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Inside Wembley Stadium’s 2022 music comeback plans

London’s Wembley Stadium has created a second concert window for the summer of 2022 as it bids to meet the “incredible” demand for live shows.

The 90,000-capacity national stadium will welcome Ed Sheeran for five nights from 24 June to 1 July before hosting the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final on 31 July. It will then revert to music with Westlife (originally scheduled for 2021) on 6 August, followed by six dates by Coldplay from 12-20 August.

James Taylor, the venue’s senior commercial manager, tells IQ it was a “huge challenge” to accommodate the level of interest.

“We had to create a second concert season in August 2022 post the Women’s Euro Final to fit the demand in,” he says. “That was incredibly complex to navigate, but with various parties working together we made it work.

“In order to give the acts all wanting to play at Wembley the chance to hit the number of nights they wanted to do, we also managed to gain approval from Brent Council to extend our music cap, so we are in a good position to capitalise on delivering concerts at the venue and satisfy demand for years to come.”

Upon the completion of next year’s shows, Sheeran and Coldplay will have equalled Take That’s record of 12 nights at the new Wembley, with Take That also holding the record for the most dates on one tour, with eight, for their 2011 Progress Live run with Robbie Williams.

“Coldplay are only the second act to reach six nights on one tour at Wembley and have sold these shows out already. We saw incredible demand, which demonstrates that the public are keen to get out and see live shows again,” says Taylor.

“Ed Sheeran became only the third act to reach five nights in a season, which was impressive in itself as he is an ‘in the round’ show, and thus a 90,000-plus capacity. We have Westlife also playing in 2022, with other acts still in the pipeline so hopefully we are not finished yet.”

Wembley set a new benchmark in 2019 by holding 14 gigs in the space of five weeks, including three dates by the Spice Girls and two each by BTS, Fleetwood Mac and Pink.

I’m not seeing anything that gives me concern over market saturation

“We are shaping up well for 2022,” adds Taylor. “We have secured the two biggest tours out in 2022 in Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, which means we are in with a shout of another record number of nights at Wembley for the second consecutive concert season.

“We have seen a number of acts move out of 2022 into 2023, some as they had arena tours building into stadium shows which Covid has obviously delayed. 2023 is looking incredibly strong for stadium shows and I’m doing my level best to accommodate as many of our holds as possible.”

After two barren years due to the pandemic, England’s capital is bracing itself for a stadium rock bonanza next summer.

London Stadium has a triple-header starring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer (24 June), followed by two nights with Red Hot Chili Peppers (25-26 June), before the return of Foo Fighters on 30 June and 2 July.

Plus, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will make its concerts bow courtesy of two dates by Guns N’ Roses (originally slated for 2020) on 1-2 July, while Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium will stage its first music shows since 2013 when it welcomes The Killers from 3-4 June (also originally planned for 2020).

According to Taylor, the evidence suggests the pent-up demand from the public is sufficient enough to support the huge volume of stadium tours – enquiries for dates at Wembley already stretch to 2025.

“Given the demand for the shows we have already put up, they have definitely met expectations and I’m not seeing anything that gives me concern over market saturation,” says Taylor. “Time will tell, but nothing is causing me concern to date. I believe the stadium shows at other London stadiums have also sold well, which is good to hear.”

 


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Eagles to play Wembley Stadium in Europe exclusive

US rock band Eagles are bringing their Hotel California tour to London’s 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium on 29 and 30 August 2020, the group’s only European dates of the year.

Eagles, consisting of Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B Schmit, along with Deacon Frey and Vince Gill, will perform the Hotel California album in full at the Wembley concerts, followed by an additional set of the band’s greatest hits.

The group recently performed three sold-out performances of the album – the third best-selling US album in history – in Las Vegas. The concerts marked the first time Eagles had performed Hotel California in its entirety and featured 77 musicians on stage, including a 46-piece orchestra and 22-voice choir.

As the best-selling US band of the 1970s, Eagles have won six Grammy Awards, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and received the Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime contribution to US culture in 2016.

“We are delighted to welcome back The Eagles who played a huge part in this year’s success story”

The Live Nation-promoted shows see Eagles return to the stadium for the second time in as many years, following a sell-out show in June. The band contributed to a record-breaking summer for Wembley in 2019, with over 900,000 fans watching acts including the Who, Fleetwood Mac, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and Pink.

“We are delighted to welcome back The Eagles who played a huge part in this year’s success story,” comments James Taylor, senior commercial manager for Wembley Stadium.

“Wembley is an iconic venue that attracts the biggest and best acts and we are thrilled this legendary band has once again chosen our world-class stadium for what will be their only performances in Europe in 2020.”

Tickets for Eagles 2020 Wembley Stadium shows go on sale on Saturday 14 December at 9 a.m. (GMT), available here.

 


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Wembley Stadium hails “another incredible summer”

Saturday 6 July saw the Who bring the curtain down on the biggest-ever summer of concerts at Wembley Stadium in London.

Over the space of five weeks the 90,000-capacity stadium hosted 14 concerts, with 38 acts playing to some 900,000 fans. That’s down slightly on the more than one million predicted by stadium bosses before the summer, but still a new record.

K-pop sensations BTS kicked things off with two sold-out shows on 1 and 2 June as part of their Love Yourself world tour, with 140,000 fans also streaming the show live globally. Capital’s Summertime Ball festival took place the weekend after, followed by the much-hyped Spice Girls reunion shows, which saw 240,000 fans attend over three nights.

“We look forward to another exciting summer of music next year”

Other headline shows included the newly Lindsey Buckingham-less Fleetwood Mac, who played two nights, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and Eagles, who played one night each from 21 to 23 June, Pink, who played two nights, and the Who, who rounded off the summer season with support from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.

James Taylor, Wembley’s senior commercial manager for concerts, comments: “It’s been another incredible summer of music at Wembley Stadium. We are privileged to have hosted such a diverse set of artists and to have welcome thousands of fans into the national stadium.

“We must also thank the stadium team who have worked tirelessly to adapt the venue to suit varying needs. We look forward to another exciting summer of music next year.”

 


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BTS fans spend €3.5m on livestreaming historic Wembley shows

Following two record-breaking shows at the O2 in October, BTS-mania hit London for a second time last weekend, with the Korean pop superstars making history by playing to 120,000 people over two nights at Wembley Stadium – and another 140,000 fans across the world via live stream.

The sold-out, Live Nation-promoted shows, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, were each attended by 60,000, mostly young, K-pop fans, as the seven-piece band became the first Korean act to headline the iconic London stadium.

According to BBC music reporter Mark Savage, who attended the first concert, the band were swept along on a “tidal wave of fans’ enthusiasm”, blasting through 24 songs “assisted by quirky props, glitter cannons, jet sprays… and 60,000 fans screaming their approval.” He continues:

The septet, who said they “grew up watching videos of Live Aid,” even paid tribute to Freddie Mercury. During the encore, lavender-haired singer Jin led the crowd in a version of the Queen frontman’s ay-oh” chant.

“You guys always had the greatest artists, historically, in the music industry: the Beatles, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Adele. We don’t even have to make a list,” added his bandmate Kim Nam-joon, who’s known to fans as RM. “So the UK was like the big, big wall to me.

“But tonight we, and you guys, just broke the wall.”

Over 140,000 people paid the equivalent of ₩33,000 (€25) to watch the gig on V Live

The shows, part of BTS’s Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world stadium tour, follow the release of the boy band’s latest EP, Map of the Soul: Persona, which debuted at no1 on the UK chart – also a first for a South Korean group.

In addition to the 60,000 fans in attendance, the first night was also broadcast to cinemas across Japan and streamed live online globally.

BTS fans across the world, known as the ‘Army’, streamed the show via V Live, an online video streaming service operated by Korean web portal Naver. Over 140,000 people paid the equivalent of ₩33,000 (€25) to watch the gig on the V Live platform, where BTS have nearly 15 million followers.

According to Korean daily the Chosun Ilbo, the majority of streamers were in the US, followed by Japan, then Taiwan and China. “We were able to see the potential for V Live as a live technology platform,” says Naver’s Jang Joon-ki.

 


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Record-breaking summer for music at Wembley Stadium

London’s Wembley Stadium connected by EE is getting ready for a record-breaking summer of live music, with a line-up of 14 concerts expected to attract over a million music fans to the stadium.

The 90,000-capacity stadium, owned by the Football Association (FA), will host five weeks’ worth of concerts from 1 June. Nine headliners will play a total of fourteen shows, in the most music-focused schedule ever for the stadium.

The line-up includes shows from K-pop stars BTS, Bon Jovi, the Who and the Spice Girls, in their first set of shows since the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony. Pink will also perform at the stadium as part of her mega Beautiful Trauma world tour, which has sold three million tickets just over a month in.

The number of concerts surpasses the stadium’s previous record of 13, set in 1992, before the stadium was demolished and rebuilt. The best year for music since the 2007 reopening of the stadium came in 2016, when six headliners played across ten shows.

“We are delighted to host what will be a record-breaking year for music at Wembley Stadium,” says Wembley’s senior commercial manager, James Taylor.

“Holding music events and attracting more people to our venue are an essential part of our business and we are looking forward to hosting some of the world’s biggest artists this summer”

“Holding music events and attracting more people to our venue are an essential part of our business and we are looking forward to hosting some of the world’s biggest artists this summer. We are setting the bar high in 2019 and long may this continue.”

The stadium will also host performances from Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel and Eagles, as well as the Capital Summertime Ball, featuring Mark Ronson, Ellie Goulding, Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5 and Jess Glynne.

In 2016, Wembley Stadium achieved it best-ever turnover of £370m, driven in part by a busier live events calendar, with dates by Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Rihanna and Ed Sheeran.

However, last year the stadium recorded a pre-tax deficit of £9 million, compared with a £5.5m profit the year before, and a drop in sales by 13%. This slump in profit follows a scaling back of the music calendar in 2017 and a renewed focus on football.

More information and tickets for the shows can be found here.

 

A full list of concerts and dates are below:

Saturday 1 June: BTS

Sunday 2 June: BTS

Saturday 8 June: Capital Summertime Ball

Thursday 13 June: Spice Girls

Friday 14 June: Spice Girls

Saturday 15 June: Spice Girls

Sunday 16 June: Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday 18 June: Fleetwood Mac

Friday 21 June: Bon Jovi

Saturday 22 June: Billy Joel

Sunday 23 June: Eagles

Saturday 29 June: Pink

Sunday 30 June: Pink

Saturday 6 July: The Who and Eddie Vedder

 

 


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BTS announce upcoming stadium world tour

Global K-pop sensations BTS have confirmed dates for eight stadia across the Americas, Europe and Asia, as part of the group’s Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour.

The worldwide stadium tour kicks off on 5 May at the Rose Bowl stadium in Los Angeles (90,888-cap.), before travelling to Chicago’s Soldier Field (61,500), Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium (82,500), Allianz Parque in São Paulo (55,000), Wembley Stadium in London (90,000) and the Stade de France in Paris (80,000).

Two dates are scheduled for Japan, in Osaka’s Yanmar Stadium Nagai (47,000) and Shizuoka’s Stadium Ecopa (50,889).

BTS played their first-ever stadium show in a sold-out New York Citi Field stadium (41,922-cap.) last October, as part of the Love Yourself world tour.

BTS played their first-ever stadium show in a sold-out New York Citi Field stadium last October

The announcement comes following a record-breaking 2018, in which the Korean boy band were crowned Ticketmaster’s ticket of the year and sold the highest-ever number of tickets for an ‘event cinema release’ with their film Burn the Stage: the Movie.

The stadium tour builds on last year’s Love Yourself tour, which saw the popular boy band play in arenas across Europe and in the band’s hometown of Seoul, South Korea.

Tickets for the tour go on sale to the general public starting 1 March at 10 a.m. local time for North America dates, 8.30 a.m. local time for the London show and 9 a.m. local time for the Paris date. Tickets for the São Paulo concert will be available from 11 March at 10 a.m. local time.

The full tour schedule can be found below:

5 May – Los Angeles, USA
11 May – Chicago, USA
18 May – E. Rutherford, USA
25 May – São Paulo, Brazil
1 June – London, UK
6 June – Paris, France
7 June – Osaka, Japan
7 July – Osaka, Japan
13 July – Shizuoka, Japan
14 July– Shizuoka, Japan

 


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Spice Girls confirm Spice World UK stadium tour

Seven years after the Spice Girls’ last live show, and 11 years after their 2007–2008 reunion tour, the world’s most successful girl group are hitting the road once again, today announcing six UK stadium shows in 2019.

Promoted by SJM Concerts, Live Nation and Solo, the Spice World UK tour will initially visit Etihad Stadium in Manchester (1 June 2019), Ricoh Arena in Coventry (3 June), Stadium of Light in Sunderland (6 June), BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh (8 June), Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol (10 June) and Wembley Stadium in London (15 June).

Owing to Victoria Beckham/Posh Spice’s “business commitments”, the band – managed by Modest! Management and XIX Entertainment – will tour as a four-piece comprising Melanie Brown (‘Scary Spice’), Melanie Chisholm (‘Sporty Spice’), Emma Bunton (‘Baby Spice’) and Geri Horner (née Halliwell, ‘Ginger Spice’). Support will come courtesy of Jess Glynne.

“We are beyond excited to be reuniting next year for a stadium tour,” say the four in a joint statement. “Bringing girl power and our message of friendship and love back to the stage feels more relevant than ever. We hope everyone can join us for one big Spice Girls party.”

“Bringing girl power and our message of friendship and love back to the stage feels more relevant than ever”

“Being in the Spice Girls was a hugely important part of my life, and I wish my girls so much love and fun as they go back on tour,” adds Beckham. “I know they will put on an amazing show, and the fantastic fans past and present are going to have a wonderful time.”

Formed in 1994 by Heart Management’s Bob and Chris Herbert, and signed to Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, the Spice Girls’ breakthrough came with 1996 debut single, ‘Wannabe’, which topped the charts in 37 countries. Their first album, Spice, sold more than 31 million copies worldwide, and the band went on to become the biggest British pop success since the Beatles, selling more than 85m records globally.

They last toured in 2007 and 2008, with the Return of the Spice Girls tour grossing US$107.2m from ticket sales and merchandising, though they returned for a well-received one-off performance for the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony.

Tickets for Spice World 2019 are on sale this Saturday (10 November) from Ticketmaster and SJM’s Gigs and Tours, with Twickets as the official resale partner.

 


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Gary Hutchinson out at Wembley Stadium

Gary Hutchinson is to leave his position as head of venue sales and commercial partnerships at Wembley Stadium.

The former Sunderland AFC exec joined the UK’s largest stadium earlier this year, effectively replacing its ex-head of business development, Jim Frayling. He will leave the FA, the venue’s owner, at the end of 2017 to run a private hospitality venture, Chrysalis Leisure Group.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the FA, and I’m committed to supporting the organisation over the next few months, until they have plans in place to take [membership organisation] Club Wembley forward in the new year,” he says.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the FA and I’m committed to supporting the organisation over the next few months”

“However, I have been pursuing a new business venture for the last few months, and it has very quickly moved from being just a concept to something I am ready to push the button on and turn into a reality. It’s moving ahead rapidly, and I am sure it will continue to develop quickly.”

The Sun FM radio station reports Hutchinson has taken over the Fat Buddha restaurant in Newcastle, which he plans to transform into a “must-visit Tyneside venue”.

A spokesman for the FA tells IQ Danielle Russell, the stadium’s partnership development manager for music and new events, will continue to be the key contact for live music, while her colleague James Taylor supports sporting events.

 


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Wembley Stadium wins EU trademark case

Wembley FC, a semiprofessional football team based in Wembley, north-west London, is to lose the European trademark to its club emblem following a complaint by Wembley Stadium.

The club obtained the trademark, which covers a range of goods and services, including clothing, merchandise, toiletries, alcoholic beverages and household items, from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in 2012 – at which time the 90,000-capacity stadium, owned by the Football Association (FA), missed an opportunity to file an objection.

However, in a cancellation decision dated 12 July, EUIPO ruled that Wembley FC’s trademark infringed on that of Wembley Stadium, which in its former iteration had been named as such since the 1920s (Wembley FC was founded in 1946).

EUIPO noted that the contested trademark, Wembley FC’s logo (“a figurative mark consisting of a red coat of arms, depicting the stylised head of a lion which occupies nearly the entire shield and which is predominantly in white”), makes use of “Wembley” as its distinctive feature, with the letters “FC” and the club’s Latin motto, A posse ad esse, in much smaller, less eye-catching text.

“Consumers generally tend to focus on the first element of a sign when being confronted with a trademark,” it reads.

“As regards the differing verbal elements of the contested sign, they are less visually eye-catching than ‘Wembley’”

“This is justified by the fact that the public reads from left to right, which makes the part placed at the left of the sign (the initial part) the one that first catches the attention of the reader. Likewise, consumers generally tend to read from top to bottom. […]

“As regards the differing verbal elements of the contested sign (‘FC’ and the Latin motto), they are less visually eye-catching than ‘Wembley’, whereas the figurative elements (the coat of arms with the lion and the ball and the ribbon) may have a less strong impact.”

EUIPO’s cancellation division concluded the contested trademark must, therefore, “be declared invalid for all the contested goods and services”.

Wembley FC, as the losing party, must now pay all fees and costs incurred by cancellation process.

Wembley Stadium, the UK’s largest stadium, posted record revenues in 2015–16, driven in part by a busy live events calendar, including Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna and, most famously, Ed Sheeran. Despite this, as IQ revealed in January, the venue is to scale back its music programming in future following the departure of former business development chief Jim Frayling.

 


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1m tickets sold for Sheeran UK dates…but 10k cancelled

A remarkable one in 65 Britons are seeing Ed Sheeran’s 2018 stadium shows, with in excess of one million tickets having been sold since 8 July, promoters Kilimanjaro Live, DHP Family and AEG Presents have announced.

Sheeran’s third world tour, ÷ (Divide), returns to Europe next summer, with the British superstar playing four nights at Etihad Stadium (60,000-cap.) in Manchester from 24 to 27 May, three at Hampden Park (90,000-cap.) in Glasgow from 1 to 3 June, three at St James’ Park (~52,000-cap.) in Newcastle from 8 to 10 June, four at Wembley Stadium (90,000-cap.) in London from 14 to 17 June and four at Principality Stadium (74,500-cap.) in Cardiff from 21 to 14 June.

According to the promoters, more than 90% of tickets were bought at face value by Ed Sheeran fans, with just 10% finding their way into the hands of touts. The three warned buyers that tickets re-listed anywhere but on the official resale site, Twickets, would be “instantly” cancelled.

Sheeran is a vocal opponent of for-profit secondary ticketing, and his manager, Stuart Camp, has given evidence to a parliamentary hearing on ‘ticket abuse’.

Despite this warning, reads a joint statement from Kili, DHP and AEG, “it has has become clear that one such company, Viagogo, have ignored the promoters’ requests, and there is an increasing number of customers who are realising they have been duped by Viagogo’s false advertising and have unfortunately become victims of massive hidden overcharging for tickets. […]

“Up to 10,000 tickets have now been cancelled and are being returned back into the marketplace for individual fans to purchase at face value”

“The promoters have been monitoring the sales transactions in close conjunction with the National Trading Standards cyber crime team and have identified many multiple purchases which are in contravention of the terms and conditions for the sale of the Ed Sheeran tickets. As a result, up to 10,000 tickets have now been cancelled and are being returned back into the marketplace for individual fans to purchase at face value.”

The official primary ticket agencies for the UK tour are See Tickets and Ticketmaster.

In addition to cancelling the tickets, the promoters have reported all secondary ticket listings that violate the newly updated Consumer Rights Act – which requires a ‘unique ticket number’ to be displayed when a ticket is listed for resale – to the CMA to aid its ongoing investigation into suspected breaches of the law among ticket resale sites.

Any customers who are concerned they may have been “defrauded” by Viagogo have been directed to Claire Turnham’s ‘self-help guide’ for obtaining a refund, hosted on the FanFair Alliance website.

Sheeran’s next ÷ tour show is at the Videotron Centre (20,396-cap.) in Quebec tomorrow. An Asian leg kicks off in Taipei on 22 October.

 


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