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DreamHaus poaches Goodlive’s Julian Gupta and team

CTS Eventim’s DreamHaus has announced the appointment of Julian Gupta as director of festival booking.

His team, which consists of talent buyer Benjamin Fritzenschaft and talent buying assistant Moritz Kob, will follow him to the Berlin-based agency.

Gupta joins DreamHaus from Germany’s Goodlive where he was head of festival booking and curated line-ups for events including splash! (Ferropolis) and Heroes (Kassel, Freiburg and Geiselwind).

“I’m grateful that with Julian, Benji and Moritz we have been able to win an amazing team, who perfectly fit into DreamHaus’ DNA”

Gupta and his team have also worked on tours for the likes of Stormzy, Odesza, Little Simz, Khalid, Skepta and Dave.

Commenting on the new appointments, DreamHaus CEO Matt Schwarz says: “I’m grateful that with Julian, Benji and Moritz we have been able to win an amazing team, who perfectly fit into DreamHaus’ DNA.”

Gupta adds: “Since the first talks, I’ve been convinced that we can implement new ideas with the team here. I’m looking forward to the upcoming tasks in a perfect environment.”

Marc Seemann, director strategy & business development at DreamHaus, says: “We are very pleased about the new opportunities the integration of Julian and his team will open up together with their convincing market competence. We will further expand the areas of marketing and brand partnership by using new synergies.”

DreamHaus is responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, along with eventimpresents. The agency says it is planning to “build up additional live platforms” with the new team.

 


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DEAG sales soar, return to pre-pandemic levels

Deutsche Entertainment (DEAG) has reported a return to form in the first quarter of 2022, with sales returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The Berlin-based live entertainment group generated sales of around €31 million in the first three months of 2022 – up 2,700% from Q1 2021 when operating sales were €1.1m and reported sales were €4m.

Sales in Q1 of this year were even higher than the first quarter of 2018 (€27m) and the first quarter of 2019 (€25.5m).

According to the promoter and ticketing agency, the increase is largely down to a number of events in all of the company’s national markets (Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark).

Notable events for DEAG in Q1 2022 included concerts by Simply Red and Texas in the UK and Bonnie Tyler in Switzerland, the international literature festival lit.COLOGNE, electronic festival “Mayday – 30 Years” in Germany, and Dita von Teese’s burlesque tour in the UK.

In addition, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in Q1 came to around €2.8m, up from €2.4m in the same period of last year.

“Finally! we can shift into a forward gear operationally once again and do what we burn for: to host exciting events”

For the first time in DEAG’s history, the ticketing segment was profitable in the traditionally weaker first quarter – a growth which is expected to continue throughout the year.

Overall, sales for the financial year of 2022 are expected to multiply year-on-year and significantly exceed pre-corona levels, says the company.

“Finally! Following the paralysis of the entire live entertainment industry caused by corona, we can shift into a forward gear operationally once again and do what we burn for: to host exciting events,” comments Prof. Peter L.H. Schwenkow, CEO of DEAG.

“The audience reactions and our first quarter figures show that we are extremely successful with this. We increased our operating sales by a factor of twenty-eight, a result that we owe entirely to our operational strength.

“Our EBITDA is also clearly positive. The Covid-19-related conditions have since eased further, so we will be burning off event fireworks in the coming quarters. For example, we will stage concerts with stars such as KISS, Ed Sheeran in the UK, Iron Maiden, Zucchero, Die Toten Hosen, Anna Netrebko and Die Ärzte, as well as open-air festivals such as Nature One, Belladrum and Sion sous les étoiles. We are excellently positioned for the restart of the industry. In 2022 as a whole, we will massively increase our sales and even significantly exceed the pre-corona level.”

DEAG says it has already sold more than 6.3 million tickets for events in its core markets for the coming quarters. On the basis of ticket sales and the “bulging event pipeline,” the company expects its upward trajectory to carry on in 2023.

 


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The new wave of marketing innovation

As a new wave of privacy regulations makes consumer targeting much less efficient than before, here, Berlin-based events and digital services solution Future Demand explains why interest-centric marketing is the future – and promoters can take full advantage…

The last 10 years in digital marketing were driven by ever-improving targeting options. Lookalike audiences and retargeting enabled a super-fast, convenient, and easy way of making sure ads were seen by the right people. On the other hand, the data-driven ad-tech industry did very little to help marketeers create better copy and content.

Driven by a new wave of privacy regulations (from GDPR to Apple’s ATT) promoters now see a substantial decrease in the effectiveness of their targeting options. Now, they’re starting to regret spending 10 years improving only 50% of what drives campaign efficacy (user targeting) and ignoring the other 50% (content).

It’s time to have a look at why content is more important than ever before.

Content is the future
Marketing used to be essentially people-focused. The ad-tech industry measured and tracked individuals and tried to understand them. For many industries this worked great, much better than anything before. It worked so well, in fact, that whole industries were built on it. The D2C trend around companies like Dollar Shave Club or Casper was fuelled by direct response ads on Facebook through lookalike audiences and retargeting campaigns.

Against the backdrop of expanding privacy regulations, the future now points to the centralisation of a few big platforms. Platforms big enough to own enough in-platform user data (think Amazon, or gaming giants like Epic Games) will be able to serve ads and convert users directly within their platforms. Eric Seufert summarised the development by the term “content fortresses”.

However, the way the industry is currently set up, this isn’t a tenable solution for promoters (and many other companies) as they lack the content usage of users to gain enough insights into people’s interests and serve targeted ads.


So, what about promoters?
For promoters, targeting has always been more difficult because taste in music is much harder to grasp and describe. A concert is in most cases a one-time happening, making it near impossible to have enough time, iteration cycles and budget to get into the sweet spot of the advertising feedback loop. Promoters, therefore, reverted to traditional segmentation methods, relying on socio-demographic data to cluster audiences and fans. Unfortunately, this works even less.

Note the famous example of Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. Both are born in the same year, have a comparable income, can be located to London, and have the same gender. But their music tastes may be completely different indeed. Traditional segmentation features like age, gender, postcode etc. do little to help you decide who to target for a specific show or event.

What’s next?
Netflix was one of the first to focus only on people’s interests to better describe the diversity in their user base. Like Netflix users, concert-goers can be interested in a symphony concert with a famous French female violinist but also in the next upcoming metal wunderkind playing his or her first gig in the small club next door. The obvious answer for promoters is to design systems that only focus on interest and to cluster based on fans’ interests. The powerful ad networks of today enable targeting those interests.

Knowing why people buy tickets gives promoters an edge over big platforms. As they get more independent from ticketing and ad platforms, switching between them becomes easier. If you know why people are interested and what message they need to see to purchase a ticket or subscribe to an offer, you can decide on which platform to focus on.

What to do about it?

Marketeers must shift their focus towards understanding interests. It enables better targeting and the possibility to match creative content to targeting criteria – all automatically. It increases independence and enhances the speed at which promoters can adopt new and upcoming platforms.

Interest centric marketing will be one of the most important strategic levers for marketeers who do not own a content fortress. Many industries need to speed up their efforts to catch up and rework their whole ad-tech stack. Promoters can now finally leverage their past disadvantage (very, very diverse content) into a powerful advantage. The more diverse the content, the better the understanding of fans tastes and interests.

Learn more about interest-centric marketing here.

 


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DEAG on the road to recovery after strong 2021

Deutsche Entertainment (DEAG) has reported a strong fourth quarter and a significant increase in revenue and earnings in the financial year 2021.

The Berlin-based live entertainment group saw its revenue hit €91 million in 2021, up 82% from €49.9m in 2020.

In addition, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) rose by 144% from €9m in 2020 to €22.1m in 2021.

DEAG says the increases in earnings and revenue are down to “a significant upturn in operating activities” in the second half of 2021.

The promoter and ticket agency owns businesses in Germany, Switzerland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK – which has been fully open since last summer.

“DEAG has weathered the pandemic comparatively well over the past two years, which have not been easy for the entire live entertainment industry due to Covid-19,” says professor Peter Schwenkow. “We stand on strong legs, have successfully continued our expansion course in Germany and Europe and are currently experiencing an increasing return to normal for our business activities in all our core markets and high demand for tickets for concerts and events.”

“We are excellently positioned for future growth with our broad portfolio of events and our strong financial position”

Last year, the company delisted from the stock market after 23 years as a listed company, with CEO Peter Schwenkow telling IQ that DEAG could raise more funds as a private company than on the financial markets.

The company later announced it raised more than €6m to fund future acquisitions in “key markets” such as literary events production company Fane Productions in the UK.

“We are excellently positioned for future growth with our broad portfolio of events and our strong financial position,” continues Schwenkow. “Our ticket sales are at an above-average level and we have started the current year with plenty of tailwind.

“In the UK, booking levels are already back to pre-crisis levels and in our other core markets they are approaching 2019 levels again, the year before the corona pandemic broke out. We will offer visitors hundreds of events over the next few months and set off event fireworks.”

Schewnkow recently told IQ the company was seeing a 50-80% increase in ticket sales compared to pre-pandemic.

In view of the recovery in its core markets, strong ticket sales and growth from the companies acquired in 2021, DEAG says it expects a significant improvement in EBITDA and further revenue increases in 2022.

 


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DreamHaus forms strategic partnership with Publicis

CTS Eventim-backed DreamHaus has entered into a strategic partnership with advertising agency Publicis Groupe Germany.

Under the new alliance, the partners intend to use the live entertainment business as a platform for the creative staging of brands, and “make the world of music accessible for innovative marketing concepts”.

Another aim of the partnership is to create new experiences by linking artists, fans and brands and thus to help brands achieve more relevance and a credible role in pop culture, says DreamHaus.

Marc Seemann, director strategy and business development at DreamHaus, says: “We are very excited about this strategic partnership with Publicis, as we create important synergy effects through this alliance. With authenticity and the right feeling for musical trends, we will facilitate artists’ access to brands with this shoulder-to-shoulder alliance and develop authentic collaborations together.”

“With authenticity and the right feeling for musical trends, we will facilitate artists’ access to brands with this alliance”

Matt Schwarz, CEO and managing partner at DreamHaus, adds: “The collaboration with Publicis offers further perspectives to artists, fans, brands and our festival formats. We are excited to be innovating together from now on and to have found a partner who shares our passion for live entertainment.”

Dennis May, COO Publicis Groupe Germany, comments: “The emotional power of music and entertainment platforms is unique. And the possibilities for brands to play a content role here are almost limitless. So far, however, this has been used far too little – especially when it comes to tailor-made concepts that go beyond pure sponsoring. We see DreamHaus as a partner who will write great brand stories with us. We are already working on this – and have been having a lot of fun since the first minute!”

Earlier this week, DreamHaus, alongside FKP Scorpio and Loft Concerts, announced a new Berlin festival for 2022.

DreamHaus, meanwhile, is jointly responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, after the company was acquired by CTS Eventim.

 


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FKP Scorpio, DreamHaus, Loft announce new festival

FKP Scorpio, DreamHaus and Loft Concerts are joining forces on a brand new open-air festival, set to launch in Berlin next year.

Tempelhof Sounds will take place between 10 to 12 June 2022 on the grounds of Tempelhof Airport – where the Berlin Festival once took place, and the German Lollapalooza Festival launched in 2015.

Muse and The Strokes will headline the festival, along with a third act that is yet to be announced. Alt-J, Interpol, Idles, Royal Blood, Two Door Cinema Club, Mac DeMarco, Wolf Alice and Big Thief are also set to perform.

A mission statement says the event is an “inclusive and cosmopolitan festival” and the organisers “firmly believe in equality, diversity and sustainability”.

“We are very pleased to make this special festival format possible in the capital together with our partners,” comments Stephan Thanscheidt, CEO of FKP Scorpio. “Our guests can expect an event that combines top international acts with an extraordinary open-air experience. Tempelhof Sounds wants to offer ‘programmatic surprises’ and present a diverse line-up.”

“Our guests can expect an event that combines top international acts with an extraordinary open-air experience”

Fontaines DC, The Gardener & The Tree, Hinds, Black Honey, Just Mustard, Pillow Queens and The Pale White are also slated to perform.

Other confirmed acts include London Grammar, Parcels, Courtney Barnett, Sophie Hunger, Freya Ridings, Anna Calvi, Kat Frankie, Holly Humberstone, Griff and Baby Queen.

Tickets are on sale now, with day passes starting from €79 and festival passes starting from €179.

Hamburg-headquartered FKP Scorpio adds Tempelhof Sounds to a portfolio that already includes a raft of marquee German festivals such as Hurricane, Southside, Highfield, M’era Luna and A Summer’s Tale.

Berlin-based DreamHaus, meanwhile, is jointly responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, after the company was acquired by CTS Eventim.

Loft Concerts, also based in Berlin, was founded 30 years ago and today promotes more than 200 concerts a year in the greater Berlin area.

 


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No new infections from Clubculture Reboot Berlin

The organisers of Berlin’s Clubculture Reboot have welcomed what they describe as positive interim results from the recent pilot event series, which saw around 2,000 people attend indoor club nights at six venues after taking PCR tests for Covid-19.

According to Clubcomission, the association which organised the event alongside the Berlin Senate’s department for culture and the Charité hospital, there were zero new infections as a result of the event, proving once again that “dance [music] events may be held safely even under pandemic conditions”.

Participants in Clubculture Reboot, which took place from 6–8 August across six Berlin clubs, needed to produce a negative PCR test to gain entry, as opposed to the rapid lateral-flow/antigen tests more commonly used for concerts and festivals.

All clubgoers, regardless of their vaccination status, had to go undergo a PCR test – the ‘swab test’ which is more accurate than a rapid test, but which takes at least 24 hours to return its results – at one of three designated test centres in the 48 hours leading up to the weekend’s events.

“The project offers real [guidelines] for the opening of clubs, even if infections and hospitalisations rise sharply in autumn”

Of the 2,110 people who were tested pre-event, seven were turned away after testing positive, and all attendees who submitted to follow-up PCR test (1,447 people, or almost 70%) tested negative for the virus. While the full results are expected at the end of the month, the interim findings are welcome, says Clubcommissionc chair Pamela Schobeß: “The project offers real perspective for the opening of clubs, even if incidences [of Covid-19] and hospitalisations rise sharply in autumn.

“It proves that with this method, safe spaces can be created that make it possible to bring club culture to life even in a pandemic.”

Dr Florian Kainzinger, who designed the testing process, adds: “With this project we were able to show that PCR tests can also be implemented in a very short period of time from sampling to transmission of results. This enables new perspectives for a safe reopening even in high-risk areas.”

 


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Berlin pilot project trials pre-entry PCR testing

Participants in a pilot event series held in Berlin over the weekend were asked to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test, as opposed to the more common lateral-flow/rapid antigen tests becoming an increasingly common entry requirement as festivals and shows restart.

Clubculture Reboot, organised by Clubcommission, an association of Berlin nightclubs, as part of the city-backed Perspektive Kultur: Berliner Pilotprojekt Testing initiative, is the latest pilot scheme intended to demonstrate to German authorities that live events can be held safely “even under pandemic conditions”. Six clubs, the Kitkat-Club, SO36, Festsaal Kreuzberg, Crack Bellmer, Salon zur Wilden Renate and Metropol, and around 2,000 people participated in the pilotprojekt, which began on Friday 6 August.

All clubgoers, regardless of their vaccination status, had to go undergo a PCR test – the ‘swab test’ which is more accurate than a rapid test, but which takes at least 24 hours to return its results – at one of three designated test centres ahead of the weekend events. There were seven positive results out of the 2,200 tests administered, according to the city’s website.

“I’m totally blown away by how people are standing here with umbrellas in the Berlin rain and just want to get in here. It’s like being at a festival”

In addition to the weekend-long series of club nights, the Clubcommission, in partnership with the city of Berlin and the German Red Cross, is organising three ‘Long Nights of Vaccination’ (Lange Nächte des Impfens) at the vaccination centre in Arena Berlin (7,500-cap.) in Treptow. Taking place on 9, 11 and 13 August, the ‘long nights’ run from 8pm to 1am and combine live DJs with free BioNTech/Pfizer vaccinations for younger people.

Speaking to AFP, Sebastian Schwarz from Tiefschwarz, one of the seven acts who played on Monday 9 August, said: “It’s overwhelming, the empathy and the niceness with which people are working together here. I’m totally blown away by how people are standing here with umbrellas in the Berlin rain and just want to get in here. It’s like being at a festival.” According to Berlin’s ministry of health, 420 people were vaccinated on Monday alone.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, said earlier this week that the country’s vaccination rate has fallen behind its neighbours and urged state and local governments to promote vaccines and make them easy to obtain.

 


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Gigmit makes hires in Germany, the UK

Online talent booking platform Gigmit has promoted Anna Lüneberg to chief marketing officer and hired Pedro Ricardo as product manager.

Lüneberg, who previously worked at Gigmit in the role of growth marketing manager, is now leading the company’s growth team.

“After we succeeded in doubling the artist community on Gigmit in the last two years, the goal is to develop Gigmit into a global player in digital live music booking,” says Lüneberg.

“Above all, we want to continue to grow on the promoter side and convince them with Gigmit as a data-driven booking tool. So that more new talents can perform live on the right stages in the future.”

“The goal is to develop Gigmit into a global player in digital live music booking”

Ricardo, who previously worked as content and product manager for sample music database WhoSampled in London, will coordinate the Gigmit product team with immediate effect and continue to push the development of the platform.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Gigmit team and work together on revolutionising the future of music booking!” says Ricardo.

Gigmit CEO, Marcus Fitzgerald, adds: “I am so proud to have two incredible colleagues in such demanding roles. I couldn’t think of anyone better to develop our journey to become a global platform. After working with Anna for years, I know she will fulfill this new path with her skills, knowledge and joy!

“Pedro fights for a better product that every user loves. I am sure that his analytical skills and team management capacities will be loved by our users as they know he is working hard to make artists and promoters achieve more!”

 


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International booking agency Pitch & Smith divides

European booking agency Pitch & Smith (P&S) has effectively split in two, with three former agents breaking away to launch new venture Playbook Artists.

Launched by Eleanor McGuinness, Nikita Lavrinenko and Paul McGivern, the new agency brings together more than 45 years of experience as well as a roster that includes Angel Olsen, Weyes Blood, Son Lux, Andy Shauf, This Is the Kit and Cut Copy.

Meanwhile, P&S founders Stefan Juhlin and Kalle Lundgren Smith will remain at the company along with team members based in London.

Juhlin tells IQ it was a mutual decision for the two parties to go their separate ways: “For Kalle and myself, we felt this was a good time to go back to where we once started, putting all our time and energy on fewer artists, with a very simple and straightforward organisation behind it. We’re confident this will benefit everyone, both ourselves and our artists.”

“For Kalle and myself, we felt this was a good time to go back to where [P&S] once started”

P&S will now be headquartered in Stockholm, where it was founded in 2007, with a roster that includes Caribou, José González and Toro Y Moi.

The agency will work will continue to work with the three former agents at Playbook, which will launch offices in London, Berlin and Dublin ‘to bring their international perspective to the European/UK live circuit’.

“The last year has been tough for the industry as a whole, but this feels like the perfect opportunity to collaboratively bring together the best of our experiences and shared values, and build something new with friends and partners,” says Playbook’s Paul McGivern.

“I don’t know two harder-working or more engaged agents than Eleanor and Nikita and I’m proud to be partners with them in the launch of PlayBook Artists.”

“We are all determined to bring new approaches and concepts to life and rethink what a modern, artist-focused agency can be”

Eleanor adds: “It’s important to all of us to support the independent network, especially after the challenges of the last year, and the years yet to come. Paul, Nikita and I come from a similar background of working independently, and we are very proud of that and the long term approach we have to our artists.”

Nikita comments: “It’s easy to get caught up in a “doom and gloom” mentality when the times are difficult. That’s why I love seeing excitement, energy and new ideas sprawling out conversations I have with Eleanor and Paul. We are all determined to come out of this stronger, bring new approaches and concepts to life and rethink together what a modern, artist-focused agency can be these days.”

The three partners will be joined by former Pitch & Smith agent assistant Duncan Smith, who will assume the role of agent with a roster that includes Happyness, Shopping, Lime Garden, LICE, Home Counties, and new signing Clara Mann.

Playbook follows the launch of Field Booking, Arrival ArtistsMint Talent Group and TBA Agency in the US, as well as Marshall Live AgencyMother ArtistsOne Fiinix LiveRoute One Booking and Runway Artists in the UK and Rebel Beat Agency in Spain, in 2020, amid a wider fragmentation of the global agency sector in response to the coronavirus shutdown.

 


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