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Post Malone, Stevie Nicks to headline new US festival

Post Malone, Stevie Nicks and Noah Kahan are slated to headline the inaugural edition of Lovin’ Life music festival in the US next year.

The three-day event will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, between 3–5 May, with 40 artists performing across three stages.

Mt. Joy, Dominic Fike, Young the Giant and Jessie Murph are also on the bill for the 30,000-capacity event at N Brevard St.

Lovin’ Life is promoted by Southern Entertainment (est. 1994) – the Charlotte-based company behind music festivals such as Carolina Country Music Fest in South Carolina and the Barefoot Country Music Fest in New Jersey.

Mt. Joy, Dominic Fike, Young the Giant and Jessie Murph are also on the bill for the 30,000-capacity event

“After producing events all over the East Coast, we’ve dreamt of bringing a major music festival to Charlotte, and the Lovin’ Life Music Fest is our passion project,” says Bob Durkin, co-founder and partner of Southern Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to support the ongoing effort to make our hometown of Charlotte a Music City in such a big way.”

Rob Pedlow, co-founder and partner at Southern Entertainment, adds: “Charlotte’s ready for its own signature event. Lovin’ Life will be our very own Charlotte-flavored Lollapalooza, a new economic engine for the Queen City creating jobs, supporting area nonprofits and drawing music enthusiasts from across the Carolinas and beyond.”

Tickets for Lovin’ Life range from US$269 for three-day general admission to $1,199 for three-day Super VIP.


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450,000 attend best BST Hyde Park yet

The fifth edition of British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park, which wrapped up on Sunday 9 June, once again delivered double-digit growth for promoter AEG Presents, with a footfall of 450,000 across 10 days for its flagship UK festival.

A total of 350,000 people attended the six concert events – headlined by Phil Collins on Friday 30 June, Green Day on Saturday 1 July, Justin Bieber on Sunday 2 July, Kings of Leon on Thursday 6 July, The Killers on Saturday 8 July and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on Sunday 9 July – with a further 100,000 attending free ‘Open House’ events in the park on days with no music.

That’s a 17% increase on last year’s total of 385,000 – 325,000 for ticketed events and 60,000 for Open House – when five of six concerts sold out; in 2017, for the first time, it was all six.

Double-digit growth for BST Hyde Park 2016

For the fifth year, BST was produced on behalf of AEG Presents by Loudsound, a London-based event production company whose other festival clients include Bestival, Camp Bestival and Field Day. IQ caught up with the Loudsound team – operations directors Dave Grindle and Dan Craig and senior event and project manager Steve Reynolds (pictured, L–R, below) – on the final day of the festival to discuss how they implemented their brief from AEG: “To a create a magical experience for everyone.”

Content-wise, Craig said, “the AEG Presents bookers have done an incredible job across the board. We’ve sold out across all six shows, so hats off to them – that’s been really, really good.

“The audiences have been very different as well, which reflects the great variety in the programming: The Green Day show was brilliant and the Killers last night were on another level.”

While AEG handled the programming, Loudsound, in partnership with G4S, was responsible for security, which – in common with other events this summer – was beefed up compared to previous years. “There’s lots going on, as you might expect, both inside and outside the event footprint,” explained Grindle, who said Loudsound had for the first time introduced archway metal detectors across the board. “That was quite a big step up from previous years, where we only had a few of them of each entrance. This year everybody has been put through them.”

“It’s been rammed every night … The numbers have just been insane”

Craig continued: “Outside the venue we’ve put in place some extra road closures in and around Hyde Park. That was part of a broader review in response to vehicle attacks on events elsewhere in Europe, and we had the opportunity to shut some privately owned roads, which was a simple decision to make.”

While the music was still clearly the headline draw, Craig says the real success story from 2017 was Open House, which encouraged thousands of local residents to visit the park and experience BST in the daytime.

Activities, he said, included a kids’ theatre; a free-to-access headphone cinema, with two sittings each day for up to 2,000 people; free-to-access live music and entertainment on the main, Barclaycard stage; and two ‘statement’ sporting events.

“The first one, which we were particularly proud of, was bringing in Major League Baseball for their first footsteps onto British soil, which was amazing,” he explained. “That took place on Tuesday 4 July and was visited by 15,000 people. We held a real-world baseball exhibition match – a ‘home run derby’ – on the stage, and baseball stars and celebrities were hitting baseballs out into the crowd.

Dave Grindle, Dan Craig, Steve Reynolds, Loudsound, BST Hyde Park 2017

“It was a great production, and is a really key relationship for us as a business. It really showed the diversity of the venue and the team delivering the venue: to be able to do a 180-degree pivot from an 65,000-capacity concert to a free baseball exhibition with just an overnight changeover. We’ve had some great public feedback on that already.”

“We also did the world’s biggest high-intensity interval training class, which Joe Wicks, the Body Coach, came in for,” continued Grindle. “Even though it was really hot that day [5 July], around 4,000 people turned up for that. It broke the Guinness World Record, so he was very pleased. In general the midweek events have been really well attended.”

“Overall we feel like British Summer Time has been a success, but Open House is where we feel the event has really come into its own,” added Craig. “It’s part of the promise of what British Summer Time is all about. You’ve got these six concert events and then the giveback to the community who use this park and amenity space, so we’ve laid on some great content that people can come in and enjoy for free.

“It’s been rammed every night, with there regularly being over 10,000 people on the site through the day. The numbers have just been insane.”


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Pretenders, Stevie Nicks announce 24kt Gold tour

Stevie Nicks will this autumn embark on her first headlining tour since 2012 with a 27-date trek through arenas across the US and Canada.

The 24 Karat Gold tour, promoted exclusively by Live Nation, will see the ex-Fleetwood Mac frontwoman and solo star (pictured) joined by the Pretenders, who haven’t toured since 2009 or played live since 2012.

The tour will kick off at the Talking Stick Arena (18,422-cap.) in Phoenix, Arizona, on 25 October and conclude at The Forum (17,505-cap.) in Inglewood, California, on 18 December, taking in arenas in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and more.

A full list of dates is available on Nicks’s website.

Nicks’s 2015 On with the Show tour with Fleetwood Mac with the sixth highest-grossing of 2015, with a total of US$125.1 million from 78 dates.


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