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The world’s leading promoters & the 40 top markets they operate in.
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Somewhat like neighbouring Switzerland, Austria is a smallish, well-balanced market defined by its prosperity. Most years, the greatest threat is a market saturation that never quite materialises, but in 2023, promoters expect the same chill winds as everyone else.
“Obviously, we will have to face another difficult year – probably the most challenging ever for our industry,” says Goodlive’s Silvio Huber. “Inflation will not be gone soon, recession is going to kick in, and energy costs haven’t settled yet. So, people will be thinking twice [about] which tickets they will go for, as prices have increased accordingly.”
“Obviously, we will have to face another difficult year – probably the most challenging ever for our industry,”
Goodlive is among the latest entrants to a well- populated market – an offshoot of the German indie, launched just over a year before Live Nation moved in this September and bought the entire business, German and Austrian interests and all. “We are really looking forward to exploring new strategies and projects within Live Nation that will equip us to meet the many challenges of tomorrow’s world,” says Huber. “And we can’t wait to welcome Gold Rush Kid George Ezra at the beginning of 2023, to kick off our new concert season with lots of exciting new shows.”
Elsewhere, the long-time market-leader Barracuda – a long-time indie formed in 2016 from the merger of Skalar, NuCoast, and Red Snapper – was picked up in late 2019 by CTS Eventim, bringing festivals including Nova Rock (55,000-cap.), FM4 Frequency (120,000-cap.), Electric Love (70,000-cap.), and concert series FM4 Indiekiste and Beat the Fish. As Christmas approached, Barracuda’s schedule of imminent shows included Bryan Adams, Nightwish, and Alter Bridge, with Pink, Michael Bublé, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, and Lionel Richie on sale for next year.
Barracuda raised at least €2m from a benefit concert for Ukraine in March. We Stand with Ukraine was held at Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna, with performances from artists including Eazy, Bibiza x Eli Preiss, Mavi Phoenix, Josh., Ina Regen, and Turbobier. FKP Scorpio is present, too, in the form of Arcadia Live, the German-Austrian joint venture between FKP Group, Four Artists Booking Agency, Chimperator Live, and KKT.
The agency’s roster includes national and internationals such as The 1975, alt-J, Die Fantastischen Vier, Die Toten Hosen, Frank Turner, and others.
The agency’s roster includes national and internationals such as The 1975, alt-J, Die Fantastischen Vier, Die Toten Hosen, Frank Turner, and others. Its key festivals are July’s Wien METAStadt Open Air series and the new Lido Sounds in Linz, which featured Florence + The Machine, Peter Fox, Die Toten Hosen, and My Ugly Clementine in its inaugural year.
In 2021, Arcadia Live took on the live business of Austrian label and management operation Ink Music, assuming artists including Nada Surf. “After two long years of waiting we have finally returned to live music in 2022 promoting approximately 150 shows in Austria.
The sold-out-tour of German hiphop-artist Cro and the stadium concerts by Rammstein did amazingly well. Unfortunately,some of our smaller indoor club-gigs have not been doing as well as we were hoping and we have had to cancel many due to low ticket sales. However, we are super excited to see how next years LIDO Sounds in Linz is developing, and in general, how ticket sales will be doing in light of the energy crisis and rising cost of living.”
“Unfortunately,some of our smaller indoor club-gigs have not been doing as well as we were hoping and we have had to cancel many due to low ticket sales.”
In spite of the advance of the consolidated groups, pure independents remain, including Alex Nussbaumer’s Vienna-and Bregenz-based al-x. “2023 will be very tricky,” says Nussbaumer. “The market is more unpredictable than ever. Unfortunately, my prediction that people are running out of money became reality. And we are still dealing with after-Covid avalanches – even that’s not over yet.”
Nussbaumer has worked with Peter Gabriel, Paul Weller, and Patti Smith over the years, and his recent shows included Iggy Pop and The Cure. “Iggy Pop at the very special Konzerthaus – Vienna’s Royal Albert Hall – was amazing,” he says. “The Cure at the Marx Halle was surprisingly not sold out – we ended up selling 8,000 tickets, compared to my last Cure show at the same venue where we were sold out with over 10,000 tickets.”