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Bruce Springsteen to reach Irish ticket milestone

Bruce Springsteen will have played to one million fans in Ireland over the course of his career by the end of his latest tour, according to promoter Peter Aiken.

The Boss brings his world tour to Belfast’s Boucher Road in Northern Ireland on 9 May, followed by shows in Ireland at Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park (12 May), Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork (16 May) and Dublin’s Croke Park (19 May).

“One million people in Ireland will have been to see him. It’s phenomenal,” the Aiken Promotions chief tells PA, as per Yahoo! News.

Aiken says that very few artists have sold one million tickets in Ireland, north and south of the border, and suggests that younger generations discovering Springsteen’s music are helping fuel demand for the 74-year-old’s live shows in the region.

“There’s people my age at the concerts but there’s a lot of young people who go too, it’s great”

“His youngest fanbase in the world is in Ireland. If you went to other countries it would all be people like me,” he says. “I think young people listen to him with their parents. They are in the car and then eventually they do like it. I said that to my kids when they were listening to Bob Dylan, that one day you will like it, and they do now. There’s people my age at the concerts but there’s a lot of young people who go too, it’s great. It’s just the way we are here. It will be amazing.”

The Irish Times reports that Springsteen has played 28 concerts in Ireland to date, adding that it was Aiken’s father, Jim, who invited him to perform his first Irish concert at Slane Castle in 1985.

Springsteen’s 20-plus date European stadium run with The E Street Band kicks off in the UK at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on 5 May, finishing back at London’s Wembley Stadium on 25 & 27 July. It will also take in France, Czechia, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The global outing ranked in third place on Pollstar’s list of 2023’s highest-grossing worldwide tours, generating $379.5 million from 3.5 million ticket sales for 66 concerts. More than 1.6m tickets were sold for last year’s European leg, which included three nights in Ireland at Dublin’s RDS Arena.

 


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Aiken Presents, Pod launch new Dublin festival

Dublin will be the recipient of a new one-day festival called In The Meadows, organised by Aiken Promotions and Pod Concerts.

Mercury Award-nominated Irish folk music group Lankum are due to headline the inaugural event, set for 8 June 2024 at The Royal Hospital in Kilmainham.

Mogwai, John Francis Flynn, Black Country, New Road and This is the Kit will also perform across two stages at the 17th-century hospital.

The venue, which now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art, has played host to artists including Leonard Cohen, Bon Iver, Blur, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Patti Smith, and The War On Drugs.

John Francis Flynn and This is the Kit will also perform across two stages at the 17th-century hospital

This year, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and the Grammy-Award nominated indie supergroup boygenius delivered concerts on the grounds. It has also been home to Forbidden Fruit, a festival organised by Aiken and Pod, for the last 12 years.

The promoters also collaborate on All Together Now, a 27,000-capacity festival that has taken place for five years at Curraghmore House, Waterford.

In The Meadows’ name appears to be a nod to Pod’s socially distanced festival, The Meadows, which took place at The Royal Hospital during the pandemic.

Tickets for In The Meadows start at €59.35 including the booking fee.

 


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Arctic Monkeys reveal world tour finale

Arctic Monkeys are returning to Dublin and Belfast for a series of arena dates to mark the end of their The Car Tour.

The rock band, who will be supported by special guest Miles Kane, will play three nights at Dublin’s 3Arena on 15, 17 & 19 October, as well as a one-off concert at The SSE Arena in Belfast on 16 October.

Booked by 13 Artists, the dates follow the cancellation of the band’s summer show at Dublin’s 40,000-cap Marlay Park after frontman Alex Turner was diagnosed with acute laryngitis.

The rock band start their 30-date North American tour leg in Minneapolis this Thursday

Previous ticket holders will be sent a unique access code and will be given 72-hour priority pre-sale access. Only the same number of tickets, or less, purchased previously for Marlay Park will be available to purchase for these new dates.
All remaining tickets will be made available for sale on Tuesday 29 August.

Arctic Monkeys’ 119-date world tour, staged in support of their seventh studio album The Car, began at Zorlu PSM in Istanbul, Turkey, in August 2022. The quartet start their 30-date North American tour leg in Minneapolis this Thursday 25 August, which concludes with two nights at Foro Sol Stadium in Mexico City on 6-7 October.

The British group headlined multiple festivals this summer around the globe, including Glastonbury, Rock Werchter, Open’er, Bilbao BBK Live and NOS Alive. They also embarked on their biggest UK and Ireland tour of their career to date with a string of stadium dates in May and June 2023, including three sold-out shows at London’s 60,000-cap Emirates Stadium.

 


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High demand for Lana Del Rey surprise concerts

Tickets for Lana Del Rey’s surprise shows in Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam have flown off the shelf.

The singer announced the shows last Tuesday (27 June), just three days before tickets went on sale: “I love Europe and after playing at Glastonbury I’ve decided to play a few more shows around my Hyde Park London concert.”

General sale for Del Rey’s concert at the Ziggo Dome (cap. 17,000) in Amsterdam – the largest of the three shows – took place last Friday (30 June) and sold out within 10 minutes. A pre-sale exclusive to subscribers of MOJO’s newsletter launched a day prior.

At present, 1,440 tickets are wanted on the resale platform Ticketswap and 849 have been sold since the general sale.

“I love Europe and after playing at Glastonbury I’ve decided to play a few more shows”

The 4 July concert will mark the first time in a decade that Del Rey has performed in the Netherlands, after a sold-out show at the 6,000-capacity AFAS Live (then known as Heineken Music Hall) in 2013.

The 38-year-old will also visit the 3Arena (13,000) in Dublin on 7 July and the Olympia Music Hall (1,996) in Paris on 10 July. Both shows are sold out.

The New York-born singer, represented by WME worldwide excluding North America, also played Italy’s La Prima Estate festival on 2 July and is due to close BST Hyde Park (AEG Presents) this Sunday (9 July).

It comes after Del Rey’s headline slot at Glastonbury was cut short as a result of appearing on stage 30 minutes late.

 


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International booking agency Pitch & Smith divides

European booking agency Pitch & Smith (P&S) has effectively split in two, with three former agents breaking away to launch new venture Playbook Artists.

Launched by Eleanor McGuinness, Nikita Lavrinenko and Paul McGivern, the new agency brings together more than 45 years of experience as well as a roster that includes Angel Olsen, Weyes Blood, Son Lux, Andy Shauf, This Is the Kit and Cut Copy.

Meanwhile, P&S founders Stefan Juhlin and Kalle Lundgren Smith will remain at the company along with team members based in London.

Juhlin tells IQ it was a mutual decision for the two parties to go their separate ways: “For Kalle and myself, we felt this was a good time to go back to where we once started, putting all our time and energy on fewer artists, with a very simple and straightforward organisation behind it. We’re confident this will benefit everyone, both ourselves and our artists.”

“For Kalle and myself, we felt this was a good time to go back to where [P&S] once started”

P&S will now be headquartered in Stockholm, where it was founded in 2007, with a roster that includes Caribou, José González and Toro Y Moi.

The agency will work will continue to work with the three former agents at Playbook, which will launch offices in London, Berlin and Dublin ‘to bring their international perspective to the European/UK live circuit’.

“The last year has been tough for the industry as a whole, but this feels like the perfect opportunity to collaboratively bring together the best of our experiences and shared values, and build something new with friends and partners,” says Playbook’s Paul McGivern.

“I don’t know two harder-working or more engaged agents than Eleanor and Nikita and I’m proud to be partners with them in the launch of PlayBook Artists.”

“We are all determined to bring new approaches and concepts to life and rethink what a modern, artist-focused agency can be”

Eleanor adds: “It’s important to all of us to support the independent network, especially after the challenges of the last year, and the years yet to come. Paul, Nikita and I come from a similar background of working independently, and we are very proud of that and the long term approach we have to our artists.”

Nikita comments: “It’s easy to get caught up in a “doom and gloom” mentality when the times are difficult. That’s why I love seeing excitement, energy and new ideas sprawling out conversations I have with Eleanor and Paul. We are all determined to come out of this stronger, bring new approaches and concepts to life and rethink together what a modern, artist-focused agency can be these days.”

The three partners will be joined by former Pitch & Smith agent assistant Duncan Smith, who will assume the role of agent with a roster that includes Happyness, Shopping, Lime Garden, LICE, Home Counties, and new signing Clara Mann.

Playbook follows the launch of Field Booking, Arrival ArtistsMint Talent Group and TBA Agency in the US, as well as Marshall Live AgencyMother ArtistsOne Fiinix LiveRoute One Booking and Runway Artists in the UK and Rebel Beat Agency in Spain, in 2020, amid a wider fragmentation of the global agency sector in response to the coronavirus shutdown.

 


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Aiken unveils new Vision for Dublin’s Vicar St

Ireland’s Aiken Promotions has unveiled Vision, a six-part online video series filmed at its 1,500-capacity Vicar Street venue in Dublin.

Partially funded with a grant from the government of the Republic of Ireland, Vision – hosted by comedian and TV presenter Tommy Tiernan – aims to celebrate Vicar St, says Aiken Promotions founder Peter Aiken. The venue, like nearly all others in Europe, has been largely closed since the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

“Opening the doors at Vicar St for those two weeks of filming and working together was great, even with only the performers, crew and venue staff present,” explains Aiken. “Ultimately, though, it was a bittersweet experience as it reminded us how much we all miss working at live shows – it’s impossible to recreate the buzz of an audience actually being the venue to witness another memorable performance.

“Aiken Promotions looks forward to a time when we can welcome everyone back to Vicar St”

“It was palpable how difficult things remain for everyone in the sector, so to have to turn the lights off again and walk away was heart-breaking.

“Obviously, there is no way to replicate the true essence of being at a live gig but with this special series, we hope we have created something that reminds us all of the magic we are missing.”

So far, two episodes of Vision have been released, the first featuring Christy Moore, Lankum and Lisa O’Neill and the second (embedded above) with Villagers, Cmat and comedian David O’Doherty.

“While the vision of future live entertainment might be still hazy, Aiken Promotions look forward to a time when we can welcome everyone back to Vicar St, along with all the other venues across Ireland,” adds Aiken.

 


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Irish biz calls for clarity as govt floats dry shows

Figures from across the live music industry have asked for consistency in how live events are treated in the Republic of Ireland, where just six people are currently allowed to gather even in the country’s biggest venues.

At press time, cultural businesses such as museums, cinemas, theatres and art galleries are allowed to welcome 50 people indoors because they are deemed to be “controlled environments”. All other indoor events – including concerts – are subject to the so-called ‘rule of six’, or a maximum capacity of six people.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1 on Wednesday, Indiependence festival promoter Shane Dunne said: “It’s quite ironic at the moment that I can have the same number of people in my kitchen as I can in the 3Arena [in Dublin], which has 9,500 seats.”

Brian Byrne, director of Wexford-based Lantern Presents, says recent reductions in capacity limits have scuppered his ability to put on socially distanced events.

“We had planned for 500-capacity socially distanced shows and then it changed; then we planned 200 and the guidelines changed again. So we planned for 50 indoors, but guidelines changed again – so it is frustrating,” he tells the Irish Mirror.

“At the moment I can have the same number of people in my kitchen as I can in the 3Arena”

Adding that there are now “contradictions” in government guidelines for different activities, he continues: “If I do a gig in a theatre, I can have 50 people. But if I do a gig in my own venues, I can have six.

“One of the venues we use is a church – a lovely venue. If I do a music event there this weekend I can only have six people at it. But if I go to mass there the next day, there can be 100 people at mass in the same building.”

Meanwhile, the Republic’s ministers for the arts and health met on Monday (7 September) to discuss provisional plans to restart live entertainment – if alcohol is not served on the premises.

According to the Irish Times, health secretary Martin is “keen to increase the levels of audience and artists at events beyond the current restrictions, and will examine if banning alcohol from such events could facilitate them being held.”

There were 196 daily cases of Covid-19 in Ireland yesterday (10 September).

 


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Festival Fever: latest wave of line-up announcements

In the most recent edition in a series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ rounds up the festival billings from Rolling Loud Portugal, Jazzopen Stuttgart, Nos Primavera Sound Porto, Balaton Sound, Mallorca Live and Fest Festival.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Rolling Loud Portugal

When: 8 to 10 July
Where: Praia da Rocha, Portimão, Portugal

The Rolling Loud festival brand is making its European debut this summer in the Algarve region of Portugal.

The beachside festival is headlined by ASAP Rocky, Future and Wiz Khalifa, with performances from artists including AJ Tracey, Roddy Ricch, Dababy, Young Thug, Tyga, Playboi Carti, D-Block Europe and Giggs.

In an Instagram post, Rolling Loud co-founder Tariq Cherif warned that capacity is “limited” for the festival due to the beach setting, and advised fans to act quickly to purchase tickets.

Founded in 2015 by Cherif and Matt Zingler, Rolling Loud has expanded from its flagship Miami festival to take place in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Sydney, Australia. An inaugural Rolling Loud Hong Kong was called off earlier this year.

The pre-sale for Rolling Loud Portugal starts on Thursday 6 February at 8 a.m. Remaining tickets go on sale at 8 a.m. the following day here.

The Rolling Loud festival brand is making its European debut this summer

Jazzopen Stuttgart

When: 9 to 19 July
Where: Stuttgart, Germany
How many: 50,000 (whole festival)

Founded in 1994, the Jazzopen Stuttgart has hosted the likes of Quincy Jones, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Jamiroquai, BB King, Herbie Hancock, James Brown and Joss Stone over the years.

The 2020 edition will see artists including Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Van Morrison, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, John Legend, Jessie J, Jamie Cullum and Corinne Bailey Rae grace the main stage.

Staged in multiple venues ranging from 250- to 7,000-capacity, fans will be able to see acts such as Nils Frahm, Herbie Hancock, Arturo Sandoval, James Carter Organ Trio, Emmet Cohen and Rymden over the course of ten days.

“In the last 10 years we expanded the jazzopen from a regional event to one of the leading international jazz festivals with 50.000 ticket sales annually,” comments festival director Juergen Schlensog.

“This was only possible by means of a strong sponsoring. Daimler, Mastercard and Allianz accompany the festival alongside other valuable partners and brands. The UK market is of vital importance for us, as we book all major acts in direct exchange with local agents in the UK and USA.”

Tickets for Jazzopen Stuttgart 2020 are available here, with full festival passes priced from €700. Tickets for individual shows are also available for a range of prices, with some free-to-access concerts.

The 2020 edition will see artists including Sting, Lenny Kravitz and Van Morrison

Nos Primavera Sound Porto

When: 11 to 13 June
Where: Parque da Cidade, Porto, Portugal
How many: 30,000

The Portuguese sister event of Barcelona festival Primavera Sound has released the line-up for its ninth edition.

Tyler the Creator, Lana Del Rey, Pavement, FKA Twigs, Beck, Bad Bunny and King Krule are among those headlining the festival, which also features Chromatics, Earl Sweatshirt, Cigarettes After Sex and Kim Gordon.

Primavera Sound’s flagship Spanish event, which sold over 10,000 tickets in a day after announcing its line-up last month, will feature performances from the Stokes, Iggy Pop, Massive Attack, Lana Del Rey and Brittany Howard.

Tickets for Nos Primavera Sound Porto are available here, with a full festival pass priced at €120 (£102) and a day ticket at €60 (£51). Tickets for Primavera Sound Barcelona are still available here for €195 (£165).

The Portuguese sister event of Barcelona festival Primavera Sound has released the line-up for its ninth edition

Balaton Sound

When: 8 to 12 July
Where: Lake Balaton, Hungary
How many: 40,000

Balaton Sound, one of Europe’s largest open-air electronic music festivals, is back in 2020 following a record-breaking outing last year.

Over 170,000 fans attended the five-day event in 2019 to see artists including Tiesto, Marshmello, the Chainsmokers and Armin van Buuren.

The 2020 edition brings performances from the likes of Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Kygo, Steve Aoki, Don Diablo, Sigala and Jonas Blue.

A special, Hollywood-themed VIP area will provide guests with a massage parlour, makeup lounge, exclusive pool parties and surprise shows.

Tickets for Balaton Sound 2020 are on sale now, with multi-day passes starting from €169 and going up to €325 for a five-day VIP ticket. Prices will increase on 14 February.

Over 170,000 fans attended the five-day event in 2019

Mallorca Live

When: 14 to 16 May
Where: Old Aquapark of Calvià, Mallorca, Spain
How many: 11,000

Mallorca Live festival is back in 2020 for its fifth year, with a headline performance from British electronic pop band Pet Shop Boys.

Crystal Fighters, Michael Kiwanuka, Miles Kane, Kate Tempest and Temples are among other acts performing at the festival.

Last year’s festival saw a record attendance of 33,500 people over three days, thanks to a festival site extension. A new fourth stage – Tròpic Stage – has been added for 2020, dedicated to electronic acts, featuring DJs including Marcel Dettman, dOP, Or:La and Red Axes.

Tickets for Mallorca Live festival can be purchased for €75 (£64) plus fees for the two-day pass (Friday and Saturday) and for €90 (£76) plus fees for the three-day pass here.

Crystal Fighters, Michael Kiwanuka and Kate Tempest are among other acts performing at the festival

Fest Festival

When: 13 to 15 August
Where: Silesia Park, Chorzów, Poland

Poland’s Fest Festival, one of the fastest-growing music festivals in eastern Europe, has announced the second wave of acts for its 2020 edition.

The festival’s second outing will be headlined by Mark Ronson, with performances from James Bay, Nothing But Thieves, Denzel Curry, Sigrid, Alice Glass, Sohn and Daughter.

Polish rappers Taco Hemingway and Mata have also been added to the line-up, along with local indie-rock band Sonbird.

Fest Festival was nominated for best new festival at the European Festival Awards 2019 and is up for the New Gig on the Block prize at the 2020 Arthur Awards, taking place at the International Live Music Conference in March.

Tickets for Fest Festival are available here for PLN 349 (£70), with prices set to increase on 14 February.

The festival’s second outing will be headlined by Mark Ronson

Forbidden Fruit Festival

When: 30 to 31 May
Where: Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Ireland
How many: 10,000

Pod’s Forbidden Fruit Festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary edition in 2020 at its home in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin.

The line-up for this year’s festival includes headliners Jorja Smith and Underworld, along with Peggy Gou, Loyle Carner, Hot Chip and the Avalanches.
The festival is returning to its roots this year, taking place over two days, rather than the three-day format preferred in previous editions. Organisers promise plenty of “birthday surprises” for their tenth year.

Weekend tickets are available here, priced at €124.50, with day tickets available for €69.50.

 


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MCD brings back Sunstroke festival for 2020

Faith No More and Deftones will headline Sunstroke when the ’90s alternative-rock festival returns to Ireland next summer.

Sunstroke, promoted by Denis Desmond’s MCD Productions, debuted in 1993 in Dublin’s Dalymount Park, when it was also headlined by Faith No More, according to RTE. The final Sunstroke took place at the Royal Dublin Society’s RDS Simmonscourt venue in 1995.

For its return in 2020, it will take place at Punchestown Racecourse near Naas – formerly also home to MCD’s Oxegen festival – on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June.

Other performers over three stages include the Jesus and Mary Chain, Gojira, Black Veil Brides and Killing Joke, as well as Bowling for Soup, While She Sleeps, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Mongol-metal band the Hu.

Sunstroke 2020 line-up

Earlybird weekend tickets, priced at €129.50 (inc. booking fee) or €159.50 with camping, go on sale at 10am on 3 December.

MCD’s other festivals include the annual Longitude event, also in Dublin, as well as Love Sensation, Summer in the City and the Irish leg of Country to Country (C2C).

 


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Six countries, one genre: C2C makes 2020 return

AEG’s Country to Country (C2C) festival is returning in 2020 for the eighth edition of its flagship London event, alongside repeat editions in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.

Luke Combs, Darius Rucker and Eric Church will headline C2C’s European festivals, alongside acts including the Cadillac Three, Tanya Tucker, Charles Esten, Brett Young and Old Dominion.

International touring series Introducing Nashville will be present at C2C for the first time this year, with acoustic performances from Abby Anderson, Eric Paslay and Tenille Townes.

C2C 2020 will take place from 13 to 15 March in London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena, which yesterday (22 October) celebrated reaching 25 million ticket sales. Simultaneous events will take place at Ireland’s 3Arena Dublin (13,000-cap.), promoted by MCD Productions, and the SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.) in Glasgow, Scotland, promoted by DF Concerts.

The country music festival is also returning to Afas Live Amsterdam (6,000-cap.) and AEG’s Verti Music Hall (4,350-cap.) in Berlin, following successful first outings last year. Greenhouse Talent will co-promote C2C Amsterdam, which takes place from 7 to 8 March, with Semmel Concerts taking charge of the Berlin edition on 6 to 8 March.

“C2C Festival 2020 continues to build on the massive success of Country to Country in the UK and across Europe”

“I am so proud to be part of the C2C family,” said Bob Harris OBE, the main stage host of the London event, at C2C’s line-up launch party at Country Music Week, which began on Monday.

“I can’t wait to listen to the best music in the world, enjoy the fantastic atmosphere of the main auditorium, catch the excitement of the pop-up stages and meet the incredible Country fans that make C2C so special.”

Chris York, C2C Festival promoter for SJM Concerts comments: “C2C Festival 2020 continues to build on the massive success of Country to Country in the UK and across Europe. We look forward to seeing all you passionate country fans in March once again.”

Tickets for all C2C’s European events go on sale on Friday 1 November at 10 a.m. (GMT).

More information about C2C Australia, which also returns for its second year in 2020, will be available at a later date. The Australian version of the event, promoted by AEG Presents and TEG Live, takes place in Sydney and Brisbane with a different line-up to other C2C events.

Read more about country music’s rise to global fame here.

Big country: How country music conquered the world


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