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Bring Me The Horizon to curate festival in Malta

Bring Me The Horizon have announced plans to curate a four-day festival in Malta next year.

The event, which will take from 26-30 May 2022, will feature a handpicked line-up by the Sheffield rock band, a full live show and an exclusive retrospective set from the band alongside a host of club nights, pool party takeovers and boat parties.

The line-up and location are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The weekender is organised by Pollen, a UK-based startup that develops an ‘influencer marketplace’ for events.

Other artist-curated weekenders organised by Pollen Presents include Diplo’s Higher Ground festival in Cabo, Mexico, the Kurupt FM Weekender in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, J Balvin’s Neon Weekender and Justin Bieber & Friends – both in Las Vegas, US.

“[We’re going to] come up with as much madness as you’d expect from a fully metal, rock festival”

“We’re buzzing to be hosting a Bring Me The Horizon-themed festival in Malta next year, coming up with as much madness as you’d expect from a fully metal, rock festival,” says frontman Oli Sykes.

“As well as our headline set we’re also going to be doing a special throwback set with some songs we haven’t played for years, and have an insane lineup of friends and guests coming out to perform too. It’s basically going to be the greatest weekend ever.”

Pollen, founded in 2014 and previously called Verve, works with organisers, promoters and ticketing platforms to negotiate a certain amount of tickets to an event that will be marketed through the members (anyone who books a group experience), according to Tech Crunch.

The members, in turn, decide which events they want to promote to their networks. Those who manage to shift tickets (which are not sold by Pollen but by ticketing partners), get rewards including free trips, VIP upgrades, and private group events. Pollen generates revenue by taking a cut on each sale.

The startup, which raised $60 million in funding in October 2019, has worked with the likes of Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, StubHub and SeeTickets.


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Ticketmaster partners with UK operator SivLive

Ticketmaster UK has formed an exclusive ticketing partnership with SivLive, the operator of the 13,500-capacity FlyDSA Arena Sheffield and other venues in the northeast of England.

The deal will see Ticketmaster introduce digital ticketing into SivLive’s venues, which in addition to FlyDSA Arena, formerly Sheffield Arena, include Sheffield City Hall (2,270-cap.l, Scarborough Spa (570-cap.) and Whitby Pavilion (380-cap.).

“Ticketmaster’s recent work in digital ticketing has been groundbreaking and exceeded expectations, so it is really exciting to partner with them,” comments SivLive head Dominic Stokes.

“This move will give us more control and give fans the best possible experience when entering our venues.”

“Ticketmaster’s recent work in digital ticketing has been groundbreaking and exceeded expectations, so it is really exciting to partner with them”

“It’s an honour to say we will be working with SivLive, further demonstrating our commitment to providing venues with the best possible ticketing technology,” says Ticketmaster UK MD, Andrew Parsons.

“We think mobile-first with everything we do, from how fans discover events through to digital entry and we’re looking forward to bringing that ethos to Sheffield’s most important and busiest venues.”

Ticketmaster has introduced digital ticketing technology at all Academy Music Group venues, including O2 Academy Brixton (5,000-cap.) and O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (2,000-cap.) in London, and SMG Europe’s UK venues, now operated by ASM Global. Ticketmaster’s digital tickets were most recently used at festivals Citadel, Lovebox and SW4.

 


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Be More Nulty: Tramlines acts pay tribute to late festival boss

Performers including Craig David, Milburn and Reverend and the Makers honoured late festival director Sarah Nulty at last weekend’s Tramlines, which attracted crowds of 30,000 to Hillsborough Park in Sheffield, UK.

Nulty, who co-founded the festival in 2009, died aged 36 earlier this month. Artists, staff and attendees paid tribute by wearing ‘Be More Nulty’ T-shirts, while several acts spoke during performances of their memories of Nulty.

Sunday headliner Craig David also thanked Nulty after the festival, which ran from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 July, saying she had created an “amazing” event and “brought so many people together”.

Plans have also been revealed for a permanent memorial to Nulty on Devonshire Green, in Sheffield city centre, facing the original Tramlines site.

Fellow festival founder Timm Cleasby comments: “It’s very important that there is a permanent tribute to Sarah in recognition of everything she put into the city. She was a massive fan and supporter of Sheffield’s creativity and independence. The positioning of the plaque at Devonshire Green is a poignant and fitting tribute.

“Sarah’s vibrancy and energy made her seem larger than life and it’s brilliant that she will be remembered for years to come”

“Sarah’s vibrancy and energy made her seem larger than life and it’s brilliant that she will be remembered for years to come. Hopefully her work will serve to inspire others in the future.”

“It was great to see Sarah come on board with the festival when it was first conceived and develop into the role of director,” adds Richard Eyre, Sheffield City Council’s head of major events. “I was personally inspired by her passion and her vision. She had a fantastic calming influence on everyone and never seemed flustered by the issues that arose in the running of a festival.

“It’s totally fitting that the city pay tribute to Sarah’s work in the local music industry and I look forward to seeing the memorial in place at Devonshire Green.”

 


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Tramlines festival director Sarah Nulty passes

Sarah Nulty, co-founder and festival director of Tramlines, has passed away following a short illness.

Nulty, who was 36, helped launch Tramlines in 2009, and became festival director in 2013. The UK festival now attracts six-figure crowds annually, with its tenth-anniversary event – its first at new 40,000-capacity site Hillsborough Park, on the outskirts of Sheffield – taking place from 20 to 22 July, with headliners Stereophonics, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Craig David’s TS5.

According to a statement from colleagues, Nulty moved to Sheffield in 1999 as a student, before going on to manage various venues and live events across the city.

“Sarah dedicated her whole working career to the Sheffield music industry. After nearly two decades, this work has led to massive benefits for the city and she has been the driving force of Tramlines for many years,” it reads.

“Her tenacity, vision and unbreakable work ethic are the reasons the festival can celebrate its 10th anniversary”

“Her tenacity, vision and unbreakable work ethic are the reasons that the festival can celebrate its tenth anniversary.

“Sarah turned her hand to every aspect of the running the event over the years – she was the life and soul of Tramlines and no job was too small, but no responsibility too great.”

Jon Drape, whose Ground Control Productions company has worked with Tramlines for a number of years, describes Nulty as an “inspiration”. “My thoughts, and everyone else from Ground Control’s who had the absolute pleasure of meeting and working with Sarah, are with her family and friends at this very sad time,” he says. “She was an inspiration, and will be very sorely missed.”

A statement from the Association of Independent Festivals says the team “are devastated by this news. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends.”

 


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Dell reports Leadmill for harassment after £370k judgment

Rupert Dell, the former general manager of the Leadmill, has been ordered to pay more than £370,000 in damages and costs to the Sheffield venue for breach of contract.

In a judgment dated 30 January, Sheffield county court judge Sarah Richardson found in favour of the Leadmill Ltd, which had accused Dell of a number of “wholly inappropriate and unlawful” actions, including falsifying trading figures, harassing and bullying staff and diverting business to competitor venues following his dismissal.

According to court documents obtained by IQ, the bulk of the Leadmill’s complaint centres on allegations that Dell engaged in an inappropriately intimate relationship with a female employee, named only as ‘AB’.

“Between 6 January 2014 and 5 February 2014, [Dell] managed AB, interacted with her and demonstrated a level of intimacy with her that was inappropriate for the general manager of the claimant [the Leadmill] to a subordinate employee – particularly a young subordinate that the defendant [Dell] knew was vulnerable – and was an abuse of the defendant’s position of power and influence as general manager,” reads the court order.

AB, with whom Dell had an “existing flirtatious online relationship”, was given the newly created role of box office manager, it continues, despite the Leadmill having “no requirement for a full- or part-time employee” in that role. “The engagement of AB provided no, or no material, benefit to the claimant,” according to Richardson’s judgment.

This resulted in a “costly and protracted investigation” into allegations of sexual harassment by AB, during which Dell reportedly gave “contradictory and evasive answers” to Phil Mills, director of the 900-capacity venue.

“It has been a long and expensive struggle but we are determined to defend and protect both our staff’s and the Leadmill’s reputations”

Dell – formerly also a concert promoter with Goldenvoice UK, and later head of venue programming for DHP Family – was additionally found to have initiated and encouraged a culture of “inappropriate banter” at the venue from early 2011 to February 2014, including his making jokes about employees’ sexuality and weight.

The Leadmill’s complaint also accuses Dell of falsifying figures – on one occasion giving the instruction to move £500 from the bar take at a Liam Fray show “to make it look as if the venue had been paid for by [promoter] SJM Concerts/Mr Fray in the trading figures to be passed to Mr Mills” – and, following his dismissal in early 2014, making at least three bookings for rival venue the Plug (1,200-cap.), “in breach of post-termination restrictions”.

Dell denies the allegations and accuses Mills of attempting to destroy his reputation “and all I have achieved and worked for over 25 years”.

In a statement provided to IQ, Dell says he was unable to contest the case in court owing to lack of funds – the judgment notably includes no evidence contrary to the Leadmill’s claims, with a passing mention of alleged anti-Semitic abuse by Leadmill employees against Dell, a Jew, dismissed as “vexatious” and in “bad faith” – and reveals he has reported Mills and the venue to police for harassment and malicious communication.

“My wife, children and I have suffered immeasurably from the civil action taken by Phil Mills (the company director) and the Leadmill for the past three years,” it reads. “I find it immensely unprofessional to issue needless communications which I believe are clearly intended to destroy my reputation and prevent me from following a career in the industry I love and have a passion for.

“This was a civil action in a civil court brought by Phil Mills and the Leadmill. Attempts were made to bring the matter to a conclusion, but the Leadmill continued to pursue the matter in the full knowledge that they had little prospect of recovering the hundreds of thousands of pounds that they had spent on pursuing the civil case against me. Due to lack of funds I was unable to contest the case in court and therefore I believe my evidence was not heard by the judge.

“All they wanted to achieve was the destruction of my character and all I have achieved and worked for over 25 years”

“You have to ask: Why, then, did they continue? In my opinion, all they wanted to achieve was the destruction of my character and all I have achieved and worked for over 25 years.

“From the outset of this matter, I raised many counter issues in my defence such as what, in my opinion, are anti-Semitic comments that were made against me – a committed and practising member of the Jewish community – during my employment, by an employee of the Leadmill on social media and on the work email. I presented evidence of these comments and the grievance was branded as being vexatious by Phil Mills.

“It now appears that an abusive Gmail account has been set up, designed to invite harassment and abuse of my family and me, despite the legal process having ended some months ago. I believe that this is vindictive and unnecessary. I am taking legal advice on this and have raised it with the police.”

“This has been a four-year case which has hung heavily over our staff,” says the Leadmill’s current GM, Ian Lawlor, quoted in the contested press release from the venue. “It has been a long and expensive struggle but we are determined to defend and protect both our staff’s and the Leadmill’s reputations. The findings of Her Honour Judge Richardson are now a matter of public record, for which we thank her.

“We now return to our main focus. The venue is unique in this country, having been independently run for its near 40-year existence. We are concentrating on doing what we do best: creating exciting and memorable events for everyone, in a welcoming and safe environment.”

Dell’s statement concludes: “I appreciate all the messages of support and trust I have received over the past weeks. I did not do what is claimed in the statement and I now want to move on and rebuild my life.”

 


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Tramlines to move to Hillsborough Park for 2018

UK festival Tramlines is to move out of Sheffield city centre for its 10th anniversary event, after being granted an event licence for Hillsborough Park, a large green space on the outskirts of the city.

Tramlines was launched in 2009 as a free, city-centre festival by Tramlines Events and Sheffield Council, with Tramline Events assuming full control in 2010. Count of Ten (Y Not, Truck Festival) acquired a 38% stake in 2013, introducing several ‘premium’ venues but still keeping a free tier.

The festival moved away from its multi-venue roots in 2017, instead taking place across three green spaces – the Ponderosa (pictured), Devonshire Green and Endcliffe Park – with ticket prices rising to £60 for the Libertines-, Primal Scream- and All Saints-headlined event.

“I’m delighted that our licence for Hillsborough Park has been approved. We can now put our plans into practice as we celebrate the 10th anniversary”

It was announced in April by Music City Foundation, a Sheffield-based nonprofit, that it had entered into an agreement to buy the festival for £1.2 million, but the takeover bid failed to secure shareholder approval and has since fallen through.

“I’m delighted that our licence for Hillsborough Park has been approved,” says festival director Sarah Nulty. “We can now put our plans into practice as we celebrate the 10th anniversary with the biggest and best Tramlines to date. The first line-up announcement will be early next year so please keep an eye on our website and social media channels.”

Nulty adds that Tramlines 2018 will retain an urban element, saying the festival is “working closely with Sheffield City Council on the city-centre proposition to ensure that it remains a core part of the weekend, and more information on those plans will be released in the new year.”

 


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Sheffield Arena becomes FlyDSA Arena

Sheffield Arena has been renamed FlyDSA Arena following the signing of a naming rights deal with Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) in South Yorkshire.

The three-year deal, which sees the airport – formerly known as Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield – invest a “six-figure” sum into the 13,500-capacity venue, was announced today and sees the arena assuming its new identity with immediate effect.

Robert Hough, chairman of DSA owner Peel Airports, comments: “DSA and the arena are key parts of Sheffield and the region’s leisure offering, so by working together we hope to attract even more visitors to the region.”

“We are absolutely delighted to be working with DSA on this new chapter of the arena’s history,” adds Alex Pettifer MBE, deputy chairman of the arena’s owner, Sheffield City Trust.

“This is a brilliant example of positive collaboration between two integral local businesses”

“Both DSA and the arena are integral to the region’s economy and the significant contribution from both organisations supports the continued growth of visitors to South Yorkshire from across the county and further afield.

“This is a brilliant example of positive collaboration between two integral local businesses and we look forward to welcoming visitors to FlyDSA Arena very soon.”

FlyDSA Arena is owned by the charitable Sheffield City Trust and operated by its subsidiary, Sheffield International Venues (SIV), which took over from Live Nation in 2015. It was ranked 17th in the world in Pollstar’s recent mid-year report, with ticket sales of 306,365 in H1 2017.

Joe Waldron took over as its new general manager in July following the departure of previous GM John O’Shea.

 


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Tramlines renews deal with ‘queue-busting’ Gigantic

This year’s Tramlines festival will feature a “queue-busting” Gigantic ticketing solution that aims to cut down on lines associated with extra security checks.

Gigantic last year cut queuing times by 90%, and the Nottingham-based ticketer says it hopes to further minimise “those dreaded queues” in 2017. “With extra security checks in place at major events such as Glastonbury last month seeing thousands of revellers queuing for hours in the searing sun, Gigantic’s ticketing and box office operation looks set to cut down on those dreaded queues,” reads a statement from the company.

Several UK events have had longer-than-average queues for entry this summer, as festivals increase security measures in response to a string of recent terrorist attacks. Festival Republic managing director Melvin Benn on Saturday issued an apology after several people reportedly suffered injuries in a crush while queuing for Ireland’s Longitude festival.

“When we started working with Gigantic, we were at a time of growth, and since then Tramlines has gone from strength to strength, with last year our best in terms of operations,” says Tramlines festival director Sarah Nulty. “It was the most efficient the box office has ever run.”

“Every promoter will tell you that they hate people having to queue to get into their event”

Gigantic founder Mark Gasson says the move away from physical to electronic tickets “brought the operation into the 21st century”. He comments: “Every promoter will tell you that they hate people having to queue to get into their event. For Tramlines, getting the ticketing and box office right was really important to enable them to continue growing the festival. Being on site we can adapt to any situation quickly and offer a solution to ensure everyone gets in quickly and customers are happy.”

Tramlines 2017 takes place at six venues across Sheffield from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 July. Performers include The Libertines, Metronomy, All Saints, Primal Scream and Toots and the Maytals.

Music City Foundation, a Sheffield charity, said in April it had agreed to acquire Tramlines for £1.2m from promoter Tramlines Events Ltd.

 


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Sheffield Arena appoints new GM

Sheffield Arena in Yorkshire, the UK’s seventh most-visited arena, has appointed a new general manager to replace Rob O’Shea, who has stepped down to focus on his promotions business.

Joe Waldron, who has been at the arena for 18 years, including 11 as deputy GM, takes over the top job, with O’Shea leaving to concentrate on his work with regional promoter Manifesto Events.

“I am sad to be leaving colleagues who have become friends,” O’Shea tells The Yorkshire Post, “but after 11 years of running Sheffield Arena the time is right to concentrate all my efforts on Manifesto Events and promoting shows in Sheffield.”

“After 11 years of running Sheffield Arena the time is right to concentrate all my efforts on Manifesto Events”

Waldron, meanwhile, promises to focus on “maintaining and developing our relationships with all of the stakeholders who continue to make the arena the success story it is for Sheffield”.

The 13,500-cap. venue is owned by charity Sheffield City Trust and operated by its subsidiary Sheffield International Venues (SIV), which took over from Live Nation in 2015. It was ranked 17th in the world in Pollstar’s recent mid-year report, with ticket sales of 306,365 in H1 2017.

 


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Tramlines agrees to crowdfunded takeover bid

Tramlines Events Ltd, the promoter behind Tramlines Festival, has agreed provisionally to a £1.2 million buy-out of the popular UK event.

The bid comes courtesy of Music City Foundation, a Sheffield-based nonprofit, which says it hopes to “preserve the iconic festival for the benefit of the city” by “buy[ing] back the festival for the people”. The foundation already owns 15% of Tramlines, but now plans to buy Tramlines Events out of its shares in the festival, with half (£600,000) of the bid price raised through a crowdfunding campaign.

Share packages start at £200, and will be available to buy next Wednesday (12 April) from musiccityfoundation.org.

“Music City Foundation plans to buy back the festival for the people,” says foundation director Winston Hazel. ““Our aim is to support both economic and cultural growth.

“Sheffield is one of the most culturally diverse and stimulating cities in the UK. It is the birthplace of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Bring Me the Horizon, and 7.4% of our population is employed by the creative industries [compared to a] national average of just 4%. We want to ensure that Tramlines continues to support our vibrant culture while also contributing to the city’s economic success.”

Tramlines Festival 2017, headlined by Primal Scream and The Libertines, will not be affected by the £1.2m offer – which is below market value, “in order to encourage investment from the city’s people and businesses” – with a successful bid taking effect from 2018.

“Do you want our flagship event stuck in a portfolio of 15 festivals, its performance linked to strategies, bundled with random cities that have nothing to do with Sheffield?”

Tramlines was launched in 2009 as a free festival by Tramlines Events and Sheffield Council, with Tramline Events assuming full control in 2010. Count of Ten (Y Not, Truck Festival) acquired a 38% stake in 2013, introducing several ‘premium’ venues but still keeping a free tier. It first made a significant profit in 2015.

“Ask yourself, as someone with a direct trading interest in Sheffield: Do you want our flagship event stuck in a portfolio of 15 festivals, its performance linked to strategies, maybe bundled and themed with random cities that have nothing to do with Sheffield [and] jettisoned if we don’t hit bottom lines?” writes Hazel in Music Cities Foundation’s ‘blueprints’ for the acquisition. “We think that is not the way our flagship, or our city, thinks. […]

“Keeping Tramlines Sheffield-owned isn’t just about protecting an event. We believe Tramlines Festival is a crucial catalyst for our plans and for the city. It has already shown the importance of city-wide collaboration. It brings national companies and projects to our table and gives us a national profile in return.

“There are a huge number of incumbent traders who have helped shape Tramlines with us – and we are inviting them first to secure their long-term rights to buying the festival shares and its IPRs [intellectual property rights].”

 


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