All Change On The Festival Front

Bulgaria’s efforts toward establishing a festival market can’t get off the ground until it can first establish a festival, something that doesn’t seem to have become any easier this year.

Since 2011, Sonisphere has disappeared from the calendar, Martin Stoyanov has quit working on Kavarna and is setting up his own new festival in Sofia, and the second edition of Elevation is in danger of not happening at all.

The disappearance of Sonisphere is no surprise, as last year’s gathering was pulled because of poor ticket sales.
AEG’s Kilimanjaro Live, which is co-organiser of the annual traveling fest, is understandably avoiding countries with the most distressed economies.

Kavarna, named after the region of the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast where it’s staged, also made its debut last year.

It was a successor to the 5-year-old Kaliakra Rock Fest that Stoyanov also produced, but now it seems he and the local municipality are going their separate ways.

“I can’t keep working in an area and under conditions where it’s impossible to make any money,” Stoyanov explained, declining to give any details of his disagreements with the Kavarna authorities.

So far there’s no news on whether the council will carry on with Kavarna.

Stoyanov’s now starting Loud Festival in the Bulgarian capital, where his Loud Concerts promoting firm is based.
The festival is on an 8,000-capacity space next to Sofia’s international airport. It takes place June 2-3 and the lineup includes Slayer, W.A.S.P, Lacuna Coil and Behemoth.

“It’s looking tough, but we are determined to make it happen,” Mark Eliot of Elevation Festival told Pollstar, after last year’s first edition suffered from a combination of bad luck and bad weather.

The first day was hit by the late cancellation of Jamiroquai, which also had to cancel a Turkish show because of illness. The second day was blown away by high winds and heavy rain, and overall the festival averaged 10,000 per day on a 40,000-capacity site.

This year Elevation has also moved to Sofia, having started at the southwestern ski resort of Bansko.

It’s slotted for June 23-24 and its lineup so far includes Fatboy Slim, Kosheen, Chambao, and Parov Stelar Band.

The elder statesman of the Bulgarian festival market is now the 5-year-old Spirit Of Burgas, which is on the Black Sea coast Aug. 12-14, although so far no acts have been announced. Last year’s lineup had Moby, Skunk Anansie, Deftones, Stamina MC, and Amplifier.