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PlayPass promotes Steve Jenner, expands in UK

PlayPass has strengthened its UK operations, promoting Steve Jenner to the role of managing director for the UK and Ireland to address growing demand, as more festivals go cashless with the provider.

Jenner, who joined the company in 2015, will lead an expanded team which includes the appointment of Ben Hirons, formerly of Gorilla and Peppermint and Creative Bars, who will oversee event delivery.

It has also been announced that We Are Fstvl and Beat Hotel will go fully cashless with PlayPass this year. At 55,000 capacity, We Are Fstvl is the company’s largest cashless UK event to date.

Black Deer and Merthyr Rising festivals will also go completely cashless for the first time in 2019. The organisers of 2000Trees festival, which transitioned to cashless last year, reported a 24% increase in bar spend per head, among other gains, and have signed with PlayPass again for this year.

“PlayPass’ proven technology is gaining the trust of a growing number of festivals who can see the benefits to them, their public and their traders”

Jenner says he is “delighted” to become UK managing director and “very confident in delivering the company’s busiest and most successful year to date in the UK.”

“We are looking forward to integrating our technology and supporting these new clients in delivering successful events this year,” comments Jenner.

“PlayPass’ proven technology is gaining the trust of a growing number of festivals who can see the wide range of ever-increasing benefits to them, their public and their traders.”

Jenner presented the cashless provider’s latest innovations to international promoters and production professionals at the ILMC’s New Technology forum this month, with a focus on enhancing sustainability at events and improving the experience for families with children.

 


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The show goes on: UK set for huge weekend of music

It’s business as usual for the UK this long weekend, with British festival fans, refusing to be cowed by the threat of terror, gearing up for three days of live music across the country.

While several concerts, including Take That at the Echo Arena in Liverpool and Blondie at London’s Round Chapel, were called off in the aftermath of Monday’s bombing at Manchester Arena, the majority of events have chosen to continue, with many issuing statements on the importance of carrying on as usual.

Among the events going ahead as planned this weekend are pop-punk festival Slam Dunk, in Birmingham, Leeds and Hatfield; We Are Fstvl in London; Margate WonderlandRadio 1’s Big Weekend in Hull; and Liverpool Sound City, which says it will “not be defeated” by the “cowardice” of the Manchester Arena bomber.

Dot to Dot, which includes a Manchester leg, is also still on – Anton Lockwood of promoter DHP Family told IQ on Tuesday “it didn’t occur to us to cancel” amid a mood of “defiance” in Manchester– as are Happy Days festival in Esher, Surrey, and Bestival’s Common People in Oxford and Southampton.

As in France – where, says Live Nation France head of festivals Armel Campagna, seeing live music has become an act of ‘cultural resistance‘ following the Bataclan attack – many promoters say pushing ahead with their events sends a strong message to enemies of live music.

“The message is: ‘The show will go on'”

In a statement, Manchester festival Parklife – organised by LN-Gaiety-owned The Warehouse Project – says it will go ahead as planned on 10 and 11 June and that, “we will not be defeated by such cowardice”.

“We can’t let these people get us down,” adds Common People/Bestival promoter Rob Da Bank. “The message is: ‘The show will go on.'”

Gary Barlow of Take That, meanwhile – whose postponed Liverpool show will instead take place tonight – called upon the crowd to “sing a little louder, reach a little higher and clap our hands a little harder”:

While much of the discussion around the attack has, understandably, largely focused on the security implications for live music, it bears remembering that the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi, was, thankfully, unable to gain access to the arena itself.

Speaking to Billboard yesterday, LiveStyle CEO Randy Phillips praised Manchester Arena’s security, saying that “no one can say that venue security wasn’t sufficient”, and expressed his concern that while terrorist attacks remain extremely rare, the abundance of mainstream news coverage “could lead to an exaggerated sense of insecurity among concertgoers”.

One organisation aiming to counter those perceptions is Live DMA, an umbrella body representing associations of venues and festivals in 13 European countries.

“Terrorism can never stop us from making music”

With support from Music Venue Trust in the UK, the association’s venues will tonight at 9.59pm GMT hold a minute’s silence for the victims – followed by ‘One Minute of Noise’ at 10pm.

“Live music is joy and fellowship,” says Live DMA. “We are thousands of venues, festivals and other concert organisers, at thousands of places across Europe, that open our doors for joy, music, freedom and friendship daily – and we will keep them open and let live music go everywhere.

“Our thoughts are with the affected families and our colleagues in the UK live music industry, and we will dedicate our upcoming concerts to the victims of this tragedy, when venues across Europe, together with the audience and artists, will mark the terrorist attack in Manchester with ‘one minute of noise’. Because terrorism can never stop us from making music.”

 


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We Are Fstvl 2017 increases cap after sell-out

London dance music event We Are Fstvl has agreed an increase in capacity to 29,000 after selling out of its original ticket allocation on Monday night.

The independently promoted festival, which has taken place at the Damyns Hall aerodrome in Upminster, east London, since 2013, this year adds a 5,000-cap. campsite, expanding its non-music offering to include glamping facilities, hot tubs, a “woodland spa”, giant pillow fights and a ‘We Are Houseparty’ on the campsite each night. Musical headliners are Craig David’s TS5, Carl Cox, Dizzee Rascal and a DJ set by Basement Jaxx.

“Due to unprecedented demand for our fifth anniversary, We Are Fstvl 2017 has seen record-breaking sales and a demand for tickets like never before,” comments festival director Reece Miller.

“We are delighted to announce an extension to our licensed capacity so that more fans from around the world can experience We Are Fstvl for the very first time”

“We’ve been working hard on very detailed plans and a large amount of improvements with all local authorities and the Met police for several months, and are delighted to announce an extension to our licensed capacity so that more fans from around the world can experience We Are Fstvl for the very first time.

“I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to all those behind the scenes for making this possible for the greatest dance music fans on the planet.”

We Are Fstvl 2017 takes place from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 May.

 


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