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Greek ticketer threatens legal action against Art BG

Greek ticketing company Viva is pursuing legal action against promoter Art BG for the return of almost €740,000 in ticket sales for events it claims the promoter “did not end up organising”.

According to an extrajudicial statement filed by Viva and obtained by IQ, Art BG sold 13,080 tickets to four concerts through Viva’s platform, collecting a total of €737,659.

On 11 November, ten days before the first scheduled date, the promoter informed Viva that, due to “financial difficulties”, it would be unable to pay for the cost of the shows.

The ticketing company states that the promoter then “literally disappeared” and has not responded to phone calls or written communications since.

In order to avoid cancellation of the first concert – Bryan Adams at Athens’ Oaka indoor arena (21,000-cap.) on 18 November – Viva “decided to bear the costs” and the show went ahead as planned.

The ticketing company states that the other affected events – Jose Carreras at the Oaka arena on 24 November and Maluma shows at the Paok Sports Arena (10,200-cap.) in Thessaloniki and the Peace and Friendship Stadium (14,940-cap.) in Piraeus on 11 March and 13 March respectively – will “be performed as planned”, in conjunction with new promoter Artway.

Viva is pursuing legal action against promoter Art BG for the return of almost €740,000 in ticket sales for events it claims the promoter “did not end up organising”

Viva expresses “strong disapproval” for what it terms “totally unprofessional and abusive behaviour” on behalf of the promoter.

Art BG has been at the centre of controversy elsewhere in Europe in recent weeks. As reported by IQ, CAA recently cancelled three Enrique Iglesias shows in Croatia, Belarus and Latvia, stating the promoter had “not fulfilled their contractual obligations”, whereas Latvian ticketing company Bilesu Serviss asked the police to investigate “possible fraud” on behalf of Art BG.

The promoter’s social media page has been deactivated. No response has been made to IQ’s request for comment.

Update: Viva announced today (21 November), that it is fronting all the costs for the Carreras concert this weekend, with organisational support from Gazarte Group Company. Viva will issue new, zero-value tickets to the 3,200 customers who paid to go to the show, as well as providing a further 2,500 free tickets online, with a suggested donation of €7. All proceeds will go to social and environmental development charity Together We Can (Όλοι μαζι μπορουμε).

 


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Controversy as Enrique Iglesias shows cancelled

Upcoming shows by Spanish star Enrique Iglesias in Croatia, Belarus and Latvia have been cancelled, as the artist’s representative, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), declares a lack of compliance on behalf of promoter Art BG.

CAA released a statement on Thursday (14 November) calling off concerts at the Zagreb Arena (16,500-cap.) on 1 December; the Minsk Arena (15,000-cap.) on 3 December; and Arena Riga (10,300-cap.) on 5 December, all part of the artist’s All the Hits Live world tour.

A person close to the situation tells IQ that shows in Greece, under the charge of the same promoter, have also been affected.

Art BG has promoted other shows on the All the Hits Live tour in numerous countries, including Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Poland.

However, according to Latvian publication Apollo, no information about the concerts in Zagreb, Minsk and Riga had been published on Iglesias’ official website. The concert dates are still advertised on the Art BG website, but the pages they link to no longer exist.

“Sadly and regrettably, after much careful consideration, and exhausting all possible alternatives, we have been forced to cancel the upcoming shows in Zagreb, Riga, and Minsk,” reads the statement that CAA issued to ticket sellers, and published by Latvian platform Bilesu Serviss.

“Art BG has not complied or fulfilled their contractual obligations with the venues or any of the production elements for these three events”

“Art BG, the concert tour promoter, producer and event organiser, has not complied or fulfilled their contractual obligations with the venues or any of the production elements for these three events. All of this makes it impossible to put on the show that our fans deserve.

“Safety for our fans and crew is paramount and we cannot guarantee this for everyone without the promoter fulfilling their obligations. It is simply too big of a risk.”

The agency adds that it is seeking new dates for the shows “in the near future”.

“Together, with vendors and venues, we are devoted to making the responsible party, Art BG, held responsible for their actions,” concludes the statement.

Ticketing platform Bilesu Serviss has approached the police to obtain a legal assessment of the situation and “possible fraud by Art BG”. Until more information is available, no refunds will be made for tickets purchased on the Bilesu Serviss platform. Details about refunds will appear on the ticketer’s website and sent to all ticket holders in due course.

IQ has contacted Art BG and CAA for comment.

 


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Valencia Arena to be biggest in Spain

Increased investment in a new arena in the Spanish city of Valencia aims to make it the largest venue of its kind in the country.

The multi-purpose arena will sit on 21,500 square metres of land, with a capacity of 15,000 for basketball matches and up to 18,600 for concerts.

The budget for the Valencia Arena has been expanded from €192 million to €220, with building work expected to start in summer 2020 for a completion date in 2023.

The project is led by Spanish entrepreneur Juan Roig and his holding company Licampa 1617.

The arena’s capacity will surpass that of Madrid’s WiZink Center (15,500-cap.), which celebrated its 500th concert in 2018 and has seen performances from the likes of Queen, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.

“The arena will give Valencia a multi-use space which will position the city as a world-class destination for national and international entertainment events”

Upcoming shows at the Madrid arena include Nicky Jam, the Lumineers, Enrique Iglesias, Rosalia, Bryan Adams and Halsey. Other major indoor arenas in Spain include Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi (17,000-cap.) and Madrid’s Palacio Vistalegre (15,000-cap.).

The Valencia Arena project is a “personal and altruistic initiative” for Juan Roig, who is the president of Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona.

The aim, says Roig, is “to give Valencia a multi-use space which will position the city and the wider region as a world-class destination for national and international sporting, cultural and entertainment events.”

Valencia Arena is designed by sporting architects Hok and Valencia-based firm Erre.

 


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Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart to play Saudi concert series

Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart and Enrique Iglesias are among acts to perform at Winter at Tantora Festival, an eleven-week celebration of culture in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia.

The concerts are taking place as part of Ula season, one of eleven region-specific cultural event series forming part of Saudi Arabia’s new Saudi Seasons initiative. Ula season will run from December 19 to March 7, with performances from Egyptian musician Omar Khairat and Greek pianist Yanni also scheduled.

The live music events will take place every weekend throughout the season at the new 500-capacity, 5,000-square metre Maraya concert hall. Arabic for ‘mirror’, Maraya was completed in January 2019 in the old town of Al Ula. The festival is expected to attract around 40,000 visitors.

Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart and Enrique Iglesias are among acts to perform at Winter at Tantora Festival

Luanched last year, Winter at Tantora 2018/2019 ran from 20 December to 9 February, with performances from Italian singer Andrea Bocelli and French violinist Renaud Capuçon.

The festival is one in a series of major live entertainment events cropping up in Saudi Arabia, including Roqu Media-promoted Jeddah World Fest and an upcoming show by K-pop sensations BTS, which will open Riyadh season on 11 October at the 70,000-capacity King Fahd stadium.

Tickets for the 2019/2020 Winter at Tantora shows will become available early October. The full line-up of artists is yet to be confirmed. More information on tickets and concert dates can be found here.

 


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