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Emporium Presents hires ex-BSE Global exec as COO

Majority Live Nation-owned US promoter Emporium Presents has announced the appointment of Tina Suca as chief operating officer.

Suca will lead Emporium’s business operations and help support the company’s growth.

Suca joins Emporium Presents from BSE Global, where she held the role of vice president of industry relations. In her position, Suca assisted the booking of all BSE properties – 16,800-capacity NYCB Live (formerly Nassau Coliseum), Webster Hall (1,400-cap.) and the recently sold Barclays Center (19,000-cap.).

Prior to BSE, Suca was vice president for ArenaNetwork, general manager and booker for SMG’s Nassau Coliseum and MSG’s the Forum at Inglewood (17,505-cap.), and general manager at Live Nation’s the Wiltern (2,300-cap.).

“We are extremely excited to have Tina join Emporium and use her vast industry experience and relationships to take us to another level”

“We are extremely excited to have Tina join Emporium and use her vast industry experience and relationships to take us to another level,” says Emporium Presents co-director Jason Zink.

Tina Suca will be working out of Emporium Presents’ Colorado office.

Emporium Presents was born in 2016, as the result of a merger between Zink’s Sherpa Concerts and Dan Steinberg’s Square Peg Concerts. Live Nation took a 51% stake in the promoter in 2018. Steinberg and Zink continue to direct the company.

With offices in Colorado and Washington, Emporium promotes over 400 shows annually across the United States and has a growing presence in Canada. The company recently expanded its booking team, hiring talent buyers Laura Vilches and Danny Cohen.

 


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Live Nation branches out in Colorado

Live Nation has added five new concerts promoters to its Colorado ranks, tasked with growing the number of shows the company brings to the US state, and the city of Denver in particular.

The newly appointed team includes Wes Samuel, Brennan Bryarly, Rikki Aston, Geoff Brent and Lance Dunlap. The team will be working with venues such as the Fillmore Auditorium (3,000-cap.), Paramount Theatre (1,870) and Denver’s Pepsi Centre (20,000+).

“All five of our promoters have fostered incredible relationships in the business, earning the respect of artists, promoters, managers, and agents alike.”

“Over the past few months we’ve built out a powerhouse team of promoters with the goal of expanding the number of shows Live Nation books and promotes in Denver and beyond,” says Live Nation Colorado president, Eric Pirritt. “All five of our promoters have fostered incredible relationships in the business, earning the respect of artists, promoters, managers, and agents alike. 

“The group also has deep knowledge of both the culture and the dynamics of the music industry here in Denver, which they will use to curate unique and memorable events for our Colorado fan base.”

Overall the promoters have a combined experience of 40 years in the field, doing everything from booking nightclubs (Dunlap), to being an agent managing a large roster of clients (Samuel).

 


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Multiple injuries in volatile US festival weekend

Two people have died and dozens were injured in a turbulent festival weekend in the United States.

At least 22 people were hurt in the early hours of yesterday morning after a gunman opened fire at a 24-hours arts festival in Trenton, New Jersey. Witnesses told TV station WPVI that attendees at Art All Night Trenton initially mistook the gunfire, which occurred at around 2.45 am on Sunday 17 June, for the sound of fireworks. “All of a sudden, my brother goes to me, ‘You hear that gunfire?’,” said local resident Angelo Nicolo. “I go, ‘It sounds like fireworks.’ He said, ‘No, that’s gunfire.’

“Next thing you know, we turn around and everybody’s running down the street. All hell broke loose.”

Around 1,000 people were believed to have been at the festival, held at the historic Roebling Wire Works venue in south Trenton, at the time of the shooting.

Police said the incident appeared to be part of a gang dispute and not related to terrorism. The suspected perpetrator, 33-year-old Tahaij Wells, who had just been released from prison, was killed by police officers.

Four victims were were left in a critical condition as a result of their wounds, said prosecutor Angelo Onofri – although three of them, including a 13-year-old boy, have, as of this morning, been upgraded to stable. The last person in critical condition is believed to be a suspect, while a 23-year-old man, Amir Armstrong, is in police custody on suspicion of firearms offences.

Attendees at Art All Night-Trenton initially mistook the gunfire for the sound of fireworks

In western Colorado, police are investigating after a man shot himself in the stomach – apparently by accident – at a country music festival in Mesa County.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that the 30-year-old man shot himself on Friday evening while attending the Country Jam festival, promoted by Townsquare/Madison Square Garden Company.

The shooting was an isolated incident, according to Mesa County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Megan Terlecky. “We believe it was accidental, but we’re still investigating,” she said, adding sheriffs are looking into how the gun came to be at the festival, which prohibits firearms and searches all bags.

Meanwhile, at Red Frog Events/Goldenvoice’s Firefly Music Festival – which has taken place at Dover International Speedway, in Dover, Delaware, since 2012 – a 20-year-old woman died after being found unresponsive in the campsite early on Sunday morning.

According to WDEL-FM, the cause of 20-year-old Caroline Friedman’s death is not yet down, but authorities have largely ruled out foul play.

Arctic Monkeys, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar headlined Firefly 2018, which ran from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 June.

 


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Live Nation plots multi-day fest on former Vertex site

Local authorities in Chaffee County, Colorado, have granted Live Nation permission for a new multi-day country music festival, to be held over the Labor Day (3 September) weekend on the former site of AEG’s short-lived Vertex event.

Vertex festival debuted in 2016, attracting around 8,000 attendees with an eclectic line-up featuring Alabama Shakes, Odesza, Trey Anastasio Band, Anderson Paak, Graham Nash, Duke Dumont and BadBadNotGood. A planned second outing was axed by promoter Madison House Presents following opposition from local residents, who complained of “several notorious issues, mostly related to drug use on the festival grounds and multiple drug busts related to the festival, noise and light disturbances and the 1.30am curfew Friday and Saturday night”.

An earlier curfew proposed by Chaffee County, along with a noise limit of 85dB, would have rendered the festival “untenable”, said festival director Michael Sampliner.

In a recent Chaffee County board meeting, commissioners (councillors) approved unanimously a request for a special event permit by Live Nation Worldwide, Inc., for a multi-day festival at the Meadows in Buena Vista – formerly home to Vertex – reports local paper the Mountain Mail.

“Chaffee County commissioners approved unanimously a request for a special event permit by Live Nation Worldwide”

Conditions imposed on Live Nation include stipulations on transportation and infrastructure, public health, food and alcohol, emergency medical services, emergency operations, law enforcement, communications, noise mitigation, insurance and indemnification, cost reimbursement and general operations, according to the paper.

Additionally, fire brigade chief Robert Bertram said Chaffee County Fire Protection District, which is a separate entity to the county, had trouble recouping expenditures from Vertex “because of a misunderstanding that it was part of the county” – a discrepancy he wants addressed with the new Live Nation event.

The approval came after a five-hour public hearing in which 30 people commented, reports the Mail.

Other Live Nation country music festivals include Rockin’ River in Canada, with which the company partnered in January, Faster Horses in Michigan and Country LakeShake in Chicago. Its Las Vegas event Route 91 Harvest was attacked by a gunman last October in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

 


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AEG signs “beautiful” GRFA for new concert series

AEG Presents Rocky Mountains, AEG’s live entertainment operation in the western United States, has partnered with Aspen-based independent DDM Presents for the launch of a new concert series, Whistle Pig Vail, at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado.

The 2,565-cap. outdoor venue (1,265 seated + 1,300 standing), nestled in the Rocky Mountains and described by AEG Presents co-president Don Strasburg as “one of the most beautiful venues in the world”, will with Whistle Pig Vail host “headliner rock and pop all summer long”, with artists and dates due to be announced in the coming months.

The amphitheatre (pictured) is currently home to a range of cultural and entertainment events, including classical music and dance shows, local theatre productions and the free weekly Hot Summer Nights concert series.

“We can’t wait to help bring more world-class music to the Colorado mountains”

“Our Vail Valley community loves music, and we couldn’t be happier to be bringing incremental, great music offerings to the beautiful Ford Amphitheater with the help of a legendary group like AEG Presents Rocky Mountains,” comments Mike Imhof, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Foundation, which owns and runs the venue. “Vail in Summer 2018 is going to be better than ever before, and will set the bar for many years to come in the mountain music scene.”

“The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is one of the most beautiful venues in the world, and we can’t wait to help bring more world-class music to the Colorado mountains with the Whistle Pig Vail concert series,” adds Strasburg.

 


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Another Denver venue hit with accessibility suit

Pepsi Center, a ~20,000-capacity arena in Denver, Colorado, has become the latest Denver venue to face legal action for the alleged violation of equality legislation.

The arena (pictured), a popular concert venue and also home to NBA team Denver Nuggets, NHL team Colorado Avalanche and lacrosse squad Colorado Mammoth, is being sued by Kirstin Kurlander, a deaf woman who claims the lack of captioning on scoreboards is not in compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

She told TV station KDVR at the time: “I don’t hear the announcements that are happening, I don’t hear the entertainment portion, I don’t hear the score… You’re missing a lot of information.”

The class-action lawsuit was originally filed in November, prior to a group of disabled people suing the city of Denver for the alleged lack of accessible seating at the city-owned Red Rocks Amphitheatre (9,525-cap.).

Lawyer Susan Klopman, representing Pepsi Center’s owner and operator, Kroenke Arena Company (KAC), responded to Kurland’s allegations on Thursday (20 April), telling the US district court for Colorado that “no court opinion or governmental regulation has stated a requirement for any place of public accommodation, much less sporting stadiums or multi-use arenas, to provide open captioning”.

“No court opinion has stated a requirement for any place of public accommodation … to provide open captioning”

Klopman countered that, under the ADA, KAC has an obligation to provide “appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to ensure effective communication with its deaf and hard of hearing patrons” – something Pepsi Center already does via “sign language interpreters, closed captioning on handheld devices or iPads and on the television monitors in the suites for all sporting events”.

While conceding that “plaintiff [Kurlander] is profoundly deaf and, thus, unable to hear any aural content announced at the Pepsi Center”, Klopman, one half of Denver’s HK Law, also disputes that it is incorrect for Kurlander to say she “requires captioning to know what is announced and what music is playing” when the same information can be conveyed by an interpreter. “Plaintiff has requested a sign language interpreter for more than one event at the Pepsi Center, and KAC has provided one or offered to do so each time,” she noted.

She concluded that the “plaintiff’s alleged sole reliance upon open captioning” – as opposed to closed captioning, interpreters, etc. – “is not typical of the class [disabled people] she purports to typify and represent” and should be dismissed.

The case continues.

 


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Vertex future unclear with new 85dB noise cap

Vertex, Madison House/AEG Live’s new festival in Colorado, has been given a one-year permit extension for 2017 – albeit with a new noise limit of 85dB that will make festivalgoers “feel like [they’re] in a living room, as opposed to a concert experience”, says festival director Michael Sampliner.

The first Vertex took place in August, and drew 8,000 attendees to a ranch near Buena Vista with a bill that included electronic duo Odesza, Grammy-winning alt-rockers Alabama Shakes and Phish’s Trey Anastasio.

Promoter Madison House had sought a three-year permit extension, and Sampliner told commissioners (councillors) for local authority Chaffee County last week the stringent new noise regulations – and an earlier curfew – could kill the festival before it reaches its second birthday.

“If we had to play at 85dBs, you’re taking out the concert experience,” Sampliner said. “It’s a level at which you would feel like you were in a living room, as opposed to a concert experience. It’s really untenable in any kind of way to put on a show at an 85dB limit.

“We are weighing all of the conditions the county placed to see if we can make it work. We are working through those scenarios now.”

“It’s really untenable in any kind of way to put on a show at an 85dB limit”

Local paper The Chaffee County Times reports those in opposition to to Vertex “stated several notorious issues, mostly related to drug use on the festival grounds and multiple drug busts related to the festival, noise and light disturbances and the 1.30am curfew Friday and Saturday night” at a council meeting last Tuesday.

One Buena Vista resident, Morgan Mahala, said the tense exchange brought “the tension and animosity between the old and the new to surface.”

“The relentless arguing and name calling is not Buena Vista,” Mahala said. “To move forward we have to push selfishness aside, we all have to give a little something up and get to know each other better. We need to use this time as an opportunity to come together and honour the values and integrity of a community that’s truly [city slogan] BV Strong.”

A decision by Madison House is expected this week.

 


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