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

Romania’s Electric Castle set for biggest year yet

Romania’s Electric Castle set for its biggest year yet, marking the 10th edition.

Electric Castle is expecting to welcome over 230,000 visitors across five days of non-stop music this July. Set in Transylvania’s Banffy Castle, the festival stands as one of Europe’s most uniquely impressive offerings and since its debut in 2013 has created an ever-growing international community around the annual gathering. Last year Electric Castle attracted visitors from 14 countries and is expected to expand even further this year for a special anniversary edition.

This year marks its 10th edition with an impressively varied line up spanning sought-after headline acts from Massive Attack and Chase & Status to Bring Me The Horizon, Queens of the Stone Age, Paolo Nutini, Sean Paul and Ricardo Villalobos. Recently completing the lineup with almost 300 names, the festival also delves far beyond music – which runs day and night for a fully 24-hour experience throughout. Within the grounds is found a wealth of media installations, performances, and disruptive talks.

The 15th century castle and cultural centre in the Cluj-Napoca area of Romania plays a key role in the theme of the festival each year. The festival contributes to the Baroque monument’s restoration and strives to leave a positive impact on its surroundings as a sustainable low emissions festival. During the festival, a mini-society called EC Village is built to accommodate camping in green spaces where 4,000 trees have been planted in just one of many green initiatives under the banner of Nature Is Our Dance Floor.

Electric Castle has been frequently recognised at the European Festival Awards with nominations every year, and has received the award for Best Camping, Best Food & Drinks and Best Medium Festival – a testament to attention to detail given to the overall experience of festivalgoers.

Electric Castle has established itself as a pivotal launchpad for artists from Romania and its neighbouring countries

The giant main stage has played host to a crop of the world’s biggest live acts over the years, including Gorillaz, Iggy Pop, The Prodigy, Sigur Ros, Skrillex, Damian Marley, Limp Bizkit, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Florence + The Machine and many more. Elsewhere, the festival explores an extensive array of electronic and alternative styles at the Hanger stage, the industrial BOOHA space, the woodland Hideout arena, the late night Dance Garden, as well
as the family-friendly Beach area. Plus there’s even more to discover around the grounds at the Backyard Stage, Radio Stage, Stables, Roots Stage and even at a venue located inside the campsite.

In its mission to foster a diverse musical landscape, from its very first edition, Electric Castle has established itself as a pivotal launchpad for artists from Romania and its neighbouring countries, focusing on nurturing talents from lesser-known music markets on the international stage. By its 10th anniversary, the festival has evolved into a vibrant hub for both local acts and artists from Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, or Moldova.

This year’s edition of Electric Castle is not to be missed, as a greater number of music and art lovers from around the world find themselves captivated by Transylvania’s hidden secret of the summer season.

The 10th edition of Electric Castle takes place 17-21 July 2024, and performing this year will be Massive Attack, Queens of the Stone Age, Bring Me the Horizon, Chase & Status LIVE, Sean Paul, Paolo Nutini, Khruangbin, Palaye Royale, Marc Rebillet, DJ Diesel (SHAQ), Sevdaliza, DJ Shadow, Bonobo DJ SET, Apashe with Brass Orchestra, Kenya Grace, Sleaford Mods and more.

 


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.

Nicki Minaj to make Romania debut at SAGA Festival

Rapper Nicki Minaj will perform in Romania for the first time, at the fourth edition of SAGA festival.

The Trinidadian-born artist has been named a headliner for the three-day event, set for 5–7 July at the Romanero airport in Bucharest.

The performance at SAGA is part of her largest tour to date, Nicki Minaj Presents: Pink Friday 2 World, which spans almost 40 concerts across North America and Europe.

“We are extremely excited to bring the #1 female hip hop artist in the world to SAGA Festival in Romania for the first time,” says Allan Hardenberg of ALDA, which promotes SAGA. “Nicki Minaj is an icon, and we are incredibly proud to offer our fans the opportunity to experience such an extraordinary and unforgettable show.”

“We are extremely excited to bring the #1 female hip hop artist in the world to SAGA Festival in Romania for the first time”

The 55,000-capacity festival will see more than 150 artists perform across six stages. Previously confirmed acts include Armin van Buuren, Raye, Loreen, Artbat, Dennis Lloyd, James Hype and Nico Moreno.

SAGA is organised by Amsterdam-based promoter ALDA, which has been 50% owned by leading dance promoter and Live Nation subsidiary Insomniac since October 2018.

ALDA is behind events including Rotterdam’s A State of Trance and A Day at the Park and the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival, Amsterdam Music Festival.

Los Angeles-based Insomniac has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including Electric Daisy Carnivals in North America, Japan, China and Mexico and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running dance music event.

 


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.

Late site move for Romania’s Summer in the City

This weekend’s Summer in the City festival in Romania has been relocated just days before it was due to begin.

Headlined by Robbie Williams – who last performed in the country in 2015 – and Jason Derulo, the 18-19 August event was set to be held at Bucharest’s Piata Constituției (Constitution Square), but will now take place at Romexpo, according to a Facebook post by organisers that shows the stage being constructed. No reason has been given for the switch.

The festival, which will also feature the likes of Editors, Calum Scott, Abby Roberts and Nicole Cherry, is being staged by D&D East Entertainment and veteran promoter Marcel Avram. Day tickets start at 369 leu (€75), and weekend passes from 499 leu.

Speaking before the venue change, D&D manager Denise Săndulescu said more than €3 million had been invested in the event, with around 30,000 people expected to attend for each of the two days.

“I hope that we will have a two-day urban festival that will remain in the souls of Bucharest residents and other visitors to the city,” she tells Romania Libera. “I firmly believe that every quality event should be embraced by politicians, public administration and should be seen as an opportunity for fun, relaxation, motivation of citizens.

“Marcel Avram has been in this industry for 55 years. He is a Mohican of the event industry”

“In addition, it should be understood that these are opportunities that have a ‘time limit’; no one knows how long an artist will be at our ‘disposal’, the public’s, or a new pandemic, a war or another global event may occur that will rob us of this privilege of seeing live international entertainers as important as Robbie Williams.”

Săndulescu praises the influence of Avram, who pioneered global touring with the likes of Rod Stewart and Michael Jackson.

“Let’s not forget that our partner Marcel Avram has been in this industry for 55 years,” she says. “He is a Mohican of the event industry, he knows both the old and the new generation and he has never lost his spirit, but he can’t to forget the true values ​​of music. He wants to invest his power, his will, his credibility to bring the artists who still exist on this earth and mean something to the music and the audience.”

Summer in the City was originally announced for 3-4 June before original headliner Sam Smith cancelled their slot alongside a number of other shows, citing technical and logistical problems.

“Geographically, Romania is a difficult market, but it is recognised as a country with a warm, music-loving, welcoming audience,” adds Săndulescu. “D&D East Entertainment has other events planned and we want to cover all the possibilities to bring all the artists who would love to entrust us with this Romanian market.”


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.

Festival heads talk costs: “There is trouble ahead”

European festival heads discussed the impact of spiralling costs on the 2022 and 2023 festival seasons at last week’s Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany.

Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio, DE), Catharine Krämer (DreamHaus, DE), and Codruța Vulcu (ARTmania, RO) were among the pros discussing higher expenses during the Festival Season 22/23 panel.

Thanscheidt told the panel that while Hamburg-headquartered FKP Scorpio sold out 27 of its 28 festivals, the margins were “complete shit” due to higher expenses.

“Production costs are up 25–30%,” he said. “It depends on the department because some [costs] are up just 10% but others were like 120%. This year we were put into a corner where we could either say yes [to the increase] or just not do the festival.”

The company’s festival portfolio includes Hurricane (DE), Southside (DE), Provinssi (FI), Sideways (FI), Greenfield (CH), Best Kept Secret (NL) and new festival Tempelhof Sounds (DE) – some of which were €30 to €50 more expensive to attend this year.

While FKP Scorpio sold out 27 of its 28 festivals, the margins were “complete shit” due to higher expenses

“We’re trying to [increase ticket prices] in a very smooth way,” said Thanscheidt. “If we get to €400–500 for normal festival tickets, we’ll have a problem. We’re trying to be very sensible in setting the prices. So we’re very happy that the audience was fine with that and we sold all the tickets without getting a shitstorm on socials or something.”

In Romania, rising costs are only exacerbated by the country’s close proximity to the war in Ukraine.

“The inflation rate is 15.5% which is extremely high so everything from production to personnel was completely out of proportion,” said Vulcu, CEO of ARTmania, Romania’s longest-running rock festival.

Vulcu told the panel that many of the festival’s partners backed out of supporting the 2022 event but the main sponsor, German hypermarket chain Kaufland, offered to make up the slack.

“They said ‘Okay, let’s give you some more money to survive. Can we take extra costs from you that we can put on our budgets?’ So it was a positive and totally unexpected turn but apparently, they were they are wanting to be the saviours of festivals,” she said.

“The inflation rate [in Romania] is 15.5% so everything from production to personnel was completely out of proportion”

Looking towards next year’s ARTmania, which is already on sale, Vulcu says it’s hard to see how the festival can spread skyrocketing costs.

“We book mainly internationally and the prices that I’m getting from some artists are not low but we can’t put the ticket prices so high that the young people can’t come,” she explained.

DreamHaus’ Krämer says the Berlin-based agency is facing a similar stalemate situation for next year’s festival season after their production costs increased 25–30%.

“No supplier will ever say ‘We’re going back to the prices that we had in 2019’,” she said. “So we could lower the cost of the whole festival experience but this would have a significant impact on the whole quality of it.”

CTS Eventim-backed DreamHaus is jointly responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, which have a combined attendance of 150,000, among other events.

“We could lower the cost of the whole festival experience but this would have a significant impact on the quality”

Referencing Thanscheidt’s earlier point, Krämer added: “There are not that many suppliers that can supply festivals of our size so we’re also in a corner, where we can take it or leave it.”

Thanscheidt says the crisis will only get worse ahead of next year’s season, though he’s bullish about the industry’s ability to come up with solutions.

“Costs will not go down next year,” said Thanscheidt. “Gas and electricity prices are doubled now and they will be tripled in a few weeks. Inflation might go up again.

“There are some months of trouble coming up and the result is yet to be seen. But of course, we will all stay very positive because that’s what we always do in an industry in which most of us have a DIY background. So let’s see how we solve this but it will not be easy.”

 


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.

ARTmania spearheads launch of job site for Ukrainians

European festivals ARTmania (Romania) and Pohoda (Slovakia) have teamed up with Music Export Ukraine to launch a pan-European job site that aims to help displaced Ukrainians from the live music industry find work in other countries.

The companies say that ARTery was launched as a reaction to the war in Ukraine but that the platform will also counter the effects of the staff shortage in Europe caused by Covid.

“We want to help [Ukrainians] resume their lives with dignity in other countries and give them a sense of normality by helping them to do what they’re trained to do,” Codruța Vulcu, festival director at ARTMania in Romania, previously told IQ.

“We want to help [Ukrainians] resume their lives with dignity in other countries”

“The aim is that these people don’t end up washing dishes in Berlin, for example, but that they can continue the work they’ve studied and prepared for – and all that added value will not get lost,” she says.

The platform officially launched on Saturday (7 May) and is already advertising jobs for ARTmania festival, Music Export Ukraine and European Music Exporters Exchange in Belgium.

Companies can post a job, while Ukrainian music representatives can register and create a profile in order to browse job offers and apply directly. Visit the ARTery website here.

 


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.

Benefit concerts for Ukraine raise millions

Three benefits concerts have together raised almost €20 million for charities providing relief during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sound of Peace, a televised live concert that took place yesterday (20 March) in Berlin, raised more than €12 million, according to the organisers.

Around 20,000 people attended the concert at Brandenburg Gate, while viewership at home peaked at more than a million.

Peter Maffay, Marius Müller-Westernhagen and David Garrett were among the raft of artists that performed in support of the cause.

“Overwhelmed by the support we shared as an initiative and this strong co-operation of all participants, we find it hard to find words to describe how we feel right now,” reads a post on Facebook from the organisers.

“Sound of Peace has shown that anything can be achieved if you stick together and support each other,” it adds.

“Sound of Peace has shown that anything can be achieved if you stick together and support each other”

A similar event took place in Poland over the weekend at the Atlas Arena (cap. 13,000) in Łódź.

Together with Ukraine, a live concert organised by promoter Follow the Step that aired in 50 countries, raised nearly PLN 8 million (€1.7m).

The concert saw some of the biggest names in Ukraine and Poland perform in aid of Polish Humanitarian Action.

The stars in attendance included Daria Zawialow, Igo, Dagadana, Jerry Heil and Marcin Wyrostek.

Amelia Anisovych, a seven-year-old Ukrainian girl who went viral for singing Let It Go in a Kyiv bomb shelter, also performed.

“We are moved and proud that we could work with you on this unforgettable event,” reads a post on Follow the Step’s Facebook page.

“As a festival organiser, we turned our powerlessness into actual help, and that felt like the least we could do”

Elsewhere, a pair of events spearheaded by Dutch promoter Alda together raised more than €1 million for the Romanian Red Cross.

We Are One took place at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania, with as many as 50,000 attendees, according to Alda.

The eight-hour event saw a plethora of artists invited to participate, including illustrious names such as Armin van Buuren, Inna and Tom O’Dell.

It was also streamed online and via Romanian TV and radio, with more than seven million people tuning in nationally, and around the world.

Alda’s second fundraiser, Dance For Ukraine, took place at the Tauron Arena in Poland with no fewer than 14,000 trance fans.

Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Ruben de Ronde, Solarstone and Vini Vici were among the performers.

Allan Hardenberg, director and co-founder of festival organiser Alda, says: “We are extremely proud that we have been able to raise such a nice amount for the Red Cross with both shows, in support of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The power of music was tangible during We Are One and #danceforukraine.

“As a festival organiser, we turned our powerlessness into actual help, and that felt like the least we could do.”

 


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.

Ukraine fundraisers: “Music has the power to make a difference”

A handful of benefit concerts have each raised upwards of six figures for humanitarian and financial relief during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Dutch promoter ALDA and renowned Dutch radio show ASOT100 (A State of Trance) raised a total of €152,350 from their Dance for Ukraine fundraiser in Poland.

The event took place on Saturday (12 March) at the Tauron Arena (cap. 22,000) in Kraków and featured performances from ASTOT producers Armin van Buuren and Ruben de Ronde among others.

The proceeds from Dance for Ukraine go to the Polish Red Cross to aid their efforts in helping the Ukrainian people in need.

Elsewhere, in Belgium, more than fourteen electronic music festivals and nightlife collectives rolled up their sleeves for a unique open-air festival to raise funds for Ukraine.

Led by festivals Hangar and Paradise City, the United for Ukraine benefit at Atomium in Brussels garnered €100,000 for Underground4Ukraine.

More than 4,000 attendees watched performances from Charlotte de Witte, Lefto, AliA, DC Salas and Ukrainian singer Ana Fantana who sang the national anthem.

“You proved that music has the power to make a difference,” wrote Paradise City on Facebook the day after the event.

Across the pond, a fundraiser at New York City’s City Winery, hosted by Ukrainian-born Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello, raised US$130,000 (€118,500).

Patti Smith, The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and Suzanne Vega were among the artists that performed at the benefit.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Patti Villegas (@pattivill)

Proceeds from the concert were donated to Come Back Alive, a foundation that provides support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and Care.org.

Among the funds raised, there was a $50,000 donation by Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon to Doctors Without Borders.

“Fundraising is crucial,” Hutz told Rolling Stone. “People are being super generous and making astronomical donations. Our task is to keep beating the drum and tell the story authentically.”

More benefit concerts for Ukraine are being announced every day, with Arcade Fire’s fundraiser in New Orleans, Louisana, being the latest.

The Canadian band will take to the stage at the city’s Toulouse Theatre venue tonight (14 March) and all proceeds will benefit the Plus 1 Ukraine relief fund.

Elsewhere, Polish promoter Follow the Step has announced a televised charity concert, Together with Ukraine, featuring some of the biggest Polish and Ukrainian stars.

Vito Bambino, Zalewski, Igo and Daria Zawiałow are among the artists that will perform at Atlas Arena (cap. 13,806) on 20 March for Together with Ukraine.

 


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.

European live industry stepping up for Ukraine

Live music markets around the world are pitching in to support the citizens of Ukraine, as the Russian military continues its full-scale invasion of the country.

From helping with logistics at borders to finding employment for displaced professionals, the global sector is utilising its unique resources to help those fleeing the conflict.

Codruța Vulcu, festival director at ARTMania in Romania, is spearheading the launch of a pan-European job site that aims to help uprooted Ukrainians from the live music industry find work in other countries.

“We want to help them resume their lives with dignity in other countries and give them a sense of normality by helping them to do what they’re trained to do,” she tells IQ.

“I would call it an ideological solution for what Putin is trying to do. He’s trying to destroy a way of life and whatever these people have built and invested in.

“We want to help them resume their lives with dignity in other countries and give them a sense of normality”

“The aim is that these people don’t end up washing dishes in Berlin, for example, but that they can continue the work they’ve studied and prepared for – and all that added value will not get lost,” she says.

The platform, due to launch within the next week, is called ARTery for that very reason. “An artery keeps life going,” she explains. “It keeps the flow of blood and life – and so to say the activity of art – going.”

Michal Kascak from Pohoda, Slovakia’s biggest festival, is also involved in the project and the pair are attempting to enlist as many festivals, companies and venues within the industry as possible.

Vulcu hopes that, even after the war, the platform will be used by creatives around the world fleeing from conflict areas or dictatorial regimes – including Russians.

Alongside the launch of ARTery, ARTMania and Pohoda are deploying production staff to help organise logistics at their respective borders.

“I think that we as concert promoters, venues, clubs, festivals should offer slots in our events to Ukrainians who can play”

In addition, Pohoda also recently organised a solidarity concert for the people of Ukraine, which became a high-profile event in Slovakia.

“Slovakia’s president Zuzana Čaputová came to the event and made a great speech onstage, which was a surprise for everyone,” Kascak tells IQ.

“I was also positively surprised that public TV called us the evening before and asked to join the concert. Slovenska One, the major channel in Slovakia, broadcast the concert live on TV for three hours nonstop!”

The concert took place last Sunday (27 February) in Bratislava’s Main Square and featured more than 20 acts from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.

“I think that we as concert promoters, venues, clubs, festivals should offer slots in our events to Ukrainians who can play and bring a message from their country to ours,” says Kascak. “I think it can be a strong gesture and can also help to unite people and to spread the message about what’s going on in Ukraine.”

But it’s not just neighbouring countries that are pitching in to support citizens in Ukraine. In Austria, promoter Barracuda Music has transformed part of Nova Rock‘s festival site into a refugee centre.

Nova Rock Hall, which is typically used as a backstage and hospitality area during the festival, is now equipped to accommodate up to 480 refugees.

“The hall is set up in multiple sections, which are suited for 50 people each and include beds and seating,” Barracuda Music CEO Ewald Tatar explains to IQ. “Electricity, water, heating, light and hygiene and sanitation facilities (toilets, garbage disposal etc.) are all installed to accommodate the refugees.”

“It is important that the international live music industry shows solidarity with Ukraine,” adds Tatar.

Alongside the refugee centre, Nova Rock is also gearing up for a fundraising concert, titled ‘We Stand with Ukraine’.

The charity gig, announced today, is scheduled for 19 March at Ernst Happel-Stadion, Vienna, and donations will benefit people affected by the Ukraine war.

Nova Rock’s event is one of countless fundraisers around the world that have been organised to aid victims of the war.

Romanian promoter ALDA is spearheading two benefit events – We Are One at Bucharest stadium and Dance for Ukraine in Poland. Elsewhere, Brussels-based festivals, nightclubs and events have announced an open-air festival at Atomium.

Poland’s Follow the Step is gearing up to announce “the biggest show in Poland together with television and local artists”. While, across the pond, New York’s City Winery is hosting a benefit featuring Ukrainian-born Eugene Hütz & Gogol Bordello, as well as the likes of Patti Smith.

See a non-exhaustive list of benefit concerts, compiled by Music Export Ukraine, below.

 


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.

Omicron in Europe: Latest restrictions on live music

As markets across Europe step up efforts to combat the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, IQ is endeavouring to update the industry on the most recent restrictions affecting live music across the continent.

Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key European markets.

Please note that we will aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible but all information is subject to change. 

To submit an update to this, please get in touch. This article was last updated on 5 January.

Austria
Austria will suspend a lockdown for the unvaccinated during year-end holidays, allowing them to meet in groups of up to 10 on three days around Christmas, as well as New Year’s Eve.

On 12 December, the government ended the three-week lockdown for vaccinated people across most of the country.

The relaxation, which varies from region to region, largely allows for the reopening of theatres, museums and other cultural and entertainment venues. Masks will still be required in public spaces.

Austria is also set to become the first European country to make Covid vaccinations compulsory, with the law due to take effect from 1 February 2022.

Belgium
Music venues are to be shuttered and all indoor mass events are prohibited until at least 28 January.

Outdoor events are permitted to take place but social distancing must be maintained and masks are required. Events with more than 100 visitors must have a one-way circulation plan and a separate entrance and exit.

The new rules were introduced on 26 December 2021. Previously, indoor events in Belgium could take place with a seated and masked audience of no more than 200 people.

Denmark
Music venues, among other indoor cultural institutions, have been ordered to close from 19 December until 17 January 2022.

The Danish parliament has acted quickly to reopen compensation schemes for event organisers, smaller venues and artists.

Esben Marcher, head of secretariat at live music association Dansk Live, welcomes the agreement: “Under the circumstances, it’s a good deal. The rapporteurs and the minister have been very outreach in the dialogue around the agreement, and we feel that they have really listened to us. We really appreciate that.”

England
Vaccine passports and facemasks will be required in order to attend concerts in England from 15 December. The wearing of face masks will be mandated in all venues where crowds gather, and Covid certificates will be needed for: venues where large crowds gather, including nightclubs; unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people; and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people.

The introduction of a negative LFT in the certification scheme, meanwhile, followed extended lobbying by the sector to include the measure in any new restrictions.

France
From 3 January, indoor events are limited to 2,000 capacity and outdoor gatherings are restricted to 5,000 people, while nightclubs will remain closed until further notice.

The government said on 17 December it will present a bill early next year to change the French health pass into a vaccination pass. That means people will have to be vaccinated in order to enter music venues and many other leisure and entertainment facilities.

Under the current rules, a recent negative test can serve as a health pass even without vaccination.

Germany
The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) has been extended to cover the whole country – meaning only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid can attend live music venues and other cultural events.

Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees, while indoor gatherings are limited to 50% cap and crowds of up to 5,000. Masks are mandatory at all events.

Nightclubs will be required to close from 28 December. Football matches will be played behind closed doors from that date, with private gatherings restricted to 10 people.

Ireland
From Monday 20 December, hospitality and cultural venues including music venues, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres must close by 20:00.

All indoor events can operate at 1,000 or 50% capacity and must be fully seated. The number of spectators allowed to attend sporting events is now capped at 50% capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people. The measures will stay in place until at least 30 January 2022.

Face masks will be obligatory unless people are eating or drinking. Nightclubs — which in October reopened for the first time in 19 months — have been closed since 7 December.

Italy
The government has banned concerts until 31 January and extended the country’s state of emergency to 31 March 2022. Nightclubs will also remain closed until the end of this month, and the consumption of food and drink at concert halls and other indoor locations is also banned until the end of March, amid the spread of the omicron variant. The use of FFP2 masks is also compulsory on public transport, in theatres, concert halls and cinemas and for sporting events until at least 31 March.

Netherlands
For the second time in the space of a week, the Dutch government has imposed tighter restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

It was announced on 18 December that residents will be subject to a full lockdown from Sunday 19 December until at least Friday 14 January 2022.

During this time, music venues will be closed and events will not be permitted. Residents must stay at home as much as possible and adhere to the 1.5-metre social distancing rule when outside.

The Dutch government has put plans to implement a 2G system on hold until the new year, saying there is not currently enough time to draw up the legislation.

Northern Ireland
As of 26 December, indoor standing events are not permitted. For outdoor and indoor events, either proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is required.

Norway
As of 13 December, a maximum of 20 people is permitted at public indoor events without fixed allocated seats, and 50 people with fixed allocated seats.

At outdoor public events, a maximum of 100 people is permitted without fixed allocated places, and up to 200 in three cohorts with fixed allocated places.

For all indoor events, whether seated or standing, organisers must ensure that one-metre social distancing can be maintained between attendees. In addition, all attendees at indoor events must wear masks.

Event organisers are required to register guests for track and trace.

Poland
From 15 December, nightclubs will close and the maximum number of people allowed in other venues will be reduced from 50% capacity to 30%.

Venues can increase their operating capacity by only admitting vaccinated attendees, with staff required to check vaccination certificates. Face coverings are mandatory inside music venues.

Portugal
As of 1 December, Covid passports certifying full inoculation, recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result, will be mandatory to access events, restaurants, gyms and other leisure and hospitality businesses. Masks will be required for indoor spaces.

In addition, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be required to show a negative test to be granted entry to large events without marked seats, sports venues, bars and nightclubs.

From 26 December, bars and nightclubs will be closed, with outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people

For the week of 2–9 January (aka ‘containment week’), working from home will be obligatory, bars will close and school holidays extended to prevent a post-holiday season spread.

Romania
Concerts and events in Romania will be staged at 50% capacity to a maximum of 1,000 people (all of whom must be vaccinated) with a 10:00 pm curfew.

Scotland
As of 6 December, evidence of a negative Covid test – from either a lateral flow test or PCR – is included in Scotland’s Covid-19 passport scheme. Previously, attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination.

The Scottish government is implementing further restrictions on large-scale events and public spaces from 26 December.

From 27 December until the first week in January, when it is reviewed, the government is advising people to limit their social contacts, to adhere to social distancing advice and to stay at home where possible. Nightclubs will be closed for three weeks from that date.

Spain
As of 3 December, Covid certification demonstrating proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a recent negative test is required to enter music venues, bars, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, care homes, or attend events in hotels and restaurants with indoor dance floors. For indoor standing events, capacity is set at 80% maximum.

Sweden
Indoor events with between 20 and 500 attendees that don’t require vaccinations certificates must now be seated. For events with more than 500 participants, vaccinations certificates and social distancing are required.

Groups must be able to keep a distance of at least one meter sideways and forwards and backwards from other groups. If a group is larger than eight people, the organiser must divide the party with a maximum of eight participants in each.

The restrictions were introduced on 23 December and the effect will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Switzerland
As of 6 December, masks will have to be worn indoors wherever a certificate obligation applies. Events and venues, both indoor and outdoor, will be allowed to restrict entry to people who are vaccinated or recovered. The measures will be in effect until 24 January.

Wales
Large events are prohibited with maximum numbers of 30 at an indoor event and 50 outdoors. Nightclubs must close.

The NHS Covid Pass is needed for entry to concert halls and many other venues. Face masks are still required in most public places.

 


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.

Romania’s Saga festival reveals new venue for 2022

Leading dance music promoters Insomniac and Alda have announced a new location for their Romanian festival, Saga.

Saga’s inaugural edition took place across three days in September at Bucharest’s Romaero SA airfield with acts including Don Diablo, Carl Cox and Tiësto.

The electronic dance event will return to the Romanian capital in June 2022, this time taking place at Bucharest’s National Arena (cap. 55,000) and the surrounding park area.

Afrojack, Marshmello and Timmy Trumpet are set to headline the event, with more artists to be announced on 2 December.

In celebration of Saga’s new home, Alda has planned a special event at the National Arena on 1 December, Romania’s National Day.

Afrojack, Marshmello and Timmy Trumpet are set to headline the event, with more artists to be announced on 2 December

According to the promoter, there will be a “dramatic” fireworks display around the stadium during an exclusive on-location DJ performance supported by Du Mad and Kov.

The event will be broadcast live and, during this time (19:00 and 00:00 EET), those who have registered for ticket information on the Saga Festival website will be able to purchase tickets for next year’s edition at a special price. General ticket sales will then commence on 2 December.

Alda and Insomniac, based in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, respectively, have been partners since October 2018, when majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac acquired a 50% stake in Alda.

Insomniac has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including Electric Daisy Carnivals in North America, Japan, China and Mexico, and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running dance music event.

Alda, meanwhile, is behind events including A State of Trance in Utrecht, New Horizons in Germany (a JV with CTS Eventim) and Amsterdam Music Festival, the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival.

 


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.