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The Weeknd’s retooled tour could make up to $300m

The revamp of The Weeknd’s 2022 tour could generate up to US$300 million in ticket revenue, according to Billboard, making it one of the year’s top-grossing tours.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the After Hours 2022 tour – which was previously rescheduled three separate times due to the pandemic – would be again retooled with larger shows and added stadiums across the world.

The newly renamed and revamped After Hours Til Dawn stadium tour will feature new dates in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America and the Middle East but further details are yet to be announced.

“Due to the constraints of arenas and the demand for more shows I want to do something bigger and special for you which requires more stadiums,” wrote The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, on Instagram on Tuesday (19 October).

Some one million fans who purchased tickets to the original tour dates are to be refunded automatically, all of whom will be given priority to buy tickets for the stadium shows when they go on sale.

The Weeknd may be able to achieve [up to $300m in sales] this while performing 30% fewer shows

This means that promoter Live Nation will be on the hook to refund more than $100m in sales – which is 2.5% of the company’s total annual balance sheet – according to Billboard.

However, if the overhaul works out, The Weeknd could double or triple ticket revenue up to $300m in sales, by Billboard’s estimation, making it one of the year’s top-grossing tours.

On top of that, The Weeknd may be able to achieve this while performing 30% fewer shows – since large stadiums often have two to four times the capacity of arenas.

The Weeknd’s global After Hours til Dawn tour was originally scheduled in 2020 (when it was just the After Hours tour) to hit 105 arena dates beginning June 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic – first to 2021 then January 2022 and now to summer 2022.

The rejuvenated tour comes after The Weeknd scored the longest-charting Billboard Hot 100 song of all time with ‘Blinding Light’ and the second longest-running No.1 album on the Billboard 200 for 2020 with After Hours.

The Grammy award-winning artist also headlined the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show, which is traditionally the most-watched event of the year on US television.


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High-profile artists invest in virtual live gigs company

A raft of high-profile artists including Justin Bieber, the Weeknd and J Balvin have invested in Wave, the world’s first multi-million dollar virtual entertainment platform for live concerts.

The platform transforms artists into animated characters via live motion capture technology that records their movements in real-time, while they perform on a virtual stage, customised to their style.

Fans can also create an avatar to join the free-of-game-play concerts shared via TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and other gaming channels, social networks, livestreaming platforms.

The Weeknd invested in the company shortly after his first concert on the platform, dubbed The Weeknd Experience, which aired on TikTok on 7 August.

The show was the company’s highest-profile project to date, drawing in two million viewers and leading to $350,000 in charitable merchandise sales, according to TikTok.

It was recently revealed that the Weeknd isn’t the only artist to invest in Wave this year and is joined by Justin Bieber, Jillionaire and J Balvin, who is set to headline Fornite’s Halloween event.

This year, the company has also secured content partnerships with Warner Music Group and Roc Nation and has locked in $30 million in funding from business moguls including artist manager Scooter Braun.

The company has hosted over fifty concerts and worked with more than twenty artists to date, including John Legend, Tinashe, Imogen Heap and Lindsey Stirling.

While many VR platforms stream pre-recorded concerts, the LA-based company, which was founded in 2016 and originally called TheWaveVR, is differentiated by its live performance and interaction.

 


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110,000+ attend homegrown Lollapalooza Paris 2017

The first edition of Lollapalooza Paris, which took place last weekend, has been hailed as a success by promoter Live Nation France, which has praised the festival as a triumph of “local initiative” in the face of criticism by former culture minister Jack Lang.

Lang – a veteran Socialist party politician who served as France’s minister of culture from 1981–86 and 1988–92 – on Saturday attacked the new festival, announced in October, as part of an “invasion of the musical life of France by American multinationals”.

According to Lang, Live Nation is threatening France’s domestic, often public subsidised, festival scene with the “extension of its empire” across the country. (The company’s most recent French acquisition was Nous Productions last August.)

He also took a swipe at AEG, which is believed to be going into partnership with Matthieu Pigasse’s LNEI Live on Rock en Seine, saying the rival promoter is “already scandalously present in [Paris] with AccorHotels Arena”.

“We would have been delighted to welcome Mr Lang to the festival, so that he realises that it is a local initiative, produced by a French company called Live Nation France”

Live Nation France issued a statement in response to Lang’s attack, with deputy GM Matthias Leullier saying he “would have been delighted to welcome Mr Lang to the festival, so that he realises that it is a local initiative, produced by a French company called Live Nation France”. Leullier also notes Live Nation France has 65 permanent employees and hired 1,500 people for Lollapalooza, all of which “are paid, and not by public subsidies.”

According to Le Figaro, no fewer than 110,000 people attended Lollapalooza Paris 2017, held at the Longchamp racecourse – the home of Download Paris, also a Live Nation production – on 22 and 23 July. Headliners were Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons, Lana Del Rey, London Grammar and DJ Snake.

Lollapalooza, revived in Chicago by Live Nation’s C3 Presents in 2005, is now staged in five other cities worldwide:  Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Paris and Chilean capital Santiago.

 


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“Golden age” for Benicassim as 177k attend in 2017

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (FIB) festival director Melvin Benn has said the Spanish festival is entering a “new golden age” after its 2017 edition attracted more than 177,000 people over four days.

Benicassim 2017 – headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Kasabian, Foals, Deadmau5 and Spanish band Los Planetas – took place from Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 July, protected by what Spanish paper El País calls the “largest safety device” in the history of music festivals in the region: a security perimeter around the festival site, closed to vehicles.

Speaking to El País, Benn says 2017 marked the beginning of a “new golden age for FIB, and we want it to last a long time”, while Javier Moliner Gargallo, president of Castellón’s legislature, calls the festival the “jewel in the crown” of the province.

“It was the best FIB of the decade”

He also praises the “courage” of Benn, whom he credits with turning around the formerly struggling festival “in just four years.”

“It was the best FIB of the decade,” he says. “We have even bigger ambitions for 2018, and we are going to make them a reality.”

A total of 161,100 festivalgoers attended last year’s 21st FIB, which was hailed in the Spanish press as “rebirth” for the event after years of dwindling crowds and financial mismanagement. The festival’s promoter, Maraworld, was jointly acquired from Vince Power by SJM Concerts and Denis Desmond’s MCD in 2013.

 


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Bieber, Drake lead decade’s top Canadian tours

With Canada Day 2017 – aka Canada’s 150th birthday – fast approaching, StubHub has released data on its ten top-selling Canadian artists of the last decade.

Unsurprisingly, pop superstar Justin Bieber tops StubHub’s rankings, with Drake, The Weeknd, veteran prog-rockers Rush and Vine star-done-good Shawn Mendes rounding out the top five.

National institution The Tragically Hip – whose recent farewell show was watched by a third of the country – place eighth.

While not, of course, a definitive list, StubHub is Canada’s (and the world’s) leading secondary ticket marketplace, so the eBay-owned business should have a fairly good insight into long-term market trends.

The full list is below:

StubHub Canadian top-selling artists

The modern state of Canada was confederated from three colonies of British North America – Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – on 1 July 1867. The 150th Canada Day (until 1982 called Dominion Day), which celebrates the anniversary of confederation, is tomorrow: 1 July 2017.

 


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Grammys 2017 live performers see 207% sales bump

Live performances at Sunday’s 59th Grammy Awards generated an instant sales bump, with a 207% increase in downloads of the songs performed on the day of the show, according to initial analysis by Nielsen.

According to the market measurement firm, the songs shown in CBS’s 12 February broadcast sold more than 178,000 downloads that day, compared to 58,000 on 11 February.

“This immediate and impressive reaction proves the unparalleled power of the Grammy Awards to reach a wide audience and engage fans,” David Bakula, senior vice-president of global product leadership and industry insights at Nielsen Music, tells Billboard.

Beyoncé’s ‘Love Drought’ and ‘Sandcastles’, both performed at the Grammys saw the biggest sales bumps – 1,217% and 958%, respectively – with Adele’s ‘Hello’, which opened the awards, recording a 255% increase, selling 6,000 downloads on 12 February vs fewer than 2,000 on Saturday.

“This immediate and impressive reaction proves the unparalleled power of the Grammy Awards to reach a wide audience”

Other big winners included Katy’s Perry’s new single, ‘Chained to the Rhythm’, which rose 128% to 24,000; The Weeknd’s ‘I Feel it Coming’, which jumped 154% to 15,000; Keith Urban’s ‘The Fighter’, which increased 896% to 12,000; Bruno Mars’s ‘That’s What I Like’, which increased 354% to 23,000; and Maren Morris’s ‘Once’, performed with Alicia Keys at the Grammys, which saw a massive 7,430% increase to 6,000 downloads.

Awards-wise, Sunday’s biggest winners included Adele, who swept the major categories over rival Beyoncé; David Bowie, who posthumously won every award for which he was nominated; and Chance the Rapper, who won best new artist and won plaudits for his gospel-influenced performances.

A full list of winners can be viewed on The Recording Academy website, while Billboard has all the performances (ranked by senior editor Joe Lynch from “worst to best”).

 


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Wireless Germany to debut in 2017

After 12 years in the UK, Live Nation’s Wireless Festival is making its debut in Germany next summer.

Headlined by The Weeknd and Justin Bieber, Wireless Germany will take place at the Commerzbank Arena (44,000-cap.) in Frankurt on 24 and 25 June, offering some 40,000 German fans the chance to attend what promoter Live Nation GSA calls the “ultimate summer party”.

“The London Wireless Festival has been writing music history in Britain for over a decade,” reads an announcement by Live Nation. “With outstanding performances by the most popular urban and pop artists, it has become the most prestigious event of its kind.

“The line-up [for its premiere in Germany] offers everything a fan’s heart could desire, from the most important newcomers to classics and the biggest stars.”

Also on the bill are Sean Paul and German hip-hop acts Marteria and Beginner.

The launch of the new festival comes on the heels of Live Nation expanding several of its other festival properties in continental Europe, with Download Madrid and Lollapalooza Paris both debuting next year.

Here’s a Wireless Germany launch trailer:

 


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