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Trump Resort sued by US concert promoter

A US promoter is suing Trump International Beach Resort in Miami over claims it reneged on a deal to host a rock & roll festival.

4U Promotions (4UP) planned to hold the Decades of Rock & Roll Cruise Reunion at the Sunny Isles Beach resort from 6-10 October this year.

According to a lawsuit filed in an Ohio court, 4UP sales and marketing director Penny Greene began working with Trump Resort sales director Maria Daniel Espina back in February to reserve the rooms and performance space required for the event, and reached an agreement the following month.

“In reliance on the agreed upon terms… Ms Greene continued to market the event, and ceased any further efforts to find hotel performance space apart from the space agreed to by the Trump Resort,” notes the filing.

It adds that on 31 March, Espina notified Greene she would prepare and send the agreement “within the next few days”. However, the parties did not communicate between 19 April and 25 July, at which point Greene notified Espina the document had still not arrived.

However, Espina replied that she thought Greene “had found another venue”, and said the resort would not be honouring the booking.

“4UP has considerable damages due to the breach by the Trump Resort”

As a result, 4UP, which formed in 2006 and has promoted multi-day music events since 2011, is now suing Trump Resort’s operating company 18001 Holdings for fraud and breach of contract, among other allegations.

“Neither 4UP nor Ms Greene had ever suggested to either the Trump Resort or Ms Espina that 4UP had found another venue for the event,” says the filing.

The promoter claims the venue made the assertion it would host the event “knowing it was false” or with “utter disregard and recklessness for the truth” that “one may infer that the representation was knowingly false”.

“4UP began advertising and taking deposits for the rooms at the Trump Resort as consideration of the contract,” it notes, adding it has suffered “considerable damages due to the breach”.

According to the Decades of Rock & Roll website, the reunion will now take place at the Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa in Florida from 6-10 October, with tickets priced from $229 (€223). 4UP had been unable to stage its annual cruises in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19.

Trump Resort is yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit.

 


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Rolling Loud heading to Thailand in 2023

Rolling Loud, the world’s biggest hip-hop festival franchise, will plant its flag in Thailand next year.

The expansion was announced via Rolling Loud’s Twitter account on Tuesday (26 July), with a caption reading: “Rolling Loud Thailand. See you 2023”. Details on the festival’s lineup, location, dates and tickets are yet to be announced.

The festival’s foray into Thailand will mark its first official event in Asia after a failed attempt at venturing into Hong Kong in 2019. The Hong Kong edition was scheduled to take place in October 2019 but was cancelled due to the city’s ongoing riots and protests at the time.

Rolling Loud Hong Kong would have been headlined by Migos and Wiz Khalifa with additional performances from the likes of Playboi Carti, Smokepurpp, Ski Mask The Slump God and more.

The festival’s foray into Thailand will mark its first official event in Asia

Founded in 2015, Rolling Loud has previously expanded from its flagship Miami festival to launch in cities including Los Angeles, New York and Sydney.

Earlier this month, Rolling Loud made its European debut in Portugal. Headlined by J Cole, A$AP Rocky and Future, the Live Nation-backed event was held on Praia Da Rocha Beach, Portimão, in the Algarve. The Portuguese spin-off was originally set for the summer of 2020 before being called off due to the pandemic.

In addition, Rolling Loud is expanding to Canada for the first time with headliners Dave, Future and Wizkid at Ontario Place, Toronto from 9-11 September. Its New York edition, meanwhile, is lined up for Queens Citi Field from 23–25 September, headed by Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Future.

Alongside its sister events, the brand also joined forces with the Netherlands’ Woo Hah! hip-hop festival to launch Woo Hah! x Rolling Loud at Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek. Held from 1–3 July, acts included J Cole, Future, Dave and Roddy Ricch.

 


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Ticketing firm Dice rolls into Miami

Ticketing and event discovery platform Dice has officially launched in Miami as it continues its expansion in major cities across the US.

Coinciding with the launch, the company has announced an exclusive ticketing deal with renowned Miami venue Club Space.

The 2,000-cap nightclub will utilise Dice’s mobile platform for upcoming shows by acts such as Wade, Pawsa, Loco Dice, Green Velvet, Bonobo and Hocus Pocus.

“Miami’s wonderfully diverse music scene, from Latin to House, has always been on our mind as we bring our connected event discovery and ticketing experience to more fans across the US,” says Dice president Russ Tannen. “Our launch partners at Club Space have cultivated an institution in the Miami scene for over two decades that is now globally recognised as one of the world’s best clubs.”

“Their platform offers phenomenal technology and programming in line with our vision of the future”

Dice’s mobile technology includes features such as upfront pricing with the intention of bringing fairness to fans attending live events, while its Waiting List is designed protects fans from the excesses of the resale market. Concert-goers can also utilise the platform’s ‘Discovery’ tool, which enables fans to connect with one another and find live shows directly through the app.

“I am delighted to be partnering with Dice,” adds Club Space co-owner Coloma Kaboomsky. “They are a safe and fun way for the members of our community to get tickets to our events. Their platform offers phenomenal technology and programming in line with our vision of the future and for the present what is most important, 24/7 customer service.”

Launching in the United States in 2019, Dice also operates in key markets including New York and Los Angeles, with Dice founder Phil Hutcheon revealing to IQ that the US was now its biggest market.

The company, which raised up to US$122 million in Series C funding last autumn, which it said would enable it to expand into every market, recently grew its operations across Europe, landing in Germany after previous successful launches in the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

 


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World’s first Bitcoin music festival announced

Deadmau5 and Logic are slated to headline the ‘world’s first Bitcoin festival’ in Miami, Florida, this coming weekend.

Sound Money Fest will close out the Bitcoin 2022 conference, which is expected to draw 40,000 attendees to the Miami Beach Convention Center between 6–9 April.

CL, Steve Aoki, Killer Mike & Big Boi, and San Holo are also slated to perform at the event, which will feature one indoor stage and one outdoors, in the surrounding Pride Park.

All artists on the lineup are paid partially or fully in Bitcoin, according to the organisers, BTC Media.

All artists on the lineup are paid partially or fully in Bitcoin, according to the organisers

Last year, OneRepublic became the first major-label US act to accept the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as full payment for a concert.

“Bitcoin is part of every industry,” says Kim Taylor, director of Sound Money Fest and global events specialist for BTC Media.

“The music industry doesn’t support its artists the way it should and Bitcoin is the way we can fix that. Not to mention, Bitcoiners, we all like music, we’re all over the world and have different tastes. What better way to bring people together than with a big party?”

BTC Media has enlisted US-based full-service entertainment firm Coalition Entertainment to handle talent buying and production for Sound Money Fest.

Entry to the festival comes with conference registration but fans interested in attending just the festival can buy tickets separately with regular US dollars or Bitcoin.

 


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United at Home: How David Guetta live streams raised millions

United at Home, David Guetta’s free-to-access lockdown livestream series, has raised more than US$2 million for charity to date – over half a million dollars per show – and is just getting started, according to co-organiser Michael Wiesenfeld.

Wiesenfeld, a French-born, Miami-based estate agent and friend of Guetta, was instrumental in setting up the first United at Home event in April 2020, which saw the DJ play a 100-minute set on the roof of an apartment block in Miami in aid of the World Health Organization (WHO), Feeding South Florida, Feeding America and France’s Fondation des Hôpitaux.

The show was seen by more than 12 million people – many of which also joined in on a Zoom link, while 7,000 residents of neighbouring blocks in the Icon Brickell complex watched from their balconies – and raised $700,000, with donations matched by Guetta himself, Wiesenfeld explains.

“For that first show, David paid for 100% of the production, as well as matching people’s donations, so 100% of that money went directly to charity,” he recalls.

Thinking back to the genesis of the show, Wiesenfeld tells IQ: “David wanted to do something to give back, but he didn’t really know what. I was the same – it was such a stressful time, and I couldn’t sleep thinking of all these people who were worse off than me. We could see people were struggling. There was no help at the time, as this was before any stimulus package.

“I used to live in the apartment block where we did the first show and I realised it would be perfect. I was looking for something that would be visually very nice [to watch from home] and also offer the possibility for David to interact with a live crowd. A friend and client of mine in the real-estate business, Jean-Charles Carre, is part of David’s management team, so I called them up and said, ‘Why don’t we do it here?’”

The United at Home team, which also included Jérémy Zeitoun, Guetta’s head of social media and digital marketing, and Pierre-Georges Kieffer from Warner Music France, pulled the Miami show together in under a week, working “18 hours a day for five days” to make it happen, Wiesenfeld continues.

In addition to providing some much-needed entertainment, the funds raised by United at Home Miami and follow-up event United at Home New York, on 30 May, enabled Feeding America to distribute over four million meals to people in need.

“We thought about selling tickets to raise more money, but it would limit the number of people who can see it”

“Everybody has same story about it giving a bit of happiness at time of such darkness,” Wiesenfeld says. “I dug out the clips recently and, even a year later, I had chills. It was like watching France win the world cup!”

“That night, I couldn’t sleep,” Wiesenfeld remembers. “David, the team and I were on the phone until 6.30 in the morning, we were so full of adrenaline. We all agreed that we had to do another one.”

The show that followed, which saw Guetta performing from the roof of New York’s Rockefeller Center, almost didn’t happen, with big-city bureaucracy, the worsening Covid-19 situation and the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd threatening to derail the concert before it got off the ground.

“The day of the event, there were 4,000 people on the streets of New York by our hotel,” Wiesenfeld explains. “We didn’t think we were going to make it to the Rockefeller Center in time. In the end, David arrived seven minutes before the show!”

Despite the chaotic circumstances, United at Home New York was another critical and financial success, securing the backing of a number of high-profile sponsors who were impressed by what the team had pulled off in Miami.

“In Miami, David paid for entire show, but in New York we had Major League Soccer, Heineken, Atari, all kinds of companies… In total, we had maybe 15 sponsors because they saw what we did in Miami and they were blown away,” says Wiesenfeld.

Similarly successful were United at Home Paris, held at the Louvre on New Year’s Eve 2020, and United at Home Dubai, which saw Guetta return to the rooftop (this time of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel) on 6 February. Both shows were engineered by Guetta’s long time tour manager, Jean-Guillaume Charvet, and visual artist Romain Pissenem of High Scream Production, and brought United at Home’s now-trademark mix of high-energy electronic music, spectacular visual effects and breathtaking locations to fans in new continents.

Bucking the trend towards ticketed live streams, Wiesenfeld says all future United at Home events will remain free to view to ensure they reach as many people as possible.

“The key with charity is that it’s all about the experience and the connection with people”

“We thought about it [selling tickets], to raise more money, but it would limit the number of people who can see it,” he explains. “David’s logic is that he’s been very successful, he’s received a lot from his fans, and now his duty is to give back. The charity angle is very important to him.”

At press time, the four shows had been collectively viewed by well over 100m people – and where in the beginning the team had to approach cities to host United at Home, now the cities are coming to them. “The shows have shown that these United at Home events are a great way of advertising their cities,” says Wiesenfeld, who with Carre now leads a specialist event consultancy, The Charity Guys. “After all, it’s a lot cheaper than hosting the Euros…”

The plan for 2021–22 is for another three or four over the next 12 months, he says. “Now United at Home has become a concept – we travel to a beautiful part of the world and play great music for charity – it’s going to continue.”

Post-coronavirus, Wiesenfeld adds, team Guetta – which also includes agent Maria May of CAA – are also hoping to do a “real show in a big stadium: a festival curated by David but featuring other artists. A Live Aid type of thing, once a year.”

On the live stream front, it’s likely the next United at Home show will be in Asia, but The Charity Guys is also looking at South America, the Middle East and other cities in Europe, according to Wiesenfeld. “What we’re trying to do is find new ways to raise money for those who need it,” he adds.

The Charity Guys is also hoping to work with other artists to replicate the success of the United at Home model, using it as their proof of concept.

“United at Home was the product of out-of-the-box thinking – it was livestreaming but in a completely different way. Now we want to do that with other artists and entertainers, leveraging their fame and brand to raise money.

“There are a lot of celebrities who have foundations but they don’t raise much money, and I think that’s because they don’t have the right team around them. The key with charity is that it’s all about the experience and the connection with people, and that’s why United at Home has been so successful.”

 


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Gilberto Santa Rosa plays three sold-out shows in FL

Latin music star Gilberto Santa Rosa played three back-to-back, sold-out shows in Florida over Valentine’s day weekend, in some of Florida’s first concerts of 2021.

Santa Rosa, known as the Caballero de la Salsa (Gentleman of Salsa), played to socially distanced audiences outside Dr Phillips Center of the Performing Arts, in Orlando, on Friday 12th and the Fillmore (3,230-cap.), in Miami Beach, on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February.

The shows, promoted by Loud and Live, took place in a socially distanced format, with Santa Rosa performing songs including ‘Perdóname’, ‘Conciencia’, ‘Que Alguien Me Diga’, ‘Si Te dijeron’ and ‘Sin Voluntad’ to a crowd separated into Covid-secure bubbles (Dr Phillips show pictured).

“I am very happy to have returned to the stage and received that special energy that the public gives me,” says the five-time Latin Grammy/Grammy winner. “It has been a great privilege to be able to make these presentations in Orlando and Miami after a year of totally atypical concerts.

“We are proud to have brought to the public of Orlando and Miami the live experience they’ve been missing”

“The entertainment industry must come back, and we all have to push ourselves and make the necessary adjustments to make that happen. Hopefully, my experience this weekend will be an incentive to energise our industry wisely and safely.”

Reflecting on the shows, which included guest appearances from La India, Tito Nieves, Victor Manuelle and Aymée Nuviola, Loud and Live CEO Nelson Albareda comments: “This weekend marked the return live music, while at the same time following the pertinent regulations established during the pandemic for the artists and the industry.

“We are proud to have brought to the public of Orlando and Miami – our home – the live experience they’ve been missing and longing for.”

Loud and Live, a leading promoter of Latin music in the US, partnered with Latin America’s Move Concerts at the tail end of 2019.

 


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Venues double as Covid-19 testing centres

Venues around the world are showing their versatility in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as more and more transform into emergency field hospitals and others start serving as drive-through testing centres.

As the UK government looks to ramp up its coronavirus testing capacity, major venues around the country are transforming into testing centres.

The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is among such venues. Tests will be administered to NHS workers via a drive-through system in the car park of the 11,000-capacity arena.

Other sports and event stadia in the UK, including the Cardiff City Stadium in Wales and Edgbaston Stadium in Warwickshire, England, are also serving as similar centres.

The news comes as more venues in the UK double as field hospitals. The flagship Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel Centre in London opened its doors on 3 April, with the ability to hold up to 4,000 patients.

Similar hospitals are planned at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (2,000 beds), Manchester Central (1,000 beds), Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (1,000 beds) and the Harrogate Convention Centre (500 beds).

In Spain, Madrid’s Ifema – a 2.9 million m² conference and exhibition centre – transformed into the country’s biggest hospital in just 18 hours. Since opening on 23 March, 939 patients have been admitted to the emergency hospital.

“Music and shows form an integral part of Ifema, and we will return very soon to share these moments”

“We have transformed our space to offer the best of Ifema – our commitment and solidarity,” states the venue’s general manager, Eduardo López-Puertas.

“Music and shows form an integral part of Ifema, and we will return very soon to share these moments,” adds López-Puertas. “When it can, music will return stronger, sweeter and more immense than before. Meanwhile, we continue to do what we have to do.”

The first coronavirus patients arrived at New York’s 170,000m² Javits Convention Center last week, with the space set to hold up to 1,700 beds by the end of this week. The transformation of a similar convention centre in Detroit – the TCF Center (67,200 m²) – began today (7 April).

The Miami-Dade fairgrounds, which host the annual County Youth Fair and Exposition Inc., has been serving as a 250-bed field hospital since the end of last month, with another part of the grounds being used as a food distribution centre.

In Brazil, the Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo is one of a number of football stadiums – including the 78,838-seat Maracanã of reigning champions Flamengo – to be turned into a temporary hospital, with room for 200 beds. Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones are among artists who have performed at the Pacaembu Stadium.

In Germany, event production giant PRG is helping to set up a hospital at the Berlin Expo Center, due to open later this month. PRG is among a number of production companies directing its skills and resources to aid the medical sector during the coronavirus crisis.

 


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Live Nation takes stake in Miami’s Groot Hospitality

Live Nation has taken a majority stake in Miami-based venue operator Groot Hospitality, owned by entrepreneur David Grutman.

Groot Hospitality’s portfolio includes nightclubs Liv (1,100-cap.) and Story (1,400-cap.), the Swan and Bar Bevy, which is a joint venture with singer Pharell Williams, and several restaurants.

Launched by Grutman in 2018, Groot Hospitality now plans to expand into new markets, with eleven projects set to open in Dallas, Las Vegas and Dubai, as well as in Miami, over the next two years.

“Entertainment is the DNA of Groot Hospitality, so it was a natural fit for us to join the leading live entertainment company,” says Grutman.

“Entertainment is the DNA of Groot Hospitality, so it was a natural fit for us to join the leading live entertainment company”

“Live Nation shares my passion for creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences and together we will grow our portfolio worldwide while pushing the limits of fans’ expectations.”

Grutman will stay on as CEO of Groot Hospitality, along with executives Chris Cuomo and Mo Garcia.

According to a press statement, Live Nation hopes to use Grutman’s expertise to “elevate and launch offerings” across its venues, festivals and events.

IQ calculates that Live Nation has taken a majority shareholding in 18 promoters, festivals and other live music-related businesses so far this year across Asia (One Production), Australia (Moshtix), North America (Embrace Presents, Neste Event Marketing, Levitate, Spaceland Presents, Bonnaroo), Europe (Planet Events, Blockfest, Tons of Rock, Antwerps Sportpaleis, PDH Music, Go Ahead, Rewind Festival, Hög Agency) and Latin America (Rock in Rio, Ocesa Entertainment).

 


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Juan Luis Guerra celebrates Miami success

Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning artist Juan Luis Guerra broke his own attendance record on Saturday 5 October at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

Part of Guerra’s national Literal tour, the show played to a sold-out of arena of more than 13,000 fans, and included special appearances from contemporary Latin stars Juanes and Monsieur Periné.

Remaining stops on the Literal tour include Los Angeles (20 October), Washington DC (25 Oct) and Orlando, Florida (27 Oct).

Dominican Republic-born Juan Luis Guerra has won two Grammy Awards and 21 Latin Grammys, and sold more than 70 million records worldwide.

The Literal tour is promoted by Loud and Live, which launched a JV with leading Latin American promoter Move Concerts earlier this week.

 


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Concerts cancelled over Hurricane Dorian concerns

A host of concerts in Miami and Orlando were cancelled or postponed this weekend due to concerns over Hurricane Dorian, the storm that has been battering the Bahamas since Sunday (1 September) and is approaching the Florida east coast.

In anticipation of the hurricane, which hit the Bahamas as a category five storm, the Rolling Stones brought their show at Miami’s 65,326-capacity Hard Rock stadium forward one night to Friday evening. The concert had previously been rescheduled from April to account for Mick Jagger’s heart surgery.

Chris Brown was also due to play in Miami, but cancelled his show at the 20,737-capacity BB&T Center on Sunday evening. No replacement date has been announced. An automatic refund will be issued to customers who bought tickets through Ticketmaster online or by phone. Those with physical tickets will need to return to the outlet they purchased from.

Miami-born Pitbull cited unsafe travel conditions as the reason for postponing an appearance at the Los Angeles County Fair on Sunday. Pitbull’s management told fans the rapper could not “safely depart from Miami” due to Dorian’s approach and rescheduled his appearance for 12 September.

Pitbull’s management told fans the rapper could not “safely depart from Miami” due to Dorian’s approach

Sunday ticket holders were still able to enter the fair, with the same passes being eligible for the alternate date. Refunds are also available via the Ticketmaster website.

Mexican musician Marco Antonio Solis rescheduled his two Florida shows over the weekend for 20 October at Orlando’s Amway Center (20,000-cap.) and 26 October at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami (21,000-cap.).

Dutch DJ Afrojack cancelled his Miami appearance at Story Nightclub (1.400-cap.) on Friday.

Hurricane Dorian will move “dangerously close” to Florida’s east coasts and the coasts of Georgia and Carolina over the course of today. “Life-threatening storm surges” are expected in those areas, whereas “devastating winds and storm surges” continue over Grand Bahama.

At the time of writing the category three hurricane was around 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

 


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