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Live Nation reveals details on Download Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) has revealed more details about the inaugural edition of Download Germany.

The promoter today (14 September) revealed that US heavy metal band Metallica will headline the 2022 event, which will be the band’s only concert in Germany next year.

Metallica will be joined by heavyweights Five Finger Death Punch and Sabaton, both of which will be a 2022 festival exclusive for Germany.

Up to 10 acts will perform on a huge double stage at Download Germany, according to GSA, and more than 70,000 guests are expected to attend.

Up to 10 acts will perform on a huge double stage at Download Germany and more than 70,000 guests are expected to attend

It was previously revealed that Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Advance ticket sales for Download Germany will start on 17 September at 12:00 CET, including passes for the interior of the racing track, as well as passes for the south stand.

The promoter revealed today that interior tickets cost €139 including parking and pre-sale fee and south stand tickets cost €159 including parking and advance booking fee.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Talissa Buhl, FKP Scorpio

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Paris Harding, promoter at SJM, UK, here.

Born and raised in Oldenburg, Germany, Talissa Buhl always wanted to live in Hamburg, where she has been for the past nine years. After leaving school, she travelled through Australia and New Zealand, and then decided that rather than studying, she wanted to do something more hands-on.

She secured an apprenticeship at Kontor Records but her main interest was always the live music business. Indeed, Buhl recalls being at Hurricane Festival in 2010, and realising she’d love to work behind the scenes. Six years later, she started working with FKP’s festival booking team, booking Hurricane (among many other festivals), and now she leads the team.


Do you think working on the record label side of the business helped you in your career on the festivals side?
The entertainment industry is not one dimensional. It’s important to try to have a good understanding and knowledge of the landscape we work in, in its entirety.

I’d applied for an apprenticeship at FKP before I worked at Kontor Records but didn’t get the job at the time. This was the best thing that could’ve happened because in the end working at the label gave me enough experience to get a proper job in the festival department.

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
More diversity within the industry, and on festival bills. There’s still room for improvement and the whole industry needs to be aware of its responsibilities. It’s incredibly important to be proactive and not reactive on this subject. We must include diversity in our conversations from the start of the process, whether that’s booking a festival or hiring staff.

“It’s incredibly important to be proactive and not reactive with more diversity within the industry, and on festival bills”

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Getting to where I am now is something that I’m proud of as someone who didn’t have any family members or friends working in the music business – and especially as a woman in a very male-dominated industry. I remember being at Hurricane Festival in 2010, saying that I’d love to know what it might be like working behind the scenes of such a big festival. Six years later, in 2016, I started at FKP’s festival booking team, actually booking Hurricane festival (among many other festivals), now even leading the team.

What are you most looking forward to as the pandemic restrictions are lifted?
I can’t wait to be in front of a stage again to experience live music and to witness the actual result of my work. I’m also really looking forward to being able to meet friends and family again without having to worry too much about restrictions. Just like it was before the pandemic, but hopefully with some improvements!

“The biggest challenge FKP Scorpio and I has been finding a Covid-clause for the contracts that everyone can agree to”

What’s the biggest challenge for you and the FKP Scorpio team in the year ahead?
Honestly, probably something really boring such as finding a Covid-clause for the contracts that everyone can agree to. Other than that, we need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape around us. We have to be aware of possible cancellations and have solutions in our back pocket so that we can keep fans and artists happy.

We’ve heard a lot about the closer collaboration between agents and promoters during the past year. What’s your experience of that been, and how do you see it developing as the business reopens?
I have really enjoyed getting to know more agents on a more personal level and sharing our experiences when we speak, rather than just talking about festival slots and arguing over money or billing. I hope that’s something we can maintain!

What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find a job in live music?
You don’t need to go a conventional road (e.g. university). Your network and patience are way more important. Always trust your gut and don’t forget to take holidays. You have to take care of your own mental health and be mindful of those around you.

 


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The New Bosses: Class of 2021 revealed

The latest edition of IQ‘s New Bosses goes live today, celebrating the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business.

The New Bosses 2021 honours no fewer than a dozen young executives, as voted by their colleagues around the world.

The 14th edition of the annual list inspired the most engaged voting process to date, with hundreds of people taking the time to submit nominations.

Our distinguished dozen this year comprises promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs and more, all involved in the international business and each of whom is making a real difference in their respective sector.

In alphabetical order, the New Bosses 2021 are:

As in previous years, full interviews with each of the 2021 New Bosses will appear online in the coming days and weeks. However, subscribers can read short individual profiles of each New Boss now in issue 103 of IQ Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 

 


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Eventim UK chairman to step down

CTS Eventim has announced that Nick Blackburn is stepping down from his post as chairman of Eventim UK on 30 September 2021.

Blackburn joined the British subsidiary of the pan-European live entertainment giant in June 2011, two years after it launched.

At the London-based ticketing company, Nick was responsible for Eventim’s business development in the UK and Ireland. He was previously chairman and CEO of See Tickets in the UK.

“I have enjoyed my time at Eventim which turned out to be longer than I originally expected,” says Nick Blackburn.

“I would not leave until there was a strong management structure in place which could take the company forward”

“I informed Klaus-Peter Schulenberg [CEO of CTS Eventim] of my intentions last March as by then I had introduced John Gibson and Martin Fitzgerald to the company, both now managing directors at Eventim UK, thus keeping my promise that I would not leave until there was a strong management structure in place which could take the company forward.

“I am now free to move on to consultancy work, to spend more time on an educational charity of which I am a trustee and complete some items in my bucket list especially in travel.”

Schulenberg added: “Over the past ten years, Nick has taken Eventim UK forward and strengthened its position in this important market. In addition, I would like to thank him for setting the course for the continued positive development of our company in the UK. I wish Nick all the best for his future.”

 


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Tomorrowland launches record label

Tomorrowland, the world’s biggest dance music festival, has launched Tomorrowland Music, a new record label which will be distributed worldwide through Virgin Music Label & Artist Services, a division of Universal Music Group (UMG).

The Berlin-based label will be led Alexander Neipp, Daniel Schmidt and Magnus Textor (Virgin Records) and Tina Adams (Virgin Music Label & Artist Services). Its first release, out tomorrow (27 August), will be ‘You Got the Love’ by Never Sleeps, a new project by Afrojack and Chico Rose.

Michiel Beers, CEO and founder of Tomorrowland, says: “Creativity is something that can’t be stopped at Tomorrowland. I’m very proud of how resilient our team was to find new ways of bringing Tomorrowland into the reality of the last period. We have taken the extra time to focus on projects that were on our list for a long time and one of them was definitely launching our own Tomorrowland Music label.

“Michel Van Buyten, music manager of Tomorrowland Music, will work closely together with artists to help create strong stories around their releases. With the combined forces of our dedicated label team, Tomorrowland Media House, and the different Virgin Music teams worldwide, our aim is to introduce fans in every corner of the world to the most exciting projects in electronic music.”

Tomorrowland, which has been held in Boom, Belgium, since 2005, was cancelled in 2021 for a second year running after local authorities pulled its permit, citing concerns over Covid-19.

“I’m confident the new label is going to be a special place and a great home for artists”

A digital festival, Tomorrowland: Around the World, took place on 16 and 17 July, featuring music from Armin van Buuren, Nicky Romero and Charlotte de Witte.

Frank Briegmann, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Central Europe, comments: “Over the past 15 years Tomorrowland has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading festivals and electronic music brands by consistently expanding and evolving their relationship with music fans. Today, Tomorrowland is one of Europe’s most innovative music brands, respected by artists and loved by the millions of people who have attended their events around the world.

“We are delighted to have partnered with them to support the launch of their new label venture and to have created a uniquely flexible model utilising our expert and proven teams at Virgin Records Germany, Virgin Music Label & Artist Services teams around the world, and other flagship UMG labels worldwide to help drive success and create global hits for Tomorrowland. We look forward to a very successful partnership together, and to further enhancing our ability to provide partners, labels and artists with new and innovative ways to achieve global success.”

“Joining forces with Tomorrowland Music feels like love at first sight,” adds Magnus Textor, head of A&R for Virgin Records Germany. “It’s great to see that we share the same passion for electronic music and artists. Everyone who has ever been to Tomorrowland or even just seen one of their event films has experienced their dedication. Therefore, I’m confident the new label is going to be a special place and a great home for artists.”

 


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Hamburg venues allowed to ban unvaccinated fans

Promoters and venues in Hamburg can soon ban unvaccinated people from attending events, in order to do away with social distancing and increase capacity limits.

Germany on Monday (23 August) moved to a uniform Covid health pass system which allows entry to many public spaces only to people who’ve been vaccinated (geimpft), have recovered from Covid (gensesen) or have been tested against Covid (getestet) – otherwise known as the 3G model.

But on Tuesday (24 August), the Hamburg senate announced that, from Saturday 28 August, it will introduce a ‘2G-option model’ for event organisers and business owners in the federal state.

This means they can allow entry exclusively to people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid within the last six months. The employees of the cultural institutions also have to be vaccinated at 2G events.

Organisers who implement the 2G model will be allowed to increase the number of attendees to 1,300 for indoor events and 2,000 for outdoor.

In addition, organisers and attendees of 2G events will not need to adhere to certain Covid regulations such as social distancing. However, masks will remain compulsory in all indoor settings.

Organisers who implement the 2G model will be allowed to increase the number of attendees to 1,300 indoorand 2,000 outdoor

The senate says operators will face fines of up to €20,000 if they do not check for proof of vaccination or recovery (or a negative test if it’s a 3G event), in conjunction with photo ID.

Organisers can also opt for the 3G model but if they do, they will have to follow previous Covid restrictions, such as capacity restrictions.

The 2G or 3G option is aimed at music venues, theatres, cinemas, trade fair operators, restaurants, hotels, swimming pools and fitness studios, among other businesses.

Organisers of sporting events with visitors, public festivals or educational courses should also be able to exclude unvaccinated people if they want to, says the Hamburg senate.

The only exceptions to the 2G rule will apply to children and young people. All under-18s will be allowed to attend 2G events without full vaccination for a grace period.

“Restrictions must be proportionate and may only apply for as long as they are necessary to combat the pandemic”

For 12 to 18-year-olds, who have been urged to get vaccinated, the transitional period will expire in six weeks. For children under 12, for whom no vaccine has been approved, it will continue to apply.

A spokesperson for the Hamburg senate says there are no exceptions for people who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons because they “are generally at high risk of infection and should avoid crowds”.

Hamburg’s first mayor, Peter Tschentscher, says: “Restrictions must be proportionate and may only apply for as long as they are necessary to combat the pandemic.”

However, the Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV) argues that the 2G model alone is not a “viable solution” as the industry cannot afford to “do without almost half of its clientele”.

The association has proposed a variation of the model – ‘2G+PCR’ – which would also allow entry to those who show a negative PCR test – a more reliable, but expensive and time-consuming, option than rapid testing.

BDKV is now urging the government to implement its suggested model in order to do away with capacity restrictions nationwide.

 


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DEAG welcomes 20,000+ for Potsdam palace shows

Despite ongoing restrictions on large events in Germany, promoter DEAG was able to bring together more than 20,000 people in Potsdam on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 August for two evenings of French-themed live entertainment.

After a hiatus in 2020, Potsdamer Schlössernacht (Potsdam Palace Night) returned to the Sanssouci Palace Park with the theme Les Rendez-vous au Park Sanssouci, with guests including the actors Benjamin Sadler, Esther Schweins, Benno Fürmann, Dietmar Bär, Andrea Sawatzki and Christian Berkel, and the theatre companies Quidams and Sol’Air.

Other entertainment at the sold-out events included illuminations, projections, tightrope walking and a fire and light show.

Potsdamer Schlössernacht 2021 was able to go ahead as a result of a “comprehensive hygiene concept”, says organiser DEAG, which included halving the normal capacity of the event.

“More than 20,000 visitors found their way to this year’s Potsdam Palace Night despite difficult conditions and were rewarded”

Around 9,000 people attended the open-air show on Friday, while 12,500 were present on Saturday.

“More than 20,000 visitors found their way to this year’s Potsdam Palace Night despite difficult conditions and were rewarded: with, at last, fun walks and good humour, the most beautiful entertainment, and the best pleasure with culinary highlights,” comments DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow. “We would like to sincerely thank everyone who was there and look forward to all those who want to come next year.”

Mike Schubert, the mayor of Potsdam, adds: “I am very happy about the success of this year’s Palace Night. The event has shown two aspects: a mature and responsible security concept on the part of the organisers, and responsible behaviour on the part of the visitors also, make large events possible. Our city needs formats like the Palace Night, for guests and residents alike.”

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 recovery centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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CTS Eventim ‘optimally positioned’ for reopening

CTS Eventim’s Q2 financial results show that the company is “optimally positioned for the return of live entertainment,” according to CEO, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

In the period from April to June 2021, the Munich-based company’s revenue was up sharply compared with Q2 2020, primarily thanks to an uptick in ticket sales.

In the second quarter of 2021, ticketing revenue went up by 283.7%, from €9.4 million to €36.1m. Normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) amounted to €77.6m (previous year: loss of €18.2m). This included around €73m in German coronavirus support.

Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, around 250 million tickets per annum were marketed using the company’s systems, which include online portals under brands such as eventim.de, oeticket.com, ticketcorner.ch, ticketone.it, and entradas.com.

The company’s live music revenue also improved in the second quarter of 2021, jumping by 81.5% year on year to €11.5m (previous year: €6.3m). Normalised EBITDA amounted to €21.4m (previous year: €1.9m). German coronavirus support contributed around €29m to earnings.

“Ticket sales are recovering, which confirms our view that people are yearning for live entertainment after the pandemic”

“Ticket sales are recovering, which confirms our view that people are yearning for live entertainment after a year and a half of the pandemic,” said Schulenberg. “However, politicians must set out a framework so that it is economically viable for events to be held again. The government support is very helpful but the industry wants to finally be able to earn its money by returning to work.”

He added: “CTS Eventim has taken the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to further strengthen and broaden its market position by undertaking a number of major strategic initiatives. Going forward, we will be better positioned than ever before, especially internationally, to be able to impress our customers with our services, industry expertise and technology in the live entertainment business.”

During the pandemic, the pan-European live entertainment giant continued the expansion of its Eventim Live promoter network, establishing the Gadget abc Entertainment Group in Switzerlandpartnering with legendary US promoter Michael Cohl, and acquiring a majority stake in the Barracuda Group in Austria.

In 2021, CTS acquired Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus, led by Matt Schwarz, taking the network up to 36 promoters in 15 countries.

The company recently announced plans to build a new €180 million arena in Milan, northern Italy.

 


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No new infections from Clubculture Reboot Berlin

The organisers of Berlin’s Clubculture Reboot have welcomed what they describe as positive interim results from the recent pilot event series, which saw around 2,000 people attend indoor club nights at six venues after taking PCR tests for Covid-19.

According to Clubcomission, the association which organised the event alongside the Berlin Senate’s department for culture and the Charité hospital, there were zero new infections as a result of the event, proving once again that “dance [music] events may be held safely even under pandemic conditions”.

Participants in Clubculture Reboot, which took place from 6–8 August across six Berlin clubs, needed to produce a negative PCR test to gain entry, as opposed to the rapid lateral-flow/antigen tests more commonly used for concerts and festivals.

All clubgoers, regardless of their vaccination status, had to go undergo a PCR test – the ‘swab test’ which is more accurate than a rapid test, but which takes at least 24 hours to return its results – at one of three designated test centres in the 48 hours leading up to the weekend’s events.

“The project offers real [guidelines] for the opening of clubs, even if infections and hospitalisations rise sharply in autumn”

Of the 2,110 people who were tested pre-event, seven were turned away after testing positive, and all attendees who submitted to follow-up PCR test (1,447 people, or almost 70%) tested negative for the virus. While the full results are expected at the end of the month, the interim findings are welcome, says Clubcommissionc chair Pamela Schobeß: “The project offers real perspective for the opening of clubs, even if incidences [of Covid-19] and hospitalisations rise sharply in autumn.

“It proves that with this method, safe spaces can be created that make it possible to bring club culture to life even in a pandemic.”

Dr Florian Kainzinger, who designed the testing process, adds: “With this project we were able to show that PCR tests can also be implemented in a very short period of time from sampling to transmission of results. This enables new perspectives for a safe reopening even in high-risk areas.”

 


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DEAG to acquire majority stake in Lit.Cologne

DEAG Classics, a division of Germany’s DEAG (Deutsche Entertainment AG), has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Lit.Cologne, one of Europe’s largest literary festivals.

With the acquisition of 66.6% of Lit.Cologne GmbH, DEAG is “significantly expanding its activities in the field of ‘literatainment’, bringing the most exciting names in culture and entertainment to audiences in Europe and beyond”, according to a statement from the Berlin-based live entertainment group company.

Following the acquisition, Lit.Cologne co-founder Rainer Osnowski will stay on as a shareholder and managing director and continue to run the company with his team. “Both partners expect synergy effects from the cooperation in the development of new formats, as well as in the acquisition of new venues and in the ticketing business,” adds DEAG, whose owned ticket agencies include MyTicket (DE, AT, UK) and Gigantic (UK).

Founded in Cologne in 2000, Lit.Cologne now welcomes more than 100,000 visitors and annually, and has in recent years launched a number of other events, including Phil.Cologne, a philosophy festival, and Lit.Ruhr, a sister festival in the Ruhr region. In 2021, Lit.cologne was held as a digital festival for the first time, with 54 online events.

“This alliance offers the mutual know-how in the live sector and the passion for first-class live events”

In a joint statement, DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow and DEAG Classics board member Jacqueline Zich say: “We are very pleased with our partnership with Rainer Osnowski and his team, who have built up Europe’s largest literature festival and also know how to inspire their audiences with new formats such as Lit.Ruhr and Phil.Cologne.

“Being able to contribute to the further development of formats, and support the long-term direction of the festivals with our live expertise and our European network, fills us with great joy.”

“The partnership with DEAG Classics in this form, which leaves the festival as such untouched in terms of content and structure, is certainly something of a rarity these days,” adds Osnowski. “On the one hand, this partnership is a further step towards securing the long-term future of the festival alongside the great commitment of our main sponsors and partners. On the other hand, this alliance offers the mutual know-how in the live sector and the passion for first-class live events many opportunities for further joint development.

“I am very pleased about this and look forward to working together.”

Earlier this year, DEAG raised another €6 million to fund acquisitions, and says it recently enlisted the services of a “renowned American investment bank” to identify new opportunities outside its “core markets of Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark”.

 


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