Chilis Make A Red Hot Greenfest

Red Hot Chili Peppers made history at the June 26th Greenfest by pulling 80,000 people, the biggest crowd an international act has attracted in Serbia.

Tim Dowdall from Live Nation’s Budapest office, which co-promoted the event with the team that runs the country’s Exit Festival, proclaimed the event a big success, saying he was very impressed with his new working partners.

"The only problem, and it was a small problem, was that the local authorities didn’t make a very good job of directing traffic away from the site and some people must have taken hours to get home," he told Pollstar the day after the show.

The partnership with the Exit team came about because Tuborg (Carlsberg) brewers, which has a strong market share in the region, was originally approached by Bojan Boskovic, one of the 7-year-old festival’s founders.

He wanted to know how much sponsorship money the brewery, which has its headquarters in Copenhagen, could add to the budget he had available to raise the guarantee for a Chili Peppers show in Serbia.

"We do a lot of shows with Tuborg under the Greenfest banner but, on this occasion, it said it would do the event provided the Exit team were involved as the local promoter," Dowdall explained.

"I knew of the festival but had never worked with these people before, but now I have to say I’m very impressed with the way they go about the job."

The partnership may well develop, as Exit organisers are keen to make the Serbian Greenfest an annual event.

Dowdall’s arrangement with the brewer will see Live Nation promote similar shows with Metallica in Moscow’s 60,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium (July 18th) – in cooperation with the local SAV Entertainment – and Bloodhound Gang, BodyRockers and Brainstorm at the 10,000-capacity Almaty Medeo ice rink in Kazakhstan (September 8), which is co-promoted by the St. Petersburg-based NCA.

The first of this summer’s Greenfest series was with Linkin Park at St.Petersburg’s 12,000-capacity Ice Arena.

Support on the Serbian Greenfest, which was at Indjija, a small town about 30 miles outside of Belgrade on the road to Novi Sad, was provided by Kasabian and three local acts.

This year’s Exit Festival, July 12-15 at the Petrovaradin Fortress at Novi Sad, has Beastie Boys, CSS, Groove Armada, Lauryn Hill, Robert Plant, Snoop Dogg, The Prodigy and Wu-Tang Clan.