Business News Gigs & Festivals

Danish booking agency resignations follow Tinderbox controversy

By | Published on Friday 10 October 2014


Two staffers at Denmark-based booking agency Scandinavian have resigned from the company, after their involvement in the upcoming Tinderbox festival resulted in a boycott of the agency by a number of other major music events.

As previously reported, Roskilde Festival, Smukfest, Nibe Festival and Jelling Musikfestival all refused to work with Scandinavian, and another Danish agency called Beatbox, in protest against Tinderbox and the public funding it is receiving (£2.5 million over five years). Festival Republic also cancelled the 2015 edition of its Hove Festival in Norway, claiming that the emergence of the new festival made it too difficult to compete in the already busy Nordic market.

Beatbox’s two founders had already split their business interests, ensuring that the booking agency and festival promotion sides of the company were separate, which meant Beatbox Booking’s Peter Sørensen expressed some surprise when a boycott nevertheless began against his firm. Now Tinderbox co-founders Brian Nielsen and Flemming Myllerup, who are also involved in the Northside and Grim Feast festivals, have announced their departure from Scandinavian, in a bid to relieve some of the tension for that company.

In a statement, via Denmark’s Gaffa magazine, Neilsen and Myllerup said: “We are obviously annoyed that four festivals’ boycott must have such drastic consequences for our company. Unfortunately it also cost several people their jobs. You can think what you like about the boycott, but it is a fact that the festivals failed to enter a dialogue before the boycott and subsequently refused to enter into dialogue with us”.

They continued: “We do not want our own people or our other business to stand in the way of our artists’ careers, and therefore we pull from the booking [agency] industry. We will now focus 100% on our two successful festivals in Aarhus, Northside and Grim Feast, and on the launch of Tinderbox in Odense, which we expect a lot from. Moreover, we will develop our concert business further with our good partners in Beatbox Entertainment and FKP Scorpio”.

It has been speculated that the real source of tension in this bust up is actually the there mentioned German booking agency and festival promoter FKP Scorpio, the other partner in Tinderbox. It is growing its interests rapidly in Europe, and especially Scandinavia, which some independent and Live Nation-allied events see as a threat. FKP Scorpio also recently announced a new showcase festival in Sweden, Where’s The Music?, which will plug the music conference gap between Eurosonic Noorderslag and by:Larm left by MIDEM (which has shifted to new summer dates).