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AEG’s Goldenvoice announces new LA festival

Goldenvoice, one of the largest promoters in the world, has announced a brand new alt-country festival for Los Angeles.

Palomino Festival will debut on 9 July at Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, featuring some of the biggest names in country, folk, bluegrass, and pop.

Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson & Family, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and the Old Crow Medicine Show are among the acts slated to perform at the one-day event.

Other artists announced for the inaugural event include Orville Peck, Valerie June, Paul Cauthen, Charley Crockett, Nikki Lane, Morgan Wade, Sierra Ferrell, Low Cut Connie, Langhorne Slim, Sierra Hull, Jamnie Wyatt, Ian Noe Loga Ledger, Amythyst Kiah, and special guests The Compton Cowboys.

AEG-backed Goldenvoice has already built a dedicated audience of US-based country music fans via its Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

“It has been a dream to do a festival taking a modern, fresh approach to today’s alt-country music”

“It has been a dream for as long as I can remember to do a festival taking a modern, fresh approach to today’s alt-country music. Artists in the space have been pushing boundaries, creating sounds that are brand new,” says Goldenvoice talent buyer Stacy Vee, who also oversees the bookings for the company’s Stagecoach festival.

“I wanted to fan these flames and celebrate this changing culture. We at Goldenvoice love doing things ‘our own way,’ and there are a lot of artists out there right now doing the same thing. We came together to celebrate carving your own path: this is Palomino.”

Palomino is the latest new festival Goldenvoice has announced after This Ain’t No Picnic and California Vibes.

In the US, Goldenvoice produces several festivals, most notably Coachella, as well as operating 14 mid-sized venues and promoting over 1,800 shows per year.

 


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Primavera Sound 2023 to be held in Barca and Madrid

The 2023 instalment of Primavera Sound will be held in two different Spanish cities across two weekends.

Next year’s festival will take place at its usual location of Parc Del Fòrum, Barcelona, on the first weekend (1–3 June).

On the second weekend (8–10 June), the festival will take place in the Ciudad de Rock (City of Rock) in Arganda del Rey, Madrid, for the first time ever.

The site, which has the capacity to hold up to 96,000 people, has hosted all three editions (2008, 2010, 2012) of the Rock in Rio Festival Madrid.

“Double site – double excitement”

Primavera has a longstanding affinity with Madrid, having hosted autumn festival Primavera Club – as well as countless international tours – in the city.

“The landing in Madrid is just the latest chapter in our long and close relationship with the city, and also the first for everything to come: for communication and connections, for the history of a Primavera Sound that in 2023 will start in Barcelona and end in Madrid that can only benefit our audience. Double site – double excitement,” said the festival organisers.

Primavera Sound has taken place in Barcelona for 20 years and has recently expanded internationally with sister events in Los AngelesChile, Argentina and Brazil.

The 20th-anniversary edition of the Barcelona event will take place this year in a special expanded format.

 


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Steve Strange wins posthumous honour at Pollstar Awards

The late Steve Strange was honoured at last night’s annual Pollstar Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom in Los Angeles.

The legendary booking agent and X-ray Touring co-founder, who passed away in September 2021, posthumously won International Booking Agent of the Year.

In what Pollstar dubbed the most emotional moment of the night, manager Andy Gould paid tribute to the late agent, bringing a cardboard cutout of Strange onstage with him.

“This guy wasn’t just my friend, he was all of our friends; he wasn’t my agent, he was kind of all of our agent,” Gould said. “I miss him so fucking much, I really do. And I think I speak for everyone in the room: We need more Steve Stranges.”

A number of other international execs and venues also scooped awards at the 33rd annual ceremony, including Barrie Marshall (Marshall Arts) who took home International Promoter of the Year – not for the first time.

“I think I speak for everyone in the room: We need more Steve Stranges”

London’s Royal Albert Hall, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2021, was honoured not once but twice with the Milestone Award and International Venue of the Year.

Elsewhere, Harry Styles was presented with the Major Tour of the Year award for his ‘Love on Tour’ arena run. Styles’ manager Jeffrey Azoff of Full Stop Management also received recognition in the Personal Manager of the Year category.

Other award-winning executives include Amy Corbin of C3 Presents (Talent Buyer of the Year), Bob Roux of Live Nation (Bill Graham Award/Promoter of the Year) and Dave Rowan of High Road Touring (Bobby Brooks Award/Agent of the Year).

CAA, meanwhile, won Booking Agency of the Year.

A full list of Pollstar Awards 2022 winners is below:

Major Tour of the Year: Harry Styles, Love on Tour

Best Rock Tour: Foo Fighters

Best Hip-Hop Tour: J. Cole, The Off-Season Tour

Best R&B Tour: Earth, Wind & Fire, Miraculous Supernatural Tour

Best Pop Tour: Maroon 5

Best Country Tour: Chris Stapleton, Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show Tour

Best Latin Tour: Enrique Iglesias / Ricky Martin, Live in Concert

Comedy Tour of the Year: Sebastian Maniscalco, Nobody Does This Tour

Best Support/Special Guest Act and Tour: Garbage (Alanis Morissette)

Best Residency: Lady Gaga, Jazz & Piano, The Las Vegas Residency, Park Theatre, Las Vegas

Best Family, Event or Non-Music Tour of the Year: Disney on Ice

Best New Headliner/Artist Development Story: Billy Strings

Music Festival of The Year (Global; over 30K attendance): Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin, Texas

Music Festival of The Year (Global; under 30K attendance): Ohana Festival, Dana Point, Calif.

Nightclub of the Year: Troubadour, West Hollywood, Calif.

Theatre of the Year: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tenn.

Arena of the Year: The Forum, Inglewood, Calif.

Red Rocks Award – Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year: Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville, Tenn.

Best New Concert Venue – Small Venue: Brooklyn Bowl, Nashville, Tenn.

Best New Concert Venue – Arena: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Wa.

Best New Concert Venue – Outdoors: Sofi Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.

International Venue of the Year: Royal Albert Hall, United Kingdom

Venue Executive of the Year: David Kells, Bridgestone Arena

Talent Buyer of the Year: Amy Corbin, C3 Presents

Small Venue Talent Buyer of the Year (Under 10,000 Capacity): Donna Busch, Goldenvoice

Bill Graham Award/Promoter of the Year: Bob Roux, Live Nation

International Promoter of the Year: Barrie Marshall, Marshall Arts

Bobby Brooks Award – Agent of the Year: Dave Rowan, High Road Touring

International Booking Agent of the Year: Steve Strange, X-ray Touring

Booking Agency of the Year: CAA

Independent Booking Agency of the Year (Global): High Road Touring

Rising Star Award: Molly Warren, Live Nation

Personal Manager of the Year: Jeffrey Azoff, Full Stop Management

Road Warrior of the Year: Ken Helie (Dead & Company)

Transportation Company of the Year: Rock-it Cargo

Best Concert Visuals: Bandit Lites

Best Concert Sound: Clair Global

Marketing/PR Executive of the Year: Allison McGregor, CAA

Best Brand Partnership/Live Campaign: Amazon/Climate Pledge Arena Naming Rights

Best Hang: Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin, Texas

Best Person to Score a Dinner With: Irving Azoff, The Azoff Company (TIE), Michael Rapino, Live Nation (TIE)

Life of the Party: Ron Delsener, Live Nation

Damn The Torpedoes: 2021 Touring Artist, Dave Chappelle

Milestone Award: Royal Albert Hall, United Kingdom

Music Unites Award: D-Nice

 


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Wasserman Music hires agent Adam Brill

Veteran agent Adam Brill has joined Wasserman Music as VP, fairs & festivals.

Previously an agent at CAA for six years, Brill also worked at UTA and APA earlier in his career and has represented and developed artists including Conan Gray, Tate McRae, Zara Larsson and Imagine Dragons.

Los Angeles-based Brill, who has also consulted for Atlantic Records on prospective young talent, started out in the live business by leading the concert committee at the University of Iowa, where he oversaw a team of more than 20 students and promoted arena shows by John Mayer and Bob Dylan, among others.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Wasserman family,” he says. “Their success as a company is reinforced by their entrepreneurial and innovative mindset. I am excited to help build a division that will further benefit all Wasserman clients.”

His extensive artist development track record fits perfectly with our ethos

Marty Diamond, EVP & managing executive at Wasserman Music, adds: “We’re very excited to have Adam join our team at Wasserman. His extensive artist development track record fits perfectly with our ethos, and he brings valuable perspective and experience to the important space of fair and festival bookings.”

He joins a growing department that recently added Shannon Casey as SVP, and has also promoted agent Mike Sosin as a newly promoted agent.

Sosin joins Wasserman’s fairs & festivals department following five years as coordinator for Wasserman SVP, Trey Many. He previously worked in radio promotion at Bloodshot Records and as an artist manager.

“Mike is a close friend, a valuable colleague, and an amazing human being,” says Many. “I’m thrilled that he’s now growing into this new role, and his extensive knowledge and bright spirit will continue to enhance our agency.”

 


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Crypto.com currency ‘up 70%’ after LA arena deal

Crypto.com’s currency, CRO token, surged almost 70% in the wake of the platform’s naming rights deal for AEG’s Staples Center, according to a new report.

The 20-year deal with the Singapore-based cryptocurrency company is reportedly worth US$700 million (€622m), with all of the 20,000-cap venue’s external signage to be replaced by June 2022.

However, Forbes reports the coin’s value has risen 69.9% since last week’s announcement that the 20,000-cap Los Angeles venue is to be renamed the Crypto.com Arena from 25 December following an agreement brokered by AEG Global Partnerships. The news prompted Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares International, to say the deal had already paid for itself more than a dozen times.

The deal paid for itself – 13x over

“Crypto.com put $700M into a 20 year sponsorship, and the resulting PR doubled its token price and led to a $9B run-up in market cap the deal paid for itself –13x over,” she tweeted, “difficult to untangle token distribution and who benefited, but smart token marketing strategy!”

The new relationship will result in the first name change in the venue’s 22-year history and will also see Crypto.com featured prominently across the venue with large-scale, premium branding and signage.

“We’re very excited about partnering with AEG and investing long term in this city, starting with Crypto.com Arena in the heart of downtown, and using our platform in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world class sports, entertainment and technology for fans in LA and around the world,” said Crypto.com co-founder and CEO, Kris Marszalek.

Opening its doors in 1999, the downtown Los Angeles arena is home to the NBA’s LA Lakers and LA Clippers and the NHL’s LA Kings and LA Sparks and hosts over 240 major high-profile events a year, including 19 of the last 21 Grammy Awards shows. Upcoming concerts include Enrique Iglesias & Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber, Imagine Dragons and the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest series.

Earlier this year, Crypto.com became the first crypto platform to partner with an F1 team (Aston Martin), the first to partner with an NHL team (Montreal Canadiens), and the first to partner with a professional sports league (Lega Serie A).

 


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Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest line-up revealed

Halsey, Miley Cyrus and Green Day are among the headliners revealed for the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest.

The three-night festival will run from 10-12 February 2022 at the 20,000-cap Staples Center (soon to be the Crypto.com Arena) in Los Angeles, kicking off with performances from both Halsey and Machine Gun Kelly on night one.

Night two will feature Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani with Mickey Guyton, while the final night Super Bowl Eve concert line-up is topped by Green Day and Miley Cyrus.

Now in its third year, the event serves as a precursor to the Super Bowl and its coveted Halftime Show, which in 2022 will star Dr Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige and Snoop Dogg at the 100,000-cap SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Sunday, 13 February.

The Bruno Mars and Cardi B concert in 2019 was the highest-grossing event in State Farm Arena’s 20-year history

“Staples Center and LA Live are incredibly excited and honoured to host three amazing nights of music as part of Super Bowl Music Fest,” says Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center, Microsoft Theater and LA Live. “We look forward to welcoming music and football fans to downtown as part of Super Bowl week in Los Angeles.”

The Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest has previously featured unique and never-before-paired line-ups with artists including Bruno Mars and Cardi B, Post Malone and Aerosmith, Maroon 5 and Dan + Shay with a surprise performance from Demi Lovato, and a night with Guns N’ Roses and special guest Snoop Dogg.

The 2019 and 2020 festivals were held at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, respectively. The Bruno Mars and Cardi B concert in 2019 was reportedly the highest-grossing event in State Farm Arena’s 20-year history, generating $6.473 million.

 


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LA’s Staples Center to be renamed Crypto.com Arena

AEG’s Staples Center in Los Angeles is to be renamed the Crypto.com Arena as part of a new 20-year naming rights deal.

The deal with the Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform, reportedly worth US$700 million (€618m), according to the FT, was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships and comes into effect from 25 December, with all of the 20,000-cap venue’s external signage to be replaced by June 2022.

“This partnership represents the fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform and the biggest sports and live entertainment company in the world converging to drive the future of sports and live entertainment as well as the incredible legacy of this arena for decades to come,” says Todd Goldstein, chief revenue officer of AEG.

“It marks an exciting new chapter in the history of our company and our respective industries, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a visionary partner like Crypto.com supporting our global fan base and local community.”

As exclusive naming rights partner, Crypto.com plans to engage fans through premium branded areas of the arena including a 3,300 sq. ft activation space at the building’s entrance, as well as dedicated activation areas on the main concourse and throughout the adjacent LA Live campus.

The new relationship, which will result in the first name change in the venue’s 22-year history, will also see Crypto.com featured prominently across the venue with large-scale, premium branding and signage throughout the interior and exterior.

This partnership is about the future

“This partnership is about the future,” adds Dan Beckerman, AEG president and CEO. “AEG and Crypto.com not only share a vision about innovation and the future of sports and entertainment, but we also have a shared commitment to our communities where we work and live. We look forward to partnering with Crypto.com to create meaningful initiatives to bring that vision to life in the years to come.”

Crypto.com has committed to becoming carbon negative by the end of 2022 by offsetting more carbon than is generated by all activities across the organisation. Earlier this year, the company became the first crypto platform to partner with an F1 team (Aston Martin), the first to partner with an NHL team (Montreal Canadiens), and the first to partner with a professional sports league (Lega Serie A).

Opening its doors in 1999, the downtown Los Angeles arena is home to the NBA’s LA Lakers and LA Clippers and the NHL’s LA Kings and LA Sparks and hosts over 240 major high-profile events a year, including 19 of the last 21 Grammy Awards shows. Upcoming concerts include Enrique Iglesias & Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber, Imagine Dragons and the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest series.

 


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WME freed from Virgin Fest lawsuit over artist deposits

WME has been freed from Virgin Fest Los Angeles’ lawsuit seeking to recover prepaid deposits from the event’s cancelled 2020 edition.

VFLA Eventco LLC – Virgin Fest’s organiser and the music festival arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – filed a lawsuit against the agency in July 2020, as well as artists Lizzo, Ellie Goulding and Kali Uchis, saying the parties had agreed to return deposits in the event of cancellation due to “an uncontrollable factor”.

The acts had been scheduled to play the debut outing of the festival at the Banc of California Stadium (22,000-cap.) and Exposition Park (160-acre) in LA on 6 and 7 June 2020 before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

VFLA argued that because the government prevented the festival from proceeding, the artists were obliged to return monies they had been advanced when they were booked to play.

The judge did allow a breach of contract claim to move forward against the artists’ touring companies

However, Lizzo, Goulding and their agents argued that they could keep those payments because they were still “ready, willing and able to perform”, despite the festival being called off. Uchis’ company did not file a demurrer but did file a notice of joinder to the other defendants’ demurrers.

According to VFLA, all other agencies have returned, or agreed to return, the full amount of the prepaid deposits for the performances.

On Friday (12 March), at the LA Superior Court, Judge Mark H. Epstein issued an order that said the agreements the parties signed protected WME from being sued for what is essentially a dispute between the artists and the promoter.

According to Law360, Epstein said the court “agrees with the plaintiff that the contract does not protect WME from liability for its own wrongs. It only protects WME from being sued for what is essentially a dispute between the artists and the promoter. But that is essentially what is at issue here.”

The judge did allow a breach of contract claim to move forward against the artists’ touring companies and also said that VFLA can amend its complaint against WME, which the agency objected to.

 


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CAA to lay off 90 agents, execs

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) is preparing to lay off 90 agents and executives, as well as furloughing approximately 275 assistants, Variety has reported.

The staff cuts, effective this week, will be enacted across offices in London, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York.

According to sources close to the situation, the music and sports divisions are expected to be among the hardest hit.

“Effective this week, approximately 90 agents and executives from departments across the agency will be leaving,” says a CAA spokesperson.

“In addition, we are furloughing approximately 275 assistants and other staff. The company will continue to fully pay the health plan premiums for those being furloughed.

“This is a painful and unprecedented moment, and words are insufficient”

“This is a painful and unprecedented moment, and words are insufficient. Today, we simply say that we extend our sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude to our departing colleagues.”

CAA was among agencies and other live businesses to announce company-wide pay cuts in response to the coronavirus crisis, in the hope of “keep[ing] all employees financially whole through the end of our fiscal year, 30 September, 2020”.

The agency states it has honoured that commitment, including for those impacted by the announcement.

CAA had so far avoided reducing its workforce but now joins many across the live industry to do so, including fellow agencies WME and Paradigm, ticketers Eventbrite and TicketSwap and, most recently, AEG.

IQ has contacted CAA for further comment.

Photo: Minnaert/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


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Virgin Fest sues WME, artists in bid to recover deposits

The organisers of Virgin Fest, which was set to have its debut outing this June, have filed a lawsuit against agency William Morris Endeavor (WME) and artists Lizzo, Kali Uchis and Ellie Goulding, in an attempt to recover deposits from the event’s cancelled 2020 edition.

The acts had all been scheduled to play in the festival at the Banc of California Stadium (22,000-cap.) and Exposition Park (160-acre) in Los Angeles on 6 and 7 June before it was cancelled – along with the vast majority of this year’s event calendar – due to the coronavirus pandemic.

VFLA Eventco LLC – Virgin Fest’s organiser and the music festival arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – has now levied a complaint against WME, as well as Ellie Goulding’s Starry US Touring, Lizzo’s Big Grrrl Big Touring and Kali Uchis Touring, saying the parties had agreed to return deposits in the event of cancellation due to “an uncontrollable factor”.

“After the government prevented the festival from proceeding, VFLA invoked the force majeure provision and demanded the return in full of the prepaid deposits”

According to VFLA, all other agencies have returned, or agreed to return, the full amount of the prepaid deposits for the performances, but WME argues that deposits do not need to be returned as the artists were “otherwise ready, willing and able to perform.”

“[WME] refused to return the deposits and insisted that the artists it represents are entitled to keep the deposits — even if the Covid-19 pandemic constituted a force majeure event, even if the governmental orders prevented the festival from proceeding, and even if those orders likewise made it unlawful for their artists to perform on the dates and at the times and places specified in their agreements with VFLA,” reads the complaint, as published by Law 360.

“After the government prevented the festival from proceeding, VFLA invoked the force majeure provision of the artists’ performance agreements and demanded the return in full of the prepaid deposits made in connection with those agreements.”

VFLA is seeking a court order forcing WME to return the deposit money, as well as damages. From the three touring companies, the Virgin fest organiser wants additional damages for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

IQ has contacted WME for comment.

Photo: Andy Witchger/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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