Tatar Enjoys A Super Nova

Ewald Tatar looks to have taken a big step toward realizing his ambition of creating an outdoor to match the best in Europe as his company’s Novarock Festival in Austria sold out four days in advance.

Apart from shifting 50,000 tickets per day, 4,000 per day up on last year and nearly double what it achieved in its debut year in 2005, the Austrian broadcast and print media were unanimous in hailing the event as a major triumph.

"It’s an enormous help to be operating the same festival on the same site for a second year," Tatar explained after the press had praised the way his company ran the show.

The Nova Music director programmed most of the first Aerodrome Festival in 2004 – the event he wanted to see "stand alongside Roskilde, Sziget, Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park" in the European mainland festival calendar. But not seeing eye to eye with the backers meant he lost that role – after the event had done nearly 35,000 per day in its first year.

After he and Wiesen Festival colleagues Paul Debnam and Thomas Zsifkovits quit the company to start Nova Music with Folkert Koopmans’ Hamburg-based FKP Scorpio, Tatar began Nova Rock with the same ambitions he had for Aerodrome.

In 2005, Nova pulled in about 27,000 per day over four days at the Pannonia Fields site at Nickelsdorf. The second Aerodrome crashed with crowds of a little more than half of that.

Last year Nova Rock moved four miles away to a better pitch, although that left Tatar in the position of starting from scratch on a new site for the third time in three years.

This year, it shared several acts – including The Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Marilyn Manson, Incubus and Slayer – with the neighbouring Greenfield Festival in Switzerland, another event co-owned by Koopmans. Tatar said the varying tastes of the two audiences means the events are not likely to be officially twinned.

The other acts on the Nova Rock bill June 15-17 included Queens Of The Stone Age, The Hives and Frank Black, which all played Greenfield as well, and Manic Street Preachers, My Chemical Romance, Ill Nino and Five O’Clock Heroes.