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Arthur Awards 2021: Winners crowned at Royal Albert Hall

Some of the biggest names in the international live music industry were honoured last night in a special end-of-decade edition of the Arthur Awards, which streamed live to ILMC delegates from London’s most iconic venue, the Royal Albert Hall.

Sponsored by ASM Global, the glittering ceremony was presented in style by the hostess with the mostest – a hilarious Emma Banks (CAA) – who refused to let the lack of a live audience put her off her stride, switching her dress from hazmat suit to ballgown, and her drink from vodka and beetroot juice (in honour of the late Michael Gudinski) to Clorox bleach (a homage to a US president much less missed), with effortless aplomb.

Joining Banks at the 150-year-old Royal Albert Hall, which was honoured with the Arthur of the Decade for best venue, were a handful of venue staff and award winners, with hundreds more nominees and conference attendees tuning in from deep in cyberspace.

Normally a separate, ticketed event, the Arthurs – the Oscars of the live music industry – threw open its virtual doors for 2021, inviting all ILMC delegates to attend the ceremony, which was livestreamed from 18.30 to 19.30 yesterday (4 March).

Among the Arthurs 2021 winners were SJM Concerts’ Simon Moran, who won the Arthur of the Decade for the Promoters’ Promoter; Glastonbury Festival, whose organiser Emily Eavis picked up the award for Liggers’ Favourite Festival; and Steve Strange of X-ray Touring, who was there in person to collect his Arthur of the Decade for Second Least Offensive Agent.

Ed Sheeran’s record-breaking ÷ won tour of the decade, while Swiss industry legend André Béchir picked up the special Bottle Award

Ed Sheeran’s record-breaking ÷ (Divide) tour won tour of the decade, with production manager Chris Marsh collecting on Sheeran’s behalf, while Swiss industry legend André Béchir was close to tears as he picked up the special Bottle Award for lifetime achievement.

In full, the Arthur Awards 2021 winners are…

The Promoter’s Promoter (Arthur of the Decade showdown)
Simon Moran, SJM Concerts

Liggers’ Favourite Festival (Arthur of the Decade showdown)
Glastonbury Festival

Second Least Offensive Agent (Arthur of the Decade showdown)
Steve Strange, X-ray Touring

Services Above & Beyond (Arthur of the Decade showdown)
Beat the Street

The Gaffer (Arthur of the Decade showdown)
Chris Marsh (Ed Sheeran)

The People’s Assistant (Arthur of the Decade showdown)
Sarah Donovan, Live Nation UK

Tomorrow’s New Boss
Alexandra Ampofo, Metropolis Music

The Unsung Hero (2021 award)
Sandra Beckmann & Tom Koperek, Alarmstufe Rot

The Ultimate Venue’s Venue
Royal Albert Hall

Tour of the Decade
Ed Sheeran

The Bottle Award
André Béchir, abc Production

 


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Clubs come together for The Beat Goes Live

A 48-hour livestreaming event will unite many of the world’s leading electronic music venues in support of the industry later this month.

The Beat Goes Live, which takes place from 19 to 21 March, will raise money for Music Heroes, an initiative supporting venues, promoters, artists, music related charities and organisations. It will stream live on Paarti starting from 9pm GMT.

Participating venues include Ambassada Gavioli (Izola, Slovenia), Cava Paradiso (Mykonos, Greece), Club der Visionaere (Berlin, Germany), Egg (London, UK), D-Edge (Sao Paolo, Brazil), H0L0 (New York, USA), Noa Beach Club (Zrce, Croatia), Nordstern (Basel, Switzerland), Phonotheque (Montevideo, Uruguay), Super Dommune (Tokyo, Japan), Tenax (Firenze, Italy) and Versuz (Hasselt, Belgium).

A final secret venue, as well as the line-up, will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are launching a new kind of platform kicking off with a historic event that brings together some of the biggest names in music”

Fans can support the cause by buying tickets and making donations in both their local currency and cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

Raluca Cherciu, CEO, Paarti says: “We are launching a new kind of platform kicking off with a historic event that brings together some of the biggest names in music, in support of music heroes.”

“What always drives us is the passion and love for music. For Noa, the beat never stops, it keeps playing just like our hearts that live for this industry,” says the club in a statement.

“That is why Noa Beach Club decided to join this initiative because it arose from a sincere desire to continue living, having fun and socialising from all over the world. Luckily, technology today allows us to do that, and this project is going to take it to another level.”

 


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PULSE: Highlights from ILMC’s new tech event

PULSE is an all-new platform that sits at the intersection of technology and live entertainment. A collaboration between ILMC, senior booking agent Mike Malak (Paradigm), and digital entertainment expert Yvan Boudillet (TheLynk), the first PULSE event took place at ILMC today (3 March), welcoming leading figures from both industries for a full day of discussion and debate.

Tickets for ILMC 33, which include all panels, including PULSE, available to watch back until 5 April 2021, are still available. Click here for more information.

 


The final Pulse session of the day, The Business of Live Tech, brought together industry heads to discuss emerging business models and new deals around tech and music.

One of the panel’s most interesting discourses was about the perceived fan-appetite for livestreaming before, during and after the pandemic.

Steve Hancock, Melody VR/Napster (UK) points out that fans’ demand for livestreaming was strong before the pandemic and will continue to be a valuable complementary offering to live.

“Just exclusively VR, we moved on to mobile smartphone and tablet in 2019, where we launched our real-time live technology at Wireless with Live Nation in Finsbury Park. We did all three days, multi-stage, multi-cam jumps and had 250,000 people coming through the app on the first weekend at that festival and it showed everyone that appetite was there.

“And as we introduced paywalls, as the market progressed, people were good with it. Livestreaming will never replace live but I think a hybrid, and marriage, of physical and digital attendance is, in my opinion, the way forward,” said Hancock.

Olenik ventured that the way to keep fans interested in livestreaming events post-pandemic is to offer bonus features

Lesley Olenik, Live Nation (US), ventured that the way to keep fans interested in livestreaming events post-pandemic is to offer bonus features for those watching at home.

“If you have a world tour that you’re planning and if the artist is open to it, giving people access to maybe like the rehearsals or the soundcheck and doing some sort of virtual meet and greet could appeal to fans around the world. Billie Eilish did a really cool video that was shown before her live stream with her crew and how they all work together to bring this show to life and like what an undertaking is and fans loved it,” said Olenik.

Justin Lubliner, Darkroom (US), agreed and warned that without features tailored specifically for at-home livestreaming, fans’ interest could waiver.

“Billie’s show was an amazing live stream experience: I think the differentiating factor between the one that we did [with Billie] and the one that I’ve seen from other artists was that it was created specifically to be watched behind a computer and a TV. Not to offend anyone but personally, I am less bullish about the general virtual concert space,” he said.

Cheryl Paglierani, United Talent Agency (US), echoed that thought: “There is going to be ways for us to create virtual balconies or virtual meet and greet experiences if they’re already doing you can add, you know more and maybe it’s through zoom or whatever platform so you know it helps the artist generate more revenue, as opposed to you know just the bodies that are in the building, that’s what people are discussing right now and trying to find the best solutions for, but I do think people will be willing to pay for it for sure.”

Asking how to keep the fan at the centre of new virtual performance spaces, The New Fan Experience welcomed Sheri Bryant from virtual events platform Sansar, who spoke of the importance of connecting fans with performers while avoiding trying to compete with the live experience.

Livestreaming, said Driift’s Ric Salmon, is the “holy grail” for artists. “It’s a direct-to-fan format,” he said. “The ecosystem between the artist and the fan is complicated and there are a lot of mouths to feed in that process – [livestreaming] provides us with an opportunity to realign that relationship.

When choosing a platform, said Tommas Arnby (Locomotion), “you want to go where the fans are”. Streaming, he said, is about “creat[ing] scarce, unique moments. You want to really make something that blows the fans away – give them something they didn’t expect.”

Where the sector goes next, suggested Brandon Goodman of Best Friends Music “depends on the artist. It’s important for the creative to make sense with the artist – I don’t think artists should necessarily do what Billie [Eilish] did. For exampled, I loved the Dermot Kennedy stream – but I don’t think Dermot Kennedy in an XR world, like Billie, would be very on-brand for an artist like him.”

https://twitter.com/MartinMyers/status/1367108725094420482

Trivium frontman Matt Heafy opened The Livestreamers’ Guide to Live Music by talking about his following on videogame-focused livestreaming site Twitch, where has more than 200,000 subscribers (many of whom also tuned into the ILMC panel).

While Heafy has been streaming on Twitch for years (including every Trivium show for the past three), “it took up until the pandemic happening for my channel to really take off,” he explained. It’s because of his putting in that groundwork, he added, that, “now that everyone’s stuck at home, they know to come and see what Matt’s been telling us about all this time.”

Julie Bogaert from Facebook spoke of the importance for streamers of having a “presence on as many platforms as possible,” in addition to Facebook and Instagram, “because they all have different audiences”.

For livestreamers, viewer engagement is key, added Heafy. “That’s what separates live from video. That viewer-streamer relationship is the big difference [between a live broadcast and] a video that already exists.

“It’s really that human element that’s important. I’ve heard it described as the Bruce Dickinson effect. Iron Maiden have been playing arenas for 20 years, but what he can do is make even the person in the nosebleed seats feel like the show is all about them.”

Building an audience on a platform like Twitch is “a grind”, admitted Wiktoria Wójcik of esports specialist InStreamly. “You have to prepare to stream to, say, every day, or once a week – you need to have a schedule, and always deliver.”

Livestreaming, she added, “isn’t an easy way to be discovered, because you’re going live for a few hours and then you vanish, as it’s live content only. You have to have a place where you aggregate your fans and them push them towards your live streams.”’

Asian Agent’s Danny Lee, who works with a number of K-pop acts, described the subtle differences between the various platforms. For example, “Instagram Live is very immediate,” he said. “People just go right into it. Whereas on something like V Live, which is a very popular Korean livestreaming app, a streamer may start out by just looking at the camera for five minutes.”

Livestreaming will not replace live, said Wójcik, but act as an add-on in future. “Even when we come out of this, there will still be people who can’t come to see you in person or come to your shows, so streaming will provide a way to connect with those fans.”


Pulse continued with Sweet Streams – Best in Class, which saw Lars-Oliver Vogt, Live Nation GSA, assemble leaders in the livestreaming space to share best practice and reflect on 2020’s standout events.

James Sutcliffe, LiveNow Global (UK), reflected on the success of Dua Lipa’s first ticketed virtual show, Studio 2054, which took place late last year and garnered more than 500 million views and 300,000 ticket sales.

LiveNow splashed out a whopping $1.5 million in realising the Dua Lipa project but big budgets are part of the company’s business model, said Sutcliffe.

“We’re not afraid to invest and I think it’s important for us to ensure that the quality levels of the content and the product that we’re putting out is high. And by us coming to the table with the willingness to invest and help curate these shows, it gives them the best possible chance of the end product being as good as you’ve just seen.”

Mike Schabel, Kiswe (US), enjoyed similar success with K-pop band BTS and their Map of the Soul On:e pay-per-view live stream, which saw 993,000 people across 193 countries tune in.

“How does livestreaming become more than just a promotional vehicle or novelty for mid-range acts”

Schabel says the most exciting thing about the live stream was “the number of innovations we’ve brought to the table for the audience” including multiple cameras to choose from, multi-language live closed captioning and Bluetooth-enabled light sticks.

However, the “live live” aspect of the shows was “an overwhelming challenge that everybody in this space knows”.

Speaking on the role of an agent in livestreaming, Natasha Gregory, Mother Artists (UK), says that while there’s been little financial gain, there’s been a lot to learn.

“I really wanted to get involved and find out how streaming works and how many tickets you can sell for a rock band, for instance, Idles who sell 2,500 tickets in London, and how that can reflect.”

“[Idles livestream] was at least six weeks of solid work and what you get out of it is minimal. I mean we did 12,000 streams but we did decide to use it more as a marketing tool,” she adds.

“It’s really about what can you do differently [with livestreaming] that makes it actually viable”

However, Tim Westergreen, Sessions Live (US), asked “how does livestreaming become more than just a promotional vehicle or novelty for mid-range acts?”.

“It’s really about what can you do differently that makes it actually viable, so that an average band can take advantage of what should be a great platform. You can do all sorts of different ticketing to offer the ability to connect with a band that the real world doesn’t allow you and unless you until you do that and do that in a scalable way, [livestreaming] will continue to be more elitist.”

Westergreen says that the monetisation of livestreaming for mid-range acts depends on two things: a fan and audience development platform as well as a monetisation mechanism similar to those tried and tested in gaming.

“How do you monetise engagement? That’s what gaming has done for two decades now it’s why, as an industry, it’s been so much more successful than music in the digital era.”

“It has only taken 10 months for fans to accept they have to pay for tickets to a live stream”

Fabrice Sergent, Bandsintown group (US), says: “There’s hope, and not just for the large artists”.

Sergeant says that last year Bandsintown listed 70,000 live streams last year, 75% of which were actually listed by artists of less than 100,000 followers.

Not only that but from July to October, the number of live streams that were ticketed jumped from 2% to 50%.

“For something that started as a free medium, it has only taken 10 months for fans to accept they have to pay for tickets to a live stream. When you think back to the time when music was pirated on Napster and it took 10 years for fans to finally accept to buy a subscription to music streaming.”

 


Pulse kicked off with New Technology Pitches, hosted by Steve Machin LiveFrom Events (UK), comprised of quick-fire presentations on the best new tech and innovation in the business.

First up, Arjun Mehta (US) showcased Moment House’s premium digital platform for live creators.

“How do you marry technology with culture? That’s the question at the heart of our approach,” Mehta says.

Mehta explained that Moment House was launched because he felt “a fundamental tool was missing from the internet”.

“This was never meant to be a replacement for a physical concert. We built it from the standpoint of ‘how do we craft the most compelling digital fan experience digitally?’… a brand new unit that’s fully complementary to the physical world.”

“How do you marry technology with culture? That’s the question at the heart of [Moment House’s] approach”

Mehta says Moment House is built on three core principles: “Number one is beautiful design – a beautiful user experience that really prioritises the fan. Number two is our messaging and how we frame Moment House to both the artists and fans as this new independent unit of a moment. The third thing is curating the sorts of artists on the platform…it’s very important to us that we took a top-down approach and brought some of the world’s biggest superstars onto the platform.”

Eight Day Sound then presented its Virtual Live Audience (VLA) technology, which “meaningfully reconnects audiences to the entertainment they love”.

“VLA is cutting edge proprietary technology that allows for seamless communication between presenters and audiences with low latency and high quality remote participants are displayed via video screens on site and the team can customise the layout.”

“The sky is the limit for the number of participants able to join VLA, which means that the audience is no longer limited to the venue, and there are opportunities for scalable ticketing sponsorship, advertising and other revenue-generating streams. You can maximise event profits.”

Next to the stand was Vladic Ravich, who told ILMC delegates how Bramble came to be.

Vladic and co-founder Salimah Ebrahim launched Bramble to offer “a more human way to gather online”

The company behind Bramble, Artery, started as a way to “connect people with cultural experience” by helping users set up secret events in their own homes.

When the pandemic hit, rendering Artery’s business model redundant, Vladic and co-founder Salimah Ebrahim launched Bramble which sought to offer “a more human way to gather online”.

“What makes Bramble a good gathering? The first thing is our proprietary fluid video technology, and if you haven’t seen this kind of spatial video and audio, it’s immediately intuitive.”

Bramble also offers a customisable performance venue that has hosted events including the House of Yes’s Halloween show as well as the Artist and Manager awards.

Next up, Param Kanabar tells ILMC delegates about Noq, a cashless and contactless ordering system that “looks at tackling queue management and issues around queuing at events”.

Noq is “a hybrid blend between a marketplace app as well as a branding solution”

“You just need a QR code specific to a particular event. This could be shared with customers, ahead of the event, whether that be through a website, social media, tickets, newsletters.

“Additionally, at the event, there’ll be multiple touch points, at the entrance, near the food zones. So when customers scan a QR code, they are taken straight to a festival landing page where they’re able to see all the vendors that are around them.

“This is great because there’s a lot of increase in folks being gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. Plus people have food allergies. So, communicating what you want in a busy festival and an event is difficult sometimes. And so from a customer perspective, having this and access to view everything that is around them is important.”

Kanabar says Noq’s unique selling point is that the app is “ultimately a hybrid blend between a marketplace app as well as a branding solution”.

Notetracks founder and CEO Kam Lal was next in line to deliver his pitch on what was dubbed ‘Asana for video and audio’.

Lookport is “the biggest video livestreaming platform in Eastern Europe”

The platform to share music, video, audio projects and gather feedback and notes.

“The problem we aim to solve is working on audio and video files remotely. Currently, you know the tools are very fragmented and there’s a disconnected workflow – it’s not very collaborative. So our solution is one workspace where you could review and collaborate in a seamless environment and gather feedback.”

Lookport’s Alex Wolf was next to the stand to tell delegates about “the biggest video livestreaming platform in Eastern Europe” which has hosted 150 livestreams throughout the pandemic and boasts more than 90 million views.

Wolf said the unique selling point of Lookport is that it provides a full service, from promoting the event, to producing it, to selling tickets, and then streaming the show.

“Lockport is a completely web based solution and you don’t need to then launch any specific application, we created our own web player so users can watch our content from any device. The player can also be embedded into any web page or landing site.”

“It is next to impossible today to receive audience data for an artist or event team all in one place”

Last but by no means least, Aivar took to the virtual stage to pitch FanSifter.

“It is next to impossible today to receive audience data for an artist or event team all in one place, in one format because data is locked into silos both in music and live. To get that data out of the silos is now more important than ever because, with cookie-based targeting and advertising sunsetting, artists and all the partners, management teams, promoters, labels, merch stores, even brands need to collaborate on these first party audience data sets, have to comply to GDPR and other privacy laws. FanSifter exists to solve this with a collaborative and privacy-compliant customer data platform.”

 


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Goodtill by SumUp POS launches music venue offer for ILMC 33

Goodtill by SumUp is the leading provider of iPad POS software in the UK & Ireland, powering some of the UK’s most exciting businesses and the largest names in hospitality with £500m of transactions processed annually. It has more than 1,200 customers in hospitality, with POS systems in over 450 cafes and restaurants, along with pubs, bars and nightclubs, hotels, major sports stadiums, offices and schools.

Oliver Rowbory, co-founder at Goodtill: “For over five years, our aim has been to deliver the best point of service technology to forward-thinking businesses across the restaurant, events and hospitality sectors.”

In 2020, Goodtill by SumUp has seen rapid growth in Goodeats, a powerful click & collect and table ordering platform which has processed over 1 million collection and delivery orders, providing hundreds of cafes and restaurants with the ability to sell to customers safely and remain open during lockdown.

The company has just launched a set of hardware and core POS offers specifically for the live music sector, which will help all types of venues, from grassroots to arenas, whether they are looking to invest fully or simply license the system. Features include a whole host of capabilities including extensive reporting and management, stock control, multi-outlet management, loyalty features and more.

“For over five years, our aim has been to deliver the best point of service technology to forward-thinking businesses across the restaurant, events and hospitality sectors”

John Talbot, Goodtill’s new Music Partnerships Manager will be at ILMC 33: Virtually Live to talk about the value of Goodtill and its Goodeats mobile ordering solution, as a way to reopen successfully in the coming months, while managing physical interaction and ensuring your fans feel welcome and safe in your venue.

Anyone interested in Goodtill’s products can sign-up now for a demo and quote, including an exclusive ILMC / IQ Magazine discounted offer. Click here for more information

Goodtill ILMC offers

As well as exhibiting at the conference via a virtual trade stand, John will be speaking as part of the Covid Testing & Mitigation Workshop, 10am on Thursday 4th March.

Click here to visit Goodtill’s virtual ILMC trade stand now.

 


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Prepare for lift-off: IQ 97 marks the launch of ILMC 33

IQ 97, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.

In March’s edition, IQ Magazine editor, Gordon Masson, assembles industry heavyweights including Sam Kirby Yoh (co-head of music, UTA), Toby Leighton-Pope (co-CEO of AEG Presents in the UK) and John Reid (Live Nation’s president of concerts in Europe) for an industry health check, 12 months into pandemic restrictions.

Elsewhere, with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) set to launch this Wednesday, readers and delegates can prepare for liftoff by previewing some of the products and services developers will be presenting (see ILMC Tech Spotlight), and earmarking the ones-to-watch at this year’s agency talent showcases (see Showcasing Talent).

Also in this issue, IQ hands the megaphone to Sybil Bell (Independent Venue Week), Mark Bennett (MBA Live) and Tone Østerdal (Norway’s Live Music Association) for comment pieces on what live is like from where they’re standing.

IQ hands the megaphone to Sybil Bell (IVW), Mark Bennett (MBA Live) and Tone Østerdal (Norway’s Live Association)

IQs top newshound Jon Chapple sniffs out what livestreaming pioneers are doing to prepare for post-Covid life (see Streaming’s Bright Future), while the Arena Resilience Alliance reveals its comprehensive manifesto for the safe return of live events.

And Rob Challice (Paradigm), John Giddings (Solo, Isle of Wight), Harvey Goldsmith and other industry pros reveal the most surprising person they met at a gig or added to a guest list 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 97 in full.

 


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Roqu CEO details health passport innovation

In summer 2020, Ireland-based Roqu Group launched Health Passport Worldwide (HPW), a secure platform that combines mobile technologies with official Covid-19 tests and vaccinations.

The technology has been engineered specifically to ‘help curtail the spread of Covid-19’ and is enabling the safe reopening of events, travel and sports in nine countries worldwide.

Now, Robert Quirke, president and CEO at Roqu, tells IQ how HPW is now working alongside leading international events producers, live music organisations and ticketing companies to create solutions that will reopen events this summer.

 


IQ: Who is able to use HPW?
RQ: The app is free to be used by the public and also by official healthcare providers. The system is multilingual. Depending on the model of the smartphone, font sizes can be increased and text-to-speech can be enabled. The overall technology platform is being used by event producers, the travel industry, pharmacies and many more. The dependents feature means that people with disabilities can make full use of the tech if they wish.

In which countries has HPW established a presence?
The technology is actively being used in the UK, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, Canada, Bulgaria, Kenya, Nigeria and Ibiza.

Where has it been trialled so far?
Extensive system trials have already been performed in Ireland, the UK and South Africa at healthcare centres, pharmacies, nursing homes for staff vaccinations, schools (staff), offices and more. In December of last year, the system was successfully used at the trial live music event in Cape Town called Recharge2020, working alongside Ticketmaster, the city and local production companies.

“The system was successfully used at the trial live music event in Cape Town called Recharge2020, working alongside Ticketmaster”

Has HPW received the stamp of approval from any governments?
The organisation focuses on successful industry adoption across various sectors. Our approach is to not wait, but rather to immediately support industries that urgently need solutions. The technology is being closely observed by many governments with a view to supporting their vaccines deployment initiatives.

The digital passport market is becoming increasingly saturated. How does your product stand out?
This is not a concept, it is a living breathing solution, and has been since last summer. There is currently no other health passport solution that has achieved the level of support and adoption compared to HPW. Our solution is already being used by some of the world’s leading organisations. Every minute, someone somewhere in the world receives their Covid-19 test result safely via our technology.

How does the app keep users’ data secure and private?
The founders of the technology have put user privacy as a priority because unlike some other mobile technologies, the HPW app does not track people’s location, does not use Bluetooth, does not use GPS and does not monitor people’s usage of the system. Data is not shared with any third parties. This function does not even exist within the technology.

“The technology also integrates with public health systems, festivals, airports, test centres, event ticketing platforms”

Does the app work in harmony with existing healthcare and tech systems?
Yes, the system can integrate where necessary with labs, hospitals and existing public health platforms. A special function is included to support various doses of vaccinations. You can also book a test directly within the app, making everything as easy as possible for the user.

The technology also integrates with public health systems, festivals, airports, test centres, event ticketing platforms and more.

For what purposes do you see HPW being used?
Enabling efficiencies at testing and vaccination centres, international travel, major sporting and music events with very large crowds. This platform will absolutely not be used for everyday life, such as going out for dinner or to the pub!

How could HPW facilitate the return of live music?
The technology enables event producers to scan high volumes of people in a very short period of time, the same as scanning your event ticket at entry. The system gives guests and producers the reassurance that people entering the venue are at a very low or zero risk of transmitting Covid-19. The HPW team has extensive experience in testing and can support events not just with the technology, but also with the end-to-end efficient and safe process.

“The solution to safely test 65,000 people within eight hours is already being deployed into Europe”

Can HPW integrate with event ticketing platforms?
Yes, for example, an anonymous code could be shared. But the system will not share medical information or personal details.

Festivals admit tens of thousands of people over a relatively short amount of time. Is HPW capable of processing a high volume of testing onsite?
Yes, the solution to safely test 65,000 people within eight hours is already being deployed into Europe.

Will venues and festivals have to implement any kind of hardware in order to use HPW?
No

 


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Habbo’s Hotel Hideaway books first ever DJ set

Dutch DJ and producer Luuk van Dijk will be the first-ever DJ to play a live set in Hotel Hideaway, the virtual hangout from the makers of Habbo.

Habbo, formerly known as Habbo Hotel, is a 3D virtual world and social networking site that was created by Finnish developer Sulake and launched in 2000.

Habbo’s free-to-play spinoff game, Hotel Hideaway, boasts more than a million monthly users with an average age between 17 and 25 years old.

This Friday (26 February), Dijk will perform music from his label, Dark Side Of The Sun, in the online world’s virtual concert hall, Tech, with specially designed visuals by Uberkraft studios.

Dijk will perform music from his label, Dark Side Of The Sun, in the online world’s virtual concert hall, Tech

Hotel Hideaway concert visitors and users will have the opportunity to ‘meet and greet’ with the artist ‘backstage’.

The Amsterdam-based DJ follows in the footsteps of artists including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Gorillaz, and Lady Gaga, who previously appeared in Habbo.

“We can no longer meet each other as before, we cannot all go to a club or a festival,” says Dijk. “Corona makes you realise that making new friendships is more difficult and you see that people are still looking for ways to get together.

Hotel Hideaway is one of the places where more and more peers come together and I also want to be where my fans are in times when I cannot be on stage. It is therefore the perfect place to still have that connection with the public.”

 


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Tash Sultana promotes new album with Fortnite map

Australian singer-songwriter Tash Sultana is promoting their newly released album ‘Terra Firma’ with a new Fortnite map based on its cover art, designed by renowned Melbourne-based artist Pat Fox.

The custom map, designed and built by Lootmate, allows Fortnite players the opportunity to explore the album’s ‘visual world’, discover easter eggs, and win the in-game currency V-Bucks by sharing themselves inside the map.

A livestreamed map launch took place earlier today on Twitch, hosted by Australian gamer and internet personality Loserfruit, which marked the first time an Australian artist has had a custom map inside the game.

As part of the album promotion, Sultana also performed some tracks from the album during week two of the Fortnite Championship Series OCE, presented by The Australian Open.

Sultana is the latest in a long line of artists to appear in the Epic Games-developed Fortnite, which is the most successful free-to-play video game of all time.

Fortnite hosted its first-ever in-game concert with RCA-signed DJ Marshmello in February 2020 – a ten-minute show which attracted more than ten million people.

Travis Scott trumped that in April 2020 with the premiere of Astronomical, which drew more than 12 million players and, across five shows and two encores, is believed to have attracted around 45.8 million viewers.

Tasha Sultana is the first Australian artist to make custom map inside Fortnite

While Reggaeton superstar J Balvin delivered a special performance as part of Fortnite’s Halloween-themed event, Fortnitemares 2020: Midas’ Revenge.

Roblox is also an increasingly popular destination for artists to promote their music and has hosted highly successful events with double Grammy award-winning rapper Lil Nas X and global pop star Ava Max.

Last September, Max promoted her album ‘Heaven & Hell’ with a virtual launch party in Roblox, in a space dubbed the ‘Sky-High Dance Floor’.

During the launch, Max answered questions from participants before performing some of the songs from the album. The event also featured a merch store and in-game quests. The highest concurrent player peak reached 166,620 people.

Interested in the intersection of technology and live entertainment? Register for ILMC to get access to all-new conference and content platform PULSE and the sessions: New Technology PitchesSweet Streams – Best in ClassThe Livestreamers Guide to Live MusicThe New Fan ExperienceThe Business of Live Tech.

 


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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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The other side of town

It’s been very exciting to work with broadcast platform Stabal to create a new outlet for artists. Bellowhead hadn’t played live for four years, so we expected a good level of interest. To gross £150k+ [€170k] for a folk band on our first live broadcast was brilliant for everyone involved.

We had tried socially distanced shows, but only three of the 20 we put on sale actually happened because of the tier systems being introduced in the UK – Frank Turner, for example, was set up with ten day’s notice and cancelled three days out. It was all very frustrating, but clearly public health has to come first.

We could see the potential hybrid of live and broadcast, and a lot of research followed. This collaboration between Stabal and Crosstown Concerts solves all of the issues artists have encountered broadcasting concerts, as we can handle all the aspects required between us.

We cover all the costs, and handle all marketing, ticketing, rights and publishing clearances

We cover all the costs, and handle all marketing, ticketing, rights and publishing clearances, with audiovisual recording produced to a world-class standard.

We decided from the outset not to offer ‘live’ live streams, having seen so many beset with technical problems and not really being a great product. In reality, our competitors are anything on TV/Netflix/YouTube/sports, because people are watching it at home – so our shows need to really stand out.

We record an artist over the course of a day, with a four-or five-camera shoot. The band plays live together, with audio feeds allowing post-editing and post-production. That makes the artist relax. Stabal gives the artists approval of the final cut and we can concentrate on creating the very best audio and video experience for viewers.

It also means they can film extra behind-the-scenes content, with interviews, additional songs, etc. Fans can purchase a straightforward ‘view on the day’ package of the live performance or a deluxe 30-day pass option, with extra songs, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, adding true value for the fans.

We’re looking to go way beyond volume of tickets and accentuate the audience experience

In the case of Bellowhead, the performance was 75 minutes long and the bonus content was 64 minutes long. This proved very successful; the 30-day pass initiative has also allowed for sales after the initial broadcast date, with Bellowhead sales rising by 500 to 8,700 within the next two weeks. A gifting service also proved popular, allowing tickets to be bought as presents.

In keeping with the Crosstown Concerts ethos, we are looking to go way beyond volume of tickets and accentuate the audience experience, giving the bands a great experience and creative output to be proud of.

We currently have three [UK] studios, Burgess Barn in Epping Forest, Stabal Mansion (which is where we filmed Bellowhead), and Stabal’s Newbury Sound Stage. However, we are not limited to these sites – we can film the right act anywhere. Our first
Australian show will be confirmed soon.

It’s been quite a journey from this time last year, when we were starting to discuss the possible effects of the unheard-of coronavirus. We’re concert promoters; we bring in the bands and sell the tickets. With no shows, the last ten months have been terrible, for lots of people across the whole music industry, and like many others, we’ve struggled through.

We’ve had government help, furloughing people and with a bounce-back loan; without government support we would be in serious trouble. We were successful gaining a grant in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund and have applied for round two.

There’s no sugarcoating how tough it’s been. But you adapt and find ways to keep the connections going

There’s no sugarcoating how tough it’s been. But you adapt and find ways to keep the connections going. Our aim is to have at least two live broadcast shows per week, targeting 100 shows in the coming year. It’s one of the few current ways artists can make money and show creativity.

We’re not tied to the bands we solely promote, so we’re going out to as many artists as we think we’ll have an audience for. We’re giving it our best shot. Since Christmas, new lockdown rules mean lots of uncertainty. Currently, we’re hoping we can get to a September return to full-capacity shows.

There will be a huge appetite for shows when they return, but we’re under no illusions, as there will be a lot of competition for peoples’ time and money from cinemas, sports, bars, etc., as well as other shows, and people will be struggling for money or unemployed. But we have to keep trying.

I think – outside of the NHS and fishermen – people work harder in the music industry than most others, so we are very resilient people. We will come through this!

 


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