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Bruno Mars to open LA’s Intuit Dome

The Intuit Dome in Los Angeles has announced that Bruno Mars will be the first artist to perform in the arena – the new home of the LA Clippers basketball franchise, as well as the city’s latest state-of-the-art concert venue.

Mars will take to the stage at the 18,000-cap venue on 15 and 16 August, with arena operators promising that the new building will offer “fans and performers alike an unforgettable experience featuring the venue’s premium acoustics, back of house artist offerings, and intimate seating.”

The construction of the US$2 billion arena has been mired in controversy and lawsuits, after the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) accused Inglewood mayor James Butts of colluding with the Clippers to secretly acquire a plot of land from MSG for the venue.

However, those claims were dropped when the billionaire owner of the basketball team, former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, paid US$400 million in cash to acquire the Forum venue from MSG.

“Bruno, who has a strong connection to Inglewood, will undoubtedly deliver an iconic performance that is worthy of this moment, and will leave a lasting impression on everyone who attends these two shows”

Gillian Zucker, CEO of Ballmer’s Halo Sports and Entertainment operation comments, “We are thrilled Bruno Mars will open Intuit Dome. Bruno, who has a strong connection to Inglewood, will undoubtedly deliver an iconic performance that is worthy of this moment, and will leave a lasting impression on everyone who attends these two shows.”

While the venue is still under construction, its owners say it will offer world-class amenities, and a commitment to fan satisfaction, claiming that Intuit Dome will set a new standard for music and sports venues.

Fans will enjoy an intimate viewing experience with their seats hovering over the floor, bringing them closer to the show. The premium seating is designed to reduce the gap between sections, ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted viewing experience.

Intuit Dome will also feature an 80,000-square-foot outdoor Plaza, housing a 5,000-square-foot retail store and three bars and restaurants. “The Plaza’s LED screen, the largest outdoor 4K LED screen in Los Angeles, will serve as the backdrop for community events, artist activations, and viewing parties – forever changing the pre-game and pre-show scene,” says the company.

Tickets for both Bruno Mars dates go on sale Thursday, April 11 at 10am local time via ticketmaster.com.

 


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Appeals court backs Lizzo over $5m festival fee

A US appeals court has upheld a ruling that Lizzo can keep her US$5 million booking fee for a cancelled 2020 festival in Los Angeles.

Promoter VFLA Eventco LLC filed a lawsuit against WME in July 2020, as well as artists Lizzo, Ellie Goulding and Kali Uchis, saying the parties had agreed to return monies they had been advanced in the event of cancellation of Virgin Fest due to “an uncontrollable factor”.

The acts had been scheduled to play the debut edition – which was funded by commercial real estate magnates Marc and Sharon Hagle, and run by Jason Felts, CEO of the Virgin Group’s festival arm – at the Banc of California Stadium (22,000-cap.) and Exposition Park in LA on 6-7 June 2020, before it was axed due to the pandemic.

WME insisted that Lizzo be paid 100% of the fee prior to the festival announcing her as a headliner and that Uchis and Goulding be paid 50% upon signing and the remaining 50% paid 90 days prior to their performances, emails produced for the lawsuit showed.

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and in compliance with the government restrictions meant to mitigate the pandemic, VFLA cancelled the festival and demanded the return of the deposits from WME, who negotiated the performance contracts and held the deposits as the artists’ agent,” reads the court filing.

“VFLA claimed its right to the deposits under the force majeure provision in the parties’ performance contracts, which determined the parties’ rights to the deposits in the event of a force majeure cancellation. The artists refused VFLA’s demand, claiming VFLA bore the risk of a cancellation due to the pandemic.”

“Since VFLA conceded that, if the artists prevailed, WME should prevail as well, we affirm the judgement in its entirety”

VFLA sued the acts for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, plus WME for conversion, money had and received, unfair business practices and declaratory relief.

Following an initial two-year legal battle, LA Superior Court judge Mark Epstein ruled in September 2022 that clauses added by attorneys for WME to its clients’ performance contracts shifted the financial risk of cancellation onto the festival. That ruling has now been backed by a California court of appeal.

“The trial court granted summary judgement in favour of the artists and WME, finding VFLA bore the risk of the festival’s cancellation, and that WME could not be held liable as an agent for the actions of its principals,” it concludes.

“We hold the trial court properly granted summary judgement in favour of the artists and WME. The force majeure provision is not reasonably susceptible to VFLA’s interpretation, and, in any event, the parol evidence favours the artists.

“Further, we also hold the artists’ interpretation does not work an invalid forfeiture or make the performance contracts unlawful. Since VFLA conceded that, if the artists prevailed, WME should prevail as well, we affirm the judgement in its entirety.”

 


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CTS Eventim and AXS form partnership for 2028 Olympics

CTS Eventim and AXS will join forces to promote, sell and distribute tickets for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The LA28 Games, led by Casey Wasserman, will mark the city’s third time hosting the Olympics after 1984 and 1932, and its first time hosting the Paralympic Games.

Tickets to the Games will be sold globally through CTS and AXS’s existing online storefronts, as well as through the dedicated LA28 website.

CTS Eventim has managed ticketing for the Olympics on several occasions over the past two decades, including at Turin in 2006, Sochi in 2014, Rio in 2016, and is set for Paris in 2024.

“AXS’ strong North American footprint and CTS Eventim’s track record of Games success will deliver a world-class platform that will redefine ticketing for live sports events,” says LA28 chairperson/president Casey Wasserman. “With AXS and CTS Eventim, the LA28 Games will provide an accessible and seamless experience for Angelenos and sports fans from across the globe.”

“AXS’ strong North American footprint and CTS Eventim’s track record of Games success will deliver a world-class platform”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim, adds: “When it comes to live sport, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are in a league of their own. Nothing can quite match being in the crowd as athletes give it their all for a chance of glory. As a company with two decades of Olympic ticketing experience and a passion for live experiences, we are honoured that our technology and services will help bring fans to the incredible event that the LA28 committee are organising. We are also delighted to be partnering with our friends at AXS and are looking forward to collectively playing our part in making 2028 a Games to remember.”

Bryan Perez, president and CEO at AXS, comments: “Los Angeles is our hometown and we couldn’t be prouder or more excited to help showcase it to the world. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the world’s premier sporting events, and today’s announcement reflects AXS’ long-standing commitment to provide the best sports and consumer ticketing experiences to the industry. Together with our colleagues at CTS Eventim, we are grateful for LA28’s vision and partnership to deliver a next generation ticketing experience for fans from all over the world.”

 


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ATC Group moving to ‘new, expanded’ LA office

Multi-faceted music company ATC (All Things Considered) Group has agreed terms for a “new, expanded office” in Los Angeles.

The new office is said to offers 30% additional capacity, with the team set to relocate from its existing LA base later this month as the firm continues to grow its US operations.

London-headquartered ATC opened a New York hub in February 2022 and also has an office in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We are delighted to have secured our new premises in Los Angeles, which provides our teams with a fantastic urban working environment to collaborate with our artists and creative partners,” says MD Adam Driscoll, as per Alliance News.

“Our new Los Angeles hub complements our presence in our other global locations”

“Our new Los Angeles hub complements our presence in our other global locations, including our recently opened New York office, and supports our growth ambitions by recruiting and retaining the best talent in the industry.”

ATC Group’s divisions include booking agency ATC LiveATC Management, ATC Services, ATC Experience and livestreaming company Driift.

In late 2023, ATC appointed director of business affairs Emma Stoker as executive director to the board and improved its asset base with the acquisition of a 60% stake in merchandise company Sandbag.

ATC listed on the Aquis Growth Market in London in December 2021 after raising £4.15 million in its initial public offer (IPO). The group recorded a profit on revenue of £12.1 million (€13.9m) in its first full year as a a public company, but subsequently announced a loss of £1.1m for the first six months of 2023 due to higher costs.

 


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Latin festival Besame Mucho expands in US

Latin music festival Besame Mucho is expanding to a second US city after a successful debut in Los Angeles.

The first edition, organised by Tropicália and La Tocada, took place in December 2022 at Dodger Stadium, LA, with a diverse lineup of Latin acts.

The LA debut and its second edition, due this December, are said to have sold out in minutes.

Capitalising on that success, Besame Mucho (Kiss Me A Lot) will launch on 2 March 2024 at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Austin, Texas.

The debut will see 60+ acts perform across four stages, including Los Tigres del Norte, Banda MS, Grupo Frontera, La Ley, Caifanes, El Tri, Alejandra Guzmán, Gloria Trevi, Café Tacvba and Molotov.

The debut will see 60+ acts perform across four stages, including Los Tigres del Norte, Banda MS and Grupo Frontera

Las Clasicas Stage, which will close with Los Tigres, is dedicated to the classics and will feature 30 groups, including Grupo Frontera, Bronco, Los Tucanes De Tijuana, Ramón Ayala and Alicia Villareal.

The Banda Stage will have performances from Banda El Recodo, La Adictiva, Banda Los Recoditos, Banda Machos, Cuisillos and more, and the Rockero Stage will feature a number of notable rock bands, including Cafe Tacvba, Juanes, El Tri, Maldita Vecindad, Panteón Rococo and Hombres G.

Along with Trevi, Alejandra Guzmán, Belanova, Reik, Sin Bandera and Ha*Ash are among the 18 acts to perform on the Te Gusta El Pop? Stage.

Presale for Besame Mucho Austin starts on 3 November, with ticket prices ranging between $275 for general admission and $950 for platinum.

The second edition of Besame Mucho LA will return to Dodger Stadium on 2 December and includes some of the same artists scheduled for Austin.

 


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Amsterdam’s DGTL festival to make US debut

Dutch dance festival DGTL will make its US debut this December with back-to-back editions in Los Angeles and New York City.

The bicoastal instalment will launch on 1 December at Brooklyn Navy Yard, a shipyard and industrial complex in NYC.

Danish trio WhoMadeWho, techno titan Ida Engberg, amapiano artist AMÉMÉ, German deep house producer Henrik Schwarz, Irish mainstay Mano Le Tough and South Korean producer Shubostar appear on the lineup.

The next day, a similar version of the festival will take place in LA at Exposition Park, a 160-acre urban park in the south region of the city.

DGTL has launched in Barcelona, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Santiago, São Paulo and Guadalajara

The LA bill also features WhoMadeWho, Mano Le Tough, Henrik Schwarz and Shubostar, along with French duo Parallelle.

The festivals will take place in partnership with dance promoters Teksupport and Stranger Than, in NYC and LA respectively.

Originating in Amsterdam, DGTL has spawned events in Barcelona, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Santiago, São Paulo and Guadalajara.

Since its launch in the Netherlands in 2013, the dance festival has become renowned for its stage designs and sustainability initiatives.

 


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LA concerts affected by Tropical Storm Hilary

A number of concerts in Southern California have been cancelled due to the first tropical storm to hit Los Angeles in more than 80 years.

My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes’ joint Sunday night (20 August) show at the Hollywood Bowl (cap. 17,500) in LA has been postponed until 28 August due to Tropical Storm Hilary.

Elsewhere, Michael Franti & Spearhead’s Sunday concert at the Greek Theatre (5,900) in LA has been postponed to 15 September and Young the Giant’s Sunday concert at San Diego State University has been rescheduled for 5 September at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU.

Chicago’s Sunday concert at Costa Mesa’s Pacific Amphitheatre has also been pushed back to 5 September.

The Interstellar music festival cancelled shows scheduled for this weekend at the Los Angeles Waterfront in San Pedro, with organisers adding that “local authorities have made the tough call that the weather conditions pose a significant risk to our festival grounds”.

Tropical Storm Hilary has caused an “ongoing and historic” amount of rain expected to lead to life-threatening flooding

Gloria Molina Grand Park’s Sunday Sessions, scheduled for Sunday, was called off but organisers say that they’re “working on something special to keep our community spirit alive!”

Meanwhile, Judy Collins and Sophie B. Hawkins’s Sunday concert at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai was relocated to the indoor Oxnard Performing Arts Center in Oxnard and KCRW’s Summer Nights concert, set to take place at the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, was postponed to 10 September.

Tropical Storm Hilary, which was downgraded from a hurricane, has caused an “ongoing and historic” amount of rain expected to lead to life-threatening and catastrophic flooding, as well as other issues like mudslides and landslides, according to the National Hurricane Service.

California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency across most of Southern California, with more than 7,500 troops deployed to help people prepare for the storm.

In addition to the storm, Southern California was hit by an earthquake with a 5.1 magnitude. No major damage has been caused but experts say more aftershocks are likely over the next few days.

 


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Head in the Clouds festival to launch in China

Asian-American music powerhouse 88rising is launching Head in the Clouds festival in China this September.

The expansion follows successful editions in Los Angeles (US), Jakarta (Indonesia), Manila (Philippines) and most recently, New York (US).

88rising today (24 July) confirmed that the China debut will take place in Guangzhou, a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong, on 23 and 24 September.

88rising todayconfirmed that the China debut will take place Guangzhou on 23 and 24 September

The venue and line-up are yet to be announced but as always, the festival will spotlight Asian acts. The likes of NIKI, Rich Brian, Warren Hue, Jackson Wang, eaJ, Joji, BIBI and Itzy have graced previous iterations of the festival.

88rising also announced that Head in the Clouds will return to Jakarta on 9 September for a second edition. Following that, 88rising will host a special showcase as part of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix on 15 September. Confirmed to perform so far are Jackson Wang, NIKI, Rich Brian, Warren Hue, XG, BIBI, MILLI and Atarashii Gakko!.

Meanwhile, the original LA event will return on 4 and 5 August at Brookside at The Rose Bowl with Rina Sawayama, DPR LIVE + DPR IAN, XG, YOASOBI and more.

 


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Dre & Snoop postpone dates in solidarity with WGA

Snoop Dogg has postponed his upcoming Hollywood Bowl concerts with Dr Dre in solidarity with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) over their ongoing strike.

The duo were set to perform together at the 17,500-cap amphitheatre in Los Angeles on 27-28 June, but have now pushed the dates back to October 20-21.

“Due to the ongoing WGA strike and the DGA and SAG/AFTRA negotiations, we have decided to postpone the shows scheduled for June 27 and June 28 at the Hollywood Bowl,” says Snoop on social media. “We stand in solidarity with the unions and are hopeful that the AMPTP will negotiate fair deals as soon as possible and everybody can get back to work.”

The Dre and Snoop shows will mark 30 years of the latter’s debut studio album Doggystyle

More than 11,000 television and film writers have been on strike since 2 May – the largest strike of its kind since 2007 – in a dispute focused on fair pay from streaming media.

The Dre and Snoop shows will mark 30 years of the latter’s debut studio album Doggystyle, which was produced by Dre, and will be the first time the pair’s first co-headline performance since Coachella in 2012.

Other artists slated to perform at the Hollywood Bowl this year include Louis Tomlinson, Diana Krall, Tears for Fears, Maggie Rogers, The Lumineers, Pixies, John Legend, Sting and Kiss.

 


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Tyler, the Creator’s festival returns from hiatus

Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival will be returning to Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium (cap. 56,000) on 11 and 12 November.

The LA-based festival has been on hiatus since 2020, due to the pandemic and the increase of festivals that followed, along with the rapper’s busy touring schedule.

The 2019 lineup included performances from Solange, YG, FKA twigs, Juice WRLD, Brockhampton, H.E.R., Daniel Caesar, and surprise guest Drake — who was infamously booed offstage by a crowd that was expecting Frank Ocean.

The LA-based festival has been on hiatus since 2020, due to the pandemic and the increase of festivals that followed

Camp Flog Gnaw Festival was last held 9-10 November, after switching locations to Dodger Stadium from Exposition Park the year before. Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Lana Del Rey, SZA, and the late Mac Miller have all been on the lineup in previous years.

The Goldenvoice-produced festival first launched back in 2012 with Odd Future and Lil Wayne at Club Nokia in LA and was tagged as the OFWGKTA Carnival, in reference to the hip-hop music collective that was home to Tyler, Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt and many others.

The lineup for the 2023 event will be announced at a later date. A limited number of advance sale passes will be available starting 2 June.

 


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