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Top UK festivals report strong ticket sales

BST Hyde Park, TRNSMT and Lytham festivals have all reported strong sales following another huge weekend of live music in the UK.

Held for the first time since 2019, AEG’s 65,000-cap BST series in London expanded to three weekends, selling 530,000 tickets across nine shows and welcoming a further 70,000 people to its Open House programme of free events between the weekends.

Adele, the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam each headlined two nights, with Elton John, Eagles and Duran Duran also headlining shows. Support acts included Pixies, Stereophonics, Johnny Marr, Cat Power, Laura Mvula and Phoebe Bridgers.

“The demand for tickets was huge and we are very proud to have sold out the series”

“Like everyone in the festival business and across live music we are so happy to be back doing what we love and seeing music fans experiencing these great shows,” says AEG European Festivals CEO Jim King. “The calibre of artists we have had in Hyde Park was incredible with so many outstanding performances. The demand for tickets was huge and we are very proud to have sold out the series.”

In Scotland, DF Concerts’ three-day TRNSMT in Glasgow hosted 50,000 fans per day to see homegrown headliners Lewis Capaldi and Paolo Nutini, plus The Strokes and a supporting line-up including Sam Fender, Foals, Wolf Alice, Nile Rodgers + Chic, The Snuts, DMA’s and Sigrid.

“What an incredible weekend we’ve had,” says festival director Geoff Ellis. “We had the sun shining on Glasgow Green, a fantastic line up of over 70 artists across four stages and 50,000 incredible fans every day – we really couldn’t have asked for more.”

“TRNSMT marks the halfway point in Scotland’s record-breaking summer of music”

DF pressed ahead with a UK-heavy bill for TRNSMT last September after cancelling in 2020 due to Covid-19, but was able to return to business as usual this year.

“It was great to welcome back international artists to Glasgow Green, but also to see excited music fans enjoying our best homegrown talent, with Paolo Nutini closing day one and The Snuts getting the crowd going on Saturday,” adds Ellis. “TRNSMT marks the halfway point in Scotland’s record-breaking summer of music and I’d like to thank the artists, the fans and everyone who works extremely hard behind the scenes to make this festival happen.”

TRNSMT’s 2023 edition has been confirmed for 7-9 July next year, with ticket prices frozen for a limited time.

“It has taken us three years to bring Lytham Festival back and we came back in style”

Elsewhere, Live Nation’s Cuffe and Taylor attracted almost 200,000 fans over 10 days to its flagship Lytham Festival in Lancashire, which returned from 28 June to 10 July after a three-year absence, headlined by Diana Ross, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, Duran Duran, Nile Rodgers + Chic, Simply Red, Elbow, The Strokes, Alison Moyet and Paul Weller. The 20,000-cap event will revert to five days next year.

“More than 30 artists presenting 10 nights of live music has been absolutely phenomenal,” says co-founder Peter Taylor. “It’s taken us three years to bring Lytham Festival back and we came back in style. It has also been an absolute joy to see tens of thousands of people joining together with their friends and family to experience some of the best nights of their lives.”

The latest success comes on the heels of what is believed to be the Britain’s biggest weekend of live music ever at the end of June, with more than one million people attending concerts.

 


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Scarborough OAT to smash 100k ticket mark for ’22

Ticket sales at the UK’s Scarborough Open Air Theatre (OAT) this summer are set to smash the 100,000 mark for the first time ever.

Sam Fender launches the 8,000-cap venue’s 2022 season with a sell-out out show on Friday (27 May).

More than 97,000 tickets have already been sold for this year’s 17 shows – breaking the North Yorkshire venue’s sales record of 91,431 set in 2018 – including headline concerts from the likes of Bryan Adams, Christina Aguilera, Lewis Capaldi, Westlife and George Ezra, which is programmed by Live Nation’s Cuffe & Taylor.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the first ever concert at the council-owned OAT, which originally closed in 1986 before reopening in 2010 following a £3.5 million refurbishment.

“To break the attendance record this year is something we are really proud of”

“What a summer it’s going to be as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of this brilliant venue,” says Cuffe & Taylor director Peter Taylor. “We pride ourselves on bringing music’s biggest stars to Scarborough and delivering a diverse programme that has something for everyone. This is reflected in the fact almost 100,000 music fans already have their tickets ahead of our first show of the year.

“These shows are really important, not only for music fans and the venue – which is a jewel in the Yorkshire coast’s crown – but for the local economy and the many thousands of people who work in visitor-related industries.

“It has been a tough few years for live music and the hospitality sector so to break the attendance record this year is something we are really proud of.”

This summer’s programme also includes headline shows from Tom Jones, Elbow, The Script, Tears For Fears, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Crowded House, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Simply Red, A-ha and Jane McDonald’s special Platinum Jubilee Concert in honour of The Queen on 4 June.

North West-based Cuffe & Taylor also secured an exclusive deal to programme live music events at the 5,500-cap Piece Hall in Halifax earlier this year.

The promoter’s flagship Lytham Festival is also returning after a two-year absence as an expanded 10-day event between 28 June and 10 July with headliners Diana Ross, The Strokes, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Duran Duran, Elbow, Simply Red, Tears For Fears and Paul Weller.

 


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Cuffe and Taylor to programme Halifax’s Piece Hall

Live Nation’s Cuffe and Taylor have secured an exclusive five-year deal to programme live music events at The Piece Hall in Halifax, UK.

The North West-based promoter will co-promote its biggest ever summer season of live music in 2022 with The Piece Hall Trust, with headline shows by Jessie Ware, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra, Tom Grennan, Paloma Faith, Paul Weller, Primal Scream and Tom Jones.

The Live at the Piece Hall series will take place within the venue’s 5,500-cap courtyard across June and July.

“We are beyond delighted to confirm we have entered into an exclusive five-year agreement with The Piece Hall Trust,” says Cuffe and Taylor founder Peter Taylor. “This historic and iconic Yorkshire venue is simply stunning. We pledge to build on the work already undertaken by the Trust and deliver an exciting programme which has wide appeal for music fans.

“Cuffe and Taylor have an amazing track record in delivering live shows at iconic and historic venues across the UK”

“Live Nation work with some of the biggest music acts in the world and we cannot wait to bring major artists here to Halifax to play this special venue.”

Since 2016, Cuffe and Taylor has exclusively programmed all live music events at the 8,000-cap Scarborough Open Air Theatre, also in Yorkshire, including headline shows by the likes of Britney Spears, Lionel Richie, Kylie Minogue, Stereophonics, Biffy Clyro, Duran Duran and Lewis Capaldi.

They have also staged UK tours with Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey and Little Mix, while also curating major festivals and events such as Lancashire’s Lytham Festival and Greenwich Music Time.

“Cuffe and Taylor have an amazing track record in delivering live shows at iconic and historic venues across the UK, and we look forward to working with them to build on our great track record to date,” adds Piece Hall CEO Nicky Chance-Thompson.

 


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Sam Griffiths joins growing Cuffe and Taylor theatre division

Cuffe and Taylor has hired Sam Griffiths as a senior promoter in its theatre touring division, following a successful 12 months for the fledgling business unit.

Griffiths (pictured) joins the British concert and event promoter from Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), where he programmed several No1 musical theatre and play tours, as well as looking after music, comedy, tribute and variety one-nighters at ATG’s 21 theatres and concert halls.

“I am excited to be joining the theatre division of this growing company, at a time of exponential growth in the live entertainment industry in the UK and internationally,” he comments. “After working with large-scale touring productions, I’m looking forward to bringing this experience to the team, and to start developing new talent and productions to enhance Cuffe & Taylor’s fantastic portfolio of live concerts and theatre productions.”

Cuffe and Taylor’s theatre division, based at parent company Live Nation’s offices in Argyll Street, London, launched last summer and is headed up by director of theatre touring Ben Hatton. A year on, it has sold more than 180,000 tickets to shows including John Barrowman, Sarah Brightman, Lea Salonga, Britain’s Got Talent star Robert White and new Tina Turner musical What’s Love Got to Do with It?.

Upcoming projects include Whitney: Queen of the Night, which will tour the UK in 2020 following its debut at London’s Savoy Theatre in March, and new dance show Heartbeat of Home, from the producers of Riverdance.

“Stepping into theatre production has long been the aim”

“We’re approaching 400 shows for our first year, and are still taking bookings in 2019,” says Hatton, which is a great testament to how well these tours are doing – that venues are wanting to add us to their calendar at this stage in the year.

“We’ve got one of the most varied rosters out there; from comedians touring to small venues up and down the country, to tribute shows selling out in the West End and multiple productions being staged at iconic venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium.

“With Heartbeat of Home coming up in the autumn, we have our eyes on further West End opportunities, and are planning our debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for this summer.”

Working alongside Griffiths is senior promoter Cheryl Nicholls. She comments: “Cuffe and Taylor has been creating and promoting incredibly successful theatre tours alongside huge outdoor concerts for several years now, and it is exciting to see where we will go in the next year, with new projects constantly in discussion and development.

“Stepping into theatre production has long been the aim. We are producing and promoting shows for all ages and interests, and I can’t wait to bring our first residency to the West End with Heartbeat Of Home, while continuing to develop new and exciting productions into 2020 and beyond.”

 


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Scarborough OAT breaks records third year in a row

2018 brings another record-breaking summer season for Scarborough Open Air Theatre (OAT). More than 82,000 fans have already brought tickets to upcoming performances and concert promoter Cuffe and Taylor are hopeful this number could rise to over 100,000 before the end of the season.

Scarborough OAT, Europe’s largest open-air arena, is set to play host to a series of high profile gigs in the coming months. Lionel Richie will kick off the season next Tuesday (19 June) with a sell-out show. Following Richie will be another 15 gigs, from the likes of Nile Rodgers and Chic, Noel Gallagher and Stereophonics.

With 82,000 tickets sold already, organisers are hoping the OAT will bring a multi-million pound boost to the local tourist economy in Yorkshire. Peter Taylor, director of Cuffe and Taylor, says: “The shows are not only brilliant for music fans but for the local tourism economy with visitors coming here from across the UK and around the world to see a sensational series of shows.

“The Open Air Theatre is definitely showcasing Scarborough to not only a UK but international audience.”

“To have out-sold last year’s attendance figure of 75,000 before the first show has taken place proves what an incredible line-up Scarborough OAT has this year.”

The news of the coastal venue’s successes comes after a particularly prosperous couple of years. Recently themselves acquired by Live Nation, promoter Cuffe and Taylor have exclusively booked for the Scarborough OAT since 2016 and have broken records year on year since. Building on these successes, work has also been done to increase the venue’s capacity.

Speaking about the ongoing partnership between Cuffe and Taylor and Scarborough OAT, area director for Welcome to Yorkshire Janet Deacon says: “Cuffe and Taylor and Live Nation have really taken this venue to the next level and have made it the place to go for amazing live entertainment.

“The Open Air Theatre is definitely showcasing Scarborough to not only a UK but international audience.”

 


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LN’s Cuffe & Taylor renews Scarborough OAT deal

Cuffe & Taylor, the UK regional promoter acquired by Live Nation in January, has agreed a new ten-year deal to exclusively programme all live music events at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre (OAT) in Yorkshire.

Preston-based Cuffe & Taylor, which took on programming at Scarborough OAT in 2016, will now stage all concerts at the 5,454-capacity venue – Europe’s largest open-air theatre – through 2028.

The promoter is also in discussions with Scarborough Borough Council about installing a permanent standing area in front of the stage – which currently sits on the island in the middle of a lake – increasing capacity to 7,456 (seated) or 7,900 (standing).

“We are delighted with the new and exclusive ten-year deal between Live Nation and Scarborough Borough Council to stage events at the theatre,” says Cuffe & Taylor director Peter Taylor. “Our partnership with the council has worked very well in the last two years, and this new deal allows us to continue working together to secure a bright and exciting future for this marvellous venue.

“This new long-term deal enables all parties to plan even better for the future”

“We have enjoyed two record breaking years since we took over programming live music events here in 2016, with attendances rising year-on-year. In 2017 sales again have broken all box office records.

“This new long-term deal enables all parties to plan even better for the future. The theatre is now on the map, with not only British artists but major international stars too, and we are determined to continue to bring the biggest and best acts to the beautiful Yorkshire coast.

“We are now working not only on next year’s line-up, but on 2019 and beyond. We cannot wait to reveal another wonderful series of shows for next summer, which we feel sure will break records again.”

More than 75,000 people attended concerts by artists including Little Mix, Olly Murs, Jess Glynne, Cliff Richard and the Beach Boys at Scarborough OAT this summer.

 


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Live Nation acquires UK promoter Cuffe & Taylor

In its second deal with an independent British promoter in the space of three days, Live Nation has announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in Preston-based Cuffe & Taylor.

Founded in 2009 by Daniel Cuffe and Peter Taylor, Cuffe & Taylor’s portfolio include Greenwich Music Time, in south-east London, and the local Lytham Festival. It also has exclusive booking rights to the Scarborough Open Air Theatre (6,500-cap.).

The company will continue to be led by Cuffe and Taylor as joint directors.

They comment: “After an incredible seven years operating as an independent promoter in the UK, we are now looking forward to our new life as part of the Live Nation family.

“Through this deal with Cuffe & Taylor we are able to offer fans in the UK more choices than ever before”

“It’s very much business as usual at Cuffe & Taylor as we continue to grow and develop our core brands of Lytham Festival, Greenwich Music Time and Scarborough Open Air Theatre, while also developing our touring operation, taking established artists into new and exciting regional venues.”

Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino adds: “Our mission at Live Nation has never been clearer: We want to connect fans with the artists they love, and through this deal with Cuffe & Taylor we are able to offer fans in the UK more choices than ever before.”

Upcoming tours for Cuffe & Taylor include Olly Murs, Cliff Richard, Bryan Adams and The Beach Boys.

On Friday Live Nation announced it would be launching a joint venture with V Festival promoter Metropolis Music, led by Bob Angus.

 


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