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New year, new hope: IQ 96 is out now

IQ 96, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.

February’s IQ Magazine details the unique 2021 edition of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) and offers an exclusive preview of new session Pulse with agent Mike Malak.

Elsewhere, IQ editor Gordon Masson finds out New Zealand’s industry is coping in its post-pandemic bubble, and talks to some of Europe’s biggest venues to find out how they plan to get back up and running, as the European Arenas Association turns 30.

This issue also hears from Crosstown Concerts director Conal Dodds, who details his firm’s creation of a new live-streaming operation, and Nue Agency chief Jesse Kirshbaum, who extols gaming’s ability to introduce artists to new audiences and accelerate career development.

And if you’re curious to know what Rob Challice (Paradigm), Claudio Trotta (Barley Arts), Alan Day (Kilimanjaro Live) and other industry pros are looking forward to most when life gets back to normal, you’ll find the answers in Your Shout.

All that is in addition to all the regular content you’ve come to expect from your monthly IQ Magazine, including news analysis and new agency signings, the majority of which will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

Whet your appetite with the preview below, but if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe now and receive IQ 96 in full.

 


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ILMC reveals provisional agenda for 2021 edition

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) has unveiled the provisional agenda for the 33rd edition, which will go Virtually Live between 3–5 March.

This year’s agenda boasts three days’ worth of sessions with the industry’s top players, focusing on touring, agency, livestreaming, diversity, greener touring, mental health, ticketing, gender equality, Brexit, Covid and more.

ILMC’s Winter Rate ends before 6 pm GMT on 29 January, after which the price of registration increases. See the provisional agenda below.

Wednesday 3 March
Day one at ILMC 33 sees The Open Forum: The big build back and an all-star panel of guests answering the big questions, and Klaus-Peter Schulenberg: The five-year plan, in which the CTS Eventim founder and CEO lays out his five-year vision for live entertainment in Europe.

Insurance: The big update looks at what impact the last few years have had on insurance and changes in the market; guest speakers from across the industry take a look at the revolving world of A&R in The Talent Pipeline: bringing new artists online; and in Agency Business: Enter the new players a collection of new kids on the agency block present their different approaches to the business.

We assess the long-term effects of Covid-19 on the venue sector in The Venue’s Venue: Rooms to manoeuvre and grassroots music venue operators discuss the challenges facing their rooms in Grassroots Venues: Route to recovery; in Sustainability: The best of GEI, the team behind the Green Events & Innovations Conference presents the key takeaways from their event; and in Collaboration: The multiplayer experience, a panel considers whether the industry needs a representative body.

Wednesday also features the previously announced Pulse@ILMC, a new industry platform to sit at the intersection of technology and live events.

Wednesday also features Pulse@ILMC, a new industry platform to sit at the intersection of technology and live events

Thursday 4 March
Day two of ILMC starts with Brexit: The endgame, in which a panel of experts assesses the new normal in European touring; while Covid-19: The strategy game discusses the measures and strategies the industry can utilise to get back up and running. Ticketing: Moving beyond 2020 looks at how the relationship between ticketers, venues, promoters and fans has changed; whilst Artists: The view from the stage provides creators with an opportunity to discuss what’s new and what’s changed from their point of view.

The Engine Room: The IPM review will see a panel of production experts present the key takeaways from the ILMC Production Meeting, which took place the day ILMC kicked off; The Agency Business 2021 asks company heads and leading lights from the agency world to discuss the future of the agency; Race Matters in Live: Levelling up looks at strategies to repair the race deficit; whilst the challenges and opportunities of domestic touring are discussed in Touring in 2021 & Beyond: The long game.

Thursday’s line-up also includes Mobile Ticket and Covid Testing & Mitigation workshops, and an entire day dedicated to the exhibition and experience economy – TEEM.

Thursday winds up with The (late) Breakfast Meeting in which veteran artist manager and ILMC host-with-the-most Ed Bicknell chats with industry legend Irving Azoff.

Thursday winds up with The (late) Breakfast Meeting in which Ed Bicknell chats with industry legend Irving Azoff

Friday 5 March
The final day’s topics include Mental Health: Talking heads, which takes an annual look at the mental health of the live music industry; Sponsorship: Reinventing the deal contemplates what branding will look like in 2021; and Festival Forum: Reboot & reset looks at the lessons festivals have learned since the industry closed down in March 2020.

We ask who is taking care of out-of-work professionals during the pandemic in The Workforce: Protecting our ecosystemFestival Futures: Core priorities sees festival operators consider what their events mean to them and their audiences; and Gender Equality: The next level takes a keen look at diversity in the workplace.

Working Culture: Getting a live examines home-working and the evolving concept of the office; and in Live-streaming Rights: Wrongs & rates we analyse the confusing topic of rights around live-streaming.

Rounding up ILMC 33, Futures Forum: Meet the new bosses sees a group of junior execs discuss how the pandemic has changed the business for them; Rock: The mother of invention examines this unique and dynamic genre; and finally, the ever-changing topic of health, safety and security are discussed in E3S: Safety & security 2.0.

Click here to see the full ILMC agenda.

 


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Last chance for GEI13 launch-price tickets

Launch-price tickets for the Green Events and Innovations Conference 2021 (GEI13) will be available until 23:50 GMT today, Friday 18 December, unless passes sell out beforehand.

GEI, the annual conference on sustainability in events, will take place in a virtual format on 2 March 2021 with newly announced guest speakers including Hadi Ahmadzedah (ECODISCO), Yaw Owusu (The Playmaker Group), Jenny Hamada (BST Hyde Park/AEG Presents) and Fay Milton (Savages/Music Declares Emergency).

The 13th edition is presented by A Greener Festival (AGF) in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), which is also taking place virtually from 3 to 5 March.

Noting that the number 13 is associated with upheaval and destruction – and with a nod to the pandemic – organisers say GEI13 will honour the theme of transition and transformation.

The conference will reflect on how the industry can be ‘both receptive and active to co-create a better future’

The conference will reflect on how the industry can be ‘both receptive and active to co-create a better future,’ taking in topics including transport; food systems; equality and inclusivity; health and wellbeing; power systems; design; and materials usage for circularity and more.

Previously announced speakers include Dale Vince, (Ecotricity, UK); David Ojay (Naam Festival, KE); Tom Schroeder, Paradigm Agency (UK); Gina Perier, Lapee (DK); Gordon Masson, IQ Magazine/ILMC (UK) and Claire O’Neill, AGF (UK).

Launch-price GEI tickets are on sale via Ticketsellers now.

Rates are also changing for the 14th ILMC Production Meeting (IPM), which will also take place in a virtual format on 2 March 2021, returning to its traditional slot the day before ILMC.

Discounted autumn-rate tickets for IPM are only available until 18:00 GMT today, after which the winter rate kicks in at £50 (plus 3% service fee). Book your pass here.

 


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Debut IPM Says! panel highlights live’s resilience

The inaugural virtual ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) panel, IPM Says!, took place last week, with eight live event production professionals coming together to discuss positive ways of moving forward from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

IPM’s Carl A H Martin chaired the panel, entitled It Ain’t All Doom and Gloom, which reflected on the resilience of the industry, the creativity of those within it and the road to recovery.

ITB agent Steve Zapp stressed that different markets were moving at different speeds, with “very little” currently possible in the UK. However, whereas the earlier weeks of the crisis had been characterised by cancellations and postponements, conversation has now turned to recovery.



Andy Lenthall from trade association Production Services Association (PSA) said while members were currently doing little in live events, the organisation has been busy helping them to navigate this “temporary normal” and “helping people to help themselves”.

“I have faith in an industry that is resilient and full of resolve to get back to work,” said Lenthall, who stated he was looking forward to the release of UK government guidance on how to get back to work safely.

For Sarah Hemsley-Cole, company director of Cardiff-based SC Productions, work has not fully come to a halt, with the company getting involved in various products, including helping to set up a makeshift field hospital at the Principality Stadium.

“I have faith in an industry that is resilient and full of resolve to get back to work”

Vatiswa Gilivane, business development manager at the 20,000-capacity Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, said her team has also found alternative ways of working, with events still prohibited in South Africa.

“We had to change the way we think,” said Gilivane. “We could no longer rely on others to bring us opportunities, but had to use our own expertise and start creating our own content.”

Máté Horváth from Hungary’s DDW Music said things are opening up in the country for open-air shows, with some venues now also beginning to open up in different ways, acting as beer gardens, for example, in order to generate some revenue.

The ban on large-scale events in Hungary expires on 15 August, said Horváth , “so there could be some major festivals going ahead after this date, with a line-up of domestic acts”.

In general, shows are being moved to 2021, added Horvath, and although this may be a less optimistic scenario, “it is much more secure” and likely to be better for the industry in the long run.

Alberto Artese from Italian industry organisation Assomusica said that live shows will be permitted again in Italy in the next week “but there will be many rules”. From 15 June, 1,000 fans will be allowed at open-air shows and 200 people – including staff and artists – at indoor shows.

“We could no longer rely on others to bring us opportunities, but had to use our own expertise and start creating our own content”

The viability of capacity limits and social distancing measures was a talking point for panellists, with many stressing the importance of proper collaboration between the industry and national governments.

ASM Global’s Paul Sergeant OBE spoke of the newly formed Live Entertainment Industry Forum in Australia, which acts as a conduit between the live industry and the government, developing a way to safely reopen events.

Neighbouring New Zealand is lifting all restrictions on live events this week, focusing on contact tracing to prevent outbreaks of the virus, rather than relying on social distancing measures. “We’d like to think Australia might follow suit in the not too distant future,” said Sergeant.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the UK has similarly asked for industry input on how to reopen safely, said Lenthall.

“Every government around the world sees the value of live events, but we are going to be the last to reopen as we are the most challenging environment.”

Lenthall stressed that social distancing cannot be a financially viable solution for live events. “Globally, we will see a different approach that doesn’t include distancing.”

“Every government around the world sees the value of live events, but we are going to be the last to reopen as we are the most challenging environment”

Zapp agreed that alternative forms of live shows, such as drive-ins, behind-closed-doors concerts and pay-per-view virtual events, while “great as a one-off” have a “lesser impact” over time.

For Zapp, one of the most encouraging things throughout the crisis has been the “incredibly low” number of refund requests, which indicates that fans are keen to get back to events and has helped to avoid “massive problems” with cash flow.

Chrissy Uerlings of Germany’s CU Production Gmbh summed up much of what had been said, pointing out that problem solving and coming up with creative solutions had become key, something that the live industry has always excelled at.

“We have to be smart and it was clear that, for many of us as freelancers, we had to do this on our own.

“If you let loose, then you have two hands free – and that makes you creative.”

IPM Says! will be back next month, with full details available on the IPM LinkedIn page and the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) Facebook page in due course.

 


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ILMC launches 2020 edition, adds extra space

Organisers of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) today launched the 2020 edition, which sees a second hotel added and more meeting and networking space than ever before.

The 32nd edition of the invitation-only event will see 1,200 delegates attend the main conference, with around 2,000 professionals at ILMC events across the week in total.

As well as taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel, ILMC’s traditional home, the nearby Baglioni Hotel will be exclusive to ILMC delegates.

“With the top promoters, agents, festivals and venues landing in London from over 60 markets, meeting space is always at a premium,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley. “Adding a second site responds to this increasing demand, gives delegates room to do more business, and allows us to expand our programming.”

“With the top promoters, agents, festivals and venues landing in London from over 60 markets, meeting space is always at a premium”

As well as ILMC itself, satellite events around the main conference include Futures Forum on Friday 6 March which invites an additional delegation of 250 young executives to discuss the future of the business; The Arthur Awards, the live industry’s top awards which takes place on Thursday 5 March; and the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) and Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) on Tuesday 3 March.

Last year’s conference programme included keynotes from Roger Daltrey and Dua Lipa, and guest speaker slots from executives including Klaus-Peter Schulenberg (CTS Eventim), Tim Leiweke (Oak View), Michelle Bernstein (WME), Alex Hardee (Paradigm), Marsha Vlasic (Artist Group Intl.), Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music), Phil Bowdery (Live Nation) and Bill Silva (Bill Silva Mgmt). The 2020 agenda will be published in January.

Companies supporting ILMC’s 2020 edition include Live Nation, Ticketmaster, CTS Eventim, Integro, MOJO Rental, Showsec, WME, eps, Aiken Promotions, LiveStyled, Universe, Feld Entertainment and Buma Cultuur.

The new website, which invites the world’s top industry players to travel to London for three days of ‘The Game of Live’ with the greatest masterminds in the business, is here.

 


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Boardmasters axed amid weather worries

Vision Nine’s Boardmasters festival (50,000-cap.) has been cancelled twelve hours before gates were due to open, as severe weather warnings hit the UK.

The organisers of the live music and surfing festival announced the “potential risk” to attendees’, performers’ and crew safety was “too severe” for the event to go ahead.

Campers were supposed to arrive at the festival site in Newquay, Cornwall today (7 August), with music beginning on Friday.

Wu-Tang Clan, Florence and the Machine, Foals, Jorja Smith and Dizzee Rascal were all billed to play the festival.

“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled,” organisers posted on social media at 11 p.m. last night.

Organisers say they “sincerely regret the disappointment to fans” and apologise for disruption to local businesses.

Information regarding refunds will appear on the event’s social media pages in due course. Tickets were priced from £69 for one day to £205 for a five-day camping pass. VIP camping options cost £280.

“Due to forecasted severe weather conditions, specifically high winds, Boardmasters 2019 has been cancelled”

James Barton’s Superstruct Entertainment acquired Boardmasters from Global Festivals in April, along with the UK’s South West Four, Kendal Calling and Tramlines, as well as Croatian dance festival Hideout.

Prior to forming part of the Global portfolio, Boardmasters was owned by Impresario Festivals.

Severe weather conditions caused the cancellation of Rewind North in Cheshire, UK, earlier this month and was cited as the reason for the axing of Roxodus festival in Canada. Flood risks also forced the last-minute venue move which resulted in the cancellation of Neo Sala’s Doctor Music Festival in Spain.

The consequences of extreme weather has been a subject of discussion at the ILMC Production Meeting for many years, with production experts urging more long-term monitoring of weather conditions.

Great Western Railway is allowing all those with return tickets from Newquay to use their returns from today. Bus company Megabus is making extra seats available on it service from Newquay to London.

 


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