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‘Noxious fumes’ hit Bruce Dickinson’s Brazil gig

Promoters of Bruce Dickinson’s ongoing Brazilian tour have released a statement after the singer accused fans of vaping and using pepper spray at a recent gig.

The Iron Maiden frontman, who is touring the country in support of his current solo album The Mandrake Project, admonished crowd members during his show at the Opera Hall in Brasília.

“I can’t fucking breathe,” the 65-year-old said in a now-deleted video clip shared on social media. You with the fucking vape over there, yeah, it’s not you, but, you know, please, fucking do that outside, all right? Somebody down here has been using pepper spray… which is why people can’t fucking breathe down there, right?”

The 27 April incident was reportedly caused by an exploded vape, which caused “noxious fumes” to be released.

“An incident occurred towards the end of the show where noxious fumes were released, causing severe issues for the band members on stage and the crew and audience in the auditorium,” a spokesperson for promoter MCA Concerts tells Blabbermouth. “Subsequently many members of the crowd have taken to social media to corroborate the incident that caused them breathing difficulties.

“Tour promoters MCA are still working with authorities to understand the full impact of the incident”

“As video footage shows, Bruce did his best, with limited knowledge of the situation, to explain the effects to the crowd but subsequently found out that several band members, including himself, were affected by the fall out and a member of the crew had to be treated with oxygen by a doctor. The footage also shows Bruce departing the stage to perform part of the encore after being seen visibly struggling to breathe and pitch his vocal.

“Tour promoters MCA are still working with authorities to understand the full impact of the incident and understand how the noxious fumes affected not just the audience and crew but also the band onstage. Fortunately, everyone has been checked out by medical staff and given the all clear.”

Dickinson’s subsequent performance at Arena Hall, Belo Horizonte went ahead as planned. The vocalist will conclude his first Brazilian solo outing in more than two decades with gigs at Quinta Linda Centro de Eventos, Ribeirao Preto (2 May) and Vibra São Paulo (4 May).

He will then embark on a two-month European tour, starting at Glasgow Barrowlands on 18 May and finishing up at KüçükÇiftlik Park in Istanbul, Turkey, on 19 July.

 


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2024’s blockbuster concert tours: Part II

Last week, IQ looked at ten blockbuster concert tours planned for the next 12 months, including outings by Taylor Swift, Coldplay, P!nk and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Here, in the second and final part of our 2024 preview, we run through another ten of the biggest treks in what promises to be another huge year for the international live music business…

 


METALLICA
Fresh from headlining Saudi Arabia first major heavy metal concert at Riyadh’s Soundstorm festival last month, Metallica’s M72 World Tour will see the band playing two nights in every city it visits. Each No Repeat Weekend features two completely different setlists and support lineups. It will also include a new in-the-round stage design that relocates the Metallica Snake Pit to centre stage, as well as the I Disappear full-tour pass and the debut of discounted tickets for fans under 16.

Territories: Europe, North America

Dates: April-September

 


OLIVIA RODRIGO
Following her 2022 debut jaunt The SOUR Tour, the GUTS World Tour will be the 20-year-old Californian’s first arena tour. It kicks off on 23 February at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA, with stops across North America and Europe before wrapping up with four  shows at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum in August. The 75-date tour will visit iconic venues including New York’s Madison Square Garden, Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium, and The O2 in London, as well as Manchester’s new Co-op Live.

Territories: United States, Europe

Dates: February-August

 


NOAH KAHAN
The American singer-songwriter follows up his sold-out 2022 and 2023 Stick Season Tour runs by returning to Australia to launch his We’ll All Be Here Forever Tour this week. Produced by Live Nation, the Australia leg kicks off on Wednesday (17 January 17) at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl, followed by shows at Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, Hordern Pavilion, Sydney and Red Hill, Perth. The 27-year-old then embarks on sellout arena runs on both sides of the Atlantic, before returning to Europe in August.

Territories: Australia, Europe, North America

Dates: January-September

 


DOJA CAT
Doja Cat’s first-ever VR concert was announced earlier this month, but the US rapper will appear in-person for her debut European headline tour this summer. Having performed her inaugural arena headline tour in the US and Canada from October-December 2023, she comes to Glasgow’s OVO Hydro on 11 June 2024, kicking off a European arena jaunt which also includes dates at festivals such as Rock in Rio Lisboa in Portugal, I-Days Festival in Italy, Poland’s Open’er, STHLM Fields in Sweden, Slottsfjell in Norway and Les Ardentes in Belgium.

Territories: Europe

Dates: June-July

 


BLINK-182

Reunited for the first time in a decade, Blink-182’s biggest-ever tour resumes Down Under next month at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia on 8 February. The ANZ leg is followed by a Latin American stint in March, with dates in Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, ahead of a US and Canada arena run over the summer months. The band will then land in the UK for a mix of arena, outdoor and festival slots, including headlining Reading & Leeds.

Territories: Australia/New Zealand, Latin America, North America, Europe

Dates: February-August

 


IRON MAIDEN
The enduring metal legends are still breaking records – selling out all 42,000 tickets for their first concert in Bogota, Colombia since 2011 this November in just 21 minutes. Maiden played to more than 750,000 fans across Europe and North America last summer and will hit the road again in Australia and New Zealand in September. The Future Past Tour will then move on to Japan for shows in Aichi, Osaka, Tokyo and Kanagawa, prior to a slew of North American gigs. It will conclude in South America in December, with two nights each at Chile’s National Stadium in Santiago and Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil.

Territories: Australia/New Zealand, Asia, North America, Latin America

Dates: September-December

 


THE 1975
The British group’s 2023 was shrouded in controversy as a result of their infamous headline set that led to the cancellation of Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival. But their touring business continues on the up and up, with a slate of European arena shows booked for Q1 2024, including three nights at The O2 in London.

Territories: Europe

Dates: February-March

 


NICKI MINAJ
Nicki Minaj Presents: Pink Friday 2 World, the Trinidadian rapper’s biggest tour to date, launches in Oakland, California, on 1 March. The North American leg runs until 12 May, visiting venues including Madison Square Garden in New York, Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The European stint will commence on 23 May at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, also visiting Manchester, Birmingham, London, Paris, Cologne and Berlin.

Territories: North America, Europe

Dates: March-June

 


MADONNA
The rearranged North American stretch of Madonna’s Celebration Tour continues over the next three months. The Queen of Pop began the anniversary tour in London last October, having been forced to postpone the 40-plus date run in the US, Canada and Mexico after being hospitalised last year. The outing will climax in the spring with five shows at Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico City from 20-26 April.

Territories: North America

Dates: January-April

 


JONAS BROTHERS
On the heels of touring their native North America in 2023, Jonas Brothers are taking Five Albums. One Night. The World Tour around the world in 2024. The show, which sees the group perform their five studio albums every night, picks back up in the Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on 22 February, followed two days later by a gig in Tangerang, Indonesia. The trio then move on to arenas in New Zealand and Australia, with their first Latin America concerts in 10 years – comprising nights in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina – scheduled for April, along with three shows in Mexico. The trek will then hit European arenas from May-June.

Territories: Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Latin America, Europe

Dates: February-June

 


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Iron Maiden smash Colombia ticket sales record

Tickets for Iron Maiden‘s first concert in Colombia for 13 years were snapped up at a record rate for an international act, according to promoter Move Concerts.

All 42,000 tickets sold out in 21 minutes for the metal greats’ return to Bogota on 24 November next year. With more than 11 months to go until the scheduled performance at El Campin Stadium, it also became the first gig in Colombia to sell out so far in advance.

The band last graced the Colombian capital with a show at Parque Simón Bolívar in March 2011. The timespan clocked for tickets sold for the 2024 show broke the sales velocity records of all previous global icons who have performed in Colombia in the past, including the Rolling Stones, Coldplay, Madonna, Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd.

“Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would blow out in 21 minutes and smash sales records”

“We all expected strong sales given the long wait since they last performed here, which was on 20 March 2011, but never in our wildest dreams did we think it would blow out in 21 minutes and smash sales records,” says Alfredo Villaveces, MD of Move Concerts Colombia. “And if we factor in the fact we went up so far ahead of the show date – something no other artist had done here – it is truly amazing.”

The sellout pace was exceeded only by Colombian superstar Karol G, who played two sellout stadium shows in her hometown of Medellin from 1-2 December.

The Latin American stretch of Iron Maiden’s 2024 The Future Past Tour has also got off to a strong start in Chile, with more than 95,000 tickets already sold for the group’s two dates in Santiago at the Estadio Nacional on 27-28 November. The Santiago shows mark the first time the band will play two stadium concerts in Chile on the same tour.

The only international act to have played more than two dates at the 60,000-cap stadium is Coldplay, who performed four concerts at the venue in September 2022.

Miami-headquartered Move Concerts is the biggest independent concert promoter in Latin America, boasting offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico.

 


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Iron Maiden announce 2024 The Future Past Tour

Iron Maiden have announced a slew of North and South American tour dates for 2024 after playing to more than 750,000 fans around the world this summer.

The Future Past Tour includes songs from the metal band’s most recent studio album Senjutsu, as well as 1986’s Somewhere In Time, alongside other fan favourites.

Maiden played over 30 sold-out shows across Europe over the summer, and also performed in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver alongside their appearance at California’s Power Trip Festival in October.

“The energy has been incredible and we can’t wait to continue bringing this amazing and innovative show to fans around the world”

The Future Past Tour is one of the most exciting tours we’ve ever done and to be performing both brand new material and songs that haven’t been played for many years with a mix of fan favourites has been a great experience for both the fans and the band,” says manager Rod Smallwood. “The energy has been incredible and we can’t wait to continue bringing this amazing and innovative show to fans around the world next year.”

The North American tour leg, produced by Live Nation, will launch in San Diego, California on 4 October 2024 and is due to conclude in San Antonio, Texas on 17 November. It will then head to South America for a show at Chile’s National Stadium in Santiago on 27 November.

The full list of shows is as follows:

OCTOBER 2024

Fri 4th: North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, SAN DIEGO, CA

Sat 5th: Michelob ULTRA Arena, LAS VEGAS, NV

Tues 8th: Kia Forum, LOS ANGELES, CA

Sat 12th: Aftershock Festival, SACRAMENTO, CA

Mon 14th: MODA Center, PORTLAND, OR

Weds 16th: Tacoma Dome, TACOMA, WA

Fri 18th: Delta Center, SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Sat 19th: Ball Arena, DENVER, CO

Tues 22nd: Xcel Energy Center, ST PAUL, MN

Thurs 24th: Allstate Arena, ROSEMONT, IL

Sat 26th: Scotiabank Arena, TORONTO, ON

Sun 27th: Videotron Centre, QUEBEC, QC

Weds 30th: Centre Bell, MONTREAL, QC

NOVEMBER 2024

Fri 1st: Wells Fargo Center, PHILADELPHIA, PA

Sat 2nd: Barclays Center, BROOKLYN, NY

Weds 6th: DCU Center, WORCESTER, MA

Fri 8th: PPG Paints Arena, PITTSBURGH, PA

Sat 9th: Prudential Center, NEWARK, NJ

Tues 12th: CFG Bank Arena, BALTIMORE, MD

Weds 13th: Spectrum Center, CHARLOTTE, NC

Sat 16th: Dickies Arena, FORT WORTH, TX

Sun 17th: Frost Bank Center, SAN ANTONIO, TX

Weds 27th: Estadio Nacional, Santiago, CHILE

 


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Iron Maiden top 120k ticket sales for Brazil shows

Iron Maiden drew more than 120,000 fans across three sold-out stadium dates in Brazil as part of their Legacy of the Beast World Tour in August and September.

Move Concerts promoted the band’s 25,000-cap shows at Pedreira Paulo Leminski, Curitiba and Ribeirão Preto’s Eurobike Arena in August, followed by a 60,000-cap gig at São Paulo’s Morumbi Stadium on 4 September.

The metal legends also performed a standalone 100,000-cap headline show on the first weekend of Rock in Rio’s 2022 edition on 2 September.

“Iron Maiden is a phenomenon in Brazil”

“Iron Maiden is a phenomenon in Brazil,” says Phil Rodriguez, CEO of Move Concerts. “They are one of the elite few artists that have maintained stadium level business for over 37 years.”

The region’s biggest independent promoter, Move is headquartered in Miami, Florida, and has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico. The company appointed Tiago Maia as managing director of its Brazil team in May and also bolstered its marketing and finance departments team.

“Brazil is the one country in the region with the strongest economic indicators and projected stability,” Rodriguez told IQ last month.

Iron Maiden’s Brazilian tour was sponsored by Porto Seguro Bank. The sponsors of the band’s sets in Ribeirão Preto and São Paulo were Black Princess and TNT Energy Drink. Bodebrown as a Craft beer sponsor for Curitiba. The city’s Hospital Sancta Maggiore was the official supplier for the São Paulo date, along with support from NewOn.

The Legacy of the Beast World Tour, which began in 2018, continued at Mexico City’s Foro Sol on 7 September before kicking off its climactic US and Canada leg with a night at Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas last night.

 


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Wacken Open Air 2023 sells out in record six hours

The 2023 edition of German metal institution Wacken Open Air sold out in a record six hours, organisers have revealed.

The 80,000-cap festival, which is expanding to four days from 2-5 August next year, has announced a line-up headed by Iron Maiden, alongside the likes of Megadeth, Dropkick Murphys, Wardruna, Beartooth, Ensiferum, Pentagram, Jinjer, Nervosa, Deicide, Burning Witches and Two Steps From Hell.

“A sold out festival in that amount of time – unbelievable,” says promoter Thomas Jensen. “And especially in these times the backing of the community is enormously important. We are still knocking off the dust of this year’s Open Air and now, thanks to the trust of our fans, we can continue to fully concentrate on the program in 2023 under the motto ‘Vikings’, which will have one or two highlights in the bag in addition to the great Iron Maiden.”

“This is enormous proof of confidence from our fans and we appreciate it very much”

Organisers have set up a waiting list for fans who missed out, with tickets from cancelled orders to be raffled among those on the list.

“This is an enormous proof of confidence from our fans and we appreciate it very much,” adds promoter Holger Hübner. “This allows us to push Wacken Open Air forward and develop various projects and themes alongside the billing, which we will announce during the year.”

The event returned over the weekend (4-6 August), topped by acts including Slipknot, Judas Priest and Powerwolf, after its Covid-enforced three-year absence.

Revisit IQ’s 2019 feature on WOA here.

 


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Download festival 2021 cancelled

There will be no Download festival in the UK this summer, promoter Festival Republic confirmed today (1 March).

Iron Maiden, Kiss and Biffy Clyro will headline the 2022 edition of the 110,000-capacity rock and metal festival, which returns to Donington Park in Leicestershire next 10–12 June. Tickets for Download 2022 go on sale this Friday (5 March) at 10am GMT, priced from £250 for a standard weekend camping pass.

Download, which would have taken place from 4 to 6 June 2021, is the first of Live Nation-owned Festival Republic’s events to announce it will be unable to go ahead for a second consecutive year, with the likes of Wireless (2–4 July) and Latitude (22–25 July) still on for now and Reading and Leeds (27–29 August) having already sold out.

Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, is on hiatus, as are Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

“Ware determined to make the show one hell of a party and the greatest homecoming ever”

“Downloaders, your 2022 headliners are here,” comments Download booker Andy Copping. “Rock’n’roll legends Kiss will be kicking off Friday in style, Iron Maiden will return, bringing with them mascot Eddie and more fire than we can handle, and what better way to end the festival than with Biffy, who will leave us awestruck with their energy. I’m counting down the days already.”

“Like everyone, we were all hugely disappointed when the global pandemic forced the cancellation of Download 2020, which would have been Maiden’s seventh time headlining here,” says Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, “so we are delighted to be invited back and fulfil our ambition of playing Donington Park in every decade since the 1980s.

“As most people know, this festival is hallowed ground for us – and Eddie – and our fans’ vocal support and enthusiasm is always phenomenal and much appreciated. We can’t wait to see everyone again, and are determined to make the show one hell of a party and the greatest homecoming ever.”

Further Download 2022 artists will be announced in the coming months.

 


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K2 joins forces with Y Entertainment Group’s AGI

UK-based international booking agency K2, which represents the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden and Slayer, has announced a joint venture with investment firm Yucaipa’s umbrella of companies.

Under the new partnership, K2 joins the Yucaipa-owned international booking agency Artist Group International (AGI) in the Y Entertainment Group.

Yucaipa’s existing interests in the music industry also include a joint venture with Paradigm Talent Agency, a minority stake in Primavera Sound and Primavera Pro and an acquisition of US promoter Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP).

“I have had the pleasure of collaborating with [AGI chairman] Dennis and the team at AGI for many years,” says K2 founder and renowned music agent John Jackson.

“Not only is there mutual respect between us, but we share a similar philosophy and work ethic when it comes to our artists, agents and staff. As such, joining forces is the perfect fit and an opportunity to flourish on the global stage.”

K2 agency was launched in 2004 and in recent years has acquired UK companies EGO Agency and Factory Music Management and Agency.

“Joining forces is the perfect fit and an opportunity to flourish”

Founder of Factory Music Management and Agency, Sharon Richardson, brought to K2 her roster of over 20 rock and metal artists, which include Delain, Sabaton, Steve Harris’s British Lion and Metal Allegiance. The acquisition of EGO brought over company founder Jim Morewood, agent Yerry Stetter, and EGO’s largely heavy metal-focused roster.

Chairman Dennis Arfa says, “John runs one of the best agencies in the world. We’re thrilled to be working with him and his K2 team. We share many clients including Metallica, Ghost, and Volbeat and over the years have developed a natural synergy. We are pleased that our ownership has staunchly facilitated and supported our expansion efforts.”

AGI was founded in 1986 and represents artists such as Billy Joel, Metallica, Def Leppard, Rod Stewart and Motley Crue.

It was acquired by The Yucaipa Companies in 2011, with an eye towards expanding its reach in the live entertainment space through strategic acquisitions and organic growth.

The companies say plans for collaboration, expansion and diversification will be further revealed in the coming months.

 


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Black Gold: How metal became a cultural phenomenon

Last year, Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson was bestowed with two very unique honours.

In April, he was made an honorary citizen of Sarajevo in recognition of a concert his solo band Skunkworks played there in 1994, during a prolonged siege of the Bosnian capital. Presenting the award, mayor Abdulah Skaka said: “The arrival of Mr Dickinson in Sarajevo, in 1994, was one of those moments that made us realise that we will survive.”

The other accolade was bestowed upon Dickinson by Dr Cristina Rheims, a Brazilian biologist and metal fan who gave a newly discovered species of spider the name Extraordinarius brucedickonsoni.

If these honours anecdotally demonstrate metal’s soft power, its global reach and the deep devotion of its fans, then the fact that Amon Amarth, a melodic death metal band whose principal lyrical inspiration is Viking folklore, will shake the fields of Wacken Open Air festival with 75,000 roaring fans this summer should be considered testament to metal’s undaunted commercial clout.

“It feels like there’s a cultural movement happening where, if you’re in the metal game and you’re good at what you do, you have a specific brand and you put on a great live show, things are moving,” enthuses Justin Arcangel, president of 5B Artist Management and Touring, who represent Amon Amarth, Babymetal, Slipknot and more.

“All our data – streaming numbers, ticket numbers, merch sales, whatever – are all bigger in 2020 than in 2019. The funny thing is when you speak to some people that don’t work in this genre, they have no idea. Metal is, to this day, outsider music, but let me tell you, it’s a major cultural thing, especially in Europe.”

“What we’ve witnessed across our events is metal is really a community – this outlaw feeling that unites us”

Summer knights
“Some of our hardcore audience think maybe metal is too mainstream now, because in Germany there’s a lot in the charts,” chuckles Thomas Jensen, CEO of International Concert Services and Wacken co-founder, pondering the sea change since he first staged the festival in the German village’s gravel pit in 1990.

Now in its third decade, with all 75,000 tickets for 2020’s edition snapped up in an astonishing 21 hours, Wacken is a major force, with good company in France’s Hellfest (55,000-capacity), Belgium’s Graspop (50,000-cap.), plus the UK’s Bloodstock Open Air (20,000-cap.) and Download, which attracts 110,000 fans over the weekend – a “heavy music summer,” as Jensen calls it. Which is not even to dig into the boom in boutique festivals offering bespoke experiences, such as Italy’s Rock the Castle or the Netherlands’ Roadburn, whose reputation as a tastemaker event means 75% of its 4,000 attendees travel from abroad.

“What we’ve witnessed across Wacken events is that metal is really a community, this outlaw feeling that unites us,” says Jensen. “Our music is a live experience and the whole festival circuit allows bands to survive. For international acts, it’s easier to put a festival run together than it was in the 90s, and you see bands working their way up the bill each year.”

“I’ve only ever seen the metal market over the years grow,” agrees Vicky Hungerford, co-director at Bloodstock, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with headline spots from Polish black metallers Behemoth and the UK’s Judas Priest. As well as fostering new talent with their popular Metal to the Masses series of regional shows, where unsigned bands compete to play the festival, Bloodstock strongly believes in paving the way for tomorrow’s monsters of rock.

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 88, or subscribe to the magazine here.


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The decade in live: 2017

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

The memories of a turbulent 2016 were left far behind in 2017, as the concert business enjoyed a record-breaking twelve months, as the year’s gross revenue and number of tickets sold saw 2013 finally knocked off the top spot.

The success of the live business in 2017, however, was somewhat overshadowed by a number of devastating terror attacks, with the Manchester Arena bombing, the shootings at Route 91 Harvest and BPM Festival, the Reina nightclub shooting and other incidents targeting music fans.

In response to the tragedies, the live industry united and made a positive impact, in the form of the One Love Manchester and We are Manchester charity concerts and candlelit vigils and fundraising for victims of the Route 91 Harvest attack.

Elsewhere, the booking agency world continued to consolidate through 2017, with a number of acquisitions, mergers and partnerships while Live Nation welcomed several more promoters, festivals, ticketing agencies and venues to its fast-growing family.

 


2017 in numbers

The live music business reached new heights in 2017, with the top 100 tours worldwide generating a record US$5.65 billion, up almost 16% from the previous year.

The number of tickets sold throughout the year also saw a notable increase from the year before, climbing 10.4% to 66.8 million, at an average price of almost $4 more per ticket than in 2016, at $84.60.

Eleven tours surpassed the $100m mark in 2017, with U2 topping the year-end charts having generated $316m on their Joshua Tree tour. Guns N’ Roses narrowly missed out on $300m, grossing $292.5m on the Not in this Lifetime tour.

Coldplay came in next, as the band’s A Head Full of Dreams tour made $238m. Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic tour was also successful, grossing just over $200m, whereas Metallica’s WorldWired tour generated $152.8m.

Depeche Mode, Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks and Celine Dion were the other acts whose 2017 tour earnings exceeded $100m.

 


2017 in brief

January
A lone gunman attacks New Year’s revellers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, resulting in the death of 39 people and injuries to a further 70. Two weeks later, four are killed and 12 injured during a shooting at the BPM Festival in the coastal resort of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

AM Only and The Windish Agency rebrand as Paradigm Talent Agency, signalling the next phase of their joint ventures, launched in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

Global asset management firm Providence Equity Partners acquires a 70% stake in Sziget Festival and reveals plans to launch eight to ten branded festivals, with James Barton, former president of electronic music for Live Nation, leading the international expansion.

AEG Live finalises negotiations to acquire New York-based promoter/venue operator The Bowery Presents.

February
Ticketbis, the multinational resale operation acquired by eBay in May 2016, is rebranded as StubHub, bringing to an end the Ticketbis name across Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Live Nation enters the Middle East’s biggest touring market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Bluestone Entertainment, one of Israel’s leading promoters.

March
Iron Maiden’s decision to use paperless tickets on the UK leg of The Book of Souls arena tour helps reduce the number of tickets appearing on secondary sites by more than 95%, according to promoter Live Nation.

Live Nation acquires a controlling stake in the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival.

The Australian leg of Adele’s Live 2017 tour makes concert history after playing to more than 600,000 people over eight stadium dates.

The decade in live: 2017

Sziget Festival 2017 © László Mudra/Rockstar Photographers

April
In the biggest primary deal so far for the world’s largest secondary ticketing site, StubHub is named the official ticket seller for Rock in Rio 2017.

Creative Artists Agency increases its investment in the Chinese market via a new alliance with private equity firm CMC Capital Partners.

May
Luxury Ja Rule-backed boutique event, Fyre Festival, descends into chaos on its first day, with visitors to the Bahamas site comparing conditions to a refugee camp.

22 people, including children, lose their lives after a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, for which Islamic State terror claims responsibility. The attack targets people leaving the 21,000-cap. venue at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

June
Pandora Media announces the sale of Ticketfly to Eventbrite. Despite purchasing the company for $450m less than two years ago, it sells for a package worth $200m.

AEG invests in Immortals, one of the world’s leading esports teams, with professional players in the North American League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros, Overwatch and Vainglory leagues. The team will now play their Los Angeles tournaments and matches at AEG’s LA Live entertainment district.

The organisers of ILMC announce the launch of the Event Safety and Security Summit (E3S), a one-day meeting focusing on security at live events.

The decade in live: 2017

The reality of Fyre Festival © Here_Comes_the_Kingz/Reddit

July
Helsinki-based Fullsteam Agency acquires Rähinä Live, whose roster includes some of Finland’s biggest hip-hop and pop artists.

Oak View Group, which counts Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke among its founders, completes its acquisition of Pollstar, adding the US-based concert business magazine to its portfolio of trade titles.

August
Madison Square Garden Company makes a significant move into the esports sector by acquiring a controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming.

Paradigm Talent Agency acquires Chicago- and California-based agency Monterey International, including its 14 agents and 200 acts.

Live Nation launches in Brazil with former Time for Fun (T4F) chief entertainment officer Alexandre Faria Fernandes at the helm.

September
Three quarters of staff at Function(x), the online business founded by former SFX Entertainment CEO Robert Sillerman, are effectively laid off, with the company telling investors it lacks the funds to pay them.

A sovereign wealth fund controlled by the government of Saudi Arabia, says it is forming a new SR10 billion ($2.7bn) investment vehicle in a bid to kick-start the kingdom’s entertainment sector.

Music returns to Manchester Arena as a capacity crowd turn out for We are Manchester, a benefit concert that raises funds for a memorial to the victims of the 22nd of May bombing.

The decade in live: 2017

The We are Manchester charity concert drew a full-capacity crowd at the 21,000-cap. arena © Showsec

October
A gunman kills 58 people and injures a further 546 at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. Local resident Stephen Paddock targeted the concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.

WME-IMG rebrands as Endeavor, with company assets that include martial- arts promoter, UFC; ad agency, Droga5; Professional Bull Riders; the Miss Universe Organization; Frieze Art Fair; management companies, Dixon Talent and The Wall Group; and joint ventures such as Euroleague Basketball and esports championship ELEAGUE.

November
Ticketmaster confirms its long-rumoured expansion into Italy. The launch of Ticketmaster Italia, headquartered in Milan, follows the end of the exclusive long-term online partnership in Italy between Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, and CTS Eventim-owned TicketOne.

After 11 years in East London’s Victoria Park – now exclusive to AEG – Eat Your Own Ears’ Field Day Festival will head to Brockwell Park in South London. Live Nation’s Lovebox and Citadel are also rumoured to be moving to Brockwell Park.

Secondary ticketing websites will, from January 2018, be subject to stringent restrictions on their use of Google AdWords, as the search-engine giant cracks down on ticket resellers’ controversial use of its online advertising platform.

December
Leading self-service ticketer Eventbrite announces a series of new partnerships, rolling out integrations with events guide The List, festival package provider Festicket, word-of-mouth ticket sales platform Verve, and brand ambassador software Ticketrunner.

Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment since 2010, will remain in his role until at least 2022 after signing a new five-year contract worth up to $9m per annum. Also re-upping are leading execs Kathy Willard, Michael Rowles and Joe Berchtold.


The decade in live: 2017

Primary Talent’s Dave Chumbley (1960-2017) picks up his Platinum Endurance Arthur Award at ILMC 25 © ILMC

 

Who we lost

Peter Rieger, founder of German promoter Peter Rieger Konzertagentur (PRK); Joseph Rascoff, business manager to the Stones, David Bowie, U2, Sting and more; ILMC’s long-time producer Alia Dann Swift; ShowSec International Ltd founder Mick Upton; Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent International director; Mary Cleary, former booker and tour manager; American singer-songwriter Tom Petty; pioneering concert promoter Shmuel Zemach, founder of Zemach Promotions; Australian country music promoter, agent and artist, Rob Potts; Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington; Reading festival founder Harold Pendelton; Washington, DC, promoter Jack Boyle; Live Nation Belgium booker Marianne Dekimpe; rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry.

 


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