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Europe’s first K-pop fest sold 70,000+ tickets

Europe’s first K-pop festival reportedly sold more than 70,000 tickets in 84 countries.

Staged by K-Pop Europa in partnership with PK Events and Korean broadcaster SBS Television Network, the 44,000-capacity Kpop.Flex festival took place at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany, over the weekend (14–15 May).

Due to the huge demand for the event, the organisers have already gone on sale with a second edition, set for 17–18 June 2023 at the Frankfurt arena.

K-Pop Europa is also planning to expand its brand with other new dates and locations over the coming year via a partnership between the UK’s Live Company Group and Germany’s Explorado Group.

A statement from the agencies says: “South Korea is now the seventh largest music market in the world, and audiences for K-Pop are growing at an explosive rate. The high demand for KPop.Flex tickets and the rising star profile in Western media show that the K-Pop wave is not going to ebb away.”

Kpop.Flex featured live performances from acts including EXO member Kai, AB6IX, (G)I-DLE, NCT Dream, Enhypen, Mamamoo, Monsta X and IVE.

The event also featured a Korea Festival, a fan fest arranged by the Korean Tourism Organisation with food stalls and special presentations of Korean music and cultural assets.

While the in-person event is over, the organisers are gearing up for a ticketed global live stream of the event on 29 May.

For €14.95, ticket buyers can enjoy a 90-minute ‘digital experience’ and participate in fan-exclusive group chats.

“South Korea is now the seventh largest music market in the world, and audiences for K-Pop are growing at an explosive rate”

K-Pop Europa isn’t the only promoter bringing K-pop to Europe. It was recently announced that TEG MJR is to promote the UK’s first-ever K-pop festival, taking place in London this summer.

HallyuPopFest, previously held in Singapore in 2018 and 2019, is scheduled for 9 and 10 July at OVO Arena Wembley (cap. 12,500).

According to a new report, more than 2.8 million fans are forecast to attend K-pop events outside of Korea in 2022.

South Korea-based financial investment company Hyundai Motor Securities (HMS) projects that acts represented by management firm HYBE, such as BTS, Tomorrow X Together and Enhypen, will draw 1.27m concertgoers outside their homeland on their own.

South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, is also gearing up for growing demand for the genre, with the development of two new arenas dedicated to K-pop.

K-pop, media giant CJ ENM and AEG have begun construction on an arena in the capital’s Goyang City, slated to open in 2024.

The venue, dubbed CJ LiveCity Arena, is reportedly designed to accommodate 20,000 indoor attendees, with the capacity to extend to another 40,000 outdoors.

Meanwhile, South Korean IT giant Kakao and the Seoul metropolitan government will start building a K-pop arena in Seoul’s northern Dobong district, this June.

Expected to be complete in October 2025, Seoul Arena will reportedly include a concert venue boasting state-of-the-art sound equipment, with a seating capacity of around 19,000 and a maximum capacity of 28,000 for standing events.


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Socially distanced Live im Park series concludes

Live im Park, an eight-day event series featuring a mix of music, talks and film, came to a close on Sunday (25 October), marking the first major open-air live entertainment held in Frankfurt this year.

Taking place over three weekends in October (9–10, 16–18 and and 24–25), Live im Park attracted thousands of visitors to the city’s Deutsche Bank Park (formerly the Commerzbank Arena), which normally has a capacity of 40,000.

Among the highlights were live music from the local band the Gypsys and tributes to Queen and the Bee Gees; ‘The All 90s Show’ with DJs Buffalo and Wallace; a talk featuring Formula 1 journalists Kai Ebel and Heiko Wasser sharing stories from 28 years in the sport; and a cinema evening showing 2019 documentary The Return of the Cup.

All events took place on an open-air stage, with the audience spaced out on lounger seats placed at a minimum distance of 1.5m across the stadium’s pitch.

“We are pleased that we were able to set a small example”

Traceable tickets, meanwhile, allowed organisers to contact attendees in the unlikely event of a virus outbreak.

The conclusion of Live im Park comes as chancellor Angela Merkel is reportedly set to announce a new four-week ‘lockdown-lite’, banning public events, in Germany.

Live im Park organiser Patrik Meyer, managing director of Eintracht Frankfurt Stadion, comments: “Despite the external circumstances, we can draw an all-round satisfactory conclusion. The event design [and] the always exemplary and considerate behaviour of all spectators enabled a safe and successful implementation of the event, which was always corona-compliant.

“This is also proven not least by the many positive responses we received from performers and the event visitors. We are pleased that we were able to set a small example for culture.”


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DJs go shopping for World Club Dome Escalator Edition

Yet another innovative socially distanced concert solution made its debut over the weekend, courtesy of German EDM promoter and nightlife brand BigCityBeats.

The company – whose flagship World Club Dome event, like nearly all European festivals, is not going ahead this year – on Saturday 4 July staged World Club Dome Escalator Edition, which saw DJs playing on the roof of, and later on escalators in, the MyZeil shopping centre in Frankfurt.

The event was livestreamed on YouTube, and featured performers including Vize and Le Shuuk, who played seats from mobile DJ booths situated on the MyZeil’s 42m (138’) escalators. Fans who arrived together were situated across five storeys of the shopping precinct, at a safe distance from the other groups.

World Club Dome Escalator Edition brought to a close BigCityBeats’ ‘Roof Sessions’, which have been held on the roof of the company’s Frankfurt headquarters since the coronavirus lockdown began.

Watch Le Shuuk’s escalator set below:

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Europe’s second-largest arena planned for Frankfurt

The Katz Group of Companies, one of Canada’s largest private firms, is moving ahead with plans to build the largest indoor arena in Germany, and the second-largest in Europe, next to Frankfurt Airport.

The Dome will cost €300 million and have a capacity of 23,000, placing it ahead of SMG’s Manchester Arena (21,000-cap.) in the UK and just behind Live Nation’s Sportpaleis (23,001-cap.) in Antwerp, Belgium.

Katz Group was formerly owner of Rexall Health, one the largest chains of chemists in North America, and now operates chiefly in property and sports/entertainment. Through Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), the Edmonton-based company, founded in 1990 by Daryl Katz, owns ice-hockey teams Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Oil Kings and Bakersfield Condors.

It also manages the 20,734-capacity Rogers Place (home ground to the Oilers and Oil Kings), and surrounding ‘Ice District’, in Edmonton, and owns events agency Aquila Productions.

According to Dentons, which advised Katz Group on its joint venture with local investors, upon completion the Dome is likely to become the home venue of Frankfurt’s Löwen ice-hockey team and Skyliners basketball team.

“We have focused on the Frankfurt location for a variety of reasons,” Jürgen Schreiber, Katz Group’s German-born CEO, tells Stadionwelt (via Coliseum). “On the one hand, we want to build a special, unique arena that sets new standards.

“Frankfurt needs a venue of the size of the Dome in order to remain competitive”

“From the beginning, we have ruled out the possibility of designing the arena for a capacity of 10,000 to 13,000 seats – enough such arenas exist  in Germany. We deliberately decided to build a world-class arena.”

Currently, the largest indoor arena in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city in Germany, is the turn-of-the-century Festhalle, which seats 8,500 and can hold up to 13,500 for concerts.

More modern alternatives include the 6,946-cap. Eissporthalle, primarily used for ice hockey, and the 5,002-seat Fraport Arena, which currently hosts the Skyliners.

“In our opinion, Frankfurt needs [a venue the size of the Dome] in order to remain competitive in the the events and, above all, sports industries,” Schreiber continues. “At the moment, most organisers are avoiding Frankfurt and prefer other cities instead.

“The Frankfurt airport location offers optimal conditions to implement such a project. The infrastructure is largely already there, which saves time and money. And the area is easily accessible by train, plane, car and bicycle.

“Half of the German population lives within a radius of 200 kilometres, which is why the potential of the location is enormous.”


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Theatre producer Mehr-BB wins big at PRG LEA 2019

The 14th edition of the German Live Entertainment Awards (LEA) took place at the Frankfurt Festhalle last night (1 April), with theatrical producer Mehr-BB picking two awards for best show and best concert hall or arena.

Awards were presented across 15 categories to concert and show organisers, managers, agents and venue operators from German-speaking countries.

“The LEA is a red carpet event in our city,” says Frankfurt city councillor Markus Frank. “It is an honour for us to celebrate the top-class LEA gala in our traditional festival hall.”

The ceremony was presented for the eighth time by broadcast journalist Ingo Nommsen, with performances from Kiefer Sutherland, Stefanie Heinzmann, Mike Singer and electronic swing jazz band DelDap.

The ensemble of hit musical Starlight Express also performed on the night. Mehr-BB Entertainment received the award for show of the year for the musical, which has run for 30 consecutive years in the Starlight Express Theatre in Bochum.

Neue Deutsche Welle singer Nena closed the ceremony, who won Wizard Promotions the concert hall tour of the year award with her Nothing Missed tour.

“Live entertainment is now the leading entertainment market [in Germany] and the most highly consumed cultural product”

“In Germany, around five billion euros are spent each year on attending music events and other live entertainment,” reports Professor Jens Michow, president of the Federal Association of the Concerts and Events Industry (BDKV) and producer of the awards ceremony.

“With those figures, live entertainment is now the leading entertainment market and the most highly consumed cultural product [in the country],” adds Michow.

Hamburg-based FKP Scorpio picked up the biggest touring category award, winning the prize for the best stadium tour of the year for Ed Sheeran’s ÷ tour and Semmel concerts earned the arena tour of the year award for the Kelly Family We Got Love tour.

Wacken Open Air founders Thomas Jensen and Holger Hübner won the lifetime achievement award for their work developing the largest heavy-metal festival in the world, receiving the award from German rock band Scorpions and comedian Matze Knop.

Jazzopen organiser Opus, along with MCT Agency and the European Astronaut Centre, won the award for concert of the year. The trio had collaborated on a special Kraftwerk concert in Stuttgart which saw astronaut Alexander Gerst broadcast live from space.

Live Nation won promoter of the year, whereas the homegrown promoter prize went to Vaddi Concerts.

A full list of winners can be found below and a round-up of nominees is available here.

Stadium tour of the year
Ed Sheeran ÷ tour (FKP Scorpio)

Arena tour of the year
The Kelly Family, We Got Love tour (Semmel Concerts)

Concert hall tour of the year
Nena, Nothing Missed tour (Wizard Promotions)

Club tour of the year
Bosse, Everything is now tour (Undercover)

Festival of the year
Nature One, Pydna

Concert of the year
Kraftwerk + Special Guest Dr Alexander Gerst, Stuttgart (Opus Festival, MCT Agentur GmbH and EAC Köln)

Show of the year
30 Years Starlight Express, Bochum (Mehr-BB Entertainment)

Promoter of the year
Live Nation

Local promoter of the year
Vaddi Concerts

Concert hall/ arena of the year
Mehr Theater, Hamburg (Mehr-BB Entertainment)

Artist development of the year
Timo Birth

Manager/ agent of the year
Johannes Jakob Hofmann, Jay Music and Selective Artists

Jury prize
Jamel rockt den Förster (Grünes Forum Selbstverwaltung Förderverein)

Lifetime achievement award
Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen

Collaboration of the year
Aida-Schiffstaufe with David Guetta (Hannover Concerts, KG Betriebsgesellschaft, Aida Cruises, Four Artists Booking and Meyer Werft)


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Nominees announced for Germany’s PRG LEA 2019

The 14th PRG Live Entertainment Awards (LEA) take place on 1 April in Frankfurt, recognising the best in the German live music industry across 15 categories.

The annual awards celebrate concert and show organisers, managers, agents and theatre operators in German-speaking countries.

Around 1,400 guests are expected to attend the awards ceremony in Frankfurt’s Festhalle. Performances on the night will come from pop and soul singer Stefanie Heinzmann, Neue Deutsche Welle (German new wave) singer Nena, actor Kiefer Sutherland and singer-songwriter Mike Singer.

“It is a huge honour for me to be able to perform and present a prize at such an important awards show,” says Singer. “The LEA is something very close to my heart because it honours some very fundamental areas of our everyday musical lives.”

In the stadium tour of the year category, Wizard Promotions are up for Iron Maiden’s Legacy of the Beast tour, whereas Ed Sheeran’s ÷ concert tour has earned last year’s promoter of the year winner FKP Scorpio a nomination. Kikis Kleiner Tourneeservice (KKT) agency is the final nominee, for the Laune der Natour tour by Düsseldorf punk-rock group Die Toten Hosen.

Concert tours by German acts dominate the field of nominees in the arena tour of the year category. Four Artists Booking, Roland Temme, DEAG Concerts and Dirk Becker Entertainment in collaboration with Abenteuerland Music Management are included in the jury’s selection.

“The LEA is something very close to my heart because it honours some very fundamental areas of our everyday musical lives”

Semmel Concerts, winner of both concert hall tour and the jury prize in 2017, is also nominated for bringing the Kelly Family’s We Got Love Tour back to big venues.

Among the concert of the year nominees is FKP Scorpio for Burt Bacharach’s first-ever German concert. Opus, MCT and the European Astronaut Centre are nominated collectively for the Kraftwerk concert at Jazzopen in Stuttgart, which featured a broadcast from astronaut Alexander Gerst in outer space.

FKP Scorpio, DEAG Concerts and Wizard Promotions are also among the nominees for indoor tour of the year. Elsewhere, Airbeat One, Parookaville and Nature one are all up for festival of the year award, with a thematic focus on EDM.

No nominations are made for the organiser of the year, artist/newcomer of the year or artist manager/ agent of the year categories, or for the jury and lifetime achievement awards.

The main partners of the LEA are event technology supplier Production Resource Group (PRG), Prolight and Sound, Musikmesse Frankfurt, ticket distributor CTS Eventim and the city of Frankfurt am Main.


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Wireless to return to Germany in 2019

After taking a hiatus in 2018, Live Nation will stage its Wireless festival in Germany for the second time next summer.

American rapper Travis Scott will headline Wireless Germany 2019, which takes place on 5 and 6 July at the new greenfield venue of Alter Rebstockpark (40,000-daily cap.) in Frankfurt. (The inaugural Wireless Germany, in 2017, took place at Commerzbank Arena in the same city.)

Other performers include James Blake, Rae Sremmurd, J Balvin, Rita Ora and Migos, as well as local hip-hop acts Marteria & Casper and Bonez MC & RAF Camora.

Two-day GA tickets are priced from €139, which also includes tickets for public transport to and from Rebstock Park, described as a “green oasis in the middle of the metropolis” of Frankfurt.

The festival will additionally feature “breakdance performances, street art, fashion, chill-out areas, open-air shisha bars” and more, according to the launch announcement.

Scott has also been announced as a headliner of the inaugural Lollapalooza Stockholm, announced by Live Nation in May, alongside Foo Fighters, Lana Del Rey and Swedish artist Laleh.


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WizPro, Handwerker launch Frankfurt joint venture

German promoters Wizard Promotions and Handwerker Promotion have announced the opening of a new joint office in Frankfurt.

Through a new company, Rhein-Main Concerts, Frankfurt-based Wizard and Unna-based Handwerker – both majority owned by Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) – will jointly organise concerts and other live events in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region, in the south-west of Germany.

Rhein-Main Concerts will be led by senior project manager Jutta Sebastian, with the new office officially open on 1 November, reports Musik Woche. Rhein-Main Concerts shows already on sale include Bryan Ferry (pictured), Joan Baez, Till Brönner and Heartbeat of Home.

DEAG COO Christian Diekmann says: “With [Rhein-Main Concerts’] integrated experience and know-how, we will have the opportunity in future to market our portfolio in Rhine-Main with a high-calibre team.”

“It is a great honour to be more active here in [Frankfurt] and to enrich the cultural life of the region”

Handwerker boss Fred Handwerker describes Frankfurt as “one of the most vital regions” for touring in Germany, saying it was the logical next step “to be present in this promising market with our own local promoter, so we can act faster, and be more agile and precise, to offer the audience diverse concert and event experiences.”

Oliver Hoppe, of Wizard Promotions, says it is “a great honour to be more active here in the local market and to enrich the cultural life of the region”.

In addition to Frankfurt, DEAG also has offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zurich and London.


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Frankfurt’s Musikmesse to host first showcases

Musikmesse, the leading Frankfurt trade show for the musical instrument (MI) sector, has parked its tanks on the lawn of German showcase festivals such as Reeperbahn, Pop-Kultur and c/o pop by inviting several European export offices to showcase at its 2018 event.

Musikmesse – which last year, along with sister event Prolight + Sound, attracted around 100,000 visitors from 144 countries to the Messe Frankfurt exhibition complex – first introduced live music programming in 2016, although organisers told IQ at the time the event wasn’t interested in competing with other, more established events for a concert industry audience.

Musikmesse Fest: Just musical instruments… for now

This year, however, Musikmesse Festival – which will feature performances from the likes of Albert Hammond, Dionne Warwick and En Vogue – will include a showcase component, with export offices from Luxembourg, the Republic of Ireland and central and Eastern Europe (including the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Hungary) presenting up-and-coming talent over three evenings from 11 to 13 April.

“The interest of international export initiatives in Musikmesse underscores the relevance of the fair as an international platform for the entertainment and live business,” says Wolfgang Weyand, director of business relations and entertainment for Musikmesse/Prolight + Sound. “All participants will profit from these new partnerships.

“On the one hand, they represent an interesting contribution to the complementary programme of events. On the other hand, they facilitate valuable encounters between exhibitors and players from important markets.”

Phil Harrington, CEO of Ireland’s youbloom, says: “youbloom Dublin obviously has a clear interest in showcasing Irish talent abroad and Musikmesse Frankfurt clearly offers a great platform for connecting our scene with potential new international business partners. Yet, there is more to it for the overall youbloom brand portfolio, as we’re currently launching a new online service, targeting musicians worldwide, called youbloomConnect.

“Everyone is talking about music and brands, so why not go for those brands that actually directly working with the music?”

“As such Musikmesse Frankfurt truly caters to many of our interests at once.”

Giovanni Trono of Luxembourgish export office Music:LX adds: “As a small music export nation we always have to work extra hard, and maybe even more importantly, smart, if we are to compete internationally. As such the Musikmesse Frankfurt proposition of us getting to target music brand partnerships directly is extremely appealing.

“Everyone is talking about music and brands, so why not go for those brands that actually directly working with the music?”

Musikmesse Festival 2018 takes place from 11 to 14 April.


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Semmel wins double at 12th PRG LEAs

The PRG Live Entertainment Awards (LEAs) returned to Frankfurt for 12th time on Monday, honouring the best and brightest in the German live industry.

Accolades were given in 15 categories, including promoter of the year, which went to FKP Scorpio; stadium tour of the year, which was awarded to Think Big for Udo Lindenberg’s Keine Panik! tour; arena tour of the year, presented to Wizard Promotions and Zucchero Fornaciari for the Black Cat world tour; and concert hall tour of the year and the jury prize, both of which went to Semmel Concerts, for Niedeckens BAP’s Jubiläumstour tour and PxP Festival, respectively.

“For 12 years we have been honouring the outstanding event achievements of the past year with the LEAs,” says Jens Michow, producer of the awards ceremony and president of German promoters’ association BDV.

“Twenty-sixteen was a particularly difficult year – with increased security risks , hurricane-like storms, torrential rains and violent thunderstorms that presented the industry with significant challenges – [so] I am all the more pleased by the level of professionalism with which these were overcome.”

A full list of winners is below:

Stadium tour of the year
Udo Lindenberg, Keine Panik! tour 2016 (Think Big Event- und Veranstaltungs)

Arena tour of the year
Zucchero Fornaciari, Black Cat tour 2016 (Wizard Promotions)

Concert hall tour of the year
Niedeckens BAP, Jubiläumstour tour 2016 (Semmel Concerts)

Club tour of the year
Max Giesinger, Der Junge, der rennt tour 2016 (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion)

Festival of the year
OpenAir St Gallen

Concert of the year
David Gilmour, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria (Barracuda Music)

Show of the year
Kaltenberger Ritterturnier (Ritterturnier Kaltenberg Veranstaltungs)

Promoter of the year
FKP Scorpio

Artist development of the year
Popakademie Baden-Württemberg

Manager/agent of the year
Esteban de Alcázar, Sector3 Management

Local promoter of the year
Handwerker Promotion, Unna

Club of the year
Capitol, Hanover

Concert hall/arena of the year
Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt

Jury prize
PxP Festival, P x P Embassy/Semmel Concerts

Lifetime achievement award
Dieter Weidenfeld

A list of 2016 PRG LEA winners is here.


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