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LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

An ILMC Publication. May 2012

An ILMC Publication. March 2012

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

Issue 40

An ILMC Publication. Sept 2012

An ILMC Publication. July 2012

Issue 57

A n I L M C P u b l i c a t i o n . Ja n 2 0 1 5

MAKING A MEALL OF IT

AGENT GEOFF MEALL CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

TV

GAMES WITH FRONTIERS

LONDON IN STARTING BLOCKS FOR OLYMPICS

TAKING TV ON TOUR TALENT SHOWS ON THE ROAD

THE MAN WHO OPENED THE IRON CURTAIN

AUSTRALASIA

IS SUPPLY EXCEEDING DEMAND DOWN UNDER?

L ASZLO H EGEDUS MARKS 40 YEARS IN MUSIC

Plus

A NEW BEGINNING AT ILMC 24

THE HIGH FLIERS

ILMC MEETINGS AND EVENTS CONFIRMED

T URBULENCE FINDING A ROLE FOR BRANDS JIM ROBINSON BUCKING THE GERMAN SYSTEM UWE FROMMHOLD A MANAGER MUSES ANTHONY ADDIS ROCK AND ROLLER COASTERS ROB HALLETT STUCK IN THE MIDDLE? THOMAS OVESEN THE LIVE REVIEW KEITH GILBERT

IN THE AIR FREIGHT AND CHARTER SECTOR ?

THE VIRTUAL FESTIVAL

L AUNCHING RFID

RECESSION

C OLDPLAY ’ S

A LEGRIA ’ S TRANSITION TO ARENAS

GALLIC

MARKET REPORT: THE MIDDLE EAST

2012

T HE

REMARKABLE

W ORLD ’ S

M YLO X YLOTO T OUR

TOP ARENA TURNS FIVE

MORE THAN A MAN ON THE DOOR ROGER EDWARDS FROM ILMC TO EGYPT MOUSSA ABU TALEB TALKING TICKETS PETER MONKS CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON GEORGIA TAGLIETTI

LOOKING NORTH ANNA HILDUR HILDIBRANDSDÓTTIR BREAKING THE MOULD RUDI ENOS MODERN CHINA MICHAEL LOJUDICE CROSSING BORDERS PETER SMIDT

NOT THE WAY TO PLAY THE GAME: KEITH HARRIS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CAN SAVE THE WORLD: JUHA KYYRÖ THE ONLY WAY IS UP!: TOOMAS OLLJUM EMBRACING EUROPE: CHRISTIAN HALD BUHL

Issue 46

Issue 45 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE An ILMC Publication. Jan 2013

25 Years of...Agency

The Time Travellers’ Guide to the ILMC

Issue 47

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

A n I L M C P u b l i c a t i o n . Mar 2013

SWITZERLAND

25 YEARS OF... PRODUCTION Technological breakthroughs over the last 25 years

25 YEARS OF... TRANSPORT

European Festival Report 2014

Prepare to be transported through time at ILMC 25

Rising expenses threaten robust German business

Prehistoric spectacular wins inaugural award

An ILMC Publication. May 2013

Through Space and Time

Market Focus – Germany

Best in Show: Walking with Dinosaurs

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

25 Years of… Venues

Quarter of a century of developing music’s bricks and mortar

Quarter of a century entertaining the masses

Extending the Family

A Schuere Bet

Herman Schueremans on making musical careers

Eight-page registration guide to ILMC 25

25 Years of...Promoters

Looking back over 25 years in the business

Investment dominates the family show market

IMPACT OF THE A RAB S PRING ON TOURING

BUSINESS

HAPPY BIRTHDAY O2

LATIN AMERICA

An ILMC Publication. Nov 2012

BITES

THIS COULD BE PARADISE

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CIRCUS

T OURS HEAD SOUTH FOR BOOM TIMES

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

IN

MAKES ITS MARK ON FESTIVAL SCENE

MARKET REPORT – FRANCE

B OOSTING REVENUE USING VIP S

Issue 44

N EW E VENT

A

A WRISTED DEVELOPMENT

ILMC 24: THE REPORT

F ULL REVIEW OF THE CONFERENCE WEEKEND

VERY IMPORTANT PACKAGES

There’s more to the Swiss than just festivals

THE GAFFER

Quarter of a century of keeping shows on the road

ILMC 27 SUPERGUIDE

Jason Danter’s ascent up up the production ladder

Gig in Japan

Japan’s slow recovery from triple disaster

STROMAE TOUR REPORT

THE GAFFER: WOB ROBERTS

LATIN AMERICAEuropean PARTEFestival DOS

Issue 49

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

Issue 51

An ILMC Publication. Jan 2014

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

Issue 50

An ILMC Publication. Nov 2013

Issue 48

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

DRALION - BEST IN SHOW

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

TREASURE UNDER THE TICKETING PYRAMID: DAVE NEWTON IT’S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL – BUT WE LIKE IT: MARC LAMBELET HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE NOT DIRTY WORDS: CHRIS HANNAM FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: ILYA BORTNUK

WE ALL HAVE LOTS TO LEARN: DOLF BEKKER A CASE FOR FAN FREEDOM: BRIGITTE RICOU-BELLAN MARCH MOVES FORWARD: GEOFFF MEALL IT’S BEST TO INVEST: AGATHA ARÊAS

Report 2014 2014: YEAR IN REVIEW

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MUSIC? HARVEY GOLDSMITH TENDING THE GRASS ROOTS ANDY INGLIS REGULATING THE REGULATORS OKAN TOMBULCA FLEXIBILITY IS KEY NATASHA BENT FORCE MA-WHAT?! MARTIN GOEBBELS KNOW WHEN TO HOLD AND WHEN TO FOLD MICHAEL HOSKING

Issue 52

Issue 53

An ILMC Publication. May 2014

An ILMC Publication. Mar 2014

An ILMC Publication. Sept 2013

An ILMC Publication. July 2013

THE LONG ROAD AHEAD

The Future of Ticketing ILMC 26 REVIEW BARRY DICKINS: 50 YEARS AT THE TOP BACKSTREET BOYS TOUR REPORT ARGENTINA MARKET SPOTLIGHT

Issue 61

ARENA REPORT

Issue 62

Issue 63

An ILMC Publication. Nov 2015 An ILMC Publication Jan 2016

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IT’S A HOT DAY IN ‘73 AND THIS IS MY WIFE AND MY KID WITH ME

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97 An ILMC Publication MARCH 2021 | £25 | €25

XR SHAPES BILLIE’S NEW REALITY

MARKET REPORT

LIVE MUSIC’S TOP GLOBAL GATHERING RETURNS

MEET IQ’S UNSUNG HEROES RESORTS WORLD ARENA AT 40

NEW ZEALAND’S POST-COVID REALITY

INTERNATIONAL TICKETING REPORT 2020 LATEST COVID MITIGATION KIT

INDUSTRY CHIEFS ON THE COVID ANNIVERSARY

THE GULF STATES

PLUS iFF 2020 GUIDE TOP LIVE-STREAMING PLATFORMS

PLUS COVID TESTING SOLUTIONS HUNGARY’S HOTTEST TALENT AGENTS OF CHANGE

THE RACE FOR CANCELLATION FUNDS INDUSTRY STEPS UP VACCINE EFFORTS

AGENDA GUIDE ARENAS PLOT EUROPEAN RESTART

Steve Homer’s 30 Years in Music ¡Olé! Latin Music’s Inexorable Rise Rock the Boat: Live Music Cruises International Festival Forum 2019 Market Report: Spain Staging & Steel

PLUS

UK SOUNDS & SHOWCASES ARAʼS OPERATION RESTART LIVE-STREAMING COMES OF AGE ILMC TECH SPOTLIGHT

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Highlights of the Decade From Russia With Live European Festival Report 2019 The Gaffer: John Zajonc Cancellation Insurance

ILMC 33 REPORT THE COVID INSURANCE DILEMMA MAKING TOURING SUSTAINABLE DIVERSITY: THE OTHER PANDEMIC

96 An ILMC Publication FEBRUARY 2021 | £25 | €25

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ISSUE 87

95 An ILMC Publication DECEMBER 2020 | £25 | €25

ISSUE 86

94 An ILMC Publication NOVEMBER 2020 | £25 | €25

93 An ILMC Publication OCTOBER 2020 | £25 | €25

Tom Schroeder’s 20 Years in Music Europe’s Growing Hip-Hop Scene Market Report: Norway The New Bosses The E3S Security Showdown IFF 2019 Agenda

ISSUE 85

ISSUE 84

ISSUE 83

92 An ILMC Publication SEPTEMBER 2020 | £25 | €25

Roberto De Luca’s Life in Music Touring and Mental Health 30 Years of Wacken Open Air IFF 2019 Preview Touring Exhibitions Report Breakthrough Moments

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AND THEN, ONE DAY, YOU FIND, TEN YEARS HAVE GOT BEHIND YOU

FESTIVAL REPORT

ISSUE 82

91 An ILMC Publication AUGUST 2020 | £25 | €25

GREEN GUARDIANS GUIDE 2020 INDIA

OSSY HOPPE’S WIZARD MOVES TOGETHER IN ELECTRIC STREAMS

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INTELLIGENT PEOPLE HAVE HAD THEIR SAY / IT’S TIME FOR THE FOOLISH TO SHOW THE WAY

EUROPEAN

Crystal Ball Predictions for 2019 The Gaffer: Chris Marsh Matt Bates: From Shrewsbury to ‘Shambles 35 Years of CAA Netherlands Market Report ISSUE 81

ISSUE 80

90 An ILMC Publication JULY 2020 | £25 | €25

Chris York – The Guvnor The U2 Experience Market Report: Sweden IFF 2018 Review The State of Welfare Cashless Payments The Growth of Jazz

Market Focus: Germany 50 years of Mojo Countdown to Brexit New Bosses 2018 Touring with Dinosaurs E3S 2018 ISSUE 79

Australia/New Zealand Market Report Twenty Years of Triple A Touring Exhibitions in Review Staging & Steel 2018’s Festival Recruits

89 An ILMC Publication MAY 2020 | £25 | €25

MARKET REPORT

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ANARCHY FOR THE U.K. IT’S COMING SOMETIME AND MAYBE

ILMC 31: The Agenda Pino Sagliocco’s 40 Years in Music Cashing in on Live Music On Tour with Snow Patrol Country Goes Global The Marvellous Middle East

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LOOKING FOR OUR HOPE LOOKING FOR OUR DREAM WE’RE GONNA FIND A WAY TO CHANGE

SO, I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE MY WORK BACK UNDERGROUND, TO STOP IT FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS

ONE DREAM, ONE SOUL, ONE PRIZE, ONE GOAL. ONE GOLDEN GLANCE OF WHAT SHOULD BE

THEY REMOVED THE 81 PER CENT, WHAT ABOUT THE 19 THEY DIDN’T GET

Dua & Daltrey for ILMC 2019

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Rag‘n’Bone Man’s rise to riches SAV Entertainment celebrates 30 years Austria market report

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Steve Strange @ 50 Sam Smith on Tour Kilimanjaro Live’s First Decade Market Focus: Denmark Preparing for GDPR 20 Years of Yourope

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CTS Eventim at 30 ILMC 31: The Report Sell-out Secrets On Tour with Post Malone Breakthrough Moments Switzerland: Positive Signs

IFF 2017 Phil Rodriguez – La Vida Loca Market Report: Canada Visas and Work Permits Phil Mead’s Lessons in Live Touring Exhibitions

Mike Greek at 50 Green Field Innovations The New Bosses 2017 Market Report: Norway Transport and Travel

#WeStandTogether

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Luger Celebrates 25 Years International Festival Forum 2016 Touring Exhibitions Laura Pausini: A Year in Live Market Focus: Poland Shifting Gear: Transport Spotlight

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ALL YOU KIDS THAT JUST SIT AND WHINE, YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE BACK IN ‘79

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SLIPKNOT: NOT YOUR KIND

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ILMC 30: The Guide Marcel Avram: 8 Lessons at 80 2018’s vital sponsorship trends DEAG: four decades of innovation ITB’s 40 Years at the Top Market Focus: Belgium

88 An ILMC Publication MARCH 2020 | £25 | €25

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ILMC 28 Report Ten Years of Live Nation Finland Market Report The State of Stadia Festival Tech

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KISS AND MAKE-UP • 30 YEARS OF ROCK IN RIO • SWISS MARKET PROFILE • FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

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BRANDS TAKE CENTRE STAGE

THE EVOLUTION OF LIVE MUSIC SPONSORSHIP OSSY HOPPE’S 65TH BIRTHDAY • MIDDLE EAST MARKET PROFILE • SAM SMITH TOUR REPORT • INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FORUM

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ILMC28: The Game Begins The Great Rebates Debate Bob Angus: 30 Years in Music Sweden Market Focus Violetta: Best In Show Virtual Reality

WILL YOU STILL NEED ME, WILL YOU STILL READ ME... ISSUE 64

THE STREAMING PUZZLE:

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An ILMC Publication. July 2015

An ILMC Publication. May 2015

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

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LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

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An ILMC Publication. Mar 2015

An ILMC Publication. Nov 2014

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

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LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

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An ILMC Publication. Sept 2014

An ILMC Publication. July 2014

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

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MARKET SPOTLIGHT: GERMANY FESTIVALS VS AGENCY AIR CHARTER SECTOR PROFILE THE SECURITY SPECIALISTS

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Scorpio’s Tale

99 An ILMC Publication MAY 2021 | £25 | €25

NFTs

98 An ILMC Publication APRIL 2021 | £25 | €25

TICKETING’S INTERACTIVE FUTURE?

BUILDING BACK GREENER PILOT SHOWS PROVE SAFE VIAGOGO FACES LEGAL BATTLES


IQ100 CONTENTS

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NEWS

FEATURES

COMMENT AND COLUMNS

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18 26 32 34 38

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Index In Brief The main headlines over the last month Analysis Key stories and news analysis from around the live music world New Signings & New Music A roundup of the latest acts that have found agents during the pandemic

IQ at 100 Staff, past and present, look back over the first 100 issues of the magazine Recruitment & Restaffing IQ learns about the unenviable task of having to restaff businesses hit by Covid The Recovery Sessions Insurance, mitigation and lobbying make the agenda for June's webinar The New Europeans Jon Chapple discoveres the hidden costs of Brexit for UK and EU operators A Brave New Agency World Lisa Henderson speaks with some of the individuals behing the industry's newest independent agencies

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The Recovery Must be Inclusive Suzanne Bull urges everyone involved in ‘operation restart’ not to forget Deaf and disabled people Damage Control Peter Noble details the aftermath of Bluesfest’s eleventh-hour cancellation, due to a single positive Covid test IPM Production Notes Production manager Bill Rahmy shares his wish list for those in the touring game Your Shout What does IQ mean to you?

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A MONTHLY HALF-DAY WEBINAR UPDATING THE LIVE MUSIC INDUSTRY ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE COVID PANDEMIC AND THE ROADMAP TO REOPENING 2021 DATES 17 JUNE 8 JULY 5 AUGUST

Experts from the fields of science, health & safety, tech, and the wider business present the latest advances relating to the industry’s recovery. 17 June schedule: 14.00 BST: The Private Sector: Finding a voice? 15.00 BST: The Mitigations Session 16.00 BST: Insurance: The missing piece The Recovery Sessions are free to attend for all subscribers

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO GET INVOLVED, CONTACT: CHRIS PROSSER chris@iq-mag.net Click here to subscribe to


POLITICAL PAWNS

I

t has been a long haul, but, thankfully, vaccination programmes seem to be winning the fight against Covid-19 with the likes of Italy and Spain doing well and the UK being just two weeks away from the government announcing that all restrictions will end, bar any surge in figures. In the UK, that vaccination rollout and easing restrictions, backed by some highprofile test events suggests everything is going in the right direction. But in the past few days, Austria, France and Germany have announced stricter border controls for anyone visiting from the UK, because of the so-called Indian variant of the virus. Now, I’m not one to buy into any conspiracy theory that this is revenge for the vaccine supply controversy between the UK and EU, or over Brexit. More likely it’s simply the governments of those countries being super cautious to protect their own citizens. But politics is a dirty game, and on the whim of a political party, such decisions, whatever their reason, could jeopardise everyone’s touring prospects, just as they start to get back on track. All of which underlines the importance of lobbying, which, quite frankly, was almost non-existent on the part of the live entertainment industry prior to the Covid pandemic. It’s improved massively since, through necessity, but there’s still room to strengthen relationships with policy makers, especially when live events actually return. And for anyone looking for tips on how to secure meetings with politicians, tuning in to IQ’s next Recovery Sessions on 17 June is a must (see page 32). Maybe we are all but political pawns, but I’m fairly sure that live music employs more people and generates more revenues than fishing, but we could definitely learn a trick or two from that community, given the prominent role they had in latter Brexit negotiations. On a similar note, Jon Chapple’s exploration of the post-Brexit rules for those who facilitate European touring (page 34), highlights how helpful lobbying might have been in preventing the new cabotage guidelines that are now hitting the bank balances of our hauliers. Tips on how to restaff and recruit, as territories start to reopen for business, can be found on page 26, where our personnel experts reveal that securing employee talent will be fiercely competitive in the coming weeks and months. Meanwhile, Lisa Henderson talks to some of the individuals who have been brave enough to launch new independent booking agencies during the pandemic months (page 38), proving that adversity can create opportunity. And that sentiment crops up in our own little celebration of this magazine’s 100th edition (page 18), where staff past and present look back on the first 17 years of IQ. November will mark my 10th anniversary at IQ, and without a shadow of a doubt, it continues to be the highlight of my career to serve the greatest industry on the planet and the amazing characters that fuel it. So, a big thank you to everyone who has remained loyal to IQ since Chris and Allan conceived the idea back in 2004, and with concepts such as the Recovery Sessions, we promise we’ll continue to develop our coverage to deliver the business information you need as we emerge from this challenging period.

ISSUE 100 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE IQ Magazine Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH info@iq-mag.net www.iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag Publisher ILMC and Suspicious Marketing Editor Gordon Masson News Editor Jon Chapple Staff Writer Lisa Henderson Advertising Manager Steve Woollett Design Rather Nice Design Sub Editor Michael Muldoon Head of Digital Ben Delger Contributors Suzanne Bull, Peter Noble, Bill Rahmy Editorial Contact Gordon Masson gordon@iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303 Advertising Contact Steve Woollett steve@iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0304 ISSN 2633-0636

Magazine

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IN BRIEF INDEX The concert business digest

MAY A pilot event in Liverpool held at Sefton Park builds hope for the UK’s reopening. Nathan Stone launches Gallos Talent, a new UK-based LGBTQ+ talent management company.

DEAG raises more than €6million to fund future acquisitions in “key markets.” Pitch & Smith, the European booking agency, splits in two, with three former agents breaking away to launch new venture Playbook Artists.

Denmark’s festival season is decimated for the second consecutive year due to government restrictions.

Andy Duggan, international agent for the likes of Kano, Django Django, Santigold and Neneh Cherry, joins WME’s London office.

Wasserman Music partners with Twitch to launch There is Light, a new virtual concert series and music discovery platform.

Norway proposes a number of testshows that would involve a total of 30,000 people – half of whom woukd be asked not to attend.

More than 4,000+ socially distanced gigs are to be held in the UK in May/June, according to a survey.

UK trade body LIVE conducts a survey of 25,000 music fans, revealing an overwhelming desire for live music to return as quickly as possible.

UTA announces the largest round of promotions in the agency’s 30-year history, which sees more than 100 staffers worldwide rise in the ranks. Some 130 cultural venues in Wallonia and Brussels reopen illegally after six months of closure, in protest of government restrictions.

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PRS for Music announces a “discounted” 10% tariff on online live concerts for as long as artists and venues face restrictions on inperson shows. Yourope, which represents 108 European festivals, restructures, expands, and relocates to Bonn, Germany from its former home of St. Gallen in Switzerland.

AEG Presents forms a team of industry professionals dedicated to “moving the live business towards a greener future.”

Live-streamed concerts are here to stay, according to new research funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council.

Live Nation reports a 34.2% increase in concert revenue from the fourth quarter of 2020.

Norway’s 2021 festival season is effectively wiped out with the cancellation of Bergenfest, Tons of Rock, Øya Festival, Over Oslo and more.

Pohoda, Slovakia’s biggest festival, reveals details of the festival miniseries, which will replace the 2021 flagship event. Glastonbury could welcome up to 50,000 fans this summer for a twoday concert at Worthy Farm. The Flemish government says Pukkelpop and Tomorrowland should be able to go ahead in late summer, under certain conditions. Open’er, Poland’s largest annual music festival, cancels for the second year running due to the pandemic. Russ Tannen, formerly chief revenue officer of ticketing firm Dice, is promoted to president of the company. IQ’s Recovery Sessions confirm Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn, Artist Group International’s Marsha Vlasic, ASM Global Europe’s John Sharkey, and CAA’s Maria May to forthcoming sessions in June (see page 32).

Mojo and ID&T, along with Heineken, organise the Netherlands’ first large-scale event without restrictions, date TBA. Glastonbury Festival’s Live at Worthy Farm live-stream is to be broadcast at cinemas around the UK. The UK welcomes back non-socially distanced indoor live music for the 2021 Brit Awards. Mark Jan Kar is promoted to general manager of Dubai’s CocaCola Arena following the recent resignation of arena CEO Guy Ngata. French live music association Prodiss and Paris hospital AP-HP are finally given the green light for a Paris test concert. Live Nation invests in Liquid Death, a drinks company packaging water in recyclable ‘tallboy’ cans.


In Brief

Festival Republic plans to follow up its recent Sefton Park Pilot event in Liverpool with a second test festival, this time with camping (see page 10). The British government indicates it will intervene if commercial insurance is still unavailable when the country is scheduled to fully reopen (see page 10). The Music Managers Forum publishes a new expanded version of the MMF Guide to Mental Health 2021. Byron Bay Bluesfest is slated to take place in October with a fourday format, after the original 2021 event was cancelled at the eleventh hour (see page 15). Financial research firm Wolfe Research begins coverage of Live Nation, assigning the company’s stock an ‘outperform’ status. The Swedish government’s new roadmap hammers the final nail in the coffin of the country’s 2021 festival summer.

Belgium’s Rock Werchter announces a smaller stand-in event for the flagship festival, which was cancelled in March.

A consortium including AEG is chosen to deliver a new 18,000-capacity indoor arena near Osaka in southwestern Japan.

Craig Duffy, former Blur and Duran Duran tour manager, and his partner, Sue Parmiter, die in a car crash in the UK (see page 8).

UK charity Attitude is Everything publishes its first guide to boost the inclusion of Deaf and disabled workers in the industry (see page 14).

Spain’s 2021 festival season diminishes once again with fresh cancellations from major festivals Mad Cool and Bilbao BBK Live.

Spotify announces a new ‘virtual concert experience’ that will take place over five dates in May and June.

Ten leading Japanese concert promoters officially announce the formation of the International Promoters Alliance Japan.

Primavera Sound Festival announces the programme for 2022, confirming previously reported rumours of a new expanded format.

Belgium’s first-ever cultural test events, which took place at the Royal Flemish Theatre and concluded in early May, are deemed a success.

Ticketmaster partners with Snap, the developer of Snapchat, to launch two TM-branded ‘experiences’ in the popular teenfriendly video-sharing app.

Stockholm Live changes the name of the Ericsson Globe Arena to the Avicii Arena, in memory of the late DJ (see page 9).

Till Dawn They Count, the Finnish artist management company, joins Nordic live entertainment group All Things Live.

European touring giant FKP Scorpio expands its British operation with a slew of new appointments, as well as a brandnew partnership (see page 11).

New York venues are permitted to return to full capacity, instead of one-third full, if they require patrons to show proof of vaccination.

Cricket venues in England and Wales will become outdoor concert venues this summer.

We Are Ops, a new female-led event operations, safety and people management business, launches in the UK.

The Eurovision Song Contest takes place with 3,500 Covid-negative fans, marking the biggest indoor pilot event held in the Netherlands to date (see page 8).

Hugh Parsons, assistant to late CAA agent Ben Kouijzer, plans a nearly 1,000-mile sponsored bike ride in memory of his close friend and mentor.

Oak View Group partners with Sharecare, an Atlanta-based health company, and CAA’s Icon division to launch a new hygiene certification for venues.

Driift “apologises unreservedly” for the technical issues that prevented thousands of ticketholders from accessing Glastonbury’s global livestream event.

Japanese festival Fuji Rock discourages festivalgoers from speaking to each other as part of Covid-19 mitigation measures.

The Hollywood Bowl is set to reopen for live performances in July with safety precautions that favour vaccinated concertgoers over non-vaccinated.

Afrofusion star Burna Boy will kick off the O2’s Welcome Back Shows series this summer, heralding a return to normality for the London arena.

City Football Group, a global operator of football and sportsrelated business, becomes Oak View Group’s equal joint venture partner and investor in Co-op Live. Independent live music venues in Canada are given the chance to apply for a share of a CA$100,000 (€68,000) relief fund. Womad New Zealand secures a NZ$1.9million (€1.1m) underwrite from New Plymouth District Council in case the festival is cancelled due to Covid. A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise adds a host of new international acts for the August event, including Bring Me the Horizon, Machine Gun Kelly, Rag’n’Bone Man, Django Django, Sam Fender, Metronomy, Mahalia, Black Country New Road, and Headie One. The British culture secretary hails recent UK pilot events “a real success” after just 15 positive cases of Covid-19 were recorded among 58,000 people. The Swiss live music industry expresses frustration at the government’s next rollback of restrictions.

Magazine

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Obituary

TUNNEL VISION FOR THE NETHERLANDS’ RETURN TO LIVE

CRAIG DUFFY Industry mourns “one of the great tour managers of all time”

F

ormer Blur and Duran Duran tour manager Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter died in a car crash on 21 May in the UK. Their deaths were confirmed the following day by Duran Duran’s former publicist Gerard Franklin, who told Devon Live: “Craig was without question one of the best tour managers in the music business. “He was a gentleman, caring and considerate, and the ultimate professional. He was great fun to be around and a real joy. He was incredibly helpful to all the crew and people working on his tours and was liked by everyone. He was a music fan first and a tour manager second.” The father of two, who was undergoing treatment for throat cancer, worked on numerous tours since the early 1990s for the likes of Blur, Duran Duran, Gorillaz, Fugees, Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madness and U2. Duran Duran bassist John Taylor paid tribute to Duffy on the band’s official website: “It is with great sadness we learnt today of the tragic passing of Craig Duffy: friend, music man and one of the great tour managers of all time. “Craig and I spent many touring hours trawling used vinyl bins around the world. There was no better record shopping associate than Craig, and if you know me, you’ll know there is no better testament to a friendship than that.”

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He added: “I will really miss you, you fucker. I hope for your sake they play The Clash in heaven.” The band’s keyboardist, Nick Rhodes, said: “We are all heartbroken to hear the shocking news that Craig Duffy and his partner Sue Parmiter have died in a car accident. “Craig was a larger-than-life character and a joy to be around. He once won the accolade of ‘tour manager of the year’ at an industry event, so for us he was always ‘Craig Duffy, tour manager of the year.’ “Despite our jest, Craig lived up to his title, he was kind, calm, and knew how to steer the ship. We spent a long time together on tour and we will forever treasure those memories, he remained a punk rocker at heart with a massive sense of humour, he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.” Blur’s Dave Rowntree wrote: “Have spent the day trying to come to terms with the fact that my friend Craig is no longer with us. My heart goes out to his family.” Right Said Fred tweeted: “Extremely shocked and saddened to hear that Craig Duffy and his partner Sue died in a car crash yesterday. “Craig was our tour manager in the 90s, we rarely agreed on anything but we had stayed in touch and remained friends. He was a good guy and an excellent TM. Rest in peace.” Artists including The Damned, The Pogues and Nadine Shah also paid tribute to the late tour manager.

T

he grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest – which took place with 3,500 Covid-negative live music fans, qualifying it as the biggest indoor pilot event held in the Netherlands to date – was deemed a success. The 2021 contest, the first since 2019, concluded at the 16,500-capacity Ahoy arena in Rotterdam on 22 May, with Italian band Måneskin crowned the winner for their song Zitti E Buoni. In total, 26 countries made it to the final, with all but one (Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið, one of whom tested positive for Covid-19) performing live from the arena on the night. This year’s competition took the form of a pilot show, welcoming an in-person audience as part of the government-approved Back to Live series, coordinated by pan-industry body Fieldlab Events. To gain entry to the arena, everyone involved – including performers, fans, country delegations, press, staff, and crew – had to register a negative Covid-19 test in the previous 48 hours, and then get tested again once onsite at the dedicated Eurovision test pavilion. In addition, social distancing was enforced throughout the venue, while masks had to be worn whenever people moved around the arena (even performers on their way to the stage). Jolanda Jansen, director of Rotterdam Ahoy and a spokesperson for Fieldlab member Alliance of Event Builders, said seeing the arena full of staff and fans was her highlight of Eurovision week.


Analysis

STOCKHOLM WELCOMES AVICII ARENA

S

tockholm Live has changed the name of its iconic Globe venue to the Avicii Arena, making it a global symbol for mental illness prevention. The venue, managed by ASM Global, has signed a unique partnership with the Tim Bergling Foundation, with support from naming rights sponsors Trygg-Hansa and Bauhaus, to honour the memory of the late Bergling, who was better known as his DJ stage name Avicii.

Visible from most of Stockholm, the historic, 15,000-capacity venue is intended to become “a hub for sharing ideas and hosting activities with the focus on young peoples’ mental health,” according to Klas Bergling, who along with his wife, Anki Lidén, founded The Tim Bergling Foundation after the death of their son in 2018, at the age of 28. “It was a significant milestone in Tim’s career when he played here nine years ago, and he would be extremely proud that this iconic building from today will bear his name.”

Stockholm Live CEO Andreas Sand comments, “Being able to use one of Sweden’s most famous and visited buildings as a symbol and meeting place for one of the most important societal issues of our time, in the way we now do, together with our partners, feels fantastic. When we hosted the Avicii Tribute Concert in December 2019 at Friends Arena, we got the idea to create a place that could spread the same understanding and community that we had that evening, with a focus on making a difference.” Magazine

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Analysis

Blossoms was the headline act for a 10,000-capacity test event in Liverpool’s Sefton Park on 2 May © Amy Heycock

UK LIVE INDUSTRY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT A FULL REOPENING IN JUNE

B

ritish culture secretary Oliver Dowden says he is “very hopeful” the UK will meet its 21 June target for a full reopening of venues, theatres and clubs, without social distancing, following encouraging results from recent Event Research Programme (ERP) test events. The test series included the BRIT Awards, the Sefton Park Pilot music festival, The First Dance club shows and sports fixtures including the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium. According to Dowden, there were no positive cases from the BRITs, which took place with an audience of 4,000 at London’s O2 earlier this month, and two from Sefton Park Pilot, a oneday music festival in Liverpool.

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Nine cases, meanwhile, were detected among the 6,000 clubbers who attended the two First Dance events, held in Liverpool ahead of Sefton Park Pilot, and no cases were reported from Wembley. The final four infections were detected at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, which hosted 17 days of the World Snooker Championship.

No social distancing was in place at any of the ERP events, which used lateral-flow tests (LFTs) to check attendees for the coronavirus prior to entry. A full report will be presented to the prime minister at a later date. The provisional findings from the ERP events came as Festival Republic (FR), the organiser of Sefton Park Pilot, announced a second music festival, this time with camping, which will form part of the second phase of the programme. The three-day event will be held in June and aims to build on the previous pilot by simulating the full multi-day festival experience familiar to attendees of FR events including Reading Festival and Download. Download Pilot will have a capacity of 10,000 and take place from 18 to 20 June at the longtime home of Download, Donington Park in Leicestershire. Tickets are priced at £120 and go on sale on 1 June for Download 2022 ticket holders (the festival was cancelled for a second year in a row earlier this month), with general sale starting on 3 June. No day tickets will be available, with all attendees expected to camp on site. As with Sefton Park Pilot, all festivalgoers will be required to produce proof of a negative LFT for entry, and also encouraged to take a more accurate PCR test before or after the event. Once in, no social distancing or mask wearing will be required: Download’s “loyal community of rock fans will be rewarded with the closest [thing] to a festival experience possible, with no social distancing, no masks, camping, and the return of moshing,” according to Festival Republic. In further promising news for the UK live sector, the government has indicated it will intervene if commercial insurance is still unavailable when the country is scheduled to fully reopen. In a DCMS select committee meeting on 13 May, Dowden said that if events still cannot go ahead by stage four of the roadmap because of market failure with commercial insurance, the government would “intervene in the same way we did with film and TV.” When Dowden was asked whether festivals and events should write off this summer, he answered “no.” “I’ve had extensive discussions with the prime minister and chancellor on this, but we must first know if something can go ahead, and if the final barrier is lack of commercial insurance, then we can go about acting,” said Dowden.

According to culture secretary Oliver Dowden, there were no positive cases from the BRITs, which took place with an audience of 4,000 at London’s O2 earlier this month, and just two from Sefton Park Pilot, a one-day music festival in Liverpool.


XXXXXX XXXXBOOSTS XXXX XXXX FKP SCORPIO UK TEAM

Lou Champion, Julie Morgan, Rebecca Nichols, Sam Laurence

EUROPEAN FESTIVAL SEASON DECIMATED BY TOUGH RESTRICTIONS

F

ans in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland may be facing another festival-free summer due to strict government restrictions. Denmark’s festival season was wiped out for the second consecutive year when the government announced that between 21 May and 1 August 2021, festivals will be restricted to a maximum of 2,000 participants, with sections of 200 people. The announcement came on 3 May and was followed shortly by a raft of festival cancellations including major festivals such as Roskilde, Smukfest, Northside, Tinderbox, Beautiful Party, Jelling Festival, Copenhell and Heartland. After 1 August, the capacity limit will be raised to 5,000, with sections of up to 500 attendees. Events with 10,000 attendees will not take place until it is “assessed as sound from a health point of view.” A few days after Denmark’s announcement, the Norwegian government followed suit, publishing preliminary guidelines that would re-

strict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August, and 10,000 thereafter. Major Norwegian festivals including Live Nation-owned Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, and Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, alongside Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival, have all been called off. The Swedish government has also hammered the final nail in the coffin of the country’s 2021 festival summer by ruling out major events until at least September. The country’s roadmap, proposed by the Swedish Public Health Agency and commissioned by the government, suggests that from 1 June (stage three) outdoor events can take place with 500 seated and socially distanced attendees or with 100 standing. Indoor events can take place with either 50 seated and socially distanced attendees or just eight standing. Dates for the next two levels have not yet been given, but the Public Health Agency believes that stage two will come into effect later

T

Analysis

he UK operation of leading European promoter FKP Scorpio has made three new hires to its London-based team. Former head of marketing and PR at SJM Concerts, Julie Morgan, has been appointed a head of marketing for UK & European touring; Lou Champion, who was most recently at Live Nation, joins as head of ticketing; and Rebecca Nichols joins the team as head of live co-ordination, following on from over a decade working as an agent at CAA. The company has also partnered with London-based promoter Sam Laurence, whose dollop brand has worked with the likes of Jamie xx, Joji, Kelela, M Huncho, Moderat, 100 Gecs, Greentea Peng, Dorian Electra, Berwyn, Erika de Casier, Koreless and Smerz amongst other clients. The FKP Scorpio UK office was launched late last year with Daniel Ealam and Scott O’Neill heading up the concerts team and co-MDs Barry Campbell and James Cassidy overseeing special projects. Scorpio founder and CEO Folkert Koopmans, says, “I am really happy that we can welcome Julie, Lou and Rebecca to our FKP Scorpio family, and also our partnership with Sam. We all share the same values and have the same vision for FKP Scorpio UK.”

in June or July, which is when outdoor events can take place with 3,000 seated and socially distanced attendees. The majority of capacity limits will likely be scrapped in early September, which will mark stage one of the roadmap. Marquee Swedish festivals including Way Out West, Sweden Rock, Lollapalooza Stockholm and Statement Festival have been cancelled among others. While the fate of festivals in Denmark, Norway and Sweden has been sealed, the Swiss live industry is still awaiting a clear perspective on the country’s festival summer. From 31 May, indoor public events will be limited to 100 people instead of 50, while outdoor events will be capped at 300 people instead of 100. Social distancing restrictions will apply to all public events. However, restrictions after that point have not yet been solidified. The government had previously said that from the end of May, the Swiss cantons should be able to approve largescale events with up to 3,000 visitors (subject to restrictions), provided they are held after 1 July 2021 – in line with the country’s ‘protective umbrella’ insurance scheme. The federal council also suggested that, from 1 September, the upper capacity limit would be increased to 10,000 people. The live industry is lobbying for an amendment to the restrictions. Magazine

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NEW SIGNINGS & NEW MUSIC

LISTEN TO ’S ‘NEW MUSIC’ AGENCY PLAYLIST HERE

has partnered with a number of agencies to compile a monthly playlist of new music, much of it released by the new signings to their rosters. Among the tracks on May’s playlist are submissions from 13 Artists, ATC Live, CAA, ITB, Paradigm, Primary Talent and UTA.

HEIR

(UK)

AGENT Lucia Wade ITB

MIKE

(US)

AGENTS Guillaume Brevers

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Hometown Talent

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H

eir is a London-based singer-songwriter with Italian and Russian DNA. She’s also known as Patricia Manfield – an influential fashion icon who has been a brand ambassador for brands such as Versace, Dior, Calvin Klein and RayBan, to name a few, while her influence has earned her recognition in publications including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Forbes. Manfield has quickly grown an impressive following. On Instagram she has an audience of more than 400,000 followers, while her music is well-received internationally thanks to the music videos she created for her singles Soundtrack, My Love and Threads. Her debut EP, Daddy Issue, was released last year at the beginning of the pandemic, but despite that challenge she was able to amass more than two million streams on Spotify, and has an average of 20,000 monthly listeners – numbers that her representatives hope will increase with a new project she is currently working on.

B

orn in New Jersey, MIKE moved to London with his mother before settling in The Bronx for the remainder of his later teenage years. In New York, he was a founder of the [sLUms] collective, establishing a unique sound that created waves throughout underground hip-hop circles. In 2017, MIKE released mixtape May God Bless Your Hustle, which received a Best New Music review from Pitchfork. At the end of 2018, he released album War in my Pen, following it with 2019’s Tears of Joy, and last year’s Weight of the World. Latest release Disco! is more upbeat and catchy than previous work whilst maintaining the emotional weight that is characteristic of MIKE’s music. He has toured with the likes of Blood Orange, and Earl Sweatshirt, and performed at festivals such as MoMA PS1 Warm Up, Pitchfork Festival, and Capitol Hill Block Party.


New Signings

ARTIST LISTINGS Abbie McCarthy (UK)  Ryan Penty, Paradigm Amaliah (UK)  Naomi Palmer, Earth Agency Anaïs Mitchell (US)  Colin Keenan, ATC Live B. Cool-Aid (US)  Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Agency Bandalos Chinos (AR)  Felipe Mina Calvo, ATC Live Ben Hemsley (UK)  Dave Blackgrove, Paradigm Bennett Coast (US)  Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners BINA. (UK)  Sinan Ors, ATC Live Bishop Nehru (US)  Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Agency cityboymoe (UK)  Jack Clark & James Osgood, UTA Clara Mann (UK)  Duncan Smith, PlayBook Artists COUCOU CHLOE (UK)  Lucy Atkinson, Earth Agency Crystal Millz (UK)  Jack Clark & Myles Jessop, UTA Dance System (UK)  Jim O’Regan, Paradigm Deadcrow (NL)  Paul McQueen, Primary Talent Decius (UK)  Rebecca Prochnik, Earth Agency Deyah (UK)  Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Douglas Dare (UK)  Eleanor McGuinness, PlayBook Artists Dreya Mac (UK)  Sam Gill, Earth Agency Ekkstacy (CA)  Sam Gill, Earth Agency ENISA (US)  Scott Mantell, ICM Partners Eyedress (US)  James Masters, James Osgood & Jacob Simone, UTA Grove (UK)  Kayleigh Lawrence, Earth Agency happydaze (UK)  Chris Smyth, Primary Talent Heir (UK)  Lucia Wade, ITB Joan Shelley (US)  Eleanor McGuinness, PlayBook Artists Kelly Lee Owens (UK)  Martje Kremers, Primary Talent Lauren Samuels & Sophie Evans (UK)  Heulwen Keyte, UTA

Lazy Queen (NO)  Rob McGee, FMLY Agency Lil Pino (UK)  Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Lord Apex (UK)  Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Meg Ward (UK)  Dave Blackgrove, Paradigm MIKE (US)  Guillaume Brevers, Hometown Talent Miss Lafamilia (UK)  Myles Jessop, UTA Mnelia (UK)  Ishsha Bourguet & Myles Jessop, UTA Natalie Bergman (US)  Paul McGivern, PlayBook Artists p-rallel (UK)  Jack Clark & Hannah Shogbola, UTA Pulled Apart By Horses (UK)  Graham Clews, ATC Live Ralph Castelli (US)  Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Ramz (UK)  Kayleigh Lawrence, Earth Agency Real Lies (UK)  Sinan Ors, ATC Live Rey Colino (BE)  Peter Beer, FMLY Agency Siiickbrain (US)  Sean Goulding, Christina Austin, Daniel McCartney,  Zoe Williamson & Jake Bernstein, UTA SoFaygo (US)  Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Soumik Datta (UK)  Angie Rance, UTA Spelling (US)  Clemence Renaut, ATC Live SR (UK)  Myles Jessop & James Masters, UTA Stephen Marley (JM)  Ed Sellers, Primary Talent The Murlocs (AU)  Paul Buck, Paradigm Tom Bright (UK)  Phyllis Belezos, ITB TYSON (UK)  Hannah Shogbola & Kazia Davy, UTA Unusual Demont (US)  Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Viia (UK)  Sol Parker, Paradigm YUNGMORPHEUS (US)  Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Agency

HOTTEST NEW ACTS THIS MONTH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

LAST MONTH 10 30 5 12

PREDICTIONS FOR JUNE 2021

ARTIST JUSTUS BENNETTS (US) STARBOI3 (US) SYKO (US) CASEY LOWRY (UK) KA$HDAMI (US) ARRDEE (UK) PINKPANTHERESS (UK) PARIS TEXAS (US) CHLOE GEORGE (US) IAMDOECHII (US) MOOSKI (US) SKILLIBENG (UK) WEEEKLY (KR) SOFAYGO (US) SPOTEMGOTTEM (US) JAMES NEWMAN (UK), SR (UK), CICO P (US), EKKSTACY (US), GYAKIE (GH)

Artists not in the current top 15, but growing quickly

Fastest growing artists in terms of music consumption, aggregated across a number of online sources.

MAY 2021

Magazine

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Comment

Live music’s recovery must be inclusive Attitude is Everything founder Suzanne Bull, MBE, urges everyone involved in ‘operation restart’ not to forget Deaf and disabled people, neither as fans, nor as potential colleagues.

L

ike everyone, I’m feeling hopeful as the live events industry slowly starts to open up as best it can after what we hope is the worst of the pandemic. The impact of this on the industry, further compounded by Brexit, has been immeasurable for those working in it, the artists, and also the fans. However, the consequences for Deaf and disabled people have also been profound and of real concern to me. I’m well-placed to comment on it because I’m a disabled person and founder of Attitude is Everything a charity set up to improve Deaf and disabled people’s access to music and live events. For 21 years, Attitude is Everything has worked to connect Deaf and disabled people with music and event industries to improve access together. Over 200 music venues and festivals have signed up to our Charter of Best Practice, endorsed by government as the industry standard for accessibility. With our support, the live music industry has worked hard to make gigs and festivals inclusive and accessible, but I fear that the current landscape is now looking grim for our community being able to return to live events as we wish. We need the industry to actively welcome back Deaf and disabled people. In a bid to support the industry in this effort, we recently published our Access Guide: Reopening Your Venue. Being in the group deemed clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) myself, I was angry to be told that I could not attend early pilot events. Thankfully, following interventions by us and other partners, the language has now shifted away from this. Disabled people simply need the facts about accessibility and Covid-safety measures in order to make our own judgements about what we attend. No venue or event should ever make that decision for us. Online information has never been more important. I know from previous data collected by Attitude is Everything that 60% of disabled people won’t buy a ticket if there isn’t any access information, and subsequently feel that the event “isn’t for them” if they can’t find the information. Whilst I’m delighted to see live music returning to our towns and cities, I’m deeply concerned about Deaf and disabled people being forgotten about or simply viewed as ‘vulnerable.’ I know of at least ten events that have gone live

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selling tickets without having staffed access booking services. Without strong policies in place, there is also now a real risk of disabled people being challenged on entry if staff make assumptions on a person’s vulnerability based on a ‘visible’ disability. This cannot happen. I’m currently left wondering just what I have achieved in 30+ years of work to improve the cultural offer to disabled people in the UK. However, I am heartened to know that many trade bodies, promoters, festival organisers and venue managers share my concerns about the current levels of exclusion and where this might lead in the future if left unchecked. There needs to be a collective effort now to reverse recent messages that make certain people in our society feel unwelcome in the drive to return to live music events. I’m finding that disabled people need lots of reassurance and not all disabled people are confident about attending events in the future. We are not talking about a few people – in the UK, over 2.2 million people were told to shield and 20% of the UK population is classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ to Covid-19 – millions of whom are disabled people. And when I say disabled people, I mean audiences, artists, volunteers and employees. To bring it home, some of the staff, trustees and volunteers at Attitude is Everything are in the clinically vulnerable groups. Of course, inclusion isn’t just a Covid-19 or reopening issue. Our most recent publication – our Accessible Employment Guide – provides tips on how employers can make workplaces as accessible as possible, far beyond responding to the times we find ourselves in currently. I’m expecting to return to live music shortly, to work and to enjoy myself! For the first time in my life, I found myself excluded from society when the pandemic hit. Given the choice, I’d go out every single night of the week. I’ve spent over a year locked away in my flat because I was also diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2020, and this plus my impairment placed me in the CEV group. For 30 years, I partied my life away and then I was told to stay in. Who in their right mind would want to do that? Why would I want to stay home when there are so many beautiful bands out there?


Comment

Damage control Bluesfest organiser Peter Noble speaks to IQ about the aftermath of the Byron Bay festival’s eleventh-hour cancellation by government, due to a single positive Covid test.

Tell us about the moment you learned Bluesfest would not be able to go ahead.

The public health order came through at about 3:30pm on 30 March, the day before the festival was due to open. We were literally set up and ready to go. Every single thing had been done; the stallholders had the food and the liquor was in the fridges, the signage was up – it was as close as you could get to opening your doors. That positive Covid case was the first one we’ve had in our area since July the previous year. It was a shock. We were traumatised. Did the New South Wales government consult you before they pulled the plug?

I’d been given a heads up a few hours earlier that the government was going to do it, but we weren’t given any opportunities to do anything but comply. Even though I was very much a part of a process of developing the first Covid safety plan for live music, once it got down to the government decision, the festival was not part of it. A lot of people felt the government’s decision was very heavy handed – that we are a five-day event, and they could have cancelled our first day and see if there was going to be any further positive cases in the community and, in fact, it turned out that there wasn’t. I don’t think that the health minister would make such a decision, so quickly, without looking at all the options again. We all learned something from it and it’s no use crying over spilt milk. What were the financial ramifications of the last-minute cancellation?

Well, the treasurer of New South Wales called on Easter Saturday, when I was still in shock, and said that I would be the first recipient of the business interruption fund – which I had been advocating for, for a bloody long time. The festival received an interim payment from the government that allowed us to pay all of our workers, make a good start on paying our suppliers, and pay the musicians money. We paid half the fee to anybody that was earning under AU$15,000 (€9,517) and 25% to anybody that was earning over.

Our next payment will be to stallholders who had perishable goods or craft beer. We had to do all those things to be able to come back. I can’t say how much we were given because I signed a non-disclosure agreement, but after the government’s final payment to us, we will hopefully end up in the same financial position we were in when we started working on that first event in May 2020, which was cancelled. Without the business interruption payments, we would have gone into liquidation for sure. What does that say about the need for government-backed insurance?

The fact that there is no avenue for that kind of support, unless I go to the tourism minister with cap in hand and say, “please save my event,” is farcical. But I think it’s probably because we haven’t really lobbied the government in the way we needed to, to be recognised for our contributions. There are only ever a small number of major event producers. You’re not going to see many events in Australia calling out in the way that I am because most are backed by multinationals and have the ability to be funded. The government needs to be stepping in and saying: “We value events. We’re going to invest in them. Or at the very least, we’re going to launch a government-backed guarantee.” If they don’t do that, I fear we’re going to see a loss of events. How did you make the decision to reschedule Bluesfest for October?

I said to our artists, “If we did reschedule, would you want to come?”, and all but two headliners said yes. So then it just came down to whether or not the team had the fortitude. I couldn’t put it on my team to do the event if they just couldn’t do it on a mental-health level. We were traumatised. But we decided to go ahead and all of a sudden, the vibe came back into the office. Tickets to the rescheduled event were released today (20 May) and the sales have been astonishing. We’ve had about a million dollars in ticket sales and probably sold 20% of the remaining tickets. To see such a big show of faith from fans through buying a ticket has really made me think, “God, I love being in this industry.”

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PRODUCTION NOTES

Bulls-hit on Parade Production manager Bill Rahmy calls for crew employment contracts after being fired from a pandemic-rescheduled arena tour

I

wrote this column at least 1,000 times in my head over the last eight weeks. When ink did hit paper, it was a very different version to the prior madness, and although it was poignant, it wreaked of an anger so deep with frustration and ugliness that there was no way to contain it in 800 words. You see, I was fired recently from a sold-out arena tour that was originally scheduled to start a week after the pandemic shut us all down. They unceremoniously terminated two weeks past the one-year anniversary, to be exact. Seriously, a year into the pandemic, and then I get fired!? Fucking ridiculous. Putting me out with gasoline while I’m on fire is an understatement. And goddamn I have been spitting piss and vinegar ever since. Although I have been fired thrice before, during what I’d call a successful and respected 35-year career, this was different. Not that the previous times didn’t hurt. But this had the added fear of a never-ending global pandemic attached to it, with zero constructive communication from day-one by my employers. However, with the help of some trusted peers, my soul searching melted into a clear and underlying suspicion that I’d been employed by some incredibly dysfunctional people who know very little about large-scale touring and have zero interest in learning from the professionals they hire to give such guidance. I hold no ill will toward you. I love your band’s music, I wish you continued success and I cherish you as human beings, as we are all God’s children. But we are professionals and we are tired of being exploited by such flippant behaviour. So please pay up and honour the commitment we all made when hired. With that said, here’s some tips IQ’s readers might find useful: n Let’s make employment contracts standard operating procedure for production crew: we are the last hold outs and I’m not sure why. Every other technical arm of the entertainment business has agreements as standard operating procedure. n Include a severance deal or arbitration clause in the contracts. n Get a good lawyer who advertises on motorway billboards. n Meet with the band before accepting an offer. If they are in therapy, ask to join the sessions – it may be the only time to get production questions answered. n Make sure you speak to your production managers directly. Not through the TM, not through your cousin who cuts your hair, and certainly not through your dog walker. n If band members have mobile phones,

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explain to them how they work. n If the band doesn’t have a manager, make sure there is a qualified human resources rep hired for the tour. n If the band does have a manager even though they say they don’t, but it’s someone who says they only really manage one member of the band, but actually makes decisions for the other members, too, have that “manager” explain how that works. •nIf George Costanza from Seinfeld arrives on set as the band’s “visual designer,” call the HR rep immediately. n If George Costanza is presenting their fourth-try visual design deck to the band via Demi Lovato’s Instagram page, using his iPhone, just kill yourself. Save the embarrassment. n Explain to the band what a rigger is. n Put your HR rep on speed dial. n If the masseuse makes more than the rigger, call the HR rep. n When you fire someone, let them know why with a personal phone call and letter. If you need help on how to use the phone or a pen, ask your “manager” how it works. n Better yet, call them personally and talk about any issues you may have – you actually may be able to work the situation out without termination. n And if you are still too chicken shit to confront issues like an adult, at least have your lawyer do it. Not via a phone call from yet another unemployed crew member who now has to make his living by driving a delivery van. Fuck, that is some tacky shit. n Be prepared to take responsibility for not only my new unemployed status but also the other crew members and vendors who will lose their tour jobs because they were hired under my direction. We may not have employment agreements, but we do have billboard lawyers who also don’t give a fuck. n Practice what you preach.

USEFUL URLs

www.eventsafetyalliance.org www.iatse.net en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_contract www.theroadieclinic.com www.tourproductiongroup.co.uk www.touringprofessionals.com www.soundgirls.org www.justabunchofroadies.org www.workingfamilies.org/


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IQ @ 100_Feature

As reaches its 100th issue, staff past and present look back at the evolution of the magazine, our daily news service, and the challenge of increasing our workload during the live music industry’s bleakest year

Magazine

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Feature_IQ @ 100

ISSUES 1–8

As is the case with most brilliant ideas, the genesis of IQ was the result of a conversation in the pub… Publisher Chris Prosser sets the scene: “I’d just done my first ILMC in 2004 and I met with Allan in May for one of our inspiration/planning meetings at Steele’s pub in Belsize Park, next door to my first office. We used to get a bottle of red wine, usually two, sit beside the open fire, and just ping ideas off each other.” Founding editor Allan McGowan says, “The conversation turned to previous magazines that meant something in the business – Audience, which we both had something to do with, Applause, and way back when, College Event – and we both decided that we could definitely improve the landscape by launching a new title.” Prosser continues, “ILMC needed a vehicle to keep its voice alive all year. We’d had a great conference in 2004 and it really seemed like things were starting to build, so some kind of publication felt like the obvious next step. “The other element was that it cost a fortune to mail all of the ILMC registration brochures to every single subscriber on our list, which was about 3,500-4,000 back then. There was the price of printing the brochures, having to manually stick them all in envelopes, and then the cost of mailing them around the world. It was a fortune and a big part of the ILMC budget.” As a result, that fateful pub meeting, 17 years

ISSUE 1

Q4 2004 “IQ will be adaptable and flexible with its format and take its style and tone from the current complexion of the business, which at the moment, generally, looks pretty good.” ALLAN MCGOWAN, EDITOR

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ago, resulted in the birth of IQ, whose first edition is dated Q4 2004. “We came up with loads of different names,” says Prosser. “Both Martin [Hopewell] and I were into astronomy, so we toyed with ‘Zenith’ and we thought of other names that might complement Pollstar. But in the end, because it was ILMC and the mag was going to be quarterly, the abbreviation spoke for itself.” McGowan adds, “If you look at the old logos, the bit that comes out of the centre of the ‘Q’ was meant to be the road winding away.” With a full summer to work on the first issue of the magazine, McGowan recalls, “We spent a lot of time trying to get people in the business to contribute in their own words. And it was quite surprising to discover how many people in the business were really good writers.” Prosser says, “I got Archie Carmichael involved early on to start selling advertising on the magazine and he was brilliant – he really got it. We were working out of a little office, just the two of us, and Allan would sometimes drop in to join us.” Launched as a quarterly magazine, the publication quickly found an audience and started to grow. “It had the intention to mirror ILMC by having the same kind of irreverence, but it quickly became apparent that people took it seriously and we started writing about grown-up subjects such as taxation and insurance,” says McGowan. Carmichael says, “Chris and I were working out of a very small office above a kitchen com-

ISSUE 10

Q1 2007 “At the last festival, ticket holders had to bring three pieces of proof of identity. It was messy and very difficult to process. People were dropping bits of paper at the gates and losing passports. Having a photo on the ticket is bound to be the answer long-term.” MICHAEL EAVIS, GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL

ISSUE 15

IQ has always been a valuable and enlightened source of information for industry news, new trends and latest developments for us here at the tip of Africa. It’s given us the ability to relate to our peers and compare what’s happening in our market with the rest of the world. Attie van Wyk | Big Concerts International IQ has been a valuable resource both to myself and our entire business… perhaps even more so over this past year when we’ve all been looking for a way to stay connected and informed during the pandemic. Congrats on this incredible milestone, we all look forward to what’s ahead! Jay Marciano | AEG

pany and we shared the office with a rather odd little man that had an IT servicing company. Every time I would be on the phone talking to clients, the IT guy would say ‘Shush! Am on the phone,’ and ask me to lower my voice, which would prompt me to amplify my voice further. “Looking back, they were fun times and everything was all very new and exciting with lots of incredibly creative ideas circulating around from Allan, Chris and myself putting together the magazine. I’m very proud to say I

SUPP 2 2007 “We treat artists and audiences as if we don’t want them in our buildings, and this we do in the name of entertainment. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Our small-venue circuit is globally derided.” ANDY INGLIS, THE LUMINAIRE

ISSUE 20

Q4 2008 “A few years ago, we decided that the best business plan in this business is not to have a business plan. In reality we’re a carrier of services for the artist. We can maximise the ticket sales, but if U2 don’t tour, they don’t tour. There’s nothing we can do about it.” NEO SALA, DOCTOR MUSIC


IQ @ 100_Feature

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

As McGowan took on the role of associate editor, Greg Parmley, who had been editing the now defunct A&R publication Hit Sheet, joined the ranks, and the magazine immediately moved from four issues per year to six. “We realised that to be more effective we all needed to be in the same space, so we made the move to new, bigger offices, which meant we had room for more people, so that’s when Greg came aboard,” says Prosser. “To make that economically viable we went to six issues a year and IQ started a new chapter based on having a fulltime editor.” “I’d worked with Chris before when we were both at Audience, and I knew Martin Hopewell and Alia Dann Swift already, too, so I knew a lot of the ILMC crew before I came on board,” says Parmley. Beefing up the editorial content and the overall size of the magazine, Parmley introduced concepts like the annual New Bosses List, the European Arena Report and the Ticketing Report, during his time in the editor’s chair.

IQ Magazine is an indispensable resource for anyone who needs to be well informed in the ever-changing music industry. I personally value that IQ not only delivers daily news but also valuable and well thought-out insights into the industry as a whole. Folkert Koopmans | FKP Scorpio

ISSUES 39–100

After six years, Parmley moved on to pastures new. “Greg received an offer to work with Serge Grimaux on Intellitix, which he’d just set up,” reports Prosser. “So we were going to advertise the job, but then we realised that there were only so many writers who knew the live music industry, so I wrote to Gordon Masson, who was at Music Week, we met, and we shook hands.” “Chris made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse,” deadpans Masson. “But he also asked me if I wanted to take over as IQ editor and that seemed like a much more wholesome idea. “Coincidentally, I replaced Greg when he left Audience magazine, and while it was a privilege to be the first live music editor at Music Week, senior management there made it clear that covering the live side of the business was not their priority.”

More than any other single source, IQ consistently provides my means of easily staying in touch and on top of industry news. Especially through these pandemic times, IQ has kept us connected, attuned, and in step with a collective bigger picture. A truly invaluable resource for myself and the team here in Asia, and the nicest bunch of people to boot. Here’s to the next 100! Justin Sweeting | Magnetic Asia

Issue 50

An ILMC Publication. Nov 2013

site in those days,” they say “but there was a section called Rock Around the Clock News, which the wonderful Mr Ben Challis used to write and email to me every morning (read as: when he could be arsed). Despite his fantastic intellect, it soon became apparent that Ben can’t spell for shit. It was like someone had thrown some Alphabetti into an old sock, shaken it and then poured the resulting chaos into an email. It was my job to make sense of it, which was difficult as I was a lush back then and most mornings I was barely sentient. Then Greg took over as editor and shit got serious.”

MARKET SPOTLIGHT: GERMANY FESTIVALS VS AGENCY AIR CHARTER SECTOR PROFILE THE SECURITY SPECIALISTS

Issue 55

An ILMC Publication. Sept 2014

Tony

25 years

GOLDRING music ISSUE 25

Q3 2009 “There are a myriad of ways that live and digital can enhance each other. It is only limited by imagination, and luckily we seem to be in a period of boundless experimentation.” SCOTT COHEN, THE ORCHARD

ISSUE 50

NOVEMBER 2013 “The relevance of local talent is significantly higher now, and in all surveys the demand from our audience to book domestic acts has risen enormously.” STEPHAN THANSCHEIDT, FKP SCORPIO

ISSUE 55

SEPTEMBER 2014 “You can’t base things on record sales. We have some artists that are not selling that many albums but have a really, really solid touring base, and can go out and tour every 18 months and do great business.” TONY GOLDRING, WME

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

ISSUES 9–38

The bigger IQ premises also led to some legendary events, including the regular poker tournaments with young agents on a Friday night, which meant the office stank of stale beer and cigarette smoke until the following Tuesday. “But it was all pretty basic – in the early days we didn’t even have a website – we were basically a sub page on the ILMC website,” says Parmley. The magazine has been subbed since issue 6 by Mike Mooncat Muldoon. “There was no web-

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

was part of that and I’m delighted to see how IQ has evolved.” Two years in, it became obvious that there was scope for more growth, but with McGowan devoting more and more of his time helping others to set up new conferences around the world, a new editorial chief was required.

Issue 60

An ILMC Publication. July 2015

BRANDS TAKE CENTRE STAGE

THE EVOLUTION OF LIVE MUSIC SPONSORSHIP KISS AND MAKE-UP • 30 YEARS OF ROCK IN RIO • SWISS MARKET PROFILE • FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

ISSUE 60

JULY 2015 “The political world searches desperately for something the music industry does on a daily basis: to engage tens of millions of young people in emotion and outlook.” PAUL LATHAM, LIVE NATION

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Feature_IQ @ 100 ning panels for conferences is one of my favourite bits of the job, and IQ’s reach means I’ve been lucky enough to represent the team in countries that I would not otherwise have visited, making friends who I might never have met.” In the meantime, IQ continued to grow, spinning out the Production 100 standalone title, and agreeing media partnerships with an increasing number of conferences and events internationally. “I remember that five of us were on the same flight to Amsterdam, heading to Eurosonic, so we had the bright idea of hiring a car to give us a bit more freedom and because it was a few Euros cheaper than everyone having to buy train tickets,” says Masson. “Sure enough, we made the journey to Groningen in record time and were quietly pleased with ourselves, until a couple of weeks later when the speeding fines hit Chris’s desk – I think he’s still paying them off…” Parmley’s return to the team, when he took over ILMC in 2014, saw annual reports also turned into standalone titles, such as the European Arenas Yearbook and the International Ticketing Yearbook, as well as launching additional conferences such as the International Festival Forum and specialist security event E3S. “One of the big shifts was launching the IQ website, because we wanted to have a regular news service, a jobs board, and other elements,” Parmley says. “That’s when Jon Chapple joined, who now works with Lisa Henderson on the news team.”

IQ gives a global perspective of the live entertainment business, with concise, objective reporting and news. No fat, just the facts! At the top of my list for news sources in our industry. Phil Rodriguez | Move Concerts IQ has long been the lynchpin of up-to-date info from the full breadth of the industry, but through Covid the content and insight have been even more vital as we have all tried to navigate such trying times. Never shying away from difficult topics, they have supported those of us really wanting to make big changes in how this industry deals with all of the most important issues it faces; from diversity to sustainability to the restart and rebuild. I couldn’t live without it… Tom Schroeder | Paradigm

The opportunity to tap once again into his international contacts book was irresistible for the new editor, and his growing role at ILMC has been something he has particularly enjoyed in the nearly ten years he has been at IQ. “When I was at Billboard, I’d done a little bit of panel and conference work, but I always found it a chore and I would get ridiculously nervous,” admits Masson. “But at IQ, I had Allan to learn from, and now moderating sessions and plan-

“Helping to grow IQ’s digital output from humble beginnings as a weekly newsletter to the international business’s most-read daily news resource has been one of the highlights of my career,” says Chapple (high praise coming from a man who used to be editor of UK Star Wars comic and has his own Wookieepedia entry). “I’d be lying if I said it’s always been plain sailing – the live music community, particularly in the UK, aren’t shy about letting you know when you’ve messed up, usually with a string of four-letter words – but I’m proud of my small part in IQ history, particularly over the past 16 months, when I think our work has been more valued than ever.” Other Chapple career highlights, for those wondering, include hanging out with Roger Daltrey at ILMC 31, and far too many fuzzy conferences, showcases and awards ceremonies to mention…

PANDEMIC PUBLISHING

IQ’s growth has closely mirrored that of the international live music business, and as we entered 2020, optimism was high as the vast majority of people and businesses around the world were forecasting another record-breaking 12 months. There’s little point poring over the devastating impact of the Covid pandemic, but the

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GREEN GUARDIANS GUIDE 2020 INDIA MARKET REPORT

ANARCHY FOR THE U.K. IT’S COMING SOMETIME AND MAYBE

IT FEELS LIKE THE ‘80S, WHEN WE WERE MUCH SMALLER BUT SOMEHOW FELT BIGGER THAN NOW

ISSUE 80

NOVEMBER 2018 “I hope that, with a bit of courage, we will all be able to talk more openly about our mental challenges, without fear of being punished.” HILDE SPILLE, PAPERCLIP AGENCY

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ISSUE 85

ISSUE 80

Chris York – The Guvnor The U2 Experience Market Report: Sweden IFF 2018 Review The State of Welfare Cashless Payments The Growth of Jazz

95 An ILMC Publication DECEMBER 2020 | £25 | €25

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90 An ILMC Publication JULY 2020 | £25 | €25

MEET IQ’S UNSUNG HEROES RESORTS WORLD ARENA AT 40

INTERNATIONAL TICKETING REPORT 2020 LATEST COVID MITIGATION KIT

Tom Schroeder’s 20 Years in Music Europe’s Growing Hip-Hop Scene Market Report: Norway The New Bosses The E3S Security Showdown IFF 2019 Agenda

ISSUE 85

SEPTEMBER 2019 “Maybe it’s the millennials who have got the work/life balance right and we should be learning from them.” TOM SCHROEDER, PARADIGM

ISSUE 90

JULY 2020 “Where are your ethnicity pay gap and employee satisfaction reports? If they don’t exist, now is a good time to populate that data and work towards a safer space for Black employees.” ALEXANDRA AMPOFO, METROPOLIS MUSIC

ISSUE 95

DECEMBER 2020 “Music has helped us maintain a sense of community at a time when social distancing became the norm.” MARIYA GABRIEL, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR INNOVATION, RESEARCH, CULTURE, EDUCATION AND YOUTH


Feature_IQ @ 100 Many congratulations on your 100th edition. The whole IQ team has really brought the total live community together with great interviews and insights. The last year or so has seen the live industry hit as never before, but IQ has been at the forefront in keeping everyone updated with all the various organisations that have come together to fight a common cause, which has been beneficial to everyone in our industry. Thank you for the information, the humour, and bloody hard work – I look forward to the next 100 issues. Barry Dickins | ITB

prospect of zero revenues was massive for IQ. But while other industry publications decided to take a hiatus to avoid the financial hit, the IQ team went to work. “The whole team recognised it was incredibly important for people in the live industry to have really current information that would help them through the crisis. Index went daily, and we developed the IQ Focus video content for interim panel discussions. I’m immensely proud of the way the team has stood up and been counted during the last 15 months. Advertising income has been a disaster, but on the flip side, our audience has doubled to around 100,000 users per month on the website.”

ISSUES 101–200?

Over the years, IQ has run tribute features and anniversary specials to honour some of the most legendary individuals in the global live music business, including the likes of Barry Dickins, Rod MacSween, Steve Strange, Marcel Avram, Emma Banks, Pino Sagliocco, Herman Schueremans and Alex Hardee. In normal times, the magazine also celebrated tours by the likes of U2, Coldplay, P!nk, Rihanna,

Pet Shop Boys, Madonna and Post Malone, while the team is planning for many more when international touring finally resumes. Alongside the digital content, the magazine itself has doubled its frequency to become a monthly title during Covid, while also going digital-only to make sure it is accessible to industry professionals on the day of publication, rather than having to wait for postal services. In terms of what comes next, Parmley believes the key is continuing to reflect the title’s audience. “We’ve always seen IQ as a companion to the business, something that reflects the great characters and individuals that make up the industry. We have to keep that in mind moving forwards, and the rest is really just detail.” “The magazine has evolved really well because we’ve had the luck of working with great people all the way through,” adds Prosser, who references long-serving ad manager and ILMC table football competition umpire Terry McNally, as well as his successor, Steve Woollett. Masson comments, “Having been a newspaper hack for nine years, I began my trade journalism career writing about satellites and space in Washington DC. There’s not much synergy with the music business, but I worked for a company called Phillips Business Information, which had

dozens of titles covering numerous industries, so I quickly learned that the remit was to deliver news and analysis that readers would be able to use to improve their business prospects. That basically sums up what we try to do with IQ and a lot of our focus now depends on Jon and Lisa and their daily news and content being first, or very quick off the mark, in terms of bringing relevant business information to people.” Parmley adds, “What started as a way of saving money on postage has become the most widely read news resource for the business internationally, and the magazine underpins that. It’s been a good run for the first 100 issues!”

Congratulations IQ on 100 editions and the opportunities you have given the international music community. IQ has been a great bridge for Australia, keeping us informed of the latest trends/ideas, especially during the dreaded Covid, and it has helped us tell the world about our success and progress with Chugg Music, Chugg Entertainment and the Mushroom Group. Michael Chugg | Chugg Entertainment IQ has always been a great source of industry insight, but over the last year the daily news service has really come into its own. In a rapid-changing landscape IQ provided a much-needed focus for developments. All credit to the team and I look forward to the next 100 editions. John Reid | Live Nation

IQ TEAM 2021

GREG PARMLEY

CHRIS PROSSER

LISA HENDERSON 24

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GORDON MASSON

STEVE WOOLLETT

JON CHAPPLE

MICHAEL MULDOON

BEN DELGER

PHILIP MILLARD


28-30 SEPTEMBER 2021 600 Festivals | 300 Booking Agents | 1 Global Festival Hub Delegate passes now available For early marketing opportunities, contact Steve Woollett steve@iq-mag.net | +44 7469 872 279


Feature_Recruitment & Restaffing

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Recruitment & Restaffing_Feature

As businesses around the world hope for an expedited reopening, their counterparts in the UK are working toward a 21 June deadline for an end to all Covid restrictions. But with a depleted workforce, one of the biggest challenges facing companies across the board is having sufficient staff to meet demand. Gordon Masson reports.

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s promoters, venues and production companies in the UK make plans for full-capacity, non-restricted events, as early as the end of June, their peers elsewhere are watching with interest as the industry in Britain plots its way back to normality, or the ‘new normal’ as many people are calling it. A number of test events, without restrictions, have already been held, boosting confidence among politicians and medical experts and setting the scene nicely for the reintroduction of full-capacity shows. But with thousands of professionals no longer working in live events, because of a combination of redundancies, furlough measures, or, as is the case with many freelancers, finding employment elsewhere to pay the bills, the industry finds itself in a precarious position. “Catch-22 is a good way of describing it,” says Catrin Lee, ASM Global’s human resources director for Europe. “It’s about trying to find that right balance between hoping for the best but planning for the worst.” That sentiment is echoed throughout the industry, with people remaining understandably

cautious as the pandemic has provided a number of false dawns and surprise setbacks. In rare cases, such as in Sweden where the government approach to the pandemic has been very different, venues have not closed their doors. That allowed tenant sports teams to continue activities, but bookings still took a hit due to the lack of international touring. As a result, the UK’s roadmap is being keenly followed by professional bodies around the world, who are hopeful that its success may lead to an expedited return for touring. European Arenas Association president John Langford tells IQ that the subject of restaffing and recruitment is a major talking point between the association’s venues. “EAA members are closely monitoring how operations in the UK are going to handle the restaffing dilemma, given that country’s progress in the battle with Covid means that venues could fully reopen within the next month,” he says. Those charged with creating those restaffing policies in the UK are rising to the challenge. “The first few months of this was just me writing spreadsheets to work out what we need to do and what levels we work to, and then tearing it all up Magazine

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Feature_Recruitment & Restaffing and starting again,” recalls Zac Fox, chief operating officer of London-based promoter Kilimanjaro Live. “It’s been really hard to decide what to do, because sometimes by the time it comes to carry things out, everything changes and you don’t do the thing that you had planned.” Nonetheless, the dilemma that the live entertainment sector finds itself in has called for some brave decisions, with senior management at firms large and small in the supply chain acknowledging that they need to take on an element of risk to ensure they are ready to restart operations, hopefully from late June onwards. That’s certainly the case at AEG Europe, where Kirstie Loveridge, senior vice president of human resources, explains that existing staff have been given return-to-work dates, while a significant recruitment programme is under way.

“It’s not just the people, it’s the companies who have had to pivot, and they’ve found that there are some industries where they don’t have to stand their people in a muddy field, they don’t need to make them sleep in a tent for a week, and they don’t need to stand them in front of speakers. And they can go home at night,” Lenthall says. “Some of those companies are actually pulling out of the live sector, and that’s a wholesale move, so in terms of crowd management there are big issues there.” Lenthall refers to recent research carried out by the UK Crowd Management Association that warns of shortages of stewards for events, noting that many workers have found employment elsewhere in the knowledge that live events will be one of the last sectors to resume operations. “On the production side, obviously you’ve

“We’ve done masses of work around the diverse recruitment charter and hiring, because if there is ever a chance to make a change in a business, it is now” Kirstie Loveridge | AEG Europe

“The key for us was trying to give our employees who are still on furlough some certainty, so we did that and made all the changes effective 1 April,” Loveridge tells IQ. “Some people are already back, but the people who are on furlough know when they are coming back, and that was the biggest challenge in this. Some were in April, others are May, June or July, but basically we committed that by the start of August everybody will be back on full-time and full pay.” She continues, “When that was clear, we said to department heads that they could recruit back for any people they had lost – replacement hires – but a lot of those jobs won’t be needed to start immediately, so a lot will be August starts. We have a lot of recruitment out and under way, but it’s not as if everybody is hiring for roles to start on 1 June or anything – it’s all quite staggered at the moment.”

Reassuring Freelancers

While thousands of company employees found themselves furloughed or redundant as a result of the pandemic shutting down activities, the situation for freelancers who relied on live events for their income has been dire, with many finding themselves ineligible for government assistance. That dilemma has been nowhere more evident than in the production sector, although as Production Services Association (PSA) general manager Andy Lenthall observes, some operations have been able to provide alternative work related to the battle against Covid. However, that isn’t without its problems either.

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got the 80/20 split between freelance and employed, so it’s not so much about recruitment as it is testing whether your freelance database is populated with people who are available,” continues Lenthall. “From our point of view, one crew company I know is operating a red, amber, green system with freelancers: red is for people who have said they are out and not doing it anymore; amber is for those who have gone out and got another temporary job but will stop doing that as long as they can see enough work in live to replace what they are currently doing; and green is those people who are on the doorstep lacing up their boots, asking ‘When do we go?’” And Lenthall is optimistic that, in the UK, the 21 June deadline will be the catalyst for many of those crew members to get back to the jobs they love. “The promoters are at the sharp end and they’re the ones who are writing the cheques to everyone else. So if they’re feeling confident, hopefully that confidence will start to work its way down the market,” he says. Indeed, Lenthall points to PSA data to back up reasons for confidence. “We have access to the numbers of people that are buying public liability insurance, and we can use that as a bellwether for the health of the business,” he explains. “In normal times, if someone’s public liability insurance policy ends in March but their next gig isn’t until April, they will renew it the day before that gig, because it’s an annual policy. “In April 2020, renewals for public liability cover were down by 95% over the previous year.


Recruitment & Restaffing_Feature But April 2021 was about 60% of what it was in April 2019 – so you’ve got people buying cover because they have shows. That doesn’t mean to say they have work to the same level of 2019, but they do have some work that they require insurance for.” He adds, “The [UK’s] cultural recovery fund has allowed some companies to organise the socially distanced gigs that we’re seeing, and every gig needs at least one button pushed, and that’s our [production crew] boys and girls – and they might break it, so they buy their public liability cover…” But, although there is definite light at the end of the tunnel, Lenthall adds a caveat that applies to the industry across every territory. “If you have people who want to do a bit of stewarding through the summer, they are going to be leaping into the hospitality trade first, because they [hospitality] are back before live events.”

“We’re basically going to just give people the choice of where they work from and the hours they work, outside of a core set” Zac Fox | Kilimanjaro Live

A Job Seekers’ Market

With job vacancies on the increase as restrictions ease, those in charge of recruitment are finding themselves in unchartered waters. ASM Global’s Lee, who is overseeing the company’s restaffing policy across Europe, says, “We have a number of roles that we are looking to recruit, so we are going out and actively searching for people, and that recruiting process will continue over the next several months, for sure. But it’s a tough call about when you start that and press ‘go’ on that button, as you have to think about the candidate experience throughout that as well.” With the ever-present danger of a surge in Covid infections, those in charge of human resources are having to gamble somewhat. “It’s really complicated as we have no precedent for this situation,” says Lee. “Every business should have a degree of agility in its ability to be flexible, but this is just on a whole different scale.” Fox tells IQ that Kilimanjaro – like many of Deutsche Entertainment AG’s companies – has been able to keep almost all of its employees. “The flexi-furlough really helped because we still had a lot of work to do – moving concerts, dealing with customer services for all the cancelled ones – and flexi-furlough allowed us to have a lot of the team just working reduced hours,” she says. However, the company still finds itself in a situation where it is looking for new staff. “The reality is that we have a record-breaking number of shows on sale at the moment, and they all need services – we need the marketing teams to be working on them, the ticketing team needs to keep up to date with all those ticketing figures, and they’re often working with venues that are short staffed, so it’s been hard work for them. “Ultimately, we need to be in a strong position for when [the restart] happens because we’re not a company that needs to recover; we just need day one to happen and then we’re laughing.” Magazine

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Feature_Recruitment & Restaffing Competition is going to be fierce, though, across the entire live entertainment business, as many experienced and well-connected live events professionals find themselves in demand. “A lot of promoters are worried that they cut too deep and I’m sure the same is true across agencies and production companies, we well,” states Lenthall, noting that live music has always relied on personal relationships. “If you have promoter X versus promoter Y, who are always competing for band A, band B and band C, they have made people redundant who they didn’t want to make redundant, but they had to. “Bands don’t perceive a company as their agent – it’s an individual that just happens to work at this company,” says Lenthall. “The same is true for the account managers for lighting, for freight, for sound – all of those things. If that talented, affable person who gets on with a roster of clients is no longer there, people want to know where they are going to be. So whoever picks up that talent first will win out. It’s not a race to get the band to promote; it’s a race to get the talent that lands you the band.” That point is not lost on the human resources experts. “We’re recruiting at the moment and the calibre of applicants because of redundancies elsewhere is just off the scale,” reports Fox. “We’re interviewing ten people per vacancy, rather than two, because they are all great candidates. It’s a great time to recruit if you are in this industry because there are some real stars out there looking for work again.” ASM’s Lee agrees. “We know that there is a huge amount of talent out there, so there is definitely going to be competition between us, meaning people can, to some degree, consciously choose where they want to take their careers, where they want to be located, and what are they prepared to consider in their next career step.” And AEG’s Loveridge adds, “We’re recruiting now and we’re not finding any shortage of talent. We’ve found that people are really doing their homework before they accept offers now.”

The New Deal

One positive to come out of the pandemic is that very few organisations seem to expect their employees to return to their office desks for set eighthour shifts, five days a week. That’s allowing HR execs to become creative by devising new guidelines for company employees – and new hires. “We’ve decided to trial a flexible working policy when we go back, as we want to keep all the positives that people have experienced through this,” reveals Kilimanjaro’s Fox. “We’re basically going to just give people the choice of where they work from and the hours they work, outside of a core set. We’re so used to being away from each other now, but we’ve still proven we can be really effective. So, if we can have a regime where

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people can arrange their lives a bit more easily, rather than being forced to spend their time on commuting at the same time as hordes of other people, then why not?” AEG is trialling a working week that should see most people back in the office at least three days a week. Loveridge comments, “People just want something different. There’s the flexible of ‘I just want to drop my kids off at school and go to their sports day,’ and there’s the flexible of ‘I want to work at home one or two days a week,’ so we’re trying to accommodate everyone.” Lee, meanwhile, acknowledges that every employee in every country has different needs, and some of them may require retraining to refresh memories about tasks they haven’t performed for more than a year. “We have one master overview that we are using as a foundation for each venue to look at and work out what is needed for Fred or Bill or Jane to come in,” Lee explains. “If you have not done your normal day-to-day job for 14 months then your motor skills might be a little rusty. They may also feel a little bit nervous about being back in and having that whole integration with lots of different people again. Communication is going to be key.”

Training

While familiarising existing employees with their old roles will be a crucial part of the restart, bringing new hires up to speed is also a major consideration, especially while social distancing remains an element of day-to-day life. “Training is an issue, particularly because we are all still working from home,” admits Fox. “To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to go – there’s going to be a lot of ‘suck it and see’ and a bit of ‘hoping for the best,’ but we’re hopefully choosing resilient people.” Looking across ASM’s massive portfolio of venues, as well as its extensive catering business, Lee tells IQ, “We have people who have worked constantly throughout the pandemic; others have been on furlough throughout the whole period; and we’ve also had people working on a flexible basis. We’re all in the same storm, but we’re not all necessarily in the same boat. “So we have a suite of interventions that we’re looking at, such as online training, pre-reading that we can send out to people, there’s Zoom stuff we can do with people, as well as face to face. But we need to look at each role and what is the appropriate content for their training programme, and then, how do we best deliver it.” AEG’s Loveridge tells a similar tale, “We’ve pulled together a programme, which we are calling Stronger Together, which started with ‘learning at work week’ and continues through to the beginning of August when everybody, in the UK at least, is back,” she says. “For new employees, training is going to be a bit more virtual at the moment, but in the

same way that we’re approaching diverse hiring, we’ve pulled apart our on-boarding programme to make it more experiential – we’re looking at letter box gifts and we’re scrapping all things like probation periods. But if you pass your on-boarding, we’re going to plant trees and things for employees and have our own forest.” Indeed, with the reset button firmly pressed, Loveridge sums up the opportunities that she and her peers have to improve the live event industry landscape in terms of diversity and equality. “We’ve done masses of work around the diverse recruitment charter and hiring, because if there is ever a chance to make a change in a business, it is now,” she states, adding that AEG has formed partnerships with different job boards in different locations to meet those aspirations. And although the past 15 months have undoubtedly been the worst in live music business history, PSA’s Lenthall is also concentrating on the positives. “There are a lot of people coming out of degree courses without any experience whatsoever but with new ideas and with their hands on new technology,” he says. “There’s all this new technology that can be applied to what was there before to help expand the industry through new channels and across different media – just look at live-streaming, for instance. So, from that point of view, any new entrants are going to have their hands on that technology more than anyone who has been furloughed or is relying on self-employment Income Support. “This could be the most exciting time to come into live music, while everything is up in the air.”

CONTRIBUTORS

ZAC FOX | KILIMANJARO LIVE JOHN LANGFORD | EAA PRESIDENT CATRIN LEE | ASM GLOBAL ANDY LENTHALL | PSA KIRSTIE LOVERIDGE | AEG EUROPE


Hiring in the live music business?

Leading companies across the industry use the newly revamped IQ Jobs board to reach a highly targeted audience of 5,000+ music industry professionals every month. Each listing is also included in our IQ Jobs mailer, which is distributed to all IQ Index subscribers. To make sure you find the right candidate, list your next role at: iq-mag.net/jobs For more information, and discounts on multiple listings, contact ▶

Steve Woollett steve@iq-mag.net +44 (0)7469 872 279


Feature_Recovery Sessions

Following a successful debut in May – The Recovery Sessions ( ’s monthly webinars) – will return in June to examine crucial topics such as lobbying, Covid-19 mitigation, and the all-important subject of event insurance. Launched as a monthly series of half-day conferences, the aim of The Recovery Sessions is to keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening. All Recovery Sessions are free to access for IQ subscribers and, thanks to the support of ASM Global and Goodtill, are hosted on IQ’s website. The first series of sessions took place on 13 May and featured discussions about certificates and passports; test events; and an industry leaders’ panel that looked at the path back to international touring (see opposite page).

The second series will kick off at 14:00 BST on 17 June, and will consist of three hour-long discussions tackling lobbying and industry-government relations; the latest Covid-19-mitigation technologies; and the progress being made towards the return of cancellation insurance for live events (full details below). Other editions are scheduled for 15 July and 12 August, with the series continuing for as long as there is a need for discussions.

JUNE SCHEDULE: 14:00 BST

15:00 BST

16:00 BST

If the last 16 months have brought one positive thing, it’s the commercial live music business becoming more organised in speaking to governments and authorities. Prior to the pandemic, the independent and commercially successful live sector was a relative unknown in the halls of power. Now, with grants and support schemes in place, stronger relationships have been forged. So, when it comes to lobbying and campaigning, what can less engaged markets learn from their neighbours? And how important will relationships with politicians be in a post-Covid world?

With many live markets on the verge of reopening, the precautions put in place will vary enormously. From voluntaryrisk-assessed mitigations to those required by guidance, what are the latest measures that will restart live music? Our invited line-up of production specialists and industry pros presents a rundown of the top mitigation measures; the latest in testing and certification; and draws from up-to-the-minute guidance from multiple international markets.

While compensation schemes in many European markets have helped build confidence, the absence of commercial cancellation insurance for Covid-19 remains a major barrier to live music’s return. How long will this market failure endure? And when policies do return, what are the likely rates and terms that companies can expect? With an update on availability and progress across Europe and other international markets, this vital session will provide a current snapshot.

THE PRIVATE SECTOR: THE MITIGATIONS FINDING A VOICE? SESSION

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INSURANCE: THE MISSING PIECE


Recovery Sessions_Feature

The first Recovery Sessions event took place on 13 May and featured issues such as vaccine passports, the takeaways from this year’s major pilot events, and the road to recovery from the points of view of industry leaders. Guests included Melvin Benn (Festival Republic), Marsha Vlasic (AGI), John Sharkey (ASM Global), Pablo Soler (Primavera Sound), Rosanne Janmaat (ID&T), Maria May (CAA) and Dr Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems).

The Recovery Sessions videos are free to access for IQ subscribers. Click on the images opposite to access the footage.

CERTIFICATES & PASSPORTS: THE KEY TO MASS GATHERINGS? Session chair Lisa Henderson (IQ) was joined by Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems International), Danielle Kennedy-Clark (The O2), Ruth Hayat (Tel Aviv Yafo Municipality) and Hillary Cannon (myGP TICKet).

Becoming an IQ subscriber costs just £5.99 a month. For more details, click here. For more information about the Recovery Sessions, supported by ASM Global and Goodtill, contact Chris Prosser at chris@iq-mag.net.

INDUSTRY HEADS: LEADING THE WAY BACK Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn, Artist Group International president Marsha Vlasic, and ASM Global’s Europe EVP John Sharkey appeared as guests, whilst Creative Artists Agency senior agent Maria May chaired.

TEST CONCERTS: PILOTING LIVE MUSIC’S RETURN Joining chair Jon Chapple (IQ) on this session was Dr Josep María Llibre (Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol), Primavera Sound’s Pablo Soler, Festival Republic’s Luke Cowdell, and ID&T COO Rosanne Janmaat.

Magazine

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Feature_The New Europeans

THE NEW E

With the dawn of 2021, the days of UK-based touring companies operating unimpeded across Europe quietly came to an end. In this post-Brexit world, a continental operation is the latest expensive must-have, discovers Jon Chapple

W

hen the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced on Christmas Eve 2020 that the UK had signed a free trade agreement, the TCA (Trade and Cooperation Agreement), with the European Union, there was a collective sigh of relief across much of Britain. Four-and-a-half tortuous years after the Brexit vote, the UK was finally out, and people on both sides of the new border could finally get on with their lives. Well, sort of. That is, of course, unless you work in concert touring, in which case new requirements for visas (for people) and carnets (for goods), as well as restrictions on cabotage (ie the right to transport goods and people within the EU and/or UK’s borders) for trucking companies, rep-

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resented a less than ideal outcome for an industry built on decades of free movement across Europe. In response, many UK-based firms, particularly hauliers affected by the new limits on cabotage in the European Union, are investing considerable sums to open new depots in mainland Europe or the Republic of Ireland. In contrast to these ‘new Europeans,’ many in the touring sector were “sleepwalking towards Brexit day,” according to Robert Hewett, founder and director of Stagetruck. “They were just completely indifferent to it,” he says, “thinking that we’d all just carry on as it was before. I would be saying to people, ‘Look, I don’t think you should assume that. This is how we make a living; it’s our livelihood…’” However, with all touring still on hold be-

cause of the coronavirus, the impact of the TCA’s more restrictive provisions, particularly on cabotage, has yet to be felt fully, Hewett continues. “What happened with the pandemic when it hit is that it masked it [the Brexit question] for at least the next 12 months,” he says. According to Stuart McPherson, managing director of KB Event, a ‘no-deal’ Brexit – repeatedly rejected as the worst possible outcome by most live music industry associations and professionals – would have been a better option for hauliers than the TCA signed by Johnson’s government and their counterparts in the EU. “Bizarrely, for us that would have been a better outcome than the one we have,” he explains.


UROPEANS “For rock & roll touring companies there was an exemption in place, from back in 1996, that allowed entertainment transport to move freely throughout the EU. That protocol was overwritten by the TCA, which came into law with the Brexit agreement and overrode the previous exemption we had under the ECMT [European Conference of Ministers of Transport] protocols. So for us, this is the worst possible outcome.” “When the TCA was reached and the Brexit deal done, what we were left with was something that said we can no longer tour in Europe,” McPherson continues, “and so the only solution for that – as it sits right now and for the foreseeable future – is for us to open up a full European

operating centre with a European operator’s licence, which gives us more freedom in terms of cabotage and interstate movements in Europe.” As a result of that outcome, all the major UK-headquartered concert trucking and transport companies, which also include Stagetruck and Transam/EST (Edwin Shirley Trucking), are now based at least partially in the EU, or are considering a move, with offices in places like the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland serving as all-important hubs for continental operations. Under the current rules, Transam/EST will have to make a choice: “Either to become Dutch or Irish, or a bit of both, or to stay in the UK – but I can’t see the latter happening,” says senior manager Ollie Kite. “We’re going to have to re-register all our trucks, or a lot of them, into the EU, and that

The New Europeans_Feature

costs money. So we want to be able to be ready to do that, but we’re delaying it as long as possible. Because until work starts to return, we’re a bit strapped for cash…” McPherson estimates that the cost to KB Event to set up an office in Ireland – including the operations centre with parking for 60 trucks, an EU operator’s licence, and duplicate fleet insurance – is already up to £500,000 (€578,000), with European CPCs (certificates of professional competence) for KB’s drivers set to cost a further £100,000 (€116,000) – a considerable outlay for a sector that has had little revenue since March 2020. Stagetruck, which already had an office near Veghel in the Netherlands, is similarly facing a bill of between £100,000 and £110,000 (€116,000127,000) to send its drivers to the Irish republic to Magazine

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Feature_The New Europeans

“Every headline you ever saw was about fishing, but if you compare what the music industry brings in […] it’s a massive injection of income into local areas, and they seem to have bypassed it completely” Robert Hewett | Stagestruck

do an EU-certified driver CPC course, says Hewett. “All the European countries, at this moment, are standing together and saying, ‘No, unless you come and take a driving test [in an EU member state] you cannot drive a European-registered truck,’” he comments. “That is the nightmare that we’re all facing at the moment.” Kite says Transam/EST is also looking toward Ireland, to minimise the language barrier for the company’s UK drivers. “The nonsense of it is,” he adds, “is that they already know what they’re going to be taught, as the course and the exams are exactly the same as in England – just that you have to take them in Ireland or somewhere in the EU instead. Nothing’s actually changed.” Currently, explains Kite, the UK allows EU drivers to drive British-registered trucks on an EU licence, “although they’re hinting that they won’t let that continue” should it not be reciprocated from the other side.

Keep on truckin’

As Craig Stanley of Marshall Arts, who is the chair of the UK’s LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment) Touring group, told IQ earlier this year, the cabotage issue – the lack of an exemption for concert hauliers under the TCA – is by far the biggest problem facing hauliers who haven’t already made the jump across the English Channel or Irish Sea. “Unlimited movement by UK-based concert hauliers will cease,” he said. “The biggest impact of the cabotage regulations is that non-EU-based haulage companies will only be allowed to have a load going into the EU and then two further movements before having to turn back to their place of registration. So, as it stands, to undertake EU tours it will be necessary to have EU-registered hauliers.” The Road Haulage Association (RHA), the UK trade association for haulage and logistics operators, has called on Boris Johnson to secure an exemption, or ‘easement,’ from the current rules for UK-based entertainment hauliers to enable them to continue touring Europe. “If the UK events haulage industry is to have any chance of survival it needs an EU-wide easement so that trucks moving touring equipment can continue

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to make multiple stops across Europe,” says RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. Unfortunately, on the British side at least, there remain fundamental misunderstandings about the role of concert hauliers and their needs in the post-Brexit landscape, says Kite. “We’ve been lobbying for change, we’re talking to the Department for Transport, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, but they don’t really understand. They think it’s just going from A to B, dropping off a kit and then picking it up again. We’re struggling with trying to get them to understand that under the TCA we simply can’t tour like we used to. “We’re inching forward – whereas before, under other rules, cultural tours and events were exempt from the cabotage rule.” “There is a lack of understanding in government about transport,” agrees Hewett, “even more than the lack of understanding about the music industry. Every headline you ever saw was about fishing, but if you compare what the music industry brings in – what it brings to every local economy when a big band arrives – it’s a massive injection of income into local areas, and they seem to have bypassed it completely. It’s amazing.”

Teething problems

It’s not just hauliers who have been forced to set up costly EU offices to continue trading after Brexit. London-based World Touring Exhibitions, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has been forced to slim down its UK office and set up shop in Rotterdam – a reflection of visa considerations and the other expensive barriers against both UK–EU and inter-EU travel for a non-EU company, founder Corrado Canonici tells IQ. “It’s a shame, but it is necessary, as we can’t really bring UK people [to Europe] at the touch of a button, like we could before,” he says. “For example, we are about to open an exhibition in Germany – I can’t get my crew there unless I get them all visas, which would have taken an enormous amount of time and money, which makes no sense when you only need them to work five days. What sense does it make to get them a 30-day visa?” For exhibitions coming into the EU, “we have to do all kinds of paperwork – ATA carnets, rule-of-origin papers – in addition to visas for the crew,” Canonici continues, “so we just thought, ‘How about we continue to be part of [the EU]?’ Europe is 27 countries and the UK is one. So [by opening an EU office] we have 27 countries that we can serve and tour without any problems.” From a freedom of movement perspective, the political climate in the UK would never have

allowed for permit-free travel between the UK and Europe, suggests Andy Corrigan of Viva La Visa. “Anything regarding immigration would have needed a degree of reciprocity: that if we [the UK] were saying we are going to have visa-free travel, the EU would have said, ‘Well, we want it to the UK,’ and the UK – the Home Office and Boris Johnson – would have said, ‘No way.’ Anything regarding Brexit that would have led to increased immigration into the UK, they’d have said no, because of how that would play out in The Daily Mail: ‘That’s not what we voted for…’” While Corrigan believes the problems surrounding other aspects of post-Brexit touring “are soluble, it’s going to take a bit of time to make everything run smoothly. And anecdotally, things are not terribly well organised at the moment. We had a sound company went out [to the EU] on a carnet last week. I had to get them the emergency car and the two-hour special service, and they got to Folkestone and the guy there refused to stamp it. I don’t know why – he just said he couldn’t do it and moved them on. So they got to France and, because it was Ascension Day, customs was closed. There was nobody there. “It’s one thing saying you need a carnet to take your goods over. But the actual practicalities of it – the system and the infrastructure – are not all together yet. And I think you will get more random decisions being made by border people asking for the wrong things and discriminating and asking for stuff they shouldn’t, and the same coming into the UK. Hopefully, it will


The New Europeans_Feature For Corrigan, there’s “too much at stake, economically and artistically,” for the UK and EU not to get back around the negotiating table to resolve the outstanding issues facing performers, crew and hauliers. “It’s going to happen. In the past, things have been overcome,” he says. “We used to tour Europe with carnets at every border, which was a nightmare. But today’s major touring is a much more business-like activity than it was 30 years ago, and think how much it would upset the accountants if the lighting truck didn’t make it to a gig because it got stuck at the Belgian border for 12 hours…” In a scenario like the one mentioned, where promoters cannot deliver shows for which fans have bought tickets (and in many cases held onto them for a year or longer), “that’s when the pressure is going to change,” says McPherson, “from the UK trucking company shouting about the fact we can’t do what we do for a living anymore, to promoters in the EU shouting at their country’s government, saying, ‘You guys need to do something here. We can’t move our tours. Our revenue streams have dried up for us, and for our nation.’ “At that point, when the pressure is coming from the other side of the Channel, that’s when things will change.”

“If the UK events haulage industry is to have any chance of survival it needs an EU-wide easement so that trucks moving touring equipment can continue to make multiple stops across Europe”

CONTRIBUTORS

Richard Burnett | RHA

smooth itself out.” World Touring Exhibitions’ new reality was illustrated recently as the company prepared to put the aforementioned exhibition into Cologne. Canonici recalls: “All of a sudden we found out that if we were using a British company, it would have been a problem. We were told, ‘You can’t do that without a big, big cost.’ So, we used a Dutch company instead and immediately the shipper told us, ‘Oh, that’s great.’ We literally just signed one piece of paper and that was it.”

‘Make it work’

Despite this exodus of profitable business out of the UK, McPherson is of the opinion that there is little appetite on the British side for renegotiating the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, even on a bilateral basis (between the UK and individual EU member countries). “At the moment, it’s being made very clear that there is going to be no reengagement or renegotiating on the TCA,” he says. “To read into that, the message is: this is what you’ve got, and you’ve got to find a way to make it work.”

While KB Event and companies like it have already spent hundreds of thousands of euros on doing just that, McPherson remains concerned about what he sees as a fundamental lack of haulage capacity for tours in the pipeline – particularly given the number of shows that have been postponed to 2022 and beyond because of Covid-19 restrictions. “When we get to 2022 and there are not enough trucks in the EU to be able to cover the tours, you’re going to have European promoters saying they cannot deliver their tours as they have no way of moving them because 85% of trucks for touring come out of the UK.” Hewett emphasises the importance of also keeping the pressure on the government in the UK, warning that the entertainment haulage sector – especially those smaller British outfits that couldn’t afford to become ‘new Europeans’ – is facing wipe-out under current cabotage regulations. “We really need a concerted effort now, with the press, the music industry and everyone to come on board and push this issue because it could decimate this industry,” he says.

RICHARD BURNETT | RHA CORRADO CANONICI | WORLD TOURING EXHIBITIONS ANDY CORRIGAN | VIVA LA VISA ROBERT HEWETT | STAGESTRUCK OLLIE KITE | EST STUART MCPHERSON | KB EVENT CRAIG STANLEY | MARSHALL ARTS/LIVE Magazine

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New Agencies_Feature

With company doors shuttered, staff on furlough or made redundant, the pandemic has had a massive impact on the agency business. But out of such turmoil springs opportunity, and over the past 12 months, a number of new independent agencies have been launched. Lisa Henderson reports. and the Spanish agency landscape expanded with Rebel Beat Agency – all “born out of the most unlikely of scenarios,” as Arrival puts it. For the founders of Arrival, the most unlikely scenario was being laid-off from Paradigm Talent Agency in the US, along with hundreds of others. But co-founder Ali Hedrick says this turned out to be a blessing in disguise: “I’d hoped that one day I would be my own boss, but I’m not sure if I ever would have done it, so it’s kind of fortuitous that it happened and forced my hand, in a good way.” Hedrick founded the agency in October 2020 with her former Paradigm colleagues Erik Selz, John Bongiorno, Karl Morse and Ethan Berlin,

IDLES are on the roster of Mother Artists Magazine

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© Tom Ham

L

ast year presented the agency world with a raft of unforeseen hardships, from the shutdown of the concert business to widespread job losses. Faced with the choice to adapt or founder, many agents rose to the challenge of the former, ushering in a new age of entrepreneurship. Some agents banded together in the wake of redundancy and others decided to strike out of their own accord, spurring a wave of brand-new independent agencies across the globe. The UK gained Marshall Live Agency, Mother Artists, One Fiinix Live, Route One Booking and Runway Artists; the US welcomed Arrival Artists, Mint Talent Group and TBA Agency;


Feature_New Agencies

“When you want your numbers to be good, you’re thinking in a different way. Going independent has lifted a layer of self-inflicted stress that I didn’t need” Ali Hedrick | Arrival Artists

as well as Matt Yasecko, former COO of Chicago-based agency The Billions Corporation – where she previously worked for nearly 23 years. Arrival’s roster includes the likes of Everything Everything, Denai Moore, Sons of Kemet, Wild Pink, Andrew Bird, and LOMA, booking from offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle. After clocking in time at other agencies, both major and independent, Hedrick says that setting up her own shop has given her a new lease of life as an agent. “It’s made me love booking again and being an owner just feels right… all agents are entrepreneurs in their own way.” Jon Ollier, an ex-CAA agent who used the pandemic as a jumping off point to launch his new UK-based agency One Fiinix Live, echoes that sentiment: “As agents, we’re problem solvers – we make things happen – but the whole live business was being asked to just sit things out [because of Covid restrictions], and I’m not very good at doing that.” Ollier took the likes of Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, JC Stewart, Lauv and 2CELLOS to One Fiinix, which he set up following his exit from CAA in October 2020, after nearly six years at the agency. “No one single factor led me to this decision. If that was the case, I’d probably be foolish – but a major factor is the reaction to Covid-19. I’ve got young kids and I want to be able to look them in the eyes in years to come and tell them I did all I could to make sure we came out of this stronger.” A sense of fortitude is something Amy Davidman, founder and partner at US-based TBA Agency, is striving for too, after the “emotional upheaval” of the pandemic and her own redundancy from Paradigm. “I chose optimism. I choose to believe in my work and my clients and my partners, and our ability to start a company and be successful and do right by our clients,” she says. Davidman formed TBA in September 2020, alongside Marshall Betts, Avery McTaggart, Ryan Craven, and Devin Landau, to whom she felt “a natural gravitation.” The new agency has unveiled a clientele that includes The War on Drugs, Courtney Barnett, Chvrches, Tune-Yards, Cut Copy, Beirut, Guided by Voices, Jungle, Cuco, Purity Ring, José González, Tycho, Caribou, and Alvvays, operating from offices in Los Angeles and New York. “As a group, the five of us really could cover all the bases of what we needed to launch the

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company. Typically, none of our contracts would have ended at the same time so it would have been very difficult for all of us as partners to come together at the same time and launch a company,” Davidman says, pointing out the fortunate timing. Timing has been a crucial factor for Route One Booking founder Ben Ward, who says that his redundancy from United Talent Agency (UTA) in London, along with the pandemic, has provided the perfect storm in which to launch his UK-based agency. “I’d previously thought about going independent and the redundancy just accelerated things. I thought I’m not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself… I’m going to see which clients I can retain. There was nothing I could do but throw myself wholeheartedly into it,” he says. The veteran rock agent and Orange Goblin frontman launched his new booking agency in November 2020, alongside co-director Jules

Sons of Kemet are one of the acts helping to launch Arrival Artists

Chenoweth, during England’s second national lockdown. “If touring and festivals were all going ahead at the time, we would have been scrambling around trying to get things sorted in time for the summer,” he says. “But because there was nothing happening, we could reschedule shows and look to 2022 and 2023 and have time to get everything in place and bring everything up to speed.” The new agency’s roster includes the likes of influential punks Discharge, fuzz-rock legends Fu Manchu, Canadian thrash act Voivod and country artist-producer Shooter Jennings, alongside emerging acts such as King Creature, Video Nasties, Daxx & Roxane, and Blind River. In addition to bookings, Route One offers clients transport options for touring, backline, and links to digital music distribution company RouteNote, of which Chenoweth is a board member. The company also owns The Yard, a music venue in Cornwall. Like Hedrick and Davidman, Ward says that going independent has renewed his “enthusiasm and clarity” for the job, which had diminished during his time working at a major agency. “You can get really down and lose focus on what it’s all about. I had periods of that at UTA,” he explains. “If you want to be really hands-on


New Agencies_Feature Chvrches are on the roster of TBA

with your artist, then being a small fish in a big pond isn’t as good as being the big fish in a small pond. A lot of artists fail because they were swept under the carpet at bigger agencies, and I feel that a lot of agents probably felt the same way as well. “You get your big hitters at every agency who deliver millions of pounds worth of commission each year, and younger agents won’t be regarded in the same light. That’s understandable because every company is in it to make money, but the money comes secondary – it’s the artists’ satisfaction and seeing bands’ careers develop that comes first for me. I think with bigger agencies that satisfaction is lost with the pressure to deliver and keep the big wheels rolling.” Davidman, who spent three years at Paradigm, agrees that both artists and agents are at risk of “slipping through the cracks” in a major agency. “I saw the benefits at a larger full-service agency, and yet I’ve maybe felt a little bit less in control of those benefits,” she says. “I think major agencies can work for a lot of artists and managers, and then I think others really slip through the cracks. There should really just be space for everybody to be successful and have access to a lot of different opportunities. “I always really just hated the competitiveness among agents and agencies – or even agents within the same agency. I have hoped that there could be a way that we could all just say, ‘Yeah,

“I always really just hated the competitiveness among agents and agencies – or even agents within the same agency” Amy Davidman | TBA Agency

you offer that thing, and you offer that thing,’ but if a lot of people are going after the same artists it just naturally becomes competitive.” Davidman says that being her own boss has alleviated that sense of pressure and competition and has helped reaffirm her unique offering as an agent. “After we launched TBA, there were, like, a couple artists that I tried to sign that I didn’t, and I was less broken up about it than I maybe would have been before. I was, like, ‘Yeah, if this doesn’t fit what you’re looking for then cool, go and find the thing that you’re looking for, because this is what I’m doing and I’m really in it.’ Now I don’t have to wake up every day wondering what my value is or how I fit into a larger picture or what my numbers are going to be.” The pressure to hit targets and go up against peers are two things Hedrick says she won’t miss either. “You have to do projections a couple times a year at a major agency,” she explains. “You’re always looking at your numbers and when you’re

not one of the top agents at the company, there is that pressure to be doing well. There’s in-built competition. When you want your numbers to be good, you’re thinking in a different way. Going independent has lifted a layer of self-inflicted stress that I didn’t need.” One Fiinix Live’s Ollier believes the crisis of 2020 will have highlighted these issues and suggests that a paradigm shift may be on the horizon. “When the times were good, agents were being paid well and looked after by a company that seemed like it cared. But now, that whole concept has been shaken to the core. Agents need to feel a bit more like they’re in control. “The business models of the big companies are not designed to withstand a pandemic. That’s not a criticism of anyone in particular – everyone has been far too complacent,” he says. The reality is that the major agencies have a huge amount of overheads, huge numbers of staff, and they’re not really able to move quickly in terms of making decisions and engineering their way Magazine

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Feature_New Agencies out of it [the crisis]. There’s a unanimous sense that the shackles are off for these agents, and with a greater sense of autonomy each is reveling in their ability to abandon traditional ways of working and reinvent the wheel. For Ward, breaking away from an established agency has empowered him to take a more “hands-on approach.” “We have that freedom to sign the acts we want to sign – whether it’s rock and metal bands or we want to get a bit more diverse with our roster. And you know there’s no fear anymore, just opportunities,” he says. Davidman is also keen to ditch the traditional “strict rules” about who gets to work on which projects, and instead is adopting a more ad-hoc approach to TBA’s services, especially during the pandemic. “We have to be flexible about who we’re talking to and what opportunities we are putting in front of folks,” she says. “Whether that’s being open to an artist who doesn’t have a manager, or a manager who is independent but wants a team to help them with different things, or someone who’s asking for help in a realm outside of touring – those things are not what an agent would traditionally do, but we at least want to be open to these opportunities.” Ollier has had a similar vision for his agency, revealing plans to be less “departmentalised” and more focused on the people within the company. “At the moment, all I’m saying to people is,

‘How can I be supportive? Come and talk to me and let’s generate some ideas,’” he says. “Ultimately, we would like to help some people out. I’ve been helped out over the course of my career, and we all need that – no one is an island. So, what I’m saying to people is: let’s get collaborative, let’s get creative, and let’s build our way out of this, however that manifests, in a mutually beneficial way.” Hedrick, who has been an agent for over two decades, is looking forward to diversifying Arrival’s workforce and mentoring aspiring agents – something she’s never had the chance to do before. “[Arrival Artists] could easily just hire the people we’ve worked with before – that have done the job and that we know are fantastic – but we’re doing our due diligence to make sure that we include a more diverse set of people. We’ll probably even hire some people who haven’t done the job before that we need to train,” she says. Hiring is also top of the agenda for Natasha Bent, who left Paradigm in December 2020 to set up UK-based artist management and live agency Mother Artists, along with her brother Mark Bent. “We’re ripping up the old-school contracts and the old-school way of working, and really trying to be diverse in not only who we work with but who comes on board in our team,” she says. “It’s not only about clients but it’s about us and creating a company that – in my mind, wherever I’ve gone – I always thought should exist. A place where ourselves, our families, and

Route One’s clients include punk legends Discharge

those who decide to join in the future, are really well looked after,” she says. Another thing that was important to Hedrick was the implementation of a profit share for all the employees at the company. “I want to make sure that we share the profits with all employees so they can buy a home someday and show that not everybody at the company needs to become an agent to make decent money. If the company has a banner year and profits, that will be spread throughout the entire company,” she says. As for the sense of cut-throat competition that each agent has referred to: that has been replaced with a desire to collaborate – something Hedrick chalks up to the pandemic, “which made us all a little bit softer and nicer to each other because we’re all in this together.” The Arrival Artists boss says she has calls with new agencies including Mint and TBA on a regular basis, as well as weekly meetings with UK agency ATC Live, with whom Arrival has formed a strategic partnership to “facilitate dynamic global representation for shared artists.” Davidman, meanwhile, hopes that this new spirit of collaboration will not only better the agency world but the industry as a whole. “The agency world should not be so divided, fighting over power,” she says. “We should collaborate and use the collective power to try to figure out the important things, like how to break down systemic racism within the music industry.” Welcome to a brave new agency world…

CONTRIBUTORS

NATASHA BENT | MOTHER ARTISTS AMY DAVIDMAN | TBA AGENCY ALI HEDRICK | ARRIVAL ARTISTS JON OLLIER | ONE FIINIX LIVE BEN WARD | ROUTE ONE BOOKING 42

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In a world previously dominated by US-centric showbiz magazines, IQ was a breath of fresh air, giving a European and international view of the world of the music biz. Written without resorting to hyperbole, as so often is the case in this business, it’s been an invaluable read for the past 17 years.

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