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Metallica’s Covid insurance lawsuit rejected

California’s court of appeals has dismissed Metallica’s lawsuit demanding more than $3 million (€2.75m) in losses for concerts cancelled due to the pandemic.

The band sued Lloyd’s of London over six axed South American dates in 2020, saying they had acquired a standard cancellation, abandonment and non-appearance insurance policy to cover their losses if any of the tour was postponed or cancelled.

But Justice Maria Stratton ruled the shows were not covered by Metallica’s insurance policy because of an exclusion in the contract for any losses stemming from “communicable diseases”, reports Billboard.

The group had argued the case should have gone to trial, as a jury could have decided the gigs were cancelled for non-Covid reasons. But Stratton, who bizarrely quoted Taylor Swift in her ruling, said it was “absurd to think that government closures were not the result of Covid-19″.

“To paraphrase Taylor Swift, ‘We were there. We remember it all too well’”

“To paraphrase Taylor Swift, ‘We were there. We remember it all too well,’” she wrote. “There was no vaccine against Covid-19 in March 2020 and no drugs to treat it. Ventilators were in short supply. N-95 masks were all but non-existent. Patients were being treated in tents in hospital parking lots.

“The mortality rate of Covid-19 was unknown, but to give just one example of the potential fatality rate, by late March, 2020, New York City was using refrigerated trucks as temporary morgues. People were terrified.”

Lloyd’s has not commented on the lawsuit, except to point out that it is not an insurance company, but rather oversees and regulates a market of independent insurers.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by Live Nation in 2021 against insurer Factory Mutual for failing to cover its “unprecedented” losses as a result of the concert business shutdown, is still pending.

 


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2024’s blockbuster concert tours: Part II

Last week, IQ looked at ten blockbuster concert tours planned for the next 12 months, including outings by Taylor Swift, Coldplay, P!nk and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Here, in the second and final part of our 2024 preview, we run through another ten of the biggest treks in what promises to be another huge year for the international live music business…

 


METALLICA
Fresh from headlining Saudi Arabia first major heavy metal concert at Riyadh’s Soundstorm festival last month, Metallica’s M72 World Tour will see the band playing two nights in every city it visits. Each No Repeat Weekend features two completely different setlists and support lineups. It will also include a new in-the-round stage design that relocates the Metallica Snake Pit to centre stage, as well as the I Disappear full-tour pass and the debut of discounted tickets for fans under 16.

Territories: Europe, North America

Dates: April-September

 


OLIVIA RODRIGO
Following her 2022 debut jaunt The SOUR Tour, the GUTS World Tour will be the 20-year-old Californian’s first arena tour. It kicks off on 23 February at Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA, with stops across North America and Europe before wrapping up with four  shows at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum in August. The 75-date tour will visit iconic venues including New York’s Madison Square Garden, Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium, and The O2 in London, as well as Manchester’s new Co-op Live.

Territories: United States, Europe

Dates: February-August

 


NOAH KAHAN
The American singer-songwriter follows up his sold-out 2022 and 2023 Stick Season Tour runs by returning to Australia to launch his We’ll All Be Here Forever Tour this week. Produced by Live Nation, the Australia leg kicks off on Wednesday (17 January 17) at Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl, followed by shows at Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane, Hordern Pavilion, Sydney and Red Hill, Perth. The 27-year-old then embarks on sellout arena runs on both sides of the Atlantic, before returning to Europe in August.

Territories: Australia, Europe, North America

Dates: January-September

 


DOJA CAT
Doja Cat’s first-ever VR concert was announced earlier this month, but the US rapper will appear in-person for her debut European headline tour this summer. Having performed her inaugural arena headline tour in the US and Canada from October-December 2023, she comes to Glasgow’s OVO Hydro on 11 June 2024, kicking off a European arena jaunt which also includes dates at festivals such as Rock in Rio Lisboa in Portugal, I-Days Festival in Italy, Poland’s Open’er, STHLM Fields in Sweden, Slottsfjell in Norway and Les Ardentes in Belgium.

Territories: Europe

Dates: June-July

 


BLINK-182

Reunited for the first time in a decade, Blink-182’s biggest-ever tour resumes Down Under next month at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia on 8 February. The ANZ leg is followed by a Latin American stint in March, with dates in Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, ahead of a US and Canada arena run over the summer months. The band will then land in the UK for a mix of arena, outdoor and festival slots, including headlining Reading & Leeds.

Territories: Australia/New Zealand, Latin America, North America, Europe

Dates: February-August

 


IRON MAIDEN
The enduring metal legends are still breaking records – selling out all 42,000 tickets for their first concert in Bogota, Colombia since 2011 this November in just 21 minutes. Maiden played to more than 750,000 fans across Europe and North America last summer and will hit the road again in Australia and New Zealand in September. The Future Past Tour will then move on to Japan for shows in Aichi, Osaka, Tokyo and Kanagawa, prior to a slew of North American gigs. It will conclude in South America in December, with two nights each at Chile’s National Stadium in Santiago and Allianz Parque in São Paulo, Brazil.

Territories: Australia/New Zealand, Asia, North America, Latin America

Dates: September-December

 


THE 1975
The British group’s 2023 was shrouded in controversy as a result of their infamous headline set that led to the cancellation of Malaysia’s Good Vibes Festival. But their touring business continues on the up and up, with a slate of European arena shows booked for Q1 2024, including three nights at The O2 in London.

Territories: Europe

Dates: February-March

 


NICKI MINAJ
Nicki Minaj Presents: Pink Friday 2 World, the Trinidadian rapper’s biggest tour to date, launches in Oakland, California, on 1 March. The North American leg runs until 12 May, visiting venues including Madison Square Garden in New York, Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The European stint will commence on 23 May at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, also visiting Manchester, Birmingham, London, Paris, Cologne and Berlin.

Territories: North America, Europe

Dates: March-June

 


MADONNA
The rearranged North American stretch of Madonna’s Celebration Tour continues over the next three months. The Queen of Pop began the anniversary tour in London last October, having been forced to postpone the 40-plus date run in the US, Canada and Mexico after being hospitalised last year. The outing will climax in the spring with five shows at Palacio De Los Deportes, Mexico City from 20-26 April.

Territories: North America

Dates: January-April

 


JONAS BROTHERS
On the heels of touring their native North America in 2023, Jonas Brothers are taking Five Albums. One Night. The World Tour around the world in 2024. The show, which sees the group perform their five studio albums every night, picks back up in the Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on 22 February, followed two days later by a gig in Tangerang, Indonesia. The trio then move on to arenas in New Zealand and Australia, with their first Latin America concerts in 10 years – comprising nights in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Argentina – scheduled for April, along with three shows in Mexico. The trek will then hit European arenas from May-June.

Territories: Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Latin America, Europe

Dates: February-June

 


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Metallica fuel Saudi Arabia’s concert charge

Metallica are set to perform the first major heavy metal concert in Saudi Arabia in the latest evolution of the country’s burgeoning live entertainment scene.

The American band, who debuted in the Middle East at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Park in 2011, will headline the opening night of MDLBeast’s Soundstorm festival in Riyadh on 14 December.

“An amazing opportunity has just come our way to perform at a major festival that we have never played in a part of the world we rarely get to visit,” Metallica wrote on their social media channels.

The group are currently in the midst of their M72 World Tour and will join a short list of guitar-oriented acts including Imagine Dragons and OneRepublic in playing Saudi Arabia.

“When we started playing, there were so many parts of the world where the type of music that we were doing was not really accepted,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich previously told The National. “There were a lot of places where people didn’t know what we were doing or didn’t have enough infrastructure to support a band like us. But it’s opening up. It’s changing and the world is shrinking. It’s great to be in the front lines.”

Soundstorm 2023, which runs from 14-16 December, will also welcome acts such as Black Eyed Peas, Calvin Harris, Chris Brown, Anne-Marie, David Guetta, H.E.R., Wizkid, Swedish House Mafia, J Balvin, Swedish House Mafia and Martin Garrix. General admission day tickets start at SAR169 (€41), with three-day passes available from SAR379 (€92).

“The desire for people to go and see live events in Saudi Arabia is stronger than anything I’ve seen in 35 years in the industry”

“The desire for people to go and see live events in Saudi Arabia is stronger than anything I’ve seen in 35 years in the industry,” Iain Campbell, ASM Global EVP of the MENA region told IQ‘s Global Arena Guide earlier this year. “With all the venues planned for Saudi Arabia, and potentially three in Riyadh alone, there could be a tour circuit of this country alone.”

The country’s ongoing efforts to attract and host A-list live entertainment is documented in IQ‘s recently published Global Promoters Report 2023. There is great interest in the opening up of the once-closed country, despite the kingdom’s record of human rights abuses.

A huge number of new venues is being built by the state, including the 20,000-seat Jeddah Arena, which is due for completion in December 2025, while the 25,000-cap Al-Awwal Park was renamed Mrsool Park in 2020. Other big name acts to have performed in the kingdom include Post Malone, Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars.

Veteran promoter Thomas Ovesen joined Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) in 2019 before launching his own company TOP Entertainment. He was hired to head up European live entertainment group All Things Live’s fledgling UAE-based Middle East operation earlier this year, and sees the emergence of the Saudi scene as an international touring destination as a huge positive.

“The Saudi market is an incredible story of how the country has gone from having no entertainment at all to now featuring live entertainment and music events for almost any type of activity,” says Ovesen. “The exciting part of this development is that it is still in motion, so we are only still getting to terms with how we service, collaborate, and benefit from this new market.

“As most of the Saudi show programming and bookings are done by or for government stakeholders, it’s yet to be seen how we will eventually be able to do business there and take risks on our own events based on a conventional market scenario.”

“Of course, there are challenges, including that some artists are still hesitant to play this market”

He continues: “Of course, there are challenges, including that some artists are still hesitant to play this market; very short timelines on many entertainment projects and bookings; and the perception – sometimes with reason – of unlimited budgets driving fee expectations up on the artist side. But on balance, the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East live events and entertainment market is a great opportunity for our business.”

Ovesen says the Saudi market is “young, affluent, and very engaged, so pretty much anything will perform well right now”, adding that contemporary music, K-pop, and EDM are especially popular. And while the population is young, there’s also good business for mature audience offerings in smaller capacity venues and premium priced tickets.

Abu Dhabi-headquartered Ethara, which was formed earlier this year with the merger of UAE state-owned promoter Flash Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, is also active in the country.

“We are anticipating further interest and arrival to the region for major live events, shows, and performances following the recent successes in the UAE and Saudi,” says Ethara chief venues officer, Brint Jackson. “With this, it is important that we continue to strengthen the region’s infrastructure and capabilities to host international events, thus leading to further interest from international brands to enter the space.

“The coming years will be focused on expansion and growth, but we need to keep versatility firmly in mind with this to allow for new opportunities as well.”

 


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Metallica to relaunch Foro Sol after renovation

Mexico’s Foro Sol is to be closed for renovation for the majority of 2024 before reopening with a concert by Metallica.

The 65,000-cap Mexico City venue, which opened in 1993, has hosted two nights each by Muse, Blackpink, Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd and Arctic Monkeys, three nights by Depeche Mode and four dates with Taylor Swift in 2023 alone.

Other acts to have performed at the site this year including Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rauw Alejandro, Imagine Dragons, Motley Crue & Def Leppard, and Peso Pluma.

After staging two Paul McCartney shows this week, it will see out the year by welcoming Junior H on 23 November, Siddharta on 9 December and RBD on 30 November, 1-3 & 16-17 December, prior to two shows by Twice from 2-3 February. Foro Sol will then be shut until the autumn while the revamp is completed.

Metallica will relaunch Foro Sol by bringing their M72 World Tour to the venue on 20 & 22 September 2024

As a result, Informador reports the annual Vive Latino festival is relocating its next edition to the 110,000-cap Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez motor racing track.

Metallica will relaunch Foro Sol by bringing their M72 World Tour to the venue on 20 & 22 September next year, when they will play completely different setlists on each night. Support will come from Greta Van Fleet and Mammoth WVH on night one, and Five Finger Death Punch and Ice Nine Kills on night two.

Located in the Iztacalco area of the Mexican capital, the venue has previously staged concerts by the likes of Madonna, Justin Bieber, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Britney Spears, David Bowie, U2, Shakira and Robbie Williams, as well as the World is a Vampire Festival.

In 2022, Coldplay became the first international group to play four sold-out concerts at the venue, while Daddy Yankee became the first act to headline five consecutive nights – attracting 322,028 attendees overall.

 


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Metallica benefit concert raises $3m for charity

Metallica’s latest ‘Helping Hands’ benefit concert and auction has raised US$3 million for charity.

The show, which was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California, on 16 December.

Metallica were joined onstage by St. Vincent, Greta Van Fleet and leaders from six non-profit organisations.

All proceeds from the gig went to Metallica’s charity All Within My Hands, which “is dedicated to creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services”.

“The funds raised from the ‘Helping Hands Concert & Auction’ will have a lasting impact on All Within My Hands’ ability to grow our Metallica Scholars initiative, combat hunger, and aid in response to natural disasters,” says Peter Delgrosso, executive director at All Within My Hands.

“The Los Angeles event was the largest fundraiser in our history, and we profoundly appreciate the generosity of everyone involved. We could not have achieved these results otherwise.”

“The Los Angeles event was the largest fundraiser in our history”

As part of the ‘Helping Hands Concert & Auction’, All Within My Hands provided grants to organisations including Baby2Baby, First Star, Feeding America, World Central Kitchen, mikeroweWorks Foundation and The Skatepark Project.

The first donations generated from Metallica’s 2021 tribute album ‘The Metallica Blacklist’ have also been made, bringing in more than $1m.

All profits from the covers record are being divided equally between All Within My Hands and charities chosen by the contributing artists, including Happy Hippie Foundation (Miley Cyrus), RAINN (Phoebe Bridgers), Dhamma Mahavana (Weezer) and Outlaw State Of Kind (Chris Stapleton).

All Within My Hands was launched in 2017 by the members of Metallica and the band’s management team.

Metallica are due to release their 11th studio album ’72 Seasons’ on April 14. They’ll return to the UK in June to play two unique headline sets at Download Festival 2023 alongside Bring Me The Horizon and Slipknot.

 


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Metallica unveil ‘No Repeat Weekend’ world tour

Metallica has announced a 46-date world tour, which will see them play two dates in every city they visit but with a new setlist and different support acts on each of the nights.

The M27 outing comprises 23 ‘No Repeat Weekends’ in Europe, North America and South America between April 2023 and September 2024. Venues on the tour are yet to be announced.

The tour, produced by Live Nation and presented by Liquid Death and Blackened American Whiskey, will premiere a new in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed Metallica Snake Pit to centre stage.

Support acts joining the jaunt include Architects, Mammoth WVH, Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills, Pantera, Volbeat and Greta Van Fleet.

Fans will have the option of purchasing a single-day ticket, a two-day ticket or an ‘I Disappear’ full-tour pass. For the first time, discounted tickets will be available for fans under 16 years of age.

A portion of proceeds from every ticket sold will go to the band’s All Within My Hands foundation, which is dedicated to “creating sustainable communities by supporting workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services”.

News of the tour comes shortly after Metallica announced they would play two unique sets on the Thursday and Saturday nights of the UK’s Download festival.

The American rock band, which is represented by K2 Agency founder John Jackson, says they haven’t played the same set twice in almost 20 years.

See the full list of dates for Metallica’s M27 world tour below.

 


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Download 2023 fastest selling in event’s history

The 20th-anniversary edition of Download festival has become the fastest-selling in the event’s history.

Britain’s biggest heavy metal festival will return to Donington Park in Leicestershire between 8–11 June next year, running over four days for the first time ever.

Early bird tickets and ‘RIP packages’ for the Live Nation-promoted event have sold out, with a limited amount of RIP tickets on sale next week.

More than 60 acts have been confirmed for the 2023 instalment, including headliners Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot and Metallica, with the latter playing two unique sets on the Thursday and Saturday nights.

More than 60 acts have been confirmed for the 2023 instalment, including Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot and Metallica

Architects, Evanescence, Disturbed, Placebo, Parkway Drive and Ghost are also billed to perform at the event.

Other confirmed acts include As December Falls, Asking Alexandria, Aviva, Bambie Thug, Beauty School Dropout, Behemoth, Blackgold, Blind Channel, Bloodywood, Brutus, Crashface, Crawlers, Dead Sara, Elvana, Enola Gay, Fever 333, Fixation, Graphic Nature, GWAR, Hawxx, Ingested, I Prevail, Jazmin Bean.

Also on the 2023 lineup is Kid Bookie, Kid Kapichi, Lake Malice, Lorna Shore, Mod Sun, Monuments, Motionless In White, Municipal Waste, nothing, nowhere., Nova Twins, Polaris, Pupil Slicer, Seether, Set It Off, SiM, Simple Plan, Soen, Soul Glo, Stand Atlantic, Stray From The Path, Taylor Acorn, The Blackout, The Distillers, The Meffs, Terror, Three Days Grace, Touche Amore, VV, Witch Fever.

 


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Download Festival details 20th anniversary edition

Details of the 20th-anniversary edition of Download, Britain’s biggest heavy metal festival, have been revealed.

Next year’s event will once again take place at Donington Park in Leciestershire and, for the first time ever, will run for four days, from 8–11 June 2023.

More than 60 acts have been confirmed for the 2023 instalment, including headliners Bring Me The Horizon, Slipknot and Metallica, with the latter playing two unique sets on the Thursday and Saturday nights.

In a statement, Metallica said: “We are next-level honoured to once again come back and partake in the Download shenanigans on the hallowed grounds of Castle Donington, which has an unparalleled place in rock history.”

“We are next-level honoured to once again come back and partake in the Download shenanigans”

The band added the two sets would be completely different with no songs repeated.

Architects, Evanescence, Disturbed, Placebo, Parkway Drive and Ghost are also billed to perform at the Live Nation-promoted event.

Other confirmed acts include As December Falls, Asking Alexandria, Aviva, Bambie Thug, Beauty School Dropout, Behemoth, Blackgold, Blind Channel, Bloodywood, Brutus, Crashface, Crawlers, Dead Sara, Elvana, Enola Gay, Fever 333, Fixation, Graphic Nature, GWAR, Hawxx, Ingested, I Prevail, Jazmin Bean.

Also on the 2023 lineup is Kid Bookie, Kid Kapichi, Lake Malice, Lorna Shore, Mod Sun, Monuments, Motionless In White, Municipal Waste, nothing, nowhere., Nova Twins, Polaris, Pupil Slicer, Seether, Set It Off, SiM, Simple Plan, Soen, Soul Glo, Stand Atlantic, Stray From The Path, Taylor Acorn, The Blackout, The Distillers, The Meffs, Terror, Three Days Grace, Touche Amore, VV, Witch Fever.

 


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Maluma breaks WiZink’s attendance record

Colombian singer Maluma last night (5 April) broke the attendance record for Madrid’s WiZink Center, with an audience of 17,412.

The Latin superstar, who is undertaking his Papi Juancho Europe Tour 2022, opted for a 360º format which meant the venue’s maximum capacity of 17,453 could be used.

The record was previously held by American heavy metal legends Metallica, who also used the 360º format and drew 17,267 fans to their 2018 concert.

The record was previously held by American heavy metal legends Metallica, who also used the 360º format and drew 17,267 fans

The WiZink Center says it deployed its maximum organisational capacity, including 704 workers, to make the Maluma concert possible.

This included 226 technical professionals, lighting, sound, assemblers, loading and unloading operators, 252 people in the security device, health services, fire prevention technicians, ushers and access controllers; and another 172 in restaurant services, bars, and kitchens; in addition to another 54 professionals in other different tasks.

 


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Bands recruit sniffer dogs to detect Covid on tour

Artists such as Metallica, Tool and the Black Keys have recruited sniffer dogs to detect Covid backstage on their tours.

Overseen by Ohio-based Bio-Detection K9, whose president Jerry Johnson worked with dog teams in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s, the canines were used for late 2021 US shows by Eric Church and Metallica.

The dogs are taught to sit down if they detect the virus on people’s hands and feet.

“If you understand the instincts of a dog’s behaviour, it makes a lot of sense,” Johnson tells Rolling Stone. “Dogs sniff each other to see if that other dog has a virus. We’re training them to look for something they’d be interested in anyway.”

“So far, knock on wood, the dogs have been knocking it out of the park”

The dogs are being utilised for upcoming dates by Church, Tool and Ashley McBryde, among others.

“So far, knock on wood, the dogs have been knocking it out of the park,” adds John Peets of management company Q Prime. “We haven’t had a dog miss anybody.”

Loudwire notes that noted that the Covid-sniffing dogs have been utilised to examine smaller groups of people, rather than entire audiences.

Research carried out in the UK last year, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), showed that people who are infected with  coronavirus have a distinct odour that can be detected by trained dogs with a high degree of accuracy.

Part-funded by the UK’s Department of Health & Social Care, the study used over 3,500 odour samples donated by the public and NHS staff, and indicated that a Covid-19 infection has a distinct smell, which specially trained dogs can rapidly, non-invasively detect with up to 94.3% sensitivity and up to 92% specificity.

“The advantage of using this method is being able to detect Covid-19 with incredible speed and good accuracy among large groups of people, even in asymptomatic cases,” said Professor James Logan, head of the department of disease control at LSHTM.

 


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