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Superstruct makes first acquisition since pandemic

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment has bought a majority stake in Dutch festival and event organiser Feestfabriek (Party Factory) – the company’s first acquisition since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Feestfabriek is responsible for organising the largest paid-for festival in the Netherlands, Zwarte Cross, which combines music, motocross, comedy and theatre, as well as grassroots festival Mañana Mañana, which has been running since 2013.

Superstruct will add the two festivals to its impressive portfolio, which includes one of the world’s biggest festivals, Sziget Festival in Hungary, Budapest, as well as Wacken Open Air in Hamburg, Germany, which was the company’s last acquisition, in August 2019.

Neither Superstruct nor Feestfabriek has disclosed the terms of the new deal.

According to a statement from Superstruct, nothing will change for visitors to the festivals and employees of the Feestfabriek, nor for the parties that the Feestfabriek works with.

The company also says there are no plans to change Zwarte Cross, Mañana Mañana nor any other activities of Feestfabriek.

“Superstruct works from the philosophy that local core values, creative aspects and specialties that characterise an event will always be respected, so that the events remain truly unique.

“We trust the Feestfabriek team to continue doing it as it has been up to now. It is a long-term partnership and we look forward to working together,” the company’s statement reads.

“We trust the Feestfabriek team to continue doing it as it has been up to now. It is a long-term partnership”

The statement says that the companies combined network of events offers ‘broad possibilities’ associated with programming, international partnerships, new events and joint purchasing.

Feestfabriek owners, Hendrik Jan Lovink, Gijs Jolink and Ronnie Degen, say: “We are pleased that in these difficult times the continuity of the Feestfabriek is guaranteed and we look to the future and growth opportunities with confidence!”

Co-founder Hendrik Jan Lovink has announced plans to step down after 30 years at the company.

“We have really managed to build something special together, the Zwarte Cross is rock solid and the Feestfabriek can continue for years to come on all fronts. That is why this feels to me (however contradictory it may be) as the right moment to be able to leave the Feestfabriek and to focus on other beautiful things that life still has to offer me and my family,” he says.

Lovink will leave after this year’s addition of Zwarte Cross, which has been rescheduled to 23-26 September and relocated, though a new location is yet to be determined.

“With this relocation ahead we can’t say with certainty that the event will take place in 2021. There is uncertainty for everyone… the size of the Zwarte Cross is not exactly helping in this case,” the statement reads.

 


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Dutch festivals reschedule for gov insurance cover

Paaspop, Awakenings and Zwarte Cross are among the major Dutch festivals to push back spring editions following the government’s pledge to provide cancellation insurance for events taking place in the second half of 2021.

The government announced the €300 million insurance scheme last month and is now considering a 1 June commencement date, which has prompted a number of spring festivals to postpone until the autumn.

Multi-genre festival Paaspop will not take place during Easter, for the first time in its 47-year history.

This year, the Mojo-promoted festival will take place between 3–5 September, instead of April, at its usual location of De Molenheide in Schijndel.

“It was an immense assignment to move our giant festival”

“Paaspop has traditionally taken place during Easter since the late 70s,” say organisers. “This year we will close the summer, instead of starting spring and doing so together with you. It was an immense assignment to move our giant festival but we did it. This unique edition will be one to never forget.”

The organisers say Paaspop’s 2021 lineup will include as many artists as possible from the 2020 bill, which included domestic acts André Gerardus Hazes, Anouk, Kensington. The final programme will be announced soon.

According to the organisers, more than 90% of 2020 ticket buyers opted to transfer their tickets to this year. The few remaining tickets will go on sale 27 February.

Last year’s edition of Paaspop, which was scheduled to take place between 2–4 April, was cancelled when the Dutch government extended its ban on public gatherings until 1 June.

The 2019 edition of Paaspop hosted around 90,000 people across the weekend.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter”

Elsewhere, Awakenings has rescheduled its June festival to 11–12 September, though it’s looking likely the festival will have to relocate from its usual site of Spaarnwoude Houtrak, just outside of Amsterdam, for the new date.

Organisers say they have an option on two locations for the 20th edition of the festival which – at 80,000 capacity – is the largest outdoor techno festival in the world.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter,” say organisers.

“Just like you, we can’t wait to party together again. We have boldly taken the first step and are preparing for our first post-pandemic event for you, the DJs, the scene, and everybody else involved. We are very grateful for your support; almost everyone chose to keep their ticket last year. We hope to come up with an update as soon as possible.”

The organisers say the re-released tickets will not go on sale until there are more “assurances about the possibilities regarding Covid”, adding, “we don’t think it’s fair to sell something new when there is too much uncertainty”.

Awakenings 2020 was also cancelled due to the government’s extension of the ban on public gatherings, though promoter ID&T received a substantial insurance payout to compensate for lost income due to the cancellation of its festivals.

The techno brand’s Easter event series in Amsterdam, Awakenings Easter, will not take place again until 2022.

“[Zwarte Cross] is now seriously investigating whether the move to September is possible”

Zwarte Cross – the largest paid-for festival in the Netherlands which combines music, motocross, comedy and theatre – may also take place in September instead of its usual summer date.

The festival, which typically welcomes 220,000 visitors across four days, was due to hold its 24th edition between 15–18 July in Lichtenvoorde but organisers say there is “great doubt” about that.

“We are now seriously investigating whether the move to September is possible. Hopefully, we will be rid of corona measures and most of the Netherlands will be vaccinated by then,” organiser Pieter Holkenborg told Tubantia.

The festival’s recent lineups have included Black Eyed Peas, White Lies, Scooter, Royal Republic and more.

Best Kept Secret, Pinkpop, Defqon. 1, DGTL Amsterdam, Motel Mozaique Festival, Dauwpop and Ribs & Blues are among the other Dutch festivals scheduled to take place in the spring.

Since the Dutch government announced its event cancellation insurance fund, a number of festivals have seen an unprecedented demand for tickets.

Yesterday, A State of Trance revealed it had sold all 55,000 tickets for this September’s festival, which takes place at the Jaarbeurs convention centre in Utrecht on 3–4 September.

 


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