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Knighthood for Live Nation’s Pino Sagliocco

Live Nation Spain chairman Pino Sagliocco has been appointed a cavaliere (knight) of Order of the Star of Italy, an order of chivalry awarded to those who have boosted the profile of Italy abroad.

The knighthood, granted by the Italian president at the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recognises what Caserto-born Sagliocco “has worked at ceaselessly for more than forty years: to keep Italian culture alive outside of Italy”.

“The brotherhood shared by people the world over has been a priority in Pino Sagliocco’s career, especially the brotherhood between Spain and Italy – nations he considers to be ‘blood brothers’,” says a statement from Live Nation Spain.

“Spain is where he has forged a career that leaves an historical legacy with televised shows of international artists: The Rolling Stones and Madonna live in Barcelona, Soñadores de España with Placido Domingo and Julio Iglesias in Seville; George Michael live in Madrid and Leonard Cohen in San Sebastian; from Whitney Houston in La Coruña to Sinatra in Barcelona; Ibiza 92 and La Nit, which celebrated the arrival of the Olympic flag in Barcelona with the unforgettable song by Freddy Mercury and Monserrat Caballé!

“The brotherhood shared by people the world over has been a priority in Pino Sagliocco’s career, especially the brotherhood between Spain and Italy”

“With this the world [has taken] notice – this espousal of the best of each culture, the bringing together of two countries.

“Pino Sagliocco has spent many years helping Italian artists find their voice in the world, never forgetting the country that spawned them and helped them grow. Italy is a philosophy and a way of life that he carries inside of him, always present…

“Pino Sagliocco is a true representative of La Grande Italia.”

Other recipients of the Star of Italy (Stella d’Italia) include Spaniards Fernando Alonso and Penelope Cruz, former US president John F. Kennedy and Italian-American singer Frank Sinatra.

 


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Oliver Hoppe becomes sole Wizard Promotions MD

Oliver Hoppe has become sole managing director of Germany’s Wizard Promotions.

His father, Ossy Hoppe, stays on as chief advisor, A&R, following Oliver’s accession to the top job at the beginning of 2017.

Hoppe Snr founded Wizard in 2004 and was bought out by Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) in June 2013. He is one of Germany’s most senior promoters and managers, most famous for his work with hard rock acts such as Deep Purple, Kiss, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses and for founding the Monsters of Rock festival in 1981.

On his 60th birthday, he was the subject of a feature in IQ 59 which charted his story from child circus performer to giant of concert promotion.

Oliver had been co-managing director of Wizard since 2012.

“I am extremely pleased … to be able to fully hand over management to my son. It was always my great wish that Oliver would continue my work”

Ossy Hoppe comments: “I am extremely pleased and, at the same time, also reassured to be able to fully hand over the management to my son. It was always my great wish that Oliver would continue my work, and with his many years’ experience, as well as considerable professional expertise, he unites all the elements which will guide the company into a successful future.

“Oliver has already been managing the business for some time now, and the transfer was a smooth process. I will, of course, continue to advise the company and support artists with whom I have a long-standing relationship.

Oliver Hoppe adds: “I thank my father and DEAG for the trust, and feel honoured to continue the history of the Wizard Promotions concert agency into the future as one of the leading concert organisers in Germany.

“With a strong and homogenous team, we have successfully managed to respond to the new challenges of the event market in recent years with the values and core competencies of a traditional tour event organiser as the foundation. I really enjoy the interesting work of combining innovation culture with the classic values of a family business.”

 


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Space to reopen as Hï Ibiza

As predicted by former resident DJ Carl Cox, Ibiza superclub Space, which closed last summer, is to reopen this spring under new management.

The 5,000-cap. club – last year voted the best in the world – will reopen its doors as Hï Ibiza on 28 May, with an opening bash featuring DJs Black Coffee, Luciano, Apollonia, Joris Vorn, Kölsch, Nic Fanciulli, Andrew Oliva and Davide Squillace.

According to new owner Ushuaïa Entertainment, which also runs Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, Hï Ibiza “aims to unite the highest standards of music and entertainment, bringing world-class music experiences to a club designed with the dancer in mind. The state-of-the-art club will showcase the most exciting names in electronic music throughout the summer, from the biggest stars in the scene to the leading lights of the underground, continuing the island’s legacy as the party capital of the world. […]

“Hï is a welcome to a new era in Ibiza”

“‘Hi’ is a small word that can be the beginning of a meaningful conversation [or] the start of a beautiful friendship that can lead to a bigger world of discovery. ‘Hi’ is a welcome to a new era in Ibiza.”

The new resident DJ will be Dutch house artist Martin Garrix.

Ushuaïa Beach Hotel and rival club Pacha were raided by Spanish police last September as part of an investigation into tax fraud, reportedly seizing several million euros in cash.

 


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‘Fan-powered promoter’ Stagelink expands to US

Berlin start-up Stagelink, a ‘fan-powered tour promoter’ that allows artists to crowdsource shows based on demand, has opened its first international office, in Santa Monica, California.

With its expansion to the US, Stagelink says it will be able “tackle the largest entertainment market in the world”, helping creators stateside – especially YouTubers – “leverage a live potential of up to US$50 billion”.

“Coming to the US is an important step for Stagelink’s growth,” comments CEO Nikolas Schriefer. “Our analytics and promotion technology is able to predict ticket sales with an accuracy of 90%.

“Coming to the US is an important step for Stagelink’s growth”

“Thus, Stagelink offers content creators a risk-free opportunity to organise unforgettable live events for their fans and generates additional revenue through ticket and merchandise sales.”

Stagelink bypasses traditional concert/event promotion, offering artists and other creatives a way to “crowdsource live events without risk” by allowing them to find fans and track demand for their shows worldwide and plan tours accordingly. It offers its services for a 15% cut of each ticket sold.

It closed its initial seed funding round last July after raising more than seven-digit euros’ investment.

 


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UMG artists and esports collide at Insomnia

Insomnia, the UK’s biggest gaming festival, will this year have live music for the first time after partnering with Universal Music Group (UMG).

Years and Years, Chase & Status, Wretch 32, Disciples and Jaguar Skills – all of whom are signed to Island Records, a division of UMG – will “take the stage alongside the world’s best videogamers and YouTube stars” at the NEC in Birmingham on 14–17 April, in the latest example of a traditional music company seeking to gain a foothold in the increasingly lucrative esports – or competitive videogaming – business. Global revenues from esports are expected to reach US$1.1 billion by 2019.

Insomnia Gaming Festival director Andy Smith comments: “Insomnia is now bigger, better and even more exciting. These huge music acts will electrify our live stage in April, as we extend the festival to four days by popular demand and introduce some thrilling new gaming features to our fans.”

“Insomnia is now bigger, better and even more exciting. These huge music acts will electrify our live stage in April”

UMG’s parent company, Vivendi (which also owns ticket agencies See Tickets and Digitick), signed a strategic partnership with the world’s largest esports promoter, ESL, in October.

AEG also has an agreement with ESL to host esports events at its venues, including The O2 in London, Oracle Arena in California and Barclays Center in New York.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend Insomnia 60.

 

 


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LAMC apologises for GNR Singapore chaos

The promoter of Guns N’ Roses’ first concert in Singapore has apologised for the logistical issues that plagued Saturday night’s show, but ruled out giving refunds to the any of the 50,000 attendees.

GNR’s Not in this Lifetime reunion tour visited the Changi Exhibition Centre on 25 February, and while the performance itself was well received, promoter LAMC Productions was inundated with complaints from concertgoers unable to buy food and enter or leave the venue. There were reportedly queues of up to an hour to buy food and drink – which quickly ran out, leaving many unable to spend the pre-loaded money on their RFID wristbands – and delays on entry and exit, with some complaining of a wait of more than an hour for the post-gig shuttle bus.

Speaking to The Straits Times, LAMC co-founder Ross Knudson took responsibility for the problems, telling the paper that “maybe it [the show] was too big for us”.

He continues: “We needed a lot more staff, buses and F&B [food and beverage] and to manage the site better. […] I want to apologise for that. It’s a very big endeavour and a very challenging venue to do a show there, but I don’t want to make excuses.

“It’s a very big endeavour and a very challenging venue to do a show there”

“We’re not going to be refunding tickets, but we apologise.”

Unspent balances on wristbands will, however, be refunded.

Sandpiper Digital Payments (SDP) Asia, the supplier of the RFID technology, says it told LAMC before the show there were insufficient F&B facilities and entry queues for 50,000 concertgoers. In a statement, released today, SDP Asia director James Kane says the promoter was “made aware their plans were inadequate [ahead of time]. This pertains to entry, cashless signage, pre-event top up collection, top-up stations, F&B fulfilment, etc.

He adds, however, that “it is the final decision of the organisers and their team to follow or ignore the recommendations”.

The GNR concert was the second to be held at the 75-acre Changi Exhibition Centre, following a LAMC-promoted Metallica show in 2013.

 


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Virginia delegates pass pro-ticket touting bill

As countries around the world crack down on ticket touting – with the launch of the Anti-Resale Alliance by politicians and industry groups in Spain the latest example – one US state has just taken a big step in the opposite direction.

House Bill (HB) 1825, criticised by venues and promoters as “legislation that protects scalpers and out-of-state companies to the detriment of Virginia fans”, has passed Virginia’s House of Delegates, meaning anyone found to be restricting the resale of concert tickets will soon be liable for prosecution.

HB 1825 – introduced last month by Virginia state delegate Dave Albo, who was unable to resell a paperless ticket to an Iron Maiden show he could no longer attend – and its sister State Bill (SB) 1425 provide for a fine of up to $US15,000 for anyone who issues tickets “through a delivery method that substantially prevents the ticket purchaser from lawfully reselling the ticket” online, or “penalises, discriminates against or denies admission to an event solely on the basis that the person resold a ticket or purchased a resold ticket on a specific internet ticketing platform”.

The bill now goes to the desk of Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, who has previously pledged his support to Albo. “He generally believes in fostering competition and innovation,” a spokesman for McAuliffe (pictured) told the Daily Press in January. “And he looks forward to buying his next round of Springsteen tickets on the secondary market.”

 


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Ticketers go to war over ‘fake news’

Milan’s public prosecutor is investigating See Tickets parent Vivendi for alleged market manipulation following its acquisition of a 28.8% stake in Italian entertainment group Mediaset.

Reuters reports several high-ranking Vivendi executives, including chairman Vincent Bolloré, are being probed under a law banning the dissemination of fake news to influence share prices.

Mediaset, founded by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (pictured), is known primarily as Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, but also has a live entertainment ticketing arm, Taquilla Mediaset (‘Mediaset Box Office’), closely linked with Ticketmaster.

A statement from Vivendi, released today, says the investigation is the result of “an unfounded and abusive lawsuit filed by the Berlusconis” and emphasises it “does not in any way signify any accusation against any person”.

“The investigation of Vivendi executives … is the result of an unfounded and abusive lawsuit filed by the Berlusconis”

In other Vivendi news, the French multinational today released its 2016 full-year financial results, showing a 0.5% increase in revenue to €10.82 billion but a 2.9% decline in EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) to €1.2bn.

In ticketing, Vivendi Ticketing (See Tickets UK and US, Digitick in France) generated revenues of €52 million, up 11.8% on 2015 – an improvement on the +6.6% seen in quarters one to three.

Revenue was static at the Olympia venue in Paris, which Vivendi says is satisfactory given the “difficult environment following the November 2016 Paris bombings”.

 


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Record Live Nation turnover for 6th year running

Live Nation stocks soared to an all-time high yesterday following the announcement of record revenues for the sixth consecutive year.

President and chief executive Michael Rapino told investors that the live entertainment giant’s “three core divisions – concerts, ticketing and advertising – [also] each delivered their strongest AOI [adjusted operating income] results in the history of the company”, demonstrating the “tremendous power of the live event, with strong consumer demand and robust supply of new and established artists hitting the road, from clubs to stadiums”.

With the markets anticipating (and getting) a strong performance, Live Nation’s share price this week climbed above US$30 for the first time.

For the 12 months ended 31 December 2016, Live Nation Entertainment saw revenue rise 15% to $8.4 billion.

“Our success in 2016 reaffirms that Live Nation has created an unparallelled live platform”

Operating income was up 48% to $195 million, while AOI (which measures income before acquisition and stock expenses, depreciation and loss/gains incurred from the disposal of assets) climbed 12% to $646m. (Live Nation spent more than $100m on acquisitions in 2016.)

Concert attendance was also up 12%, to 71m, while Ticketmaster increased gross transaction value 16% to $28bn on a constant-currency basis, boosted by posting six of its ten best-ever months in 2016. Rapino said the integration of Ticketmaster into new partner sites, including Spotify and Facebook, led to the sale of 10m more tickets.

The GTV of its secondary ticketing platforms, meanwhile, grew 26% year on year, “driven by the premise that we should safely and transparently provide all options to fans at Ticketmaster, which has been embraced by ticket buyers”, said Rapino (pictured).

Rapino said Live Nation looks on track for another record year, with “the key leading indicators for each of our businesses are up year on year into February, pointing to continued strong growth in 2017”.

GTV from secondary ticketing grew 26% year on year

“We plan on holding more concerts for more fans in more countries than ever before,” he concluded. “We expect to sell more advertising, both onsite and online. And through continued product innovation and expanded distribution at Ticketmaster, we plan on selling more tickets and driving increased conversion.

“Our success in 2016 reaffirms that Live Nation has created an unparallelled live platform, bringing 550 million fans in 40 countries to those unrivalled two-hour events each year. The live business continues to have a strong growth opportunity, with artists touring as their primary source of income and using concerts as the best way to engage and connect with their fans.

“For Live Nation, we believe this sets us up well, as our scale and breadth continue to grow and we drive increased value with our business model of higher profits per show, more advertising and increased ticket sales. All of this creates tremendous runway for Live Nation to continue delivering the level of growth we have demonstrated over the last several years.”

 


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Stars line up for UTA protest rally

Staff at United Talent Agency (UTA)’s LA headquarters will be joined by a galaxy of stars for its protest rally tomorrow (24 February).

In response to president Donald Trump’s attempts to ban immigrants from certain countries to enter the United States, UTA cancelled its traditional pre-Oscars party in favour of a political rally to “express the creative community’s growing concern with anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States.”

As a result, joining UTA chief Jeremy Zimmer and California Lt Gov. Gavin Newsom at the rally will be the likes of Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox, Reza Aslan, Keegan-Michael Key, Cynthia Erivo, Wilmer Valderrama, DJ Cassidy, David Garibaldi, Sam and Casey Harris of X Ambassadors, International Rescue Committee President & CEO David Miliband, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) executive Hector Villagra and more.

The agency has also pledged to donate US$250,000 to the International Rescue Committee and the ACLU.

UTA named additional attendees as Sasha Alexander, Jai Courtney, Ted Danson, James Franco, Perez Hilton, Juliette Lewis, Minka Kelly, Bill Nye, Emily Ratajkowski, Retta, Seth Rogen, Mary Steenburgen and Aisha Tyler.

The agency has also pledged to donate US$250,000 to the International Rescue Committee and the ACLU. Elsewhere, Paradigm is supporting a 3 April ACLU fundraising concert in Los Angeles, while WME-IMG has created  a national political action committee (PAC), which is a form of lobbying group in the US that raises money to influence elections or legislation.

The rally will be broadcast live this evening (11pm–1am GMT) from UTA’s Facebook page.

 


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