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Extreme weather curtails South American festivals

Two major music festivals in South America were both cut short over the weekend due to inclement weather.

Kilkfest in Paraguay and K-pop concert Music Bank in Chile, both fell victim to the adverse conditions.

Held at the Jockey Club in Asuncion, the 10,000-cap Kilkfest from 10-12 November featured performances from the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Interpol, and was due to wrap up with a headline show by Liam Gallagher, which was ultimately cancelled.

“After evaluating the possibility of carrying out Kilkfest today and analysing different alternatives, we regret to inform you that the festival is finally cancelled,” organisers told ticket-holders in a social media post.

“The weather forecast indicates that the rain with electrical storms will persist”

“The weather forecast indicates that the rain with electrical storms will persist, and this continues to represent a risk for the public, the artists and the staff.

Hours before his concert was due to take place, former Oasis singer Gallagher tweeted: “Paraguay – we’ve been advised that the show can’t happen tonight due to extreme weather. Our team and the festival have done everything we can to try and make it work but safety is paramount.”

Meanwhile, the 50,000-cap Music Bank at the Estadio Monumental in Macul, held on Saturday, was cancelled halfway through due to safety concerns.

According to NME, groups STAYC and The Boyz were able to perform without incident, but the worsening weather meant that (G)I-DLE were unable to complete their set, while boybands Tomorrow X Together, ATEEZ and NCT Dream did not perform at all.

 


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Wasserman Music duo on Liam Gallagher at Knebworth

James Hanley speaks with Wasserman Music’s Adele Slater and Alex Hardee about Liam Gallagher’s mammoth Knebworth shows this weekend and the state of rock music…

As the old saying goes, the best ideas are often the simplest. So when a 25th anniversary documentary on Oasis’ legendary 125,000-cap Knebworth concerts debuted on the big screen in September, there was no better time to announce frontman Liam Gallagher’s return to the site of his biggest triumph.

Upon a wave of nostalgia and renewed excitement, the rock’n’roll star sold out two nights at the fabled Hertfordshire venue from 3-4 June, promoted by Festival Republic, Live Nation and SJM Concerts. Kasabian head a strong support bill also featuring Paolo Nutini, Michael Kiwanuka, Amyl and the Sniffers, Fat White Family, Pastel and Goat Girl.

Days later, the singer, whose third solo album C’mon You Know was released last week, confirmed his maiden solo UK stadium tour, which stopped at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium on Wednesday (1 June) and heads to Hampden Park in Glasgow later this month, and also takes in Belsonic in Belfast’s Ormeau Park. European dates include festival slots at Rock in Rio Lisbon, Syd For Solen in Denmark, France’s Beauregard Festival and Lucca Summer Festival in Italy.

An Australia/New Zealand leg is lined up for late July, with a headline show at Alexandra Head at Cardiff Bay set for 15 September and a string of South American concerts planned for November.

Last summer, Gallagher played a free show for NHS workers at The O2 in London and completed a run of UK headline appearances at festivals including Reading & Leeds, TRNSMT and Isle of Wight.

“I think the idea might have been Denis Desmond’s, but we’re going to claim it as ours!”

Since his 2017 comeback, the Britpop icon has been represented on the live scene by Paradigm’s Alex Hardee and Adele Slater. Here, the agents reveal all to IQ about the genesis of the Knebworth plan, Gallagher’s international ambitions and share their hopes and fears on rock music and the resurgence of the touring sector. As you were…

IQ: When was the idea for next year’s Knebworth shows first formulated?
AH: I think that the idea might have been [Live Nation UK & Ireland chair] Denis Desmond’s, but we’re going to claim it as ours! Whoever’s it was, it’s not going to go up there with Einstein’s theory of relativity, because it’s not the most complicated thing to think, ‘Let’s do Knebworth shows 25 years after they actually happened, with a documentary coming.’ It’s a good idea, but an obvious one. But our jobs are quite simple compared to doctors and nurses.

AS: With the timing of the anniversary of the film, it kind of just made sense.

AH: I tell you what, the idea was simple and we knew it would capture the imagination and be a hot event, but it took us by surprise that we could do two [nights]. We always knew we’d do one, and we had a second day on hold. At the outset, we thought that the second show was an outside chance. But definitely by the announcement date – and the reaction online – we got ready, very quickly, to go for the second show.

What capacity are the Knebworth gigs?
AH: They’re 80,000 but we’re hoping that people think they’re 125,000 like the original gigs.

Did you have the option of scaling all the way up to 125k?
AH: Well, I wasn’t at the original gig, but lots of people involved were.

AS: I was.

AH: And even though, in hindsight, people say it was the greatest gig they’ve ever been to, there were massive queues for toilets and it’s a hard site to get into.

AS: The structure didn’t take it very well, it was absolute chaos. The road network around Knebworth is literally tiny little country roads, so to get another 45,000 people in would be a nightmare.

AH: Also, we’re very mindful now that 25 years ago, you didn’t have social media. If you don’t get things right nowadays, it’s everywhere straightaway. So we’re mindful that we want to give a good customer experience. Twenty-five years ago, different things were acceptable.

“To do the same as what he did in Oasis… was a massive statement”

What persuaded you decide to announce the Knebworth shows prior to the other stadium dates?
AH: We discussed it back and forth, but we just thought that Knebworth was the important thing to blow out and we just wanted to concentrate on that. We didn’t want to dilute the announcement of Knebworth, we wanted to blow that out and then launch the other stadiums off the back of that. The other stadiums are going to sell out, but we wanted the statement of selling out two Knebworths [first]. To do the same as what he did in Oasis, albeit with not as many tickets because of the infrastructure problems we talked through previously, was a massive statement and it resonated throughout the industry. We did a mechanism afterwards so that people in Manchester and Glasgow could change their tickets around if they wanted to and there was a bit of uptake on that. Not much, though, because I think most people wanted to go to Knebworth.

How do you reflect on his special show for NHS workers at The O2 in 2021?
AS: It was just a moment in time that kind of captured everyone coming back to the live world. It was one of the first shows back into the arena as well, so it was quite weird, but it was really good for everyone to get together.

What was the wider strategy behind Liam’s UK festival headline run last summer?
AH: They were booked two years ago, so they were flipped [from 2020 to 2021]. The Knebworth announcement was initially going to be off off the back of playing Reading & Leeds and TRNSMT. We wanted to keep it as close to those gigs and the documentary and as possible because that’s when we knew the maximum heat would be. But the record label wanted to wait until [Gallagher’s forthcoming third solo LP] was ready, so we came to a compromise and got a pre-order mechanism in place without the finished artwork, which was the right decision and we sold a lot of album pre-orders. Selling these gigs is all about the timing, as you could see in the summer, when the roadmap for coming out of Covid was announced. If you announced at that point, you were selling 30-40% [more tickets], it was a frenzy. And we knew that the right time to announce these shows was before everyone else went up with their shows and also after the documentary had just landed. That got everyone excited and then we announced Knebworth – that was the skill in getting that show sold out.

“We don’t actually know what he can do bigger than two Knebworths”

And what’s the audience demographic?
AH: It’s from 16 to 60, isn’t it?

AS: If you look at the Reading & Leeds crowd, that was all kids.

Last question on Liam, what do his prospects look like outside of the UK?
AS: We’ve flipped a load of stuff from other summers that are happening June time [next year].

AH: In some markets now, he’s bigger than Oasis were. He’s gone from club level to arena level now in most markets, and from headliner at secondary festivals to second on the bill at major festivals. And it’s growing – Knebworth’s had an effect. We don’t actually know what we can do bigger than two Knebworths next, apart from reforming Oasis. That’s the brain-teaser, but we can build his international career. Yes, he sings Oasis songs but he’s producing new music that’s relevant and he’s charting and reacting well for a rock act.

Where does rock music currently stand in the grand scheme of things?
AH: What do they say? Rock music is not dead, it just smells funny. It’’s not going to dominate the charts anymore, but it can still dominate live. Heavy metal’s never dominated the charts but Iron Maiden are consistently selling live tickets. People want to see it, it’s just there’s not enough people listening to it on streaming to make it in the charts. Someone’s got to work out how to make the charts relevant again, because four-year-olds are influencing them by shouting at their Alexas at the moment.

AS: There is always going to be an appetite for rock music and guitar bands, that’s never going to go away I don’t think, it’s just swings and roundabouts to see these trends.

A version of this article first appeared in IQ 106

 


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IQ 106 out now: Navigating the new industry landscape

IQ 106, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.

The December 2021 edition is spearheaded by an exclusive preview of next year’s highly anticipated International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Elsewhere, IQ news editor James Hanley speaks to Paradigm Agency’s Alex Hardee and Adele Slater about Liam Gallagher’s sold-out Knebworth shows.

This issue also sees IQ editor Gordon Masson quiz venue management from around the world about their plans for arenas to reopen and stay open.

For this edition’s columns and comments, Suzanne Hunt details how Squeeze became one of the first UK acts to resume touring in the United States, lawyer Gregor Pryor notes the challenges that the metaverse could pose for the music industry, and Debbie Taylor shares her experience of Guns N’ Roses’ Covid-compliant US tour.

And, in this month’s Your Shout, live industry executives pick their three ideal guests for a dinner party.

As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

IQ subscribers can log in and read the full magazine now.

 


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Paradigm on Liam Gallagher’s Knebworth return

Paradigm agents Alex Hardee and Adele Slater have given IQ the lowdown on Liam Gallagher’s momentous return to the UK’s Knebworth Park.

The former Oasis frontman will play two sold-out nights at the Stevenage site from 3-4 June next year, promoted by Festival Republic, Live Nation and SJM Concerts.

The concerts, which feature a support bill headed by Kasabian, were announced on the back of a new documentary marking 25 years since Oasis’ era-defining gigs at the legendary rock venue.

“I think that the idea might have been [Live Nation UK & Ireland chair] Denis Desmond’s, but we’re going to claim it as ours,” laughs Hardee. “It’s a good idea, but an obvious one.”

“With the timing of the anniversary of the film, it kind of just made sense,” adds Slater, who attended the original 1996 event.

However, Hardee reveals that demand for tickets for the 2022 sequel exceeded even his own lofty expectations.

At the outset, we thought the second show was an outside chance

“We knew it would capture the imagination and it would be a hot event, but it took us by surprise that we could do two [nights],” he tells IQ. “We always knew we’d do one, and we had a second day on hold. At the outset, we thought that the second show was an outside chance. But definitely by the announcement date – and the reaction online – we got ready, very quickly, to go for the second show.

“Selling these gigs is all about the timing, and we knew that the right time to announce these shows was before everyone else went up with their shows and also after the documentary had just landed. That got everyone excited and then we announced Knebworth – that was the skill in getting that show sold out.”

While Oasis famously sold 250,000 tickets across their two 1996 shows, each of Gallagher’s solo dates will be capped at 80,000 for logistical reasons.

“The road network around Knebworth is literally tiny little country roads, so to get another 45,000 people in would be a nightmare,” advises Slater. 

“Even though, in hindsight, people say [the original] was the greatest gig they’ve ever been to, there were massive queues for toilets and it’s a hard site to get into,” explains Hardee. “Also, we’re very mindful now that 25 years ago, you didn’t have social media. If you don’t get things right nowadays, it’s everywhere straightaway. So we’re mindful that we want to give a good customer experience. Twenty-five years ago, different things were acceptable.”

Gallagher, who played a “life-affirming” show for NHS workers at The O2 in London in August, performed a run of UK headline dates over the summer at festivals including Reading & Leeds, TRNSMT and Isle of Wight.

It was a massive statement and it resonated throughout the industry

Boosted by the Knebworth sellouts, the singer went on to announce his inaugural stadium solo headline shows at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium (1 June) and Hampden Park in Glasgow (26 June). He will also perform at Belsonic in Belfast’s Ormeau Park on 24 June.

“We didn’t want to dilute the announcement of Knebworth, we wanted to blow that out and then launch the other stadiums off the back of that,” says Hardee. “The other stadiums are going to sell out, but we wanted the statement of selling out two Knebworths [first]. It was a massive statement and it resonated throughout the industry. 

“We did a mechanism afterwards so that people in Manchester and Glasgow could change their tickets around if they wanted to and there was a bit of uptake on that. Not much, though, because I think most people wanted to go to Knebworth.”

Hardee and Slater have represented Gallagher on the live scene since his 2017 comeback, which was capped by headline outdoor concerts at London’s Finsbury Park (cap. 40,000) and Emirates Old Trafford (50,000) the following year. The frontman has appearances confirmed for Rock in Rio Lisbon, Syd For Solen in Denmark and France’s Beauregard Festival next summer and is making waves internationally.

“In some markets now, he’s bigger than Oasis were,” suggests Hardee. “He’s gone from club level to arena level now in most markets, and from headliner at secondary festivals to second on the bill at major festivals. And it’s growing – Knebworth’s had an effect.

“We don’t actually know what we can do bigger than two Knebworths next, apart from reforming Oasis. That’s the brain-teaser, but we can build his international career.”

A full interview with Alex Hardee and Adele Slater will appear in the next edition of IQ magazine at the end of this month. Click here to subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month.

 


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SJM’s Chris York awarded for ‘outstanding contribution’

SJM Concerts’ Chris York has been presented with the National Arenas Association’s 2021 award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Live Entertainment Industry’.

York was presented the award by the NAA and Liam Gallagher at the artist’s show for NHS workers, which took place at the O2 in London last month.

The award was given to York in recognition of his influential work in the music industry, and longstanding relationship with Liam Gallagher, as well as many other chart-topping artists.

John Drury, VP & general manager at The SSE Arena Wembley, on behalf of the NAA says: “It’s fitting that Chris York should be given his NAA Award by Liam, one of the UK’s biggest artists. The 2021 award honours Chris for the huge contribution he’s made to live music in the NAA arenas.

“His passion and commitment to the industry have always been reflected in the very high regard in which he’s held by everyone he works with – it’s an honour to recognise that now.”

“His passion and commitment to the industry have always been reflected in the very high regard in which he’s held by everyone”

Chris York, SJM Concerts added: “I was genuinely touched to receive the NAA award in recognition of the decades of toil in live music, with the great team of SJM Concerts behind me. It means a lot. It’s a great business and one I hope to see bounce back strongly again. Thank you for thinking of me.”

York has worked with the likes of Noel Gallagher, Foo Fighters, Massive Attack, Stereophonics, Lily Allen, Smashing Pumpkins, Underworld, Fatboy Slim, Green Day, Placebo, Lorde, Robert Plant, Morrissey, Kraftwerk, Swedish House Mafia, and The Chemical Brothers, among others.

He is also one of SJM’s four directors alongside Moran, Rob Ballantine and Glenn Tyrrell.

The National Arenas Association (NAA) brings together 23 arenas across the UK and Ireland.

 


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The O2 Arena celebrates a week of firsts

The O2 Arena in London witnessed a week of firsts, as Hans Zimmer, the Lumineers, Liam Gallagher and the Chemical Brothers all made their debut headline appearances at the venue.

All artists received First Time awards, starting with Hans Zimmer, who performed as part of his The World of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration world tour on Tuesday 26 November.

American folk band the Lumineers brought their III tour to the arena the night after, followed by Liam Gallagher, who played a two-night run on 28 and 29 November as part of his Why Me? Why Not? tour.

The Chemical Brothers closed out the week of O2 debuts on 30 November with their No Geography Tour.

“We feel honoured and lucky to host such an array of artists at the venue”

“It’s been an incredible week of shows at the O2 including four artists who have performed at the venue for the very first time,” says Christian D’Acuna, head of programming at the arena.

“We feel honoured and lucky to host such an array of artists at the venue; from the legendary film scores composed by Hans Zimmer, and the Lumineers bringing their country-folk, to rock-and-roll star Liam Gallagher delighting fans with two ‘biblical’ sold out shows, and ending the week of first-time shows with Chemical Brothers’ incredible live show full of lasers and mesmerising visuals.”

The O2, which has sold over 25 million tickets since 2007, announced more upcoming debuts for 2020 and 2021, from Camilla Cabello, Our Planet and Hollywood Vampires at the arena.

Pictured (l to r): Dieter Semmelmann (CEO, Semmel Concerts), Stuart Galbraith (CEO, Kilimanjaro Live), Hans Zimmer, Steve Kofsky (CEO, RCI Global) and Marc Saunders (programming manager, the O2)

 


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A&MAs: Debbie Gwyther named manager of the year

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) have announced final details of the 2019 Artist & Manager Awards (A&MAs), with Debbie Gwyther (FEAR) named manager of the year and Lewis Capaldi to receive artist of the year.

Hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, the A&MAs 2019 take place at London’s Bloomsbury Big Top on Thursday 14 November.

Alongside UROK’s Sam and Roy Eldridge, who will present her award, Gwyther has masterminded the return of Liam Gallagher to centre stage, having delivered two No 1 albums, with Why Me? Why Not following As You Were to the UK’s top spot in September 2019.

Gwyther and the Eldridges have also guided Gallagher to live success, reinvigorating Oasis classics alongside his newer material for a run of celebratory sold-out performances in Europe, the Americas and Australasia. The award for Manager of the Year is sponsored by YouTube Music.

Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the MMF, comments: “Selecting a manager of the year is always a massive challenge, but Debbie’s impact over the past 12 months has been undeniable.

“Debbie’s impact over the past 12 months has been undeniable”

“We all know that Liam Gallagher is one of the UK’s greatest, most enduring and recognisable rock stars, but behind the scenes is a story of incredible team work and collaboration – all with the goal of putting Liam back where he belongs.

“MMF are delighted to recognise Debbie’s success and thrilled that Sam and Roy have agreed to present the award. Why her? Why not!”

The rise of Lewis Capaldi, meanwhile, has been “the irrefutable story of 2019”, say A&MAs organisers. In just 12 months, the singer-songwriter has graduated from theatres to sold-out arenas shows, and released a number-one album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.

As previously announced, other confirmed winners at the 2019 Artist & Manager Awards are Nile Rodgers (artists’ artist award), Rebecca Boulton and Andy Robinson (managers’ manager award), Neneh Cherry (pioneer award), Sam Fender and Owain Davies (FanFair Alliance outstanding contribution to live music), Andy Varley (entrepreneur award) and Sandy Dworniak (writer/producer manager).

 


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Record attendance for Ukraine’s Atlas Weekend

The fifth edition of Kiev-based Atlas Weekend festival saw more visitors than ever before, with 538,000 festivalgoers from 75 different countries attending the six-day festival.

The festival, which took place from 9 to 14 July, featured performances from the Chainsmokers, Black Eyed Peas, the Vaccines, Liam Gallagher and Russian rock group Splean.

“We are really happy with how the 2019 edition went,” Atlas Weekend owner and chief executive Dmytro Sydorenko tells IQ. “It was our best festival yet.”

159,710 people attended the free-to-enter opening day of the festival, breaking the event’s daily attendance record.

“The point of the first day is to showcase Ukrainian music to the widest audience possible,” explains Sydorenko, stating that the number of attendees also marked a new daily attendance record for festival venue Ukrainian Expo Centre, “in all 61 years of its existence”.

“One of our main goals is to develop music tourism in Ukraine and also make the festival more prominent in markets outside of our country,” says Sydorenko. “We work closely with government departments to ease planning for foreign visitors – both artists and fans – and make sure they have the best time possible during their stay in Kiev.”

Over 250 acts from 20 different countries made up the festival’s most international line-up yet, with 30 acts performing in Ukraine for the first time.

“One of our main goals is to make the festival more prominent in markets outside of Ukraine”

Asap Rocky, who was billed to headline Atlas Weekend’s Saturday night, was detained in Sweden for suspected assault shortly before the event, leading to the cancellation of remaining tour dates.

The absence of the headliner was much talked about on social media and in the Ukrainian press, says the Atlas chief executive, admitting that “there was a lot of tension involved”.

“We have never had to deal with a headliner replacement before, especially not one that urgent,” Sydorenko tells IQ, “but we are happy that we managed to find a suitable replacement both for Asap Rocky’s fans and our festivalgoers.”

Fellow Asap Mob member Asap Ferg filled the headline slot, in a performance that “almost didn’t happen due to flight delays”.

A key goal for the 2019 festival was to be “as inclusive and accessible as possible.” Through its Mastercard Vibes initiative, festival sponsor Mastercard provided sign language interpretation at the main stage, as well as setting up a lounge area with visual and tactile installations.

“We believe in inclusivity and take pride in our efforts to make our festival a place for everyone to have a good time and enjoy music,” says Sydorenko.

The festival was held in partnership with Music Conference Ukraine, which was organised by the country’s music export office.

 


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Rize announced for Hylands Park…but no event in Staffs

SJM Concerts today announced dates and the first acts for Rize Festival, the event replacing V Festival at Hylands Park in Chelmsford.

Taking place on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August 2018, rather than V’s traditional Saturday and Sunday, the festival will be headlined by Liam Gallagher and Stereophonics. Other performers include James Bay, Manic Street Preachers, Bastille, Maximo Park, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, Circa Waves and Craig David’s TS5, with bookers focusing on an “exciting mix of the very best music from classic indie, pop, urban, dance and new upcoming talent across four stages”.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced in October it was pulling its sponsorship of V, ending a 22-year commercial relationship and bringing to a close the festival in its former guise. While the Chelmsford leg now has a replacement in the form of Rize, no event has been announced for Weston Park in Staffordshire, which formerly hosted a sister festival on the same weekend.

A representative for Rize Festival confirms to IQ that Roseclaim – the company behind V Festival, whose directors include Live Nation’s Paul Latham, Metropolis’s Bob Angus, SJM Concerts’ Simon Moran and MCD Productions’ Denis Desmond – will “not be promoting a new event at Weston Park in 2018”.

“We are very excited about working with Roseclaim on a future project here on the estate in 2019”

Colin Sweeney, CEO of the Weston Park Foundation, which manages the park, says: “We have been enormously proud to have been home to the former V Festival over the last 19 years. The significant contribution that hosting the event has made to the charitable objectives of the Weston Park Foundation and the wider regional economy cannot be underestimated.”

Sweeney adds, however, there will likely be another Live Nation/Metropolis/SJM/MCD festival in the park next year, saying: “We are very excited about working with Roseclaim on a future project here on the estate in 2019.”

Liam Gallagher’s upcoming headline show in Finsbury Park, promoted by Live Nation’s Festival Republic, is billed as being presented by “Rize”, indicating the promoter has plans for the brand outside the annual festival.

A full line-up is below:

Rize Festival 2018

 


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Festival Republic announces Gallagher Finsbury Park show

Liam Gallagher will bring his As You Were tour to London’s Finsbury Park next June for a two-stage, multi-artist day of music, promoter Festival Republic has announced.

Gallagher, who is touring in support of his no1 debut solo album, will be supported on 29 June by “many more artists” still to be announced for his biggest headline show to date.

The news was announced on RadioX, the show’s radio partner, this afternoon, with Gallagher (pictured) telling DJ Johnny Vaughan he’s “currently in rehearsals,  blowing the cobwebs off some stone-cold classics.” Festival Republic says the event is “guaranteed to be the stand-out rock show of the summer”.

Festival Republic currently promotes two festivals, Wireless and Community Festival, in the 110-acre park in Harringay, north London.

The news follows a similar major announcement by rival Goldenvoice, which is launching a new festival in Victoria Park, east London, this morning. Both events go on sale at 9am this Friday (27 October).

The Liam Gallagher show is priced at £52.50 plus booking fee for GA, and £85 plus booking fee for VIP tickets, with tickets available from www.festivalrepublic.com/liamgallagher.

 


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