fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

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

British fests sell out as more confirm 2021 dates

Three of the UK’s most popular music festivals, Reading Festival, Creamfields and Boomtown, have sold out their 2021 editions in the past 24 hours, underlining the huge demand for festival tickets among locked-down British live music fans.

Festival Republic’s Reading Festival, which normally has a capacity of 105,000, was one of several festivals to confirm this week they intend to go ahead in 2021, taking place alongside its sister Leeds Festival in the last weekend in August.

All weekend tickets for Leeds Festival (75,000-cap.) are also gone, according to the festivals’ Twitter account, with only limited Friday and Sunday day tickets remaining.

Dance music festival Creamfields, promoted by Live Nation UK’s Cream Holdings, says it sold out in record time ahead of its return this summer. The festival, which has run since 1998 (since 2006 in its current location on the 70,000-capacity Daresbury estate in Cheshire), also takes place across the August bank holiday weekend (26–29 August).

That many fans held onto their 2020 tickets, says Cream, is “positive news for the live music industry, which has largely remained closed over the last 12 months. The news follows the prime minister’s ‘roadmap’ address on Monday that allows the safe return of large-scale outdoor events this summer.”

“This is positive news for the live music industry, which has largely remained closed over the last 12 months”

British prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday (22 February) that all lockdown measures should be lifted in England from 21 June, theoretically allowing large outdoor events such as festivals to take place with no restrictions. Industry response to the announcement was largely positive, though live music businesses and associations are seeking more clarity as to what will be possible.

Among the 300 artists and DJs performing at Creamfields 2021 are Bicep, Afrojack, Alesso, Carl Cox, Pete Tong, pendulum, Gorgon City, Sub Focus, Claptone, Sigma, Andy C, Martin Garrix, Sigma and Nina Kraviz.

Independent festival Boomtown, which typically has a capacity of more than 70,000, has scaled down its event for this year’s ‘Chapter One: The Gathering’-themed festival, which celebrates a “post-pandemic world” of “connection, community and celebration”. The line-up will also be kept secret until around a week before the festival.

Explaining the decision last year, organisers said: “[T]here are many aspects to the way the music industry runs that don’t work for independent festivals. The complex process of releasing a music line-up, with the exclusivity, billing and escalating costs ,has led us to decide this is the time to rethink the way we approach it and explore new ways of doing things.

“We have always been a creatively led festival and people attend Boomtown because of the overall experience.  We will continue to book incredible headline artists, and all the festival favourites, but by approaching our programming announcements in this radical way, we can create line-ups that are even more phenomenal and diverse than we have ever been able to before.”

“The anticipation to get back to showcasing the best in new music has never been greater”

Fans responded to the change, with over 90% of 2020 ticket holders declining a refund, and tickets for the 2021 edition, held as usual near Winchester in Hampshire, selling out last night.

Also riding the wave of fan demand is London’s Field Day, which announced just before 9pm yesterday (25 February) that it, too, had sold out its 2021 edition and second outing at the post-industrial Drumsheds venue in Enfield, north London.

Like its cancelled 2020 festival, Field Day 2021 will be a one-day, electronic music-focused event headlined by DJs Bicep. Other performers playing the Drumsheds, which has a capacity of 25,000, include Maribou State, Ross from Friends, Floating Points and Adelphi Music Factory.

https://twitter.com/fielddaylondon/status/1365040858198921216

The sellouts come as more festivals confirm they will be going ahead later this summer, with Liverpool Sound City, Gala Festival, Wilderness and Mighty Hoopla all announcing or re-confirming their 2021 dates in the wake of Johnson’s announcement.

“I can’t believe that it’s been nearly two years since the last time we came together at Sound City, and the anticipation to get back to showcasing the best in new music has never been greater,” says Sound City MD Becky Ayres. “Enjoying amazing new artists in incredible venues is what makes Sound City great, and we’re excited to bring together genre-pushing favourites, thrilling live bands and must-see moments this October.”

Sound City 2021 takes place from 1 to 3 October with artists including the Lathums, Rejjie Snow, the Mysterines, Red Rum Club and the Murder Capital.

 


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

Wacken Open Air 2021 sells out

The 2021 edition of German metal festival Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) has sold out, with over 90% of 2020 ticketholders retaining their festival passes for next year.

Wacken, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, was due to take place this coming weekend (30 July–1 August), with a line-up of acts including Judas Priest, Amon Amarth and Mercyful Fate.

However, the festival was called off, as is the story for the majority of events this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A virtual edition of the event, Wacken World Wide, is taking place from 29 July to 1 August instead, with exclusive live performances from Blind Guardian, Heaven Shall Burn, In Extremo, Kreator and Beyond the Black.

Fans can buy souvenir tickets and festival ribbons to support the event and artists involved, as well as a range of new Wacken World Wide merchandise.

“We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the incredible support you are showing us in these tough times,” reads a post from the Wacken team, announcing the 2021 sell-out.

“We are humbled that over 90% of you have decided to exchange your W:O:A 2020 tickets for W:O:A 2021 with the remaining ones being sold this quickly”

“Said gratitude is deepened since we know that many of you have to deal with your own hardships such as dismissals, short-time work and scarce job opportunities.

“We are humbled by the fact that over 90% of you have decided to exchange your W:O:A 2020 tickets for W:O:A 2021 with the remaining ones being sold this quickly. You can be sure that we will give our very best to turn W:O:A 2021 into an unforgettable experience.”

The Wacken team also say they are “blown away” by the number of fans choosing to donate their tickets for others to use, instead of exchanging them or asking for a refund. These so-called Solidarity Tickets will be given out in the coming weeks.

The first bands for Wacken 2021 will be announced this Saturday, as per tradition.

W:O:A joins a number of large European festivals to announce swift sell-outs for next year, including Denmark’s Roskilde Festival and Primavera Sound in Spain.

Wacken World Wide will be available to watch live for free from 29 July to 1 August here, as well as on the Magenta Musik 360 website and app.

 


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

SITG sells record 50k tickets for 20th anniversary

Australia’s Splendour in the Grass festival celebrated its largest ever ticket sale today (27 February), with fans clearing out all 50,000 tickets under an hour.

The festival has sold four times as many tickets for its 20th edition than it did for its inaugural event in 2001. This year’s festival is the biggest ever, marking a 7,500 capacity increase from last year.

The Strokes, Flume and Tyler the Creator are heading up the festival from 24 to 26 July, which will also feature performances from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Midnight Oil, Denzel Curry and more.

“The response to our 20th edition of Splendour in The Grass has been phenomenal,” says event producer Jessica Ducrou. “We know many people are doing it tough in our local communities at the moment and we’re grateful for the opportunity to bring people together in Byron through the uniting power of music.”

New South Wales is one of the regions most affected by the Australian bushfires, which have been raging through the country since September.

“We never would have thought when we produced our first edition of Splendour back in 2001 that it would resonate and mean so much to so many people 20 years later”

“We never would have thought when we produced our first edition of Splendour back in 2001 that it would resonate and mean so much to so many people 20 years later.”

Harley Evans, managing director of Splendour’s ticketing partner Moshtix, comments: “It’s been Moshtix’s great privilege to be involved in this wonderful event for so many years and the incredible demand for the 20th edition is a testament to the efforts of Jess, Paul, and their amazing team, and the love that the public has for Splendour.

“In difficult times, it will be wonderful to see 50,000 people come together in July to celebrate music and life.”

Moshtix, formerly the biggest independent ticketing service in Australia, was acquired by Ticketmaster in February last year.

Fans can sign up to the resale waiting list here.

 


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

K-pop girl group Twice sell out Japan shows

All 15 concert dates on the Japanese leg of K-pop band Twice’s current world tour have sold out, after over one million fans applied for tickets.

The nine-piece girl group have concert dates at the Makomanai Ice Arena in Hokkaido (10,000-cap.), Chiba’s Makuhari Event Hall (9,000-cap.), the Osaka Jo Hall (16,000-cap.), Miyagi’s Sekisui Heim Super Arena (7,000-cap.), Nagoya’s International Exhibition Hall (13,500-cap.), Marine Messe Fukuoka (13,000-cap.) and Shizuoka’s Ecopa Arena (10,000-cap.)

JYP Entertainment, the management company behind the band, announced two extra dates on Sunday (27 October) at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome.  Twice will be the first K-pop girl group to play two consecutive concerts at the dome. The shows will take place on 3 and 4 march 2020.

Twice will be the first K-pop girl group to play two consecutive concerts at the Tokyo Dome

The concerts are part of the Twicelights 2019 world tour, which has seen the band play in Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia and the United States.

According to IQ’s recent Japanese market report, Japan is the second largest music market in the world, behind the United States and ahead of Germany. The country’s live sector has reached unprecedented levels in recent years, generating ¥332 billion in 2017 (£2.4bn) and ¥345bn (£2.5bn) in 2018.

K-pop in particular has “made a big impression” in Japan, with Twice and other bands such as BTS and Blackpink recording and performing Japanese versions of their songs.

 


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

Demand ‘higher than ever’ for Glastonbury 2020

More than 2.4 million people registered to get their hands on Glastonbury Festival tickets over the weekend, with all 135,000 tickets selling out in just over half an hour.

Glastonbury 2020, which will take place from 24 to 28 June at long-time home Worthy Farm in Somerset, marks the 50th anniversary of the event.

“We have now sold out. Thank you all for your incredible, continued support. Demand was higher than ever, with over 2.4 million people registered. Bring on 2020!” posted Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis on Sunday (6 October), just 34 minutes after tickets had gone on sale.

Coach packages had sold out in just 27 minutes three days before.

“Demand was higher than ever, with over 2.4 million people registered”

A resale of any unwanted or unpaid for coach and ticket packages for Glastonbury 2020 is set for 16 April, followed by a resale of general admission tickets on 19 April. Details of a “special ballot” for the sale of 50 pairs of tickets will also be announced in the next few days.

Fans can also register interest in volunteering at the festival through Glastonbury partner charities Oxfam, Greenpeace and WaterAid.

Glastonbury Festival 2019 took place from 26 June to 1 July, with headline performances from the Cure, Stormzy and the Killers. Tickets for last year’s event also sold speedily, with all being snapped up in 36 minutes.

 


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

Boomtown weathers the storm for sold-out fest

The 11th edition of Boomtown took place this weekend amid high-speed winds, as “robust planning measures” ensured a successful event.

High winds and heavy rains battered the UK over the weekend. Despite the cancellation of Boardmasters and Houghton festivals, organisers of Boomtown decided to brave the storm, with 66,000 people attending the event from 7 to 11 August.

Strong winds caused the temporary closure of Boomtown’s Relic stage on Friday, after part of the stage fell into the crowd. All acts were rescheduled to perform on another stage, with Relic reopening on Saturday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

“It was inspiring to watch the entire Boomtown community come together, demonstrating nothing but support, patience and respect for each other”

Campsites were also affected by high winds. Festivalgoers were encouraged to contact festival staff if they wished to move campsites or obtain alternative shelter due to weather conditions.

Organisers admit that the weather was “challenging”, but say they are “humbled by how everyone pulled together” to ensure the show went on to the standard expected.

“It was inspiring to watch the entire Boomtown community come together, demonstrating nothing but support, patience and respect for each other,” reads a statement from organisers.

Artists including Prophets of Rage, Chronixx, Groove Armada and Lauryn Hill performed at Boomtown 2019.

 


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

Wacken 2020 sells out in 21 hours

The 30th edition of Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) closed on Saturday 3 August, with “all expectations fulfilled” and tickets for next year’s festival already cleared out.

Wacken 2019 took place from 1 to 3 August. Acts playing across the three-day festival included Slayer, Parkway Drive, Prophets of Rage and Sabaton.

“This year’s Wacken really was fantastic,” W:O:A co-founder Thomas Jensen tells IQ. ”I couldn’t have asked for any more music-wise, performances all round were of a great quality.”

Jensen admits that customers got “a bit damp”, but says the festival team “can’t complain”. Part of the festival site was closed off on Friday, in anticipation of a possible lightning storm, but opened again shortly after.

“We were lucky with the weather in the end,” says the Wacken co-founder, adding that “the crew did a tremendous job, as always.”

Tickets for next year’s festival went on sale on Sunday at 11 p.m., with all 75,000 tickets selling out in just 21 hours.

The speed of ticket sales for the 2020 event surpasses that of last year. Wacken shifted tickets for its anniversary event in just over one week.

“This year’s Wacken really was fantastic, I couldn’t have asked for any more music-wise”

“We […] are honestly overwhelmed by what just happened,” reads a statement by festival organisers, thanking fans for their “incredible loyalty”.

The statement reveals next year’s international focus will be on South- and Central America, “for a metal journey into the realms of the Mayans and Aztecs.”

Last year, Wacken joined forces with Electronic Sports League (ESL) to introduce its very own 1,800 square-metre esports arena, allowing festivalgoers to compete in amateur tournaments, set to the soundtrack of heavy metal.

Other features of the festival include concerts in Wacken’s “metal church”, a 1,300 square-metre onsite supermarket, a  cinema area dedicated to films about the world of metal and the Middle Ages-themed Wackinger Village.

Wacken 2020 will take place from 30 July to 1 August. Already announced acts include Judas Priest, Amon Amarth, Mercyful Fate and At the Gates.

Jensen explained the simple ethos behind Wacken in a recent IQ article: “We weren’t thinking: what is the best music to put onstage at Wacken? The question was: how do we get enough people to Wacken for this metal show?”

Read the rest of IQ‘s Wacken anniversary feature here.

Wacken to the Jungle: How W:O:A became a world-leading metal brand


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

The secrets behind festival sell outs

Since Coachella opened its festival gates in mid-April, the 2019 festival season is now well and truly upon us.

As ticket sales remain a point of contention and concern for many events, IQ speaks to ten festivals that appear to have no problem shifting tickets and selling out year-on-year, to find out the secrets to their success and how they continue to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded festival arena.

 


 

Byron Bay Bluesfest
Australia’s most-awarded live music festival, Byron Bay Bluesfest turned 30 this year – and the landmark edition was one of the most successful to date. Before the event, festival director and owner Peter Noble noted that all ticket sale records had been broken.

In order to ensure consistently healthy ticket sales, Bluesfest uses a mixed marketing strategy, including traditional methods, use of online channels, and face-to-face marketing campaigns.

“Our marketing strategies focus on the festival experience and also the great lineups that we have here,” Noble tells IQ. “We have focused on customer retention over the past number of years and around 40% of ticketholders are repeat purchasers, which we are very proud of.”

Recognised as an “industry leader” within the management of live music festivals, Noble states that Bluesfest is unworried by the licensing laws imposed by the New South Wales Government on music festivals.

“We are well regarded as a safe family event with three generations of patrons joining us annually,” Noble tells IQ. “We will continue to review our extensive procedures and practices in close liaison with emergency services, various government bodies and through a detailed risk management approach.”

 

Wacken Open Air
Wacken Open Air also celebrates its 30th edition this year and enthusiasm for the anniversary event is high. Tickets for Wacken 2019 sold out in four days, and in the words of co-founder Thomas Jensen: “Quite obviously, we are doing something right.”

In order to improve, the Wacken co-founders have always placed great value on what festival attendees have to say, actively responding to suggestions.

“We invite the fans to give us their feedback via means such as our social media channels or in person at a Q&A session with both me and my fellow co-founder Holger Hübner,” explains Jensen.

“There is always room for improvement – no matter how well things are working out,” stresses the Wacken boss.

Jensen talks about this year’s lineup, saying the festival aims to “maintain the right balance of sticking to our roots and offering innovations,” placing new acts alongside integral, longstanding Wacken Open Air performers. “This is why Parkway Drive can be found next to Slayer as one of our headliners in 2019.”

The festival has received some slack for having “a very German touch,” says the Wacken co-founder. However, guests come from all over to attend what is now the world’s biggest heavy metal gathering, and, “since the metal family is probably the most open-minded community on Earth, everybody is welcomed with open arms.”

 

Paléo Festival de Nyon
From its origins in the town assembly rooms of the French-Swiss town of Nyon, Paléo Festival has grown to become an important European music event. Each year, more than 280 concerts and shows take place for 230,000 visitors across the 84-hectare festival site.

For more than 20 years, the festival has successfully and consistently sold out.

“One of the keys to Paléo’s success is that it distinguishes itself from other events by not only providing musical entertainment but by giving place to a whole experience,” says festival director Dany Hassenstein.

“Between music, street theatre and performances inspired by the circus or architectural installations, Paléo is an extraordinary global village for the audience,” he says…

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 83, or subscribe to the magazine here

 

Speedy sell-out for Coachella 2019

Tickets for April’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2019 went on sale at 11 am PST on Friday 4 January. General admission passes for weekend one of the mega-festival had sold out just 40 minutes later, Billboard reports.

A post on the Coachella Twitter account announced that all remaining passes for both weekends of the festival, including shuttle and VIP tickets, had sold out six hours post release.

Event promoter Goldenvoice has since declared that a limited number of additional tickets will be available for purchase by local residents of Coachella Valley, on sale in early February. Buyers must reside in one of a small number of local post codes and will be able to buy just two tickets per weekend.

“General admission passes for weekend one of the mega-festival sold out in just 40 minutes”

Despite seemingly speedy sales, figures are down in comparison with previous years. Tickets for the 2017 and 2018 editions of Coachella sold out in half the time of this year’s batch, with all passes purchased after just three hours.

The festival will take place over two consecutive three-day weekends from 12 April. General admission tickets cost US$429, whereas weekend VIP tickets set buyers back just one dollar short of $1,000.

The 2019 festival will see headliners Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande and Tame Impala perform to fans in the heat of the California desert. It is a year of firsts for the increasingly pop-orientated event, as Grande will become the youngest-ever artist to headline the festival, and the fourth woman to do so.

The subject of headliners has proved controversial this year. Kanye West is believed to have dropped out of the billing in objection to stage restrictions, while Justin Timberlake is similarly rumoured to have backed out of his festival appearance following a persistent vocal cord injury.

 


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

Highfield Festival marks 20th year with 35,000 people

Highfield Festival, a joint venture by German promoters FKP Scorpio and Semmel Concerts, celebrated its 20th birthday over the weekend, welcoming a sold-out crowd of 35,000 music fans to the site on Germany’s Lake Störmthal.

Like many events this summer, Highfield enjoyed a weekend of good weather. Warm temperatures and no rain was particularly welcome after last year, which saw a wash-out for a number of acts. Relishing in the sunshine, festivalgoers were treated to performances from the likes of The Hives, Billy Talent and Editors.

Offstage, fans were equally well treated, with several acts making surprise appearances in amongst the crowds. Performer Eisfahrrad came to the rescue of a number of overheated fans, as he delivered water to them by speedboat, whilst Marteria hosted an impromptu autographing session in front of a mint green monster truck.

 “The Highfield 2018 was so filled with emotion and special moments on and off the stage, the energy at the festival site was palpable”

Speaking of the success of this year’s sell-out event, Stephan Thanscheidt, CEO of FKP says: “The Highfield 2018 was so filled with emotion and special moments on and off the stage, the energy at the festival site was palpable,”

“Our thanks, therefore, is especially our artists who have made Highfield with their music and countless crazy ideas memorable. Our guests have thanked them with a euphoria that caused goosebumps. We are already looking forward to next year!”

The news of Highfield’s success comes after a successful festival season all-round for Germany. Northern Germany’s Wacken Open Air enjoyed huge success with the world’s first ever festival esports arena, and A Summer’s Tale in Luhmühlen reported record ticket sales for its 2018 edition.

Tickets for next year’s Highfield Festival go on sale today and are available from the festival website.

 


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