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Friday round-up: World news in brief 10/12/21

Welcome to IQ‘s weekly round-up of news from around the world. Here, in bite-sized chunks, we present a selection of international stories you may have missed from the last seven days…


Slipknot are expanding their festival footprint by taking their Knotfest brand to Germany. The 25,000-cap. Knotfest Germany will debut in and around Rudolf Weber-Arena in Oberhausen on 30 July, 2022. Headlined by Slipknot, the Live Nation-promoted event will feature 10 bands in total, including In Flames and Ghostemane. Brazil and Chile editions are also planned for next year.


In his first interview since the Astroworld tragedy, Travis Scott has said he did not realise that fans were hurt during his performance at the Live Nation-promoted festival. Ten people, aged between nine and 27, died following a crowd crush during Scott’s headline set at the 50,000-cap. NRG Park in Houston, Texas on 5 November. The US rapper has been criticised for not ending his show earlier. “I stopped a couple of times… at the end of the day you just hear music,” he told Breakfast Club presenter Charlamagne Tha God.


Korea’s first ever metaverse gig, the K-Vibe Concert, was staged by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organisation on 8 December. Hosted by Asia’s largest metaverse platform Zepeto, the XR show featured acts from the first to the fourth generation of K-pop, including BoA, SHINee’s Key, Aespa, DJ Raiden, Brave Girls, Mommy Son, and Wonstein. The concert also brought together various other aspects of the Korean Wave, from dance to dramas, beauty and webtoons.


Organisers of Elements Festival are facing a class action lawsuit following the event’s ill-fated 2021 edition, which took place in Lakewood, Pennsylvania from 3-6 September. The electronic music festival fell victim to inclement weather precipitated by Hurricane Ida. EDM.com now reports that three claimants allege promoters failed to “properly organise, prepare, and provide ticket purchasers and attendees of the Elements Festival 2021 with the experience defendants extensively promoted and marketed as being a safe, packaged, multi-day camping and music festival”.


After confirming Los Angeles and Chile spin-offs, Spain’s Primavera Sound has now announced Brazil and Argentina legs for 2022. Primavera’s first Brazil event will be held in Sao Paolo from 31 October to November 6, while its inaugural Argentina festival will take place in Buenos Aires from 7-13 November.


Metallica will livestream their 40th anniversary concerts from San Francisco’s Chase Center on 17 and 19 December. The sets will air on Amazon Music and Prime before becoming available to watch on The Coda Collection/Prime Video Channel.


Scotland music convention Wide Days is returning to Edinburgh as a physical event from 19-21 May 2022, with a conference, one-to-one meetings and live performances. It will also feature a range of informal networking opportunities including guided tours, whisky tasting and exotic soft-drink sampling. As part of the convention, Wide Days will showcase the six emerging Scottish acts, selected for the international talent development programme, presented in partnership with PRS Foundation, which is open to musicians, producers and DJs of any genre who apply via a free application process (deadline 13 January). Tickets for Wide Days are on sale now at a special early bird rate.


Madison Square Garden Entertainment has announced that it will be taking its custom camera technology – being developed for its MSG Sphere venue – to space. The company has received a research award from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space to leverage the International Space Station (ISS) US National Laboratory to develop and test its ultra-high fidelity, ultra-high-resolution camera system. MSG Entertainment is planning to conduct three missions over the next several years, with the goal of developing a custom MSG Sphere camera system capable of capturing the Earth at a level of detail never before possible.


More than 200 guests attended The Blue Moon Gala at the new Outernet London to celebrate UNICEF’s 75th anniversary. The star-studded, special event, which featured performances from Duran Duran and Arlo Parks, raised £770,000 to help UNICEF continue its work for children around the world. A major new immersive media, music and culture district in London’s West End, Outernet fully opens in 2022, with details to be announced in the new year.

Billie Eilish was virtually honoured with the German Sustainability Award by astronaut Matthias Maurer (ESA), who was on board the international space station ISS. Singers Joss Stone and Chris de Burgh also received the honorary award at the ceremony in Düsseldorf, which recognises ideas for the future and top achievements in sustainability in the fields of business, research and communities.


UK promoter and venue operator DHP Family has announced two key promotions within the marketing team as it continues its commitment to nurture and develop talent within the company. Anwyn Williams has been promoted to head of marketing, while Matt Newton steps up to become marketing manager.


ASM Global has appointed David Feeley as general manager of the Target Center in Minneapolis. An industry veteran with more than 23 years of experience in event and facility operations, Feeley joins ASM Global following a lengthy stint as an operations executive with MGM Resorts.


London-based online platform GigRealm, which provides an end-to-end solution for organising live music performances, has announced a wide-ranging new partnership with The F-List for Music. Founded by former BASCA CEO Vick Bain, the F-List is the first directory of its kind to feature up-to-date information on UK-based female musicians, songwriters and composers. The new partnership will see GigRealm and The F-List team up to create pathways and opportunities for female musicians in the live music space.


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New decade, new look: IQ 88 out now

IQ Magazine is back with a revamped look, compact design, additional content and brand new features for its 88th edition, which is available to read online now.

A special edition asks for special content and IQ #88 does not disappoint, with the issue’s main feature celebrating IQ’s Agent of the Decade, Rod MacSween.

Having sold more tickets internationally in the past ten years than any other agent, and with a roster boasting the likes of Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, the Who, Christina Aguilera, Kiss, Black Sabbath, and many more, MacSween is a veritable legend of the industry. The anecdotes, interviews and testimonials appearing in IQ 88 are testament to the super agent’s past and present success.

With the 32nd International Live Music Conference just around the corner – now just a week away! – this edition of IQ Magazine provides a full agenda guide to help delegates plan their jam-packed days for this year’s special game show-themed conference.

IQ Magazine is back with a revamped look, compact design, additional content and brand new features

Elsewhere in the magazine, metal takes centre stage, with an in-depth tour report on metal juggernaut Slipknot’s hugely successful We Are Not Your Kind tour, as well as a wider overview of the booming metal business.

Festivals and events dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and the state of play in the Scottish market are other highlights of this bumper 88th edition.

The new-look magazine also comes filled with some shiny new regular features, such as the Readers’ Lives page featuring the favourite pastimes of top industry figures; the Unsung Hero feature, profiling the stars of the production world; and an agony Aunt/Uncle column, this time led by Solo Agency’s John Giddings.

As always, most content from the magazine will appear online in some form over the next few months. However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe now.

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Slipknot’s Knotfest to make UK debut

Knotfest, the festival brand created by metal legends Slipknot, is launching in the UK for the first time next year.

The Live Nation-promoted Knotfest UK, which will take place on 22 August 2020 at the 65,000-capacity National Bowl in Milton Keynes, around 80 kilometres northwest of London, is the second European edition of the festival, adding to Knotfest Meets Hellfest which debuted last summer in France.

Slipknot will headline the festival, in their first return to the National Bowl since their performance at Ozzfest in 2001. Full line-up details and onsite activities will be announced in early 2020.

Since launching in 2012, Knotfest has expanded into six countries

Since launching in 2012, Knotfest has expanded into six countries, with events in the USA Colombia, Mexico and Japan, as well as France and, now, the UK. The inaugural cruise-based Slipknot at Sea is set to take place in conjunction with music cruise specialist Sixthman in August 2020.

Prior to Knotfest UK, Slipknot will be embarking on a European arena tour in January, with appearances at London’s O2 Arena (20,000-cap.), Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome (17,000-cap.), the Accorhotels Arena (20,300-cap.) in Paris, Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) and Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe (16,000-cap.), among others.

Members of Slipknot’s official fan club, Outside The 9, will have access to a pre-sale on 19 December at 10 a.m. GMT. Fans can join and get their passcode here.

Picture: © Наиль Якупов/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)


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‘Deep regret’ over Knotfest Mexico chaos

Live Talent, the promoter of the Mexican edition of Slipknot’s Knotfest, has spoken out after the event descended into “violence” and “vandalism”, sparked by the postponement of performances by Evanescence and Slipknot.

The 50,000-capacity Mexico City edition of Knotfest, Slipknot’s festival brand, took place at the Oceanía Park on Saturday (30 November), with bands including Bullet For My Valentine, Behemoth, Godsmack and Papa Roach. Knotfest has also been held in the US, Japan, Colombia and France, with the inaugural cruise-based version, Slipknot at Sea, taking place next year.

The event was halted around 9 p.m. – before the headline performances of Evanescence and Slipknot – as staff attended to a damaged barricade. According to Live Talent, it was agreed that the two bands would play the following day instead, as part of the promoter’s Force Fest.

However, disturbances broke out in the crowd among fans who were “annoyed by the delay”, with some members of the audience climbing on stage “to destroy and vandalise the instruments of the bands that were still to play”.

“These actions made it impossible to count on the presence of the bands on the Sunday,” explained the promoter in a social media post aiming “to debunk some myths” circulating about the event.

“Live Talent deeply regrets what happened yesterday. Every action was taken to assure the highest level of safety for fans,” writes the promoter. “We want to clarify that, if we took a long time [in fixing the barricade], it was only because we wanted to find a solution to the problem, going above and beyond so that the show could go on.”

“Even though we are devastated by the destruction of our instruments and gear, we do not see the violent end to last night as a representation of our Mexican fans”

The promoter admits that “perhaps our error, and that of the whole security team” lay in not keeping fans up to date with the situation, explaining that “we were instead engaged in talks to ensure that Slipknot and Evanescence performed the following day”.

The bands have also taken to social media to explain what went on, with Slipknot posting on Sunday: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Slipknot were not able to perform at last night’s Knotfest. We had hoped to be able to perform today, but regrettably, a situation arose onstage after the cancellation that damaged or destroyed gear that would been necessary to play.

“We are extremely disappointed that we did not get the chance to perform, but the safety of our fans and our community is our biggest priority. We will look to get back to Mexico sometime in the future.”

Evanescence responded by saying that, “even though we are devastated by the destruction of our instruments and gear, we do not see the violent end to last night as a representation of our Mexican fans, or the Mexican people.

“50,000 people were there, and sadly a handful of them turned to anger and violence after the cancellation. You have shown us an incredible amount of love from the very beginning, and we will always come back for you.”

Live Talent’s Force Fest went on as planned on Sunday, although without the scheduled appearance of Phil Anselmo. The number of barricades and security staff “were doubled” following the Knotfest incident.


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Pink named TM’s global Ticket of the Year 2019

Ticketmaster has named Pink its global ‘ticket of the year’ 2019, after once again polling fans globally from its database of more than 200 million people to discover the most popular live events of the year.

Pink – whose Beautiful Trauma world tour was voted the most anticipated event of 2019 in last year’s poll, which was ultimately won by BTS – was also chosen as the UK ticket of the year.

She comments: “What an honour! I had such an incredible team and touring family as part of the Beautiful Trauma world tour. We worked really hard to create the best show we could for all the fans and I’m so proud of all of us.”

“We worked really hard to create the best show we could for all the fans and I’m so proud of all of us”

After placing fourth overall in 2018 in terms of ticket sales, the Beautiful Trauma tour continued as one of the stand-out runs of 2019, selling more than 3m tickets in America, Australia and New Zealand and 1.2m in Europe across a total 157 shows.

Slipknot, meanwhile, are the most anticipated tour in the UK next year, with their 2020 trek kicking off at 3Arena in Dublin on 14 January.

Now in its fifth year, Ticketmaster’s Ticket of the Year welcomed more votes than ever, with fans in 23 countries taking part. The top three global, and top six UK, tickets are listed below:

Global ticket of the year 2019
1. Pink
2. Metallica
3. BTS

UK ticket of the year 2019
1. Pink
2. BTS
3. Take That
4. Muse
5. Spice Girls
6. Hamilton


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Slipknot announce inaugural Knotfest at Sea

Knotfest, Slipknot’s multi-event metal festival brand, has announced Knotfest at Sea, its first-ever music cruise.

Due to set sail from Barcelona on 10 August 2020, and returning on 14 August, Knotfest at Sea joins existing Knotfest events in the US, Mexico, Japan, Colombia and, most recently, France, where the inaugural Knotfest Meets Hellfest event debuted this summer.

The floating festival, which will take place on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ 2,400-capacity Norwegian Jade, will feature two performances by Slipknot, alongside yet-to-be announced special guests.

A trailer featuring Clown, percussion for the metal superstars, can be viewed above.

Knotfest is produced by Sixthman, whose CEO, Anthony Diaz, spoke to IQ recently about the growth of music cruises, especially in Europe. “In the US [floating festivals are] a very common format, and agencies know the value they add to their artists,” he explained. “In Europe, when we started speaking to agents and managers two years ago, it was so new, but now that we’ve done a few, the conversation has changed – they just needed to see it for themselves.”

Rock the Boat: How floating festivals are ruling the waves

Other heavy metal cruises include 70,000 Tons of Metal and Wacken’s Full Metal Cruise.


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TM presale campaign boosts Slipknot album success

Slipknot fans were granted first access to tickets for the band’s upcoming tour after purchasing their new album, in a campaign run by ticketing giant Ticketmaster.

Fans who pre-ordered We Are Not Your Kind received a code which will allow them to access the presale for tickets to Slipknot’s upcoming tour, when they go on sale next week.

The album became Slipknot’s first number one in 18 years in the UK, Ireland and Italy.

“When the heat was on and Slipknot was neck-and-neck with Ed Sheeran for the number one album, that’s when our long-term business partners at Roadrunner Records, Live Nation and Ticketmaster turned up the gas and worked in unison,” comments Cory Brennan of 5Bam Management.

Over 5.4 million fans in Ticketmaster’s twelve markets of the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland and Ireland were eligible to take part in the campaign.

“It’s a commonly used artist presale mechanism and really helps to strengthen the bond between the live and recorded music sectors”

Mark Jansen, senior director of artist services international at Ticketmaster says the company runs “over 100” presale campaigns each year in the UK, and that they are becoming “increasingly popular across Europe”.

“It’s a commonly used artist presale mechanism and really helps to strengthen the bond between the live and recorded music sectors,” explains Jansen.

“As well as coordinating the operational side of getting these tickets on sale, we’re now the go-to when an artist wants to reach their biggest fans ahead of an album and tour launch.”

Ticketmaster has run similar campaigns this year with Liam Gallagher, Vampire Weekend, Friendly Fires, James Arthur, Muse and Lewis Capaldi, with albums by the latter two artists also reaching number one.

Slipknot announced their full European tour yesterday (22 August). Presale opens at 9 a.m. (GMT) on 27 August, powered by Ticketmaster, with general tickets going on sale on 30 August.


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Cobra Agency joins forces with ICS, 5B

Newly launched Austrian hard-rock agency Cobra has formed an alliance with US management company 5B and German promoter ICS Festival Service.

“We’re extremely thrilled to announce the partnerships with 5B Artist Management and ICS Festival Service,” says Guenther Beer, who established Cobra Agency in January with fellow former RTN agent Dominik Meyer. “Both of them are absolute leaders in their fields, with 5B managing Slipknot, Stone Sour, Amon Amarth, Megadeth, King Diamond, Behemoth, Kreator, Lamb of God and Trivium, and ICS Festival Service promoting the world’s largest and most famous heavy metal festival, Wacken Open Air, as well as Europe’s biggest metal cruise, Full Metal Cruise.”

While concrete details of the new partnership are still being finalised, Meyer says the joint venture is “going to offer extraordinary opportunities to our clients”.

Cobra’s full roster includes Amaranthe, Amon Amarth, Amorphis, Arch Enemy, Backyard Babies, Battle Beast, Behemoth, Beyond The Black, Blues Pills, Danzig, Eluveitie, Equilibrium, Kreator, Mantar, Me And That Man, Sepultura, Powerwolf, Sabaton, Tesseract, Testament and Watain, all of which it represents throughout Europe.

“We are very much alike: authentic, honest and loud”

“We have known these two successful Austrian guys for quite some time and are happy to be part of this enduring joint venture with our American colleagues,” says Holger Huebner, CEO of ICS Festival Service. “We are very much alike, as we are authentic, honest and loud.”

Justin Arcangel, director of management at 5B, adds: “5B Artist Management is thrilled to announce this new partnership. This alliance is a natural outgrowth of 5B’s core mission: to serve our client roster.

“The Cobra Agency is more than a booking agency. They provide myself and their clients with a wealth of insight with the greatest attention to detail and insight into the European market, and their advice goes into ancillary opportunities that go far beyond the conventional roles of a booking agent.”


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