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UK festival Boardmasters granted capacity increase

UK festival Boardmasters is set to increase its capacity to 58,000 this year after its licensing application was partially accepted.

The Cornwall Council approved the Newquay-based festival’s capacity rise by 5,000 to 2026 following an extensive hearing with the licensing committee.

“Thank you to Cornwall Council, the residents who took time to provide their valuable feedback and to all of the relevant parties who have supported us on this journey,” says festival founder Andrew Topham.

But the capacity for the music and surf festival will remain at 58,000 — including staff, performers and non-ticket holders — through 2026 after council members voted to curtail further capacity increases.

The Superstruct-backed event’s initial planning application proposed increases up to 66,000 by 2026, which sparked concerns over traffic congestion and public safety.

“I certainly appreciate the economic impact that this event does bring to the county, but I have to look at safety”

“Is there any point in increasing the numbers until we know that these new plans will work?” asked local councillor Joanna Kenny.

The annual event has perennially expanded, hosting 14,000 attendees in 2014, with Topham telling the committee the team has continuously “invested into the safety and infrastructure of the festival”.

“We want to add more and more layers of security, traffic management and anything that enhances the festival operation but to do that ultimately means more capacity,” Topham says.

In 2022, the five-day event, headlined by George Ezra, Disclosure, and Kings Of Leon, brought in £40 million (€46m) into the local economy.

“I support any business that wants to expand as long as it’s done at the right time and in a safe way. I certainly appreciate the economic impact that this event does bring to the county, but from my perspective, I cannot focus on that — I have to look at safety,” says Ann Marie Jameson, council health and safety officer.

The 2024 edition is set for 7-11 August 2024, with Stormzy, Sam Fender, and Chase & Status topping the bill. Courteeners, Overmono, Royel Otis, Kate Nash, Holly Humberstone, Wunderhorse, Hedex, and Ewan McVicar add to this year’s lineup.

 


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South Africa to host ‘biggest country fest outside US’

A new two-day country music festival is coming to South Africa this autumn, in what organisers are calling one of the genre’s largest events outside of the US.

The inaugural Cape Town Country Music Festival is set for 26-27 October at the 60,000-capacity DHL Stadium. Since its first show in 2011, the stadium has hosted international acts including U2, Rihanna, Foo Fighters, and Justin Bieber.

American artists Kip Moore and the Zac Brown Band will lead the programme, with an array of local and international artists set to perform across the two days. US country stars Darius Rucker, the Brothers Osborne, and others will join the lineup, in addition to 10 South African artists.

The festival builds on recent success for country music in the African country, with Moore selling 44,000 tickets across three shows last spring in Cape Town and Pretoria.

“The door is now wide open for the entire country music genre”

“When we went to SA for the first time last year, the surprising part was it felt like a grassroots fan base that had been with us all along. There was a spark in that audience that I’ve been itching to light again,” Moore says.

Local DJ and Heroes Events producer Wimpie van der Sandt, who helped bring Moore to Africa in 2023, is producing the festival. The founder of Afrikaans-broadcasting BOK Radio made history last year as the first South African to receive a Country Music Association award nomination in the international country broadcaster category.

“The success we had last year with Kip Moore in South Africa proved there’s a vibrant and healthy country music scene over here. People in the music industry were sceptical when we explored the market, but we proved the concept and that gave us confidence to build the biggest country festival in the world outside the US,” van der Sandt says.

One of Moore’s managers, Gaines Sturdivant of Red Light Management, will serve as an executive consultant.

“Wimpie and I dreamt up this idea together on a napkin after watching Kip’s jaw-dropping success in South Africa last year. I am incredibly proud of the new ground Kip has plowed for country music and music in general.”

“CTC ’24 is the next iteration, and the door is now wide open for the entire country music genre,” Sturdivant says.

Tickets for the October event go on sale tomorrow, 16 February.

 


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Head in the Clouds festival exported to NY

Head in the Clouds festival will debut in New York this spring, following successful editions in Los Angeles, Jakarta and Manila.

NIKI, Rich Brian, ITZY, beabadoobee, DPR Live & DPR Ian, MILLI and XG will perform at the two-day event, led by Asian-American music powerhouse 88rising.

The East Coast festival will be produced alongside frequent 88rising collaborator and Southern California promoter Goldenvoice (Coachella, Stagecoach), as well as new partner The Bowery Presents.

The East Coast festival will be produced alongside Goldenvoice and The Bowery Presents

Head in the Clouds NY will take over Forest Hills Stadium in Queens between 20–21 May during, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

This marks the first time the festival has branched out to a new market in North America following a successful run in Los Angeles (2018-19, 2021-22) and 2022 festivals in Jakarta and Manila.

The inaugural NY event also represents a homecoming for 88rising, which was founded in New York City back in 2015.

Masiwei, Atarashii Gakko!, P-Lo, Raveena, Warren Hue and more will also perform at the event.

 


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SteppinOut plans India’s biggest music festival

Experience curator SteppinOut has planned what it’s touting as the biggest festival in India in 2022.

Grammy Award-nominated DJ Steve Aoki heads up a bill of 50+ artists booked to perform across five stages at the 50,000-capacity event in Bangalore.

SteppinOut Music Festival will also feature performances from domestic and international artists such as Harrdy Sandhu, Offset, Solomun, TroyBoi, Divine, Anuv Jain Jasleen Royal and Lucky Ali.

Blot!, Sickflip, Kayan Live, Divine and Aswekeepsearching are also billed to perform at the festival.

The event is slated to take place on 10 and 11 December at Embassy International Riding School, and will be hosted by Indian DJ Nikhil Chinapa and Indian actor Rannvijay Singha.

“This music festival is going to be our crowning jewel”

“We are thrilled to be able to do this for our loyal customers who flock to all SteppinOut events, we love to give our patrons the opportunity to come together with their friends and loved ones to enjoy a nice day out,” says founder Safdhar Adoor.

“We are constantly evolving with extremely successful events ranging from sneaker fests to our signature flea markets. This music festival is going to be our crowning jewel. We cannot wait for people to come together and enjoy the music they love so much and get a chance to see their favourite artists live. This will definitely be the first of many!”

SteppinOut hosts around 20 events a month, ranging from night markets to concerts to comedy nights.

In August 2020, the company was acquired by India’s largest dining-out platform, DineOut. It was then acquired by Swiggy, the delivery aggregator giant, in July 2022.

 


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Thousands attend major music festival in Wuhan

Wuhan, the Chinese city in which the global pandemic began, hosted a major music festival last Saturday (15 August) that was attended by thousands of people.

HOHA Water Electrical Musical Festival took place at Maya Water Park and was packed out with festival-goers watching performances from artists including Akini Jing, GAI, and Tizzy T from swimming pools.

According to a local media report, the water park was operating at 50 per cent but images show attendees shoulder-to-shoulder without face masks or social distancing.

The festival comes after Wuhan’s 76-day lockdown was lifted in April

The festival comes after Wuhan’s 76-day lockdown was lifted in April, leading to a slow reopening of businesses and attractions in June and July.

Authorities say there have been no domestically transmitted cases in Wuhan or Hubei province since mid-May.

In an effort to boost the economy, the Hubei government has been offering discounted entry to 400 tourist sites throughout the province. Wuhan Maya Beach Water Park is one venue that has encouraged visitors, as it offers half-price entry for female tourists.

Wuhan’s water park music festival is the latest pioneering format since indoor shows around the world were restricted due to coronavirus – from deck chair concerts in Germany to tuk-tuk drive-ins in Thailand to bike-in concerts in Italy and a float-in music festival in Latvia.

 


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