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Driift sells 85k tickets for Little Mix livestream

Online event promoter and producer Driift sold more than 85,000 tickets for Little Mix’s livestream from The O2 in London last Saturday.

Broadcast live on 14 May and directed by Liz Clare of Gold Dust Films, the show marked the final date on Little Mix’s Confetti Tour.

The livestream of the sold-out concert was watched by ticket buyers in 143 countries including 29,000 cinema-goers, who watched a simulcast of the event via a partnership with Rippla in association with CinemaLive.

“The format is clearly here to stay”

“Now the music business has emerged from lockdown, and with gigs and festivals once again in full flight, we are only now seeing the full potential of livestreaming,” says Ric Salmon, Driift co-founder and CEO. “The format is clearly here to stay, and with the right artist and the right creative and technical team in place, we can expand a single one-off performance into a genuine global event.

“The reaction from fans has been astonishing. I would like to congratulate Little Mix, their brilliant management team, and all our partners on this incredible achievement, and I’m delighted so many people around the world could share in such a unique and special moment.”

Co-founded by Salmon and Brian Message at ATC Management, Driift has now produced more than 40 online shows for artists including The Smile, Westlife, Laura Marling, Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Andrea Bocelli, Kylie Minogue, Fontaines DC and Dita Von Teese.

“It’s been a real pleasure to repeat our partnership outside of lockdown”

With livestream tickets priced at £13/€15.50/US$17/AUS$23, the original 8pm UK broadcast for Little Mix was later retransmitted for audiences in North America and Asia. Ticket buyers could also enjoy on-demand, replays for up to 48-hours after the concert ended. Driift estimates that over 200,000 fans will have accessed the show online – equivalent to 10 times The O2’s 20,000 capacity.

“Having worked with Driift on Niall Horan’s Royal Albert Hall livestream back in 2020, it’s been a real pleasure to repeat our partnership outside of lockdown,” Harry Magee, co-founder, of Modest! Management, which represents Little Mix. “We are delighted with the results, and particularly that such a genuinely global audience could share in the celebratory experience of Little Mix’s last show at The O2.”

Driift, which counts Beggars Group and Deezer as investors, also co-produced the Live At Worthy Farm livestream for Glastonbury Festival. It has now sold more than 700,000 tickets and won recognition from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society and The Webby Awards.

 


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Rock am Ring to be streamed live, free of charge

This year’s edition of Rock am Ring will be streamed live, with fans at home able to watch the broadcast free of charge.

The German festival is set to take place between 3 and 5 June at the Nürburgring, with performances from acts including Green Day, Muse, Volbeat, Placebo, Måneskin and more.

Thanks to a partnership between CTS Eventim and RTL+, fans around the world will be able to watch performances from all 70+ acts without restrictions, via the web browser on RTLplus.de and the app for RTL+ premium users.

With around three million paying subscribers and up to 7.01 million unique users per month, RTL+ is the leading German entertainment service in the streaming market.

“It’s great that we can now share this experience with even more people”

The stream will be produced by Eventim Brand Connect, which is responsible for brand partnerships, media marketing and sponsorships at CTS Eventim.

“We are delighted to have gained an outstanding new media partner in RTL+. After an enforced two-year break, this Rock am Ring festival promises to be extra special. It’s great that we can now share this experience with even more people,” says Dr Frithjof Pils, MD of Eventim Live.

“Our partnership with RTL+ underscores our strategic objective to massively grow Eventim Brand Connect as a business segment in the near future.”

Frauke Neeb, programme director at RTL+: “We are in the process of growing RTL+ into Germany’s largest entertainment platform, where we will also be offering an extensive range of music to stream in the future. We are delighted that this new partnership with Eventim is already giving us the opportunity to offer our customers a live stream of Germany’s largest music festival featuring top acts.”

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Submissions now open

Submissions are now open for the LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine‘s second annual celebration of queer pioneers in the international live music business.

Launched last year as part of IQ Magazine’s first-ever Pride edition, the list highlights and profiles lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer professionals contributing to, improving, or making an impact in the international live entertainment business.

Anyone who works in the global live music industry can put themselves forward, or be nominated by friends or colleagues.

Anyone who works in the global live music industry can put themselves forward, or be nominated by friends or colleagues

The final list will be decided from nominations, alongside an invited steering committee made up of individuals from key companies across the business and last year’s LGBTIQ+ List.

Finalists from last year will not be eligible for the LGBTIQ+ List 2022, in order to give others a chance to fly the flag. A full list of last year’s 20 outstanding queer professionals can be found here.

To submit yourself or someone you know for the LGBTIQ+ List 2022, email Pride editor Lisa Henderson with details of your nomination, and the reason why they should be on the list.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 8 June, giving you three full weeks to spread the word.

 


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New Bosses name one thing industry must change

Alumni from IQ Magazine‘s most recent class of New Bosses have identified areas of improvement for the international live music business.

A handful of the next-gen leaders shared their thoughts during Meet the New Bosses: The Class of 2021, at last month’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Theo Quiblier, head of concerts at Two Gentlemen in Switzerland, believes the one thing the industry needs to get better at is normalising failure.

“We are in a fantastic industry where everyone is signing the new top artist or selling out venues or sealing huge deals with festivals but that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well’ – as simple as that.

“I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well'”

“As a promoter, I could say, ‘Oh, I work with this top band,’ and people think, ‘That’s amazing, he must be rich,’ and, in reality, it’s your biggest loss of the year. We need little reality checks, and to say ‘I’m doing my best but I’m not the best’. Sharing insecurities is great because failure happens to everybody.”

Flo Noseda-Littler, agency assistant at Wasserman Music (formerly Paradigm UK), called for better pay for junior staff so more people can viably start their careers in the industry.

“Fair salaries for junior staff and internships so that it enables people in those positions to live in the cities in which they work,” comments Noseda-Littler. “By providing a free internship or a low paid job, you’re cutting off so many people who don’t have the ability to still live with their parents or be subsidised by their parents. And then you’re just reducing the number of people you can recruit and missing out on potentially really ambitious and amazing people.”

Anna Parry, partnerships manager at the O2 in London, echoed Noseda-Littler’s thoughts, adding that companies also need to improve their recruitment strategies in order to reach a more diverse pool of talent.

“This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head”

“Companies really need to put more effort into understanding why people aren’t applying for these jobs, and then they need to create a lower barrier of entry for those types of people,” says Parry. “It’s not just saying, ‘Oh okay, well we posted the job on a different forum than we usually would’. It’s going to take a lot more of that to actually make a difference. We need to focus on that because it’s important our industry is representative of the artists we represent.”

Age Versluis (promoter at Friendly Fire in the Netherlands) on the other hand, is petitioning for a four-day workweek: “This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head. Since Covid, we’re seeing a lot of people burning out and having trouble getting to that fourth or fifth gear.

“We forget that moving shows for two years to the same months is quite stressful. I think we could use some extra ‘me’ time.”

Tessie Lammle, agent at UTA in the US, echoed her peers’ points, adding: “I was going to say diversity or work-life balance but Theo’s point is huge. I think the younger generation is getting much better at [sharing insecurities].”

Each of the panellists appeared as part of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses 2021, an annual list celebrating the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business. See the full list of the distinguished dozen here.

 


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The Great Escape ramps up for ‘historic’ comeback

UK showcase festival and convention The Great Escape (TGE) will return to its in-person format for the first time in two years.

TGE 2022 is set to take place next week (11–14 May) in venues across the seaside city of Brighton, with around 3,500 music industry professionals in attendance.

This year’s edition will showcase 500 emerging artists from all over the world including Baby Queen, Muna, Lynks, Moa Moa, Let’s Eat Grandma and Cassyette.

Running alongside the showcases will be a three-strand conference jointly presented by CMU, which focuses on education, data and video.

“After a two-year absence due to Covid, The Great Escape has been straining at the leash to get back to Brighton to bring the best new music from around the world into the light,” says Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals.

“Artists have had the gift of time during covid to really engage with their creativity. The 500 stunning bands programmed across 60 indoor venues and outdoor spaces this year, will have some very special and surprising work to perform.”

“Our conference programme seeks to tackle the key issues and questions facing the industry and we will attempt to examine them thoroughly from many different and world authority perspectives. Discovery and networking are always at the heart of TGE and with the current sense of building excitement for the show, mixed with a weather forecast of 21 degrees and a sunny, we plan to come back with a Great Escape for the history books.”

The music + education conference will take place on the first day of the 2022 event, with music educators, music development organisations and the music industry coming together to discuss the best ways to nurture early-career music-makers on and off stage.

“[We’ve] has been straining at the leash to bring the best new music from around the world into the light”

Day two will see the music and data conference, which will put the spotlight on all the ways data now drives success in the music business – from ticketing to marketing and music discovery to streaming.

Finally, the music and video conference will give an overview of how video can be a revenue generator for artists, songwriters and the wider music industry.

CMU and TGE are also presenting a series of keynote in-conversations with guests including music PR legend Barbara Charone, who will be talking through the highlights and key moments of her career in the music industry ahead of the publication of her memoir ‘Access All Areas: A Backstage Pass Through 50 Years Of Music And Culture’.

MP and culture select committee member Kevin Brennan and musician and #BrokenRecord founder Tom Gray will also be in conversation.

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran’s legal team will be discussing the recent headline-grabbing court battle over the star’s hit ‘Shape Of You’.

Organisers of the event also confirmed Ireland as lead country partner, Music Support as the charity partner and music school BIMM as the education partner.

Delegate passes for TGE are still available and can be bought here.

 


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Live biz urged to embrace digital opportunities

A raft of top execs have urged the live business to embrace the opportunities of the digital world, amid the pandemic-accelerated convergence of tech, streaming, gaming and music.

Covering a range of hot topics from ticketed live-streaming to in-game concerts, the forward-thinking ILMC 34 panel Convergence & new frontiers explored the place of live performance in a post Covid-19 universe.

Moderated by freelance journalist Mark Sutherland, the session brought together the live and recorded music strands of the biz with speakers Jackie Wilgar of Live Nation, WME’s Levi Jackson, Tiago Correia of Warner Music UK and Jane Kinnaird of Meta.

“In our mind, even before the last couple of years, that opportunity for digital to really extend live – and its definition – has always been there”

“From the time we started Live Nation, the question we posed was, ‘What is the definition of live?'” said Wilgar, LN’s EVP marketing & consumer technology – international. “And can the digital world, in fact, allow us to expand that definition – whether that’s reaching people in markets and places they’ve not been able to attend a physical live show, or whether it’s taking the physical live show and just extending it beyond its current physical presence?

“So in our mind, even before the reality of what’s happened in the last couple of years, that opportunity for digital to really extend live – and its definition – has always been there.”

Creative strategist Kinnaird elaborated on the “huge” potential for combining the physical world with the metaverse.

“For me, it’s how you can augment a live experience for the people that are there,” she said. “The thing that I really want to explore is how you can enjoy something with someone else – it might be that one of you is at the live event but the other is at the augmented metaverse version.”

“We’re always about providing more avenues for fans to connect”

Correia, of Warner’s global digital business development team, discussed the rise of in-game concerts such as those seen on Fortnite and Roblox over the past couple of years (the label made an “eight-figure” investment in Roblox in 2021).

“There’s an entrenched audience in those games,” said Correia. “We don’t know if that audience is a fan of Tones & I in the case of Fortnite, for example, or a fan of Aya Nakamura. So there’s naturally a big opportunity to say, ‘Let’s try and capture those that aren’t and try to engage those that already are.’

“We’re always about providing more avenues for the fans to connect. And part of that is giving avenues for the artists to express themselves in new ways. Of course, it came in at a critical time where no one was able to do physical. It is not substitutional in any way. But, for a brief period of time, some people who couldn’t go to live, went to these virtual concerts in the hope that they could have some semblance of what those experiences are. I’m glad we were able to provide that service to them as well, because we were very happy with the results.”

He added: “There is still a bit of taboo and shame around games, because maybe we played them when we were young and we’re no longer that person. I think that that’s going to change. It’s not just a generational thing, look at the capabilities that you can do in games that you can’t do otherwise, I think people will understand that it’s quite a very important part of the entertainment industry as a whole and, as a music industry, that’s why we’ve done a lot in gaming. We need to be very, very aware of what’s happening and we need to be driving part of those conversations.”

“You’d be crazy not to look at gaming as an opportunity for distribution or inclusion”

“You’d be crazy not to look at gaming as an opportunity for distribution or inclusion,” agreed Wilgar. “Now, if the artists you’re working with are more relevant to a 65-year-old-plus crowd, maybe that’s not your right platform. But if you’re looking for distribution and reach, the reality is gaming is up there with sport. It is the fastest growing lifestyle reality of anything that exists worldwide right now. And it’s not just 12 to 16-year-olds playing games – the age demographic tends to be 24 through early 40s, or 40 through early 50s, in terms of the biggest growth areas for gamers.”

On the subject of live-streams, meanwhile, WME’s Jackson suggested that licensing hurdles had stunted the growth of the market and deterred some acts from embracing the format.

“Despite two years of live-streams through lockdown, people’s understanding of ownership and how we get the right licences in the right territories has been such a challenge… And it just puts people off,” he added. “If we could figure out a way to encourage everyone to participate and help each other there, it will probably encourage a bit of creativity to do it. Because at the minute, it does feel somewhat clunky. It’s enough for any artist that wants to look at this space to say, ‘I’m okay for now.'”

 


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Coldplay tour app helps fans plan green travel

Coldplay have launched a free app for fans as part of their pledge to make their ongoing Music of the Spheres world tour as eco-friendly as possible.

Since the Tyndall Centre’s 2021 Super-Low Carbon Live Music Report concluded that fan travel accounts for the largest part of tour-related emissions, the app allows fans to plan low-carbon travel to and from shows, with those who choose green journeys rewarded with a merchandise discount code.

The app – made in partnership with SAP – is available to download now for iOS and Android devices, and will also measure total fan-travel carbon emissions so that the band can “drawdown these impacts via high quality nature-based solutions such as reforestation and soil regeneration”.

Alongside the fan-travel calculator, the app also offers Coldplay-themed games and AR experiences, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, photos and videos from every show, plus news updates and tour information. The band will also stream the full audio of an upcoming date exclusively via the app.

“They’re not just talking about doing something, they’re leading by example”

The Music of the Spheres tour, which kicked off in Costa Rica in March, heads to North America this week before touching down in Europe in July.

Having previously put touring plans on hold to investigate how to make their concerts more sustainable, the announcement of Coldplay’s 2022 tour came hand-in-hand with a 12-point plan for cutting their carbon footprint.

“They’re not just talking about doing something, they’re leading by example,” the band’s agent Josh Javor of X-ray Touring told IQ last year. “I think you do need bigger artists to show other people how it could be possible to change.

“I was involved in the parts I could be, like figuring out how we can try and cut the carbon footprint by staying in the same place and playing more shows. It’s very different from the standard tour where artists do one or two shows and then move on in order to visit as many places as possible.”

 


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Live Nation and Snap announce AR partnership

Live Nation and Snap have announced a multi-year augmented reality (AR) partnership that promises to “elevate performances beyond stages and screens” at festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Lollapalooza and Wireless.

With the help of Snap Inc.’s creative studio Arcadia, fans can open the Snapchat Camera at select concerts for AR experiences built into the experience of attending a show, extending the artist’s creative canvas into the crowd.

Festival attendees will also be able to use AR to try on merchandise, find friends and discover exclusive landmarks around the festival grounds. The company first partnered with Snapchat in 2014 for EDC Vegas.

“Snap’s augmented reality offers artists an incredible new creative tool that will change the way fans experience their performances”

“For years, video screens have been a canvas for visual expression at concerts and festivals around the world,” says the company. “They help artists tell their stories and bring music to life. We believe Snap’s augmented reality offers artists an incredible new creative tool that will change the way fans experience their performances.”

The technology will be showcased from 20-22 May at EDC Las Vegas, which helped Snapchat create its first “Our Story” eight years ago. Other participating events to be confirmed include Rolling Loud in Miami and The Governors Ball in New York.

LN also teamed with Snapchat in 2016 to package footage from four of its European festivals as ‘Live Stories’ on the popular instant messaging app. It also began selling tickets via Snapchat later that year.

 


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All Points East partners with crypto platform Luno

On the heels of its link-up with London’s Koko venue, cryptocurrency exchange Luno has been announced as presenting partner of this year’s All Points East festival.

According to Luno, the partnership, which has been facilitated by AEG Global Partnerships, will enable it to “educate festival goers about safely harnessing the power and possibilities of cryptocurrency”.

Taking place in East London’s Victoria Park from 19-28 August, All Points East is expected to attract more than 350,000 festival goers over the course of the event. Headline acts will include Gorillaz, The Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk, Tame Impala, The National, Disclosure and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

“Every day, the relationship between crypto and music grows stronger”

“We’re delighted to be the presenting partner for All Points East this year,” says Sam Kopelman, Luno’s UK country manager. “You only have to look at the line up to see that it’s a festival with real cultural relevance that attracts a forward thinking crowd. As such, it’s the perfect partner for us to develop a long term relationship with music fans, artists and the broader industry. Every day, the relationship between crypto and music grows stronger, with blockchain innovations beginning to revolutionise the industry.”

The deal also includes the creation of the ‘Luno Lounge’ on the festival site, a space which will reflect the themes of both accessibility and opportunity. Luno customers will be offered exclusive access to promotions and competitions for festival tickets via social media, as well as fast track entry and other on-site benefits such as VIP upgrades.

Luno will also have a number of crypto themed environments on the festival site and will work with artists to create unique content about the opportunities of crypto.

“We’ll be working with Luno to add value to both fans and park users across the whole festival”

Luno is becoming increasingly active in the UK’s music and entertainment space as it aims to build on the growing interest in digital and blockchain technology amongst the cultural sector and creative industries.

“All Points East has grown from strength to strength over the last four years,” says Jim King, AEG’s CEO of European Festivals. “2022 arguably has the strongest line up to date and so it’s the perfect opportunity for us to welcome Luno as the presenting partner for the festival. We will be working with Luno to add value to both fans and park users across the whole festival, especially during our midweek ‘In the Neighbourhood’ programme.”


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ASM Global introduces facial-verification tech

ASM Global has launched an ‘industry-first’ facial verification network in partnership with software company PopID.

The technology, which verifies payments and authenticates tickets via a fan’s face, was launched at San Diego’s Pechanga Arena on Wednesday (20 April).

According to ASM, the technology will soon be deployed at Save Mart Center in Fresno (California), Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and Toyota Arena in Ontario (Canada).

“The PopID platform will allow us to eliminate the dependence on cards and phones at our events”

“The deployment of this technology in our venues represents the beginning of a revolutionary change in the entertainment world,” said ASM Global CEO and president Ron Bension. “The PopID platform will allow us to eliminate the dependence on cards and phones at our events and ensure that every guest interaction is secure, speedy and seamless.”

John Miller, CEO of PopID and chairman of Cali Group says: “We are excited to partner with ASM and take the initial steps to truly revolutionize the event experience of the future with highly secure, phoneless entry and digital payments. When customers opt to enrol in our platform, they’ll be able to enter the venue by requesting facial verification at the gate—instead of having to rely on a QR code on their phone.

“The seamless experience will continue at concession stands, where a guest can choose to ‘check in’ with facial verification at the point of sale, enabling them to instantly see personalised food and beverage recommendations and order and pay without the need for IDs, credit cards or phones.”

 


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