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

Live Nation GSA announces Download Festival Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is launching a German edition of Download Festival, the UK’s premiere rock event.

Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Lieberberg’s former company Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) previously held Rock’n’Heim at the same location, in cooperation with Live Nation.

The festival took place annually from 2013 to 2015, welcoming around 40,000 fans across three days for the first two years. In 2015, the event was reduced to a one-day event.

MLK also housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, started by Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively, the twin festivals that from 2022, will be programmed by eventimpresents and CTS Eventim-owned DreamHaus.

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

The UK event, promoted by Festival Republic, this year took place over the 18–20 June weekend as part of the second phase of the UK government’s scientific Events Research Programme (ERP).

Download Pilot welcomed 10,000 metal fans to the hallowed grounds of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire, to enjoy a fully-fledged festival experience with no social distancing, no masks and moshing allowed. The event was the UK’s first major camping festival of its kind since lockdown.

The flagship event is set to return to the UK between 10-12 June 2022 with a line-up that includes Deftones, Korn and Megadeath.

 


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.

Switzerland returns to full-capacity concerts

Switzerland has abolished capacity restrictions on public events in a further relaxation of the country’s coronavirus measures.

As of 26 June, events with more than 10,000 people can take place with attendees who can prove they are vaccinated against, have recovered from, or have tested negative for Covid-19.

Cantons will need to approve events with more than 1,000 people but smaller public gatherings can now go ahead without authorisation.

Venues may operate at full capacity, though they must provide a hygiene and safety plan that shows how entry will be restricted only to people with Covid certificates.

Events can take place which do not require Covid certificates, though capacity and seating restrictions will apply. If the concert is seated, a maximum of 1,000 people may attend. If the concert is standing, the maximum is 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors.

Events can take place which do not require Covid certificates, though capacity and seating restrictions will apply

Masks must be worn where food and drink are served, though otherwise, masks are no longer required outdoors. Dancing at events and concerts is still banned.

The Swiss Music Promoters’ Association (SMPA) has welcomed the rollback of restrictions but says it’s crucial that the “protective umbrella” is introduced as quickly as possible across Switzerland, and in a uniform way, in order for the live industry to take full advantage.

Each of the 26 cantons will be responsible for co-financing and implementing the scheme – which has long been a cause for concern for the event associations.

“The majority of the cantons are not yet ready and so the confidence of the industry representatives seriously diminishes,” says the SMPA. “Ultimately, it is important to them that framework conditions and protection concepts are defined uniformly, leanly and practically throughout Switzerland and that they are not strained cantonally or locally.”

The SMPA also argues that the live events industry shouldn’t have to absorb the costs of the restrictions that remain.

“We demand that costs for infrastructure, personnel and tests on-site are borne by the public purse”

“We demand that costs for infrastructure, personnel and tests on-site are borne by the public purse, not just the test material. In view of the increasing number of events, the cantons also need additional test capacities in the regions with major events,” it writes.

The association says that the relaxation of coronavirus measures has restored confidence in some promoters, though the news comes too late for many festival organisers.

OpenAir St.Gallen (1–4 July), Gurtenfestival (14–17 July), Caribana Festival (16–20 July), Thunerseespiele (14–28 August), Paléo Festival Nyon (19–25 July), Greenfield Festival (3–5 June), Rock the Ring (17–19 June) and Baloise Session (23 October to 10 November) called off their 2021 editions earlier this year.

The remaining festivals in Swizterland’s summer season include Summer Now (Biel), Montreux Jazz Festival, Winterthur Music Festival Weeks, Open Air Gampel, SummerDays Festival (Arbon), Seaside Festival (Spiez), Cheerful Events (Zofingen), Weihern Open Air (St. Gallen), Blausee Concerts, and Unique Moments (Zurich).

Switzerland is the latest market to announce the resumption of non-socially distanced shows, along with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, DenmarkAustria and the 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.

Swiss industry increasingly frustrated at restrictions

The Swiss live music industry has expressed frustration at the government’s next rollback of restrictions, which will only see minor improvements to the current capacity limits.

The government announced today that restrictions will be relaxed from 31 May as part of the second ‘stabilisation’ phase of the country’s three-stage roadmap.

From 31 May, indoor public events will be limited to 100 people instead of 50, while outdoor events will be capped at 300 people instead of 100. Social distancing restrictions will apply to all public events.

In the wake of the news, the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA) is demanding that the federal council relax restrictions for events and raise the capacity limit to 1,000 from the end of May.

“The requirements and restrictions for major events defined in the draft ordinance are generally perceived as very strict in relation to other regulated areas (shopping centres, markets, religious gatherings, etc.),” reads a statement from the SMPA.

The SMPA goes on to insist that events with a GGG certificate can be held from 1 July 2021 without additional requirements

The association goes on to say that no other industry is expected to restrict access to those who have recovered from the virus, have a recent negative test, or are fully vaccinated (known as the GGG concept), on top of adhering to distance rules, mask and seating requirements.

The SMPA goes on to insist that events with a GGG certificate be held from 1 July 2021 without additional requirements, regardless of how many people take part in the event.

“If events are restricted to GGG people, the risk of infection can be classified as negligible. The feasibility of events with a GGG certificate in a clearly defined transition phase and the correspondingly consistent admission control must not be associated with any further requirements. Additional requirements are irrelevant and represent a considerable tightening of the measures, which would offer the population and the industry no perspective,” says the alliance.

The government had previously said that from the end of May, the Swiss cantons should be able to approve large-scale events with up to 3,000 visitors (subject to restrictions), provided they are held after 1 July 2021 – in line with the country’s ‘protective umbrella’ insurance scheme.

The federal council also suggested that, from September 1, the upper capacity limit would be increased to 10,000 people. It is yet to be seen whether the government will allow these restriction rollbacks.

 


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.

Mainland Music hires Andrej Malogajski

Swiss promoter Mainland Music has hired Openair Frauenfeld booker Andrej Malogajski.

The 35-year-old joins Mainland Music, since 2019 part of Live Nation GSA, from Pleasure Productions, which he joined in 2008 and co-owns. Live Nation acquired Openair Frauenfeld, Europe’s biggest hip-hop festival, itself in summer 2017.

In addition to booking Frauenfeld (50,000-cap.), Malogajski has since 2017 handled international booking for Openair Lumnezia and since 2018 Lakelive Festival, and is part of the booking team for major rock/pop event Gurtenfestival (20,000-cap.) in Bern. He was also one of IQ’s New Bosses in 2016.

Malogajski will work in the same position for Zurich-based Mainland

From 1 August, Malogajski will be working in the same position for Zurich-based Mainland, with which Thun-based Pleasure Productions is connected “on a business and friendly basis”, according to a statement from the two firms. Additionally, Pleasure will remain a partner of Openair Frauenfeld in all areas apart from booking.

Led by Christian Gremelmayr, Derrick Thomson and Santosh Aerthott, Mainland Music, formed in 2012, is one of Switzerland’s leading concert and festival promoters, organising more than 650 shows a year.

 


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.

Swiss gov reveals plan for restart of large events

The Swiss federal government has set out the conditions under which the cantons can approve major events from summer 2021.

Large events with over 1,000 people have been banned in Switzerland since the end of February 2020 but that looks set to change next month.

From the end of May, the Swiss cantons should be able to approve large-scale events with up to 3,000 visitors (subject to restrictions), provided they are held after 1 July 2021 – in line with the country’s ‘protective umbrella’ insurance scheme.

From September 1, the upper capacity limit will be increased to 10,000 people.

The government stresses that the data and capacity limits are subject to the country’s epidemiological situation and the cantons must revoke permits or issue additional restrictions if necessary – in which case, the protective umbrella will take effect.

From September 1, the upper capacity limit will be increased to 10,000 people

As IQ reported in March, organisers will only be covered by the protective umbrella if their event has ‘cross-cantonal importance’ and takes place between 1 June 2021 and 30 April 2022. If an event meets those provisions, the canton in which it takes place can offer the organiser a permit.

It has now been revealed that, should an event be cancelled or postponed due to government-enforced Coronavirus restrictions, the organiser will bear a deductible of CHF 30,000 (€27,000) from the uncovered costs and a deductible of 20% of the remaining amount.

If the cantons assume half of the uncovered costs, the federal government pays the other half. The cost-sharing by the federal government and the cantons amounts to a maximum of CHF 5 million (€4.5 m) per event.

The Swiss government has said that in order to minimise the risk of contamination, only people who have been vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19, or have a negative test result will be allowed to attend large-scale events.

A uniform Swiss Covid certificate should also be available by summer, “which will make it much easier to check the evidence at the entrance,” according to the Federal council.

During the month of June, cantons should be able to approve the implementation of three pilot events between 300 and 600 cap

The council is proposing to trial the implementation of certain Covid restrictions during a ‘pilot phase’ in early summer with 300 to 600 people.

During the month of June, cantons should be able to approve the implementation of three pilot events with a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 600 people, according to the council.

Cantons and industry associations concerned will be able to express their opinion on the council’s proposals during a consultation on 10 May.

The proposals come too late for a number of Swiss festivals that have already called it quits on their 2021 summer events for the second consecutive year.

OpenAir St.Gallen, Gurtenfestival, Zermatt Unplugged, Caribana Festival and Thunerseespiele, Paléo Festival Nyon, Greenfield Festival, Rock the Ring and Baloise Session are among the festivals which will not take place in 2021.

 


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.

Swiss live industry welcomes partial reopening

Switzerland’s cultural industry has welcomed the federal government’s decision to allow audiences at concerts again amid a wider rollback of restrictions.

As of Monday (19 April), 50-capacity indoor shows and 100-capacity outdoor shows will be permitted but attendance cannot exceed one-third of the capacity of the venue. Food and drink will not be served. 

Swiss Music Promoters’ Association (SMPA) hailed the move as “an important first step” but continues to call for a perspective on larger events.

Any public events scheduled between 1 June 2021 and 30 April 2022 which have ‘cross-cantonal importance’ will be covered by the Swiss government’s event cancellation scheme, thanks to a recent update in legislation.

Under the new scheme, organisers of major events who have a cantonal permit can claim back costs that aren’t covered by public support measures, insurance or cancellation agreements, if their event is cancelled or postponed due to government-enforced Coronavirus restrictions.

However, the prerequisites of the scheme – such as the need for a cantonal permit – seems to have left organisers and live associations more uncertain than ever about the viability of this year’s festival season.

The Swiss Music Promoters’ Association hailed the move as ‘an important first step’

SMPA’s managing director, Stefan Breitenmoser, doubts whether organisers of major events will be able to secure cantonal permits far enough in advance of their events: “In reality, permits are only issued relatively shortly before the event during normal operations.”

Another concern is that the scheme does not cover events that can only be carried out to a limited extent.

Major Swiss festivals that have already pulled the plug on this year include Paléo Festival Nyon, Greenfield Festival, Rock the Ring, OpenAir St.Gallen, Gurtenfestival, Zermatt Unplugged, Caribana Festival and Thunerseespiele.

The rollback of restrictions comes despite the fact that the landlocked country’s epidemic “remains fragile and has even worsened in recent weeks”.

However, the government stressed in a statement, it “estimates that the risks associated with this easing are acceptable”.

Switzerland, a country of 8.6 million people, has to date counted more than 625,000 coronavirus cases and 9,790 deaths.

 


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.

Viagogo CH ‘selling tickets to cancelled shows’

Switzerland’s Consumer Protection Foundation is taking legal action against Viagogo for allegedly selling tickets to events it is clear will not go ahead.

The secondary ticketing marketplace, which is headquartered in Geneva, has taken advantage of “the chaos of uncoordinated, pandemic-related lockdowns” across the world to “systematically” sell tickets for events that it knows will not take place, alleges the Stiftung für Konsumentenschutz of German-speaking Switzerland.

To test its theory, in mid-January Stiftung bought two tickets from Viagogo: One for a comedy show by Stéphanie Berger at the Kofmehl venue in Solothurn and another for a “concert by two Dutch musicians” in Amsterdam, taking place in mid-February and mid-March, respectively. Both events had already been cancelled at the time of the ticket purchase.

Viagogo denies the charges, saying in a statement that if tickets for cancelled events are offered for sale, “it is a mistake”. Anyone who has purchased tickets for a cancelled show is entitled to a full refund, the company adds.

“From our point of view, this is a fraudulent business model”

Announcing the filing of a criminal complaint, the Consumer Protection Foundation claims Viagogo is “shamelessly exploiting” confusion over country-specific restrictions on live events. “Consumers can hardly check whether these are actually taking place due to local requirements, especially at events abroad,” it says in a statement.

Sara Stalder (pictured), the foundation’s managing director, says that by selling tickets for events that are not taking place, Viagogo has violated Swiss legislation against unfair competition. “This law says that a company may not offer products that are not in stock,” she explains. “From our point of view, this is a fraudulent business model – and we are curious to see what the judiciary will say about it.”

Writing for IQ last month, Adam Webb of anti-ticket touting group FanFair Alliance discussed media reports in the UK that alleged Viagogo is reliant on speculative selling, and that much of the ticket inventory on the site “doesn’t actually exist”. Viagogo disputes the claims, saying it has “has strict measures in place to ensure the accuracy and compliance of listings and to prevent fraudulent selling”.

 


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.

Montreux Jazz Festival 2021 to go ahead

The 55th Montreux Jazz Festival will go ahead this July in a reimagined, Covid-secure format, organisers announced today (31 March).

In a first, Montreux Jazz Festival 2021 will take partially on Lake Geneva, with maximum of 600 people able to watch performances on the main stage from seats on the lake shoreline. Three other stages with a smaller capacity, located in the event spaces and gardens of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel, will also host live music performances, alongside jam sessions, workshops and other events.

Through a previously announced deal with livestreaming platform Qello Concerts, performances from the physical festival will also be made available in a digital format free of charge.

On the ground, artists will perform on four stages, the largest of which, the aforementioned Lake (Lac) stage, will be built atop Lake Geneva, 25 metres from the shore and have a seated capacity of 600. The second stage, the 300-seat Petit Théâtre, located in the grand Salle des Fêtes at the Montreux Palace, will showcase “jazz fused with different influences, with a fresh and contemporary feel”.

The free-to-access Grand Hall will focus on artists affiliated with the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation, while the similarly open-to-all Gardens will feature acoustic performances, DJ sets, a cocktail bar and food stalls.

“Our stages’ capacities will be even smaller, which will create an exceptional streaming experience for international audiences who can’t come to the festival”

The Lake stage, in particular, was a long-time dream of festival founder Claude Nobs, who passed away in 2013. “In a year when everything seems impossible, we wanted to do Claude Nobs proud and channel his favourite saying, ’Nothing is impossible’,” say organisers.

MJF’s announcement it is forging ahead follows a raft of recent festival cancellations in Switzerland.

Mathieu Jaton, CEO of Montreux Jazz Festival, says: “We are thrilled to unveil our brand-new format for this year’s festival, which pursues our hybrid model strategy. Montreux Jazz Festival has always been about creating very special concerts where artists can feel up close and personal with their fans while sharing these unique moments worldwide through audiovisual content.”

Montreux Jazz Festival 2021 stages

The format of the 55th MJF will evolve based on the public health situation in consultation with the local and national authorities, says the festival, while contact tracing will be required for each festival zone (the Montreux Palace, Lake stage area and the Gardens). It will not, however, be necessary to reserve places for the free activities and zones, which will remain open until they reach maximum capacity.

“This year, our stages’ capacities will be even smaller due to Covid-19 restrictions, which will create an exceptional streaming experience for international audiences who can’t come to the festival,” adds Jaton. “The content will be especially breathtaking from our new stage built above the water on Lake Geneva, with the Alps in the background.”

 

Line-up and ticket information for Montreux Jazz Festival 2021 will be released in the coming weeks.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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

More Swiss festivals cancel “unfeasible” 2021 editions

OpenAir St.Gallen (1–4 July), Gurtenfestival (14–17 July), Zermatt Unplugged (15–25 July), Caribana Festival (16–20 July) and Thunerseespiele (14–28 August) have called it quits on their Swiss summer events for the second consecutive year.

Swiss festivals Paléo Festival Nyon, Greenfield Festival, Rock the Ring and Baloise Session have already called off their 2021 editions.

CTS Eventim’s OpenAir St.Gallen (OASG), which usually welcomes 30,000 guests each year, released a statement on Facebook saying a 2021 edition “is simply not feasible” due to the pandemic and the current ban on large events.

“The outlook for the summer has become more and more uncertain over the past few weeks and months,” reads the statement.

News of the recent cancellations comes days after the Swiss federal government announced an update to its event cancellation scheme, which seems to have left organisers and live associations more uncertain than ever about the viability of this year’s festival season.

“The outlook for the summer has become more and more uncertain over the past few weeks and months”

One of the main concerns of the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA) is whether the government will provide insurance for events that can only be carried out to a limited extent.

Stefan Breitenmoser, managing director of SMPA, says: “Should the original planning be maintained or can alternative formats be worked out? There are still no framework conditions and approval criteria for both. In addition, it is unclear what compensation organisers will receive if planning continues and the event has to be cancelled later or can only be carried out to a limited extent.”

Christoph Bill, president of the SMPA, says it boils down to a fundamental question: “Do we want to preserve cultural diversity in the long term?”

“Its economic importance and its role for the wellbeing of a large population are undisputed, but politicians and authorities still do not seem to recognise the seriousness and urgency of the situation. Is there also a lack of will? Does it even come in handy when the organisers cancel on their own initiative? Doesn’t anyone want to take responsibility on the part of the authorities? Is the federal system simply not suitable for a crisis?”

The SMPA is now calling for compensation for losses of more than 100% of the actual damage incurred

The SMPA is now calling for the opening steps and framework conditions until normal operations resume to be defined in a standardised manner across Switzerland, as well as a commitment to compensation for losses of more than 100% of the actual damage incurred – “without cantonal ceilings that distort competition, and rapid, pragmatic implementation of the protective umbrella that has been agreed”.

According to the SMPA, the following Swiss festivals are under pressure to make a decision now: Stars of Sounds Aarberg / Murten, blues’n’jazz Rapperswil, Montreux Jazz Festival, Open Air Frauenfeld, Openair Etziken, Open Air Lumnezia, Unique Moments Zurich, Blue Balls Festival, Basel Tattoo, Sion sous les étoiles, Flumserberg Open Air, Summer Stage Basel and Lake Live Festival.

The association says the following Swiss festivals have until the end of April 2021 to make fundamental decisions: Stars in Town, Musikfestwochen Winterthur, Hehre Open Air, Open Air Gampel, Royal Arena Festival, SummerDays Festival, Seaside Festival and JazzNoJazz.

 


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.

Swiss gov to contribute to event cancellation scheme

The Swiss federal government will now subsidise event cancellation insurance for major events, according to a newly amended article in its Covid 19 Act.

The updated legislation says that the government will contribute to the uncovered costs of public events which have ‘cross-cantonal importance’ (such as concerts or festivals) between 1 June 2021 and 30 April 2022.

Under the new act, organisers of major events who have a cantonal permit can claim back costs that aren’t covered by public support measures, insurance or cancellation agreements, if their event is cancelled or postponed due to government-enforced Coroanvirus restrictions.

It is understood that each of the 26 Swiss cantons will continue to pay 50% of the costs of cancelled events in their region, as they have done so far in Switzerland’s other compensation schemes. The Swiss government has said it will only contribute, at most, the same amount as the cantons.

The prerequisites of the scheme have rendered criticism from two of Switzerland’s event associations – the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA) and the association of trade fair organisers and suppliers, Expo Event – which have long been lobbying for a protective umbrella.

“The fear is that we will have 26 different solutions and speeds”

SMPA’s managing director, Stefan Breitenmoser, doubts whether organisers of major events will be able to secure cantonal permits far enough in advance of their events: “In reality, permits are only issued relatively shortly before the event during normal operations.”

Expo Event president, Christoph Kamber, is concerned that the devolvement of power to the cantons will result in a fractured approach to the scheme: “The fear is that we will have 26 different solutions and speeds.”

“We call on the Council of States to work in the cantons to ensure that the protective umbrella does not degenerate into a toothless paper tiger. Picking up the cantons will delay the introduction of the protective umbrella and there is a great risk that it will come too late for many events.”

Major Swiss festivals including Paléo Festival Nyon, Greenfield Festival and Rock the Ring have already cancelled their 2021 editions, citing “a lack of planning security for large events”.

Kamber has also pointed out the lack of support for events that can be carried out to a limited extent, “though it can ultimately cost the state treasury less than a cancellation or postponement”.

The Expo president has called for clarification on the support, as well as information on cantonal support measures for regional and local events.

 


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.