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Non-quarantining concertgoers fined in Covid-free Taiwan

Seven people who attended attended a stadium concert on new year’s eve instead of self-isolating have been fined by Taiwanese authorities for endangering public health.

The concertgoers – who had been ordered to observe ‘self-health management’ (ie self-isolate/quarantine) after coming into contact with someone infected with Covid-19 – went to see veteran Mandopop band Mayday perform at Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium near Taipei on 31 December.

Over 22,000 people attended the show, according to Taiwan News, part-way through which “news broke out that several individuals who were supposed to be following self-health management protocols were in the crowd”.

The seven were caught out by Taiwan’s mobile phone-based contact tracing system, dubbed “Skynet”

Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports that the potentially infected septet were caught out by the country’s mobile phone-based contact tracing system, dubbed “Skynet”, which clocked them just half an hour after they left their houses.

Three of the Mayday fans, who were supposed to be quarantining for another three days, were each fined NT$70,000 (US$2,460), while the other four, who each had one day to go, received fines of NT$30,000 (US$1,070).

Taiwan, which is home to nearly 24m people, on 22 December recorded its first domestic case of Covid-19 in over 250 days. The island country was the first to return to hosting full-capacity major events, with arena shows restarting in August.


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DEAG buys into LiveStyle German arm

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) is acquiring a majority 50.1% interest in I-Motion GmbH, the German division of electronic music behemoth LiveStyle.

The joint venture is the second DEAG announcement this month, following the company’s takeover of Stuttgart-based promoter C2 Concerts on 3 June.

DEAG alluded to in-the-works investments in its recent Q1 financial report. The executive board estimates that the additional sales potential from the LiveStyle deal will total €15 million annually.

I-Motion has organised electronic music events for over 25 years and sells 200,000 tickets annually. The promoter’s festivals include Mayday, Nature One and Ruhr in Love. Nature One took the best festival gong at the 2018 German Live Entertainment Awards (LEAs).

“Our German subsidiary always knows how to set new accents in the field of events and entertainment, and profits from our international network,” comments LiveStyle executive vice president and chief financial officer, Chuck Ciongoli.

“With DEAG, we now have a strong partner at our side who can look back on a wealth of experience in this market. We are convinced that both sides will benefit from our new relationship and are looking forward to a long-term partnership.”

“With DEAG, we now have a strong partner at our side who can look back on a wealth of experience in this market”

DEAG chief executive Peter Schwenkow expects that the partnership with I-Motion will stimulate growth for DEAG’s ticketing business via MyTicket, with growth opportunities including expanding Mayday in the UK and Switzerland.

“The key execs at I-Motion feel that DEAG is a great fit for them and I know it will be a great partner for LiveStyle in Germany,” says LiveStyle president and chief executive Randy Phillips.

LiveStyle, the US-based parent company of I-Motion, claims to be the world’s largest promoter of electronic music. The company formed following the collapse of Robert Sillerman’s SFX Entertainment in 2016.

The company promotes events across the Americas, Europe, Australia and Asia. Its North American business units include AMFAMFAMF, Made Event, React Presents, Disco Donnie Presents and Life In Color, as well as the brands Electric Zoo, Spring Awakening, the FriendShip, and All My Friends Music festival.

In Europe, LiveStyle operates through Monumental and Q-Dance in the Netherlands and ID&T in Belgium.


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Plans to extend Hong Kong anti-touting laws

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said her government will look at criminalising the touting of tickets for shows at publicly run venues, in response to controversy over high secondary market prices.

The resale of tickets for private venues above face value is already illegal under Hong Kong’s Places of Public Entertainment (POPE) ordinance, but Lam – who was appointed chief executive of the special administrative region (SAR) of China last year – says she wants to extend the ban to venues run by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).

The LCSD operates dozens of sports and entertainment venues on both Hong Kong Island and the New Territories, including the 40,000-capacity Hong Kong Stadium and 3,500-cap. Queen Elizabeth Stadium.

“The Leisure and Cultural Services Department will evaluate the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance to see if it can be expanded to cover the government premises, so as to make ticket scalping a criminal offence,” she said yesterday, according to the SCMP.

“Jail terms would definitely deter people”

She added the government “will also consider whether to raise the punishment” for violating the POPE regulations on ticket reselling, which is currently a maximum fine of HK$2,000 (US$255).

The intervention by Lam follows a public outcry after tickets for shows by comedian Dayo Wong Tze-wah and Taiwanese rock band Mayday appeared on Viagogo for an up to five-fold mark-up.

Ma Fung-kwok, a legislator for the pro-Beijing New Century Forum, said the territory should consider consider jail terms for touts, which would “definitely deter people, but of course that would also depend on how acceptable society finds that punishment.”

Ma also suggested event promoters could be forced to increase the minimum allocation of ticket inventory available for public sale, which is currently 20%.


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