fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

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

Sheer excitement: Vertical concerts entertain fans in Ukraine

Vertical concerts have been taking socially distanced crowds in Ukraine by storm in recent weeks, as bands perform to fans stacked on top of one another on hotel balconies.

Hotel Bratislava in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev has hosted an array of acts over the past two months, with rock band Green Grey first trialling the vertical concert concept on 7 June. The popularity of the initial sold-out show saw follow-ups from hip-hop group TNMK on 4 July and rock group O.Torvald on 18 July.

Further shows at the hotel, by Ukrainian acts Pianoboy and Scriabin, are set for August.

The Hotel Bratislava concerts turn a previously tested vertical concert format on its head, as fans, rather than performers are arranged, unlike a vertical show that took place last year in Samsung KX, London, which saw acts play from a 30ft, three-storey stage, designed to fit neatly into concertgoers’ smartphone screens.

In the Kiev concerts, artists perform from a rooftop facing hotel balconies, with a view of the concerts possible from roughly nine stories of rooms, with 14 separate balconies running the length of the building.

“It’s hard to put into words [what it’s like] when you’re performing in front of the hotel, and people from all balconies are singing your songs in unison”

Up to four guests can attend the concert together on each balcony. Instead of buying tickets, fans book rooms at the hotel and pick up keys from the front desk before shows begin.

“We were looking forward to this concert,” said O.Torvald frontman Zhenya Halych following the show. “You can finally look into the eyes of those you’re performing for. It’s hard to put into words [what it’s like] when you’re performing in front of the hotel, and people from all balconies are singing your songs in unison, shining lanterns and making ‘snow’ from napkins. Pure buzz.”

The Ukrainian government this week extended lockdown measures until 31 August, requiring people to wear masks and adhere to social distancing measures in public places.

Hotels have provided the setting for concerts around the world during lockdown, with the format allowing for socially distanced shows while giving a boost to both the tourism and music sectors.

Hotels Live, a hotel-based concert series in Calgary, Canada, also saw fans taking to their balconies to enjoy a live show, whereas Sleepover Experience in Spain allows music lovers to enjoy a weekend holiday package complete with intimate live shows and artist Q&As at the Unite Hostel in Barcelona.


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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.

Concerts to return to Italy in June

Indoor shows of up to 200 people and outdoor concerts with a capacity of 1,000 will be allowed to take place in Italy from 15 June, the government has declared.

Th easing of Italy’s two-month lockdown began earlier this month, with the country preparing to move into phase two today (18 May). This second stage allows people to travel freely within their own region and permits the reopening of religious services, restaurants, bars, pubs, retail stores and hairdressers, all in compliance with social distancing measures.

Although, at this stage, the “ban on people gathering in public places remains in place”, the return of live events may be just around the corner.

From mid-June, concert halls, theatres and cinemas will be allowed to reopen in Italy, with capacity limits and other social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

All events must be seated, with pre-assigned, scattered seating allowing a distance of one metre between individual punters, staff and artists. Temperature checks will also be in place, as well as the mandatory use of face coverings for spectators and the use of “suitable” personal protective equipment for workers.

From mid-June, concert halls, theatres and cinemas will be allowed to reopen, with a maximum capacity of 200 people for indoor shows and 1,000 for performances held outdoors

The retail and consumption of food and drink will be prohibited and cash payments limited wherever possible. Ticket sales and venue admission will also be digitised, where possible, with the communication of security measures and other risk prevention details carried out via video.

Thorough cleaning procedures must be carried out between each show and hand sanitiser made widely available and accessible, in particular by keyboards, touch screens and payment devices. The ban on standing shows remains in place.

Live events were first banned in the hard-hit northern part of Italy on 27 February, with the whole country entering into lockdown on 9 March.

Music venues are also being allowed to open up, albeit under strict restrictions, in parts of the United States, as well as in the Netherlands, where venues can open with a maximum capacity of 30 from 1 June, potentially increasing to 100 in July; Belgium, where smaller open-air events could be allowed from 8 June; Spain, which may allow indoor events of up to 50 people and open-air events with 400, from 25 May; and Ireland, where some form of socially distanced live events will make a comeback from 10 August.

Photo: CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2019 – Source: EP (cropped)

 


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.

More high-profile acts join Lady Gaga-curated benefit gig

A host of new artists have joined the line-up for One World: Together at Home, a livestreamed benefit concert co-curated by Lady Gaga in celebration of health workers and in support of the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund.

Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Christine and the Queens, the Killers, Sam Smith, Alicia Keys, Usher and Celine Dion join previously announced acts Stevie Wonder, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Lizzo, John Legend, Paul McCartney, J Balvin and many more for the mega charity concert, which is taking place on Saturday 18 April from 8 p.m. (EDT).

First announcing the event last week, Gaga revealed she had helped to raise $35 million for the WHO fund, which is dedicated to funding protective equipment for health workers and efforts to find a Covid-19 vaccine.

On Monday, the singer called on world leaders including Canada’s Justin Trudeau, France’s Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to contribute funds to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, organisations seeking to find a vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

As part as the One World: Together at Home initiative, Global Citizen, the social action platform that has partnered with the WHO to produce the event, is calling on individuals, philanthropists, investors and business to support global health efforts.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make One World: Together At Home a moment of global unity”

“We are grateful to the private sector who have listened to the public’s call for action and come together to support the global response to Covid-19,” says Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “This pandemic is too large for governments to tackle alone.

“We are also incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make One World: Together At Home a moment of global unity,” continues Evans. “Our hope for the special is that everyone will come away believing that we, as a shared humanity, can emerge from this moment forever grateful for the work of doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers, and all those who are the backbone of our communities.”

One World: Together at Home, which will be hosted by US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, will be broadcast live across US television networks ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as being streamed online.

Internationally, the UK’s BBC One will show an adapted version of the concert the following day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (BST), including exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with frontline health workers. Additional international broadcasters include AXS TV, beIN Media Group, IMDb, MultiChoice Group, and RTE.

There will also be a globally curated digital show beginning at 2 p.m. EDT/6 p.m. GMT. Streaming partners include Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo, and YouTube.

Photo: proacguy1/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) (cropped)

 


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.

Fatal stampede causes chaos at Venezuelan concert

A free concert held at Caracas’ Francisco de Miranda park on Saturday (9 November) resulted in tragedy, as a stampede left up to three dead and dozens injured.

Police estimated that 8,000 people – the vast majority minors – arrived to see the concert by Venezuelan trap artist Neutro Shorty, real name Liomar Acosta.

According to many reports, three minors were killed in the stampede. Other sources put the death toll at one, whereas online Venezuela TV channel VPI TV reports that four were killed.

Fans attempted “to climb over the entry barriers, which gave way, causing the stampede,” Miguel Balza, the coordinator of civil protection in the metropolitan area of Caracas told reporters at the AFP.

Fans attempted “to climb over the entry barriers, which gave way, causing the stampede”

The concert was later moved to an adjacent park. Speaking from the stage, the trap artist announced: “I didn’t come here to lie to you, or to cause any trouble. I came here to sing, and for free. What is going on is no good. Kids are fainting. I feel sick when I see their faces. I don’t want this to carry on.”

An investigation has launched into the incident. Neither the concert organiser or park authorities have claimed responsibility for the stampede.

A barricade collapse caused non-fatal issues at another live music event over the weekend. Three fans were hospitalised after sustaining minor injuries when an entry barrier collapsed at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston on Saturday, prompting a stampede.

No serious injuries or fatalities were reported.

 


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.

Music fans injured in screen, barricade collapses

Incidents at two separate live music events this weekend left around 50 fans injured.

Thirty people sustained injuries at a 20,000-capacity rap concert in Essen, Germany on Saturday night (31 August), when a large LED screen fell into the crowd. Police told reporters that two fans were left in a “critical condition” following the incident at the Marteria and Casper concert.

The concert was immediately cancelled and fans evacuated from the area of Seaside beach, Lake Baldeney. According to some reports, extreme weather contributed to the collapse.

The rappers later took to social media to thank “our crews, the emergency services and local authorities” for their professional response.

Incidents at two separate live music events this weekend left around 50 fans injured

In the United States, more than two dozen festivalgoers were injured at AEG-promoted Bumbershoot music festival at the Seattle Center. A steel barricade separating the crowd from the stage collapsed during a performance by DJ and producer Jai Wolf.

“Saturday night at Bumbershoot Festival there was a steel barricade failure that resulted in several non-life threatening injuries,” read a statement issued by festival organisers. “Those injured were handled by on-site medical teams and further treatment continued at an area hospital as deemed necessary.”

The show was rescheduled for the following evening, with entry granted to all those with Saturday Bumbershoot passes.

Tyler the Creator, Lizzo, the Lumineers and Her were among the acts to play at the three-day festival.

 


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.

Marshmello Fortnite concert most attended in history

More than ten million people are believed to have attended electronic dance music star Marshmello’s virtual concert in the popular free-to-play video game Fortnite this weekend.

The online shooter hosted its first in-game concert on Saturday. Electronic music producer and DJ, Marshmello, performed live to a concurrent player-base of over ten million people, according to gaming journalist Geoff Keighley.

The number of players that tuned in for Marshmello’s set breaks records for the popular online game, far surpassing Fortnite’s previous concurrent player record of 8.3 million. This number does not include those who watched the performance by proxy on Twitch streams, or attended Marshmello’s encore show at 2am ET (7am GMT).

Players attended the virtual concert in Pleasant Park, a suburban area on the Fortnite Battle Royale map. Weapons functions were disabled, as in-game avatars danced before a large stage to Marshmello’s ten-minute set.

Marshmello has launched a special edition Fortnite merchandise collection, selling hoodies (US$55), shirts ($36) and t shirts ($30). The extended version of the DJ’s Fortnite set is available exclusively on Apple music.

“We made history today! The first ever live virtual concert inside of Fortnite with millions of people in attendance. So insane, thank you epic games and everyone who made this possible,” tweeted Marshmello after the event.

The Marshmello x Fortnite concert is not the first in-game live music event, but surpasses previous events in terms of scale, granting more exposure to the artist, game and concept of virtual live music events.

Fortnite launched in 2017 and now boasts over 200 million total players. Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, recorded an annual turnover of $2.4 billion in 2018. A $1.25 billion investment by private equity firm KKR in October led to a valuation of nearly $15 billion for the gaming company.

 


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.

R. Kelly concert permit denied amid “security concerns”

Illinois State has rejected plans for a spring break concert that would have been headlined by R. Kelly. The organisers of Spring Break Jam planned to hold the concert at Illinois State Fairgrounds in April, but officials have denied the application, citing security issues.

Controversial R&B star R. Kelly was to host the proposed event on 6 April in Springfield, Illinois. The line-up also included Yella Beezy, Young Lloyd and Dre Madison. Tickets for the event cost between US$75 and $150, according to previously released promotional material. Such material, including the event page on Eventbrite, has since been taken down.

“Unfortunately, we cannot control when organisers start promoting an event – there was never a signed agreement to host the event at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, only an application,” says Denise Albert, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), reports the Chicago Tribune.

R. Kelly has faced allegations of sexual abuse throughout his career. Criticism of the artist has spiked following the airing of the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly earlier this month. The documentary exposed detailed accounts of the singer’s alleged physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women, as well as claims that he ran an “abusive cult”.

“We cannot control when organisers start promoting an event – there was never a signed agreement to host the event”

The documentary has prompted many industry figures to denounce R. Kelly. Lady Gaga has since removed her duet with the artist from streaming services, apologising for having collaborated with the singer.

The IDOA claims that the cancellation is down to security concerns spurred by protests against the artist, and not in direct response to the documentary. The proposed event failed to meet the following criteria:

The IDOA have stated that they could reconsider and approve the concert, but only in the event that R. Kelly will not appear on the bill.

 


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.

Fullsteam finishes summer with biggest concert to date

Jare Henrik Tiihonen, better know by his stage name Cheek, has ended his 20-year long career with a 60,000-strong crowd across two shows in Finland. The record-breaking shows wrapped up what has been the biggest summer ever for promoter Fullsteam Agency.

Taking place at the Lahti ski jumping stadium, an amphitheatre-shaped venue was crafted for the concerts. 1,000 square metres of video screen surrounded the stage, creating a 60 metre wide wall. According to promoters, the stage production “surpassed the scale of any prior concert in Finland.” Beyond the 30,000 in attendance on each night, the final performance was broadcast on national television to an audience of one million.

“To be able to pull this kind of numbers and put on this level of production in a country with only 5,5 million inhabitants must be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Since 2016, Fullsteam Agency – a part of Germany’s FKP Scorpio group – has presented 80 shows for Cheek, bringing in a total audience of 750,000 people over the years. “Working with Cheek has been surreal yet so realistic,” says Rauha Kyyrö, a promoter at the agency.

“To be able to pull this kind of numbers and put on this level of production in a country with only 5.5 million inhabitants must be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

2018 has been Fullsteam’s biggest year to date, with two stadium, 13 arena and 1,500 other shows so far. Additionally, the company’s festivals, Sideways and Provinissi – which celebrated its 40th edition this summer – attracted a combined audience of 102,000 visitors.

 


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.

‘27% of young people want gig phone ban’

More than a quarter of gig-goers under 30 years old think mobile phones should be banned at concerts because filming and photography is distracting and takes away from the experience, according to a survey by ticketing company Skiddle.

The firm consulted 1,200 people aged 16-30 and found of the 27% of people who wanted the devices banned, 20% said it was because they block your view of the band. 37% said they were distracting and 34% said they take away from the experience.

Of the 74% who said mobile phones shouldn’t be banned, over half (52%) said they capture footage because they like to relive the experience once they have left the event. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they like to share the music experience on social media and 13% said if they have bought a ticket it is ‘”their right to use their phones as they wish”.

‘We found the results of this survey particularly interesting because of the age of respondents’

Commenting on the results, Skiddle director Ben Sebborn said: “The issue of banning mobile phones at gigs is one that has been hotly debated in recent months. We found the results of this survey particularly interesting because of the age of respondents. Typically banning filming and photography is an opinion most commonly associated with older generations – however this survey shows that many younger people agree that live music experiences are best enjoyed without handheld technology present.

“However, despite the issue been highlighted by artists, gig-goers and venues on an almost weekly basis, it does appear that an overwhelming majority (74%) think that filming and photography should be allowed at live music events, which shows any crackdown will result in a high proportion of unsatisfied music fans.

“Whatever your opinion, it’s clear that this is a contentious issue that isn’t going to go away and it will be interesting to watch the debate unfold as opinion becomes more and more divided.”

 


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.

AXS and Eventbrite ink deals with Spotify

Ticketing platforms AXS and Eventbrite have agreed separate deals with music streaming giant Spotify that will allow the companies to promote their concerts and music festivals to Spotify’s audience of more than 100 million music fans. By leveraging Spotify’s music and concert discovery algorithm, the partnerships will help music event producers connect with the fans most likely to attend their shows.

Spotify will now recommend Eventbrite and AXS events to listeners based on their music preferences and alongside their favourite artists and albums, in addition to emailing an artist’s followers when new tour dates are posted. These personalised recommendations will also help listeners discover new music and relevant concerts on Spotify’s Concerts tab.

According to Eventbrite research, 42% of people discover new artists and bands through streaming services like Spotify

Under the new pact, Spotify listeners can complete their ticket purchase on Eventbrite in two quick taps, without the need to login. Since every additional step costs 10% in conversion on average, Eventbrite believes this simple checkout experience will reduce overall drop-off and dramatically increase ticket sales for artists and promoters.

According to Eventbrite research, 42% of people discover new artists and bands through streaming services like Spotify, and half of these fans go on to purchase tickets to see those artists live.

The partners claim their combined power can help independent music venues and festivals continue to grow their businesses, citing Spotify’s success in helping numerous independent artists grow their fan base.

In addition to Spotify, Eventbrite currently has distribution partnerships with Facebook, Bandsintown and Songkick.

 


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.