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Barcelona’s Cruïlla buoyed by test results

Cruïlla Festival organisers say Covid-secure live events should be permitted to go ahead “even in the worst pandemic conditions”, in response to data gleaned from its 2021 edition.

The Barcelona event took place from 8-10 July, with Catalonia in the midst of a fifth coronavirus wave triggered by the Delta variant. Masks were mandatory for attendees, but no social distancing was required, with entry dependent on a negative rapid Covid-19 test.

Cruïlla, headlined by Two Door Cinema Club, Editors, Morcheeba, Of Monsters and Men, went ahead using recommendations from the Love of Lesbian test concert.

Speaking at this week’s BIME PRO conference in Bilbao, Spain, festival director Jordi Herreruela said that while the study indicated the festival was responsible for 360 new cases of Covid, it had not been a super-spreader event.

“When the festival was held, the fifth wave began to decrease in impact and continued to decline after the festival,” said Herreruela. “We have had an impact, but we have not been the cause of a super transmission event.”

We did not generate the fifth wave, just as no musical event was the cause of the previous four waves

Moreover, 14% of the 40,340 ticket-holders no-showed the event and 292 were denied entry after testing positive during the screening process.

Data released by the Institut Català de Salut revealed 23.3% of attendees were fully vaccinated, 43.8% had a single dose and 22.4% were not yet vaccinated. In addition, 78% of infections occurred among unvaccinated festival-goers.

In conclusion, Herreruela said the findings highlighted that being vaccinated and wearing a mask were key factors in reducing the risk of transmission.

“We did not generate the fifth wave, [just] as no musical event was the cause of the four previous waves,” he added. “The health passport protocol, added to the use of the mask, must allow cultural, leisure and entertainment activities to remain alive even in the worst pandemic conditions.”


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How audience insights are improving the fan experience

With restrictions on events gradually coming to an end and shows and festivals restarting across much of the world, promoters and venues are finally getting back to business after a year-and-a-half-long shutdown unprecedented in the history of the concert business.

Also getting ready for a return to something approaching normality are the clever companies behind the software and hardware solutions that help concert businesses learn more about their audiences before, during, and after their events – many of which have used the enforced hibernation of the coronavirus period to tinker with, finesse, and add new functionalities to their already feature-rich products, they tell IQ.

Pascal de Mul, CEO of Exit Live, explains that his company is filling the space left by the decline of physical media to provide fans with a digital souvenir of their favourite shows.

“Live music recordings used to be a major release platform, but streaming has refocused the industry and the fans on studio recordings. Today, there are no good places to find quality live recordings,” he says

“The CD at the door and the bootleg cassettes are gone, with nothing to replace them.

OnePlan is a festival planning platform that enables teams, partners, and stakeholders to plan events in one system

“We created a platform that is 100% focused on celebrating the best audio recordings of live music, and have done it with a passion for the artist first. Performers and songwriters are in control, receive 70% of all proceeds, and can receive this immediately through our ‘pay me now’ button.

“Once a transaction is made, the funds are available immediately. Artists do not have to wait to be remunerated; they can be rewarded instantly. We believe the artist deserves full control and that is our ethos.”

OnePlan, says CEO Paul Foster, provides analytics on fan engagement at the time of ticket purchase, connecting to a venue’s ticketing platform via its Venue Twin solution.

“OnePlan is a collaborative festival planning platform that enables teams, partners, and all stakeholders to plan their events in one system,” he explains. “It’s centimetre-accurate and easy to use, with all the infrastructure and objects you need, plus real-time event analytics.”

OnePlan “seamlessly connects with our hyper-realistic, interactive 3D platform, Venue Twin, including the most advanced 3D SeatView when buying tickets.”

“Festivals have till now been planned in non-specialist tools, with screenshots of maps emailed back and forth. OnePlan massively simplifies and improves the event planning process,” he adds “ensuring your team and stakeholders all have one single source-of-truth for the entire festival and any scenario.

“Venue Twin’s hyper-realistic digital twins of the venue can be used for operational planning”

“Venue Twin is a game-changer for stadiums and arenas, with incredible hyper-realistic digital twins of the venue that can be used for operational planning, customer walk-throughs from any angle, easy-to-change signage and branding and more. It even enables light and sound production planning for concerts.”

“Given Exit Live is a global platform, any artist utilising our tool will be able to see where in the world fans are most likely to buy an audio recording,” says De Mul, outlining Exit Live’s audience insight capabilities.

“Even beyond this, an artist will be able to judge pricing structures to sell audio live show recordings by measuring the success of the sell-through of shows. This can help to boost sales whereby the pricing to fans will be agreed at a point that works for everyone.

“Also, over time, as artists upload more and more live show recordings, more data will be received, which will showcase which shows were most popular with fans. Again, this will help to inform any future decision to promote any historical shows in a different way.”

Zack Sabban, president of Festicket and subsidiary Event Genius, identifies a number of Event Genius solutions, including egMarketing, egTicketing, egTravel and egPay, that he says will help “to build strong and clear profiles of fans throughout the life cycle of the events that they attend.”

“A greater understanding of customers’ spending habits can help venues and promoters to deliver a better fan experience”

“Perhaps the most fruitful area for audience insights comes via our cashless solution, offering venues, event organisers and promoters, access to a wealth of data usually reserved for the big banks,” he says.

“Putting this data in the hands of venues and promoters is very powerful; our cashless offering is as much about delivering a better fan experience as it is about regaining ownership of data and insight that promoters and venue owners can usually never gain access to.

“By offering a greater understanding of customers’ spending habits, we can help venues and promoters to deliver a better fan experience, using data to build different profiles of customers – favourite products, food, drink, merchandise, etc – to ascertain how to best serve these audiences and adapt accordingly, as well as offering insights into which customers are the biggest spenders and those that offer the greatest value.

“All of this data across the fan experience, from discovery through to on-the-day purchases, offers the opportunity to engage with audiences in new and creative ways before, during, and after events, via rewards, incentives, gamification and more.”

Festicket’s ticketing and travel businesses, meanwhile, “can help to build a picture of the audience for an event, whether that’s through traditional demographics like age or gender, or more detailed insights into where fans are travelling from the split between domestic and international audiences; and even the preferences and budgets when it comes to VIP tickets, accommodation options, and extras. We can also offer insights into spending behaviours in terms of what proportion of fans make use of payment plans to spread the cost of their booking over instalments,” says Sabban.

“Viberate breaks down fans by accurately pinpointing where they come from, what age they are, and what gender they are”

ComeTogether’s ticketing solution uses crypto- currency-like blockchain technology to give event organisers complete control over a ticket and its life cycle. It also offers tickets as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), with other concert content, such as video and augmented-reality (AR) experiences, also available in the in-vogue collectible format.

With ComeTogether, event organisers are able to “conduct targeted marketing for future events and to better understand the demographics of attendees,” says ComeTogether’s CMO, Claudia Bacco.

“All information is tracked in accordance with GDPR and information can be anonymised as needed. Examples of details that can be provided include who used the ticket to attend the event; the type of ticket purchased; where they sat; whether the ticket was purchased in the primary or secondary market and how much they paid for it; and if they purchased a group of tickets this information would be linked to show who joined as a group.”

Viberate monitors all major social, streaming and other music channels – including radio, Spotify, Beatport, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud and Twitter – and uses the data to determine how each music artist is performing online, and how they rank in popularity compared to other similar artists.

“We measure [the artists’] fanbase growth and engagement for each of those channels through time, so it’s easy for anyone to track their promotional and growth efforts in one place,” comments Vasja Veber, Viberate co-founder and business development director. “We go even deeper into breaking down fans by accurately pinpointing where they come from – by country and city – what age they are, and what gender they are.

OnePlan is used by over 2,000 events in 50 countries, including music festivals in the UK and US

“One major thing is that we listened to the artists and labels and really focused our efforts building extensive analytics for Spotify, radio and Beatport, and we can say that we managed to do that – we really covered everything.”

He adds, “All this information is very useful when artists or their teams want to promote new releases and other ventures, assess past gigs and promotional activities, or look for specific cities that have the most potential for future gigs.”

Despite its focus on recorded/streaming music channels, Veber says Viberate has been affected by restrictions on concerts during the pandemic. “The live music industry was hit hard, and since events and festivals were a big chunk of our business, we had to adapt quickly.

“Now, with things slowly picking up, we’re happy to notice that a lot of music professionals have turned to data and tech in general to help them navigate their online presence.

“The music business has always been notoriously slow at adopting tech solutions, but the adoption and use of analytics has now leapt forward by at least five years.”

Foster says OnePlan, which is used by over 2,000 events in 50 countries, including music festivals in the UK and US, has also seen increased demand for its solutions as promoters sought to minimise travel after March 2020.

“[Event Genius] invested heavily in unmanned top-up stations, contactless payments, and contactless ticket scanning”

“The global pandemic has made it much more difficult for promoters to visit venues for site visits,” he explains. “Venue Twin provides perfectly realistic virtual site visits, massively reducing the need to travel and significantly cutting costs.”

OnePlan, Foster adds, has also developed a “social distancing toolkit” that event organisers can use to plan the flow of attendees, including with automated calculations for entrance and exit.”

Sabban explains that Event Genius spent its pandemic downtime “evaluat[ing] our offering in light of the lasting changes that Covid-19 will inevitably have on the live events industry.

“We made a series of innovations to our services to make sure we had a completely Covid-ready solution for event organisers. Things like reduced contact between staff and eventgoers suddenly became a huge part of an event experience, so we invested heavily in things like unmanned top-up stations, contactless payments, and self-scan contactless ticket and wristband scanning.

“We wanted to make sure we were able to reassure fans and staff that they were attending an event that felt safe. We developed time-slot-specific tickets to help maintain social distancing and improve attendee flow, while also making sure promoters could be fully [contact tracing] compliant with us.”

ComeTogether has the “ability to have a single digital ticketing solution that also supports health access control and NFTs”

For ComeTogether, coronavirus lockdowns were initially “a complete halt to our business,” according to Bacco, with the company undergoing a “short-term pivot to focus on the development of Covid-19 certificates to support health access control based on our blockchain engine. This solution was made available as a standalone app, and also combined with the main digital ticketing app.

“As the industry started to reopen, we [found ourselves] ahead of solutions that don’t offer as many options to implement this functionality.”

What makes ComeTogether unique, she adds, is the “ability to have a single digital ticketing solution that also supports health access control and NFT collectibles through a single app. The app can be provided as a white-label solution to promote individual branding, and NFT solutions can be customised to the event, audience or topic.”

De Mul says that the shutdown, despite the proliferation of live-streamed events, underlined the importance of live shows for both performers and fans.

“What the pandemic has shown us is that live shows are very important to artists and the music industry. As an artist, it is within the live show where a real connection with the fan is made,” he comments. “This cannot be replicated in any other format.

Viberate is “in the final stages of launching a personalised professional feed that will deliver unique information”

“With the return of live music, we are excited to support artists and share content with fans and audiences once again.”

Having “worked with thousands of partners across more than 50 countries,” including festivals such as Coachella, Tomorrowland, Mad Cool, Afro Nation and Rolling Loud, and promoters like AEG and Untitled Group, Festicket and Event Genius are now looking at other business areas, including striking agreements with artists directly, says Sabban.

“Because our platform is versatile we’re always looking to explore other verticals, and we’re currently working on deals with some globally renowned artists, so being a part of more global tours like these is something we’d definitely like to do more of,” he explains. “There’s also scope for events that aren’t music-based: seasonal events, attractions and the like.”

Viberate, which is currently offering a 30-day free trial of its fully featured Viberate Premium service, is “in the final stages of launching a personalised professional feed that will deliver unique and up-to-date information for every single registered user,” reveals Veber.

“Apart from the feed feature, we’re currently working on adding several other features to the platform, such as TikTok Analytics, Facebook Analytics, the most comprehensive YouTube analytics available, as well as the data export feature,” he adds. “We expect to roll everything out in the coming months.”

“Be open to new ways of using technology you have already built, and be open to expanding beyond your initial target market”

“The main lesson learned” over the past 18 months by the team at ComeTogether, which prior to the pandemic had provided its solution to 14 events in Greece, is “to always stay flexible. Be open to new ways of using technology you have already built, and be open to expanding beyond your initial target market,” says Bacco.

De Mul, meanwhile, is looking forward to the return of live music, as well as new audio technologies that will enable fans to hear live recordings in a higher quality than possible before: “New digital technology, spatial audio and HD-quality [sound] all contribute to the intensity and intimacy” of the recordings, he says.

“Never before has technology allowed so many fans to get so close to their idols. Fans wanting to relive those incredible live music experiences will truly benefit from Exit Live, and will do so in the assurance that their artists will receive a fair deal.” Ultimately, he concludes, “there is nothing like the energy of live music. In person, or as a recording, hearing an artist or band at their creative peak is exciting and exhilarating like nothing else.”


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Green Guardians: Water & Sanitation

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly initiative boosting the profiles of those working at the forefront of sustainability, in the hope that it might also inspire others.

The 2021 list, which originally ran in IQ 103, includes 40 entries across eight categories, highlighting some of the organisations and individuals who are working so tirelessly to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

This year’s winners have been chosen by a judging panel that includes experts from A Greener Festival, Greener Events, Julie’s Bicycle, the Sustainability in Production Alliance, the Sustainable Event Council and the Tour Production Group.

IQ will publish entries across all categories over the coming weeks. Catch up on the previous instalment of the Green Guardians Guide which looks at power.

Frank Water
Frank Water CIC is a social enterprise that raises funds for the charity’s safe water projects overseas and helps inspire the UK (and beyond) to adopt a more sustainable approach to water.

The organisation has a diverse portfolio of services and products that help support the charity financially, whilst promoting its ethos of sustainability. For example, its festival refill service enables festivals to substantially reduce levels of plastic waste. During 2020, this service was obviously impacted by Covid-19, but Frank is back on the festival circuit in 2021, at the likes of Green Man, End of the Road, TankFest and Beautiful Days.

As well as supporting the charity’s emergency response to Covid-19 in India and Nepal, the organisation spent time during the pandemic developing its UK education programme and designing a new look for its range of glass-bottled spring water, because while it stresses that tap water is always best, Frank wants to give consumers an ethical, sustainable choice.

Looking to the future and further developing its work around global water stewardship, Frank Water has also created a tech platform, WASH Connect, which consists of a suite of digital tools and applications to support brands and companies to develop and deliver their water stewardship programmes and manage the risks to water security in their supply chain.

ECOZ Mobile has already been spotted at Belgian festivals such as Paradise City and Dranouter

Hello Water
In recent years, it has become clear that the tipping point for climate change is approaching, especially when it comes to water. Water is not a single-use commodity and shouldn’t be treated like one.

With this in mind, I-QUA started ECOZ Mobile, its pilot project for mobile water treatment at events, offering local water sanitation and striving to make water treatment systems circular. Wastewater goes in, clear water comes out. It’s that easy. Say goodbye to brown gunk and hello to clear water!

ECOZ Mobile has already been spotted at Belgian festivals such as Paradise City and Dranouter – ideal opportunities to test how the project copes in challenging conditions. With 2020 being low on festivals, ECOZ founder Wouter Igodt used the opportunity to launch a new startup – Hello Water – whose aim is to help get the idea of environmentally friendly local water treatment out in the open, beyond festivals. The organisation’s motto is: “Where water flows, life grows.”

Not only are Nature Event’s composting toilets better for the environment but they provide a more pleasant experience

Natural Event
Having launched in 2000 with an alternative solution toilet, Natural Event Composting Toilet Systems is changing the world literally from the bottom up.

The company has designed and operates one of the most effective, practical, pleasant-to-use toilet systems for festivals, events and gatherings.

Natural Event was created after the organisers of The Festival of Folk, Rhythm and Life, Victoria, Australia, realised that the toilet system they had created to cater for their own three-day festival could easily be deployed nationally and internationally.

The company’s aim is to provide festivals and events with planet-friendly water usage systems that consume much less energy than the previous systems that involved transporting massive quantities of waste.

Not only are Nature Event’s composting toilets better for the environment but they provide a substantially more pleasant user experience, producing no smell, even in the blistering Australian sun, five days into a huge camping festival. All hail the pong-less bog.

Ideal for large crowds with multiuser safe access, O’land’s stainless-steel stations are beautiful and ecological

O’land fill & wash stations
Since losing all event contracts in March 2020, management of The Green Stop decided to rebrand the company changing its name to O’land, and made their fill-and-wash stations safer in terms of hygiene and safe distancing.

The organisation has maintained its mission of eliminating waste from single-use plastics, by improving its bottle refill solutions and providing hand-wash and sink facilities.

Ideal for large crowds with multiuser safe access, O’land’s 360-degree-designed stainless-steel stations are both beautiful and ecological – making them attractive for sponsorship and branding opportunities.

In addition, O’land’s near-real-time antennas record daily water usage so that analysts can easily document the number of bottles refilled and plastic waste saved.

Osheaga Play allows festivalgoers to trade in plastic water bottles and see them get recycled into special-edition T-shirts

Over the years, Osheaga has implemented multiple sustainability initiatives to ensure that its operations are responsible. Beyond the artistic and cultural experience, the festival wants to minimise the negative impact it has on the environment and maximise the positive influence it has on society and the economy.

Its Water for Everyone programme in partnership with National Bank has helped provide Osheaga with more than 31,500 litres of drinking water, 14 additional water-refill stations, and 9,000 reusable water bottles. Additionally, Osheaga Play (powered by National Bank) allows festivalgoers to trade in plastic water bottles and see them get recycled into special-edition Osheaga T-shirts.

In 2018, Osheaga enacted a ban on plastic straws, it has been using reusable eco-cups in onsite concessions for over five years, and in 2019, the festival’s Perrier tent implemented more environmentally friendly paper cups.

The event continually examines its practices with water and waste to ensure it is doing everything it can to improve its sustainability credentials.

In recognition of those efforts, Osheaga has achieved level 2 of the Standard BNQ (Bureau de normalisation du Québec) 9700-253 for responsible event management, delivered by Modus Operandi Logistiques.


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Revered publicist Judy Totton dies aged 69

Tributes have been paid to revered music publicist and accomplished photographer Judy Totton, who has died at the age of 69.

Totton, who passed away last week, started out at Magnet Records before joining CBS (later Sony), where she worked with ABBA, Dire Straits and The Jacksons, among others.

In 1979, she set up her own company, Judy Totton Publicity, and went on to win Music Week’s PR Campaign Of The Year Award four times.

Totton represented a diverse list of clients including Status Quo, John Cooper Clark and The Kinks, EMI Publishing and the Monsters of Rock festival, as well as the Chinese State Circus and the Dalai Lama. She also handled press for the high-profile return to the UK of the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs in 2001 and conducted tour publicity for David Bowie.

“She had a magical smile that really lit up a room,” says statement from leading entertainment PR firm The Outside Organisation. “Her good nature and calmness meant that she could navigate the most stressful, hyped up rock and roll scenarios imaginable. With her quiet professionalism and kindness she played a big part in her clients’ achievements. She felt for and empathised with others, a quality which helped her to read the room.

“Her unselfishness and lack of ego was absolutely the hallmark of a superb PR. Judy’s modest demeanour, when everyone was losing their heads around her, means she will be long remembered and much missed.”

A host of tributes have also been paid on social media. Writing on Facebook, her former press assistant Esther Ford, owner of Manchester-based Deco Records, describes Totton as a “mentor”.

If you wanted a job doing properly, you gave it to Judy Totton

“I enjoyed my time at Judy Totton Publicity immensely, learning a lot from her,” says Ford. “She was a beautiful person who exuded elegance, intelligence and morality and I not only respected and admired her professionally, I also genuinely liked her as a human being, was extremely fond of her and thoroughly enjoyed our chats.

“Judy has always been known in the industry as a ‘safe pair of hands’. She always just did everything properly. Every i dotted, every t crossed, and all double-checked in order to ensure perfection. Some people say, ‘if you want a job doing properly, do it yourself’. In publicity over the last 40 years, if you wanted a job doing properly you gave it to Judy Totton!” 

InterTalent Rights Group chairman and founder Jonathan Shalit tweets: “Judy Totton was a great and wonderful lady.”

Writer and former Smash Hits journalist David Hepworth writes: “Very sad to hear about the death of Judy Totton, who was our favourite PR back in the day.”

Journalist James McNair adds on Twitter: “So sad to hear Judy Totton has died. She was a lovely woman, a super-helpful PR and a great photographer. I have very found memories of us flying around The Falkland Islands with The Stranglers.”


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Live Nation hires Jay Byrd as global tour promoter

Live Nation has hired veteran agent Jay Byrd as global tour promoter in the latest expansion of its concerts team.

In his new role, Byrd will be responsible for tours with artists including Lil Baby, A$AP Rocky and Logic, in addition to building new relationships with artists and booking tours across North America and worldwide.

Byrd started his career in 2006 at William Morris Agency and worked his way up to agent, going on to handle the firm’s entire adult contemporary roster for the west coast, as well as western Canada. In 2015, he switched to CAA, where he worked with artists including Lil Wayne, Common, Jason Derulo, Queen Latifah, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lukas Graham and Jon Batiste.

Jay is going to create incredible opportunities for any touring artists he works with

“Throughout his career, Jay has proven that he can’t be stopped. He has an incredible drive and passion that we are excited to continue to foster at Live Nation,” says Omar Al-joulani, head of Live Nation Concerts’ talent & touring. “We are always looking for the best and the brightest, and there is no doubt Jay is going to create incredible opportunities for any touring artists he works with.”

Byrd also oversaw David Blaine’s first national tour, Anita Baker’s sold-out arena run and Las Vegas residency and was an integral part of the launch of California festival Bottlerock. He has also been a part of Billboard’s Hip-Hop Power Player list.


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$3m funding boost for South Australian live sector

South Australia’s live music scene has received a boost courtesy of a AUS$3 million (€1.9m) government support package.

Up to $300,000 will be available for venues and promoters, via the Live Music Support Package, along with up to $50,000 for touring artists and their local crews, if they can demonstrate a decline in income compared to pre-Covid-19 levels.

Premier Steve Marshall made the announcement as part of a $7m commitment to the arts, reports The Music Network.

“[They] have been some of the hardest hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions that were necessary to ensure South Australians stayed safe,” he says.

“As we get closer to the reopening of our borders to interstate and international travellers, it is imperative that our arts and cultural organisations, live music venues, artists and promoters are in a position to resume operating as soon as the restrictions lift.

“The Marshall government is committed to the arts and music sector and creating and supporting as many jobs in the industry as possible – and this package shows our support.”

We are all looking forward to seeing the industry flourish again

Minister for innovation and skills David Pisoni adds: “South Australian businesses in the music and performing arts sector directly contributed more than $183 million to the local economy in 2018-19 prior to Covid-19 and we are all looking forward to seeing the industry flourish again.”

It was not all good news for the sector, however, which has been lobbying to return to full-strength in time for the December-February summer season. Music venues were left out of the state’s latest roadmap out of Covid restrictions as they were still considered “high risk”, with “density limits, mask use and bans on dancing and standing up while drinking” set to continue until the state reaches 90% vaccination.

According to the government’s vaccine rollout update, 62.5% of the country’s population are now fully vaccinated. Last month, Australia’s live industry came together to launch a pro-vaccination campaign under the banner #Vaxthenation.

Meanwhile, a recent study found that Covid-19 stripped Australia’s live entertainment industry of AUS$1.4 billion in revenue during 2020.


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Goldenvoice positions itself for new events at Coachella site

Goldenvoice has signed a long-term agreement with the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, which will enable the promoter to stage additional festivals on the site.

The 642-plus acre desert oasis has been home to Goldenvoice’s Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival since its inception in 1999, as well as its country music counterpart, Stagecoach, which first took place on the grounds in 2007.

The newly announced deal will see the AEG Presents subsidiary take over year-round operations at the festival site and polo fields, which are estimated to be worth US$80 million, according to local land records.

Additionally, the LA-based promoter and live events company is permitted to host two additional three-day events on the site every year, according to Billboard, prompting speculation that Desert Trip may return to the site after its debut in 2016.

“The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach will continue for many years to come”

The deal also provides Goldenvoice oversight of the Empire Grand Oasis, a special event property in Thermal, California.

The Haagen Family, owner of the Empire Polo Club, says: “We are pleased to continue our long-term relationship with Paul Tollett and Goldenvoice. The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals will continue for many years to come and allow Goldenvoice to expand their vast catalogue of musical acts on both of Empire’s properties. We wish the very best to AEG, Goldenvoice, and Paul Tollett with their future plans.”

Paul Tollett, president at Goldenvoice, says: “Goldenvoice has had a unique relationship with Empire Polo Club for over twenty-five years. It is a privilege to now take over the operations of the venue and we look forward to continuing to build upon the special history that has been established there. It’s immeasurable how much we’ve learned from Al Haagen.”

In August, Indio City Council extended its development agreement with Goldenvoice, allowing Coachella and Stagecoach to take place in the city until 2050. The promoter generates $3.5m for the city of Indio each year, according to city records.

Goldenvoice is one of the world’s biggest promoters; the company produces several festivals, including recently announced California Vibrations, operates 14 mid-sized venues and promotes over 1,800 shows per year.


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YouTube Music becomes founder member of LIVE

YouTube Music has become a founding member of UK trade body LIVE as it bids to support the revival of the live music industry.

As part of the link-up, the global music streaming platform will launch the Re:Boot Live initiative in partnership with Grow with Google and LIVE to empower venues to make the most of the tools Google and YouTube have to offer.

Combining digital marketing topics such as analytics, online marketing and SEO with practical tools such as event search, YouTube, Google My Business and GPasses, bespoke workshops will start on 9 November and will run for four weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am. Click here to register.

LIVE officially launched in February and comprises 13 industry associations, representing more than 3,000 businesses.

Never has it been so important to show our support to the live industry

A spokesperson for LIVE says: “YouTube music is a pioneering platform for fans and artists across the globe, which is why we’re absolutely delighted that they have joined us on our journey to promote and support this much-loved British industry. Through our shared passion, we’ll get artists back on stage and reconnect them with their fans, as we take the sector from strength to strength in the coming years.”

Alongside workshops for all LIVE members, YouTube Music is also providing funding to build upon the success LIVE has already achieved for the industry.

Dan Chalmers, director of YouTube Music EMEA, adds: “Never has it been so important to show our support to the live industry, a vital part of our music ecosystem. Seeing our favourite acts live is irreplaceable and we are fully committed to helping this side of the industry getting back on its feet after a very difficult time.”


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Construction starts on AEG’s new Korea arena

Construction has begun on AEG and CJ LiveCity Corporation’s new K-pop-focused entertainment complex in South Korea.

Set to open in Goyang City, Seoul, in 2024, the 1.8 trillion won (€1.3 billion) development comprises the 20,000-capacity CJ Live Arena and an outdoor performance space capable of accommodating 40,000 people.

According to Korea JoongAng Daily, the venue will be enabled for new technologies including the metaverse and AR.

CJ LiveCity CEO Harry HK Shin says the scheme “will create a new paradigm for Korean content”.

There isn’t a venue that is specifically designed to hold major music concerts in Korea

“A solid fandom for K-pop artists has been formed worldwide,” says a statement from CJ LiveCity, a subsidiary of South Korea’s largest media conglomerate CJ Group. “But there isn’t a venue that is specifically designed to hold [major] music concerts in Korea. To embrace more than 10,000 audiences, [K-pop groups] had to use a sports facility.”

AEG is one of the investors in CJ LiveCity, although how much the company will invest in the scheme is still under negotiation, adds the report.

Centrally located between five of Korea’s largest cities, AEG projects the new venue, which has been delayed due to licensing issues, will attract more than 20 million visitors annually.

The deal marks the firm’s entrance into the South Korean live entertainment market and further expands its footprint in Asia, where its interests include Coca-Cola Arena DubaiThailand’s Bangkok Arena and EM Live, and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.


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Six60 to set new stadium record in New Zealand

–New Zealand band Six60 will set a new record for the most amount of NZ stadiums visited during one tour.

The tour will kick off in March 2022, visiting six stadiums including Rotorua International Stadium (cap. 34,000) in Rotorua, Forsyth Barr Stadium (30,700) in Dunedin, Orangetheory Stadium (18,000) in Christchurch and Sky Stadium (34,000) in Wellington.

The 2022 jaunt will also visit Napier’s Mclean Park (19,700), where the band will make history as the first act to play at the sports ground.

The 2022 jaunt will also visit Napier’s Mclean Park, where the band will make history as the first act to play at the ground

The tour will conclude with a concert at Auckland’s Eden Park (50,000), a year after Six60 became the first band to headline the stadium with their sold-out concert in April.

The Eden Park show was also the world’s largest concert since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of next year’s tour, Six60 are encouraging fans to get their jabs to ensure they don’t miss out on next year’s dates, as vaccine passports will be mandatory for anyone in the country wanting to attend live music events.

The introduction of vaccine passports has divided the country’s live music industry, with some promoters insisting certification will be the key to summer festivals and others warning it’ll create a ‘two-tier’ society.


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