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Gorillaz announce Now Now tour, Demon Dayz Fest US

Gorillaz’ Demon Dayz Festival is going global, with a US edition set to debut in Los Angeles this October.

While the UK leg – the only edition of which took place last June at Dreamland Margate (15,000-cap.) in Kent – was an AEG/Goldenvoice event, the LA festival is promoted and produced by Live Nation, and will be the “exclusive appearance” for Demon Dayz in 2018, says the company.

It is unclear whether Demon Dayz UK will return in 2019, and where the deal with LN leaves its chief rival; IQ has sought clarification.

While rumours suggested Demon Dayz would make its US debut in Chicago, the inaugural event will take place at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena (6,250-cap.) and Grounds in LA on 20 October.

The line-up, to be announced shortly, “will be comprised of [sic] special guests and collaborators from within and beyond the Gorillaz extended family,” according to Live Nation.

Also announced today are a new Gorillaz album, The Now Now, and a North American tour, The Now Now tour. Dates are:

8 October        Air Canada Centre, TORONTO
9 October        Bell Centre, MONTREAL
11 October      Wells Fargo Center, PHILADELPHIA
13 October      Barclays Center, NEW YORK
14 October      TD Garden, BOSTON
16 October      United Center, CHICAGO
20 October     Demon Dayz Festival, LOS ANGELES


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Law firm launches team to advise music stars

Shoosmiths, one of the leading law firms in the UK, has launched a new team to specifically focus on the needs of high-net-worth clients from the industries of media, music and sports. The firm hope to attract new clients in the form of agents, athletes and entrepreneurs.

As part of this new Elite Advisory Team, the firm has announced Haydn Roberts, former Manchester City head of player liaison, will take the lead.

At a launch event for the new team, where speakers included UK festival veteran Jon Drape (Ground Control/Broadwick Live), Roberts commented on his new role: “It is no secret that the quality of legal advice given can make or break careers in the world of sports and entertainment.

“At Shoosmiths we have specialist, full-service expertise which is not only rare but integral for these industries who require a full spectrum of legal advice.”

“The pressures on high-profile performers, whether in sport or music, are greater now than ever”

Present at the launch event was also former England international David Platt, who highlighted why the law firm was perhaps undertaking this new venture. Speaking to an audience of experienced people from the fields of music, media and sports, he explained that stars in the entertainment industries needed ready access to expert advice more so than in the past: “The pressures on high profile performers, whether in sport or music, are greater now than ever and they need 24/7 access to trusted, expert counsel.

“Haydn’s team and the team at Shoosmiths will be able to provide exactly this kind of service.”

The move is a collaborative effort between Shoosmiths’ private client and commercial practice groups. The specialist team will seek to maintain current trusted relationships between the law firm and high profile clients, as well as forge new relationships with prospective ones.


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Peex launches with Elton John partnership

The live music platform Peex has launched this week with an exclusive partnership with Sir Elton John, ahead of the start of his final worldwide tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road. Via Peex Live and Peex ReLive the company aims to “improve the connection between fans and artists,” by creating personalised concert experiences through their augmented audio reality technology.

From September 2018, concertgoers at select dates of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour will be able to use Live to enhance their experience.

Live allows users to manipulate concert sound in real time, whilst still remaining completely immersed in the event. Using the wearable device – the Peex rX – and their app, concertgoers will have access to high quality audio and a five channel mix of the concert. The result is a completely personalised concert experience.

“PEEX [have] developed an incredible new technology that will revolutionise the way fans listen to live music”

Once the curtain goes down, users can purchase audio downloads of past shows via ReLive. Elton John concerts powered by the company will be available for download as well as future Live concerts. Additionally, to celebrate its launch and partnership with Elton John, ReLive will offer users the opportunity to purchase five never-before-seen recordings of past Elton John shows.

Peex’s launch in the UK, US and Europe follows years of testing and development at various shows and venues and with multiple artists. For three years, Sir Elton has worked with the company, saying: “I am passionate about giving my fans my best possible performance and making sure they get the best possible experience.

“…Peex [have] developed an incredible new technology that will revolutionise the way fans listen to live music.”

The app is currently available to download for free in the UK, US, Netherlands and Germany from both the App Store and the Google Play Store. Additional countries will be added throughout the summer of 2018.


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New horizons: Diversification pays off for Kili in birthday year

On the back of its successful diversification strategy and Ed Sheeran’s massive stadium tour, British promoter Kilimanjaro Live is on course to double its revenue in 2018, according to CEO Stuart Galbraith.

Kili turned over around £26 million in 2017, said Galbraith, speaking to IQ for the company’s recent 10th anniversary feature, and expects to double that figure this year.

Kilimanjaro – founded as a music promoter by Galbraith in 2008 as a joint venture with AEG, and now part of Deutsche Entertainment (DEAG) – has, particularly over the past four years, diversified well beyond music, into family entertainment, comedy, gaming, YouTubers and more, and recently acquired a majority stake in London-based Flying Music Group, accelerating its expansion into West End musicals and theatre.

The company also works on spoken-word shows, podcast tours and sporting events such as Extreme Nitro Circus. On the comedy side, promotion duties are headed up by Georgie Donnelly, who joined in 2016, and Kili has since worked with the likes of Jeff Dunham, Jim Jefferies, Trailer Park Boys, Michael Che, David Sedaris, Brian Reed, Mike Birbiglia, Aziz Ansari and Tape Face. It also has a run of multiple shows each year at the Edinburgh Fringe.

“We’re happy to try our hand at everything,” says Galbraith, who says Kilimanjaro has a “very vibrant” series of events in the pipeline. “Our staff have a combined skillset that’s as good as any promotion/marketing machine anywhere in the world.”

Part of the rationale behind that diversification, he explains, is that the margins of music touring are increasingly tight amid both soaring artist fees and the steady increase in the cost of putting on a show.

“We’re happy to try our hand at everything”

“And when something does go wrong with a tour, it has a huge financial impact,” he continues. “That’s why any promoter these days runs a 5–10% margin.”

The musical/family entertainment sector is also attractive to promoters because of “the opportunity to create something and own it” – something not possible with touring – adds Galbraith.

“On the music side, you only really start making money on arena- and stadium-sized acts,” adds promoter Mark Walker, who has carved out a niche promoting and producing shows by YouTubers and other digital stars. In early 2016, he co-founded Free Focus, a digital management company, as a joint venture with Kilimanjaro and TV/radio agency Triple A Media.

“Stuart didn’t take much persuading or convincing,” he recalls. “We’d been chatting for a few years about the limitations in the rock world. “I think the proof was in the pudding, as soon as we started doing our first tours and selling out shows off the back off one Instagram post and one YouTube video!”

Read the rest of IQ’s feature on Kili’s tenth anniversary, which also includes insights on the company’s history, its opposition to secondary ticketing and the early career of Ed Sheeran, here.


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We are family: Kilimanjaro Live at 10

To an outsider looking in, using the word “family” to describe one of the corporate entities behind Ed Sheeran’s massive UK stadium shows may seem a strange description – how can a company that turned over some £26 million in 2017 even begin to resemble a small business, let alone a household?

Yet that’s exactly the picture painted by Kilimanjaro Live’s execs and senior employees – most of whom have been there from almost the beginning – of life inside the company, which has over the past decade firmly established itself as one of Britain’s most important home-grown promoters.

“There are people in the company who’ve been here since 2008,” marvels Galbraith, just back from a visit to Australia for a preview of Sheeran’s latest ÷ tour. He recalls Kili’s first office, when the company “literally consisted of myself and my then-assistant, Fiona Carlisle, in a tiny cupboard in the offices of [PR firm] Outside Organisation.

“And here we are ten years on…”

A decade later, Kilimanjaro is “pushing 60-odd people,” and while Galbraith admits that he’s not sure he envisaged quite as many employees, the company still maintains an indie ethos that puts a premium on the wellbeing of its growing stable of staff.

“We have to make money; if we didn’t we wouldn’t be able to pay people’s salaries,” he explains. “But what’s as important is that we have fun. Our staff have to be happy to come into work – if they’re not, we’ve failed as an employer.”

Just like starting over
Kilimanjaro Live – initially a joint venture with AEG – officially began life on 1 January 2008, some four months after Galbraith parted ways with Live Nation UK, where he was formerly managing director. “When we started Kili, there were two different agendas,” he says.“From AEG’s perspective, the goal was to help fill their brand-new arena at the O2, and Kili succeeded in that: in the first four years, we had 40 shows there.

“We really are like a family – you get the swearing and fallings-out, but we’ve grown together”

“The second agenda, from my side of things, was to use AEG’s capital to bring on staff and take a five-year view to establish our promoters and build a roster, which is exactly what we did. In the early part of 2012, we agreed to separate from AEG – there was a put-call option in the contract, and it made sense to let us go.”

Galbraith was joined later that year by concert promoters Steve Tilley and Alan Day, both of whom joined the company on the same day in August 2008. “I was based in Stoke-on-Trent at the time,” Tilley recalls. “I’d built myself up a little mini-empire: I was a DJ, I had a rehearsal space, a recording studio, a management company with an act [Agent Blue] signed to Island Records… And I still co-own [400-cap. venue] the Sugarmill. But it had got to the point where I’d hit a glass ceiling – I was a big fish in a little pond – and I’d decided it was time to take on the challenge of working as a national promoter.”

Tilley says he credits X-ray Touring co-founder Steve Strange with encouraging him to make the move to the capital and, ultimately, Kili. “We were at Reading [festival] in 2007, and he said to me, ‘You could be down in London, booking festivals.’ I had friends who were national promoters, and [from then on] the seed was firmly planted.

“Then I met Stuart, and the rest is history…”

Day, meanwhile, was working as a regional promoter across a number of UK cities, including Oxford, Reading and Northampton. “Stuart was setting up Kili and I was recommended to him by various people,” remembers Day. “I thought he was a good guy, and that it would be great to work for a company where I could be there from the start and help build it.”

Other members of the class of 2008 include Zac Fox, Kilimanjaro Live’s long-time head of operations and a former colleague of Galbraith’s at Midland Concert Promotions (MCP) in the 90s, and promoter Mark Walker, who promoted pop-punk and emo bands under Galbraith at Live Nation and followed him over to Kili.

“Our staff have to be happy to come into work – if they’re not, we’ve failed as an employer”

The Kilimanjaro experience, suggests Fox, is “a lot like the MCP days. We really are like a family – you get the swearing and fallings-out, but we’ve grown together, and it’s still really enjoyable.”

Tilley comments that, like all families, life as a member of the Kili clan “hasn’t always been plain sailing,” with “as many down days as up.” However, he adds, the company’s unity of purpose and drive to succeed means “we’ve managed to stick together and come through our rough patches.”

“Three men and a dog…”
Right from the outset, says Day, Kili has focused on breaking and developing new talent, a mentality that continues to this day. “We could sit back and be content with what we’ve got – which is fantastic – but we’re always looking to discover new bands,” he explains, “and Stuart’s been like that from the very start.

“It’s just like how he invested in me, Steve and Carlo – we had no rosters when we came here, and now Steve’s got the biggest act in the world.”

The Carlo in question is promoter Carlo Scarampi, who came to Kili from AEG in September 2012. “It’s been the key to our success,” agrees Scarampi, whose successes include Bastille, Jess Glynne and Rag’n’Bone Man. “We’ve broken so many acts now across all genres, which is great. There’s nothing better than seeing that progression in an artist.”

“That’s one of the most pleasing elements of Kili,” adds Galbraith, “To find new acts and be part of that breaking process – helping bands get from zero to arenas and hopefully stadia. And that’s true of many of the bands we work with now: Whether it’s the 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bastille… we’ve worked with them all from the very beginning.”


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 77, or subscribe to the magazine here

Further events cancelled following Mutiny deaths

This weekend’s Live at the Bandstand and next week’s Undercover Skatepark will not go ahead as planned in Portsmouth, UK. The decision to postpone the two events follows the cancelling of day two of Mutiny Festival, after Tommy Cowan, 20, and Georgia Jones, 18, lost their lives after taking a lethal dose of MDMA last week.

In a statement released by Portsmouth City Council, councillor Steve Pitt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, says: “Unfortunately we have decided not to go ahead with this weekend’s bandstand events.

“This was going to be the season’s big event on Castle Field and following the tragic events at Mutiny Festival it was felt we would have to put extra measures in place to safely manage it, and this wasn’t practical at such short notice.”

The council have said they are in the process of arranging a replacement bandstand event, Last Night of the Bandstand, which is earmarked to end the season in September. Details for this will be released as soon as they are available.

Bandstand organiser, Nick Courtney, has spoken to local media in support of the council’s decision. “We fully accept the decision to cancel the event after what happened at Mutiny,” he tells The News.

“The council has made this decision for the greater good”

“I dare say it was a decision they didn’t take lightly. It’s a question of making sure everyone is safe. The council has made this decision for the greater good.”

The news that these events will not be going ahead comes after it was announced an investigation would be launched into the deaths of the two young people. Two people, a 21-year-old woman and a 21-year old man, also remain under investigation for supplying class-A drugs.

Portsmouth councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson has said last week’s events may also lead to Mutiny Festival not getting a licence for future events, and festival organisers themselves have said the future is as yet uncertain for Mutiny.

Since last week’s deaths, festivals and outlets have been warning festivalgoers against taking any drugs. The organisers of Manchester’s Parklife have warned of a similar “very strong batch of pills”, known as ‘Punisher’ pills, in circulation in the local area:


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ASA refers Viagogo to National Trading Standards

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has referred Viagogo to National Trading Standards for its failure to amend the misleading information on its website, regarding the website’s lack of clarity about total prices upfront.

The company was given until the deadline of 29 May to make the necessary changes to its website that the ASA demanded; as the company neglected to do so, it has been referred to the NTS for consideration of statutory sanctions such as fines and prosecution.

“Viagogo was given clear warning and handed the opportunity to play fair with consumers by removing misleading pricing information from its website; its failure to do so means it will now face the consequences,” says ASA CEO Guy Parker.

“Viagogo was given clear warning and handed the opportunity to play fair with consumers”

“Where an advertiser or business is unwilling or unable to follow the advertising rules we will act. In light of Viagogo’s inability to get its house in order, we’re referring it to National Trading Standards to consider appropriate action.”

FanFair Alliance’s was one of the 23 complaints submitted to the ASA about Viagogo. Campaign manager Adam Webb has this to say about Viagogo: “This is yet another step towards forcing the biggest ticket resale sites to follow UK consumer law and stop their misleading marketing practices. We’ll need some time to assess the full impact of today’s ASA announcement – but perhaps the most positive result for fans would be if Google and other search engines exhibited corporate responsibility and stopped taking Viagogo’s advertising spend.

“Cutting them off from search would dramatically transform this market, and help audiences locate face value tickets from authorised sellers.”


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Little Concert partners with Airbnb for Sounds Like London

Music platform Little Concert has partnered with online lodging service-turned-concert organiser, Airbnb, to launch a series of concerts this June as part of Sadiq Khan’s Sounds Like London campaign.

The series will consist of 11 concerts over the space of a month, commencing on the first of June with the British musician Jade Bird, who will be the first person ever to perform in the iconic north tower of Tower Bridge. The concerts seek to tackle the problems artists have in making profit from their music; with many UK venues having shut down over the past decade, it’s becoming increasingly harder for acts to find paid work.

Sounds Like London aims to provide vital support to grassroots acts and the industry as a whole in the capital, with an emphasis on the women in the scene. It also includes the latest round of Music Venue Trust’s Fightback gigs, which raise funds for legal advice for small venues.

“This series of concerts is a great way for us to support the grassroots music scene”

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, comments: “London is a powerhouse of music, having produced artists from Adele to Stormzy and the XX to Dua Lipa. Grassroots music venues are at the very heart of our success as a global capital of music: they are the places where emerging artists are able to hone their talent, and great producers and promoters are able to cut their teeth in the industry.

“That’s why I’m delighted that Airbnb and Little Concert are supporting my Sounds Like London campaign – a month of amazing activity in all corners of the capital. This year’s celebrations will put women artists, DJs, producers and promoters front and centre, showcasing the best of the industry and inspiring the next generation of female talent.”

Airbnb’s head of music concerts, James Beshara, comments on on the concerts: “Cultivating unique, local experiences is at the core of what we do at Airbnb, so we’re thrilled to be working with Little Concert to give a platform to up-and-coming artists. This series of concerts is a great way for us to support the grassroots music scene, which is an important part of the industry, while bringing together fans and artists in unique locations around the city.”


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Live Nation acquires Texan promoter ScoreMore Shows

Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in ScoreMore Shows, the largest promoter in Texas and formerly one of the largest independent outfits in the US.

Co-founded in 2010 by Sascha Stone Guttfreund and Claire Bogle, Austin-based ScoreMore promotes than 200 concerts annually in the southern US. It also owns and operates three music festivals – travelling hip-hop event JMBLYA, El Paso pop festival Neon Desert and Hallowe’en-weekend EDM event Mala Luna – and recently partnered with J. Cole and his Dreamville Records label to produce the inaugural Dreamville Festival, which is set to take place on 15 September in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The company, says Live Nation, has made a name for itself as a tastemaker, booking urban acts such as J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper for small club shows early in their careers.

The takeover of ScoreMore is Live Nation’s eighth acquisition or equivalent of 2018, coming after its majority buy-out of Rock in Rio/Rock City and investment in biometric ID company Blink Identity earlier this month.

“We are so excited about this new chapter for ScoreMore in having the resources, support and partnership of Live Nation,” comments Guttfreund. “To have gotten our start in Austin, and ultimately be in business together with Live Nation, is honestly a dream come true.

“They are going to accomplish even greater things as part of the Live Nation family”

“This team does not take any of our success for granted, and we’d like to especially thank Michael [Rapino], Bob [Roux], Jordan [Zachary] and the rest of the Live Nation family for giving us this incredible opportunity.”

Adds Roux, president of US Concerts at Live Nation: “Sascha and the ScoreMore team have a proven ability to form very early and long-lasting relationships with top talent, and their ground-breaking events, whether an intimate club show or a giant festival, really resonate with a diverse and passionate audience base, as well as with the leading artists that they present.

“This company is just getting started, and we are all very excited about their future, as we know they are going to accomplish even greater things as part of the Live Nation family.”

ScoreMore’s festivals join Live Nation’s portfolio of more than 100 events worldwide, including US festival mainstays Bonnaroo, BottleRock, Governors Ball and Austin City Limits.


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Waldbühne Berlin unveils new backstage area

CTS Eventim, the operator of the Waldbühne Berlin, opened the newly constructed backstage area for the 22,000-capacity open-air venue last night, at an inauguration party headed by local politician Aleksander Dzembritzki and the CEO of CTS Eventim, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

The opening of the new backstage area comes perfectly nine days before the start of the the new season, providing artists with comfortable rooms and furnishings to rest in before and after shows. The latest building was designed be Max Dudler, an internationally renowned architect who studied at Frankfurt’s Städelschule.

“We are delighted at having turned the Waldbühne Berlin into one of Europe’s leading open-air stages in recent years”

The venue celebrated its highest ever yearly attendance last year, sending it to the top of Pollstar’s 200 leading amphitheatres. The venue has hosted sold-out shows from acts including the Rolling Stones, Rammstein, Robbie Williams, Paul McCartney, Leonhard Cohen, Pink, Muse, Neil Young and Black Sabbath.

Schulenberg comments: “We are delighted at having turned the Waldbühne Berlin into one of Europe’s leading open-air stages in recent years.

“With the new backstage area, we ensure that the Waldbühne will be setting standards, in terms not only of atmosphere, but also of infrastructure, in the interest of both artists and visitors. We are grateful for the support we received from Max Dudler, a truly outstanding architect whose work has already shaped Berlin’s appearance markedly in many different places.”


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