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

Boardmasters return brought ‘a lot of joy to people’

Surf and music festival, Boardmasters, returned to the Cornish town of Newquay this month for the first time since 2018.

Last year’s edition was called off due to coronavirus restrictions, while the 2019 event was cancelled due to severe weather warnings in the UK.

The festival’s return saw 50,000 attendees flock to Watergate Bay in Newquay between 11–15 August for performances from the likes of Gorillaz, Jorja Smith and Foals.

Despite subsequent reports that the festival may be linked to 4,700 Covid cases, Cornwall council’s portfolio holder for public health told a press briefing that cases were expected but that he was “reassured” they were not “translating into a serious life-threatening illness”.

The health official, Andy Virr, was also keen to emphasise the benefits of holding Boardmasters, adding: “Covid will have lots of impacts ongoing, and one of them is around loneliness and isolation and mental health problems.

“That festival brought a lot of joy to people. And, yes, there are some things we are having to deal with, but that was part of the judgement.”

“That festival brought a lot of joy. There are some things we are having to deal with, but that was part of the judgement.”

Recent data from the government’s Events Research Programme (ERP) – which included Blossoms’ Liverpool show, the BRIT Awards ceremony, Download Festival and Latitude –  shows that “mass events can be conducted safely”, but caution must still be taken around specific aspects of event participation.

Cornwall’s public health team said they won’t know the complete picture of the infections for another few days, though it is clear that about 800 of the positive cases are people who live in Cornwall.

“Since the government allowed live events to return, we have worked closely with Cornwall council’s public health team, putting in place risk management measures above and beyond national guidelines,” say festival organisers.

“These included use of the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry, which was introduced during the government Events Research Programme earlier this year and is being recommended as best-practice at other large events. The system detected over 450 people who would otherwise have been at risk of passing on the virus and as a result did not attend our Watergate Bay site or left the festival early. We are grateful to them and everyone else who took the extra steps this year.

“No event is able to eliminate risk entirely and the latest Test & Trace data includes reported infections among the 76,000 people who visited the festival or related activities at Fistral Beach, in Newquay and the wider area during the week of Boardmasters.

“We will continue to work with our public health partners to understand the extent to which attendance at the festival has contributed to the figures. We look forward to sharing our experience with our local authority partners and other large events so we can all continue to provide much needed economic benefit to our communities and entertainment to our loyal audiences.”

All attendees over 11 years old were required to prove their Covid-19 status through the NHS Covid app before entering. Face masks were not compulsory but were encouraged.

People who camped at the festival had to take a second NHS lateral flow test during the event and log their results in the app.

 


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.

Agent Ben Ward launches Route One Booking

Veteran rock agent Ben Ward, formerly of United Talent Agency in London, has launched a new booking agency, Route One Booking, alongside co-director Jules Chenoweth.

“I’ve always wanted to set up my own booking agency and have the freedom to operate exactly how our artists want,” explains Ward, who is also vocalist in enduring heavy metal act Orange Goblin. “I feel that given the current climate in the live music industry, that time is now.

“Working for 25 years as an artist, a manager, a tour manager and a booking agent, I have the insight and experience that is needed and have seen this business from all angles. Alongside Jules at Route One Booking, I feel that we have the right people and the right tools to start looking at new ideas and initiatives in this challenging time to ensure that our artists and bands continue to be creative and entertaining.

“Our clients are our main focus – we work so that they can work, and if they don’t work, then there is no business. Despite the uncertainty regarding a return to the live music scene as we knew it before the pandemic, this is an exciting time to be launching this new venture.”

The new agency’s roster includes the likes of influential punks Discharge, fuzz-rock legends Fu Manchu, Canadian thrash act Voivod and country artist-producer Shooter Jennings, alongside emerging acts such as King Creature, Video Nasties, Daxx and Roxane and Blind River.

“I’ve always wanted to set up my own booking agency and have the freedom to operate exactly how our artists want”

In addition to bookings, Route One offers clients transport options for touring, backline, and links to digital music distribution company RouteNote, of which Chenoweth is a board member.

The company also owns the Yard in Cornwall, where it recently produced a successful socially distanced outdoor show with 250 people headlined by King Creature.

Before joining UTA’s predecessor, the Agency Group, in 2015, Ward worked at management company One Fifteen, looking after the affairs of artists such as Pink Floyd, David Gilmour and Jools Holland. In 2016, he gained national recognition after initiating a fundraising campaign to money for the staff of music magazine publisher Team Rock, who were made unemployed when the company was placed into administration. He and his wife later received a Metal Hammer Award in recognition of their efforts.

Truro-based Route One Booking is the latest new agency launch amid the turmoil of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and the third announced to date in the UK, following Runway Artists, launched by Matt Hanner (ex-ATC Live) in the spring, and ex-CAA agent Jon Ollier’s yet-unnamed new venture. In the US, Arrival Artists, Mint Talent Group and TBA Agency have all come to market in recent months.

“Route One Booking is born out of determination and enterprise at a time when the proverbial chips are down,” comments Chenoweth, who also manages King Creature. “In my experience of business, these occasions are the perfect spawning grounds for a new dynamic business approach, and a time to apply new exciting processes and ideas.

“With Ben Ward at the helm, Route One Booking will be dynamic and different. Over time it will grow and become a leading independent booking agency, carved out of the ashes of the now, to be the foundation of the future.”

 


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.

AEG, Eden Project form Eden Sessions joint venture

Educational charity the Eden Project and global live event company AEG Presents today (16 September) announced a new partnership, which will see the pair jointly run the Eden Sessions concert series.

The two organisations have formed a new company, Eden Sessions Ltd, and will work together to produce the next concert series in summer 2020.

Eden’s Rita Broe, who has run the Eden Sessions for the last eight years, will lead the new company. John Empson, who was instrumental in founding the Sessions and has booked every act since, will continue to lead on the booking for the concerts.

The Eden Project, which has a visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, houses the largest rainforest in captivity under multiple large biomes. The site has attracted over 21 million visitors since opening in 2001.

The Project has hosted the Eden Sessions since 2002, with performances from Pulp, Muse, Oasis, Elton John, Blondie, Bjork, Lionel Richie, Paul Weller, Mumford and Sons, Blink 182, The xx, Van Morrison and Queens of the Stone Age.

By joining forces, AEG Presents and Eden hope to build on the Eden Sessions legacy and brand.

“In 18 years, the Sessions have established an excellent reputation in the industry and with concert-goers,” says Gordon Seabright, chief executive of the Eden Project.

“People use the word iconic a lot but the Eden Sessions fully deserves that description”

“Our exciting new venture with AEG Presents teams Eden with the global leader in live music. It will give us more national and international reach and help us spread Eden’s mission even further.

“Eden boasts a unique amphitheatre surrounded by beautiful gardens and spectacular Biomes,” continues Seabright, saying the team is “proud” there there exists “no venue like it anywhere in the world.”

“We know that many artists cite shows they have played here as being among their best ever.”

AEG Presents co-chief executives Steve Homer and Toby Leighton-Pope comment: “People use the word iconic a lot but the Eden Sessions fully deserves that description. They are innovative and the roll call of artists who have performed at Eden speaks for itself.

“They stand for quality as do we and we’re both dedicated to giving music fans a brilliant gig experience every time. This partnership is a big moment for us and we’re sure it will deliver great things.”

Among this year’s Eden Sessions headliners were Kylie Minogue, Stereophonics and Nile Rodgers & Chic.

AEG Presents runs outdoor events including the British Summer Time Hyde Park concerts and East London festival All Points East. The company has promoted tours for artists including Justin Bieber, Khalid, Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran.

 


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.

UK festivals targeted by email scammers

The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) has issued a warning to its members following reports of fraudulent emails inviting international artists to play at UK festivals.

The director of Cornwall Folk Festival, who was first alerted to the scam in June, reported the fake emails to the AFO today (July 3).

Posing as festival directors, the email scammers offer bogus bookings to artists to replace allegedly cancelled headline acts, and take payments from those who pursue the invite.

According to the AFO, the Isle of Wight Festival has also been targeted by the scam.

“We’ve been inundated over the past two weeks with dozens of emails from musicians asking us if the offer is for real,” says Cornwall Folk Festival director Adrian Jones.

“The offer is quite credible. It includes details that a musician would recognise as part of a plausible contract, including transport, accommodation and a back line. And not a spelling mistake in sight, which is most unusual for spam.

“The offer is quite credible – it includes details that a musician would recognise as part of a plausible contract”

“The con is surely being played on the artists, who may well find themselves being asked for a deposit for flights. We’re only being contacted by those who realise it is a scam. We have no idea if others have replied and are in conversation with the spammers,” adds Jones.

This is the second time in as many months that an industry association has drawn attention to email scammers.

In May, the UK’s Entertainment Agents’ Association warned that fraudsters were posing as agents representing artists such as Adele, Justin Timberlake and Eminem, asking promoters for deposits in exchange for fictional live dates.

Cornwall Folk Festival takes place from Thursday 22 to Monday 26 August in Wadebridge, North Cornwall. Headline acts include the Unthanks, Steve Knightley and Flats and Sharps.

 


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.

UK festival venue the Wyldes crowdfunds equity sale

The Wyldes, a 10,000-capacity events and festival site in Cornwall, UK, has announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise £250,000 in exchange for a 5% equity stake.

The Wyldes group – which comprises Leopallooza, Live in the Wyldes and Weddings in the Wyldes – says the projected new investment would be put towards increasing capacity, improving infrastructure and bringing in a more diverse range of shows and artists. The company’s events have over the past decade welcomed artists including Thom Yorke, Bastille, Kelis, Rag’n’Bone Man, Chase and Status, Paloma Faith, Loyle Carner and Idles, while Paul Weller and Fatboy Slim will play Live in the Wyldes shows in 2019.

Sam Dunnett, co-director of the Wyldes, comments: “We started over ten years ago as a small festival for friends and family, but have grown exponentially year on year and are now at a tipping point to start moving into phase two of our lifecycle.

“We’re excited to welcome new partners onboard to be a part of the ever-growing Wyldes family”

“We’re perfectly positioned to offer a new, exciting and unique alternative style of show that can take the customer experience to a whole new level.”

The Wyldes’ Crowdcube campaign has, at press time, raised more than £87,000, and is projected to reach its £250,000 target by the closing date of 2 January 2019.

“With the UK events industry worth £42.3 billion annually, we know that investors will be interested in getting a piece of the action,” adds Matt Daniel, co-founder and director of the Wyldes.

“We’ve already had a great response and we’re excited to welcome new partners onboard to be a part of the ever-growing Wyldes family.”

 


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.