fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Icelandic music business calls for more support

A new report put together by the Icelandic music industry has highlighted the measures needed to be taken by the government to help the business through the current crisis.

The ‘Impact of Covid-19 on the Icelandic music industry report’ has been compiled by the Icelandic Musicians Union (FIH), Icelandic National Group for IFPI (FHF), Collecting society for performers and phonogram producers (SFH), the Performing Rights Association of Iceland (STEF), Reykjavík Music City and Iceland Music (ÚTÓN).

The report states that, although a number of measures have been taken to address the loss of income of musicians, many schemes such as the partial compensation scheme for cancelled events and closure subsidies for companies forced to halt their operations for public health reasons, “have benefitted members of the music industry in a very limited way”.

“Clearly, despite the good will and the prompt response from the government, we need to find more effective ways to respond to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the music industry in Iceland,” reads the report.

“Clearly, despite the good will and the prompt response from the government, we need to find more effective ways to respond to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the music industry in Iceland”

Existing measures include a ISK 244 million (€1.5m) artists’ salary fund; a ISK 86m (€540,870) fund for new music-related activities; the ISK 30m (€188,680) City of Reykjavík Culture Fund (Menningarpottur Reykjavíkurborgar); and the Summer City 2020 project, which promotes culture and creates job opportunites for musicians and venues in Reykjavík.

The music industry representatives present various counter measures, drawing from action taken in the countries of Denmark, Germany and Finland, to support the industry.

Suggestions include establishing “extensive support packages” for venues, promoters, festivals and agents; a reduction of real estate tax for venues; compensation for the operating costs and other fixed costs of businesses that have not closed down over the period; the creation of a small businesses fund; and government-led promotional campaigns for the music industry.

The report also makes some recommendations for actions to be taken by those in the industry itself, including the establishment of a “formal alliance” of Icelandic concert promoters and increased cooperation between music organisations, with the aim of creating an association to represent the industry as a whole.

The document cites measures taken in Denmark to support self-employed individuals and in Finland, where €700m has been put aside to assist small- and medium-sized businesses. The report also recommends the Icelandic government consider Germany, where €150m has been dedicated to supporting the live music industry.

An executive summary of the report can be found here.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Sheeran extends record-breaking streak in Iceland

Ed Sheeran played two shows in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik this weekend to record crowds, as the mammoth ÷ (Divide) tour shows no sign of slowing down.

Almost 50,000 people attended the AEG Presents/ Sena Live-promoted shows at the Laugardalsvöllur stadium on 10 and 11 August.

The shows became the biggest in the country’s history, with attendance equating to one in seven of the total Icelandic population.

The feat is the latest in a series of records for the singer’s Divide tour, which became the highest-grossing tour ever on 2 August. On its conclusion, more than 8.5 million people across 43 countries will have seen Sheeran perform on the tour, making it the most attended of all time.

“Though the biggest tour in history is coming to an incredible crescendo the records keep coming for Ed,” says AEG Presents senior vice president of international live music, Simon Jones.

“These historic shows in Iceland were like nothing I have ever seen”

“These historic shows in Iceland were like nothing I have ever seen. They completely took over the country with Sheeran fever at its peak. It was absolutely a national event and the scale of the shows relative to the population was colossal.”

Earlier this year, AEG Presents promoted the singer’s first-ever headline shows in South Africa, breaking previous tickets sales in the country by 30,000.

Sheeran also put on the biggest-ever concert in Finland, playing two shows promoted by FKP Scorpio’s Fullsteam Agency in Helsinki to 108,000 fans.

Other highlights for AEG Presents in the past year include Hugh Jackman playing six nights at the O2 in London and Shawn Mendes’ arena tour. A European tour with Khalid is set for the autumn.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

First acts announced for Iceland Airwaves 2019

Reykjavik festival Iceland Airwaves has released the first line-up announcement for its 2019 edition, with acts including Mac DeMarco, Whitney and Shame, playing alongside many Icelandic artists.

Iceland Airwaves, the world’s northernmost showcase festival, takes place from 6 to 9 November in downtown Reykjavik.

Icelandic promoter Sena Live acquired the festival last year, pledging to take Airwaves “back to its roots”, focusing on emerging Icelandic talent, rather than big international names.

Icelandic acts confirmed for this year include synth-led pop groups GDRN, Matthildur, Hildur and Vök, and Reykjavik punk trio Hatari – tipped to represent Iceland at May’s Eurovision Song Contest.

“2019 builds on last year’s mission to return to the ‘heart’ of the festival and shine light on the world’s best emerging talent, local stars and interesting artists”

The festival continues to showcase a whole host of international artists, with this year’s line-up featuring Canadian songwriter Mac DeMarco, Chicago country-soul band Whitney, Cardiff-based Boy Azooga and Norwegian pop artists Anna of the North and Amanda Tenfjord.

“Iceland Airwaves is all about discovery,” comments Will Larnach-Jones, head of marketing and operations at the festival.

“2019 builds on last year’s mission – to return to the ‘heart’ of the festival and shine light on the world’s best emerging talent, local stars and interesting artists – all within the warm, electric atmosphere of downtown Reykjavik,” he says.

A signatory to the keychange initiative, the 2018 edition of Airwaves made history as the first major music festival to have more female artists than male on its line-up.

Early bird tickets for Airwaves 2019, costing 14,900 ISK (£95.55), are on sale here. Travel packages from the UK, Europe, United States and Canada are available from Icelandair.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Venue, vidi, vici

… But with expectations among the ticket-buying public now higher than ever, it’s perhaps not surprising that the venues that host concerts and events now have to be as eye-catching as the shows themselves. Eamonn Forde highlights ten of the most innovative building designs

 


National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

It took six years and ¥2.7bn (€365m) to build this 5,452-capacity venue (split across three rooms, the biggest of which holds 2,416 people) and it opened for business in December 2007. Unsurprisingly, it is known locally as the ‘Giant Egg’, as if an enormous robot chicken marched across China and laid it there. It is constructed from titanium-accented glass and is surrounded by an artificial lake (the reflection from the water giving the building – which really looks like a computer mouse – its ovum shape).

Given its nickname, it’s the perfect place for rock bands to play their new albumen (sorry).

 


 

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik
Sitting on the very lip of Europe and staring across the desperately cold waters of the North Atlantic, Harpa opened for business in 2011 and cost €164m to build – which is probably about the same price as a round of drinks in the Icelandic capital today. As it was nearing completion, the Icelandic financial crisis was unspooling in the background, so it’s incredible that it was actually completed.

It holds up to 1,800 people in the main hall, as well as being a focal point of Iceland Airwaves. In stark contrast to the genteel and low-rise feel of most of central Reykjavik, it looks like Escher let loose with glass Lego.

 


Read the rest of this feature in issue 70 of IQ Magazine

. To subscribe, click here.