Hove Takes Quart’s Crown

While Kristiansand accountants and the city council’s cultural department try to work out just how much Quart Festival’s bankruptcy has cost, the nearby Hove Festival took over as Norway’s No. 1 outdoor.

Quart’s loss appears to have been Hove’s gain, largely because ex-Quart director Toffen Gunnufsen and other key staff quit the former to set up the latter.

In 2007 the Quart crowd plunged from the regular 12,000 per day to less than 5,000, while the first staging of Hove attracted twice as many.

In May the new team behind Quart was bullish about the prospects for 2008, despite the Kristiansand council being forced to stump up 12.9 million krona to keep the event alive a year ago. But the optimism was short-lived.

Unable to pay the deposits needed to secure this year’s acts, Quart chucked in the towel at the beginning of June and called in the receivers.

This year’s Hove Festival (June 23-28) attracted 62,000 fans across five days – 10,000 up on last year.

When Gunnufsen and others including festival booker Peer Osmundsvaag switched from Quart to Hove it looked as if the two 15,000-capacity festivals – heavyweights by Norwegian standards – would battle hard for the crown.

Having built on its first-year crowd and re-worked its site layout, former Roskilde Festival director Leif Skov – now a consultant for Hove – said the new event had "developed five years in one year."

The acts helping Quart make such rapid progress included Jay-Z, Avenged Sevenfold, Beck, Bullet For My Valentine, Panic At The Disco, the Kooks and The Ting Tings.