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Extreme weather washes out another US festival

A US festival has become the latest victim of weather-related complications, with California’s Sol Blume postponed two weeks before it was set to take place.

Organisers of the Sacramento-based festival, which was originally set for 3-5 May, pointed to lasting effects from the torrential rain that drenched the state in late February. This is the second consecutive year the festival has been delayed due to extreme weather.

“Mother nature has once again caused commotion and created conditions at the festival site that render it unsafe to build on,” organisers said in a press release. “Although the park is no longer flooded, the damage remains. Due to significant site damage and growing safety concerns, we will not be able to host this year’s festival.”

The fifth edition of the festival, which expanded from two to three days this year, has been pushed to 15-17 August 2025. Organisers have also confirmed that future editions are to be held in the late summer instead of spring to avoid “any weather-related conflicts in the future”.

It is not clear whether the lineup — which included SZA, Snoh Alegra, and Kaytranada leading the bill — will remain the same.

“Even if we prepare for everything, you still can’t really control that”

The 2023 edition, which was deferred from April to August for weather-related impacts, was headlined by Brent Faiyaz and Kehlani. That year, the R&B festival recorded its biggest-ever turnout with 46,000 people attending across two days, as reported by promoters ENT Legends.

The cancellation is the latest example of the impact of extreme weather on live music. Over the past year, several festivals — including Germany’s Wacken Open Air, Spain’s Primavera Sound Madrid, the US’s Ultra Miami, and Australia’s Good Things — have been impacted by ‘freak’ and extreme heat-related incidents, as insurance queries and rates have correspondingly risen.

In the US, adverse weather coverage has “increased significantly” in the last five years, according to Jeff Torda from Higginbotham. Backing this point, a recent Billboard article claimed premiums in North America had tripled in recent years.

The latest edition of ILMC also saw industry leaders discussing ways to cope with the impact of weather on festivals and open-air live music events.

“Thirty years ago, it was mostly the rain, but it’s now changed to raining one second and being 35 or 40°C suddenly after that,” said May Ling of Australia’s Chugg Entertainment. “Even if we prepare for everything, you still can’t really control that.”

 


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Goldenvoice plans new US punk festival

A new punk-centric festival is coming to the Californian city of Pomona, courtesy of AEG-backed promoter Goldenvoice.

Black Flag, Bad Religion, Iggy Pop, Misfits, Social Distortion, Turnstile and Sublime are among the acts set to perform at the event, dubbed No Values.

The one-day event will take place on 8 June at the Pomona Fairplex, across four stages. Tickets go on sale on 23 February, starting at $199 (£157, €183) for general admission, plus fees.

In the US, Goldenvoice produces several festivals, most notably Coachella, as well as operating 14 mid-sized venues and promoting over 1,800 shows per year.

The unveiling of No Values comes amid a surge of new rock and punk-centred festivals. Goldenvoice last year launched a new hard rock festival called Power Trip, at the home of Coachella.

The unveiling of No Values comes amid a surge of new rock and punk-centred festivals

Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, ACDC, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and Tool performed at the October event at the Empire Polo Club in California.

Live Nation has also launched several new rock festivals in recent years, including Sick New World, When We Were Young, Adjacent and The World is A Vampire – the latter two via subsidiaries C3 Presents and Ocesa respectively.

Elsewhere, Australian promoter Apex Entertainment is capitalising on the genre’s boom with a new touring festival featuring rock and post-punk icons.

Pandemonium Rocks is scheduled to land in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast this April with performances from the likes of Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Blondie, Gang Of Four and Dead Kennedys.

Read more about new festivals launching in 2024 in this IQ feature, published yesterday (21 February).

 


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Live Nation Urban and H.E.R.’s festival called off

Lights On Festival, an event curated by American R&B singer H.E.R. and promoted by Live Nation Urban, has been called off less than a month before it was supposed to take place.

The festival, scheduled for 16–17 September at the Shoreline Amphitheater in California, was to feature performances from H.E.R. and Friends, Jazmine Sullivan, PartyNextDoor, Don Toliver, Alina Baraz, Tooshi, Smino and more.

Lights On is the latest 2023 festival to be cancelled after 88rising’s 88 Degrees & Rising, Made in America (US), Fest Festival (Poland), Falls Festival (Australia), Rolling Loud (US), Summerburst (Sweden), Hills of Rock (Bulgaria), InMusic (Croatia), Wireless GermanyHear Hear (Belgium) and Tempelhof Sounds and Tempelhof Sounds Presents (Germany).

“We look forward to returning with an incredible experience in 2024”

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, Lights On Festival will not take place this year,” festival representatives said in a statement released to the San Francisco Chronicle on 22 August. “We sincerely appreciate and value the Lights On Festival community and look forward to returning with an incredible experience in 2024.”

Lights On Festival made its debut in 2019, with the second, and most recent, edition held in 2021. The initial idea for the festival came from Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee and Jeff Robinson, CEO and founder of MBK Entertainment, the company that manages H.E.R.

Lights On Festival is among a slate of artist-curated festivals including J.Cole’s Dreamville, Tyler the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw CarnivalSmashing Pumpkins’ The World Is A Vampire, Travis Scott’s Astroworld, Pharrell Williams’ Something In The Water, Jawbreaker’s 1234Fest and Meltdown festival.

 


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US bill seeks to ban exclusive ticketing deals

Another day, another new proposed piece of ticketing legislation in the USA… this time it’s about banning exclusive ticketing contracts between primary ticket sellers and venues in California.

California Senator Scott Wilk says the law change, which could be voted on as soon as this week, would loosen the alleged “stranglehold” companies such as Ticketmaster have on the ticket-selling industry.

“Exclusivity contracts with entertainment venues mean higher ticket prices for consumers. This bill gets at the heart of that problem,” says Wilk. “You shouldn’t have to go into debt just for enjoying a night out. My bill is a good first step in opening the door to more competition within the ticket-selling industry, and hopefully will bring some relief to consumers’ wallets.”

The SB 829 bill, which is based on a proposal currently going through the New York legislature, would prohibit exclusivity clauses in contracts between a primary ticket seller and an entertainment venue in the state of California.

Wilk says that preventing this clause “would provide venues the autonomy to collaborate with other ticket sellers without the fear of retaliation from large ticket sellers”.

The legislation – which Wilk has branded the “Ticketmaster Bill” has been passed out the Senate appropriations committee and is eligible for a vote on the Senate floor from today (22 May).

Ticketing reform has become an increasingly hot topic in the United States since last year’s Taylor Swift Eras Tour onsale.

Ticketing reform has become an increasingly hot topic in the United States since last year’s Taylor Swift Eras Tour onsale, with numerous senators all now putting forward proposed new laws.

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. The bill is currently before the joint committee on consumer protection and professional licensure.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, meanwhile, recently addressed high-profile furores over ticket prices and on-sales. LN has been a vocal supporter of all-in pricing, and launched the Fair Ticketing Act with the support of organisations such as CAA, UTA, Wasserman Music and WME, while 19 companies and associations operating in North America also formed the Fix the Tix coalition earlier this month.

In addition, US president Joe Biden demanded a crackdown on “excessive ticket fees” earlier this year, saying hidden or unexpected fees “are not only costly to consumers, but they can stifle competition by encouraging companies to use increasingly sophisticated tools to disguise the true price consumers face”. The call prompted senators Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse to table the “Junk Fee Prevention Act”.

 


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Rolling Loud California to christen Hollywood Park

Rolling Loud, the world’s biggest hip-hop festival franchise, has announced details for the return of its West Coast edition.

The California event is set for 3–5 March 2023 and will be the first-ever music festival to take place at the revamped 300-acre Hollywood Park, on the ground adjacent to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Rolling Loud – which first began as a one-day event in Miami in 2015 and has since expanded globally – established its California presence in 2017 with Rolling Loud Bay Area and Rolling Loud Southern California, which was held in San Bernardino.

The SoCal instalment then moved to Los Angeles in 2018 and 2019 before returning to San Bernardino in 2021 but organisers said the location was “too far and didn’t work for us”.

“Rolling Loud is deeply honoured to be the first-ever music festival to take place at the incredible Hollywood Park,” Rolling Loud co-founders and co-CEOs Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif said in a statement.

“We’re pumped to return to LA and make our debut in Inglewood, such an important neighbourhood in rap history. Rolling Loud California 2023 will be an event worthy of its historic location, celebrating the undeniable influence of the West Coast on hip-hop and featuring some of the hottest rappers in the game. Stay tuned for our biggest and best California festival yet!”

“We’re pumped to return to LA and make our debut in Inglewood, such an important neighbourhood in rap history”

Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, adds: “As the world’s largest hip-hop festival, Rolling Loud will bring fans from around the globe to our Inglewood community. Hollywood Park’s 300-acres lends itself to hosting a variety of large-scale events. With Rolling Loud as our first music festival, we will further showcase Hollywood Park as a global stage and multifaceted entertainment destination.”

Since launching in 2015, Rolling Loud has expanded from its flagship Miami festival to launch in cities including Los Angeles, New York and Sydney.

Earlier this summer, Rolling Loud made its European debut in Portugal. Headlined by J Cole, A$AP Rocky and Future, the Live Nation-backed event was held on Praia Da Rocha Beach, Portimão, in the Algarve. The Portuguese spin-off was originally set for the summer of 2020 before being called off due to the pandemic.

In addition, Rolling Loud is expanding to Canada for the first time with headliners Dave, Future and Wizkid at Ontario Place, Toronto from 9-11 September. Its New York edition, meanwhile, is lined up for Queens Citi Field from 23–25 September, headed by Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Future.

Alongside its sister events, the brand also joined forces with the Netherlands’ Woo Hah! hip-hop festival to launch Woo Hah! x Rolling Loud at Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek. Held from 1–3 July, acts included J Cole, Future, Dave and Roddy Ricch.

Most recently, the franchise announced that it would plant its flag in Thailand next year, though no further details have been announced.

The flagship event in Miami took place in July with acts including Kendrick Lamar, Future and Playboy Carti.

 


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Omicron live music restrictions: World update

As the new Omicron variant of coronavirus takes hold, IQ has updated the latest restrictions affecting major international touring markets. This update complements our European list which can be read here

Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key live music markets around the globe.

Please note that we will aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible but all information is subject to change. 

To submit an update to this, please get in touch. This article was last updated on Thursday 16 December.

To read about the Omicron restrictions affecting European markets, please click here


Abu Dhabi
As of 27 November, the operating capacity of indoor events has increased to 80%. Entry to indoor events requires attendees to show their green pass and a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours.

Attendees at indoor events must also undertake an EDE scan at public entry points and wear a mask.

Argentina
As of 16 November, mass events in outdoor spaces can take place at 100% capacity. Attendees over 18 years of age must provide proof of at least one dose of the vaccine, and wear a face mask during the event.

Australia
In New South Wales, face masks, proof of vaccination and Covid-19 Safe Check-in are not required. Retail and businesses are no longer required to have a Safety Plan.

In Victoria (and from 17 December, Queensland too) many leisure and entertainment facilities, such as live music venues, can only open for attendees and staff who are fully vaccinated or exempted. Capacity limits and social distancing will not apply.

South Australia is currently operating under Level 1 restrictions which means venues are limited to 75% capacity for seated events and 50% for standing events. Covid Management Plans required for events of more than 1,000 people. Masks are required for shared indoor public spaces.

Though Western Australia remains in a ‘state of emergency’, events and concerts are permitted to go ahead at full capacity. However, businesses must provide a Covid Safety Plan and maintain a contact register. Events with more than 500 patrons are required to complete a Covid Event Checklist or Plan.

For information on restrictions in Northern Territory click here, Tasmania here and Australia Capital Territory here.

Brazil
In November, the Brazilian government increased the capacity limit for music venues from 70% to 100% with proof of vaccination.

Canada
In Ontario, Canada’s capital city and its biggest live music market, new restrictions came into effect on Sunday 19 December.

Under the new rules, music venues and many other indoor public settings will be limited to 50% capacity. Event spaces are required to close by 23:00.

Canada’s live music restrictions vary from province to province.

See the latest guidelines for each of the regions here: AlbertaBritish Columbia, Manitoba, New BrunswickNewfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova ScotiaNunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon.

Chile
Restrictions vary across the country but the majority of regions are on step 3 (preparation) or step 4 (initial opening) of the national five-step reopening plan.

During step 3, seated concerts in closed spaces (such as music venues) can take place at 50% capacity if all attendees show a Mobility Pass verifying full vaccination. If there is food consumption, it is reduced to 30% capacity.

Seated concerts in open spaces (such as open-air venues) can take place at 60% capacity with a Mobility Pass. If there is food consumption, it is reduced to 40% capacity.

In non-seated closed spaces, events can take place with up to 100 people (sans Mobility Pass) or 500 people (with Mobility Pass). In non-seated open spaces, events can take place with up to 200 (sans Mobility Pass) or 1,000 (with Mobility Pass).

Attendees at all non-seated venues must be able to maintain social distancing (1m without food consumption, 1.5m with).

Masks are required in all public spaces.

China

Life is largely back to normal but regional lockdowns have been imposed every time there are new outbreaks of the virus.

Dubai
Mask-wearing is compulsory, as is keeping a two-meter social distance, except in restaurants, cafes, offices, workplaces, gyms, shopping centres, beaches and public and entertainment parks, where a one-meter rule applies.

Outside, you must wear a mask unless exercising, eating or drinking, at a barbershop or salon, in a car with people from the same household, or if you’re alone.

Live entertainment and activities are permitted in restaurants, cafés and shopping malls. Events with free movement – such as standing concerts – are now allowed again, with a maximum of 5,000 people. Vaccination is required for these events.

Japan
At the beginning of November, the Japanese government eased its 10,000-capacity limit on mass gatherings such as concerts following a steady decline in coronavirus cases.

Events across the country can now admit 5,000 people, or 50% of capacity – whichever is larger – while large-scale spaces are permitted to welcome more than 10,000 spectators in Tokyo and other regions previously under a state or quasi-state of emergency. However, events that will involve fans shouting and cheering will be capped at 50% of capacity.

See more information on event restrictions here.

Mexico
Mexico is currently following a colour-coded system (red, orange, yellow, green) which is updated every two weeks.

Currently, all states are coded yellow (resuming limited activities but with precaution) or green (resuming normal activities but with precaution).

Concerts can only take place in green-coded states. See the colour codes for states here.

New Zealand
Since the beginning of this month, New Zealand has been operating with a traffic light system, under which each region has been assigned a colour (green, orange or red) based on vaccination rates and the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

A region’s colour determines the set of restrictions by which it has to abide.

In regions assigned ‘red’, venues using vaccine certificates are limited to 100 people with one-metre social distancing. In ‘orange’ regions, these venues face no limits on gatherings at events, retail, hospitality. Venues that don’t use vaccine certificates are not permitted indoor or outdoor events under red or orange.

Every region aside from Northland will move to orange at 23:59 NZST on 30 December.  These settings will stay in place until 17 January when the cabinet will review. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she expected many areas would move to green at that point.

South Africa
As of 1 October 2021, South Africa is operating under an adjusted Alert Level 1 which indicates a “low Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness”.

Under Alert Level 1, leisure and entertainment facilities, whether indoors or outdoors, must close at 23:00. Nightclubs are closed to the public.

Face masks are mandatory for every person when in a public place and 1.5 metres social distancing must be maintained.

Entertainment facilities are limited to a maximum capacity of 750 people for indoor venues and 2,000 people or less for outdoor venues – with social distancing. Smaller venues are limited to 50% capacity.

South Korea
It was announced on 16 December that South Korea will reimpose curfews on businesses for an initial two weeks from Saturday 18 December.

Public places such as concert halls and cinemas will be permitted to operate until 22:00, while restaurants, cafes and other nightlife venues will have to close at 21:00.

The measures, announced on Thursday (16 December), come a month and a half after the government initiated a phased reopening plan. Amid record highs of Covid-19 infections, the cabinet has gradually rolled back the policy.

United States
Restrictions may vary from state to state – check the US government website for the latest guidance.

New York City
On 13 December, governor Kathy Hochul announced that masks will be required to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement. This measure is effective until 15 January 2022, after which the state will re-evaluate based on current conditions.

California
California is fully open for business with no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements.

For indoor events with 1,000 or more or outdoor events with 10,000 or more, attendees age 3 and older must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have received a negative Covid-19 test.

Unvaccinated persons are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. It is recommended that fully vaccinated people also wear masks in these settings.

 


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Goldenvoice revives This Ain’t No Picnic festival

Goldenvoice is bringing back one of its earliest festivals, US-based event This Ain’t No Picnic.

The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem will headline the event at Brookside at the Rose Bowl in California on 27 and 28 August 2022.

According to the promoter, the festival will feature six stages of artists from “the past, present, and future spanning cutting-edge indie, hip-hop, dance, underground and everything in-between”.

Le Tigre, Phoebe Bridgers, Idles, Courtney Barnett, Caroline Polachek and Honey Dijon are also billed for the 2022 edition of This Ain’t No Picnic.

The festival’s name is a nod to one of Goldenvoice’s earliest festivals, launched in Irvine, California in 1999, the same year as Coachella.

Le Tigre, Phoebe Bridgers, Idles, Courtney Barnett, Caroline Polachek and Honey Dijon are also billed for the 2022 edition

The inaugural event featured Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Guided by Voices, Will Oldham, and others. The 2000 This Ain’t No Picnic showcased Beck, Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill, At the Drive-In, Modest Mouse, and more.

After a hiatus, This Ain’t No Picnic returned in 2002 with headliners Guided by Voices, Jimmy Eat World, and the Donnas.

2022 will also see AEG subsidiary Goldenvoice launch southern California festival California Vibes, it was announced in October.

In the US, Goldenvoice produces several festivals, most notably Coachella, as well as operating 14 mid-sized venues and promoting over 1,800 shows per year.

Two-day general admission tickets for This Ain’t No Picnic start at US$299. See the full line-up for the festival below.

 

This Ain't No Picnic 2022

 


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Goldenvoice positions itself for new events at Coachella site

Goldenvoice has signed a long-term agreement with the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, which will enable the promoter to stage additional festivals on the site.

The 642-plus acre desert oasis has been home to Goldenvoice’s Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival since its inception in 1999, as well as its country music counterpart, Stagecoach, which first took place on the grounds in 2007.

The newly announced deal will see the AEG Presents subsidiary take over year-round operations at the festival site and polo fields, which are estimated to be worth US$80 million, according to local land records.

Additionally, the LA-based promoter and live events company is permitted to host two additional three-day events on the site every year, according to Billboard, prompting speculation that Desert Trip may return to the site after its debut in 2016.

“The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach will continue for many years to come”

The deal also provides Goldenvoice oversight of the Empire Grand Oasis, a special event property in Thermal, California.

The Haagen Family, owner of the Empire Polo Club, says: “We are pleased to continue our long-term relationship with Paul Tollett and Goldenvoice. The new long-term lease will assure that the iconic Coachella and Stagecoach Music Festivals will continue for many years to come and allow Goldenvoice to expand their vast catalogue of musical acts on both of Empire’s properties. We wish the very best to AEG, Goldenvoice, and Paul Tollett with their future plans.”

Paul Tollett, president at Goldenvoice, says: “Goldenvoice has had a unique relationship with Empire Polo Club for over twenty-five years. It is a privilege to now take over the operations of the venue and we look forward to continuing to build upon the special history that has been established there. It’s immeasurable how much we’ve learned from Al Haagen.”

In August, Indio City Council extended its development agreement with Goldenvoice, allowing Coachella and Stagecoach to take place in the city until 2050. The promoter generates $3.5m for the city of Indio each year, according to city records.

Goldenvoice is one of the world’s biggest promoters; the company produces several festivals, including recently announced California Vibrations, operates 14 mid-sized venues and promotes over 1,800 shows per year.

 


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BTS announce mini-residency at LA’s new SoFi stadium

BTS have announced a mini-residency at the brand new SoFi stadium (cap. 70,000) in Los Angeles this winter, promoted by Live Nation.

The record-breaking K-pop stars will bring their ‘Permission to Dance on Stage’ show to Inglewood, California, for four nights.

The in-person concerts will mark the first time BTS have been able to be face-to-face with fans since the 2019 BTS World Tour.

The four shows, taking place on 27, 28 November and 1, 2 December, will follow the group’s recently announced livestream concert scheduled for 24 October.

The ‘BTS Permission to Dance On Stage’ live stream comes a year after the ‘BTS Map of the Soul On:e’ event in October 2020.

The four shows will follow the group’s recently announced livestream concert scheduled for 24 October

The stars grossed an estimated $44 million from the two-day live stream, which reached 993,000 viewers in 191 regions.

BTS’s record label, Big Hit Music, says they decided to hold the concerts in the US after “taking the national and regional health regulations and circumstances into consideration”.

“It is [with] our deepest regret that we are unable to hold more concerts in more areas,” it added. “We will do our best to put on additional concerts for not only Korean fans but fans from all around the world who have been patiently waiting for a long time.”

Fans can register for ‘Permission to Dance on Stage’ tickets here.

 


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New management outfit Grandview Music launches

Experienced managers Graham Martin, Diony Sepulveda and Kimberly Schon have launched Grandview Music, a new artist management company based in Encinitas, San Diego, California.

Martin will serve as the company’s CEO, with Sepulveda as president and Schon as executive vice-president. Grandview Music’s rock-focused roster includes the likes of Rise Against, the Story So Far, Pepper, Quicksand, Bad Child, Militarie Gun, Asking Alexandria, Motionless in White, Lowlives, and the Messenger Birds.

Martin began his management career at Valvet Hammer Music Management, working with clients including Deftones, Alice in Chains and Pepper. In 2014, he joined Pat Magnarella Management, which relaunched in 2018 as Grndvw.

Sepulveda has worked with artists including Pennywise, Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot. He most recently worked at 5B Artist Management, where he ran Slipknot’s touring business, in addition to signing Asking Alexandria and Hollywood Undead.

“It’s very rare that in this journey you get to join forces with such extraordinarily talented, like-minded and passionate friends”

Another 5B alumnus, Schon has managed acts such as Stone Sour, Motionless in White, Lowlives and Slipknot, helping to launch the latter’s music festival Knotfest internationally. She launched her own management company in 2019.

“Diony, Kim and I have a deep passion for what we do and strive to work with culturally relevant artists,” says Martin, “while building a music company that reaches far beyond the status quo of what an artist management company is.”

“I have been lucky enough to work alongside some of the most respected and innovative industry professionals and artists the last 20-plus years,” adds Sepulveda. “It’s an honour to be working with Graham and Kim as I have incredible respect for what they have accomplished in their careers. I’m very excited for this next chapter of creating a new unique modern music company with my friends.”

Adds Schon: “I got into this business with the goal of helping foster the voice of the next generation of artists. It’s very rare that in this journey you get to join forces with such extraordinarily talented, like-minded and passionate friends as Graham and Diony.”

 


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