European Festivals: Reading & Leeds Sell Out, Download & Primavera Sound Postpone
Burak Cingi/Redferns – Post Malone at Reading Festival 2019.
The U.S. superstar is scheduled to return to Richfield Avenue in Reading, England, this year.
Two of the UK’s most beloved festivals, Reading and Leeds, announced that they would go ahead, Aug. 27-29, and almost all tickets have been snatched up in no time.
There are still tickets available for the Friday and Sunday at Leeds, while the twin event in Reading is completely sold out. Both events traditionally share the lineup, which currently bills Stormzy, Lewis Capaldi, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Disclosure, Queens of the Stone Age, Post Malone and many more.
Katja Ogrin/Redferns – Leeds Festival 2019
Fans are enjoying a performance by Twenty One Pilots on the main stage at Bramham Park in Leeds, England, Aug. 25.
Promoter Festival Republic announced that both events would be going ahead after the UK government published its roadmap out of lockdown, which, in the best-case scenario will lift all Covid related restriction in the country by June 21.
A source with UK industry knowledge told Pollstar the events sold some 70,000 tickets in 24 hours, which should encourage everyone doubting that fans, at least the young demographic, would be quick to return to live.
The on-sale for a few scheduled test events in The Netherlands confirms this impression: Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome will host a test dance event March 6-7 with a 1,300 capacity on each night. Two open air event will be tested at the site of Lowlands festival, March 13-14, with a capacity of 1,500 each day. Makes a total of 5,600 available tickets, for which some 250,000 people had applied, according to Pollstar sources.
Tickets for Festival Republic’s Latitude Festival, scheduled for July 22-25 at Henham Park in Suffolk, are still on sale, as well. However, the Live Nation-owned promoter had to cancel Download Festival. Its early-June date wouldn’t have made the event viable, as the government plan wouldn’t allow for outdoor shows bigger than 4,000-cap at that stage.
The new dates have been set for June 10-12, 2022. Kiss, Iron Maiden and Biffy Clyro have been billed as headliners.
Also in the UK, the people behind Mint Warehouse in Leeds are hosting a one-day open-air event, the Newsam Park Open Air Festival, which “has been sanctioned by all relevant authorities and will happen,” according to the announcement.
Sven Väth, Jamie Jons, Denis Sulta, Nightmares On Wax (DJ Set), and others are set to perform at Newsam Park, just outside the city of Leeds.
The scenic site offers vast space for two stages, dubbed The Garden and The Lake, “with a final capacity to be decided closer to the time pending the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine program,” according to the announcement, which continues, “the team has taken every precaution including acquiring the most efficient rapid Coronavirus test kits available for use on the day if necessary.”
Originally scheduled as a two-day event, the Newsam Park Open Air Festival has been rescheduled to take place as a one-day event on July 10.
Carla Speight/Redferns – John Giddings on the main stage of his own festival.
The Solo Agency founder was announcing Jess Glynn cancelling her main stage performance at Isle of Wight Festival 2019.
Another UK staple event hoping that the country will stick to its reopening roadmap is The Isle Of Wight Festival, which moved from its usual mid-June date to Sept. 16-19.
The lineup currently features Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, Duran Duran, The Script and many more.
Festival director and owner John Giddings told BBC Radio 6 Music at the beginning of the year, “I want it for the general public to be safe to come to a festival. I don’t want someone to give me a load of money not to do a show. Who does that help?
“Giving people money just means their children, and their children’s children are going to be paying for it for the rest of their lives. That doesn’t get us anywhere.”
He was interviewed after tweeting that festival and venue operators were ideally positioned to help the UK vaccinate its population. He said if 50% of the population got vaccinated, the other half could be rapid tested on site.
Moving to mainland Europe, Primavera Sound, Spain’s flagship festival, announced its postponement to 2022. The festival and its fans are still waiting to hold the event’s 20th anniversary celebrations, which should have taken place last year, of course.
The current restrictions in Spain doesn’t allow the promoters to “work normally on the preparation of the festival nor ensure that, once the date arrives, it can be celebrated,” according to an announcement.
Primavera’s promoter have left no stone unturned, leading a clinical trial at the Apolo in Barcelona in December with a 500-cap indoor audience. Organisers say they’ve maintained constant contact with the health authorities to explore all possible solutions since.
“But the twentieth anniversary of Primavera Sound deserves a party like the ones we are used to, and the global situation does not seem favourable to allowing something like this to happen this summer. At least not in a way in which we can live the full Primavera Sound experience,” the announcement states.