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TEG MJR to promote the UK’s first K-pop festival

TEG MJR is to promote the UK’s first-ever K-pop festival, taking place in London this summer.

HallyuPopFest, previously held in Singapore in 2018 and 2019, is scheduled for 9 and 10 July at OVO Arena Wembley (cap. 12,500).

Mamamoo singer Hwasa, girl group Everglow, and boybands Astro and Oneus are among the artists due to perform on the first day of the festival.

While boybands SF9 and Cravity are lined up for day two of the event. More artists are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Aside from the three-hour headline concerts taking place each evening, HallyuPopFest will also include a red carpet event and a HallyuTown marketplace, where ticketholders will be able to experience Korean food and culture.

“We wanted to create a festival experience where K-pop fans from all over could come together and celebrate”

“It will be the UK’s first K-pop festival, as well as HallyuPopFest’s first global landing. It’s an amazing lineup, consisting of a diverse variety of Korean music genres, from pop to rap to adult contemporary to indie artists,” says global promoter TEG MJR chief executive Richard Buck. “There will be something for everyone.”

Selena Ho, chief executive of the Singapore-headquartered HAH Entertainment, which oversees HallyuPopFest operations, adds: “HallyuPopFest came about because we wanted to create a festival experience where K-pop fans from all over, from various fandoms, could come together and celebrate their fervent idol support, boundless energy and love for music and dance that are the cornerstones of K-pop.”

The inaugural HallyuPopFest was held in 2018 in Singapore and returned to the island-state the following year for its second instalment.

Artists that have previously performed at HallyuPopFest include Wanna One, Apink, AOA, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, NCT 127, NU’EST, (G)I-DLE, Monsta X and more.

Today’s news comes after the announcement of Europe’s biggest K-pop festival launching in Germany. The 44,000-capacity Kpop.Flex festival is to take place at Deutsche Bank Park Stadium in Frankfurt between 14–15 May.

 


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Eventim Live Asia makes two senior appointments

Eventim Live Asia, a new arm of CTS Eventim’s European promoter alliance, has appointed Samantha Tzovolos as managing director for Singapore, and Mike Galt as senior vice-president of touring for Asia.

Tzovolos will be based in Singapore – where the company is headquartered – and will report to CEO Jason Miller.

Alongside her role at Eventim Live Asia, Tzovolos will continue to run TEM, an independent live entertainment company based out of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Over the past decade, as CEO of TEM, Tzovolos has produced many of Indonesia’s biggest shows, including Sting, Michael Buble, Ariana Grande and the Chainsmokers.

She has also produced top events in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia, including Justin Bieber, Foo Fighters and others.

“I’m excited to bring my extensive network and track record of success in emerging markets to Singapore and to Eventim Live Asia,” says Tzovolos. “Singapore and South East Asia represent some of the biggest and most dynamic opportunities for the future of touring. Jason Miller and CTS Eventim share a powerful vision for these markets.”

“Jason Miller and CTS Eventim share a powerful vision for [Singapore and South East Asia]”

Mike Galt will continue to be based in London, and also report to Miller. He has more than two decades of live entertainment experience. Most recently, he was VP of talent and touring for Live Nation, focused on international and emerging markets.

Galt produced tours for Mumford and Sons, Troye Sivan, Guns N Roses, The Japanese House, The Weeknd and others. He also booked talent for Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 post-race concerts, along with expanding the touring footprint in and around the Middle East while based in the United Arab Emirates.

“I’m thrilled to get to work on behalf of Eventim Live Asia, leveraging my substantial experience in building tours in emerging markets,” says Galt. “It’s important that artists and talent representation have more options when it comes to touring Asia and other regions in the years to come.”

Miller adds: “These two appointments reflect Eventim Live Asia’s commitment to providing touring artists with the absolute strongest experience and deepest relationships in Asia. ELA is thrilled to welcome Samantha and Mike to the team. They will provide enormous, unmatchable value to artists looking to tour the region.”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim, says: “Eventim Live Asia is a central component of our international expansion strategy, alongside our activities in North America. We are very pleased to have gained two top professionals in Samantha and Mike. In the future, they will support Jason Miller with all their strength and expertise in bringing top international artists for CTS Eventim to the promising Asian market.”

Eventim Live Asia was launched last summer, with a focus on China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

 


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ASM Global announces new Singapore HQ

ASM Global APAC has expanded its footprint in Asia Pacific with the announcement of new Singapore headquarters and plans to grow its overall operations in the region.

ASM Global Singapore will have a joint leadership team comprising two industry specialists: EVP, operations Paul Sergeant, who has been with ASM Global for three years, most recently as SVP, and Ed Sanderson as EVP, venue development. Sanderson brings 20 years of commercial and operational experience in venues and facilities across Asia, most recently with Populous.

The pair are expected to take up their roles in Singapore by the end of the year.

“We believe that this part of the world is ready for a phase of robust growth, and we’re investing in personnel and plans to ensure we’re at the forefront of a significant growth curve,” says ASM Global CEO and president Ron Bension.

Having our ASM Global APAC industry professionals like Paul and Ed on the ground will bring a wealth of local knowledge and experience to our operations

ASM Global APAC chairman and CEO Harvey Lister, points to ASM’s under-construction Kai Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong; the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center, and six future arenas confirmed to be managed by ASM Global in the region as examples of the area’s vast potential.

“This is an exciting development and reinforcement of the importance of this region to our organisation and the expansion of our regionally based business activities,” says Lister. “Having our ASM Global APAC industry professionals like Paul and Ed on the ground will bring a wealth of local knowledge and experience to our operations.”

Lister adds that he looks forward to working closely with the team on the ground on future development opportunities.

 


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Singapore reopens gradually for vaccinated fans

A maximum of 1,000 people are now permitted at live events in Singapore, as the south-east Asian country continues to lift restrictions cautiously for vaccinated residents.

The 1,000-person limit – which applies to only to events where all attendees are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or can prove their negative status – includes live entertainment events, spectator sports and conferences, according to the Straits Times. The increase, announced by Singapore’s Covid-19 taskforce, doubles the previous limit of 500 (vaccinated) people, brought in earlier this month.

The city-state, which is home to nearly six million people, is taking a different approach to reopening to countries such as the UK and US, where capacity limits and social distancing regulations have been abolished.

Singapore, said finance minister Lawrence Wong, who leads the multi-ministry taskforce, does not want to open up with a “big bang” like many Western countries have, he told an audience at a hospital yesterday (24 August).

“The objective is to get to the end of this pandemic with as little death and damage as possible”

“Because they already have much higher levels of underlying immunity and protection, many of these countries are more prepared to open up fully,” he said. “They say they have a ‘Freedom Day’, and they are prepared to let the virus run its course through their population.”

In contrast, Singapore has kept infections low throughout the pandemic, with just 50 deaths from Covid-19 in total, and hopes to keep cases at a minimum while opening up, said Wong. The objective, he added, is “to get to the end of this pandemic with as little death and damage as possible, even as we progressively resume most of our normal lives.”

The new 1,000-person capacity limit will apply to those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, who have antibodies having recovered from the disease, or who test negative for the virus 24 hours before the expected end of the event in question.

At press time, some 78% of Singaporeans were fully vaccinated against the virus.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 recovery centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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WME investor GIC buys Eventbrite stake

Singaporean sovereign-wealth fund GIC has acquired a 5% stake in Eventbrite.

According to a recent filing with the US’s Securities and Exchange Commission, the self-service ticketing firm has sold 3,813,791 shares, or 5.05% of the its class-A common stock, to GIC (Government of Singapore Investment Corporation), which is wholly owned by the sate of Singapore.

GIC joined forces with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in 2017 to invest a combined US$1 billion in WME-IMG (now Endeavor), acquiring roughly 8% of the agency group’s shares, while another Singaporean government-owned fund, Temasek, owns a stake in CAA.

“As restrictions on in-person gatherings eased during Q2 2021, Eventbrite’s creators and their audiences re-emerged in force”

According to the filing, which is signed by GIC senior vice-presidents Celine Loh Sze Ling and Diane Liang, 3,738,791 of the shares acquired by GIC have sole voting power, while the remaining 75,000 have shared voting power with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Eventbrite’s share price fell slightly, to $17.69, on news of the transaction, on 13 August, though it remains up around $8 year on year.

Earlier in August, Eventbrite reported a second-quarter net loss of $20.54 million, narrowing from -$38.59 million in Q2 2020. While it continues to face a “significant impact” from the coronavirus pandemic, paid ticket volume is picking up, the company said in its most recent earnings statement. “As restrictions on in-person gatherings eased during the second quarter of 2021, Eventbrite’s creators and their audiences re-emerged in force,” according to Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz.

 


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CTS launches Singapore-based Eventim Live Asia

Leading international promoter and ticket agency CTS Eventim has announced the launch of Eventim Live Asia, an expansion of its European promoter alliance Eventim Live with a focus on China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The new company, headquartered in Singapore, is led by CEO Jason Miller, who, as senior vice-president of international and emerging markets for Live Nation, led that company’s touring activity across its Asia and the Middle East offices until he stepped down last year.

In addition to Eventim Live Asia, Eventim Live, formed in early 2019, includes 36 promoters in 15 countries, the most recent addition being Matt Schwarz’s DreamHaus in Germany. The launch of Eventim Live Asia, a joint venture with Miller, follows a similar tie-up with promoter Michael Cohl in North America, first announced last year.

“Following on from our joint venture with Michael Cohl in the US market, the launch of Eventim Live Asia marks another key milestone in achieving our strategic objective of offering tours and ticketing around the world,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of Bremen-based CTS Eventim. “This is a further sign that, as announced, CTS Eventim will emerge from the coronavirus crisis with renewed strength.”

 

Frithjof Pils, managing director of Eventim Live, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Jason Miller to the team. He has extensive experience in our industry in Asia at the highest level and has an excellent network of contacts. He will enable Eventim Live Asia to bring amazing concerts by leading international artists to fans in this major world region. We also want to intensify our work with local artists going forward.”

With Live Nation, Miller produced 80% of the highest-grossing Asian tours for western artists in the past decade, including Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Madonna, Maroon 5 and U2. Prior to joining LN Nation, Miller was an agent at CAA, where he worked with high-profile clients including Beyoncé, Jimmy Fallon, Kanye West and Stevie Wonder.

“The pandemic has created unprecedented global demand for live music and shared experience. With Asia representing over half of the world’s population and its fastest-growing middle class, there is no better time or place to be launching an event promotion company,” says Miller.

“Eventim Live’s tremendous resources, vision, experience, and respect across the live event industry make it the perfect joint venture partner.”

 


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Berlin’s TBO agency opens Asia office

Berlin-based booking agency The Bliss Office (TBO) has joined forces with the Netherlands’ A Plus Artists to launch The Bliss Office Asia, a Singapore-based electronic music agency booking across Asia, Australasia and the Middle East.

By partnering with A Plus’s Michel Kuklinski and Roy Gerritsen, who started the agency last year after leaving Amsterdam- and Hong Kong-based David Lewis Productions, TBO aims to “develop and expand the Asian underground scene, not only for the artists who are already affiliated with The Bliss Office Asia but also for emerging local talent”, according to the company.

TBO-signed artists include DJs Amelie Lens, Pan-Pot, Farrago and Nicole Moudaber.

“Expanding our business in the Asian-Pacific markets always has been high on our list,” say TBO heads Marco Starke and Ugur Akkus. “We strongly believe that now is the time to make steps in the mentioned markets and we are happy to do that with the expertise from Roy and Michel.

“Expanding our business in the Asian-Pacific markets always has been high on our list”

“Both are fully integrated in the Asian-Pacific markets and with their commercial backgrounds, we think we can take some serious steps in the market.”

“Marco and Ugur have a great philosophy and are great people in the industry with an impressive track record. Their roster is top-notch in today’s underground scene and we are more than happy to continue the growth in Asia, Australia and the Middle East,” say Kuklinski and Gerritsen in a joint statement.

The partners have also announced the addition of Kenny Wee, founder and owner of Pure Substance Management (Christian Löffler, YouAndMe, Victor G, Filterheadz), to the Bliss Office Asia team. Along with Starke and Akkus, he will handle all day-to-day business for the new agency.

 


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Road to recovery: A timeline of pilot projects

In August 2020, Germany paved the way for live music pilot projects with Restart-19, an experiment which saw thousands of volunteers to take part in a concert at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig with singer Tim Bendzko.

Since then, similar experiments have popped up across the globe. From Spain to Singapore, test events with as few as 50 participants and as many as 5,000 have taken place to prove to authorities (and the world) that when it comes to safety and security, the live music industry knows what it’s doing.

Below is a timeline of the pilot projects that have taken place since late summer 2020 – all of which have proved, in one way or another, that the live entertainment sector can reopen safely under certain measures – as well as the tests that are on the horizon in 2021.

August 2020

Restart-19
When: 22 August 2020
Where: Quarterback Immobilien Arena, Leipzig, Germany
Who: University Medical Center of Halle
What they said: “[T]he contacts that do occur at an event do not involve all participants. Therefore, events could take place under specific conditions during a pandemic.”
Participants: 1,500

November 2020

Konzerthaus Dortmund (study)
When: 2–3, 20 November 2020
Where: Konzerthaus Dortmund, Germany
Who: Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute Goslar, ParteQ
What they said: “Concert halls and theatres are not places of infection. […] With our study, we want to ensure that concert halls and theatres may again admit sufficient audiences when they reopen.”

December 2020

Primacov
When: 12 December 2020
Where: Apolo, Barcelona, Spain
Who: Primavera Sound, Germans Trias Hospital, the Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation
What they said: “A live music concert, staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for Sars- CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in Covid-19 infections.”
Participants: 1,047

Philharmonie de Paris (study)
When: 16 December 2020
Where: Philharmonie de Paris, France
Who: Dassault Systèmes
What they said: “The combination of face masks with a fresh-air supply built into every seat gives the indoor Philharmonie a similar profile to that of an outdoor space, with a very limited risk of spread from one side [of the venue] to the other.”

Back to Live (SG)
When: 18–19 December 2020 Where: Sands Theatre, Marina Bay, Singapore
Who: AEG Presents, Collective Minds
What they said: “[T]he outcome of such pilots will be critical to our ongoing efforts to allow events of a larger scale to resume in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Participants: 500

February 2021

Because Music Matters
When: 10–14 February
Where: Rockhal, Luxembourg
Who: Rockhal
What they said: “Building confidence among all our stakeholders that live events are a safe environment is so important.”
Participants: 100 per night

Back to Live (NL)
When: 15, 20, 21, 28 February & 6, 7, 20, 21 March 2021
Where: The Netherlands
Who: Fieldlab Evenementen
What they said: “We can now show that we can organise events in a very safe way. […] We hope this can lead to a tailor- made reopening of venues.”
Participants: Varies between events

March 2021

Love of Lesbian
When: 27 March 2021
Where: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona
Who: Festivals per la Cultura Segura
What they said: The event had no impact on Covid-19 transmission among attendees, despite the lack of social distancing observed.
Participants: 5,000

The Berlin Philharmonic
When: 20 March 2021
Where: Chamber Music Hall, Berlin
Who: Pilotprojekt, Berlin department of culture
What they said: ‘Zero infections among the 1,000 people who attended the show is further proof that events can be organised safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.’
Participants: 680

April 2021

Jonathan theatre performance
When: 26 April–9 May 2021
Where: Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS), Belgium
Who: KVS and Belgium’s Ministry of Culture
What they said: “An important observation is that the CO2 value and the relative humidity have barely increased. We saw the figure increase from 500 ppm to 600 ppm, while the maximum permitted value is 1200 ppm. This is of course only a first indication.”
Participants: 50–250

May 2021

Events Research Programme
When: April/May 2021
Where: Sefton Park and Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool, Brit Awards in London, The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and more
Who: Festival Republic, Circus, BPI, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and more
What they said: “These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. We will be guided by the science and medical experts but will work flat out to make that happen.”
Participants: 300–21,000

TBC 2021

Denmark Trials
When: TBC 2021
Where: Denmark
Who: Dansk Live, Divisionsforeningen
What they said: “This should very much lead to a much-needed festival summer and many great concert experiences across the country in 2021.”

Paris test
When: TBC 2021
Where: Accor Arena, Paris
Who: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, St Louis Hospital, Prodiss
Participants: 5,000

Marseille test
When: TBC 2021
Where: Dôme, Marseille
Who: The city of Marseille, Inserm, Béatrice Desgranges (Marsatac, SMA)
Participants: 1,000

 


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Singapore gears up for return of non-distanced shows

Singaporean promoters will be able to stage indoor shows of up to 750 people with no social distancing, provided all attendees can produce a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination against the disease, from 24 April.

Under the next stage of lockdown easing, organisers of live performances at designated venues will be permitted to admit up to 750 attendees with pre-event testing, or 250 without, the Straits Times reports. At press time, Singapore had just 24 new cases of Covid-19, all of which came into the city-state with foreigners who have now been ordered to self-isolate.

Government-approved pilot events, including sports fixtures and business conferences, will also be allowed to have 750 people from the same date, or 250 without testing. Formerly, business-to-business events were limited to 250 attendees, divided into zones of 50.

The pilot conferences and sports events follow Singapore’s first test concerts, held in partnership with the country’s ministry of health and promoted by AEG Presents, which took place just before Christmas.

Organisers of live performances at designated venues will be permitted to admit up to 750 attendees with pre-event testing

A sister classical music event with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra received a more muted reception, according to the Times, with many classical music fans decided not to attend because they didn’t want to undergo pre-event testing, which they feared would be uncomfortable.

While smaller venues should be able to make the 250/750-person capacity limit work, some event organisers are hopeful they will be permitted to go beyond 750 people by the summer months.

The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, which organises the annual Sing.Lang festival of Singaporean-Chinese pop music, has asked to have more than 750 attendees at the 2021 event, which takes place in June. Its director of programmes, Lee Ee Wurn, says the centre is planning to stage the concert at the 12,000-seat Singapore Indoor Stadium and is hoping for the largest possible audience.

 


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Singapore to hold largest concerts since lockdown

AEG Presents and Collective Minds are collaborating on the largest concerts Singapore has seen since the government imposed a circuit-breaker lockdown.

The promoters will deliver two shows at the iconic Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands on 18 and 19 December, inviting up to 500 participants to watch performances from domestic talent including Benjamin Kheng, Sezairi, Charlie Lim and more.

The concerts, which will take place under the banner of ‘Back to Live’, are part of a Ministry of Health (MOH)-funded Pre Event Testing (PET) pilot programme, initiated to kickstart the local entertainment industry with safe distancing measures and Covid-testing in place.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to be able to experience live music in the flesh. With the gradual resumption of live performances, we’re excited to be part of the MOH-funded (PET) pilot programme for large-scale live music events,” Collective Minds writes in a social media post.

“Hopefully [Back to Live] will serve as a precursor for future large-scale events in Singapore and across the region”

“While the health and safety of the audiences remain the priority, we’re committed to spearheading the road to recovery for the live entertainment industry in Singapore and hopefully [Back to Live] will serve as a precursor for future large-scale events in Singapore and across the region.”

‘Back to Live’ ticket holders are required to take a free Antigen Rapid Test (ART) before attending the event and will only gain entry with a valid negative Covid test certificate.

All one-day ticket holders will need to book an appointment to undergo the ART at any one of the 22 designated clinics.

Tests are recommended to be completed on the morning of the event day and no earlier than 11 pm on the day prior to the event, while all two-day ticket holders will be tested on-site at Marina Bay Sands. These ticket holders will be required to complete the ART on both days from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Singapore began to relax its circuit-breaker lockdown on 2 June, when a three-phase plan for reopening commenced

The concert will take place with a seated format and dancing and standing will be prohibited. The venue will not be selling food or beverages, though each attendee will be given a complimentary bottle of water. The show is scheduled for 9 pm to give patrons the chance to consume food beforehand.

Tickets for ‘Back to Live’ cost S$55 for one day and S$98 for two days.

Singapore began to relax its circuit-breaker lockdown on 2 June, when a three-phase plan for reopening commenced. The nation is currently in phase 2, ‘Safe Transition’, which started on 19 June and will come to end on 28 December when phase 3 will start.

Phase 3 will impose conditions including the use of TraceTogether, compliance with Safe Management Measures (SMMs), and adequate testing capacity.

In addition, it was announced on 14 December that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in Singapore, with the first batch slated for around end of December 2020, and subsequent batches planned throughout 2021.

Singapore’s ‘Back to Live’ pilot concerts follow in the footsteps of Germany’s Restart-19 and Spain’s PRIMACOV. Several ‘Back to Live’ pilot events will also take place in the Netherlands, with the government’s backing, in January.

 


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