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Malta to host trio of festivals this summer

The southern European island state of Malta is preparing to welcome festivalgoers over the next few months, as it gets set to become one of the only European countries to host large-scale music events this summer.

With one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 in Europe, Malta is lifting lockdown measures – including all international travel restrictions – on 15 July. It is one of 60 countries included in a list of “travel corridors” with the UK, meaning those travelling between the two countries will not need to self-isolate on arrival.

Escape 2 the Island, organised by UK-based promoter Bass Jam, will see artists including Aitch, AJ Tracey, Fredo and Charlie Sloth perform at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre (MFCC), an indoor and outdoor events venue in the town of Attard, from 28 to 30 August.

The festival is organised in conjunction with the Malta Tourism Authority and Visit Malta. Tickets for the event went on sale on Friday (3 July), priced from €99 for general admission and €129 for VIP.

From 4 to 6 September, Rhythm and Waves festival will take place at outdoor events arena Gianpula Village, with performances from Andy C, Chase and Status, Netsky, Subfocus, Shy FX and Wilkinson.

The southern European island state of Malta is preparing to welcome thousands of festivalgoers over the next few months

Tickets are priced from €119 for general admission and €149 for VIP and can be bought here.

Global dance music brand BPM is holding its inaugural Maltese edition from 11 to 13 September at open-air club Uno Malta.

The line-up for the festival, which has previously taken place in Mexico, Portugal, Israel and Costa Rica, is yet to be announced. Fans can register for pre-sale tickets and further information here.

The fate of events in fellow Mediterranean festival hotspot, Croatia, is hanging in the balance this year, after authorities banned events from taking place on Zrće beach on the island of Pag last week, leading to the cancellation of BSH Events’ BSH Island festival. It had previously been believed that clubs and events on the beach would reopen this week.

Pag is typically home to Hideout, Sonus, Zrce Spring Break Europe and Austria Goes Zrce festivals.

Neighbouring Serbia will host Exit Festival in August, with acts including Amelie Lens, Maceo Plex and Nina Kraviz performing to a 50% capacity crowd at the Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad.

 


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The decade in live: 2017

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.

The memories of a turbulent 2016 were left far behind in 2017, as the concert business enjoyed a record-breaking twelve months, as the year’s gross revenue and number of tickets sold saw 2013 finally knocked off the top spot.

The success of the live business in 2017, however, was somewhat overshadowed by a number of devastating terror attacks, with the Manchester Arena bombing, the shootings at Route 91 Harvest and BPM Festival, the Reina nightclub shooting and other incidents targeting music fans.

In response to the tragedies, the live industry united and made a positive impact, in the form of the One Love Manchester and We are Manchester charity concerts and candlelit vigils and fundraising for victims of the Route 91 Harvest attack.

Elsewhere, the booking agency world continued to consolidate through 2017, with a number of acquisitions, mergers and partnerships while Live Nation welcomed several more promoters, festivals, ticketing agencies and venues to its fast-growing family.

 


2017 in numbers

The live music business reached new heights in 2017, with the top 100 tours worldwide generating a record US$5.65 billion, up almost 16% from the previous year.

The number of tickets sold throughout the year also saw a notable increase from the year before, climbing 10.4% to 66.8 million, at an average price of almost $4 more per ticket than in 2016, at $84.60.

Eleven tours surpassed the $100m mark in 2017, with U2 topping the year-end charts having generated $316m on their Joshua Tree tour. Guns N’ Roses narrowly missed out on $300m, grossing $292.5m on the Not in this Lifetime tour.

Coldplay came in next, as the band’s A Head Full of Dreams tour made $238m. Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic tour was also successful, grossing just over $200m, whereas Metallica’s WorldWired tour generated $152.8m.

Depeche Mode, Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks and Celine Dion were the other acts whose 2017 tour earnings exceeded $100m.

 


2017 in brief

January
A lone gunman attacks New Year’s revellers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, resulting in the death of 39 people and injuries to a further 70. Two weeks later, four are killed and 12 injured during a shooting at the BPM Festival in the coastal resort of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

AM Only and The Windish Agency rebrand as Paradigm Talent Agency, signalling the next phase of their joint ventures, launched in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

Global asset management firm Providence Equity Partners acquires a 70% stake in Sziget Festival and reveals plans to launch eight to ten branded festivals, with James Barton, former president of electronic music for Live Nation, leading the international expansion.

AEG Live finalises negotiations to acquire New York-based promoter/venue operator The Bowery Presents.

February
Ticketbis, the multinational resale operation acquired by eBay in May 2016, is rebranded as StubHub, bringing to an end the Ticketbis name across Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Live Nation enters the Middle East’s biggest touring market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Bluestone Entertainment, one of Israel’s leading promoters.

March
Iron Maiden’s decision to use paperless tickets on the UK leg of The Book of Souls arena tour helps reduce the number of tickets appearing on secondary sites by more than 95%, according to promoter Live Nation.

Live Nation acquires a controlling stake in the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival.

The Australian leg of Adele’s Live 2017 tour makes concert history after playing to more than 600,000 people over eight stadium dates.

The decade in live: 2017

Sziget Festival 2017 © László Mudra/Rockstar Photographers

April
In the biggest primary deal so far for the world’s largest secondary ticketing site, StubHub is named the official ticket seller for Rock in Rio 2017.

Creative Artists Agency increases its investment in the Chinese market via a new alliance with private equity firm CMC Capital Partners.

May
Luxury Ja Rule-backed boutique event, Fyre Festival, descends into chaos on its first day, with visitors to the Bahamas site comparing conditions to a refugee camp.

22 people, including children, lose their lives after a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, for which Islamic State terror claims responsibility. The attack targets people leaving the 21,000-cap. venue at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

June
Pandora Media announces the sale of Ticketfly to Eventbrite. Despite purchasing the company for $450m less than two years ago, it sells for a package worth $200m.

AEG invests in Immortals, one of the world’s leading esports teams, with professional players in the North American League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros, Overwatch and Vainglory leagues. The team will now play their Los Angeles tournaments and matches at AEG’s LA Live entertainment district.

The organisers of ILMC announce the launch of the Event Safety and Security Summit (E3S), a one-day meeting focusing on security at live events.

The decade in live: 2017

The reality of Fyre Festival © Here_Comes_the_Kingz/Reddit

July
Helsinki-based Fullsteam Agency acquires Rähinä Live, whose roster includes some of Finland’s biggest hip-hop and pop artists.

Oak View Group, which counts Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke among its founders, completes its acquisition of Pollstar, adding the US-based concert business magazine to its portfolio of trade titles.

August
Madison Square Garden Company makes a significant move into the esports sector by acquiring a controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming.

Paradigm Talent Agency acquires Chicago- and California-based agency Monterey International, including its 14 agents and 200 acts.

Live Nation launches in Brazil with former Time for Fun (T4F) chief entertainment officer Alexandre Faria Fernandes at the helm.

September
Three quarters of staff at Function(x), the online business founded by former SFX Entertainment CEO Robert Sillerman, are effectively laid off, with the company telling investors it lacks the funds to pay them.

A sovereign wealth fund controlled by the government of Saudi Arabia, says it is forming a new SR10 billion ($2.7bn) investment vehicle in a bid to kick-start the kingdom’s entertainment sector.

Music returns to Manchester Arena as a capacity crowd turn out for We are Manchester, a benefit concert that raises funds for a memorial to the victims of the 22nd of May bombing.

The decade in live: 2017

The We are Manchester charity concert drew a full-capacity crowd at the 21,000-cap. arena © Showsec

October
A gunman kills 58 people and injures a further 546 at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. Local resident Stephen Paddock targeted the concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.

WME-IMG rebrands as Endeavor, with company assets that include martial- arts promoter, UFC; ad agency, Droga5; Professional Bull Riders; the Miss Universe Organization; Frieze Art Fair; management companies, Dixon Talent and The Wall Group; and joint ventures such as Euroleague Basketball and esports championship ELEAGUE.

November
Ticketmaster confirms its long-rumoured expansion into Italy. The launch of Ticketmaster Italia, headquartered in Milan, follows the end of the exclusive long-term online partnership in Italy between Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, and CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne.

After 11 years in East London’s Victoria Park – now exclusive to AEG – Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day Festival will head to Brockwell Park in South London. Live Nation’s Lovebox and Citadel are also rumoured to be moving to Brockwell Park.

Secondary ticketing websites will, from January 2018, be subject to stringent restrictions on their use of Google AdWords, as the search-engine giant cracks down on ticket resellers’ controversial use of its online advertising platform.

December
Leading self-service ticketer Eventbrite announces a series of new partnerships, rolling out integrations with events guide The List, festival package provider Festicket, word-of-mouth ticket sales platform Verve, and brand ambassador software Ticketrunner.

Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment since 2010, will remain in his role until at least 2022 after signing a new five-year contract worth up to $9m per annum. Also re-upping are leading execs Kathy Willard, Michael Rowles and Joe Berchtold.


The decade in live: 2017

Primary Talent’s Dave Chumbley (1960-2017) picks up his Platinum Endurance Arthur Award at ILMC 25 © ILMC

 

Who we lost

Peter Rieger, founder of German promoter Peter Rieger Konzertagentur (PRK); Joseph Rascoff, business manager to the Stones, David Bowie, U2, Sting and more; ILMC’s long-time producer Alia Dann Swift; ShowSec International Ltd founder Mick Upton; Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent International director; Mary Cleary, former booker and tour manager; American singer-songwriter Tom Petty; pioneering concert promoter Shmuel Zemach, founder of Zemach Promotions; Australian country music promoter, agent and artist, Rob Potts; Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington; Reading festival founder Harold Pendelton; Washington, DC, promoter Jack Boyle; Live Nation Belgium booker Marianne Dekimpe; rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry.

 


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Event Genius Pay to make African debut

UK event technology company Event Genius has announced a new cashless payment deal with the inaugural Ghanian edition of Afro Nation festival this December.

Event Genius has partnered with festivals and events across Europe and Asia including Portugal’s BPM Festival, Jika Jika! in Northern Ireland, Parklife in Manchester, UK and Annie Mac’s Lost and Found festival in Malta

Under the new deal, the company will take its cashless payment technology to Africa for the first time.

The Ghanian edition of Afro Nation festival is scheduled from the 27 to 30 December, with an expected attendance of 15,000. Alkaline, Burna Boy and J Hus are among acts to appear on the line-up.

Festivalgoers will be able to pre-purchase credit to pay for food, drink and merchandise at the event using RFID-enabled wristbands.

“We’re delighted to partner with a ticketing and technology company capable of providing a true end-to-end event platform for the inception of Afro Nation”

Event Genius is powering the ticketing for Afro Nation Ghana through the Ticket Arena website and a white label box office. Using the Entry Genius app, organisers will be able to manage entry points, track attendance and reduce ticket fraud.

“We’re delighted to partner with a ticketing and technology company capable of providing a true end-to-end event platform for the inception of Afro Nation,” says Obi Asika, chief executive of Afro Nation.

“Through our partnership with Ticket Arena and Event Genius, fans are assured the best possible experience from buying tickets, to entering the festival safely and ultimately enjoying their time dancing on the beach, without the need to worry about money or queues for drinks.”

The first-ever Afro Nation festival took place in Portimão, Portugal this year from 1 to 4 August, with performances from Wizkid, Davido, Ms Dynamite and Stefflon Don.

 


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BPM Festival goes cashless with Event Genius

BPM Festival has signed a five-year deal that sees them join a growing list of festival’s choosing to go cashless with Event Genius.

The deal sees the world-famous electronic music showcase take advantage of the Leeds-based company’s award-winning cashless solution, Event Genius Pay, as part of an end-to-end service that will also provide online ticketing and access control to the festival.

As a result, fans attending BPM Festival will be afforded the best possible experience before, during and after their visit to the sunny municipalities of Portimão and Lagoa in Portugal’s southern Algarve region this September.

Prior to the festival, BPM fans will only need to create a single online account to buy tickets and pre-purchase credits, which will replace cash across the festival site. Upon arrival, these credits will be loaded to an RFID-enabled wristband – which they’ll receive in exchange for their ticket – and be used to pay for food, drink and more with a quick tap. Fans will be able to top-up credits on-site whenever they run low and reclaim any unspent credits after the festival has finished.

“Event Genius Pay offers a win-win scenario for BPM’s fans and organisers”

“It’s a big decision, we’re confident our fans will love it,” says Jason Jennings, director of BPM Festival and AMP Lost and Found Festival, which went cashless with Event Genius Pay in 2018. “At last year’s Lost and Found Festival, the expert staff at Event Genius made the switch to cashless quick and easy for our staff and, more importantly, our fans, so when the time came to make a decision about BPM Festival, it was a no-brainer.”

“Event Genius Pay offers a win-win scenario for BPM’s fans and organisers,” says Reshad Hossenally, managing director at Event Genius. “Without having to worry about carrying money or wasting time waiting in line to be served, BPM festivalgoers can just relax and enjoy the sun. Jason and the BPM family can expect a boost to their revenues, a reduction in cash handling mistakes and won’t have to incur the overheads involved with moving physical money around the site. Cashless really is king.”

Learn more about the Event Genius Pay cashless solution at the company’s website.

 


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