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Live Nation GSA announces Download Festival Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is launching a German edition of Download Festival, the UK’s premiere rock event.

Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Lieberberg’s former company Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) previously held Rock’n’Heim at the same location, in cooperation with Live Nation.

The festival took place annually from 2013 to 2015, welcoming around 40,000 fans across three days for the first two years. In 2015, the event was reduced to a one-day event.

MLK also housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, started by Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively, the twin festivals that from 2022, will be programmed by eventimpresents and CTS Eventim-owned DreamHaus.

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

The UK event, promoted by Festival Republic, this year took place over the 18–20 June weekend as part of the second phase of the UK government’s scientific Events Research Programme (ERP).

Download Pilot welcomed 10,000 metal fans to the hallowed grounds of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire, to enjoy a fully-fledged festival experience with no social distancing, no masks and moshing allowed. The event was the UK’s first major camping festival of its kind since lockdown.

The flagship event is set to return to the UK between 10-12 June 2022 with a line-up that includes Deftones, Korn and Megadeath.

 


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DreamHaus appoints Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos

CTS Eventim’s new Berlin-based agency DreamHaus has officially announced the appointment of Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos as director of talent buying, effective from today (1 April).

Panagopoulos joins the agency from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria), where he served as director of A&R for over five years.

He joins the management team comprising CEO and managing partner Matt Schwarz, as well as Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla – all of whom previously worked at Live Nation GSA.

Panagopoulos joins the management team comprising Matt Schwarz, as well as Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla

Schwarz joined forces with CTS Eventim as head of eventimpresents in January this year, tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Following the Eventim acquistion, the team will be responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring (cap. 95,000) and Rock im Park (cap. 75,000) festivals, starting from the 2022 editions, along with eventimpresents.

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016.

DreamHaus will also collaborate with Kingstar on Vainstream Rockfest, after forming a strategic alliance with the Hamburg-based booking agency.

Kingstar will cooperate with DreamHaus on the Rock am Ring/im Park festivals.

 


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CTS Eventim acquires new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus

German ticketing and promotion giant CTS Eventim has acquired a majority stake in new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus.

DreamHaus will be led by Matt Schwarz as CEO and managing partner, following his departure from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) as COO and MD in February 2020.

From 1 April, Schwarz will be joined by former Live Nation GSA executive Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos, who joins the management team alongside Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla.

Schwarz joined forces with CTS Eventim as head of eventimpresents in January this year, tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Under the Eventim Live umbrella, DreamHaus will be responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, starting from the 2022 editions, along with eventimpresents.

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016.

“Even in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Eventim Live continues to grow its network and strengthen both its market position and potential,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim. “We have always claimed that CTS Eventim will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

“I am grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership”

Matt Schwarz added: “I’m very pleased about the partnership between CTS Eventim and DreamHaus, which offers our team all manner of opportunities for a successful future. I am also grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership and thus offering artists the best possible service and the ability to reach the greatest possible audience.”

With a combined attendance of 150,000, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park take place concurrently from 11 to 13 June at Nürburgring race track and Zeppelin Field in Nüremberg respectively.

Rock am Ring was founded by Marcel Avram and Marek Lieberberg’s Mama Concerts in 1985, while Rock im Park took place for the first time in 1995 under Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK).

Schwarz was formerly VP of touring and festivals at MLK, before becoming MD and COO of Live Nation GSA when Lieberberg sold MLK to Eventim’s live music subsidiary Medusa Group in 2015. Schwarz resigned his position at Live Nation GSA in February this year.

The acquisition of DreamHaus expands Eventim Live’s pan-European network to 35 promoters in 15 countries.

 


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Matt Schwarz moves to CTS Eventim

Matt Schwarz, former COO and MD of Live Nation GSA, is returning to work on Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, but this time as head of eventimpresents (the company formerly known as MLK).

Schwarz will join forces with CTS Eventim from January 2021, and is tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) was founded in 1987 and housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, which were started by Marek Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively.

Schwarz was formerly VP of touring and festivals at MLK, before becoming MD and COO of Live Nation GSA when Lieberberg sold MLK to Eventim’s live music subsidiary Medusa Group in 2015. Schwarz resigned his position at Live Nation GSA in February this year.

Schwarz is tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows”

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016. A spokesperson for Eventim would not comment on the ongoing relationship between Lieberberg, eventimlive and the two festivals.

With a combined attendance of 150,000, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park take place concurrently from 11 to 13 June at Nürburgring race track and Zeppelin Field in Nüremberg respectively.

Across the Eventim group, other festivals include Hurricane, Southside and Lucca Summer, alongside a venue portfolio that includes the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen, the Waldbühne in Berlin and the Eventim Apollo in London.

The most recent financial reports from the group showed an almost balanced EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), capping losses in the first half of 2020 to €2.7 million, thanks to “rigorous measures to minimise costs and boost efficiency”.

 


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Live Nation Germany mega show rescheduled

Live Nation GSA has been forced to postpone the biggest show Germany has seen since March, in light of new increasing coronavirus infections in the country and “imminent new capacity restrictions”.

Return to Live (which has also been promoted under the banner of Give Live A Chance) was due to take place on 4 September in the all-seated Merkur Spiel Arena, Dusseldorf but will now be rescheduled for late autumn.

Up to 12,000 fans were expected to watch artists including Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor and Rea Garvey.

Earlier this month, authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia raised concerns about the concert after the country saw an increase in coronavirus infections but agreed to monitor the situation and make a final decision by 31 August, at the latest, as to whether it could go ahead.

Now, Live Nation GSA says that despite the event’s conclusive hygiene and protection concept, new reservations of the state government – as well as a rising infection rate and imminent new capacity restrictions – have made it clear that it will be impossible to proceed with the event in September.

“We are still of the opinion that our catalogue of measures offers comprehensive protection”

“The health and safety of our fans, artists and employees is our top priority. Whilst we understand that the situation is constantly evolving, we are still of the opinion that our catalogue of measures offers comprehensive protection,” explains Return to Live organiser Marek Lieberberg. 

Lieberberg expressed his conviction that live music events would take place at full capacity in the not-too-distant future.

“It is not possible to suppress the desire of fans and artists in the long run! The Düsseldorf model is and remains the right concept for a gradual return to normality. This is what the 150,000 suspended employees of this highly diverse and vital industry in Germany, tens of thousands of artists and millions of music lovers are waiting for”. 

All ticket holders will now be reimbursed including advance booking fees.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, previously announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

Live Nation GSA has mentioned “imminent new capacity restrictions” but the government is yet to announce any new measures.

 


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Joint approach agreed for Live Nation Germany concert

Live Nation GSA and local authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia have agreed on a joint procedure for the country’s major return to live, Give Live A Chance.

The 4 September concert (originally billed as Return to Live) is scheduled to be the biggest show Germany has seen since March, inviting up to 12,000 fans to watch artists including Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey in the all-seated Merkur Spiel Arena.

However, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the City of Düsseldorf raised concerns about the concert after the country saw an increase in coronavirus infections.

After meeting with Marek Lieberberg, CEO of Live Nation GSA, both parties have agreed to continue to monitor the infection process together and make a final decision by 31 August, at the latest, as to whether Give Live A Chance can take place.

“This is a constructive, trend-setting agreement that gives culture a chance and takes into account the specific development of the infection. Artists, fans and organisers can live with that,” says Lieberberg.

Health minister Karl-Josef Laumann says: “Today [13 August] NRW has an incidence of 13.7. Compared with other state capitals, the state capital Düsseldorf ranks second for infections with an incidence of 18.7.”

“This is a constructive, trend-setting agreement that gives culture a chance. Artists, fans and organisers can live with that”

“As long as the incidence and infection rate are at a high level, a music event of this magnitude will not be able to take place. But, in the sense of the constructive discussions of the last few days and in recognition of the conscientious concept for the arena area, no final decision will be made today.”

Experts from the ministry had previously checked the hygiene measures developed by Lieberberg and the event subsidiary of the state capital Düsseldorf, D-Live.

They confirmed that, subject to a few questions, this is a “technically well-thought-out concept” that adequately takes into account the infection protection requirements for the arena area.

Fans attending Give Live A Chance will have to register their contact details when buying their tickets and agree to the special terms and conditions which includes wearing a face mask and adhering to the social distancing set out in the seated arrangement.

Further measures include larger waiting areas outside the stadium, tiered entry and exit time slots, an alcohol ban as well as regular disinfecting and additional hygiene precautions.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, previously announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

The presale for Give Live A Chance continues for the time being but in the event of cancellation, visitors will be reimbursed the entry fee including the advance booking fee.

 


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MD Matt Schwarz leaves Live Nation GSA

Live Nation GSA’s managing director and COO, Matt Schwarz, is leaving the company after almost five years, he announced today.

“Today I resigned from [this] office as managing director with immediate effect,” Schwarz wrote in an email to colleagues this afternoon (19 February).

Schwarz has been MD and COO of Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) since September 2015, when the staff of his former employer, Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) joined the newly formed company. He was formerly VP of touring and festivals at MLK.

He was the keynote interviewee at Reeperbahn Festival last September, speaking about his career to date and changes in the German concert business.

“Live Nation and Matt Schwarz have mutually agreed to end their collaboration”

Schwarz’s current projects will be taken over by Live Nation GSA colleagues Carrie McNamara, Matias Muelas and Nastassja Roberts, the email continues.

“Live Nation and Matt Schwarz have mutually agreed to end their collaboration,” reads a statement from Live Nation GSA.

“Matt Schwarz has resigned as a managing director with immediate effect.

“Live Nation would like to thank Matt Schwarz for his successful work over many years.”

 


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LN to co-produce Cirque du Soleil Berlin residency

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has announced its first European resident show, which is to take place at the Potsdamer Platz theatre in Berlin in a co-production with Live Nation.

The new production will make its debut in the winter of 2020, with an expected annual attendance of approximately 400,000.

Cirque du Soleil is responsible for the artistic content of the new show, which is inspired by the German capital. Live Nation, the operator of the 1,800-seat Theater am Potsdamer Platz, will co-produce the show.

“We are excited about this world premiere as we all share the same fantastic vision of inspiring audiences with outstanding events”

“This is a beautiful way of celebrating [our] 25-year relationship with the city,” comments Cirque de Soleil Entertainment president and CEO, Daniel Lamarre. “This new and exciting production is most certainly the best way to highlight the privileged bond we have with Berlin.”

“We are excited about this world premiere as we all share the same fantastic vision of inspiring audiences with outstanding events,” says Marek Lieberberg, CEO of Live Nation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“That’s exactly what the new original Cirque du Soleil show at Theater am Potsdamer Platz will achieve. My special gratitude to our partners for the trust they have placed in us.”

Tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s Berlin residency go on sale at the end of November 2019. More information can be found here.

 


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“There’s room for everybody”: Matt Schwarz talks LN GSA success

Matt Schwarz, COO of Live Nation Germany, Switzerland and Austria (GSA), was the keynote interviewee at Reeperbahn Festival on Friday 20 September, giving a wide-ranging interview to ILMC MD Greg Parmley on the company’s journey to date.

Schwarz, 38, joked that he is the “black sheep” in a family of teachers and doctors, starting his career working for a music magazine before joining Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK), leaving to join the newly formed Live Nation GSA in 2015. “My birthday was on 31 August, and I joined Live Nation on 1 September 2015,” he explained. “We started out with 800 shows [annually] and now we’re on nearly double that, with a quarter of a million-euro turnover…”

Schwarz (pictured) told Parmley it was only a matter of time before the German market, long a stronghold of independent promoters, fell in line with the consolidation sweeping the rest of the global live music industry. “There’s a German idiom which translates to ‘change or die’,” he said. “The business and the world is changing, and you have to have awareness of that. The promoter business is the last to consolidate, after the record labels and the booking agencies.”

Why now? The ever-smaller margins on shows have played a key part, he continued: “When I started in the early 2000s I still remember 80/20 deals, and the generation before had 70/30, 60/40 and even 50/50 deals scrawled on the back of napkins…

“There’s room for everybody, and there always will be”

“But the pie isn’t getting any bigger, so there isn’t much space in the food chain to involve third parties. The music ecosystem is changing, and an oftentimes low-margin, high-risk business does not leave any room for third-party promoters, especially when you have your own boots on the ground. We have own offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich as of now, and are able to fully self-promote our content.”

Schwarz said the biggest advantage to being part of a larger multinational group is the ability to combine US-directed global touring with local expertise.

“The importance of personal relationships is decreasing”, he explained. “It’s becoming a corporate business with some decisions and global plans made by the artists overseas: Live Nation, for example, can just buy a global tour.”

“But the artists need local operators on the ground that get the job done in the best possible way. Local expertise is important – one size doesn’t fit all. We are an artist-serving company that want to secure the highest possible standard to serve our clients and audience… local flavour is still very important in Germany, which is a very decentralised market, as well as in Switzerland, where they speak four languages.”

Schwarz also talked his involved with the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg, which raised over US$650 million for charity, and his meditation practice (twice a day for 20 minutes apiece), to which he attributes his ability to easily switch between the “different worlds” of being both a senior exec and a father.

“Local expertise is important – one size doesn’t fit all”

He additionally touched on the recent warming of relations between the live and recorded music sectors, the latter of which is returning to growth as streaming grows in popularity.

“I think it’s got better. There were times before when it was tough for the labels, pre-streaming success,” he said. “Everyone looked at the live business as they saw there was money to be had – many labels even opened own in-house promoting shops – they just wanted to be involved. That’s changed as their business has become healthy again.”

Despite the squeezing of margins in live, Schwarz said there is still “definitely room for independent promoters” in the GSA countries. “There’s room for everybody,” he said, “and there always will be. It doesn’t even need to be a niche product.”

“And,” he concluded, “if they decide they don’t want to be independent, we are always happy to have a conversation!”

 


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Live Nation to acquire Mainland Music

Leading Swiss promoter Mainland Music is to be acquired by Live Nation, the companies announced today.

The acquisition – understood to have been in the works for some time, and expected to be completed in January 2019 – grows Live Nation GSA’s footprint in the Swiss market, following the acquisition of Openair Frauenfeld festival last July and the official launch of Ticketmaster Switzerland the following month.

Mainland – founded in 2012 in Christian Gremelmayr, Derrick Thomson, Marc Lambelet, Martin Schrader and Santosh Aerthott – is one of Switzerland’s largest concert promoters, organising more than 650 shows annually from its offices in Zurich and Lausanne.

“We are looking forward to partnering with a promising and thriving promoter like Mainland Music,” says Matt Schwarz, COO of Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland and Austria).

“With their strong relationships and impressive industry insights, this important strategic move will strengthen Live Nation’s presence in the Swiss market and ensure the continuation of our success story through this merger in the years to come.”

“As a very successful boutique-style promoter, we will add our spirit to Live Nation’s reach”

Following the merger, Mainland Music will continue all existing operations while also joining forces with Live Nation on tours and other promotion opportunities, according to the new partners.

Previous Mainland Music shows and tours include Sam Smith, Macklemore, Queens of the Stone Age, Parkway Drive, Rise Against, Snow Patrol, Passenger, Die Antwoord, Cypress Hill, Hollywood Undead, Hozier and Biffy Clyro.

“By joining the Live Nation family, we will bring even more international top acts to Switzerland,” comments Christian Gremelmayr of Mainland Music. “As a leading local promoter, we will work with Live Nation to guarantee the best possible service for all artists.”

IQ’s last Swiss market report, in issue 72, found Switzerland remains one of the world’s healthiest touring markets, despite turmoil elsewhere in Europe.

“Connecting to Live Nation will give us new opportunities in the Swiss market,” adds Mainland’s Derrick Thomson. “As a very successful boutique-style promoter, we will add our spirit to Live Nation’s reach. “We are very excited and look forward to opening a new chapter in Mainland Music’s history.”

 


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