Tuesday, 20 January 2015

LeeFest rests to grow, Sonisphere has no acts to show, Barcelona Metal clobbered by VAT and fees

LeeFest is to take a year off in 2015 before moving to a new, bigger site in 2016. Headlined in 2014 by Frightened Rabbit and The Cribs, the festival has grown in size in it’s 8 years from a party in organiser Lee Denny’s back garden to a 2500 capacity weekender with camping. Upon confirming that the event will be taking a fallow year, Lee Denny said in a statement: “After an amazing five years the event has outgrown its current home at Highams Farm, and the time has come to move on”. He continued, “We’re gutted that we won’t get to see you all this summer, but this will serve to make LeeFest all the more awesome. The festival is still being run entirely by volunteers, despite its unbelievable growth, so we often don’t get a chance to work on the big picture stuff. This is a unique opportunity for us to make LeeFest more sustainable, more creative and even more ambitious in the long term”.

The promoters of Sonisphere have confirmed that there will be no UK edition of the metal fest this year, after failing to secure suitable headliners to lead the event. The 2012 UK edition of Sonisphere was cancelled , as was 2013 in the UK. but last summer Iron Maiden, Metallica and The Prodigy headlined a special edition designed to celebrate 40 years of rock music at its English base Knebworth Park. In a statement organisers said "Team Sonisphere reluctantly confirm that Sonisphere will not take place in the UK in 2015. We've been working hard to get a line-up that we felt was good enough but also on a weekend which would avoid other events that we know rock fans would want to support" addeding "Unfortunately our last irons in the fire have just been extinguished and it's clear that we won't be in a position to run the event this year. We've said in the past that Sonisphere will only go ahead if we feel it is going to be good enough and that hasn't changed. We hope all rock fans have a great summer with all the festivals and concerts already in the calendar and we plan to see you all in 2016".

And the Barcelona Metal Festival has announced that it will also not take place in 2015. Launched last year, with its first edition headlined by Within Temptation, organisers have blamed the ever increasing artiste fees and Spain's high VAT rate for the cancellation. A statement on the event's website reads: "The conditions were not favourable for us to be able to hold this second edition in 2015 in the manner we would have liked. The proliferation across Europe of festivals of this genre, the increase in the fees of many bands and the fact that Spain has the highest rate of VAT in Europe on the price of a ticket (21%), means that our offers were not sufficiently attractive for artists of the calibre required by BMF". The event had been set to take place on 13 Jun. Organisers say that they hope to return in 2016.

All the bad news needs some good news in reply - and  a NEW festival has launched in the UK! Bestival's Rob de Bank has announced a June event for Southampton called Common People - with Fatboy Slim and Band of Skulls already on the bill.

And well done Kendal calling for  a great rail offer with Virgin. way to go to Cumbria!

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