fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Coldplay detail ‘eco-friendly’ world tour

Coldplay have announced their first tour in four years, which will have an ‘eco-friendly’ focus.

The British band previously said that they would put touring plans on hold as they investigate how to make their concerts more sustainable.

Today, they announced their return to the road which will follow the band’s new album ‘Music of the Spheres’, out tomorrow (15 October).

The Music of the Spheres world tour will kick off in March 2022 in Costa Rica, which has one of the highest rates of renewable energy generation in the world.

Dates for the first seven countries have been announced today and include three at Wembley Stadium (cap. 90,000) in London, two at Stade de France (81,000) in Paris and two at Olympiastadion Berlin (74,000).

According to frontman Chris Martin revealed that the tour will partly be powered by a dancefloor that generates electricity when fans jump up and down, and pedal power at the venues.

“I literally really need you to jump up and down. Because if you don’t, then the lights go out.”

Martin told the BBC in his first interview about the plans that fans will be on “kinetic flooring”.

“When they move, they power the concert,” he said. “And we have bicycles too that do the same thing.”

“The more people move, the more they’re helping. You know when the frontman says, ‘We need you to jump up and down’?

“When I say that, I literally really need you to jump up and down. Because if you don’t, then the lights go out.”

The kinetic flooring is part of a 12-point plan to cut the band’s carbon footprint.

The concerts will use electricity from batteries fuelled by fan power as well as solar energy, recycled cooking oil from local restaurants and mains power from 100% renewable sources where available. For every ticket sold, the band will plant a tree.

“The whole show is powered from renewable energy, which is amazing”

The singer admitted they had not figured out how to cut the environmental impact of some parts of touring but their goal for a few years’ time is to have “slightly shifted the status quo of how a tour works”.

“In some areas, there’s still not enough possible, like how do you get people to a venue without consuming any power? That’s still really hard,” he said.

“Or flying – there’s still a lot of offsetting we have to do, because even sustainable aviation fuel isn’t good enough yet.

“So we know where we still have a long way to go. But in terms of the show itself, the whole show is powered from renewable energy, which is amazing.”

Ahead of the tour, Coldplay will open Oak View Group’s (OVG) Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle – the world’s first carbon-neutral certified arena – on 22 October.

Coldplay’s last tour, A Head Full of Dreams, saw them perform to 5.4 million people across 122 shows in five continents.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The New Bosses 2021: Talissa Buhl, FKP Scorpio

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Paris Harding, promoter at SJM, UK, here.

Born and raised in Oldenburg, Germany, Talissa Buhl always wanted to live in Hamburg, where she has been for the past nine years. After leaving school, she travelled through Australia and New Zealand, and then decided that rather than studying, she wanted to do something more hands-on.

She secured an apprenticeship at Kontor Records but her main interest was always the live music business. Indeed, Buhl recalls being at Hurricane Festival in 2010, and realising she’d love to work behind the scenes. Six years later, she started working with FKP’s festival booking team, booking Hurricane (among many other festivals), and now she leads the team.


Do you think working on the record label side of the business helped you in your career on the festivals side?
The entertainment industry is not one dimensional. It’s important to try to have a good understanding and knowledge of the landscape we work in, in its entirety.

I’d applied for an apprenticeship at FKP before I worked at Kontor Records but didn’t get the job at the time. This was the best thing that could’ve happened because in the end working at the label gave me enough experience to get a proper job in the festival department.

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
More diversity within the industry, and on festival bills. There’s still room for improvement and the whole industry needs to be aware of its responsibilities. It’s incredibly important to be proactive and not reactive on this subject. We must include diversity in our conversations from the start of the process, whether that’s booking a festival or hiring staff.

“It’s incredibly important to be proactive and not reactive with more diversity within the industry, and on festival bills”

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Getting to where I am now is something that I’m proud of as someone who didn’t have any family members or friends working in the music business – and especially as a woman in a very male-dominated industry. I remember being at Hurricane Festival in 2010, saying that I’d love to know what it might be like working behind the scenes of such a big festival. Six years later, in 2016, I started at FKP’s festival booking team, actually booking Hurricane festival (among many other festivals), now even leading the team.

What are you most looking forward to as the pandemic restrictions are lifted?
I can’t wait to be in front of a stage again to experience live music and to witness the actual result of my work. I’m also really looking forward to being able to meet friends and family again without having to worry too much about restrictions. Just like it was before the pandemic, but hopefully with some improvements!

“The biggest challenge FKP Scorpio and I has been finding a Covid-clause for the contracts that everyone can agree to”

What’s the biggest challenge for you and the FKP Scorpio team in the year ahead?
Honestly, probably something really boring such as finding a Covid-clause for the contracts that everyone can agree to. Other than that, we need to be able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape around us. We have to be aware of possible cancellations and have solutions in our back pocket so that we can keep fans and artists happy.

We’ve heard a lot about the closer collaboration between agents and promoters during the past year. What’s your experience of that been, and how do you see it developing as the business reopens?
I have really enjoyed getting to know more agents on a more personal level and sharing our experiences when we speak, rather than just talking about festival slots and arguing over money or billing. I hope that’s something we can maintain!

What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find a job in live music?
You don’t need to go a conventional road (e.g. university). Your network and patience are way more important. Always trust your gut and don’t forget to take holidays. You have to take care of your own mental health and be mindful of those around you.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Roadie Cookbook to fund mental health aid on tour

A group of live music crew members have curated a non-profit cookbook with the aim of funding mental health first aid training for ‘every tour bus in the UK’.

The publication, titled The Roadie Cookbook: Toured There, Ate That, is a collection of 50 recipes, anecdotes and advice, helping road crew continue to enjoy meals together in the absence of crew catering.

For each copy sold, 100% of profits will go towards charities Music Support and Stagehand to help continue funding, delivering and normalising mental health first aid training.

The brains behind the book is production manager Nick Gosling (Nile Rodgers & Chic), who came up with the idea in April 2020, at the onset of the pandemic.

The project was curated with production coordinator Julie Cotton (Massive Attack), production assistant Athena Caramitsos and backline tech Rich House (Elbow), after the four encouraged their peers to share recipes over social media and Zoom in the absence of touring.

“While almost every venue in the world closed, home kitchens became the new catering hub for unemployed workers”

“Food is a fundamental part of life on the road,” a press release reads. “When the devastation of Covid-19 hit, live music stopped overnight, and tour buses stood still. While almost every venue in the world closed, home kitchens became the new catering hub for unemployed music workers.

“As stories of memorable meals and secret ingredients in roadie comfort food took hold, so did the stark reality that isolation and mental ill-health was becoming commonplace within the forgotten touring business…the idea of an industry cookbook was formed.”

The book’s contributors have worked with artists and events ranging from Dolly Parton to Bryan Ferry, Chemical Brothers, Kylie Minogue, Glastonbury, Linkin Park, Robbie Williams, Anastacia and Jay Z.

Recipes include The Killer Sandwich, Stage Left Satay Bowls, Tour Bus Nachos, and the Loose Cocktail.

Pre-order The Roadie Cookbook: Toured There, Ate That for £25 here.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Austin Sarich, Live Nation

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 Raven Twigg, promoter assistant at Metropolis Music in the UK here.

 


Austin Sarich
he/him
Tour director – North America touring, Live Nation
Los Angeles, US
Linkedin.com/in/austin-sarich-193a2265

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
It was a true privilege to be a part of Oprah’s 2020 Vision Touring Team. It was meaningful to me to help successfully grow a project that aimed to inspire people through personal growth and self-discovery.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Your sexual orientation will always be a part of your identity, however, it doesn’t have to be what defines you. Let your work, passion, and drive be your great impact on the industry, regardless of your sexual orientation.

“Your sexual orientation will always be a part of your identity, however, it doesn’t have to be what defines you”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Working in a male-dominated industry, I would often find myself internalising that my sexual orientation would put me at a disadvantage when I first began navigating the relationships I was making.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Leading through empathy – knowing everyone has their own personal and professional challenges, which could help unify us as a whole.

A cause you support.
Today, I’m Brave, which is an organisation that focuses on empowering underserved youth to be brave and unlock their best potential.

“Leading through empathy – knowing everyone has their own personal and professional challenges”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
An industry filled with gratitude and prosperity. After a year of uncertainty, I confidently believe we are all grateful to have live events back, with fans who have more of an appetite than ever to see their favourite acts live in concert.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
I would hope that post-pandemic we can all operate efficiently with patience, kindness, and appreciation for each other and the hard work we commit to.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Michael Rapino: ‘Live Nation’s US biz is fully reopen’

Live Nation Entertainment’s US concert business is now “fully open,” according to CEO Michael Rapino.

“We’re very excited about the American market. Seventy per cent of our business is going to be in the US and the UK. Those two markets seem on track,” he told CNBC on Thursday (8 July).

In the States, Live Nation has already hit a major post-restrictions milestone with its full-capacity show at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden (cap. 20,000), performed by the Foo Fighters, which was the venue’s first concert since March 2020.

Continuing on an upward trajectory, Live Nation will host 30 US-wide amphitheatre tours at full capacity beginning this week, according to the CEO.

Later in July, the live entertainment giant will host the Rolling Loud festival in Miami – expected to bring in around 200,000 people – and a further 10–15 more festivals this summer.

“We’re going to make sure that we don’t [put on] four shows in one week and you’ve got to pick one”

In the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call in May, it reported that US festivals including Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy and Rolling Loud festivals all sold out in record times at full capacity.

The company also reported an increasingly busy 2022, after the number of major tours for next year increased by double-digits from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Addressing concerns about whether the backlog of concerts caused by the pandemic will result in an oversaturated market, Rapino told CNBC that artists will not perform “unless they have the weekends, and the right cities and the right markets”.

“We’re going to make sure that we don’t [put on] four shows in one week and you’ve got to pick one,” the CEO said. “We’ll spread those over a couple of years and a couple of markets. So we look at the pent-up demand as lots of availability, but we’re also going to make sure the consumer has time to buy it.”

While the US surges ahead, Rapino expects Live Nation’s European market to reopen by the autumn, and the Asian market to return in 2022 due to a delay in Covid vaccinations. “It’ll be a record 2022 and 2023,” he said.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Positive changes in touring start with baby steps

Continuing our series of columns by leading production and tour managers, IQ speaks to Rebecca Travis who has been on the road for over two decades with artists including Florence + The Machine, Ellie Goulding and Arcade Fire. Catch up on the previous Production Notes comment from Chris Kansy here.

 


IQ: What was the last tour you did before the pandemic took effect in 2020?
RT: I was in Australia with Freya Ridings, and the fear of the pandemic was definitely bubbling. After our second show, in Melbourne on 12 March, we knew we had to get everybody home. We got back and they shut the Australian border shortly after – the timing was so tight.

How has lockdown treated you?
My partner and I moved to the Scottish borders and it’s a beautiful part of the world. I’ve been on tour for 20 years and this is the longest I’ve been at home. There are parts of this that are really positive. There were so many years where I decided to have a quiet year but was then offered an amazing opportunity I couldn’t turn down, so the enforced downtime has definitely had positives. But enough already… can we please get back to work now?

During lockdown you joined the newly formed Touring Production Group (TPG). Can you tell us more about that?
TPG started as weekly Zooms with production and tour managers (organised and chaired by Wob Roberts) getting together to produce a document on how we might tour post-Covid. It developed into something bigger and subgroups were formed in sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion; and mental welfare and personal wellbeing.

I really hope when we finally get back on the road that we can actually put [TPG’s] ideas into practice and make a difference

We have now opened up membership and have had a great response from people keen to make positive changes in touring. It’s important that people in this sector support each other and share knowledge and values and ideas about how we can make the industry a better place to be. I really hope when we finally get back on the road that we can actually put these ideas into practice and make a difference.

In which areas of touring do you hope TPG will make an impact?
Hopefully, in all of the areas we are working on. For example, sustainability. If we’re all asking venues for certain things to make the industry greener, hopefully it’ll become the norm to provide them. I think a lot of these changes have to come from the artist and then it’ll just become a part of what we have to do – it’ll be normal to say “we’re not going to do that trip” or “we’ll offset that trip.”

We’ve also spoken to agents about routing tours in a greener way, asking that they don’t make us double back on ourselves, but we have to be realistic – post-Covid tour routing will be a challenge for agents. We’ve spoken about sustainability all this time; we have to start now and at least implement small changes and keep the discussions going even when we’re back to work.

We can’t just jump straight back on a bus and do 18-hour days. We’re not match fit

Have you had any revelations about the way the touring industry operates?
There have been a lot of revelations about the madness of zipping all over the world; moving in ten trucks’ worth of equipment, setting it up for a show and then putting it back in the trucks and moving it to the next place. Perhaps we will see bands adopt a more simple stage set-up, rather than lugging around all these bells and whistles. Also, Covid-wise, are we going to want to have 14 or 16 people on a tour bus? Maybe things will be scaled down a bit when we return.

Has the enforced downtime put into perspective just how demanding your job is?
Yes. It would be ideal to perhaps do a little less touring and maybe not take 18 months of solid work at a time. We do long hours on the road – you might get up at six in the morning and might not get back into the bunk until 3 am, and you’re going to do that three times in a row before you have a day off and can collapse in a heap.

In the TPG’s mental health and welfare chats, we’re discussing how to make that better, especially because we’ve just had completely different lives throughout the pandemic. We can’t just jump straight back on a bus and do 18-hour days. We’re not match fit. I think, in terms of all these things like mental health and sustainability, it’s about gently easing ourselves back into this. Baby steps.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

AEG Presents forms Climate Positive Touring group

AEG Presents is forming a team of industry professionals from production, marketing, and operations dedicated to ‘moving the live business towards a greener future’.

The team, dubbed Climate Positive Touring (CPT), comprises staffers who work across various business divisions of AEG Presents including Concerts West, Global Touring, International Touring, Marshall Arts, Messina Touring Group, and AEG Global Partnerships.

Reducing tour-related carbon emissions, supporting locally led environmental and climate justice programmes, and creating impact on both the operating and consumer-side of touring are at the top of the group’s agenda.

“AEG Presents has the ability and structure to really make a global impact in moving our entire business – which has had a traditionally significant carbon footprint – toward a zero-emissions future,” says Jay Marciano, chairman and CEO, AEG Presents.

“AEG Presents has the ability and structure to really make a global impact in moving our entire business”

“The company’s reach enables us to execute at every level of the live experience: from clubs and theatres to arenas, global tours, and festivals. I’m looking forward to seeing how the CPT group begins to implement their plans as the business starts to reopen this year.”

Jointly leading CPT is AEG Presents’ Amy Morrison, who adds: “With light at the end of the tunnel, we feel it’s the right time to announce CPT and our short- and long-term strategies. We’ve been working on this since the earliest days of the shutdown. Now that live music is coming back, we can put our goals into action. As promoters, we will literally put our message on the road, modelling achievable sustainability, with the power of music in our sails.”

CPT has already deployed two major initiatives: the Venue Environmental Survey and the CPT Green Touring Guide.

The survey will gather data that allow venues, artists and CPT to work together to identify sustainability priorities and solutions while the touring guide is to provide guidance and insights that promoters can utilise in the hopes of showing both venues and artists a path forward to net zero or better carbon emissions.

“The company’s reach enables us to execute at every level of the live experience”

The first installment of the guide, titled The Starting Seven, is a compendium of seven actions promoters can take to start to make a positive environmental impact.

CPT is co-headed by Amy Morrison and Nicole Neal, who are joined by Jon Baden, Amy Buck, Caroline Burruss, Kelly DiStefano, Kate Lewis, Mike Luba, Ben Martin, Alexandra McArthur, Kate McMahon, David Rappaport, and Connie Shao.

CPT works in collaboration with AEG 1Earth, AEG’s corporate sustainability program.

The news of CPT comes shortly after Earth Day (22 April), when a host of new initiatives were announced, including a special summer edition of the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and Live Nation’s new Green Nation Touring Program.

GEI, the leading conference for sustainability in the international events sector, will hold its summer edition on 16 September 2021. Tickets are on sale now.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

New-found wealth in a time without touring

Most of us have been home for over a year now. The break from touring due to the pandemic has become a transitional period, out of an initial shock with the frailty of human existence on this planet, and into a new normal.

Are we the same people we were in 2019? My 5 am lobby call has been swapped out for eight hours of sleep. The after-show pizza and wine have been swapped out for reading a book or falling asleep to Netflix by 10.30 pm. I even have a workout routine and feel stronger now than I have felt in the last 20 years.

And then something else happened – I became a much better father to my ten-year-old daughter. Who knew? Despite the lack of work, I am incredibly lucky to be able to say this period has been enriching.

It’s an aggressive tug of war, pulling me back and forth between a healthy home life and the addiction to touring

With all this new-found wealth, why is it that some days I feel like I’m stranded in the desert, wandering around lost, looking for the loading dock?

The experience is an aggressive tug of war, pulling me back and forth between a healthy home life and the addiction to touring. This is a strong addiction and I feel the withdrawals every day.

Touring has instilled order in my life. I am regimented to a routine of: get off the bus, load-in, show, load-out, bus, hotel, load-in, etc. Disciplines are learned and muscle memory makes it all effortless. My body clock aligns with the job at hand. Responsibility, progress and accomplishment become my drug.

What do I do without this rush? How do I cope in this other world without that needed fuel?

There is no bigger rush than a great load-out

On the road, sleep is the thing I want the most and yet the hardest thing to get. I stand on concrete all day long. I drink probably more than I should. Why do I miss that so much? Is it because we are people who thrive on accomplishing routine miracles?

In our element, we get little hits of dopamine for everything we achieve throughout a 16-hour show day. It becomes part of our body chemistry.

There is a sense of belonging and tribalism we have with one another as well. We share teamwork and friendly competition. I love the banter between the stage-left PA fly guy and the stage-right fly guy as they compete to drop their last box.

There is no bigger rush than a great load-out. You know, the ones that flow so well it seems like the trucks are loading themselves? So good that even a cable bridge couldn’t screw it up.

On a personal level, I have accomplished so much more than I would have if touring had continued

The feeling of camaraderie is strongest when on the bus after a great load-out as you embark toward a day-off hotel. The wine tastes great and the food is hardy. The song being played is the best song you have ever heard. You can see the sense of accomplishment in each other’s faces. Life rarely gets better than at that exact moment. Man, do I miss it.

I do enjoy being home, though. Perhaps much of this withdrawal stems from financial uncertainty, which makes my feet feel heavy some days. But on a personal level, I have accomplished so much more than I would have if touring had continued.

This last year brought genuine life-changing experiences. I’ve had moments to sit back and ponder my and my family’s future. Build things. Create things. Experience things. I think it’s safe to say that I have grown personally.

Remaining optimistic throughout this period has served me well

Sometimes being scared can straighten you out a little bit as well. If I choose to think about money, I could easily fall down the rabbit hole of despair. Remaining optimistic throughout this period has served me well, and the spotlight at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter by the day.

The thought of going back to work again won’t be abstract for much longer. I look forward to walking into the venue to the aroma of bacon in the air, watching the trucks unload and feeling the euphoria of the house lights going out to start the show.

The pandemic has devastated our industry. Crew, vendors, venue staff and all the various businesses that support us have all had major setbacks. But as we begin to find our way out of the desert, it is possible that some wonderful things have also transpired.

I hope in my heart that after we get back to work and the anxiety has subsided, we can look back at 2020 and 2021 and have something to remember them fondly by.

 


Chris Kansy is a production manager who has worked with Roger Waters, Muse and Massive Attack.

Neil Warnock: “It’s time to get entrepreneurial”

UTA’s global head of touring, Neil Warnock, has predicted that the demand for live entertainment when the threat of Covid-19 starts to subside “will be like opening a floodgate”, but says the industry needs to be entrepreneurial about how concerts can return.

“People will definitely want to be entertained, they will want to go and see some music and I think [live entertainment] is going to have a boom time,” Warnock told ILMC head Greg Parmley during his Eurosonic Noorderslag keynote ‘What is the Future of Live?’.

“But if we can’t go and see music the way that we hope to see it, maybe we can provide it in a different way? Let’s be entrepreneurial and think about how we can actually bring everybody together. We’ve got an audience and we’ve got artists so how we are going to actually make it work in a safe environment, in a way that maybe we weren’t looking at before?” he said.

However, the UTA chief is optimistic that the pandemic – and the subsequent shakeup in the agency landscape – has given the industry the fresh sense of entrepreneurship that is needed.

“We’re seeing seeing some very interesting developments, as we always do in these circumstances, where agents have left the major agencies to set up their own shop and, to me, that’s very exciting because I think [those agents] are the new entrepreneurs of the future,” he said.

“I think what’s going to come out of this is very refreshing because it’s shaken up the industry. It’s all made us think of what we’re going to do and I think in the next couple of years we’re going to see some exciting stuff happening. I think the strong will get stronger, the entrepreneurs will make money, and the people we lose, we should probably have lost anyway.”

“Nationally, we should be looking at our own artists that don’t have to leave the country and how best we utilise their time”

Warnock said that one way agents could be enterprising in the current climate is to come up with innovative ways to utilise and develop their domestic roster, until international touring can properly resume.

“Nationally, we should be looking at our own artists that don’t have to leave the country and how best we utilise their time and how best we put bills and events together within the UK. And so we’re providing entertainment with local talent as much as we can and developing or redeveloping some of the talent that maybe hasn’t been out to a number of cities or towns in many years.

“For example, if you have an artist that has done 10 arenas, there’s nothing stopping them doing 50 theatres. Also, there’s a lot of smaller open-air events that one could look at and say ‘how can we successfully promote that?’. I think it’s just about entrepreneurship and thinking on the ground about how best we’re going to do this.”

While Warnock says the return of European touring will rely on both the safety and economic viability of shows, he’s hopeful about organising tours in Australasia in the not-too-distant future, where many countries have got the virus under control and are embracing a return to live.

“I can see artists flying independently and doing a Japanese tour, once they’ve got the situation under control, and maybe playing Singapore and Hong Kong if they are safe. Same, if Australia and New Zealand begin to open up, but they can be toured seperately or South America,” he said.

“Nationally, we should be looking at our own artists that don’t have to leave the country and how best we utilise their time”

As for Brexit, Warnock believes that the UK will find a practical solution for touring because it has to, but until then “we become third country status”.

“If you look at that as a definition of where the UK is in the world, that then gives you an idea of what can happen in terms of work permits, and how we actually work with our partner countries across across Europe. So we’ll be treated in the same way as the US, or Australia or Canada going into Europe.”

During the keynote, Warnock also addressed the snowballing popularity of livestreaming and says he believes it’s going to be a component of the live experience going forward.

“I don’t see it going away. Some are saying if you’ve got an artist that can generally sell 15,000–20,000 tickets in London, why not put them in the Albert Hall and sell 5,000 concert tickets and 15,000 livestream tickets,” he said.

“My view is, fine, I would much rather keep the live component going and play to all of those 20,000 people but I think this is going to depend on the artist and what they want to do with their time and their lives.

“Not every streaming show has been an unbelievable success, the big ones where there’s been good investment have proved to do well. But even then, it’s not guaranteed that a streaming show is going to do which is the same with live.”

Eurosonic Noorderslag concludes today.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

The Brexit deal: What we know so far

The live music industry has been left with many unanswered questions by the post-Brexit trade deal, which was agreed upon by the UK and the EU on Christmas Eve (24 December).

The deal, which was signed into law yesterday, takes effect at 11 pm GMT today (31 December) – four-and-a-half years after the UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum and almost a year after the UK officially left the EU.

While much of the impact on touring musicians and productions is still unclear, IQ spoke with specialists across concert hauliers, freight and visas, to identify the current state of play for the live music business.

Concert Hauliers
According to Richard Burnett, CEO, Road Haulage Association, the biggest issue the new Free Trade Agreement presents to concert hauliers is restricted access to the market. This is due to reduced cabotage – a restriction of movements within a country.

Before Brexit, concert hauliers were not restricted in the number of times they could unload and load productions on a European tour. From tomorrow, trucks over 3.5 tonnes are limited to just three internal movements.

“So, a haulier could drop off a load in Paris, pick up a load in Paris, and then take it to Leon. And then the haulier would have to come home,” Burnett explains. The cabotage rules are also reciprocal; European trucks touring the UK would have equally limited movements.

From tomorrow, trucks over 3.5 tonnes are limited to just three internal movements

An estimated 85% of the European concert trucking business is based from the UK. Burnett says that currently, the only way those hauliers can continue to provide the same service they have for decades is by setting up a European operation which “costs a lot of money… hauliers have already had the worst year in their history due to Covid and are struggling enormously as it is.”

Seeking an exemption from the current rules, the Road Haulage Association and umbrella trade group LIVE is lobbying the UK Government to intervene and prevent large-scale European touring out of the UK from effectively being unable to resume in 2021.

ATA carnets
The carnet system will once again apply within Europe, as it did prior to the UK’s membership of the EU, and in line with other non-EU international tours.

It will now be necessary for tours to obtain ATA Carnets for all equipment travelling outside of the UK on a temporary basis. And while the carnet process is well established, its reintroduction is expected to add friction and cost to European touring, with its impact felt more intensely by grassroots and emerging artists.

“Merchandise shipments and any other consumable items cannot be shipped on a carnet so they will probably have to enter the EU on a permanent basis and, whilst they should be duty-free, a local company in the European destination country will have to take responsibility for the VAT due on the import,” says John Corr at Sound Moves.

While the carnet process is well established, its reintroduction is expected to add friction and cost to European touring

In terms of logistics, Corr points out that the new deal will require all trucks of 7.5 tonnes and above to have submitted customs clearance details and obtained a Kent Access Permit to be allowed to enter the county, to then make use of one of the document processing facilities and be allowed to board and cross.

His colleague, Martin Corr, stresses the inevitable delays tours will suffer while everyone gets used to the new customs procedures and processes.

“In the long term, promoters, managers and productions managers will have to budget for extra costs in relation to raising and bonding carnets. At the same time, itineraries will need to be carefully scrutinised to allow for the extra time and potential delays whilst carnets and other documents – including those for the truck and the drivers – are presented, approved, and customs and immigration release obtained,” he says.

Visas
For outbound immigration (UK to EU), visa requirements for touring musicians and crew will, in the future, be up to each individual country and enquiries are underway regarding immigration regulations applicable to each individual member state for outbound mobility from the UK.

A recent blog post by immigration specialists Viva La Visa states that, “The hoped-for provision for a dedicated clear permit free route for UK performers and their crews to operate in the EU was not there”. Industry associations are subsequently pressing for urgent clarification.

For inbound immigration, from tomorrow EU musicians (and entourages) will be coming into the UK through any of the existing three routes that apply to non-visa nationals: Certificates of Sponsorship (Tier 5), Permitted Paid Engagements (PPE) and Permit Free Festivals.

Various petitions have been launched in relation to musicians working in the EU post-Brexit including ‘Seek Europe-wide Visa-free work permit for Touring professionals and Artists‘ which will be debated in Parliament after surpassing 100,000 signatures, and the Musicians’ Union’s ‘Musicians’ Passport’ campaign.

IQ will be updating readers as further details of the new Brexit deal are clarified…

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.