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Roundhouse Rising offers £1 tickets for under 30s

London’s Roundhouse has announced a partnership with Vice Media Group for the Roundhouse Rising Festival 2022.

The five-day emerging music event will take place at the 3,000-cap Camden venue from 4-8 October, with £1 tickets available across all shows to people aged 30 and under in response to the cost of living crisis.

Vice will curate the festival’s opening night, with the first names to be confirmed including Brooklyn multi-hyphenate artist and creator Talia Goddess, multidisciplinary artist Loshh and vocalist India Shan, who was handpicked from Roundhouse’s Resident Artists programme.

“Rising Festival is where Roundhouse comes into its own, as a home for incredible music experiences and also a world-class creative programme for young people,” says Roundhouse head of music Lucy Wood. “Rising develops, platforms and celebrates talent of the future, and I’m excited that Vice’s involvement will amplify this. We do a lot of excellent things at the Roundhouse, but this is definitely my favourite.”

As part of the new link-up, Vice’s music channel Noisey will also profile a number of Rising Festival’s featured artists as well as publishing additional editorial coverage across a range of Vice platforms.

“Vice is synonymous with finding new voices and providing a platform for diverse communities and individuals,” says Nadja White, chief marketing officer of Vice Media Group. “We are delighted to be working with Roundhouse to support the next generation of artists, providing a global platform for new talent and bringing in new audiences through our award-winning content.”

Roundhouse Rising’s subsequent three nights will be curated by BBC Music Introducing, Risen and Shesaid.so

The subsequent three nights at Roundhouse Rising 2022 will be curated by BBC Music Introducing, multi-venue London-based festival and club night Risen; and Shesaid.so, a global community connecting women, gender minorities and allies in the music industry.

The festival is also partnering with Deaf Rave which provides entertainment with music, sign song and visual performances to an all-inclusive audience, globally and across the UK. Line-ups to be confirmed.

Featuring across all Rising Festival gigs will be Beat Blocks. Beat Blocks is a haptic flooring system that takes input from any audio source and creates felt vibrations and audio output to give people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing a new way to experience gigs.

Running since 2011, Roundhouse Rising Festival offers a creative programme of performances, workshops and access to industry events and traineeships, supporting new and emerging artists as well as young people looking to progress their careers in off-stage music roles.

Over the last decade, it has hosted early-career performances from the likes of Little Simz, Jacob Banks, Greentea Peng, Kojey Radical and Kokoroko.


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Royal Albert Hall CEO Craig Hassall to step down

The Royal Albert Hall has announced the departure of CEO Craig Hassall, who will step down at the start of the 2023 season.

He joined the iconic London venue (cap. 5,272) in 2017 from his previous role as CEO of Opera Australia. He led extensive plans for the Hall’s 150th anniversary in 2021, and subsequently its survival and recovery through the Covid-19 pandemic.

During his six-year tenure, Hassall oversaw a multimillion programme of refurbishment of the Grade I listed venue, as well as “dramatic” growth in the Hall’s own concert promotions.

Hassall has accepted a position as president and chief executive of Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio.

Craig said: “After six wonderful years at the Hall it is time for me to bid a very fond farewell. I have genuinely loved working with the team, and despite all the recent challenges we have faced, it has been a huge privilege to lead the Royal Albert Hall through some great times (and some daunting ones!)”

“[Hassall] has played a pivotal role in sustaining us through the Covid-19 pandemic”

Ian McCulloch, president of the Royal Albert Hall, says: “We have benefitted from Craig’s many talents for nearly six years. During this tenure, Craig has accomplished a great deal for the good of the Hall and the wider cultural sector.

“He has played a pivotal role in sustaining us through the Covid-19 pandemic, in enhancing our reputation and in enabling the Hall to reach even wider audiences. He will be leaving us with our deep gratitude and goodwill.”

Hassall will now lead one of North America’s top performing arts centres in Playhouse Square, the second largest theatre district in the US, with 11 venues in total. He replaces outgoing CEO Gina Vernaci, who retires in February after a 39-year career with the organisation.

“Playhouse Square has a great history of accomplishment and leadership in the performing arts industry,” Hassall continued. “It’s poised to play an even bigger role and I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to partner with the board of Trustees and this talented team to take Playhouse Square to the next level.”

Hassall will relocate to Cleveland to join Playhouse Square in early 2023, after completing the London Christmas season and the bedding in of the annual Cirque du Soleil season.

The Hall will announce plans for Craig’s replacement in due course.

 


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TEG announces formation of TEG Europe

Australasian live entertainment powerhouse TEG has announced the formation of TEG Europe, consolidating the company’s UK-based operations into a single entity.

Based out of London and Bristol, TEG Europe comprises five different divisions: TEG Live Europe, TEG Venues, Propaganda, Ticketek and Ovation.

TEG Live Europe includes the former TEG MJR touring business, which has worked with artists including Snoop Dogg, Sia, Hans Zimmer, 50 Cent, Tom Jones, and Culture Club.

TEG Venues includes 10 owned, operated, co-promoted, and programmed venues throughout the UK, including Tramshed (cap. 1,000) in Cardiff, XOYO (800) in London and The Mill (1,000) in Birmingham.

Propaganda, the UK’s leading indie rock & roll nightclub brand, includes fifteen weekly events across the country, as well as promoted events in the US, Australia, Brazil and Ibiza.

Ticketek, which has 40+ years’ experience ticketing major international events and partnering with some of the world’s best venues, was introduced into the UK in 2020 and already works with some of the country’s premier venues.

“Today’s news represents a crucial milestone in the expansion of TEG and positions us for further growth across Europe”

And Ovation, TEG’s data science and analytics business, provides sports organisations, venues, promoters, content creators, media and tech partners with analytics, data science, research, personalisation, and advanced digital marketing.

TEG already has a significant presence in the UK and Europe, having acquired Bristol-based promoter and venue operator MJR Group in 2019. According to TEG, the company already promotes more than 2,000 shows annually in the country and on the continent.

TEG CEO Geoff Jones says: “Today’s news represents a crucial milestone in the expansion of TEG’s successful integrated live entertainment model into the vibrant UK market and positions us for further growth across Europe.

“By combining these businesses into a single customer-focused operation, we are well positioned to work with new and existing industry partners in the UK and Europe to help grow their businesses while continuing our own growth in the region.”

Concert promotion, ticketing and technology firm TEG operates out of seven countries worldwide with offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK.

The group includes TEG Live, TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, Laneway Festival, TEG Rockefeller, Handsome Tours, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation.

 


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The O2 enhances sustainability measures

The O2 in London has announced a series of new sustainability measures as it prepares to host multi-day climate festival Overheated.

Overheated is set to take place across six days  – 10-12, 16 and 25-26 June – during Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour dates at the AEG-operated venue.

The O2 will be implementing various changes within the arena to reduce single use plastic, promote a plant-based menu, and better enable customers to make informed and responsible choices. Working with the singer and her tour team on their Green Rider, it has committed to going 100% vegan on all available food items for the six shows,

Following Eilish’s residency, The O2 will continue with a plant-forward philosophy, which will see the concession stand staple ‘beef burger’ being removed from the menu permanently.

“We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company”

“Finding ways to make both our venues across Europe and worldwide, as well as the wider live entertainment industry, more sustainable has never been more important,” says AEG Europe COO John Langford. “We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company to help find and trial innovative solutions and help reduce our impact on the planet.”

Throughout The O2 arena, the venue will be installing several water dispensers for fans to easily access on their visit, thereby reducing the need for plastic water bottles. Visitors to the arena will be encouraged to bring soft, reusable water bottles which will need to be emptied prior to entry and fully collapsible.

The O2 is also taking strides to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in the arena moving forwards and has committed to using recyclable paper cups in all areas of the arena, including backstage. It has also removed all plastic bags from merchandise units and is implementing fabric wristbands made from 100% recycled PET plastic for standing arena attendees for the first time this month.

“As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability”

“We’re so proud to be taking real strides this month to becoming an even more sustainable venue here at The O2,” says Steve Sayer, the 21,000-cap venue’s VP & general manager. “Going fully vegan in the arena for six sold out show dates with Billie Eilish is no small task and is something that we know will really resonate with fans attending the shows.

“The reduction in single use plastic in The O2 arena is another huge step forward for us, as we work towards our A Greener Arena accreditation, and ultimately one day towards becoming net zero as a venue. As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability and show that we can all make a difference, whilst continuing to still provide a best-in-class experience for the fans and artists.”

Through its partnership with catering partner Levy, The O2 is also working with Klimato to calculate, communicate and report the climate impact of the food available for fans to purchase. Levy has committed to reaching net zero at the arena by 2025 – an integral part of The O2’s overall strategy to hit net zero.

The O2 and AEG Europe are currently working with A Greener Festival on establishing an accurate scientific baseline for scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions before publishing its full plan for net zero later this year.

 


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Europe’s largest K-pop festival set for UK edition

Europe’s largest K-pop festival is heading to the UK next year for a three-day event at London’s O2 arena (cap. 21,000).

The inaugural edition of Kpop.Flex took place in Frankfurt at the weekend, with organisers reporting that more than 70,000 tickets were sold in 84 countries.

The festival will return to Germany next year and will also launch in the UK between 22 and 24 September.

Staged by K-Pop Europa in partnership with PK Events, the event will offer “a range of activities [for festival-goers] to immerse themselves in Korean culture”.

“In recent years, K-Pop has taken the world by storm and so this is a huge milestone for us”

In addition, the 2023 London edition of the K-pop festival will also play host to the first-ever Kpop.Flex Awards For Emerging Artists, which is set to take place on 23 September 2023.

“We’re so excited to be hosting Europe’s largest-ever K-Pop festival here at The O2 in September 2023,” said Steve Sayer, VP and GM at the O2. “In recent years, K-Pop has taken the world by storm and so this is a huge milestone for us.

“We can’t wait to build on the success of previous hugely popular K-Pop performances at the venue, and welcome some of the world’s top K-Pop acts and their legions of fans to the O2 for a fantastic weekend festival event that will take over the full campus at the O2,” he added.

More details about Kpop.Flex London 2023 and its accompanying awards show are set to be revealed in the coming months.

 


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CAA promotes agents in Nashville, London offices

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has added two agents to its global music touring staff with the promotions of Jacob Lapidus and Daniel Rais.

Rais, based in London, joined CAA as an assistant in 2017. He works on brand partnerships and event bookings for leading artists including David Guetta, Tems and Charli XCX, among others.

Lapidus, based in Nashville, began his career at CAA in 2016 as an assistant. He works with Moon Taxi, Illiterate Light, The 502s, 49 Winchester, STS9, Charley Crockett, and Wilder Woods, among others.

Within its touring division, CAA books more than 30,000 music and comedy shows each year

Within its touring division, CAA books more than 30,000 music and comedy shows each year, as well as more than 1,000 corporate and private engagements annually.

CAA’s music brand partnerships department develops strategic campaigns and partnerships with worldwide brands for leading music artists.

The agency also maintains an in-house music marketing department that works with promoters, labels, managers and venues to create opportunities for clients across sponsorship, ticketing, digital initiatives, and more.

 


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Wembley launches rooms for neuro-divergent guests

Wembley Stadium has become the UK’s first music venue to launch two multi-purpose sensory rooms to better accommodate neuro-divergent guests and their families.

The new technology used includes traditional sensory equipment, alongside a stadium-first immersive solution to enable the stadium to accommodate the widest range of access requirements and achieve the huighest level of inclusivity.

The sensory rooms, designed and installed in partnership with multisensory equipment specialist Experia and in consultation with music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, will provide guests who would ordinarily find the stadium experience challenging a safe and comfortable space to enjoy events.

“We pride ourselves on being an inclusive stadium, and this further reinforces that commitment”

“To be able to open these spaces at the most iconic multi-purpose venue in the world is a moment of great excitement,” says Matthew Owen, Wembley Stadium’s customer engagement manager & lead on disability access planning and provision. “We pride ourselves on being an inclusive stadium, and this further reinforces that commitment.”

The launch also aims to create a pathway to enable guests with disabilities to progress and go on to be able to enjoy an event in general admission.

“We are proud to be involved in this exciting launch of two multi-purpose rooms, which will give people who wish to attend events the opportunity to do so in a safe and enjoyable way,” says Sandy Trappitt, head of partnerships at Nordoff Robbins.

“As an organisation it is our privilege to connect, collaborate and co-create music with our clients.We aim to advocate for their continued access to the therapeutic benefits of music. Wembley Stadium is host to some of the biggest sporting events and music performances, and all guests will now be able to enjoy everything the venue has to offer.”

The rooms will be used for the first time at this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup and Vitality Women’s FA Cup finals.

The 90,000-cap national stadium’s 2022 live music programme kicks off with Capital’s Summertime Ball on 12 June, followed by shows with Harry Styles (18-19 June), Ed Sheeran (24-25, 29-30 June, 1 July), Westlife (6 August) and Coldplay (12-13, 16-17, 19-20 August).

The venue’s senior commercial manager James Taylor tells IQ about the venue’s plans here.

 


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New Bosses name one thing industry must change

Alumni from IQ Magazine‘s most recent class of New Bosses have identified areas of improvement for the international live music business.

A handful of the next-gen leaders shared their thoughts during Meet the New Bosses: The Class of 2021, at last month’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Theo Quiblier, head of concerts at Two Gentlemen in Switzerland, believes the one thing the industry needs to get better at is normalising failure.

“We are in a fantastic industry where everyone is signing the new top artist or selling out venues or sealing huge deals with festivals but that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well’ – as simple as that.

“I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well'”

“As a promoter, I could say, ‘Oh, I work with this top band,’ and people think, ‘That’s amazing, he must be rich,’ and, in reality, it’s your biggest loss of the year. We need little reality checks, and to say ‘I’m doing my best but I’m not the best’. Sharing insecurities is great because failure happens to everybody.”

Flo Noseda-Littler, agency assistant at Wasserman Music (formerly Paradigm UK), called for better pay for junior staff so more people can viably start their careers in the industry.

“Fair salaries for junior staff and internships so that it enables people in those positions to live in the cities in which they work,” comments Noseda-Littler. “By providing a free internship or a low paid job, you’re cutting off so many people who don’t have the ability to still live with their parents or be subsidised by their parents. And then you’re just reducing the number of people you can recruit and missing out on potentially really ambitious and amazing people.”

Anna Parry, partnerships manager at the O2 in London, echoed Noseda-Littler’s thoughts, adding that companies also need to improve their recruitment strategies in order to reach a more diverse pool of talent.

“This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head”

“Companies really need to put more effort into understanding why people aren’t applying for these jobs, and then they need to create a lower barrier of entry for those types of people,” says Parry. “It’s not just saying, ‘Oh okay, well we posted the job on a different forum than we usually would’. It’s going to take a lot more of that to actually make a difference. We need to focus on that because it’s important our industry is representative of the artists we represent.”

Age Versluis (promoter at Friendly Fire in the Netherlands) on the other hand, is petitioning for a four-day workweek: “This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head. Since Covid, we’re seeing a lot of people burning out and having trouble getting to that fourth or fifth gear.

“We forget that moving shows for two years to the same months is quite stressful. I think we could use some extra ‘me’ time.”

Tessie Lammle, agent at UTA in the US, echoed her peers’ points, adding: “I was going to say diversity or work-life balance but Theo’s point is huge. I think the younger generation is getting much better at [sharing insecurities].”

Each of the panellists appeared as part of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses 2021, an annual list celebrating the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business. See the full list of the distinguished dozen here.

 


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X-ray Touring announces slate of promotions

London-based X-ray Touring has announced a slate of promotions, which includes Jo Biddiscombe’s elevation to a director of the company.

Biddiscombe has been with X-ray since its inception in 2005 and was made an agent in 2017. She will join Martin Horne, Ian Huffam, Josh Javor and Scott Thomas on the management board.

X-ray has also promoted Claire MacLeod to the role of agent. MacLeod joined the agency in 2011 and worked under the late Steve Strange across his roster. In addition, Paul Lomas and Hannah Edds have been promoted to bookers.

“As we continue with the full return to live touring, we’re very pleased to refresh both our board and team of agents and bookers”

Scott Thomas says: “As we continue with the full return to live touring, and an intensely busy few years ahead across our roster, we’re very pleased to refresh both our board and team of agents and bookers.

“This acknowledges the already invaluable input from the individuals involved and the ideas and dynamism they’ll bring to their new roles.”

X-ray’s roster of more than 400 acts includes Coldplay, Eminem, Robbie Williams, Gorillaz, Queens of the Stone Age, Linkin Park, Pixies, Stereophonics, Bombay Bicycle Club, Enter Shikari and Fever 333, while AGI represents Billy Joel, Metallica, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Linkin Park, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, the Strokes and Cage the Elephant, among others.

The company was co-founded by legendary booking agent Steve Strange, who passed away in September 2021.

 


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Destination music experiences company Pollen raises $150m

Pollen, the music, travel and experiences start-up, has raised US$150 million in a Series C round.

Founded in 2014 by brothers Callum and Liam Negus-Fancey, the London-headquartered company runs two offerings: Pollen Presents, which curates experiences for customers across travel, music, and more; and Pollen+ which partners with promoters and music festivals to offer customers who book through its platforms perks at events.

The firm says that it uses data and customer insights to create experiences that are exclusive to its platform, and also partners with “the biggest music festivals and brands in the world” to sell their experiences.

Pollen Presents has organised a number of artist-curated weekenders with artists including Justin Bieber in Las Vegas, Diplo in Cabo, Kurupt FM in Amsterdam, J Balvin in Vegas and Bring Me The Horizon in Malta.

Pollen+ has partnered with promoter brands and music festivals including We Are FSTVL, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Electric Zoo and Live Nation.

“People want personalised travel experiences built around what they are passionate about”

The company previously raised over $100m in venture capital funding, from investors including Kindred, Northzone, Sienna Capital, Backed and Draper Spirit.

Backers named in the latest funding announcement include Kindred, Lansdowne Partners, Northzone, Sienna Capital, Backed and Molton Ventures.

Pollen says that its Series C funding comes on the heels of “significant momentum” for the company, after seeing sales increase “more than 300% relative to pre-pandemic levels”.

“People want personalised travel experiences built around what they are passionate about,” says co-founder and CEO Callum Negus-Fancey.

“Pollen is at the forefront of this demand; we use our proprietary data and customer insights to build one-of-a-kind travel experiences with the world’s biggest talent and brands in the best destinations. When people look back after 10 years, and think about their top five memories, we want them to feel like Pollen was responsible for three of them.”

 


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