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NorthSide festival to offer plant-based food only

NorthSide promoter Down the Drain has announced that all food at the 2022 festival will be plant-based and 100% organic.

The Danish festival will take place between 2–4 June next year at its new home in Eskelund park, Aarhus.

Next year’s edition will mark a “sustainable quantum leap” for the festival, which has previously earned the A Greener Festival Award in 2014 and 2016.

“In 2014, we launched the first organic beer in collaboration with Tuborg,” lists says Brian Nielsen, festival director for NorthSide.

“In 2019, we removed disposable plastic mugs and the sale of bottled water, and in 2022, plant-based food will stand side by side with the transition to 100% green electricity.”

“We want to continue to surprise, challenge and take the lead, and serving plant-based food is a natural next step”

Nielsen continues: “We want to continue to surprise, challenge and take the lead, and serving plant-based food is a natural next step on our sustainability journey. It is the food of the future now.”

To provide all plant-based food, the festival collaborated with The Vegetarian Society of Denmark and Organic Denmark, who are behind The Plant-based Knowledge Centre.

Katrine Ejlerskov, center manager for Plant-Based Knowledge Centre, says NorthSide’s commitment sends an important signal.

“One of the most important things we can each do for the climate is to eat far more vegetables and correspondingly far fewer animal products; and if we then choose organic food at the same time, we help to ensure our clean groundwater, better animal welfare and richer biodiversity in and around the fields,” says Ejlerskov.

“NorthSide takes the lead and, with the initiative, once again takes concrete responsibility for the green transition – this time by making it clear that our eating habits are a crucial part of the solution for a more sustainable future.”

“NorthSide takes the lead and, with the initiative, once again takes concrete responsibility for the green transition”

In the run-up to the festival, NorthSide will collaborate with its stallholders to develop food “that can inspire and challenge guests’ dining experiences”.

The festival says it has opted out of meat and fish in the meals and will use a maximum of 15% cheese, eggs or mayonnaise per portion.

Northside 2022 will be the first edition to take place at Eskelunden, a greenfield that is more than twice the size of the Ådalen site.

Since launching in 2010, the festival has grown from a one-day event with domestic artists into a major three-day international event that attracts some 40,000 visitors.

Down the Drain were forced to cancel the 2020 and 2021 editions of the festival due to coronavirus related restrictions.

 


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Live Nation, Roskilde and more plan test project

A number of major players in Denmark’s live music industry are organising a test project to gather knowledge and evidence on how major events can take place safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The partners behind the project include Live Nation Denmark, Dansk Live (Denmark’s live music association) and major Danish festivals such as Roskilde, NorthSide, Tinderbox and Smukfest, as well as organisations outside of the sector.

The project, dubbed Safe 2.0, will take place in late summer and autumn with an aim to find out:

Safe 2.0, funded by the ‘Restart’ team for culture and sport, will use a similar model to the one used during a test series of football matches earlier this year.

All attendees were required to show proof of a negative antigen test in order to gain entry to the 3F Superliga competitions, organised by the Divisional Association.

“The hope was initially that we could secure knowledge that could ensure a faster reopening for the benefit of festivals”

Organisers say Safe 2.0 will implement Denmark’s vaccine passport (Coronapas) as soon as it becomes available in autumn.

“Safe was originally developed together with the Divisional Association in the autumn of 2020, but we are now at version 2.0 of the project, where the focus is on cultural activities,” says Dansk Live’s Esben Marcher.

“The hope was initially that we could secure knowledge that could ensure a faster reopening for the benefit of festivals and venues. Even if it did not succeed, we are happy to be able to start the project now and secure knowledge that can prove crucial in the future.”

Safe 2.0 comes too late for the raft of festivals that were called off in May due to government restrictions.

Roskilde (26 June to 3 July), Smukfest (4–8 August), Northside (3–5 June), Tinderbox (24–26 June), Beautiful Party (4–8 August), Jelling Festival (20–23 May), Copenhell (16–19 June) and Heartland (27–29 May) were cancelled this year.

Vig Festival (8–10 July), Thy Rock (25–26 June), Nibe Festival (30 June to 3 July), Ringsted Festival (5–7 August), Langelandsfestival (18–25 July), Radio ABC Beach Party (17 July) and Kløften Festival (24–26 June) were also called off.

 


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Danish festival giants join forces for comeback event

Live Nation has teamed up with nine of Denmark’s biggest festivals – Roskilde Festival, NorthSide, Heartland, Copenhell, Smukfest, Tinderbox, Jelling Musikfestival, Nibe Festival and Grøn – for a one-off event that will mark the reopening of the country.

‘Back to Live’ will take place at Refshaleøen, a former industrial site in the harbour of Copenhagen, on Saturday 4 September – days after the country’s current Covid-19 restrictions are due to be lifted, allowing large events to take place.

According to the organisers, the concert will also serve as an opportunity for the festivals involved to “gain experience and collect empirical data on Covid initiatives” in relation to organising large live events.

“Two years without festivals have been hard for the entire music industry and both the audience, artists and organisers need to feel the community,” reads a statement from the organisers.

“The crisis has also strengthened the dialogue and cooperation between the festivals”

“At the same time, the crisis has also strengthened the dialogue and cooperation between the festivals and revealed a pronounced need to focus on the importance of live concerts and their significance for community and unity in society.”

The one-day outdoor concert will kick off at 2:00 pm (CET), hosting performances from “some of Denmark’s biggest names in rock and hip hop” including Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, Dad, Suspekt, Tessa and more to be announced.

Tickets for Back to Live are on sale now for DKK 545 (€73).

Currently, in Denmark, 10,000 people are allowed at “public events”, thanks to the country’s Covid-19 ‘passport’, Coronapas, which certifies that the bearer has either tested negative for the coronavirus or is immune/vaccinated.

The government recently clarified the restrictions from August onwards but the news came too late for Denmark’s major music festivals, which cancelled en masse last month citing a lack of information.

However, a number of the festivals – Roskilde, Nibe and Smukfest – have planned alternative events this summer.

 


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Danish music fans facing festival-free summer

For the first time since the dawn of the festival age, there will be no large-scale live music events in Europe’s ninth-largest concert market this summer, after the Danish government announced yesterday (6 March) that all events over 1,000 capacity are banned until 31 August.

In news watched closely by the European festival community – many of whom are still awaiting definitive clarification from their own governments – the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, last night said that large public gatherings would remain banned until September. A ban on gatherings of more than ten people, along with other social restrictions, will remain in place until 10 May at the earliest.

The 50th-anniversary Roskilde Festival (115,000-cap.) and the 2020 editions of Down the Drain Group’s Northside and Tinderbox festivals are the largest events effected, with smaller festivals such as music and art event Heartland (29–31 March) and metal festival Copenhell (17–20 June) also called off.

“We are devastated,” reads a statement from Roskilde, one of largest and best-loved festivals in Europe, which was due to take place from 27 June to 4 July, with acts including Taylor Swift, Deftones, Kendrick Lamara, Faith No More, Kacey Musgraves, Tyler the Creator, FKA Twigs, the Strokes and Haim.

“Though we feared this would happen, we have until now hoped that it wouldn’t end this way. However, the risk of getting infected with the Covid-19 virus is too large when many people are gathered, and that consideration is by far the most important.

“Consequently, there will be no Roskilde Festival this summer.”

With the measures, Denmark becomes the second European nation, after Austria, to provide dates and details on a slow reopening of the country following its lockdown. Schools will start to open in the country on 15 April.

“Of course this is terrible news, but we are glad that there is now an announcement”

The Austrian government yesterday announced no public events would be allowed until after the end of June, although some shops would be permitted to reopen as early as next week.

Kim Worsøe, co-owner of Denmark’s ICO Concerts and CEO of All Things Live Group, says the Danish live industry had been urging the government to “be clear on the ban – and the sooner the better”, adding that he expects the rest of Scandinavia to “follow shortly”.

“Of course this is terrible news, but we are glad that there is now an announcement, so festival organisers have [clarity],” adds Esben Marcher of industry association Dansk Live.

Besides Roskilde, also off are summer staples Northside (40,000-cap.) and Tinderbox (50,000-cap.), both promoted by Down the Drain (the former Beatbox Entertainment). The 2020 edition of Northside was set to feature Green Day, Robyn and Weezer, whereas the line-up for Tinderbox 2020 included AJ Tracey, Banks and Bring Me The Horizon.

Roskilde and Northside were among number of independent European festivals, including Primavera Sound, Exit Festival, Bilbao BBK Live and Rock en Seine, to put their name to the #FestivalStandUnited letter stating the intention to go ahead as planned this summer if possible.

“We know that many have been looking forward to this summer’s festival and to once again gathering around the atmosphere and music,” says Northside festival director and Down the Drain CEO Brian Nielsen.

“For many, this will be a tradition which is broken, and we are very sad about that. But we stand in a historically difficult and unknown situation, and we of course support the initiatives from the government, in order to do all in our power to take care of one another.”

“Though we feared this would happen, we had hoped that it wouldn’t end this way”

Tickets for both festivals will automatically be valid for the 2021 editions, with refunds also available.

Ticketholders for Roskilde 2020 can also choose to transfer their tickets to the 2021 edition of the festival or request a refund, although the former option is preferred.

“You can make a huge difference for us by saying yes to being part of Roskilde Festival already now,” say organisers, adding that the festival is “in an especially difficult position” due to its status as a non-profit organisation.

All proceeds from the festival go to supporting children and young people, as well as freedom of artistic expression through Freemuse.

“Ultimately, the Roskilde Festival Society, the organisation behind the festival, will not be able to live up to its purpose of supporting children’s and young people’s opportunities. This will affect a large number of organisations and initiatives in and outside of Denmark.”

The humanitarian and social aim of the festival also “means that we don’t have big savings to draw upon. We start up from zero every year.”

The Roskilde team states it will “work hard on creating an outstanding Roskilde Festival no 50 in 2021”.

 


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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.)

 


Hellfest

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

Longitude

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

Lollapalooza Stockholm

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.

Tickets for Rock am Ring and Rock im Park are available here for €194 (£163) and Rock im Park here for €244 (£205).

Headliners for the anniversary events come in the form of System of a Down, Green Day and Volbeat

NorthSide

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.

 


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Denmark’s NorthSide to move site in 2021

Next year will be the last NorthSide at its current home, with the Danish festival upping sticks in 2021 in favour of a new, larger site elsewhere in Aarhus.

The festival, which started in 2010, currently takes place in the Ådalen river valley, near the Danish city of Aarhus.

NorthSide 2021 will occupy new greenfield festival grounds at Eskelund, also near Aarhus, which is more than twice the size of the Ådalen site – meaning “that a whole range of ideas and experiences which Ådalen could not accommodate can finally become a reality”, say organisers.

“The festival must be ‘a controlled chaos’, which is also the essence of what our guests expect: NorthSide must surprise, challenge and perhaps even disrupt them a bit,” explains festival CEO Brian Nielsen.

“In 2020, we will focus even more on creating the right atmosphere”

“The festival must never be ‘just another music festival’, which is why in 2020, we will focus even more on creating the right atmosphere, new scenes and party events at the festival.”

Tickets for NorthSide 2020, the last at Ådalen (which is being developed for residential use), go on sale on 1 October. The festival takes place from 4 to 6 June 2020.

Northside is owned by Down the Drain Group, itself now a subsidiary of Superstruct Entertainment.

 


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Down the Drain celebrates festival success

Independent Scandinavian promoter Down the Drain Group has hailed the 2019 festival season a success so far, with fair weather, high attendance and advances in sustainability.

Down the Drain Group, the promoter behind several Danish festivals and the parent company of concert organiser Down the Drain Concerts (formerly Beatbox Entertainment), acquired Tinderbox and Northside from FKP Scorpio in April 2018.

Tinderbox, which took place from 27 to 29 June in the Danish city of Odense, welcomed a record 45,000 festivalgoers this year to see performances from Neil Young, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, the Chainsmokers and more.

Elsewhere, 35,000 attended the tenth edition of Aarhus-based NorthSide (6 to 8 June), which saw 100% organic food options at and a ban on single-use plastic bottles. Danish brewery Tuborg launched recyclable glasses at both Tinderbox and Northside this year.

The environmental effort harnessed praise from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon: “We’ve been to about a hundred billion festivals and this is the first one where there are absolutely no plastic bottles,” said Vernon. “That seems just a little bit more important than drums, guitars, and bass.”

“With Superstruct backing the group, we are very much looking forward to taking these amazing festivals to the next level”

“Five years with Tinderbox have flown by and it’s incredible to think that we have created 20 editions of festivals including Northside, Tinderbox, Haven and GrimFest in just ten years,” says Down the Drain Group chief executive, Brian Nielsen.

“In this time Down The Drain Group has emerged as a serious contender on the festival market – not just domestically, but throughout Europe. Now with Superstruct backing the group, we are very much looking forward to taking these amazing festivals to the next level.”

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment invested in the Danish promoter in May. Superstruct owns and operates festivals across Europe including Sziget (Hungary), Sónar (Spain), Øya Festival (Norway) and Flow Festival (Finland).

Early Bird-ticket options for the 2020 edition of Northside have already sold out (4 to 6 June), with some remaining for Tinderbox (25 to 27 June).

 


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Danish festivals go single-use plastic free with Tuborg

Northside, Tinderbox, Roskilde and Green festivals are tackling plastic waste in collaboration with Danish brewery Tuborg, introducing new, reusable plastic glasses to the events.

Each year, the four festivals dispose of over two million plastic bar cups. This year Northside (33,000-cap.), Tinderbox (55,000-cap.), Roskilde (85,000-cap.) and touring concert Green (20,000-cap.) will only provide sustainable, reusable plastic cups, developed in cooperation with Tuborg.

The new glasses are made from polypropylene and can be washed onsite in Tuborg’s mobile dishwasher until worn down. It is expected that the glasses will endure 25 uses before sending the material back to the supplier for recycling.

At Roskilde, festivalgoers will pay a one-off charge of 5 DKK (US$0.8) for a cup, receiving 1 DKK ($0.2) back upon return. The rest of the cost goes towards paying for the washable recycling system.

The initiative was developed in conjunction with Danish environmental organisation Plastic Change, which has acted as an advisor to Tuborg throughout the project.

“This year, Tuborg is literally making life a little greener at festivals”

“This year, Tuborg is literally making life a little greener at festivals,” says Christian Sveigaard, marketing and sponsorship manager for Tuborg. “It’s a great day for Tuborg and a giant step towards reducing unnecessary plastic waste through a more circular business model.”

“The project is an important victory in the fight against unnecessary disposable plastic,” comments Henrik Beha, founder of Plastic Change. “It will also change the use-and-throw-away culture, which is one of the core challenges of the growing plastic waste. We see it as a big step forward that will undoubtedly inspire others to go in the same direction.”

Peter Woods of Down the Drain Group, the promoter for Northside and Tinderbox, says the festivals are expected to lead the way with environmentally friendly initiatives, given the audience they attract.

“I am particularly proud that we as an industry can stand together and take shared responsibility, when it really counts,” says Woods.

The introduction of recyclable plastic cups follows a string of eco-friendly festival initiatives around the world this year, including the single-use plastics ban at Glastonbury and ID&C’s new green wristbands, made from recycled plastic and bamboo.

 


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European Festival Awards 2018: The winners

Pohoda, Wacken Open Air, NorthSide, Mojo Concerts and CAA’s Mike Greek were among the winners at last night’s tenth-anniversary European Festival Awards 2018, held at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen.

Hosted for the final time by IQ editor Gordon Masson and Glastonbury Festival/Yourope lawyer Ben Challis, the awards once again recognised excellence in 15 categories, with the biggest prizes of the night – best major festival and line-up of the year – going to Judas Priest-headlined Wacken Open Air and Roskilde Festival, respectively.

Roskilde was a double winner, also taking home the health and safety award for the second year running, with Pohoda Festival winning the Take a Stand Award and its festival director, Michal Kascak, the prize for excellence and passion.

The Netherlands’ Mojo (Pinkpop, North Sea Jazz, Down the Rabbit Hole) won best promoter, while Denmark’s NorthSide was recognised as the best medium-sized festival and Romania’s ARTmania the best small event.

Pohoda, Wacken Open Air, NorthSide, Mojo Concerts and CAA’s Mike Greek were among the winners

As previously announced, Eurosonic Noorderslag co-founder and outgoing creative director Peter Smidt took home the lifetime achievement award.

Performances on the night came from Grant and Bishop Briggs, with the main artist’s award, for best newcomer, being awarded to Greta Van Fleet.

A full list of winners is below.

Best New Festival
Rolling Stone Park

The Health & Safety Innovation Award
Roskilde Festival

Agent of the Year
Mike Greek, CAA

Best Small Festival
ARTmania Festival

The Green Operations Award
DGTL Amsterdam

Promoter of the Year
Mojo Concerts

Line-up of the Year
Roskilde Festival

Best Indoor Festival
WOS Festival

The Take a Stand Award
Pohoda Festival

The Brand Activation Award
Fortum at Ruisrock

Newcomer of the Year
Greta van Fleet

Best Medium-Sized Festival
NorthSide Festival

The Award for Excellence & Passion
Michal Kascak, Pohoda Festival

Best Major Festival
Wacken Open Air

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Smidt

 


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FKP Scorpio parts ways with Tinderbox and Northside

FKP Scorpio has sold its stake in leading Danish festivals Northside and Tinderbox for an undisclosed sum to Down the Drain Holding, which now owns 100% of both events.

Down the Drain, owned by festival directors Brian Nielsen and Flemming Myllerup and Beatbox Entertainment founder Mads Sørensen, is also the majority owner of Beatbox, and the co-owner of the new Haven festival in Copenhagen.

German-based FKP will continue to own a minority share of Beatbox, which books both festivals.

“We would like to thank the Danish team for their good collaboration so far, and are happy that we will continue to cooperate with Mads Sørensen and the rest of the Beatbox Entertainment team”, says Folkert Koopmans, CEO of FKP Scorpio.

“We have long wanted to consolidate the festivals under the Down the Drain umbrella”

Down the Drain Group CEO Nielsen says the company will now operate as an independent player in the Danish festival market.

“We have long wanted to consolidate the festivals under the Down the Drain umbrella, which today serves as Scandinavia’s largest independent concert and festival organiser,” he adds, “and we are pleased that it has fallen into place.”

In addition to Tinderbox, Northside and Haven, Down the Drain will in 2018 organise Sommertid i Søndermarken (1–2 June) in Copenhagen, Komos Festival (22–23 June) in Odense and Copenhagen and, through Beatbox, shows by Arctic Monkeys, Haim, the Black Angels, Calexico and Bon Iver.

 


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