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Billy Joel joins BST Hyde Park 2023 line-up

Billy Joel is the latest headliner to be announced for next year’s American Express presents BST Hyde Park.

The 73-year-old, who is the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time with 160 million records sold, will take to the Great Oak Stage on 7 July for his only European show of 2023.

Tickets go on general sale on Thursday 6 October, with special guests to be announced soon. The show will be Joel’s first UK date in four years, since a Wembley Stadium (cap. 90,000) date in summer 2019.

The US great is the second act to be confirmed for next year’s BST line-up, following Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, who will play two nights at the AEG-promoted London concert series on 6&8 July.

Earlier this month it was announced that Joel has added another show to his record-breaking Madison Square Garden residency in New York City. Promoted by MSG Entertainment in association with AEG Presents, the star’s 13 January show will mark his 87th monthly and 133rd lifetime show at the venue.

Billy Joel was named Madison Square Garden’s first-ever music franchise in December 2013

Joel was named MSG’s first-ever music franchise in December 2013. The record-breaking residency began in January 2014 with the singer vowing to perform one show every month at The Garden, “as long as the demand continues”.

Booked by Artist Group International, Joel was 2021’s 57th highest-grossing worldwide tour, generating $17,443,530 from 133,877 ticket sales according to Pollstar data.

Meanwhile, in celebration of 50 years of Billy Joel, the musician’s famous 1990 Live At Yankee Stadium concert will be beamed in cinemas for a special two-night global fan event. Presented by Trafalgar Releasing and Sony Music Entertainment’s premium content division, the re-edited film will be screened on Wednesday October 5 and Sunday October 9.

Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings, Sony Music’s catalogue division, will release Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium in digital, 2CD, 3LP and Blu-ray formats on 4 November.

 


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Bruce Springsteen announces 2023 UK dates

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have announced four huge UK concerts for 2023, including two nights at BST Hyde Park.

The 72-year-old will visit Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield Stadium (30 May), Villa Park in Birmingham (16 June) and BST in London (6&8 July). Tickets go on general sale next Thursday 21 July.

Springsteen, who is repped by CAA, last visited the UK on 2016’s The River Tour, when he played stadium dates in Manchester, Glasgow, Coventry and London.

Last week, the rocker revealed the tour’s opening US arena shows, which comprise 31 performances, starting at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on 1 February and running through to his 14 April homecoming at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The tour then heads to Europe.

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

More than 1.2 million tickets have already been purchased for the European leg, which kicks off at the 60,000-cap Estadi Olímpic in Barcelona on 28 April and winds up on 25 July in Italy at Prato della Gerascia, Autodromo di Monza. Many cities have added second or third stadium shows due to demand.

Spanish promoter Neo Sala at 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.”

At the conclusion of the European run, the band will begin a second to-be-announced North American tour leg in August.

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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Top UK festivals report strong ticket sales

BST Hyde Park, TRNSMT and Lytham festivals have all reported strong sales following another huge weekend of live music in the UK.

Held for the first time since 2019, AEG’s 65,000-cap BST series in London expanded to three weekends, selling 530,000 tickets across nine shows and welcoming a further 70,000 people to its Open House programme of free events between the weekends.

Adele, the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam each headlined two nights, with Elton John, Eagles and Duran Duran also headlining shows. Support acts included Pixies, Stereophonics, Johnny Marr, Cat Power, Laura Mvula and Phoebe Bridgers.

“The demand for tickets was huge and we are very proud to have sold out the series”

“Like everyone in the festival business and across live music we are so happy to be back doing what we love and seeing music fans experiencing these great shows,” says AEG European Festivals CEO Jim King. “The calibre of artists we have had in Hyde Park was incredible with so many outstanding performances. The demand for tickets was huge and we are very proud to have sold out the series.”

In Scotland, DF Concerts’ three-day TRNSMT in Glasgow hosted 50,000 fans per day to see homegrown headliners Lewis Capaldi and Paolo Nutini, plus The Strokes and a supporting line-up including Sam Fender, Foals, Wolf Alice, Nile Rodgers + Chic, The Snuts, DMA’s and Sigrid.

“What an incredible weekend we’ve had,” says festival director Geoff Ellis. “We had the sun shining on Glasgow Green, a fantastic line up of over 70 artists across four stages and 50,000 incredible fans every day – we really couldn’t have asked for more.”

“TRNSMT marks the halfway point in Scotland’s record-breaking summer of music”

DF pressed ahead with a UK-heavy bill for TRNSMT last September after cancelling in 2020 due to Covid-19, but was able to return to business as usual this year.

“It was great to welcome back international artists to Glasgow Green, but also to see excited music fans enjoying our best homegrown talent, with Paolo Nutini closing day one and The Snuts getting the crowd going on Saturday,” adds Ellis. “TRNSMT marks the halfway point in Scotland’s record-breaking summer of music and I’d like to thank the artists, the fans and everyone who works extremely hard behind the scenes to make this festival happen.”

TRNSMT’s 2023 edition has been confirmed for 7-9 July next year, with ticket prices frozen for a limited time.

“It has taken us three years to bring Lytham Festival back and we came back in style”

Elsewhere, Live Nation’s Cuffe and Taylor attracted almost 200,000 fans over 10 days to its flagship Lytham Festival in Lancashire, which returned from 28 June to 10 July after a three-year absence, headlined by Diana Ross, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, Duran Duran, Nile Rodgers + Chic, Simply Red, Elbow, The Strokes, Alison Moyet and Paul Weller. The 20,000-cap event will revert to five days next year.

“More than 30 artists presenting 10 nights of live music has been absolutely phenomenal,” says co-founder Peter Taylor. “It’s taken us three years to bring Lytham Festival back and we came back in style. It has also been an absolute joy to see tens of thousands of people joining together with their friends and family to experience some of the best nights of their lives.”

The latest success comes on the heels of what is believed to be the Britain’s biggest weekend of live music ever at the end of June, with more than one million people attending concerts.

 


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BST’s Jim King talks Adele, live biz resurgence

AEG’s Jim King has hailed Adele as “the biggest act on the planet” ahead of the singer’s exclusive two-night stand at BST Hyde Park this weekend.

Demand for the 65,000-cap London shows was enormous, with tickets selling out within minutes of going on sale last October.

The 1-2 July double-header will be the star’s first concerts proper since 2017, when her scheduled four-night run at Wembley Stadium was cut short due to damaged vocal cords. Her planned Weekends With Adele Las Vegas residency was postponed in January – just 24 hours before its opening night – with rescheduled dates still to be announced.

“She’s the biggest act on the planet. And for us to be able to have two concerts with her here is such a highlight for everybody involved,” King, AEG’s CEO of European festivals, tells IQ. “We couldn’t be more thankful that she decided to come and play here. We know they’re so excited about it.

“Fans are going to see the biggest act in the world perform two of the best concerts anyone’s going to see this year”

Adele, whose 2016 Adele Live tour grossed $167.7 million across 107 shows, is represented by WME agents Lucy Dickins internationally and Kirk Sommer in North America.

“The conversations that we’ve been having with her team all the way through this have been unbelievably positive,” adds King. “They are a great team to work with – we know them very well from days gone by. Fans are going to see the biggest act in the world perform two of the best concerts that anyone’s going to see this year. It’s very exciting.”

This year’s BST hosted headliners Elton John, the Rolling Stones and Eagles last weekend, with Adele and a second date with the Stones (3 June) following over the next three days. Concerts by Pearl Jam (8–9 July) and Duran Duran (10 July) bring the 2022 American Express-sponsored series to a close.

But despite expanding the BST programme from six concerts to nine, AEG pressed pause on pre-pandemic plans for new events in favour of rejuvenating existing festivals. King – who previously warned the live industry against oversupplying the market – feels the promoter’s “cautious” approach since returning from Covid-19 has been vindicated.

“The concerns that we had at the top end of the year still apply now”

“I think we’re going to continue to have an amazing year, but based on the fact that we were relatively cautious,” he says. “It sounds a bit crazy to say that with nine sold-out Hyde Park concerts, but it’s nine – we’re not chasing 99. So we have chosen to be fairly modest in our output.

“The concerns that we had at the top end of the year – that rescheduled shows from 2020 and 2021 were being rescheduled into ’22, on top of those shows that were coming into the marketplace in 2022 – still apply now.

“What we saw, and what we still see, is the indoor touring cycle extending quite deeply into the summer because of venue availability, and thus you have festivals competing with headline tours. There’s only so much money that people have to buy tickets, so I think that concern is very real and our response to it – which was being cautious in the number of shows that we did – was the right thing to do.”

“The backbone of the industry is the supply chain and the staff. They’re the people who make this happen”

King also reflects on how the touring business has changed compared to pre-March 2020 times.

“From an operational perspective, it’s largely the same, albeit there are well documented challenges in the supply chain – labour resourcing, etc, has been particularly difficult,” he says. “We have an industry now which has picked itself back up again, but there are a lot of faces who are no longer with us. A lot of experience left the industry and that is one of the greatest challenges we have needed to bounce back from.

“How do we quickly and aggressively drive that experience back into what we have? Because the backbone of the industry is the supply chain and the staff. They’re the people who make this happen. And the ability to make decisions and, more importantly, make the right ones is what makes the UK industry the leading one in the world, in my opinion.”

He adds: “We’re also dealing with the impact of a wider economy issue of the cost of living crisis, which is ongoing and will be with us for some time, no doubt. But we’ve been here before, we’ve been in challenging economy situations where money’s tight and we have to react accordingly. We have to drive value and quality into the market so that when fans buy tickets, they feel that their experience was unbelievable value and they want to remain with us.”

Read part one of our interview with King here.

 


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AEG’s Jim King previews BST Hyde Park comeback

AEG Presents CEO of European festivals Jim King says BST Hyde Park’s extended format could become permanent as it prepares to launch its 2022 season tomorrow.

This year’s line-up includes headliners Elton John (24 June), the Rolling Stones (25 June/3 July), Eagles (26 June), Adele (1–2 July), Pearl Jam (8–9 July) and Duran Duran (10 July).

For the first time, the London-based series is taking place across three weekends, comprising nine concerts instead of the traditional six – a move King suggests is not a one-off.

“It’s certainly here to stay for the foreseeable future, which is fantastic,” King tells IQ. “It allows us to work with more artists and continue on our quest of ensuring that we have the biggest acts in the world come through this venue every year. And we love working with the artist community and the agents to achieve that.”

A by-product of the expansion will see the opening weekend clash with Glastonbury, albeit some acts – such as Sam Fender, Phoebe Bridgers and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – are performing at both events.

“There is huge demand and that is testament to the artists.”

“It’s a natural weekend for us to grow into,” explains King. “We could go later into July, but we felt that it was the best weekend to work with this year. Obviously, there are some challenges because we have to work within the supply chain, but it has given artists the opportunity to come into this window and play both shows, which is a good thing.”

Due to the pandemic, this year will mark BST’s first edition since 2019, when it welcomed Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Florence + The Machine and Robbie Williams. Pearl Jam and Duran Duran were originally booked to perform in 2020.

“We wanted to keep those shows in [for 2022] and their success is astounding when you think about it,” says King. “Pearl Jam are doing two nights in London and both are going to sell out. Duran Duran are going to have the biggest show of their career in this country. There is huge demand and that is testament to the artists.

“I also think it shows what a great connection there is between the fans and Hyde Park as a venue, because we are certainly seeing artists selling more tickets here with us [than at other venues].”

He adds: “What people are going to see when they turn up is a bigger and more creative BST Hyde Park than the one they last saw in 2019, including an even bigger Great Oak Stage, which just looks incredible. Every time I walk past it astounds me what the production guys have delivered. And hopefully the fan experience will be something everybody remembers – we’ve gone the extra mile to deliver a quality day out.”

“It’s the biggest line-up we’ve ever had: nine shows of quite simply the biggest artists on the planet”

While BST launched in 2013, King says its 2022 programme is already shaping up to be its most successful yet. The American Express-sponsored festival announced its latest partnership – a link-up with Hard Rock International – earlier this week.

“It’s the biggest line-up we’ve ever had: nine shows of quite simply the biggest artists on the planet,” he says. “It’s also the most amount of tickets we’ve ever sold, the highest gross and the largest number of sponsors and partners who want to be part of the festival. Every single metric we can apply shows us it is the biggest ever BST Hyde Park, so we start from a really strong place.

“An important footnote is that brands can take their sponsorship budgets to many places – to sport and other cultural activities – and music is one of the options they have, so for us to be able to be in a position where we’re seeing growth is a really good position for us to reflect on.”

 


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Hard Rock International links with BST Hyde Park

AEG’s BST Hyde Park has announced a partnership with Hard Rock International.

The London festival’s 2022 edition runs from Friday 24 June to Sunday 10 July, with headliners including Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Adele, Pearl Jam and Eagles.

The concerts will be complemented by Hard Rock-sponsored festivities, including Hard Rock Rising presents the Rainbow Stage, which will showcase up-and-coming artists. The brand’s first ever Hard Rock Cafe opened in London in 1971.

“As we reflect on half a century of Hard Rock, which started right here in London and has since expanded to reach all corners of the globe with venues in over 70 countries, we’re thrilled to take part in such an iconic cultural celebration by helping extend access to music lovers and enrich the experiences of festival goers at BST Hyde Park” says Jim Allen, Hard Rock International chairman.

“For 50 years, Hard Rock has been associated with the biggest names in music”

Hard Rock Cafe will activate at BST Hyde Park with a cafe pop-up on the festival grounds and in the VIP section. Hard Rock Cafe locations will also have unique memorabilia on display from BST Hyde Park performers, as well as memorabilia from other UK music legends.

BST Hyde Park’s Open House is also set to return, offering a host of free activities between the weekends of music.

“For 50 years, Hard Rock has been associated with the biggest names in music,” says Jim King CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents. “We look forward to sharing their glorious history at BST Hyde Park this summer where music fans can enjoy the famous Hard Rock Cafe and the Hard Rock Rising Stage.”

Hard Rock previously partnered with Live Nation on the Hard Rock Calling series in Hyde Park from 2008-12. AEG launched BST Hyde Park in 2013 after signing an exclusive agreement for the venue with The Royal Parks.

 


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BST Hyde Park agrees multi-year Vodafone deal

Telecoms giant Vodafone has been installed as the official connectivity partner of BST Hyde Park after sealing a multi-year partnership.

The deal, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, will see Vodafone use its connectivity and technology capabilities to deliver AR experiences for music fans, while keeping festival-goers connected through the power of its 5G network and onsite activations. Vodafone will also offer customers the opportunity to win tickets to BST Hyde Park through its VeryMe Rewards programme.

Due to the pandemic, the AEG-promoted concert series is returning to London for the first time since 2019 with shows by Elton John (24 June), the Rolling Stones (25 June/3 July), Eagles (26 June), Adele (1-2 July), Pearl Jam (8-9 July) and Duran Duran (10 July).

“2022 will see us unveil a range of exciting partnerships and we are delighted to kick off our return to music as official connectivity partner of BST Hyde Park,” says Vodafone consumer director Max Taylor. “As well as using our connectivity to enhance the festival experience this summer, customers will be able to unlock access to some of the biggest events of the year through our VeryMe Rewards programme.”

“The line-up for this summer is so strong and we know that by partnering with Vodafone, we’ll be enhancing both the artist and fan experience”

Carla Morini, senior director, AEG Presents Global Partnerships, adds: “We’re incredibly excited to welcome Vodafone as an official partner of American Express presents BST Hyde Park. The line-up for this summer is so strong and we know that by partnering with Vodafone, we’ll be enhancing both the artist and fan experience. 2022 is certainly set to be a summer to remember.”

Speaking to IQ last year, King said AEG was excited to reveal a “new look” (and a new sponsor – American Express) for the eighth outing of the festival.

“We will finally have the chance to reveal the new creative presentation of the event with an updated Great Oak Stage and a new look and feel to the creative areas around the site,” he said.

The 65,000-cap festival launched in 2013 and, over the years, has seen performances from acts including the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Robbie Williams, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, the Cure, Black Sabbath, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, The Killers, Carole King and Barbra Streisand.

 


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The Rolling Stones announce European stadium tour

The Rolling Stones have announced a 60th-anniversary tour of Europe, including two dates at AEG’s American Express Presents BST Hyde Park.

The ‘Sixty’ tour will commence on 1 June, visiting stadiums in Munich, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Bern, Milan, London, Brussels, Vienna, Lyon, Paris, Gelsenkirchen and Stockholm.

The 14-date run will see the band performing at the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield, for the Stones’ first Liverpool show in more than 50 years.

The tour will also mark the band’s return to London’s BST Hyde Park for the first time since 2013 when they played two sold-out shows to 130,000 fans.

The rock legends have a storied history with Hyde Park, with their 1969 Stones In the Park show becoming one of the most famous concerts of all time.

“Nobody brings it like the Stones when they’re on home turf in London”

Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents, says: “Whenever Hyde Park is mentioned, it’s impossible not to think of the Rolling Stones.

“Two nights on 25 June and 3 July cap off an incredible lineup for BST Hyde Park 2022 but nobody brings it like the Stones when they’re on home turf in London.”

The London and Liverpool dates are the first UK shows that the Stones have announced since the death of their drummer Charlie Watts last year.

As with their ‘No Filter’ US dates last year, Watts will be replaced by Steve Jordan, a session musician who has played with the band since the 1980s.

Watts, who joined the band in 1963, died of an unspecified illness last August at the age of 80.

See tour dates for the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sixty’ tour below.

JUNE
01 – Wanda Metropolitano Stadium – MADRID, SPAIN
05 – Olympic Stadium – MUNICH, GERMANY
09 – Anfield Stadium – LIVERPOOL, UK
13 – Johan Cruijff ArenA – AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
17 – Wankdorf Stadium – BERN, SWITZERLAND
21 – San Siro Stadium – MILAN, ITALY
25 – American Express Presents BST Hyde Park – LONDON, UK

JULY
03 – American Express Presents BST Hyde Park – LONDON, UK
11 – King Baudouin Stadium – BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
15 – Ernst Happel Stadium – VIENNA, AUSTRIA
19 – Groupama Stadium – LYON, FRANCE
23 – Hippodrome ParisLongchamp – PARIS, FRANCE
27 – Veltins-Arena – GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
31 – Friends Arena – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

 


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Jim King on BST ’22: “There is no bigger artist than Adele”

Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents, says the 2022 edition of British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park is “set up to be the biggest we have ever seen”.

The London-based festival is to take place across two weeks from 24 June to 10 July next year, with concerts from Elton John (24 June), Eagles (26 June), Duran Duran (10 July), Pearl Jam (8–9 July) and Adele (1–2 July).

The BST double-header is Adele’s first confirmed concerts since her scheduled four-night run at Wembley Stadium in 2017 was cut short due to damaged vocal cords.

King tells IQ that securing the British star’s place on the bill was a “huge coup” and that the November release of her long-awaited album, 30, worked in the promoter’s favour.

“There is no artist bigger than Adele and the demand for tickets shows her unique appeal,” says King. “I had been speaking to her agent [WME’s Lucy Dickins] about the possibility for a long time but like most things, you need the timing to click, and I think 2022 just worked well for them with the new album.”

“There is no artist bigger than Adele and the demand for tickets shows her unique appeal”

Responding to some fans’ criticism that the £90 ticket price for Adele’s BST shows is too high, King says the appraisals are “grossly unfair to the artist”.

“The vast majority of tickets to see Adele had a face value under £85. Major sports are more expensive, and they play every week, every year.

“The press focus will naturally gravitate towards a very small number of higher-priced hospitality tickets which, again, when you consider the whole package of food and beverage, the show was still priced lower than many major concerts and sporting events,” he contends.

Unsurprisingly, tickets for both of the 33-year-old star’s BST dates were snapped up in minutes but King says there has been “strong sales across all [BST] shows”.

Elton John’s headline show, which opens the festival and is part of his swansong Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, also sold out.

“[Adele’s BST shows] are still priced lower than many major concerts and sporting events”

Returning for the first time in two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, King says AEG is excited to reveal a “new look” (and a new sponsor – American Express) for the eighth outing of the festival.

“It is exciting. We will finally have the chance to reveal the new creative presentation of the event with an updated Great Oak Stage and a new look and feel to the creative areas around the site,” he says.

BST last took place in 2019 with headliners Celine Dion, Florence and the Machine and Robbie Williams, and a recorded attendance of 65,000 at each concert.

The festival launched in 2013 and, over the years, has seen performances from acts including the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, the Cure, Black Sabbath and Barbra Streisand.

 


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Adele announces two BST Hyde Park concerts

Adele has announced her live return with two shows at BST Hyde Park in London on July 1-2 next year.

The dates are the 33-year-old star’s first concerts to be confirmed since her scheduled four-night run at Wembley Stadium in 2017 was cut short halfway through due to damaged vocal cords.

Tickets go on general sale from 10am on Saturday, 30 October. Fans can sign up to access a presale, which begins at 10am on Thursday 28 October.

The London-born singer, who is represented by WME agents Lucy Dickins internationally and Kirk Sommer in North America, releases fourth studio album 30 on 19 November and is currently topping charts around the globe with her comeback single Easy On Me.

Adele’s 2016 Adele Live tour grossed $167.7 million (€144.3m) across 107 shows at the box office, according to Pollstar.

The Australian leg of the tour made concert history down under after playing to more than 600,000 people over eight stadium dates in 2017, breaking attendance records at all eight venues.

Staged by AEG Presents, BST Hyde Park’s 2022 line-up also currently includes Elton John (24 June), Pearl Jam (8-9) and Duran Duran (10 July).

 


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