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Joint approach agreed for Live Nation Germany concert

Live Nation GSA and local authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia have agreed on a joint procedure for the country’s major return to live, Give Live A Chance.

The 4 September concert (originally billed as Return to Live) is scheduled to be the biggest show Germany has seen since March, inviting up to 12,000 fans to watch artists including Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey in the all-seated Merkur Spiel Arena.

However, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the City of Düsseldorf raised concerns about the concert after the country saw an increase in coronavirus infections.

After meeting with Marek Lieberberg, CEO of Live Nation GSA, both parties have agreed to continue to monitor the infection process together and make a final decision by 31 August, at the latest, as to whether Give Live A Chance can take place.

“This is a constructive, trend-setting agreement that gives culture a chance and takes into account the specific development of the infection. Artists, fans and organisers can live with that,” says Lieberberg.

Health minister Karl-Josef Laumann says: “Today [13 August] NRW has an incidence of 13.7. Compared with other state capitals, the state capital Düsseldorf ranks second for infections with an incidence of 18.7.”

“This is a constructive, trend-setting agreement that gives culture a chance. Artists, fans and organisers can live with that”

“As long as the incidence and infection rate are at a high level, a music event of this magnitude will not be able to take place. But, in the sense of the constructive discussions of the last few days and in recognition of the conscientious concept for the arena area, no final decision will be made today.”

Experts from the ministry had previously checked the hygiene measures developed by Lieberberg and the event subsidiary of the state capital Düsseldorf, D-Live.

They confirmed that, subject to a few questions, this is a “technically well-thought-out concept” that adequately takes into account the infection protection requirements for the arena area.

Fans attending Give Live A Chance will have to register their contact details when buying their tickets and agree to the special terms and conditions which includes wearing a face mask and adhering to the social distancing set out in the seated arrangement.

Further measures include larger waiting areas outside the stadium, tiered entry and exit time slots, an alcohol ban as well as regular disinfecting and additional hygiene precautions.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, previously announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

The presale for Give Live A Chance continues for the time being but in the event of cancellation, visitors will be reimbursed the entry fee including the advance booking fee.

 


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Greek ticketer threatens legal action against Art BG

Greek ticketing company Viva is pursuing legal action against promoter Art BG for the return of almost €740,000 in ticket sales for events it claims the promoter “did not end up organising”.

According to an extrajudicial statement filed by Viva and obtained by IQ, Art BG sold 13,080 tickets to four concerts through Viva’s platform, collecting a total of €737,659.

On 11 November, ten days before the first scheduled date, the promoter informed Viva that, due to “financial difficulties”, it would be unable to pay for the cost of the shows.

The ticketing company states that the promoter then “literally disappeared” and has not responded to phone calls or written communications since.

In order to avoid cancellation of the first concert – Bryan Adams at Athens’ Oaka indoor arena (21,000-cap.) on 18 November – Viva “decided to bear the costs” and the show went ahead as planned.

The ticketing company states that the other affected events – Jose Carreras at the Oaka arena on 24 November and Maluma shows at the Paok Sports Arena (10,200-cap.) in Thessaloniki and the Peace and Friendship Stadium (14,940-cap.) in Piraeus on 11 March and 13 March respectively – will “be performed as planned”, in conjunction with new promoter Artway.

Viva is pursuing legal action against promoter Art BG for the return of almost €740,000 in ticket sales for events it claims the promoter “did not end up organising”

Viva expresses “strong disapproval” for what it terms “totally unprofessional and abusive behaviour” on behalf of the promoter.

Art BG has been at the centre of controversy elsewhere in Europe in recent weeks. As reported by IQ, CAA recently cancelled three Enrique Iglesias shows in Croatia, Belarus and Latvia, stating the promoter had “not fulfilled their contractual obligations”, whereas Latvian ticketing company Bilesu Serviss asked the police to investigate “possible fraud” on behalf of Art BG.

The promoter’s social media page has been deactivated. No response has been made to IQ’s request for comment.

Update: Viva announced today (21 November), that it is fronting all the costs for the Carreras concert this weekend, with organisational support from Gazarte Group Company. Viva will issue new, zero-value tickets to the 3,200 customers who paid to go to the show, as well as providing a further 2,500 free tickets online, with a suggested donation of €7. All proceeds will go to social and environmental development charity Together We Can (Όλοι μαζι μπορουμε).

 


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Springsteen, Bryan Adams first to cancel shows over anti-LGBT laws

Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have become the first major touring artists to cancel concerts in protest against new ‘anti-gay’ laws in some southern US states.

Canadian singer-songwriter Adams (pictured) has called off his 14 April show at Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi following the signing into law of Mississippi bill 1523, which allows religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay people and anyone who offends their “sincerely held religious beliefs”.

Adams said he can not “in good conscience” perform in a state where “certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation”.

New Jerseyan Springsteen cancelled an appearance in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Sunday in protest against the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which has also drawn condemnation from Barack Obama, American Airlines, PayPal, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and the states of Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington, which have banned non-essential travel to North Carolina for public-sector employees.

Adams said he can not “in good conscience” perform in a state where “certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation”

The law invalidated at a state-wide level several local anti-discrimination measures, and also requires transgender people to use public toilets that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

In addition to negatively affecting the live music sector, the North Carolina law is already forcing major sporting events out of the state: National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner Adam Silver announced yesterday that the city of Charlotte will no longer be allowed to host the 2017 NBA All-Star Game as, “with this new law in place, Charlotte currently does not have any anti-discrimination protection in place, something that would be vital for a large event such as the All-Star Game”.

Springsteen’s decision to cancel was called a “bully tactic” by North Carolina congressman Mark Walker. “It’s like when a kid gets upset and says he’s going to take his ball and go home,” Walker, a Republican, told The Hollywood Reporter.