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Live is Live latest festival to add extra day

Belgium’s Live is Live is the latest festival to expand by a day for 2024, following similar announcements from Austria’s Nova Rock and Spain’s Mad Cool.

Live is Live, promoted by FKP Scorpio Belgium, has also announced two headliners for the event: The National and The Smashing Pumpkins.

Last year, the event moved from Zeebrugge in Bruges to Linkerover in Antwerp, where it will once again take place in 2024 between 28 and 30 June.

“Three festival days, that was always the intention’

“Three festival days, that was always the intention,” Jan Digneffe of FKP Scorpio Belgium told GVA. “Last year that was not possible because we were able to offer a strong programme for only two days. This will be in line with that of the previous edition. The National already played at our first edition in Zeebrugge but this time they will perform a full set of two and a half hours. It will be an incredible experience for the fans.”

Discussing further changes to the festival, Digneffe added: “We have been able to take a good look at the previous edition. Because it was so hot, and we were all puffing away, we wanted to optimise the site in that sense. One of the two dog ponds on the Middenvijver will be added to our festival site, as will a group of trees that can provide more shade. This way we provide more space for visitors.”

Live is Live will announce more acts in the coming months.

 


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Middle East ticketer Platinumlist eyes expansion

Platinumlist, a leading ticketing and event solutions company in the Middle East, is planning to open offices in the UK and Europe at the beginning of 2024.

The Dubai-headquartered firm currently deals in concerts and attractions in 18 cities across Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE.

“By the end of the year will be fully operating in all the GCC regions,” Platinumlist MD Vassiliy Anatoli told IQ. “With regards to worldwide expansion, we have also opened in Turkey and plan to open offices in the UK and Europe in Q1 of 2024.”

The company launched in Turkey in June this year, with two concerts at the Haliç Congress Center in Istanbul by Iraqi singer Majid Al Mohandis and Syrian singer Assala Nasri.

“We have been particularly successful in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain which provided the majority of the growth”

“We discovered there are plenty of synergies in this region to our audience and our network of event organisers” continued Anatoli. “We aim to add to this thriving market by enabling more organisers to hold events in Turkey from our existing territories and visa versa. Moreover, we want to enable our audiences to discover Turkey as a holiday destination. We can confidently say that we are able to offer competitive event and attraction technology in B2B and B2C sectors in Turkey.”

Speaking about the company’s success in the Middle East, Anatoli said: “We have been particularly successful in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain which provided the majority of the growth. In Saudi Arabia, we are working on major projects with the Saudi Gaming Federation as well as the Ministry of Culture mega project and MDL Beast. In Bahrain, we are working with Formula1 Bahrain Grand Prix and Sun Waves Festival as well as concerts by major international acts such as Maroon 5, 50Cent, Westlife, and more in Al Dana Amphitheatre.”

Platinumlist launched its own iOS and Android app after the pandemic, which has now been downloaded a million times, and brings the company’s monthly online visitors to more than two million. “It has become the platform of choice,” adds Anatoli.

 


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Primavera Sound Porto expands for 10th edition

Primavera Sound Porto will gain an extra day and a bigger investment for its 10th-anniversary edition, taking place this June at Parque da Cidade.

The Portuguese festival will expand from three days to four, from 60 to 76 artists and from 35,000 capacity to 45,000 – thanks to the park increasing by six hectares.

Though the site could now host up to 60,000 people, Primavera Sound Porto director José Barreiro stressed the importance of “sustainable growth” that attracts more foreigners, mainly from the North American market.

Barreiro also revealed in a press conference on Tuesday (21 March) that the budget for this year’s festival has increased to €13 million. Porto City Council this year is more than tripling its previous contribution, from €200,000 to €650,000, but organisers are yet to announce the major sponsor that will replace NOS.

The Portuguese festival will expand from three days to four, from 60 to 76 artists and from 35,000 capacity to 45,000

“We will have news [about sponsorships] soon because there is a lot to be negotiated,” said Barreiro. “Of course, the support of the municipality is very important, but it does not solve all problems because we are talking about an investment of €13m and we need not only public support but also private support.”

Primavera Sound Porto 2023 has already announced Blur, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía, FKA twigs, Halsey and more for what organisers are calling “the best lineup in the festival’s history”.

The 10th edition will take place between 7–10 June, with tickets starting from €70 and €170 for day tickets and full festival tickets, respectively.

 


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S.Korea’s SM Entertainment eyes expansion

South Korean entertainment giant SM Entertainment is planning to launch a headquarters in Singapore, in order to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia.

The Seoul-based operation, which is home to K-pop acts such as Red Velvet, Girls’ Generation, EXO, SHINee, NCT and Aespa, says that the new HQ will be tasked with “managing joint ventures in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, as well as communicating with [its South Korea office] for other related ventures and plans.”

SM Entertainment founder Soo-Man Lee told CNBC that the company is already  “in the midst of hiring more local talents, which will hopefully increase the full-time staff count.” The company is also “looking at hiring local undergraduates or fresh graduates for internships.”

On top of that, the company plans to launch retail businesses in Singapore, including cafes, merchandise stores and pop-up exhibitions.

The Singapore HQ will be tasked with “managing joint ventures in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand

The SM boss also revealed ambitions to slowly expand not just to other parts of Southeast Asia, but also to the wider continent, including the Middle East.

The company made its first foray into the region earlier this year after partnering with the Saudi Arabian investment department.

The deal will see SM discover, nurture and produce local S-pop (Saudi pop) artists with the active support of the Saudi Ministry of Investment, with plans to establish a venue “that can hold music festivals year-round”.

SM also plans to build a metaverse platform to “share Korean and Saudi culture” and “actively promote local business… production of various contents, and production and sales of products using IP”.

 


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TicketSwap continues to expand with UK launch

Ethical ticket resale platform TicketSwap is continuing its European expansion by launching in the UK.

The resale firm caps all ticket resale prices and also works directly with event organisers to offer verified SecureSwap tickets on its platform.

Since launching in 2012, the Amsterdam-headquartered company has attracted 9 million users active in 36 countries worldwide, plus 1.5 million registered users in the UK.

This year alone, the company has opened offices in Sao Paulo (BR), Stockholm (SE), Berlin (DE), Paris (FR), Madrid (ES), Milan (IT) & Krakow (PO).

The company’s international expansion comes after its first investment of US$10 million from Million Monkeys.

Hans Ober, CEO of TicketSwap says: “We’re delighted to formally enter the UK market, having already built a huge community of more than 1.5 million dedicated live music fans over the last few years.

“It’s clear there is a need for another innovative resale platform in the UK, and we look forward to working alongside the most respected and innovative brands in live British music to get as many fans to the artists and shows they love as possible.”

“It’s clear there is a need for another innovative resale platform in the UK”

Michael Robinson, Country Lead, TicketSwap UK comments: “I’m really excited to be leading TicketSwap’s partnership efforts in the UK, alongside our stellar team Sharen & Chris. TicketSwap has so much to offer promoters, especially with regards to helping them reach sell out quicker and identifying new audiences – something that’s so important in such a competitive landscape. We’re looking forward to working closely both with our partners and associated trade bodies across the UK.”

To mark its UK launch, TicketSwap has announced exclusive partnerships with the likes of LWE (Junction 2, Cogo, Tobacco Dock), with many others in the pipeline.

Paul Jack, Owner LWE (Exclusive promoters at Tobacco Dock) says: “We’re delighted to be one of TicketSwap’s launch partners for the UK market, helping to bring a safe ticketing experience to over 250,000 live music fans across more than 70 events annually. Fans today demand the flexibility to be able to sell their tickets last minute, and through our collaboration with TicketSwap we can ensure every event we run reaches full capacity, which results in a quality experience for everyone; artists, fans and promoters.”

TicketSwap says it works with several UK-based trade associations across the music industry to ensure its operations respect certain industry regulations, as well as providing data and insight on consumer behaviours.

The firm is also a member of the self-regulatory body for the entertainment ticketing industry STAR (the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers), as well as the Association of Electronic Music, Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) and Music Venue Trust.

TicketSwap this year partnered with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) and was the title sponsor of its sister event, the International Festival Forum (IFF).

Outside of the UK, TicketSwap works with over 6,000 promoters, venues, festivals and ticketing companies including ID&T Group (Netherlands), Sziget Festival (Hungary), Bootshaus (Germany), Norbergfestival (Sweden), Entourage and Ingresse (Brazil).

 


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Rolling Loud heading to Thailand in 2023

Rolling Loud, the world’s biggest hip-hop festival franchise, will plant its flag in Thailand next year.

The expansion was announced via Rolling Loud’s Twitter account on Tuesday (26 July), with a caption reading: “Rolling Loud Thailand. See you 2023”. Details on the festival’s lineup, location, dates and tickets are yet to be announced.

The festival’s foray into Thailand will mark its first official event in Asia after a failed attempt at venturing into Hong Kong in 2019. The Hong Kong edition was scheduled to take place in October 2019 but was cancelled due to the city’s ongoing riots and protests at the time.

Rolling Loud Hong Kong would have been headlined by Migos and Wiz Khalifa with additional performances from the likes of Playboi Carti, Smokepurpp, Ski Mask The Slump God and more.

The festival’s foray into Thailand will mark its first official event in Asia

Founded in 2015, Rolling Loud has previously expanded from its flagship Miami festival to launch in cities including Los Angeles, New York and Sydney.

Earlier this month, Rolling Loud made its European debut in Portugal. Headlined by J Cole, A$AP Rocky and Future, the Live Nation-backed event was held on Praia Da Rocha Beach, Portimão, in the Algarve. The Portuguese spin-off was originally set for the summer of 2020 before being called off due to the pandemic.

In addition, Rolling Loud is expanding to Canada for the first time with headliners Dave, Future and Wizkid at Ontario Place, Toronto from 9-11 September. Its New York edition, meanwhile, is lined up for Queens Citi Field from 23–25 September, headed by Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Future.

Alongside its sister events, the brand also joined forces with the Netherlands’ Woo Hah! hip-hop festival to launch Woo Hah! x Rolling Loud at Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek. Held from 1–3 July, acts included J Cole, Future, Dave and Roddy Ricch.

 


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Ticketmaster enters South Africa

Ticketmaster is expanding to South Africa, opening a new headquarters in Cape Town.

Sporting teams, artists, promoters, festivals and venues will be able to take full advantage of Ticketmaster’s suite of products and digital ticketing tools.

The official announcement follows Ticketmaster’s highly successful on-sale for Justin Bieber’s Justice World Tour, the first-ever major international tour to sell all tickets online in South Africa, and the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 on sale which is set to deliver the country’s first-ever 100% digital sporting event.

“As a popular stop for the world’s biggest artists and major international sporting events, South Africa is a natural choice for us,” says Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster.

“As a popular stop for the world’s biggest artists and major international sporting events, South Africa is a natural choice”

“Our unparalleled technology and continued investment in innovation will enable our South African team to provide the best ticketing experience to event organisers, venues and fans across the country.”

Justin Van Wyk, managing director of Ticketmaster South Africa, says: “Our local team of experts have been living and breathing live events for 20+ years and are ready to bring their industry-wide knowledge coupled with the world’s largest ticket marketplace to clients and fans here.

“As a country rapidly adopting digital technology, South African fans are sure to embrace Ticketmaster’s industry-leading digital ticketing innovations.”

Ticketmaster’s move into South Africa brings the company’s operations to 31 countries worldwide.


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Ticketmaster grows presence in Mexico, Chile

Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticketer, is expanding its presence in Latin America with new operations in Mexico and Chile.

The news comes shortly after Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation acquired Ocesa Entretenimiento, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

Under the new ownership structure, Ticketmaster Mexico will transition from a licensing agreement to integrating operations with the broader organisation.

According to Ticketmaster, the move will enable the Mexican business to gain access to the company’s full suite of technology, products and services.

“”Latin America is an incredibly important live entertainment market and a core focus of our global expansion efforts”

In Chile, where Ticketmaster will launch for the first time, the initial market focus will be on increasing digital ticketing use.

Chile and Mexico are the latest markets to be added to Ticketmaster’s Latin American portfolio, which already includes Argentina and Brazil.

The company has long had a foothold in Argentina, delivering ticketing services for several venues and festivals.

While in Brazil, the company focuses on supporting Live Nation’s Rock in Rio music festival and touring business, with plans to bring its digital ticketing technology to the market in 2022.

“Latin America is an incredibly important live entertainment market and a core focus of our global expansion efforts,” says Mark Yovich, Ticketmaster president. “The region has become an important destination for global touring artists, and we have also seen significant growth in venue and festival activity over the last several years.

“Bringing Mexico into the fold and launching in Chile is such a positive way to finish off the year. We look forward to working with our strong base of partners to elevate the fan experience and further our support of the region.”

 


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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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