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Madrid’s WiZink Centre to reopen to 2,000 attendees

Madrid’s WiZink Centre is due to reopen tomorrow (27 November) to 2,000 attendees for the Spanish Padel Tennis Championship with a number of new Covid-19 health and safety precautions in place.

The 16,000-capacity indoor arena, which will open at less than the authorised 40% capacity, has improved its ventilation systems to nullify the recirculation of air and guarantees that its 160,000 cubic meters of air will be completely renovated every 12 minutes.

Scientists from Germany’s Restart-19 project recently found that poor ventilation can significantly increase the number of people exposed to a risk of infection.

WiZink will top its maximum attendance so far with a concert by Spanish star Raphael in December with up to 5,000 fans

The venue’s other health and safety measures include taking spectators’ temperature on arrival; blood tests for staff; and leaving at least two seats between groups when regulations only ask for one seat distance.

WiZink Center was one of the first international venues to reopen its doors to the public after the first lockdown, holding its first show on 3 July, with Spanish rockstar Loquillo performing to more than 1,700 fans.

The arena has since hosted a number of music events including Madrid Summer Fest, a nine-concert series featuring Spanish and international artists, with an audience of up to 2,000 people for each show.

WiZink will top its maximum attendance so far with a concert by Spanish star Raphael on 19 December with up to 5,000 attendees, while Spanish dancer and choreographer Joaquín Cortés will perform on 23 December.

 


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Madrid shows raise €150,000 for Crew Nation

Live Nation Spain’s ‘Crew Nation Presents…’ concert series drew to a close on Friday night after having raised more than €150,000 in support of touring crew and staff.

Announced in June, Crew Nation Presents… invited a host of Spanish artists perform at Le Petit Garage, at Madrid venue La Riviera, from mid-July until Friday 25 September, when violinist Ara Milikian and pianist Iván ‘Melón’ Lewis brought the series to end.

Over 7,000 fans saw the 19 concerts, which – in addition to supporting 80 jobs for crew, production and security – raised over €150,000 for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund through a €1 levy on each ticket.

“Live Nation Spain would like to thank everyone who has worked with us to make these shows possible during these unprecedented times,” says the promoter, including “the authorities who have worked with us to keep everyone safe and offer a #culturasegura [#safeculture]” and “the great team who have worked to make these shows as amazing as they have been”.

Organisers also thank “all the artists – 84, Ara Malikian, Belako, Bely Basarte, El Kanka, Fuel Fandango, Guitarricadelafuente, ISEO, IZAL, María Peláe, Miss Caffeina, Mr Kilombo, Muchachito, Pol Granch, Rayden, Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, Tu Otra Bonita, Varry Brava and Xoel López – who have trusted in this initiative, and, finally, all the fans who behaved in an exemplary manner at each and every one of the concerts.”

 


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Multiple summer concert series kick off in Spain

Promoters Live Nation and the Music Republic are kicking off new, open-air concert series in Spain this week, as venues including the Wizink Center and Ifema prepare to host live shows over the next few months.

The Music Republic, which promotes festivals Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Granada Sound, Madrid Salvaje and the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB), announced its Republic Alive concert series this week, with 800-capacity outdoor shows taking place throughout July, August and September in Valencia, Granada, San Fernando, Seville and Toledo.

Artists performing as part of the series, which kicks off tomorrow (17 July), include Andrés Suárez, Miss Caffeina, Diego El Cigala, M Clan, Viva Suecia and Cepeda. Tickets for the shows are available here.

This week has also marked the start of Live Nation’s Crew Nation Presents concert series, which is taking place at the 2,500-capacity La Riviera in Madrid until mid-September.

The first sold-out show of the series took place last night with a performance by Spanish singer-songwriter Guitarricadelafuente. Other acts playing as part of the Crew Nation Present series, which raises money for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund, include El Kanka, Sex Museum, Muchachito and Triángulo de amor bizarro.

Tickets for the Crew Nation Presents shows are available here.

Madrid’s 15,500-capacity Wizink Center, the largest arena in Spain, is also preparing to welcome back artists and fans, with the Proactiv- and Voltereta Tour-promoted Truss Madrid Madriz Summer Fest, which will see performances from over 30 artists from 15 August to 15 September.

Promoters Live Nation and the Music Republic are kicking off new, open-air concert series in Spain this week, as venues including the Wizink Center and Ifema prepare to host live shows over the next few months

The arena will operate at a reduced capacity, with between 1,200 and 2,200 attending each concert, sitting at tables and chairs around a 360° stage.

Spanish techno-rumba group Camela will kick off the concert series, with other performance coming from acts including Funambulista, Despistaos, Izal, Stay Homas, Pablo López, Ara Malikian, Sara Baras and Sofía Ellar.

Tickets will become available here over the coming days.

Fellow Madrid venue, the Ifema conference and exhibition centre, is also returning to live music after a bout serving as Spain’s largest ‘hospital’. Abre Madrid! (Madrid Opens) began on 7 July and is running until 6 September, with acts performing to up to 1,000, seated fans on two open-air stages in the Ifema grounds, which usually plays host to Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival, DGTL Madrid and Río Babel festival.

Artists performing as part of Abre Madrid! include Xoel Lopez, La Habitación Roja, Carlos Sadness, Diego el Cigala, Mala Rodríguez and Miguel Poveda.

Ifema has been recognised as a safe space by the Community of Madrid and the World Travel and Tourism Council, allowing the venue to host events at up to 75% of its full capacity, provided that the configuration of space allows for 1.5 metres to be maintained between individuals.

In addition to the Abre Madrid! Shows, the venue plans on hosting 60 fairs and congresses in the last six months of 2020.

Tickets for the Ifema shows, which also span comedy, theatre, cinema and family entertainment, can be found here.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Crew Nation Presents to debut in Madrid in July

Live Nation has announced the Crew Nation Presents concert series, which will take place in Madrid from 15 July, as Spain prepares to allow outdoor concerts of up to 800 people.

Taking place at 2,500-capacity La Riviera, the series of reduced-capacity concerts will raise funds for artists’ technicians, musicians and touring staff affected by the live event shutdown, with €1 from every ticket donated to Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund.



Starting on 15 July, the shows will run until mid-September. Confirmed acts include singer-songwriter El Kanka, pop group Miss Caffeina, rock band Sex Museum, psychedelic rumba band Tu Otra Bonita and alternative rock musician Xoel López.

Tickets for Crew Nation Presents concerts go on sale on 22 June at 10 a.m. here.

“The series of reduced-capacity concerts will raise funds for Live Nation’s Crew Nation relief fund”

Spain is expected to move into the final stage of its reopening plan next week, which will see the reopening of clubs and bars at a third of usual capacity, indoor shows of up 80 people allowed and a capacity limit of 800 for outdoor events.

The news comes as Madrid’s 16,000-capacity WiZink Center announces its intention to open its doors – both virtually and physically – in the coming weeks.

Under the new phase of reopening, the arena will be able to admit a “significant” proportion of its full capacity for seated shows.

More details will be available on the WiZink Center website in the next few days.

Photo: Fermín Rodríguez Fajardo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Venues open doors as demand for hospital beds grows

As demand for hospital beds increases across the world, arenas, stadia and conference centres shuttered by the coronavirus are being repurposed for temporary medical use.

Venue operators in countries including Spain (which has over 33,000 cases at press time), the UK (5,683 cases), Croatia (315 cases), the US (33,404 cases) and Brazil (1,629 cases) are handing over their properties to health authorities to be turned into field hospitals for patients with Covid-19.

In Madrid, Ifema, the 2.9 million m² (31.2m sqft) conference and exhibition centre, has become the largest ‘hospital’ in Spain, welcoming its first 126 patients yesterday and another 90 today (23 March).

Working alongside Spain’s Military Emergencies Unit (UME), the government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, installed 300 hospital beds in Ifema the space of 48 hours, with another 1,300 beds expected to be operational by Wednesday.

Though the Ifema hospital is meant for patients with mild symptoms, the venue is also equipped with 96 ICU (intensive care unit) posts, reports El Mundo, with the hospital site covering a total of 35,000m² (376,740sqft).

Authorities credit fangcang with a crucial role in bringing the outbreak in Wuhan under control

Ifema’s transformation is modelled on that of venues in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic originally began late last year.

Wuhan’s 16 fangcang, or shelter hospitals, have been operational since early February, and include hotels, conference centres, arenas, sports stadia and other public venues in the city. According to the Wuhan municipal government, the number of beds in the city, which has a population of more than 11m, reached 30,000 later that month.

Over half of the fangcang beds are now empty, with authorities crediting the shelter hospitals with a crucial role in bringing the outbreak in Wuhan under control.

In Croatia, meanwhile, the 22,000-capacity Arena Zagreb is similarly being transformed into a field hospital with beds for coronavirus patients to free up space in local hospitals, as many of Brazil’s top football teams hand over their stadia while the Série A season is suspended.

Current South American champions Flamengo, who play in red and black, are among the teams giving control of their stadium (in Flamengo’s case, the famous 78,838-seat Maracanã) to health authorities.

“Let us help those who need it most”

“In this grim moment, I wanted to invite our great red and black nation to renew hope and work for better days,” club president Rodolfo Landim explains in an email to Flamengo supporters. “Let us take care of our elderly and help those who need it most.”

New York’s 1.8m sqft (170,000m²) Javits Convention Center, one of the biggest event spaces in the US, is also being turned into a 1,000-bed hospital, with construction due to begin this week – as is the ExCeL Centre in east London, with Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) reportedly planning a 4,000-bed field hospital to cope with the peak of the pandemic in the UK.

Elsewhere in the UK, Welsh rugby club Scarlets says its 14,870-seat stadium, Scarlets Park (Parc y Scarlets), will become a 500-bed hospital, with nearby leisure centres also being used by NHS workers.

“Community has always been a huge part of what the Scarlets is about, and in unprecedented times like these communities stick together,” says Scarlets GM Jon Daniels. “The health service and workers are doing an incredible job in challenging circumstances and we are happy to be offering help and support in any way we can.”

 


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WiZink Center reports 1.2k fake tickets in 2019

More than 1,200 fans were denied entry to Madrid’s 16,000-capacity WiZink Center last year, having purchased false or duplicated tickets from unofficial platforms.

According to a report by the venue, there has been an “alarming increase in ticket fraud” in recent months, as fraudsters “capitalise on high demand and sophisticated technology to deceive fans who want to buy tickets at any price.”

In all cases, tickets had been purchased from secondary ticketing sites or through resale between individuals, either online or via street touts.

As reported in the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, secondary ticketing has long been a controversial issue in Spain and has been raised at government level. However, according to promoters’ association APM, concrete action is yet to be taken.

In May last year, Anatic, the association for secondary ticketing in Spain, warned against the fraudulent behaviour of many resellers and called for regulation and professionalisation of the sector.

To avoid more fans falling foul of fraudsters, the arena – the biggest in Spain – has launched an awareness campaign, disseminating advice to fans through banners on its website and other digital platforms.

“This is a problem that affects us directly, given that we are the ones who end up denying entry”

“This is a problem that affects us directly,” says Almudena Requena, director of ticketing at the WiZink Center, “given that we are the ones who end up denying entry to people with these kinds of tickets. This places a responsibility on us that we are not accountable for.”

Eugeni Calsamiglia, general director of Ticketmaster Spain, says that although it has always been advisable to buy ticket through official channels, it is now “essential”.

“Current access control systems detect 100% of false or duplicated tickets,” explains Calsamiglia, “so the risk of not being able to enter a concert with a ticket bought on an unofficial channel is high.”

The arena reminds fans that, unlike tickets bought through unauthorised channels, tickets purchased from its online box office or through other official sellers also protect against cancellations and date changes.

Upcoming concerts at the WiZink Center include Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Maluma, Bon Iver and Dua Lipa.

Photo: Luis García/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


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Spain’s APM launches new festival arm

Spain’s Association of Music Promoters (APM) is launching APM Festivals, a new division consisting of 80 festival from across Spain.

The association will present its new division today (22 January) at Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur), which is taking place at exhibition centre Ifema, at 4 p.m. local time.

APM spokesperson Carol Rodriguez, who is responsible for the festival division, will announce the objectives and demands of the new division, and name the participating festivals.

The Spanish live music industry has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with APM recording five consecutive years of growth since 2014.

Major Spanish festivals include Primavera Sound, which reported record ticket sales for its 2020 edition; Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival; Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, which was last year acquired by the Music Republic, promoter of festivals Arenal Sound and Viña Rock; Bilbao BBK Live and Superstruct-backed Sónar Festival.

Photo: (CC BY 2.0)

 


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Strong start for Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia

Dua Lipa sold more than 15,000 tickets in a single morning yesterday (6 December) when the Spanish leg of her Future Nostalgia European arena tour went on sale, according to promoter Mercury Wheels.

The Spanish dates, beginning at the 15,500-capacity WiZink Center in Madrid on 26 April, mark the start of the tour, which will visit more than 20 European cities before wrapping up at 3Arena in Dublin on 19 June.

In addition to WiZink Center, Lipa (pictured) will play the Palau Sant Jordi (17,000-cap.) in Barcelona two days later, on 28 April.

In addition to WiZink Center, Lipa will play the Palau Sant Jordi Barcelona two days later, on 28 April

A share of all proceeds from tickets sold will go to Unicef and the Sunny Hill Foundation, set up by Dua and her father Dugi in Kosovo.

The Lipas were the keynote interviewees at the inaugural Futures Forum at ILMC this March, where they spoke about the foundation, Dua’s career so far and using Dua’s platform to help her fans and other young women.

Dua Lipa: ‘Women have to work harder to be heard’


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Valencia Arena to be biggest in Spain

Increased investment in a new arena in the Spanish city of Valencia aims to make it the largest venue of its kind in the country.

The multi-purpose arena will sit on 21,500 square metres of land, with a capacity of 15,000 for basketball matches and up to 18,600 for concerts.

The budget for the Valencia Arena has been expanded from €192 million to €220, with building work expected to start in summer 2020 for a completion date in 2023.

The project is led by Spanish entrepreneur Juan Roig and his holding company Licampa 1617.

The arena’s capacity will surpass that of Madrid’s WiZink Center (15,500-cap.), which celebrated its 500th concert in 2018 and has seen performances from the likes of Queen, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.

“The arena will give Valencia a multi-use space which will position the city as a world-class destination for national and international entertainment events”

Upcoming shows at the Madrid arena include Nicky Jam, the Lumineers, Enrique Iglesias, Rosalia, Bryan Adams and Halsey. Other major indoor arenas in Spain include Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi (17,000-cap.) and Madrid’s Palacio Vistalegre (15,000-cap.).

The Valencia Arena project is a “personal and altruistic initiative” for Juan Roig, who is the president of Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona.

The aim, says Roig, is “to give Valencia a multi-use space which will position the city and the wider region as a world-class destination for national and international sporting, cultural and entertainment events.”

Valencia Arena is designed by sporting architects Hok and Valencia-based firm Erre.

 


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StubHub appoints Dan Jones VP of international

The world’s largest secondary ticketing site, StubHub, has appointed Dan Jones as vice president of international.

Based in Madrid, Jones will oversee operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, driving US-born StubHub’s expansion worldwide.

Jones joins the secondary ticketer from Ancestry, the world’s largest genealogy website, where he served as senior vice president and general manager of international.

StubHub president Sukhinder Singh Cassidy comments that “cross border trade and internationalisation are a core focus” for the company.

“Cross border trade and internationalisation are a core focus for us [StubHub]”

“Dan is a fantastic addition to the team and his international experience – combined with his natural passion for the industry – are a great fit for his role to continue to grow our offerings, globally,” adds Singh Cassidy.

“I’m really excited to be joining StubHub at a time when the company is looking to expand its offerings to customers,” says Jones, and at a time when we’re responding to customer trends and needs more quickly and more thoughtfully than ever before.”

StubHub, owned by eBay, sells a ticket on average every 1.1 seconds worldwide. Madrid-based Miguel Giribet Giral joined the company in March to spearhead international growth.

 


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