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Live Nation reveals details on Download Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) has revealed more details about the inaugural edition of Download Germany.

The promoter today (14 September) revealed that US heavy metal band Metallica will headline the 2022 event, which will be the band’s only concert in Germany next year.

Metallica will be joined by heavyweights Five Finger Death Punch and Sabaton, both of which will be a 2022 festival exclusive for Germany.

Up to 10 acts will perform on a huge double stage at Download Germany, according to GSA, and more than 70,000 guests are expected to attend.

Up to 10 acts will perform on a huge double stage at Download Germany and more than 70,000 guests are expected to attend

It was previously revealed that Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Advance ticket sales for Download Germany will start on 17 September at 12:00 CET, including passes for the interior of the racing track, as well as passes for the south stand.

The promoter revealed today that interior tickets cost €139 including parking and pre-sale fee and south stand tickets cost €159 including parking and advance booking fee.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

 


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Live Nation GSA announces Download Festival Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is launching a German edition of Download Festival, the UK’s premiere rock event.

Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Lieberberg’s former company Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) previously held Rock’n’Heim at the same location, in cooperation with Live Nation.

The festival took place annually from 2013 to 2015, welcoming around 40,000 fans across three days for the first two years. In 2015, the event was reduced to a one-day event.

MLK also housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, started by Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively, the twin festivals that from 2022, will be programmed by eventimpresents and CTS Eventim-owned DreamHaus.

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

The UK event, promoted by Festival Republic, this year took place over the 18–20 June weekend as part of the second phase of the UK government’s scientific Events Research Programme (ERP).

Download Pilot welcomed 10,000 metal fans to the hallowed grounds of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire, to enjoy a fully-fledged festival experience with no social distancing, no masks and moshing allowed. The event was the UK’s first major camping festival of its kind since lockdown.

The flagship event is set to return to the UK between 10-12 June 2022 with a line-up that includes Deftones, Korn and Megadeath.

 


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Matt Schwarz moves to CTS Eventim

Matt Schwarz, former COO and MD of Live Nation GSA, is returning to work on Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, but this time as head of eventimpresents (the company formerly known as MLK).

Schwarz will join forces with CTS Eventim from January 2021, and is tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) was founded in 1987 and housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, which were started by Marek Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively.

Schwarz was formerly VP of touring and festivals at MLK, before becoming MD and COO of Live Nation GSA when Lieberberg sold MLK to Eventim’s live music subsidiary Medusa Group in 2015. Schwarz resigned his position at Live Nation GSA in February this year.

Schwarz is tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows”

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016. A spokesperson for Eventim would not comment on the ongoing relationship between Lieberberg, eventimlive and the two festivals.

With a combined attendance of 150,000, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park take place concurrently from 11 to 13 June at Nürburgring race track and Zeppelin Field in Nüremberg respectively.

Across the Eventim group, other festivals include Hurricane, Southside and Lucca Summer, alongside a venue portfolio that includes the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen, the Waldbühne in Berlin and the Eventim Apollo in London.

The most recent financial reports from the group showed an almost balanced EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), capping losses in the first half of 2020 to €2.7 million, thanks to “rigorous measures to minimise costs and boost efficiency”.

 


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Live Nation Germany mega show rescheduled

Live Nation GSA has been forced to postpone the biggest show Germany has seen since March, in light of new increasing coronavirus infections in the country and “imminent new capacity restrictions”.

Return to Live (which has also been promoted under the banner of Give Live A Chance) was due to take place on 4 September in the all-seated Merkur Spiel Arena, Dusseldorf but will now be rescheduled for late autumn.

Up to 12,000 fans were expected to watch artists including Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor and Rea Garvey.

Earlier this month, authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia raised concerns about the concert after the country saw an increase in coronavirus infections but agreed to monitor the situation and make a final decision by 31 August, at the latest, as to whether it could go ahead.

Now, Live Nation GSA says that despite the event’s conclusive hygiene and protection concept, new reservations of the state government – as well as a rising infection rate and imminent new capacity restrictions – have made it clear that it will be impossible to proceed with the event in September.

“We are still of the opinion that our catalogue of measures offers comprehensive protection”

“The health and safety of our fans, artists and employees is our top priority. Whilst we understand that the situation is constantly evolving, we are still of the opinion that our catalogue of measures offers comprehensive protection,” explains Return to Live organiser Marek Lieberberg. 

Lieberberg expressed his conviction that live music events would take place at full capacity in the not-too-distant future.

“It is not possible to suppress the desire of fans and artists in the long run! The Düsseldorf model is and remains the right concept for a gradual return to normality. This is what the 150,000 suspended employees of this highly diverse and vital industry in Germany, tens of thousands of artists and millions of music lovers are waiting for”. 

All ticket holders will now be reimbursed including advance booking fees.

Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, previously announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

Live Nation GSA has mentioned “imminent new capacity restrictions” but the government is yet to announce any new measures.

 


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The decade in live: 2015

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

Following on from a strong year in 2014, the live music industry in 2015 continued to go from strength to strength, with fans once again showing willingness to spend money on concert tickets.

After the success of their first all-stadia tour, British boyband One Direction embarked on another mammoth concert tour, which came in at number two on the year-end charts, despite the departure of band member Zayn Malik two months in. The tour was the beginning of the end for the band, which went on indefinite hiatus the following year.

2015 was a busy year in the live business, notably seeing the birth of Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff’s Oak View Group. It was also the year that the Robert Sillerman’s rebirthed SFX Entertainment began to run into some serious trouble…

 


2015 in numbers

The top 100 worldwide tours grossed more than US$4.7 billion in 2015, up 14% from the year before but falling short of 2013’s $5bn. Ticket sales were also up, increasing by 16% to 59.7m, again lower than the 2013 total of 63.3m. The average ticket price in 2015 was down $3.30 to $78.80.

Taylor Swift was the top touring artist of the year, grossing $250.4m with her The 1989 world tour. The singer generated nearly $200m in North America alone, smashing the previous record of $162m set by the Rolling Stones in 2005.

One Direction also had a successful year with the On the Road Again tour, coming in behind Swift with year-end gross at $210.2m and selling 2.4m tickets, the most of any artist that year. AC/DC made $180m in ticket sales on their biggest tour to date, with U2’s Innocence + Experience grossing $152.2m and Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highway tour totalling $127m.

 


2015 in brief

January
Live Nation takes control of Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza promoter C3 Presents, paying a reported $125m for a 51% stake.

Austrian concert organiser Arcadia agrees a new partnership with four German companies – Four Artists, Chimperator Live, KKT and FKP Scorpio – to found Arcadia Live, a new
concert agency.

Live Nation agrees a joint venture with Thailand-based entertainment firm BEC-Tero. The new company, Live Nation BEC-Tero, will promote concerts by Western, J-Pop and K-Pop artists in the region, a pursuit in which BEC-Tero’s concerts division is already a market leader locally.

February
The Agency Group acquires UK-based electronic music agency Futureboogie, whose roster includes the likes of Bonobo, Crazy P and Nightmares on Wax.

The state of Washington passes a bill to outlaw ticket bots in an attempt to clamp down on the computer software that often prevents humans from buying seats online for concerts and sporting events. The move brings the number of states that have banned bots to 13.

March
A group of artists including Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, Madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White and Nicki Minaj launch a new streaming service called Tidal, which is described as the first artist-owned platform for music and video.

The O2 arena in London announces that it has sold its 15 millionth ticket. The building, which opened in June 2007, has consistently been the most popular live music venue in the world, with research conducted by Media Insight Consulting claiming that 30% of the UK population has attended The O2 complex at least once.

The decade in live: 2015

One Direction perform on the On the Road Again tour without Malik (© vagueonthehow/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

April
ILMC launches the International Festival Forum, which aims to help strengthen the relationship between event organisers and agents. The London-based event is set to feature partner agencies such as Coda, The Agency Group, Primary Talent and X-ray Touring who will showcase festival-ready acts to promoters from around the world.

Australian media company Nine Entertainment sells its live events companies Nine Live and Ticketek to Asian private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners for AUD$640m ($480m).

May
Sydney-based Soapbox Artists, which grew out of the Australian wing of Ministry of Sound, announces its merger with the Melbourne-based 360 Agency. The combined EDM agencies will be a significant player in the dance market, representing a large roster of DJ and producer talent.

Live Nation acquires a controlling stake in American festival Bonnaroo. Under the terms of the deal, current promoters Superfly and AC Entertainment will continue to programme and run the event.

June
AEG agrees an extended deal with America’s International Speedway Corporation (ISC), allowing the company’s AEG Live division to look at organising concerts at racetracks around the country. ISC owns 13 raceways, including such iconic arenas as Daytona and Watkins Glen.

The Foo Fighters cancel a number of shows after frontman Dave Grohl breaks his leg during a concert in Sweden. Despite a nasty fracture, however, Grohl makes headlines around the world by returning to complete the Gothenburg show, receiving medical attention on stage.

The decade in live: 2015

The main stage at Bonnaroo (© Shawn Mariani/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.5))

July
German promoter Deutsche Entertainment AG and its UK offshoots Kilimanjaro Live and Raymond Gubbay Ltd, have set-up a company to sell tickets for their British shows. MyTicket.co.uk will expand the MyTicket concept that has already been running in Germany for six months.

The Windish Agency and Paradigm Talent Agency agree a partnership deal to form one of the world’s biggest independent agency operations, bringing The Windish Agency together with Paradigm partner agencies AM Only and Coda Music Agency, as well as Paradigm itself.

August
Live Nation Entertainment forms Live Nation Concerts Germany with German concert promoter Marek Lieberberg to promote concerts and festivals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

William Morris agent Sol Parker jumps ship to Coda Agency, taking Take That, The Prodigy and Rita Ora with him.

United Talent Agency completes its acquisition of The Agency Group.

Live Nation acquires venue and festival operator MAMA & Company, returning a number of former Live Nation assets to its portfolio.

The decade in live: 2015

Marek Lieberberg (© Sven Mandel/Wikimedia Deutschland (CC BY-SA 4.0)) 

September
Australian promoter Andrew McManus is arrested at Melbourne Airport on charges of money laundering and the importation of 300 kilograms of cocaine. McManus is one of five people arrested in Australia and the United States as part of an FBI investigation.

Disgruntled investors hit SFX with a lawsuit claiming they were deceived with false and misleading statements over the company’s privatisation plans.

Ebay-owned secondary ticketing platform StubHub launches in Germany.

October
Pandora completes a $450m takeover of specialist ticketing agency Ticketfly.

Several preliminary bids are reportedly submitted for EDM promoter SFX in addition to that from CEO Robert Sillerman, who bid to buy back the company for $3.25 per share.

November
SFX promotes former IQ new boss Sebastian Solano to CEO of ID&T North America.

Ex-AEG chief Tim Leiweke forms live entertainment investment firm Oak View Group with Irving Azoff.

December
Ex-Done Events chief Thomas Ovesen is named CEO of new Dubai-based live music company 117 Live.

Live Nation UK vice-president Steve Homer and senior vice-president Toby Leighton-Pope leave the company.

The decade in live: 2015

B.B. King, 1925-2015 (cropped) (© Tom.Beetz/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

 


Who we lost

Mike Porcaro, bassist for Toto; blues legend B.B. King; John Gammon, Pollstar’s UK/Europe correspondent; veteran promoter and ILMC member, Paul King; Stage Entertainment’s project manager Sjoerd Unger; Live Nation venue chief David Vickers; U2 tour manager Dennis Sheehan.

 


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LN to co-produce Cirque du Soleil Berlin residency

Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has announced its first European resident show, which is to take place at the Potsdamer Platz theatre in Berlin in a co-production with Live Nation.

The new production will make its debut in the winter of 2020, with an expected annual attendance of approximately 400,000.

Cirque du Soleil is responsible for the artistic content of the new show, which is inspired by the German capital. Live Nation, the operator of the 1,800-seat Theater am Potsdamer Platz, will co-produce the show.

“We are excited about this world premiere as we all share the same fantastic vision of inspiring audiences with outstanding events”

“This is a beautiful way of celebrating [our] 25-year relationship with the city,” comments Cirque de Soleil Entertainment president and CEO, Daniel Lamarre. “This new and exciting production is most certainly the best way to highlight the privileged bond we have with Berlin.”

“We are excited about this world premiere as we all share the same fantastic vision of inspiring audiences with outstanding events,” says Marek Lieberberg, CEO of Live Nation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

“That’s exactly what the new original Cirque du Soleil show at Theater am Potsdamer Platz will achieve. My special gratitude to our partners for the trust they have placed in us.”

Tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s Berlin residency go on sale at the end of November 2019. More information can be found here.

 


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‘Israel’s first promoter’ Shmuel Zemach passes away

Pioneering concert promoter Shmuel Zemach, whose Zemach Productions company promoted some of the first Israeli shows by Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Metallica, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, Simon & Garfunkel, Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith, has passed away aged 85.

The news was announced yesterday by his son and business partner, Yoav, who pays tribute to “my father, my beloved and my best friend” and the “first promoter in Israel”.

Zemach was born and raised in Petach Tikvah and started his live career at the age of 12, organising events for local youth groups in his hometown. He honed his craft in the US before returning to Israel, establishing Zemach Productions with Yoav and his wife, Dr Brach Zemach. At the time of his death, he was president of the Israeli concert promoters’ association.

“Shmuel Zemach was a unique, charismatic and inspiring person”

Despite suffering a stroke two years ago, Zemach continued to be active in the business, promoting his final show – Cliff Richard in Tel Aviv – just last week. He was close friends with many in the entertainment industry, including Marek Lieberberg, Harvey Goldsmith CBE and actor Ian McKellen.

“Shmuel Zemach was a unique, charismatic and inspiring person,” Lieberberg tells IQ. “He proved to be an outstanding promoter in a very difficult market, which he put on the map with great professionalism. As an ambassador of Israel he shaped the the modern culture of his country and at the same time brought many local talents to the world. Shmuel taught artists and friends alike to see and appreciate Israel through his eyes.

“His fascinating personality and wit helped to master many challenging moments. Shmuel Zemach was and will always remain the impresario per se, which is becoming extremely rare in a world of music industry technocrats.”

“Zemach was a pioneer and loved by everyone”

Goldsmith adds: “I first met Shmuel Zemach in 1979 when I persuaded him to promote a concert with Elton John in Tel Aviv. This was one of the first rock concerts in Israel and paved the way for many of the world’s great artists to take their music to Israel.

“This started a working relationship, but above all a close friendship, with Zemach and his family that has lasted.

“Zemach was a pioneer and loved by everyone. He was a charismatic teacher and was joined in the business by both his son and daughter, who will continue his legacy. He will be sorely missed.”

In a short video message, McKellen says his “heart is with” Zemach’s “loving family”:

Zemach is survived by Brachi, their three children, Yoav, Tali and Hila, and ten grandchildren.

 


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Lieberberg on growth plans (and bribing the weather god)

Live Nation GSA president and managing director Andre Lieberberg has said the company is pursuing a strategy of “aggressive but organic growth” two years after its effective acquisition of Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK).

MLK, said Lieberberg – the son of MLK founder Marek, who is now Live Nation GSA’s CEO – had a “conservative approach to growth” throughout the 13 years he worked there. “Marek always said, ‘We only do our own events,’” he told IQ editor Gordon Masson at Reeperbahn Festival today. “It wasn’t like we had a clear strategic path of having to grow for growth’s sake, or post increasing numbers every year. On the one hand that was a good thing, but also hindered you, to some degree, in being more aggressive and ballsy in what you can do.”

Both Lieberbergs left MLK in August to form new company Live Nation Concerts Germany, although the MLK name, assets and Rock am Ring/Rock im Park festivals stayed with CTS Eventim.

Lieberberg told Masson being part of an “American company listed on the stock exchange” is “of course very different to what we were used to” – but that Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) is a “more rounded company” than MLK: “We’re still a promoter but we’re also a media company – for example, we’ve just set up a sponsorship and brand partnerships division

He said the company also has different attitude towards hiring. “All three MDs all Live Nation GSA agree on growth by staffing,” he explained. “Everyone had to be approved by Marek before, which has obviously changed.”

As for acquisitions, Lieberberg insisted LN GSA is “not going to buy up every festival in Germany” – “we wouldn’t have the money even if we wanted to,” he joked – “but certainly there are going to be more partnerships over the next five years.” The company made its first acquisition, of Openair Frauenfeld, in July, although, as is standard for Live Nation, founder Rene Götz will continue to run the festival.

He added that he “understands the concern from independents” (promoters) about Live Nation’s entry into the German market, “but I don’t see that we’re a threat to them. […] Since we became Live Nation we haven’t done anything to shrink anyone else’s output, or marginalise them in any way.”

Masson also asked about the Lieberbergs’ Rock am Ring festival, which was once again partially cancelled this summer, this time over after a terrorism scare, later revealed to be the result of a spelling error. In 2015 and 2016 festivalgoers were injured by lightning strikes, with the final day of the 2016 event called off altogether.

“We’re still looking for a way to bribe the weather god,” joked Lieberberg. “We’ve had four years of Murphy’s law” (the festival was forced to move in 2014 after a falling out between MLK and the Nürburgring racetrack), “so I’m hoping next year will be better!”

 


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Rock am Ring organisers deal with ‘terrorism’ scare

For the second year in succession, Germany’s highly successful Rock am Ring festival was disrupted for a day – this time because of a terrorist threat which prompted a mass evacuation of the site on Friday, 2 June.

Last year, storms forced a premature end to the event, but with the help of police and security experts on site at the Nürburgring festival site, promoters Marek Lieberberg Concert Agency, were able to reopen the gates for fans on Saturday and the festival ran to schedule for the remainder of the weekend.

The drama began when organisers were advised by police that they had grounds to believe there was be a credible threat to the fans, artists and staff working at the event. In a statement to revellers, the promoters said, “Due to a terrorist threat the police have advised us to interrupt the festival. We ask all the festival visitors to leave the festival site in a calm and controlled manner towards the exits and camping grounds. We have to support the police investigations.”

Around 90,000 fans were expected to be at the event.

“You showed what it means to live the spirit of Rock’n’Roll! We bow to your enthusiasm, your defiance, your devotion, passion, and joy in life!”

Meanwhile, police officers and security staff carried out intensive searches of the festival site throughout Friday night and the early part of Saturday, before giving the all clear so that fans could return early on Saturday afternoon.

Among the acts who were unable to perform because of the shut down were former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, Rammstein, Bastille and Rag’n’Bone Man. However, Saturday’s programme went ahead according to schedule after fans were allowed back into the festival arena shortly after 1pm.

Explaining the reasons behind the evacuation, German police said the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which claimed the lives of 22 people, had prompted changes in planning for Rock am Ring, with the number of security officials increased substantially to 1,200.

Police in the nearby city of Koblenz revealed it was their decision to order a temporary halt to the festival as a precaution after receiving “a concrete warning that made it impossible to rule out a terror threat.”

Having ruled out any danger, organisers were able to resume the programme on Saturday, where a good natured crowd openly showed their defiance to terrorists with signs and placards that they had made overnight in their tents.

Thanking fans for their patience and understanding, a statement on the Rock am Ring at the conclusion of Sunday’s programme said, “We thank you for a truly unforgettable [Rock am Ring] 2017! You showed what it means to live the spirit of Rock’n’Roll! We bow to your enthusiasm, your defiance, your devotion, passion, and joy in life! Let us continue to celebrate what we love! See you next year, 1-3 June 2018!”

 


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MLK offers refunds for Rock am Ring 2016

Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) is to provide a partial refund to Rock am Ring ticketholders after severe storms forced the cancellation of the final day of the festival.

Over 70 people were struck by lightning as inclement weather battered the festival site in Mendig, Germany, in the first weekend in June. Law firm Dittmann & Hartmann, representing 21 festivalgoers, announced shortly after it was seeking “50 per cent of the ticket price” as a refund; promoter MLK has offered a slightly lower 40%.

Christian Gollner, legal secretary of consumer rights group Verbraucherzentrale Rheinland-Pfalz, says the offer seems a “fair price”. “We are pleased that the organiser has now reacted and has established a clear procedure for the refund,” comments Gollner. “We hope now that there will be no delays or disputes in the repayment.”

Rock am Ring attendees who still have their original tickets should visit the festival’s website, where they can apply for a refund to CTS Eventim customer service.

 


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