Koopmans Under A Cloud

German promoter Folkert Koopmans is beginning to believe rain follows him around.

Within a matter of days it came close to causing the last-minute cancellation of his Highfield Festival near Leipzig and pelted down on his first show on a new outdoor site in Hamburg.

In the week leading up to Highfield, the new site next to the Störmthaler See, an artificial lake at Grosspösna, was a mudbath.

Koopmans was on perpetual weather watch as he was reluctant to cancel the event, particularly as it was the first time it had been staged at Grosspösna.

“We moved because the farmers who’ve been renting me the site at Erfurt decided not to do it anymore, but it was time to move because it’s sold out its 25,000 capacity for the last three years,” Koopmans explained.

The new site, which will eventually be able to hold 50,000, is next to what will be a holiday park. It’s still under construction but the local authority is investing heavily in the project and Koopmans believes it will be a much better facility in 2011.

He says the switch to the new site and the weather were the main reason the first Highfield at Grosspösna pulled a slightly disappointing crowd of about 23,000, about 10 percent down on last year.

But the books were balanced over the same Aug. 20-22 weekend as the crowd for his Area 4 Festival at Lüdinghausen went up by about the same amount.

Back in Hamburg, the first show the FKP Scorpio chief has promoted on the city’s Trabrennbahn Bahrenfeld horse racing track was a hit by a deluge just before the act was due on stage Aug. 24. The act was Blink-182 and the show was sold out.

In June, Koopmans was close to calling off his sold-out 50,000-capacity Southside Festival after a night of constant rain turned the Neuhausen Ob Eck into a quagmire.

Engineers put down 4-square-metre panels and more than 500 cubic meters of bark chippings to enable the event to go ahead.
The acts trying to blow the clouds away at Highfield included Placebo, Wir Sind Helden, Blink-182, Billy Talent and The Gaslight Anthem.