Hultsfred’s $1 Million Bash

After selling out its 30,000 capacity for the last two years, Sweden’s Hultsfred Festival has reportedly taken a dip by selling two-thirds as many tickets for this year’s event.

It wasn’t possible to get comment from organisers Rock Party, who were believed to be busy clearing up the Folkets Park site, at press time. But major Scandinavian daily papers including Sweden’s Aftonbladet and Norway’s Verdens Gang reported a loss of 7 million krona – about $1 million.

The event has grown steadily since it started with a crowd of 7,000 in 1986, but during the last five years it’s had some financial ups and downs.

Before the 2005 and 2006 sellouts, it had two very lean years.

In 2003, Gunnar Lagerman, who preceded Janne Kleman as main festival booker, admitted it was only a last-minute cancellation from Linkin Park that saved it from taking a huge loss.

Hultsfred sold 25,300 of its 30,000 ticket capacity, which, given the money saved on the Linkin Park fee, was just about enough to balance the books.

Swedish tabloid Expressen claimed the festival had been paying double the U.S. act’s average fee and the band had actually done the event a big financial favour by not showing.

Things looked to have improved in 2004 when Rock Party’s Jan Bordahl announced the event had done 90 percent business. But he qualified that by adding that profits were still low because the event runs at a high break-even, largely due to the cost of trying to attract the best available international talent.

The international talent at this year’s Hultsfred Festival June 14-16 included Ozzy Osbourne, 50 Cent, Pet Shop Boys, Korn, Turbonegro, Mando Diao, Evanescence, Wolfmother and The View.