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New promoter SMS Event Production plans UK festival

New UK promoter SMS Event Production has announced the inaugural edition of Wide Skies & Butterflies, to take place next summer.

The brand new festival is to be held at Raynham Estate in Norfolk, UK, with a daily capacity of 12,500.

The two-stage festival will run from 5–7 August with live music on the main stage and a mix of comedians, drag artists and late-night DJs playing a second stage in a big top within a walled garden.

The event is being launched by SMS co-founders and directors Samira Williams, Mark Ward and Sam Booker. Tom Branston is the event director.

Collectively, the team has worked on events such as the Isle of Wight Festival, BST Hyde Park and tours by acts including Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Coldplay.

Organisers told said that Wide Skies & Butterflies would be a family camping event with “a 90s feel”

The organisers told North Norfolk News that Wide Skies & Butterflies would be a family camping event with “a 90s feel” as far as the musical program is concerned, which will be a mix of local and international artists. UK bands Cast, Levellers and Toploader have so far been confirmed.

SMS Event Production has signed a five-year agreement with ticketing services provider Event Genius that will see it become the festival’s sole ticketing, travel, access control and payments partner.

Booker says: “Starting a festival from scratch gives us a clean slate to create long-standing integrated partnerships. A five-year deal with Event Genius allows us to work together to shape the entire concept of the festival so that from the moment a customer buys a ticket to leaving the festival they have the best experience possible.”

Event Genius CCO Yonas Blay says: “We’ve put a lot of time and effort into developing a fully integrated end-to-end solution for festival fans and creators, and are therefore over the moon to be chosen by such a reputable team to be a key part of their new venture.”

 


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New 18,000-capacity festival launching in Portugal

A new 18,000-capacity, multi-day festival is launching in Braga, the far north of Portugal, this winter.

The Authentica festival will take place between 10 and 11 December at indoor arena, Altice Forum Braga, with headliners Kodaline and Rag’n’Bone Man.

The festival will feature four stages and will open between 4:30 pm and 3 am each day.

“This festival is a dream of about two years of enormous planning and dedication of a hard-working team,” says the general director of Malpevent, Marco Poland, promoter of Authentica.

“Even with enormous challenges over the last few years, we heard the public that yearned for a great winter festival, to bring families and young people together again around excellent music.”

“The objective of Authentica is to place Braga on the map of the best and biggest music festivals in the world,” Poland concludes.

Malpevent believes that Authentica will be the only big festival to take place in 2021 in Portugal.

“The objective is to place Braga on the map of the best and biggest music festivals in the world”

Major Portuguese festivals including Nos Alive, NOS Primavera Sound Porto, Paredes de Coura, Super Bock Super Rock, EDP Vilar de Mouros were called off this year due to ongoing restrictions.

Under the current restrictions, cultural events can go ahead with up to 75% of a venue’s capacity, up from 50%.

The rules have been in effect since 20 August when the government decided to loosen restrictions two weeks earlier than planned, as its vaccination campaign moved ‘faster than anticipated’.

The government says the restrictions on cultural events will be lifted when 85% of the population is fully vaccinated.

As of yesterday (7 September), over 76% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Authentica stakeholders say they have no doubt the festival will go ahead in December.

Tickets are already on sale at prices ranging from €45 euros for a day pass to €150 for a general VIP pass.

James Bay, De La Soul, Dino D’Santiago, Zara Larsson and Nothing But Thieves are among the other acts on the poster. See the full line-up below.

 


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Rock in Rio founder plans new 105,000-cap festival

Roberto Medina, founder of the largest festival in South America, Rock in Rio, has announced a new event which is set to be “the biggest music, culture and art festival Sāo Paulo, Brazil, has ever seen”.

The inaugural edition of The Town will take place in September 2023, welcoming up to 105,000 people per day to the Interlagos race track in Sāo Paulo – the largest city in Latin America.

The event will involve “lots of music, lots of stages and lots of entertainment, with national and international attractions during the five days of celebration,” according to Medina.

“I love Brazil intensely,” says Medina. “And, just like Rock in Rio, The Town was born from this passion for our land, from the amplification of looking at new opportunities and from the desire that the pandemic brought me in these months of confinement to bring something new.

“It will be surprising. The entire concept was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo, in addition to being ready to host an event of this magnitude.”

“The entire concept [of The Town] was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo”

From next year, Brazil will host Rock in Rio (cap. 100,000) in even years and now The Town in odd years.

The Brazilian edition of Rock in Rio will be held between 2–4 and 8–11 September 2022 at the Olympic Park in Rio De Janeiro, and will be headlined by Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.

The Lisbon-based edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 80,000) will also take place next year (18–19 and 25–26 June), with Foo Fighters, The National, Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, a-ha, Xutos & Pontapés, Bush and Post Malone all confirmed.

The Brazil and Lisbon editions of Rock in Rio were called off in 2021 and 2020.

Rock in Rio is majority-owned by Live Nation after the entertainment giant increased its shareholding in the company, in 2019.

 


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Sónar announces Portuguese debut for 2022

Sónar has announced the launch of a brand new festival in Lisbon next year, marking the iconic brand’s Portuguese debut.

Sónar Lisboa 2022 will take place between 8–10 April next year and, in line with the brand’s flagship festival in Barcelona and its international offshoots, will celebrate “forward-thinking electronic music, creativity and technology”.

Like its other global counterparts, Sónar Lisboa will be split into Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night programming, held in several venues across the capital city including Parque Docas de Santos, Creative Hub Beato, Lisbon Congress Centre and more.

Sónar Lisboa 2022 will be held in several venues including Parque Docas de Santos, Creative Hub Beato and Lisbon Congress Centre

The lineup is yet to be announced but first-release tickets are on sale now, starting from £103.

The brand’s marquee festival Sónar Barcelona, which is majority-owned by Superstruct parent Providence Equity Partners, was called off earlier this year.

In lieu of the flagship festival, the brand has announced two new in-person festivals for Barcelona in autumn 2021, the AI and Music Festival and SónarCCCB.

The festival brand also has offshoots in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Reykjavik and Istanbul.

 


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Summer Sounds reveals Covid-safe ‘party pods’

The organisers behind Australia’s new festival series, Secret Sounds, have revealed the Covid-safe ‘party pods’ that are designed to keep attendees socially distanced during the events.

The festival – which is organised by Secret Sounds, the Live Nation-promoter behind Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival  – will kick off tomorrow (8 January) in Adelaide’s Bonython Park and will run until 31 January.

The format of the event will utilise ‘party pods’ which event director Daniel Michael has said are based on the socially distanced viewing platforms in the Virgin Money Unity Arena in the UK, which was built in the summer.

Tickets for Summer Sounds are being sold in groups of four or six and each party will have to stay within their pod for the duration of the concert, apart from going to buy food or go the toilet. Attendees will be allowed to eat, drink and dance within their pod.

Organisers say that the 10,000-square-metre site will accommodate up to 2,000 fans each night

Attendees are given a 15-minute window in which to arrive to avoid queues forming, and will be issued a wristband with their pod number, so every person at the event will be traceable.

Organisers say that the 10,000-square-metre site will accommodate up to 2,000 fans each night.

Summer Sounds was originally set to start on 30 December but was delayed until 8 January because of travel restrictions between New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA), in response to Sydney’s coronavirus outbreaks.

 

 

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A post shared by Summer Sounds Festival (@summersoundsfestivalaus)

Due to the postponement of the event, organisers were forced to make amendments to the line-up.

Rapper Allday and pop-punk duo Towns will replace Jack River and Mercy, Merci for the 8 January show, while Tilly Tjala Thomas has been added to the 9 January lineup with Bernard Fanning and Something for Kate.

Fanning, a headline act, has been granted an SA Health exemption to travel from Byron Bay for the festival, as SA currently has a hard border closure with NSW.

Other artists performing through the series include Mallrat, Ruel, Cub Sport, Lime Cordiale, Baker Boy, The Chats, Spacey Jane and Ball Park Music.

 


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Alda, Insomniac launch Romanian festival Saga

Leading dance music promoters Insomniac and Alda have announced the launch of a new three-day festival in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

Saga Festival, billed as the first major music festival in Bucharest, will take place from 5 to 7 June 2020 and promises performances from more than 150 artists over three stages.

Alda and Insomniac, based in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, respectively, have been partners since October 2018, when majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac acquired a 50% stake in Alda.

Insomniac has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including Electric Daisy Carnivals in North America, Japan, China and Mexico, and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running dance music event. Alda, meanwhile, is behind events including A State of Trance in Utrecht, New Horizons in Germany (a JV with CTS Eventim) and Amsterdam Music Festival, the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival.

According to the partners, Saga marks “a new beginning for the eastern European festival scene” and “a landmark moment for the people of Bucharest, serving as the city’s first-ever major music festival of such impressive scale”.

The festival additionally promises an “immersive storytelling experience” alongside the over 350 shows.

https://www.facebook.com/ALDANetherlands/videos/720684698422911/

 

Tickets for Saga go on sale this Friday (6 December), priced from 99 lei (€21).

 


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Inaugural Grandoozy festival attracts 55,000

The inaugural edition of Colarado’s Grandoozy Festival “exceeded expectations” according to organisers Superfly, with the new late season event attracting 55,000 across the weekend to Overland Park in Denver.

Headlined by Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar and Florence + the Machine, the 14-16 September event marked the first festival to take place in the city since the permanent hiatus of Mile High Music Festival in 2011. Alongside the line up, organisers say they celebrated the city itself, with local bands, food and drink all featuring prominently.

“It was a fantastic weekend, our ops, creative, production and booking teams all nailed it,” says Grandoozy’s executive producer David Ehrlich. He continues: “I was Rick Farman’s [Superfly co-founder] chauffeur for a few years. I got to know him really well and we looked at a ton of sites together [for the festival].”

“It was a fantastic weekend, our ops, creative, production and booking teams all nailed it”

According to Ehrlich, planning for the festival started four years ago, with local authorities initially opposed. “We were very reluctant at first,” explains Fred Weiss, director of finance for Denver’s Parks and Recreation department. In a bid to change minds, Weiss and a colleague were invited to Superfly’s Outside Lands in San Francisco. “Going to Outside Lands was incredibly useful,” Weiss adds. “We were able to relay our experience in seeing how professional Superfly are and how well they work with the city.”

Whilst the event largely received praise all-round, Superfly co-founder Jonathan Mayer was quick to admit some lessons would be learnt from the first edition. In particular, many festivalgoers found fault with the event’s transportation plans, with one local news outlet calling the unorganised ride sharing system implemented on Friday “a major buzz-killer”. Mayer reflects, “That’s the reality of our business – you do a lot of planning, you do a lot of coordination with different officials, and then you do [the event] and everyone learns how to do things better.”

 


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Stereosonic organisers announce new FestivalX

Stereosonic organisers, Hardware and Onelove, have teamed up with Live Nation to create a new dance and hip-hop music festival. The event, FestivalX, will hit four Australasian cities in November and December later this year.

“FestivalX is going to showcase the best local and international talent while bringing fans a new festival experience,” comments Roger Field, CEO of Live Nation Australasia. “It’s going to be huge, and it’s going to be the pre-summer party fans have been waiting for.”

The festival will mark the start of the summer festival season in the southern hemisphere, a slot that up until 2016 was occupied by Stereosonic itself. Now, the team behind the festival are billing their new event as a “reliable, value for money musical experience,” with the hope it will attract 40,000 fans across its four dates.

“We’ve been working on this for while now and the time is right”

“We’ve been working on this for while now and the time is right,” Hardware’s Richie McNeill explains. In addition to a line up promising “Grammy, Billboard and ARIA Award winners,” McNeill says FestivalX has enlisted “stage designers and builders responsible for some of the most spectacular looking stage designs at Electric Daisy Carnival and ID&T.”

FestivalX represents the first collaboration with a multinational since Totem Onelove Group, owned by the now-defunct SFX Entertainment, was placed into bankruptcy in May 2016. As of February that year, the company was owed US$10.7 million by SFX. The new festival is organised by Onelove Music Group, a separate entity not connected with SFX.

The new event will kick off in Auckland on 29 November, followed by dates in Brisbane (30 November), Sydney (1 December) and Melbourne (2 December). Tickets and line up information will be released later on this year.

 


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Rock in Rio Germany to bring the carnival to Dusseldorf?

German event management company Production Office has applied to stage the first Rock in Rio Germany next year, according to local media.

Production Office has written to the city’s lord mayor, Thomas Geisel, to ask permission to hold a Rock in Rio ‘mega-event’ in the new D.LIVE Open Air Park in August 2019, according to the Westfälische RundschauRock in Rio was acquired by Live Nation – which has also produced domestic German editions of several of its other festival franchises, including Lollapalooza and Wireless – in May.

However, Production Office/Live Nation are likely to face stiff opposition from Dusseldorf city councillors, who recently succeeded in forcing the relocation of a planned open-air show by Ed Sheeran in the city over environmental concerns.

To the “amazement” and “boundless disappointment” of promoter FKP Scorpio, city officials from across the political spectrum, from conservative Christian Democrats to left-leaning Green and the Left party members, declared the concert at D.LIVE – which would have necessitated the chopping down of 104 trees – off limits, causing FKP to relocate to the Veltins Arena stadium in Gelsenkirchen.

Even if the new festival were to be greenlit, Michael Brill, the CEO of D.LIVE, is doubtful whether organisers could meet the August 2019 deadline, reports the Rundschau.

The festival is likely to face stiff opposition from Dusseldorf city councillors, who recently forced the relocation of a planned open-air show by Ed Sheeran

“Due to the presumed duration of the [approval] process, it is unlikely that it [the venue] will be available before summer 2020,” he says.

Opponents of the Sheeran show are also digging in their heels, with local Left leader Angelika Kraft-Dlangamandla confirming her party is still against any events that would lead to tree felling. While Production Office has reportedly offered to plant new trees, and assured the mayor all its events are “carbon neutral and sustainable”, “small trees do not” offset the damage caused by uprooting larger ones, according to Kraft-Dlangamandla.

Should it be approved, Rock in Rio Germany would take place in 2019, 2021 and 2023, alternating with Rock in Rio Lisbon, according to the application.

In addition to Rock in Rio Lisbon and its flagship event in Rio de Janeiro and, promoter Rock City formerly operated sister festivals in Spain and Las Vegas.

At press time, Live Nation had not responded to a request for comment.

 


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Entertee launches new UK Americana fest, Black Deer

UK event production outfit Entertee Events has announced the launch of Black Deer, a new “celebration of all things Americana and country” set to debut at Eridge Park, near Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex, this June.

Headliners for the new event, set to take place from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 June, are Iron & Wine, Passenger and Jason Isbell and his band the 400 Unit, with Ward Thomas, Eric Bibb and John Moreland also on the bill and more to be announced soon.

Complementing the music line-up will be “an array of authentic Americana-style meats, smokey whiskeys, bespoke custom bike showcases [and] storytellings from cultural pioneers”, say promoters, bringing “an authentic, roots-style line up to the UK”.

Kent-based Entertree is co-founded by Gill Tee, who was festival director for Vince Power’s Hop Farm and also produced four editions of Party in the Park for Capital Radio. She says, “having been in the music industry for many years, producing events for other people”, she is “proud to finally take a giant step to having a festival of my own”.

“That’s what Black Deer is all about – bringing passionate, like-minded people together through authentic good times”

“Set in a beautiful part of the world that I know and love, with a genre of music that holds so many memories for me, is really exciting, as well as extremely challenging,” she comments. “I hope that Black Deer can bring to a wider audience all the love and warmth that I feel about about our festival. All the characters who make up our wider team have the same ethos. We are all working together to ensure that anyone who steps foot into the world of Black Deer will want to come back for many years in the future.”

Deborah Shilling, Black Deer co-promoter and Entertee’s other co-founder, adds: “Black Deer is the coming together of all the things I love and value in life. Things that all have one thing in common: authenticity. From real Americana and country music to honest, wholesome food and drink and the raw beauty of the great outdoors, where the experience of being a mum to two young boys has allowed me to be part of designing a natural playground full of family fun and adventure.

“But more [than that], I love that feeling of being part of a community. And that’s what Black Deer is all about for me – bringing passionate, like-minded people together through authentic good times.”

Adult weekend tickets, priced at £115 (tier one), are on sale now from blackdeerfestival.com.

 


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