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Benicàssim promoter to manage new Valencia arena

Festival promoter The Music Republic will run the under-construction Casal España Arena in Valencia, Spain’s biggest indoor arena, when it opens later this decade.

The Music Republic – whose festival portfolio includes Arenal Sound (60,000-cap.) in Burriana, Viña Rock (60,000-cap.) in Villarrobledo and Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (50,000-cap.), which it acquired from MCD/SJM last summer – will manage the arena alongside Juan Roig, whose Licampa 1617 holding company is leading the project, through a new operating company, València 5 Estrellas.

As well as managing the arena, València 5 Estrellas will oversee all partnerships with promoters, suppliers, service companies and other stakeholders, with the goal of making Casal España Arena a venue where “promoters can [stage] any kind of sports or entertainment events, regardless of their nature or format”, according to The Music Republic (TMR).

With a capacity of up to 18,600 for concerts, the new arena will be the largest in Spain, with space for over 3,000 fans more than Madrid’s WiZink Center.

Valencia Arena to be biggest in Spain

Construction began on Casal España Arena, funded by €220m in public–private investment, earlier this year.

Víctor Sendra, CEO of Licampa 1617, comments: “A significant milestone has been reached in this project, which allows us to move forward in the management of the venue alongside partners that are highly specialised in the organisation and creation of music and entertainment experiences…

“It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude”

“In addition, we share the same vision regarding the future of Casal España Arena de València. We have long way to go, and we are very excited to create a team that will help us succeed with a project that is so important for Valencia, and to which Juan Roig’s patronage is fully committed.”

TMR David Sánchez adds: “It is a great opportunity for Valencia and Spain, having the first arena of such a magnitude and capabilities, designed to host all kinds of cultural, sports and corporate events, [positioning] itself as an attractive venue for users and the maximum number of event promoters.

“Valencia will be able to host many events that could not be accommodated to date due to the lack of equipped and specialised spaces. We are very pleased and grateful for contributing to the management of this great project, together with Licampa 1617.”

Casal España Arena is projected to open in 2023.


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Valencia Arena to be biggest in Spain

Increased investment in a new arena in the Spanish city of Valencia aims to make it the largest venue of its kind in the country.

The multi-purpose arena will sit on 21,500 square metres of land, with a capacity of 15,000 for basketball matches and up to 18,600 for concerts.

The budget for the Valencia Arena has been expanded from €192 million to €220, with building work expected to start in summer 2020 for a completion date in 2023.

The project is led by Spanish entrepreneur Juan Roig and his holding company Licampa 1617.

The arena’s capacity will surpass that of Madrid’s WiZink Center (15,500-cap.), which celebrated its 500th concert in 2018 and has seen performances from the likes of Queen, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.

“The arena will give Valencia a multi-use space which will position the city as a world-class destination for national and international entertainment events”

Upcoming shows at the Madrid arena include Nicky Jam, the Lumineers, Enrique Iglesias, Rosalia, Bryan Adams and Halsey. Other major indoor arenas in Spain include Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi (17,000-cap.) and Madrid’s Palacio Vistalegre (15,000-cap.).

The Valencia Arena project is a “personal and altruistic initiative” for Juan Roig, who is the president of Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona.

The aim, says Roig, is “to give Valencia a multi-use space which will position the city and the wider region as a world-class destination for national and international sporting, cultural and entertainment events.”

Valencia Arena is designed by sporting architects Hok and Valencia-based firm Erre.


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Via-no-no: Ticketer fined in Italy, investigated in Spain

Viagogo has been slapped with another fine – this time to the tune of €1 million – by the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) for alleged unfair commercial practices.

The Italian version of the ever-controversial secondary ticketing platform, Viagogo.it, is accused of hosting ticket listings that fail to display the face value of each ticket, the seat/row number and the total ticket price (after fees and charges) – all in violation of articles 20, 21 and 22 of the Italian consumer code.

The AGCM investigation dates to April 2017, when Swiss-based Viagogo and three other resale sites were fined a collective €700,000 for similarly failing to provide complete ticket information to consumers. At the time, the company was given sixty days to comply with consumer law – and claimed it would do so, according to AGCM – but a year later, many consumers and associations are still complaining of opaque ticket pricing and unclear information on seating location, leading to the €1m fine.

Although a blow for Viagogo, it should be noted that CTS Eventim’s TicketOne recently successfully appealed a €1m fine of its own, for allegedly passing tickets directly to secondary sites, and will be reimbursed by AGCM.

Viagogo is accused of violating the Italian consumer code

Almost concurrently with the AGCM action, Viagogo has also come under fire in Spain, with the Valencian public prosecutor’s office announcing it has opened an investigation into whether price gouging on Viagogo.es for U2’s two shows in Madrid in September constitutes “abusive conduct” under Spanish law.

According to 20 Minutos, the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía) of Valencia has received several complaints from consumers after U2 tickets sold out “in a few minutes” and were listed on Viagogo for up to €1,500 shortly after.

Concerns over ticket prices for U2’s 2018 Experience + Innocence European tour have similarly spurred authorities in the Netherlands into action, with Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven announcing last month she is to consult the local live music business on potential regulation of the secondary ticket market.


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Record ticket sales for Spain’s biggest festival

Tickets to the 2017 edition of Spain’s biggest music festival, Arenal Sound, are selling historically well – despite still being without a venue.

Promoter Imusic was forced to move the festival from its traditional beachside home in Burriana, a seaside town in Valencia, to new venues in nearby Villarreal and Nules last year after local authorities ruled the its location was in violation of Spain’s Ley de Costas (Coastal Law) of 1988.

It has yet to announce where the eighth Arenal Sound will take place, despite having already confirmed a host of local and international acts, including Bastille, Jake Bugg, Martin Garrix, Fedde Le Grand and Icona Pop.

“It is the best year yet for Arenal Sound”

Speaking to Spanish daily El Mundo, an spokesperson declined to provide specific numbers, but said in terms of tickets “it is the best year [yet] for Arenal Sound”. Imusic expects the festival to be sold out by April.

Sales of tickets for buses to and from the festival are also selling well, with more than 3,400 people having bought a bus ticket – “a historic record for these dates”, says the promoter.

An estimated 300,000 people attended Arenal Sound 2016 – up from 260,000 the previous year.


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