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DF Concerts celebrates record-breaking summer

Scotland’s DF Concerts has heralded a record-breaking summer, having sold one million tickets between June and August.

The promoter says that, as a result, it has made an economic impact of around £72.4 million on tourism and hospitality businesses in its domestic market.

The Glasgow-headquartered company expects that, by the end of 2022, it will have welcomed over 50% of the population of Scotland to one of its concerts or events.

DF promotes some 1,000 concerts per year, as well as its festivals TRNSMT (Glasgow), Connect (Edinburgh) and Summer Sessions (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee). In addition, the promoter owns and operates grassroots music venue, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (Glasgow).

This year’s sold-out edition of TRNSMT topped DF’s best-selling events of the summer, attracting 50,000 attendees on each of its three days.

Other highlights include two nights from The Killers at Falkirk Stadium (cap. 25,000), and Harry Styles performing to 50,000 people at Glasgow’s Ibrox football stadium.

“It’s looking like it will be more of the same next year”

This summer also saw DF revive Connect, a music festival that originally took place in Argyll, Scotland, in the mid-noughties.

The reboot took place at The Royal Highland Centre (RHC), an exhibition centre and showgrounds located near Edinburgh airport, between 26–28 August.

The Chemical Brothers, The National, Little Simz, Mogwai and Bombay Bicycle Club were among the artists that performed at the camping festival.

In total, DF Concerts had 33 days of outdoor shows from June to August, at venues including Slessor Gardens in Dundee, Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Centre Showgrounds and Princes Street Gardens, SWG3 Galvanizers Yard, Glasgow Green, and Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, plus Hampden Park, Ibrox and Falkirk Stadiums.

“This has been a really special summer season for all involved,” Geoff Ellis, CEO of DF Concerts, tells IQ. “It has seen a seven-figure investment in new events for music lovers across the country, diversifying the experiences available in Scotland.

“With two stadium shows, one greenfield and two festivals already announced for summer 2023 and more to come very soon, it’s looking like it will be more of the same next year.”

 


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DF Concerts praises ‘phenomenal’ Gerry Cinnamon

DF Concerts’ promoter Dave Corbet says that Gerry Cinnamon is “rewriting the rules” after the Scottish singer-songwriter made history by playing to 100,000 fans over two nights at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

The 50,000-cap shows, which were originally slated for 2020 pre-pandemic, sold out within hours back in 2019 and were finally able to take place from 16-17 July.

“The energy of the crowd across both shows was electric and they were with him every step of the way,” Corbet tells IQ. “It was one of the best stadium productions that I have ever seen and the sound was fantastic – there really is nothing like the Hampden roar.”

Staged by DF, the concerts saw Cinnamon crowned as both the first independent act and the first Scottish artist to sell out multiple nights at the national stadium. Support came from The Charlatans, Jake Bugg, The Snuts, Travis and Vistas.

“Gerry is an absolute force of nature and his success knows no limits,” says Corbet. “DF Concerts has worked with him since the very early days of being in bands on the Glasgow music scene, and there are so many factors which have contributed to his huge success which includes how fiercely independent he is.

“To see Gerry go from playing small pub shows at the start of his career to becoming the Scottish artist with the most tickets ever sold at Scotland’s national stadium is phenomenal”

“To see Gerry go from playing small pub shows at the start of his career to becoming the Scottish artist with the most tickets ever sold at Scotland’s national stadium Hampden is phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

The UK’s biggest independent artist, 37-year-old Cinnamon has built up a huge, organic following since self-releasing his 2017 debut album Erratic Cinematic and topped the UK charts with 2020 follow-up The Bonny.

“Gerry has never been one to conform and what keeps his fans coming to support him is how relatable he is,” adds Corbet. “He is rewriting the rules on how to be a successful artist and is a man of the people which resonates not only with the people of Scotland but with his fans around the world.”

Represented by CAA’s Andy Cook, Cinnamon has headlined a handful of outdoor gigs across the UK and Ireland this summer.  He played a 25,000-cap gig at Swansea’s Singleton Park – the second biggest show ever held in the Welsh city – last month, along with sold-out Irish shows at the 25,000-cap Malahide Castle Dublin, and Musgrave Park Stadium, Cork.

He also played his third headline performance at Belsonic festival in Belfast’s 20,000-cap Ormeau Park, having already set the record in 2021 as the first artist to sell out two headline shows at the venue.

 


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Aberdeen’s P&J Live named Venue of the Year

Scotland’s newest live events venue, Aberdeen’s P&J Live, has picked up a Venue of the Year award.

The 15,000-cap Scottish arena, which is operated by ASM Global, came out on top in the Venue of the Year – More Than 20,000sqm category at the AEO Awards, fending off competition from ADNEC – Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, Excel London, RAI Amsterdam, SEC – Scottish Events Campus, The NEC in Birmingham and The O2 in London.

The event, which is run by the Association of Event Organisers, took place on 24 June at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London and was hosted by Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges.

“The team very much believes in making small things matter to enable big things to happen”

“We are absolutely thrilled to have picked up this award, especially being such a new venue operationally, while other venues have been open for decades,” says P&J Live MD Nick Waight. “We are lucky to offer a state-of-the-art venue, but the real event delivery is down to the dedicated team of experts in-house who help make the event a reality, and the support of our operating company, ASM Global.

“P&J Live’s team are extremely people-focused, placing great importance on an excellent client customer journey every time. Event organisers and promoters enjoy a seamless experience from sales pitch to event planning and delivery, as well as post-event. The team very much believes in making small things matter to enable big things to happen.”

The £333 million purpose-built venue opened in August 2019, replacing the former Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), and has hosted the likes of Rod Stewart, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Gerry Cinnamon and Michael Bublé. Upcoming concerts include Elton John, George Ezra, Westlife and Justin Bieber.

 


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Man injured in balcony fall at Harry Styles show

A man has escaped serious injury after falling from a top tier balcony during Harry Styles’ concert at Glasgow’s Ibrox Stadium in Scotland, UK.

Styles was performing the encore on the opening night of his Love on Tour UK stadium run on Saturday (11 June) when the 20-year-old victim reportedly fell from a VIP box and landed on the stand below.

According to the Daily Record, the man was rushed to hospital but suffered just two black eyes, bruising and concussion. A spokesperson for promoter DF Concerts confirmed to Metro that no one else was involved or injured on the level below.

“There were no suspicious circumstances and the man was seen to by medical staff”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland says: ‘Officers were made aware of a man falling from a club deck at a premises on Edmiston Drive, Glasgow at around 10.15pm on Saturday, 11 June, 2022. There were no suspicious circumstances and the man was seen to by medical staff.”

Styles, who has sold out his 42-date tour in its entirety, was the first music artist to play the 50,000-cap home of Glasgow Rangers FC since Bon Jovi in 2017. The tour is due to continue tomorrow (15 June) with the first of two shows at Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford.

The singer was 2021’s top worldwide ticket seller according to Pollstar‘s year-end rankings.

 


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Scottish Event Campus commits to net zero by 2030

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) has stated its ambition to achieve net zero by 2030 after making significant moves to reduce its carbon footprint in recent years.

The organisation’s strategy is based around five key goals: climate, governance, partnership, people and resource, as it develops an energy strategy to transition the venue to net zero, supporting Glasgow’s commitment to do the same across the city.

The 2030 target is in line with the commitment made by LIVE Green – the sustainability arm of UK live music umbrella trade body LIVE. All 13 association members of LIVE – including AIF, MVT, NAA and CPA – ratified a voluntary sector-specific commitment to deliver measurable and targeted action on climate change.

“More than ever we are focused on the impact our business has on the planet,” says SEC chief Peter Duthie. “As the proud host venue of COP26 we are fully committed to becoming net zero by 2030, and to taking a central role in supporting Glasgow’s ambitious targets.

“We recognise how significant a challenge this is, but we are determined to reach this goal. We have the vision and an excellent team, deep in planning mode, to get us there.”

Actions around water efficiency, green travel, supply chain engagement and waste management are also being implemented, while renewable sources already provide 100% of the SEC’s electricity.

The organisation launched a sustainable food strategy in partnership with Levy UK in the run up to COP26, with a commitment that all packaging used will be reusable or recyclable by 2023. The SEC is also a longtime contributor to Trees for Life, and hired a dedicated environment and waste manager in 2019 to fulfil the venue’s aim to be more sustainable.

The SEC is a founding partner of the NetZeroCarbon Events pledge

The SEC is a founding partner of the NetZeroCarbon Events pledge which is a collaboration of the world’s leading events industry players who have come together with the goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The SEC is also working towards A Greener Festival‘s (AGF) ‘Greener Arena Certification’.

The AGF certification will include external verification that carbon reduction and transition strategies are at the heart of all venue operations, from catering to materials used and circularity.

Last year, the OVO Hydro arena, which is located within the SEC campus, announced it will continue to develop its sustainability credentials. OVO is supporting the venue’s goal through funding of specific carbon-reduction and environmental initiatives recommended as a result of the annual accreditation process.

OVO Arena Wembley’s John Drury will be one of the speakers at the 14th edition of the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29 April, presented by AGF in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). For the first time, an ILMC delegate pass includes full access to this year’s GEI, which takes place during the main conference programme.

In November last year, it was announced that Oak View Group’s new east Manchester development Co-op Live will become the UK’s first all-electric arena when it opens in 2023.

 


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DF Concerts reveals venue for Connect festival reboot

DF Concerts has announced the location for its revival of Connect, a music festival that took place in Argyll, Scotland, in the mid-noughties.

The reboot will take place at The Royal Highland Centre (RHC), an exhibition centre and showgrounds located near Edinburgh airport.

With more than 18,000m2 exhibition space and 110 acres of land, the RHC is said to be Scotland’s largest indoor and outdoor venue.

Festival manager Kate Lingard says the unique site will give them the opportunity to create a sustainable approach to the festival experience.

“One of the biggest attractions of our new home is the site’s permanent infrastructure and existing facilities. These play a crucial role in realising our sustainability ambitions for the festival,” says Lingard.

“One of the biggest considerations we had was around public transport and ensuring the event was accessible”

DF Concerts & Events CEO Geoff Ellis says the site’s accessibility by public transport will also feed into the festival’s green ambitions.

“One of the biggest considerations we had was around public transport and ensuring the event was accessible to festivalgoers from across the country,” he says.

“The Royal Highland Centre provides a purpose-built event site that is readily accessible by public transport for each of the three days. This not only makes it easy for festivalgoers to attend but hugely supports our ambition to deliver a more sustainable festival now and into the future.”

The festival, announced in November 2021, is slated to take place between 26–28 August 2022 but the line-up is yet to be announced.

DF says it will feature “the best in leftfield talent from grassroots through to the biggest names in the world”.

The promoter’s stable of events already includes Summer Sessions and TRNSMT, which will return to Glasgow Green in 2022 with headliners Paolo Nutini, The Strokes and Lewis Capaldi.

 


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Campaign to make Glasgow UK’s top music city

A new tourism campaign has launched to promote Glasgow’s music scene to potential visitors from across the UK.

Developed by Glasgow Life’s Destination Marketing team, the Glasgow: Music Nonstop initiative is designed to showcase the energy and vibrancy of the city’s live music offering, positioning it as a first-choice short break destination for music fans.

Created with £90,000 from VisitScotland’s Destination and Sector Marketing Fund, it is aimed at supporting the recovery and restart of Glasgow’s music and night-time industries in the wake of the pandemic, as well as spreading the wider message that the city’s tourism and hospitality sector is open for business.

Jim Clarkson, regional leadership director (West), VisitScotland, says the funding “will help to accelerate the sustainable recovery of the tourism sector in the Glasgow City Region in the medium to long-term, helping to reach new audiences within the domestic market”.

Running until the end of March, the scheme features a mix of targeted digital and social media advertising, PR activity and new music-themed content on the city’s official visitor website. A dedicated campaign landing page is available here.

“We’re on track to have the busiest summer on record for live music in Scotland”

Glasgow is Scotland’s only UNESCO City of Music and hosted an average of 130 gigs and music events every week, pre-Covid, contributing an estimated £75m each year to the city’s economy.

Glasgow Life has engaged with partners throughout the planning process, involving music industry figures in creative briefings; hosting a workshop to inspire businesses to come together and create new bookable music-themed visitor offers; and inviting businesses to have their say.

“Glasgow is a city world-renowned for its music scene, so it’s fantastic to see this investment from Glasgow Life to help support the recovery of the industry,” says Geoff Ellis, CEO of promoter DF Concerts. “We’re on track to have the busiest summer on record for live music in Scotland so it’s vitally important now that Glasgow’s music offering is put in the spotlight, which this campaign aims to do.”

Andrew Fleming-Brown, founder and MD of Glasgow venue SWG3, adds: “It’s been such a difficult couple of years for the sector so it’s really great to see music taking centre stage in the city’s marketing as we emerge from the pandemic. We’re very excited about our upcoming programme at SWG3 which we hope will not only attract the people of Glasgow, but also visitors from throughout Scotland, the UK and internationally.”

 


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More European markets set to relax restrictions

Several European countries have begun relaxing Covid restrictions amid hopes the Omicron wave has peaked in certain parts of the continent.

Large indoor events will resume and nightclubs permitted to reopen in Scotland from 24 January in acknowledgement of a “severe fall” in infection rates. Outdoor events were given the green light to welcome back spectators from 17 January.

The tightened measures had been in place since 26 December last year. First minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs the country had “turned the corner on the Omicron wave”, as reported positive cases dropped to 20,268 over the last three days compared to 36,526 in the same period last week.

In England, all remaining coronavirus measures – including mandatory self-isolation for confirmed infections – could be lifted as early as March under plans being drawn up by the government.

In Wales, the number of people allowed to attend an outdoor event rose from 50 to 500 from 15 January. From this Friday, crowds will be allowed to return to sporting events and there will be no limits on those attending outdoor events.

The developments provide renewed encouragement for the live sector after a growing number of early 2022 tours were cancelled or postponed over Covid fears

And from Friday 28 January, nightclubs can reopen and hospitality venues will be allowed to operate normally, although Covid passes will still be required for large events, cinemas, nightclubs and theatres.

The developments provide renewed encouragement for the live sector after a growing number of early 2022 tours were cancelled or postponed over Covid fears.

However, in Sweden, a 500 capacity limit is being imposed on live events from tomorrow (19 January), although an event is permitted to host more than 500 people if the organiser divides the room so that participants from different sections do not come into contact with each other. In such cases, the 500-person limit applies to each section.

Research from the Netherlands, meanwhile, suggests the country’s 2G (covering people who have either vaccinated or recovered from Covid in the past six months) and 3G (vaccinated/recovered/tested negative) restrictions are cutting cases by just under 10% and 5% respectively.

The Dutch live sector’s hopes for a swift reopening were dashed over the weekend, with a review on the reopening of cultural venues not due to take place until 25 January.

 


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UK markets announce plans to ease restrictions

Wales and Scotland have announced plans to roll back their Covid-19 restrictions.

In Scotland, restrictions on large outdoor events will come to an end on Monday 17 January.

The move will allow fans to return to outdoor concerts and football matches, after Covid restrictions were put in place on Boxing Day, reducing outdoor events to a capacity of 500.

Event organisers will now have to check the vaccine certification of at least 50% of attendees, rather than the current 20%, or at least 1,000 people, depending on which figure is higher.

From Monday the requirement to be ‘fully vaccinated’ for the purposes of Covid certification will include having a booster if the second dose was more than four months ago.

It will still be possible to gain admission to events and venues covered by the certification scheme by providing proof of a recent negative lateral flow test, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

Nightclubs have been closed since 26 December but the First Minister has said that all restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs, could be lifted from 24 January.

Scotland has said that all restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs, could be lifted from 24 January

In Wales, the First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced the relaxing of the rules and stated that the peak of the Omicron wave is now behind the country.

The relaxation will begin this Saturday (15 January) when the number of people allowed to attend an outdoor event will rise from 50 to 500.

From Friday 21 January, crowds will be allowed to return to sporting events and there will be no limits on those attending outdoor events.

From Friday 28 January, nightclubs can reopen and hospitality venues will be allowed to operate normally, although Covid passes will still be required for large events, cinemas, nightclubs and theatres.

From Thursday 10 February, Wales will return to a three-week review cycle as the country returns to alert level 0.

From 28 January, nightclubs in Wales can reopen and hospitality venues will be allowed to operate normally

Northern Ireland is also considering lifting some Covid-19 restrictions next week, First Minister Paul Givan has revealed.

Since 26 December, indoor standing events have not been permitted. For outdoor and indoor events, either proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is required.

Nightclubs are currently closed while hospitality businesses are operating under a series of restrictions. Givan said businesses needed to be able to operate “normally”.

He added that relaxation would depend on health advice received by the executive ahead of its meeting next week, but stressed that so far the picture was “encouraging”.

In England, restrictions were last updated on 15 December, from which point vaccine passports and facemasks have been required in order to attend concerts.

The wearing of face masks is mandated in all venues where crowds gather, and Covid certificates are needed for: venues where large crowds gather, including nightclubs; unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people; and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people.

The introduction of a negative LFT in the certification scheme, meanwhile, followed extended lobbying by the sector to include the measure in any new restrictions.

 


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Scotland gains new festival Otherlands Music & Arts

Scotland is set to gain a new three-day boutique camping festival boasting “some of the biggest names in live and electronic music”.

Otherlands Music & Arts will debut between 19–21 August at Scone Palace, a heritage site located in Perth.

The palace has hosted events such as Solas Festival and ’80s-themed weekender Rewind Scotland – part of a franchise owned by Live Nation’s LN-Gaiety Holdings and SJM Concerts.

The festival was created by the founders of Edinburgh-based events crew Fly – the team behind bi-annual dance festival Fly Open Air

Described as a “celebration of culture”, Otherlands will include six stages spread across the historic site. There will also be talks with industry leaders, “forward-thinking art” and boutique glamping on offer.

The festival was created by the founders of Edinburgh-based events team Fly which is behind bi-annual dance festival Fly Open Air.

Fly are due to release more information on the line-up and tickets for Otherlands later in the month.

 

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