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Last Tour partners with discovery platform Fever

Spanish promoter Last Tour has formed a strategic alliance with live entertainment discovery platform Fever.

According to Last Tour – the promoter behind Bilbao BBK Live, Cala Mijas, BIME and Kalorama – the alliance will enable the company to “reach more and new audiences, in addition to promoting its expansion in LATAM, where Fever has experience in several territories”.

In addition, the agreement will allow Last Tour to “create synergies to expand its productions around the world”.

Fever is based in Madrid, Spain and New York, US and is led by Spaniards Ignacio Bachiller Ströhlein, Alexandre Perez Casares and Francisco Hein.

The platform makes personalised recommendations for users to enjoy unique, in-person local experiences such as immersive exhibitions, interactive theatrical experiences and festivals.

“It offers us the opportunity to carry out our activities more efficiently, to exchange knowledge, generate new opportunities”

The company is reportedly valued at $1.8 billion after its last funding round in February 2023, which was led by Goldman Sachs.

“This alliance is excellent news, as it merges the best of two outstanding companies: technology and entertainment,” says Alfonso Santiago, CEO of Last Tour.

“It offers us the opportunity to carry out our activities more efficiently, to exchange knowledge, generate new opportunities and the international development of both organisations.”

Francisco Hein, CMO and co-founder of Fever, adds: “This agreement is a significant step for us. Not only does it allow us to offer very high-quality musical content, but it also helps us to continue positioning ourselves as technological partners within the industry.”

Last Tour’s stable of events also includes Azkena Rock Festival, Donostia Festibala, Goxo, Navia Suena festival and Festival Santas Pascuas.

Bilbao BBK Live, Cala Mijas and BIME last year became the first festivals in Europe to receive B Corp certification.

 


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Last Tour reflects on Bilbao BBK Live triumph

Spanish independent promoter Last Tour has revealed that international sales helped drive a record year for its Bilbao BBK Live festival.

Held from 6-8 July, the festival’s 17th annual edition averaged crowds of 40,000 per day to see artists such as Florence + The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Pavement, The Chemical Brothers, Pavement and Idles, breaking the attendance record set in 2022.

Organisers say 35% of fans travelled from overseas, with 75 countries represented – led by the UK, France, the US, Germany and Italy. Three-day tickets sold out, along with passes for the final night headlined by Arctic Monkeys.

“It has been an excellent edition, and we are thrilled with the results,” Last Tour communication director Eva Castillo tells IQ. “The audience response has been great, and the changes we made, such as the new FOH setup and lower bar height, have been well-received.

“Throughout the year, we have worked on various improvements that have proven successful during the festival. We carefully listen to audience feedback each year to enhance their experience for the next edition, and they were pleased with the implemented improvements this time.”

“Diversity shone at the festival, with attendees of all kinds coexisting in the same natural space, creating a more inclusive, greener and cleaner event”

Earlier this year, the festival, along with Last Tour stablemates Cala Mijas and BIME, became the first in Europe to receive B Corp certification, joining the B Corp community – a global movement using the power of business to tackle social and environmental issues.

Day tickets for Bilbao BBK Live were priced €66, while three-day passes cost €164, or €182 plus camping. A total of €3 from each ticket was donated to help alleviate the effects of the 2022 fire at Mount Balmaseda in Enkarterri. Excess food was also donated to the Biscay Food Bank, and support was given to the migrant population through organisations such as Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak and KoopSF34.

Organisers also again dedicated their efforts to creating a space free from sexual assault with the EZ DA EZ (No means no) campaign, and introduced the Maite-Jokoa programme, promoting healthy relationships through sex education in entertainment venues.

“Diversity shone at the festival, with attendees of all kinds coexisting in the same natural space, creating a more inclusive, greener and cleaner event,” says Castillo. “Furthermore, 100 people with reduced mobility enjoyed the concerts from the new platform of Bilbao BBK Live, making the festival safe and accessible for everyone.

“Four young individuals from the LAN program, which is part of the Down Syndrome Foundation and other intellectual disabilities in the Basque Country, also gained valuable work experience during the festival.”

“The venue is unique, and this year it has been more present than ever”

Bilbao BBK Live takes place in two mountains: Kobetamendi, where the festival is held, and Arraiz, where the campsite is located, meaning mobility is a major challenge every year. In response, Last Tour provided free shuttle services operating continuously from Wednesday to Sunday.

“We also enhanced the bus services with reserved date and time slots and promoted a walking route, Kobetamendi Irteera, to reach the festival,” adds Castillo, who hails Kobetamendi as the festival’s “main headliner”.

“The venue is unique, and this year it has been more present than ever, thanks to the green decoration and the lightening of structures and stages,” she says. “Another highlight, as always, has been the audience, to whom we express our gratitude for their attitude and vitality. They have been respectful and mindful of the environment that hosts the festival, which helps us reduce the environmental impact with each edition.

“And of course, we want to acknowledge the bands and artists who have performed at the festival and delivered stellar performances, such as Florence+The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Pavement and Phoenix.”

Bilbao BBK Live returns to Kobetamendi, Bilbao, from 11-13 July 2024.

 


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Last Tour festivals receive B Corp certification

Bilbao BBK Live, Cala Mijas and BIME have become the first festivals in Europe to receive B Corp certification.

The three festivals, which are part of the independent Spanish promoter Last Tour, join the B Corp community – a global movement using the power of business to tackle social and environmental issues.

Bilbao BBK Live, Cala Mijas and BIME were recognised after implementing actions to reduce their environmental impact, raise awareness for diversity and equality, as well as implement protocols to reduce sexual attacks on their events. The recognition follows two-year evaluation process and is granted to only 4% of the companies that apply.

“The goal of Last Tour is to be a cultural and social activist, with creativity and innovation at the core, to contribute to the cultural development and co-creation of a society to which we feel committed,” says Last Tour CEO Alfonso Santiago.

“This recognition encourages us to maintain high standards where we constantly revisit our goal for social transformation”

“We stand committed to the B Corp standards while being recognised for the work we developed across the last 20 years. This recognition encourages us to maintain high standards where we constantly revisit our goal for social transformation while developing an economically viable business plan by acting proactively and responsibly in those territories where we are present.”

Bilbao BBK Live’s contribution to the community and the economic impact on the city of Bilbao were also key factors in the B Corp community, with its employment of local teams, donations for forest reforestation and aid to disadvantaged groups through the Bizkaia Food Bank, Ukraine Euskadi and other local support organisations all highlighted.

Cala Mijas was acknowledged for its social commitment and actions that include alliances with organisations such as Basic Income, promoting the development of people at risk of exclusion or the NGO Equilibrio Marino which seeks to protect the Calahonda Special Conservation Zone in the region of Mijas, Malaga.

Meanwhile, BIME, a non-profit project run by the Creative Industries Foundation was singled out for its organisational awareness in terms of horizontality, collaboration, flexibility, inclusion and parity.

In alignment with the B Corp guidelines, Bilbao BBK Live, Cala Mijas and BIME will continue to review internal policies for constant improvement while also consolidating their commitment to the 2023 Agenda, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Global Compact.

Last Tour’s management team has also made a commitment to environmental and social performance, which is included a new clause in the company’s byelaws.

 


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Bilbao, Exit, Primavera and more add to 2023 lineups

Next year’s European festival season is taking shape, with more line-up announcements from Bilbao BBK Live, Exit festival, Super Bock Super Rock and Primavera Sound Porto.

Spain’s Bilbao BBK Live is scheduled to return to Kobetamendi between 6 and 8 July 2023 for a 16th edition, headlined by Arctic Monkeys, Florence + The Machine and The Chemical Brothers.

Phoenix, Fever Ray, Duki, M83, IDLES, Dry Cleaning, The Blaze, Jamie xx, Röyksopp and The Murder Capital are also on the bill.

Bilbao BBK Live promoter The Last Tour is also behind Cala Mijas, Meo Kalorama, Azkena Rock Festival and BIME Live.

In neighbouring Portugal, the promoters of Primavera Sound Porto announced what they describe as “the best lineup in its history” for the festival’s 10th anniversary.

Blur, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalia, Pet Shop Boys, FKA twigs, Halsey, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, Le Tigre and My Morning Jacket top the poster.

the promoters of Primavera Sound Porto announced what they describe as “the best lineup in its history”

They are joined by Isabella Lovestory, The Comet Is Coming, Bad Religion, Baby Keem, Julia Holter, Núria Graham, Sparks, Darkside, NxWorries, Fred again.., Pusha T, Yard Act, and many more.

The festival will take place at Parque Cidade between 7–10 June 2023, with tickets starting from €170.

Elsewhere in the country, Super Bock Super Rock will return to Meco, Lisbon, in July 2023, after three years away.

The 1975, Jame Murphy, Franz Ferdinand, Black Country, New Road, Sampha The Great and L’Impératice will help ring in the 27th edition, slated for 14–16 July at Meco Beach, Sesimbra.

Meanwhile, Serbia’s Exit festival will return to the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia, between 6–9 July 2023, with acts including The Prodigy, Skrillex, Hot Since 82, Camelphat and more.

As reported last week, the Prodigy’s headline set will feature a special laser projection of their late frontman Keith Flint.

 


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More major Spanish festivals pull the plug on 2021

Spain’s 2021 festival season has diminished once again with fresh cancellations from major festivals Mad Cool and Bilbao BBK Live.

Other marquee Spanish festivals including Primavera Sound and Sónar Barcelona were previously called off, while Arenal Sound, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim and Cruïlla are still forging ahead with this year’s events.

Live Nation-promoted Mad Cool (cap. 60,000) was set to take place between 7–10 July 2021 in Madrid but this morning (20 May), the organisers confirmed that this year’s event is cancelled due to the “current force majeure circumstances” of the pandemic.

“It has been a very painful decision to come to, as our desire (and probably yours) was to find ourselves all together again at Mad Cool in 2021,” they said in a statement.

“However, we would like to let you know we think this is the appropriate, sensible and right decision to make. Health is more important than anything.”

“[Mad Cool] would like to let you know we think this is the appropriate, sensible and right decision to make”

The fifth edition of Mad Cool will take place in 2022 from July 6–9. All purchased tickets for Mad Cool 2021 will be valid for the 2022 edition of the festival, while refunds and ticket changes will be available between 7–21 July.

A line-up announcement for 2022 is expected to be made before 7 July, with the organisers noting that “we are keeping as many artists as we can from 2021 and also adding some new ones so we can have the best line-up ever”.

The likes of The Killers, Haim and Cardi B had all been set to play at the 2021 edition of the event.

The cancellation of Mad Cool follows that of Bilbao BBK Live, which was called off on Tuesday (18 May) due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

The 15th anniversary of the Spanish event was due to take place between 8–10 July 2021, with the likes of The Killers, Pet Shop Boys, Supergrass and FKA Twigs.

“We appreciate [fans’] patience, and we share the same frustration for missing out on the festival yet again”

“First and foremost, a big thank you to all of you for your patience and resilience during these tough times,” a statement read.

“We feel your support now more than ever. As you can imagine, Bilbao BBK Live will not be held as originally planned nor on the scheduled date. We will have to wait a bit longer as the highly anticipated reunion is postponed to 2022.”

The post continues: “We appreciate your patience, and we share the same frustration for missing out on the festival yet again. All we can think about is how incredible the reunion is going to be after this long wait, and we guarantee it will be worth it.

We will return even more eager to celebrate and enjoy live music. See you next year!”

The line-up for Bilbao 2022 will arrive by 8 July.

 


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First post-lockdown concerts take place in Spain

The first post-lockdown live music events are taking place in Spain this week, as the country embarks on phase two of its lockdown easing plan.

As of 25 May, outdoor events of up to 400 people and indoor concerts with a maximum capacity of 50 people have been allowed to resume in Spain.

Although the reopening measures have been criticised by members of the Spanish live industry for being unclear and unrealistic, a number of event organisers have taken the opportunity to restart business.

This week, five concerts are taking place in the northern region of Cantabria as part of the local government’s ‘Culture Counterattack’ campaign. Performances by acts Rulo, Vicky Castelo, Billy Boom Band, Deva and Repion will take place this weekend (29 to 30 May) in the cities of Santander, Torrelavega and Muriedas.

“These five Cantabrian artists will connect with their fans again, to a lesser extent than we would like, but with as many as is possible right now,” says Pablo Zuloaga, vice president of Cantabria, who announced the campaign last week.

Elsewhere in Spain, organisers of Barcelona’s Festival Cruïlla, who, along with promoters of major Spanish events including Primavera Sound, Mad Cool, Bilbao BBK Live and Sónar, recently called off their 2020 festival, have announced Cruïlla XXS, a series of over 200 open-air events taking place throughout the city in July.

“This is a way of putting the message out there that, little by little, things are getting better”

Priced between €15 and €45, each event – which range from concerts, talks and conference sessions to urban art and circus performances – will be seated and have a maximum capacity of 400. The events will be hosted in venues including open-air architectural museum the Poble Espanyol, the Design Museum of Barcelona, the Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) and the gardens of the Catalan national theatre.

“This is a way of putting the message out there that, little by little, things are getting better,” comments Cruïlla XXS programmer Jordi Herreruela. “This will have a positive impact on the collective state of mind.”

Cruïlla XXS organisers are working with the Barcelona Institute for Global Health to ensure adequate safety measures are in place. “If we want to go back to putting on events with several thousand people, we will have to show we are capable of doing so,” says Herreruela.

Two Door Cinema Club, Kase.O, Residente and Of Monsters and Men are among acts confirmed for Festival Cruïlla 2021.

Spain is due to enter it final stage of lockdown easing on 8 June, which allows outdoor events of up to 800 people and indoor concerts with a capacity limit of 80, as well as the reopening of night clubs and bars at a third of usual capacity.

Photo: Roger Canals/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


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Artists perform online in solidarity with Primavera Sound

Artists including Rosalía, Interpol, Belle & Sebastian, Jarvis Cocker and Billy Bragg have taken part in a video to show appreciation for all the promoters, fans and musicians affected by the Covid-19 crisis, in conjunction with Primavera Sound.

Organisers of the Barcelona festival, which was called off earlier this week, despite having rescheduled from June to August, reached out to over one hundred artists asking for video clips of home performances.

The resulting video can be found on the festival’s social media pages and using the hashtags #cantdowithout you and #ps21.

“Thanks for believing in us. In 2021 we will dance together again”

“Thanks for believing in us. In 2021 we will dance together again,” reads a post on the Primavera Sound Facebook page.

Primavera Sound is among Spanish festivals including Sónar and Bilbao BBK Live to call time on 2020.

Despite announcing its lockdown exit plan, the Spanish government has yet to detail when large-scale events such as festivals may take place again, preventing cancellation due to force majeure and leading to criticism from much of the country’s live music industry.


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Spanish fests at ‘clear disadvantage’ without gov action

The Spanish Association of Music Festivals (Asociación de Festivales de Música – FMA) has warned that the country “could become the first without festivals” if the government does not implement measures similar to those seen in neighbouring countries soon.

“If the adequate measures are not taken, our festivals will be at a clear disadvantage to other European festivals,” reads a statement from the FMA, which includes events including Primavera Sound, Bilbao BBK Live, Arenal Sound, Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) and Sónar.

The Spanish association states it is expecting “the mass suspension of festivals and music events for the 2020 summer season”, which will “jeopardise the rest of the year due to the unfeasibility of rescheduling every event”.

The FMA proposes measures similar to those put forward by Spanish music federation Esmúsica, in particular, the introduction of greater flexibility around the way consumers can be compensated for a cancelled or postponed event.

Ticketholders should be able to decide whether to hold on to tickets for rescheduled events or exchange them for those for another event or festival via a voucher.

“If the adequate measures are not taken, our festivals will be at a clear disadvantage to other European festivals”

If neither of these options are available, says the FMA, customers should be able to ask for a cash refund that will be delivered within 18 months of the cancellation date.

The association highlights measures put in place in other countries such as Germany, which has introduced a voucher system; the Netherlands, which is running a public campaign encouraging consumers to retain tickets for future events; Italy, which has made the refund process more flexible; and Portugal, where a voucher scheme is also in place.

Spanish festivals including Primavera Sound, Mallorca Live and Vina Rock have moved to later in the year, with organisers of Sónar (18 to 20 June), Mad Cool (8 to 11 July), Bilbao BBK (9 to 11 July), FIB (16 to 19 July) and Arenal Sound (28 July to 2 August) yet to make announcements on the fate of their 2020 editions.

“We are waiting for them to tell us when we will be able to return to activity,” Albert Salmerón, president of Spanish promoters’ association, APM, tells el Periódico. “Or at least until when we won’t be able to return to it. That would help us to plan.”

The Spanish government is meeting on 5 May to approve measures for the cultural industry.

 


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Primavera Sound moves to August

The 20th-anniversary Primavera Sound Barcelona will now take place from 26 to 30 August, as the festival shifts back three months to avoid disruption from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Both Primavera Sound music festival and Primavera Pro, the industry conference that runs alongside it, will take place at their original venue, Barcelona’s waterfront at the Parc del Fòrum.

The events typically takes place at the start of June – Primavera means ‘spring’ in Spanish – with organisers using the slogan: “Primavera in summer, for once in a lifetime”.

Primavera’s Portuguese sister event, Nos Primavera Sound Porto has also been postponed, moving from mid-June to 3 to 5 September.

Tickets already purchased for both festivals and the conference remain valid for the new dates.

Primavera Sound experienced record ticket sales following the release of its line-up this year, with over 10,000 fans snapping up tickets in 24 hours to see the likes of the Strokes, Massive Attack, Iggy Pop, Lana Del Rey, Kacey Musgraves, Tyler the Creator, Beck, Bikini Kill and Disclosure.

Organisers state they “will make every effort to ensure that this change affects the festival’s programme as little as possible.”

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together”

Ticket sales will be reactivated once the country’s official state of emergency, declared on 14 March, is over.

“Let’s all face this together. We will get through this together. And we will celebrate our 20th anniversary together,” reads a statement from organisers.

Primavera is not the only Spanish festival to change dates due to coronavirus.

Mallorca Live has moved from mid-May to 8 to 10 October, with organisers stating that 80% of the line-up has so far been retained for the later date. The 25th edition of Viña Rock festival will also take place in October, moving from dates at the end of April.

Mad Cool festival director Javier Arnaiz confirmed his intention to continue with the 2020 festival to Spanish newspaper El País last week, saying “our aim is for the festival to go ahead on the original dates. We are positive despite the cirumstances. Suspension is not a part of our plans.” Spanish festivals including Sónar (18 to 20 June), Arenal Sound (28 July to 2 August), Bilbao BBK (9 to 11) and FIB are all currently going ahead as planned.

The approach differs from that seen in the UK in recent weeks, with the cancellation of the major events including Glastonbury Festival, Download, Isle of Wight, Parklife, Lovebox and All Points East.

 


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Spain’s APM launches new festival arm

Spain’s Association of Music Promoters (APM) is launching APM Festivals, a new division consisting of 80 festival from across Spain.

The association will present its new division today (22 January) at Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur), which is taking place at exhibition centre Ifema, at 4 p.m. local time.

APM spokesperson Carol Rodriguez, who is responsible for the festival division, will announce the objectives and demands of the new division, and name the participating festivals.

The Spanish live music industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with APM recording five consecutive years of growth since 2014.

Major Spanish festivals include Primavera Sound, which reported record ticket sales for its 2020 edition; Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival; Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, which was last year acquired by the Music Republic, promoter of festivals Arenal Sound and Viña Rock; Bilbao BBK Live and Superstruct-backed Sónar Festival.

Photo: (CC BY 2.0)

 


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