Koopmans Goes Further Northside

Major German festival promoter FKP Scorpio has expanded further into neighbouring territories by developing a new outdoor in Denmark.

Scorpio chief Folkert Koopmans is growing the 10,000-capacity Northside Festival, which he started this year as a one-dayer for Danish acts, by moving to a larger site and bringing in international talent.

“There are a lot of festivals in Denmark that are mainly for older acts or Danish acts. There’s room for another that does international acts and so we’re trying to create that festival,” said Brian Nielsen from Århus-based Skandinavian, which is the German company’s local partner.

Neither Koopmans nor Nielsen are deterred that the first Northside, which had Nephew, Veto and Kashmir on the bill, pulled only 5,000 to an 8,000-capacity site at Tangkrogen.

It debuted on the same June weekend as Copenhell, the new rock fest Live Nation Denmark was starting in Copenhagen, and at a time when most of the country was deluged by storms.

The new Northside site at Aadalen, a couple of miles from the centre of Århus, the country’s second-biggest city and home to its biggest university, will be configured for 20,000. It may have as many as seven stages.

The area is park land owned by the local authority, although the police occasionally use part of it for dog training. It’s large enough to accommodate capacities beyond 20,000 and gives Koopmans and Nielsen the chance to grow Northside into a major Danish festival to go alongside Roskilde, Skanderborg, and the currently suffering Skive Beach Party – which this year took a huge financial hit because of bad weather.

Nielsen told Pollstar its proximity to the city means it will be easy to involve local venues, as Norway’s Oya Festival does in Oslo, and he’s already in talks with some of them including Train and Vauxhall.

Nielsen developed a working relationship with Koopmans – who has interests in at least a half-dozen festivals in his own country – through FKP Scorpio promoting Skandinavian acts in Germany, including most of those on the inaugural Northside bill.

FKP Scorpio’s German festival interests include Hurricane, Southside, Highfield, Area 4, M’Era Luna, Chiemsee Reggae, and Rolling Stone Weekender.

So far its most successful festival outside Germany is the six-year-old Greenfield Festival at Interlaken, Switzerland, which regularly attracts 24,000 per day.

So far no international acts have been confirmed for Northside 2011, which will be staged June 11-12.