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Coldplay to open OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena

Coldplay will be the first act to play Oak View Group’s (OVG) Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle – the world’s first carbon-neutral certified arena.

The band’s frontman, Chris Martin, previously told BBC News that Coldplay would put touring plans on hold as they investigate how to make their concerts more sustainable.

“Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally,” said Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin.

“We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. The hardest thing is the flying side of things. But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic, to have it largely solar-powered. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”

The band will fulfil their dream by performing at the 18,100-seat Climate Pledge Arena, which will be powered exclusively by renewable energy sources.

The arena will also be a functionally zero-waste building from day one and will eliminate all single-use plastics by 2024.

“We’re so excited to have Coldplay who wholeheartedly believes in and supports sustainability efforts, be the first to play”

Coldplay, along with support act We Are King, will perform at the former KeyArena on 2 October, marking the official reopening.

Tickets go on sale on 15 September at 10:00 PST through Ticketmaster. Amazon Music will also be streaming the show live on Prime Video for all customers – with or without a Prime membership – as well as Twitch, and on the Amazon Music app.

Oak View Group CEO, Tim Leiweke, says: “We’ve embarked on what some may say was an impossible journey to turn this historic landmark into a world-class net-zero carbon certified arena that’s first of its kind. This is why we’re so excited to have Coldplay who wholeheartedly believes in and supports sustainability efforts, be the first to play in the building for what will be a night to remember.”

The concert will be the first public show at Climate Pledge Arena as a part of a weeklong opening celebration across the Seattle Center Campus.

Other opening week festivities include the VenuesNow Conference (hosted by OVG), a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Seattle Kraken’s inaugural home opener marking its first season.

Today’s news follows Leiweke’s call to arms for the live entertainment industry to take action on climate change. Read the full IQ interview here.

 


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More details emerge on Abba’s Voyage concerts

More details have emerged about ABBA’s upcoming ‘Voyage’ concerts, as tickets today (7 September) go on general sale.

The Swedish pop icons announced the “revolutionary” live experience last week (2 September) heralding the band’s first reunion in 40 years.

The Voyage concerts will see Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid performing digitally with a live 10-piece band, in a 3,000-capacity purpose-built arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

The residency is set to run from May 2022 until October 2022.

A variety of different ticket types are available for the concerts, including general admission (standing), auditorium seating and dance booths – of which there are eight, each named after people from the ABBA universe.

Each booth has seating and its very own dance floor. Fans can either book the entire booth or individual seats.

“The world has never seen a concert on a scale like this before”

Tickets for the ABBA Voyage were made available from 10 am on Sunday 5 September for fans who pre-ordered the album from the official ABBA store, and from 10 am Monday 6 September for those who pre-registered.

General sale commenced this morning (7 September) at 10 am with tickets starting from £21.

Ticketmaster UK was yesterday (6 September) named the official ticketing partner for the ‘Voyage’ concerts in London, tasked with providing the technology required to run all shows as 100% digital.

“The world has never seen a concert on a scale like this before and we’re beyond proud to be involved,” says Andrew Parsons, MD Ticketmaster UK.

“We’ve had the privilege of working alongside the ABBA team since the concert’s conception, and together we’re going to give ABBA fans the greatest experience from the moment they buy a ticket right through to show time.”

It was also revealed yesterday that British electro-pop artist Little Boots will be part of the live band (aka the ‘ABBAtars’) for the Voyage shows, performing keyboards, synth and backing vocals.

The musician – whose real name is Victoria Hesketh – wrote on Instagram: “It has already been a dream to spend time in the studio with my musical heroes.

“I am beyond excited for this journey to continue and to have the privilege of performing these songs with a group of the most incredible musicians I have ever played with. The sound of this band will give you goosebumps!⁠⁠”

 

 

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A post shared by little boots (@littlebootsmusic)

The live band will be supporting digital avatars of ABBA, which have been created by an 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the company founded by George Lucas (Star Wars, Indiana Jones).

According to Ben Morris, creative director at ILM, the avatars replicate the band members’ appearance in 1979 – their ‘prime’.

The characters’ movements, however, are based on five weeks’ worth of performances from the present-day members.

The four members performed every song in the 22-track ‘Voyage’ set over and over for five weeks in front of motion-capture technology.

ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ is ILM’s first foray into music but the company is joined by a number of stalwarts from the business.

The project is being spearheaded by producer Svana Gisla (David Bowie Blackstar/Lazarus, Beyoncé and Jay Z for HBO, Springsteen and I), producer Ludvig Andersson (And Then We Danced, Yung Lean – “In My Head”, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and director Baillie Walsh (Flashbacks of a Fool, Being James Bond, Springsteen and I).

Co-executive producer Johan Renck (Spaceman, David Bowie Blackstar/Lazarus, Chernobyl) and choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE (The Royal Ballet, Company Wayne McGregor, Paris Opera Ballet) are also leading the project.

ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ concert series will be supported by a new studio album of the same name.

‘Voyage’ will be released on 5 November on Polydor (UK)/Universal Music Group (UMG).

The album has already become the most pre-ordered album in UMG UK’s history, according to the Official Charts, receiving over 80,000 pre-orders in the UK alone.

The band have already released two songs from the album, I Still Have Faith In You and Don’t Shut Me Down.

See the full tracklisting for ‘Voyage’ below:

I Still Have Faith In You
When You Danced With Me
Little Things
Don’t Shut Me Down
Just A Notion
I Can Be That Woman
Keep An Eye On Dan
Bumblebee
No Doubt About It
Ode To Freedom

 


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Ticketmaster Switzerland partners with Samsung Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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European promoters reveal plans for Covid policies

Live Nation, AEG Europe, CTS Eventim and DEAG/Kilimanjaro have outlined how they plan to approach Covid-19 entry requirements for live entertainment in European markets.

Earlier this week, Live Nation Entertainment announced that, from 4 October, it will require all artists, crew and fans to produce proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test to gain entry to its US venues and festivals.

Days later, Live Nation representatives confirmed that it plans to do the same in the UK – which is fully reopen – as well as Canada, which last week opened to fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents.

As for other countries, IQ now understands that Live Nation will take a market-by-market approach based on local governments’ requirements –many of which already utilise Covid-status certification for entrance to public spaces.

IQ now understands that Live Nation will take a market-by-market approach based on local governments’ requirements

It was also announced last week that AEG Presents, AEG’s concert promotion division, will require all fans in the US to be vaccinated from 1 October.

Additionally, Anschutz Entertainment Group – including Goldenvoice/Coachella, ticket agency AXS and AEG’s owned sports teams – will mandate that all employees working at their US offices have had the vaccine, with “limited exceptions as required by law”.

However, AEG Europe “will be adopting an approach that is appropriate to the prevailing conditions and local health department and/or legislative requirements in each market,” COO, John Langford, reveals to IQ.

The live entertainment behemoth has already implemented a number of measures at its landmark venue, the O2 (cap. 21,000) in London.

In line with the advice and guidance from UK and local government, ticket holders are required to present an NHS Covid Pass on entry to the arena in order to gain access.

AEG Europe “will be adopting an approach that is appropriate to legislative requirements in each market”

This week saw the London arena back at full capacity for the first time since March 2020, welcoming 34,000 people to two shows by Gorillaz.

The show was promoted by UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live, which is backed by Berlin-based DEAG.

Peter Schwenkow, CEO of DEAG, says the UK is “by far the best country to promote shows at the moment,” but that the company has to handle different restrictions in all its territories, which includes Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

“It very much depends on local authorities: For example, Bavaria is different to Berlin and Zurich different to Geneva,” he explains.

“Denmark is partly open, the rest of Scandinavia is currently still very complicated. Ireland continues to be problematic but the UK is by far the best country to promote shows at the moment; Kilimanjaro Live did two sold-out shows at the O2 last week with the Gorillaz. Generally, we do prefer the 3G rule: vaccinated, recovered or tested. Anybody else will not be allowed to work, stay backstage or even enter the venue,” he says.

“Generally, [DEAG] does prefer the 3G rule: vaccinated, recovered or tested”

European ticketing and promoting powerhouse CTS Eventim are taking a similar bespoke approach to Covid-19 safety measures. “In Germany, if concerts are allowed to take place, our promoters will develop individual concepts in close coordination with the local authorities in the various regions and the corresponding local regulations for the protection against Corona,” a representative tells IQ.

The ticketing services and live entertainment giant has interests in 21 countries including major markets such as Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK.

The Eventim Group includes concert, tour, and festival promoter companies for events like Rock am Ring, Rock im Park, Hurricane, Southside, and Lucca Summer.

And CTS Eventim’s venue portfolio includes the Lanxess Arena (cap. 18,000) in Cologne, the KB Hallen (4,500) in Copenhagen, the Waldbühne (22,290) in Berlin and the Eventim Apollo (2,500) in London.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Doug Smith, Ticketmaster

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Rauha Kyyrö, head promoter at Fullsteam Agency in Finland here.

 


Doug Smith
He/him/his
SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster
London & Manchester, UK
doug.smith@ticketmaster.co.uk

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
The sad truth is that so many LGBTQ+ professionals go back into the closet when they begin their first job. My advice is to find a place to work where you can bring your whole true authentic self. Being exactly who you are at work, day in, day out, is fundamental to a happy life and the key to fulfilling your potential.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Recognise that diversity and inclusion is important all year round, not just for one month. Leaders need to talk to their LGBTQI+ employees, regularly. Give them a voice, look at setting up an employee resource group and be an active supporter of it. Being an inclusive employer and an ally isn’t something you can simply tick off your list during Pride month, it’s an ongoing and evolving commitment.

“Recognise that diversity and inclusion is important all year round, not just for one month”

A causes you support.
It’s an absolute scandal that anyone is homeless in our society. I support two charities who both provide support to young homeless people – Centre Point and Albert Kennedy Trust. The latter provides support to LGBTQ+ young people who are facing homelessness or are living in a hostile environment.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Busy! Very, very busy! The pent-up demand from artists wanting to play and fans wanting to make real-life connections again is colossal. We’re gearing up for a huge outdoor season and then straight into an intense on-sale season, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

 


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Ticketmaster inks global ticketing deal with OVG

Ticketmaster will provide digital ticketing technology for six Oak View Group (OVG) arenas as part of a new global partnership between the two firms.

“OVG is setting a new standard for arenas with world-class hospitality and state-of-the-art technology. Their portfolio boasts some of the most modern and progressive new venues in the world,” says Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster. “Through our leading-edge ticketing technology, Ticketmaster will help OVG deliver premium fan experiences for sports fanatics and music lovers.”

The partnership includes New York’s UBS Arena; Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena; Austin’s Moody Center; Coachella Valley Arena in Palm Desert, California; Savannah Arena in Georgia; and Co-op Live in Manchester, UK, with the OVG venues able to call on “Ticketmaster’s digital technology to provide the industry leading tools needed to operate and adapt to the needs of concerts, games and other events”, say the partners.

This includes ‘Ticketing Concierge’, a contactless box office powered by Ticketmaster’s TM1 product suite which enables all ticketing transactions, account support, refunds and ‘will-call’ (on-the-door tickets) to be handled digitally, reducing the need for physical interactions between fans and staff.

“We know what a strong partner Ticketmaster is when it comes to bringing that premium ticketing experience to fans, and we look forward to partnering with them”

Venues equipped with Ticketing Concierge may admit fans through contactless scanners, with digital tickets accessed on their mobile devices, providing faster entry.

The venues may also implement new capabilities for contactless payment, mobile ordering and in-venue experiences via the Ticketmaster app, says the company.

“Ticketmaster is the best ticketing system in the world, and we’re pleased to offer their industry-leading technology across all of our world-class venues,” says Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “We know what a strong partner Ticketmaster is when it comes to bringing that premium ticketing experience to fans, and we look forward to partnering with them to bring the biggest artists and sporting events as we return to live.”

The deal with OVG follows the signing of a new agreement by Ticketmaster with ASM Global (formerly SMG/AEG Facilities) across its venues in North America.

 


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Ticketmaster France partners with Carrefour Spectacles

Ticketmaster France (TM) has become the official ticketing partner of Carrefour Spectacles, one of the most established ticketing retailers in the French market.

Under the partnership, TM France will facilitate all of Carrefour Spectacles’ ticketing activities, including online sales, and those at all 600+ ticket offices located in Carrefour Group hypermarkets and supermarkets around France.

Carrefour Spectacles customers will now have access to Ticketmaster’s services and products including an extended catalogue of events as well as new, immersive technologies such as interactive seating map technology.

“We’re thrilled to team up with such a major player in the French entertainment industry. Together, we will be able to connect even more French fans to the events they love,” says François Thominet, MD of Ticketmaster France.

“Simply put, we think our customers will have a better experience buying tickets with Ticketmaster”

“As we continue to invest and innovate our technology, we look forward to providing Carrefour Spectacles’ customers with the best ticketing experience as they return to live.”

Jean-Baptiste Prévoteau, director of merchant services for Carrefour, adds: “As we get ready to reopen our industry, we are so pleased to embark on this new partnership.

“Simply put, we think our customers will have a better experience buying tickets with Ticketmaster. Their ability to offer an enriched customer experience alongside unmatched ticketing technology led us to make this change, and we look forward to a very long and prosperous relationship.”

Carrefour’s ticketing services were previously provided by France Billet, now partially owned by Ticketmaster rival CTS Eventim.

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2021: This year’s queer pioneers revealed

IQ Magazine’s highly-anticipated LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – the first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – can now be revealed.

The landmark list is the jewel in the crown of IQs first-ever Pride edition, which was published on Monday (28 June) and followed by our Loud and Proud agency-curated playlist.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

The inaugural cohort comprises agents, promoters, COOs, CEOs, event producers, wellness specialists, tour managers and more, all of whom identify as LGBTIQ+ and, in the face of adversity, have made enormous contributions to their respective sectors.

“IQ received an unbelievable amount of heartwarming testimonials”

In no particular order, the LGBTIQ+ List 2021 is:

Steven Braines, co-founder, He.She.They (UK)
Sean Hill, director of tour marketing, UTA (UK)
Zoe Williamson, agent, UTA (US)
Will Larnach-Jones, managing director/head of bookings, Iceland Airwaves (IE)
Raven Twigg, promoter assistant, Metropolis Music/founder, Women Connect (UK)
Nadu Placca, global event & experience architect, The Zoo XYZ (UK)
Maxie Gedge, Keychange project manager, PRS Foundation (UK)
Mark Fletcher, CEO, Manchester Pride (UK)
Maddie Arnold, associate promoter, Live Nation (UK)
Lauren Kirkpatrick, promoter assistant, DF Concerts (UK)
Laura Nagtegaal, guitar technician and tour manager, MsGyver (NL)
Joanne Croxford, wellness + diversity specialist/ live touring/ tour assistant (UK)
James Murphy, chief operating officer North America, See Tickets (US)
Guy Howes, music partnerships executive, CAA (UK)
Doug Smith, SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster (UK)
Chris Ibbs, agent, CAA (UK)
Rach Millhauser, coordinator, Wasserman Music (US)
Austin Sarich, director of touring, Live Nation (US)
Daniel Brown, event producer/programmer, Birmingham Pride (UK)
Rauha Kyyrö, head promoter, Fullsteam Agency (FI)

“I never imagined I’d be so thrilled to see my inbox soar into triple digits – that is until we opened nominations for the LGBTIQ+ List 2021,” says IQ staff writer Lisa Henderson, who guest edited the Pride issue. “We received an unbelievable amount of heartwarming testimonials from across the business but, thanks to the help of our revered steering committee, we’ve ended up with 20 exemplary individuals who continually prove that diversity is the industry’s greatest strength.”

Full profiles of the individuals on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021 will appear online in the coming weeks. However, subscribers can read the entire feature in the Pride edition (issue 101) of IQ Magazine now.

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

 


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ASM Global expands partnership with Ticketmaster

ASM Global, the world’s biggest operator of entertainment venues, has expanded its ticketing partnership with Ticketmaster across its North American stadia, arenas, convention centres and performing arts venues.

In addition to extending their existing deal, the pair have have also expanded their relationship to include shows promoted by Ticketmaster parent Live Nation other ASM Global venues in North America. ASM, formed in 2019 by the merger of AEG Facilities and SMG, operates more than 300 venues on five continents.

The partnership will give the more than eight million fans that pass through ASM’s American and Canadian venues each year access to Ticketmaster’s digital ticketing offer, which includes contactless entry, mobile tickets, instant transfer to friends or other fans, and anti-counterfeiting measures, say the partners, while ASM benefits from Ticketmaster’s live analytics dashboard.

“ASM is our largest partner in North America, and we are proud to grow our great work together”

ASM Global president and CEO Ron Bension says: “With amazing content in all of our venues as a powerful foundation, we continue to discover imaginative new methods that leverage breakthrough technologies to create unparallelled consumer journeys, including innovative food and beverage and premium VIP treatment for fans. Aligning with industry leaders like Ticketmaster is a critical component in providing millions of people with the most seamless and secure live experiences.”

“ASM is our largest partner in North America, and we are proud to grow our great work together,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation. “We are committed to supporting ASM’s efforts to provide fans with best-in-class ticketing and fan-engagement now and into the future.”

AEG took full control of its own ticketing platform, AXS, last year, though the business sits outside ASM Global. In 2018, it was announced that AXS was the official resale and mobile ticketing partner to a number of AEG venues, including Staples Center (Los Angeles), PlayStation Theater (New York), Target Center (Minneapolis) and Sprint Center (Kansas City). Those venues did not become ASM properties upon the 2019 merger.

 


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Ticketmaster integrates with Snapchat

Ticketmaster has partnered with Snap, the developer of Snapchat, to launch two TM-branded ‘experiences’ in the popular teen-friendly video-sharing app.

The integration with Ticketmaster is one of several new features announced at Snap’s partner summit yesterday (20 May), with the leading ticketing company getting its own layer on Snapchat’s location-sharing feature, Snap Chat, as well as a Ticketmaster ‘Mini’ (Snap jargon for an in-app game or utlity) that allows Snapchat users to share concerts they are interested in with their friends and buy tickets.

Map Layers launches with two partners: Ticketmaster and restaurant review site The Infatuation. The Infatuation’s Layer overlays Infatuation-approved restaurants, while the Ticketmaster layer displays upcoming concerts at nearby venues. The Ticketmaster layer, which rolls out later this year, will take Snapchatters directly into the Ticketmaster Mini to buy tickets to the show.

The Ticketmaster layer rolls out later this year

The TM Mini also allows users to swipe right or left on different artists to connect with Snapchat friends across the world who want to see the same show.

At launch, the Ticketmaster layer and Mini will specifically on live music events, a spokesperson confirms.

The integration with Ticketmaster is the latest live music partnership for Snap, following an earlier tie-up with Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, as well as secondary ticketing site SeatGeek. Snapchat had around 265 million daily users as of Q4 2020.

 


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