Work to begin on new stadium in Bolivia
Construction of a new stadium capable of hosting concerts is about to start in Bolivia.
The 20,000-cap venue in the capital La Paz is being built on the site of the former Simón Bolívar Liberator Stadium (cap. 5,000) in the middle of the Tembladerani neighbourhood.
The stadium, which is expected to be completed in 2025, will be home to Club Bolivar football club but will also host gigs and shows, as well as offering restaurants, shops and event spaces.
It is being designed by architect L35, which was selected last year through an international competition arranged by the club and its partner City Football Group.
“The urban impact of a construction of these characteristics requires internalising the surroundings and adapting to the scale of the site”
L35 says the venue is intended to stand out in the La Paz landscape while also blending in with its surroundings.
“The urban impact of a construction of these characteristics requires internalising the surroundings and adapting to the scale of the site,” says the company’s Guillermo Gusó, as per ArchDaily.
L35 is also handling the renovation of Real Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium in Spain along with a host of other projects around the world.
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Sweden’s Friends Arena marks first decade
Friends’ Arena’s Andreas Sand has spoken to IQ about the venue’s transformative impact on the Stockholm music scene as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary.
Sweden’s national stadium has attracted global megastars such as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, the Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Eminem, Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga to the country since its launch a decade ago.
“It makes you nostalgic to think back over those 10 years,” says Sand, CEO Stockholm Live, ASM Global Sweden. “On one hand, it feels like ages ago since some of those events, milestones and fantastic moments in the venue and on the other hand, it feels like yesterday. It’s almost like when you celebrate your kids’ birthdays: you’re being nostalgic and you reflect on the past, and you’re also thinking about the years to come.
“Stockholm, to this day, doesn’t have another stadium with this type of capacity. We now also have Tele2 Arena, which is a stadium with lower capacity, but the big stadium tours wouldn’t have played in Stockholm if it wasn’t for a venue like Friends Arena.”
“This is a strong music market and the appetite for live entertainment here is huge”
Earlier this week, ASM Global announced the city’s Kägelbanan venue will be reopening under the operation of Stockholm Live after a three-year closure, further boosting the Swedish capital’s live music network.
“Stockholm is one of the music capitals of the world. It has venues that start at 200 capacity going up close to 60,000 capacity,” says Sand. “We are starting to see more local acts play bigger and bigger venues, and that has probably been helped by the pandemic. It used to be only the top international content that could sell out the big venues, but we have started to see that change and that would be a fantastic addition to our possible headliners.
“This is a strong music market and the appetite for live entertainment here is huge. We’re much more than a summer festival stop; we have really good venues of different sizes – with Friends Arena being the jewel in the crown.”
Homegrown heroes including Agnes Carlsson, The Hives, Icona Pop, Loreen, First Aid Kit and Roxette performed during the stadium’s opening ceremony in October 2012, with Swedish House Mafia playing three sold-out gig the following month. However, arguably the most memorable show was the Avicii Tribute Concert on 5 December 2019, which featured the likes of David Guetta, Kygo and Rita Ora and drew the venue’s record attendance of 58,163.
“The stadium has a retractable roof, which means we can use it 365 days a year”
“It was a special night and to this day it’s probably my favourite moment in the venue and maybe going to a concert overall,” reflects Sand. “The atmosphere was spectacular. You felt this love: there was definitely joy and happiness – people were dancing and celebrating Avicii – but of course there were a lot of tears as well, so emotions were at a maximum.”
Friends Arena, which is the home ground of football club AIK and the Swedish men’s national team, has concerts confirmed for 2023 by Ozzy Osbourne (5 May), Depeche Mode (23 May) and Celine Dion (30 September), while it also hosts the final of the annual Melodifestivalen song contest, which determines Sweden’s Eurovision representative.
“The stadium has a retractable roof, which means we can use it 365 days a year,” explains Sand. “That is the only way to have such a stadium in a country like Sweden where we’re so far up north that it’s tough up here with the weather gods. If you want to build a modern world class venue like Friends Arena, you need to be able to use it 12 months of the year and you can’t be that dependent on the weather.
“We are able to bring in and out events with quick turnarounds. It is a football stadium and we’re proud of that. But it is a football stadium that can be used for so much more. On average, 27% of our attendance comes by car. Some US venues hit the high 90%, so it is quite unique that people walk here or take a bike and so on.”
“I’d love to see festivals at the arena, using the main bowl, but also other areas that we have adjacent to the venue”
The venue has a sponsorship deal with banking group Swedbank, which donated the naming rights to Friends, a not-for-profit anti-bullying organisation.
“That is something that we’re proud of,” adds Sand. “We take our responsibility seriously to do what we can to make this society a better place. We see that the awareness of these types of matters have increased over these 10 years and that is an aspect of the venue that is part of our history and our legacy and it gives us a deeper sense of purpose.”
And switching his focus to the decade ahead, Sand feels the stadium is well placed to maintain its status, despite the many challenges facing the venue sector.
“There’s always some crisis that we need to fight and the energy one is a tough one,” he notes. “We’re in a fairly good spot with this stadium, as is Sweden overall, energy-wise. We’re not dependent on gas, as an example, and in the long run, this energy crisis too shall pass.
“Looking forward, we have this fantastic hybrid of sports and music in our venue. We want to continue to attract the big tours and complement that with some other types of shows and entertainment, like Monster Jam, which we have coming back to the venue in ’23. I’d love to see festivals at the arena, using the main bowl, but also other areas that we have adjacent to the venue. I think it would be a good spot to host a festival type of content. So we’re excited for the next 10 years.”
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Inside the busiest stadium in Europe
Germany’s Deutsche Bank Park was the busiest stadium in Europe for concerts this summer – and is set for an even better 2023, according to management.
Home of Bundesliga football club Eintracht Frankfurt, the 51,500-cap venue (44,000 for concerts) drew combined crowds of 800,000 to its 18 gigs – more than any other stadium in Europe – including shows by Coldplay (two), Ed Sheeran (three), Iron Maiden, and Elton John.
It also hosted the inaugural edition of the continent’s largest K-pop festival Kpop.Flex in May, with organisers reporting that more than 70,000 tickets were sold in 84 countries.
“The summer 2022 of course benefited from postponed shows from 2020 and 2021, which finally happened this year,” Eintracht Frankfurt Stadion MD Patrik Meyer tells IQ. “But we were able to add quite a lot of new shows as well and we are very proud that we were part of the development of the first K-pop Festival in a European stadium – something we worked on for years and that could finally happen in May 2022.”
Kpop.Flex will return to the Frankfurt venue for a second edition from 17-18 June next year. It also shows on sale by Depeche Mode (29 June & July 1), German singer Herman Gronemeyer (2 June) and “the biggest club in the world”, BigCityBeats World Club Dome, from 9-11 June.
“The bookings for 2023 are very good and we continue projects like Kpop.Flex, World Club Dome and Monster Jam”
“2023 looks even better than 2022,” says Meyer. “The bookings for 2023 are very good and we continue projects like Kpop.Flex, World Club Dome and Monster Jam. With those events, we already fill six days on a yearly or at least regular basis.
“We are looking forward to work with our promoters and partners next year after our record summer this year. In 2023, we will act as a promoter for three shows and as a major project we will be hosting a NFL game in November – a project we won through a tough tender process and that we are delighted about. It is important is, of course, that we provide a full heavy load pitch cover as well as many ‘promoter-friendly’ facilities in our stadium, making it ‘ready to go’ for shows of any kind.”
The stadium is featured as part of the Germany market report in the latest issue of IQ, out now, and Meyer suggests its ability to diversity has been central to its success.
“Since we started as an operator for the stadium in Frankfurt we were always driven to have as many events as possible,” he explains. “In that sense, we tried to be a good and reliable partner for promoters and agencies. We also did our own event development for things like the Handball World Record or the Orchestra World Record, which allows us to understand the needs and challenges maybe a bit more than other operators.
“Creating ideas for events and approaching partners with those concept is something we do all the time. Sometimes we are laughed at – sometimes we initiate something new – we keep going anyway.”
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Burna Boy announces historic London Stadium gig
Burna Boy is set to become the first ever African artist to headline a UK stadium.
Promoters Robomagic Live and Coko Bar have announced details of the Afro-fusion star’s Love, Damini Stadium concert, which will take place at the 60,000-cap London Stadium on Saturday 3 June 2023.
The Grammy Award-winning 31-year-old already made history this past April by becoming the first Nigerian act to headline the 20,000-cap Madison Square Garden in New York.
“Together with our partners at Cokobar we are proud to bring the spectacle that is a Burna Boy show, to London Stadium for the very first time,” says a joint statement from Robomagic chief Rob Hallett and Ropo Akin, CEO of Coko Bar, which specialises in promoting African artists throughout Europe.
“It will be a landmark first for him or any solo African artist here in the UK”
“Here at London Stadium we are always looking to break new ground with our live events, so we are honoured to host the debut UK stadium show for Burna Boy,” adds Graham Gilmore, CEO of London Stadium. “It will be a landmark first for him or any solo African artist here in the UK, so it promises to be a special night at the stadium next June.”
Real name Damini Ogulu, Burna Boy previously starred at London’s OVO Arena Wembley (cap. 12,500) in November 2019 and The O2 (20,000) in August 2021. Last week, he presented his manager and mother Bose Ogulu with the Manager of the Year Award at the 2022 UK’s Artist & Manager Awards.
PHOTO (L-R): Ropo Akin, Burna Boy, Bose Ogulu, Rob Hallett and Graham Gilmore
Pitch perfect: Stadium report 2022
Keen to make up for two years of inactivity and to meet public – and artist – demand for huge concerts, the 2022 stadium show schedule was packed like never before. Derek Robertson talks to stadium operators about recovering from the pandemic, dealing with a congested calendar, and their plans for a bright future.
It was a statement that had become inevitable but was still dreaded – 13 words that nobody in the live music industry wanted to hear. “We collectively recommend large-scale events through the end of March be postponed.” The date was 12 March 2020; those words came from a joint statement issued by Live Nation, AEG, CAA, WME, Paradigm, and UTA. That same night, the last four arena shows in the US – Billie Eilish, Prince Royce, Post Malone, and Lauren Daigle – took place; one day earlier, Maroon 5 had headlined Uruguay’s Estadio Centenario, while 7 March had seen Elton John entertain over 26,000 fans at Australia’s Western Sydney Stadium. Such shows were no more, though – and no one knew when they’d be back.
As Covid-19 rampaged across the planet, axing public events and social gatherings became the first step toward lockdowns, with sporting events, cinema, theatre, and music the first to shut down. Safety, and fear of the virus, were the primary considerations; as the joint statement continued, ensuring that “precautionary efforts and ongoing protocol are in the best interest of artists, fans, staff, and the global community” were of paramount importance. Some smaller shows and events continued, particularly in territories that enacted less stringent restrictions, but in the main, stadiums remained shuttered. And despite the arrival of the vaccine in early 2021, successive infection waves and the number of Covid-19 variants ensured that it wasn’t until the second quarter of this year that full-capacity stadium shows became viable once again.
In the midst of lockdowns, some wondered what profound behavioural and societal changes the virus might leave. Handshakes would be out, mask-wearing in; and as for large social gatherings, a whole new range of protocols and norms would be adopted to defend personal space and hygiene. Yet to gaze upon any number of packed stadiums and festival fields this summer is to realise that public concern has all but vanished; demand for large-scale communal, euphoric, sweat- soaked music experiences is higher than ever.
“Everyone – both fans and artists – learned to appreciate live entertainment when it was taken away from us for so long”
This comes as no surprise to Tom McCann, venue director of Arsenal F.C.’s Emirate Stadium in the UK’s capital. “Everyone – both fans and artists – learned to appreciate live entertainment when it was taken away from us for so long,” he says. “And with so many bands having produced new music over the last two years, it’s created a perfect storm of fans wanting live concerts and artists wanting to play.”
Indeed, rather than uncertainty holding back stadia management, a number of venues chose the pandemic recovery period to enter the market.
Barely four miles (6km) north of Arsenal, rivals Tottenham Hotspur dipped their toes into the concert market this year, hosting back-to-back shows by both Guns N’Roses and Lady Gaga with just under 200,000 fans in attendance across the four nights.
Across the city, arguably the world’s most famous stadium, Wembley, was the setting for as many concerts – 16 – as games this year, selling more than 1.3 million tickets in the process. However, next year it will shatter that record with agreements to host 26 concerts.
In the UK in general, the total number of stadium and festival shows will exceed 2,000, double-digit growth from pre-pandemic levels, according to the Financial Times. And it’s not just here or in Europe: Argentina’s River Plate Stadium will host Coldplay for ten nights in November (they’re also doing five nights in São Paulo, Brazil), while the likes of Ed Sheeran and Billy Joel have had to add extra dates to the Australian and New Zealand legs of their respective tours.
“We’ve had to work harder as a team and work more collaboratively with our partners and promoters to satisfy such a crowded calendar”
Of course, this is not just due to pent-up demand and consumer confidence. As Alex Luff, venue sales manager at Principality Stadium in Wales, says, many of the postponed shows from 2020 and 2021 have simply been rescheduled. “We’ve had to work harder as a team and work more collaboratively with our partners and promoters to satisfy such a crowded calendar,” he says. Rammstein’s Stadium Tour is one such example; originally planned for 14 June 2020, they finally played in June this year, wowing nearly 40,000 fans with “audacious theatrics, extravagant pyrotechnics, and world-class production.”
In total, the Principality Stadium has welcomed over 350,000 music fans this summer, including 110,00 across two nights for Stereophonics’ We’ll Keep a Welcome shows – with support from Sir Tom Jones, his first time playing the stadium – and 75,000 back in May for Ed Sheeran, the biggest capacity crowd to have ever taken place in Wales. “It was a bumper summer,” says Luff, “and an incredible opportunity to present the stadium to new audiences.”
Of course, the long lead time required to plan and execute such huge shows has meant a some- what truncated summer season. The Emirates Stadium hosted two shows by The Killers, which was all they could fit in, while Rome’s Stadio Olimpico has managed three concerts, down from their pre-pandemic average of seven. “The spike in Covid cases around December 2021 and January 2022 stopped productions that were about to be launched,” says Andrea Santini, Stadio Olimpico and Parco del Foro Italico manager, by way of explanation. Australia’s Suncorp Stadium was due to host three, too, with Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber, and Foo Fighters all due in Brisbane later this year – sadly, the latter was cancelled due to the untimely passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins.
Worst hit was Cape Town’s DHL Stadium, which has managed only one show – Justin Bieber’s Justice World Tour – due to the very late lifting of Covid restrictions in South Africa. Doing more simply wasn’t possible at such short notice. But Gina Woodburn, commercial manager of the stadium, echoes what everyone IQ speaks to says about the rest of the year and beyond – demand and the number of booking enquiries are higher than ever. “We have a very busy calendar in the planning, with the 2022/2023 financial year set to be one of our busiest ever,” she says. “Our bowl is fully booked for next year already.”
DHL’s experience is mirrored elsewhere, with a stadium concerts sales spike suggesting confidence at the A-list end of the market. However, many promoters globally are expressing concern about what effect that may have for artists lower down the pecking order.
New Zealand’s Eden Park, located in central Auckland, is another newcomer to the concert game but is already making its mark. It has five concerts planned for 2022, with talks still ongoing over extending that before the turn of the year. “We’re delighted to be building on the momentum of our first-ever concert, Six60, from April last year, and look forward to hosting more international headliners,” says Nick Sautner, CEO of The Eden Park Trust. “And our content calendar looks busier than ever.”
“Our back catalogue of success demonstrates we’re a must-play, must-show, multi-event arena”
Part of that comes from non-music events – after all, sports are most stadiums’ primary reason for existing in the first place. But as the stadium business recovers from the pandemic, they are not only stepping up their efforts to host more concerts – other sporting and speciality events are equally as important when it comes to boosting revenues. For example, Eden Park has the Cricket World Cup, the women’s Rugby World Cup, and Māori performing arts event Te Matatini on its calendar.
Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium is also making moves to develop its commercial potential. “We’ve just hired [former Wembley Stadium and London Stadium exec] Danielle Buckley to be our senior manager – event programming, specifically to drive this area,” says McCann. “We have a licence to host six major non-football events per year, three of which can be concerts, so we’re keen to be doing that and maximise usage of this amazing stadium.”
Up the road at Tottenham Hotspur, chief commercial officer, Todd Kline, has no such restrictions. “We are extremely proud to have finally been able to stage our first concerts since opening – something we have been waiting to do for more than two years,” he says.
“To receive the acclaim that we have done from within the music industry is testament to the incredible effort made by everyone at the Club to convert the stadium to concert mode and put on a great show for everyone in attendance. We look forward to bringing fans another exciting summer of concerts at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2023.”
Family entertainment is also a growth area. In Wales, the Principality Stadium welcomed WWE’s first major UK stadium event in 30 years, in September, while the Supercross World Championships come to town in October. “We have a 22-year history of holding major events,” says Luff, “and our back catalogue of success demonstrates we’re a must-play, must-show, multi-event arena.”
“We have invested in the latest pitch technology to extend our third-party event window”
In part, the Principality Stadium’s success is also due to its implementation of technology to combat another issue facing stadiums hosting non-sporting events – protecting the pitch. With many stadiums’ primary focus being world-class sporting venues, maintaining a pristine playing surface is paramount – but that’s not always easy when you’re hosting dirt bikes, monster trucks, or 50,000 people dancing for three hours.
“We have invested in the latest pitch technology to extend our third-party event window,” explains Luff. “Traditionally, that window ran from May to August, but with our new state-of-the-art hybrid roll-and-play surface, we can host major events into October while still guaranteeing the optimum playing surface required for elite international rugby within a matter of weeks.”
There’s also the fact that the stadium’s famous retractable roof can transform it from a 75,000-seater outdoor venue into the UK’s largest indoor arena, offering endless possibilities for show production.
Tottenham also have retractable capabilities, as their entire pitch can be slid out of the stadium, allowing a quick turnaround for non-football events, potentially making the stadium available for clients throughout the entire year.
It’s not just northern hemisphere stadia bosses who are shoehorning new events into their schedules. DHL Stadium’s enviable location in Cape Town makes it very attractive for large-scale events, sporting and otherwise. “We were very fortunate post-Covid to secure most of the broadcast rugby and football matches hosted in Cape Town,” explains Gina Woodburn. “Securing new events is an ongoing objective and one we plan well in advance.”
“We’re always looking for new and exciting content in the form of concerts and other events”
As examples, she cites the British and Irish Lions tour, the URC Final, as well as the forthcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens. “We’ve also hosted a number of non-bowl events such as the Cape Town Marathon, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, and We Are Africa, to name just a few.”
It’s a similar story at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. “We’re always looking for new and exciting content in the form of concerts and other events,” says Alan Graham, general manager. Alongside concerts, this year they will be hosting the Nitro World Games – a two-day competition of action sports from BMX to scooter to motocross – and the NRL Magic Round. “It provides a carnival-like atmosphere over multiple days in both the precinct itself and wider South East Queensland, generating plenty of revenue for the city, state, and business community.”
While state-of-the-art new-build stadia are em- ploying technology to remove of cover their hallowed turf, for traditional sports outfits, it’s a tricky balancing act.
At the Emirates, McCann notes, “We are a football club first, so ensuring a great pitch for the team will always have priority.”
Rome’s Stadio Olimpico is similarly constrained by the 60-plus football games hosted each season, with concerts only possible during a dedicated window of June and July, while Eden Park is beholden to its Trust Deed obligations to their legacy partners, Auckland Cricket and Auckland Rugby. “But our Turf Team have years of experience delivering some of the most hallowed grounds in New Zealand,” says Sautner.
“We have exceptional relationships with local authorities, businesses, and residents”
Eden Park’s central Auckland location poses a range of challenges for non-sporting events that are commonly shared by other stadiums located in dense urban, suburban, and downtown areas. Litter, noise pollution, curfews, and local transport all become serious issues when dealing with tens of thousands of late-night revellers.
“We take a collaborative approach,” says Sautner, “working together with our community, Auckland Council, and promoters.” He notes that when seeking consent, they frequently receive “96% support from our neighbours”; furthermore, he says they have “the right team to find solutions that deliver the best results for all parties.”
At Suncorp Stadium, events must secure prior approval from the minister of sport and be carried out according to specific regulations concerning noise monitoring and management, strict hours of operation, and traffic management plans. “We have exceptional relationships with local authorities, businesses, and residents,” says Graham.
“It’s all about planning,” adds Woodburn at DHL Stadium. “That’s really important to maximise the capacity of bowl events in any given year. This, together with maximising the broad- cast and attendance at each event, is core to the success of any stadium.”
Capitalising on the growth of live music and seizing opportunities are crucial to future profitability and something they are all actively working on.
“We want to supply services and infrastructure that cut production times s well as offering higher added-value services to spectators”
Capitalising on the growth of live music and seizing opportunities is crucial to future profitability and investment in facilities has become integral to stadia business plans.
DHL Stadium has refurbished and increased its hospitality areas – they now have a total of 2,100 places in the shared hospitality Business Lounge and an additional 5,000 seats in private suites (total capacity is now 60,000). The Stadio Olimpico is investing in production – “We want to supply services and infrastructure that cut production times,” says Santini – as well as offering higher added-value services to spectators and even taking back direct control of specific activities such as corporate hospitality.
The Principality Stadium is targeting tech and the role it can play when it comes to the fan experience. “In 2021, we upgraded our in-stadia technology and installed two giant HD Samsung screens supported by a new state-of-the-art broadcast and digital media studio by Ross Live,” says Luff. “But we’re also thinking about how to utilise technology to build on the stadium’s services and retail environments to enhance the fan experience. As a venue, we must listen to fans and evolve with changing tastes and trends.”
That’s of concern to Suncorp’s Alan Graham, too; delivering “interesting and engaging fan experiences that are unique and amazing” is vital. To help do this, they lean on management partner, ASM Global, whose portfolio includes over 350 arenas, stadiums and venues. “We utilise this network to capitalise on new trends and innovations from all over the planet,” adds Graham.
“We strongly believe that stadiums should be considered a hub for the community: civic buildings that serve a function above and beyond the event-day experience”
But no one takes growth, or a stadium’s wider role in the arts and the community it serves, as seriously as Eden Park. “We are committed to championing music, arts, and culture at all levels, and while Eden Park has been seen in the past as primarily a sporting venue, we aspire to change this perspective,” states Sautner. “We strongly believe that stadiums should be considered a hub for the community: civic buildings that serve a function above and beyond the event-day experience. They should operate as facilities that local residents can use and engage with all year round, instead of just being an underused asset that’s locked up after each event.”
Such a philosophy sees the team consider the stadium something more akin to a Town Hall; as if to prove this point, Sautner notes it has hosted school assemblies alongside sold-out gigs.
Having emerged from one of the darkest periods for live events in living memory, the outlook for the biggest venues on the planet appears very healthy for the rest of this year and beyond.
“That feeling when you finally get five minutes to surface and see the artist(s) performing live to a crowd, who are captivated by the music and production, will never get old,” says Danielle Buckley, who transferred to Arsenal F.C. on 16 September. “I am inspired by the vision here at Arsenal: we have already announced three concerts with Arctic Monkeys for 2023 and continue to receive vast enquires for sports, music and entertainment events.”
“We strongly believe – and this year has shown us – that there’s such an appetite for live music”
Enquiries at Eden Park seem to be following suit as they are “pouring in – even for as far ahead as 2025,” says Sautner. Meanwhile, DHL Stadium is already fully booked for the next 16 months. The Stadio Olimpico has plans for 12 to 15 concerts next year, a significant increase on its pre-pandemic levels of six or seven per season, while Suncorp has six major events lined up – three nights for Ed Sheeran, plus Elton John, Post Malone, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “And we will continue to work with promoters on any additional opportunities that are on the horizon,” says Graham.
After all, after that 13-word bombshell, no one knew when stadium shows would be possible again, so it’s no surprise that everyone – fans, stadium owners, promoters, labels, crew, and artists – have embraced the magic of huge live shows like never before; you never know what you have until it’s gone.
“As we emerge from the pandemic and two years of isolation from families and friends, we strongly believe – and this year has shown us – that there’s such an appetite for live music,” says Luff. “Fans want to see major artists play stadium shows with that communal, once-in-a-lifetime ‘I was there!’ moment, with thousands united by a love of music. It’s important we don’t ever take that for granted.”
This feature was first published in the latest issue of IQ, out now.
IQ 114 out now: Di and Gi, Green Guardians, Stadiums
IQ 114, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite magazine, is available to read online now.
The October edition sees writer Derek Robertson take the temperature of the global stadium circuit post-Covid for Pitch Perfect: Stadium Report 2022.
This issue also reveals the New Bosses 2022, as well as the Green Guardians Guide – a review of the latest and greatest innovations helping to green the industry.
IQ readers can also enjoy a double whammy of Italy-related content, with writer Adam Woods examining the state of the country’s live music industry for a market report on p56, and IQ news editor James Hanley ringing in Di & Gi’s 35th anniversary on p28.
Elsewhere, IQ reviews the eighth edition of the International Festival Forum (IFF), which saw a record 800 delegates from 40 countries flock to London last month.
For this edition’s columns and comments, Ticketmaster’s Sarah Slater talks about the record-breaking summer of events and outgoing AIF CEO Paul Reed on the past, present, and future of the festival sector.
As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.
However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ from just £6.25 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:
ASM Global re-appointed Suncorp Stadium manager
The Queensland government has re-appointed ASM Global as manager of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in Australia.
ASM Global Asia Pacific, which runs venues across Australia, New Zealand, the Asia Pacific and Middle East, has managed Suncorp Stadium since its redevelopment in 2003 and has now been granted a five-year extension following a formal tender process.
ASM Global Asia Pacific chair and CEO Harvey Lister AM says the company is honoured to be re-appointed as venue manager, which he said reflected the Queensland’s Government’s continuing faith and trust in the firm’s ability to manage the stadium to a world class standard.
Suncorp Stadium GM Alan Graham paid tribute to the work of the stadium management team.
“ASM Global has assisted us in continuing to take advantage of the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology”
“It is also fortunate that we are part of a world-wide network in ASM Global which has assisted us in continuing to take advantage of the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology ensuring the Suncorp Stadium team remains amongst the most elite in the world,” adds Graham.
It was recently revealed that the number of concerts permitted at the stadium could be set to double over the next two years to meet increased post-pandemic demand.
The 52,500-cap stadium is currently allowed to host a maximum of six gigs per year and already has shows lined up for 2023 by Elton John (21 January), Red Hot Chili Peppers (29 January) and three dates with Ed Sheeran (17-19 February).
But with a growing number of high-profile artists looking to tour the country post-Covid, the government is surveying residents and businesses for their views on temporarily raising the venue’s live music quota.
Danielle Buckley swaps London Stadium for Emirates
London Stadium head of business development Danielle Buckley is heading across the capital to join Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
The Emirates, which has welcomed concerts by the likes of Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Muse and Green Day, is coming off hosting two nights with The Killers in June – its first live music shows since 2013.
Lifelong Arsenal Football Club supporter Buckley will become senior manager, event programming at the 60,000-cap North London venue.
“Danielle will join us in September and be primarily responsible for driving major events business, maximising commercial return from the venue outside of the core football business and playing a critical role in maximising the long-term commercial opportunity of the full Emirates Stadium footprint on a year-round basis,” says Tom McCann, venue director at Arsenal FC.
“I’m really excited to welcome Danielle into our commercial team.”
Buckley served a five-year stint at Wembley Stadium before making the switch to London Stadium in 2017
Buckley served a five-year stint at Wembley Stadium before making the switch to London Stadium – home of West Ham United FC – in 2017.
The ILMC regular and IQ New Bosses alumnus began her music industry career in 2009 at Derek Block Artistes Agency, moving on to the Leighton Pope Organisation and then London 2012, for which she coordinated the headline talent for the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies.
She was subsequently hired by Wembley Stadium, where she worked her way up to partnership development manager – music and new events, and helped bring concerts by acts such as Ed Sheeran to the national stadium.
DF Concerts praises ‘phenomenal’ Gerry Cinnamon
DF Concerts’ promoter Dave Corbet says that Gerry Cinnamon is “rewriting the rules” after the Scottish singer-songwriter made history by playing to 100,000 fans over two nights at Glasgow’s Hampden Park.
The 50,000-cap shows, which were originally slated for 2020 pre-pandemic, sold out within hours back in 2019 and were finally able to take place from 16-17 July.
“The energy of the crowd across both shows was electric and they were with him every step of the way,” Corbet tells IQ. “It was one of the best stadium productions that I have ever seen and the sound was fantastic – there really is nothing like the Hampden roar.”
Staged by DF, the concerts saw Cinnamon crowned as both the first independent act and the first Scottish artist to sell out multiple nights at the national stadium. Support came from The Charlatans, Jake Bugg, The Snuts, Travis and Vistas.
“Gerry is an absolute force of nature and his success knows no limits,” says Corbet. “DF Concerts has worked with him since the very early days of being in bands on the Glasgow music scene, and there are so many factors which have contributed to his huge success which includes how fiercely independent he is.
“To see Gerry go from playing small pub shows at the start of his career to becoming the Scottish artist with the most tickets ever sold at Scotland’s national stadium is phenomenal”
“To see Gerry go from playing small pub shows at the start of his career to becoming the Scottish artist with the most tickets ever sold at Scotland’s national stadium Hampden is phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
The UK’s biggest independent artist, 37-year-old Cinnamon has built up a huge, organic following since self-releasing his 2017 debut album Erratic Cinematic and topped the UK charts with 2020 follow-up The Bonny.
“Gerry has never been one to conform and what keeps his fans coming to support him is how relatable he is,” adds Corbet. “He is rewriting the rules on how to be a successful artist and is a man of the people which resonates not only with the people of Scotland but with his fans around the world.”
Represented by CAA’s Andy Cook, Cinnamon has headlined a handful of outdoor gigs across the UK and Ireland this summer. He played a 25,000-cap gig at Swansea’s Singleton Park – the second biggest show ever held in the Welsh city – last month, along with sold-out Irish shows at the 25,000-cap Malahide Castle Dublin, and Musgrave Park Stadium, Cork.
He also played his third headline performance at Belsonic festival in Belfast’s 20,000-cap Ormeau Park, having already set the record in 2021 as the first artist to sell out two headline shows at the venue.
ASM Global taps James Taylor from Wembley Stadium
ASM Global has hired Wembley Stadium’s outgoing senior commercial manager James Taylor for the newly-created role of sales director for sports and alternative content for UK venues.
Taylor will be exploring and implementing new and diverse content in sports and entertainment, with a focus on securing more high calibre sporting, e-sports and championship-level events for ASM’s UK venue portfolio, which includes AO Arena in Manchester, OVO Arena Wembley, Olympia London, P&J Live Aberdeen and First Direct Arena Leeds, among others.
Taylor, who has run bookings across sports, entertainment and music at London’s 90,000-cap Wembley Stadium since 2017, recently revealed he will depart the venue later this year after overseeing a record summer of live music.
“It’s a great appointment that will complement our UK programming team”
“I am very pleased to have James joining our team with his background in sports and high profiled events,” says ASM’s SVP operations Europe Marie Lindqvist. “It’s a great appointment that will complement our UK programming team with James Harrison heading up the touring music shows.
“This new role is an important addition to grow and develop the most exciting, relevant and diverse calendar for the growing portfolio of stadiums, arenas, theatres and convention centres in the UK.”
Taylor, who starts his new role in September, served a nine-year stint at Wembley overall and was also responsible for managing the stadium’s sponsors and long-term stadium partners the RFL and EFL.
“I’m really excited to be joining ASM Global in this brand-new role at such an exciting time for the business given the major investments taking place across ASM properties,” says Taylor. “I look forward to working with the team to bring world class events to ASM venues across the UK.”