Nova Shuffles Festival Pack

Ewald Tatar and Harry Jenner now dominate the Austrian outdoor market to such a degree that they’ve been able to shuffle their events around to find the best site for each of them.

Having bought out German promoter Folkert Koopmans’ share of their business and with Nova Music chief Tatar now back in charge of the Wiesen festivals, they’ve decided to move Frequency Festival from its 40,000-capacity site at Salzburg to St. Pölten, where they’ve previously held Nuke Festival.

“It’s only 40 minutes by road from Vienna and should help bring more people from the east of Austria because people will no longer have to drive for nearly three hours to get to Salzburg,” Tatar explained.

Nuke, which was staged in Vienna and Zwentendorf before a 2005 quagmire on a Pielach Valley site prompted the move to St. Pölten, is moving to the Wiesen site on the edge of Vienna.

For the last four years, Nuke crowd figures have yo-yo’d between 10,000 and 18,000 per day. Tatar said he believes a move to the 8,000-capacity site at Wiesen – where Nova has a three-year contract to promote festivals – should guarantee a sellout.

Lovely Days Festival, which began on the Pielach Valley site in 2005 and has since moved to Wiesen, heads a list of small outdoors Tatar will be running on the site, which is owned by his old business partner Franz Bogner.

Tatar ran the Wiesen events when he worked for Bogner, whose company joined the ill-fated Austrian Promoters Group but jumped before it tanked in 2002 with reported debts of about euro 2.5 million.

Bogner, Tatar and Thomas Zsifkovits left to form Event & Festivals Production (Austria).

Two years later, Tatar and Zsifkovits walked out on Bogner’s company because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with MC Marketing, the investment wing of Bank Austria and 51 percent owner of Event & Festival.

With Tatar and Zfikovits joining Jenner and working in cahoots with Koopmans, Bogner struggled to keep the Wiesen boat afloat. In 2007, it narrowly avoided bankruptcy when Mattersburg-based official receiver Dr. Willibald Stampf saved the company and its outdoor shows by persuading a couple of the country’s major banks to write off at least some of what they were owed.

Most of the money owed was bank debt and back taxes, with very little of it owed to private creditors.

Having tried to work with other promoters, last year Bogner cut a new deal with Tatar.

“I always worked with the Wiesen festivals but we have had to be apart for four years,” Tatar told Pollstar when asked how he’s managed to get in position to either run or co-produce all of Austria’s major outdoors.

This year’s Frequency bill (Aug. 20-22) includes Radiohead, The Prodigy, Grace Jones, Bloc Party, Editors, Kasabian, Jarvis Cocker, The Ting Tings and Glasvegas.