PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

The Great Escape 2023 to showcase 500+ artists

The Great Escape‘s head of music Adam Ryan has previewed tomorrow’s return of the UK showcase festival and convention in an interview with IQ.

The event, which is operated by Live Nation’s MAMA, will feature over 500 artists from around the world – more than even the BBC Proms – at 35-plus venues across Brighton from 10-13 May.

Spotlight shows will be headlined by Unknown T at Concorde 2 (presented by UTA), Maisie Peters (presented by TGE) and Arlo Parks (presented by Rolling Stone UK), both at Brighton Dome, while stage hosts will include Amazon Music, TikTok, the Royal Albert Hall, Speedy Wunderground and Transgressive.

Ryan says the festival’s mission remains to “showcase the best new artists from around the globe”.

“It’s important that we are helping export offices and the showcase artists from their country,” he tells IQ. “But at its core it is music discovery so we will focus on new and emerging talent and that is always the remit.”

“I don’t think we’ll ever increase the number of artists – 500 is a lot, but it still helps us have cut through”

Leading music talent agencies will be hosting showcases throughout the festival. WME’s showcase will kick off the TGE Beach Stage on Thursday 11 May featuring Hot Wax, Maeve, Saint Harison, May and Future Utopia. ATC Live’s line-up takes over Komedia Basement the same day with Sam Akpro, Billie Marten, Willie J Healey, Blondshell, Enumclaw and Deadletter.

+44 from Amazon Music will also be showcasing an evening of Black music artists with +44 Live presents TGE Beach on the Amazon Music Stage on Saturday 13 May. The line-up will be headlined by K-Trap, who will be joined by AntsLive, Miss LaFamilia,Zakhar and Shae Universe.

“We try to showcase as many genres within the limitation of the venues that we have. The key is to align with credible partners to make sure that we’re doing those genres justice,” explains Ryan.

“I don’t think we’ll ever increase the number of artists – 500 is a lot, but it still helps us have cut through in terms of the artists not being lost. We have about 5,000 delegates from around the globe attend each year and we’d like to expand that; we’d definitely like to try and get that as diverse as possible and be a leading force in diversifying and making the music industry more of a representation of society.

“We’d like to sell more tickets, obviously, because we’re a business, But it’s trying to do it in the in the right way that’s going to enhance The Great Escape and also enhance the music industry going forward.”

“There’s nothing that will ever replicate the feeling of being in a room watching somebody perform”

Ryan also offers his thoughts on the question marks regarding the health of the UK music scene’s talent pipeline.

“I hate that phrase – talent pipeline – but I understand that it’s a business and that’s why we refer to it like that,” he says. “I just find it a bit crude to people’s art that [it’s referred to] as going into a pipeline. But I find it interesting that the speed at which artists can get local, national or global recognition before they even have a live show.

“With TikTok, you could have a 20-second clip of one song generate 30/40/50 million streams, but the live show hasn’t even been thought about and there’s barely 15 minutes, let alone half an hour, to even one live performance. So I think that will have a knock on effect in terms of what can grow through to larger festival stages, but there’s always going to be an abundance of exciting artists making original music and doing it the old fashioned way of touring and playing live, because that just can’t be beaten. There’s nothing that will ever replicate the feeling of being in a room watching somebody perform.”

Italy is the festival’s lead country partner for 2023, and will host two special Italian showcases, titled La Festa, coordinated by Italia Music Export. Anna Bassy, San Soucis, and Maria Chiara Argiro will take to the stage at Patterns Upstairs on 11 May, and The Gluts, Milanosport, BLUEM, and Eugenia Post Meridiem will perform at Three Wise Cats on 12 May.

“It has been tough, but we’ve got there and we’re really, really happy with the line-up”

This year’s TGE conference programme, meanwhile, includes three full day strands curated by CMU – Music+Education (10 May), Music+Deals (11 May) and Music + The Creator Economy (12 May).

“For us, it’s important to have three topics and spend the day drilling into those topics and then hopefully, we can have a conclusion and make a change,” says Ryan.

Keynote speakers include Ticketmaster’s EVP of global music David Marcus, who will discuss the latest trends, innovations and opportunities in the live music and ticketing sector, and Afro Nation co-founder SMADE, who will tell the story of the festival’s creation and development. BPI and Youth Music chair Yolanda Brown, and songwriter, producer and PRS Members’ Council president Michelle Escoffery will also deliver keynotes.

In closing, Ryan adds that planning this year’s festival has not been without its challenges.

“Brighton is a fantastic place with lots of venues and all in walkable distance,” he says. “But with the current economic crisis and standards of living, and rents and rates going up, a lot of the venues have changed hands or changed names more so than previous years, or closed altogether. And it’s difficult to plan the footprint of the festival in November if a venue’s in limbo.

“Production costs have gone up, artists fees have gone up and it’s difficult for us because we’re not a greenfield site so it’s not just a matter of us selling a couple more thousand tickets – we’re limited to the venues that are in Brighton. So it has been tough, but we’ve got there and we’re really, really happy with the line-up and how we’re engaging with Brighton and representing new music in the city.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Road to the Main Stage talent showcase to return

Deezer and Firestone have announced the return of their Road to the Main Stage multi-country music talent showcase.

For the 2023 edition, tyre brand Firestone, its agency WAVE and streaming platform Deezer are searching for emerging acts in France, Germany and the UK.

The winning artists will receive opportunities including a gig on the Firestone stage at France’s Rock en Seine and Southside Festival in Germany in 2023. They will also get to record a studio recording session of their next EP at Deezer’s Paris HQ.

“We’re excited to continue our successful collaboration with Firestone and once again provide a stage for emerging artists through Road to the Main Stage,” says Mazen Abdallah, VP brand partnerships and ad sales at Deezer. “Deezer has a long tradition of supporting the growth of new artists and connecting them with a bigger fanbase. Firestone shares this ambition, and after the success of last year’s collaboration, it was clear we had to do it again.”

Road to the Main Stage’s 2022 victors were Renard Tortue (France), Jante (Germany) and Dweamz (UK)

Young artists are called upon to apply directly on the platform up to 22 March by submitting their best project (track or EP) as well as a description of their “musical universe” and a few photos. To participate, artists must not have signed a contract with a record company nor have released a full album.

Several artists will be pre-selected by Firestone and the Deezer teams to continue the competition, with the shortlisted projects then voted on by Deezer users. The winner will be announced on 15 June.

Launched last year, Road to the Main Stage’s 2022 victors were Renard Tortue (France), Jante (Germany) and Dweamz (UK).

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Liveurope receives €2.1m grant to boost new talent

Venue association Liveurope has pledged to continue boosting the circulation of new European talent for the next three years after being selected for EU funding for the third consecutive time.

The Brussels-based organisation will see its annual budget increase by 40% (from €500,000 per year for 2014-2021 to €700,000 for 2022-2024), totalling €2.1m over three years, and aims to play an active role in the ongoing recovery of the live music sector post-pandemic. It has also welcomed five new venues, taking its membership from 15 to 20.

The platform supports music venues across the continent to book the most promising European artists, distributing grants to its members in proportion to the amount of young acts they book. On average, the model has helped the venues book 63% more emerging European non-national acts than prior to joining.

“After these difficult years for our sector, we’re proud to continue growing our European collaboration and support more venues boost their European programming,” says Elise Phamgia, Liveurope’s coordinator. “Through this, we hope to help them present more European music diversity to their audiences.”

“Liveurope has changed our programming approaches and given our audiences access to new acts they might not have discovered otherwise”

Established in 2014 with support from the European Union, nearly 3,000 artists have benefited from the platform’s support including now established names such as Christine and the Queens, Rosalía and MØ.

“Liveurope has changed our programming approaches and given our audiences access to new acts they might not have discovered otherwise,” says Matjaz Mancek, head of music at Kino Siska in Slovenia.

Liveurope is also introducing new priorities and activities to further strengthen its impact on the sector and the promotion of European diversity. The platform will actively engage on urgent societal topics such as ecology and gender balance, fostering cross-border discussions among the members and coming up with concrete tools to tackle them.

Upcoming editions of the flagship Liveurope rotating festival will also now include training and coaching sessions to further support artists’ development.

“Liveurope is a key partner in our shared efforts to give emerging artists the opportunity to go on stage, and to meet and develop their audiences across Europe,” adds Mariya Gabriel, European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Hard Rock launches Undiscovered concert series

Hard Rock International has teamed with not-for-profit organisation Playing for Change to launch a new global concert series for emerging talent.

Undiscovered Powered by Hard Rock runs from 12 May to 30 June and will see 50 local bands play 50 days of music at 20 Hard Rock Cafe locations throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

The series will highlight artists including the Playing for Change Band, Los Pinguos, Don Vito, Bikram Sambat, Modjorido and Whiskey 6, who will also have an opportunity to showcase their memorabilia at their local Hard Rock Cafes. Guests are invited to catch the concerts live and make a donation in support of local artists worldwide.

“We continuously strive to serve as a home for emerging artists worldwide on their journeys as performers”

“We’re thrilled to partner with an exceptional organisation like Playing For Change to kick off our Undiscovered concert series that gives deserving local artists a global stage to showcase their incredible talents,” says Keith Sheldon, president of entertainment for Hard Rock. “As Hard Rock Cafe continues to build affinity with the music community that has support our brand for over 50 years, we continuously strive to serve as a home for emerging artists worldwide on their journeys as performers.”

Playing For Change was founded in 2002 with the intention of using music to help break down boundaries and overcome divisiveness. It has produced more than 400 videos, recorded over 1,200 musicians in 60 countries, and reached over two billion viewers through music videos, performances and school programmes.

Participating Hard Rock Cafe locations include Barcelona, Kathmandu, Bali, Boston, Miami, Hollywood Blvd, Paris, Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Bucharest, New Orleans, Key West, Johannesburg, London Old Park Lane and Piccadilly Circus, Tokyo-Roppongi, New York, Atlanta, Nashville and Memphis.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.