Murielle Gonzalez

Online Content Editor

“Blurring genres drives growth”

David Lindsay, senior consultant at AMR International, led the research team that worked on the white paper ‘North American Festivals: Routes to Success in an Evolving Market’ which the strategy agency released in November this year.

The document revealed four elements for making a festival profitable in the long-term and Lindsay believes the findings are valid for the industry as a whole.

Speaking with Access, Lindsay explains how the findings relate to the UK festival market. He also suggests what organisers can do to drive growth.

Commenting on the motivation behind the study, he says: “The festival sector is an industry that is under-reported. We find press coverage on festival cancellation or market trends talking about oversaturation, but we couldn’t find research that drill down into why these issues were happening, and what organisers can do to drive growth.”

Festivalization of events

ARM tends to focus on the B2B side of the events industry; the white paper is its first approach to the festival market.

“We have always looked at exhibitions, conferences, and actually, one of the big trends that we have found in the exhibition space is what we call “festivalization” of the live events,” Lindsay comments. “We have found that organisers are bringing elements of a festival into the exhibition.”

The trend, according to Lindsay, is that trade shows are becoming more experiential. “Adding concerts or musical performances, and even staging the event on innovative locations, is something we see more frequently in the exhibition market and across the corporate event sector as well.”

Lindsay believes that understanding the festival market will help organisers of festivals and exhibitions alike.

The experience is king

The white paper outlines four elements as the key drivers of growth in the festival market:

  • Visitor experience: Providing a high quality and differentiated visitor experience is crucial to attracting visitors in a crowded market.
  • Visitor numbers: Growing visitor numbers not only drive higher ticket revenues but also increases the festival’s attractiveness to sponsors.
  • Sponsorships or grants: Sponsorship provides an additional revenue stream which helps drive the profitability of a festival. Grants can help smaller events remain viable
  • Festival investment: Continual investment into the festival experience is key in gaining or maintaining a competitive advantage.

Firefly Music Festival (Red Frog Events/Goldenvoice) has tripled its attendance from 30,000 visitors in 2012 to 90,000 visitors in 2015 by focusing on enhancing the visitor experience

“The festival is an overcrowded market in theUS, and so it is in the UK. One of the key findings of the white paper is the optimisation of the visitor experience,” Lindsay says. “We realised that everything from a revenue perspective falls into that.”

The ability to offer a unique experience puts in motion the other the elements that contribute to driving growth. “When a festival offers an experience that is unique, it attracts visitor numbers and ticket sales are around 50%-80% of the revenue. Once you have the numbers you have a captive audience, and that drives sponsorship revenue as well,” Lindsay explains, adding that having diverse captive audience finances further investments into activities and events that enhance the visitor experience. “It’s a virtuous circle,” he observes.

How do you optimise the visitor experience?
DL: It’s about blurring festivals genre, that’s a big trend at the moment. No longer you have music festivals that are purely one genre. Now a music festival has pop-up Michelin star restaurants, art installation, interactive video game arcade, you have sports events, volleyball tournaments for example, so a huge part of the success of a festival is blurring the experience; making it more multifaceted.

Why is blurring genre important?
DL: Because it does several things. Blurring genres not only enhances the experience on offer from the entertainment perspective but most importantly it allows the organiser to attract a broader customer base. In the context of changing customer trends and newer generations, if you can blur your genres you can attract the next generation of visitors. That’s important for the long-term revenue growth. It also builds customers’ loyalty.

What is the role of technology in driving growth?
DL: Technology can improve the visitor experience. Today organisers have access to wristband technology that improves queueing time. Technology allows organisers to capture data to understand customers’ trends. Technology provides a year-round round platform of visitors data and with that organisers can understand trends and adjust the lineup to what customers want. Technology itself can be monetised and provides a market platform to drive revenue growth which can be put back as an investment for the event.

That is the virtuous circle that the white paper describes?
DL: That’s it. Put on a festival that offers a unique and different experience, and you are going to get the visitors numbers that will attract sponsorship funding. Use technology to capture visitors’ data and adapt the lineup and side events accordingly. So, having the visitor experience facilitated by technology and blurring the festival genre is one thing. The other key element is the idea of revenue diversification.

How does the concept of festivalization apply to the festival market?
DL: Festivals are increasingly becoming a marketing platform. The more you blur the event, they wider your target audience builds up for marketing. If not, the organiser would need to find a very specialised niche audience to have a market behind to support it.


Firefly offers non-music forms of entertainment such as air-conditioned vintage arcades (pictured above), a coffee house featuring board games, and other activities such as volleyball tournaments as well as morning yoga sessions

Diversify revenue stream

The festival market is polarised. Large organisers like AEG and Live Nation are dominating the market, internationally. Both companies have demonstrated that having clear business strategies bring positive results. Lindsay explains: “AEG and Live Nation are examples of how organisers can diversify their revenue stream. For example, when Live Nation acquired Ticketmaster the organiser was able to get a stream of revenue when a competitor put on an event via ticket fees.”

Do you think the market is inevitably one for large organisers?
DL: The consolidation happened so fast. AEG and Live Nation have acquired a bunch of other festivals in the past, and that has largely slowed down recently. Definitely, there is space for small festivals, and I think you will always have small organisers. The problem is that the market is very volatile and affected by weather shock, security shocks, trend shocks, etc. It is a pretty risky business, and I think smaller organisers can learn a lot from the paper.

What is the primary challenge moving forward?
DL: Headline talent. The artist fee is the largest single cost item for a music festival, by far. Also, the trend is that they ask for the fees to be paid upfront. The problem is that it is hard for organisers to determine the interest (value) of the artist by the time the event takes place. You don’t know the ROI with headline artists because when the show comes up they might have gone down in popularity. The number of headline artist is fairly fixed year-on-year, so it’s a case of demand/supply miss alignment.

What is the next area of the festival market that AMR would like to study?
DL: It would be interesting to see how the definition of a festival will change in the near future. You can’t call a sporting event a festival, but as it happens in trade shows we might see a festivalization of non-festivals. You used to go to a football match and have a hotdog on the stand, now you have a performance beforehand. I think the festivalization of the wider events industry is an interesting next step. I wonder how festival organisers can play a part in that.

Lindsay believes that festival organisers might be able to lend their experience to sporting events, B2B events, and exhibitions. “I think in the future there is more dialogue between B2B and B2C events,” he concludes.

North American Festivals: Routes to Success in an Evolving Market is available as a free download from the AMR website.

Lumiere London 2018: sneak preview

Impulse by Lateral Office & CS Design

Impulse by Lateral Office & CS Design. Photo: Ulysse Lemerise

Artichoke, the production company behind the upcoming Lumiere London, has revealed ten of the artworks coming to the UK capital for the outdoor light festival. The event will be staged across the city from 18-21 January 2018.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has hailed the next outdoor lighting show as one of the most spectacular free events ever to take place in the city.

“The incredible line-up of artworks announced gives a flavour of what an amazing and international festival Lumiere London 2018 will be. Even bigger, brighter and bolder than its inaugural event, we will see some show-stopping installations reimagining London’s iconic architecture and streets,” mayor Khan said. “I’m also delighted that this year we are organising community projects in outer London boroughs to ensure that as many Londoners as possible can get involved with this world-class event. Festivals like this showcase London at its international, creative and open best.”

The newly-revealed works include:

  • Interactive illuminated singing see-saws in South Molton Street in Mayfair
  • An immersive work that imagines a world underwater at King’s Cross
  • A meditation on time from the Industrial Revolution to the present day projected onto the iconic Hotel Café Royal building on Regent Street
  • Flamingos flying through Chinatown London
  • A triptych of animated self-portraits in Leake Street
  • Matisse-inspired animation dancing across the facade of the Royal Academy of Arts on Piccadilly

Commissioned by the Mayor of London, and produced by Artichoke, Lumiere London is the capital’s largest art event.

Second outing

Next Lumiere London 2018 builds on the success of the first Lumiere London in January 2016. The inaugural event saw 1.3 million visits over the four nights and a visitor spend of £22m. More than 40 artworks made using the medium of light, will explore the city’s most iconic buildings, landscape and architecture.

Free to attend, the event has received support from London & Partners, London’s West End, King’s Cross and Bloomberg Philanthropies with additional support provided by a host of partners and funders including Wellcome, The Fitzrovia Partnership and the Victoria, South Bank and Waterloo BIDs, Cain International, Marriott and Universal Music.

Helen Marriage, Artichoke CEO and Lumiere London artistic director, commented: “It’s exciting and unusual to be working at this scale and Lumiere London is more than a light festival. It’s an exploration of the city by artists and audiences that transforms our public spaces from King’s Cross to the Southbank via London’s West End, Mayfair, Victoria and Waterloo.

“From the playful to the thought-provoking, the artistic programme will present our city to the world as a public gallery without walls.”

The festival features artists from across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Canada amongst others.

Artichoke is working with Team London, the Mayor’s volunteering programme for London, to recruit around 300 volunteers from across the capital to help make the festival a success.

Waterlicht Daan Roosegaarde

Waterlicht Daan Roosegaarde

Across the city

The second edition of Lumiere London extends from North to South across the River Thames through six areas:

  • King’s Cross, Fitzrovia
  • London’s West End (including Carnaby, Chinatown London, Leicester Square, Mayfair, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, St James’s, St James’s Square, St James’s Market and Seven Dials)
  • Westminster & Victoria
  • Southbank & Waterloo.

Londoners will also have the opportunity to take part in the creation of a number of festival artworks.

The London Boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Redbridge and Waltham Forest will be supporting a programme of community activities to help produce a series of choreography and performance workshops to create the glowingly beautiful Umbrella Project by Bristol-based Cirque Bijou, roaming artworks that will pop-up in Piccadilly and Fitzrovia locations during the festival.

They will also help create Bottle Festoon, installations of shimmering chandeliers made from recycled plastic bottles as well as.

Bottle Festoon will also be supported in Croydon, by The Croydon Partnership, as part of a one-day light festival taking place on Thornton Heath following Lumiere London at the end of January. The Thornton Heath light festival will also give Londoners a further opportunity to see a version of Leicester Square’s extraordinary Nightlife commission, created by Jo Pocock and the Lantern Company for Leicester Square Gardens, which celebrates the wonders of the natural world, creating a wild space in the heart of the city. Lanterns from this work will transfer to the Thornton Heath light festival, supported by London Borough of Croydon.

The latest works to be revealed are:

  • Voyage by Camille Gross & Leslie Epzstein (France), Hotel Café Royal, Regent Street: Located in the heart of London’s West End, Voyage is inspired by our physical journey through time and space: from the Industrial Revolution, through the Belle Epoque, arriving at the present day. It is characterised by the immediate and frantic speed of travel, all measured by the rhythmic movement of a giant illuminated clock and projected onto the facade of the Hotel Café Royal building on Regent Street.
  • Ruby, Santiago by Emma Allen (UK) and Adam: Grey Matters by Emma Allen and Daisy Thompson-Lake, triptych of work in Leake Street, underneath Waterloo Station: Emma Allen, a multidisciplinary artist based between Sri Lanka and London, uses her own face as a living canvas to explore ideas of rebirth and renewal. Through 750 photographs Ruby sees her painted face transform from a skull into a sky full of shooting stars, while Santiago traces the history of humankind mapped out from the single cell origin of life to a digitally enhanced and technologically defined future. Adam: Grey Matters is a new animated portrait that seeks to remove the social stigma accompanying mental health issues by creating artistic impressions of the underlying neurobiological processes of depression. Supported by LCR and We are Waterloo.
  • Waterlicht by Daan Roosegaarde (Netherlands), King’s Cross: Inspired by our changing relationship to water and the risk of global warming and rising sea levels. Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde will transform Granary Square into an ethereal dream-like landscape. Waterlicht underlines the power and poetry of water, enveloping viewers in a virtual flood whilst contemplating its potential for the future: Can we build floating cities? How much power can we generate from the movement of water? For a fully immersive experience, the public is encouraged to use their mobile devices and headphones to tune into the accompanying soundtrack. Supported by The Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Supercube Stephane Masson Lumiere Durham 2015. Produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews

  • Cosmoscope by Simeon Nelson (UK), Store Street Crescent: A team of artists and scientists led by Simeon Nelson and including academics from UCL, University of Oxford and Durham University are behind this bold new commission supported by Wellcome. Taking inspiration from science, from the microscopic cell to the beating of the human heart and through to the rhythm of the cosmos, Cosmoscope is accompanied by a stunning soundscape.
  • Northern Lights by Aleksandra Stratimirovic (Sweden), Grosvenor Square, Mayfair: Inspired by the enthralling experience of viewing the aurora borealis, Swedish artist Aleksandra Stratimirovic will recreate this spectacular and poetic natural light phenomenon in Grosvenor Square. Passers-by will be able to experience the wonder and magic of the shimmering northern lights in a city and a place where they would never naturally appear. The installation will interact with the surrounding environment, moving and dancing across the space and, just like the lights of the aurora borealis, the flow of movements will take audiences by surprise, vanishing and suddenly reappearing unpredictably. In collaboration with Light Art Collection, part of the Amsterdam Light Festival.
  • Love Motion by Rhys Coren (UK), Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly: The iconic art institution on Piccadilly will become the canvas for a brand new installation specially commissioned in partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts and completed by postgraduate student Rhys Coren. Inspired by the flowing lyrical movements of Matisse’s dancing figures, Coren has created an animation of two intricately paper-cut figures who will dance elegantly across the building’s stone facade, clasping each other in romantic embrace. Accompanied by a moving and original soundtrack Love Motion will present a joyful burst of simple pleasure on a cold, dark wintery night.
  • Supercube by Stéphane Masson(France), St James’s Market, St James’s: French artist Stéphane Masson has been hijacking everyday objects for art projects since 2004, devoting his practice to making the familiar unfamiliar. For Supercube, Masson will transform 450 ordinary Kilner jars into a magical multi-screen cube full of surprises. A miniature giraffe, a pink elephant or a miniature version of yourself are just some of the many small moving images that can be found when you peer inside one of Masson’s multi-coloured jars. His previous works include The Aquarium Car (La Voiture Aquarium), Kissing Lamps (Les Lampadaires à Bisous) and interactive video recording The Box of Words.
Umbrella Project by Cirque Bijou.

Umbrella Project by Cirque Bijou. Courtesy of Artichoke

  • Impulse by Lateral Office & CS Design (Canada), South Molton Street, Mayfair: Co-created by Canadian design practices, Lateral Office and CS Design, Impulse is a field of illuminated interactive seesaws that invite the public to find their inner-child and play in an urban, public space. The more they move, the more light and sound is produced, to create a kinetic and dynamic experience that is different for each user. Situated on South Molton Street, just off Oxford Street, the installation creates an intimate space for imaginative play where adults and children alike can experiment to create harmonic patterns through collective movement.
  • Flamingo Flyway by Lantern Company (UK), Chinatown London: Created by the ever-imaginative Jo Pocock and the Lantern Company, these extraordinary flame-coloured birds will waft serenely amongst the crowds in Chinatown London at the heart of London’s West End.
  • The Umbrella Project by Cirque Bijou (UK), Piccadilly, Fitzrovia and King’s Cross: This year’s festival will ensure that all Londoners are included in the fun through a series community participation projects that will engage residents in several Outer London Boroughs. The Umbrella Project is a choreographed performance piece using LED umbrellas by Bristol-based Cirque Bijou. Cirque Bijou will work with community groups in Redbridge, Greenwich, Lambeth and Waltham Forest through a series of choreography and performance workshops to create glowingly beautiful artworks that will pop-up in Piccadilly and Fitzrovia.
  • Bottle Festoon (UK) across various locations: installations of chandeliers made from recycled plastic bottles, with the participation of community groups from the London Boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Redbridge, and Waltham Forest, also supported by the Croydon Partnership and exhibited in locations in King’s Cross, Fitzrovia and Mayfair.

The full programme will be revealed in January 2018.

GRUB Manchester announces winter beer festival

GRUB Manchester, the street food and drinks events company founded in 2014, has confirmed that the second outing of its Winter Beer Festival will take place in January 2018. The event will open at Fairfield Social Club, the organiser’s own events space.

A street food and drinks events company, GRUB was established by husband and wife Jason Bailey and Juliana Bailey after a successful run as street food traders themselves.

“This is the second Winter Beer Festival with the first being back in 2015 at Runaway Brewery,” the Baileys told Access. “This event is both a celebration of fantastic, independently produced beer as well as a mark of how far GRUB has come in the last three years.”

GRUB has teamed up with Tryanuary to promote the idea that the general public should be sampling the best local beer they can get their hands on in January rather than abstaining which causes immense pressure for the pub, bar and brewery sector at this time of year.

The festival will take place from 19-21 January 2018 across four sessions. It will feature 24 keg and eight cask lines in a showcase of the best winter beers from local and international breweries.

The organisers are also lining up a selection of street food traders and DJs for the event. More details will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Drink and food festival

GRUB focuses its business on providing an inclusive, festival style atmosphere. “The events are supported by exceptional food and drink supplied by truly independent producers and chefs,” the Baileys told Access.

In addition to this, GRUB is committed to assisting and mentoring street food traders in order to support the grass roots food & drink community of Manchester.

Just over a year ago GRUB launched GRUB Food Fair. The regular street food event quickly grew from being monthly to weekly to being invited to be the first tenants in the new, high-profile Mayfield development just three minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly Station.

In October 2017, GRUB launched Fairfield Social Club, its own full-time events space, which is also geared towards supporting grass roots musicians whilst also providing top quality food and drink.

Spektrum Talent enters the market

Matt Abbott, co CEO of Spektrum Talent

Spektrum Talent co-founder Matt Abbott

Spektrum Talent is a new agency from the founders of Label Worx and York Artist Management.

Co-founded by Label Worx’s Matt Abbott and York Artist Management’s Phil York, Spektrum Talent builds on over two decade’s worth of experience in artist management, bookings, label management and distribution as Beatport’s largest supplier of dance music.

The new company launches to be a new breed of booking and management agency. The agency will be handling every aspect of an artist’s career from the building blocks of their music, brand and social media to breaking new global markets and exposing them to new fans around the world.

Abbott and York commented: “We believe the key to being a more successful artist lies in synchronicity. Traditionally, booking agents look after bookings; managers look after your busy schedule and releases; PR teams look after your brand and social media, and a distributor makes sure your music is in the right place.

“This usually means nothing is fully working in sync. By bringing everything in-house at Spektrum, we can ensure that everything lines up perfectly, giving our artists peace of mind and allowing them to completely focus on creating and performing.”

As the co-CEO of Label Worx alongside Chris Chambers, Matt Abbott’s vision and determination have resulted in Label Worx becoming the biggest and most successful digital distributor in dance music.

Abbott has recently been re-elected to the board of the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) to serve the second of his two-year terms.

The director and founder of York Artist Management, Phil York has built his agency from a small underground management company into one of the world’s leading boutique booking agencies in the space of just over six years.

Already signed to Spektrum are a number of cutting-edge electronic artists including:

  • DJ S.K.T (Kiss FM, Defected)
  • Gaist (Elevate, IAMT), GAWP (Dirtybird, This Ain’t Bristol)
  • Jerome Isma-ae (Jee Productions, Suara)
  • Mindek (Stashed, Whartone)
  • Rene Amesz (Toolroom, Suara)
  • Son Of 8 (Armada Deep, SPRS)

Label Worx’s storied history in A&R and music distribution will ensure that Spektrum artists’ music will be exploited through every possible channel in harmony their performance schedule.

The full range of benefits offered by Spektrum can be individually tailored to an artist’s needs, with services including:

  • Full label management
  • Access to world-class mixing and mastering engineers
  • Targeted Spotify marketing and banner placement
  • Social media verification
  • Printed press and online PR
  • DJ chart featuring and placement
  • Advice on forthcoming music trends
  • Close relationships with top labels to help get your music signed
  • Social media tools & advice for advanced fan engagement
  • Release marketing
  • Help building & maintaining streaming profile & Spotify management
  • Release strategies around tours & key events
  • Social, Live & DJ Mag streaming events

Spektrum Talent is also recruiting a booking agent to pro-actively find and handle booking requests for its roster of talent, with a minimum of two years’ experience as an agent in the electronic music scene in the UK and Europe.

Parklife to announce “big plans” for 2018

Parklife, Manchester’s music festival, has announced that “big plans” for the festival’s eighth edition are set to be revealed in the New Year. The event takes place on 9-10 June 2018.

Taking place within the city’s Heaton Park, Parklife builds on its reputation as one of the UK’s leading summer festivals.

The event sees its music offering explore a mix of hip-hop, grime, pop, indie and electronic music.

A festival that truly embodies the impassioned spirit of Manchester, each edition has sold out year on year, the organiser claimed.

Parklife boasts a total of 16 areas spread across two days of music as well as a VIP arena that offers exclusive attractions and special guest DJs.

“For 2018, Parklife continues to grow and fans can expect a world-class selection of artists plus an all-new theme to mark the occasion,” the organiser said in a statement.

Walking with Dinosaurs chooses Ticket Zone

Wayne Munday.COO Ticket Zone

Wayne Munday.COO Ticket Zone

Ticket Zone has joined forces with the Walking with Dinosaurs live tour 2018 to provide dedicated trade desk services for the live tour. The service includes multi-channel, web and phone sales, contact centre sales and customer service and an event branded website/page on the Ticket Zone website.

Wayne Munday, COO at Ticket Zone, commented: “Ticket Zone are thrilled to announce our partnership with Walking with the Dinosaurs. It’s an incredible show, bringing magnificent creatures back to life for one final time.”

The trade desk service is available to both producers and event organisers, and centrally manages the sale of tickets through a network of authorised primary ticket agents in the UK.

Wayne Munday, COO at Ticket Zone, commented: “Ticket Zone are thrilled to announce our partnership with Walking with Dinosaurs. It’s an incredible show, bringing magnificent creatures back to life for one final time.”

According to Ticket Zone, the trade desk service reduces the complexity and cost of dealing with multiple ticket agents – at the same time, it enables acts, events and tours to reach highly targeted communities of ticket purchasers and event goers, with the goal of achieving greater sales.

Munday added: “Providing trade desk services is one of our specialisms, with a tried and tested distribution service throughout a network of all the UK’s top ticket agencies. With over 35 years’ in the industry, we’ve learned how to adapt and tailor our services to the client.”

On tour

The $20 million production Walking with Dinosaurs will begin its final tour in July next year, where it will have its final performance in December 2018.

It has been immensely popular across the world, attracting over 9 million people in more than 250 cities.

The project features new, state-of-the-art technology, making this the biggest and best dinosaur show in the world.

The show also stars TV celebrity Michaela Strachan, who will appear at all performances with the exception of the 11 am shows.

Established in 1988, Ticket Zone provides companies with a mix and match approach towards ticketing, including ticket sales, trade desk services (agent distribution), ticket fulfilment, contact centre and customer services, allowing clients to select services to match their need and budget.

Tall Ships Races Sunderland offers business opportunities

Event in July 2018 is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors. Copyright 2017 © Valery Vasilevsky and Sail Training International

Local businesses are being urged to take advantage of the opportunities that The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 and the 30th annual Sunderland International Airshow will bring to the city.

Next July, around 1.5 million visitors are expected to attend the sailing event which is being held in the Port of Sunderland. Up to a further 1million visitors are expected at the spectacular airshow.

Offers are invited for catering and bar concessions at sites across the city. Suppliers are being asked to come forward with a broad range of high-quality catering and bar concessions.

The event organisers are looking in particular for those selling local, international or unusual and quirky goods.

Businesses are also encouraged to bid for spaces available for them to exhibit and trade their goods and services to visitors from across the region and beyond.

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Mel Speding, said this is a fantastic opportunity for businesses across the city to get involved in these first class events.

Speding added: “They promise to be among the biggest free family events in the UK in 2018 and I urge local businesses and suppliers to make the most of it.

“With crews, pilots, teams and visitors from across Europe and beyond. A full entertainment programme and of course the magnificent ships and spectacular flying displays themselves, promise to be truly memorable occasions.”

The proposed event zones include The Port of Sunderland, The East End, St Peter’s (University of Sunderland) and along the coastline from Roker to Seaburn.

Closing date for all applications is Monday 29 January 2018.

Secret Solstice announces return of side events in 2018

Iceland’s Secret Solstice, the music festival held during 96 hours of straight sunlight in Reykjavik,  has announced the return of its signature side events, Into The Glacier and The Lava Tunnel.

Heading to its fifth edition, Secret Solstice will take place on 21-24 June 2018. The show combines a world-class music festival with the many one-of-a-kind attractions that the land of fire and ice has to offer.

Recently nominated by The European Festival Awards, the carbon-neutral festival attracts visitors from across the world keen to dance in the rays of the never-setting midnight sun.

The organiser has secured a world-class and diverse musical lineup and the programme offers festivalgoers a chance for experiencing many of the country’s extraordinary environmental attractions.

Side events

Utilizing the country’s stunning natural settings and spaces, Into the Glacier and The Lava Tunnel cater to both music and nature lovers, offering once in a lifetime, jaw-dropping experiences.

For thousands of years what lay beneath the surface of the Langjökull glacier was considered a mystery and it was only recently that humans were able to see the spectacular blue ice buried 130-feet beneath the surface.

Equally as breathtaking, the journey into the magnificent lava caves at Raufarhólshellir is a chance to witness what happens underground during a volcanic eruption which results in natural ice sculptures and stalactites in connecting lava tubes that form natural subterranean arteries.

Into The Glacier opens on Saturday 23 June and The Lava Tunnel will is on Saturday 23 and 24 June.

Full lineup for the Secret Solstice festival is yet to be announced.

Losberger De Boer: sustainability, aesthetics and functionality


Losberger De Boer delivers 20,000 sq m of temporary event space for COP23 in Bonn. Photo credit WOLKENKRATZER/Klaus Göhring

Losberger De Boer has delivered the temporary structure for the World Climate Change Conference 2017 (COP23). Diplomats, politicians and representatives of civil society from all over the world negotiated in Bonn from 6 to 17 November 2017.

The gathering was the largest intergovernmental conference ever held in Germany.

The conference had a dual concept – namely action and negotiation – and there were two main zones: The ‘Bula’ zone was located between the World Conference Center Bonn and the United Nations Campus. This was the negotiation area of COP23.

The ‘Bonn Zone’ was staged in the Rheinaue Park, and it hosted the showcase of projects for implementation and approaches to solving problems.

In the German pavilion alone – located in the ‘Bonn’ Zone – more than 60 events on the subject of climate protection took place.

The project

Losberger De Boer developed conference and event areas for the Bonn Zone for over 150 exhibitors from 25 countries who are presenting their developments in sustainability relating to specific projects and approaches to solutions.

To achieve this, 43 tents and halls with a total size of over 20,000 sq m were combined to make an innovative, temporary space solution that unites sustainability, aesthetics and functionality.

Photo credit WOLKENKRATZER/Klaus Göhring

The centre of the Bonn Zone consisted of a twin-aisle great hall structure, welcoming visitors to the central accreditation in three languages with its 2.45 m high parapet. The catering area was also accommodated in here on two levels. Up to 1,500 people could be catered for at any time here.

The second floor was made accessible with the installation of a six-metre-high electric lift which was installed especially for the purpose of the temporary hall structure.

The two great halls were not only captivating with their attractive, cubic design but also made a considerable contribution to the sustainability sentiment of the COP23. By using thermal roof covers, thermal wall elements and heat protection glazing, the structures helped improve energy efficiency in 8,500 m2 of event floor space.

Up to 114 metre-long walkways led to the conference area. Transparent, translucent roof covers were integrated into the roof spaces at frequent intervals, bringing the daylight inside and saving energy that would otherwise be used for artificial light, again contributing to the sustainability sentiment of COP23.

The conference building concept consisted of temporary units of various dimensions, adjusted precisely to the space required for the event. It offered enough space for conferences and meetings, but also for catering, quiet zones and a trade fair and exhibition area.

Losberger De Boer said it may well be able to set an example for future climate conferences in terms of the sustainability aspect. The company is certified to DIN ISO 14001 and its activities are sustainable, both ecologically and economically.

Photo credit WOLKENKRATZER/Klaus Göhring

Efficiency and sustainability

Altogether, 25 members of staff created over 20,000 sq m of temporary conference and event space in nine weeks, helped to improve energy efficiency.

The aim was to build on the large flower meadow in the Rheinaue Park in the most environmentally friendly way possible and to re-cultivate it after the project by the BMUB.

The hall and tent landscapes were erected on frames and access to the site was aided by roads. In addition to the cleverly thought out logistics concept, Losberger De Boer was also responsible for other works, such as parts of the interior design, floor coverings and the security measures in the entrance area.

Boomtown gets Gorillaz headline show

Lions Den, Boomtown 2017. Photo credit Jody Hartley

Lion’s Den, Boomtown 2017. Photo credit Jody Hartley

Boomtown Fair has announced that Gorillaz has signed up for a one-off UK exclusive performance at the Lion’s Den stage. The 60,000 capacity festival will take place over 9- 12 August 2018 at the Matterley Estate in Hampshire.

‘Having the Gorillaz perform on our newly rebuilt Lion’s Den arena is beyond anything we could have imagined when we first started 10 years ago!” the organiser said. “It’s unbelievably exciting to start collaborating for this one off show next summer and to delve into all the ways in which we can make the very most of the similarities between our musical styles and story-based performance!’

The collaboration of both Boomtown and Gorillaz is an exciting mix, with both outfits shining a light on a host of underground artists from an eclectic range of musical genres throughout the past decade.

Both having a strong emphasis on politically tinged narrative and characterisation, with a supreme dedication to ensuring the highest production levels are brought to every show.

Heading into its tenth chapter, Boomtown provides a platform for underground music.Art, theatre and performance in a living, breathing, fictitious city is brought to life by hundreds of performers throughout nine themed districts and immersive street sets.

Over the years the festival has consistently challenged festival norms, proving popular with festivalgoers from all over the globe.

So far ahead of the 2018 event, the festival has seen a record-breaking 50 per cent of tickets already sold.