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Imagine Dragons help pay off Utah venue’s mortgage

Imagine Dragons have stepped in to help secure the future of a live music venue in Utah which helped launch their career.

The Las Vegas band’s lead singer Dan Reynolds presented Corey Fox, owner of the 300-cap Valour in Provo, with a “paid in full” mortgage note at a show marking its 16th anniversary.

KSL TV reports the group launched the “Free the Fox” campaign with Zions Bank last June after learning Fox was struggling to make payments during the pandemic.

“I don’t think we’d be a band were it not for Corey Fox and Velour,” says Reynolds. “Corey has always believed in young artists and provided a refuge for them to be around other artists. This is the least we could do to help him through a challenging time.”

“Velour has done so much to help build a vibrant downtown and put Provo on the music map”

Last summer, Imagine Dragons livestreamed a benefit concert with Provo’s Neon Trees, with Zions Bank promising to match up to $50,000 of the funds raised – enough to pay off Fox’s mortgage.

“Velour has done so much to help build a vibrant downtown and put Provo on the music map,” adds Zions Bank regional manager Nick Whiting. “Zions Bank is proud to support the generous efforts of Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees, and so many community members to preserve this local treasure.

“It’s important that as a community we continue to show up for Velour so it can keep delivering great music and launching great bands like Imagine Dragons.”

 


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Live Nation acquires Utah promoter United Concerts

Live Nation has taken control of Utah’s United Concerts, in its eighth acquisition of 2017.

The union of the two companies – which have co-promoted concerts in the Utah region for a number of number of years – is a “natural progression as they aim to bring even more live events to the community”, says Live Nation. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster division also has an existing exclusive ticketing deal with Vivint Smart Home Arena (19,911-cap.) in Salt Lake City.

“Having partnered with United Concerts on hundreds of shows in the past, we’re confident they are the right partners as Live Nation grows our presence in the market,” says Bob Roux, Live Nation’s co-president of North America Concerts.

“Becoming part of Live Nation is a strategic move that will benefit our operated venues and Utah’s live music community at large”

United Concerts CEO Jim McNeil – who becomes president of US concerts, Salt Lake City, for Live Nation and reports into Roux – adds: “Becoming part of Live Nation is a strategic move that will benefit our operated venues and Utah’s live music community at large.

“We look forward to connecting artists with countless fans here in Salt Lake.”

Salt Lake City-based United Concerts has produced more than 6,000 events in its 50 years in business.

Live Nation’s last acquisition was in July, when it bought a majority stake in Swiss hip-hop festival Openair Frauenfeld. It made a record eight acquisitions in 2016.

 


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NY attorney-general fines ticket brokers $2.7m, announces anti-bot bill

Eric Schneiderman, the attorney-general of New York who in January announced a crackdown on the use of illegal ticket bots he said were buying tens of thousands of tickets a year to sell on the secondary market, has settled with some of the biggest offenders to the tune of US$2.7 million.

Online ticket brokers TicketToad, A2Z, Just in Time, Flying Falco Entertainment and All Events Utah used software in violation of New York state law to purchase large numbers of tickets – including for Beyoncé’s 2013 concert at the 18,000-capacity Barclay’s Center and the One Direction show at Jones Beach the same year – before they could be obtained by consumers.

In a statement, Schneiderman (pictured) said yesterday: “Our office has zero tolerance for ticket resellers that use illegal bots […] New Yorkers deserve a fairer ticket marketplace. Our office will continue to enforce New York’s ticket laws by investigating ticket brokers who are breaking our laws and making them pay for their illegal acts.”

TicketToad, A2Z, Just in Time, Flying Falco Entertainment and All Events Utah used software in violation of New York state law to purchase large numbers of tickets before they could be obtained by consumers

The attorney-general also revealed today that he is proposing a bill that would increase civil penalties for anyone caught operating the bots, and make their use a criminal offence.

Schneiderman has a long history of campaigning against what he sees as the exploitation of New York consumers by unscrupulous ticket touts. In January he pressured secondary-ticking sites StubHub, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats to remove speculative listings for Bruce Springsteen’s 2016 The River Tour, arguing that listing tickets not yet in the seller’s possession constituted false advertising.

Politicians in other US states have been similarly critical: earlier this year Washington state senator Marko Liias called for an investigation into ticket bots in his state after sites selling Adele tickets “locked up almost immediately after the tickets went on sale”.