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Paradiso cancels 2,400 tickets on secondary market

Amsterdam’s Paradiso cancelled more than 2,400 tickets being sold on resale platforms at inflated prices for a large number of upcoming shows.

The Dutch club has resold the tickets at their original prices via a waiting list system introduced in 2022.

Paradiso’s head of ticketing Erik Luyten says the venue was compelled to act after seeing tickets for gigs by acts such as Air and PinkPantheress being advertised online at several times’ face value.

“At some popular concerts, 10 to 15% of the tickets are bought up and resold at a higher price,” Luyten tells Parool. “Black marketers operate in a very sophisticated manner. As a result, they often remain under the radar for a long time. Through extensive research, we were able to understand various practices of these individuals or groups, identify the suspicious orders and void their purchases.

“They use many different names and email addresses, but we were able to match them to specific people or parties by searching our data by bank account number or IP address. We hope to hit a number of major players on the secondary market with this action.”

“It is very bad that people who would like to go to a concert cannot now come for a normal price”

People whose tickets have been invalidated will not be refunded by Paradiso and have been advised to contact the relevant resale site.

No anti-touting legislation currently exists in the Netherlands, although a motion for legal measures was adopted by the House of Representatives in 2022.

Luyten adds that Paradiso is keen to keep concerts accessible to a large audience by keeping ticket prices as low as possible.

“These people and groups take advantage of this,” he says. “It is very bad that people who would like to go to a concert cannot now come for a normal price.”

The 1,500-cap venue has upcoming concerts with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Tricky, Róisín Murphy, Griff, Pixies, Echo & the Bunnymen, Thundercat and Declan McKenna.

 


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Licence granted for Manchester’s Co-op Live

Oak View Group’s Co-op Live venue is set to open next month as planned after being granted a licence by Manchester City Council, despite various objections.

The 23,500-cap development, which is a joint venture with City Football Group, will become the UK’s largest arena when it launches at Etihad Campus, the site of Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium, in April.

The council approved the licensing application today following a two-day hearing at Manchester Town Hall last week.

“We are delighted that Manchester City Council’s licensing sub-committee has today voted to approve our application for a premises licence,” says Co-op Live executive director and general manager Gary Roden. “We are grateful to local councillors and residents for their engagement during the process and will remain committed to being the best possible neighbour to the local community up to opening and beyond.

“Manchester deserves the best, and with the opening of Co-op Live just weeks away we’re excited to begin this new chapter in the city’s enviable cultural story.

“This £365 million investment will transform the fan experience of live entertainment, bring international superstars to Manchester”

“This £365 million investment will transform the fan experience of live entertainment, bring international superstars to Manchester, set a new benchmark for large arenas around the world and deliver a significant economic boost to the entire North West region.”

The bid had been subject to multiple objections, including from ASM Global, operator of Manchester’s longstanding 23,000-cap AO Arena, as well as 32 residents, two councillors, the council’s public health team and the Music Venue Trust, which argued the venue’s “ancillary spaces” could take trade off smaller businesses if they were allowed to stay open later.

ASM had argued that Co-op Live should close by midnight at the latest, and not be given the ability to open 24/7, 25 times a year, as requested. But OVG alleged the objections were “competition based”.

It was announced yesterday (29 February) that the 2024 MTV EMAs will be held at the new purpose-built live entertainment arena on 10 November.

Stand-up comedian Peter Kay will open the venue with his current record-breaking tour on 23 April, with other acts set to perform over the coming months including Pearl Jam, Take That, Liam Gallagher, Olivia Rodrigo, The Killers, Eagles, Kings of Leon, Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake.

 


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Oak View Group: ‘We’re coming to London’

Oak View Group’s chief executive revealed plans to build “the greatest arena in the world” in London, during yesterday’s ILMC.

Tim Leiweke told delegates that the venue giant will plant its flag in England’s capital city, which he called “the greatest market in the world for music”.

“London has the O2 and Wembley – it needs another great arena,” he said during the Hotseat interview, accompanied by his daughter and the company’s COO, Francesca Bodie.

“The west side of London needs a new arena and the city can handle two or three arenas,” he continued. “If you look at LA, they have the Intuit Dome, The Forum, Crypto, Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre and Honda Center down in Anaheim. So technically, you have six buildings in the marketplace. And by the way, we have the new Acrisure Arena down in Palm Springs. So, look at the competition in that marketplace.

“London needs an arena as good or better than OVG’s Co-op Live or Intuit Dome or the Sphere or Madison Square Garden. London’s the greatest market in the world for music, period, end of story. Why don’t we build the greatest arena in the world for London?”

The CEO shared his admiration for Jim Dolan, CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which opened the 20,000-capacity Sphere in Las Vegas in September 2023 with U2’s residency.

“London has the O2 and Wembley – it needs another great arena”

“I’m inspired by what he did,” said Leiweke. “I have so much respect for Jim taking that kind of risk and so much respect for U2 stepping onto that stage – it took guts to carry that belief.”

Leiweke revealed that OVG, which owns and operates more than 300 venues worldwide, has also set its sights on Singapore.

The firm’s portfolio includes Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in Belmont Park, New York, and Moody Center in Austin, Texas and the Co-op Live development in Manchester, UK.

Discussing Co-op Live, Leiweke said: “It’s the largest single investment in the history of our industry internationally. It’s the most expensive arena ever built outside of North America.”

The venue, which is due to open in April, will be the world’s second carbon-neutral arena after the firm’s Climate Pledge Arena, with UBS Arena slated to follow.

Leiweke added: “Climate Pledge can’t be the only carbon-neutral arena in the world or else [the industry] has failed. We as an industry should lead this charge… sustainability should be the cause of our lifetime in our industry.”

Lieweke said that Co-op Live will be the firm’s “prototype” going forward

“We as a company are going to continue to build these arenas and make sustainability a priority and a way of life in our culture and then hopefully, it will inspire our industry to come along with us.”

Bodie agreed, adding: “Sustainability is part of our core DNA and we want to make sure that we’re not only championing but challenging our industry to get better”.

Lieweke said that Co-op Live will be the firm’s “prototype” going forward when they’re building venues in Vienna, São Paulo and Singapore.

“It’s my favourite building,” he said. “I’ve had the great privilege of being a part of building 20 arenas and this is the best arena I’ve ever seen.

“The way we’ve designed our nine private clubs is economically what will drive our ability to privatise this building. We didn’t take one pound from anybody, not the city, not the UK authorities, we didn’t accept any subsidies of any kind. We’ve committed close to 50 million pounds back to the community, to you, to music, to ultimately impacting our community through the Co-op foundation over the course of our lease. It’s going to revolutionise our businesses.”

The two executives also discussed the importance of the recently announced arena in Lagos, Nigeria, and the challenges of operating in an underdeveloped market.

“I predict 12 more arenas are gonna get built by us or somebody else in Africa because we’ll show people that it works”

“We’ve identified Africa, from a content perspective, as an important strategic investment because they have so many great artists but nowhere to play,” said Bodie.

“The key was local partners, who made us aware of this healthy dose of scepticism because there’s been a lot of promises that haven’t been fulfilled.”

Leiweke added: “We could sit here for a half hour and tell you the obstacles that we had to go through. We’re fortunate that the chairman is so well respected there that he’s been trying to get our money into Nigeria, which is really hard. Trying to get our money out of Nigeria, nearly impossible. Dealing with inflation is unbelievable right now, as is the cost of goods. It is a risky move, by the way. Live Nation jumped in with us as well because what we do understand is that it’s a huge opportunity to grow music and Africa and Nigeria.

“I predict 12 more arenas are gonna get built by us or somebody else in Africa because we’ll show people that it works and when it does work, it can be a pride point of that entire community. Wait to see what it does for emerging artists that are coming out of Nigeria. It’s going to change and give them a platform and a voice.”

 


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Sodexo Live! promotes Claire Morris to UK&I CEO

Venue hospitality, retail and event catering specialist Sodexo Live! has announced the appointment of Claire Morris as its new UK & Ireland CEO.

Morris has been with the business for 17 years and joined the sports & leisure global executive team (now Sodexo Live!) in 2015, leading the marketing function. She will now also lead the growth organisation for the global business.

Morris has more than 25 years’ experience in the food and facilities industry, leading strategic marketing initiatives from acquisition integration to brand and concept development.

“Claire’s dedication, leadership, and client-centric focus make her the perfect choice to lead our operations in the UK and Ireland,” says Sodexo Live! global CEO Nathalie Bellon-Szabo. “We are confident that under her guidance, Sodexo Live! will continue to thrive and deliver outstanding value to our client partners and their guests.

“The company’s commitment to excellence and client satisfaction aligns seamlessly with my own values”

“Her prior experience, and knowledge of the UK market is invaluable, couple this with her global role and innovative approach, it will unlock a wealth of opportunities for clients, customers and colleagues.”

Over the past year, Morris has created a dedicated digital and tech start up function for Sodexo Live! and will continue to lead the global marketing, sales and digital department.

“I am delighted to take on the role of CEO for Sodexo Live! in the UK and Ireland,” adds Morris. “The company’s commitment to excellence and client satisfaction aligns seamlessly with my own values, and I am excited to contribute to the success of Sodexo Live! in this new capacity.”

 


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Manchester’s Co-op Live to host 2024 MTV EMAs

The 2024 MTV EMAs will take place in Manchester, UK, it has been confirmed.

The annual show will broadcast from Manchester’s brand-new, purpose-built live entertainment arena Co-op Live on MTV in over 150 countries on Sunday, 10 November.

Now in its 30th year, it will mark the first time the event has been staged in the city, and also marks its return to the UK after seven years.

“Co-op Live has been designed from the ground up to offer, at its core, a truly exceptional live music and fan experience, and we are delighted to be hosting an event which epitomises what our venue stands for,” says Gary Roden, Co-op Live executive director and GM. “We are honoured to become part of the MTV EMAs story, and to cement Manchester’s standing within the global live entertainment industry.”

First held in Berlin, Germany in 1994, the EMAs were last staged in the UK at London’s OVO Arena Wembley in 2017.

“Manchester is a dynamic and innovative city with the infrastructure to deliver a live music event of the scale of the MTV EMAs”

“The MTV EMAs is one of the biggest global music celebrations, bringing together local and international artists to create iconic performances for fans around the world,” says Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming & events, Paramount, and chief content officer, music, Paramount+. “With music at the very heart of Manchester’s rich creative heritage, this vibrant city – with the state-of-the-art Co-op Live – will guarantee a supercharged 2024 show.”

The show will additionally be available in multiple territories on Pluto TV and on-demand on Paramount+.

“Manchester is a dynamic and innovative city with the infrastructure to deliver a live music event of the scale of the MTV EMAs,” adds Lee Sears, president, international markets advertising sales. “We look forward to spotlighting this world-class destination – and the cutting-edge Co-op Live arena – on the global stage.”

The 2023 MTV EMAs were cancelled last October “out of an abundance of caution” amid the escalation of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

 


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Utilita Arena Birmingham extends sponsorship deal

Utilita Energy and NEC Group have agreed an early extension to their existing multi-year partnership, which includes the naming rights for Utilita Arena Birmingham.

As part of the seven-figure agreement, the Birmingham venue will carry Utilita’s name through to 2030.

The deal will also have a heavy focus on charity and sustainability. In what is believed to be a UK first, the arena has renamed its VIP lounge after the supplier’s partner charity, Utilita Giving, which supports people in food and fuel poverty.

“It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to extend our partnership with Utilita Energy,” says NEC Group Arenas MD Guy Dunstan. “We love working with the team and it’s clear they’re committed to investing in Birmingham.

“Alongside the world-class live music, sport and comedy we stage at Utilita Arena Birmingham, we’re continually looking at ways to make the arena a more enjoyable destination for visitors. We’re all about giving our customers amazing experiences, and with Utilita sharing that vision, we’re looking forward to continuing our partnership for the years ahead.”

“This is far more than just a naming rights deal. We vow to build on the strong foundations we have established in this great city”

Utilita aims to be a net zero business by 2030 and will also work side by side with the venue to support its own sustainability goals.

“This is far more than just a naming rights deal,” says Bill Bullen, CEO and co-founder of Utilita Energy. “We vow to build on the strong foundations we have established in this great city and will continue to educate and inform through our campaigns which have proved crucial to everyday people throughout the cost of living crisis.

“The arena is also a great platform to help Utilita Giving access a wider pool of people who urgently need help out of fuel and food poverty.

“Our main goal as a business is to help consumers make their energy go further, meaning they spend less on their bills, and this will continue to be at the crux of how we give back to the local community here in Birmingham.”

Upcoming concerts at the venue include James Arthur, Jason Derulo, Simple Minds, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Keane, Olivia Rodrigo, Take That, Nickelback, Pet Shop Boys, Jonas Brothers, Kings of Leon, Justin Timberlake and Noah Kahan.

 


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Rival Manchester arena operators in licensing row

A dispute has broken out between rival Manchester arena operators Oak View Group (OVG) and ASM Global over a licensing application for the city’s new Co-op Live venue.

The 23,500-cap development, which is a joint venture between OVG and City Football Group, will become the UK’s largest arena when it launches at Etihad Campus, the site of Manchester City FC’s Etihad Stadium in April.

However, the BBC reports that ASM – operator of Manchester’s longstanding AO Arena (cap. 23,000) – has objected to elements of OVG’s licensing bid, citing its desire to “safeguard public safety and the prevention of public nuisance”.

In written submissions to Manchester City Council’s licensing committee, it argues that Co-op Live should close by midnight at the latest, and not be given the ability to open 24/7, 25 times a year, as requested.

Speaking during the hearing at Manchester Town Hall, OVG COO Mark Donnelly alleged that ASM’s objections were “competition based”.

“We are quite disappointed to see [ASM] are trying to put conditions on us when they operate with an unrestricted licence”

“We are quite disappointed to see [ASM] are trying to put conditions on us when they operate with an unrestricted licence,” he said, as per the Manchester Evening News. “As part of ASM’s objections, we feel these are competition based. We feel there’s very little from a licensing point of view. A lot of transport issues were dealt with at planning and that was approved unanimously.”

Previous complaints from the police, trading standards, seven councillors and three residents were withdrawn following revisions by Co-op Live, but objections from 32 residents, two councillors, the council’s public health team, ASM and the Music Venue Trust (MVT) remain.

Donnelly took a swipe at the MVT, alleging the venue charity’s objection was because Co-op Live had “declined” to support its £1 ticket levy initiative to protect grassroots venues.

The MVT’s Niall Forde rejected the claim as “inflammatory” and “entirely false”, saying it objected to the venue’s “ancillary spaces” (which have a combined capacity of 6,000) could take trade off smaller businesses if they were allowed to stay open later.

The hearing continues.

Stand-up comedian Peter Kay was this week revealed as the opening act for Co-op Live. The comic will open the venue with his current record-breaking tour on 23 April. The 30-year-old AO Arena, meanwhile, recently confirmed that its capacity will rise from 21,000 to 23,000 as a result of a £50 million (€59m) reconstruction

 


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AEG Europe submits Edinburgh Park arena proposal

AEG Europe has submitted a planning application for its proposed 8,500-capacity arena project in Edinburgh.

If granted approval by the city council, the venue will support the regeneration of the Edinburgh Park area alongside master developers Parabola.

Spanning 18,500 square metres, the arena is estimated to attract more than 700,000 visitors per year, with the company hoping to receive planning permission by June 2024 with a view of appointing an external contractor to start work thereafter.

“We are thrilled to be progressing with our plans for a spectacular new arena for Edinburgh,” says AEG Europe president and CEO Alex Hill. “The city has long been renowned as a destination for global culture and one of the world’s best for the arts and live entertainment. We’re excited to build on this reputation and bring world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh, as well as investing in the wider Edinburgh Park community through the creation of 1,000+ employment opportunities.”

“It’s been fantastic to see such strong support for our plans, and therefore we are hopeful for a swift and clear decision following our planning application”

The application follows a series of in-person public consultation events, held in December 2023 and January 2024. AEG has previously stated it hopes to launch the venue in 2027.

“We’re delighted by the feedback and valuable insights we’ve received during the extensive consultation and public exhibition process,” adds Alistair Wood, EVP of real estate & development for AEG Europe. “It’s been fantastic to see such strong support for our plans, and therefore we are hopeful for a swift and clear decision following our planning application.

“If we were able to secure planning permission, our focus would then immediately turn to identifying a building contractor and naming rights partner to bring this exciting project to life on site.”

Edinburgh’s current largest indoor venue is the 3,000-cap O2 Academy Edinburgh.

 


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Opening act revealed for Manchester’s Co-op Live

Comedian Peter Kay has been revealed as the opening act for Co-op Live, the UK’s largest live entertainment arena.

One of most successful stand-up comics of all time, Kay will open the 23,500-seat Manchester venue with his current record-breaking tour on 23 April.

“When you think of Manchester, it’s hard not to think of Peter Kay. He embodies what this city is about, and to have him headlining Co-op Live is tremendously exciting,” says Co-op Live executive director and general manager Gary Roden.

“We’re creating an arena that is truly part of the community around it, and having Peter as our opening act is a perfect reminder of that.”

The arena will go on to welcome acts such as A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie (1 May), Olivia Rodrigo (3-4 May), Keane (5 May), Take That (7-8 & 10-12 May), Elbow (14 May), Eric Clapton (18 May) and Barry Manilow (19 May) in its first month.

“The venue’s ‘Gigs that Give Back’ scheme will generate at least £1 million annually for the Co-op Foundation to support causes”

Aiming to become Europe’s most sustainable arena, Co-op Live will be 100% electric, include rainwater recycling technology and operates with reusable cups to significantly reduce plastic usage across the site. The venue’s ‘Gigs that Give Back’ scheme will generate at least £1 million annually for the Co-op Foundation to support causes on a local and national scale, including delivering on its new youth-led strategy.

Meanwhile, the Manchester Evening News reports that venue bosses have made a series of changes to the operation after a report into its licence application revealed concerns from Greater Manchester Police and other organisations.

“There are no counter terrorism plans/contingency plans/major incident plans which are currently available to scrutinise,” said police.  “So any decision as to their effectiveness/robustness/scope cannot be made at this stage, and GMP would want to have sight of these before any approval for grant of the licence could be considered.”

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the venue has drawn up security plans, but these were not shared with police before it wrote its submission.

 


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Late venue switch for Ed Sheeran’s Indonesia show

Ed Sheeran’s upcoming stadium concert in Jakarta, Indonesia has been relocated just two weeks ahead of the show.

The + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour had been set to grace the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Main Stadium on 2 March, but will now switch to Jakarta International Stadium (JIS). All tickets remain valid.

Organisers PK Entertainment, AEG Presents Asia and Sound Rhythm say the decision has been taken as a result of Indonesia’s upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier with Vietnam at the GBK on 21 March.

“We recognise the importance of the Indonesia national football team’s matches, especially when we are hosting. Our support aligns with the government’s goal to advance national sports,” PK co-founder and COO Harry Sudarma tells the Jakarta Globe.

“We also believe that JIS, as the largest international-standard football stadium in Indonesia, can provide an unforgettable experience for Ed Sheeran’s fans. Our team is currently working closely with JIS to ensure a smooth and enjoyable concert experience for all fans in Jakarta.”

“We need to make special preparations to keep the venue in prime condition”

Voi reports there had been controversy in the past when the national football team was forced to move venues due to concerts by One Direction and Coldplay at GBK, while two nights by Blackpink last March also caused concern as a result of “the damaged and alarming condition of GBK grass” in the aftermath.

“The GBK Main Stadium will be the location of the match between the Indonesian national team and Vietnam,” says GBK director Rakhmadi A Kusumo. “We need to make special preparations to keep the venue in prime condition.”

The promoters are working alongside JIS and several partners “to provide additional parking spots, shuttle buses with a few pick-up and drop-off points, as well as motorbike taxis and ride-hailing services” for the relocated show.

Sheeran, who is several shows into his AEG-promoted + – = ÷ x Asia tour, set another record last week with his sold-out show at Singapore National Stadium. The 16 February concert broke the venue’s all-time capacity record after attracting 59,000 people.

The singer-songwriter also has further shows in The Philippines  and India scheduled before the Asian leg of the tour wraps up in mid-March.

 


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