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EAA announces Arena Resilience Alliance conference

The Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), a special purpose group created by the European Arenas Association (EAA), will host a free virtual conference in December exploring the urgent need for the development of a pan-European strategy for the return to live events.

The conference, titled A Game of Two Halves, will take place on 8 December and focus on why ‘getting fit for purpose’ will be essential to bringing live music and sports events back to arenas and large-capacity venues across Europe, according to the association.

“This event will open important dialogue around why we need unified conditions that will allow music, culture and sports to return to arenas and arenas to re-open their doors for fans of live events,” comments John Langford, president of the EAA.

The virtual conference will address the essential role of arenas as the central hub of the live event ecosystem across Europe, and as key partners to those who organise, promote, play and perform, says the EAA. According to the newly formed ARA, venue closures this year have resulted in the loss of more than 35,000 indoor live events, representing over 113 million lost ticket sales.

Through the event, the ARA hopes to open dialogue with ministers, MEPs and European commissioners with the aim of developing a regulatory framework for the mandatory requirements and measures that enable venues to re-open and facilitate the return of live touring. “A single framework will facilitate business continuity, provide job security and protect the wellbeing of all citizens, employees, freelancers, third-party contractors, players, performers visitors and fans,” the EAA says.

A Game of Two Halves speakers will include Sam Tanson, minister of culture, Luxembourg; MEPs Tomasz Frankowski and Monica Semedo; Tamas Szucs, director of the European Commission’s directorate-general for education, youth, sport and culture; Jason Danter, production manager/director for artists such as Madonna, Lady Gaga and Iron Maiden; Adrian Doyle, board member, European Arenas Association; Ole Hertel, GM, Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin; Robert Fitzpatrick, CEO, The Odyssey Trust Company (owner of the SSE Arena, Belfast); Luca Scafati, director, business operations, Euroleague; Herman Schueremans, CEO, Live Nation Belgium; Szymon Szemberg, CEO, European Hockey Clubs Alliance; and Olivier Toth, CEO, Rockhal, Luxembourg.

“We are at a pivotal moment in terms of the planning needed to protect and rebuild the live events ecosystem across Europe”

The first session, focussing on sport, will be a discussion around ‘Aligning product and place: delivering a new fan experience.’ Following a short break, the focus will turn to live music and will explore ‘why a pan-European approach is crucial for live music’s return.’

Closing the event, Gordon Masson, editor of IQ Magazine, will host a fireside-style discussion with ARA co-founders, Oliver Toth and Robert Fitzpatrick.

“We are at a pivotal moment in terms of the planning needed to protect and rebuild the live events ecosystem across Europe,” explains Toth. “Through this special event, the ARA hopes to open important dialogue between the industry and key EU decision-makers to ensure we move forward with a single framework to facilitate the safe return of live events.”

Robert Fitzpatrick adds: “Arenas are central to the cultural fabric of countries throughout Europe and are a key player in the national and regional tourism ecosystem. Without them, event promoters, artists, indoor sports teams and a host of third-party service contractors are at risk of going out of business. The importance of wellbeing for all venue staff and stakeholders cannot be underestimated; our industry is on the precipice of a major mental health crisis.”

The ARA’s A Game of Two Halves virtual conference takes place on Tuesday 8 December 2020, from 14.00–16.30 CET (13.00–15.30 GMT), and is free to attend. The conference, hosted in collaboration with the European Arenas Association and IQ Magazine, will stream live on the EAA YouTube channel.

 


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ADE reaches millions with virtual 2020 event

The 25th edition of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), which took place from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 October, reached millions of people across the world with the festival’s first-ever digital event, organisers have revealed.

The yearly ADE Pro conference, which traditionally takes place alongside the festival, also took place in an online environment and attracted thousands of electronic music industry professionals.

Highlights of the event included a live conversation between Timbaland, Martin Garrix and David Guetta, The Evolution of Sounds, with more than 250,000 people tuning in globally. Meanwhile, the ADE Pro conference delved into future prospects for artists, clubs and festivals, health issues with James Blake, activism and music with Neneh Cherry and more. All ADE Pro content is available on demand via the platform.

Other sessions of note included the European premiere of the documentary Larry’s Garage, a collaboration with Nyege Nyege festival from Uganda and a livestream from Elrow with Desperados, which attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers.

“It’s great we were able to fulfil our role as a world-leading platform for electronic music even in these strange times”

In addition, studio tours and master classes by a wide range of artists, including Bloody Mary, Carista, Carl Cox, Âme’s Frank Wiedeman and Pan-Pot, formed an in-depth program for the new generation of DJs, while viewers were given a glimpse into the future of digital performances with innovative audiovisual experiences.

Elsewhere, favourite moments from previous editions of ADE were shared on TikTok with the hashtag #ADEmoments throughout the week, with the likes of Tiësto, Martin Garrix, Stella Bossi, Don Diablo, Armin van Buuren and Carly Wilford getting involved, as well as the Rijksmuseum and other organisations. This reached more than 35 million people.

ADE co-directors Jan-Willem van de Ven and Meindert Kennis, who took over from Mariana Sanchotene for this year’s event, jointly comment: “We obviously had something different in mind when we started in December, but given the circumstances we’re happy to hear people say we’ve raised the bar for the future of digital events.

“It’s great that we were able to fulfil our role as a world-leading platform for electronic music even in these strange times and we look forward to further developing the digital platform over the coming months to benefit our subscribers.”

 


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Interactive Festival Forum: IFF goes virtual for 2020

In light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, this year’s International Festival Forum will be held online format as the first Interactive Festival Forum (iFF), organisers have announced.

IFF, the leading global platform for booking agents and festival bookers, is traditionally held in London in early autumn, as conversations about next year’s festival line-ups begin. However, amid continued concern over the spread of Covid-19, the sixth IFF will become the debut iFF, streaming live on 2 and 3 September 2020.

“We’ve left the decision as late as possible, but with ongoing restrictions around Covid-19 in place taking IFF online this year was the only option,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley.

“Fortunately, with so many vital topics to discuss right now, this new format allows more professionals than ever to participate in the conversation.”

The new iFF will invite hundreds of festival and agency professionals from around the world to congregate for two days of discussion, networking and festival booking.

“With so many vital topics to discuss right now, this new format allows more professionals than ever to participate in the conversation”

While attendance at IFF is typically limited by its invitation-only attendance policy and restrictions in physical venue capacity, this year’s virtual edition means colleagues and professionals from around the world can congregate in larger numbers.

The iFF conference programme will cover the breadth of the international festival scene, from artist development and the roles of agents to sector recovery ideas and new income streams. Alongside the discussion and workshops, meanwhile, will sit the ever-popular iFF networking lounge and targeted speedmeetings for new introductions.

The provisional iFF 2020 schedule is online now, with details of all panels, workshops, quickfire Soapbox Sessions, networking events and more.

In order to allow as many people as possible to attend this unique, one-off edition of IFF, tickets are priced at £50 for both festivals and agents. Click here to register or for more information on iFF 2020 tickets.

The sold-out IFF 2019 took place in Camden, London, last 24–26 September.

 


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