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Mainland Music hires Andrej Malogajski

Swiss promoter Mainland Music has hired Openair Frauenfeld booker Andrej Malogajski.

The 35-year-old joins Mainland Music, since 2019 part of Live Nation GSA, from Pleasure Productions, which he joined in 2008 and co-owns. Live Nation acquired Openair Frauenfeld, Europe’s biggest hip-hop festival, itself in summer 2017.

In addition to booking Frauenfeld (50,000-cap.), Malogajski has since 2017 handled international booking for Openair Lumnezia and since 2018 Lakelive Festival, and is part of the booking team for major rock/pop event Gurtenfestival (20,000-cap.) in Bern. He was also one of IQ’s New Bosses in 2016.

Malogajski will work in the same position for Zurich-based Mainland

From 1 August, Malogajski will be working in the same position for Zurich-based Mainland, with which Thun-based Pleasure Productions is connected “on a business and friendly basis”, according to a statement from the two firms. Additionally, Pleasure will remain a partner of Openair Frauenfeld in all areas apart from booking.

Led by Christian Gremelmayr, Derrick Thomson and Santosh Aerthott, Mainland Music, formed in 2012, is one of Switzerland’s leading concert and festival promoters, organising more than 650 shows a year.

 


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Major Swiss festivals cancel 2021 editions

A number of Swiss festivals have called off 2021 editions, citing uncertainty about whether major events will be permitted to take place this summer.

The 45th instalment of the annual rock festival Paléo Festival Nyon, scheduled to take place between 19–25 July, has been cancelled as “the situation is still too uncertain to consider organising the festival in its usual form”.

However, the organisers revealed that they are working on a ‘Covid-compatible event’ with a reduced capacity and size, and an extended duration. Health conditions permitting, it will take place from 8 July to 8 August 2021.

Greenfield Festival 2021, due to take place in Interlaken, Bern, between 3–5 June with headliners Volbeat, Korn and Billy Talent, has also been called off.

“Just when we saw a light at the end of the tunnel, it moves even further away than it already was,” reads a statement from the organisers.

“We don’t know which rules might have to be followed, which capacity is allowed, which measures we would have to integrate”

“The situation around Covid-19 is simply not getting better fast enough internationally and in Switzerland in particular. Since we don’t know whether major events will be allowed at all, we simply lack planning certainty. We don’t know which rules might have to be followed, which capacity is allowed and which measures we would have to integrate.”

Rock the Ring (cap. 15,000) has also been cancelled for a second consecutive year due to “the lack of planning security for large events,” says the organiser. The event was planned for 17–19 June in Hinwil, with a line-up that included Foreigner, Three Doors Down and Airbourne.

However, CTS Eventim’s stable of Swiss events, which includes Open Air St Gallen (1–4 July) and SummerDays and Seaside Festival (3–4 September), are taking a wait-and-see approach.

On 4 February, a statement was published on their respective social media pages saying the organisers are “working on various scenarios and protection concepts” for each festival but that ultimately, it’s uncertain whether the events will be able to take place.

At the time of writing Blue Balls Festival is set to go ahead from 23–31 July in Lucerne; hip-hop festival Openair Frauenfeld is holding onto its 7–10 July date and pop event Zürich Openair is on for 25–28 August.

Swiss concert series Baloise Session became the first major European festival to cancel its in-person 2021 edition

Swiss concert series Baloise Session became the first major European festival to cancel its in-person 2021 edition in January, as organisers say it’s “impossible to plan with any certainty” due to the limitations of the pandemic.

While it was announced in February that Montreux Jazz Festival will take place at least partially in the digital realm in 2021, livestreaming all performances from its 55th edition as part of a plan to protect the festival against future disruption.

The lack of certainty around Switzerland’s summer season prompted the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA), along with 26 of the country’s festivals, to call for clarity on the conditions under which Swiss festivals can be held regularly and at full capacity without social distancing.

Last month’s appeal relayed three key requirements for the restart of Swiss festivals: a transparent strategy and uniform conditions for holding events safely, a continual review of measures to ensure they are proportionate to the risks posed, and an event cancellation fund that covers 100% of losses.

Elsewhere, in neighbouring Germany, CTS Eventim and Goodlive have cancelled a slate of the market’s major festivals.

 


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Swiss festival season gone as gov extends event ban

Following two weeks of deliberation, the Swiss government last night (29 April) declared that no events over 1,000 people will take place in the country until the end of August.

The government states it will reassess the situation “before the summer holidays”. The fate of events with fewer than 1,000 attendees will be decided on 27 May.

The decision follows criticism from festival organisers and the Swiss Music Promoters’ Association (SMPA) over the lack of clarity offered by the government to organisers of large-scale events. In the absence of an official declaration, the SMPA recently advised all members to postpone any large events due to take place before mid-July.

Switzerland now joins fellow European countries Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland to effectively ban the whole summer festival season. Large events are not permitted until mid-August in Hungary, the end of June in Austria, mid-July in France and the end of July in Luxembourg and Finland.

Although Swiss festival giants Paléo Festival Nyon and Montreux Jazz Festival had already called time on 2020, a number of significant events including OpenAir St Gallen, SummerDays and Seaside Festivals, Openair Frauenfeld and Zürich Openair were awaiting word from the authorities before cancelling.

“This summer, for the first time in the history of the festival since 1977, there will be no OpenAir St.Gallen,” reads a statement from organisers of the 30,000-capacity festival, which is part of the majority CTS Eventim-owned wepromote, along with SummerDays and Seaside festivals.

Openair St Gallen 2020 was set to feature Twenty One Pilots, the Lumineers, Alan Walker and Of Monsters and Men. “We promise you that we will now put all our passion for the OpenAir St.Gallen even more into the 2021 edition.”

“This summer, for the first time in the history of the festival since 1977, there will be no OpenAir St.Gallen”

The OpenAir St Gallen team urges fans to hold on to their tickets for 2021, saying that “by doing so, you are helping to secure the foundation of our festival, the work of our colleagues and our various teams who have been working on the festival for months and to get us through this very difficult time.”

SummerDays (12,000-cap.) is another to announce its cancellation in the wake of the government’s announcement. The festival falls inside the event ban limits by only a few days, scheduled for 28 to 29 August.

Organisers say they “fully support the actions of the government” and “had to expect this would happen”.

“Let’s make SummerDays 2021 a big highlight together and celebrate like never before.”

Seaside Festival (10,000-cap.), which had previously postponed to the end of August, also announced its support for the government, “albeit with a heavy heart”. Seaside Festival will return from 3 to 4 September 2021.

Other Swiss events to cancel following the government’s announcement include hip-hop festival Openair Frauenfeld (50,000), which had booked Kendrick Lamar, ASAP Rocky and DaBaby for 2020; pop festival Zürich Openair (20,000-cap.), which was to feature Martin Garrix, Lewis Capaldi and Rita Ora, among others; the 30,000-capacity Greenfield Festival (Disturbed, Bring Me The Horizon); and 33,000-capacity OpenAir Gampel (Macklemore, Limp Bizkit, Sum 41).

 


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Live Nation Switzerland acquires Openair Frauenfeld

Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in Openair Frauenfeld, Europe’s largest hip-hop festival.

It is Live Nation’s seventh buy-out or equivalent this year, and follows the acquisition of a controlling stake in Isle of Wight Festival in the UK in March.

Held annually in the Allmend park in Frauenfeld, Thurgau (Thurgovia), since 2004, Openair Frauenfeld began life as rock/pop festival Out in the Green, hosting big-name headliners including The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Bob Dylan and REM. It last week hosted its 14th event as Openair Frauenfeld, welcoming 170,000 attendees and headliners The Weeknd and Usher and The Roots.

Rene Götz, managing director of Frauenfeld-based First Event, will continue to produce the festival for Live Nation Switzerland.

“We are incredibly proud and excited to partner with Openair Frauenfeld, which sees us add one of the world’s finest festival brands to our portfolio”

“We are incredibly proud and excited to partner with Openair Frauenfeld, which sees us add one of the world’s finest festival brands to our portfolio,” comments Andre Lieberberg, president of Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland and Austria). “The partnership will give media and our brand partners a unique platform for the Swiss and German-speaking markets. We look forward to working with First Event AG to build and grow this unique festival brand, offering an unparallelled festival experience to thousands of fans.”

Wolfgang Sahli, the festival’s founder and chairman of First Event, adds: “We believe joining forces with the world’s leading live entertainment company, Live Nation, has given us a strong and innovative partner with which to continue to grow and evolve Openair Frauenfeld.

“We are truly looking forward to our partnership.”

 


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