fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

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.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Banner festivals postpone in America

Burning Man, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas and Lollapalooza Brasil have become the latest high-profile festivals to cut their losses and cancel or postpone their respective 2021 editions.

Annual countercultural arts event Burning Man has been cancelled for a second consecutive year, though organisers say it will return in 2022.

The organisers of the festival, which typically draws tens of thousands of people to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert each year, had been considering making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for the event in August 2021 but have ultimately decided to forego this year’s event.

In a statement, they said: “Although here in the United States we may be feeling the weight lifting and the light at the end of the tunnel brightening, we are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have.”

Elsewhere in the US, the organisers of EDC Las Vegas have been forced to postpone the 25th edition from May to October due to local restrictions on large-scale events.

“We are still in the pandemic, and the uncertainties that need to be resolved are impossible to resolve in the time we have”

According a statement by EDC founder Pasquale Rotella, Nevada state officials announced they would lift social distancing requirements as of 1 May, permitting the festival to go ahead as planned at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The statement goes on to say that on 21 April, the Clark County passed a reopening plan that requires 60% of their residents to be vaccinated before restrictions over large scale gatherings can be lifted, casting uncertainty over the viability of the event.

“We currently have over 40 trucks en route to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway from all over the country,” wrote Rotella. “The lineup is fully booked and was going to be announced tomorrow [22 April] at 12 pm PT. The team and I are heartbroken, as I know many of you are as well. For those who have stayed with us on this journey, I thank you. Your trust & loyalty is what gives us strength to keep moving forward.”

EDC Vegas has now been rescheduled to 22-24 October.

Meanwhile, Lollapalooza, which has planted its flag in seven countries, has pulled its Brazil edition due to the pandemic.

“It became increasingly clear that it will not be possible to have the spectacular weekend you love in 2021”

“Our mission has always been and will always create amazing days and nights for you, passionate about music,” says a statement on the festival’s website. “Moments that shiver, that inspire, that fall in love, and that never leave the memory. We really wanted to make another unforgettable edition this year, but with the public health emergency of international importance due to the pandemic, it became increasingly clear that it will not be possible to have the spectacular weekend you love in 2021.”

The festival, organised by South America’s largest live entertainment company Time For Fun, would have taken place in September 2021 but fortunately fans won’t have to wait an entire year for its return.

The 9th edition will take place between 25 and 27 March 2022 at Interlagos Circuit, in São Paulo.

At the time of writing, Lollapalooza is still set to go ahead in Chile and Argentina in November 2021, while dates are yet to be announced for Berlin and Chicago, which typically take place late summer/early autumn. The Paris and Stockholm 2021 editions have already been cancelled.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Norway’s festival sector compensated NOK 120m+

Live Nation Norway, All Things Live and Tons of Rock will benefit from the latest round of compensation from the Norwegian government’s scheme for organisers and subcontractors in the cultural sector.

The scheme, funded by the ministry of culture and distributed by Norway’s cultural council (Kulturradet), has so far paid out approximately NOK 1.4bn to more than 2,000 applicants across various compensation schemes for 2020.

For the latest tranche, which covers the period of May to August 2020, the cultural council is distributing more than NOK 120m (€11.7m) to some of the biggest players in Norway’s festival sector.

Live Nation Norway has been granted NOK 24.7m as an organiser – just under the NOK 25m it applied for.

Nordic live entertainment powerhouse All Things Live will receive NOK 36.4m – two million less than they applied for – for around 20 concerts that had to be cancelled in 2020.

While, Live Nation-owned Oslo festival Tons of Rock will benefit from NOK 36.1m, the full amount applied for by the organisers.

Other successful applicants include Kristiansand beach festival, Palmesus (NOK 27.1m); organiser of Ålesund Live, Summer party at Giske and Jugendfest, Momentium Live (NOK 8.4m); and Fredrikstad-based all-ages festival, Idyll (NOK 8.7m).

“The largest players in the sector are also large employers and an important part of the cultural sector’s business chain”

“The applications for the compensation schemes show us both how hard the cultural sector has been affected, and how diverse the Norwegian cultural economy is,” says Kristin Danielsen, director of the cultural council.

“The largest players in the sector are also large employers and an important part of the cultural sector’s business chain. Therefore, I would have liked to have had the application process completed earlier.

“At the same time, it has been important for us to process the applications thoroughly. These are community funds, and it is our responsibility to manage them in the best possible way.”

More than 1,500 applications were received for the compensation scheme for the period May-August and more than 1,200 applicants received their decisions in the early autumn of 2020, with a few more applicants yet to be notified.

The Cultural Council is now processing applications for the scheme that applies to September, and the period of October–December has an application deadline of 1 March.

The scheme is designed to compensate organisers and subcontractors that were financially impacted by the Norwegian government’s ban on live events which was extended into late 2020, causing the cancellation of the country’s biggest festivals.

Norway’s ministry of culture last week announced a NOK 350 million financial safety net will allow festival organisers plan for July and August 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Dutch festivals reschedule en masse for September

Swathes of Dutch festivals are postponing spring editions until the autumn in order to be covered by the government’s event cancellation insurance scheme.

The government announced the €300 million insurance scheme last month and is now considering a 1 June commencement date, which is prompting an increasing number of festivals to delay events until the second half of the year.

September is shaping up to be a particularly busy month in the Netherlands’ 2021 festival calendar, with newly rescheduled dates from Awakenings, Paaspop, Zwarte Cross, DGTL, Dauwpop and Utrecht Central Park Festival among others.

Amsterdam dance festival DGTL (pictured), which typically take places during Easter weekend, has been rescheduled for 11 and 12 September at its usual location, the NDSM docklands.

DJs including The Blessed Madonna, HAAi, CamelPhat, Honey Dijon, Nina Kraviz and Ricardo Villalobos have been confirmed.

Dauwpop has also been pushed back, from its standard date in May to 4 September, but will take place at its usual location in Hellendoorn.

Awakenings, Paaspop, Zwarte Cross, DGTL, Dauwpop and Utrecht Central Park Festival have rescheduled for September

The 26th edition of the Mojo-promoted festival will host performances from artists including Chef Special, Eefje De Visser, Kensington and Typhoon. Dauwpop’s organisers say they want to book as many of the same names as possible from the cancelled 2020 event.

Elsewhere, the Utrecht Central Park Festival in Transwijk Park has been moved from 5 June to 18 September “to give visitors more certainty that [the festival] can still take place this year”.

According to the festival, 85% of the tickets have already been sold during last year, while the remaining few are on sale now.

The organisers say they’re hoping to re-book the acts that were due to perform at last year’s edition including Kensington, Chef Special, Di-rect, De Staat and more.

Earlier this month, Paaspop, Awakenings and Zwarte Cross announced new dates.

Best Kept Secret, Pinkpop, Defqon. 1, Motel Mozaique Festival and Ribs & Blues are among the other Dutch festivals scheduled to take place in the spring, but which haven’t announced rescheduled dates.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Artist contracts renegotiated as Covid-19 reality bites

As the concert industry’s collective thoughts turn towards the post-coronavirus recovery, artist contracts – particularly those enshrining huge guarantees for performers – are increasingly finding themselves under the microscope, with cash-strapped promoters pushing for more favourable terms when live music returns.

As a result of the global touring shutdown, many concert organisers are seeking to renegotiate deals for both rescheduled and future shows, asking for a reduction in the artist fee, a smaller upfront payment or a more equitable revenue split, industry sources tell IQ.

“With falling revenue and purchasing power, and increasing costs, it’s almost impossible to continue with the previous deals,” explains one independent European concert promoter, who has pushed back all their shows in summer, as well as many stretching in autumn. “Overpaying for shows will just lead to new losses – especially after we’ve generated next to no income this year.”

The traditional guarantee-plus-percentage model falls in favour of the artist, typically at between 80% and 95% of net income (or even higher for superstar touring artists considered an easy sell-out), alongside a guarantee or minimum fee. But these time-honoured fractions are changing in light of Covid-19. And according to agency sources in Europe and North America, the big two global promoters, Live Nation and AEG Presents, are not alone in pushing to renegotiate deals for postponed shows.

“They [promoters] are trying and testing, asking for a certain percentage off acts for festivals, lowering guarantees, etc.,” says a London-based agent. “We’re mostly seeing [offers with] ticket prices being dropped, with the guarantee being dropped even further. But I think there is still wiggle room to argue.”

Another describes a typical recent offer for two shows at mid-sized venues in the north of England. “I think one offer I had for [those venues] was a guarantee of £10k, which is insanely low,” they say. “For those two, you would probably normally generate a guarantee of £30k–£40k, or even more depending on a ticket price.”

“It’s impossible to continue with the previous deals … Overpaying for shows will just lead to new losses”

“A lot want to pay smaller deposits, too,” they add.

Given the current standstill the industry faces, alongside considerable uncertainty over the coming months, it is no surprise that existing deals are up for discussion. But complicating negotiations on the promoter side, one US concert organiser explains, is that it’s unclear what shape the first post-coronavirus concerts will take – and how many people will be allowed to attend.

In the majority of markets, “I don’t believe venues will be able to operate at full capacity with social distancing,” they suggest, “so that will obviously affect the possible gross.”

“It’s hard to even talk about an artist deal until we can see what that [social distancing] looks like market by market and venue by venue,” they say.

“We need more time to understand where we will all be once this is over,” agrees one of their European colleagues, who – regardless of future rules around social distancing (countries which have set a date for the return of live entertainment are generally insisting on at least 1m distance, in the case of Norway, between each attendee) – are already talking to agents about renegotiating the terms of several pre-coronavirus artist contracts.

“For all our rescheduled shows, we are discussing changes of guarantees, the percentage of deals and other details,” they explain, adding that the negotiations are frequently “really hard”.

“Of course, each case has its own specifics and difficulties,” they add. “So, we are trying to find an acceptable compromise together.”

“They are trying and testing, asking for a certain percentage off acts for festivals and lowering guarantees”

What that compromise looks like will largely depend on how quickly the industry gets back on track. As IQ editor Gordon Masson noted in issue 89, “[t]he very nature of the live music industry had historically relied on a cash-flow wing and a prayer, with everyone in the chain relying to some extent on future earnings to pay for their latest projects” – and with no earnings in the immediate future, many are left with no choice but to try and save some money in the present.

While concerts will likely return to some extent in 2020, many believe it could be years before live music returns to business as normal.

“I think [promoters] are being extra-cautious right now, which is understandable,” says a European agent currently renegotiating a number of rescheduled dates. “But I feel it will go back to normal by 2022 and 2023.”

Another says they don’t foresee any major live music events taking place in Europe, North America or Australasia until next summer at the earliest. “You look at sporting events, stuff like the F1, they’re going ahead without fans – but it’s not like you can do that with concerts,” they comment. “As crazy as it sounds, I don’t think you’re going to see any big shows until mid-2021 now.”

Whether the answer to the mass-gathering conundrum lies in some form of social distancing, such as chequerboard seating, or by visible measures like checking fans’ temperatures before they enter a venue, remains to be seen. Less obvious to concertgoers, though, will be the behind-the-scenes compromises it took to get the artist on stage.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Primavera Sound moves to August

The 20th-anniversary Primavera Sound Barcelona will now take place from 26 to 30 August, as the festival shifts back three months to avoid disruption from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Both Primavera Sound music festival and Primavera Pro, the industry conference that runs alongside it, will take place at their original venue, Barcelona’s waterfront at the Parc del Fòrum.

The events typically takes place at the start of June – Primavera means ‘spring’ in Spanish – with organisers using the slogan: “Primavera in summer, for once in a lifetime”.

Primavera’s Portuguese sister event, Nos Primavera Sound Porto has also been postponed, moving from mid-June to 3 to 5 September.

Tickets already purchased for both festivals and the conference remain valid for the new dates.

Primavera Sound experienced record ticket sales following the release of its line-up this year, with over 10,000 fans snapping up tickets in 24 hours to see the likes of the Strokes, Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves, Tyler the Creator, Beck, Bikini Kill and Disclosure.

Organisers state they “will make every effort to ensure that this change affects the festival’s programme as little as possible.”

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together”

Ticket sales will be reactivated once the country’s official state of emergency, declared on 14 March, is over.

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together,” reads a statement from organisers.

Primavera is not the only Spanish festival to change dates due to coronavirus.

Mallorca Live has moved from mid-May to 8 to 10 October, with organisers stating that 80% of the line-up has so far been retained for the later date. The 25th edition of Viña Rock festival will also take place in October, moving from dates at the end of April.

Mad Cool festival director Javier Arnaiz confirmed his intention to continue with the 2020 festival to Spanish newspaper El País last week, saying “our aim is for the festival to go ahead on the original dates. We are positive despite the cirumstances. Suspension is not a part of our plans.” Spanish festivals including Sónar (18 to 20 June), Arenal Sound (28 July to 2 August), Bilbao BBK (9 to 11) and FIB are all currently going ahead as planned.

The approach differs from that seen in the UK in recent weeks, with the cancellation of the major events including Glastonbury Festival, Download, Isle of Wight, Parklife, Lovebox and All Points East.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.