Green Guardians: Staffing and Personnel
The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly iniative highlighting some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.
The inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, selected by the Green Guardians committes, which includes representatives from some of the sector’s most respected bodies, such as A Greener Festival, Go Group, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle and Vision:2025.
Following on from last week’s feature on artists and activists doing their bit to make the world a cleaner and better place, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those pioneering ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices.
Staffing and personnel
My Cause UK
My Cause has provided more than 6,000 proactive front-line volunteers to the UK’s biggest events such as Boomtown, Boardmasters, Bestival, Download Festival, Noisily, NASS, Love Saves The Day, Lovebox and many more.
My Cause offers event organisers an ethical and sustainable alternative to existing staffing providers by channelling its fees to the charities its volunteers nominate. That provides My Cause with a switched on, engaged and reliable team to represent client events in the best possible way. So far, it has donated almost £150,000 to more than 1,000 charities chosen by its volunteers.
My Cause director Rob Wilkinson notes, “When you are looking to book crew, volunteers, or staff from any supplier don’t just look at your bottom line but ask about what they do to care for and support their team. Well briefed, motivated and well cared for staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could.”
“Well briefed staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could”
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings; to support initiatives benefitting children and young people; and to support humanitarian and cultural work.
Festival volunteers participate year round in the decision-making, planning and troubleshooting processes, and in the recruitment and management of other volunteers.
The volunteer community is motivated by teamwork and a sense of all being in it together, and due to actively participating in the development of the festival. This has an impact on volunteers signing up and participating for the first time.
Roskilde’s core management team supports the organisation by providing leadership training (also developed and run by volunteers) and by providing tools for supporting feedback processes, allowing volunteers’ voices to be heard regarding the many ideas they have on how to improve processes and co-operation.
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings
Greenpeace was actually founded with a concert in Canada, in 1970, when James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and the late Phil Ochs performed a benefit gig to pay for the fuel that allowed a Greenpeace ship to sail into a nuclear testing zone.
Glastonbury was the first major festival that Greenpeace attended, in 1992. Many concerts and festivals have followed and continue to play a major part in helping the organisation to raise awareness of its international work.
The majority of its event volunteers come from the network of local Greenpeace groups, but it also advertises on its social media platforms where potential volunteers complete a questionnaire and Greenpeace asks for another person to vouch for them.
In terms of sustainability, Greenpeace endeavours to lead by example, calling out areas where improvements can be made. Festivals give Greenpeace access to an audience that it can inform and entertain, allowing it to communicate vital messages such as: “Don’t count the cost; DO IT! As otherwise it’s costing the Earth.”
Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 90, or subscribe to the magazine here
Wireless cancels as more UK fests call time on 2020
Festival Republic’s Wireless Festival and an open-air the 1975 show are the latest losses to the UK’s 2020 summer calendar, in a week that also saw Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Music Festival and metal event Bloodstock move to 2021.
The UK’s summer festival season is looking increasingly uncertain, as organisers wait for the government to reveal details of its exit plan. The country has been in lockdown since 23 March.
“Wireless Festival will no longer be taking place this year,” reads a statement from organisers. “As you know we’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation, and it’s become clear that cancelling is unavoidable.
“Subject to contract, Wireless Festival will be back next year on 2 to 4 July 2021 and will be worth the wait,” continue organisers, urging fans to “keep your eyes peeled” for news on the virtual edition of the festivals.
The urban music event, which had booked ASAP Rocky, D-Block Europe and Lil Uzi Thug for this year, has encountered licensing restrictions imposed by the local council around its home in Finsbury Park.
The promoter has also announced the cancellation of an eco-friendly show by the 1975 at Finsbury Park, scheduled for 11 July. The show, which was also to feature Charli XCX, Clairo and Pale Waves, was set to be the Manchester band’s biggest show ever.
“We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation, and it’s become clear that cancelling is unavoidable”
Festival Republic had previously called off the 2020 outings of Download Festival, set to feature Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down, and Latitude, which had a line-up including Liam Gallagher, Haim and the Chemical Brothers.
This week also saw the cancellation of the 20,000-capacity Cornbury Music Festival, which was to feature Dido, Jack Savoretti and the Waterboys, as well as Judas Priest-headlined metal festival Bloodstock. Organisers say the event will be back for a bumper five-day edition in 2021.
Other major UK festivals to cancel due to the coronavirus outbreak include Boomtown (Wu-Tang Clan, Underworld, the Libertines), Bluedot (Bjork, Metronomy, Groove Armada), Black Deer (Wilco, the Waterboys, the Dead South) and Y Not Festival (Royal Blood, Richard Ashcroft, Bombay Bicycle Club), adding to cancellations of AEG Presents’ All Points East and British Summer Time Hyde Park, Live Nation’s Parklife, Lovebox and Isle of Wight Festival, and Glastonbury Festival.
In Scotland, which has limited self-government within the UK, DF Concerts’ Trnsmt (Courteeners, Liam Gallagher, Lewis Capaldi) and Regular Music’s Summer Nights at the Bandstand (Rick Astley, Van Morrison, Primal Scream) cancelled after first minster Nicola Sturgeon suggested public gatherings would be banned for the foreseeable future.
In the neighbouring country of the Republic of Ireland, festivals including Longitude and All Together Now cancelled last month, as the government announced a blanket ban on events over 5,000 people until 31 August, although it recently indicated that smaller events would be permitted from 10 August.
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BST Hyde Park 2020 cancelled
AEG Presents’ British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park will not take place this year, as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic claims another UK summer staple.
The festival, which was to take place over two weeks from 2 to 12 July, was set to feature headline acts including Post Malone, Little Mix, Kendrick Lamar, Pearl Jam, Taylor Swift and Duran Duran.
The cancellation follows that of All Points East festival, which was called off at the end of March.
“It is with great sadness that we have made the difficult decision to cancel BST Hyde Park 2020,” reads a statement from organisers.
“After closely following government actions and statements during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as consulting with our partners The Royal Parks and wider agencies, we have concluded that this is the only possible outcome.”
“It is with great sadness that we have made the difficult decision to cancel BST Hyde Park 2020”
Ticketholders will contacted by ticketing agencies by 6 May with information on the refund process.
“We look forward to welcoming you back in 2021 and will be in touch about plans soon. In the meantime, please follow the advice and stay safe,” state organisers.
This year was to be the eighth outing for BST Hyde Park, combining two weekend of music with free-to-access midweek events. Over the years, BST has seen performances from acts including the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, the Cure, Black Sabbath and Barbra Streisand.
Other UK events to be called off this summer due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic include Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, Download, Lovebox, Parklife, Womad, Cambridge Folk Festival, Country to Country Festival, Radio One’s Big Weekend and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as industry conferences including The Great Escape and the Ticketing Professionals Conference.
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Festival Fever: more 2020 line-ups under the microscope
Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ reveals what’s in store for the debut of Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin and the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim’s first year under a new promoter, as well as what’s on offer at old favourites Byron Bay Bluesfest, Exit Festival, Lovebox and more.
(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)
Byron Bay Bluesfest
When: 9 to 13 April
Where: Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, New South Wales, Australia
How many: 25,000
Byron Bay Bluesfest celebrated its 30th outing last year, with performances from Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Mavis Staples and Kasey Chambers, among others.
The Peter Noble-led event is back in 2020, with acts including Dave Matthews Band, Crowded House, Patti Smith, George Benson, Lenny Kravitz, Brandi Carlile, Frank Turner and Xavier Rudd appearing on the bill.
A report undertaken earlier this year revealed that the festival contributed over AU$83 million (£43.5m) to the local economy in 2019.
Tickets for Byron Bay Bluesfest are available here, with five-day tickets costing AU$639 (£335), three-day passes priced at $440 (£230) and a single-day ticket available for $195 (£102).
The festival contributed over £43.5 million to the local economy in 2019
Down the Rabbit Hole
When: 17 to 19 July
Where: Groene Heuvels Park, the Netherlands
How many: 35,000
The Netherlands’ Down the Rabbit Hole last year saw performance from the Editors, Janelle Monae, Underworld and Thom Yorke.
The event, promoted by Mojo Concerts which last year celebrated its 50th anniversary, has announced a handful of acts for the 2020 edition, including Tyler the Creator, Disclosure, Beck, Kacey Musgraves, Haim, Bombay Bicycle Club, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX and Loyle Carner.
Elsewhere, acts for Mojo’s hip-hop festival Woo Hah! Include Kendrick Lamar, Asap Ferg, Aitch and DaBaby.
The Netherlands’ Down the Rabbit Hole last year saw performance from the Editors, Janelle Monae, and Thom Yorke
When: 9 to 12 July
Where: Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia
How many: 55,000
Serbia’s Exit Festival is gearing up for its 20th anniversary in 2020, with organisers promising that the event’s special birthday will be celebrated in style. Acts announced for the 2020 edition so far include David Guetta, Tyga, Fatboy Slim, James Arthur and Meduza.
Last year’s festival, which saw record crowds of 200,000 over four days, saw performances from the Cure, Greta van Fleet, the Chainsmokers and Amelie Lens.
Founded as a social activism project in 2000, Exit has grown over the years while maintaining its roots. 2020 will see the launch of the festival’s Life Stream initiative, which aims to engage festivalgoers in the fight against climate change.
Tickets for Exit Festival 2020 are available here, with tickets costing £89 plus £27 for camping.
Organisers promise that the event’s special birthday will be celebrated in style
Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB)
When: 16 to 19 July
Where: Costa del Azahar, Spain
How many: 50,000
The first outing for the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) under new leadership will take place in July, following its acquisition by Spanish promoter the Music Republic earlier this year.
The 2020 event will see performances from acts including Liam Gallagher, the Libertines, Foals, Vampire Weekend, Khalid, Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki.
The Music Republic added FIB to its portfolio of Spanish festivals, which includes Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Granada Sound and Madrid Salvaje, after buying it from Maraworld, a Madrid-based promoter majority owned by MCD Productions and SJM Concerts.
David and Toño Sánchez, owners of the Music Republic, state they aim to “maintain [FIB’s] essence and position it once more as a leader on the global scene.”
Tickets for FIB 2020 are available here for €65 (£55) for a full pass.
The first outing for the FIB under new leadership will take place in July
When: 11 to 13 June
Where: Ippodromo delle Cascine, Florence, Italy
How many: 11,000
Italian rock festival Firenze Rocks is returning for its fourth year in 2020 with Guns N’ Roses, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers heading up the event.
The Guns N’ Roses appearance is part of a wider European tour that will see the veteran rockers play in Portugal, Spain, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
The Live Nation-promoted festival last year saw performances from Ed Sheeran, the Cure, Tool and Eddie Vedder, with Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne among those to have played the event in recent years.
Tickets for Firenze Rocks 2020 are available here for €271.40 for four days (£230).
Italian rock festival Firenze Rocks is returning for its fourth year in 2020 with Guns N’ Roses, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers
When: 18 to 19 July
Where: Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris, France
How many: 55,000
The fourth annual Lollapalooza Paris will feature headliners Pearl Jam and Billie Eilish, along with Vampire Weekend, Khalid, Burna Boy, Haim, Rita Ora, Illenium, the Struts and more, as over 40 acts will play at the four-stage event over two days.
Launched in 2017 as a further string to the Lollapalooza franchise bow, the Live Nation-promoted Lollapalooza Paris last year saw performances from the Strokes, Twenty one Pilots, martin Garrix, the 1975 and Bad Bunny.
The Paris event is one of three European editions of Lollapalooza, together with Lollapalooza Stockholm and Berlin.
Tickets for Lollapalooza Paris are available here, priced at €79 (£67) for a one-day pass and €139 (£118) for a weekend ticket.
The fourth annual Lollapalooza Paris will feature headliners Pearl Jam and Billie Eilish
When: 12 to 14 June
Where: Gunnersbury Park, London, UK
How many: 40,000
Mama Festivals’ Lovebox festival is returning for its third year at the Gunnersbury Park site in west London. The three-day event, which was founded in 2002, will be headed up by Khalid, Disclosure and Tyler the Creator in 2020.
Other acts appearing at the festival include Hot Chip, Jorja Smith, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX, Peggy Gou, Mabel and Little Simz.
Gunnersbury Park has also been home to Mama’s Citadel festival for the past two years, with year’s line-up featuring Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bastille, Friendly Fires and Bear’s Den.
Sister company Festival Republic launched a new festival at the site in September this year. The inaugural Gunnersville saw performances from Doves, the Specials and You Me at Six.
Tickets for Lovebox 2020 are available here, with a three-day tickets costing £149.50 and one-day passes costing £72.50.
Mama Festivals’ Lovebox festival is returning for its third year at the Gunnersbury Park site in west London
Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin
When: 8 to 9 May
Where: Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany
How many: 3,500
The team behind US-based magazine Pitchfork revealed plans for the inaugural Pitchfork Music festival Berlin at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, adding to events in Chicago and Paris.
The festival, promoted by Scumeck Sabottka’s MCT Agentur, will see headline performances from Lianna La Havas and Modeselektor, with Nike Hakim, Celeste, Tim Hecker and John Talabot also appearing on the bill.
Launched in 2006, the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival this year saw performances from Haim, the Isley Brothers, Robyn and Pusha T. The more recent Pitchfork Paris has taken place since 2011 and last year featured Skepta, the 1975, Chromatics and Charli XCX.
Tickets for Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin 2020 are available here, with two-day tickets costing €99 (£84) and one-day passes priced at €58 (£49).
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Ticketmaster partners with UK operator SivLive
Ticketmaster UK has formed an exclusive ticketing partnership with SivLive, the operator of the 13,500-capacity FlyDSA Arena Sheffield and other venues in the northeast of England.
The deal will see Ticketmaster introduce digital ticketing into SivLive’s venues, which in addition to FlyDSA Arena, formerly Sheffield Arena, include Sheffield City Hall (2,270-cap.l, Scarborough Spa (570-cap.) and Whitby Pavilion (380-cap.).
“Ticketmaster’s recent work in digital ticketing has been groundbreaking and exceeded expectations, so it is really exciting to partner with them,” comments SivLive head Dominic Stokes.
“This move will give us more control and give fans the best possible experience when entering our venues.”
“Ticketmaster’s recent work in digital ticketing has been groundbreaking and exceeded expectations, so it is really exciting to partner with them”
“It’s an honour to say we will be working with SivLive, further demonstrating our commitment to providing venues with the best possible ticketing technology,” says Ticketmaster UK MD, Andrew Parsons.
“We think mobile-first with everything we do, from how fans discover events through to digital entry and we’re looking forward to bringing that ethos to Sheffield’s most important and busiest venues.”
Ticketmaster has introduced digital ticketing technology at all Academy Music Group venues, including O2 Academy Brixton (5,000-cap.) and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (2,000-cap.) in London, and SMG Europe’s UK venues, now operated by ASM Global. Ticketmaster’s digital tickets were most recently used at festivals Citadel, Lovebox and SW4.
TM UK records biggest weekend for digital tickets
The long weekend of 12–14 July was one of the biggest in recent memory for the Ticketmaster UK team, with more digital tickets processed at greenfield sites than at any time since the technology’s introduction.
A third of tickets at Trnsmt in Glasgow (Friday 12–Sunday 14 July) were mobile-only, and 100% of Ticketmaster tickets at Lovebox (12–13 July) and Citadel (14 July), held in Gunnersbury Park, London, were delivered to fans’ mobile phones.
Festivalgoers were reminded in advance to download tickets using the TM mobile app; for those that didn’t, wifi hotspots were set up in the queue so getting into the festival was as quick as possible.
A transfer function, meanwhile, enabled fans to pass tickets to the phones of other people in their party – every person needed their own individual downloaded ticket – meaning Ticketmaster and the festivals knew every person entering the site (rather than just the buyer), reducing ticket fraud while increasing in- and post-event marketing potential.
“Our team scanned more mobile tickets than ever before at events across the UK last weekend, with 100% of tickets at Lovebox and Citadel delivered to fan’s mobiles,” explains Andrew Parsons, managing director of Ticketmaster UK.
“It was a fantastic outcome for us and, most importantly, the fans”
“What we saw was the fast and frictionless entry of fans into the shows they love, along with a significant reduction in ticket fraud. A further benefit of mobile tickets is that we now know the individual attendees who walked through the festival gates, so we’ve increased our marketing potential even further.
“We’re in the business of happy fans, and it’s clear from a very successful weekend that mobile is the way forward.”
Rory Bett, CEO of Lovebox and Citadel promoter MAMA, adds: “This was our first foray into using mobile tickets at Lovebox and Citadel and we’re pleased to say it was huge success. It was one of the most effortless experiences we’ve had getting fans on site, and quick, too.
“Together with the Ticketmaster team it was a fantastic outcome for us and, most importantly, the fans. We’re now looking ahead to the rest of the festival season and beyond.”
Ticketmaster began rolling out SafeTix, its new anti-counterfeiting technology for digital tickets, in North America earlier this year.
Tinder for festivals: a modern-day summer of love
Location-based mobile dating app Tinder has partnered with live music giants AEG and Live Nation to create “Festival Mode”, allowing users to match with fellow festivalgoers at events across the United States and UK.
Attendees of festivals including All Points East, British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park and Bonnaroo can add the official festival badge to their profile, allowing them to view and match with other Tinder users who are attending.
“Claim your badge to let others know which festival you’re attending and find someone who wont mind that you haven’t showered in a few days,” the Match Group-owned dating app posted on Twitter.
Thye company explains that the app consistently records a surge in activity over festival weekends, as “music festivals unite people around a common passion – music.”
“We wanted to create a new experience that makes it easier to connect with other concertgoers before even setting foot on festival grounds”
“We wanted to create a new experience that makes it easier to connect with other concertgoers before even setting foot on festival grounds,” says Tinder chief marketing officer Jenny Campbell.
“We’ve partnered with some of the biggest names in the entertainment and events industry to make that happen, and we couldn’t be more excited to help Tinder users find their crowd during these events for the rest of 2019.”
Other events available in the festival mode include UK-based Parklife and Lovebox, as well as US festivals Hangout, the Governors’ Ball, Firefly, Faster Horses, Hard Summer and of Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas and Orlando.
The feature can be toggled on and off, giving users the freedom to view and match with those not attending the festival as well.
Festival Mode began rolling out on Wednesday 1 May. Event-specific badges will be available for users approximately three weeks prior to each festival.
The Message: MAMA Festivals/Live Nation
The Message, in partnership with I AM POP, is a monthly insight into the latest direct message and Facebook Messenger marketing methods.
For this edition, Camella Agalbayan from MAMA Festivals describes how the company is using Messenger to market Lovebox Festival, among other events. (Read the last column, with Green House Group and End of the Road festival, here.)
Who are you, and what is your role in music marketing?
My name is Camella Agalbayan and I am senior marketing manager at Live Nation’s MAMA Festivals. I oversee the marketing and design team for Lovebox Festival and Citadel Festival, and I am also involved in Wilderness Festival and the Great Escape Festival.
Why did you start experimenting with direct-to-fan messaging? How does it fit in with your marketing strategy, and what lessons have you learned along the way?
We’re conscious as a company that our events are focused heavily on experience. We’ve always been a very dedicated team who aim to respond to as many emails and questions as we can. But as we grow as a company, it gets harder to have a one-to-one experience with every guest.
We felt the Messenger channel was a good place to filter the obvious questions, so we could spend more time taking care of special cases that demanded more attention. We’ve also used the Messenger channel as a way to incentivise our current audiences by giving them information before anybody else.
You used I AM POP’s tool to market the 2018 edition of Lovebox Festival. Could you tell us something about how you went about getting people to subscribe to the festival’s Messenger channel?
We were quite traditional in that sense – simply because we were still testing the efficacy of the channel, and we’re conscious we have a huge audience with high demands – so 2018 was very much a ‘beta’ version of how we’ll be marketing Lovebox Festival for 2019.
All our social content is paid, so we simply integrated this messaging through our content calendar. This way, we could track clicks, sign-ups and return from our posts.
“It’s a good way to filter out the noise”
How did you run your messaging campaign after that? How was it received?
I think people are much more aware about Messenger marketing on Facebook and its purpose, so it’s much easier nowadays to promote your Messenger channel. We’re not being much more playful with how it’s being used, necessarily. Instead, we’re focusing on how we can ensure people get the right information, as well as how we can use it as a marketing tool to increase brand loyalty and build our brand identity.
Can you share some stats from the campaign? How did the open rates and ticket sales do, for instance?
The open rates are amazing! The last broadcast we sent out regarding the Lovebox Festival line-up announcement had over 84% open rates. We make sure to ‘filter’ audiences on Messenger as much as possible, so people are aware about what they are signing up to. I think transparency is key, so you can forge a small community of loyal fans.
Direct-message marketing calls for a different approach to traditional marketing channels like social and email. What kind of approaches do you think work best for direct message marketing in the live music space?
We’ve always been very transparent with our messaging in general. We have really strong brands and create huge worlds in which our artwork, tone of voice and programming comes to life. It’s important to be consistent with that messaging, and we ensure that everything from our website to our newsletters to our communications in general all fit into the same world. With direct messaging you can definitely be more playful with how you reach out to the fan and make it more friendly, and less targeted around sales, specifically.
“A new strategy for us this year is to create small communities of fans within Lovebox that feel special”
Have you already started using direct-to-fan messaging to promote the 2019 edition of Lovebox? If so, how? And how are you planning to proceed?
Indeed we have. A new strategy for us this year is to create small communities of fans within Lovebox that feel special. We are working with a small Lovebox ‘squad’ (to be announced in April), for example, who will be involved in artwork, photography and design for the show.
With our Messenger channel, we want those fans to feel they have signed up to something that has a purpose, which is why we have decided to make sure they are always the first to be in the know before anyone else. Whether it’s dropping a poster, launching a merch line or access to afterparty ticket, our Messenger subscribers will be the first to hear about it!
Do you work on any other projects where Messenger marketing might prove useful?
Citadel is another festival I run. We intend to use Messenger this year, as we want to ensure people can get adequate information about the show easily.
We moved site last year and we tend to vary in audiences depending on the headliner, so it’s important for those new guests to know everything is there for them to explore.
Any final words of advice for other people wanting to get into direct-to-fan messaging?
I definitely think the Messenger channel has been a great add-on to our marketing campaign. It helps us keep things streamlined online and target the right people with the right information.
It’s a good way to filter out the noise when you have some guests that require specific attention, but can also be a really easy and playful tool that lets you have fun with your fans and enhance brand loyalty.
Lovebox, Citadel to relocate to Gunnersbury Park
Despite both festivals confirming last November they would be moving to Brockwell Park in Brixton for 2018, Ealing and Hounslow councils today jointly announced they have reached an agreement with Mama parent Live Nation/Festival Republic for Lovebox and Citadel to instead relocate to Gunnersbury Park in west London.
Lovebox will take place on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 July, with Citadel following on Sunday 15 July 2018. Initial line-up announcements for both events are due next month.
The festivals’ planned move to Brockwell Park, first reported by IQ last October, was met with fierce opposition from locals, with residents’ association Friends of Brockwell Park complaining that the “small, urban park” does “not have not have the capacity to host such gigantic events. We oppose them utterly.”
Many local residents are also opposed to Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day festival moving to Brockwell Park, as is planned.
All three events previously took place in Victoria Park, in east London, but were forced to move after AEG agreed a five-year contract with Tower Hamlets council for exclusive use of the park.
“I have no doubt that this move for Lovebox and Citadel 2018 will be a great success”
Commenting on today’s news, Julian Bell, leader of Ealing council, says: “I am delighted to welcome the Lovebox and Citadel festivals to the borough this summer. Rightly recognised as among the very best anywhere across the capital and beyond, these festivals will boast acclaimed, international artists and a vibrant atmosphere for the many thousands of fans attending. It is a venue with an excellent record of hosting large public events, including the London Mela, which has attracted over 90,000 visitors in the past.
“Gunnersbury Park is currently undergoing a hugely positive transition which will see brand-new sports facilities and wonderful historical buildings opening their doors in the near future. Hosting these festivals is another huge boost for the park and it also underlines our reputation as a place to see great live events.”
“Gunnersbury Park has undergone a phenomenal transformation in recent years,” adds Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn, “and I have no doubt that this move for Lovebox and Citadel 2018 will be a great success.”
London’s parks set for 2018 festival boom
London’s parklands and open spaces are gearing up for a huge 2018 festival summer, following a slate of new announcements – and with more events believed to be in the pipeline.
In the last 24 hours alone, AEG announced the launch of a new ten-day event, All Points East, following its securing a multi-year contract for exclusive use of Victoria Park in Bow, east London, for events, while rival Festival Republic revealed it is adding a headline show by Liam Gallagher to its programming for Finsbury Park next year, alongside the existing Wireless and Community Festivals.
AEG’s exclusivity on the 213-acre Victoria Park leaves at least three festivals by other promoters without a home for 2018, with Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day already confirming it will be “upping sticks” for an as-yet-unannounced location elsewhere in London.
Both Field Day and Live Nation/Mama’s Lovebox and Citadel festivals are rumoured to be decamping to Brockwell Park in Brixton, south London, in 2018, where they would share the 26-acre space with indie events such as Sunfall Festival and Gala Brixton.
In addition to Wireless, Community and Liam Gallagher’s As You Were, Festival Republic has applied to Haringey Council for permission to stage a “music event” with a daily capacity of 20,000 from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 May. (A spokesperson for the promoter declined to comment.)
Festival Republic has applied for permission to stage a “music event” with a daily capacity of 20,000 from 4–6 May
Also in Finsbury Park, council minutes reveal Slammin’ Events plans to reprise its Southport Weekender/Tranz-mission and Hospitality/Abode in the Park events in 2018, with the festivals pencilled in for 9–10 June and 22–23 September.
Back in south London, meanwhile, Lambeth Council has given permission for an “unprecedented” 110 event days on Clapham Common in future, paving the way for new events to join the likes of SW4, Let’s Rock and Madness’s House of Common, while Crosstown Concerts has confirmed OnBlackheath will return to the park of the same name next year following a successful debut event this summer.
Finally, in Hyde Park – a grade I-listed, 350-acre royal park in Westminster, and London’s most famous – AEG has exclusive rights to produce festivals until at least 2019. And with almost half a million people attending its flagship British Summer Time event in 2017 alone, don’t bet against that relationship lasting well into the 2020s…
After IQ revealed in September that London is by far Europe’s leading city for live music, and the third biggest in the world, mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the city’s “incredible nightlife” and called London a “powerhouse for music”.