Jenner’s Radar Fixes On Croatia

Vienna-based promoter Harry Jenner is hoping to open up the Croatian festival market, starting with a one-day open-air in Zagreb headlined by Kaiser Chiefs, Placebo, and Queens Of The Stone Age.

"It’s a difficult market but I believe it can be done if we take it slowly and build, although I hope to grow it into a two-day event next year," he explained.

This year, he’s hoping the three international headliners and some top local support will attract a crowd of somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000.

Croatia doesn’t have a pop or rock festival of any note and certainly nothing that can compete with Hungary’s Sziget or Serbia’s Exit festivals.

Wary that it’s a volatile market, with stories about the Zagreb mayor making huge offers for international acts at one end and fans often left chasing refunds for canceled shows at the other, Jenner said he intends to use German ticketing giant CTS Eventim because the customers will tend to trust the company.

His local partner is Stjepan Musura, who has experience from booking the Zagreb student centre and has co-promoted Jenner’s toe-in-the-water club shows with Eagles Of Death Metal.

"I’ve done three shows in Croatia and it was good to get a thousand people for a Zagreb show. I think the festival will work if we market it strongly for three or four months before.

"People are very slow to buy tickets, partly due to what’s happened before, and as many as 25 percent wait right until the show day.

"We need to educate them to buy earlier and I believe having CTS as the ticketer will give them the confidence to do that."

Hamburg-based Folkert Koopmans, whose FKP Scorpio is part-owned by CTS and has a piece of Jenner’s MusicNet, is involved as a financial partner but developing the festival will be work of the Austrian promoter and his local Croatian colleague.

At press time, Jenner still hadn’t named the site for the June 20th show, but he has a choice of two and both are within very easy reach of central Zagreb.

One site is a greenfield about a 10-minute tram ride from the city centre and the other, which also has good public transport access, has what Jenner obliquely describes as having "a stadium infrastructure."

The choice of site and the final lineup are expected to be announced at an April 12th press conference at Zagreb’s Aquarius Club.