Double Dose Of Smukfest

Denmark’s Skanderborg Festival is planning to fight the threat posed by German promoter FKP Scorpio’s new Tinderbox Festival by holding two editions in 2015. 
in Denmark. Also known as Smukfest

The two festivals would run from Thursday to Saturday on consecutive weeks and feature the same lineup. The unconfirmed dates for the festival are Aug. 12-16, with some websites saying the lineup will include Ozzy OsbourneThe NationalPendulumRobynTom Jones and De La Soul.

The news of a double “Smukfest,” as Skanderborg is known locally, was reported by Danish regional paper Århus Stiftstidende.

At press time press time it wasn’t possible to get confirmation from Skanderborg chairman Claus Visbye. Apart from the difficulties of getting acts to play two weekends at the 50,000 or so capacity Deer Park in Skanderborg, the event organisers will also need to persuade the local council to allow the park to be used for two weeks.

A meeting between the Skanderborg organisers and local council is understood to have taken place Oct. 8. The matter is expected come up again before the council’s next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 29. Visbye reportedly saidhe believes the local people of Skanderborg will understand that the festival can’t just ignore the threat posed by Tinderbox.

“In this way, we have utilised our setup twice, which could help to give us the economy needed to buy the big names,” Visbye explained. “The proposal will provide the same use of our campsites that we know today, except over two weeks,” he wrote in a letter to the local authority. “So twice five days with camping and twice three days of music from the main site in Deer Park. So a plan in extent not much different from today, but one which allows us to capitalize on the environment better.”

Of all the Danish festivals, Skanderborg is usually the quickest to sell out. The launch of Tinderbox has created mayhem in the Danish festival business and provided plenty of copy for the national and regional papers.

First there was uproar when it was revealed that the local council in Odense will give Scorpio a $4 million sweetener to stage the event there. Major Danish promoter and ICO chief Kim Wørsoe told Politiken it was an “unheard of” amount, “an unprecedented large support for a commercial festival” and “a huge helping hand” to the Germans entering the Danish market.

“The Germans in Denmark is obviously a frontal declaration of war against the established festivals,” Worsøe told the Danish paper. Smukfest spokesman Poul Martin Bonde said his festival was more concerned about the amount of money than where it’s going.

Daily free-issue paper Metro Express claimed the local authority in Odense had 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 it’s subsequently reported that the council’s having second thoughts.

Four of the country’s major festivals – Skanderborg, Roskilde, Nibe and Jelling – then hit back against the team behind Tinderbox by boycotting acts represented by the agencies belonging to Brian Nielsen (Skandinavian) and Mads Sørensen (Beatbox), who had both teamed with Scorpio to help its expansion in the Danish market. Scorpio and Nielsen also have Northside Festival in Århus, while Sørensen will provide the Hamburg-based firm with an international touring business to run alongside the ones it has in Sweden and Finland.

The festivals appear to have missed their target when boycotting Beatbox and Skandinavian as both have now changed ownership.