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FKP Scorpio sells 2.2m tickets for Ed Sheeran tour

FKP Scorpio has revealed it sold just shy of 2.2 million tickets for Ed Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x European tour, which wrapped up last night at Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park stadium.

The company promoted 36 of the singer-songwriter’s 52 concerts in Europe this year in cooperation with the European offices of the Hamburg concert agency and partners,

A total of 2,167,034 digital tickets were sold across the 36-show run, which began at Dublin’s Croke Park on 23 April, with 560,000 of them for German stadium dates in Gelsenkirchen, Munich and Frankfurt.

“The success of the + – = ÷ x Tour is simply unprecedented”

“Superlatives are the order of the day with Ed Sheeran, but the success of this tour is and remains simply incredible,” says FKP Scorpio CEO Folkert Koopmans. “We already achieved a clear seven-figure ticket result on the previous tour with 1.4 million tickets sold but that was over a period of three years. The success of the + – = ÷ x Tour is simply unprecedented.

“Due to the size and number of concerts, this tour was of course an immense effort for all involved and I would like to very much thank our partners Kilimanjaro in UK and All Blues in Switzerland for the great cooperation – as well as the teams of our subsidiaries FKP UK, FKP Sverige, FKP Poland, FKP Belgium, Smash!Bang!Pow! in Denmark and Fullsteam in Finland. Ed Sheeran creates a unique live experience with his concerts for millions of people, with countless thrilling moments and we are all proud to be a part of it.”

Sheeran, whose agent is Jon Ollier of One Fiinix Live, recently set a new record for ticket sales in Denmark, shifting 160,000 tickets to four shows in the capital city.

“My personal goosebump moment on this tour was the duet with Taras from the Ukrainian band Antytila, with whom Ed performed his song 2step live in Warsaw’s PGE Narodowy stadium and then called the whole band onto the stage bathed in blue and yellow light,” adds Koopmans. “The solidarity of the Polish audience with these young men and their war-torn compatriots was simply overwhelming!”

To mark the last stop of the Lego House singer’s European tour, Koopmans had the stage of recreated from thousands of the popular bricks including hundreds of LEGO figures, and presented it to Sheeran as a gift. The + – = ÷ x Tour resumes for its scheduled final leg in Australia and New Zealand next February.

“Own Our Venues is an initiative I’m really passionate about getting behind”

Sheeran’s previous 255 show ÷ (Divide) run from 2017-19 surpassed U2’s 360° as the highest-grossing tour ever, with a gross of US$776.2 million. It also set a new record for total attendance, at 8,796,567.

The 31-year-old superstar has also thrown his weight behind the UK Music Venue Trust’s (MVT) Own Our Venues campaign to take control of the freeholds of grassroots music venue premises and bring them under a protected status of benevolent ownership.

“Own Our Venues is an initiative I’m really passionate about getting behind,” says Sheeran. “Small, independent venues are so, so important to the music community, and I’ve played some of my favourite gigs of my career in these rooms. We’ve got to do all we can to protect these beautiful venues that we’ve all come to love for years to come.”

MVT CEO Mark Davyd adds: “With the Own Our Venues project gathering steam, we are incredibly pleased to get Ed’s support for this initiative – he knows this sector incredibly well and understands how important it is.”

 


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Intimate Ed Sheeran show to launch charity series

Ed Sheeran is to kick off the newly created Wellstock x For One Night Only charity event series with a one-off show at London’s 900-cap Union Chapel.

Sheeran will perform an acoustic set at the venue on Tuesday 11 October, promoted by Kilimanjaro Live.

The event is being held in support of confidential mental health text support service Shout, which is powered by Mental Health Innovations – a digital mental health charity founded with the support of The Royal Foundation of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.

No tickets will be on sale for the Sheeran concert or other future For One Night Only events, with the fundraising initiative designed to create “extraordinary experiences that money cannot buy”. A total of 300 pairs of tickets will be available via charity prize draw.

Entrants are asked to make a voluntary donation of £10 to the For One Night Only Fund that will be donated to Shout.  All those who donate but are unsuccessful in securing a ticket will receive an exclusive video from the night.

“The conversation around mental health is such an important one”

“I am excited to announce that I have teamed up with For One Night Only for this very special one-off concert,” says Sheeran. “It’s the first in a series of events they’ll be creating and will be a brilliant night in an intimate and special venue.

“The conversation around mental health is such an important one. We all have mental health, we all need to talk about it and there is also a need to have places to go when we are struggling. You have the chance of joining me in London by entering the charity prize draw at foronenightonly.org and you can support Shout by making a £10 donation.”

For One Night Only has been created by Emmy-award winning content creator Harder Than You Think (HTYT). The original concept for the event has been developed by Kevin Cahill, Sport Relief founder and honorary life president of Comic Relief, and Kim Chappell from Chappell Productions.

“The aims are to use events to bring mental health awareness to the fore whilst also looking at fundraising”

The first For One Night Only event has been developed in collaboration with Wellstock, an initiative created by singer Will Young which is aiming to raise awareness and funds for a variety of mental health charities.

“Wellstock has been an idea of mine for a long time,” says Young. “The aims are to use events to bring mental health awareness to the fore whilst also looking at fundraising and with an overview of acceptance, validation and blowing away the shame that can attach itself to feeling anything other than happiness.

“We are thrilled to align with the charity Shout and For One Night Only to create our first unique event with Ed Sheeran with more to come next year. Ed’s event is going to be super special with more news to come very soon.”

 


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Ed Sheeran smashes ticket sales record in Denmark

Ed Sheeran has set a new record for ticket sales in Demark, shifting 160,000 tickets to four shows in the capital city.

The European leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (‘mathematics’) stadium tour went on sale in September 2021, with 100,000 tickets to the Copenhagen shows selling in approximately 100 minutes. The rest was purchased within just 48 hours.

Promoter smash!bang!pow! and its minority stakeholder, FKP Scorpio, say the ticket sales are “beyond comparison” in Danish music history.

The shows took place between Wednesday and Saturday last week (3–6 August) at Øresundsparken, a new 40,000-capacity outdoor area in Tårnby built by the Copenhagen-based promoter and booking agency.

Xenia Grigat, senior promoter at smash!bang!pow!, says: “I’ve worked with Jon Ollier [agent at One Finiix Live] and Ed Sheeran’s team in Denmark since the first album cycle, from club shows to arenas – first green fields (86,000 tickets in 2019) and now these unbelievable and impressive numbers from Copenhagen.

“smash!bang!pow! executed the shows beyond everyone’s expectations”

“Seeing an artist grow and leave a mark with old and new fans, as Ed Sheeran did over the four shows, is truly extraordinary. A production of this scale has been in preparation for over a year and there’s a big team behind going above and beyond to make this happen, both locally and in the artist team.”

FKP Scorpio CEO Folkert Koopmans congratulates his Danish division on the successful production: “Back in 2018, when we partnered with smash!bang!pow!, we both knew that we wanted to expand the size of the company and the size of their productions.

“We’re only four years in, and that is including a long period with Covid-19. Nonetheless, smash!bang!pow! have more than doubled their office, and they’ve broken the Danish ticket record by far. In addition to that, they executed the shows beyond everyone’s expectations, getting great feedback from audience and press. The whole team should be very proud.”

The European leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x tour continues tomorrow (10 August) in Sweden before visiting Finland, Poland, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

The last leg kicks off in early 2023 and will see Sheeran return to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in five years.

 


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Inside Kilimanjaro Live’s spectacular summer

Kilimanjaro Live boss Stuart Galbraith has revealed the company has sold 1.5 million tickets for its summer shows as it roared back from the pandemic.

Kili co-promoted Ed Sheeran’s UK stadium tour with FKP Scorpio UK and staged further stadium dates with Stereophonics, as well as a host of other outdoor concerts including its Kew the Music and Live at Chelsea series.

Galbraith tells IQ the sheer volume of shows delivered – which included a backlog of rescheduled dates from 2020/21 alongside new bookings – has been “remarkable”.

“When we came out of the pandemic for the first time around autumn last year, we actually had 950 shows on sale, which is the most we’ve ever had as a company,” he says. “So what we’ve done, certainly through last autumn and the first seven months of this year, is plough through that huge volume of rescheduled shows.”

“When you step back and look at what the team has achieved, it’s fantastic”

In addition, Kili has been involved in a string of major arena tours with the likes of Simply Red, Craig David, Hans Zimmer, UB40, Jeff Dunham and Sam Fender, plus theatre gigs by the likes of Jeff Beck, Nick Mason, Tony Hadley and Dita VonTeese.

“It’s remarkable to think that’s all done now,” reflects Galbraith. “We’re now almost at the point where the only things left are some Andrea Bocelli shows in October and everything else on sale is new stuff. When you step back and look at what the team has achieved, it’s fantastic.”

The UK leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) tour wrapped up with five dates at Wembley Stadium at the start of this month. Coming on the back of the singer’s record-shattering 2017-19 ÷ (Divide) run, which surpassed U2’s 360° as the highest-grossing tour ever, Galbraith says the 31-year-old’s timing could not have been better.

“Ed Sheeran’s UK tour played to just under a million tickets, which is stunning”

“His timing with regards to the pandemic was just remarkably perfect because he’d stopped working,” notes Galbraith. “We finally finished the Divide tour in Ipswich in 2019 and he had intended to take 2020 and 2021 off anyway. And then we put the tour on sale at the end of September last year, when customer confidence was at its peak. Everything was fine and the world was getting back to normal. Then Omicron reared its head in late November, but by that time we’d sold 95% of the tickets.

“We picked the tour up in late May [2022], starting in Cardiff, and by then, any issues with regards to Covid restrictions and practical arrangements on the road had pretty much disappeared as well. So it was remarkable timing.”

He adds: “The tour was just phenomenal. Ed’s performance, the addition of the band in some elements of the show and the scale of the production, have taken it to a different level. Excluding Ireland, which we’re not involved in, that UK tour played to just under a million tickets, which is stunning.”

Kili also reunited with old friends Stereophonics, who were joined by an all-star cast of Welsh greats headed by Tom Jones for the band’s two homecoming gigs at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in June.

“I’ve worked with Stereos since the early ’90s and these were their two biggest ever shows. We sold 110,000 tickets across the two dates. It was also broadcast not only on BBC Wales, but also on BBC Two, which was the icing on the cake.”

“While the hot stuff is really hot, some of the other stuff has proved hard work to sell”

However, Galbraith is keen to stress the summer has not been without its challenges.

“In terms of selling tickets, there’s a lot out there,” he says. “And while the hot stuff is really hot, some of the other stuff has proved hard work to sell. But again, most of that is rescheduled shows – some of which we put on sale in 2019 and we’re finally delivering in the summer of 2022, so it’s almost three years since the customers have had those tickets.

“A perfect example of that is Belladrum festival which takes place at the end of July. The tickets for Belladrum were sold in August 2019. and so those customers will have held those tickets for a full three years when we actually finally get to deliver the festival that they paid for, it’s quite remarkable.”

Kili is part of the DEAG group of companies and Galbraith suggests the UK market is “a few months ahead” of many of its European contemporaries in terms of its post-pandemic recovery.

“The UK has had a very, very good summer in comparison to other marketplaces”

“While things are up and running now in Germany, certainly there are still levels of restrictions, levels of testing and elements of life that are still not normal,” he says. “And what we’ve seen in the UK is things that only truly come back once society really accepts that Covid is over. But also, that it doesn’t necessarily come back with the roaring ’20s that we’d all hoped it would, because there is just so much demand now for customers’ money, not just from an entertainment point of view, but from other pressures: inflation, heating bills, recession, etc.

“I think the UK has had a very, very good summer in comparison to other marketplaces and we’re seeing ticket sales becoming stronger. We’ve ended up selling a million and a half tickets this summer, which is a huge success for us. And it’s brilliant to finally be back on the road again and doing what we do best – albeit the teams have faced some huge challenges, which we’re very pleased to see that they’ve overcome. But we hope that those challenges will diminish as we head into what will hopefully become a bit more of a normal business sector again.

“I’m hugely proud of the team and hugely proud of everyone that works with Kili across its entire spectrum. We’re very optimistic heading into the autumn.”

 


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Jubilee concert draws BBC’s biggest audience of 2022

An average of nearly 12 million people in the UK watched the Queen’s platinum jubilee concert on BBC One on Saturday (4 June).

Platinum Party at the Palace saw household names including Diana Ross, George Ezra, Queen and Elbow perform in front of Buckingham Palace in London for a live audience of 22,000.

The concert was the most watched programme of the year so far, peaking at 13.4 million and beating recent high-profile events such as December’s Strictly Come Dancing final (11 million viewers), last month’s Eurovision Song Contest (nine million) and the Queen’s Christmas message (9 million).

Duran Duran, Craig David, Eurovision singer Sam Ryder, Ella Eyre, Alicia Keys, Hans Zimmer, Mabel, Jax Jones, Celeste, Andrea Bocelli, Sigala and Nile Rodgers also appeared during the two-and-a-half-hour concert.

Sir Elton John also took part, although his performance was pre-recorded as he is currently on a European tour.

Other events included a carnival pageant on the streets of London and a military parade on Sunday 5 June, which were followed by performances from Ed Sheeran and Sir Cliff Richard.

 


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Concert for Ukraine raises £12m+ for war relief

Last night’s (29 March) Concert For Ukraine fundraiser in Birmingham raised £12.2 million for the humanitarian relief effort in the country.

Stars including Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello and Emeli Sande took to the stage at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena for the televised event.

Anne Marie, Snow Patrol, Manic Street Preachers, Nile Rodgers and Chic and Gregory Porter also performed and, elsewhere, Ukrainian singer Jamala delivered a rendition of her Eurovision-winning track, 1944.

The two-hour show, held to raise money for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, was expected to raise over £3m.

However, according to ITV, which broadcast the show, over £12m has been raised so far, with the number expected to increase.

As well as millions of pounds of public donations, the broadcasters donated an estimated £3m of advertising revenue

As well as millions of pounds of public donations, the broadcasters donated an estimated £3m of advertising revenue. Another £250,000 was generated by ticket sales.

Alongside ITV, Concert for Ukraine was organised by STV, Livewire Pictures, DEC and media and entertainment group Global.

Elsewhere, a spate of benefit concerts held in Europe over the past week together raised around €20 million for related causes. Sound of Peace, a televised live concert that took place on 20 March in Berlin and raised more than €12m, according to the organisers.

Together with Ukraine, a televised live concert held at the Atlas Arena (cap. 13,000) in Łódź, Poland, organised by promoter Follow the Step, reportedly raised more than €6m.

A pair of events spearheaded by Dutch promoter Alda also raised upwards of €1m for the Romanian Red Cross. We Are One took place at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania, while Dance For Ukraine was staged at Poland’s Tauron Arena.

 


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CTS Eventim’s annual revenue soared in 2021

CTS Eventim has reported a 60% increase in annual revenue during 2021.

The Munich-based pan-European promoter and ticketing company saw consolidated revenue rise by 58.8% to €407.8 million, compared to €256.8m in 2020.

According to CTS, the increase was driven mainly by a resurgence in ticket sales, with artists such as Ed Sheeran, Genesis and Udo Lindenberg among the bestsellers.

“The number of events on offer in our ticketing systems is increasing with each new day – a clear sign of growing confidence within the events industry, and we anticipate that festivals and large-open air events will begin to resume from the second quarter onwards, after an enforced break of two years,” says Klaus Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim.

The financial results also revealed a normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) for 2021, rising to €208m (previous year: loss of €2.9m).

“The number of events on offer in our ticketing systems is increasing with each new day”

CTS chalks this up to cost savings, an improved operating business and extensive government aid of around €157m.

Consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter of 2021, meanwhile, was up to €227.8m, compared with €28.1m in the equivalent period of the previous year. Normalised EBITDA for the quarter amounted to €102.6m (previous year: €14.8m).

In the ticketing segment, revenue for 2021 as a whole improved by 77% to €224.1m (previous year: €126.6m). Normalised EBITDA stood at €177.1m, following a loss of €23.6m in 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2021, there was an increase in revenue to €113.5m (previous year: €19.5m), while normalised EBITDA rose to €85.8m (previous year: loss of €11.0m).

Annual revenue in the live entertainment segment advanced by 39.7% in 2021 to reach €191.1m (previous year: €136.8m). Normalised EBITDA for the segment came to €30.9m (previous year: €20.7m). In the last three months of the reporting year, revenue generated by live entertainment improved to €117.0m, compared with €9.5m in the final quarter of 2020. The segment’s normalised EBITDA for the fourth quarter totalled €16.8m (previous year: €25.8m).

“These financial results provide further evidence of the strength and financial stability of the group,” says Schulenberg. “2021 was also a year in which key strategic initiatives strengthened our international position.”

“These financial results provide further evidence of the strength and financial stability of the group”

In 2021, CTS launched Singapore-based Eventim Live Asia, entered the North American ticketing market and announced plans for a new 16,000-capacity arena in Milan, Italy.

In the same year, the live entertainment giant also acquired software and hardware developer Simply-X and regional ticketing providers Kölnticket and Bonnticket.

In addition, the tickets for Ed Sheeran’s European tour were the first to be sold by CTS Eventim exclusively through its proprietary digital ticket, Eventim.Pass.

Elsewhere, EMC Presents, a joint venture established with US promoter Michael Cohl in 2020, organised the group’s first tour in the US at the end of 2021 with Genesis as the headline act.

The company says it is “optimistic” about its prospects for 2022 after two pandemic-hit years, and believes it is “well-positioned” for a restart of the live entertainment sector.

At the time of writing, CTS Eventim’s share price is up 1.38% to €60.06.

 


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Ed Sheeran announced for UK’s Concert for Ukraine

Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Emeli Sandé, Snow Patrol and Gregory Porter are among the first batch of acts announced the UK’s Concert for Ukraine fundraiser.

ITV, STV and Livewire Pictures have joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and media and entertainment group Global to stage the concert at NEC Group’s Resorts World Arena in Birmingham on 29 March.

The televised event is expected to raise more than £3 million (€3.55m) for the humanitarian appeal in Ukraine. All sponsorship and advertising revenue from the broadcast will also be donated to the appeal by ITV. Tickets went on sale today, priced from £52 (€62).

“The NEC Group stands with the people of Ukraine,” says Guy Dunstan, MD of ticketing and arenas. “Whilst the live entertainment industry is shocked and deeply saddened to see the humanitarian crisis unfold, it has the power to make a difference. That’s, of course, through people’s love of music.

“As a charity fundraising event, Concert for Ukraine will be a fantastic show that brings together some of the UK’s biggest artists at one of our leading entertainment venues, Resorts World Arena, to help raise money for humanitarian relief.

“We look forward to working with promoters and organisers in the lead-up to the concert to ensure that we put on an incredible show”

“As a Birmingham-based group, we’re delighted to host an event with such meaning and a cause that will, of course, resonate with people up and down the country. We look forward to working with the promoters and organisers in the lead-up to the concert to ensure that we put on an incredible show which, at its heart, shines a positive light on the people of Ukraine.”

Nile Rodgers + Chic, Manic Street Preachers, Tom Odell, Becky Hill and The Kingdom Choir have also been confirmed for the concert, which will be screened across ITV, STV, ITV Hub and STV Player.

Polish television company TVP is also spearheading a global charity TV marathon with a live music element in aid of Ukraine. Broadcasters in Estonia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Albania and Latvia have already signed up for #SaveUkraine, which is earmarked for Sunday 27 March at 4.30pm GMT.

A spate of benefit concerts held in Europe over the past week together raised around €20 million for related causes. Sound of Peace, a televised live concert that took place on 20 March in Berlin and raised more than €12m, according to the organisers. Elsewhere, Together with Ukraine, a televised live concert held at the Atlas Arena (cap. 13,000) in Łódź, Poland, organised by promoter Follow the Step, reportedly raised more than €6m.

A pair of events spearheaded by Dutch promoter Alda also raised upwards of €1m for the Romanian Red Cross. We Are One took place at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania, while Dance For Ukraine was staged at Poland’s Tauron Arena.

 


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Ed Sheeran announces Australia & NZ stadium tour

Ed Sheeran is returning to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in five years after announcing the latest leg of his + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) stadium tour.

Sheeran, who dedicated his track Visiting Hours to late Frontier Touring founder Michael Gudinski, will visit in early 2023, stopping off first in New Zealand for dates at Sky Stadium in Wellington (2 February) and Eden Park, Auckland (10 February).

The trek will then switch to Australia for nights at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (17 February), Accor Stadium, Sydney (24 February), MCG Melbourne (2 March), the Oval in Adelaide (7 March) and Optus Stadium in Perth (12 March).

The announcement comes on the heels of Foo Fighters becoming the first major international music act to travel to Australia since the pandemic began. The US rock band performed a one-off concert at the GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, Victoria on 4 March to launch Always Live, an initiative envisioned by Gudinski to revitalise Victoria’s live music scene.

Sheeran sold more than one million tickets for his last tour of the region

Further gigs under the Always Live banner have since been announced including Nick Cave & Warren Ellis at Hanging Rock (25-26 November), Isaiah Firebrace at Girgarre Sound Shell, Echuca (4 December) and Tash Sultana at Ocean Sounds festival in Churchill Island (10 December).

Sheeran sold more than one million tickets for his last tour of the region in 2018, which formed part of his record-breaking ÷ (Divide) run from 2017-19. The global tour surpassed U2’s 360° as the highest-grossing ever, with a gross of US$776.2 million. It also set a new record for total attendance, at 8,796,567, according to Pollstar data.

The singer, who is represented by One Fiinix Live agent Jon Ollier outside North America, returns to the stage later this month, for a run of UK warm-up shows, playing intimate venues such as London’s 1,100-cap Electric Ballroom and the 600-cap Concorde 2 in Brighton. The Mathematics stadium tour will then kick off in Ireland at Dublin’s Croke Park on 23 April.

 


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Ed Sheeran planning to tour in an electric campervan

Ed Sheeran says that he’s planning on touring in an electric campervan for his + – = ÷ x (mathematics) stadium tour, which kicks off in the spring.

Speaking last weekend as a guest on Today’s Sunday Sitdown, Sheeran said his ambition is to be “as electric as possible” in regards to his travel.

“We’re going to try and [travel] on the train or I’m talking to VW about an electric campervan,” he said. “I want to travel to every show as electric as possible.”

Sheeran also recently talked to BBC Radio London about his commitment to environmentalism and plans to “rewild as much of the UK as I can”.

“I feel like I am going to get my head bitten off anytime I say that, as my job is not a hugely sustainable job as I go and play in cities, but I am trying my best,” he added.

“I want to travel to every show as electric as possible.”

The mathematics tour, which kicks off in April next year, will see Sheeran play shows across the UK, Ireland, Central Europe and Scandinavia.

Dates for Asia, Australia and America will be announced in due course, according to a recent IQ interview with Sheeran’s live agent, Jon Ollier of One Fiinix Live.

Sheeran is the latest superstar act to discuss greener touring plans after Coldplay announced a groundbreaking eco-friendly stadium tour. The band’s agent, Josh Javor of X-Ray Touring, told IQ he hopes the tour will become a blueprint for other artists of the same calibre.

 


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