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Portuguese festivals eye ‘Covid-free bubbles’

Portugal’s music festivals are looking into the possibility of restricting entry to ‘bubbles’ of vaccinated fans as a way of enabling their events to go ahead safely this summer.

A proposal to create infection-free “safe bubbles”, comprising fans “who are already vaccinated against Covid-19 [and carrying] their vaccination records”, was presented to the Portuguese government by the Association of Promoters, Shows, Festivals and Events (APEFE) in a meeting with the minister of culture, Graça Fonseca, on 15 January.

The meeting, also attended by the Association of Portuguese Music Festivals (Aporfest) and the new Association of Show Agents and Producers (AEAPP), also led to creation of of an industry-government working group that aims to find a solution to restarting live entertainment in Portugal in 2021.

Speaking to the Lusa news agency, Aporfest president Ricardo Bramão explained that while the meeting yielded no “guarantees” from government that there could be festivals this summer, “a door was opened” for festivals to present “specific solutions” as to how they could go ahead.

The ‘bubble’ solution, as being explored by APEFE, takes inspiration from hospitals, where a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination is required for certain procedures, says the association’s head, NOS Alive festival director Álvaro Covões.

Speaking to Blitz, Covões explains: “What we are trying to study is the possibility of creating bubbles for events, as is done today in hospitals. To be operated on, you have to be tested, and you may only enter the hospital after you have been tested.”

“What we are trying to study is the possibility of creating bubbles for events”

“Travel is also a bubble,” he adds. “Theoretically, to get on a plane people must all be tested and be negative [for Covid-19].”

The APEFE solution is similar to the yet-to-be-implemented ‘Full Capacity Plan’ introduced last summer by Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn, which would only permit entry to those who test negative for the coronavirus.

The festival bubbles, however, should be even more rigorously enforced in hospitals, where staff are not tested every day, continues Covões.

The NOS Alive boss adds that similar conversations are currently taking place in other countries, including neighbouring Spain. “Barcelona, ​​for example, is very focused on this, both the municipality and the autonomous government [of Catalonia],” he adds, “because they have Sónar and Primavera Sound and they absolutely want to be working at that time, because otherwise they lose another economic year.”

The next meeting – between APEFE, Aporfest, AEAPP and APSTE (Portuguese Association of Technical Services for Events) on one side, and Fonseca, the State Secretariat for Tourism and the State Secretariat for Health on the other – is scheduled for this Wednesday (3 February).

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Portugal to ban festivals until 30 September

Under the Portguese cabinet’s stabilisation plan, festivals and shows “of a similar nature” will not be permitted until October 2020 and organisers will not be obliged to offer fans a cash refund for cancelled events.

The plan, which needs approval from the Portuguese parliament before becoming law, offers some clarity to promoters in the country, many of whom were awaiting an official declaration before deciding the fate of their 2020 events.

Festivals including NOS Alive, Paredes de Coura, Meo Sudoeste, Super Bock Super Rock and EDP Vilar de Mouros have acknowledged the government’s decision and state they are waiting for parliament to approve the measures before announcing how they will proceed.

Organisers of NOS Primavera Sound Porto, which had moved to early September in an attempt to avoid virus-related restrictions, made a similar announcement, adding that: “It seemed like a good idea, when we decided to celebrate Primavera in summer, we did it because we believed that in September we would be living in safer times.

“This new scenario does not allow us to celebrate what we wanted most. We continue to work hard so that, in 2021, we can celebrate more than NOS Primavera Sound.”

A number of organisers, including those of Rock in Rio Lisbon and North Music Festival, have already pulled their 2020 events, rescheduling for next year.

“When we decided to celebrate Primavera in summer, we did it because we believed that in September we would be living in safer times”

Under the government guidelines, organisers of festivals and other events scheduled for between 28 February and 30 September 2020 which were unable to take place due to the Covid-19 outbreak, can offer ticketholders a voucher of equal price to the original ticket.

This “guarantees the rights of the consumers”, reads the government document.

However, organisers of Afro Nation, which was due to host its second outing from 1 to 3 July, received criticism from some fans on social media upon announcing that they will not be issuing refunds for Afro Nation 2020.

“According to the new Portuguese law, your ticket will be automatically transferred to the new date,” reads a statement from organisers.

“Should you wish not to transfer to 2021, you will have the opportunity to sell your ticket via our primary ticket provider Festicket. Afro Nation will delay putting any tickets on sale in order to give ticket holders as much time as possible to resell tickets if that is what you choose to do.

“Your provider will be in touch today via email with further details on how to transfer to 2021 and how to resell your ticket via Festicket.”

Voucher schemes, which are designed to keep cash-strapped event organisers afloat during the coronavirus crisis, are in place in countries including Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland and Brazil.

 


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Portuguese fests bide their time as Swift cancels NOS Alive

Organisers of Portuguese festival NOS Alive say they are waiting until the government lifts the nation-wide state of emergency on 2 May before making any final decisions about the 2020 edition of the event, following the loss of headline act Taylor Swift.

Swift, who was to headline the festival along with Kendrick Lamar, the Strokes, Billie Eilish and Faith No More, announced the cancellation of all her 2020 live dates last week. Of the singer’s European festival dates, only NOS Alive, Spain’s Mad Cool and Open’er in Poland are still going ahead, with the UK’s Glastonbury Festival and BST Hyde Park, Denmark’s Roskilde, Festival de Nîmes in France, Belgium’s Werchter Boutique and Norway’s Oslo Sommertid festival all moved to 2021.

“We are sad to announce that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Taylor Swift will not be a part of the July edition of Nos Alive 2020,” reads a statement from NOS Alive organisers. “We understand and support the artist’s decision considering this global health crisis.

“We are evaluating on a daily basis all possibilities in order to enjoy music at [Nos Alive festival site]  Passeio Marítimo de Algés and for that we are working on every scenario, inlucing postponement of festival dates with the same line-up,” continues the statement.

“After the state of emergency is listed [on 2 May], we will surely be able to make more appropriate decisions regarding this edition of NOS Alive.”

“We are working on every scenario, inlucing postponement of festival dates with the same line-up”

Other major music festivals in Portugal, including July festivals Vilar de Mouros (Iggy Pop, Limp Bizkit, Placebo), Paredes de Coura (Pixies, Mac DeMarco and Idles) and August festivals Meo Sudoeste (Migos, Major Lazer, Bad Bunny, Ozuna) and Super Bock Super Rock (Asap Rocky, Brockhampton, Foals) are similarly biding their time until more information is available from the government.

However, many other Portuguese festivals have postponed their 2020 editions, or moved to 2021. Following the lead of its Spanish counterpart, NOS Primavera Sound Porto rescheduled its 2020 edition, moving from mid-June to the start of September. The line-up for the new dates is yet to be confirmed.

Rock in Rio Lisbon will no longer be taking place this year, moving to 19 to 20 June 2021. The festival was set to feature Post Malone, Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters, The National and Liam Gallagher.

Porto’s North Music Festival (Deftones, the Script, the Waterboys) has also called off its 2020 edition, set to take place from 22 to 23 May.

The Portuguese government are expected to announce its exit plan over the coming week, as it prepares to lift its state of emergency on 2 May. Similar announcements in other European markets has led to summer event bans in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and, and partial ones in France (mid-July), Austria (end of June), Luxembourg and Finland (31 July).

 


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NOS Alive expands to four days, adds Kendrick Lamar

NOS Alive will kick off a day earlier in 2020, with hip-hop superstar Kendrick Lamar appearing on the main NOS stage on Wednesday 8 July.

The Lisbon event, which previously announced the likes of Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Haim, Two Door Cinema Club and Haim, expands to four days whenever the year adds up to four (ie 2 + 0 + 2 + 0 = 4; it last ran for four days in 2011). NOS Alive 2020 will now run from 8 to 11 July 2020 at its usual home on the Algés Maritime Promenade.

Other recent line-up confirmations include Faith No More, Haim, Anderson Paak and Khalid and Alt-J.

This year’s NOS Alive featured the Cure, Thom Yorke, Chemical Brothers, Grace Jones, Bon Iver, Smashing Pumpkins, Robyn, Marina, Hot Chip, Mogwai, Vampire Weekend, Weezer, Sharon Van Etten, Idles and more. Álvaro Covões, founder of Everything is New and Nos Alive festival director, told IQ after the event that the it prioritises a diversity of talent over one or two must-see headliners, saying he wants “all stages to be main stages”.

Day tickets, which start at £51 for a day ticket for £159 for four days, are on sale now at nosalive.com.

 


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Festival Fever: More festivals reveal their 2020 line-ups

Following on from last week’s round-up of 2020 line-up announcements,  IQ looks at a selection of festivals to see which acts will be gracing the stages in summer 2020.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Rock Werchter

When: 2 to 5 July
Where: Festival Park, Werchter, Belgium
How many: 88,000

Pearl Jam and Twenty One Pilots are the first acts announced for the 2020 edition of Rock Werchter, playing on 2 and 4 July respectively.

Founded and promoted by Live Nation Belgium CEO Herman Schueremans, Rock Werchter last year saw headline performances from Pink, the Cure, Tool, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons and Muse, in an edition that Schueremans deemed “a top result compared to a lot of festivals in Europe and the USA” that year.

Speaking at the International Festival Forum (IFF) in September this year, the Rock Werchter founder stressed the continued importance of festivals, saying they “sustain the live industry just as the Amazon rainforest sustains the world’s climate.”

Tickets for Rock Werchter 2020 go on sale on 6 December at 10 a.m. (CET), with a full festival ticket costing €243 (£207) and a single day-pass priced at €110 (£94).

Pearl Jam and Twenty One Pilots are the first acts announced for the 2020 edition of Rock Werchter

Nos Alive

When: 9 to 11 July
Where: Passeio Maritimo de Alges, Lisbon, Portugal
How many: 55,000

Everything is New’s Nos Alive festival runs on the ethos that “all stages are main stages”, last year programming acts including Johnny Marr, Primal Scream, Greta Van Fleet, Idles, Bon Iver, Grace Jones and Vampire Weekend.

The 2020 edition of the festival sees headliners Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and local favourites Da Weasel playing alongside Caribou, Two Door Cinema Club and Haim.

Portugal’s preeminent annual annual rock festival, Nos Alive is now entering its 14th year, having expanded from three stages in its inaugural year to seven, while striving to keep ticket prices low.

Tickets for Nos Alive 2020 are available now, priced at €69 (£59) for a one-day ticket and €159 (£136) for a three-day pass.

The 2020 edition of the festival sees headliners Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and local favourites Da Weasel

Latitude

When: 16 to 19 July
Where: Henham Park, Suffolk, UK
How many: 40,000

Latitude is one of a number of Festival Republic events to have enjoyed back-to-back sell-outs in recent years. The 2019 edition, which saw headline performances from George Ezra, Stereophonics and Lana Del Rey, contributed a season that, according to Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn,“genuinely couldn’t have been better.”

The 15th edition of Latitude includes headline performances from Liam Gallagher, the Chemical Brothers and Haim, with the Lumineers, Michael Kiwanuka, Keane and Charli XCX also appearing on the bill.

Gallagher, who is currently playing around the UK on the Why Me? Why Not? tour, is returning to the festival after playing as the ‘secret act’ in 2018.

Tickets for Latitude festival 2020 go on sale on 6 December at 9 a.m. (GMT). Adult weekend tickets cost £210, with accompanied teen tickets priced at $145 and child passes at £15.

Latitude is one of a number of Festival Republic events to have enjoyed back-to-back sell-outs in recent years

Isle of Wight Festival

When: 11 to 14 June
Where: Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight, UK
How many: 90,000

The Isle of Wight festival yesterday (3 December) revealed its 2020 headliners, with Lionel Richie and Lewis Capaldi playing the mainstage on the opening night, Snow Patrol and the Chemical Brothers heading up the second evening and Duran Duran closing proceedings on the Sunday.

The 2020 festival will mark the 50th anniversary of its 1970 edition, which saw headline performances from Jimi Hendrix, the Who and Joni Mitchell and constituted the last festival on the island until its 2002 resurrection.

“I’m excited to be playing at the Isle of Wight Festival next summer,” says Lionel Richie, who will make his debut appearance at the event. “It’s a festival steeped in music history – Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones have all headlined and I’m honoured to be joining the esteemed list.”

Other acts on the 2020 line-up include Happy Mondays, Kaiser Chiefs, Sam Fender, Dido, James Arthur and Primal Scream.

Tickets for the Isle of Wight Festival 2020 go on sale on 6 December at 9 a.m. (GMT), with adult weekend tickets priced at £185.

“It’s a festival steeped in music history – Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones have all headlined”

Electric Castle

When: 15 to 19 July
Where: Bannfy Castle, Cluj, Romania
How many: 50,000

Romania’s multi-genre Electric Castle festival is returning for its 8th year in 2020, with already announced acts including Twenty One Pilots, Foals, Floating Points, the Neighbourhood and Fisher.

The 2019 edition of the festival, which takes place each year in an old Transylvanian castle, saw performances from Florence and the Machine, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Limp Bizkit, Bring Me the Horizon and Chvrches.

For the second consecutive year, Electric Castle will have an area dedicated to visual artists, called the New Media Castle, which will house art installations from Robert Henke, James Clar and Claire Hentschker.

Tickets for Electric Castle 2020 are available here, with general tickets costing LEI 499 (£89) and camping passes priced at LEI 539 (£96).

Romania’s multi-genre Electric Castle festival is returning for its 8th year in 2020

Bilbao BBK Live

When: 9 to 11 July
Where: Kobetamendi, Bilbao, Spain
How many: 40,000

Set in the mountains near to the coastal city of Bilbao, BBK Live has nearly doubled in size in recent years. The Spanish festival welcomed 112,800 people from 100 different countries to its 14th edition last year, with performances from the Strokes, Rosalía, Liam Gallagher and Hot Chip.

Founded in 2006, BBK Live has seen the likes of the Police, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, New Order, Depeche Mode, Guns N’ Roses and Lenny Kravitz perform over the years.

For the 2020 edition, Kendrick Lamar, the Killers, Pet Shop Boys and Bad Bunny top the bill, playing along with Caribou, Four Tet, Supergrass, Kelly Lee Owens and Slowthai, with more acts still to be announced.

Tickets for Bilbao BBK Live are available here with a full festival pass costing €140 (£119) and camping tickets priced at €158 (£134).

For the 2020 edition, Kendrick Lamar, the Killers, Pet Shop Boys and Bad Bunny top the bill

All Points East

When: 22 to 31 May
Where: Victoria Park, London, UK
How many: 40,000

All Points East has announced another headliner since the last edition of Festival Fever. German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk will perform their only UK show of the year at the festival on Friday 29 May, supported by Iggy Pop, Johnny Marr, the Orb and others.

Kraftwerk mark the second UK exclusive for the festival, adding to the headline performance from Tame Impala on Saturday 23 May.

AEG’s other London festival, British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park has added Taylor Swift and Pearl Jam to its 2020 headliner list, following the announcement of its first headline act, Little Mix, last week.

Pearl Jam will perform on Friday 10 July, as part of their 13-date European summer tour, with Swift playing on the following evening. Pixies and White Reaper will join Pearl Jam on the Friday.

Little Mix will play the opening Saturday of the concert series (4 July), along with newly announced special guests Rita Ora, Kesha and Zara Larsson.

Tickets for Kraftwerk at All Points East go on sale on 6 December at 10 a.m. (GMT). Tickets for Taylor Swift at BST will become available 6 December at 9 a.m. (GMT), with Pearl Jam tickets going on sale on 7 December at 10 a.m. (GMT).

 


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Taylor Swift announces 2020 tour

Taylor Swift will embark on tour once more in summer 2020, with a run of European festival dates, as well as South and North American shows.

The tour announcement comes after the release of Swift’s latest album Lover last month.

The singer kicks off her international tour with a headline slot at one-day Werchter Boutique in Belgium on 20 June, before playing the Waldbühne amphitheatre in Berlin (22,290-cap.), Oslo Sommertid festival in Norway (55,000-cap.), Denmark’s Roskilde festival (70,000-cap.), Open’er in Poland (60,000-cap.), Festival de Nîmes in France (24,000-cap.) and Portugal’s Nos Alive (55,000-cap.).

“I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East and West!”

Swift will then cross the Atlantic a show at the 55,000-capacity Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil, ahead of four US shows as part of her newly created Lover Fest. Lover Fest West will take place at Los Angeles’ 100,000-capacity SoFi Stadium, whereas Lover Fest East will be held at Foxborough, Massachusetts’ Gillette Stadium (66,829-cap.).

“I want to perform [Lover] in a way that feels authentic,” writes Swift on Twitter. “I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East and West!”

The singer’s 2018 Reputation world tour was the highest-grossing US tour in history, selling over two million tickets for 38 shows for a total of US$266.1 million.

A full list of 2020 tour dates can be found here.

 


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“All our stages are main stages”: Álvaro Covões on booking NOS Alive

NOS Alive promoter Álvaro Covões has told IQ that the 13th edition of the festival, held in Lisbon earlier this month (11–13 July), was among the best in its history – and a further vindication of a booking philosophy that prioritises a diversity of talent over one or two must-see headliners.

“When I designed this festival, I wanted all the stages to be the main stages,” explains Covões, the managing director of Everything is New (EIN), who founded the 55,000-capacity festival in 2007.

“Of course, last year, capacity-wise it would have been impossible to put Pearl Jam, for example, on the second stage [because of its smaller size]. But that’s the only reason we talk about main stages, second stages, third stages: capacity. It’s nothing more.”

That ethos is evident in the quality of the acts who played under cover on the festival’s second stage (sorry), the Palco Sagres stage, in 2019, including Smiths legend Johnny Marr (overlapping with main-stage acts Primal Scream then Greta Van Fleet); critical darlings Idles, who packed out the tent with their brand of angry, socially conscious punk rock (a decidedly less angry Tom Walker, then Bon Iver, played the main stage); and platinum-selling force of nature Grace Jones, who went up against Friday’s main-stage headliners, Vampire Weekend.

“We want people to have good options,” Covões says. “For example, we have Thom Yorke [on the second stage] at the same time as Smashing Pumpkins, Idles and Marina at the same time as Bon Iver – plus the comedy tent, the NOS Clubbing stage, the Fado Café…” In total, he adds, there are more than 40 shows a day across Alive’s seven stages.

“I want people to want to see everything. We don’t want to have a festival where people only come to see the headliner”

“From the outset, I wanted it to be like Disney World,” Covões continues, “with all these different areas. I want people to want to see everything – we don’t want to have a festival where people only come to see the headliner. Because if everything else is shit, people aren’t going to return.”

Since its inception in 2007, NOS Alive (called Optimus Alive until 2014, after the previous name of sponsor NOS Comunicações) has been Portugal’s preeminent annual rock festival, helped by the reliably sunny Lisbon weather, positive reviews in the international press and a low barrier to entry, with three-day tickets priced at just €139. (Competitors include this weekend’s Super Bock Super Rock, which is smaller to the tune of 20,000 people per day, while the Lisbon edition of Rock in Rio alternates with its sister festival in Brazil.)

“We started with three stages; now we have seven,” recalls Covões, who says the festival’s philosophy is to keep adding content while keeping ticket prices low. Sponsorship certainly helps – in addition to naming partner NOS, ‘premium sponsors’ include energy company EDP, Volkswagen, Sagres beer and underwear brand Tezenis, while ‘official sponsors’ include Red Bull, Fnac, Uber and recruitment firm Randstad – as does support from public bodies such as the mayor of Oeiras and Portugal’s national tourist board, which provide funding to advertise to foreign customers.

Covões estimates that NOS Alive accounts for around 30% of EIN’s business, with the rest made up of headline shows (major 2018 events have included Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart, with Billie Eilish, Madonna, the National and Muse set to follow over the winter) and exhibitions such as Banksy: Genius or Vandal?.

He says this summer’s slower European festival season is partly due to several major artists bypassing festivals altogether. “It happens sometimes,” he explains. “Lots of bands this year are choosing to do headline shows. We’ve had Ed Sheeran in a stadium [Estádio da Luz], Eddie Vedder in [Altice] arena – people need to choose what to spend their money on, and everybody wants to see Ed Sheeran…”

“The way we concentrate on our customers – that’s what makes NOS Alive special”

Despite the challenging conditions, NOS Alive 2019 sold out its first and third days – headlined by the Cure and the Smashing Pumpkins, respectively – and was at 85% (40,000) for its second, headlined by Vampire Weekend, which Covões describes as a “very good” result. “We’re a country of 10 million people,” he adds, “and we do a lot of shows. Festivals in Portugal very rarely sell out.”

Additionally, the festival’s international audience continues to grow, with around 10,000 weekend tickets – 20% – being sold to British festivalgoers this year.

The secret to Alive’s success, Covões suggest, is in its focus on people: the event has won the Portuguese Consumer Choice award for best festival every year since 2013, helped by consumer-friendly initiatives such as an abundance of seating and shade, subsidised public transport to the festival site and, this year, a separate area for pregnant festivalgoers.

“If we want people to be inside the festival for eight to ten hours, we have to make them comfortable and happy. For example, I went to [a well-known festival in England] and the toilets were shit, it was cramped, I could only find one place to sit… It’s things like that that makes people prefer seeing shows in theatres and arenas. Whereas we have a 40,000sqm site and over 2,000 seats in the food area alone. And our toilets are great!”

He concludes: “The way we concentrate on our customers – that’s what makes NOS Alive special.”

NOS Alive returns on 9, 10 and 11 July 2020.

 


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NOS Alive introduces area for pregnant festivalgoers

NOS Alive will introduce the world’s first ‘safe space’ for pregnant women at an major festival at next week’s event.

Expecting music fans can book their free place on a viewing platform facing the festival’s main stage, providing them with a perfect view and comfortable space in the middle of the 55,000-strong crowd.

Mums-to-be also get comfortable seats with cushions and blankets, and dedicated healthcare from a team of nurses, while they watch acts including the Cure, Bon Iver, Mogwai, the Chemical Brothers and the Gossip at the Portuguese festival, which takes place near Lisbon from 11 to 13 July.

“At NOS Alive we are proud to introduce the world’s first viewing platform for pregnant women at an international festival,” says the festival senior booker and CEO, Álvaro Covões. “It’s a unique opportunity for new mothers who love music to help make their festival experience the best one.

“Why should you compromise your lifestyle in any way when you’re pregnant?”

“Having children and becoming a mum is a magical thing on one level, and on another it’s part of every day life. In this day and age, why should you compromise your lifestyle in any way when you’re pregnant? If you’d like go to see your favourite bands this summer when expecting, you can do so with total ease and comfort at our event in Lisbon.”

Pregnant fans can book for themselves, plus a companion, on a per-set basis. Limited places are available to book here now.

The safe space for pregnant women joins another new initiative this year, which will bring the festival in line with the 2030 UN treaty it signed last year to enhance environmental sustainability and visibility.

Other artists playing NOS Alive 2019 include Thom Yorke, Grace Jones, Idles, Sharon Van Etten, Marina, Hot Chip, Vampire Weekend, Jorja Smith, Cut Copy, Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins.

 


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NOS Alive partners with UN to promote sustainability

Portuguese festival NOS Alive has become the first music festival to partner with United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) in Brussels to help raise awareness of environmental sustainability.

NOS Alive has lent its support to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in UN Agenda 2030, approved and ratified in 2016, which commits UN member states to achieving 17 goals – including gender equality, the eradication of poverty and action on climate change – by 2030.

Festival director Álvaro Covões says specifics of the partnership will be revealed soon, along with new initiatives by NOS Alive to ensure it has “a great cultural impact with the least impact for the planet”.

“It is time to do our part,” he comments. “NOS Alive has been giving more and more attention to the issue of sustainability over the last few years. As one of the biggest events organised in our country we want to be an example in promoting responsible attitudes at the environmental, energy, social and economic level.

“It is an honour for NOS Alive to join this cause”

“That is why we embrace the United Nations Agenda 2030, not only to continue to promote the sustainability of the planet but also to help, through music and culture, [and] awaken the consciences of our public.

“Together we will be able to contribute more and better to this UN mission. It is an honour for NOS Alive to join this cause and be seen as a privileged partner to spread the word.”

NOS Alive 2018 takes place on the Algés coast in Lisbon from 12 to 14 July. Performers include Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Jack White, the National, Future Islands, MGMT, Chvrches, Franz Ferdinand, Wolf Alice and Sampha.

 


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Sustained growth for Portuguese festival market

There were 249 music festivals held in Portugal in 2016 – 39 more than in 2015, or an 18% year-on-year increase – according to a new report by Aporfest (the Association of Portuguese Festivals).

Aporfest’s findings, presented at last week’s talkfest festival conference in Lisbon by Ticketea marketing director Ismael García, also reveal ticket sales grew by 300,000 to 2.1 million.

Portugal’s population is approximately 10.5 million, appearing to suggest one in five Portuguese bought a music festival ticket last year. However, according to García, the growth in sales in fact owes much to what Eventbrite calls ‘super fans’ or ‘hardcore festies’, with 30% of respondents saying they had been to two or more festivals in 2016.

The Portuguese festival scene has seen sustained growth in the past three years, growing from 127 events in 2013 to 156 in 2014, 210 in 2015 and 249 in 2016. According to talkfest director Ricardo Bramão, the number of festivals cancelled in 2016 also fell, to 14, a “figure lower than in previous years”.

Rock festivals were the most popular (attended by 25% of all festivalgoers), followed by alternative music (23%), indie (18%), electronic music (9%), pop (8%), jazz (6%), hip hop (4%) and metal (3%).

The most popular events overall were Rock in Rio Lisbon, NOS em D’Bandada, Sudoeste and Nos Alive (see graphic below).

Aporfest top 15 festivals 2016

While steady growth can only be a good thing, Aporfest cautions that the market remains immature and reliant on subsidies from local authorities.

Festivals that last more than three or four consecutive editions are rare, as it is “difficult for events to be able to attract new sponsors and audiences and achieve profitability”, the report reads. “In recent years, the only festivals that have grown steadily are those that are supported or supported by municipalities.” The organisation also expresses its concern the gulf between “the so-called ‘big festivals'” and smaller players is growing, with a majority of Portuguese festivals now having fewer than 1,000 attendees.

 


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