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The decade in live: 2014

The kids were alright in the decade's fifth year, with the UK's One Direction dominating the live landscape with the Where We Are stadium tour

By IQ on 13 Dec 2019

One Direction's Where We Are tour dominated 2014

One Direction's Where We Are tour in Santiago, Chile

image © Javierosh ( (CC BY 2.0)

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

While 2013 saw a new generation of artists begin to make an impact on the touring world, 2014 saw one younger act in particular – British pop heartthrobs One Direction – leave their rivals in the dust, dominating the year with their first all-stadia tour.

As IQ’s then-associate editor, Allan McGowan, wrote at the time, “the big artist news over the last 18 months or so has been the incredible success of One Direction – new, young talent breaking all sorts of records”.

The year of 1D came amid a period of increasing consolidation in the business, with companies such as the Agency Group and FKP Scorpio joining the usual suspects of Live Nation, AEG and SFX Entertainment in growing their international portfolios.

Elsewhere, promoters in places like Turkey, Israel, Hong Kong and Thailand were forced to cancel shows because of violent social unrest, while the UK retained its crown as No1 for large venues, with the O2 in London and Phones 4U Arena in Manchester again the most successful in terms of ticket sales.


2014 in numbers
In 2014, the top 100 worldwide tours grossed US$4.24 billion, down from a record $5bn in 2014.

By far the biggest tour of the year was One Direction’s Where We Are, which ran from April to October, earning $278.2m in ticket sales from 69 shows and dwarfing second-placed Justin Timberlake.

The group were tenth in 2013, with $114m in gross ticket sales, and in 2014 became the first non-‘heritage’ act to top the charts in a number of years, following previous top tours by Bon Jovi, Madonna, U2 and the Rolling Stones.

Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience world tour, in support of his third and fourth studio albums, The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, respectively, grossed $184.7m from 103 concerts, while the ever-dependable Rolling Stones took the third spot with a $165.1m gross.

Katy Perry, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Michael Bublé also all grossed more than $100m, rounding out the global top six.


2014 in brief

Sensible Events chief Andrew Zweck is named as the new European tour coordinator for the Rolling Stones. Zweck takes the role on a consultancy basis for AEG Live, which is handling the Stones’ touring business for the rest of the world.

The Ministry of Sound nightclub’s future is assured, as its owners reach an agreement with property developer Oakmayne over a new block of apartments to be built opposite the iconic London venue.

The Event Safety Alliance makes its Event Safety Guide available. The manual outlines best practice standards for the live event industry and is modelled on the UK’s Purple Guide.

German prosecutors indict ten people on charges including involuntary manslaughter in relation to the Love Parade tragedy that claimed 21 lives and caused injury to 500 others. Four employees of the event’s organiser and six city workers reportedly deny the charges over the incident, which happened in the city of Duisburg in 2010.

In the UK, Birmingham City Council announces that it is selling the NEC Group, which includes the National Exhibition Centre, LG Arena, National Indoor Arena and the Ticket Factory.

New York-based New Age Media Management says it will start using online currency Bitcoin for transactions such as artist fees, stating that the company could make significant savings on banking costs by dealing in the virtual money.

The iconic Ministry of Sound secured its place in London's futureThe iconic Ministry of Sound secured its place in London’s future (© Ministry of Sound Group Limited/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0))

Energy giant SSE buys the naming rights for Wembley Arena in a ten-year deal with venue operators AEG. The building will now be known as the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Live Nation assumes absolute control of Live Nation Japan by acquiring Japanese promoter Creativeman’s minority stake in the company. Financial details were not disclosed but Frank Takeshita leaves Creativeman to become the Live Nation Japan managing director.

British promoter Stuart Galbraith sells a majority stake in his Kilimajaro Live operation to Peter Schwenkow’s DEAG for close to €4m.

William Morris Endeavor Entertainment finalises its acquisition of IMG Worldwide thanks to an investment boost by financiers Silver Lake Partners. Monetary figures are not disclosed.

SFX agrees a five-year deal with secondary ticketing powerhouse Viagogo, reportedly involving a $75m (€55m) sponsorship package and a branded resale marketplace for SFX dance music events around the world.

The Canadian government eliminates its controversial tour tax after complaints that it was hindering foreign artists from performing at small venues in the country.

Wembley Arena became the SSE Arena, Wembley, in 2014Wembley Arena became the SSE Arena, Wembley, in 2014 (© ASM Global)

Secondary ticketing outfit StubHub announces the lay-off of 100 staff, 15% of its workforce.

The Agency Group opens a new office in Miami, Florida, with the appointment of Jeremy Norkin, who will be director of Latin operations.

Four people are killed and at least eight others injured after a flash flood rips through a festival in the town of Refrontolo, Italy.

Live Nation sells its merchandising operation Musictoday to Delivery Agent. The deal involves such accounts as Bonnaroo, the House of Blues and country superstar Tim McGraw.

Philippines-based Music Management International Corporation agrees a joint venture deal with Live Nation to promote shows in the country.

CTS Eventim announces that it has won the business to be the exclusive ticket seller for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Ed Sheeran was the most-streamed artist on Spotify in 2014Ed Sheeran was the most-streamed artist on Spotify in 2014 (© Tom Øverlie, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))

Sixteen people are killed at an outdoor concert in South Korea when a ventilation grate they are standing on collapses. A safety officer at the festival in Seongnam, near Seoul, becomes the 17th victim a day later when he commits suicide.

A group of nine artist managers, led by Guy Oseary, form a new company called Maverick that will operate as part of Live Nation’s management division.

Ticketmaster acquires the assets of secondary ticketing outfit Seatwave, giving it access to markets in Germany, Italy and Spain. Terms are not disclosed.

Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport is confirmed as the site for Lollapalooza’s debut in Europe. Lollapalooza Berlin will take place 12–13 September 2015, adding to the brand’s existing editions in the US, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

Organisers of Parklife festival in Manchester, UK, are fined £70,000 after an SMS campaign backfires. Intended as a humorous text, the messages appeared on consumers’ phones from ‘Mum’, upsetting some recipients.

Spotify announces singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran as the year’s most-streamed artist, with more than 860 million tracks streamed through the service, half of which were for his album X.

Peter Grossman, WME© WME Entertainment


Who we lost
Peter Grosslight (pictured), global head of music for WME (68), and sound designer Derrick Zieba (59), known for his work with ILMC and the Brit Awards, both passed in 2014. Other notable industry deaths included the (Small) Faces’ Ian McLagan, AAArtists agency’s Arthur Shafman, Avalon Attractions founder Gary Perkins, singer Joe Cocker and Cream legend Jack Bruce.


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