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New GM for Norwegian promoters’ association

Siri Haugan Holden has been named the new general manager of Norway’s promoters’ association, Norske Konsertarrangøre (NKA).

She joins the organisation from Balansekunst, an association of over 100 Norwegian art and cultural organisation working for an equal and diverse cultural life, where she was GM.

Haugan Holden will take up office on 1 January 2023, replacing Tone Østerdal who has held the top job since 2018.

“I am very happy for the trust and the opportunity to be involved in further developing Norske Kulturarrangøre’s industry-wide work together with the talented group of staff and board,” says Haugan Holden.

NKA has set a membership record this year, and today represents around 480 cultural organisers from all over Norway

“The long-term effects of the corona pandemic, in combination with large price increases and a troubled world situation, make this a demanding time for cultural organisers.

“In the face of changing framework conditions, it becomes important to hold on to the uniqueness and societal role of art and culture, and I look forward to being an active player for the members in the time to come. Tone Østerdal has made a formidable effort for both NKA and the cultural field during her term of office, so it is with awe that I take on the task.”

NKA chairman Trude Storheim adds: “We are very happy to have hired Siri Haugan Holden, and we look forward to working together for an expanded and stronger NKA in the future. Haugen Holden is highly skilled and her experience and background are perfect for further developing the organisation towards our vision of a sustainable organising field.”

NKA has set a membership record this year, and today represents around 480 cultural organisers from all over Norway.

 


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LIVE appoints Jon Collins as new CEO

LIVE, the voice of the UK’s live music and entertainment business, has today (5 April) appointed hospitality industry expert Jon Collins as its new chief executive officer.

Collins has been appointed following a 25-year career running representative organisations in the hospitality industry. His most recent role was as chairman of the Institute of Licensing and the National Licensing Forum.

He has also held roles including lead author for the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Night Time Commission for London and as a senior adviser to UK Hospitality, where Collins focused specifically on late night and music licensing issues.

Under his new role at LIVE, Collins’ focus will be driving progress on key issues ranging from boosting sustainability to creating an improved regulatory environment for the export and growth of the UK’s £4.5 billion live music industry.

Collins will also build on the umbrella group’s previous successes, which include improving the ability of musicians to tour post-Brexit and successfully lobbying government for funding and support to deal with the impacts of the pandemic.

“Our challenge is to ensure the gov, policymakers, and regulators fully understand the enormous value this industry creates”

LIVE recently secured multi-year funding, guaranteeing its continued support for the sector and allowing the development of a longer-term focus. This comes as the Association of British Orchestras become the 14th member to join LIVE.

Jon Collins, LIVE CEO, says: “Like millions across the UK, I am a passionate supporter of live music, from local gigs to stadium shows.

“I am delighted to take on this role representing an industry that is a powerful economic performer, catalyst for domestic and international tourism, and a source of soft power for the UK across the globe. Our challenge is to ensure government, policymakers, and regulators fully understand the enormous value this industry creates, and that they continue to support our work.”

Collins succeeds Greg Parmley, who led the body since its formation in 2020 and established LIVE as a thriving organisation representing the entire live music ecosystem.

Greg Parmley said: “It has been a true honour to lead LIVE over the past two years. Despite experiencing some of the most challenging issues our sector has faced in decades, the industry has consistently displayed the vibrancy, energy and resilience which is at the heart of live music.

“Jon showed himself to be the outstanding candidate, with the perfect blend of skills and experience”

“I look forward to remaining close to this work as Jon takes LIVE to the next exciting stage of its journey.”

LIVE Board says: “Greg has played such an important role in turning LIVE from an idea into a fully functioning lobbying organisation in just two years, and he will remain close to our work.

“With Greg returning to ILMC and IQ, we turned our attention to finding the right person to succeed him. Throughout this process, Jon showed himself to be the outstanding candidate, with the perfect blend of skills and experience to take forward LIVE’s ambition to protect and promote the work of the entire live music ecosystem, ensuring it remains one of the UK’s most prized cultural assets.”

Mark Pemberton, Association of British Orchestras, says: “The Association of British Orchestras is delighted to be joining LIVE as a demonstration of our support for its crucial work on behalf of everyone involved in live music. It’s been a tough two years, but at least one positive of the pandemic has been forging a stronger coalition of voices, enabling us to advocate more effectively to Government and policymakers the need to support the UK’s successful live music industry across all genres.”

 


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Arena Network appoints new booking director

Arena Network, the association of US arenas and large theatres, has appointed Justin Kujawa as booking director.

In his new role, Kujawa, who joins from Nederlander Concerts in Los Angeles, will focus on identifying and pursuing national and regional bookings for the association’s 40-plus member venues.

Before joining Nederland Concerts, where he booked some of the premiere concert venues in California (including the Greek Theatre, Vina Robles Amphitheater and the Forum), Jujawa worked for 17 years at Live Nation, starting his career in operations at Deer Creek Music Center in Indianapolis and working his way up to talent buyer.

“I’m looking forward to driving more content to our venues”

“My years of experience as a talent buyer in many different markets throughout the country has provided me with a unique perspective to help Arena Network’s venue members,” says Kujawa.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to build strong relationships with agents and promoters alike, and I’m looking forward to driving more content to our venues and getting to know many new markets and venue execs in the process.”

“We are thrilled to have Justin joining our team,” adds Arena Network CEO Andrew Prince. “As we all navigate this unprecedented time and venues welcome back fans, having someone with his experience and knowledge will be an incredible asset to all our members. We couldn’t be happier to have Justin with us as we continue to grow our membership and services.”

 


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Eventim’s Henk Schuit appointed head of VVEM

The board of the Association of Event Makers (VVEM) has appointed Henk Schuit, managing director of Eventim Netherlands, as chairman.

Schuit succeeds Hèrald van de Bunt, MD of Arnhem stadium GelreDome, who stepped down in in April 2021 after 16 years at the helm of the Dutch industry association, which represents promoters, festivals, venues and suppliers.

Schuit began his music industry career in 1991, initially at a record label, Provogue, and later moved into ticketing. He has been MD of CTS Eventim Nederland since 2005 and a VVEM member since 2009.

 

He is also chairman of the jury of the Dutch Live Entertainment Production Awards (DLEPA) and treasurer of the Weet Waar Je Koop! campaign against secondary ticketing. He joined the VVEM board, which recently expanded from seven to eight members, in April and started his role as chairman this month.

“I am proud and honoured to be chairman of the VVEM,” says Henk Schuit. “I believe in the power of working together and helping each other, and that is also what the VVEM does. In this coronavirus time, we have seen once again how important that is.

“I look forward to working with the entire board and everyone involved to represent the interests of all event makers and to contribute to a bright future for live entertainment in the Netherlands.”

 


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Resurgent live music sector faces staff shortages

UK industry bodies including LIVE (Live music Industries Venues and Entertainment), the Concert Promoters Association, the Events Industry Forum and the UK Crowd Management Association have written to the prime minister regarding what they describe as crippling staff shortages across large parts of the UK economy.

The live entertainment and events associations are joined by trade bodies representing other sectors, including hospitality, food and drink and retail, in calling for government action to help remediate the situation, with the letter suggesting that EU workers could be allowed to return on a short-term basis to help fill the empty roles.

“While the overall picture is complex, one short-term solution with immediate benefit would be to temporarily ease immigration requirements for the large numbers of workers, particularly from the EU, who have returned to their homelands during the lockdowns. This has contributed greatly to the shortfalls,” reads the letter, which can be read here.

“Indeed, a study in 2020 by the UK’s Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence estimated that 1.3 million migrants left the UK between July 2019 and September 2020. This figure was based on UK labour statistics, and represents over 4% of the UK workforce.

“Unfortunately, evidence suggests that those unemployed within the UK workforce seem unwilling to take on many of the jobs where there are vacancies in the industries we represent. To help resolve this we ask that all those who have worked in the UK over the last three years are given the freedom to return to work here with less restrictive immigration regulations on a short-term basis.

“One short-term solution with immediate benefit would be to temporarily ease immigration requirements”

“A relaxation of the rules does not need to be open ended but it needs to happen quickly if we are to support the recovery of the UK economy.”

The letter comes as entertainment and hospitality businesses in other countries also warn they are facing a staff shortage as they begin to reopen this summer.

In the Netherlands, live music association VNPF is warning that the industry will likely be short of staff when full-capacity shows restart later this year, with many professionals having left the industry over the past 16 months.

Both venues and festivals are short of people, VNPF director Berend Schans tells NU.nl, with the former sector having laid off an average of 20% of their staff last year and the latter probably even more. “Exact figures are lacking, but because that industry [festivals] has been hit even harder than venues, and they have received relatively less government support, I would say that the situation there is even more serious, especially in view of the lay-offs at Mojo Concerts and ID&T, for example.”

Similarly, France, the US and New Zealand are all facing post-pandemic labour shortages, particularly in the hospitality sector, and while the issue has been exacerbated by Brexit in the UK, experts have been warning of shortages for months.

“This will need a government intervention to ensure that the industry has the ability to provide enough staff”

The UK Door Security Association (UKDSA) said back in march that venues and clubs could face trouble reopening as planned following an exodus of security staff during the pandemic.

In addition to EU workers who have gone home, many qualified door staff were forced to find work elsewhere when venues were closed in March 2020.

According to the Security Industry Authority (SIA), over a quarter of the UK’s total security workforce were non-UK nationals in 2018. The UKDSA estimates that over half of the vacancies in the sector may be left unfilled when business restarts gets back to normal later this summer.

“This will need a government intervention to ensure that the industry has the ability to provide enough staff,” says Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association. Concerning new elements in the SIA door supervisor licence which require more training for door staff, Kill adds: “While the training is welcomed, it is not timely given the current economic situation across most of the sector, and consideration needs to be given to it being pushed back to 2022.”

Read IQ’s feature on the challenges of recruiting and restaffing post-pandemic in the latest, 100th issue of the magazine.

 


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21 June: Delay would lead to 5,000 UK cancellations

Research published today (10 June) shows that even a four-week delay to the deadline for lifting the final restrictions on live events in the UK would cost the live music sector over £500 million and leave the summer festival season at risk of total collapse.

More than 5,000 shows by artists including Olly Murs, Tom Odell, Rag’n’Bone Man, Beverley Knight, McFly, Alexandra Burke and Rudimental would either need to cancel or postpone if the 21 June deadline was pushed back, incurring immediate costs across the live music supply chain and further damaging an industry already hanging in the balance, according to industry body LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment).

The rumoured move, as IQ reported earlier this week, comes despite the fact that, by the government’s own evidence, large-scale events can happen safely with the right precautions in place.

Through LIVE, a federation of 13 associations representing more than 3,000 live music companies, the live sector is calling for government to publish the data from the first round of Events Research Programme (ERP) pilots, so “they are able to follow their own science” and allow live businesses to reopen with Covid-safe precautions. The ERP findings which have been released by government to the media show that with screening, improved ventilation and other mitigating factors, mass events are reportedly as safe as a trip to the supermarket.

“We implore the government to follow their own scientific data that proves live events are safe with the right mitigations”

Lucy Noble, chair of the National Arenas Association, says: “The pilot shows at the Brits and Liverpool were touted as the key to getting back to full-capacity live performance, which is why it’s extremely frustrating that the government refuses to publish the full report and allow the sector to open up through the carefully planned precautions which are currently waiting in the wings.

“We implore the government to follow their own scientific data that proves live events are safe with the right mitigations. Now is the time for them to protect the live events sector for generations to come.”

Any delay to the 21 June reopening date would have significant and immediate repercussions for grassroots music venues, with 248 venues facing an immediate threat of eviction if the government does not fully compensate their financial losses from delayed reopening, says Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust.

“In the event of any delay to reopening, government action to restore confidence to the sector will need to be swift, decisive and comprehensive,” says Davyd. “Any decision to delay places the sector in the most perilous and uncertain situation since April 2020. All that has been done by government, the public, artist and communities to save our venues risks being undone.”

“We cannot keep waiting indefinitely without knowing when step four will take place”

The UK’s much-anticipated summer festival season would also see significant casualties, with 65% of all Association of Independent Festivals members saying they will be forced to cancel if faced with a five-week delay – and 21% already gone.

Jim King, CEO of European festivals for AEG Presents, comments: “A delay into July without a clear road map to get back to step four [full lockdown lifting] puts an impossible strain on all festivals, including AEG’s All Points East festival, along with our suppliers across the industry.

“We cannot keep waiting indefinitely without knowing when step four will take place, and this uncertainty will undoubtedly result, by default, in more cancellations. We are desperate for the UK festival season to begin again, but an undated reopening makes long term planning and investment unfeasible.”

 


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Dutch venue associations to merge

As live music restarts in the Netherlands, two associations representing the country’s music and entertainment venues have merged.

Effective 31 May, the Employers’ Association of Dutch Stages (WNP, Werkgeversvereniging Nederlandse Podia) becomes part of VSCD (the Vereniging van Schouwburg- en Concertgebouwdirecties, or Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors).

The WNP, an employers’ organisation, represents venues’ interests; along with the Kunstenbond (Arts Union), which represents individual employees, it agrees the collective agreement that regulates the relationship between venue owners and staff in the Netherlands. It was set up in 1999 by members of the VSCD.

“We hope that as of 1 September all restrictions will be lifted”

Following the merger, the VSCD is now responsible for maintaining this collective labour agreement, it says in a statement. The formal legal steps towards effecting the merger will be taken in the coming weeks, it adds.

VSCD, which represents dozens of theatres and other seated venues, welcomed the reopening of the Netherlands’ venues on 5 June but said ongoing social distancing and capacity restrictions restrict the type of shows its members can put on.

“Developments are going in the right direction, but it is only financially profitable for our stages if at least 60% of the hall is filled,” said VSCD director Gabbi Mesters. “We hope that as of 1 September all restrictions will be lifted and that there will be plenty of cultural events again,” she adds.

 


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Sara slams lack of regulation in South Africa

The South African Roadies Association (Sara) has hit out at the loose regulations governing live events production in South Africa, as it emerged no one has been held responsible for the death of a rigger over two years ago at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100.

Speaking to the Weekly SA Mirror of 4 June, Freddie Nyathela, president of Sara, describes the sector as a “free for all”, blaming the Department of Employment and Labour for dragging its feet on a proposed new framework for the technical events production and production services industry.

Lack of transformation in the industry is ultimately responsible for the death of Siyabonga Ngodze, the 36-year-old who suffered fatal injuries after falling in the set-up for the Mandela 100 event, which featured performances from Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Ed Sheeran.

Though Ngodze’s mother has received compensation from his employer, production company Gearhouse SA, and the Department of Employment and Labour (R39,000 [US$2,900] and R35,000 [$2,600], respectively), Thembekile Ngonze says she has yet to see justice for her “beloved son”.

“I cannot understand why it is taking so long to have someone prosecuted”

“I cannot understand why it is taking so long to have someone prosecuted for the death of my son”, says the 56-year-old.

According to the Weekly SA Mirror, progress in resolving the case has been delayed by successive lockdowns in South Africa. However, a Department of Employment and Labour investigation found that Gearhouse SA had failed to comply with the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In addition to the death of Ngodze, the Mandela 100 event, held to celebrate the 100th birthday of the late Nelson Mandela, was also marred by reports of widespread lootings and assaults, blamed by the venue, FNB Stadium, on the lack of police presence.

The concert raised billions of dollars for education, HIV prevention and anti-poverty initiatives in Africa.

 


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Yvonne Stausbøll joins EMMA as exec director

The European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA) has appointed Yvonne Stausbøll to the newly created position of executive director.

Stausbøll will be based in Brussels, from where she will be responsible for the general management of EMMA and the organisation’s engagement on policy issues in Europe and internationally. With over 25 years’ experience working in public affairs in Brussels, Stausbøll brings extensive knowledge of the European public policy environment – including 15 years combined in the European Commission and European Parliament – to the organisation, according to EMMA.

Formerly head of energy sector trade association UPEI, Stausbøll has in recent years been working with music and culture organisations including Freemuse and Music Without Borders.

“Yvonne’s extensive experience will … ensure music managers have representation at the heart of European policy discussions”

Commenting on the appointment, Per Kviman, chair of EMMA, says: “I am delighted to welcome Yvonne as our new executive director and look forward to working with her.

“This is a significant step for EMMA. Yvonne’s extensive experience will help take our organisation forward, ensuring music managers have representation at the heart of European policy discussions and expanding our engagement with other music-based organisations.”

EMMA brings together Music Managers Forums (MMF) in Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK, and has links to allied organisations in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Its members represent more than 1,200 artist managers in Europe.

 


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Dutch agencies develop green artist rider

UIMA (United Independent Music Agencies), the association of Dutch booking agencies, has released a green rider for artists wishing to tour sustainably.

The rider, which follows the launch of the first green artist rider at GEI in 2019, focuses on eating in a more eco-friendly way, cutting down on flying, reducing waste and using renewable energy. For example, by eliminating the 7,500 short-haul flights UIMA artists take a year in favour of trains, they can reduce carbon emissions from transport up to 80%, the rider explains.

UIMA members, which include Blip Agency, Octopus Agents, Good Music Company, Earth Beat and Sedate Bookings, represent more than 500 acts who play over 15,000 shows annually. The association was formed in April 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rider focuses on food, transport, waste and energy

In addition to looking at what artists can do to reduce their footprint, the rider also advises how venues and festivals can make a difference, for example eliminating single-use products and using only green energy.

In a statement, the association says it hopes “more artists and agencies at home and abroad will embrace this initiative and help develop it so that we can collectively move towards a cleaner future”.

Download UIMA’s green rider (in English) by clicking here.

 


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