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Bruce Moran: ‘Latin America is on fire right now’

Live Nation Latin America president Bruce Moran says the territory has been “on fire” since returning from the pandemic, with fans buying tickets at an unprecedented pace.

Moran recently spoke to IQ about Coldplay’s record-shattering Music Of The Spheres World Tour, which has 37 dates confirmed in the region so far, but says he is witnessing strong results across the board.

“We’re having just a remarkable year,” he says. “We started the year with 11 Coldplay shows, six sold-out Metallica stadium shows and five great shows with Maroon 5. And then we have 12 sellout shows with Harry Styles and seven with Dua Lipa coming up, as well as 11 with Rosalia.

“We can be a bit of a backwater, I suppose, but in my opinion we have some of the greatest fans in the world. Certainly, the bands love the reaction they get and we want every band to experience some of the wonderful fans in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and more.”

New York-based Moran admits to eagerly awaiting Backstreet Boys’ concert at Sao Paulo’s Allianz Parque in January 2023, since the gig was originally planned for March 2020.

“Latin America is on fire right now and we need the music industry to take note”

“The very last show that we cancelled as the pandemic hit was the Backstreet Boys,” he tells IQ. “We were sold out at the football stadium in Sao Paulo and I was on the phone with the manager the night they played Rio [Jeunesse Arena, two days earlier]. Everything was getting shut down around us and I said, ‘I don’t think this is a good idea.’ But I said, ‘Let’s postpone and not cancel.’

“Well, we finally did set the date, happily, this year and they’re coming back next year. So the fans will have bought tickets in 2019 and they’ll finally see the Backstreet Boys in a sold out stadium in 2023.  Of course, we’ve added yet another stadium show in Sao Paulo to go with it and it’s doing great, along with two other dates in Brazil, so it’s a nice closure. It brings the pandemic full circle.”

The company is also working with Primavera Sound on the Barcelona festival’s inaugural Brazil edition in Sao Paulo in November, topped by Arctic Monkeys, Bjork, Travis Scott and Lorde. And Moran suggests that, unlike some of their European counterparts, Latin American music fans have shown little or no hesitance in getting back in the swing of things.

“We opened up in March of this year and the reaction of the fans has just been heartwarming,” he reports. “They have embraced the reopening of live entertainment and voted with their feet. They’re in line buying tickets for shows at a rate that we’ve never seen before and we hope to maintain that and try to capitalise on this momentum for years to come.

“The success has been great and has enabled us, certainly in the case of Coldplay, to add additional shows. We’re selling tickets at a pace we’ve never seen before. Latin America is on fire right now and we need the music industry to take note.”

IQ’s full market report on Latin America will be published in the next edition of IQ Magazine.


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Coldplay tour shatters Latin American records

Coldplay’s Music Of The Spheres world tour has been declared the “most spectacular run through Latin America ever” after shattering a catalogue of records in the territory.

The region is proving especially fertile ground for the British group’s first tour in five years, with 37 shows confirmed so far.

Costa Rica – where the band became the first artist to sell out two nights at Estadio Nacional – marked the starting point in March, prior to a stop in the Dominican Republic. A record-breaking visit to Mexico then followed, which saw them crowned as the first international act to play four sold-out concerts at Foro Sol in Mexico City and the only act to sell out two nights at Estadio BBVA in Monterrey, as well as Estadio Akron in Guadalajara.

“Our expectations were high, but it has surpassed any expectations”

“It’s the most spectacular run through Latin America ever,” Live Nation LA president Bruce Moran tells IQ. “Our expectations were high and we were aggressive in terms of the routing, but it has surpassed any expectations. It’s truly remarkable. The band is a juggernaut, a true powerhouse and we’re really excited to be involved.”

On the heels of May-June shows in the US, the stadium trek switches to Europe next month, beginning with three dates at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany. More than 3.8 million tickets have already been sold for the tour, which currently comprises 73 dates worldwide.

“We had no doubt it was going to be massive, but to be able to pull off what they’ve done is a very unique thing that would be tough to beat,” says the band’s agent Josh Javor of X-ray Touring. “We’ve broken a bunch of records already and we start in Europe next month. Europe is completely sold out and now Latin America – at the end of our year – is already sold out as well.

“It’s not very easy to define a specific window of how long this tour will run. There are lots more places they still want to play, so we will continue as long as they want to. It’s such a groundbreaking tour in such a challenging market. A lot of other things in the world are just not selling at the moment, but it’s completely bucked the trend.”

Records have continued to tumble for the South American stretch, which begins in September in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The band have racked up an unprecedented 10 sold-out concerts at Estadio River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina, six at Allianz Park in São Paulo, Brazil and four at Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile.

“What Coldplay have done in Latin America is unheard of”

In addition, Coldplay are the first Anglo artist to have two sold-out back-to-back dates at Lima’s Estadio Nacional in Peru and have tied Guns N’ Roses by filling Estadio El Campin twice over in Bogota, Colombia.

“What Coldplay have done in Latin America is unheard of,” beams Javor. “They haven’t just broken a record in one territory, they’ve done it in close to every market.”

Moran attempts to put the band’s achievements into perspective.

“In the not too distant past – let’s say 10 years ago – a Latin American tour might have been five or six dates,” he asserts. “We’ve worked hard to expand the map to entice people to try different locations, so it’s not uncommon for artists come to Latin America now and play eight, nine or 10 shows. But when you start talking about 37 shows, it’s remarkable by any yardstick. It’s truly astonishing.”

According to the executive, Coldplay’s 2016/17 A Head Full Of Dreams global jaunt, which was bookended by stops in Latin America, helped pave the way for the current blockbuster run.

“The work they did on their previous tours laid the groundwork for the monumental success we’re experiencing today”

“The band came down in 2016 and we had nine shows throughout the region,” remembers Moran. “Following the successful play of those shows, I continued to lobby [then agent] Steve Strange and Josh Javor that the band ought to come back. I was told repeatedly that they were done with Latin America and had other territories to hit. But I guess I planted a seed that they grew into something special and I got a call back saying, ‘We’re going to conclude the tour in Latin America.’ So they came back in 2017 and played another seven shows.

“I think the work they did in the region then – and on their previous [Viva la Vida] tour in 2010 – laid the groundwork for the monumental success we’re experiencing today.”

Javor refers back to the 2016 stop-off, when the band played a trio of concerts at Foro Sol.

“A lot of acts might only play Mexico City and not go to the regions”

“It was very, very strong. But when we went last time, we didn’t do any shows regionally,” he explains. “It’s quite common for people in Mexico to travel, because a lot of acts might only play Mexico City and not go to the regions. But not only have we done more tickets in Mexico City alone, we added two other cities and played four shows in those as well – that’s how insane this is compared to what we did last time.”

Having previously put touring plans on hold to investigate how to make their concerts more sustainable, the announcement of Coldplay’s return to the road came hand-in-hand with a 12-point plan to reduce the environmental impact of the tour. Earlier this year, the group launched a free app for fans as part of their pledge to make the run as eco-friendly as possible.

“They are managing to add more elements to the tour as it progresses, from having water stations in the stadium to small wind turbines as part of the production,” notes Javor. “They’re also trying to cut down on flying gear around the world to make it much more sustainable and are trying to source things more locally.”

“Coldplay’s tour is the first to have a dedicated Green Nation sustainability tour representative”

Jared Braverman, SVP touring at Live Nation, spoke of his pride at what has been accomplished up to this point, working hand-in-hand with LN’s global sustainability coalition, Green Nation.

“We’re incredibly proud to be promoting Coldplay’s Music Of The Spheres 2022 world tour,” he says, speaking to IQ. “Together with Green Nation, Coldplay has become a special artist advisor, ensuring the sustainable practices developed on this tour are shared, adopted, and scaled through the rest of the live touring industry.

“The tour is also accompanied by a comprehensive set of sustainability initiatives, including commitments to a show powered by renewable energy, solar panels at every show, a pledge to cut tour emissions by 50%, and more. We’re excited to share that Coldplay’s tour is the first to have a dedicated Green Nation sustainability tour representative, supporting implementation of joint sustainability priorities along every stop while on the road, and working with venues to enhance local sustainability efforts.”

In closing, Braverman praises the group’s new Infinity Tickets initiative, which gives fans access to select dates for just $20 per ticket.

“The new ticket programme was launched to make tickets to Coldplay’s latest stadium shows accessible to more fans who want to see the band live in concert for an affordable price,” he says.


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Ocesa spearheads Colombia’s first drive-in shows

Colombian promoters Ocesa Colombia and Páramo Presenta have announced the country’s first drive-in concerts.

The shows, staged in partnership with Live Nation, will be held in the car park of the Salitre Mágico theme park in Bogota. Organisers expect the first concerts, which will include a range of artists and genres, to take place in early October, Páramo Presenta’s Sergio Pabón tells radio show La W.

Initially only open to cars, the shows will be opened up to motorbikes towards the end of the year, he adds.

In Colombia, concerts and other large events are excluded from a loosening of coronavirus restrictions scheduled for 30 September.

“We want fans to enjoy the music and have fun from their vehicles”

Ocesa Colombia’s Luz Ángela Castro says there will capacity for 290 vehicles, “with a minimum of two people in the car and a maximum of four”.

The promoters expect to announce dates and an initial line-up next month. “We have complied with what the public asks of us, and that is also what we want: That fans enjoy [the music] and have fun from their vehicles,” adds Ángela Castro. “Now the public must help us” by buying tickets, he says.

The first drive-in shows in Latin America took place in Puerto Rico in July, courtesy of Move Concerts, closely followed by similar events in Mexico.

Ocesa Colombia’s Mexico-based parent company, Ocesa, was supposed to have been acquired by Live Nation this year. However, the deal was controversially called off in May after LN, reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, said it could not agree revised terms with Ocesa owners CIE and Televisa Group.

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Alexandre Faria to spearhead LN Brazil launch

Responding to what it calls a “growing demand for live events throughout Latin America”, Live Nation has announced its expansion into Brazil under Alexandre Faria Fernandes, who joins as director and senior vice-president of talent buying.

Faria was previously chief entertainment officer at Time for Fun (T4F), South America’s leading regional promoter, which he left earlier this month, replaced by Planmusic founder Luiz Oscar Niemeyer. In 17 years at T4F (previously CIE Brasil), Faria worked on tours for U2, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, One Direction and Madonna and festivals including Lollapalooza Brasil and Electric Daisy Carnival.

At Live Nation Faria will report into Bruce Moran, the company’s president of Latin America. In his new role, he will focus on booking and promoting shows for major acts visiting Brazil, the continent’s largest live entertainment market.

“Cities throughout Brazil are becoming key tour stops as more global artists visit their fans in Latin America”

“I’m excited to join the Live Nation Latin America team during a time with so much opportunity and development,” he comments Faria. “Together, we will bring the people of Brazil and Latin America stand-out performances from international artists, as well as local talent.”

Moran adds: “Cities throughout Brazil are becoming key tour stops as more global artists visit their fans in Latin America. The knowledge, relationships and passion Alexandre Faria displays for promotion makes him a great asset to Live Nation as we continue to expand concert offerings to meet growing demand across Brazil.”

Shows produced by Live Nation Latin America in 2017 include Coldplay, U2, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Sting, Metallica, Paul McCartneyJustin Bieber and Bon Jovi.


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