Rabarock Hit By Global Factors

This year’s Rabarock Festival in Estonia was hit by global factors, although event organiser Kristo Rajasaare isn’t sure which hurt more – the international recession or a freak weather front.

Estonia is reckoned to be one of the EU countries suffering most from the economic downturn, made worse because the kroone is pegged to the euro.

Rajasaare , from the Eesti Rockifestival company that founded the event, said the VAT rate on tickets bumping from 5 percent to 18 percent has made matters even worse.

The 4,000-per day crowd was one-third down on 2008, but Rajasaare said the downside can probably be met from the reserves built up over the last two years.

The inaugural event in 2005 attracted only 5,000 fans over two days, but major sponsors including SEB Bank and Jagermesiter stuck with it.

Rajasaare said he’s confident Rabarock will be in the European festival calendar in 2010.

The bill for the fourth staging of Rabarock (June 12-13) included Gary Numan, The Wildhearts, and German industrial rockers KMFDM.

A strong lineup of national acts was headed by Metsatöll, which made a strong impression with top European talent spotters including Eurosonic A&R head Robert Meijerink at a Tallinn Music Week showcase in March.