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Camila Cabello set for UEFA final opening ceremony

Pop star Camila Cabello will headline this year’s UEFA Champions League final opening ceremony.

The Cuban-American singer will perform a five-minute medley from the Stade de France, Paris on Saturday 28 May, moments prior to Liverpool and Real Madrid battling it out for the biggest prize in European football.

Now in its sixth year, the Pepsi Max-presented opening ceremony has previously hosted acts such as Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons, Alicia Keys and Marshmello.

“Pepsi Max has been working with UEFA to build the opening ceremony platform since 2016 and we’re delighted to be returning to live stadium shows and bringing Camila Cabello to the stage this year,” says Pepsi’s global marketing VP Eric Melis. “Pepsi Max has a long and rich heritage in entertainment and this year’s show will not disappoint as we bring elements of Camila’s Latina spirit to one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year.”

“These events always provide the ultimate cross-pollination of sport and music”

This year’s opening ceremony performance will air in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, with fans able to tune in via their local broadcaster and through the official UEFA TikTok and YouTube channels.

“We are excited to be collaborating with our long-standing partners at Pepsi Max for yet another highly entertaining opening ceremony performance at the 2022 UEFA Champions League final,” adds UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein. “These events always provide the ultimate cross-pollination of sport and music which we know fans love to watch – and Pepsi Max is the perfect partner to help us do that.

“We know that Camila Cabello is one of the world’s most popular artists and she will help us to build on our fans’ excitement for the opening ceremony performance with a show football fans will never forget.”


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Atomic Kitten, ‘Three Lions’ trio reform amid Euros fever

After England made history by qualifying for the final of the Euro 2020 football championship, the team’s first finals appearance in a major international tournament since 1966, a number of musical acts are hoping to capitalise on their success as the event nears its end.

The Lightning Seeds, whose song ‘Three Lions’, with comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, hit number one in 1996 and 1998, will reunite with Baddiel and Skinner for a performance of the song on Channel 4’s The Last Leg tonight (9 July) ahead of a rumoured pre-match show at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Lightning Seeds frontman Ian Broudie tells I he wanted to “find an occasion” to perform the song before the match, which sees Italy face England at home, but a hoped-for pre-match rendition on the Wembley Stadium pitch is “out of my control”, he says. “We haven’t been invited to yet.”

While it unlikely any performance of ‘Three Lions’ would be allowed at the stadium before kick-off, the trio could potentially team up again at an unofficial event or post-match celebrations (should England win), I reports.


The Lightning Seeds continue their SJM-promoted Jollification tour, marking the 25th anniversary of the seminal 1994 album, in September with rescheduled dates in London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.

Elsewhere, early-2000s girl group Atomic Kitten have reunited to re-work their 2001 no 1 ‘Whole Again’ as a tribute to England manager Gareth Southgate.

The release of ‘Southgate You’re the One (Football’s Coming Home Again)’ comes as the band prepares for a handful of summer festival dates, including We Love 90s in Darlington (27 August), Mighty Hoopla in south London (4 September) and Biggest 90s Disco in Dublin (23 October).

“‘Southgate You’re the One’ is totally inspired by the England football fans in support of Gareth Southgate and the super-talented England football team,” say the trio in a statement. “We will be singing loud and proud: ‘Football’s Coming Home’.”

Euro 2020 kicked off on 11 June with a livestreamed show by the Edge (of U2) and DJ Martin Garrix, who performed tournament anthem ‘We Are the People’ inside a virtually rendered stadium. U2 frontman Bono, meanwhile, who sings lead on the track, performed his parts as a holographic head.

Other notable Euro 2020 music moments included a record-breaking TikTok event featuring Ed Sheeran, who played to 5.5m people from Ipswich Town’s Portman Road stadium as part of a partnership between TikTok and tournament organiser Uefa.


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Ed Sheeran smashes TikTok livestreaming record

Ed Sheeran has set a new record for the most-watched live music performance on the viral short-form video app TikTok.

The record-breaking live stream took place last Friday (25 June) at Sheeran’s home football ground of Portman Road, Ipswich Town, UK, as part of TikTok’s partnership with UEFA (The Union of European Football Associations) during the Euro 2020 tournament.

More than 5.5 million unique viewers tuned in to the singer’s hour-long TikTok live stream (dubbed the TikTok UEFA EURO 2020 Show) and the two replays the following day.

According to the platform, the show was the biggest-ever live music performance on TikTok, surpassing the 4 million people who tuned in for Justin Bieber’s Valentine’s Day TikTok live stream in February.

“The bar for what is possible within the livestreaming format has been creatively raised”

The spectator-free show, directed by Emil Nava and Hamish Hamilton, incorporated special effects, augmented reality and prominent TikTok stars. It also marked the live premiere of Sheeran’s new single ‘Bad Habits’.

“The TikTok UEFA 2020 Show was an incredible moment for our community around the world and a turning point for live music streaming,” says Paul Hourican, head of music operations UK TikTok. “The bar for what is possible within the livestreaming format has been creatively raised and it has been shown how big and ambitious TikTok can be for artists.”

Ed Howard, co-president of Sheeran’s record label, Atlantic Records, added: “For Ed, Grumpy Old Management and Atlantic, uniting and reaching their global fan base was imperative for the launch of their new campaign, as well as our close partnership with Paul and the entire TikTok team enabled us to achieve this goal in a uniquely creative way.”


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Coda, Uefa partner on Together #WePlayStrong campaign

Uefa, the governing body of football in Europe, has joined forces with Rita Ora on Together #WePlay Strong, Uefa’s campaign to encourage participation in football among girls and young women.

The news – announced today by Coda Agency, where Ora (pictured) is repped by Sol Parker – sees Uefa (Union of European Football Associations) become the sponsor of of Ora’s Girls tour, her first in five years, which includes stops in 13 cities in the UK and Europe.

Peter Willems, Uefa’s head of marketing and sponsorship activities, says: “We’re excited to have Rita Ora on board with Together #WePlayStrong. We believe we’ve formed the perfect partnership that will help to grow the game across Europe for young girls.

“Our partnership will continue to evolve with dynamic surprises that will help connect Uefa to the world of young women through music, entertainment, fashion and sport.”

The Kosovo-born star’s previous headline tour was 2013’s Radioactive, of Europe, Asia and Australasia, which wrapped up at the Royal Norfolk Showground Arena (4,000-cap.) in August.


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Uefa files criminal complaints against Viagogo

The Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) has lodged criminal complaints against Viagogo for the illegal resale of Euro 2016 tickets.

European football’s governing body has complained to public prosecutors in several French cities, alleging that by taking a commission on touted tickets to the football tournament, currently taking place in France, the secondary ticketing site is breaking a law that says tickets can only be sold through Uefa itself.

It is also making a civil case to the High Court of Paris (Tribunal de grande instance de Paris, TGI).

SudOuest.fr’s Jean-Pierre Tamisier reports police raided the Le Provençal hotel on Saturday, seizing computers and envelopes full of tickets.

Uefa’s legal counsel, Gregory Lepesqueux, tells Tamisier that Viagogo had also neglected to provide seat information to buyers, putting “our entire policy of segregation, for reasons of safety, […] in jeopardy”.

IQ has contacted Viagogo for comment.


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