Sonisphere Equals Hultsfred

The Sonisphere staged on the Hultsfred site a week after the Swedish festival took place attracted a similarly sized crowd, reportedly pulling 25,000 July 18.

Throughout Aug. 4, promoter Stuart Galbraith of the U.K.’s Kilimanjaro Live was doing media interviews in London following the “massive success” of the Sonisphere that took place just outside the city Aug. 1-2.

But, apart from the Finnish Sonisphere selling out in a day, the other ones on mainland Europe have had mixed results.

At press time it wasn’t possible to get the official numbers for the Sonispheres in Sweden, Spain or Germany in July, although local reports are putting the Spanish crowd at 30,000 and the German one at 35,000.

However, London’s Outside Organisation – which handles Kilimanjaro’s PR – does have figures for the U.K. version at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, Aug. 1-2, claiming 35,000 on the first day and 45,000 on the second.

The June 20 Dutch Sonisphere that launched the new series at Goffert Park in Nijmegen, a co-promotion with Live Nation, did a little more than 20,000.

Galbraith set up Sonisphere as an international festival brand with John Jackson of London’s K2 agency and financial backing from AEG.

The message coming over in press interviews was that Galbraith is happy with what Sonisphere has achieved this year and intends to bring it back to the same markets in 2010, plus one or two territories in the old Eastern Bloc.

He singled out the U.K. and Finnish shows as the highlights, the latter being sold out, and noted that the U.K. one had a better first year than other English festivals he’s worked on including Monsters Of Rock, Ozzfest, and Download.

The lineup for Sonisphere at Hultsfred Folkets Park included Metallica, Cradle Of Filth, Primal Scream, Lamb Of God, Mastodon, Machine Head, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Cult and The Hives.

The July 8-11 edition of Hultsfred, once the country’s premier festival, did about 23,500 per day, which reportedly left it strapped for cash after repaying short-term bank loans it took out when the 2007 event dropped $1 million.

The festival’s organisers insist it’s not the end for Hultsfred.