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Ticketek teams with Motorpoint Arena Nottingham

TEG-owned Ticketek has signed an exclusive deal with Motorpoint Arena Nottingham for the supply, installation and support of ticketing systems and services.

Ticketek will deliver a full-service solution that “harnesses the expertise, relationships and knowledge” of Motorpoint Arena’s existing ticketing and customer services teams, along with Ticketek’s ticketing technology, CRM, marketing and analytics platforms.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Motorpoint Arena team who share our belief that ticketing solutions must offer far more than just a transactional capability,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones. “I want to commend and congratulate Ticketek’s managing director Cameron Hoy who has led this process, as well as the UK team under Danny Hannaford on adopting a true partnership approach with the Motorpoint Arena team.”

Hoy adds: “We look forward to working with the team in Nottingham to transform the ticket purchasing experience for fans, at one of the UK’s most popular venues. This is a true partnership across the full breadth of Ticketek’s capabilities including advanced e-commerce tools, integrated digital marketing, CRM and data analytics.”

The 10,000-cap Motorpoint Arena Nottingham hosts more than 150 arena events a year and is the largest entertainment venue in the UK’s East Midlands region.

“It is crucial for the promoters that bring their events to us that we discover and convert every possible ticket sales opportunity”

“We are excited to be transforming our ticketing experience for audiences with a platform that extends beyond ticketing into data, analytics and marketing,” adds Motorpoint Arena Nottingham chief executive Martin Ingham. “It is crucial for the promoters that bring their events to us that we discover and convert every possible ticket sales opportunity.

“We have built a strong database of local and regional customers through our in-house ticketing operations over the past 11 years, but we believe that Ticketek’s incredible technology and data analytics platform will now enable us to market more effectively to our vast range of existing and potential customers and also offer them a world-class ticketing experience.

“Ticketek has been very innovative in their design of the hybrid ticketing partnership that we have agreed which means that both parties bring their own extensive skills, experience and knowledge to the table. Promoters will continue to get world-class service from our renowned box office team who remain in situ and our customers get an advanced ticketing solution and great customer service delivered both in call centres and on site in person.”

Acts lined up to play the venue in the coming months include Tom Grennan, Olly Murs, Michael Bublé, Iron Maiden and S Club 7.


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LN’s Cuffe and Taylor partner with Forest Live

Cuffe and Taylor have agreed to an exclusive seven-year contract to present Forestry England’s outdoor live music series, Forest Live.

The Live Nation promoters, who were awarded the contract following a competitive tender process, will programme, present and provide the framework for outdoor shows at up to seven forest venues across England from summer 2024.

Cuffe and Taylor have pledged to ensure the events work towards Forestry England’s net zero ambitions and Live Nation’s Green Nation Charter.

“We are incredibly excited to announce this brand new partnership with Forestry England,” says Cuffe and Taylor founder Peter Taylor. “For more than 10 years we have presented live concerts and shows to millions of people across the UK – with the vast majority of those in an outdoor setting. Leveraging our wealth of experience we now look forward to working in some of the most beautiful locations across England to build on and potentially expand the brilliant Forest Live concerts.”

“With our new partnership, we will continue to deliver high-quality live music experiences for our customers while securing high profile artists for our concert series”

More than two million people have attended a Forest Live gig over the last 22 years, with Cuffe and Taylor set to give Forestry England access to even more global and high-profile artists with plans to present up to 32 concerts a year to a combined audience of more than 250,000 people at sites in Staffordshire, Cheshire, Suffolk, Gloucestershire, Kent, North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

“We are delighted to have selected Cuffe and Taylor as our chosen co-promoters and are excited to work with them as we build on the success of Forest Live in this exciting new chapter,” says Dan Bell, head of events and commercial visitor programmes, Forestry England.

“Over the last 22 years, we have welcomed audiences to our forests to experience some incredible live music with us. We want to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to David Barrow, who has been our principal contractor and booker over that period. What David and his team, alongside all our loyal contractors and suppliers, has helped Forest Live achieve has been truly incredible.

“Cuffe and Taylor are experts in the live entertainment industry and with our new partnership, we will continue to deliver high-quality live music experiences for our customers while securing high profile artists for our concert series. They share our ethos to provide a sustainable future for people, nature and the climate. That attitude is very important to us as we strive together to make sure the nation’s forests will thrive and be enjoyed for generations to come.”

 


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Argentina’s DF strikes exclusive stadium deal

Argentina’s DF Entertainment has inked an exclusive multi-year agreement to promote concerts at the famed Estadio River Plate in Buenos Aires.

DF, which was founded in August 2015 by veteran concert promoter Diego Finkelstein, previously sold out an unprecedented 10 nights at the 65,000-cap stadium with Coldplay last year.

“We are very excited and happy about this news,” Finkelstein tells IQ. “River is known as the biggest and most emblematic stadium in Latin America and is a must-play for the biggest artists in the world.

“In 2022, DF Entertainment promoted the 10 sold-out Coldplay shows at River, which set a new record in the market, plus two sold-out Harry Styles shows and one sold-out Guns N’ Roses show. Very soon, we will announce the amazing acts who will be performing at River Plate Stadium in 2023 and the following years.”

DF also has upcoming shows in Argentina with the likes of The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons and Ludovico Einaudi

The national record previously belonged to Roger Waters, who played nine The Wall concerts at the “Monumental” venue in March 2012.

Buenos Aires-based DF also has upcoming shows in Argentina with the likes of The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons and Ludovico Einaudi. Live Nation acquired a majority stake in the firm in 2018.

A special live broadcast of Coldplay’s 28 October 2022 Buenos Aires concert was screened in cinemas in more than 80 countries – a record-breaking number of countries for a live cinema event – topping the box office charts in Argentina, Mexico, Chile amd Netherlands

 


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New Technology: The Fitness Test

Always one of ILMC’s most popular sessions, the New Tech panel will feature half a dozen presentations this year, giving delegates a heads up on some of the hottest new products and services that are set to make a big impact during the next 12 months. Ahead of Steve Machin’s tech masterclass, here we provide a quick preview of this year’s contenders…

Amplead
The team at Amplead loves live music and understands that arranging, performing, and promoting shows has its challenges. Subsequently, Amplead’s mission is to provide an ever-expanding toolkit, designed for the live music industry.

By working alongside like-minded organisations and industry professionals, Amplead’s aims are: to help venues run more efficiently by growing attendance at shows and increasing turnover; to help new and established artists manage their events, explore their potential, and grow their audience; to help promoters find the perfect line-up, expand their reach, and sell out shows – every time; and to help industry professionals connect and collaborate whilst building a strong community.

bipass sees two vastly experienced leaders in cashless event tech joining forces to solve one of the live industry’s biggest problems

bipass
bipass sees two vastly experienced leaders in cashless event tech – Steve Jenner and Paul Pike – joining forces to solve one of the live industry’s biggest problems. Every year, event organisers leave millions of pounds’ worth of turnover and valuable customer data on the table because they have no direct connection with their audiences before, during, or after an event. bipass, working in collaboration with US Web3 trailblazers Vatom, have created Digital Lanyard to join the missing dots, empowering organisers to engage with and monetise their audiences all year round, in ways that were never before possible.

Finally, consumer brands are able to measurably convert ticket holders into high-street retail customers, any time of the year. If you run an annual event, you can now kiss goodbye to seasonal ticketing income and erratic cashflow, as the full consumer power of your audience is unlocked and placed in your hands for significant returns, all year long.

CUE is a live event and mobile engagement company that creates engaging and memorable experiences

CUE Audio
CUE is a live event and mobile engagement company that creates engaging and memorable experiences.

Founded in 2017, with the goal of providing an offline, network-free communications protocol using high-frequency, ultra-sonic audio as an alternative to Wi-Fi, cell service, and Bluetooth for short-range communications to create synchronised fan engagement experiences that otherwise would not be possible.

Utilising existing speaker infrastructure, a proprietary ultra-sonic communications protocol, and the hardware fans bring in their pockets, CUE routinely synchronises crowds of all sizes to capture the world’s largest simultaneous selfies, choreographs spectacular cell phone light shows, and hosts massive multiplayer trivia games.

Aloompa, a division of CUE, introduced the first-ever mobile app for a music festival in 2009, effectively replacing the paper guide forever. Today, Aloompa is the market leader in mobile app development for live events around the globe, driving innovation in live event technology for some of the world’s largest and most iconic events and brands. They provide a turnkey, customisable solution for events of all shapes and sizes.

Millions of live event attendees download and engage with CUE’s products each year.

Dutch Digital Collectibles assists in the development of digital collectibles for the music industry

Dutch Digital Collectibles
The multidisciplinary team of Dutch Digital Collectibles assists in the development of digital collectibles for the music industry. The organisation works with artists and music venues to bridge the gap between their creativity and the possibilities that the world of Web3 and immersive tech offers them. This creates digital value creation to enrich and renew the cultural sector.

With the development of a widely applicable Web3 strategy, tailor-made digital applications and top-notch virtual reality worlds, Dutch Digital Collectibles creates a new form of digital merchandise and innovative (live) experiences around artists. These not only create a new and stable source of income but also a direct connection between the artists and their fanbases. Therefore, the company views digital collectibles as a valuable addition to what the music industry and the cultural sector already offers its fans.

The soon-to-be-released VR show 8 Miljard Ikken (8 billion versions of me) of VR artist Nemo Vos and musician Spinvis, is the first out of many VR shows to be released. It entails a virtual journey by Vos through six musical worlds with live sound designs by Spinvis in which viewers can interact with each other and the artists. At the end of the show, visitors receive a physical collectible. This is the key for onboarding Dutch Digital Collectibles’ digital platform, giving all attendees access to claimable digital collectibles with perks preselected by the artists.

Howler & Woov team up to bring the worlds of event payments and mobile engagement together into a connected experience

Howler x Woov
Howler & Woov team up to bring the worlds of event payments and mobile engagement together into a connected experience. Howler provides organisers with an end-to-end platform encompassing ticketing, access control, cashless payments, rich data, and on-site operations. Apart from being elrow’s global ticketing partner, Howler has worked with leading brands such as Sónar, Monegros, Kappa FuturFestival, Ultra South Africa, and many more.

Woov provides festival organisers with an all-encompassing app with rich features like personal timetables, 3D maps, communities, and direct communication tools. Woov works with leading brands such as Boomtown, Kappa Futur, We Love Green, Exit Festival, Nature One, Mysteryland, and many others…

Woov’s unique user app drives customer engagement and interaction at all touch-points of any event. With millions of users, they are the leading festival engagement platform on the market.

The New Tech session at ILMC will see both CEOs present their view on how engagement and payments come together.

Ristband is a metaverse platform where events taking place in the real world can have a digital twin of the physical world

Ristband
Ristband is an award-winning metaverse platform where events taking place in the real world can have a digital twin of the physical world happening in real time, combining the excitement of a live event with the power and reach of digital social experiences. Accessible on Mac, PC and mobile.

Launched in September 2021, Ristband is an Epic MegaGrant recipient that has since received the award for “Best Designed Metaverse’’ at the Paris Metaverse Summit, described as “a product of the modern age” by Music Ally, and reviewed by Forbes as “the concert of the future.” Ristband brings the metaverse to global events. The team has previously created bespoke immersive experiences that take place at physical venues and in virtual worlds simultaneously for the International Festival Forum, Unboxed Festival, SXSW and London Fashion Week.

Founded by a team of artists and technologists, Ristband is designed especially for the live entertainment industry, bringing together audiences across gaming and music culture. Platform features include cinematic quality graphics, gameplay, a marketplace, real-time technology, data insights, professional interfaces for industry and brands, and templates and tools for artists to seamlessly create and deploy high quality interactive experiences.

 


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The big return to the fields

Last year saw the return of festivals across Europe after the pandemic break. And it was a comeback full of excitement and joy – but also many challenges in what some are describing as the toughest year to date. In this feature from the European Festival Report, we look back at some of the themes that dominated summer 2022.

When live concerts returned after the lockdowns, there were predictions of “the roaring twenties,” as music-starved fans flocked to see their favourite artists once more. But by the beginning of the festival season this year, that bullishness was being tempered by loud notes of caution.

At May’s ILMC in London, DF Concerts CEO Geoff Ellis, whose company runs Scotland’s TRNSMT festival, correctly predicted some of the themes that would come to dominate the summer: increasing costs, exacerbated by supply chain and staffing issues.

“In the UK, costs are going up at least 25% from 2019 prices, which is really difficult,” he said. “And it’s the scarcity of kit as well, so stages, barriers – we’re having to beg, borrow, and steal barriers from different arenas because there are so many shows on. There are shows that have moved from 2020 and didn’t happen in ’21, all happening, plus the festivals, plus the outdoor business that would have taken place in ’22.

“Also, staff – lots of stewards left the industry during the pandemic. Lots of sporting events are taking certainly the high-end toilets, maybe not the actual Portaloos but the flushable toilets and trailers, so that’s a real challenge.”

And he noted that simply putting up prices to cover these additional costs this year wasn’t an option, coming off the back of the loyalty of people who held their tickets for years and with a cost-of-living crisis already biting.

So, here’s a round-up of how things worked out this year.

High production costs, low staff availability
One of the most significant challenges of 2022 was the massive increase in costs for production. Issues associated with Covid and Brexit and longstanding problems of low pay and long hours, finally came home to roost. There just weren’t enough crew, security, drivers, trucks, staging, toilets, and everything else needed to fulfil all the concerts that were held over during the lockdowns as well as fulfil the festival season.

One of the earliest casualties was Belgium’s 25,000-capacity Rock Werchter Encore, which was called off just a month after being launched, due to “high production costs, staff shortages, and low consumer confidence.”

Typically, festival companies reacted with pragmatism. As an example, Mojo Concerts in the Netherlands launched a new website to advertise the hundreds of festival jobs available, in a collaboration with partner companies operating within the sector. The platform included full-time, part-time, and flexible posts in roles such as security, medical services, production, office, hospitality, cleaning, and tech.

Many of the employers listed on the website worked with festivals including Lowlands, Pinkpop, NN North Sea Jazz, Down The Rabbit Hole, and WOO HAH! x Rolling Loud.

“We’ve all been hit with price increases, with logistical problems, with lack of security, lack of stagehands, lack of riggers, lack of materials”

The severity of the crisis was seen across Europe, including at one French festival where it was reported that a headliner almost pulled out because the staging equipment was delivered so late that it almost wasn’t complete by the time the event was due to open.

As the season drew to a close, Detlef Kornett of Germany-based, Europe-wide promoter DEAG, reflected: “We’ve all been hit with price increases, with logistical problems, with lack of security, lack of stagehands, lack of riggers, lack of materials,” he told the International Festival Forum conference in September. “But I found this year particularly challenging, hearing and experiencing all the stories of our long-term suppliers being in the dark.

“For some of the festivals, the price increases could not be captured because we’d already sold the tickets [in 2020]. So, our results have not been as we wanted them to be, but generally, we felt lucky because we could stage our events. We were not hit by weather; we didn’t have to shut down because we couldn’t get security. Our long-term suppliers across the group worked with us. So, we somehow got there but how, at times, you can only talk about at night when nobody’s listening.”

The problems were Europe-wide, as Federico Rasetti from Italian live music industry association KeepOn Live explains: “As well as the staff shortages, we saw a significant growth in the number of festivals – there were a lot of independent festivals in Italy, some of them less than 50 kilometres away from each other, which increased competition for artists on line-ups.

“We saw a great return to live events as people wanted to go out again, but there were too many events.”

He adds that worries about inflation meant that spend at festivals was down this summer.

The spectre of Covid
While 2022 was the first year back for most festivals, any notion of the world being “post-Covid” was quickly disavowed as many festivals saw artists being forced to pull out due to illness. Spain’s Primavera is one of the first major events of the season, and although it was a resounding success – seeing more than 400 artists perform across two weekends in June and attracting nearly half a million people – The Strokes, Bleachers, Bikini Kill, Clairo, Holly Humberstone, Pink Pantheress, and Massive Attack were among the acts forced to pull out due to health issues. Covid also hit a significant number of the event’s hospitality team, leading to problems in the first weekend, including large queues for bars. However, as the company’s Marta Pallarès reflected afterwards:

“I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed so much love from the artists – everyone was thrilled [to be back]. Everyone was saying this was the best show they’ve played.”

“Like many other businesses in our industry, due to Covid our landscape has changed, and to stay ahead we have had to adapt and be agile. It’s been a very tough few years”

Issues caused by Covid continued to have an impact on many company finances. The UK’s largest independent festival, Boomtown (76,999-cap), sold a 45% stake to Live Nation, Gaiety, and SJM Concerts. “Like many other businesses in our industry, due to Covid our landscape has changed, and to stay ahead we have had to adapt and be agile. It’s been a very tough few years,” said the festival founders in a statement. “One of the decisions we came to in the last few months, as a direct result of the rising costs in staging such an epic and complex show, was to seek investment.”

There was also consolidation across Europe.

Live Nation GSA acquired a majority stake in Berlin-headquartered festival, booking, and services agency Goodlive, which runs festivals including Melt!, Splash!, Full Force, Heroes, and Superbloom. Backed by venture capital money, live giant Superstruct Entertainment bought stakes in professional action sport and music festival Nass (30,000-cap), run by Vision Nine, and Blue Dot (25,000-cap), both in the UK. And Warner Music Poland bought a minority stake in Big Idea, one of Poland’s leading concert and festival promoters.

Event discovery and booking platform Festicket collapsed in September, owing more than £22.5m. Many festivals were among the creditors, some of whom were owed millions. While the assets were bought by ticket exchange Lyte, so the businesses continued, many events remain uncertain about the cash they’re owed.

UK-based music, travel, and experiences start-up Pollen also went into administration, citing “turbulent trading conditions of the company’s subsidiaries as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.” It owed £75m to investors.

The European music industry stood in solidarity with the people of Ukraine when Putin’s Russia invaded in February 2022

War in Ukraine
The European music industry stood in solidarity with the people of Ukraine when Putin’s Russia invaded in February 2022.
Among the support from festival organisers was Czech Republic’s Rock for People, which built a small village for refugees on its site, aided by donations. And the festival site where Dutch festivals Lowlands and Defqon. 1 are held each year was turned into a shelter for more than 1,000 refugees.

Many other events helped by raising money for Music Saves UA, a fundraising initiative created by the Ukrainian Association of Music Events to provide humanitarian help in the country. The European Metal Festival Alliance, made up of 13 festivals from across the continent, created a “Metal United” charity shirt, with all proceeds bring donated to the non-profit organisation. Contributing events were Bloodstock (UK), Alcatraz (Belgium), Art Mania (Romania), Brutal Assault (Czech Republic), Dynamo (Netherlands), Into The Grave (Netherlands), Leyendas del Rock (Spain), Metal Days (Slovenia), Midgardsblot (Norway), Motocultor (France), Party.San (Germany), Resurrection (Spain), and Summer Breeze (Germany).

Barracuda Music, the organiser of Austrian festivals Frequency and Nova Rock, ran a 40,000-capacity charity concert in Vienna, raising €1m, which was matched by the Austrian government. The money was donated to charities Volkshilfe and Nachbar in Not.
Romanian festivals Electric Castle, Jazz in the Park, and Untold supported the humanitarian movement Un Singur Cluj to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees by selling solidarity tickets.

Having a border with Ukraine, Slovakian festival Pohoda organised a charity concert on Bratislava’s main square, which was streamed on YouTube, with recommendations for charities to support. Festival CEO Michal Kaščák also called for a Ukrainian music quota in Slovakia, to support musicians.

And YOUROPE members including Finland’s Ilosaarirock and Flow festivals, OpenAir St. Gallen (Switzerland), Off Festival (Poland) and Way Out West (Sweden) supported a variety of charities working in Ukraine by donating a share of their ticket sales.

The weather (of course!)
Taking place mainly outdoors, a key talking point is always the weather. As Europe saw record-breaking heatwaves and severe weather incidents, our events are among those at the sharp end of climate change.

In June, 40,000 people were evacuated from French festival We Love Green after violent storms forced organisers to cancel its Saturday evening programme. The same month, Eurockéennes de Belfort cancelled its Thursday and Friday evenings following a major storm, which saw seven people injured, according to French daily Le Figaro. The following two days went ahead as planned, with 60,000 people in total.

The heatwave across Europe led to local government officials in France banning outdoor events over one particularly hot weekend. Among those affected was the 10,000-capacity Freemusic Festival, which was forced to cancel at the last minute.

“We are so happy to be back doing what we love and seeing music fans experiencing these great shows”

It’s not all doom and gloom
Despite the issues above, there was also much to smile about this summer. Anyone attending a festival this year couldn’t have failed to notice the sheer joy and exuberance of everyone involved. Performers enthused from stages across Europe at how happy they were to be back, and audiences roared their agreement. Plenty of festivals sold out, including BST Hyde Park in London, from where AEG European Festivals CEO Jim King said: “Like everyone in the festival business and across live music, we are so happy to be back doing what we love and seeing music fans experiencing these great shows. The calibre of artists we have had in Hyde Park was incredible, with so many outstanding performances. The demand for tickets was huge, and we are very proud to have sold out the series.”

And Live Nation Belgium CEO and Rock Werchter founder Herman Schueremans said this summer was a “happy rebirth of festivals after two years of Covid,” describing this year as “even better than 2019,” with his flagship event selling all 66,000 combi-tickets and 80,000 one-day tickets by early February – months earlier than usual. Fellow festivals Werchter Boutique and TW Classic also sold out at 60,000-capacity each, and after increasing capacity by 2,000 to 52,000, Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel also was fully booked.

Selling 20,000 tickets, Latvian festival Positivus saw its largest audience “in years,” after relocating from a small beach town to the capital Riga, said CEO Girts Majors.

And the positive experience this year has led to record-breaking sales for 2023 at events such as Wacken Open Air (Germany), Glastonbury (UK), and others.

“Independent festivals are a key part of the music landscape. The economic sustainability of these kinds of events is really important because they bring culture and freedom of expression”

Independent festivals also were delighted to be back. As Rasetti from KeepOn Live notes: “Independent festivals are a key part of the music landscape because they not only are an opportunity for the local area, as many people don’t travel far to see artists, but the economic sustainability of these kinds of events is really important because they bring culture and freedom of expression across Italy. It means they bring music to rural areas not just the big cities. They’re also key for artist development.”

New festivals launched, too – demonstrating a level of confidence in this dynamic sector. Among them was Superbloom in Munich, Tempelhof Sounds in Berlin , and dance music brand Ultra Worldwide, which opened an edition in Spain – Ultra Beach Costa del Sol. Tomorrowland and Rock Werchter partnered for Core – a two-day boutique event in Brussels, while House of Fun and Last Tour – the company behind events such as Bilbao BBK Live, Azkena Rock Festival, Cala Mijas, and BIME Live – launched MEO Kalorama (cap. 40,000) in Lisbon.

Farewell to a godfather of the festival industry
Just before headliner Pearl Jam took to the stage at Pinkpop – one of the longest-running festivals in the world – 60,000 fans witnessed a historic moment. Jan Smeets, godfather of the European festival scene and founder of Pinkpop in 1970, said goodbye – or, more accurately for this Dutch stalwart – tot ziens. His team arranged a heart-warming farewell on the main stage of the festival, and the crowd waved “Mr Pinkpop” off into retirement with cheers after he’d spent more than five decades as head of the festival.

The work of the 77-year-old is undisputedly trendsetting, has inspired countless festivals, and was celebrated with numerous awards, including the first Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Festival Awards 2009 and the Dutch Order of Orange- Nassau. His legacy will undoubtedly remain in the future, while Smeets lives up to his long-time motto: “Keep on rocking in the free world.”

“Why shouldn’t we use this crisis as an opportunity to fix systemic issues – that are more deep-rooted and insidious than a virus – instead of as an excuse?”

Diversity
The enforced hiatus could have seen a slowdown in progress being made on diversifying line-ups. And it remains a mixed picture. While some festivals are achieving gender balance on their bills, the European Festival Survey (see pages 15-22) indicates that the average proportion of female artists performing at festivals this year was 32%. However, addressing this remains a high priority – coming in as the third most important pressing issue in our survey. As Primavera’s Marta Pallarès wrote in IQ last year: “Why shouldn’t we use this crisis as an opportunity to fix systemic issues – that are more deep-rooted and insidious than a virus – instead of as an excuse?”

Ensuring the future of festivals – and the planet
In other good news, the challenges of 2022 didn’t dampen festivals’ resolve to become climate neutral. As we see from the European Festival Survey 2022, 86% of events who responded said they plan to reach this goal. Many have made significant reductions in their fuel usage, shifted to environmentally friendly power options, or are using energy-efficient technologies, plus there have been big changes to food and drink offers, leaning towards plant-based produce and locally sourced ingredients.

So, how did it end up?
The first ‘proper’ year back after Covid-19 was a story of stormy challenges and bright, shining joy. Many teams will be left feeling exhausted but delighted to be back doing what they love after the enforced break.

Many will share the sentiments of Martin Wacker, managing director of KME, which produces DAS FEST in Germany, who summed up the experience this year: “We are proud and grateful that we were able to break even despite the adverse circumstances. DAS FEST 2022 cost around €4m. That’s a good 30% more than before Corona. We could only break even with great efforts and savings from everyone. The great solidarity of the DAS FEST family and the good beverage sales also played a part in this. A big thank you also goes to our long-standing sponsors, service providers, and partners, who have supported beyond the usual and made some things possible at short notice.”

 


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We’re thrilled with how the Alia Dann Swift Bursary has been received

Last year was the first year of ASM Global’s partnership with ILMC on the Alia Dann Swift Bursary Scheme, and we’re thrilled with how it has been received. In 2022, our senior team was on hand to meet with the scheme’s 30 talented, young executives, each well on their way to forging exciting and forward-thinking careers in the live events and music industry.

For all of us, it was inspiring speaking to the bursary scheme recipients, having the chance to hear from the next generation of talent who come armed with real vision, innovative thinking, creativity, and motivation. The power of face-to-face networking and learning allows our industry, and the people in it, to thrive and grow. Which is why I see true benefit in this scheme for the young executives, as well as our own team.

At ASM Global, we are absolutely committed to investing in people and strengthening communities all over the world. ASM Global Acts is an extension of our longstanding commitment to creating a better workplace, a more diverse workforce, serving the communities where ASM Global operates, and contributing to a healthier environment and planet. It was launched to take action and create opportunities for the next wave of industry leaders, which is why the partnership with ILMC is so meaningful.

At ASM Global, we are absolutely committed to investing in people and strengthening communities all over the world

ASM Global executives from all areas of the business will be on hand to give the young delegates a varied overview of what we do – from programming, premium, and sales and marketing, to operations and venue management. We’ll also be available after ILMC to deliver mentorship to these young people, whether that’s via one-to-one coaching sessions or informal check-ins to ask for some advice.

As the live events industry returns to full pace in 2023, it’s an exciting time to discuss, debate, and innovate as we look ahead to the future. This year we have packed calendars of diverse, world-class shows, and we continue to develop the business to deliver best-in-class, state-of-the-art guest experiences. So, there’s much to talk about with the bursary recipients that I hope will spark thoughtful discussion.

 


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André Béchir to operate new Eventim Live company

André Béchir will operate a new company under the Eventim Live umbrella, in collaboration with Swiss-French promoter TAKK.

Béchir was acting as a senior advisor to CTS Eventim-backed Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG under a three-year contract that ended last year.

He will continue to co-operate with Gadget abc on shows such as Bruce Springsteen, Herbert Grönemeyer and Eros Ramazzotti.

With his new company, Béchir will stay part of Eventim Live promoter network and collaborate with TAKK, using its infrastructure and team for the new shows to come.

Sebastien Vuignier’s TAKK and Gadget abc have collaborated for the last five years on concerts for Muse, Sam Smith, Bon Iver and others.

“I am very proud to now work side by side with André, a pioneer and internationally recognised market leader”

“I have known Seb since he was at Paleo Festival,” says Béchir. “Through his passion for music and his sense of business, he could establish his name and his company TAKK as a leading international promoter. I am very happy to be collaborating with him, with Théo and the whole TAKK team.”

Vuignier adds: “I met André Béchir more than 20 years ago. I was his local partner in the French-speaking part of Switzerland while I was working at Paleo Festival. I learned a lot and could always count on support from André, working on my first arena and stadium shows at that time. I am very proud to now work side by side with this pioneer and internationally recognised market leader.”

Théo Quiblier, who joined TAKK last September, comments: “When André promoted The Rolling Stones in Lausanne in 2007, little did he know 11 years old Théo was attending his very first show with his father and fell in love with the magic of shows. André has always been an inspiration for me and I cannot wait to work with him and learn from him. Nothing but huge respect on my side for his illustrious career. Bring on the shows!”

Béchir’s abc Production was amalgamated with Gadget and Wepromote by CTS Eventim just a month or two before the pandemic hit. The newly formed Gadget abc Entertainment Group is 60%-owned by Eventim, with the rest held by the Swiss partners.

 


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Showsec MD Mark Harding announces retirement

Showsec MD Mark Harding has announced his retirement after more than 35 years of service with the crowd management and event security specialist.

Harding has served as Showsec managing director since 2002, with the company becoming an internationally recognised market leader during his tenure.

A further announcement will be made regarding the firm’s new leadership in the near future.

“This is the right time for Showsec to enter a new phase of leadership,” says Harding. “The professionalism, talent and values of a new board of sirectors, the management team, Support service and operational staff and especially our front-line casual workforce has the absolute ability to attain new levels of success. ”

“I’ve been fortunate to work with colleagues, clients and representatives of organisations who share the vision of improving industry standards”

An advocate for industry regulation, Harding has promoted the work of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) serving on many working groups including that of an invited member of the SIA Strategic Forum.

He was chair of the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA) for 10 years until 2019 and chaired the group that reviewed the British Standard for stewarding. He was also instrumental in the creation of the National Occupation Standards and qualifications for the industry.

“It’s been an incredible journey,” adds Harding. “I’ve been fortunate to work with colleagues, clients and representatives of organisations who share the vision of improving industry standards along with a company which believes in continuous investment in education and the creation of opportunity for the entire workforce.”

 


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Geneva Arena concert cancelled over terror threat

A concert at Geneva Arena was cancelled shortly before it was due to start following an online terror threat.

French rapper Lomepal was set to headline the 9,500-cap Swiss arena on Saturday night (25 February), but the venue was evacuated after a threat was allegedly made on a social network.

“We received information that a threat had been made targeting the concert,” police spokesperson Tiffany Cudré-Mauroux tells Keystone-SDA news agency, via Swiss Info. “For precautionary reasons, it was decided to evacuate the premises and to carry out a search.”

Emergency services including police, bomb disposal experts and firefighters were deployed to the scene along with sniffer dogs. The Office of the Attorney General of Geneva says a 40-year-old man has been arrested and is set to appear before prosecutors.

A 40-year-old man has been arrested and is set to appear before prosecutors

Promoter Soldout Productions confirms to Radio Lac that “the concert was cancelled and the hall was evacuated on the orders of the police”, adding that the evacuation took place “calmly and without clashes”.

Director Julien Rouyer tells Le Temps the company is doing everything it can to find a replacement date for the show, which was part of Lomepal’s tour of Switzerland, France and Belgium.

A Geneva Arena statement says: “The Lomepal concert scheduled for this Saturday at the Geneva Arena unfortunately had to be cancelled and the room evacuated on the orders of the cantonal police. At the request of the authorities, no information could be given to the public during the evening.

“The management of the artist, Soldout Productions and the arena are doing everything possible to find a replacement date. Tickets from February 25 will be valid for the new date.

“As soon as this is communicated, more information will be sent about the procedure to follow for the possible reimbursement of tickets in the event that the spectators cannot/do not wish to attend the new concert. We are sorry for this situation and thank the fans for their understanding.”

 


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EMBT offers free tech seminars to Euro execs

With the European Music Business Training (EMBT), Hamburg Music and its partners offer a unique training program for European music professionals. It supports employees, self-employed persons and music companies in their professional advancement, their ability to innovate and their capacity to cope with crises.

The offer is free of charge and includes several seminars and workshops aimed at imparting business knowledge – with a focus on digital transformation, resilience and environmental sustainability. The programme resumes this month with a new round of seminars, partly online and partly on-site, open to applicants from across Europe.

EMBT enables participants to acquire knowledge to make their businesses more resilient, digital, and environmentally friendly. With their enhanced knowledge, participants will be able to bring new ideas and international networks to their work, which in turn will lead to new business opportunities. After its launch with the on-site seminar “Content Creation with AI” during Reeperbahn Festival (Sept 2022), a new round of online seminars is now open for application to European music business professionals, including topics such as Web3 technology and navigating music analytics data.

“The EMBT is a great opportunity for professionals across Europe to stay on top of new business models”

Additionally, an on site session focusing on Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) as alternative infrastructure for creative communities is scheduled for MENT Festival, Ljubljana, at the end of March. More online seminars and workshops are planned for the months of March and April, which will be announced soon via the project’s website: www.europeanmusicbusinesstraining.com. Interested parties can also subscribe to the Hamburg Music Newsletter to stay up to date on further training and education offers, as well as other projects and programmes.

“With the music industry experiencing profound and ongoing transformations, being able to navigate an increasingly internationalised and digitalised work environment is essential. The EMBT is a great opportunity for professionals across Europe to stay on top of new business models, learn about the uses and misuses of new technologies, and gain an overview of existing local and international networks,” says Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt, International Music Managers Forum (IMMF).

EMBT is the newest in a series of training programs founded and curated by Hamburg Music, the business association for Hamburg’s music companies. Having grown to become one of the largest regional music business associations in Europe, Hamburg Music is Germany’s leading provider of training programmes for music industry professionals – on a local, national, and European level.

Cooperating partners for EMBT are Associazione Italiana Organizzatori e Produttori Spettacoli di Musica dal vivo (Assomusica), Chambre Syndicale De l’Edition Musicale (CSDEM), the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP), International Music Managers Forum (IMMF), as well as the Music Community of Aarhus (Promus). The programme is supported by MusicAIRE (An Innovative Recovery for Europe), co-funded by the European Union. Additional support comes from the City of Hamburg.

 


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