Hultsfred History Repeats Itself

It looks like history may have repeated itself at Hultsfred Festival, where once again a non-appearance from Linkin Park may have made the difference between profit and loss.

One of the band members became ill after playing at Finland’s Provinssirock Festival the previous day, and doctors determined he wasn’t fit to fly to another festival in Sweden.

In 2003 Gunnar Lagerman, who was festival booker and spokesman, said the savings on the Linkin Park fee was what put the festival in the black, and current festival chief Per Alexandersson says that might be the case in 2008.

"I don’t have all the exact figures so soon after the festival, but it was certainly a contributory factor," he told Pollstar.

Hultsfred attracted a little more than 24,000 per day June 13-15, about 1,000 up on last year. Those figures suggest Live Nation’s new one-day Where The Action Is festival, which was in Stockholm over the same weekend, didn’t negatively affect sales.

Alexandersson thinks otherwise, saying he believes Hultsfred may have done even better, but was nevertheless pleased to see that he did enough in his first year in charge to avoid the million-dollar loss that nearly took the festival down in 2006.

He began by reviewing the entire operation and making cuts where he could. When all this year’s figures are ready for audit in August, he says he’ll continue to look for ways to put Hultsfred on a firmer financial footing.

The acts to play this year’s Hultsfred included Rage Against The Machine, HIM, Babyshambles, Serj Tankian, The Hives, Simple Plan, Rufus Wainwright, Blood Red Shoes and Disco Ensemble.