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Virtual concerts startup Stage11 attracts superstars

Immersive music experience startup Stage11 has announced partnerships with world-famous artists Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Snoop Dogg, Ne-Yo and Akon.

The news follows a €5 million seed round led by Otium Capital, a European venture capital fund backed by Stage11 founder and CEO, Jonathan Belolo.

Belolo is the co-owner of French record label Scorpio Music, which has a 45-year history in the music industry.

Belolo is joined by co-founders Jean-Philippe Braud and Gregory Dhonner, the co-founder and director of business development for Profirst, a luxury event agency for brands in fashion, beauty, and art (Armani, Chanel, Kering, L’Oréal, LVMH).

Also joining as co-founder is Mani Nordine, the president of American Artists Company, specialising in managing A-list artists and celebrities bookings (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Nas & Lady Gaga).

Stage11 is using the funds to onboard strategic hires, sign key artist and brand partnerships and build its technology platform

Stage11 says it will use the funds to onboard strategic hires, sign key artist and brand partnerships and build its technology platform.

Amongst those new hires are executives who have previously worked for the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Facebook Oculus, Ferrari, Happy Feet, LVMH, Marvel Avengers, Microsoft Kinect, Nike, and Virgin.

Founded in 2020, with offices in both Paris and LA, Stage11 aims to tap into several of today’s fastest-growing markets including gaming, AR/VR, virtual events, and digital goods.

The company claims that it’s “setting out to redefine the interactive music experience” by combining gaming, mixed reality, and digital collectables.

It will achieve this by “building a new creative canvas for artists, allowing them to invite fans to live, play, and create inside their performances and musical worlds”.

We are combining genres, realities and cultures to build something bold, thrilling and timeless

“These worlds combine immersive gameplay sequences, life-like performances, cinematic narratives and exclusive digital collectables,” according to Stage11.

“Fans can not only discover and collect but actually use these interactive NFTs to create and share unique personalised content and even perform with their favourite artists.”

Stage11 can be accessed on desktop and mobile and the company’s first music experience is set to debut in 2022.

“As a gamer and sci-fi nerd, It feels like I’ve been dreaming about the metaverse my entire life,” says Belolo.

“Now that as a society we’re on the cusp of making it real, I find myself blessed to be part of an incredible team setting out to explore the new frontier. Building immersive music events and experiences is just the first step.

“We are on a journey together to reimagine the way artists and brands connect, even co-create, with their fans and audiences. We are combining genres, realities and cultures to build something bold, thrilling and timeless — yet accessible and fun.”

 


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AEG Presents’ Rock en Seine expands to four days

AEG Presents’ Rock en Seine festival in France is expanding to four days for its return in 2022.

The annual Paris festival, which typically welcomes 120,000 festivalgoers across three days, will take place from 25–28 August next year in Domaine National de Saint-Cloud.

The 2022 event will be the 18th edition of Rock en Seine, which hasn’t taken place since 2019 due to the pandemic.

The 2022 event will be the 18th edition of Rock en Seine, which hasn’t taken place since 2019 due to the pandemic

Jim King, CEO of European festivals at AEG Presents, says: “It’s very exciting to announce the return and a new vision for Rock en Seine, with one of the most impressive line-ups in the history of the festival. Headliners Stromae, Tame Impala and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds will be joined by a deep supporting line up including Kraftwerk and Jamie xx.

“To match this incredible line-up, the new format for the festival sees it grow to four days. Paris has always provided a cultural heart beat in Europe and with its incredible city centre location in the beautiful gardens of Saint Cloud on the banks of the River Seine, Rock en Seine provides four days of music in one of the world’s truly great cities that is easily accessible for music fans from all over Europe.”

Other artists will include La Femme, The Blaze plus FKJ, Aurora, DIIV, Los Bitchos, Malik Djoudi, Jehnny Beth and The Limiñanas. More are still to be announced, including a special Rock en Seine exclusive on Thursday 25 August.

 


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Global Citizen returns with Paris, NY, Nigeria shows

Global Citizen Live has announced the line-ups for the upcoming benefit concerts in New York, Paris and Lagos, Nigeria, which will raise funds to combat poverty and provide greater access to Covid-19 vaccines.

The three concerts will take place on 25 September, alongside simultaneous events in London, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Los Angeles, Sydney and more cities still to be announced. The Global Citizen Live events, which will be broadcast live around the world, are part of of Global Citizen’s ‘Recovery Plan for the World’, a year-long campaign which calls on governments, philanthropists and the private sector to commit financially to the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Global Citizen Live follows previous Global Citizen events including Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, which took place last summer and raised funds for vaccine development, and 2021’s Vax Live, which focused on securing equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.

In New York, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Meek Mill, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Burna Boy, Cyndi Lauper, Jon Batiste and Lang Lang will perform on the Great Lawn in Central Park, while the Paris event, held on the Champ de Mars, will feature Ed Sheeran, Doja Cat, DJ Snake, HER, Black Eyed Peas, Christine and the Queens and Angélique Kidjo. The Lagos concert (venue TBC) will include performances from Femi Kuti, Davido, Tiwa Savage and Made Kuti.

Coinciding with the UN general assembly preceding the G20 meeting (October) and Cop26 summit (November), Global Citizen Live focus will call on leaders to fund:

“This remains a global crisis … It will only end with global equitable access to vaccines”

Katie Hill, senior vice-president and head of music, entertainment and artist relations for Global Citizen, says: “Over the last year and a half, we’ve seen music bring communities together and inspire action during one of the most challenging times of our generation. We’re excited to join these incredible artists to unite people across the globe on 25 September as we hold world leaders and business leaders accountable to rectify the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As we carefully resume Global Citizen’s live events, we couldn’t be more grateful to each of these artists for donating their time and performances to make an impact through this urgent campaign.”

David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Programme, adds: “Global Citizen’s support is critical as we all work together to reach the most vulnerable people and communities. We’re facing an unprecedented crisis in 2021: 41 million people have famine literally knocking at the door. The price tag to stop their suffering is about US$6 billion. We need funding and we need it now.”

“As wealthy countries are well on their way to reopening and returning to normal life, we now face a two-track pandemic of haves and have-nots,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, comments. “Over 75% of the more than 4bn doses administered to date have occurred in just ten countries, while only 1% of people in low-income countries have received a dose. We cannot disregard this gross inequity or become complacent.

“This remains a global crisis, with emerging variants emanating from under-vaccinated parts of the world continuing to threaten everyone’s lives and livelihoods. It will only end with global equitable access to vaccines and other life-saving medical supplies. That’s why I am pleased to support Global Citizen Live and join Global Citizen in their calls to public and private leaders to share the doses, financing, knowledge, technology and political solidarity needed to end this pandemic.”

 


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Live Nation GSA announces Download Festival Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is launching a German edition of Download Festival, the UK’s premiere rock event.

Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Lieberberg’s former company Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) previously held Rock’n’Heim at the same location, in cooperation with Live Nation.

The festival took place annually from 2013 to 2015, welcoming around 40,000 fans across three days for the first two years. In 2015, the event was reduced to a one-day event.

MLK also housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, started by Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively, the twin festivals that from 2022, will be programmed by eventimpresents and CTS Eventim-owned DreamHaus.

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

The UK event, promoted by Festival Republic, this year took place over the 18–20 June weekend as part of the second phase of the UK government’s scientific Events Research Programme (ERP).

Download Pilot welcomed 10,000 metal fans to the hallowed grounds of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire, to enjoy a fully-fledged festival experience with no social distancing, no masks and moshing allowed. The event was the UK’s first major camping festival of its kind since lockdown.

The flagship event is set to return to the UK between 10-12 June 2022 with a line-up that includes Deftones, Korn and Megadeath.

 


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Paris test results: Concerts don’t pose extra Covid risk

The findings from a recent test concert in France show that attending a concert is not associated with an increased risk of transmission when certain hygiene and testing protocols are followed.

The clinical trial, organised by French live music association Prodiss and Paris hospital AP-HP under the banner ‘Ambition Live Again’, took place on 29 May at the Accor Arena (20,300-cap.) in Paris with DJ Etienne de Crécy and the band Indochine.

The trial compared the risk of contamination between two randomised groups: an experimental group of 4,451 people who attended the concert and a control group of 2,227 people who did not attend the concert.

In the first stage, 6,968 people took a rapid antigen test within three days of the concert. Of those, 290 people had ‘non-inclusion criteria’ – one of whom had a positive rapid antigen test – and were not allowed to participate in the experiment.

On the day of the concert, all participants had to present proof of their negative test at the entrance, either downloaded on the TousAntiCovid-Carnet app – which was trialled for the first time at a public cultural event – or in paper format.

Throughout the event, participants’ compliance with wearing masks was assessed by an artificial intelligence tool

The health protocols at the event included the continuous wearing of surgical masks by all participants, reinforcement of hand sanitisation, and optimised ventilation of the room. The bars/restaurants and the smoking areas were closed. Bottles of water were distributed at will.

Throughout the event, participants’ compliance with wearing masks was assessed by an artificial intelligence tool from images captured in real-time by cameras placed in the room thanks to a scientific collaboration with Datakalab.

During the four hours that attendees were present in the AccorArena, the overall compliance with wearing a mask was evaluated at 91%.

Seven days after the event, all participants were required to take a PCR test. The number of participants with a positive PCR test was eight among the 3,917 participants in the experimental group, compared to three among the 1,947 participants in the control group.

Among those eight participants in the experimental group, five were already positive on the day of the concert, excluding the possibility of contamination during the show. Some participants did not return their saliva samples or did not come to the concert.

Prodiss says that its primary aim now is to dissuade the government from a “stop and go” approach

In conclusion, the study showed a similar infection rate in people attending the indoor, standing concert while wearing a mask (0.20%) compared to the people not attending (0.15%). (The incidence rate observed in the study corresponds to the estimated incidence rate in France in the two weeks preceding the event.)

AP-HP is now submitting the analysed data from the study for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, while Prodiss has requested a meeting with the government to discuss next steps.

The association says that its primary aim now is to dissuade the government from a “stop and go” approach and avoid the live industry shutting down when the incidence rate goes up.

The Paris results follow similar positive data out of studies in multiple other European countries, all of which showed that live events do not pose a risk to public health while Covid-19 is still a threat.

 


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Ambition Live Again: 5,000 attend French pilot show

Five thousand people packed into Paris’s Accor Arena with no social distancing on Saturday night for Ambition Live Again – the long-awaited pilot event with which the French live industry hopes to persuade the government to allow it to reopen as soon as possible.

Headlined by popular French pop-rock band Indochine, the concert, organised by industry association Prodiss and the AP-HP (Assistance publique-Hopitaux de Paris), forms part of a clinical trial which aims to demonstrate – as in Germany, Spain and, most recently, the Netherlands – that live events can be held safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Contrary to earlier announcements that the show would admit people with Covid-19, all 5,000 attendees had to test negative twice before entry – once via an antigen test performed in the previous three days, and then again with a rapid test on the day of the show (29 May). Like the Barcelona pilot but unlike the UK’s Events Research Programme, all concertgoers were also required to wear masks inside the arena.

Fans are also requested to provide a PCR test seven days after the show (5 June).

“Do not forget to return your saliva sample this Saturday, 5 June,” Prodiss urged attendees on social media. “The research team needs it! We are counting on you!”

https://twitter.com/prodiss/status/1399349161695318016

Due to the 9pm curfew still in place in France, the concert took earlier than planned, with Indochine on stage by 6pm, according to the AFP. Etienne de Crécy played a DJ set at 5pm.

As of 28 May, just 37% of the French population had received one Covid-19 vaccine. As a result, vaccination status was not taken into account “in this experiment because most young people are not vaccinated in France yet. In fact, we specifically selected participants between 18 and 45 years old who mostly aren’t vaccinated,” AP-HP’s Jean-Marc Treluyer tells ABC News.

Results from the Ambition Live Again study – which will compare infection rates among those in the arena with a 2,500-person control group not selected to attend the show – are expected in June.

 


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Paris test concert finally rescheduled

After a series of stops and starts, French live music association Prodiss and Paris hospital AP-HP have finally been given the green light for the Paris test concert.

The clinical trial was initially announced in February and should have taken place in April but the scheme got “stuck on the government side”, with the ministry of culture proving “unreachable” amid the new lockdown measures.

The experiment, dubbed ‘Ambition Live Again’, will now take place on 29 May at the Accor Arena (20,300-cap.) in Paris with DJ Etienne de Crécy and the band Indochine.

The trial will compare the risk of contamination between two randomised groups: an experimental group of 5,000 people will attend the concert and a control group of 2,500 people will not attend the concert.

The trial will compare the risk of contamination between two randomised groups

The concertgoers will be required to take an antigen test a maximum of 72 hours before the concert and a PCR test seven days after the concert, while the control group will take a self-test on the day of the concert.

Once inside, attendees will not socially distance, though everyone will be required to wear a mask.

The scientific team specified that the participants could not be people at risk and must be in an age group between 18-45 years old and live in Ile-de-France. A full list of criteria can be found on the Ambition Live Again website.

The sister pilot in Marseille was also hit by delays and has not yet been rescheduled. As reported in IQ, a thousand people are expected to attend the two shows at the Dôme (cap. 8,500) in Marseille, which will see performances from French hip-hop group Iam.

See IQ‘s extensive timeline of live music pilot projects here and read about them in-depth here.

 


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Road to recovery: A timeline of pilot projects

In August 2020, Germany paved the way for live music pilot projects with Restart-19, an experiment which saw thousands of volunteers to take part in a concert at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig with singer Tim Bendzko.

Since then, similar experiments have popped up across the globe. From Spain to Singapore, test events with as few as 50 participants and as many as 5,000 have taken place to prove to authorities (and the world) that when it comes to safety and security, the live music industry knows what it’s doing.

Below is a timeline of the pilot projects that have taken place since late summer 2020 – all of which have proved, in one way or another, that the live entertainment sector can reopen safely under certain measures – as well as the tests that are on the horizon in 2021.

August 2020

Restart-19
When: 22 August 2020
Where: Quarterback Immobilien Arena, Leipzig, Germany
Who: University Medical Center of Halle
What they said: “[T]he contacts that do occur at an event do not involve all participants. Therefore, events could take place under specific conditions during a pandemic.”
Participants: 1,500

November 2020

Konzerthaus Dortmund (study)
When: 2–3, 20 November 2020
Where: Konzerthaus Dortmund, Germany
Who: Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute Goslar, ParteQ
What they said: “Concert halls and theatres are not places of infection. […] With our study, we want to ensure that concert halls and theatres may again admit sufficient audiences when they reopen.”

December 2020

Primacov
When: 12 December 2020
Where: Apolo, Barcelona, Spain
Who: Primavera Sound, Germans Trias Hospital, the Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation
What they said: “A live music concert, staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for Sars- CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in Covid-19 infections.”
Participants: 1,047

Philharmonie de Paris (study)
When: 16 December 2020
Where: Philharmonie de Paris, France
Who: Dassault Systèmes
What they said: “The combination of face masks with a fresh-air supply built into every seat gives the indoor Philharmonie a similar profile to that of an outdoor space, with a very limited risk of spread from one side [of the venue] to the other.”

Back to Live (SG)
When: 18–19 December 2020 Where: Sands Theatre, Marina Bay, Singapore
Who: AEG Presents, Collective Minds
What they said: “[T]he outcome of such pilots will be critical to our ongoing efforts to allow events of a larger scale to resume in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Participants: 500

February 2021

Because Music Matters
When: 10–14 February
Where: Rockhal, Luxembourg
Who: Rockhal
What they said: “Building confidence among all our stakeholders that live events are a safe environment is so important.”
Participants: 100 per night

Back to Live (NL)
When: 15, 20, 21, 28 February & 6, 7, 20, 21 March 2021
Where: The Netherlands
Who: Fieldlab Evenementen
What they said: “We can now show that we can organise events in a very safe way. […] We hope this can lead to a tailor- made reopening of venues.”
Participants: Varies between events

March 2021

Love of Lesbian
When: 27 March 2021
Where: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona
Who: Festivals per la Cultura Segura
What they said: The event had no impact on Covid-19 transmission among attendees, despite the lack of social distancing observed.
Participants: 5,000

The Berlin Philharmonic
When: 20 March 2021
Where: Chamber Music Hall, Berlin
Who: Pilotprojekt, Berlin department of culture
What they said: ‘Zero infections among the 1,000 people who attended the show is further proof that events can be organised safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.’
Participants: 680

April 2021

Jonathan theatre performance
When: 26 April–9 May 2021
Where: Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS), Belgium
Who: KVS and Belgium’s Ministry of Culture
What they said: “An important observation is that the CO2 value and the relative humidity have barely increased. We saw the figure increase from 500 ppm to 600 ppm, while the maximum permitted value is 1200 ppm. This is of course only a first indication.”
Participants: 50–250

May 2021

Events Research Programme
When: April/May 2021
Where: Sefton Park and Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool, Brit Awards in London, The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and more
Who: Festival Republic, Circus, BPI, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and more
What they said: “These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. We will be guided by the science and medical experts but will work flat out to make that happen.”
Participants: 300–21,000

TBC 2021

Denmark Trials
When: TBC 2021
Where: Denmark
Who: Dansk Live, Divisionsforeningen
What they said: “This should very much lead to a much-needed festival summer and many great concert experiences across the country in 2021.”

Paris test
When: TBC 2021
Where: Accor Arena, Paris
Who: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, St Louis Hospital, Prodiss
Participants: 5,000

Marseille test
When: TBC 2021
Where: Dôme, Marseille
Who: The city of Marseille, Inserm, Béatrice Desgranges (Marsatac, SMA)
Participants: 1,000

 


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French pilot concerts hit by delays

As the Netherlands steams ahead with yet another round of clinically monitored pilot concerts, media in France is asking when its test shows, first announced in January but still without dates, will take place.

The concerts were supposed to have kicked off in the second half of March, with French hip-hop group Iam playing two shows at the 8,500-capacity Dôme in Marseille, followed by a sister event with the band Indochine at Paris’s Accor Arena (20,300-cap.) in April. A thousand people are expected to attend the Marseille concerts, with the Paris experiment having a capacity for 5,000.

During a session of the French Senate on 25 March, sénateurs heard from Constance Delaugerre of St Louis Hospital, which is supporting the Paris show, that the concerts are still feasible, despite tightening restrictions in France (which culminated in a third national lockdown from Sunday 4 April). Additionally, on Friday the city of Marseille signed an agreement with Inserm (the National Institute of Health and Medical Research) reaffirming the availability of the Dôme for the planned pilot shows.

The scheme is reportedly still “stuck on the government side”

Last week, Le Parisien reported that the shows would instead take place on 29 April, although that is now looking unlikely with France in a four-week lockdown.

According to RTL, while organisers are keen to to get going (the pilot programme is being coordinated by industry association Prodiss), the scheme is currently “stuck on the government side”, with the ministry of culture proving “unreachable” amid the new lockdown measures.

Since announcing the test concerts, France has seen a number of high-profile festival cancellations, including the likes of Lollapalooza Paris, Les Vieilles Charrues, Hellfest and Les Eurockéennes, with most citing a cap on attendance of 5,000 seated guests as being responsible for the decision not to go ahead.

“[T]he government has hesitated too much since February and the epidemic situation has ignited,” writes RTL’s Jean-Mathieu Pernin. “As a result, these concerts still have not taken place, and the festivals are cancelling one after another.”

 


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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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