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ASM Global pledges support to UK grassroots venues

ASM Global has pledged its support grassroots venues in the UK via Music Venue Trust (MVT) and an extensive set of new initiatives.

The venue management giant will step up its backing via donations, training and marketing support, with programmes that will roll out on a local level across ASM’s portfolio of UK venues.

OVO Arena Wembley has announced it will match Enter Shikari’s £1 per ticket sold donation to the MVT for their February 2024 show, while ASM will also make equipment and furniture in need of a new home available to grassroots music venues that need it. There will also be opportunities for additional fundraising activity.

“At ASM Global, we are very aware and concerned about the unprecedented cost pressures facing grassroots music venues, and in turn, the knock-on pressures placed on the pipeline of talent for the rest of the live music industry,” says recently announced MVT patron Tom Lynch, ASM’s commercial director and SVP Europe.

“This is an incredibly important first step towards ensuring that when an artist emerges from the grassroots sector, everyone shares in the success they generate once they reach the very top”

“Grassroots music venues are the lifeblood of our cultural fabric and where much of society truly falls in love with music for the first time. As a team, we have always admired the passion and hard work of Music Venue Trust, in providing a voice to grassroots music venues and creating a framework for vital support to keep the music playing.”

ASM will offer access to training either online or in its venues, as well as shadowing opportunities in key areas of operations to support the running of grassroots moving forward. ASM will be able to share guidance and insights received through its pledge to Greener Arena certification across its UK portfolio.

Elsewhere, marketing support will include inclusion in newsletters and linking to venue websites with event and ticketing information. The team will also offer social media support on a local level, as well as signage in venues, highlighting each city’s grassroots music venues, as well as more targeted support for specific venue shows.

“We want to thank ASM Global for being the first arena operators to respond to our call for support from the live music industry to deal with the crisis engulfing grassroots music venues,” adds MVT chief Mark Davyd. “This is an incredibly important first step towards ensuring that when an artist emerges from the grassroots sector, everyone shares in the success they generate once they reach the very top of the industry. We look forward to developing this important relationship.”

 


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Venues in the spotlight for next IQ Focus panel

Following on from last week’s popular Festival Forum session, this week’s IQ Focus virtual panel will turn the attention to venues, discussing how the world’s many shuttered music venues can weather the Covid-19 storm, and emerge from life under lockdown.

Chaired by John Langford (AEG Europe), The Venue’s Venue: Building Back, will feature speakers Lucy Noble (Royal Albert Hall/NAA), Olivier Toth (Rockhal/EAA), Oliver Hoppe (Wizard Promotions), Tom Lynch (ASM Global) and Lotta Nibell (GOT Event).

The touring world has changed dramatically since venue professionals came together for the Venue Summit at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in March, as doors have been shuttered, countless concerts cancelled and many venues repurposed to help in the fight against the disease.

Panellists will share their strategies on getting through the current crisis, as well as discussing the main lessons they have learned so far

Panellists will share their strategies on getting through the current crisis, as well as discussing the main lessons they have learned so far.

Looking to the future, the venue experts will also reflect on what the recovery process may look like and what will need to be done to keeps fans, staff and artists safe and get business back up and running in the crucial months ahead.

The session is taking place on Thursday 21 May at 3.30 (BST)/4.30 (CET). Get an automatic reminder when the live stream starts via Facebook Live or YouTube Live.


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ILMC speaker spotlight: John Langford, EAA/AEG

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) is now just over a week away and, as more and more chairs and panellists are announced, IQ catches up with some key speakers to hear what they hope to get out of this year’s conference.

Following on from the previous Speaker Spotlight, IQ talks to John Langford, president of the European Arenas Association (EAA) and AEG Europe COO.

Langford is chairing the Venue’s Venue: New builds, new brands panel to discuss what further competition and consolidation we can expect to see in the fast-evolving venue market.

He will be joined by panellists Jolanda Jansen (Rotterdam Ahoy), Brian Kabatznick (Oak View Group), Tom Lynch (ASM Global), Thomas Ovesen (Diriyah Gate Development Authority) and Harry Samuel (LiveStyled).

 


IQ: What do you expect to be the main talking points at your panel?

JL: I expect there will be lots of talk of new buildings and new markets. New arenas are not cheap, and returns can be limited in competitive markets or marginal locations, so what’s driving expansion and development plans? And what’s the reality of a ‘new arena model’?

Outside of Europe there are some exciting developments and new opportunities. We will look at what’s hot in Asia, the Middle East and Africa and ask whether building venues in those markets will create more demand for touring.

New arenas are not cheap, and returns can be limited, so what’s driving expansion and development plans?

With competition and consolidation in the venue market at an all-time high, has that had an affect on your day-to-day jobs?

Yes, absolutely. I am sure that each of the panel members can talk more to their experiences over the last eighteen months. From mergers to new players in the market, there’s a lot to talk about.

Would it be fair to say the large venue sector is among the most interesting parts of the music business right now?

Personally I believe that the entire live industry is in huge transformation. Specifically on the venue side, what we’re seeing in the large venue sector is mild compared to the storms facing grassroots venues. Business rates, gentrification, Brexit, skills shortages – it’s a minefield out there!

Is there anything else you’re particularly looking forward to at ILMC?

A cold Fightback lager at the end of a long day. All proceeds go to the Music Venues Trust! Beer with a conscience.

The Venue’s Venue panel is taking place at 10 a.m. on Thursday 5 March at ILMC.

 


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