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Lineups latest: Electric Picnic, Knotfest, Sziget

Festivals around the world have been adding the finishing touches to their lineups as the 2024 season rapidly approaches.

Ireland’s Electric Picnic finally dropped its bill last Friday, featuring Noah Kahan, Calvin Harris and Kylie Minogue as headliners.

The sold-out festival will take place at Stradbally Hall in Stradbally, County Laois, between 16-18 August. Other artists will include Gerry Cinnamon, Kodaline, Raye, Faithless, J Hus, Kasabian, Nas, Peggy Gou, Teddy Swims and Tom Grennan.

Minogue has also been revealed as the opening night headliner at Hungary’s Sziget, set for Budapest from 7-12 August, with Fisher and Barry Can’t Swim also added to a lineup that boasts the likes of Stormzy, Fred Again.., Sam Smith and Martin Garrix.

Sziget has also confirmed the list of performers for its rap and hip-hop stage, the dropYard, with names including Kojaque, P Money, Rushy, Bladerunnaz DJs, D-LOW, Gray, Joe Unknown and Kybba.

In addition, the former Europe Stage will now be known as Ibis x ALL presents The Buzz, showcasing international bands that have achieved significant success in their home countries but are not yet widely known internationally. Acts will include Royel Otis, Jeremias, Dead Poet Society, Íñigo Quintero and Artemas.

Denmark’s Roskilde has completed the lineup for this year’s festival with the addition of 15 music acts including Action Bronson, Shygirl, Musa Keys, Scarlxrd, Evian Christ, Porij, Ana Lua Caiano, Muskila, Sega Bodega, Strictly Silk and Zzzahara.

They join an existing bill including 21 Savage, Doja Cat, Foo Fighters, Ice Spice, Khruangbin, Jungle, Kali Uchis, Kim Gordon, J Hus, Jungle, Nia Archives, PJ Harvey, PinkPantheress, Romy, Skrillex and Tyla, among others, from 29 June to 6 July.

“It is important for us to provide space for new talents and to offer a platform and reinforce the voices of those who can contribute to creating change”

The festival has also added new names to its art and activism programme, including Solidarity With Palestine, graffiti artist RAMS, and performance artist Andie Flores.

“Roskilde Festival is created to make a difference for others, even far from the festival’s experiences, art, and concerts,” says programme director Anders Wahrén. “It is important for us to provide space for new talents and to offer a platform and reinforce the voices of those who can contribute to creating change. We must be the amplifier that we have the opportunity to be. To inspire, and instil hope.”

Elsewhere, Slipknot will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their self-titled debut album with homecoming event Knotfest Iowa at Water Works Park in Des Moines on 21 September. The one-night-only event will mark the first time in four years the band have returned to their hometown, and will also star Till Lindeman, Knocked Loose, Hatebreed, Poison the Well and GWAR.

Moreover, Knotfest Iowa will include emerging acts such as Vended, Dying Wish, ZULU, Twin Temple, Holy Wars and Swollen Teeth.

In the UK, Loyle Carner’s 17 August headline set at All Points East in Victoria Park, London, will feature support from André 3000, Lianne La Havas, Flying Lotus, Cymande, Glass Beams, Berlioz, Nubya Garcia, Songer, Lola Young, MRCY, Dana and Alden and Bricknasty. They join previously announced special guests Nas, Ezra Collective, Sainté, Joe James, ENNY and Navy Blue.

Also in London, BST Hyde Park will welcome special guests Brandi Carlile, Anna Calvi and Paris Paloma as support to headliner Stevie Nicks on 12 July.

Elsewhere ULTRA Worldwide has unveiled Steve Angello, Afrojack, Alesso, Ben Nicky, RL Grime, NGHTMRE, SLANDER and Knock2 as headliners for the sixth edition of ULTRA Beach Bali. Scheduled for 6-7 June, ULTRA Beach Bali will take place at beachfront pool club Café Del Mar in the resort village of Canggu.

Plus, FKP Scorpio is curating the cultural programme for Germany’s IFA Sommergarten – the centrepiece of leading technology and industry trade fair IFA Berlin. The event will include the 6PM Season Festival in collaboration with Dreamhaus on 6 September, while on 7 September, FKP will present concerts by Faithless, Kosheen. Stereo MCs and Incognito.


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Festivals ‘24: Coachella, Roskilde, Electric Castle

Several festivals are celebrating anniversaries this year, including Romania’s Electric Castle, the US’s Newport Jazz Festival, and the Rolling Loud franchise, plus a raft of artists have filled out 2024 lineups across the world.

Coachella kicks off Friday, bringing 125,000 fans to the Californian desert for the first of two weekends. Vampire Weekend have been added to this weekend’s lineup, with both weekends to be led by Lana Del Rey, Tyler, the Creator, and Doja Cat, among a multitude of other performers.

The 2024 edition will also see the expansion of the Goldenvoice-promoted event’s dance music offerings with the launch of the Quasar stage. Tickets are still available for the second weekend from 19-21 April.

Denmark’s non-profit festival Roskilde has completed its 2024 lineup, adding 21 Savage, PinkPantheress, Amaarae, Barry Can’t Swim, Belle & Sebastian, and Tinashe to its 29 June-6 July programme. Close to 200 acts will perform across the eight-day event, one of Europe’s largest festivals, anchored by SZA, Doja Cat, Kali Uchis, Foo Fighters, and Skrillex.

Several festivals will celebrate anniversaries with this year’s editions

For its 10th edition, Romania’s Electric Castle has added Paolo Nutini, Sean Paul, Todd Terje, Antony Szmierek, Kungs, Yune Pinku, and more to their non-stop lineup. The 17-21 August festival, held in Bánffy Castle, will also feature Massive Attack, Bring Me The Horizon, Queens of the Stone Age, Chase & Status, and Shaquille O’Neal as DJ Diesel.

The US’s Newport Jazz Festival will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a star-studded lineup, led by André 3000, Nile Rogers & CHIC, Kamasi Washington, and Elvis Costello. The 2-4 August Rhode Island affair will also feature Laufey, Robert Glasper, Brittany Howard, and Samara Joy.

Also celebrating an anniversary, Rolling Loud has announced plans to return to Miami for its 10th edition in December. The hip-hop festival is also set to voyage to Austria from 5-7 July and Thailand from 22-24 November, having already held its California edition from 14-15 March.

All Points East has wrapped up its 2024 lineup with Mitski on tap to headline a day of the London concert series. She’ll be joined by Beabadoobee, TV Girl, Ethel Cain, Arlo Parks, Sir Chloe, and more. The AEG Presents-backed six-show series, set for 16-18 and 23-25 August, will also feature Kaytranada, Loyle Carner, LCD Soundsystem, Justice, Pink Pantheress, The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie as headliners.

German electronic MELT Festival, set for 11-13 August, has rounded out its programme with 25 new names including Chase & Status, Yussef Dayes, acidheaven, and DJ Swagger and the Program Jazz Busters. Previously announced names for the Goodlive-backed mainstay include Sampha, James Blake, Skepta, and Bonobo.

“Book those flights, get that time off work, pack the suitcase because we’re raving in the sunshine!”

With five weeks to go, Brighton’s The Great Escape have added a raft of new names to their hundreds-stong lineup, including Kenya Grace, Hitech, Ife Ogunjobi, Cykada, Love Remain (DJ), Swimming Paul, and Modern Biology. They’ll join the spotlight artist Faye Webster, along with previously announced Wunderhouse, Soft Play, Gia Ford, and Jalen Ngonda, from 15-18 May.

British pop group Take That has announced a four-day festival in Malta, a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to see the band perform in an intimate live setting, with an array of special guests. The Greatest Weekend, held from 17-20 October, will also feature Sugababes, Sam Ryder, Daniel Bedingfield, and Ella Henderson.

Smash!Bang!Pow!’s Syd For Solen, which will upgrade venues this year, has added Michael Kiwanuka, Rachel Chinouriri, and queen eee gee to their three-day lineup. They’ll join Fred again.., André 3000, Yussef Dayes, Queens of the Stone Age, AIR, and Big Thief for the 8-10 August instalment of the Copenhagen festival.

BBC Radio 1’s Dance Weekend is set to return to Ibiza, led by CamelPhat, Jazzy & Belters Only, Dom Dolla, Gorgon City, and Armand Van Helden. The two-stage, one-day event, which will be broadcast via BBC, will take place on 2 August. 

“It’s been a staple in the summer calendar for years and not only does it showcase the world’s biggest & best DJs but it’s been known to create the most iconic moments in dance on the white isle that are remembered for a lifetime,” says BBC host Danny Howard. “Book those flights, get that time off work, pack the suitcase because we’re raving in the sunshine!”

Robbie Williams has been unveiled as Calabash South Africa’s second headliner, joining Green Day, The Offspring, and Fokofpolisiekar during the Big Concerts-promoted event’s second edition. The touring festival will land in Johannesburg from 18-19 January 2025 and Cape Town from 22-23 January 2025.


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Festivals ’24: Tomorrowland, Parklife, Afro Nation

Tomorrowland, Kendal Calling, Parklife and Afro Nation Portugal are among the latest raft of major festivals to drop their 2024 lineup announcements.

The 20th anniversary of Tomorrowland Belgium will take place in De Schorre over two weekends from 19-21 and 26-28 July. Held under the ‘LIFE’ theme, more than 400 acts including Armin van Buuren, Amelie Lens, Bonobo B2B Dixon, David Guetta, ANNA, Vintage Culture, Tale Of Us, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Solomun B2B Four Tet and Swedish House Mafia will appear across 16 stages.

In addition, Paradise City Festival has confirmed Bonobo, Marlon Hoffstadt, Maribou State and Lola Haro B2B Marcel Dettmann between 28-30 June at Ribaucourt Castle, Perk, Belgium. Organisers are also introducing a a seventh stage, dedicated entirely to chill-out, downtempo and ambient performance.

Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj, Dadju & Tayc and Lisandro Cuxi have been added to Afro Nation Portugal, joining the likes of Rema, Asake, J Hus, Tyla, Ninho, Omah Lay, Major League DJZ, Uncle Waffles and Focalistic on Portimao beach on 28-30 June.

The second wave of names also includes Musa Keys, MFR Souls, Ch’cco, Yumbs,Tango Supreme, Tman Express, Sfarzo Rtee, Nicky Summers and Brooke Bailey.

“We have the perfect ingredients for a fantastically celebratory weekend”

The UK’s Kendal Calling has announced five headliners for its return to Lowther Deer Park in the Lake District from 1-4 August. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Paolo Nutini, The Streets, Paul Heaton with guest singer Rianne Downey, and Keane top the lineup, which will also feature a unique DJ set by The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess and retired footballer Gary Neville.

Sugababes, Declan McKenna, The Reytons, The Snuts, Kate Nash, Pale Waves, Katy B, CMAT, Lottery Winners and Heather Small also join the bill. More than 60% of tickets have already been sold ahead of Monday’s general sale.

“After the week we have had, bring on the summer,” says Kendal Calling co-founder Andy Smith. “It is with much joy and excitement we share with you the biggest Kendal Calling lineup to date. From the incredible Paolo Nutini closing the Sunday night and Keane, Sugababes, Paul Heaton & Rianne Downey and Katy B gracing our fields for the first time, joined by old friends Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds and The Streets closing the Friday and Saturday night respectively, we have the perfect ingredients for a fantastically celebratory weekend.”

Manchester’s Parklife on 8-9 June will star Doja Cat, Disclosure, J Hus, Kaytranada, Becky Hill, Peggy Gou, Four Tet, Anne-Marie, Sugababes, Camelphat and previously announced European exclusive debut of Fisher & Chris Lake present Under Construction.

The Heaton Park event will also feature Digga D, Mahalia, Rudim3ntal, Nia Archives, Hybrid Minds, Patrick Topping, Barry Can’t Swim, Folamour, Dom Dolla, CASISDEAD, Wilkinson, Shy FX: Specials, Interplanetary Criminal, Sammy Virji b2b Interplanetary Criminal, Kenya Grace, ANOTR, PAWSA, TSHA, Girls Don’t Sync, Max Dean, Hedex, Bou, Uncle Waffles, Skream, Jyoty, Loco Dice and Sub Focus, among others. Early bird tickets rapidly sold out after the introduction of a “festival-first” reduction on ticket prices in December 2023.

“We’ve built up such a beautiful community from the people who put the festival together, the artists who perform on our stages and the people who come along”

Truck Festival will be headlined by Jamie T, Wet Leg, The Streets and Idles. Set for Hill Farm, Oxfordshire, other acts will include The Kooks, Declan McKenna, Yard Act, Holly Humberstone, Sea Girls, Black Honey, Peace, The Snuts, Soft Play, The Mysterines, Sundara Karma, English Teacher, The Magic Gang, Willie J Healey and Bob Vylan.

“When we sit down to plan Truck every year, we treat the weekend like the ultimate summer party – complete with friends, amazing moments and the artists we love all in one place,” says head of marketing Sam Harris. “To welcome long-awaited headliners like Jamie T and The Streets to Hill Farm is a true honour, whilst having Wet Leg headline their very first festival with us is going to make for a very special weekend.”

The Vaccines, Future Islands, Lankum Jockstrap, Ash, Caity Baser, CMAT, The Darkness, Waxahatchee, Corinne Bailey Rae, David Ducovony, BC Camplight, Marika Hackman, and Baby Queen are among 25 new music additions to the Latitude bill.
Duran Duran, Kasabian, Keane, London Grammar and Sara Pascoe headline the event in Henham Park, Suffolk from 25-28 July.

Love Saves the Day will return to Bristol’s Ashton Court on 25-26 26 May, headed by CamelPhat, The Streets, Rudimental and Sub Focus present Evolve. Other confirmed names include Girls Don’t Sync, Shy FX: Specials, Wilkinson, Groove Armada, Ben Hemsley, Hedex, Bou, Eliza Rose, Shanti Celeste and Saoirse.

“We are always honoured to kickstart the festival season with Love Saves the Day,” says festival director Tom Paine. “We’ve built up such a beautiful community from the people who put the festival together, the artists who perform on our stages and the people who come along every year for a good time – it’s absolutely amazing, and we can’t wait to be back at Ashton Court for 2024.”

“When we’re thinking about our bookings, the line-up has always been put together with the fans at the core of our decision-making”

Placebo and James Arthur are the latest additions to Bristol Sounds – joining Skindred, The Breeders, Gentleman’s Dub Club and The Skints which runs from 22-30 June. The harbourside concert series has expanded from five days to seven for 2024.

“Bristol Sounds is fundamentally a festival for the people of Bristol, and each year we like to curate a programme that will catch the attention of everyone and anyone,” says promoter Conal Dodds of Crosstown Concerts. “It’s such an eclectic mix of genres and gigs, you’re guaranteed to have a great time. When we’re thinking about our bookings, the line-up has always been put together with the fans at the core of our decision-making, and we can’t wait to watch the crowd’s reactions as their favourite artists take to the most incredible stage in the city.”

Skepta has revealed the full lineup for the inaugural Big Smoke Festival, the new one-day music event heading to Crystal Palace Park on 6 July.

The grime MC has curated two stages personally and will headline the Big Smoke stage with his only UK performance of 2024. He will be joined by The Streets, Mahalia, JME, Lancey, K-Trap, Odumodublvck, The Den featuring Frisco, Flowdan, Sir Spyro, Infamousizak, Manga, Thafirst and a special guest to be announced. The Más Tiempo Stage will see sets from the likes of Loco Dice, Uncle Waffles, Syreeta and Kitty Amor.

And Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in North Wales will feature Bryan Adams, Simple Minds, Paloma Faith, Kaiser Chiefs, Jess Glynne, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Madness, Paloma Faith, Tom Jones, Gregory Porter, Katherine Jenkins and Manic Street Preachers & Suede between 18 June-13 July.

“At long last, we’re thrilled to bring Doja Cat to Roskilde Festival”

Denmark’s Roskilde, set for 29 June-6 July, has unveiled Doja Cat as part of its lineup. The rapper was due to play to play the festival in 2020, prior to the onset of the pandemic.

“At long last, we’re thrilled to bring Doja Cat to Roskilde Festival,” says head of programme Anders Wahrén. “In 2020, she was a star in the making, and in the meantime, she has arguably become the most hyped and popular rapper in the world. The years of waiting to bring her here is finally coming to an end.”

Alongside previously confirmed acts such as Foo Fighters, Kali Uchis, Skrillex, and PJ Harvey, Roskilde has added Ice Spice, J Hus, Jane’s Addiction, Jungle, Khruangbin, Brutalismus 3000, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Lankum, Medina and Nia Archives (UK), to name a few.

Elsewhere in Denmark, Camila Cabello, Janelle Monáe, Beth Hart and MØ have bolstered the Tinderbox bill, which already boasts the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Future Rave aka David Guetta and MORTEN, Bryan Adams, RAYE, Avril Lavigne, Kaizers Orchestra, and James Arthur. Tinderbox takes place in Odense from 27-29 June.

“We’re very excited to be able to present Camila Cabello in Denmark for the first time,” says festival booker Nikoline Skaarup. “She’s been part of shaping the global pop scene of today and bringing new music traditions into pop culture with a string of irresistible releases. Janelle Monáe too has constantly been pushing the limits for popular culture and throughout their career shed light on important cultural and social issues while crafting some of the best music we’ve heard.

“To be able to present these two artists alongside Beth Hart and MØ – who’ve also been and still are voices of their generations – makes it a very rewarding day to be a festival booker.”


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Festivals 2024: Electric Castle, Parklife, Sonar

The run-up to Christmas has brought with it another cavalcade of 2024 festival line-up announcements from across the world.

Massive Attack, Queens Of The Stone Age and Bring Me The Horizon will headline the 10th birthday of Romania’s “24-hour festival experience” Electric Castle, which takes place at Bánffy Castle in Transylvania from 17-21 July.

Spread across 10 stages, other acts confirmed include Chase & Status, DJ Shadow, Khruangbin, Sleaford Mods, Bonobo, Marc Rebillet, Priya Ragu and Kenya Grace in addition to DJ Diesel, aka NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.

Elsewhere, in a European festival exclusive, Fisher and Chris Lake will bring their Under Construction show from America for the first time to the UK’s Parklife. The house music duo are the first headliner announced for the festival, which will be held in Manchester’s Heaton Park on 8-9 June.

In what is billed as an industry-first, weekend tickets have been reduced from £129.50 to £125 to make them “accessible to all”.

Also in the UK, BST Hyde Park has named Robbie Williams as its second headliner for 2024. The pop icon, who previously starred at the London concert series in 2019, will appear on 6 July.

“We’re extremely happy to have Lenny Kravitz back on the poster, after the pandemic forced us to cancel in 2020”

Portsmouth’s Victorious Festival will take place from 23-25 August, headlined by Fatboy Slim, Jamie T and Biffy Clyro. The star-studded bill also features Snow Patrol, Idles, Jess Glynne, Courteeners, Pixies, The Lathums, Holly Humberstone, Becky Hill, Wet Leg, Soft Play, The Snuts, Maximo Park, Lottery Winners, Lightning Seeds and Yard Act, among others.

Plus, Crowded House (17 June), Nick Mulvey (20 June), Jungle (27 June) and Underworld (29 June) are the first acts unveiled for the second edition of Berkshire’s On The Mount at Wasing.

Sónar Barcelona, set for 13-15 June, revealed its first 70 artists for next year, including Floating Points, Kaytranada, Jessie Ware, Ben Böhmer, Martinez Brothers, Charlotte de Witte, Toya Delazy, Kerri Chandler and Reinier Zonneveld.

In Germany, Jazzopen Stuttgart celebrates its 30th anniversary from 18-29 July with artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Sting, Sam Smith, Jamie Cullum, Lawrence, Lettuce and The Cat Empire. Plus, Hamburg’s MS Dockville hosts the likes of Jeremias, Disarstar, Mayberg, Lime Cordiale, Fuffifufzich, My Ugly Clementine, Zeck, Hak Baker, Art School Girlfriend and Uche Yara between 16-18 August.

Lenny Kravitz has also joined the bill of Tinderbox in Odense, Denmark, from 27-29 June. The rocker was originally scheduled for the 2020 edition, which was cancelled due to Covid.

“We’re extremely happy to have Lenny Kravitz back on the poster, after the pandemic forced us to cancel in 2020,” says festival CEO Brian Nielsen. “Lenny Kravitz is one of the most inspiring artists of our time and continues to put his mark on the global music scene. We can’t wait to see what kind of magic will appear when he takes the stage at Tinderbox next summer.”

“Skrillex has single-handedly cut through a lot of barriers and is bringing together people across generations, nations, and musical inclinations”

Denmark’s Roskilde has added Skrillex, Róisín Murphy, Aurora, SexyyRed, Noname, Yaeji, Bar Italia, Shovel Dance Collective, Rhiannon Giddens and Kara Jackson to its bill. The 52nd edition of the festival will feature more than 170 acts from 29 June to 6 July.

“Skrillex has single-handedly cut through a lot of barriers and is bringing together people across generations, nations, and musical inclinations,” says programme director Anders Wahrén. “Everything we’ve seen and heard from Skrillex in 2023 – and that sums up to quite a lot – serves as euphoric and indisputable proof of his musical ambitions and innovative technical wizardry. We’re excited for this to unfold at Roskilde Festival.”

Finland’s Sideways has announced Peggy Gou, Jungle, Fontaines DC and Derya Yildirim & Grup Simsek for 13-15 June in Helsinki, and DJ sets from Bou, Dimension, Hedex, Sub Focus and Wilkinson will headline the inaugural DnB Allstars Portugal in Portimao from 3-6 May.

Camila Cabello joins Scorpions and Ed Sheeran in topping Rock in Rio Lisbon‘s 10th edition, set for 15-16 & 22-23 June, while Imagine Dragons are the latest headliner unveiled for the 40th anniversary of Rock in Rio Brazil, scheduled for 13-22 September.

Norway’s Oya Festival, meanwhile, has bolstered its 25th anniversary lineup with bands including Queens Of The Stone Age, The Smile and The National from 7-10 August.

“We hope our festive festival helps bring a moment of joy to travellers this Christmas”

Over in the US, Foo Fighters, Noah Kahan, and Weezer will headline the 2024 edition of rock festival Shaky Knees. Taking place 3-5 May at Central Park in downtown Atlanta, the lineup features over 60 artists across four stages also including Queens Of The Stone Age, Arcade Fire, Girl in Red, Billy Idol, The Offspring, Portugal. The Man, Young the Giant and Interpol.

Cruel World will return to Brookside at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on 11 May, starring Duran Duran, Blondie, Interpol, Simple Minds, Placebo, Soft Cell, Adam Ant and The Jesus and Mary Chain, while Skrillex, Rezz, David Guetta, Carl Cox, Armin van Buuren and Alesso are among acts lined up for EDC Mexico, which runs in Mexico City from 23-25 February.

And Trainline has announced TrainLive, the UK’s first “train station music festival”, which will take place in a London train station this Friday, 8 December, topped by Sugababes and featuring a range of up-and-coming local musicians. Tickets for the Sugababes performance can be won through a ballot hosted on the Trainline website, with ticket-holders to receive an email the morning of the event, revealing the secret location.

“We’ve always been committed to getting journeys off to a great start, by making it easy to find and buy great-value rail tickets,” says Sakshi Anand, Trainline’s VP of growth and UK general manager. “Now we want to get Christmas off to a great start too, by hosting our first ever music festival in a station. From new artists to our iconic headliners, we hope our festive festival helps bring a moment of joy to travellers this Christmas.”


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Let’s Dansk: Denmark market report

A pandemic has many unpredictable consequences, but no one could have foreseen that this one would catapult a 6’7” Kurdish-Danish pop singer to local stardom so dramatically that it made the New York Times predict an international breakthrough for Danish-language pop.

Last year, however, songs from Aarhus-born Tobias Rahim’s second album, Når Sjælen Kaster Op (When the Soul Vomits), topped Denmark’s singles charts for nearly 40 weeks, and in 2023, he capitalised with a headline show at Copenhagen’s 17,000-cap Royal Arena and prominent slots at key Danish festivals Tinderbox, NorthSide, and Roskilde.

“That’s kind of an Ed Sheeran-type story,” says Rahim’s promoter Brian Nielsen, CEO of DTD Group. “As a new artist, he went straight to arenas from airplay. With the way the audience is finding new music, primarily via streaming, the movement is so much faster. We’ve seen a big change with Danish acts playing bigger venues than they used to, and Tobias is a really strong example.”

Denmark, with a population of around six million, assumes a natural slot between Germany and Sweden on the European tour route. But when Covid forced the Danes to do without international imports for a while, domestic artists rose to fill the gap, and the signs are that they are sticking around.

Rahim is far from the only focus of a fresh wave of Danish talent that includes artists such as masked musician D1MA, singer-songwriter Andreas Odbjerg, Danish-Welsh star Drew Sycamore, funky pop foursome Blæst, and big-hitting homegrown rappers including Gobs, TopGunn, and Lamin.

“It’s golden days for Danish artists coming up. I don’t know if that hailed out of Covid, but the local scene is stronger than ever”

“It’s golden days for Danish artists coming up,” says smash!bang!pow! senior promoter Xenia Grigat. “I don’t know if that hailed out of Covid, but the local scene is stronger than ever. It doesn’t mean there isn’t room for international artists, but if you look at the top 20 tracks on radio or in the charts, it will probably be 80% Danish artists. And, of course, there is a high demand from festivals for those artists, but it also means that for [up and coming] Danish acts, there is a huge focus on trying to find the next big thing.”

In the increasingly standardised world of live music, such local colour is a welcome thing, especially when, in other respects, the story of the business varies so little from one market to the next. In Denmark, the other themes are familiar ones: high costs, big demand for the top-level stuff, soft in the middle and lower down.

“Live music ticket sales in total have bounced back in 2023,” says Kasper Busch Lund, CEO of Copenhagen’s 4,600-cap K.B. Hallen. “However, there are significant differences below this top line. Festivals, stadiums, and big events might be selling out, but small and medium-sized indoor venues are still affected throughout 2023 by fewer shows on tour, combined with unimpressive ticket sales – which of course is the result of the increased production costs, combined with tight private finances.”

Anderz Nielsen of the independent Gearbox Agency, who has booked Chuck Prophet and Steve Wynn and others on Danish tours in recent months, believes the market will take patient rebuilding at its lower levels.

“With the pandemic, you kind of lost that connection that should be the next live-going generation,” he says. “But hopefully it will catch up again, and they will start [to see] going to live shows as a thing to do. But I guess it just takes a bit of time to get the youth and the audience that did go to the smaller shows, used to going back to them. A lot of people changed their habits when they couldn’t go to shows and that hopefully will change again.”

“Based on recent studies, looking at our own business and the Danish market in general, I have high hopes for the future”

Meanwhile, as with virtually every nation undergoing a post-Covid bounce, the most recent figures for the Danish business do only partial justice to the scale of the recovery at the top of the market.

Live music revenues for 2021 were DKK3,172m [source: Dansk Musikomsætning 2021], of which ticket revenue amounted to DKK1,202m (up 38% year-on-year), while subsidiary revenues including F&B came to DKK1,467m and sponsorship totalled DKK111m.

The overall business has evidently bounced back further since, in spite of ongoing cost issues, but time will tell whether it is yet approaching the 2017 and 2019 totals of DKK6,294m and DKK6,217m, respectively.

“I only see the live market going up from here,” says Pernille Møller Pedersen, CEO and partner of All Things Live Denmark, whose 2023 highlights included 90,000 tickets sold across two Rammstein shows in Odense. “Our business has faced serious challenges over the past years, but based on recent studies, looking at our own business and the Danish market in general, I have high hopes for the future.”

Given Denmark’s compact size, its promoting business also assumes a finite scale, with the leading international promoters including Live Nation, All Things Live, DTD (formerly Beatbox Entertainment), and smash!bang!pow!, in which FKP Scorpio holds a minority stake.

“There are so many local acts that can suddenly play arenas – and stadiums – and that is a real positive”

At the time of writing, Live Nation was dealing with an October schedule that included megastars such as Diana Ross and Madonna and country breakthrough Luke Combs, all at the Royal Arena. Louis Tomlinson, Blink-182, the Jonas Brothers, Depeche Mode, Harry Style, Peter Gabriel and Copenhell are among its earlier 2023 successes and Olivia Rodrigo, Dave Matthews Band, Metallica (two 50,000-cap Parken Stadium shows) and others are lined up for 2024.

Overall, Live Nation Denmark managing director Jesper Christensen doesn’t anticipate any slowdown in the near future, for either domestic or international shows. “It’s been crazy,” he says. “All sold out and it’s been really great. Next year is really exactly the same.”

While best known for its strength in international artists, Live Nation Denmark has steadily increased its focus on local Danish acts, not least with its acquisition in 2019 of Danish booking agency and artist management company, PDH Music. The local trend is only accelerating, notes Christensen. “The new part, the last few years, is all the local acts playing bigger shows,” he says. “There are so many local acts that can suddenly play arenas – and stadiums – and that is a real positive.”

Looming large on the 2024 schedule are three Parken shows for returning local heroes The Minds of 99, who have established themselves in recent years as genuine Danish superstars.

“Impressive is an understatement really,” says the band’s promoter, Live Nation’s Ulrik Ørum-Petersen. “The band seems to break every record here. Never before had a Danish language artist sold out the Parken Stadium as they did in 2021, and to do it three nights in a row with a total of 150,000 tickets sold just underlines the fact that The Minds Of 99 is the biggest live act we’ve ever had in Denmark.

“When we went up with the 2024 shows we believed we had two shows that likely would sell out, but when all 100,000 tickets were gone in a matter of minutes we had to do a third show to meet the demand.”

“Promoters in Denmark are facing the same problems as the rest of the world – recession, increased touring costs, the aftermath from Covid”

All Things Live Denmark, once ICO Concerts/ICO Management and Touring, is an original member of the increasingly ambitious, Waterland Private Equity-backed, pan-European independent group founded in 2018, which operates across Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and the Middle East.

“Over recent years, we have seen that almost all promoters working with international artists have joined a bigger set-up,” says Pedersen. “That makes it a very competitive market, but I think we have healthy competition here in Denmark, and we enjoy the competition.”

As well as its Rammstein shows in Odense, All Things Live has had sold-out shows with Jo Koy, Sam Smith, Blackpink, Zack Bryan, Jim Jefferies, and Pusha T this year, with Michael McIntyre and Iliza Schlesinger among those due in the run-up to Christmas.

“In the 18 years I have worked in promoting, Denmark has been a strong live market,” says Pedersen. “I think promoters in Denmark are facing the same problems as the rest of the world – recession, increased touring costs, the aftermath from Covid – but I don’t like to call them problems: these are challenges we have to deal with and adapt to accordingly.”

DTD Group (formerly Beatbox Entertainment) is Denmark’s second-biggest promoter after Live Nation and its biggest festival operator, with two of the country’s largest festivals, NorthSide and Tinderbox, as well as new acquisition Fyrfest. It stages between 50 and 70 bigger shows a year – plus occasional one-offs such as Lukas Graham’s six Danish outdoor shows last year, which drew more than 80,000 and ran entirely on green battery power. Since 2019, DTD has operated an investment and partnership agreement with Superstruct Entertainment.

“We’ve seen some incredible increases in costs. And obviously that infects the entire environment – it’s not getting any cheaper to produce a festival”

Operating across festivals and shows, Nielsen is mulling a variety of challenges on the road ahead. “In my opinion, it is still a bit post-Corona,” he says. “There’s still a number of the bigger acts we need to see on the road, who have stayed away so far. And we’ve seen some incredible increases in costs. And obviously that infects the entire environment – it’s not getting any cheaper to produce a festival, and it’s not getting any cheaper to produce a show. And that goes for the artist and that goes for the promoter. So, ultimately, there are some challenges lying ahead.”

Smash!bang!pow! had perhaps the biggest single smash hit of 2022 when it sold 100,000 tickets to Ed Sheeran’s four Copenhagen shows in around 100 minutes, with the remaining 60,000 disappearing in another 48 hours, breaking the Danish ticket record in the process. This year has seen Royal Arena shows for Danish veteran star Thomas Helmig, Eros Ramazzotti, and Snoop Dogg, as well as the second edition of the Syd for Solen festival in Søndermarken.

And while costs are one challenge, says Grigat, another is creating traction for events in a world where the old ways of spreading a message no longer hold fast.

“Social media dominates a lot because we don’t have that much of the classic media left. There are a few magazines, and we do have radio of course, but it’s not the same as ten or 15 years ago, so we try to use our own channels – our smash!bang!pow! Instagram and our newsletter – as media backup. It may not have the biggest reach but it’s the right reach.”

Another busy promoter and producer is CSB Island Entertainment, founded in 1994 and 75%-owned by DEAG since 2021, with founder and CEO Carsten Svoldgaard and son and COO Kenneth remaining at the helm and as shareholders.

“We are so busy with both festivals and indoor concerts that we simply lack artists for the Scandinavian venues”

Operating from the island of Fanø in the North Sea off Denmark’s southwest coast, CSB holds worldwide rights to productions including The Show – A Tribute to Abba, Queen Machine Symphonic and Disco Tango Eurovision Show, and supplied major international artists and bands to up to 100 festivals and open-airs in Denmark this summer, ranging from 5,000 in capacity up to 20-30,000-cap festivals.

“That is more festivals and open-airs than ever, and at the same time, our collaboration with indoor concert halls has increased and increased,” says Carsten Svoldgaard, who says the main challenge in Denmark is not one of consumer demand but of securing a sufficient supply of talent to satisfy it all.

“We are so busy with both festivals and indoor concerts that we simply lack artists for the Scandinavian venues,” says Svoldgaard. “In Denmark alone, there are over 200 festivals and open-airs in the summer, and we have artists at most of these, but we simply need more. It may sound like a positive problem, that it’s all just running smoothly, but of course we want to do as many concerts as possible – therefore, we could use many more international bands and artists.”

Undeniably the king of Danish festivals is Roskilde, with its eight stages, 205 acts, 50,000 tents, and 130,000 daily participants (including 30,000 volunteers and 100,000 audience members), which mean that, for a week at the end of June, the festival effectively ranks as Den- mark’s fourth largest “city” in terms of population – a little smaller than Odense, rather bigger than Aalborg.

This year’s lineup encompassed Kendrick Lamar, Caroline Polachek, Lil Nas X, Rosalía, Burna Boy, Christine and the Queens, Blur, and Queens of the Stone Age, plus nearly 200 others.

“We want to be a place that can help inspire and strengthen the ability to envision, and hence create, a better future”

2023 was the first year under new head of booking Thomas Jepsen, who succeeded Anders Wahrén in 2022. “I have been a part of the booking team since 2011, but this was my first year as head of music,” says Jepsen. “We achieved a lot of goals with Roskilde Festival 2023. The programme was diverse, presenting a broad range of genres and nationalities, huge stars, raw talents, and a lot of progressive and young artists.

“Just to mention a few, Rosalia’s show in Spanish at Arena Stage was a huge success, as was Burna Boy, who mixes two Nigerian dialects with English in his lyrics, playing on our main stage, Orange Stage. At Apollo Stage the American rap talent 070 Shake almost made the walls vibrate, while the Brooklyn based indie-folk band Florist gave a dreamy and ambient concert at Gloria Stage.”

Gender balance and other forms of diversity and inclusion remain a priority. This year, Roskilde introduced two brand new stages, Eos and Gaia – highlights of the former included the transgendered rapper Villano Antillano from Puerto Rico – while also introducing its new Utopia theme.

“We want to be a place that can help inspire and strengthen the ability to envision, and hence create, a better future,” says Jepsen. “It characterises everything we do related to the festival, and also the way we curate the programme.”

Situated in a beech forest just outside of the town of Skanderborg in Jutland, the 43-year-old Smukfest (meaning ‘beautiful festival’) was once again back in force this year, its eight days of music representing a comprehensive A-Z of contemporary Danish pop talent, spiced with diverse international names from Imagine Dragons and Megadeth to Christina Aguilera and Jason Derulo.

“I think the Danish part of the market is very healthy. The international part of the market is healthy, too, but I foresee some structural problems in the future”

Denmark’s second-largest festival (cap. 66,000) was born out of a non-profit association and launched in 1980. Its Skanderborg Festival Club has since gained over 20,000 members, who all have voting rights, and three-quarters of whom volunteer at Smukfest each summer.

“I think it’s quite a unique Danish model to have a festival based on this, and we’re very proud of that,” Smukfest director Søren Eskildsen told IQ last year. “We would do anything in our power to maintain this model.”

The strength of Denmark’s homegrown talent at such festivals is clearly healthy but also increasingly necessary, as European festivals contend with the punishing cost – and limited availability – of international talent. Increasingly, notes Nielsen, hot international artists are leapfrogging the festival-headlining part of their trajectory and going it alone.

“I think, generally, the market is healthy,” he says. “I think the Danish part of the market is very healthy. The international part of the market is healthy, too, but I foresee some structural problems in the future because it’s becoming more difficult for festivals to get the international headliners. There’s been a change post-Corona where we’ve seen a number of international newcomers going straight to stadium level. We didn’t see that in the earlier years pre-Corona, and that’s something that obviously the festivals will need to adapt to.”

This year’s NorthSide bill, in early June, brought Muse, The 1975, The Chemical Brothers, Little Simz, Lukas Graham, First Aid Kit, and Sam Fender to second city Aarhus, while Tinderbox had the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5, Black Eyed Peas, Tobias Rahim, and Armin van Buuren for this year’s edition, in Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense.

“We more than doubled the ticket sales from the first year, so it’s definitely going in the right direction”

Fyrfest in Viborg, central Jutland, acquired this summer, further enhances the DTD portfolio. “It’s a 20,000-cap, and traditionally, the programming is all the major Danish acts,” says Nielsen. “So, it’s a very traditional local festival but a pretty big one. For next year, we had a three-day, early-bird sale and we have done 95% of the tickets without announcing acts.”

Among Denmark’s other notable festivals are Live Nation’s Copenhagen metal fest Copenhell; electronic music festival Stella Polaris in Aarhus and Frederiksberg; the massive Copenhagen street-party Distortion, which culminates with the two-day Distortion Ø event on a former industrial island in the Copenhagen harbour; the SPOT Festival of Nordic talent in Aarhus; and the travelling Grøn Koncert, sponsored by Tuborg, which this year celebrated its 40th anniversary, stopping in Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Kolding, Næstved, Odense, Tårnby, and Valby through late July.

Meanwhile, smash!bang!pow!’s new Syd for Solen festival in Søndermarken featured Bon Iver, Iggy Pop, The War on Drugs, Aphex Twin, and others. “That was the second year, and we more than doubled the ticket sales from the first year, so it’s definitely going in the right direction,” says Grigat. “We’ve found a concept that really works and that people are into, where we curate day by day.”

Copenhagen is replete with busy venues, from the 17,000-capacity, Live Nation/Danish Venue Enterprise-operated Royal Arena, which opened in 2017, to Vesterbro’s VEGA complex, which hosts around 250 concerts a year, between the bustling Store VEGA (standing capacity 1,500, seated 800) and its smaller counterparts Lille VEGA (standing 500) and Ideal Bar.

Other key elements of the capital’s venue scene include Pumpehuset, near to the City Hall Square, with rooms for 600 and 400; the 400-cap Loppen, housed in an old army hall in Freetown Christiania; the atmospheric, 350-capacity Hotel Cecil, open since 2018; and multi-purpose arena K.B. Hallen, built in 1938 by the King of Denmark, burnt to the ground in a devastating fire in 2011, rebuilt and reopened in 2019.

“In 2024, concertgoers will be back in larger numbers, mingling with the core fans for the intimacy and intensity of the indoor venue concerts”

“For K.B. Hallen, which is a 4,600-capacity venue, the real bounce back will be 2024, both in terms of the number of shows and ticket sales,” says Kasper Busch Lund. “Throughout 2022 and 2023, audiences have been prioritising the major must-see artists, as well as festivals, to be social again around music. In 2024, concertgoers will be back in larger numbers, mingling with the core fans for the intimacy and intensity of the indoor venue concerts.”

The 1975 and Idles are among those who will be playing at K.B. Hallen in 2024, while the shows rounding out this year include Melanie Martinez, Jungle, Lil Yachty, and Jack Whitehall.

The Danish live market enjoys government subsidies that have endowed the country with a network of regional venues that have a responsibility to develop audiences and provide opportunities for smaller acts to play professional shows. There is also an industry-wide agreement on artists’ fees.

“Luckily, here we have government support for most of the venues,” says Anderz Nielsen. “We do have some private venues, but it’s not that many – most people get government support via the local council. It’s been rough years for all of them, I would say. But I don’t know if any of the smaller venues have closed down here in Denmark.”


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2024 lineups stack up: Lolla, Roskilde and more

Next year’s festival lineups are already beginning to take shape, with artist announcements from events including Lollapalooza, Roskilde, Download, Rock Werchter, Latitude, Nova Rock, Innings Festival, Welcome to Rockville and Hellfest.

Lollapalooza this week confirmed the lineups for its Chile, Argentina and Brazil editions, scheduled for next March.

Headliners include Blink-182, SZA, Paramore (Brazil only), Feid (Chile/Argentina only), Sam Smith, Arcade Fire and Limp Bizkit.

Hozier, The Offspring, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Diplo, Above & Beyond, Dom Dolla, Phoenix, ZHU, Rina Sawayama, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Omar Apollo are also on the lineups.

The Chile and Argentina editions take place on 15-17 March at Parque Bicentenario de Cerrillos and at Hippodromo de San Isidro in Buenos Aires, respectively. Lollapalooza Brazil takes place 22-24 March at Autódromo de Interlagos in São Paulo.

Lolla South America headliners include Blink-182, SZA, Paramore, Feid, Sam Smith, Arcade Fire and Limp Bizkit

Lollapalooza in South America is produced by Perry Farrell, C3 Presents, Lotus Producciones (Chile), DF Entertainment (Argentina), and Rock World (Brazil).

The 2024 edition of Lollapalooza Brazil is the first to be managed by C3 Presents and Rock World (the company behind Rock in Rio) – both of which are majority-owned by Live Nation – it was announced in April.

Prior to that, Lolla Brazil was produced and promoted by South America’s leading live entertainment company T4F (Time For Fun) for 10 years.

Across the Atlantic, Denmark’s Roskilde festival has revealed 17 of 180 acts for next year’s instalment.

Foo Fighters, PJ Harvey, Kali Uchis, Blondshell, Romy and Gilli are among the acts set for the event, taking place between 29 June and 6 July 2024.

“I don’t mind admitting, this year for 2024 we approached 21 different headliners for Download… it’s been probably the hardest year”

Foo Fighters will also be headlining Belgium’s Rock Werchter, scheduled for 4–7 July at Festivalpark in Werchter.

Meanwhile, Download has announced more than 80 acts for its 21st edition, the follow-up to its fastest-selling edition in the event’s history.

Britain’s biggest heavy metal festival will be headlined by Queens Of The Stone Age, Avenged Sevenfold and Fall Out Boy in 2024.

Slipknot legend Corey Taylor, Pantera, Machine Head, The Offspring, Sum 41 and Royal Blood.

Download boss Andy Copping told Planet Rock that his booking team had found it “really tough” locking in these artists compared to previous years.

Live Nation’s Innings Festival will next year spawn a second weekend, dubbed Extra Innings

“I don’t mind admitting, this year for 2024 we approached 21 different headliners for Download,” he said. “It’s been probably the hardest year – I’ve said that in previous years before when it’s been hard to put the bill together – but this year has been particularly hard.”

Elsewhere in Live Nation’s portfolio, Latitude (UK) has secured Duran Duran a headliner for the 2024 offering, taking place in Suffolk’s Henham Park between 25–28 July, and Innings Festival (US) will return for a sixth edition next February with headliners by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Hozier.

The Arizona event will next year spawn a second weekend, dubbed Extra Innings, headlined by Chris Stapleton and Dave Matthews band.

The doubleheader weekends combine live music with Major League Baseball greats and interactive baseball-themed activations. Both take place from Tempe Beach Park & Arts Park during the Cactus League’s Spring Training.

Austria’s Nova Rock is also taking shape, with Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Måneskin and Bring Me The Horizon set to headline.

France’s Hellfest has confirmed Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, The Offspring, Megadeath and more

The event – promoted by Nova Music Entertainment, a part of CTS Eventim’s Barracuda Musicrecently added a fourth day for 2024.

The 55,000-capacity festival will take place between 13 and 16 June 2024 at its longstanding home of Pannonia Fields in Nickelsdorf, Burgenland.

Billy Talent, Corey Taylor, Jane’s Addiction, Parkway Drive, Pendulum, Machine Head, Avril Lavigne, Alice Cooper, Sum 41 and Baby Metal are among the other acts slated to play Nova Rock 2024.

Elsewhere in the rock and metal festival sphere, France’s Hellfest has confirmed Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, The Offspring, Megadeath, Dropkick Murphys, Royal Blood and Bad Omens among others.

The 17th edition will take place 27–30 June 2024 in Clisson. Four-day passes for the festival are already sold out.

Many of the same artists at Hellfest will also appear at Welcome to Rockville 2024, produced by Danny Wimmer presents.

Foo Fighters, Mötley Crüe, Slipknot, Jelly Roll, Disturbed, Limp Bizkit, Queens of the Stone Age, Judas Priest, Greta Van Fleet, Evanescence, Falling In Reverse, A Day To Remember, Breaking Benjamin and Bad Omens will perform at Daytona International Speedway in Florida on 9-12 May, 2024.


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European festival line-ups take shape for ’24

The 2024 festival season in Europe is beginning to take shape after a raft of top events made their first line-up announcements for next summer.

In Germany, Eventimpresents/DreamHaus’ twin Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, held at Nürburgring and Nürnberg, respectively, will welcome the likes of Die Ärzte, Avenged Sevenfold, Queens of the Stone Age, Green Day, Broilers, Billy Talent, Måneskin, Parkway Drive and Kraftklub from 7-9 June.

FKP Scorpio’s flagship festivals Hurricane, in Scheessel, and Southside, in Neuhausen ob Eck will also return from 21-23 June with acts such as Ed Sheeran, The National, Bring Me The Horizon, Avril Lavigne, The Offspring, The Hives, Jungle and Fontaines DC.

Denmark’s famed Roskilde has also announced its first batch of artists for its 52nd edition from 29 June to 6 July, which includes PJ Harvey, Kali Uchis, Romy, Trueno, The Armed and Blondshell.

“We have a long-running history of being a progressive festival with an international perspective, and we consistently push ourselves to further that purpose,” says Roskilde programme director Anders Wahrén. “We aim to inspire every single one of our 130,000 festival participants with a diverse lineup characterised by artistic curiosity and groundbreaking headliners presented in a unique festival setting.”

“Roskilde Festival is a very communal event where dreams and new ideas for a better tomorrow are being addressed”

He adds: “Roskilde Festival is a very communal event where dreams and new ideas for a better tomorrow are being addressed, exchanged, cultivated and eventually tried out by our participants. And music and art play a big part in inspiring us to even think and sense those new ideas to begin with.”

Set for 6-10 August, Norway’s Superstruct-backed Øyafestivalen will celebrate 25 years with headliners including Pulp and PJ Harvey, while Croatia’s biggest open-air music festival INMusic, which was cancelled in 2023 due to financial challenges, will return to Zagreb from 24-26 June, topped by Smashing Pumpkins and The National.

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran was unveiled last month as the first headliner of Rock in Rio Lisbon’s 20th anniversary edition. First held in 2004, the biennial festival returns to Portugal for a double weekender between 15-16 & 22-23 June 2024.

Isle of Wight Festival today became the first major UK event to show its hand. Headlined by The Prodigy, Pet Shop Boys and – in a UK festival exclusive – Green Day from 20-23 June. The bill also includes The Streets, Keane, Simple Minds, Crowded House, Blossoms, Nothing But Thieves and Zara Larsson, among others.

“We’re thrilled to announce our 2024 headliners today and to continue to showcase a truly exciting array of talent for next year’s festival,” says IoW organiser John Giddings. “From globally-recognised and pioneering artists, to chart-topping talent and rising stars, we can’t wait to welcome everyone to the island next year.”

Glastonbury has pushed its 2024 ticket sale back by two weeks

Also in the UK, Derbyshire’s Bearded Theory will welcome the likes of Jane’s Addiction, Amyl and the Sniffers, Sleaford Mods, Orbital and Dinosaur Jr to its 15th anniversary from 23-26 May.

And Slam Dunk, the UK’s biggest independent rock festival, will bring You Me At Six, The All American Rejects, I Prevail, Funeral For A Friend, Asking Alexandria, Waterparks, Palaye Royale and Pale Waves to Hatfield Park (25 May) and Leeds’ Temple Newsam (26 May).

Meanwhile, Glastonbury has pushed its 2024 ticket sale back by two weeks to 16 November (tickets plus coach travel) and 19 November (general admission) “out of fairness” to people who discovered they were no longer registered to attempt to buy tickets, despite believing they were.

“Following this year’s festival, we alerted everyone with a registration which pre-dated 2020 of a scheduled review of the details held by See Tickets in the Glastonbury Festival registration database,” says a statement. “This was in order to ensure that the details we hold are current and that we do not store individuals’ information for any longer than is necessary. These registrants were asked to take action to confirm their registration if they wished to keep it.

“Unfortunately, it has come to light that some individuals hoping to buy tickets for 2024 have discovered after Monday’s registration deadline that they are no longer registered, despite believing they were.

“Out of fairness to those individuals, we will be re-opening the window for registration at 12 noon on Monday, 6th November. It will remain open until 5pm on Monday, 13th November.”

Yesterday it was announced that annual action sport and music festival NASS, held near Bristol, will not take place next year as a result of rising costs. Meanwhile, the debut of new Dutch heavy metal festival South of Heaven has been postponed for a year after “no certainty could be given about obtaining the necessary permit for the first edition”. The event was set for 31 May and 1 June, promoted by TIRR Music Agency, Muziekgieterij Maastricht and Doomstar Bookings.


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MITC to offer therapeutic services at Roskilde

The Music Industry Therapist Collective’s Soundcheck initiative will be on hand backstage at this year’s Roskilde Festival to provide psychological and physical health support to the event’s emerging artists as they gear up to play the iconic festival.

Combining music industry experience and clinical expertise, MITC’s specialist practitioners will be present on all three days of the 25-27 June gathering, providing daily workshops, and helping artists to build skills in areas that include:

Perfectionism vs healthy striving, anticipating and coping with set-backs, and cultivating a growth mindset.

Understanding the physical demands of your role, identifying red flags, preventing injuries such as RSI, examples of static and dynamic exercises for pre-performance and post-performance routines.

Targeted techniques to recognise anxiety triggers, calm nerves, boost confidence, and optimise their musical expression.

The impact of stress to mind, brain and body, what stressors you should pay special attention to as an artist, and what strategies are most effective for relief and resilience.

The importance and benefits of functional breathing, better breathing habits, how to use breathwork for optimal performance and post-performance wind down, guided practice.

As a festival with so much focus on bringing new talent into the spotlight, we think it is of utmost importance to support these artists in as many ways as we can.

Artists performing at Roskilde will receive a free copy of Tamsin Embleton’s Touring and Mental Health: the Music Industry Manual in their dressing room. Covering topics including: emotional intelligence, depression, trauma, crisis management, anger, conflict, stress, addiction, eating disorders, anxiety, group dynamics, mindset, exercise, physical health, optimal performance, diversity and inclusion, romantic relationships, nutrition, sleep science, breathwork, meditation, mental capacity, psychological safety and post-tour recovery, the book is written by performing arts medicine professionals to provide robust clinical advice, cutting edge research, practical strategies and resources.

In addition, artists will be invited to book in with the Roadie Medic Clinic, where they can meet with performing arts medical doctor Dr Arun Castro or physiotherapist Adam Lawrenson free of charge. The Roadie Medic Clinic offers drop-in sessions providing practical advice around tour health, covering topics such as: hearing health, vocal health, musculoskeletal health, tiredness, jetlag/travel fatigue, injuries, gut health, performance anxiety and mental health crises.

Roskilde programme director Anders Wahrén says, “As a festival with so much focus on bringing new talent into the spotlight, we think it is of utmost importance to support these artists in as many ways as we can. This new collaboration with MITC Soundcheck is a step in that direction, as we offer sessions with international specialists to all acts performing in the first days of our festival.”

MITC founder Tamsin Embleton comments, “We are delighted to pair with Roskilde this year to roll out MITC Soundcheck. We know from research and many accounts in the press that artists can be pushed past the natural limits of their minds, brains and bodies when touring is intensive. This partnership enables us to prepare emerging artists for what may be to come – helping to build self-awareness through psychoeducation and on-site support, alongside practical, relevant skills they can implement as their career develops.”

And Dr Arun Castro adds, “The MITC Soundcheck programme with Roadie Medic at Roskilde looks to be a game changer in terms of how we care for artists on the road. As medical director, I’m delighted to be contributing to this year’s programme which sets a blueprint for levelling up backstage care for creatives. Just as guitarists have guitar techs and vocalists have vocal coaches, think of MITC Soundcheck as a holistic multi-disciplinary collective supporting artists to develop mind and body skills for life in live music.”


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Major fests put finishing touches to 2023 bills

One of Europe’s largest festivals Roskilde this week added Lizzo, Busta Rhymes, Loyle Carner, Biig Piig, Dry Cleaning and more than 100 other acts to its 2023 lineup.

They join previously announced acts Kendrick Lamar, Caroline Polachek, Lil Nas X, Rosalía, Burna Boy, Christine and the Queens, Blur, and Queens of the Stone Age.

The 51st edition of Roskilde will take place between 24 June–1 July in the Danish town of the same name. Tickets start from DKK 2400.

Elsewhere in Denmark, promoter Down the Drain has revealed full lineups for its festivals NorthSide and Tinderbox.

Little Simz is the newest addition to the NorthSide bill, which already includes Muse, The 1975, The Chemical Brothers and more.

NxWorries (feat. Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge), Lukas Graham, First Aid Kit, Sam Fender, LP, Yemi Alade and Pusha T are also slated to play the Aarhus festival between 1–3 June.

Little Simz is the newest addition to the NorthSide bill, which already includes Muse, The 1975, The Chemical Brothers

Simz is among the acts set to play the second-largest stage Echo, which this year will be covered by a 20,000-capacity tent.

“This time of the year in Denmark is very bright, in the evenings as well, and a lot of the bigger acts ask for a slot in darkness to get the full effect of their production. We’ve talked about doing this for years, but the pandemic got in the way. Now, we’re finally launching this change and creating an amazing setting for more intimate live experiences – and we can’t wait to see it in action!” says festival CEO Brian Nielsen.

Tinderbox (cap. 45,000), meanwhile, has confirmed Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5, Black Eyed Peas and Armin van Buuren for this year’s edition, taking place in Denmark’s third-largest city, Odense.

George Ezra, Dean Lewis, Lukas Graham, Mimi Webb, Cat Burns, Gogol Bordello, bbno$, Dylan and Oliver Malcolm will also appear at the festival between 22–24 June.

“Last year, we broke records at Tinderbox, and we’ve tried our very best to give back to our loyal guests by chasing some of the world’s biggest acts,” says Nielsen.

Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Finland’s Flow Festival has unveiled a third wave of acts led by Lorde and Christine and the Queens.

Finland’s Flow Festival has unveiled a third wave of acts led by Lorde and Christine and the Queens

They join a blockbuster bill comprising Pusha T, High Vis, Caroline Polachek, Blur, Wizkid, Tove Lo and more.

The Superstruct-backed festival will return to the capital city of Helsinki between 11 and 13 August. Tickets start from €119 for a one-day ticket, €189 for two days and €225 for three days.

In the UK, Truck festival has added Mae Muller, The Reytons, Gengahr, English Teacher, Feet and Chappaqua Wrestling to this year’s edition.

The Oxfordshire festival previously announced headliners Royal Blood, Alt-J, Two Door Cinema Club and The Wombats.

Self Esteem, The Vaccines, Circa Waves, Pale Waves, Everything Everything, Kate Nash and Squid are also due to play the Superstruct-backed festival, taking place at Hill Farm between 21 and 23 July. Final Tier tickets are on sale now from £160.

Elsewhere, the UK’s Standon Calling has announced two stage headliners, with Shygirl joining the all-female lineup on the Laundry Meadows stage and Sainté and D Double E heading up a new rap and hip hop night called FutureFlow on The Cowshed stage.

Las Vegas-based event Life Is Beautiful is set to host The Killers, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Khalid and The 1975

Previously announced headliners for the 2023 event include Years & Years, Self Esteem, Bloc Party and The Human League.

Anastacia, Confidence Man, Dylan, Squid, Katy B, KT Tunstall and Melanie C will also perform at the 17th edition of the boutique music and arts festival.

Festival founder and director Alex Trenchard says “We’re so proud of this year’s progress in booking a gender-balanced headline bill.”

The Broadwick Live-owned festival will return to the Hertfordshire countryside between 20 and 23 July 2023.

Across the Atlantic, Las Vegas-based event Life Is Beautiful is set to host The Killers, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Khalid and The 1975 for the September edition.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Omar Apollo, Kim Petras, FLUME, Nelly and Bebe Rexha are also lined up to play the 10th-anniversary edition of the music and arts festival.

Las Vegas mainstays such as Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, Jabbawockeez, Magic Mike Live, Piff the Magic Dragon and Tape Face will also be on hand for performances and appearances.

The Rolling Stone-owned festival will return to downtown Vegas between 22 and 24 September.


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Perfect partnerships: 2022’s innovative activations

Sponsorship is a key revenue stream for festivals, whilst music and arts events are excellent ways for companies and charities to expose their messages to receptive audiences. In an excerpt from IQ and Yourope’s European Festival Report, we profile some of the most innovative partnerships in 2022.

Roskilde: Culturography
Commercial partnerships are key for most festivals, with many companies eager to benefit from the association with a festival brand and access to its audience. However, it’s important to create an activation that not only aligns with the company’s goals but matches the audience’s expectations without damaging the event’s reputation.

But how do you ensure your partnership brand is met with approval by festivalgoers? How do you know the partner you’re working with won’t be viewed negatively by them? And even if they are receptive to your brand/message, how do you calculate the success of the activation when the measurements of success are not as sophisticated as they could be.

Well, thanks to a new big data collaboration with Aalborg University’s techno-anthropologists (yes, they do exist), Roskilde festival in Denmark might have solved these issues.

Together they have created a new online open-source platform called Culturography, which enables organisations to understand and visualise how their target group – and the broader public – engages in different aspects of societal issues online.

Roskilde’s online tool analyses social media posts from fans and the public that show where interests of different groups of people overlap

The online tool analyses social media posts from fans and the public that show where interests of different groups of people overlap. This use of big data enables festivals to understand whether a brand and its activities are a good fit.

“Every time we engage in a commercial partnership, there are three basic steps that we go through. There’s finding the partnership, signing the partnership, and then monetising it. This method was very helpful for all three,” says Roskilde’s head of partnerships, Andreas Groth Clausen.

“Normally, when I present the idea of a partnership with Roskilde Festival to a company, it’s just me, and I’m hoping that the person I’m talking to is a fan of a particular festival or can see the idea. With this digital database, we can actually tell them what our audience is interested in. We can show them our fans are really engaged with some of their competitors, but they’re not interacting with them. So, the starting point changed significantly when we introduced these visualisations to our partners.”

The tool also helps the festival and the brand design an activation onsite that hits the appropriate demographics, by identifying the key touchpoints certain groups are interested in. This minimises the risk of running an activation that doesn’t chime with festival-goers.

As a non-profit organisation, Roskilde festival is making the software available to everyone. But there’s still some development required – currently the data is interpreted by experts from the university, whilst the goal is to develop the software further so that it removes this requirement.

“Trasholution” incentivises people to pick up litter by gamifying the process

“That’s the last challenge for us – to build a tool that’s just plug-and-play for everybody. As good as it is right now, it’s still a work in progress, but we can make it even better. We are going to do that in the years to come,” says Groth Clausen.

FKP Scorpio: Trasholution
FKP Scorpio festivals Hurricane, Southside, Highfield, and M’era Luna launched a new concept for waste management in summer ‘22. “Trasholution” incentivises people to pick up litter by gamifying the process – and it was used to benefit social causes, too. Every full rubbish bag was counted by the festival and triggered a donation of €1 to social projects in the region of each festival. This was live-tracked and visible for all festivalgoers, further motivating them to hand in their rubbish. As soon as a donation goal was achieved, the German company launched the counter for the next one.

“This is so important because if the festival waste is separated cleanly, its recyclable materials can be sorted out much better and returned to the material cycle,” says FKP Scorpio managing director Stephan Thanscheidt. “So, we’re achieving two good things with one concept: donations for social causes, as well as more sustainability.”

Flow and Polestar
As one of the world’s first carbon-neutral festivals, Finland’s Flow fest is renowned for its environmentally friendly credentials. So, it was especially important for them to work with brands that shared its ethos.

Polestar’s commitment to bring 100% electric premium car products to the world, led them to partner with the Superstruct Entertainment-owned event to bring their brand statements to Flow’s highly eco-conscious fan community.

With a campaign aimed at building brand awareness and affinity in Finland, Polestar gave selected ticket holders exclusive drives to the festival as well as pairing with Tiilikello venue for an exclusive art installation, matching both the festival and brand’s minimalist image.

At Latitude and Wilderness, professional Bacardí mixologists offered cocktail-making classes for attendees

Live Nation and Bacardí
With 2022 being the first full year back after the pandemic, Bacardí partnered with Live Nation in the UK to join the celebrations for the return of festivals, signing a multi-year deal to be the official spirit partner across ten events.

A drinks brand could be considered an expected sponsor for a festival, which was exactly what inspired Bacardí to create spectacular spaces full of thoughtful surprises and touches.

The partners created physical spaces that became destinations in their own right at festivals. Each was tailored to the festival audience’s tastes and preferences, such as Casa Bacardí (at Reading, Parklife, and Wireless), a two-story dance destination programmed with world-renowned DJs and premium rum cocktails; or Haçienda Patrón (at Wilderness and Latitude), a Tulum-inspired space.

Bacardí also used its spaces creatively by inviting fans to experience its brands in new ways. At Latitude and Wilderness, professional Bacardí mixologists offered cocktail-making classes for attendees. Bacardí also programmed established and up-and-coming DJs at Casa Bacardí to support its Music Liberates Music initiative, an ongoing programme designed to champion underrepresented voices in the music industry.

The results reached 3m in-person attendees and 10m followers on social media.

Jay Williamson, VP of marketing partnerships for Live Nation UK, said: “The Bacardí team truly understands how live music is one of the rare things that can bring people together, and the opportunity to work with them this summer on creating lifelong memories for fans was an incredible privilege.”

Wacken Open Air partnered with brewery Krombacher to put together a band made up of rare native species under threat

Wacken Open Air and Krombacher: Growling Creatures
Have you ever heard an endangered animal sing metal? Well, now’s your chance. This year, German festival Wacken Open Air partnered with brewery Krombacher to put together a band made up of rare native species that are under threat: Growling Creatures.

To raise awareness of the plight of these animals, three songs featuring the calls of a variety of animals were released by the ‘group.’ Nest Destroyer included the sounds of the cuckoo and grey shrike over a melodic death metal tune. The brown hare and lynx contributed to metalcore banger Furry Inferno. And the female bison and grey seal joined together for death metal song Small Number Of The Beast.

The songs were released on Spotify and videos were posted on YouTube and social channels, as well as running on stage screens between bands. Band T-shirts were also sold.

All proceeds from the campaign will be donated to the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) of Germany.

“The audience response as well as the media was very positive,” says festival spokesman Peter Klapproth. “All three songs were professional produced and went down well in the metal scene. The campaign created a reach of over 8m, which made the whole cooperation very successful for all parties involved and most importantly created the awareness for the endangered species.”

The partnership was such a success that plans are already in place to continue it next year.

Emerging artist Madalena Pequito ran a workshop of festivalgoers that positioned art as a pillar for sustainability

MEO Kalorama and Underdogs
While audiences filled their ears with music from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Arctic Monkeys, and Disclosure, new Portuguese festival MEO Kalorama also filled their eyes with art, thanks to a partnership with Lisbon-based cultural platform Underdogs.

Promoter Last Tour invited the art organisation to undertake three different initiatives that involved several people from the Underdogs’ diverse roster of Portuguese and international artists.

The first part of this collaboration was a large-scale intervention by Portuguese visual artist AkaCorleone called Temple of Sound, which saw the entire main stage decorated with work, as part of his ongoing Temple of Light project.

Elsewhere, an art gallery was built dedicated to displaying over 30 exclusive Underdogs artworks by a diversity of artists, including Felipe Pantone, Okuda San Miguel, Tamara Alves, Vhils, Wasted Rita, and many others.

And sustainability was a key theme for the third intervention – emerging artist Madalena Pequito ran a workshop of festivalgoers that positioned art as a pillar for sustainability. She invited the audience to illustrate the 17 sustainable development goals established by the United Nations.

Jazz in the Park bought six GoPro cameras, which festivalgoers borrowed for 45 minutes at a time to record their experience

Jazz in the Park and Mega Image
Most people who work on festivals never get to experience it as audiences do. But for its 10th anniversary in 2022, Romanian festival Jazz in the Park set about changing that. Thanks to a partnership with supermarket Mega Image, the festival bought six GoPro cameras and set-up a station that saw people borrow a camera for 45 minutes at a time and record their experience. The 180 people shot 96 hours of footage, which was edited into a “People’s Aftermovie,” which was released on social media.

“We were a bit nervous about people’s response[s] to being invited to film,” admits festival founder and manager Alin Vaida. “But the cameras were used almost all the time. People love the opportunity to just fool around and film their family, their preferred concerts, and so on. After the first day, people started asking about where they could get the cameras, and there was a good level of interest in the activation.”

The resulting film is unlike any traditional marketing movie, showing the event in a truly authentic manner, as even some of the ‘less desirable’ elements of the event, (such as the poor weather on the first two days) were included.

Communications manager Sergiu Topan says when the first draft arrived from the editor, he ran into Vaida’s office and shouted “It’s great!”

Vaida adds: “We are a relatively small office, and it’s usually quite noisy. But when the team got the video, there was just seven minutes of total silence. People were trying to be poker-faced about it, but I could see some of them wiping away tears. It was amazing. Watching the film was the first proof in 10 or 11 months or more that we had done something brilliant.”

He says sponsor Mega Image’s response was “really good.” So much so that there are now plans to increase the budget next year so they can buy more GoPros and have more people involved. “The word-of-mouth regarding the brand activation was excellent, too,” he adds.

EXIT’s fortress walls were painted with words of emotional and psychological support

EXIT and mental health
With global events such as the pandemic, the economic crisis, and the war in Ukraine continuing to impact people’s lives, organisers of EXIT Festival in Serbia had a special focus on mental health at the 2022 edition.

The walls of the festival site’s fortress were painted with words of emotional and psychological support, while the messages were also presented on the screens of the big stages.

Many people have encountered anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, and other related difficulties in the past two years. This is why the festival further strengthened its relationship with Novi Sad-based suicide prevention and mental health support organisation Srce Centre. The festival has worked with the centre for years, and this year the partnership was extended to bring more mental support locations to the fortress, namely at the Foodland, the OPENS State of EXIT zone, and in the EXIT camp.

And it’s not only the audience that could get help. EXIT says it is the only organisation in the music industry with two mental health experts on the team throughout the year. Over the course of the festival, other psychologists and psychotherapists were onsite to support the backstage teams and performers whenever needed.

The Power Hour sees attendees gather at Defqon.1’s main stage for 60 minutes of DJs mixing high-energy tunes

Defqon.1 and Red Bull
One of the key moments during Dutch hardstyle festival Defqon.1 is the Power Hour – which sees attendees gather at the main stage for 60 minutes of DJs mixing high-energy tunes with lightning transitions – it’s an intense moment that sees the audience go crazy.

Festival organiser Q-dance (a brand of Superstruct Entertainment-owned ID&T) partnered with Red Bull to make this year’s Power Hour truly something to remember. Opening with Red Bull athlete Bicho Carrera, it featured an aerial display that included multiple Red Bull assets such as an aerobatic flight and the helicopter from The Flying Bulls.

During the left-to-right moment, which sees the whole crowd dancing from side to side, the Red Bull helicopter joined in, hovering from left to right, too. Additional activation included special Power Hour-branded Red Bull four-packs, which were sold onsite and in the campsites and included an illuminated LED cup.

This moment was captured in video and generated significant reach and viewership over digital platforms on both Red Bull and Defqon.1 channels.

“We had almost 4m (organic) total online reach and counting,” says Q-dance brand partnerships manager Jack van Mourik. “When answering the question ‘How would you rate the Red Bull show moments during Power Hour?’ the average score was an 8.59 out of 10 in our Defqon.1 survey and was experienced as ‘very positive.’”

At Ab geht die Lutzi Festival and Rocken am Brocken, a small PENNY.Festivals Kiosk was set-up

Many festivals and PENNY
For many years, German supermarket brand PENNY has supported the German festival scene – most prominently with its sponsorship of Parookaville. But for the return after Covid, it wanted to expand its help. So multifaceted festivals platform Höme used a survey of 37,000 festivalgoers to find out how the 2,150-store company could offer the best support. What they discovered led them to develop a broad range of activations across multiple festivals under a new sub-brand, PENNY.Festivals.

Alongside its activations with Parookaville, which include two big stores, the DJ-Tower with its legendary pre-party on Thursday and up to 20,000 visitors, the brand ran smaller and different modules at 16 festivals.

Among the activations were the PENNY.Festivals Shuttle, which saw festivalgoers at Burning Beach and Happiness Festival able to leave the festival site free of charge, drive to the nearest PENNY branch, and stock up on food and essentials. At other events, such as Ab geht die Lutzi Festival and Rocken am Brocken, the smaller PENNY.Festivals Kiosk was set-up; while elsewhere the PENNY.Festivals Food For Good Foodtruck offered vegetarian and vegan food. A number of festivals had digital partnerships.

And it wasn’t just audiences that benefitted from the support. PENNY also supported November 2022 conference Festival Playground, which brought together 150 different festivals of different sizes and genres.

“With this new concept, PENNY is once again strengthening its position as a reliable partner and supporter of the German festival industry,” says Höme’s Laura Pfeiffer.

“The response from the audience was great. For example, the Kiosk was always almost completely sold out after the first day (even though we ordered more than twice as much from the first to the second time). PENNY saw recognition at a huge variety of events. Our Instagram channel reached 10,000 followers within seven months. Festival attendees, especially from smaller festivals, are always happy to find our services at these events because it’s unusual to find big brands like PENNY there.”

Pfeiffer says this new approach is part of a three-year plan with the brand. “The first year was all about testing. Next year is all about improvements and taking the learnings from the first year to another level. Last but not least, the issue of scalability and the long-term implementation should also not be ignored.”

Read the European Festival Report in full below.


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