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Paul Cheetham leaves Verti Music Hall

Verti Music Hall booking director Paul Cheetham is leaving his role at the Berlin venue, effective 14 August.

Cheetham has served as the booking director at Verti Music Hall since its inception in 2018, joining the AEG team the year before. Cheetham was among those to attend the opening of the 4,350-capacity venue, which is adjacent to AEG’s Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) in Berlin’s city centre.

“The Anschutz Entertainment Group would like to thank Paul Cheetham for his great commitment and his successful work in recent years as the person responsible for booking the Verti Music Hall,” comments Uwe Frommhold, vice president and COO of AEG Germany.

“Paul was an important part of the team at the opening of the Verti Music Hall in October 2018 and the establishment of the new venue in the Berlin event market”

“Paul was an important part of the team at the opening of the Verti Music Hall in October 2018 and the establishment of the new venue in the Berlin event market. We wish him all the best for his future career.”

Before joining AEG, Cheetham – who has over 20 years experience in the live industry – was managing director for Heartburst Management, where he was involved in staging industry events Popkomm, Berlin Music Week and Reeperbahn Festival.

Previously, he worked for Mean Fiddler (now Festival Republic) and Live Nation Scandinavia in Finland.

According to Stadionwelt, AEG event manger Markus Jentsch will temporarily take over booking for the Verti Music Hall.

 


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Berlin’s Verti Music Hall appoints first GM

Verti Music Hall, the 4,350-capacity venue at AEG’s Mercedes-Platz in Berlin, has appointed its first general manager, 18 months after opening.

Dirk Dreyer joins AEG as Verti Music Hall GM, reporting to Uwe Frommhold, VP and COO of AEG Germany, and working alongside Michael Hapka, VP and managing director of AEG Operations Berlin. Prior to joining the Verti team, Dreyer was managing director of the 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin.

“The Verti Music Hall has had an extremely successful first 18 months. Nevertheless, we have recognised that in order to further establish the Verti Music Hall in the venue market, we need to employ a general manager,” explains Frommhold.

“It feels a bit like coming home”

“Due to the current governmental ban of events, Dirk Dreyer will be joining us under the most challenging of circumstances; however, we are convinced that his presence will notably impact the Verti Music Hall in the future.”

Before moving into the hotel sector, Dreyer had a long career in the music industry, working at Sony Music, EMI and management company 313 Music, among others.

He comments: “I am really looking forward to this new challenge. As I have spent some years working in the music business previously, it feels a bit like coming home. With the Verti Music Hall, Berlin has gained a great venue with the best sound in town; this makes me even more proud to be the general manager for such a premium product.”

 


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Six countries, one genre: C2C makes 2020 return

AEG’s Country to Country (C2C) festival is returning in 2020 for the eighth edition of its flagship London event, alongside repeat editions in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.

Luke Combs, Darius Rucker and Eric Church will headline C2C’s European festivals, alongside acts including the Cadillac Three, Tanya Tucker, Charles Esten, Brett Young and Old Dominion.

International touring series Introducing Nashville will be present at C2C for the first time this year, with acoustic performances from Abby Anderson, Eric Paslay and Tenille Townes.

C2C 2020 will take place from 13 to 15 March in London’s 20,000-capacity O2 Arena, which yesterday (22 October) celebrated reaching 25 million ticket sales. Simultaneous events will take place at Ireland’s 3Arena Dublin (13,000-cap.), promoted by MCD Productions, and the SSE Hydro (13,000-cap.) in Glasgow, Scotland, promoted by DF Concerts.

The country music festival is also returning to Afas Live Amsterdam (6,000-cap.) and AEG’s Verti Music Hall (4,350-cap.) in Berlin, following successful first outings last year. Greenhouse Talent will co-promote C2C Amsterdam, which takes place from 7 to 8 March, with Semmel Concerts taking charge of the Berlin edition on 6 to 8 March.

“C2C Festival 2020 continues to build on the massive success of Country to Country in the UK and across Europe”

“I am so proud to be part of the C2C family,” said Bob Harris OBE, the main stage host of the London event, at C2C’s line-up launch party at Country Music Week, which began on Monday.

“I can’t wait to listen to the best music in the world, enjoy the fantastic atmosphere of the main auditorium, catch the excitement of the pop-up stages and meet the incredible Country fans that make C2C so special.”

Chris York, C2C Festival promoter for SJM Concerts comments: “C2C Festival 2020 continues to build on the massive success of Country to Country in the UK and across Europe. We look forward to seeing all you passionate country fans in March once again.”

Tickets for all C2C’s European events go on sale on Friday 1 November at 10 a.m. (GMT).

More information about C2C Australia, which also returns for its second year in 2020, will be available at a later date. The Australian version of the event, promoted by AEG Presents and TEG Live, takes place in Sydney and Brisbane with a different line-up to other C2C events.

Read more about country music’s rise to global fame here.

Big country: How country music conquered the world


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Yamaha vocaloid recreates voice of late singer

Yamaha Corporation has reproduced the voice of legendary Japanese vocalist Hibari Misora, through its trademarked Vocaloid:AI singing synthesis technology.

The public debut of the technology took place on the television programme Bringing Hibari Misora Back with AI, broadcast in Japan on 29 September by the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation).

The NHK-led project used Yamaha’s technology to present a live performance of a new song by Misora, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of her death. A high-definition, 3D video reproduced the singer’s likeness for the rendition.

Vocaloid:AI is an adaptation of Yamaha’s original Vocaloid, released in 2003. The new version uses artificial intelligence to improve the reproduction of tonal changes, taking recordings of artists’ songs and speech as machine learning data.

“This new evolution of singing synthesis technology has illuminated new possibilities in music”

“We believe it was the Yamaha technologies and sensibilities cultivated over 130 years of developing and producing musical instruments and audio equipment which enabled us to successfully capture the essence of her singing,” comments Koichi Morita, general manager of the research and development division of Yamaha Corporation’s technology unit.

“Our cooperation in this project with this new evolution of singing synthesis technology has illuminated new possibilities in music by transcending the barriers of time to dazzle listeners with incredible singing.”

Vocaloids, or singing synthesisers, are being used increasingly across the entertainment industry. Hatsune Miku, a Japanese vocaloid embodied by a hologram of a 16-year-old girl, has sold out venues across the United States and is embarking on a 2020 European tour, playing shows at the O2 Academy Brixton (5,000-cap.) in London, La Villette (6,000-cap.) in Paris, Berlin’s Verti Music Hall (4,350-cap.), the Sant Jordi Club (4,620-cap.) in Spain and Amsterdam’s 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome.

Artificial intelligence has also been used to recreate living celebrities, with “digital twins” being produced for Chinese girl group SNH48 and celebrity television hosts.

 


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