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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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Woodstock festivities kick off at Bethel Woods

Despite the well-publicised difficulties and eventual cancellation of the official Woodstock 50 anniversary event, the 1969 festival will receive its half-century commemoration this weekend, in the form of a four-day series of events at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (BWCA).

The events, set on the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival at Bethel Woods, kicked off yesterday (15 August), with Arlo Guthrie taking once again to the Woodstock stage for a free concert.

Originally announcing a full-scale anniversary festival – to have been produced by Live Nation and creative agency Invnt – BWCA later scaled back plans to create the multi-day music and arts programme.

The Bethel Woods site is not the only remnant from the 1969 festival. Woodstock veterans Carlos Santana and John Fogerty are performing over the four days, along with Ringo Starr.

The “pan-generational cultural event” will also feature TED-style talks and “special exhibits”.

“On this day in 1969, a 600-acre dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains became the site of one of the most defining music events in rock and roll history”

“On this day in 1969, a 600-acre dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains became the site of one of the most defining music events in rock and roll history,” reads a post on the Bethel Woods Twitter page.

It is expected that up to 100,000 visitors will access the area over the four days. Only ticketholders will be permitted on site and all attendees must present a travel pass on entry to avoid overcrowding.

“We’re trying to encourage people that are not interested in the concert-side of things, and just want to come and sort of breathe the air and feel the vibes… to come on other weekends,” Bethel Woods chief executive Darlene Fedun told the Associated Press.

Michael Lang, the organiser of the original ‘three days of peace and music’, had deemed the Bethel Wood site’s capacity too small for his eventually ill-fated anniversary event. Lang pulled the plug on his Woodstock 50 event with just two weeks to go, after the festival lost its primary financier, two production partners, two venues and its whole line-up.

Around 400,000 people attended the 1969 festival. A recent report revealed that almost 50% of festivalgoers from the so-called ‘Woodstock Generation’ now suffer from hearing loss, with 70% saying they long to experience music as they did in the past.

 


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Woodstock 50 anniversary event announces line-up

Woodstock 50 Music and Arts Fair has announced the official line-up for it three-day 50th anniversary today, with headline performance from the Killers, Miley Cyrus, Santana, Dead and Company and Jay-Z.

More than 80 acts have been confirmed for the event, taking place from 16 to 18 August in Watkins Glen, New York.

Legacy acts, in addition to the original Woodstock 1969 icons Santana and Dead and Company, include Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, David Crosby and Friends, John Fogerty, Canned Heat, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian and Melanie.

The Killers, Miley Cyrus and Santana head up the opening night, with Chance the Rapper and the Black Keys headlining on Saturday and Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons and Halsey closing the event on the Sunday night.

Other performances across the three-day event come from the Lumineers, Bishop Briggs, Greta van Fleet, Leon Bridges and Janelle Monáe.

“We’ve lined up artists who won’t just entertain but will remind the world that music has the power to bring people together, to heal, to move us to action and to tell the stories of a generation,” says Michael Lang, co-founder and producer of the 1969 and 2019 Woodstock festivals.

“Our hope is that today, just as in 1969, music will be the constant that can inspire positive change”

“Our hope is that today, just as in 1969, music will be the constant that can inspire positive change,” adds Lang.

Woodstock 50 has also confirmed some of its nonprofit cause partners, including environmental charity Conservation International, student-led anti-gun group March for our Lives and Chicago-based SocialWorks, which empowers youth through the arts, education and civic engagement.

In addition, Lang has announced that the festival will include curated neighbourhoods that celebrate unique experiences across all arts forms – including emerging talent, specialty food offerings, workshops and craft – as well as a dedicated “Kidstock” area.

A rival, Live Nation-backed festival, set to take place on the original Woodstock site in Bethel Woods over the same weekend is no longer going ahead in the same capacity. The Bethel Woods Centre for the Arts Woodstock anniversary event will take place as a scaled-back “Anniversary Week”, forming part of a six-month long Season of Song and Celebration.

Tickets for Woodstock 50 go on sale on Earth Day, April 22. Fans can subscribe to receive more information here.

 


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Santana, Ringo Starr to play Bethel Woods’ Woodstock anniversary

Santana, Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band, the Doobie Brothers and the Edgar Winter Group have been announced as performers for Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (BWCA)’s Woodstock anniversary celebrations this August.

BWCA, the site of 1969’s Woodstock Music and Art Fair, last month announced plans for a music festival to celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary, going head to head with the official Woodstock 50 event organised by original promoter Michael Lang.

That idea now appears to have been dropped, with Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival – to have been produced by Live Nation and creative agency Invnt and featured “live performances from prominent and emerging artists spanning multiple genres and decades” – having morphed into a scaled-back ‘Anniversary Week’ forming part of a six month-long Season of Song and Celebration that kicks off in March.

“We are humbled by the interest in the anniversary year and we realised it was greater than we’d ever dreamed,” comments Darlene Fedun, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts’ CEO. “We recognise the importance of this place to so many, and our mission of preservation and interpretation of the 1960s is central to A Season of Song and Celebration, as it provides our guests the opportunity to reflect, to learn and to celebrate the legacy of what occurred here.”

“We are humbled by the interest in the anniversary year”

A Season of Song and Celebration begins on 30 March, when the BWCA museum – which will house a Woodstock exhibition, We Are Golden – Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival and Aspirations for a Peaceful Future – and festival field open for the 2019 season.

Following a summer concert season featuring performances by Heart, Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown Band and Chris Stapleton, as well as the Mountain Jam festival with Willie Nelson, 15–18 August’s Anniversary Week comprises:

No line-up has yet been announced for Woodstock 50, which takes place on the same weekend (16 to 18 August), some 150 miles away, in Watkins Glen, New York.

 


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Despite lost headliners, Bluesfest welcomes 105k+

Byron Bay Bluesfest this year recorded one of its biggest-ever attendances, with more than 105,000 people passing through its gates from Thursday 13 to Monday 17 April in spite of being down two headliners.

Both Neil Young and Bee Gee Barry Gibb were confirmed for the 28th Bluesfest, but cancelled within weeks of each other last December, with Young apparently deciding “to take 2017 off from touring” and Live Nation calling off Gibb’s planned trek “due to a change in international commitments”.

Despite the setbacks, attendance still matched 2015 levels, and beat 2014’s 104,526 – but fell short of 2011’s Bob Dylan-headlined mega-event.

Promoter Peter Noble OAM comments: “I think everybody that came this year will tell you that this has been one of the great Bluesfests, and in my opinion certainly within our top three.”

“I think everybody that came this year will tell you that this has been one of the great Bluesfests”

Headliners were Patti Smith (performing Horses), the Zac Brown Band, Jimmy Buffett, Santana and Nas, with other performers including The Doobie Brothers, Madness, The Lumineers and an admirably strong contingent of female talent, such as Smith, Mary J. Blige, Laura Mvula, Bonnie Raitt, Courtney Barnett, Corinne Bailey Ray, Nikki Hill and Rickie Lee Jones.

“Backstage is like a rock’n’roll fantasy camp,” said Hill, “and, especially, seeing such a female presence around has been incredible.”

Bluefest will return to Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, New South Wales, for its 29th outing on 29 March–2 April 2018.

 


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