Flagship Azkena Celebrates 5th

Last Tour International‘s flagship Azkena Festival in Spain celebrated its fifth anniversary by breaking its one-day and three-day attendance records.

The 44,093 people who visited the Mendizabala park near Vitoria-Gasteiz over the August 31 to September 2 weekend is a shade up on last year, but the 19,546 Saturday crowd was easily the highest single-day attendance Azkena has seen.

It was well up from the previous Saturday record, which was set last year when 15,587 people showed up to see a bill that included The Pogues, Queens of The Stone Age, and Juliette and The Licks.

Last Tour press manager Ibai Villapún said the event is very special for the company because it’s the blueprint that helped it launch its other two festivals at Santander and Bilbao. All three are booked by Carlos Asmarats of Barcelona-based Encore Music Tours.

“Azkena Rock gave us some prestige and that’s helped the institutions trust us to produce good festivals,” Villapún explained.

Along with Benicassim, which has attracted the financial interest of both current Mean Fiddler chairman Denis Desmond (head of Ireland’s MCD) and former chairman Vince Power – who has his own London-based Vince Power Music Group – the three Last Tour International festivals and Sinnamon Productions’ new Summercase are starting to build a very healthy Spanish outdoor market.

Among the acts booked for the party were Pearl Jam, Iggy & The Stooges, New York Dolls, Buckcherry, Wolfmother, Redd Kross, Green On Red, Gang Of Four, The Nomads, and Mondo Generator.

– John Gammon