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Rock in Rio founder plans new 105,000-cap festival

Roberto Medina, founder of the largest festival in South America, Rock in Rio, has announced a new event which is set to be “the biggest music, culture and art festival Sāo Paulo, Brazil, has ever seen”.

The inaugural edition of The Town will take place in September 2023, welcoming up to 105,000 people per day to the Interlagos race track in Sāo Paulo – the largest city in Latin America.

The event will involve “lots of music, lots of stages and lots of entertainment, with national and international attractions during the five days of celebration,” according to Medina.

“I love Brazil intensely,” says Medina. “And, just like Rock in Rio, The Town was born from this passion for our land, from the amplification of looking at new opportunities and from the desire that the pandemic brought me in these months of confinement to bring something new.

“It will be surprising. The entire concept was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo, in addition to being ready to host an event of this magnitude.”

“The entire concept [of The Town] was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo”

From next year, Brazil will host Rock in Rio (cap. 100,000) in even years and now The Town in odd years.

The Brazilian edition of Rock in Rio will be held between 2–4 and 8–11 September 2022 at the Olympic Park in Rio De Janeiro, and will be headlined by Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.

The Lisbon-based edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 80,000) will also take place next year (18–19 and 25–26 June), with Foo Fighters, The National, Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, a-ha, Xutos & Pontapés, Bush and Post Malone all confirmed.

The Brazil and Lisbon editions of Rock in Rio were called off in 2021 and 2020.

Rock in Rio is majority-owned by Live Nation after the entertainment giant increased its shareholding in the company, in 2019.

 


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Footage from major fests to be shown in WMG’s PlayOn Fest

Past performances at major festivals including Coachella, Primavera Sound and Rock in Rio, as well as from venues such as the O2 Arena, will be streamed as part of Warner Music Group’s three-day virtual event, PlayOn Fest.

The event, which kicks off on Friday (24 April) at midday EDT will stream live for 72 hours via the Songkick YouTube channel, allowing fans to “relive epic performances for one time only”.

The virtual festival will raise funds for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 solidarity response fund through the sale of merchandise and donations.

Performances from over 65 acts, including Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Coldplay, Twenty One Pilots, Bruno Mars, Janelle Monáe, Green Day and Slipknot will be broadcast over the three-day event.

“PlayOn Fest is a great way to come together, enjoy good music and company, and support the WHO’s most urgent global work to combat Covid-19”

PlayOn Fest will include festival footage from Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Primavera Sound and Rock In Rio, as well as live shows from London’s O2 Arena, Sydney Opera House and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

“During this pandemic, we are all searching for ways to stay connected,” says Elizabeth Cousens, president and CEO of the UN Foundation, which powers the WHO’s Covid-19 fund.

“The PlayOn Fest is a great way to come together, enjoy good music and company, and support the World Health Organization’s most urgent global work to combat Covid-19.”

Over the weekend, the Global Citizen-organised, Lady Gaga-curated One World: Together at Home benefit concert, which featured live performances from acts in real time, raised $127 million for the WHO’s fund.

Read more about the booming business of livestreaming here.

Photo: slgckgc/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Festival Fever: what’s in store for summer 2020

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ has a look at what organisers of Parklife, OpenAir St Gallen, Rock in Rio Lisbon, Colours of Ostrava, Download Japan, Wireless Festival and Roskilde have up their sleeves for 2020.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Parklife

When: 13 to 15 June
Where: Heaton Park, Manchester, UK
How many: 80,000

The line-up for Manchester’s Parklife festival was announced earlier this week, with a mixture of major hip-hop, electronic and pop acts topping the bill.

Tyler the creator, Carl Cox, Jorja Smith, Hot Chip, Giggs, Bicep, Four Tet and Roisin Murphy are among artists performing on the Saturday, with Khalid, Skepta, Lewis Capaldi, Anderson Paak, Robyn, Peggy Gou, Eric Prydz and Nina Kraviz leading the charge on Sunday.

Co-founded by Sacha Lord and Sam Kandel, who also started the Manchester-based Warehouse Project club nights, Parklife is majority controlled by LN-Gaiety, following a 2016 deal.

Tickets for Parklife 2020 are available here, priced at £125 for a weekend ticket and £95 for a day pass.

A mixture of major hip-hop, electronic and pop acts top the Parklife 2020 bill

OpenAir St Gallen

When: 25 to 28 June
Where: River Sitter valley, Saint Gallen, Switzerland
How many: 30,000

Switzerland’s OpenAir St Gallen is entering its 44th year in 2020 and its first as part of the newly formed powerhouse Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG, in which CTS Eventim acquired a majority stake last week.

This year’s festival will see performances from Twenty One Pilots, the Lumineers, Alan Walker and Of Monsters and Men, as well as German acts AnnenMayKantereit, Kontra K and Deichkind.

OpenAir St Gallen received the green operations award at the 2019 European Festival Awards, with Wepromote – the joint venture between OpenAir St Gallen, Gadget Entertainment, Incognito Productions, wildpony, SummerDays Festival, Seaside Festival and Wepromote Live – taking home promoter of the year.

Tickets for OpenAir St Gallen 2020 are available here, priced at CHF 239 (£188) for a four-day ticket and CHF 77 (£61) for a single day.

Switzerland’s OpenAir St Gallen is entering its 44th year in 2020

Wireless Festival

When: 3 to 5 July
Where: Finsbury Park, London, UK
How many: 50,000

Festival Republic’s Wireless Festival is returning to London’s Finsbury Park this summer for three days of urban music, headlined by ASAP Rocky, Skepta and Meek Mill.

Within a day of announcing the line-up, all weekend tickets and single Friday and Saturday tickets had sold out.

Other artists performing at the event include Quality Control Takeover, DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, AJ Tracey, Aitch, Burna Boy and Young Thug.

The line-up announcement for Wireless’ flagship UK event came days after the billing for its German edition was revealed. ASAP Rocky will also head up the 40,000-capacity Frankfurt festival, alongside Kendrick Lamar.

Sunday tickets for Wireless London are available here for £72.50, with joint Friday and Sunday passes also still available for £137.50.

Tickets for Wireless Germany can be found here, with a weekend ticket costing €149 (£125) and a day pass priced at €79 (£67).

Within a day of announcing the line-up, all weekend tickets and single Friday and Saturday tickets had sold out

Colours of Ostrava

When: 15 to 18 July
Where: Dolní Vítkovice, Ostrava, Czech Republic
How many: 45,000

Czech Republic’s Colours of Ostrava festival is this year featuring acts including the Killers, Twenty One Pilots, Martin Garrix, the Lumineers, Sigrid, LP and Youssou N’Dour.

The festival, which takes place in the industrial area of a former mining site in the Czech city, hosts acts over two dozen outdoor and indoor stages, as well as providing a programme of cinema, theatre, literature and art.

The Colours of Ostrava team also organises the free Festival v ulicích (Street Festival) in the centre of Ostrava, and the Czech Music Crossroads, a music showcase conference

Four-day tickets for Colours of Ostrava 2020 are available here for €125.

Colours of Ostrava is this year featuring the Killers, Twenty One Pilots and Martin Garrix

Rock in Rio Lisbon

When: 20 to 28 June
Where: Bela Vista Park, Lisbon, Portugal
How many: 80,000

The Lisbon edition of Brazilian mega festival Rock in Rio added two more acts to its 2020 line-up this week, with singers Ivete Sangalo and Anitta joining artists including Foo Fighters, the Black Eyed Peas, Camila Cabello, the National, Liam Gallagher and Post Malone.

Promoted by Rock City, in which Live Nation recently upped its shareholding to a majority stake, the festival’s flagship Rio de Janeiro event hosted the likes of Drake, Red Hit Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Pink and Muse across two four-day festival in September and October 2019.

Last year, Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina hinted at the possibility of launching a Chilean edition of the festival, in what would be the first expansion of the festival brand within the Latin American region.

Tickets for Rock in Rio Lisboa are available here. Day tickets cost €69 (£58) and weekend passes are priced at €112 (£94).

The Lisbon edition of Brazilian mega festival Rock in Rio added two more acts to its 2020 line-up this week

Download Japan

When: 29 March
Where: Makuhari Messe Event Hall, Chiba, Japan
How many: 9,000

The Japanese edition of Live Nation’s Download festival franchise is returning for its second outing this March, with a headline performance from My Chemical Romance.

Other artists playing at the festival include Evanescence, the Offspring, Jimmy East World, Ministry and In Flames.

The flagship UK edition of Download Festival is celebrating its 18th year in 2020, with performances from Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down.

Download is also returning to Australia this year, with festivals in Melbourne and Sydney on 20 and 21 March respectively. My Chemical Romance will also head up Download down under, alongside Ministry, Jimmy Eat World and Lacuna Coil, as well as domestic acts Dead Letter Circus, Hellions and Orpheus Omega.

Spanish and French editions of the festival will not be returning in 2020.

Tickets for Download Japan are available here for ¥16,500 (£115). Camping tickets for Download UK can be found here for £250 and tickets for the Australian Download events are available here for AU$194.93 (£99).

The Japanese edition of Live Nation’s Download festival franchise is returning for its second outing this March

Roskilde

When: 27 June to 4 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
How many: 85,000

Roskilde Festival’s 50th anniversary edition is shaping up to be a big, with 32 more acts added to the line-up this week.

Faith No More, FKA Twigs, Anderson Paak and Kacey Musgraves are among artists joining previously announced acts Taylor Swift, Tyler the Creator, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Deftones and more.

“What is unique about this generation of artists is how fast they make their mark – both artistically and when it comes to drawing attention,” comments Anders Wahrén, head of programming at the Danish non-profit festival.

“Artists like FKA Twigs, Anderson Paak and Kacey Musgraves are important to music, but are also important voices for the young people too.”

Tickets for the full eight-day festival experience plus camping are available here for DDK2250 (£257).

Roskilde Festival’s 50th anniversary edition is shaping up to be a big, with 32 more acts added to the line-up this week

Summer Nights at the Bandstand

When: 30 July to 15 August
Where: Kelvingrove bandstand, Glasgow, Scotland
How many: 2,500

Regular Music’s annual concert series is returning to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove bandstand this summer for 13 nights of live music.

This year’s line-up includes performances from Rufus Wainwright, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, KT Tunstall, Van Morrison and Rick Astely, as well as a two-night run by Primal Scream.

All twelve shows sold out last year, which featured acts including Bloc Party, the National, Burt Bacharach, Father John Misty and Patti Smith. Tickets for this year’s Summer Nights went on sale last week, with the Van Morrison, Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Rick Astley shows already selling out.

“Kelvingrove Bandstand has such a fantastic atmosphere and the feedback we have had from both artists and audiences is that they have a great time just being there,” comments Regular Music director Mark Mackie. “They really are unique and special nights under the stars.”

Tickets for Summer Nights at the Bandstand 2020 are available here.

 


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LN strengthens Latam presence with DG Medios stake

Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in independent Chilean concert promoter DG Medios, as the live entertainment behemoth further strengthens its foothold in Latin America.

The stake adds to majority shareholdings for Live Nation in Argentina’s DF Entertainment, Brazilian festival Rock in Rio and major Mexican promoter Ocesa Entertainment.

IQ calculates that Live Nation has taken a majority shareholding in 19 promoters, festivals and other live music-related businesses worldwide this year.

Santiago-based DG Medios, which was founded by well known regional promoter Carlos Geniso, sold over 330,000 tickets last year and has promoted shows by U2, Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Paul McCartney and Justin Bieber.

“DG Medios is another important step in expanding our footprint across Latin America”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, the promoter is one of a number of local players, along with Lotus and Bizarro, that contribute to “the health of Chile’s live music market”.

Live Nation has co-promoted with DG Medios owner Geniso, who will continue to oversee all operations at the company, for tours by the likes of Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars, Phil Collins, Depeche Mode and Harry Styles.

Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino says he is “thrilled to be in business with legendary Chilean promoter Carlos Geniso”, adding that, “DG Medios is another important step in expanding our footprint across Latin America.”

Geniso comments that: “Teaming up with Live Nation will give us access to resources that will be instrumental in growing our substantial roster of shows even further. The DG Medios team and I are excited to provide even more memorable experiences for fans.”

 


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Uptown Funk named song of the decade

Festival streaming platform LiveXLive today (14 November) presented its Top 100 Songs of the Decade, with songs by Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars, Drake and Post Malone coming out top.

Premiered today, the Top 100 Songs of the Decade ranks tracks based on LiveXLive’s engagement quotient ratings, taking into account the number of plays, ‘hearts’, skips and bans songs receive on its audio platform.

‘Uptown Funk’ comes in at number one, with 67 billion total plays since the beginning of the decade, followed by ‘One Dance’ (Drake), ‘Psycho’ (Post Malone), ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ (Taylor Swift) and ‘Something Just Like This’ (Coldplay/the Chainsmokers).

Iggy Azalea’s ‘Fancy’, Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’, Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ and Rihanna’s ‘Work’ complete the top ten.

“Our countdown takes into account exactly how our users have interacted with our music library from 1 January 2010 through today”

“We are excited to present the Top 100 Songs of the Decade, a true list by the fans and for the fans,” says Kevin Stapleford, vice-president of programming at LiveXLive.

“Our countdown takes into account exactly how our users have interacted with our music library from 1 January 2010 through today. Users pick their favourites and listen across all their devices. Congratulations to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars for getting the number one spot.”

The five-and-a-half hour programme is hosted by LiveXLive’s Raymond T Parker, Jess Wright, Red and Jennifer While, as part of the company’s Ranked audio series. The broadcast can be accessed here.

LiveXLive’s livestreaming partners include Rock in Rio, EDC Las Vegas, Sziget and Montreux Jazz Festival. The company recently branched out into gaming, signing a multi-year partnership with China’s Allied Esports and earlier this year teamed up with rapper Nas for urban-focused content creation.

 


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Live Nation posts record operating income in Q3

Live Nation has recorded its highest-ever quarterly operating income in Q3 2019, clocking in at US$260 million, as the company looks to close the year with record revenue and over 100 million tickets sold.

The live entertainment giant surpassed last year’s record Q3, growing both operating income and AOI (adjusted operating income) from the third quarter of 2018 by 11%, from $234m to $260m and $387m to $427m respectively.

Revenue for the quarter fell short of analysts’ expectations, dipping 2% from Q3 2018 to $3.8 billion. In last night’s (Thursday 31 October) earnings call, chief financial officer Kathy Willard put the revenue decline down to “a foreign exchange negative impact”, which primarily affected the concerts revenue, down 4% from the same period last year.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino notes that international concert business has been “particularly robust”, contributing to much fan growth. So far this year, 73m fans have attended over 26,000 Live Nation shows, delivering a year-to-date AOI of $333m for the concert division, a 17% increase on 2018.

International markets have also driven the majority of Live Nation’s sponsorship and advertising growth this quarter, with a special mention given to the recently wholly acquired Rock in Rio festival, which drove sponsorship revenue up 26% over its first weekend in September, and the expansion of the Lollapalooza festival brand.

“As we continue building our expertise on on-site execution, we are finding more opportunities to build new venues or takeover operations of existing venues”

Festivals, say Rapino, are “our most profitable businesses” and remain “the ultimate fan experience”.

Venues appear to be a particular point of expansion for Live Nation this year, with a further 36 venues added to its portfolio, including Belgium’s 23,000-capacity Sportpaleis Arena. A focus on fan experience in Live Nation venues, comments Rapino, has driven up the average spend per customer by $2.50, to $29.

“As we continue building our expertise on on-site execution, we are finding more opportunities to build new venues or takeover operations of existing venues,” says Rapino.

Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster also recorded its highest AOI quarter ever, up 20% from last year and a 6% growth year-to-date. According to Rapino, this growth is facilitating the roll-out of digital ticketing, which is expected to be in place at over 700 venues and used by over 60% of fans by the year end.

The number of dynamically priced Platinum tickets sold per show has risen by 54% this year, with Rapino noting the company has been “more effective” in pricing tickets closer to the market value.

“We are confident in the success of our Concert flywheel for 2019,” concludes Rapino. “We will promote more shows, reach more fans, price more effectively and provide a better fan experience at our venues, which will then drive double-digit AOI growth for the business year.”

 


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Major moves: consolidation sweeps the ticketing sector

The past 12 months have seen big-money deals by global firms who have been expanding their reach through buying up existing companies.

Eventim’s major expansion into the €800 million French live music market will see it establish a joint venture with the retailer by the end of 2019. Under the proposed new structure, Eventim would acquire 48% of France Billet, with an option to increase its holding to a majority stake over the next four years. It is folding its Eventim French business into the partnership, and the established brands – which in addition to Francebillet.com include Fnacspectacles.com and Billetreduc.com – will remain in operation.

This move will be a blow for Paris-headquartered multimedia conglomeration Vivendi, which owns the local company Digitick and was the third-largest competitor behind France Billet and Ticketmaster.

Leapfrogging its rivals, Eventim has secured the top position in the ticketing space. However, it currently does not have a promoter presence in France, unlike Live Nation or Vivendi, the latter of which owns the venues L’Olympia (1,996-cap.) and Theâtre de L’Œuvre (326-cap.) in Paris, as well as Olympia Production, the operator of a number of French festivals including Les Déferlantes (12,000-cap.) and Garorock (45,000-cap.).

In 2017-18, Eventim bought three significant promoters in Italy – Vertigo, Friends and Partners, and D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi) – solidifying its brand TicketOne as the dominant ticketer in the country after Ticketmaster opened operations there in 2017.

On the other side of the world, Live Nation Entertainment’s (LNE) $480m decision to buy a 51% stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the largest promoter in Latin America, and owner of Ticketmaster Mexico, is noteworthy.

Promoting about 3,100 shows a year, Ocesa reportedly sold 3.8m tickets in 2018. Ticketmaster Mexico is comfortably the country’s biggest ticket seller, with around 37m tickets sold each year.

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership through touring, festivals and the Ticketmaster brand, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint.

It demonstrates LNE’s growing confidence in the Latin American market and will likely lead to an increasing number of tours by international talent to the continent, and potentially further acquisitions of promoters, ticketing companies or venues.

What impact it will have on Ticketmaster in the US, where the second language is Spanish, remains to be seen. The Spanish- language market in the US is arguably currently underserved, and this could be seen as an internal growth opportunity for the global behemoth.

But more importantly, this could be part of a wider move by LNE into Latin America, where the firm historically has no major presence. Last year it acquired one of Argentina’s top promoters, DF Entertainment, while earlier in 2018, it took a stake in one of the largest music festivals in the world, Rock in Rio (100,000-cap), recently increasing its holding to 60%, which could be a sign that Ticketmaster is preparing to make a move into Brazil. Does this indicate a strategy of expansion across the region? We’ll have to wait and see.

LNE-owned Ticketmaster also bought Australia and New Zealand’s most significant independent ticketing company, Moshtix, in February, further expanding its presence in a market where it competes fiercely with TEG’s Ticketek.

Although it’s not likely to shift the balance of power, Ticketmaster’s move will add another indie brand to its suite of ticketing platforms.

Meanwhile, TEG grew its Asian reach by buying the Philippines-based ticketing company TicketWorld. This adds to its existing interests in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. As well as major international tours by the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Katy Perry, TicketWorld has a strong presence in the local theatre market, and provides ticket services to Philippines’ venues including Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, BGC Arts Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further

“We see great opportunities in many Asian markets and our strategy puts us on course to becoming a truly pan-Asian promoter,” said TEG CEO Geoff Jones at the time.

While not strictly new acquisitions, DEAG continued its policy of wholly owning companies by completing the purchase of the MyTicket platform, which going forward will be powered by the Secutix SaaS solution, while Eventim completed its takeover of German online movie ticketing platform Kinoheld and Scandinavian ticketing solution Venuepoint.

So what’s next? In the fast-moving world of ticketing, it’s hard to say.

India’s BookMyShow sells some 20m tickets a month, mainly in the cinema sector, but is looking to grow further into live entertainment. In 2018, COO of non-films at BookMyShow Albert Almeida told the Economic Times the firm wants to increase its revenues from non-cinema events from 30% to 50% by 2020.

It is one of the ticketing partners at the newly opened Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and is addressing a lack of infrastructure in its home country by building its touring venues and producing its own shows. At a recent fundraising round, the company was valued at $1 billion, and there is still huge potential in the country of 1.3bn people. But maybe it will look to acquire in new markets, or further consolidate its position in the Middle East.

Another interesting area is the growing trend of Chinese companies taking an interest in Western music companies (for example, Tencent acquired a 10% stake in Universal Music, with an option to take another 10% in a year). Could we see a Chinese firm take an interest in a ticketing company outside of its homeland?

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further.

For more insight into the state of the global ticketing industry, read IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.


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Rock in Rio founder plans Chilean fest

A Chilean edition of Brazilian mega festival Rock in Rio is in the works for 2021, confirms festival founder Roberto Medina.

Rock City-promoted Rock in Rio, founded by Medina in 1985, is the second highest-grossing festival in the world and the largest in South America. Rock City, in which Live Nation recently upped its shareholding to a majority stake, also operates a sister event in Lisbon, and formerly in Las Vegas and Madrid.

The Santiago de Chile edition marks the first expansion of the Rock in Rio festival brand within the Latin American region. Medina estimates investment needed for the new festival to be “nearly $150 million”.

The four-day event is billed for October 2021, just after the flagship Rio de Janeiro festival, with “practically the same line-up”. Drake, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Pink and Muse are among those playing Rock in Rio this year.

“Chile is a calm country with a stable economy, it seems like a logical step,” Medina told Chilean newspaper La Tercera. “800,000 people live in Lisbon, whereas Santiago has five million inhabitants in a country with a much bigger economy than Portugal.”

“Chile is a calm country with a stable economy, it seems like a logical step”

Medina also cites “great political and economic stability” in neighbouring Argentina as a major deterrent for a potential Argentinian branch.

“[Chile’s] proximity to Brazil is a positive,” states Medina, saying “almost 200,000 people” miss out on tickets for the Rio edition each year. Fans now have the option to attend the sister event a four-hour plane ride away. According to Medina, acts have traditionally played solo concerts in Santiago after their Rock in Rio appearance.

Medina also cites the positive economic impact the festival would bring to Santiago, estimated to be US$500 million over the four days.

Lollapalooza Chile, which has taken place in Santiago since 2011, is not viewed as competition for the Rock City festival. “The scale and approach [of the two events] are different,” explains Medina.

Rock in Rio takes place from 27 to 29 September and 3 to 6 October in Barra Olympic Park. Tickets will be available soon via Festicket.


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Live Nation to acquire IMM’s share of Rock in Rio

Live Nation has confirmed to IQ it is to increase its shareholding in Rock in Rio to a majority stake.

The US concert giant bought into Rock City – the company behind the 100,000-capacity flagship festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and its 80,000-cap. Lisbon sister event – in May 2018, taking over the minority share formerly held by SFX/LiveStyle. At the time, Live Nation said it aimed to become the controlling shareholder by 2019.

It now appears to be putting those plans in motion by acquiring the 20% stake held by Brazil-based, Abu Dhabi-owned entertainment and sports promoter IMM (formerly IMX). A buy-out is “in process”, subject to regulatory approvals, according to a Live Nation spokesperson.

A buy-out is in process, subject to regulatory approvals

IMM and Live Nation clashed in court late last year, with LN appealing after a Rio judge suspended the sale of Rock in Rio after protests by IMM.

Live Nation declined to comment on pricing, but a report in the Global Legal Chronicle puts the value of the Live Nation–IMM deal at US$20 million and Live Nation’s new shareholding at 60%.

Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina will reportedly retain a 40% stake after LN’s buy-out of IMM, and continue to manage the festivals.

 


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Rock in Rio Germany to bring the carnival to Dusseldorf?

German event management company Production Office has applied to stage the first Rock in Rio Germany next year, according to local media.

Production Office has written to the city’s lord mayor, Thomas Geisel, to ask permission to hold a Rock in Rio ‘mega-event’ in the new D.LIVE Open Air Park in August 2019, according to the Westfälische RundschauRock in Rio was acquired by Live Nation – which has also produced domestic German editions of several of its other festival franchises, including Lollapalooza and Wireless – in May.

However, Production Office/Live Nation are likely to face stiff opposition from Dusseldorf city councillors, who recently succeeded in forcing the relocation of a planned open-air show by Ed Sheeran in the city over environmental concerns.

To the “amazement” and “boundless disappointment” of promoter FKP Scorpio, city officials from across the political spectrum, from conservative Christian Democrats to left-leaning Green and the Left party members, declared the concert at D.LIVE – which would have necessitated the chopping down of 104 trees – off limits, causing FKP to relocate to the Veltins Arena stadium in Gelsenkirchen.

Even if the new festival were to be greenlit, Michael Brill, the CEO of D.LIVE, is doubtful whether organisers could meet the August 2019 deadline, reports the Rundschau.

The festival is likely to face stiff opposition from Dusseldorf city councillors, who recently forced the relocation of a planned open-air show by Ed Sheeran

“Due to the presumed duration of the [approval] process, it is unlikely that it [the venue] will be available before summer 2020,” he says.

Opponents of the Sheeran show are also digging in their heels, with local Left leader Angelika Kraft-Dlangamandla confirming her party is still against any events that would lead to tree felling. While Production Office has reportedly offered to plant new trees, and assured the mayor all its events are “carbon neutral and sustainable”, “small trees do not” offset the damage caused by uprooting larger ones, according to Kraft-Dlangamandla.

Should it be approved, Rock in Rio Germany would take place in 2019, 2021 and 2023, alternating with Rock in Rio Lisbon, according to the application.

In addition to Rock in Rio Lisbon and its flagship event in Rio de Janeiro and, promoter Rock City formerly operated sister festivals in Spain and Las Vegas.

At press time, Live Nation had not responded to a request for comment.

 


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