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Poland’s Open’er festival cancelled again

Open’er, Poland’s largest annual music festival, has been cancelled for the second year running due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the organisers wrote: “This is a difficult moment for us. Another one in the midst of the pandemic. Over the last few months we have fought and done so much to make this year’s edition of the Open’er Festival possible. Although we are convinced that the return of the festival world is very close, we are losing this race against time.

“The process of recovering from the pandemic is progressing, vaccinations are ongoing, but unfortunately for obvious reasons, both local and international, the lack of a plan for the coming months and the restrictions in force – the beginning of July in Poland is not yet the time when we will be able to organize Open’er Festival in the scale and form you expect.”

Kendrick Lamar, Twenty One Pilots and A$AP Rocky would have headlined this year’s event at Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport in Gdynia between 30 June and 3 July.

“Although we are convinced that the return of the festival world is very close, we are losing this race against time”

Twenty One Pilots, however, have already been announced for next year’s 20th-anniversary edition.

Michael Kiwanuka, Destroyer, Badbadnotgood and Seasick Steve have also been confirmed for Open’er 2022, set to take place between 29 June and 2 July.

In the meantime, Open’er is planning a new event that will take place in Gdynia and span several weeks. The organisers say they will reveal more details in the coming weeks.

The cancellation of Open’er follows that of multi-venue festival World Wide Warsaw and electronic festival Undercity, both of which are promoted by Follow the Step.

At the time of writing, Fest Festival, Pol ‘and’ Rock and Wisloujscie are still set to go ahead.

 


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Gdańsk music festival given the green light for 2020

Gdańsk-based electronic music festival Wisłoujście has been permitted to go ahead this year and is currently the only remaining event in Poland’s 2020 festival calendar.

The second annual event will take place between 21–23 and 28–30 August in a historic seaside fortress, featuring domestic acts including Agim, Ricardo, Violent.

Wisłoujście promoter, Follow The Step, has made a number of changes to the event in order to comply with the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

This year, the 4,000-capacity event will take place across two weekends instead of one to make up the capacity lost to social distancing measures, while the festival area has been enlarged to allow for attendees to maintain space.

The organisers will also have to comply with measures including checking attendees’ temperatures and health documents on arrival, enforcing the use of masks and providing disinfectants throughout the event.

The promoter also announced that this year it would install a special sound system with a delay line so that festival-goers could enjoy the same quality of sound whilst maintaining a distance.

This year’s edition will take place across two weekends instead of one to make up the capacity lost to social distancing measures

Poland entered its fourth phase of lockdown easing on 30 May, giving the green light for public gatherings of up to 150 people – with a specific reference to outdoor concerts – as long as participants keep two metres apart, or cover their faces.

Live, open-air events are now permitted to take place in areas that are not engaged in a local lockdown, provided the number of attendees does not exceed one person per five square metres and coronavirus guidelines can be met.

Wisłoujście promoter Follow the Step has already capitalised on the new regulations with an outdoor concert series that took place in the Praga area of the Polish capital of Warsaw in July, in conjunction with venue Praga Centrum. However, other event organisers haven’t been so fortunate.

Poland’s Open’er Festival was among those forced to cancel its 2020 edition due to the Covid-19 crisis but recently confirmed that Twenty One Pilots, the Chemical Brothers, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and FKA Twigs will appear at its 2021 festival, from 30 June to 2 July.

 


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Outdoor concerts return to Poland

Live music is returning to Poland this summer, following a government announcement that outdoor events of up to 150 people are now permitted.

Poland, where events of over 100 people have been banned since early March, entered its fourth phase of lockdown easing on 30 May, giving the green light for public gatherings of up to 150 people – with a specific reference to outdoor concerts – as long as participants keep two metres apart, or cover their faces.



From Saturday (6 June), cultural institutions in Poland such as theatres and venues will be allowed to reopen with reduced capacities. Night clubs are to remain closed.

Capitalising on the new regulations, promoter Follow the Step has announced an outdoor concert series, which is taking place in the Praga area of the Polish capital of Warsaw in July, in conjunction with venue Praga Centrum.

Live music is returning to Poland this summer, following a government announcement that outdoor events of up to 150 people are now permitted

The Lato na Pradze (Summer in Praga) series is kicking off on 1 July with a show by electronic-pop trio Kamp!, followed by concerts by Polish artists Nosowska, Krzysztof Zalewski, Natalia Nykiel, Natalia Przybysz, Jabłoni Flower and Sonbird.

Green relaxation zones, food trucks and bars will also be set up in the garden of the Praga Centrum complex.

Tickets go on sale on 4 June at 12 p.m. (CET) here. The number of tickets available may increase as restrictions are lifted.

Poland’s Open’er Festival, among those forced to cancel its 2020 edition due to the Covid-19 crisis, recently confirmed that Twenty One Pilots, the Chemical Brothers, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and FKA Twigs will appear at its 2021 festival, from 30 June to 2 July.

Photo: Tim Adams/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)


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Futureproofing festival wristbands: Dutchband Q&A

The festival wristband industry has seen significant innovation in recent years, as suppliers have incorporated payment solutions and anti-counterfeit measures, as well as experimenting with ever more sustainable and durable materials.

For over 17 years, Dutchband, the largest supplier of event wristbands and consumption tokens in the Netherlands, has provided fraud-resistant, user-friendly and efficient wristband and payment solutions to over 1,000 events worldwide.

IQ checks in with Dutchband managing director Michiel Fransen to discover how the company is keeping gatecrashers out and making products more eco-friendly, as well as finding out what lengths the team will go to in order to ensure speedy wristband delivery.

 


IQ: Can you give me a brief description of who Dutchband are and what work you do?

Michiel Fransen: Dutchband has been active in the wristband and cashless payment business for close to two decades. Initially started as one of the first companies to use digital printing technology for wristband production, we have also introduced other innovations such as our unique payment tokens, vending machines, point-of-sale (POS) terminals and, of course, our high security SealStation solution (pictured), a semi automatic machine that seals wristbands on fans safely, quickly and comfortably.

We are proud to work with many of the bigger festivals in Europe. Festivals like Solidays and Fete de l’Humanité in France, the UK’s Download and WeAreFSTVL, German festival Rock am Ring, Poland’s Open’er, Lowlands in the Netherlands, Paleo in Switzerland and the Defqon1 and Mysteryland franchises all have used our solutions for either access-control wristbands or cashless payment.

We have seen an influx of new kinds of festival wristbands entering the market in recent years. What sets Dutchband apart from other companies working in the sector?

We differentiate ourselves mainly by always looking for ways to improve on the products that are currently offered in the market. We do this not only in terms of the physical properties of the products themselves, but also by exceeding customer expectations when it comes to service and reliability as a supplier.

There are quite a few cases where festivals have contacted us just before, or even during an event, to arrange delivery of additional wristbands or payment tokens. We understand the importance of helping out our customers in these cases and will do everything to arrange timely delivery, even if it means that one of our team has to jump on a plane to do so.

Dutchband Q&A

In terms of new developments, what are the most exciting innovations that Dutchband has implemented in recent years?

What I’m really excited about is our new range of wristbands, made entirely from organic and recycled materials. This perfectly matches our ambition to help our customers further reduce their environmental footprint. This means we can now offer sustainable alternatives for our entire product range, from SealStation wristbands made out of recycled soda bottles, to payment tokens produced from our own production waste.

Being more sustainable is the top of the priority list for many working in the live event industry, what do you believe are the other main challenges facing the wristband sector today and how is Dutchband tackling them?

The biggest challenge is to keep outsmarting the counterfeiters (and cheeky visitors) trying to get into the event for free. I believe that with our fully tamperproof, closureless SealStation wristband, we can really help festivals tackle this problem.

This foolproof design applies not only to our higher-end solutions but – and this is quite unique for this industry – even to our most basic Tyvek wristbands, made out of a plastic fibre that resembles paper, as a standard come with overt and covert anti-counterfeiting measures.

Looking to the future, what does Dutchband hope to achieve?

We keep on innovating to bring sustainable, reliable and easy-to-implement payment and accreditation products to the leading festivals of the world. Just like in the Netherlands, we want to be the people to call globally if you need a good solution and you need it now.

 


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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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