Where The Action Isn’t

Sweden’s Where The Action Is Festival won’t be happening this year because promoter Luger says it already has a diary full of summer events.

The event has existed in various guises since 1997 and was staged in various parts of Sweden including Riddarholmen, Skansen and Söderbärke.

The current version emerged as a one-dayer in Stockholm in 2008, headlined by Foo Fighters, and was staged on the same weekend as the struggling Hultsfred Festival.

It appeared to be retaliation to AEG taking control of the booking of Hultsfred as Luger parent company Live Nation got into something of a turf war with its L.A.-based neighbour and rival.

It attracted 18,000 to the grounds of Stockholm University but the following year’s attempt to grow to two days was washed away by torrential rain.

A lineup including Neil Young, The Pixies, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Duffy pulled an average crowd of 13,500 per day.

Luger chief Ola Broquist reckoned the site reparation work cost 1 million kronor (then $157,000) and, after skipping 2010, Where The Action Is reappeared on Gothenburg’s Slottsparken, where the company also stages its Way Out West Festival.

The line-up included Coldplay, Brandon Flowers, Paolo Nutini, The Ark, and Glasvegas, but another disappointing turnout meant the festival failed to challenge such major Swedish events as Peace & Love.

Hultsfred has since emerged from bankruptcy with the festival’s title being bought by German promoter FKP Scorpio, which has also bought a major share of the 10,000-capacity Getaway Festival at Gävle.

It also has plans to start a new festival with a capacity of about 40,000 on an old military airbase near Norrköping.
This year’s Way Out West Aug 9-11 has Blur, Florence & The Machine, Thurston Moore, Bon Iver, Feist, Billy Bragg, and First Aid Kit.