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

Spain’s Monegros festival back after 5-year break

The Arnau family, the group behind Spanish promoter Elrow, has announced the return of electronic music event Monegros Desert Festival, which has been on an extended hiatus since 2014.

The last edition of Monegros festival attracted 40,000 fans to dance in the desert to sets by Skrillex, Carl Cox, Steve Aoki and Boys Noize. The 2015 edition, which was to see a reduced capacity of 20,000, was “suddenly suspended” two months prior to the event, according to local media.

After days of teasing, the festival’s return was revealed on Facebook, with the bilingual statement: ¡Monegros ha veulto! Monegros is back!

The 2020 festival, which will include more than 20 hours of music, will take place on 1 August in the eponymous desert in northeast Spain, marking the 21st edition of the event.

“We are not coming back to do something predictable”

“We are not coming back to do something predictable,” says festival owner Juan Arnau. “We want to produce the biggest festival ever seen in the history of Monegros.”

Arnau’s father, Juan Arnau Duran, launched Monegros Groove Parade in 1994, later renaming the event to Monegros Desert Festival. Arnau Duran’s children, Juan and Cruz Arnau, now own and run the event.

The pair are also the current owners and managers of the Elrow brand and the founders of the Elrow parties, which happen at major clubs and festivals worldwide. James Barton-led Superstruct Entertainment invested in the Barcelona-based promoter in 2017.

Acts to have performed at past Monegros festivals include the Prodigy, Underworld, Public Enemy, Justice and Richie Hawtin.

Fans can sign up for pre-sale tickets, which become available on 15 October at 12 p.m. (CET), here. Priority access to tickets is limited to 3,000.

 


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.

Rapid Lowlands sell-out despite line-up challenges

The Netherlands’ Lowlands festival sold out in the fastest time in years for its 2019 edition and demand for tickets remains high as the event fast approaches.

“Everything is on track,” Eric van Eerdenburg, festival director of A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise – or Lowlands for short – tells IQ, ahead of the event’s 27th edition which kicks off on Friday 16 August.

Ticket sales are “back to where they were before”, states van Eerdenburg, referencing the fall in sales the festival experienced in 2015. “It was just one of those temporary shake-ups.”

After selling all tickets for the 60,000-capacity festival six months before opening, van Eerdenburg says a further 8,000 fans are still trying to get their hands on more via fan-to-fan resale platform TicketSwap.

304 tickets from unused sponsor blocks released to the public on 9 August have also sold out.

The price of Lowlands tickets went up by €10 this year to €210, with glamping options ranging from €72.5 to €660 on top of the festival ticket. The rise is caused by the national VAT rise for cultural event admission and a “steep” increase in artist fees, according to van Eerdenburg.

“We’re very lucky that glamping is really booming, so we can keep the tickets at the cheaper end more affordable”

Ticket prices are rising “too fast” says the Lowlands boss, adding that “we’re very lucky that glamping is really booming here, so we can differentiate the prices and keep the tickets at the cheaper end more affordable.”

However, it has not all been plain sailing for this year’s Lowlands. Speaking to IQ ahead of this year’s festival season, van Eerdenburg described the process of agreeing on a line-up poster as “mission impossible”.

The tragic passing of Prodigy frontman Keith Flint left Lowlands with an empty headline slot which “we couldn’t fill with an equally strong band”. With no international acts of a similar standard available, Lowlands elected for local band De Staat as a replacement.

Fast-growing among Dutch fans, the Lowlands appearance will be De Staat’s first headline show in Holland at a festival of this size. Although reactions to the replacement have been “mixed” and the act is “not as exclusive” as desired – De Staat have a packed Dutch festival schedule – van Eerdenburg is optimistic, saying “we will make it look like a headline show”.

Uncertainty lies around another Lowlands headliner, ASAP Rocky, who was recently detained on assault charges in Sweden.

“ASAP Rocky has now been released but we don’t know if he will be able to perform,” explains van Eerdenburg, saying the rapper’s agency has asked the festival to hold off on replacements for now. The verdict of the trial is announced on Wednesday 14 August, five days before the rapper’s Sunday evening Lowlands performance.

“We couldn’t fill [the Prodigy slot] with an equally strong band”

Elsewhere on the line-up, van Eerdenburg states there is a high level of excitement around Billie Eilish, who has “grown into a headliner in her own right”, since being booked for an early afternoon slot. Eilish has only played once before in Holland, in front of a 2,500-capacity crowd, so “the audience will be very happy to see her.”

Other acts the Lowlands boss is looking forward to include psychedelic rockers Tame Impala, fast-growing Irish rock band Fontaines DC and rapper Anderson Paak.

New for this year, Lowlands is partnering with payment communication specialist CM.com to trial an in-app payment collection service. The alternative to the oft-used RFID cashless system will run on one bar in the festival site, at the food and drinks outlets in the glamping area and in the press/guest area, with the plan to implement festival-wide next year.

Lowlands 2019 takes place from 16 to 18 August in Biddinghuizen, the Netherlands.

 


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.

200k fans attend biggest Exit Festival yet

The 2019 edition of Serbia’s Exit Festival broke its previous attendance records, hosting more than 200,000 festivalgoers over the four-day event.

The festival, which took place from 4 to 7 July in a disused fortress, broke its existing daily attendance record of 55,000 on the opening day. Over the four days, attendance surpassed 2018’s total of 198,000.

The record comes ahead of next year’s special celebratory edition, Exit 2.0, which marks the festival’s 20th anniversary of the festival.

Performances across the weekend came from the Cure, Greta van Fleet, the Chainsmokers, Carl Cox and Chase and Status.

Over the four days, attendance surpassed 2018’s total of 198,000

Techno DJ Amelie Lens closed the 25,000-capacity mts Dance Arena on Monday morning. Lens ended the festival with the Prodigy track ‘Firestarter’, paying homage to the band’s late frontman Keith Flint. The Prodigy headlined Exit four times, in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2016.

The festival also featured video messaged from Yoko Ono and Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, who has teamed up with Exit to develop preschool education in Serbia.

Exit organises four other events across south-east Europe: Sea Dance festival in Montenegro, Sea Star in Croatia, Revolution Festival in Romania and No Sleep Festival in Serbia.

 


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.

Live business mourns the Prodigy’s Keith Flint

The future of the Prodigy’s live career is unclear following the death of their longtime frontman, Keith Flint, earlier today.

Flint, 49, was found at his home in Great Dunnow, Essex, this morning, after police became concerned for the singer’s welfare. Prodigy bandmate Liam Howlett later revealed Flint had taken his own life.

Flint’s death brings to an end a nearly 30-year career as the Prodigy’s charismatic frontman, originally as a dancer, then, from 1996’s the Fat of the Land – which spawned two number-one singles, in the form of ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’ – onwards,  as the band’s main vocalist.

Born in 1969 in Redbridge, east London, Flint moved to Braintree, in neighbouring Essex, as a teenager. He met Howlett at a rave in Braintree in 1989, and joined forces with him professionally shortly after, with Flint and dancer friend Leeroy Thornhill providing Howlett’s music with a visual focal point on stage.

Following the critically acclaimed Experience (1992) and Music for the Jilted Generation (1994) – which, alongside releases by the likes of the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, helped usher in the rise of the big beat genre of electronic music in the UK – the Keith Flint-fronted Prodigy went stratospheric in 1996–97, supporting Oasis at their legendary Knebworth shows and headlining Glastonbury 1997.

Glastonbury Festival’s Emily Eavis describes their performance at Glasto – the first dance act to headline the festival – as a “huge, unforgettable moment”:

The band went on unofficial hiatus until 2004, when they released their fourth studio album, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, and resumed touring in earnest.

The Prodigy recently returned from Australia, where their No Tourists arena tour played venues in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, with a US leg planned for May and a string of European festival dates after.

Several festival promoters tell IQ it is unclear whether the band will fulfil their touring obligations as a tribute to Flint (according to Eavis, the Prodigy were also booked for Glastonbury 2019). A statement from Finland’s Provinssi, where the Prodigy are booked to perform in June, says it is unable to comment until it receives more information from the band and their representatives; events including Estéreo Picnic in Colombia, Snowbombing in Austria, Doctor Music Festival in Spain, SW4 in the UK and Pstereo in Norway have expressed similar sentiments.

The group, and Flint in particular, were especially popular in the Balkans and eastern Europe. A statement from Serbia’s Exit festival, where the Prodigy were almost a house band, says: “We lost a dear friend today and it is not easy to describe how this news was taken, not just in Exit, but in Serbia and the Balkans in general. There is simply so much history between us to even begin telling it.

“Keith was a true pioneer, innovator and a legend. He was one of us, a dance warrior who made so many feel energised and powerful. His chanting in ‘Firestarter’ gave us the strength when we needed it the most. Unfortunately, he also needed it as much as any of us, and we hope this tragic news will help us realise how much we all need to be there for one another.”

A statement from the band simply thanks fans for “respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time”.

“I’m shell-shocked, fucking angry, confused and heartbroken,” adds Howlett, in an emotional tribute to his bandmate posted on the band’s Instagram account.

“RIP, brother Liam.”

 


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

Updated: The Prodigy’s Keith Flint passes aged 49

Update: In a statement posted to Instagram just after noon, Liam Howlett reveals Flint took his own life.

“I’m shell-shocked, fucking angry, confused and heartbroken,” he writes. “RIP, brother Liam.”

 


Keith Flint, frontman for the Prodigy, has died aged 49.

Flint – who became the face of the British electronic music pioneers during their ’90s heyday, and sung on both of the band’s number-one singles, 1996’s ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Breathe’ – was found at his home in Dunmow, Essex, at around 8am this morning (4 March), according to Essex Police. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

“We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, [Dunmow], just after 8.10am on Monday, March 4,” an Essex Police spokesperson tells the NME. “We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.”

Flint had recently returned from a Prodigy tour of Australia with bandmates Liam Howlett and Maxim. A US tour is due to begin in May, following festival dates at Estereo in Bogota and Snowbombing in Austria.

More follows…

 


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

Festival Focus: Exit, Splendour in the Grass, Tramlines

The Prodigy will return to Exit festival on Sunday 10 July in response to a public petition, signed by some 20,000 people, asking them play at Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia, for a fourth time this year.

The British dance act played Exit in 2007, 2009 and in 2013, when they set an attendance record of over 40,000.

“Exit Warriors, you wanted us and we’re coming!” says a statement from the band. “We are gathering at the Fortress, so be there.”

The Avalanches, the Australian plunderphonics act best known for 2000 single ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’, will play at least three festivals this summer: Primavera Sound, Field Day and Australia’s Splendour in the Grass.

The band have been working on a follow-up to 2000’s Since I Left You since at least 2005, so it’s unclear how many years the four festival dates (including both weekends of Primavera Sound) will set them back.

Julian Casablancas, The Strokes, Thomas Hawk

Also playing at Jess Ducrou​ and Paul Piticco’s Splendour in the Grass, which takes place from 22 to 24 July in Byron Bay, will be The Strokes and Sigur Rós, both playing their only festival shows in Australia, The Cure, Flume, James Blake, At the Drive-In, Band of HorsesSantigoldJake Bugg, The 1975, Courtney BarnettThe Kills and more. (The Strokes photo by Thomas Hawk.)

Jazz-funk pioneer Roy Ayers leads the line-up for Wilderness‘s new-for-2016 stage, The Atrium. Described as a “compendium of high arts and participation, an assembly of sensational music and dance from the UK and around the world”, The Atrium will also host Wilderness Orchestra performing a tribute to David Bowie, pianist James Rhodes, choir London Contemporary Voices, violinist Yijia Zhang, afrobeat act Nubiyan Twist and circus/dance troupe Divine Company.

Tom Odell, V Festival, Open Air St Gallen 2014, Michael Dornbierer

British singer-songwriter Tom Odell, Canadian indie rockers Half Moon Run and Walk Off the Earth, Swedish rapper Elliphant, US alt-rock act X Ambassadors, UK indie five-piece Blossoms, London folk combo Bear’s Den and Scottish power-poppers Twin Atlantic have completed the line-up for FKP Scorpio’s German sister festivals, Southside and Hurricane.

Already confirmed for the twin events, which take place from 24 to 26 June in Neuhausen ob Eck and Scheessel, are Rammstein, Mumford & Sons, The Prodigy, The Offspring, Bloc Party, The Hives and James Bay. (Tom Odell photo by Michael Dornbierer.)

George Clinton, Parliament-Funkadelic, IndyDina with Mr Wonderful

George Clinton and his funk collective, Parliament-Funkadelic, will headline the main stage of Sheffield multi-venue festival Tramlines on 23 July.

Also newly confirmed from Tramlines are indie trio The Enemy, who will play the 900-capacity Leadmill on Friday 22 July in one of their very last shows before they split up following an Autumn farewell tour. (George Clinton photo by IndyDina with Mr Wonderful on Flickr.)

Enter Shikari, Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Kmeron

Also hanging up its guitars is independent Kent rock and metal festival Hevy Fest, which has announced the cancellation of its 2016 event and every one thereafter. “Despite the best efforts of our dedicated team, the festival has become financially untenable,” says a statement from the festival. “Many things have contributed: Port Lympne being unable to continue hosting the event; the increasingly difficult task of putting together a line-up with more and more exclusives enforced each year, leading to difficulties confirming our final headliner; and the pressure to offer good value with spiralling costs. The odds are stacked against anyone taking on the challenge, and they have proven too great for us to overcome.”

Scheduled to perform were Enter Shikari, Refused, Sikth and The Bronx. (Enter Shikari photo by Kmeron on Flickr.)

And in case you missed it yesterday, this weekend (and the weekend of 22–24 April) is the last time Coachella will welcome a mere 99,000 people to its festival site near Indio, California: the Goldenvoice event’s attendance cap will gradually increase to 125,000 in coming years.