Koopmans To Pass On Peace & Love

Sweden’s Peace & Love festival founder Jesper Heed believes the event will survive bankruptcy “one way or another,” but it won’t be on the back of German money.

Folkert Koopmans, head of Hamburg-based FKP Scorpio, says he has no interest in buying Peace & Love from liquidators as he did in 2011 when the country’s Hultsfred Festival tanked.

Heed says having Bravalla – Koopmans’ new Swedish festival – landing on the same weekend as Peace & Love hurt his ticket sales, but he’s not convinced that’s the only reason his event failed.

Koopmans, who once made inquiries about buying a stake in Peace & Love, says he had to schedule Bravalla for June 27-29 because it was the only weekend that would work for both Green Day and Rammstein as headliners.
Peace & Love, which was scheduled to happen in Borlänge June 25-29, had a lineup that included Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, First Aid Kit, Paramore, and Queens Of The Stone Age.

It was pulled May 28 after poor ticket sales.

Koopmans says reviving Hultsfred, which is scheduled for June 13-15 with Arctic Monkeys, Portishead, Fatboy Slim, Flaming Lips, and Knife Party, has taught him lessons about the Swedish outdoor market.

“In Germany, it means something when a festival has built a name such as Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park, Hurricane or Southside, but it doesn’t count for so much in Sweden,” he said. “These festivals sell out in advance but that doesn’t happen so easily to the established Swedish festivals,” he explained, as Hultsfred sales moved a little closer to the 15,000 capacity.

At the end of May, Bravalla had sold 32,000 of its 40,000 tickets.

The problem for Peace & Love, Sweden’s biggest-pulling festival between 2008 and 2011 with crowds of 40,000-plus, began in 2012.

Last year’s crowd was still close to 40,000 but the event dropped 16 million Swedish krona ($2.41 million). The festival made deals with creditors to avoid going bust, but Heed admits Peace & Love couldn’t keep up with the payment schedule.

When the festival filed for bankruptcy, Heed said ticket sales were not far above 9,000.

It’s still not clear if the ticket-holders will get their money back.

Sweden’s 10,000-capacity Siesta Festival in Hässlehol also canceled two weeks ago. The May 31 to June 2 lineup would have included Death Cab For Cutie, NOFX, The Hives, Lars Winnerbäck, and Timbuktu.