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Ed Sheeran smashes TikTok livestreaming record

Ed Sheeran has set a new record for the most-watched live music performance on the viral short-form video app TikTok.

The record-breaking live stream took place last Friday (25 June) at Sheeran’s home football ground of Portman Road, Ipswich Town, UK, as part of TikTok’s partnership with UEFA (The Union of European Football Associations) during the Euro 2020 tournament.

More than 5.5 million unique viewers tuned in to the singer’s hour-long TikTok live stream (dubbed the TikTok UEFA EURO 2020 Show) and the two replays the following day.

According to the platform, the show was the biggest-ever live music performance on TikTok, surpassing the 4 million people who tuned in for Justin Bieber’s Valentine’s Day TikTok live stream in February.

“The bar for what is possible within the livestreaming format has been creatively raised”

The spectator-free show, directed by Emil Nava and Hamish Hamilton, incorporated special effects, augmented reality and prominent TikTok stars. It also marked the live premiere of Sheeran’s new single ‘Bad Habits’.

“The TikTok UEFA 2020 Show was an incredible moment for our community around the world and a turning point for live music streaming,” says Paul Hourican, head of music operations UK TikTok. “The bar for what is possible within the livestreaming format has been creatively raised and it has been shown how big and ambitious TikTok can be for artists.”

Ed Howard, co-president of Sheeran’s record label, Atlantic Records, added: “For Ed, Grumpy Old Management and Atlantic, uniting and reaching their global fan base was imperative for the launch of their new campaign, as well as our close partnership with Paul and the entire TikTok team enabled us to achieve this goal in a uniquely creative way.”

 


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SITG sells record 50k tickets for 20th anniversary

Australia’s Splendour in the Grass festival celebrated its largest ever ticket sale today (27 February), with fans clearing out all 50,000 tickets under an hour.

The festival has sold four times as many tickets for its 20th edition than it did for its inaugural event in 2001. This year’s festival is the biggest ever, marking a 7,500 capacity increase from last year.

The Strokes, Flume and Tyler the Creator are heading up the festival from 24 to 26 July, which will also feature performances from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Midnight Oil, Denzel Curry and more.

“The response to our 20th edition of Splendour in The Grass has been phenomenal,” says event producer Jessica Ducrou. “We know many people are doing it tough in our local communities at the moment and we’re grateful for the opportunity to bring people together in Byron through the uniting power of music.”

New South Wales is one of the regions most affected by the Australian bushfires, which have been raging through the country since September.

“We never would have thought when we produced our first edition of Splendour back in 2001 that it would resonate and mean so much to so many people 20 years later”

“We never would have thought when we produced our first edition of Splendour back in 2001 that it would resonate and mean so much to so many people 20 years later.”

Harley Evans, managing director of Splendour’s ticketing partner Moshtix, comments: “It’s been Moshtix’s great privilege to be involved in this wonderful event for so many years and the incredible demand for the 20th edition is a testament to the efforts of Jess, Paul, and their amazing team, and the love that the public has for Splendour.

“In difficult times, it will be wonderful to see 50,000 people come together in July to celebrate music and life.”

Moshtix, formerly the biggest independent ticketing service in Australia, was acquired by Ticketmaster in February last year.

Fans can sign up to the resale waiting list here.

 


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Sheeran’s Divide to become highest-grossing tour ever

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) is on course to become the highest-grossing concert tour of all time, breaking the current record, US$735.4 million, set by U2’s 360° stadium tour in July 2011.

According to Pollstar data, the Divide tour will tonight (2 August) exceed that total when it plays the Hanover Fairgrounds in northern Germany – one of the latest run of European open-airs that smashed onsale records last autumn – with the Hanover show set to push Sheeran’s total gross to $736.7m.

Total tour attendance, meanwhile, will stand at 8,504,493, from shows at 166 venues in 43 countries, compared to the 360° tour’s 7.3m.

Posting on Instagram today (2 August), Sheeran thanked “each and every one” of his fans for helping the tour become a record breaker:

 

View this post on Instagram

Today the Divide tour broke the all time tour record set by U2. Its now the most attended and highest grossing tour of all time. Thanks so much for each and every one of you who have come to a show. 12 shows left, will never forget it x

A post shared by Ed Sheeran (@teddysphotos) on

In contrast to the ‘slow’ ticketing model popularised by Sheeran’s friend Taylor Swift on her Reputation stadium tour – using dynamic pricing to capture maximum value from tickets, often at the expense of outright sell-outs – Team Sheeran employed a touring strategy that combined a huge amount of shows, including multiple stadium and arena dates, with relatively low-priced tickets.

The tour’s final show tally is expected to be 255, compared to U2’s 110, with tickets around $15% cheaper on average ($86.75, compared to $101.15 for the 360° tour). Despite keeping ticket prices low, Sheeran still placed first on Pollstar’s 2018 top 100 tours chart – the only artist in the top ten to do so without VIP ticketing, alongside an aggressive campaign against the secondary market.

Sheeran’s team includes his manager, Stuart Camp, agents Jon Ollier (CAA) and Marty Diamond (Paradigm), tour manager Mark Friend and a roster of promoters that includes FKP Scorpio in Germany, AEG Presents, DHP Family and Kilimanjaro Live in the UK, Frontier Touring down under and Messina Touring Group in North America.

“What Ed has accomplished is truly incredible”

Ray Waddell, who oversees Pollstar owner Oak View Group’s media and conferences division, says: “They assembled an impressive team of international and domestic executive talent. In all my years covering the business, it’s amazing to see an artist like Sheeran, at the age of 28, create a new touring paradigm and achieve a touring record that may not be broken in this lifetime. And he still has a lot more to do.”

“What Ed has accomplished is truly incredible,” comments Camp. “I thought we might have a shot at having the highest attendance record but not the highest-grossing tour.”

On the significance of beating U2, Camps adds: “I don’t think there’s much of a coincidence that my favourite band growing up was U2.

“I’m not putting us at that level because they’ve obviously maintained their career for much longer, but to even be in the same ballpark as them or spoken in the same sentence with a touring act like that is very humbling.”

 


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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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Hurricane/Southside 2020 break presale record

After a record-setting weekend of live music for FKP Scorpio, the German promoter is celebrating another record: its best-ever presale, for the 2020 editions of its Hurricane and Southside festivals.

The twin festivals recorded total footfall of 380,000 last weekend, which – when combined with two sold-out Ed Sheeran shows – saw FKP shows attended nearly 600,000 times, for a gross of €50 million.

Hurricane and Southside 2020 went on sale on Monday (24 June) and sold 40,000 tickets in the space of two days (at one point even bringing down FKP’s online ticketing portal).

Next year’s line-up will be announced “shortly”, says FKP, with “big names” joining previously announced hip-hop act Seeed.

Hurricane and Southside return on 19–21 June 2020.

 


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FKP Scorpio celebrates record-breaking weekend

With twin festivals Hurricane and Southside and two open-air Ed Sheeran headline shows, last weekend was the most successful ever for German concert/festival promoter FKP Scorpio.

Scorpio, majority owned by CTS Eventim, turned over nearly €50 million from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June – a period in which its shows recorded a total of 580,000 visits, according to the company’s, CEO Folkert Koopmans.

From Friday to Sunday, Hurricane (at the Eichenring in Scheeßel, Lower Saxony, north-west Germany) and Southside (at the Gewerbepark in Neuhausen ob Eck, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, south-west Germany) recorded footfall of 380,000 over three festival days. Around 68,000 people per day attended Hurricane, and some 60,000 Southside, the twin festivals whose headliners included Foo Fighters, the Cure, Die Toten Hosen, Mumford & Sons, Macklemore and Tame Impala.

Elsewhere, on Saturday and Sunday ‘Edmania’ came to Germany, with Sheeran playing the first two of four open-air shows to 100,000 people a day at the Hockenheimring. They were the biggest solo shows of his career to date, following last summer’s show in Hamburg, also promoted by FKP, which was attended by 80,000 people.

“We faced this tremendous challenge as a team and mastered it with flying colours”

That monster €50m figure, Koopmans tells IQ, comprises ticketing revenues plus sponsorship and F&B for the festivals, combined with ticket revenues only for for Ed Sheeran.

“Last weekend was unique to all of us in many ways,” comments Koopmans, who spoke to IQ earlier this month about how festivals are facing intense competition for audience share from one-day headline shows.

“The logistical and personnel effort that comes with three parallel events of this size and a total of more than 580,000 guests not only triples – it increases exponentially. In total, more than 10,000 workers from all over Germany were directly or indirectly involved.

“With a total turnover close to 50 million euros, this weekend had undoubtedly the highest turnover in the history of FKP Scorpio. Even more important to me is the fact that we have faced this tremendous challenge as a team and mastered it with flying colours.”

 


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Brian Cox smashes own ticket sales record

Professor Brian Cox has broken his own Guinness world record for the most tickets sold for a science show.

The British physicist secured his place in Guinness’s book of records in May 2017, after selling 8,787 tickets for a single show at the SSE Arena, Wembley, in London. He broke that record on 23 February 2019, when his Phil McIntyre Entertainments-promoted Universal: Adventures in Space and Time world tour visited Arena Birmingham, selling 11,433 tickets.

Craig Glenday, editor in chief of Guinness World Records, comments: “Brian has surpassed his previous record by an incredible amount and it really exemplifies the brilliant job that he does of making science accessible for all ages, something that we try each year to uphold in the Guinness World Records book.

“Brian does an amazing job of educating and inspiring children and adults alike, and his record is solid proof of these efforts.”

Due to popular demand, the show will return to NEC Group’s Arena Birmingham for an additional show on 21 September 2019. Tickets are priced from £40.75 from the Ticket Factory.

 


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Assomusica honours Vasco Rossi

Vincenzo Spera, president of Italian concert promoters’ association Assomusica, yesterday presented Vasco Rossi, one of Italy’s most successful popular singers, with an award recognising his songcraft and “spectacular” live shows.

Presenting Rossi with the Premio Assomusica (Assomusica Prize) on 9 June, Spera said: “Vasco Rossi is an artist who was able to convey inclusion, rebellion and moral independence never subservient to any power, and is a point of reference for the younger generation, especially in such a difficult time for our country.

“Recognising the value of Vasco is a gift we give to all of us. Because you feel less alone with him, and full of hope.”

Rossi, usually known mononymously as Vasco, has sold more than 35 million albums over a 40-plus-year career. His Modena Park 2017 performance, at Enzo Ferrari Park in Modena, Italy, was the largest ticketed concert of all time, selling more than 200,000 tickets and grossing €12 million.

 


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Comedy duo smash Swiss ticket sales record

Comic duo Cabaret DivertiMento have broken the record for the highest-ever ticket sales for a single tour of Switzerland.

The pair’s Sabbatical tour, which began in September 2016, has sold more than 350,000 tickets to date. In recognition of the new record, Christof Zogg, CEO of ticket agency Starticket, presented DivertiMento’s Jonny Fischer and Manuel Burkart with a ‘golden ticket award’ before their recent show at the Messehalle in Berne.

Zogg said the level of DivertiMento’s success has not been “achieved by other [local] greats such as Cabaret Rotstift, Marcocello, Cabaret Götterspass, the Schmirinskis or Peach Weber, nor international superstars like AC/DC or Metallica. We congratulate the duo on this success.”

 


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GUTS beats biggest blockchain ticket sale record

Amsterdam-based blockchain ticketer GUTS Tickets has improved on its previous record for the largest-ever blockchain ticketing sale, selling roughly 50,000 tickets in two hours.

In September 2018, the GUTS team sold 50,000 tickets in three hours. The tickets were for comedian Jochem Myjer’s 36-night run at Amsterdam’s Royal Theatre Carre (1,756-cap.).

Now, the Dutch ticketing platform has broken that record, selling the same amount of tickets in just two hours, a 33% time improvement.

The ticket sale, once again for the Dutch comedian, resulted in 118,000 unique users visiting the GUTS website. As a result, the GUTS Tickets app trended on the Google Play Store and became the most popular free app in the Netherlands.

The sale included several venues, spread out over the country. All customers in the waiting line were able to highlight their preferred venue and could see the likelihood of getting tickets for that specific venue. If, during the time spent waiting, the tickets for a customer’s chosen venue sold out, they were given a choice of other venues where tickets were still available.

“The doors are now open for more large-scale and international events, which will be the focus for the time to come”

GUTS uses the underlying GET Protocol, a “fraud- and scalping-proof ecosystem”, which allows event organisers to track their tickets, with all transactions being registered with blockchain technology. The result is a ‘smart ticket’, which cannot be duplicated or sold for a price other than that set by the issuer.

According to GUTS, this most recent achievement proves that the blockchain ticketer and GET Protocol are both ready for bigger things.

“The doors are now open for more large-scale and international events, which will be the focus for the time to come,” said the Dutch ticketing company in a statement.

In January, GUTS community manager Olivier Biggs discussed the possibility that dynamically pricing tickets  allowing prices to fluctuate based on market demand  could generate additional revenue for humanitarian projects, such as cancer research.

 


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