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C3 Presents plans new US-based hard rock festival

C3 Presents has announced a brand new US festival for hard rock and alternative music fans called Sick New World.

System Of A Down, Korn, Deftones and Incubus are set to headline the one-day event, taking place on May 13 2023 at Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

Evanescence, Turnstile, Chevelle, Mr. Bungle, Papa Roach, Death Grips, Flyleaf, Placebo, Spiritbox and The Sisters of Mercy are also among the 50 acts billed for the festival, with general admission tickets starting from US$249.99.

C3 Presents’ festival portfolio already includes US festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

Sick New World follows two other brand-new rock festivals launched by C3 Presents parent Live Nation.

The promoter’s inaugural When We Were Young festival took place last month at Las Vegas Festival Grounds with headliners Paramore and My Chemical Romance.

Evanescence, Papa Roach, Flyleaf, Placebo and Spiritbox are also among the 50 acts billed for the festival

The 85,000-cap “emo nostalgia” festival was expanded to three days due to demand, and the 2023 edition sold out before the 2022 event had even started.

Next year’s instalment features a pop-punk twist featuring headliners Blink-182 and Green Day, who will be joined by the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars, The Offspring, Good Charlotte, 5 Seconds of Summer and All Time Low, Yellowcard, Rise Against, Sum 41, Pierce the Veil, Gym Class Heroes, Michelle Branch, Thrice, Rise Against, Simple Plan and New Found Glory.

In addition, Live Nation is also launching a new alternative music festival based in Atlantic City, New Jersey (US), called Adjacent.

Blink-182 and Paramore are set to headline the all-ages event, slated for 27 & 28 May 2023 (Memorial Day Weekend).

Turnstile, Japanese Breakfast, Coheed & Cambria, Bleachers, Jimmy Eat World, The Front Bottoms, IDLES and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness are also among the 40 bands that will perform across three stages.


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Hurricane Ian: Concerts and festivals cancelled

As Hurricane Ian continues to tear through the east coast of the US, promoters are being forced to cancel or postpone concerts and festivals.

At least 87 storm-related deaths have been confirmed since the Category 4 hurricane hit Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday (28 September).

The storm, which is reportedly heading for New York and Washington, is said to be one of the strongest and costliest hurricanes in American history.

Artists including Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and War On Drugs have been forced to scrap or reschedule concerts, while festivals including Oceans Calling, the Second Street Festival and Neptune Festival have been called off.

C3 Presents festival Oceans Calling would have taken place last weekend but was cancelled due to the anticipated impact of remnants of Hurricane Ian on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Dave Matthews, Alanis Morissette and The Lumineers were set to headline the Ocean City-based event. Cyndi Lauper, Logic and Grouplove were also due to perform.

Elsewhere, country music singer Luke Bryan rescheduled a trio of Florida concerts last weekend, including performances in Estero, West Palm Beach, and Tampa.

The storm is said to be one of the strongest and costliest hurricanes in American history

The shows are now slated to take place on 2 November at Hertz Arena (Estero); 4 Nov at iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre (West Palm Beach); and 5 Nov at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre (Tampa).

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s concert, originally scheduled for 29 September at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, was rescheduled for 16 October.

The War On Drugs 29 September performance at the Live Oak Amphitheater in Wilmington and their 30 September performance – originally planned for Firefly Distillery and relocated indoors to the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center – were acancelled.

Meanwhile, Jason Aldean rescheduled his 1 October show at Savanna’s Enmarket Arena, with the performance now scheduled to take place on 16 October.

The 2nd St Festival, which was to take place in Richmond, Virginia, on 1 and 2 October, was cancelled, however, festival headliner Grandmaster Flash has moved his planned performance to Richmond’s Hippodrome Theater on 1 October.

The 48th annual Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach, planned for 30 September to 2 October, was also cancelled.

A concert by southern rockers Molly Hatchet, scheduled for the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Jacksonville on 30 September, was postponed.

While a 30 September performance by pop band Lucius at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre was cancelled and Gospel singer CeCe Winans’ sold-out 1 October concert at Trinity Baptist Church was postponed.


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Lollapalooza India to debut in 2023

Lollapalooza has announced it is expanding to India, with the inaugural edition set for Mumbai from 28-29 January 2023.

Lollapalooza India will showcase both global stars and local talent and will mark the first time the event has been held in Asia.

Offering two days of music across four stages as well as culinary selections, art and fashion, line-up and ticket information will be released soon.

“The music of India is transcendental, it draws our spirits East,” says Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell. “Lollapalooza is an instrument for unity, peace, and education utilising the universal languages of music and art to find common ground.”

Lollapalooza India is being produced by Farrell, WME, C3 Presents and India’s BookMyShow, and means the brand has now grown to eight countries on four continents, including editions in the US, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France and Sweden.

“We are excited to introduce fans to an entirely new festival experience”

“Lollapalooza has always been about exploring boundaries, musically and geographically,” says C3 Presents partner Charlie Walker. “We are excited to introduce fans to an entirely new festival experience that has been a significant rite of passage for millions of music fans around the world for more than three decades.”

BookMyShow is owned and operated by Big Tree Entertainment and is described as “India’s leading entertainment destination”. The company has brought international stars such as U2, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Justin Bieber to the market over the past few years.

“BookMyShow is proud to bring Lollapalooza to India – making it the eighth country and the fourth continent to do so,” says the firm’s founder and CEO Ashish Hemrajani. “With a mix of some stellar Indian talent and global artists coming together on the same stage, we expect nothing short of magic.”

Launched in 2007, BookMyShow has evolved from an online ticketing platform for movies to end-to-end management of live entertainment events including concerts, theatrical productions and sport.


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Live Nation, Hulu extend deal to stream C3 Presents fests

Live Nation has extended its partnership with American subscription streaming service Hulu, after a successful turn as the official streaming destination of Lollapalooza in 2021.

Under the new deal, Hulu will become the official streaming platform for C3 Presents’ largest festivals – Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits – throughout 2022 and 2023.

For all three festivals, select performances will be livestreamed exclusively to Hulu SVOD (subscription video on demand) subscribers at no additional cost. Additional special footage and behind-the-scenes looks will also be available.

Two streaming channels will be made available for performances taking place between Friday and Sunday at each of the festivals. For Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, only one streaming channel will be available on the Thursday of each event.

The deal marks the first time a streaming platform has had streaming rights to all three of the iconic festivals.

“The demand for live music is at an all-time high and the live experience has never been more connected to digital”

“Hulu and Live Nation are both committed to delivering exceptional entertainment to fans, so we are thrilled to be collaborating with them, again, as we expand our offering to include these three legendary festivals,” says Hulu president Joe Early. “Each event is unique, but all three bring people together for incredible music, artistry, and experiences, which we are fortunate to be able to share with Hulu subscribers.”

Charlie Walker of C3 Presents adds: “The demand for live music is at an all-time high and the live experience has never been more connected to digital. By expanding our partnership with Hulu, even more fans will be able to tune into each of these incredible festival experiences in real-time and enjoy live performances from their favourite artists with the fans on-site.”

Bonnaroo is set to take place 16–19 June as it returns to the farm in Manchester, Tennesse for the first time since 2019, with Lollapalooza slated for 28–31 July and Austin City Limits will return for two weekends from 7–9 and 14–16 October.


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Festival chiefs preview the upcoming season

The cost of living crisis, an oversaturated market and rising costs threaten to create a “recipe for disaster” for the first full festival season since 2019, it has been claimed.

ILMC’s Festival Forum: New lands, new adventures panel heard divergent views from event bosses on prospects for this summer, with the public’s appetite for returning to music shows evident, but two years of lockdown and restrictions throwing up a litany of new problems.

UTA agent Beth Morton moderated the illuminating debate starring Eric van Eerdenburg of Mojo Concerts (NL), Geoff Ellis of DF Concerts (UK), Sophie Lobl of C3 Presents (US), Henrik Bondo Nielsen of Roskilde Festival (DK), Stephan Thanscheidt of FKP Scorpio (DE) and Reshad Hossenally of Festicket’s Event Genius ticketing and event technology platform.

Event Genius COO Hossenally said that, despite the anticipated rush for concert tickets after two lost years to Covid-19, other issues were cropping up.

“People don’t trust that everything is back to normal yet”

“There are a hell of a lot of shows and it’s almost a bit of a recipe for disaster because you’ve got costs going up, a lot of tickets being carried across and a huge amount of competition,” he said. “The other part is people are being told they don’t have any money in the press. I think you’ll see the buying pattern starting to become a lot later. People don’t trust that everything is back to normal yet.

“We ran a global survey and 75% of people said that they want to understand what the cancellation policies are. Before, that would have been an impulse buy – people didn’t even look at terms and conditions beforehand. The decision of buying a festival ticket now is a lot more considered. So as a festival promoter, I suspect it must be quite a scary road to see that we’re not selling as quickly.”

Roskilde head of safety and service Bondo Nielsen referenced complaints from some of his European contemporaries regarding fan behaviour since the restart, with the pandemic resulting in a lag in younger consumers attending their first festival.

“What I hear is that people talk about inexperienced audience and that they are not behaving well,” he said. “My view is that, as a festival organiser, it’s your job to manage the audience that you invite. So if they don’t behave well, you have to teach them.”

“Costs are going up at least 25% from 2019 prices”

Ellis, who heads up events such as Scotland’s Transmt, responded: “You’ve got gig veterans, and then you always get new people coming in – 16 to 17-year-olds coming along for the first time – and I think they get carried along and looked after by the older members of the audience a bit. It is a real community spirit that you get, no matter what the festival is. They’re all there for the same purpose: to enjoy music, and the shared experience of being at an event.”

Ellis considered increasing costs, exacerbated by supply chain and staffing issues, as the biggest challenge for festivals going forward.

“Certainly in the UK, costs are going up at least 25% from 2019 prices, which is really difficult,” he said. “And it’s the scarcity of kit as well, so stages, barriers – we’re having to beg, borrow and steal barriers from different arenas, because there are so many shows on. There are shows that have moved from 2020, and didn’t happen in ’21, all happening, plus the festivals, plus the outdoor business that would have taken place in ’22.

“Also, staff – lots of stewards left the industry during the pandemic. Toilets, again, lots of sporting events are taking certainly the high end toilets, maybe not the actual portaloos but the flushable toilets and trailers, so that’s a real challenge.”

“People have hung on to their tickets for a couple of years, you can’t go back to them and ask for more money”

The promoter added that simply hiking up ticket prices was not an option for this year.

“People have hung on to their tickets for a couple of years, you can’t go back to them and ask for more money,” he said. “And we’re going into a cost of living crisis globally, with people having concerns about how they’re going to pay their energy bills and everything else. So some of it will have to be passed on going forward, but it’s too late for this year.

“I think we all have to try our best to get costs down and look at innovative ways of delivering things as well. We need suppliers to give us a bit of a break really.

“The positive thing is there was a recent survey in America showing what people are looking forward to getting back to most, and concerts was top of the list, so that’s reassuring. Obviously we’re all worried about how they’re going to afford to do it, but at least they want to go to concerts.”

“There are so many artists, coming out of Covid, that haven’t done a hard ticket tour”

The conversation later switched to social media’s influence on programming and its correlation to ticket sales.

“There is so much that we have to take into account that’s not just ticket sales,” revealed C3 and Live Nation global festival talent buyer Lobl. “Obviously socials, obviously TikTok, but the show we’re booking kind of determines what we look at.”

She continued: “There are so many artists, coming out of Covid, that haven’t done a hard ticket tour. If you take someone like Doja Cat, who has been one of our biggest artists at all of our festivals, and probably had the biggest crowd at Austin City Limits and in South America, hasn’t done her own hard ticket run yet.

“It’s also a lot more global now, which makes it more fun. But it also makes it a lot harder to navigate. For us, the Latin market has been huge and there’s a lot more global booking of really sizeable bands.”

“We have also analysing tools for social media,” noted FKP head of festival booking Thanscheidt. “You also have to do look at where are the likes and plays are coming from because if they’re coming from another part of the world, it’s nice for the band, but maybe not for us putting on a festival or a show with them. Also, not every Tiktok hype translates to the festivals we book.

“In general, you don’t want to go away from the history of the festival. But you also want to keep it modern and fresh and cool at the same time. In the end, booking is a process. It is, of course, influenced by other things nowadays, but it’s still a mixture of very different facts coming together.

“It also really depends on the festival – because if you have an older audience, TikTok and all that does not play the biggest role and vice-versa, so you have to look at it very individually to make the right decisions. You have to know your market and  your audiences because sometimes it’s hard to explain, especially to agents, why this act is working and the other one is not.”

“It’s not an exact science and it never has been”

Van Eerdenberg, director of Netherlands’ Lowlands festival, shared his own booking philosophy.

“We had discussions in our programming team about this, and we ended up saying quality is not the thing we measure, but whether people are reacting and responding to it,” he said. “You have to work with what you see happening online. But it’s difficult to determine the value of an act, especially when agents are very convincing.”

Ellis pointed out that hard ticket sales were not always a barometer of an artist’s value to a festival because their audience might steer away from outdoor shows.

“It’s not an exact science and it never has been,” he added. “It’s always been a bit of gut feel, a bit of scarcity – if somebody’s not doing shows they’re more valuable to a festival than if they are doing shows because there’s a pent up demand to see them.

“Over the years at T in the Park, an act like Tom Jones went down an absolute storm. His audience wouldn’t have particularly come to a music festival, but… we had 50,000 people in front of the main stage, singing along to him, and none of them had ever seen him before. With that kind of booking, if you tried to look at the TikTok figures, it wouldn’t have synced. There was a gut feel that it would go down well, and it went down well, but sometimes we get those things wrong and nobody’s watching the act.”


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$375m Moody Center opens in Austin, Texas

New multi-purpose 15,000-seat arena the Moody Center has opened in downtown Austin, Texas.

Developers of the US$375 million project, which replaces the city’s 42-year-old Frank C. Erwin Jr Center, include Oak View Group, Live Nation/C3 Presents, The University of Texas at Austin, and Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey.

It has been named in honour of a $130m grant from Texas-based charitable organisation the Moody Foundation, and promises to provide a “world-class venue for top touring concerts and shows” in the self-styled live music capital of the world, which hosts the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festival.

The arena, which will also host basketball and other sporting events, debuted to the public last night (20 April), with the first of two concerts by John Mayer and officially launched with two sold-out gigs by George Strait with special guests Willie Nelson & Family and Randy Rogers Band from April 29-30.

“The Moody Center will be a must-play arena and we look forward to bringing our concerts and tours there”

Speaking in 2019, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said: “The Moody Center will be a must-play arena and we look forward to bringing our concerts and tours there as soon as the doors open in 2022.”

Other artists scheduled for Moody Center in 2022 include Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, The Who, Dave Matthews Band, Eagles, Machine Gun Kelly, Andrea Bocelli, Florence + The Machine, James Taylor, Leon Bridges, Shawn Mendes and Daddy Yankee.

Jeff Nickler, who was previously SVP of Arena Alliance, a collection of 29 NBA and NHL venues in North America, will serve as the arena’s general manager. Facilities include 44 Suites, nearly 2,000 club seats, three premium clubs, 57 loge boxes and one super VIP club, the Moët & Chandon Impérial Lounge.


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C3 Presents launches music, art + tech fest Format

C3 Presents has partnered with creative house Triadic to launch new “multidisciplinary” US festival Format in the heart of the Ozarks.

Scheduled for 23-25 September on the Sugar Creek Airstrip in Bentonville, Northwest Arkansas, the event will fuse music, art and technology. Performers will include Rüfüs Du Sol, Phoenix, Khruangbin, Beach House, The War On Drugs, Nile Rodgers & Chic, The Flaming Lips, Jungle, and Herbie Hancock.

It will also feature integrated performances, installations, and art experiences from artists including Doug Aitken, Nick Cave, Jacolby Satterwhite, Pia Camil and Marinella Senatore.

“Format represents a new type of festival, placing visual and performing arts on the same plane as live music, creating a fluid and unified experience,” say Elizabeth Edelman, Mafalda Millies and Roya Sachs, co-founders of Triadic and creators of Format. “Visitors will encounter large-scale installation art and unconventional venues created by a range of internationally recognised artists, alongside an eclectic roster of musical acts. We hope to foster curiosity and discovery, and produce a memorable event on this beautiful, hidden stretch of land in Bentonville.”

The festival will have traditional main and side stages for headline acts, as well as several alternative settings such as hidden forest enclaves, an open-air pavilion, a converted disco barn, and a multi-room speakeasy.

“We’ve tried to capture all the things that make Northwest Arkansas one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic ecosystems in the country”

Presented in official partnership with OZ Brands, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and its satellite contemporary art space the Momentary, Format is billed as “a micro-universe of interactive exploration”, with curated food vendors, impromptu dance processions, experimental soundscapes, light shows, therapeutic workshops, and integrated technology activations.

Throughout the weekend, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary will host events, with the latter hosting a kick-off event for Format featuring a performance by The War on Drugs and the launch of artist Doug Aitken’s mirrored hot-air balloon, which will travel from the centre of Bentonville to the Format festival site.

“With Format in OZ, we’ve tried to capture all the things that make Northwest Arkansas one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic ecosystems in the country – unparalleled access to outdoor recreation, accessible art everywhere you turn, and a culture of innovation as boundless and wild as the Ozark mountains,” adds Olivia Walton, Crystal Bridges and Momentary board chair, and OZ Brands.

“We’re excited that Format will help us introduce this corner of the heartland to art and music fans from around the world.”

C3’s event roster also includes Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival (Manchester, TN), Innings Festival (Tempe and Tampa), Shaky Knees (Atlanta) and Austin Food + Wine Festival, among others.


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Drakeo family to sue promoters over stabbing

Family members of Drakeo the Ruler are to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Live Nation, C3 Presents and Bobby Dee Presents after the rapper was stabbed to death backstage at last month’s Once Upon a Time in LA music festival.

The three companies promoted December’s ill-fated festival at the 23,500-cap. Banc of California Stadium. Drakeo, real name Darrell Caldwell, was attacked by a group of masked assailants prior to his scheduled performance at the event, and later died in hospital from his injuries.

Organisers are accused of providing insufficient security in the lead up to the attack, with attorney James Bryant, lawyer for Caldwell’s family members, telling a press conference Drakeo had been “essentially lynched” due to the lack of precautions, reports Billboard.

“His life was taken way too soon,” said Bryant. “This should never have never happened if those promoters had actually had the proper security protocols. This was a preventable death.”

The lawsuit is seeking “at least” $20 million in damages

A criminal investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

“Those who failed Drakeo the Ruler, they’re going to be held accountable,” added Bryant, who said the lawsuit is seeking “at least” $20 million in damages and would be filed in the coming week.

Live Nation, C3 and Bobby Dee Presents have not commented on the claim.

Staged on 18 December 2021, Once Upon a Time in LA was due to be headlined by Al Green, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, YG and Ice Cube.

“There was an altercation in the roadway backstage,” said Live Nation in a statement at the time. “Out of respect for those involved and in coordination with local authorities, artists and organisers decided not to move forward with remaining sets so the festival was ended an hour early.”


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Covid-safe Lolla Paris to take place in July

The team behind Lollapalooza Paris has joined forces with Parisian couture house Balmain to host a one-day, musical picnic event on 19 July.

The adapted edition of Lolla Paris, which will take place on the original festival weekend at its home at the ParisLongchamp Racecourse, is also put on in collaboration with Michelin-starred French chef Jean Imbert and champagne brand Veuve Clicquot.

C3 Presents and Live Nation France called off the 2020 edition of Lolla Paris, which was set to feature Billie Eilish, Pearl Jam, Asap Rocky, Vampire Weekend and Rita Ora, due to the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing country-wide event ban.

Now, as touring gets set to return to France next month and venues, including stadiums and racetracks from 11 July, are allowed to host up to 5,000 people, a tailor-made Lollapalooza Paris 2020 is to take place.

Fans will sit on picnic blankets designed for the event by Balmain’s artistic director, Olivier Rousteing, and sample a menu prepared by Lolla chef Jean Imbert, accompanied by a bottle of Veuve Clicquot rosé champagne with wine and food pairing.

“[The event] will celebrate a certain French art of living in an exceptional summer setting”

The event will take place in compliance with current sanitary rules and distancing measures.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday 2 July at 10 a.m. CET on the Balmain website. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the Global Fund’s Covid-19 response, in collaboration with HIV/AIDS charity (RED).

To further raise awareness and funds, five customised pairs of Balmain trainers and several collector’s picnic blankets will be sold online on the day of the event with all profits raised going to the fund.

Angelo Gopee, general manager of Live Nation France, says the collaboration between Balmain and Lollapalooza, “two emblematic brands with an international reputation”, was “obvious”. “[The event] will celebrate a certain French art of living in an exceptional summer setting.”

“If there was one thing that the months of confinement made very clear, it was how much of life’s beauty that we had taken for granted,” adds Rousteing. “Forced apart, we realised how important it was to be together. Locked inside, we longed for the beauty of springtime in Paris.”

A full programme of content for Lolla Paris 2020 will be available online soon.


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Covid-19 restrictions claim major US festivals

Goldenvoice’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival will not take place this year, despite being pushed back six months, as the Covid-19 pandemic triumphs over the last few major US festivals still standing.

The news comes days after the cancellation of C3 Presents’ Lollapalooza Chicago (100,000-cap.), the festival franchise’s flagship edition, which was due to take place from 30 July to 1 August, representing some of the final losses of the 2020 US festival calendar. Events including Live Nation/AC Entertainment’s Bonnaroo (24 to 27 September) and BottleRock Napa Valley (2 to 4 October), both rescheduled, are currently still going ahead as planned.

A weekend-long virtual event will take place over the original festival weekend, showcasing archival footage from Lolla Chicago, as well as the festival’s six international editions.

Coachella (125,000-cap.), along with its country music counterpart Stagecoach, had previously been moved from its original dates in April to October in a bid to circumvent coronavirus restrictions.

However, yesterday (10 June), public health officer Dr Cameron Kaiser announced he was “concerned” that Covid-19 “could worsen” in the autumn.

“Given the projected circumstances and potential, I would not be comfortable moving forward [with Coachella and Stagecoach],” said Kaiser.

“These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted”

“These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted. My first priority is the health of the community.”

Kaiser also pointed out that mass gatherings such as festivals fall under the “highest-risk” category in the state of California’s four-step reopening plan, and will only be permitted to restart in the final phase “once therapeutics have been developed.

Coachella 2020 was set to feature headliners Rage Against the Machine, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott over two consecutive festival weekends at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Riverside County, California.

Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church were among those to perform at Stagecoach the weekend after Coachella.

Dates for the 2021 editions of Coachella and Stagecoach have yet to be announced.

Earlier this week, Goldenvoice parent company AEG announced it would be laying off 15% of its workforce and furloughing over 100 employees, in addition to enacting pay cuts across the company.

Photo: Ben_1/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (cropped)


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