Grammys double down on live after year of no concerts
Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift and Megan Thee Stallion delivered a handful of the 32 live or pre-recorded performances at the annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles last night (14 March).
The 63rd edition kicked off with three back-to-back performances from Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Haim, who performed in an in-the-round set-up, reminiscent of Later… with Jools Holland.
Eilish and her brother/producer Finneas performed her ethereal ballad ‘Everything I Wanted’, for which she took home Record of the Year, for the second consecutive year.
Megan Thee Stallion made her impressive debut at the Grammys, scooping three awards including Best New Artist, and delivering two performances that were ranked first and second place on Billboard’s performance review list.
The rapper first performed a medley of ‘Body’ and ‘Savage’ – the latter won her Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance along with Beyoncé, who featured on the recording – before joining Cardi B onstage for a live rendition of their chart-topping smash ‘WAP’.
Beyoncé also made her mark last night, becoming the most-awarded person in Grammys history with her 28th win
Beyoncé had an equally unforgettable night, becoming the most-awarded person in Grammys history with her 28th win for ‘Black Parade’. Bluegrass singer Alison Krauss previously held the title.
Taylor Swift also made history at Sunday’s ceremony, by becoming the first female artist ever to win album of the year three times.
Only three other artists have ever won the album of the year prize three times: Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.
The star was rewarded for her lockdown album ‘Folklore’, which she performed in part during last night’s ceremony with collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff.
‘Cardigan’, ‘August’ and ‘Willow’ all got an outing during Swift’s first Grammys performance in five years.
BTS, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, Doja Cat, Post Malone and Lionel Richie also delivered performances at last night’s Grammys.
Last night’s award show was the first from executive producer Ben Winston, best known for turning James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke series into a viral hit. Winston is the first new producer since Ken Ehrlich took over the show in 1980.
The production’s Covid precautions included 6ft-compliant tables and chairs beneath an outdoor terrace, five separate stages at the Los Angeles Convention Center and widespread testing – all of which added millions to the show’s budget.
See a complete list of winners and nominees for the 2021 Grammys here.
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The decade in live: 2013
The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.
Following on from a few tough years, 2013 was the year the live industry began to sparkle again, thanks to the improvement of several key economies and more favourable weather conditions.
The main issue for the 2013 business, in fact, appeared to be the abundance of tours, which somewhat outnumbered the amount of resources available to handle them.
2013 was also the year when a new generation began to shine, with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and One Direction performing well on year-end charts, indicating that the future of live was certainly looking bright.
2013 in numbers
In 2013, the top 20 worldwide tours raked in a combined US$2.4 billion, up 24% on the $2bn generated the year before, according to Pollstar.
Bon Jovi once again made the top spot, surpassing their winning 2010 total by almost $60 million and achieving the highest year-end tour total of the year, grossing $259.5m from 2.7m tickets with the Because We Can tour.
Beyoncé’s The Mrs Carter Show came in second with a total gross of $188.6m, followed by Pink’s The Truth About Love with $170.6m. Justin Bieber came hot on the Pink’s heels at fourth, grossing $169m with his second concert tour Believe. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band earned $145.4m, adding to the $210.2m grossed in 2012.
Newcomers also made their mark in 2013, with One Direction scraping into the top ten global tours for the first time with the Take Me Home tour ($114) and Bruno Mars making his first top twenty appearance with Moonshine Jungle tour.
2013 in brief
Seatwave founder and chief exec Joe Cohen exits the UK-based company, claiming that the secondary ticketing business is in great shape.
Kylie Minogue and her manager of 25 years, Terry Blamey, split, as the artist announces her intention to concentrate on her acting career. Minogue is now represented by Jay-Z’s management company Roc Nation, who also look after Rihanna, MIA and The Ting Tings.
Universal sells EMI’s Parlophone label group to Warner Music for an estimated £480m ($764m). The deal effectively means that three record companies now dominate the global market – Universal, Sony and Warner.
SFX Entertainment receives an undisclosed financial boost from advertising giant WPP, which counts agencies such as JWT; Grey; and Young & Rubicam in its portfolio. The deal gives SFX a powerful ally as it looks to ramp up its EDM empire.
AEG’s deal to take over the management of Wembley Arena is referred to the Competition Commission in the UK after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading, which is concerned that AEG has too big an influence over live entertainment in the capital.
Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, becomes arguably the most renowned ticket tout in the world, when he resells tickets for his debenture box at the Royal Albert Hall.
New York-based agency Paradigm launches a record label, Big Picnic Records, which boss Marty Diamond intends to use to “support the development of new artists.”
Ticketmaster files a lawsuit against a New York man who they allege uses bots to buy as many as 200,000 tickets a day, before the general public can.
Pink smashes her record of 17 shows at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena by booking an 18th date on her The Truth About Love tour. The Australian leg includes 46 shows and is expected to sell more than 500,000 tickets.
The promoter and stage supplier are charged in relation to a fatal stage collapse, which claimed the life of Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson in Toronto’s Downsview Park last year.
Live Nation and Insomniac Events confirm rumours of a creative partnership, although the latter’s chief, Pasquale Rotella states Insomniac will remain independent.
Vince Power sells a major shareholding in Benicàssim Festival to SJM Concerts and Denis Desmond in a deal designed to assure the future of the popular Spanish event. Power will remain MD of the event which this year featured Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Beady Eye, and The Killers.
Vivendi rejects an $8.5bn offer for Universal Music Group from Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank. It’s thought the increasing importance of music services in the mobile market prompted the unsolicited offer.
Lady Gaga and Madonna face prosecution in Russia for allegedly performing without proper visas. Both artists are accused of breaking Russia’s new gay propaganda laws, which make it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors.
Agency IMG Worldwide is put up for sale by private equity firm, Forstmann Little & Co, with analysts expecting a price tag of about $2bn.
Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring agrees a strategic partnership with dance promoter Future Music Festival to present the touring event, which visits five Australian cities and Malaysia next March.
Irving Azoff partners with The Madison Square Garden Company to create Azoff MSG Entertainment. In return for a $125m investment, MSG will own a 50% stake in a company, which will include artist management, TV production, live event branding and digital marketing divisions.
Benicàssim Festival © Jiquesan/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
The jury in the $1.5bn case brought by Michael Jackson’s family against AEG finds that although AEG did employ Dr Conrad Murray, the company was not liable for his negligence.
Austin City Limits organisers are forced to cancel the final day of the US music festival when heavy rain and thunderstorms cause flooding.
Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber, is pulling together a management conglomerate thanks to backing from Waddell & Reed Financial. The New York Times says Braun is in talks with several potential partners including Drake and his management team, Shania Twain and Troy Carter (ex Lady Gaga manager).
Live Nation confirms it is negotiating terms to acquire the management companies of U2 and Madonna. The deal to buy Paul McGuinness’s Principle Management and Guy Oseary’s Maverick could cost about $30m with Oseary taking over management of both operations.
Talent agency William Morris Endeavour acquires IMG Worldwide in a $2.3bn deal backed by private equity group Silver Lake.
SFX Entertainment pays $16.2m for a 75% stake in Dutch- based ticketing operation Paylogic, which counts 2,000 clients across its offices in Groningen, Amsterdam, Berlin and Antwerp.
Who we lost
Notable industry deaths in 2013 include Claude Nobs, Montreux Jazz Festival founder and GM, 76; Modern World founder Henning Tögel, 58; Cecil Womack, The Valentinos and Womack & Womack singer, aged 65; Live Nation Denmark CEO Flemming Schmidt, 63; German promoter Fritz Rau, 83; Edwin Shirley, founder of Edwin Shirley Trucking and Edwin Shirley Staging, 65; Danish live music impresario Arne Worsøe, 72; Velvet Underground singer and guitarist and solo artist Lou Reed, 71.
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Represent acquires concert merch platform Sidestep
Celebrity merch marketplace Represent has acquired Sidestep, a digital platform dedicated to selling concert merchandise.
Sidestep allows artists to sell products to fans across its website and mobile app, expanding the sales window for sellers and eliminating queuing for buyers.
Artists including Adele, Guns N’ Roses, Selena Gomez and Fall Out Boy have used Sidestep to sell concert merch in the past. Beyoncé is also a fan of the company, investing US$150,000 in Sidestep in 2016.
The integration with Represent, which is owned by personalised apparel company CustomInk, will enable artists to design, market and distribute custom-made merchandise through the platform.
Both Sidestep and Represent, each founded in 2014, have been involved in fan merchandise since their inception. CustomInk acquired Represent in early 2016, in a deal believed to be in excess of $100 million. The apparel company hopes to boost sales further through the Sidestep addition.
“Using Sidestep, artists can ensure higher sales and happier fans by offering easy advance and on-site orders for their fans”
“When you’re at a concert, the last thing you want to be is stuck in line and missing the music,” says Represent’s chief operating officer, Daniel Rosenberg. “Using Sidestep, artists can ensure higher sales and happier fans by offering easy advance and on-site orders for their fans.”
Through the integration with Represent, “artists get access to a full-service solution that helps fans buy new merchandise throughout the year, from viral social media-driven campaigns to tour pre-orders and evergreen fan gear.” adds Rosenberg.
“When we first launched Sidestep, our goal was to super-serve artists in the music industry by bridging the gap between technology and merchandising,” says Sidestep founder and chief executive Eric Jones, who takes on the role of head of music at Represent following the acquisition.
“Our ultimate vision was to extend each concert experience to fans around the world. With this new partnership, we’re in [the] position to fulfill that original goal and vision.”
The music merchandising sector has been booming in recent years, with merch sales totalling nearly $3.5 billion in 2018. Sony Music recently expanded its own merchandise offering, acquiring the music merch branch of US theatre and entertainment merchandising company the Araca Group.
From reggaeton to trap: Behind the global Latin boom
Popular Latin American artists have gained greater visibility on the international stage in recent years. Now, extensive touring in Europe and the US are bringing Latin acts closer to their fans.
Ease of streaming and high-profile crossover tracks with prominent anglophone artists have catapulted Latin stars into the limelight over the past few years.
“In the last year we’ve seen a lot more Spanish-only or Spanish-language features in our charts, including Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ featuring Justin Bieber, Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’, songs from J Balvin, Bad Bunny and many more,” Catherine Fournier, director of marketing at lyric licensing company, LyricFind, tells IQ.
Data supplied to IQ by analytics service, PEX, shows Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ as the most watched video uploaded to YouTube in 2017, with almost six billion views. Indeed, Latin music makes up five of the top ten videos uploaded that year, with hits by J Balvin, Ozuna and Maluma all making it into the top spots.
The newfound popularity of Latin artists is translating into the live music arena. Shakira, Romeo Santos and Marc Anthony all played extensive US tours last year. Nicky Jam will tour the US in 2019, as well as Latin trap artists Bad Bunny and Anuel AA.
Demand is growing across non-Spanish speaking Europe, too. J Balvin’s European live revenue quadrupled following the success of his single ‘Mi Gente’. The reggaeton star will this year appear at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival and The Ends Festival in Croydon, UK.
Elsewhere, Enrique Iglesias will play arenas in Germany, Switzerland and Spain this year, while Spanish Latin pop star Pablo Alborán will make his London debut with a Royal Albert Hall show on 3 March. Latin boy band CNCO will also embark on a European tour this summer, playing in the UK, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland and France.
“Not only are fans hearing their favourite artists sing in another language, but they’re connecting with them in a different way”
Reggaeton, a form of popular dance music fusing Latin rhythms, reggae, dancehall and hip hop, has traditionally been the most commercially dominant and internationally visible wing of popular Latin hip hop. The genre has launched global stars such as Don Omar, Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi.
“Reggaeton and rap are inherently intertwined,” says Fournier. “As rap and hip hop are now becoming more mainstream, and more popular, it’s inevitable that reggaeton would follow suit.”
J Balvin became the first reggaeton artist to play on the Coachella main stage last year after Beyoncé asked the Colombian to join her for a cameo. “This is for the Latinos, and for the world,” the reggaeton star posted on Instagram following the performance.
However, gritty Latin trap has recently overtaken reggaeton in popularity, responding to shifts in US rap and taking on the slower rhythms of southern hip hop. Latin trap pioneer Anuel AA recently teamed up with Nicky Minaj on crossover ‘Familia’, which appeared on the soundtrack for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, expanding the trap artist’s international reputation.
The popularity of Spanish-language crossovers is also growing, with the help of stars such as Demi Lovato (‘Échame La Culpa’, Luis Fonsi), Cardi B (‘I Like It’, Bad Bunny and J Balvin) and Drake (‘Mia’, Bad Bunny).
As non-Spanish speaking listeners become more familiar with Latin artists and more accustomed to hearing music in a different language, the demand for Latin artists’ tours continues to grow, concludes Fournier.
“Not only are fans hearing their favourite artists sing in another language, but they’re connecting with them in a different way, and going the extra mile to understand what they’re saying,” she says. “That, in turn, leads to more understanding and exposure to music performed in other languages.”
“Youth must be served”: Diverse, green Coachella draws positive reaction
After a stormy start, the second weekend of the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival received a favourable reaction from the nearly 125,000 people on site, according to local media, with music fans responding positively to bookers’ hip hop-heavy, youth-focused programming.
Promoted by AEG’s Goldenvoice, Coachella – which traditionally marks the beginning of the international festival season – returned to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California for its 19th outing on 13–15 April and 20–22 April, with the Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem headlining.
Coachella weekend two got underway on Friday morning (20 April), after revellers were turned away from campsites on Thursday evening owing to intense winds. (Many camped out in the car park of Indio’s Walmart, holding a mini festival of their own,‘Walmart-chella’.)
Coachella has been split into two weekends since 2012, and while there are only minor differences in the music at each (mainly when it comes to special appearances), weekend two is widely regarded as the quieter of the two, with fewer celebrities flaunting their outfits for the ’gram and arguably more ‘real’ music fans, along with an increased number of industry guests.
Headliner Beyoncé largely repeated her performance from the first weekend, once again ‘turning Coachella into Beychella’ with the help of her former Destiny’s Child bandmates, although Japanese rock act X Japan simultaneously gave a strong performance in the Mojave tent, joined by special guest Marilyn Manson.
Temperatures were also higher for Coachella 2018’s second outing, reaching more than 90°F (33°C) compared to the low to mid-80s the previous weekend.
Following AEG UK’s events in banning plastic straws, the festival additionally notable for its ban on single-use plastic straws, phasing them out in favour of paper. “Plastic pollution is a huge problem around the world, and it’s exciting to pioneer change by phasing out the use of single-use plastics from our festivals,” says Mapi Moran, Goldenvoice’s director of festival marketing.
The eclectic line-up drew “an appreciative crowd that looks different from other years”
“Our new straw policy is estimated to eliminate about 300,000 plastic straws from Coachella and Stagecoach. We look forward to announcing similar initiatives later that go beyond just plastic straws.”
According the Desert Sun, Goldenvoice founder Gary Tovar described the audience for Coachella 2018 as a “new generation” of festivalgoers. The “youth must be served”, he said, referencing the urban-focused music line-up – which included fellow headliners Eminem and the Weeknd, along with Post Malone, Vince Staples, Tyler the Creator, Migos (pictured) and Cardi B.
And served the youth were, with the eclectic line-up drawing “an appreciative crowd that looks different from other years”, writes Desert Sun reporter Bruce Ferrier. “It seemed the diverse bands booked by Goldenvoice were attracting diverse audiences.”
“When a singer with Los Angeles Azules proclaimed, ‘We have no wall here’ in Spanish, cheers erupted from the crowd,” he continues.
“Singer Maria Conway of the Marias, dressed in a glittering gown in front of a quintet of guys wearing red suits and white open-collar shirts, mixed English and Spanish-language dream pop-rock in the Sonora tent. She noted there are 167 acts on the Coachella bill and 15 [are] Latino [or] Latino-led. ‘I’m so proud to be part of that,’ she said.”
Goldenvoice has yet to release audience figures from the festival, but CEO Paul Tollett said before the event he expects similar numbers to 2017, when all 250,000 tickets sold out, making it the highest-grossing festival in the world.
Coachella will return for its 20th-anniversary event next April.
Lee Anne Callahan-Longo joins Live Nation’s Maverick
Lee Anne Callahan-Longo, formerly EVP and GM of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, is to join Live Nation’s artist management outfit Maverick.
At Parkwood, Callahan-Longo – who has more than 25 years’ experience in the music industry, including in artist management, radio promotion/marketing and production – oversaw three world tours, Beyoncé’s 2013 Super Bowl performance and all single and album releases, including the self-titled Beyoncé visual album. She parted ways with Beyoncé in early 2016.
“We are thrilled to have Lee Anne join Maverick,” says company principal Guy Oseary, who formed the current incarnation of Maverick in 2014 as a joint venture with Live Nation. “Her commitment to clients and ability to create next-level artist experiences and business opportunities makes her the perfect fit for our team.”
“Lee Anne has been a force in the industry for many years, and her innovative projects have caught our attention time and time again,” adds Gee Roberson, Maverick partner. “Her vision and work ethic meld perfectly with the Maverick team, and I’m excited to see what we accomplish together.”
“Lee Anne has been a force in the industry for many years, and her innovative projects have caught our attention time and time again”
Callahan-Longo comments: “I am excited to join the team at Maverick. The team is an innovative and collaborative collective that represents some of the most talented artists in the world.
“Working together, we all have access to new ideas and are well poised to maximise opportunities. I’m looking forward to building my business and contributing to the collective for years to come.”
Maverick forms part of LN’s Artist Nation business. Its roster includes U2, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, Fifth Harmony and the Roots.
75%+ of richest artists’ income is from touring
On average, the ten highest-paid artists made more than three quarters of their income last year from touring, reveals a new list of music’s biggest money-makers.
The list, compiled by Billboard, combines revenue from sales, streaming, publishing and touring. Of the top ten – Beyoncé, Guns N’ Roses, Bruce Springsteen, Drake, Adele, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan, Kanye West and Kenny Chesney, in that order – only one placed artist, Drake, earnt more from recorded music than from live.
Beyoncé (pictured) brought in US$4.3 million from sales, $1.9m from streaming and $1.3m from publishing, but $54.7m from touring (her Formation world tour was the highest grossing of the year); for second-placed Guns N’ Roses, meanwhile, the figures are $771,700, $670,800, $499,600 and $40.4m, respectively.
Drake, the sole exception to the rule, earnt $18.1m from streaming compared to $13.6m from touring. Kanye West’s streaming performance was also strong ($7.6m), although it was still under half the $15.4m he took home from live shows.
Added together, income from sales, streaming and publishing for the top ten totalled around $71.1m – or just 24.4% of the $291.7m they made from touring.
Music streaming is, of course, on the rise, climbing 9.9% in the first six months of 2017 alone. But –Drake aside – Billboard’s charts illustrate how even the world’s biggest artists are struggling to make significant money from streaming – and prove once again that it’s a good time to be in the concert business…
Grammys 2017 live performers see 207% sales bump
Live performances at Sunday’s 59th Grammy Awards generated an instant sales bump, with a 207% increase in downloads of the songs performed on the day of the show, according to initial analysis by Nielsen.
According to the market measurement firm, the songs shown in CBS’s 12 February broadcast sold more than 178,000 downloads that day, compared to 58,000 on 11 February.
“This immediate and impressive reaction proves the unparalleled power of the Grammy Awards to reach a wide audience and engage fans,” David Bakula, senior vice-president of global product leadership and industry insights at Nielsen Music, tells Billboard.
Beyoncé’s ‘Love Drought’ and ‘Sandcastles’, both performed at the Grammys saw the biggest sales bumps – 1,217% and 958%, respectively – with Adele’s ‘Hello’, which opened the awards, recording a 255% increase, selling 6,000 downloads on 12 February vs fewer than 2,000 on Saturday.
“This immediate and impressive reaction proves the unparalleled power of the Grammy Awards to reach a wide audience”
Other big winners included Katy’s Perry’s new single, ‘Chained to the Rhythm’, which rose 128% to 24,000; The Weeknd’s ‘I Feel it Coming’, which jumped 154% to 15,000; Keith Urban’s ‘The Fighter’, which increased 896% to 12,000; Bruno Mars’s ‘That’s What I Like’, which increased 354% to 23,000; and Maren Morris’s ‘Once’, performed with Alicia Keys at the Grammys, which saw a massive 7,430% increase to 6,000 downloads.
Awards-wise, Sunday’s biggest winners included Adele, who swept the major categories over rival Beyoncé; David Bowie, who posthumously won every award for which he was nominated; and Chance the Rapper, who won best new artist and won plaudits for his gospel-influenced performances.
Coachella 2017 headliners revealed
The line-up for Coachella 2017 has been revealed, with Beyonce, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar set to headline the festival in April.
Promoted by Goldenvoice, the event returns this year to the Empire Polo Club in California and takes place across two weekends.
Radiohead are headlining on Friday April 14th and 21st. Other acts on the bill for those dates include the XX, Travis Scott, Father John Misty and Empire of the Sun.
On Saturday, April 15th and 22nd, Beyonce is the main act. Bon Iver, Future, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, School Boy Q and Gucci Mane will also play.
Kendrick Lamar completes the headline line-up on Sunday April 16th and 23rd. He appears on the bill alongside Lorde, Justice, New Order, Porter Robinson & Madeon and Future Islands.
A whole host of other acts are also set to appear, including Bastille, Glass Animals, Steve Angello, Banks, Two Door Cinema Club, DJ Khaled and many more.
Last year Goldenvoice won approval from Indio City Council to increase the festival’s capacity by 26.3%, with the attendance cap rising from 99,000 to 125,000.
Passes for 2017’s festival go on sale on January 4th.
Beyoncé’s Formation world tour grosses $256m
Beyoncé’s Formation world tour, which wrapped up on Friday 7 October, will likely become the highest-grossing tour of 2016 after taking in more than US$256 million after five and a half months on the road in North America and Europe.
The American singer’s fifth headlining solo tour, promoted worldwide by Live Nation, grossed $256,084,556 from 2.2m tickets, according to Billboard’s Boxscore chart, eclipsing Taylor Swift’s 1989, which at $250.4m was the highest-grossing tour of 2015.
Both acts sold a similar number of tickets – Swift shifted closer to 2.3m – although the all-stadium Formation did so with less shows: 49 to 1989′s 83.
Tour promoter Arthur Fogel attributes the success of the tour to Beyoncé’s “rabid, committed fanbase”
The most lucrative stop on the tour came from Beyoncé’s two sell-out dates at Wembley Stadium in London in July, which grossed a total of $15.3m from 142,500 tickets.
Tour promoter Arthur Fogel, chairman of Live Nation’s Global Touring division, tells Billboard the success of the tour is down to Beyoncé’s “rabid, committed fanbase”.
Originally announced as a 40-date tour, the Formation trek was beefed up in May with a final US leg. Within a week of going on sale, in February, the tour had already sold close to one million tickets.