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FESTIVAL NEWS

Weekend ticketholders at this year’s Reading and Leeds festivals will receive free food and drink, organisers have confirmed.  Festivalgoers will receive beer (or a soft drink) for each music day and a voucher for a breakfast bap for each of the three days of the twin events with Heinz donating free sauce and Festival Republic providing a free recycling bag  -which if filled with more cans gets the fans more free beer!

Vince Power’s publicly listed music festivals company, Music Festivals plc, has told shareholders that the company expects to make a loss this year, due to the disappointing ticket sales for this year’s Hop Farm Festival, which made a loss overall. In a statement to investors, Music Festivals plc said that its other flagship event, Benicassim, was profitable this year, but at a lower level than 2011. Power has made a £750,000 unsecured loan to the company which is now “exploring ways of raising additional working capital”.

Goldenvoice, the promoters behind the annual Coachella music festival, have announced its first Coachella Caribbean concert cruise. The Coachella concert cruise will consist of two separate cruise itineraries. The first cruise is currently scheduled to depart Ft. Lauderdale, FL on December 16, 2012, for a three-day journey through the Bahamas and December 19-23 around Jamaica with headliners Pulp, Hot Chip, Girl Talk and Yeasayer for both.

East London venue complex the London Pleasure Gardens has gone into voluntary administration, just a few weeks after opening. In a statement a spokesperson for Newham Council, which provided £3 million plus loan funding for the project, said that the decision was “regrettable but understandable” and said that it was “disappointing that the anticipated visitor numbers and revenue from recent planned events have not materialised”. The Bloc Weekender ended up closing on the first night after overcrowding and  the organisers of another event due to take place, Secretsundaze Go Bang!, moved to another venue. LOCOG’s restrictions on numbers, only 2500 locals and ticket holders at the neighbouring ExCel venue could attend the unfinished  site which housed a big screen for the 2012 Olympics, meant it was mostly deserted according to Reuters. LPG creative director Deborah Armstrong has resigned from her post

The Chicago Tribune reports that the city’s new “pot ticket” law went into effect during the middle of Lollapalooza, but the new system of a $250 fine (for the first offence) for possession of less that 15 grams of cannabis didn’t apply to the festival in Grant Park because it’s Chicago Park District property. That exception to the new rules means that police instead will continue to arrest those caught – although last year, police made exactly zero marijuana-related arrests among the 270,000 people who passed through the Lollapalooza gates. Chicago has moved to decriminalise cannabis and officials with C3 Presents, the festival’s promoters, declined comment to the Tribune although they drew attention in 2006 when Lollapalooza-branded rolling papers were given out at a news conference in advance of the Festival.