InMusic Goes It Alone

The organisers of Croatia’s InMusic Festival feel they’ve been justified in going ahead without a major sponsor after the June 28-30 gathering in Zagreb still managed to cover its costs.

Former headline sponsor T-Mobile pulled the plug in January, leaving festival chief Zoran Maric and his team little time to find a replacement.

Despite some money coming in from four smaller sponsors, InMusic was faced with a greatly reduced budget and a struggle to cover the outgoings.

“It’s the last time we sell the name of the festival,” Maric told Pollstar. “We have proved we can stand alone and the reaction to this year’s edition makes me confident that there’ll be no shortage of smaller sponsors for next year.”

T-Mobile, which had backed the festival since 2009 when it took over from rival telecoms provider Vipnet, decided to cut its live music sponsorship and spend more on advertising direct to the consumer.

With less money to spend on such acts as Arcade Fire, which headlined last year, the festival expected the turnout to drop. The two main days attracted 33,000.

That’s well down on the 45,000 they pulled last year, when the bill also included Jamiroquai, Cypress Hill and Grinderman, but still enough to keep the 2012 event in the black.

“Sales are down all over Croatia because the country’s been in recession for four years,” Maric explained, suggesting a weaker billing wasn’t the only reason for smaller crowds.

Acts helping InMusic keep its head above water at Lake Jarun, Zagreb, included New Order, Franz Ferdinand, Gogol Bordello, Gorillaz Sound System and Mando Diao.