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Driift’s Ric Salmon on what’s next for livestreaming

Livestreaming will play a supporting role in the live industry’s return to touring, according to Driift CEO Ric Salmon.

In an interview with IQ magazine, Salmon said Driift is getting a “steady” level of inquiries for livestream events in 2022.

“Managers and artists are rightly focused on getting their businesses back up and running, and that, of course, means looking at all types of activity,” explains Salmon.

“But the words ‘live stream’ have quickly become part of the common lexicon, and we’re seeing people come to us talking about album campaigns and tours happening in 9-12 months and wanting to do a live stream within that window.

“I think the question has to be: why wouldn’t you add this type of activity to your plans alongside traditional shows, releases, and promo?” he adds.

The UK-based livestreaming company was founded in August 2020 by Salmon and Brian Message and has since sold more than 600,000 tickets for livestreamed gigs with acts including Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Kylie Minogue, Biffy Clyro, Andrea Bocelli, Laura Marling, Dermot Kennedy, Courtney Barnett and Sheryl Crow.

Its previous partners include the UK’s Glastonbury Festival where the company conceptualised, created and produced the ‘Live At Worthy Farm’ event, which featured artists including Coldplay, Haim, Jorja Smith, Idles, Wolf Alice, Michael Kiwanuka, Damon Albarn and The Smile.

“At Driift, we’ve taken a really high level of curation and artistry to the shows we’ve produced and delivered over the last 18 months, and, ultimately, I think that’s what’s driven our momentum and success,” says Salmon.

“”Technology will have a large part to do with ensuring people remain engaged in this new format”

“Technology will have a large part to do with ensuring people remain engaged in this new format, but perhaps more importantly it comes down to artistry and creativity. Frankly, we’ve seen too many shows that just aren’t good enough. These events, these online experiences, can be so much more.”

Off the back of an impressive 18 months, Driift has attracted investment from Paris-based global streaming company Deezer, and launched additional operations in New York in US and Perth in Australia.

Going into 2022, Salmon says that the company is “well setup for whatever the coming years have to throw at us”.

“Broadly speaking, like all of us, I want to see our industry bounce back and thrive. And largely, I believe it will but with a few more bumps in the road. It’s hugely important that businesses, large or small, push themselves, innovate, diversify, and grow. At our group of companies (ATC/Driift), we’re coming out of the last 18 months a more diverse, more exciting, and better-organised business.”

Upcoming shows for Driift include a series live stream with new band The Smile, comprising Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood and Sons Of Kemet’s Tom Skinner.

The Smile will play three consecutive live shows within 24 hours on 29 and 30 January at Magazine London which will be broadcast live in real time.

 


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ASM Global acquires AV tech specialist AJP

ASM Global has acquired a controlling interest in AV technology specialist Anthony James Partners (AJP).

AJP’s experience and knowledge of the industry will be used to help inform ASM’s strategic decisions on major investments into complex technology and integration solutions.

The partnership will bolster the venue giant’s technological capabilities through the strategic deployment of digital signage networks; LED displays; broadcast production facilities; audio and sports/entertainment lighting; along with “core integration and infrastructure requirements” for ASM arenas, stadiums and convention centres.

“Demand for cutting-edge technology solutions for our vast network of facilities has been steadily increasing,” says Ron Bension, ASM Global president and CEO. “AJP and their excellent leadership team are best in class. A trusted resource, they provide unique services and employ a proven process that will protect the best interests of our clients. Our partnership with AJP further solidifies our position as the premier provider in live-entertainment services, content and technology.”

“ASM’s leadership and management expertise will support new opportunities for AJP to expand our value offering and services across a global footprint”

AJP recently participated in an $8 million (€7m) facility upgrade project for the ASM-managed KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and AV design for El Distrito in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“ASM and AJP have been great working partners for many years, and we’re honoured to be part of the ASM Global family,” says Michael Rowe, AJP CEO and a founding partner. “ASM’s leadership and management expertise will support new opportunities for AJP to expand our value offering and services across a global footprint.”

“Technology is evolving at an exponential rate,” adds Frank Moraski, AJP COO and a founding partner. “Together, ASM and AJP have the unique opportunity to fundamentally change the way technology-based projects are being imagined and implemented. We’re excited to get to work.”

AJP provides technical and design management services for venues such as Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona and Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 


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Ticketek integrates mobile tickets with Covid apps

Ticketek has simplified entry for Australian live events by integrating mobile tickets with Covid check-in and vaccination status apps.

In what the TEG-owned firm is hailing as a global first for the live entertainment industry, the digital technology will enable fans to check in to venues directly from their mobile ticket and verify their vaccination status in just a few taps on their phone.

Ticketek has partnered with the Victorian government on the innovative scheme, which will be available to fans at Ticketek venues in the state from this week.

“Ticketek is proud to support the Victorian government in helping Victoria reopen using our Australian-built, world-first technology, which will allow fans to return faster and safer to venues to watch their favourite artists and sporting events,” says Geoff Jones, CEO of Ticketek’s parent company TEG. “We are thrilled to help Victorians enjoy the magic of live sport and entertainment again.”

We have transformed the ticket from just a means to gain access to venues into a rich communication platform

Concert-goers will be able to check in directly from their mobile ticket through a deep-link into the Service Victoria App, then verify their check-in and vaccination status at bag check by switching between the government app and their mobile ticket in a single tap.

Cameron Hoy, MD of Ticketek, adds: “Innovation is at the heart of everything we do, and our team has consistently led the world in digital ticketing technology. We have transformed the ticket from just a means to gain access to venues into a rich communication platform to promote Covid-safe measures and enable other engagement opportunities for our partners. We are excited to be partnering with the Andrews Labor Government in their efforts to make the return of crowds as safe as possible.”

The digital ticketing check-in solution will be rolled out across Ticketek venues in other Australian states in the coming weeks.

 


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PULSE: Highlights from ILMC’s new tech event

PULSE is an all-new platform that sits at the intersection of technology and live entertainment. A collaboration between ILMC, senior booking agent Mike Malak (Paradigm), and digital entertainment expert Yvan Boudillet (TheLynk), the first PULSE event took place at ILMC today (3 March), welcoming leading figures from both industries for a full day of discussion and debate.

Tickets for ILMC 33, which include all panels, including PULSE, available to watch back until 5 April 2021, are still available. Click here for more information.

 


The final Pulse session of the day, The Business of Live Tech, brought together industry heads to discuss emerging business models and new deals around tech and music.

One of the panel’s most interesting discourses was about the perceived fan-appetite for livestreaming before, during and after the pandemic.

Steve Hancock, Melody VR/Napster (UK) points out that fans’ demand for livestreaming was strong before the pandemic and will continue to be a valuable complementary offering to live.

“Just exclusively VR, we moved on to mobile smartphone and tablet in 2019, where we launched our real-time live technology at Wireless with Live Nation in Finsbury Park. We did all three days, multi-stage, multi-cam jumps and had 250,000 people coming through the app on the first weekend at that festival and it showed everyone that appetite was there.

“And as we introduced paywalls, as the market progressed, people were good with it. Livestreaming will never replace live but I think a hybrid, and marriage, of physical and digital attendance is, in my opinion, the way forward,” said Hancock.

Olenik ventured that the way to keep fans interested in livestreaming events post-pandemic is to offer bonus features

Lesley Olenik, Live Nation (US), ventured that the way to keep fans interested in livestreaming events post-pandemic is to offer bonus features for those watching at home.

“If you have a world tour that you’re planning and if the artist is open to it, giving people access to maybe like the rehearsals or the soundcheck and doing some sort of virtual meet and greet could appeal to fans around the world. Billie Eilish did a really cool video that was shown before her live stream with her crew and how they all work together to bring this show to life and like what an undertaking is and fans loved it,” said Olenik.

Justin Lubliner, Darkroom (US), agreed and warned that without features tailored specifically for at-home livestreaming, fans’ interest could waiver.

“Billie’s show was an amazing live stream experience: I think the differentiating factor between the one that we did [with Billie] and the one that I’ve seen from other artists was that it was created specifically to be watched behind a computer and a TV. Not to offend anyone but personally, I am less bullish about the general virtual concert space,” he said.

Cheryl Paglierani, United Talent Agency (US), echoed that thought: “There is going to be ways for us to create virtual balconies or virtual meet and greet experiences if they’re already doing you can add, you know more and maybe it’s through zoom or whatever platform so you know it helps the artist generate more revenue, as opposed to you know just the bodies that are in the building, that’s what people are discussing right now and trying to find the best solutions for, but I do think people will be willing to pay for it for sure.”

Asking how to keep the fan at the centre of new virtual performance spaces, The New Fan Experience welcomed Sheri Bryant from virtual events platform Sansar, who spoke of the importance of connecting fans with performers while avoiding trying to compete with the live experience.

Livestreaming, said Driift’s Ric Salmon, is the “holy grail” for artists. “It’s a direct-to-fan format,” he said. “The ecosystem between the artist and the fan is complicated and there are a lot of mouths to feed in that process – [livestreaming] provides us with an opportunity to realign that relationship.

When choosing a platform, said Tommas Arnby (Locomotion), “you want to go where the fans are”. Streaming, he said, is about “creat[ing] scarce, unique moments. You want to really make something that blows the fans away – give them something they didn’t expect.”

Where the sector goes next, suggested Brandon Goodman of Best Friends Music “depends on the artist. It’s important for the creative to make sense with the artist – I don’t think artists should necessarily do what Billie [Eilish] did. For exampled, I loved the Dermot Kennedy stream – but I don’t think Dermot Kennedy in an XR world, like Billie, would be very on-brand for an artist like him.”

Trivium frontman Matt Heafy opened The Livestreamers’ Guide to Live Music by talking about his following on videogame-focused livestreaming site Twitch, where has more than 200,000 subscribers (many of whom also tuned into the ILMC panel).

While Heafy has been streaming on Twitch for years (including every Trivium show for the past three), “it took up until the pandemic happening for my channel to really take off,” he explained. It’s because of his putting in that groundwork, he added, that, “now that everyone’s stuck at home, they know to come and see what Matt’s been telling us about all this time.”

Julie Bogaert from Facebook spoke of the importance for streamers of having a “presence on as many platforms as possible,” in addition to Facebook and Instagram, “because they all have different audiences”.

For livestreamers, viewer engagement is key, added Heafy. “That’s what separates live from video. That viewer-streamer relationship is the big difference [between a live broadcast and] a video that already exists.

“It’s really that human element that’s important. I’ve heard it described as the Bruce Dickinson effect. Iron Maiden have been playing arenas for 20 years, but what he can do is make even the person in the nosebleed seats feel like the show is all about them.”

Building an audience on a platform like Twitch is “a grind”, admitted Wiktoria Wójcik of esports specialist InStreamly. “You have to prepare to stream to, say, every day, or once a week – you need to have a schedule, and always deliver.”

Livestreaming, she added, “isn’t an easy way to be discovered, because you’re going live for a few hours and then you vanish, as it’s live content only. You have to have a place where you aggregate your fans and them push them towards your live streams.”’

Asian Agent’s Danny Lee, who works with a number of K-pop acts, described the subtle differences between the various platforms. For example, “Instagram Live is very immediate,” he said. “People just go right into it. Whereas on something like V Live, which is a very popular Korean livestreaming app, a streamer may start out by just looking at the camera for five minutes.”

Livestreaming will not replace live, said Wójcik, but act as an add-on in future. “Even when we come out of this, there will still be people who can’t come to see you in person or come to your shows, so streaming will provide a way to connect with those fans.”


Pulse continued with Sweet Streams – Best in Class, which saw Lars-Oliver Vogt, Live Nation GSA, assemble leaders in the livestreaming space to share best practice and reflect on 2020’s standout events.

James Sutcliffe, LiveNow Global (UK), reflected on the success of Dua Lipa’s first ticketed virtual show, Studio 2054, which took place late last year and garnered more than 500 million views and 300,000 ticket sales.

LiveNow splashed out a whopping $1.5 million in realising the Dua Lipa project but big budgets are part of the company’s business model, said Sutcliffe.

“We’re not afraid to invest and I think it’s important for us to ensure that the quality levels of the content and the product that we’re putting out is high. And by us coming to the table with the willingness to invest and help curate these shows, it gives them the best possible chance of the end product being as good as you’ve just seen.”

Mike Schabel, Kiswe (US), enjoyed similar success with K-pop band BTS and their Map of the Soul On:e pay-per-view live stream, which saw 993,000 people across 193 countries tune in.

“How does livestreaming become more than just a promotional vehicle or novelty for mid-range acts”

Schabel says the most exciting thing about the live stream was “the number of innovations we’ve brought to the table for the audience” including multiple cameras to choose from, multi-language live closed captioning and Bluetooth-enabled light sticks.

However, the “live live” aspect of the shows was “an overwhelming challenge that everybody in this space knows”.

Speaking on the role of an agent in livestreaming, Natasha Gregory, Mother Artists (UK), says that while there’s been little financial gain, there’s been a lot to learn.

“I really wanted to get involved and find out how streaming works and how many tickets you can sell for a rock band, for instance, Idles who sell 2,500 tickets in London, and how that can reflect.”

“[Idles livestream] was at least six weeks of solid work and what you get out of it is minimal. I mean we did 12,000 streams but we did decide to use it more as a marketing tool,” she adds.

“It’s really about what can you do differently [with livestreaming] that makes it actually viable”

However, Tim Westergreen, Sessions Live (US), asked “how does livestreaming become more than just a promotional vehicle or novelty for mid-range acts?”.

“It’s really about what can you do differently that makes it actually viable, so that an average band can take advantage of what should be a great platform. You can do all sorts of different ticketing to offer the ability to connect with a band that the real world doesn’t allow you and unless you until you do that and do that in a scalable way, [livestreaming] will continue to be more elitist.”

Westergreen says that the monetisation of livestreaming for mid-range acts depends on two things: a fan and audience development platform as well as a monetisation mechanism similar to those tried and tested in gaming.

“How do you monetise engagement? That’s what gaming has done for two decades now it’s why, as an industry, it’s been so much more successful than music in the digital era.”

“It has only taken 10 months for fans to accept they have to pay for tickets to a live stream”

Fabrice Sergent, Bandsintown group (US), says: “There’s hope, and not just for the large artists”.

Sergeant says that last year Bandsintown listed 70,000 live streams last year, 75% of which were actually listed by artists of less than 100,000 followers.

Not only that but from July to October, the number of live streams that were ticketed jumped from 2% to 50%.

“For something that started as a free medium, it has only taken 10 months for fans to accept they have to pay for tickets to a live stream. When you think back to the time when music was pirated on Napster and it took 10 years for fans to finally accept to buy a subscription to music streaming.”

 


Pulse kicked off with New Technology Pitches, hosted by Steve Machin LiveFrom Events (UK), comprised of quick-fire presentations on the best new tech and innovation in the business.

First up, Arjun Mehta (US) showcased Moment House’s premium digital platform for live creators.

“How do you marry technology with culture? That’s the question at the heart of our approach,” Mehta says.

Mehta explained that Moment House was launched because he felt “a fundamental tool was missing from the internet”.

“This was never meant to be a replacement for a physical concert. We built it from the standpoint of ‘how do we craft the most compelling digital fan experience digitally?’… a brand new unit that’s fully complementary to the physical world.”

“How do you marry technology with culture? That’s the question at the heart of [Moment House’s] approach”

Mehta says Moment House is built on three core principles: “Number one is beautiful design – a beautiful user experience that really prioritises the fan. Number two is our messaging and how we frame Moment House to both the artists and fans as this new independent unit of a moment. The third thing is curating the sorts of artists on the platform…it’s very important to us that we took a top-down approach and brought some of the world’s biggest superstars onto the platform.”

Eight Day Sound then presented its Virtual Live Audience (VLA) technology, which “meaningfully reconnects audiences to the entertainment they love”.

“VLA is cutting edge proprietary technology that allows for seamless communication between presenters and audiences with low latency and high quality remote participants are displayed via video screens on site and the team can customise the layout.”

“The sky is the limit for the number of participants able to join VLA, which means that the audience is no longer limited to the venue, and there are opportunities for scalable ticketing sponsorship, advertising and other revenue-generating streams. You can maximise event profits.”

Next to the stand was Vladic Ravich, who told ILMC delegates how Bramble came to be.

Vladic and co-founder Salimah Ebrahim launched Bramble to offer “a more human way to gather online”

The company behind Bramble, Artery, started as a way to “connect people with cultural experience” by helping users set up secret events in their own homes.

When the pandemic hit, rendering Artery’s business model redundant, Vladic and co-founder Salimah Ebrahim launched Bramble which sought to offer “a more human way to gather online”.

“What makes Bramble a good gathering? The first thing is our proprietary fluid video technology, and if you haven’t seen this kind of spatial video and audio, it’s immediately intuitive.”

Bramble also offers a customisable performance venue that has hosted events including the House of Yes’s Halloween show as well as the Artist and Manager awards.

Next up, Param Kanabar tells ILMC delegates about Noq, a cashless and contactless ordering system that “looks at tackling queue management and issues around queuing at events”.

Noq is “a hybrid blend between a marketplace app as well as a branding solution”

“You just need a QR code specific to a particular event. This could be shared with customers, ahead of the event, whether that be through a website, social media, tickets, newsletters.

“Additionally, at the event, there’ll be multiple touch points, at the entrance, near the food zones. So when customers scan a QR code, they are taken straight to a festival landing page where they’re able to see all the vendors that are around them.

“This is great because there’s a lot of increase in folks being gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. Plus people have food allergies. So, communicating what you want in a busy festival and an event is difficult sometimes. And so from a customer perspective, having this and access to view everything that is around them is important.”

Kanabar says Noq’s unique selling point is that the app is “ultimately a hybrid blend between a marketplace app as well as a branding solution”.

Notetracks founder and CEO Kam Lal was next in line to deliver his pitch on what was dubbed ‘Asana for video and audio’.

Lookport is “the biggest video livestreaming platform in Eastern Europe”

The platform to share music, video, audio projects and gather feedback and notes.

“The problem we aim to solve is working on audio and video files remotely. Currently, you know the tools are very fragmented and there’s a disconnected workflow – it’s not very collaborative. So our solution is one workspace where you could review and collaborate in a seamless environment and gather feedback.”

Lookport’s Alex Wolf was next to the stand to tell delegates about “the biggest video livestreaming platform in Eastern Europe” which has hosted 150 livestreams throughout the pandemic and boasts more than 90 million views.

Wolf said the unique selling point of Lookport is that it provides a full service, from promoting the event, to producing it, to selling tickets, and then streaming the show.

“Lockport is a completely web based solution and you don’t need to then launch any specific application, we created our own web player so users can watch our content from any device. The player can also be embedded into any web page or landing site.”

“It is next to impossible today to receive audience data for an artist or event team all in one place”

Last but by no means least, Aivar took to the virtual stage to pitch FanSifter.

“It is next to impossible today to receive audience data for an artist or event team all in one place, in one format because data is locked into silos both in music and live. To get that data out of the silos is now more important than ever because, with cookie-based targeting and advertising sunsetting, artists and all the partners, management teams, promoters, labels, merch stores, even brands need to collaborate on these first party audience data sets, have to comply to GDPR and other privacy laws. FanSifter exists to solve this with a collaborative and privacy-compliant customer data platform.”

 


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IQ Focus: Tech pros chart a way forward for concerts

The most recent edition of IQ Focus brought together representatives from some of live music’s leading technology, production and venue companies to shine a light on the various technological solutions helping to get concerts back on the road while Covid-19 is still a threat.

The Technology of a Pandemic, streamed live at 4pm yesterday (30 June), saw chair Steve Machin (LiveFrom.Events) invite Adam Goodyer of Realife Tech (formerly LiveStyled), Brigitte Fuss of Megaforce, Seats.io’s Joren De Wachter, ASM Global’s John Sharkey and Paul Twomey of Biosecurity Systems to discuss the technologies and systems that will allow venues to function at their peak until a coronavirus vaccine is found.

After a round of introductions, Sharkey showed a video demonstrating the concept behind ASM’s VenueShield hygiene system, as well as its successful trial at ASM’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, with an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event on 9 May.

“For us, the key thing is, we need to understand that we do have a viable business to come back to,” he commented, “and that it has to work to generate confidence, not just the back of house and in front of house but with our staff and everybody coming through our buildings.”

That’s especially true, he added, “whenever we are going to be changing to suit the jurisdictions that we operate in, and also the changing state and cycle of where we are in dealing with the virus.”

Moving onto social distancing, Machin suggested that “in seated venues maybe it’s somewhat easier because you can run different seat maps” and other solutions to put space between guests, but “social distancing in [standing] venues is hard.”

“The real challenge, as I see it, is making sure that customers stick to the rules,” he added.

“Regulators all saw things differently after September 11. I think the same thing is true for biosecurity with Covid-19”

For any person involved in producing live events currently, the ability to be flexible is key, said De Wachter. “There are certain things we can’t control: We don’t know when a second wave will hit a particular place, we don’t know what authorities will do… so what you need to do from the technology perspective is have this flexibility that allows you to react quickly to changing situations.”

“Covid-19 is just one of five or six diseases we’ve had which have been epidemics, if not pandemics, over the last 15 to 20 years, and we can expect to see that happen again,” commented Twomey, emphasising that events must prepare for outbreaks of other diseases in future.

“I think that the challenges for events, organisers and facilities is to make the investment now – not just for this infection, but the future ones,” he continued, adding that the coronavirus pandemic is as much of a turning point for venue safety as the events of 11 September 2001.

“The comparison with September 11 is pretty clear: there was terrorism before, there was terrorism after, but the consumers and the governments and the regulators all saw things differently after September 11. I think the same thing is true for biosecurity with Covid-19. Everything is different now, so even after we get some improvement with vaccines, etc., in the next couple years, I think it’s still important people make the investment in the sorts of facilities, equipment and solutions that consumers are going to keep looking for.”

Fuss, who also represents disinfecting company ATDS Europe, revealed that ATDS has a solution to ensure that cases of equipment brought into venues or festivals are Covid-19 free.“We have a hygiene gate which can be placed directly at the truck’s loading dock, so when the cases go out they go directly through this disinfection shower,” she explained.

Fuss also spoke on the track-and-trace system already in operation in Germany, which could be adapted to allow venues to reopen without social distancing, as they already have in places like Korea. In Germany, “we already have small events, and if you go there or if you are on the guest list you have to write down your name, your address and your your phone number or email, so that in case of Covid-19 we can follow you up and see who had contact with you,” she said.

“People want to be able to enjoy events again. If they’re willing to share their data, it’s genuinely a good thing”

Coronavirus aside, said Goodyer, this level of data capture is something venues “should be striving for anyway”. “But the reason to do it has now changed,” he continued, “and people want to be able to enjoy events again. If they’re willing to do that [share their details] – and we’re doing it across all of our portfolio – it’s genuinely a good thing.

“And we’re seeing that fans are happy to do it when it’s clearly explained and that they know their data is being held securely and privately.”

“We have to rebuild trust with people who want to go to events, so that they know that they will be safe,” added De Wachter, “and the same is true for their data and for their whereabouts. I don’t think we can wait for a vaccine, because it’s going be too long: we need to get people back into events and to rebuild that relationship now.”

“I think the way we communicate about all of this is going to be absolutely key,” he concluded. “We need to make sure that people know that they can trust event organisers that the right thing will be done. […] There’s going to be a need for a massive amount of increased transparency, in how ticket buyers are being treated before, after and during the event.

“It’s a human business, and in human businesses, in order to build trust, you need to communicate as much as possible.”

For more discussion and debate, watch the session back now on YouTube or Facebook.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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‘A space of music discovery’: New ADE boss talks first year

The 24th edition of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) will take place under new leadership, as director Mariana Sanchotene looks to boost daytime offerings, incorporate different art forms and explore the crossover between music and technology.

From 16 to 20 October, ADE festival and conference will take over the concert halls, clubs, and theatres of the Dutch capital. More than 2,500 artists and 600 speakers are expected to take part in the event.

“ADE is massive, it really is mind blowing to be in charge,” Sanchotene tells IQ ahead of her first year leading the event. “The planning is going well so far and it is looking like we will have a strong programme this year.”

The festival recently released its second wave of artists, with DJs Avalon Emerson, Peggy Gou and Carl Craig joining previously announced acts Martin Garrix, the Black Madonna, New Order, Carl Cox and Helena Hauff.

A record 400,000 people attended ADE last year, but Sanchotene states the event has no ambition for growing attendance further.

“We are staying with the same number of venues [140] as last year and expect to match attendance,” says the ADE boss, explaining that the city of Amsterdam is “overwhelmed” by visitors as it is.

“My advice to anyone attending ADE is to experiment with new artists”

“The focus is on increasing artistic quality and on growing the day programme in particular to showcase the crossover between electronic music and different cultural forms such as the visual and performing arts,” explains Sanchotene.

The crossover between different musical styles is important for the ADE director too, who believes that people are “more curious” these days and more likely to deviate from what they know.

“My advice to anyone attending ADE is to experiment with new artists. Don’t just go for the usual suspects, really dig into what new talent is on offer,” Sanchotene tells IQ. “ADE is a space of music discovery – I am very much looking forward to seeing how all the acts turn out.”

The 2019 conference will focus on the celebration of 100 years of electronic musical instruments, with exhibits of old equipment and experts speaking about antique gear. The event will also look to the future with an exploration of how technology is shaping the industry, particularly of how augmented reality and gaming are interacting with electronic music.

Health will also be another important topic at the conference, with panel discussions on wellbeing and relaxation spaces to “remind people of the balance” between work, socialising and rest.

Tickets for ADE 2019 are available here, priced at €450 for a five-day festival and conference pass and at €300 for a four-day conference-only pass. Prices go up on Sunday 1 September.

 


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Scooter Braun launches music tech investment group

Former BMG president Zach Katz has launched investment vehicle Raised In Space Enterprises with Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings and Ripple’s Xpring, an initiative focused on developing blockchain projects.

Raised In Space Enterprises provides funding to entrepreneurs with technology solutions across all aspects of the music industry, including ticketing, touring and fan engagement. Investments range from US$500,000 to $5 million.

The company hopes to capitalise on its partnership with Ripple’s Xpring, integrating blockchain technology and the digital asset XRP to benefit and impact the music industry.

“We will unify the most forward-thinking leaders in both music and technology to foster a community and ideas that will ultimately catapult the music industry into the future,” states Raised In Space founder and chief executive, Katz.

Katz launches the investment vehicle following his December departure from the US division of music publisher BMG, where he held the position of president. He teams up with famed artist manager, Braun, and technology and music entrepreneur, Shara Senderoff, in founding Raised In Space.

“The relationship between music and technology has massive untapped potential”

Braun, who manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, is the founder of venture-capital firm Ithaca Holdings and an early investor in numerous technology companies.

“The relationship between music and technology has massive untapped potential,” says Braun. “I’m excited to launch a company focused on bridging these two industries in a transformative and actionable manner that raises the value of music.”

Braun has worked with Ripple’s Xpring, a blockchain technology and investment firm, on various projects. The company is “excited about blockchain’s potential to solve problems in the entertainment space,” says Ripple’s Xpring senior vice president, Ethan Beard.

“Xpring is about empowering the best entrepreneurs to apply technologies like the XRP Ledger in new and novel ways. We are excited to see how the entrepreneurs they [Kantz, Braun and Senderoff] back will build new solutions that can reshape the music industry.”

 


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Ticketmaster partners with Comcast to sell tickets through cable TV

In what has been labelled an “industry-first,” Ticketmaster has announced a partnership with US-based telecommunications company Comcast to enable prospective concertgoers to purchase tickets directly through their television screens.

Comcast Xfinity X1 subscribers will be able to search nearby concerts and upcoming dates and “request” tickets through their TV’s set top box. Once requested, a text message code is sent to users, who are able to finalise their purchase online.

The 2019 The Meaning of Life tour from American singer Kelly Clarkson is the first to be promoted through the service. Using the X1’s voice control feature, users can say “Kelly Clarkson Tour” into their remote and be redirected to a Clarkson-specific screen with access to exclusive presale tickets. The two companies have confirmed the integration will be rolled out across a number of concerts in the future.

“This partnership with Comcast is a groundbreaking way to discover events and buy tickets.”

Speaking about this newest partnership, Ticketmaster’s senior vice president and general manager for distributed commerce Dan Armstrong comments, “Our team is always thinking of new ways to reach more fans by extending Ticketmaster’s open platform.

“This partnership with Comcast is a groundbreaking way to discover events and buy tickets.”

This newest feature is the latest technological expansion for Ticketmaster. Last month, Ticketmaster partnered with Samsung’s Bixby virtual assistant to allow users to purchase tickets via the voice control feature on their smartphones. Additionally, the ticketing platform also has third-party integrations with Facebook, Spotify, Groupon, BandsinTown and Youtube.

 


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Ex-LN sports chief Burnett named AudienceView MD

AudienceView, a Canada-based developer of ecommerce software for venues and live events, has appointed Michael Burnett as managing director for the UK and Europe.

Burnett (pictured) – a founder and former managing director of See Tickets, and most recently director of sport at Live Nation/Ticketmaster – will lead “all aspects of AudienceView’s business operations in the UK and Europe, including current customer success, new customer acquisitions, local partner enablement and overall business success”, says the Toronto-headquartered company.

He heads up a team of 16 AudienceView staff in Britain and continental Europe.

“We are delighted to welcome an executive of Michael’s calibre to our leadership team,” says AudienceView COO Michael Bryce. “In addition to his expert understanding of ticketing and technology, Michael has the industry credibility to lead our company efforts and build on our continued momentum in the UK and Europe.

“With the industry’s strongest and most innovative solution, AudienceView has an incredibly exciting opportunity to grow in the region”

“With Michael as a senior executive based permanently in the UK, we have the right leadership in place to help our clients maximise their potential with our solutions and pursue the significant growth opportunities we see in the market.”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2016, AudienceView’s clients, which include more than 550 venues in 15 countries, “put the inventory of their events into AudienceView’s platform, where tickets are sold [alongside] extras like merchandise and parking. Customer data is collected and can then be used by clients for marketing purposes in the future.” Bryce described the company as being founded “on a notion that the ticket shouldn’t be at the centre of the solution or the business process; the customer or consumer should be.”

Commenting on his appointment, Burnett says: “With the industry’s strongest and most innovative solution, AudienceView has an incredibly exciting opportunity to grow in the region and to shape the future of entertainment ticketing and ecommerce. I am excited to help establish deeper relationships with our existing clients, welcome new organisations to the AudienceView family and help all of our partners reach their business goals.”

 


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Bonnaroo app offers personal festival playlists

Bonnaroo 2016-goers can relive their festival experience through the Bonnaroo mobile app thanks to new technology debuted by the application’s developer, Aloompa.

Using 300 on-site bluetooth beacons – the same set-up that allowed the company to analyse the most in-demand US festival performers of 2015 – Aloompa tracked attendees’ behaviour at Tennessee festival, including the bands they saw, and then used the data to create a unique playlist, or ‘Livestory’, accessible from the festival app. This Livestory (Bonnaroo’s is named My Setlist for Bonnaroo) features “curated artist imagery and music” and can be streamed and shared with friends.

Aloompa says Livestories are “an engagement-rich opportunity for brands to connect with attendees on a deeper level” and that a “popular Diageo vodka brand” – it’s Smirnoff Ice – “took advantage of Livestory at this year’s festival”.

“Livestories allow us to learn more about our audience so that we can improve the festival experience year over year”

Bonnaroo’s Jeff Cuellar says: “We’re continually working to enhance the attendee experience and create fan first integrations not found at any other festival. Leveraging Aloompa’s innovative platform, we’ve developed a unique way for fans to compile their Bonnaroo music memories in one place. This also allows us to learn more about our audience so that we can improve the festival experience year over year.”

Bonnaroo 2016 was the least-attended in the festival’s history, with ticket sales down 28,156 on last year and 46% from an all-time high of 85,094 in 2011, although promoter Live Nation remains bullish about its prospects, describing it as “vibrant as ever”.

 


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