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Radiohead, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro for first Trnsmt

Radiohead, Kasabian and Biffy Clyro will headline the first edition of DF Concerts’ new Glasgow festival, Trnsmt.

Trnsmt, launched last week, will take place in the second weekend of July – the traditional dates for T in the Park (TITP) – and has been described as a replacement for the on-hiatus festival, although the line-up appears to be targeted at a slightly different audience.

The line-up so far is as follows:

Trsnmt line-up

Unlike T in the Park, Trnsmt is a non-camping event, taking place on Glasgow Green in the city centre, and is half the capacity: 35,000, as opposed to 70,000 for TITP 2016.

DF Concerts head Geoff Ellis says: “We’re incredibly pleased to be bringing such a fresh, new festival to Scotland. Trnsmt will bring together the best in live music, from global acts to the best cutting-edge artists on the King Tut’s Stage […] against the iconic skyline of Glasgow. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing the rest of the line-up, as well as all the additional experiences that Trnsmt will have to offer, such as mouth-watering street food and a diverse offering of drinks. Stay tuned – there’s plenty more to come!”

Glasgow City Council leader Cllr Frank McAveety adds: “Trnsmt is already shaping up to be an exciting event that will add to that global reputation – and become a big date in the city’s summer calendar.”

Early-bird tickets are on sale on 3 February for £149 for three days.

Other festival headline slots for Radiohead (pictured) in 2017 include Glastonbury, Rock Werchter, NorthSide, Main Square, Open’er and Coachella.

 


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AEG Live completes The Bowery Presents deal

AEG Live has finalised its agreement to acquire an undisclosed stake in New York-based promoter/venue operator The Bowery Presents.

The deal – believed to have been close to completion as far back as last April – gives AEG a significant presence in the American north-east, and marks the end of a second independent New York promoter following Live Nation’s April 2016 acquisition of Founders Entertainment.

Bowery partners Jim Glancy and John Moore will, alongside AEG Live’s senior vice-president of the north-east region, Mark Shulman, oversee The Bowery Presents’ operations, including its newest venue, the 1,800-cap. Brooklyn Steel in East Williamsburg. The company books, produces and promotes more than 2,500 events annually.

According to The New York Times, the famed Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge venues are not a part of the deal, as they are still owned by Michael Swier, who sold his stake in The Bowery Presents in 2010.

“We are confident that AEG Live will allow us to run The Bowery Presents autonomously and stay true to our entrepreneurial spirit”

“The Bowery Presents and AEG Live share a passion and commitment to delivering the best music experiences to fans,” comments AEG Live chairman and CEO Jay Marciano. “Jim and John have built an incredibly respected organisation with a proven track record of success and we are pleased that they chose to partner with us. We look forward to working closely with them to further grow The Bowery Presents brand.”

Glancy adds: “We are excited to join forces with the like-minded innovators that make up the AEG Live family. When we started looking at how AEG Live has partnered with other independent promoters, it gave us the confidence that AEG Live will allow us to not only run The Bowery Presents autonomously and stay true to our entrepreneurial spirit, but increase our reach within our existing markets and expand our horizons for future growth.

“Bands and audiences can continue to expect the same music-first experience we’re known for providing.”

 


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Peter Rieger passes aged 63

Peter Rieger, the founder of Cologne-based promoter Peter Rieger Konzertagentur (PRK), has passed away aged 63.

The news was announced today by CTS Eventim – since 2000 the majority stakeholder in PRK – which paid tribute to a man who has provided “thousands of people wonderful memories” and “given numerous artists their breakthrough”.

“We were deeply moved by the death of our longtime business partner and colleague, Peter Rieger,” reads a statement. “We are mourning for a giant of the live entertainment industry.

“The death of Peter Rieger does not just mean a big loss for the industry, but also a farewell to a long-time companion. Our sincere condolences to his family and relatives.”

“We are mourning for a giant of the live entertainment industry”

PRK, founded in 1983, has been led by managing director Klaus-Peter Matziol since 2015, when Rieger retired. A joint statement from the company’s staff and management described the late promoter, who passed on 29 January, as a “passionate and visionary leader” who “guided our company over many decades, creating unforgettable moments in music performance”.

Solo Agency managing director John Giddings says that despite stepping down from his MD role at PRK, Rieger was “still very much hands-on” with the business – and that the two were co-promoting Phil Collins’ shows in Germany later this year.

Giddings, who had known Rieger since the late 1980s, says his friend died “far too young”. “I’m in shock,” he tells IQ. “He was good for a laugh and generous beyond belief, and helped me out a lot when it was starting out.”

“He was good for a laugh and generous beyond belief”

“Peter was a great character who will be dearly missed throughout the industry,” comments Rob Hallett of Robomagic. “We worked a lot together in the ’80s – my fondest memory probably involves him having the first car phone that I had ever seen. We were in Berlin with Kajagoogoo, and while driving past the Brandenburg gate I telephoned my Mum from the car. She was blown away!”

“When I was an agent, he delighted in calling me ‘Robbery Hallett’, he adds. “I can hear him laughing at his own joke now…”

Danny Gillen, the long-serving road manager for Phil Collins, says Rieger “wasn’t just a promoter: he was my friend, as he was to all touring bands and crew. He was a man who loved his job and loved his life. Peter was funny, generous and a real credit to the music business – but most of all he was a loyal man. Loyalty is a thing you can’t buy – you’ve either got it or you haven’t – Peter had it in spades.”

“Peter was a great character who will be dearly missed throughout the industry”

Agent and International Live Music Conference (ILMC) founder Martin Hopewell describes Rieger as “a significant figure in the development of the European live music scene, one of the all-time great German promoters and a highly valued founder member of the ILMC. He was also an elegant, intelligent man who I’m very grateful to have known. Losing people of Peter’s experience and quality diminishes the live industry in a way that can never really be compensated for.”

Marillion drummer Ian Mosley, for whom Reiger promoted several tours in the early 1980s, says he has “very, very fond memories of Peter”.

Fish, the band’s former frontman, adds: “I was so sorry to hear the news of Peter’s passing. He was a great friend and advisor to me in the ’80s and instrumental in breaking Marillion in Germany. His contribution to the music business over the years on so many levels has been immense. A fantastic character with a sense of humour that could light up any venue.

“My sincere condolences to his family. He will be missed by so many that he touched during his time with us.”

“His contribution to the music business over the years on so many levels has been immense”

Mike + The Mechanics singer Tim Howar calls Rieger “a brilliant man and legend”. On behalf of the band, he says: “We will miss you.”

“This has been a sad and dismal week,” says manager and former agent Ed Bicknell. “I’ve lost three dear pals: John Wetton, of King Crimson, Asia and UK, Deke Leonard, of Man, and now Peter. I did many shows with him back in the day when I was an agent, and he worked with Dire Straits and other acts of mine many times.

“He was a total professional, a pleasure to deal with and funny – definitely funny. Which is what every promoter needs: a sense of humour. This year has got off to a gloomy start already.”

“He was a total professional, a pleasure to deal with and funny – which is what every promoter needs: a sense of humour”

Born on 12 April 1953, Rieger promoted some of Germany’s most memorable shows, including high-profile dates by David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Genesis, U2, George Michael, Eagles and Whitney Houston, and Roger Waters’s The Wall – Live in Berlin.

Prior to founding PRK, Rieger worked for Lippmann + Rau before moving to Mama Concerts, where he promoted his first show by an international act: Level 42.

He was named promoter of the year (promoters’ promoter) at ILMC 16 in 2004.

 

This article will be updated with tributes from those who knew and worked with Peter Rieger as we receive them. If you would like to contribute, please email jon@iq-mag.net.

 


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Jazztronaut Entertainment files for bankruptcy

Belgian promoter and booking agency Jazztronaut Entertainment has been declared bankrupt.

The Brussels-based company, which promotes the Hello Jazz, VW Spring Sessions, VW Campus Tour and Brussels Jazz Marathon festivals, was declared insolvent on 20 December by the Commercial Court of Brussels.

Jazztronaut’s managing director, Marc Klein, died in July, although it is not known whether his passing is connected to the demise of the company. IQ has been unable to reach any representatives of Jazztronaut, as phones have apparently been disconnected and its website, www.jazztronaut.be, taken offline.

Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reported in August 2015 the company was allegedly owed €80,000 by jazz pianist Jef Neve.

 


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Palais’s Neil Croker launches concert consultancy

Neil Croker, the outgoing CEO of the Palais Theatre in Melbourne, has launched a new concert consultancy, The Prestige Presents.

Croker, whose Palais Theatre Management Company was ousted as operator of the 2,896-cap. venue – now run by Live Nation Australia – spent nine and a half years at the Palais, and has also directed and promoted Australasian shows by Michael Jackson, AC/DC, Dire Straits and Bette Midler.

With The Prestige Presents, Croker says he’s “bringing his extensive experience, knowledge and contacts within live music, theatrical events, production, management, operations, strategy, planning, marketing and commercial services to the marketplace” with the new advisory and concert consultancy business, providing a “professional, reliable, communicative, supportive relationship to take events to the next level”.

Croker can be contacted at ncroker@theprestigepresents.com.au.

 


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Eventbrite acquires Ticketscript

Eventbrite has bolstered its presence in live music with the acquisition of Amsterdam-based Ticketscript, Europe’s largest self-service ticketing service, for an undisclosed sum.

The two companies in 2016 processed more than 35 million tickets, worth over €500 million, for close to a million events, and Eventbrite says the acquisition sees the San Francisco-headquartered company become Europe’s third-largest ticketing platform (after Ticketmaster and CTS Eventim).

Ticketscript, founded in 2006, also has offices in Britain, Spain, Germany and Belgium. Eventbrite, meanwhile, is active in eight countries worldwide, including Germany, the Netherlands the Republic of Ireland.

A spokesperson for Eventbrite tells IQ the combined company will trade as either Eventbrite or Ticketscript depending on the country. “The long-term goal is to operate one platform, the brand of which could be Eventbrite or Ticketscript, depending on what makes the most sense for our customers in the respective market,” she explains. “This will be done in a thoughtful way, with appropriate notice, when the time is right.

“In the upcoming months, both Eventbrite and Ticketscript will be working to ensure a smooth transition to create a combined platform.”

“This acquisition perfectly aligns with our strategic vision to become the world’s leading marketplace for live experiences”

Ticketscript CEO Frans Jonker – who becomes Eventbrite’s general manager for continental Europe – comments: “We have been building significant market presence in Europe for ten years, with a focus on self-service ticketing for music events. We share Eventbrite’s passion for allowing event organisers to control their event marketing and ticketing while retaining their end customer data.

“Joining forces with Eventbrite, the global innovation leader in event technology, will no doubt help further accelerate the digital transformation of the European live experience industry.”

Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz adds: “This acquisition supercharges Eventbrite’s footprint in Europe and brings ten additional years of traction in the music space and experience in European markets to our business.

“It perfectly aligns with our strategic vision to become the world’s leading marketplace for live experiences, and adds significant assets and technical power to our platform. We are looking forward to this new partnership combining the best solutions from both companies, and bringing them to our customers around the world.”

 


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Coda forms strategic partnership with ITG

Coda Agency has formed a joint venture with London-based Independent Talent Group (ITG), one of Europe’s leading film and literary agencies.

The deal, which Coda partner agent Alex Hardee tells IQ has been two years in the making, will “enable broad cross-platform access across their respective rosters and [incorporate] capabilities in brand partnerships and licensing, digital and corporate events”, according to a joint statement from the two agencies.

ITG’s client base encompasses actors, directors, writers, producers, models, presenters, comedians and casting directors, while the company incorporates entertainment and fashion marketing firm ITB Worldwide, corporate entertainment arm ITG Corporate and voiceover agency Advoice.

Also based in London, Coda is one of Europe’s fastest-growing music agencies, currently employing 19 agents. Its live roster includes Take That, The xx, Disclosure, London Grammar, Tiësto, The Prodigy, Sia and Brits critics’ choice winner Rag’n’Bone Man.

Formed in 2002, the agency has shown robust growth over recent years, adding several high profile agents to its ranks including Cris Hearn, who joined from Primary Talent in April 2014; Solomon Parker, who moved from WME Entertainment in August 2015; and, most recently, Natasha Bent, who joined from UTA in November 2016.

The JV enables “broad cross-platform access across the agencies respective rosters and incorporates capabilities in brand partnerships and licensing, digital and corporate events”

Beverly Hills-based Paradigm Talent Agency bought a 50% stake in Coda in January 2014, enabling the two agencies to pool their expertise and resources on a global basis. Paradigm had announced a strategic joint partnership with leading EDM agency AM Only two years prior, while Windish Agency was added to the fold in July 2014.

Of Paradigm’s three ‘strategic partners’, Coda was the only not rebrand as Paradigm earlier this month.

The joint venture with ITG gives Coda the opportunity to offer non-music services to its roster of clients, in a similar vein as agency giants CAA and WME Entertainment. ITG’s client list includes actors Daniel Craig, Colin Firth and Claire Foy, director Danny Boyle and writer-comedian Steve Coogan.

The new Coda-ITG alliance has also announced the launch of a fund – believed to be millions of pounds – to invest in “innovative and future-facing live projects in Europe”. Further details will be announced in the coming months.

 


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The steel magnates

One of the major beneficiaries of the growth of the live music industry, and the many festivals and tours that are now constantly on the road, is the steel business – the engineers and crew who erect everything from the most basic fencing through to the most elaborate stage sets that audiences have ever witnessed. But we ain’t seen nothing yet…

The list of suppliers now operating in the steel sector is vast, but among the best known experts are the likes of Star Events Group, Stageco, Megaforce, Eve Lion Trackhire (formerly Eve Trakway), Prolyte, All Access Inc, Tait Towers, Gearhouse, Mojo Barriers and eps, some of whom tell IQ that, against the backdrop of a tough economic reality, 2016 has been better than they hoped. Others report it far exceeded forecasts; suggesting a mixed bag, but not one doused in misery.

“It’s been better than a good one – it’s been the best!” says an ebullient Tom Bilsen, operations director for Stageco, of the past year for his company, which worked on major tours by Beyoncé, AC/DC, Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen and Rihanna. “We have never had this much work in one year. We have never had as many stages out at the same time. But it also means we have never had as much turnover that reflects the amount of work we did throughout the whole year.”

Michael Brombacher, CEO of staging rivals Megaforce, says, “The demands of classic festivals and concerts/artists, did not really change in recent years concerning steel and structures. But festivals more and more want to offer their audiences different attractions in one place, so there is not only a main stage, but also a second stage, chill out area, camping area, VIP platform, club area and so on.

“2016 was a busy year for stadium cover”

“They offer different themes in one festival in order to create a kind of adventure event with the character of a vacation including camping.”

On the back of a bumper 2016, supplying stages and support structures to festivals, stadium shows, sports events, brand activations and more besides, Star Events special projects director Roger Barrett is busy developing infrastructure for the new year. “Further investment of over £1.5 million [€1.8m] before next summer will see festival mainstay Orbit Flexidome rebranded as Orbit Arch, with more height, floor space and rigging capacity, while a new, touring ‘Ultra’ version of the flagship VerTech stage system will be unveiled in early 2017 too,” Barrett reports.

David Walkden of Eve Trakway says that major stadium shows by acts like Rod Stewart, Elton John and Beyoncé – as well as recurring work at festivals such as Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Bestival – provided an uptick for his company this year. “2016 was a busy year for stadium cover,” he says. “We serviced over 30 stadiums in the UK, providing promoters with heavy-duty trackway to enable safe access into venues, which is paramount for the protection of their production infrastructure.”

 


Read the rest of this feature in issue 69 of IQ Magazine.


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Trailblazer scheme bears fruit in Blackout hires

Blackout has appointed the industry’s first Trailblazer rigging apprentices in a double hire.

The rigging/drapes supplier was one five companies to take part in a trial day for the Trailblazer scheme – a British government-backed initiative to create three million new apprentices by 2020 – at Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham last June.

Roisin McClearn and Bridie Lane, selected from more than 70 applicants, joined Blackout’s London office earlier in November and have since “been involved in every aspect of day-to-day life in the warehouse, working with drapes, seams, rigging, truck loading and unloading, stock taking, prepping for jobs and ongoing equipment maintenance”, says the company, which also has an office in Paris.

“It has been a pleasure to welcome Rosin and Bridie to the team and I look forward to see them develop skills and industry knowledge with us over the next three years”

Blackout project manager Alex Duke comments: “Now three months into the new industry training scheme, both of our new apprentices have very quickly rolled up their sleeves and displayed an eagerness to immerse themselves into all elements of the business and the experiences the events industry offers.

“They have quickly picked up navigating around our extensive warehouse, picking jobs, learning the processes of simple truss installations and hanging of drapes. It has been a pleasure to welcome Rosin and Bridie to the team and I look forward to see them develop skills and industry knowledge with us over the next three years.”

 


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Vendini hires first chief people officer

Vendini has appointed Susan Hollingshead its first ‘chief people officer’ (CPO).

Hollingshead, who joins from solar power company Sungevity, will “play a vital role as we continue to grow, recruit new talent and ensure that Vendini’s core values resonate with everyone on our team,” says Mark Tacchi, CEO of the San Francisco-based ticketing and event marketing firm.

Vendini, which topped US$2bn in gross sales in September and recently raised $20 million in series-A funding, looks to “jumpstart 2017 with continued progress under Susan’s leadership”, adds Tachi, who says the company’s success is “owed to our kick-ass employees and our infectious culture”.

An increasing number of companies, especially tech firms, are hiring a CPO, which is roughly equivalent to a chief human resources officer.

“Vendini’s success is owed to our kick-ass employees and our infectious culture. Susan will play a vital role as we continue to grow”

Writing on LinkedIn in 2014, Reputation.com founder Michael Fertik admitted chief people officer is “a title with the potential of sounding a little precious, like the ‘vice-president of happiness’, ‘brand evangelist’, ‘digital overlord’ or other Silicon Valley labels that dress up what are really garden-variety gigs”, but said the  position isn’t a “phone-it-in role – nor is it a cutesy name for the traditional human resources function. It’s a strategic shift in how we think about people, culture and enterprise value over the long term at a company.”

At Sungevity, Hollinghead oversaw the company’s growth from 50 to more than 1,000 in a six-year period.

“As Vendini grows, I want to ensure that its culture thrives, providing a rich environment for employee development and commitment,” she comments. “A skilled and dedicated workforce will amplify Vendini’s commitment to outstanding customer experience. Through developing a comprehensive HR [human resources] and shared services function, employees will be more energised and our members will continue to flourish.”

Vendini last summer launched a strategic business unit (SBU) for live music, headed up by Ticketmaster and AEG Live alumnus Mark Meyerson.

 


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