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Jack White opens AEG’s new Verti Music Hall

Verti Music Hall hosted its first show on Friday (12 October), with a capacity crowd packing out AEG’s new Berlin venue to mark Jack White’s return to Germany.

The 4,350-capacity Music Hall is located at Mercedes Platz, a new mixed-use entertainment district neighbouring the Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) in Berlin. Insurance company Verti secured a naming-rights deal for the venue last December, leading to the rebranding the former Berlin Music Hall.

According to operator AEG, Verti Music Hall “offer[s] the atmosphere of an intimate venue, paired with the capabilities of a multi-functional arena”.

“We have spent a lot of time and resource during the planning and construction phase to ensure perfect sightlines and optimal sound, as well as the greatest possible flexibility for capacity, seating and different types of events,” says Michael Hapka, vice-president and managing director of AEG Operations GmbH.

“Verti Music Hall will enrich the Berlin venue landscape”

“The interior of the Music Hall is intimate and high-end in appearance, while the outer concourses have a more urban, industrial style. Verti Music Hall will enrich the Berlin venue landscape for concertgoers, as well as for promoters and performing artists.”

Pictured at the launch are, from left to right, Steve Schwenkglenks (GM, Barclaycard Arena Hamburg), John Langford (VP and GM, the O2, London), Marie Lindqvist (VP and GM, Stockholm Live), Christian D’Acuna (head of programming, the O2, London), Emma Bownes (programme director, the O2, London), Darren Murphy (GM, Eventim Apollo, London), Sarah Myring (front-of-house manager, Eventim Apollo, London), John Drury (VP and GM, SSE Arena Wembley), Kara James (WME), and Paul Cheetham (director of booking, Verti Music Hall).

The Mercedes Platz development mirrors similar AEG-led ‘entertainment districts’, which combine an indoor arena with other shopping and entertainment amenities, such as Brisbane Live in Australia,  The O2 in London, LA Live in Los Angeles, Nashville Yards in Tennessee and, most recently, Bangkok Arena and EM Live in Thailand.

 


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Sales, ticket bundling propel Jack White to US no1

Jack White’s third solo album, Boarding House Reach, has become the singer’s third US number one as a solo artist, driven by strong sales – and the chance to see his upcoming North American tour.

Bucking the growing trend for singles and album charts to be shaped by streaming numbers, Boarding House Reach sold a massive 121,000 copies (added to 4.2m streams) in the US, where the album was bundled with concert tickets.

As noted by ABC Radio, “[s]ales for Boarding House Reach are in part driven by the concert ticket and album bundle for White’s upcoming tour, kicking off 19 April in Detroit. Redeeming the album included in your ticket purchase counts as one sale.”

White’s success with bundling follows similar successful album campaigns by artists including Metallica – whose 2016 LP Hardwired… to Self Destruct, shot up from no42 to no2 in the space of a week, coinciding with a on-sale for dates in North America – and Bon Jovi, whose 2016 album This House is Not for Sale, again bundled with tickets, opened at no1 and then fell to no43 in its second week.

“This is the way that people are getting albums in their hands”

Not everyone is a fan of the practice: while record labels make money for every bundle sold – whether or not buyers redeem the code for the album – promoter Seth Hurwitz believes bundling is a “flat-out scam”.

Hurwitz told Billboard last October that bundling forces people to buy music so acts “can jack up first-week album sales,” but in doing so “people are putting tours on sale way before they ought to.”

David Bakula, a senior analyst at Nielsen, disagrees, saying even if the buyer decides not to redeem the album, the ticket will still cost the same amount.

“This is the way that people are getting albums in their hands,” says Bakula. “If I’m going to a Bon Jovi show, I may or may not go out and buy a copy. But if you offer one to me wrapped in the price of my ticket, then yes – absolutely, I want it.”

 


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Jack White, LN to livestream album launch show

The Live Nation Concert Series, Live Nation’s Twitter-based livestreaming platform, will globally stream the release show for Jack White’s third studio album, Boarding House Reach, this Friday.

Presented by Governors Ball festival, acquired by Live Nation in 2016 and which the former White Stripes frontman is headlining on 1 June, the show will take place at Warsaw (1,000-cap.) in Brooklyn, New York, this Friday. The stream will start at 10pm ET (2am on Saturday in GMT) and be broadcast exclusively at live.twitter.com/jackwhite.

According to Live Nation, all fans with tickets will be “required to keep their phones locked up” for the duration of the live stream.

“For everyone else joining via the live stream, their virtual front row ticket will unlock access to watch the magic of White’s new music and classic hits unfold straight from their mobile devices and desktops,” says the promoter.

“Virtual front row tickets will unlock access to watch the White’s new music and classic hits unfold straight from their mobile devices and desktops”

“There is nothing more spectacular than experiencing live music in person. That said, live streaming of concerts has become wildly popular the last few years as fans share and discover live music on their devices. Live streams also provide artists with another avenue to create deeper connections with their fans around the world.”

Twelve-time Grammy winner White will next month hit the road for his first world tour since 2014. The tour, in support of Boarding House Reach, will include a run of North American headline shows and festival dates, along with stops in London, Paris and Amsterdam.

The Live Nation Concert series on Twitter has previously livestreamed shows by Imagine Dragons, St Vincent, Steve Aoki, Zac Brown Band, Zedd, Train, Khalid and G-Eazy.

 


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