Live Nation UK hires promoter Ryan Cornall
Live Nation UK has announced the appointment of longtime alternative promoter Ryan Cornall who will work on projects including Download festival.
Cornwall joins Live Nation after six years at Surprise You’re Dead Music, an alternative indie promoter operating across the Midlands.
Previously, Cornall has worked with the likes of While She Sleeps, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Testament, Dinosaur Pile Up, Ministry, Bury Tomorrow, Thy Art Is Murder, Every Time I Die and Boston Manor.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Ryan Cornall to Live Nation,” says Andy Copping, Live Nation’s executive president of touring, UK.
“I’m incredibly honoured to be on the Download team – working on my favourite festival is a dream come true”
“He joins a world-class and formidable promotions team who are dedicated to breaking artists, building careers and bringing even more incredible live experiences to fans in the UK.”
Ryan Cornall adds: “I’m incredibly honoured to be starting at Live Nation and to have the chance to be on the Download team, working on my favourite festival with such a high calibre of bands is a dream come true. I’m excited to start my journey at Live Nation with the very best promoters at the top of their game and would like to thank Andy, Sean and Kam for this amazing opportunity.”
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.
“A real success”: 0.03% of fans infected at UK pilots
The British culture secretary has hailed as “a real success” recent UK pilot events after just 15 positive cases of Covid-19 – equivalent to 0.026% of attendees – were recorded among 58,000 people.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Oliver Dowden says he is “very hopeful” the UK will meet its 21 June target for a full reopening of venues, theatres and clubs without social distancing, following encouraging results from recent Event Research Programme (ERP) test events, which included the Brit Awards, the Sefton Park Pilot music festival, The First Dance club shows and sports fixtures including the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium.
According to Dowden, there were no positive cases from the Brits, which took place with an audience of 4,000 at London’s O2 earlier this month, and two from Sefton Park Pilot, a one-day music festival in Liverpool.
Nine cases, meanwhile, were detected among the 6,000 clubbers who attended the two The First Dance events, held in Liverpool ahead of Sefton Park pilot, and no cases were reported from Wembley. The final four infections were detected at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, which hosted 17 days of the World Snooker Championship.
Oliver Dowden says he is “very hopeful” the UK will meet its 21 June target for a full reopening
No social distancing was in place at any of the ERP events, which used lateral-flow tests (LFTs) to check attendees for the coronavirus prior to entry.
A spokesperson for Dowden’s ministry, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, tells the Standard the figures are based on what has been seen “so far”, and that further data needs to be collected on other events. A full report will be presented to the prime minister at a later date.
The provisional findings from the ERP events come as Festival Republic, the organiser of Sefton Park Pilot, announces a second music festival, this time with camping, which will form part of the second phase of the programme.
As IQ reported earlier this month, the three-day event will be held in June and aims to build on the previous pilot by simulating the full, multi-day festival experience familiar to attendees of FR events including Reading Festival and Download.
“Following the huge success of our Sefton Park event, we are delighted to contribute to phase two of the government’s Events Research Programme with the creation of the first three-day camping festival, which will be the Download Pilot at Donington Park,” explains FR managing director Melvin Benn.
“This massive next step will help us understand and study the safe return of large-scale festivals with no social distancing or face masks over a full weekend. [It is] the return of the full festival experience we have all been waiting for, and a much needed return to work for musicians, backstage crew, caterers and many more that form part of the UK’s exemplary live music industry.”
“This massive next step will help us understand and study the safe return of large-scale festivals”
Download Pilot will have a capacity of 10,000 and take place from 18 to 20 June at the long-time home of Download, Donington Park in Leicestershire. Tickets are priced at £120 and go on sale on 1 June for Download 2022 ticket holders (the festival was cancelled for a second year in a row earlier this month), with general sale starting on 3 June. No day tickets will be available, with all attendees expected to camp on site.
As with Sefton Park Pilot, all festivalgoers will be required to produce proof of a negative LFT for entry, and also encouraged to take a more accurate PCR test before or after the event. Once in, no social distancing or mask wearing will be required: Download’s “loyal community of rock fans will be rewarded with the closest [thing] to a festival experience possible, with no social distancing, no masks, camping and the return of moshing”, according to Festival Republic.
The Download Pilot line-up will be announced this Friday (28 May).
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.
Download festival 2021 cancelled
There will be no Download festival in the UK this summer, promoter Festival Republic confirmed today (1 March).
Iron Maiden, Kiss and Biffy Clyro will headline the 2022 edition of the 110,000-capacity rock and metal festival, which returns to Donington Park in Leicestershire next 10–12 June. Tickets for Download 2022 go on sale this Friday (5 March) at 10am GMT, priced from £250 for a standard weekend camping pass.
Download, which would have taken place from 4 to 6 June 2021, is the first of Live Nation-owned Festival Republic’s events to announce it will be unable to go ahead for a second consecutive year, with the likes of Wireless (2–4 July) and Latitude (22–25 July) still on for now and Reading and Leeds (27–29 August) having already sold out.
Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, is on hiatus, as are Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).
“Ware determined to make the show one hell of a party and the greatest homecoming ever”
“Downloaders, your 2022 headliners are here,” comments Download booker Andy Copping. “Rock’n’roll legends Kiss will be kicking off Friday in style, Iron Maiden will return, bringing with them mascot Eddie and more fire than we can handle, and what better way to end the festival than with Biffy, who will leave us awestruck with their energy. I’m counting down the days already.”
“Like everyone, we were all hugely disappointed when the global pandemic forced the cancellation of Download 2020, which would have been Maiden’s seventh time headlining here,” says Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, “so we are delighted to be invited back and fulfil our ambition of playing Donington Park in every decade since the 1980s.
“As most people know, this festival is hallowed ground for us – and Eddie – and our fans’ vocal support and enthusiasm is always phenomenal and much appreciated. We can’t wait to see everyone again, and are determined to make the show one hell of a party and the greatest homecoming ever.”
Further Download 2022 artists will be announced in the coming months.
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.
Green Guardians: Staffing and Personnel
The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly iniative highlighting some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.
The inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, selected by the Green Guardians committes, which includes representatives from some of the sector’s most respected bodies, such as A Greener Festival, Go Group, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle and Vision:2025.
Following on from last week’s feature on artists and activists doing their bit to make the world a cleaner and better place, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those pioneering ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices.
Staffing and personnel
My Cause UK
My Cause has provided more than 6,000 proactive front-line volunteers to the UK’s biggest events such as Boomtown, Boardmasters, Bestival, Download Festival, Noisily, NASS, Love Saves The Day, Lovebox and many more.
My Cause offers event organisers an ethical and sustainable alternative to existing staffing providers by channelling its fees to the charities its volunteers nominate. That provides My Cause with a switched on, engaged and reliable team to represent client events in the best possible way. So far, it has donated almost £150,000 to more than 1,000 charities chosen by its volunteers.
My Cause director Rob Wilkinson notes, “When you are looking to book crew, volunteers, or staff from any supplier don’t just look at your bottom line but ask about what they do to care for and support their team. Well briefed, motivated and well cared for staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could.”
“Well briefed staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could”
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings; to support initiatives benefitting children and young people; and to support humanitarian and cultural work.
Festival volunteers participate year round in the decision-making, planning and troubleshooting processes, and in the recruitment and management of other volunteers.
The volunteer community is motivated by teamwork and a sense of all being in it together, and due to actively participating in the development of the festival. This has an impact on volunteers signing up and participating for the first time.
Roskilde’s core management team supports the organisation by providing leadership training (also developed and run by volunteers) and by providing tools for supporting feedback processes, allowing volunteers’ voices to be heard regarding the many ideas they have on how to improve processes and co-operation.
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings
Greenpeace was actually founded with a concert in Canada, in 1970, when James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and the late Phil Ochs performed a benefit gig to pay for the fuel that allowed a Greenpeace ship to sail into a nuclear testing zone.
Glastonbury was the first major festival that Greenpeace attended, in 1992. Many concerts and festivals have followed and continue to play a major part in helping the organisation to raise awareness of its international work.
The majority of its event volunteers come from the network of local Greenpeace groups, but it also advertises on its social media platforms where potential volunteers complete a questionnaire and Greenpeace asks for another person to vouch for them.
In terms of sustainability, Greenpeace endeavours to lead by example, calling out areas where improvements can be made. Festivals give Greenpeace access to an audience that it can inform and entertain, allowing it to communicate vital messages such as: “Don’t count the cost; DO IT! As otherwise it’s costing the Earth.”
Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 90, or subscribe to the magazine here
FR boss unveils plan to restart industry at full capacity
Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, has designed an incentive-based plan to allow the restarting of live shows at full capacity, through an increase of testing and contract tracing.
Social distancing has proved a controversial topic within the live industry, with many sharing doubts as to the viability of putting on reduced-capacity shows.
The Full Capacity Plan aims to facilitate the reopening of the leisure sector without capacity limitations, by increasing public use of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Trace App and upping participation in testing through an incentive-based scheme.
The plan would see those who have bought tickets to shows or booked a table at a restaurant invited to attend a high-street shop to collect a home-testing kit and download the NH tracing app.
Those who test negative and agree to use the tracing app would be allowed to return to concerts, pubs, theatres and sporting events.
Although the UK government currently has the capacity to test 1.4 million people a week, fewer than 700,000 weekly tests are taking place, “because there is no incentive”, says Benn, who oversees events including Wireless, Download, Latitude and Reading and Leeds festivals.
“I am proposing the Full Capacity Plan to stimulate the debate about getting back to normal opening rather than partial opening”
“My plan is to create incentive, to test at least double the current capacity and be aiming for 12 to 15m people a month being tested minimum,” explains Benn.
“I am proposing the Full Capacity Plan to stimulate the debate about getting back to normal opening rather than partial opening because partial opening is financial disaster opening.
“[The plan] is simple and easy, inexpensive in comparison to the subsidies that the government is currently paying and very achievable with good organisation.”
A provisional timeline foresees a pilot scheme beginning later this month, in partnership with the British government, with the first events going ahead in accordance with the plan in August.
If all goes well, the industry may be able to restart at full capacity by November.
The virtual edition of Download Festival, Download TV, is taking place from 12 to 14 June, with exclusive footage from headliners Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down, whereas the virtual-reality Wireless Connect will air from 3 to 5 July.
Kiss, Iron Maiden to headline virtual Download fest
Festival Republic has revealed the line-up for the virtual version of Download Festival, Download TV, with exclusive footage from headliners Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down.
Download Festival was among the first major UK events to cancel it 2020 edition due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In its place, Download TV is airing on the original festival weekend, from 12 to 14 June, available to watch on the festival’s social channels and on YouTube. Fans can subscribe to Download TV on YouTube here.
The virtual event will feature a day time programme of interactive activities, live artist Q&As and lockdown performances, with the evenings bringing footage of live performances from the acts billed to play the event this year, including Korn, Deftones, Babymetal, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Creeper, the Offspring and the Darkness.
Past Download performances from headliners Kiss and System of a Down will be resurfaced for the event, while Iron Maiden promise “something just for Download TV”.
Festival Republic has revealed the line-up for the virtual version of Download Festival, Download TV, with exclusive footage from headliners Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down
Download fans are encouraged to put tents up in their gardens, wear festival merchandise and send photos and videos in to the festival page to ensure a “celebration of the Download community”.
Fellow Festival Republic event Wireless Festival is also taking place in a virtual form this year, partnering with music-focused virtual reality company MelodyVR to produce Wireless Connect. From 3 to 5 July, pre-recorded live performances will be brought to Wireless fans in 360° virtual reality.
Performances will be recorded from MelodyVR’s studio in Los Angeles and the 10,400-capacity Alexandra Palace in London. The Wireless Connect line-up will be announced in due course.
MelodyVR’s Ben Samuels was among tech leaders to take part in IQ Focus panel The Innovation Session yesterday, discussing the most effective ways to monetise virtual shows. The panel is available to watch back on YouTube or Facebook now.
Wireless cancels as more UK fests call time on 2020
Festival Republic’s Wireless Festival and an open-air the 1975 show are the latest losses to the UK’s 2020 summer calendar, in a week that also saw Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Music Festival and metal event Bloodstock move to 2021.
The UK’s summer festival season is looking increasingly uncertain, as organisers wait for the government to reveal details of its exit plan. The country has been in lockdown since 23 March.
“Wireless Festival will no longer be taking place this year,” reads a statement from organisers. “As you know we’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation, and it’s become clear that cancelling is unavoidable.
“Subject to contract, Wireless Festival will be back next year on 2 to 4 July 2021 and will be worth the wait,” continue organisers, urging fans to “keep your eyes peeled” for news on the virtual edition of the festivals.
The urban music event, which had booked ASAP Rocky, D-Block Europe and Lil Uzi Thug for this year, has encountered licensing restrictions imposed by the local council around its home in Finsbury Park.
The promoter has also announced the cancellation of an eco-friendly show by the 1975 at Finsbury Park, scheduled for 11 July. The show, which was also to feature Charli XCX, Clairo and Pale Waves, was set to be the Manchester band’s biggest show ever.
“We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation, and it’s become clear that cancelling is unavoidable”
Festival Republic had previously called off the 2020 outings of Download Festival, set to feature Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down, and Latitude, which had a line-up including Liam Gallagher, Haim and the Chemical Brothers.
This week also saw the cancellation of the 20,000-capacity Cornbury Music Festival, which was to feature Dido, Jack Savoretti and the Waterboys, as well as Judas Priest-headlined metal festival Bloodstock. Organisers say the event will be back for a bumper five-day edition in 2021.
Other major UK festivals to cancel due to the coronavirus outbreak include Boomtown (Wu-Tang Clan, Underworld, the Libertines), Bluedot (Bjork, Metronomy, Groove Armada), Black Deer (Wilco, the Waterboys, the Dead South) and Y Not Festival (Royal Blood, Richard Ashcroft, Bombay Bicycle Club), adding to cancellations of AEG Presents’ All Points East and British Summer Time Hyde Park, Live Nation’s Parklife, Lovebox and Isle of Wight Festival, and Glastonbury Festival.
In Scotland, which has limited self-government within the UK, DF Concerts’ Trnsmt (Courteeners, Liam Gallagher, Lewis Capaldi) and Regular Music’s Summer Nights at the Bandstand (Rick Astley, Van Morrison, Primal Scream) cancelled after first minster Nicola Sturgeon suggested public gatherings would be banned for the foreseeable future.
In the neighbouring country of the Republic of Ireland, festivals including Longitude and All Together Now cancelled last month, as the government announced a blanket ban on events over 5,000 people until 31 August, although it recently indicated that smaller events would be permitted from 10 August.
Download, Isle of Wight Festival 2020 cancelled
Live Nation UK’s Download and Isle of Wight Festival have become the latest high-profile festivals to cancel their 2020 editions, with both announcing this morning (26 March) they would not go ahead this year.
Metal festival Download, held at Donington Park in Leicestershire, was to have featured headline slots from Kiss (Friday 12 June), Iron Maiden (13 June) and System of a Down (14 June) with other performers including Deftones, Korn, Volbeat, Alter Bridge, the Offspring, the Darkness and Disturbed.
Isle of Wight Festival (11–14 June), meanwhile, had booked Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Snow Patrol, Chemical Brothers, Kaiser Chiefs, Sam Fender and more.
In a statement, Festival Republic-promoted Download says: “We’ve been closely monitoring this unprecedented situation [coronavirus] and it’s become clear that it just isn’t possible for the 2020 festival to go ahead.
“This decision hasn’t been taken lightly and we’re beyond disappointed”
“This decision hasn’t been taken lightly and we’re beyond disappointed, we extend our heartfelt apologies to all of you – we really did try to make this work.”
It’s a similar sentiment from Isle of Wight, whose statement says organisers “tried our hardest to make it work, but it was unavoidable given the current status. The whole team was excited to welcome everyone to the island for another fantastic festival and we extend our sincere apologies to everyone who was looking forward to it as much as we were.”
Australian PM advises ban on events over 500-cap.
Updated 18/3/20: Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announces a ban on “non-essential” indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, including “social activities and entertainment”, effective immediately.
The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has advised against all “non-essential” mass gatherings of over 500 people, effective from Monday (16 March).
The announcement follows yesterday’s statement from organisers of Australian festival Byron Bay Bluesfest that the event was to go ahead as planned.
A statement released by the Bluesfest team reads: “We are now awaiting the official requirement from Federal and State authorities on Monday and will update you at that time.” Updated (16 March): Bluesfest executive chairman Peter Noble today issued a statement cancelling the festival, saying “it is obvious we will not be on this Easter. We are heartbroken as we believe we were presenting one of the best ever bills of talent for you.”
Leading Australian promoters Frontier Touring an Chugg Entertainment today issued a statement that “a number of concerts will no longer be able to proceed as scheduled”, including shows by Jimmy Eat World, Marc Rebillet, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert and Seaforth.
“Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment are presently working with all artist teams to determine if dates can be rescheduled to late 2020 or early 2021,” reads the statement.
“For ticketholders, tickets will remain valid for rescheduled dates and they will be notified directly as soon as details of new dates are confirmed. Where concerts cannot be rescheduled a full refund will be available for all tickets purchased through official ticketing agencies.”
The promoters note that concerts by New Order, Gengahr and Julia Jacklin will proceed as scheduled over the weekend.
“Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment are presently working with all artist teams to determine if dates can be rescheduled to late 2020 or early 2021”
In Melbourne, Robbie Williams’ upcoming concert as part of TEG Dainty, Apollo World Touring and Westbrook Inc.’s World Tour series has also been called off, along with the Australian Grand Prix. The concert was to take place at the Lakeside Stadium within the Grand Prix racetrack on Saturday.
“We appreciate that this is very disappointing news for the fans due to attend the show and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and will be contacted by Ticketek shortly,” reads a statement from World Tour Melbourne and TEG Dainty.
The news follows the cancellation of Miley Cyrus’ World Tour Bushfire Relief show at the same venue earlier this week.
The Australian editions of Download Festival, set to take place in Sydney and Melbourne on 20 and 21 March, have also been cancelled.
Headliners My Chemical Romance pulled out of headline appearances at the festivals, as well as all other performances in Australia and New Zealand today, “given the current global situation”. The band have also cancelled upcoming tour dates in Japan.
“Given that this announcement has come barely eight days prior to Download Australia we will not be able to secure an alternative headliner as there is insufficient time to secure visas and arrange the other relevant logistics that are required prior to the festival,” reads a statement from organisers.
“As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020″
“As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up to meet the standard that Download fans both expect and deserve, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020.”
The team says it is working with My Chemical Romance and fellow headliners Deftones “to schedule separate headline shows in Australia in 2020”, as well as with other Download acts to arrange “headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne next week”.
All ticketholders will receive a full refund via Moshtix.
In the wake of event cancellations, the Australian live performance industry has called on the government to supply a stimulus plan to support the business in the event of significant loss of trade.
“We believe it’s possible to design measures that are targeted, scalable and temporary in terms of their budgetary impact, and which could be lifted once the current public health crisis is resolved,” comments Live Performance Australia chief executive, Evelyn Richardson.
Read insurance brokers advice on navigating coronavirus-related event cancellations here.
Download Sydney moves to new site
The organisers of the Sydney edition of Download festival have announced a change in venue for this year’s event, due to the “unique setup and infrastructure” required for the festival.
Download Australia is taking place on two consecutive days in Melbourne (20 March) and Sydney (21 March), featuring acts including My Chemical Romance, Deftones, Jimmy Eat World, Clutch and Ministry.
The Melbourne leg of the festival will be at the Showgrounds, with the Sydney day originally scheduled for Parramatta Park (60,000-cap.). However, after carrying out an independent consultation, organisers have decided to move the event to the Domain (80,000-cap.) in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
“Our friends at Parramatta Park had initially advised they could host Download 2020. However, we found that it would not be the right space to deliver the reassurance to safely present the event with the number of people attending, stages and crowd movement,” reads a statement from Download Sydney organisers.
“Patron safety is our number one priority, and to ensure the best possible experience, the event needs to be moved from Parramatta Park”
“Patron safety is our number one priority, and to ensure you have the best possible experience, the event needs to be moved from Parramatta Park.”
All current Download Sydney ticketholders will be able to use their tickets at the new venue, with further information available on the Download Australia website.
Tickets to both Download Australia events are available here, with general admission tickets costing AU$189 (US$127) plus fees.
Live Nation’s Download festival franchise has spawned previous sister events in Japan, France and Madrid.
Tickets for the 2020 edition of Download’s flagship UK event, which takes place from 12 to 14 June with headliners Kiss, Iron Maiden and System Of A Down, are available here.