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Live Nation confirms Ticketmaster data hack

Live Nation has launched an investigation after confirming that its Ticketmaster subsidiary has suffered a data leak.

It was reported last week that hackers had stolen the personal details of 560 million Ticketmaster customers, with a spokesperson for Australia’s department of home affairs spokesperson saying it was “working with Ticketmaster to understand the incident”.

The ShinyHunters hacking group is said to be demanding a US$500,000 (€462,000) ransom payment for the 1.3 TB of stolen data, which allegedly includes partial credit card details, customer names, addresses and emails.

In a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Live Nation says the hack was detected on 20 May.

“On May 20, 2024, Live Nation… identified unauthorised activity within a third-party cloud database environment containing company data (primarily from its Ticketmaster L.L.C. subsidiary) and launched an investigation with industry-leading forensic investigators to understand what happened,” says the statement.

“On May 27, 2024, a criminal threat actor offered what it alleged to be company user data for sale via the dark web. We are working to mitigate risk to our users and the company, and have notified and are cooperating with law enforcement. As appropriate, we are also notifying regulatory authorities and users with respect to unauthorised access to personal information.

“As of the date of this filing, the incident has not had, and we do not believe it is reasonably likely to have, a material impact on our overall business operations or on our financial condition or results of operations. We continue to evaluate the risks and our remediation efforts are ongoing.”

“AEG has long maintained that Ticketmaster has a monopoly in the US ticketing marketplace”

Meanwhile, AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano has weighed in on the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation, branding LN a “monopoly”.

In a memo to staff obtained by Variety, Marciano said: “AEG has long maintained that Ticketmaster has a monopoly in the US ticketing marketplace and uses that monopoly power to subsidise Live Nation’s content businesses, preventing other businesses from competing in those areas and leaving consumers to suffer the consequences.

“As you know, the cornerstone of Live Nation’s monopoly is Ticketmaster’s exclusive ticketing contracts with the vast majority of major concert venues in the United States. These agreements block competition and innovation and result in higher ticketing fees, denying artists the ability to choose who will ticket their shows and how much their fans should pay.”

In response, Live Nation’s Dan Wall says in a statement: “This is why antitrust protects competition, not competitors trying to use the courts to advance their own interests. AEG supports this case — indeed, begged DOJ to file it — because it doesn’t want to pay artists market rates or convince venues to adopt its second-rate ticketing system exclusively.

“Its complaints about service charges are hypocritical since it could lower AXS service charges today if it really cared about that. Self-serving arguments like these are common in antitrust cases, but rightly ignored.”

Live Nation share price has risen slightly today to $US93.74, giving the company a market capitalisation of $21.7 billion.

 


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AEG partners with CMN to create Latin music titan

AEG Presents has entered into a “historic” partnership with US-based Latin music promoter Cárdenas Marketing Network (CMN).

The two companies say the strategic alliance will create “the world leader in live Latin music” and will lead to the development of “elevated and expanded experiences” for artists and audiences globally.

“We are excited to partner with AEG Presents, one of the most powerful global forces in live entertainment,” says CMN founder and CEO Henry Cardenas. “I have known Jay Marciano for over 40 years and have deep respect for all his accomplishments and the tremendous business that he has built at AEG Presents. Together, we look forward to making an even greater impact on the explosive growth in the Latin market.”

Founded by music entrepreneur Henry Cárdenas in 2001, Chicago-based CMN promotes global tours by artists such as Marc Anthony, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Chayanne, Ana Gabriel and Nicky Jam. Most recently, it launched the largest global Latin music tour with Luis Miguel.

“We have been looking to expand our presence in Latin music and concerts for quite some time”

It has also promoted sports matches in the US, including the international football friendly between Argentina and Brazil at East Rutherford, NJ’s MetLife stadium, as well as the first soccer game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, between Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

“Henry is a true entrepreneur and visionary, and what he and his team have built is simply awe-inspiring,” adds AEG Presents chair and CEO Jay Marciano. “We have been looking to expand our presence in Latin music and concerts for quite some time, and it was important that we took the time to find the right partner; we found it in Henry and CMN.

“AEG Presents has always placed a premium on preserving the identity and unique voice of our partner brands while providing them with the support and infrastructure to expand their reach and influence. Cárdenas Marketing Network is the most recognised and trusted name in Latin concert promotion, and we are so proud to welcome Henry and his team to the family.”

Marciano recently starred in ILMC’s (Late) Breakfast Meeting at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, where he shared stories from his career in an interview with Ed Bicknell.

 


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Jay Marciano shines at ILMC’s Breakfast Meeting

Heavyweight executive Jay Marciano shared stories from his illustrious career in the (Late) Breakfast Meeting to close out the second day of ILMC 36 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

The AEG Presents chair and CEO sat down with raconteur and former artist manager Ed Bicknell, who was bowing out as host after 23 years on the mic. Bicknell has interviewed some of the biggest names in the music business during his tenure, including Irving Azoff, Roger Daltrey, Nile Rodgers, Emma Banks, Arthur Fogel, Paul McGuinness and Marc Geiger.

Marciano, who is responsible for overseeing AEG’s tour and concert promotion, facilities, and digital divisions, touched upon topics such as AI and the future of the business, backstage tales of Chuck Berry, James Brown and Prince, plus Taylor Swift’s all-conquering Eras Tour…

Here is a selection of highlights from the hour-long conversation…

“We’re spending a lot more time thinking about music from other parts of the world coming to the US, and how best to promote these shows”

The globalisation of live music…
“This business is never-ending. There is no ‘endgame’. But what keeps things interesting is that streaming has created new music fans that are interested in all kinds of genres. We used to be limited by playlists which were driven by radio stations, but that’s no longer the case. Before, we spent most of our careers thinking about taking Western music to other parts of the world, but nowadays we’re spending a lot more time thinking about music from other parts of the world coming to the US, and how best to promote these shows.

“It’s not just artists who are performing in English, either. For example, out of the three Coachella headliners from last year, only Frank Ocean sang in English. Bad Bunny sang in Spanish, and Blackpink in Korean. The fact that we had over 750,000 music fans buy tickets to see them shows that the business has come a long way.”

Measuring rate of growth…
“We’re not growing fast enough [laughs]. Well, there’s the data points… Did we do more shows than last year? Do we have more venues? Are we selling more tickets? Are we selling more tickets at higher ticket prices? Are we paying artists in compensation based upon that? All those are the basic data points that you sort of measure yourself over year after year.

“We have a fully developed footprint in the US — we have 19 offices, nearly 100 music venues, and tens of thousands of shows. As we start to think globally, we’ve opened offices in the UK, our partnership with [independent media agency] Frontier in Australia, our Asian business which is growing, developing our South American market as well as other European countries… all of this takes time, as well as finding the right partners, and we’ve done particularly well with choosing our partners to both our long term benefits. These partnerships we’ve developed span across 15, 20 years.”

“AI is going to change everything, including the creative process. What we see on stage, how it’s presented…”

Where the industry goes from here…
“It’ll continue to be rapidly impacted by technology. There are people here who are more qualified to talk about this topic than I am, but AI is going to change everything, including the creative process. What we see on stage, how it’s presented, its use in the studio, how artists will creatively work with one another…

“Many of the young artists I talk to don’t wanna be limited by just one creative medium. Once upon a time, they simply just wanted to be, say, the best guitar player in the world. I hate to use the words ‘brand extension’, but nowadays they wanna branch out into films and other things. They don’t want to be pigeon-holed into one thing.”

A double bill with James Brown and Chuck Berry…
“I was in my late twenties coming up in the industry. I had this theatre in LA called the Beverly Theater. In those days, there was a 7:30 show and a 10:30 show, and I had a double bill with James Brown and Chuck Berry [laughs]. The William Morris Agency made a mistake on Chuck’s contract and pulled the 7:30 show down, but he finished the set anyway.

“It was a summer show, and the dressing rooms of the Beverly Theater had no air conditioning backstage. It was a hot summer’s night. There was a knock on my door, and I was told that, ‘Mr. Brown would like to see me.’ I was like, oh boy. I then go to his dressing room, knock on his door, and I hear ‘come in.’ James Brown was under one of these hairdryers and is straightening his hair in between shows. I said, ‘James, I heard you wanted to see me,’ and he went, ‘It’s Mr. Brown’ [laughs]. He then said, ‘I understand you have a problem with Mr Berry this evening,’ and I said yes. He replied that he would have to work extra hard, and I asked him, ‘How much?’ To which he said, ‘$5,000 in small bills.’ I race upstairs, pull out as many bills as I could from the cash registers, and it turns out I was $1,500 shy of what he asked. I then run across the street to a pizza place a friend of mine owned, and asked him if I could borrow $1,500. I got the money together, kept him happy, and he did another hour of his show.

“We all have stories like that of cranky artists. Usually over time, we had some laughs about it. In fact, I went on to have a great relationship with James over the years.”

“I just wish we had more artists to work with like Taylor”

Passion vs profession…
“There’s a saying about finding your passion, following your passion, and you’ll be good at it because it’s what you love doing. My slight variation is that your passion is your hobby, and whatever you’re very good at should be your profession, because I was an okay guitar player and that turned out to be my hobby. I think if I got down the road as a guitar player, I probably wouldn’t have gotten far…

“I was never good at geometry or algebra but it turns out you don’t need to use either of those to be a promoter. You just have to be really good at addition and subtraction, because it’s not a complicated business.”

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour
“I just wish we had more artists to work with like Taylor. She’s on time, she’s reliable, she does three-plus hour shows every night, she’ll do three shows in a row… her work ethic and dedication is something that’s rare. She’s always upbeat, she never complains, and her energy is infectious because everyone around the camp feels the same way. They know they’re making history, and they’re feeling happy about being a part of it. And of course, we’re happy to be the promoter on that tour.”

 


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Jay Marciano confirmed for ILMC Breakfast Meeting

AEG Presents chairman and CEO Jay Marciano has been confirmed for The (Late) Breakfast Meeting at ILMC 36.

One of the most respected executives in the entertainment industry today, Marciano is responsible for overseeing AEG’s tour and concert promotion, facilities, and digital divisions (including AXS).

He oversees a portfolio of over 100 live music venues; global tours for artists such as Taylor Swift, Elton John, Blackpink, the Rolling Stones and Justin Bieber; and festivals including Coachella, BST Hyde Park, Electric Forest, All Points East and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Having held senior leadership roles at Universal Concerts, Madison Square Garden Entertainment, and having previously run AEG’s European operations, Marciano is an executive with keen international awareness, and a clear vision of where the business is headed.

ILMC 36’s (Late) Breakfast Meeting will also be the last, with host Ed Bicknell hanging up his microphone after 22 years in the role. During his tenure, Bicknell has interviewed some of the biggest names in the music business across management, promotion, agencies and the artist fraternity, including Irving Azoff, Roger Daltrey, Nile Rodgers, Emma Banks, Arthur Fogel, Paul McGuinness, Marc Geiger and many more.

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.

“I’m thrilled to return to ILMC and look forward to a lively conversation with Ed”

“With Ed’s humour, candour and expert knowledge of the business, the Breakfast Meeting interviews have been a highlight of ILMC’s programme for two decades, so it’s immensely fitting that we bring the series to a close with Jay; one of live music’s most highly respected individuals,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley.

“I’m thrilled to return to ILMC and look forward to a lively conversation with Ed,” says Marciano. “It’s a monumental time for our business, and while it’s always nice to get together as an industry and talk about where we’ve been, I think the most critical issue to address is where we are going. I hope to be able to bring that to centre stage at the Breakfast Meeting. Wait! Do promoters actually eat breakfast?!”

Bicknell adds: “After 22 years of vibrant, exciting, intellectually stimulating and occasionally humorous banter from me it’s time to wrap it up. And as Jay’s keen to explore where we’re all going, I’m hoping he brings a map!”

The (Late) Breakfast Meeting takes place at 4.45pm on Thursday 29 February 2024 as part of the 36th International Live Music Conference (ILMC). The conference will welcome over 1,400 of the world’s top live music professionals from over 50 countries to the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London from 27 Feb-1 March.

Full information about ILMC 2024, The Arthur Awards, Futures Forum, London Calling and the new Touring Entertainment LIVE day is at 36.ilmc.com.

 


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AEG Presents ups Rich Schaefer to president, global touring

AEG Presents has promoted Rich Schaefer to president of global touring, following the departure of Gary Gersh.

Schaefer will oversee all aspects of the company’s worldwide touring deals, operations, and talent relations, and will report to Jay Marciano, chairman and CEO of AEG Presents and COO of AEG.

He will also be joining the company’s executive committee in conjunction with his promotion.

Schaefer previously held the title of senior vice president, global touring, and joined AEG Presents in 2018 to help build and develop the newly created division.

According to the company, he has played a key role in many of AEG Presents’ touring partnerships, having helped sign and promote artists such as Kane Brown, Kacey Musgraves, Zach Bryan, Leon Bridges, Carin Leon, Hugh Jackman, Tame Impala, and Maggie Rogers, among others.

“Rich has a wealth of experience across every level of the concert business”

“Rich has a wealth of experience across every level of the concert business,” says Marciano. “His rapport with artists, managers and agents, along with his attention to detail and follow-through, have made him a critical member of our team. I’m thrilled to elevate him to president of global touring.”

Schaefer adds: “I am very excited to step into this new role leading global touring, and I’m extremely grateful for the support from Jay and everyone at AEG Presents. Our priority is to continue executing at the highest level for our clients, their teams and fans.”

Schaefer was a co-founder of LoyalT Management before joining AEG Presents. A New York native, Schaefer will continue to work out of the company’s offices there.

AEG Presents’ Global Touring team has promoted tours for Elton John, Blackpink, Tyler, The Creator, Luke Combs, Journey, $uicideboy$, John Mellencamp and more.

 


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Gary Gersh steps down at AEG Presents

Gary Gersh, president of global touring at AEG Presents, plans to step down after eight years at the company.

His departure was announced by AEG Presents chairman Jay Marciano, who broke the news to AEG staff in a memo.

Gersh’s former role will be filled by Rich Schaefer, who is currently the company’s senior vice president of global touring.

In his own letter addressed to staff, Gersh said: “I have made the very difficult choice to step away from my position here at AEG Presents. This was not a decision I came to lightly, as working alongside everyone at this company these past eight years has been a career highlight for me, but I’m excited about the prospects ahead and look forward to us crossing paths again in the future… I couldn’t be more proud to place the global touring division in the very capable hands of my longtime friend and partner in business Rich Schaefer.”

“This was not a decision I came to lightly, as working alongside everyone at this company has been a career highlight for me”

Marciano added: “Gary played a vital role in the development and growth of global touring; his energy, passion and initiative helped nurture an embryonic idea into a powerhouse team that has made a substantial impact on both our business specifically and the industry as a whole.”

Commenting on Schaefer’s new role, Marciano said: “Rich, who has been SVP of the division since joining the company in 2018, has an extensive resume and years of experience beyond his current duties here. He started his career in artist development at a record label before moving into management, where he spent two decades working across all aspects of artists’ careers while also developing a speciality in touring. He brings a thorough understanding of our business to the job and is looking forward to hitting the ground running and executing at the highest level on behalf of both global touring and AEG Presents. Rich will continue to be based out of New York, but we should all expect to be seeing more of him in Los Angeles.”

Gersh joined AEG in 2015 but he began his career in the 1980s, serving as an A&R exec at Geffen Records, where he played a key role in signing artists such as Sonic Youth and Nirvana to the label.

During the 1990s, Gersh led Capitol Records and launched G.A.S Entertainment with John Silva. A veteran talent manager, Gersh also led The Artist Organization, representing artists such as Lenny Kravitz and John Legend.

 


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AEG Presents forms Climate Positive Touring group

AEG Presents is forming a team of industry professionals from production, marketing, and operations dedicated to ‘moving the live business towards a greener future’.

The team, dubbed Climate Positive Touring (CPT), comprises staffers who work across various business divisions of AEG Presents including Concerts West, Global Touring, International Touring, Marshall Arts, Messina Touring Group, and AEG Global Partnerships.

Reducing tour-related carbon emissions, supporting locally led environmental and climate justice programmes, and creating impact on both the operating and consumer-side of touring are at the top of the group’s agenda.

“AEG Presents has the ability and structure to really make a global impact in moving our entire business – which has had a traditionally significant carbon footprint – toward a zero-emissions future,” says Jay Marciano, chairman and CEO, AEG Presents.

“AEG Presents has the ability and structure to really make a global impact in moving our entire business”

“The company’s reach enables us to execute at every level of the live experience: from clubs and theatres to arenas, global tours, and festivals. I’m looking forward to seeing how the CPT group begins to implement their plans as the business starts to reopen this year.”

Jointly leading CPT is AEG Presents’ Amy Morrison, who adds: “With light at the end of the tunnel, we feel it’s the right time to announce CPT and our short- and long-term strategies. We’ve been working on this since the earliest days of the shutdown. Now that live music is coming back, we can put our goals into action. As promoters, we will literally put our message on the road, modelling achievable sustainability, with the power of music in our sails.”

CPT has already deployed two major initiatives: the Venue Environmental Survey and the CPT Green Touring Guide.

The survey will gather data that allow venues, artists and CPT to work together to identify sustainability priorities and solutions while the touring guide is to provide guidance and insights that promoters can utilise in the hopes of showing both venues and artists a path forward to net zero or better carbon emissions.

“The company’s reach enables us to execute at every level of the live experience”

The first installment of the guide, titled The Starting Seven, is a compendium of seven actions promoters can take to start to make a positive environmental impact.

CPT is co-headed by Amy Morrison and Nicole Neal, who are joined by Jon Baden, Amy Buck, Caroline Burruss, Kelly DiStefano, Kate Lewis, Mike Luba, Ben Martin, Alexandra McArthur, Kate McMahon, David Rappaport, and Connie Shao.

CPT works in collaboration with AEG 1Earth, AEG’s corporate sustainability program.

The news of CPT comes shortly after Earth Day (22 April), when a host of new initiatives were announced, including a special summer edition of the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and Live Nation’s new Green Nation Touring Program.

GEI, the leading conference for sustainability in the international events sector, will hold its summer edition on 16 September 2021. Tickets are on sale now.

 


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ILMC 33: The Open Forum reflects on the year that wasn’t

Fresh off the back of the worst year in the history of the live music business, a quartet of industry titans put their heads together to figure out where we go from here for ILMC’s traditional opening session, the Open Forum, which moved to a mid-afternoon time slot for this year’s one-off digital edition.

Live Nation’s executive president of international touring, Phil Bowdery, kicked off the panel in a different way to usual. “We normally start off this session by talking about the year’s biggest grosses,” he said, before asking panellists how they’d spent the past year in the absence of selling hundreds of thousands of tickets.

Emma Banks, agent and co-head of CAA in the UK, summed up the mood when she said “we’ve all been busy fools”, rearranging tours and shows with no knowledge of when live music might be able to return. “Anybody that claims they know when we’ll be able to do international tours, they know something the rest of the world does not,” echoed Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “This thing has its own path of destruction it has to reap, and we’re going to have to be patient.”

When the time is right, “we have to open up globally,” said Jay Marciano, CEO of AEG Presents. “There was a time last year when everyone was experimenting but socially distanced shows, but at 50% [capacity] we realised we’d basically paid for the lights and the stagehands and then not made any money. And it takes away from the live experience.”

Referring to the number of fans who have kept their tickets for postponed events, Marciano added that he’s been struck by “how patient our fans have been”.

“I want to open up – I have $5 billion invested in nine new arenas. But in order to open up we have to have an agreement [as to when], because if one of us opens up too early it’ll affect the rest of us, too.”

“We’re still losing 2,000 people a day in the United States to this virus. So we need to hunker down” until it’s safe to reopen, he added.

“I’ve never seen this kind of demand … We’re going to get through this”

While “Covid has been horrendous”, there have been upsides to 2020’s time out, said Banks. “One thing that has been good is no planes – hopefully that’s been helping the planet we’ve been wrecking,” she explained. “Travel represents a tiny amount of carbon emissions, but – without taking away the gig – what we’ve learnt with Zoom, Webex, Teams, etc., is that we don’t need all the meetings we have, which we fly all over the world for often, often only for a day. We need to rethink what we’re doing.”

She also highlighted that artists have had time for other projects, whether its working on a book or starting a podcast, because they haven’t been on the road.

Both Leiweke and Marciano also pointed to advances in new technology such as 5G while touring has been on pause. “Technology didn’t take a year and a half off,” said Leiweke. When shows return, “we’re going to be see brand-new technology that will enhance the experience but won’t replace it”, he added.

Whenever it is live returns, none of the panellists were in any doubt about fans’ continued passion for live music, referencing the incredible pent-up demand for shows that has been building throughout 2020/21.

“There’s a whole load of catching up to do,” said Banks. “But it will be OK.”

“I’ve never seen this kind of demand. [For 2021] we have 180 holds in our new arena in New York already,” added Leiweke. “We’re going to get through this.”

Tickets for ILMC 33, which include all panels available to watch back until 5 April 2021, are still available. Click here for more information.

 


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AEG announces layoffs, furloughs

Live entertainment powerhouse AEG is implementing staff layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions as part of a Covid-19 cost-cutting plan.

The company, whose CEO Dan Beckerman notified employees of the measures on Monday (8 June), is enacting the measures across all parts of the business from 1 July, including concert and festival promoter AEG Presents.

In a separate message, AEG Presents chairman and CEO Jay Marciano stated that those affected would be provided with “the best safety net” possible.



“I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that, just a few short months ago, nobody in our business – or any business – could have predicted where we would be today. The world has changed with an impact and scope that’s impossible to fathom,” wrote Marciano in a memo obtained by Variety.

“Simply put, we will reopen when we are confident that it is safe to do so”

“I wish I could tell you when it will be safe to reopen. At present, it appears large-scale events – the core of our business – will be the last to reopen. We will continue to monitor this daily, but the health and safety of our employees, artists and fans remains our highest priority.

“Simply put, we will reopen when we are confident that it is safe to do so.”

AEG joins live companies including Paradigm Talent Agency, WME, Eventbrite, Cirque du Soleil and TicketSwap to lay off staff due to the coronavirus shutdown, while many more industry professionals are temporarily furloughed.

 


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Decade’s End: Jay Marciano on 10 years at the sharp end

As we enter the new decade, IQ caught up with leaders from the global live music business to reflect upon the development of the industry over the past ten years, as well as looking forward to what we can expect in the 2020s.

Following yesterday’s Q&A with UTA’s Neil Warnock, in the hot seat today is Jay Marciano, COO of AEG and chairman/CEO of AEG Presents. IQ quizzes him on the biggest changes of the 2010s and his personal highlights, as well as the venue of the future…

 


IQ: This decade is ending with a long list of new buildings slated for development internationally. What does the venue of the next decade look like?
JM: Form follows function.

From the artist’s perspective: Robust production capabilities, flexible, artist-friendly features.

From the fan’s perspective: Emphasis on a warm environment that has great audio fidelity, superior service, multiple food and drink options, features for every price point.

Consolidation has been a constant theme of this decade. Looking ahead, how do you see the balance between the industry’s key corporations and the remaining independent players?
The major companies need to provide excellent administrative functions, build out and maintain ticketing and digital marketing capabilities, and provide growth capital in an environment that allows our promoters to provide artists and audiences with the excellent personalised and creative service that independents are known for.

What, in your opinion, are the most significant developments (positive and/or negative) in the live music industry over the past ten years?
Unlocking what was, for four decades, a static box-office gross. Dynamic price points which allows artists to fully capture the true gross at all levels.

Streaming has helped artists create global fan bases in ways we never dreamed of

Digital marketing, data capture and mobile ticketing. We are on the precipice of a truly personalised marketing and ticketing experience that will benefit the concertgoer while creating new revenue opportunities and increasing consumption.

Streaming. This has already helped create more new artists than any other time in the history of pop music. Streaming has helped artists create global fan bases in ways we never dreamed of just ten years ago.

What are your own personal highlights from the last decade?
The sheer amount of new talent. It has been exhilarating just trying to keep up!

Looking ahead, what do you perceive will be the biggest challenges for the live music sector in the 2020s?
Any downturn in the global economy.

 


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