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ILMC 33: One week to go

There is just one week to go until the global concert industry comes together again for the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), which returns as virtual event from 3 to 5 March 2021.

Hundreds of leading figures from across the global live music business are contributing to ILMC’s digital debut, as well as this year’s ILMC Production Meeting and Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI), which take place on 2 March. The ILMC conference schedule now features the largest line-up of guest speakers at any live music conference ever, with more than 250 speakers in attendance.

Over 1,000 delegates will attend ILMC 33, including executives including Irving Azoff (Azoff Music), Klaus-Peter Schulenberg (CTS Eventim), industry commentator Bob Lefsetz, Emma Banks (CAA), Tim Leiweke (Oak View Group), Jason Danter (Lady Gaga/Madonna), Lucy Dickins (WME), Pandora founder Tim Westergren, Sam Kirby Yoh (UTA) and Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett.

The 33rd edition of the top global platform for concert and festival professionals features 60+ meetings, workshops and keynotes across three days, alongside 50 showcases from new artists, presented by top booking agencies and export offices. Within the ILMC schedule, new event brand PULSE is a day of discussion around the intersection of technology and live music, and the Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM) focuses on non-music content.

“This is a crucial moment to bring the global live music business together”

The Arthur Awards, the live music industry’s Oscar equivalents, will stream live from the stage of the Royal Albert Hall as the iconic venue celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Companies supporting ILMC 33 include Live Nation, Ticketmaster, CTS Eventim, ASM Global, Showsec, Tysers, Hearby & Semmel Concerts.

ILMC head Greg Parmley says: “This edition of ILMC will mark one year since the live music business began to shut due to Covid-19, and it takes place just as markets around the world are pushing forward with plans to reopen.

“This is a crucial moment to bring the global live music business together to define its restart.”

The full schedule and details of all sessions and speakers are available at 33.ilmc.com. If you haven’t already, there is still time to secure your ILMC 33 pass at the discounted spring rate of £139/£159 until 18.00 GMT this Friday (26 February).


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Barcelona: Sixth night of protests over jailed rapper

Barcelona has endured a sixth consecutive night of street protests, following the jailing of Catalan rapper, Pablo Hasél.

Hasél was arrested last Tuesday night (16 February) following a 24-hour stand-off in a university with dozens of supporters to avoid a prison sentence.

The artist, who is known for his radical leftist views, was sentenced to nine months in prison in 2018 under a security law known in Spain as the “gag law” for insulting the Spanish monarchy and praising terrorist violence in his music and on his Twitter account.

The rapper’s imprisonment has set off a major debate about free speech in Spain and sparked ongoing protests in Barcelona.

Last night, protestors in dark clothes marched through the city centre to the National Police headquarters and threw objects including rocks, bottles, rubbish and firecrackers at officers.

According to the police, around a thousand protesters took part in last night’s protest and seven arrests were made.

More than 200 artists have signed a petition against his jail term and calling for the ‘gag law’ to be changed.

Government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said that in response to the Hasel case, the government had “expressed its willingness to provide a much more secure framework for freedom of expression” and that the reform was in its early stages.


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Universal Music, YG invest in livestreaming service

Universal Music Group (UMG) and K-pop label YG Entertainment have invested in KBYK Live, a livestreaming company backed by BTS’s management company, Big Hit Entertainment.

The investment from YG – home to Korean superstars including Blackpink, Big Bang and iKon – and UMG will go towards expanding KBYK Live’s VenewLive, bringing both companies’ rosters of artists to the platform, which boasts augmented reality (AR), multi-view and 4K streaming capabilities. KBYK Live was established after Big Hit and tech start-up Kiswe partnered last summer.

The technology behind VenewLive was demonstrated at BTS’s record-breaking Bang Bang Con: The Live and Map of the Soul: One in June and October respectively. The former drew in a peak concurrent audience of 756,000, while the latter was viewed by nearly a million people worldwide.

The shows also offered a variety of premium features, delivering a full stage production from multiple angles in 4K resolution, with live chat and synchronised light sticks.

“This past year has shown that the need for reliable and innovative livestreaming has never been greater”

“VenewLive has already livestreamed several large-scale performances last year and provided unique immersive fan concert experiences that can be offered through our cutting-edge technologies, including six-angle multi-views, 4K resolution and various interactive features,” says KBYK Live CEO John Lee. “Our technology will be the basis for enabling fans to feel closer to artists, and help artists express their energy on a digital stage.”

“We are excited about this investment as our company, with many artists competitive on a global stage, has secured a high-quality platform with leading technologies,” adds YG Entertainment COO Sung Jun Choi. “We will continue to do our best to provide more interactive experiences and new services to global fans.”

Boyd Muir, executive vice-president and CFO of Universal Music, says its unspecified investment into KBYK/VenewLive will allow the company to “evolve the opportunities and live streaming experiences for UMG artists and their fans today and into the future”.

“This past year has shown that the need for reliable and innovative livestreaming has never been greater,” he adds. “VenewLive offers some of the most creative and memorable opportunities for today’s artists to globalise their art and performances, tailored to enhance the community and fan experience.”


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Sea shanty sensation Nathan Evans signs with UTA

UTA has signed Nathan Evans, the Scottish singer who found fame on TikTok for his rendition of the whaling ballad ‘Soon May the Wellerman Come’, for worldwide representation.

Evans, a former postman who is credited with inspiring the unlikely social media craze around sea shanties, has held the no.2 spot in the UK charts for three weeks with the 220 Kid/Billen Ted remix of ‘Wellerman’ on Universal Music. At UTA, he will be represented by a “large-cross section of agents” responsible for both his live career and commercial partnerships.

“In Nathan we see huge potential, and UTA is thrilled to be part of the team,” says London-based agent Emily Robbins. “We are excited to help shape the story from here and build his future career in the industry.”

“In Nathan we see huge potential … We are excited to help shape the story from here”

Jonathan Shalit OBE, chairman of InterTalent, adds: “Emily Robbins of UTA was quickest off the mark in calling after I signed Nathan to InterTalent. Within days she had gathered the incredible UTA global team, who were irresistible.”

“Watching Nathan’s brilliant and original videos inspire our community and kick start a global trend demonstrates the power of TikTok,” says the short-form video platform’s UK head of music, Paul Hourican. “We look forward to working more with Nathan and his team and are excited to see what comes next.”

“To be represented by one of the greatest talent agencies alongside signing to Polydor, Sony ATV and InterTalent, is a dream come true,” comments Nathan Evans. “On 27 December, when I uploaded ‘Wellerman’ to TikTok, it was just me. Now I have the support of the best music people in the world.”


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Countdown begins to ILMC 33: Virtually Live

There’s just a month to go until the industry comes together once more for the 33rd International Live Music Conference (ILMC), streaming live from London to thousands of workplaces, home offices and sofas worldwide.

ILMC 33: Virtually Live will be the largest and most international edition of the conference to date, with the online-only format allowing for a greater number of panels, meetings, keynotes, networking opportunities and after-hours events than ever before.

Debuting in 2021 are two new conferences-within-a-conference, exhibition showcase The Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM) and the tech-focused PULSE, while returning favourites include the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM), the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and the industry’s Oscars equivalent, the Arthur Awards, which will stream live from London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall on 4 March.

Also streaming live will be a series of showcases presented by the planet’s premier booking agencies, with other evening entertainment including the ever-popular quiz of the year and poker tourney, which – while taking place somewhere deep in hyperspace – is raising funds for the Stagehand Covid-19 crew relief fund back in the real world.

Conference highlights include sessions tackling the biggest topics of the day, from the festival season and the changing agency sector to reopening venues, the evolving world of A&R, mental health and the insurance market, as well as can’t-miss keynote interviews with Irving Azoff and Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and a special live edition of the Bob Lefsetz Podcast.

For the first time, this year’s conference is open to both existing members and ILMC newbies

Guest speakers include powerhouse agents (Lucy Dickins, Tom Windish, Emma Banks, Sam Kirby Yoh), festival bosses (Fruzsina Szép, Mathieu Jaton, Jim King), recording artists (Matt Heafy, Frank Turner), leading promoters (Phil Bowdery, Steve Homer, Stephan Thanscheidt), venue execs (Tim Leiweke, Stuart Clumpas) and more, with all ILMC delegates also invited to join the conversation on the cutting-edge virtual conference platform.

So with this year’s conference, for the first time in ILMC history, open to both existing members and ILMC newbies, there’s no excuse for not logging on to live music’s greatest gathering in March.

For more information on ILMC 33, which takes from 3 to 5 March 2021, visit the ILMC website. Full three-day tickets, as well as passes for IPM and GEI (on 2 March), are available at a discounted winter rate of £119/£139 until 6pm GMT on 19 February.

Read the full conference guide in the digital edition of IQ 96 now:

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New year, new hope: IQ 96 is out now

IQ 96, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.

February’s IQ Magazine details the unique 2021 edition of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) and offers an exclusive preview of new session Pulse with agent Mike Malak.

Elsewhere, IQ editor Gordon Masson finds out New Zealand’s industry is coping in its post-pandemic bubble, and talks to some of Europe’s biggest venues to find out how they plan to get back up and running, as the European Arenas Association turns 30.

This issue also hears from Crosstown Concerts director Conal Dodds, who details his firm’s creation of a new live-streaming operation, and Nue Agency chief Jesse Kirshbaum, who extols gaming’s ability to introduce artists to new audiences and accelerate career development.

And if you’re curious to know what Rob Challice (Paradigm), Claudio Trotta (Barley Arts), Alan Day (Kilimanjaro Live) and other industry pros are looking forward to most when life gets back to normal, you’ll find the answers in Your Shout.

All that is in addition to all the regular content you’ve come to expect from your monthly IQ Magazine, including news analysis and new agency signings, the majority of which will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

Whet your appetite with the preview below, but if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe now and receive IQ 96 in full.


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Seconds out: February agency playlist is live

The latest edition of IQ’s New Signings playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, goes live today, showcasing some of the most exciting talent for February 2021.

Launched last summer, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.

The January playlist features contributions from CAA, ICM Partners, ITB, Paradigm, UTA, 13 Artists and ATC Live, each of which have picked up to five tracks apiece showcasing some of their hottest touring artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below – or click here to catch up on the January 2021 edition first.

Separated by agency, the full track list for February’s New Signings playlist is:


CAAThe Backseat LoversKilby Girl
CAARachek ChinouririDarker Place
CAAVintage CultureParadise
ICMMarzzFeelin' Me
ICMJelani AryehAngels
ICMDiana DemuthRose of Nantucket
ITBMegan O’NeillTime In A Bottle
ITBInglorious Medusa
ITBLittle CometsTotal Abject Paranoia
ParadigmAlfa MistRun Outs
ParadigmDennis LloydAnxious
ParadigmJessiaI'm Not Pretty
ParadigmTV PriestPress Gang
ParadigmYu SuXiu
UTADaði FreyrFeel the Love
UTAFKA TwigsDon't Judge Me
UTAJacob CollierSky Above
UTAArlo ParksHope
UTAWhy Don’t WeFallin' (Adrenaline)
13 ArtistsThe LathumsFoolish Parley
13 ArtistsAnother SkySun Seeker
13 ArtistsMelanie CInto You (Acoustic)
13 ArtistsHolly HumberstoneVanilla
13 ArtistsTrillary BanksBig Miss Steak
ATCGoat GirlBadibaba
ATCShameBorn in Luton
ATCSleaford ModsElocution
ATCBlack Country, New RoadTrack X

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NZ’s top artists speak out about sexual harassment

A slate of New Zealand’s top female artists including Lorde and Bic Runga have co-signed an open letter urging professionals across the music industry to assess their own behaviour.

The letter – penned by musician Anna Coddington and co-signed by the likes of Bic Runga, Lorde, Anika Moa, Tami Neilson, Hollie Smith and Mel Parsons – arrives after a report by Stuff detailed allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation experienced by women and non-binary artists in New Zealand’s music industry.

The investigation prompted an admission of guilty and an apology from former Lorde manager Scott Maclachlan who told Stuff: “I do accept the harmful impact of my past behaviour and I try every day to repair the damage and prevent it happening again.”

Maclachlan confirmed he lost his position as SVP at Warner Australasia and was banned from Warner Music’s Australian offices and gigs, after the company commissioned a sexual harassment investigation in 2018.

“The onus for change can’t sit with those of us who don’t hold that power”

Benee manager Paul McKessar was the second big name in New Zealand’s music industry to step down after he admitted “crossing professional boundaries” with artists he represented.

McKessar, who was last year awarded Manager of the Year at the Aotearoa Music Awards, resigned as a director at CRS Music following his implication in the exposé.

The group’s letter, also signed by Tami Neilson, Mel Parsons and Hollie Smith, says: “Men in the music industry have been operating in a safety-in-numbers scenario since forever. Young women, LGBTQ+ people, and other minorities stepping fresh into the music industry do not have that safety.

“We don’t want to be writing open letters about inappropriate behaviour. We want to be working on our music”

“We need better behaviour from those who hold power now, but ultimately we need more diversity in those positions of power so that the music industry as a whole can thrive and reap the benefits of different perspectives.

“The onus for change can’t sit with those of us who don’t hold that power. Everyone should want a better, safer, more productive industry. Artists are not here to help you make these changes. We don’t want to be writing open letters and talking to the media about the inappropriate behaviour of others. We want to be working on our music.”

The letter makes a number of suggestions such as “learn about boundaries and consent”, “diversify your workplace” and “do not accept the transgression of those boundaries from anyone you work with”.

Read the full letter here.


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D2C platform Townsend captures live streams on record

Townsend Music, the leading direct-to-consumer (D2C) platform, has been providing its artist clients with a new revenue stream during the pandemic by capturing their livestreamed shows on record.

The platform, which hosts over 1,000 artist D2C stores, has been converting its clients’ livestream recordings into one-off, collectable vinyl to be sold exclusively through the stores.

In December, British rock band The Darkness delivered a livestreamed concert from Indigo at the O2, London, in conjunction with Townsend, Live Here Now, AEG and Dice.

The ticketed performance, which took place under the banner of ‘Streaming of A White Christmas’, was transformed into a brand new live album, presented as a deluxe triple ‘sparkle green’ heavy vinyl with booklets and a deluxe double CD for £40 and £20 respectively – generating not one, but two income streams for the band.

“These campaigns have been a huge success and they’ve provided the artists with decent revenue streams and strong data”

Similarly, Townsend packaged Embrace’s greatest hits concert, livestreamed from their own studio during the pandemic, into a triple-coloured vinyl dubbed ‘Best Of Live From The Cellar Of Dreams’ which was informed by a fan-powered setlist.

“These campaigns have been a huge success and really enjoyable to put together. They’ve provided the artists with decent revenue streams and strong data capture,” says Bruce McKenzie, sales director at Townsend Music.

“It’s also been great to pay over some of the money to the band’s crew who are such an important part of the team who have been hit the hardest during lockdown.”

The company has also organised other exclusive D2C live albums using archive material from artists including Supergrass, James, Shed Seven and Bryan Ferry.


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UK orgs react to new PRS tariff for small live streams

Key organisations from the UK’s music industry have criticised PRS for Music for its new “ill-conceived” licence for small-scale livestreamed gigs, following last year’s backlash about the proposed tariff for larger livestreamed events.

The UK performance rights organisation has today launched a new licensing portal for music creators, venues and promoters wanting to stage livestream small-scale events, which will impose a flat fee equating to a minimum 9% tariff on events generating less than £500.

The blanket rate for a show that generates less than £250 is £22.50, and £45 for an event that generates between £250 and £500.

The move follows the last year’s proposal that larger livestream events should be subject to a tariff of between 8% and 17% of gross revenues, compared to 4.2% charged at normal in-person live shows.

This prompted Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) to send a joint letter – countersigned by more than 50 artist managers – to PRS for Music CEO Andrea Martin last month urging her to reconsider the move.

“[PRS] need to commit to a full and transparent industry-wide consultation before issuing invoices to cash-strapped artists”

PRS says it will not be actively pursuing licences for livestreamed events that took place prior to the launch of the new portal, which would have qualified for the fixed fee licence.

Commenting on the new licence for small-scale livestreamed concerts, David Martin, CEO at FAC, and Annabella Coldrick, chief executive at MMF, say: “All of us want songwriters and composers to be paid fairly and efficiently for the use of their work, but this is not the way to go about it. Once again, we would urge PRS for Music to stop acting unilaterally.

“They need to urgently listen to the growing concerns of artists and their representatives during the pandemic, implement a waiver for performer-writers to opt-out of such fees, and commit to a full and transparent industry-wide consultation before issuing invoices to cash-strapped artists.”

“Unilaterally announcing ill-conceived new tariffs in a crisis is not such a discussion”

Mark Davyd, CEO at Music Venue Trust, added: “The live music industry, including grassroots music venues, artists and promoters, is in crisis mode and pulling together. The team at MVT have been in regular correspondence with PRS for Music throughout this crisis on how we can work together to ensure everyone emerges from this crisis and we can get back to work. At no time during those conversations has anybody suggested that a new tariff for streaming would be created. We have not been consulted on this, advised of it, or even notified of it prior to a press release being issued.

“The principal beneficiaries of paid streaming during this crisis have been artists. The beneficiaries of charitable streaming, online broadcasts by artists to raise money for causes, have included venues, crew, artists, and the wider community, including healthcare workers, food banks and homeless charities.

“It is unclear from this press statement whether PRS for Music wishes to clampdown on artists paying themselves or on artists supporting charities, but we would strongly suggest that neither should have been advanced to the stage of an announcement of a Tariff without understanding the most basic economics of what streaming is actually doing during this crisis.

“We remain available to discuss the realities of streaming during this crisis with PRS for Music if they wish to have an informed discussion on it. Unilaterally announcing ill-conceived new tariffs in a crisis is not such a discussion.”

“[PRS] is continuing to work to agree a range of licensing options for larger events, including a proposed discount”

Andrea Martin, CEO, PRS for Music, says: “We recognise the importance of providing simple licensing solutions wherever possible and the licensing portal for small-scale online events is an example of this. We are continuing to work hard to agree a range of licensing options for providers of larger events, including a proposed discounted rate during the pandemic.

“This is a part of the market which has seen exponential growth and is itself constantly evolving, meeting the expectations for worldwide blanket licences is alone no small feat, but we are committed to finding solutions which ensure members can be paid fairly when their works are performed.”

John Truelove, writer director, PRS Members’ Council, says: “Composers and songwriters have faced monumental challenges this past year. So, the huge surge in the online live concert market beyond anyone’s expectations, is positive news all round. It is great that so many artists are performing online concerts to stay connected with fans, to earn a living, and to promote new releases.

“Anyone wanting to hold small online ticketed gigs can now get a PRS licence in a simple and straightforward way. This will create even more opportunities for artists, musicians and writers to thrive together while ensuring that songwriters and composers are being properly paid when their music is performed.”

PRS is proposing to apply temporary discounted rates on livestream licensing for bigger events until the live sector can reopen – though these are yet to be determined.


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