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Pollen teams up with Justin Bieber for Vegas weekender

Pollen, a UK-based startup that develops an ‘influencer marketplace’ for events, has announced its latest artist-curated weekender with Justin Bieber.

The startup, founded in 2014 and previously called Verve, works with organisers, promoters and ticketing platforms to negotiate a certain amount of tickets to an event that will be marketed through the members of Pollen (anyone who books a group experience), according to Tech Crunch.

The members, in turn, decide which events they want to promote to their networks. Those who manage to shift tickets (which are not sold by Pollen but by ticketing partners), get rewards including free trips, VIP upgrades, and private group events. Pollen generates revenue by taking a cut on each sale.

The startup, which raised $60 million in funding in October 2019, has worked with the likes of Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, StubHub and SeeTickets.

The startup has worked with the likes of Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, StubHub and SeeTickets.

Pollen Presents’ Justin Bieber & Friends will take place between 7–10 October 2021 in Las Vegas, with festivities split between the Wynn Las Vegas’ XS Nightclub and Encore Beach Club.

The weekender will kick off with an opening party at XS on Thursday night, followed by a pool party on Friday, and a ‘skate park takeover’ and headline set from Bieber on Saturday.

The first wave of artists for the weekender include The Kid Laroi, Jaden Smith, David Guetta, Kehlani, TroyBoi and Eddie Benjamin – all of whom were selected by Bieber.

Passes for the weekender are on sale via Pollen in three tiers, each of which includes three-night accommodation and event access for two punters, priced between $1,099 (€941) and $1,399 (€1,197).

Other artist-curated weekenders organised by Pollen Presents include Diplo’s Higher Ground festival in Cabo (Mexico), the Kurupt FM Weekender in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and J Balvin’s Neon Weekender in Las Vegas, US.

 


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High-profile artists invest in virtual live gigs company

A raft of high-profile artists including Justin Bieber, the Weeknd and J Balvin have invested in Wave, the world’s first multi-million dollar virtual entertainment platform for live concerts.

The platform transforms artists into animated characters via live motion capture technology that records their movements in real-time, while they perform on a virtual stage, customised to their style.

Fans can also create an avatar to join the free-of-game-play concerts shared via TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and other gaming channels, social networks, livestreaming platforms.

The Weeknd invested in the company shortly after his first concert on the platform, dubbed The Weeknd Experience, which aired on TikTok on 7 August.

The show was the company’s highest-profile project to date, drawing in two million viewers and leading to $350,000 in charitable merchandise sales, according to TikTok.

It was recently revealed that the Weeknd isn’t the only artist to invest in Wave this year and is joined by Justin Bieber, Jillionaire and J Balvin, who is set to headline Fornite’s Halloween event.

This year, the company has also secured content partnerships with Warner Music Group and Roc Nation and has locked in $30 million in funding from business moguls including artist manager Scooter Braun.

The company has hosted over fifty concerts and worked with more than twenty artists to date, including John Legend, Tinashe, Imogen Heap and Lindsey Stirling.

While many VR platforms stream pre-recorded concerts, the LA-based company, which was founded in 2016 and originally called TheWaveVR, is differentiated by its live performance and interaction.

 


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Global Citizen prepares for One World follow-up event

International advocacy platform Global Citizen has announced the full line-up for the upcoming Global Goal: Unite for our Future charity event, a follow-up from its record-breaking One World: Together at Home concert.

Together with the European Commission, Global Citizen states it is organising the virtual summit and concert to highlight “the disproportionate impact” that Covid-19 has on marginalised communities, including people of color, those living in extreme poverty and other discriminated communities.

The concert, which airs on 27 June on television and digital channels, will feature performances from Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Christine and the Queens, Usher, J Balvin, Shakira and Jennifer Hudson, among others.

The event is the second organised by Global Citizen to raise funds to help those affected by Covid-19. One World: Together at Home, put on in conjunction with Lady Gaga, set a new record for the most money raised by a remote music festival, generating almost US$128 million for the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund.

“If we are to end Covid-19 for all, we need our world leaders to commit the billions of dollars needed to equitably deliver testing, treatments, and vaccines”

“Global Citizens around the world are calling for systemic change, change that brings about justice for everyone, everywhere, regardless of where they were born or the colour of their skin,” comments Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen.

“If we are to end Covid-19 for all, we need our world leaders to commit the billions of dollars needed to equitably deliver testing, treatments, and vaccines.”

Evans adds that Global Goal aims to “bring the centuries-old concept of music as a motivator for change and unity, together with science and data, to honour the problem solvers who are racing to not only create the cure for Covid-19, but also to ensure that it’s available for everyone who needs it.”

The concert will be available to watch in over 30 countries around the world, broadcast on channels including ARD, Canal+ Group and RTVE in Europe; Bell Media, CBC, Citytv, and Global TV in Canada; NBC and iHeartMedia in the US; Grupo Globo in Brazil; MultiChoice Group and SABC in Africa; Fuji TV and Star India in Asia; and Channel Nine in Australia.

It will also be streamed on global platforms including Apple, Brut, Roku, Insight TV, TIDAL, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo!, and YouTube. Additional broadcasters include BARÇA TV, Bloomberg Television, Fundación Azteca, Mediacorp, MSNBC, MTV International, SiriusXM, Sony Channel Latin America, and Turner Latin America. Viewers are advised to check local listings for start times.

Photo: © Raph_PH on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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Bravado launches charitable face mask range

Universal Music Group-owned merchandising company Bravado has launched a range of face masks to raise money for charity partners including MusiCares and Help Musicians UK.

As reported by IQ earlier this week, face masks are becoming must-have merchandise for music fans, with bands including My Chemical Romance and Korn added branded face coverings to their merch offerings.

Now, UMG’s merchandising arm, Bravado, has unveiled its own range of reusable, washable cloth face masks. Available on the new We’ve Got You Covered e-commerce site, Bravado’s masks feature designs for artists including the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Blackpink, Billie Eilish and the Weeknd.

Starting today (24 April), fans can purchase Bravado’s face masks for US$15. All net proceeds – no less than $8 per product sold – go towards charities supporting the music industry through the coronavirus crisis.

“This initiative will continue to grow and evolve thanks to the hard work from everyone here at Bravado and UMG along with our artists across the globe”

“I’m humbled and grateful to work with artists and partners who are passionate and driven to deliver a program that supports those that need it most during this unprecedented time,” comments Bravado CEO, Mat Vlasic.

“This initiative will continue to grow and evolve thanks to the hard work from everyone here at Bravado and UMG along with our artists across the globe.”

All UMG employees have been offered free face masks through the We’ve Got You Covered programme.

The company will also contribute 50,000 masks to those serving communities across the US including workers in food banks, school lunch programmes, homeless shelters and other community service providers.

 


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Kanye, Bieber, Will Smith perform at Coachella

The second and final weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival came to a close on Sunday 21 April, with Kanye West hosting an Easter “Sunday Service” and Justin Bieber making a return to the stage after a lengthy hiatus.

The 2019 edition of Goldenvoice’s Coachella (125,000-cap.) has now come to an end, following two consecutive weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert.

Kanye West hosted a performance on the closing Sunday of the event as part of his series of Sunday Service performances – invite-only sessions in which the rapper performs alongside a gospel choir in secret locations.

Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi and DMX joined West for the performance atop a hill, some miles away from the main festival site.

Another surprise performance came in the form of Justin Bieber, who joined Ariana Grande on stage for a rendition of his 2015 single ‘Sorry’. The Canadian singer also used the performance to hint at the release of a new album.

The 2019 edition of Coachella has come to an end, following two weekends of live music and surprise appearances in the Californian desert

Will Smith also appeared on the Coachella stage, joining his son Jaden Smith for a performance of the rapper’s song ‘Icon’.

Weekend one of the festival saw Grande break records as Coachella’s youngest-ever headliner, Childish Gambino pay tribute to Mac Miller, the debut of a state-of-the-art augmented reality experience and the introduction of Amazon lockers to the festival.

California’s Empire Polo Club has hosted Coachella since its inaugural edition which took place over two days in 1999. The festival later added its second weekend in 2012.

A 2018 lawsuit filed against Coachella’s radius clause, which forbids acts from playing other North American festivals for five months around the festival, was dismissed last month.

The dates for next year’s Coachella are yet to be announced.

“I’m a Belieber!”: Peter Mensch buries the hatchet with Justin

Legendary artist manager Peter Mensch used his appearance at last week’s ILMC 30 Breakfast Meeting to put to rest his much-publicised feud with Justin Bieber, telling delegates: “I’m a Belieber now!”

The self-professed ‘greatest manager in the fucking world’ said he had two things to say before the interview started in earnest. First off, he paid tribute to Brian Murphy, West Coast president of AEG Presents and Goldenvoice and co-founder of Avalon Attractions, who died on 6 March.

Then he stood up and removed his jumper to reveal a Justin Bieber T-shirt. Five years ago, he revealed, he’d done a talk at the Royal Albert Hall in which he insulted Justin Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun, by suggesting the Canadian singer’s career would be over in three years. (He also told the Sun he’d “take Bieber to the woodshed and spank him” to instil some some discipline in the wayward popstar.)

“I was wrong,” Mensch said at ILMC. “I will acknowledge Justin didn’t go away… I’m now a Belieber.”

He also paid tribute to Braun for his role in organising the One Love Manchester tribute event, saying he thinks “Scooter is OK”.

Breakfast Meeting host Dan Steinberg (Promoter 101) – standing in for Ed Bicknell, who’d broken his leg – got the questions off to a confrontational start: “Why so angry?”

“I don’t give a flying fuck if you can play live… You always get better”

“Because if you manage bands you’re mummy bird and they’re baby bird and anyone doesn’t help you feed them…” responded Mensch. “You’ve got to lead or follow or get the fuck out of the way.”

The ‘mummy bird’ to Metallica, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others said he got into management after a stint as “the world’s worst tour accountant,” and in the office still sits next to his “best friend and only friend in the business,” QPrime partner Cliff Bernstein.

“The most important thing a manager can do is get the best music out of the act they can,” he told the room.

“I don’t give a flying fuck if they can play live. We managed Foals for two years and no one had seen them live. It’s all about the music. You always get better at live. Maybe you’re never gonna be God’s gift, but you’ll get better.”

Mensch said there’s one key to choosing the artists they work with: “It’s the music. Someone sends us music, we listen to it, someone says ‘it sucks’, end of conversation. Two of us listen and say ‘that’s a good record’ and on the way to Popeyes Fried Chicken we decide to manage them.

“Like Muse’s third album. The first album sold 10,000 albums, second didn’t come out in the US. We listened to the third record [loved it], went to Bologna, went to see them and said ‘we want to manage you in America’ and they started laughing because they’d had zero success in America.”

“The most important thing a manager can do is get the best music out of the act they can”

He also admitted to looking forward to Mondays, not Fridays, “because I don’t work on Saturday and Sunday.”

“So what motivates one of the greatest managers in the world?” asked Steinberg: “I’m fuelled by hate! I’ve had the chip [on my shoulder] since I was ten.

“We’re the best in the fucking world. We want to shove it down people’s throats.”

So what’s the ideal fan experience for Mensch? “Three hours of my favourite band. I want to have a great time and great sound. I wanna bang my head and walk out feeling amazing.”

However, you’re not likely to see him in any small clubs looking for a new act any time soon. “Most music is crap for me. I don’t hear as much amazing music as I used to. I don’t listen to as much new stuff because I only care about my acts. Cliff listens to a lot more – my feeling is, ‘If I don’t manage you, fuck you’.”

 


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UK schoolboy convicted over plans to attack Bieber show

A Welsh teenager has been convicted of planning to drive a car into a crowd of people in Cardiff in an Islamic State (Isis)-inspired terrorist attack.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), one of the 17-year-old’s targets was the Justin Bieber concert at the Principality Stadium (74,500-cap.) on 30 June. On the morning of the show – which was also targeted by a machete-wielding anti-Muslim extremist who reportedly threatened to “chop [up] all Muslims” – police raided the schoolboy’s house and discovered a large knife, a hammer and a ‘martyrdom’ letter pledging his allegiance to Isis as a “soldier of the Islamic State”.

The teenager had also downloaded two editions of an Isis propaganda magazine advising on how to commit a vehicle-based attack, while his internet history included searches for ‘Isis beheading video’, ‘Isis terrorist attacks’, ‘Police car UK armed response’, ‘how to create a terror attack’, ‘driving a lorry into a crowd of people’ and ‘what does getting shot feel like’. His Instagram password was ‘Truck Attack’.

Other potential targets included Cardiff Castle, the New Theatre, the Capitol shopping centre, the Central Library, the CPS says.

“This teenager’s behaviour over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible”

At his trial at Birmingham crown court, the 17-year-old – who is a white Briton – accepted he had written the letter and placed the knife and hammer in his rucksack but denied intending to harm anyone.

“This teenager’s behaviour over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible in an attack reminiscent of the incident on Westminster bridge,” says Sue Hemming, head of the CPS’s special crime and counter-terrorism division. “He was also posting extremist content online that could have encouraged others to commit terrorist acts and downloading instructions on how to carry out ‘lone wolf’ attacks.

“The CPS presented overwhelming evidence that he was prepared to die for Daesh [Isis]’s extremist worldview and he will now rightly face the prospect of a substantial prison sentence.”

The teenager will be sentenced at a later date.

 


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Bieber, Drake lead decade’s top Canadian tours

With Canada Day 2017 – aka Canada’s 150th birthday – fast approaching, StubHub has released data on its ten top-selling Canadian artists of the last decade.

Unsurprisingly, pop superstar Justin Bieber tops StubHub’s rankings, with Drake, The Weeknd, veteran prog-rockers Rush and Vine star-done-good Shawn Mendes rounding out the top five.

National institution The Tragically Hip – whose recent farewell show was watched by a third of the country – place eighth.

While not, of course, a definitive list, StubHub is Canada’s (and the world’s) leading secondary ticket marketplace, so the eBay-owned business should have a fairly good insight into long-term market trends.

The full list is below:

StubHub Canadian top-selling artists

The modern state of Canada was confederated from three colonies of British North America – Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – on 1 July 1867. The 150th Canada Day (until 1982 called Dominion Day), which celebrates the anniversary of confederation, is tomorrow: 1 July 2017.

 


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Switzerland’s abc introduces “rigorous” bag ban

Zurich-based abc Production has become the latest promoter to ban backpacks in the aftermath of 22 May’s Manchester Arena bombing.

Under the new rules, those attending future abc shows – which include Justin Bieber at the Stade de Suisse (32,000-cap.) on 15 June, Aerosmith at Hallenstadion (13,000-cap.) on 5 July and The Rolling Stones at the Letzigrund stadium (30,930-cap.) on 20 September – will be limited to bum bags/money belts and bags no larger than an A5 sheet of paper (14.8 x 21 cm).

In a statement, the promoter says it is “aware of its great responsibility in security matters”. “As a consequence of the tragic events at Manchester Arena, as well as the constantly changing demands of tour safety and artist management, abc Production has decided to implement a rigorous backpack and bag ban on all shows,” it reads.

“As a consequence of the tragic events at Manchester Arena, abc Production has decided to implement a rigorous backpack and bag ban”

By banning rucksacks, abc follows German festivals Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, which last week announced no backpacks would be permitted in the festival arena. (Despite the increased security, the first day of the festival was called after receiving a “concrete warning” of an imminent terrorist attack.)

abc says a backpack ban will speed up entry, with “shorter waiting times” as a result of security staff not needed to search patrons’ bags.

 


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Grande, Bieber, Coldplay for LN Manchester benefit

Ariana Grande will return to Manchester this Sunday (4 June), headlining a star-studded benefit in aid of the families of the victims of last Monday’s bombing.

One Love Manchester, underwritten by Live Nation and produced by Festival Republic in association with SJM Concerts, will take place at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground (50,000-cap.) and feature performances by Grande, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That and 1D’s Niall Horan.

Tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster at 10am on Thursday 1 June, while those who attended Grande’s tragic show at Manchester Arena on 22 May can register to attend for free.

All net proceeds for the show, which will be broadcast on BBC TV and radio and Capital radio, will be donated to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

“We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us”

In an open letter to fans, Grande (pictured) – who postponed her Dangerous Woman tour in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack – says: “My heart, prayers and condolences are with the victims of the Manchester Attack and their loved ones. There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better. However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.

“We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win… Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before.

“Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy. So that is what it will continue to do for us. We will continue to honour the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy. They will be on my mind and in my heart every day, and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.”

 


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