Inside Kilimanjaro Live’s spectacular summer
Kilimanjaro Live boss Stuart Galbraith has revealed the company has sold 1.5 million tickets for its summer shows as it roared back from the pandemic.
Kili co-promoted Ed Sheeran’s UK stadium tour with FKP Scorpio UK and staged further stadium dates with Stereophonics, as well as a host of other outdoor concerts including its Kew the Music and Live at Chelsea series.
Galbraith tells IQ the sheer volume of shows delivered – which included a backlog of rescheduled dates from 2020/21 alongside new bookings – has been “remarkable”.
“When we came out of the pandemic for the first time around autumn last year, we actually had 950 shows on sale, which is the most we’ve ever had as a company,” he says. “So what we’ve done, certainly through last autumn and the first seven months of this year, is plough through that huge volume of rescheduled shows.”
“When you step back and look at what the team has achieved, it’s fantastic”
In addition, Kili has been involved in a string of major arena tours with the likes of Simply Red, Craig David, Hans Zimmer, UB40, Jeff Dunham and Sam Fender, plus theatre gigs by the likes of Jeff Beck, Nick Mason, Tony Hadley and Dita VonTeese.
“It’s remarkable to think that’s all done now,” reflects Galbraith. “We’re now almost at the point where the only things left are some Andrea Bocelli shows in October and everything else on sale is new stuff. When you step back and look at what the team has achieved, it’s fantastic.”
The UK leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) tour wrapped up with five dates at Wembley Stadium at the start of this month. Coming on the back of the singer’s record-shattering 2017-19 ÷ (Divide) run, which surpassed U2’s 360° as the highest-grossing tour ever, Galbraith says the 31-year-old’s timing could not have been better.
“Ed Sheeran’s UK tour played to just under a million tickets, which is stunning”
“His timing with regards to the pandemic was just remarkably perfect because he’d stopped working,” notes Galbraith. “We finally finished the Divide tour in Ipswich in 2019 and he had intended to take 2020 and 2021 off anyway. And then we put the tour on sale at the end of September last year, when customer confidence was at its peak. Everything was fine and the world was getting back to normal. Then Omicron reared its head in late November, but by that time we’d sold 95% of the tickets.
“We picked the tour up in late May , starting in Cardiff, and by then, any issues with regards to Covid restrictions and practical arrangements on the road had pretty much disappeared as well. So it was remarkable timing.”
He adds: “The tour was just phenomenal. Ed’s performance, the addition of the band in some elements of the show and the scale of the production, have taken it to a different level. Excluding Ireland, which we’re not involved in, that UK tour played to just under a million tickets, which is stunning.”
Kili also reunited with old friends Stereophonics, who were joined by an all-star cast of Welsh greats headed by Tom Jones for the band’s two homecoming gigs at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in June.
“I’ve worked with Stereos since the early ’90s and these were their two biggest ever shows. We sold 110,000 tickets across the two dates. It was also broadcast not only on BBC Wales, but also on BBC Two, which was the icing on the cake.”
“While the hot stuff is really hot, some of the other stuff has proved hard work to sell”
However, Galbraith is keen to stress the summer has not been without its challenges.
“In terms of selling tickets, there’s a lot out there,” he says. “And while the hot stuff is really hot, some of the other stuff has proved hard work to sell. But again, most of that is rescheduled shows – some of which we put on sale in 2019 and we’re finally delivering in the summer of 2022, so it’s almost three years since the customers have had those tickets.
“A perfect example of that is Belladrum festival which takes place at the end of July. The tickets for Belladrum were sold in August 2019. and so those customers will have held those tickets for a full three years when we actually finally get to deliver the festival that they paid for, it’s quite remarkable.”
Kili is part of the DEAG group of companies and Galbraith suggests the UK market is “a few months ahead” of many of its European contemporaries in terms of its post-pandemic recovery.
“The UK has had a very, very good summer in comparison to other marketplaces”
“While things are up and running now in Germany, certainly there are still levels of restrictions, levels of testing and elements of life that are still not normal,” he says. “And what we’ve seen in the UK is things that only truly come back once society really accepts that Covid is over. But also, that it doesn’t necessarily come back with the roaring ’20s that we’d all hoped it would, because there is just so much demand now for customers’ money, not just from an entertainment point of view, but from other pressures: inflation, heating bills, recession, etc.
“I think the UK has had a very, very good summer in comparison to other marketplaces and we’re seeing ticket sales becoming stronger. We’ve ended up selling a million and a half tickets this summer, which is a huge success for us. And it’s brilliant to finally be back on the road again and doing what we do best – albeit the teams have faced some huge challenges, which we’re very pleased to see that they’ve overcome. But we hope that those challenges will diminish as we head into what will hopefully become a bit more of a normal business sector again.
“I’m hugely proud of the team and hugely proud of everyone that works with Kili across its entire spectrum. We’re very optimistic heading into the autumn.”
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Gallagher, Rogers, Weller and more for 20th TCT shows
Teenage Cancer Trust has announced four of the acts set to play its annual fundraising concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London this 23–29 March.
Headlining the 20th edition of the charity shows are electronic duo Groove Armada, Welsh rockers Stereophonics (with special guest Paul Weller), Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds and funk pioneers Nile Rodgers and Chic, on 25, 26, 27 and 29 March, respectively, with more acts still to be announced.
The Who frontman Roger Daltrey CBE, a longtime Teenage Cancer Trust patron, says: “Once again, we’ve got some incredible artists on the bill for 2020, and I can’t thank them enough for giving up their time for Teenage Cancer Trust. Since the first gig back in 2000, audiences have raised millions to fund Teenage Cancer Trust nurses, support teams and special hospital wards that have helped young people cope with some unimaginably hard times. Without Teenage Cancer Trust these specialist services would simply not be there.
“I’ve seen firsthand the difference this support makes to so many young people with cancer over the years, and I’m beyond proud to be a part of the Teenage Cancer Trust team. Everyone who’s helped us achieve this is a hero in my book, and I’d like to thank everyone who has got us this far.
“Teenage Cancer Trust started out 30 years ago to change everything for young people with cancer. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. But we want a world where cancer doesn’t stop young people from living their lives-there’s so much more we need to do.
“This age group deserves these facilities and programmes in our NHS, but without your support for this charity they would not exist. By buying a ticket to these shows you will be helping this great cause do exactly that.”
“We’re incredibly grateful for the amazing support from the artists getting involved in our 2020 gigs”
Before Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) was established in 1990, there was no specialist cancer care for teenagers and young adults. Those aged 13-24 were being treated on adult wards, or in children’s wards, and this could cause additional stress and trauma, according to TCT. Many felt alone and isolated, as it was likely they’d never meet another person their age with cancer.
Today, around half of all young people with cancer are treated on 28 TCT wards across the UK, by specialist nurses and youth support teams. Almost every young person with cancer can get support from specialist TCT nurses wherever they live.
“The leap forward in care that Teenage Cancer Trust has been able to provide to young people facing cancer over the past 30 years has only been possible thanks to our generous supporters, including our Royal Albert Hall artists and audiences,” explains Kate Collins, CEO of Teenage Cancer Trust. “But much more needs to change, and we can’t wait another 30 years for that to happen.
“That’s we’re incredibly grateful for the amazing support from the artists getting involved in our 2020 gigs. It’s going to be an unforgettable experience and will help us support every young person with cancer who needs us.”
Around 100 young people who’ve been supported by Teenage Cancer Trust will enjoy the ‘ultimate backstage experience’ during the 2020 shows, which includes meet and greets with the acts, as well as the chance to write and perform their own song and appear on stage alongside Daltrey to share their TCT experiences.
Tickets go on sale this Friday (24 January) at 9.30am via Ticketmaster, Gigs and Tours and the Royal Albert Hall website.
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Paul Weller named Forest Live’s best-selling artist
Annual UK concert series Forest Live has named Paul Weller as it best-selling artist ever, with ticket sales surpassing 145,000 over the years.
Forest Live, a concert series taking place at seven forest locations across the UK, is organised by land manager Forestry England. Other artists to play the 2019 series include Foals, Jess Glynne and Stereophonics.
Weller most recently completed a run of seven Forest Live dates, including four sold-out shows at Cheshire’s Delamere Forest and Staffordshire’s Cannock Chase Forest, among others.
The capacity of venues included in the series ranges from 5,500 to 9,750.
Forestry England presented Weller with a commemorative inscription to mark the achievement.
“I’ve loved playing the forest shows: the settings and crowds are always fantastic”
“It’s an honour to receive this plaque. I’ve loved playing the forest shows: the settings and crowds are always fantastic,” comments Weller.
Forestry England event manager Simon Hough says he is “extremely grateful” for Weller’s “massive contribution” and “commitment to be a part of Forest Live.”
Weller made his Forest Live debut in 2004 and has since played three more times at each of the seven venues. Money raised from ticket sales goes towards forest conservation.
Launched in 2001, past artists to perform at Forest Live include Pulp, Van Morrison, the Pet Shop Boys, Ed Sheeran, Blondie, Little Mix, George Ezra and Paloma Faith.
Pictured (l to r): DB Event Services’ David Barrow, Paul Weller, Forestry England’s Rob Lamb.
Rize announced for Hylands Park…but no event in Staffs
SJM Concerts today announced dates and the first acts for Rize Festival, the event replacing V Festival at Hylands Park in Chelmsford.
Taking place on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 August 2018, rather than V’s traditional Saturday and Sunday, the festival will be headlined by Liam Gallagher and Stereophonics. Other performers include James Bay, Manic Street Preachers, Bastille, Maximo Park, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, Circa Waves and Craig David’s TS5, with bookers focusing on an “exciting mix of the very best music from classic indie, pop, urban, dance and new upcoming talent across four stages”.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced in October it was pulling its sponsorship of V, ending a 22-year commercial relationship and bringing to a close the festival in its former guise. While the Chelmsford leg now has a replacement in the form of Rize, no event has been announced for Weston Park in Staffordshire, which formerly hosted a sister festival on the same weekend.
A representative for Rize Festival confirms to IQ that Roseclaim – the company behind V Festival, whose directors include Live Nation’s Paul Latham, Metropolis’s Bob Angus, SJM Concerts’ Simon Moran and MCD Productions’ Denis Desmond – will “not be promoting a new event at Weston Park in 2018”.
“We are very excited about working with Roseclaim on a future project here on the estate in 2019”
Colin Sweeney, CEO of the Weston Park Foundation, which manages the park, says: “We have been enormously proud to have been home to the former V Festival over the last 19 years. The significant contribution that hosting the event has made to the charitable objectives of the Weston Park Foundation and the wider regional economy cannot be underestimated.”
Sweeney adds, however, there will likely be another Live Nation/Metropolis/SJM/MCD festival in the park next year, saying: “We are very excited about working with Roseclaim on a future project here on the estate in 2019.”
Liam Gallagher’s upcoming headline show in Finsbury Park, promoted by Live Nation’s Festival Republic, is billed as being presented by “Rize”, indicating the promoter has plans for the brand outside the annual festival.
A full line-up is below: