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Mad Cool adds fifth day for 2022 edition

Live Nation’s Mad Cool has announced an additional day for next year’s edition, in celebration of the festival’s fifth anniversary.

According to organisers, the expansion comes from “a commitment to offer the best experience for the community of music fans” who attend the Spanish festival in 2022.

The five-day event will take place between 6–10 July 2022, in Madrid, with acts including Florence + The Machine, Queens Of The Stone Age and Haim.

The fifth-anniversary edition was due to take place in 2020 with a reduced capacity, increased stage numbers and a fourth day (up from three days).

However, both the 2020 and 2021 editions of Mad Cool were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The expansion comes from “a commitment to offer the best experience for the community of music fans”

Since launching in 2016, Mad Cool has grown rapidly from an overall capacity of 45,000 to 80,000 last edition.

This “massive growth” has led to some “incidents” in past editions, festival director Javier Arnáiz told IQ in a post-season reflection.

Florence + The Machine, Queens Of The Stone Age and Haim are among 32 new names announced today.

The likes of Chvrches, Sam Fender, Arlo Parks, Glass Animals and Easy Life have also been added to the bill.

Those artists join the 104 acts announced for Mad Cool 2022 last June, which include Muse, The Killers and Metallica.

 


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CTS share price peaks after N.America expansion

CTS Eventim’s share price is at an all-time high following its expansion into the North American ticketing market.

For the first time in the Munich-based company’s history, its share price has peaked at €65.80 – up almost 10% in the last five days.

The spike comes days after CTS, the second-largest ticketing company in the world, announced its goal to “establish an alternative to the dominant providers in the US and Canada” as it began selling tickets for its first US client, Big Apple Circus, on 26 September.

Before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, CTS was selling more than 250 million tickets for around 800,000 events every year, making it the world’s second-largest provider of ticketing solutions and the number one in Europe.

“North America is the most attractive market in the world for live entertainment and ticketing”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim, says: “North America is the most attractive market in the world for live entertainment and ticketing. The platform eventim.com puts us in an ideal position to benefit from the restart there.

“The sale of tickets for Big Apple Circus is a first step on this journey. We are already in discussions with potential partners and customers about making our cutting-edge ticketing systems available to them soon.”

The Big Apple Circus is being co-produced by veteran entertainment executive Michael Cohl, a longtime promoter of bands like The Rolling Stones who briefly served as chairman of Live Nation in 2008.

Last year, CTS and Cohl formed the joint venture EMC Presents with the goal of bringing leading international artists to stages in the United States and Canada.

The move is CTS’s second foray into the US market. In 2009, Live Nation partnered with CTS Eventim to launch Live Nation Tickets, a platform intended to challenge Ticketmaster’s dominant position in North America.

Before it was launched, Live Nation pulled out of the deal and merged with Ticketmaster instead, a move which led to CTS Eventim suing for breach of contract. The disagreement was settled in arbitration in 2013.

This summer also saw the launch of Eventim Live Asia. The new company, headquartered in Singapore and led by CEO Jason Miller, focuses on the rapidly growing live entertainment markets in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

In addition to Eventim Live Asia, Eventim Live, formed in early 2019, includes 36 promoters in 15 countries, the most recent addition being Matt Schwarz’s DreamHaus in Germany.

 


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Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival to expand for 2021

Grammy award-nominated rapper Travis Scott has announced that his Astroworld Festival will return this year with an expanded format due to ‘overwhelming demand’.

The third edition of Astroworld Festival will take place on 5 and 6 November at NRG Park in Scott’s hometown, Houston, Texas, with a line-up curated by the artist himself.

Scott has revealed that he will be headlining Astroworld Festival 2021, which will adopt the theme ‘Open Your Eyes To A Whole New Universe’, while the full line-up will be announced closer to the time.

The previous two events have sold out before line-ups were revealed.

In 2019 the festival became the largest single-day artist-curated music festival in the country

According to Live Nation, in November 2019, the festival became the largest single-day artist-curated music festival in the country, as well as the largest music festival in Houston as the sold-out event played host to over 50,000 fans.

The festival, which celebrates hip-hop, pop music, has hosted the likes of Post Malone, Rosalia, Pharrell Williams, Da Baby, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Playboi Carti and Megan Thee Stallion.

Two-day GA passes will be available for purchase beginning next 5 May at 10 am CT on AstroworldFest.com.

A portion of proceeds from Astroworld Festival 2021 will be donated to the festival’s official charity partner, Cactus Jack Foundation, founded by Scott.

The expansion of the festival follows Astronomical, Scott’s record-breaking in-game concert event which took place in Fortnite in April 2020 and attracted more than 12 million players.

 


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Dice launches in the US

Disruptive UK ticketing company Dice is to launch in the United States, it announced this morning.

Initially offering tickets to shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco (Sam Smith, Khalid, Matthew Dear and Vevo’s SF Hallowe’en event in San Francisco are among its first events), Dice US has big plans for the world’s largest, and most competitive, ticketing market, says Dice founder and CEO Phil Hutcheon.

“We’re focused on a younger demographic that’s fed up with how ticketing is,” says Hutcheon. “They’re disengaging, and we need to be careful because live music is in competition with Netflix, with bars [and] with eating out”.

“We have ambitious plans to roll out across the US in the coming months”

“If you keep screwing over fans, they won’t come back. Dice is the ethical platform that fans trust to get tickets. We get fans in, keep scalpers out and we have ambitious plans to roll out across the US in the coming months.”

Dice launched in the UK in 2014, carving out a niche with a booking fee-free model that ties tickets to mobile devices, making unauthorised resale impossible. It earlier this month announced it was introducing ‘hangover days’ for worse-for-wear staff, and in May debuted an industry first no-questions-asked refunds policy for customers no longer able to attend shows.

 


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Sziget Festival to launch globally 

Sziget Festival is to roll out globally following the sale of a 70% stake in Sziget Cultural Management to Providence Equity Partners. The global asset management firm plans to launch between eight and 10 new festivals over the next few years.

James Barton, former president of Electronic Music for Live Nation and Creamfields Festival founder, and Paul Bedford, former financial director of Cream Group, have joined the firm to lead international expansion of the Hungarian festival brand.

Sziget’s current management retain a 30% equity stake in the company and will continue to lead management and operations of all festivals in the portfolio. Alongside Barton, Bedford and Sziget’s founder Karoly Gerendai, the team includes CEO Tamás Kádár, international operations head Gábor Takács, and Zoltán Fülöp and Norbert Lobenwein who helm Telekom VOLT Festival and Balaton Sound. 

Kádár tells IQ the firm is looking to both acquire and launch new festivals. Events will range from a daily capacity of 35k – 95k, he says, with new festivals taking on the Sziget brand and acquisitions joining its portfolio. As well as the flagship Budapest event, that portfolio includes Balaton Sound, Telekom VOLT Festival, Gourmet Festival and Gyerek Sziget (Children’s Sziget).

Gerendai says: “Sziget is excited to partner with Providence as we enter our next phase of growth and development. We received a series of inquiries from both financial and trade investors in the last couple of years, but we were attracted to Providence’s proposal because it opens new dimensions for us.

“With the help of our new partners we will be able to make a giant leap forward and embark on the ambitious projects that have been in our pipeline for some time.”

“With the help of our new partners we will be able to make a giant leap forward and embark on the ambitious projects that have been in our pipeline for some time. Providence’s network and financial resources will complement our existing management team’s expertise and will put us in an even stronger position to unlock significant new growth opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to us.

“We needed a financial partner to execute on several ambitious projects that we have in our pipeline. We are excited and looking forward to building the company utilising Providence’s sector experience and financial resources.”

“The Sziget team has done an incredible job in creating some of the world’s most exciting festivals and we look forward to partnering with Karoly and team in the company’s next phase of growth to accelerate Sziget’s domestic and international growth plans.”

Barton added: “The Sziget team has done an incredible job in creating some of the world’s most exciting festivals and we look forward to partnering with Karoly and team in the company’s next phase of growth to accelerate Sziget’s domestic and international growth plans.”

Sziget was honoured twice at the European Festival Awards at Eurosonic last week, taking home the Artist’s Favourite Festival award while late Sziget booker Dan Panaitescu, who passed away after a car accident last year, was posthumously presented with the lifetime achievement accolade.

Providence is a global asset management firm with $47 billion in assets under management across complementary private equity and credit businesses. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 150 companies in the media, communications, education and information industries. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Delhi.

 


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Turkish promoter Piu enters UK market

Istanbul-based Piu Entertainment has opened an office in London as it prepares to promote its first shows in the UK.

Piu, founded in 2010, will present a programme of concerts in Britain by “world-class” international artists over the next twelve months, beginning with Mallorcan flamenco/jazz artist Concha Buika at the Eventim Apollo (5,039-cap.) in London on 13 December.

The first wave of shows – which also include Australian pianist David Helfgott at London’s Barbican next May; Belgium’s Lara Fabian, also at the Apollo, in March; and a Chinese new year concert at the Barbican in February – will all take place in London, Birmingham and Manchester, although the promoter is already eyeing further expansion.

“We’re delighted to announce our presence in London, and we’re looking forward to presenting a wide variety of concerts by artists from all over the world to UK audiences,” comments Piu CEO Cemil Demirok, who will head up the UK operation. “Our plan is to stage concerts by artists who are huge in their own country [but] who have not yet had the opportunity of performing to audiences in the UK…

“Initially, our concerts will be in London, Birmingham and Manchester, with a view to rolling out to other towns and cities in the near future. The appetite for live music from around the world is growing all the time and, coupled with the fact that UK audiences love live music, we’re looking forward to becoming a successful fixture on the UK’s live music scene.”

 


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“Relentless momentum”: 17 new Ticketfly partners

Fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the US, Pandora-owned ticketing company Ticketfly has added 12 new venues, three festivals, one promoter and one professional sports team to its portfolio.

The company says the expansion was “catalysed by the success of Memphis in May’s Beale Street Music Festival” and serves as “an illustration of the relentless momentum for the Pandora-Ticketfly platform, which is connecting venues and promoters with the largest and most engaged music audience in America”.

Ticketfly was purchased by internet radio/music streaming service Pandora last year, and says the 17 new partnerships “that bringing live and recorded music together under one roof is a winning strategy that will help venues and promoters book the right talent market their events, and build their brands”. It announced last month that Pandora will begin recommending concerts to its listeners, driving traffic to Ticketfly through “hyper-personalised” notifications to its nearly 80 million users.

“These signings are an illustration of the relentless momentum for the Pandora-Ticketfly platform, which is connecting venues and promoters with the largest and most engaged music audience in America”

“We are thrilled and honoured to welcome so many great new venues and promoters down in the south [of the US] to the Pandora-Ticketfly platform,” says Ticketfly CEO Andrew Dreskin.

“This announcement is another proof point that a sea change is happening relative to how promoters will market shows in the future.”

All 17 new clients are pictured in the graphic below:

Ticketfly new venues graphic


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Alibaba warns of half-year losses

Alibaba Pictures has issued a loss warning following its aggressive expansion into live event ticketing earlier this year.

The company, a subsidiary of the world’s largest ecommerce company, Alibaba Group, blamed the larger-than-expected losses on marketing costs associated with the expansion of its Tao Piao Piao movie ticketing business, which IQ revealed in May was moving into ticket sales for concerts and live events.

However, the losses – estimated to be between US$52 and $58 million – are largely the result of an unexpected downturn in China’s film box office.

Alibaba Pictures raised CN¥1.7 billion ($260 million) in series-A financing in early May, which brought the value of the company to over ¥13.7bn ($2.09bn).

 


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CAA launches new division

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has launched a new division, CAA Culinary, to represent its growing roster of celebrity chefs and food personalities.

CAA’s booking agents represent some of the world’s most high-profile touring artists, including Beyoncé, Bruce Sprinsgteen, AC/DC, Radiohead and new signing Ed Sheeran, and the Beverly Hills-headquartered company also has film, television and sports divisions.

CAA Culinary will be led by Andrew Chason, a co-founder of Vector Eats, which represents a number of culinary celebrities.

“Food culture is as prominent in the zeitgeist as entertainment, fashion or sports”

“CAA is the gold standard in entertainment and sports, and I couldn’t be more excited to join the team,” said Chason (pictured). “From the surge in popularity of high-profile chefs and food-based television to the explosion of culinary festivals around the world, food culture is as prominent in the zeitgeist as entertainment, fashion or sports. As food and chefs increasingly become a fundamental part of pop culture and consumers place a higher value on experiences, rather than material goods, we see tremendous growth opportunities in this area of business.”

CAA already represents a number of prominent food personalities, including Gordon Ramsay, Roy Choi, Duff Goldman and Christina Tosi, and Chason will bring all his Vector Eats clients with him, including Aarón Sánchez, John Besh, Amanda Freitag, Andrew Carmellini, Alon Shaya, Alex Thomopoulos and Jonathan Waxman.

In March CAA hired corporate strategy specialist Matteo Perale to lead its “aggressive growth and diversification” efforts worldwide.

StubHub expands to fifth country

StubHub has launched its first Spanish-language website as it continues parent company eBay’s expansion into Mexico.

The new site, StubHub.mx, marks the first time the ticket seller has had a presence in the Latin American market and follows eBay’s launch in Mexico in 2014 and acquisition of rival Vivanuncios the following year. There are currently native StubHub sites for the US and Canada (StubHub.com), the UK (StubHub.co.uk) and Germany (StubHub.de).

The first tickets available to buy on StubHub.mx will be for the 100th Copa América football tournament, which will be held outside South America for the first time this year.

StubHub, long the world’s largest ticket resale platform, announced its move into primary ticketing in February.

“Live events and experiences enrich our lives and give us incredible memories to share, and StubHub plans to connect fans in Mexico with one of this years most exciting sporting events, the Copa América Centenario,” says StubHub’s head of international. “Over the coming months, we will continue to build more features and add more events for StubHub.mx to bring consumers in Mexico a new, trusted way to connect with the athletes, artists and performers they want to experience.”