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Loud and Proud: IQ pride playlist now live

IQ Magazines second annual Pride edition sees the return of the Loud & Proud playlist and feature, for which our agency partners profile some of the most exciting queer acts on their rosters.

13 Artists, ATC Live, CAA, FMLY, Hometown Talent, Progressive Artists, Wasserman Music, and X-ray Touring are among the contributing agencies.

Read about the agencies’ standout queer acts and listen to their key tracks below. Scroll down for the full Loud and Proud playlist.

 


Eliza Legzdina 
Agent: Darren James-Thomas | FMLY Agency
Eliza Legzdina was picked by NME as one of the highlights at Eurosonic Festival 2022. A queer, London-based, Latvian, R&B “star in the making” (Crack Mag), she performed with Rudimental at Brixton Academy in June and features on one of their forthcoming singles.

Legzdina featured on lau.ra’s track, Blow, which was selected by BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders as tune of the week; while her collaboration with the same artist on Wicked also saw her placed on the 6 Music B-List. She has also worked with Idris Elba on the track Fudge.

Other recent shows include supporting Princess Nokia at EartH in London, while festival appearances have seen her take to the stages at Europavox, The Great Escape, and Pride Porto. Later this summer, she is confirmed to perform at Brighton Pride, Manchester Pride, and Latitude Festival.

Jemima Coulter
Agent: Jake Nevens | 13 Artists
Raised on classical music in Hampshire without context for what was popular, 24-year-old Jemima Coulter has developed a sound meticulously their own. Previously having cut their teeth as one-half of the Hailaker project, which has seen co-signs from the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Novo Amor, and many others, Jemima’s debut album Grace After A Party releases in July via Hand In Hive, boasting an enviable cast of guest appearances from the world of indie music.

Paige Kennedy
Agent: Rob Gibbs | Progressive Artists
Paige Kennedy is an artist and producer from Kent, UK, with an energetic alt-pop sound, drawing on a mix of funk, electronic, and indie. Their recent EP, 4 Degrees, has gained recognition from 6 Music, BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Kent, and Spotify’s Fresh Finds and young & free editorial playlists.

They’ve been gigging regularly in London and Manchester, supporting Peaness and BC Camplight, and have some exciting slots lined up for 2022. Paige also made the top five out of over 3,000 applicants for the Green Man Rising competition 2021, performing at the live-streamed finals. Paige is currently working on new material that will be released later this year.

Jodie Harsh
Agent: Chris Ibbs | CAA
UK cultural icon Jodie Harsh returned with her new single Shock, released 1 July on Warner Records. An irresistible club jam, the track combines rousing vocals and anthemic hooks with a deep, infectious bassline. It follows on from Good Time, an acclaimed release that was crowned BBC Radio 1 Hottest Record in the World by Charlie Hedges.

Kicking off the year with remixes for Kylie Minogue, Years & Years, Sonny Fodera, and most recently Charli XCX & Rina Sawayama, 2022 has been huge for nightlife icon Jodie Harsh. Fresh from supporting Jessie Ware on tour, she is currently in the middle of a hectic festival run with appearances at Creamfields North & South, Elrow, Mighty Hoopla, and Radio 1 Big Weekend, as well as starting residencies alongside Becky Hill at Ibiza Rocks and Danny Howard at Amnesia in Ibiza.

A legendary face of the London club scene, she is currently curating new queer club night Feel It at Omeara alongside Little Gay Brother. Adding another string to her huge bow, Jodie also hosts her own podcast, Life of The Party, with guests on the latest series so far including Joel Corry, Tom Grennan, Fat Tony, The Blessed Madonna, and Jessie Ware.

Lambrini Girls
Agents: Roxane Dumoulin & Suzy Noel | ATC Live
Brighton three-piece Lambrini Girls are: Phoebe (vocals/guitar), Lilly (bass), and Catt (drums). Influenced by Le Tigre and Bikini Kill but served with a tongue-in-cheek style all their own, Lambrini Girls are here to take over the scene, one bottle at a time.

Kerrang! describes them as, “A cornerstone of Brighton’’ queer music scene,” while Gigwise opts for “Raucously untamed, feral punk; a frenetic and fiery blast of thrashy mayhem that takes no shit.”

As for the band themselves, they prefer: “The best band in the world. Imagine your nan is in the boot of your car with a croissant in her mouth and hears Bikini Kill for the first time. That could be you. It will never be us, as we are not Bikini Kill, and we are not your nan. We are Lambrini Girls. Bon appétit.”

Uninvited 
Agent: Shaun Faulkner | X-ray Touring
Uninvited formed after vocalist and bassist Taylor-Ray Dillon (she/her) and vocalist and guitarist Gillian Dhlakama (they/them), previously based in Dundee, met as solo acoustic artists. With a little help from Instagram, the pair later became connected with guitarist Bex Young (they/them) and drummer Fiorenza Cocozza (she/her). They officially became Uninvited in August 2020 and joined 7 West Music Management (The Dunts, Spyres, As December Falls, The Roly Mo).

Their latest offering, Behind The Black Door, is yet another defiant single that Uninvited are becoming known for. Their debut single, Tomboy, was an important landmark for the band, who became aware that they themselves could be the change they wanted to see, writing music that pushes the LGBTQ+ conversation into the male-dominated indie atmosphere – a multidimensional reclamation of their early queer experiences in a shimmering indie-pop package.

Although their live career has been affected by Covid and subsequent restrictions, Uninvited made their debut live performance in the summer of 2021, supporting Dead Pony at a sold-out King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow. Their streak of supporting the hottest bands from the Glasgow scene continued as they opened for Baby Strange at SWG3 and Spyres at Stereo.
The band had the honour of playing the Tiny Changes fund-raiser, appearing alongside The Twilight Sad and Carla J. Easton. And, in early 2022, they supported BBC Introducing Scottish Act of the Year winner Bemz and London-based Dream Wife.

Cat Burns
Agent: Alex Hardee | Wasserman Music
Cat Burns is a 21-year-old singer and songwriter from Streatham in London. The former BRIT School student went from busking on the Southbank to mastering TikTok in lockdown, singing a mix of her favourite covers and original music. As a result, she rapidly amassed around half a million followers in just three months and now sits on over 1 million followers on the platform.

Cat is not only an astounding vocal talent but also an incredibly talented songwriter offering acute observations on life and love with a fresh perspective. She draws upon gospel influences, pop inspirations, and a love of guitar-led and indie music, too. She proudly cites Ed Sheeran, India.Arie, and Tori Kelly as a few of her biggest inspirations.

Her highly anticipated EP, Emotionally Unavailable, was released in May, and performance-wise she has supported Mae Muller and Years & Years on tour, while in August she will appear at Boardmasters Festival.

Luna Luna
Agent: Joren Heuvels | Hometown Talent
As one-quarter of Luna Luna, Kaylin Martinez is a 26-year- old artist/musician who lives in Austin, Texas. Since discovering her love for the drums at the age of 11, Kaylin has seen her drum career change many times. She was in a marching band throughout high school, played in worship bands, and even went on to earn a Minor in Music.

After years of playing unfulfilling gigs, Kaylin finally found her perfect fit with Luna Luna. She has played all over the United States and eventually will play around the world. While playing with Luna Luna, Kaylin has been able to establish herself as a professional musician, allowing her to express herself through her first love: music.

Listen to the full Loud and Proud playlist below:

 


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IFF 2022 launches with new central hub, agency partners

The eighth edition of the International Festival Forum (IFF), ILMC’s invitation-only event for festivals and bookers, is now live.

More than 800 delegates are expected to attend this year’s gathering of the international music festival business, with many of the world’s leading booking agencies signed up as partners.

Wasserman Music, WME, CAA, UTA, ICM Partners/Primary Talent, ATC Live, X-Ray Touring, One Finiix Live and Earth Agency are among the first to back the 2022 edition and many of whom will present showcases featuring the hottest new talent.

Alongside the showcases, IFF 2022 will offer the usual plethora of networking, showcases, panels, and parties – all taking place between 27 and 29 September in London.

In addition, IFF has announced a new central hub, the Holiday Inn in Camden, which will be transformed into IFF Central for three days.

IFF has announced a new central hub, the Holiday Inn in Camden, which will be transformed into IFF Central

IFF Central will be exclusive to delegates and will host all conference sessions, complimentary delegate lunches, a late-night bar that’s open until the early hours, and ample space for private meetings.

The hotel also features 100 rooms for delegates in a range of categories, which can be booked at the same time as registering your pass. Room rates are discounted for IFF delegates but there’s a limited number available. Click here for more details.

Since launching in 2015, IFF has gained a reputation for showcasing the most talented emerging artists at early stages of their careers, including Idles, Slaves, Loyle Carner, Public Service Broadcasting, Lewis Capaldi and Shame.

Last year, IFF enjoyed a successful return to a physical event, with a programme that featured a double keynote interview with Melvin Benn and Folkert Koopmans.

More details of IFF 2022, including the provisional schedule, will be announced in due course. If you have an idea for a panel topic, speaker or presentation, please email Ruud Berends.

A limited number of super discounted earlybird passes are now available for just £345 (saving £150 on the full rate). Each pass includes access to all sessions and showcases, lunches, dinners, and some drinks. Click here to register.

 


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X-ray Touring announces slate of promotions

London-based X-ray Touring has announced a slate of promotions, which includes Jo Biddiscombe’s elevation to a director of the company.

Biddiscombe has been with X-ray since its inception in 2005 and was made an agent in 2017. She will join Martin Horne, Ian Huffam, Josh Javor and Scott Thomas on the management board.

X-ray has also promoted Claire MacLeod to the role of agent. MacLeod joined the agency in 2011 and worked under the late Steve Strange across his roster. In addition, Paul Lomas and Hannah Edds have been promoted to bookers.

“As we continue with the full return to live touring, we’re very pleased to refresh both our board and team of agents and bookers”

Scott Thomas says: “As we continue with the full return to live touring, and an intensely busy few years ahead across our roster, we’re very pleased to refresh both our board and team of agents and bookers.

“This acknowledges the already invaluable input from the individuals involved and the ideas and dynamism they’ll bring to their new roles.”

X-ray’s roster of more than 400 acts includes Coldplay, Eminem, Robbie Williams, Gorillaz, Queens of the Stone Age, Linkin Park, Pixies, Stereophonics, Bombay Bicycle Club, Enter Shikari and Fever 333, while AGI represents Billy Joel, Metallica, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Linkin Park, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, the Strokes and Cage the Elephant, among others.

The company was co-founded by legendary booking agent Steve Strange, who passed away in September 2021.

 


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The Great Escape announces The Steve Strange Award

The Great Escape Festival has announced the launch of The Steve Strange Award, in honour of the legendary X-Ray Touring co-founder, who died last September.

The annual award will recognise a music act that is breaking through creative boundaries, with the first recipient to be announced on 16 May following the culmination of this year’s festival, which takes place in Brighton from 11-14 May.

The winner, who will be voted on by industry delegates, will also receive a £5,000 cash prize.

“Steve Strange has a long history with The Great Escape and championed hundreds of artists over the years,” says MAMA Group CEO Rory Bett. “It is a great honour for us to launch this award for creativity in his name, so that he can continue to influence the industry he loved.”

“Steve was a huge supporter of The Great Escape and would be deeply honoured by this award being launched in his name”

“Steve was a huge supporter of The Great Escape and would be deeply honoured by this award being launched in his name,” adds agent Josh Javor, Strange’s longtime sidekick at X-Ray Touring. “He was first and foremost a passionate music fan and creativity was at the heart of his business. We are delighted his name will live on through this award and inspire many artists into lifelong careers in the industry Steve loved so much.”

Strange represented artists including the likes of Eminem, Coldplay, Queens of the Stone Age, Snow Patrol, Eagles of Death Metal, Ash, The Charlatans and Phoebe Bridgers. He was named Agent of the Decade at last year’s ILMC and it has previously been announced that the delegate bar at the event will be renamed Strangey’s Bar in his memory.

Strange was also honoured at this week’s Pollstar Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom in Los Angeles, where he was posthumously named International Booking Agent of the Year.

 


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Steve Strange wins posthumous honour at Pollstar Awards

The late Steve Strange was honoured at last night’s annual Pollstar Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom in Los Angeles.

The legendary booking agent and X-ray Touring co-founder, who passed away in September 2021, posthumously won International Booking Agent of the Year.

In what Pollstar dubbed the most emotional moment of the night, manager Andy Gould paid tribute to the late agent, bringing a cardboard cutout of Strange onstage with him.

“This guy wasn’t just my friend, he was all of our friends; he wasn’t my agent, he was kind of all of our agent,” Gould said. “I miss him so fucking much, I really do. And I think I speak for everyone in the room: We need more Steve Stranges.”

A number of other international execs and venues also scooped awards at the 33rd annual ceremony, including Barrie Marshall (Marshall Arts) who took home International Promoter of the Year – not for the first time.

“I think I speak for everyone in the room: We need more Steve Stranges”

London’s Royal Albert Hall, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2021, was honoured not once but twice with the Milestone Award and International Venue of the Year.

Elsewhere, Harry Styles was presented with the Major Tour of the Year award for his ‘Love on Tour’ arena run. Styles’ manager Jeffrey Azoff of Full Stop Management also received recognition in the Personal Manager of the Year category.

Other award-winning executives include Amy Corbin of C3 Presents (Talent Buyer of the Year), Bob Roux of Live Nation (Bill Graham Award/Promoter of the Year) and Dave Rowan of High Road Touring (Bobby Brooks Award/Agent of the Year).

CAA, meanwhile, won Booking Agency of the Year.

A full list of Pollstar Awards 2022 winners is below:

Major Tour of the Year: Harry Styles, Love on Tour

Best Rock Tour: Foo Fighters

Best Hip-Hop Tour: J. Cole, The Off-Season Tour

Best R&B Tour: Earth, Wind & Fire, Miraculous Supernatural Tour

Best Pop Tour: Maroon 5

Best Country Tour: Chris Stapleton, Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show Tour

Best Latin Tour: Enrique Iglesias / Ricky Martin, Live in Concert

Comedy Tour of the Year: Sebastian Maniscalco, Nobody Does This Tour

Best Support/Special Guest Act and Tour: Garbage (Alanis Morissette)

Best Residency: Lady Gaga, Jazz & Piano, The Las Vegas Residency, Park Theatre, Las Vegas

Best Family, Event or Non-Music Tour of the Year: Disney on Ice

Best New Headliner/Artist Development Story: Billy Strings

Music Festival of The Year (Global; over 30K attendance): Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin, Texas

Music Festival of The Year (Global; under 30K attendance): Ohana Festival, Dana Point, Calif.

Nightclub of the Year: Troubadour, West Hollywood, Calif.

Theatre of the Year: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tenn.

Arena of the Year: The Forum, Inglewood, Calif.

Red Rocks Award – Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year: Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville, Tenn.

Best New Concert Venue – Small Venue: Brooklyn Bowl, Nashville, Tenn.

Best New Concert Venue – Arena: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Wa.

Best New Concert Venue – Outdoors: Sofi Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.

International Venue of the Year: Royal Albert Hall, United Kingdom

Venue Executive of the Year: David Kells, Bridgestone Arena

Talent Buyer of the Year: Amy Corbin, C3 Presents

Small Venue Talent Buyer of the Year (Under 10,000 Capacity): Donna Busch, Goldenvoice

Bill Graham Award/Promoter of the Year: Bob Roux, Live Nation

International Promoter of the Year: Barrie Marshall, Marshall Arts

Bobby Brooks Award – Agent of the Year: Dave Rowan, High Road Touring

International Booking Agent of the Year: Steve Strange, X-ray Touring

Booking Agency of the Year: CAA

Independent Booking Agency of the Year (Global): High Road Touring

Rising Star Award: Molly Warren, Live Nation

Personal Manager of the Year: Jeffrey Azoff, Full Stop Management

Road Warrior of the Year: Ken Helie (Dead & Company)

Transportation Company of the Year: Rock-it Cargo

Best Concert Visuals: Bandit Lites

Best Concert Sound: Clair Global

Marketing/PR Executive of the Year: Allison McGregor, CAA

Best Brand Partnership/Live Campaign: Amazon/Climate Pledge Arena Naming Rights

Best Hang: Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin, Texas

Best Person to Score a Dinner With: Irving Azoff, The Azoff Company (TIE), Michael Rapino, Live Nation (TIE)

Life of the Party: Ron Delsener, Live Nation

Damn The Torpedoes: 2021 Touring Artist, Dave Chappelle

Milestone Award: Royal Albert Hall, United Kingdom

Music Unites Award: D-Nice

 


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Steve Strange remembered at London celebration

Colleagues, clients and friends of the late Steve Strange packed into London’s O2 Academy Brixton last night for the second of three memorial events celebrating the life of the beloved agent.

The X-ray Touring director and co-founder, whose roster included Coldplay, Eminem, Queens of the Stone Age, Phoebe Bridgers, Eagles of Death Metal, Ash, Snow Patrol and The Charlatans, passed away in October aged 53 following a short illness.

Around 500 people attended the private event, organised by X-ray and supported by Live Nation, Metropolis and SJM Concerts. The Northern Irishman’s longtime friend, Scottish music stalwart Donald MacLeod, compered the night. Artists to perform included Ash, Saxon, Eagles of Death Metal and Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin was among those sending in video messages for the evening.

It was an amazing night. He would’ve loved it

“It was hard gig to do and emotionally draining as Steve meant the world to me, as he of course did with everyone attending,” Holdfast Entertainment Group MD MacLeod tells IQ. “I think he would have been delighted with the turn out and reaction. I hope I did him proud.”

“It was an amazing night,” adds Strange’s X-ray Touring sidekick Josh Javor. “He would’ve loved it.”

Dubbed ‘The Farewell Tour’, celebrations were also held in Los Angeles on 17 November and will wrap up in Belfast on 19 December.

McLeod’s speech at last night’s Brixton event is reproduced in part below:

“Steve Strange, a man whose light shone so very brightly and whose warmth and glow, we, and all who knew him are so grateful for having stood in, taken succour from, and been fully enriched by. He burned so very brightly that he seared our souls.

“His unique gale force of a laugh could brighten the darkest of days and his snoring, my god, his snoring was so loud it could shake your wallies out ..it was right off the Richter scale. Steve was the only man I have ever met that could fall asleep standing up while on the telephone.

“I met Steve over 30 years ago while watching a bunch of rock bands, whose names escape me, in an equally forgettable London dive. He barged up, with his long flowing ginger hair, looking like one of King Charles the First poodles, tapped me on the shoulder and bellowed in my ear: ‘I’m Steve Strange, and I want to talk to you’

“‘Strange? That you are Steve, that you are,’ I replied. And so began a rich, vibrant, and fruitful friendship, one which I never thought for a second would end, just three decades later in LA.”

IQ published a surprise feature article in May 2018, to celebrate Strange’s 50th birthday.


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Memorial events planned for the late Steve Strange

A trio of events have been planned to commemorate the life of Steve Strange, the X-ray Touring director and co-founder, who passed away recently following a short illness.

The London event takes place at O2 Academy Brixton, and friends of Steve and colleagues who knew and worked with him are invited to email [email protected] to RSVP.

Dubbed ‘The Farewell Tour’, celebrations are also planned in Los Angeles on 17 November and Belfast on 19 December.

Born in Lisburn near Belfast, Strange worked with an eclectic roster of artists including Coldplay, Eminem, Queens of the Stone Age, Phoebe Bridgers, Ash, Snow Patrol, The Charlatans and Jimmy Eat World, many booked with longtime colleague Josh Javor.

The X-ray team remembered a “universally known, hugely respected and loved character”, as tributes poured in from across the industry upon Strange’s death aged 53 in September.

Strange was a longstanding ILMC member, and in March had picked up the top agent award (‘second least offensive agent’) in a special decade showdown at the Arthur Awards. Strange had topped the category twice before. He appeared in person to collect the gong at the Royal Albert Hall, thanking his clients, and “all the people at Team Strange and Xray Touring who’ve all had a very difficult year but we’re getting through it”.

IQ published a surprise feature article in May 2018, to celebrate Strange’s 50th birthday.

 


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X-Ray’s Javor: “Coldplay are leading by example”

In mid-October, X-ray Touring-repped heavyweights Coldplay announced their first tour in four years in support of their new album Music of the Spheres.

Having previously put touring plans on hold to investigate how to make their concerts more sustainable, Coldplay’s new announcement came hand-in-hand with a 12-point plan for cutting their carbon footprint.

The eco-friendly 2022 tour is currently slated to visit 40 stadiums around the world and one festival, with more dates to be announced, meaning that it could end up being the highest-grossing tour of the year.

For X-ray Touring’s Josh Javor, who planned the tour alongside his late partner, Steve Strange, seeing the groundbreaking tour come to fruition is bittersweet.

Here, Javor tells IQ about how the pair planned a tour of this nature; when he sees the industry recovering; and how he’d celebrate with Strange if he were here.

 


IQ: How would you describe the on-sale for the European leg of Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres – World Tour?
JJ: It was insane… we pretty much sold out. We sold more than a million tickets just in Europe and added extra dates in the UK, France, Germany, and Belgium. At the moment, we’re discussing adding more dates. The US also went on sale that day and Latin America had already gone on sale and sold out.

You planned this tour with your late partner, X-ray Touring co-founder Steve Strange. On a personal level, what is this moment like for you?
This is one of the most bittersweet moments of my life. This tour is something Steve and I planned for a very long time and because he’s not here to revel in the success, it feels very bittersweet to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic at how well it’s done, but the fact that Steve, unfortunately, didn’t make it to see our plan come together and work so well, brings things down to earth. It’s not the same on my own. My constant thought has been, I wish Steve was here to see this.

How do you think Steve would react to the success of Coldplay’s on-sale?
He would be on another planet. He was a member of the family when it came to this band and he would’ve been jumping for joy. We’ve all talked about it – management and ourselves – and about how amazing Steve would have thought this is. Normally, Steve and I would get to 12 o’clock on the day of an on-sale – after selling a million tickets – and we’d be on our second bottle of champagne.

“[At] 12 o’clock on the day of an on-sale – after selling a million tickets – [Steve and I] would be on our second bottle”

How did you approach ticket pricing post-pandemic?
Just being realistic. You just have to know what the market is and what people can afford. One way of doing that is to stay very grounded and down to earth. I think we’ve got ticket prices spot on. Tickets for this tour are slightly more expensive but not by much. Without the pandemic, we could have leant towards increasing them from what they are now, but you have to take everything into account.

How are you feeling about the business in general next year, and has this on-sale given you extra confidence?
Yes and no. It’s very difficult to predict what will happen. I think it’d be stupid to give any assurances, but I still worry about the industry between now and next summer. We’ve got a lot of shit to go through and a lot of hoops to jump through to get to where we want to be, but the on-sale is very positive, definitely. I think the industry as a whole is very happy and proud that the public is still interested in going to concerts on a grand scale. I think, in this instance, when one of us succeeds, in a way, we all succeed because we’ve been up Shit Creek for so long.

“It’s very difficult to do an eco-friendly tour when you’re at a smaller level than Coldplay”

Do you think this eco-friendly tour will become a blueprint for other bands of the same calibre?
I hope so. It’s something that everyone should be striving for, and just as Coldplay have said, they might not get it right, but at least they’re trying. They’re not just talking about doing something, they’re leading by example. I think you do need bigger artists to show other people how it could be possible to change.

It’s very difficult to do an eco-friendly tour when you’re at a smaller level than Coldplay. You have fewer decisions that you can make about how you tour when you’re a smaller artist. If you’re playing a club or a theatre, you don’t have the same choices as if you’re playing a stadium. It’s about the amount of control you have, the amount of money you can generate, and about the different kinds of venues and different rules that you have. It all goes hand in hand.

How involved were you in the creation of the 12-point plan to cut the band’s carbon footprint?
I was involved in the parts I could be, like figuring out how we can try and cut the carbon footprint by staying in the same place and playing more shows. It’s very different from the standard tour where artists do one or two shows and then move on in order to visit as many places as possible. We’re not visiting most of Europe. If you look at the tour, it’s cut down to a few cities.

“We’re staying in one place for a longer period of time and cutting emissions. It’s about staying put.”

What we’ve done is we’ve recognised that it’s not possible to tour everywhere in one summer or in one year. It’s going to take longer to visit everywhere, but by doing it this way, we’re staying in one place for a longer period of time and cutting emissions. It’s about staying put.

What advice would you give to other agents attempting to plan an eco-friendly tour?
It’s the little things sometimes. It’s not having single-use plastics or not having plastics at all. There are basics that everyone can be doing. The live industry has been at the forefront of trying to be greener since festivals started changing years ago.

Tell us about the time period in which you booked this tour.
It has been very difficult to put these shows in because, at the time of making these decisions, a lot of places were in lockdown. At the time, you couldn’t even go on-sale with shows in certain markets – let alone full-capacity stadium shows.

 


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Coldplay sell more than one million tickets in Europe

More than one million tickets have sold for the European leg of Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres world tour, which went on sale last Friday (22 October).

X-ray Touring’s Josh Javor, who planned the ‘eco-friendly’ stadium tour along with the late Steve Strange, told IQ that the on-sale was “insane”.

According to Javor, the European leg has “pretty much sold out” and the team is currently discussing adding more dates.

The 20-date run, which kicks off on 2 July 2022, has already expanded with an extra date apiece at Deutsche Bank Park (Germany), Stade de France (France), King Baudouin Stadium (Belgium) and Hampden Park (UK).

Notably, an extra three dates have been added at Wembley Stadium (cap. 90,00) in the UK, on top of the three already announced.

According to Javor, the European leg has “pretty much sold out” and the team is discussing adding more dates

The world tour – which is mostly promoted by Live Nation, with SJM as the main partner in the UK – is also visiting the US and Latin America (which is completely sold out), taking in 40 stadiums and one festival (Rock in Rio) altogether.

The groundbreaking tour is one of the last projects that legendary booking agent and X-ray co-founder Steve Strange worked on before his tragic passing in September.

“This is something Steve and I have planned for a very long time and because he’s not here to revel in the success, it’s one of the most bittersweet moments of my life,” says Javor.

He continues: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic at how well it’s done but the fact that Steve, unfortunately, didn’t make it to see our plan come together brings things down to earth.

“Normally, Steve and I would get to 12 o’clock on the day of an on-sale and we’d be on our second bottle of champagne”

“Normally, Steve and I would get to 12 o’clock on the day of an on-sale and, after selling a million tickets, we’d be on our second bottle of champagne. But, on your own, it’s not the same. My constant thought has been, I wish Steve was here to see this.

“He would be on another planet. He was a member of the family when it came to this band and he would’ve been jumping for joy.”

Coldplay announced the tour earlier this month after a four-year hiatus from touring while they investigated how to make their concerts more sustainable.

The Music of the Spheres tour is bolstered by a 12-point plan to cut the band’s carbon footprint, which supports new green technologies and sustainable, super-low carbon touring methods.

A full interview with Josh Javor will appear in the next edition of IQ magazine at the end of this month.

 


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ESNS shares Steve Strange’s last interview

Steve Strange’s last interview before his tragic passing has been released today, courtesy of Chugg Entertainment, X-ray and Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS).

The renowned booking agent and X-ray co-founder took part in a 45-minute keynote interview – pre-recorded remotely due to the pandemic – interviewed by veteran Australian promoter Michael Chugg in January this year.

According to the Chugg Entertainment founder who went on to co-manage Australian act Sheppard, he and Strange met in the 80s and became “best mates”.

During the interview, Chugg quizzes Strange on weathering the pandemic, reimagining businesses models, and how he came to represent Eminem, Coldplay and Queens of the Stone Age from the beginning of their careers.

Read more about Steve Strange’s remarkable life and career in this IQ feature, which marked his 50th birthday.

ESNS will return to Groningen between 19–22 January 2022. For more information, visit esns.nl.


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