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

Superstruct buys festival giant The Music Republic

Superstruct Entertainment has bought The Music Republic, the promoter behind iconic Spanish festivals Arenal Sound and Benicàssim (FIB).

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct reportedly acquired 100% of the Valencia-based organiser for around €120 million, to be paid over the next five years.

Following the purchase, The Music Republic founders, brothers David and Toño Sánchez, will “continue to have full control and power in decision-making”.

The brothers founded the company in 2010 with the launch of Arenal Sound, a 60,000-capacity festival that takes place annually in the providence of Castellón, eastern Spain.

In 2019, the brothers took over FIB (cap. 50,000) from owner Maraworld (majority owned by MCD Productions and SJM Concerts) and festival director Melvin Benn (Festival Republic).

That same year, there were rumours of Live Nation attempting to buy the company but the deal never crossed the line.

Superstruct reportedly acquired 100% of the Valencia-based organiser for around €120 million

Over the years, The Music Republic has added numerous festivals to its stable of events, including Festival de Les Arts de Valencia, Granada Sound, Interstellar Sevilla, Madrid Salvaje, Love the 90’s Valencia, Metal Paradise and Bahía Sound.

The company also functions as an artist management agency, organising tours and events throughout the country, as well as a creative agency.

One of the company’s latest projects is a collaboration with Licampa 1617, a holding company of Spanish entrepreneur Juan Roig that has was founded especially to build Valencia’s Arena Roig, the new area that will replace L’Alqueria del Basket.

The €220m multi-purpose arena will sit on 21,500 square metres of land, with a capacity of 15,000 for basketball matches and up to 18,600 for concerts.

The Music Republic has been tasked with programming the arena’s concerts, which it will do via its specially created subsidiary Arena Alive. The arena, set to be the largest in Spain, is expected to be complete this year.

Along with The Music Republic, Superstruct’s presence in Spain includes festivals Sónar (Barcelona) and Monegros Desert Festival (Aragon).

The live entertainment behemoth owns and operates more than 70 major events and music festivals in Europe and Australia, including elrow, Sziget, Wacken Open Air, Mysteryland, Hideout, sonar, Flow, Defqon1, Parookaville, Zwarte Cross, Arenal Sound, Øya, O Son do Camiño and Tinderbox.

 


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.

Flow Festival plans revamp after record year

Finland’s Flow Festival is planning a shake up of its formula as it builds from a position of strength following its biggest edition yet in 2022.

Organisers of the Superstruct-backed festival, which welcomed 90,000 visitors to the post-industrial Suvilahti area in Helsinki over three days last summer, unveiled their first raft of acts for 2023 last month.

Set for 11-13 August, the line-up will include FKA Twigs, Caroline Polachek, Suede, Devo, Amyl & The Sniffers, Shygirl, Jockstrap and 070 Shake. Three-day tickets cost €225, with gold passes priced €345.

“The festival is shaping up really well,” Flow Festival creative director Tuomas Kallio tells IQ. “We are super-happy with some of the bookings for 2023. The effects of Covid, as well as geopolitical changes in Europe, affected international sales in 2022, so we are now looking forward to those numbers bouncing back in 2023 and welcoming even more visitors to Helsinki this August.

“Also, we are very excited to be able to use the festival area in the current, well-tested and iterated formula one more time. After this year, we will see some quite dramatic changes in our festival area, since it will begin to undergo drastic construction and developmental projects.

“Our 2022 was a successful return in numerous measures”

Kallio explains that a number of major production and technical changes are already in the works.

“Our biggest tent provider is new and the Main Stage structure will also change this year,” he says. “Otherwise our festival concept and vision remains the same it has been from the very beginning: to create a responsible high-quality and international festival, that is first and foremost a content-driven overall experience.”

The 2022 festival hosted more than 150 artists including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Gorillaz, Florence + the Machine, Burna Boy, Michael Kiwanuka, Jamie xx and Princess Nokia.

“Our 2022 was a successful return in numerous measures,” he says. “We made our sales record with a sold-out attendance of 90,000 and nearly 50,000 unique visitors during the three-day festival weekend. One of the absolute highlights was the new indoor art space we introduced at the festival area. Our festival is held at an old power plant area and has some amazing protected buildings from the beginning of the 20th century.”

Kallio opens up on his hopes and concerns regarding the wider festival market.

“There are festival and concert operators who are unfortunately ready to lose a lot of money to book certain acts”

“After Covid, a lot of artist tours have become dramatically shorter than before and thus, the competition even harder,” he says. “There are festival and concert operators who are unfortunately ready to lose a lot of money to book certain acts. This makes ever-raising artist fees even higher and, at times, unfeasible for a healthy festival market in Europe. A ‘multistage music lover’-based concept with a lot of various artists becomes financially harder compared to the years before Covid.”

In closing, Kallio stresses Flow’s commitment to retaining its status as a forerunner in festival sustainability, standing among the world’s first carbon-neutral festivals in its scale since 2009.

“The carbon footprint of Flow Festival Helsinki has been calculated and compensated for over a decade, but in 2021, this work was taken up a notch as a more extensive research project into the sustainability of the festival was launched in collaboration between Flow Festival ltd. and D-mat ltd,” he says.

“This research has, for the first time, captured the material footprint in addition to the carbon footprint of the festival and advanced the calculation of the carbon footprint to include indirect emissions related to the festival as widely as possible. This provides a more comprehensive view into the environmental impact of Flow Festival Helsinki than earlier, and presents the opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts holistically with new solutions targeting the key hotspots in terms of the festivalʼs sustainability.”

“A big part of sustainability for us is also to take into consideration the social side of it”

He continues: “A big part of sustainability for us is also to take into consideration the social side of it. This means promoting equality, safety, diversity, and accessibility. As an employer, we expect our entire staff, as well as our associates and distributors, to adhere to the same values. We also have developed an equality plan and a code of conduct that all our staff and subcontractors commit to following.

” We also participate in the European Keychange initiative. In 2022, approximately 55 % of the groups that performed at Flow had women and non-binary members. For some years, we have also worked with Startup Refugees, a non-profit voluntary network supporting refugees and immigrants with employment and entrepreneurship in Finland.

“All in all, we think creating a high-quality, comprehensive festival experience and working towards a more sustainable future can and should be mutually inclusive.”

 


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.

Major fests confirm new blockbuster acts for 2023

Major festivals including Boardmasters (UK), MEO Kalorama (PT), Fest Festival (PL), NOS Alive (PT) and Orange Warsaw (PL) have revealed new names for their 2023 editions.

Boardmasters music and surfing festival in the UK has unveiled the first wave of more than 30 acts, including two headline performers, for next year.

Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and Florence + The Machine will headline the festival in Newquay, Cornwall, on 9–13 August 2023.

Other acts announced for the Superstruct-backed event include Little Simz, Four Tet, Example, Dylan, Bob Vylan, Cassyette, Kid Kapichi, Jockstrap, Connie Constance, Gwenno, Katachafire, Gretel Hänlyn and Wunderhorse.

The festival, which usually attracts about 50,000 people, is held at Watergate Bay and Fistral beach.

Liam Gallagher and Florence + The Machine will headline Boardmasters

Organisers said “tens of thousands” had already signed up for pre-sale tickets before the general release on Friday (25 November).

Elsewhere, Portugal’s MEO Kalorama is set to return to Bela Vista Park in Lisbon between 31 August and 12 September, after a successful debut.

The second edition of the 40,000-capacity event will feature acts including Arcade Fire, Florence and the Machine, Foals and Metronomy.

The Blaze, Amyl and the Sniffers are also slated to perform at the event, which is promoted by House of Fun and Last Tour – the cultural company behind events such as Bilbao BBK Live, Azkena Rock Festival, Cala Mijas and BIME Live.

Elsewhere in Portugal’s festival market, NOS Alive‘s first artist confirmation is American rock duo Black Keys.

The second edition of MEO Kalorama will feature Arcade Fire, Florence and the Machine, Foals and Metronomy

The 15th edition is due to take place between 6–8 July 2023 held in the Algés riverside, close to Lisbon.

This year’s NOS Alive, promoted as usual by Everything Is New, welcomed 210,000 people over four days and 165 artists across seven stages.

Poland’s 2023 festival summer is also shaping up, with Fest Festival and Orange Warsaw detailing their forthcoming editions.

The fourth annual Fest Festival will see performances from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, 070 Shake, Gibbs, Oki, Oliver Heldens, Rubens, The Stickmen Project, Two Feet and Yungblud.

The 50,000-capacity event will once again return to Chorzów’s Silesia Park – the largest park in Europe – between 9 and 13 August, 2023. Fest Festival is promoted by Follow The Step, which also stages On Air festival in Warsaw.

Poland’s capital will also see the return of Orange Warsaw next year, taking place at the Horsetrack Warsaw-Służewiec between 2 and 3 June.

English superstar Sam Smith has been confirmed for the 14th edition of the 10,000-capacity event, promoted by Alter Art (Open’er, Krakow Live).

 


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.

Superstruct acquires UK’s Y Not festival

Live entertainment powerhouse Superstruct Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in Derbyshire’s Y Not festival.

The Pikehall-based event takes place across three days each summer and attracts more than 25,000 attendees.

Artists including Foals, Elbow, Two Door Cinema Club, Franz Ferdinand, You Me at Six and Wolf Alice have performed at the festival.

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct has acquired the stake from Count of Ten, which has had on-off ownership of Y Not since its inception.

The festival was founded in 2005 by Ralph Broadbent and his company Count of Ten, and remained independent until 2016.

Artists including Foals, Elbow, Two Door Cinema Club, Franz Ferdinand, You Me at Six and Wolf Alice have performed at Y Not

In 2016, Broadbent and Alex Dixon resigned as directors of Count of Ten before radio giant Global acquired Y Not and Oxford’s Truck Festival from the firm, along with South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters and Rewind from Impresario.

When Global’s portfolio was divvied up in April 2019, Y Not was not acquired by Superstruct or Broadwick Live.

The festival was then bought back by its original owner Count of Ten, led by operations manager Jason Oakley, who has been involved with Y Not since its founding.

In 2022, after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival returned as an independent event, headlined by Stereophonics, Courteeners and Blossoms.

Alongside Y Not, Superstruct also owns UK festivals Truck, Nass, Blue Dot, Victorious, South West Four, Tramlines and Boardmasters.

IQ has contacted Count of Ten and Superstruct for a comment.

 


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.

Lowlands festival site to be used as refugee shelter

The festival site where Dutch festivals Lowlands and Defqon. 1 are held each year will become a shelter for more than 1,000 registered refugees.

The first refugees are expected at Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen, central Netherlands, in three weeks’ time and will be accommodated in temporary housing units until next spring.

The shelter will be used to relieve the burden on the asylum seekers’ centre in Ter Apel, Groningen, until April 2023 when the site will be available for festivals again.

The mayor of governing providence Dronten, Jean Paul Gebber, tells de Volkskrant that Walibi Holland is a good choice for a temporary shelter because of the festivals that are organised there. “If we can build a village here for 60,000 people three times a year, we can also set up a village for 1,500 asylum seekers if there is a need for it.”

The mayor of Dronten says that Walibi Holland is a good choice because of the festivals that are organised there

Walibi Holland hosts the 55,000-capacity Lowlands (aka A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise) in August each year, with the 2023 edition set for 18–20 of that month.

The festival’s promoter, Live Nation-backed Mojo Concerts, recently opened the world’s largest solar carport in Walibi Holland’s on-site car park.

The site is shared by Defqon. 1 which is promoted by Q-dance, part of the Superstruct-backed ID&T group.

The electronic dance music festival is due to return to the site between 22–25 June, 2023.

 


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.

Major Scandi festivals hail bumper comebacks

Last week saw some of Scandinavia’s best-known festivals welcome back record numbers of music fans.

Norway’s Øya Festival (Øyafestivalen) reported a total attendance of 88,000 over four days (or 22,000 per day) at this year’s sold-out edition, smashing its previous record of 80,000 in 2019.

The Superstruct-backed festival returned to Oslo’s Tøyen Park last week (9 and 13 August) with headliners Gorillaz, Florence + the Machine and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

“The festival was fantastic,” Jonas Prangerød, press manger for Øya, tells IQ. “Artists, staff, volunteers and, of course, the audience enjoyed Øya finally being back. People came very early to the festival area and there was a good crowd for every band and artist.

“Both new talent and the big, established favourites impressed. I think a lot of people have got a few new favourite acts now. The warm weather suited Øya’s comeback really well. The whole week was as good as we could hope for.”

Sweden’s Way Out West also broke its own attendance record, drawing 50,000 unique visitors over three days (11–13 August) to its 2022 edition.

The Luger-promoted festival once again took over Gothenburg’s Slottsskogen city park, offering performances from the likes of Tame Impala, Beabadoobee and Fontaines D.C.

“The whole week was as good as we could hope for”

“Way Out West 2022 could not have ended up better,” Filip Hiltmann, marketing and communications manager for Way out West, tells IQ.

“After two years of silence, it felt great to finally be back in Slottsskogen doing what we do best. The sun was out the whole weekend (a rare phenomenon in Gothenburg!) and we experienced first-class sets from the likes of Burna Boy, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, First Ait Kit, Fred again… and many more. We can’t wait to be back next year, mark down 10–12 August 2023 in your calendars.”

Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Finland’s Flow Festival celebrated an attendance record of 90,000 over two days (12–14 August) or 30,000 per day.

The Superstruct-backed festival took place in the Finnish capital of Helsinki this past weekend (12–14 August), with performances from more than 160 acts including Jamie xx, Princess Nokia, Bikini Kill, MØ and Fred Again.

Notably, Gorillaz’s performance at Flow was the band’s first-ever appearance in Finland.

Next year’s Flow dates have already been set for 11–13 August, 2023, and a limited number of Super Early Bird tickets went on sale yesterday (15 August).

Other festivals that took place over the weekend, elsewhere in Europe, include Superstruct’s Sziget (Hungary), Follow The Step’s Fest Festival (Poland) and Boomtown Fair (UK).

 


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.

ID&T links with electronic music promoter Apenkooi

Superstruct Entertainment’s ID&T has purchased a stake in fellow Dutch electronic music promoter Apenkooi Group.

The strategic partnership with Superstruct and ID&T is designed to accelerate the company’s trajectory, unlocking new opportunities for the group in the areas of brand partnerships activation and events sustainability.

Launched in 2004 with a local party in the Utrecht-based Club Monza, Apenkooi’s portfolio has grown to include brands such as DGTL, STRAF_WERK, Pleinvrees, Amsterdam Open Air and The Gardens of Babylon. It also organises festivals internationally and promotes Elrow events in the Netherlands.

“ Joining a global platform of industry-leading, like-minded entrepreneurs will take Apenkooi to the next level and enable our company to seize the numerous growth opportunities within electronic music events brand partnerships and sustainability,” says Jasper Goossen CEO and co-founder of Apenkooi.

ID&T, which signed a partnership agreement with Superstruct last year, runs events such as Mysteryland, Defqon.1, Awakenings, and Milkshake.

“We are very happy and proud to welcome so many talented and passionate people to our family. Not only does Apenkooi have an amazing portfolio with brands such as DGTL, STRAF_WERK and Pleinvrees, we also have been partners already in several festivals such as Amsterdam Open Air, Valhalla and By the Creek for many years,” adds ID&T Group CEO Ritty van Straalen.

“In addition to the many popular festivals, their in-house brand partnership agency will also become part of the group. For the ID&T brand partnership team this is a very important step to further expand the partnership portfolio with commercial and qualitative propositions.”

 


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.

Superstruct buys into sports and music fest Nass

Live entertainment powerhouse Superstruct Entertainment has acquired a stake in the UK’s only professional action sport and music festival, Nass (National Adventure Sports Show).

Established in 2008, the annual four-day event brings together a number of sports competitions in Skate, BMX, Inline and FMX with live music spanning drum and bass, hip-hop, grime, garage and house.

The 30,000-capacity event, which takes place at the Royal Bath & West Showground in southwest England, has previously played host to artists including Chase & Status, Giggs, Rudimental, Stormzy, Public Enemy and Loyle Carner.

Nass festival has been created, promoted and managed by Vision Nine, which also produces the Superstruct-owned Boardmasters

Nass festival has been created, promoted and managed by Vision Nine, which also produces Superstruct-owned surf and music festival Boardmasters. The terms of the deal between the two companies have not been disclosed.

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct counts Sziget, Elrow, Parookaville, Wacken Open Air, Boardmasters, Sonar, Tuska and Zwarte Cross among its extensive portfolio of European festivals.

Last month, IQ revealed that Superstruct acquired the UK’s premier science and music event, Blue Dot.

IQ has reached out to Vision Nine for comment on the acquisition.

 


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.

Superstruct acquires UK festival Bluedot

Live entertainment powerhouse Superstruct Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in the UK festival Bluedot.

Touted as “four days of music, science and cosmic culture,” Bluedot has been held annually in July since 2016 at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, England.

The 25,000-capacity event has previously played hosts to artists such as Kraftwerk, Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip, Prof Brian Cox, Helen Sharman, Richard Dawkins, Jean-Michel Jarre, New Order and Future Islands.

The 25,000-capacity event has previously played hosts to artists such as Kraftwerk, Chemical Brothers and Hot Chip

The festival was founded by Ben Robinson, director of music festival agency From the Fields.

Robinson also co-founded Kendal Calling which was acquired by Superstruct from Global when the latter company divvied up its festival portfolio in 2019.

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct counts Sziget, Elrow, Parookaville, Wacken Open Air, Boardmasters, Sonar, Tuska and Zwarte Cross among its extensive portfolio of European festivals.

IQ has contacted Superstruct for a comment.

 


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.

Tinder relaunches Festival Mode with top promoters

Dating app Tinder is partnering with Live Nation, AEG Presents and Superstruct to re-introduce its Festival Mode feature across 10 countries ahead of the first full summer season since 2019.

Designed to bridge the gap between online introductions and real life connections, Festival Mode allows Tinder members to select which events they plan to attend and match with fellow festival-goers up to a month before the show.

Festival Mode includes more than 20 of the world’s biggest festivals including The Governors Ball, Bonnaroo, Stagecoach and EDC Las Vegas in the US; All Points East and BST Hyde Park in the UK and Falls Festival, Festival X and Splendour in the Grass in Australia, as well as events such as Sónar in Spain, Sziget in Hungary and Lollapalooza in Paris, Berlin and Stockholm.

“Music is a universal language and the number-one interest among Tinder members worldwide. So many of our members are excited to jump back into in-person events. We wanted to build on that excitement and offer them a head start at meeting someone new ahead of one of the biggest festival seasons in years,” says Kyle Miller, VP of Product Innovation at Tinder. “Festival Mode gives you a chance to get yourself back out there, meet new people, and make friends before you hit the festival grounds. It’s a great, low-pressure way to make real world connections again.”

“People around the world are returning to festivals in record numbers and Tinder is helping those fans connect in a new way before the show”

The feature will also include a “Festival Goers” space, for users who don’t see their event listed or are simply just fans of festival culture to connect.

“People around the world are returning to festivals in record numbers and Tinder is helping those fans connect in a new way before the show,” adds Maureen Ford, Live Nation’s president of national and festival sales. “Live events create some of life’s most unforgettable moments largely thanks to the people we enjoy them with. By partnering with Live Nation’s festivals, Tinder is able to bring this new feature to millions of fans around the world.”

According to Tinder’s research, 64% of singles say they enjoy meeting new people while attending live music events, and over 3 in 5 (61%) say they’ve become friends, or more, with people they met at a music festival or concert.

 


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.