Interview – Patrik Schultz, head of marketing at Alive Festival Sweden

Alive Festival Sweden 2023 news

2023 is the second year of the Alive festival. However, the traditions of a festival are longer in Borlänge. The place is the same as Peace and Love was housed on for many years before they went under and then resurrected as Peace & Love World Forum.

In 2022, which was the first year of the Alive festival, there were about 6000 visitors to the festival, this year they aim for 8-10,000 unique visitors during the festival’s three days.

The festival wants to be a broad music festival with a varied range where there should be something for the younger audience as well as for the older and preferably artists who go home over the generations. With the mixed age of visitors, you see that you get a calmer and more pleasant festival.

When it comes to artists booked, this year it is the same arrangement as in 2022, with mainly Swedish artists. This year it is a foreign, Steve N Seagulls from Finland, but otherwise Swedish artists more established along with other newer and artists to discover.

About the Festival
The preparation work started in autumn 2020 for a festival in 2021. But when the pandemic restrictions made the situation unpredictable, it was decided in May 2021 to postpone the first festival. Thanks to the fact that we had “safe ticket purchases” for those who bought tickets precisely because of the uncertainty, those who bought tickets could choose whether they wanted to move the ticket to 2022 or get their money back. The arrangement was a collaboration with Tickster (a ticket vendor in Sweden), so the revenue remained with Tickster and provided a good foundation for the start-up in 2022. About half of the ticketholders chose to move the ticket forward to 2022.

In 2022, there was still some uncertainty, but when the restrictions were lifted in the spring of 2023, there was still a risk and the thoughts of whether to dare to run a festival were still a gamble. Everything went a bit at half speed in the industry, but we decided to go for it, even though there was extremely little time to get everything ready for a festival in June. In hindsight, it still showed that it was the right decision to drive. The festival aimed for somewhere between 6-8,000 unique ticket buyers and landed at just over 6,000.

The legacy of Peace and Love
Many have experiences from the festival that was long associated with Borlänge, very positive with many years of successful festivals, but also the bankruptcy and hassle with the tickets and a lot of were without refund. However, the Safe Ticket Purchase arrangement seems to have helped well with confidence in ticket buyers, even the postponed festival of the pandemic. However, the positive experience and spirit in Borlänge makes it easy to buy tickets, which is especially noticeable this year (2023) when sales of tickets are better than last year.

Many people who work with the festival have a background from the previous P&L festival, either as volunteers, visitors or otherwise involved in the festival. “It’s a great pity that it turned out the way it did, the festival was something that Borlänge really needed.”

We set up early on the requirement that we should be able to pay everyone to whom we have an obligation, regardless of how the figures go, so that confidence does not take a beating. Everyone from Artists, partners and everyone who should get paid. That was number one for us, otherwise we can’t keep doing this. It is a company at the bottom that arranges everything, but no one is employed, it is based on enthusiasts who are passionate about the festival that makes everything work. It is a high-risk industry, which means that it is not easy with bank loans etc.

Patrik Schultz

Objectives of the festival
“We work long-term, whether it takes two or five years to get there does not matter, it must be allowed to take the time it takes. But the fact is that the festival is already up to a level, visitor-wise, that took several years for Peace and Love to achieve.”

The conditions for booking bands have changed if you look back a while. 10-15 years ago, there were a handful of festivals while today it is a festival in almost every city, ranging from city festivals to major players. Alive Festival’s goal is to reach a level of around 25,000 ticket buyers. “We want to put the festival light on Borlänge again, so that it is not just a local phenomenon but that many people choose to come to Borlänge and the festival.” Borlänge has a strong musical tradition, and a festival belongs in the city. They want to manage this and together with, for example, Dalapop (a resource and production centre for music in Dalarna, the local area), but also other actors so that it also becomes a stage for local bands.

The target group for the festival is scattered. The average age among the visitors  is about 43 years, but it is rather a sign that you attract different types of visitors than that it is a middle-aged audience. The audience consists of everything from 13-15 years old who may be at the front of Hooja (one of the acts in 2023), but also visitors up to 80 years old and everything in between. Last year (2022), it was the Nationalteatern (a prog-rock band from the 70-ies)  for an older audience, Hov1 for the younger and Veronica Maggio, which attracts a wider group of visitors. The mix between younger and older makes the atmosphere super good for the festival.

We want to build a festival that attracts everyone, a bit like both Peace & Love and Hultsfred were before. It should be like a mix of Way Out West and Sweden Rock. Being a wider festival makes it easier to go with the whole family and there is something for everyone. At the same time, they are investing in the festival area so that it is not only stages and beer tents and together with partners they also have other activities in the area.

Patrik Schultz

Artists 2023
When it comes to artists booked, this year it is the same arrangement as in 2022, with mainly Swedish artists. This year it is a foreign, Steve N Seagulls from Finland, but otherwise larger Swedish artists with other newer and artists to discover. Then the ambition is to advance a level as early as next year and already work is being done on some international bookings, but it depends on the result of this year’s festival.

Thursday: Hooja, Molly Hammar, Eclipse, Dozer, Headhunter, 2 Blyga läppar, Ooooklart, Olivia Lobato, Jay Smith, Alma Augusta
Friday: Tomas Stenström, Jonossi, Strom, Smash Into Pieces, Rave the Requiem, Elov & Beny, Henric Edström, Luciano, Moonica Mac, Sperling, Jet Queen
Saturday: Miss Li, Miriam Bryant, Sator, Medina, Skraekoedlan, Steve n Seagulls (FI), Xion, Perzzona, Besvärjelsen, Pop- och Rockkören, Swaya

Alive Festival Sweden 2023 poster

Some short questions/answers with Patrick Schultz, band booker and marketing manager for the festival.

Best from the first festival of 2022: That we got it together, many are waiting to buy tickets to close to the festival start. 30% of the tickets were sold last week.

Looking forward to this year: That we got the details right. That there are exciting exhibitors, good food, coffee, and other things to do for framing for the entire festival. Not just stages and beer tents

Interview conducted and written by Stefan Erlandsson

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