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Reduced-capacity T in the Park 2016 to go ahead

After months of speculation triggered by Perth and Kinross Council warning in January that T in the Park would not be allowed to go ahead unless promoter DF Concerts could “demonstrate their capability to effectively manage this event in future”, Scotland’s largest music festival has been given the green light for 2016.

Councillors voted unanimously today to award the festival a one-year public entertainment licence.

T in the Park (TITP) overhauled its arenacampsite and transport infrastructure in for this year’s event under the direction of Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn, who was brought in as executive producer after last year’s event – its first at Strathallan Castle, near Auchterarder, after moving from a disused airfield in Balado – was heavily criticised for its traffic congestion, failings on crowd control and security and repeated breaches of planning permission.

The capacity of the festival has also been cut by 15,000 from last year to 70,000 to alleviate overcrowding.

“We’ve robustly addressed the shortcomings from 2015 and have a brand new team in place with a huge amount of expertise”

Geoff Ellis, TITP festival director and CEO of DF Concerts and Events, says: “I’m delighted with the council’s decision and that they have acknowledged the significant work that has been put into ensuring that this year’s festival will be remembered for all of the right reasons: [an] incredible line-up, the best entertainment and fun with your mates.”

He also thanked “all of our partner agencies – particularly Perth and Kinross Council, Police Scotland and Transport Scotland – for their input into the planning to date”.

Benn, who is also overseeing Wireless Festival in London as it battles a legal challenge from a residents’ group, adds: “We’re delighted to have received our licence for 2016, and we’ll be happy to be judged on this year’s event. We’ve robustly addressed the shortcomings from 2015 [and] have a brand new team in place with a huge amount of expertise, and the council has recognised the sheer volume of work that has gone into this year’s planning.”

The Stone Roses, Calvin Harris, Red Hot Chili Peppers and LCD Soundsystem are headlining this year’s event.

JRPG Kingdom Hearts set for world concert tour

Long-running Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) franchise Kingdom Hearts will embark on its first live concert tour in 2017, the series’ developer, Square Enix, has announced.

Kingdom Hearts games feature a mixture of Disney and Square Enix (primarily Final Fantasy) characters and follow protagonists Sora, Goofy and Donald (yes, that Goofy and Donald) as they adventure across Disney-themed worlds and battle enemies including Snow White’s Maleficent, Scrooge McDuck and The Lion King’s Scar. Its music, mostly composed by Yoko Shimomura, has been praised by both video game and music critics.

The Kingdom Hearts Concert world tour will see various local orchestras, including the Tokyo Philharmonic in Japan and the Royal Philharmonic in London, perform music from the series while HD game footage, supervised by Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy game art designer Testuya Nomura, plays behind them. It will premiere at the 5,012-seat Tokyo International Forum Hall A on 10 March 2017 with a concert featuring over 70 musicians.

The show will be produced by Paris-based Wild Faery (La Fée Sauvage), which specialises in concerts of video game, anime and film music, in association with Disney Concerts/The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd. It will also visit venues in Paris, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Los Angeles and New York.

Listen to Shimomura’s ‘Dearly Beloved’, from Kingdom Hearts II, below:


Merch with Eventbrite, snacks from Ticketmaster

Two major ticket agencies yesterday announced the integration of third-party ecommerce platforms into their core offerings.

Mirroring the almost tandem announcements earlier this month of both companies’ intention to sell tickets directly through Facebook, Ticketmaster has revealed that their customers will soon be able to order merchandise, food and drink (through Preoday) directly through their online services, while Eventbrite will give event organisers the opportunity to design and order custom merchandise through a partnership with Teespring.

Users of Ticketmaster’s online services in the UK, continental Europe, Australia and New Zealand will soon be able to order food, drink and merchandise online via the Ticketmaster website or app, allowing them to avoid long queues at music, theatre and sports events.

The partnership will also deliver “invaluable customer insights” to venue operators through detailed consumer analytics, says Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster president Mark Yovitch describes the deal as signalling “a huge milestone in our strategy, which is focused on delivering innovative solutions for our clients while improving the event-going experience for fans”.

Ticketmaster’s deal with Preoday will deliver detailed consumer analytics to venues

The Eventbrite-Teespring tie-up will allow promoters using its Eventbrite Spectrum platform to easily create and sell custom merchandise to their event attendees.

“Merchandise and events go hand in hand,” says Teespring’s chief marketing and revenue officer, Robert Chatwani. “It’s a way for any event attendee to express their passion at an event and to extend their experience beyond that moment. In the past, organisers had to overcome major barriers to create custom apparel for an event. Teespring’s integration with Eventbrite transforms that experience. An event organiser can design apparel for an event and make it available for purchase within minutes.

“Just like Eventbrite helps you create live events for your cause, hobby or team, Teespring lets anyone turn their passion into a great product, with no risk or upfront investment. It’s a great fit, and we’re very excited to partner with Eventbrite.”

Dice named best ticketer, SJM best promoter at Music Week Awards

The 2016 Music Week Awards took place last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, with SJM Concerts, Dice and Ed Sheeran agent Jon Ollier triumphing in the live categories.

Ollier, who joined CAA’s London office early last year from Free Trade Agency, took home the award for best live music agent, while east London-based ticketing start-up Dice, which has made a name for itself over the past few years by selling tout-proof tickets that are irretrievably tied to the mobile device from which they were bought, caused an upset by beating mainstays Ticketmaster, Eventim and AXS to the best ticketing company prize.

“We’re absolutely buzzing, and the award is a huge deal to us,” Dice founder Phil Hutcheon tells IQ. “Dice is growing fast and our focus is always on building an amazing product for fans and artists. Promoters are seeing huge increases in ticket sales as a result. Our mission is to grow the music industry massively by doing the right thing.”

SJM Concerts – led by, it emerged earlier this week, the 799th-richest man in Britain, Simon Moran – won the award for best live music promoter, sponsored by London venue the Troxy.

Elsewhere, Paul McDonald and Ryan Lofthouse of Closer Artists, which represents James Bay, James Morrison, John Newman and George Ezra, were jointly named manager of the year, while Universal Music Group CEO Max Hole took home the Strat award for lifetime achievement.

A full list of winners is available on the Music Week website.

Mercury Lounge swaps Ticketmaster for Ticketfly

Famed New York venues the Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, booked by newly AEG Live-owned promoter The Bowery Presents, have been lured away from Live Nation’s Ticketmaster by an exclusive ticketing partnership with Ticketfly.

“Ticketfly has impressed me for many years,” says Michael Swier, who owns the clubs. “Their constant pursuit of identifying better ways to sell and purchase tickets is stunning, and their platform is incredibly user-friendly for my staff, as well as the fans. Plus, I love Ticketfly’s indie sensibility – it’s a great match for Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge’s place in this world, and moving forward in tandem will be effortless.”

Ticketfly CEO Andrew Dreskin calls the deal “a great illustration of how the Pandora-Ticketfly combination is changing the live events landscape”. Ticketfly was bought by the internet radio/streaming giant for US$450 million in October.

Ticketfly’s other New York clients include Central Park SummerStage, Forest Hills Stadium, The Capitol Theatre, Birdland, Output, Baby’s All Right and the Brooklyn Bowl

Its other New York clients include Central Park SummerStage, Forest Hills Stadium, The Capitol Theatre, Birdland, Output, Baby’s All Right and the Brooklyn Bowl.

Tickets to events at the two venues will now be pushed to Pandora listeners in the New York area who have expressed interest in acts scheduled to appear at the venues, and custom Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge digital radio stations were launched on the service today.

Ticketfly added 48 new venues and promoters to its Canadian roster in January with the acquisition of ticketing system developer TicketBreak.

Arenal Sound 2016 welcome in Nules, says town

Arenal Sound, the Spanish music festival facing eviction from its current home in Burriana, has been given permission to relocate to a beachside area near the town of Nules, some five miles south along the Valencia coast.

Although Arenal Sound promoter’s Imusic’s plan is to keep the festival at its current location, which is close to a residential area of the town and has come under attack from locals (one comment on elperiodic.com calls it “a festival that brings nothing to Burriana except waste and noise pollution”), councillors in Nules have reached an agreement to host the event, starting this year, should it no longer be welcome in Burriana.

In addition to noise complaints, is argued that the current location of Arenal Sound violates Spain’s Ley de Costas (Coastal Law) of 1988.

However, elperiodic.com reports that its mooted new home may face a similar problem, being a protected wetland that would need paving – quickly – before the festival starts on 4 September.

The seventh Arenal Sound will take place from 4 to 7 September. Its line-up includes The 1975, The Hives, Two Door Cinema Club, The Hives, Steve Aoki, Kaiser Chiefs, Kodaline and Crystal Castles.

NY attorney-general fines ticket brokers $2.7m, announces anti-bot bill

Eric Schneiderman, the attorney-general of New York who in January announced a crackdown on the use of illegal ticket bots he said were buying tens of thousands of tickets a year to sell on the secondary market, has settled with some of the biggest offenders to the tune of US$2.7 million.

Online ticket brokers TicketToad, A2Z, Just in Time, Flying Falco Entertainment and All Events Utah used software in violation of New York state law to purchase large numbers of tickets – including for Beyoncé’s 2013 concert at the 18,000-capacity Barclay’s Center and the One Direction show at Jones Beach the same year – before they could be obtained by consumers.

In a statement, Schneiderman (pictured) said yesterday: “Our office has zero tolerance for ticket resellers that use illegal bots […] New Yorkers deserve a fairer ticket marketplace. Our office will continue to enforce New York’s ticket laws by investigating ticket brokers who are breaking our laws and making them pay for their illegal acts.”

TicketToad, A2Z, Just in Time, Flying Falco Entertainment and All Events Utah used software in violation of New York state law to purchase large numbers of tickets before they could be obtained by consumers

The attorney-general also revealed today that he is proposing a bill that would increase civil penalties for anyone caught operating the bots, and make their use a criminal offence.

Schneiderman has a long history of campaigning against what he sees as the exploitation of New York consumers by unscrupulous ticket touts. In January he pressured secondary-ticking sites StubHub, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats to remove speculative listings for Bruce Springsteen’s 2016 The River Tour, arguing that listing tickets not yet in the seller’s possession constituted false advertising.

Politicians in other US states have been similarly critical: earlier this year Washington state senator Marko Liias called for an investigation into ticket bots in his state after sites selling Adele tickets “locked up almost immediately after the tickets went on sale”.

Visit five islands in seven days at new Croatian festival Wave Week

A new dance music event in Croatia will offer festivalgoers the chance to visit five Mediterranean islands in the space of a week.

Wave Week, promoted by London-based Croatia Wave Ltd, will transport 250 dance music fans on 40 yachts across seven different coastal venues from 13 to 20 August. Performers announced so far include Simian Mobile Disco, Crazy P, Clive Henry, Inxec, Garry Todd, Krywald & Farrer, Alex Ferrer, Mike Gill and Tamor Zadeh.

The flotilla’s route will start and finish in Split and split and also take in venues in Supertar, Makarska, Paklinksi Islands, Vis and Hvar. The yachts – the cheapest of which, the six-person Grand Soleil 40, will set back revellers £3,364.51 – will be equipped with toilets, showers and wi-fi and, in addition to the music, will afford festivalgoers the chance to visit “the most unique and exceptional restaurants, clubs and bars along the way, from beach barbecues to sit-down supper clubs – a new experience is to be had every single day”.

Mike Gill, Wave Week’s festival director, comments: “We are incredibly excited to announce Wave Week. Croatia has become such an iconic hub for music festivals and by bringing together music, travel and culture, we have curated a very special experience for those who are looking for more out of their festival experience.”

Reeperbahn 2016 announces first performers

Reeperbahn Festival has announced its first 43 performers for 2016.

German pop-folk act Get Well Soon, French chanteuse Louane and German rapper Chefket lead the first wave of acts, with other notable names including British electronic musician/producer Gold Panda, German avant-electro duo Mule & Man, German hip-hop artist Maeckes and hotly tipped British five-piece Blossoms.

A playlist of the performers can be listened to below via Spotify, and a full line-up is available at the Reeperbahn website.

The 2016 edition of the Reeperbahn Festival will take place in the Hamburg neighbourhood of the same name from 21 to 24 September. This year’s partner country is the Netherlands, and the festival will see Dutch Impact, Buma Cultuur and the Dutch Performing Arts Fund NL showcase the Dutch music scene in a series of concerts, sessions and networking events.

Since its debut in 2006, Reeperbahn – which comprises a showcase festival for new acts and a conference attended by over 3,700 international delegates – has grown to become one of the most important meeting places for the global music industry.

Bogus Hawaiian promoter faces 60 years in prison

A Hawaiian man whose ponzi scheme defrauded investors of a total of US$638,000 for bogus concerts and rodeos has been arrested by the FBI.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents detained Turk Cazimero – the owner of a promotions business called Hawaiian Hurricane Productions which, among other things, claimed to be behind the non-existent ‘Vans Warped DJ tour’ – earlier this week, before turning him over to the US Marshals Service ahead of his appearance in court.

According to prosecutors, Cazimero showed prospective investors flyers, websites, advertisements and a YouTube video which claimed that the 56-year-old had previously booked a country music concert and rodeo, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

If convicted on his charges (three counts of federal wire fraud) Cazimero faces up to 60 years in prison – 20 per count.