FM4 Frequency Festival
The FM4 Frequency Festival, also Frequency Festival or just Frequency, formerly Vienna City Festival, is a music festival. Until 2008, it took place near Salzburg Austria, usually every August. In 2009, the Festival moved to St. Pölten. It is promoted by one of Austria's national radio stations, FM4, and is generally associated with the alternative part of mainstream music. The lineups accumulate acts of various genres such as rock, electronica and hip hop, usually covering great parts of the German and Austrian alternative, indie and guitar pop scenes, but also featuring well-known international top-acts.
The festival was established in 2001. The first year it took place as a rather small event featuring six artists on each of the two days of the festival, which were Friday, the 8th and Saturday, the 9th of June. Musicnet, the company that organizes the Frequency festival, rented the open air stage of the Arena Wien, one of Vienna's leading concert locations. The festival, called Vienna City Festival at that time, became an instant success - not only financially, but it was also very much liked by the audience. This quickly lead to the decision of moving it to another location, which would also feature camping facilities.
For 2002's festival the Salzburgring, normally used as a motor-bike racetrack, was selected. Salzburg was an optimal choice, since it is both centrally situated within Austria and can also easily be reached from Germany. It's also close to the A1, Austria's main autobahn, and is surrounded by grass fields that can be used as camping and parking facilities. The festival scored over 10,000 guests on both days (14 and 15 June) and featured nearly 40 bands on two stages - one open-air (Main Stage) and one tent (Alternastage).
2003 was both a success and a disappointment. One of the major Austrian concert organizers–promoters and business rivals of Musicnet, Wiesen, who are also in charge of famous Austrian festivals like the Jazz Fest, Forestglade and Two Days A Week, decided to have Metallica perform in the stadium of Salzburg, only about 20 km away from the Salzburgring, on the second day of the Frequency festival. Musicnet feared loss of audience due to the Metallica concert and after several days of negotiation, Metallica were booked to headline the second day of the FM4 Frequency festival, bringing their tour support Alien Ant Farm as well as their huge fan base along. Remaining tickets were sold out immediately and the festival was massively overrun. Over 45,000 tickets were sold for both 14 and 15 August, but it is estimated that between 55,000 and 60,000 people attended the Metallica day in the end. Organization was devastating as the masses could not be handled by the security personnel. Logistic and sanitary problems were the result and it was seen by many critics as a miracle that there were almost no serious injuries and not even a single death. Even Musicnet thanked the audience for being disciplined as they were and not panicking when they were stuck in the masses. According to many guests the situation was critical during a rain shower, when the audience was seeking shelter under the tent. It is rumoured[by whom?] that financially the festival was more of a break-even business than a success and Musicnet has refused to supply any information regarding this.
2004 was the back to the roots year, with 40 bands playing on 13 and 14 August. Many fans of the original Frequency festival were disappointed about it becoming just another huge mainstream festival, and so Musicnet tried to reestablish the situation of 2002. Not mainly by allowing less attendance, although ticket contingents were limited now, but by expanding the area and replacing the tent stage by a second open air stage. Indeed the result was an overall success, which was partly because of a cooperation with FKP Scorpio, producers of big German festivals like Southside, Hurricane and Highfield. The festival was overshadowed by a huge storm with winds up to 140 km/h during the first night and constant, intense rain showers during the second day. This severe storm that lasted 25 hours without respite caused many guests to leave early.
2005 suffered from typical problems of Austrian festivals of that year: On the one hand, many last-minute cancellations of band performances, but on the other mainly grasslands getting flooded by rain that had lasted weeks already before the festival began and that largely continued during the festival too. Besides making it virtually impossible to walk through the - at times more than 50 cm deep - mud on the camping sites and on the way to the stages, almost all cars had to be towed to the road by tractors on departure, because they could not move on the parking sites that were exclusively on grassland. Furthermore, the rain was the final reason why a bridge connecting the inner race track (where the main stage is) with the outer race track (where the camping sites are accessible from) collapsed on the evening of the second day. 31 people were injured, although none seriously, but a panic could be averted, mainly thanks to the coincidence that the Red Cross tent was very close to the bridge. The organisers very quickly secured and illuminated the area and arranged pathways for ambulances to come in and pick up the injured. Despite harsh criticism, it later turned out the organisers were not directly guilty of the event. They had hired a construction company that built the fundament of materials not suitable for outdoor use, unlike what had been agreed on. Pioneers of the Federal Armed Forces of Austria (the Bundesheer) constructed a replacement bridge out of aluminium and steel that very night, so that it could be used on the remaining, third day.
In 2006, 43 bands performed on 17 and 18 August. As an exception the festival lasted only for two days and the headliners were Muse and Franz Ferdinand. The audience generally felt that the organisation was better than in years past; amongst other things, a new (wider, fixed) pathway between the festival area and camping area was established. Due to the mostly hot weather, there was an unusually high amount of collapses and a lot more blue light transports to hospitals than normally. Except for one (Brakes was exchanged for Mauf), there were no last-minute cancellations. Altogether, most visitors agreed that this incarnation was a very comfortable and enjoyable one.
In 2007, Die Ärzte, Nine Inch Nails, The Kaiser Chiefs and Seeed, performed between 15 and 17 August. One of the most talked about sets of the festival was that of Nine Inch Nails, in which they were booked between Die Ärzte and The Beatsteaks, meaning that they were booked between two German bands and as a result, were forced to play in front of a crowd who came to see both bands and saw NIN as an interval act. Many people in attendance were sitting on the floor and spoke into their cellphones while the band were performing. This caused Trent Reznor to ask the crowd why they were there and who they were going to see, before asking the crowd if they were booked between two German bands. Some people in the crowd chanted for NIN, with Trent then asking why they were there looking bored when they could see other bands. At the end of the show, the band intentionally destroyed a camera which took a while for the tripod to be replaced.
Reznor later posted on the band's blog that it was their worst show of the tour, with the worst audience alongside a picture of a Bratwurst.
Until then, the Festival has only ever had up to four stages: the Race Stage and the Green Stage as the two big main stages, an Open Stage for which people can apply to show their talent, and an Elektro Tent that opened only in the late hours of the evening and where the party went on until the early hours of the morning.
But in 2008 a new stage was added to enrich the variety of music genres - The Weekender UK Stage. It was hosted by the record label Weekender Records from the UK and their sister company Weekender Records Germany. Most of the bands that performed on the stage had releases by either of those labels though artists such as Lightspeed Champion, The Teenagers and White Lies were invited to perform as guests. The stage was located inside a large tent that transformed into the Elektro Tent from 11:00 pm.
In order of time the lineup featured the bands: The Sugars, Kristoffer Ragnstam, Lightspeed Champion, Look See Proof, The Teenagers, 1984, Sparkadia, White Lies, Kingsize, The Indelicates, The Lines, The Lea Shores, Red Light Company, The Rocks and Eight Legs.
Chikinki who are out on Weekener Records Germany played on the Race stage. Though they were unlucky to be the first band that played at the entire festival, their show was a big success.
- 2001: 2Raumwohnung, Afrob, Blumfeld, Echophonic, Eins Zwo, Fiva & Radrum, Heinz aus Wien, Nina, Seeed, Slut, Stereo Total, Total Chaos
- 2002: Die Ärzte, Attwenger, Bauchklang, Blumentopf, Chima,[disambiguation needed] Curse, Das Pop, Donots, Emil Bulls, Fiva MC, Gentleman, Heinz aus Wien, Jugendstil, Kosheen, Lambretta, Naked Lunch, Naked Raven, Rival Schools, Schönheitsfehler, Shyne 11, Slut, Sneaker Pimps, Son Goku feat. Thomas D, Sonic Youth, Sportfreunde Stiller, Die Sterne, Such A Surge, Telepopmusik, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, The Leaves, The Tarantinos, Tocotronic, Turntablerockers, Zeronic, Zuka
- 2003: 3 Feet Smaller, Absolute Beginner, Alien Ant Farm, Ash, Bauchklang, Beck, Biffy Clyro, blackmail, Blumfeld, Bright Eyes, Caesars, Christoph und Lollo, Comaah, Console, De Phazz, Die Goldenen Zitronen, Grandaddy, Heather Nova, International Pony, Jugendstil, Kante, Kettcar, Kinderzimmer Productions, Ladytron, Louie Austen, Main Concept, Metallica, Nova International, Petsch Moser, Placebo, Puppet Mastaz, Seeed, Sportfreunde Stiller, Tahiti 80, Terrorgruppe, The Notwist, The Seesaw, Tomte, Travis, Wir sind Helden, XPloding Plastix
- 2004: 2Raumwohnung, 3 Feet Smaller, Adam Green, Apocalyptica, Die Ärzte, Ash, Blumentopf, Coshiva, Crash, Curbs, The Dandy Warhols, The Darkness, Dashboard Confessional, Delays, Donots, Faithless, Die Fantastischen Vier, Groove Armada, Guadalajara, Hörspielcrew, Jellybeat, Jugendstil, Julia, Keane, Kings of Leon, Lockdown Project, Mando Diao, Max Herre, Mondo Generator, Olli Schulz und der Hund Marie, Patrice, Radio 4, The Roots, Seeed, Slut, Die Sterne, Tigerbeat, Turntablerocker, Whyte Seeds
- 2005: 2 Many DJs, Adam Green, Asian Dub Foundation, Beatsteaks, Bolzplatz Heroes, Culcha Candela, Danko Jones, De Phazz, Die Toten Hosen, Editors, Farin Urlaub, Flogging Molly, Foo Fighters, Gentleman, Hot Hot Heat, Incubus, Infadels, Jan Feat. U.D.S.S.R, Julia, Kante, Kosheen, Ladytron, Massive Töne, MXPX, Northern Lite, Oasis, Pink As A Panther, Queens of the Stone Age, Roots Manuva, She-Male Trouble, Soulwax, Sportfreunde Stiller, Stereo Total, Tamato, The Blue Van, The Bunny Situation, The Coral, The Jessica Fletchers, The Others, The Raveonettes, The Subways, Weezer, When The Music's Over, William White Tocotronic, The Futureheads, The Subways, The Dresden Dolls, Babyshambles, Fall Out Boy, Doves, Senses Fail, Moneybrother cancelled.
- 2006: 3 Feet Smaller, Arctic Monkeys, Art Brut, Bauchklang, Belle & Sebastian, The Bishops, Blumfeld, Body Count feat. Ice-T., Broken Social Scene, Calexico, Coheed and Cambria, Cursive, Eagles of Death Metal, Editors, Fettes Brot, Franz Ferdinand, The Futureheads, Gods of Blitz, Goldenhorse, Joy Denalane, Kaiser Chiefs, Kaizers Orchestra, Kettcar, Less Than Jake, Lostprophets, Mando Diao, Mauf, Mohair, Morningwood, Morrissey, Muse, Nada Surf, The Paddingtons, Paolo Nutini, The Robocop Kraus, Scissor Sisters, Snow Patrol, Soulwax Nite Versions, Sugarplum Fairy, The Prodigy, Tomte, We Are Scientists, Wir sind Helden
- 2007: Nine Inch Nails, Die Ärzte, The Dandy Warhols, Seeed, Kaiser Chiefs, Beatsteaks, Interpol, Snow Patrol, Billy Talent, Fall Out Boy, The Good, the Bad and the Queen, Mika, Groove Armada, MIA., Jan Delay & Disco No1, Juliette & The Licks, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Jimmy Eat World, Millencolin, Silverchair, Tocotronic, 2Raumwohnung, !!!, Eagles of Death Metal, Sugarplum Fairy, Shout Out Louds, The View, The Sounds, Fotos, Vanilla Sky, Ghosts, Hellogoodbye. Tool, Manic Street Preachers, Chris Cornell, Mutemath, Tokyo Police Club, Peeping Tom, Mika, +44 and Klaxons cancelled.
- 2008: R.E.M., The Killers, Die Fantastischen Vier, Travis, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Adam Green, Madsen, Chikinki, Julia, Kontrust, Justice, Get Well Soon, Blackmail, Slut, Pendulum, Itchy Poopzkid, Pardon Ms. Arden, The Hives, Maximo Park, Patrice, The Roots, i am X, Iron & Wine, Teitur, Year Long Disaster, Adam Freeland, Nneka, The Wombats Babyshambles cancelled.
- 2009: Kasabian, Radiohead, Peter Fox, Jet, Bloc Party, Eagles of Death Metal, Culcha Candela, Dúné, Enter Shikari, Kettcar, Mando Diao, Mono & Nikitaman, Farin Urlaub Racing Team, Rise Against, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Pendulum, The Prodigy, The Sounds, The Subways, Volbeat.
- 2010: Muse, Die Toten Hosen, Massive Attack and Martina Topley-Bird, Billy Talent, Serj Tankian, Jan Delay, Skunk Anansie, Element of Crime, Fettes Brot, Tocotronic, Wir sind Helden, Thirty Seconds to Mars, LCD Soundsystem, NOFX, La Roux, Klaxons, The Specials, Hot Chip, Bad Religion, The Gaslight Anthem. Performances of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool were cancelled.
- 2011: Foo Fighters, Seeed, Rise Against, Dropkick Murphys, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Apocalyptica, The Chemical Brothers, Kasabian, Panic! at the Disco, Kasabian.
- 2013: System of a Down, Die Toten Hosen, Tenacious D, Franz Ferdinand, Billy Talent, Flogging Molly, Fall Out Boy, Pennywise, Skunk Anansie.
- http://www.frequency.at - Homepage of the Frequency festival (German)
- http://www.musicnet.at - Homepage of Musicnet