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Anna Sjölund’s Quarter Century LOUD & PROUD 12 Rising Stars To Watch STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Diversifying Live’s Workforce LIVING LA VIDA LOCAL

Explosive Growth In Latin America BOOMING BEATS Electronic Music Report 2024


Loud and Proud

Profiling 12 of the priority queer acts on the rosters of our partner agencies

The LGBTIQ+ List 2024

Twenty queer pioneers who are changing the live music industry landscape

The Solutionist

ASM Global director Anna Sjölund celebrates 25 years in music

Rave New World

DJ Mag editor Carl Loben examines the trends shaping the global electronic music scene 52 Strength In Numbers

Gordon Masson talks to some of those driving diversity, equality and inclusion in the live entertainment hiring process

Living La Vida Local

Adam Woods visits some of the diverse territories that make up the vibrant, everexpanding Latin American tour circuit


We Need More A-Spec Representation

Zoe Maras shares her experience of being asexual, and living authentically

Drag Isn't Dangerous

Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 details the ramifications of proposed anti-drag and LGBTIQ+ legislation in the United States 76

Members’ Noticeboard

ILMC members’ photographs 78 Your Shout

What would your drag name be, and why?

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32 22 46 58 NEWS 06
Index In
last month 08 Analysis
around the live music world
The main headlines over the
and news analysis from
Magazine 3 ILMC
Cover image: Madonna, The Celebration Tour, Rio © Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
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Taylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November 2023 © AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

The resurgence of the touring sector has prompted Goldman Sachs to raise its forecast for the global music industry, projecting overall revenue growth of 7.9% year-on-year in 2024.

In the latest edition of its Music in the Air report, the investment bank and research firm said it expects the business to sustain that rate of growth throughout the decade, citing the performance of the live market, which is now 20% above pre-Covid 2019 levels. The segment achieved net revenue growth of 25% in 2023 –hugely outperforming its forecast of just 6%.

“This is driven in our view by a strong schedule that featured many artists who had not toured since pre-Covid, in particular Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, driving both attendance (owing to larger venues) and pricing power (due to perceived scarcity of these artists in the shortterm),” states the report.

“This also once again demonstrates the resilience of concert spending amidst elevated inflation and pressure on consumer spending and the growing structural demand for experiences, particularly amongst Gen Z and Millennials.”

Goldman Sachs is predicting live music to be worth $35.1bn in net revenues this year, increasing 47.3% to $51.7bn by 2030, while also raising its CAGR forecast up to 2030 by approximately 1.6 points to 6.6%.

The buoyant forecast is supported by Live Nation’s latest record quarter. Revenue rocketed 21%

year-on-year to $3.8bn in Q1 2024, leading shares in the company to rise almost 10%. Although the company posted an operating loss of $37m for the three-month period, fan growth was up 21% to 23m fans, AOI increased 15% to $367m, and sponsorship revenue leapt 24% to $211m.

Approximately 77m fee-bearing tickets were sold, driven by double-digit growth in international markets.

“Our Q1 results demonstrate that live events remain a priority for fans around the world,” says Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino. “Global fan demand is stronger than ever, more artists are out on the road, and more venues are being added to bring them together.

“While operating income will be impacted by one-time accruals, we’re on track to deliver another record year with double-digit AOI growth and years of momentum still to come.”

The firm says the leading indicators point towards another record year in 2024, with ticket sales for arena and amphitheatre shows and confirmed shows for large venues up double-digits and over 85% of full-year shows at large venues booked.

“We are seeing no weakness,” president/CFO Joe Berchtold told investors on the firm’s earnings call. “The things that we look at that give us an indication of how the shows are selling, how the fans are spending when they go to the site, all continue to be very strong.”

Meanwhile, CTS Eventim’s share price hit an all-time high of €83.6 as the pan-European tick-

eting and live entertainment giant confirmed its 18th record year of revenue since its IPO in 2000. Annual revenue was up 22% in 2023, surpassing €2bn for the first time to reach €2.4bn, while normalised EBITDA increased at 32% to reach €501.4m.

Ticketing, up 32% to €717.3m, was the main driver thanks to demand for tours by the likes of Taylor Swift, Rammstein, Apache 207, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, and Paul McCartney.

“These excellent results are proof that live entertainment is once again driving the arts and creative sectors,” says CTS chief Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

Elsewhere, DEAG’s preliminary figures for the 2023 financial year showed mixed results, with ticket sales up by 10% but profits flat and revenue down. The German live entertainment company indicated consolidated revenue of approximately €334m in the financial year 2023, a 5.11% drop from €352m in the previous year. In the pre-Covid year of 2019, it totalled €197m.

Nevertheless, the company achieved its forecast target of over 10m tickets sold, up from 9m in 2022. For the current financial year 2024, DEAG expects an increase in tickets sold to around 11.5m.

“Our ticketing is a dynamic driver of our growth,” says incoming CEO Detlef Kornett. “We are selling a steadily increasing number of tickets via our strong platforms and generating high margins. Accordingly, further sales growth and high profitability are our declared goals.”

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8 Analysis
“There is nowhere near enough a-spec representation in the music industry”


When I realised I was asexual, everything around me clicked into place so rapidly that truthfully, I was overwhelmed. But through the overwhelm, there was content because finally everything made a lot more sense.

My name is Zoe, I am a 26-year-old asexual, sober, gender diverse, CALD [culturally and linguistically diverse] music lover and tour manager based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia.

According to the LGBTQ+ Centre of UNC, the definition of asexuality is “a term used to describe someone who does not experience sexual attraction toward individuals,” which for context’s sake I will include, however, I don’t entirely feel any definition on the topic is as simple as that.

Every a-spec person I know is vastly different, and asexuality also has several subcategories that someone can identify with, and as such, sometimes I find that the general definition can be both restrictive and misinformative.

When I tell people I am asexual, for the most part, I am met with a positive response because a lot of my network is queer, however sometimes, directly or indirectly, I’m met with a pity party, judgement, and stigma, which can unfortunately seep into my work.

education, and genuine, judgement-free curiosity.

I believe that there is nowhere near enough a-spec representation in the music industry, partly because sometimes it still doesn’t feel safe to be out and because there is not much of an invite to represent to begin with.

Simple changes can be made, however, to make sure that the needs of asexual music industry workers are being met, including active efforts to hire more ace (asexual) people and include their perspectives on panels at conferences, backstage, in crew, and in other appropriate professional settings, for example. Further change and allyship can also be made by reading literature, watching videos on the topic, and donating to an ace-centric charity, for example. You can also look around your network and see if there are any asexual people. If there isn’t, how can you be more welcoming of asexual people? Ask that question truthfully, even if it means sitting in discomfort, unlearning nuance, bias, and other judgement.

Quite frequently I see people’s faces drop, am met with ignorant and offensive remarks, and can almost immediately spot the difference in treatment before and after I disclose to people that I am asexual.

I do believe that, with the stigma around asexuality and the widespread issue of sexual harassment and abuse of power in the music industry, specific professional opportunities haven’t eventuated – even though I am more than capable and qualified.

Additionally, my asexuality can unfortunately get in the way of creating and maintaining genuine personal and professional relationships, both due to the stigma and taboo nature of compulsory sexuality and asexuality, as well as the intentions of individuals who try to get away with the aforementioned abuse of power.

I am a qualified and legitimate music lover and worker, and while it is a shame that my asexuality can sometimes affect opportunities, what matters more is that I am living authentically; and when I live authentically, I naturally attract others who are also living authentically, too. From there, I can clearly gauge who is around me for the right reasons. So how do we change the narrative for a-spec people? Through conversation,

I am a firm believer in the importance of representation. Representation matters, and I believe that if you can see it, you can be it, and if you can see that language and community exists, you can literally save lives. I don’t think I’d be openly queer if it wasn’t for other a-spec people talking about their existence, and it’s grim to think that without representation, community, and things such as a-spec-specific terminology that I could have remained in a dark, confused, and isolated place, both personally and within the music industry.

I hope that by being out as ace in the music industry, I can show people that their a-spec existence matters and is welcomed, regardless of other people’s opinions about asexual people. I hope that telling my story can help you or someone you know understand more about people like me or maybe start your journey of self-discovery as well.

I dedicate this piece to the a-spec community. I think that it is radical that we exist because it challenges all that is fed to us about how relationships should look. We naturally go against the grain and that is game-changing. We exist and that’s enough. May we continue to blaze our own trail, exist in and amongst chaos and discomfort, and challenge societal nuance by simply existing.

Zoe Maras is Founder & Artist Services at 97 Joyride Agency

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14 Comment


is again shining a spotlight on some of the fastemerging and noteworthy queer acts and artists to pay close attention to. This year, we have extended our Loud & Proud profiles to include a dozen acts for your consideration, with thanks to their representatives at ATC Live, CAA, Earth Agency, Midnight Mango, One Fiinix Live, Playbook Artists, Primary Talent, Pure Represents, Queer Artists Agency, Solo, UTA, and WME for highlighting their 2024 activities.


AGENT Frederik Diness Ove | Queer Music Agency

Asbjørn started his own label – at only 19 years of age – to enable him to keep creative control, and his visionary music videos have so far gained more than 8m views. He appears on tastemaker blogs (DIY Magazine, The Line of Best Fit, and Highsnobiety), and his songs have been featured on Germany’s Next Topmodel on prime-time national TV.

But even with a tour schedule of festivals and headliner shows, he still manages to play more than 50 concerts a year in high schools, where he talks to teenagers about sexuality and identity freedom.

Asbjørn’s most recent LP, Boyology (2022), included collaborations with PC Music’s Danny L Harle (Charli XCX, Caroline Polachek, Dua Lipa), and Planningtorock (Lady Gaga, Robyn, Romy) and was released via Embassy of Music, where Björk, Robyn, and Moby are label mates. The follow-up album project is expected to land later this year.

Having performed at SPOT Festival in Aarhus in early May, Asbjørn is confirmed for Roskilde Festival this summer, while Queer Music Agency has also secured him slots at various Pride events in the coming weeks.


AGENT Jess Kinn | One Fiinix Live York-born Beth McCarthy combines pop melody with a rock edge to tell the stories of a 20-something trying to understand love, friendship, and all the feelings that come with it. Beth has one of the loudest voices in the UK LGBTIQ+ community and uses her music and art to be heard. In that respect, she takes influence from the likes of Avril Lavigne, Miley Cyrus, and P!nk while sharing a lot of the same fans as FLETCHER and Reneé Rapp in the UK and across the world.

Beth exploded on the Internet in 2021 with hit single She Gets The Flowers, which gained over 30m streams. Two of her more recent singles What Do You Call It? and She's Pretty – both part of her new EP IDK How To Talk To Girls – captured the attention of millions on social media, with over 1m followers and over 80m views.

After a sold-out UK tour last year, Beth is travelling around the UK and Europe with her IDK How To Talk To Girls tour in May, in a run that will be four times larger than her last outing and which sold out in a matter of days. Her summer will include UK festival appearances at the likes of BBC R1’s Big Weekend and Mighty Hoopla; iconic EU festivals including Pinkpop in the Netherlands; and Pride events around major European cities.

2024 is proving to be an exciting year for Beth McCarthy, with her 170,000 DSP followers, the 11,700 members (and growing) on her broadcast channel, and millions of social media followers eagerly anticipating what this ‘bi-con’ has planned.

Feature Loud & Proud 16


AGENT Paul McGivern | Playbook Artists

Brimheim means home of the breaking waves, and just like her namesake, Danish/Faroese Helena Heinesen Rebensdorff has quickly made an impact on the scene. In the last three years, she has established herself as a force to behold – musically, lyrically, and as a live performer.

Championed by radio station KEXP, out of the back of the pandemic, Brimheim shot to success in Denmark with standout performances at Roskilde and performed at EU festivals such as Reeperbahn and Iceland Airwaves, becoming a leading light in the Nordic queer music scene.

Described as the illegitimate love child of PJ Harvey and Caroline Polachek, the artist possesses an emotional darkness and a sense of mystique that seduces through catchy pop choruses, melodies, and anxious vulnerable lyrics that are also full of humour and hope.

The debut full album, can’t hate myself into a different shape, released in 2022, received international acclaim, and was one of KEXP’s top albums of the year. Earlier this year, Brimheim released album Ratking from which singles Literally Everything and Brand New Woman have won critical acclaim and has drawn comparisons with Self Esteem and CMAT.

In May, Brimheim is touring Germany, Netherlands, France, and the UK. She will then be performing at a number of festivals this summer before embarking on an extensive tour of Denmark in October and November.


AGENT Rich Quarterman | Midnight Mango

Evangeline Gentle is a Scottish-Canadian, folk-pop songwriter and vocalist based in Ontario, Canada. Contemplative and affecting, Evangeline’s lyrics evoke lush emotional landscapes and seek to unite audiences with a sense of “sameness.”

A celebration of queerness and queer culture is woven throughout Gentle’s 2023 album Where The Diamonds Are, best heard on singles Gay Bar and Bad Girls. On this, she says, “While many have never been to a gay bar, most know the euphoria of getting dressed up to go out dancing with friends. We are inextricably connected by our shared emotional human experience. I love that songs remind us of this.”

Her 2020 debut self-titled release earned international praise. She appeared in Forbes and received radio play on BBC, CBC, SiriusXM, and more.

Evangeline supported headliner Donovan Woods at the 2021 Mariposa Folk Festival in Canada, with other standout performances including Maverick Festival (UK) and Static Roots Festival (DE) in 2022. She has supported acts such as Kathleen Edwards, Whitehorse, Terra Lightfoot, Craig Cardiff, and Sarah MacDougall.

Her 2024 schedule includes shows at Deepdale Festival in Norfolk (UK), plus a soon-to-be-announced UK tour with dates in London, Leicester, Stoke, and Sheffield across September and October, with agent Rich Quarterman still looking to fill avails on 28, 29, and 30 September.

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Loud & Proud Feature Magazine 17

Say hello to our latest cohort of queer pioneers who are making an impact in the international live music business and beyond. Our fourth annual LQBTIQ+ List is here, just before June’s Pride month begins.

This year’s top 20, as nominated by our readers and verified by an esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for a more diverse and inclusive industry. Without further ado…

Feature LGBTIQ+ LIST 2024 22
LIST 2024



EU programming director

ASM Global

Stockholm, Sweden

See Sjölund’s 25th-anniversary feature on page 32.



CEO / board director / consultant / talent manager / DJ

Whole Entertainment / RossPatelCo / MMF / UMA Ent / Polyamoross London, UK

Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2024.

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of leading an initiative with the brilliant Carol Scott (Live Green Chair / Tait) and a diverse working group of stakeholders from across the industry to draft sustainable clauses for live booking contracts. Carol, myself, and Tom Schroeder (who has been instrumental in getting the clause to the major agencies) presented the work on a panel at the GEI conference – that felt pretty significant.

As a manager, what’s your most pressing challenge in the industry right now?

The majority of people in the industry are in a very hard position due to rising costs across the board, the general cost-of-living crisis, megastars taking all the money and giving very little back comparatively, and having a UK government that doesn’t care for the arts. I’d like to see the work that’s going on with ticket levies (whereby stadiums and arenas contribute a small portion of sales to local grassroots music organisations) get over the line.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.

Putting in the effort to view things through an intersectional lens as often as possible feels like a great place to start. We’re lucky enough to have brilliant organisations tackling certain ‘isms’ such as, Attitude is Everything, the Trans Creative Collective, and the Black Music Coalition delivering ‘bottom-up’ change. Now we need tangible ‘top-down’ systemic change to protect those most vulnerable in society to create a culture where everyone feels safe and can thrive.


Venue director

The O2

London, UK

Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2024.

The work we’ve done around accessibility at The O2 is fantastic, and our staff and partners have wholeheartedly thrown themselves into it. The teams at The O2 have really engaged with this project, and we’ve already had feedback from guests who may have previously been nervous or skeptical about attending a large venue, thanking us for making their experience so seamless.

What challenges are you currently facing in the venue business?

Recruitment for hourly event staff remains a big challenge for our industry, particularly amid the cost-of-living crisis and off the back of the pandemic. Our event teams are the face of our business and having a skilled frontline workforce is absolutely key to us delivering a great guest experience.

How do you promote inclusivity in your workplace?

Our Pride Employee Network Group is brilliant at this. I am one of the group’s leads, and over the past few years, we’ve run a range of events geared towards allyship, inclusion, and education. From more serious talks and webinars about personal experiences of being in the queer community to our latest Drag Bingo night with Miss Aisles earlier this year (which was epic!), I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and we’ve got lots more to come this year…

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LGBTIQ+ LIST 2024 Feature Magazine 23


Latin America’s rise up the ranks has seen it go from backwater to wild west to a number of must-visit territories boasting ever-expanding tour routings that are attracting multi-billion dollar infrastructure investments. And even when economic woes hit hard, as they regularly do, live music continues to prosper. Adam Woods reports.

It’s easy to forget, in times of sold-out stadiums, gleaming new arenas, and heavyweight tours that surge through multiple cities in multiple countries across the entire region, that Latin America wasn’t always like this.

“In days gone by, when I first


started working in the region, a tour of Latin America would often be five shows,” says Bruce Moran, Live Nation’s long-serving president, Latin America. “It would be Mexico City, São Paulo and Rio, Santiago, and Buenos Aires, then they’d call it a day and fly back to London or Los Angeles.”

It’s not like that now, as travelling Anglo giants devote weeks and months to thorough explorations of Latin America, while Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Argentina lead the line in propagating their own mainstream stars, from Bad Bunny to Karol G to Peso Pluma to Duki.

“Artists are prepared to devote more time to the region now, and we are all the better for it”
Bruce Moran | Live Nation Latin America

Even in a year that is witnessing a relative easing-off in many territories, amid an austerity-driven slump in Argentina and economic caution elsewhere, you don’t need to look back far at all for snapshots of a musical boom time.

Take your pick from the star-studded ‘Glastonbury meets Disneyland’ 2023 debut of The Town in São Paulo, or Mexican-Puerto Rican star Luis Miguel’s 20 sold-out arena shows in Buenos Aires and Santiago last August and September to open his 2023-24 tour – a jamboree that later returned for nearly 50 more stadium and arena shows across the entire landmass.

Or you might go for Los Fabulosos Cadillacs playing before 300,000 in Mexico City’s Zócalo square last summer for a record-breaking free show; or Madonna, just the other week, playing to a million on Rio’s Copacabana Beach.

In other words, Latin America is a big, diverse place, and from Mexico City down to Buenos Aires, from Puerto Rico to São Paulo, it has gone madder than ever for music in the past few years.

Over the past half-decade or so, a huge region with just a handful of purpose-built arenas has acquired an entire network of them, from the phenomenally busy Movistar Arenas of Buenos Aires, Bogotá, and Santiago to the Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay; Arena 1 in Lima, Peru, and Coliseo Voltaire Paladines Polo in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

There are more coming, too, including a new 20,000-cap arena in São Paulo, an arena in the Colombian second city of Medellín and, it is rumoured, new halls in Guatemala and Lima. A happy combination of audience demand and an ever-intensifying supply of

arena-fillers from Latin and Anglo talent pools have made the case.

“We have expanded the map,” says Moran. “Artists are prepared to devote more time to the region now, and we are all the better for it. And with the increased show volume, there’s been an improvement in the quality of production we are able to source locally throughout the region. Artists are not concerned that you are not going to be able to secure the right stage system for them in these countries, because we do.”

As the regional opportunity has become ever-more evident, promoters have bulked up to meet it. Live Nation has become the region’s leading operator, having acquired Mexican market-leader OCESA in 2021, Argentina’s DF Entertainment in 2018, Chile’s DG Medios in 2019 and, through OCESA, Colombia’s Páramo Presenta in 2023, while building its own market-leading business in Brazil under Alexandre Faria.

“We have a great group of very smart promoters,” says Moran. “It’s been fun.”

And increasingly, other giants are rolling in. In March, AEG Presents made its biggest Latin move to date, acquiring an undisclosed stake in the powerful Latin entertainment company Cárdenas Marketing Network (CMN). Chicago-based CMN, which is the power behind the ongoing Luis Miguel tour, has ascended to the upper ranks of global promoters in recent years, promoting tours by Marc Anthony, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, and others.

Likewise, Move Concerts, the region’s biggest independent, based in Miami with offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, and Puerto Rico, goes

Live Nation promoted back-to-back shows with TWICE at Allianz Parque in São Paulo earlier this year Thousands of professionals read IQ every day. Make sure you get the whole picture… SUBSCRIBE HERE


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