The Weeknd breaks London Stadium attendance record
The Weeknd has set a new attendance record for London Stadium after drawing 160,000 fans over two nights.
The Canadian singer-songwriter, real name Abel Tesfaye, set a new bar for the highest single night attendance for any show at the venue, pulling in 80,000 fans a night for his 7-8 July shows. Support came from Kaytranada and Mike Dean.
“It’s incredible to see The Weeknd hit this milestone less than halfway through his massive sold-out European run,” Omar Al-joulani, Live Nation president, touring, tells Variety. “This historic moment in London shows the global fanbase he has cultivated over the years.”
Last year’s North American leg of the global After Hours Til Dawn Tour grossed $148 million (€135m), with the stadium run now having grossed more than $350m to date worldwide. The tour continues tomorrow (11 July) with a show at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.
“Abel continues to sell at an astounding level across Europe”
The Weeknd will return to London to play Wembley Stadium on 18 August. The star will also visit Latin America this autumn with shows in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, among others stops.
“On the heels of an enormous, hugely successful US tour, Abel continues to sell at an astounding level across Europe,” adds CAA’s co-head of North American touring Darryl Eaton. “We couldn’t be more proud to work with him and his team on this incredible tour.”
The record-breaking London Stadium gigs formed part of a huge weekend of live music in England’s capital, as close to 750,000 people flocked to concerts across the city. Other events to take place included BST Hyde Park, which hosted sold-out shows by Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band and Lana Del Rey.
Elsewhere, Blur played two nights at Wembley Stadium; and Playboi Carti, Travis Scott and D-Block Europe headlined Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, while The O2 welcomed Hollywood Vampires and two dates by Iron Maiden.
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ASM unveils UK-first London Stadium partnership
ASM Global has announced a new strategic partnership with London Stadium to create additional event content for the venue, as well as creating new commercial opportunities.
In what has been described as ASM’s first UK booking foray, the company has committed to cementing the stadium as a leading global venue for “the very best in live experiences” through elevated non-matchday programming. The move broadens ASM’s footprint in the UK and Europe.
Originally built to host the London 2012 Olympic Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London Stadium is the home of Premier League football club West Ham United as well as UK Athletics.
At 80,000-cap, London Stadium boasts the second largest concert capacity for a stadium in the UK’s capital and has staged concerts by acts including Beyoncé, the Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns N’ Roses.
“We have a fantastic reputation for hosting some of the biggest, best and most diverse stadium events, which is evident across our incredible lineup this summer,” says London Stadium CEO Graham Gilmore. “We are always looking to improve; and this partnership with ASM Global will help push us on to even greater possibilities, unlocking the huge potential of our venue.”
“The venue has been ever-present in the city’s consciousness since the 2012 Olympic Games”
The venue’s 2023 calendar includes concerts by Burna Boy (3 June) and The Weeknd (7-8 July).
“We’re delighted to announce London Stadium as ASM Global’s first UK stadium partner, joining our elite network of iconic, major event venues around the world,” adds Tom Lynch, SVP, Europe, of ASM Global. “The venue has been ever-present in the city’s consciousness since the 2012 Olympic Games and has proved itself as one of the best multipurpose stadiums in Europe. It’s blessed with unique versatility for live events with first-class hospitality and unrivaled public transport connectivity to create the best possible fan experience.
“We are thrilled to be working with Graham and his team to continue to build on the stadium’s stunning Olympic legacy with world-class events and partnerships on one of the most culturally dynamic event campuses in Europe.”
ASM’s venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 350 arenas, stadiums, performing arts venues, and convention and exhibition centres,
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Burna Boy announces historic London Stadium gig
Burna Boy is set to become the first ever African artist to headline a UK stadium.
Promoters Robomagic Live and Coko Bar have announced details of the Afro-fusion star’s Love, Damini Stadium concert, which will take place at the 60,000-cap London Stadium on Saturday 3 June 2023.
The Grammy Award-winning 31-year-old already made history this past April by becoming the first Nigerian act to headline the 20,000-cap Madison Square Garden in New York.
“Together with our partners at Cokobar we are proud to bring the spectacle that is a Burna Boy show, to London Stadium for the very first time,” says a joint statement from Robomagic chief Rob Hallett and Ropo Akin, CEO of Coko Bar, which specialises in promoting African artists throughout Europe.
“It will be a landmark first for him or any solo African artist here in the UK”
“Here at London Stadium we are always looking to break new ground with our live events, so we are honoured to host the debut UK stadium show for Burna Boy,” adds Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium. “It will be a landmark first for him or any solo African artist here in the UK, so it promises to be a special night at the stadium next June.”
Real name Damini Ogulu, Burna Boy previously starred at London’s OVO Arena Wembley (cap. 12,500) in November 2019 and The O2 (20,000) in August 2021. Last week, he presented his manager and mother Bose Ogulu with the Manager of the Year Award at the 2022 UK’s Artist & Manager Awards.
PHOTO (L-R): Ropo Akin, Burna Boy, Bose Ogulu, Rob Hallett and Graham Gilmore
Danielle Buckley swaps London Stadium for Emirates
London Stadium head of business development Danielle Buckley is heading across the capital to join Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
The Emirates, which has welcomed concerts by the likes of Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Muse and Green Day, is coming off hosting two nights with The Killers in June – its first live music shows since 2013.
Lifelong Arsenal Football Club supporter Buckley will become senior manager, event programming at the 60,000-cap North London venue.
“Danielle will join us in September and be primarily responsible for driving major events business, maximising commercial return from the venue outside of the core football business and playing a critical role in maximising the long-term commercial opportunity of the full Emirates Stadium footprint on a year-round basis,” says Tom McCann, venue director at Arsenal FC.
“I’m really excited to welcome Danielle into our commercial team.”
Buckley served a five-year stint at Wembley Stadium before making the switch to London Stadium in 2017
Buckley served a five-year stint at Wembley Stadium before making the switch to London Stadium – home of West Ham United FC – in 2017.
The ILMC regular and IQ New Bosses alumnus began her music industry career in 2009 at Derek Block Artistes Agency, moving on to the Leighton Pope Organisation and then London 2012, for which she coordinated the headline talent for the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies.
She was subsequently hired by Wembley Stadium, where she worked her way up to partnership development manager – music and new events, and helped bring concerts by acts such as Ed Sheeran to the national stadium.
Guns N’ Roses close third highest-grossing tour ever
Guns N’ Roses’ mammoth Not in this Lifetime world tour has finally drawn to a close, after three years that saw the rock legends play 158 concerts across six continents.
According to Billboard figures, the Live Nation-promoted tour grossed US$584.2 million from 5,371,891 ticket sales, making it the third highest-grossing tour in history behind Ed Sheeran’s ÷ tour ($775.6m) and U2’s 360° tour ($735.4m).
Beginning in 2016, the Not in this Lifetime tour marked the reunion of Guns N’ Roses members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan after 13 years. It was the most successful rock tour of 2016 and the second highest-grossing tour of 2017, beaten by U2’s Joshua Tree 2017 phenomenon.
The tour has seen the rockers, who are represented by ITB’s Rod MacSween and UTA’s Ken Fermaglich, play 31 shows in Europe, 16 in Asia, 15 in South America, 8 in Australia and a sole date in South Africa.
Although home-continent shows amassed the most in terms of region – $285.5m – they fell short proportionally
Over half of the tour (55%) took place in North America, with 87 dates in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Although home-continent shows amassed the most in terms of region – $285.5m – they fell short proportionally, with 55% of the tour accounting for 49% of overall gross and 43% of net ticket sales.
The highest-grossing individual show took place at the 66,000-capacity London Stadium on 16 June 2017. The concert grossed $17.7m – 3% of the tour total – selling 140,877 tickets.
More than 100,000 fans also attended single dates at Foro Sol in Mexico City, the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires and the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. The shows in London, East Rutherford and Buenos Aires all broke the $10m mark, along with dates at the Tallinn, Song Festival Grounds in Estonia and Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil.
The mega tour ended at the beginning of November with two dates at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
As noted by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), veteran acts have consistently performed well on the touring circuit in recent years, with tours by U2, Roger Waters, Eagles, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Phil Collins bringing in “large totals” in 2018 alone.
Stones’ No Filter European tour grosses $238m
The Rolling Stones’ recent No Filter European tour, which wrapped up in Warsaw on 8 July, grossed nearly US$238 million from 28 sold-out shows, the latest Billboard figures reveal.
In total, the Stones shifted 7,802,307 tickets worth $237,802,307 throughout the tour, which kicked off in Hamburg last September, visiting Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden throughout the autumn, before returning for a second run through the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Germany, France, the Czech Republic and Poland in May–July.
Two shows at London Stadium alone brought in more than $20m, according to Billboard’s 4 August Hot Tours. The 2018 leg earned $117,844,618, adding to 2017’s $119,957,689.
The tour was produced and promoted by AEG/Concerts West, along with several local promoters.
The first leg of the No Filter tour – which bypassed the UK owing to a lack of available venues – generated $158m from 14 shows.
AEG on MSG London launch: ‘Question mark’ over location
AEG, operator of The O2 Arena, has responded to last month’s news that rival Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) is to build a venue of its own in east London, saying while it isn’t opposed to the plans in “principle”, its planned location – some five miles away from The O2 – is a cause for concern.
In a statement released by AEG today – the first by the company since the MSG announcement – a spokesperson says: “AEG understands competition in the live music industry and does not oppose the principle of a new music venue in London.
“However, there is a question mark over whether such a venue should be located in east London so close to existing venues at the Olympic Park – such as the London Stadium and Copper Box – as well as AEG’s own nearby venue, The O2 arena.”
The new London venue will be based on MSG’s striking Sphere concept, which aims “to make concertgoers part of the experience” through individually targeted sound and ultra-HD screens that stretch across venue’s walls and ceilings, enveloping attendees in an immersive visual experience.
“It is imperative that MSG’s proposals do not add to congestion in the are
MSG Sphere London will be located next to the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London, near the site of the 2012 Olympic games. The O2, meanwhile, is located in north Greenwich, around five miles upriver.
Both stations – Stratford and North Greenwich – are on the London underground’s Jubilee line, and AEG says it is “is imperative that MSG’s proposals do not add to congestion in the area, especially on the Jubilee line, which is critical for the movement of guests to and from The O2 Arena”.
“AEG always strives to ensure that its guests have the best possible experience when they visit our venues,” the spokesperson concludes, “and we will work with local stakeholders to ensure MSG’s plans do not affect this.”
The O2 has been the world’s top arena by ticket sales since 2008 – a position formerly held by MSG’s Madison Square Garden in New York. It was once against no1 in 2017, selling more than 1.4m tickets.