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The New Bosses 2021: Theo Quiblier, Two Gentlemen

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Tessie Lammle, booking agent at UTA in the US here.

Theo Quiblier started like a lot of people in the industry – in a band with classmates – but quickly realised he was better at finding shows than playing them. He began promoting shows at La Parenthèse in his hometown of Nyon, Switzerland, aged just 16, while also working for festivals such as Montreux Jazz and Antigel.

Spending more time booking shows than studying at university in Geneva, Quiblier was approached by Two Gentlemen’s Patrick David, who offered him a job as a junior booker.

Fast-forward a few years and he is the company’s head of concerts and touring and works with a roster that includes The National, Angel Olsen, The War on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, Squid, Fontaines D.C., Father John Misty, Viagra Boys, as well as powerhouse Swiss supergroup Brandão Faber Hunger. Quiblier also manages Dino Brandão.

 


You’re a promoter, an agent, and an artist manager – which role is your favourite?
It’s the diversity of roles. Being able to work every day with everyone in the team on so many different topics is thrilling. The more you understand each aspect of the industry, the better you can service your clients and partners.

As you began working in the business as a teenager, do you have a mentor or anyone you turn to for advice?
Patrick David. His experience and knowledge are an inexhaustible source of inspiration to me. If we don’t spend at least one hour on the phone a day debating, it’s probably because one of us is sick. Also, Sébastien Vuignier who has always given me his time. A true legend!

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
The National at Samsung Hall in Zürich in 2019. When you do this job you secretly dream of promoting your absolute favourite band.

“You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it”

What are you most looking forward to as the pandemic restrictions are lifted?
Sweaty gigs in small rooms with people flying all over the place! The band comes on stage and the show hasn’t even started yet you already know the night’s going to be electric. I miss that so badly…

Also finally being able to see live some artists we’ve been working with for more than three years and who still have not been able to come over and perform for the reasons we all know.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
Never be afraid to make mistakes. You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it. That’s so valuable and entirely part of the process.

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you and Two Gentlemen are taking out of it?
Being able to press pause, sit down together as a company and ask “How are we feeling? How are we doing? How can we improve?”, has been a gift. Also, cooperation with others has never been so good. I can definitely feel a real sense of togetherness.

 


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Live Nation extends artist discovery platform to Australia

Live Nation has announced the expansion of its global artist discovery platform Ones To Watch to Australia.

Currently live in the US, UK, China and New Zealand, the Ones to Watch platform introduces new artists and their music to fans globally via exclusive interviews, playlists, live performances, and other music content.

The platform has played a part in kickstarting the careers of global stars including Dua Lipa, Halsey, Benee and Yungblud.

Ones to Watch Australia will launch as an interactive digital platform and a live showcase, in collaboration with the government of South Australia’s Music Development Office, and Music SA.

The platform will showcase rising new talent within Australia, including musicians, bands, and producers, who will be provided with support to help launch their careers through Live Nation’s global network.

“By launching the platform in Australia, emerging artists are able to reach both local and global music fans at a fast pace”

The invite-only showcase is set to be held at Adelaide’s Lion Arts Factory on 8 October and will include performances from local acts Colourblind, East AV3 and Teenage Joans.

The night will feature three of South Australia’s 2021 Robert Stigwood Fellowship Recipients, and is taking place as an invitation-only segment of Music SA’s annual industry showcase event, Scouted. Fans will get the chance to win tickets to the event.

The event will be the first in a series of regular quarterly events as part of Ones to Watch, intended to introduce emerging artists to key industry professionals and local fans.

Chris Akavi, Live Nation promoter and Ones to Watch curator, says: “Ones to Watch has played an important part in developing some of today’s biggest breakout stars.

“By launching the platform in Australia, emerging artists are able to reach both local and global music fans at an incredibly fast pace. The Ones to Watch program and Live Nation are proud to be growing a platform that shines a light on up and coming talent and helps them to get on stages across the country.”

The Ones to Watch scheme in neighbouring country New Zealand has delivered four showcase events featuring 13 emerging artists and 45 pieces of ‘unique artist content’ which have reached 8.7 million to date.


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Superstruct buys into Finnish metal festival Tuska

Superstruct Entertainment has signed an ‘investment and partnership agreement’ with Finnish Metal Events Oy, organiser of Tuska Open Air Metal Festival.

Launched in 1988, Tuska (Finnish for “pain”) takes place annually in Helsinki across three days and is one of the largest metal festivals in the Nordic countries.

In 2019, the festival set a new attendance record, welcoming 43,000 visitors over the course of the event.

The deal will see Providence Equity-backed Superstruct become a key shareholder of the Tuska festival. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is the next step for Tuska,” says festival director Eeka Mäkynen. “Focusing on boutique festivals, Superstruct will provide us with more muscles for development and more rivets in our belt.

“Superstruct will provide us with more muscles for development and more rivets in our belt”

“All shareholders and key personnel will continue to be involved, and the organisation will continue to run the festival independently. The mosh pit will keep spinning, only faster – in other words, the festival will remain its own unique rough self, as it has been until now.”

Jouni Markkanen, who has been the head promoter of the Tuska Festival since 1999, adds: “We had been thinking about expanding our ownership base for a long time. Now the pieces all fell into place and the time was right.

“We believe that the festival business will intensify after the corona crisis. International connections have always been close to our hearts when booking bands. The arrival of Superstruct opens up more opportunities to create even better programmes and festivals for Tuska’s loyal customers, our tribe.”

Superstruct’s portfolio includes more than 30 European festivals including Sziget, Elrow, Parookaville, Wacken Open Air, Boardmasters, Sonar, Zwarte Cross and Finnish event, Flow Festival.

The live entertainment powerhouse recently signed a partnership agreement with Dutch promoter ID&T which produces Mysteryland, Defqon.1, Awakenings, and Milkshake.

 


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Wasserman hires veteran agent Shannon Casey

Wasserman Music has appointed Shannon Casey as SVP of fairs and festivals, to expand the agency’s reach in the business area.

Casey will start at Wasserman on 1 October, based in the agency’s Nashville office.

The veteran agent joins Wasserman after more than two decades at CAA in Nashville, representing some of the most notable live performance talent in the music business.

“I look forward to working with some of the most passionate and respected agents in the business,” says Casey.

“I can’t wait to reconnect with all the fair and festival buyers, with whom it has been my pleasure to work over the years”

“I can’t wait to reconnect with all the fair and festival talent buyers, with whom it has been my pleasure to work over the years, and I’m excited about creating new touring opportunities for a dynamic roster of talented artists.”

Wasserman SVP, Lenore Kinder, added: “The addition of Shannon to Wasserman Music brings irreplaceable experience and expertise in a rapidly evolving economy in fairs and festivals.

“She has cultivated decades of meaningful relationships with her buyers, and I have no doubt they’re just as eager to get back to business with her as we are!”

Today’s news follows the appointment of veteran agent Brent Smith as executive vice-president and managing executive, in July, and five new agents, earlier this month.

The appointments follow Wasserman group’s acquisition of Paradigm’s North American live music business.

 


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Prodiss launches cancellation insurance policy

Prodiss has announced a new cancellation insurance policy exclusively for its members to “support the restart of the activity” in the performing arts sector.

The French live music association has negotiated two “tailor-made” insurance solutions with Aon, an insurance broker with expertise in the entertainment sector, and Areas/Maif, French insurers active in the cinema sector.

The first solution is intended to cover the cancellation risks for producers, concert promoters and festival organisers with pre-agreed and competitive rates, including an option to cover the risks of unavailability of persons linked to the Covid-19.

The second solution is designed to cover financial losses for venue operators, also with a competitive pricing approach.

Prodiss represents around 400 members including Accor Arena in Paris, the Bataclan in Paris and Mama

Prodiss tells IQ it will not bear the cost of the contracts but will simply provide its members with competitive contracts. The association would not reveal any other terms at this time.

Prodiss represents around 400 members including Accor Arena in Paris, the Bataclan in Paris, Live Nation France Festivals, Live Nation SAS and Mama.

In February this year, the French government announced a framework along with a €30 million fund which would compensate organisers – both for losses incurred due to the implementation of alternative formats and in the event that festivals are cancelled due to an increasing Covid-19 infection rate.

Insurance schemes have already been announced in the UK (£800m), Germany (€2.5bn), Austria (€300m), the Netherlands (€300m), Belgium (€60m), Norway (€34m) Denmark (DKK 500m) and Estonia (€6m).

 

Poland’s Open’er reveals blockbuster acts for 2022

Open’er, Poland’s largest annual music festival, has announced a slate of global stars for next year’s edition.

Dua Lipa, Martin Garrix, Jessie Ware, Jehnny Beth, Sons Of Kemet, Moses Sumney, Pillow Queens and Cigarettes After Sex have today (29 September) been announced for the 2022 event, scheduled for 29 June–2 July at Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport.

They join previously announced artists Imagine Dragons, Twenty One Pilots, The Chemical Brothers, Michael Kiwanuka, BadBadNotGood, and Inhaler.

Next year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of Open’er, as well as the return of the annual festival after two cancellations

Next year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of Open’er, as well as the return of the annual festival after two consecutive cancellations due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In the absence of the flagship festival, the organisers hosted two alternative events, Open’er Park and Open’er BeachHouse.

Open’er Park took place in Kolibki Park, Gdynia, across six weeks and featured 23 concert days, attended by more than 75,000 people.

According to the organisers, Open’er Park was the longest-running festival in Poland during 2021 and attracted the most festival-goers.


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Liam Gallagher’s show for NHS workers was life-affirming

In March, Paradigm was approached by Liam Gallagher’s management (Debbie Gwyther and Sam Eldridge) to say he really wanted to do something to acknowledge the tireless effort and work all the NHS frontline workers and care workers had done (and continue to do) throughout the pandemic. He wanted to give something back and to show how much they are appreciated.

As it is widely known, people who work for the NHS are not paid what is generally considered to be a good wage based on their value to society, and the pandemic highlighted this even more. While we couldn’t offer them the pay rise they deserve, we could offer them something, and that’s a gig, for free. What we do best.

We did the announcement and made tickets available as we would do a traditional show but at zero cost and any booking fees in the process were waived, attendees just had to show proof that they worked for the NHS when they arrived at the venue.

There was an overwhelming demand for the tickets, we had over 100,000 people online queuing for tickets five minutes before they were released. We had 17,000 tickets available, and they were all taken up within the first few minutes.

We had 17,000 tickets available, and they were all taken up within the first few minutes

Special mentions must go to Christian D’Acuña at the O2 in London (who dramatically reduced the venue costs); Lee Laborde and the team at Live Nation; Chris York at SJM; and all the artists and managers who gave their time for free.

Tim Pearson and Claire Bewers on our branding team worked tirelessly to secure the JD/Pretty Green sponsorship, which was instrumental in enabling the show to go ahead. And last but not least, Alex Hardee, who did a sponsored run and raised over £17,000 (€20,000) for the show.

With regards to the support acts, Primal Scream were complete stars and without hesitation were in it from the start, staying with us throughout all the rescheduled dates. It was obvious the cause was something they cared very passionately about, and Bobby gave a heartfelt shout out in support of the NHS during their set.

Black Honey were only approached very recently for this specific gig but came back really quickly to say they were all in and rose to the occasion on the night. Both supports gave their time for free, and without question were more than happy to be involved and support the cause.

It felt like such a long time since thousands of people had been in a venue altogether

The atmosphere at the show was electric. It was a perfect celebration and a much needed few hours of escapism, allowing us to forget the nightmare we have all been living through in the past 18 months. It felt like such a long time since thousands of people had been in a venue altogether, singing their hearts out, and that was really emotional.

I think all the reviews of the show have reflected what we all felt about it being “life-affirming” and all the social media posts and feedback from the NHS workers were overwhelmingly positive. Liam is an absolute legend, with unwavering generosity; I feel very privileged and proud to be part of such a wonderful team around him, and for the support from everyone in making this show a reality.

As we have all experienced recently, with the constant re-scheduling and moving of shows, this one was no exception. But it was a case of third-time lucky, and we finally got there, and it actually made the anticipation of the show that much more. It was a huge relief to finally get back to live shows, and hopefully, we are now back, and this is the start of many more to come.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Tessie Lammle, UTA

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Dan Roberts, promoter at Live Nation in the UK here.

After graduating from Bentley University, Tessie Lammle began her career in the mailroom at UTA, rising through the ranks to become an agent who represents artists including The Aces, Tierra Whack, TLC, Pussycat Dolls, Lil Wayne, SAINt JHN and many more.

When traditional touring paused due to Covid-19, Lammle re-thought how artists could reach their fans and collaborated with UTA’s Music Innovation division to book various virtual performances and showcases.

A passionate advocate for other women in the music industry, Lammle is a founding member of UTA’s La Femme Majeure event series and is on the leadership board of the company’s Justice Now task force. Outside of UTA, she is a member of the MusiCares Next Generation Board, and she volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.


Can you tell us how you got involved with La Femme Majeure (LFM) and what its goals are?
A group of colleagues and I founded LFM in 2018. We wanted to create a space for young women in the industry where we could be ourselves and network comfortably. Our main goal is to focus on music’s next era of women leaders.

You interned at Universal Music and ICM – what advice would you give to others when it comes to landing meaningful internships?
There’s a common misconception that you must know someone to break into the industry. The best thing I did to get my foot in the door was to network. It also helps to remember that everyone was in the same situation in the beginning, so you might as well say hello, send an email, and reach out to your potential mentors on LinkedIn. Always lead with kindness.

The pandemic ‘pause’ narrowed the avenues for artists to connect with fans. Can you explain what you did to maximize opportunities for some of your acts?
Throughout the pandemic, UTA has driven success for our clients with our collaborative, 360-degree approach. As a full-service agency, our divisions are constantly communicating with each other.

“I thought that I had to see a live show to truly understand an artist and their potential, but this year has forced me to adapt”

When traditional touring was paused, we worked across all our departments and with new buyers to offer innovative opportunities to our artists. As a result, the agency was able to secure brand partnerships, drive-through concerts, livestreamed performances, publishing deals, film and TV roles, gaming collaborations, podcast hosting gigs, and more for our clients.

If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change or introduce to improve the live music industry?
More diversity, equity, and inclusion across the board. There has been some great forward momentum and that’s what makes our industry exciting and forever evolving.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’m not sure where I’ll be living in five years, or which new artists I’ll be representing, but I do hope to be working with an even bigger roster at UTA. I know I’ll still have a hunger to be constantly finding out-of-the-box opportunities for my clients that leverage all the company’s resources. I also hope in five years I will be able to keep a plant alive for more than three days and will be working my way towards having a family!

You signed a number of artists during lockdown. Were those difficult pitches, and can you say anything about how you tailor your career plan strategies depending on the artist and genre?
I always thought that I had to see a live show to truly understand an artist and their potential, but this past year has forced me to adapt. No two artists ever have the same goals, even within the same genre. I am a firm believer that you must cater to the artist first and hear their visions before you set a strategy.

 


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Fortnite plans virtual concerts for new Soundwave Series

Epic Games has announced the next set of immersive virtual performances coming to Fortnite, under the banner ‘Soundwave Series’.

The series will kick off on 1 October with Egyptian musician Mohamed Hamaki, who has previously been featured on Fortnite Radio.

Hamaki’s show will repeat non-stop for 48 hours so that so it can be accessed at any time over the period. The experience will feature the first performance of his new song ‘Leilt Elomr‘ (‘the night of the order’) and a special emote created just for the first show of the Soundwave Series.

Other acts slated to perform during the Soundwave Series include Australian singer-songwriter Tones And I, Brazilian rapper Emicida, Japanese pop artist and music producer Gen Hoshino, and French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura.

“The Soundwave Series will introduce incredible crossover artists from around the world to millions of new fans”

“Music transcends any language, and has been a beloved part of Fortnite’s journey since our first in-game concert in 2019,” says Nate Nanzer, VP of global partnerships at Epic Games.

“The Soundwave Series continues that legacy and will introduce incredible crossover artists from around the world to millions of new fans inside Fortnite Creative, where there are virtually no limits on what can be designed by our community.”

The Soundwave Series builds on the success of Fortnite‘s recent Rift Tour with Ariana Grande, as well as Travis Scott’s record-breaking Astronomical concerts.

MarshmelloTravis Scott, Steve Aoki, Deadmau5, Easy Life and J. Balvin have also delivered virtual concerts in Fortnite.

 


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Sheeran sales fill European promoters with optimism

Ed Sheeran’s recently announced ‘blockbuster’ tour has filled promoters with optimism about the industry’s post-pandemic recovery.

Tickets for the first leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (‘mathematics’) stadium tour went on sale last Saturday (25 September), with extra dates added due to demand.

The tour, which kicks off in April next year, will see Sheeran play shows across the UK, Ireland, Central Europe and Scandinavia.

The UK leg, which now includes five dates at London’s Wembley Stadium (cap. 90,000), will be largely be staged by Kilimanjaro and FKP Scorpio – both of which say that the demand is a positive sign for the industry’s recovery.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the ticket sales we’ve done on next year’s tour; so much so that we’ve been able to add extra shows everywhere including fourth and fifth nights at London’s Wembley Stadium,” Kilimanjaro’s Steve Tilley tells IQ.

“I know I speak on behalf of both Kilimanjaro and FKP when I say that we’re over the moon to see the strength of the market especially coming out of what’s been a terrible 18 months for the live music industry and associated ecosystem.’’

“This should provide us all with optimism that our industry can recover and even become bigger than ever”

FKP Scorpio UK’s managing director and longtime Sheeran co-promoter, Daniel Ealam, tells IQ: “We are so pleased with the sales on these shows. It not only proves the magnetism of Ed after the incredible success of the [previous] Divide Tour but also shows that blockbuster tours can still sell huge numbers, as we begin to come through the pandemic. This should provide us all with optimism that our industry can recover and even become bigger than ever.”

FKP Scorpio CEO Folkert Koopmans told Germany’s Musik Woche that he was “very satisfied” with ticket sales for ‘+ – = ÷ x’ so far.

According to Musik Woche, a few hours after the start of advance sales, FKP Scorpio had already sold more than a million tickets for the 31 European concerts it is involved with. German shows in Munich, Gelsenkirchen and Frankfurt account for 200,000 of the total.

“We are very satisfied with this result so shortly after the start of advance sales – and more than nine months before the first concert,” Koopmans told the publication.

“Of course, the expectations of a mega-star like EdSheeran are high, but especially with a view to Covid and the resulting uncertainty among concert-goers, more than a million tickets sold within a very short time are a great result and an expression of the unbridled lust of people to finally experience live music again. ”

Sheeran’s agent, Jon Ollier from One Finiix Live, told IQ that dates in Asia, Australia, America and other territories will be announced “as things roll out”. Read the full interview with Ollier here.


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