Koopmans Battles On Four Fronts

German festival giant FKP Scorpio had four European events over the June 14-16 weekend and not one of them was in the company’s homeland.

Northside Festival in Denmark sold out its 25,000-capacity and in four years has become the country’s fourth-biggest festival, behind Roskilde, Skanderborg and Jelling.

Brian Nielsen of Skandinavian, who partners in Northside with FKP chief Folkert Koopmans and Flemming Myllerup, says they may now consider adding a day or upping the capacity.

It wouldn’t be hard to configure a larger festival at the huge site at Aadalen, the country’s second-biggest city and home to its biggest university.

This year’s Northside lineup (June 14-16) had Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Flaming Lips, Keane, Biffy Clyro, Gogol Bordello, The Knife, Alt-J, Ellie Goulding, Portishead, and Trentemoller.

Although Arctic Monkeys, Portishead, Trentemoller, The Flaming Lips and Band Of Horses were among several Northside acts to also play Sweden’s Hultsfred Festival, Koopmans admits to being disappointed with a 12,500 crowd and is considering making changes to the event.

“I shall certainly change the name, because I think the name is damaged,” he said.
Hultsfred was once among Sweden’s premier festivals, pulling more than 30,000 on three or four occasions, but it fell on hard times and went bankrupt in 2010.

Koopmans bought the naming rights in an online auction run by the official receiver and tried to restore it to its former glory with the help of its former entertainment booker, Gunnar Lagerman.

With sales of his new Swedish festival Bravalla (June 27-29) now past 40,000, Koopmans told Pollstar he’s confident of recouping the money he lost at Hultsfred.

It’s eight years since Koopmans started Swiss festival Greenfield on a 30,000-capacity site at Interlaken airport, a move that met with a howl of disapproval from local promoters.

It’s subsequently found its slot in the market, regularly does 20,000-plus and appears to have had no detrimental effect on the events that protested its arrival.

Possibly due to having Rammstein as a headliner, this year’s crowd was 27,000 per day. It’s possible the other festivals will hope it’s a barometer for the rest of the Swiss summer season.

The other acts playing Interlaken June 15-17 included Queens Of The Stone Age, The Prodigy, Nightwish, Slayer, Within Temptation, NOFX, The Gaslight Anthem, and Bullet For My Valentine.

A media storm erupted at the beginning of March when Scorpio’s Indian Summer Festival, on the event site at Beekse Bergen in The Netherlands, fetched up on the same weekend as Pinkpop.

Pinkpop chief Jan Smeets warned that the market was getting crowded and some of the newer events may go to the wall.

An Indian Summer lineup including The Prodigy, Deus, Keane, Within Temptation, The Opposites, Handsome Poets, Guus Meeuwis, and Roger Sanchez  did 32,000 per day, without doing any noticeable damage to Pinkpop.