Two Fall By The Wayside

Before the final weekend of the German outdoor season arrived, it suffered a couple of casualties as Folkert Koopmans’ Area 4 Festival and Carlos Fleischmann’s Berlinova were scrapped when it became obvious they weren’t going to do business.

Andreas Sengebusch of FKP Scorpio said Area 4, which began last year in Oberhausen and was due to move to Gelsenkirchen Amphitheater, was hit by a cancellation from Audioslave a couple of months before the event. The company couldn’t repair the bill in time.

At the time of cancellation, it had Seeed, Less Than Jake, Madsen, Jimmy Eat World, System Of A Down, Nine Inch Nails, and Beatsteaks spread across three days.

“We didn’t want to go with the festival if the bill wasn’t as strong as we like to have at our festivals, and so we decided it was best not to go ahead,” he told Pollstar. He confirmed Area 4 will be back in 2007 – probably as a two-dayer.

Sengebusch said the problem sourcing acts was caused by a lot of artists finishing their tours at either the U.K.’s V Festivals or Reading-Leeds Carling Weekend, which meant most European summer tours were over before the end of August.

This year’s festival was slotted for September 1-3. Next year’s dates are still to be set.

The future of Berlinova looks less certain and, at press time, it wasn’t possible to get a comment from Fleischmann on what he intends to do with it.

It began in 2003 as a two-dayer on an old Soviet military airfield at Luckau, part of old East Germany, and managed to do close to 15,000 per day.

In 2004, it was increased to three days but didn’t gross any more tickets, and last year’s crowd was down to around 6,000 per day.

Although the festival is named after Berlin, the site’s a couple of hours out and equally close to the Polish border.

This year, Fleischmann opted to bring it into the city September 2nd, but a bill that included Wir Sind Helden, Jimmy Eat World, Tomte and maybe Babyshambles wasn’t going to fill the 22,000-capacity Waldbuhne.

– John Gammon