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CTS Eventim announces plans for new arena in Milan

German live entertainment giant CTS Eventim has announced plans to build a new multi-purpose arena in Milan, northern Italy.

Scheduled for completion in 2025, the 16,000-capacity MSG (Milano Santa Giulia) arena will be one of the largest in Italy and will also include an outdoor area of more than 10,000 square metres for open-air events.

Construction is due to begin in autumn 2022 and investment over the duration of the project will amount to around €180 million.

Initially, the arena – part of the Milano Santa Giulia urban development project – will be used for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games after which CTS will continue to operate it.

The venue will compete with Oak View Group and Live Nation’s Santa Giulia Arena – which will also be utilised in the Olympics – as well as the 12,700-seat Mediolanum Forum in Assago, near Milan, which has served the city since 1990 and is one of two Italian members of the European Arena Association (EAA).

“Our new arena in Milan will be a must-play for all major tours”

An older open-air venue, the 10,000-capacity Arena Civica, which opened in 1807, is also capable of hosting concerts, as is the 80,000-cap. San Siro stadium.

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim, says: “Our work as venue operators is one of the outstanding success stories of CTS Eventim. We are very much looking forward to this new project, which will enable us to bring our expertise in the management of top international venues and the live entertainment business to bear.

“Our new arena in Milan will be a must-play for all major tours, and we will also be able to offer top events from the Eventim portfolio to the region around Milan and beyond in our own arena through the four Italian promoters in our Eventim Live promoter network. This is another excellent addition to our value chain.”

CTS Eventim’s venue portfolio also includes the Lanxess Arena (cap. 18,000) in Cologne, the KB Hallen (4,500) in Copenhagen, the Waldbühne (22,290) in Berlin and the Eventim Apollo (2,500) in London.

 


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CTS launches Singapore-based Eventim Live Asia

Leading international promoter and ticket agency CTS Eventim has announced the launch of Eventim Live Asia, an expansion of its European promoter alliance Eventim Live with a focus on China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The new company, headquartered in Singapore, is led by CEO Jason Miller, who, as senior vice-president of international and emerging markets for Live Nation, led that company’s touring activity across its Asia and the Middle East offices until he stepped down last year.

In addition to Eventim Live Asia, Eventim Live, formed in early 2019, includes 36 promoters in 15 countries, the most recent addition being Matt Schwarz’s DreamHaus in Germany. The launch of Eventim Live Asia, a joint venture with Miller, follows a similar tie-up with promoter Michael Cohl in North America, first announced last year.

“Following on from our joint venture with Michael Cohl in the US market, the launch of Eventim Live Asia marks another key milestone in achieving our strategic objective of offering tours and ticketing around the world,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of Bremen-based CTS Eventim. “This is a further sign that, as announced, CTS Eventim will emerge from the coronavirus crisis with renewed strength.”

 

Frithjof Pils, managing director of Eventim Live, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Jason Miller to the team. He has extensive experience in our industry in Asia at the highest level and has an excellent network of contacts. He will enable Eventim Live Asia to bring amazing concerts by leading international artists to fans in this major world region. We also want to intensify our work with local artists going forward.”

With Live Nation, Miller produced 80% of the highest-grossing Asian tours for western artists in the past decade, including Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Madonna, Maroon 5 and U2. Prior to joining LN Nation, Miller was an agent at CAA, where he worked with high-profile clients including Beyoncé, Jimmy Fallon, Kanye West and Stevie Wonder.

“The pandemic has created unprecedented global demand for live music and shared experience. With Asia representing over half of the world’s population and its fastest-growing middle class, there is no better time or place to be launching an event promotion company,” says Miller.

“Eventim Live’s tremendous resources, vision, experience, and respect across the live event industry make it the perfect joint venture partner.”

 


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CTS Eventim bolstered by €102m government aid

CTS Eventim will receive “extraordinary” Covid-19 financial aid from the German federal government for the months of November and December 2020.

The Munich-based, pan-European live entertainment confirmed that it would be receiving €102 million in government funding “to strengthen the result for the current financial year and the company’s liquidity”.

The federal government set up financial aid in order to compensate companies, institutions and self-employed people for lost sales during the months in which Germany went into lockdown.

Grants of up to 75% of sales from November and December 2019 were granted proportionally for the number of days of closure during the same months in 2020.

The funding for CTS comes after the company reported that group revenue in 2020 fell by 82.2% year-on-year to €256.8m (2019: €1,443bn). Ticketing and live entertainment were the hardest hit.

“CTS is superbly positioned when live shows return to concert halls and our business revives”

Revenue in the company’s ticketing division for the whole of 2020 was 73.7% lower year-on-year, at €126.6m (2019: €481.6m).

In the live entertainment division, revenue in the whole of 2020 was 86.1% lower year-on-year, at €136.8m (2019: €985.8m).

Despite the sharp drop in sales during 2020, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim said the company is “superbly positioned when live shows return to concert halls and our business revives”.

“In view of the increasing availability of vaccines and rapid tests, and the progress of vaccination campaigns, there are good prospects that our industry can start getting back to normal over the next few months,” he added.

Throughout 2020, the company continued the international expansion of its Eventim Live promoter network, establishing the Gadget abc Entertainment Group in Switzerland, partnering with legendary US promoter Michael Cohl, and acquiring a majority stake in the Barracuda Group in Austria.

In 2021, CTS acquired Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus, led by Matt Schwarz, taking the network up to 36 promoters in 15 countries.

 


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Booking fees in the dock in Germany

Verbraucherzentrale NRW, the Consumer Advice Centre of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in Germany, has brought legal action against CTS Eventim over the ticket agency’s non-refunding of booking fees on events cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Verbraucherzentrale sued Eventim in Munich after claiming to have received “massive [amounts of] complaints” from consumers in the state who received ticket money back less the booking fee. The cancelled shows were organised by a various promoters which had “commissioned Eventim to reimburse the ticket costs for cancelled events”, according to Verbraucherzentrale NRW, the North Rhine-Westphalian branch of Germany’s network of 51 consumer organisations.

The case reached the First District Court of Munich (Landgericht München I) on Wednesday 9 June, with both the Consumer Advice Centre and CTS Eventim claiming victory – the former because it secured a change to Eventim’s terms and conditions on ticket refunds, and the latter because the judgment confirmed that the promoter is responsible for overseeing ticket refunds, while it had dispensed with the T&Cs in question in October last year.

Wolfgang Schuldzinski, CEO of Verbraucherzentrale NRW, says the Consumer Advice Centre’s position is that, “in a large number of cases, Eventim wrongly withheld sums of money instead of repaying the entire ticket cost to consumers”.

The ruling confirmed that the ticket seller is “neither obliged to reimburse the ticket price nor the advance booking fee”

Following the court judgment, “if Eventim was commissioned to repay the ticket cost in the event of cancellations, those affected can now request Eventim to pay the outstanding amounts [the fees],” adds Schuldzinski. “This is a great success.”

CTS Eventim, meanwhile, welcomes the court judgement as a “clarification” that for postponed or cancelled events, “the organiser alone is always the contact point for ticket buyers” as opposed to the ticket agency.

According to Eventim, the Landgericht’s ruling confirmed that the ticket seller is “neither obliged to reimburse the ticket price nor the advance booking fee”, which is the responsibility of the concert organiser. CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenbgerg, who says his company should never have been the defendant in the case, criticises the lawsuit as nothing more “PR for their own ends” by Verbraucherzentrale NRW.

Additionally, the court found that tickets for shows which have been postponed – as opposed to cancelled outright – remain valid for the rescheduled events, according to MusikWoche. In Germany, a ticket voucher scheme allows promoters to issue vouchers for rescheduled events in lieu of cash refunds.

Both sides have a month to appeal the court’s verdict, which is not yet final.

 


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Eventim rolls out fanSALE platform in Scandinavia

CTS Eventim has launched its face-value ticket resale platform, fanSALE, in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

FanSALE is the first fully digital face-value platform in Scandinavia, and is already in use in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Finland and Brazil. In both Norway and Denmark, it is illegal to resell tickets for a profit.

When tickets are resold on the fanSALE platform, the original tickets are cancelled and new tickets issued in a new order, guaranteeing the new tickets and allowing for the resale of personal tickets when people can no longer attend an event.

“With fanSALE, Eventim is taking an important step in Scandinavia to help fans buy and sell tickets safely and legally”

“With fanSALE, Eventim is taking an important step in Scandinavia to help fans buy and sell tickets safely and legally amongst themselves,” says Jens Arnesen, CEO of Eventim Scandinavia.

“FanSALE guarantees that tickets cannot be sold for more than the original ticket price. At the same time, buyers are guaranteed genuine, valid tickets to the event.”

FanSALE is one of a number of capped-price resale services offered by the major international ticketing companies, along with See Tickets’ Fan-to-Fan, AXS’s MarketplaceTicketmaster ticket exchange and Ticketek Marketplace.

 


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DreamHaus appoints Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos

CTS Eventim’s new Berlin-based agency DreamHaus has officially announced the appointment of Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos as director of talent buying, effective from today (1 April).

Panagopoulos joins the agency from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria), where he served as director of A&R for over five years.

He joins the management team comprising CEO and managing partner Matt Schwarz, as well as Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla – all of whom previously worked at Live Nation GSA.

Panagopoulos joins the management team comprising Matt Schwarz, as well as Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla

Schwarz joined forces with CTS Eventim as head of eventimpresents in January this year, tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Following the Eventim acquistion, the team will be responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring (cap. 95,000) and Rock im Park (cap. 75,000) festivals, starting from the 2022 editions, along with eventimpresents.

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016.

DreamHaus will also collaborate with Kingstar on Vainstream Rockfest, after forming a strategic alliance with the Hamburg-based booking agency.

Kingstar will cooperate with DreamHaus on the Rock am Ring/im Park festivals.

 


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More Swiss festivals cancel “unfeasible” 2021 editions

OpenAir St.Gallen (1–4 July), Gurtenfestival (14–17 July), Zermatt Unplugged (15–25 July), Caribana Festival (16–20 July) and Thunerseespiele (14–28 August) have called it quits on their Swiss summer events for the second consecutive year.

Swiss festivals Paléo Festival Nyon, Greenfield Festival, Rock the Ring and Baloise Session have already called off their 2021 editions.

CTS Eventim’s OpenAir St.Gallen (OASG), which usually welcomes 30,000 guests each year, released a statement on Facebook saying a 2021 edition “is simply not feasible” due to the pandemic and the current ban on large events.

“The outlook for the summer has become more and more uncertain over the past few weeks and months,” reads the statement.

News of the recent cancellations comes days after the Swiss federal government announced an update to its event cancellation scheme, which seems to have left organisers and live associations more uncertain than ever about the viability of this year’s festival season.

“The outlook for the summer has become more and more uncertain over the past few weeks and months”

One of the main concerns of the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA) is whether the government will provide insurance for events that can only be carried out to a limited extent.

Stefan Breitenmoser, managing director of SMPA, says: “Should the original planning be maintained or can alternative formats be worked out? There are still no framework conditions and approval criteria for both. In addition, it is unclear what compensation organisers will receive if planning continues and the event has to be cancelled later or can only be carried out to a limited extent.”

Christoph Bill, president of the SMPA, says it boils down to a fundamental question: “Do we want to preserve cultural diversity in the long term?”

“Its economic importance and its role for the wellbeing of a large population are undisputed, but politicians and authorities still do not seem to recognise the seriousness and urgency of the situation. Is there also a lack of will? Does it even come in handy when the organisers cancel on their own initiative? Doesn’t anyone want to take responsibility on the part of the authorities? Is the federal system simply not suitable for a crisis?”

The SMPA is now calling for compensation for losses of more than 100% of the actual damage incurred

The SMPA is now calling for the opening steps and framework conditions until normal operations resume to be defined in a standardised manner across Switzerland, as well as a commitment to compensation for losses of more than 100% of the actual damage incurred – “without cantonal ceilings that distort competition, and rapid, pragmatic implementation of the protective umbrella that has been agreed”.

According to the SMPA, the following Swiss festivals are under pressure to make a decision now: Stars of Sounds Aarberg / Murten, blues’n’jazz Rapperswil, Montreux Jazz Festival, Open Air Frauenfeld, Openair Etziken, Open Air Lumnezia, Unique Moments Zurich, Blue Balls Festival, Basel Tattoo, Sion sous les étoiles, Flumserberg Open Air, Summer Stage Basel and Lake Live Festival.

The association says the following Swiss festivals have until the end of April 2021 to make fundamental decisions: Stars in Town, Musikfestwochen Winterthur, Hehre Open Air, Open Air Gampel, Royal Arena Festival, SummerDays Festival, Seaside Festival and JazzNoJazz.

 


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Eventim UK appoints Martin Fitzgerald as MD

CTS Eventim has appointed Martin Fitzgerald as managing director of Eventim UK, its London-based ticketing company.

Fitzgerald joins Eventim UK from his role as chief commercial officer at Vivendi’s See Tickets, where he spent 18 years.

He will begin the new role at Eventim UK on 30 March, working alongside John Gibson, who joined the company last year.

“Martin’s appointment reflects Eventim’s continued investment in our commitment to the UK, a core market for CTS Eventim”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, founder and CEO of CTS Eventim, says: “Martin’s appointment reflects Eventim’s continued investment in both our people and our commitment to the UK, a core market for CTS Eventim. I have no doubt that Martin and John will make a formidable team, creating new and exciting strategic partnerships.”

Fitzgerald says: “As our industry starts to recover, it’s an exciting time to join one of the leading providers of ticketing services and live entertainment. My philosophy has always been to work in partnership with clients, to deliver innovative technology solutions and services on behalf of the event organiser and a seamless and intuitive experience to the fans.

“I’m very much looking forward to working with John and the rest of the UK team to introduce new clients to Eventim’s impressive portfolio of ticketing technologies and trusted services.”

 


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ShowTime Budapest’s Márton Brády passes aged 54

Concert organiser Márton Brády, the founder and leader of ShowTime Budapest and Ticket Express, died of coronavirus complications on Saturday, March 20, at the age of 54.

Born in 1966, Brády began his career working for smaller companies as an organiser of international concerts. In 1994, he founded international concert agency ShowTime Budapest with Austrian partners, and debuted with the Rolling Stones’ first ever show in Hungary in 1995, held at Népstadion.

Márton also founded Ticket Express agency in the mid-1990s, becoming one of the leaders of the Hungarian cultural ticket sale market.

A long-time ILMC member, Brády’s company has promoted hundreds of international acts and more than 1,000 concerts with Hungarian performers since the mid-1990s.

ShowTime has brought to Hungary Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, Mike Oldfield, Eros Ramazzotti, Leonard Cohen, Pink, REM, Elton John, Simply Red, Deep Purple, Lionel Richie, Jamiroquai, Rod Stewart, Santana and David Copperfield, among others.

ShowTime debuted with the Rolling Stones’ first ever show in Hungary in 1995

The company has organised major concerts by such legendary Hungarian bands as the LGT Arena performances in 2013, and previously the performances of Piramis, the Hobo Blues Band, Zorán, Charlie and Tátrai Band.

Sony bought a stake in the company in 2010, before Brády bought it back in 2013, and since then he had been the sole owner of ShowTime Budapest.

Ticket Express operated as part of ShowTime until 2000, then became a member of CTS Eventim group. In addition to the domestic market, it is also present in the neighbouring countries. Ticket Express was also the first to launch an online ticket office in Hungary.

The team at ShowTime Budapest, which has been working together for 25 years, will continue the work that Brády started, although they say he is greatly missed.

Alex Nussbaumer, who had worked with Brády in the past, says: He was a good soul and big music lover. RIP, my friend.”

 


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Major Swiss festivals cancel 2021 editions

A number of Swiss festivals have called off 2021 editions, citing uncertainty about whether major events will be permitted to take place this summer.

The 45th instalment of the annual rock festival Paléo Festival Nyon, scheduled to take place between 19–25 July, has been cancelled as “the situation is still too uncertain to consider organising the festival in its usual form”.

However, the organisers revealed that they are working on a ‘Covid-compatible event’ with a reduced capacity and size, and an extended duration. Health conditions permitting, it will take place from 8 July to 8 August 2021.

Greenfield Festival 2021, due to take place in Interlaken, Bern, between 3–5 June with headliners Volbeat, Korn and Billy Talent, has also been called off.

“Just when we saw a light at the end of the tunnel, it moves even further away than it already was,” reads a statement from the organisers.

“We don’t know which rules might have to be followed, which capacity is allowed, which measures we would have to integrate”

“The situation around Covid-19 is simply not getting better fast enough internationally and in Switzerland in particular. Since we don’t know whether major events will be allowed at all, we simply lack planning certainty. We don’t know which rules might have to be followed, which capacity is allowed and which measures we would have to integrate.”

Rock the Ring (cap. 15,000) has also been cancelled for a second consecutive year due to “the lack of planning security for large events,” says the organiser. The event was planned for 17–19 June in Hinwil, with a line-up that included Foreigner, Three Doors Down and Airbourne.

However, CTS Eventim’s stable of Swiss events, which includes Open Air St Gallen (1–4 July) and SummerDays and Seaside Festival (3–4 September), are taking a wait-and-see approach.

On 4 February, a statement was published on their respective social media pages saying the organisers are “working on various scenarios and protection concepts” for each festival but that ultimately, it’s uncertain whether the events will be able to take place.

At the time of writing Blue Balls Festival is set to go ahead from 23–31 July in Lucerne; hip-hop festival Openair Frauenfeld is holding onto its 7–10 July date and pop event Zürich Openair is on for 25–28 August.

Swiss concert series Baloise Session became the first major European festival to cancel its in-person 2021 edition

Swiss concert series Baloise Session became the first major European festival to cancel its in-person 2021 edition in January, as organisers say it’s “impossible to plan with any certainty” due to the limitations of the pandemic.

While it was announced in February that Montreux Jazz Festival will take place at least partially in the digital realm in 2021, livestreaming all performances from its 55th edition as part of a plan to protect the festival against future disruption.

The lack of certainty around Switzerland’s summer season prompted the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA), along with 26 of the country’s festivals, to call for clarity on the conditions under which Swiss festivals can be held regularly and at full capacity without social distancing.

Last month’s appeal relayed three key requirements for the restart of Swiss festivals: a transparent strategy and uniform conditions for holding events safely, a continual review of measures to ensure they are proportionate to the risks posed, and an event cancellation fund that covers 100% of losses.

Elsewhere, in neighbouring Germany, CTS Eventim and Goodlive have cancelled a slate of the market’s major festivals.

 


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