Hultsfred Tries T In The Park

Sweden’s Hultsfred festival changed dates because it was felt it would benefit from being on the same weekend as Scotland’s T In The Park, according to festival chief Per Alexanderson.

He denied the Småland event had shifted to avoid another head-to-head with Live Nation’s new Way Out East, which last year made its debut in Stockholm on the same June weekend as Hultsfred.

Per Alexanderson, who returned from a 12-year stint as head of Malmo Festival to take over the reins at Hultsfred after the 2007 event lost $1 million, also denied the move to July 8-11 was influenced by the ability to share production costs with the new Sonisphere Festival, which is on the same site a week later.

“When we moved we didn’t know which dates Way Out East would choose, although it may have been tough because it’s stayed on the same June weekend and added a day,” Alexanderson explained. “We had already made the decision before AEG came to us to ask about using the site for Sonisphere.”

After the 2007 event and the departure of former festival chief JP Bordahl, Hultsfred was faced with having to borrow against property and shedding staff to survive, until a mystery benefactor offered an undisclosed loan on a “pay it back when you can basis.”

“We know we need to do something because we’ve also been hit by the number of school graduation parties that happen all over Sweden during the June weekend,” Alexanderson told Pollstar. He acknowledged that last year’s festival, which didn’t actually lose money, wasn’t quite the financial success he hoped.

“We are battling back and we have changed things and even added a fourth day,” he said.

This year’s Hultsfred lineup includes Kings Of Leon, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Madness, White Lies, Dropkick Murphys, The Gossip, Klaxons, Regina Spektor and Peter Bjorn And John.