Swiss Army Gets Knives Out For Koopmans

Folkert Koopmans’ decision to start a new festival in Switzerland has met with a howl of disapproval from local promoters.

The Hamburg-based head of FKP Scorpio Konzertproduktionen is planning a 30,000-capacity Greenfield event at Interlaken airport with fellow German promoter Dieter Boes (Ko-Ko Entertainment) and Swiss promoters Thomas Durr (Act Entertainment) and Lorenz Krebs (Jungfrau World Events). Local promoters feel Koopmans is trying to elbow his way into what’s already a crowded market. Krebs already runs bikers’ and truckers’ fests on the site.

The Swiss Promoters’ Association has circulated its members and asked for their ideas on how Koopmans and his team can be stopped.

Phillippe Cornu, who has run Gurten Festival for the last 15 years, looks to have the most to lose as the new event (June 24-26) comes three weeks before his and is only 50 kilometres away.

“My main fear is that German promoters will ruin the market. Gurten is my passion and livelihood, but I know that other festivals such as Paleo-Nyon, Montreux, St. Gallen (also at the end of June) and Blue Balls and promoters including Free and Virgin are also set against it,” Cornu told Pollstar.

“If they bring in their own infrastructure such as production and security, then it starts to affect everyone in the Swiss music business.

“We don’t understand why they didn’t talk to us before doing this.”

Koopmans, who has five German festivals and is partner in three in Austria, said, “I think we have a fantastic site and we’ll have a great festival. I’ve built festivals in Germany and Austria and I believe I can do the same in Switzerland.”

When asked for his view on the Swiss promoters’ reaction, he said, “We live in a free market economy.”