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

Live Nation extends On the Road Again initiative

Live Nation’s On the Road Again initiative will continue throughout 2024, it has been confirmed.

Created with music legend Willie Nelson, the scheme was launched last year and has delivered tens of millions of dollars in extra earnings to club artists and crew in the US and Canada.

For every show played in an On The Road Again venue, each headliner and support act receives $1,500 in petrol and travel cash on top of nightly performance compensation. Additionally, artists keep 100% of merchandise profits as On the Road Again clubs do not charge merch selling fees.

“Our goal was to make touring a little easier and we’ve accomplished that night after night for over 4,000 artists, with more on the way,” says Willie Nelson.

“Supporting club artists strengthens the future of music”

On The Road Again has already assisted more than 4,000 artists, with the programme also having rolled out new minimum wages for club staff.

“We’re proud to keep On The Road Again rolling strong,” adds Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino. “Supporting club artists strengthens the future of music.”

All benefits from On the Road Again are being provided directly from the venue’s existing earnings, with no increases to customers.


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.

New Dutch club card offers 30 gigs for €60

A Netherlands venue has introduced a club card which gives concertgoers access to at least 30 concerts in 2024 for a €60 annual fee.

Heerlen’s Nieuwe Nor (New Nor) has made a maximum of 100 cards available for the coming year, with extra benefits for club card also including a special monthly newsletter and discounts on gigs at neighbouring venues, as well as bi-annual drinks.

“It has been our wish since our reopening to offer a club card for concerts,” says the venue’s head of programming and marketing Kees van den Berg. “It is a card for the adventurous concert visitor, which allows you to easily enter several times a month, even if you do not know the artist.”

In the first half of 2024, cardholders will be able to attend shows at the 1,200-cap facility by the likes of Only The Poets, Delain, Pussy Riot, Kraak & Smaak, Oproer, Coffin Feeder, Ploegendienst, Kingfisher Sky plays Kate Bush, Jiri11, Hatesphere, Rafting Goods, Crouch, Zimmerman, Bumble B. Boy, Death Squad, Noémie Wolfs and Booch? Inside.

“After four to five concerts you have paid off the cost of the club card”

“After four to five concerts you have paid off the cost of the club card and you can be surprised for the rest of the year,” adds Van den Berg.

People who ordered a card before 20 December were also granted free admission to four extra concerts by Jack Jarryd, Lotte Walda, Stones Sessions and Pene Corrida in the last two weeks of 2023.

The club card applies mainly to concerts taking place in the Parkstad venue’s 350-cap small hall, but a number of places will also be allocated for certain events in its larger hall, including performances by Only The Poets, Delain, Pussy Riot and Kraak & Smaak, among others. The large hall opened in March 2022, tripling Nieuwe Nor’s capacity.


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.

German trade association backs club campaign

Trade body BDKV has given its backing to demands for a cultural noise regulation to protect Germany’s clubbing landscape.

Noise protection regulations and building regulations are set to be revised in the country under the “ Technical Instructions for Noise” (TA Rausch) law.

Currently, cultural noise – which refers to noise that arises from music venues, operas, theatres and concert halls – is assessed as “commercial and industrial noise”. But LiveKomm, which represents more than 500 music venues in Germany, has presented proposals for a cultural noise regulation alongside the Federal Foundation LiveKultur as part of its #clubsAREculture campaign.

“Cultural sound is an indispensable part of our coexistence,” says Anna Blaich from LiveKultur. “A corresponding regulation underlines the recognition of live culture as a valuable culture worthy of protection and support.”

The BDKV is supporting the call for change, saying that music and sound from clubs and music venues, open air events and festivals “should be measured by its cultural and social added value”, as opposed to being “equated with industrial noise”.

“It is on these stages that many newcomers find their audience and mature into top stars who later fill entire halls”

“The current legal situation according to TA Rausch endangers the basis for cultural-urban life,” says BDKV MD Johannes Everke. “Cities and countries rightly adorn themselves with their cultural life and see the institutions, music clubs and festivals as an important contribution to cultural participation and location attractiveness.

“In addition, these music venues in particular offer essential spaces for promoting young artists… It is on these stages that many newcomers find their audience and mature into top stars who later fill entire halls. Together with LiveKomm, we are therefore pursuing the goal of ensuring that the legal situation and cultural policy reflect these values. We have to resolve the contradiction that society wants a vibrant culture, but not in its own backyard.”

The organisation is also showing solidarity with LiveKomm’s additional demand that music clubs be recognised as cultural venues in building regulation (BauNVO).

“Laws and rules have to arrive in the 21st century, otherwise acceptance will disappear for the system,” adds LiveKomm board member Marc Wohlrabe. “Club culture and cultural noise have no place in what has been the case so far long-standing administrative classifications with sex cinemas and arcades in the BauNVO and as commercial noise in the TA noise.”


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.

NIVA criticises Live Nation’s venues initiative

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has spoken out against Live Nation’s new On the Road Again programme, which is intended to support developing artists and crew at club level.

Announced earlier this week, the scheme promises to allow artists keep 100% of merchandise profits at LN’s network of club venues in the US and Canada, as well as offering financial aid.

It will provide $1,500 (€1,425) in gas and travel cash per show to all headliners and support acts – on top of nightly performance compensation – while an additional $5 million (€4.75m) will be donated to global relief fund Crew Nation to support crew across the industry.

However, NIVA argues the move could cause more harm than good to the wider circuit in the longer term, adding that it “appears to be a calculated attempt” by the promoter to steer business away from independent venues.

“Temporary measures may appear to help artists in the short run but actually can squeeze out independent venues”

“Temporary measures may appear to help artists in the short run but actually can squeeze out independent venues which provide the lifeblood of many artists on thin margins,” says the US-based organisation. “Independent venues and promoters are investing in and elevating up-and-coming artists every day, and NIVA is supporting those efforts nationally. [On the Road Again] may seem like a move to follow the lead of some independent venues. It is not that.

“Instead, it appears to be a calculated attempt to use a publicly-traded conglomerate’s immeasurable resources to divert artists from independent venues and further consolidate control over the live entertainment sector. Such tactics threaten the vitality of small and medium-sized venues under 3,000 capacity, many of which still struggle to keep their doors open.”

More than 75 Live Nation venues are participating in the scheme, which has been endorsed by legendary musician Willie Nelson, including The Wiltern in Los Angeles, New York’s Irving Plaza, Austin’s Scoot Inn, Shelter in Detroit and Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Canada, along with House of Blues venues across the United States.

“Artists are asking for support. On The Road Again is about supporting artists. NIVA members are perfectly capable of providing similar benefits”

However, critics say the initiative will only run for a limited period of time.

“Independent stages, where the majority of artists, musicians, and comedians start their careers, are small businesses and nonprofits,” adds the NIVA statement. “They are continually facing rising costs, increased deceptive ticketing practices in the resale market, and ongoing challenges following the global pandemic. Our stages are critical to the live entertainment ecosystem and local economies, and they must survive.

“The economics of touring must drastically improve for artists and independent venues. There has to be a better way. NIVA will continue to support artists and empower independent venues as we collectively find it.”

Posting on X, Live Nation’s EVP corporate & regulatory affairs Dan Wall responds: “Artists are asking for support. On The Road Again is about supporting artists. NIVA members are perfectly capable of providing similar benefits. Many already do.”


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.

#savenightclubs urges UK PM to prevent “tsunami” of losses

New nationwide coalition #savenightclubs has published an open letter to UK prime minister Boris Johnson urging him to act now or “permanently lose the country’s nightclub industry and the enormous economic contribution it makes to the UK”.

The letter emphasises that nightclubs in the UK have been shuttered for eight months now and 70% of people working in nightclubs are self employed and therefore were not eligible for the furlough scheme.

The call for support follows the coalition’s recent survey of 101 nightclub owners and managers which revealed that 58% of nightclubs across the nation will go out of business within a month, four in five (81%) nightclubs will be shut by Christmas, and 10% expect their business to survive longer than four months.

Now, the initiative is calling on the government to provide a financial survival package beyond the Culture Recovery Fund, introduce protection from eviction for nightclubs during and immediately after the crisis, and extend business rate relief to April 2022.

The letter, which you can read in full below, has been backed by the Night Time Industries Association and myriad clubs across the UK including Infernos in Clapham, The Box in Soho, Cirque Manchester and Bamboo Glasgow.


Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to you as a group of over one hundred nightclub owners, managers and workers whose businesses have now been closed for exactly eight months this Friday. We urge the government to act now or permanently lose the country’s nightclub industry and the enormous economic contribution it makes to the UK.

We are writing this letter on behalf of the nightclub industry, a sector who employs circa 45,000 people – 72% of whom are under 25 years old. We are a proud part of British culture and crucial to the UK economy, generating £3bn a year in income. The nightclub industry proudly employs a huge spectrum of job roles including bartenders, DJs, performers, security, cleaners and more. Behind these stats are thousands of individual stories of hardship from people who feel like they have been forgotten.

“We urge the gov to prevent a devastating tsunami of job losses and a wipeout of future economic contributions”

Over the last 8 months, the industry has faced Lockdown 1, household and tiered restrictions and an impossible curfew of 10 pm. Now, in the midst of a second national lockdown and the announcement of the furlough scheme extension until March 2021, this is likely to result in our venues closing for an entire year. Unlike hospitality and gyms who were able to trade over the summer months, we have not been able to open at all resulting in zero revenue since March.

Venues are facing mounting rent bills, ongoing running costs and the prospect of business rates in April 2021. We urge the government to prevent a devastating tsunami of job losses, a wipeout of future economic contributions and further ruin to towns and cities across the UK which are already on their knees.

So far:

Despite the government’s on-going support to sectors such as hospitality and gyms – nightclubs are the forgotten industry. Over 70% of people working in nightclubs are self employed and therefore were not eligible for the furlough scheme. No alternative financial support package has been proposed for the nightclub industry.


Last month, #SaveNightclubs carried out a survey revealing that four in five nightclubs (81%) will be shut by Christmas unless the government urgently intervenes.

The #SaveNightclubs campaign calls on the government to:

Provide a financial survival package beyond the Recovery Fund, helping the sector weather Covid’s impact and assist in future reopening.
Introduce protection from eviction for nightclubs during and immediately after the crisis.
Extend business rate relief to April 2022, enabling nightclubs to get back on their feet in 2021.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this letter.

Respectfully yours,
Vincenzo Sibilia and Asher Grant of #SaveNightclubs campaign group

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.

In France, nightclubs have been left for dead

Dear Minister of Culture,

It’s strange, but at the end of your speech on France 2 on 22 October, I had the unfortunate impression that I had not been concerned by your announcements.

Not being a great expert in political language, either, after your speech I naively asked my wife if she thought that “the world of the night” could be included in what you called “the performing arts sector”. After all, when I’m on stage, behind turntables, like an actor, musician or dancer, I feel as if I, too, am delivering live performances. But the dubious grin I got as an answer hasn’t really alleviated my fears. So, in order to get to the bottom of it, I immediately called a friend (from the profession) to ask him this simple question: “Reassure me, V, when our minister talks about the performing arts sector, she is talking about us too, all the same…?”

At first my question made him laugh (which didn’t bode well), before giving me his answer: “Ah, no, Laurent, from now on we are part of the dead performing arts sector… As Roselyne has said many times, ‘the world of the night’ doesn’t depend on her, but on the Ministry of the Interior.”

At the beginning I thought it was a little joke, but I quickly understood that behind his cynically funny answer, V wasn’t telling me lies.

It’s strange because as an Officer of L’Ordre Arts et Lettres, Knight of the Legion of Honour (awarded by a former minister of culture [Jack Lang], who has long since occupied the eminent place of the night in the vast space of culture and creation) and globetrotting DJ (like other artists in our country, I’ve been indirectly promoting France abroad for more than 30 years), I stupidly thought that things had changed, and that with my little turntable comrades we had won our status and our ticket to the “world of culture” with dignity. But I have to admit that apparently this is still not the case.

During your speech you spoke of the great suffering of the cinema and the world of the performing arts. Indeed, these sectors have been suffering terribly (like many others) since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. But fortunately for them, cinemas, theatres and some concert halls have nevertheless been able to reopen, despite a complicated health protocol.

When they were open, clubs were places bubbling with creation, imagination and sharing

Today we hear a lot of talk about the anger of restaurateurs and coffee shops due to the curfew. But here again, these businesses still, somehow or other, had some possibilities to reopen, even in an extremely constrained way.

On the other hand, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that, since the beginning of March, the “night and clubs” sector (of which I am an intrinsic part) has been completely at a standstill. For us the party is over, and has been for eight long months now.

As you know, like theatres, cinemas and concert halls, clubs (apart from the artists and DJs who perform there) employ the same diverse and varied staff as the rest of the cultural landscape, whether in the bar, the auditorium, the cashier, the cloakroom and the cleaning staff… Or the stage managers, security, intermittent workers, technical staff, sound engineers, lighting engineers, VJs, promoters, bookers, labels, graphic designers, printers, and not forgetting the indirect economic impact (suppliers, restaurants, hotels, transport, etc.). The list is long, but above all very similar to that of the performing arts.

On France 2, you announced figures relating to aid to the various sectors of film and performing arts – and once again, and for too many months now, the cultural space of the night has been totally ignored.

The flagrant lack of consideration, the ignorance emanating from your ministry towards the nightlife and club sector, is clearly interpreted by many of us as an incomprehensible form of contempt. For whether you like it or not, the clubs and places of this ‘night culture’ were (when they were open) places bubbling with creation, imagination and sharing.

I was, Madam Minister, sincerely attentive and benevolent when you took office, impatient but certain to see you represent us in the same way as other artists, and affirm the minimum consideration due to our sector. But I must admit that today, I am not sure if we can do so. But I confess that today – not knowing very well if I am a “dead performing artist”, an “Interior Ministry artist”, or “not an artist at all”, I am beginning to have serious doubts.

Kind regards,
Laurent Garnier


Laurent Garnier is a DJ, composer and producer, and founder of electronic music label F Communications. In 2016 he became a Knight (Chevalier) of the Légion d’honneur.

UK club owner to legally challenge gov’s 10pm curfew

Jeremy Joseph, the owner of London nightclub G-A-Y, has hired leading barristers from Kings Chambers and Simpson Miller Solicitors to challenge the government’s decision to implement a national curfew of 10 pm on hospitality premises.

The 10 pm curfew came into effect on 24 September and has reportedly caused a “catastrophic” drop in trade for businesses, believed to be solely due to the implementation of the new restrictions, according to a recent survey.

The pre-action protocol for judicial review saw the legal team, which is supported by G-A-Y’s longstanding legal and business affairs advisor and Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), write to the secretary of state, Matt Hancock at the department of health and social care with a formal challenge to the health protection which was amended to include the new curfew.

“The 10 pm curfew, which has now been in place for the last two weeks and has been detrimental to the hospitality sector including G-A-Y, makes absolutely no sense,” says Joseph.

“It does the opposite of protecting people by pushing them onto the street at the same time. They are going from being safe inside venues with staggered closing times to unsafe on overcrowded streets and overloaded public transport.

“This government has failed to show why the 10 pm curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation.

“This gov has failed to show why the curfew was put in place and has published no scientific evidence to substantiate its implementation”

“It seems to direct the blame for this action on the sector, consistently treating the night-time economy as a scapegoat when, in fact, we have years of operational experience of keeping customers safe, and have spent substantial time and effort making sure our venues are Covid secure.

“Enough is Enough. Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have to be made accountable and today we have instructed our legal team with the support of the NTIA to serve the government with a pre-action protocol for judicial review to challenge the decision to implement the national curfew of 10 pm on the hospitality sector.”

Dan Rosenberg, partner at Simpson Miller, said: “Our clients are well aware of the need to prioritise the health of the public and are supportive of any measures that help control the virus. Ultimately, their businesses in the long term depend upon the virus being brought under control.”

“However, while they have been supportive of other decisions made by government, including in relation to social distancing and other measures to protect the safety of their patrons, they fail to see the logic behind the arbitrary decision for all venues to close at 10 pm.”

The new restrictions affect businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants) – along with social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls.

Concert venues and theatres are permitted to stay open past the 10 pm curfew, though only if the performance has already started.

In addition, the new £10,000 fines for those who breach social distancing legislation will be extended from individuals to businesses.


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.

Italy and Spain reclose nightlife establishments

This article was updated on 19 August, replacing the wording “music venues” with “nightlife establishments”.

Nightlife establishments in Spain and Italy were forced to close with immediate effect over the weekend due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases in both countries.

Spain’s closure of discotheques, cocktail bars and dance halls will be in place for the foreseeable future and was confirmed last Friday (14 August) by health minister Salvador Illa.

“We cannot afford not to be disciplined,” Illa said. “We cannot ignore the virus circulating among us.”

Infections in Spain have risen in recent days following the end of Spain’s tough lockdown seven weeks ago, bringing its cumulative total to 342,813 – the highest number in Western Europe.

Spanish association, the Union of Professional Musicians, has released a statement denouncing the government’s decision and calling for protection for professionals who will be affected by it.

“The forced, massive and indiscriminate closure of nightlife ends all musical and artistic programming that took place in halls and venues under strict compliance with the regulations in force in terms of protection against Covid19,” the statement reads.

“The forced, massive and indiscriminate closure of nightlife ends all musical and artistic programming that took place in halls and venues”

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza announced similar shutdown measures for the country on 16 August via a press release on the government’s website.

“The activities of the dance are suspended, outdoors or indoors that take place in discos, dance halls and similar places intended for entertainment or taking place in beaches, establishments bathing establishments, equipped beaches, free beaches, common areas of the accommodation facilities or other places open to the public.” 

“We cannot nullify the sacrifices made in past months. Our priority must be that of opening schools in September, in full safety,” health minister Roberto Speranza said on Facebook.

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus, and new cases in the past week were more than double those registered three weeks ago.

Spain’s first post-lockdown live music events took place from the 25 May, with outdoor events of up to 400 people and indoor concerts with a maximum capacity of 50 people permitted to resume in Spain.

Whereas Italy made its return to live on 15 June when concert halls, theatres and cinemas were allowed to reopen in Italy, with a maximum capacity of 200 people for indoor shows and 1,000 for performances held outdoors.


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.

US has most great clubs, but soon-to-close Space Ibiza still world’s no1

Space, the Ibiza superclub which will close after 25 years at the end of this summer, has for the fourth time been voted the world’s №1 nightclub.

The venue, which last won the award in 2014, beat Green Valley in Balneário Camboriú, Brazil (last year’s winner); Ibiza’s Amnesia and Pacha; and Octagon in Seoul, South Korea, to top DJ Mag’s 2016 Top 100 Clubs poll.

Over 450,000 votes were cast worldwide.

For the first time in the poll’s history, the US has the highest number of ranked clubs (16), although its stand-out performer, Washington’s Echostage, could only manage number 13.

China proves that ‘superpower’ is an apt term for their club scene as well as their economy

Ibiza, long renowned as one of the world’s greatest party islands, remained “as strong as ever” with five clubs in the top 15 alone, but the biggest success stories came from Asia and the Middle East, with clubs in Indonesia (Coliseum in Jakarta), Thailand (Illuzion) and the UAE (Dubai’s White Club) ranking for the first time and China “proving that ‘superpower’ is an apt term for their club scene as well as their economy”, says DJ Mag.

Brazil has seven clubs in the top 50, meaning the South American country’s position as “the most powerful emerging clubbing force in the world is safe for another year”, while Chinese Laundry in Sydney makes a return to the list after a year in which no Australian venues ranked in 2015.

The top 25 clubs are listed below, or view the view the full Top 100 at the DJ Mag website.

1) Space, Ibiza
2) Green Valley, Brazil
3) Amnesia, Ibiza
4) Pacha, Ibiza
5) Octagon, South Korea
6) Zouk, Singapore
7) Hakkasan, Las Vegas
8) Ushuia, Ibiza
9) Sirena, Brazil
10) BCM, Majorca
11) Papaya, Croatia
12) DC10, Ibiza
13) Echostage, Washington
14) Paradise Club, Mykonos
15) Fabric, London
16) Berghain/Panorama Bar, Berlin
17) Bootshaus, Cologne
18) Anzu, Brazil
19) Motion, Bristol
20) Noa Beach Club, Croatia
21) Warung, Brazil
22) Cavo Paradiso, Mykonos
23) Ministry of Sound, London
24) Guaba Beach Bar, Cyprus
25) Cocorico, Italy