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DJ Khaled, Fat Joe become latest artists to join OnlyFans

Musicians DJ Khaled and Fat Joe have become the latest artists to create a profile on OnlyFans, the popular subscription service best known as a home for amateur porn creators.

The UK-based site, which describes itself as a “subscription social platform”, allows fans to pay a monthly fee in exchange for content from creators – traditionally sex workers, but also increasingly fitness experts, chefs, artists and other celebrities. Other musicians with OnlyFans pages include rappers Cardi B (who charges US$4.99 a month) and Tyga ($20/month), as well as singer-actress Bella Thorne ($4.99/month), who drew the ire of porn actresses after making $1 million in her first day on the site.

Like Tyga, DJ Khaled, the Grammy-winning producer and songwriter, and Fat Joe, the rapper who signed Khaled to his Terror Squad label, are charging fans $20 a month for access to their OnlyFans page, which will include “exclusive motivational and inspiration content”, beginning on 25 January.

“We want to get to know our actual fans”

According to a release from OnlyFans, the pair (who are “almost always together”) will be sharing behind-the-scenes pictures and video “of their personal lives, including playing basketball, dining together, hanging in the studio, special guests and more.”

Says Joe: “We wanted to create a community that’s full of positivity and hypes each other up! We want to get to know our actual fans.”

“We’ll be sharing content that’s not anywhere else… it’s the light,” adds Khaled, cryptically.

Founded in 2016, OnlyFans claims to have paid more than $2 billion to its over 1m creators in that time. The site takes a commission of 20% from creators, of which 12% is kept by the site’s operator, London-based Fenix International Ltd.

 


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Cover Story: the cost of event cancellations

From Kanye West to Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Cardi B and a host of festivals, the tail end of the 2010s has seen no shortage of big-name cancellations and postponements – with illness, civil disorder and, especially, severe weather all doing their part to torpedo major live music events in recent years.

All touring productions are team efforts, and when it becomes clear a show won’t go ahead, the first person to receive a call is a stakeholder that’s otherwise largely forgotten about, jokes insurance broker Steven Howell: “When something goes wrong, we suddenly become the most influential and important people in the chain – but before that we’re just another P&L.”

It is, of course, yet another spiralling cost on a tour’s balance sheet. But with artist fees and production values trending ever upwards, and inclement weather conditions apparently becoming more common, insuring against a tour or show’s cancellation can be worth every penny.

Howell, of Media Insurance Brokers (MIB), which has offices in London, Glasgow, Dublin and Los Angeles, says that while he doesn’t necessarily see an increase in the number of cancellations, the size of claims is rising (in tandem with rising performance fees and production costs).

“Every year we have lots of claims – there’ve always been cancelled shows – but the claims we’ve had [in 2019] are bigger than before,” he explains. “You’re also getting bigger production going into festivals as they try and differentiate themselves from each other, but it’s mainly because artist fees are higher.

“When something goes wrong, we suddenly become the most influential and important people in the chain”

“The value of claims is getting bigger year on year. And that’s not just by 5%, 10%, even 20% – recently we’ve seen some artists who were earning hundreds or low thousands [of dollars] per show, and they’re now earning hundreds of thousands. Then at the top end, you’ve obviously got the people who earn two or three million a show.”

The result is, of course, higher premiums, with experts telling IQ that premiums have increased, on average, 20-30% in the past year alone. And there are indications cancellation insurance could cost even more in the next 12 months.

“This year has seen an increase in cancellations compared to previous years on both sides of the Atlantic,” says Tim Thornhill of international insurance brokerage Integro (which is set to rebrand as Tysers in 2020 after a recent acquisition). “The US has been hit by strong winds, storms and fires, and when these happen during a tour – particularly a big one – or any mass-participation events, it will have a big bearing on the level of claims that insurers are liable to pay out.”

“There have been an awful lot of large claims, which has had a big impact on the insurance market,” agrees Miller’s Martin Goebbels, speaking to IQ from London (the company also has offices in Paris, Brussels, Singapore, and Ipswich, UK). “Whether the number of claims as a percentage has increased I don’t know, but certainly on the weather side they are growing.”

The impact of this cluster of large pay-outs, says Goebbels, is that premiums have increased recently, and several large insurers have pulled out of offering cancellation insurance altogether.

“This year has seen an increase in cancellations compared to previous years on both sides of the Atlantic”

Hard Time
This, explains Integro’s Tim Rudland, is “what’s called a ‘hardening market,’ where insurers have increased their premiums due to a number of losses in the contingency market.” (Examples of ‘contingency’ insurance products include policies covering event cancellation, non-appearance, terrorism and prize indemnity.)

“Some insurers have reduced the amount they are able to write, and some have stopped writing this type of business altogether,” Rudland continues, “which means that the size of the market is shrinking.”

According to Howden’s Robert Barron, formerly vice-president of accident, health, sports and contingency at US insurance brokerage giant Lockton, in 2018 loss ratios incurred by non-appearances reached the highest level since records began in 1999.

“As a result of such losses, there has been a scaling back in lines, and three market exits since last summer [2017],” he wrote last year. “Barbican and Travelers both exited the standalone contingency business for 2017, while ProSight Specialty Insurance, which wrote contingency as part of its media and entertainment book, placed its Lloyd’s operation into orderly run-off last June.”

“In the past 12 months, there have been five or six decent-sized insurers that have pulled out of event-cancellation insurance altogether,” adds Goebbels, who notes that there have been a number of high-profile, non-music cancellation claims in that period, too, including severe weather-hit rugby and cricket fixtures. “All those claims go into the same book of business,” he explains, “so insurers have a much wider view of the risks.”

“There’s a larger pool of artists who could cause an issue for insurers”

The same is true in continental Europe, says Matthias Grischke, the founder of Novitas based in Ahrensburg near Hamburg. “Some major companies, like Swiss Re, have left the market, and a number of mergers have also reduced the total number of insurers,” Grischke explains, although he notes, “we aren’t really feeling a lack of capacity yet.”

This, in turn, he says, drives up prices. “The insurers have united a lot more,” Goebbels says. “They have their associations and they get together and they say we can’t sustain this – we either cut each other’s throats or we close ranks to make sure we maintain a market standard.”

Other factors can also push up premiums – although, contrary to popular opinion, Goebbels says he isn’t seeing a disproportionate amount of cancellations by artists of a particular genre (urban acts are often described anecdotally as being especially cancel-happy), suggesting insurers are rather “keeping a watching brief in a lot of areas. Something like when Krept was stabbed, for example [the rapper, one half of Krept and Konan, was attacked backstage at BBC Radio 1Xtra Live in Birmingham in October], they’ll be keeping an eye on – but it hasn’t yet had any impact.”

If anything, he adds, of more interest to insurers is the increasing average age of performers: “There’s a larger pool of artists who could cause an issue for insurers,” Goebbels explains. “Paul McCartney is 78, Patti Smith is 74… the implications [of artists getting older] is much, much higher premiums.”

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 87 2019, or subscribe to the magazine here

Romeo Santos breaks records at 80k+ MetLife stadium

Bachata star Romeo Santos became the first Latin artist to headline – and sell out – the 82,500-capacity MetLife stadium in New Jersey on Saturday (21 September).

The Live Nation-promoted show was the highest grossing concert in the stadium’s history, breaking the record previously held by Irish rockers U2.

Special guests including Cardi B, reggaeton stars Ozuna and Wisin and Yandel and fellow Bachata artists Raulin Rodriguez, El Chaval and Zacarias Ferreira, as well as members from Santos’ former band Aventura, joined the singer onstage during his 22-track, four-hour performance.

“Romeo Santos has solidified himself as one of the greatest Latin artists of the generation with his historic MetLife show”

“Romeo Santos has solidified himself as one of the greatest Latin artists of the generation with his historic MetLife show,” comments Hans Schafer, head of Live Nation Latin. “This feat continues to show the power of Latin artists in the touring space and is a proud moment for Live Nation.”

The show celebrated Santos’ most recent album Utopia, which debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums list when released in April.

In 2014, Santos became the first Latin solo artist to headline a concert at New York’s 54,250-capacity Yankee Stadium.

From reggaeton to trap: Behind the global Latin boom


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“Better each year”: success for Roskilde 2019

Denmark’s Roskilde festival had its 49th outing this weekend, selling out all tickets and featuring headline performances from Bob Dylan and Cardi B. However, despite this commercial success, it appears that social activism remains at Roskilde’s core.

“It was a really fantastic year,” Roskilde chief executive Signe Lopdrup tells IQ. Aside from less than favourable weather, “there were no big issues at all.”

Organised by the Roskilde Festival Charity Society and working with 30,000 volunteers each year, the Danish festival has always had a humanitarian and social aim.

This focus was apparent this year through the announced partnership with Freemuse, an organisation defending freedom of artistic expression. The festival pledged 1.5DKK (£180,770) to Freemuse over three years to “help make the world safer for artistic expression”.

On stage, there was no shortage of artistic expression at Roskilde, which featured a “really strong” arts and activism programme, alongside a full music schedule.

“The programming came together very well this year,” says Lopdrup. “We always aim to give a voice to the youth in society and we managed to do that really successfully this year.”

The music programme also placed a special focus on young talent, despite a bill of headline acts such as the Cure, Robyn and Travis Scott, as well as Bob Dylan and Cardi B.

“One of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before”

Presenting plenty of new acts is something Roskilde has worked on over the years, says Lopdrup, facilitated by a large, diverse line-up and “curious festivalgoers”.

“One of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before,” explains the Roskilde chief.

Major breakthroughs for this year included the presence of “a lot of strong female artists”.

Rather than using quotas to ensure an equal representation of women, Roskilde focuses on “presenting strong and progressive female artists”, giving them slots that allow them to “make their mark and inspire others”.

Christine and the Queens, Rosalía, Jorja Smith and Janelle Monáe were among high-profile female acts on the bill at this year’s Roskilde.

Looking ahead to the festival’s 50th anniversary next year, Lopdrup prioritises a future-facing attitude over a celebration of the past.

“We are a youth-focused festival – the average age of attendee is 24 – and our goal is to engage with the younger generation and with the future. As a festival, we have a special responsibility to tackle important social and global issues and to continue looking ahead.”

Roskilde Festival 2020 will take place from 27 June to 4 July.

 


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Cardi B cancels headline Parklife appearance

Cardi B will no longer appear at the UK’s Parklife festival this weekend, as the rapper continues to recover from cosmetic surgery procedures.

The ‘Bodak Yellow’ star, who recently underwent breast augmentation and liposuction, was scheduled to headline the 80,000-cap. Manchester event’s main stage on Saturday 8 June. In addition to the Parklife cancellation, the surgery caused the rapper to cancel her slot at Primavera Sound and postpone three concerts in the United States last month.

“We are very sorry for the late notice but have only just had confirmation that she will not be able to perform,” say Parklife organisers, who have not announced a replacement for Cardi B. “We all remain super-excited for Parklife this weekend and cannot wait to see you in a completely transformed Heaton Park.”

“It is certainly an original reason for cancellation,” Alesco director Paul Twomey tells IQ, adding that multi-act festivals are unlikely to be insured against the no-show of an individual act. “The festival will merely adjust the line-up in terms of set times and lengths or look to replace if time allows.”

However, Twomey adds, Cardi B’s reason for cancelling would be unlikely to be included in “a standard non-appearance policy” if in place, given that such policies “exclude cancellation as a result of elective surgery, as this would be deemed to be within the artist’s control.

Festivals may actually be better off “as the act would have to return their fee”

“There is a wider cover available that promoters and the like can take out which would pick this up as long as it was outside of the purchasing party’s control. Insurers would charge a higher premium for this,” says the insurance specialist.

“Cardi B has been advised to cancel on medical grounds following an allegedly non-essential operation. Much depends on when the operation happened and the surroundings of the ‘complications’ that have led to cancelling,” explains Martin Goebbels, head of Miller’s music and touring insurance team.

“If the operation were a while ago and total unexpected complications have occurred then possibly there would be grounds for an insurance claim. However, if it were very recent – particularly after any insurance policies were placed – it is likely any insurance would not pay if such an operation were deemed non-essential.”

In general, says Goebbels, a festival “may not suffer any loss” from an artist cancellation. In fact, events may be better off “as the act would have to return their fee”. Organisers then decide whether to keep the money or spend it on a replacement.

“Even if there were no replacement available,” continues Goebbels, “it is possible that festivals do not have to refund any money as they sell tickets for a ‘festival’ rather than a ‘headline artist’.”

The cancellation of individual shows, however, poses more difficulties.

“You know, I hate cancelling shows because I love money”

“If it were an artist’s own show, the promoter would not be insured so it becomes a legal situation to try and recover the promoter’s total loss,” explains Goebbels.

Addressing the May postponements, Cardi B posted on Instagram saying: “You know, I hate cancelling shows because I love money. But like, health is wealth, so I have to do what I have to do. My breasts gotta heal, and it is what it is.”

Parklife will make its fully updated schedule available via the festival app from 7pm on Friday 7 June.

Performers at this year’s sold-out festival include George Ezra, the Streets, Nas, Dave, Christine and the Queens, Solange and Major Lazer Soundsystem. Parklife takes place in Heaton Park, Manchester, on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June.

Festival director Jon Drape and co-founder Sacha Lord touted last year’s Parklife as the “best one yet”. Live nation acquired a majority stake in the festival, along with the Warehouse Project club nights that Lord co-founded with Parklife partner Sam Kandel, in 2016.

 


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3 years of gender-balanced line-ups for Way Out West

Sweden’s Way Out West festival, promoted by Live Nation-owned Luger, has announced Solange as the final headliner for its 2019 edition, completing a 50/50 gender split line-up for the third year running.

The singer joins previously announced headliners Cardi B, the Cure and Stormzy. Other acts to play at the Gothenburg-based festival include James Blake, Earl Sweatshirt, Zara Larsson and Christine and the Queens.

First obtaining gender-balanced programming in 2016, Way Out West signed up to the Keychange pledge in 2018 with over 150 other festivals, which commits participating festivals to achieve a gender-balanced line-up by 2020.

The Swedish live music scene came under fire in 2017 after almost 2,000 female agents, managers, promoters, production managers and artists signed an open letter detailing experiences of sexual harassment or assault within the music industry.

Talking to IQ for the Sweden market report, Luger co-founder Ola Broquist stated that the music industry in the country was working to resolve its issues. Broquist referenced “gender equality progression in festival line-ups” as an important part of this improvement process.

“Way Out West is one of a small number of festivals to present a line-up in which female artists are not outnumbered by their male counterparts”

Way Out West is one of a small number of festivals to present a line-up in which female artists are not outnumbered by their male counterparts.

This year, Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival will feature its first-ever 50/50 line-up, with artists including Miley Cyrus, Carly Rae Jepsen, Janelle Monáe and Robyn. Way Out West headliner Cardi B cancelled her performance at Primavera Sound in April, due to promotional commitments.

In 2018, Sena Live’s Iceland Airwaves became the first major festival to have more women than men on the bill.

However, festivals participating in IQ‘s European festival preview stated that more needed to be done to encourage young, emerging female artists, as organisers struggled to find sufficient numbers of top-level female performers.

In addition to its efforts to promote gender equality, Way Out West is also committed to improving sustainability. The festival has been meat- and largely dairy-free since 2012. Last year, organisers invested in extra emission-reducing measures, in a bid to become climate neutral.

Way Out West takes place from 8 – 10 August 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Three-day passes start from £140. More information can be found here.

 


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Cardi B cancels Primavera Sound, Miley joins line-up

American rapper Cardi B has cancelled her performance at this year’s Primavera Sound in Barcelona, citing “promotional commitments”.

The 35,000-capacity festival said today (5 April) that Cardi B will no longer be appearing at the festival. Miley Cyrus will perform at the festival on Friday 31 May instead, joining Carly Rae Jepsen, Janelle Monáe and Robyn.

“We regret to announce that Cardi B will not perform at Primavera Sound 2019. The American artist has cancelled her appearance due to promotional commitments in the United States that cannot be postponed,” said the festival in a statement.

“If an empowered, ground-breaking, outrageous and controversial artist drops out of the line up… You have to replace her with another one, don’t you?”

Primavera Sound announced the addition of Miley Cyrus saying: “If an empowered, ground-breaking, outrageous and controversial artist drops out of the line up… You have to replace her with another one, don’t you?”

Cyrus will also be appearing at festivals including Glastonbury, Woodstock 50 and BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Primavera Sound is offering a refund to fans with a day ticket for Friday 31 May.

The festival, which takes place from 29 May to 2 June 2019, is a signatory to the Keychange declaration, and its 2019 line-up is gender-balanced, with at least as many female as male performers.

 


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Free entertainment event tickets for unpaid US federal workers

Organisations across the United States are offering free event tickets to furloughed government workers, in a show of solidarity with employees who have not received paychecks since the beginning of the government shutdown in December.

Over 800,000 federal workers are going without pay as a result of the shutdown which began on 22 December, making it officially the longest in US history.

In response, live music venues, cinemas, sports teams and museums across the country have offered tickets to events free of charge.

Exhibition basketball team Harlem Globetrotters are offering complimentary tickets to any government employee currently on furlough. The offer includes any ticket to the team’s 2019 Fan Powered North American tour and will remain valid for as long as the shutdown continues.

“As the Ambassadors of Goodwill, we want to show our support to all those government workers whose paychecks, and by extension their families, are directly impacted,” said Globetrotter president Howard Smith.

“We want to offer our friends the happiness that live music and the performing arts can provide”

Symphonies around the country are similarly doing their bit to help the workers. The Spokane Symphony Orchestra in Washington is among those offering free tickets to shows.

“We are sorry for the hardships our federal workers have had to endure during the shutdown. We want to offer our friends some wonderful music and entertainment to give them the happiness that live music and the performing arts can provide,” announced symphony executive director Jeff vom Saal.

Orchestras in Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Boston have also made tickets available.

A disagreement in Congress initiated the shutdown after president Donald Trump refused to approve the federal budget unless it included US$5.7 billion towards the building of the Mexican border wall. Democrats rejected the request, placing the government in deadlock.

US rapper Cardi B spoke out against the shutdown in an Instagram video posted yesterday. The video, in which the rapper refers to the country as a “hellhole”, has so far received over 12.5 million views.

 


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