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Germany’s Goodlive announces reshuffle

Germany’s Goodlive has announced a new management structure “in preparation for ‘the roaring 20s’ of the post-pandemic live entertainment industry”.

Co-founders and managing partners Stefan Lehmkuhl and Thomas Resch have announced their departure from the company, leaving Fruzsina Szép, Julian Gupta and Justus Mang with greater responsibility.

Gupta, alongside his role as managing director of Ferropolis-based festival splash! (cap. 30,000), will also assume responsibility for the festival booking team at Goodlive.

In addition, he will also take over the management and booking of Freiburg-based festival Heroes, which Goodlive partnered with in early 2020, working alongside the festival’s founder Lukas Apfelbacher.

Szép, who was appointed MD of Superbloom in 2019, will be primarily responsible for the Munich launch of the festival.

“[Fruzsina, Julian and Justus] have one of the best teams in the world at their disposal”

Meanwhile, Mang heads Goodlive Artists, the company’s touring arm (description), which recently expanded to Austria.

In the future, all three will actively support the management of Goodlive, alongside the remaining confounders and managing partners at the company Marko Hegner and Mirko Roßner. The fifth cofounder of Goodlive, Matthias Hörstmann, left in 2017.

Stefan Lehmkuhl says: “I am incredibly proud and delighted that trusted friends like Fruzsina, Julian and Justus will play a more leading role in shaping the future of Goodlive. They have one of the best teams in the world at their disposal, and many of the people I’ve worked with over the years are taking on more responsibility for some of the projects I’ve had the pleasure to help shape over the past 20 years.

“Personally, I long for a period of pause and reflection on whether and in what capacity I see my future in the live entertainment industry after the pandemic, and I am happy to have the privilege of taking a longer break after more than two decades of never standing still.”

“We feel well-positioned to further expand our role as an independent alternative in the festival and touring market”

Thomas Resch adds: “When I stumbled into the live entertainment industry 25 years ago at the young age of 18, I could not have imagined where this journey would lead. It was a very exciting time with many challenges and even more unforgettable moments.

“During the last years, Julian Gupta has firmly shaped splash! and achieved a great deal. I am sure that under his leadership, our strong team will master all other challenges and that Goodlive will continue on its successful path.”

Marko Hegner, MD, Goodlive, says: “We feel well-positioned to further expand our role as an independent alternative in the festival and touring market from 2022 onwards and are incredibly excited to finally tackle projects that had already been planned before Corona, such as Superbloom Festival in Munich, Heroes Festival in Freiburg and the launch of Goodlive Artists in Austria.

“I have a lot of respect for Thomas’ and Stefan’s decisions to put their own needs first after a pandemic that was demanding for all of us, and I am grateful that together we have succeeded in optimally positioning Goodlive for the future in terms of personnel during a longer preparation phase.”

 


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Germany’s Goodlive Artists expands to Austria

Goodlive Artists, the booking and touring division of Berlin-based Goodlive, has launched Goodlive Artists Austria in Vienna.

Headed up by Silvio Huber, formerly head of booking for Arcadia Live, and Philipp Maly, co-owner of Czech promoter Selection and formerly part of the management team at Colours of Ostrava festival, Goodlive Artists Austria will focus on creating “new concepts and visions in the Austrian market”, according to an announcement from the new company.

Huber brings his own roster to Goodlive Artists Austria, having promoted shows by George Ezra, Tame Impala, AnnenMayKantereit, Conan Gray and more, while Maly’s Selection has worked with acts including Lewis Capaldi, Jamie Cullum and Woodkid.

“Above all, we would like to thank Goodlive Artists for the trust they have placed in us in such turbulent and unusual times, and so we are looking forward to a positive industry relaunch in a strengthened, motivated and hopeful manner,” say Huber and Maly in a joint statement.

“Philipp and Silvio fit perfectly into our team … With this step, we will be able to expand our touring services for our artists”

“Although we have only had a few and limited opportunities to get to know our new colleagues, we feel more than welcome and part of the family after only a short time.”

Goodlive Artists sits alongside other Goodlive companies including Melt! Booking, Der Bomber Der Herzen, Full Force Concerts and the recently launched Nitelive Artists, and Goodlive Artists Austria says it plans to take advantage of the synergies between the firms “in the best possible way”.

Justus Mang, managing director of Goodlive Artists, comments: “Philipp and Silvio fit perfectly into our team, both personally and professionally. With this step, we will be able to expand our touring services for our artists and act more strategically.

“In our talks beforehand, we all quickly realised that we share the same views on many things, that our visions are similar and that we could draw great motivation from this exchange. I’m incredibly excited about this collaboration and more Wiener melange in my life.”

 


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Germany’s Goodlive cancels Melt festival and more

German promoter Goodlive has cancelled the 2021 editions of Melt, Splash, Full Force and Heroes, days after CTS Eventim announced that its stable of summer festivals are taking another year off.

Goodlive’s best-known festival Melt was scheduled to take place between 4 and 6 June 2021 at the Ferropolis open-air museum, in Gräfenhainichen, Saxony-Anhalt, featuring acts including Arlo Parks, FKA twigs and Jamie XX.

“After months and months of hard work, so many different ideas and concepts and hundreds of calls with other festivals, politicians and experts, we have to admit to ourselves that the decision is ultimately out of our hands,” reads a statement on Melt’s website.

“Believe us when we say that we have tried everything to meet you guys in Ferropolis this summer, but due to the current political situation, the uncertainty of the pandemic and lack of prospects we simply cannot continue planning the festival for 4–6 June 2021.”

“Due to the current political situation, the uncertainty of the pandemic and lack of prospects [Melt]i cannot continue planning”

Similar statements have appeared on the social media pages of Splash (originally scheduled for the weekends 8 July and 15 July in Ferropolis), Full Force (25–27 June, Ferropolis) and Heroes (18-19 June in Geiselwind and 23 July in Freiburg).

Each of the statements adds that the festival is “doing everything in our power to get together and have a party later this year, even if it might be in a different setting”.

Goodlive’s newest festival, Superbloom, is still scheduled to make its delayed debut outing at Munich’s Olympiapark and Olympiastadion (75,000-cap.) this September, at the time of writing.

Elsewhere in the German festival market, Superstruct-backed events Wacken Open Air and Parookaville have not yet given up on their 2021 editions.

“[Wacken Open Air’s] late date, on the last weekend in July, allows us to observe the further development of the situation”

“We sympathise with our colleagues, for whom this decision was certainly not an easy one,” said Thomas Jensen, co-founder of Wacken, regarding the cancellation of the CTS Eventim festivals.

“Our late date, on the last weekend in July, allows us to observe the further development of the situation – for example with regard to the progress of the vaccination campaign and upcoming decisions by the federal government – and allows us a longer preparation time,” explains Jensen. “We remain hopeful and continue planning.”

The 2021 edition of the German metal festival is scheduled to take place between 29 and 31 July in the village of Wacken, Schleswig-Holstein. The sold-out event will be headlined by Amon Amarth, Slipknot and Judas Priest.

The Parookaville team is considering postponing the electronic music festival from 16–18 July at Weeze airport to a weekend in September, saying they are “examining all possibilities”.

 


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European leaders join forces for Solutions for Festivals

Yourope, the European festival association, is working with the continent’s leading festival operators on a new initiative that aims to ensure outdoor events are able to return as soon as it is safe to do so.

At Yourope’s invitation, AEG Presents, Eventim Live/FKP Scorpio, Goodlive, Live Nation and Superstruct Entertainment have partnered for Solutions for Festivals, working to bring back “full-capacity outdoor live events at the earliest opportunity”.

To that end, the Solutions for Festivals work group is consulting with senior figures in production, the supply chain, and festival health and safety, as well as medical experts.

According to the association, the group’s focus is on “reviewing and coordinating efforts to implement best practices for the health and safety of fans as festivals return”.

More information about the work of Solutions for Festivals will be revealed soon.

 


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Fruzsina Szép named MD of Munich’s Superbloom fest

Experienced European festival pro Fruzsina Szép has joined Superbloom, a new event debuting in Munich next September, as managing director.

Szép was most recently festival director of Lollapalooza Berlin, which she had overseen since its launch in 2015. Before joining Lolla Berlin (produced by Superbloom organiser Goodlive for Live Nation’s C3 Presents and Festival Republic), she spent seven years as programme director for Budapest’s Sziget festival.

“I will dedicate my entire expertise, passion, attention to detail and creativity to the exciting challenge as managing director and festival director of Superbloom within Goodlive GmbH,” she comments. “I am especially happy that we are bringing this exceptional format to my hometown, Munich.

“My focus is to combine tradition and innovation, local and international, in a loving and special way, to craft a unique and new experience that can only take place in Munich.”

Superbloom will take place for the first time on 4 and 5 September 2021, its debut delayed by Germany’s summer-long large-event ban.

Held at Munich’s Olympic Stadium/Olympiapark, Superbloom promises a “new festival experience” that “redefines the music festival concept” with mix of “international and national live acts” and “art, culture, diversity, lifestyle, society, research and development, sustainability and science”.

“Building a new festival brand in these times is a unique opportunity”

Performers including Miley Cyrus, David Guetta, DJ Snake, the Pussycat Dolls, Scooter and Liam Payne were to have played the 2020 festival.

“Building a new festival brand in these times is a unique opportunity,” says Stefan Lehmkuhl, managing partner of Goodlive, “in a new era, without blinders from the past, but also with major social challenges. With Superbloom I couldn’t imagine a better team for this than the one under the leadership of my longtime friend and colleague, Fruzsina.”

In addition to her years with Lollapalooza and Sziget, Hungarian-born Szép founded the Hungarian Music Export Office and helped develop the EU project CEETEP (Central-Eastern European Talent Exchange Programme). She is also a board member of the European Festival Association (Yourope), a chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and an honorary associate professor.

“With great longtime colleagues like Julia Gudzent in booking, Steven Kruijff in production and Jule Kauert in project management, as well as the whole Goodlive team, I think we are absolutely capable of setting new standards in the European festival landscape,” adds Lehmkuhl.

The ticket presale for Superbloom 2021 will open in the coming weeks, with two-day tickets starting at €155 and day tickets from €89.

 


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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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Festival bosses talk cash flow, artist fees

The second IQ Focus festival panel, Festival Forum: The Next Stage, saw festival leaders from around Europe discuss the thorny issues of refunds and insolvency, as well as the outlook for 2021, in what should have been the halfway point of the 2020 season.

Hosted by IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson, the panel welcomed Mad Cool’s CIndy Castillo, Isle of Wight Festival/Solo Agency’s John Giddings, ARTmania’s Codruta Vulcua and Goodlive’s Stefan Lehmkuhl, two months on from the initial virtual Festival Forum session.

The current situation, said Giddings, has made it “blatantly obvious” that the business has an issue with cash flow and that many promoters don’t have any kind of “war chest to go forwards”.

“I don’t understand how you bankrupt companies by refunding tickets,” he said. “You shouldn’t be spending the ticket money on costs – you need to be in the position to be able to refund all the money. We have a responsibility to the audience.”

Giddings noted that some promoters have got into the habit of “taking money from the future to pay the past”, and it has become clear that this doesn’t work.

“This may teach people a lesson on how to run a business,” he said.

The other panellists agreed to an extent, but noted that a lack of support and clarity from the authorities has complicated matters in a lot of cases.

“This may teach people a lesson on how to run a business”

“Our government hasn’t even declared force majeure yet for live events”, said Castillo, who promotes Madrid’s Mad Cool festival. “This has put us in a very tricky legal situation.”

The Mad Cool team only started its refund period last week, explained Castillo, but is allowing people to make the decision on whether to hold onto tickets for next year or refund them until after the full 2021 line-up is revealed.

In Romania, said Vulcu, an immediate reimbursement “would have bankrupted many organisers”, as the government is implementing new restrictions every two weeks.

“There are companies with shows built up, everything ready and paid for, and then suddenly it had to be cancelled,” she said. A voucher scheme implemented by the government, allowing promoters to offer credit for shows or merchandise in place of cash refunds, has been a lifeline for many.

ARTmania did choose to offer refunds, but only received 43 requests. “Our decision to trust our audience really worked for us,” said Vulcu, adding that this tactic may “work for rock and metal audiences perhaps more than for others.”

Lehmkuhl, who runs German festivals including Melt, Splash, Superbloom and With Full Force, added that a lot depends on how long the shutdown continues for.

“So far, we have been able to spend our own money,” he said,” but the next step would be to touch the ticket money, then to get low-interest credit from the government in case it takes longer.

“What happens if it takes longer than a year?” he asked. “Few companies will be able to survive for longer than a year.”

“Our decision to trust our audience really worked for us”

Mindful of cash flow, Goodlive has asked for deposits back from acts it booked for this year. “There is mutual understanding there,” said Lehmkuhl. “We are trying to rethink our festivals for next year, adjusting dates and concepts. We will start from scratch in some ways next year.”

As the promoter of Isle of Wight Festival, Giddings said he also asked for deposits to be returned. “We are doing contracts going forward for next year and will pay the deposit then.”

In terms of being an agent, Giddings said he is not going to take a fee reduction for artists. “I would rather they didn’t play than take a reduction on my act,” he said.

“As an agent I wouldn’t book an act for festival next year unless they’re going to pay me the same money,” he said, “and we’ve done the same thing as a festival.”

Ticket prices will also have to stay the same, as so many fans are rolling over their tickets to next year. “Anyone raising ticket prices is insane,” said Giddings. “We need to get an audience back first before charging more.”

Vulcu, who said she left the money with the agencies when rescheduling, agreed that she will not be paying artists less money, “but we will definitely not pay more”.

“Romanian audiences will have a lot less money and the priority will not be going to festivals,” she said.

“As an agent I wouldn’t book an act for festival next year unless they’re going to pay me the same money, and we’ve done the same thing as a festival”

Castillo said her experiences have been “positive” with every agent. “We are looking out for each other to prevent the industry collapsing,” she said.

The Mad Cool booker admitted that it will be “really hard” to get the same audiences next year, “so we need help with fees to make things happen”.

“We are running a big risk with the festival next year”.

The recovery of the music business in Spain “hasn’t event started yet”, said Castillo, as “you first have to understand our business model, identify problems and offer solutions – and we haven’t been offered any solutions yet.”

Vulcu added that support packages offered by governments in western European countries such as Germany and the UK may put newer markets at a disadvantage, as they are less likely to receive support.

Giddings replied that, although the recent culture funding package announced by the UK government is sizeable, “we have no idea who it’s going to go to and how it will work”. He added that it was more likely to benefit venues than agents or promoters.

Sponsors are another issue for 2021. “Investing in events is risky now,” said Castillo, “and this is definitely affecting us.”

Vulcu said that, while ARTmania has secured its main sponsor for next year, “it is very difficult to get new sponsors”.

“Investing in events is risky now, and this is definitely affecting us”

Most Isle of Wight Festival sponsors have also “stuck with us” said Giddings, who believes that sponsors will start to come back in once it’s clear the event is going to happen, although they may be “different kinds of sponsors relating to our changing normal”.

Giddings added that he is “praying” for some direction on what will happen next year by Christmas, with clear information needed by March at the latest.

For Lehmkuhl, the key for the “new normal” is a high level of flexibility and an ability to keep running costs very low.

The Goodlive co-founder said that the idea of testing at festivals “is one of the few realistic plans [for getting event up and running] nowadays”, provided that the government is able to provide tests for free.

“It is hard for me to imagine that we will be able to do festivals as normal next year,” he admitted, “but one thing’s for sure, I will not be doing them with social distancing.”

The next IQ Focus session State of Independence: Promoters will take place on Thursday 16 July at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET. To set a reminder head to the IQ Magazine page on Facebook or YouTube.

Watch yesterday’s session back below, or on YouTube or Facebook now.


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IQ Focus returns with ‘Festival Forum: The Next Stage’

After a week’s break, IQ’s virtual panel series – IQ Focus – is back with Festival Forum: The Next Stage, which sees representatives from a handful of European festivals give an update on the state of the sector.

The ninth panel of the popular IQ Focus series, the session will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday 9 July at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET, building on a previous Festival Forum panel almost two months on.

Midway through what would have been this year’s festival season, it’s a summer like no other. But are we midway through the crisis, or is there still further to go before the festival sector can confidently progress into 2021?

How confident are promoters feeling about next year, and are artists and audiences ready to return?

With a number of government support packages in place, and much of this year’s line-ups transplanted to next year, how confident are promoters feeling about next year, and are artists and audiences ready to return?

IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson hosts this IQ Focus discussion with panellists Cindy Castillo of Spain’s Mad Cool festival; John Giddings of the Isle of Wight Festival and Solo Agency; Stefan Lehmkuhl who promotes Splash, Melt, Superbloom and With Full Force festivals at Germany’s Goodlive; and Codruta Vulcu of Romania’s ARTmania Festival.

All previous IQ Focus sessions, which have looked at topics including diversity in live, management under lockdown, the agency business, large-scale and grassroots music venues and innovation in live music, can be watched back here.

To set a reminder about the IQ Focus Festival Forum: The Next Stage session on Thursday head to the IQ Magazine page on Facebook or YouTube.

 


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Lolla Berlin, Superbloom cancelled as September events fall

German festivals scheduled for September 2020 inlcuding Lollapalooza Berlin and Superbloom have been cancelled, as the coronavirus pandemic begins to affect events beyond the end of August.

Last week, the German government imposed a ban on events over 1,000 people until 31 August, causing the cancellation of summer staples such as MLK’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside, Goodlive’s Melt and Splash! Festivals and Superstruct’s Wacken Open Air and Parookaville.

Now, events past the 31 August deadline are also calling time on 2020. Goodlive has called off its September festivals Lollapalooza Berlin and Superbloom, in a week that also saw the cancellation of Oktoberfest, Munich’s 210-year-old, world famous beer festival, which runs for 17 days up to the first Sunday of October.

The Berlin senate yesterday (21 April) announced that events of over 5,000 people would not be allowed in Germany until 24 October, causing the cancellation of Lolla Berlin, which was to take place from 5 to 6 September at the city’s 90,000-capacity Olympic Stadium and Park.

“This decision saddens us tremendously because we would have loved to present you the new and playful world of Superbloom”

“Lollapalooza Berlin will no longer be taking place this year,” reads a statement from the Lolla Berlin team, which was to feature Rage Against the Machine and Miley Cyrus. “The health and safety of our fans, artists, staff and community will always be our top priority. Lollapalooza Berlin 2021 will be worth the wait…”

Information on ticket refunds will be available in due course.

Goodlive has also called off the debut outing of Munich festival Superbloom, scheduled for the same weekend with acts including David Guetta, Pussycat Dolls, Miley Cyrus and DJ Snake.

“This decision saddens us tremendously because we would have loved to present you the new and playful world of Superbloom,” reads a statement from organisers. “However, the safety and health of all our visitors, artists and crews is of course our first priority and considering the current decisions, we do not see any possibility to host the festival this year.”

The inaugural Superbloom will now take place from 4 to 5 September 2021.

 


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Superbloom festival to debut in Munich

Miley Cyrus and David Guetta are among the headliners for the inaugural Superbloom festival, which is taking place on 5 and 6 September in the German city of Munich.

Promoted by Goodlive, Superbloom will see performances from acts including the Pussycat Dolls, DJ Snake, AnnenMayKantereit, Apache 207, Bishop Briggs, Liam Payne and Parcels.

Located in the grounds of Munich’s Olympiapark and Olympiastadion (75,000-cap.), the festival will also feature a firework display from RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq the World, as well as comedy from Kaya Yanar and live podcasts.

Advance ticket sales are now open, with weekend passes priced at €155 (£130).

Goodlive is also behind German electronic music festival Melt!, hip-hop and rap festival Splash!, metal festival Full Force and touring yoga festival Wanderlust.


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