FKP Scorpio Buys Into Beatbox

The fuss surrounding FKP Scorpio’s new Danish festival shows no sign of dying down, as some local experts are questioning the legality of its funding and Pollstar can exclusively reveal that the German promoter has also bought into Copenhagen-based promoter Beatbox.

The legal department of the Odense local authority originally said that giving Scorpio 23.4 million Danish krone ($4.09 million) to site the new Tinderbox Festival in the city doesn’t break European Union competition laws. But the local Metro Express says the council is having second thoughts.

The paper claims that after hearing the opinions of Professor Michael Steinichke from Aarhus University and “EU law expert” Peter North Dorff, the Odense authority’s senior law expert Søren Simonsen has admitted the commune is taking another look at the “legal aspects” of the Tinderbox deal. Steinichke and North Dorff are mainly concerned that the letters of intent that are the basis of the deal don’t make clear what the Odense authority is getting for its money.

Leading Danish paper Politken reported that Odense is handing over 7 million krone ($1.2 million) in the first year and that the funding deal stretches over five years. ICO chief Kim Wørsoe and Poul Martin Bonde from Smukfest are among the promoters who have complained that the public money gives the new Scorpio festival a huge and unfair advantage.

Pollstar has seen letters of intent that show FKP Scorpio and Down The Drain Holdings, a company owned by Scorpio’s Northside Festival partner Brian Nielsen, are each in the process of acquiring a 25 percent stake in Mads Sørensen’s Copenhagen-based Beatbox Entertainment.

Alongside FKP Scorpio chief Folkert Koopmans and Nielsen, Sørensen is also the third partner in Tinderbox. It’s understood the Beatbox deal would likely be done in time for an announcement to be made during Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival (Sept. 17-20).

Apart from having a share in Northside Festival in Aarhus and Tinderbox Festival in Odense, FKP Scorpio will also have a piece of a promoting company capable of bringing top international talent to Denmark.

Sørensen had experience as a senior promoter in Live Nation’s Danish office before quitting to set up Beatbox in 2005, partnering with Peter Sorenson, a former employee of LN-owned DKB Motor. Sørensen is believed to have bought out his partner en route to the deal with Scorpio and Nielsen.

Building a promoting business in parallel with acquiring festivals or starting new ones is a tactic Koopmans has already used in Sweden and The Netherlands.

While setting up his Swedish festivals, he started a concerts and touring business, initially headed by former Live Nation and AEG promoter Dave Maloney. In The Netherlands, Friendly Fire – his partner in the Indian Summer and Best Kept Secret festivals – also promotes international acts.