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Goldenvoice details new San Francisco festival

Goldenvoice has revealed details of a brand new festival called Portola, coming to the US city of San Francisco this autumn.

Portola is slated to take place on 24 and 25 September at Pier 80, a 60-acre shipyard that boasts SF’s largest cargo terminal.

The Chemical Brothers and Flume will headline the festival, while Kaytranada, Jamie xx, Jungle, Charli XCX, James Blake and M.I.A are among the supporting cast.

The festival, which is organised in association with local event management company Non Plus Ultra, is scheduled only a month and a half after Outside Lands 2022 and a week before Hardly Strictly Bluegrass – both of which draw hundreds of thousands of fans to the city.

Portola’s name is reportedly a reference to the Portola Festival of 1909, which signalled a reopening of the city after the 1906 earthquake and drew an estimated one million people to its opening parade.

The new festival is one of a slate of inaugural events announced by AEG subsidiary Goldenvoice, including This Ain’t No Picnic, Palomino and California Vibrations.

In the US, Goldenvoice produces several festivals, most notably Coachella, as well as operating 14 mid-sized venues and promoting over 1,800 shows per year.

Goldenvoice's Portola festival

 


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AEG’s Goldenvoice announces new LA festival

Goldenvoice, one of the largest promoters in the world, has announced a brand new alt-country festival for Los Angeles.

Palomino Festival will debut on 9 July at Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, featuring some of the biggest names in country, folk, bluegrass, and pop.

Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson & Family, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and the Old Crow Medicine Show are among the acts slated to perform at the one-day event.

Other artists announced for the inaugural event include Orville Peck, Valerie June, Paul Cauthen, Charley Crockett, Nikki Lane, Morgan Wade, Sierra Ferrell, Low Cut Connie, Langhorne Slim, Sierra Hull, Jamnie Wyatt, Ian Noe Loga Ledger, Amythyst Kiah, and special guests The Compton Cowboys.

AEG-backed Goldenvoice has already built a dedicated audience of US-based country music fans via its Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

“It has been a dream to do a festival taking a modern, fresh approach to today’s alt-country music”

“It has been a dream for as long as I can remember to do a festival taking a modern, fresh approach to today’s alt-country music. Artists in the space have been pushing boundaries, creating sounds that are brand new,” says Goldenvoice talent buyer Stacy Vee, who also oversees the bookings for the company’s Stagecoach festival.

“I wanted to fan these flames and celebrate this changing culture. We at Goldenvoice love doing things ‘our own way,’ and there are a lot of artists out there right now doing the same thing. We came together to celebrate carving your own path: this is Palomino.”

Palomino is the latest new festival Goldenvoice has announced after This Ain’t No Picnic and California Vibes.

In the US, Goldenvoice produces several festivals, most notably Coachella, as well as operating 14 mid-sized venues and promoting over 1,800 shows per year.

 


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MSG Sphere London moves a step closer

Madison Square Garden’s controversial MSG Sphere London project has been given the go-ahead by planning officials despite objections from rival AEG.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) planning committee voted to back the application – which still requires approval from the mayor – by a 6-4 majority at a meeting last night (22 March), three years after plans were first submitted.

The 21,500-cap venue, which would be MSG’s first property outside of the US, is set to be located in Stratford, east London, four miles from AEG’s The O2 (20,000-cap) in North Greenwich. The building will be covered in LED panels designed to display digital content, including moving images, artistic content and branded advertising.

“We are pleased that the planning committee voted in support of our vision for MSG Sphere,” says a statement from MSG, first reported by Pollstar. “Throughout this process we have worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders, and are grateful for their collaboration which is reflected in our detailed proposal. We now look forward to progressing onto the next steps in the approval process.”

MSG has suggested that London has an “undersupply” of dedicated large entertainment venues compared with cities  such as Berlin, Paris, Madrid and New York (the capital’s next biggest indoor spaces are the 12,500-cap OVO Arena Wembley and the 10,400-cap Alexandra Palace. However, more than 850 objections were received to the proposal, with 355 written responses in support.

“Reoccurring themes in representations in support are that the proposed development and advertisement proposals would make a distinctive contribution to the Stratford skyline, improve connectivity, create jobs and be an iconic visitor attraction,” read the report by LLDC principal planning development manager Daniel Davies, which had backed the scheme.

“Reoccurring themes in opposition to the proposed development are the lack of need for the development as well as its scale, massing and form in the local context, its impact on Stratford Station and the impact of advertising on residential amenity, the setting of heritage assets and public safety” it added.

“AEG have always maintained we do not oppose competition in the live entertainment sector”

AEG has previously voiced concerns over the proposed venue’s proximity to The O2 and reiterated its opposition in the run-up to last night’s meeting.

“AEG have always maintained we do not oppose competition in the live entertainment sector, or another large music venue in London, but it should not be built so close to The London Stadium, Copper Box, Westfield and The O2,” said a spokesperson for the company.

“It is imperative that it does not add to congestion or overcrowding in this area of the city, or on the public transport network, especially the Jubilee line which is critical for the movement of guests to and from The O2. We believe that MSG’s scheme is fundamentally the wrong proposal, in the wrong location, and is technically seriously flawed.”

A 2019 investigation by The Times found that AEG had created a residents’ group to oppose the scheme.

Earlier this month, MSG announced the appointment of veteran executive Lucas Watson as MSG Sphere president. Watson, who takes up the new role next week, will lead the strategy and execution of all business aspects of MSG Sphere and the company’s planned state-of-the-art venues.

He will oversee the global development of the MSG Sphere brand, including selectively extending the MSG Sphere network to other markets.

The first MSG Sphere venue, MSG Sphere at The Venetian, is currently under construction in Las Vegas and is scheduled to open in the second half of calendar 2023.

 


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MSG Sphere London plans to be debated next week

AEG has repeated its opposition to Madison Square Garden’s proposed new MSG Sphere London venue after it was confirmed a planning application for the development will be heard next week.

The 21,500-cap venue, which would be MSG’s first property outside of the United States, is set to be located in Stratford, east London, across the river from AEG’s The O2 (20,000-cap.) in North Greenwich.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) planning committee will meet to discuss the application on Tuesday 22 March, three years after plans were first submitted.

A spokesperson for AEG, which has previously voiced concerns over the MSG venue’s proximity to The O2, says: “We are calling on the LLDC to refuse MSG’s application for a new venue in Stratford and encourage the Mayor of London to formally oppose this project in order to protect Newham’s residents and existing businesses from this inappropriate development.

“The proposals would exacerbate congestion at the already over-crowded Stratford Station, and no additional train services are proposed to mitigate the impact on the Jubilee Line. It has been suggested that various further modelling and assessment be undertaken post-planning meaning that the full impact of the proposals is simply not known.”

“AEG have always maintained we do not oppose competition in the live entertainment sector”

AEG insists it is not against competition, but argues the area is already well served by existing venues.

“AEG have always maintained we do not oppose competition in the live entertainment sector, or another large music venue in London, but it should not be built so close to The London Stadium, Copper Box, Westfield and The O2,” adds the spokesperson. “It is imperative that it does not add to congestion or overcrowding in this area of the city, or on the public transport network, especially the Jubilee line which is critical for the movement of guests to and from The O2.

“We believe that MSG’s scheme is fundamentally the wrong proposal, in the wrong location, and is technically seriously flawed.”

A 2019 investigation by The Times found that AEG had created a residents’ group to oppose the scheme.

“Our plans are not about competition,” MSG’s EVP of development and construction Jayne McGivern said at the time. “Examples from New York and Los Angeles suggest that a new arena would grow the market and complement London’s existing venues by expanding booking options and allowing more artists to perform in the city.

“We had hoped the owners of existing arenas in London would welcome innovation, diversity, and choice, and it’s extremely disappointing to us that they have not.”

 


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The Rolling Stones announce European stadium tour

The Rolling Stones have announced a 60th-anniversary tour of Europe, including two dates at AEG’s American Express Presents BST Hyde Park.

The ‘Sixty’ tour will commence on 1 June, visiting stadiums in Munich, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Bern, Milan, London, Brussels, Vienna, Lyon, Paris, Gelsenkirchen and Stockholm.

The 14-date run will see the band performing at the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield, for the Stones’ first Liverpool show in more than 50 years.

The tour will also mark the band’s return to London’s BST Hyde Park for the first time since 2013 when they played two sold-out shows to 130,000 fans.

The rock legends have a storied history with Hyde Park, with their 1969 Stones In the Park show becoming one of the most famous concerts of all time.

“Nobody brings it like the Stones when they’re on home turf in London”

Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents, says: “Whenever Hyde Park is mentioned, it’s impossible not to think of the Rolling Stones.

“Two nights on 25 June and 3 July cap off an incredible lineup for BST Hyde Park 2022 but nobody brings it like the Stones when they’re on home turf in London.”

The London and Liverpool dates are the first UK shows that the Stones have announced since the death of their drummer Charlie Watts last year.

As with their ‘No Filter’ US dates last year, Watts will be replaced by Steve Jordan, a session musician who has played with the band since the 1980s.

Watts, who joined the band in 1963, died of an unspecified illness last August at the age of 80.

See tour dates for the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sixty’ tour below.

JUNE
01 – Wanda Metropolitano Stadium – MADRID, SPAIN
05 – Olympic Stadium – MUNICH, GERMANY
09 – Anfield Stadium – LIVERPOOL, UK
13 – Johan Cruijff ArenA – AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
17 – Wankdorf Stadium – BERN, SWITZERLAND
21 – San Siro Stadium – MILAN, ITALY
25 – American Express Presents BST Hyde Park – LONDON, UK

JULY
03 – American Express Presents BST Hyde Park – LONDON, UK
11 – King Baudouin Stadium – BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
15 – Ernst Happel Stadium – VIENNA, AUSTRIA
19 – Groupama Stadium – LYON, FRANCE
23 – Hippodrome ParisLongchamp – PARIS, FRANCE
27 – Veltins-Arena – GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
31 – Friends Arena – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

 


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The O2 confirms reopening plans

London’s The O2 has confirmed it will reopen tomorrow (25 February) – a week after closing due to damage caused by Storm Eunice.

An estimated 1,000 people were evacuated from the AEG-operated building last Friday after Eunice – one of the worst storms hit the UK in decades – ripped a hole in its exterior tent fabric.

Two dates by Dave, set for 21-22 February, have been rescheduled to 28 February/1 March but all other shows are proceeding as planned, starting with UB40 featuring Ali Campbell (25 February), after rigorous safety checks deemed the venue safe, secure and structurally sound.

The O2’s Entertainment District and visitor attraction, Up at The O2, will also reopen tomorrow, while Indigo at The O2, which is also located within the Greenwich complex, will reopen for live events from Saturday (26 February).

“Safety will always be our number one priority”

“Confirming our reopening after such a short closure is a huge testament to everyone who is working so hard to get us open again,” says Steve Sayer, VP & General Manager of The O2. “Safety will always be our number one priority and as a venue, we have always been proud of the standards we hold and delivering a best in class fan and artist experience. On behalf of The O2, I would like to thank our partners, the industry, our staff and all the fans for their support and patience.”

Although the hole in the fabric caused by Storm Eunice will remain visible for some time while a permanent solution is put into place, the damage is said to be limited to an isolated area within The O2’s Icon Outlet shopping centre. The section in question will remain closed while essential works continue.

The venue says a “monumental effort “has been made to secure the site over the past few days. The O2 has engaged a team of experts including the structural engineers who originally worked on the building design to address the required repairs. To allow guests who are visiting the arena to enter and exit the venue safely, protected from the elements, a new entrance tunnel has now been constructed by Entrance H.

The O2 will host the Country to Country festival from 11-13 March, and has other shows lined up for 2022 by the likes of Stormzy, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Celine Dion and Queen & Adam Lambert.

 


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AEG Global Partnerships hires Ingrid Petri

AEG Global Partnerships has hired seasoned industry executive Ingrid Petri as VP, portfolio sales.

Based out of AEG’s New York office, Petri will serve as a key member of the sales team, responsible for driving innovative business solutions for new partners and growing strategic relationships with companies investing across the AEG portfolio.

She will be tasked with building multi-property deals with major brands that span all facets of AEG’s business including venues such as Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena, LA LIVE, and music festivals including California’s Coachella and Stagecoach.

“Ingrid is both an outstanding and valuable addition to our Global Partnerships team as she brings a deep understanding of sports and entertainment along with a proven ability to secure world-class partnerships that deliver meaningful results for brands,” says Nick Baker, chief operating officer, AEG Global Partnerships.

“AEG’s dynamic portfolio of global properties provides truly unique opportunities for partner brands to create authentic and meaningful customer connections”

Petri brings with her more than two decades worth of experience in sales, brand development, and experiential marketing having held senior leadership roles across major sports leagues, teams, and media companies. Prior to joining AEG, she spent eight years with the National Basketball Association (NBA) as associate VP of business development and global partnerships.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to join AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company and its best-in-class leadership team,” says Petri. “Its dynamic portfolio of global properties provides truly unique opportunities for partner brands to create authentic and meaningful consumer connections – in a fundamentally transforming world. I’m also particularly proud to join a company that’s committed to driving positive change in the world through philanthropy, sustainability, equity and inclusion.”

 


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AEG earns perfect score in corporate equality index

AEG has earned 100% on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the 20th annual scorecard on LGBTQ+ workplace equality.

The CEI, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, evaluates US companies on criteria including non-discrimination policies, equitable employee benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families, supporting an inclusive culture, and corporate social responsibility.

AEG’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria earned a 100% ranking, along with 840 other major US businesses, and the designation as one of the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.

Jae Pi’ilani Requiro, VP of diversity, equity and inclusion at AEG, says: “At AEG, we are committed to fostering an inclusive culture throughout our global portfolio and believe that diversity, equity and inclusion in our workforce is paramount to our success.

“At AEG, diversity, equity and inclusion in our workforce is paramount to our success”

“I also want to acknowledge the great work of our Pride Employee Network Groups in the United States and Europe, whose unwavering commitment and passion continue to amplify AEG’s corporate initiatives to build a culture of belonging for our employees, fans and partners.”

Jay Brown, Human Rights Campaign senior VP of programmes, research and training, added: “When the Human Rights Campaign Foundation created the Corporate Equality Index 20 years ago, we dreamed that LGBTQ+ workers—from the factory floor to corporate headquarters, in big cities and small towns—could have access to the policies and benefits needed to thrive and live life authentically.

“We are proud that the Corporate Equality Index paved the way to that reality for countless LGBTQ+ workers in America and abroad. But there is still more to do, which is why we are raising the bar yet again to create more equitable workplaces and a better tomorrow for LGBTQ+ workers everywhere.”

 


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AEG sued over injury at California reggae festival

A man is suing AEG Presents in the US after allegedly being injured when he tripped on a cable at a reggae festival.

The claimant, Timothy Donnelly has accused Anschutz Entertainment Group and its AEG Presents and Goldenvoice subsidiaries of negligence and premises liability in relation to the alleged incident at the promoter’s One Love Cali Reggae Fest on 9 February 2020.

The Long Beach Post reports that Donnelly, who attended the event in Long Beach, California, for business reasons, is seeking unspecified damages for “physical and mental injuries” caused by tripping on black-taped cable.

The lawsuit states that part of the tape had raised, creating a “dangerous trap”

The lawsuit, filed with Los Angeles Superior Court, states that part of the tape had raised, creating “a dangerous trap to catch a pedestrian’s shoe or toe and cause that person to trip and fall”. It adds the tape was hard to see due to being stretched across a walkway of the same colour. Donnelly’s alleged injuries are depicted in a photo included in the suit.

AEG is yet to respond publicly to the claim.

The fifth annual One Love Cali Reggae Fest is a three day festival took place in Queen Mary Park from February 7-9 2020. Acts on the bill included Damian Marley, Lee “Scratch” Perry, The Wailers, Dirty Heads, Pato Banton, Sublime with Rome and Atmosphere.

 


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AEG’s Jim King: ‘Fans will expect more in 2022’

AEG Presents CEO of European Festivals Jim King says the live business will need to “up its game” in 2022 to meet fans’ raised expectations.

Though heartened by the success of the festivals that managed to go ahead in late summer ’21 following the Covid washout of the previous summer, the leading exec advises the bar will be set higher for the coming season.

“We must be careful,” he tells IQ. “The emergence from multiple lockdowns created a unique demand that is unlikely to repeat in the same way.

“Fans will expect more in 2022 than they accepted in 2021. We will see an increasing upturn in expectation from fans as the year plays out and they have been to more and more shows and there will be a need for the industry to up its game to keep fans attending and buying more tickets in the later part of the year.”

“For some artists and events, 2022 has a risk of being a hangover from the pandemic rather than the strong return the industry needs”

Highlighting the potential problems for tours and festivals over the next 12 months, King points to the number of headline tours rescheduled from 2020/21 into 2022 – an issue set to be further exacerbated by the ongoing disruption to the circuit in Q1 ’22.

“Many of the sales cycles sit on top of each other and in many cases, also sit on top of the festivals that the artist is also appearing on,” he says. “Ultimately, tour and festival announcements need to be carefully coordinated, but if an artist normally sells 5,000 tickets in a market per cycle, then packaging 10,000 or more tickets around a festival play all in the same market in one year is going to be a challenge, and some artists and events will suffer.

“At some point there is likely to be fatigue between fans and certain artists, resulting in some events experiencing lower sales and/or higher non-attendance. If not managed, then for some artists and events, 2022 has a risk of being a hangover from the pandemic rather than the strong return the industry needs.”

AEG’s flagship UK concert series, BST Hyde Park, was cancelled for the second year in succession in 2021, but will return with a bumper line-up this summer. The London-based festival is to take place across two weeks from 24 June to 10 July, with concerts from Elton John (24 June), Eagles (26 June), Duran Duran (10 July), Pearl Jam (8–9 July) and, in a huge coup, Adele (1–2 July).

“With the volume of shows in play, fans will not respond favourably if their expectations are not being met”

The promoter’s All Points East staple was able to take place in London’s Victoria Park last August and its 2022 edition is set over two weekends from 19-20 and 25-28 August with headliners Gorillaz, The Chemical Brothers, Tame Impala, The National and Disclosure.

AEG’s French festival, Rock en Seine (ReS), meanwhile, has swelled to a four-day format and will be headlined by Stromae, Tame Impala and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds from 25–28 August in Domaine National de Saint-Cloud.

King has previously explained the company paused its pre-pandemic plans for new events in favour of focusing on rejuvenating established festivals. But as the industry gears up for its first proper summer season since 2019, he retains high hopes of a strong return.

“Overall, I am positive for the summer,” concludes King. “AEG has a fantastic series of festivals on sale with amazing headliners, but the ball is in our court to deliver great fan experiences, and with the volume of shows in play, fans will not respond favourably if their expectations are not being met.”

Read the full interview with King in IQ 107, out now.

 


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