers’ return on Friday.


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