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New festival launching in Benicàssim this summer

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) promoter The Music Republic has announced the launch of a new socially distanced concert series set to place at the Benicàssim festival site in July.

Billed as a single festival rather than a series of headline shows, Luce Benicàssim will see artists performing to a seated audience in the Valencian seaside resort of Benicàssim. The festival site, which is home to festivals including FIB (which The Music Republic acquired in 2019) and Rototom Sunsplash, can accomodate 50,000 fans, though the Luce audience will be considerably smaller – organisers say they will use the venue’s size to “control the maximum permitted capacity and preserve safety distances” in accordance with current restrictions.

The Music Republic, which in addition to its festival portfolio is developing Spain’s largest indoor arena, Casal España Arena in Valencia, says it aims to “spread some optimism for the upcoming summer” with Luce Benicàssim.

Luce Benicàssim lay-out

The first acts announced for the festival are Spanish artists Izal (Saturday 17 July), Vanesa Martín (Sunday 18 July), Raphael (Friday 23 July), Mónica Naranjo (Saturday 24 July), Nathy Peluso (Friday 30 July) and Rozalén (Saturday 31 July), with more to be announced soon.

Tickets – whose six tiers denote their proximity to the stage – go on sale next Tuesday (6 April).

While Luce Benicàssim audiences will be socially distanced, organisers cite the success of the recent test concert in Barcelona, which resulted in no infections among the 5,000 attendees, as a positive step towards allowing “larger events” this summer.

FIB is scheduled for 15–18 July 2021, though no line-up has yet been announced.

 


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.

Benicàssim promoter to manage new Valencia arena

Festival promoter The Music Republic will run the under-construction Casal España Arena in Valencia, Spain’s biggest indoor arena, when it opens later this decade.

The Music Republic – whose festival portfolio includes Arenal Sound (60,000-cap.) in Burriana, Viña Rock (60,000-cap.) in Villarrobledo and Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (50,000-cap.), which it acquired from MCD/SJM last summer – will manage the arena alongside Juan Roig, whose Licampa 1617 holding company is leading the project, through a new operating company, València 5 Estrellas.

As well as managing the arena, València 5 Estrellas will oversee all partnerships with promoters, suppliers, service companies and other stakeholders, with the goal of making Casal España Arena a venue where “promoters can [stage] any kind of sports or entertainment events, regardless of their nature or format”, according to The Music Republic (TMR).

With a capacity of up to 18,600 for concerts, the new arena will be the largest in Spain, with space for over 3,000 fans more than Madrid’s WiZink Center.

Valencia Arena to be biggest in Spain

Construction began on Casal España Arena, funded by €220m in public–private investment, earlier this year.

Víctor Sendra, CEO of Licampa 1617, comments: “A significant milestone has been reached in this project, which allows us to move forward in the management of the venue alongside partners that are highly specialised in the organisation and creation of music and entertainment experiences…

“It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude”

“In addition, we share the same vision regarding the future of Casal España Arena de València. We have long way to go, and we are very excited to create a team that will help us succeed with a project that is so important for Valencia, and to which Juan Roig’s patronage is fully committed.”

TMR David Sánchez adds: “It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude and capabilities, designed to host all kinds of cultural, sports and corporate events, [positioning] itself as an attractive venue for users and the maximum number of event promoters.

“Valencia will be able to host many events that could not be accommodated to date due to the lack of equipped and specialised spaces. We are very pleased and grateful for contributing to the management of this great project, together with Licampa 1617.”

Casal España Arena is projected to open in 2023.

 


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Multiple summer concert series kick off in Spain

Promoters Live Nation and the Music Republic are kicking off new, open-air concert series in Spain this week, as venues including the Wizink Center and Ifema prepare to host live shows over the next few months.

The Music Republic, which promotes festivals Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Granada Sound, Madrid Salvaje and the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB), announced its Republic Alive concert series this week, with 800-capacity outdoor shows taking place throughout July, August and September in Valencia, Granada, San Fernando, Seville and Toledo.

Artists performing as part of the series, which kicks off tomorrow (17 July), include Andrés Suárez, Miss Caffeina, Diego El Cigala, M Clan, Viva Suecia and Cepeda. Tickets for the shows are available here.

This week has also marked the start of Live Nation’s Crew Nation Presents concert series, which is taking place at the 2,500-capacity La Riviera in Madrid until mid-September.

The first sold-out show of the series took place last night with a performance by Spanish singer-songwriter Guitarricadelafuente. Other acts playing as part of the Crew Nation Present series, which raises money for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund, include El Kanka, Sex Museum, Muchachito and Triángulo de amor bizarro.

Tickets for the Crew Nation Presents shows are available here.

Madrid’s 15,500-capacity Wizink Center, the largest arena in Spain, is also preparing to welcome back artists and fans, with the Proactiv- and Voltereta Tour-promoted Truss Madrid Madriz Summer Fest, which will see performances from over 30 artists from 15 August to 15 September.

Promoters Live Nation and the Music Republic are kicking off new, open-air concert series in Spain this week, as venues including the Wizink Center and Ifema prepare to host live shows over the next few months

The arena will operate at a reduced capacity, with between 1,200 and 2,200 attending each concert, sitting at tables and chairs around a 360° stage.

Spanish techno-rumba group Camela will kick off the concert series, with other performance coming from acts including Funambulista, Despistaos, Izal, Stay Homas, Pablo López, Ara Malikian, Sara Baras and Sofía Ellar.

Tickets will become available here over the coming days.

Fellow Madrid venue, the Ifema conference and exhibition centre, is also returning to live music after a bout serving as Spain’s largest ‘hospital’. Abre Madrid! (Madrid Opens) began on 7 July and is running until 6 September, with acts performing to up to 1,000, seated fans on two open-air stages in the Ifema grounds, which usually plays host to Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival, DGTL Madrid and Río Babel festival.

Artists performing as part of Abre Madrid! include Xoel Lopez, La Habitación Roja, Carlos Sadness, Diego el Cigala, Mala Rodríguez and Miguel Poveda.

Ifema has been recognised as a safe space by the Community of Madrid and the World Travel and Tourism Council, allowing the venue to host events at up to 75% of its full capacity, provided that the configuration of space allows for 1.5 metres to be maintained between individuals.

In addition to the Abre Madrid! Shows, the venue plans on hosting 60 fairs and congresses in the last six months of 2020.

Tickets for the Ifema shows, which also span comedy, theatre, cinema and family entertainment, can be found here.

 


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 Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Festival Fever: more 2020 line-ups under the microscope

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ reveals what’s in store for the debut of Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin and the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim’s first year under a new promoter, as well as what’s on offer at old favourites Byron Bay Bluesfest, Exit Festival, Lovebox and more.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Byron Bay Bluesfest

When: 9 to 13 April
Where: Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, New South Wales, Australia
How many: 25,000

Byron Bay Bluesfest celebrated its 30th outing last year, with performances from Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Mavis Staples and Kasey Chambers, among others.

The Peter Noble-led event is back in 2020, with acts including Dave Matthews Band, Crowded House, Patti Smith, George Benson, Lenny Kravitz, Brandi Carlile, Frank Turner and Xavier Rudd appearing on the bill.

A report undertaken earlier this year revealed that the festival contributed over AU$83 million (£43.5m) to the local economy in 2019.

Tickets for Byron Bay Bluesfest are available here, with five-day tickets costing AU$639 (£335), three-day passes priced at $440 (£230) and a single-day ticket available for $195 (£102).

The festival contributed over £43.5 million to the local economy in 2019

Down the Rabbit Hole

When: 17 to 19 July
Where: Groene Heuvels Park, the Netherlands
How many: 35,000

The Netherlands’ Down the Rabbit Hole last year saw performance from the Editors, Janelle Monae, Underworld and Thom Yorke.

The event, promoted by Mojo Concerts which last year celebrated its 50th anniversary, has announced a handful of acts for the 2020 edition, including Tyler the Creator, Disclosure, Beck, Kacey Musgraves, Haim, Bombay Bicycle Club, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX and Loyle Carner.

Elsewhere, acts for Mojo’s hip-hop festival Woo Hah! Include Kendrick Lamar, Asap Ferg, Aitch and DaBaby.

Tickets for Down the Rabbit Hole are available here, with a full festival ticket priced at €177.50 (£151). Weekend camping passes for Woo Hah! are available for £159, with day tickets from £50.

The Netherlands’ Down the Rabbit Hole last year saw performance from the Editors, Janelle Monae, and Thom Yorke

Exit Festival

When: 9 to 12 July
Where: Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, Serbia
How many: 55,000

Serbia’s Exit Festival is gearing up for its 20th anniversary in 2020, with organisers promising that the event’s special birthday will be celebrated in style. Acts announced for the 2020 edition so far include David Guetta, Tyga, Fatboy Slim, James Arthur and Meduza.

Last year’s festival, which saw record crowds of 200,000 over four days, saw performances from the Cure, Greta van Fleet, the Chainsmokers and Amelie Lens.

Founded as a social activism project in 2000, Exit has grown over the years while maintaining its roots. 2020 will see the launch of the festival’s Life Stream initiative, which aims to engage festivalgoers in the fight against climate change.

Tickets for Exit Festival 2020 are available here, with tickets costing £89 plus £27 for camping.

Organisers promise that the event’s special birthday will be celebrated in style

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB)

When: 16 to 19 July
Where: Costa del Azahar, Spain
How many: 50,000

The first outing for the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) under new leadership will take place in July, following its acquisition by Spanish promoter the Music Republic earlier this year.

The 2020 event will see performances from acts including Liam Gallagher, the Libertines, Foals, Vampire Weekend, Khalid, Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki.

The Music Republic added FIB to its portfolio of Spanish festivals, which includes Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Granada Sound and Madrid Salvaje, after buying it from Maraworld, a Madrid-based promoter majority owned by MCD Productions and SJM Concerts.

David and Toño Sánchez, owners of the Music Republic, state they aim to “maintain [FIB’s] essence and position it once more as a leader on the global scene.”

Tickets for FIB 2020 are available here for €65 (£55) for a full pass.

The first outing for the FIB under new leadership will take place in July

Firenze Rocks

When: 11 to 13 June
Where: Ippodromo delle Cascine, Florence, Italy
How many: 11,000

Italian rock festival Firenze Rocks is returning for its fourth year in 2020 with Guns N’ Roses, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers heading up the event.

The Guns N’ Roses appearance is part of a wider European tour that will see the veteran rockers play in Portugal, Spain, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

The Live Nation-promoted festival last year saw performances from Ed Sheeran, the Cure, Tool and Eddie Vedder, with Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne among those to have played the event in recent years.

Tickets for Firenze Rocks 2020 are available here for €271.40 for four days (£230).

Italian rock festival Firenze Rocks is returning for its fourth year in 2020 with Guns N’ Roses, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers

Lollapalooza Paris

When: 18 to 19 July
Where: Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris, France
How many: 55,000

The fourth annual Lollapalooza Paris will feature headliners Pearl Jam and Billie Eilish, along with Vampire Weekend, Khalid, Burna Boy, Haim, Rita Ora, Illenium, the Struts and more, as over 40 acts will play at the four-stage event over two days.

Launched in 2017 as a further string to the Lollapalooza franchise bow, the Live Nation-promoted Lollapalooza Paris last year saw performances from the Strokes, Twenty one Pilots, martin Garrix, the 1975 and Bad Bunny.

The Paris event is one of three European editions of Lollapalooza, together with Lollapalooza Stockholm and Berlin.

Tickets for Lollapalooza Paris are available here, priced at €79 (£67) for a one-day pass and €139 (£118) for a weekend ticket.

The fourth annual Lollapalooza Paris will feature headliners Pearl Jam and Billie Eilish

Lovebox

When: 12 to 14 June
Where: Gunnersbury Park, London, UK
How many: 40,000

Mama Festivals’ Lovebox festival is returning for its third year at the Gunnersbury Park site in west London. The three-day event, which was founded in 2002, will be headed up by Khalid, Disclosure and Tyler the Creator in 2020.

Other acts appearing at the festival include Hot Chip, Jorja Smith, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX, Peggy Gou, Mabel and Little Simz.

Gunnersbury Park has also been home to Mama’s Citadel festival for the past two years, with year’s line-up featuring Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bastille, Friendly Fires and Bear’s Den.

Sister company Festival Republic launched a new festival at the site in September this year. The inaugural Gunnersville saw performances from Doves, the Specials and You Me at Six.

Tickets for Lovebox 2020 are available here, with a three-day tickets costing £149.50 and one-day passes costing £72.50.

Mama Festivals’ Lovebox festival is returning for its third year at the Gunnersbury Park site in west London

Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin

When: 8 to 9 May
Where: Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany
How many: 3,500

The team behind US-based magazine Pitchfork revealed plans for the inaugural Pitchfork Music festival Berlin at this year’s Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, adding to events in Chicago and Paris.

The festival, promoted by Scumeck Sabottka’s MCT Agentur, will see headline performances from Lianna La Havas and Modeselektor, with Nike Hakim, Celeste, Tim Hecker and John Talabot also appearing on the bill.

Launched in 2006, the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival this year saw performances from Haim, the Isley Brothers, Robyn and Pusha T. The more recent Pitchfork Paris has taken place since 2011 and last year featured Skepta, the 1975, Chromatics and Charli XCX.

Tickets for Pitchfork Music Festival Berlin 2020 are available here, with two-day tickets costing €99 (£84) and one-day passes priced at €58 (£49).

 


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Arenal Sound promoter acquires Benicassim

Spanish promoter the Music Republic has acquired the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) from Maraworld.

The Music Republic, owned by brothers David and Toño Sánchez, promotes festivals including Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Granada Sound and Madrid Salvaje.

In a statement, the Sánchez brothers state they will “take over the festival and run it for successive years.” The new FIB owners also note they intend to “maintain [FIB’s] essence and position it once more as a leader on the global scene.”

According to El Mundo, the acquisition of FIB signals the end of Maraworld, which is majority owned by MCD Productions and SJM Concerts.

“We have been told that we are shutting down but we do not have any more details,” a representative from Maraworld’s offices in Madrid told the publication.

“We intend to maintain [FIB’s] essence and position it once more as a leader on the global scene”

Former FIB festival directors José Luis and Miguel Morán founded Maraworld in 1997. Irish promoter Vince Power acquired the company in 2009, selling his share to MCD Productions owner Denis Desmond and SJM Concerts director Simon Moran four years later, after encountering financial difficulties.

With Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn as festival director, the new team revived the struggling festival, putting on “the best FIB of the decade” in 2017, which saw 177,000 festivalgoers view performances by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kasabian and Foals, among others.

The 25th edition of FIB took place from 18 to 21 July 2019 and was attended by 114,000 people, almost 30% less than the previous year’s 160,000. The festival saw performances from Kings of Leon, Lana del Rey, George Ezra, Jess Glynne and the 1975.

Live Nation and SJM Concerts declined to comment.

 


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