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IQ 111 out now: The Long Tale of Coda

IQ 111, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.

The June edition celebrates 20 years since the launch of Coda with the talent agency’s founders, tracking its history and looking to the future in the wake of the evolved company’s acquisition by Wasserman Music.

In addition, we reflect on ILMC’s Brave New World-themed gathering after the conference made a successful return to physical form, and commemorate the richly-deserving winners of this year’s Arthur Awards.

Elsewhere, the magazine dissects the supply chain problems currently plaguing the business and speaks to experts in search of solutions, while a separate feature examines some of the challenges and opportunities for suppliers of event infrastructure. Plus, we provide a health check on the seemingly buoyant Swiss market.

For this edition’s columns and comments, Lorenz Schmid details MUCcc Arena’s ambition to become Germany’s first climate-neutral arena and Class of ’21 New Bosses alumni Theo Quiblier urges others to share stories of their failures and be honest about insecurities.

In this month’s Your Shout, meanwhile, execs including Geoff Ellis (DF Concerts), Dmitry Zaretsky (Pop Farm) and Will Holdoway (Method Events) reveal the act they rank as their greatest festival discovery.

As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ for just £7.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 


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New Bosses name one thing industry must change

Alumni from IQ Magazine‘s most recent class of New Bosses have identified areas of improvement for the international live music business.

A handful of the next-gen leaders shared their thoughts during Meet the New Bosses: The Class of 2021, at last month’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Theo Quiblier, head of concerts at Two Gentlemen in Switzerland, believes the one thing the industry needs to get better at is normalising failure.

“We are in a fantastic industry where everyone is signing the new top artist or selling out venues or sealing huge deals with festivals but that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well’ – as simple as that.

“I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well'”

“As a promoter, I could say, ‘Oh, I work with this top band,’ and people think, ‘That’s amazing, he must be rich,’ and, in reality, it’s your biggest loss of the year. We need little reality checks, and to say ‘I’m doing my best but I’m not the best’. Sharing insecurities is great because failure happens to everybody.”

Flo Noseda-Littler, agency assistant at Wasserman Music (formerly Paradigm UK), called for better pay for junior staff so more people can viably start their careers in the industry.

“Fair salaries for junior staff and internships so that it enables people in those positions to live in the cities in which they work,” comments Noseda-Littler. “By providing a free internship or a low paid job, you’re cutting off so many people who don’t have the ability to still live with their parents or be subsidised by their parents. And then you’re just reducing the number of people you can recruit and missing out on potentially really ambitious and amazing people.”

Anna Parry, partnerships manager at the O2 in London, echoed Noseda-Littler’s thoughts, adding that companies also need to improve their recruitment strategies in order to reach a more diverse pool of talent.

“This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head”

“Companies really need to put more effort into understanding why people aren’t applying for these jobs, and then they need to create a lower barrier of entry for those types of people,” says Parry. “It’s not just saying, ‘Oh okay, well we posted the job on a different forum than we usually would’. It’s going to take a lot more of that to actually make a difference. We need to focus on that because it’s important our industry is representative of the artists we represent.”

Age Versluis (promoter at Friendly Fire in the Netherlands) on the other hand, is petitioning for a four-day workweek: “This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head. Since Covid, we’re seeing a lot of people burning out and having trouble getting to that fourth or fifth gear.

“We forget that moving shows for two years to the same months is quite stressful. I think we could use some extra ‘me’ time.”

Tessie Lammle, agent at UTA in the US, echoed her peers’ points, adding: “I was going to say diversity or work-life balance but Theo’s point is huge. I think the younger generation is getting much better at [sharing insecurities].”

Each of the panellists appeared as part of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses 2021, an annual list celebrating the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business. See the full list of the distinguished dozen here.

 


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Casey Wasserman: ‘We pride ourselves on being relentlessly consistent’

Casey Wasserman last week told delegates at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) about the modus operandi of his hugely successful multimedia empire.

“One of the things that define Wasserman as a company – and something that is a mantra of mine – is being relentlessly consistent,” he said last Wednesday (27 April) during The Hot Seat: Casey Wasserman.

“I always tell our employees that being really good for a short period of time is something a lot of people can do,” he continued. “Being relentlessly consistent for a long period of time is really hard – that’s one of the things we pride ourselves on. I think it’s what makes us good at what we do – whether that’s the way we work for our clients, the way we engage with each other as coworkers or the way we pursue opportunities.”

“The other thing we learned early on is that you can’t buy client lists. Our job is to build a great culture and attract and retain great people. If you sacrifice either of those things for a client, it’s not a sustainable business.”

Wasserman attributes one of the most important pillars in the company’s culture to his grandfather, Hollywood titan Lew Wasserman.

“He was a big believer that bad news gets worse so you better deal with it. We’ve built a culture of Wasserman that rewards and supports employees for being vulnerable and talking about their problems so we can fix them and move on from them and learn from them and not let them really hurt you.”

Over 20 years, Wasserman has established itself as one of the world’s leading companies in the areas of brands and properties consultancy, sports talent representation and music artist representation.

“The more time we spend worrying about our competitors, the less time we spend doing our job”

Last week, the company’s booking agency, Wasserman Music, acquired Paradigm UK, around a year after Wasserman acquired its North America live music business.

Referencing his mantra, Wasserman previously said that he had coffee with Paradigm’s founder and CEO Sam Gores “once a week for multiple years, trying to buy the business”.

He says his relentless pursuit of Paradigm “put [Wasserman]in a position to take advantage of the opportunity when it arose”.

In the past, both UTA and CAA have attempted to strike a deal with Gores but, though Wasserman admits that he’s “pretty competitive, he says he hasn’t given much thought to his competitors.

“The truth is, I spend very little time worrying about my competitors because I’m incredibly confident in what we do and the people I get to deal with every day,” he told ILMC delegates. “The more time we spend worrying about our competitors, the less time we spend doing our job. I hope [our competitors] spend a lot of time thinking about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”

Speaking about the philosophy behind his hands-off leadership style, Wasserman said: “We don’t operate an agency to create structures and bureaucracy because that’s not how agents work – on the sports side or the music side. Our job is to put the guardrails in, let them do their job that they’re incredibly good at and give them resources to do that, and help them when they need help and otherwise stay out of the way.”

“We’ve got this team of really talented executives who are all going in the same direction. Yes, they have their own philosophies or work ways but there is a sense that we’re all going in the same direction and we’re out there together. I feel like we’re going to battle with this team.”

 


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ILMC 34: Top agents discuss post-pandemic landscape

Session chair Tom Schroeder (Wasserman) recounted his first ILMC experiences when he was accosted by private jet brokers who were not exactly relevant for his jungle acts. As a result, he said he wanted to make this year’s agency session a little more accessible for all.

Jon Ollier (One Fiinix Live) spoke of his recent experience with the start of the Ed Sheeran tour and the excitement around it, noting that outdoor shows appear to be more exciting than those indoors.

Looking for the positives in the current state of live music, Schroeder reported that young acts who have come through the pandemic appear to want to have a lot more ownership of their careers, with Lucy Dickins (WME) agreeing that there is a culture shift happening among the younger generation.

Ollier opined that it’s not just a generational thing, but also financial, as lots of people are buying tickets late, meaning that promoters have to take a leap of faith in investing in their events in the hope that people do turn up at the last minute.

The agents said [ticket] prices are not likely to come down as the artist’s costs have also increased

Sally Dunstone (Primary Talent) told ILMC that avails appear to have reached a saturation point, making it tricky to get to that next step with new artists. But she said this forced agents to be more creative and look to work with different venues, for example.

“We have to advise the artist on how they get to that next step in the career and if that means telling them to wait, rather than go out now and do a tour that could harm their long term prospects,” said Dunstone.

She said that her decision to switch agencies was down to the pandemic, thinking in a more entrepreneurial manner and searching for new opportunities – a sentiment echoed by Ollier who launched his own agency, saying that it was the CAA ethos of exploring new avenues and trying to always find a brighter path, that had prompted him to decide to establish his own venture.

Looking at the year ahead, Ari Bernstein (ICM Partners) observed the effect that festivals might have on other touring, highlighting radius causes and the like as issues that need to be discussed. He said Covid had made him look around for all the other revenue sources that his clients as artists could benefit from, which was something that would strengthen the sector going forward.

Schroeder said the new breed of young manager wants their agents to be a bigger part of the artist’s journey

Bernstein agreed with Schroeder that the price of living is going to squeeze the fans and there will be an impact that we are yet to experience. He also cited the war in Ukraine, rising costs and higher ticket prices, but accepted that it is now part of an agent’s role to negotiate those challenges.

On the thorny question of ticket prices, the agents said those prices are not likely to come down as the artist’s costs have also increased. But they said acts are already looking to tour with smaller productions in a bid to save money, as well as considering sustainability matters.

Schroeder said the new breed of young manager wants their agents to be a bigger part of the artist’s journey, rather than just a cog in the wheel.

Dickins also applauded the entrepreneurial spirit among young acts and younger agents. “The artists that tell me what they want to do, not the other way around,” she revealed. “There are things they are telling me that I think ‘shit, I’ve got to read up on that,’” she added.

Turning to the future, Dunstone predicted that in three to five years’ time the business would be fully recovered and progressed from where it was pre-pandemic. “People are looking at content differently now,” she said citing acts that have done well through the likes of TikTok. “I think we’ll see a fresh batch of new headliners in five years’ time, that have come through the pandemic,” said Dunstone.

“The artists that tell me what they want to do, not the other way around”

Ollier joked that Dickins would be working at his agency in three years, but on a serious note, he said there would be a period of natural selection with artists, events and probably even agents.

“Change is good,” said Dickins. “It’s been boring to see the same headliners at festivals for 15 years. I’m excited about the change and I’m embracing it – it’s already happening.”

Schroeder noted that while festival programming had improved, diversity in the actual industry itself was poor, with Dickins agreeing that the business needs to be a lot better.

Schroeder concluded that this summer will be bumpy but that agents need to navigate it. Ollier said, “The art is going to get better and better, no matter what us industry idiots have got to do.” That struck a chord with his fellow agents, with Bernstein believing that there will be more doors opening for revenue streams than ever before, as people embrace entrepreneurial ideas and think outside the box.

 


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IQ 110 out now: ILMC, Phil Bowdery, Fullsteam & more

IQ 110, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite magazine, is available to read online and in print now.

The April issue sees IQ magazine return to physical print for the first time in two years. In what is possibly the biggest-ever issue, readers can view the full conference and events agenda for the in-person return of ILMC (International Live Music Conference).

Elsewhere, IQ celebrates Phil Bowdery’s half century career in live music, 20 years of Finland’s Fullsteam agency, and Hans Zimmer’s latest tour.

This issue also examines the world’s fastest-growing entertainment market, the Gulf States, and profiles ten new tech innovations.

For this edition’s columns and comments, Music Export Ukraine’s Alona Dmukhovska expresses her country’s passion for music and Semyon Galperin speaks of the Russian music sector’s support for their friends in Ukraine.

In addition, ASM Global’s Marie Lindqvist highlights the importance of supporting and bringing young people into the heat of the business as part of ILMC’s Bursary Scheme partnership.

As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next six weeks.

However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ for just £7.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 


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Nile Rodgers to be interviewed by Ed Bicknell at ILMC 34

In what might be the biggest Breakfast Meeting ever seen at ILMC, Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Grammy and Ivor Novello awarded guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Nile Rodgers will be interviewed by former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell at the forthcoming ILMC (International Live Music Conference).

Having worked with a who’s who of contemporary music including David Bowie, Madonna, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Daft Punk and Lady Gaga. Rodgers is a genre-defying musician whose career stretches over five decades. The Chic co-founder has written, produced and performed on albums that have sold over 500 million units worldwide, and 75 million singles, and in 2018, he co-founded Hipgnosis Songs with Merck Mercuriadis.

His unforgettable live performances with CHIC cover his entire discography and have been included in “festival best performances” at both Glastonbury and Coachella resulting in a BBC Music Awards nomination for “Best Live Performance”, and the LA Times stating, “Nile Rodgers influence stretches all over Coachella, beaming the sound of a better future”.

Meanwhile, Ed Bicknell is a highly successful music manager, best known for working with Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, Gerry Rafferty, Bryan Ferry, Scott Walker and The Blue Nile.

“No one has as many different perspectives on the music business as Nile… it’s going be a truly memorable conversation”

ILMC head Greg Parmley says: “Between Hipgnosis, writing, recording, launching roller-skating pop-up parties, performing in support of the Ukraine crisis, and a huge summer of upcoming live shows, we’re honoured that Nile has found time to come over for ILMC. No one has as many different perspectives on the music business as Nile… it’s going be a truly memorable conversation.”

ILMC 34 will take place at London’s Royal Garden Hotel from 26-29 April 2022. Other sessions include a Hot Seat interview with global live agency head Casey, and renowned musician, producer and visual artist Brian Eno in conversation with acclaimed singer-songwriter and producer Aurora, as part of the Green Events & Innovations Conference, which takes place within ILMC this year.

Other confirmed speakers include Phil Bowdery (Live Nation), Lucy Dickins (WME), John Giddings (Solo Agency), Jessica Koravos (Oak View Group), Obi Asika (UTA), Alex Hill (AEG) and Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio).

ILMC has been the foremost meeting place for live music professionals worldwide for over 30 years. Over 1,000 delegates from 40 markets are expected to attend this year’s in-person event.

The (Late) Breakfast Meeting with Nile Rodgers takes place on Thursday 28 April at 16:50 BST.

Full information about the conference including schedule, events and partners is at 34.ilmc.com

 


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MVT’s Revive Live showcase heads to ILMC

The Music Venue Trust’s Revive Live initiative, which played a significant role in restarting the UK’s grassroots sector, is coming to ILMC 34.

The scheme, which spotlights the best emerging talent as well as bringing household names to small venues, was launched in July 2021 with support from the UK National Lottery, which contributed £1 million to directly underwrite the touring and production costs of hundreds of live performances.

ILMC returns in-person to London’s Royal Garden Hotel from April 26-29. Revive Live will make its ILMC debut with a showcase at Notting Hill Arts Club – a 10-minute walk from the Royal Garden Hotel – from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday 27 April (doors at 18:30), enabling delegates to make it back for MVT’s Pop Quiz, which begins at 9.30pm. The Revive Live line-up features Heartworms (7.10pm), LibraLibra (7.50pm) and LIFE (8.30pm).

In addition, ILMC will also present its annual Access All Areas programme, which allows access to registered delegates to catch some of London’s hottest shows using just their conference pass. The series of shows are available courtesy of Kilimanjaro Live, AEG Presents, MVT, Paradigm & Pitch & Smith.

Access All Areas kicks off on Tuesday 26 April with shows by George O’Hanlon (Camden Assembly, 7pm), Holy Fuck (Village Underground, 9pm), Salem (Camden Underworld, 9pm) and Luca Wilding (Omeara, 9pm).

It continues on Wednesday 27 April with Chuck Ragan (Islington Assembly Hall), Baby Queen (Electric Ballroom), Highasakite (Academy Islington), My Dad Wrote a Porno (London Palladium), Tamera (Colours Hoxton), Midlight (Signature Brew Haggerston), The Oxley-Meier Guitar Project (606 Club), José González (Roundhouse) and Diskopunk (Queen of Hoxton).

Elsewhere, Thursday 28 April will feature Xentrix (The Underworld), Wilko Johnson (Islington Assembly Hall), Stone Broken + Mason Hill + The Fallen State (Electric Ballroom), What The France X Kili presents: Terrenoire + November Ultra + Eugenie (Courtyard Theatre), Honne (O2 Academy Brixton), My Dad Wrote a Porno (London Palladium), Noah Slee (Colours Hoxton,), Morganway (The Half Moon Putney), Neil Angilley (606 Club), Kitty Fitz + Vogues + Pink Shabab (Cavendish Arms), Piri & Tommy (XOYO) and Bad Boy Chiller Crew (O2 Forum Kentish Town).

The series will then culminate on Friday 29 April with Desertfest (Electric Ballroom), Melodaze (Folklore), Pomme (Omeara), My Dad Wrote a Porno (London Palladium), Pynch (Colours Hoxton), Mariachi Las Adelitas UK (Rich Mix), Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders (The Half Moon Putney), Samara (606 Club), Jessica’s Brother + Tummyache + Symbol Soup (Cavendish Arms), Mae Muller (O2 Forum Kentish Town) and Naked Lunch with Simone Marie Butler (DJ) + Japanese Television (DJ) + Lonelady (DJ) from 10pm.

Full information about this year’s gathering of the international live music is online at 34.ilmc.com, including details of how to register.

 


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Casey Wasserman confirmed for ILMC keynote

Casey Wasserman, one of the most powerful figures in the global live agency business, has been revealed as one of a number of heavyweight keynote speakers set for ILMC 34.

The American executive is the chairman and CEO of leading sports, music and culture agency Wasserman, which specialises in marketing and talent representation on a global basis. He is also chairperson of the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games and most recently served as the Los Angeles Super Bowl host committee chairman for Super Bowl LVI in 2022.

In April last year, he unveiled Wasserman Music following the acquisition of Paradigm’s North American music business, adding global household names such as Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Frank Ocean, Imagine Dragons, Jack Harlow, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Kenny Chesney, Normani, SZA and Zedd to an already huge roster of sports and entertainment brands, properties and talent.

In what promises to be a unique keynote interview, Casey Wasserman will be put ‘In The Hot Seat’ at this year’s ILMC. On Wednesday 27 April, he’ll give his view on the live music industry’s pathway to recovery and predictions on how live entertainment will evolve over the coming years.

“His perspective on the future of our business at this crucial time will be invaluable”

“Casey Wasserman has been a titan in live sports and entertainment for decades and his entry into music last year was attention-grabbing to say the least,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley. “His perspective on the future of our business at this crucial time will be invaluable.”

Wasserman’s addition to the ILMC line-up comes after renowned musician, producer and visual artist Brian Eno was announced in conversation with Norwegian artist Aurora on Friday 28 April. The second keynote runs as part of the Green Events & Innovations conference, which takes place within ILMC this year.

Other speakers confirmed for this year’s edition include Phil Bowdery (Live Nation), Jolanda Jansen (Rotterdam Ahoy), Mark Sutherland (journalist), John Giddings (Solo Agency), Jessica Koravos (Oak View Group), Leon Ramakers (Mojo Concerts), Alex Hill (AEG) and Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio).

Returning in-person to London’s Royal Garden Hotel on April 26-29, ILMC also produces the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM), which will be held on Tuesday 26 April. IPM is expanding its programming in 2022 to include a day-long tranche of sessions by the Event Safety & Security Summit (E3S).

Full information about the conference including schedule, events and partners is at 34.ilmc.com

 


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GEI announces keynote with Brian Eno and Aurora

Brian Eno and Aurora have been confirmed for a keynote conversation at the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.

Presented by A Greener Festival (AGF) in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), the 14th edition of GEI will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29 April.

Having recently founded Earth Percent, a charity providing a simple way for the music industry to support impactful organisations addressing the climate emergency, Eno joins the conference to discuss ‘directing the energy of music for the benefit of the planet’ with Aurora.

Eno is a renowned musician, producer, visual artist and activist who first came to international prominence in the early seventies as a founding member of British band, Roxy Music, followed by a series of solo albums and collaborations. Aurora is said to be one of the greatest Norwegian pop breakthroughs of recent years.

This year’s event marks the first time ILMC delegates will be able to attend GEI sessions as part of the main conference, with key topics including:

The connection between wellbeing, inclusivity, diversity, equity and environmental sustainability will be a recurring theme throughout the programme.

Speakers for the conference include Andy Lenthall (Festival Insights), Chiara Badiali (Julie’s Bicycle), Claire O’Neill (AGF), Dale Vince OBE (Ecotricity/Forest Green Rovers), Danny Newby (Big Green Coach), Dave Ojay (Naam Festival) Dr Vincent Walsh (Herblabism/Future of Food), Erik Distler (AEG), Gina Périer (Lapee), Glenn Lyons (UWE), Gordon Masson (IQ Magazine), Holger Jan Schmidt (YOUROPE) and John Drury (OVO Arena Wembley).

Single day tickets to GEI are available.

More information and tickets can be found here. GEI 14 is kindly supported by Ecotricity, De La Maison and Ball Corporation.

 


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Roblox secures 24kGoldn for next virtual concert

Roblox and Sony have announced a virtual concert experience starring Billboard chart-topping recording artist, 24kGoldn.

The 24kGoldn El Dorado Concert Experience will feature the rapper’s debut performance of new single In My Head, as well as metaverse-spanning pre-concert quests and exclusive verch (virtual merchandise).

The American rapper and singer follows in the footsteps of artists such as Lil Nas X, Twenty One Pilots, Royal Blood, David Guetta and Ava Max

“I grew up on Roblox and have been a big fan my whole life,” says 24kGoldn. “It’s been amazing to be a part of the full experience to make this virtual concert come to life. From coming up with the storyline and transforming my hometown to designing verch, I wanted to give my fans a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Jon Vlassopulos, VP, global head of music, Roblox, adds: “It was so exciting to see how passionate Golden was to extend his creative vision to Roblox where he also grew up playing.

“Roblox is changing the game for artists, freeing them to express themselves in a way they can’t do on any other platform and allowing them to connect with millions of fans who would never be able to get to see them play in the real world!”

“[Roblox allows artists] to connect with millions of fans who would never be able to get to see them play in the real world”

The 24kGoldn El Dorado Concert Experience will also feature a full storyline pitting 24kGoldn against an evil version of himself in a battle to save the city of ‘San Dorado’ which is inspired by a mashup of 24kGoldn’s hometown San Francisco and El Dorado, the city of gold.

During the concert, 24kGoldn will take fans through the overgrown city, perform at reimagined iconic locations, and give each song a unique, creative backdrop.

Pre-concert quests that include 24kGoldn-related themed challenges are available starting today. Fans can access the quests via portals to popular Roblox experiences where they can collect badges redeemable for prizes in the 24kGoldn El Dorado Concert Experience and acquire 24kGoldn’s unique verch items. Each day, two more portals will open.

Fans who collect all badges and attend the concert experience will get to unlock a special limited-edition emote after the premiere performance.

The virtual concert will kick off at 16:00 PDT on Friday (25 April) with additional performances re-airing every hour after over the weekend with the last show airing at 23:00 PT on Sunday (27 March).

Roblox’s VP, global head of music, Jon Vlassopulos, is due to appear at this year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC) as part of The Metaverse & live music workshop.

 


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