Europe: DHP Family, Polish Woodstock, Friends & Family, MITS Award

Josh Ward Moves Up At DHP Family

Josh Ward
– Josh Ward
DHP Family

DHP Family is expanding its team of promoters by appointing Josh Ward, who’s been with the marketing team of the UK live music company for the past year, to national concert promoter.

According to the announcement, Ward “will be responsible for booking and promoting shows nationally as well as within the expanding portfolio of DHP Family venues which include Oslo (Hackney); Borderline (Soho), The Garage (Highbury), Thekla (Bristol), Rock City, Rescue Rooms and Bodega (all Nottingham).

While Ward was gaining experience at DHP over the past year he was also promoting acts through his own company, Girls & Boys, and playing gigs himself. Prior to that he worked at Ignition Records and JFC management.

DHP Live director Dan Ealam said: “With his ears and knack for discovering great new music, it became abundantly clear to all of us that Josh’s future lay in being a national concert promoter.”

Ward added: “Discovering new artists and seeing them develop into great live acts has always been a real passion of mine, and after promoting shows independently for the past few years, I’m really excited about joining the team at DHP Family as a national promoter.”

Polish Woodstock Promoters Say Festival Is Safe

The fear of terrorists apparently has politicians in Europe questioning whether festivals should go ahead at all, at least in the case of Przystanek Woodstock, which is scheduled Aug. 3-5.

Festival boss Jurek Owsiak dispelled the fears. Poland’s interior minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, questioned the security of the mega event, which attracted some 400,000 revelers to Kostrzyn, right on the German/Polish border last year. In a radio interview, he said that he feared terrorists coming over from Germany, where an attack on a Christmas market in December 2016 left 12 people dead, including one Polish citizen, according to a report by

The conservative politician’s party had criticized the festival’s organizers for inviting refugees from Frankfurt, Germany, to their event, thereby increasing the threat of potential terrorism. Woodstock boss Jurek Owsiak emphasized in a TV interview that increased safety measures were in place, not because of the refugees invited from Germany, but because of the current worldwide threat.

In a statement published on the festival’s website, Owsiak said: “The most important, and consequently, the largest part of the festival’s budget is the security of the guests of the festival. In the 22-year history of the festival, our teams have developed a system which serves to ensure safety and well-being of the participants of the festival.

“Even though the laws governing the organization and security of mass events have been changed, there are still no set guidelines for an event like Woodstock Festival Poland. That’s why we work closely both with professional security services and appropriate uniformed services such as police and firefighting services in order to secure the area of the festival. We aim to comply with all requirements of the law on mass events in Poland and to, above all else, ensure the well-being of our guests.”

Poland’s Woodstock is a free-entry music and arts festival organized by the largest Polish charity, the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. The festival is financed by commercial sponsors, voluntary donations, and the sale of official festival merchandise. Preparations for the 23rd edition of Przystanek Woodstock are running at full speed, according to the rbb-online report.

Kostrzyn’s mayor said that there weren’t any restrictions for mass events in Poland at the moment. That could change, however, within weeks or even hours, in case the terrorist threat increased, whatever that means.

Local police will increase its presence compared to the previous year, the entire are will be fenced in, cars will have to park in a separate area, and security checks at the entrances will be a given.

Friends & Family Festival Canceled

Elrow Friends & Family Festival
– Elrow Friends & Family Festival

Spanish event brand Elrow was forced to ax its first own festival, Friends & Family, which was supposed to premiere July 15 in the coastal town of Salou in the Spanish region of Catalonia.

According to a Facebook post by Elrow, “controversy between the local councils, shown publicly in many local newspapers headlines, we have been recommended to cancel the event in order to not contribute any further to the political tension.”

The company added it “always strives to have a perfect working relationship with the authorities and politicians at our events,” which apparently did not work out this time.

According to a report by Diari de Tarragona, the municipality did not think Salou was an adequate site to host a festival of the planned size of Friends & Family.

“We have no other choice but to regrettably take this decision,” Elrow’s statement reads. Ticketholders will be refunded. As Friends & Family was also meant to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Elrow brand, tickets can be swapped for access to a party at the Row 14 club in Barcelona on the same date.

The lineup, including Adam BeyerJoris VoornRichie Hawtin and more, will remain the same as it would have been at Elrow Friends & Family. The ticket exchange program will run until the club’s 800-capacity is reached.

Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer wins MITS Award

Rob Stringer
– Rob Stringer

The head of Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide, Rob Stringer, will accept this year’s Music Industry Trust Award at the annual ceremony in November, at London’s Grosvenor Hotel.

Stringer was appointed Sony Music CEO in October last year, after overseeing major successes including Adele’s 25 album, Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Blackstar, the final studio album by David Bowie, whom Stringer worked very closely with.

Stringer was also instrumental in the success of The Chainsmokers and Harry Styles.

David Munns, chairman of the MITS Award committee, commented: “Rob’s extraordinary perception of how talent and artistry develops has brought him to the pinnacle of achievement in the music business. He is acknowledged and admired by colleagues, peers and competitors alike, while artists around the world value his integrity and support. This is what we aim to recognize every year with the Music Industry Trusts Award, and there’s no one more deserving of the honor than Rob.”

AEG’s Toby Leighton-Pope, who’s also one of the deputy chairmen of the MITS, told Pollstar: “We didn’t deliberate at all on this one, Rob was an obvious choice as this year’s MITS recipient. His contribution and impact on the global music industry has been huge.

“Speaking personally, from very early in my career to the present day Rob has always given me time and advice whenever I needed it. He’s a great guy and a very worthy recipient.”

Stringer started his career in London at CBS Records as a graduate trainee in 1985. He became Managing Director of Epic Records in 1992, and chairman of Sony Music UK in 2001, working with UK acts such as The Clash, Manic Street PreachersJamiroquaiSade and George Michael.

He became chairman of Columbia Records in the U.S. in 2008, overseeing a roster including AC/DCBob DylanCeline DionPharrell Williams and Bruce Springsteen.

As MITS recipient, Stringer joins the ranks of Michael Eavis, Simon Cowell, Elton John, Lucian Grainge and Annie Lennox.

Stringer said “it is a true honor to join such illustrious company and be given the MITS Award this year.”

The prestigious award will be handed out for the 26th time this year, and all the proceeds from the MITS gala dinner will go to two UK charities, the BRIT Trust and Nordofff Robbins.