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LN Middle East launches sustainable touring scheme

Live Nation Middle East and Emirates Nature-WWF have launched a new initiative to enhance the sustainability of concert tours.

Based on Live Nation’s Green Touring Programme, the scheme will look at all aspects of event production, including flights, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, merchandise and venue operations to develop guidance and best practices.

The scheme will kick-off with Maroon 5’s show at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on 6 May. Once the baseline data is collected from the study, a science-based guideline will be created to inform upcoming concerts and influence sustainable touring practices moving forward.

“Climate change is at the centre of the industry’s narrative and host cities must be ready”

“We are very excited to be launching a first of its kind project locally which will help transform the live entertainment industry for the betterment of people and planet,” says Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, director general, Emirates Nature. “With the UAE being the host for the forthcoming COP 28, Emirates Nature-WWF will aim to create a standard for wider market transformation of the event industry, encouraging the adoption of more sustainable measures.

“This initiative aims to create a path to enable market transformation of the live entertainment sector and beyond, and this is a significant partnership on the journey to delivering sustainable live events in the future.

“Climate change is at the centre of the industry’s narrative and host cities must be ready. A new era of sustainability is rising. Consumers around the world are increasingly determined to be more environmentally conscious and are using their power and voice through the products they buy and the events they attend.”

A key element of the program will be providing concert-goers with more sustainable options while attending shows.

“This is an exciting opportunity to put sustainable live entertainment centre stage ahead of COP28, furthering the environmental work we are doing in the region and across the globe,” says Patricia Yagüe, head of sustainability for EMEA Live Nation. “We are excited to partner with our global team to bring the Green Nation touring programme to our region, which is focused on measuring and reducing emissions through a science-based approach and investing in scalable, sustainable solutions.”

In line with the UAE’s target to reduce carbon footprint by 23% by 2030, the collaboration between Live Nation
Middle East and Emirates Nature-WWF will focus on the next 18 months in the lead up to COP28.

“This initiative will give us the data we need in order to provide artists and fans with more sustainable options for touring going forwards”

“This initiative will give us the data we need in order to provide artists and fans with more sustainable options for touring going forwards and will build on the global commitments Live Nation has made,” Live Nation Middle East president James Craven.

“We are very excited to be making this announcement with Emirates Nature-WWF and couldn’t be happier that Maroon 5 will be the first show in our study. With concerns around climate change never more at the forefront of our minds, it is crucial that we all look at where we can make impact.”

 


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Maroon 5 to embark on maiden tour of Middle East

Maroon 5 have announced their first ever Middle East tour, with three Live Nation-promoted dates confirmed for the region this spring.

The Grammy Award-winning band will perform at The Pyramids in Cairo, Egypt on 3 May before visiting the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE three days later. The run will then wrap up at Ganei Yehoshua Park, Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv, Israel on 9 May.

“We are thrilled to organise the first regional tour for an iconic band like Maroon 5 and finally get back to full capacity live shows,” says James Craven, president, Live Nation Middle East. “Maroon 5 will also be the first major international band to perform at the new Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.”

“This landmark event marks the dawn of a new era”

Guy Beser, CEO of Live Nation Israel, says: “This marks a powerful, shared moment across the region and is of great significance to both the Middle East and Live Nation. This landmark event marks the dawn of a new era, and will ensure an easier process for bringing bands, global artists and festivals to the region.”

Zaed Maqbool, VP – touring & talent, Live Nation Middle East/South Asia, adds: “Having a routed run means bands are able to play for even more fans, rather than playing one-offs that take them out of the market for years. This is a great step to see for the industry, and more regional runs are being planned as we speak.”

Maroon 5 previously became the first major US group to play Canada in 18 months when they played the Budweiser Stage in Toronto last September.

 


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Live Nation set to get Canada ‘back on touring map’

Canada is welcoming US artists to perform on the country’s stages for the first time in 18 months.

Vaccinated Americans and permanent residents are now able to cross the Canadian border for the first time since closing on 18 March 2020.

“This step opens possibilities to get Canada back on the touring map for sure. Some artists already have shows planned with more conversations picking up,” says Arthur Fogel, chairman of global touring for Live Nation.

Live Nation Canada’s first concert with major US acts will be on 2 September with Maroon 5 and Blackbear at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto. This will make the artists the first major US acts to play in the country since reopening.

This week, Live Nation Canada announced plans to require all artists and fans to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test to attend shows at the company’s stable of owned and operated Canadian venues.

The mandate is set to come into effect from no later than 4 October at Live Nation Canada’s outdoor venues and festivals, including Budweiser Stage (Toronto), History (Toronto), The Danforth Music Hall (Toronto), Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver), Midway (Edmonton), and The Velvet Underground (Toronto).

“Some artists already have shows planned [in Canada] with more conversations picking up”

The live entertainment behemoth is also sharing best practices for artists to request these policies at third-party venues where Live Nation promotes shows but does not control protocols.

“Live Nation and the live music industry are about uniting people, and vaccines are one of the greatest tools for making sure that everyone can continue to enjoy live music together,” said Wayne Zronik, president business operations, Live Nation Canada.

“We’re confident this is the right move for everyone coming out to shows, including artists, fans, crew, and our staff.”

Live Nation has announced similar entry requirements for markets including the UK and the US. IQ also understands that the promoter will take a market-by-market approach based on local governments’ requirements –many of which already utilise Covid-status certification for entrance to public spaces.

 


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Dubai “go-to” tour destination with arena success

Dubai’s 17,000-capacity Coca-Cola Arena, which opened its doors three months ago, has already hosted shows by Maroon 5, Westlife, the 1975 and Alicia Keys, playing a key role in placing the United Arab Emirates on the international touring map.

The multipurpose arena was born as part of a collaboration between Dubai-based developer Meraas and AEG’s Asian/ Australasian venues arm, AEG Ogden.

The largest venue of its kind in the region, Meraas and AEG Ogden hope the arena will become the premier destination in the Middle East’s burgeoning live events scene.

The arena is fully enclosed and climate controlled, transforming Dubai from a “winter-only” touring destination into a year-round option for promoters. Floor space measuring 3,870 square metres and a variety of seating and stage configurations allow for a range of event types.

“Dubai is already a major entertainment hub for the entire region and the opening of Coca-Cola Arena has helped to further establish the city as the go-to destination for acts visiting the Middle East as part of global tour schedules,” comments AEG Ogden’s chief executive of Coca-Cola Arena, Guy Ngata.

“Dubai is already a major entertainment hub for the entire region and the opening of Coca-Cola Arena has helped to further establish the city as the go-to destination for acts visiting the Middle East”

“Meraas has shown a great vision to expand Dubai’s live entertainment offering and in doing so has an asset that will become one of the world’s great live venues.

“Together with Coca-Cola and all of our partners and stakeholders, there is a real passion in establishing the venue as the perfect fit for international touring artists, productions, sporting activity and shows of all genres,” adds Ngata.

Coca-Cola announced a ten-year naming-rights agreement with AEG Ogden in April, in what the soft drinks giant deemed a “milestone deal”. The arena also counts Indian ticketing platform BookMyShow among its partners, signifying the first global arena deal for the company.

“Despite only being open for a few months, Coca-Cola Arena is already firmly established as one of the city’s biggest attractions,” continues Ngata. “We look forward to hosting even more great live acts and events as we develop and expand the events industry in the UAE to even greater levels of success.”

Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena opened on 6 June, with a performance by Canadian comedian Russell Peters, before Maroon 5 made the arena’s musical debut on 14 June. A list of upcoming events can be found here.

 


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Bandsintown launches Instagram tool

Popular concert discovery service Bandsintown has launched a new Instagram tool which will allow artists to promote concerts and sell tickets directly through the photo-sharing app.

The new Events Landing page will allow Bandsintown’s some 450,000 registered artists to promote themselves via the Instagram Stories function, therefore converting “links into ticket sales”. By swiping up on an artist’s story, fans will be able to access tickets, pre-sales and further information about events. The new integration will also allow artists to monitor their social media analytics – things like clicks, conversations and RSVPs – via the Bandsintown Manager platform.

Converting “links into ticket sales”

Using social media to promote events and sell tickets is becoming increasingly popular. In 2016, Live Nation began selling tickets through Snapchat and in the same year, Instagram debuted their Events channel, providing users with tailored suggestions of videos and pictures from concerts. In May this year, Instagram teamed up with Eventbrite to streamline ticket-buying with the creation of the ‘get tickets’ button for business profiles.

More information on how the new integration works can be found on the Bandsintown artist website.

 


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