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Beatbox Booking makes redundancies, in continued Tinderbox festival fallout

By | Published on Friday 31 October 2014


In the continued fallout from the ongoing battle centring stemming from the launch of new festival Tinderbox, Danish booking agency Beatbox Booking recently confirmed that it had been forced to fire three of its staff.

As previously reported, the announcement of Tinderbox has proven controversial in the European festival market, in part due to public funding it is receiving – £2.5 million over five years. It’s placement in the calendar close to rival festival Roskilde has been described as “an act of war”, while Norwegian festival Hove cancelled its 2015 edition, its owner Festival Republic claiming that the addition of a new state-funded festival made it too difficult to compete in the Scandinavian market.

In retaliation, four festivals – Roskilde Festival, Smukfest, Nibe Festival and Jelling Musikfestival – all refused to work with Danish booking agencies Beatbox and Scandinavian, due to links with Tinderbox. As a result two staffers at Scandinavian who are involved with Tinderbox resigned from the company last month, while Beatbox Booking boss Peter Sorensen questioned why his company was being boycotted, when in fact it was now a totally separate entity to Beatbox Concerts which was involved with the new festival.

His protests seemingly fell on deaf ears though, with Sorensen last week announcing that the ongoing situation has resulted in him having to lay off staff.

In a letter to the four boycotting festivals, published by Gaffa, he wrote: “It was not a nice day in the office yesterday. In addition to firing three good and talented people, I have had to explain to my staff how everything what we have built over the past decade has now been smashed beyond recognition by four festivals’ clumsy, disrespectful and deeply unpleasant attack on our integrity and credibility”.

He went on to reiterate that he owns Beatbox Booking 100%, while having “no interest or influence” in former business partner Mads Sorensen’s new Beatbox Concerts company. He also refuted claims that the split had been a direct result of the boycott, saying that it had been put in motion in the spring of this year. The two companies have continued to share an office, he said, but added that Mads has now decided to relocate his operations elsewhere in the new year.

Still addressing the boycotting festivals, Peter continued: “It hurts to have to fire people who are now without work and income (all family people with children). And they are all asking one question, why is this necessary? Naturally, I have explained to them the background and everyone understands that you are nervous about what the future holds. But everyone is still completely baffled that your confidence in my and their work ethic is so low that they should have to be sacrificed in your war”.

In a statement issued to Gaffa, Roskilde spokesperson Christina Bilde said of Sorensen’s letter: “We can confirm that we have received the letter stating Peter’s decision that his booking agency and the entity which works on festivals will no longer share offices and employees. But we do not believe that it benefits the relationship between the parties or the Danish live environment to comment on it in public”.

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