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ILMC 34: Live business regroups after Covid storm

Co-chaired by Live Nation’s Phil Bowdery and CAA’s Maria May, the Open Forum session featured remote guest speakers Alona Dmukhovsla and Sasha Yerchenko from Ukraine, who updated delegates about the current situation in their homeland.

Yerchenko from SEA talked about the “terrible and awful war” they are experiencing. “It feels like we live in two different worlds now,” she said. Explaining that she and her 15-year-old daughter stayed in Kyiv, she said every citizen was now volunteering for various causes to support the war effort. “My daily routine is not just about concerts, it is about delivering humanitarian aid to older people and people in need,” she told delegates.

“If Ukraine fails, the whole of Europe will fail”

Dmukhovsla, of Music Export Ukraine, said every single Ukrainian believes they are responsible for the country’s mutual victory. On the music side, she said she is coordinating efforts to have Ukrainian bands play at festivals around Europe. And she highlighted the partnership with ARTmania in Romania and Pohoda Festival in Slovakia to find work for some of the live music industry professionals who are desperate to find employment. “If Ukraine fails, the whole of Europe will fail,” she warned.

Codruta Vulcu from ARTmania urged ILMC attendees to participate in the ARTery.community not-for-profit programme that centralises jobs at events for Ukrainian professionals “so that they can be treated with dignity rather than end up in European capital cities doing menial jobs for unskilled workers.”

Looking back over the past two years, Rauha Kyyrö (Fullsteam Agency) talked of the frustration in getting government assistance in Finland and the fact that freelancers and musicians in particular suffered when they could not work because of pandemic restrictions. However, she noted her company had survived and had organised some highly successful livestream events that captured the imagination of Finnish fans.

Kornett said that convincing baby boomers to return to live events would be a trickier task

Marty Diamond (Wasserman) noted that some streaming platforms that emerged through the pandemic were interesting because they were interactive, and some clients had embraced the technology. But he said persuading other clients to use livestreaming was not something he would do.

However, May noted that the opportunities for additional income and for allowing access to disabled people or fans who cannot make gigs means that livestreaming is here to stay. And she also lauded the opportunities that the metaverse might offer to concerts and live events for people who prefer to remain on their sofa.

Detlef Kornett (DEAG) said that convincing baby boomers to return to live events would be a trickier task, so bands that attract fans of a certain age group could struggle in the months ahead.

Talking about the return to touring, Diamond revealed that on the recent Louis Tomlinson tour the audience was noticeably younger and there was a degree of education needed to remind people how to attend shows, while on the latest Snow Patrol tour there was a degree of slippage in terms of fans who didn’t show up for whatever reason. And he noted that he is seeing ticket price rises in America, while many events are still priced at pre-Covid rates.

No-show rates had reduced from 40% last year in the UK, but spiked again during Omicron

Alex Hill (AEG Europe) said no-show rates had reduced from 40% last year in the UK, but spiked again during Omicron, however confidence among fans seems to be slowly returning. Diamond said this mirrored what is happening in America, where he also said merch rates have rocketed with fans eager to get their hands on t-shirts and the likes.

Having asked their guests about the Covid experiences and the challenges and opportunities that brought with it, the co-chairs moved the conversation on to the very real problems of the supply chain where both staff and equipment are in short supply.

May noted that some of the festivals that she is working with have dropped performance areas because they cannot physically find the stages for their events.

Meanwhile, Amy Thomson (Hipgnosis Songs Fund) explained that she had actually closed down her artist management operation just prior to Covid and while in isolation went down a rabbit hole where she looked at exactly where the money goes from performance rights around the world. And she criticised PRS in particular for increasing rates for struggling artists who turned to livestreaming to earn some money. As a result, she revealed details of a campaign to make performance rights more transparent and push for itemised statements that show exactly what the breakdown of payments are to rights holders.

Voicing their support for the people of Ukraine, the panellists concluded by talking about the year ahead and the hard work that will be needed to negotiate the hyper inflationary conditions that face everyone. Kornett predicted that at next year’s ILMC we will be talking about all the problems we had to deal with in fall and winter 2022 and the fact that ticket prices will only be going in one direction.

 


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DEAG on the road to recovery after strong 2021

Deutsche Entertainment (DEAG) has reported a strong fourth quarter and a significant increase in revenue and earnings in the financial year 2021.

The Berlin-based live entertainment group saw its revenue hit €91 million in 2021, up 82% from €49.9m in 2020.

In addition, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) rose by 144% from €9m in 2020 to €22.1m in 2021.

DEAG says the increases in earnings and revenue are down to “a significant upturn in operating activities” in the second half of 2021.

The promoter and ticket agency owns businesses in Germany, Switzerland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK – which has been fully open since last summer.

“DEAG has weathered the pandemic comparatively well over the past two years, which have not been easy for the entire live entertainment industry due to Covid-19,” says professor Peter Schwenkow. “We stand on strong legs, have successfully continued our expansion course in Germany and Europe and are currently experiencing an increasing return to normal for our business activities in all our core markets and high demand for tickets for concerts and events.”

“We are excellently positioned for future growth with our broad portfolio of events and our strong financial position”

Last year, the company delisted from the stock market after 23 years as a listed company, with CEO Peter Schwenkow telling IQ that DEAG could raise more funds as a private company than on the financial markets.

The company later announced it raised more than €6m to fund future acquisitions in “key markets” such as literary events production company Fane Productions in the UK.

“We are excellently positioned for future growth with our broad portfolio of events and our strong financial position,” continues Schwenkow. “Our ticket sales are at an above-average level and we have started the current year with plenty of tailwind.

“In the UK, booking levels are already back to pre-crisis levels and in our other core markets they are approaching 2019 levels again, the year before the corona pandemic broke out. We will offer visitors hundreds of events over the next few months and set off event fireworks.”

Schewnkow recently told IQ the company was seeing a 50-80% increase in ticket sales compared to pre-pandemic.

In view of the recovery in its core markets, strong ticket sales and growth from the companies acquired in 2021, DEAG says it expects a significant improvement in EBITDA and further revenue increases in 2022.

 


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Ticket sales soar past pre-pandemic levels

Top promoters and ticketing firms including DEAG, Dice, Event Genius and The Ticket Factory say that current ticket sales are even higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Event Genius, which serves more than 50 countries worldwide, says its ticket sales are outstripping 2019 levels by more than 25%.

“It’s been an incredibly strong and heartening start to 2022,” says the company’s CEO, Benjamin Leaver. “Demand for events is arguably at an all-time high, and we see lots of potential for growth this year which is immensely encouraging.

“We’re expecting 2022 and the next few years to become a landmark period for the events industries.”

According to an Event Genius customer survey conducted at the beginning of this year, fans are also digging a little deeper into their pockets for events.

“We’re expecting 2022 and the next few years to become a landmark period for the events industries”

“Such is the demand for events and experiences – both domestically and abroad – event-goers are now spending up to three times more on their domestic and international event trips than even pre-Covid levels,” Leaver says.

Dice, a UK-based mobile ticketing and discovery platform for live events and live streams, has also seen a replenished demand for live events since the pandemic.

“With the venues and festivals we can draw comparisons from, we’ve seen fan demand for live events higher than it was before the pandemic,” Andrew Foggin, global head of music at Dice, tells IQ. “The industry was in great shape before the pandemic, and it’s encouraging to see that it’s picking up where it left off.”

Foggin has witnessed a particularly strong demand for breakthrough artists such as PinkPantheress and Fred Again, each of which sold out multiple shows in minutes. “We’re generally seeing tickets selling out faster, with fans joining our Waiting List for sold-out shows in higher numbers than we’ve ever seen,” he says.

“We’re generally seeing tickets selling out faster”

Elsewhere, Berlin-based DEAG, whose core markets include Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark, has reported a 50-80% increase in ticket sales compared to pre-pandemic.

DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow says that family entertainment, concerts, and spoken word events are selling best at the moment, although he also explains that the dramatic increase is partly attributable to the company’s acquisition of six promoters during the pandemic.

“We are very much convinced we will see a record year, just by delivering the 5,000-plus shows we have on sale,” he recently told IQ.

Elsewhere, The Ticket Factory, one of the UK’s leading national ticketing agents, says its return to pre-pandemic levels of ticket sales is primarily driven by A-list artists.

“We are very much convinced we will see a record year”

“A busy schedule of major shows including the likes of Stormzy, Sam Fender and Little Mix, has certainly been one of the key drivers,” Richard Howle, director of ticketing at The Ticket Factory, tells IQ.

“But we’ve also been well aware that for many of our clients, 2022 is the first year since Covid where they’ll be able to run their usual annual events. So, not only are we feeling optimistic about the volume of current ticket sales – driven primarily by the A-list artists – but also our future pipeline with the return of several major events.”

The ticketing company, is owned by UK venue operator NEC Group and is the official box office for the NEC Birmingham as well as a ticket seller for many of the UK’s major music festivals.

“As the live events industry starts to feel more reminiscent of pre-pandemic times, we’re expecting more peaks than troughs this year – even bigger than what we’re experiencing right now,” adds Howle.

The Ticket Factory’s Richard Howle chairs the Ticketing: All change please! session at this year’s International Live Music Conference with guest speakers including Dice’s Amy Oldham, Ticketmaster’s Sarah Slater and others.

 


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DEAG CEO bullish as German ‘Freedom Day’ confirmed

DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow is predicting a record 2022 after the German government unveiled its roadmap back to full capacity live events.

With most coronavirus rules already or about to be lifted in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands, Germany has now confirmed a gradual, three-step approach to reopening, culminating in a long-awaited “Freedom Day” on 20 March, amid falling infection numbers.

Beginning with the removal of restrictions on private indoor meetings for the vaccinated, capacity limits on major outdoor events will be raised from 10,000 to 25,000 (or 75% capacity) on 4 March, with clubs also allowed to reopen from that date. Most other Covid curbs will then be axed from 20 March, although basic protective measures such as mask-wearing will remain.

Berlin-based DEAG reported a 126% increase in sales in its most recent financial report, and Schwenkow tells IQ he is confident of the touring market is on an upward trajectory, while acknowledging the ongoing issues it faces with regards to rescheduled shows, re-staffing and the supply chain.

“We are very much convinced we will see a record year”

“We are very much convinced we will see a record year, just by delivering the 5,000-plus shows we have on sale,” he says. “Probably not with the full profit margins due to lack of personnel and by accepting higher costs at ticket prices from 2020 and 2021, but still strong.”

Over in Austria, where measures will be lifted on 5 March, Goodlive Artists Austria’s Silvio Huber warns there are still major obstacles on the live sector’s road to recovery.

“We are glad that restrictions will be lifted soon. It’s about time after two years of uncertainty, worries and nearly no shows,” he tells IQ. “On the other hand, we will face lots of challenges and 2022 will be a tough ride for sure. The market is packed with shows, there is an immense lack of experienced local crews and we will see a significant rise in production costs, rentals and more.

“Additionally we shouldn’t forget that we are not used to a pre-pandemic workload yet! I guess this will be the hardest challenge for our industry this year. I’m really looking forward though as I’m convinced we will overcome all these difficulties.”

“The sale of tickets for regularly planned events will only start slowly and the market will only recover after several months”

Switzerland will also lift almost all pandemic restrictions from midnight on 18 February. Swiss trade body Alliance of Organizer Associations has welcomed the planned easing, but pointed out that it will be months before public confidence is restored and ticket sales return to pre-pandemic levels.

“On the one hand, the existing measures and the cautious behaviour of the public led to the cancellation or postponement of almost all major events planned until the second quarter of 2022,” it said in a statement. “In the same period, almost all events with international artists had to be postponed or cancelled. This presents the industry with the problem of a production backlog and the resulting oversaturation of the market. It can therefore be assumed that the sale of tickets for regularly planned events will only start slowly and the market will only recover after several months.

“On the other hand, the event industry is subject to numerous international dependencies, which – despite easing in Switzerland – continues to pose planning uncertainties for the industry.

“These special circumstances and difficulties in the event industry must be taken into account by ensuring support and compensation measures for as long as there are restrictions and also for an after-effect period of at least 12 months. The latter is also urgently indicated because the lead time for planning large events is several months to one and a half years.”

 


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ILMC changes dates and venue for 2022 conference

This year’s edition of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) has been pushed back, in light of the rising number of Omicron cases and various restrictions across the world.

ILMC 34 will now take place from 26–29 April 2022, and the conference will return to its longstanding home, the Royal Garden Hotel in London, which will be reopening in early April following an extensive refurbishment.

This year’s Arthur Awards, which take place as part of ILMC’s ‘Great Indoors’ Gala Dinner, will move to Thursday 28 April. Hosted by CAA’s Emma Banks, the live music industry’s Oscar-equivalents remain at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel.

Attracting 1,200 of the world’s top live music professionals from over 40 countries, ILMC is unparalleled in its international scope and appeal, making it particularly important that proper precautions are taken during this pandemic.

ILMC head Greg Parmley says: “We’re clearly still living in unusual times, but by delaying ILMC slightly, we can ensure that the world’s top live music and entertainment professionals are able to unite in person, and that this year’s edition of the conference is as packed and productive as ever.”

This year’s supporters, sponsors and key partners are fully behind the move.

“By delaying ILMC slightly, we can ensure that the world’s top live music professionals are able to unite in person”

John Reid, president, Live Nation EMEA, says: “Live Nation are proud to sponsor ILMC and we look forward to seeing everyone on the conference’s new 2022 dates in late April.”

Detlef Kornett, executive board member, CMO and international business affairs at DEAG, added: “This move at this time is the right one, and will ensure this year’s ILMC is a fantastic edition. All at DEAG are looking forward to seeing everyone in-person in late April.”

Andrew Parsons, MD at Ticketmaster UK, commented: “As a long-standing partner of ILMC, we are really looking forward to the industry getting back together in person at the end of April.”

With ILMC’s date change, 2022 will see the Green Events & Innovations conference take place within the main conference programme on Friday 29 April, and the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) taking place on Tuesday 26 April. IPM is expanding its programming in 2022 to include a day-long tranche of sessions by the Event Safety & Security Summit (E3S).

The International Live Music Conference has been the foremost meeting place for live music professionals worldwide for over 30 years. In addition to its main conference, ILMC also produces the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM), the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), Futures Forum, The Event Safety & Security Summit (E3S) and the International Festival Forum (IFF).

Full information about the conference including schedule, events and partners is at 34.ilmc.com.

 


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New restrictions in Germany: Promoters react

Germany’s national and regional leaders have moved to ban unvaccinated people from much of public life, including live music venues.

In a bid to curb the fourth wave of Covid-19, only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid will be allowed in cultural venues, restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops.

According to outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel, vaccinations could be made mandatory by February.

The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) was already in operation in some German states but it will now be enforced nationwide.

The 2G policy is part of a wider set of restrictions that will see clubs close in areas where 350 cases have been recorded per 100,000 people in the past seven days (the national rate is over 400).

Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees while indoor events are restricted to 50% capacity with a maximum of 5,000 attendees. Masks are mandatory at all events.

“[The 2G rule] encourages vaccination and it is a high vaccination rate that our industry needs in order to return to normal”

German promoters have welcomed the nationwide implementation of the 2G rule but expressed major concerns about varying restrictions on social distancing and capacity, and emphasised the need for further financial support in 2022.

“We believe that setting clear rules is helpful and good for our business, as long as they are sensible and rational and therefore welcome the 2G rules,” says Detlef Kornett, CEO of Berlin-based promoter and ticket agency, DEAG.

“The live industry pushed government already in the summer of this year to introduce the 2G rule for all live events. It takes away the confusion about tests, certificates and how to check and record them which overall makes operations of a live event easier. But it also encourages vaccination and it is a high vaccination rate that our industry needs in order to return to normal.

“However the 2G rule is then accompanied by capacity and social distancing– rules that vary by federal state in Germany, by indoor and outdoor and these rules are subject to interpretation.

“However that variation of rules makes touring and even single concerts impossible and results in uncertainties and injustices throughout Germany. The end result is that live events are in some instances made impossible or economically unsound.

“That variation of rules makes touring and even single concerts impossible”

“The live industry is facing again a ban to operate and provide their service to consumers which is devastating in the end,” he concludes.

Dieter Semmelmann, CEO of Semmel Concerts, believes the new 2G rule may incentivise live music fans to get vaccinated in order to attend concerts.

According to the promoter, Semmelmann has already produced a myriad of concerts with the 2G rule and has found that the vaccination rate across their 3G events is “very high”.

However, the Semmel Concerts CEO says he’s concerned about how the new restrictions will impact demand for live music.

“The acceptance of events going on sale currently or during the pandemic remains weak. Thus governmental bridging support for the live-entertainment industry will also be necessary in 2022.

“Besides that, a solid commitment that at least vaccinated and recovered people will definitely be able to attend concerts in the future and buy tickets with a good conscience would be of crucial importance,” he adds.

Germany is treading a similar path to neighbouring country Austria, which previously imposed a lockdown on unvaccinated residents and recently became the first European country to announce mandatory Covid vaccinations.


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DEAG rebounds as UK business boosts Q3 earnings

Berlin-based Deutsche Entertainment Group AG (DEAG) has reported a 126% increase in sales for Q3 2021, thanks largely to the performance of its UK business.

After the first six months of the year were severely impacted by the pandemic, sales in the third quarter soared from €4 million to €16.7m, while EBITDA rose by 617% from €600,000 to €4.3m.

The upturn is mostly attributed to the UK, DEAG’s operating most important market outside Germany, where concerts are already taking place again at full capacity. Its Kilimanjaro Live subsidiary has organised sold-out concerts and tours by the likes of Gorillaz in the region. The first events have also been held in Germany.

Sales revenues amounted to €24.1m whereas, in the nine-month period in 2020 when the first quarter was only slightly affected by the pandemic, revenues were €39.1m.

DEAG and the entire live entertainment industry are finally gaining momentum again

“DEAG and the entire live entertainment industry are finally gaining momentum again after well over a year without concerts and events,” says company CEO Peter Schwenkow. “We look forward to offering our visitors hundreds of concerts and events in the months to come and expect to achieve a significant increase in earnings in the fourth quarter.

“In the meantime, the situation with the epidemic in Europe is leading to a daily reassessment of the current situation in all national markets. We are adequately protected against possible risks arising for us from the currently rising corona figures by extensive measures taken by the respective country governments and our insurance coverage. Our very robust financial position and a uniquely high event density for 2022 show our excellent positioning for growth in the coming year.”

The group also credits its ticketing platforms, the companies acquired in 2021 as part of DEAG’s acquisition and integration strategy, together with the provision of new services, for the improved performance. In addition, it mentions the enormous cost-cutting programme in the group as well as inflows from subsidy programmes, which DEAG has taken advantage of in all national markets, and its continued full insurance coverage.

DEAG, which reports strong advance sales for events in 2022, has expanded its successful Christmas Garden format to 18 locations – eight of them in other European countries – in the 2021/2022 season. New additions in Germany include Cologne, Frankfurt/Main and Hanover, as well as internationally in Paris, Barcelona and Windsor Park in London.

“Based on these, the significant revival in the UK and growth impulses from the companies acquired in 2021, DEAG expects another significant increase in earnings with high visibility in the fourth quarter of 2021,” concludes the report.

Last week, Munich-based live entertainment giant CTS Eventim posted “encouraging” financial results for Q3 2021, powered by improved ticket sales.

 


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DEAG acquires Fane Productions via Kilimanjaro

Germany’s DEAG (Deutsche Entertainment AG) has announced the acquisition of literary events production company Fane Productions via its subsidiary Kilimanjaro.

Through the acquisition, DEAG is “successfully expanding its business activities in the UK, the company’s most important secondary market,” according to a statement from the Berlin-based live entertainment group company.

In the UK market, DEAG has already acquired a majority stake in UK Live in June 2021, as well as a majority stake in UK ticketing vendor Gigantic Holdings in December 2019.

This follows the company’s acquisition of promoter The Flying Music Group in 2017 and Belladrum Festival in Scotland in 2018.

Meanwhile, Kilimanjaro acquired a stake in Collective Form in early 2021, and launched Irish promoter Singular Artists in 2020 along with DEAG.

Founded in 2017, Fane Productions has hosted sold-out live events for talent including Margaret Atwood, Malala Yousafzai and Grayson Perry. In 2020, Fane launched an online arm that has “revolutionised” the way virtual book events are delivered. The company has offices in the UK and Australia.

“After a year of exponential growth and our busiest autumn ever, it’s the perfect time to join forces”

Stuart Galbraith, CEO at Kilimanjaro Live, says: “Having known Alex for several years we are pleased to welcome Fane Productions into the Kili Group. We look forward to working with Alex for many years to come and expanding and growing the Fane family both in the UK and internationally.”

Alex Fane, MD at Fane Productions, adds: “I’m delighted to be partnering with DEAG and Kilimanjaro Live as we look to our next steps as a company. After a year of exponential growth and our busiest autumn ever, it’s the perfect time to join forces with an industry leader who understands our business and can offer us the expertise and investment we need to expand our offer within the UK and beyond.”

Jonny Geller, CEO of The Curtis Brown Group, comments: “We were all excited at Curtis Brown to launch Fane Productions into the world of literary and live events back in 2017 and many of our clients have worked happily with their team over the years. We are proud to have seen Fane grow over the years and are delighted that they have found a new home in Kilimanjaro and we wish them many more years of spreading the joy of reading throughout the country.”

Earlier this year, DEAG raised another €6 million to fund acquisitions, and says it recently enlisted the services of a “renowned American investment bank” to identify new opportunities outside its “core markets of Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark”.

 


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DEAG welcomes 20,000+ for Potsdam palace shows

Despite ongoing restrictions on large events in Germany, promoter DEAG was able to bring together more than 20,000 people in Potsdam on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 August for two evenings of French-themed live entertainment.

After a hiatus in 2020, Potsdamer Schlössernacht (Potsdam Palace Night) returned to the Sanssouci Palace Park with the theme Les Rendez-vous au Park Sanssouci, with guests including the actors Benjamin Sadler, Esther Schweins, Benno Fürmann, Dietmar Bär, Andrea Sawatzki and Christian Berkel, and the theatre companies Quidams and Sol’Air.

Other entertainment at the sold-out events included illuminations, projections, tightrope walking and a fire and light show.

Potsdamer Schlössernacht 2021 was able to go ahead as a result of a “comprehensive hygiene concept”, says organiser DEAG, which included halving the normal capacity of the event.

“More than 20,000 visitors found their way to this year’s Potsdam Palace Night despite difficult conditions and were rewarded”

Around 9,000 people attended the open-air show on Friday, while 12,500 were present on Saturday.

“More than 20,000 visitors found their way to this year’s Potsdam Palace Night despite difficult conditions and were rewarded: with, at last, fun walks and good humour, the most beautiful entertainment, and the best pleasure with culinary highlights,” comments DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow. “We would like to sincerely thank everyone who was there and look forward to all those who want to come next year.”

Mike Schubert, the mayor of Potsdam, adds: “I am very happy about the success of this year’s Palace Night. The event has shown two aspects: a mature and responsible security concept on the part of the organisers, and responsible behaviour on the part of the visitors also, make large events possible. Our city needs formats like the Palace Night, for guests and residents alike.”

 


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

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European promoters reveal plans for Covid policies

Live Nation, AEG Europe, CTS Eventim and DEAG/Kilimanjaro have outlined how they plan to approach Covid-19 entry requirements for live entertainment in European markets.

Earlier this week, Live Nation Entertainment announced that, from 4 October, it will require all artists, crew and fans to produce proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test to gain entry to its US venues and festivals.

Days later, Live Nation representatives confirmed that it plans to do the same in the UK – which is fully reopen – as well as Canada, which last week opened to fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents.

As for other countries, IQ now understands that Live Nation will take a market-by-market approach based on local governments’ requirements –many of which already utilise Covid-status certification for entrance to public spaces.

IQ now understands that Live Nation will take a market-by-market approach based on local governments’ requirements

It was also announced last week that AEG Presents, AEG’s concert promotion division, will require all fans in the US to be vaccinated from 1 October.

Additionally, Anschutz Entertainment Group – including Goldenvoice/Coachella, ticket agency AXS and AEG’s owned sports teams – will mandate that all employees working at their US offices have had the vaccine, with “limited exceptions as required by law”.

However, AEG Europe “will be adopting an approach that is appropriate to the prevailing conditions and local health department and/or legislative requirements in each market,” COO, John Langford, reveals to IQ.

The live entertainment behemoth has already implemented a number of measures at its landmark venue, the O2 (cap. 21,000) in London.

In line with the advice and guidance from UK and local government, ticket holders are required to present an NHS Covid Pass on entry to the arena in order to gain access.

AEG Europe “will be adopting an approach that is appropriate to legislative requirements in each market”

This week saw the London arena back at full capacity for the first time since March 2020, welcoming 34,000 people to two shows by Gorillaz.

The show was promoted by UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live, which is backed by Berlin-based DEAG.

Peter Schwenkow, CEO of DEAG, says the UK is “by far the best country to promote shows at the moment,” but that the company has to handle different restrictions in all its territories, which includes Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

“It very much depends on local authorities: For example, Bavaria is different to Berlin and Zurich different to Geneva,” he explains.

“Denmark is partly open, the rest of Scandinavia is currently still very complicated. Ireland continues to be problematic but the UK is by far the best country to promote shows at the moment; Kilimanjaro Live did two sold-out shows at the O2 last week with the Gorillaz. Generally, we do prefer the 3G rule: vaccinated, recovered or tested. Anybody else will not be allowed to work, stay backstage or even enter the venue,” he says.

“Generally, [DEAG] does prefer the 3G rule: vaccinated, recovered or tested”

European ticketing and promoting powerhouse CTS Eventim are taking a similar bespoke approach to Covid-19 safety measures. “In Germany, if concerts are allowed to take place, our promoters will develop individual concepts in close coordination with the local authorities in the various regions and the corresponding local regulations for the protection against Corona,” a representative tells IQ.

The ticketing services and live entertainment giant has interests in 21 countries including major markets such as Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK.

The Eventim Group includes concert, tour, and festival promoter companies for events like Rock am Ring, Rock im Park, Hurricane, Southside, and Lucca Summer.

And CTS Eventim’s venue portfolio 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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