The Garden adds biometric entry with Clear
The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has signed a partnership with secure identity service Clear to offer fingerprint-based biometric entry to its Madison Square Garden arena in New York.
The 20,000-capacity Garden becomes Clear’s 14th venue, joining sports and entertainment destinations such as Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in New York, Oracle Park in San Francisco, Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, T-Mobile Park in Seattle and AmericanAirlines Arena and Marlins Park in Miami, as well as international airports across the US.
A dedicated Clear lane at Madison Square Garden will offers fans fast, frictionless access into sports matches, concerts and other live events held at the world’s second-busiest arena, with Clear staff on site to assist patrons with enrolling into the biometric programme and generating their ‘Clear ID’.
“Launching at MSG represents a major milestone for Clear”
“We are pleased to welcome Clear into the Madison Square Garden family,” says Ron Skotarczak, executive vice-president of marketing partnerships for MSG. “Like MSG, Clear is committed to enhancing the customer experience, and we look forward to providing CLEAR’s growing membership with unforgettable Garden memories.”
“Launching at MSG represents a major milestone for Clear, and we look forward to making our members’ experience there more efficient, easier and more predictable so they don’t miss out on what they came to see,” adds Clear CEO Caryn Seidman Becker.
“By adding the Garden to our growing New York City ecosystem, Clear members can now enjoy frictionless experiences at three iconic sports and entertainment venues and three key local-area airports with one biometric ID.”
Roskilde adds Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant
Danish non-profit festival Roskilde has added 32 new acts to its 2019 line-up, including Bob Dylan, Catalan star Rosalía and Led Zeppelin icon Robert Plant.
More than 180 artists will play at this year’s Roskilde Festival (85,000-cap.), taking place from 29 June to 7 July. The new additions join previously announced acts including the Cure, Christine and the Queens, Jorja Smith, Jon Hopkins and Cardi B.
Roskilde Festival 2018 won line-up of the year at the European Festival Awards in January.
Nobel Prize-winning Dylan will play with his band on Wednesday 3 July, returning to the festival for the first time since 2006.
“Few artists have had such a profound influence on music and popular culture as Bob Dylan,” says head of programme Anders Wahrén. “To many of our young festivalgoers, this will be their first chance to witness an artist who has changed the course of music as much as he has.”
Former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant brings his band the Sensational Space Shifters to Roskilde this year, mixing world music, psychedelic folk and American blues, as well as playing some Led Zeppelin classics.
“Few artists have had such a profound influence on music and popular culture as Bob Dylan”
Catalan singer Rosalía also appears on the bill.
“Rosalía is a perfect example of a pop star who makes global pop music in an age when genre and language barriers mean less. The way she effortlessly mixes classic flamenco with pop and hip-hop is testament to her brilliance and the curiosity of millions of listeners out there,” says Wahrén.
Wahrén adds that “it’s crucial for us to present a line-up with great music from all over the world.”
The newest artists to feature on the Roskilde line-up span 16 countries. Greenland rock band Nanook, Iranian pop star Liraz, Brazilian rap jazz artist Tássia Reis and Belize’s Garifuna Collective make up some of the eclectic mix.
New acts have also been added to the festival’s Nordic talent programme and arts and activism programme.
Tickets for Roskilde 2019 are on sale now, with tickets costing £240 (2,100 DKK), including free access to camping.
Countdown to the Arthurs 2019: Natasha Bent
He might look as if he’s been around the block a few times, but 2019 marks Arthur’s 25th birthday, so to celebrate his landmark silver anniversary, we contacted some past winners of the coveted statuette, awarded annually at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London.
As well as learning what the arrival of Arthur meant to their professional lives (and where he resides in their homes and offices), we asked our alumni to share their hopes and dreams for the future; their most memorable ILMC and Gala Dinner moments; and what new Arthur category they might like to see in our annual awards show.
Following yesterday’s contribution by tour manager Andy Franks, it’s the turn of Coda’s Natasha Bent – who won agent of the year (aka the Second Least Offensive Agent) last year, after being named Tomorrow’s New Boss at ILMC 22 in 2010…
Winning the Second Least Offensive Agent award meant the world. It’s a vote, support and recognition from your peers and I will never take it for granted. Being a mother, I feel a responsibility to lead and show what’s possible.
I keep Arthur in my home office. Being a mum of two, I have a great set-up at home, as well as at Coda.
My most memorable moment from the Gala Dinner and Arthur Awards over the years was winning Tomorrow’s New Boss and the celebrations that happened after…
I would say my biggest achievement and memory from ILMC is hosting the gender panel – an issue incredibly important and close to my heart. Those that were on the panel I hold in high regard and I was so pleased with how it went. The women that spoke to me after the session, thanking me for hosting the panel and explaining the effect it had on them, shows just how powerful it was.
“I’m hoping for … there to be actual positive change within companies and at live events. It’s our problem to solve”
If there were to be a new Arthur category, it should be a personal one… something that credits respect, relationships, ethics and making positive change to the industry.
I’m excited by the future. I think it will bring faster changes to the industry across records, streaming, technology, live experiences and so forth. ILMC needs to keep being at the forefront of this. I’m hoping for equality to continue to be an open and important discussion and for there to be actual positive change within companies and at live events. It’s our problem to solve.
My greatest hope for the future would be equality, kindness, respect, good mentoring, fairness, giving back and incredible shows!
Other previous Second Least Offensive Agent award winners include Steve Strange, John Giddings, Geoff Meall, Rob Challice, Emma Banks, Steve Zapp, Mike Greek, Barry Dickins, Dave Chumbley, Ian Huffam, Paul Franklin, Carl Leighton-Pope, Ben Winchester and Martin Hopewell.
IMRO celebrates Ireland’s best live music venues
The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) held its 11th Live Music Venue of the Year Awards in Dublin this week.
The Irish performing rights society held the ceremony at its headquarters in the country’s capital, celebrating the nation’s best venues, festivals and tech crews. Over 12,500 IMRO members voted for the awards. The ceremony was hosted by Paddy McKenna, the editor of Ireland’s male-targeted news website, Joe.ie.
The Irish public voted to crown Dublin’s multi-purpose arts venue, the Sugar Club (350-cap.), as the national venue of the year.
In the regional categories, Dundalk pub the Spirit Store (230-cap.) won the prize for best venue in Leinster outside of Dublin, Monroe’s (180-cap.) in Galway was the best of Connacht and the An Grianán Theatre (383-cap.) won Ulster’s best venue. Live at St Luke’s in Cork, a live music venue in a former church, won the prize for Munster.
Other awards went to the nation’s best music festival (All Together Now, 15,000-cap.), best small music festival (Wexford Spiegeltent festival, 1,200-cap.) and best tech crew (Olympia Theatre, Dublin).
“We’re privileged in Ireland to have such a vibrant and eclectic live music scene, which is the backbone of the music industry as a whole”
Joe Clarke, the co-founder of CWD, a music-focused production, management and promotion company based in Dublin won the outstanding contribution to live music accolade. CWD currently manages Dublin rock band Bitch Falcon, Cork singer songwriter Jack O’Rourke and Irish producer and DJ Mark McCabe.
“We’re privileged in Ireland to have such a vibrant and eclectic live music scene, which is the backbone of the music industry as a whole,” says IMRO chief executive Victor Finn. “We feel it is vital to acknowledge the venues and festivals who support live music from a musician’s first performance right through to internationally known headline artists on main stages.”
Irish music and politics magazine, Hot Press, named Mike the Pies (100-cap.) in Listowel as its live venue of the year. The publication’s editor, Niall Stokes, also gave special commendations to Live at St Luke’s and the Chasin’ Bull in Bundoran.
Stokes says it is a “hugely optimistic moment for Irish music”, with “an extraordinary talent pool” represented at the awards.
“It is a deep love of music – as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of fun – which inspires a great venue,” says Stokes.
UK Live hails new Ireland visa waiver process
Britain’s live music industry has welcomed new Home Office rules that will allow non-EAA artists, bands and sportspeople to enter the UK from the Irish republic, and work for up to three months, without a visa.
The new entry arrangements, announced today (28 February), will put an end to the requirement for individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EAA) working in the creative and sporting industries to apply for a visa to perform in the UK when entering through the Republic of Ireland.
The change follows months of meetings between Home Office officials, UK Music and the UK Live Music Group, whose members include the Concert Promoters Association, Entertainment Agents’ Association and International Live Music Conference (ILMC).
UK Music and the Live Music Group wrote to the government last October to urge a rethink of guidance that forced non-EAA, and particularly American, artists to apply for UK visas when entering via Ireland. According to the letter, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) altered the guidance in August 2017 so that visiting entertainers from countries such as the US and Canada would require British visas – changes, they allege, that were not properly advertised, with no consultation was held with industry stakeholders, with the result that “it was virtually unknown across the industry very recently.”
“Ensuring the best international talent can perform in the UK is vital for the creative industries’ continued success”
Commenting today, UK Music CEO Michael Dugher says: “I am delighted to have worked, alongside our Live Music group, with the Home Office to identify a solution so that non-EU artists and their crews can still enter the UK via Ireland under a certificate of sponsorship.
“The live music industry, which contributes around £1 billion to the economy, will put this into practice so that we can continue to attract the biggest and most talented global artists to perform at our world-leading concerts, festivals and venues.”
Eligible individuals will still be required to have a certificate of sponsorship (COS) under the Tier 5 (temporary worker – creative and sporting) route, which has been in existence since 2008.
Steve Richard, of T&S Immigration Services, who has been “struggling for [the new rules] since at least last May”, welcomed the changes, saying they should put an end to confusion around the rules for entering the UK through its nearest neighbour.
Previously, he tells IQ, passengers travelling on Aer Lingus flights from the US to London or Manchester – but which stop off in Dublin first – “don’t realise they’re even going to see Irish immigration, so they land in Dublin and find their cards aren’t valid, their COSes aren’t valid – sometimes Irish immigration don’t even know what the COS is. We’ve had musicians slung in jail overnight for not having the proper documents.”
“I am delighted to have worked, alongside our Live Music group, with the Home Office to identify a solution”
Richard also reveals T&S has already trialled the new system several times, and “it’s worked perfectly so far”.
Commenting on the new regulations, Caroline Nokes, minister of state for immigration at the Home Office, says in a statement: “Our creative industries are world leading. Not only do we produce elite talent, but we also host some of the most exciting live events in the world.
“Ensuring the best international talent can perform in the UK is vital for the creative industries’ continued success and that is why we launched this new process, ensuring creative talent can easily arrive to perform in the UK directly from Ireland. I look forward to continuing to work with UK Music and the wider sector so our leading live music industry can continue to thrive.”
Detailed information on the Common Travel Area (CTS) between Britain and Ireland, including all forms and guidance, can be found on the Gov.UK website.
No more plastic bottles at Glastonbury
Single-use plastic drinks bottles will not be available at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, with organisers encouraging festivalgoers to bring reusable bottles to refill at free water taps, WaterAid kiosks and from bars across the festival site.
1.3 million plastic bottles were used at Glastonbury Festival in 2017. The Greenpeace-partnered festival has now announced that plastic bottles will not be available to purchase at this year’s festival and will not be supplied backstage, in the production, catering or dressing room areas.
Greenpeace estimates that up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year. The environmental NGO advises that the best way to avoid plastic pollution is to reduce plastic usage.
Festival organisers urge visitors to bring reusable bottles, stating that the number of WaterAid kiosks dispensing water around the festival site has tripled. Free drinking water will be available from all bars across the site.
Traders who previously sold soft drinks in plastic bottles will now stock canned soft drinks and Life Water, available for purchase.
“It’s paramount for our planet that we all reduce our plastic consumption, and I’m thrilled that, together, we’ll be able to prevent over a million single-use plastic bottles from being used at this year’s festival,” says Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis.
“I really hope that everyone – from ticket-holder to headliner – will leave Worthy Farm this year knowing that even small, everyday changes can make a real difference”
“I really hope that everyone – from ticket-holder to headliner – will leave Worthy Farm this year knowing that even small, everyday changes can make a real difference.”
The festival has already phased out plastic cutlery and plates from food traders, as well as single-use plastic cups and plastic straws.
Single-use plastics and reusables have been a hot topic of conversation within the music industry over the past year and will be discussed in detail at this year’s Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI).
The Plastic-Free Festival Guide, launched at last year’s GEI, has sparked many festivals to take a look at their festival consumption.
Last year, festival operators across the corporate and independent circuits committed to a ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds at their events. Festival Republic, Global/ Broadwick Live and AEG/ Goldenvoice banned plastic straws across all their 2018 summer festivals. The move followed the elimination of plastic straws at Live Nation/MAMA events.
In the independent sector, 60+ signatories of the Association of Independent Festivals’ (AIF) ‘Drastic on Plastic’ campaign pledged “to eliminate single-use plastics at our event(s) within 3 years by 2021, and to promote reuse solutions wherever practically possible.”
The 11th edition of GEI, in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), will take place on Tuesday 5 March at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.
Eminem 2019 Rapture tour to break more records
Eminem’s upcoming show in Wellington, New Zealand, is expected to bring record numbers of visitors to the Kiwi capital, as well as breaking the attendance record for the city’s 34,500-seat Westpac Stadium.
The rapper’s TEG Dainty-promoted 2019 Rapture tour has already been one for the history books, as a record 80,708 fans attended the Eminem concert at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday night.
A total of 45,000 fans will attend the one-off Eminem concert on Saturday 2 March in Westpac Stadium. According to stadium chief executive Shane Harmon, this will be the largest ever crowd to attend a single-day event in the stadium.
The venue organisers will have 1,500 staff members on hand at the concert, as well as installing additional food, drink and bathroom facilities.
“It’s going to be another huge weekend in the capital”
It is expected that 22,000 of these fans will be visitors, travelling from outside Wellington to attend the show. The previous record for single-day event visitors was set in 2017, when 20,000 British Lions rugby fans visited the city for a test match against the New Zealand All Blacks.
“It’s going to be another huge weekend in the capital,” says Wellington mayor, Justin Lester. “People will need to expect a bit of congestion on the streets and footpaths. Let’s welcome visitors and enjoy the occasion.”
Eminem has only played one New Zealand show before, at Western Springs Stadium (49,000-cap.) in Auckland, as part of his 2014 Rapture tour. The concert was the stadium’s fastest-selling show ever, attracting over 50,000 fans.
New signings & rising stars (Mar–Apr 2019)
Agent: Steve Backman and Stefan Romer, Primary Talent
This five-piece band formed in Brighton and are named after a local heroine known as “the priestess of the bath.” Drawing from the bandmates’ various influences, MarthaGunn are mining an eclectic mix of the ’70s, indie- rock and classically tinged pop music.
A large proportion of the last year has been spent in a remote house in Wales, writing what will be the band’s next batch of releases and eventual first album. During this period they have also toured with AnnenMayKantereit in Germany and Austria, and Findlay and Blind Pilot in the UK, and have played a number of festivals including Kendal Calling, the Great Escape and Womad.
Agent: Phyllis Belezos, ITB
A music industry triple threat, Arielle could enjoy an impressive career solely either as a singer or songwriter or guitar player, but has combined all three of those gifts to create a unique artistry that defies genres and borders.
She opened for Eric Johnson on his three-month US tour last year, and has also supported and played with the likes of Vince Gill, Gregg Allman, Heart, Joan Jett, Country Joe McDonald, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, and many more. Arielle has already made the cover of Guitar Player magazine and released the single ‘California’, which reached no3 on the CMT Pure Country chart, while her most recent release, ‘My Gypsy Heart’, debuted for eight weeks in the Billboard charts in 11 different categories.
Arielle was the guitar player for Avery in the TV show Nashville (also the city where she currently resides), and the purity of her four-octave voice draws comparison to Karen Carpenter and Eva Cassidy.
Morgane Ji (Fr)
Agent: Markus Rogue, Agents 4 Music
Morgane Ji is the perfect example of the successful blending of multiple ancestries with her African, Indian and Asian roots. As for her style and aesthetic approach, no one has managed to pigeonhole her; she strives to create the unexpected.
A pop-rock musician and practitioner of world electronic music, Reunion-born Morgane Ji is immediately recognisable thanks to her unique voice: protean, raspy, soft, animal-like. Her wide vocal range, melodic lines and shamanic cries offer audiences entertainment and excitement, as her performances feel like journeys through deep emotional and visual worlds.
Her album, Woman Soldier, was released last year to critical acclaim. She will be taking her unique talents to Colombia in March for two shows, and appearing at festivals in Russia, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands this summer.
Ambassador Theatre Group makes live music moves
Theatre operator Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has announced a major move into live music venues, as it reopens historic north-east England venue, the Stockton Globe (+3,000-cap.).
The move signals ATG’s intention to strengthen its foothold in the live music and comedy industries, leading the expansion of the venue operator’s portfolio of music-focused venues.
Providence Equity Partners-backed ATG runs close to 50 venues worldwide, including theatres in London’s West End and on Broadway.
ATG aims to utilise its network to bring music and comedy talent back to Stockton Globe for the first time in over 40 years, as the art deco venue is due to open its doors again in 2020.
Stockton Globe first opened in 1935, playing host to artists including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, before closing in 1974.
Post-refurbishment, the venue will accommodate over 3,000 people in a flexible auditorium suited to standing and seated events. A smaller 250-capacity venue will open in the adjoining building.
“We’ve been working with the council to tailor the Globe so that it is one of the best in the industry for hosting live music and comedy events”
“We’ve been working with the council to tailor the Globe so that it is one of the best in the industry for hosting live music and comedy events,” says Adam Kenwright, ATG group board director.
“With over a year to go before doors open, ATG are already in discussions with household music and comedy acts so that we can bring these stars to the Tees Valley community and back onto the Globe’s stage after having no live entertainment inside the venue for over 40 years,” adds Kenwright.
The opening of the Globe is expected to bring in £18 million annually to the local economy and will give Stockton the biggest live entertainment venue between Newcastle and Leeds. The venue’s refurbishment is funded by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
For more information and to find out about memberships and ticket sales, join the Stockton Globe mailing list.
MelodyVR appoints Miles Lewis as CCO
Music virtual reality (VR) company MelodyVR has announced the appointment of former Shazam executive Miles Lewis as chief commercial officer (CCO).
Lewis joins the London-based music technology company from Shazam, where he held the position of international senior vice president. The new MelodyVR CCO also previously worked in sales and commercial roles at Last.fm, Yahoo and AOL.
In his new role, Lewis will lead commercial strategy and strategic partnerships, with a key focus on revenue generation and global growth.
As the world’s first dedicated VR music platform, MelodyVR has partnerships across the music industry, with record companies Universal Music Group and Warner Music group, as well as NEC Group venues, among others. The company teamed up with ex-One Direction singer Liam Payne in December for its first ‘Live in VR’ event.
“The opportunity to experience your favourite music via virtual reality is a new frontier in entertainment”
“The opportunity to experience your favourite music via virtual reality is a new frontier in entertainment,” comments Lewis. “I look forward to launching exciting and engaging initiatives that will build meaningful commercial partnerships and I am incredibly honoured to be joining the MelodyVR team at this point in its trajectory.”
Anthony Matchett, executive chairman and chief executive of MelodyVR says he is “very pleased” to announce the appointment. “Miles’ prior experience across sales and commercial functions will further our opportunities with regards to strategic partnerships, branded content opportunities and revenue generation,” adds Matchett.
Viewers in the US and much of western Europe can participate in both live and non-live VR concert experiences via the MelodyVR app, available on Oculus Go and GearVR devices.