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Live Nation, 88rising add to Asia festival boom

Live Nation and 88rising are the latest promoters to announce new events in Asia, buoying a festival boom on the continent.

The news comes shortly after Rolling Loud announced plans to expand its hip-hop franchise to Thailand in 2023, and Lollapalooza revealed intentions to launch in Mumbai early next year.

Live Nation’s contribution to the uptick is a one-day urban festival in Tokyo, Japan, in collaboration with the country’s leading promoter Creativeman.

Tonal Tokyo will take place at the Ariake Arena (cap. 15,000) on 29 October this year, featuring a mix of domestic and international acts.

Charli XCX, Jamie xx, Years & Years and Lany are among the artists slated to perform across the main arena and the sub arena.

“We aim to create a new-generational music festival that brings together the diverse sounds and colours of Tokyo”

“This autumn, a new urban festival will be born in our Tokyo. Tonal means ‘timbre’ or ‘colour’. We aim to create a new-generational music festival that brings together the diverse sounds and colours of Tokyo and sends them out from Tokyo to the world,” says the event’s organisers.

Tickets for Tonal Tokyo go on sale on 3 September, with general admission billed at ¥16,500 (€123) and VIP tickets going for ¥30,000 (€224).

Elsewhere, Asian-American music powerhouse 88rising is preparing to bring its US-festival Head in the Clouds to Jakarta, Indonesia, this winter.

The festival will take place at Community Park PIK2 on 3 and 4 December, featuring performances from “artists around the world” – though the line-up is yet to be announced.

Head in the Clouds Jakarta will follow the California edition on 10 and 11 August, which is co-produced with AEG Presents.

Jackson Wang, Jay Park, Rich Brian, MILLI, Chung Ha, eaJ and Bibi are among the artists slated to perform in Los Angeles.

 


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Lollapalooza India to debut in 2023

Lollapalooza has announced it is expanding to India, with the inaugural edition set for Mumbai from 28-29 January 2023.

Lollapalooza India will showcase both global stars and local talent and will mark the first time the event has been held in Asia.

Offering two days of music across four stages as well as culinary selections, art and fashion, line-up and ticket information will be released soon.

“The music of India is transcendental, it draws our spirits East,” says Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell. “Lollapalooza is an instrument for unity, peace, and education utilising the universal languages of music and art to find common ground.”

Lollapalooza India is being produced by Farrell, WME, C3 Presents and India’s BookMyShow, and means the brand has now grown to eight countries on four continents, including editions in the US, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France and Sweden.

“We are excited to introduce fans to an entirely new festival experience”

“Lollapalooza has always been about exploring boundaries, musically and geographically,” says C3 Presents partner Charlie Walker. “We are excited to introduce fans to an entirely new festival experience that has been a significant rite of passage for millions of music fans around the world for more than three decades.”

BookMyShow is owned and operated by Big Tree Entertainment and is described as “India’s leading entertainment destination”. The company has brought international stars such as U2, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Justin Bieber to the market over the past few years.

“BookMyShow is proud to bring Lollapalooza to India – making it the eighth country and the fourth continent to do so,” says the firm’s founder and CEO Ashish Hemrajani. “With a mix of some stellar Indian talent and global artists coming together on the same stage, we expect nothing short of magic.”

Launched in 2007, BookMyShow has evolved from an online ticketing platform for movies to end-to-end management of live entertainment events including concerts, theatrical productions and sport.

 


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Rolling Loud heading to Thailand in 2023

Rolling Loud, the world’s biggest hip-hop festival franchise, will plant its flag in Thailand next year.

The expansion was announced via Rolling Loud’s Twitter account on Tuesday (26 July), with a caption reading: “Rolling Loud Thailand. See you 2023”. Details on the festival’s lineup, location, dates and tickets are yet to be announced.

The festival’s foray into Thailand will mark its first official event in Asia after a failed attempt at venturing into Hong Kong in 2019. The Hong Kong edition was scheduled to take place in October 2019 but was cancelled due to the city’s ongoing riots and protests at the time.

Rolling Loud Hong Kong would have been headlined by Migos and Wiz Khalifa with additional performances from the likes of Playboi Carti, Smokepurpp, Ski Mask The Slump God and more.

The festival’s foray into Thailand will mark its first official event in Asia

Founded in 2015, Rolling Loud has previously expanded from its flagship Miami festival to launch in cities including Los Angeles, New York and Sydney.

Earlier this month, Rolling Loud made its European debut in Portugal. Headlined by J Cole, A$AP Rocky and Future, the Live Nation-backed event was held on Praia Da Rocha Beach, Portimão, in the Algarve. The Portuguese spin-off was originally set for the summer of 2020 before being called off due to the pandemic.

In addition, Rolling Loud is expanding to Canada for the first time with headliners Dave, Future and Wizkid at Ontario Place, Toronto from 9-11 September. Its New York edition, meanwhile, is lined up for Queens Citi Field from 23–25 September, headed by Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Future.

Alongside its sister events, the brand also joined forces with the Netherlands’ Woo Hah! hip-hop festival to launch Woo Hah! x Rolling Loud at Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek. Held from 1–3 July, acts included J Cole, Future, Dave and Roddy Ricch.

 


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TEG announces formation of TEG Europe

Australasian live entertainment powerhouse TEG has announced the formation of TEG Europe, consolidating the company’s UK-based operations into a single entity.

Based out of London and Bristol, TEG Europe comprises five different divisions: TEG Live Europe, TEG Venues, Propaganda, Ticketek and Ovation.

TEG Live Europe includes the former TEG MJR touring business, which has worked with artists including Snoop Dogg, Sia, Hans Zimmer, 50 Cent, Tom Jones, and Culture Club.

TEG Venues includes 10 owned, operated, co-promoted, and programmed venues throughout the UK, including Tramshed (cap. 1,000) in Cardiff, XOYO (800) in London and The Mill (1,000) in Birmingham.

Propaganda, the UK’s leading indie rock & roll nightclub brand, includes fifteen weekly events across the country, as well as promoted events in the US, Australia, Brazil and Ibiza.

Ticketek, which has 40+ years’ experience ticketing major international events and partnering with some of the world’s best venues, was introduced into the UK in 2020 and already works with some of the country’s premier venues.

“Today’s news represents a crucial milestone in the expansion of TEG and positions us for further growth across Europe”

And Ovation, TEG’s data science and analytics business, provides sports organisations, venues, promoters, content creators, media and tech partners with analytics, data science, research, personalisation, and advanced digital marketing.

TEG already has a significant presence in the UK and Europe, having acquired Bristol-based promoter and venue operator MJR Group in 2019. According to TEG, the company already promotes more than 2,000 shows annually in the country and on the continent.

TEG CEO Geoff Jones says: “Today’s news represents a crucial milestone in the expansion of TEG’s successful integrated live entertainment model into the vibrant UK market and positions us for further growth across Europe.

“By combining these businesses into a single customer-focused operation, we are well positioned to work with new and existing industry partners in the UK and Europe to help grow their businesses while continuing our own growth in the region.”

Concert promotion, ticketing and technology firm TEG operates out of seven countries worldwide with offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK.

The group includes TEG Live, TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, Laneway Festival, TEG Rockefeller, Handsome Tours, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation.

 


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Veteran promoter Colleen Ironside passes

The international touring business is mourning the death of veteran promoter Colleen Ironside.

An ILMC regular, Ironside was MD of Hong Kong-based pan-Asian touring and event promotion company Live Limited, which she founded in the late 1990s and revived in 2010 following a five-year stint with Live Nation.

News of her passing at the age of 69 last Friday was announced on social media. In a Facebook post, Jasper Donat, co-founder and CEO of Asian live and digital media company Branded, described Ironside as a “magnificent human” and “one of the longest serving, most respected (and feared) promoters in Asia”.

“There is and was only one Colleen”

“Beyond sad, gutted and shocked to hear that the absolute legend Colleen Ironside has passed away at home,” he said. “She worked with everyone. She got Mick Jagger to play Angie for her at Harbourfest. She put Bob Dylan in Vietnam. She was Elton John’s promoter whenever he was here. And the list goes on forever.

“She was indestructible. She gave Chuggi [Chugg Entertainment’s Michael Chugg] a run for the Swear Jar. She will be smoking Marlboro Lites in Heaven. There is and was only one Colleen.”

Ironside started out as an agent for Australia’s Harbour Premier Agency and went on to set up APA Booking Agency, where she worked with acts including INXS, before heading to Frontier Asia to tour artists such as REM, Pearl Jam and Tom Jones across the region.

“Colleen Ironside was an inspiration and a joy to know”

Launching Live Limited in 1999, she staged tours by the Rolling Stones, Elton John, David Bowie, Coldplay, No Doubt, Sting, Pet Shop Boys and Deep Purple, among others. Joining Live Nation as SVP of booking, pan-Asia, in 2005, she managed LN’s joint-ventures in Beijing and Shanghai in addition to booking tours for the likes of Coldplay, Elton John, Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera.

Neil Thompson, CEO of Thailand-based Live Nation Tero and DMD of Tero Entertainment, is compiling a book full of Ironside anecdotes in celebration of her life.

“This will be compiled and given away to those attending the funeral or sent to those who could not attend,” he wrote on Facebook. “So would kindly ask everyone who want to participate by sending me your best Anecdote and pics of Colleen to my email address before the 1st of August , this will allow us time to compile and produce. My email address is [email protected] Please share this post so we can inform as many of her friends as possible.”

“Colleen was one of a kind and we all have great stories and experiences with her”

He added: “Colleen was a one of a kind and we all have great stories and experiences with her, so looking forward to receiving yours. We are aiming for the funeral to take place in Bangkok on 12-14 August, we will confirm arrangements this week. So those who are traveling from overseas can work on your travel arrangements, please let us know if you are attending.”

Tributes have continued to pour in from across the music business on social media.

“I was so shocked to learn of the passing of my dear friend Colleen Ironside,” said UTA global head of touring Neil Warnock. “She was an absolute legend when the word legend has been so abused! Working in markets rarely explored from India to Thailand, China and throughout Asia where few if any had ventured.

“You never messed with Colleen, her surname said it all!”

“Our adventures with Michael Cohl on the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels tour through Asia were always to be reminisced over whenever we met. Early days with Uriah Heep and Deep Purple was proper frontier land shows. Yet she never flustered just dealt with every problem as ‘you know it’s fine’. Equally, you never messed with Colleen, her surname said it all.

“How I will miss her. Her legendary cough will be heard throughout the realms of wherever she is!”

Midas Promotions owner Michael Hosking said: “RIP to one of the sadly diminishing group of promoter legends. There won’t be another like you. RIP – see you on the flip side.”

CAA agent Emma Banks said she was “devastated” by Ironside’s passing. “Colleen Ironside was an inspiration and a joy to know. Can’t really believe the news,” she wrote.

Live Nation promoter Phil Bowdery posted: “A true legend and will be sadly missed,” while Concord Music’s Kim Frankiewicz said: “I am so, so sad… Just devastating.”

David Loiterton of Primary Wave Asia Pacific said: “I’ve known Colleen since the late 80s when we worked together on her own agency in Australia, APA. Then again and again in Asia when she set up Live and then joined Live Nation then went indie again. She was the same then as the last time I saw her before Covid, she never changed and I thought she was indestructible. Rest well Colleen.”

“Beyond the tough exterior, she was the most wonderful person”

“Another larger than life character gone,” wrote Riverman Group MD Dave Mclean. “She was a definite ‘one off’, met her a few times in Bangkok and Singapore, did lots of amazing artists in difficult places.”

SWAT Enterprises founder Stuart Watson said: “Shocked and saddened by this news. During SWAT’s early years in the 90s Colleen’s assistance in identifying suitable venues to showcase the acts we represented, played a vital role in their establishment Asia-wide.”

Universal Music Group South East Asia CEO Calvin Wong said: “Beyond the tough exterior, she is the most wonderful person. I enjoyed everything she taught me in the two years as our live consultant. She was definitely the master of the class.”

Donat added that plans were afoot to remember Ironside at the upcoming Music Matters event in Singapore in September.

 


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Live Nation partners on inaugural MetaMoon fest

Live Nation is partnering with Hong Kong-based Graceful Media on the inaugural MetaMoon Music Festival – an event designed to showcase Asian talent and culture.

The “single day festival and cultural experience” will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday 26 November.

The debut festival will feature performers from Asia, including many who will be making their US debut. Lay Zhang, from K-pop super group EXO, will headline alongside 9m88, Karencici, ØZI, and Sury Su, with more artists still to be announced. MC Jin will be hosting the evening.

Graceful Media founder Grace Chen says the intention was to create a platform in the US for Asian and Asian American artists.

“Live Nation is committed to creating endless opportunities to connect artists of all genres and backgrounds with their fans”

“There is a great need for stronger Asian representation in pop culture and in the media, and the mission of MetaMoon Music Festival is to give artists the ability to shine from a prominent stage, in the heart of Brooklyn. Now more than ever, music is truly a global language, and talent, no matter where they come from, will resonate with fans across cultures if given the opportunity to share their passion and creativity.”

“Live Nation is committed to creating endless opportunities to connect artists of all genres and backgrounds with their fans,” says Geoff Gordon, regional president, Live Nation Northeast. “The inaugural MetaMoon Music Festival will inspire and create new and exciting opportunities for many of today’s Asian artists, from both here and abroad, to shine brightly, and engage their fans in this epic and unforgettable event.”

New York City has the largest Asian-American population in the US, accounting for almost 15% of the city’s population.

“Since opening our doors in 2012, Barclays Center has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry, bringing countless fans and artists together in the heart of Brooklyn,” adds Laurie Jacoby, EVP and chief entertainment officer at BSE Global, parent company of Barclays Center. “Our goal is for MetaMoon Music Festival to highlight the importance of the Asian community while simultaneously celebrating the diverse and exciting culture of our city.”

 


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Live Nation launches in Philippines with MMI deal

Live Nation has launched in the Philippines following its acquisition of promoter Music Management International (MMI).

MMI has brought the likes of Coldplay, U2, Shawn Mendes, Blackpink, The Chainsmokers, Maroon 5, One Direction, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Backstreet Boys to the country’s capital Manila in recent years.

In the wake of the deal, which signals Live Nation’s further expansion across Asia, MMI boss Rhiza Pascua has been appointed to the role of MD of Live Nation Philippines.

“Rhiza has put the Philippines firmly on the global touring map,” says Roger Field, president of Live Nation Asia Pacific. “We have a long-standing and successful relationship with MMI and the launch of Live National Philippines is a the natural next step in our committed growth in the Asia Pacific region.”

“MMI has delivered industry leading world-class service to attract the biggest and best talent to the Philippines”

The companies are long-term collaborators, having entered into a partnership to promote concerts in the Philippines back in 2014.

“MMI has delivered industry-leading world-class service to attract the biggest and best talent to the Philippines,” adds Pascua.

“Through the launch of Live Nation Philippines, the sky’s the limit. We look forward to bringing even more of the globe’s biggest stars and connecting fans with the artists they love and the magic of live.”


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88rising to host global livestream festival

Asian-American music powerhouse 88rising is holding a global livestream festival to celebrate the Year of the Tiger (2022).

Double Happiness will feature exclusive performances from artists across the world including Jackson Wang, MINO, Woosung, Audrey Nuna, Stephanie Poetri, Warren Hue, Seori, MILLI, Adawa, Alex Porat, Mỹ Anh, Shayiting EL, Youngohm and Yuzhen.

The broadcast can be watched via Facebook, YouTube, and 88rising Radio on SiriusXM on 4 February at 19:00 PT, and donations from the stream will support the Asian Mental Health Collective.

Asia Rising Together attracted 5 million viewers and was recognised with a Gold Shorty Award

The live stream follows the success of the group’s 2021 virtual event Asia Rising Together which attracted 5 million viewers and was recognised with a Gold Shorty Award.

The year before, 88rising held the Asia Rising Forever livestream which became the #1 trending topic on both YouTube and Twitter and drew 8.5 million viewers.

It was recently announced that 88rising will be presenting Head in the Clouds Forever at this year’s Coachella in what has been touted as “a historic, live experience culmination of what 88rising represents”.

88rising worked with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice last November to produce the group’s LA-based music festival, Head in the Clouds.

 


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TEG appoints Tane Oakes as CTO

Sydney-based live entertainment group TEG has promoted Tane Oakes to chief technology officer.

Oakes has more than nine years’ experience at TEG and its ticketing business Ticketek, transforming the customer experience for live events and working with ‘cutting-edge’ technologies.

Geoff Jones, group chief executive of TEG, comments: “Tane has been the lynchpin of TEG and Ticketek’s technology transformation in the past decade as we have expanded our presence into 30 countries around the world with more than 40 live entertainment brands underpinned by an unrivalled digital ticketing and data platform.

“Tane is a dynamic and talented leader, and we are thrilled that he is stepping up to this critical role as live entertainment and TEG prepare to come roaring back in 2022 and we continue our growth into new markets.”

“Tane has been the lynchpin of TEG and Ticketek’s technology transformation in the past decade”

Oakes added: “I am honoured to take on this role, which is the culmination of many years working with TEG’s talented team of deep technology specialists. We will continue to invest in technology to continue to deliver customer-centric innovation to support our expanding business from Australia and New Zealand into South-East Asia, the UK, The USA and Europe.

“I am excited to be able to offer other young technology professionals their own career-enhancing opportunities for personal and professional growth working as part of a high-performing and diverse team in the most exciting industry in the world.”

Oakes will report to Ian Ball, TEG’s COO.

Concert promotion, ticketing and technology firm, TEG, is headquartered in Sydney and operates out of seven countries worldwide with offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK.

 


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Asia-based execs predict “fruitless” start to 2022

Industry executives in Asia are sceptical about what’s in store for 2022, warning that the ‘groundhog day’ caused by enduring restrictions could long continue.

Speaking in the new issue of IQ, Michael Hosking of Midas Promotions – a leading promoter in South East Asia –  has predicted “another fruitless first three quarters in Asia”.

“But I’m hoping that we can have some shows in the final quarter of 2022… as long as we don’t get hit by the variant,” adds Hosking.

Justin Sweeting, co-founder of Hong Kong’s biggest music festival Clockenflap, shared a similar outlook on the year ahead.

“Stop. Start. Stop. Start. The stuttering groundhog day roundabout continues. I just hope we can get the proper opportunity to show that not only can events take place, in many senses, they’re actually the safest places to be in the city with testing and precautions in place,” he says.

Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival last took place in 2018, with the final pre-coronavirus edition (2019) cancelled at the last minute due to pro-democracy protests in the former British territory, which has been a special administrative region of communist China since 1997.

The 2020 and 2021 editions were both cancelled due to strict restrictions on large-scale outdoor events.

“I’m guessing it will be five or six years before attending two concerts a month will be back on the agenda for most people”

In the absence of the flagship festival, the Clockenflap Presents team organised a one-day festival, Long Time No See, last August in Mongkok.

Sweeting says that returning to live was his biggest highlight of 2021: “Seeing what live returns can look like in real life and that it is possible to hold events, both large and small, within a pandemic if the suitable precautions and steps are taken.”

He hastens to point out that one of the biggest challenges the market currently faces is navigating the patchwork of restrictions and requirements across the region.

“If an artist is up for spending quarantine time, there’s a captured market available! Otherwise, a challenge we face across Asia as a region is that different countries are opening up at different times and rates with different requirements,” he explains.

With that in mind, Hosking says it could take half a decade for the industry to return to 2019 levels of activity.

“I’m guessing that following the ‘dead cat bounce’ it will be five or six years before attending two concerts a month will be back on the agenda for most people – especially those who’ve not earned and saved on full salaries these past two years. I hope I’m WRONG!” he says.

“The pandemic is both dynamic and endemic and so isn’t going to just disappear any time,” adds Sweeting.

 


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