In the U S of A they are talking about a festival bubble and I think we will see a similar situation in Denmark with all these festivals, the market is simply to small.
Hove festivalen in Norway closed down (and they blamed Tinderbox) and Also Hultsfred in Sweden collapsed some years ago and our own Skive Festival also went bankrupt.
From what I understand then Trailerpark is done and Distortion lines on handout it seems.
The only safe ones is probably Roskilde, Smukfest and Northside.
I am not sure how Tinderbox economy looks when the public money runs out (was it a 5 year deal) and Vig has a debt of 1,7 million from this years festival.
How Jelling, Heartland and Nibe goes I don't know but it seems like Copenhell is doing well.
I can't figure out if there is 1 or 2 new Copenhagen festivals (Cosmos is the one) but I don't give them a long lifespand.
So what are your guys take on the festival situation, is it good with all that competition.
Like Martin, I'm not sure that I would call the current situation a bubble. If so, it's a really big one, since there's been an abundancy of Danish festivals new and old for the best of a decade now. Sure, we've seen a bit of a surge in new festivals, but the demand has to an extent gone up as well. I think newcomers like Tinderbox and Northside benefit very much from a local audience who upon seeing new opportunities in their back yard "wake up" and fork over money for tickets. I do worry that some of especially the newcomers in the field will crumble over the years, but many of the older festivals are doing very well.
Most examples of festivals biting the dust are also often easily explainable by bad management, unhealthy economics, etc. Keep in mind that festivals are in some cases run by happy idealists with big heads and even bigger ideas and it takes both talent and determination to succesfully marry this to a sound business model:
— Hovefestivalen, as far as I know, never ever turned a profit in its lifespan, but dug holes that were millions of NOK deep EVERY year. Blaming their demise on the advent of Tinderbox was both cowardly of them and a way too obvious red herring. How stupid did they think we are? They were always struggling, every single year, even with impressive lineups.
— Same goes for Peace & Love and Hultsfredfestivalen. I think Hultsfred were struggling with losses since 2008 and having FKP Scorpio buy them up and move the whole mess to Stockholm in 2013 was just unbelievably stupid. Both Hultsfred and P&L have pulled a "Skive", though, and refocused to being local festivals with only smaller, domestic names in their lineups.
— I don't think Trailerpark closing was an economics issue though.
— Tinderbox and Northside are actually both in uncertain territory if they don't start turning a profit soon. Northside suffered losses to the tune of a few million kroner in 2015 even though they were completely sold out and Tinderbox burned up 30 million kroner the same year despite the well publicized financial support from the municipality.
— Jelling and Nibe are probably safe. I believe they both sell out most if not all years. Skive is another story. Actually you're not right – they haven't been really bankrupt since a flop in 1996. The bankruptcy proceedings in 2012 were actually withdrawn due to locals ponying up the money to keep it somewhat afloat. It hasn't looked well for some years now, but the gulf between (probably huge) payouts to headliners like Rammstein, Green Day, Rise Against, White Lies and Gossip all in one year and the meagre amount of paying guests (15.000) the festival can actually accomodate had to take its economic toll. I think they'll do better on this smaller scale they're operating at atm. In comparison, Nibe and Jelling both sell about twice as many tickets, usually with lineups made up of much smaller bands to eat into the money.
— There are actually three new Copenhagen festivals: Komos (not Cosmos) in Kongens Have, and Haven plus Engage, both on Refshaleøen where Copenhell also takes place. Engage is placed pretty early in the season (late May) but the other two are sandwiched in between a bunch of other festivals and events. I can't see either live long. Like Vanguard Festival they are entering a pretty packed market.