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Mental health influences the success of the entire industry

I probably was the best example for the lack of awareness about mental health and its challenges that can be found anywhere in our industry. Yes, I always considered mental health a very important issue but of course for those with issues and not for me. That is probably why I never let it get closer to me. Well, until I had my own.

Those incidents happened five years ago and it took about three months of uncertainty until I was diagnosed with panic attacks and able to start working with the issue (and for the record: I was successful). Unsurprisingly, only then do you begin to appreciate the luxury of everything going normally until it is no longer the case – especially when it comes to one’s own health.

During this time, I found out how little it takes to fully question business as usual, or at least to mess it up almost completely. I sometimes felt unprofessional because I suddenly had to spend valuable working time on myself and my health but it simply takes its time and effort to address these things.

I always considered mental health a very important issue but of course for those with issues and not for me

And I found out that there were many situations in my private life but also in my professional life that added up to the point that “the pot finally boiled over”. To name just a few: The disappointments of a musician who never was able to take the decisive step. The boss who, in passing, gives the wisdom that in our job you cannot have a regular private life, let alone a relationship. The responsibility for all public communication around a tragic death within a festival without being trained in any way for such a case. The effects that a tense working atmosphere on a very personal level leaves behind in the context of a project running for decades.

All of this I would have approached or processed differently knowing what I know now. It is of course utopian to think that we can prepare for all possible cases, but I am convinced without any doubt that more knowledge, understanding and acceptance of circumstances make an enormous difference.

The responsibility for mental health issues does not necessarily lie within the person experiencing them

And that is the reason I embraced the idea of my friend, psychologist Prof. Dr Katja Ehrenberg, to create a book that helps raising awareness. It is called Stay Sound & Check Yourself and is intended to help ensure better understanding and appropriate attention to a topic that has a decisive influence on the success and creativity of the entire industry.

The two of us took a glimpse behind the scenes of the European live music, festival and event sector. Together with inspiring interview partners we turned the spotlights on the people behind the stages. We were happy to gather experts from eleven European countries to talk in often very personal individual interviews about their experiences with stress and mental health issues, the love for their job and what motivates them.

‘Stay Sound & Check Yourself’ is intended to help ensure better understanding and appropriate attention to [mental health]

We are proud to have achieved a great mix of genders, age groups and many different positions in the industry from a young social media expert to a veteran festival director. Our book is meant to be an in-depth feature of personal insights on stress and mental health in an industry that never sleeps, enriched by background information on the issue as well as suggestions for prevention and intervention – thanks to Katja’s massive expertise. And yes, there is a full chapter on the unprecedented stress-test that the ongoing pandemic is presenting to our industry.

So, after spending centuries of hard work placing the topic of mental health in the taboo corner it is also up to us now to work on this corner to disappear and deal with the reality. A reality that means that these things happen, that they can happen to everyone, that the responsibility for mental health issues does not necessarily lie within the person experiencing them, and that people simply are different.

For some reason, they have different dispositions and are differently resilient in different situations, just as they bring different skills, talents and a kind of magic that only they can perform. That is why Stay Sound & Check Yourself is dedicated to the innumerable people who you normally cannot see, but without whom the stars could never shine on stage.

 


Stay Sound & Check Yourself is out now. Order via your local bookshop or the links below:
Austria | Denmark | Finland | France | Germany | Hungary | Italy | Lithuania | The Netherlands | Poland | Slovakia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | UK

All author profits from book sales will be reinvested to projects promoting visibility of the issue and building prevention and intervention tools.

PRS for Music introduces 10% rate for live streams

PRS for Music has announced a discounted 10% tariff on ‘online live concerts’ for as long as artists and venues face restrictions on in-person shows.

The changes to the online live concert (OLC) licence, which covers ticketed rock and pop events, will apply while “the physical sector is facing material restrictions on its ability to operate”, according to the UK performance rights organisation. The new OLC follows earlier proposals by PRS for a new licence for both large and small-scale virtual shows – the former of which would have been charged at up to 17% of gross ticket sales – which met with a fierce backlash from the UK live music industry.

The interim 10% rate was reached following a consultation with nearly 2,000 stakeholders (80% of whom were PRS members, such as songwriters and composers) and apply for as long as “restrictions apply to physical live concerts”, after which a new permanent rate will be benchmarked against “premium video and streaming services”, in recognition of the nature of livestreamed shows.

Elsewhere, the exemption for artists performing their own material will be carried over the small-scale online live concert licence, while organisers of shows grossing less than £1,500 may choose from either a fixed-rate licence or a bespoke rate linked to specific event revenues. All OLCs will also allow viewing access for 72 hours, up from 24.

Additionally, PRS has pledged not to seek fees retroactively from livestream events held in 2020 that generated less than £1,500.

“As the rate is competitive with those charged in other countries, it will help ensure the UK remains a great place to host live online concerts”

A summary of the consultation, and FAQs about the new licence, can be found on the PRS website.

“We have had healthy debate on ticketed livestreamed events with key stakeholders across the industry representing venues, event promoters, digital platforms and PRS members,” says a PRS spokesperson. “Importantly, everyone agrees that songwriters must get paid when their songs are played and used.

“Nearly 2,000 people answered our call-for-views on the topic, 80% of whom were PRS members. More than half (54%) of these songwriters said their work had been performed by someone else as part of a livestreamed concert. Songs are the heart of the music industry.

“The discounted rate we are providing will ensure songwriters, composers and publishers are paid for their work, while allowing the emerging online live concert sector the freedom to innovate and grow. As the rate is competitive with those charged in other countries, it will help ensure the UK remains a great place to host live online concerts.

“Throughout 2020, nearly 8,000 songwriters joined PRS for Music, that’s 22 every single day, and over five million songs and compositions were registered. We will continue to do everything we can to protect the livelihoods of our members, ensuring that their music is valued, whilst at the same time, giving the market the freedom to evolve.”

This article will be updated with industry reaction to the interim OLC rate.

 


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IQ 99 out now: NFT ticketing tech & more

IQ 99, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.

In May’s edition, IQ examines the hype around nonfungible tokens and the exciting possibilities they can bring to ticketing, while news editor Jon Chapple discovers some of the ways that live entertainment can embrace sustainability in its return to action.

In comments and columns, the Australian Festivals Association’s Julia Robinson discusses how a lack of government-backed insurance could impact business confidence and Laura Davidson explains the driving force behind her new female-led live services consultancy, Amigas.

Following the inaugural edition of IPM Production Notes in IQ 98, tour manager Rebecca Travis reflects on 20 years on the road and one year off, while Mike Malak updates readers on the new technology impacting the music industry in Pulse.

Plus, enjoy the regular content you’ve come to expect from your monthly IQ Magazine, including news 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 99 in its entirety. Subscribers can log in and read the full magazine now.

 


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Sasha Duncan joins Driift as head of production

UK-based concert livestreaming company Driift has hired Sasha Duncan, formerly of BBC television, as head of production.

The Bafta-nominated producer brings more than 20 years’ experience in music TV and production to Driift. At the BBC, she headed large production teams at flagship events such as Glastonbury Festival, Reading Festival, the Mercury Prize, BBC Radio 2 In Concerts and the BBC Proms, with other TV work including V Festival 2020 for ITV and Sing It Loud: Black and Proud for Channel 4.

Duncan, says the company, is already playing a key role in Driift’s upcoming livestream event, Live at Worthy Farm, broadcast from the Glastonbury Festival site on 22 and 23 May. Directed by Paul Dugdale, the five-hour outdoor show will feature exclusive performances from Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Haim, Idles, Jorja Smith, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Wolf Alice and more.

Ric Salmon, CEO of Driift, says: “Sasha’s track record speaks for itself. She is one of the most respected figures in music TV, with vast experience of translating excitement from the biggest live shows and festivals into hugely successful broadcast events.

“Being part of the Driift team has been an absolute joy”

“Her knowhow and dynamism is already proving invaluable to Driift as we look to attract the world’s most brilliant artists and directors, and create similar bridges between live performance and this new format we’re building in the global livestream space.”

“Being part of the Driift team has been an absolute joy,” comments Duncan. “The level of creative detail that goes into planning and executing these shows is astonishing, as are the production values, and it’s genuinely humbling to witness the immediacy and passion of audience reactions. There’s been a real spark.

“Obviously the opportunity to work with Glastonbury on the Worthy Farm livestream is incredibly exciting, but it still feels that we’ve only scratched the surface of this format. There’s so much more to come, not only with music but across all other art forms.”

Headquartered in the UK and with offices in North America and Australia, Driift has sold more than 500,000 tickets to audiences in more than 170 countries since launching last year, with shows including Niall Horan, Nick Cave, Biffy Clyro, Andrea Bocelli, Kylie Minogue, Dermot Kennedy, Courtney Barnett, Laura Marling and Birdy.

 


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Brit Awards 2021 confirms pilot event in May

The 2021 Brit Awards ceremony will go ahead with a live audience of 4,000 people as part of the UK government’s Events Research Programme (ERP), organisers have announced.

IQ reported last month that the Brits, the UK music industry’s main annual awards ceremony, was being considered as a pilot show alongside events such as the FA Cup final and the World Snooker Championship. The 2021 awards, which take place at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London on Tuesday 11 March, will be the biggest indoor ERP show and feature live performances from Dua Lipa, Headie One, Arlo Parks and Griff, among others.

As with other ERP events, including the recently announced Sefton Park Pilot concert in Liverpool, audience members will not be socially distanced or required to wear face coverings once seated in the arena. All attendees must, however, have proof of a negative lateral-flow test result to enter the venue.

As part of the wider scientific research on the ERP’s events, attendees will also be asked to take a test after the event to gather further evidence on the safety of indoor settings, reduced social distancing and the removal of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings. They will also be requirement to provide contact details for National Health Service’s contact-tracing system.

“The BRITs are always a big night in the music calendar, but this year’s awards will be particularly special. They will reunite live audiences with the best of British talent for the first time in a year, while providing a vital opportunity to see how we can get large crowds back safely as soon as possible,” says British culture secretary Oliver Dowden.

“This scientific trial is an important step on the path to recovery for the live entertainment industry”

“Music connected us when we were separated by this pandemic, and now it’s going to help bring us back together again.”

The majority of tickets for the event (2,500) will be donated to key workers from London via a ballot system in recognition of their work during the pandemic.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of Brits organiser the BPI, comments: “The Brit Awards team are excited to confirm our plans to host a live audience at our ceremony on 11 May. There could be no better way to celebrate music’s biggest night than with an audience present for the first live performances at the O2 in over a year. Most importantly, this is also a key moment in the return of live music, which we all want to see back at scale as quickly as possible.

“We will be working closely with the government, the O2 and all our partners to finalise details and ensure all safety measures and guidelines are adhered to. More exciting performance announcements will be made in the coming days.”

“We’re proud that the O2 has been selected to host the largest-indoor-capacity pilot event with the Brits” says the O2’s deputy GM, Danielle Kennedy-Clark. “This scientific trial is an important step on the path to recovery for the live entertainment industry, and our operational teams are making the final preparations to be able to welcome people into the O2 again for the first time in more than a year”.

 


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Live Nation Spain spearheads industry benefit campaign

Live Nation Spain president Pino Sagliocco has galvanised some of the biggest names in the music, sport and film industries for a benefit campaign supporting the music industry.

Under the umbrella ‘The Carbonería del Siglo XXI’, Universal Music Spain, Sony Music Spain and Warner Music Spain have come together to re-record Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ with more than 40 artists including Queen’s Brian May.

Renowed tennis star Rafa Nadal and film star Paz Vega are among the celebrities who appear in the video for the song, recorded in the studios of The Art House Records in Miami and produced by Grammy-award winner Julio Reyes Copello.

The stars that participated on the record will come together for a benefit concert

The single and the video were launched at a press conference hosted by the Live Nation Spain president in the Atletico de Madrid stadium last Thursday (15 April).

Following the success of the campaign, the stars that participated on the record will come together for a benefit concert as soon as the current Covid restrictions allows.

Sagliocco formed non-profit cultural association Carbonería del Siglo XXI to support and give voice to a sector especially devastated by the pandemic.

The associaton also comprises members of Es Música and Federación de Música, FPM Entertainment, the Latin Grammys and Lionfish Entertainment.

 


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Italy’s Color Sound sells stake to label Artist First

Long-running Italian booking agency Color Sound has sold what it describes as a “significant stake” in the company to Milan-based record label and music distributor Artist First.

Founded in 1989 by Antonio Colombi, Color Sound has represented a roster of high-profile Italian artists, with current acts including stars Ornella Vanoni, Le Vibrazioni, Patty Pravo, Roby Facchinetti and Riccardo Fogli.


The investment is the first by Artist First (A1) in the live music sector, and follows the recent purchase of digital agency Officine Orange and the launch of its own studio complex. The company has 50 employees in Milan and an office in London, and works with acts including Andrea Bocelli, Gazzelle and a number of international artists.

“When the chance came to make a significant investment … we jumped at the chance”

“Live music is the keystone of our industry and remains a hugely important part of how artists engage with audiences and vice versa,” comments Ferrante. “Although life has been extremely hard for this sector during the last year or so, we force a boom in live concerts in the near future and are confident this sector will bounce back stronger than ever.”

A1’s buy-in to Color Sound is the latest investment by a recorded music business into the live industry, following recent moves by Sony Music, Universal Music and BMG.

Ferrante continues: “Color Sound are one of the most revered live music booking agencies in Italy and when the chance [came] to make a significant investment into their business and bring them closer to the A1 family we jumped at the chance. It is important to us that we offer a full service to our clients, and this is another step towards being able to add even more value to our existing offering.”

 


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Matt Gudinski named new Mushroom Group CEO

Australia’s Mushroom Group has appointed Matt Gudinski as its new CEO, effective immediately.

Gudinski, who most recently held the role of executive director, moves into the position following the sudden passing of his father, Frontier Touring/Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski, on 2 March.

Gudinski joined Mushroom Group in 2003, aged 17, and named as Michael’s successor ten years later, with the two working side by side at the helm of Mushroom – which, in addition to touring, includes record labels and artist services, publishing, merchandising, booking agencies, film and television production, talent management, venues, creative services and a brand agency – since then.

“This isn’t a role that I expected to assume yet, but I am determined to honour the great legacy my father left”

Frontier Touring, founded in 1979, seven years after Mushroom Group, remains Australia’s largest tour promoter, having worked with artists including Ed Sheeran, Kylie Minogue, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Paul McCartney and Foo Fighters. It merged with AEG Presents in 2019.

“This isn’t a role that I expected to assume yet, but I am determined to honour the great legacy my father left,” says Gudinski.

“Mushroom Group is in its strongest position ever, and as we fast approach our 50th year I know that our incredibly talented Mushroom family will help me deliver the vision Dad and I had for the next 50 years of our business.”

 


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IQ 98 paves the road to recovery for live music

IQ 98, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.

In April’s edition, IQ takes a journey down ‘The Road to Recovery’ to examine some of the test events and programmes taking place across the globe that could help to restart international touring.

IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson checks in with some of live music’s leading insurance brokers about the state of their business and how that might impact plans for 2021 and beyond.

Tom Schroeder, Tiffany Hudson, Marta Pallarès and Chris Kansy contribute to a double bill of comments

Elsewhere, Paradigm’s Tom Schroeder outlines why everyone must buy into music’s green agenda, Tiffany Hudson talks therapy on tour, Primavera Sound’s Marta Pallarès issues a call-to-arms for a more gender-inclusive industry and production manager Chris Kansy reflects on life in lockdown, in a double bill of comments.

Nostalgic about ILMC 33, already? Reflect on the highlights from the conference both in the IQ 98 feature and Your Shout.

Plus, enjoy the regular content you’ve come to expect from your monthly IQ Magazine, including news 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 98 in its entirety. Subscribers can log in and read the full magazine now.

 


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No fools: IQ new music playlist for April is live

The latest edition of IQ’s new music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, is now live, showcasing some of the most exciting talent for April 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, ATC Live, Primary Talent and WME, 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 March’s ILMC special first.


Separated by agency office, the full track list for the April playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAAStoneFuse
CAARemi WolfPhoto ID
CAAParis TexasSituations
CAABrian NastyJust a Game
ICM PartnersLo VillageOut the Window
ICM PartnersMichele MorroneBeautiful
ICM PartnersJelani AryehMarigold
ICM PartnersFlorence ArmanOut of the Blue
ICM PartnersKareen LomaxBig Facts
ITBChloe BlackTitle Track
ITBHardwicke CircusWalking on Broken Glass
ITBThe Lounge SocietyCain’s Heresy
ITBIcon for HireBrittle
ITBFletcher GullTransgressive Soliloquy
ParadigmAby CoulibalyLong Nights
ParadigmAlexander 23Come Here and Leave
ParadigmGirl in RedSerotonin
ParadigmSam RyderWhirlwind
ParadigmDuchessEver Ever
UTA347aidanWhen the Devil Cries
UTAILLENIUM, iann diorFirst Time
UTAIngrid Michaelson, ZAYNThe Day
UTAThomas DybdahlWho Am I Without You
UTAX Ambassadorstorture (with Earl St. Clair)
13 ArtistsStephen FretwellOval
13 ArtistsTrillary BanksLast Man Standing
13 ArtistsCj PanditRight Person, Wrong Time
ATC LiveThe UmlautsBoiler Suits & Combat Boots
ATC LiveJuan WautersReal (with Mac DeMarco)
ATC LiveWU LUSouth (ft Lex Amor)
ATC LiveCrumbTrophy
ATC LiveTrousdaleWouldn't Come Back
PrimaryBleu ClairBeat Like This
PrimaryEden PrinceDo You Want It Right Now
PrimaryAlan Dixon Tell Me When
PrimaryBlondesComing Of Age
WMEChase BryantHigh Drunk and Heartbroke
WMENoga ErezKids
WMEGwen StefaniSlow Clap
WMESelena Gomez & DJ SnakeSelfish Love
WMESteve Aoki & KiiaraUsed to Be ft. WIZ KHALIFA

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