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Gadget abc delivers pro-vaccination concert series

Swiss powerhouse Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG has been enlisted by the federal government to organise and produce an ‘information and concert series’ to encourage the unvaccinated to get their jabs.

The ‘Back on Tour’ series comprises five open-air concerts, taking place during national vaccination week (8–13 November) in cantons with low vaccination rates.

Swiss artists Dabu, Danitsa, Kunz, Stefanie Heinzmann and Stress, as well as the special guests Anna Rossinelli, Baschi and Sophie Hunger, will perform in Thun, Lausanne, Sion, St. Gallen and Lucerne.

Each concert will admit 500 people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, who snapped up one of the 2,500 free tickets. Vaccination buses will be parked at each site.

The concerts are subject to the current coronavirus regulations which say that outdoor events without a certificate or seat requirement can take place with a maximum of 500 people. The organisers hope such restrictions will help to ‘arouse the audience’s longing for normalcy’.

“[This] will remind us of how we all went to concerts two years ago without any reservations or limits”

“[The ‘Back on Tour’ concert series] will remind us of how we all went to concerts two years ago without any reservations or limits and enjoyed our social and cultural life without any restrictions,” says Marco Meroni, member of the management team at Rod Kommunikation, the agency that implemented the entire vaccination campaign on behalf of the Federal Office of Public Health.

Oliver Rosa, managing partner and director artists and brands at Gadget, added: “In this varied and challenging project, we were able to benefit from the experience and our network as the largest organiser and leading management agency in Switzerland.”

The company says it was given a lead time of just four weeks to put together the ‘Back on Tour’ concert series.

“The pandemic has been paralysing our industry for almost two years. We want to get involved and show our colours to get out of there as quickly as possible. The informative component of the vaccination week with a wide variety of concerts combining Swiss artists made sense to us,” added Rosa.

Last year, CTS Eventim acquired a majority stake in Gadget, uniting André Béchir’s abc Production with the wepromote consortium of companies.

The wepromote joint venture was formed four years ago by a group of Swiss promoters including Gadget Entertainment, Incognito Productions, wildpony, OpenAir St Gallen, SummerDays Festival, Seaside Festival and wepromote Live.

 


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Swiss sector pleads for Covid support extension

A report on the Swiss live music and cultural scene has warned that failing to extend support measures beyond the end of 2021 would be “enormously damaging” for the sector.

The survey, carried out by research office Ecoplan, concludes the domestic market is “a long way from normalisation”, with two-thirds (65%) of businesses still reliant on support to get through the next 12 months – prompting calls for the government to extend support measures until the end of 2022.

Published this week, the study was conducted on behalf of the country’s culture taskforce, whose members include representatives of the Swiss Music Promoters Association, the Music Managers Forum, music clubs and festivals association PETZI and Swiss Music Council, SMR, among others.

“Stopping support at the end of the year would be enormously damaging for those still affected and would [waste] the help provided over the past few months,” says the taskforce. “Although the various support systems only cover the bare minimum, they have proven to be effective.”

Despite there being signs of recovery for the market next year, 45% of companies said they expected a turnover of no more than 80% in 2022 compared to pre-Covid levels, while almost a quarter (23%) of respondents reported bookings were down by half.

“Almost three quarters stated that sales in the past year were below 80%, and almost half were even below 40% of the usual figures before corona – circumstances among which companies can hardly survive without support,” adds the taskforce.

We ask parliament to keep the safety nets for our industry… in the hope they will be less needed from month-to-month

“The figures collected in the survey underpin the need for an extension. The results show a slight recovery in the current year, but a cultural establishment like the one it was before the pandemic is not in sight in 2022 either.”

A mooted switch to a system with repayable loans was rejected by members.

“Only 4% of the companies surveyed and 9% of the cultural associations stated that such a system would help them instead of the previous [measures],” it says.

“The culture taskforce, together with the population and the authorities, hopes that this pandemic and its far-reaching consequences will soon be overcome. Now, we ask parliament to keep the safety nets for our industry, which have been functioning well so far… in the hope that they will be less needed from month-to-month.”

Switzerland abolished capacity restrictions on public events over the summer. Since late June, events of more than 10,000 people have been permitted to take place with attendees who can prove they are vaccinated against, have recovered from, or have tested negative for Covid-19.

 


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Germany’s DreamHaus announces first arena tour

CTS Eventim-backed DreamHaus has planned its first-ever arena tour with one of Germany’s biggest artists.

The Berlin-based promoter and agency yesterday (18 October) announced a 14-date tour with rapper Marteria.

The 2022 jaunt will visit arenas in Germany, Switzerland and Austria including Berlin’s Waldbühne (cap. 22,000), Vienna’s Stadthalle (16,000) and Zurich’s Hallenstadion (15,000).

The tour is part of a new long term agreement that will see Dreamhaus become Marteria’s tour organiser and exclusive artist agency.

Matt Schwarz, CEO and managing partner of DreamHaus, told Musik Woche he admires Marteria as one of the most style-defining and credible artists of his generation.

The 14-date 2022 jaunt will visit arenas in Germany, Switzerland and Austria

“It makes me all the happier that I can now actively support him together with the DreamHaus team and professionally accompany the expansion of his live career,” says Schwarz.

The ‘Full Contact’ tour will kick off in Marteria’s hometown of Rostock on 29 May and conclude in Bremen on 20 December 2022.

Under the new partnership, the rapper will also perform at Rock am Ring/Rock im Park in June 2022, which DreamHaus will jointly organise.

DreamHaus recently added to its stable of festivals with the addition of a brand new Berlin festival Tempelhof Sounds.

The agency/promoter has also announced tours with the likes of Bullet For My Valentine, Jake Bugg, James Blake, Orla Gartland, Rebecca Black, Evanescence, Maneskin and Yungblud.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Theo Quiblier, Two Gentlemen

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Tessie Lammle, booking agent at UTA in the US here.

Theo Quiblier started like a lot of people in the industry – in a band with classmates – but quickly realised he was better at finding shows than playing them. He began promoting shows at La Parenthèse in his hometown of Nyon, Switzerland, aged just 16, while also working for festivals such as Montreux Jazz and Antigel.

Spending more time booking shows than studying at university in Geneva, Quiblier was approached by Two Gentlemen’s Patrick David, who offered him a job as a junior booker.

Fast-forward a few years and he is the company’s head of concerts and touring and works with a roster that includes The National, Angel Olsen, The War on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, Squid, Fontaines D.C., Father John Misty, Viagra Boys, as well as powerhouse Swiss supergroup Brandão Faber Hunger. Quiblier also manages Dino Brandão.

 


You’re a promoter, an agent, and an artist manager – which role is your favourite?
It’s the diversity of roles. Being able to work every day with everyone in the team on so many different topics is thrilling. The more you understand each aspect of the industry, the better you can service your clients and partners.

As you began working in the business as a teenager, do you have a mentor or anyone you turn to for advice?
Patrick David. His experience and knowledge are an inexhaustible source of inspiration to me. If we don’t spend at least one hour on the phone a day debating, it’s probably because one of us is sick. Also, Sébastien Vuignier who has always given me his time. A true legend!

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
The National at Samsung Hall in Zürich in 2019. When you do this job you secretly dream of promoting your absolute favourite band.

“You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it”

What are you most looking forward to as the pandemic restrictions are lifted?
Sweaty gigs in small rooms with people flying all over the place! The band comes on stage and the show hasn’t even started yet you already know the night’s going to be electric. I miss that so badly…

Also finally being able to see live some artists we’ve been working with for more than three years and who still have not been able to come over and perform for the reasons we all know.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
Never be afraid to make mistakes. You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it. That’s so valuable and entirely part of the process.

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you and Two Gentlemen are taking out of it?
Being able to press pause, sit down together as a company and ask “How are we feeling? How are we doing? How can we improve?”, has been a gift. Also, cooperation with others has never been so good. I can definitely feel a real sense of togetherness.

 


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The New Bosses: Class of 2021 revealed

The latest edition of IQ‘s New Bosses goes live today, celebrating the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business.

The New Bosses 2021 honours no fewer than a dozen young executives, as voted by their colleagues around the world.

The 14th edition of the annual list inspired the most engaged voting process to date, with hundreds of people taking the time to submit nominations.

Our distinguished dozen this year comprises promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs and more, all involved in the international business and each of whom is making a real difference in their respective sector.

In alphabetical order, the New Bosses 2021 are:

As in previous years, full interviews with each of the 2021 New Bosses will appear online in the coming days and weeks. However, subscribers can read short individual profiles of each New Boss now in issue 103 of IQ Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 

 


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OpenAir Gampel returns for 35th edition

Organisers of Switzerland’s OpenAir Gampel have hailed the staff, artists and fans who made it possible for the festival to celebrate its 35th edition in challenging circumstances last weekend.

The festival, which was forced to cancel its 2020 edition, welcomed the legal limit of 10,000 festivalgoers a day – just under a third of its usual capacity of 33,000 – from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August, as well as more than 25 live acts and 50 DJs, all of whom (with the exception of Swiss citizen Jeremy Loops, who was born in South Africa) are from Switzerland, Germany or Austria.

In a statement, Rock Hock Verein says it is “extremely happy about the successful event and draw a very positive [conclusion].” “Not only the numerous musical highlights and the perfect weather,” continues the promoter, “but above all the overwhelming gratitude of the audience, the artists and everyone working behind the scenes.”

In addition to the reducing the capacity and booking only local artists, Rock Hock Verein also shrunk the physical size of the festival site by around 100 metres to comply with the guidelines in the canton of Valais, where Gampel is located.

Four people were given a voucher for the 2022 festival after testing positive for Covid-19

Performers included headliners Jan Delay and Disko No. 1 (the Germans delivering “probably one of the best concerts in the history of Gampel”, according to organisers), Parov Stelar and Fritz Kalkbrenner, as well as Swiss artists such as Besides Lo and Leduc, Faber, Loco Escrito, Dabu Fanstatic, Mimiks and 77 Bombay Street.

Only those who could certify their Covid-19 status were allowed on site, and 88% of visitors were ready with their certificate at the gates. The remaining 12% of festivalgoers were tested on site, with all but four people testing negative. (Those four were given a voucher for the 2022 edition of OpenAir Gampel.)

OpenAir Gampel will return at full capacity next year (18–21 August 2022), with international artists booked by Derrick Thomson at Mainland Music.

 


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Ticketmaster Switzerland partners with Samsung Hall

Ticketmaster Switzerland has signed a deal with Samsung Hall, the renowned 5,000-capacity venue located in Dübendorf, Zurich.

Since opening in January 2017, the hall has put on performances from the likes of Halsey, Avril Lavigne, The 1975 and Biffy Clyro, and earned the Swiss Location Award for the top indoor event venue in Switzerland.

As the hall’s ticketing partner, Ticketmaster Switzerland will oversee every step of the fan journey with leading ticketing solutions and digital technology.

“We are pleased to announce this new partnership with Ticketmaster, one that will provide clear benefits for us and our customers,” says Anke Stephan, CEO of Samsung Hall.

Ticketmaster Switzerland will oversee every step of the fan journey with leading ticketing solutions and digital technology

“In choosing the team at Ticketmaster and their innovative products and services, we are more than satisfied that we’ve taken a significant step in the right direction to ensure our future success.”

George Egloff, MD Ticketmaster Switzerland, says: “The team and I are thrilled to join forces with Samsung Hall and support the wide variety of events held there, from club events right through to concerts with some of the finest local and international artists. We have the expertise, experience, and leading technology, but most importantly share Samsung Hall’s fan-first focus.”

The Live Nation-owned ticketer officially launched its Swiss operation in 2017 via a strategic partnership with local company Tixtec.

The company said it sees Switzerland as a “key market with a growing live entertainment business and significant venues”.

 


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Live Nation GSA announces Download Festival Germany

Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) is launching a German edition of Download Festival, the UK’s premiere rock event.

Download Germany will take place on 24 June 2022 at the Hockenheimring, a motor racing circuit situated in the Rhine valley near the town of Hockenheim, which Live Nation GSA head Marek Lieberberg has prior experience with.

Lieberberg’s former company Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) previously held Rock’n’Heim at the same location, in cooperation with Live Nation.

The festival took place annually from 2013 to 2015, welcoming around 40,000 fans across three days for the first two years. In 2015, the event was reduced to a one-day event.

MLK also housed both Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, started by Lieberberg in 1985 and 1993 respectively, the twin festivals that from 2022, will be programmed by eventimpresents and CTS Eventim-owned DreamHaus.

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event

At the time of writing, Download Germany has not announced any artists or released tickets for the 2022 event.

Download Germany will be the UK brand’s fourth sister event. Other sites are Download Australia, which would have debuted in 2020, Download Madrid and Download France in Paris (both of which last took place in 2019).

The UK event, promoted by Festival Republic, this year took place over the 18–20 June weekend as part of the second phase of the UK government’s scientific Events Research Programme (ERP).

Download Pilot welcomed 10,000 metal fans to the hallowed grounds of rock in Donington Park, Leicestershire, to enjoy a fully-fledged festival experience with no social distancing, no masks and moshing allowed. The event was the UK’s first major camping festival of its kind since lockdown.

The flagship event is set to return to the UK between 10-12 June 2022 with a line-up that includes Deftones, Korn and Megadeath.

 


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Switzerland returns to full-capacity concerts

Switzerland has abolished capacity restrictions on public events in a further relaxation of the country’s coronavirus measures.

As of 26 June, events with more than 10,000 people can take place with attendees who can prove they are vaccinated against, have recovered from, or have tested negative for Covid-19.

Cantons will need to approve events with more than 1,000 people but smaller public gatherings can now go ahead without authorisation.

Venues may operate at full capacity, though they must provide a hygiene and safety plan that shows how entry will be restricted only to people with Covid certificates.

Events can take place which do not require Covid certificates, though capacity and seating restrictions will apply. If the concert is seated, a maximum of 1,000 people may attend. If the concert is standing, the maximum is 250 people indoors and 500 outdoors.

Events can take place which do not require Covid certificates, though capacity and seating restrictions will apply

Masks must be worn where food and drink are served, though otherwise, masks are no longer required outdoors. Dancing at events and concerts is still banned.

The Swiss Music Promoters’ Association (SMPA) has welcomed the rollback of restrictions but says it’s crucial that the “protective umbrella” is introduced as quickly as possible across Switzerland, and in a uniform way, in order for the live industry to take full advantage.

Each of the 26 cantons will be responsible for co-financing and implementing the scheme – which has long been a cause for concern for the event associations.

“The majority of the cantons are not yet ready and so the confidence of the industry representatives seriously diminishes,” says the SMPA. “Ultimately, it is important to them that framework conditions and protection concepts are defined uniformly, leanly and practically throughout Switzerland and that they are not strained cantonally or locally.”

The SMPA also argues that the live events industry shouldn’t have to absorb the costs of the restrictions that remain.

“We demand that costs for infrastructure, personnel and tests on-site are borne by the public purse”

“We demand that costs for infrastructure, personnel and tests on-site are borne by the public purse, not just the test material. In view of the increasing number of events, the cantons also need additional test capacities in the regions with major events,” it writes.

The association says that the relaxation of coronavirus measures has restored confidence in some promoters, though the news comes too late for many festival organisers.

OpenAir St.Gallen (1–4 July), Gurtenfestival (14–17 July), Caribana Festival (16–20 July), Thunerseespiele (14–28 August), Paléo Festival Nyon (19–25 July), Greenfield Festival (3–5 June), Rock the Ring (17–19 June) and Baloise Session (23 October to 10 November) called off their 2021 editions earlier this year.

The remaining festivals in Swizterland’s summer season include Summer Now (Biel), Montreux Jazz Festival, Winterthur Music Festival Weeks, Open Air Gampel, SummerDays Festival (Arbon), Seaside Festival (Spiez), Cheerful Events (Zofingen), Weihern Open Air (St. Gallen), Blausee Concerts, and Unique Moments (Zurich).

Switzerland is the latest market to announce the resumption of non-socially distanced shows, along with France, Belgium, the Netherlands, DenmarkAustria and the UK.

 


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Swiss industry increasingly frustrated at restrictions

The Swiss live music industry has expressed frustration at the government’s next rollback of restrictions, which will only see minor improvements to the current capacity limits.

The government announced today that restrictions will be relaxed from 31 May as part of the second ‘stabilisation’ phase of the country’s three-stage roadmap.

From 31 May, indoor public events will be limited to 100 people instead of 50, while outdoor events will be capped at 300 people instead of 100. Social distancing restrictions will apply to all public events.

In the wake of the news, the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA) is demanding that the federal council relax restrictions for events and raise the capacity limit to 1,000 from the end of May.

“The requirements and restrictions for major events defined in the draft ordinance are generally perceived as very strict in relation to other regulated areas (shopping centres, markets, religious gatherings, etc.),” reads a statement from the SMPA.

The SMPA goes on to insist that events with a GGG certificate can be held from 1 July 2021 without additional requirements

The association goes on to say that no other industry is expected to restrict access to those who have recovered from the virus, have a recent negative test, or are fully vaccinated (known as the GGG concept), on top of adhering to distance rules, mask and seating requirements.

The SMPA goes on to insist that events with a GGG certificate be held from 1 July 2021 without additional requirements, regardless of how many people take part in the event.

“If events are restricted to GGG people, the risk of infection can be classified as negligible. The feasibility of events with a GGG certificate in a clearly defined transition phase and the correspondingly consistent admission control must not be associated with any further requirements. Additional requirements are irrelevant and represent a considerable tightening of the measures, which would offer the population and the industry no perspective,” says the alliance.

The government had previously said that from the end of May, the Swiss cantons should be able to approve large-scale events with up to 3,000 visitors (subject to restrictions), provided they are held after 1 July 2021 – in line with the country’s ‘protective umbrella’ insurance scheme.

The federal council also suggested that, from September 1, the upper capacity limit would be increased to 10,000 people. It is yet to be seen whether the government will allow these restriction rollbacks.

 


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