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CTS Eventim’s DreamHaus and Kingstar form alliance

CTS Eventim’s new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus is forming a strategic alliance with Kingstar, a promoter and booking agency based in Hamburg.

The two companies will cooperate on Kingstar’s Vainstream Rockfest, as well as Eventim Presents/DreamHaus’s Rock am Ring (cap. 95,000) and Rock im Park (cap. 75,000), which were recently called off for a second year running.

The alliance will also see the German promoters collaborate on touring projects and the establishment of new events.

“With this alliance, we want to bring our creative visions to life,” says Matt Schwarz, CEO and managing partner, DreamHaus.

“Kingstar contributes equally valuable festival expertise, musical knowledge and their successful artist development to this cooperation. Through an intensive exchange of experience between our two companies, we will create trusting synergies and thus provide the artists with the best service and skills for the future.”

“We will create trusting synergies and thus provide the artists with the best service and skills for the future”

Timo Birth, managing director, Kingstar, says: “Since the structures in the industry are changing at high speed, Kingstar and DreamHaus are laying a very good foundation for the future with this cooperation. We are not only optimally equipped for the future of our industry, we will also actively shape it together.”

Marc Seemann, director of strategy and business development, DreamHaus says: “A close friendship has developed from years of trusting cooperation with Timo, which is why this strategic alliance between DreamHaus and Kingstar is a logical consequence and an important pillar in the development of DreamHaus.”

Alongside Vainstream Rockfest, the 15th edition of which is scheduled for this June in Münster, Kingstar’s festival portfolio includes Restless Summer, Close to the Water, Impericon Festivals and Picknick Konzerte.

The company’s booking arm represents artists including Broilers, Bonez MC and RAF Camora.

DreamHaus was recently acquired by CTS Eventim and Schwarz was named as CEO and managing partner, following his departure from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) as COO and MD in February 2020.

 


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Rock am Ring/im Park, Hurricane and more called off

Some of Germany’s biggest music festivals, including Eventim Presents/DreamHaus’s Rock am Ring (95,000-cap.) and Rock im Park (75,000-cap.), FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane (78,000-cap.) and Southside (65,000-cap.) and ESK Events’ Deichbrand Festival (60,000-cap.), have been called off for a second year running.

The festivals’s promoters, all part of the Eventim Live network, “were compelled to call off the events due to the ongoing uncertainty about infection rates and mutations”, according to a statement from CTS Eventim.

Also off are dance music festival SonneMondSterne (35,000-cap.) and Swiss event Greenfield, which is also promoted by Hamburg-based FKP Scorpio.

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim, says: “We regret these cancellations very much and share the disappointment of everyone involved. But precedence must, of course, be given to safeguarding and protecting the health of fans, performers, festival teams and partners.

“However, it is also clear that this continuing uncertainty is further exacerbating the dramatic financial situation in which the live music industry finds itself. We are working on many levels to ensure that live culture can return to the stage as quickly and safely as possible.”

“We have had to accept with a heavy heart that festivals of this magnitude are not yet feasible at present”

The cancellations come in spite of Germany’s €2.5 billion fund for underwriting events held later in the year, as the country lags behind its neighbours in its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

Other major German festivals, including Melt Festival, Wacken Open Air, Parookaville, Wireless Germany and Superbloom, are still on at the time of writing.

Frithjof Pils, managing director of Eventim Live, says that “2021 was actually meant to be the summer of reunions, and festival organisers have invested a great deal of time and energy in sanitary and infection control concepts to make that possible. But given the persistent epidemiological situation and the associated restrictions in force, we have had to accept with a heavy heart that festivals of this magnitude are not yet feasible at present.”

“We are therefore focusing on the 2022 festival summer,” he adds, “and want to make it unforgettable for all of us.”

 


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CTS Eventim acquires new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus

German ticketing and promotion giant CTS Eventim has acquired a majority stake in new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus.

DreamHaus will be led by Matt Schwarz as CEO and managing partner, following his departure from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) as COO and MD in February 2020.

From 1 April, Schwarz will be joined by former Live Nation GSA executive Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos, who joins the management team alongside Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla.

Schwarz joined forces with CTS Eventim as head of eventimpresents in January this year, tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Under the Eventim Live umbrella, DreamHaus will be responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, starting from the 2022 editions, along with eventimpresents.

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016.

“Even in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Eventim Live continues to grow its network and strengthen both its market position and potential,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim. “We have always claimed that CTS Eventim will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

“I am grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership”

Matt Schwarz added: “I’m very pleased about the partnership between CTS Eventim and DreamHaus, which offers our team all manner of opportunities for a successful future. I am also grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership and thus offering artists the best possible service and the ability to reach the greatest possible audience.”

With a combined attendance of 150,000, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park take place concurrently from 11 to 13 June at Nürburgring race track and Zeppelin Field in Nüremberg respectively.

Rock am Ring was founded by Marcel Avram and Marek Lieberberg’s Mama Concerts in 1985, while Rock im Park took place for the first time in 1995 under Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK).

Schwarz was formerly VP of touring and festivals at MLK, before becoming MD and COO of Live Nation GSA when Lieberberg sold MLK to Eventim’s live music subsidiary Medusa Group in 2015. Schwarz resigned his position at Live Nation GSA in February this year.

The acquisition of DreamHaus expands Eventim Live’s pan-European network to 35 promoters in 15 countries.

 


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‘As disappointed as our guests’: Germany cans summer fests

Germany, Europe’s largest live music market, has become the latest European nation to outlaw all large-scale live events until 31 August, forcing the mass cancellation of some of Europe’s best-loved music festivals.

“Since major events play an important role in spreading infection, they remain prohibited until at least 31 August 2020,” reads a news release from the German federal government, which had yesterday (15 April) given the go-ahead for shops and schools to reopen.

Among the affected events are nearly all of Germany’s summer festival fixtures, including MLK’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside, Goodlive’s Melt and Splash! Festivals and Superstruct’s Wacken Open Air and Parookaville – with the likes of Goodlive’s Lollapalooza Berlin and new festival Superbloom (both 5–6 September) spared from the ban by a matter of days.

The German restrictions follow similar coronavirus-driven bans on summer events elsewhere in Europe, including Belgium (until 31 August), France (mid-July), Austria (30 June) and Denmark (31 August).

For FKP Scorpio – which, in addition to its flagship twin open-airs, is also calling off Highfield, Deichbrand, Elbjazz, Limestone and Mera Luna – the decision, although “a clear and important safety measure”, is a source of sadness for the entire company, says founder-CEO Folkert Koopmans.

“All of us are bitterly disappointed”

“It goes without saying that these cancellations, like the entire unprecedented [Covid-19] situation, make us very sad, even if we fully support the political decision to protect the population,” comments Koopmans. “Our whole team has been working with countless partners for a long time in preparation for the summer festival season, and is as disappointed as our guests.”

Thomas Jensen, co-founder of metal festival Wacken Open Air, which sold out its 2020 edition under a day, echoes: “Our whole team has been working intensively on the festival these last months, and all of us are bitterly disappointed that we are not allowed to celebrate a Wacken Open Air together with our visitors and the bands this year.”

Similarly sold out were Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, promoted by CTS Eventim’s Marek Lieberberg Konzeragentur, which would have celebrated 35 and 25 years in 2020, respectively.

“For the organisers, the artists and the 175,000 fans who wanted to celebrate 35 years of Rock am Ring and 25 years of Rock im Park in the first weekend in June, this decision is of course disappointing,” reads a statement from organisers.

“Nevertheless, the producers unreservedly support these inevitable measures in the interests of the safety and health of everyone involved, however sad we are over the cancellation of the festivals.”

 


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Schulenberg urges gov to protect live industry

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg has urged the German authorities to put in place targeted measures to support the live music industry through the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep the country” if action is not taken.

As reported in German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Musikwoche), Schulenberg believes that “a long-term announcement” from authorities regarding the fate music festivals, as well as extensions to the amount of time organisers have to issue refunds for cancelled or postponed events, are vital to maintain the health of the industry.

Although Eventim’s biggest festivals, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, promoted in conjunction with Live Nation, and FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside, are insured against communicable disease, the CTS boss states that intervention from the authorities is needed to ensure cover for cancellations.

The German powerhouse has enjoyed a successful few years, reporting record revenue of €1.44 billion in the 2019 financial year and increasing earnings by 25%. Due to this success, Schulenberg says his company “could hold out for two years”.

However, many smaller industry players do not have the same safety net. “We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway,” says the Eventim boss.

“We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway”

In order to mitigate the financial losses incurred by promoters, Schulenberg is appealing to the German government to extend the period of time that organisers have to refund tickets to 30 September 2020. Promoters currently have until 30 June to return money to ticketholders and, even then, only companies with annual sales of less than €2 million.

“High sales at events are offset by a margin of only 5 to 7%,” says Schulenberg. The regulation must apply to the entire industry, otherwise “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep through the country”.

Alternative forms of compensating fans, such as by issuing vouchers for future events, rather than cash refunds, should also considered.

“That costs nothing to the state and is reasonable for the buyer,” says Schulenberg.

Eventim is currently among companies asking fans not to request refunds, following similar calls from German promoters’ association BDKV, Spanish music federation Esmúsica, UK ticketing industry body Star, the Dutch culture minister, DEAG-owned ticketer Myticket, and more.

In the Netherlands, the #idontwantmymoneyback initiative allows fans to indicate that they do not need a refund in a show of solidarity with event organisers.

 


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Festival Fever: a further glance at 2020 line-ups

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ takes a peek at what organisers of Hellfest, Longitude, Lollapalooza Stockholm, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park and NorthSide have up their sleeves for the summer to come.

(See last week’s edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Hellfest

When: 19 to 21 June
Where: Clisson, France
How many: 50,000

French metal festival Hellfest celebrated one of its best editions ever last year, which included an extra day to host the Slipknot-fronted Knotfest within the festival site.

The 2020 festival will feature headliners Deftones, Faith No More and System of a Down, playing alongside Incubus, Korn, Deep Purple and Judas Priest.

Earlier this year, a man was sentenced to a month in prison for hacking into the onsale of the French festival. The hacker, who works in cybersecurity, claimed he had only wanted to buy tickets to Hellfest 2020 “without having to queue”.

Tickets for Hellfest 2020 are sold out. Organisers advise fans to use fan-to-fan resale site TicketSwap to buy or sell tickets to the festival.

The 2020 festival will feature headliners Deftones, Faith No More and System of a Down

Longitude

When: 5 to 7 July
Where: Marlay Park, Dublin, Ireland
How many: 40,000

MCD Productions’ Longitude festival is returning in 2020 with headline performances from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Asap Rocky.

The event will also see performances from the likes of J Hus, AJ Tracey, Young Thug, Aitch, Playboi Carti and Dababy.

The Longitude line-up announcement comes shortly after the news that Denis Desmond-led MCD is bringing back alternative-rock festival Sunstroke in 2020. The event, which takes place from 13 to 14 June at Punchestown Racecourse near Naas in Ireland, features headliners Faith No More and Deftones.

Tickets for Longitude festival are available here, priced at €89.50 (£75) for a day ticket and €199.50 (£168) for a weekend pass. Tickets for Sunstroke can be bought here, with day tickets costing €79.50 (£67) and weekend camping tickets costing €169.50 (£143).

Longitude festival is returning with headline performances from Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and Asap Rocky

Lollapalooza Stockholm

When: 26 to 28 June
Where: Gärdet, Stockholm, Sweden

The debut edition of Lollapalooza Stockholm took place last year, signalling the festival franchise’s first edition in Scandinavia and third in Europe after Lolla Berlin and Paris.

The festival, which is produced by Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell, WME, C3 Presents and Live Nation Sweden with subsidiary company Luger, features headline performances from Post Malone, Pearl Jam, the Killers and Kendrick Lamar, as well as appearances from Ellie Goulding, Zara Larsson, Kacey Musgraves and Camila Cabello.

Launched in Chicago in 1991, Lollapalooza events now take place in Sweden, France, Germany, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, as well as the US.

Three-day early bird passes are available here for SEK 2,295 (£185).

The debut edition of Lollapalooza Stockholm took place last year

Rock am Ring/Rock im Park

When: 5 to 7 June
Where: Nürburgring race track/Zeppelinfeld, Nürnberg, Germany
How many: 90,000

Marek Lieberberg’s twin festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, the biggest in Germany and among the largest in the world, are turning 35 and 25 respectively in 2020.

Headliners for the anniversary events come in the form of System of a Down, Green Day and Volbeat, with performances also coming from Babymetal, Korn, Gojira, Deftones, the Offspring, Weezer and Yungblud.

The past two editions of the festivals have proved successful, following three years plagued by inclement weather and possible terror threats.

Tickets for Rock am Ring and Rock im Park are available here for €194 (£163) and Rock im Park here for €244 (£205).

Headliners for the anniversary events come in the form of System of a Down, Green Day and Volbeat

NorthSide

When: 4 to 6 June
Where: Aarhus, Denmark
How many: 40,000

The 2020 edition of Down the Drain’s NorthSide festival will be the last at its current site in the Ådalen river valley, near the Danish city of Aarhus, as the event prepares to move to a new site, more than twice the size of its original home, in Eskelund, also near Aarhus.

Described as ‘a controlled chaos’ by festival CEO Brian Nielsen, NorthSide has already confirmed acts for 2020 including Green Day, Robyn, Weezer, White Lies, Johnny Marr, Franc Moody and Jung.

Down the Drain Group, which wholly acquired the festival from FKP Scorpio in 2018, earlier this year received investment from Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment.

Tickets for NorthSide 2020 are available here, priced at DDK 1,935 (£218) for a full festival pass and DDK 1,195 (£135) for a day ticket.

 


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H1 growth puts Eventim shares at record high

Bremen-based live entertainment powerhouse CTS Eventim grew revenues to almost €700 million in the first half of this year – a 15% increase from the same period last year – as the company looks on track for a successful 2019.

In addition to the rise in revenue, normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) broke the €100m half-year mark for the first time, growing almost 18% to €111.8m.

The half-year sucess puts Eventim share prices at their highest ever, reaching €50.1 at press time, with market capitalisation currently standing at a record €4.8 billion. The company had beaten its previous share-price high in July, after announcing plans to acquire a stake in Fnac Dart-owned ticketing brand France Billet.

The growth is in keeping with the company’s first quarter financial report, which stated the rise in revenue had “accelerated” at the start of Q2.

Growth in the ticketing sector – which generated €200m in the first half of the year – was fuelled by online sales, with 23.7 million tickets sold via Eventim web portals in H1, a 6% increase on the first six months of 2018. In the second quarter alone, online ticket volume rose by more than 8%.

“CTS Eventim is heading for another successful year”

Live entertainment revenues exceeded half a billion euros (€505m) for the first time in a six month period, representing an 18% rise from last year. Normalised EBITDA was also up, climbing 31% to €37m.

Live success came from “a strong tour business” for promoters in the newly created, pan-European Eventim Live network, which combines the company’s majority owned promoters, including FKP Scorpio, Fullsteam, Semmel and Vivo Concerti.

Successful editions of twin festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park and the acquisition of four Italian concert promoters also delivered “positive business performance” for the German company.

“CTS Eventim is heading for another successful year,” says chief executive Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, pointing to the planned deal with France Billet and the creation of Eventim Live as “important strategic moves for the future.”

IQ revealed earlier this week that major stock market-listed live companies have increased their collective market value by more than US$8bn in the past two years.

Update: Eventim’s market capitalisation later broke the €5bn mark for the very first time, peaking at a share price of €53.


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Rock am Ring organisers deal with ‘terrorism’ scare

For the second year in succession, Germany’s highly successful Rock am Ring festival was disrupted for a day – this time because of a terrorist threat which prompted a mass evacuation of the site on Friday, 2 June.

Last year, storms forced a premature end to the event, but with the help of police and security experts on site at the Nürburgring festival site, promoters Marek Lieberberg Concert Agency, were able to reopen the gates for fans on Saturday and the festival ran to schedule for the remainder of the weekend.

The drama began when organisers were advised by police that they had grounds to believe there was be a credible threat to the fans, artists and staff working at the event. In a statement to revellers, the promoters said, “Due to a terrorist threat the police have advised us to interrupt the festival. We ask all the festival visitors to leave the festival site in a calm and controlled manner towards the exits and camping grounds. We have to support the police investigations.”

Around 90,000 fans were expected to be at the event.

“You showed what it means to live the spirit of Rock’n’Roll! We bow to your enthusiasm, your defiance, your devotion, passion, and joy in life!”

Meanwhile, police officers and security staff carried out intensive searches of the festival site throughout Friday night and the early part of Saturday, before giving the all clear so that fans could return early on Saturday afternoon.

Among the acts who were unable to perform because of the shut down were former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, Rammstein, Bastille and Rag’n’Bone Man. However, Saturday’s programme went ahead according to schedule after fans were allowed back into the festival arena shortly after 1pm.

Explaining the reasons behind the evacuation, German police said the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which claimed the lives of 22 people, had prompted changes in planning for Rock am Ring, with the number of security officials increased substantially to 1,200.

Police in the nearby city of Koblenz revealed it was their decision to order a temporary halt to the festival as a precaution after receiving “a concrete warning that made it impossible to rule out a terror threat.”

Having ruled out any danger, organisers were able to resume the programme on Saturday, where a good natured crowd openly showed their defiance to terrorists with signs and placards that they had made overnight in their tents.

Thanking fans for their patience and understanding, a statement on the Rock am Ring at the conclusion of Sunday’s programme said, “We thank you for a truly unforgettable [Rock am Ring] 2017! You showed what it means to live the spirit of Rock’n’Roll! We bow to your enthusiasm, your defiance, your devotion, passion, and joy in life! Let us continue to celebrate what we love! See you next year, 1-3 June 2018!”

 


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Rock am Ring bans backpacks (but bumbags are OK)

Following the “horrendous attack in Manchester” earlier this week, Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur has announced that backpacks will be prohibited at this year’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park.

Following in the footsteps of Wacken Open Air, the German sister festivals will be rucksack-free zones this summer, with keys, wallets, mobile phones and bum bags/fanny packs the only personal items allowed into the main festival arena.

That includes any drinks containers – including water bottles – although the festivals will provide free water on site.

In German, a full list of prohibited items is pictured below (no selfie sticks!):

Rock am Ring/Rock im Park prohibited items

Promoter Marek Lieberberg on Tuesday paid tribute to those who lost their lives in Manchester, calling the bombing of Manchester Arena “an attack on our freedom, culture and [way of] life”.

 


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We are Scientists, Walking on Cars complete Ring/Park line-up

We are Scientists, Lonely the Brave, Walking on Cars, Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer, Labrinth and German acts The BossHoss, 257ers, Henning Wehland and Caliban have been confirmed to appear at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, completing, along with a host of new DJs for the Club Tent, the sister festivals’ bill for 2016.

There are just under 10,000 tickets remaining for Rock im Park, while Rock am Ring sold the last of its 92,500 tickets in late February.

The festivals, which take place concurrently from 3 to 5 June – Rock am Ring in Mendig on an old airbase and Rock im Park at the Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg – will be headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Volbeat and, on their farewell The End tour, Black Sabbath.

Marek and Andre Lieberberg will promote the CTS Eventim-owned festivals this year, despite their leaving Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (owned by Eventim) for Live Nation Germany at the end of last year.

Lieberg spoke about his decision to leave MLK, which he founded in 1987, for Live Nation at Eurosonic Noorderslag in January.