IQ x SoundCzech to present best new Czech artists
IQ and SoundCzech are launching the next phase of the partnership with a livestreamed artist showcase, featuring some of the best new talent emerging in the Czech Republic.
The livestream will be broadcast this Thursday (15 October) at 4 pm BST, will feature sets from three groundbreaking acts, cherrypicked by SoundCzech.
Prague-based supergroup, Market, will showcase their veritable mix of art rock, math rock, stoner metal, jazz, and UK-verging indie during the livestream.
While, Noisy Pots will deliver their “DIY kitchen electro,” using – you guessed it – pots, buckets, cans and other kitchen ephemera, along with live synths, samples, a vibraphone and more. Viewers can expect a live performance full of spontaneous energy and catchy grooves.
See a teaser of Noisy Pots’ performance below:
And finally, twins Jiří and Ondřej, will perform under their pseudonym Bratři. Hailed as “the new face of the Czech electronic music scene,” the duo will converge two captivating streams of live percussion/drum beats and synthesised melodic motives in one uncompromising flow of electrifying energy.
IQ’s partnership with the Czech music export office launched last month with a Spotify playlist featuring a myriad of promising acts from the Czech Republic, including Cult of Fire, Amelie Siba, The Ghost of You, Chief Bromden, Kalle and more.
You can still listen to the SoundCzech x IQ playlist here and read IQ’s feature on the Czech market, featured in IQ93, below. Still to come during the partnership is an hour-long IQ Focus panel spotlighting on the best of the Czech scene.
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IQ announces partnership with SoundCzech
IQ today announces a partnership with SoundCzech, the Czech Music Office, to showcase the best of the thriving Czech live music market.
Situated in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic is a crossroads for touring artists. While not one of the continent’s biggest markets, it is has a strong local scene bursting with talent – from the long-established large festivals, promoters and venues to smaller companies and passionate enthusiasts.
The IQ-SoundCzech partnership, which follows the export office’s participation in the recent Interactive Festival Forum, incorporates a Spotify playlist featuring the hottest Czech artists; an hour-long IQ Focus panel spotlighting on the best of the Czech scene; a livestreamed showcase featuring three Czech bands, curated by SoundCzech; and a feature on the Czech market in IQ Magazine.
“Since the Middle Ages, Czechs always had a strong footing in music, from classical composers to jazz geniuses,” comments Naray Marton from SoundCzech. “But now I think that it’s the right time to again shine a light on an absolute buzzing music scene, which can surprise you with its talents, venues, festivals, studios, services and much more.”
Listen to the SoundCzech x IQ playlist, which features artists including FVTVRE, I Love You Honey Bunny, MYDY, the Atavists, Ba:zel, Tea Sofia and Hellwana, below:
Founded in 2017, SoundCzech supports the Czech music scene, no matter the genre. It works as a music export agency with the aim of supporting the Czech music scene locally and globally.
Among the companies active in the Czech live scene are festivals Brutal Assault, Masters of Rock, Obscene Extreme, Let It Roll, Colours of Ostrava, Metronome, Mighty Sounds, Rock for People, Artu Kus, Hip Hop Kemp, Struny Podzimu, Beats for Love, Beseda u Bigbitu, Lunchmeat, JazzFest Brno, Jazzinec, Respect Festival and Creepy Teepee, and promoters/agencies D Smack U, Fource Entertainment, 10:15 Entertainment, Conspiracy Concerts, Obscure Promotion, Pragokoncert Bohemia, Live Nation, Heartnoize Promotion and Charmenko.
Key venues include Sono Centrum, Roxy Prague, Forum Karlín, Palác Akropolis, Lucerna Music Club, Futurum Music Bar, Cross Club, Klub 007 Strahov, Fléda, Kabinet Múz, Meetfactory, Rock Café, Café v lese, Jazz Dock, Jazz Tibet Club, Barrak, CoolTour, Pod Lampou and Cross Club.
Nouvella Prague, Czech Music Crossroads and Central European Jazz Showcase are among the important showcase festivals.
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Why Africa could be leading the way in event tech
When it comes to events, there’s nothing deep nor dark about Africa – not anymore. Indeed, it is possible that there are more cashless events in South Africa than in the rest of the world combined.
How? Well, one of the advantages of a comparatively small market in a developing region is that, when event technology platform Howler began trading, and wanted to introduce ticketing, access control, and cashless solutions to the industry, there were no clumsy legacy systems to dismantle.
The tech simply didn’t exist. Looking overseas for inspiration, Howler found that its global competitors operated largely “with their headlights on and in silos”, explains Shai Evian, founding partner of Howler, “which is why there was no company that could provide for all our needs in one solution.”
So Howler started from the problem – a widespread need for better, safer, quicker, more reliable event technology – and then built the answer: a scalable, consumer-geared, end-to-end, best-of-breed solution that could be used for both large and small events. All events. Anywhere. The platform is combination of its proprietary technology built on top of leading global technology solutions.
The system manages ticketing, customer registration, vendor onboarding, reporting and cash collection on site; reduces payment time to just 3 seconds; is network- and weather- independent; and, critically for Africa, enhances security by reducing cash on site and mitigating risks of theft and fraud.
Its all-in-one event management solution covers ticket sales, guest lists, registration, and event promotion – using rich data to boost event-goers’ experiences and organisers’ decision-making.
“In Africa we’ve been able to leapfrog other countries’ tech innovations, because our needs are so different and our response to tech is so fresh”
‘The Howler way’ means a seamless experience with crucial customer data being collected at every touch point. In a market that is so heavily competitive, this data is what will help companies to differentiate themselves into the future. Indeed, the Howler believes that, the longer event organisers take to adopt a data focus, the more they could be putting their businesses at risk.
Howler is focused on the continued growth of its platform in Africa, using the region as a pilot market en route to internationalising the product.
For instance, over a single recent weekend, Howler ran cashless events in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, and Zambia – countries that collectively span 3.3 million square kilometres.
On New Year’s Eve 2018, Howler ran 55 simultaneous events across southern Africa, with over 600 staff using over 1400 devices.
Says Evian: “In Africa we’ve been able to leapfrog other countries’ tech innovations, because our needs are so different and our response to tech is so fresh. Our circumstances require us to act quickly, be agile, think fast, and think smart.”
As a result of working with the likes of Ultra South Africa, Rage festival and Afro Punk, Howler’s approach is starting to be adopted in global markets. Furthermore, the Howler founders were part of the prestigious international Techstars Accelerator programme during 2017 which, says Evian, “really changed the way we see our business as a player on the global stage”.
‘The Howler way’ means a seamless experience with crucial customer data being collected at every touch point
It turned out, in Africa, that event organisers and customers weren’t that wedded to tills and cash, so adoption was quicker. “Nothing like this had been done before. There was no precedent for taking full responsibility for everything: vendors, cash, refunds, door, devices, etc.” The only challenge,” says Evian, “was going to be people and perceptions, and people are enthusiastic.”
Unlike in Europe, where cashless solutions tend to be implemented for massive events only, the eccentricities of the African market mean that a sustainable product must work for small and large events; for what Evian calls “everyday eventing”. Further, it must be geared to serve the consumer as much as the event organiser, because the same consumers repeatedly attend many events.
Howler, which employs 56 people and over 500 casual staff, has processed over US$80 million in transactions in the three and a half years since inception and over a million tickets in the past year.
Its stats show a 150–200% increase in event-goers pre-loading cashless cards online – resulting in up to 50% of people now going to events without cards or wallets; ie fully cashless. Not bad for a country on the tip of Africa, where the market size is a mere 1/20 of the developed world’s.
Who is Howler?
Howler is a data driven event payment platform. The consolidation of several powerful events-and-entertainment platforms, Howler helps consumers and event organisers to “make moments that matter” – via cashless transactions and ticket handling, distribution, and access. Howler recently rolled out cashless technology in SA sports stadiums, beginning with PPC Newlands Cricket Stadium, which is now Africa’s first cashless stadium.
Why NFC cashless is the future of payments at events
Contactless is now the leading payment method in everyday life, much to the glee of the banking sector that controls and feeds off it, but live events have a much more powerful – and lucrative – alternative available to them.
NFC technology allows smart event owners to run their own ‘closed loop’ financial eco-system, which leaves the banks outside the front gates and gives the event full and direct ownership of every payment transaction taking place on site, with no middlemen siphoning off the data and charging a commission.
Benefits are concentrated with the event and its visitors rather than a third-party financial institution that has not shared any of the promoter’s risk in putting on the event.
- Greater spend per head: UK festivals last year reported a 24% increase in bar spend per head as a result of going fully cashless with PlayPass.
- Higher customer satisfaction: 92% of visitors surveyed by Standon Calling, the UK’s first ever music festival to go cashless, find PlayPass easier and more convenient than other payment methods, and 89% would prefer not to bring any cash or cards to an event.
- Visibility and ownership of all transactional data: More event owners recognise the importance of data and claiming ownership of transactional insights will pay dividends, particularly in establishing fairer deals with traders and concessions.
- Increased efficiencies and reduced costs: From validating tickets to staffing a bar, a scanner device is significantly quicker than a person, eliminates theft and human error and gives average savings of 4% compared to non-cashless events. Unlike contactless, PlayPass’s NFC system works fully offline by writing to the chip.
- Reduced crime and better security: A lost NFC tag can be replaced on site in seconds with the balance intact. Traders, who often employ unknown casual staff, don’t have to worry about theft from the cash register. Event organisers no longer need to worry about forged tickets or passes.
- Improved sustainability: PlayPass’s NFC payment system has a lot of powerful, automated features designed to streamline on-site recycling initiatives, account for carbon travel costs and reward visitors for ecologically minded behaviour.
- Drives pre–event upsells and earlybird ticket sales: Eventgoers can purchase items pre-event or give post-event options to convert unspent funds into a down payment on next year’s ticket, keeping the money in the event’s pot whilst providing value to the customer.
- Traders prefer it: Cashless gets traders’ thumbs up, due to higher-spending crowds, the elimination of cash management, no risk of theft and automated reconciliation contributing to improved festival experience… and profit.
- Better for cash flow: Events that offer pre-loading capabilities benefit from receiving this revenue before the event has started. UK festivals working with PlayPass receive around 80% of their total food and beverage revenue ahead of the event.
- A haven from a bank-controlled world: Festival culture has always been synonymous with escaping from the real world – owning your data and transactions promotes independence and freedom.
The world over, progressive event brands are now embracing PlayPass’s NFC cashless solutions and taking control of their on-site economies without a backward glance.
For more information about taking control of your event’s financial ecosystem with a closed-loop NFC payment solution, visit the PlayPass website.
Onebox transforms ticketing by connecting organisers to sales channels
Since Onebox was launched in 2010, its focus has always been to transform the ticketing industry, just as the global distribution system (GDS) has transformed the tourism sector. Starting in its native Spain, it set out to create a technological solution that improved the day-to-day ticketing operations of the global entertainment industry, empowering event organisers, including sports clubs, music venues, museums and theatres, to sell more tickets, and be more efficient as they do so.
In the years since then, Onebox has continued to grow, transforming ticketing processes and offering its users a number of advanced functionalities. These include the ability to scale for periods of high demand, since the platform is capable of managing over 1,000 ticket sales a minute. This has proved valuable for organisers of events of any size, right up to large-scale festivals, musicals and top-level football matches, which involve high volume ticket operations. This sales-per-minute rate can also be increased to five times the speed upon client demand, thanks to the stability of the technological architecture of this innovative platform.
A principal challenge for event organisers and ticket vendors today is capturing the attention of potential customers, who are faced with more diverse and globalised options for entertainment than ever before. To answer this need, Onebox’s diverse array of distribution channels mean organisers can reach a maximum number of end consumers. These channels range from online sales channels and web box offices to offline, physical box offices, ticketing agents and brokers.
For instance, in Spain, its network of more than 50 connected channels enables its customers to target buyer personas on their preferred channels, be they digital platforms, physical points of sale or social media. This has proved game-changing for promoters and event organisers, who can then reach a wider target audience and ensure faster, increased sales capacity. It’s for this reason that Onebox closed 2017 with seven million tickets sold for its clients.
Onebox is optimising ticketing management, with positive results for all that organise, attend and love live entertainment
Finally, all this is delivered in the form of a centralised, all-in-one platform, both in terms of the product itself and its distribution capacity. Prior to its solution, Onebox witnessed a key pain point as promoters divided ticket stock and assigned it to multiple channels, resulting in communication failures, duplications, billing errors and, ultimately, a negative customer experience for users due to discrepancies in information on different channels.
Onebox’s forward-thinking technology solves this problem by providing a single access point to real-time availability information and infinite channel management, eradicating the hassle of managing seat numbers in multiple locations. This also means its clients have total autonomy over their sales, and never have to depend on third-parties to change information about their events, update availability and deliver sales figures.
Onebox was born with the vision of becoming the GDS of the ticketing world. The company says it’s honoured to offer a leading global ticket distribution system that erases the multiple inefficiencies of ticketing sectors. Its solution is already optimising ticketing management, with positive results for all that organise, attend and love live entertainment.
Van Gogh Museum presents Meet Vincent Van Gogh
Meet Vincent van Gogh is the official touring experience of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Meet Vincent Van Gogh offers local promoters an award-winning blockbuster exhibition based on one of the world’s most recognised artists and strongest museum brands. Interactive installations, high quality setworks and an intriguing narrative let visitors explore the world of Vincent van Gogh as never before.
Both entertaining and educational, the experience is perfect for families, schools, and beginners and experts alike.
Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses heads to Europe
After sold-out shows in North America, The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is coming to Europe. The upcoming shows will feature new music from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an all-new movement from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, an updated overture and the return of a classic that promoter MGP Live says “might just make some wishes come true!”
Celebrating 30 years of stirring virtual adventure and memorable soundtracks with live orchestral renditions with oversight and approval from the game’s developers and composers, The Symphony of the Goddesses is now in its fourth season.
The two-hour concert comes to life with the full Tuscany Symphony Orchestra, a 20-person choir, and a reimagined score that draws from requested Zelda games, including The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, while still paying homage to such classics as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
The concert’s five-movement symphony regales ears with original music from Nintendo composers, including Koji Kondo, and recalling moments of Link conquering dungeons and running through forests. Throughout the evening, a video collage syncs up with the adventurous tunes to spotlight exciting moments from the venerable franchise.
The new European dates – the first time this version of the show has been seen in these cities – are:
- 21 November Eventim Apollo, London
- 24 November Mitsubishi Electric Hall, Dusseldorf
- 25 November Auditori Forum, Barcelona
- 26 November Mandela Forum, Florence
A full tour schedule is available from mgplive.com/zeldatour.
See Tickets CEO on tackling touts and competition
It’s a boom time for See Tickets. The company had a record year in 2016 and results for 2017 are well ahead of that. The company recently launched Fan-to-Fan, an ethical re-sale platform as well as a peer to peer marketing service, and has made some significant inroads into the US market. Index spoke to CEO Rob Wilmshurst about battling the touts, and being in one of the most competitive sectors of the live music industry.
You recently launched your own face-value ticket resale site, and you’ve been in parliament to give evidence on secondary ticketing – how important is it to you to minimise ticket touting?
It’s important to our clients, the artists and our mutual customers so it has to be important to us. Fan-to-Fan was our response to the problem. The take-up has been significant and a recent survey we ran showed that customers like the option to sell at a fair price and welcome the integrated nature of our solution within our site – it’s a couple of clicks to list at the market’s lowest fees.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’re facing right now?
Nothing that is causing us to lose too much sleep. We cannot control the market but we feel we are in a great position to continue to evolve our position. We have a great mixture of team, full service, experience, technology, cash (no debt, funding rounds or other start-up negatives that should cause clients concern), marketing assets and ideas to remain more than relevant in the medium to long term.
Where do you see opportunities?
There are lots all over the place. I won’t lie, we are being highly aggressive towards the competition and if we feel we can offer a client (of a competitor) a better deal, better service and give their customers the same then we are not going to leave it alone.
You recently bought Flavorus from SFX – is the EDM market a key target for See?
The acquisition was not about EDM although we acquired a basket of contracts in the EDM sector. We needed some mass in the US as it was moving too slowly for us, so when the opportunity came up we took it and the business is developing well. We rebranded the business to See Tickets, put in our own management team and are using all of the attributes mentioned earlier to evolve our position. It’s a tough market but that’s OK with us.
The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of ticket agencies. What are you doing to make sure See Tickets retains its strong position in the market?
Nothing different to be honest. There has been an explosion, yes, but an implosion too: Yplan, Songkick, being sold off for far less than went in as investment. And there will be more casualties and fire sales. It’s not easy to stay relevant but having the aforementioned experience, tech, marketing and cash makes us an easy option for clients. If you were a promoter would you put your revenue collection in a business that loses cash hand over fist and is heavily in debt? Good luck with that if you do.