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AEG’s Melissa Ormond named Goldenvoice COO

AEG Presents has announced that Melissa Ormond has been appointed chief operating officer (COO) of Goldenvoice in Los Angeles.

The respected industry veteran will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company’s concert promotions, venue portfolio and festivals, as well as strategic growth initiatives throughout California and the western US.

In addition to her new role, she will also retain her current title as COO of festivals for AEG Presents, continuing to work with the teams behind brands such a Coachella, Stagecoach, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, British Summer Time Hyde Park and Electric Forest.

“Melissa’s reputation precedes her,” says Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett. “She’s a brilliant executive and one of the most dedicated, clear-eyed, hardworking people I’ve met. I’m so happy she’s joining Goldenvoice in this new role.”

“Goldenvoice has an extraordinary history”

Prior to joining AEG Presents, Ormond served as president of Madison Square Garden Entertainment and also held leadership positions at House of Blues Entertainment/Universal Concerts/MCA Concerts in Los Angeles and Delsener/Slater Enterprises in New York City.

Ormond began her career in Washington DC at the 9:30 Club, rising to general manager, while simultaneously working for the concert promotion firm IMP, Inc.

“Goldenvoice has an extraordinary history,” says Ormond. “The name itself has become synonymous with a curation of live experiences on the West Coast that’s unmatched. I am thrilled to be working directly with the company across the entire business and helping the Goldenvoice team guide its exciting future.”

 


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BBC details ‘most extensive’ Glasto coverage yet

The BBC will present its most extensive coverage of Glastonbury to date when the festival returns after a three-year absence from 22-26 June.

Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar will headline the Pyramid Stage at this year’s event at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset. Eilish and Lamar are both represented by Wasserman Music, while McCartney works with Marshall Arts.

Other acts will include Diana Ross, Crowded House, Lorde, Pet Shop Boys, Sam Fender, Megan thee Stallion, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Olivia Rodrigo, Little Simz, Wolf Alice, Glass Animals, Burna Boy, Arlo Parks, Haim, Blossoms, Sigrid, Girl in Red, Charli XCX, Celeste, Wolf Alice, Fontaines DC, Foals, Idles and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Set times were released this week and can be viewed here.

BBC Music will present the festival across TV, radio, BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and online, with Glastonbury 2022 marking the first time the BBC has broadcast any music event in Ultra High Definition. Sets from the Pyramid Stage will be shown live in UHD on BBC iPlayer on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with key performances and a special programme featuring highlights from the Pyramid Stage available on demand in UHD after the event.

“I’m looking forward to Worthy Farm being filled with thousands of people once again”

“It’s a joy to have the BBC and its brilliant team back and broadcasting live from Glastonbury for the first time since 2019 – continuing a special partnership that’s been evolving since 1997,” says festival co-organiser Emily Eavis. “I’m looking forward to Worthy Farm being filled with thousands of people once again and for millions more around the country being able to enjoy performances from our stellar line-up, courtesy of the BBC, wherever they are.”

Glastonbury’s scheduled 50th anniversary 2020 edition and 2021 event were both cancelled due to the pandemic. The BAFTA Award-winning Live at Worthy Farm ticketed livestream was staged last year in its place.

The BBC’s celebration of Glastonbury 2022 will begin earlier than in previous years, including the broadcast of new documentary Glastonbury: 50 Years & Counting in the days leading up to the festival. BBC iPlayer’s dedicated Glastonbury channel launches on Thursday 23 June.

“Our coverage this year will be our most extensive to date”

“I’m very proud of the BBC’s long history of broadcasting from Glastonbury, the highlight of our summer of live music,” says BBC director of music Lorna Clarke. “Our coverage this year will be our most extensive to date, with over 35 hours of programming across BBC One, Two, Three and Four, and over 40 hours on BBC iPlayer – in addition to digital live streams from the five biggest festival stages.

“We’ll also have wall-to-wall coverage on the BBC’s pop radio networks and BBC Sounds – with over 60 hours of broadcasts from the festival itself.”

In January, Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis led tributes to the festival’s long-serving commercial director Robert Richards, who died aged 65 following a short illness.

 


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Dutch promoters outline impact of staff shortages

Key promoters in the Netherlands have aired concerns about the industry’s acute staff shortages and its impact on the forthcoming festival summer.

Labour shortages have been a widespread issue in the international live music industry, with many markets reporting a “talent exodus”.

According to Dutch publication 3voor12, concerts in the Netherlands are already being cancelled because there is not enough staff available, festivals are being forced to start building earlier and headliners are toying with the idea of smaller productions.

John Mulder, CEO of Live Nation-owned concert and festival promoter Mojo, says he is “very concerned about this summer. There are huge logistical challenges, both in international touring and at a local level in terms of crews and people.”

The Mojo boss says it is difficult to get staff and crew, and that trucks are “a big problem” this summer.

“There are huge logistical challenges, both in international touring and at a local level”

“There are already acts that have to leave things at home because they can’t get the number of trucks. Instead of 16 trucks, headliners will probably come with less. All those rock ‘n roll trucking companies are running on only 30-40% of their staff and have sold a lot of trucks. There are no new trucks for sale due to the chip problem. But money rules, huh? At some point, of course, acts will make all kinds of crazy jumps to get stuff from A to B.”

Meanwhile, Mojo-promoted festival Pinkpop has been forced to start site construction a month ahead of schedule due to this issue.

“We mainly see problems with suppliers: the tent builders, for example, and the fencing suppliers,” said Pinkpop festival manager Niek Murray. “The pink tent has already been erected on the site because otherwise, it would not work out in the planning. We are already buffering fencing because there was no transporter to deliver it at the normal time.

“In short: three weeks ago we already started building, while we would normally only start next week. If we hadn’t had such a good relationship with the terrain, I don’t know if we would have made it all, but we didn’t have to drastically change things.”

In February, Mojo launched a new platform (www.festivalbanen.nl) featuring hundreds of festival jobs, in a bid to counteract the major staff shortage in the sector.

Many of the employers listed on the website operate at festivals including Lowlands, Pinkpop, NN North Sea Jazz, Down The Rabbit Hole and Woo Hah! x Rolling Loud.

 


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Sam Ryder named general manager of York Barbican

ASM Global has appointed Sam Ryder as general manager of the UK’s 1,900-cap York Barbican.

Ryder previously worked as head of operations at the company’s Bonus Arena in Hull, where he was part of the team that first opened the venue in 2018.

“At ASM Global we take pride in providing career development for our employees, and we are delighted to see Sam move into a role as general manager,” says Marie Lindqvist, ASM Global’s SVP operations Europe. “Sam has been instrumental in the success of Bonus Arena, Hull as part of the senior team opening and operating the arena. I am very pleased that he is now moving to lead the great team at York Barbican to continue the growth of live entertainment in the beautiful city of York.”

Ryder will begin his new role in July, ahead of summer concerts at the Barbican including Marc Almond, The Proclaimers and Jools Holland. He succeeds Darren Moore, who recently moved in the opposite direction to become general manager of Bonus Arena, Hull.

“‘I am delighted to be joining York Barbican and furthering my career with ASM Global,” adds Ryder. “I’m looking forward to continuing the success of the venue which has been expertly led by Darren Moore, we’re also making plans to improve hospitality provision, and of course bringing top UK and international events to the great city of York.”

 


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Renowned consultant Ed Grossman passes, aged 73

Ed Grossman, a renowned tax consultant to international touring artists, has passed away at the age of 73.

The London-born veteran was due to start chemotherapy for lung cancer this week but passed away suddenly yesterday morning (30 May).

Grossman’s employer at Brackman Chopra chartered accountants, Sunil Chopra, told IQ that he is “devastated and in shock”.

The pair started working together 33 years ago when they launched the music tax department at MGR chartered accountants in 1989.

Chopra left MGR to start his current company and Grossman joined him in 2015, clocking in seven years as a consult before his death.

“He is my adopted father,” Chopra tells IQ. “I am what I am in the music industry because of him. He taught me everything. He was the kind of guy you could go to with any problems – business or personal. He was the most genuine person I have ever known.

“I am what I am in the music industry because of him”

“Even if you have an argument, that doesn’t mean he’s thinking ill of you.He’s just having an argument because he wants to put a point across because he believes that he’s helping. He always wanted to help the clients. He brought life to the office – it is very quiet now.”

Martin Hopewell, founder of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), also paid tribute to Grossman: “The ILMC just lost one of it’s longest-standing and best-loved members: the conference’s #1 food critic, poser of the most challenging, left-field questions and lover of a quick nap during the annual ‘autopsy’ session. He will be massively missed – the place just won’t be the same without him.”

Lionel Martin, a former business partner of Grossman, added: “[Grossman] was difficult to live with and difficult to live without but life will definitely involve less laughter without him in it.”

Martin says he first met Grossman in 1971, when he joined an accountancy firm in Oxford Circus called Goodman Myers Smith.

“The firm acted for the Rolling Stones and many other artists in the music industry,” Martin tells IQ. “At that time the newly moneyed industry was struggling to ‘work out the rules’. There were few better than Eddie to sort out the financial mess bands were making for themselves and I guess he went some way to teaching me and others how to do that.”

The pair left the firm by the mid-’70s and started our own firm called Grant Martin Grossman. “We were quite anti-establishment and had a firm logo which was a picture of a bowler hat, umbrella and galoshes (what were we thinking of),” Martin tells IQ. “After a few years, we disbanded the firm and Eddie went to work for a firm called Mercers Bryant.”

“There were few better than Eddie to sort out the financial mess bands were making for themselves”

In 1980, Martin started his own firm, MGR (previously Martin Greene), and three years later invited Grossman to join the company.

“He immediately became an important partner, looking after bands like Madness, Thompson Twins etc,” Martin continues. “We delivered some excellent work to our artist clients for many years and Eddie was at the helm in many of those cases. In around 2003/2004 Eddie switched over to handing international touring work representing big US bands touring Europe.

“He was eccentric to say the least, his passion for and insistence upon perfect work often resulted in friction in relationships but people who had the patience and intelligence to ‘stay with him’ know they benefited in many ways from their relationship with him and will miss him greatly. There have been several professional advisers substantially involved in regularising a fast expanding and financially chaotic music industry and I would definitely include Eddie in that list.”

Elsewhere, Claudio Trotta of Barley Arts in Italy wrote on Facebook: “We had so many great times together. You were a great professional resource of live entertainment and such a funny, lovely and nice man. A great and unique character.”

Geoff Ellis of DF Concerts in Scotland added that the news of Grossman’s passing is “very sad”.

Ed Grossman is survived by his wife Penny Grossman and their daughter Beth.

 


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Outernet London confirms programming team

The programming team and names of the two venues that form part of Outernet London have been confirmed ahead of the complex’s official opening this summer.

The 2,000-cap Here at Outernet is the first new live music venue to be built in central London since the 1940s, alongside the 350-cap The Lower Third – the former 12 Bar in Denmark Street.

Outernet Live programming manager Chloe Mitchell joins from the Flat Iron Square district, where she was head of music following the management of the launch of Omeara in 2016.

In addition, Here at Outernet has appointed electronic music directors, Nicolas Matar and Simon Denby. Matar’s career began as a DJ at Pacha, Ibiza, going on to own New York nightclubs Cielo and Output in Brooklyn. He went on to work with Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame to launch nightclubs The Miami Beach Edition, The Times Square Edition and, most recently, The West Hollywood Edition Hotel.

“The vision at Outernet Live with Here and The Lower Third is going to fill much-needed gaps for live and club shows”

“I’m elated to be part of a new London venue,” says Matar. “As someone who was involved in the London scene since the early ’90s, it feels like I’m coming home.”

Denby, meanwhile, is co-owner and booker for UK underground dance music promoter Percolate and co-founder of London festivals Waterworks and Body Movements. He will lead on the electronic and club programme for the venues.

“I am really excited to be part of a cutting-edge venue in the heart of the city, that will bring dance music back to central London after the loss of groundbreaking spaces like the End and the legendary Astoria,” says Denby. “The vision at Outernet Live with Here and The Lower Third is going to fill much-needed gaps for live and club shows both for developing the next generation of artists and top tier talent.”

“This is the most exciting development that has happened to London’s music, arts and culture scene in a very long time”

As previously announced, musician and former director of events at Live Nation, Leo Green has joined Here at Outernet as artistic director and will oversee all of the venue’s programming across music, arts, theatre and culture.

“When this opportunity came along, it was simply too good to turn down,” he says. “From a venue standpoint, this is the most exciting development that has happened to London’s music, arts and culture scene in a very long time.”

The news follows the announcement of Green Light Development founders Karrie Goldberg and Robert Butters as operating partners of the venues, and Tristan Hoffman as COO.

“We are thrilled to be joined by this epic team of experts to launch these groundbreaking new venues this summer,” says Goldberg. “We are proud to be a completely independent venue space, open to all promoters and live entertainment operators and we look forward to showing you what the programming team have been busy working on in the coming months.”

 


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Dice: ‘We got a lot bigger during the pandemic’

Dice founder and CEO Phil Hutcheon has told IQ how the company was able to continue its growth during the pandemic.

The UK-based mobile ticketing and discovery platform for live events and livestreams, which is already live in the UK, US, France, Italy and Spain, last week confirmed its entrance into the German market.

Launched in 2014, the firm announced last autumn that it had raised up to US$122 million in Series C funding, led by new investor SoftBank, which it said would enable it to expand into every market.

“Weirdly, we got a lot bigger during the pandemic,” Hutcheon tells IQ. “The pandemic was a real opportunity for a lot of people who are super-busy – partners, venues, promoters and artists – to see what Dice is, have plenty of time to assess it and go, ‘Actually, this is great,’ and sign up to it.

“The US is now Dice’s biggest market. What we’ve seen in New York is incredible – 1.2 million people in New York used Dice last month – and the engine just works. Our thing is to remove what we call the ‘Facebook/Instagram/Google tax,’ and help venues invest in their spaces and performances instead of buying ticket ads on social media. That was one of the reasons we started.”

“We actually worked harder than ever during the pandemic – we were relentless”

In April 2020, shortly after the onset of Covid-19, Dice ventured into livestreams and has since partnered on exclusive livestreams with the likes of Laura Marling, Lewis Capaldi, Nick Cave, Kylie Minogue, Little Mix, The Smile and Bjork.

“We did 6,500 ticketed livestreams,” notes Hutcheon. “But we also took it as an opportunity for a breather, because you’re growing super fast, you’re rolling out into different market and, you’ve got all these new features going up, so the engineering team focused on building software that whole time.

“There was no ‘business as usual’, so we were like, ‘Let’s use this time to get these massive pieces of development done.’ We actually worked harder than ever during the pandemic – we were relentless.”

Dice now has more than 350 shows available in-app in Germany, where it has launched a new Berlin office and plans to recruit more team members over the coming months, with 60 in place by the end of the year. It has already partnered with artists, promoters and venues across the country, including Goodlive Artists, Zart Agency and Hamburg’s Uebel & Gefährlich to support its growth.

“We don’t go into a market and build from the ground up, we like to work with a really good partner to set things off”

“We always wanted to launch in Berlin, but we needed to wait for the right time,” says Hutcheon. “We started everything towards the end of last year and now, with a team and the first deals in place, we’re super-excited.

“We don’t go into a market and build from the ground up, we like to work with a really good partner to set things off – that’s how we typically initiate a new market. It’s showing them what the product is, how it’s worked in other cities and the benefits, because Dice is two products: you’ve got the consumer app, but also the enterprise software that runs all of the events.

“It’s also about making sure that we’ve got enough events. We have hundreds of events in Germany, whereas if it launched and there were only six events on day one, then it’s not going to have much of an impact.”

Dice also rolled out its app in India in 2020, starting with exclusive livestreams from international and local artists including retroFuture, Pabllo Vittar, Anushka Manchanda (Nuka) and Raghav Meattle.

“That market is obviously going to be a big investment for us as it reopens,” says Hutcheon. “I think that could be special for us. We have very high hopes for India.”

While reluctant to go into detail on future expansion plans, Hutcheon suggests a common thread runs through the territories it has entered so far in terms of venue infrastructure.

“Where Dice really works is for venues between 250/300-cap to 10,000-cap,” he suggests.

“I’m heartened that TV subscriptions are going down – I think that spend will go back into seeing people perform”

Hutcheon also shares his belief that there could be a positive legacy from the live shutdown and various lockdowns.

“Before the pandemic, everyone was like, ‘I wonder what’s gonna be like when we all live virtually: we’re all going to have 3D headsets on, sitting at home and doing all these things in the metaverse,'” he reflects. “Well, we’ve just spent a year and a half living fully digital, and it wasn’t very good, so seeing people out again is amazing.

“We’re so happy with our mission of getting people to go out even more often and we’re really going to invest in the community this year. It’s super-easy to find out what’s going on on Dice because of all the algorithms. And if you’ve got no one to go with, well, pretty soon you’re going to be able to meet new people through Dice.

“The biggest thing that Dice has an impact on is getting people to go out more often. I’m heartened that TV subscriptions are going down because I think that spend will go back into seeing people perform.”

Dice recently bolstered its leadership team with the appointments of Falko Mortiboys as VP of fan experience, Ali McCloud as VP of partner relations, Antony Jackson as head of expansion, Europe and Leon Sherman as head of artist partnerships, UK & Europe.

 


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Concert for Earth to take place inside volcano crater

The first-ever Concert for Earth, a nonprofit music festival and global conservation summit, is to take place from inside a volcano crater on the Azores Islands in Portugal.

Organised by Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt – who was himself born in The Azores – via his production company Atlantis Entertainment, the event will feature live and virtual performances from artists, and showcase the work of leading conservationists and organisations from around the world.

Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Mod Sun and Girlfriends are set to headline the event, while organisations including Re:wild, Sea Legacy, Blue Azores, The Ocean Cleanup, Innerspace, Juccce, Grounded, and Brian Eno’s Earth Percent will be featured.

“Biodiversity, from wildlife to ecosystems, underpins the existence of life on Earth”

“Biodiversity, from wildlife to ecosystems, underpins the existence of life on Earth,” says Wes Sechrest, chief scientist and CEO of participating partner Re:wild. “We are excited to be a part of Concert for Earth, a celebration of the symphony of life on our unique planet and an invitation to come together to protect and restore nature for the benefit of biodiversity, the climate, and all of us”.

The event promises to be zero- to low emission and any remaining carbon emissions from the event will be offset with support from environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF).

The festival is set to take place in Sete Cidades, in the Azores, on 22 and 23 July. Select artist performances will be livestreamed worldwide for free on the second day via Veeps, while in-person tickets are available to those local to the Azores.

Those watching remotely can ‘click to donate’ during the livestream, with 100% of donations going directly to the festival’s conservation partners.

 


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LN, Harry Styles pledge $1m to gun safety fund

Live Nation and Harry Styles have pledged to donate more than $1 million in proceeds from the singer’s Love on Tour 2022 dates to a gun safety organisation.

In the wake of recent mass shootings across the US, including the horrifying events in Uvalde, Texas last week, Styles has announced he will be donating proceeds from the tour to the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, with Live Nation matching the pledge.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund is the education, research, and litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organisation in the States.

“I have been absolutely devastated by the recent string of mass shootings in America”

“Along with all of you, I have been absolutely devastated by the recent string of mass shootings in America, culminating at Robb Elementary School in Texas,” says Styles. “On our North American tour, we will be partnering with Everytown who work to end gun violence, donating to support their efforts, and sharing their suggested action items.”

Styles has sold out his 42-date tour, staged in support of his new album Harry’s House, in its entirety, including five additional shows in both New York and Los Angeles. He recently played two special One Night Only shows in New York and London to launch the record.

Produced by Live Nation, the tour kicks off on 15 August at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. Styles will continue his residencies in New York City for 15 nights at Madison Square Garden, Austin for five nights at Moody Center, and Chicago for five nights at United Center, before wrapping up at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum for a 15-night run concluding on 15 November.

Styles was 2021’s top worldwide ticket seller

First of all, the 28-year-old will play stadium shows at Glasgow’s Ibrox Stadium (11 June), Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford (15-16 June) and London’s Wembley Stadium (18-19 June) in his native UK, followed by a string of European dates.

Apple Music launched its new recurring live music series Apple Music Live with Harry Styles: One Night Only in New York at UBS Arena in Long Island on 20 May.

Styles was 2021’s top worldwide ticket seller according to Pollstar‘s year-end rankings, selling 669,051 tickets for his Love on Tour arena dates, generating $86,723,984 (€80,530,991).

 


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Outlook debuts pay-what-you-want ticket scheme

Bass festival brand Outlook has piloted a pay-what-you-want ticket scheme in response to the cost of living crisis.

Fans of the festival who cannot afford the full ticket price could apply for a discount between 10% and 100% by filling out an online form.

The scheme applied to both the festival’s flagship event in Croatia, as well as its new UK edition launching this year.

The organisers asked that fans “only apply if you genuinely cannot afford the current full price ticket,” which is currently £160/€188 for each event.

A limited allocation was available for each discount level (10%, 25%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 100%).

“In the current climate, we appreciate that some of our audience simply will not be able to afford full-price tickets”

“We believe in doing what we can to make music and events accessible to as many people as possible,” reads a statement from the festival.

“This year, the increased cost of living is making attending events a challenge for many people and with the launch of our inaugural year of our first UK event, hosting all of our community is more important than ever.

“As independent promoters, we are also feeling the impact of these economic challenges but believe that ensuring our audience can still come together and celebrate the music we are passionate about is crucial.

“In the current climate, we appreciate that some of our audience simply will not be able to afford full-price tickets to music events.”

The Croatia edition, which launched in 2008, will take place at The Garden in Tisno between 28 July and 2 August. Channel One, Conducta, DJ Marky, Madam X and Randall are among the festival’s headliners.

Meanwhile, Outlook Festival will debut at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire between 30 June and 3 July, with performances from acts including Skream, Ghetts, Sherelle, Ben UFO and Special Request.

 

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