Rain Can’t Dampen Super Nova

The rain that started as Metallica took the stage on opening night turned the Nickelsdorf site into a mud bath within hours, although it didn’t dampen the spirit of a 50,000-plus crowd enjoying another super Nova Rock Festival in Austria.

Nova Music chief Ewald Tatar admits he booked a bill that gave him a good chance of a 55,000-per day sellout, and the presale boosted his hopes. It was still the second-biggest crowd in the event’s five-year history.

The festival sold out four days in advance in 2007 with Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers, Marilyn Manson, Incubus, Slayer, Queens Of The Stone Age and My Chemical Romance.

Tatar said he blamed 2008’s slowing of ticket sales on the European soccer championship, co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland, but is reluctant to take the easy route of just blaming the recession for sales drying up in the two weeks leading up to the event.

He echoed other European promoters, including Live Nation agent and Isle Of Wight chief John Giddings, in saying all sales have slowed in the last couple of months.

The acts that brought Nova Rock frustratingly close to equaling its sellout record June 19-21 also included Die Toten Hosen, Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo, Slipknot, Kaiser Chiefs, Limp Bizkit, Disturbed and Killswitch Engage.