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Czech live industry joins forces for United Live Radio

Live music industry professionals from across the Czech Republic have teamed up to launch United Live Radio, a non-commercial radio station broadcasting live music, talk shows and podcasts.

Since going live on 10 April, the online radio station, which can be accessed here, has broadcast archived live concerts from Talking Heads, the Rolling Stones and Sting, as well as featuring talk shows by venue owner Jakub Horak and music selections from Michael Kyselka of radio Vltava and artists including Michal Kořán and Michal Prokop,

Upcoming radio hosts include Metronome Festival’s Barbora Šubrtová, veteran promoter and Fórum Karlín CEO Serge Grimaux and singer Moimir Papalescu.

“The impact of restrictions on live culture is enormous and this project, which is being developed in collaboration with festivals, concert promoters, venues and artists, aims to help everyone going through these difficult times,” says David Gaydečka, founder of Prague’s 20,000-capacity Metronome Festival, which has been postponed to September this year.

“The impact of restrictions on live culture is enormous and this project aims to help everyone going through these difficult times”

“Our common goal is to stay in touch with the musicians and the fans by offering them unique musical experiences, while also having a look inside festivals, concerts and venues.”

In addition to Metronome, festivals currently taking part in the United Live Radio initiative include dance music festival Beats for Love, Benátská noc, BluesAlive, metal festival Brutal Assault, JazzFestBrno, drum and bass events Festival Svojšice and Let It Roll, Folk Holidays, Open Air MusicFest Prestige, Prague Spring Festival, Respect Festival, Strings of Autumn Festival, Štěrkovna Open Music, United Islands of Prague and sports event Slovácké léto.

Venues including Forum Karlín, Joe’s Garage are also taking part, as well as promoters Fource Entertainment, Live Nation, Obscure Promotion and agency 10:15 Entertainment.

Listen to United Live Radio here.

 


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Emporium Presents to ramp up special events output

Colorado- and Washington-based promoter Emporium Presents has hired Rob Buswell as head of radio shows and special events.

Under Buswell, Emporium, majority owned by Live Nation since the tail end of 2018, aims to increase its show production and expand its range of speciality events, according to a statement.

Buswell has owned and operated radio show promoter Pro Events since 2001, producing events and booking talent for nearly 100 US radio stations and working with artists including Drake, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, Chance the Rapper and Destiny’s Child.

“Rob has been a longtime friend and partner of Emporium Presents. He brings his exceptional experience and relationships to a great team and will help us continue to grow our business,” says Emporium’s COO, Tina Suca, who joined in September.

Buswell will be working remotely from Arizona and can be reached at Rob@emporiumpresents.com. Led by directors Dan Steinberg and Jason Zink, Emporium Presents produces over 400 shows annually across the US and Canada.

 


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Senior UK radio execs launch Podcast Live

A new venture producing live shows by popular factual podcasters, Podcast Live, launches today in the UK.

Podcast Live – led by Heart FM founder and former LBC boss Phil Riley (chairman) and British Podcast Awards creator Matt Deegan (creative director) – will stage interactive versions of some of Britain’s leading podcasts in front of a live audience. Events will be both single and multi-day, covering topics including politics, sports, lifestyle and health/wellness.

The other co-founders are finance director Michael Connole, formerly of Chrysalis Group and Global Radio, and John Myers, ex-CEO of Guardian Media Group Radio.

The first Podcast Live Event will take place on 7 April at the Light (1,000-cap.) at Friends House in London, and feature ten politics-themed podcasts, including Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith’s For the Many, Matt Chorley’s the Times Red Box, James Delingpole’s the Delingpod, How I Found My Voice by Intelligence Squared and anti-Brexit show Remainiacs.

“I’m thrilled that Podcast Live is going to help push the medium further”

“Podcast Live is an exciting new concept, allowing creators to feed off a live audience as well as giving fans a chance to meet their favourite hosts in the flesh,” says Riley. “Demand for amazing podcast content is soaring and I’m thrilled that Podcast Live is going to help push the medium further.”

Deegan adds: “We know the most successful podcasters want to do more for their audiences. Podcast Live will be an easy way for them to put on live shows up and down the country.

“As well as meeting their own fans, it will expose them to new audiences and provide creatives with an additional revenue stream.”

Several live music businesses are investing in podcasting, including UTA, which partially owns ART19, and promoter Kilimanjaro Live, which seeks to grow its live podcast output.

 


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Leon Ramakers relaunches Dutch radio station Kink

Joy of a Toy BV, a company controlled by Mojo Concerts co-founder Leon Ramakers, has bought into a new Dutch online radio station, Kink, set to launch in February next year.

Kink is a spiritual successor to Kink FM, an alternative rock station in operation from October 1995 to October 2011, but will be broadcast online seven days a week, as well as over streaming services and in podcasts. It launches on 1 February 2019.

According to a launch announcement, Ramakers (pictured) – “one of the initiators” of the new station – “attaches great importance to the existence of a radio station that [caters to] lovers of alternative rock in a modern way and contributes to pop culture in the Netherlands”. No financial details of Ramakers’ involvement have been disclosed by Kink, with a statement noting that “his shareholding is emphatically private”.

Ramakers owned 25% of Kink FM between 1998 and 2003. According to MediaMagazine, Ramakers’ shareholding in Kink is a purely private venture, with no financial from Mojo or parent company Live Nation.

“It is a great honour to be able to revive this legendary radio name”

Working alongside Ramakers and director Jan Hoogesteijn will be veteran DJ Michiel Veenstra, who has been appointed programme director.

“There is no serious base for fans of alternative pop music in the current radio landscape,” says Veenstra, who was most recently a presenter at NPO’s 3FM. “The time has come for a contemporary platform where this music can be heard 24 hours a day, on both live radio and on-demand streaming services and podcasts. Music and technology come together at the new Kink, and it is a great honour to be able to revive this legendary radio name.”

The company that became Mojo was founded in 1968 by Berry Visser, with Ramakers, then a young architecture student, coming on board in 1970, the pair growing the company to become the largest concert and festival promoter in the Netherlands. Visser left in 1993, and Ramakers sold the company to SFX Entertainment (later to become Live Nation) in 1999.

He temporarily became co-CEO once more in 2016, following the departure of Wilbert Mutsaers, and now serves Mojo in a consultant capacity, as well as a booker for Pinkpop.

 


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Wisebuddah and Senbla team up for iconic performers

It has been announced today that award-winning audio content company Wisebuddah has signed a deal with London-based concert promoter Senbla. The deal will see the two companies team up to create exclusive audio content for upcoming concerts from Quincy Jones and Burt Bacharach.

On 27 June, Quincy Jones: A Life in Song will come to the O2 Arena. The concert will pay tribute to Jones’ extensive career in the year of his 85th birthday. Fans will also be treated to a series of guest appearances, including Jess Glynne, Mick Hucknall, Beverley Knight and Mark Ronson.

A week later, Burt Bacharach will take to the stage of the London Royal Festival Hall on 6 and 7 July for the first time in two years to honour his own 60 year-strong career. With eight Grammys, three Academy Awards and 48 top-ten songs, his promises to be another memorable concert.

On the opportunity to work with these artists, Adam Uytman, head of content at Wisebuddah, comments: “Quincy Jones and Burt Bacharach are, without doubt, two of the world’s greatest music icons.

“Capturing the live experience can be very challenging. Wisebuddah have outstanding credentials in this area, so are the perfect partner for us.”

“Understanding audio – whether it’s live or pre-recorded, for scheduled broadcast or on-demand consumption – means we have the expertise to create the best possible content from these live experiences.”

Beyond capturing the two concerts, Wisebuddah will create two programmes which will premiere on BBC Radio 2. Already very well acquainted with BBC Radio, Wisebuddah have worked with some of the broadcaster’s most highlyrated shows, including The Michael Ball Show, Claudia on Sunday and The Radio 2 Rock Show with Johnnie Walker. It has also built a successful portfolio of podcast work with BBC Radio, the Sun and the NHS.

Wisebuddah’s extensive portfolio of work was attractive to Senbla. Ollie Rosenblatt, managing director of Senbla explains: ““Capturing the live experience can be very challenging.

“Wisebuddah have outstanding credentials in this area, so are the perfect partner for us. We are looking forward to extending the reach of these seminal concerts, not only through the high-profile broadcasts on BBC Radio 2, but through other plans we have for the distribution of this unique and very special audio.”

 


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Hard Rock Hell promoter launches management firm

The team behind the Hard Rock Hell (HRH) festivals has launched Torpedo Recordings, a management/consultancy company which will represent up-and-coming talent in rock and metal.

Torpedo, part of Chic Festivals’ “HRH empire”, will offer “new, breaking and exciting bands the chance to get management and consultancy, as well as a whole host of services to suit their needs and budget”, according to a launch announcement, with packages including label services, distribution, sponsorship, endorsements, marketing, PR, website services and radio and TV placements.

The company will be headed up by Jason McGuire, station manager for HRH’s Hard Rock Hell Radio, who comments: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for bands to get that lift up to the next level. It’s every band’s dream to perform in front of bigger audiences and get themselves seen, heard and talked about in as many territories as possible.

“This is now a reality, and we can certainly help at Torpedo. With distribution and marketing available in over 200 countries worldwide, future Torpedo talent will certainly be broadening their horizons.”

“When your doors are getting kicked in with young and exciting bands daily, you have to react”

Chic’s festival portfolio includes the flagship 6,000-cap. Hard Rock Hell event at Haven holiday park in Pwllheli, north Wales, alongside spin-off events such as HRH Prog, HRH AOR, HRH Doom, HRH NWOBHM and HRH Road Trip Ibiza.

Jonni Davis, CEO of Chic Festivals, says: “When your doors are getting kicked in with young and exciting bands daily, you have to react, and we think this one stop vertically integrated music solution could really help in a positive way. Our mother label, Off Yer Rocka Recordings, will now concentrate more on its portfolio of more established and international acts.

“Any bands interested in what Torpedo has to offer should check out the website and get in touch via the contact page with the assets required.”

 


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‘Best of both worlds’: LiveXLive to acquire Slacker Radio

LiveXLive Media is to add internet radio to its growing portfolio of music products with the US$50m acquisition of Slacker Radio, its new president announced today.

Industry veteran Andy Schuon – formerly, among many other roles, president of artist services at Live Nation – describes the merger as an “incredibly exciting” one that will “bring the worlds of recorded music and live music together”.

As president, Schuon (pictured) will oversee all aspects of the US company’s business, including Slacker Radio, core live music video service LiveXLive, ticketing platform Wantickets, social app developer Snap Interactive and the newly established LiveXLive Influencers division.

LiveXLive, which launched in July 2015, initially positioned itself as the “ESPN of premium live music experience” with its aim of creating a 24-hour network of live music broadcasting digitally and on mobile. Last May it signed a strategic partnership with MTV to provide the broadcaster with LiveXLive’s stream of the closing night of Rock in Rio Lisbon (partnerships with Live Nation’s Outside Lands and AEG’s Hangout have followed since), and shortly after moved into ticketing with the acquisition of Wantickets following that company’s top brass’s controversial defection to Eventbrite.

It has since moved more into original content, with plans to develop a slate of “music news programming, documentaries, specials, and long- and short-form content”.

San Diego-based Slacker, meanwhile, offers both free and paid subscription digital radio stations, and has more than 1.5m unique monthly users.

“The passion for live music has never been greater, and LiveXLive is focused on being the brand of record”

“With nearly 60% of millennials using two or more apps for streaming music, according to Nielsen, the market is prime for a service that combines video with the live and recorded music worlds,” reads a statement from LiveXLive. “Bringing Slacker Radio into the LiveXLive Media fold will provide fans with a premium radio experience and a pass to some of music’s biggest nights, from festivals and concerts to special performances by some of the world’s top artists.”

“Andy joins us at a perfect time to lead this latest acquisition of Slacker Radio and direct the company overall,” says Robert Ellin, CEO and chairman of LiveXLive Media. “Andy is an industry visionary with significant experience and deep knowledge of the media and entertainment landscape. He has a long-standing, proven track record of both driving and maintaining growth while achieving excellence and innovation at every level for some of the biggest music brands and media properties in the world.

“Andy’s unparalleled work in audio and video content is the perfect complement for LiveXLive, Slacker and our other businesses.”

Schuon adds: “The passion for live music has never been greater, and LiveXLive is focused on being the brand of record – globally – for live music information, music-focused content and the streaming of music’s biggest festivals and events.

“I walked into a radio station at 16, and it became who I am, not what I do. To continue to have the opportunity to shape the future of music streaming services and streaming radio with a leading platform like Slacker Radio is incredibly exciting,” Schuon continued. “I look forward to working with the Slacker team as we bring the worlds of recorded music and live music together with the best audio and video content.”

In addition to his role at Live Nation, Schuon has been head of programming at MTV, executive vice-president at Warner Bros Records and president of programming for Infinity/CBS Radio. He is a co-founder, with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, of the Revolt TV network.

 


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