UK’s first queer camping festival to launch this year
The ‘UK’s first LGBTQ+ electronic music and camping festival’ is set to launch this year.
Taking place at Springfield Farm in St Albans on 28–29 May, Flesh festival will offer a line-up that is majority women, trans+ and non-binary artists.
Ellen Allien, VTSS, LSDXOXO, Rebekah, object blue, Jaguar, Syreeta, Hyperaktivist and Juliana Huxtable are among some of the acts confirmed to perform across the festival’s three stages.
“Flesh will address long-term issues in festival programming, which is dominated by male artists, breaking the cycle and allowing emerging and underrepresented talent to break through on a worldwide platform,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.
“[Flesh] will create visibility and generate bookings for the artists involved and set an example for other promoters to follow”
“Being featured on a major festival line-up will create visibility and generate bookings for the artists involved and set an example for other promoters to follow.”
Riposte London, a queer club night, will also be hosting a sober tent where ticketholders can take part in workshops, attend panels and relax in a calm environment.
Flesh has also launched an open call for emerging QTIPOC (Queer, Transgender and Intersex People of Colour) artists to apply for two scholarships for the London Sound Academy and ongoing mentorship. Winners will have the chance to perform at the festival in May.
Weekend camping tickets cost £114, while two-day tickets without camping cost £89.
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Earth Agency and Evolution Artists join forces
Evolution Artists, a UK-based international agency for DJs and MCs, is joining forces with London-based Earth Agency.
Under the partnership, Evolution founders Clive Mill and James Smith will bring their roster of revered drum & bass acts – live and DJ – to Earth.
2Shy, Emperor, DJinn, Fabio & Grooverider, Jubei, Monty, Annix, Hadley, Foreign Concept, Simula and Skantia are among the artists represented by Mill and Smith.
The pair are the latest agents to join Earth following a raft of recent hires including Sam Gill and Angie Rance from UTA, Serena Parsons from Primary, Ben Haslett and Alba Martin from Stepping Tiger and Jan Bouwhuis from BLip.
“We are all really happy to welcome these wonderful agents to our team at Earth”
“We are all really happy to welcome these wonderful agents to our team at Earth,” reads a statement from Earth.
“They each bring real specialist knowledge and experience, and all share the same independent ethos and values that we created Earth Agency to support and be a home for.”
Earth Agency was founded in 2014.
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The New Bosses: Remembering the class of 2021
The 14th edition of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses celebrated the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business.
The New Bosses 2021 honoured no fewer than a dozen young executives, as voted by their colleagues around the world.
The 14th edition of the annual list inspired the most engaged voting process to date, with hundreds of people taking the time to submit nominations.
The year’s distinguished dozen comprises promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs and more, all involved in the international business and each of whom is making a real difference in their respective sector.
In alphabetical order, the New Bosses 2021 are:
- Talissa Buhl, festival booker, FKP Scorpio (DE). Full profile here.
- Jenna Dooling, agent, WME (UK). Full profile here.
- Emma Greco, promoter, AEG Presents (FR). Full profile here.
- Paris Harding, promoter, SJM (UK). Full profile here.
- Tessie Lammle, agent, UTA (US). Full profile here.
- Will Marshall, agent, Primary Talent/ICM Partners (UK). Full profile here.
- Arjun Mehta, founder & CEO, Moment House (US). Full profile here.
- Flo Noseda-Littler, agency assistant, Paradigm (UK). Full profile here.
- Anna Parry, programming manager, the O2 (UK). Full profile here.
- Theo Quiblier, head of concerts, Two Gentlemen (CH). Full profile here.
- Dan Roberts, promoter, Live Nation (UK). Full profile here.
- Age Versluis, promoter, Friendly Fire (NL). Full profile here.
Subscribers can read full interviews with each of the 2021 New Bosses in issue 103 of IQ Magazine.
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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Angus Baskerville to launch new indie agency
Angus Baskerville, the longstanding 13 Artists director and booking agent is moving to new independent agency Pure from 1 January 2022.
The move was announced in an email circulated this afternoon. Others CC’d on the email with a Pure Represents email address include Simon O’ Neill, Brooke Rayner, Hayley Morrison and Aimee Burn – all of whom were previously known to be working for 13 Artists.
Artist manager and Baskerville’s wife Jodie Harkins was also copied in on the email with a Pure Represents email address.
After working as an artist manager and in A&R at London Records, Baskerville joined 13 Artists as an agent in 2004, becoming a partner in 2010. In 2019, Baskerville opened a second 13 Artists office in London, at Tileyard Studios.
Speaking to IQ last year, he said: “I do believe the independent sector has the possibility of thriving in 2021 and beyond, as we’re required to modernise and refresh approaches to the way we work – and do that quickly.”
IQ has contacted Baskerville for comment.
UK faces “devastating loss” over cancellations, no-shows
The UK live industry is contending with up to 50% audience no shows and widespread cancellations due to Omicron, a snap industry survey has shown.
The survey, conducted by LIVE, found that 70% of organisers were forced to cancel shows due to take place last week. Jessie Ware, Steps, Paul Weller, Coldplay and Lil Nas X are among the artists forced to cancel due to the virus.
Among the major artists that have this week cancelled remaining shows for 2021 are also The Charlatans (five dates), Supergrass (three), Stereophonics (two), Deacon Blue (two), Del Amitri (three), The Libertines (two) and Amy Macdonald (one).
Cancellations also extend into next year, with 50% of venues having already cancelled shows for January and February– some as many as 10 each – and more expected to follow, according to LIVE’s survey.
Cancellations also extend into next year, with 50% of venues having already cancelled shows for January and February
MØ and Brockhampton are among the artists that have already cancelled or postponed UK/EU tours scheduled for 2022 as a result of concerns around Omicron.
The trade association says that the widespread cancellations, alongside a high rate of audience dropouts, are leading to a “devastating” rise in lost income for the live music industry.
These losses are compounded by drastic falls in tickets sales, with expected ticket sales for 2022 live music falling by over a third in the last few weeks, the association adds.
Lucy Noble, National Arenas Association chair and artistic director at Royal Albert Hall, says ticket sales for the London venue have “fallen off a cliff in the past fortnight due to the climate of uncertainty”.
“Ticket sales have fallen off a cliff in the past fortnight due to the climate of uncertainty”
“We have already had a £20m loan from the government but we don’t want to accumulate any more debt,” she tells IQ.
Mark Davyd, CEO of The Music Venue Trust, warns that the position of the industry is taking “a dramatic turn for the worst”.
“Without swift action from the government the entire sector risks collapse within weeks not months,” he tells IQ. “We are currently organising the sector to make applications for all available funding, but more than 50% of grassroots music venues across the UK do not meet the criteria to qualify for the funding currently available.
“The government needs to act on VAT, business rates, retail, hospitality & leisure grants and additional restrictions grants without delay. None of this is new; the government did an excellent job of preventing music venue closures in the last 23 months. We simply need that support reopened to deal with the latest phase of the pandemic.”
“Without swift action from the government the entire sector risks collapse within weeks not months”
Commenting on the snap survey, a spokesperson from LIVE said: “These statistics paint a bleak picture for the sector which is why it’s absolutely vital that the government provides additional support immediately. We need urgent assistance to avoid the live music industry running into the ground, forcing venues to shut up shop and a Christmas of Misery with job losses, and freelancers and artists without work.
“We also face a double-whammy as next year’s sales take a nosedive, meaning organisers do not have the cash needed to cover soaring costs as they struggle to stay afloat while operating at a loss.”
LIVE, on behalf of more than 3,100 businesses in the sector, is now calling for urgent financial support from government, including:
- Scrap the planned increase in VAT, and institute and emergency reduction back to 5% during the worst of the Omicron wave;
- Offer short term financial support for the sector as it battles with the immediate impacts of cancellations;
- Cancel business rates well into 2022, and defer any loan repayments
- Fix the government reinsurance scheme so that it covers the risks organisers face – in particular cancellation due to an artist getting Covid or the reintroduction of social distancing
Omicron in Europe: Latest restrictions on live music
As markets across Europe step up efforts to combat the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, IQ is endeavouring to update the industry on the most recent restrictions affecting live music across the continent.
Below you’ll find the latest information on certification schemes, social distancing requirements, mask mandates, capacity restrictions and lockdowns affecting key European markets.
Please note that we will aim to keep this article as up-to-date as possible but all information is subject to change.
To submit an update to this, please get in touch. This article was last updated on 5 January.
Austria will suspend a lockdown for the unvaccinated during year-end holidays, allowing them to meet in groups of up to 10 on three days around Christmas, as well as New Year’s Eve.
On 12 December, the government ended the three-week lockdown for vaccinated people across most of the country.
The relaxation, which varies from region to region, largely allows for the reopening of theatres, museums and other cultural and entertainment venues. Masks will still be required in public spaces.
Austria is also set to become the first European country to make Covid vaccinations compulsory, with the law due to take effect from 1 February 2022.
Music venues are to be shuttered and all indoor mass events are prohibited until at least 28 January.
Outdoor events are permitted to take place but social distancing must be maintained and masks are required. Events with more than 100 visitors must have a one-way circulation plan and a separate entrance and exit.
The new rules were introduced on 26 December 2021. Previously, indoor events in Belgium could take place with a seated and masked audience of no more than 200 people.
Music venues, among other indoor cultural institutions, have been ordered to close from 19 December until 17 January 2022.
The Danish parliament has acted quickly to reopen compensation schemes for event organisers, smaller venues and artists.
Esben Marcher, head of secretariat at live music association Dansk Live, welcomes the agreement: “Under the circumstances, it’s a good deal. The rapporteurs and the minister have been very outreach in the dialogue around the agreement, and we feel that they have really listened to us. We really appreciate that.”
Vaccine passports and facemasks will be required in order to attend concerts in England from 15 December. The wearing of face masks will be mandated in all venues where crowds gather, and Covid certificates will be needed for: venues where large crowds gather, including nightclubs; unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people; and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people.
The introduction of a negative LFT in the certification scheme, meanwhile, followed extended lobbying by the sector to include the measure in any new restrictions.
From 3 January, indoor events are limited to 2,000 capacity and outdoor gatherings are restricted to 5,000 people, while nightclubs will remain closed until further notice.
The government said on 17 December it will present a bill early next year to change the French health pass into a vaccination pass. That means people will have to be vaccinated in order to enter music venues and many other leisure and entertainment facilities.
Under the current rules, a recent negative test can serve as a health pass even without vaccination.
The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) has been extended to cover the whole country – meaning only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid can attend live music venues and other cultural events.
Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees, while indoor gatherings are limited to 50% cap and crowds of up to 5,000. Masks are mandatory at all events.
Nightclubs will be required to close from 28 December. Football matches will be played behind closed doors from that date, with private gatherings restricted to 10 people.
From Monday 20 December, hospitality and cultural venues including music venues, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres must close by 20:00.
All indoor events can operate at 1,000 or 50% capacity and must be fully seated. The number of spectators allowed to attend sporting events is now capped at 50% capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people. The measures will stay in place until at least 30 January 2022.
Face masks will be obligatory unless people are eating or drinking. Nightclubs — which in October reopened for the first time in 19 months — have been closed since 7 December.
The government has banned concerts until 31 January and extended the country’s state of emergency to 31 March 2022. Nightclubs will also remain closed until the end of this month, and the consumption of food and drink at concert halls and other indoor locations is also banned until the end of March, amid the spread of the omicron variant. The use of FFP2 masks is also compulsory on public transport, in theatres, concert halls and cinemas and for sporting events until at least 31 March.
For the second time in the space of a week, the Dutch government has imposed tighter restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.
It was announced on 18 December that residents will be subject to a full lockdown from Sunday 19 December until at least Friday 14 January 2022.
During this time, music venues will be closed and events will not be permitted. Residents must stay at home as much as possible and adhere to the 1.5-metre social distancing rule when outside.
The Dutch government has put plans to implement a 2G system on hold until the new year, saying there is not currently enough time to draw up the legislation.
As of 26 December, indoor standing events are not permitted. For outdoor and indoor events, either proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or proof of recovery from Covid-19 is required.
As of 13 December, a maximum of 20 people is permitted at public indoor events without fixed allocated seats, and 50 people with fixed allocated seats.
At outdoor public events, a maximum of 100 people is permitted without fixed allocated places, and up to 200 in three cohorts with fixed allocated places.
For all indoor events, whether seated or standing, organisers must ensure that one-metre social distancing can be maintained between attendees. In addition, all attendees at indoor events must wear masks.
Event organisers are required to register guests for track and trace.
From 15 December, nightclubs will close and the maximum number of people allowed in other venues will be reduced from 50% capacity to 30%.
Venues can increase their operating capacity by only admitting vaccinated attendees, with staff required to check vaccination certificates. Face coverings are mandatory inside music venues.
As of 1 December, Covid passports certifying full inoculation, recovery from Covid-19 or a negative test result, will be mandatory to access events, restaurants, gyms and other leisure and hospitality businesses. Masks will be required for indoor spaces.
In addition, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be required to show a negative test to be granted entry to large events without marked seats, sports venues, bars and nightclubs.
From 26 December, bars and nightclubs will be closed, with outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people
For the week of 2–9 January (aka ‘containment week’), working from home will be obligatory, bars will close and school holidays extended to prevent a post-holiday season spread.
Concerts and events in Romania will be staged at 50% capacity to a maximum of 1,000 people (all of whom must be vaccinated) with a 10:00 pm curfew.
As of 6 December, evidence of a negative Covid test – from either a lateral flow test or PCR – is included in Scotland’s Covid-19 passport scheme. Previously, attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination.
The Scottish government is implementing further restrictions on large-scale events and public spaces from 26 December.
- Indoor events where attendees are standing will be limited to 100 people
- Seated events will be limited to 200.
- Outdoor events will be limited to 500 people
From 27 December until the first week in January, when it is reviewed, the government is advising people to limit their social contacts, to adhere to social distancing advice and to stay at home where possible. Nightclubs will be closed for three weeks from that date.
As of 3 December, Covid certification demonstrating proof of vaccination, recovery from the virus, or a recent negative test is required to enter music venues, bars, restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, care homes, or attend events in hotels and restaurants with indoor dance floors. For indoor standing events, capacity is set at 80% maximum.
Indoor events with between 20 and 500 attendees that don’t require vaccinations certificates must now be seated. For events with more than 500 participants, vaccinations certificates and social distancing are required.
Groups must be able to keep a distance of at least one meter sideways and forwards and backwards from other groups. If a group is larger than eight people, the organiser must divide the party with a maximum of eight participants in each.
The restrictions were introduced on 23 December and the effect will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.
As of 6 December, masks will have to be worn indoors wherever a certificate obligation applies. Events and venues, both indoor and outdoor, will be allowed to restrict entry to people who are vaccinated or recovered. The measures will be in effect until 24 January.
Large events are prohibited with maximum numbers of 30 at an indoor event and 50 outdoors. Nightclubs must close.
The NHS Covid Pass is needed for entry to concert halls and many other venues. Face masks are still required in most public places.
OVG reveals new founding partner for Co-op Live arena
Oak View Group (OVG) has announced Bristol Street Motors as a founding partner of the Co-op Live arena, opening in Manchester in 2023.
The partnership will see Bristol Street Motors as the Official Motor Retailer and auto partner for the venue, with exclusive naming rights to a 4,000-capacity space inside Co-op Live now known as ‘The Street’.
‘The Street’ will be the largest point of entry into the venue, boasting a 22 metre-long bar and vibrant food market where fans can meet before and after concerts.
“Within an arena that will deliver a world-class experience, The Street will be an inviting, fun and interactive place to meet up, aligning exactly with what we strive to provide customers within our dealerships across the country,” says Liz Cope, CMO of Bristol Street Motors.
‘The Street’ will be the largest point of entry into the venue, boasting a 22 metre-long bar and vibrant food market
“From showcasing some amazing cars to creating many exciting areas for the public to enjoy, we’re very excited to meet at The Street in 2023 and hope others will be too.”
Under the partnership, Bristol Street Motors will also provide a number of co-branded electric vehicles for use by artists, guests, and executive staff, in line with Co-op Live’s vision to become the UK’s first all-electric arena.
The arena has previously announced partnerships with Co-op (naming rights partner), Diageo (official drinks partner) and Guinness (official beer partner). The venue is backed by investors, OVG, City Football Group and international superstar Harry Styles.
The 23,500-capacity Co-op Live, based at the Etihad Campus, the site of Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium in Eastlands, is to be the UK’s biggest arena.
Industry vets launch freight forwarding company
Freight Minds, a new freight forwarding company for live events, has been established.
The UK-based company will offer services including air passenger and cargo charter, warehousing and logistics, couriers, ATA Carnets, and Brexit-related customs clearance services both into and out of the UK via road.
Located at London’s Heathrow Airport, a statement from Freight Minds says it’s “perfectly positioned for all air freight imports and exports, both into and out of the UK and around the world”.
The new venture was founded by industry veterans Alan Durrant, Geoff Knight and Matt Wright, and is completed by fellow expert Chris Jenkins.
“Between us, we have worked with some of the biggest names in the business in recent years, and we are delighted to be putting all that experience and knowledge into our new company,” says Wright.
“This is a brilliant opportunity to build a new post-Brexit and post-Covid business from the ground up”
“This is a brilliant opportunity to build a new post-Brexit and post-Covid business from the ground up in the way it should be done — with our clients’ priorities at the forefront.”
Knight adds: “It’s a whole new ballgame coming out the other side of Brexit and Covid, and we look forward to working with customers old and new over the coming months.
“Volumes are starting to ramp up again and, with well-publicised problems regarding freight logistics at the forefront of many people’s minds, we have the expertise and experience to continue to get the job done.”
Durrant comments: “Freight Minds allows us to establish a brand new company that is lean, agile, and responsive from the start.
“The ever-shifting patchwork of international regulations have only been made more complex by Covid, but we have over 120 years of combined experience at the forefront of this business and the expertise to make sure our clients’ shipments get where they need to go on time and within budget.”
Jim King on BST ’22: “There is no bigger artist than Adele”
Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents, says the 2022 edition of British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park is “set up to be the biggest we have ever seen”.
The London-based festival is to take place across two weeks from 24 June to 10 July next year, with concerts from Elton John (24 June), Eagles (26 June), Duran Duran (10 July), Pearl Jam (8–9 July) and Adele (1–2 July).
The BST double-header is Adele’s first confirmed concerts since her scheduled four-night run at Wembley Stadium in 2017 was cut short due to damaged vocal cords.
King tells IQ that securing the British star’s place on the bill was a “huge coup” and that the November release of her long-awaited album, 30, worked in the promoter’s favour.
“There is no artist bigger than Adele and the demand for tickets shows her unique appeal,” says King. “I had been speaking to her agent [WME’s Lucy Dickins] about the possibility for a long time but like most things, you need the timing to click, and I think 2022 just worked well for them with the new album.”
“There is no artist bigger than Adele and the demand for tickets shows her unique appeal”
Responding to some fans’ criticism that the £90 ticket price for Adele’s BST shows is too high, King says the appraisals are “grossly unfair to the artist”.
“The vast majority of tickets to see Adele had a face value under £85. Major sports are more expensive, and they play every week, every year.
“The press focus will naturally gravitate towards a very small number of higher-priced hospitality tickets which, again, when you consider the whole package of food and beverage, the show was still priced lower than many major concerts and sporting events,” he contends.
Unsurprisingly, tickets for both of the 33-year-old star’s BST dates were snapped up in minutes but King says there has been “strong sales across all [BST] shows”.
Elton John’s headline show, which opens the festival and is part of his swansong Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, also sold out.
“[Adele’s BST shows] are still priced lower than many major concerts and sporting events”
Returning for the first time in two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, King says AEG is excited to reveal a “new look” (and a new sponsor – American Express) for the eighth outing of the festival.
“It is exciting. We will finally have the chance to reveal the new creative presentation of the event with an updated Great Oak Stage and a new look and feel to the creative areas around the site,” he says.
BST last took place in 2019 with headliners Celine Dion, Florence and the Machine and Robbie Williams, and a recorded attendance of 65,000 at each concert.
The festival launched in 2013 and, over the years, has seen performances from acts including the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, the Cure, Black Sabbath and Barbra Streisand.
ASM Global completes ‘new-look’ UK programming team
ASM Global has made two new hires to its programming department, completing the ‘new-look’ team.
Tom Saunders joins as programming manager and Katie Morgan joins as programming assistant.
The pair will work alongside James Harrison, programming director, and Dave Hough, programming manager, as part of a new central programming team.
The team will be responsible for live entertainment and sports content across ASM Global’s UK venues AO Arena Manchester, Bonus Arena Hull, First Direct Arena Leeds, The SSE Arena, Wembley, Utilita Arena Newcastle, and the York Barbican, as well as supporting Aberdeen’s P&J Live.
Commenting on the appointments, James Harrison says: “I’m delighted that Tom and Katie have joined our team, bringing expertise, insight and energy to the company, as our venues return to doing what they do best.
“This department offers a single point of contact for promoters, producers and partners to help route their tours”
“We have a proposition that’s unique in the UK, with venues spanning the length and breadth of the country. This department offers a single point of contact for promoters, producers and partners to help route their tours across our portfolio of venues, with a combined capacity of over 70,000 tickets on any given night.”
John Boyle, executive vice president of content for ASM Global, adds: “Our goal at ASM Global is to bring the greatest entertainment and sporting experiences to our venues around the world. Our network of iconic venues in the UK is something we are particularly proud of.
“With Tom and Katie joining our already exceptional programming team of James and Dave, we can ensure that our commitment to content excellence in the UK is fully delivered. We wholeheartedly welcome Tom and Katie to our ASM Global Content team.”
John Sharkey, executive vice president, ASM Global Europe, comments: “Looking after our clients and dealing with the complexity of the portfolio calendar has never been more important and we’re delighted that Tom and Katie are coming on board – it’s fantastic to be in such a strong position to look after our clients in the best way possible!”