The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

ASM and LN enlisted for conservation-first arena

The US will soon gain a new 20,000-seat outdoor amphitheatre, dubbed “a musical postcard from Mother Nature”.

Thunder Ridge Nature Arena is due to open in the Ozarks, Missouri, in May, after a decade in planning, development and construction.

ASM Global has been contracted to manage and operate the facility and has partnered with Live Nation to produce live music events.

Upcoming concerts include Luke Bryan (27 July) and Chris Stapleton, whose 13 June performance sold out within minutes of going on sale.

Thunder Ridge Nature Arena was envisioned by local conservationist Johnny Morris, who has set aside the property’s land, buildings and infrastructure for a not-for-profit foundation committed to the cause of conservation. He called the venue “a gift to the people and heritage of the Ozarks”.

“This remarkable creation is more than a place to see a concert”

ASM Global CEO Ron Bension says: “We are so pleased to join with Johnny Morris to operate this unique and spectacular venue. This remarkable creation is more than a place to see a concert. It’s a destination in itself. A true experience unlike any other.”

Live Nation’s president of US Concerts Bob Roux, adds: “Thunder Ridge will absolutely be a must-stop for some of the biggest musical acts in the industry. The stunning surroundings, beautiful structures and the venue itself create an extraordinary musical moment for guests.”

The Ridgedale-based amphitheatre – which has views of 1,200 acres of Table Rock Lake – was built by a specialised team utilising biomimicry architectural techniques.

The venue includes a “luxury box embellishment” called The Nature Tower that rises 12 stories from the Ozark limestone and dolomite earth. Four of its floors will contain VIP suites replete with bedrooms, unobstructed views of the performing stage and panoramic nature sightlines, according to a press release.

In addition to live entertainment, Thunder Ridge Nature Arena will be home to the Missouri Thunder Professional Bull Riding team.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Chris Stapleton NY gig cancelled due to “hazardous” smog

A Chris Stapleton concert was called off due to “hazardous” air quality levels in New York caused by smoke from Canadian wildfires.

Broadway performances, sports games, Pride events and flights were also cancelled in recent days due to the polluting haze spreading across the US east coast.

Stapleton was due to perform for 17,000 people at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse on Thursday (8 June) but late Wednesday, the American singer issued a statement postponing the outdoor concert.

“Due to the ongoing air conditions in the greater Syracuse area, tomorrow night’s show at @StJosephsAmp will be rescheduled. All previously purchased tickets for the original date will be honoured for the new date. We expect to have an update by mid-day June 9th.”

There had been a question mark over whether The Governors Ball NYC could take place this weekend in Flushing Meadows Corona Park but organisers assured ticketholders the outdoor event would go ahead.

There had been a question mark over whether The Governors Ball NYC could take place this weekend

“Skies are clearing in NYC and conditions are expected to be significantly improved by tomorrow,” reads a post on social media from The Governors Ball NYC. “Gates will be opening at 11:45 am as planned! See you there.”

Much of the smoke plaguing the region can be traced back to fires burning in Quebec, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. Nearly 150 fires are active in that province alone – some burning for weeks – with hundreds more alight across Canada.

Hundreds of firefighters from the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have been deployed to Canada, and more are on the way.

Poor air quality peaked in some major metro areas along the East Coast by late Wednesday or early Thursday. The former was by far the worst day on record in the United States for wildfire smoke since 2006, according to new research from Stanford University scientists.

The Canadian government says nearly 100 million people in the US and Canada are currently experiencing very poor air quality. Millions across North America are being advised to wear high-grade masks outdoors due to dangerous air pollution.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

C2C announces 2020 return after record year

Following its best-ever year in 2019, Country to Country (C2C) will return for its eighth outing next March, the festival’s UK and Ireland promoters have announced.

C2C 2019, headlined by country music superstars Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Chris Stapleton, took place from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 March. It welcomed 80,000 fans across three venues – the O2 in London, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and 3Arena in Dublin – in what SJM Concerts’ Chris York, whose company co-promotes the event with AEG, calls its “busiest year yet”.

The festival also expanded to Germany, holding its first German event at AEG’s new Verti Music Hall in Berlin on 3 March, and the Netherlands, with the first C2C Amsterdam, co-promoted with Greenhouse Talent, taking place at AFAS Live (6,000-cap.) the following night.

C2C 2019 welcomed 80,000 fans in London, Glasgow and Dublin

C2C Australia, which has a different line-up, is staged on 28 and 29 September in Sydney and Brisbane, respectively.

The flagship C2C 2020 will take place on 13, 14 and 15 March, returning to London, Glasgow and Dublin, according to AEG and SJM, with earlybird tickets available from this Friday (15 March).

Read IQ’s recent feature on how Country to Country – along with the tireless support of the Country Music Association, radio DJs, local promoters and others – helped country music conquer the world here.

Big country: How country music conquered the world


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free digest of essential live music industry news, via email or Messenger.

QOTSA, Chris Stapleton to headline C3’s new Innings Fest

Queens of the Stone Age, country singer Chris Stapleton and folk-rock four-piece the Avett Brothers have been announced as headliners for the inaugural Innings Festival, a new music’n’baseball event planned for next March by Live Nation’s C3 Presents.

Taking place from 23 to 25 March in Tempe Beach Park and Arts Park in Arizona, the Innings Festival 2018 line-up also features Counting Crows, Eagles of Death Metal, Jake Bugg, Mt Joy, Cold War Kids and the Decemberists, along with “curated chef demos” by baseball players and celebrity chef Beau MacMillan.

“The Innings Festival is the perfect combination of music, baseball and the amazing location of Tempe town lake and downtown Tempe,” says Tempe’s mayor, Mark Mitchell. “Thousands of Cactus League [Arizona teams’ pre-season training] fans, locals and visitors alike, will be able to come to experience the gorgeous weather, beautiful setting, great food and awesome music.

“We are excited to welcome performers of this calibre and their fans to celebrate this first ever Innings Fest and we look forward to making this an annual event.”

The full Innings line-up is pictured below:

Innings Festival 2018 line-up

C3 Presents, best known for Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, earlier this week announced the launch of Sydney City Limits, a new festival in Australia.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.