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Suncorp Stadium sets record attendance

Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane has set a record for the highest attendance since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March.

The 52,500-capacity stadium welcomed 49,155 fans to last night’s State of Origin rugby finale between Queensland and New South Wales, eclipsing the 46,000 figure for last month’s Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between New Zealand and Australia at Auckland’s Eden Park.

The open-air stadium was permitted to operate at full capacity after Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk lifted the 75% capacity restriction the day before (17 November).

Palaszczuk also announced that seated and ticketed indoor events like concerts are permitted to increase patron numbers from 50% to 100% and outdoor events can host up to 1,500 people. Social distancing has increased to one person per two square metres.

Suncorp Stadium will also host a date of the first stadium tour announced since the outbreak of Covid-19.

“GNR’s 2021 Australia and New Zealand tour is the light at the end of the bleak tunnel we’ve all negotiated this year”

Guns N’ Roses (GNR) will embark on a stadium tour of Australia and New Zealand in November 2021, stopping off at the Brisbane stadium as well as ANZ Stadium (cap. 83,500) in Syndey, Optus Stadium (60,000) in Perth and more.

Paul Dainty, president and CEO of TEG Dainty, which is promoting the tour says: “As the first stadium tour announcement since the advent of Covid-19 and border closures pressed pause on touring, it’s fair to say our appetite for live music performances by international megastars has peaked and in GNR we trust!

“GNR’s 2021 Australia and New Zealand tour is the light at the end of the bleak tunnel we’ve all negotiated this year. All aboard the Nightrain to Paradise City for what promises to be a heaving celebration of the unbreakable human spirit!”

Australia is also set to host its first arena shows since the shutdown of the concert business in March, organised by TEG, Live Nation and the government of New South Wales (NSW).

The Greatest Southern Nights shows will play to more than 12,000 fans at Qudos Bank Arena (21,000-cap.) over two nights in a seated, ‘Covid-safe’ setting on 28 November and 5 December.


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One-year hiatus for FKP Scorpio fest A Summer’s Tale

German promoter FKP Scorpio has announced Luhmühlen-based festival A Summer’s Tale will not be returning for 2020, as the festival takes a one-year break.

Ticket sales for A Summer’s Tale 2019 matched last year’s record numbers, with 13,000 fans attending the four-day event.

Taking place from 1 to 4 August, acts including Zaz, Suede and Elbow played at the fifth edition of the woodland festival, which also offers outdoor activities, arts, crafts, readings and theatrical performances.

“A Summer’s Tale is a project close to our hearts,” comments FKP Scorpio chief executive Folkert Koopmans. “We have developed the festival very carefully around the current festival site.”

Although FKP Scorpio wishes to keep the current festival site in Luhmühlen, changes to regulatory requirements may mean the event can no longer take place there in its current capacity.

“A Summer’s Tale is a project close to our hearts”

“The long-term answer to this situation is taking a one-year break,” continues Koopmans. “We will use this time to further develop A Summer’s Tale for the benefit of our guests.”

The FKP Scorpio boss stresses that the festival remains “an integral part” of the festival calendar and confirms that the sixth edition will take place from 22 to 25 July 2021.

Since debuting in 2015, A Summer’s Tale has played host to artists including Franz Ferdinand, Patti Smith, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Amy Macdonald, Damien Rice and PJ Harvey.

FKP Scorpio celebrated a record-breaking weekend earlier this summer, as twin festivals Hurricane/ Southside and two open-air Ed Sheeran shows brought in nearly €50 million from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June.


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Ed Sheeran plays Finland’s biggest-ever concert

Ed Sheeran has broken more records, with two shows promoted by Fullsteam Agency in Finland attracting more visitors than any other live music event in the country’s history.

The Helsinki shows combined constitute the biggest concert event to take place in the country, surpassing the record of 104,000 attendees set by two U2 concerts at Helsinki Olympic Stadium in 2010.

The two Ed Sheeran shows were also attended by more people than Finland’s three-day Ruisrock festival, which brings in around 105,000 visitors each year, according to Fullsteam.

Sheeran previously beat ticket sales records in South Africa, selling 230,000 tickets across four dates as part of his multi-record breaking ÷ tour, which ended 2018 as the highest-grossing tour of the last 30 years.

Originally intended as a one-date show, all 60,000 tickets for the concert were snapped up in 20 minutes, with a second date later added to meet demand.

“The event was extraordinarily well planned and executed”

The concerts, which took place on 23 and 24 July, were the first-ever large-scale entertainment events to take place at Helsinki’s Malmi Airport.

“The event was extraordinarily well planned and executed and, from the City of Helsinki’s point of view, the collaboration was seamless,” comments the city’s deputy mayor for urban environment, Anni Sinnemäki.

“We warmly welcome other productions to Malmi Airport in the future.”

Fullsteam, part of the FKP Scorpio group, reported a record-breaking summer last year, with a combined attendance of more than 100,000 for the promoter’s festivals, Provinssi and Sideways. Provinssi saw a slight drop in attendance this year, down to 73,000 visitors from the previous year’s 76,000.

German metal band Rammstein are set to play two Fullsteam-promoted shows at the 32,000-capacity Ratina Stadium in Tampere, Finland, on 9 and 10 August. Tickets for the earlier date are still available, priced at €99.


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Metallica’s WorldWired run breaks records in Finland

Metallica last night broke another box-office record with their ongoing WorldWired world tour, playing to 55,500 fans in Hämeenlinna, Finland.

The US metal band smashed records across Europe in 2017, the tour’s second year, including setting a best-ever attendance of 22,211 at the O2 in London. On 16 July, the WorldWired tour made its third stop in Finland (Metallica played Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena on 9 and 11 May 2018) at the open-air Kantola Event Park.

In addition to besting the venue’s attendance record, the show was the single-largest Finnish concert ever played by Metallica.

The show formed part of the 13th leg of the WorldWired world tour, produced by Live Nation. It has so far sold around 1.5 million tickets, for 25 shows in 20 European countries.

The European run ends in Germany in August, with the tour as a whole scheduled to come to a close at Mt Smart Stadium (47,000-cap.) in Auckland, New Zealand, on 2 November 2019.


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Record attendance for Ukraine’s Atlas Weekend

The fifth edition of Kiev-based Atlas Weekend festival saw more visitors than ever before, with 538,000 festivalgoers from 75 different countries attending the six-day festival.

The festival, which took place from 9 to 14 July, featured performances from the Chainsmokers, Black Eyed Peas, the Vaccines, Liam Gallagher and Russian rock group Splean.

“We are really happy with how the 2019 edition went,” Atlas Weekend owner and chief executive Dmytro Sydorenko tells IQ. “It was our best festival yet.”

159,710 people attended the free-to-enter opening day of the festival, breaking the event’s daily attendance record.

“The point of the first day is to showcase Ukrainian music to the widest audience possible,” explains Sydorenko, stating that the number of attendees also marked a new daily attendance record for festival venue Ukrainian Expo Centre, “in all 61 years of its existence”.

“One of our main goals is to develop music tourism in Ukraine and also make the festival more prominent in markets outside of our country,” says Sydorenko. “We work closely with government departments to ease planning for foreign visitors – both artists and fans – and make sure they have the best time possible during their stay in Kiev.”

Over 250 acts from 20 different countries made up the festival’s most international line-up yet, with 30 acts performing in Ukraine for the first time.

“One of our main goals is to make the festival more prominent in markets outside of Ukraine”

Asap Rocky, who was billed to headline Atlas Weekend’s Saturday night, was detained in Sweden for suspected assault shortly before the event, leading to the cancellation of remaining tour dates.

The absence of the headliner was much talked about on social media and in the Ukrainian press, says the Atlas chief executive, admitting that “there was a lot of tension involved”.

“We have never had to deal with a headliner replacement before, especially not one that urgent,” Sydorenko tells IQ, “but we are happy that we managed to find a suitable replacement both for Asap Rocky’s fans and our festivalgoers.”

Fellow Asap Mob member Asap Ferg filled the headline slot, in a performance that “almost didn’t happen due to flight delays”.

A key goal for the 2019 festival was to be “as inclusive and accessible as possible.” Through its Mastercard Vibes initiative, festival sponsor Mastercard provided sign language interpretation at the main stage, as well as setting up a lounge area with visual and tactile installations.

“We believe in inclusivity and take pride in our efforts to make our festival a place for everyone to have a good time and enjoy music,” says Sydorenko.

The festival was held in partnership with Music Conference Ukraine, which was organised by the country’s music export office.


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In-the-round Mumfords break Detroit arena record

British folk-pop act Mumfords & Sons broke the attendance record with their show at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena last Wednesday, promoter 313 Presents has revealed.

The show – part of the band’s fourth concert tour, the big-production, in-the-round Delta tour – played to 17,794 people on 27 March, a spokesperson for the 20,000-capacity arena tells WXYZ Detroit.

Detroit-based 313 Presents, which co-promoted the show with Live Nation, thanked the band for a “fantastic night and a broken record to date […] #1 paid attendance to date at Little Caesars Arena.”

After a troubled start in the UK plagued by “logistical” issues, the Delta tour headed to the US in December – with highlights including two nights at Madison Square Garden on 10 and 11 December – then to Australasia, before returning to North America in late February. The band will play a string of European arena and festival dates this summer.

Little Caesars Arena, located in the Midtown area of Detroit, Michigan, opened in 2017. It is operated by Olympia Entertainment (parent company of 313 Presents), which also owns several sports teams in Michigan.


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