Metro lends its name to music festival

Metro is to sponsor a music festival for the first time, under the banner The Metro Weekender.

The free newspaper, owned by Associated Newspapers, will be scaling back its support of comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as it switches its attention to music.

Metro has signed up to a two-year commitment as the sole headline sponsor of the festival. The event builds on two festival days organised last year by promoters SW4 and Get Loaded.

The Metro Weekender will be a two-day event held at Clapham Common over the August Bank Holiday. The organisers expect to sell 40,000 tickets.

The newspaper will carry editorial articles about the line-up and other activities at the festival, together with competitions in the approach to the event. Bands and DJs so far signed up include the Happy Mondays, Sasha and John Digweed.

Metro marketing director Karen Wall says: “Festivals are a big interest area for our readers in the summer. It’s another way of building the brand and strengthening our position.”

Metro sponsored the Gilded Balloon comedy club at the Edinburgh Festival last year. It still intends to sponsor the Fringe official box office this year.

O2 is also throwing its weight behind a music festival this year. It will be chief sponsor of the Wireless Music Festival in Hyde Park, to be held in June.

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