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DEAG forms partnership with Black Mamba

Deutsche Entertainment (DEAG) has formed a cooperation with Black Mamba Event & Marketing, organiser of longstanding electronic music festival Sputnik Spring Break.

The Pouch-based festival has been taking place since 2008 and is now one of the largest festivals in eastern Germany with around 30,000 visitors every year.

The 2024 edition of the festival was completely sold out, with headline performances from Cro, Scooter, Nina Chuba, Tream and Timmy Trumpet.

According to DEAG “comprehensive synergy effects with the Group, in terms of production and infrastructure as well as artist acquisition, will lead to continuous margin improvements”.

The firm claims to be the leading producer of EDM/Techno/Urban festivals in Germany, with a stable of events that includes Airbeat One, MAYDAY, NATURE ONE, Indian Spirit, Syndicate, Ruhr in Love, Toxicator and the Kessel Festival in Stuttgart. The new partnership sees DEAG accelerate its growth in this market.

“We have successfully and profitably implemented our growth strategy in the EDM festival segment since 2019”

The German domestic market leads the ranking of monthly Electronic Music listeners with 369 million, ahead of the United States. Electronic Music outperformed other genres such as Rock, Latin and Hip-Hop in terms of growth in online consumption and recorded the strongest growth worldwide in 2023, according to the IMS Business Report 2024.

“We have successfully and profitably implemented our growth strategy in the EDM festival segment since 2019,” says Detlef Kornett, Group CEO of DEAG. “The cooperation with Rico Tietze will enable us to leverage synergies throughout the Group and in various projects beyond Sputnik. This is the next big step for us at DEAG to strengthen our leading role in this segment.”

Rico Tietze, managing director of Black Mamba event & marketing, adds: “We are delighted to have found a strong cooperation partner in our segment in DEAG. Together, we will continuously improve our festival for our guests and use the network within the Group featuring other strong festivals and the experienced team for further expansion.”

DEAG organising more than 30 one-day and multi-day festival events of all music genres in its core markets of Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Spain and Ireland, attracting over 800,000 visitors each year.

Last week, the Berlin-headquartered firm spun off its hip-hop booking division into a standalone brand called District Live.

 


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Ultra Miami’s first day cut short due to severe weather

Ultra Music Festival was forced to shut down early on Friday (22 March) due to severe weather in Miami.

The three-day EDM event, taking place at Miami’s Bayfront, opened on Friday despite warnings of thunderstorms, heavy rain and high winds in the South Florida region.

Ahead of the festival, punters were advised to bring ponchos, raincoats and boots. Ultra also encouraged festival goers to text ULTRA to 48477 to stay updated with real-time safety information.

Festivities went ahead as planned until around 21:00 EDT, when Ultra issued a statement: “For your safety, Ultra Friday is temporarily shutting down. Please calmly leave the park now.”

The three-day EDM event opened on Friday despite warnings of thunderstorms, heavy rain and high winds

Hardwell, a Dutch DJ and producer who was due to play the headline set on the festival’s main stage, shared a post on X, expressing his disappointment at having to cancel his performance. He wrote: “I’m crying right now, 3 months of work by the team and myself. Wow….”

At around 23:30 EDT, Ultra shared another statement, assuring fans that the festival would go ahead on Saturday despite ongoing inclement weather. It read: “Severe weather is still in the area. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!”

Ultra resumed on Saturday, with extended hours to make up for the lost time, and guests were advised to turn up with caution. Artists including Calvin Harris and Eric Prydz performed at the festival during the weekend.

Events around the globe that have been impacted by the elements over the past 12 months include Primavera Sound MadridAwakenings in the Netherlands, Slovenia’s MetalDays, the UK’s Kaleidoscope, shows by Louis Tomlinson show and Ed Sheeran in the US, Burning ManTaylor Swift in Brazil, Elton John in New Zealand and Wacken Open Air in Germany.

Extreme weather and its impact on open-air events was a major topic of conversation during last month’s ILMC in London. Read more here.

 


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Alda expands to Croatia with new office and festival

Alda, the Amsterdam-based company behind leading EDM events including AMF, New Horizons and more, is expanding to Croatia.

The Dutch promoter, which is 50% owned by Live Nation-backed Insomniac, today announced it has opened an office in the capital, Zagreb.

In addition, Alda and Insomniac have also planned a new seven-day festival in the Croatian city of Pula, on the Adriatic coast.

The event, titled Secret Project Presents Pula Music Week, will take place in and around one of Europe’s oldest amphitheatres between 30 June to 6 July.

Peggy Gou, Solomon, Disclosure, Tale Of Us, Boris Brejcha, Charlotte de Witte and Black Coffee will each host their own evening. Support acts will be announced at a later date.

“Croatia will be the epic centre for the European dance industry for the foreseeable future”

Project Presents Pula Music Week is the second new festival Alda and Insomniac have launched together, after Saga festival in Bucharest, Romania.

Allan Hardenberg, director and co-founder of ALDA, says: “In the two years that the festival world has been on hiatus, we have of course not been idle. We’ve made plans for when it could all be done again… and that’s now! Earlier this month we officially opened our office in Zagreb, Croatia will be the epic centre for the European dance industry for the foreseeable future.

“There are so many options here, especially for destination festivals. With the Pula Music Week, music lovers can enjoy not just one evening, but a week of the very best DJs in a unique location, where they are provided with everything they need.”

Alda is behind events including A State of Trance in Utrecht, New Horizons in Germany (a JV with CTS Eventim) and Amsterdam Music Festival, the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival.

Insomniac, meanwhile, has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including Electric Daisy Carnivals in North America, Japan, China and Mexico, and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running dance music event.

 


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French festival sues over ‘gutter punk’ comments

A French electronic music festival is suing two local politicians for defamation over derogatory remarks the pair allegedly posted on social media.

Les Dentelles Électroniques – which takes place on Sunday 7 August, with German techno DJ Thomas Schumacher headlining – is taking legal action against Corentin Triplet and Jocelyne Cieslak, both municipal councillors in Brebières in northern France, who are accused of writing libellous posts about the festival on Twitter and Facebook, respectively.

According to Les Dentelles Électroniques, Triplet posted on Twitter on 17 July to say he was “surprised” to see Brebières “associated with an event for punks à chiens”, the French term for gutter punks (literally “dog punks”), a subsection of the punk world characterised by homelessness, vagrancy and, sometimes, voluntary unemployment and antisocial behaviour.

“By this tweet, Mr Triplet clearly despises the organisers of Les Dentelles Électroniques, as well as its festivalgoers and all the members of the electronic music ecosystem, associating them with ‘gutter punks’,” reads a statement from the festival. “However, the festival is very far from the image to which Mr Triplet refers. Indeed, everyone involved with this event maintains very good relations with the security forces [and] municipal police […] in order to guarantee the best possible conditions for its operation.”

“Fhe festival is very far from the image to which Mr Triplet refers”

Cieslak, meanwhile, is accused of making, on 21 July, a public post on her Facebook account where she appears to “question the the charitable nature” of the 1,500-person festival, “undermining the honour” of the festival’s organiser, the foundation CGDPC (Chti G Découverte Passion et Culturelle).

“The festival organisers find it unfortunate to want to harm such an event in the current health context [the pandemic] and the resulting difficulties,” reads a statement from CGDPC.

“In light of the above, the festival organisers decided to file a complaint on Thursday 22 July 2021 against the two authors of these publications” under the Press Freedom Act of 29 July 1881, it adds.

The festival is supported in its lawsuit by electronic industry association Technopol, which says it stands with the “organisers and festivalgoers implicated by these illicit comments and assures them of its full confidence”.

 


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Dance music festivals and clubs lose 78% of value

Prevented from opening by Covid-19 restrictions, nightclubs and dance music festivals lost more than three quarters of their value in 2020, according to new data from the International Music Summit (IMS).

Using data from Viberate and Reisdent Advisor, the IMS Business Report 2021, a copy of which can be requested by clicking here, calculated that €3.4 billion, or 78%, was wiped off the value of venues and festivals last year, as more than 200 electronic music festivals were forced to cancel.

Compounding the damage was a late, scaled-back 2020 season in Ibiza, while searches for flights for 2021 have yet to take off amid ongoing uncertainty, according to the report. IMS’s own flagship event, IMS Ibiza, was among the summer 2020 casualties.

“A huge rebound can be expected as the live industry finds safe routes to reopening”

However, “a huge rebound can be expected as the live industry finds safe routes to reopening”, it continues, while the demand for live dance music events events is bigger than ever: the value of festival tickets sold in March 2021 was more than the whole of 2020 combined, an increase of 4,000% year on year.

The decline in the value mirrors that of the live music industry more broadly, which analysts have put at 75% (Goldman Sachs) and 64% (PwC).

In total (including recorded music and DJ software/hardware), the global electronic music market declined 54%, to $3.4bn, the IMS Business Report estimates.

 


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Slovenia hosts Europe’s biggest post-pandemic festival

Smile Nation Slovenia, the largest music festival in continental Europe since the coronavirus pandemic began, took place with 5,000 fans in Ljubljana on Thursday 24 June.

Held at the city’s Ilirija sports stadium, the festival, promoted by Celje-based Smile Festival, featured performances from popular international DJs, including Australia’s Nervo and Dutch producer Quintino, and local talent such as Minless and Tim Urbanya. The festival follows last year’s seated, socially distanced event with 500 people each night over three days.

A total of 5,000 people attended the one-day Smile Nation Slovenia 2021, which took place under so-called PCT conditions (pogojev PCT), referring to the Slovenian term for Covid-status certification. All attendees had to provide proof of either vaccination against Covid-19, immunity to the disease, or a negative Covid-19 test to gain entry.

Organisers advised non-vaccinated/immune guests to get tested the day beforehand in their hometowns, though a pre-event testing point was set up in Ljubljana’s Tivoli Park for those unable to.

Other hygiene measures in place at the festival included card-only payments and hand sanitising points, while face masks were recommended but not required.

“We are proud that in these unpredictable times, we managed to undertake an event of this magnitude”

According to local media, Smile Nation Slovenia is the largest festival of the Covid-19 era in the European Union. Recent events in the UK, including Sefton Park Pilot and Download Pilot, were the same size or bigger, although they were held under clinically controlled test-event conditions.

“From the bottom of our hearts, we thank visitors, performers, partners, sponsors and everyone else who contributed to this unique spectacle,” say organisers in a statement. “We are proud that in these unpredictable times, we managed to undertake an event of this magnitude and make history as one of the first major ’normal’ festivals of the past two years.

“An electric atmosphere, positive energy, lots of good fun and great music: this was Smile Nation Slovenia 2021.”

Other ‘normal’ festivals going ahead this summer include Exit Festival in Serbia, Pukkelpop in Belgium, Mysteryland in the Netherlands and a handful of UK events, pending the removal of restrictions on 19 July.

 


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United at Home: How David Guetta live streams raised millions

United at Home, David Guetta’s free-to-access lockdown livestream series, has raised more than US$2 million for charity to date – over half a million dollars per show – and is just getting started, according to co-organiser Michael Wiesenfeld.

Wiesenfeld, a French-born, Miami-based estate agent and friend of Guetta, was instrumental in setting up the first United at Home event in April 2020, which saw the DJ play a 100-minute set on the roof of an apartment block in Miami in aid of the World Health Organization (WHO), Feeding South Florida, Feeding America and France’s Fondation des Hôpitaux.

The show was seen by more than 12 million people – many of which also joined in on a Zoom link, while 7,000 residents of neighbouring blocks in the Icon Brickell complex watched from their balconies – and raised $700,000, with donations matched by Guetta himself, Wiesenfeld explains.

“For that first show, David paid for 100% of the production, as well as matching people’s donations, so 100% of that money went directly to charity,” he recalls.

Thinking back to the genesis of the show, Wiesenfeld tells IQ: “David wanted to do something to give back, but he didn’t really know what. I was the same – it was such a stressful time, and I couldn’t sleep thinking of all these people who were worse off than me. We could see people were struggling. There was no help at the time, as this was before any stimulus package.

“I used to live in the apartment block where we did the first show and I realised it would be perfect. I was looking for something that would be visually very nice [to watch from home] and also offer the possibility for David to interact with a live crowd. A friend and client of mine in the real-estate business, Jean-Charles Carre, is part of David’s management team, so I called them up and said, ‘Why don’t we do it here?’”

The United at Home team, which also included Jérémy Zeitoun, Guetta’s head of social media and digital marketing, and Pierre-Georges Kieffer from Warner Music France, pulled the Miami show together in under a week, working “18 hours a day for five days” to make it happen, Wiesenfeld continues.

In addition to providing some much-needed entertainment, the funds raised by United at Home Miami and follow-up event United at Home New York, on 30 May, enabled Feeding America to distribute over four million meals to people in need.

“We thought about selling tickets to raise more money, but it would limit the number of people who can see it”

“Everybody has same story about it giving a bit of happiness at time of such darkness,” Wiesenfeld says. “I dug out the clips recently and, even a year later, I had chills. It was like watching France win the world cup!”

“That night, I couldn’t sleep,” Wiesenfeld remembers. “David, the team and I were on the phone until 6.30 in the morning, we were so full of adrenaline. We all agreed that we had to do another one.”

The show that followed, which saw Guetta performing from the roof of New York’s Rockefeller Center, almost didn’t happen, with big-city bureaucracy, the worsening Covid-19 situation and the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd threatening to derail the concert before it got off the ground.

“The day of the event, there were 4,000 people on the streets of New York by our hotel,” Wiesenfeld explains. “We didn’t think we were going to make it to the Rockefeller Center in time. In the end, David arrived seven minutes before the show!”

Despite the chaotic circumstances, United at Home New York was another critical and financial success, securing the backing of a number of high-profile sponsors who were impressed by what the team had pulled off in Miami.

“In Miami, David paid for entire show, but in New York we had Major League Soccer, Heineken, Atari, all kinds of companies… In total, we had maybe 15 sponsors because they saw what we did in Miami and they were blown away,” says Wiesenfeld.

Similarly successful were United at Home Paris, held at the Louvre on New Year’s Eve 2020, and United at Home Dubai, which saw Guetta return to the rooftop (this time of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel) on 6 February. Both shows were engineered by Guetta’s long time tour manager, Jean-Guillaume Charvet, and visual artist Romain Pissenem of High Scream Production, and brought United at Home’s now-trademark mix of high-energy electronic music, spectacular visual effects and breathtaking locations to fans in new continents.

Bucking the trend towards ticketed live streams, Wiesenfeld says all future United at Home events will remain free to view to ensure they reach as many people as possible.

“The key with charity is that it’s all about the experience and the connection with people”

“We thought about it [selling tickets], to raise more money, but it would limit the number of people who can see it,” he explains. “David’s logic is that he’s been very successful, he’s received a lot from his fans, and now his duty is to give back. The charity angle is very important to him.”

At press time, the four shows had been collectively viewed by well over 100m people – and where in the beginning the team had to approach cities to host United at Home, now the cities are coming to them. “The shows have shown that these United at Home events are a great way of advertising their cities,” says Wiesenfeld, who with Carre now leads a specialist event consultancy, The Charity Guys. “After all, it’s a lot cheaper than hosting the Euros…”

The plan for 2021–22 is for another three or four over the next 12 months, he says. “Now United at Home has become a concept – we travel to a beautiful part of the world and play great music for charity – it’s going to continue.”

Post-coronavirus, Wiesenfeld adds, team Guetta – which also includes agent Maria May of CAA – are also hoping to do a “real show in a big stadium: a festival curated by David but featuring other artists. A Live Aid type of thing, once a year.”

On the live stream front, it’s likely the next United at Home show will be in Asia, but The Charity Guys is also looking at South America, the Middle East and other cities in Europe, according to Wiesenfeld. “What we’re trying to do is find new ways to raise money for those who need it,” he adds.

The Charity Guys is also hoping to work with other artists to replicate the success of the United at Home model, using it as their proof of concept.

“United at Home was the product of out-of-the-box thinking – it was livestreaming but in a completely different way. Now we want to do that with other artists and entertainers, leveraging their fame and brand to raise money.

“There are a lot of celebrities who have foundations but they don’t raise much money, and I think that’s because they don’t have the right team around them. The key with charity is that it’s all about the experience and the connection with people, and that’s why United at Home has been so successful.”

 


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Clubs come together for The Beat Goes Live

A 48-hour livestreaming event will unite many of the world’s leading electronic music venues in support of the industry later this month.

The Beat Goes Live, which takes place from 19 to 21 March, will raise money for Music Heroes, an initiative supporting venues, promoters, artists, music related charities and organisations. It will stream live on Paarti starting from 9pm GMT.

Participating venues include Ambassada Gavioli (Izola, Slovenia), Cava Paradiso (Mykonos, Greece), Club der Visionaere (Berlin, Germany), Egg (London, UK), D-Edge (Sao Paolo, Brazil), H0L0 (New York, USA), Noa Beach Club (Zrce, Croatia), Nordstern (Basel, Switzerland), Phonotheque (Montevideo, Uruguay), Super Dommune (Tokyo, Japan), Tenax (Firenze, Italy) and Versuz (Hasselt, Belgium).

A final secret venue, as well as the line-up, will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are launching a new kind of platform kicking off with a historic event that brings together some of the biggest names in music”

Fans can support the cause by buying tickets and making donations in both their local currency and cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

Raluca Cherciu, CEO, Paarti says: “We are launching a new kind of platform kicking off with a historic event that brings together some of the biggest names in music, in support of music heroes.”

“What always drives us is the passion and love for music. For Noa, the beat never stops, it keeps playing just like our hearts that live for this industry,” says the club in a statement.

“That is why Noa Beach Club decided to join this initiative because it arose from a sincere desire to continue living, having fun and socialising from all over the world. Luckily, technology today allows us to do that, and this project is going to take it to another level.”

 


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Netherlands’ La Nuit Management welcomes new investment

Amsterdam-based artist management firm La Nuit Management has secured investment from Loki Artist Group, a company formed during the Covid-19 pandemic to invest in music companies ahead of the return of touring.

Through the partnership, Loki Artist Group, founded last year by Bob Murray, Zack Dekkaki and Ric Wake, will provide unspecified investment capital – as well as label and touring support and ‘synergies’ with other Loki partners – to La Nuit Management, launched in 2018 by artist manager Robert Tammens.

La Nuit’s roster includes electronic music acts Caius, Paeve, Kid Honda and Aevion, as well as Eauxmar, who recently produced a song for the new Apple Watch campaign.

Prior to starting La Nuit Management, Tammens was part of the A&R/marketing team at Spinnin’ Records, where he worked with acts including Lana Del Rey, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Tiësto, Don Diablo and Calvin Harris and discovered Oliver Heldens, whose song ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ hit No1 in the UK.

“La Nuit’s broad roster of clients, along with Robert’s vision, creative edge and entrepreneurial spirit, brings an excitement to our brand”

“As we grow our business internationally, we believe the best future for us remains to be investing in people like Robert and his vision” says Murray, Loki Artists’ CEO. The company also recently invested in Title 9 Productions, an US label, artist management and record production company.

“La Nuit’s broad roster of clients, along with Robert’s vision, creative edge and entrepreneurial spirit, brings an excitement to our brand as we continue to grow,” adds president Dekkaki.

Comments Tammens: “We are looking forward to working with Zack and Bob as we continue to develop our artists and expand our growth opportunities on an international level.

“Their tremendous knowledge, experience and support will give us the ability to really work with the best artists in our industry.”

 


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ASOT1000 sells 55,000 tickets in four hours

The Netherlands’ A State of Trance (ASOT) has sold all 55,000 tickets for this September’s festival, which takes place at the Jaarbeurs convention centre in Utrecht on 3–4 September.

The ASOT1000 Celebration Weekend, which marks 1,000 episodes and 20 years of Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance radio show, is the most-anticipated A State of Trance to date, selling out in under four hours, according to promoter Alda.

Headlined by van Buuren, the first night of ASOT1000 will be a “nostalgic journey through two decades of trance”, with the Saturday show a more standard ASOT experience, welcoming a “star-studded line-up packed with new young talent, as well as iconic trance artists”. The nine-hour event will take place across five areas of the 100,000m² Jaarbeurs.

The festival follows ASOT 950, which took place last February, also at the Jaarbeurs, with 40,000 fans in attendance and millions more watching online.

Further ASOT1000 events will take place in Poland and Russia the following month, before heading to more countries on A State of Trance world tour.

“This incredible achievement signifies that music has always been a unifying force”

Allan Hardenberg, CEO of leading dance music promoter Alda, says: “This milestone celebration is a very special one for Alda, as we have been a part of this extraordinary journey for 14 years in organising ASOT events worldwide. We are glad to celebrate this landmark occasion with Armin and fans from all over the world.

“This incredible achievement signifies that music has always been a unifying force. See you on the dancefloor this September.”

Tickets for ASOT1000 Celebration Weekend started at €110 for a weekend ticket, or €65 for a single-day pass.

Regarding coronavirus, Alda says it will take “measures that are necessary at that moment” to protect fans and comply with all Dutch government regulations. Another dance music festival, new event Frontier, says it will also go ahead in a ‘corona-proof’ format, regardless of restrictions, this summer.

 


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