x

The latest industry news to your inbox.


I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Goodlive rejoins operations for Lollapalooza Berlin

Berlin-headquartered festival, booking and services agency Goodlive is re-joining the organisation and production of Lollapalooza Berlin.

C3 Presents, Festival Republic and Goodlive launched Lolla Berlin in 2015 with seasoned festival pro Fruzsina Szép part of the leadership team for the festival until 2020 when Goodlive launched Superbloom in Munich.

For the last three years, Lolla Berlin has been produced by C3 Presents and Live Nation GSA (Germany Switzerland Austria). With the latter now a majority shareholder of Goodlive, all three parties will work on the festival with Szép as festival director.

“I loved Lolla Berlin,” says Szép. “Two weeks ago I went for a site visit in Berlin and it felt so great to be back on site and to feel the energy of the space again.”

With Superbloom and Lolla Berlin taking place on the same weekend (7-8 September) more than 300 miles apart, joint festival teams are set to be busier than ever.

“Two weeks ago I went for a site visit in Berlin and it felt so great to be back on site and to feel the energy of the space again”

Whether the festivals will act as twin events is yet to be seen, depending on football calendars, but there are advantages when it comes to synergies on production and booking, according to Szép.

The festival’s 2024 lineups share more than a dozen acts, including Sam Smith, Burna Boy, The Chainsmokers, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Loyle Carner, Nothing But Thieves, The Sacred Souls, Chappell Roan and Apashe with Brass Orchestra.

Another similarity between Superbloom and Lolla Berlin is their sites – both taking place in the Olympic Stadiums of their respective cities – but Szép stresses that both venues are “pretty different”.

“They both have their strong character and history to tell,” she says. “With Superbloom, even in year three, we are still learning how to adjust some of our stages and experience areas to have even more comfort, happiness and beauty for our guests.

“With Lolla Berlin, it is nice to be ‘back home’ in an area that I know well. We will make some changes and adjustments that are important for the customer journey to feel good on site.

“I’m a very visual person and also pretty emotional so in my heart I am already thinking about further developments for the future. In 2025 it will be the 10th anniversary of Lolla Berlin so we have some innovative ideas in our pocket that we’d love to realize.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The New Bosses 2023: Niklas Magedanz, Goodlive

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Michael Christidis, co-founder of Untitled Group (AU) here. The series continues with Niklas Magedanz, promoter at Goodlive (DE).

In his early teens, Niklas spent all his money and time on CDs and concert tickets. After he guest-listed his entire school for an open-air concert, where he also lost a shoe in a mosh pit, the only thing on his mind was how to get a foot in the door of the music industry. Niklas organised his first festival when he was only 15, prioritising the booking, stage management, catering, marketing and ticketing over school lessons.

Voluntary work during summer vacations at indie labels, radio stations and festivals led him to pursue a career in live music and consequently a degree in music business. During his college years, he spent his time studying just as much as being on tour with bands and booking shows.

In 2018 Niklas moved to Berlin and joined Goodlive Artists as a promoter/booker. With his understanding for sub- and pop-cultural trends and developments, he grew his network and roster and is now working with a diverse range of international and domestic artists from small club stages to arena levels.

Stylistically Niklas focuses on (off-)pop, indie as well as neo-Soul and jazz artists such as Moses Sumney, Sudan Archives, Robert Glasper, Biig Piig, Nation of Language, Billy Nomates and Marc Rebillet.

Besides his involvement in the touring department and being part of the Goodlive festival booking committee, he also works in the development of new event concepts like the most recent reissue of the “Introducing” showcase – a live format for artists on the rise, in partnership with Spotify.


You organised your first festival at the age of 15. What can you remember about that experience – and how did you persuade people to trust a teenager?
Looking back at it, it was quite adventurous, since all of a sudden I had a lot of responsibility for several fields I had hardly any experience in. Being very passionate and enthusiastic about the project helped getting support from all people necessary. Only the liquor license was revoked after authorities became aware of my age by then.

Where did you grow up? And as Germany has a number of music cities to choose from, what made you select Berlin as your new home?
I grew up around Cologne, which was a fortunate place to grow up in. Thanks to it’s size and location within Europe a lot of international tours stopped there and in addition to this I genuinely enjoy the optimistic and open mentality of the area. The move to Berlin was done after I got the offer to join Melt! Booking, which was worth re-locating to, given Berlin’s status as Germany’s music capital.

What did you study at college – and have these studies helped you in your career to date?
I did a degree in Music Business, which was basically economic classes with a focus on the music industry, where the focus was e.g. on licensing, marketing plans, accounting, artist development and pop music history. The biggest gain was the network I got through it, working on my own projects on the side and since a lot of alumni from this school are well established in the German music industry by now.

The ‘Introducing’ showcase with Spotify sounds interesting. Can you tell us more about it?
The showcase has been around quite successful in the past and artists such as Little Simz, Alt-J, Years&Years, Chvrches or Omar Apollo played some of their first German shows there. Already back then the aim was to introduce the most exciting new artists to a tastemaking audience in Germany upon a free entry base.

The pandemic forced a break from the showcase and gave us time to re-think the entire concept. As people’s approach to discovering new music has changed over the last years, we were able to bring it back with a more contemporary approach, creating an even more valuable asset for our artists to debut in Germany.

“I am very lucky to be working with a bunch of amazing young artists, that have a lot of potential for the years to come”

You’re now working as a promoter at a big company. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
It’s always rewarding to see the development of artists and help them take the next career step within the German market. Out of the many amazing moments and stories one standing out is probably Marc Rebillet’s 2022 Berlin show I promoted, where he sold out Max Schmeling Halle with 9,000 tickets. It is also always special to take my parents to shows I book in Cologne, especially to venues they brought me to when I was little.

Which artist that you work with should we all be looking out for in the year ahead?
I am very lucky to be working with a bunch of amazing young artists, that have a lot of potential for the years to come. But UCHE YARA and ORBIT are two talented artists. I joined their teams early on and both artists are currently making their first steps on a continental level, with exciting perspectives for 2024.

What is your favourite venue, and why?
I have a soft spot for old venues that provide a unique charm to any show. In Berlin, there is the Delphi Theater, an old silent movie theatre from the 1920s, which is a stunning place. Less of a venue but a festival ground is Ferropolis, where Goodlive promotes Melt, Splash and Full Force Festival. A peninsula in a lake with old industrial charm and a little forest makes it one of the nicest festival sides I’ve been to.

As a new boss, what would you like to change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
There is still a lot of potential to change things for the better all across the industry. I hope that my generation is able to leave a footprint behind by improving the lack of diversity, inclusivity and sustainability both across the stages, playlists but also in the offices of agencies and labels.

What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find a job in live music?
Follow the dynamics of pop and subcultural developments and get an overview of players in the field you aspire to be part of. Be a team player, and open to innovation and mostly passionate about music. In the end, it’s a business focused on emotions and people rather than a manufactured product.

As a promoter, are there any particular events, forums or platforms that you visit to try to discover the next big act?
I try to attend several showcase festivals throughout the year. Eurosonic and Great Escape are the ones I visit most frequently.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Fruzsina Szép on “almost perfect” Superbloom

Superbloom director Fruzsina Szép has spoken to IQ about the “almost perfect” second edition of the German festival.

The two-day event returned to Munich’s historic Olympic Park last weekend (2–3 September), featuring artists including Imagine Dragons, Martin Garrix, Peter Fox, Ava Max, Ellie Goulding and more.

Despite last year’s teething problems, the Goodlive-promoted festival continued its sell-out streak, with 50,000 attendees on each of the two days.

“We had so many learnings from 2022 and only one year to apply them but all the effort was worth it because we really succeeded in correcting the mistakes and failures,” says Szép.

One of the biggest issues with last year’s edition was crowd flow around the 70,000-capacity Olympic Stadium, which meant organisers were forced to halt entry to the main stage before it reached full capacity.

“I’ve never experienced a festival like this, that I’ve been involved with”

“This year, we moved the stage to the head of the stadium so it was much easier to get in and out and there was a constant flow, no backlogs,” she explains. “All the space was there to stand or sit and we had separate areas for our premium guests.”

Crowd flow around the festival was also relieved by increased signage: “We communicated with the audience beforehand and throughout to inform them about the challenges [of the festival site] and of the time it takes to walk between stages,” she adds.

The extreme weather at the debut edition, which forced Years & Years to forego their set on the main stage, was also a distant memory and the band returned to perform in 23-degree heat.

Also contributing to a successful edition was the lack of incidents at this year’s festival. “It was an absolutely beautiful and calm atmosphere throughout those two days. I’ve never experienced a festival like this, that I’ve been involved with,” says the seasoned festival pro, who has previously worked on Sziget (Hungary) and Lollapalooza Berlin.

“We did a lot of communication upfront about safety and security and how important that is for us,” says Szép. “We let our audience know that we doubled the inclusion and awareness teams this year. It’s about creating safer spaces all over the festival and having mobile teams.”

“People said they’ve never seen so many people with disabilities partying together with the crowd”

Szép believes the increased support teams, in combination with a diverse programme, is the reason for Superbloom’s majority-female audience, which has increased from 60% to 70% since last year.

Female representation on the lineup was also high – at 45% – though the director says the goal isn’t to achieve a gender-balanced bill. “The goal is to have a good bill that is also diverse, with plenty of queer artists and artists living with disabilities,” she says.

Accessibility was once again a top priority for Szép, who grew up with a blind father. For this year’s edition, Superbloom doubled the size of the wheelchair area in the stadium and increased the number of disabled toilets. The festival attracted three times more people living with disabilities than last year.

“Audience members said they’ve never seen so many people with disabilities partying together with the crowd and how amazing it was to see that,” says Szép. “Everybody should have the possibility to have the best time of their life at a festival.

“In our experience areas, we programmed a lot of content that was about inclusion, diversity and social issues – like what is it like to be living with a disability. And we had a German rapper, who creates ironic songs about his disability, perform and appear on a panel. These are small but important things for our mission.”

“I never want to organise a perfect festival – although this year was almost perfect”

Though Szép has been widely celebrated for Superbloom’s accessibility, including by the German government, it firmly remains top of her list for the next edition.

“For the 2024 edition, I’d like to develop more services for disabled people. I’d also like to work on more special partnerships with companies that represent global, local and social issues, and on the experience aspect of the festival, making more use of the lake,” she says.

“There’s always space for development. My expectations are pretty high but I know you have to improve step by step – I think it’s important to have a natural development and not to do everything at once. I never want to organise a perfect festival – although this year was almost perfect.

“It’s also a financial question anyway. In times like these, when prices are getting higher and higher, organising a festival or creating a new brand is a huge financial risk. It will take some time for Superbloom to be profitable – it’s an investment – but we already have a strong brand in year two.

“I’m really thankful to our audience that they trusted us and bought our tickets, despite the problems that we had last year. So many festivals in Germany and Europe struggled but we sold out again. I think after year three we can be sure Superbloom will have a very stable future.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Global Promoters Report 2022: Germany

The Global Promoters Report, a first-of-its-kind resource that highlights the world’s leading promoters and the 40 top markets they operate in, is now available to subscribers of IQ.

In an excerpt from the guide, IQ delves into the biggest touring market in Europe and the third-biggest in the world: Germany.

 


Germany is the biggest market in Europe and the third-biggest in the world, after the US and Japan. It generated revenues of around €5bn a year in pre-Covid times, though things are significantly tougher since the return of unrestricted shows in spring 2022, as energy prices and economic concerns squeeze sections of the market.

The German promoting business remains muscular and is largely steered by powerful consolidated groups – from local giants CTS Eventim, FKP Scorpio, and DEAG, to Live Nation – though there remain a number of hardworking independents.

Between them, the big groups account for a significant chunk of the nation’s national promoters. CTS Eventim, for instance, holds stakes in FKP Scorpio, Semmel Concerts, DreamHaus, and Peter Rieger Konzertagentur, accounting collectively for recent tours by Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Muse, Måneskin, and others, as well as major festivals including Rock am Ring and Rock im Park and Hurricane/Southside.

Live Nation GSA entered the market in 2015 through its acquisition of Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK). It brings all the expected superstar tours you would expect – Bruce
Springsteen, for one, arrives next July for four German stadium shows and another in Austria, while Sting, Lil Nas X, Bryan Adams, and Rosalía did the rounds before Christmas.

Live Nation bulked up further in September, adding longstanding independent Goodlive to its holdings. The festival, booking, and services agency brings events including Munich debutante Superbloom, electronic fest Melt!, and hip-hop and reggae event Splash! in Ferropolis; metal and punk festival Full Force in Löbnitz; and hip-hop event Heroes in Geiselwind.

“The majority of acts – especially those not in the top range or having a buzz right now – are struggling to sell tickets”

The Eventim-affiliated, Hamburg-based FKP Scorpio is, of course, a group in its own right, operating across the Nordics, Austria, Benelux, the UK, and Poland. In Germany, it has lately promoted stadium shows for Sheeran and the Stones, as well as a heavy slate of festivals – from the twin Hurricane and Southside indie events to M’era Luna in Hildesheim, Highfield in Großpösna, and Berlin’s Tempelhof Sounds.

Broadly speaking, festivals and blockbuster headline shows have remained strong in Germany this year. Cities like Berlin, Cologne, and Munich remain busy, affluent markets for live shows, with Hamburg not far behind.

But in a time of economic uncertainty fuelled by the war in Ukraine – combined with a perfect storm of post-Covid factors that have put a premium on material and staffing of all kinds – the softness of the everyday touring market is a major challenge for the German business. While the biggest acts sail on undaunted, all promoters have tales of smaller shows either half-filled or cancelled due to weak demand.

“Looking at this demographically, the younger people are going to shows more in comparison to older people, but in general it’s challenging,” says FKP Scorpio CEO Stephan Thanscheidt.

“Of course, there are some acts that sell all the time, but the majority of acts – especially those not in the top range or having a buzz right now – are struggling to sell tickets. A lot of acts are cancelling at the moment, and not for logistical or other non-transparent reasons. They are just saying, very openly: we can’t make this tour financially work with the ticket sales and the costs we have. They are potentially playing to half the people, with double or triple the cost.”

“You put great acts on, you put great support acts on, you really think about pricing, and still ticket sales are running at 50%”

All promoters have been forced to reckon with a very different market in 2022, even as they have scrambled to honour the previous two years’ worth of Covid-era tickets.

“You put great acts on, you put great support acts on, you really think about pricing, and still ticket sales are running at 50%,” says Scumeck Sabottka, founder of independent Berlin-based Robbie Williams and Rammstein promoter MCT Agentur, who, again, notes that his flagship shows have done very well.

“Maybe next year it gets better, but I think the new normal could easily be 70%, so we need to gauge our costings and offers on that. At the moment, I think we, as promoters, are carrying a lot of pressure on our shoulders.”

German promoters in the DEAG stable include Frankfurt veteran Wizard Promotions – now under the stewardship of Oliver Hoppe, son of legendary founder Ossy – which leans in a rock direction, with Iron Maiden, Def Leppard/Mötley Crüe, and Scorpions all on the schedule for 2023. Hoppe junior, (who in September added the title of DEAG executive vice president, product and innovation to his Wizard responsibilities), shares the mixed outlook, “All in all we managed to entertain over a half a million visitors in the summer, and that was tough work but also an exciting exercise. But it’s a struggle. Nobody knows where inflation, labour shortages, energy costs, and the ongoing pandemic will take us.

“There seems to be a pattern that high-demand shows are still high in demand, but I am very concerned about club shows and emerging artists. I am expecting every day for some grand-scale tour to hit the wall, but so far, from what we are hearing and seeing from the market, that isn’t happening – so I think there is hope.”

“We see strong sales on A+ talent and established festivals but soft ticket sales on everything else”

Also in the DEAG family – along with UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live, whose Stuart Galbraith recently ascended to the group role of executive vice president international touring – are Christian Doll’s Stuttgart-based C2 Concerts and the German arm of I-Motion. The former’s 2022 tours include German dates for the Harlem Globetrotters; the latter, part-acquired in 2019 from US promoter Randy Phillips’s LiveStyle, operates several long-established electronic music festivals including Mayday, Nature One, and Ruhr in Love.

Sina Hall, Semmel Concerts senior project manager, entertainment, says dialogue with agents and other stakeholders is ongoing, as the market adapts to a new set of conditions. “If you look at the situation for promoters or clubs that are not necessarily part of a group of companies, most of them most likely used their money to make it through the pandemic, so they have to be more risk-conscious when making decisions now,” says Hall.

Relatively few promoters have launched during Covid times, for obvious reasons, but one exception is DreamHaus, the CTS-Eventim-backed venture helmed by former Live Nation GSA managing director and COO Matt Schwarz, which landed in early 2021 with one significant advantage over the wider market. “The beauty of being a start-up during Covid times is that we didn’t have to deal with any aftermath of cancelled or multiple-postponed events,” Schwarz noted in IQ’s recent German market report.

In other respects, DreamHaus – which operates the blockbuster Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, as well as Tempelhof Sounds and arena shows this year for Lewis Capaldi, Yungblud, Muse, Måneskin, and others – sounds a familiar note of caution.

“We see strong sales on A+ talent and established festivals but soft ticket sales on everything else,” says Schwarz. “Pushing down the increased costs of touring and local production to the customers via higher ticket prices is not a sustainable solution. The worst is yet to come, so we are more selective in our bookings and the M.O. is ‘less is more’ for now.”

“The worst is yet to come, so we are more selective in our bookings and the M.O. is ‘less is more’ for now”

In its structure, Germany is a unique market. Under its distinctive regionalised system, local promoters with strong local knowledge typically co-promote with national promoters in any given city.

The local promoting business these days also betrays a strong corporate interest. Eventim owns a number of such promoters, including Bavaria’s ARGO Konzerte, Cologne’s Dirk Becker Entertainment, Promoters Group Munich, and Vaddi Concerts in south-west Germany.

Other prominent local operators include DEAG companies ACT (Berlin), River Concerts (Hamburg), Rhein Main Concerts (Frankfurt), Global Concerts and KBK (both Munich) and Handwerker, based in Unna; Hannover Concerts, in the northern German city of the same name; and Undercover, based in Braunschweig and operating in northern Germany and beyond, which was acquired by BMG in 2020 to lay the foundations for a new live music and events unit.

Some local promoters have expanded well beyond their original regions: Semmel Concerts, now a major national player, focused on Bavaria and Eastern Germany when it first launched more than 30 years ago.

These days, its shows span Germany and Austria and its calendar includes three postponed Berlin dates on Elton John’s farewell tour next May, as well as concerts by Hans Zimmer, Céline Dion, John Cale, and others next year.

“It makes the business kind of boring if there are only three or four big corporates fighting each other”

In a globalised era where scale and network clout count more than ever, Germany is hardly the only market in which independent promoters have inexorably been absorbed into international groups. Ben Mitha, managing director of Hamburg-based Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion, the persistently independent promoter founded by his grandfather, doesn’t condemn any other company for doing so, though he maintains that the market needs indies for its all-round health.

“I totally understand those people, especially in these last two challenging years, who are seeking shelter under a corporate umbrella,” says Mitha. “At the same time, it makes the business kind of boring if there are only three or four big corporates fighting each other. I think you also need those independents out there doing it for the passion or investing in some niche that might not be interesting for the big companies.”

Karsten Jahnke’s forthcoming shows include a Hamburg appearance for Robbie Williams as well as dates for Avril Lavigne, Arctic Monkeys, Wolf Alice, Elton John, and numerous smaller acts. This year’s successes have included The Cure and 49 nights at Hamburg’s Stadtpark for the Open Air series, with Deep Purple, Sting, Joe Jackson, Michael Kiwanuka, and Olivia Rodrigo among those collectively selling 170,000 tickets.

Among the market’s other nationally focused indies, is Berlin-based booker and national promoter Z|ART, founded in 2014 by Max Wentzler and Hauke Steinhof. Wentzler says there are enthusiastic audiences out there for fresh talent but suggests spiraling costs can easily have a brutal effect on promoters, even when a show is an apparent success.

“We are used to suffering in the live business, but it is haemorrhaging a little bit,” says Wentzler. “Margins have been decimated, basically, and it feels like all the income is being eaten up by security, ticketing, and stagehand companies, and also venues, who have increased their rates in response to energy prices because they are going to get hit with a huge bill.”

“Margins have been decimated, basically, and it feels like all the income is being eaten up”

Other independents include Hamburg’s a.s.s. concerts & promotion. Part of the Mehr-BB Entertainment Company, a.s.s. has operated as a booking agency and tour promoter for German and international rock, pop, folk, jazz, and world music artists since 1979, presenting up to 1,200 concerts a year.

A Covid-era consolidation saw two more Hamburg-based concert promoters, Funke Media and Neuland Concerts, merge to form what the company describes as “one of the largest owner-managed concert agencies in Germany.”

Operating as Neuland Concerts and working as both promoter and agency, Neuland’s current schedule includes dates for German stars Ina Müller and Max Mutzke. In Munich, Astrid Messerschmitt’s United Promoters has a superstar pedigree, having worked shows for Eric Clapton, AC/DC, and others, as well as maintaining a longstanding relationship with legendary veteran Marcel Avram.

Hamburg’s Music Minds Productions has also seen it all and has recently staged shows for 50 Cent at Cologne’s Lanxess Arena and The Police’s Andy Summers in Hamburg and Berlin. Of the market’s standalone festival promoters, Cosmopop is responsible for the 28-year-old Time Warp electronic festival in Mannheim and its international editions in Brazil, Chile, and the US; Opus produces the renowned Jazzopen Stuttgart; while ICS (International Concert Service) controls Wacken Open Air in Schleswig-Holstein, which remains one of the world’s biggest and most-esteemed rock festivals.

“I would wish that in many cases solution-oriented thinking could come forward instead of ego-driven thinking”

The market is competitive and tough, with even the winners licking their wounds after a bruising year. Superbloom managing director Fruzsina Szép – recently profiled in the German editions of Rolling Stone and Vogue as the one and only woman in charge of a German festival – believes more collaboration would benefit all.

“I don’t see any other festivals as competitors,” she says. “I’m really happy to have many great festivals in Germany, in Europe, in the UK. And if we have to tackle the same problems, then why not learn from each other to make it better?

“I’m very much in balance with my own ego, and I would wish that in many cases solution-oriented thinking could come forward instead of ego-driven thinking. People shouldn’t be afraid to say, ‘Well, we had problems, we had challenges.’”

 


The Global Promoters Report is published in print, digitally, and all content is also available as a year-round resource on the IQ site. The Global Promoters Report includes key summaries of the major promoters working across 40+ markets, unique interviews and editorial on key trends and developments across the global live music business.

To access all content from the current Global Promoters Report, please click here.

Stefan Lehmkuhl to book BMG’s Theater des Westens

Goodlive co-founder Stefan Lehmkuhl has been appointed to the top booker role at BMG’s Theater des Westens in Berlin.

Lehmkuhl is best-known for his two decades of success curating and producing festivals such as Melt Festival, splash!, and Lollapalooza Berlin.

He, along with co-founder Thomas Resch, stepped down from Germany’s Goodlive in July 2021, making way for a new management structure.

After a two-year hiatus from the live industry, Lehmkuhl will now book concerts, residencies and theatre productions for the historic 1,7000-capacity theatre, which BMG recently took a two-year lease on.

Working alongside him at the venue will be event producer Parker Tilghman, known in Berlin and beyond by their alias Pansy. For the last decade, they have created acclaimed underground performance events and club nights in some of the city’s most prominent institutions like SO36, Deutsche Oper, Volksbühne, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and more.

BMG Chief Content Officer Dominique Casimir says: “Taking a two-year lease on the Theater des Westens was a statement of intent. The appointment of Stefan and Pansy shows the extent of our ambition. Stefan is known for his creative booking and for producing events with visual flair and artistic integrity. With his help we will take the Theater des Westens to an entirely new level and make it a premier entertainment destination in Berlin.”

“Early feedback from artists and managers has been positive, with particular interest in the residency format”

Lehmkuhl adds: “I am excited to join in collaboration with BMG as my first consultant and curation project after a two-year hiatus from the industry. We are offering artists completely new opportunities that have not existed in Berlin before in a truly gorgeous setting.

“We are open to collaborating with agents, managers and event organisers, internationally and nationally, even beyond music, and welcome inquiries. I am grateful for Dominique’s trust and look forward to working with her, Pansy and the team at BMG. Early feedback from artists and managers has been positive, with particular interest in the residency format.”

Pansy comments: “The new format will be of particular interest to established artists who want to present a high-end show at a beautiful venue in the heart of Berlin rather than embarking on a regular tour. We look forward to pairing them with local, underground performers that keep our city so special and unique.”

Michael Schacke, Undercover CEO and responsible for BMG’s live strategy in GSA, said: “With the opening of Berlin’s Theater des Westens for live concerts, residencies and performances, the next piece of the puzzle of BMG’s live strategy falls into place. With Undercover as tour and local promoter in GSA and the Taubertal Festival, TDW now adds one of the most beautiful and exciting live venues in Europe that gives us more opportunities to work with artists and their management in the live segment.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

2023 lineups take shape: Superbloom, Sziget and more

Superbloom, Standon Calling, Sziget, Shaky Knees and Kite’s 2023 lineups are taking shape, with rafts of new additions announced.

After its successful debut this year, Goodlive’s Superbloom returns to Munich’s Olympiapark on 2 and 3 September, 2023.

Imagine Dragons, Martin Garrix, Ellie Goulding, Marteria, Badmómzjay, Zara Larsson, Ofenbach, Aurora, LostFrequencies, Giant Rooks, Years & Years and Cat Burns are among the first wave of confirmations for the second instalment.

The inaugural edition sold out, welcoming 50,000 fans each day. Goodlive director Fruzsina Szép reflected on the successful launch in an IQ inteview.

Standon Calling has announced Years & Years, Self Esteem, Bloc Party and The Human League

Elsewhere, the UK’s Standon Calling has announced that Years & Years, Self Esteem, Bloc Party and The Human League will headline the 2023 offering.

Anastacia, Confidence Man, Dylan, Squid, Katy B, KT Tunstall and Melanie C will also perform at the 17th edition of the boutique music and arts festival.

Festival founder and director Alex Trenchard says “We’re so proud of this year’s progress in booking a gender-balanced headline bill.”

The Broadwick Live-owned festival will return to the Hertfordshire countryside between 20 and 23 July 2023.

Across the Atlantic, Shaky Knees has confirmed headliners The Killers, Muse and The Lumineers for the 10th-anniversary edition.

Shaky Knees has confirmed headliners The Killers, Muse and The Lumineers for the 10th-anniversary edition

More than 60 bands will perform across four stages during the 2023 festival, slated for 5–7 May at Central Park, downtown Atlanta.

Greta Van Fleet, Tenacious D, Hozier, The Mars Volta, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Flaming Lips performing “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” Cypress Hill performing “Black Sunday” have also been announced.

The festival is promoted by Live Nation subsidiary C3 Presents, who today announced new festival Palm Tree in Aspen.

Elsewhere, Hungary’s Sziget festival has unveiled the first wave of artists for next year, including headliners Billie Eilish, Florence & The Machine, David Guetta and Imagine Dragons.

Other confirmations include Sam Fender, Foals, Niall Horan, Yungblud, Jamie xx and Nothing But Thieves.

Tinderbox has lined up Maroon 5, George Ezra, Jada, bbno$ and Oliver Malcolm

Europe’s biggest festival will return to Óbuda Island in Budapest between 10 and 15 August 2023.

In Denmark, Tinderbox has lined up Maroon 5, George Ezra, Jada, bbno$ and Oliver Malcolm for the 2023 event, between 22–24 June in Odense, Funen.

Last year, the festival broke records when a daily number of 48,000 people visited the festival again after two years of cancellations.

The UK’s Kite festival today announced it will return for a second year, with musical artists including Hot Chip, Suede, Candi Staton, Lynks and Sarathy Korwar.

Hailed as a “festival of ideas and music,” the Oxfordshire event will also feature authors, actors, comedians, journalists, motivational speakers and more. The festival is set for 9–11 June at Kirtlington Park.

See more festival lineup announcements from the likes of Roskilde, Primavera and Nova Rock here.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The New Bosses 2022: Benji Fritzenschaft, DreamHaus

The 15th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 114 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2022’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous New Bosess 2022 interview with Agustina Cabo from Move Concerts here. The series continues with Benji Fritzenschaft, a talent buyer at Dreamhaus in Germany.

Whilst studying sports journalism in Hamburg, Fritzenschaft began a hip-hop podcast that opened a door for him into the music industry. He started working as a social media creator at Sony in 2019, and shortly after applied for a job at Goodlive, where he landed a job as part of the splash! Festival booking team, which resulted in his move to Berlin. He also helped promote the German tours of Goodlive’s hip-hop artists such as Stormzy, Skepta, Dave, and Trippie Redd & Suicideboys, and the company used his expertise for booking its domestic hip-hop festivals (Heroes).

In May 2022, Fritzenschaft was hired by DreamHaus as a talent buyer, working on tours for 070 Shake, Aitch, Kid Cudi, and Jack Harlow. He also books talent for DreamHaus’s festivals and helps develop new events.


You studied sports journalism at university. Are there any lessons from your studies that have been useful in your career?
I feel like my time at university helped me prepare for this job – especially the journalism part. For example, I learned how marketing works, how to get the information you need, and how important a good network is. In addition to that, there is lots of competition in sports and journalism, as well as the music business, so in hindsight, I feel like this prepared me.

Your podcast opened doors for you. What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
If you are passionate about music and want to work in live music but cannot seem to find an entrance, go the extra mile: Start your own project (podcast, blog, etc.) and invest your time. Show the world you have expertise and why you would be a good addition to any team.

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
I feel like, for my generation, sustainability is more important than ever before – mental health, diversity in festival line-ups, as well as in the office, and taking care of the environment… We all know there will be competition in the live music industry, but I have a feeling that sometimes people take it too far. I believe it should never be taken personally, as business is never personal.

“If you are passionate about music and want to work in live music but cannot seem to find an entrance, go the extra mile”

What has been the biggest challenge for you and the DreamHaus team as the business has emerged from the pandemic restrictions?
You probably know Germany’s way of handling the situation with loads of restrictions, so finally being able to have shows again was great. There is uncertainty about the upcoming winter, so hopefully we can continue having regular concerts throughout the colder times. Let me be fully honest: after months in my home office, it took a while for me to get used to the regular office workflow again.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I got into the industry three years ago and just moved from Goodlive to DreamHaus. With that move, I also got promoted from assistant to promoter, so I just want to keep my momentum going and build my roster. In general, my goal is to continue to do my work, learn, and evolve – personally as well as career-wise – and then who knows what the future will bring.

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
There have been a couple: After years of attending splash! as a fan, the moment I was backstage at the festival as an official was pretty cool. The first big shows were nice as well: Stormzy before Covid, Dave on the first day after restrictions were gone, and selling out our Kid Cudi show within a couple of days. In addition to that, LUIS – the first domestic act I signed – just started his first tour, which is basically sold out.

“My goal is to continue to do my work, learn, and evolve – personally as well as career-wise”

Where is your favourite venue?
The splash! Festival site at Ferropolis will always have a special place in my heart. For concert venues, there is of course Berghain in Berlin where we had great shows with Little Simz and Bas. A concert at Berghain is always special. Uebel & Gefährlich in Hamburg and Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld in Cologne are also among my favourites.

The hip-hop world is a tight community. Who are your best friends or allies at other companies in your day-to-day work?
I am still friends with a lot of people at Goodlive and Bomber Der Herzen. I am also constantly speaking to Cedric Icaasain who manages artists and runs a club in Cologne. I also want to mention Malte von der Lanken and Andrej Malogajski from Mainland Music. Regarding domestic acts, Greg from ARKTIK Management and Steph from Atlantic Germany are my guys. Special shout-out to Thomas ‘The Don’ Schlett as well.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Live Nation acquires majority stake in Goodlive

Live Nation GSA (Germany Switzerland Austria) has acquired a majority stake in Berlin-headquartered festival, booking and services agency Goodlive.

The stake, which IQ believes to be 51%, was acquired from former shareholders Paragon Partners and Goodlive’s founders.

In the wake of the deal, Goodlive will continue to focus on its brands, which include Melt, Splash!, Full Force, Heroes Festival and Superbloom Festival, while working with the Live Nation teams to develop new festival and live experiences.

“We are happy that Goodlive GmbH and its management team Marko Hegner and Mirko Roßner have decided to become part of the Live Nation family,” says Live Nation GSA MD Andre Lieberberg. “The strength of the Goodlive GmbH organisation and its staff, as well as the undisputed relevance of its projects, perfectly complement Live Nation GSA’s portfolio. I look forward to the upcoming collaboration with Goodlive and am very confident that we will realise new and exciting projects together.”

“We have already worked together successfully in the past at festivals such as Lollapalooza Berlin and are delighted to now be able to expand this cooperation on all levels”

The inaugural edition of Superbloom, spearheaded by festival MD Fruzsina Szép, launched in Munich’s Olympic Park earlier this month after two postponements due to Covid-related restrictions.

“We are so pleased to have Live Nation as our future partner,” adds Goodlive MD Mirko Roßner. “Through their international network they are an ideal fit for Goodlive. We have already worked together successfully in the past at festivals such as Lollapalooza Berlin and are delighted to now be able to expand this cooperation on all levels. It is with great anticipation that we are looking forward to the future and our joint projects.”

Goodlive announced the expansion of its partnership with ticketing and discovery platform Dice last week.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Dice expands partnership with Germany’s Goodlive

Ticketing and discovery platform Dice has expanded its partnership with Germany’s Goodlive Artists.

Dice formally launched in the German market in May, teaming with Goodlive Artists to deliver sold-out shows with the likes of Fred Again, Marc Rebillet and PinkPantheress.

Now, it is extending its link-up with Goodlive to cover all of the German promoter’s festivals. The new agreement makes Dice the official and exclusive ticketing and sales platform for Melt, Splash!, Full Force and Heroes Festival, as well as the main ticket provider for Superbloom Festival.

“Dice meets our ideas of modern ticketing, and we have been missing such a platform on the German market so far”

“Dice has been successful in international ticketing for many years and is already popular with fans,” says Goodlive MD Marko Hegner. “We were pleased to be the official partner for the launch of Dice in Germany this year – after Goodlive Artists, and now also with our festivals. Dice convinces us on the one hand with its mobile-first concept, which also prevents resale on the secondary market, and on the other hand with its fair and transparent pricing. Dice meets our ideas of modern ticketing, and we have been missing such a platform on the German market so far.”

The official pre-sale for the festivals splash!, Full Force and Melt 2023 is already underway via Dice. If the festivals sell out, tickets can be returned via the Waiting List within the secure framework of the app and resold at fair prices.

“We’re delighted with how fans and the live industry are reacting to our roll out in Germany,” adds Andrew Foggin, global head of music at Dice. “We’ve already had some great success stories with Goodlive Artists and to expand the partnership with the festivals was a natural next step. Their festival portfolio is exceptional, from globally recognised brands like Splash! and Melt through to more recent properties like Superbloom, fans of all genres are catered for.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Fruzsina Szép reflects on Superbloom’s sold-out debut

Seasoned festival pro Fruzsina Szép has spoken to IQ about the debut edition of Goodlive’s newest festival, Superbloom.

The two-day event finally launched in Munich’s historic Olympic Park last weekend (3–4 September) after two postponements due to Covid-related restrictions.

Calvin Harris, Macklemore, Megan Thee Stallion, Rita Ora, Skepta and David Guetta were among the acts that performed across 11 stages during the event.

Alongside live music, the festival delivered a multi-faceted programme of art, culture, diversity, lifestyle, society, research and development, sustainability and science, with the aim of “redefining the music festival concept”.

“I wanted to create a 360-degree festival experience and I think we’ve done that well,” says Szép. “It was important to me that the visitors immersed themselves in a charming world and experienced many moments of happiness that they can now take with them into their everyday lives.”

The inaugural edition drew 50,000 visitors and ultimately sold out, which Szép says was “a dream come true” after a “mentally challenging” few years for the Superbloom team.

“It’s a new festival, a new brand, a new site and there are new colleagues, so there’s a learning curve”

And while the event was a success, Szép says that there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“It’s a new festival, a new brand, a new site and there are new colleagues, so there’s a learning curve…we have to be patient,” says the director, who has previously worked on Lollapalooza Berlin and Sziget.

“Sometimes our audience expects us to be 100% but we are not perfect and I don’t want to be perfect,” she continues. “I always wanted to have the possibility to make mistakes but to learn from them and to correct them and make them better in the next year. I’m not afraid to receive criticism – I grow from it.”

The biggest learning curve for the festival, she says, was navigating the unique site, which utilised the 70,000-capacity Olympic Stadium as the main stage.

On Saturday night, organisers were forced to halt entry to the stadium, where headliner Calvin Harris was playing his only German concert this year, due to a crowd flow issue.

“The problem was, on the floor of the stadium there is a maximum capacity of 20,000 and that was already full,” explains Szép.

“Sometimes our audience expects us to be 100% but we are not perfect and I don’t want to be perfect”

“There would have been space for 30–40,000 more people in the seats but people were stopping and sitting down at the beginning of the seats, rather than moving to the far end.

“Many people were queueing outside and some people were trying to go to another stage so it became the kind of situation which could have been very difficult. And Calvin Harris was already playing so it was impossible for the security and volunteers to ask people to get up and move along. That’s why we had to decide very quickly to stop letting people into the stadium.

“We were planning the crowd flow for months but we weren’t prepared for people to sit down at the beginning of the stands.”

The next day, the Superbloom team communicated the crowd flow to fans and the main stage programme went off without a hitch.

Extreme weather also proved to be an issue on the Saturday, with strong winds, heavy rain, lightning and thunder causing the programme to grind to a halt for an hour and a half.

As a result, Years & Years were forced to forego their set on the main stage and Megan Thee Stallion’s slot was reduced to 30 minutes.

Superbloom was praised by the German government for making the festival inclusive and accessible for disabled music fans

“The safety and security of our audience, our artists and our team is the first priority when we are on-site – no question,” says Szép. “Severe weather is an issue for every open-air event – we have to deal with force majeure measures all the time. These are normal procedures.”

Challenges aside, the festival was hailed as one of the most diverse events in the European festival market, with a range of ages, genders, races, nationalities and sexualities represented on the lineup. This was ultimately reflected in the audience – 60% of which were female.

In addition, Superbloom was praised by the German government for making the festival inclusive and accessible for disabled music fans.

“We worked closely with a group of experts who live with disabilities to help us deliver the maximum festival experience for others [with handicaps],” says Szép.

“Yesterday I was in a panel with the government’s representative for disabled people living in Germany, who is blind himself, and he said he has never before seen a German festival of that size so well organised for disabled people. That gave me such a great feeling.”

Having grown up with a blind father, accessibility is a matter close to Szép’s heart and has informed many aspects of the festival.

Having grown up with a blind father, accessibility is a matter close to Szép’s heart

“I grew up in Munich. And, for many years, on many weekends, my father and I would walk around this Olympic Park. He told me to experience the world not just with my eyes but with all my senses so I had this in my head while creating the concept for the festival.

“Being an adult now and having the possibility to organise Superbloom here was so emotional and I could feel my father’s energy,” says Szép.

Alongside the main stages, the Superbloom programme included an area hosting 30 NGOs including Greenpeace and Music Declares Emergency, assembled by Yourope general manager Holger Schmidt.

Other dedicated areas focussed on art, fashion, and theatre, with roaming performances ranging from robot dogs and giraffes, to ballerinas twirling atop mobile pianos and marching bands.

Superbloom returns to the Olympic Park in Munich from 2-3 September 2023.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.