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Copenhagen to gain ‘top-tier’ music venue

The Danish capital is set to gain a new 2,500-capacity music venue this winter.

Stagebox will open this November in Refshaleøen, a former industrial site in the harbour of Copenhagen that has been dubbed a ‘cultural playground’.

The venue, which is being opened by new operator Live Partner Denmark, will be located at Refshalevej 189 – an old and historical construction hall in the post-industrial shipyard.

Stagebox’s CEO Daniel Vangsgaard and head of partnerships Stefan Petersen (previously a booking agent and promoter at All Things Live Denmark) say they have kept the hall’s original features but the sound and lighting have been elevated.

The pair expect approximately 200,000 guests at Stagebox over the course of 2022.

The official opening concert, along with additional concerts and information on partnerships, will be announced later this month.

“I daresay that Copenhagen has long lacked a venue that was built exclusively for events and concerts”

“Speaking for Danish concert organisers, I daresay that Copenhagen has long lacked a venue that was built exclusively for events and concerts, where the sound and surroundings have been prioritised in order to provide the ultimate audience and artist experience,” says Vangsgaard, director and venue manager.

“And we’re incredibly excited to present them with such a space – both Danes and internationals.”

Refshaleøen is also home to major music festivals and events, as well as Michelin-star restaurants, food markets, plant halls, and exhibitions.

In 2017, Beatbox Entertainment (the promoter behind greenfield festivals Tinderbox and NorthSide) launched the brand new Haven festival in the shipyard – selling 20,000 tickets.

More recently, Live Nation Denmark, along with nine of the country’s biggest festivals, held a one-off event at Refshaleøen to mark the reopening of the country.

 


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Europe’s first stadium show since Covid-19 sells out

Live Nation Denmark has announced the first full-capacity stadium show in Europe since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The sold-out show will see Danish post-punk band, The Minds of 99, perform to 50,000 people at the National Stadium (aka Parken) in Copenhagen.

The concert is slated to take place in the Danish capital on 11 September, a day after the Danish government drops all remaining Covid-19 restrictions.

This means attendees will be able to enjoy the show without social distancing, wearing masks or showing Covid-19 certification.

Ulrik Orum-Petersen, promoter at Live Nation Denmark, told IQ that it’s a “historic day” for the European live music industry.

“[This is] a manifestation of the strong fan confidence towards our industry… it gives our whole industry incredible optimism”

“It’s also a manifestation of the strong fan confidence towards our industry and it gives our whole industry an incredible optimism and strong faith in a bright future ahead,” Orum-Petersen added.

The Minds of 99 say: “This concert has turned into something far greater than The Minds of 99. It’s about what the whole world has been through the last year and a half. It is about the full reopening of live music in Denmark. The live music that so many people live and breathe for. It’s not about us anymore. It is beautiful.”

Denmark is the EU’s third-most vaccinated country, according to Our World in Data, with 71% of the population having received two shots.

The high vaccination rate prompted the government to start the rollback of restrictions at the beginning of this month.

After 10 September, the Danish government will no longer categorise Covid-19 as a “socially critical disease” or legally impose any Covid-19 restrictions.

 


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Nordic agencies merge to form United Stage Group

Nordic agencies United Stage Sweden, United Stage Norway and Copenhagen Music have merged to create a new company called United Stage Group, recruiting Universal Music Sweden as a partner.

United Stage currently represents around 250 artists including Lars Winnerbäck, Darin, Melissa Horn, and annually performs over 3,000 events in Sweden and Norway.

In addition to its activities as agents, tour producers and concert organisers, the company also runs artist management for around 20 artists. United Stage Sweden launched in 1984 and stands as the country’s biggest and most successful agency.

“We at United Stage have a fairly simple philosophy that has pushed us forward since the start. We believe in the magic of the meeting between an artist and an audience,” says Anders Larsson, CEO and founder of United Stage.

“As a market leader in Sweden, and on a strong upswing in Norway, we have for several years strived to broaden the market for our artists to a Nordic platform. With this strategic merger, we are now creating the best possible structure for a really strong Nordic business that will benefit both our staff in their daily work, our partners, but above all our artists who are always the most important to us and are in focus for our entire organisation. I am very much looking forward to the collaboration with Copenhagen Music and our joint effort to build the Nordic region’s best artist company.”

Copenhagen Music was founded in 2008 in Denmark and works with artists such as Lukas Graham, Rasmus Seebach, Suspekt and Medina.

With the merger complete, Copenhagen Music will oversee all touring activities in Denmark for artists signed to United Stage and vice versa. The company will still operate under the same name but as part of the United Stage Group umbrella.

“We want to improve the conditions of our artists, both creatively and financially – this merger will be a way to ensure this”

The company’s managing director, Jimmi Riise, will assume a new role as Nordic CEO of United Stage Group.

“The merger of United Stage and Copenhagen Music is a pioneering collaboration that will pave the way for a creative flow between Sweden, Norway and Denmark,” says Riise. “United Stage has often been our go-to partner in Norway and Sweden, and I strongly admire what Anders and his team have built over the past 30 years.

“This partnership provides completely new conditions for our artists beyond their local stages and introduces them to new fans and arenas throughout the Nordic region. The merger with United Stage is, therefore, the most obvious and strategically important step for our companies and artists. The new collaboration will give us opportunities to develop artist careers throughout our region and take our artists’ careers to completely new heights. Let the music play!”

Joakim Johansson, CEO of Universal Music Sweden, says: “For many years, Universal has been looking for new and innovative ways to develop and establish long-term artist careers, and since music lovers today have access to all the world’s music through a quick click, I am convinced that investing in concert experiences is more important than ever before to create holistic experiences between artists and fans.

“When the live scene reopens, we want to improve the conditions of our artists, both creatively and financially, and this merger will be a way to ensure this. The feeling you experience when the lights are dimmed in the arena and the audience begins to rejoice and when the artist finally enters the stage can create a bond between artist and audience that cannot be reached in any other way. This is a milestone for the Swedish music industry.”

United Stage Group will operate from StockholmOslo and Copenhagen.

 


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Denmark announces first post-Covid-19 concert

Denmark will host its first major rock concert since March this month when Steen Jørgensen plays the DR Concert Hall in Copenhagen.

The show, set for Friday 26 June, will see Jørgensen (pictured) – the frontman of post-punk heroes Sort Sol, and a former judge on The Voice Denmark – perform in front of a live, albeit significantly under-capacity, audience at the 1,800-cap. venue.

Promoted by Live Nation’s PDH Music, the historic concert will be limited to 500 people, with the Concert Hall (Koncerthuset) set out according to Danish authorities’ guidelines to ensure social distancing among fans.



“All of Denmark has been looking forward to experiencing live music once again, and now the day has finally come when we can again see a rock concert in the beautiful setting of the Concert Hall,” says PDH in an announcement.

Tickets, priced at 370 kr. (€50) go on sale tomorrow at 10am local time via drkoncerthuset.dk and livenation.dk.

 


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Hearing loss rife among Woodstock gen music lovers

Almost 50% of festivalgoers belonging to the original Woodstock 1969 generation now suffer from hearing loss, a new survey reveals.

The survey, conducted by the Harris Poll and commissioned by Danish hearing aid specialist Oticon, questioned over 1,000 US adults between the age of 65 to 80 who had reported listening to “loud or very loud music in their youth”.

Fifty years on from Woodstock, 36% of a self-proclaimed music-loving crowd – 71% of respondees reported music was a major part of their lives when they were young – now state that hearing difficulties negatively impacts their ability to listen to music to some extent.

Among those with hearing loss, 47% say they no longer enjoy music as much as they used to and 70% wish they could experience music as they did in the past.

The results suggest that, even if Michael Lang’s Woodstock 50 anniversary event had gone ahead as planned, it is unlikely that the original fans would have enjoyed themselves as much the second time around.

“We [now] know the long-term effects of noise on hearing health and the importance of protecting hearing to maintain the ability to enjoy music”

“The survey results demonstrate the far-reaching consequences of loud music listening on hearing health,” says Oticon president Gary Rosenblum.

“That’s an important message for young people today. We [now] know the long-term effects of noise on hearing health and the importance of protecting hearing to maintain the ability to enjoy music and conversation.”

Rosenblum urges those of the “Woodstock Generation” to address their hearing loss. 70% of those surveyed had never seen a health care professional about their hearing, and only 12% had ever used a hearing aid.

Exposure to loud noise also produces negative effects on music industry professionals, damaging their ability to sleep and sometimes provoking mental health risks.

Help Musicians UK is one charity safeguarding the hearing of those working in live, providing moulded hearing protection for 10,000 music professionals through the Hearing Health Scheme.

 


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Live Nation acquires Danish agency PDH Music

Live Nation Denmark has announced today that it has acquired Danish booking agency and artist management company, PDH Music.

Through the acquisition, Live Nation aims to “continue to meet the demand for Danish artists.” According to IQ’s Danish market report, the live industry in Denmark is “one of Europe’s most compelling”.

The deal follows a string recent moves by the live music behemoth in Nordic countries, with the acquisition of Norwegian metal festival Tons of rock and Finnish urban festival Blockfest.

“This deal extends the already successful relationship PDH Music has had with Live Nation over the past several years,” says Henrik Seifert, director of PDH Music.

“Live Nation has the global reach and infrastructure to further strengthen PDH Music, and PDH Music has a roster of local artists that Live Nation is committed to investing in”

“Live Nation has the global reach and infrastructure to further strengthen PDH Music, and PDH Music has a roster of local artists that Live Nation is committed to investing in and developing. It is a match made in heaven and we are excited about our future together.”

Live Nation Denmark managing director Jesper Christensen comments: “I have known PDH Music’s founders Micky Pramming and Henrik Seifert for many years. They are great people who share a profound love of live music and I’m excited about the energy they will bring to Live Nation Denmark”.

Over the next year PDH Music will leave their current premises in Østerbro, Copenhagen and join Live Nation in the district of Frederiksberg.

Seifert, Pramming and the rest of the PDH Music team will continue to work under the PDH Music brand as part of Live Nation Denmark.

 


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First-year success for Haven festival

Beatbox Entertainment has spoken of the success of the inaugural Haven festival, its first event in Copenhagen, after selling close to 20,000 tickets in its debut year.

Despite losing headliner Chance the Rapper to “scheduling conflicts” with three months to go, the 20,000-cap. festival – held, in a departure from Beatbox’s greenfield events Tinderbox and NorthSide, on the site of former shipyard on 11–12 August – fell just short of selling out, with around 150 tickets left, spokesman Sigurd Hartkorn Plaetner tells IQ.

“In a narcissistic way it was a little bit frustrating [not to sell out],” jokes Hartkorn Plaetner. “But it’s better than if we did sell out and lots of people didn’t come.”

Haven 2017 headliners included Bon Iver, Iggy Pop and Beach House, as well as the National, whose members Aaron and Bryce Dessner co-curated the event alongside chef Claus Meyer and Mikkellers brewery founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø.

“It’s not really a festival. It’s a two-day experiment”

Hartkorn Plaetner says all the collaborators were “super involved in building up the whole festival”. Musically, he says, the booking philosophy was to focus on quality, rather than quantity – “We could have said, ‘We want 50 acts, a bit of world music, a bit of African music, et cetera’,” he explains, “but we decided we would rather have have 20 really, really strong acts” – with visual arts and a strong F&B line-up also key to the festival’s success.

“It’s about taking various disciplines and making them something you can experience together,” he continues. “At traditional festivals you drink beer to get drunk between concerts; at Haven, the shows were as much something you see between the beer experiences!

“The way I like to think about it is that it’s not really a festival. It’s really a two-day experiment – but you can’t say to your friends, ‘Hey, do you want to get tickets for a two-day experiment…?'”

Haven Festival will return in 2018.

 


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Nearly half of Denmark saw a concert in 2016

NorthSide booker John Fogde wasn’t exaggerating when he called the market for live music in Denmark “crazy”.

Nearly half of the country saw a non-classical concert from September 2015–2016 – with the figure rising to a majority among 30–39-year-olds, reveals a new survey of Danish audiences.

For Analyse omkring rytmiske koncerter (Analysis of Contemporary Concerts) – commissioned by the Confederation of Dutch Enterprise (Dansk Erhverv) and industry association Dansk Live – market research firm Norstat surveyed 1,007 Danes aged 18 and over, discovering that 41% of people had been to a concert of contemporary music in the last 12 months.

Respondees aged 30 to 39 attended the most shows, with 51% saying they’d been to a concert in the past year, followed by 40–49-year-olds (50%), under-30s (49%), 50–59-year-olds (44%) and those aged 60 and over (26%).

By location, Denmark’s four largest cities, Aalborg, Odense, Aarhus and Copenhagen, scored highest, with 49% across all age groups, with denizens of small villages unsurprisingly the least enthusiastic concertgoers (29%).

“Danes love to go to concerts”

The survey also reveals that 97% of concertgoers were satisfied (“very or fairly”) with their experience the last time they were at a venue or festival.

Commenting on the results, Dansk Erhverv’s Anne Fuglsang-Damgaard Sina says: “There is huge potential [for the Danish live market], but we must not rest on our laurels. Through the efforts of the entire business, we can grow the industry for the benefit of everyone.

“It is also clear that as the live market gets bigger, there will be more and more concerts here in Denmark. We have by no means reached the top.”

Dansk Live further notes that 2017 “promises to be a strong year for concerts in Denmark. Copenhagen’s new indoor arena, the Royal Arena, opened with sold-out shows by Metallica, and across the country festivals such Smukfest and Musik i Lejet have already sold out. […] Danes love to go to concerts.”

 


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New venue to open at Copenhagen’s Tivoli

A new music venue will open at Tivoli Gardens next spring, the Copenhagen theme park and pleasure gardens has announced.

The greenhouse-style Orangeriet – Danish for ‘Orangery’ – will open its doors on 6 April, when Tivoli opens for the summer season, and feature a small concert stage amid “trees, shrubs and rare flowers” the park says will provide guests with an “experience for all the senses”.

Tivoli already has a 1,660-capacity concert hall, the Koncertsal, which is now primarily used for classical concerts and musicals but has in the past hosted artists including Elton John, Jethro Tull and the Grateful Dead.

A spokesman for Tivoli tells IQ the 370m², 20 million-kroner Orangeriet, which will double as a TV studio and multifaceted events space, will focus on popular music programming – not classical, but “all other genres” – and have a capacity of 150 seated and approximately 800 standing.

“Orangeriet is going to exude tradition and innovation”

The venue’s architect, Jesper Andersen, comments: “We have been inspired by orangeries abroad, but also by buildings as [Tivoli’s] Glassalen and the Palmehuset [Palm House] in the Botanical Garden. […] It’s going to exude tradition and innovation, which we know our customers care about.”

The opening of the Orangeriet comes amid a period of strong growth for the Danish live sector: Live Nation’s Thomas Johanssen in December hailed what he called an “exciting time for Denmark’s capital”, as the company announced it would operate the new 16,000-cap. Royal Arena, while NorthSide booker John Fogde said later that month: “I didn’t think the concert and festival market could get crazier than 2016, but it looks like 2017 will top everything we’ve seen before.”

 


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Live Nation to operate Copenhagen’s Royal Arena

Live Nation will operate the Royal Arena in Copenhagen when it opens in February 2017.

The new 16,000-capacity indoor arena, expected to host 80+ live entertainment and sporting events annually, will be managed by Live Nation Entertainment’s Danish Venue Enterprise subsidiary.

The 55,000-cap. Parken stadium, operated by football team FC Copenhagen, is currently the Danish capital’s largest entertainment venue, with no 10–20,000-capacity arena in the region.

“Finally, the Danish capital is ready to enter the major league of European cities that have large indoor arenas specifically designed for live entertainment”

Dan Hammer, CEO of Danish Venue Enterprise, says: “The completion of Royal Arena represents a significant development for Copenhagen. Finally, the Danish capital is ready to enter the major league of European cities that have large indoor arenas specifically designed for live entertainment. Artists, athletes and fans are in for a treat when Royal Arena opens in February 2017.”

“We now have a state-of-the-art venue in wonderful Copenhagen and we couldn’t be more pleased,” adds Live Nation’s chairman of international music, Thomas Johansson. “It’s an exciting time for Denmark’s capital.

“Metallica will be the first act to grace the Royal Arena stage with four sold-out shows early next year [3–5 and 9 February], and what a way that will be to kick off this venue’s bright future.”

 


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