x

The latest industry news to your inbox.


I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

UK ticket touts jailed in ‘significant milestone’

Four people have been jailed for using fraudulent tactics to purchase and resell hundreds of tickets at hugely inflated prices for events and concerts such as Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga.

Maria Chenery-Woods (54), Mark Woods (60), Lynda Chenery (51) and Paul Douglas (56) – all from Norfolk – were sentenced to a combined total of six years and five months imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court, earlier today (17 May).

The four defendants ran multi-million-pound limited company TQ Tickets, which they used to purchase hundreds of tickets for events and concerts by the likes of Gary Barlow, Liam Gallagher, Paul Weller and Little Mix.

The trial heard the firm sold tickets worth more than £6.5 million (€7.6m) over the course of two-and-a-half years.

An investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime team found that the defendants used multiple deceitful and fraudulent tactics to acquire multiple tickets from reputable sellers including Ticketmaster, Eventim, SEE Tickets and ACS.

They used fake identities to resell the tickets at significantly higher prices – up to 500% above the original cost – on secondary ticketing sites such as Viagogo, Seatwave, Stubhub and Getmein.

“Today’s sentencing marks another significant milestone in our work to combat online ticket touts”

The defendants were also involved in ‘spec selling’ – where non-existent tickets are sold to consumers at inflated prices. When they couldn’t fulfil the purchases, the defendants tried to cover it up by providing fake postal trackers and sending empty or torn envelopes to make it appear as if the tickets had been sent and lost in the post.

“Today’s sentencing marks another significant milestone in our work to combat online ticket touts, which has already resulted in landmark prosecutions, and sends a clear message that criminals trying to rip off honest fans risk prosecution,” says Lord Michael Bichard, chair of National Trading Standards.

Mark Woods and Lynda Chenery were found guilty of fraudulent trading on 13 March 2024. Maria Chenery-Woods and Paul Douglas entered guilty pleas earlier in the process.

Maria Chenery-Woods today received four years imprisonment and is disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.

Mark Woods was handed down two years imprisonment and suspension for two years. In addition, he is disqualified from being a company director for four years, required to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work and must adhere to an electronic curfew for four months between the hours of 8 pm and 6 am.

Lynda Chenery was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment and suspension for two years. She is disqualified from being a company director for three years and complete 180 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation.

Paul Douglas received two years and five months imprisonment and is disqualified from being a company director for six years.

 


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.

Andrea Bocelli plans all-star events in Italy

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will celebrate his third decade in the music business with an event in his hometown of Lajatico.

Andrea Bocelli 30: The Celebration is slated for 15, 17 and 19 July at Tuscany’s Teatro del Silenzio, a natural amphitheatre of which Bocelli serves as honorary president.

The event will feature appearances by a plethora of Bocelli’s superstar friends including Ed Sheeran, Shania Twain, Jon Batiste, Russell Crowe, Sofia Vergara, David Foster, Christian Nodal, Sofia Carson, Laura Pausini, Tiziano Ferro, Zucchero, Giorgia, Matteo Bocelli and Virginia Bocelli.

The 65-year-old will also be joined by classical stars such as Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Lang Lang, Aida Garifullina, Bryn Terfel and Nadine Sierra.

“30 years later, I can only imagine celebrating my career and my life here at Teatro del Silenzio”

“As a child, I learned to dream about my future in the enchanted silence of these hills,” says Bocelli. “Then life made that dream happen. Today, 30 years later, I can only imagine celebrating my career and my life, its strength, and its wondrous beauty here at Teatro del Silenzio, surrounded by such wonderful artists and friends. I want to thank everyone who helped my childhood dreams come true with an unforgettable concert.”

In addition, Mercury Studios, Maverick, Impact Productions and CITYSOUND & Events are working together to produce the Andrea Bocelli 30: The Celebration concert film, which will be directed by Sam Wrench.

“You can’t get much more cinematic than Andrea Bocelli against the Tuscan landscape. I’m incredibly excited to bring this once-in-a-lifetime concert to cinemas around the world with his unique voice, this world-class team and enviable list of special guests,” says Wrench, who recently directed Taylor Swift – The Eras Tour, the highest-grossing concert film of all time.

Tickets to Andrea Bocelli 30: The Celebration range from €191.52 to €1675.80 including fees.

Prior to the event in Italy, Bocelli will perform at BST Hyde Park in London, becoming the first classical headliner of the 65,000-capacity event.

 


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.

Ed Sheeran to headline Euro 2024 fan festival

Ed Sheeran is to headline a 90,000-cap fan festival two days before the start of the UEFA European Football Championship in Germany.

Co-promoted by FKP Scorpio and agency Pro Events, FAN FEST EURO 2024 be staged at Theresienwiese in Munich on Wednesday 12 June. Tickets will cost €95 for the show, which will also star Nelly Furtado, Mark Forster and Dylan. The general sale starts tomorrow (28 March).

The performances will also be screened live by sponsor Deutsche Telekom on its MagentaMusik and MagentaTV platforms. The company is offering priority tickets for the event to customers as part of its loyalty programme.

“Football and music bring people together,” says tournament director Philipp Lahm. “Thanks to strong partners like Deutsche Telekom, the concert organiser FKP Scorpio, the event agency Pro Events and my hometown of Munich, we can offer people another highlight at fair admission prices.”

FAN FEST EURO 2024 will mark the first time that Munich’s Theresienwiese has been as a location for a major cultural event

Former Germany international Lahm and EURO ambassador Celia Šašić will appear as guests on stage during the programme, with further appearances by football personalities also planned.

FAN FEST EURO 2024 will mark the first time that Munich’s Theresienwiese has been as a location for a major cultural event. In addition to the concerts, other entertainment will be provided on stage and in the grounds, along with a range of culinary options.

It has not the first time Sheeran has linked up with the international football tournament. During Euro 2020, he set a new record for the most-watched live music performance on TikTok as part of the video app’s partnership with UEFA.

The record-breaking livestream took place at Portman Road, the home of Sheeran’s hometown football club Ipswich Town.

 


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.

Late venue switch for Ed Sheeran’s Indonesia show

Ed Sheeran’s upcoming stadium concert in Jakarta, Indonesia has been relocated just two weeks ahead of the show.

The + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour had been set to grace the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Main Stadium on 2 March, but will now switch to Jakarta International Stadium (JIS). All tickets remain valid.

Organisers PK Entertainment, AEG Presents Asia and Sound Rhythm say the decision has been taken as a result of Indonesia’s upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier with Vietnam at the GBK on 21 March.

“We recognise the importance of the Indonesia national football team’s matches, especially when we are hosting. Our support aligns with the government’s goal to advance national sports,” PK co-founder and COO Harry Sudarma tells the Jakarta Globe.

“We also believe that JIS, as the largest international-standard football stadium in Indonesia, can provide an unforgettable experience for Ed Sheeran’s fans. Our team is currently working closely with JIS to ensure a smooth and enjoyable concert experience for all fans in Jakarta.”

“We need to make special preparations to keep the venue in prime condition”

Voi reports there had been controversy in the past when the national football team was forced to move venues due to concerts by One Direction and Coldplay at GBK, while two nights by Blackpink last March also caused concern as a result of “the damaged and alarming condition of GBK grass” in the aftermath.

“The GBK Main Stadium will be the location of the match between the Indonesian national team and Vietnam,” says GBK director Rakhmadi A Kusumo. “We need to make special preparations to keep the venue in prime condition.”

The promoters are working alongside JIS and several partners “to provide additional parking spots, shuttle buses with a few pick-up and drop-off points, as well as motorbike taxis and ride-hailing services” for the relocated show.

Sheeran, who is several shows into his AEG-promoted + – = ÷ x Asia tour, set another record last week with his sold-out show at Singapore National Stadium. The 16 February concert broke the venue’s all-time capacity record after attracting 59,000 people.

The singer-songwriter also has further shows in The Philippines  and India scheduled before the Asian leg of the tour wraps up in mid-March.

 


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.

Ed Sheeran headlines Thailand’s UOB Live opening

A special one-night-only concert by Ed Sheeran launched the new UOB Live venue in Thailand on Sunday (11 February).

Managed by ASM Global, the 6,000-cap venue promises to “reshape the live entertainment landscape” in the region and is located on the sixth floor of The Emsphere shopping mall in Bangkok.

The intimate performance followed Sheeran’s sold-out + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour stop at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium the previous evening.

“This event truly showcased the potential of our venue to deliver exceptional experiences for both artists and audiences”

“We are thrilled with the success of Ed Sheeran’s exclusive concert at UOB Live,” says Craig Grossarth, general manager of UOB Live. “This event truly showcased the potential of our venue to deliver exceptional experiences for both artists and audiences. We look forward to welcoming many more iconic acts to UOB Live in the future.”

Upcoming concerts at the theatre include Slot Machine, Tom Jones, Jeff Satur and Radwimps.

AEG Global Partnerships brokered a naming rights partnership for the venue with The EM District and UOB last summer. The EM District is a renowned developer of premier retail and entertainment complexes in Thailand, while UOB is a leading bank in Asia.

“This is a transformative partnership that will usher in a new era of entertainment”

“This is a transformative partnership that will usher in a new era of entertainment,” said AEG Asia Pacific president and CEO Adam Wilkes at the time. “UOB Live symbolises the future, offering guests unparalleled live experiences. Our partnership with UOB and The EM District signifies a significant step forward in delivering world-class events and unforgettable moments to audiences in Thailand and beyond.”

Bacardi and Volvo have also signed deals to become the first founding partners, with both to have a large-scale brand presence and partnerships across the venue, with Bacardi becoming the exclusive beverage partner and Volvo becoming the exclusive automotive partner.

AEG also secured a 10-year deal between IG Group and the Aichi International Arena Company for IG Group to take the naming rights for the new 17,000-seat arena currently under construction in Nagoya Japan, which will be known as the IG Arena. The partnership is one of the largest-ever naming rights agreements in the APAC region.

As part of the Asia leg of his tour, Sheeran will play another intimate gig at the 1,000-cap Capitol Theatre in Singapore on 17 February – a day after his show at Singapore National Stadium.

 


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.

AEG Presents’ Simon Jones: ‘Business is good’

AEG Presents’ SVP of international touring Simon Jones says 2024 is on track to be the “biggest ever” for the global live business.

The Arthur Award-winning promoter is currently on the road across Asia for Ed Sheeran’s  +–=÷× (Mathematics) Tour, with dozens of Taylor Swift Eras dates still to come later this year.

And Jones, who is also overseeing this month’s BRITs Week, tells IQ he is especially encouraged by the growth of the industry outside the traditional heartlands of the US and UK.

“Business is good,” he says. “2024 is shaping up to be the biggest ever. For me, Asia continues to be the most exciting region. The globalisation of music genres is something that is outpacing everyone and is ever changing. Blackpink headlining Coachella and BST Hyde Park is a great example of that.

“Also, separately to Blackpink, what is amazing to see is how an act based out of Korea for example can be so huge in Europe and the United States, yet less so in their home region, and the same goes for a select few artists in the UK, where they have a decent solid business in Europe, but explosive in Asia.”

AEG recently co-promoted Sheeran’s record-breaking stadium concerts in Dubai on 19-20 January alongside All Things Live (ATL) Middle East. The current run also encompasses stops in Bahrain, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and India, where AEG Asia Pacific CEO Adam Wilkes is a longtime collaborator on Sheeran with Jones.

“The Dubai shows were collectively the biggest shows in UAE’s history, and a huge flag in the ground”

“The first couple of weeks of the tour has been fantastic,” says Jones. “We did a warm up show at the fantastic Al Dana Amphitheatre in Bahrain, followed by two sold-out shows at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai – 69,500 tickets in total.

“The Dubai shows were collectively the biggest shows in UAE’s history, and a huge flag in the ground proving that putting on major outdoor events in that market can be done, even though the viable venues are so few and far between. Together with our partner in Dubai, [ATL Middle East CEO] Thomas Ovesen, it was a hugely successful return to the region for Ed.

“After the Middle East shows, Ed crushed three sold out shows in Japan too last week, which has shown to be a huge market for him. Now on to sold out shows in Taiwan, Singapore, Mumbai and more over the next two months.”

In total, AEG will stage 26 dates with Sheeran from January to September, as well as 50 sold-out Taylor Swift concerts from May to August, including eight nights at London’s Wembley Stadium in the UK.

“It’s already a busy year but we’re about to launch some major tours for Q3 and Q4 2024, and into 2025,” says Jones, who notes he is closely monitoring developments in the ticketing world.

“Ticketing is an ever dynamic landscape, and the trends in America are slowly but surely going to evolve into most markets around the world over the next few years,” he adds. “We have seen it in South Africa recently, and we will also see even more forward thinking strategies being delivered into more markets that are going to catch up, despite local hesitance. We are going to be right at the forefront of implementing those.”

 


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.

Ed Sheeran announces intimate Singapore gig

Ed Sheeran has announced an intimate concert at Singapore’s 1,000-cap Capitol Theatre.

The show, entitled An Evening with Ed Sheeran, will be held on 17 February, with tickets priced S$298 (€205).

The one-night-only performance will take place the day after the British singer-songwriter plays to a sell-out + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour date in front of 50,000 fans at Singapore National Stadium.

“Experiencing Sheeran in a smaller theatre setting and sharing stories as he goes through his catalogue of hits with a full band will be a treat for Singapore fans,” says a statement by promoter AEG Presents Asia.

“Expect to hear a symphony of strings and synths as Sheeran goes through the emotions of writing and performing songs like Salt Water and End of Youth. Ballads informed by the singer’s own grief and personal upheavals will echo with soul-baring strength and create priceless memories for the lucky few.”

Sheeran’s Mathematics Tour was the seventh highest-grossing concert run of 2023

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group’s lifestyle rewards programme KrisFlyer has partnered with AEG Presents Asia to offer exclusive priority access to tickets for KrisFlyer members, who will be able to redeem a pair of Category 1 Standing and Category 2 tickets for 63,000 and 78,000 miles respectively.

“We had very strong interest in redemptions for Ed Sheeran’s sold-out concert via our KrisFlyer Reserve Sale and KrisFlyer Experiences,” says Dai Haoyu, acting SVP marketing planning for Singapore Airlines. “We are now pleased to offer KrisFlyer members priority access to a rare opportunity to attend Ed Sheeran’s special performance in Singapore. This is part of our continuous efforts to offer our members even more options and greater value.”

The Mathematics Tour was the seventh highest-grossing concert run of 2023 according to Pollstar, generating US $268,017,633 from 54 nights.

Sheeran is represented by agent Jon Ollier of One Fiinix Live outside North America.

Local independent promoters recently spoke to IQ about how they are breaking ground in their markets with record ticket sales for the tour’s European leg, which is due to kick off on 8 June 2024 in Italy, making 20 stops at a mix of stadiums and festivals across the continent.

 


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.

Local promoters hail record Ed Sheeran sales

Local, independent promoters have spoken to IQ about how they’re breaking ground in their markets with record ticket sales for Ed Sheeran’s 2024 European tour.

The European leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour is due to kick off on 8 June 2024 in Italy, making 20 stops at a mix of stadiums and festivals across the continent.

The first stadium stop on the AEG Presents promoted-outing will be at Ta’ Qali National Park (cap. 30,000), marking the 32-year-old’s first-ever concert in Malta.

According to one of the show’s local promoters, Nigel Camilleri at NNG Promotions, the 26 June 2024 concert has broken “all records” in the island country.

“The number of tickets in an hour, total number of ticket sales in one day, as well as total gross amount of ticket sales in an hour and in a day,” lists Camilleri, who is promoting the gig alongside AEG and Greatt.

“Hopefully, this will open more doors which were previously closed or only ajar”

“The adrenaline rush when the ticket sales opened was indescribable,” he continues. “It’s not often, at least in Malta, that one gets to promote a concert of an artist who appeals to such a wide-ranging audience.”

Camilleri says hosting a star of Sheeran’s size helps to put Malta – which is isolated from mainland Europe – on the map for other blockbuster tours.

“It is a great triumph for us because we have proven that the Maltese market can sustain an A-level artist such as Ed Sheeran,” he adds. “We have been working towards and building up to this moment for many years and admittedly there was an element of luck with the stars aligning for it to happen.

“As a company, it is a major feather in our cap and hopefully, this will open more doors which were previously closed or only ajar.”

Bulgarian promoter FEST Team is also hoping the success of Sheeran’s show at Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia (31 August) will be a calling card for other A-list artists.

“[We hope] more prominent artists will acknowledge Bulgaria as a substantial market with tour potential”

“Our aspiration is that the success of this event will encourage more prominent artists to acknowledge Bulgaria and the Balkan region as a substantial market with tour potential,” FEST Team’s Stefan Elenkov tells IQ.

The Sofia-based full-service promoter sold all 60,000 tickets to the Bulgaria date in the first 24 hours of the on-sale. It beat the previous record set in 2009 by Madonna who sold 19,000 tickets in the first 24 hours for a 55,000-capacity show.

“This indeed is a truly remarkable achievement,” says Elenkov. “It is important to mention that a show of this magnitude hasn’t taken place in Bulgaria since 2009.”

Staging the biggest-ever concert in Bulgaria, which is yet to be included in the Schengen Area, hasn’t been without its challenges but Elenkov says his team has been “excited to embrace them”.

“After dedicating eight months to negotiations and detailed planning, we managed to successfully overcome various infrastructural and logistic challenges associated with the venue,” says Elenkov.

“Ticket Station Bulgaria is handling a show of such magnitude for the first time and has met the tour’s criteria”

“Anticipating Bulgaria and Romania’s inclusion in the Schengen area, we expect even fewer logistical challenges, making future tour planning considerably more structured. The routing Budapest – Bucharest – Sofia – Athens—would essentially become practically borderless.”

Another source of pride for FEST Team is the reported absence of tickets for Sheeran’s Bulgaria date on Viagogo.

“This demonstrates our success in implementing stringent security measures, ensuring that only real people have bought tickets for the show,” adds Elenkov. “This marks an important milestone – Ticket Station Bulgaria is handling a show of such magnitude for the first time and has precisely met the tour’s criteria.”

Sheeran’s team has long taken an aggressive stance against the secondary ticketing market, opting to use 100% mobile digital ticketing technology to keep tickets in the hands of fans.

The tour’s local promoters in Lithuania also have a lot to celebrate after sales for Sheeran’s two 2024 dates in the country broke “all previous entertainment sales records” across the Baltic states.

“By selling the most tickets of any artist in the Baltics, Sheeran has set yet another record”

According to L Tips Agency – which is organising Sheeran’s concerts in the Baltics for the third time – the first concert sold out in just over 24 hours the second is already more than 50% sold out, nine months in advance.

Provided both dates in Lithuania sell out, Sheeran will perform to 90,000 fans across the 3 and 4 August at Darius and Girėnas Stadium in Kaunas.

“In 2019, he set the record for the most visited international artist show of all time in Latvia with an attendance of approximately 50,000 people,” says Gints Putnins, owner of L Tips Agency. “Now a new record has been set for the whole of the Baltics!”

The Agency, which is one of the largest independent promoters in the Baltic States, is promoting the concert alongside FKP Scorpio.

Folkert Koopmans, founder & CEO of FKP Scorpio, adds: “By selling the most tickets of any artist in the Baltics, Ed Sheeran has set yet another record. We’re proud and happy to be promoting the shows and couldn’t have done so without the support of all local stakeholders and our partner agencies. L Tips Agency’s work has been invaluable in making the second-ever music concert in Kaunas stadium possible. We’re already looking forward to seeing everything coming together in August 2024!”

The 32-year-old’s forthcoming Dubai concerts could become the best-selling shows in UAE history

Sheeran’s record-breaking streak doesn’t stop at independent promoters, nor does it stop in Europe. As previously reported in IQ, the 32-year-old’s forthcoming Dubai concerts could become the best-selling shows in UAE history, according to All Thing Live Middle East CEO Thomas Ovesen.

The British singer-songwriter is due to play the Sevens Stadium from 19-20 January 2024 in what are being called the largest open-air concerts ever to take place in Dubai.

The dates, which will see Sheeran perform “in the round”, will be his first in the Middle East since playing at the city’s Autism Rocks Arena in November 2017, which attracted a sell-out 23,272 crowd.

Last month, Sheeran concluded the North American leg of his Mathematics tour, with the final date on 28 October at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sheeran is represented by Marty Diamond and Ash Lewis at Wasserman for US and Canada, and Jon Ollier at One Finiix Live for the rest of the world.

 


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.

Ed Sheeran’s UAE shows tipped to make history

Ed Sheeran’s forthcoming Dubai concerts could become the best-selling shows in UAE history, according to All Things Live Middle East CEO Thomas Ovesen.

The British singer-songwriter brings his + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour to The Sevens Stadium from 19-20 January 2024 in what are being called the largest open-air concerts ever to take place in Dubai.

The dates, which will see the 32-year-old perform “in the round”, will be Sheeran’s first in the Middle East since playing the city’s Autism Rocks Arena in November 2017, which attracted a sell-out 23,272 crowd.

“Not since 2017 has the Dubai market hosted such large scale outdoor concerts promoted on merits of ticket sales,” Ovesen tells IQ. “So it’s with great satisfaction we don’t just put on two Ed Sheeran concerts here in January, but again together with AEG Presents get to work with Ed and his management – this time showcasing his incredible 360° production for the first time in the Middle East.”

The events, which will feature support from Calum Scott, are backed by Dubai Calendar and Coca-Cola Arena, with tickets going on sale on Friday (9 November).

“It’s not only a massive event and achievement for Dubai, but one that hopefully reflects also a return to more large-scale outdoor shows”

“With a combined capacity of more than 60.000 tickets these shows could well break the record of the best-selling UAE concert ever. It’s not only a massive event and achievement for Dubai, but one that hopefully reflects also a return to more large-scale outdoor shows and an increased live entertainment offering in our market.”

European live entertainment group All Things Live launched in the Middle East earlier this year following successful collaborations with Ovesen’s TOP Entertainment. Ovesen had previously brought acts including Justin Bieber, The Eagles, Guns ‘N Roses, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John and Ed Sheeran to the region, and launched festivals such as RedFestDXB and Fiesta De Los Muertos.

The promoter’s recent highlights included a rare sell-out for last weekend’s Bryan Adams’ concert at Dubai’s 17,000-cap Coca-Cola Arena.

“I think the arena has had a few other sell-out shows this year including Hanz Zimmer and some Arabic and Indian artists,” Ovesen told IQ last month. “But the UAE is a relatively small market with less than 10 million residents and more than 200 nationalities, so it is hard to pick an event or artist that will pull from all the various communities and sell beyond 10,000 tickets.

“It’s rare that shows in the UAE sell out and, indeed, for large-scale shows in the few arenas here. So for an established touring artist who has visited the market many times in the past and played in smaller capacities, to completely sell out Coca-Cola Arena two months prior to the show date is unheard of. Our last sold-out show at the venue was with 50 Cent back in September 2022 and it only sold out the day before the show.”

The Mathematics Tour was the fifth highest-grossing worldwide in H1 2023

The Mathematics Tour was the fifth highest-grossing worldwide in Pollstar‘s H1 2023 rankings, selling just over one million tickets to earn $105.3 million. Back in June, Sheeran broke the attendance record at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium in the USA, pulling in 89,106 people to surpass the 88,491 fans drawn by U2 for their 360° Tour in 2011.

He also broke his own attendance record at Melbourne Cricket Ground in March by playing to more than 100,000 fans on consecutive nights, and New Zealand’s Sky Stadium, where he drew 48,000 fans. He also set a new ticket sales record in Denmark, shifting 160,000 tickets to four shows in the capital city of Copenhagen last year.

Sheeran, who will tour Asia and Europe in 2024, will also headline Rock in Rio Lisbon’s 20th anniversary edition, and is also slated to appear at other festivals including Lucca Summer Festival (Italy), Hurricane & Southside (Germany) and Stavernfestivalen (Norway).

His previous 255 show ÷ (Divide) run from 2017-19 was the highest-grossing tour ever before, generating $776.2 million, before being surpassed by Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour earlier this year. Sheeran is represented by Marty Diamond of Wasserman Music in North America and Jon Ollier of One Fiinix Live for the rest of the world.

 


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.

India stakes its claim as global entertainment hub

India is enhancing its claim as a global entertainment hub as it entices a growing number of international stars and festival brands to the country.

50 Cent, Westlife, Deep Purple, Goo Goo Dolls, Bastille and Kodaline are among the big-name acts set to perform before the end of the year, while Ed Sheeran last week announced his + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) tour will visit Mumbai in 2024.

The concert at Mahalaxmi Racecourse on 16 March will be the first time Sheeran has played in India since 2017. According to BookMyShow Live, which is co-promoting the concert with AEG Presents, the gig will feature a 360° circular and revolving stage – a first for India.

“The future of events in India is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation,” says Owen Roncon, BookMyShow’s chief of business, live entertainment.

“Our endeavour at BookMyShow Live is to consistently push the boundaries of how live entertainment is experienced here at par with global standards. In line with that, we are thrilled to bring this ground-breaking, production wonder with the 360-degree circular, revolving stage to the Indian audience for the Ed Sheeran: + – = ÷ x Tour (Mathematics Tour).

“The future of events in India is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation”

“With this innovative production, auditory experience and the technological integration, the tour comes to India as a work of art where technology waltzes with creativity, weaving an enchanting blend of visuals and sound; ensuring in fact that it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

India has already enjoyed a bumper 2023 calendar, with concerts from the likes of Backstreet Boys, John Legend and Bonobo, and festivals including Vh1 Supersonic, Mahindra Blues Festival and Lollapalooza drawing yet more household names.

Live Nation and BookMyShow teamed up on the very first Lollapalooza India at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse, featuring Imagine Dragons, The Strokes, and Diplo alongside Indian-born rapper AP Dhillon, Delhi-based singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad and others. The event drew 60,000 fans over two days, with 40 artists performing across four stages on a 50-acre site.

James Craven, Live Nation president, Middle East, says Lollapalooza coming to Mumbai is a great example of the market’s growing importance.

“It’s really exciting to see global markets open up to music and artists from the Indian sub-continent, as well as seeing how the Indian market continues to open up for international acts,” says Craven in the IQ’s Global Promoters Report. “Expanding global touring routes for artists is key to their growth and that of the industry, and India will play a key role in that going forwards.”

“Our endeavour is to consistently push the boundaries of how live is experienced here at par with global standards”

Lollapalooza isn’t the only global festival brand to plant a flag in India. Palm Tree Festival, an event founded by renowned Norwegian producer Kygo and his manager Myles Shear, will debut in Mumbai this November.

The festival will bring the likes of Kungs (FR), Sam Felt (NL) and Kidnap (GB) to the Mahalaxmi Racecourse between 3–5 November. Palm Tree has also taken place in The Hamptons (US), Cabo San Lucas (MX) and Pag Island (HR).

Elsewhere in the festival market, pre-existing brands have hailed new milestones. India’s biggest metal festival Bangalore Open Air sold out for the first time in its 10-year history.

The 3,000-capacity event, which is produced in partnership with Germany’s marquee metal festival Wacken Open Air, saw acts including Mayhem, Pestilence, Kryptos, Godless, Born of Osiris, Dying Embrace and Amorphia perform at Royal Orchid Resorts at Yelahanka.

Closing out the year, Percept Live’s Sunburn festival will return to Goa in December, with international artists such as Alesso (SE), Charlotte De Witte (BE) and Timmy Trumpet (AU).

“India’s music landscape has witnessed meteoric growth in the past few years,” says Kunal Khambhat, head of live events & IP at BookMyShow, said in the most recent Global Promoters Report.

“Slowly but steadily, the country has set the stage to become a keystone for some of the biggest music performances and markets in the world – from hosting acclaimed international and Indian independent artists at large concerts to smaller formats that are gradually shaping the music landscape in the country.”

 


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.