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Germany’s €2.5bn culture fund ‘hardly used’ so far

Germany’s €2.5 billion event cancellation fund has ‘hardly been used’ so far, according to a new report.

The government-backed insurance pot, announced in December 2020, was introduced to enable event organisers to plan for Q3 and Q4 2021 without the financial risk posed by a potential Covid outbreak.

Only €44m was requested from the fund by mid-December 2021, according to German news magazine Spiegel, which obtained a report by the minister of state for culture to the government’s budget committee.

Of that amount, €40m has been requested from the €1.9bn ‘profitability aid’, dedicated to compensating financial losses for live events held under capacity in order to meet Covid-19 restriction.

The remaining €4m has been requested from the €600m ‘failure protection’ pool, which is used to cover up to 90% of losses incurred by the cancellation of events and shows which are called off due to the pandemic.

Despite the modest amount of applications, the report states that the fund has been met with “great response” from organisers.

“The funding programmes [may be] so complicated that as little money as possible reaches the people who urgently need help”

The minister of state for culture points out that applications for both funding pots can only be made retrospectively, when the respective event has already taken place.

However, according to Spiegel, the number of events registered for aid is significantly higher than the number of actual applications: around 23,400 events have so far been registered for economic aid, which corresponds to a funding volume of up to €795m.

Around half of the registrations are from concerts and festivals, and another 40% to performances of the performing arts.

To date, around 2,000 events have been registered for failure protection, which would mean a maximum funding volume of around €859m. Almost three-quarters of these registrations are concerts and festivals.

According to the report, it is to be expected “that the number and volume of applications will increase significantly in the coming weeks and months because events are being avoided or increasingly cancelled in the current pandemic situation.”

It’s yet to be seen how many funds will be approved.

Gesine Lötzsch, the budgetary spokeswoman for the Left, said: “I have the impression that the funding programmes are so complicated that as little money as possible reaches the people who urgently need help.”


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The New Bosses: Remembering the class of 2021

The 14th edition of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses celebrated the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business.

The New Bosses 2021 honoured 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.

The year’s distinguished dozen 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:

Subscribers can read full interviews with each of the 2021 New Bosses 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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New coronavirus curbs sweep Europe

Coronavirus curbs are being reintroduced around Europe as governments bid to combat the spread of the omicron variant.

Portugal has announced it will close bars and nightclubs from 26 December and limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people, while Germany is to close nightclubs from 28 December. Football matches will be played behind closed doors from that date, with private gatherings restricted to 10 people.

In Catalonia, concert halls and clubs have been closed, while Sweden is introducing new Covid measures from tomorrow (23 December), when vaccination certificates will be required for public gatherings and indoor events of more than 500 people. Participants must have a designated seat and 1m social distancing will be imposed. Groups must be limited to eight people.

The Swedish government has allocated SEK120 million (€11.7m) to the cultural sector, with the details to be finalised in the January budget.

It is absolutely crucial that in a difficult time we create security and support our cultural life

Elsewhere, Denmark has agreed to reopen a number of compensation schemes, including funds for smaller venues and artists.

“It is absolutely crucial that in a difficult time we create security and support our cultural and sports life,” said culture minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.

“Among other things, we ensure assistance to cultural institutions that may cancel or postpone a production due to the restrictions. This will ensure better coverage for cancelled events.”

The reopened compensation schemes came into effect from 19 December and are welcomed by Dansk Live.

“Under the circumstances, it’s a good deal,” says Esben Marcher, the trade body’s head of secretariat. “We feel that they have really listened to us and we really appreciate that.”

The BBC is reporting that Northern Ireland nightclubs, which were the last in the UK to reopen on 31 October, will have to close once more from 27 December.

Yesterday, in Scotland, first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions from 26 December, including the cancellation of large-scale events such as Hogmanay celebrations.

Indoor gatherings will be limited to 100 people standing and 200 seated, while outdoor events will be restricted to 500-capacity, with 1m physical distancing at all events.

Sturgeon also announced that support for businesses affected by Covid-19 will be increased by a further £275 million.

Wales also announced that spectators would be banned from all indoor, outdoor, professional and community sports events in the country from Boxing Day. There has not yet been any announcement about the closure of indoor or outdoor music venues, although economy minister Vaughan Gething said new restrictions will need to be introduced.

However, the contents of a new £1 billion financial package announced by the UK government disappointed live music groups. The additional measures included a £30 million top-up to the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) and grants of up to £6,000 per premise.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has not ruled out introducing new post-Christmas measures.


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German live biz calls for five-year recovery plan

Germany’s Event Management Forum (EMF) has presented a series of demands to government, amid concerns no major tours will be able to take place in the first half of next year.

The EMF alliance, which consists of five major organisations including live music associations BDKV and LiveKomm, is calling for a tailored support scheme for the sector to run until the end of 2022, as well as a five-year recovery plan for 2023 to 2028, and a special representative for the industry in politics.

It is 12 months since the German federal government set a precedent for the European live music industry with the announcement of a £2.5 billion insurance pot. Speaking at a digital press conference, BDKV president Jens Michow acknowledged the “considerable” funding provided up to this point, but said the current assistance does not go far enough.

“If, however, an economic sector is so badly affected by an economic crisis, a comprehensive special programme tailored to specific needs is required in order to save its economic survival,” he said. “Such a programme must then run until the end of 2022.”

A time like the one we experienced live in 2018 and 2019 has moved very, very far away

Estimating that sales were down by 80 to 100%, LiveKomm chair Axel Ballreich said the existing live music business model was increasingly being called into question. He also shared his fears that no major tours will be able to take place in the first half of 2022.

“A time like the one we experienced live in 2018 and 2019 has moved very, very far away,” he said. “It will take a few years of development work.”

Michow put the loss of income for the industry during the coronavirus crisis at €10 billion, and noted that while aid programmes had been useful, some were not geared towards the needs of the business and, more pertinently, were not designed to last for such a long time.

Warning the live business was fighting for its very existence and had “run out of time”, Michow said the situation had become one of “desperation and hopelessness”.

“There is still no opening strategy,” he lamented. “In the current situation, we cannot plan tours. The countries have to agree on uniform regulations.

“Since the coronavirus will not simply vanish into thin air in the coming year, we finally need comprehensible, standardised criteria for a nationwide opening perspective. ”

The one-hour press conference on 16 December began with a lecture by Klaus Wohlrabe, the deputy head of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, who stated the event industry was the sector hardest hit by Covid-19 infection protection measures.

Wohlrabe asserted that the industry’s business climate index fell from minus 2.2 points in October, to minus 26 points in November.

“Until October there was still hope for improvement,” he said. “This disappeared in November.”


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Friday round-up: World news in brief 17/12/21

Welcome to IQ‘s 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…

TEG, the Sydney-based live entertainment, ticketing, and technology company, has appointed impresario Randy Phillips to the board of directors. The live music veteran most recently served as president and CEO of LiveStyle. Prior to that, Phillips was CEO at AEG Live for 13 years, where he promoted world tours for artists such as Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber. Phillips, whose role will be both advisory and operational, will contribute to the expansion of the TEG footprint in live entertainment, including the creation of unique, owned, or co-owned, and financed intellectual property.

Semmel Concerts has set up its own booking department under the name SCE Artists & Events. “Of course, the booking area has always been an important part of our company DNA, which we are now professionalising and making more visible with the Artists & Events department,” says MD Dieter Semmelmann. “We act as a partner and networker between artist/production and customer. Due to our experience and our diverse portfolio, we are able to offer and implement individual and tailor-made concepts for our partners.”

Midem, a music industry conference and festival in Cannes, has been officially axed after 55 years. The impact of Covid-19 forced the organisers to stage events online in 2020 and 2021. An in-person event was scheduled for June 2022 but has now been pulled. The event launched in January 1967 with the promise that execs could “do all your business in six sunny days in Cannes,” and it became a crucial fixture of the music industry calendar.

The organisers of marquee Spanish festival Primavera Sound have warned that they may have to find a new host city in 2023 due to a “lack of interest and agreement” from Barcelona city council. Primavera Sound has taken place in Barcelona for 20 years and has recently expanded internationally with sister events in Los AngelesChile , Argentina and Brazil. The flagship event will mark its 20th-anniversary next year with an expanded edition.

The 10 people who died in a crowd crush during Travis Scott’s concert at the Astroworld Festival in Houston last month accidentally suffocated, according to the Harris County medical examiner. The victims, aged 9 to 27 years old, died of compression asphyxia, the examiner’s report concluded. Another 300 people were injured among the audience of 50,000 people. Travis Scott has requested to be dismissed from multiple lawsuits he is named in relating to the Astroworld disaster.

More than 160 music festivals across the country are to benefit from the latest round of compensation from the Norwegian government’s scheme for organisers and subcontractors in the cultural sector. Kongsberg Jazz Festival, Oslo World, Vossa Jazz, Night Jazz, Trondheim Jazz Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, Beyond the Gates, Midgardsblot Metal Festival, Nordland Music Festival and Risør Chamber Music Festival are among the festivals that will receive a share in 2022. It was recently announced that the scheme, which has been running since 2020, will be continued until the summer of 2022.

Opry Entertainment Group (OEG) has announced AXS as its official and exclusive ticketing partner. Under the partnership, AXS will provide its full suite of solutions for all OEG properties on a single platform, streamlining tour and show ticketing operations. OEG properties include the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium, its Ole Red venues in Orlando, Gatlinburg, Nashville, Tishomingo and the recently announced Ole Red in Las Vegas (expected 2023). The partnership also creates new opportunities to align with AXS’s parent company AEG and its live event business, AEG Presents.


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Friday round-up: World news in brief 10/12/21

Welcome to IQ‘s 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…


Slipknot are expanding their festival footprint by taking their Knotfest brand to Germany. The 25,000-cap. Knotfest Germany will debut in and around Rudolf Weber-Arena in Oberhausen on 30 July, 2022. Headlined by Slipknot, the Live Nation-promoted event will feature 10 bands in total, including In Flames and Ghostemane. Brazil and Chile editions are also planned for next year.


In his first interview since the Astroworld tragedy, Travis Scott has said he did not realise that fans were hurt during his performance at the Live Nation-promoted festival. Ten people, aged between nine and 27, died following a crowd crush during Scott’s headline set at the 50,000-cap. NRG Park in Houston, Texas on 5 November. The US rapper has been criticised for not ending his show earlier. “I stopped a couple of times… at the end of the day you just hear music,” he told Breakfast Club presenter Charlamagne Tha God.


Korea’s first ever metaverse gig, the K-Vibe Concert, was staged by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organisation on 8 December. Hosted by Asia’s largest metaverse platform Zepeto, the XR show featured acts from the first to the fourth generation of K-pop, including BoA, SHINee’s Key, Aespa, DJ Raiden, Brave Girls, Mommy Son, and Wonstein. The concert also brought together various other aspects of the Korean Wave, from dance to dramas, beauty and webtoons.


Organisers of Elements Festival are facing a class action lawsuit following the event’s ill-fated 2021 edition, which took place in Lakewood, Pennsylvania from 3-6 September. The electronic music festival fell victim to inclement weather precipitated by Hurricane Ida. EDM.com now reports that three claimants allege promoters failed to “properly organise, prepare, and provide ticket purchasers and attendees of the Elements Festival 2021 with the experience defendants extensively promoted and marketed as being a safe, packaged, multi-day camping and music festival”.


After confirming Los Angeles and Chile spin-offs, Spain’s Primavera Sound has now announced Brazil and Argentina legs for 2022. Primavera’s first Brazil event will be held in Sao Paolo from 31 October to November 6, while its inaugural Argentina festival will take place in Buenos Aires from 7-13 November.


Metallica will livestream their 40th anniversary concerts from San Francisco’s Chase Center on 17 and 19 December. The sets will air on Amazon Music and Prime before becoming available to watch on The Coda Collection/Prime Video Channel.


Scotland music convention Wide Days is returning to Edinburgh as a physical event from 19-21 May 2022, with a conference, one-to-one meetings and live performances. It will also feature a range of informal networking opportunities including guided tours, whisky tasting and exotic soft-drink sampling. As part of the convention, Wide Days will showcase the six emerging Scottish acts, selected for the international talent development programme, presented in partnership with PRS Foundation, which is open to musicians, producers and DJs of any genre who apply via a free application process (deadline 13 January). Tickets for Wide Days are on sale now at a special early bird rate.


Madison Square Garden Entertainment has announced that it will be taking its custom camera technology – being developed for its MSG Sphere venue – to space. The company has received a research award from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space to leverage the International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory to develop and test its ultra-high fidelity, ultra-high-resolution camera system. MSG Entertainment is planning to conduct three missions over the next several years, with the goal of developing a custom MSG Sphere camera system capable of capturing the Earth at a level of detail never before possible.


More than 200 guests attended The Blue Moon Gala at the new Outernet London to celebrate UNICEF’s 75th anniversary. The star-studded, special event, which featured performances from Duran Duran and Arlo Parks, raised £770,000 to help UNICEF continue its work for children around the world. A major new immersive media, music and culture district in London’s West End, Outernet fully opens in 2022, with details to be announced in the new year.

Billie Eilish was virtually honoured with the German Sustainability Award by astronaut Matthias Maurer (ESA), who was on board the international space station ISS. Singers Joss Stone and Chris de Burgh also received the honorary award at the ceremony in Düsseldorf, which recognises ideas for the future and top achievements in sustainability in the fields of business, research and communities.


UK promoter and venue operator DHP Family has announced two key promotions within the marketing team as it continues its commitment to nurture and develop talent within the company. Anwyn Williams has been promoted to head of marketing, while Matt Newton steps up to become marketing manager.


ASM Global has appointed David Feeley as general manager of the Target Center in Minneapolis. An industry veteran with more than 23 years of experience in event and facility operations, Feeley joins ASM Global following a lengthy stint as an operations executive with MGM Resorts.


London-based online platform GigRealm, which provides an end-to-end solution for organising live music performances, has announced a wide-ranging new partnership with The F-List for Music. Founded by former BASCA CEO Vick Bain, the F-List is the first directory of its kind to feature up-to-date information on UK-based female musicians, songwriters and composers. The new partnership will see GigRealm and The F-List team up to create pathways and opportunities for female musicians in the live music space.


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Omicron in Europe: Latest restrictions on live music

As markets across Europe step up efforts to combat the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, IQ is endeavouring to update the industry on the most recent restrictions affecting live music across the continent.

Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key European markets.

Please note that we will aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible but all information is subject to change. 

To submit an update to this, please get in touch. This article was last updated on 5 January.

Austria will suspend a lockdown for the unvaccinated during year-end holidays, allowing them to meet in groups of up to 10 on three days around Christmas, as well as New Year’s Eve.

On 12 December, the government ended the three-week lockdown for vaccinated people across most of the country.

The relaxation, which varies from region to region, largely allows for the reopening of theatres, museums and other cultural and entertainment venues. Masks will still be required in public spaces.

Austria is also set to become the first European country to make Covid vaccinations compulsory, with the law due to take effect from 1 February 2022.

Music venues are to be shuttered and all indoor mass events are prohibited until at least 28 January.

Outdoor events are permitted to take place but social distancing must be maintained and masks are required. Events with more than 100 visitors must have a one-way circulation plan and a separate entrance and exit.

The new rules were introduced on 26 December 2021. Previously, indoor events in Belgium could take place with a seated and masked audience of no more than 200 people.

Music venues, among other indoor cultural institutions, have been ordered to close from 19 December until 17 January 2022.

The Danish parliament has acted quickly to reopen compensation schemes for event organisers, smaller venues and artists.

Esben Marcher, head of secretariat at live music association Dansk Live, welcomes the agreement: “Under the circumstances, it’s a good deal. The rapporteurs and the minister have been very outreach in the dialogue around the agreement, and we feel that they have really listened to us. We really appreciate that.”

Vaccine passports and facemasks will be required in order to attend concerts in England from 15 December. The wearing of face masks will be mandated in all venues where crowds gather, and Covid certificates will be needed for: venues where large crowds gather, including nightclubs; unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people; and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people.

The introduction of a negative LFT in the certification scheme, meanwhile, followed extended lobbying by the sector to include the measure in any new restrictions.

From 3 January, indoor events are limited to 2,000 capacity and outdoor gatherings are restricted to 5,000 people, while nightclubs will remain closed until further notice.

The government said on 17 December it will present a bill early next year to change the French health pass into a vaccination pass. That means people will have to be vaccinated in order to enter music venues and many other leisure and entertainment facilities.

Under the current rules, a recent negative test can serve as a health pass even without vaccination.

The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) has been extended to cover the whole country – meaning only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid can attend live music venues and other cultural events.

Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees, while indoor gatherings are limited to 50% cap and crowds of up to 5,000. Masks are mandatory at all events.

Nightclubs will be required to close from 28 December. Football matches will be played behind closed doors from that date, with private gatherings restricted to 10 people.

From Monday 20 December, hospitality and cultural venues including music venues, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres must close by 20:00.

All indoor events can operate at 1,000 or 50% capacity and must be fully seated. The number of spectators allowed to attend sporting events is now capped at 50% capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people. The measures will stay in place until at least 30 January 2022.

Face masks will be obligatory unless people are eating or drinking. Nightclubs — which in October reopened for the first time in 19 months — have been closed since 7 December.

The government has banned concerts until 31 January and extended the country’s state of emergency to 31 March 2022. Nightclubs will also remain closed until the end of this month, and the consumption of food and drink at concert halls and other indoor locations is also banned until the end of March, amid the spread of the omicron variant. The use of FFP2 masks is also compulsory on public transport, in theatres, concert halls and cinemas and for sporting events until at least 31 March.

For the second time in the space of a week, the Dutch government has imposed tighter restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

It was announced on 18 December that residents will be subject to a full lockdown from Sunday 19 December until at least Friday 14 January 2022.

During this time, music venues will be closed and events will not be permitted. Residents must stay at home as much as possible and adhere to the 1.5-metre social distancing rule when outside.

The Dutch government has put plans to implement a 2G system on hold until the new year, saying there is not currently enough time to draw up the legislation.

Northern Ireland
As of 26 December, indoor standing events are not permitted. For outdoor and indoor events, either proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is required.

As of 13 December, a maximum of 20 people is permitted at public indoor events without fixed allocated seats, and 50 people with fixed allocated seats.

At outdoor public events, a maximum of 100 people is permitted without fixed allocated places, and up to 200 in three cohorts with fixed allocated places.

For all indoor events, whether seated or standing, organisers must ensure that one-metre social distancing can be maintained between attendees. In addition, all attendees at indoor events must wear masks.

Event organisers are required to register guests for track and trace.

From 15 December, nightclubs will close and the maximum number of people allowed in other venues will be reduced from 50% capacity to 30%.

Venues can increase their operating capacity by only admitting vaccinated attendees, with staff required to check vaccination certificates. Face coverings are mandatory inside music venues.

As of 1 December, Covid passports certifying full inoculation, recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result, will be mandatory to access events, restaurants, gyms and other leisure and hospitality businesses. Masks will be required for indoor spaces.

In addition, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be required to show a negative test to be granted entry to large events without marked seats, sports venues, bars and nightclubs.

From 26 December, bars and nightclubs will be closed, with outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people

For the week of 2–9 January (aka ‘containment week’), working from home will be obligatory, bars will close and school holidays extended to prevent a post-holiday season spread.

Concerts and events in Romania will be staged at 50% capacity to a maximum of 1,000 people (all of whom must be vaccinated) with a 10:00 pm curfew.

As of 6 December, evidence of a negative Covid test – from either a lateral flow test or PCR – is included in Scotland’s Covid-19 passport scheme. Previously, attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination.

The Scottish government is implementing further restrictions on large-scale events and public spaces from 26 December.

From 27 December until the first week in January, when it is reviewed, the government is advising people to limit their social contacts, to adhere to social distancing advice and to stay at home where possible. Nightclubs will be closed for three weeks from that date.

As of 3 December, Covid certification demonstrating proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a recent negative test is required to enter music venues, bars, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, care homes, or attend events in hotels and restaurants with indoor dance floors. For indoor standing events, capacity is set at 80% maximum.

Indoor events with between 20 and 500 attendees that don’t require vaccinations certificates must now be seated. For events with more than 500 participants, vaccinations certificates and social distancing are required.

Groups must be able to keep a distance of at least one meter sideways and forwards and backwards from other groups. If a group is larger than eight people, the organiser must divide the party with a maximum of eight participants in each.

The restrictions were introduced on 23 December and the effect will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.

As of 6 December, masks will have to be worn indoors wherever a certificate obligation applies. Events and venues, both indoor and outdoor, will be allowed to restrict entry to people who are vaccinated or recovered. The measures will be in effect until 24 January.

Large events are prohibited with maximum numbers of 30 at an indoor event and 50 outdoors. Nightclubs must close.

The NHS Covid Pass is needed for entry to concert halls and many other venues. Face masks are still required in most public places.


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FKP Scorpio and Ed Sheeran triumph over Viagogo again

FKP Scorpio has won an injunction preventing Viagogo from offering ‘worthless’ tickets for Ed Sheeran concerts.

The Hamburg-based concert and festival promoter, which is co-organising Sheeran’s upcoming Mathematics Tour, is using specially developed mobile ticketing technology for all concerts on the tour that makes unauthorised resale impossible.

Tickets can only be purchased through the official provider, Eventim, or its resale platform Fansale. And, since all tickets are personalised and digital-only, it is not possible for them to be resold outside of the Fansale platform.

Subsequently, the district court of Hamburg has banned Switzerland-based Viagogo from offering Ed Sheeran tickets or allowing them to be sold without making it clear that buyers will not be granted entry to the concerts. FKP Scorpio and Ed Sheeran won a similar case against Viagogo in 2019.

“We are pleased about this success in court, which puts further obstacles in the way of unfair business models at the expense of consumers,” says Inga Esseling, promoter at FKP Scorpio.

“[This ruling] puts further obstacles in the way of unfair business models at the expense of consumers”

“In addition to containing such offers, legal steps are also necessary to draw public attention to the issue. This is the only way we can reach and protect fans early enough. FKP Scorpio will continue to be supported by the law firm Schütz Rechtsanwälte from Karlsruhe, which has already successfully taken action against Viagogo several times.”

Attorney Dr Markus Schütz comments: “The transfer within the framework of the applicable rules of the game and at fair prices is not the problem. It becomes problematic when tickets are bought with the intention of making money from the start. One can only advise the fans not to run the risk of buying invalid or counterfeit tickets at exorbitant prices on the black market and especially at Viagogo. We will continue to systematically fight resales at inflated prices.”

Sheeran’s agent Jon Ollier of One Fiinix Live recently said he believes digital-only ticketing is the future. “There is no reason why in a world full of technology, that we can’t lean on technology a little bit more,” he told IQ.

“We hope that this time [the battle against unauthorised resale sites] is going to feel a lot more like it’s all happening in the background. Last time around, it had to play out in the media because no one was listening. But people are listening now, people are aware and at the table, trying to change laws, trying to move things forward,” he said. Read the full interview with Ollier here.


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New restrictions in Germany: Promoters react

Germany’s national and regional leaders have moved to ban unvaccinated people from much of public life, including live music venues.

In a bid to curb the fourth wave of Covid-19, only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid will be allowed in cultural venues, restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops.

According to outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel, vaccinations could be made mandatory by February.

The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) was already in operation in some German states but it will now be enforced nationwide.

The 2G policy is part of a wider set of restrictions that will see clubs close in areas where 350 cases have been recorded per 100,000 people in the past seven days (the national rate is over 400).

Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees while indoor events are restricted to 50% capacity with a maximum of 5,000 attendees. Masks are mandatory at all events.

“[The 2G rule] encourages vaccination and it is a high vaccination rate that our industry needs in order to return to normal”

German promoters have welcomed the nationwide implementation of the 2G rule but expressed major concerns about varying restrictions on social distancing and capacity, and emphasised the need for further financial support in 2022.

“We believe that setting clear rules is helpful and good for our business, as long as they are sensible and rational and therefore welcome the 2G rules,” says Detlef Kornett, CEO of Berlin-based promoter and ticket agency, DEAG.

“The live industry pushed government already in the summer of this year to introduce the 2G rule for all live events. It takes away the confusion about tests, certificates and how to check and record them which overall makes operations of a live event easier. But it also encourages vaccination and it is a high vaccination rate that our industry needs in order to return to normal.

“However the 2G rule is then accompanied by capacity and social distancing– rules that vary by federal state in Germany, by indoor and outdoor and these rules are subject to interpretation.

“However that variation of rules makes touring and even single concerts impossible and results in uncertainties and injustices throughout Germany. The end result is that live events are in some instances made impossible or economically unsound.

“That variation of rules makes touring and even single concerts impossible”

“The live industry is facing again a ban to operate and provide their service to consumers which is devastating in the end,” he concludes.

Dieter Semmelmann, CEO of Semmel Concerts, believes the new 2G rule may incentivise live music fans to get vaccinated in order to attend concerts.

According to the promoter, Semmelmann has already produced a myriad of concerts with the 2G rule and has found that the vaccination rate across their 3G events is “very high”.

However, the Semmel Concerts CEO says he’s concerned about how the new restrictions will impact demand for live music.

“The acceptance of events going on sale currently or during the pandemic remains weak. Thus governmental bridging support for the live-entertainment industry will also be necessary in 2022.

“Besides that, a solid commitment that at least vaccinated and recovered people will definitely be able to attend concerts in the future and buy tickets with a good conscience would be of crucial importance,” he adds.

Germany is treading a similar path to neighbouring country Austria, which previously imposed a lockdown on unvaccinated residents and recently became the first European country to announce mandatory Covid vaccinations.

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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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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”.


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.


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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