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Germany’s Goodlive launches Nitelive Artists agency

Goodlive Artists, the booking and touring division of Berlin’s Goodlive (Lollapalooza Berlin, Melt Festival), has grown with the launch of a new agency, Nitelive Artists, focusing on dance/electronic and pop music.

Headed up by managing partner Flo Hauss, Nitelive Artists will focus on tour booking and artist management, as well as consulting for festivals and clubs. Hauss brings a roster that includes German hip-hop pioneers Die Fantastischen Vier, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Boys Noize and Digitalism.

Hauss – who will also continue working as the German promoter for the Black Eyed Peas and David Guetta – will work with alongside fellow booking agents Tobias Klose and Torsten Rettert.

Hauss, who was most recently managing director of Four Artists, comments: “I look forward to bringing my many years of national and international touring and booking experience to Goodlive, and I am very happy to have found a new home with my team after these challenging months.

“I am very happy to have found a new home with my team”

“I am particularly proud that my entire roster has decided to join me on this new path; loyalty and trust are not exactly commonplace in our business. We’ve got some very promising synergies with the structures at Goodlive Artists, not to mention a self-confident market position that suits my ambitious personal goals very well.”

Stefan Lehmkuhl, managing partner of Goodlive, adds: “Flo Hauss has terrific musical competence, [and] I am quite sure that he will be a valuable asset for touring and also give terrific new impetus to the Goodlive festival business.

“We very much look forward to working with and his team.”

Goodlive Artists’ other agencies are Melt! Booking (international rap, R&B, pop and alternative music), Der Bomber der Herzen (German rap and indie-pop) and Full Force Concerts (hard rock and heavy metal).

 


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Scorpio CEO to open All Artists Agency in Berlin

Folkert Koopmans, CEO and founder of German promoter FKP Scorpio, is opening All Artists Agency in Berlin, with former Four Artists deputy managing director Markus Grosse leading the management team.

The new agency will work with both national and international artists and will also comprise an independent events department, led by Four Artists’ head of events Dierk Stritzke-Bodenstein.

The founding of All Artists Agency follows German regulators’ blocking of the purchase of Four Artists by FKP Scorpio parent company CTS Eventim in 2017.

Alex Richter, the co-founder and managing director of Four Artists, which represents artists including Seeed, Marteria, Scooter, the Lumineers, the Black Eyed Peas and Jimmy Eat World, left the company in November last year.

Grosse comments: “I have known and appreciated Folkert and his team for over 15 years. I can’t think of a better set-up for my colleagues, myself and our artists. I thank him for his trust and look forward to the collaboration and challenges.”

“I can’t think of a better set-up for my colleagues, myself and our artists”

“Having known some members of the current All Artists team for many years, I am very happy to continue cooperating with them on a new level,” says Koopmans, who says it “feels very good” to have Grosse is on board to help “control the agency’s future”.

“As an agency, we want to be reliable partners to our artists, regardless of the phase that their careers may currently be in. Artist development is our priority and, of course, we will be happy if we can build long-lasting and evolving relationships [with our clients],” adds Koopmans.

One of Europe’s leading promoters, FKP Scorpio organises several hundred concerts per year. Its festival portfolio includes Germany’s Hurricane, Southside, Highfield, M‘era Luna, Plage Noire and Rolling Stone Beach, as well as international events Provinssi (Finland), Sideways Helsinki (Finland), Garden (Sweden), Greenfield (Switzerland) and Best Kept Secret (the Netherlands).

FKP is present in ten European markets, most recently launching a Belgian branch, headed up by Live Nation Belgium veteran Jan Digneffe.

Further updates can be found here, by subscribing to the All Artists Agency newsletter.

 


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Alex Richter leaves Four Artists after 22 years

Alex Richter, the former managing director of Berlin-based booking agency and promoter Four Artists is ending his involvement with the company after 22 years.

Richter, who is said to be leaving the agency “at his own request”, helped found Four Artists in the German city of Stuttgart in 1997. Now headquartered in Berlin, the company organises an average of 2,000 concerts per year.

Florian Hauss will succeed Richter as managing director, while Markus Grosse will stay on as deputy managing director.

Hauss has been a member of the Four Artists team for 15 years, beginning his career as the tour manager for German group Die Fantastischen Vier. He later established an electronic music department at the agency, working with DJs including David Guetta, Fritz Kalkbrenner and Boys Noize.

The new managing director will also take over booking for Die Fantastischen Vier.

Four Artists represents artists including Seeed, Marteria, Scooter, the Lumineers, the Black Eyed Peas and Jimmy Eat World.

Pictured (l to r): Smudo, Die Fantastischen Vier; Andreas “Bär” Läsker, manager of Die Fantastischen Vier; And.Ypsilon, Die Fantastischen Vier; Florian Hauss; Markus Grosse; Michi Beck, Die Fantastischen Vier; and Thomas D., Die Fantastischen Vier.

 


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Dusseldorf court confirms ban on CTS’s Four Artists acquisition

A Dusseldorf court has rejected an appeal by CTS Eventim that sought to overturn the block on its acquisition of German promoter Four Artists.

Eventim, Europe’s largest ticket agency, announced in March 2017 it planned to acquire Four Artists, a Berlin-based promoter and booking agency which organises more than 2,000 shows annually, as well as a number of festivals, to bolster its events division.

The acquisition was unexpectedly torpedoed that November by Germany’s competition watchdog, the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), which ruled that the merger would substantially lessen competition by strengthening CTS Eventim’s already dominant market position.

A CTS Eventim spokesperson confirmed to IQ at the time it would appeal the decision, and later did so, seeking legal redress in the German court system.

However, in in a decision handed down late last week, the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf (Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf) dismissed the company’s appeal, siding with the Cartel Office. A spokesperson tells MusikWoche Eventim will consider the court’s verdict before deciding whether to reappeal.

CTS Eventim lost its appeal against a ban on charging fees on print-at-home tickets in another OLG, in Bremen, in August.

 


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Germany: Red tape and fierce competition

It is not an easy time for promoters in Germany at the moment.

There are too many offers per genre/ audience, limitations on decibels, changing security requirements and, of course, secondary ticketing and its impacts, including personalised ticketing. Add to that noise pollution claims in venues’ local neighbourhoods, and crowd management, including the local impact of visitors’ arrivals and departures.

Then there’s the new EU GDPR regulation that must be kept in mind when promoting shows to regular customers. And the social security and tax regulations with regional and local differences within a fragmented German market… and these are just a few of the issues that have to be considered when drafting a reliable event costing and turnover estimates.

So, when it comes to delivering successful shows, each region in Germany has specific challenges. Venue owners have been dealing with these issues on a daily basis for years, while also trying hard to provide emerging talent with opportunities to showcase and build a following.

Thanks to some European Commission-funded activities like Liveurope and Europavox, emerging artists have an opportunity to cross borders.A healthy culture market needs, and audiences want, plurality and diversity; it’s where the next trend comes from, so one of the major challenges club owners and local promoters are facing nowadays is how to support local talent in a globalised playlist and festival environment. If they do not succeed, it is just a question of time until Europe loses its cultural richness, and we will see a monoculture-dominated live market – which, to some degree, we already have.

In some music genres, we definitely have a saturated market, but most of the venues that have invested in technology and facilities still maintain a thriving business. The newly opened Warsteiner Music Hall in Dortmund reflects the up-to-date philosophy of venue management.

Alex Richter, managing director of Four Artists Booking GmbH, says: “Particularly in the last five years, the German live market has become more dynamic, and more diverse, but also more fragmented. The fee offer and, in particular, admission prices, have almost doubled, so that I already have the feeling that we are close to the bubble bursting. Especially in the open-air/festival area in Germany, we have reached a saturation limit.

“There’s room in the market for niches, with German-language and regional acts for example”

“On the other hand, there is a lot of interest in high-quality shows. In addition to the artist/show, the venue is a key part of the concert experience: a great venue contributes significantly to the success of a production.

“This was our approach at the Warsteiner Music Hall, which has a capacity of 3,600 visitors. In my opinion, it is the best venue of this size in Germany. It is located in the centre of the Ruhr area with a total population of 5.1 million, so it’s good not just for artists but also for a large audience. With a lot of experience and thought we created a modern venue with the charm of an old industrial hall built in 1903.”

For many years, the company Südpolmusic has worked together with German-language acts, and experienced significant growth doing business in a niche market. According to MD Patrick Oginski, “The German live music market is increasingly divided into nationally active, large-scale marketers and small- to medium-sized tour organisers.

“Fortunately, while the big-players’ tours are about the major cities and often just about market share, there’s room in the market for niches, with German-language and regional acts, for example. This is also a great opportunity for small- and medium-sized companies, who are able to look after live acts more intensively, and with a longer service life and thus establish themselves in the long-term in the live market.”

Juicy Beats Festival booker Uli Künneke warns of an unhealthy business perspective due to the significantly increasing fees and production requirements. “The requirements of the stage directions are getting bigger and bigger,” he reports. “This does not truly reflect if an act is a successful ticket-seller or not. The status of the act is nowadays sometimes linked to the number of trucks and coaches, and stage sizes and roadies. Together with the increasing artist fees for festival performances, this pursuit of scale can drive the presale ticket price into an unhealthy region.”

 


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Eventim under investigation as Four Artists buy blocked

A spokesperson for CTS Eventim has told IQ the company is likely to appeal after Germany’s competition regulator blocked its takeover of Four Artists.

Ticketing giant CTS announced in March it was to acquire Four Artists, a Berlin-based promoter and booking agency, to bolster its events division, especially “with regard to German artists and younger target groups”. Four Artists’ roster of close to 300 artists includes Seeed, The Lumineers, Scooter, Joris, Charles Bradley, Jimmy Eat World, Marteria, Rea Garvey and company co-founders Die Fantastischen Vier, while it also promotes more than 2,000 shows annually, including a number of festivals

The Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) said on Friday the planned merger would substantially lessen competition by strengthening CTS Eventim’s already dominant market position – and also revealed the competition regulator is investigating whether CTS Eventim is “abusing” that position “by concluding exclusive contracts with event organisers and advance booking offices”, in a complaint reminiscent of Songkick’s accusations against Live Nation.

“We believe the takeover of Four Artists is eligible for approval and reserve the right to seek legal remedies against the ruling”

Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt (pictured) says: “As the operator of the largest ticketing system in Germany, CTS Eventim holds a dominant position in the market. Concert and tour organisers, as well as advance booking offices, are dependent on it. The company also has a very powerful market position in the sale of tickets via its own online shop and has already integrated several event organisers into its company’s structure in the past.

“By acquiring Four Artists, CTS Eventim would gain control of additional relevant ticket quotas and expand its market position further.”

Responding, a CTS spokesperson comments: “We have taken note of the decision by the Cartel Office and are currently examining the grounds for said decision. We believe that the takeover of Four Artists is eligible for approval and therefore reserve the right to seek legal remedies against the ruling.”

 


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CTS cements concert focus with Four Artists buy

Following an 11.9% fall in turnover last year, CTS Eventim, Europe’s largest ticket agency, has bolstered its live entertainment division with the acquisition of another concerts business, Four Artists – its second new venture of 2017.

A decline in revenues from live entertainment – described as “expected, mainly due to fewer major tours” – was the only disappointing aspect to CTS’s 2016 results, which otherwise saw strong growth of 14.1% and the more than doubling of dividends, to €0.98 per share.

The acquisition, through its Medusa subsidiary, of a majority stake in Four Artists, a promoter and booking agency focusing on international and German-language hip hop, rock and pop, follows the establishment of Vaddi Concerts, headed up by ex-Koko director Marc Oßwald, in January.

Four Artists’ roster of close to 300 artists includes Seeed, The Lumineers, Scooter, Joris, Charles Bradley, Jimmy Eat World, Marteria, Rea Garvey and company co-founders Die Fantastischen Vier, and it promotes more than 2,000 shows a year. It also co-organises a number of festivals, including Magnetic in Saarbrucken, Sputnik Spring Break in Leipzig and Fritz Deutschpoeten in Berlin.

“Our focus continues to be on finding and building up exceptional national and international talent. We are convinced this new partnership will bring considerable benefit for our artists”

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg says the buy-out “broadens [our] event portfolio, especially with regard to German artists and younger target groups”. He comments: “We are very happy we were able to convince Four Artists and [managing director] Alex Richter to join forces with CTS Eventim. Alex Richter and his team have demonstrated strong aptitude and intuition to identify and build new talent. Together we stand for continued sustainable growth.”

Richter (pictured), who stays on as MD, adds: “We – Die Fantastischen Vier, their management and I – look very much forward to becoming part of Medusa group with Four Artists. We were looking for a partner that shares our views on the live entertainment business and is ready to implement our strategy of quality and sustainability together with us.

“Our focus continues to be on finding and building up exceptional national and international talent. We are convinced this new partnership will bring considerable benefit for our artists and look forward to close cooperation with CTS Eventim in the future. Our special thanks go to Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, who made it clear from the start he understands our approach and philosophy and is willing to personally support it.”

 


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