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Danish experts advise against 10k+ festivals

Danish festivals with more than 10,000 participants should not be carried out as usual, according to the government’s advisory expert group.

The working group – which comprises cultural institutions such as Roskilde Festival – has submitted a 54-page document of recommendations on how events should be able to take place this summer.

In the report, the experts recommend that no more than 10,000 guests attend a festival but only once Denmark has reached the final stage of the restrictions.

According to the group, major events of this capacity should only take place in ‘phase 2’ – when all citizens over the age of 50 have been offered their first vaccine.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority’s vaccine plan, which was last updated on 14 April, suggests that everyone in the over-50s age group should have received their first vaccine by the end of May.

In addition to this, all participants of a major event must have a corona pass and the event must be divided into sections with a maximum of 2,000 attendees in each. Accommodation at the campsite is not allowed and the festivals must make a health plan, says the expert group.

“We have a very hard time believing that it is realistic to carry out festivals in Denmark before the end of the summer”

The recommendation for indoor concerts with standing audiences is a maximum of 3,000 participants in phase 2.

Following the report, major Danish festivals Jelling Music Festival, Heartland, Northside, Copenhell, Tinderbox, Roskilde Festival and Nibe Festival, as well as live music association Dansk Live, have penned a joint letter urging the government to “work quickly with the recommendations” to give a final decision about the fate of the summer.

“We had all believed and hoped that we would get an answer when the government announced the plan for reopening Denmark on March 22nd. Instead, we got an expert group that has now spent precious time onto find recommendations for the reopening of major events.

“We fully recognize the great work that the expert group has put in…but the work has been started too late and we have a very hard time believing that it is realistic to carry out festivals in Denmark before the end of the summer,” the letter reads.

Minister of culture Joy Mogensen has not commented on the recommendations directly but has referred to the government’s DKK 500 million (€67.2m) ‘safety net’ which will cover eligible festivals and major events between 1 May and 30 September 2021.

 


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Roskilde Festival 2020 goes ‘DIY’

On Saturday 4 July, on what would have been the final day of Roskilde Festival 2020, the Danish event is encouraging fans across the world to create their own festival at home.

For ‘Roskilde Festival – Do it Yourself’, festival organiser Roskilde Festival Charity Society is calling on participants to “pitch a tent in their living room, play beer bowling in the backyard, create the perfect playlist, be inspired or provoked by art” and share their experience online, “just like we all share experiences at the festival every year.”

As with the main Roskilde Festival, tickets and merchandise will available to buy for Do it Yourself, with all profits donated to initiatives for young people and that strengthen community cohesion. The nonprofit festival – which was cancelled this year along with all other Danish summer events – raised hundreds of thousands of euros with its 2019 edition, and has donated over €55 million since the early ’70s.

Roskilde Festival will be sharing the best fan-created content from Do it Yourself on its social channels.

“Unfortunately, we cannot meet up at the festival site this year. Fortunately, the festival community thrives in so many other ways,” says Roskilde spokesperson Christina Bilde.

“We hope that many people will come together and enjoy music, food, art and the Roskilde community”

“In recent months, we have seen tremendous support, and many people have announced that they plan to celebrate the festival. It is absolutely fundamental to us that we can be a platform for such communities.

“So, we hope that many people will come together and enjoy music, food, art and the Roskilde community while supporting young people’s voices and opportunities.”

Those participating in Roskilde Festival – Do it Yourself are encouraged to buy a ticket for 50 kr. (€6.50) – or, for those who can’t do without this year’s Roskilde wristband, festival wristbands are available for a donation of 200 kr. (€27).

In the weeks leading up to the event, those taking part will be able to draw inspiration from Roskilde Festival’s many guides to music, food, art and activism “so that all the self-made festivals will have a common orange glow”, says the festival (orange being Roskilde’s signature colour)/

Find out more about Roskilde Festival – Do It Yourself at roskil.de/diy.

 


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Roskilde 2021 sells out of full festival tickets

With more than 14 months to spare, Roskilde Festival has sold out of full event tickets for 2021, after 85% of those who planned to attend this summer’s cancelled festival opted to hold onto their tickets.

Roskilde was forced to call off its 50th-anniversary edition, originally scheduled for 27 June–4 July, in early April, after Denmark became one of the first countries to ban large-scale outdoor events to prevent the spread of Covid-19 this summer.

Of the 80,000 people who’d bought a ticket for the 2020 festival, just 15% opted to return them for a cash refund rather than use them for Roskilde 2021, according to organisers. Those 12,000 tickets went on sale again this morning (12 May) and sold out within hours.

The remaining five thousand one-day tickets, meanwhile, will go on sale in autumn 2020.

“Since the cancellation of this year’s festival due to Covid-19 unfortunately became a reality, we have received support in spades from participants and partners alike,” says festival promoter Roskilde Festival Charity Society in a statement.

“An overwhelming majority of ticketholders have gracefully chosen to transfer their ticket from the 2020 to 2021”

“Our social media has been overflowing with encouragement and now, we are happy to say, words have been followed by action. An overwhelming majority of ticketholders have gracefully chosen to transfer their ticket from the 2020 to 2021.”

“Your support means that we can continue our work preparing our anniversary festival in 2021,” it continues. “It also means that we can continue our non-profit work for children and young people all over the world.”

Thirty-two projects, including community recording studios and an activist hip-hop festival, will each receive between 10,000 and 1.4 million kroner (€1,340–€188,000) from the money earned from Roskilde Festival 2019.

Roskilde Festival 2020 was to have been headlined by Taylor Swift, Deftones, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and the Strokes. Roskilde Festival 2021 will take place from 26 June to 3 July.

IQ’s next IQ Focus virtual panel, Festival Forum: Here Comes 21, features Roskilde’s Anders Wahren along with Jim King (AEG Presents), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Rachael Greenfield (Bloodstock Open Air) and Mathieu Jaton (Montreux Jazz Festival).

 


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Festival heavyweights join forces for second IQ Focus panel

Following on from last week’s inaugural session, the second IQ Focus virtual panel will feature representatives from some of Europe’s biggest festivals to discuss the huge challenges facing the 2020 season and look ahead to what recovery may entail.

IQ’s next fully interactive session – Festival Forum: Here Comes 21 – will feature Jim King (AEG Presents), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Rachael Greenfield (Bloodstock Open Air), Anders Wahren (Roskilde Festival) and Mathieu Jaton (Montreux Jazz Festival) in conversation with ILMC MD Greg Parmley.

With much of the 2020 festival season already cancelled and the rest awaiting their fate, the European festival heads will share how they are coping with the shutdown, as well as reflecting on lessons learned from this unprecedented crisis.

Looking to the future, the panellists will also explore what recovery may look like for the vital summer sector in this not-to-be-missed virtual discussion.

The session is taking place on Thursday 14 at 4 p.m. BST/ 5 p.m. CET. Get an automatic reminder when the live stream starts via Facebook Live or YouTube Live. Or, search for the IQ Magazine page on each platform on the day.

 


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Cancelled Roskilde Festival reveals 2019 beneficiaries

Thirty-two applicants will each receive between 10,000 and 1.4 million kroner (€1,340–€188,000) from the money earned from Roskilde Festival 2019, the non-profit Danish event has announced.

“In a time in need of new approaches to strengthening social cohesion and sense of community we can take comfort in the younger generation’s commitment and ability to act. It is with great joy and pride that we now announce the donation recipients of our most ambitious open call [for funding] to date, Open Call: Young Voices,” reads a statement from the festival, whose 2020 edition is cancelled.

Among the successful applicants, who were chosen from 296 applications, are:

“Unfortunately, there will be no Roskilde Festival in 2020 […] We are, however, working on finding other solutions”

Every year, Roskilde Festival donated all earnings to cultural humanitarian/charity work, with an emphasis on children and young people. Since 1972, the festival has donated more than 420 million kr. (€56.3m) for those purposes.

“Open Call: Young Voices was really an inquiry about what is important for young people and how they connect to the world. We have asked and have been answered,” says Roskilde Festival spokeswoman Christina Bilde. “The idea to earmark, for Roskilde Festival, an unusually large amount for an open call has been fruitful. We see young people who want to be a part of society and are willing to take on great responsibilities, and we see young people helping each other as well as wanting to move art in new directions.

“We do, however, also get a clear picture of the pressure young people of today are facing from a sense of responsibility to, and expectations for, themselves and the world. These are thoughts and feelings we will try to address in the future.

“Unfortunately, there will be no Roskilde Festival in 2020, and thus we are unable to generate earnings to donate to children and young people. We are, however, working on finding other solutions for us to support children and young people’s opportunities. This has always been and will continue to be the purpose of Roskilde Festival.”

 


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#FestivalsStandUnited: European festivals bullish on 2020

Some of Europe’s biggest independent music festivals have put out an open letter to fans and the business stating that they expect to go ahead with their events this summer, and that in doing so they will “be a crucial part of the survival of this industry”.

Under the heading ‘Festivals Stand United Across Europe’ (#FestivalsStandUnited), events including Roskilde Festival (27 June–4 July), Primavera Sound (3–7 June), Rock en Seine (29 August–1 September), Bilbao BBK Live (9–11 July), Bergenfest (10–13 June), Exit Festival (9–12 July), Melt Festival (17–19 July) and NorthSide (4–6 June), as well festival association Yourope, say they “expect to carry through our festivals this summer”, with all standing “united to make it a safe and sound experience for our participants and the outside world.

“It’s about taking responsibility for the events – and it’s about taking responsibility for the industry we’re part of.”

Many of the signatories’ host countries are currently in lockdown due to coronavirus – Denmark, for example, prohibits gatherings of more than 100 people, with similar restrictions in place in France – but the festivals are optimistic the outbreak will be contained and reversed by the start of the summer season.

The letter says that while the festivals will ultimately follow experts’ medical advice and obey the local authorities, they owe it to the industry’s smaller players and freelancers, who are among the hardest hit by the current downturn, to play their part in the live music food chain.

“By carrying through our festivals this summer, we can be a crucial part of the survival of this industry”

“It’s an industry in which we, as major festivals, are the final part of a food chain where the smaller players – the artists, the venues, sound and light production and many more – are already suffering from the serious situation we are in,” it continues. “They suffer so much that they may not be able to recover if they are not given the opportunity to be a part of festivals like ours.

“By carrying through our festivals this summer, we can be a crucial part of the survival of this industry.

“We owe it to the community, the music, the art and the culture to assume responsibility together.”

Glastonbury aside, Europe has yet to see any major 2020 festival cancellations or postponements, unlike in the US, where Coachella, Bonnaroo and BottleRock are off, and Latin America, where the various Lollapaloozas have been pushed back to later this year.

Read the festivals’ open letter in full here.

 


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Festival Fever: what to expect from summer 2020

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ has a look at what Saga Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival and Sea Star Festival have in store, as well as the latest additions to the massive Roskilde and Mad Cool line-ups.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Roskilde

When: 27 June to 4 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
How many: 85,000

Roskilde Festival has completed the line-up for its mammoth 50th anniversary edition, with Kendrick Lamar, the Strokes, Haim and Charli XCX among those joining the bill.

The Roots, DaBaby, Dave, Brittany Howard and Bicep also form part of the 110-strong group of new additions.

The newly announced artists join Taylor Swift, Pusha T, Faith No More, FKA Twigs and Tyler the Creator for the festival’s half-century celebrations.

“With this year’s line-up, we do what we’ve always done: look ahead,” comments Anders Wahrén, the festival’s head of programming.

“It has been important to us that festival number 50 points to the future, and that is why 2020 will feature the lowest average age ever among the headliners. You don’t have to have 20 years of experience to perform on the main stage. That era is over.”

Tickets for Roskilde Festival 2020 are available here, with a full eight-day festival pass costing DDK2250 (£257).

“2020 will feature the lowest average age ever among the headliners”

Saga Festival

When: 5 to 7 June
Where: Izvor Park, Bucharest, Romania

Saga Festival, a new three-day event promoted by electronic music specialists Alda and Insomniac, is debuting in Bucharest this summer.

Tiësto, Marshmello, Disclosure, Faithless, Meduza and Sigala are among more than 150 acts performing across five stages at the festival, with recently announced artists including Timmy Trumpet, Vini Vici, Laidback Luke, Denis Sulta and Zara Larsson.

The festival has partnered with Romanian waste management charity Reciclad’Or and conservation organisation WWF, as part of its commitment to securing a low ‘festival footprint’ and promoting understanding of the issues facing the planet.

Tickets for Saga Festival are available here, with a three-day pass priced at RON299 (£52) and VIP options costing RON699 (£123).

Tiësto, Marshmello, Disclosure, Faithless, Meduza and Sigala are among more than 150 acts performing at the festival

Pitchfork Music Festival

When: 17 to 19 July
Where: Union Park, Chicago, USA
How many: 20,000

YeahYeahYeahs, Run the Jewels and the National are headlining US magazine Pitchfork’s flagship Chicago festival this year, with other performances coming from Angel Olsen, Danny Brown, Phoebe Bridgers and Badbadnotgood.

2020 marks the 15th year of the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival. A spin-off event has taken place in Paris since 2011, promoted by Parisian booking and events agency Super!, and a German edition is launching this year in Berlin, featuring Lianne La Havas, Celeste and Modeselektor.

Tickets for Pitchfork Music Festival 2020 are available here, with day tickets costing $75 (£58) and a three-day pass priced at $185 (£144).

2020 marks the 15th year of the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival

Sea Star Festival

When: 22 to 23 May
Where: Stella Maris lagoon, Umag, Croatia
How many: 20,000

The brainchild of the team behind Serbia’s Exit Festival, Sea Star Festival is preparing for its fourth outing this year in the Croatian seaside town of Umag.

Hip-hop group Cypress Hill are topping the bill, which features acts including Amelie Lens, Meduza, Umek, Dubioza Kolektiv and Farrago. A welcome party and closing party will take place on 21 and 24 May respectively.

Sea Star is part of Exit’s extended festival network, consisting of Serbia’s No Sleep Festival, Romania’s Revolution Festival and Montenegro’s Sea Dance Festival.

Exit Festival will see performances by David Guetta, Tyga, Fatboy Slim and James Arthur for its 20th anniversary edition this year.

Tickets for Sea Star Festival 2020 are available here, priced at €39 (£33) for international fans and €30 (£26) for locals. Ticket prices will increase on 6 March.

The brainchild of the team behind Serbia’s Exit Festival, Sea Star Festival is preparing for its fourth outing this year

Mad Cool

When: 8 to 11 July
Where: Espacio Mad Cool, Madrid Spain
How many: 60,000

Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival has a big year ahead, with an extra day of programming for 2020.

Royal Blood and Mumford & Sons are the most recent additions to the extensive line-up, joining previously announced acts Taylor Swift, the Killers, Kings of Leon, Faith No More, Billie Eilish, Twenty One Pilots, Foals and Anderson Paak.

Other acts appearing across the three days include Wolf Alice, Placebo, Jamie Cullum, Major Lazer and Khalid.

Tickets for Mad Cool 2020 are available here, with a four-day pass costing €179 (£153).

 


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“Better each year”: success for Roskilde 2019

Denmark’s Roskilde festival had its 49th outing this weekend, selling out all tickets and featuring headline performances from Bob Dylan and Cardi B. However, despite this commercial success, it appears that social activism remains at Roskilde’s core.

“It was a really fantastic year,” Roskilde chief executive Signe Lopdrup tells IQ. Aside from less than favourable weather, “there were no big issues at all.”

Organised by the Roskilde Festival Charity Society and working with 30,000 volunteers each year, the Danish festival has always had a humanitarian and social aim.

This focus was apparent this year through the announced partnership with Freemuse, an organisation defending freedom of artistic expression. The festival pledged 1.5DKK (£180,770) to Freemuse over three years to “help make the world safer for artistic expression”.

On stage, there was no shortage of artistic expression at Roskilde, which featured a “really strong” arts and activism programme, alongside a full music schedule.

“The programming came together very well this year,” says Lopdrup. “We always aim to give a voice to the youth in society and we managed to do that really successfully this year.”

The music programme also placed a special focus on young talent, despite a bill of headline acts such as the Cure, Robyn and Travis Scott, as well as Bob Dylan and Cardi B.

“One of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before”

Presenting plenty of new acts is something Roskilde has worked on over the years, says Lopdrup, facilitated by a large, diverse line-up and “curious festivalgoers”.

“One of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before,” explains the Roskilde chief.

Major breakthroughs for this year included the presence of “a lot of strong female artists”.

Rather than using quotas to ensure an equal representation of women, Roskilde focuses on “presenting strong and progressive female artists”, giving them slots that allow them to “make their mark and inspire others”.

Christine and the Queens, Rosalía, Jorja Smith and Janelle Monáe were among high-profile female acts on the bill at this year’s Roskilde.

Looking ahead to the festival’s 50th anniversary next year, Lopdrup prioritises a future-facing attitude over a celebration of the past.

“We are a youth-focused festival – the average age of attendee is 24 – and our goal is to engage with the younger generation and with the future. As a festival, we have a special responsibility to tackle important social and global issues and to continue looking ahead.”

Roskilde Festival 2020 will take place from 27 June to 4 July.

 


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Roskilde adds Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant

Danish non-profit festival Roskilde has added 32 new acts to its 2019 line-up, including Bob Dylan, Catalan star Rosalía and Led Zeppelin icon Robert Plant.

More than 180 artists will play at this year’s Roskilde Festival (85,000-cap.), taking place from 29 June to 7 July. The new additions join previously announced acts including the Cure, Christine and the Queens, Jorja Smith, Jon Hopkins and Cardi B.

Roskilde Festival 2018 won line-up of the year at the European Festival Awards in January.

Nobel Prize-winning Dylan will play with his band on Wednesday 3 July, returning to the festival for the first time since 2006.

“Few artists have had such a profound influence on music and popular culture as Bob Dylan,” says head of programme Anders Wahrén. “To many of our young festivalgoers, this will be their first chance to witness an artist who has changed the course of music as much as he has.”

Former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant brings his band the Sensational Space Shifters to Roskilde this year, mixing world music, psychedelic folk and American blues, as well as playing some Led Zeppelin classics.

“Few artists have had such a profound influence on music and popular culture as Bob Dylan”

Catalan singer Rosalía also appears on the bill.

“Rosalía is a perfect example of a pop star who makes global pop music in an age when genre and language barriers mean less. The way she  effortlessly mixes classic flamenco with pop and hip-hop is testament to her brilliance and the curiosity of millions of listeners out there,” says Wahrén.

Wahrén adds that “it’s crucial for us to present a line-up with great music from all over the world.”

The newest artists to feature on the Roskilde line-up span 16 countries. Greenland rock band Nanook, Iranian pop star Liraz, Brazilian rap jazz artist Tássia Reis and Belize’s Garifuna Collective make up some of the eclectic mix.

New acts have also been added to the festival’s Nordic talent programme and arts and activism programme.

Tickets for Roskilde 2019 are on sale now, with tickets costing £240 (2,100 DKK), including free access to camping.

 


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Eminem to play first Danish show at Roskilde 2018

The European leg of Eminem’s comeback Revival tour, announced today, will include a stop at Roskilde Festival – the American rap superstar’s first-ever show in Denmark.

Eminem will headline Roskilde on Wednesday 4 July – the US’s Independence Day – with other European shows including Norway’s Oslo Sommertime Festival, Switzerland’s Frauenfeld Open Air, arena dates in Stockholm, Milan, Hanover and the Netherlands and two nights at London’s Twickenham Stadium (80,000-seat) on 14 and 15 July.

“Eminem is one of the biggest artists of his generation, and we are absolutely thrilled to finally get him to Denmark,” says Anders Wahrén, Roskilde’s head of programming. “We have wanted him at Roskilde Festival for so many years, and I must admit I almost shed a tear of joy when I got the confirmation.

“Eminem’s importance can’t be overstated. More than anyone else, he has brought hip hop to new audiences. His Reading show last year served as proof that he can conquer a festival crowd, and we can’t wait to see him on our iconic Orange stage.”

Eminem (pictured) joins around 175 acts playing Roskilde Festival 2018, including headliners Bruno Mars, Gorillaz and David Byrne.

 


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