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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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$33m settlement for Ghost Ship fire lawsuits

The city of Oakland has reached a $32.7 million settlement with the families of those killed by the tragic blaze at  unlicensed music venue and artists’ collective Ghost Ship in 2016.

The fire, which was the worst structural disaster in northern California since the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, killed 36 people in total, most of whom were at Ghost Ship for an electronic music party.

The Oakland City Council has now authorised the settlements of lawsuits filed by the families of 32 victims.

“This was a horrific tragedy that deeply impacted every corner of our community,” reads a statement from the city attorney’s office. According to the statement, the city decided to settle because of the possible legal costs, and does not acknowledge any liability for the incident.

“This was a horrific tragedy that deeply impacted every corner of our community”

Prosecutors contend that Derick Almena, the master tenant on the warehouse lease, was criminally negligent when he converted and sublet the space as a residence for artists and an event venue.

Almena was charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter, with a retrial – following an initial mistrial – scheduled for October. A co-defendant, Max Harris, was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter charges last year, while the building’s owner, Chor Ng, has not been charged with a crime.

The blaze, which was believed to have been caused by an electrical fire, echoed another tragic incident at the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, the same year, which claimed the lives of 64 people.

Last year, prison sentences were handed out to 13 people in conjunction with the Colectiv fire, including the venue owners, pyrotechnic specialists and city officials.

Photo: Jim Heaphy/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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Eventbrite facing legal action over refund policy

Eventbrite has become the latest ticket seller to be hit with a lawsuit over its alleged non-payment of refunds for cancelled or postponed events.

In a consumer class-action complaint filed on 4 June in the US district court for northern California, ticket buyers Sherri Snow, Anthony Piceno and Linda Conner accuse Eventbrite of “deceptive practices relating to its sale of live events tickets and its refusal to provide refunds for live events that have been canceled, rescheduled and/or postponed.”

According to the plaintiffs, by “shift[ing] responsibility” for issuing cash refunds to event organisers, Eventbrite is in violation of section 22507 of California’s Business and Professions Code, which requires that the “ticket price of any event which is canceled [sic], postponed, or rescheduled shall be fully refunded to the purchaser by the ticket seller upon request.”

“After the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancelation or postponement of most large events and public gatherings, Eventbrite has consistently refused to allow for refunds for canceled, postponed and/or rescheduled events, including when events are ‘indefinitely’ postponed,” reads the complaint.

“Instead, Eventbrite has tried to shift responsibility to event organizers, allowing them to refuse refunds for cancellations, postponements and rescheduled events.”

“Eventbrite has consistently refused to allow for refunds … including when events are ‘indefinitely’ postponed”

Secondary ticketing platforms StubHub and SeatGeek are both battling similar class-action suits in the US, with the former also the target of legal action in Canada.

“At best,” the complaint explains, “Eventbrite has urged some organizers to ‘make good’ when events are canceled, postponed and/or rescheduled” between 15 March and 15 May.

This, the plaintiffs say, does not go far enough, because it allows promoters to offer credit or vouchers for future events “no matter when in the future the event might occur or how much or when the credit might apply”.

While many European concert organisers have been empowered to offer ticket vouchers instead of cash refunds, no legislation of the sort exists in California or the wider US.

Among other forms of redress, the trio seek monetary damages, an order that Eventbrite will cease the “unlawful, deceptive, fraudulent and unfair business practices” alleged in the complaint, and legal costs, to be determined at a jury trial.

News of the lawsuit, revealed in the company’s latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), comes as Eventbrite records a month-on-month increase in ticket sales for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March.

 


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Coachella 2020 line-up revealed

The line-up for the 2020 edition of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been unveiled, with Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean topping the bill.

The AEG/Goldenvoice-promoted mega festival, which takes place across two consecutive weekends in April, will also see performances from Lana Del Rey, Calvin Harris, Flume, Thom Yorke, Run the Jewels, Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Uzi Vert, with the same acts performing at both weekend one (10–12 April) and weekend two (17–19 April) of the festival.

The 125,000-capacity event, which is widely regarded as marking the beginning of the international festival season, will once again take place at its home of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

The line-up for Coachella 2020 has been unveiled, with Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean topping the bill

Coachella 2019 saw headline performances from Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala. Last year’s festival also saw the introduction of a new, AR-enabled stage.

Tickets for weekend one of the event, which went on advance sale in June, are now sold out. Presale for the second weekend starts on 6 January at 12 p.m. PT. Fans can register for the presale here.

Festival travel platform Festicket teamed up with Coachella in July to become the exclusive UK and Europe ticketing partner for the 2020 event.

See the full line-up below:

Coachella 2020 line-up revealed


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Virgin Fest CEO Jason Felts acquires Kaaboo

Jason Felts, chief executive of the festival arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin brand, Virgin Fest, and co-founder of Virgin Produced, has acquired Kaaboo festival from its co-founders.

Through a Virgin Fest affiliate, Felts, former chief brand officer for the festival, has acquired all of Kaaboo’s assets from Bryan E Gordon and Seth Wolkov. The pair, chairman and president of Denver-based private investment holding company, the Madison Companies, launched Kaaboo in 2015 at the Del Mar Racetrack (44,000-cap.) in California.

Financial details of the sale have not been disclosed.

The Kaaboo sale  comes days after the announcement that the festival had entered into a multi-year partnership with baseball team the San Diego Padres, moving the festival to Petco Park baseball stadium and renaming the event from Kaaboo Del Mar to Kaaboo San Diego.

“I attended the first Kaaboo Del Mar in 2015 with my parents,” says Felts. “It became clear that Kaaboo shared a like-minded approach to Virgin with customer service, while delivering a unique, differentiated, multi-sensory festival product.

“It was on that basis that we first invested and supported this vision in 2016. We look forward to the future of the Kaaboo brand and its festival experiences under our ownership.”

The Kaaboo team debuted two new spin-off festivals this year, a two-day event in the Cayman Islands and a three-day festival in Texas. A 2020 Cayman Islands festival, announced immediately after the close of the sold-out inaugural edition, has since been cancelled. No announcement has been made regarding a continuation of the Texas festival.

“It became clear that Kaaboo shared a like-minded approach to Virgin with customer service, while delivering a unique, differentiated, multi-sensory festival product”

Kaaboo co-founders Gordon and Wolkov comment: “We’re thrilled and delighted to have had this unique vision and grateful to be validated by this acquisition with such an experienced and progressive team.

“We are appreciative of Richard (Branson) and Virgin’s early support of our brand and confident that, in Jason and his team’s capable hands, the journey that we started to offer adults [of] a truly differentiated festival experience is sure to live on and grow for many years to come.”

Virgin Group founder Branson announced the launch of his own “multi-experiential” music festival last year, following the termination of Virgin’s V Festival sponsorship. The festival, also named Virgin Fest, was pegged to debut in the US this year.

The final Kaaboo Del Mar wrapped up on Sunday (15 September). Acts including the Dave Matthews band, Kings of Leon and Mumford and Sons played the sold-out event, with attendance surpassing 35,000 each day.

The first edition of Kaaboo San Diego will take place from September 18 to 20 next year, held in and around the San Diego baseball stadium, Petco Park (42,445-cap.). Tickets for the event, priced from US$199 for a three-day pass to $17,500 for the ‘Ultimate Hang’ VIP package, are available here.

 


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Coachella partners up with Festicket

Festival travel platform Festicket has teamed up with Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to become the Californian festival’s exclusive UK and Europe ticketing partner.

Festicket will provide extra local booking services, support across eight languages and additional currency options, as well as promotion a range of ticket packages.

Tickets for the 2020 edition of Coachella, went on advance sale on Friday 14 June, with Festicket packages selling so far to fans in 49 different countries worldwide.

Festicket chief executive co-founder and chief executive, Zack Sabban, says it is “amazing” to extend the platform’s relationship with Coachella and promoter Goldenvoice. Sabban founded Festicket in 2012, when planning a trip to the Californian festival.

“We created Festicket to help people plan their trips to destination festivals exactly like Coachella,” comments Sabban.

“We created Festicket to help people plan their trips to destination festivals exactly like Coachella”

“Our work so far with Coachella has had an amazing response from our international community of festival fans. Now we’ll be focusing on making the experience the best it can be for every fan – from discovery, to booking, to accommodation, to the event itself.”

Festicket has raised overUS$30 million in funds, most recently receiving $4.6m from creative industries investment specialist, Edge.

Coachella 2019, which took place at the Empire Polo Club in southern California, saw headline performance from Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande.

The 2020 edition will take place across two consecutive weekends from 10 to 12 and 17 to 19 April.

 


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OVG announces new arena in southern California

Oak View Group and the Agua Caliente Band of the Cahuilla, a tribe of Indians native to the Coachella Valley, have announced plans for a new entertainment and sports arena in Palm Springs, California.

The project, which counts Live Nation as a strategic partner for events, will see the construction of an up-to-10,000-seat arena on 300,000sqft (27,870sqm) on Agua Caliente land in Palm Springs city centre. The new venue will be located to the north of the Agua Caliente Casino, also operated by the tribe.

“This is a unique partnership that will forever change the face of sports and entertainment in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley,” says Jeff Grubbe, tribal chairman of the Agua Caliente Band. “We are creating a healthy community gathering place for Coachella Valley families and visitors from around the world to celebrate, play and experience diverse entertainment opportunities in a state-of-the-art arena.”

The privately funded Palm Springs arena comes amid a building boom for Tim Leiweke-led OVG, which is developing venues in Seattle, New York, Texas and, most recently, Milan, in its first international project.

In a tweet, OVG described its recent moves as representing “the most aggressive number of arena developments in the history of the industry”:

The Coachella Valley arena is expected to break ground in February 2020 and be open by autumn 2021. OVG and NHL (National Hockey League) Seattle have also jointly submitted an application for a 32nd American Hockey League (AHL) team, which would play in the new arena.

Other entertainment arenas in southern California include MSG’s 18,000-seat LA Forum, formerly co-owned by OVG’s Irving Azoff, and Staples Center (19,000-cap.) in Los Angeles, owned and operated by MSG/OVG arch-rival AEG.

“Oak View Group has consistently continued to raise the industry standard, and the arena in Palm Springs will be no exception”

Nearby Indio, meanwhile, is the site of AEG’s famed Coachella and Stagecoach festival.

“With each venue, we’ve had the privilege of building and managing, Oak View Group has consistently continued to raise the industry standard, and the arena in Palm Springs will be no exception,” says OVG CEO Leiweke. “We look forward to working with Agua Caliente to build what we consider to be one of the most premiere music and professional sports arenas in the world.”

Oak View Group, a venue development, advisory and investment company founded by former AEG CEO Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Azoff, launched in 2015. In addition to its under-development arena projects, it runs the Arena and Stadium Alliance of 28 US venues.

It also has a venue-management outfit, OVG Facilities, launched in 2017 following the acquisition of Pinnacle Venue Services, and a security arm, Prevent Advisors, and owns industry trade titles Venues Today and Pollstar, the latter which it bought the same year.

“We’re pleased to be able to partner with Oak View Group and Agua Caliente for this new state-of-the-art arena,” comments Bob Roux, president of US concerts at Live Nation, “and look forward to bringing in top touring artists and live events to the Valley for years to come.”

 


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Live Nation acquires LA’s Spaceland Presents

Live Nation has acquired Los Angeles promoter Spaceland Presents, as well as its three LA-area venues, boosting the global concert giant’s presence in southern California.

Formerly one of the city’s most influential independence concert businesses, Mitchell Frank’s Spaceland Presents produces and books talent for over 1,200 concerts and events annually. It is known especially for its shows at cultural institutions and landmarks including the Santa Monica Pier, Los Angeles Natural History Museum and Echo Park Rising.

The company also operates and promotes shows at the Echo (350-cap.), Echoplex (780-cap.) and the Regent Theater (700-cap.), which join the likes of the Wiltern, Palladium, Observatory and Venture Majestic Theatre in Live Nation Clubs & Theaters’ portfolio of SoCal venues.

Spaceland was formerly minority owned by LA live events group Knitting Factory Entertainment.

“Live Nation brings added knowhow, extensive resources and worldwide experience to help expand Spaceland’s growth”

The acquisition is Live Nation’s 11th of 2019, following Singapore’s One Production in January, Canada’s Embrace Presents, Spain’s Planet Events, Tennessee’s Neste Event Marketing, Finland’s Blockfest, Norway’s Tons of Rock and Australia’s Moshtix (through Ticketmaster) in February, Belgium’s Antwerps Sportpaleis and New England’s Levitate in April, and Denmark’s PHD Music in May.

“Live Nation brings added knowhow, extensive resources and worldwide experience to help expand Spaceland’s growth,” says Spaceland Presents founder Mitchell Frank. “It will substantially increase our bandwidth and support our ability to continue to advocate and promote the artists and music we care about through live music.”

Ben Weeden, COO of Live Nation Clubs & Theaters, adds: “We’re looking forward to helping them continue to be champions of artists on multiple fronts, ranging from marketing to performance opportunities, to help an artist grow from small 250-cap. rooms to full potential, whether it’s a 3,000-cap. venue or arena.

“We are excited to have Mitchell and his team join the Live Nation family.”

 


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ICM partners signs newly-reunited Phantom Planet

US talent agency ICM Partners has signed Californian alternative rock band Phantom Planet, who have reunited after an 11 year absence from the live music scene.

The band, which has not toured since promoting their 2008 album Raise the Dead, released their new single ‘Balisong’ on Tuesday 7 May from their upcoming reunion album.

Phantom Planet have also announced a return to performing, playing in San Diego on May 7, Los Angeles today (May 10) and Santa Ana, California the day after. The band, well-known for The O.C. theme song ‘California’, will also perform at Hanson’s Hop Jam Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

A team of ICM agents, lead by Mike Hayes and Brandon Zmigrocki, will represent the group as they make their return. Phantom Planet is managed by Brad Aarons at New Community Management/Roc Nation.

“Phantom Planet has one of the most dedicated fanbases and an incredible run over the course of their career,” says Hayes.

“This reunion and new music have been a decade in the making”

“This reunion and new music have been a decade in the making,” adds Zmigrocki. We’re proud to be a part of this exciting new chapter and to welcome them to ICM family.”

Formed in 1994, the reunion marks Phantom Planet’s 25th anniversary. The band consists of vocalist-rhythm guitarist Alex Greenwald, lead guitarist Darren Robinson, bassist Sam Farrar and drummer Jeff Conrad.

The band are currently working on their fifth studio album with producer Tony Berg at Sound City Studio.

ICM’s roster includes Ari Lennox, Beach Boys, H.E.R., J. Cole and Nicki Minaj.

More information about tickets and shows can be found here.

 


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