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IMS: Covid-19 set to cost electronic sector $4bn

After slight growth in 2019, the value of the global electronic music industry is estimated to fall by 56% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest edition of the annual International Music Summit (IMS) business report has revealed.

The yearly report, which is usually presented at the IMS conference in Ibiza, this year cancelled due to the pandemic, states the value of the electronic is sector is set to fall from $7.3 billion to $3.3bn this year, with dance and electronic clubs and festivals set to lose 75% of their income, equivalent to $3.3bn.

By 20 April, around 350 electronic music festivals had been cancelled or postponed, the majority in Germany, with almost 9 million fans unable to attend. According to event discovery and ticketing platform Skiddle, around 4,000 electronic music events in total have been affected by Covid-19 so far.

In Ibiza alone, 2m club tickets were sold last year, with clubbers spending €260m and contributing €500m to the local economy. Bigger clubs and mid-sized venues (over 300-cap.) on the island are to remain shut this season.

DJ and artist income is predicted to fall by as much as 61%, from $1.1bn in 2019 to $400m in 2020. Earnings of the top-ten electronic artists had increased 4% year-on-year in 2019, with the Chainsmokers ($46m) and Marshmello (40m) coming in as the highest earners.

Despite a bleak outlook for 2020, the IMS report notes that the positive trends that led to growth in 2019 – the first since 2016 – “should help fuel a strong recovery in the coming years”.

“The value of the global electronic music industry is estimated to fall be 56% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic”

The report also details the sector’s livestreaming success. It it predicted that streaming will grow by 18% in 2020, with continued growth expected to generate around $100m in additional revenue for the dance and electronic sector this year.

In May 2020, seven of the ten most watched music streamers on Twitch were electronic focused, totalling 6m viewer hours. EDM promoter Insomniac racked up 2.6m viewers hours by running virtual versions of their events, including the Electric Daisy Carnival rave-a-thon. The promoter is putting on digital editions of Secret Project, Peekaboo and Awakening festivals later this month.

The IMS report also shows that DJs who performed in the video game Fortnite, following the initial success of Marshmello, saw their Instagram followers grow by ten times during and after the event.

Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 played the launch of the game’s virtual hang-out Party Royale mode, adding a collective 55,000 to their Instagram followers in four days.

Overall, however, it is believed that livestreamed events, as well as other alternatives including drive-in shows and socially distanced club nights, are “unlikely to be commercially viable, with live streams serving predominantly to raise money for good causes and capacities art physical shows greatly reduced.

Some platforms have started to adapt to paid-for models, the report notes, with Soundcloud introudincing a ‘support link’ button for fan contributions; TikTok launching ‘donation stickers’ for good causes; and Festicket allowing the sale of merchandise. Brands including Coca-Cola, Amazon and Henieken have also sponsored DJ live streams.

The full report is available to download here.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Dutch DJs W&W plan ‘world’s first XR livestream’

In what promoter Alda Events is calling the dance music world’s first-ever extended-reality (XR) live stream, Dutch DJ duo W&W have announced a show that will take place inside a specially created 3D virtual world.

For the 23 May event, the pair – who have been among DJ Mag’s top 100 DJs since 2010, and are renowned for their live shows – will play a set in a custom-made virtual stadium overlaid with futuristic, videogame-like ‘XR’ effects, pointing the way towards “a potential future route for the events industry during the global lockdown,” says Alda.

In addition to Alda – the part-Insomniac-owned, Amsterdam-based EDM promoter – the show’s partners include Chinese sports brand Li-Ning (which lends its name to the virtual ‘Li-Ning Arena’), DJ Mag, livestreaming platform Twitch and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

The concert will see W&W “implement green screens to enhance the illusion of their creative 3D reality”, surrounding themselves with “a series of mind-blowing special effects”

According to the show announcement, the concert will see W&W “implement green screens to enhance the illusion of their creative 3D reality”, surrounding themselves with “a series of mind-blowing special effects” and “creating a space that welcomes everyone”.

The W&W shows follows Travis Scott’s pre-recorded show in the videogame Fortnite, which was seen by an estimated 12 million people and won praise for its spectacular visual effects, as well as the boom in livestreamed shows of all kinds during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event will be streamed live on Facebook and Twitch on Saturday 23 May at 5pm CEST.

W&W virtual livestream poster

 


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Romania’s Saga postpones as lockdown lifting nears

The inaugural edition of Insomniac- and Alda-promoted Saga festival has been postponed to September, as the Romanian government prepares to begin a staggered easing of lockdown restrictions in mid-May.

Organisers of Saga, which was originally set to debut from 5 to 7 June in Bucharest’s Izvor park, state the postponement is “the best option for Saga festival with the health and wellbeing of visitors a main priority”.

Although the line-up for the rescheduled event on 11 to 13 September “may be slightly different due to artist scheduling”, organisers assure fans the billing “will be up to [the] standards” of dance music giants Insomniac (Electric Daisy Carnival) and Alda (Amsterdam Music Festival, New Horizons).

Saga joins fellow Bucharest festival Europafest, a multi-venue jazz, blues, pop and classical music event, to change its 2020 dates in view of the coronavirus crisis. Scheduled for May, organisers say they are now planning for Europafest to take place in the second half of July, with dates depending on the evolution of the situation in Romania and at European level.

Other major festivals in Romania, including electronic music events Untold and Neversea and European Festival Awards 2019 winners Electric Castle, Jazz in the Park and ARTmania, have yet to announce changes to their 2020 editions. The government expected to give more details on the future of public events when it begins to ease its stringent lockdown laws – which have seen citizens collectively fined up to €78 million for flouting restrictions –  on 15 May.

“Large-scale events are unlikely to take place given the announced and forecasted restrictions”

Although Emil Boc, mayor of the city of Cluj-Napoca where Untold, Electric Castle and Jazz in the Park take place, has said that large-scale events are “unlikely to take place given the announced and forecasted restrictions”, he notes that “difference and diverse ways of organising these events can be found”.

Festival organisers in Romania have also found diverse and different ways of helping the fight against coronavirus in recent weeks.

Promoters in Cluj-Napoca are selling “solidarity tickets” as part of the A Single Cluj (Un Singur Cluj) campaign, which brings together event organisers and others in the region to synchronise relief efforts and pool resources. By purchasing a solidarity ticket, fans can make direct donations to hospitals and other public institutions. “Ticket” prices range from RON 10 to RON 5,000 (€1,034).

Money raised by the campaign has gone towards buying surgical masks for help workers and supplying food to frontline staff. Members of the initiative have also helped to construct emergency triage centres.

The team behind Untold festival, currently set to take place from 30 July to 2 August with acts including Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Pussycat Dolls and David Guetta, launched the United Romania initiative, which aims to “bring together the good in Romania”.

So far, the campaign has helped supply six trucks with equipment such as portable flooring, geotextile and lighting from Untold and Neversea festivals for a field hospital in the city of Constanta and has provided 12,000 tests and other medical materials to hospitals in Cluj.

 


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Festival Fever: what to expect from summer 2020

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ has a look at what Saga Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival and Sea Star Festival have in store, as well as the latest additions to the massive Roskilde and Mad Cool line-ups.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Roskilde

When: 27 June to 4 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
How many: 85,000

Roskilde Festival has completed the line-up for its mammoth 50th anniversary edition, with Kendrick Lamar, the Strokes, Haim and Charli XCX among those joining the bill.

The Roots, DaBaby, Dave, Brittany Howard and Bicep also form part of the 110-strong group of new additions.

The newly announced artists join Taylor Swift, Pusha T, Faith No More, FKA Twigs and Tyler the Creator for the festival’s half-century celebrations.

“With this year’s line-up, we do what we’ve always done: look ahead,” comments Anders Wahrén, the festival’s head of programming.

“It has been important to us that festival number 50 points to the future, and that is why 2020 will feature the lowest average age ever among the headliners. You don’t have to have 20 years of experience to perform on the main stage. That era is over.”

Tickets for Roskilde Festival 2020 are available here, with a full eight-day festival pass costing DDK2250 (£257).

“2020 will feature the lowest average age ever among the headliners”

Saga Festival

When: 5 to 7 June
Where: Izvor Park, Bucharest, Romania

Saga Festival, a new three-day event promoted by electronic music specialists Alda and Insomniac, is debuting in Bucharest this summer.

Tiësto, Marshmello, Disclosure, Faithless, Meduza and Sigala are among more than 150 acts performing across five stages at the festival, with recently announced artists including Timmy Trumpet, Vini Vici, Laidback Luke, Denis Sulta and Zara Larsson.

The festival has partnered with Romanian waste management charity Reciclad’Or and conservation organisation WWF, as part of its commitment to securing a low ‘festival footprint’ and promoting understanding of the issues facing the planet.

Tickets for Saga Festival are available here, with a three-day pass priced at RON299 (£52) and VIP options costing RON699 (£123).

Tiësto, Marshmello, Disclosure, Faithless, Meduza and Sigala are among more than 150 acts performing at the festival

Pitchfork Music Festival

When: 17 to 19 July
Where: Union Park, Chicago, USA
How many: 20,000

YeahYeahYeahs, Run the Jewels and the National are headlining US magazine Pitchfork’s flagship Chicago festival this year, with other performances coming from Angel Olsen, Danny Brown, Phoebe Bridgers and Badbadnotgood.

2020 marks the 15th year of the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival. A spin-off event has taken place in Paris since 2011, promoted by Parisian booking and events agency Super!, and a German edition is launching this year in Berlin, featuring Lianne La Havas, Celeste and Modeselektor.

Tickets for Pitchfork Music Festival 2020 are available here, with day tickets costing $75 (£58) and a three-day pass priced at $185 (£144).

2020 marks the 15th year of the Chicago edition of Pitchfork Music Festival

Sea Star Festival

When: 22 to 23 May
Where: Stella Maris lagoon, Umag, Croatia
How many: 20,000

The brainchild of the team behind Serbia’s Exit Festival, Sea Star Festival is preparing for its fourth outing this year in the Croatian seaside town of Umag.

Hip-hop group Cypress Hill are topping the bill, which features acts including Amelie Lens, Meduza, Umek, Dubioza Kolektiv and Farrago. A welcome party and closing party will take place on 21 and 24 May respectively.

Sea Star is part of Exit’s extended festival network, consisting of Serbia’s No Sleep Festival, Romania’s Revolution Festival and Montenegro’s Sea Dance Festival.

Exit Festival will see performances by David Guetta, Tyga, Fatboy Slim and James Arthur for its 20th anniversary edition this year.

Tickets for Sea Star Festival 2020 are available here, priced at €39 (£33) for international fans and €30 (£26) for locals. Ticket prices will increase on 6 March.

The brainchild of the team behind Serbia’s Exit Festival, Sea Star Festival is preparing for its fourth outing this year

Mad Cool

When: 8 to 11 July
Where: Espacio Mad Cool, Madrid Spain
How many: 60,000

Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival has a big year ahead, with an extra day of programming for 2020.

Royal Blood and Mumford & Sons are the most recent additions to the extensive line-up, joining previously announced acts Taylor Swift, the Killers, Kings of Leon, Faith No More, Billie Eilish, Twenty One Pilots, Foals and Anderson Paak.

Other acts appearing across the three days include Wolf Alice, Placebo, Jamie Cullum, Major Lazer and Khalid.

Tickets for Mad Cool 2020 are available here, with a four-day pass costing €179 (£153).

 


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Alda, Insomniac launch Romanian festival Saga

Leading dance music promoters Insomniac and Alda have announced the launch of a new three-day festival in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

Saga Festival, billed as the first major music festival in Bucharest, will take place from 5 to 7 June 2020 and promises performances from more than 150 artists over three stages.

Alda and Insomniac, based in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, respectively, have been partners since October 2018, when majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac acquired a 50% stake in Alda.

Insomniac has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including Electric Daisy Carnivals in North America, Japan, China and Mexico, and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running dance music event. Alda, meanwhile, is behind events including A State of Trance in Utrecht, New Horizons in Germany (a JV with CTS Eventim) and Amsterdam Music Festival, the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival.

According to the partners, Saga marks “a new beginning for the eastern European festival scene” and “a landmark moment for the people of Bucharest, serving as the city’s first-ever major music festival of such impressive scale”.

The festival additionally promises an “immersive storytelling experience” alongside the over 350 shows.

https://www.facebook.com/ALDANetherlands/videos/720684698422911/

 

Tickets for Saga go on sale this Friday (6 December), priced from 99 lei (€21).

 


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EDC promoter Insomniac revives Okeechobee fest

Majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac Events is teaming up with Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival (OMF) founder Soundslinger to bring the event back for 2020, following a year’s break.

The multi-genre music and camping festival will to return to its home in Sunshine Grove, Florida, from 5 to 8 March, 2020.

Launched in 2016, Okeechobee attracted around 32,000 visitors annually to see headliners including Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Robert Plant, Kings of Leon and Skrillex. Despite sold-out editions in 2017 and 2018, Soundslinger announced the 2019 event would not go ahead.

“It’s official! I’m happy to announce that Insomniac will bring the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival back to Sunshine Grove,” says Insomniac founder and chief executive Pasquale Rotella.

“I’m a big fan of what [Soundslinger founder and DJ] Rechulski and the Okeechobee team have built, and honoured to be able to lead such a unique event and continue the journey,” continues Rotella. “As someone who tries to always put culture first, I recognise how passionate this extraordinary community is, and I’m excited to bring this festival back and make it better than ever.”


The partnership is the second move in Florida in as many months for Insomniac, which recently took control of historic Miami club Space. The promoter launched the Orlando, Florida edition of festival franchise Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in 2011.

“I am so excited once again to enter the portal alongside Pasquale Rotella and the Insomniac team,” comments Rechulski. “The best years are ahead of us, and I am certain that together we will continue our beautiful story for many more years to come.”

OMF 2020 will kick off on Tuesday 5 March with a nighttime pre-party. In addition to the festival’s three main stages and Jungle 51 dance party, festivalgoers will have access to immersive art, yoga classes, workshops and artisan vendors, as well as a 24-hour supermarket, all-day food options and other facilities.

Tickets go on sale on the OMF website on Friday 23 August at 10 a.m. (ET), with four-day camping passes starting at US$249 and VIP packages from $649.

 


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Insomniac acquires half of Alda Events

Insomniac, the US promoter behind dance music festival powerhouse Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), has closed a deal to acquire a 50% stake in Dutch rival Alda Events.

Majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including EDCs in North America, Japan, China and Mexico and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running EDM event. Amsterdam-based Alda, meanwhile, is behind events including A State of Trance in Utrecht, New Horizons in Germany (a JV with CTS Eventim) and Amsterdam Music Festival, the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival.

The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, will see the two companies “expand the dance music scene to a broader international audience, bringing their brands around the globe and expanding their footprint in Europe, Asia and the United States”, according to Insomniac.

Alda will continue to operate as an independent company under co-founders Allan Hardenberg and David Lewis.

“We’ve wanted to work together for quite some time, so this partnership feels very natural”

“Allan, David and the entire Alda team are first-class event producers, and friends I’ve known for many years,” says Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella. “We’ve wanted to work together for quite some time, so this partnership feels very natural.

“By aligning our businesses we can bring the world-class experiences that both Insomniac and Alda are known for to the US and exciting new places around the world.”

Adds Alda CEO Hardenberg: “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the Insomniac family. Pasquale and his team are true innovators when it comes to creating and executing festivals and music events. It has been our goal to provide dance lovers with high quality musical experiences, and Pasquale encourages this vision.”

 


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Insomniac launches video game-themed Play Festival

Electric Daisy Carnival promoter Insomniac will next year launch its first gaming and music festival, capitalising on the growing demand for esports and other video game-related live content.

Insomniac – which is behind 1,200 dance music-orientated festivals, concerts and events in eight countries – says Play Festival will “[bridge] the gap between music and gaming by intertwining the worlds of music, art, esports, virtual reality and cosplay, to create an unparallelled event for both casual and professional gamers, music enthusiasts and even non-gamers.”

“It’s an honour to partner with Insomniac on Play Festival,” says festival co-founder Paul Campbell (pictured), whose other ventures include Nû Management (Bonnie X Clyde, Calica, Nitti Gritti) and Miami venues Club Space and Baby Jane. “I had the inspiration for this event back in 2015 and wanted to create something that would combine my passions for music and gaming.

“There are so many similarities between the gaming and dance music communities”

“Since then, the gaming and esports industries have grown far beyond my wildest dreams. I knew Pasquale [Rotella, Insomniac CEO] and Insomniac were the perfect partners to team up with to bring this one-of-a-kind event to life.”

No further information, including a venue or dates, have yet been announced, although majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac promises “multiple gaming-inspired stages spread across the festival grounds”, “live performances from the biggest names in dance music and hip hop” and several gaming and arcade areas. There will also be laser tag, drone racing and mobile ‘gaming trucks’, as well as virtual-reality activations and interactive art.

“Paul is an entrepreneur with a strong vision, and his passion for this project is inspiring,” comments Rotella. “There are so many similarities between the gaming and dance music communities, from their inclusive nature to their passion for total creative immersion. Play Festival is an opportunity to connect these two colourful worlds and build an event that’s exciting [and] authentic, and inspires a new generation of fans.”

 


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Electric Daisy Carnival heading for China

EDM festival juggernaut Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) will touch down in China for the first time this April, promoter Insomniac has announced.

In partnership with local promoter Zebra Entertainment Enterprise, Live Nation-owned Insomniac will transform Shanghai’s International Music Park with “awe-inspiring stages, incredible laser and light displays, imaginative theatrical performers and world-renowned dance music artists” for the inaugural EDC China on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 April.

“To bring EDC halfway around the world is a milestone for our entire Insomniac family,” says Pasquale Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomniac. “China marks EDC’s sixth international location, and I’m excited to connect and create beautiful new moments with the country’s passionate and ever-growing dance music community.”

Insomniac’s flagship EDC Las Vegas festival welcomes more than 400,000 fans over three days each year, with international events including past and present EDCs in Mexico, India, Brazil, the UK and Japan.

 


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EDC UK “postponed indefinitely”

Insomniac Events, the Live Nation-owned promoter of dance music festival franchise Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), has cancelled a second event for 2017, announcing yesterday the ‘indefinite postponement’ of EDC UK.

The cancellation of EDC UK, which had taken place at the 65,000-cap. Milton Keynes Bowl since 2013, comes after Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella revealed EDC New York would also “take a break” this year, although that festival is expected to return in 2018.

“Our plans to grow and improve the festival at Milton Keynes have not developed as we had hoped,” reads a statement, “and we are not going to be able to stage EDC UK this July in a manner that meets all of our high expectations.

“Our plans to grow and improve the festival at Milton Keynes have not developed as we had hoped”

“As a result, we are indefinitely postponing the show until we can properly reimagine all areas of the experience. We apologise for the inconvenience we know this causes, and we thank you for your understanding.”

Despite the winding down of EDC UK and, temporarily, EDC NY, there will be at least one new destination on the EDC festival calendar in 2017: at the Zozo Marine Stadium in Tokyo.

A man in his 20s lost his life after “falling ill” at EDC UK 2016 (pictured).

 


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