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Doc McGhee to star at ILMC Breakfast Meeting

More than 15 years after their last ILMC encounter, legendary music manager Doc McGhee will return to sit down with former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell for The (Late) Breakfast Meeting at this year’s event.

As a music manager, McGhee founded the careers of Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, and Skid Row, and has managed KISS for over two decades. McGhee Entertainment clients have included Guns N’ Roses, Scorpions, Liz Phair, James Brown and Diana Ross.

A pioneer of the entertainment industry, McGhee has rebranded and relaunched artists worldwide, staged global live events such as the Moscow Music Peace Festival, featured in numerous documentaries, and continues to produce shows for film and television.

The (Late) Breakfast Meeting will take place at 4.45pm on Thursday 2 March.

“The last time Doc and Ed got together at ILMC, they had the room in tears of laughter”

“The last time Doc and Ed got together at ILMC, they had the room in tears of laughter,” says ILMC MD Greg Parmley. “Fifteen years on, it remains one of the stand out sessions in our history, so it’s great to have these two on the bill together again. Doc is a music industry titan. It’s no exaggeration to say he has worked with and even launched some of the biggest names in the business.”

Among the top industry names recently announced for ILMC 35 are Jessica Koravos (Oak View Group), Marcia Titley (Eventim), Phil Bowdery (Live Nation), Alex Hardee (Wasserman Music), Mark Davyd (MVT), Tommy Jinho Yoon (ICA-Live-Asia), Amy Bowerman and Patrik Meyer (Deutsche Bank Park), Steve Reynolds (LS Events), John Langford (AEG Europe), Kim Bloem (Mojo Concerts) and Lisa Ryan (EFM).

ILMC 35 will take place from 28 February to 3 March at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel. Full info and tickets can be found here. Yesterday, ILMC announced the line-up for London Calling, its first ever central London showcase has been revealed,

 


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Sold-out ESNS draws 44,000 visitors

The 37th edition of ESNS boasted 44,000 visitors, 315 emerging European artists and more than 150 panels, keynotes and networking opportunities, according to organisers.

The showcase festival and conference returned to Groningen, the Netherlands, last week for the first in-person edition since 2020.

The conference programme included keynotes from Scott Cohen, Dugi and Dua Lipa, Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Everrett (Sub Pop), as well as panels on hotly debated topics including diversity and sustainability in the music industry.

During the festival, 40 awards were presented, including the Popprijs 2022 which went to Goldband and Dua Lipa receiving The ESNS Excellence Award, celebrating her success as an ESNS Exchange artist. The MME Awards were presented to Schmyt, July Jones, Oska, Kids Return, and Queralt Lahoz are the winners of the Music Moves Europe Awards 2023. The prestigious MME Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Sans Soucis and the MME Public Choice award was won by Jerry Heil. At European Festival Awards, The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Atlas Festival & Music Saves UA.

“This edition addressed so many related topics and presented such a diverse and outstanding line-up of European talent”

This year also saw ESNS take significant steps towards increasing sustainability, diversity and inclusion, such as introducing an advisory board for diversity and inclusion, launching ESNS Green Touring support and a partnership with green travelling start-up Choo Choo.

“The past week has been exceptional,” says Dago Houben, director of ESNS. “The sector has been struggling and is still recovering from the pandemic, and we see our role as the platform for the European music sector as more important than ever. This edition addressed so many related topics and presented such a diverse and outstanding line-up of European talent. We came back stronger than ever with so many first-time visitors and a sold-out edition of the festival and conference.”

Robert Meijerink, head of programme, on ESNS Exchange, adds: “Looking at the first bookings results of ESNS Exchange, the European Talent Exchange Programme, we are seeing a beautiful country spread. With most mentions for artists like Bolis Pupul, Deki Alem, Heartworms, Aime Simone, Club Makumba, eee gee, Monikaze, Alina Pash, Gurriers, Duo Ruut and Marina Herlop. We look forward to seeing how emerging European acts show up in the coming festival summer.”

 


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ESNS detail long-awaited in-person return

The final touches are being added to this year’s Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), which will be the first in-person edition since 2019.

The showcase festival and conference returns to Groningen, the Netherlands, from 18 to 21 January, with a line-up of 290 emerging European artists.

“After staring at cold glassed screens for the last two editions of ESNS it is like a dream come true to finally organise an irl edition and to welcome delegates from all over the world to beautiful Groningen to celebrate our return with great European music and fantastic networking,” says Ruud Berends, head of conference & ESNS Exchange.

“I am looking forward to many essential panel discussions and keynotes about the complex issues we and our world are facing.”

The ILMC and IQ teams will be present at ESNS and lead several of the conference’s main sessions.

ILMC head Greg Parmley will moderate the ever-popular Festival Panel on Thursday (19 January), during which Thomas Sonderby Jepsen (Roskilde, DK), Fruzsina Szép (Superbloom, DE), Kem Lalot (Eurockéennes) and Pavla Slivova (Colours of Ostrava) will outline just what makes their festival so unique and how they weathered the last few years.

The following day, Parmley will steer The Agents Panel, featuring Adele Slater (Wasserman Music), Jess Kinn (One Finiix Live), Summer Marshall (CAA) and Andy Duggan (WME).

“I am looking forward to many essential panel discussions and keynotes about the complex issues we are facing”

The assembled agents will discuss how they have survived Covid-19, what strategies they’re putting in place for their artists in 2023 and beyond, and how they’re continuing to grow their client’s live careers.

Elsewhere, IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson will conduct a keynote interview with Robert Grima, president of Live Nation Spain, on Thursday.

The conversation will delve into Grima’s 30 years’ worth of experience in the industry, discovering what still drives his passion for live music; his unfaltering determination to care for his artists; and his unique vision that has helped Live Nation Madrid become a powerhouse promoter in the global business.

Masson has also been enlisted for a keynote conversation with global superstar Dua Lipa and her manager and father, Dugi on Saturday 21 January. The pair will discuss their philanthropic efforts with Sunny Hill festival in their native Kosovo, as well as Dua’s style, culture, and society editorial platform, Service95, and accompanying podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service.

Meanwhile, IQ‘s deputy news editor Lisa Henderson will chair Grassroots touring is fucked, what are you going to do about it? on Thursday with Mark Davyd (Music Venue Trust), Rev. Moose, Marauder (NIVA), Audrey Guerre (LiveDMA) and Max van Bossé (Melkweg).

Henderson will also moderate Future Fit Festival, presented by Yourope/3F, on Friday. This panel will see Christof Huber (Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG, Yourope), Pavla Slivova (Colours of Ostrava), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio) and Maiju Talvisto (Flow Festival) discuss what makes European festivals resilient to meet the challenges of the future.

For more information on ESNS 2023 or to buy tickets, click here.

 


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Futures Forum 2023: Topics, speakers revealed

The full provisional schedule and the first round of speakers have been unveiled for ILMC’s Futures Forum, the one-day discussion and networking event for the next generation of live music industry leaders.

Taking place on the last day of the International Live Music Conference in London, the event brings together the people that currently define the business with the emerging execs who are driving its evolution.

Discussions during the conference will include developing TikTok stars for the stage, closing the generation gap, alternative business models and new ways of working, emerging genres and holistic sustainability.

Discussions will include developing TikTok stars for the stage, closing the generation gap and alternative business models

The first round of speakers for the event includes Raye Cosbert and Alexandra Ampofo (Metropolis Music), Sally Dunstone (Primary Talent International), Caroline Reason (MATA Agency) and Nastassja Roberts (DreamHaus).

Will Holdoway (Method Events), Paul Bonham (Music Managers Forum), Ross Patel (Whole Entertainment), Stella Scocco (Södra Teatern), Sönke Schal (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion) and Debbie McWilliams (Scottish Event Campus) are also lined up for Futures Forum.

Futures Forum will take place on Friday 3 March at ILMC’s new location, the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

Passes for the one-day event cost £149, which includes all sessions, a five-star lunch, refreshments and a closing party.

View the full provisional schedule here, read more about all speakers confirmed for Futures Forum 2023 by clicking here or buy tickets here.

 


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SJM and Prime announce JV to manage New Order

SJM Management has partnered with Rebecca Boulton and Andrew Robinson of Prime Management on a joint venture to manage both New Order and members of Joy Division.

The JV with Conrad Murray, Simon Moran and the SJM Management team is designed to ensure the band’s catalogue releases, live shows and new musical output continue to influence new generations.

Boulton and Robinson have represented the band since the death of legendary Manchester music figure Rob Gretton in 1999.

“We have sought to future proof the band’s management and protect their legacy so the merger with SJM management is a good fit and maintains our independent sensibilities”

“We have sought to future proof the band’s management and protect their legacy so the merger with SJM management is a good fit and maintains our independent sensibilities,” says a statement from Boulton and Robinson.

“It’s a great honour for SJM Management to be working with New Order and Joy Division, two of the greatest acts of all-time, and joining forces with Rebecca and Andrew at Prime Management,” adds SJM’s Murray.

New Order, who most recently toured North America in autumn 2022, release a box set of their 1985 album Low-Life on 27 January and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the biggest-selling 12” of all time, Blue Monday, in March.

 


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Marty Diamond, Obi Asika and more confirmed for ILMC 35

More major industry executives have been confirmed for ILMC 35: Spa & Last Resort, as the countdown to the conference begins.

Joining CAA’s Maria May on The Open Forum: The industry health check are Obi Asika from United Talent Agency and Herman Schueremans from Live Nation Belgium/Rock Werchter.

Elsewhere, Wasserman Music’s head of global music Marty Diamond and Jenny Hutchinson from Bristol Ashton Gate Stadium take part in The View From The Top: Stadiums & large-scale shows.

Meanwhile, Jane Beese from Manchester International Factory will chair The State of Independents: Opportunity knocks.

Emma Bownes of The O2 and John Drury from OVO Arena Wembley take the helm for The Venue’s Venue: The cost of live-ing, while eps chief Okan Tombulca chairs IPM: The great production debate.

The final round of the Alia Dann Swift Bursary Scheme opens today

ILMC’s resident tech guru Steve Machin from Vatom will head up New Technology: The fitness test, and Festival Forum: Mud baths & outdoor pursuits will welcome Yourope’s Holger Jan Schmidt as its chair.

Also, the final round of the Alia Dann Swift Bursary Scheme opens today (6 January). The scheme offers a complimentary pass and mentoring opportunities to 30 professionals this year, courtesy of ASM Global.

The closing date for the final round is Tuesday 14 February. To find out more and apply, click here.

ILMC Spa & Last Resort will welcome over 1,200 of the world’s top live music professionals from over 40 countries to the recently upgraded Royal Lancaster Hotel in London from 28 Feb–3 March 2023.

Full information about the conference is at 35.ilmc.com.

 


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IQ 116 out now: Ed Sheeran, Gaffer Award, Spain

IQ 116, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite magazine, is available to read online now, with the print edition to land on desks between Christmas and New Year.

Our January 2023 issue is headlined by a special feature on the runaway winner of IQ’s Tour of the YearEd Sheeran‘s remarkable Mathematics Tour – as Derek Robertson speaks to some of the dedicated army of professionals who helped the superstar hitmaker realise his artistic ambitions.

We also turn the spotlight on Billie Eilish’s production manager Nicole Massey, who becomes the first woman to collect The Gaffer Award. Massey talks to Gordon Masson about her professional path and her hopes to see more women attaining positions of power in live music.

Elsewhere, The Architects sees some of the industry’s most visionary professionals reveal their blueprints for the future of live music, and we provide an update on the various events and partners preparing for the 35th edition of the International Live Music Conference, which will be held at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel from 28 February – 3 March 2023.

As well as all that, Adam Woods travels to Spain for his latest market report, while a bumper comments section features ticketing expert Tim Chambers, who gives a different perspective on the incredible presale demand for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. In addition, James Fieldhouse gauges the desire for more merger and consolidation action in 2023 and Attitude is Everything’s Suzanne Bull urges more events to sign up to the organisation’s accessibility programme.

As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ from just £6.25 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 

 


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A perfect storm could become a perfect disaster

Following Brexit and a global pandemic, both of which continue to trigger negative ripples, we are now deep in a seismic and catastrophic cost-of-living crisis.

As recently highlighted by former PRS and Spotify economist Will Page, our entire business has been completely upended in less than three years. Before the world stopped in March 2020, live music represented a larger slice of the UK music business than recorded. In 2019, audiences spent £1.7bn [€1.9bn] on concert tickets and £1.4bn [€1.6bn] on recorded music – and that’s not including ancillary sales (eg merch) or the uncapped ticket resale market.

Research from our Managing Expectations report (2019) indicated that, for the vast majority of MMF members, live music represented their most significant source of revenue. For many managers – and for the artists they represent – live accounted for more than 4/5 of their income, much more than recorded or publishing royalties or ancillary income streams.

During lockdown, with live music shut down, that effectively meant an 80% pay cut for most artists and their managers – and, with the majority of our community being self-employed or running micro-businesses, little chance of accessing government support packages.

“Even with touring now resumed, we still face what appears to be a perfect storm of long-term and short-term challenges”

In 2021, UK live revenue had partially bounced back to £700m [€807m], but even with touring now resumed, we still face what appears to be a perfect storm of long-term and short-term challenges.

The most prominent of these are: dramatically rising costs worsened by supply chain shortfalls; an exodus of live industry talent; a saturated market of new and rescheduled events; cancellations; and reduced consumer incomes. While the few superstar acts and more established events may be able to adjust to inflationary pressures by increasing prices (the majority of festivals, for example, will feel unable to follow Glastonbury’s decision to dramatically increase entry costs), most artists are now faced with a dilemma, particularly if touring at mid-level or grassroots venues.

The costs of hiring a van, fuel, and accommodation have all spiralled upwards. The bureaucracy of performing outside of the UK has increased substantially. And yet, in most cases, artist guarantees and ticket prices have remained static or even reduced.

There’s also a psychological aspect at play here. The pandemic removed most artists and managers from the normal rhythm of their creative and commercial cycles. Aside from the economic pressures this unleashed, there were also the associated pressures of supporting their wider team. Even relatively small-scale artists are partly or wholly responsible for the livelihoods of others.

How we fix these challenges in environmentally friendly ways will require a coherent sector-wide strategy and, in some cases, a rethinking of existing industry practices.

“There is still the overriding need for a comprehensive cultural touring agreement and a government-backed music export strategy”

We urge the government to reduce VAT on ticket sales. Such a move would provide an immediate shot in the arm across the sector. Similarly, we continue to advocate for the goals of our Let The Music Move campaign. Despite some isolated country-specific breakthroughs that will improve post-Brexit European touring, there is still the overriding need for a comprehensive cultural touring agreement and a government-backed music export strategy.

Alleviating some of the supply side and infrastructural issues being borne by artists will require a more collaborative approach – whether that’s finding new ways to reduce transport costs (playing TETRIS in vans) or reducing the amount of gear being taken from show to show. I know some managers would love more venues to have reliable and consistent in-house backline, meaning that musicians could travel with just their core instruments and gear.

Other much-needed reforms will probably be more contentious and require some changes to certain trends and long-standing practices. Among MMF members, there is a growing disquiet around creeping increases on ticket fees, while the FAC’s 100% Venues campaign has highlighted excessive commission charges on merch sales at certain venues.

A longer-term fix to crew shortages would be trying to increase the supply of touring professionals post-Covid by the industry investing in high-quality training of new people.

The economics of live music need to work for everyone in the value chain – but if they stop working for talented people that bring in the audience, then a perfect storm could become a perfect disaster.

 


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S.Korea’s SM Entertainment eyes expansion

South Korean entertainment giant SM Entertainment is planning to launch a headquarters in Singapore, in order to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia.

The Seoul-based operation, which is home to K-pop acts such as Red Velvet, Girls’ Generation, EXO, SHINee, NCT and Aespa, says that the new HQ will be tasked with “managing joint ventures in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, as well as communicating with [its South Korea office] for other related ventures and plans.”

SM Entertainment founder Soo-Man Lee told CNBC that the company is already  “in the midst of hiring more local talents, which will hopefully increase the full-time staff count.” The company is also “looking at hiring local undergraduates or fresh graduates for internships.”

On top of that, the company plans to launch retail businesses in Singapore, including cafes, merchandise stores and pop-up exhibitions.

The Singapore HQ will be tasked with “managing joint ventures in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand

The SM boss also revealed ambitions to slowly expand not just to other parts of Southeast Asia, but also to the wider continent, including the Middle East.

The company made its first foray into the region earlier this year after partnering with the Saudi Arabian investment department.

The deal will see SM discover, nurture and produce local S-pop (Saudi pop) artists with the active support of the Saudi Ministry of Investment, with plans to establish a venue “that can hold music festivals year-round”.

SM also plans to build a metaverse platform to “share Korean and Saudi culture” and “actively promote local business… production of various contents, and production and sales of products using IP”.

 


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ILMC 35 announces Latin America focus

The 35th edition of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) will have a unique focus on the Latin American market, supported by many of the region’s top companies and professionals.

“With huge audiences, record attendances, and homegrown talent now topping international box office charts, the Latin market is exploding right now,” reads a statement from the organisers. “And in March 2023, ILMC will see many of the market’s key players on hand to meet, network, and discuss.”

Under the banner Latin Live 2023, the programme at ILMC 35 will include dedicated conference debate and Q&As, a networking and information area, a Meet & Greet Happy Hour, and unique content relating to the region published in ILMC’s conference guide, with more to be announced.

Additionally, this year’s ILMC Gala Dinner will take place as the ILMC Gala Fiesta & Arturo Awards, taking delegates on a journey to the Caribbean and the home of reggaeton for the industry’s best-loved awards evening.

Latin Live is supported by Loud & Live, Grand Move, and Ocesa.

ILMC Spa & Last Resort will welcome over 1,200 of the world’s top live music professionals from over 40 countries to the recently upgraded Royal Lancaster Hotel in London from 28 Feb – 3 March 2023.

Full information about the conference is at 35.ilmc.com.

 


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