Billboard Bits: Roskilde, Slipknot, Paul Weller
News on Roskilde Festival, Slipknot, Paul Weller, and more.In honor of the nine fans who died as a result of injures suffered during Pearl Jam's set at the Roskilde Festival last June, a memorial has been established on the festival grounds near Copenhagen. On the site, nine birch trees have been planted in a circle, with stones between them and a large stone in the middle. In addition, this year's official festival T-shirts will carry the sentence: "How fragile we are . . . Take care," while a pamphlet titled "You and the Festival Crowd" will provide attendess with guidelines on acceptable audience behavior.
"All parties must make it safe," festival founder and principal executive Leif Skov tells Billboard. "We remember last year and, from this, we learned that the difference between ecstasy and catastrophe is [only] minutes. And it can change instantly."
Although Skov claims that security measures were not the reason for last year's tragedy, he admits that steps have been taken to improve them. "We took a comprehensive look at every single element of the Roskilde Festival and made a sweeping range of improvements in staff qualifications, lines of communication, and chains of command," he says.
The 2001 event, set for June 28-July 1, will feature Robbie Williams, Bob Dylan, Tool, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Neil Young, Beck, and PJ Harvey.
-- Charles Ferro, Copenhagen
Roadrunner Records is giving hard rock act Slipknot's rabid fanbase a taste of the group's upcoming album with a free MP3 download via the label's official Web site. Beginning at midnight central time this morning (June 1), the track "Heretic Song" was posted on the site. The song is drawn from the album "Iowa," for which an official release date has not been set.
Of the crunching, punishing song, Slipknot percussionist Shawn Crahan (aka #6) says, "My personal vibe on it is, 'if you want me to be something, I'm not going to be anything you want me to be. I'm gonna be what I am -- there's no changing it and no denying it and if you try to change it, well... you know what happens.'"
Slipknot will appear on the mainstage of this summer's Ozzfest tour, which kicks off June 8 near Chicago, and runs through Aug. 12 in Wantagh, New York.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.
U.K. rock veteran Paul Weller has added five U.S. dates to his solo acoustic tour this summer. According to his official Web site, the former Jam and Style Council leader will perform three consecutive nights at the House Of Blues in Los Angeles starting July 20, then follow those with dates in New York and Boston.
Weller's acoustic tour, which comes a year after the release of his fifth solo album, "Heliocentric" (Island), is taking him around the world in a month. He's scheduled to start the tour in late June in the U.K., then make his way to Japan for four dates before coming to the States.
Here are Paul Weller's U.S. tour dates:
July 20-22: Los Angeles (House of Blues)
July 25: New York (Town Hall)
July 26: Boston (Berklee Performance Center)
-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.