Wembley Stadium director Liam Boylan set to exit
Wembley Stadium director Liam Boylan has announced he is stepping down after nine years with the London venue.
Boylan, who joined the 90,000-cap national stadium from SJM Concerts in 2015, is yet to reveal his next destination, but describes it as “an amazing opportunity” he “simply could not turn down”.
“I am doing the unthinkable and leaving, what I believe is, the best stadium in the world,” he says in a post on LinkedIn. “I have had an amazing nine years under the arch and it was not an easy decision to leave. Unfortunately I cannot say where I am going at this time, but it goes without saying that my next role is an amazing opportunity and something I simply could not turn down and I cannot wait to start early in 2024.”
The English Football Association has begun advertising for Boylan’s successor, with a deadline of 10 October for the “high-profile leadership role”.
Boylan’s departure comes on the heels of a successful summer for the stadium, which attracted more than one million fans for events across music, sport and entertainment, including shows by Blur, Mötley Crüe & Def Leppard, Harry Styles and the Capital Summertime Ball.
“We have had some of the biggest stars of pop, rock, indie and new wave all perform here, and it’s been wonderful seeing such a diverse range of audiences”
In addition, The Weeknd smashed the venue’s ticket sales record for a concert with a traditional stage set-up after selling 87,000 tickets for his 18 August performance. The UK’s largest stadium, Wembley is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
“We have had some of the biggest stars of pop, rock, indie and new wave all perform here, and it’s been wonderful seeing such a diverse range of audiences,” says Boylan. “The screams at the Harry Styles’ concerts were some of the loudest I have ever heard, and we are still finding pink feathers in every nook and cranny of the stadium!
“The two Blur shows were epic. It was like the summer of Britpop all over again and those gigs will live long in the memory of everyone who saw them. We were also able to see history being made with the men’s and women’s rugby league Challenge Cup finals played here for the first time ever.”
The venue’s former music bookings chief, senior commercial manager James Taylor, also left last year to join ASM Global in the newly-created role of sales director for sports and alternative content for UK venues.
In 2024 Wembley Stadium will hold six nights of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour between 21 June and 17 August, and will also host the UEFA Champions’ League Final for a record eight time.
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The Weeknd breaks Wembley Stadium sales record
The Weeknd has made history in London again after smashing the ticket sales record at Wembley Stadium.
The Canadian singer-songwriter (real name Abel Tesfaye) sold 87,000 tickets to his 18 August concert, according to Live Nation UK.
The show, supported by Kaytranada and Mike Dean, was the final European date on his ongoing After Hours ‘Til Dawn’ Tour.
It marks the second consecutive time the multi-Grammy-winning artist has broken a record in the UK capital.
“Abel continues to sell at an astounding level across Europe”
Just last month, the Weeknd set a new attendance record for London Stadium, after drawing 160,000 fans over two nights.
“On the heels of an enormous, hugely successful US tour, Abel continues to sell at an astounding level across Europe,” CAA’s co-head of North American touring Darryl Eaton said. “We couldn’t be more proud to work with him and his team on this incredible tour.”
Last year’s North American leg of the global After Hours Til Dawn Tour grossed $148 million (€135m), with the stadium run now having grossed more than $350m to date worldwide.
The After Hours ‘Til Dawn’ Tour will visit Latin America this autumn with shows in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, among others stops.
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Wembley Stadium tipped to host Ukraine benefit gig
Wembley Stadium is reportedly set to host a Live Aid-style fundraising concert for Ukraine this summer.
Artists such as U2, the Rolling Stones, The Killers and Pink are said to have been asked to perform at the London event.
“It’s going to be huge, properly A-list and on a global scale,” a source tells The Sun. “It’s something people have wanted to do for a while, but a date has now been nailed down and booked at Wembley Stadium. Invitations to perform are going out thick and fast to the biggest names in the business.”
The concert is reportedly pencilled in for Saturday 24 June – the same weekend as Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park
The concert is reportedly pencilled in for Saturday 24 June – the same weekend as Glastonbury and BST Hyde Park, with the source adding that some big name acts have already been ruled out due to prior to commitments.
The 90,000-cap stadium has already confirmed concerts by Harry Styles (13-14 & 16-17 June), Def Leppard & Motley Crue (1 July), Blur (8-9 July) and The Weeknd (18 August) for 2023.
Last year’s Concert For Ukraine fundraiser in Birmingham raised £12.2 million for the humanitarian relief effort in the country.
Stars including Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello and Emeli Sande took to the stage at the Resorts World Arena for the televised event. Anne Marie, Snow Patrol, Manic Street Preachers, Nile Rodgers and Chic and Gregory Porter also performed, while Ukrainian singer Jamala delivered a rendition of her Eurovision-winning track, 1944.
The ILMC 1994 World Cup
In the summer of 1994, when England failed to qualify for the World Cup in America, ILMC ran its own “far better” version with England in it. Calling on ILMC members to form national teams while raising money for charity, it took place at “the only place you could hold a proper World Cup” – the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium in London.
The original VHS recording of the day was lost in the dark annuls of the ILMC archives until recently, and now it’s released online for your viewing pleasure for the very first time.
The video features many familiar faces from across the international live music business (albeit somewhat younger looking), as well as highlights of each match. The day itself raised funds for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and Great Ormond St Children’s Hospital, with trophies awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II…or at least someone who looked a lot like her.
The teams were led by captains Martin Horne (England), Petri Lunden (Scandinavia), Frank Van Hoorn (Holland), Geoff Ellis (Scotland), Carlos Fleischmann (Germany), Peter Aiken (Ireland), John Tyrell (Australia) and Anna Reznik (Russia), while the full list of players are below.
“ILMC was getting playful to see what we could get away with,” recalls conference founder Martin Hopewell. “We had a go-karting red-eye league once a week with its own newsletter and looked at doing a skiing event called ILM-Ski, and clay shooting championship called ILM-Skeet.
“It started out as a fun idea and grew into a monster, legendary event”
“The World Cup was in America and England hadn’t qualified for it, so we had the idea of having the real world cup with England in it, in the only place you could do a proper World Cup – Wembley Stadium.
“It started out as a fun idea and grew into a monster, legendary event. This was pre-email, pre-anything really, so we called and faxed ILMC members to see who wanted to put a national live music business team together.”
ILMC producer Rob Hollingsworth organised the day alongside Hopewell, with former Wembley Stadium execs John Drury and Charlie Shun managing to green-light the venue.
“For the opening ceremony everybody marched out onto the pitch waving at 80,000 invisible people cheering through the loudspeakers,” says Hopewell. “The whole event was just magic; people contacted me years later to say it was the best day of their lives, including their wedding day, or the birth of their first child.”
If you played in 1994’s ILMC World Cup, or were involved, we’d love to see your comments on the video on our YouTube channel.
Dries van de Schuyt
Peter van de Schuyt
Wim van Antwerpen
Arie Martin van Tol
Frank Van Hoorn
Johan “Redtop” Larsson
Blur to regroup for one-off Wembley Stadium gig
Blur are regrouping for a one-off hometown headline show at London’s 90,000-cap Wembley Stadium next year.
Promoted by Metropolis Music, the Britpop legends will play the venue on 8 July with support from special guests Slowthai, Self Esteem and Jockstrap.
The band, who are represented by Ian Huffam of X-ray Touring, previously reunited in 2015 when they released their eighth studio album The Magic Whip and headlined BST Hyde Park, with the intervening years seeing frontman Damon Albarn focus much of his attention on his hugely successful Gorillaz project.
“We really love playing these songs and thought it’s about time we did it again”
“We really love playing these songs and thought it’s about time we did it again,” says Albarn.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with my Blur brothers again and revisiting all those great songs,” adds guitarist Graham Coxon. “Blur live shows are always amazing for me: a nice guitar and an amp turned right up and loads of smiling faces.”
Wembley also has confirmed dates for 2023 by Harry Styles (13-14 & 16-17 June) and a joint-headline show by Def Leppard & Motley Crue (1 July).
Taylor Hawkins tribute concert to be livestreamed
An all-star tribute concert celebrating the life of late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins is to be livestreamed around the world.
Directed by Joel Gallen and Produced by Emer Patten at EP-PIC Films & Creative, the full 3 September show from Wembley Stadium in London will be available to stream live and on demand across Paramount’s streaming and digital platforms.
Live coverage will be broadcast across Paramount+ (US), Pluto TV (internationally) and MTV Brand YouTube Channels (globally), with on-demand access available via Paramount+ on 3 September and on Pluto TV and MTV TV VOD from the week of 5 September.
Special editions of the concert will air in prime time across Paramount’s broadcast and cable channels, while CBS Television Network in the US will broadcast an hour-long rendering.
MTV will also air the one-hour special across its channels around the world, followed by an extended two-hour special that will air globally in September.
The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts ticket and merchandise sales will benefit charities chosen by the Hawkins family: Music Support and MusiCares
Travis Barker, Martin Chambers, Josh Freese, Violet Grohl, Justin Hawkins, Shane Hawkins, James Gang, Brian Johnson, Kesha, Luke Spiller and Lars Ulrich have joined the bill for the Wembley show. They add to the previously announced line-up featuring Nandi Bushell, Chris Chaney, Stewart Copeland, Liam Gallagher, Omar Hakim, Joshua Homme, Chrissie Hynde, Alain Johannes, John Paul Jones, Greg Kurstin, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Krist Novoselic, Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Supergrass, Roger Taylor, Rufus Taylor, Wolfgang Van Halen, Chevy Metal and special appearances by Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock.
Broadcast details are yet to be confirmed for the second tribute show on 27 September at the 17,500-cap Kia Forum in Los Angeles.
Hawkins died aged 50 in March at a hotel in Bogota, Colombia, where the band had been due to headline Festival Estereo Picnic, sparking an outpouring of tributes from the live music world.
Ticket and merchandise sales from the tribute concerts will benefit charities chosen by the Hawkins family: Music Support and MusiCares.
Richard Davies, founder of fan-to-fan resale site Twickets – the benefit show’s official resale partner – told IQ a record 18,500 alerts were set up for the concert. Twickets will be donating its fee from the event to the charities.
Danielle Buckley swaps London Stadium for Emirates
London Stadium head of business development Danielle Buckley is heading across the capital to join Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
The Emirates, which has welcomed concerts by the likes of Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Muse and Green Day, is coming off hosting two nights with The Killers in June – its first live music shows since 2013.
Lifelong Arsenal Football Club supporter Buckley will become senior manager, event programming at the 60,000-cap North London venue.
“Danielle will join us in September and be primarily responsible for driving major events business, maximising commercial return from the venue outside of the core football business and playing a critical role in maximising the long-term commercial opportunity of the full Emirates Stadium footprint on a year-round basis,” says Tom McCann, venue director at Arsenal FC.
“I’m really excited to welcome Danielle into our commercial team.”
Buckley served a five-year stint at Wembley Stadium before making the switch to London Stadium in 2017
Buckley served a five-year stint at Wembley Stadium before making the switch to London Stadium – home of West Ham United FC – in 2017.
The ILMC regular and IQ New Bosses alumnus began her music industry career in 2009 at Derek Block Artistes Agency, moving on to the Leighton Pope Organisation and then London 2012, for which she coordinated the headline talent for the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies.
She was subsequently hired by Wembley Stadium, where she worked her way up to partnership development manager – music and new events, and helped bring concerts by acts such as Ed Sheeran to the national stadium.
Becky Hill to play UEFA Women’s Euro final show
BRIT-Award winning UK singer/songwriter Becky Hill will headline the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 Final Show.
Presented by Pepsi Max at London’s 90,000-cap Wembley Stadium on Sunday 31 July, the pre-match event will mark the first time the women’s football showpiece occasion has hosted a live music production of such scale.
Hill will be joined on stage by surprise guest artists to perform a medley of hits ahead of the tournament final.
“The women’s game has come a long way in recent years and I’m honoured to be a part of the celebration that it so rightly deserves,” says Hill. “Wembley Stadium is one of the most famous venues in the world and I can’t wait to bring the party to fans across the globe.”
Hosted by England, over 500,000 tickets were sold for the tournament before it even began – more than doubling the previous record.
“We couldn’t think of a better artist than Becky Hill to perform a show that will celebrate this record-breaking tournament”
“This tournament is breaking records for attendance and tickets sold,” says Pepsi Beverages GBI marketing director Georgina Meddows-Smith. “We couldn’t think of a better artist than Becky Hill to perform a show that will celebrate this record-breaking tournament.”
Hill’s performance will air in over 16 countries in Europe and several territories around the world, just minutes before the final kicks off.
“Becky Hill is such a talented performer and artist and has an incredible set lined up from start to finish – we know she will bring together fans everywhere to mark the historic occasion,” adds UEFA marketing director Guy-Laurent Epstein.
“This is a huge year for the women’s sporting world and it felt only right for Pepsi Max and UEFA to create the biggest production ever held at the tournament. Fans are in for a special night of entertainment.”
ASM Global taps James Taylor from Wembley Stadium
ASM Global has hired Wembley Stadium’s outgoing senior commercial manager James Taylor for the newly-created role of sales director for sports and alternative content for UK venues.
Taylor will be exploring and implementing new and diverse content in sports and entertainment, with a focus on securing more high calibre sporting, e-sports and championship-level events for ASM’s UK venue portfolio, which includes AO Arena in Manchester, OVO Arena Wembley, Olympia London, P&J Live Aberdeen and First Direct Arena Leeds, among others.
Taylor, who has run bookings across sports, entertainment and music at London’s 90,000-cap Wembley Stadium since 2017, recently revealed he will depart the venue later this year after overseeing a record summer of live music.
“It’s a great appointment that will complement our UK programming team”
“I am very pleased to have James joining our team with his background in sports and high profiled events,” says ASM’s SVP operations Europe Marie Lindqvist. “It’s a great appointment that will complement our UK programming team with James Harrison heading up the touring music shows.
“This new role is an important addition to grow and develop the most exciting, relevant and diverse calendar for the growing portfolio of stadiums, arenas, theatres and convention centres in the UK.”
Taylor, who starts his new role in September, served a nine-year stint at Wembley overall and was also responsible for managing the stadium’s sponsors and long-term stadium partners the RFL and EFL.
“I’m really excited to be joining ASM Global in this brand-new role at such an exciting time for the business given the major investments taking place across ASM properties,” says Taylor. “I look forward to working with the team to bring world class events to ASM venues across the UK.”
Wembley Stadium’s music bookings chief to depart
Wembley Stadium’s senior commercial manager for concerts James Taylor has revealed he will depart the London venue later this year after overseeing a record summer of live music.
The national stadium set a new benchmark in 2019 by holding 14 gigs in the space of five weeks and is set to surpass that total this year.
Its extensive 2022 programme kicked off last month with Capital’s Summertime Ball, followed by two shows with Harry Styles and five nights with Ed Sheeran. Creating a second concert window to meet demand, it will also host Westlife (6 August), Coldplay (12-13, 16-17, 19-20 August) and the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert (3 September).
“We still have one show to be announced and the shows that have happened have all been huge successes for the venue, artists and promoters,” he tells IQ. “The events need to work for all parties and that’s when you get true success. If it only works for the venue or the promoter, then you either don’t see the repeat booking or the venue wanting to work with that event again.
“The stadium is in a very good place with music now – all parties seem to be making it work.”
Taylor, who joined the 90,000-cap national stadium as commercial manager nine years ago, was promoted to run bookings for both sport and music in 2017.
“Music has a place right at the heart of Wembley”
“I was given a specific remit to increase the number of music shows and make them more profitable,” Taylor tells IQ. “We were averaging around seven shows a year and so have been very proud over the last two concert seasons – ignoring Covid years – to have packed our stadium with 14 and 17 shows respectively. It was the result of a strategy I thought long and hard over and required some difficult internal and external conversations.
“The 2019 concert window for me is my main highlight. We did seven shows in 2018 which was standard for the stadium and to grow that to 14 the following year through promoting collaboration between promoters and artists has played a part in setting up the multiple shows we see again in 2022 and will be the same in future summers I’m sure. Music has a place right at the heart of Wembley.
“The stadium is in a place now where they can capitalise on music content for many years to come. That what I’m most proud of – not simply coming in and continuing what was already being delivered, but making changes and moving things forward.”
Taylor, who will reveal his next move in the coming weeks, says the time felt right to head for pastures new.
“I have been at Wembley for nine years and I do feel the venue in terms of programming is in a good place and we have moved the bar up considerably,” he says. “I enjoy working in venues and so a combination of the right opportunity coming up and a desire for something fresh have both happened at the same time, fortunately for me.
“I will miss the stadium very much but look forward to returning as a fan and seeing who the future stars at Wembley will be.”