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Extreme weather washes out another US festival

A US festival has become the latest victim of weather-related complications, with California’s Sol Blume postponed two weeks before it was set to take place.

Organisers of the Sacramento-based festival, which was originally set for 3-5 May, pointed to lasting effects from the torrential rain that drenched the state in late February. This is the second consecutive year the festival has been delayed due to extreme weather.

“Mother nature has once again caused commotion and created conditions at the festival site that render it unsafe to build on,” organisers said in a press release. “Although the park is no longer flooded, the damage remains. Due to significant site damage and growing safety concerns, we will not be able to host this year’s festival.”

The fifth edition of the festival, which expanded from two to three days this year, has been pushed to 15-17 August 2025. Organisers have also confirmed that future editions are to be held in the late summer instead of spring to avoid “any weather-related conflicts in the future”.

It is not clear whether the lineup — which included SZA, Snoh Alegra, and Kaytranada leading the bill — will remain the same.

“Even if we prepare for everything, you still can’t really control that”

The 2023 edition, which was deferred from April to August for weather-related impacts, was headlined by Brent Faiyaz and Kehlani. That year, the R&B festival recorded its biggest-ever turnout with 46,000 people attending across two days, as reported by promoters ENT Legends.

The cancellation is the latest example of the impact of extreme weather on live music. Over the past year, several festivals — including Germany’s Wacken Open Air, Spain’s Primavera Sound Madrid, the US’s Ultra Miami, and Australia’s Good Things — have been impacted by ‘freak’ and extreme heat-related incidents, as insurance queries and rates have correspondingly risen.

In the US, adverse weather coverage has “increased significantly” in the last five years, according to Jeff Torda from Higginbotham. Backing this point, a recent Billboard article claimed premiums in North America had tripled in recent years.

The latest edition of ILMC also saw industry leaders discussing ways to cope with the impact of weather on festivals and open-air live music events.

“Thirty years ago, it was mostly the rain, but it’s now changed to raining one second and being 35 or 40°C suddenly after that,” said May Ling of Australia’s Chugg Entertainment. “Even if we prepare for everything, you still can’t really control that.”

 


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SZA, The Killers to headline new Live Nation festival

SZA and The Killers are set to headline the inaugural edition of Sudden Little Thrills, a new two-day music festival coming to Pennsylvania, US.

Taking place at Hazelwood Green in Pittsburgh between 7–8 September, the lineup also features Melanie Martinez, Wiz Khalifa, St. Vincent, Omar Apollo, Fletcher, Yung Gravy and Girl Talk.

In addition, the Live Nation-produced event is spotlighting Pittsburgh’s local artists, with the likes of Feeble Little Horse, Corook, Fedd the God and Krunk and the Center of Life Band on the bill.

According to a release, Sudden Little Thrills’ name embodies the festival’s ethos: “to be present and open to sudden moments of fun, joy, and inspiration”.

The lineup also features Melanie Martinez, Wiz Khalifa, St. Vincent, Omar Apollo, Fletcher, Yung Gravy and Girl Talk

Tickets for the festival start at US$249 (€234) for general admission, $335 (€315) for GA+ and $649 (€610) for two-day VIP tickets which include private bars, dedicated on-field viewing, and express lanes into the festival and at stores.

There is also a two-day platinum ticket for $1400 (€1316), including front-of-stage viewing, complimentary beer and soft drinks, dining, and more.

Fans can also purchase single-day tickets starting at $159 (€149) for GA and $399 (€375) for VIP. Presale tickets are available beginning on 18 April.

A portion of every ticket for Sudden Little Thrills will benefit nonprofit and grassroots organisations within the Hazelwood Community.

Other new Live Nation festivals for 2024 include Fool In Love, Besame Mucho Austin and Minnesota Yacht Club (via C3 Presents) – all set to take place in the US.

 


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Rapper Jack Harlow launches new US festival

Jack Harlow is launching a new music festival this May in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

The inaugural Gazebo Festival will be co-headlined by the rapper himself, as well as R&B star SZA.

James Blake, Vince Staples, Veeze, Pinkpantheress, Rich Homie Quan, Omar Apollo, Majid Jordan, Slum Village, BNYX, Karrahbooo and more round out the bill.

The two-day event will take place at Kentucky’s Waterfront Park on Memorial Day Weekend (25-26 May) to celebrate “the intersection of music and culture”.

“I am so grateful for his commitment to making first class things happen for Louisville”

Gazebo Festival is a partnership between Harlow (repped in North America by Wasserman Music) and local promoter, Production Simple.

Tickets for the event are available from 6 March and start at $255 ($235) for general admission. A portion of all ticket proceeds will benefit community organisations and local initiatives in the Louisville area through the Jack Harlow Foundation, which was launched last year.

“Jack Harlow is an extraordinary Louisvillian who continues to give back to his hometown,” said Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg in a press release. “This is yet another way Jack is showing up for our city, and I can’t wait to see the excitement this festival creates. I am so grateful for his commitment to making first class things happen for Louisville and our people.”

 


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Jay-Z’s Made In America festival cancelled

Jay-Z’s Made In America festival has been cancelled for 2023 “due to severe circumstances outside of production control”.

The annual festival was due to be held next month (2-3 September) in Philadelphia, US, and headlined by SZA and Lizzo, who has recently been sued for sexual harassment by three of her former dancersthough she denies the claims.

“This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation,” reads a statement from the organisers.

“Made in America has a legacy of delivering exceptional experiences for music fans and concert goers, and it is our commitment to always deliver a top-tier festival experience. We look forward to returning to Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the great city of
Philadelphia in 2024.”

“This decision has been difficult and has not been made lightly nor without immense deliberation”

The organisers did not give any other explanation for the cancellation of the 2023 edition but did say that ticket holders would be refunded.

Poor ticket sales have been a key factor in festivals cancelling for 2023, alongside financial difficulties, inflation, artist availability and logistical issues.

Other events that will not take place in 2023 include Fest Festival (Poland), Falls Festival (Australia), Rolling Loud (US), Summerburst (Sweden), Hills of Rock (Bulgaria), InMusic (Croatia), Wireless GermanyHear Hear (Belgium) and Tempelhof Sounds and Tempelhof Sounds Presents (Germany).

Made in America, founded by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Entertainment, has been a Philadelphia institution for several years, with Bad Bunny and Tyler, the Creator headlining last year’s festival.

The event has reportedly generated over $180 million in economic impact for the city of Philadelphia since the inaugural two-day concert in 2012.

 


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