The festival season has come to an end for another year with a busy weekend of events up and down the country from the free Notting Hill Carnival in London to the Mean Fiddler Organisation’s (MFO) festivals in Reading, Leeds and Glasgow Green, and the Creamfields dance festival in Liverpool. All events went pretty smoothly from a crowd management point of view, with no serious problems.

At the end of a summer that saw the worst tragedy in the history of the European concert business, it seems that organisers have stepped up their vigilance in order to prove that going to live events with thousands of other people can be a safe and happy experience. The MFO’s festival organiser, Melvin Benn, told Pollstar that he was very happy with the way the weekend had gone. The festivals drew a combined total of more than 200,000 people to the three sites, with the longer-established Reading being the only one of the three to sell out in advance.

Logistically, Benn confirmed that there were no problems with the shared headliners swapping locations over the four days. Heavy rainfall caused surfaces to become slippery at Reading, but there were no accidents or serious injuries at any of the sites, Benn said. He added that he was pleased that all the safety precautions in place had worked effectively.

“There was a point at Reading where we had 300 people a minute coming over the barrier,” he said, “but it all worked like a dream. And at Leeds, the attendance was 50 percent up on last year, but there wasn’t a significant increase in injuries. We felt under intense pressure, but it all worked.”

Headliner of the triple-site festival Oasis put in a good performance that went down well with the crowds and quashed rumours that the band would call it quits as the current tour ended with its Leeds performance. Prior to the festival weekend, newspapers were brimming with speculation that Noel Gallagher would be pronouncing the end of his career in the band.

Fueling the hype, which only served to put an even bigger spotlight on what might be the band’s last-ever performances, The Sun newspaper had reported that Noel Gallagher would be making a statement about his future with the band. But it was more Oasis rumour-mongering and, for now, at least, the band appear to be sticking together for the foreseeable future.

At the Gig On The Green in Glasgow, Paul Weller, Stereophonics, and Elastica joined Oasis and Primal Scream for the first-ever rock festival to take place in what is Scotland’s oldest park. The festival was promoted locally by Regular Music, and around 30,000 fans flocked to the Glasgow Green site.


With the dance market still very much an underground scene in Poland, the arrival of MTV and a major club in Warsaw could soon turn the situation around. Polish promoter AMC’s dance division, Amoeba, is hosting the first Polish MTV dance night at the Lokomotywa club, featuring DJ Roger Sanchez and local DJs. The venue is a large-scale nightclub with a capacity of 3,000, and, said promoter Jem Linsey, it’s what the market needs to take dance music to a new level.

“The other club here, Planeta, closed down at the beginning of 1999,” said Linsey, “and we had nowhere to do bigger club nights. This MTV party will bring a taste of Ibiza to Poland.” The club opened earlier this year, and has been gearing up to take on more major events. The Ministry of Sound world tour will stop at Lokomotywa in October.

Punks and skinheads clashed during a rock concert in Poznan August 26. The trouble started when around 300 people were turned away from a local rock concert at the Palace of Culture. These people clashed with skinheads and the incident turned into a full-scale riot as the two rival gangs joined forces to turn on the police. The disturbance resulted in damage to police cars and private vehicles, and 14 rioters were detained.


On The Tragically Hip‘s second leg of its American tour in support of its ninth album, Music @ Work, the Kingston, Ont.-bred band will not only hit markets it missed the first time around, but will also play extended sets not unlike the marathons it perform in special club shows.

There will be no opening act for the majority of the theatre tour. The only shows not part of this An Evening With The Tragically Hip concept are in Norfolk, Atlanta; New Orleans; and Austin, which feature opening act Superdrag, and a still-to-be-determined opener in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The tour, which sees the band working tirelessly through October, kicks off October 2 at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, N.Y., and ends November 4 at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Ore. By then, the Canadian arena tour for November and December will have been announced and likely sold out. The band’s North American booking agent is Wayne Forte of Entourage Talent.

House of Blues Concerts Canada has announced that The Guess Who will be Running Back Thru Canada, well, part of it, anyway. The regrouped classic rock band will play a handful of dates in the smaller markets it missed on the first leg in June and July. The shows are as follows: Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum (September 15), Kingston’s The Memorial Centre (18), Owen Sound’s Bayshore Community Centre (20), Barrie’s Molson Centre (22) and Sudbury’s Sudbury Arena (23).