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Germany’s Goodlive Artists expands to Austria

Goodlive Artists, the booking and touring division of Berlin-based Goodlive, has launched Goodlive Artists Austria in Vienna.

Headed up by Silvio Huber, formerly head of booking for Arcadia Live, and Philipp Maly, co-owner of Czech promoter Selection and formerly part of the management team at Colours of Ostrava festival, Goodlive Artists Austria will focus on creating “new concepts and visions in the Austrian market”, according to an announcement from the new company.

Huber brings his own roster to Goodlive Artists Austria, having promoted shows by George Ezra, Tame Impala, AnnenMayKantereit, Conan Gray and more, while Maly’s Selection has worked with acts including Lewis Capaldi, Jamie Cullum and Woodkid.

“Above all, we would like to thank Goodlive Artists for the trust they have placed in us in such turbulent and unusual times, and so we are looking forward to a positive industry relaunch in a strengthened, motivated and hopeful manner,” say Huber and Maly in a joint statement.

“Philipp and Silvio fit perfectly into our team … With this step, we will be able to expand our touring services for our artists”

“Although we have only had a few and limited opportunities to get to know our new colleagues, we feel more than welcome and part of the family after only a short time.”

Goodlive Artists sits alongside other Goodlive companies including Melt! Booking, Der Bomber Der Herzen, Full Force Concerts and the recently launched Nitelive Artists, and Goodlive Artists Austria says it plans to take advantage of the synergies between the firms “in the best possible way”.

Justus Mang, managing director of Goodlive Artists, comments: “Philipp and Silvio fit perfectly into our team, both personally and professionally. With this step, we will be able to expand our touring services for our artists and act more strategically.

“In our talks beforehand, we all quickly realised that we share the same views on many things, that our visions are similar and that we could draw great motivation from this exchange. I’m incredibly excited about this collaboration and more Wiener melange in my life.”

 


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Sex toy causes classical concert terror scare

Police were called to the Vienna Konzerthaus after a concealed sex toy sparked a terror alert.

Staff at the concert hall called in explosive experts to report a bag that was “shaking suspiciously” in the cloakroom. It was later discovered that the suspect movement was prompted by a vibrator in a concertgoer’s bag.

The incident did not disturb the Viennese Symphony Orchestra’s rendition of Richard Wagner works Siegfried Idyll and The Valkyrie.

“The owners of the bag were informed of the incident and the officers wished them a nice evening”

“The bag had fallen on its side. Officers were able to quickly identify the cause of vibration and therefore it was not necessary to disturb the performance and the show went on,” says police spokesperson Patrick Maierhofer.

“After the performance had finished, the suitcase was handed over to its owner and his lady friend. They were informed of the incident and the officers wished them a nice evening.”

Opening in 1913, Vienna’s Konzerthaus regularly hosts concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Vienna Singakademie choir. The venue houses three rooms: the great hall (1,840 seats), the Mozart hall (704 seats) and the Schubert hall (336 seats).

 


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Ticketmaster signs Waves Vienna

Ticketmaster has added Waves Vienna, the Austrian conference and showcase festival, to its roster of industry events.

The company is now the lead ticket agent for Norway’s by:Larm, the UK’s the Great Escape and the Netherlands’ Eurosonic Noorderslag, and also tickets Wide Days in Scotland.

“We’re happy to welcome Vienna’s first music showcase festival, Waves, to the family,” says Jon West, Ticketmaster artist services marketing director.

“The magic of these events is their dual nature – the music right alongside the conference”

“We’ve been supporting important showcase festivals like the Great Escape, Eurosonic, by:Larm and more for many years now. We get a big kick out of supporting and spotlighting new artists, and festivals like Waves help us do exactly that.

“The magic of these events is their dual nature – the music right alongside the conference – and we have the technology and experience to handle both.”

 


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Elisabeth concert proves a success for Semmel

The debut of a concert adaptation of popular German-language musical Elisabeth attracted 20,000 viewers over the weekend to the Court of Honour at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

A collaboration between German promoter Semmel Concerts Entertainment, the Vienna Theatre Association (VTA) and local promoter Showfactory, the concert brought the musical back to its original setting in Vienna. The concert version was performed by the VTA orchestra.

Making its debut in 1992, Elisabeth documents the life, works and sufferings of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The musical has been viewed around the world in a total of seven languages and by over 11 million people.

Due to the popularity of the event, the concert will return for three dates in 2020, from 25 to 27 June at the Schönbrunn Palace.

“There is no better way to stage Elisabeth than with a big orchestra and we look forward to continuing the international success story.”

“It is really special to showcase our worldwide success with a big concert in this exceptional historical setting,” says Christian Struppeck, musical director at the VTA.

“There is no better way to stage Elisabeth than with a big orchestra and we look forward to continuing the international success story.”

Dieter Semmelmann, chief executive of Semmel Concerts comments: “We are very happy with the outstanding realisation of this idea by all parties involved.”

Semmelmann adds that he was “honoured” by the “enthusiasm” from the writers of Elisabeth, Dr Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay.

Tickets for the 2020 Elisabeth concerts are available here, with prices ranging from €59,50 (£53.50) to € 152,50 (£137).

Picture (left to right): VTA CEO Franz Patay, Schönbrunn Palace cultural director Klaus Panholzer, Elisabeth actress Pia Douwes, VTA musical director Christian Struppeck and Semmel Concerts CEO Dieter Semmelmann.

 


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Market report: Austria

Sitting in a mountain range – the Eastern Alps, which covers nearly two-thirds of the territory – and with a population of 8.7m, around a fifth of whom live in the capital, Vienna, the country of Mozart, Mahler and Falco these days draws music from everywhere.

For instance, at the time of writing, the calendar of Vienna’s alternative art complex Arena Wien is a multicultural stew featuring Franco-German reggae-punks Irie Révoltés, US hip-hopper Joey Badass, Finnish rockers Sunrise Avenue and German electro-poppers Lali Puna, along with Austria’s own Julian Le Play. And when the Ernst-Happel-Stadion prepares itself for blockbuster shows, it’s for the likes of Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Robbie Williams and German star Helene Fischer. Yet there’s still something distinctive about the Austrian music business, where highly individual independent festivals remain the norm, and where “you can still develop things based on quality rather than quantity,” in the words of veteran indie promoter Alex Nussbaumer.

“Austria is a very sensible market,” says Nussbaumer, who operates as al-x, with offices in Vienna and Bregenz. “I often liken it to Switzerland because it has the same, very healthy scene, whereas in Germany, you don’t really have the middle range anymore. My experience here has always been that you can really develop an artist from scratch with touring.” However, times change, as Nussbaumer concedes, and it’s possible that the Austria of the near future will be different from that of recent decades. Like Switzerland, Austria was built by indies and has only lately attracted the undivided attention of multinational operators.

Live Nation and FKP Scorpio/CTS Eventim are now a couple of years into their respective Austrian ventures, and though Barracuda (the 2016 amalgam of leading indies Skalar, Red Snapper and NuCoast Entertainment) remains the biggest player in both shows and festivals, it is safe to say the gap has closed

“To be the only big, independent player is not easy when Live Nation, DEAG and CTS all have offices in Vienna,” says Barracuda CEO Ewald Tatar, whose recent projects have included the Rolling Stones at Spielberg; Robbie Williams in Vienna and Klagenfurt; and the perennial Nova Rock festival. “But for us,” he adds, “business is still very, very good.”

“You can definitely play one big arena or one big stadium. For the second or third show, you need to be really careful”

For now, this is a view more or less shared by indies and multinationals alike. Austria may not be huge but it’s in reasonably good shape, especially after the festival market pulled back from the edge of saturation a year or two ago.

“In general, it’s been a pretty good year – possibly the best year ever,” says Arcadia Live head of booking Silvio Huber. “The Rolling Stones pulled a massive crowd; there’s been a significant rise in stadium shows in Vienna; and, of course, a steady growth of club and arena shows. It seems we have not reached a critical peak in Austria yet, but we should be aware that no business grows endlessly.”

Nestled beneath Germany with borders into Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, Austria has always been a well-connected sort of place, part west and part east, so a well-placed show in Austria can often draw part of its crowd from elsewhere.

A show such as Barracuda’s 95,000-capacity Stones show, for example, which took place in September at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg bei Knittelfeld in the central part of the country, is only an hour or two by road from the borders of Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia.

Nonetheless, Austria is a relatively small country, and its ticket-shifting powers have limits. Roughly 70–80% of all tickets sold are for shows in and around Vienna, and though Austria has many fetching cities, from Linz and Graz to Salzburg and Innsbruck, acts of any size can’t hope to play more than one or two of them.

“Basically, in Austria you can definitely play one big arena or one big stadium,” says Tatar. “For the second or third show, you need to be really careful. Outside Vienna, the other cities in Austria are not big. We play arena shows in Linz or Graz but you can’t do both – you need to decide if it’s Vienna and Linz or Vienna and Graz.”

 


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Another legal defeat for ticket fees in Austria

Another judge has sided with the Austrian Consumers’ Association (VKI) in its legal dispute with CTS Eventim over the fees it levies on print-at-home tickets.

In August Vienna Commercial Court, a court of first instance, found that the fees on tickets sold via CTS’s oeticket website, which charges €2.50 for ‘print @ home’ and mobile tickets and €1.90 for those picked up from branches of Libro or oeticket’s own box offices, are “unusual and disadvantageous” for consumers and inadmissible under Austrian law.

“We hope in the interest of consumers this judgment will be final”

The lawsuit by VKI against CTS Eventim last week reached the Higher Regional Court of Vienna (Oberlandesgericht Wien, OLG), which on 5 December similarly ruled the fees to be illegal, although the verdict is not yet legally binding.

According to VKI, the OLG took particular exception to the fact oeticket does not offer a fee-free delivery option, leaving the consumer with no option but to pay them.

“We hope in the interest of ticket buyers that this judgment will be final, meaning consumers are [finally] able to purchase tickets without these additional costs,” says VKI lawyer Joachim Kogelmann.

 


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CTS’s oeticket defeated in Austria over ticket fees

A court of first instance has found against CTS Eventim Austria, ruling that the practice of charging delivery fees on tickets – including those printed at home – is illegal.

The case, brought by the Consumer Information Association (VKI), concerns tickets sold via CTS’s oeticket website, which charges €2.50 for ‘print @ home’ and mobile tickets and €1.90 for those picked up from branches of Libro or oeticket’s own box offices.

According to to the Handelsgericht (commercial court) of Vienna, such charges are “unusual and disadvantageous” for consumers and inadmissible under Austrian law.

CTS Eventim will likely appeal against the verdict, which is not yet final, as it has in a similar case making its way through the courts in Germany.

OLG upholds ban on self-printed ticket fees

If and when the court’s decision becomes legally binding, affected consumers are expected to have up to 30 years to apply retroactively for refunds.

“Charing customers a fee to print their own tickets is very surprising,” says VKI lawyer Joachim Kogelmann, who adds that the judgment should lead to “more price clarity when buying a ticket”.

 


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