Adam Börjesson to lead Live Nation Sweden/Luger
Live Nation Sweden and Luger, Sweden’s leading music agencies, have found a new head of agency in Adam Börjesson.
He joins the nation’s leading music agencies from Amuse, an independent record label and music distributor in Stockholm. There, he worked as its head of commercial development, building on previous experiences at Universal Music, Jubel, and his own record company Astronaut Recordings.
“I have worked closely with both Luger and Live Nation in various contexts for a long time and am really looking forward to taking on this assignment,” Börjesson says. “They are two industry-leading brands that care about artists, sustainability and corporate culture, and I see enormous potential in developing the offer and advancing the positions further.”
The strategic move to coordinate the two leading agencies’ leadership is poised to improve symbiotic relations between the two companies and their artists, organisers, and partners, per a press release.
“Through an increased focus on collaboration and pooling of forces, we see that we can have positive effects for our entire business”
“We have the luxury of having two strong, differentiated and clearly profiled agencies under the same roof, something we are very keen to maintain and strengthen. Through an increased focus on collaboration and pooling of forces, we see that we can have positive effects for our entire business,” says Mattias Behrer, CEO of Live Nation Sweden.
Börjesson will be responsible for day-to-day leadership and personnel responsibility beginning 1 October, along with leading alongside Luger CEO and founder Ola Bronquist.
Additionally, Live Nation has recruited Julia Carlsson to the role of agent in the Swedish department. Carlsson has previously worked with the company in project management and production.
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Way Out West smashes attendance record
Swedish festival Way Out West has reported its highest attendance yet, with 55,000 fans flocking to the recent edition.
Blur, Wizkid, Boy Genius, Caroline Polachek and Sam Fender appeared on the bill for the three-day event (10–13 August) in Slottsskogen park, Gothenburg.
The festival – which launched in 2007 – is organised by Luger, a Nordic promoter owned by Live Nation.
“Despite starting off the week overcoming a major storm and heavy rain, when we opened the gates to the site on Thursday the sun was shining and we were blessed with great weather across almost the entire weekend,” says Luger’s Natalie Ryan-Williams.
“This edition was really special to us, and we ended up with a new attendance record of over 55,000 unique visitors, having the most attended day in the history of the festival on the final day.
“Making each festival as if it were the last is our motto”
“We are very happy to find that even in a time of financial difficulty the audience – which includes a younger generation finding their way to us – seems to want to prioritise coming to the festival and for that, we are very thankful. Making each festival as if it were the last is our motto, but the truth is that we always look forward to being back next year – hopefully without any storms!”
Alongside its usual musical offering, Way Out West this year partnered with Swedish streaming titan Spotify to mark hip-hop’s 50th birthday and celebrate its cultural impact in the country.
On one of the festival’s largest stages, the two companies presented a live showcase featuring new and emerging talent, as well as some of the most prominent names in Swedish hip-hop history. Dizzy, Jelassi and Mohelá topped the line-up for the stage.
In addition to Way Out West, Luger organises Åre Sessions, Lollapalooza Stockholm (Live Nation) and Malmö & Beyond, and co-organises Popaganda. The company also promotes over 300 shows a year.
Way Out West will return to Gothenburg between 8–10 August 2024.
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Live Nation & Luger launch ‘The Shuffle Ticket’
Live Nation and its Luger subsidiary have launched The Shuffle Ticket, a scratchcard-style promotion offering fans tickets to a randomly selected concert in Sweden.
For 300 SEK (€27), fans will receive two tickets to an event in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö between February and September 2023, but will not discover what show they will be seeing until scratching off their ticket post-purchase.
“When you buy the ticket at shuffleticket.se, a physical ticket is sent to your home,” fans are advised. “Scratch it, and you’ll find a link to your digital tickets.”
The promotion features more than 100 shows of all sizes, including gigs by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, The Weeknd, Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, First Aid Kit, Louis Tomlinson and The Chats, as well as festivals including Lollapalooza Stockholm, Way Out West, Summerburst and Melodifestivalen.
Designed in collaboration with creative collective Forsman & Bodenfors, the initiative is mainly aimed at younger music fans.
“We hope The Shuffle Ticket will give young people the chance to discover new music in an exciting way”
“We hope The Shuffle Ticket will give young people the chance to discover new music in an exciting way,” says Luger project manager Christa Murley, as per Little Black Book.
“During 2022, ticket sales went up again after two years of a negative trend caused by the pandemic,” notes Live Nation Sweden CEO Mattias Behrer. “People are eager to hear live music again. Our new ticket encourages young people to be a part of a new concert experience.”
The first ticket drop took place yesterday (25 January) and sold out in minutes, with further sales to take place on 1 February and 8 February.
Emilie Olsson Lignell, project and campaign manager at Live Nation Sweden, adds: “Putting a playlist on shuffle is a great way to discover new favourites, so why not do the same with live shows? We hope many young people will find their new favourite artists.”
Major Scandi festivals hail bumper comebacks
Last week saw some of Scandinavia’s best-known festivals welcome back record numbers of music fans.
Norway’s Øya Festival (Øyafestivalen) reported a total attendance of 88,000 over four days (or 22,000 per day) at this year’s sold-out edition, smashing its previous record of 80,000 in 2019.
The Superstruct-backed festival returned to Oslo’s Tøyen Park last week (9 and 13 August) with headliners Gorillaz, Florence + the Machine and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
“The festival was fantastic,” Jonas Prangerød, press manger for Øya, tells IQ. “Artists, staff, volunteers and, of course, the audience enjoyed Øya finally being back. People came very early to the festival area and there was a good crowd for every band and artist.
“Both new talent and the big, established favourites impressed. I think a lot of people have got a few new favourite acts now. The warm weather suited Øya’s comeback really well. The whole week was as good as we could hope for.”
Sweden’s Way Out West also broke its own attendance record, drawing 50,000 unique visitors over three days (11–13 August) to its 2022 edition.
The Luger-promoted festival once again took over Gothenburg’s Slottsskogen city park, offering performances from the likes of Tame Impala, Beabadoobee and Fontaines D.C.
“The whole week was as good as we could hope for”
“Way Out West 2022 could not have ended up better,” Filip Hiltmann, marketing and communications manager for Way out West, tells IQ.
“After two years of silence, it felt great to finally be back in Slottsskogen doing what we do best. The sun was out the whole weekend (a rare phenomenon in Gothenburg!) and we experienced first-class sets from the likes of Burna Boy, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, First Ait Kit, Fred again… and many more. We can’t wait to be back next year, mark down 10–12 August 2023 in your calendars.”
Elsewhere in Scandinavia, Finland’s Flow Festival celebrated an attendance record of 90,000 over two days (12–14 August) or 30,000 per day.
The Superstruct-backed festival took place in the Finnish capital of Helsinki this past weekend (12–14 August), with performances from more than 160 acts including Jamie xx, Princess Nokia, Bikini Kill, MØ and Fred Again.
Notably, Gorillaz’s performance at Flow was the band’s first-ever appearance in Finland.
Next year’s Flow dates have already been set for 11–13 August, 2023, and a limited number of Super Early Bird tickets went on sale yesterday (15 August).
Other festivals that took place over the weekend, elsewhere in Europe, include Superstruct’s Sziget (Hungary), Follow The Step’s Fest Festival (Poland) and Boomtown Fair (UK).
Ladieslovehiphop fest teams with LN Sweden & Luger
Swedish collective Ladieslovehiphop (LLHH) has partnered with Live Nation Sweden and Luger on the 2022 Ladieslovehiphop Festival.
The boutique festival, which debuted at Trädgården in Stockholm in 2019, returns from 19-20 August at Fållan & Slakthusområdet in Stockholm with an eclectic women-led line-up led by Stefflon Don, Ayra Starr, Ivorian Doll, Baby Tate, Shaybo and Dreya Mac.
Founded in 2014 as a DJ collective and club concept by childhood friends Nataša Marijana, Rebecca Tegegne and Linda Nápoles, LLHH has evolved into a cultural and creative movement.
“The festival presents both up-and-coming and internationally claimed headliners in hip-hop, R&B, afrobeats and their sub-genres”
“It feels amazing to finally have a proper festival summer after these past two years,” say Marijana and Tegegne. “We have curated a line-up of artists and DJs that we truly love and believe our community are excited to see perform.
“We will transform Stockholm’s very own meatpacking district into an indoor and outdoor festival area where our visitors can enjoy concerts during the day and dance all night long to DJ sets. Besides a carefully selected line-up, the festival will offer tasty vegetarian food, art installations and much more.”
Live Nation Sweden promoter Karolina Kozlowska adds, “Ladieslovehiphop, along with the booking agencies Luger and Live Nation Sweden have curated a line-up with the most interesting names in popular culture today. The festival presents both up-and-coming and internationally claimed headliners in hip-hop, R&B, afrobeats, and their sub-genres. Together, we offer a great mix of everything in pop music right now for all the music lovers out there.”
Curated across three stages, the event will also offer art installations and exhibitions, with each night culminating in DJ sets from the likes of Uncle Waffles and Jordss. A two-day pass costs SEK1,255 (€120).
Luger expands into Norway
Swedish concert promoter and festival organiser Luger is expanding into Norway, opening an office in Oslo to strengthen its presence in the Scandinavian market.
Luger now operates in three Scandinavian markets, adding to its Swedish headquarters and its Danish office, which opened in Copenhagen in 2018, led by Sarah Sølvsteen.
The expansion into Norway follows the bolstering of a fellow European promoter’s presence in the country last month, with FKP Scorpio’s acquisition of a majority stake in booking agency Nordic Live.
Luger’s new Norwegian office will be headed up by Torgeir Gullaksen, a veteran promoter with over 20 years’ experience putting on shows and events in the country. Gullaksen joined Gunnar Eide Concerts (now Live Nation Norway) in the late 90s, founding his own promotions company, Goldstar (now FKP Scorpio Norway), in 2005.
The Luger Norway head has worked with acts including Arctic Monkeys, Queens Of The Stone Age, Radiohead, Rival Sons, Tame Impala, The Black Keys, Ben Howard, Arcade fire, Belle & Sebastian and Michael Kiwanuka.
“My aim is to firmly establish Luger as a strong brand in Norway”
“I’m delighted to be joining the Luger family and look forward to working close with Ola and the rest of the team,” comments Gullaksen. “Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Luger on both international and domestic acts and consider them the best in class in developing new talent over here.
“My aim is to firmly establish Luger as a strong brand in Norway and continue working with the acts I already have existing relations with, as well as become the natural promoter for emerging acts in Norway.”
Luger Sweden MD Ola Broquist adds that Gullaksen is “a great person, a great promoter and a music lover – the ultimate combination.”
Luger is one of the Nordic’s leading promoters, as well as acting as an agency and tour producer for Swedish artists. The company promotes over 300 a year, in addition to festivals including Way Out West, Åre Sessions and – together with C3 and Live Nation Sweden – Lollapalooza Stockholm.
Xenia Grigat joins Luger Denmark
Three months after stepping down from her role at Down the Drain Concerts, Xenia Grigat, one of Denmark’s most experienced concert promoters, has joined Luger Denmark.
Luger, a Swedish promoter and booking agency owned by Live Nation, expanded into Denmark in early 2018 when it opened an office in Copenhagen. At Luger, Grigat will lead the company’s Danish expansion, as it transforms from being an agency for local artists to promoting shows by international acts.
Sarah Sølvsteen, director of Luger Denmark, comments: “There are good days and then there are absolutely fabulous days, like today, when we can announce the addition of Xenia Grigat to our Danish Luger team. With her sublime taste and love for her artists, Xenia is a perfect match with Luger Denmark’s philosophy and values, and it makes me really proud that she has chosen to become part of our team.”
Ten acts, including Lord Siva, Efterklang, Ida Laurberg and Hugorm, have joined Luger Denmark this year. They join a roster that includes established artists such as Mø, the Minds of 99, Jada and Phlake.
Grigat, named head of international artists, explains: “I’ve had amazing 12 years working at Beatbox and then Down the Drain promoting shows and festivals, but the time is right for me to take the next step in my career. The opportunity to create a new chapter with Luger Denmark and their team is an offer I can’t resist.
“The time is right for me to take the next step in my career”
“I’m really looking forward to getting started and present artists, agents and managers with a variety of new opportunities, such as our extended Scandinavian reach.”
Adds Ola Broquist, director of Luger Sweden: “It’s a big day for our Scandinavian Luger family. In Sweden, we have clearly seen the synergies when working with both Swedish and international artists under the same roof and how it benefits the artists. With the new offerings structure in Denmark, we will collectively be positioned much stronger in the Scandinavia market.”
“We have clearly seen how Luger Sweden has been able to develop their business for a number of years by heavily focusing on their artists as both agent and promoter,” says Jesper Christensen of Live Nation Denmark. “With Xenia Grigat’s addition to the team, we will have a star capacity on board, which will strengthen Luger Denmark’s position both locally and internationally.
“I have great respect for Xenia as a promoter, and have always admired her unique ability and special care for the many strong artists she has worked with over the years”.
From today (1 November), Luger Denmark’s team consists of Sølvsteen, Grigat, Emma Markvad, Dorthe Hyllested, Freja Becker Anthonsen and Martin Rintza.
Luger’s Fredriksson to oversee LN Sweden partnerships
Luger co-founder Patrick Fredriksson has been appointed director of partnerships for Live Nation Sweden.
Fredriksson (pictured), who co-founded the Swedish promoter with Ola Broquist in 1991, becomes responsible for all Live Nation/Luger partnerships across their concerts, festivals and artists in Sweden, with immediate effect.
In his new role, Fredriksson’s focus on business development and building creative partnerships around Luger’s portfolio of events, which includes festivals such as Way Out West and Åre Sessions.
“There are few people with as much experience of our industry as Patrick,” says Therése Liljedahl, the newly appointed CEO of Live Nation Sweden. “With Way Out West, he has shown the way and set a new standard for how to delive commercial partnerships around events in a modern and creative manner.
“There are few people with as much experience of our industry as Patrick”
“I am also very happy and proud that, with Patrick’s new role, we finally have a partnership department for all our joint operations [Live Nation and Luger].
“How we create and develop partnerships and events is something I’m passionate about, and being more involved in these projects will be very exciting,” adds Fredriksson. “Creative and thoughtful partnerships are hugely important for us and our partners – and equally important to our visitors.”
Luger is a wholly owned subsidiary of Live Nation.
Luger opens Danish office
Swedish promoter/booking agency Luger has expanded into Denmark, opening a Copenhagen office headed up by agent Sarah Sølvsteen.
Luger has been booking acts and promoting shows and festivals in Sweden since 1991, celebrating its 25th anniversary last year. It has since 2008 been wholly owned by Live Nation.
Its first Danish office, which opened on 1 January, will focus on booking, acting as a European agency for primarily Scandinavian artists, according to a statement from Sølvsteen (pictured).
“We are pleased to announce that as of 1 January 2018, we become part of the Luger family,” says Sølvsteen, most recently of Birdseye Agency. “We open[ed] a Danish branch of the Swedish agency and look forward to continued good cooperation with you all.”
Luger Denmark consists of Sølvsteen and agent Martin Rintza, with more staff to be announced soon. It shares an office with Live Nation Denmark.
Live Nation Sweden appoints new joint MDs
Live Nation Sweden has announced the promotion of its head promoter, Anna Sjölund, and director of marketing and Nordic partnerships, Therése Liljedahl, as joint managing directors.
Both Sjölund and Liljedahl, who commence their new positions immediately, will retain elements of their previous roles: Sjölund remains head promoter, overseeing Live Nation Sweden’s agency, touring and festivals, while Liljedahl will retain responsibility for commercial partnerships in the Nordics while also managing Live Nation Sweden’s marketing, partnership, finance, administration and HR functions.
John Reid, president of concerts for Live Nation Europe, says: “The combined and complementary skill set that Anna and Therése will bring to their roles as managing directors is unparallelled. Together they will continue to grow the business that Thomas [Johansson] and Carl [Pernow] have built and take Live Nation Sweden into the future.”
Carl Pernow, now Live Nation’s president of Nordics, adds: “I am pleased to hand over the leadership of Live Nation Sweden to two exemplary leaders within their respective areas. I look forward to further developing the Nordic business with Anna, Therése and our Nordic colleagues.”
“I am pleased to hand over leadership to two exemplary leaders within their respective areas”
The appointments follow a bumper 2017 for LN Sweden, with concert successes including Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay, Metallica, Depeche Mode and the Rolling Stones. The Stockholm-based company also owns and operates festivals Summerburst, Way Out West (through subsidiary Luger) and Sweden Rock, which it bought last November.
Sjölund comments: “I have spent the majority of my career at Live Nation and had the opportunity to grow together with the business. I am excited to be able to continue my journey in this new role and look forward to what is ahead.”
“I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity,” adds Liljedahl. “I look forward to taking the next step at Live Nation Sweden together with Anna and my fantastic colleagues.”