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Live Nation, OVG, GL events to build new Sao Paulo arena

Live Nation, Oak View Group and GL events are partnering on the development of a brand new 20,000-capacity arena in São Paulo, Brazil.

The state-of-the-art Arena São Paulo, expected to open in 2024, will host live events such as concerts, sports games, family entertainment and more.

The arena will be located within São Paulo’s premier entertainment destination, the Anhembi District, which is well-known for hosting the Carnival parade, among other events.

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the re-development of the whole Anhembi District which will also include a cultural boulevard, an exhibition centre, and São Paulo’s first next-generation, international convention centre.

Live Nation and Oak View Group will be the operators of the facility and will oversee event bookings

In addition to developing the venue, Live Nation and Oak View Group will be the operators of the facility and will oversee event bookings.

Live Nation already has a major presence in Brazil, hosting major festivals such as Lollapalooza and Rock in Rio, while also promoting local and international tours.

São Paulo is the fourth-largest city in the world and the wealthiest economy in Latin America.

“As the leader in live, we’re excited to be expanding our footprint in Latin America by creating a world-class arena in São Paulo. This new venue will add to our portfolio of 200+ venues worldwide and we are proud to contribute to the growth of São Paulo as a live music hub and international touring destination,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“We are going to build the best arena in Latin America”

Tim Leiweke, CEO of OVG, commented: “We’re honoured to include São Paulo in our global portfolio of entertainment destinations and look forward to working with GL events and Live Nation Entertainment to transform Anhembi District into the largest entertainment destination in Latin America.”

Olivier Ginon, founder and chairman of GL events, says: “GL events is a leading global player and Brazil’s largest operator in the events sector.

“We are excited to partner with OVG and Live Nation Entertainment, two global entertainment leaders to invest in Arena São Paulo. Entertainment is a major component of Anhembi District. We look forward to capturing synergies between Arena São Paulo and our network of venues, including Rio de Janeiro’s Jeunesse Arena.”

Mayor of São Paulo, Ricardo Nunes, adds: “Today is a historic day for our city because we are starting the implementation of the Arena São Paulo, a project led by the three best companies in the world in their industry. We are going to build the best arena in Latin America. It will be a major achievement for the city of São Paulo and for the world.”

 


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Live Nation resumes acquisition of Ocesa for $444m

Live Nation has resumed its acquisition of Ocesa, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

The US$444 million deal, if completed, would give the world’s largest live entertainment company a 51% stake in one of its largest competitors, which dominates the Latin American market.

The acquisition, which was paused due to the pandemic, is now expected to close by late 2021 or early 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

Live Nation originally agreed to buy 51% of Ocesa for over $400m in summer 2019 but pulled out of the deal in May last year, just a month after Mexican competition regulators approved the deal.

Following the termination of the deal, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said that he was “long term, still bullish on [Ocesa’s] business and ours” but that Live Nation was “not looking to take on any losses from Mexico while they’re going through their six or eight months of business downturn”.

“Ocesa will play a pivotal role in putting together many incredible shows in Mexico and the rest of Latin America”

The joint sellers of the stake are the Inter-American Entertainment Corporation (Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, or CIE) and Grupo Televisa, a media giant in the Spanish-speaking world.

Live Nation is reportedly buying a 40% stake in Ocesa from Grupo Televisa, and 11% of the concert promoter from CIE.

CIE will hold on to the remaining 49% minority stake in Ocesa. Live Nation is expected to hold back 7% of the closing price to cover any potential operating losses for several quarters.

“After serving as Live Nation’s touring, festival, and ticketing partner in Mexico for years, we know Ocesa is a stellar business with deep roots in live entertainment in Mexico,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“Alex has built a remarkable company and as we continue to build on the return to live, Ocesa will play a pivotal role in putting together many incredible shows in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.”

“This deal gives us a unique opportunity to continue Ocesa’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live sector”

Alejandro Soberón Kuri, president and CEO of CIE, added: “We are extremely proud to finally join Live Nation. This is a natural evolution of our long-standing relationship and it gives us a unique opportunity to continue Ocesa’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live entertainment industry. Additionally, it will help us foster CIE’s commitment to the promotion of Mexican artistic talent abroad.”

Soberón Kuri will serve as CEO and sit on the board of the newly-formed joint venture. Rapino will become chairman of the venture’s board of directors.

Ocesa promotes more than 3,100 events for nearly six million fans annually across Mexico and Colombia and has a robust business portfolio in ticketing, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, and venue operation – including 13 premier venues across Mexico with a collective capacity of nearly 250,000 seats.

Ocesa’s primary ticketing business, Ticketmaster Mexico, is a leading ticket company in Mexico.

 


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Rock in Rio founder plans new 105,000-cap festival

Roberto Medina, founder of the largest festival in South America, Rock in Rio, has announced a new event which is set to be “the biggest music, culture and art festival Sāo Paulo, Brazil, has ever seen”.

The inaugural edition of The Town will take place in September 2023, welcoming up to 105,000 people per day to the Interlagos race track in Sāo Paulo – the largest city in Latin America.

The event will involve “lots of music, lots of stages and lots of entertainment, with national and international attractions during the five days of celebration,” according to Medina.

“I love Brazil intensely,” says Medina. “And, just like Rock in Rio, The Town was born from this passion for our land, from the amplification of looking at new opportunities and from the desire that the pandemic brought me in these months of confinement to bring something new.

“It will be surprising. The entire concept was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo, in addition to being ready to host an event of this magnitude.”

“The entire concept [of The Town] was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo”

From next year, Brazil will host Rock in Rio (cap. 100,000) in even years and now The Town in odd years.

The Brazilian edition of Rock in Rio will be held between 2–4 and 8–11 September 2022 at the Olympic Park in Rio De Janeiro, and will be headlined by Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.

The Lisbon-based edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 80,000) will also take place next year (18–19 and 25–26 June), with Foo Fighters, The National, Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, a-ha, Xutos & Pontapés, Bush and Post Malone all confirmed.

The Brazil and Lisbon editions of Rock in Rio were called off in 2021 and 2020.

Rock in Rio is majority-owned by Live Nation after the entertainment giant increased its shareholding in the company, in 2019.

 


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Thirteen people die in police raid at Peru club

Thirteen people died in a crush on Saturday night trying to escape police who raided Thomas Restobar Club in Lima for violating coronavirus restrictions, according to the government.

The intervention took place at around 9 pm, shortly before Lima’s mandatory social immobilization was due to come into effect, preventing residents from leaving their houses between 10 pm on Saturdays and 4 am on Monday mornings, in a bid to mitigate a new surge in coronavirus.

According to the government, around 120 people had attended the illegal birthday gathering on Saturday at Thomas Restobar Club. After police raided the club, the partygoers “tried to escape through the single exit, trampling each other and getting trapped in the stairway”. Eleven men and two women aged in their 20s and 30s died.

President Martín Vizcarra said 15 of 23 revellers arrested had tested positive for the coronavirus. The club’s owners, a married couple, were among those detained. Six people were injured, including three police officers.

“I have anger and indignation for those who were irresponsible by organising this. Let’s not lose more lives due to negligence “

“I have sorrow and I have sadness for the people and relatives of the people who have died, but I also have anger and indignation for those who were irresponsible by organising this,” President Vizcarra said. “Please reflect, let’s not lose more lives due to negligence.”

The statement from the government said that the National Police of Peru (PNP) acted in strict compliance with the law and followed all established protocols. It says no tear gas or firearms were used to evacuate the clubbers from Thomas Restobar Club. Some eyewitnesses say tear gas was used.

A night-time curfew has been in place in Peru since March, and a ban on large gatherings was reimposed earlier this month.

It imposed one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in Latin America to stop the spread of coronavirus – but has still seen cases rise rapidly.

The country has been among the Latin American countries hardest hit by Covid, with more than 576,000 cases of coronavirus cases and more than 27,000 fatalities recorded.

 


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StubHub shutters offices in Asia, Latin America

Secondary ticketing giant StubHub is closing down its offices in parts of Asia and Latin America, further reducing its workforce worldwide, the Guardian has reported.

In an email seen by the newspaper, employees were told that the closures “mean that we have to bid farewell to our colleagues in Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Hong kong, Taiwan and Korea”.

“This decision has not been made lightly, nor easily,” reads the email.

It is understood that fewer than 100 of StubHub’s 650-strong workforce are facing redundancy as a result of the closures. However, the company is also believed to be making further cuts to its staff based in Madrid, with team members being furloughed or working reduced hours.

“This decision has not been made lightly, nor easily”

A StubHub spokesperson tells IQ that it will continue to serve customers in Asia Pacific and Latin Amerca with the support of “core operational teams in Europe”.

The measures constitute another round of staff reductions for the secondary ticketer, which was acquired by Viagogo last year. StubHub furloughed around a third of its workforce earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and also saw the departure of its CEO, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy in May.

“While events will be among the last to return to normal following this pandemic, we’re confident in the industry’s ability to rebound,” says a StubHub spokesperson.

“For now, we continue to support our customers and partners and look forward to a time when we are able to return to the joy of live events and the special connections that come with them.”

 


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Move Concerts hosts Latam’s first drive-in show

Move Concerts, the largest independent promoter in Latin America, has staged the first live event in the region since the Covid-19 shutdown, hosting a four-hour drive in concert in Puerto Rico on Saturday (4 July).

The Drive-in Summer Fest, which was organised by Move Concerts Puerto Rico in conjunction with No Limit Entertainment, saw Latin Grammy-winning Pedro Capó and local rock bands La Secta and Circo perform to 1,500 vehicle-bound guests.

The show was the first drive-in concert to take place in Latin America, following the format’s success in markets worldwide. Live Nation, the world’s biggest promoter, is currently preparing for a series of drive-in shows in the United States and the UK.

Temperature checks were performed on entry at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan and hand sanitiser distributed to fans. Social distancing was enforced as each party remained in designated areas marked around their cars.

“Thanks to Move Concerts PR and No Limit Entertainment for having the initiative at such a difficult time. Last night was truly special”

All tickets for the sell-out event were digital, with the show ending at 9 p.m. to ensure all guests adhered to the island’s coronavirus curfew of 10 p.m.

A drone show, consisting of 135 drones, was put on by the event’s main sponsor, telecommunications company AT&T – a first in Puerto Rico – to announce the launch of its 5G network.

“Thanks Puerto Rico for always supporting your own,” posted headliner Capó on Instagram. “I feel I can speak for all the colleagues, technicians and musicians when I say that you don’t know how much we missed being on stage.

“Thanks to Move Concerts PR and No Limit Entertainment for having the initiative at such a difficult time. Last night was truly special.”

This Saturday (11 July), Move Concerts will put on the first pay-per-view live stream concert in Puerto Rico, which will see Kany García. García will perform her new album Mesa para Dos (Table for Two), alongside guests including Camilo, Tommy Torres and Pedro Capó, live from the 5,000-capacity Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan.

Tickets for the concert are available here for fans all over the world.

 


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La Morada: Top artists back Move CO aid for laid-off crew

Move Concerts has partnered with Spin Agency, an advertising and branding company, to launch La Morada, a new online entertainment hub designed to raise money for Colombia’s chinomatics, or production crews, during the coronavirus epidemic.

La Morada (which means both a home and the colour purple in Spanish) is a ‘virtual house’ made up of ‘rooms’ each containing specific content, such as live music, comedy, yoga, psychology, meditation, fitness classes, cooking and video games. Launched on 17 April, over 300 hours of free content has been created for the initial lifespan of the project, which was originally programmed to run for one month, until 17 May, but has been extended to 17  June.

Artists who appear in La Morada – which include Latin music stars such as J Balvin, Juanes, Fonseca and Carlos Vives – have donated their time for free, providing performance footage or exclusive interviews. Other content includes virtual PlayStation football matches (Colombia vs Peru is a recent highlight), and production masterclasses with Teo Echevarria and guests.

While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a cesta basica (‘basic basket’) containing essential groceries for a family, including food and hygiene products, for the chinomatics and their loved ones.

Nicolas Martinez, marketing director for Move Concerts Colombia and director/partner at Spin Agency, recalls Covid-19 first hitting Colombia: “As the reality sunk in, fear was all that I felt. Twenty twenty was supposed to be our best year ever. We had a calendar filled with brand events and concerts. Our budget goals were already accomplished and then, out of the blue, our world froze.

“Then I started thinking about our office in Bogota, which operates with 32 people, plus hundreds of direct and indirect hires around events: producers, stagehands, roadies, security, sound and light engineers, riggers, tour managers, and other jobs that are the real foundation of our business – the chinomatics.”

While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a ‘basic basket’ containing essential groceries

He continues: “I found out that Teo Echevarria, our head of production and Maluma’s production manager, was linked to an association, IPEE [Industria de Produccion de Eventos y Espectaculos, a union for production personnel), that was compiling a database of all the chinomatics who were going through a difficult time, and who were not even able to purchase basic food products for themselves and their families.

“To date, the database has a listing of more than 3,000 people.”

Using IPEE’s data, the Move and Spin teams came up with a project that would keep staff busy while generating some basic assistance for crew and their families.

Fernando Escobar, talent director for Move Concerts Colombia, who is also general manager for La Morada, adds: “We are essentially running a TV station that airs on a digital platform and social media with a programming grid that extends 7am to 11pm daily. This is non-stop.”

To date, La Morada, which is sponsored by Aval Group, has donated over 900 food baskets (out of a goal of 1,500 before the project ends) and been viewed by 600,000 viewers across all platforms (web plus Instagram and social media).

The ‘house’ can be accessed by going to www.lamorada.com.co or on Instagram at @lamoradaco.

 


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Uncertainty for promoters as Covid-19 spreads in Latam

Promoters in Latin America are facing much uncertainty as shows are shut down, curfews imposed and currency values decline due to the worsening spread of coronavirus

The first case of Covid-19 was reported in Latin America in late February, in the Brazilian city of São Paulo. The virus has now spread to many other countries in the region, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In the region’s biggest touring markets, quarantines are in place in Argentina, Colombia and parts of Brazil. In Chile, the government has imposed a curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m, with over one million residents of its capital, Santiago, put under lockdown today (26 March).

This week, the Mexican government placed a ban on all public and private gatherings of over 100 people for the next month, as the country moved into phase two of the epidemic.

“It is still way too early to gauge the full impact in the mid and long term,” says Phil Rodriguez, CEO of Move Concerts, which has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico, as well as its Miami headquarters. “The first impact is that shows and festivals have been cancelled or rescheduled.”

“For now, we are rescheduling shows from September onwards assuming that is a safe bet, but this could change.”

Major festivals in Latin America affected by the virus include the Lollapalooza festival franchise, which has been rescheduled for 23 to 26 November in Argentina, 27 to 29 November in Chile and 4 to 6 December in Brazil. Estéreo Picnic, due to take place in the Colombian capital of Bogotá in March, has now moved to the start of December.

“For now, we are rescheduling shows from September onwards assuming that is a safe bet, but this could change”

Rodriguez notes that promoters’ associations in all markets have been meeting and reaching out to governments for assistance in various forms, such as “ low interest credit lines, moratorium on taxes and extensions on the time period for reimbursements on cancelled shows.”

Asked what can be expected over the next few months, Rodriguez simply replies: “I wish I knew”.

“This is a continually changing scenario that can change at any minute and has so many parts involved that any speculation is sheer conjecture,” says the Move Concerts boss. “I think we all need a few more weeks to get a better handle on the longer term picture.”

Guillermo Parra, director of international events at Ocesa, the largest promoter in Latin America, agrees that the upcoming weeks “will be crucial”.

Live Nation announced its plan to acquire a controlling stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the world’s fifth-largest promoter and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico, in July last year. The promoter puts around 3,100 shows a year and operates 14 venues across Mexico.

“At the moment, all gatherings have been banned – from movie theaters to concerts – until 19 April,” says Parra, “but I honestly think this will go on for longer.”

“When we wake from the virus nightmare, the economic reality will begin”

In Chile, a market which has seen heavy disruption over the past few months due to wide-spread anti-government protests, promoters are rescheduling shows to June, subject to venue availability and touring schedules, says Carlos Geniso, president of DG Medios.

On 18 March, Chilean president Sebastian Piñera declared a “state of catastrophe” for 90 days in the whole country, including a ban on gatherings in public spaces and the establishing of a quarantine and curfew. After Brazil, the country is currently one of the worst affected in the region, with 1,142 confirmed cases.

“We are trying to move as much we can to the last quarter calendar of 2020,” says Geniso, adding that the income loss for thousands of people working in the country’s live industry “will be great for a long period of time”.

The economic impact of the virus is of great concern for all in Latin America. Rodriguez states that Brazil and Colombia have been hit particularly hard by the virus, not just in terms of numbers – Brazil has reported 2,201 cases and Colombia has 378 – but rather because “the exchange rate with the dollar has skyrocketed”.

One dollar is equivalent to 5.05 Brazilian reales, up from BRL4.45 at the end of February, whereas 4,066 Colombian pesos now equal $1, increasing from COP3,460 a month ago.

In Mexico, Parra states that, between the virus and declining oil prices, “the Mexican peso has been crushed”. The Mexican currency fell to a record low against the dollar earlier this week, with $1 selling for over 25 pesos on Monday.

“When we wake from the virus nightmare, the economic reality will begin,” says Parra.

Photo: Leonardo Samran/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Spain’s Wegow reports record 2019

Spanish concert discovery and ticketing platform Wegow reported a record year in 2019, receiving 38 million visits and opening a new office in Mexico City.

Launched in 2015, the Bilbao- and Madrid-headquartered company is one of a number of B2B digital platforms growing in popularity in Spain, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019. As well as providing ticketing services, Wegow also acts as a concert discovery portal, digital marketing tool and live music-focused social platform.

The start-up recorded a turnover of €25.4 million (£21.1m) in 2019, a 135% increase year-on-year.

Around 2,300 promoters now sell tickets through Wegow, with over one million customers buying tickets via the platform last year – more than double those bought in 2018.

“It is very important to keep offering a live music platform that is complete, fast and secure, both for users and all other industry stakeholders”

Over 28.3m unique users visited the marketplace throughout 2019, with significant increases in visits from the USA, Portugal and UK. The company also strengthened its Latin American footprint in 2019, opening offices in Mexico, adding to operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

“We are extremely satisfied with the 2019 results, which prove that we have a well-established and consolidated business in Spain,” says Wegow CEO and cofounder José María Ozamiz.

“We have also been extremely well received in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Based on this, we will continue to commit to Wegow’s internationalisation. However, beyond the good numbers, we believe it is very important to keep offering a live music platform that is complete, fast and secure, both for users and all other industry stakeholders.”

Wegow currently operates in 17 countries across Europe and Latin America, as well as in the United States and Australia.

 


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Decade’s End: Phil Rodriguez’s 2020 predictions

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 Wednesday’s Q&A with UTA’s Neil Warnock and yesterday’s chat with AEG’s Jay Marciano, in the hot seat today is Phil Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Move Concerts, who talks festivals, data, industry consolidation and more…

 


IQ: 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?
PR: I believe there’s room for everyone in the food chain. Independents have to up their game and focus on whatever their particular strengths may be.

As with everything in life, one size does not fit all.

One of the great success stories of the last decade has been the growth of the festival market. In terms of format, scale and programming, how might the festival scene develop in the coming years?
Some will remain, others will fade away… and the great ones will evolve with with the times.

What, in your opinion, are the most significant developments (positive and/or negative) in the live music industry over the past ten years?
Data. The amount of data that is now available, and will certainly grow in the future, is fantastic.

Long gone are the days of calling the local record store to check on sales!

“The amount of data that is now available, and will grow in the future, is fantastic”

The growth of the live business has been impressive in the last decade and the current level of investment by financial institutions seems to indicate that they think that growth will continue. Where do you see those growth opportunities, and how do you predict this growth will compare to this decade?
International expansion and consolidation on all fronts: promotion, venues and ticketing.

To continue the growth curve the emerging international markets hold the most potential for growth.

Looking ahead, what do you perceive will be the biggest challenges for the live music sector in the 2020s?
There are so many fronts – ticketing, international expansion, and worldwide stability, both politically and economically – but the most important challenge is to keep music important and relevant to the next generations. Everything else springs from that.

What are your own personal highlights from the last decade?
The creation and growth of Move Concerts in five years – plus my daughter going to graduate school for her master’s degree!

 


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