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More industry leaders join ILMC 36 line-up

Eight more executives from the top of some of the world’s biggest live music businesses have been confirmed for ILMC 36.

Peter Schwenkow (DEAG), Barrie Marshall (Marshall Arts), Chris Bray (ASM Global), Marsha Vlasic (Independent Artist Group), Jim King (AEG Presents), Obi Asika (UTA), Craig Stanley (Marshall Arts), and Anna Sjolund (ASM Global) have all signed up to speak at the leading live music industry conference.

ILMC takes place from 27 Feb-1 March with 1,500 delegates travelling to London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel from 53 markets this year.

DEAG’s Peter Schwenkow and ASM Global’s Chris Bray will lend their insight to The Open Forum: The All Stars Session, ILMC’s annual state-of-the-nation opening panel; Marshall Arts’ Barrie Marshall and Craig Stanley will pull back the curtain on P!nk’s Summer Carnival (alongside the tour’s production manager Malcolm Weldon); Independent Artist Group’s Marsha Vlasic will be part of Touring: The Bread & Butter Business, considering if there is a crisis emerging in the middle of the business; AEG Presents’ Jim King will be among the speakers on the Festival Forum: Headline Topics session; UTA’s Obi Asika will be talking during Teamwork: Culture & Careers In Live Music; and ASM Global’s Anna Sjolund will chair The Agency Business 2024, looking at the future of the agency model.

The newly announced industry leaders join a host of heavyweight speakers already confirmed, including Maria May (CAA), Clementine Bunel & Alex Hardee (Wasserman Music), Cliff Fluet (Eleven Advisory), Jana Watkins (Live Nation), Steve Tilley (Kilimanjaro Live), John Langford (AEG Europe), Robbie Balfour (The O2), Jon Ollier (One Fiinix Live), Nelson Albareda (Loud And Live), Connie Shao (AEG Presents), Sally Dunstone (Primary Talent), Tom Zaller (Imagine Exhibitions), Richard Lewis (Fierylight/The Limelight Group), Svana Gisla (ABBA Voyage), Manon Delaury (TEO), Christoph Scholz (Semmel Concerts) and more.

“It’s great to be able to put together a line-up of so many industry heavyweights and company leaders for ILMC 36”

AEG Presents chairman and CEO Jay Marciano is also already confirmed for The (Late) Breakfast Meeting.

A wide range of crucial issues affecting every sector of the live music industry will be discussed over the course of the three days, from AI to workplace culture, ticketing, mental health, marketing, insurance, A&R, touring and the impact of global conflicts.

There will also be dedicated sessions on key live music business sectors including grassroots and major venues, festivals, ticketing, agencies, booking and touring. The 2024 edition of ILMC also includes Futures Forum, the one-day event for emerging live music executives, and new event Touring Entertainment LIVE which is dedicated to the global business of big-brand live entertainment, exhibitions, and touring family shows.

“It feels like the live music business is at a crossroads in so many different ways at the moment, and it’s great to be able to put together a line-up of so many industry heavyweights and company leaders for ILMC 36,” says ILMC MD Greg Parmley. “With blast-off fast approaching, we’ll have more big names to announce shortly.”

ILMC 36 will take place from 27 February to 1 March. Full information about the conference including The Arthur Awards 2024 here.

 


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ESNS 2024: Touring heads unpick ‘new normal’

Leading European live executives have advised that ticket pricing is “more important than ever” as the business navigates its current challenges.

The subject was pored over during today’s Touring In ’24: Are There Bumps In The Road? session at the Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) conference in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Moderated by IQ MD Greg Parmley, the panel featured agents Beckie Sugden of CAA and UTA’s Carlos Abreu, as well as Mojo Concerts head promoter Kim Bloem and FKP Scorpio CEO Stephan Thanscheidt.

Netherlands-based Bloem reported the market appeared in rude health at all levels from her viewpoint.

“Tickets are flying out,” said Bloem. “It’s not just the blockbuster shows, it’s the club shows too. We’re not struggling.”

Thanscheidt, who is based out of Germany and is also FKP’s head of festival booking, painted an overall positive if more mixed picture.

“We have so many artists touring. But there are also shows that are not doing so well. It depends on demographics, genre and level of act”

“As a company, we don’t have a problem,” he said. “We have so many artists touring. But there are also shows that are not doing so well. It depends on demographics, genre and level of act.”

Sugden, whose roster includes artists such as Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, GloRilla, Noname, Chronixx, implied it was a constant work in progress.

“It’s a supply and demand market,” she said. “As agents, we have to make sure artists aren’t touring too much. And they’re going to other regions. It’s a constantly changing and dynamic market.”

Thanscheidt argued that show calculations were “more challenging and complicated than before”, triggering a debate around the impact of rising costs on ticket prices.

“Getting ticket prices right is more important than ever,” stressed Abreu, who works with the likes of Rosalía, Bad Bunny, Anitta, Morad, Tokischa and Ayra Starr. “There are also creative ways to structure deals with artists who are looking to do meet and greets or VIP packages, etc. You have to understand the demographic you’re selling to.”

Sugden said it was necessary to analyse the market “with forensic detail and check that your ticket prices are competitive”.

“It’s the perfect storm. Everyone’s prices are increasing”

“VIP doesn’t work in every market, so you have to know what works for each market,” she added. “It’s the perfect storm. Everyone’s prices are increasing. But actually with K-pop fans, they’re willing to stick their hands in their pockets. In times of crisis, people want to be entertained.”

Bloem felt the business has been “timid” regarding raising ticket prices in the past and felt the present level of demand indicated there was room for an increase.

“Given how fast tickets are selling, I think we can increase,” she said. “We added €30 to festival tickets this year, but festival tickets can’t be pushed too quickly.”

“This is a real problem,” advised Thanscheidt. “We had sold out festivals but the margins were complete shit. It’s getting better now but you still see festivals struggling.

“Ticket prices are at the limit. Some festivals overpriced and had only 70/80% of their usual audience, which German promoters know is terrible.”

The conversation then turned to dynamic pricing, with Abreu noting it had become “the norm” in the US. “It’s the way the world is going.” he added.

“We have to think differently about how we approach first steps for artists”

Thanscheidt appeared open-minded about the prospect, but pointed out that the European industry was still some way behind its US counterpart in terms of adoption. “I think it will take time but all sauces that can add to the pot,” he said.

In closing, the panellists shared their thoughts on keeping tickets affordable for fans. Thanscheidt brought up the concept of ‘social tickets’, where a small portion of tickets are available to unwaged citizens for a lower price.

“I had a show recently where the artist did a collection after the concert and the artist ended up tripling the guarantee,” responded Sugden. “We’re getting more creative. We’ve got to keep creative with the club scene. We have to think differently about how we approach first steps for artists.”

Abreu added that some artists could afford to do underplays to “give back” to their fans, but accepted it wasn’t always possible.

“We need to think in career terms for artists,” he concluded. “Not just ‘what do we want to make on this next tour’. It’s about where are we going to be in five years.”

ESNS, which recently appointed Anna van Nunen as its new general manager, wraps up its 2024 edition tomorrow. The event also featured the 2023 European Festival Awards. Check out the winners here.

 


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UK Live Music Group appoints new chair

International Live Music Conference (ILMC) managing director Greg Parmley has been named the new chair of the UK Live Music Group.

Parmley succeeds outgoing chair Paul Latham, president and COO of Live Nation UK, who announced his retirement last month after more than three decades in the live music industry.

The UK Live Music Group, which meets every six weeks, is represented on the board of UK Music, the umbrella association for the UK music industry. The group contributes to UK Music’s policy development and brings together various component parts of Britain’s live music business.

In addition to ILMC, UK Live comprises the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Concert Promoters Association (CPA), Entertainment Agents Association (AAGB), National Arenas Association (NAA), Production Services Association (PSA), Music Venue Trust (MVT) and Association for Electronic Music (AFEM).

“UK Live has achieved an enormous amount under Paul’s watch, and while his are some extremely big shoes to fill, I’m excited to be taking the group forward,” comments Parmley. “With live music’s role in the wider music value chain more significant than ever, and issues from Brexit to secondary ticketing on the table, there’s a lot to do in the coming months.”

“Greg commands huge respect in the live music industry. He is the ideal person to take on the mantle”

Previous wins for the UK Live Music Group include:

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher says: “Greg is someone who commands huge respect in the live music industry. He is the ideal person to take on the mantle from Paul Latham and ensure the UK Live Music Group continues to develop a proactive agenda and deliver real results for the sector.”

He adds: “I want to thank Paul Latham for his immense contribution and achievements, as well as in bringing the group together in the first place.

“Live music contributes around £1 billion to the British economy and it is a fast-growing sector. It provides opportunities and a livelihood for so many people, not just artists and musicians but everyone else who works in the sector. Helped by Greg’s leadership, UK Music will continue to provide a strong, high profile voice for live music.”

 


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