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John Meglen on the Rolling Stones’ Sixty tour

Promoting heavyweight John Meglen has given IQ the inside track on the Rolling Stones’ 60th anniversary tour.

Running from 1 June to 3 August, the 14-date AEG/Concerts West-promoted Sixty European stadium tour was a complete sell-out, generating US$121,326,763 from total ticket sales of 712,641.

With the exception of a scheduled stop in Switzerland at Bern’s 45,000-cap Wankdorf Stadium being cancelled due to Mick Jagger testing positive for Covid, Meglen considers the tour to have been a roaring triumph in the face of well-documented challenges.

“I won’t say it was the easiest show we ever did, it was tough out there, but I would call it a total team effort,” says the Concerts West boss. “We had very well planned out Covid protocols that everyone stuck to. We had one hiccup, but considering that we were running from country to country to country with different policies, regulations and procedures that you have to stay constantly updated on, you’ve got to give credit to every single person on the tour for sticking to those plans. That’s what really helped us out.”

He continues: “We’ve all seen recently, post Covid, where you [sell] the show out in the last few days because people want to make sure it’s going to happen and that it’s not going to get rescheduled or cancelled. Unfortunately, we’ve had much more of that than we’ve had in the past. But the business was amazing.”

“They absolutely are the greatest in the world, there’s no question about it”

AEG/Concerts West worked with a host of local promoters on the tour, including Doctor Music/Live Nation Spain (Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid); FKP Scorpio (Olympic Stadium, Munich/Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen/Waldbühne, Berlin); Di and Gi/Live Nation Italy (San Siro, Milan); Mojo Concerts (Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam); Greenhouse Talent (Kingbaudoin Stadium, Brussels); Barracuda Music (Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna); Live Nation France (Hippodrome de Longchamps, Paris) and Live Nation Sweden (Friends Arena, Stockholm).

Meglen paid tribute to the wider Stones’ team, which is headed by manager Joyce Smyth.

“They’re all wonderful,” he says. “Joyce Smyth is absolutely amazing and has a tremendous team around her. Our Concerts West team has now worked with them for years and years; there’s a sense of family when we’re out on the road and we take care of each other. That goes all the way from Mick, Keith [Richards], Ronnie [Wood], all the way down through everybody else on the tour.

“It’s a blessing of working with these guys. They absolutely are the greatest in the world, there’s no question about it.”

UK dates comprised a 36,917-cap concert at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium and two 65,000-cap nights at London’s BST Hyde Park. Each show began with a video tribute to the Stones’ legendary drummer Charlie Watts, who died last year aged 80.

“I haven’t heard anybody say anything’s stopping, so we’re always there and ready”

“I get chills and teary-eyed virtually every time I watch it,” says Meglen. “I can only speak for myself personally, but I miss that man tremendously. He was such a gent, such a talent and an incredible guy.”

He adds: “[Replacement drummer] Steve Jordan is amazing. He just came in and didn’t miss a step. He provides a different energy, but I think he very much respects how Charlie played and tries to represent that.”

The band’s previous No Filter tour was comfortably the highest-grossing of 2021, garnering $115,498,182 – almost $30m clear of their nearest contender, Harry Styles. And despite reaching their diamond anniversary, there has been no suggestion that Sixty marked the end of the Stones’ touring years.

“I haven’t heard anybody say anything’s stopping, so we’re always there and ready,” says Meglen. “It’s for Joyce and the guys to figure that out and, if and when, it’d be a blessing again.

“A lot of what makes it work is when you have guys like Opie [longtime Stones production manager Dale Skjerseth], a tremendous, amazing band and then the guys playing better and better. It’s crazy how good they are and how they just bring it every single time.”

 


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The Rolling Stones announce European stadium tour

The Rolling Stones have announced a 60th-anniversary tour of Europe, including two dates at AEG’s American Express Presents BST Hyde Park.

The ‘Sixty’ tour will commence on 1 June, visiting stadiums in Munich, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Bern, Milan, London, Brussels, Vienna, Lyon, Paris, Gelsenkirchen and Stockholm.

The 14-date run will see the band performing at the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield, for the Stones’ first Liverpool show in more than 50 years.

The tour will also mark the band’s return to London’s BST Hyde Park for the first time since 2013 when they played two sold-out shows to 130,000 fans.

The rock legends have a storied history with Hyde Park, with their 1969 Stones In the Park show becoming one of the most famous concerts of all time.

“Nobody brings it like the Stones when they’re on home turf in London”

Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents, says: “Whenever Hyde Park is mentioned, it’s impossible not to think of the Rolling Stones.

“Two nights on 25 June and 3 July cap off an incredible lineup for BST Hyde Park 2022 but nobody brings it like the Stones when they’re on home turf in London.”

The London and Liverpool dates are the first UK shows that the Stones have announced since the death of their drummer Charlie Watts last year.

As with their ‘No Filter’ US dates last year, Watts will be replaced by Steve Jordan, a session musician who has played with the band since the 1980s.

Watts, who joined the band in 1963, died of an unspecified illness last August at the age of 80.

See tour dates for the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sixty’ tour below.

JUNE
01 – Wanda Metropolitano Stadium – MADRID, SPAIN
05 – Olympic Stadium – MUNICH, GERMANY
09 – Anfield Stadium – LIVERPOOL, UK
13 – Johan Cruijff ArenA – AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
17 – Wankdorf Stadium – BERN, SWITZERLAND
21 – San Siro Stadium – MILAN, ITALY
25 – American Express Presents BST Hyde Park – LONDON, UK

JULY
03 – American Express Presents BST Hyde Park – LONDON, UK
11 – King Baudouin Stadium – BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
15 – Ernst Happel Stadium – VIENNA, AUSTRIA
19 – Groupama Stadium – LYON, FRANCE
23 – Hippodrome ParisLongchamp – PARIS, FRANCE
27 – Veltins-Arena – GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
31 – Friends Arena – STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

 


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Harry Styles crowned 2021’s top ticket seller

Harry Styles has been named as 2021’s top worldwide ticket seller, while the Rolling Stones had the highest-grossing tour, according to Pollstar‘s year-end rankings.

Styles sold 669,051 tickets for his Love on Tour arena dates, generating $86,723,984 (€76,916,720), to lead the way ahead of The Hella Mega Tour starring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer, which moved 659,062 tickets. The Top 5 was rounded off by Dead & Company at No.3 with 588,658 ticket sales, Dave Matthews Band at No.4 (583,399 sales) and Phish at No.5 (572,626).

Completing the Top 10 were Jonas Brothers (No.6, 528,630), Luke Bryan (No.7, 522,966), the Rolling Stones (No.8, 516,624), Chris Stapleton (No.9, 516,395) and Alanis Morissette (No.10, 499,296).

By every measure, 2021 was both quantitively and qualitatively better than 2020

However, the Stones were head and shoulders above the rest when it came to revenue. The band, whose legendary drummer Charlie Watts died in August, generated $115,498,182 (€102,474,854) from their shows – almost $30m clear of their nearest contender, Styles.

“What a difference a year makes,” wrote Ray Waddell of Pollstar owner Oak View Group. “By every measure, 2021 was both quantitatively and qualitatively better than 2020, which was catastrophic.

“Every chart in last year’s Year End issue marked a precipitous drop in shows, revenues, ticket sales and all other touring metrics. This year, however, is a markedly different story, especially Q4, which augers exceedingly well for 2022.”

 


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Live music returns to Longleat for new festival

Live music is returning to the UK’s Longleat, home to stately home and safari park of the same name, this summer, as the site prepares to host the Longleat Live music festival on 4 and 5 July.

British bands the Wombats and Razorlight are headlining the two-day event in the grounds of the stately home in Wiltshire, south-east England, which is run by Viscount and Viscountess Weymouth.

The festival marks the return of live music to Longleat, which in 2016 was marked as a potential site for a planned Glastonbury Festival sister event.

The park made its musical name in the 1960s, holding a series of outdoor concerts featuring acts including the Rolling Stones, Freddie and the Dreamers, Acker Bilk, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, and the Bachelors.

The most recent performance at the park came in 2016, when Elton John performed to 15,000 fans as part of Longleat’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

“Longleat has been the stage for a number of iconic artists. For 2020, we are reviving its musical heritage”

“I am incredibly excited to be launching this new summer festival weekend showcasing three of my very favourite things: music, animals, and food,” comments Viscountess Weymouth.

“Longleat has been the stage for a number of iconic artists. Now, for 2020, we are reviving our musical heritage with the launch of Longleat Live: The Festival with Bite – which will become an annual event.

“The combination of fantastic live music, in a stunning setting with great food, celebrity chefs and cooking demonstrations alongside our amazing animals and other fun attractions will make this a truly unique event.”

Cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs the Hairy Bikers and James Martin will also take place at the event.

Tickets for Longleat Live go on sale soon, with day tickets priced at £54 for Saturday and £49.50 for Sunday, with a weekend pass costing £90.

Photo: Saffron Blaze (CC BY-SA 3.0

 


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Concerts cancelled over Hurricane Dorian concerns

A host of concerts in Miami and Orlando were cancelled or postponed this weekend due to concerns over Hurricane Dorian, the storm that has been battering the Bahamas since Sunday (1 September) and is approaching the Florida east coast.

In anticipation of the hurricane, which hit the Bahamas as a category five storm, the Rolling Stones brought their show at Miami’s 65,326-capacity Hard Rock stadium forward one night to Friday evening. The concert had previously been rescheduled from April to account for Mick Jagger’s heart surgery.

Chris Brown was also due to play in Miami, but cancelled his show at the 20,737-capacity BB&T Center on Sunday evening. No replacement date has been announced. An automatic refund will be issued to customers who bought tickets through Ticketmaster online or by phone. Those with physical tickets will need to return to the outlet they purchased from.

Miami-born Pitbull cited unsafe travel conditions as the reason for postponing an appearance at the Los Angeles County Fair on Sunday. Pitbull’s management told fans the rapper could not “safely depart from Miami” due to Dorian’s approach and rescheduled his appearance for 12 September.

Pitbull’s management told fans the rapper could not “safely depart from Miami” due to Dorian’s approach

Sunday ticket holders were still able to enter the fair, with the same passes being eligible for the alternate date. Refunds are also available via the Ticketmaster website.

Mexican musician Marco Antonio Solis rescheduled his two Florida shows over the weekend for 20 October at Orlando’s Amway Center (20,000-cap.) and 26 October at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami (21,000-cap.).

Dutch DJ Afrojack cancelled his Miami appearance at Story Nightclub (1.400-cap.) on Friday.

Hurricane Dorian will move “dangerously close” to Florida’s east coasts and the coasts of Georgia and Carolina over the course of today. “Life-threatening storm surges” are expected in those areas, whereas “devastating winds and storm surges” continue over Grand Bahama.

At the time of writing the category three hurricane was around 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

 


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Female fans first in line for ticket sales

Data presented by online statistics portal, Statista, has shown that women generated the majority of traffic to ticketing sites on the first day of ticket sales for a variety of high-profile world tours.

Female fans drove around 73% of traffic to Vivid Seats on the morning that tickets went on sale for K-pop group BTS’ first world stadium tour, Love Yourself: Speak Yourself.

The band sold out five major stadiums across the United States and Europe, including the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles (90,888-cap.), London’s Wembley Stadium (90,000-cap.) and the Stade de France in Paris (80,000-cap.).

Statista: Women first in line for ticket sales

Women generated an even higher percentage of traffic for Ariana Grande’s Sweetener world tour (75%), which sees the star perform across Europe and North America.

Female fans also drove more traffic to ticketing pages for Ed Sheeran’s ÷ world tour (64%), Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour and Drake’s Aubrey and the 3 Migos tour.

Only for the Rolling Stones No Filter tour did men have a bigger presence on the ticketing site than women, driving 56% of the traffic.

The data corresponds with information collected by event discovery guide and ticketing outlet, Skiddle, that shows women now buy 13% more live event tickets than men.

 


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Ambassador Theatre Group makes live music moves

Theatre operator Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has announced a major move into live music venues, as it reopens historic north-east England venue, the Stockton Globe (+3,000-cap.).

The move signals ATG’s intention to strengthen its foothold in the live music and comedy industries, leading the expansion of the venue operator’s portfolio of music-focused venues.

Providence Equity Partners-backed ATG runs close to 50 venues worldwide, including theatres in London’s West End and on Broadway.

ATG aims to utilise its network to bring music and comedy talent back to Stockton Globe for the first time in over 40 years, as the art deco venue is due to open its doors again in 2020.

Stockton Globe first opened in 1935, playing host to artists including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, before closing in 1974.

Post-refurbishment, the venue will accommodate over 3,000 people in a flexible auditorium suited to standing and seated events. A smaller 250-capacity venue will open in the adjoining building.

“We’ve been working with the council to tailor the Globe so that it is one of the best in the industry for hosting live music and comedy events”

“We’ve been working with the council to tailor the Globe so that it is one of the best in the industry for hosting live music and comedy events,” says Adam Kenwright, ATG group board director.

“With over a year to go before doors open, ATG are already in discussions with household music and comedy acts so that we can bring these stars to the Tees Valley community and back onto the Globe’s stage after having no live entertainment inside the venue for over 40 years,” adds Kenwright.

The opening of the Globe is expected to bring in £18 million annually to the local economy and will give Stockton the biggest live entertainment venue between Newcastle and Leeds. The venue’s refurbishment is funded by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

For more information and to find out about memberships and ticket sales, join the Stockton Globe mailing list.

 


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Stones’ No Filter European tour grosses $238m

The Rolling Stones’ recent No Filter European tour, which wrapped up in Warsaw on 8 July, grossed nearly US$238 million from 28 sold-out shows, the latest Billboard figures reveal.

In total, the Stones shifted 7,802,307 tickets worth $237,802,307 throughout the tour, which kicked off in Hamburg last September, visiting Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden throughout the autumn, before returning for a second run through the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Germany, France, the Czech Republic and Poland in May–July.

Two shows at London Stadium alone brought in more than $20m, according to Billboard’s 4 August Hot Tours. The 2018 leg earned $117,844,618, adding to 2017’s $119,957,689.

The tour was produced and promoted by AEG/Concerts West, along with several local promoters.

The first leg of the No Filter tour – which bypassed the UK owing to a lack of available venuesgenerated $158m from 14 shows.

 


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Goldenvoice confirms Desert Trip megafestival

Though Roger Daltrey had already rather ruined the surprise, Goldenvoice – the AEG Live-owned promoter behind Coachella, FYF Fest and country music festival Stagecoach – has officially confirmed the existence of its long-rumoured California ‘megafestival’ featuring six of the biggest rock acts of all time: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who.

Tickets for Desert Trip will go on sale on 9 May and cost US$399 for a three-day pass, with single-day passes ($199), reserved floor, reserved grandstand and standing pit ($1,599) tickets and hotel packages, RVs and tent camping also available.

There will be further additions to the line-up, meaning each act will set back festivalgoers a hefty $66.66.

Here’s a poster:

Desert Trip 2016, Goldenvoice

eps supplies 600m of stage barriers for the Stones in Cuba

eps supplied six containers’ worth of concert infrastructure, including 1,200sqm of the Arena Panels ground-protection system, 600m of GIGS stage barriers and 600m of mobile fences, for The Rolling Stones’ landmark Concert for Amity in Havana in last month.

The multinational event infrastructure specialist, which has offices in Germany, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and North and South America, also sent eight supervisors to oversee the set-up and dismantling of all equipment and production vehicles and modular cable protectors to ensure everything ran smoothly behind the scenes.

The show “presented itself with certain challenges because there hasn’t been anything comparable to this open-air event before in Cuba”, says eps, but it was “pleased with the successful outcome” and “proud to be a part of this historic rock event”. It also thanked promoter Concerts West for “their trust and the great cooperation with everybody involved”.

The show, billed as the “first open-air concert in Cuba by a British rock band” was reportedly witnessed by a crowd of 1.2 million people: 700,000 in the Ciudad Deportiva stadium and another 500,000 listening outside.