ESNS announces keynote speakers for 2024
ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) has announced the first keynote and featured speakers for next year’s edition, taking place between 17–20 January 2024 in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Amy Thomson (formerly Hipgnosis, ATM Artists), John Mulder (MOJO Concerts/Live Nation) and Mark Mulligan (MIDiA Research) are among the keynotes for the European showcase festival and conference.
Mulder will appear at ESNS 2024 mere weeks after leaving his post as CEO of Mojo Concerts, the Dutch Live Nation subsidiary, on 1 January.
During the keynote interview, the Dutch exec will reflect on his versatile career which includes roles as tour manager of Metallica and co-initiator of AFAS Live and the Ziggo Dome.
Elsewhere, Thomson, former chief catalogue officer at Hipgnosis Songs Fund and CEO and founder of ATM Artists, will address the music industry’s challenges regarding finding, tracking, and tracing metadata across different platforms.
Thomson has executed record releases, marketing campaigns, touring, legal rights and copyright for clients including Kanye West, DJ Snake, Swedish House Mafia, Gorillaz, and Seal. Her passion for catalogue management led her to develop an online application that helps artists manage their metadata.
Mulder will reflect on his versatile career which includes roles as tour manager of Metallica and co-initiator of AFAS Live and the Ziggo Dome
The third keynote announced today is Mark Mulligan, managing director of MIDiA Research. As a long-term media and technology analyst, he is considered a leading thinker on the music industry’s digital transition.
At ESNS 2024, Mulligan will explore the rise of the next music business, explaining that we’re already entering the post-streaming era. He will present a vision for what this new world will look like and who will be the key players.
Joining the Music Industry Therapists Collective, Justin Lockey of English rock band Editors will share his insights on mental health on the road, shining a light on touring with Editors. Additionally, George Musgrave (Goldsmiths, University of London) will join two sessions about mental health.
European Parliament MEP Ibán García Del Blanco joins a panel moderated by Helienne Lindvall (ECSA) to discuss the European Parliament draft report on Cultural diversity and the conditions for authors in the European music streaming market.
ESNS Tech is a series of panel discussions curated by innovation specialist and community builder Turo Pekari (Music Finland). Experts in the intersection of music and technology will address topics such as tomorrow’s business model. ESNS Tech will tune into challenges, opportunities and the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence within the music industry.
Discover the full conference programme here. More panels and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
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CAA signs AI tech and content firm Futureverse
Talent giant Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has signed AI and metaverse technology and content company Futureverse.
Deadline reports that the businesses will collaborate to create new opportunities for talent and IP, “spanning web3, the metaverse, virtual games, worlds and experiences, AI, and beyond”.
The strategic partnership will enable Futureverse to “bolster its strategic entertainment efforts to accelerate the creation of technology experiences in collaboration with well-known IP”.
“We are thrilled to be working with Futureverse, who are establishing themselves as leaders in the technology and entertainment space,” says Phil Quist of CAA. “This relationship is not just a meeting of minds, but a fusion of capabilities that will accelerate our shared vision for a smarter, more connected world.”
Co-founded by Shara Senderoff and Aaron McDonald, Futureverse announced the close of a $54 million Series A funding round in July 2023, led by 10T Holdings, LLC, and including participation from Ripple.
“Futureverse’s strategic collaboration with CAA has forged a strong alignment in fostering the development of mutually beneficial business models”
In the last year, Futureverse has linked up with the likes of Warner Music Group, FIFA, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), Mastercard, Wimbledon, Death Row Records, Wētā Workshop, Snoop Dogg, Timbaland, Keanu Reeves and Alexandra Grant. It launched AI-powered game AI League in cooperation with FIFA on iOS and Android and has partnered with ABG, IP Rights holders of the Muhammad Ali Enterprises, to release the first AI-powered boxing game, Muhammad Ali – The Next Legends.
In August meanwhile, it announced the publication of research in the advancement of music AI with the launch of JEN 1, an “unprecedented universal high-fidelity model for text-to-music generation”.
“At a substantial moment in the evolution of technology, it’s critical to architect a thoughtful and creative approach to the integration of both talent and IP into the dynamic landscape of innovation,” says Senderoff. “Futureverse’s strategic collaboration with CAA has forged a strong alignment in fostering the development of mutually beneficial business models that empower creators with groundbreaking tools and lucrative revenue opportunities.
“As pioneers in AI, web3 and metaverse infrastructure, driven by a deep appreciation for art and humanity, we see an incredibly bright future for the world of entertainment. Joining forces with CAA amplifies and accelerates the dialogue and partnerships that reinforce and expand our shared vision.”
Artémis, an investment firm led by billionaire French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, acquired a majority stake in CAA in September this year.
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UV lights ’cause vision issues’ for ApeFest-goers
UV lights are believed to have been the cause of eye pain, vision issues and skin irritation experienced by attendees and staff at this month’s ApeFest in Hong Kong.
The first international edition of the annual NFT festival, held for members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) from 3-5 November, featured attractions such as a live DJ, merchandise and Bored Ape-branded experiences.
Host Yuga Labs began receiving reports of issues shortly after a Saturday night community event.
“These reports were – and continue to be – deeply concerning to us,” says BAYC on X. “We immediately reached out to impacted attendees to learn of their symptoms and to direct our investigation.
“Simultaneously, we commenced an investigation that included a thorough review of inventory records, material logs, and spec sheets (including paint and lighting), interviewing contractors who provided and built ApeFest installations, and conducting testing and on-site inspections.”
“UV-A emitting lights installed in one corner of the event was likely the cause of the reported issues”
The investigation, conducted in collaboration with ApeFest producer Jack Morton Worldwide, concluded “UV-A emitting lights installed in one corner of the event was likely the cause of the reported issues related to attendees’ eyes and skin.”
“We acknowledge that members of the community and general public have suggested a similar conclusion and we appreciate the patience of the community as we gathered evidence to support this determination,” it continues. “We continue to encourage anyone experiencing symptoms to seek medical attention and share these findings with their medical provider.”
More than 2,200 people from 60 countries attended the third annual festival, which was the first to be staged outside New York.
“Community is the heart of Yuga and the purpose of ApeFest is to bring the community together IRL,” adds the BAYC. “We are saddened that this incident has detracted from the experience of ApeFest attendees. Along with Jack Morton, we are committed to supporting the recovery of anyone affected.”
IQ 123 out now: Alex Bruford, Louis Tomlinson, The Sphere
IQ 123, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite magazine, is available to read online now.
The November 2023 edition sees Gordon Masson talk to Alex Bruford about his first 20 years in music and the philosophies behind his ATC Live agency and, elsewhere, the IQ editor goes behind the scenes of Louis Tomlinson’s Faith in the Future world tour.
In addition, the issue offers a deep dive into the growing live music cruise business, as well as a health check on the Danish market. Plus, the IQ team reflects on the recent International Festival Forum (IFF) and looks ahead to the ‘out-of-this-world’ 36th edition of ILMC.
For this edition’s comment and columns, IQ passes the mick to Nick Morgan for some key takeaways from a decade of producing and organising festivals, while Rachel Flaszczak explains how MVT’s Own Our Venues helped save her grassroots music venue for future generations.
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 £8 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:
Nominees for Arthur Awards 2024 revealed
The list of nominees for the Arthur Awards 2024, the Oscars of the international live music business, has been revealed.
The awards and Gala Dinner will return to the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Thursday 29 February 2024, as part of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).
After a one-year hiatus, renowned agent Emma Banks will compère the awards, which will honour almost a dozen of the industry’s trailblazers and be attended by 450 of the world’s top live music professionals.
Gongs will be awarded to the top promoter, agent, venue, festival, ticketer, assistant, unsung hero, production service, New Boss, professional service and the individual who has contributed greatly to the live music industry.
After a one-year hiatus, renowned agent Emma Banks will compère the awards
Among the nominees are Tom Schroeder (Wasserman Music), Natasha Gregory (Mother Artists), Steve Homer (AEG Presents), Rauha Kyyrö (Fullsteam), Cameron Hoy (TEG), Claire O’Neill (A Greener Future), Matt Bates (Primary Talent International) and Anna-Sophie Mertens (Live Nation).
Last year’s winners included Karsten Jahnke (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Kelly Chappel (Live Nation), Alex Bruford (ATC Live), Marcia Titley (Eventim Norway & Sweden) and Holger Jan Schmidt (Yourope).
The awards and Gala Dinner will kick off with a champagne reception followed by a five-star, four-course feast prepared by award-winning chefs, and a selection of fine wines.
The events form part of the ILMC 36, which will host 1,400 top live music executives from across the world at the five-star Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, from 27 February to 1 March 2024.
The full list of nominees for the Arthur Awards 2024 can be found here.
ATC promotes Emma Stoker to executive director
Music company ATC (All Things Considered) Group has appointed Emma Stoker as new executive director to the board.
The London-based firm previously appointed Stoker as director of business affairs in 2016. Its divisions include booking agency ATC Live, ATC Management, ATC Services, ATC Experience and livestreaming company Driift.
A lawyer by training, Stoker was a litigator focusing on the music industry prior to joining ATC. Previously, she helped guide the company through its Aquis listing in December 2021 and will serve specifically as director of legal and business affairs.
“As a highly valued member of the team, we are delighted to appoint Emma to the board of ATC Group,” says CEO Adam Driscoll, as per Alliance News. “Her wealth of relevant sector experience and expertise will help strengthen the board at ATC as we continue to grow.
“Emma has been instrumental in the company’s [IPO] and ongoing business affairs and we look forward to continuing to work with her at this exciting time as we further develop the business.”
“This leaves us in a strong position to take advantage of the near-term evolution of the music industry”
The group surpassed its own expectations to record a profit on revenue of £12.1 million in its first full year as a a public company.
In September, ATC announced a loss of £1.1m for the first six months of 2023 due to higher costs, as administrative expenses rose 23% to £3.2m, while revenue dropped 19% to £3.4m, although it said its artist representation and services divisions performed in line with its expectations.
The company added that it expected its recent acquisition of a 60% stake in merchandise company Sandbag to improve its asset base, adding that it was approaching the rest of the year with “good pipeline visibility, a strong financial position and the initial revenue and profit synergies from the Sandbag acquisition still to be realised”.
“This leaves us in a strong position to take advantage of the near-term evolution of the music industry,” said Driscoll.
How to market live music to Generation Z
Live music is in excellent shape. But a great swathe of young people missed out on their formative gig going years during Covid. The truth is that for artists this presents a big opportunity to engage with new fans they might not have had prior to the pandemic. But this also comes at a time when we have one of the worst financial landscapes that the world has seen for many years. We know about the cost of living crisis and how it means people will make choices about what shows to go to and which ones to skip.
This all means the interest and demand for the live experience is massive but so is the competition. Artists need to cut through in a much noisier environment than we’ve ever seen before on social media and digital. My company Creed Media was set up five years ago based on my love of music. Since then, Creed has created and driven over 7,000 successful campaigns and 15 billion engagements with some of the world’s biggest global artists, helping them reach the Gen Z audience. Recorded music was our starting point but more and more live is a major part of our business.
So how can you have a competitive advantage? You have to market a show and communicate about it in a clearer way than ever before. You want to sell out of course. But It’s not just about having a sold out show or tour. By reaching fans with a really smart digital campaign you can have people in the venue that will actively help promote an artist after the show as well. That engagement is the real Holy Grail. It’s much more powerful than just having people paying to go the gig and then becoming passive. It’s a longer term plan for an artist’s career.
Gen Z fans create as well as listen and watch what’s created for them. You can’t do that with a billboard. That kind of marketing still has its place but it’s not right for a certain generation of music fans. They want to feel how they are spoken to is current and fresh in the same way they see their friends and peers posting on socials about a show. What’s important is that when they do like something – be it a brand or a song or a product – they engage in a way that’s never been seen before. Gen Z are the most discerning generation ever and they can’t be fooled by bad marketing. But if it’s done right they offer a really deep and creative engagement. You don’t look at a poster on a wall and think its current– it could have been put up four weeks ago or four years ago.
“There is this misnomer that Gen Z live online. Yes, they grew up with digital but they crave the physical too”
And this approach is not just for emerging artists. Legacy acts have a lot more available content and a back story that can be tapped into to help sell a show. Archive from back in the day is a gift. It’s almost like creating a time machine that will draw in new fans as well as existing ones.
The Gen Z audience do expect to have ideas and content served up to them. They have so much to trawl though that they want you to find them – it’s not the other way around. So as an artist or promoter if you are not putting your story in front of them they have many more choices to go elsewhere than ever before. Demands on their time are immense and live music is a demand on their time – albeit one they enjoy very much. Gen-Zers are twice as likely as millennials to take a sick day from work in order to go to a concert a recent study found – and 43% of Gen Z would give up alcohol for six months for a chance to be front row at their favourite concert!
Finally, there is this misnomer that Gen Z live online. Yes, they grew up with digital but they crave the physical too. They want to experience things, socialise, meet people. They won’t find their first love big or big musical memory from being at a virtual concert. That feeling is not confined to one generation – everyone wants to make those long lasting gig memories.
Timothy Collins is founder and CEO of Stockholm, Sweden-based Creed Media
Apple’s Shazam adds new section for concerts
Shazam, the Apple-owned music identification app, has introduced a new feature that will allow users to find nearby shows through recommendations based on their Shazam histories.
The new ‘Concerts’ feature will recommend events, allow users to save and set reminders about upcoming shows and view available tickets, with options to buy them through BandsInTown or other ticket providers.
It also offers exclusives from certain artists that will be available for users to unlock, such as behind-the-scenes videos, Apple Watch faces, tour photos and setlists, among other things.
The feature is already available for iOS users within the My Music section of the app and will be coming to Android soon.
The new feature will recommend events, allow users to save and set reminders about upcoming shows and view available tickets
It has also been incorporated into Spotlight, where iPhone users can now search for an artist and get concert and ticketing information immediately in iOS 17.
It marks the latest Apple feature to incorporate live music data and information into its functionality, after additions to Apple Maps and the Set Lists feature within Apple Music.
The Concerts feature builds on a previous collaboration with BandsInTown that was initially announced in March 2022.
Through that partnership, Shazam users could search for an artist and pull up their forthcoming tour information using the BandsInTown database of shows for over 500,000 artists.
Finalists for LIVE Awards 2023 revealed
Trade body LIVE has revealed the full list of finalists for the 2023 edition of its annual awards, taking place on 12 December at Troxy, East London.
The second instalment of The LIVE Awards spans 14 categories with over 80 finalists in the UK’s music business, including the likes of Live Nation, CAA, WME, The Royal Albert Hall and Ticketmaster.
The shortlist ranges from Wembley Stadium to The Fire Station in Sunderland, and Reading and Leeds Festivals to Three Choirs Festival, as well as many of the country’s leading promoters, agencies, ticketing companies and production stars.
“The strength of this year’s nominations is testament to the excellence delivered by individuals and companies, venues, festivals and events across the UK live music sector,” says Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE.
“It is also an indicator of how quickly The LIVE Awards have established themselves as a must-win, must-attend event. Not to mention its growing reputation as our industry’s Christmas party. Such a strong set of nominations guarantees an outstanding roster of winners. Here’s to another unforgettable evening.”
The winner in each category is decided by a panel of industry professionals. The awards will be presented in front of an invited industry audience on 12 December at Troxy in East London, with 600 guests expected to attend. Tickets are also on sale now on the website.
LIVE Awards 2023 Nominees are:
The LIVE Green Award
The Green Gathering Festival
A Greener Future (AGF)
Isle of Wight Festival
The Nest Collective x Sam Lee
The LIVE Workforce Award
Sound City Liverpool
Music Industry Therapist Collective
NEC Group Ticketing & Arenas Accessibility Working Group
PRS Foundation x Keychange
The Zoo XYZ
Venue of the Year
AO Arena, Manchester
M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
OVO Hydro, Glasgow
The Royal Albert Hall, London
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Wembley Stadium, London
Amazing Grace, London
The Boileroom, Guildford
Bootleg Social, Blackpool
The Bunkhouse, Swansea
The Fighting Cocks, Kingston
The Fire Station, Sunderland
Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Booking Agency of the Year (<21 Team Members)
Marshall Live Agency
One Fiinix Live
Booking Agency of the Year (>21 Team Members)
Creative Artists Agency
Primary Talent International
United Talent Agency
National Promoter of the Year
Music Plus Sport
Regional Promoter of the Year
Ticketing Service 2023
The Ticket Factory
Road Warrior of the Year
Major Festival of the Year
Isle of Wight Festival
Reading & Leeds Festival
Festival of the Year
Bloodstock Open Air
The Cambridge Club Festival
Christine and the Queens’ Meltdown
Connect Music Festival
Deer Shed Festival
Three Choirs Festival
Production Supplier 2023
Neg Earth Lights
We Organise Chaos
Brand Partnership 2023
Amazon Fashion Haus x El Dorado Festival
Amplead Apply to Play x Lottery Winners UK Tour
Coca Cola x MVT
KOKO TPC x Marshall
Sky VIP lounge
TikTok to stage global live music event
TikTok has announced its first-ever global music experience, with headline sets by ‘four of the biggest genre-defining artists’ on the platform.
Cardi B, Niall Horan, Anitta and Charlie Puth will perform in the round at Sloan Park in Arizona, US, on 10 December for a live audience.
In The Mix will also see performances from four artists on TikTok’s emerging artist programme, TikTok Elevate: Isabel LaRosa, Kaliii, LU KALA, and Sam Barber.
The experience will be streamed globally via TikTok LIVE, with video and event production designed specifically for its unique vertical format by award-winning director Hamish Hamilton and Done+Dusted.
Alongside performances, In the Mix will bring to life TikTok’s For You feed, with a range of activities inspired by the community’s favourite trends. Tickets for the event will go on sale on 2 November and range from $25 to $60.
“Our vision is to create a show that is reimagined for the TikTok era and our music-loving global community”
“No other platform mixes music, creativity and community like TikTok. With In The Mix, our goal is to bring the For You feed to life for fans at the venue and on TikTok,” says Paul Hourican, TikTok’s global head of music partnerships and programming. “Our vision is to create a show that is reimagined for the TikTok era and our music-loving global community.”
Cardi B (@iamcardib) boasts over 23.6M followers and 29.6B #cardib views on the platform. In 2021, her smash hit ‘Up’ was the centre of a viral trend as fans choreographed routines to the song with over 1.3M videos.
Niall Horan (@niallhoran) connects with his six million global ‘lovers’ on TikTok by regularly engaging via the Duet and Stitch features, while Charlie Puth (@charlieputh) frequently shares a glimpse of his creative process and perfect pitch with his 22.1M fans.
Brazilian Anitta (@anitta) has garnered over 22.7M followers and over 21.3B views. She often shows off her complex dance routines and provides fans with a behind-the-scenes look at her performances.
Last year, Anitta shared a video in which she performed her hit ‘Envolver’ which inspired millions of fans to recreate the routine themselves, generating 2.1M videos on TikTok.