B’Estival Becomes B’Estfest

Guido Janssens says he’s taking the pragmatic approach and changing his year-old Romanian festival’s name from B’Estival to B’Estfest to avoid any confusion with the U.K.’s Bestival.

"We didn’t even know of the British festival, although we’ve learned all about it since, until they contacted us and said they weren’t happy that we’d given our event the same name," he explained.

"I don’t see how there is confusion with one event being staged in Britain and the other in Romania, but we decided that we would change our name because we want a festival that secures its own place on the European map.

"There was no legal problem as B’Estival is a registered trademark in Romania, but I spoke with my colleague Leon Ramakers and he said he wouldn’t be that happy if someone started L’Owlands [after his Dutch Lowlands Festival], and so we agreed to change.

"We met at ILMC and discussed it and it was all very amicable in the end. They had the name first; they’ve won the U.K.’s Best Medium-Sized Festival and the practical thing is for us to change."

With the agreement of its major sponsors, Janssens’ Emag!c Entertainment announced the re-branded B’Estfest will be at Bucharest’s Romexpo July 4-6.

He declined to comment on the new network of Balkan promoters being assembled by Marcel Avram beyond saying "competition is healthy," but he does believe 2008 will test the strength of the emerging Romanian market.

Apart from announcing the headliners for B’Estfest early in the new year, Emag!c has already inked Bucharest shows for Kylie Minogue (May 17), Lenny Kravitz (July 26) and Iron Maiden (August 4).

If three or four other promoters brought in the same number of acts, the pockets of the country’s concertgoers may well begin to feel the strain.

Janssens says he expects there will be more acts visiting Romania next year and is wary the market may become overloaded.

B’Estfest, which has joined the European festival community by becoming a member of Yourope and the European Talent Exchange Programme, had a successful launch in 2007 with a bill that included Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper and Faithless.

The festival has also changed its web address to bestfest.ro.