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Festival bosses talk cash flow, artist fees

The second IQ Focus festival panel, Festival Forum: The Next Stage, saw festival leaders from around Europe discuss the thorny issues of refunds and insolvency, as well as the outlook for 2021, in what should have been the halfway point of the 2020 season.

Hosted by IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson, the panel welcomed Mad Cool’s CIndy Castillo, Isle of Wight Festival/Solo Agency’s John Giddings, ARTmania’s Codruta Vulcua and Goodlive’s Stefan Lehmkuhl, two months on from the initial virtual Festival Forum session.

The current situation, said Giddings, has made it “blatantly obvious” that the business has an issue with cash flow and that many promoters don’t have any kind of “war chest to go forwards”.

“I don’t understand how you bankrupt companies by refunding tickets,” he said. “You shouldn’t be spending the ticket money on costs – you need to be in the position to be able to refund all the money. We have a responsibility to the audience.”

Giddings noted that some promoters have got into the habit of “taking money from the future to pay the past”, and it has become clear that this doesn’t work.

“This may teach people a lesson on how to run a business,” he said.

The other panellists agreed to an extent, but noted that a lack of support and clarity from the authorities has complicated matters in a lot of cases.

“This may teach people a lesson on how to run a business”

“Our government hasn’t even declared force majeure yet for live events”, said Castillo, who promotes Madrid’s Mad Cool festival. “This has put us in a very tricky legal situation.”

The Mad Cool team only started its refund period last week, explained Castillo, but is allowing people to make the decision on whether to hold onto tickets for next year or refund them until after the full 2021 line-up is revealed.

In Romania, said Vulcu, an immediate reimbursement “would have bankrupted many organisers”, as the government is implementing new restrictions every two weeks.

“There are companies with shows built up, everything ready and paid for, and then suddenly it had to be cancelled,” she said. A voucher scheme implemented by the government, allowing promoters to offer credit for shows or merchandise in place of cash refunds, has been a lifeline for many.

ARTmania did choose to offer refunds, but only received 43 requests. “Our decision to trust our audience really worked for us,” said Vulcu, adding that this tactic may “work for rock and metal audiences perhaps more than for others.”

Lehmkuhl, who runs German festivals including Melt, Splash, Superbloom and With Full Force, added that a lot depends on how long the shutdown continues for.

“So far, we have been able to spend our own money,” he said,” but the next step would be to touch the ticket money, then to get low-interest credit from the government in case it takes longer.

“What happens if it takes longer than a year?” he asked. “Few companies will be able to survive for longer than a year.”

“Our decision to trust our audience really worked for us”

Mindful of cash flow, Goodlive has asked for deposits back from acts it booked for this year. “There is mutual understanding there,” said Lehmkuhl. “We are trying to rethink our festivals for next year, adjusting dates and concepts. We will start from scratch in some ways next year.”

As the promoter of Isle of Wight Festival, Giddings said he also asked for deposits to be returned. “We are doing contracts going forward for next year and will pay the deposit then.”

In terms of being an agent, Giddings said he is not going to take a fee reduction for artists. “I would rather they didn’t play than take a reduction on my act,” he said.

“As an agent I wouldn’t book an act for festival next year unless they’re going to pay me the same money,” he said, “and we’ve done the same thing as a festival.”

Ticket prices will also have to stay the same, as so many fans are rolling over their tickets to next year. “Anyone raising ticket prices is insane,” said Giddings. “We need to get an audience back first before charging more.”

Vulcu, who said she left the money with the agencies when rescheduling, agreed that she will not be paying artists less money, “but we will definitely not pay more”.

“Romanian audiences will have a lot less money and the priority will not be going to festivals,” she said.

“As an agent I wouldn’t book an act for festival next year unless they’re going to pay me the same money, and we’ve done the same thing as a festival”

Castillo said her experiences have been “positive” with every agent. “We are looking out for each other to prevent the industry collapsing,” she said.

The Mad Cool booker admitted that it will be “really hard” to get the same audiences next year, “so we need help with fees to make things happen”.

“We are running a big risk with the festival next year”.

The recovery of the music business in Spain “hasn’t event started yet”, said Castillo, as “you first have to understand our business model, identify problems and offer solutions – and we haven’t been offered any solutions yet.”

Vulcu added that support packages offered by governments in western European countries such as Germany and the UK may put newer markets at a disadvantage, as they are less likely to receive support.

Giddings replied that, although the recent culture funding package announced by the UK government is sizeable, “we have no idea who it’s going to go to and how it will work”. He added that it was more likely to benefit venues than agents or promoters.

Sponsors are another issue for 2021. “Investing in events is risky now,” said Castillo, “and this is definitely affecting us.”

Vulcu said that, while ARTmania has secured its main sponsor for next year, “it is very difficult to get new sponsors”.

“Investing in events is risky now, and this is definitely affecting us”

Most Isle of Wight Festival sponsors have also “stuck with us” said Giddings, who believes that sponsors will start to come back in once it’s clear the event is going to happen, although they may be “different kinds of sponsors relating to our changing normal”.

Giddings added that he is “praying” for some direction on what will happen next year by Christmas, with clear information needed by March at the latest.

For Lehmkuhl, the key for the “new normal” is a high level of flexibility and an ability to keep running costs very low.

The Goodlive co-founder said that the idea of testing at festivals “is one of the few realistic plans [for getting event up and running] nowadays”, provided that the government is able to provide tests for free.

“It is hard for me to imagine that we will be able to do festivals as normal next year,” he admitted, “but one thing’s for sure, I will not be doing them with social distancing.”

The next IQ Focus session State of Independence: Promoters will take place on Thursday 16 July at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET. To set a reminder head to the IQ Magazine page on Facebook or YouTube.

Watch yesterday’s session back below, or on YouTube or Facebook now.


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IQ Focus returns with ‘Festival Forum: The Next Stage’

After a week’s break, IQ’s virtual panel series – IQ Focus – is back with Festival Forum: The Next Stage, which sees representatives from a handful of European festivals give an update on the state of the sector.

The ninth panel of the popular IQ Focus series, the session will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday 9 July at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET, building on a previous Festival Forum panel almost two months on.

Midway through what would have been this year’s festival season, it’s a summer like no other. But are we midway through the crisis, or is there still further to go before the festival sector can confidently progress into 2021?

How confident are promoters feeling about next year, and are artists and audiences ready to return?

With a number of government support packages in place, and much of this year’s line-ups transplanted to next year, how confident are promoters feeling about next year, and are artists and audiences ready to return?

IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson hosts this IQ Focus discussion with panellists Cindy Castillo of Spain’s Mad Cool festival; John Giddings of the Isle of Wight Festival and Solo Agency; Stefan Lehmkuhl who promotes Splash, Melt, Superbloom and With Full Force festivals at Germany’s Goodlive; and Codruta Vulcu of Romania’s ARTmania Festival.

All previous IQ Focus sessions, which have looked at topics including diversity in live, management under lockdown, the agency business, large-scale and grassroots music venues and innovation in live music, can be watched back here.

To set a reminder about the IQ Focus Festival Forum: The Next Stage session on Thursday head to the IQ Magazine page on Facebook or YouTube.

 


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First post-lockdown concerts take place in Spain

The first post-lockdown live music events are taking place in Spain this week, as the country embarks on phase two of its lockdown easing plan.

As of 25 May, outdoor events of up to 400 people and indoor concerts with a maximum capacity of 50 people have been allowed to resume in Spain.

Although the reopening measures have been criticised by members of the Spanish live industry for being unclear and unrealistic, a number of event organisers have taken the opportunity to restart business.

This week, five concerts are taking place in the northern region of Cantabria as part of the local government’s ‘Culture Counterattack’ campaign. Performances by acts Rulo, Vicky Castelo, Billy Boom Band, Deva and Repion will take place this weekend (29 to 30 May) in the cities of Santander, Torrelavega and Muriedas.

“These five Cantabrian artists will connect with their fans again, to a lesser extent than we would like, but with as many as is possible right now,” says Pablo Zuloaga, vice president of Cantabria, who announced the campaign last week.

Elsewhere in Spain, organisers of Barcelona’s Festival Cruïlla, who, along with promoters of major Spanish events including Primavera Sound, Mad Cool, Bilbao BBK Live and Sónar, recently called off their 2020 festival, have announced Cruïlla XXS, a series of over 200 open-air events taking place throughout the city in July.

“This is a way of putting the message out there that, little by little, things are getting better”

Priced between €15 and €45, each event – which range from concerts, talks and conference sessions to urban art and circus performances – will be seated and have a maximum capacity of 400. The events will be hosted in venues including open-air architectural museum the Poble Espanyol, the Design Museum of Barcelona, the Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) and the gardens of the Catalan national theatre.

“This is a way of putting the message out there that, little by little, things are getting better,” comments Cruïlla XXS programmer Jordi Herreruela. “This will have a positive impact on the collective state of mind.”

Cruïlla XXS organisers are working with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health to ensure adequate safety measures are in place. “If we want to go back to putting on events with several thousand people, we will have to show we are capable of doing so,” says Herreruela.

Two Door Cinema Club, Kase.O, Residente and Of Monsters and Men are among acts confirmed for Festival Cruïlla 2021.

Spain is due to enter it final stage of lockdown easing on 8 June, which allows outdoor events of up to 800 people and indoor concerts with a capacity limit of 80, as well as the reopening of night clubs and bars at a third of usual capacity.

Photo: Roger Canals/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


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European giants Mad Cool, Rock en Seine move to 2021

Spain’s Mad Cool and France’s Rock en Seine are the latest high-profile calamities of the 2020 festival season, as organisers call off their events this summer due to the continuing coronavirus crisis.

The cancellation of Live Nation-promoted Mad Cool (60,000-cap.), which was due to take place from 8 to 11 July with acts including Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and the Killers, follows that of fellow Spanish festivals Sónar on Friday (8 May) and Primavera Sound on Monday (11 May).

“A few days ago we told you that the possibility of celebrating Mad Cool was very slight,” reads a statement from organisers. “Today, we have to tell you, with the utmost sincerity, that the festival will not take place on the scheduled dates.

“As the situation has evolved, we have worked on a number of alternatives. The most real and feasible option is to postpone the festival for the same dates in 2021.”

Organisers say they are waiting for the government to decree force majeure “so we can resolve things in the proper way”.

Despite announcing its lockdown exit plan, the Spanish government has yet to detail when large-scale events such as festivals may take place again, preventing cancellation due to force majeure and leading to criticism from much of the country’s live music industry.

“Today, we have to tell you, with the utmost sincerity, that the festival will not take place on the scheduled dates”

Rock en Seine (40,000-cap.), due to take place from 28 August to 1 September in Paris, was also called off last night, following the extension of the French government’s ban on large events until September.

The 2020 edition of the festival was set to feature Rage Against the Machine and Run the Jewels.

“Over the past sixteen years Rock en Seine has cemented itself as one of the biggest festivals in France,” reads a statement from organisers. “Unfortunately it has become clear that these three days cannot take place in the format we had planned due to the health measures currently in place because of the ongoing crisis.”

Organisers state they are working on “an imaginative, creative, strong and symbolic culture and music event for as soon as health rules permit”, in addition to hosting the festival in its usual format in 2021.

The French government recently established a ‘festival fund’ to assist events forced to cancel due to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as dedicating an additional €50 million in aid to the music sector.

Yesterday also saw the cancellations of Festival Republic’s Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK.

 


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Primavera Sound moves to August

The 20th-anniversary Primavera Sound Barcelona will now take place from 26 to 30 August, as the festival shifts back three months to avoid disruption from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Both Primavera Sound music festival and Primavera Pro, the industry conference that runs alongside it, will take place at their original venue, Barcelona’s waterfront at the Parc del Fòrum.

The events typically takes place at the start of June – Primavera means ‘spring’ in Spanish – with organisers using the slogan: “Primavera in summer, for once in a lifetime”.

Primavera’s Portuguese sister event, Nos Primavera Sound Porto has also been postponed, moving from mid-June to 3 to 5 September.

Tickets already purchased for both festivals and the conference remain valid for the new dates.

Primavera Sound experienced record ticket sales following the release of its line-up this year, with over 10,000 fans snapping up tickets in 24 hours to see the likes of the Strokes, Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves, Tyler the Creator, Beck, Bikini Kill and Disclosure.

Organisers state they “will make every effort to ensure that this change affects the festival’s programme as little as possible.”

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together”

Ticket sales will be reactivated once the country’s official state of emergency, declared on 14 March, is over.

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together,” reads a statement from organisers.

Primavera is not the only Spanish festival to change dates due to coronavirus.

Mallorca Live has moved from mid-May to 8 to 10 October, with organisers stating that 80% of the line-up has so far been retained for the later date. The 25th edition of Viña Rock festival will also take place in October, moving from dates at the end of April.

Mad Cool festival director Javier Arnaiz confirmed his intention to continue with the 2020 festival to Spanish newspaper El País last week, saying “our aim is for the festival to go ahead on the original dates. We are positive despite the cirumstances. Suspension is not a part of our plans.” Spanish festivals including Sónar (18 to 20 June), Arenal Sound (28 July to 2 August), Bilbao BBK (9 to 11) and FIB are all currently going ahead as planned.

The approach differs from that seen in the UK in recent weeks, with the cancellation of the major events including Glastonbury Festival, Download, Isle of Wight, Parklife, Lovebox and All Points East.

 


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Festival Fever: what to expect from summer 2020

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ has a look at what Saga Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival and Sea Star Festival have in store, as well as the latest additions to the massive Roskilde and Mad Cool line-ups.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Roskilde

When: 27 June to 4 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
How many: 85,000

Roskilde Festival has completed the line-up for its mammoth 50th anniversary edition, with Kendrick Lamar, the Strokes, Haim and Charli XCX among those joining the bill.

The Roots, DaBaby, Dave, Brittany Howard and Bicep also form part of the 110-strong group of new additions.

The newly announced artists join Taylor Swift, Pusha T, Faith No More, FKA Twigs and Tyler the Creator for the festival’s half-century celebrations.

“With this year’s line-up, we do what we’ve always done: look ahead,” comments Anders Wahrén, the festival’s head of programming.

“It has been important to us that festival number 50 points to the future, and that is why 2020 will feature the lowest average age ever among the headliners. You don’t have to have 20 years of experience to perform on the main stage. That era is over.”

Tickets for Roskilde Festival 2020 are available here, with a full eight-day festival pass costing DDK2250 (£257).

“2020 will feature the lowest average age ever among the headliners”

Saga Festival

When: 5 to 7 June
Where: Izvor Park, Bucharest, Romania

Saga Festival, a new three-day event promoted by electronic music specialists Alda and Insomniac, is debuting in Bucharest this summer.

Tiësto, Marshmello, Disclosure, Faithless, Meduza and Sigala are among more than 150 acts performing across five stages at the festival, with recently announced artists including Timmy Trumpet, Vini Vici, Laidback Luke, Denis Sulta and Zara Larsson.

The festival has partnered with Romanian waste management charity Reciclad’Or and conservation organisation WWF, as part of its commitment to securing a low ‘festival footprint’ and promoting understanding of the issues facing the planet.

Tickets for Saga Festival are available here, with a three-day pass priced at RON299 (£52) and VIP options costing RON699 (£123).

Tiësto, Marshmello, Disclosure, Faithless, Meduza and Sigala are among more than 150 acts performing at the festival

Pitchfork Music Festival

When: 17 to 19 July
Where: Union Park, Chicago, USA
How many: 20,000

YeahYeahYeahs, Run the Jewels and the National are headlining US magazine Pitchfork’s flagship Chicago festival this year, with other performances coming from Angel Olsen, Danny Brown, Phoebe Bridgers and Badbadnotgood.

2020 marks the 15th year of the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival. A spin-off event has taken place in Paris since 2011, promoted by Parisian booking and events agency Super!, and a German edition is launching this year in Berlin, featuring Lianne La Havas, Celeste and Modeselektor.

Tickets for Pitchfork Music Festival 2020 are available here, with day tickets costing $75 (£58) and a three-day pass priced at $185 (£144).

2020 marks the 15th year of the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival

Sea Star Festival

When: 22 to 23 May
Where: Stella Maris lagoon, Umag, Croatia
How many: 20,000

The brainchild of the team behind Serbia’s Exit Festival, Sea Star Festival is preparing for its fourth outing this year in the Croatian seaside town of Umag.

Hip-hop group Cypress Hill are topping the bill, which features acts including Amelie Lens, Meduza, Umek, Dubioza Kolektiv and Farrago. A welcome party and closing party will take place on 21 and 24 May respectively.

Sea Star is part of Exit’s extended festival network, consisting of Serbia’s No Sleep Festival, Romania’s Revolution Festival and Montenegro’s Sea Dance Festival.

Exit Festival will see performances by David Guetta, Tyga, Fatboy Slim and James Arthur for its 20th anniversary edition this year.

Tickets for Sea Star Festival 2020 are available here, priced at €39 (£33) for international fans and €30 (£26) for locals. Ticket prices will increase on 6 March.

The brainchild of the team behind Serbia’s Exit Festival, Sea Star Festival is preparing for its fourth outing this year

Mad Cool

When: 8 to 11 July
Where: Espacio Mad Cool, Madrid Spain
How many: 60,000

Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival has a big year ahead, with an extra day of programming for 2020.

Royal Blood and Mumford & Sons are the most recent additions to the extensive line-up, joining previously announced acts Taylor Swift, the Killers, Kings of Leon, Faith No More, Billie Eilish, Twenty One Pilots, Foals and Anderson Paak.

Other acts appearing across the three days include Wolf Alice, Placebo, Jamie Cullum, Major Lazer and Khalid.

Tickets for Mad Cool 2020 are available here, with a four-day pass costing €179 (£153).

 


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Countdown to the Arthurs 2020: Mad Cool

Individuals and events will be crowned across 11 categories at the Arthur Awards Winners’ Dinner on 5 March, as the music industry’s response to the Oscars returns to the glamorous Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel.

Last year’s 25th anniversary awards saw success for Britannia Row’s Bryan Grant, FKP Scorpio’s Folkert Koopmans, ICM Partners’ Kevin Jergensen and Live Nation’s Selina Emeny, as well as the teams at the Royal Albert Hall, British Summer Time Hyde Park and Mad Cool Festival, among others.

As the Emma Banks-hosted ceremony draws ever closer, IQ chats to some previous winners to find out what receiving an Arthur meant to them and to discover their biggest hopes and dreams for the future.

Up next is Nara Pinto, head of booking at Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival, last year’s winner of the Arthurs’ New Gig on the Block award.

 


It was great to win the New Gig on the Block award at the Arthurs 2019 – it means we are moving in the right direction as a brand new event [the inaugural Mad Cool took place in 2016]. It has not been easy – our office has put in a great deal of hard work and effort.

Speaking as a promoter, I think most of us enjoy going to ILMC as a get together with people, professionals and colleagues. We work together all year round, but we do not get to see each other or hang out with each other all that often. We live in different countries –  there were around 60 nationalities represented last year –  and despite our close relationship with agents, managers and other promoters, we don’t usually get the chance to meet in a relaxed environment. ILMC allows this, big time. Then, of course, there’s the valuable business and networking side to the conference as well.

We will keep delivering the acts and curating our line-up as best as we possibly can, but the overall experience is crucial

For Mad Cool, the future means improving the experience for the festivalgoer, which is something I talked about as part of the Festival Forum: Fan First? panel at ILMC last year. We will keep delivering the acts and curating our line-up as best as we possibly can – Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, the Killers,  and Twenty One Pilots are among acts on our 2020 line-up, but the overall experience is crucial.

It’s hard to say what’s going to happen with the festival industry going forward. There is a level of uncertainty at the moment that we have not seen before. I do hope we’ll find a way to go around difficulties and continue to strengthen the festival scene, but there are many important goals we need to achieve collectively first.

Personally, I really want to see things like parity, inclusiveness and sustainability become a reality in the near future.

 


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Spain’s APM launches new festival arm

Spain’s Association of Music Promoters (APM) is launching APM Festivals, a new division consisting of 80 festival from across Spain.

The association will present its new division today (22 January) at Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur), which is taking place at exhibition centre Ifema, at 4 p.m. local time.

APM spokesperson Carol Rodriguez, who is responsible for the festival division, will announce the objectives and demands of the new division, and name the participating festivals.

The Spanish live music industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with APM recording five consecutive years of growth since 2014.

Major Spanish festivals include Primavera Sound, which reported record ticket sales for its 2020 edition; Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival; Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, which was last year acquired by the Music Republic, promoter of festivals Arenal Sound and Viña Rock; Bilbao BBK Live and Superstruct-backed Sónar Festival.

Photo: (CC BY 2.0)

 


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Festival Fever: how summer 2020 is shaping up

The 2020 festival season, and the long nights, sunny days and happy times that come with it, may seem an age away as winter proper sets in for many across Europe. However, as the festival booking window moves ever earlier and line-up announcements come in thick and fast, there’s no better time to take a look at the top talent gracing the stages of major festivals next year.

Positivity characterised the reports from festival chiefs IQ spoke to at the end of the 2019 season, despite some having expressed concerns around the lack of talent on tour.

Full 2019 festival analysis will appear in the the European Festival Report in the end-of-year issue of IQ Magazine, providing an in-depth look at capacity and attendance, ticketing and pricing, VIP sales, challenges and concerns, new technology and much more.

Right now, however, we turn our focus to the 2020 season. Over the coming weeks, IQ will post regular updates of the line-ups that have already been revealed.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at what our first round of festival bookers have in store for us over the summer to come…

 


British Summer Time Hyde Park

When: 3 to 12 July
Where: Hyde Park, London, UK
How many: 70,000

AEG’s British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park has announced Little Mix as the first of six headline acts. The girl group will play on the opening Saturday (4 July) of the 2020 concert series. Taking place across two weekends, BST last year saw performances from Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Robbie Williams and Barbra Streisand.

BST, this year sponsored by American Express, was founded in 2013, after AEG signed a contract with the Royal Parks, the body that manages Hyde Park.

Elsewhere in London, AEG’s three-year-old All Points East has made its first line-up reveal in the form of Australian psych-pop titans Tame Impala.

Tickets for Little Mix at BST Hyde Park go on sale on Thursday 28 November at 9 a.m. (GMT). Tickets for Tame Impala at All Points East are available here, for £65.

AEG’s BST Hyde Park has announced Little Mix as the first of six headline acts

Download

When: 12 to 14 June
Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire, England
How many: 110,000

Festival Republic’s Download festival is embarking on its 18th year in 2020, with headline acts Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down playing alongside Deftones, Gojira, Korn, the Offspring and Baby Metal.

Download’s popularity in the UK has led to an extension of the brand, with sister events spawning over the years in Australia, Japan, France and Spain. The rock festival has also been praised for its efforts around accessibility, sustainability and inclusivity.

Tickets for Download 2020 are available here. Weekend camping costs £250, with the non-camping option priced at £216.

Download embarks on its 18th year in 2020, with headline acts Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down

Hurricane/Southside

When: 19 to 21 June
Where: Eichenring in Scheeßel/Gewerbepark in Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany
How many: 68,000/60,000

FKP Scorpio’s twin festivals, Hurricane and Southside, contributed to the German promoter’s best-ever weekend last year. The 2020 editions of the festivals see recently announced acts the Killers and Rise Against join a bill also featuring Martin Garrix, the Lumineers, Twenty One Pilots, the 1975, Kings of Leon, Seeed and Bring Me the Horizon.

Stephan Thanscheidt, CEO and head of festival booking at FKP Scorpio, recently lauded the diversity of the Scorpio festival portfolio, which includes “intimate indoor festivals” as well as multi-day open air affairs like Hurricane and Southside.

Tickets for Hurricane/Southside 2020 are available here, priced at €189 (£161) for three days. The price will go up to €199 (£170) at 12 p.m. (CET) on 2 December, when a limited number of €99 (£85) day tickets will be released.

The 2020 editions of the festivals see recently announced acts the Killers and Rise Against

Mad Cool

When: 8 to 11 July
Where: Espacio Mad Cool, Madrid, Spain
How many: 60,000

Changes are afoot as Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival enters its fifth year, with a 25% reduction in capacity and extra day of programming. Already confirmed acts for the extended 2020 event include Taylor Swift, the Killers, Kings of Leon, Faith No More, Billie Eilish, Twenty One Pilots, Foals and Anderson Paak.

“Our promise to the music world and the audience is this,” state organisers, “that Mad Cool 2020 will be better quality, more exciting, more spectacular, more memorable, safe, comfortable and sustainable than ever before.”

Tickets for Mad Cool 2020 will be available on 1 December at 12 p.m. (CET). A one-day festival ticket costs €65 (£56), with a four-day pass priced at €159 (£136).

Already confirmed acts for the extended 2020 event include Taylor Swift, the Killers, Kings of Leon and Billie Eilish

Provinssi

When: 25 to 27 June
Where: Törnävänsaari, Seinäjoki, Finland
How many: 32,000

Founded in 1979, Fullsteam Agency’s Provinssi festival counts System of a Down, the Chemical Brothers, Hassisen Kone, Korn, Gojira, Deftones, Charli XCX and Hatari among its 2020 acts.

Provinssi recorded its second-highest attendance in history (76,000) at it 40th anniversary event in 2018, contributing to a record-breaking summer for Fullsteam in 2018, which forms part of the FKP Scorpio group.

Earl bird tickets are now available, with one-day passes costing €89 (£76) and a three-day ticket priced at €149 (£127).

Fullsteam Agency’s Provinssi festival counts System of a Down, the Chemical Brothers and Korn among its 2020 acts

Roskilde Festival

When: 27 June to 4 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
How many: 85,000

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, non-profit Roskilde festival has announced a handful of acts so far including Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Pusha T, Mura Masa and Whitney.

Speaking to IQ following a “fantastic” 2019 edition, Roskilde chief executive Signe Lopdrup stressed the importance of having a future-facing attitude as the anniversary event draws near, stating that, “one of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before.”

Tickets for the full eight-day festival experience plus camping are available here for DDK2250 (£257).

Roskilde festival has announced a handful of acts so far including Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke and Pusha T

Transmt

When: 10 to 12 July
Where: Glasgow Green, Glasgow, Scotland
How many: 50,000

The fourth edition of DF Concerts’ city-centre festival Trnsmt will see headline performances from Courteeners, Liam Gallagher and Lewis Capaldi.

Ian Brown, Sam Fender, Foals, Keane, Snow Patrol and Rita Ora are also on the bill for the 2020 festival, following a sell-out third year in which the event became “an established part of Glasgow’s cultural calendar”, according to festival director Geoff Ellis.

“The response that we’ve had to Trnsmt since we launched in 2017 is amazing to see,” comments Ellis.

“The fact that it has become such a pillar of the UK festival scene every year is testament to the incredible music fans that we have here in this country.”

Tickets for Trnsmt 2020 go on sale on Friday 30 November at 9 a.m.

 


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Mad Cool reduces capacity by 20k, adds extra day

The organisers of Mad Cool festival in Madrid have reduced capacity, increased stage numbers and added an extra day to make the 2020 edition “more comfortable and pleasant”.

The fifth outing of Live Nation’s Mad Cool will have a capacity of 60,000, a 25% decrease from the year before. For the first time in 2020, the festival will run for four days, from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 July.

Since launching in 2016, Mad Cool has grown rapidly from a starting capacity of 45,000 to 80,000 last year. The festival moved to its current home, which can accommodate 35,000 people per day, in 2018. This “massive growth” has led to some “incidents” in past editions, festival director Javier Arnáiz told IQ in a post-season reflection.

In another bid to tackle overcrowding, the festival will have an additional stage next year – bringing the total number to seven.

“The five-year mark signifies a massive challenge for a festival that always wants to be better and learn from its mistakes”

More space will be also dedicated to rest and relaxation, with a “larger and more varied” food offering.

“We are satisfied to have arrived to where we are with a committed team, top-class artists and, above all, a dedicated audience,” say organisers in a statement. “However, the five-year mark also signifies a massive challenge for a festival that always wants to be better and learn from its mistakes.”

Last year was “tough” for Mad Cool and other festivals across Europe, according to Arnáiz. Sales were lower than usual, which was due to a “lack of headliners” and the strength of previous billings.

“We have to continually work to improve the experience of our audience”, Arnáiz told IQ.

Line-up and ticket information for Mad Cool 2020 will be available in due course.

 


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