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DMZ Peace Train returns to Korean demilitarised zone

DMZ Peace Train Music Festival, the largest international music event held on the edge of the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides North and South Korea, has announced it will return for its second year.

The event takes its name from the DMZ Train, or Peace Train, a South Korean tourist train running from Seoul to stations close to the DMZ.

The festival’s stages are set within view of the DMZ, which serves as a buffer zone between the two countries and is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world.

The inaugural DMZ Peace Train took place last year, attracting more than 10,000 local and international attendees to see performances by over 20 artists from North and South Korea, France, the UK, Japan, Taiwan and Palestine.

The second edition of the event will be held from 5 to 9 June, one month after the first anniversary of the April 27 inter-Korean summit, the first meeting in history between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

The festival will kick off with a two-day international conference and showcase at Seoul multi-event space, Platform Changdong 61.

The festival’s stages are set within view of the DMZ, one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world

Over the course of the festival, performances will take place on the train tracks at Woljeong-ri Station, the northernmost train station on the southern boundary line and at the collapsed former Korea Workers’ Party headquarters. A theatre performance will take place on the Soi Mountain, a long-time strategic military point, recently opened to the public.

Performances will come from Velvet Underground founding member John Cale, “father of Chinese rock” Cui Jian, 1970s Korean folk duo Jung Tae-choon and Park Eun-ok and Seun Kuti, who leads Nigerian group Egypt 80, among others.

The festival is co-founded by the governor of Gangwon Province and Seoul city and organised by the production and promotion team behind South Korea’s premier indie music festival Zandari Festa. The festival’s international advisory board includes UK music executives Stephen Budd (Africa Express, ONEFest, NH7), Martin Elbourne (the Great Escape, Glastonbury) and Martin Goldschmidt (Cooking Vinyl).

Ticket reservations for international attendees are free, with a deposit of 10,000 won (US$9) for one-day pass or 20,000 won ($17) for a three-day pass exchanged at the entrance for a gift certificate supporting local Cheorwon businesses.

 


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Record-breaking summer for music at Wembley Stadium

London’s Wembley Stadium connected by EE is getting ready for a record-breaking summer of live music, with a line-up of 14 concerts expected to attract over a million music fans to the stadium.

The 90,000-capacity stadium, owned by the Football Association (FA), will host five weeks’ worth of concerts from 1 June. Nine headliners will play a total of fourteen shows, in the most music-focused schedule ever for the stadium.

The line-up includes shows from K-pop stars BTS, Bon Jovi, the Who and the Spice Girls, in their first set of shows since the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony. Pink will also perform at the stadium as part of her mega Beautiful Trauma world tour, which has sold three million tickets just over a month in.

The number of concerts surpasses the stadium’s previous record of 13, set in 1992, before the stadium was demolished and rebuilt. The best year for music since the 2007 reopening of the stadium came in 2016, when six headliners played across ten shows.

“We are delighted to host what will be a record-breaking year for music at Wembley Stadium,” says Wembley’s senior commercial manager, James Taylor.

“Holding music events and attracting more people to our venue are an essential part of our business and we are looking forward to hosting some of the world’s biggest artists this summer”

“Holding music events and attracting more people to our venue are an essential part of our business and we are looking forward to hosting some of the world’s biggest artists this summer. We are setting the bar high in 2019 and long may this continue.”

The stadium will also host performances from Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel and Eagles, as well as the Capital Summertime Ball, featuring Mark Ronson, Ellie Goulding, Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5 and Jess Glynne.

In 2016, Wembley Stadium achieved it best-ever turnover of £370m, driven in part by a busier live events calendar, with dates by Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Rihanna and Ed Sheeran.

However, last year the stadium recorded a pre-tax deficit of £9 million, compared with a £5.5m profit the year before, and a drop in sales by 13%. This slump in profit follows a scaling back of the music calendar in 2017 and a renewed focus on football.

More information and tickets for the shows can be found here.

 

A full list of concerts and dates are below:

Saturday 1 June: BTS

Sunday 2 June: BTS

Saturday 8 June: Capital Summertime Ball

Thursday 13 June: Spice Girls

Friday 14 June: Spice Girls

Saturday 15 June: Spice Girls

Sunday 16 June: Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday 18 June: Fleetwood Mac

Friday 21 June: Bon Jovi

Saturday 22 June: Billy Joel

Sunday 23 June: Eagles

Saturday 29 June: Pink

Sunday 30 June: Pink

Saturday 6 July: The Who and Eddie Vedder

 

 


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SiriusXM’s Pandora partners with Ticketmaster

Pandora, the streaming service owned by Liberty Media’s SiriusXM, has announced a new partnership with ticketing giant Ticketmaster.

Pandora sold ticketing business Ticketfly to Eventbrite in June 2017, prior to its US$3.5 billion acquisition by SiriusXM. Liberty Media, whose chief executive Greg Maffei is Live Nation’s chairman, owns a 71% share in SiriusXM and a 34% in Ticketmaster owner Live Nation.

Ticketmaster has now been integrated into Pandora’s AMP platform for artists, which enables the promotion live events alongside music streaming. The platform will use Ticketmaster’s concert data to provide more accurate and up-to-date information on live events.

“In our ongoing effort to provide a comprehensive and seamless artist marketing experience, Pandora has partnered with Ticketmaster to transform live event promotion,” says a Pandora statement.

“Powered by touring data pulled in real-time from Ticketmaster, this new partnership makes communicating with fans about live events easier than ever before”

“Powered by touring data pulled in real-time from Ticketmaster, this new partnership makes communicating with fans about live events easier than ever before. Fans will now be notified of upcoming show announces and on-sale ticket alerts based on their location and listener history,” reads the statement.

According to Pandora, listeners have already clicked on links to Ticketmaster events over 700,000 times following the integration.

The integration of ticketing platforms into live-focused streaming platform features was discussed at the streaming workshop at ILMC 31. Streaming giant Spotify uses ticketing partners Ticketmaster, Songkick, Eventbrite and AXS to promote events.

Ticketmaster has also integrated with YouTube in the United States, using the platform’s geolocations to target nearby and relevant shows to listeners.

 


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Vanessa Reed appointed president, CEO of New Music USA

Vanessa Reed has been appointed president and chief executive of New Music USA, following eleven years as chief executive of PRS Foundation, a UK-based funder of new music and talent development.

During her time at PRS Foundation, Reed has multiplied resources for diverse organisations, composers, songwriters and artists by devising an array of national and international programmes.

Initiatives include the Momentum Music Fund, created in partnership with Arts Council England, New Music Biennial which began as a programme of commissions for the UK’s Cultural Olympiad and Women Make Music, which was set up in response to the gender gap in music.

Reed was chair of the diversity panel at this year’s International Live Music Conference, leading the discussion on the importance of ensuring women reach the top of the industry.

Under Reed, PRS Foundation has awarded over £26 million to more than 4,100 new music initiatives. Major partners that Reed has introduced to the foundation include Spotify, BBC Music Introducing, the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme and the Arts Councils in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

“Vanessa has been the power house behind the force that has transformed the foundation in recent years,” comments Simon Platz, chair of PRS Foundation and managing director of Bucks Music Groups.

“Her passion and energy has been infectious and the strategic partnerships she has struck up between the foundation and all kinds of major funders, music organisations and national bodies like the BBC will be her enduring legacy.”

“Vanessa has been the power house behind the force that has transformed the foundation in recent years”

Reed is also known as the founder of the Keychange initiative, an equality campaign that has committed over 150 festivals and conferences globally to achieving gender-balanced line-ups. Reed will continue to support the international Keychange programme in a voluntary role as honorary chair.

The former PRS Foundation chief has been recognised over the past six years with awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society, Leeds College of Music, Music Week and the BBC.

“I believe that music, like every art form, deserves specialist resources and advocates that offer support, build new connections and create a better future for its creators, practitioners and audiences,” says Reed.

“That’s why I’ve loved every minute of my time at PRS Foundation in the UK and why I’m excited to be taking up this post at New Music USA which plays a crucial role in supporting and connecting America’s many talented and diverse new music communities. I look forward to joining the New Music USA Board and team in New York later this summer.”

New Music USA chairman Frederick Peters says the board is “profoundly grateful” to have sourced “such an extraordinary woman to lead our organisation in the future.” The New York-based organisation supports and promotes new music in the United States, providing financial support and useful connections.

“Vanessa’s deep knowledge of the field, her boundless energy and fountain of transformative ideas, and her collegial approach make her the perfect leader for New Music USA’s next phase,” adds Peters.

Reed will be based at New Music USA’s offices in New York. She replaces former chief executive Ed Harsh, who has left the organisation after 17 years to work as a senior staff member at the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and to take on an independent book project.

Interim chief executive Deborah Steinglass will continue to serve in that role until Reed’s arrival.

 


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Anniversary Woodstock 50 event cancelled

Woodstock 50 has been cancelled, following delays to the event’s on sale and speculation that the event had failed to secure a mass-gathering permit.

Officials from Dentsu Aegis Network which is funding the festival released the following statement to Billboard today (initially published by Amplify):

“It’s a dream for agencies to work with iconic brands and to be associated with meaningful movements. We have a strong history of producing experiences that bring people together around common interests and causes which is why we chose to be a part of the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival.

“But despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees.

“As a result and after careful consideration, Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi Live, a partner of Woodstock 50, has decided to cancel the festival.  As difficult as it is, we believe this is the most prudent decision for all parties involved.”

“Despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed”

The organisers of the Woodstock 50 anniversary festival recently spoke out about the delay to the event’s on sale, originally scheduled for Monday 22 April, but denied the event would be cancelled.

Organisers claimed the on sale would remain delayed while they “refined logistical plans” for the event. Organisers urged “patience and support” from the media and the public.

“Ticket on sale information will be available from the Woodstock website in the coming days,” reads the statement.

It is believed that the delays were due to organisers failing to obtain the required mass-gathering permit from the New York State Department of Health (DOH). Applications to receive the permit – obligatory for any event of over 5,000 people – ought to be made at least 15 days before the first day of advertising for the event and at least 45 days before the first day of the gathering.

“Woodstock 50 has delayed its on-sale while we refine logistical plans for what we anticipate will be an amazing festival in August at Watkins Glen, New York”

According to Tim O’Hearn, administrator of Schuyler County, NY, organisers filed the application on April 15, only one week before the scheduled on sale. Although the event was not due to take place until 16 to 18 August – in well over 45 days’ time – Woodstock 50 organiser and co-founder of the original 1969 edition, Michael Lang, officially confirmed Woodstock 50 would take place and began promoting the event in January.

“The health department is reviewing to determine if a conditional permit may be issued that would allow for ticket sales to commence,” says O’Hearn. “At this point there is no on sale date set.”

In response to initial reports that the event was facing difficulties, Lang issued the following statement: “Woodstock is a phenomenon that for fifty years has drawn attention to its principles and also the rumours that can be attached to that attention. Just more rumours.”

IQ has contacted Lang for comment.

Woodstock 50 was scheduled to take place in Watkins Glen, New York. The line-up was to consist of a combination of legacy acts such as Santana, Dead and Company and John Fogerty, alongside contemporary artists including the Killers, Miley Cyrus and Jay-Z.

 


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PRS for Music reports record music royalties

UK performance rights organisation (PRO) PRS for Music has announced it collected a record £746 million on behalf of its members in 2018, a 4.4% increase from the previous year.

Overall costs for the company rose from £86.2m in 2017 to £93.8m in 2018. The company says the rise is due to investment costs related to the launch of the PPL PRS Ltd joint venture, which serves as a one-stop shop for public performance licensing in the UK.

The company also distributed a slightly lower £603.6m to its songwriter, composer and music publisher members. The company attributes the 0.2% reduction in distributions on “processing delays at our joint venture partners”.

The body collected royalties from 11.2 trillion music performances, including streaming, downloads, radio and TV plays, in addition to live music events.

According to PRS, live revenues are up 13% to £39.9m, boosted by big British festivals and high-profile UK tours. The PRO now receives 4% of the ticket price for live concerts and other music events – festivals excluded – following the implementation of a new live performance tariff in June 2018.

“The way in which we all consume music has changed dramatically over this period, but the popularity of UK music endures; long may it continue”

International collections continue to prove the most profitable revenue stream, bringing in £280.6m in 2018, a 9.1% increase from the year before. Income from digital services also saw a boost, growing by 17% to £145.7m.

However, PRS collections from broadcasters including the BBC, Sky and Global Radio were down 5.1% to £127.7m.

“Royalties from international digital continue to underpin our growth, areas in which we have invested systematically over the past ten years,” says PRS chief executive, Robert Ashcroft.

“The way in which we all consume music has changed dramatically over this period, switching from ownership to access, but the popularity of UK music endures; long may it continue,” adds Ashcroft, who steps down from his role at the end of the year.

Ashcroft also commends the recently passed European Copyright Directive, which he calls “the most significant change in copyright law in nearly twenty years”. The directive compels online content sharing service providers, such as social networking sites and YouTube, to combat the sharing of copyrighted works and seek licenses from the music industry to host their content.

In relation to the passage of the Copyright Directive, Ashcroft has discussed the possibility of receiving royalty revenue from online gaming platforms. A virtual Marshmello concert hosted in popular free-to-play game Fortnite was “attended” by ten million people earlier this year and Weezer used the game to premier their new album Black last month.

 


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Drug testing saves lives at GTM Canberra festival

The Pill Testing Australia (PTA) consortium returned to Canberra-based music festival Groovin the Moo for the second time this year, with increased numbers of punters using the service and a higher quantity of lethal substances detected.

The consortium, previously known as the Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE), detected seven lethal substances among the 171 samples tested.

The testing revealed the potential fatal samples to contain n-ethylpentylone, a substituted cathinone believed to be responsible for a number of deaths, detected for the first time in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) during the first drug-testing trial at Groovin’ the Moo last year.

PTA reports that in all seven cases, those found to possess potentially harmful substances elected to discard the drugs in the amnesty bin after learning about the dangers involved.

MDMA, cocaine, ketamine and methamphetamine were also identified during the trial at Groovin the Moo (20,000-cap.) which featured performances from Billie Eilish and Hilltop Hoods.

According to PTA, the second edition of the pill testing service was “overwhelmingly positive”. The organisation carried out twice the amount of tests as the year before, with 234 punters opting to use the service, compared to 129 in 2018.

Despite the success, PTA has announced that the drug testing at this year’s Groovin the Moo would be the last free trial it runs in the ACT, as enough data has been collected to prove the pilot works.

“This is a healthcare intervention and we are trying to encourage young people to learn a little about the stuff they are putting into themselves”

A PTA representative confirms that the consortium would like to continue testing but could not do so on a self-funding basis.

“Pill Testing Australia is a not-for-profit, we’re only looking at cost recovery,” says PTA co-founder, Gino Vumbaca.

The organisation is crowdfunding to run further pill-testing trials at music festivals, as well as exploring the use of public subscriptions and promoter-based funding. PTA has ruled out charging festivalgoers for the service.

“We will never charge the punter,” says PTA’s Dr David Caldicott. “This is a healthcare intervention and we are trying to encourage young people to learn a little about the stuff they are putting into themselves.”

The ACT is currently the only state in Australia to allow pill testing. ACT health minister Meegan Fitzharris says the state government is committed to “contemporary approaches”, focused on harm reduction, rather than punitive practices.

Groovin the Moo festivals taking place in Adelaide and Maitland, New South Wales (NSW), over the weekend (26 to 28 April) did not offer pill-testing services. NSW police said 14 people were taken to hospital with suspected drug and alcohol intoxication cases at the Maitland festival.

NSW has been at the centre of the pill testing discussion, following a strong of drug-related deaths at festivals in the region. The government has consistently rejected calls to introduce testing services, opting for the implementation of new licensing laws that demand detailed safety plans from festival organisers and impose significant licensing and security costs.

 

 


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MONICA: the project soundproofing festivals

MONICA, a European Commission-funded project, is working to repair the often tense relationship between inner city festivals and the communities that surround them, demonstrating how technology can reduce sound levels and enhance safety at large, outdoor events.

The project works with 28 partners throughout Europe, developing internet of things (IoT) technologies to provide event organisers with services to monitor crowd and capacity, detect security incidents and reduce sound levels outside the festival site. The EU Commission funds most of the project, with partners financing the rest.

Italian electronic music festival Kappa FuturFestival is one of the six pilot sites for the research project, implementing technological solutions and indicating their application within a live event situation. Other pilot sites are found in Copenhagen, Lyon, Bonn, Hamburg and Leeds.

IQ talks to Kappa FuturFestival’s Gabriella Botte about the scheme, the technology behind it and the bright future for inner city festivals around Europe.

Can you tell me about MONICA?
The MONICA project is about managing large-scale, open air events using internet of things (IoT) technologies to help organisers to secure events and manage the impact they have on nearby communities.

The idea came from the experience of the +20 Friday Rock evening event held in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. The city has grown around the park, with concerts held there from spring to autumn, and there have been problems due to the impact of sound on neighbouring houses and security issues relating to crowd control and management.

“In Italy, Kappa FuturFestival seemed like an obvious candidate for the project”

This became a point of discussion and different events started to collaborate, talking about common problems for several large-scale, open air events in Europe.

In Italy, Kappa FuturFestival seemed like an obvious candidate for the project. The festival takes place in a public park in densely populated area in the city of Turin. The event is only for two days but the neighbouring area was suffering significant problems due to noise levels.

Our city represents a best practice within the project as it is the only case in the consortium in which the local authorities, event organisers and scientific institutes are all involved.

How is Kappa FuturFestival involved in the project?
The festival was chosen by the city of Turin and the Links Foundation to become the Italian platform to test the solutions developed by the technical partners.

There are two main axes to the project – security control and sound control. Not every participant is experimenting with venue technologies, but we are, so that encompasses sound monitoring and control, and crowd and capacity monitoring.

The crowd management at Kappa FuturFestival is handled by the local Turin police, but we also work with Kingston University in London.

Kingston University is developing an algorithm to create a sound heat map to detect the flow of people and identify security threats such as overcrowding, fast moving crowds or fights. The idea is for the information to reach the organiser via the fans’ wristbands, signalling where there is a dangerous situation or a fight. We can also give people security information such as the location of exits and direct festivalgoers to them, all through radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.

It is worth noting that we started on this path in 2015, introducing the cashless system as the only payment method allowed at our festival, replacing cash with a RFID device.

“The objective is to balance the optimal outdoor concert sound and the reduction of unwanted noise in the surrounding environment”

However, most of the work we do relates to sound control. Our Futur stage has been used to test a new sound control system from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). This system is based on a set-up of sound level meters and additional loudspeakers “contrasting” with the stage audio system before it gets to neighbouring houses. The objective is to balance the optimal outdoor concert sound and the reduction of unwanted noise in the surrounding environment.

We do this using two control desks – one classic desk directed by a technician and another one at the end of concert area. This acts as a buffer at the concert area perimeter and sends out the same sound as the one at the front, so when two sound systems meet, they should neutralise each other.

It appears that the DTU sound system has resulted in a reduction in sound of six decibels.

Last year, we also adopted an amplifier system to diminish the impact of sound from the back of the loudspeaker, as noise was a big issue backstage.

We have learned a lot since beginning, such as the futility of barriers. Sound moves in waves, so barriers are not useful as it’s always possible that the sound will reach it at its peak. We share knowledge within the project in order to adapt these solutions. Going forward, we want to equip all stages with the two lines of loudspeakers.

“For the general public, the main thing is knowing that the organisers are not just there to benefit from the area but that they want to give something back”

Why are such initiatives important for festival organisers, festivalgoers and the general public?
From an organisers point of view, the project makes an event important and credible as a partner. With this kind of initiative, an event can become a major actor in the scene.

For festivalgoers, what’s important here is not so much learning about the project but knowing that organisers want to introduce technology and innovations to improve the experience, to make sure everything is safe and runs smoothly.

Then there’s the question of sound quality. Not everyone is able to recognise if sound is good or not. Organisers often choose the cheapest loud speaker, but MONICA partner events have to get the best material on the market. This is a good assurance to our audience, showing that we are the best and can work with the best technology.

For the general public, the main thing is knowing that the organisers are not just there to benefit from the area but that they want to give something back. Events bring a positive economic impact to a community, but also a lot of negative impacts for those living around and we want to minimise this so everyone can benefit.

Another thing is that we have the possibility to collaborate with important institutions, and it is not often that such events get the chance to do this. For example, this summer, functionaries from the EU Commission will be our guests at the festival to come and see the project. This is significant as these people may not have come to Turin otherwise. This is a way of bringing attention to our city and to the local area.

“The aim is ultimately to find innovative solutions to make large open air events more secure and less invasive to urban environments”

What other pressing issues do music festivals and events face?
Apart from security and sound, I think the environmental impact is a major issue. Our festival takes place in a public park in a green area. 20,000 people amounts to a lot of rubbish. What we are aiming to do is use more sustainable materials.

For this year’s event, we are eliminating straws. We already use biodegradable plates and forks for food and we are running recycling points with the US-based Global Inheritance Foundation as an incentive for people to collect rubbish.

Another thing that we have started doing is using biodegradable elastic bands for production barriers. This is a significant investment as we use a lot of them and the eco-friendly ones cost three to four times more than normal ones. The idea, of course, is to collect everything up after the festival, but this is not always possible so we need to think of additional ways to avoid polluting park.

What does the future hold for MONICA?
The idea in the future is to be able to develop the technology to be sold by partners to the wider events market. We hope that the most accessible technologies will be available soon.

Inner city festivals are still subject to so many restrictions – just think of the difficulties London festivals have, like Wireless Festival which every year faces more restrictions and obstructions from local residents, or Citadel, which moved last year to Gunnersbury Park, and had a nightmare when it came to people leaving the festival. Hyde Park’s British Summer Time strict curfews which has seen previous headliners fined are all due to sound levels and local residents.

Such issues are what this project hopes to eliminate. The aim is ultimately to find innovative solutions to make large open air events more secure and less invasive to urban environments.

 


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Paradigm signs Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart

Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and producer Dave Stewart has signed with Paradigm Talent Agency for worldwide representation.

The former Eurythmic will be represented by Paradigm’s Tom Windish and newly appointed global head of music Marty Diamond in all areas. Stewart was formerly represented by Jon Pleeter at ICM Partners.

Stewart (pictured) has sold more than 100 million albums over a four-decade career. In addition to being one half of Eurythmics, alongside bandmate Annie Lennox, Stewart has produced and written songs with artists including Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Gwen Stefani, Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Bryan Ferry, Katy Perry, Sinead O’Connor and Joss Stone.

He has also scored a number of independent films, as well as writing and producing title songs for many hit movies, including Jagger’s Golden Globe-winning ‘Old Habits Die Hard’, from Alfie (2004).

“Paradigm’s mandate to push the boundaries of creativity makes partnering with Dave a natural fit”

Stewart is additionally the creator and executive producer of NBC’s upcoming songwriting competition series Songland, and, along with the late Paul Allen, the creator and co-founder of London’s Hospital Club and Los Angeles’ new hClub.

Paradigm will represent Dave Stewart globally, in all areas. Stewart is also represented by attorney Peter Paterno (KHPS), manager Dave Kaplan (DKM) and publicists Kristen Foster and Michael Donkis (PMK*BNC).

“Paradigm’s mandate to push the boundaries of creativity makes partnering with Dave a natural fit,” says Diamond. “Dave is a maverick and one of the most underrated guitarists of all time, [and] we are thrilled to be a part of his evolution as a global media multi-hyphenate.”

“I’m excited to work with Marty Diamond, Tom Windish and the powerhouse team at Paradigm,” adds Stewart. “I am a polymath with music at the core of everything I do, and still have that hunger to disrupt, create and build new worlds and platforms, so music has an interesting and exciting journey ahead. I’m happy we will be on that journey together.”

 


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Asian white-label ticketer Zaiko raises funding

Zaiko, a new Tokyo-based self-service, white-label ticketing company, has raised its first round of seed funding.

Zaiko, which currently works with promoters and event organisers in Singapore and Tokyo, is developing multilingual, multi-currency ticketing capabilities that will be rolled out across Japan and other east/south-east Asian countries. Companies participating in the funding round include venture-capital firm North Base Media and Japanese entertainment business Space Shower Networks.

The Zaiko platform enables direct-to-fan (D2F) ticketing, providing event organisers, venues and artists with a simple, self-service ticketing solution, as well as data for marketing future events and releases. Users, meanwhile, can purchase tickets in English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese, with Thai and Vietnamese set to launch later this year.

In addition to selling tickets through their own platforms, promoters can also offer tickets to Zaiko’s network of digital media partners and influencers and track which are most effective at selling and promotion – a “two-sided marketplace”, says the company, that “gives media partners a new revenue stream through both ticket commissions and the possibility of upselling promotions”.

“Japan and broader Asia are becoming ever more important in both the live event and tourism market”

“This seed round gives us direct access to established organisational partners such as Space Shower, who have a variety of venues, events, and artists in the market,” says Zaiko CEO Malek Nasser. “Japan and broader Asia are becoming ever more important in both the live event and tourism market, so a flexible, digital, multilingual event ticketing platform for organisers and sellers is desperately needed.”

“Zaiko fits nicely with North Base Media’s core belief that media companies can create powerful new revenue streams out of businesses like ticketing,” comments Saša Vučinić, managing partner of North Base Media. “Our relationship with innovative digital-media companies in Asia should benefit both those companies and Zaiko.”

“Space Shower has always supported independent artists to achieve greater success while still maintaining their independence; the music industry needs more direct models, which Zaiko provides in the ticketing space, empowering artists and event organisers to connect with fans,” adds Space Shower CEO and founder Masashi Kondo.

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, ticketing in Japan is a “triopoly controlled by Ticket Pia, e+ and Lawson HMV Entertainment”, although self-service platforms such as Peatix are challenging the companies’ dominance.

 


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