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NorthSide emissions down 32% since going meat-free

Danish festival NorthSide has reduced its CO2 emissions by 32% since going meat-free.

The Down the Drain-promoted event has exclusively offered plant-based food since 2022 in what organisers called a “sustainable quantum leap”.

The Aarhus-based festival launched in 2010 with a goal to be “the greenest of the big festivals” and has since introduced several sustainability initiatives including switching from diesel generators to power from the electricity grid.

Discussing the impact of going meat-free, Peter Skoven, head of F&B at NorthSide told Dansk Live: “When you make an initiative as large as this, a number of unknowns are included. It is about everything from information – both internal and external – to identifying consequences and derived effects.

“When you make an initiative as large as this, a number of unknowns are included”

“The tasks around new stand holders, audience flows and purchase patterns are some of the bigger tasks, not to forget the mixed reception from the media. A decision in this league means that most things are up for grabs, which is why it is difficult to single out certain areas as the most difficult.”

Giving advice to other festivals considering going plant-based, Skoven added: “Decide to do it and then do it! It must be made a priority for the organisation to succeed and it requires everyone to be on the journey. Select the good external partners and form a ring of support so that the entire value chain can contribute to the transformation.”

The most recent edition of the festival was Highly Commended by A Greener Festival, a non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of music festivals and events.

NorthSide returns to Ådalen in Aarhus between 6–8 June with Kaytranada, Massive Attack, Slowdive, The Smile, Troye Sivan and more.

 


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European festivals expand 2024 lineups

Rock en Seine, Rock Werchter, Primavera Porto, NorthSide, Bilbao BBK, Paaspop, Sweden Rock Festival, North Festival, Best Kept Secret and Release Athens are among the European festivals that are taking shape for 2024.

AEG Presents’ Rock en Seine has detailed its 20th-anniversary edition, which coincides with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

Fred again., LCD Soundsystem, Måneskin, Massive Attack, PJ Harvey, The Offspring and The Smile are all set to headline the event, slated for 22–24 August at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud in France’s capital city.

Moonshine, The Hive Jungle, Olivia Dean, Soulwax, The Kills, Inhaler, Blonde Redhead, Róisin Murphy and Zaho De Sagazan are also on the bill for the 40,000-capacity event.

With Rock en Seine taking place just days before the start of the Summer Paralympic Games, the festival will curate a programme titled Cultural Olympiad, alongside four other major cultural festivals (Festival International de la BD d’Angoulême, Festival de Cannes, Festival d’Avignon, and Rencontres photographiques d’Arles).

Rock Werchter has added 11 new names to its 2024 lineup, which already includes headliners Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa and Måneskin

The Cultural Olympiad of Paris 2024 aims to foster dialogue between sports, culture, and Olympic and Paralympic values throughout the territory, according to a release.

Meanwhile, Rock Werchter has added 11 new names to its 2024 lineup, which already includes headliners Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa and Måneskin.

DEUS, Snow Patrol, Yungblud and Sum 41, The Last Dinner Party, Róisín Murphy, Nothing But Thieves, Avril Lavigne and Khruangbin, Michael Kiwanuka and Royal Blood will perform at Belgium’s biggest festival next year.

The Live Nation Belgium-promoted event will return to Festivalpark, Werchter, between 4–7 July 2024.

Primavera Sound Porto has also unveiled the poster for its 2024 edition, a week after announcing the Barcelona instalment.

Lana del Rey and SZA top a female-dominated bill, as Primavera continues to pave the way for gender-balanced festival lineups

Lana del Rey and SZA top a female-dominated bill, as Primavera continues to pave the way for gender-balanced festival lineups.

Mitski, PJ Harvey, Kim Petras, Pulp, The National, Justice, Ethical Cain and This Is The Kit are also among the 48 names due to perform at the 11th edition, scheduled for 6–8 June 2024 at Parque da Cidade, Porto.

Elsewhere in Portugal, the organisers of North Festival announced that next year it will move from Alfândega do Porto to Parque de Serralves, taking place on the 24–26 May.

Keane are the first name announced for the 2024 edition, returning to the country on the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough debut album, Hopes and Fears, which includes ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and ‘Everybody’s Changing’.

“Serralves, due to the quality of the infrastructure, large spaces and excellent location – a premium space in the heart of Invicta – is a natural choice for a festival that is also premium,” says Jorge Veloso, director of the promoter Vibes & Beats, “We feel that this is a change that will allow us to raise the quality of the experience offered to our audience.”

The organisers of North Festival announced that next year it will move from Alfândega do Porto to Parque de Serralves

In Denmark, NorthSide festival has unveiled the first 12 names for next year’s instalment, including Massive Attack, Troye Sivan, Unkendt Kunstner, Coi Leray and Kaytranada.

Kaizers Orchestra, Amyl & The Sniffers, Shame, Barselona, August Høyen, VETO, 070 Shake will also appear at the Down The Drain-promoted event, set for Eskelunden in Aarhus from 6–8 June 2024.

Live Nation’s Sweden Rock has added 18 names to the 2024 poster, after previously confirming Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Parkway Drive, Avantasia, Bruce Dickinson and Electric Callboy.

Joining those acts are Five Finger Death Punch, Rival Sons, Steel Panther, Graveyard, Beast In Black, Gloryhammer, Thy Art Is Murder and Ice Nine Kills.

Primal Fear, High On Fire, Richie Kotzen, Riverside, The Baboon Show, Mystic Prophecy, Dewolff, Vicious Rumors, Kebnekajse and Prins Svart will also appear at the Sölvesborg event between 5–8 June 2024.

Best Kept Secret is this year introducing New Generation tickets, offering those aged 21 or younger a 30% discount on a weekend ticket

Massive Attack are also set to headline Bilbao BBK, slated for 11–13 July 2024 in Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain.

The Prodigy, Massive Attack, Jungle, Overmono, Ezra Collective, Floating Points live, Underworld, Noname, JPEGMAFIA, Jordan Rakei, Death From Above 1979 and Parcels are also on the lineup for the Last Tour-promoted event.

In the Netherlands, the 2024 lineups for Paaspop and Best Kept Secret are taking shape.

The former has announced acts including Editors, Tom Grennan, Tiësto, Die Antwoord, August Burns Red for the 29–31 March event in Schijndel, North Brabant.

Best Kept Secret has announced the first 63 names for its 10th edition. Disclosure, Justice and PJ Harvey, among others, will come to the Beekse Bergen during the weekend of 7–9 June 2024.

Promoters Friendly Fire is this year introducing New Generation tickets, offering those aged 21 or younger a 30% discount on a weekend ticket.

Elsewhere, Greece’s Release Athens has secured 2024 concerts with Pulp, Massive Attack, The Smile, Judas Priest and Bruce Dickinson at Water Plaza across June and July.

 


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Denmark’s NorthSide settles in at new home

Denmark’s NorthSide has enjoyed a successful second edition at its new site after experiencing teething problems at its debut in Eskelunden last year.

The 40,000-cap festival hosted artists such as Muse, The 1975, the Chemical Brothers, Little Simz, Lukas Graham, Pusha T and First Aid Kit from 1-3 June.

Promoted by Down the Drain, the event relocated to Eskelund park, Aarhus – a greenfield more than twice the size of its previous Ådalen home – in 2022, but issues were reported at the new site, particularly relating to the entrances and exits. However, 70% of this year’s festival-goers surveyed considered the event to be superior to 12 months ago, awarding it an average customer satisfaction rating of 8.7/10.

“We have taken the criticism we received quite rightly last year to heart, optimised the space and ensured better access conditions, and it seems as if we have succeeded this year in creating a festival in much better harmony to the delight of our guests,” says head of development Jacob Bartholin.

“Our goal is to be one of the most important focal points for cultural life in Aarhus”

Since launching in 2010, Northside has grown from a one-day event with domestic artists into a major three-day international festival and earned the A Greener Festival Award in 2014 and 2016.

Last year, it switched to offering only plant-based and 100% organic food and attracted 6,500 volunteers this summer, leading to shorter queues and ensuring “a clean and beautiful festival”, according to Bartholin.

A particular source of satisfaction, he notes, was the number of local entrepreneurs represented at NorthSide ’23, which highlights the festival’s strong local roots.

“Our goal is to be one of the most important focal points for cultural life in Aarhus,” he adds. “And we are delighted that it has succeeded again this year. In addition, it is our ambition, together with local companies, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs, to continue to develop and support new exciting drinking and food experiences from Aarhus and the surrounding area.”

 


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Major fests put finishing touches to 2023 bills

One of Europe’s largest festivals Roskilde this week added Lizzo, Busta Rhymes, Loyle Carner, Biig Piig, Dry Cleaning and more than 100 other acts to its 2023 lineup.

They join previously announced acts Kendrick Lamar, Caroline Polachek, Lil Nas X, Rosalía, Burna Boy, Christine and the Queens, Blur, and Queens of the Stone Age.

The 51st edition of Roskilde will take place between 24 June–1 July in the Danish town of the same name. Tickets start from DKK 2400.

Elsewhere in Denmark, promoter Down the Drain has revealed full lineups for its festivals NorthSide and Tinderbox.

Little Simz is the newest addition to the NorthSide bill, which already includes Muse, The 1975, The Chemical Brothers and more.

NxWorries (feat. Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge), Lukas Graham, First Aid Kit, Sam Fender, LP, Yemi Alade and Pusha T are also slated to play the Aarhus festival between 1–3 June.

Little Simz is the newest addition to the NorthSide bill, which already includes Muse, The 1975, The Chemical Brothers

Simz is among the acts set to play the second-largest stage Echo, which this year will be covered by a 20,000-capacity tent.

“This time of the year in Denmark is very bright, in the evenings as well, and a lot of the bigger acts ask for a slot in darkness to get the full effect of their production. We’ve talked about doing this for years, but the pandemic got in the way. Now, we’re finally launching this change and creating an amazing setting for more intimate live experiences – and we can’t wait to see it in action!” says festival CEO Brian Nielsen.

Tinderbox (cap. 45,000), meanwhile, has confirmed Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5, Black Eyed Peas and Armin van Buuren for this year’s edition, taking place in Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense.

George Ezra, Dean Lewis, Lukas Graham, Mimi Webb, Cat Burns, Gogol Bordello, bbno$, Dylan and Oliver Malcolm will also appear at the festival between 22–24 June.

“Last year, we broke records at Tinderbox, and we’ve tried our very best to give back to our loyal guests by chasing some of the world’s biggest acts,” says Nielsen.

Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Finland’s Flow Festival has unveiled a third wave of acts led by Lorde and Christine and the Queens.

Finland’s Flow Festival has unveiled a third wave of acts led by Lorde and Christine and the Queens

They join a blockbuster bill comprising Pusha T, High Vis, Caroline Polachek, Blur, Wizkid, Tove Lo and more.

The Superstruct-backed festival will return to the capital city of Helsinki between 11 and 13 August. Tickets start from €119 for a one-day ticket, €189 for two days and €225 for three days.

In the UK, Truck festival has added Mae Muller, The Reytons, Gengahr, English Teacher, Feet and Chappaqua Wrestling to this year’s edition.

The Oxfordshire festival previously announced headliners Royal Blood, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club and The Wombats.

Self Esteem, The Vaccines, Circa Waves, Pale Waves, Everything Everything, Kate Nash and Squid are also due to play the Superstruct-backed festival, taking place at Hill Farm between 21 and 23 July. Final Tier tickets are on sale now from £160.

Elsewhere, the UK’s Standon Calling has announced two stage headliners, with Shygirl joining the all-female lineup on the Laundry Meadows stage and Sainté and D Double E heading up a new rap and hip hop night called FutureFlow on The Cowshed stage.

Las Vegas-based event Life Is Beautiful is set to host The Killers, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Khalid and The 1975

Previously announced headliners for the 2023 event include Years & Years, Self Esteem, Bloc Party and The Human League.

Anastacia, Confidence Man, Dylan, Squid, Katy B, KT Tunstall and Melanie C will also perform at the 17th edition of the boutique music and arts festival.

Festival founder and director Alex Trenchard says “We’re so proud of this year’s progress in booking a gender-balanced headline bill.”

The Broadwick Live-owned festival will return to the Hertfordshire countryside between 20 and 23 July 2023.

Across the Atlantic, Las Vegas-based event Life Is Beautiful is set to host The Killers, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Khalid and The 1975 for the September edition.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Omar Apollo, Kim Petras, FLUME, Nelly and Bebe Rexha are also lined up to play the 10th-anniversary edition of the music and arts festival.

Las Vegas mainstays such as Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, Jabbawockeez, Magic Mike Live, Piff the Magic Dragon and Tape Face will also be on hand for performances and appearances.

The Rolling Stone-owned festival will return to downtown Vegas between 22 and 24 September.

 


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2023 lineups: Mad Cool, Rock Werchter and more

Mad Cool, Rock Werchter, Northside, Frequency, Railbird and Ressurection have each announced a wave of new additions for their 2023 instalments.

Live Nation’s Mad Cool has unveiled an almost full lineup for its sixth edition, taking place in Madrid, from 6–8 July 2023.

Robbie Williams, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Machine Gun Kelly, Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Keys, Sam Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Liam Gallagher and The Prodigy top next year’s blockbuster bill, with two more headliners to be announced.

The 1975, Nova Twins, Franz Ferdinand, Tash Sultana, Paolo Nutini, Jamie XX, Sigur Rós, Angel Olsen, Years & Years, The Amazons, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Jacob Collier, Touché Amoré, The Blessed Madonna, Honey Dijon, Genesis Owusu, Rina Sawayama, Rüfus du Sol, Bombay Bicycle Club and Sylvan Esso are also among the raft of acts announced this week.

Last year, Mad Cool expanded to five days in celebration of its fifth anniversary, which featured Florence + The Machine, Queens Of The Stone Age and Haim.

Aurora, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The 1975 and Sam Fender join the Rock Werchter lineup

Meanwhile, Belgium’s Rock Werchter has added dozens of names to an already-packed lineup for 2023.

Aurora, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The 1975, Sam Fender, Cavetown, The HU, slowthai, The Interrupters, Wadruna, Tamino, The Black Keys, Adekunle Gold and Dean Lewis have joined the bill.

Other new additions include Sigur Rós, Xavier Rudd, Paolo Nutini and Machine Gun Kelly. Adding to the list for 2 July are Lovejoy, Pip Millett, Amenra, Puscifer, Gabriels, Jacob Collier and The Lumineers.

They join previously announced acts Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Fred Again, Oscar and the Wolf, Stromae and more.

Last year’s edition, promoted by Live Nation Belgium and Herman Schueremans, shifted 67,000 combi-tickets and four lots of 21,000 one-day tickets.

Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge aka NxWorries will be reunited at Northside

Denmark’s Northside has confirmed another slate of names for the 2023 event, taking place between 1–3 June in Eskelund park, Aarhus.

It was announced today that Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge aka NxWorries will be reunited at next year’s instalment, having released their first new single in six years.

First Aid Kit, JPEGMAFIA, Tobias Rahim, Gilli, Purple Disco Machine and LF SYSTEM have also been added to the bill.

They join previously announced acts The 1975, White Lies and Muse at the Down the Drain-promoted event.

Austria’s Frequency Festival is taking shape, with Imagine Dragons, Kraftklub, Armin Van Buuren and Alligatoah at the top of the 2023 poster. The Barracuda Music-promoted event is set for 17–19 August at Greenpark, St. Pölten.

Spain’s Ressurection Fest has assembled some of the biggest names in metal for the 2023 edition

Elsewhere, Live Nation has outlined Railbird Music Festival, a two-day music event in the US state of Kentucky.

Tyler Childers and Zach Bryan head up the bill, and are joined by acts including Zach Bryan, Weezer, Marcus Mumford, Whiskey Myers, Sheryl Crow, Charley Crockett and Jenny Lewis.

In addition to music, fans will have the opportunity to purchase from an impressive lineup of hand-selected barrels from Kentucky’s finest distilleries chosen in collaboration with co-owners Justin Sloan and Justin Thompson of Lexington’s treasured Justins’ House of Bourbon.

The festival will take place at The Infield at Red Mile, Lexington, on 3 and 4 June, 2023.

Spain’s Ressurection Fest has assembled some of the biggest names in metal for the 2023 edition, including Ghost, Slipknot, Pantera, Papa Roach, Architects, Alter Bridge and Powerwolf.

Titled Chapter XVIII Where We Belong, the next instalment will take place in Galicia, between 8 June to 1 July 2023.

 


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Roskilde, Primavera and more reveal 2023 lineups

Primavera Sound, Roskilde, Nova Rock, Rock Werchter, NorthSide and Nos Alive have added slates of artists to their 2023 lineups.

Rosalía, Calvin Harris, Kendrick Lamar, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Blur and Halsey top the bill for Primavera Sound 2023, which will be held in two different Spanish cities across two weekends.

Next year’s festival will take place at its usual location of Parc Del Fòrum, Barcelona, on the first weekend (1–3 June).

On the second weekend (8–10 June), the festival will take place in the Ciudad de Rock (City of Rock) in Arganda del Rey, Madrid, for the first time ever.

The Spanish institution recently debuted in São Paulo, Brazil (5-6 November), Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile (both 12-13 November) to commemorate the event’s 20th birthday. Director Alfonso Lanza spoke to IQ about the “incredible response” to the festival’s South American debut.

Elsewhere, Denmark’s Roskilde has secured a raft of household names including Blur, Burna Boy, Christine & The Queens and Queens of the Stone Age for its 2023 edition, scheduled for 24 June to 1 July 2023.

Denmark’s Roskilde has secured Blur, Burna Boy, Christine & The Queens and Queens of the Stone Age

The 51st edition will also feature Alice Glass, Japanese Breakfast, Tove Lo, Denzel Curry and Rina Sawayama. Explore the 50-year history of Roskilde with IQ‘s recent feature.

Austria’s 2023 festival season is beginning to shape with marquee festival Nova Rock confirming headliners Slipknot, Bilderbuch, Die Ärtze, The Prodigy and Tenacious D.

Promoted by Nova Music Entertainment (part of CTS Eventim’s Barracuda Music), the four-day festival is slated for 7–10 June 2023 in Nickelsdorf.

Belgium’s Rock Werchter, meanwhile, has bagged some of the biggest names in rock for the 2023 edition in Festivalpark between 29 June to 2 July.

Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys will top the bill, with support from Fred Again, Oscar and the Wolf, Stromae and more.

Last year’s edition, promoted by Live Nation Belgium and Herman Schueremans, shifted 67,000 combi-tickets and four lots of 21,000 one-day tickets.

“Denmark’s Northside is coming together, with The 1975, White Lies and Muse lined up for the 2023 instalment”

Sister festival Rock Werchter Boutique, meanwhile, will be headlined by P!nk and One Republic on 17 June 2023 in Festivalpark.

Elsewhere, Denmark’s Northside is coming together, with The 1975, White Lies and Muse lined up for the 2023 instalment.

The Down the Drain-promoted event will take place between 1–3 June 2023 in Eskelund park, Aarhus.

Following last week’s confirmation of The Black Keys, Nos Alive has followed up with acts including Angel Olsen, Idles, Tasha Sultana, Lizzo, Men I Trust and Sylvan Esso for next year’s event.

The 15th edition is due to take place between 6–8 July 2023 in the Algés riverside, close to Lisbon.

This year’s NOS Alive, promoted as usual by Everything Is New, welcomed 210,000 people over four days and 165 artists across seven stages.

 


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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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