WOW Rises To Challenges

Neither the challenge presented by German promoter FKP Scorpio’s growing presence in the Swedish festival market nor the last-minute cancellation of Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s European tour could dampen Way Out West festival, which did 27,500 per day Aug. 8-10.

Photo: Annika Berglund / Way Out West

In fact, the cancellation of Young’s tour came so late that it was impossible to do find a replacement.

“The gear had already arrived in Gothenburg and was onstage waiting for them to play, then we heard they weren’t coming,” Ola Broquist from Live Nation subsidiary Luger explained.

Although there’s so far been no official explanation of why Young’s dates were nixed, Rolling Stone has reported guitarist Frank Sampedro has broken his hand. The other gigs affected are Belgium’s Pukkelpop Festival as well as gigs in Norway, Denmark , Germany and the UK.

Sampedro, who recently had an operation on his thumb, previously told Rolling Stone the current Crazy Horse tour could be its last.

“Our shows are physical,” he said. “It takes a lot of energy to play that much.

“You can’t fool time. You can’t count on this [another tour] happening again in five years.”

The acts that did make it to Way Out West included Alicia KeysHåkan HellströmThe KnifeJames BlakeBeach HouseKendrick LamarAlabama ShakesTame Impala, and Public Enemy.