Spend, no-shows and demand all up in UK, say promoters
Leading promoters in the UK live industry say they’re experiencing mixed fortunes following the full reopening in England on 19 July.
As the sector launches into recovery mode, executives are reporting high levels of pent-up demand for many shows.
Denis Desmond, chairman of Live Nation UK and Ireland, says: “Artists, promoters, production and marketing teams are champing at the bit and ready to meet the demands.
“Thankfully our festivals happened, and we were very pleased with sales which proves that the demand for live music is still going strong. Now we’re moving into touring season and we have a busy schedule lined up for the rest of the year and into 2022.”
As the live sector prepares for what looks to be its busiest year ever from 1 January, promoters say the UK’s next challenge will be keeping up with demand given that much of the supply chain has yet to recover.
“We’ve got 18 months of touring coming up across the UK and all of the suppliers are going to be hugely stretched,” says Richard Buck, CEO of TEG MJR, the UK subsidiary of Sydney-based live entertainment and ticketing firm TEG.
“Artists, promoters, production and marketing teams are champing at the bit and ready to meet the demands”
Desmond agrees, adding: “Going forward there are still challenges including issues with the supply chain and many talented specialists have been forced to leave the sector, plus there remain complexities for touring in Europe post-Brexit.”
And as an autumn period of touring kicks off, the ongoing spectre of Covid-19 is a continued source of uncertainty for promoters who say the rate of no-shows at concerts is far higher than usual.
Buck reports “anywhere up to 50% no-shows, especially on postponed shows. It’s a little less if the show is taking place closer to the time when it was announced but at sell-out shows, there has been significant no-attendance”.
Buck believes the no-shows are down to an “amalgamation of low confidence, forgotten tickets and isolating” and predicts three to six months for the levels of attendance to go back to what they were pre-pandemic.
UK-based promoter and venue operator DHP Family is also experiencing high rates of no-shows and says it’s increasingly hard to predict attendance post-Freedom Day.
“[Attendance] varies by artist and how many times the show has been rescheduled etc,” says DHP’s director of live, Anton Lockwood.
“[There has been] anywhere up to 50% no-shows, especially on postponed shows”
“We’ve seen 20–30% on bigger shows. Typically smaller shows are less predictable; it can be 100% attendance or, if it’s the kind of show where the artist has been relying on their friends and family to turn up, it can be up to 75%. It’s all over the place.”
While refund requests are reportedly very low, most events are currently offering a refund to ticket holders who can’t attend due to a Covid-related illness on a discretionary basis.
“If it’s a rescheduled show, you’re entitled to a refund, the end,” says DHP’s Lockwood. “But there’s a debate about if you’ve got Covid, whether you’re entitled to a refund or we should just give a refund out of kindness.”
Fortunately, DHP has also not seen huge numbers of refund requests so far: “It’s not caused a problem but it is a worry because if you settle the show with the artist and then some of the refunds come in, you’ve got a problem.”
Buck says TEG MJR is being “lenient” when it comes to refunds but they are dealing with it on a case-by-case basis.
“We’re being a lot more liberal with refunds because we want people to buy in confidence when the market opens which is a slight double-edged sword,” he explains.
“2022 and 2023 sales have been disproportionately strong… probably 20-25% up on forecast”
“Previously, if you had a sold-out show it was sold out. Now, it’s a lot more difficult to settle on the other side because you’ve got refunds post-event,” Buck concludes.
But while Covid continues to cause operational complexities, Buck says the increase in spend-per-head at concerts is “dramatically up” versus pre-Covid and ticket sales for new shows have soared.
“2022 and 2023 sales have been disproportionately strong,” he says, “Probably 20-25% up on forecast.”
And with the threat of last-minute venue closures due to staff being ‘pinged’ (told to self-isolate by the NHS app) or contracting the disease, alongside similar worries with touring parties, many say recovery feels like a gradual process.
“We don’t know whether the shows are going to happen or not, whether the artist is going to be able to travel or they end up catching Covid,” says Lockwood.
“People assume it is all back to normal but everything is just much harder. It’s great to be back, don’t get me wrong, but the uncertainties have ramped up.”
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Electric Picnic cancelled: “We have run out of time”
Electric Picnic 2021 has been cancelled following the local council’s refusal to grant the organisers a licence.
The Irish festival was scheduled for 24–26 September at Stradbally Hall Estate, County Laois but, at the beginning of August, the council declined to issue a permit based on “the most up-to-date public health advice”.
Electric Picnic’s promoters, Festival Republic and MCD, had previously petitioned Laois County Council to reverse its decision.
The council has since said it cannot legally revisit its previous refusal of an event licence for Electric Picnic 2021 and that statutory timelines would not allow for the processing of a new application in time for the original date.
“We would not be able to do the festival justice this close to show day”
“We have now run out of time,” the promoters wrote in a statement.
“Regrettably, we have no other choice but to cancel this year’s edition. We would not be able to do the festival justice this close to show day, and it would be unfair to ask ticket holders who’ve stood by us throughout this pandemic to come to EP and not get the full experience they are used to and deserve.”
Snow Patrol, Foals, Chemical Brothers, Rage Against The Machine, Lewis Capaldi, Skepta, James Vincent McMorrow, Denzel Curry were due to perform.
Ticketholders now have the option of obtaining a full refund or holding onto them for next year’s event, scheduled to take place from 2–4 September 2022.
A day before the festival was cancelled, the Irish government announced a new phased reopening plan which Festival Republic and MCD among others have long been calling for.
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Ireland’s live sector reacts to new reopening plan
Live music will return to Ireland for the first time in 18 months under the government’s new phased reopening plan.
In an announcement yesterday (29 August) evening, Taoiseach (prime minister of Ireland) Micheál Martin announced the government’s plan for reopening society over the coming months – including the gradual easing of restrictions on live events.
From 6 September, indoor events and mass gatherings can take place at 60% of a venue’s capacity where all patrons are immune (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within the previous six months). At live entertainment events, all attendees must be seated.
For patrons who have mixed immunity status, there will be no change to the current restrictions during September.
“Now, more than ever, we need our government to listen to our voices and support us well into 2022”
Outdoor events and mass gatherings can take place at 75% of a venue’s capacity where all patrons are immune. Where patrons have mixed immunity status, the capacity limit will be 50%, subject to measures including social distancing between groups and face masks.
The next phase of Ireland’s reopening will start on 22 October, when the government will effectively end all restrictions including:
- Requirements for physical distancing.
- Requirements for mask-wearing outdoors and in indoor private settings.
- Limits on numbers at indoor and outdoor events and activities.
- Certification of vaccination, immunity or testing as a prerequisite for access to, or engagement in, any activities or events (with exception of international travel).
- Restrictions on high-risk activities such as nightclubs.
This phase is contingent on Covid-19 cases remaining manageable and 90% of adults being fully vaccinated. Currently, more than 88% of the population over 18 are fully vaccinated, with almost 92% of adults (aged 18 and over) having received at least one dose.
“Imposing a limit of 60% of seated capacity will render most (standing or seated) shows inoperable”
In a statement issued yesterday evening, the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) welcomed the announcement but called for support as live music returns at reduced capacity.
“Our industry will not be fully reopened until we achieve 100% capacity,” it said. “Our industry will still display the scars of the financial hardship and mental health struggles many of us have endured and now, more than ever, we need our government to listen to our voices and support us well into 2022.
“We need that support so we can build our businesses, build our and your confidence, but most importantly, so we can build, upon our rich and proud heritage and culture, an industry that is bigger, brighter, bolder than ever before.”
Shane Dunne, promoter at MCD Concerts; board member of Epic working group; MD of Irish festival Indiependence, echoed the call for support: “It’s important that government financial support like Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) remains in place for those in our industry who have been out of work for over 550 days and that a scaffolding fund is put in place for 2022 to hold the industry upright at least equal to the funding given yearly to the funded sector here.”
“Seventy-five per cent capacity outdoors is workable but we weren’t given the notice on this that we’ve been asking for”
In regards to the capacity limits, Dunne added: “The 60% seated capacity restriction doesn’t work for our business so really we are closed until 22 October when it is planned for restrictions to be lifted. Seventy-five per cent capacity outdoors is workable but it’s a pity we weren’t given the notice on this that we’ve been asking for, for over a year – we’re swiftly running out of summer.”
Fin O’Leary, veteran promoter and co-founder of Singular Artists (a joint venture between DEAG/Kilimanjaro), told IQ: “Any movement on the relaxation of restrictions is welcomed, but imposing a limit of 60% of seated capacity will render most (standing or seated) shows inoperable, so we’re forced to move all pre-October 22 shows into 2022.”
Ireland’s minister for culture, Catherine Martin, says she will continue to lobby the government for sector-specific support.
“I am pleased that the cabinet understands the challenge our performance sector faces. I personally will ensure that this engagement continues.
“Public health is our priority and this phased approach to alleviating restrictions will take time but by continuing to listen to, and work together with, partners from the sector, we will start to repair an industry that has suffered so severely over the last 18 months. While today’s announcement is a milestone in our recovery, the government knows that Ireland’s art and culture sector needs support to help it thrive once more.”
Ireland’s MCD: “We are angry and disappointed”
MCD Productions boss Denis Desmond says the Republic of Ireland’s live sector is “frustrated, disappointed and angry,” by the prolonged shutdown of the industry.
Industry representatives held a two-hour meeting with ROI’s minister for arts yesterday (18 August) but still, no date was set for the return of live concerts and cultural events.
“There are 35,000 people who are employed in the sector who haven’t worked in 525 days and it’s terrible,” Desmond tells IQ. “It’s very hard on people who have families and mortgages to pay. The government support is a small amount of money. A lot of people are struggling – not only financially but mentally.”
In comparison, the UK’s live industry has been fully open for a month and Scotland lifted most restrictions on 9 August.
Festival Republic director Melvin Benn told RTÉ’s News at One that the failure to allow live music events to return, including Electric Picnic (co-promoted with MCD), is “unnecessary and wrong,” given Ireland’s high vaccination rate.
He went on to say that Ireland’s situation contrasted with “political leadership” in other countries, including the UK. “It isn’t a different virus [in Ireland].”
“What we really need is a full reopening and a government-backed insurance scheme, similar to the UK”
The promoters’ comments come after their event, Electric Picnic, was denied a licence by the local council on the grounds of the current restrictions.
“We’re still looking at the options and we have written to the government asking why they made the decision. We’ve been assured that we’ll get an answer by next Monday so we’ll wait until we get a reply to review what happens next,” says Desmond.
The government has also promised a roadmap for reopening by the end of next week but it won’t be a silver bullet for the industry, says the MCD boss.
“What we really need is a full reopening and a government-backed insurance scheme, similar to the UK,” he tells IQ. “The most important thing about the UK’s scheme is that the insurance package is valid for 12 months because Covid is not going away. We’ve got to learn to live with it but there needs to be support for businesses.”
Desmond believes the lack of support for Ireland’s live music industry – and other markets in Europe – is down to a lack of understanding. “The reality is, there is little understanding of the contribution this industry makes to the economy and to the wellbeing of people,” he says.
The Republic of Ireland’s perceived lack of understanding is likely exacerbated by a lack of representation in political spheres. It was recently revealed that minister for arts Catherine Martin – whose plan to reopen the sector was snubbed by government – is not yet on the cabinet committee on Covid-19.
The Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) says the lack of representation is “disastrous” for the industry.
Ireland’s Electric Picnic presses gov for reopening plan
Electric Picnic is calling on the Irish government to interrupt its summer recess and “immediately issue reopening guidelines,” after the festival was refused a licence for this year’s event.
The event, which would usually take place with 70,000 attendees per day, was scheduled to go ahead from 24–26 September at Stradbally Hall Estate, County Laois.
However, despite the organisers’ proposal to ensure that everyone attending the event would be fully vaccinated and registered in advance for contact tracing, the local council has declined to issue a permit based on “the most up-to-date public health advice”.
The council cited current government guidance in relation to “events of this nature being restricted to an attendance of 500 people only”.
“This was a very difficult decision for the council to make and I’m sure it will be disappointing to thousands of music fans and the live music industry,” says Laois County Council’s chairman, councillor Conor Bergin. “However, in the current climate, it’s the lack of certainty over Covid. We’d all love to see it go ahead but with no certainty, it’s very hard.”
The promoters, Festival Republic and MCD, described the news as a “huge blow and set back to our entire sector, which was mandated to close on the 12th March 2020 (over 500 days ago).”
The statement said that the decision means “the further loss of employment for over 3,000 people, who had clung to the hope that Electric Picnic would bring an end to their period of hardship”.
“This is a huge blow and set back to our entire sector”
“To see Scotland, a country with a similar population and virtually identical vaccine rollout and uptake as our own, only announce yesterday that they were easing restrictions and allowing events such as Trnsmt in Glasgow go ahead in September makes this decision even more difficult to accept,” it said.
It was announced yesterday that Trnsmt was granted ‘gateway event’ status by the government, exempting it from the capacity limit for outdoor events.
The three-day event will take place this September with up to 50,000 non-socially distanced fans per day.
Electric Picnic is now calling on the Irish government to reopen the live music sector “on a phased basis” from 14 August, building to the lifting of restrictions from 1 September onwards.
The organisers say they’re now “reviewing their options” and will be in contact with ticket holders over the next week.
Should Electric Picnic 2021 be cancelled, it will mark two years in a row without the festival. The festival has been staged annually since 2004.
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)
Festivals cancelled as Ireland outlaws events over 5k
The Republic of Ireland’s major summer festivals, including Longitude, All Together Now, Life Festival, Body & Soul and the new-for-2020 Sunstroke, have been called off after the Irish government confirmed there would there would be no licences issued for events over 5,000 people until the end of August.
A statement issued by the Irish prime minister (taoiseach), Leo Varadkar, says while licensing decisions in Ireland are usually reserved for local councils, local authorities “have been advised by government that event promoters should be informed that events requiring licences in excess of 5,000 will not be considered for the period up to the end of August”.
MCD Productions, which promotes Longitude (3–5 July) and Sunstroke (13–14 June), as well as Electric Picnic on 4–6 September, says while it is “obviously devastated” Longitude isn’t going ahead, “the health and safety of our fans and staff is paramount and we fully respect the government’s decision. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the frontline workers currently giving their all to keep us safe.”
Longitude’s 2020 line-up featured headliners Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Asap Rocky, along with Mabel, Young Thug, J Hus and Charli XCX.
As for Electric Picnic, MCD head Denis Desmond says: “It’s a long shot. The chances of it happening are not good.”
“The health and safety of our audience, team and performers takes total precedence at this time of global crisis”
Restrictions on major events are also in place in the Netherlands, where large events are banned until 1 September; Germany, Belgium and Denmark, where a ban is in place until 31 August; and Luxembourg and Finland, which have prohibited mass gatherings until 31 July. France, meanwhile, has given mid-July as the earliest date when events could go ahead, while Austria has identified the end of June.
The restrictions across Europe are in line with the latest European Union guidance.
“Like everyone across the world, we’ve been watching the ongoing effects that Covid-19 is having on our everyday lives,” say All Together Now (31 July–2 August) organisers Pod Concerts and Aiken Promotions, which had booked Iggy Pop, Lauryn Hill, Mura Masa, Goldfrapp and more for its third edition. “The health and safety of our audience, team and performers, plus the extended communities to which they belong, takes total precedence at this time of global crisis.
“Being ‘All Together’ has never been more poignant. While for now, we can’t be together physically, we must be together in spirit by following HSE [Health Service Executive] and government guidelines [and] supporting frontline staff, our local communities, independent businesses and artists who need our support more than ever.”
Avril Stanley, promoter and festival director of Body & Soul (19–21 June), says: “While we may not be able to gather in person this summer, we are with you in spirit. We’re not going anywhere.”
LN-Gaiety’s purchase of MCD cleared by CMA
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared the acquisition of Ireland’s MCD Productions by the UK-based Live Nation-Gaiety joint venture, after finding last month the merger does not raise competition concerns in Britain.
The UK competition watchdog referred the merger for an in-depth, ‘phase-2’ investigation, after finding the coming together of Live Nation and MCD could lessen competition in Northern Ireland.
However, the findings of the phase-2 inquiry said the opposite: that the merger is “not likely to raise competition concerns, as Live Nation would not be expected to have the incentive to harm rival music promoters by making it harder for them to sell tickets through Ticketmaster”.
“Having consulted on this provisional finding”, the CMA today (19 December) confirms the merger has been cleared.
“Having consulted on” its provisional findings, the CMA has formally cleared the merger
LN-Gaiety Holdings – a joint venture between Live Nation UK and Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments – announced last August it planned to acquire Desmond’s company MCD Productions. Cork-born Desmond succeeded John Probyn as Live Nation’s chairman in the UK and Ireland in 2015, although MCD – founded by Desmond and Eamonn McCann in 1980, and now co-owned by Desmond and his wife, Caroline Downey – remained independent of Live Nation/Gaiety.
The company is one of the big two promoters and venue operators in the Irish republic, alongside Peter Aiken’s Aiken Promotions.
The LN-MCD merger has already been cleared by the CCPC, the CMA’s counterpart in the Republic of Ireland.
Virgin Fest to debut in LA in 2020
Marking the 50 year anniversary of the Virgin brand, the inaugural Virgin Fest will take place on 6 and 7 June 2020 at the Banc of California Stadium and Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California.
Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and CEO Jason Felts confirmed the venue and date of the weekend event yesterday (11 December).
The announcement follows Felts’ September acquisition of US festival brand Kaaboo.
The LA festival will take place across multiple stages throughout the 160-acre outdoor space of Exposition Park and 22,000-capacity indoor California Stadium. The line-up is due to be announced in early 2020, along with ticket sales.
“My love of music led me to start Virgin Records nearly five decades ago. I’m thrilled that Virgin’s musical heritage lives on through Virgin Fest,” comments Branson. “We look forward to bringing Virgin’s expertise in customer experience, innovation and entertainment to our festival in Los Angeles, a place that has always been very near and dear to my heart.”
“I’m thrilled that Virgin’s musical heritage lives on through Virgin Fest”
Virgin was formerly involved with the UK’s V Festival, promoted by Live Nation, Metropolis Music, MCD Productions and SJM Concerts. The brand ended its partnership with the event in 2017.
The year after V’s end, Branson revealed plans for a US festival, “an innovative, multi-experiential” event which would focus on “music, exploration, innovation and generosity”.
Environmental initiatives also form a major part of Virgin Fest, which will include a ban on single-use plastics, a reusable cup deposit scheme and the use of renewable energy sources such as biofuels and solar power.
“With a focus purely on people and planet, I am proud to launch a first of its kind music and tech experience built upon a foundation of positivity, equality and unmatched hospitality,” says Felts.
“We hope to uplift our shared humanity by igniting a spirit of community for all, so that our fans feel welcomed, safe and free to enjoy the experience through music and forward thinking regardless of gender, race, sexual preference, religion, political party or disability.”
More information on the line-up, ticket sales and VIP offerings will be available here.
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
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.
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.