For the international contemporary live music industry

Doctor fails to revive fest after dislocation

World News
July 10, 2019

AFTER YEARS of planning, promoter Neo Sala of Doctor Music Concerts (DMC) has been forced to cancel the return of his 50,000-capacity Doctor Music Festival.

He cites the public’s negative reaction to the event’s relocation from its original site, a valley in the Pyrenees, to a Formula 1 racing track in Montmelò, on the outskirts of Barcelona.

The festival’s comeback, after a 19-year hiatus, was due to take place at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with a line-up including The Chemical Brothers, Smashing Pumpkins, The Strokes and King Crimson on 12-14 July. 

“While the Montmelò Circuit is great location with excellent facilities for a festival, it did not have the valley experience Doctor Music Festival [DMF] fans were looking for,” Sala tells Audience

In April the Catalan water authority (Catalan Agency d’Aigues) ordered the promoter to move the festival from the Escalarre Vall d’Àneu, where it had previously been staged on three previous occasions, due to a risk of flooding. Sala says that, as a result, “a huge number” of fans cancelled their tickets.

He said cancelling the festival was among the toughest decisions of his promoting career, and that it was too early to say whether he would try to re-launch the event. 

“If the festival has a future it should be in the original valley or in a similar location,” he says. 

DMC, which is majority-owned by pan-Europe ticketing and promoting giant CTS Eventim, says all tickets will be refunded.

Launched in 1982, the festival was last held in 2000 and has been headlined by acts including David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed.

Among DMC events this year are shows with Bryan Adams, taking in venues such as Madrid’s WiZink Center (15,000) and Palau Sant Jordi (17,000) in Barcelona; Little Mix at the WiZink Center and Rammstein at Barcelona’s RCD Espanyol Stadium (35,000).

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