United Festival Force: Seven European Metal & Hard Rock Festivals Form Alliance

You can achieve more together.
Courtesy of Summer Breeze Open Air
– You can achieve more together.
Seven European Festivals have joined forces and formed the United Festival Force. Summer Breeze Open Air (pictured) is one of them.

Seven of Europe’s popular metal and hard rock festivals have decided to cooperate more closely going forward, with the main goal of making scheduling easier for bands and their teams.

Dubbed the United Festival Force (UFF), the alliance includes Alcatraz (Belgium), Bloodstock Open Air (UK), Brutal Assault (Czech Republic), Dynamo Metalfest (Netherlands), Leyendas del Rock (Spain), Motocultor Festival (France) and Summer Breeze Open Air (Germany).
The festivals’ promoters will meet every six months to form synergies around tour routing and make sure that coming to Europe in summer remains worthwhile for international bands.
All festivals part of the UFF take place within two weeks in August. In the past, bands would sometimes receive requests to perform at these events on the same day, and then be forced to leave one out. Avoiding lineup clashes is just one advantage of the closer communication the alliance will foster. It makes life easier for both the promoters and agents.
Summer Breeze Open Air CEO Achim Ostertag told Pollstar, “The biggest benefit of our cooperation is to make certain bands a subject of discussion for several of our own festival bookers before approaching the bands’ main booking agents. We’re able to show interest with offering a larger number of possible festival appearances to create reasonable routing and advanced touring plans for artists. We can also offer help to fill vacant show days before respective festival dates,” he explained, adding, “This will certainly be of advantage for oversea bands, especially US bands. We can act faster and earlier to ensure the required number of show dates, which naturally adds further income through fees for the artists.”
Scene from Alcatraz Festival 2019.
Eliaz Bruggeman
– Scene from Alcatraz Festival 2019.
The Belgium event is part of the United Festival Force.

Working more closely under the UFF banner will also facilitate a constant exchange of best practices around production, sponsoring, merchandising and more. It also helps with developing and executing new ideas such as the European Metal Festival Alliance formed in 2020 to create a joint streaming event in a year when all of the 13 participating events were forced to cancel.

According to Ostertag, “there’s always been great communication throughout the years between all partners of the UFF. But since forming the cooperation the general framework for all our festivals’ communication with one another has been enhanced even more. Increasing team spirit and solidarity are helping every single one of our festivals to stay independent. Together we are stronger.” 
The UFF also aims to find and foster up-and-coming bands together, and have them perform between the individual festivals, which will also benefit the local music scenes. Ostertag explained, “We believe in the importance of developing underground bands. All the UFF festivals thrive because we are in close contact with our fans and since we are all fans ourselves, it just makes sense to collaborate with music lovers throughout Europe without being led by major corporate interests. The passion that lies within all our festivals will be strong enough to build future headliners. That’s what we are aiming for.”