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The Solutionist: Anna Sjölund’s 25 years in live

In November 2023, it was announced that Anna Sjölund was to leave Live Nation – where she’d spent her entire career until then – for ASM Global. In a move dubbed “seismic” by one exec, Sjölund swapped her widely regarded career as a promoter for a gig in the venue business. And while the latter is new territory for her, it’s a kind of homecoming for the European director.

The 45-year-old Swede has returned to her old stomping ground of Avicii Arena, where she cut her teeth (and broke her foot) as a production assistant in the earliest throes of her career. It was in the carpark of the arena, then known as Stockholm Globe, where she first met ASM’s SVP Operations Marie Lindqvist after their cars ran into each other.

Decades later, Sjölund is set to spend many more working hours at Avicii, now ASM Global’s Sweden office, with Lindqvist at the helm. “I’ve lived these venues, and I know the people very well… I’m having a full-circle moment,” says Sjölund.

High school dropout
Sjölund spent the lion’s share of her youth in Lund, a province at the southern tip of Sweden best known for its prestigious university. Ironically, this is where Sjölund’s education was put on the back burner when she got her “lucky break” in music. “When I was in the seventh grade, I slipped into a group of older kids and ended up taking part in this EU-funded youth project at Mejeriet, a venue in Lund,” she tells IQ.

“We put on events for young people, like parties, viewings of 90210, and concerts,” she remembers. “We took tickets at the entrance or cleaned or did the coat check. When I started working at the big gigs, I realised I didn’t want to do anything else, so I dropped out of school.”

Sjölund had been attending a sports school, where basketball was her focus – “I wasn’t very good, but I was pretty tenacious,” she admits. A leg injury sustained in her first year prompted her to spend more time at the club, before she quit school altogether.

“I never really went back after that,” she said. “I would cycle from the club every morning to the record store Folk & Rock where we sold tickets, count the stubs and report back. Then I’d do the same at the other resale shops in the city. That’s basically what I did for a year.”

“I would cycle from the club every morning to the record store Folk & Rock where we sold tickets, count the stubs and report back”

Not entirely done with education, Sjölund relocated to the US to take her senior year of high school, only to return to the club a year later with renewed ambition. “I started this little side company, and we worked as stagehands and riggers and crew for extra cash,” she says. “Some of those were EMA Telstar shows – Thomas Johansson’s company. When the Stockholm promoters had shows down south, they would call me and ask for crew. We would put together a group of friends and build the stage for them.”

Sjölund’s work then took her as a production assistant to Hultsfred Festival, where her path again crossed with staff from EMA. Soon after, EMA enlisted her for Tina Turner’s Twenty Four Seven tour in 2000 at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg. “I was 20 years old, and that was my first stadium show,” she says. “Seeing the audience on those shows was amazing, and I just loved working in a venue. I had so much fun [that] I woke up the night after the show with Elvis tattooed on my back.”

Sjölund went from strength to strength with EMA, and the firm offered her a three-month stint at the then Stockholm Globe, working under then head of operations Tor Nielsen. In addition to working on concerts, Sjölund had a hand in producing an NHL game – sparking her lifelong passion for ice hockey “I didn’t go outside for three months, and
I loved it,” she says. “I wore Harley Davidson boots every day and walked so much that I broke the bones in my foot. It was the kind of fracture that people in the military service get.”

Nielsen says that Sjölund made a strong impression from the get-go: “From day one, you could see there was something special with Anna. She was smarter than all the guys around her and with lots of energy and curiosity. From day two, you saw a coming leader in our business.”

“I thought my job was to go out there and beat up the promoter… I was so tough with settlements and riders”

EMA Telstar founder Thomas Johansson had a similar feeling: “I knew that she was going places because she was very determined to work, and she spent a lot of time getting it right… she’s very thorough at her job.” Unsurprisingly, EMA offered the wunderkind a full-time position, which Sjölund accepted, but first, she had to deliver on a promise she’d made.

A year earlier, Tobbe Lorentz, an agent and longtime friend of hers, was in need of a European tour manager for Norwegian rock band Gluecifer, and 21-year-old Sjölund agreed to step in, despite lacking any experience in that role. “She was hesitant at first, but I assured her it was an easy job,” says Lorentz, who now works at UTA. “What could possibly go wrong with these hi-fuelled garage rockers from Scandinavia in the early 2000s?” he laughs.

Gluecifer turned out to be the least of his worries. “I thought my job was to go out there and beat up the promoter,” laughs Sjölund. “I was so tough with settlements and riders. And then I learned that it’s about cooperation. It was a real learning experience.” Sjölund had spent five weeks on the road and though she was the only woman among 16 men, she loved the band so much that she agreed to a second tour with them, postponing her move to EMA. Ultimately, Sjölund says it was clear that tour managing was not for her.

“I always wanted to work as a promoter, though I didn’t necessarily know whether I would be a production person or promoter,” she says. “I love being a facilitator. I want to provide the best possible set of scenarios for the artists, for the audience, and for the staff. The thrilling thing is to help other people get their vision across from stage.”

That passion for producing was only reaffirmed upon her return to EMA Telstar: “After a month at the company, I decided I would never do anything else,” she says.

“Even in the early days, [Anna] came across as knowledgeable and well-informed about her market”

Promoter’s prerogative
After a handful of years working full-time at EMA Telstar as a production assistant and booking agent, Sjölund made the jump to promoter – but it wasn’t an easy bridge to gap at first.

“Nobody would pick up my calls,” she remembers. “I had a list of agencies, and I kept calling them.” Ever determined, the promoter’s perseverance was eventually noticed by the likes of John Giddings, Rob Markus, and Tony Goldring.

“It didn’t matter how late at night I called Anna; she would always pick up. Unlike us mortals, she didn’t seem to need sleep to function,” laughs Goldring, with whom Sjölund worked on concerts such as Rihanna’s first show in Sweden in 2008 and Alicia Keys headlining Way Out West.

“Even in the early days, she came across as knowledgeable and well-informed about her market. When there were issues, we always found solutions together, and when I needed
more money, which was always, she tried to help but was clear when she couldn’t.”

A quick glance at the testimonials accompanying this feature will tell you that Sjölund is renowned for such problem-solving skills – and she’s the first to admit she’s “at her best” when there’s a crisis – but it’s something she’s learned the hard way.

“I’ve made numerous fuck-ups,” she laughs.“Very early in my career, I once forgot to book a venue for a confirmed show, which was bad when it was announced. It was a shock to everybody, especially since the date wasn’t available.

“Sometimes you make the wrong call or miss something, that’s the nature of the business”

“I also misjudged one of my first arena shows,” she continues. “I loved the band so much, I thought it was going to be a hit, but I only sold about a third of the venue, and we lost a fortune. I’ll never forget the feeling of losing money for the company or seeing those empty chairs. I didn’t sleep for weeks.”

But these days, Sjölund is matter of fact about mistakes and says she rarely gets upset. “Sometimes you make the wrong call or miss something, that’s the nature of the business,” she says. “You’ve just got to figure it out and solve the problem. Owning your mistakes and trying to learn from them and not repeat them is a part of this. Tony [Goldring] once said that we’re judged on how well we solve problems, and I’ve always thought about that.”

The Prague years
After a decade of working as a promoter at EMA (which by then had become Live Nation Sweden), Sjölund decided to take advantage of the firm’s international footprint and accepted a job as vice president of operations Central and Eastern Europe for Live Nation.

“It was a huge step up… I had no clue what I was doing,” she laughs. “I was 32, a female in a very male-dominated business, and I had moved to a country where I didn’t speak the language.That experience taught me how to be humble. I was very excited about doing everything and wanted to come in and change things, but there are cultural considerations. Every European market is different, and I didn’t realise that until I came to Prague.”

Though the secondment was challenging, Sjölund speaks fondly of her time in Prague, where she made “friends for life” and oversaw some of her most “challenging and fun” shows, including Madonna and U2 in Istanbul, Lady Gaga in Budapest, and Depeche Mode in Prague.

“I also did a lot of special projects like Linkin Park next to the Red Square in Moscow, which was an MTV-broadcasted show for the premiere of Transformers 3,” she muses.

“If you get asked to be the MD of a company you worked for since you were 20, you’re going to say yes”

“Doing a show like that in Russia, at that time, and with a movie premiere connected, was crazy. Plus, my daughter was ten days old, and I was gone for a week.” The VP also spent months in Baku, working on concerts connected to the UEFA’s Young Women’s Championship and the Formula 1 Grand Prix. And though the country’s live music market was relatively underdeveloped at the time, she worked on concerts with the likes of Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and Shakira in the Azerbaijan capital.

“She put Mariah Carey on at the Grand Prix one year and Pharrell Williams the next, providing ‘internal transport’ – as requested on the rider – in the form of a sunseeker… Respect!” says John Giddings, Solo.

Sjölund adds: “It was incredibly interesting to do big shows in a market where there had been no big shows like that. We had to start from scratch. I’ve always liked working in other markets. I’ve always wanted to learn more – that’s what excites me; new things and challenges.”

A corporate detour
But there was one challenge Sjölund didn’t enjoy. In November 2017, Thomas Johansson enticed the Swede with a job as co-managing director at Live Nation Sweden – the most senior position of her career until that point.

“If you get asked to be the MD of a company you worked for since you were 20, you’re going to say yes,” she says. But climbing the corporate ladder was never on the promoter’s agenda, and the role took her away from doing what she loved the most.

“It turned out it just wasn’t for me,” she says. “I had too much to do with running corporate stuff and didn’t have time to do what I love – being a promoter. There’s no time for both. I want to work with the creative and the content; I realised that’s the part I felt passionate about.”

“Being a woman is a challenge that I felt many times”

Becoming the co-managing director of the Swedish branch of a multinational company at the ripe age of 38 is impressive by anyone’s standards but even more so for a queer woman in a notoriously male-dominated industry.

“Being a woman is a challenge that I felt many times,” she says. “I don’t know how many times people have told me to ‘focus on my family’ – nobody ever tells a man that.” Sjölund hastens to add that fortunately many of the men she has worked closely with, such as Thomas Johansson and Tor Nielsen, have been “fantastic” champions and lifelong friends, but admits that there were “countless times where the boys’ club has been annoying to handle.”

Having spent the majority of her career as “the only woman in certain rooms,” Sjölund says gender equality in the industry has come a long way but that there’s still more work to be done.

“If you compare now to 15 years ago, it’s fantastic,” she says. “You’ve got amazing women like Emma Banks, Lucy Dickins, Kim Bloem, and Kelly Chappel ruling the business, but I wish there were more of us. It’s unbelievable to me that we don’t manage to bring more women into senior positions.

“The people responsible for the lack of women in high positions are the men who never leave those high positions. Everybody needs to move around a little to create new opportunities… you’ve gotta make room for the Kim Bloems!” she says.

While her experience as a woman in the industry has, at times, been rocky, she says her sexuality has “never been questioned.” In fact, Sjölund recounts Live Nation adjusting its employee benefits so she and her partner could start their family.

“Lolla Stockholm will always be our baby”

“The wait time for two women to have assisted insemination in Sweden was two to three years, simply because there were not enough donors,” she explains. “But we didn’t want to wait to start our family, so we decided to go private, and you could only do that in Denmark. That wasn’t included in Live Nation’s benefits and when I mentioned that, it was immediately adjusted so we could get the same type of support as any other couple that needed additional help to start their family. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of an employer.”

Home is where the heart is
Ensuring Sweden remains attractive as a market keeps Sjölund awake at night. Throughout her career, she has been a fierce advocate for her home country and its value to the international live music industry.

“It’s a unique market,” she says proudly. “If you look per capita, Sweden is a pretty small country, but if you go to a festival anywhere in the world, you’ll likely see Swedish artists on stage, and you’ll definitely hear songs played by headliners that are written by Swedish songwriters and producers. Plus, we have a great set of venues, Spotify is Swedish. It’s sort of a music centre.”

It was that kind of impassioned pitch that saw the exec bring US festival brand Lollapalooza to Stockholm in 2019 – one of her proudest achievements. “It was my dream to do that, and I could not have done that without the team headed up by Frida Riklund,” she says. “Lolla Stockholm will always be our baby. It was the first time we had something like that in the centre of Stockholm – at least on that scale.

“Plus, I loved seeing the approach C3 Presents take with festivals and combining that with the European approach to promoting.”

A major source of Sjölund’s pride with Lollapalooza Stockholm was creating an event for all ages – an impressive feat in a country where the age limit is 13 due to sound limits. “We worked with the authorities to find a way to let kids of all ages attend with their parents,” she explained.

“The vibe that created – seeing people of all ages having fun – was something I hadn’t seen before in Stockholm. I loved seeing my kids [Magda and Holly] in Kidspalooza playing around, and then going to watch Billie Eilish, who exploded that year.

“I bought sheep… I had to keep myself busy, so I looked after them and learned to cut them”

“I think it’s really important for the growth of the business to get people enjoying festivals and concerts early. And due to Covid, there’s a whole generation of people that missed a few years there. So I think it’s even more important that you get that opportunity.”

Sjölund is equally proud of developing the relationship between Sweden and the National Hockey League (NHL) – a project she worked on from her first days at Live Nation to her last.

“Sweden has the third most players in the NHL after Canada and the US – that’s pretty cool, being such a small market. Working with the NHL has been a real high point of my career.”

Coping mechanisms
The high of launching Lollapalooza Stockholm was abruptly followed by a low – the pandemic. “Can you believe how unlucky it is to work on a project for so long, launch it, and then the pandemic comes?” says Sjölund, who latched onto some weird and wonderful distraction techniques.

“I bought sheep,” she says. “I had to keep myself busy, so I looked after them and learned to cut them. It was a little bit impulsive,” she admits. “I didn’t think about the fact that not every summer would be like a Covid summer, so I had to restructure a little bit after that.”

When she wasn’t shearing sheep, Sjölund was putting her energy into teaching the Swedish government about the music industry and its value to society, alongside ASM’s Marie Lindqvist.

“There is always an itch in me… I was at the point in my career where I was thinking should I do something else?”

“I think we both found a way of channeling our passion for this industry into something constructive during these miserable years,” says Lindqvist. “Anna turned out to be a natural
talent in lobbying; she could probably also go into politics if she wanted. Very passionate, informed, and convincing!”

The pair regularly met up to walk and talk during that period, forming a strong relationship based on shared values in work and in life. “We share a view about events and about taking care of everyone involved – the audiences, promoters, and artists,” adds Sjölund. A few years down the line and it was that shared vision – plus good timing – that ultimately prompted Sjölund to leave the company she’d spent 25 years at.

“As ASM Global grew in Sweden with more venues and expanded into Finland, it needed someone that could head up the programming team and help us to develop our strategies and content in the growing portfolio of venues in Europe,” says Lindqvist. “I think the stars were aligned, I picked up the phone, pitched the role, and luckily it turned out to be the right time and place for Anna.”

Sjölund adds: “There is always an itch in me… I was at the point in my career where I was thinking should I do something else? There was no reason for me to be a promoter anywhere else – I had an incredible ride at Live Nation, and I’m so grateful for all the folks there and the great opportunities I’ve had. It was time for a new challenge.”

“I’m really excited to see what I can bring to the venue business”

A new chapter
If there’s one thing Sjölund’s colleagues, old and new, can agree on, it’s that she’s going to take the venue business by storm. “I think it’s going to be very good for the venues,” says Johansson. “I think the biggest advantage she has is that she’s been a promoter for 24 years. She knows the problems we have, whereas a lot of venue people have no idea what it is to be a promoter.”

“In the ASM office, we joke that I’m the promoter interpreter,” adds Sjölund. “I think it’s exciting to go from one part of the business to the other. In the end, we all want the same thing – to put on a great show.”

While she admits it’s sometimes still strange to be on the other side of the business, she is also fully embracing the change of scenery. “There’s more room for being long-term and strategic, whereas promoters have to solve problems right now.”

Though there are fewer late-night crisis calls, there are still plenty of urgent problems that need solving… “Avails, avails, avails – that’s the biggest issue,” she laughs. “I want to create more days in certain months. In some of our arenas we have a lot of sports, so there’s a juggle to accommodate home teams and all the artists that want to come and play.”

As she looks to the next phase of her career, Sjölund’s ambitions in the venue business are far from small: “I’m really excited to see what I can bring to the venue business. I want to see more great sports in our arenas, and I’m excited to work with both small venues and big venues, and all the opportunities that brings for new types of content – the sky is the limit. I want every promoter, artist, and fan to leave our venues feeling like they have had a great experience – that’s what I take pride in.”

 


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Festivals ’24: Lollapalooza, Afro Nation, Summer Sonic Bangkok

A variety of festivals have announced their 2024 lineups, including Lollapalooza, Afro Nation Detroit, Summer Sonic Bangkok, and Festival D’été de Québec, with other festivals adding names as the summer months draw near.

Lollapalooza has announced the complete lineup for its US edition, with SZA, Blink-182, and Tyler, the Creator set to lead the bill. The C3 Presents-backed programme will also see the likes of Hozier, Stray Kids, Future x Metro Boomin, Melanie Martinez, and Skrillex at Chicago’s Grant Park from 1-4 August.

Live Nation’s Afro Nation is set to return to Detroit, Michigan, with Rema, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Adekunle Gold, Ayra Starr, and Kash Doll leading the bill. The Afrobeats festival, which has several international editions, will host its second US edition from 17-18 August.

Canada’s Festival D’été de Québec, which will run from 4-14 July, is set to host Post Malone, J Balvin, Mötley Crüe, Nas, Jonas Brothers, along with The Offspring, Zac Brown Band, 50 Cent, Killer Mike, and Nickelback. The 103,000-capacity, 11-day festival will be held across five stages in the heart of Quebec City.

Summer Sonic has announced the first batch of artists for the inaugural Bangkok edition of the Japan-based festival, to be held 24-25 August at IMPACT Arena. Lauv, Yoasobi, Aurora, and Bodyslam lead the lineup, with Nothing But Thieves, Bright, Henry Moodie, and V Violette filling out the first batch.

US festival Broccoli City will return to Washington D.C., led by Megan Thee Stallion, Gunna, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Victoria Monét, Kaytranada, and Sexyy Red. The 27-28 July event will be held at Audi Field Stadium, a new venue for the hip-hop festival.

“There’s a huge variety of entertainment on offer this year”

Pitchfork Music Festival, set for Chicago’s Union Park from 19-21 July, will see Alanis Morissette, Black Pumas, and Jamie xx headline. Jai Paul, 100 gecs, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessie Ware, Brittany Howard, and MUNA are also set to perform at the 60,000-capacity event.

The UK’s Manchester Pride Festival will welcome Jessie J and Eurovision winner Loreen to its Gay Village Party, set for 23-26 August. They’ll join Katy B, Louis III, Chinchilla, and Natasha Hamilton, along with drag stars Bimini, Ginger Johnson, Danny Beard, and Black Peppa.

“There’s a huge variety of entertainment on offer this year; a host of classic Pride favourites, emerging artists, drag royalty and well-known performers spanning a whole range of genres,” said CEO Mark Fletcher.

“What’s most important is the representation and visibility of the further marginalised LGBTQ+ people.”

Three-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce’s Kelce Jam is set to return to Kansas City on 18 May. The one-day lineup features Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and Diplo, along with Irie and E-V, with the second-annual event to be live-streamed worldwide.

A variety of performers are being added to festival lineups around the world as programmes fill up.

BST Hyde Park has completed its programme, with Stevie Nicks, SZA, Morgan Wallen, and Kings of Leon joining previously announced Shania Twain, Kylie Minogue, Andrea Bocelli, Robbie Williams, and Stray Kids. The London series kicks off on 29 June and runs through 14 July.

Festival brands are continuing to expand worldwide with new editions

The Netherlands’ North Sea Jazz Festival has added Arooj Aftab, Obongjayer, Butcher Brown, and Charles Lloyd to its 12-14 July programme. They’ll join Sting, Raye, Corinne Bailey Rae, Brittany Howard, Black Pumas, and Benjamin Clementine at Rotterdam Ahoy.

Norway’s Sideways Festival have added Royel Otis, Eevil Stöö, and DJs from local bar Erottaja. They join Jungle, Peggy Gou, Fontaines D.C., Bat For Lashes, and Ladytron on the lineup for the 13-15 June event at Karri Koira Aino Areena in Helsinki.

Michael Kiwanuka, The Blaze, Soulwax’s DJ offshoot 2manydjs, and Jayda G have joined Spain’s Mallorca Live Festival, to be headlined by Blondie, Underworld, and Pet Shop Boys. The island festival is set for 13-15 June.

Additionally, festival brands are continuing to expand worldwide with new editions in different markets.

K-pop festival series Waterbomb Festival has announced its expansion, with new editions set for Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City and Dubai in 2024. The festival series, featuring Zico, Jay Park, and Simon Dominic, will also return to Bangkok for its second year, along with a handful of stops in South Korea and Japan.

Louis Tomlinson’s Away From Home Festival is set to return for its fourth edition, this time in Mérida, Mexico on 8 June. The one-day event, which has previously been held in the UK, Spain, and Italy, has not yet released its lineup.

 


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Lollapalooza India ‘will break even by next year’

The organisers of Lollapalooza India say the festival is on course to break even next year as it celebrates a successful second edition.

More than 60,000 fans over two days gathered at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse from 27-28 January to see headliners Sting, Jonas Brothers, Halsey and OneRepublic.

Held across four stages, the lineup also included acts such as Keane, Lauv, Jungle, Royal Blood, JPEGMAFIA, Meduza, Malaa, Caribou, The Rose and Eric Nam.

The festival was produced by co-founder Perry Farrell, Live Nation’s C3 Presents and Indian ticketing giant BookMyShow, which has expanded into staging live events.

Speaking to Mint, BookMyShow’s chief of business, live entertainment, Owen Roncon says the event is projected to become financially stable by year three – in line with expectations. Tickets started at 5,999 Indian rupee (€66.50).

“Lolla will break even by next year for sure. We are in the ballpark and it’s going per the plan with no massive deviation”

“Lolla will break even by next year for sure,” says Roncon. “We are in the ballpark and it’s going per the plan with no massive deviation.

“The kind of brand pickup that we’ve seen in Lolla is unprecedented. I don’t think there’s any other IP that has picked up this kind of inventory from the market. And it’s only increasing. I think by next year, we’ll be able to do far more for brands, and our plans are bigger and better for the brands themselves. So therefore I think that that those scales are gonna get better.”

Last year’s inaugural Lolla India featured performances from local and international artists including Imagine Dragons, The Strokes, AP Dhillon, Cigarettes After Sex, Divine, the F16s, Jackson Wang, Imanbek, Greta Van Fleet, The Wombats and Diplo. Its debut in Asia meant the brand has now grown to eight countries on four continents, including editions in the US, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France and Sweden.

Mumbai-bosed BookMyShow also launched rock festival Badland in Bengaluru last month, headlined by Deep Purple and Goo Goo Dolls, and is planning a hip-hop festival in Delhi. Roncon reveals the firm is focusing its attention on Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi for large-scale events, and is exploring venue development in various cities as it seeks to improve the country’s live entertainment infrastructure.

“Those can be shared with others too and everyone’s production cost can come down, it brings down the ticket prices and gives talent a platform,” he explains. “We’re looking at that very, very aggressively and I think in the next year or two, you should see a few results.”

 


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Lollapalooza teams up with Leonardo DiCaprio’s org

Lollapalooza is teaming up with Re:wild, a conservation organisation co-founded in 2021 by actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Under the partnership, Lolla will support Re:wild’s projects with a financial commitment, amplify the organisation’s environmental education through its channels, and dedicate space at its festival for partners to speak directly to attendees.

The collaboration will launch at Lollapalooza India in Mumbai this weekend (27–28), before heading to the festival’s outposts in Chicago, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France and Sweden.

Festival co-founder Perry Farrell wrote on social media: “Solutionists, join us! We are thrilled to partner with our new friends at Re:wild, as we too love the land, the water, and all living creatures. Their commitment to healing the world is directly in line with the environmental awareness roots that were planted in the infancy of Lollapalooza decades ago. And of course, we still respond to the call of the wild!”

“Environmental awareness roots were planted in the infancy of Lollapalooza decades ago”

Wes Sechrest, Re:wild chief scientist/CEO in a statement, adds: “In a moment when we need the world to come together to protect and restore nature as the most effective solution to the related climate and biodiversity crises, there are fewer greater convening forces than music. We are excited for this partnership with Lollapalooza to bring visibility and support to the vital and urgent work of the communities and local organisations on the front lines working to ensure that nature thrives for the benefit of all.”

Lollapalooza has partnered with a number of environmental organisations to green its festivals over the past three decades via the purchase of carbon offsets, free refillable water stations, composting, recycling, food waste distribution and reusable cup programs among other efforts.

The festival’s flagship, Lollapalooza Chicago, received the Illinois Sustainability Award in 2017 and in 2023 Lollapalooza Berlin was the nation’s first festival to be certified as sustainable according to international standards.

Re:wild works with 500+ partners, most of whom are Indigenous peoples and local communities, in more than 80 countries.

 


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C3 Presents plans new US festival for 2024

C3 Presents, the Live Nation-backed promoter behind Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, has announced a new US festival for 2024.

Minnesota Yacht Club Festival will take place between 19–20 July 2024 at Harriet Island Regional Park in Saint Paul, the capital city of Minnesota.

The two-day event will invite 20 artists to perform across two stages by the Mississippi Riverfront, according to the website, though the lineup and ticket prices are under wraps until mid-January. Organisers are aiming to draw 30,000-35,000 fans per day for the inaugural event.

“We deserve a big music fest like this,” Tim Sweetwood of Atlanta-based C3 Presents told local newspaper Star Tribune. “When you consider that the Twin Cities [Minneapolis–Saint Paul] is a big enough market to support five major-league sports teams, I don’t see why it can’t support one major music festival, too.”

“I don’t see why [the Twin Cities] can’t support one major music festival”

Parent company Live Nation staged a music festival called River’s Edge at the very same location in 2016, headlined by Tool and Dave Matthews Band.

The live music behemoth reportedly promised to produce River’s Edge there for five years but instead pulled the festival after its debut edition.

“From a musical perspective we’re just going to try to produce a lineup that just jibes a little bit better [than River’s Edge] and offers more synergy from day to day,” Sweetwood said.

“And we’ll try to give it a little more colour and better branding, the kind of things we have a good feel for at C3 being primarily a festival producer. We are going to put the Padelford and some other boats to work as part of the festival experience.

“We’ll just have the two stages in the first year, and so you can only do so many genres but we’ll cover adult-contemporary, rock, pop, some blues, a cool mix like that.”

C3 Presents’ festival portfolio also includes rock festival Shaky Knees, alternative rock event Sick New World and country music offering Two Step Inn.

 


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2024 lineups stack up: Lolla, Roskilde and more

Next year’s festival lineups are already beginning to take shape, with artist announcements from events including Lollapalooza, Roskilde, Download, Rock Werchter, Latitude, Nova Rock, Innings Festival, Welcome to Rockville and Hellfest.

Lollapalooza this week confirmed the lineups for its Chile, Argentina and Brazil editions, scheduled for next March.

Headliners include Blink-182, SZA, Paramore (Brazil only), Feid (Chile/Argentina only), Sam Smith, Arcade Fire and Limp Bizkit.

Hozier, The Offspring, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Diplo, Above & Beyond, Dom Dolla, Phoenix, ZHU, Rina Sawayama, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Omar Apollo are also on the lineups.

The Chile and Argentina editions take place on 15-17 March at Parque Bicentenario de Cerrillos and at Hippodromo de San Isidro in Buenos Aires, respectively. Lollapalooza Brazil takes place 22-24 March at Autódromo de Interlagos in São Paulo.

Lolla South America headliners include Blink-182, SZA, Paramore, Feid, Sam Smith, Arcade Fire and Limp Bizkit

Lollapalooza in South America is produced by Perry Farrell, C3 Presents, Lotus Producciones (Chile), DF Entertainment (Argentina), and Rock World (Brazil).

The 2024 edition of Lollapalooza Brazil is the first to be managed by C3 Presents and Rock World (the company behind Rock in Rio) – both of which are majority-owned by Live Nation – it was announced in April.

Prior to that, Lolla Brazil was produced and promoted by South America’s leading live entertainment company T4F (Time For Fun) for 10 years.

Across the Atlantic, Denmark’s Roskilde festival has revealed 17 of 180 acts for next year’s instalment.

Foo Fighters, PJ Harvey, Kali Uchis, Blondshell, Romy and Gilli are among the acts set for the event, taking place between 29 June and 6 July 2024.

“I don’t mind admitting, this year for 2024 we approached 21 different headliners for Download… it’s been probably the hardest year”

Foo Fighters will also be headlining Belgium’s Rock Werchter, scheduled for 4–7 July at Festivalpark in Werchter.

Meanwhile, Download has announced more than 80 acts for its 21st edition, the follow-up to its fastest-selling edition in the event’s history.

Britain’s biggest heavy metal festival will be headlined by Queens Of The Stone Age, Avenged Sevenfold and Fall Out Boy in 2024.

Slipknot legend Corey Taylor, Pantera, Machine Head, The Offspring, Sum 41 and Royal Blood.

Download boss Andy Copping told Planet Rock that his booking team had found it “really tough” locking in these artists compared to previous years.

Live Nation’s Innings Festival will next year spawn a second weekend, dubbed Extra Innings

“I don’t mind admitting, this year for 2024 we approached 21 different headliners for Download,” he said. “It’s been probably the hardest year – I’ve said that in previous years before when it’s been hard to put the bill together – but this year has been particularly hard.”

Elsewhere in Live Nation’s portfolio, Latitude (UK) has secured Duran Duran a headliner for the 2024 offering, taking place in Suffolk’s Henham Park between 25–28 July, and Innings Festival (US) will return for a sixth edition next February with headliners by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Hozier.

The Arizona event will next year spawn a second weekend, dubbed Extra Innings, headlined by Chris Stapleton and Dave Matthews band.

The doubleheader weekends combine live music with Major League Baseball greats and interactive baseball-themed activations. Both take place from Tempe Beach Park & Arts Park during the Cactus League’s Spring Training.

Austria’s Nova Rock is also taking shape, with Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold, Måneskin and Bring Me The Horizon set to headline.

France’s Hellfest has confirmed Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, The Offspring, Megadeath and more

The event – promoted by Nova Music Entertainment, a part of CTS Eventim’s Barracuda Musicrecently added a fourth day for 2024.

The 55,000-capacity festival will take place between 13 and 16 June 2024 at its longstanding home of Pannonia Fields in Nickelsdorf, Burgenland.

Billy Talent, Corey Taylor, Jane’s Addiction, Parkway Drive, Pendulum, Machine Head, Avril Lavigne, Alice Cooper, Sum 41 and Baby Metal are among the other acts slated to play Nova Rock 2024.

Elsewhere in the rock and metal festival sphere, France’s Hellfest has confirmed Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, The Offspring, Megadeath, Dropkick Murphys, Royal Blood and Bad Omens among others.

The 17th edition will take place 27–30 June 2024 in Clisson. Four-day passes for the festival are already sold out.

Many of the same artists at Hellfest will also appear at Welcome to Rockville 2024, produced by Danny Wimmer presents.

Foo Fighters, Mötley Crüe, Slipknot, Jelly Roll, Disturbed, Limp Bizkit, Queens of the Stone Age, Judas Priest, Greta Van Fleet, Evanescence, Falling In Reverse, A Day To Remember, Breaking Benjamin and Bad Omens will perform at Daytona International Speedway in Florida on 9-12 May, 2024.

 


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India stakes its claim as global entertainment hub

India is enhancing its claim as a global entertainment hub as it entices a growing number of international stars and festival brands to the country.

50 Cent, Westlife, Deep Purple, Goo Goo Dolls, Bastille and Kodaline are among the big-name acts set to perform before the end of the year, while Ed Sheeran last week announced his + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) tour will visit Mumbai in 2024.

The concert at Mahalaxmi Racecourse on 16 March will be the first time Sheeran has played in India since 2017. According to BookMyShow Live, which is co-promoting the concert with AEG Presents, the gig will feature a 360° circular and revolving stage – a first for India.

“The future of events in India is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation,” says Owen Roncon, BookMyShow’s chief of business, live entertainment.

“Our endeavour at BookMyShow Live is to consistently push the boundaries of how live entertainment is experienced here at par with global standards. In line with that, we are thrilled to bring this ground-breaking, production wonder with the 360-degree circular, revolving stage to the Indian audience for the Ed Sheeran: + – = ÷ x Tour (Mathematics Tour).

“The future of events in India is on the cusp of a remarkable transformation”

“With this innovative production, auditory experience and the technological integration, the tour comes to India as a work of art where technology waltzes with creativity, weaving an enchanting blend of visuals and sound; ensuring in fact that it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

India has already enjoyed a bumper 2023 calendar, with concerts from the likes of Backstreet Boys, John Legend and Bonobo, and festivals including Vh1 Supersonic, Mahindra Blues Festival and Lollapalooza drawing yet more household names.

Live Nation and BookMyShow teamed up on the very first Lollapalooza India at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse, featuring Imagine Dragons, The Strokes, and Diplo alongside Indian-born rapper AP Dhillon, Delhi-based singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad and others. The event drew 60,000 fans over two days, with 40 artists performing across four stages on a 50-acre site.

James Craven, Live Nation president, Middle East, says Lollapalooza coming to Mumbai is a great example of the market’s growing importance.

“It’s really exciting to see global markets open up to music and artists from the Indian sub-continent, as well as seeing how the Indian market continues to open up for international acts,” says Craven in the IQ’s Global Promoters Report. “Expanding global touring routes for artists is key to their growth and that of the industry, and India will play a key role in that going forwards.”

“Our endeavour is to consistently push the boundaries of how live is experienced here at par with global standards”

Lollapalooza isn’t the only global festival brand to plant a flag in India. Palm Tree Festival, an event founded by renowned Norwegian producer Kygo and his manager Myles Shear, will debut in Mumbai this November.

The festival will bring the likes of Kungs (FR), Sam Felt (NL) and Kidnap (GB) to the Mahalaxmi Racecourse between 3–5 November. Palm Tree has also taken place in The Hamptons (US), Cabo San Lucas (MX) and Pag Island (HR).

Elsewhere in the festival market, pre-existing brands have hailed new milestones. India’s biggest metal festival Bangalore Open Air sold out for the first time in its 10-year history.

The 3,000-capacity event, which is produced in partnership with Germany’s marquee metal festival Wacken Open Air, saw acts including Mayhem, Pestilence, Kryptos, Godless, Born of Osiris, Dying Embrace and Amorphia perform at Royal Orchid Resorts at Yelahanka.

Closing out the year, Percept Live’s Sunburn festival will return to Goa in December, with international artists such as Alesso (SE), Charlotte De Witte (BE) and Timmy Trumpet (AU).

“India’s music landscape has witnessed meteoric growth in the past few years,” says Kunal Khambhat, head of live events & IP at BookMyShow, said in the most recent Global Promoters Report.

“Slowly but steadily, the country has set the stage to become a keystone for some of the biggest music performances and markets in the world – from hosting acclaimed international and Indian independent artists at large concerts to smaller formats that are gradually shaping the music landscape in the country.”

 


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Billie Eilish’s Lollapalooza set to be solar powered

Billie Eilish’s headline set at Lollapalooza in Chicago will be partially solar powered by zero-emission battery systems.

The climate-friendly performance on Thursday 3 August is part of the Music Decarbonisation Project co-founded by Eilish herself in partnership with the environmental non-profit Reverb.

The 21-year-old’s set at the flagship Lollapalooza will be powered by zero-emissions battery systems, supplied and managed by Overdrive Energy Solutions and charged via a temporary “solar farm” at the Grant Park festival site.

The battery systems will serve as a demonstration of clean energy technologies that can drastically reduce live music’s greenhouse gas pollution and accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels, reads a release.

“By showcasing this technology with one of the biggest artists in the world, we’re accelerating toward a decarbonized future”

“We hope and believe this will be a watershed moment for the music industry,” says Adam Gardner of Reverb in a statement. “There are real climate solutions available right here, right now. By showcasing this technology with one of the biggest artists in the world, on one of the most revered festival stages, we’re accelerating the necessary transition toward a decarbonized future, for music and beyond.”

The sustainability project is one of Elish’s many efforts to combat climate change. The US singer previously partnered with Reverb for her 2022 Happier Than Ever world tour, where they set up Eco-Villages at her concert venues.

The star has also performed at numerous climate change-awareness events such as Global Citizen, the Earthshot Prize and Overheated.

Lollapalooza takes place between 3–6 August with acts including Kendrick Lamar, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lana Del Rey, Odesza, Karol G, The 1975 and Tomorrow X Together.

 


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‘India’s music landscape has seen meteoric growth’

India is fast becoming a global entertainment hub, according to some of the world’s leading executives.

Just as the pandemic hit, the country was on a promising upswing in its patchy live music history, having welcomed U2 to Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium in January 2020. The show was the latest in an intermittent stream of superstar visits to Indian soil – The Stones, Sheeran, and Beyoncé have all been down, though Bieber cancelled in October – and was a collaboration between Live Nation and local ticketing giant BookMyShow, which is increasingly positioning itself as India’s foremost international promoter.

In January, the two promoters teamed up on the first Indian Lollapalooza at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse, featuring Imagine Dragons, The Strokes, and Diplo alongside Indian-born rapper AP Dhillon, Delhi-based singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad and others. The event drew 60,000 fans over two days, with 40 artists performing across four stages on a 50-acre site.

James Craven, Live Nation president, Middle East, says Lollapalooza coming to Mumbai is a great example of the market’s growing importance.

“It’s really exciting to see global markets open up to music and artists from the Indian sub-continent, as well as seeing how the Indian market continues to open up for international acts,” says Craven in the IQ’s Global Promoters Report. “Expanding global touring routes for artists is key to their growth and that of the industry, and India will play a key role in that going forwards.”

“Expanding global touring routes for artists is key to their growth and that of the industry, and India will play a key role in that”

Kunal Khambhati, head of live events & IP at BookMyShow, says the entertainment and ticketing platform has worked hard to break down barriers to live shows, which included a 28% goods and services tax that now stands at 18%.

“India’s music landscape has witnessed meteoric growth in the past few years,” says Khambhati. “Slowly but steadily, the country has set the stage to become a keystone for some of the biggest music performances and markets in the world – from hosting acclaimed international and Indian independent artists at large concerts to smaller formats that are gradually shaping the music landscape in the country.

“BookMyShow’s work in this space has focused on creating exposure for both global talent to the Indian audience and Indian artists on the global stage,” he adds. “Lollapalooza is a global music phenomenon, an incomparable international experience, that will not only amplify this exposure in India but in all of Asia and put the spotlight on the country as a global entertainment hub.”

Elsewhere in the festival market, India’s biggest metal festival Bangalore Open Air sold out for the first time in its 10-year history.

“This will go down in the history books,” said Bangalore Open Air founder, Salman U Syed. “A heavy metal festival in Bangalore, India, is sold out. Thank you for your support. Ten years of hard work determination and patience.”

“The country has set the stage to become a keystone for some of the biggest music performances and markets in the world”

The 3,000-capacity event, which is produced in partnership with Germany’s marquee metal festival Wacken Open Air, will this year celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Mayhem, Pestilence, Kryptos, Godless, Born of Osiris, Dying Embrace and Amorphia will lead the celebrations at the 1 April event at Royal Orchid Resorts at Yelahanka.

It’s not just domestic executives that are touting India’s rapid growth. The likes of Wasserman Music’s Alex Hardee and ATC Live’s Alex Bruford testified to the market’s upward trajectory at the most recent International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

“I was just in India, where Lumineers headlined the NH7 Weekender and it was incredible,” said Bruford. “More than 20,000 people drove for about eight hours to get to the show – all completely local fans – and it was one of the band’s favourite gigs they’ve ever played.”

Hardee told ILMC delegates how Alan Walker (represented by Lee Anderson and Tom Schroeder at Wasserman) recently broke new ground in India: “He did ten shows in ten cities…I don’t think an international act has ever done that.”

“More than 20,000 people drove for about eight hours to get to the show”

While streaming rates point to a large pop market, challenging routing and a lack of infrastructure have hampered the development of an Indian circuit for rock and pop shows. Venues for shows typically have to be built from scratch on outdoor sites, and purpose-built venues are only a long-term prospect.

The EDM market is already creating circuits of its own. Percept Live’s three-day, 30,000-per-day Sunburn Festival in Goa returned in December, having brought many of the world’s top DJs down since 2007, and Percept has expanded into increasingly ambitious tours – including a six-city trek for DJ Snake in November, visiting Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore but also less-travelled spots such as Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

“This is the first time we have done a six-city tour over two weekends with such a big artist,” says Percept Live COO Karan Singh, noting that DJ Snake drew anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 per city. “If you have eight or ten markets where the top international acts can play, that’s good for the industry overall.”

Other experienced electronic promoters include Mixtape Live, Submerge, and Mumbai’s Krunk Live, whose travelling Bass Camp Festival celebrated its tenth year in November. Another major player in the Indian business is payments provider Paytm, which bought OML’s ticketing arm Insider in 2017.

As well as presenting tours by artists such as Singh and Dosanjh, Paytm Insider is behind the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, which has featured Basement Jaxx, A.R. Rahman, and Megadeth and brought The Lumineers, Dirty Loops and J.I.D. back to its home city of Pune for its 11th edition in November.

 


This article contains excerpts from the Global Promoters Report, a first-of-its-kind resource that highlights the world’s leading promoters and the 40 top markets they operate in. The report is now available to subscribers of IQ.

Global Promoters Report: France

The Global Promoters Report, a first-of-its-kind resource that highlights the world’s leading promoters and the 40 top markets they operate in, is now available to subscribers of IQ.

In an excerpt from the guide, IQ delves into one of Europe’s most influential markets: France.


As one of Europe’s major international touring markets, trends in France have repercussions across the continent. The market prognosis in 2022 is very much a mixed bag. Recovery from Covid after long periods of shutdown was beginning to happen only to crash headfirst into growing energy costs and a mounting economic crisis in the country. There are plenty of things to be optimistic about in the sector, but the severe challenges impacting live music cannot be ignored.

As in most European markets, the international heavyweights in France are Live Nation and AEG Presents. Live Nation runs Lollapalooza and Afropunk festivals in the capital, as well as I Love Techno Europe and Main Square. International touring acts it brought in during 2022 included The Rolling Stones, Jack Harlow, Sting, Chainsmokers, and Lil Nas X, with Bring Me The Horizon, You Me At Six, The Vamps, Lizzo, and Sam Smith booked for 2023 as well as stadium shows in Paris with Beyoncé, Metallica and The Weeknd.

AEG Presents runs the Rock en Seine festival, and acts it booked for 2022 included Suede and Olivia Rodrigo. Acts confirmed for 2023 include Tom Brennan, Yungblud, and Celine Dion.

Take Me Out is a new local entrant in the French market, launching in February 2022. Bookings this year include The Amazons, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, and The Libertines, with We Are Scientists, North Mississippi Allstars, Circa Waves, and The Slow Readers Club booked for next year.

Corida Group (incorporating Corida, Super!, The Talent Boutique. and Pi-Pôle) is the live music arm of the Because Group and acquired a 50% stake in the Pitchfork Paris festival promoter Super! in 2018. Super! also runs the Villette Sonique festival.

“Unlike other countries, we were lucky enough to benefit from government subsidies during most of the pandemic”

Alias Production brought acts such as Courtney Barnett, Mogwai, Confidence Man, Franz Ferdinand, and Youssou N’Dour to play in 2022. Its bookings for 2023 include dEUS, The War on Drugs, Yo La Tengo, Lewis Capaldi, and Robbie Willims.

“Unlike other countries, we were lucky enough to benefit from government subsidies during most of the pandemic, which has protected companies and saved many jobs, so there hasn’t been too much damage across the industry,” says Emma Greco, promoter at AEG Presents in Paris.

“However, the French political climate is heated as we’re facing new challenges with the rise of energy prices, shortages of gas, and the high cost of living, all causing new waves of protest and strikes.”

She says touring costs are shooting up, with transportation costs in particular up 20% this year. There is also a skills and equipment shortage, caused in part by the pandemic, as infrastructure companies closed/downscaled and skilled workers were forced to leave the business and seek work elsewhere. As more acts race to get back on the road in France, there is still not enough staff or enough equipment to go around.

“All the sound and lighting providers were out of stock in recent months, meaning we have sometimes had to turn to our EU neighbours,” explains Greco.

“All the sound and lighting providers were out of stock in recent months, meaning we have had to turn to our EU neighbours”

Jean-Louis Schell, promoter at Take Me Out, believes there is also an oversaturation in the market. He says that 20 years ago, around 150 international acts were touring in France each year; now it is over 1,000.

“We have the same number of venues, maybe more small clubs with free entry, but there are the same number of people buying tickets and inflation is increasing; even if it is less than in other territories, 5.6% is still huge,” he says. “Students and young people generally have less money.”

Arnaud Meersseman, general manager of AEG Presents and programmer at Rock en Seine, says increases in ticket prices and acts touring too frequently are causing severe problems in the market.

“Large venues with more than 5,000 capacity have seen ticketing go up by 19% compared to 2019, but small venues have seen a drop of 38%, and medium venues have seen a drop of 26%,” he says. “Those medium and small bands that are in the middle, they’re all touring at the same time. They are probably not that new, they’ve probably been around for a while, people have seen them, and they’re on their second or third record. If you miss them this time around, well, that’s fine; you can see them the next time they come around.”

Pascal Bernardin of Encore Productions lays out the scale of the challenges as he sees them. “I’m lucky that my business is outside France,” he says of the state of the domestic market. “If I look at promoters, it’s been hard, and I’m not sure when it will come back. Festivals did okay, and the big ones did very, very well. A lot of smaller festivals did not do so well. A lot of people complain about the cost, which is getting higher.”

The average ticket price for major shows in France is €120-130 so consumers cannot afford to go to more shows more frequently

What this all means is that smaller acts and acts in the middle are struggling the most, with Schell suggesting audiences are increasingly waiting until the last minute to buy tickets. “It forces the promoters to increase their promo expenses, so the breaking point becomes more difficult to reach,” he says. “Stadiums and arenas are filling – or at least most of them are.”

And, of course, the impact of Brexit on British acts touring in France (and elsewhere in Europe) remains an issue. “The ATA carnets are a pain for young bands,” says Schell, “so we mainly look for venues and festivals providing backline.”

For the biggest acts, their popularity insulates them to an extent. Meersseman points to Blackpink and other K-pop superstars as creating their own centre of gravity in the French market. “We find that it is doing exceptionally well with very high ticket prices,” he says, especially with regard to upsell options. “If you get the full VIP package and you’re two people, you can be spending up to €2,000 on the show.”

Meersseman also suggests the average ticket price for major shows in France is €120-130, and that means big acts scoop most of the money, and consumers cannot afford to go to more shows more frequently. “Once you spend that times two, you’re not going to be spending much on tickets for the rest of the month,” he says.

Meersseman also feels there is something of a touring arms race happening at the upper levels at the moment that will greatly impact on the future shape of the market.

“To bring in a bigger show costs a fortune, therefore you raise ticket prices”

“The competition is so intense because of the volume of touring that acts need to bring in bigger and bigger shows – but everything costs more and more,” he says. “To bring in a bigger show costs a fortune, therefore you raise ticket prices. Other acts think they should raise ticket prices and bring in a bigger show. It’s a vicious circle, and I don’t think it’s leading to anything very good.”

The processes of breaking acts across France are, however, beginning to change, even amid the market uncertainty outlined above. “We start off with a club show or a tastemaker event,” says Meersseman. “Agents love putting all their acts through Primavera and then having a soft launch for all the acts at the same time in June. We try to avoid that if we can. From there on, we’ll usually give them a good slot at our festival, Rock en Seine, to try to build them up from there. Then we’ll try to get them back in for a bigger Paris show. After that we will try to get them back for some regional shows and regional festivals. France is such a centralised country, that if you don’t break Paris, you’ll never be able to venture into the regions. Paris is the key to opening up everything.”

Greco says that breaking Paris is only the start and that promoters really need to be thinking and acting locally. “I think it’s important to build an artist outside of Paris – whether it’s through festivals or regional shows,” she says. “There’s not always time for it, but I believe it’s an important step when building an artist in our market.”

“If you don’t break Paris, you’ll never be able to venture into the regions”

International acts that have performed well in terms of touring are varied. Schell mentions Peter Doherty and Kasabian as recent successes, adding that French hip-hop acts are now selling tickets on a par with some of the biggest international acts, suggesting an interesting domestic/foreign split in the live market.

Greco points to Fred Again, who sold 1,600 tickets in two minutes for his show at Elysée Montmartre, and Olivia Rodrigo’s first show in France at the Zenith in June 2022 exceeded expectations.

Meersseman says, beyond a range of K-pop acts and major international stars like Robbie Williams and Tyler, The Creator doing well, there is a revival of interest in pop-punk from the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Hella Mega Tour (featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer) sold out the 35,000-capacity La Défense Arena in July 2022. Meanwhile, The Offspring have sold out the Zenith in Nantes and were already close to selling out the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, with both shows not happening until May 2023.

Parts of the market are struggling and other parts of the market are over-indexing. This dynamic looks unlikely to change for a while, with suggestions that, with many postponed shows running into next year, it might not be until 2023 that the live market in France fully recalibrates itself.


The Global Promoters Report is published in print, digitally, and all content is also available as a year-round resource on the IQ site. The Global Promoters Report includes key summaries of the major promoters working across 40+ markets, unique interviews and editorial on key trends and developments across the global live music business.

To access all content from the current Global Promoters Report, please click here.