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Move Concerts adds to team in Brazil

Move Concerts, the biggest independent concert promoter in Latin America, is bolstering its marketing and finance departments team in Brazil.

Igor Ismail joins Move Concerts Brazil as assistant to Karen Pedroso, the company’s longtime marketing director.

Ismail is a graduate of On Stage Lab, Brazil’s only certified study programme for the live music business.

Elsewhere, Rodrigo Moura joins as finance manager. Moura previously worked at Dream Factory, one of Brazil’s top branding companies.

Move Concerts is headquartered in Miami, Florida, and has offices in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico.

 


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Phil Rodriguez: ‘We’ll be 100% open for business’

Move Concerts boss Phil Rodriguez says the company will be “100% open for business” by March as he shares his bullish projections for the year ahead.

Latin America’s biggest independent promoter, Move has 2022 dates lined up with acts including Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Michael Buble, Louis Tomlinson and A-ha.

Speaking in the new issue of IQ, Rodriguez discusses the opportunities that have opened up for the territory in light of the ongoing restrictions on markets in other parts of the world.

“I do not foresee anything similar to what is happening in Europe or Australia with new lockdowns, happening in our region,” he says. “Simply put, the countries in our part of the world cannot afford more lockdowns or restrictions. The social cost will be too high. And Latin people want to go out and enjoy life.

“We will be 100% open for business by March 2022, and all our shows in general are selling strong.”

“I hope 2022 will be the final mile through this storm that started in March 2020”

However, Rodriguez says it is tough to predict when the international touring business will return to pre-Covid levels.

“We now live in a world where an outbreak of anything anywhere on the planet is augmented by a 24-hour news cycle and governments reimpose restrictions overnight in the name of extra caution,” he says.

“It’s tough to get a firm footing. It’s like walking on egg shells. And this scenario doesn’t help to calm the waters to readdress cancellation insurance, routings… I watch in shock at what is happening in Australia, New Zealand, Austria, etc. How do we and when do we, as a business and society, climb off that ledge?

“That said, it is now clear that Covid will remain with us as an endemic disease, but we now know how to deal with it, with not only the vaccines but many other protocols that we now know also work.”

Backing the industry to “plough through this storm, adapt and prosper”, Rodriguez is optimistic the end of the pandemic is in sight.

“I hope 2022 will be the final mile through this storm that started in March 2020,” he says. “I’m sure there will be more curve balls ahead, but we will all be better prepared and wiser.”

The full interview with Rodriguez appears in IQ 107, out now.

Meanwhile, Argentinian rapper and singer-songwriter Tiago PZK, who is managed by Rodriguez, has signed with Warner Music Latina via a partnership with Rodriguez’s Grand Move Records label.

“Our decision to close with Warner Latin was not taken lightly,” explains Rodriguez. “The deal closer was the enthusiasm and commitment that [president] Alejandro Duque and the Warner Latina team transmitted to us at every step on the negotiations.”

 


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Bad Bunny concert spurs Covid case ‘explosion’ in Puerto Rico

Bad Bunny’s two-day concert in Puerto Rico triggered an ‘explosion’ of Covid-19 cases on the island, according to The New York Times.

The sold-out P Fkn R show, promoted by Noah Assad Presents and Move Concerts, took place at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium on 10 and 11 December 2021 with 60,000 attendees – all of whom were required to show proof of full vaccination.

Reportedly, 2,000 attendees fell sick as a result of the concert, contributing to a 4,600% increase in cases on the island. Business events, company holiday parties and family gatherings also contributed.

Rafael Irizarry, a Harvard University statistician who keeps a dashboard of Puerto Rico Covid-19 data, tweeted that a third of all coronavirus cases the island has recorded since the start of the pandemic occurred in the past month.

A third of all coronavirus cases the island has recorded since the start of the pandemic occurred in the past month

The number of cases per 100,000 residents jumped to 225, from three, in three weeks. In December, the number of hospitalisations doubled — twice.

Puerto Rico previously had one of the most successful vaccination campaigns in the United States. Nearly 85% of residents have had at least one vaccine dose and 75% of the population are fully vaccinated.

Following the increase in cases, officials have imposed tougher restrictions in a bid to stave off the new wave of cases.

As of 22 December 2021, those attending mass events (both indoors and outdoors) will be required to present proof of vaccination and also a negative Covid-19 test (either antigen or PCR performed by an authorised health provider) taken in the 48 hours prior to the event.

Get up to date with the latest live music restrictions affecting key international touring markets here.

 


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Ticketmaster grows presence in Mexico, Chile

Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticketer, is expanding its presence in Latin America with new operations in Mexico and Chile.

The news comes shortly after Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation acquired Ocesa Entretenimiento, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

Under the new ownership structure, Ticketmaster Mexico will transition from a licensing agreement to integrating operations with the broader organisation.

According to Ticketmaster, the move will enable the Mexican business to gain access to the company’s full suite of technology, products and services.

“”Latin America is an incredibly important live entertainment market and a core focus of our global expansion efforts”

In Chile, where Ticketmaster will launch for the first time, the initial market focus will be on increasing digital ticketing use.

Chile and Mexico are the latest markets to be added to Ticketmaster’s Latin American portfolio, which already includes Argentina and Brazil.

The company has long had a foothold in Argentina, delivering ticketing services for several venues and festivals.

While in Brazil, the company focuses on supporting Live Nation’s Rock in Rio music festival and touring business, with plans to bring its digital ticketing technology to the market in 2022.

“Latin America is an incredibly important live entertainment market and a core focus of our global expansion efforts,” says Mark Yovich, Ticketmaster president. “The region has become an important destination for global touring artists, and we have also seen significant growth in venue and festival activity over the last several years.

“Bringing Mexico into the fold and launching in Chile is such a positive way to finish off the year. We look forward to working with our strong base of partners to elevate the fan experience and further our support of the region.”

 


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Live Nation completes Ocesa acquisition

Live Nation yesterday (6 December) announced the completion of its previously announced acquisition of Ocesa Entretenimiento, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

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

The deal comprises a 40% stake in Ocesa, which Live Nation acquired from Grupo Televisa, and an 11% share from Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento’s (CIE).

Live Nation will hold back 7% of the closing price to cover any potential operating losses for several quarters.

The entertainment giant originally agreed to buy 51% of Ocesa for over $400m in summer 2019 but pulled out of the deal in May last year, before resuming the acquisition in September.

“As we continue to bring shows back around the world, we’re excited to officially welcome Ocesa into Live Nation,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“As we continue to bring shows back around the world, we’re excited to officially welcome Ocesa into Live Nation”

“Alex and the Ocesa team are incredible at what they do and together we look forward to creating even more amazing live experiences across Mexico and Latin America.”

Alejandro Soberón Kuri, chairman of the board and COO of CIE, added: “This strategic agreement extends the already successful relationship we have with Live Nation and we are very proud to take it to the next level.

“We are very excited to finally join forces with Michael and his team. Together with the world leader, we will continue to add value and growth to the business, bringing the best entertainment to Mexico and Latin America.”

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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Q&A: Move Concerts boss details LatAm’s recovery

As markets across Latin America gradually reopen, Phil Rodriguez of Move Concerts – the biggest independent concert promoter in the region – says he’s optimistic about the region’s recovery.

Emerging from the most difficult year in live music history, Rodriguez expects the industry to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic “stronger and wiser”.

However, according to the Move Concerts boss, there are a number of obstacles that stand between Latam’s industry and a full recovery.

Below, Rodriguez outlines those obstacles, reflects on the lessons learnt from the pandemic, and addresses “the elephant in the room”…

IQ: How is Latin America’s return to business going?
PR: It’s a patchwork of different sets of rules and regulations per country so it has been a challenge to get them all aligned to have a proper tour of the region. But we’re finally getting there!

In which markets are you now able to fully operate?
Puerto Rico was able to start at full capacity (with proof of vaccination) as of August and business has been incredible. Not only have the shows been selling out, but single dates became multiples. That market came back STRONG.

What’s the deal with vaccine passports and capacity restrictions in Latam?
As noted, it’s a patchwork. Brazil is operating at 70% capacity with proof of vaccination and will open to 100% this week. Argentina will open at 100% capacity with proof of vaccination and with requirements for face masks from 16 November.

Uruguay is at 55% without vaccination and 70% with vaccination. Colombia will be at 100% capacity for vaccinated people from 16 November. Chile is currently held to 40% and in some cases 60% capacity – vaccinated and socially distanced. The expectation is to be open at 100% for the vaccinated by January 2022. Costa Rica will be at 100% as of March 2022 for the vaccinated.

“The lack of cancellation insurance for Covid is the elephant in the room for all of us”

Where has Move’s focus been since markets started to open up?
Rescheduling, booking new tours for the end of 2022 and 2023. Plus our management company and indie record label, Grand Move Records, which are both at full speed.

What opportunities do you see during this recovery period?
The chance to reinvent ourselves and look outside our comfort zone. We all had to do this during the pandemic. We should not get complacent once we return to some normalcy and forget that.

What are the challenges you’re facing right now? 
The lack of cancellation insurance for Covid is the elephant in the room for all of us. The rest we can deal with but will still present a strong challenge such as inflation and devaluation of currencies – which have been hit hard by the pandemic – and the economic consequences of the lockdowns, etc.

How long do you think it’ll take for Latam to get back to pre-pandemic levels of business?
The Covid issue, in my opinion, has been both a health and political issue, unfortunately, and that has not helped us get a better picture of what is ahead of us. But if by the second half of 2022, we are not on a solid road to pre-pandemic levels, we will ALL have bigger problems to worry about. That said, I’m an optimist by nature and I think we’ll come out of this wiser and stronger!

“If by the second half of ’22, we are not on a solid road to pre-pandemic levels, we’ll all have bigger problems to worry about”

When and how do you see international acts coming back to Latin America?
In South America, we kick off with a-ha in March 2022 – Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

Move hosted Latam’s first drive-thru show during the pandemic. Is that a format you’ll be returning to?
Not really…we do not see the need nor demand for this any longer as live concerts startup.

What about livestreaming – is there still demand in that area of the business?
This has essentially stopped. With the return of live shows – with reduced capacities – streaming has lost its initial appeal. I’m sure it will still be a good tool to have in our toolbox for use in the future but in a different form… more related to marketing or a special event, etc.

What one thing are you most proud of doing during the pandemic?
That we kept all our team in place and did not have to furlough or lay off anyone. We all took salary cuts and weathered the storm together.

Also, our office in Bogota took the initiative and created an internet site with different content – entertainment, cooking, lifestyle, etc – that raised over US$10,000 to support the local production crews and their families in the middle of the pandemic. That was a fabulous effort that made me very proud of our team there.

 


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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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