This year’s edition of Download in Germany, the second offshoot edition of the long-running UK rock festival brand, has been cancelled, with organisers citing production issues caused by a busy summer season.
Slipknot, Parkway Drive, Volbeat and The Prodigy were due to headline the event, which would’ve taken place over two days for the first time, from 23 and 24 June at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine Valley near the town of Hockenheim.
“Despite the first-class line-up, the massive number of open-air events made organisation and implementation considerably more difficult this summer,” reads a statement from Download Germany organisers Live Nation GSA. “Unfortunately, the associated technical production obstacles proved to be insurmountable.”
Other major festivals that will not return in 2023 include Falls Festival (Australia), Rolling Loud (US), Summerburst (Sweden), Hills of Rock (Bulgaria), InMusic (Croatia), Wireless Germany, Hear Hear (Belgium) and Tempelhof Sounds and Tempelhof Sounds Presents (Germany).
FKP Scorpio CEO Folkert Koopmans recently laid bare the post-pandemic financial struggles faced by festivals, estimating that only 20% are still profitable.
Koopmans revealed that FKP’s flagship festival Hurricane lost money in 2022 despite selling out and warned that the sector is being “overwhelmed by spiralling costs”.
“THE ASSOCIATED TECHNICAL PRODUCTION OBSTACLES PROVED TO BE INSURMOUNTABLE”
“We’re struggling with it, trying to keep the costs under control,” he said. “But it’s incredibly difficult. Of course, we also have an extremely high break-even point.”
Fellow German promoter DreamHaus (Rock am Ring/Rock im Park) previously revealed that production costs increased 25–30% for this year’s festival season.
“There are not that many suppliers that can supply festivals of our size so we’re also in a corner, where we can take it or leave it,” said DreamHaus’s Catharine Krämer.
“We could lower the cost of the whole festival experience but this would have a significant impact on the whole quality of it.”
Download Germany is the fourth sister event (after Melbourne, Sydney and Paris) of the UK’s premier rock festival, which returns next week for a 20th edition.
The anniversary event, which takes place over four days for the first time ever, became the fastest-selling in Download’s history.
More than 60 acts have been confirmed for Download Festival 2023, including headliners Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot and Metallica, with the latter playing two unique sets on the Thursday and Saturday nights.
Architects, Evanescence, Disturbed, Placebo, Parkway Drive and Ghost are also billed to perform at the event, set for 8–11 June at Donington Park in Leicestershire.
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