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French Touch tour to raise money for artists and crew

Live Nation France has announced the French Touch tour, a new series of livestreamed concerts designed to raise funds, and provide work, for French artists and crew.

The shows, presented by investment bank Bpifrance and airing on Canal+’s Canal VOD website, begin this Thursday (25 March) with a show by genre-bending pop trio LEJ, and continue on a weekly basis for the next 15 weeks.

Other artists taking part include Jérémy Frérot, Sofiane Pamart, Skip the Use, Marina Kaye, Kimberose, Joé Dwèt Filé, Marie-Laure Garnier and Yusan, who will perform at venues including La Cigale, Le Duc des Lombards and Salle Gaveau (Paris), Olympia (Arcachon) and the Atabal (Biarritz).

Tickets for the French Touch tour concerts are priced at €4.99 each and are available from the Canal+ website, with all proceeds going to the performers and technical team.

“More than 1,500 artists and technicians will be able to work again and practice their skills.”

“This digital tour aims to support” the entire “sector to revive the cultural and creative industries,” say Live Nation, Canal+ and Bpifrance in a statement announcing the tour. “The partners are joining forces to get all the behind-the-scenes jobs back on track, so that all the players in French culture and live performance can return to the stage.”

“Thanks to this tour,” they add, “more than 1,500 artists and technicians will be able to work again and practice their skills.”

At the time of writing, France is back in partial lockdown, with new restrictions on meeting indoors designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.

 


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

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Live Nation’s Crew Nation raises $18 million

Crew Nation, a global Covid-relief fund set up last year by Live Nation, has raised US$18 million for touring and venue crews impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The live entertainment behemoth launched the fund in April 2020, contributing an initial $5m directly (including $250,000 personally from CEO Michael Rapino and his family) and matching the next $5m donated by artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar.

Live Nation told Variety yesterday that it has far exceeded its initial goal by raising $18m in a global effort that has aided approximately 15,000 crew members in over 40 countries and across all 50 states.

The fund, which is powered by charitable organisation Music Forward Foundation, will now be allocating a second round of emergency grants to crew who need it the most.

Crew Nation has aided approximately 15,000 crew members in over 40 countries and across all 50 states

In order to qualify for a grant, applicants must have previously received a Crew Nation grant and will be required to show the need for emergency funding for covering costs such as housing or critical medical expenses.

Artists including Justin Timberlake, Anderson .Paak and Kesha made contributions towards the fund, while partners and brands including Live From The Drive-In, Lollapalooza and Governors Ball came up with creative ways to encourage donations, and countries including Spain (pictured) and Germany organised their own Crew Nation benefit concerts.

Most recently, Kings of Leon raised $500,000 for Crew Nation through the proceeds of one of their NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Anyone who wants to contribute can either donate money or buy limited-edition merch, and all proceeds will go directly to the fund.

 


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Kings of Leon generate more than $2m from NFT sales

American rock band Kings of Leon has generated more than $2 million from ‘NFT Yourself’, a collection of non-fungible tokens the band put up for sale through blockchain technology company YellowHeart.

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a form of cryptocurrency asset; a spendable token that you can exchange for other cryptocurrencies, or spend on goods where they’re accepted, on the blockchain (a Cloud for financial assets).

The ‘NFT Yourself’ sale, which ran from Friday to Monday, included the band’s new album ‘When You See Yourself’ as an NFT, as well as an auction of six different ‘Golden Tickets’.

Each ‘Golden Ticket’ would give the successful bidder four front-row seats to one show of every Kings of Leon headlining tour for life.

Of the Golden Tickets, ‘Bandit #3 Grid’ and ‘Heads in the Clouds’ sold for $91,000; ‘Golden Cherry Echo’ sold for roughly $95,700; ‘Bandit #1 Red’ and ‘Couch Distortion’ each sold for close to $97,000; and ‘Bandit #2 Wave’, which also included audio, sold for roughly $162,000.

Kings of Leon previously announced that Live Nation’s Crew Nation would receive the proceeds of both ‘Bandit Wave #2’ and the album tokens, which are priced at $50 each and include limited-edition vinyl and a digital download of the album.

The band has confirmed that $500,000 of the $2m has been donated to Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund

The band has confirmed that $500,000 of the $2m has been donated to Crew Nation fund to support live music crews during the pandemic.

The Golden Ticket auction was originally scheduled to end on Sunday but Kings of Leon ended up extending that deadline to give fans who are first-time NFT buyers a chance to partake.

“Breaking new ground is never easy….if it were, it wouldn’t be groundbreaking,” the band wrote in a since-deleted statement on YellowHeart’s website. “Many fans are first-time NFT buyers and are experiencing a learning curve. We hear you and are going to extend the ‘NFT Yourself’ Collection for an additional 24 hours, in hopes that more time allows more fans to participate in this historic offering.”

‘When You See Yourself’ can still be purchased as an NFT on YellowHeart’s website until 19 March but any limited-edition collectable NFTs that are not sold at the end of the sale will be deleted and no more will be made.

While Kings of Leon are reportedly the first act to release a new album as an NFT, a number of artists including Grimes, Shawn Mendes, Steve Aoki, Quavo, Lil Baby, 2 Chainz, Jack Harlow, Tory Lanez, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, 3lau, Ozuna have released collections recently.

 


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Live Nation Germany announces Crew Nation benefit

Live Nation Germany has announced a livestream charity event for Crew Nation to benefit self-employed professionals who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

The event, called #becomelouder (#lauterwerden), will see German artists including Die Fantastischen Vier, Milky Chance (pictured), Peter Maffay, Rea Garvey and The BossHoss perform on a mixed reality stage which first premiered at this year’s Wacken World Wide.

All artists will perform without pay and, while the event is free to stream on 12 and 13 December at MagentaMusik 360 and on the MagentaTV programme, viewers will be encouraged to make a donation. Fans can also view the performances afterwards on demand.

“All of us live music fans have our concert tickets pinned to the fridge by a magnet and are just waiting for it to get going. Meanwhile, a lot of the service providers that produce these shows are falling on hard times as a result of the pandemic,” says Smudo of Die Fantastischen Vier.

“Let’s get together and support those affected with this event, in the hope that we can soon take those tickets off the fridge and go out and have a good time again.”

“All of us live music fans have our concert tickets pinned to the fridge by a magnet and are just waiting for it to get going”

The Crew Nation relief fund was launched in April by Live Nation to support touring and venue crews through the coronavirus pandemic.

The live entertainment behemoth committed $10 million to the fund, contributing an initial $5m directly – including $250,000 personally from CEO Michael Rapino and his family – and matching the next $5m donated by artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar.

Since, a number of national events have taken place to benefit the fund, including Live Nation Spain’s ‘Crew Nation Presents…’ – a concert series which raised more than €150,000 through a €1 levy on each ticket.

Similiar fundraising concerts and tours have been organised by artists including Elisa, Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Amy MacDonald, and Marillion.

Donations to Crew Nation can be made directly or through purchasing limited edition Crew Nation merchandise.

 


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Artists join call-to-arms for crew support

A number of artists including Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Amy MacDonald, and Marillion, are rallying support for live events technicians who have been financially impacted by the pandemic through fundraising events and memorabilia donations.

Solo artist and ex-One Direction member Niall Horan recently announced a one-off livestream show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 7 November to raise money and awareness for his touring crew.

Amy MacDonald is launching her new album with a socially-distanced show and interview at The Mildmay Club in London, with proceeds going towards the #WeMakeEvents campaign. The event, titled An Evening With Amy MacDonald, will take place on 1 November and be livestreamed from 7 pm GMT.

Elsewhere, 80s rock band Marillion has already raised over £30,000 from the virtual tip jar at their Couch Convention weekend, which they split equally between their 10-man crew.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” says Andy Lenthall, general manager at PSA, the live production trade association which also runs Stagehand, a live production hardship fund. “There is so much goodwill towards crew that people don’t know about,” he tells IQ.

“It is an ecosystem and artists appreciate they need crew to amplify, magnify and illuminate the shows”

“People say, ‘Why can’t the artists pay?’. Well some of them can, and some of them are, and some of them can’t. It’s about what we can do, not what we can’t do. Artists at the top of the pile work with the same crew a lot and many are supporting them,” he maintains. “It is an ecosystem and artists appreciate they need crew to amplify, magnify and illuminate the shows.”

Lenthall says Stagehand has received many anonymous contributions from artists, in the form of cash and memorabilia. Most recently Nick Cave donated one of his guitars for an upcoming memorabilia raffle, organised by the association.

The raffle, along with Stagehand’s ‘tip the crew’ concept, is part of the fund’s longtail business model based on fan engagement. “Fanbases are where we hope to make lots of small bits,” says Lenthall.

Stagehand has also received donations from companies such as PPL, BPI and Sony – though Lenthall maintains that the fund is a long-term project and will require several different initiatives to raise the money needed.

“It’s about what we can do, not what we can’t do”

“We all know it’s going to take a while for the industry to restart so we need to raise a seven-figure sum and it needs to last around six months,” he says.

The Stagehand fund opened for applications yesterday (15 October) and is initially awarding grants of £500 to help with “keeping a roof over heads and food on the table”.

“Houses are on the market and it’s the beginning of the sofa-surfing season for some people. We’ve opened the fund now because at the end of October rent arrears will be due and the mortgage holiday is over. People will have accumulated a lot of debt over the summer,” Lenthall explains.

However, he’s confident that now some companies have been saved through packages such as the Culture Recovery Fund, attention is turning to crew.

“We need to focus on retaining people. Crew are tenacious, hardworking and diligent. We don’t want to lose them.”

Make a donation to Stagehand here or donate to similar funds supporting live technicians such as #WeMakeEvents; Live Nation’s Crew Nation; and the recently launched hardship fund We Need Crew.

 


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Madrid shows raise €150,000 for Crew Nation

Live Nation Spain’s ‘Crew Nation Presents…’ concert series drew to a close on Friday night after having raised more than €150,000 in support of touring crew and staff.

Announced in June, Crew Nation Presents… invited a host of Spanish artists perform at Le Petit Garage, at Madrid venue La Riviera, from mid-July until Friday 25 September, when violinist Ara Milikian and pianist Iván ‘Melón’ Lewis brought the series to end.

Over 7,000 fans saw the 19 concerts, which – in addition to supporting 80 jobs for crew, production and security – raised over €150,000 for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund through a €1 levy on each ticket.

“Live Nation Spain would like to thank everyone who has worked with us to make these shows possible during these unprecedented times,” says the promoter, including “the authorities who have worked with us to keep everyone safe and offer a #culturasegura [#safeculture]” and “the great team who have worked to make these shows as amazing as they have been”.

Organisers also thank “all the artists – 84, Ara Malikian, Belako, Bely Basarte, El Kanka, Fuel Fandango, Guitarricadelafuente, ISEO, IZAL, María Peláe, Miss Caffeina, Mr Kilombo, Muchachito, Pol Granch, Rayden, Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, Tu Otra Bonita, Varry Brava and Xoel López – who have trusted in this initiative, and, finally, all the fans who behaved in an exemplary manner at each and every one of the concerts.”

 


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Crew Nation raises $15m for out-of-work technicians

Crew Nation has so far raised US$15 million to help 15,000 out-of-work crew members, across 36 countries, who were impacted by the rescheduled or cancelled shows due to take place through June.

The global live music relief fund was launched with an initial $5m donation from Live Nation, which then matched the next $5 million in donations from artists, fans and employees for a total contribution of $10m from the company.

Artists including Justin Timberlake, Anderson .Paak and Kesha made contributions towards the fund, while partners and brands including Live From The Drive-In, Lollapalooza and Governors Ball came up with creative ways to encourage donations.

“Concerts wouldn’t be possible without the many crew members working behind the scenes every step of the way and we want to make sure that as independent workers, they get the support they need from both the industry and the government,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation.

“Live Nation is proud to be among the many artists, donors, partners and fans who are helping drive this mission forward and support those who make the magic of live possible.”

“Concerts wouldn’t be possible without the many crew members working behind the scenes every step of the way”

The fund is powered by charitable organisation Music Forward Foundation, which will select recipients of funding “based on an objective determination of need”. Live Nation employees are not eligible to receive funding.

“The support we have received has been overwhelming, but the number of people who still need assistance is staggering and our work is nowhere near done,” said Nurit Smith, executive director at Music Forward Foundation.

“The artist community has been so incredibly supportive and creative, utilising their resources and platforms to make personal donations and drum up contributions through the release of exclusive merch, new music, livestreamed performances and much more, and our hope is that it continues to keep rolling.”

Crew Nation is accepting applications from out-of-work crew members in phases, based on when shows were originally scheduled to play.

Currently, applications are open for those who have been financially impacted from concerts originally scheduled to take place in June 2020. The deadline to submit an application is 16 August.

The fund hopes to double its impact and raise at least $30m so that it can continue providing support for independent workers from the live music industry.

Anyone who wants to contribute can either donate money or buy limited-edition merch, and all proceeds will go directly to the fund.

 


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Multiple summer concert series kick off in Spain

Promoters Live Nation and the Music Republic are kicking off new, open-air concert series in Spain this week, as venues including the Wizink Center and Ifema prepare to host live shows over the next few months.

The Music Republic, which promotes festivals Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Granada Sound, Madrid Salvaje and the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB), announced its Republic Alive concert series this week, with 800-capacity outdoor shows taking place throughout July, August and September in Valencia, Granada, San Fernando, Seville and Toledo.

Artists performing as part of the series, which kicks off tomorrow (17 July), include Andrés Suárez, Miss Caffeina, Diego El Cigala, M Clan, Viva Suecia and Cepeda. Tickets for the shows are available here.

This week has also marked the start of Live Nation’s Crew Nation Presents concert series, which is taking place at the 2,500-capacity La Riviera in Madrid until mid-September.

The first sold-out show of the series took place last night with a performance by Spanish singer-songwriter Guitarricadelafuente. Other acts playing as part of the Crew Nation Present series, which raises money for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund, include El Kanka, Sex Museum, Muchachito and Triángulo de amor bizarro.

Tickets for the Crew Nation Presents shows are available here.

Madrid’s 15,500-capacity Wizink Center, the largest arena in Spain, is also preparing to welcome back artists and fans, with the Proactiv- and Voltereta Tour-promoted Truss Madrid Madriz Summer Fest, which will see performances from over 30 artists from 15 August to 15 September.

Promoters Live Nation and the Music Republic are kicking off new, open-air concert series in Spain this week, as venues including the Wizink Center and Ifema prepare to host live shows over the next few months

The arena will operate at a reduced capacity, with between 1,200 and 2,200 attending each concert, sitting at tables and chairs around a 360° stage.

Spanish techno-rumba group Camela will kick off the concert series, with other performance coming from acts including Funambulista, Despistaos, Izal, Stay Homas, Pablo López, Ara Malikian, Sara Baras and Sofía Ellar.

Tickets will become available here over the coming days.

Fellow Madrid venue, the Ifema conference and exhibition centre, is also returning to live music after a bout serving as Spain’s largest ‘hospital’. Abre Madrid! (Madrid Opens) began on 7 July and is running until 6 September, with acts performing to up to 1,000, seated fans on two open-air stages in the Ifema grounds, which usually plays host to Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival, DGTL Madrid and Río Babel festival.

Artists performing as part of Abre Madrid! include Xoel Lopez, La Habitación Roja, Carlos Sadness, Diego el Cigala, Mala Rodríguez and Miguel Poveda.

Ifema has been recognised as a safe space by the Community of Madrid and the World Travel and Tourism Council, allowing the venue to host events at up to 75% of its full capacity, provided that the configuration of space allows for 1.5 metres to be maintained between individuals.

In addition to the Abre Madrid! Shows, the venue plans on hosting 60 fairs and congresses in the last six months of 2020.

Tickets for the Ifema shows, which also span comedy, theatre, cinema and family entertainment, can be found here.

 


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.

BTS, Big Hit donate $1m to Crew Nation

K-pop stars BTS and its agency/management company Big Hit Entertainment have put US$1 million towards Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund, matching a donation the band made earlier this month to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to statement obtained by Variety, the donation is one of the largest artist donations submitted to the Crew Nation fund so far.

Live Nation set up the Crew Nation fund in April to support touring and venue crews through the coronavirus pandemic. The live entertainment giant pledged $10m to the fund, comprising of an initial $5m donation and a commitment to match tth next $5m donated by artists, fans and employees.

At the start of June, Live Nation announced its Crew Nation Presents concert series in Madrid, which will see €1 from each ticket sold donated to the fund.

“We are aware that a lot of communities need help due to Covid-19, and we wanted to support the music industry crews by making a donation”

“If it weren’t for Covid-19, we would have been happily touring across the world with many of our live concert crews by now,” comment BTS, who recently performed in the most-attended paid live stream in history, peaking at 756,600 concurrent viewers.

“We are aware that a lot of communities need help due to Covid-19, and we wanted to support the music industry crews by making a donation. We hope to meet again on stage very soon.”

Earlier this month, BTS helped raise over $2m for Black Lives Matter, in the week following the music industry’s Black Out Tuesday initiative. The band committed $1m and encouraged fans to collectively match their donation using the #MatchAMillion hashtag, with the fanbase ultimately raising around $1.3m.

The boyband was set to embark on its mammoth Map of the Soul tour in April.

 


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Crew Nation Presents to debut in Madrid in July

Live Nation has announced the Crew Nation Presents concert series, which will take place in Madrid from 15 July, as Spain prepares to allow outdoor concerts of up to 800 people.

Taking place at 2,500-capacity La Riviera, the series of reduced-capacity concerts will raise funds for artists’ technicians, musicians and touring staff affected by the live event shutdown, with €1 from every ticket donated to Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund.



Starting on 15 July, the shows will run until mid-September. Confirmed acts include singer-songwriter El Kanka, pop group Miss Caffeina, rock band Sex Museum, psychedelic rumba band Tu Otra Bonita and alternative rock musician Xoel López.

Tickets for Crew Nation Presents concerts go on sale on 22 June at 10 a.m. here.

“The series of reduced-capacity concerts will raise funds for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund”

Spain is expected to move into the final stage of its reopening plan next week, which will see the reopening of clubs and bars at a third of usual capacity, indoor shows of up 80 people allowed and a capacity limit of 800 for outdoor events.

The news comes as Madrid’s 16,000-capacity WiZink Center announces its intention to open its doors – both virtually and physically – in the coming weeks.

Under the new phase of reopening, the arena will be able to admit a “significant” proportion of its full capacity for seated shows.

More details will be available on the WiZink Center website in the next few days.

Photo: Fermín Rodríguez Fajardo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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