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FKP Scorpio Sweden appoints Johanna Beckman

Concert and event promoter FKP Scorpio Sweden has appointed Johanna Beckman as senior creative curator and promoter, reinforcing its booking department.

Beckman joins FKP Scorpio Sweden from Stockholm venues Trädgården/Under Bron, where she was a creative director.

“It feels super exciting to take on this assignment – to have the opportunity to arrange concerts and events in various sizes, and at the same time being able to use my broad knowledge when it comes to booking fun programs,” says Beckman.

“It’s brave of FKP Scorpio to invest during the current situation and I’m extremely exhilarated to be involved in developing the company.”

Božo Rasic, MD at FKP Scorpio Sweden, says: “Johanna is well known for her great instinct when it comes to creating good programs, something we look forward to developing at FKP Scorpio Sweden.”

“It’s brave of FKP Scorpio to invest during the current situation and I’m exhilarated to be involved in developing the company”

Beckman has been a mainstay in the Swedish live music industry, racking up 17 years of experience as a talent buyer, a manager for acts including Dungen and Jenny Wilson, and a festival and event organiser.

She is also known for developing and programming Gagnef (cap. 3,000), a boutique and alternative Swedish festival which hosted its final edition in 2018, and helping to launch artist collective Ingrid in 2012.

Beckman is currently booking acts for Norwegian festival By:Larm, which takes place in Oslo in February.

Next year, FKP Scorpio Sweden, headquartered in Stockholm, will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Since launching in 2011 the Swedish offshoot has organised concerts and tours for artists including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Björk, Rammstein, Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Lopez, Lana Del Ray, Justin Bieber, Bastille, The Lumineers, The Sounds, Primal Scream, The Tallest Man On Earth, Youth Lagoon and Frightened Rabbit.

The portfolio of the Swedish offshoot of FKP includes the festival Gather Weekender in Stockholm.


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FKP Scorpio acquires Swedish promoter Woah Dad Live

Through its Swedish division, FKP Scorpio has acquired Stockholm-based promoter Woah Dad Live.

FKP Scorpio Sverige, part of the Hamburg-based FKP Scorpio group, has taken a 100% stake in Woah Dad Live AB, formerly a division of Telegram Studios’ record company/booking agency, Woah Dad!.

As part of the deal, Woah Dad Live executives Niklas Lundell and Joel Borg, formerly of Live Nation’s Luger, join FKP Scorpio Sverige as shareholders and board members. The two companies will jointly produce and promote all future events, with Woah Dad Live retaining its identity.

FKP, majority owned by CTS Eventim, is one of Europe’s leading festival and concert promoters, while Woah Dad Live has worked with artists including Robyn, Juice Wrld, Håkan Hellström, Post Malone and Asap Rocky. Its festival brands, meanwhile, include Smash Fest and Daze Days.

The new partners have already begun working together: FKP and Woah Dad are jointly promoting four shows by Hellström at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, each with a capacity of around 70,000, which sold out in a matter of hours.

“We are happy to welcome new members to the FKP Scorpio family”

Other joint projects include two Rammstein stadium shows and Björk’s concert at the Ericsson Globe arena this September.

“FKP Scorpio has a stable backbone and a well organised structure that will be perfect for us now when growing and taking more ground over here,” says Lundell. “We’ll bring new ideas and many years of experience in the Scandinavian market into our partnership.”

Folkert Koopmans, managing director of FKP Scorpio, which has been active in Sweden since 2011, adds: “We have been working with Woah Dad Live before and are proud of what we have achieved and accomplished. We want to be the best partner for our artists and for the fans.

“The expertise in our teams when it comes to the Scandinavian market will help us to reach this goal. We have a lot to look forward to and are happy to welcome new members to the FKP Scorpio family.”


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‘A lot of good things are happening’: Sweden market report

Politically idealistic, economically sturdy, and with a knack for a bittersweet pop song, Sweden is the kind of country other European nations might easily envy. Who wouldn’t want to futuristically lead the world in cashless payments, or be the planet’s biggest exporter of pop music per head? But to imagine Sweden doesn’t have everyday problems of its own is to succumb to an unrealistic stereotype.

Last year, for example, Sweden became the first country to lose a music festival – its biggest, no less – to a rape scandal, after reports of four rapes and 23 sexual assaults at Bråvalla’s 2017 event forced organiser FKP Scorpio to shelve it for 2018, and then scrap the tainted brand entirely.

Meanwhile, in November 2017, performers including Zara Larsson, Robyn, First Aid Kit and Icona Pop were among almost 2,000 women in the Swedish music business who put their names to a petition decrying the sexual harassment they point out is endemic in the industry.

But what perhaps still marks Sweden out is its reaction to such issues. Numerous major festivals worldwide have unwittingly played host to sexual assaults, but only in Sweden – where the problem was undeniably extreme – has the event in question fallen on its own sword. And in another pointed response, Gothenburg this summer saw the launch of  The Statement, the world’s first large-scale festival exclusively for women, transgender and non-binary people.

In answer to the petition, not only have the local and regional bosses of Sony, Universal and Warner lent their support and pledged to act, but trade association Musiksverige announced that the quest for a more inclusive industry – “free from antagonistic behaviour, sexual harassment and abuse” – would henceforth take precedence over all its other activities.

All right, Sweden has its failings, but no one can accuse it of refusing to address them.

“I think a lot of good things are happening – the whole #MeToo movement, gender equality progression in festival line-ups – all of that I think is great,” says Ola Broquist, co- founder of booking agency and Way Out West promoter Luger.

All right, Sweden has its failings, but no one can accuse it of refusing to address them

He suggests that, in airing its dirty laundry, Sweden is ahead of many countries who would prefer to bury their own. “In Sweden, we are starting to look at the solutions. I think if you don’t address these things, then you definitely have a problem.”

Setting these things to one side, if it’s possible entirely to do so, live music fares very well in Sweden. Domestic and international revenue from the Swedish music industry amounted to SEK10 billion (£852 million) in 2016, of which concert revenue accounted for 55% (SEK5.5bn or £466m). Between 2009 and 2016, Swedish music industry revenue, domestic and international, increased by just over 50%.

Individual festivals may rise and fall, but overall audiences remain strong and incoming tours are generally guaranteed to stop in Stockholm. There are practical concerns: the krona is toiling at its lowest levels against the euro since the financial crisis of 2009; the club scene in Stockholm is under a familiar kind of threat from high rents and typical city pressures; the touring market often verges on saturation; and there has been a rash – not music-related but still dramatic – of hand grenade attacks in Swedish cities. But by and large, Sweden is bearing up.

“I think generally we have a pretty healthy business up here,” says Live Nation Sweden’s joint managing director Anna Sjölund. “We have a steady flow of acts that want to play here and people who want to go to shows. From time to time, we have acts who say they don’t want to come up here and they finish in Germany, but most of them, we do get.”

There’s no disputing that Live Nation is by far the strongest promoter in Sweden. In fact, given its full concert schedule and the imminent arrival of a Swedish Lollapalooza due to take place in central Stockholm next June – to add to Way Out West, Summerburst, Sweden Rock and other festivals in its stable – some argue that Live Nation is more dominant in Sweden than in any other nation in the world.

In many ways, it earned its dominance fair and square, building its modern business on the foundations laid down by EMA Telstar, which was bought up in 1999, and whose founder Thomas Johansson remains Live Nation’s Stockholm- based chairman of international music.

“Live Nation has, and always has had, a firm grip on the Swedish market”

Live Nation Sweden added Luger to the fold in 2008, and has more recently bought majority shares in Summerburst and Sweden Rock festivals, as well as shaping up to bring in Lollapalooza in 2019.

“Live Nation has, and always has had, a firm grip on the Swedish market,” says Tobbe Lorentz, United Talent Agency’s Malmö-based senior vice president. “With this expansion, Live Nation controls most aspects of the festival circuit in Sweden.”

Since November 2017, Live Nation Sweden has been under Sjölund and Therése Liljedahl, with a staff of about 115, and business is predictably good.

“We have had a very good year, lots of great shows,” says Sjölund. “We had the fantastic stadium shows with Guns N’ Roses, Jay-Z & Beyoncé, Foo Fighters, and Eminem through Luger. For once, the Swedish summer didn’t get rained away – it’s been really hot, really nice. Really healthy arena business, too. And we are catching our breath now and putting things in place for next year.”

Luger operates as a distinct company within Live Nation, while sharing expertise on certain projects, says Broquist. Lollapalooza is one such joint venture, and Luger is also upping its game in big shows, with Eminem, Coldplay and Mumford & Sons among those it has lately promoted on the biggest stages.

“We will never stop doing the smaller ones – that’s the backbone of the whole thing for us – finding new acts and growing with them,” Broquist adds. “But it is interesting to step up and do some bigger shows as well.”


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Jetty signs FKP Scorpio, expands to Norway

Swedish event management software company Jetty has agreed two new partnerships, including its first deal with a client in neighbouring Norway.

Its first Norwegian customer is Oslo theatre Det Andre Teatret (pictured), with the deal of “strategic importance to the company in several ways,” explains Jetty CEO Dan Sonesson. “First, it is Jetty’s first business in Norway, and partly an entry into a new [market] segment: institutions, which includes activities such as theatres, opera houses and dance societies.

“Institutions are an area we have not previously been active in, but the Jetty event management system works well and this sector has the potential to become a major future market, both locally and globally.”

“We are very pleased and proud to start a partnership with FKP Scorpio Sweden”

The second new agreement is with FKP Scorpio Sweden, part of Germany’s FKP Scorpio group, the Stockholm-based promoter of Where’s the Music? festival, as well as shows across Sweden.

“We are very pleased and proud to start a partnership with FKP Scorpio Sweden, and that they have chosen Jetty as their event management system,” continues Sonesson.

Jetty AB sells and operates Jetty, a business management system for events and festivals that launched in 2011. Its clients include Roskilde Festival, Göteborg & Co, Liseberg, Svenska Konståkningsförbundet, Malmö city, Stureplansgruppen Event, Epicenter and the city of Stockholm.

The company closed a successful initial public offering on 16 October, raising SEK 10,062,500 (US$1.1m) ahead of a listing on the Spotlight Stock Market.


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