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Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe becomes Avicii Arena

Stockholm Live, the ASM Global-owned operator of Stockholm’s five major event venues, has announced the renaming of its 15,000-capacity Ericsson Globe arena to Avicii Arena in memory of the late DJ.

The company, along with local sponsors Trygg-Hansa and Bauhaus, has partnered with the Tim Bergling Foundation – set up by Bergling (Avicii)’s family in 2019 after the artist took his own life – to transform the Ericsson Globe into a “global symbol for mental illness prevention”, according to ASM Global.

“With our worldwide reach, ASM Global takes tremendous pride in not only presenting unparallelled entertainment experiences but also in playing a positive role in the lives of our millions of guests in countries throughout the world,” says the venue giant’s president and CEO, Ron Bension. “We’re honoured to participate in this collaboration to help prevent mental illness.”

The area, which opened in 1989, will become “a hub for sharing ideas and hosting activities with the focus on young people’s mental health,” comments Klas Bergling, the father of Tim. “It was a significant milestone in Tim’s career when he played here nine years ago, and he would be extremely proud that this iconic building from today will bear his name.”

“Being able to use one of Sweden’s most famous buildings … in the way we are now feels fantastic”

In celebration of the venue’s new name, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded a new interpretation of the Avicii song ‘For a Better Day’, sung by 14-year-old Ella Tiritiello from Kristianstadm.

“Being able to use one of Sweden’s most famous and visited buildings as a symbol and meeting place for one of the most important societal issues of our time in the way we now do together with our partners feels fantastic,” says Stockholm Live CEO Andreas Sand.

“When we hosted the Avicii tribute concert in December 2019 at Friends Arena we got the idea to create a place that could spread the same understanding and community that we had that evening, with a focus on making a difference.”

Other venues run by Stockholm Live include Tele2 Arena (40,000-cap.), Hovet (9,000-cap) and Annexet (3,400-cap.).

 


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ILMC speaker spotlight: Steve Sayer, the O2 Arena

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) is now less than a month away and, as more and more chairs and panellists are announced, IQ catches up with some key speakers to hear what they hope to get out of this year’s conference.

Following on from the previous Speaker Spotlight with IF Media Consultancy’s Jeremy PatersonIQ talks to Steve Sayer, vice president and general manager of the O2 Arena in London.

Sayer is chairing the Venue Summit: Citizen Venue session, which features panellists Sara Lamik from Tauron Arena Krakow, Marie Lindqvist, CEO of Stockholm Live, and talent buyer and booking agent Stefan Lohmann, and focuses on the social and environmental responsibility of live music venues.

 


IQ: What do you expect to be the main talking points at your panel?

SS: I expect and hope we will cover a lot of ground. Environmental sustainability and all those related shifts will definitely be a focus. I also expect us to speak about the UN’s broader sustainability goals, diversity and inclusion, and the impact venues can have both positives and negatives on the local community.

We will look to share best practise and signpost some great initiatives that we’re starting to see in our venues. Greta [Thunberg] will undoubtedly get a mention, as will Coldplay and maybe the Green Rider. We won’t have all the answers but we’re keen to stimulate debate and discussion.

We will look to share best practise and signpost some great initiatives that we’re starting to see in our venues

What is your personal experience of being a ‘citizen venue’, whether it’s around sustainability or something else?

For me, being a ‘citizen venue’ is about being in harmony with your community, investing in the fan experience, striving to do the right thing as a responsible business should do, creating a positive and inclusive culture for employees to work in and putting your best foot forward when it comes to issues such as sustainability.

I think we can look to what the football clubs have been doing for many years in their local catchment with their community outreach programmes, that go well beyond football coaching and soccer schools.

Music venues are vibrant hubs within communities and neighbourhoods not dissimilar in that way to sports teams – just that our fan base and content differs of course. We create value for local communities in terms of employment, economic impact, place making and having fun etc, but we can also impact in other ways.

A ‘citizen venue’ in my view is one that is fit for the future. It recognises it has these impacts and responsibilities and seeks to amplify the good and mitigate the less good.

[Venues] create value for local communities in terms of employment, economic impact, place making and having fun, but we can also impact in other ways

Is there more pressure now for arenas to be seen to be giving back to local communities? If so, is that a good thing?

I don’t think there is necessarily more pressure as such, but there is much more awareness and consciousness amongst the fans, promoters, artists, along with our own employees and other local stakeholders. I know at The O2 and within AEG venues the pressure comes from ourselves to ensure that we can be both successful and sustainable.

Is there anything else you’re particularly looking forward to seeing at ILMC?

Alongside catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, I always look forward to The Open Forum and having a few drinks at The Arthurs with the team. In addition I’m looking forward to the 5G workshop and the 2020 Vision session… I could go on!

ILMC’s Citizen Venue panel is taking place at 2.15 on Thursday 5 March at the Baglioni hotel. 

 


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He’s back: Asap Rocky to play one-off Sweden show

Three months after being handed a suspended sentence for his part in the violent assault of a 19-year-old Stockholm man, Asap Rocky is already plotting his return to Sweden.

The American rapper was given a two-year suspended prison term and US$1,300 fine in August, after having spent almost a month in Swedish custody. Rocky was convicted by a Swedish judge of causing the victim “pain and suffering” in the attack, though his pre-trial detention was roundly condemned by the global hip-hop community, as well as US president Donald Trump.

The artist, real name Rakin Mayers, will perform at the 16,000-cap. Ericsson Globe in Stockholm on 11 December, in a one-off headline show promoted by Live Nation Sweden.

Asap Rocky, Live in Sweden 11 Dec

“After huge support from his Swedish fans, [Asap Rocky] returns to Stockholm for a long-awaited gig for all his supporters,” says the promoter.

Several Swedish artists will support Rocky, who plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from the concert to a local charity, the Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups (FARR).

 


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