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Slottsfjells debt crisis: Would sell the festival, but no one would buy

Slottsfjellfestivalen in Tønsberg, norway has for a long time had major financial problems and struggled to avoid bankruptcy.

Desperate fight to save the Slottsfjell: - Heavy to take the phones

While competing festivals have long since started forsalget of tickets and hired artists, working Slottsfjell solve pengefloken.

In a longer post in the local newspaper Tønsbergs Blad, explains general manager John Lund for the economic livredningen. The festival has in the course of the summer and autumn tried to sell to two large, foreign companies.

But there was no agreement.

Our lawyers negotiated first with the one player who ultimately chose to resign just before the signing, after several weeks of conversations. It was then initiated conversation with the other party chose to terminate the process after lengthy negotiations, " writes Lund.

He also writes why the buyers pulled out.


the Problems for Slottsfjell began in earnest in 2017, when the festival went for five million in deficit. Thus ended the organizers up with negative equity before the festival in 2018, shows the financial statements.

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The bad initially then received a result of poor ticket sales. For at all to be able to carry out the festival had to Slottsfjell ask for help from the artists.

With the exception of French Montana, Diplo and Galantis, went all the artists to lower the fees by 35 percent to save the event.

Now all that remains is to see whether John Lund and his team manage to get the economy on its feet. The solution is probably not for sale.

the Reasons that we did not measure these processes depends probably mainly on the deficit that we carry with us, " Lund writes.


"We are still in negotiations with creditors," Lund writes in a message to the Newspaper.

the Goal of the negotiations is to get erased debt so that the festival can continue. Lund tells us that the negotiations probably will get a conclusion in the course of the next few weeks.

Got only 50 000 of the municipality after pengebønn

the Festival also waiting for a decision about the extent to Tønsberg municipality will come to their aid.

- O m we still should be able to give Tønsberg a festival of high quality in all aspects then we see that public support must be a part of the financing, said the press officer Sarah Winona Sortland to the Newspaper earlier in the year.

But last year's application about 200 000 ended with a disappointing grant of 50 000.

"Historically, the total"

- It would be a cultural disaster if the festival disappeared, " says Terje Olsen (MDG), who leads the committee for culture, sport and public health in Tønsberg municipality.

the Range has recently gone into to allocate nok 500 000 to the festival.

This is a historic sum, and a signal of how important the festival is for the city and the culture. We say that our expectation is that the festival should stand on their own two feet again in the course of three years. I also know that the festival is working steinhardt to go in themselves and see what they can do better.

CASTLE: Slottsfjellfestivalen has been arranged on the "slottsfjellet" in Tønsberg since 2003. Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Dagbladet Show more

Olsen expects that the proposal goes through when the final decision of the city council 5. December.

"Precarious situation"

any allocation will not, however, ensure the operation of the festival further, says Lund. The funds shall be earmarked for operation in 2019.

It is not known exactly how much debt he will have to negotiate their way out of. In the accounts, find a however, that it was all of the 6.7 million in 2017. Tønsbergs Blad writes further that there is now 560 000 in pure inkassogjeld.

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Jon Gotteberg, chairman of the board in the Norwegian Konsertarrangører, is concerned about what he refers as one of Norway's most influential festivals. The association organizes about 340 of them.

It will be a precarious situation for them, also in the future. Without the necessary financing in place occurs a chain of problems. You don't get sold tickets and also no written contracts with artists.


Gotteberg explains that there are small margins in festivalbransjen, and that the deficit of five million is a significant sum in festival-Norway.

When it takes so long time to solve it, is it serious. Then comes the legal late in time. I think it is sad that such a good and well-run the festival over many years is struggling. I really hope they get it.

Slottsfjell has on several occasions blamed on increased competition and higher artisthonorarer. Now get competitors constantly greater head start. Stavernfestivalen has hired Swedish House Mafia and Vervenfestivalen in Horten have a long program clearly.

But the Lund end, nevertheless their post in Tønsbergs Blad with optimism:

- Time is scarce, but we managed before; the Festival's founders agreed to create the first edition in april 2003 and opened the gates to the mountain 1. August. We've managed it before so we can certainly do it again.

Refused to save the Slottsfjell from bankruptcy. The show got slaughter
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