Tinderbox (June 27th – 29th) had record high attendance and NorthSide (June 6th – 8th) celebrated its 10th birthday with significant advances in sustainability
This year approximately 35.000 and 45.000 people attended NorthSide and Tinderbox, respectively, to witness incredible performances by world class acts such as Neil Young, Miley Cyrus, Swedish House Mafia, Lana Del Rey, The Chainsmokers, Bon Iver, Khalid, Tame Impala, and New Order. The attendance and line-up for both festivals consolidated their places among the most impressive festivals in Europe and reviews of the festivals have praised not only the music, but also the many creative and unique events, relaxation areas, and diverse food courts that is an integral part of the joyous atmosphere of the festivals.
In Aarhus, NorthSide celebrated its 10th edition after being voted Best Medium Sized Festival 2018 at the European Festival Awards. The festival once again offered a 100% organic food menu at the approximately 40 food stalls, as well as in the Artist Area and Crew Catering. This year the ambitious sustainability mission was underlined further by completely phasing out water in single use plastic bottles. Water in plastic bottles was no longer sold on site and was additionally removed from the entire backstage area. Volunteers and the festival crew were all given a reusable water bottle and guests were encouraged to bring their own, which could be filled for free at the many water posts throughout the festival. The initiative was praised by many including Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who hailed the importance of a sustainable water strategy: "We've been to about a hundred billion festivals and this is the first one, where there are absolutely no plastic bottles. That seems just a little bit more important than drums, guitars, and bass".
For this season, Down The Drain Group additionally launched a new innovative initiative to reuse plastic cups in collaboration with Tuborg, Roskilde Festival and GRØN. The result, which was first launched at NorthSide, meant a total elimination of single-use plastic cups at both NorthSide and Tinderbox, where 9.000 reusable cups were washed every hour and returned to circulation. The initiative was made possible by a deposit system on the sturdy cups. The deposit was deducted on the next drink, giving an incentive to return the cups. A positive side effect was an overall cleaner festival site, as people refrained from littering in general, thus making both NorthSide and Tinderbox the tidiest, they have ever been. The new system was made possible by a collaboration across the industry. The reusable cups will move on to the other events throughout the summer, and hopefully set a new industry standard.
Both festivals enjoyed some incredible Danish summer weather giving the audience the best possible conditions to enjoy the many colourful installations and cozy oases throughout the festival sites. Even at 45.000 attendees per day Tinderbox felt open and spacious, and guests showed up early every day to enjoy hammocks, board games, stand-up comedy, talks, pop-up events, or simply hanging with friends in the grass.
- Five years with Tinderbox have flown by and it’s incredible to think that we have created 20 editions of festivals including NorthSide, Tinderbox, Haven, and GrimFest in just ten years. In this time Down The Drain Group has emerged as a serious contender on the festival market - not just domestically, but throughout Europe. And now with Superstruct backing the group, we are very much looking forward to taking these amazing festivals to the next level, says CEO for Down The Drain Group, Brian Nielsen.
Dates for NorthSide and Tinderbox 2020 were announced shortly after the festivals (June 4th - 6th for NorthSide and June 25th – 27th for Tinderbox) and so was an Early Bird-ticket option for both festivals. They sold out immediately for NorthSide and are almost sold out for Tinderbox.
Down The Drain Group has since May 2019 been a part of the live entertainment platform Superstruct Entertainment that owns and operates festivals and live music events globally under the names of Sziget, Elrow, Sónar, Øyafestivalen, Boardmasters, Flow Festival and more.