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Bieber stadium gig confirmed as Malaysia opens up

Justin Bieber has confirmed his first concert in Malaysia in a decade as the country prepares to reopen its international borders on 1 April.

The singer will appear at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on 22 October as part of a newly announced leg of his Justice World Tour.

The venue, which is situated to the south of Kuala Lumpur, has previously welcomed artists such as Ed Sheeran, Linkin Park, Paramore, Kelly Clarkson and Usher.

Malaysia’s prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced earlier this month that quarantine-free travel and tourism would be allowed as part of a “transition phase” towards treating Covid-19 as endemic.

“it’s such a surreal feeling that we are able to make this announcement today, after a two-year pause”

“It’s such a surreal feeling that we are able to make this announcement today, after a two-year pause,” says Para R, MD of promoter PR Worldwide. “We are proud to bring the highly anticipated Justice World Tour to Malaysian fans this October.”

The tour is Bieber’s first global outing since 2016/2017’s Purpose world tour, which grossed $257 million, attracting 2,805,481 fans across 141 shows, according to Pollstar. Tickets for his return to Malaysia are priced between RM288 (€62) and RM1,088 (€234) and go on sale 31 March.

Bieber last performed in the country for an MTV World Stage event held at Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur in 2012. The Canadian singer will tour five continents from May 2022 to March 2023, travelling to over 20 countries for more than 90 dates. He has also added a 3 November date in Jakarta, Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Madya Stadium.

PR Worldwide partnered with Live Nation in 2019 and has worked on tours and shows by acts including Bruno Mars, Lewis Capaldi, Charlie Puth, Ed Sheeran, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons and Shawn Mendes.

 


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Lucca Summer Festival gears up for 2022 comeback

Promoters of Italy’s Lucca Summer Festival (LSF) have spoken to IQ about the return of the star-studded concert series.

Justin Bieber became the latest headliner to be confirmed for the month-long LSF in Tuscany earlier this week. The Canadian singer will perform a 40,000-cap show in the Mura Storiche area, next to the Lucca City Walls,  on 31 July. He joins a 2022 line-up already featuring Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets (25 June), Liam Gallagher + Kasabian (6 July), John Legend (9 July) and Robert Plant + Alison Krauss (14 July), with Celine Dion confirmed for 15 July next year.

With the 2020 and 2021 festivals falling victim to the pandemic, Enrico D’Alessandro of event promoter D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi) tells IQ he is looking forward to making up for lost time.

“Since we work mostly with international artists, it was very difficult for us to do even the smaller gigs, so we remained totally still for a couple of years,” he says. “Last year, there were limits on capacity – events were only permitted up to 1,000 people, which was too low for us to work. We thought about putting on a special edition, with a smaller capacity, but it didn’t feel right, so we preferred to wait.

“Now we’re excited to go back promoting live music, but we’re excited for the audience as well, because we know that these upcoming events will have a different flavour, it will be like a rebirth in some ways.”

A number of the headline acts for LSF 2022, which will also utilise a second, 8,000-cap venue, had been booked to play two years ago. But organisers were forced to admit defeat in their bid to reschedule a Paul McCartney show, originally slated for June 2020.

“That was a dream we had chased for so many years and we were very close, but unfortunately we had to face the reality of the situation,” sighs D’Alessandro. “We were able to save some of those shows, but it really hurts to to have lost McCartney.”

“We’re trying to expand the festival to a younger audience”

The addition of Bieber signals a change in tack for the festival, which has welcomed the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder and Ennio Morricone since launching in 1998.

“At the beginning, it was hard to convince artists to choose a small little city in Tuscany over major cities. But now, thank God, sometimes the agent and the artists even ask us to play because word has spread,” says D’Alessandro. “Lucca has always had an adult audience, so we try to book the biggest music legends and give the audience the opportunity to enjoy big artists, who you would normally see in stadiums or arenas, in this tiny square in the heart of Tuscany, surrounded by trees.

“We like to keep this flavour for the festival because we know that the foreign audience loved it. There were cases when the foreign audience was the majority of the audience – with Tom Jones and Van Morrison, more than 50% of the audience came from abroad.

“This year, we’re going to satisfy that kind of audience with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, John Legend or Nick Mason, but we’re trying to expand the festival to a younger audience. That is something we’d started doing in the past – we had Imagine Dragons, Green Day, Queens of the Stone Age. Bieber is probably the biggest around in that specific [youth] market, and we are excited to be chosen among the very few festivals he is playing this summer. For us, it’s a privilege, and we are excited to welcome audience members from every part of Europe.”

He adds: “Also, to celebrate the comeback of live shows, we wanted to have more domestic artists than usual, so we’re going to do six or seven shows with the biggest domestic artists around.”

The LSF team has also announced the launch of new 10,000-cap Tuscany festival La Prima Estate, which will run from 21-26 June. Located just 50 metres from the sea in Bussola Domani Park in Lido Di Camaiore, Versilia, it will host four international artists each night. Headline acts include The National, Duran Duran, Bonobo, Courtney Barnett, Jungle and Mura Masa.

With Italian prime minister Mario Draghi announcing the country will exit its state of emergency on 31 March, D’Alessandro is filled with hope about the forthcoming season.

“We should have full capacity for open air events instantly, so we are very confident that this summer will look like 2019 – at least for open air events,” he says. “We don’t know yet if the green [vaccine] pass will be needed. It looks like it will be needed until mid June but we don’t have certainty on that yet. Of course, we understand that indoor events are the ones at bigger risk, but let’s hope we won’t have any bad variants and the situation will stay under control.”

 


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Justin Bieber tour nears one million ticket sales

AEG Presents has revealed Justin Bieber’s 2022/23 Justice world tour is on track to sell more than one million tickets.

The Canadian singer will tour five continents from May 2022 to March 2023, travelling to over 20 countries for more than 90 dates, with extra shows to be announced in Japan, Asia and the Middle East.

A total of 875,000 tickets have been sold since last month’s tour announcement. Thirty-one of the newly announced shows sold out on the morning of the on-sale, with additional nights added in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Mexico City.

To see how fast the tickets are flying out the door is testament to his status as one of the world’s biggest live music draws

“Justin’s return to the international stage is going to be a juggernaut of a run, and to see how fast the tickets are flying out the door is testament to his status as one of the world’s biggest live music draws,” says Simon Jones, SVP, international touring of promoter AEG Presents. “His Justice world tour is expanding further, and is going to comfortably smash through the million ticket mark once we announce the remaining territories.”

The new dates also come on the heels of Bieber’s recently announced 52-date 2022 North American tour, which kicks off in San Diego on February 18.

The tour is Bieber’s first global outing since 2016/2017’s Purpose world tour, which grossed $257 million, attracting 2,805,481 fans across 141 shows, according to Pollstar.

Bieber also headlined Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball with Barclaycard at The O2 in London on Saturday (11 December).

 


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Justin Bieber partners with Wave on virtual experience

Global superstar Justin Bieber is partnering with virtual concert company Wave for an ‘interactive virtual experience’ in the metaverse.

Wave’s technology will allow Bieber to transform into a digital avatar (pictured) and perform songs from his chart-topping album Justice for the first time in the metaverse.

According to a statement, the show will give fans a “futuristic look into the metaverse, merging gaming, real-time motion-capture, and live musical performance into an immersive interactive experience”.

Fans will also have a chance to appear live on stage alongside Bieber during dedicated fan moments, and influence his performance and environments in real-time.

“Justin is paving the way for artists to incorporate a virtual ‘tour stop’ to reach audiences who can’t attend in-person”

“Justin Bieber is not only one of the world’s biggest artists, he is also one of the most forward-thinking. This partnership allows for limitless, virtual opportunities for him and his fans,” says Adam Arrigo, CEO of Wave.

“By combining Wave’s technology with Justin’s creativity, we’ve created a unique, interactive experience that complements his upcoming physical tour. Justin is paving the way for artists to incorporate a virtual concert ‘tour stop’ to reach new audiences who can’t attend in-person or want a different kind of live music experience.”

Wave has hosted virtual experiences for blockbuster artists such as The Weeknd, John Legend, Dillon Francis, Tinashe and more.

Fans can sign up on wave.watch to experience the ‘Justin Bieber – An Interactive Virtual Experience’ for free on 18 November at 18:00 PT/21:00 ET. Rebroadcasts will follow on 20 and 21 November for audiences worldwide.

In other metaverse-related news, Roblox has today announced the first virtual concert fully designed by community developers.

Burgeoning US star Tai Verdes will appear in avatar form to perform in a virtual venue designed by Roblox studio, Melon – a mainstay developer on the platform responsible for previous launch parties for the likes of Ava Max, Why Don’t We, Zara Larsson, and KSI.

Unlike previous Roblox launch party venues where artists appeared on a video screen, Verdes will appear in his avatar form and perform from his Venice Beach-inspired boardwalk on Roblox.

The exclusive space, which is open today, features the “latest technological advancements available to developers” and will showcase a live Q&A with Verdes after the first concert performance on Saturday morning.

“Roblox has always been about empowering our developer community to build next-generation experiences”

“Tai Verdes is at the top of his game right now and we are thrilled he’s performing his new single on Roblox,” says Jon Vlassopulos, Vice President and Global Head of Music for Roblox.

“Roblox has always been about empowering our developer community to build next-generation experiences on the platform for the global community to enjoy.”

Roblox has previously hosted virtual events for Lil Nas X, Royal Blood, Twenty One Pilots, KSI and Electric Daisy Carnival.

​​The Tai Verdes Concert Experience is set to premiere this Saturday (13 November) at 11:00 PT exclusively on the Roblox platform and the show will repeat each hour through Sunday 14 November at 23:00 PT.

 


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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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