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Friday round-up: world news in brief

Welcome to IQ‘s brand-new weekly round-up of news from around the world. Here, in bite-sized chunks, we present a selection of international stories you may have missed from the last seven days…

UNITED KINGDOM:

Vince Power Music Group (VPMG) has announced AXS as its official ticketing partner for all its London venues after inking a new five-year deal. VPMG venues include: the former Dingwalls, PowerHaus (cap. 500), The Fiddler (cap. 120), Nells (cap. 350) and Subterania (cap. 600). AXS is the official ticketing partner for several UK venues including The O2, The SSE Arena, Wembley, Dreamland Margate, British Summertime Hyde Park, All Points East and AEG Presents’ touring business.

NETHERLANDS:

European showcase festival and conference Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in Groningen has moved entirely online from 19–22 January 2022 in response to the government’s the latest Covid-19 measures. The digital edition will include a conference programme as well as the festival programmes of Noorderslag, Eurosonic and the Music Moves Europe Awards award ceremony.

UNITED STATES: 

Foo Fighters say they have axed a 2022 tour date due to the venue’s “refusal to agree to the band’s Covid safety measures”. The band were due to play Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on 3 August, but are now looking for a replacement venue. A spokesperson for the University of Minnesota, which operates the venue, said its current measures relating to vaccines and mask-wearing were in line with state and federal guidelines, and declined to change its existing protocols for large events.

GERMANY:

CTS Eventim is acquiring regional ticketing providers in the Rhineland region, Kölnticket and Bonnticket. The companies previously belonged to media houses Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien in Cologne and Rheinische Post Mediengruppe in Düsseldorf, and had previously partnered with CTS on ticketing software and platform technology. The deal will give CTS Eventim a significant presence in the region as well as numerous contacts in the local entertainment scene.

UK/US:

The British Music Embassy has announced its live return to South By Southwest (SXSW) with its biggest presence yet. The intimate 250-person UK music showcase will return in 2022 with a capacity of 700 at Cedar Street Courtyard, an open-air SXSW venue, from 14-20 March. It will be the first in-person British Music Embassy since 2019 as the 2020 edition of SXSW was one of the first major festivals to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

GERMANY:

The ASM Global-managed, Arena Oberhausen in Germany is to be renamed after 20 years as the Konig Pilsener Arena. From next year, the 12,650-capacity venue will be known as Rudolf Weber Arena, in the largest naming rights deal in the Oberhausen-based venue’s 25-year history.

BELGIUM:

Five more names have been confirmed for Rock Werchter 2022. The War On Drugs will play the Festivalpark on Thursday 30 June. Lewis Capaldi and Greta Van Fleet join the line-up for Friday 1 July, Yungblud is scheduled for Saturday July 2 and Royal Blood will put in an appearance on Sunday 3 July. Headlined by Pearl Jam, Metallica, Imagine Dragons and Red Hot Chili Pepper, the festival runs from 30 June to 2 July.

UNITED KINGDOM:

Two internet ticket touts sentenced to a combined six-and-a-half years in prison following a landmark court case have failed in their appeals against their conviction for fraudulent trading. Peter Hunter and David Smith, who operated as the company BZZ Limited, were jailed for four years and 30 months, respectively, in February 2020 following an investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team, and trail at Leeds Crown Court. The pair committed offences between May 2010 and December 2017, making a net profit of £3.5 million in the last two years of fraud alone, buying and reselling tickets to concerts by artists including Ed Sheeran, McBusted, Taylor Swift and Coldplay. On the appeal Smith and Hunter raised a large number of legal and procedural grounds. They appealed the verdict, alleging the judge wrongly directed the jury on the law and “acted unfairly and prejudicially in his conduct of the trial”, arguing the restrictions attaching to the sale of the tickets were “void and invalid”. However, the Court of Appeal rejects their appeals, upholding the conclusion of the judge at trial that the restrictions imposed by event organisers were valid, adding the judge “acted properly in all relevant respects and that the convictions are safe and lawful”.

IRELAND:

Irish-headquartered Tixserve has partnered with UK ticket agency Gigantic to provide a “secure and interactive digital ticket fulfilment service” for its live entertainment ticketing. The partnership will see Irish-Headquartered Tixserve provide Gigantic with a white label digital ticketing app – delivering via a full API technical integration, a sophisticated and seamless fulfilment service for Gigantic clients and customers.

UNITED KINGDOM:

International booking agency Midnight Mango has announced four new agents – Nigel Morton, Addison Paterson, Sam Bryant and Hanna Bright – after initiating an Agent Freelancer Platform in the early days of the pandemic. After delivering training and guidance to four agents back in the spring, the firm took on a further four new agents in September. The new appointments work with acts such as Gretchen Peters, Bicurious, Dom Martin and The Kakatsitsi Master Drummers, expanding the agency’s roster to more than 150 artists, represented by a 15-strong workforce.

 


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Foo Fighters to revisit ’95 cities for the Van tour

Foo Fighters will revisit the cities in which they played their first-ever live shows to commemorate their 25th anniversary as a band.

Foo Fighters, led by ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, made their live debut on 23 February 1995 at the tiny Jambalaya Club in Arcata, California. The Van tour 2020 – named for the Dodge Ram van (pictured) that took them around North America in 1995 – sees the band play many of the same cities as they did 25 years, albeit in considerably larger venues.

The in-the-round Van tour kicks off on 12 April at the 18,422-capacity Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, and concludes on 20 May at the FirstOntario Centre (19,000-cap.) in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Foos’ last concert tour, 2017–18’s Concrete and Gold world tour, was the 14th highest-grossing of 2018, according to Pollstar, with US$87.3 million from 43 shows.

Tickets for the Van tour are on general sale at 10am local time this Friday (21 February).

A full list of tour dates is below:

April 12 — Phoenix, AZ @ Talking Stick Resort Arena
April 14 — Albuquerque, NM @ Santa Ana Star Center
April 16 — Oklahoma City, OK @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
April 18 — Wichita, KS @ INTRUST Bank Arena
April 20 — Knoxville, TN @ Thompson-Boling Arena
May 10 — Green Bay, WI @ Resch Center
May 12 — Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
May 14 — Cincinnati, OH @ Heritage Bank Center
May 18 — Cleveland, OH @ Rocket Mortgage Arena
May 20 — Hamilton, ON @ FirstOntario Centre

 


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The decade in live: 2015

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

Following on from a strong year in 2014, the live music industry in 2015 continued to go from strength to strength, with fans once again showing willingness to spend money on concert tickets.

After the success of their first all-stadia tour, British boyband One Direction embarked on another mammoth concert tour, which came in at number two on the year-end charts, despite the departure of band member Zayn Malik two months in. The tour was the beginning of the end for the band, which went on indefinite hiatus the following year.

2015 was a busy year in the live business, notably seeing the birth of Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff’s Oak View Group. It was also the year that the Robert Sillerman’s rebirthed SFX Entertainment began to run into some serious trouble…

 


2015 in numbers

The top 100 worldwide tours grossed more than US$4.7 billion in 2015, up 14% from the year before but falling short of 2013’s $5bn. Ticket sales were also up, increasing by 16% to 59.7m, again lower than the 2013 total of 63.3m. The average ticket price in 2015 was down $3.30 to $78.80.

Taylor Swift was the top touring artist of the year, grossing $250.4m with her The 1989 world tour. The singer generated nearly $200m in North America alone, smashing the previous record of $162m set by the Rolling Stones in 2005.

One Direction also had a successful year with the On the Road Again tour, coming in behind Swift with year-end gross at $210.2m and selling 2.4m tickets, the most of any artist that year. AC/DC made $180m in ticket sales on their biggest tour to date, with U2’s Innocence + Experience grossing $152.2m and Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highway tour totalling $127m.

 


2015 in brief

January
Live Nation takes control of Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza promoter C3 Presents, paying a reported $125m for a 51% stake.

Austrian concert organiser Arcadia agrees a new partnership with four German companies – Four Artists, Chimperator Live, KKT and FKP Scorpio – to found Arcadia Live, a new
concert agency.

Live Nation agrees a joint venture with Thailand-based entertainment firm BEC-Tero. The new company, Live Nation BEC-Tero, will promote concerts by Western, J-Pop and K-Pop artists in the region, a pursuit in which BEC-Tero’s concerts division is already a market leader locally.

February
The Agency Group acquires UK-based electronic music agency Futureboogie, whose roster includes the likes of Bonobo, Crazy P and Nightmares on Wax.

The state of Washington passes a bill to outlaw ticket bots in an attempt to clamp down on the computer software that often prevents humans from buying seats online for concerts and sporting events. The move brings the number of states that have banned bots to 13.

March
A group of artists including Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, Madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White and Nicki Minaj launch a new streaming service called Tidal, which is described as the first artist-owned platform for music and video.

The O2 arena in London announces that it has sold its 15 millionth ticket. The building, which opened in June 2007, has consistently been the most popular live music venue in the world, with research conducted by Media Insight Consulting claiming that 30% of the UK population has attended The O2 complex at least once.

The decade in live: 2015

One Direction perform on the On the Road Again tour without Malik (© vagueonthehow/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

April
ILMC launches the International Festival Forum, which aims to help strengthen the relationship between event organisers and agents. The London-based event is set to feature partner agencies such as Coda, The Agency Group, Primary Talent and X-ray Touring who will showcase festival-ready acts to promoters from around the world.

Australian media company Nine Entertainment sells its live events companies Nine Live and Ticketek to Asian private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners for AUD$640m ($480m).

May
Sydney-based Soapbox Artists, which grew out of the Australian wing of Ministry of Sound, announces its merger with the Melbourne-based 360 Agency. The combined EDM agencies will be a significant player in the dance market, representing a large roster of DJ and producer talent.

Live Nation acquires a controlling stake in American festival Bonnaroo. Under the terms of the deal, current promoters Superfly and AC Entertainment will continue to programme and run the event.

June
AEG agrees an extended deal with America’s International Speedway Corporation (ISC), allowing the company’s AEG Live division to look at organising concerts at racetracks around the country. ISC owns 13 raceways, including such iconic arenas as Daytona and Watkins Glen.

The Foo Fighters cancel a number of shows after frontman Dave Grohl breaks his leg during a concert in Sweden. Despite a nasty fracture, however, Grohl makes headlines around the world by returning to complete the Gothenburg show, receiving medical attention on stage.

The decade in live: 2015

The main stage at Bonnaroo (© Shawn Mariani/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5))

July
German promoter Deutsche Entertainment AG and its UK offshoots Kilimanjaro Live and Raymond Gubbay Ltd, have set-up a company to sell tickets for their British shows. MyTicket.co.uk will expand the MyTicket concept that has already been running in Germany for six months.

The Windish Agency and Paradigm Talent Agency agree a partnership deal to form one of the world’s biggest independent agency operations, bringing The Windish Agency together with Paradigm partner agencies AM Only and Coda Music Agency, as well as Paradigm itself.

August
Live Nation Entertainment forms Live Nation Concerts Germany with German concert promoter Marek Lieberberg to promote concerts and festivals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

William Morris agent Sol Parker jumps ship to Coda Agency, taking Take That, The Prodigy and Rita Ora with him.

United Talent Agency completes its acquisition of The Agency Group.

Live Nation acquires venue and festival operator MAMA & Company, returning a number of former Live Nation assets to its portfolio.

The decade in live: 2015

Marek Lieberberg (© Sven Mandel/Wikimedia Deutschland (CC BY-SA 4.0)) 

September
Australian promoter Andrew McManus is arrested at Melbourne Airport on charges of money laundering and the importation of 300 kilograms of cocaine. McManus is one of five people arrested in Australia and the United States as part of an FBI investigation.

Disgruntled investors hit SFX with a lawsuit claiming they were deceived with false and misleading statements over the company’s privatisation plans.

Ebay-owned secondary ticketing platform StubHub launches in Germany.

October
Pandora completes a $450m takeover of specialist ticketing agency Ticketfly.

Several preliminary bids are reportedly submitted for EDM promoter SFX in addition to that from CEO Robert Sillerman, who bid to buy back the company for $3.25 per share.

November
SFX promotes former IQ new boss Sebastian Solano to CEO of ID&T North America.

Ex-AEG chief Tim Leiweke forms live entertainment investment firm Oak View Group with Irving Azoff.

December
Ex-Done Events chief Thomas Ovesen is named CEO of new Dubai-based live music company 117 Live.

Live Nation UK vice-president Steve Homer and senior vice-president Toby Leighton-Pope leave the company.

The decade in live: 2015

B.B. King, 1925-2015 (cropped) (© Tom.Beetz/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

 


Who we lost

Mike Porcaro, bassist for Toto; blues legend B.B. King; John Gammon, Pollstar’s UK/Europe correspondent; veteran promoter and ILMC member, Paul King; Stage Entertainment’s project manager Sjoerd Unger; Live Nation venue chief David Vickers; U2 tour manager Dennis Sheehan.

 


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530k attend most headliner-focused Sziget yet

One of the biggest festivals in the world, 530,000 fans attended this year’s week-long Sziget festival, falling slightly shy of 2018’s record-breaking attendance.

The 27th edition of Providence Equity-backed Sziget took place from 7 to 13 August on Obuda island in Budapest, Hungary. Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Florence and the Machine and Martin Garrix were among the more than 1,000 acts playing at the festival.

“The performances on Sziget’s main stage this year were outstanding in many ways,” says Sziget chief executive, Tamás Kádár. “We increased our funding for mainstream performers even more than last year as part of our ongoing growth strategy, bringing us nine headline acts for seven festival days.”

Hungary Today reported that organisers spent 500 million forints (US$1.7m) more this year on securing headliners, out of a total budget of more than 10 billion forints ($34m).

Two nights saw back-to-back headline performances, with Twenty One Pilots performing ahead of Foo Fighters on the closing day and a Saturday night combination of the National and Macklemore.

The first day of Sziget festival, headlined by Ed Sheeran, reportedly sold out with as many as 60,000 fans attending Sheeran’s show and 95,000 visitors on the festival site. Several fans complained about overcrowding and congestion on social media.

“The performances on Sziget’s main stage this year were outstanding in many ways”

Organisers told a Hungarian news outlet that “an unexpected, brief rainstorm” resulted in more fans leaving immediately after Sheeran’s performance than expected. “We decided to break up the crowd by only allowing visitors to leave intermittently from the festival area in order to avoid external congestion,” reads the statement.

Speaking of the extensive line-up of headliners, Kádár says that it was “a great pleasure for us to programme world stars who cover a wide, diverse fan base over different genres”, as well as “artists who fit in well with our [environmental] Love Revolution campaign messages, such as The 1975.”

Organisers celebrated Sziget festival’s most sustainable year to date, preventing the use of 1.5 million one-use plastic cups and 600,000 straws through a reusable cup system and “Don’t Suck” anti-straw campaign.

A new low-carbon dining block was introduced this year, providing attendees with sustainable food options.

Talks by Dr Jane Goodall of the United Nations (UN) peace envoy, the UN Refugee Agency’s Emitithal Mahmoud and former US vice president and climate change campaigner Al Gore also featured on the main stage.

 


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Record-low waste levels for FKP Scorpio festivals

Over the 2019 festival season, German promoter FKP Scorpio reduced plastic waste across its festivals, as part of ongoing sustainability plans.

On average, fans attending twin festivals Hurricane and Southside produce six to eight kilograms of waste over four festival days.

Attendees of Hurricane 2019 generated 4.5 kilograms of waste per person, the lowest amount on record. Around one third of this waste can currently be recycled, with plans to increase this amount over the coming years.

The waste reduction is the result of the “Green Rocks” programme, launched in 2013 to improve cleanliness and sustainability at Hurricane and Southside, and to ensure FKP Scorpio communicates effectively around issues of sustainability.

New regulations include a ban on single-use plastics for vendors, sponsors and caterers, as well as a multi-platform online campaign encouraging festivalgoers to renounce plastic products and bring reusable alternatives.

Attendees of Hurricane 2019 generated 4.5 kilograms of waste per person, the lowest amount on record

Backstage, plastic bottle usage was reduced by 70%, following the introduction of reusable alternatives and water stations.

To make clean-up operations more efficient, maintenance teams mounted a two-metre wide magnet on the front of tractors to clear the ground of all magnetic waste such as cans, tent pegs and hairpins.

The introduction of recycling collection sacks, which could be handed in at stations around the festival site, allowed for more efficient and effective sorting of waste.

Performers at the 2019 festivals included Foo Fighters, Mumford and Sons, the Cure and Tame Impala.

Hurricane and Southside return on 19 to 21 June 2020. The twin festivals recorded their best-ever presale for their 2020 events, selling 40,000 tickets in two days.

 


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Foo Fighters’ first Croatian show sells out in 2 mins

Tickets for Foo Fighters’ first-ever show in Croatia sold out within minutes when they went on sale earlier today, promoter Los Angeles Agency (LAA) has announced.

All 7,000 tickets for the Pula Arena show – part of a string of recently announced 2019 European tour dates, which also include headline slots at Hurricane and Southside in Germany and Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK – were snapped up within the space of two minutes, according to LAA.

“We are sorry for all those who did not succeed [in buying one], but the interest was simply too great for such a small capacity,” reads a statement from the promoter.

Foo Fighters will play Pula Arena – a Roman amphitheatre built between 27BC and AD68 – on 19 June 2019.

According to Croatia Week, it is the fastest-ever sell-out in Croatia, beating U2 in Zagreb, David Gilmour in Pula and Chris Cornell in Zagreb (though it should be noted the U2 show was at a stadium).

 


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Foo Fighters play to 60,000 fans in Hamburg

Foo Fighters have played their only German headline show of their Concrete and Gold 2018 world tour in Hamburg’s Trabrennbahn. Last night (10 June), 60,000 fans waited patiently in the warm summer weather, with many having arrived early to secure a place for the evening’s spectacle.

To warm up, fans were treated to London-bred band Wolf Alice and British-American duo The Kills. At 8 o’clock, the show everyone had come to see began, with Foo Fighters putting on a show that local news website Hamburger Morgenpost called the “rock party of the year.”

Over two and a half hours, the international heavyweights played a 21-song set, including ‘Best of You’ and ‘Everlong’ – some of their best-loved work. Fans were also treated to cover versions of Queen and the Ramones, all sealed off with an explosive firework-filled closure.

“A terrific evening with a great band, great fans and a great team behind the scenes.”

Last night’s show at the sold-out Trabrennbahn was the culmination of a month of planning by promoters FKP Scorpio. About the event, Christian Wiesmann, event director, says: “We want to thank the 60,000 fans who made the only German headlining show of the band this year really a very special evening.”

Fans and event organisers were not the only ones impressed by the performance. Even the local government in Hamburg approved, calling the event “relaxed” and “peaceful”.

This all-round success is welcome news to the CEO of the Trabrennbahn, Henner Christoph. The venue, usually used as a horse racing track, is set to have more big names perform in the coming months. Christoph says: “It was a terrific evening with a great band, great fans and a great team behind the scenes.

“I am looking forward to continuing on 25 July with Ed Sheeran with us on the site.”

 


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Foo Fighters’ CalJam to return in 2018

CalJam, the Foo Fighters-curated, Live Nation-promoted California festival which debuted last month, is to return for a second outing next October.

Inspired by Pacific Presentations’ California Jam – a one-off 1974 event headlined by Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, with the Aerosmith-headlined California Jam II following in 1978 – CalJam 2017 kicked off the US leg of the Foos’ Concrete and Gold world tour, with the band joined in San Bernardino on 7 October by Queens of the Stone Age, Liam Gallagher Royal Blood, Cage the Elephant, Wolf Alice and the Kills.

Frontman Dave Grohl suggested CalJam would return for a second year, and he’s as good as his word: Live Nation says CalJam 2018, which will once again take place at Glen Helen festival grounds, on 5 and 6 October, will include “another Friday night camping party followed by another Saturday 12-hour rock extravaganza: More fun, food, sun and sweat, more guitars and EVEN MORE GOOD TIMES.” (Emphasis theirs.)

No further information is yet available, although the promoter promises more details “will be announced as they are confirmed”.

 


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Foo Fighters added to The O2 birthday shows

Fresh from their Saturday-night headline set at Glastonbury Festival, Foo Fighters today announced a one-off show at The O2 this September as part of its birthday celebrations.

The O2/Wembley Arena programmer Emma Bownes told IQ earlier this week that planning was underway for the venue’s next spate of tenth-birthday shows, following the conclusion of its first wave with alt-J, Celine Dion and Ed Sheeran.

Foo Fighters will play the 21,000-cap. O2 Arena on Tuesday 19 September, with tickets on sale at 4pm on 28 June.

Watch the Foos’ video announcement above.

 


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Foos, Mumfords head to Hoppegarten for Lolla 2017

Foo Fighters and Mumford & Sons have been announced as headliners for the 2017 edition of Lollapalooza Berlin, which will be held at the new venue of the Hoppegarten Racecourse – its third in as many years.

The festival, co-promoted by Melt! Booking and Live Nation (C3 Presents/Festival Republic), was forced to evacuate its original home, the disused Tempelhof Airport, when the site was converted into temporary housing for refugees. A move to Treptower Park followed in 2016, which was opposed by many local residents and even ten states of the former USSR (the park houses a Soviet war memorial).

Hoppegarten Racecourse (Rennbahn) is located around 12 miles to the east of Berlin.

Other newly confirmed acts include The XX, Two Door Cinema Club, Rudimental, EDM star Hardwell and local favourites Beatsteaks, Marteria and Cro:

Lollapalooza Berlin 2017 phase 1 line-up

 


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