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CTS launches Singapore-based Eventim Live Asia

Leading international promoter and ticket agency CTS Eventim has announced the launch of Eventim Live Asia, an expansion of its European promoter alliance Eventim Live with a focus on China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The new company, headquartered in Singapore, is led by CEO Jason Miller, who, as senior vice-president of international and emerging markets for Live Nation, led that company’s touring activity across its Asia and the Middle East offices until he stepped down last year.

In addition to Eventim Live Asia, Eventim Live, formed in early 2019, includes 36 promoters in 15 countries, the most recent addition being Matt Schwarz’s DreamHaus in Germany. The launch of Eventim Live Asia, a joint venture with Miller, follows a similar tie-up with promoter Michael Cohl in North America, first announced last year.

“Following on from our joint venture with Michael Cohl in the US market, the launch of Eventim Live Asia marks another key milestone in achieving our strategic objective of offering tours and ticketing around the world,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of Bremen-based CTS Eventim. “This is a further sign that, as announced, CTS Eventim will emerge from the coronavirus crisis with renewed strength.”

 

Frithjof Pils, managing director of Eventim Live, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Jason Miller to the team. He has extensive experience in our industry in Asia at the highest level and has an excellent network of contacts. He will enable Eventim Live Asia to bring amazing concerts by leading international artists to fans in this major world region. We also want to intensify our work with local artists going forward.”

With Live Nation, Miller produced 80% of the highest-grossing Asian tours for western artists in the past decade, including Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Madonna, Maroon 5 and U2. Prior to joining LN Nation, Miller was an agent at CAA, where he worked with high-profile clients including Beyoncé, Jimmy Fallon, Kanye West and Stevie Wonder.

“The pandemic has created unprecedented global demand for live music and shared experience. With Asia representing over half of the world’s population and its fastest-growing middle class, there is no better time or place to be launching an event promotion company,” says Miller.

“Eventim Live’s tremendous resources, vision, experience, and respect across the live event industry make it the perfect joint venture partner.”

 


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Michael Rapino: ‘Live Nation’s US biz is fully reopen’

Live Nation Entertainment’s US concert business is now “fully open,” according to CEO Michael Rapino.

“We’re very excited about the American market. Seventy per cent of our business is going to be in the US and the UK. Those two markets seem on track,” he told CNBC on Thursday (8 July).

In the States, Live Nation has already hit a major post-restrictions milestone with its full-capacity show at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden (cap. 20,000), performed by the Foo Fighters, which was the venue’s first concert since March 2020.

Continuing on an upward trajectory, Live Nation will host 30 US-wide amphitheatre tours at full capacity beginning this week, according to the CEO.

Later in July, the live entertainment giant will host the Rolling Loud festival in Miami – expected to bring in around 200,000 people – and a further 10–15 more festivals this summer.

“We’re going to make sure that we don’t [put on] four shows in one week and you’ve got to pick one”

In the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call in May, it reported that US festivals including Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy and Rolling Loud festivals all sold out in record times at full capacity.

The company also reported an increasingly busy 2022, after the number of major tours for next year increased by double-digits from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Addressing concerns about whether the backlog of concerts caused by the pandemic will result in an oversaturated market, Rapino told CNBC that artists will not perform “unless they have the weekends, and the right cities and the right markets”.

“We’re going to make sure that we don’t [put on] four shows in one week and you’ve got to pick one,” the CEO said. “We’ll spread those over a couple of years and a couple of markets. So we look at the pent-up demand as lots of availability, but we’re also going to make sure the consumer has time to buy it.”

While the US surges ahead, Rapino expects Live Nation’s European market to reopen by the autumn, and the Asian market to return in 2022 due to a delay in Covid vaccinations. “It’ll be a record 2022 and 2023,” he said.

 


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TEG MJR and Snoop Dogg sign exclusive touring deal

TEG MJR, the UK-based promotion division of Asia-Pacific live powerhouse TEG, has secured an exclusive five-year deal with hip-hop heavyweight, Snoop Dogg.

Under the multi-million-dollar deal, TEG MJR will promote all of Snoop Dogg’s tours globally outside of North America, beginning with dates for Snoop’s 2022 world tour.

The European leg of the tour kicks off on 20 February 2022 and includes rescheduled sold-out shows at London’s 02 Arena (cap. 21,000), Dublin’s 3 Arena (cap. 13,000) and Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome Arena (cap. 17,000).

TEG MJR CEO Richard Buck penned the agreement with Snoop’s international agents Julian O’Brien and MPI’s Minneapolis-based partner Nabil Ghebre, who have been working closely together with Bobby D (Aaka Robert Dreislen), who is at the helm of Snoop Dogg’s operations in Los Angeles.

Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, says: “Snoop Dogg is a hip hop pioneer and one of its greatest live performers. He has won an astonishing number of awards and nominations and we are thrilled to be able to bring the man and his music live to fans the world over for the next five years.”

“We are really excited in helping him bring both his new music and back catalogue to life with this touring partnership”

Richard Buck, CEO of TEG MJR, says: “Snoop is one of the most respected and prolific hip hop artists on the planet. We are really excited in helping him bring both his new music and back catalogue to life with this touring partnership.”

Bobby D, Snoop Dogg’s manager and co-owner of Uncle Snoop’s Army, says: “We are excited about this five-year international partnership with TEG and to continuously come overseas to connect with our fans around the world.”

Uncle Snoop’s Army is a multi-million-dollar LA-based music and entertainment company representing hip-hop artists.

The first dates on Snoop Dogg’s world tour (including rescheduled dates for the UK, Ireland and Amsterdam) are:

20 Feb 2022 – Telenor Arena, Oslo, NO
21 Feb 2022 – Bella Center Kongreshal, Copenhagen, DK
23 Feb 2022 – Koepi Arena , Oberhausen, DE
24 Feb 2022 – Sportpaleis Arena , Antwerp, NL
25 Feb 2022 – Max Schmeling Halle , Berlin, DE
27 Feb 2022 – Accor Arena, Paris, FR
28 Feb 2022 – Ziggo Dome Arena, Amsterdam NL
02 Mar 2022 – SSE Hydro Arena, Glasgow UK
03 Mar 2022 – Resorts World Arena, Birmingham UK
05 Mar 2022 – AO Arena, Manchester UK
07 Mar 2022 – First Direct Arena, Leeds UK
08 Mar 2022 – 02 Arena, London UK
09 Mar 2022 – 3 Arena, Dublin IE
11 Mar 2022 – INEC Arena, Kerry IE
12 Mar 2022 – SSE Arena, Belfast UK

 


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WME’s Apac head on why the future is Asian

In 2015, WME Music expanded its global footprint by acquiring Australian indie powerhouse Artist Voice, giving the agency a dedicated Asia-Pacific (Apac) division based in Sydney.

Five years on, the Apac office serves as an increasingly important gateway to Asia, with over 100 WME-IMG staff looking after more than 2,000 artists in the region, including Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Lewis Capaldi, King Princess, 6lack, Summer Walker, Crowded House, the Kid Laroi, Angus and Julia Stone and Chet Faker.

Here, Artist Voice CEO Brett Murrihy – now a partner at WME and head of Asia-Pacific for music – speaks about the agency’s Asia-Pacific growth, opportunities in the region, the benefits of not “outsourcing” its Asian business and, of course, the evolving coronavirus situation…


IQ: Congratulations on five years! How are things down under? It seems you’ve bounced back quickly from Covid-19…
BM: Without a doubt, the Asia-Pacific region has dealt with the curbing of Covid numbers better than any other territory. And government discussions are already taking place around travel bubbles between Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

So while Europe and America wait for a vaccine, Apac is open for business?
Well, depending on how quickly a vaccine is made available, it is conceivable that, with those number of territories open and available in the touring calendar, major artists will look to open their world tours in this part of the world.

This additional focus and touring will only continue to solidify the region as the one with the most opportunity and upside. Australian events are already at 75% capacity, and we have just sold out a 12-date arena tour run of New Zealand for Crowded House.

Beyond Covid-19, what are the unique challenges and opportunities working in the Asia-Pacific region?
The Asian territories are not homogenous – we face the challenges of multiple currencies, cultures, languages, religions, visas, tax, marketing mediums, streaming services and ticketing providers. With the rising middle class in Asia and their increased disposable income, many Asian countries are progressing through a “youth bulge” which presents us with a myriad of opportunities to accelerate artist development. The westernisation and youth of economic powerhouses China and India makes the territory the most exciting from both a domestic and international touring standpoint.

Our Apac business is heavily based around trust, relationships and respect. This is not something that happens overnight; it is ever-evolving and in a constant state of flux. These parameters couldn’t grow without physical proximity and attention towards building a long-term touring market. I feel the need to specifically cultivate and maintain these relationships with clients with a hands-on approach. For myself, learning Mandarin over the past 18 months is a part of the cultural integration, as well a mark of respect for the importance of the China market for the future of our artists and their careers.

“I feel it is only a matter of time before the other global major agencies establish local operations here”

It depends on the territory, then.
A one-size-fits-all approach to Apac does not work. There are unique nuances and differences in each individual country within the market, both from a cultural and business perspective. These differences must be understood and honoured if you wish to make real impact and avoid unnecessary costs. For example, a global streaming deal that is produced in the UK and sold to separate entities across Apac produces different withholding tax treatments for each jurisdiction that must be fully understood by the artist management in order to avoid costly errors. As an agency, these unique challenges have become our opportunities.

What does an artist need to do to make it big in Asia?
From an artist perspective, there are significant opportunities for those artists who are willing to spend time and attention specifically towards Apac. This includes studying and understanding each market and how they should be treated differently; understanding how the touring markets work, and when/how often they should be visited; understanding how the different local social media, DSPs, radio, TV and marketing works and how best to integrate into these areas in a meaningful way; and understanding how music releases should be approached, having informed and current knowledge of the local artists, and curating collaborations that will be organic and create a more localised and tailored approach.

This will lead to an understanding of the varied audiences musically and culturally, which will result in an improved result both professionally and financially for our artists.

Tell us about your local roster.
WME is extremely proud to represent 88rising globally, and the WME Asian roster includes Rich Brian, Joji, Niki, Jackson Wang, Higher Brothers, Stephanie Poetri, Keith Ape and Lexie Liu, to name a few. This year we also put together, in conjunction with 88risin,g the first Asian Head in the Clouds Festival in Jakarta, at Ji Expo, which had sold 20,000 tickets before the pandemic struck.

We also represent Mongolian artist the Hu and household- name Japanese rock band X Japan, who are doing incredible business globally, and South Korean artists Eric Nam, Epic High and Cat & Calmell, who likewise are generating a global following. Like everyone I’m sure, we are building relationships and A&R structure to be on the precipice of signing the next BTS, Blackpink, JJLin or Jay Chou out of Asia.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to Apac does not work”

Why base WME Music’s Apac operation in Australia instead of, say, Shanghai?
Apec the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, was founded by Australia and first operated from Canberra. Historically the Asian record labels have also been overseen and run out of Australia, and this year Live Nation have now followed WME’s lead in overseeing the Asia-Pacific operation from Melbourne, Australia. Operating in the same time zone and having the ability to work as a hub is a major advantage in being able to do business and confirm deals in real time. We have been able to confirm late cancellations or remaining festival slots through our availability and accessibility, and this has been significant.

It is also worth noting that many of the major Asian promoters, record executives and artists have schooling ties within Australia, giving a collective Asian consciousness and togetherness with Australian counterparts.

What are the benefits of having a dedicated Apac office?
Whereas many of our competitors outsource their Asian artist service capability to the individual promoters on each tour, the Apac time zone means that we are immersed in a region that has 60% of the world’s population in 48 countries and leads the world in mobile usage, content consumption and ecommerce.

WME is the only global agency in the Asia-Pacific market that is holistic with artist development strategy, though live touring, branding, fashion, film and TV, digital and sports. Most independent domestic agencies in Australia, meanwhile, don’t book internationally past Australia/New Zealand and only represent ‘local’ artist repertoires in live. This provides WME with a decided market advantage.

Do you see your rivals following suit?
Our Sydney office displays an upward trajectory, with consistent new signings and significant revenue growth, so with this successful footprint I feel it is only a matter of time before the other global major agencies establish local operations here. For us, it is about maintaining and increasing the advantage we have established for our global roster of artists in this incredibly important market. As a group, we now have in excess of twenty years of local knowledge, which is is current and constantly updated.

Aside from the increasing importance of the Apac market, how do you see the next five years shaping up?
WME plans to continue to build our footprint in the next five years, as I envisage a period of hypergrowth for our office. Pre-pandemic, our Q1 2020 was the biggest on record, and we have reason to be very buoyant on what our roster and future holds.

We are confident that we are able to sign the hottest talent in the world, as well as attract established artists looking to build on previous forays into Asia Pacific.

 


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Sydney-based Chugg Music opens new Asia office

Sydney-based Chugg Music, the artist services branch of Michael Chugg’s promotions company Chugg Entertainment, is opening a new office in Asia, spearheaded by Michael “Mick” De Lanty.

Australian expat De Lanty is a seasoned music industry executive based in Bangkok and has worked across the board, with roles in A&R, artist management, marketing, sales, publishing, promotions and brand development.

De Lanty spent 15 years with Sony Music Australia and he has also worked with independent labels in Asia and Australia, as well as in the UK.

The veteran will expand on the success of Chugg Music artists Sheppard, Lime Cordialeand Mia Rodriguez in the Asian region.

“Having been involved in many projects since the late 80s I am excited to actually be planting the Chugg Music flag in Asia,” says Michael Chugg.

“Andrew [Stone, co-founder of Chugg Music] and I are thrilled to announce that my long-time friend and colleague, Michael De Lanty, is running the operations from his Bangkok base. After five months testing the waters we have no doubt that this will be a great step forward for both Australian and Asian music.”

“Having been involved in many projects since the late 80s I am excited to actually be planting my flag in Asia”

Michael De Lanty says: “I am delighted to be working with Chugg, Andrew and their team, in launching Chugg Music Asia and very excited for the opportunity to help develop the careers in Asia of the formidable roster of artists that they have assembled, including Sheppard, Lime Cordiale, Mia Rodriguez, Casey Barnes, to name but a few.

It is an exciting period for music in Asia and no better time to introduce these incredible artists to Asian music lovers.”

Chugg Music Asia will aim to build strong platforms across the 12 major territories, which includes the world’s second-largest music market, Japan.

Chugg Entertainment was founded in 2000 by music industry pioneer Michael Chugg and has toured hundreds of major international acts including Dolly Parton, Coldplay, Radiohead, Elton John, Pearl Jam, Robbie Williams, Florence + The Machine throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Subsequently, Chugg Music was launched in 2012 with the help of Andrew Stone, offering management, label and publishing services.

 


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Electric Jungle promoter Boyi Zhou joins Live Nation

Live Nation Electronic Asia has appointed Boyi Zhou as chief marketing officer.

In the newly created position, Shanghai-based Zhou will lead the company’s marketing and partnerships teams, report to managing director Jim Wong.

Zhou joins Live Nation from Jungle Events, where he also served as CMO. In 2015 he co-founded Electric Jungle, south China’s first-ever electronic music festival, and has worked with international DJs including Martin Garrix, Skrillex, Excision, DJ Snake and Kaskade.

“Live Nation Electronic Asia has made great in-roads into China by introducing Creamfields to multiple cities and building dance music communities across Asia,” comments Wong. “By bringing the extremely talented Zhou on board, we will look to solidify our position in the region and work to diversify our artist touring and festival business to reach a broader audience.”

“By bringing the extremely talented Zhou on board, we will look to solidify our position in the region”

Since launching in 2017, Live Nation Electronic Asia has promoted and booked shows by more than 150 international artists in China, contributing to the growth of the Chinese dance music scene.

Highlights include editions of the UK-born festival Creamfields festival in China (Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai), Hong Kong, Taipei and Rangoon, and a two-night virtual festival with Asian DJs from its management company, Dancing Dragon, which attracted 220,000 fans in May.

“It is my great honour to join Live Nation Electronic Asia and be a part of the world’s leading live entertainment company,” says Zhou.

“With my industry knowledge and the company’s global network, I am confident we will be able to curate a series of unique music events and connect more fans with the world’s top artists, sharing electronic music culture in many more corners of the globe.”

 


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Taiwan revels in success of first post-Covid arena show

Taiwanese artist Eric Chou performed to a sold-out, full-capacity Taipei Arena (cap. 15,350) on 8 and 9 August, delivering Asia’s first post-Covid arena shows.

In July, the singer announced a series of four concerts in major arenas in Taiwan – including two upcoming dates at the 15,000-capacity Kaohsiung Arena on 5 and 6 September – which sold out in a quarter of an hour.

All attendees of the Tapei Arena shows were required to wear masks, undergo temperature checks upon entry, and provide identification that would facilitate contact tracing should the need arise. Pink medical masks and square alcohol wipes were provided.

“We were the first to do it during this Covid-19 situation, and there was a lot of preparation,” Chou told the South China Morning Post. “But the show went really well – every part was exactly like how I pictured it was going to be.”

The concerts come after the Taiwanese government lifted all limits on the number of people allowed to attend public gatherings, including cultural events, on 7 June, and removed the need for social distancing at concert halls and stadiums.

“The show went really well – every part was exactly like how I pictured it was going to be”

Taiwan has been praised worldwide for its response to the coronavirus crisis. The country, which has a population of more than 23 million, has recorded 479 cases of Covid-19 and only seven deaths. In early June, after no new locally transmitted cases were recorded for eight weeks, leading to the lifting of restrictions.

Taipei Arena has announced a number of concerts scheduled for the coming weeks, including Zhan Yawen’s 30th Anniversary Tour and the Folk 45 Summit.

The restart of arena shows comes following the Taiwan ministry of culture’s issuing of 2.1 million electronic cultural vouchers, worth NT$600 (€18) each, for tickets to concerts, art exhibitions and other cultural events, or to buy items at venues or culture-focused shops.

The NT$1.2 billion (€35.3m) programme aims to boost the cultural and arts sector and encourage people to attend cultural events as the Covid-19 situation subsides in Taiwan. The programme is expected to generate an estimated NT$5bn (€146.8m) for the sector.

Chou’s arena shows signal that Taiwan’s live music scene may return to something like normalcy sooner rather than later.


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StubHub shutters offices in Asia, Latin America

Secondary ticketing giant StubHub is closing down its offices in parts of Asia and Latin America, further reducing its workforce worldwide, the Guardian has reported.

In an email seen by the newspaper, employees were told that the closures “mean that we have to bid farewell to our colleagues in Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Hong kong, Taiwan and Korea”.

“This decision has not been made lightly, nor easily,” reads the email.

It is understood that fewer than 100 of StubHub’s 650-strong workforce are facing redundancy as a result of the closures. However, the company is also believed to be making further cuts to its staff based in Madrid, with team members being furloughed or working reduced hours.

“This decision has not been made lightly, nor easily”

A StubHub spokesperson tells IQ that it will continue to serve customers in Asia Pacific and Latin Amerca with the support of “core operational teams in Europe”.

The measures constitute another round of staff reductions for the secondary ticketer, which was acquired by Viagogo last year. StubHub furloughed around a third of its workforce earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and also saw the departure of its CEO, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy in May.

“While events will be among the last to return to normal following this pandemic, we’re confident in the industry’s ability to rebound,” says a StubHub spokesperson.

“For now, we continue to support our customers and partners and look forward to a time when we are able to return to the joy of live events and the special connections that come with them.”

 


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Rapid sell-out for Asia’s first post-Covid arena shows

Tickets for a series of four concerts featuring Taiwanese artist Eric Chou have sold out in a quarter of an hour, indicating demand is high for the region’s first arena shows since coronavirus restrictions began.

Chou is scheduled to perform on 8 and 9 August at the 15,350-capacity Taipei Arena and on 5 and 6 September at the 15,000-capacity Kaohsiung Arena, with tickets for all four Taiwan shows selling out in just 15 minutes after going on sale this weekend.

In Taiwan, the government lifted all limits on the number of people allowed to attend public gatherings, including cultural events, on 7 June, and removed the need for social distancing at concert halls and stadiums.

The concerts are the first to be held at the venues since coronavirus restrictions were put in place early this year.

A named ticket system is in place to facilitate track and trace at the shows, with fans asked to fill in their name and contact number on the ticket upon purchase, or just before entering the venue in the case of ticket transfers.

The restart of arena shows comes following the Taiwan ministry of culture’s issuing of 2.1 million electronic cultural vouchers, worth NT$600 (€18) each, for tickets to concerts, art exhibitions and other cultural events, or to buy items at venues or culture-focused shops.

Tickets for a series of four concerts featuring Taiwanese artist Eric Chou have sold out in a quarter of an hour

The NT$1.2 billion (€35.3m) programme aims to boost the cultural and arts sector and encourage people to attend cultural events as the Covid-19 situation subsides in Taiwan. The programme is expected to generate an estimated NT$5bn (€146.8m) for the sector.

Taiwan has been praised worldwide for its response to the coronavirus crisis. The country, which has a population of 23.78 million, has reported 455 cases of the virus and seven deaths.

Elsewhere in northeast Asia, Japan gave the go-ahead for 5,000-person indoor concerts earlier this month, although plans to remove an upper capacity limit at events altogether from 1 August may be halted due to a recent rise in infections.

Creativeman’s Supersonic festival – a replacement of its usual Summer Sonic event – is still scheduled to go ahead from 19 to 21 September in Tokyo and 19 to 20 September in Osaka, featuring acts including the 1975, Post Malone, Wu-Tang Clan, Liam Gallagher, Fatboy Slim, Black Eyed Peas, Kygo and Steve Aoki.

In South Korea, a recent spike in new cases in Seoul and neighbouring cities is hindering the resumption of large-scale events.

This week, a ban on events of over 5,000 people was put in place in the Sonpa district of Seoul, leading to the postponement of upcoming shows at the 15,000-capacity Olympic Gymnastics Arena, or KSPO Dome. Around 5,200 fans were expect to attend each of the 15 concerts planned for the arena in the next three weeks.

Photo: Gene Wang/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Japan to remove capacity limits on events in August

The live music business in Japan, which has felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic since February, could be up and running without capacity restrictions from 1 August, although social distancing requirements will remain in place.

Japan ended its state of emergency at the end of May, laying out plans for the country’s gradual reopening, including those for “mass gatherings”.

According to an estimate by entertainment service provider Pia, by the time of lifting the state of emergency, around 150,000 concerts had been cancelled in Japan, with a loss of 330 billion yen (€2.7 bn).



Concerts are now allowed to take place with up to 100 attendees at indoor venues and up to 200 if held outdoors.

From 19 June, the capacity limit will be increased to 1,000, further expanding to 5,000 from 10 July.

The live music business in Japan, which has felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic since February, could be up and running without capacity restrictions from 1 August

If the virus has been kept under control by the start of August, the government may remove capacity limitations, effectively allowing shows of any size to take place.

However, in order to comply with social distancing rules, indoor venues should still operate at no more than 50% of usual capacity. Organisers of outdoor events are advised to ensure a distance of two metres is maintained between attendees and staff “if possible”.

In Tokyo, the government is asking smaller live music venues to remain closed until it has completed stage three of its reopening plan. Currently in phase two of reopening, the city is allowing events of up to 100 people take place in larger venues.

In March, dance music promoter Mindgames urged bars and nightclubs to shut their doors to prevent the spread of the virus as venues, particularly those in Tokyo, were identified as high-risk spaces.

 


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