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Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival to expand for 2021

Grammy award-nominated rapper Travis Scott has announced that his Astroworld Festival will return this year with an expanded format due to ‘overwhelming demand’.

The third edition of Astroworld Festival will take place on 5 and 6 November at NRG Park in Scott’s hometown, Houston, Texas, with a line-up curated by the artist himself.

Scott has revealed that he will be headlining Astroworld Festival 2021, which will adopt the theme ‘Open Your Eyes To A Whole New Universe’, while the full line-up will be announced closer to the time.

The previous two events have sold out before line-ups were revealed.

In 2019 the festival became the largest single-day artist-curated music festival in the country

According to Live Nation, in November 2019, the festival became the largest single-day artist-curated music festival in the country, as well as the largest music festival in Houston as the sold-out event played host to over 50,000 fans.

The festival, which celebrates hip-hop, pop music, has hosted the likes of Post Malone, Rosalia, Pharrell Williams, Da Baby, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Playboi Carti and Megan Thee Stallion.

Two-day GA passes will be available for purchase beginning next 5 May at 10 am CT on AstroworldFest.com.

A portion of proceeds from Astroworld Festival 2021 will be donated to the festival’s official charity partner, Cactus Jack Foundation, founded by Scott.

The expansion of the festival follows Astronomical, Scott’s record-breaking in-game concert event which took place in Fortnite in April 2020 and attracted more than 12 million players.

 


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Two killed in Texas music venue shooting

Two people were killed and at least five injured in a shooting during a concert at the Ventura in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday night (19 January).

Police were called to the music venue at 8 p.m. last night, after a gunman opened fire inside the club. According to San Antonio police chief William McManus, the shooting occurred after an argument broke out in bar.

The concert, dubbed ‘Living the Dream’, featured multiple emerging acts and local musicians including Jonathan Tyler, Hoax and MikeNo$leep.

The shooting prompted a mixed reaction on the venue’s Facebook page, with some users defending the bar as “an excellent spot for up-and-coming musicians” and stating that similar issues had never occurred before. Others criticised the venue for a perceived lack of security enforcement.

A police search for the gunman is ongoing.

 


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OVG breaks ground on new Moody Center arena

Oak View Group has broken ground on the Moody Center, a new multi-purpose 15,000-seat arena at the University of Texas in Austin.

The US$338 million venue will replace the university’s existing arena, the 42-year-old Frank C. Erwin Jr Center. In addition to hosting local sporting fixtures and university events, Moody Center will provide a “world-class venue for top touring concerts and shows” in the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world.

The start of construction on Moody Center comes amid a building boom for Oak View Group (OVG), the venue development, advisory and investment company founded in 2015 by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff. Other in-development projects include arenas in Seattle, Washington; Belmont, New York; Palm Springs, California; Milan, Italy; and Manchester, UK.

Live Nation Entertainment will work with its local subsidiary, C3 Presents, to bring top tours and live events to Moody Center. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino says: “The Moody Center will be a must-play arena and we look forward to bringing our concerts and tours there as soon as the doors open in 2022.”

“The Moody Center will be a must-play arena”

“Being a fourth-generation Austinite, I grew up in the Frank Erwin Center and have hundreds of memories with my family and friends, adds Charles Attal, Partner, C3 Presents. “It is an honour to work on this new world-class event centre for the next generation to enjoy.”

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, a University of Texas (UT) professor, becomes ‘minister of culture’ of the Moody Center, and will provide input on suite designs, bar placement, colour schemes and more.

“As a proud alumnus and professor at UT, I’m honoured, now as minister of culture, to convey what a special place the university and the city of Austin are through the design and hospitality of the new Moody Center. It should be the first place the biggest bands in the world want to play, but the last place a visiting basketball team wants to play.”

 


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The New Bosses 2019: Sophie Lobl, C3 Presents

The New Bosses 2019 – the biggest-ever edition of IQ‘s yearly roundup of future live industry leaders, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 85 last month revealing the twelve promising agents, promoters, bookers and execs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2019’s New Bosses, to discover their greatest inspirations and proudest achievements, pinpoint the reasons for their success and obtain advice for those hoping to be a future New Boss. Snippets of the interviews can be found in the September edition of IQ Magazine.

All interviews have now been reproduced in full online and on IQ Index, but this is not the last you will hear from these promising young execs. The New Bosses will play a key role in the forthcoming edition of Futures Forum, the discussion and networking event for the next generation of industry leaders that debuted at ILMC 31 in March. 

The final new boss is Sophie Lobl (28), global festival buyer at C3 Presents in Texas. Born in London, Lobl made her way to the United States after graduating from Leeds University in the UK. Starting her career at BBC Radio 1, she later went to WME, where she worked her way up from a receptionist to assisting Russell Warby, Ari Emanuel and, finally, Marc Geiger in the LA office.

In 2019, Lobl relocated to Texas to work for C3 in the newly created role of global festival buyer, where she works closely with the European Live Nation team on artist offers for 197 festivals worldwide. (Read the previous interview with United Talent Agency’s Sara Schoch here).

 


What are you busy with right now?
Booking festivals for 2020. We are in the middle of booking all the line ups for next year and about to announce the Austin City Limits schedule!

Did you always want to work in the music business?
Pretty much. I actually initially wanted to work in radio. I produced and presented a couple of shows on my student radio station in Leeds which led me into working as an assistant producer at Radio 1 and 1Xtra – I thought I was going to be Annie Mac! Then I discovered live and booking shows and there was no turning back after that.

What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
Working on Tom Petty’s last tour is one of the greatest memories I’ll ever have. He was a lovely man. Launching Lollapalooza Stockholm is also a true career highlight. We’re very excited for 2020, it looks like we’ll have a great line up.

“I discovered live and booking shows and there was no turning back after that”

How has your role changed since you started out?
It’s changed drastically. I went from working on reception and making coffee, to being (several) agents’ assistants, to now booking and managing my own multi-stage festivals. None of it was planned, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. C3 is an awesome company and I am incredibly excited about the projects I get to work on and also about some of the new projects we have in the pipeline.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt while at C3?
That’s a big question. I think never being afraid of trying something new is the main one. Launching a festival is terrifying and working in markets that are new to us can be daunting. Luckily, we have incredible partners on our international festivals that save us from losing our jobs.

What, if anything, would you change about how the live industry is run today?
I think just more inclusiveness generally across the board. It really is getting better and there are now far more opportunities for women and other minorities. But that shouldn’t even really be a thing, should it? C3 actually has a majority of women employees, especially in senior management positions. I think other companies are following suit.

“Never being afraid of trying something new is important – launching a festival is terrifying and working in markets that are new to us can be daunting”

What do you do for fun?
Hang out with my French Bulldog. His name is Francis. You should follow him on Instagram (@francislefrenchie).

Do you have an industry mentor?
[Live Nation vice president fo European Touring] Kelly Chappell has been my mentor, saviour and sister since the beginning of time. She really is the best. I don’t know anyone that works harder or that has such an incredible attention to detail as she has. She is so knowledgeable and wise and deserves all the recognition I can give her.

What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into, or is new to, the business?
Work your bum off. None of this is easy and, although it may look glamorous, it really isn’t sometimes. But the hard work pays off and it really is worth it.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Sitting at home with ten french bulldogs? Probably doing exactly what I’m doing now. Maybe just a little better. C3 & S doesn’t really have a ring to it, does it?

 


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Khalid headlines concert for El Paso victims

Texan singer Khalid is headlining a Live Nation-promoted benefit concert in aid of the victims of the mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, on 3 August 2019.

Special guests will also perform at the concert in the Don Haskins Centre (12,567-cap.) in El Paso, Texas on 1 September. Proceeds from the event will support the El Paso Shooting Victims’ Fund and the El Paso Community Foundation.

“I have been rocked to the core by the horrific act of gun violence that came to El Paso, and by the continued acts of senseless violence that our country faces daily,” says Khalid.

“I want to give back to my community of El Paso, who ha[ve] given so much to me. Let’s heal together through music while raising money to help those who need it.”

“I have been rocked to the core by the horrific act of gun violence that came to El Paso”

Music industry columnist Bob Lefsetz has also been discussing ideas for staging benefit concerts for gun control in the United States. At least 62 people have been killed in mass shootings in the US this year alone.

Tickets for the Khalid concert will go on sale on Wednesday 14 August at 10 a.m. local time (MT), available via the Live Nation website.

In addition to attending the concert, donations for the cause can be made directly through the Great Khalid Foundation or by purchasing one of the commemorative shirts here.

The event will also be presented by the Right Hand Foundation, founded by Khalid’s manager Courtney Stewart.

 


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Live Nation’s C3 brings Piknic Électronik to Texas

Canadian-born electronic music festival Piknic Électronik will make its stateside debut next month in partnership with C3 Presents.

Described as a “unique two-day picnic in the park with electronic live music, local food and drink, family-friendly activities and immersive, social experiences”, the inaugural Piknic Électronik Austin will be held in Austin, Texas, park Auditorium Shores on 27–28 October.

Music will be an “eclectic mix of techno, house and disco, showcasing 12 national and local artists on two stages”, with a full line-up to be announced in the coming weeks. Day tickets are priced at US$15 from Front Gate Tickets.

“Austin is the perfect city for our first ever Piknic Électronik on American soil”

Originating in Montreal in 2003, Piknic Électronik events have also been held in Barcelona, Lisbon, Melbourne, Santiago (Chile) and Dubai. The flagship event is a summer-long series which last year ran from 21 May to 24 September, with Seth Troxler, the Black Madonna, Nicole Moudaber and Vincent Lemieux among the DJs performing.

“Austin is the perfect city for our first ever Piknic Électronik on American soil,” says CEO and founder Pascal Lefebvre. “With its world-renowned vibrant cultural scene and its reputation as a particularly festive and inviting city, it is a perfect fit for our brand and C3, a particularly great partner to build it with.”

Live Nation also organises the Austin City Limits festival in Austin, and recently acquired a majority stake Austin-based promoter ScoreMore shows, which owns and operates three festivals of its own.

 


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Austin’s Parish sells on eBay for $376,000

The Parish, the Austin, Texas, venue listed for sale on eBay, has sold to an undisclosed bidder for US$376,000.

The auction – which included the business, a 12-year lease on the venue, the chance to renew its alcohol licence and its current bookings, bar and sound equipment – ended on Sunday 10 December after 239 bids by 37 bidders. Doug Guller, founder of former Parish operator ATX Brands, decided earlier this year to sell his live music venues to concentrate on growing ‘breastaurant’ brands Bikini’s and Happy Chicks.

In July ATX sold outdoor music venue Scoot Inn to Austin-based promoter C3 Presents.

According to the Austin Chronicle, the 430-cap. Parish (pictured) garnered $250,000 in bids over the first three days, then stagnated for five days before taking before reaching the $375,000 mark on Friday. The reserve price for the listing appears to have been between $240,000 and $250,000.

 


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Venue to be sold on eBay

If you look hard enough you can find most things for sale on eBay, but this one’s a real novelty: Austin, Texas, venue The Parish is being sold off on the auction site.

The 435-capacity venue is in the heart of the city’s entertainment district, and will be listed from 1-10 December. But it’s not the building itself up for grabs, but the business, its current bookings, bar, sound equipment, 12-year lease and the chance to renew the alcohol licence.

Owner ATX Brands’ boss Doug Guller told Venues Today he’s putting the business on eBay because he wants to bypass the traditional music industry networks; and is hoping to bring in new blood to the self-proclaimed “live music capital of the world” (ahem).

“Hopefully it’ll be sold to someone in the industry that can take it to the next level.”

“I wanted to cast a wide net, and when things like properties come up for sale, the broker usually just sends the info out to their email list and that’s it,” he said. “Properties trade very well with brokers, but when it comes to selling an entire business, there’s not really a set formula or process for how to get it done.”

“Hopefully it’s someone in the industry that can afford a venue like The Parish and can take it to the next level.”

Bidding starts at $1, although Guller admits he’s set an undisclosed reserve price that must be reached for the deal to go through. He says he’s looking for someone

ATX Brands decided earlier this year to sell its live music venues to concentrate on growing his “breastaurant” brands Bikini’s and Happy Chicks. In July it sold outdoor music venue Scoot Inn to Austin-based promoter C3 Presents.

Although it’s rarely a stop for national tours, artists to have played small-scale appearances at The Parish include Slash, Perry Farrell, Leon Bridges and Pete Townsend.


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White-label ticketer Paciolan sold again

Learfield Communications, a leading US college-sports marketing agency, has acquired white-label ticketing platform Paciolan from Comcast Spectacor.

The company was sold to Comcast Spectacor in 2010 by Ticketmaster as a condition of its merger with Live Nation, and later rebranded as the Ticketing & Fan Engagement Division of its subsidiary Spectra. Under Learfield ownership, it once again reverts to the Paciolan name.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The platform’s clients include more than 120 college athletics teams, 75 music and performing arts venues and 100 arenas and professional sports teams, including the 26,700-capacity Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota; Iowa Events Center (16,980-cap.) in Des Moines; Adams Center (7,500-cap.) in Missoula, Montana; and Budweiser Gardens (9,000-cap.) in London, Ontario.

“We couldn’t be happier, and look forward to having Paciolan as part of the Learfield family”

According to Learfield, Paciolan-developed ticketing systems sold more than 120 million tickets last year.

“We have long admired Paciolan,” comments Learfield’s president and CEO, Greg Brown. “Not only is it a great service with a number of segment-leading products, the reputation of its people, beginning with its founders and current management, is without peer.

“We couldn’t be happier, and look forward to having Paciolan as part of the Learfield family.”

Texas-based Learfield manages advertising and marketing for more than 100 US arenas and colleges. Since October 2016 it has been controlled by private-equity firm Atairos – itself backed by Comcast Spectacor parent Comcast-NBCUniversal.

 


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Live Nation invests in Austin start-up Everfest

Everfest, an online festival discovery platform based in Austin, Texas, has raised US$3.6 million in series-A funding from a group of investors that includes Live Nation.

The funding round, co-led by Live Nation and venture-capital firm ATX Seed Ventures, will allow Everfest to “rapidly [expand] our portfolio of partner festivals globally over the next several quarters”, says co-founder Paul Cross (pictured). The company has raised $6m since its founding in 2014.

Everfest’s platform is aimed at both music fans and promoters, sponsors, vendors and artists, with the former able to discover new events via its search engine and the latter group to engage fans with VIP access, discounts, giveaways, presales and more. It currently has listings for 15,000 festivals, many of which are managed by the festival organisers directly.

It is also the parent company of online festival magazine Fest300, acquired last year.

“This is a massive, growing industry, and Everfest is providing a technology layer that to date has been lacking”

“We love what Everfest is doing to give festivals a true online home,” says Chris Shonk, a partner at ATX Seed Ventures. “This is a massive, growing industry, and Everfest is providing a technology layer that to date has been lacking. We see enormous potential to build efficiencies in connecting the entire festival network, such that the whole industry is driven forward.”

Other new investors include Firefly Music Festival producer Red Frog Events, Airbnb’s head of global hospitality and strategy, Chip Conley, and Benchmark Capital’s Bob Kagle.

As part of the deal, Shonk and Charlie Walker – co-founder of C3 Presents, since 2014 owned by Live Nation – join Everfest’s board of directors.

“We’ll be rapidly expanding our portfolio of partner festivals globally over the next several quarters,” adds Cross.

 


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