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Byron Bay Bluesfest to go ahead as planned

The organisers of Byron Bay Bluesfest have confirmed that the festival is going ahead as planned from 9 to 13 April, despite the spread of Covid-19.

“We are all aware of COVID-19 in Australia and want to update you. Bluesfest Byron Bay will be going ahead as planned,” reads a post on the festival’s Facebook page, last updated today (12 March).

“Both NSW Health and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the federal body, report that attending public events such as Bluesfest are low risk.”

Fan are assured that their tickets are “fully insured” in case of a coronavirus-related cancellation.

The New South Wales festival, organised by Peter Noble, is entering its 31st year in 2020, featuring acts including Lenny Kravitz, Dave Matthews Band, Kool and the Gang and John Butler.

“We are all aware of COVID-19 in Australia and want to update you. Bluesfest Byron Bay will be going ahead as planned”

Extra safety measures and additional facilities, such as hand sanitisation stations, will be put in place at Bluesfest to further safeguard the health and safety of guests.

Covid-19 was yesterday declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Major festivals including Coachella, Ultra Miami, South by Southwest and Tomorrowland Winter have been cancelled or postponed due to the virus.

Events affected in Australia include Miley Cyrus’ cancelled headline performance at the World Tour Bushfire Relief concert in Melbourne, Victoria. However, Robbie Wiliams’ appearance as part of the same event series is going ahead as planned, along with the Australian grand prix.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today said there will be a “further review of mass gatherings” across the state, saying, “there is no need to massively change what you are doing but it’s not business as usual. We are asking everybody to be alert.”

13 new cases of the virus were reported in NSW yesterday alone, bringing the state’s total to 78, half the total number of cases reported across the whole country.

 


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Miley Cyrus to headline World Tour Bushfire Relief

Miley Cyrus is headlining a bushfire benefit concert in Melbourne on Friday 13 March, as part of new global concert series World Tour.

Promoted by Apollo World Touring, TEG Dainty and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Westbrook Inc., World Tour Bushfire Relief is a one-night only event taking place at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium, featuring performances from Lil Nas X, the Veronicas and DJ Seb Fontaine.

The concert is taking place the night before the previously announced Robbie Williams-headlined World Tour show at Lakeside Stadium and alongside the Australian Grand Prix.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the WWF Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, two Australian-based nonprofits working to rebuild communities affected by the country’s wildfires and restore forests and wildlife.

The benefit concert follows Fire Fight Australia, the Queen-headlined event organised by TEG, TEG Dainty and TEG Live that has so far raised almost AU$10 million (US$6.6m) for bushfire relief.

“The partnership that AgBioEn has developed with World Tour is all about inspiring music fans to become a part of the exciting transition to a net-zero, climate-friendly future”

World Tour recently announced a multi-year, multi-territory partnership with AgBioEn, an Australia-based renewable energy company. The partnership will see the concert series visit cities in Canada, Italy, Taiwan, the US, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

“As an Australian company, AgBioEn are devastated by the impacts of the recent bushfires, and we are proud to have been able to work with World Tour, TEG Dainty and The Australian Grand Prix Corporation to rapidly pull together this exciting event with Miley,” comments AgBioEn chairman Charles Hunting.

“The partnership that AgBioEn has developed with World Tour is all about inspiring music fans to become a part of the exciting transition to a net-zero, climate-friendly future.”

Tickets for World Tour Bushfire Relief go on sale on Tuesday 25 February at 2 p.m. AEDT here. Tickets for the Robbie Williams concert are available here from AU$99 ($65).

 


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Robbie Williams to headline inaugural World Tour show

Robbie Williams will inaugurate World Tour, a new global concert series set to debut on Saturday 14 March during the 2020 Australian grand prix.

In his only Australian performance of 2020, the British star will headline World Tour Melbourne, taking place at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park.

Future World Tour events will visit other major cities in across the globe, according to Paul Morrison, co-founder and chairman of Apollo World Touring – one of the three companies bringing the concept to Australia, alongside promoter TEG Dainty and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Westbrook Inc.

“We are so proud and excited to be launching World Tour with Robbie Williams in Melbourne,” comments Morrison. “To do this alongside the 25th Formula 1 race to be held in Melbourne makes the occasion ever more special.

“World Tour will feed global audiences hungry for great content, bringing the best in entertainment to provide a unique platform which will celebrate the best that Melbourne and all future cities have to offer.”

According to the new brand’s website, future shows will take place in cities including Berlin, Milan, Montreal, Seoul, Taipei, Osaka and Miami.

“This is the start of an annual addition to the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix weekend and we are excited to be bringing Robbie Williams to Melbourne with our partners Apollo World Touring and Australian Grand Prix Corporation for the 25th race,” says TEG Dainty CEO Paul Dainty.

“World Tour will feed global audiences hungry for great content”

Adds Craig Fletcher, GM for motorsports, entertainment and industry at the Australian Grand Prix Corporation: “The Australian Grand Prix Corporation is thrilled to partner with international powerhouse organisations Apollo World Touring, Westbrook Inc. and TEG Dainty to bring the global launch of World Tour to our wonderful city.

“The Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020 is the ultimate fusion of the world’s best racing, food, glamour and music. This year will mark the 25th race held in Melbourne, which is the perfect occasion to host the inaugural World Tour and global superstar Robbie Williams.”

Williams’s most recent stadium tour, 2017–18’s Heavy Entertainment Show tour, saw him perform to more than 1.5 million people across the world, including at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow. According to Pollstar, it grossed US$62 million from 31 shows in 2017, ending the year as the 25th-highest grossing globally.

Organisers have also confirmed they will be supporting fundraising efforts towards bushfire relief, with more details announced soon. TEG Dainty and its sister company, TEG Live, have sold more than 70,000 tickets for their own Live Aid-style benefit, Fire Fight Australia, on 16 February.

Tickets for the Melbourne gig are on sale from 10am AEDT on Monday 20 January via TEG’s Ticketek site, with a range of tickets from general admission to the Residence – an exclusive area “offering the best access and unrivalled experiences in close proximity to the action on stage” – available.

 


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ASM Global to manage Baltimore venue

Venue management giant ASM Global has added Baltimore’s Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric (2,565-cap.) to its expanding portfolio.

The Modell Lyric joins recent ASM additions the Gateshead Quays (12,500-cap.) in the UK the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (23,000-cap.) in Ohio, USA. ASM Global also holds a 25% stake in Australian stadium operator VenuesLive.

ASM Global, which formed as the result of a mega-merger between AEG Facilities and SMG, has a five-year agreement with the Lyric Foundation for management of the Baltimore venue. An Outback Concerts-promoted Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band show will be the first to take place under ASM’s management on 16 and 17 June 2020.

“We are excited to welcome the Lyric to the ASM Global family of performing arts centres,” says Bob Newman, president and CEO of ASM Global. “We have a long and successful history in Baltimore at the Royal Farms Arena (14,000-cap.) and more recently at MECU Pavilion (4,400-cap.).

“ASM Global understands the Lyric’s vision and mission”

“The Lyric further expands our portfolio in the region and compliments the other two facilities, enabling us to better serve our patrons, promoters and partners in the area.”

“We are happy that our first booking at the Lyric is Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band,” adds Bob Papke, vice president of theatres for ASM Global. “The Modell Lyric is an incredible venue and we look forward to bringing a variety of artists and attractions to the theater.”

John Denick, chair of the Lyric Foundation comments that ASM Global “understand[s] the Lyric’s vision and mission.

“They represent a great opportunity for growth, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship,” says Denick.

The Modell Lyric, a not-for-profit performing arts centre serving the greater Baltimore area, has hosted acts including Aretha Franklin, Robbie Williams, Chris Rock, Diana Ross, Santana and the Grateful Dead.

Tickets for the Ringo Starr show go on sale at 10 a.m. EST today (Friday 15 November) here.

 


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AEG promotes Jim King to CEO, EU festivals

AEG Presents has announced that Jim King, current executive vice-president of live music, is to take on a new role as chief executive of European Festivals.

King’s appointment will launch the newly created European Festivals division, as AEG Presents looks to expand its presence in Europe. In his new role, King will seek out new opportunities in the festival space.

King previously worked for club brand Cream, later launching and running Creamfields festival. Prior to working at AEG, King ran his own company, Loudsound, which promoted and produced several UK festivals.

Since joining AEG Presents in 2008, King launched and produced BST Hyde Park in 2015 and All Points East in 2018.

The European Festivals boss will continue to work from AEG’s London office, reporting directly to president of AEG Europe, Alex Hill.

“I really believe that AEG does something truly special when it comes to festivals,” says King.

“I really believe that AEG does something truly special when it comes to festivals”

“The music fans and the artists are always at the heart of our thinking and this has meant we have been able to curate shows that resonate with them and keep both coming back.”

Hill, who says King “is without a doubt the very best at what he does”, expects “great things” from the European Festivals chief executive and his team.

“We wanted to give him [King] the freedom to accelerate AEG’s activity in the festival space hence the creation of this division and his leadership role at the head of it,” comments Hill. “Being able to confirm him in this job as we approach the second weekend of BST Hyde Park seems very fitting indeed.”

BST returns this weekend (13 and 14 July), with headline performances from Florence and the Machine and Robbie Williams. Tickets for the Saturday are still available, with general admission priced at £73.60 and VIP packages starting from £163.95.

 


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AEG pegs BST 2019 as greenest event yet

AEG Presents has introduced a series of new sustainability initiatives and community-based activities to make British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park 2019 its most eco-friendly and inclusive yet.

BST Hyde Park returns this Friday (5 July) with an exclusive European performance from Celine Dion. Other performances over the ten-day event will come from Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Florence and the Machine and Robbie Williams.

Sustainable practices at the event include a zero waste to landfill policy, achieved through the use of biodegradable food packaging and cutlery. Heineken, BST’s drinks partner, is trialling a new plastic-free, 100% compostable paper cup. The majority of food traders (80%) will also offer meat-free options.

A post-event litter pick-up team will ensure no trace is left behind once the festival is over and a dedicated ‘Green Team’ will maximise recycling rates, introducing a new bin system to recycle previously non-recyclable plastics such as crisp packets, carrier bags and bottle caps.

Biodiesels such as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) will be the fuel of choice to avoid the harmful diesel emissions produced by many live events.

Situated in the heart of London, a community impact management will be on site at BST, helping AEG to limit the effect on the local area. A four-day midweek event, Open House, will take place from Monday 8 to Thursday 11 July with movie nights, live music, street food, tennis screenings, family theatre and an ambient performance from Icelandic avant-rock band Sigur Rós.

“As a ten-day event with nearly half a million visitors each year we have a huge responsibility to deliver for our visitors, the local community and Hyde Park itself”

AEG are offering training and paid employment opportunities will be available to students at schools and universities and raising money for BST’s partner charities, including the Royal Parks charity and My Cause UK.

“We work very closely with AEG Presents to ensure our Sustainability Strategy is embedded into the British Summer Time event planning process and so we welcome the pioneering green practices being introduced this year,” says the Royal Parks head of events, Alun Mainwaring.

“As a ten-day event with nearly half a million visitors each year we have a huge responsibility to deliver for our visitors, the local community and Hyde Park itself,” comments AEG Presents senior events manager Jenny Hamada.

“We take this responsibility extremely seriously and work with our partner the Royal Parks year-round to build and implement positive initiatives.”

Another focus for the BST Hyde Park team is accessibility. AEG Presents celebrated a double win at the Outstanding Attitude Awards in March and recently receiving a gold status from Attitude is Everything for BST, the inclusivity-based music charity’s highest accolade.

Tickets for BST 2019 and more information about the festival can be found here.

 


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Celine Dion to headline first day of BST Hyde Park

AEG Presents has announced that Celine Dion will headline the opening night of British Summer Time (BST) in London’s Hyde Park on Friday 5 July.

The Canadian singer joins previously-announced headliners Florence and the Machine and Robbie Williams, who will play the event on Saturday 13 July and Sunday 14 July respectively.

It is the first time that Dion will perform on Hyde Park’s Great Oak Stage and the show is believed to be her only European appearance of the year. The five-time Grammy award winner will be the best-selling artist ever to perform at BST, having sold more than 240 million record worldwide.

“I’m so excited. I love London, and it’s a great honour for me to be part of the Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park concerts. I can’t wait… summertime in London, here we come,” says the singer.

“Celine’s record-breaking career has seen her perform her many iconic songs on the globe’s most iconic stages, yet never before in Hyde Park,” comments senior vice president of AEG Presents, James King.

“I love London, and it’s a great honour for me to be part of the Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park concerts”

Daniel Mathieson, head of experiential marketing and partnerships for event’s sponsor Barclaycard says it is a “privilege” to welcome the singer along with “a fantastic set of headliners”.

Launched in 2013, BST Hyde Park is back this year for its seventh edition. Past highlights include the Rolling Stones’ return to Hyde Park, and comeback shows by the likes of the Strokes and Libertines.

Rock legends Bob Dylan and Neil Young were originally set to co-headline this year’s event on 12 July, but following Young’s objection to the involvement of headline sponsor Barclaycard, the pair will now play a standalone concert. On the same date, and in the same venue.

Tickets for Celine Dion’s performance go on sale on 29 January at 9am, with presale tickets available from 23 January. The remaining headliners and full line-up are expected to be announced shortly.

 


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World-beating Waldbühne breaks attendance record

Performers at CTS Eventim’s Waldbühne amphitheatre played to more than 350,000 people during the 2017 concert season, recording the open-air Berlin venue’s highest yearly attendance to date.

A total of 22 events, eight of them sold-out, also pushed the Waldbühne (‘Woodland Stage’) to the top of Pollstar’s 200 leading amphitheatres by ticket sales in Q3 2017, up from fifth place in Q3 2016.

Summer 2017 highlights included sold-out shows by Robbie Williams, Pink and Udo Lindenberg, along with performances by Aerosmith, Kings of Leon and Andreas Gabalier and classical concerts by Ludovico Einaudi, Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov (newly exclusive to DEAG) and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The successful Peace x Peace charity festival, meanwhile, raised nearly €414,000 for children living in war zones.

“It’s great how the Waldbühne Berlin has developed over the past nine years”

The season closed with Rumpelstil’s now-traditional Taschenlampenkonzert (‘torch concert’), which for the 19th time saw attendees “dance, sing and celebrate in an ocean of light”, says CTS, which has operated the 22,000-cap. venue (pictured), built for the infamous 1936 Olympic Games, since 2009.

“It’s great how the Waldbühne Berlin has developed over the past [nine] years,” says CTS Eventim executive vice-president Rainer Appel. “By now it is not just the leading European open-air location, but also a frontrunner worldwide. Once again, we’d like to thank the artists, promoters and visitors who together with us made 2017 another record year for the Waldbühne.”

 


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Robbie, Gorillaz fans scammed by fake ticket site

A fraudulent website which sold non-existent tickets to a number of popular events, including Goldenvoice’s Demon Dayz Festival in Margate and dates by Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart, has been shut down.

Victims who handed money over to Goticketsuk.com were told as the shows approached that tickets could not be sent, with calls and emails requesting a refund left unanswered.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) warned last March that ticket fraud rose in the UK by 55% in 2015, and a year later more than 1,500 people attempted to buy tickets from Surfed Arts, a fake secondary ticketing site set up by the City of London police.

According to NFIB, the site told buyers “they will receive physical tickets along with further correspondence nearer to the event date; however, as the concert or event date has drawn closer and victims have attempted to contact Goticketsuk.com for an update, a response has been received suggesting a number of reasons why tickets cannot be sent.

Ticket fraud rose 55% in the UK in 2015

“These include an overbooking of tickets at the venue, a delay receiving the tickets from a supplier or that the tickets have simply had to be cancelled.

“When victims have responded to the email or attempted to seek further information via Goticketsuk.com’s social media platforms, there has been no further contact. Some reports have also indicated that victims have been promised a refund, though we are currently unaware of any refunds being awarded.”

NFIB says affected events include Demon Dayz and a Robbie Williams (pictured) show, while the Shropshire Star quotes another Goticketsuk.com customer who planned to see Rod Stewart at Shrewsbury Town FC last week.

 


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2017 stadium dates shape up

U2 have just announced an international stadium tour to celebrate 30 years of their seminal album, Joshua Tree, and in doing so join a host of big tours in 2017.

Promoted by Live Nation, the U2 dates begin in May at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada, and will visit multiple stadiums in the US, before playing Twickenham in London, then Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Amsterdam, France and Belgium across 23 dates.

Last year Ticketmaster called 2016 a record year for music in Britain’s stadia, with the number of stadium shows up threefold on 2015.

The ticketing giant also reported a 50% increase in stadium tours in the UK compared to last year. Those included dates by Coldplay, Rihanna, Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, The Stone Roses and Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band.

Last year Ticketmaster called 2016 a record year for music in Britain’s stadia, with the number of stadium shows up threefold on 2015.

This year looks set to be another blockbuster both in the UK and elsewhere thanks to U2, plus stadium dates from Adele, Robbie Williams, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, Depeche Mode, Guns N’Roses and Justin Bieber. Coldplay and The Stone Roses also have more shows lined up and Ed Sheeran is sure to announce a huge tour alongside his third album.

Adele’s last shows of 2017 will be four dates in June and July at London’s Wembley Stadium, where The Stone Roses will also play one show earlier in June as will Jeff Lynne’s ELO on the 24th.

Depeche Mode’s Global Spirit Tour visits the London Stadium on June 3rd amidst a stadium and arena run across 32 cities in Europe.

Guns N’Roses, meanwhile, will play the London Stadium on June 16th and 17th on the Not In This Lifetime run, that also visits Australia, the US, and 15 dates across venues in Pero, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Japan.

Robbie Williams’ 2017 European tour dates encompasses a number of stadium dates throughout June and August, including two at Manchester’s Etihad and one at the London Stadium.

Coldplay play Croke Park in Ireland on July 8, and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on July 11 and 12. Bieber’s Purpose World Tour, meanwhile, will visit a number of stadiums worldwide from February, including Australia, Cardiff, Ireland and the US.

 


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