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Neo Sala on ‘phenomenal’ demand for Springsteen

Doctor Music has made history in Spain after selling 350,000 tickets for Bruce Springsteen’s 2023/24 shows in the country.

“I have never seen demand for tickets so strong during my 40 years as a concert promoter… it’s absolutely phenomenal,” Doctor Music founder and CEO Neo Sala told IQ.

In the space of 14 months, Doctor Music will have promoted seven shows in Spain for Springsteen and the E Street Band.

In April this year, the Boss performed two shows at the Estadi Olímpic in Barcelona, having sold 100,000 tickets in a few hours. “No other act in the history of Spanish concerts has sold so many tickets that fast,” Sala told IQ at the time.

This week, Doctor Music made history again, selling 250,000 tickets for Springsteen’s five 2024 concerts in Spain; two more at the Estadi Olímpic and three at the Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid. According to Sala, this marks a new record for the number of tickets sold in a week.

“It’s an honour and a great satisfaction,” Sala tells IQ. “It’s always an absolute pleasure to work with Bruce and his team and selling that many tickets – which means making many concertgoers happy – makes it even better,” adds Sala.

“No other act in the history of Spanish concerts has sold so many tickets that fast”

The legendary promoter, who founded Doctor Music in 1982, estimates that he has promoted close to 50 concerts for Springsteen since they joined forces in 1992. “And Bruce’s show is better than ever which is incredible considering his age,” he adds.

The 74-year-old’s upcoming Spain shows are part of a 22-date stadium run that kicks off on 5 May at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and finishes back in the UK at London’s Wembley Stadium on 25 July.

It will also visit Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

More than 1.6 million tickets were sold for the 2023 European leg, which concluded in late July with a sold-out show at the 70,000-cap Monza Circuit in Italy. The run visited 14 countries in Europe, including multi-night stands in Barcelona, Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Gothenburg, Oslo, London and Copenhagen.

In September, Springsteen postponed the remainder of his 2023 North American tour with the E Street Band on doctor’s advice as he continues his recovery from peptic ulcer disease. The tour, which grossed $142.6m in the first half of 2023, is due to resume at Phoenix’s Footprint Center in the US on 19 March next year.

 


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Bruce Springsteen announces 2024 European tour

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are returning to Europe for a slate of stadium dates next year.

The group have announced a 22-show stadium run, kicking off on 5 May at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and finishing back in the UK at London’s Wembley Stadium on 25 July.

It will also take in Northern Ireland, Ireland, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

More than 1.6 million tickets were sold for the 2023 European leg, which concluded in late July with a sold-out show at the 70,000-cap Monza Circuit in Italy. The run visited 14 countries in Europe, including multi-night stands in Barcelona, Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Gothenburg, Oslo, London and Copenhagen.

Springsteen postponed the remainder of his 2023 North American tour with the E Street Band last month on doctor’s advice as he continues his recovery from peptic ulcer disease. The tour, which grossed $142.6m in the first half of 2023, is due to resume at Phoenix’s Footprint Center in the US on 19 March next year.

“I am deeply sorry but this belly thing, despite my ability to laugh at it, has been a monster and is still unfortunately rocking my internal world”

The 74-year-old thanked his fans for their support during a recent episode of his SiriusXM E Street Radio show.

“Let me take a moment and thank my fans affected by our postponed shows for their understanding,” said Springsteen. “I am deeply sorry but this belly thing, despite my ability to laugh at it, has been a monster and is still unfortunately rocking my internal world.”

Meanwhile, Springsteen has paid tribute to the E Street Band’s longtime Japanese concert promoter Seijiro Udo, who died earlier this month aged 92 following a long illness.

“He was known to all of us as ‘Mr Udo,’ and he was simply one of a kind,” said Springsteen. “A perfect host and gracious guide to his beloved Japan, he was always dressed in his signature perfectly tailored suit and tie no matter the occasion. He was also a brilliant and driven concert promoter who took extraordinary care with even the tiniest details, an absolute master of his profession.

“Along with tour leaders Jon Landau and George Travis, I extend our deepest condolences to his family and dedicated team. He will be missed.”

The full list of Springteen’s tour dates for 2024 is as follows:

North America:

March 19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Footprint Center

March 25 – San Diego, CA @ Pechanga Arena

March 28 – San Francisco, CA @ Chase Center

March 31 – San Francisco, CA @ Chase Center

April 4 – Inglewood, CA @ Kia Forum

April 7 – Inglewood, CA @ Kia Forum

April 12 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena

April 15 – Albany, NY @ MVP Arena

April 18 – Syracuse, NY @ JMA Wireless Dome

April 21 – Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena

Aug. 15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena

Aug. 18 – Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena

Aug. 21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Citizens Bank Park

Aug. 23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Citizens Bank Park

Sept. 7 – Washington, DC @ Nationals Park

Sept. 13 – Baltimore, MD @ Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Oct. 31 – Montreal, Quebec @ Centre Bell

Nov. 3 – Toronto, Ontario @ Scotiabank Arena

Nov. 6 – Toronto, Ontario @ Scotiabank Arena

Nov. 9 – Ottawa, Ontario @ Canadian Tire Centre

Nov. 13 – Winnipeg, Manitoba @ Canada Life Centre

Nov. 16 – Calgary, Alberta @ Scotiabank Saddledome

Nov. 19 – Edmonton, Alberta @ Rogers Place

Nov. 22 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rogers Arena

Europe:

May 5 – Cardiff, Wales @ Principality Stadium

May 9 – Belfast, Northern Ireland @ Boucher Road

May 12 – Kilkenny, Ireland @ Nowlan Park

May 16 – Cork, Ireland @ Páirc Uí Chaoimh

May 19 – Dublin, Ireland @ Croke Park

May 22 – Sunderland, England @ Stadium of Light

May 25 – Marseille, France @ Orange Vélodrome

May 28 – Prague, Czech Republic @ Airport Letnany

June 1 – Milan, Italy @ San Siro Stadium

June 3 – Milan, Italy @ San Siro Stadium

June 12 – Madrid, Spain @ Cívitas Metropolitano

June 14 – Madrid, Spain @ Cívitas Metropolitano

June 20 – Barcelona, Spain @ Estadi Olímpic

June 27 – Nijmegen, Netherlands @ Goffertpark

July 2 – Werchter, Belgium @ Werchter Park

July 5 – Hannover, Germany @ Heinz von Heiden Arena

July 9 – Odense, Denmark @ Dyrskuepladsen

July 12 – Helsinki, Finland @ Olympic Stadium

July 15 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Friends Arena

July 18 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Friends Arena

July 21 – Bergen, Norway @ Dokken

July 25 – London, England @ Wembley Stadium connected by EE

 


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Ticketing: Demand for change

The latest edition of the International Ticketing Report (formerly the International Ticketing Yearbook) is now available in print, digitally, and on the dedicated year-round mini-site. Check out a key chapter below…

From the US president’s call for reform to frustrated fans being increasingly vocal about not getting tickets for high-demand shows, there’s never been so much scrutiny on the ticketing industry. With significant change on the horizon in the USA, what’s the broader impact worldwide?

Ticketing has long been a dynamic and fast-moving sector of the live entertainment industry. But it’s been quite some time since things were as heated as they have been in the last 18 months.

Media reports have been rife with topics such as the dynamic pricing of Bruce Springsteen’s tour and frustrated people unable to see one of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour dates.

Then, there’s been the involvement of the US president, Joe Biden, who’s been determinedly campaigning against hidden fees.

The largest ticketing company in the world, Ticketmaster, has long been campaigning for legislation on this issue.

The company’s global president Mark Yovich tells us: “Ticketmaster has shown all-in pricing for many years in a number of territories outside the US, as required by consumer law. Today we operate in over 30 countries and more than two- thirds of those display all-in pricing. We know it’s a better experience for fans and have long advocated for this in countries where it is not mandated. We also give fans in those markets a toggle to see prices including fees upfront.

“In the US, the industry noise is getting louder, and we are hopeful federal legislation is finally in sight, which would be great news for fans. Enforcement will be key to its success, as we have seen unscrupulous sites appearing in search results with misleading pricing even in the US states where all-in pricing is now law.”

“It’s a competitive industry, and we see other ticketing companies trying to win purchases by advertising the lowest ticket price possible – prices that exclude the fees”

Clarity on fees is also supported by Germany-headquartered global giant CTS Eventim. CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg says: “We fully support the goal of giving consumers maximum transparency, particularly on ticketing fees.”

“The president’s commitment to scrap junk fees is a huge step forward for a more enjoyable, more equitable live experience,” DICE CEO Phil Hutcheon told IQ in June. “DICE has always had upfront pricing, and it leads to more fans going out more often and ensures everyone can access the artists they love.”

The stumbling block to a wider roll-out of all-in pricing is that without legislation, the competitive nature of the industry will mean companies who are using fully transparent pricing could lose out to those that don’t. This would leave consumers confused and mean the firms that enact all-in costs could lose traffic to those that aren’t.

“It’s a competitive industry, and we see other ticketing companies trying to win purchases by advertising the lowest ticket price possible – prices that exclude the fees,” says Yovich. “This even happens in states in the US that currently mandate all-in pricing. Where Ticketmaster uses all-in pricing, we show the total price upfront. The discrepancy across platforms makes it impossible for fans to gain the full benefits of comparison shopping.”

He says Ticketmaster wants to see the law changed around the world, to create a level playing field.

“In the ticketing industry, what happens or what’s developed in North America is usually implemented internationally”

What happens in the US often reverberates across the rest of the world. If the US federal government legislates that ticket prices have to reflect the final cost upfront, then will those countries that don’t currently do that follow suit?

“In the ticketing industry, what happens or what’s developed in North America is usually implemented internationally,” says ticketing consultant Tim Chambers. “But will increased government regulation of ticketing or intervention by regulatory authorities follow suit? I’m not sure.

“Ultimately, governments are loath to regulate ticketing. They’ll provide guidelines, but they prefer self-regulation.”

Much of this debate played out in the media after two major on-sales: Bruce Springsteen’s 2023 tour, which drew ire from fans after some tickets reached more than $5,000 due to dynamic pricing, and Taylor Swift’s Eras outing. Presale chaos for her US dates was blamed on a cyberattack by ticket scalpers, who run bots. Although bots were banned in the USA in 2016 and the UK in 2018, they continue to be an issue on all hot tours around the world.

Yovich says the company continues to invest in its anti- bot tools, but adds it wants to see effective, enforceable legislation. “The financial incentives are incredibly high, and penalties are far too low to deter their use.”

“One of the most important factors is definitely how reliable our systems are, even when handling high or extremely high traffic”

Demand for Swift tickets in Australia was so high that at one point there were 4m people on Ticketek’s website at the on-sale – 20% of the country’s population.

“The bot attacks reached about 300m on the first day,” says Cameron Hoy, managing director, Ticketek, and chief digital officer at TEG, the Australia-based firm with ticketing brands across Australasia and the UK. “The resources that it takes to deal with those things are considerable.”

He says the number of attacks from bots is so high because the computer programs are openly being sold on major online sites, so they’re very easy for even novices to acquire and use.

Being able to handle such high levels of demand is crucial for the fan experience, and as such, reliable tech is a key focus for CTS Eventim, as Schulenberg says: “As a technology leader in our market, we strive to offer the best and most powerful solutions in every respect.

“One of the most important factors is definitely how reliable our systems are, even when handling high or extremely high traffic. And our commitment to effectively tackling abuse and fraud – such as using illegal bots. Our EVENTIM.Pass app provides digital-only tickets, which benefits promoters and fans by putting an end to unauthorised ticket resales.”

“We’re lucky to work in a space that’s filled with so much passion”

Ultimately, though, people’s post-Covid desperation to see the hottest concerts, fuelled by a strong sense of FOMO, means there will never be enough tickets for everyone. Social media amplifies their disappointment, with ticketing firms the target of their ire.

Yovich says: “We spend so much time at Ticketmaster pioneering new technologies and refining the fan experience to manage expectations, such as advanced smart queues that provide real-time position status and inventory updates; ticketing that avoids queues altogether through our Request system; and interactive seat maps and ‘view from seat’ options that help fans make informed decisions. There is so much more we are working on that will continue to remove friction.”

TEG’s Hoy says: “How do artists, ticketing companies, and the rest of the industry come together to manage super-high demand on-sales, when we know there is more demand than tickets? One answer could be to run a ballot. I know one of the reasons promoters might feel disinclined to do that is they’re unsure if it will be as hot as people think, but as an industry we can work together to solve this.”

And he says that while ticketing companies often need a thick skin to deal with fans’ disappointment, sometimes the amount of vitriol online can be difficult to handle. “We’re lucky to work in a space that’s filled with so much passion, and we
get to connect people with things that they love. And that’s a privilege in many respects. But there are some days when it can be pretty rough.”

Another reform Hoy would like to see around the world is making ticketing accessible for everyone. “As the world becomes more aware of the significant array of accessibility needs beyond that of mobility, we need a more equitable online purchasing process. The purchase experience should be the same for all members of the community, whether or not they have accessibility needs. That requires the whole industry working together to make sure that from the outset we’ve built the right technology and user interfaces to enable and cater for all needs but also that venues ensure there’s an appropriate amount of inventory available and communicated.”

“AI will revolutionise many of our processes – and it’s already doing so”

Looking to the future, Hoy says AI and machine learning (ML) will play an increasingly important role in the future. “We’ve been doing a lot of work with our data science team for ten years, meaning we can do much more in terms of predictive modelling to help promoters and venues understand demand curve; help inform their investments in particular acts and artists; and to help inform operational delivery, service delivery, and other things.

“I’m really proud of the work that we’ve been doing in building out a data science team that sits in the very centre of our ticketing company. Ticketing businesses are in a uniquely advantaged position to be leveraging AI and ML technologies given the wealth of data generated in the process of delivering our services. We are very focussed on investing further in this space to unlock value for both customers and clients.”

AI is an important part of the work that CTS Eventim does, too, says Schulenberg. “AI will revolutionise many of our processes – and it’s already doing so. It will help us analyse the huge volume of data we’ve aggregated so we can make our recommendations even more accurate and our sales platforms even more powerful. It will help guide marketing campaigns for our partners and support us in refining our after-sales service. With AI, we’ll be able to react faster, better, and more intelligently than ever before – especially with high volumes and short-notice projects. We began engaging with AI a while ago so that we could give our partners access to the best, most powerful tools on the market at any time.”

The rapid pace of change in the ticketing industry shows no sign of slowing up. And with improvements for all ticket- buyers high on many companies’ agendas, the coming 12 months are likely to be as dynamic as the last.

 


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Springsteen postpones remaining 2023 tour dates

Bruce Springsteen has postponed the remainder of his 2023 North American tour with the E Street Band “out of an abundance of caution”, as he continues his recovery from peptic ulcer disease.

The tour, which grossed $142.6m in the first half of 2023, had been due to resume in Canada at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on 3 November after the 74-year-old frontman postponed a string of September shows in the US on medical advice, and was scheduled to conclude with a three-night stand at San Francisco’s Chase Center from 8-12 December.

“Bruce Springsteen has continued to recover steadily from peptic ulcer disease over the past few weeks and will continue treatment through the rest of the year on doctor’s advice,” says a new statement. “Rescheduled dates for each of the 2023 shows, including those postponed earlier this month, will be announced next week, all taking place at their originally scheduled venues.

“I’m on the mend and can’t wait to see you all next year”

“When the new 2024 dates are announced, those unable to attend on the new date who purchased their tickets through official ticketing companies have 30 days to request a refund. All tickets for postponed performances will remain valid for the newly announced dates.”

The European tour leg wrapped up in July with more than 1.6 million tickets sold, having visited 14 countries including multi-night stands in Barcelona, Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Gothenburg, Oslo, London and Copenhagen.

“Thanks to all my friends and fans for your good wishes, encouragement, and support,” adds Springsteen. “I’m on the mend and can’t wait to see you all next year.”

 


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Springsteen European tour sells over 1.6m tickets

The European leg of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s 2023 tour has wrapped up with more than 1.6 million tickets sold.

The 31-date run climaxed last week with a sold-out show at the 70,000-cap Monza Circuit in Italy on 25 July.

The tour visited 14 countries in Europe, including multi-night stands in Barcelona, Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, Gothenburg, Oslo and Copenhagen, as well as two 65,000-cap headline dates at AEG Presents’ BST Hyde Park series in London.

“Springsteen blew my mind,” AEG’s European festivals CEO Jim King tells IQ. “The first show seemed like an impossible feat to beat, but I think he did it on the second show. It was just one of those great music moments.”

Speaking to IQ last year, Spanish promoter Neo Sala of Doctor Music revealed that demand for the shows helped set a new sales record in the country.

“We went on sale on [8 June] with one Estadi Olímpic, but it sold so fast that in less than an hour we had to add a second show which continued selling equally well,” he told IQ. “By noon… we had sold more than 100,000 tickets which is an absolute record in Spain. No other act in the history of Spanish concerts has sold so many tickets that fast.”

The 2023 Tour, which started in the US in February, now heads back to North America for a further 31 dates

Hundreds of fans were left disappointed after the tickets they bought on secondary platforms for Springsteen’s show in Munich, Germany turned out to be fake. T-Online reports that around 300 fans were caught out by the scam for The Boss’ 69,000-cap Olympic Stadium concert on 23 July. Some people had paid up to €600 for the counterfeit tickets.

According to SZ, similar reports were received in Austria regarding Springsteen’s 18 July show at Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium.

Booked by CAA, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s world tour was No.2 in Pollstar‘s mid-year rankings, behind only Taylor Swift, after grossing US$142.6 million (€129m) from 673,277 ticket sales in the first six months of this year. The average ticket price was $211.80.

The 2023 Tour, which started on 1 February at the 21,500-cap Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, US, now heads back to North America for a further 31 dates, starting with the first of two nights at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on 9 August. It is set to conclude with a pair of shows at San Francisco’s Chase Center on 10 & 12 December, with multi-night runs also scheduled for Philadelphia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Springsteen’s 2016/17’s The River Tour was the highest grossing worldwide tour of 2016, earning $268.3m over 76 shows.

 


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Springsteen Germany gig hit by fake ticket scam

Hundreds of Bruce Springsteen fans were left disappointed after the tickets they bought on secondary platforms for the rocker’s show in Germany turned out to be fake.

T-Online reports that around 300 fans were caught out by the scam for The Boss’ 69,000-cap concert at Munich’s Olympic Stadium with the E Street Band on 23 July. Some people had paid up to €600 for the counterfeit tickets.

Katharina Wenisch, spokesperson for promoter Live Nation GSA, says between 200 and 300 fans were turned away with fake tickets, leading police to be informed.

According to SZ, similar reports were received in Austria regarding Springsteen’s 18 July show at Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium.

“The higher the desire, the greater the risk that people will buy on the secondary market if there are no more tickets from the official providers”

“The higher the desire, the greater the risk that people will buy on the secondary market if there are no more tickets from the official providers,” adds Wenisch.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s 2023 Tour was No.2 in Pollstar‘s mid-year rankings, behind only Taylor Swift, after grossing US$142.6 million (€129m) from 673,277 ticket sales in the first six months of this year. The average ticket price was $211.80.

Ticketing for the run was subject to controversy before it even began after individual tickets reached more than $5,000 via Ticketmaster’s market-based platinum pricing model when the first wave of US tour dates went on sale last summer.

The backlash prompted the 73-year-old’s manager Jon Landau to defend the pricing, insisting it was in line with shows for acts of a similar stature, while Springsteen himself told Rolling Stone: “Ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also. And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable.”

 


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Five blockbuster tours top $100m gross in 2023

A record five tours have grossed more than $100 million (€913m) in the first six months of 2023, as the era of stadium touring takes hold of the concert business.

In an industry-first, blockbuster tours by Taylor Swift ($300.8m), Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band ($142.6m), Harry Styles ($124m), Elton John ($110.3m) and Ed Sheeran ($105.3m) all hit the nine-figure mark in H1 2023, leading Pollstar to declare “the age of the blockbuster tour is upon us”.

Pollstar‘s Top 100 worldwide tours show double-digit increases on 2022, including a 64.7% upturn in average show gross, a 49.3% rise in average tickets sold and a 10.3% hike in average ticket price.

“You’re seeing the strength and the conviction of the consumers,” Live Nation president of US Concerts Bob Roux tells the publication. “The shift in discretionary spending to live events and experiences over things has given our industry a big boost over the last couple of years and that trend continues and is growing.”

The list of the top 10 live music tours is rounded off by Red Hot Chili Peppers ($91.5m), Coldplay ($65.4m), Daddy Yankee ($60.5m), Bad Bunny ($49.1m) and Luke Combs ($47.2m).

The report notes that tours by artists such as Beyoncé, The Weeknd, U2 and Metallica are expected to impact the rankings – and the bottom line – in the second half of 2023, as the gulf between the A-listers and the rest accelerates markedly.

“It’s a very select group of artists who are in the stratosphere with demand to see them on a whole other level”

Dennis Arfa, chair of the music division at the newly formed Independent Artist Group, says the results highlight how the top dozen or so acts (adding the likes of U2, Billy Joel, Beyoncé, Metallica and the Rolling Stones to the current top 10) are in a league of their own, dubbing them the “billionaire’s club”.

“It’s a very select group of artists who are in the stratosphere with demand to see them on a whole other level,” he says. “No matter what’s going on in the economy, they are as close to bulletproof as you can get.”

The top grossing promoters, meanwhile, were Live Nation ($1.66 billion), AEG Presents ($423.2m), Mexico’s Ocesa ($327.8m), and Australia’s Frontier Touring ($189m) and TEG ($143.8m).

Other European promoters to make the top 30 include the UK’s SJM Concerts at No.13 (1.6m tickets sold), Italy’s Vivo Concerti at No.14 (1.5m sales), Germany’s Semmel Concerts at No.15 (1.3m sales), FKP Scorpio at No.28 (763,935 sales) and Italy’s Friends & Partners at No.29 (560,826 sales). See Pollstar‘s full mid-year results coverage here.

Elsewhere, ASM Global recently reported the biggest year ever for stadium concerts at its venues, selling 1.8 million tickets for 41 shows at six NFL stadiums in the US so far to generate $360m, according to data provided to Venues Now by ASM EVP Doug Thornton.

Chicago’s Soldier Field and Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium have each hosted nine gigs in 2023, closely followed by Houston’s NRG Stadium on eight; State Farm Stadium in Glendale, where Swift kicked off her Eras Tour, on seven; and US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on six.

 


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Congressmen unveil ‘BOSS and SWIFT’ ticketing act

Yet another proposal for ticketing reform in the US has been put forward, with two congressmen introducing their updated ‘BOSS and SWIFT Act’.

Named after Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift amid a string of ticketing controversies of 2022 – most notably Swift’s Eras Tour onsale, which prompted a Senate antitrust hearing, New Jersey representatives Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone say the legislation will provide “needed transparency and regulation to the badly corrupted live events ticket marketplace”.

The Act bids to tackle issues including hidden fees, on-sale transparency, buyer protections, speculative ticket sales and “deceptive white label websites”. The congressmen first submitted the legislation back in 2009 after Springsteen fans complained of being surreptitiously directed to secondary ticketing sites that were selling tour tickets at inflated prices.

“For too long, millions of American fans have been unable to get a fair shake for their tickets and cry out for relief,” says Pascrell. “The recent experience of Taylor Swift fans being locked out of her tour is not new… For decades, the ticket market has been the Wild West: mammoth, opaque, speculative, and brutally unfair. A fan shouldn’t have to sell a kidney or mortgage a house to see their favourite performer or team.

“At long last, it is time to create rules for fair ticketing in this country and my legislation will do exactly that for all the fans.”

Pallone says the BOSS and SWIFT Act will help protect consumers when they buy tickets from both primary and secondary ticketing platforms. A full section-by-section breakdown of the Act is available here.

“It’s past time to update the ticket marketplace to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for ticket buyers”

“Consumers deserve to enjoy their favourite artists and live entertainment without breaking the bank,” he says. “It’s past time to update the ticket marketplace to ensure it’s fair, transparent, and working for ticket buyers.”

US president Joe Biden demanded a crackdown on “excessive ticket fees” earlier this year, and the last few months have seen a flood of politicians putting forward proposed new ticketing laws in America.

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse tabled the “Junk Fee Prevention Act, while California Senator Scott Wilk recently called for a new law banning exclusive ticketing contracts between primary ticket sellers and venues in the Golden State.

Last week, two Massachusetts lawmakers put forward new ticketing legislation dubbed the “Taylor Swift Bill”, requiring platforms to disclose the full price of tickets upfront, while Live Nation recently launched the Fair Ticketing Act with the support of organisations such as CAA, UTA, Wasserman Music and WME.

In addition, 19 companies and associations operating in North America formed the Fix the Tix coalition at the start of this month.

 


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Springsteen’s Oslo concerts to be battery powered

Live Nation Norway will introduce electricity from mobile batteries for Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming concerts in Oslo, Norway.

Springsteen and The E Street Band are due to play two concerts at Voldsløkka (cap. 40,000) on 30 June and 2 July.

Thanks to a new partnership between LN Norway and Norwegian renewable energy and technology company Eviny, the gigs will use electricity from mobile batteries – thereby significantly reducing the use of diesel generators.

Live Nation Norway festivals Tons of Rock and the newly launched Vaulen Open Air will also benefit from the introduction of Eviny’s batteries.

“At Live Nation Norway, we are taking the lead in finding new, emission-free solutions”

Eviny has been producing clean renewable energy from hydropower for over 100 years and is now investing in mobile batteries and energy solutions to slash emissions within Norway’s live music scene.

The partnership sees the promoter take a step closer to decarbonising its festivals’ energy sources, seven years ahead of the original goal date of 2030.

“At Live Nation Norway, we are taking the lead in finding new, emission-free solutions,” says Martin Nielsen, head promoter in Live Nation Norway. “Eviny will now become an energy partner where the goal is to take action and make a difference to pave the way for a more sustainable live music scene both nationally and globally.”

Marit Meland, business developer at Eviny, adds: “We see a huge interest from several industries that are moving full speed ahead into the green shift. We see more and more interest from markets where there is a temporary need for electricity. The live music scene is a part of this, both when it comes to concerts and other types of events.”

 


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Mayor defends Springsteen over Italy gig criticism

The mayor of Ferrara has defended Bruce Springsteen after the star was criticised for not cancelling his show in the northern Italian city, amid devastating floods in the surrounding region.

Springsteen and The E Street Band performed a sold-out 50,000-cap concert at Parco Urbano Giorgio Bassani last night, promoted by Barley Arts, the group’s first of three dates in the Italy as part of their 2023 world tour.

However, there had been widespread calls to postpone the concert out of respect for the flooding in the Emilia-Romagna area, which has left 13 people dead and thousands homeless, and has been described by one politician as the worst disaster in a century. This Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Formula One Grand Prix at Imola was called off earlier this week due to safety concerns.

But speaking ahead of the Springsteen show, Ferrara mayor Alan Fabbri argued that cancelling the gig would not solve anything and only contribute to “more economic damage”.

In a Facebook post, he said: “I’m sorry if anyone might have thought that Ferrara was insensitive to the tragedy in Romagna just because they didn’t cancel The Boss’ concert. But I can assure you that as a former mayor of Bondeno, who lived the 2012 earthquake, on the front lines, I have never asked Italy or the region to stop championships, events and production of companies in solidarity with us.

“Firstly, because it doesn’t solve anything, except to create more economic damage to territories, workers and companies that have invested large sums for the event. Secondly, because it’s a level of demagogy that doesn’t belong to me.”

“I believe that all music, and especially at these levels, has the great power to unite people and sensibility from all parts of the world”

He added: “In Italy, there’s still a part of the public opinion that thinks that the world of events is not a sector equal to others, which one can safely do without, and because of this can be sacrificed at any occasion . In reality, it’s businesses and people who have suffered the burden of two years of Covid restrictions more than any other category, and it’s a shame that someone today has already forgotten that.

“I believe that all music, and especially at these levels, has the great power to unite people and sensibility from all parts of the world… May tonight’s music reach the flood affected populations with a single big hug.”

Barley Arts’ Claudio Trotta also discussed the decision to press ahead with the concert, saying the flooding had not hit Ferrara as badly as other cities, while the weather forecast was improving.

“It was not a red zone but an orange one,” he said, as per Radio Freccia. “We have had a great experience of people, companies and a lot of passion and love for one’s work which have allowed us today to be in a position – from the point of view of the show and the preparation of the arena – to be safe and rest assured that tomorrow, when we open the doors, the public will be adequately served and the show will take place regularly.”

Springsteen, who is represented by CAA, also plays Rome’s Circus Maximus on Sunday (21 May), returning to Italy on 25 July to perform at Monza’s Prato della Gerascia.


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