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Friday round-up: world news in brief

Welcome to IQ‘s brand-new weekly round-up of news from around the world. Here, in bite-sized chunks, we present a selection of international stories you may have missed from the last seven days…


Vince Power Music Group (VPMG) has announced AXS as its official ticketing partner for all its London venues after inking a new five-year deal. VPMG venues include: the former Dingwalls, PowerHaus (cap. 500), The Fiddler (cap. 120), Nells (cap. 350) and Subterania (cap. 600). AXS is the official ticketing partner for several UK venues including The O2, The SSE Arena, Wembley, Dreamland Margate, British Summertime Hyde Park, All Points East and AEG Presents’ touring business.


European showcase festival and conference Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in Groningen has moved entirely online from 19–22 January 2022 in response to the government’s the latest Covid-19 measures. The digital edition will include a conference programme as well as the festival programmes of Noorderslag, Eurosonic and the Music Moves Europe Awards award ceremony.


Foo Fighters say they have axed a 2022 tour date due to the venue’s “refusal to agree to the band’s Covid safety measures”. The band were due to play Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on 3 August, but are now looking for a replacement venue. A spokesperson for the University of Minnesota, which operates the venue, said its current measures relating to vaccines and mask-wearing were in line with state and federal guidelines, and declined to change its existing protocols for large events.


CTS Eventim is acquiring regional ticketing providers in the Rhineland region, Kölnticket and Bonnticket. The companies previously belonged to media houses Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Medien in Cologne and Rheinische Post Mediengruppe in Düsseldorf, and had previously partnered with CTS on ticketing software and platform technology. The deal will give CTS Eventim a significant presence in the region as well as numerous contacts in the local entertainment scene.


The British Music Embassy has announced its live return to South By Southwest (SXSW) with its biggest presence yet. The intimate 250-person UK music showcase will return in 2022 with a capacity of 700 at Cedar Street Courtyard, an open-air SXSW venue, from 14-20 March. It will be the first in-person British Music Embassy since 2019 as the 2020 edition of SXSW was one of the first major festivals to be cancelled due to Covid-19.


The ASM Global-managed, Arena Oberhausen in Germany is to be renamed after 20 years as the Konig Pilsener Arena. From next year, the 12,650-capacity venue will be known as Rudolf Weber Arena, in the largest naming rights deal in the Oberhausen-based venue’s 25-year history.


Five more names have been confirmed for Rock Werchter 2022. The War On Drugs will play the Festivalpark on Thursday 30 June. Lewis Capaldi and Greta Van Fleet join the line-up for Friday 1 July, Yungblud is scheduled for Saturday July 2 and Royal Blood will put in an appearance on Sunday 3 July. Headlined by Pearl Jam, Metallica, Imagine Dragons and Red Hot Chili Pepper, the festival runs from 30 June to 2 July.


Two internet ticket touts sentenced to a combined six-and-a-half years in prison following a landmark court case have failed in their appeals against their conviction for fraudulent trading. Peter Hunter and David Smith, who operated as the company BZZ Limited, were jailed for four years and 30 months, respectively, in February 2020 following an investigation by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team, and trail at Leeds Crown Court. The pair committed offences between May 2010 and December 2017, making a net profit of £3.5 million in the last two years of fraud alone, buying and reselling tickets to concerts by artists including Ed Sheeran, McBusted, Taylor Swift and Coldplay. On the appeal Smith and Hunter raised a large number of legal and procedural grounds. They appealed the verdict, alleging the judge wrongly directed the jury on the law and “acted unfairly and prejudicially in his conduct of the trial”, arguing the restrictions attaching to the sale of the tickets were “void and invalid”. However, the Court of Appeal rejects their appeals, upholding the conclusion of the judge at trial that the restrictions imposed by event organisers were valid, adding the judge “acted properly in all relevant respects and that the convictions are safe and lawful”.


Irish-headquartered Tixserve has partnered with UK ticket agency Gigantic to provide a “secure and interactive digital ticket fulfilment service” for its live entertainment ticketing. The partnership will see Irish-Headquartered Tixserve provide Gigantic with a white label digital ticketing app – delivering via a full API technical integration, a sophisticated and seamless fulfilment service for Gigantic clients and customers.


International booking agency Midnight Mango has announced four new agents – Nigel Morton, Addison Paterson, Sam Bryant and Hanna Bright – after initiating an Agent Freelancer Platform in the early days of the pandemic. After delivering training and guidance to four agents back in the spring, the firm took on a further four new agents in September. The new appointments work with acts such as Gretchen Peters, Bicurious, Dom Martin and The Kakatsitsi Master Drummers, expanding the agency’s roster to more than 150 artists, represented by a 15-strong workforce.


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News in brief (Friday 8 April 2016)


Nassau Coliseum looks to draw big names
The $130 million renovation of the 43 year-old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on New York’s Long Island includes an ambitious dressing room programme known as the Artists Quarters, which developers believe will play a significant role in convincing artists to add a stop at the 16,000-capacity arena when touring in North America. (Billboard)

Indonesian popstar dies from onstage snake bite
An Indonesian pop singer has died in a bizarre and tragic incident after a cobra being used as a prop onstage bit her during a performance in Karawang, Indonesia. Irma Bule was known for using snakes at her shows and may have believed the cobra was defanged. (Pollstar)

Music community mourns the passing of Merle Haggard
The US music community has paid tribute to country music legend Merle Haggard, who died on 6 April, the day of his 79th birthday. (Music Week)

News in brief (Thursday 7 April 2016)


Goldenvoice plot festival in Pasadena
Pasadena City Council has approved a new festival in southern California by Coachella and New Orleans Jazz Festival promoter GoldenVoice. The multi-day Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival, which will take place at the Rose Bowl stadium, is expected to begin in 2017. (Pasadena Now)

TicketWeb inks another exclusive
After a “highly competitive tender process”, Ticketweb – the indie-focused subsidiary of Ticketmaster UK which earlier this week announced an exclusive deal with east London music venue St John-at-Hackney – has become the exclusive ticketing partner for the soon-to-open 800-capacity Wylam Brewery Palace of Arts venue in Exhibition Park, Newcastle.

International stars play VR concert in Jerusalem
Forbes yesterday hosted “large-scale live musical performance synced to virtual reality”. (Years & Years clearly aren’t large-scale.) The concert in Jerusalem, “designed to promote co-existence”, featured Okieriete Onaodowan from Hamilton, Palestinian Arab rapper SAZ with Israeli funk band Lucille Crew, London rapper Little Simz and US rock group Mae. (Forbes)

Glastonbury ‘still pale, male and stale’
As long as female performers are outnumbered by male ones, Glastonbury Festival “cannot claim equality”, opines Jess Denham. (The Independent)

News in brief (Wednesday 6 April 2016)


No lock-out laws in Canberra
The government of the Australian Capital Territory has confirmed it will not follow the states of New South Wales and Queensland in introducing controversial ‘lock-out laws’ for music venues and other late-night entertainment. However, venues which stay open past 3am may face steep hikes in their alcohol licences. (The Music Network)

Tramlines 2016 seeks emerging talent
Independent Sheffield, UK, festival Tramlines has opened the artist application process for its eighth outing on 22–24 July. Winning entries will be chosen by a panel of festival organisers, BBC Music Introducing presenters and other music industry figures. (The Star)

Beatport plans for life outside SFX
Dance music streaming service and download store Beatport has begun to retool the site in anticipation of its separation from soon-to-be ex-owner SFX Entertainment. It also discusses its own losses during SFX’s bankruptcy. (CDM)

Ride for Ronnie returns
The Ride for Ronnie motor motorcycle ride and concert, in aid of the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, will return to Los Angeles for a second year on 22 May. The music line-up includes Great White, Lita Ford, Dio Disciples, Gabbie Rae, Budderside and Doctors of the Earth. (Loudwire)

News in brief (Tuesday 5 April 2016)


Sigma pull out of ‘Eurosceptic’ music festival
Drum and bass act Sigma have cancelled their appearance at the bpopLive music festival on 8 May after learning it is backed by pro-‘Brexit’ campaign group Leave.EU. A spokesman for bpopLive, taking place at the 15,000-capacity Genting Arena in Birmingham, says the event is about getting young people to vote rather than pushing for a UK exit from the European Union. (BuzzFeed News)

Rolling Stones bare all in new exhibition
The Rolling Stones’ first major exhibition opens at the Saatchi Gallery in London tomorrow. Exhibitionism, described as “the most comprehensive and immersive insight” into the Stones and their music, takes place over nine themed galleries, including recreations of the band’s flat in Edith Grove in London in early ’60s, Paris’s Pathé Marconi Studios and a “glimpse backstage into one of the greatest rock and roll shows on Earth”. (Music Week)

Elvis Costello, Eddie Vedder join LN’s Hawaiian family
Eddie Vedder, Elvis Costello, Band of Horses, Lana del Rey, City and Colour and Mudhoney are among the acts already confirmed for Live Nation’s new Hawaiian festival, Ohana (Hawaiian for “Family”), in Dana Point, California. Taking place from 27 to 28 August on Doheny State Beach, the event will bring together “a very unique collection of music and culture in a setting that could not be any more beautiful”, says Live Nation’s Rich Best. (Pollstar)

The Guardian’s top 10 European festivals for 2016
Croatia’s Love International, Iceland’s Secret Solstice, Colours of Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Serbia’s Exit Festival and Primavera Sound in Barcelona are among the British newspaper’s pick of this year’s best. (The Guardian)

News in brief (Monday 4 April 2016)


Guns N’ Roses reunite for North American stadium tour
Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan will regroup for a North American stadium tour following the band’s headline appearance at Coachella next month. The Not in this Lifetime tour, produced and promoted exclusively by Live Nation, will see GNR headline stadium dates throughout the US and Canada, starting in Detroit at Ford Field on 23 June and include shows in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Washington DC, Philadelphia and more.

New venue planned for Denmark Street
Camden Council has granted planning permission for a new music venue near Denmark Street, known as London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’. The 280-capacity venue, which will form part of the new St Giles Circus development, is expected to open in 2018. (The Spaces)

Jeremy Corbyn to appear at Glastonbury
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition in the UK, will speak at Glastonbury Festival in June after accepting an invitation from left-wing singer-songwriter Billy Bragg. Corbyn, who was elected leader of the Labour Party in September, will speak on the Left Field stage on behalf of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. (NME)

LA County Fair chief steps down
Jim Henwood, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, has resigned after reports emerged that he earnt a salary of over US$1 million last year while the company posted a loss of over $3.5m. The association operates the Fairplex facility (formerly the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds) in Pomona, California. (Los Angeles Times)

Hollywood Vampires announce summer tour
Supergroup Hollywood Vampires – Alice Cooper, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan and Johnny Depp – will play nine festival and one-off dates this summer. The tour kicks off on 27 May at Rock in Rio Lisboa before heading to Sweden, Denmark, Romania and US, finishing on 25 July at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. (Billboard)