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Foo Fighters announce free global Veeps livestream

Foo Fighters have announced a free global livestream event this weekend, which will include debut performances of songs from the band’s new album But Here We Are.

Beamed from the group’s own 606 studios, Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts will also feature exclusive behind the scenes footage and other surprises.

The event is being broadcast via Veeps, the Live Nation-owned streaming platform developed by Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden. It will premiere on Sunday 21 May at 8pm BST exclusively at foofighters.veeps.com, with on-demand repeat viewing enabled through 24 May. Fans can access their free ticket here.

“Having a place to make these moments accessible is why we built Veeps”

“Shows like this don’t happen every day,” says Veeps CEO and founder Joel Madden. “To take this moment to gather fans worldwide, to give people an opportunity to share in the experience no matter where they are, is a gift. Having a place to make these moments accessible is why we built Veeps and we’re honoured to be trusted with delivering this incredible show for Foo Fighters and all of their fans.”

Since launching in 2018, Veeps has livestreamed performances from more than 2,000 artists including Bob Dylan, Brandi Carlile, Louis Tomlinson, Patti Smith, Metallica and an Emmy-nominated Kings of Leon show from London’s The O2.

Notable recent Veeps livestreams have included Louis Tomlinson’s All of Those Voices global film premiere in LA last week and January’s iHeart ALTerEGo, with shows by Trixie & Katya and Def Leppard still to come.

Out 2 June, But Here We Are is the Foo Fighters’ 11th studio album and first since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins died aged 50 in March 2022 in Bogota, Colombia. The Foos’ upcoming tour kicks off on 24 May at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, NH.

“Ethara is committed to delivering thrilling experiences for our fans and creating memorable moments that matter”

The group have also confirmed their first concert in the UAE, with a headline performance at the Yasalam After-Race Concerts lined up for F1’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend at Etihad Park on 26 November. The event, which will also feature Tiësto and Ava Max, will be presented by new Middle East-based live entertainment powerhouse Ethara.

Ethara was officially launched this week following the merger of Abu Dhabi promoter Flash Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM).

“It is a privilege to announce our first artists for this year’s Yasalam After-Race Concerts and we look forward to welcoming rock and roll legends Foo Fighters, international icon Tiësto and pop powerhouse Ava Max at Yas Island in November to celebrate the 15th edition of the Abu Dhabi GP weekend,” says Ethara CEO Saif Rashid Al Noaimi.

“As our new name suggests, Ethara is committed to delivering thrilling experiences for our fans and creating memorable moments that matter.”

 


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Primavera Sound to be livestreamed on Amazon

Amazon Music will exclusively livestream select performances from the Barcelona and Madrid editions of Primavera Sound 2023.

Fans from around the world will be able to enjoy a variety of performances, as well as interviews and behind-the-scenes content, live from Parc del Forum (Barcelona) from 1-3 June, and from Ciudad del Rock (Arganda del Rey – Madrid) from 8–10 June.

Blur, Halsey, New Order, Kendrick Lamar, Depeche Mode, Rosalía and Calvin Harris are set to headline the two 2023 editions.

This is the first weekend-long festival streaming event from Amazon Music in Europe, which also recently broadcast Dreamville festival from Raleigh, North Carolina, and will stream Stagecoach Festival live from Indio, California this weekend (28-30 April).

The free-to-watch livestream experience will be available on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch across both festivals starting from 7:30 pm CET each day.

This is the first weekend-long festival streaming event from Amazon Music in Europe

For the first weekend, live from Barcelona, viewers will have the opportunity to pick from two different channels covering a wide selection of artists from the festival, allowing those watching at home to tune in to a variety of performances across the weekend.

Commentary will be available in English, with Spanish subtitles, across both Twitch channels. All content broadcast from Primavera Sound will be free to watch across Twitch and Prime Video.

For the second weekend, live from Madrid, music fans will have the chance to tune in to more behind-the-scenes content, interviews and select performances on the Amazon Music channel on Twitch. The live show will be broadcast in Spanish, with English subtitles provided.

For those attending the festival in person, Amazon Music will also give music fans the chance to create their own Primavera Sound content. A specially-created experiential space will allow festivalgoers the opportunity to create bespoke content for their social media channels, and give them the chance to win prizes ranging from exclusive merchandise to instant VIP ticket upgrades.

 


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Coachella to livestream all six stages on YouTube

For the first time ever, YouTube will livestream performances from all six stages at Coachella, on both weekends of the festival.

Bad Bunny, Blackpink and Frank Ocean are to headline the Goldenvoice-promoted festival, which returns to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, in a fortnight.

The 11th exclusive #CoachellaOnYouTube global livestream event sees the platform double the number of live stream feeds in action last year.

YouTube will again be selling exclusive Coachella and artist merchandise during the livestreams

For those who can’t watch live, the festival sets will be on repeat after the night’s final performance until the live show starts again at 16:00 PT/19:00 PM ET the next day. Highlights from many of the weekend’s performances will be made available on demand.

In addition, YouTube will again be selling exclusive Coachella and artist merchandise during the livestreams of this year’s festival.

YouTube Shopping will offer virtual viewers a chance to purchase exclusive merchandise without leaving the feed.

Custom merch from artists including Bad Bunny, Calvin Harris, Gorillaz, Ethel Cain, Fisher, Porter Robinson and YUNGBLUD will be available.

 


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TikTok to stream Bicep’s Alexandra Palace concert

Bicep’s upcoming sold-out headline show at London’s Alexandra Palace is to be broadcast live and in full on TikTok.

The electronic duo will deliver their biggest-ever headline shows at the 10,400-capacity venue on 2 and 3 December, with the first night aired on their official TikTok channel (@bicepmusic) from 9 pm GMT.

The stream will be produced by PIXL and will include both on and off-stage footage, as well as four new songs.

The broadcast is part of TikTok’s #ElectronicMusic Presents series, capitalising on the popularity of the platform’s #electronicmusic hashtag which has amassed more than 3.4 billion views.

“Bicep are one of the most revered electronic acts to emerge from the UK in the last 10 years”

Bicep will become the face of the #ElectronicMusic campaign during December, following artists including Nia Archives, piri & tommy, and Shygirl.

TikTok this year partnered with festivals including Parookaville and Amsterdam Dance Event as part of its mission to support electronic and dance music on the platform.

“This LIVE is a huge moment for our #ElectronicMusic campaign on TikTok,” says Kira Ashwin, UK label partnerships at TikTok. “Bicep are one of the most revered electronic acts to emerge from the UK in the last 10 years and are an inspiration to aspiring producers and DJs up and down the country.

“This is set to be one of their biggest productions ever, and it’s an absolute pleasure to work with Bicep and their team to reach fans around the world who missed out on tickets to the sold-out show.”

 


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Amazon Music to livestream Kendrick Lamar show

Amazon Music and Prime Video is to livestream Kendrick Lamar’s sold-out 22 October show at the Accor Arena in Paris.

Fans will be able to watch the livestream for free exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide, the Amazon Music channel on Twitch, and on the Amazon Music app. The concert marks the 10-year anniversary of the release of Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city LP.

Lamar’s performance, which will provide a special look at Lamar’s 65-date The Big Steppers world tour, will be available to view on-demand on Prime Video following the event, which will also feature sets from PGLang’s Tanna Leone and Baby Keem.

Produced by Live Nation and presented by Rotation, Amazon Music’s hip-hop and R&B brand, Lamar’s tour is currently making stops in Europe, UK and Australia before wrapping up at New Zealand at Auckland’s Spark Arena on 16-17 December.

“We are thrilled to be working with Kendrick Lamar, one of the most influential and groundbreaking artists of my generation, and PGLang to collaborate across Amazon for this epic entertainment event,” says Alaina Bartels, Amazon Studios’ head of talent synergy & specials. “We continue to be the home for talent and creating special opportunities for our global customers to experience their awe-inspiring creativity.”

“For artists, this show represents a massive new stage to share their music with fans”

Amazon Music has also announced details of new livestream concert series Amazon Music Live.

Hosted by American rapper 2 Chainz, the series will be streamed live from Los Angeles, featuring “the biggest artists performing their latest hits live”.

It will air on Prime Video following Thursday Night Football in the US and premieres 27 October with Lil Baby, followed by Megan Thee Stallion (3 November) and Kane Brown (10 November), with further performers to be revealed in the coming weeks.

“With Amazon Music Live, we’ve created a new, can’t-miss series for fans to experience the most exciting new music together,” says Kirdis Postelle, global head of artist marketing of Amazon Music. “For artists, this show represents a massive new stage to share their music with fans after Thursday Night Football – the biggest game of the week, airing live on Prime Video.”

As well as hosting Amazon Music Live, 2 Chainz will interview each night’s performing artist during Thursday Night Football shoulder programming. Each concert will be available for fans to stream live around the world on Prime Video and will also be available to stream on-demand for a limited time.

“Every Thursday night, I’m bringing the biggest and the brightest stars in music to the Amazon Music Live stage in Los Angeles,” said 2 Chainz. “We have the people that are influencing the culture and have carved their own unique path in music, like Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion and Kane Brown. Amazon Music Live is the only place to be for the official Thursday turn up!”

Each week’s performance will be filmed in front of a live audience. Attendance to the show is by invitation only and will be facilitated through ticketing and event discovery platform Dice.

 


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Backstreet Boys livestream pulls in 45m viewers

A free livestream performance by the Backstreet Boys attracted a record-breaking 45 million viewers in China via Tencent’s WeChat app.

Broadcast last Friday (24 June), the two-hour show was recorded at Rock Lititz Studio, Pennsylvania, US. Sponsored by Lincoln and produced by 24/7 Productions, it reached 10m viewers within its first half hour and was the highest-attended livestream concert on the platform by an international artist.

The show incorporated a special guest appearance from Westlife, broadcast from Smock Alley in Dublin. Directed by Chris Howe and produced by online event promoter Driift, it enabled the two bands to duet on the Backstreet Boys’ hit I Want It That Way and Westlife’s My Love.

“Achieving this level of engagement in China is unprecedented for international artists”

It marked the second time Howe and Driift have collaborated with Westlife and their management for a WeChat livestream. The Irish group’s previous show, which took place in December 2021, attracted 28m viewers. On both occasions, the performances were filmed specifically for viewing and consumption on mobile devices.

“It’s been a real joy to work with Westlife again as part of such an extraordinarily successful collaboration,” says Sasha Duncan, Driift’s head of production. “Achieving this level of engagement in China is unprecedented for international artists, and also highlights the versatility of the livestream format.

“Whether it’s a high-end cinematic production or a performance like this, tailored for viewing on mobile devices, we’re proving it’s possible to forge a genuine connection with online audiences.”

 


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Live Nation, Hulu extend deal to stream C3 Presents fests

Live Nation has extended its partnership with American subscription streaming service Hulu, after a successful turn as the official streaming destination of Lollapalooza in 2021.

Under the new deal, Hulu will become the official streaming platform for C3 Presents’ largest festivals – Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits – throughout 2022 and 2023.

For all three festivals, select performances will be livestreamed exclusively to Hulu SVOD (subscription video on demand) subscribers at no additional cost. Additional special footage and behind-the-scenes looks will also be available.

Two streaming channels will be made available for performances taking place between Friday and Sunday at each of the festivals. For Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, only one streaming channel will be available on the Thursday of each event.

The deal marks the first time a streaming platform has had streaming rights to all three of the iconic festivals.

“The demand for live music is at an all-time high and the live experience has never been more connected to digital”

“Hulu and Live Nation are both committed to delivering exceptional entertainment to fans, so we are thrilled to be collaborating with them, again, as we expand our offering to include these three legendary festivals,” says Hulu president Joe Early. “Each event is unique, but all three bring people together for incredible music, artistry, and experiences, which we are fortunate to be able to share with Hulu subscribers.”

Charlie Walker of C3 Presents adds: “The demand for live music is at an all-time high and the live experience has never been more connected to digital. By expanding our partnership with Hulu, even more fans will be able to tune into each of these incredible festival experiences in real-time and enjoy live performances from their favourite artists with the fans on-site.”

Bonnaroo is set to take place 16–19 June as it returns to the farm in Manchester, Tennesse for the first time since 2019, with Lollapalooza slated for 28–31 July and Austin City Limits will return for two weekends from 7–9 and 14–16 October.

 


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BTS concert screening breaks box office record

BTS have broken the global event cinema record after grossing $32.6 million (€29.8m) with the first live worldwide cinema broadcast of a concert from South Korea.

Beamed from Seoul’s Olympic Stadium, BTS Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul: Live Viewing was presented by HYBE and Trafalgar Releasing on 12 March in 3,711 cinemas in 75 regions for a one-day limited release, reaching a reported 1.4 million viewers worldwide in total. In North America, the production reached the No. 2 spot in the Saturday box office, generating more than $6.84m and a per-screen average of over $8,500 across 803 movie theatres.

Livestreams on 10 and 13 March attracted 1.02m fans from 191 countries/regions on March 10 and 13, bringing the total worldwide audience to 2.46m.

“As the pandemic made it difficult to access the concert venue, we wanted to create an opportunity for fans to gather and watch the concert together,” says HYBE 360 president DJ Kim said, We came up with the idea of Live Viewing at cinemas and are delighted to offer an alternative experience for fans to enjoy the concert live.”

The event, which was HYBE and Trafalgar Releasing’s fourth global title with BTS, marked the group’s long-awaited return to a stage in South Korea in front of a live audience for the first time since 2019.

“It’s a testament to both the overwhelmingly dedicated fandom of the [BTS] Army and the overall return to cinemas on a global scale”

“We are delighted with the record-breaking success of this project, not only for Trafalgar Releasing but the event cinema industry as a whole,” adds Marc Allenby, CEO of Trafalgar Releasing. “It’s a testament to both the overwhelmingly dedicated fandom of the [BTS] Army and the overall return to cinemas on a global scale.”

BTS completed a three-concert run at Seoul Olympic Stadium on March 10, 12 and 13, attended by a total of 45,000 people in compliance with the Covid-19 protocols, with a maximum capacity of 15,000 per show.

The production used a gigantic moving LED screen that moved up and down, and forward and backward, to maximise the impact of live interaction with the audience.

Covid-19 regulations banned any chanting, shouting or standing-up on-site through the concert. Fans were allowed to clap or use the clappers as well as the official lightsticks to cheer the band during the concert.

BTS will perform additional show dates for BTS Permission to Dance on Stage – Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium on 8-9 and 15-16 April. The in-person live broadcast event Live Play in Las Vegas will be available at MGM Grand Garden Arena on all four days. There will also be an online live stream on the last day on April 16.

 


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Driift on The Smile’s game-changing livestream

Driift CEO Ric Salmon has told IQ that The Smile’s acclaimed trio of gigs in London point a new way forward for livestream shows.

The new group, comprising Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner, played three consecutive live shows in just over 12 hours at Broadwick Live’s intimate new Magazine venue in London’s Docklands on 29-30 January.

Performed in the round, each performance was held in front of a seated audience of 1,200 and livestreamed in real time via Dreamstage for a different timezone – 8pm UK time on Saturday for EMEA and Sunday at 1am for the Americas, with the band returning 10 hours later at 11am for APAC.

“I couldn’t have been happier,” Salmon tells IQ. “It’s been amazing watching the reactions to it and I have to admit I’ve been bombarded by a bunch of managers saying, ‘Let’s talk.’ So it’s interesting how it’s sparked the imagination.”

Advanced livestream tickets were priced £12.50 (€14.75), or £14.50 (€17.25) on the day of the show, while in-person tickets cost £79. The last few ticket sales are still being totted up as the event, which was filmed with nine cameras, is still available on demand, but Salmon puts the number of paid streams in the “tens of thousands”.

“There’s a two-day VOD window that finishes tomorrow, but suffice to say we’ve sold more tickets than we set out to sell,” he adds. “We had a target number that we set ourselves based on our hopes and expectations, given the fact that this is a new band. Yes, of course, there’s a couple of famous people in the band, but it is a new band and it’s music that hasn’t yet been released. So it was a realistic level that we thought we would hope to sell. We have probably oversold that by 20-30%, so I’m really chuffed with that.”

“We had to keep pushing ourselves creatively to reimagine what these type of events could be”

The UK-based livestreaming company was founded in August 2020 by Salmon and Brian Message and has since sold more than 600,000 tickets for livestreamed gigs with acts including Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Kylie Minogue, Biffy Clyro, Andrea Bocelli, Laura Marling, Dermot Kennedy, Courtney Barnett and Sheryl Crow.

It also partnered with the UK’s Glastonbury Festival on the Live At Worthy Farm event, which also featured The Smile, as well as artists including Coldplay, Haim, Jorja Smith, Idles, Wolf Alice, Michael Kiwanuka and Damon Albarn.

“We’ve been considering how we could evolve what we’re doing for the last year or so, and we were always cognisant of the fact that we had to keep pushing ourselves creatively to reimagine what these types of events could be,” reveals Salmon.

“This concept of a ‘hybrid’ event – where you have a traditional tour show, put some cameras in the venue and then hope to sell some livestream tickets on top of the physical tickets – that just doesn’t interest us at all.  It feels a bit of an afterthought and frankly, I just don’t think the experience would be very good for viewers at home. It would be no better than watching an old DVD or something you can get on YouTube for free. It doesn’t feel artistic, it just feels like a way of making more money perhaps, and that’s not really what drives us.

“Ultimately, we wanted to focus on all of the things that we’ve learned over the last 18 months of doing livestreams without an audience, because we’ve been super-proud of some of the shows we’ve done. The artists were filmed in such close proximity, so when you’re watching at home, it feels really special. So how do you continue to take that and achieve that when there’s an audience in the room? It sounds like a simple question, but it’s a fiendishly difficult thing to pull off.”

“I hope Driift is becoming the first specialist producer and promoter of live events for the digital era”

He continues: “Our singular challenge was to ensure that anyone who saw the show was blown away by it and enjoyed it equally, whether they were in the room or at home, and I think we got close to achieving that. I don’t think that’s ever been done before. And that’s really exciting because, as an industry, it gives us a new format that we can make use of.

“What I hope Driift is becoming is the first – and at the moment only – specialist producer and promoter of live events for the digital era. If you think about it – and this isn’t a criticism – the live music industry is ultimately almost entirely non-digital. There’s hardly anything about the live music industry that is focused for the digital world. And there are very few industries you could say that about in this day and age.

“Almost every industry has found a digital strand to it or developed a digital dimension to it, and bizarrely, the live music industry doesn’t seem to have really focused on that. So it’s cool that we’ve stumbled across this through the lockdown and through the pandemic – there’s no way we would have come up with it if we hadn’t have been forced into the situation we have. But I suppose through those great challenges comes innovation; when you’re forced to innovate, you innovate.”

 


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28m tune in to Westlife livestream in China

An exclusive livestream performance by Westlife, broadcast by Tencent’s Weixin across China, pulled in almost 28 million viewers.

Produced by Driift and filmed at London’s Bush Hall by acclaimed director Chris Howe, the 17 December event was both Westlife’s first ever livestream and the first by an international artist in China to be delivered by WeChat channels.

WeChat is the international version of Weixin, China’s largest social media platform with over 1.2 billion users.

WeChat channels can be a connector of cultures

“WeChat channels can be a connector of cultures by leveraging on WeChat’s open platform and the creators’ ecosystem,” says WeChat’s head of marketing Juliet Zhu, whose team has planned a series of activities in addition to the concert, which will see more international artists engage with WeChat/Weixin channels.

The 100-minute stream included an exclusive cover by Westlife, in Mandarin, of The Road to Ordinary by Chinese singer Pu Shu. The show was followed by an extended Q&A with the Irish group, who answered questions from their Chinese fanbase.

Westlife have built a significant following in the region, having first toured China in 2006 and returned to play arena shows in Beijing and Shanghai in 2019. The quartet are due to tour the UK in 2022, with a headline date at London’s 90,000-cap Wembley Stadium scheduled for 6 August, promoted by Live Nation.

 


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