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Issue 59

An ILMC Publication. May 2015


Contents IQ Magazine Issue 59

News and Developments


6 In Brief The main headlines over the last two months

8 In Depth Key stories from around the live music world

30 Techno Files

Revealing the hottest new technology in live entertainment

Features 16 ILMC 27 Report Full review of the conference weekend


32 International Festival Forum New event focuses on linking festival organisers with agents

34 The Man Behind The Curtain Ossy Hoppe celebrates his 65th birthday – and 60 years in showbiz

50 Not So Lonely Chris Austin visits the crew behind Sam Smith’s ever-extending international tour

56 Middle East


Adam Woods maps the shifting sands of the live entertainment business in the Middle East

Comments and Columns 12 Time for Venues to Lead the Way Olivier Toth outlines strategies to help develop emerging talent

14 A Country Worth Touring Nuno Saraiva provides insight into Portugal’s live touring circuit

50 56

15 Tour Management Andy Inglis debunks the myths of tour management

66 Your Shout What were your favourite moments at ILMC 27?

IQ Magazine May 2015



Mercury Rising


The prospect of warmer weather and cloud-free skies have Gordon Masson looking forward to festival season... It doesn’t feel like ILMC 27 ended only a few short weeks ago, but as us northern hemisphere inhabitants intermittently enjoy some warmer weather and look optimistically toward a glorious summer of music festivals, it’s been fun to look back at the cold, dark days of March and the various discussions and events that took place at the Royal Garden Hotel. If you weren’t at ILMC 27 (or you simply can’t remember everything that happened), then our in-depth report on pages 16-28 will give you an idea of what you missed, or help jog your memory, while for more extensive coverage and several hundred photos of the proceedings, then be sure to visit Given that ILMC takes several months of planning, but is over in just a few days, it gives us mortals toiling away in IQ Towers a sliver of an idea of just what the festival gods do on an annual basis to organise weekend pockets of hedonism. And for those of you working in the festival business, we have news of a brand new conference especially for you. The International Festival Forum (see page 32) will make its debut in London this October, with its unique selling point being that it places bookers in the same room as the agents they desperately need to speak to – and the partner agents will use the event to showcase festival-ready talent to festival promoters exactly at the time they want to be securing acts for the next year’s events. Speaking of promoters extraordinaire, I was lucky enough to recently spend a few hours in the company of one of the best – Ossy Hoppe – ahead of his 65th birthday, which he celebrated in late April. Maybe

IQ Magazine May 2015

it’s the fact that he drives his car at light speed that keeps Ossy from ageing, but to learn about everything he’s crammed into his life, so far, then our special feature (see page 34) is a must-read. It’s only a pity that some of Ossy’s best stories cannot be published, in order to protect the guilty. If we included them we’d also need to double the size of the magazine, mind you. At the other end of the age spectrum, British singer-songwriter Sam Smith celebrates his 23rd birthday this month – and what a party that should be, because in the past year he’s gone from playing 200-capacity rooms right up to arena shows in the US. Visiting one of the final dates on the sold-out European leg, Christopher Austin spoke to Smith’s key crew members, agents and promoters to hear about that success (see page 50). And with the artist’s fan base growing faster than anyone could have imagined, I reckon it won’t be too long before IQ is running a report on a Sam Smith global arena tour. And finally, in this bumper issue of your favourite two-lettered live music trade magazine containing the letter Q (and the letter I), our international markets expert, Adam Woods, takes a look at business across the Middle East (page 56) and reports that despite some challenging times, the region has recently hosted its biggest ever shows, and optimism seems to be pretty widespread. And on that sunny, sandy note, I’ll wish you all the best for the weeks between now and issue 60 in July, by which time festival fever will hopefully be infecting fans everywhere and you will be enjoying another stellar summer.

IQ Magazine Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag


ILMC and Suspicious Marketing


Gordon Masson

Associate Editor Allan McGowan

Marketing & Advertising Director Terry McNally


Martin Hughes

Sub Editor

Michael Muldoon

Editorial Assistant Susanna Moro


Chris Austin, Andy Inglis, Nuno Saraiva, Manfred Tari, Olivier Toth, Adam Woods

Editorial Contact

Gordon Masson, Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303

Advertising Contact

Terry McNally, Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0304

To subscribe to IQ Magazine: An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).



In Brief... March

Live Nation signs a deal with Pepsi whereby its drinks will replace CocaCola’s at 75 Live Nation venues, as well as upcoming concerts in a new multiyear deal. The deal also includes a presence at festivals such as Lollapalooza. Mike Porcaro, bassist for Toto for more than two decades, dies aged 59, following a long battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Porcaro replaced original Toto bassist David Hungate in 1982, but retired from touring in 2007 due to complications from his disease. The House of Lords approves amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill that will require resellers of event tickets in the UK to include certain information as part of the transaction, including seat number, face value and any restrictions on the resale of the ticket. A jury awards Marvin Gaye’s heirs $7.4million (€6.8m) after finding Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams guilty of copying music from the late soul singer’s hit Got To Give It Up when they wrote Blurred Lines, one of 2013’s biggest songs. The O2 arena in London announces that it has sold its 15 millionth ticket. The building, which opened in June 2007, has consistently been the most popular live music venue in the world, with research conducted by Media Insight Consulting claiming that 30% of the UK population has attended The O2 complex at least once. Live Nation acquires Sweden-based Stureplansgruppen Live (SGP) to boost its portfolio of EDM festivals. SPG operates the Summerburst Festivals in Stockholm and Gothenburg and has booked acts including Avicii, Martin Garrix and Axwell & Ingrosso for this year’s events. The ability of televised performances to boost album sales is underlined by the artists playing at this year’s Brit Awards in London. Royal Blood, Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Madonna, George Ezra and Ed Sheeran all see sharp sales spikes following their appearances. GetMeIn, Seatwave, StubHub and Viagogo agree to cooperate with the UK’s


Usher, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Deadmau5, Kanye West and J. Cole were among the artists who joined Jay Z for the launch of streaming service, Tidal

Competition and Markets Authority, after new legislation is drafted to clamp down on secondary ticketing operations. Among the proposals included in the new law would be that ticket resellers would have to provide an email address in case things go wrong for the buyer, with fines of up to £5,000 (€6,980) for sites that do not comply. A group of artists including Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, Madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White and Nicki Minaj launch a new streaming service called Tidal, which is described as the first artist-owned platform for music and video. StubHub files a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Ticketmaster claiming the ticketing giant uses anti-competitive business practices that drive up ticket prices and keep fans from selling tickets through rival platforms. The lawsuit cites basketball team Golden State Warriors, alleging it and Ticketmaster cancel fans tickets when they use StubHub and other exchanges to resell tickets. Paul Fenn, co-owner of the Londonbased Asgard agency, is presented with the Industry Champion Award by the Music Managers’ Forum in recognition of his work with The Agents’ Association and the Concert Promoters Association. Among other winners at the annual awards ceremony are Ed Sheeran and Stuart Camp (Artist and Manager Achievement Award); and Queen manager Jim

Beach, who collects the Peter Grant Award for outstanding achievement. Kylie Minogue ends her relationship with Jay Z’s management company, Roc Nation, amidst speculation that the Australian pop diva is unhappy about sales numbers for her latest album Kiss Me Once.


Deutsche Entertainment AG files a lawsuit against the owners of the Nürburgring racetrack where it planned to launch its Green Hell Rock festival, claiming breach of contract. Track owner Capricorn acknowledges the dispute but is reportedly unhappy about slow ticket sales for the event, which is subsequently moved to the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen and renamed Rock Im Revier. Live Nation Australasia agrees a threeyear deal with Europcar to be its official car-hire partner down under. The agreement gives Europcar customers access to VIP ticketing and other perks. The under-construction 20,000-capacity Quebec City Arena will be jointly operated by facility management company Sports & Entertainment Group (SEG) and AEG Facilities when it opens later this year. Under terms of the eight-year deal, AEG Facilities will run event programming, purchasing, vendor management services and event-day operations, while AEG Live will work with SEG to book the arena.

IQ Magazine May 2015


Cris Hearn

ILMC launches the International Festival Forum, which aims to help strengthen the relationship between event organisers and agents. The London-based event will be held 30 September to 1 October and will feature partner agencies such as Coda, The Agency Group, Primary Talent, X-ray Touring, and the Leighton Pope Organisation, who will showcase festival-ready acts to promoters from around the world (see page 32). The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) says sales have reached a tipping point, as revenues from digital music services now outstrip those from physical format sales. Digital sales rose to $6.9billion (€6.3bn), or the equivalent of 52% of global music sales, in 2014, when a 39% increase in subscription revenues offset an 8% decline in download sales, to drive overall digital revenues. UK collection agency PRS For Music announces a review to its live music event licence fees, which have been set at 3% of gross since 1988. The consultation apparently will also seek opinions on secondary ticketing and other ancillary revenues. Australian media company Nine Entertainment sells its live events companies Nine Live and Ticketek to Asian private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners for AUD$640m (€462m). Cris Hearn departs Primary Talent to join Coda Music Agency. Hearn represents acts including Mark Ronson, Hudson Mohawke, Kaytranada, Total-

ly Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Hot Natured, and Cyril Hahn among others. Hearn was at Primary for 13 years. A South Korean steel company loses $375,000 (€345,000) when a fraudster targets them in a scam involving a fake Pharrell Williams gig. The Federal Bureau of Investigation says Ghana native Sigismond Segbefia (28) faces charges including wire fraud, bank fraud and identity theft. He created a company called Eastern Stars to target steelmaker Dosko, who believed that he worked with a Japanese talent agency. Groupon’s live ticketing business, Groupon Events, reveals that its partners have sold more than 20 million tickets since launching its services in Europe in 2011. Those partners include AEG Live, CTS Eventim, Stage Entertainment, Phil McIntyre Entertainments, Kilimanjaro Live and Ticketmaster. StubHub becomes one of the first companies to have an app on the Apple Watch. The service allows owners of the smartwatch to search for tickets to events, while the device can also be used to store digital tickets. Independent music festivals contributed more than £1bn (€1.4bn) to the UK economy over the last four years, according to the Association of Independent Festivals. The trade body says its 50 member events generated £296m (€414m) in 2014 alone, when more than 635,000 fans attended their events. Vision Nine, promoter of the Boardmasters and NASS festivals, raises £5m

(€7m) in finance in order to create new festivals and to grow its events internationally (see page 10). Wilco take a stand against Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act by cancelling their Indianapolis tour date in protest. Critics say the law could allow businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian patrons by refusing service, prompting Wilco to state that the, “Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination”. Wall Street criticises Robert Sillerman’s plans to take his electronic dance music empire SFX Entertainment private again, at a price one analyst calls “an insult to investors”. Sillerman wants to buy back the stock at $4.75 a share – considerably less than the floatation price of $13 back in October 2013. Colombia-based CK Concerts opens a new office in Lima, Peru, as it extends its operations down the length of South America’s Pacific Coast. The company now operates in Chile, Peru, Colombia and Equador. The Music Venue Trust publishes discussion document Understanding Small Music Venues, which invites the music industry, cultural sector, government and brands to respond strategically and constructively to protect, secure and develop them. In tandem, it launches its grassroots investor scheme (see page 9). To subscribe to IQ Magazine: An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).


IQ Magazine May 2015



New Bible for Staging Sector This year’s IPM was used as the forum to launch a new guidance document on temporary structures, in an effort to keep the production sector a step ahead of controversial UK Governmentimposed regulations. The Health and Safety Executive’s revised guidelines for the new Construction Design and Management (CDM) regulations, which came into force on 6 April, have been causing consternation in the production world for months, but the Guidance for the Management & Use of Stages document has been compiled to try to provide solutions for those working in the business. The comprehensive guidance is freely available on its contributors’ websites and has been painstakingly drawn-up to help anyone who has duties under the revised CDM regs to deal with the red tape and other practicalities. Among the organisations that authored the document are leading staging companies Serious Stages, StageCo, Star Events, Acorn Event Structures, Arena Group, Capita, Momentum, Symphotech, The Event Safety Shop and the Production Services Association. Steven Corfield, MD of Serious Stages’ states, “This has been an extensive collaborative process between the major supply companies constructing temporary event structures, to arrive at a document we all believe defines working practices that are practical within live event sites.” Stageco operations director Tom Bilsen adds, “I am very happy that, as suppliers, we have collectively invested our time and expertise to arrive at an understandable, agreed, generally useable code.”


In its quest to ever increase the tour circuit in Latin America, Move Concerts utilised the ancient Incan ruins of

Huaca Pucllana in Peru for a show by Joss Stone. The soldout March concert saw the historic site’s landmark pyra-

mid, in the suburbs of capital city, Lima, used as a backdrop for Stone’s performance. Photo © Francisco Medina Effio

Movers and Shakers The Southbank Centre’s previous head of classical music, Gillian Moore, has taken up the newly created role of director of music, which will bring contemporary and classical music together into one team at the London venue, allowing it to work “more holistically and thematically” across music genres. Booking agency CAA has added Jon Ollier to its ranks. Previously at Free Trade Agency, Ollier’s stable of acts includes Ed Sheeran. He will be based in CAA’s London office. XL Video US has appointed German Perl as technical director media application and projection. After 10 years of developing leading edge technologies with XL Video in Dusseldorf, Perl joins the US operation in order to help the company’s expansion and its aim to provide complete turnkey video and presentation solutions for its clients. Meanwhile, over at UK venue chain Academy Music Group, Nikki Miles has been promoted to general manager at O2 Academy Leeds; Annelyse Paquet has taken the role of assistant general manager at O2 Academy Islington, having been deputy entertainment manager at 229 The Venue, London; and James Freeland has joined O2 Academy Bournemouth as assistant venue manager. He was previously events duty manager at Porchester Hall in London. DEAG has appointed Kai Ricke as chief operating officer and executive board member of subsidiary The former Stage Entertainment executive will work with CEO Moritz Schwenkow on the growth of the new ticket distribution platform. Academy Music Group’s promoting division, Academy Events, has added three new promoters to the team with the appointment of Sean Ryman, Joe Splain and Joe Schiavon. They join established promoter Sean Morgan and head promoter Ian Richards in promoting in excess of 700 annual events across the AMG venue estate. The Agency Group Canada has added booking agent Andre Guerette to its staff. Recognised as a leading agent in the Quebec market, Guerette launched the Guerette Agency in early 2014 and represents more than 30 artists. Showsec is gearing itself up for further expansion in the North of England with the appointment of two new area managers: Sam Hodkin in Leeds and Craig Bennett in Sheffield. Both are graduates of Showsec’s acclaimed management development programme.

IQ Magazine May 2015


Robertson Taylor Wins Queen’s Award Conference Live entertainment insurance broker, Robertson Taylor, has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of international trade. These highly coveted accolades have been recognising and encouraging the achievement of UK businesses since their inception in 1966. Robertson Taylor won the award in recognition of outstanding overseas sales growth over the last three years. In 2014, for the first time in its history, Robertson Taylor handled insurance premiums in excess of £100million (€139m) with

more than 60% being generated in international markets. Company chief executive John Silcock says the award acknowledged the company’s success “at the highest level”. Adding: “We are absolutely delighted to win a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. We work in a highly challenging sector where reputations are hard fought but easily lost, and where the sums involved can be huge.” With offices in Atlanta, London, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York, Robertson Taylor provides customised insurance and risk

management advice to more top grossing acts, tours, sporting events, theatrical productions, and all related tour support companies than any other broker in the world. Robertson Taylor has insured nine of the top ten highest grossing tours of all time, and handled 14 of 2014’s top 20 grossing tours. Silcock adds, “Our reputation is down to the hard work of our team; it is their professionalism, experience and dedication, which mean we consistently meet the needs of our clients. We’re incredibly proud of them.”

Jack Daniel’s Joins Venues Campaign Jack Daniel’s has become the first key partner to join the Music Venue Trust (MVT)’s Grassroots Investor project, with a commitment to a long-term strategy to protect, secure and develop the UK’s grass-roots music venues. Grassroots Investor is a two-phased strategic intervention into the grass-roots music circuit, designed to immediately take steps to prevent venue closures, followed by direct investment so that UK artists and audiences can enjoy the venues they deserve. Beverley Whitrick, strategic director of MVT, comments,

“A combination of low aspiration and severe under investment means we’ve ended up content to describe this sector as the ‘toilet circuit’ and accept conditions in them that reflects all that description implies. There are examples from round the world of world-class venues at this level, and through Grassroots Investor we aim to work with our partners to match those standards here in the UK. We’re delighted Jack Daniel’s have responded so quickly and so positively to this campaign and we look forward to working with them.” Jack Daniel’s senior brand manager, Michael Boaler,

Despite being a man down following Zayn Malik’s resignation from the band, One Direction continued their remarkable worldwide tour with the biggest

show ever in the Middle East. The 4 April gig at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai attracted a sell-out crowd of 32,500 fans, making UAE and Middle East his-

IQ Magazine May 2015

says, “Jack Daniel’s has always had a strong affiliation with music and we’ve been doing a great deal of work over the past few years supporting iconic small venues such as Southampton’s Joiners, Glasgow’s King Tut’s and Birmingham’s Rainbow, because we believe that music is best enjoyed live. We’re in complete agreement that a longer-term strategy is needed, rather than a quick fix, and we want to help achieve something really significant through this campaign and support the places where future legends are created in any way we can.”

tory. To mark the occasion, promoter Thomas Ovesen of Done Events, presented the band and their agent, CAA’s Mike Greek, with commemorative plaques.

Season Heats Up

Like hundreds of live music industry employees around the world, IQ staff and correspondents are clocking up the air miles at present as the crazy season for conference and showcase events gets into full swing. The Great Escape is next on IQ’s radar, when from 14-16 May, venues around the English seaside resort of Brighton host acts from around the world, showcasing their talent to promoters and bookers from Europe and beyond. This year’s gathering will see around 400 artists from around the world, performing in 30 venues, big and small, across the city. Later in the month, ILMC managing director Greg Parmley will be in Barcelona to interview ITB co-founder Barry Dickins who is this year’s recipient of the Primavera Award. PrimaveraPro (complementing the 27-31 May festival) has become an important part of the event, which this year will see country partners such as Luxembourg, Chile, Poland, Israel and Australia promoting their talent to bookers and decision makers. Barcelona will also host the annual Sónar festival from 18-20 June, with its corresponding Sónar by Day professional conference that organisers estimate will this year attract as many as 4,000 delegates and around 2,000 companies from 60 countries – a major achievement in just three years. Among Sónar’s key events will be master classes by Indy Saha on Google Creative Lab, and Richard Russell, founder of XL Recordings.



Gearhouse Academy Achieves New Highs South Africa’s production sector is benefitting massively from Gearhouse Group’s commitment to training the next generation of crew, with the majority of personnel at local events now passing through the company’s skills school. Now in its 13th year, the Gearhouse Kentse Mpahlwa Academy’s (GKMA) has had a huge impact and the institution has gathered stats to back up that success. “On any one event site we work on in Cape Town now, around 95% of the build crew are graduates,” reveals GKMA training facilitator, Lisa Smit. “Those who are not, are generally designers or management, [but] we have some highly talented up-andcoming designers and project managers on their way. Two of our graduates are already designing small events. We are headed for 100% saturation point.” The free-of-charge, one-year internship cov-

ers the areas of AV, lighting, structures, rigging and power, along with the auxiliary working at height, firefighting, first-aid and safety standards training that the company believes is the foundation for a wellrounded, entry-level technician. Students also have the option of a follow-up second year specialisation. The last couple of years have seen the academy initiative mature into a self-perpetuating cycle so that graduates from earlier years are now teaching the current batch of trainees. “There are success stories across the board, particularly in the percentage of black (87%) and female (12%) technicians last year, but our Cape Town branch has been the benchmark in terms of the number of students remaining within the industry and carrying out training of newcomers themselves,” explains training manager, Josef van Schalkwyk. Subsequent on-the-job

training within Gearhouse Group has resulted in many graduates now fulfilling senior roles within the organisation. Often the youngsters come from less-than-ideal home situations, are on the brink of making the wrong life choices and then turn around and become valuable contributors to the industry and their communities. “One of our learners had struggled for a long time to find employment and had absolutely no knowledge of our industry when he arrived at the academy,” reports Smit. “The year he graduated, I felt so privileged to have witnessed this young man take the opportunity and make something of it, that I literally wept with joy. Today he manages the lighting team on-site and works alongside the LX designers during setup. This is the kind of experience that keeps me going. My job satisfaction comes from seeing their pride in what they have achieved.”

DEAG Ring the Changes for New Festival The saga over the use of the Nürburgring as a venue for a summer festival looks set to run and run after Deutsche Entertainment AG’s initial attempts to host its Grüne Hölle (Green Hell) Rock event swerved off track. A feud between DEAG and Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK) over use of the circuit finally resulted in MLK moving the incumbent Rock Am Ring festival 30km away to Mendig Airfield, but retaining the use of the ‘Ring’ part of the name after a number of court cases. But while, according to MLK, Rock Am Ring is close to selling out, DEAG’s new weekender has been beset with problems. DEAG chief executive Peter


Schwenkow decided to move the event to the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen and rename it Rock Im Revier because of a breakdown in relations with Nürburgring’s investment group owner, Capricorn, who he claims breached contract by failing to provide its share of the festival costs. Capricorn claims it was concerned by poor sales, and media reports in Germany suggest that less than

10,000 tickets had been sold. Confirmed acts for Rock Im Revier include Metallica, KISS, Faith No More, Judas Priest, Limp Bizkit, and Incubus. At press time, DEAG insisted the stadiumbased 29-31 May festival was still going ahead, even though shareholders had been warned that the initial event could incur heavy financial losses.

Band on the Wall Has Right Attitude Manchester’s Band on the Wall has become the UK’s first small venue to be awarded ‘gold status’ for its commitment to deaf and disabled music fans. The recognition comes from Attitude is Everything – the charity that campaigns on behalf of disabled audiences and operates a nationwide charter of best practice. Placing the 320-capacity venue on a par with The O2 arena and Glastonbury Festival, the charter’s gold status is awarded to venues and festivals that have provided exemplary access provision. Having worked with Attitude is Everything for more than seven years, Band on the Wall was one of the first small-scale venues to sign up to the charter. The venue has since shown a commitment to providing an accessible environment for deaf and disabled customers, performers and staff. The venue’s projects and facilities manager, Gawain Forster, says, “Band on the Wall is a real community venue at the heart of Manchester’s music scene, so we feel it’s hugely important that the events we stage are as inclusive as possible and can involve all of the local community.” Suzanne Bull, CEO of Attitude is Everything, comments, “Gawain Forster and his team are a real example to other small venues and, by attracting a committed audience of disabled fans, proof positive of the upsides that improved access can have for a business. Even relatively small changes, such as ensuring that your website offers clear information or that staff are welcoming and properly trained, can make a real difference to disabled customers and ensure they become fans of a venue for life.”

IQ Magazine May 2015


MCT Ends Ticketmaster Deal Over Resale Links Ticketmaster’s purchase of resale platform Seatwave continues to divide opinion, with one prominent German promoter cancelling his company’s deal with the primary ticketer because of its ownership of the secondary subsidiary. Concert agency MCT pulled out of its contract with Ticketmaster Germany specifically because of its integration of Seatwave as an additional sales channel. MCT managing director Scumeck Sabottka says, “As a promoter, I would like to decide myself who is going to sell the tickets for the shows I promote.” Sabottka explains that MCT had a one-year partnership with Ticketmaster, but claims the relationship had not resulted in any increase, or decrease, in the volume of ticket sales to its shows. A vehement opponent of the resale concept, Sabottka says MCT’s stance is generally supported by the artists and management the company works with. But he admits, “The majority of people within the live music business apparently consider our efforts to ban secondary ticketing as something that makes things more complicated. But in fact this isn’t the case.” Nonetheless, citing acts such as Kraftwerk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nick Cave and Rammstein, where MCT used anti-resale terms and conditions, Sabottka says that the people who matter most – the fans – back those efforts to prevent profiteering. “They appreciate what we are doing,” he says. As part of its strategy to eliminate resales, in 2012 MCT started to issue personalised tickets for certain shows via “We can track how many people

IQ Magazine May 2015

Scumeck Sabottka

we have refused access to on the door because they bought tickets from the resale sites and we can see that some of those tickets have been resold at two or even three times the original price,” says Sabottka. “For instance, at our Kraftwerk concerts at the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the face value for a ticket was €72. But on the secondary ticketing platforms, tickets for these concerts changed hands for €198.” In neighbouring France, promoter association Prodiss successfully lobbied for laws to clamp down on the unauthorised resale of tickets – a move Sabottka would like to see copied not only in Germany but on a European basis. “I do not believe that politicians are as familiar with the subject of secondary ticketing as we are within the industry,” he states. “Even some promoters within the industry itself are unaware of how secondary ticketing is working, particularly in terms of the immoral and illegitimate resale of tickets above the face value.” Nevertheless, he concedes that some people appear willing to pay the inflated price for tickets otherwise sites such as Seatwave would not exist.

Vision Nine Secures New Funding Start-up promoter and festival organiser, Vision Nine, has secured £5million (€6.9m) in new financing to accelerate its development of new entertainment concepts within lifestyle sports, arts and music markets. The company will use the funding to create new festivals, tours and shows. The funding initiative, led by financiers Ingenious will also be used to expand the company’s growing events portfolio and to accelerate the expansion of events internationally. Run by former Mama Group founders Adam Driscoll and Philip Murphy, Vision Nine’s board also includes directors Julian and Andrew Topham, while Paul Bedford, from Ingenious, has joined the board as group finance director. The company aims to capitalise on the growing demand for lifestyle-focused live events that deliver experiences built around audience passions. Vision Nine’s existing portfolio includes the Boardmasters surf, skate and music fes-

tival; action sport and music festival NASS; and snow sport and music event The Freeze Festival. The company also promotes theatrical productions and touring shows and, in association with BBC Worldwide, is staging the first ever UK shows of the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in arenas across the country. Additionally, the company manages and delivers events on behalf of world-renowned brands including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Vans, EE and Adidas. Driscoll comments, “The live entertainment sector is in an exciting phase of development. The boom in live music has led to audiences seeking ever more engagement with live experiences. This new funding will allow us to take our IP into international markets, as well as helping us to capitalise on the many opportunities that are available to us. We are aiming to deliver substantial growth in the next few years.”

PRS Explores Increase in Live Tariffs Collection society PRS for Music has launched a consultation on the 3% tariff it levies on gross receipts of UK concerts and festivals. The eightweek review closes in June, just as many summer event organisers are in the busiest period of their year. Although the 3% rate has been fixed since 1988, in 2011 a similar review ruled out any changes. However, with a new regime now in charge at PRS, it appears the hierarchy are looking to impress their songwriter and publisher members by chasing the growth in live revenues to replace diminished recorded music monies. How-

ever, sources tell IQ that the society is also looking at other live revenue sources, such as secondary ticketing sales. Unsurprisingly, the consultation has received support from the Music Publishers Association and the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, whose CEO Vick Bain says, “The live music sector has grown immensely over the past 27 years and it is built on the foundation of the music our members write. We therefore encourage all relevant parties to express their views with open and transparent communication.”



Time for Venues to Lead the Way Olivier Toth, general manager at Luxembourg’s Rockhal arena, highlights the efforts his venue is making to help emerging artists develop their careers throughout Europe.


his year, Rockhal celebrates its 10th anniversary. In 2008, a few years after we opened our doors for the first time, we launched Sonic Visions music conference and festival, which has since evolved into our annual key event. With this initiative we combine our two main activities as a venue and concert promoter by bringing international touring acts to Luxembourg, and as a music and resources centre that assists with the development of young and emerging artists. ‘It’s all about the artist’ is its slogan and symbolises what we want the event to be: a conference and festival where the artist is the focus, where he or she can get the information and help they need to take their musical project to the next level, but also where they can network and meet the relevant people from the international music industry. It is not necessarily about quantity but about the right mix of people to ensure efficient matchmaking. Sonic Visions has grown since its first edition and is today a key event that gathers artists, music professionals and fans from Luxembourg, Germany, France, Belgium and beyond.

“The live industry not only needs its flagships, the arenas and stadiums, but also a healthy infrastructure of smaller-sized venues that provide upcoming artists with the right stage and audience to match their needs during the first stages of their career.” But ‘It’s all about the artist’ is not just a catchy slogan. It reflects a philosophy that affects not only all aspects of Sonic Visions but all the work of our venue. To listen to new music and to discover new artists is a passion we all share throughout our industry. But we know that it’s more than that, it is the core of our business. Keeping this business sustainable today has become of major importance for us as a music venue. The music industry is changing rapidly. Traditional A&R structures tend to vanish or at least become more and more short-term focused.


Artists taking the DIY route and social media are creating many new opportunities so that the self-managed artist and small indie structures nowadays are no longer an exception but a common scenario. We believe that music venues, at the forefront of the live industry, need to step in where necessary. The live industry not only needs its flagships, the arenas and stadiums, but also a healthy infrastructure of smaller-sized venues that provide upcoming artists with the right stage and audience to match their needs during the first stages of their career. We decided many years ago to become an active player in promoting emerging talent, both national and international, and to introduce this talent to an audience in an appropriate setting. As a music venue, we have had many opportunities to help develop artists due to the range of capacities we provide in our various rooms. Last autumn, we inaugurated our new venue The Floor for small shows, which means we we can now offer capacities ranging from 50-250 (The Floor and Rockhalcafe) to The Club (up to 1,100) and The Main Hall (up to 6,500). The Floor is a space with a clubby atmosphere dedicated to local bands and international emerging and developing acts. It is here that career development gets a boost having been introduced previously on the showcase stage at Rockhalcafe. Rockhal is also one of the founding members of Liveurope, the pan-European initiative of music clubs and venues that joined forces in order to promote upcoming European artists throughout its network. As a venue and promoter Rockhal works with artists at all stages of their career, actively introducing upcoming talents to a new market and working continuously with them from their first showcase through to club level and on to arena level. With its juxtaposition to the important markets of Germany, France and Belgium, Luxembourg serves as a unique hub that allows audiences to easily see bands and artists that might have already made it in one of its neighbouring territories. What makes Luxembourg so interesting is that due to its geographical situation, we promote each show in four different countries. We believe it is very important that we, as a venue and promoter, can actively contribute to raising media attention, airplay and press coverage for the artist, thus also serving as a local PR agency. When we are passionate about an act we want as many people as possible to share our discovery.

IQ Magazine May 2015


A Country Worth Touring Nuno Saraiva, manager/consultant at in Lisbon, brings us up-to-date on the state of the live music market in Portugal.


hat struck me most about the live touring circuit upon moving back, in back to Portugal (my country of birth), in 2008 were the ‘cultural centre’ theatre- and auditorium-style venues. Even at the tail end of the economic boom era of the 90s and 00s, this seemingly randomly built collection of cultural centres and municipal theatres would often pay high artist fees and charge symbolic ticket prices, more often than not losing a lot of public money in the process. An up-and-coming artist that managed to appear in the Portuguese media in the cities of Lisbon and Porto could command, for example, fees in excess of €3,000 from a series of decentralised cultural centre venues and draw only 100 or so people at €3 ticket prices – no harm done. It didn’t help that some of these venues were in sparsely populated smaller cities – how could they ever expect to break even? Don’t get me wrong: I am resolutely in favour of public funding for live music, and I find the present Portuguese government and their Troika-boot-licking, “good little soldier”, neo-liberal behaviour despicable. During their first week in office in 2011, they shut down the Ministry of Culture. Shortly after, they declared the previous government’s plans for a Portuguese music export bureau ‘illegal’. Portugal went from a culture-loving to culture-hating country. The other real problem in this cultural circuit for live music that survived roughly until the economic crisis of 2009, is the adverse effect it had on regular club venues. Because artists could perform with often-inflated fees at cultural centres that charged symbolic ticket prices for so many years, a commercial venue circuit did not really have a chance to develop nationwide; with the exception of a few proper venues in Lisbon and Porto, Portugal still does not have a live club circuit or bar circuit for young artists to cut their teeth on the road. It was all cultural centres and summer festivals – and a great place to tour during the boom years. The 90s and 00s were greatly enjoyed by a number of national as well as some international artists who toured these cultural centres and earned cash for the winter. Several international artists even moved to Portugal or bought houses here – after all, we have sun, beaches, great food and excellent red wine, at very cheap prices. With the economic crisis, Portuguese booking agents saw a consecutive three years’ worth of downturns with reductions in live income accounting for 30% drops, per year. You do the maths. The old model simply no longer works; artists either pack the cultural centres and agents become promoters, coproducing the tours, or they simply cannot survive. Is that a bad


thing? Not entirely – it is a reality check. It brings us onto the subject of how the live business is really powered – ticket sales. However, the truth of the matter is that the people and fans in many of these smaller towns, and even in Lisbon, simply have no money to fork out €10 or €20 for a concert ticket – especially given the previous cost of €2 or €3. And there is still no commercial circuit alternative to the cultural centres, since their unfair competition for years and years never allowed it to develop. There are exceptions, of course, but again, mainly in Lisbon and Porto. MusicBox Lisbon is a shining example of a good live venue with excellent professional practices and awesome programming to boot.

“During their first week in office in 2011, they shut down the Ministry of Culture. Shortly after, they declared the previous government’s plans for a Portuguese music export bureau ‘illegal’. Portugal went from a culture-loving to culture-hating country.” Even while we await the rise of a new commercial venue circuit, which most likely will come from the ashes of the cultural centres, Portugal remains a great country to tour. On one hand, the audiences are extremely faithful to the artists they love; and on the other hand, a new generation of entrepreneurs will be sure to pick up the slack and get the shows back on the road – there are cultural centres sitting empty all up and down the country. And the Portuguese new music scene has never been more vibrant, with new independent labels, artist collectives, and self-released artist success stories in every genre. Lastly, a host of new specialist festivals such as Semibreve (avant-garde electronica), Westway LAB (Portugal’s first PRO music event, with innovative international artist residencies and first proactive ETEP member when it comes to exporting new talent), Reverence Valada (alternative rock), Fusing Figueira da Foz, Bons Sons, and others, light the road ahead to a much more diverse cultural panorama. Portugal remains a country well worth touring.

IQ Magazine May 2015


Tour Management Andy Inglis has operated as a venue, artist and tour manager; he also teaches a tour management course – here he gives us a flavour of what his job entails…


’ve been asked by MusicTank to lecture on tour management, a job I learned while I did it, screwing up along the way, and doing my best to keep it from the band and crew. It’s the foundation upon which I’ve built this part of my career: TMs at the lower levels are often expected to advance, drive, sell merch, do FOH, monitors, production manage, and be the band’s security, therapist, and mum and dad. The trick isn’t to not make mistakes – you’re going to make plenty – the trick is to keep them away from the band, creating the illusion of calm and control on four hours sleep a day when your diet’s gone to pot. Bands need to feel like they can depend upon you. I’ve seen people in their 30s flounder at airport check-in desks because their TM wasn’t with them. I’ve seen a grown man men break down because someone drank a bottle of his double-hopped San Franciscan IPA that he’d been saving… Ah wait...that was me! Look, I’m 42. I’ve no shame left. So attendees of this course will hear about that time I flew a band into Manchester Airport for a festival on the wrong day, and when I booked seven flights to Berlin, then, a week later, booked them again. Or when I told

“TMing is like any other job in the world; most people aren’t that good at it if you look carefully, and all you need to do is be better at logistics than four musicians.” the band their backline tech had to leave to fly home half way through their show, five minutes before they went on. TMing is like any other job in the world; most people aren’t that good at it if you look carefully, and all you need to do is be better at logistics than four musicians. Or wear a suit and tie, like I do. It impresses the hell out of production staff when they see you on your hands and knees on stage. It’s all smoke and mirrors, my friends. Get yourself a driving licence; a box of Sharpies, and you too could soon hate everyone you work with.


t r o p e R The

Clocking up its eighth year, the success of the IPM is measurable in numbers as with a boosted capacity of 200 people, the event is now in danger of outgrowing its York Suite home. What emerged from this year’s gathering is a desire to have more agents and promoters in attendance – and with that request greeted favourably at ILMC, it may well be that next year’s IPM will require a change of venue. Once again, we have printed a narration of the day’s proceedings in the IPM conference report brochure, which you should find attached to this copy of IQ. Alternatively, extended reports on both the IPM and ILMC are available at

Friday 6 March Super-pow ered by the galaxy’s mightiest sponsors

WORKSHOP: YOUTUBE: MUSIC DISCOVERY AND LIVE STREAMING Hosts: David Thorpe and Matias Llort Lorenz (YouTube UK) Lorenz revealed that YouTube attracts one billion visitors per month and is now localised in 58 languages. 300 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, while 500 years worth of content is watched every day – making the platform the number one destination for music discovery among the under 35s. The company’s reps revealed it is possible to link to ticketing platforms, but stated YouTube is not looking to expand into ticketing. “It’s not our business,” said Thorpe, “but we can help link videos to merchandise stores,” he added.



spending the best part of a year planning ILMC, the weekend itself passes at nothing short of light speed. One minute you’re wheeling a suitcase out of Kensington High Street station, the next you’re standing bewildered, blinking in the daylight on the Royal Garden steps on a Monday morning, wondering ‘what now?’ We made a number of changes this year. ILMC 27 started and finished earlier than before, meaning Friday featured a full day of panels and meetings. We launched a workshop programme and the panel schedule was revamped, with more content than ever, and a wider spread of topics. Now that the capes have been packed away and the Lycra slung back into the cupboards, the question is how we continue this drive. ILMC must remain the key annual meeting point for the live music business so if there’s any way that both IQ Magazine and the conference can better champion this wonderful business that we’re all lucky to find ourselves in, please let us know. If you didn’t make it this year, the following pages should give a flavour of what you missed. If you did attend, then a sincere ‘thank you’ is due for your participation. Plans are already afoot for ILMC 28, so, until the next big reveal in the autumn, have a productive and successful summer. See you in 2016, if not before!

Chair: Phil Bowdery (Live Nation) Panellists: Russell Warby (William Morris Endeavor), John Meglen (AEG Live), Folkert Koopmans (FKP Scorpio), Prof Peter Schwenkow (DEAG), John Giddings (Solo Agency) Pollstar reported the US live business was worth $6.2bn last year, with growth attributed to the rise of multi-day festivals. The German market grew by €500m to €3.82bn; the Australian market was worth AU$1.5bn; and the UK was worth £789m. “If you look at those figures you might assume everything is rosy,” said Bowdery before leading into a discussion about the challenges the biggest festivals had to overcome to get to this stage of maturity. “It didn’t just come overnight,” agreed Meglen, revealing it took Coachella 15 years to get to where it is now. But he highlighted Coachella’s impact in helping establish outdoor events as a key leisure pursuit in America. “They are the premier in pop culture in the US at the moment,” he added. Schwenkow spoke about two shows by the Rolling Stones in Germany that sold out in seconds. “We thought about the ticket price for a long time,” he said. “Obviously we were too cheap!” He did, however, caution, “An increase in revenues doesn’t automatically mean an increase in profits. You have to have the low-margin big names.” One solution, he said, could be in his company’s launching

Greg Parmley


Phil Bowdery LEADS the Open Forum debate

of “Maybe we can pay higher fees to the artists as we can make more money on the booking fee.” Giddings warned it is not necessarily good news everywhere. “The UK economy has come back but there are weak spots everywhere on world tours.” Warby also sounded a note of caution. “My concern is the festival market is hitting critical mass and sucking all the light into it,” he said. “The exclusivity period is getting bigger. I wonder what it means for the touring market.” Finally, analytics were praised as an important weapon in live music’s armoury. “Why we got into ticketing is because of the data,” said Bowdery. “Data is the new gold.”

FESTIVAL FORUM: THE INDESTRUCTIBLES Chair: Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio) Panellists: Eric Van Eerdenburg (Mojo Concerts), Codruta Vulcu (ARTmania Events), Geoff Ellis (DF Concerts), Dany Hassenstein (Paleo Festival) Starting off with the question of competition, Van Eerdenburg admitted rivalry for his events is getting fiercer. “[It] makes things exciting and challenging, but the biggest challenge for all of us is to keep our events affordable,” he stated. Ellis flagged up the lack of big-name headliners as a concern, but hinted a return to the good old days might solve that issue. “When we first started T in the Park, we had four main acts on the main stage and maybe we’ll have to go back to that if we can’t find any big headliners.” That concept was acknowledged by Hassenstein. “We’re putting a bill together with several ‘middle’ acts rather than one major headliner.” Thanscheidt revealed that a new generation of German acts have emerged that can sell-out arenas, which has helped in festival planning. However, the same is not true throughout Europe, with Romania-based Vulcu commenting, “Local acts have only started selling tickets in the last few years because most of the events in Romania have been free. We have a €25 ticket so we cannot afford to book the big international headliners, so our strategy is to get smaller acts.” Suggesting other ways to help festivals, Van Eerdenburg said that paying attention to the likes of healthy food and beverages can strengthen an event. Despite the many pressures, panellists agreed 2014 had been a decent year for their events and that they were expecting similar results this year. And questioning the validity of certain festival brands, expanding into Europe, Van Eerdenburg noted the trend is for small boutique festivals. “Globalisation is against that trend, so I don’t believe in it,” he added.

THE DANCE CLUB: ALL SOLD OUT? Chair: Tom Schroeder, Coda Agency Panellists: Stefan Lehmkuhl (Melt!), Rich McGinnis (Warehouse Project), Maria May (CAA) Schroeder started by asking whether EDM is a new thing or just an evolution of the dance scene. May, whose roster includes some of the hottest DJs on the scene observed that the Americanisation of dance music spawned the term ‘EDM’ and created a multinational, multibillion dollar business around the world, with DJs demanding higher and higher fees. The panel heard how rapid progression in the dance scene during the past decade has seen artists at the top level getting mainstream radio play, making them ideal acts to headline largescale events. Internet and social media have also elevated dance music to the consciousness of the general public, rather than being the underground club scene it once was. In the UK, this phenomenon is quite common, affirmed McGinnis. Festivals


that used to be mainly rock events, have grown their dance component, allowing some acts who cross over genres, like Skrillex, to enjoy huge success. Lehmkuhl said the German market is currently at its peak with three new EDM festivals selling thousands of tickets per day, while promoters are even booking EDM at mainstream festivals such as Lollapalooza Berlin. The panel agreed that a more tropical sounds-orientated genre is taking place, maybe the dawn of a new post-EDM subgenre, but in May’s opinion artists are still going to define their own scene. Schroeder concluded the panel by asking: “Is the EDM market at its peak?” The general response was that the long-term future for dance festivals is debatable because the involvement of corporate branding is risking a supernova effect. The market is now saturated and that’s ultimately going to reflect on ticket sales. Brands like Ultra and Tomorrowland might sell out quickly all over the world, but they’re still within the first five years of their expansion plans, and questions remain over sustainability in the long term.

WORKSHOP: FACEBOOK: MAKING MORE OF SOCIAL MEDIA Hosts:Niall Fagan (Facebook) and Paul Brindley (MusicAlly) Fagan attempted to demystify many of the issues around using Facebook in marketing and offered tips on how the live industry could be using it more to its advantage. He outlined the sheer scale of the social network, the subtext being that, with so many people on there, you simply cannot afford to not have Facebook front and centre in everything you do. A key tool is Custom Audiences, which helps target who you send marketing messages to. Lookalike Targeting can find people who are similar to your known audience and allow you to target them. “YouTube genuinely is the best video platform on the planet but if you want to reach people quickly with video, Facebook is the way to do it,” said Fagan. Fagan gave examples of effective marketing on Facebook, including an eight-second video where Kylie Minogue revealed her upcoming tour. “Reach is the key thing to everything you are doing,” he said. The biggest challenge for everyone, Fagan suggested, will be using social media to target young consumers, “It’s not that young people aren’t using Facebook,” he said, “but they are on multiple platforms.”

David Thorpe and Matias Llort Lorenz HOST a workshop on YouTube


Facebook, he revealed, sends a survey every day to 50,000 users to ask them what is working on the platform and what needs to change. What, then, are the things companies will need to be aware of and adapt to in the coming years? “Trending and searching is going to become a very big part of what Facebook does,” concluded Fagan.

SPONSORSHIP: UP, UP AND AWAY Chair: Ruth Mortimer (Marketing Week) Panellists: John Rash (Bacardi), Rupert Vereker (Dr Martens), Paul Samuels (AEG), Niklas Jonsson (Luger) Live music was, in the past, a powerful draw for sponsorship partners, but the business needs to rise to the challenges to not just attract this revenue, but also to hold onto it amid rising competition from other entertainment sectors. This was a key theme in the sponsorship panel, as panellists detailed what the live sector needs to focus on. “It’s a question of value and the gap in perceived value,” said Rash. It cannot just be a transaction, exchanging cash for exposure. “It’s understanding the value and being able to deliver that value.” Vereker revealed brands are so sophisticated in how they use analytics, that venues and festivals have to think carefully about what they can add. Samuels observed competition for sponsorship money has never been fiercer. “If we want that pot of money, we have to give true value to sponsors.” Jonsson spelled out the financial importance in cold terms. “510% of turnover comes from sponsorship,” he noted, arguing that brands need to be strong enough to make people want to come back. But Vereker highlighted that one company is mopping up much of the available sponsorship money, meaning everyone else has to act smarter. “We all have to live with the land grab by Live Nation,” he said. “We have to figure out how we fit into the process.” Samuels stressed that sponsorship involves a symbiotic relationship, not just a bag of money. “It’s about pitching to them what they need.” This may take years of networking before alighting upon the right thing for a brand. “You have to be flexible if you want money in the sponsorship world.” Rash warned there is a cultural clash that has to be navigated. “Brands have spent their lives controlling everything,” he said. “Now they come into your world where that control can’t exist due to rights holder issues.” Samuels concluded the music industry doesn’t have to make itself ‘vanilla’ but needs to raise the professionalism bar. “Still be rock & roll but be professional about it,” he said. “Too many people show up with ideas on scraps of paper.”

Marketing Week’s Ruth Mortimer GUIDES the SPONSORSHIP discussions


MARKET FOCUS: LATIN AMERICA Chair: Bianca Freitas (Enjoy Experiences) Panellists: Christian Kramer (CK Concerts), Claudio Romano (Rock in Rio), Carlos Geniso (DG Medios), Daniel Grinbank (DG Medios) Highlighting the vast gulf in understanding about the Latin American market, Grinbank spoke about the Euro’s recent 10% devaluation and the panic it caused. “In Latin America we are used to dealing with devaluations of 40%,” he stated. “In the last two years, three of the biggest four promoters in Latin America have gone bust, so it’s a very different place.” Noting that the major touring markets remain Brazil, Argentina and Chile, Freitas highlighted new emerging markets. Confirming this, Geniso named Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay and Colombia as secondary markets that are becoming more regular on the tour circuit. Grinbank stressed each country’s different cultures and that “new” talent was sometimes 20 years into their career before venturing into Latin America. “Poverty in Latin America is also much worse than in Europe. You might have a population of 50 million people, but only five million could ever think of being able to afford a concert ticket,” he said, adding that such restrictions also limit the budget for sponsors. “When Rock in Rio happens every two years, all the sponsors have to be there, so tours in other markets suffer.” Underlining one major problem, Freitas said the continent’s biggest market, São Paolo, remains a city without an arena. Adding to those challenges, clubs do not have in-house lighting or sound systems, meaning everything has to be hired in, which, added to travel costs, hotels and crippling artist fees makes promoting smaller shows nigh on impossible. However, highlighting the benefits of building a Latin American fan base, Grinbank cited his work with developing The Ramones. “They eventually played a 50,000 capacity stadium with us – they got nowhere near that anywhere else in the world.” Revealing just what a vacuum Rock In Rio is for sponsorship, Romano disclosed that the 2013 event had attracted $52million in sponsorship backing.

THE JOINED-UP INDUSTRY: ARTIST DEVELOPMENT MATTERS Chairs: Greg Lowe (The Agency Group) & Juha Kyyrö (FKP Scorpio Nordic) Panellists: Paul Craig (Nostromo Management), Rob Hallett (RoboMagic), Ian Hogarth (Songkick), Anna Sjölund (Live Nation Sweden), Sam Bush (Global Entertainment) A key theme was the live industry’s need to recalibrate itself, as record companies tighten their belts with regards to tour support. Once-controversial 360° deals are now commonplace as the live business embraces the concept. Craig was at Warner Music when the organisational change was being pushed through. “Around 2009, it was viewed negatively,” he said, “but now the economics have changed it’s become part of the world we live in.” Hogarth said data is key, with 10m fans a month looking for tickets in the UK and his company is persuading promoters and acts to plug into the Songkick mobile app to help sell tickets. “We can pass a lot more data back to artists,” he said. Sjölund cited a case study where a Swedish act played to 70,000 in their hometown and screened the concert in cinemas, where 30,000 tickets were sold across two days. Then it was streamed on a major newspaper’s website, getting 650,000 views. “For a local act to do that and reach a whole new audience is an amazing thing,” she said. Additionally, the audio was available on Spotify and a limitededition vinyl box set. “That’s what we have to do as promoters,” she said. “How can we extend the experience beyond the show itself? It’s in addition to the concert – it’s not instead of the concert.”


Ian Hogarth and Anna Sjölund listen as Paul Craig makes a point during the Joined-Up Industry session

WORKSHOP: FESTIVALISATION: GIVING YOUR EVENT A SOUL Hosts: Fruzsina Szep (Horstmann Group) and Chris Tofu (Continental Drifts) Setting the scene for a workshop that was all about creating those extra special touches that give an event character and atmosphere, Szep and Tofu used candlelight to illuminate their presentations. “Slowly, over the years, the stuff that touches people has become more important,” observed Tofu. “There are lots of festivals that chase headline bands, but there are lots more events that manage to sell out without revealing their line up.” Szep said she referred to the ‘festivalisation’ elements as the nonmusical elements. “It’s not about the money-making part, or where to place sponsors, but we are all humans and these ideas are about what makes us feel special when we’re at a festival. Citing various examples of festivalisation concepts they have introduced to keep the public coming back to events, Tofu noted that technology such as video mapping had changed the way promoters can present venues, while Szep suggested that simple signage and street performers in the immediate vicinity leading up to the festival site help improve the vibe. “We dressed our security guys in Hawaiian shirts to make them a bit more friendly,” said Szep, while Tofu revealed that he employs 160 street artists to roam and perform around Glastonbury’s Shangri-la area. The hosts said trying to surprise the audience is key, as is adding variety to the food and beverage offers – which can also boost revenues. Szep revealed that Sziget Festival apportioned approximately 30% of the total budget to festivalisation, while Berlin Festival is closer to 40%, but Tofu added that some events assign more than 70%.

Chairs: Bariş Başaran (Pozitif Live) & Michal Kascak (Pohoda Festival) Panellists: Semyon Galperin (Tele-Club), Tobbe Lorentz (The Agency Group), Ivan Milivojev (EXIT Festival), Tony Nagamaiah (Malaysia Major Events), Joshua Perry (Anova Music) The chairmen revealed details of their survey on the impact of consolidation in the live sector. In developed markets, 50% of respondents saw monopolisation as having some benefits, such as helping raise the bar of professionalism, while just 25% of those in emerging markets felt likewise. Agent Lorentz doesn’t believe this drives out small players completely. “There’s definitely enough room for independents,” he said. “It is down to if they do a good job. A lot of it comes down to the relationship you have with a promoter.” Milivojev disclosed his event is often approached with takeover offers. “Do people try to buy my festival?” he said. “All the time. It’s good to speak to them, but we are still independent.” Galperin, however, was far from enthusiastic about Live Nation launching in Russia. “They do not promote at all. They just sell [in] bands.” The majority of the session was dominated by geo-political and censorship issues. Başaran warned against the rise of the far right in Europe. “I feel entertainment will be the first in line to be chopped if things get more serious,” he said. “It feels like things are starting to get really nasty.” Galperin explained how a Marilyn Manson show was pulled because of a bomb threat. “This is silently supported by the government,” he claimed. Malaysia is seen as a booming market but one with serious hurdles. According to Nagamaiah, One Direction could play there but a show by Beyoncé was cancelled when she would not change how she dressed on stage. Israel is also wrapped in controversy but Perry said protests are not the issue they are elsewhere. “Israel is a democracy and a liberal place,” he said. “Acts can come to Israel and criticise the government or be pro-Palestine. The government can’t cancel a show.”

THE VENUES’ VENUE: FORTRESSES OF SOLITUDE Chair: Marie Lindqvist (Stockholm Globe Arenas) Panellists: Ilan Faktor (Masada Arena), Steen Jørgensen (Vega Copenhagen), Robert Fitzpatrick (Odyssey Arena) Jørgensen, raised the ubiquitous concern about the season for indoor venues throughout Europe getting shorter and shorter. “Two big venues in Ireland are now realising that we have to shut our doors between June and September because the bigger acts can do festival in those months,” commented Fitzpatrick. “It’s no longer the case that we can rely on the bands coming through to fill the calendar as we used to.” That wasn’t the case with all the panellists though. “I feel safe when it comes to competition,” laughed Faktor, “because we have a unique outdoor venue on the Dead Sea that doesn’t have any real direct competition.” The need for new content to combat competition is a major priority for most venues. According to Fitzpatrick, “We cannot be precious about what we bring in.” Nuria Goytre from the EAA said a number of arenas were experiencing success with digital gaming events, while some venues are bringing YouTube stars into their buildings. With venues looking to book up their calendars, management is taking bigger strides into promoting their own events. “We don’t want to take the bread out of promoters’ mouths, but we will look at taking a risk on certain things,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fruzsina Szep explains HOW TO ‘FESTIVALISE’ AN EVENT


WORKSHOP: TOURING AND TAXATION Hosts: Dr Dick Molenaar (All Arts Tax Advisers) and Dr Harald Grams (Grams Und Partner) Molenaar introduced the workshop with the latest news on taxation, in particular the Article 17 tax treaty. He considered various challenges that have arisen from the live music business and noted recent developments regarding the taxation of entertainers and sports persons. The hosts detailed the latest news on tax deductions, like the special tax treatment for artists performing in different countries. They discussed and suggested solutions to minimise the tax burden, and the possibility to exclude subsidised artists, especially in theatre. They also touched upon a proposal to set a global minimum income under which taxation should not be applicable, with discussions ongoing with various ministry of finance representatives in an attempt to help artists make a decent income, as well as to make it easier for people in showbiz to pay their taxes in every country, without having to wade through reams of paperwork.

CORPORATISATION: THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE Chair: Ben Challis (Glastonbury Festival) Panellists: Rainer Appel (CTS Eventim), Chris Carey (Media Insight Consulting), Barry Dickins (ITB), Wayne Forte (Entourage Talent Associates), Tom Miserendino (AEG Europe), Pete Wilson (3A Entertainment) Carey opened the session by detailing growth figures in live music revenue. “Having spent some years at record companies,” he joked, “it’s nice to see lines going up.” UK business rose 111% between 2004 and 2013 while the US was up 82% between 2004 and 2013. Carey explained how the industry needs to invest in talent and build them up to become headliners. “Do you build footballers or wait until they are good and buy them?” he said. Forte was critical of the rampant culture of acquisition. He cited SFX buying up promoters who own venues as symptomatic of this. “They wanted real estate,” he said. “When you have real estate, you have control.” He also criticised Live Nation buying up venues and artists like Madonna and Jay Z. “They were losing money but they wanted to dominate the market,” he argued. “When you dominate the market you can charge what you want.” Dickins was less pessimistic. “Being involved with Live Nation and AEG, I have nothing but admiration,” he explained. “They brought in professionalism.” Miserendino was more defensive. “Corporatisation is a 15-letter word that people treat as a four-letter word,” he

Carl Martin and Bryan Grant SHARE production sector concerns with BOTH agents and promoters


quipped. Dickins argued that corporate structures are only useful to a point and the live industry still runs on personal connections. “It’s a people business,” he stated. Wilson sounded a note of caution. “Corporatisation is great for the corporate companies,” he said. “They sew up the tickets and venues, they buy up promoters. But there is going to be a time when you don’t need promoters.” Carey provided forecasts for the sector that were cautiously optimistic. “The market will be up in ten years, but not as much as it has been in the last ten years,” he said. Dickins concluded by stating, “The corporates will grow, but there will always be individual promoters. If the business doesn’t evolve, we are all fucked.”

WORKSHOP: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF PRODUCTION HEAVEN Hosts: Bryan Grant (Britannia Row) Carl A H Martin ( Hoping to spread the word about production sector concerns regarding safety and fatigue, Grant and Martin set out to establish crossover communications between the different parts of the industry to ensure that safety, above all else, is observed at all times. Some of the points raised included: shorter work hours for rigging employees; hiring trustworthy staff; not skimping on production budgets; not hiring dodgy workers; an updated production rider; and delivering on promises. Messrs Grant and Martin also reported some of the topics discussed at the inaugural International Safety Alliance Symposium, which highlighted issues on safety in the entertainment industry and live events. The hosts drew attention to the Event Safety Guide, which, as a bible for event production employees, will hopefully be adopted internationally.

The success of this workshop was measurable by the fact that an agent suggested a way in which the production sector could insure crews were protected from working too many hours – simply have venues write into their contracts that none of their employees or subcontractors are allowed to work more than, say, 14 hours.

NEW TECHNOLOGY: JET PACKS & SUPER GADGETS Chair: Steve Machin (dotTickets) Presenters: Serge Grimaux (Intellitix), Sanj Surati (Holition), Dave Walmsley and Andy Spence (NetMonkeys), Dan O’Neill (Centtrip), Jean-Olivier Dalphond (PixMob), Mike Ryan (Victor), Mariano Robles (Airbeem), Andrew Barker and Sarah Purdy (Taylor Construction Plant), Vitaveska Lanfranchi (K-Now) Machin started proceedings by providing delegates with an update on dotTickets, which was born three years ago as a concept at ILMC, and should be going live in a few months time. The .tickets suffix is designed to instill trust among the public and banish fraudulent ticket websites. The series of company presentations began with a short film about Intellitix, which has now processed $50million of cashless spending transactions. Surati talked about a growing appetite for social engagement through the Internet using video footage to showcase Holition events and products; and he predicted that hologram enabled virtual reality gigs in homes are two years away. Walmsley and Spence outlined NetMonkeys’ Made for Music software, designed to “end the chaos for people managing the gig booking and promoting process.” The programme allows different departments to use the same platform interface and integrates data reports from ticket agencies. Lanfranchi spoke of three K-Now products: Social Sense, a platform that allows the live analysis of social media; Staff

Christoph Scholz guides fellow Touring Exhibitions panel guests through an on-screen presentation

Sense, which allows real-time reporting by staff and allows organisers to know where staff are on-site: and You Sense, which is a mobile app for crowd management. O’Neill described Centtrip’s low-cost foreign currency exchange Mastercard product, which promises savings from 2.54% compared to other cards and can be of huge financial benefit to touring productions. With PixMob’s programmable LED wristbands having already made spectacular headlines, Dalphond unveiled the next step in the evolution – PixMob Connect – which allows event organisers to gain valuable data as people sign up to the service, plus tracking technology to analyse where those people go and what they do. Ryan spoke about the increasing demand for air charter services, in part driven by EDM artists flying between shows; and launched Victor’s new app, which Machin referred to as “Uber for private jets.” Airbeem’s Robles showcased its successful apps for festivals and highlighted its data-driven targeted promotions that can be used to generate new revenue streams through mobile phones. TCP’s Barker and Purdy brought along an Ecolite lighting system, powered by a Hydrogen fuel cell, which despite the fact it had been running throughout the Tech session, had gone completely unnoticed by delegates. With zero noise pollution, zero carbon emissions and zero particulates, the Ecolite’s running costs are about 50% less than normal generators.

TOURING EXHIBITIONS: EXPLORING NEW WORLDS Chair: Christoph Scholz (Semmel Concerts) Panellists: Manu Braff (Fire-Starter), Rob Kirk (Grande Exhibitions), Maren Krumdieck (Natural History Museum), Noel McHale (MCD), Vincent Sager (Opus One) This session looked at the rising power of the touring exhibitions market – where the likes of museums and galleries put their collections on the road to generate new

income. Krumdieck explained, “It is for profit – but it is about extending the reach of the museum. The trend for family exhibitions, has now evolved into touring exhibitions. “It is time-consuming and expensive to set-up,” said Sager, “but we see it as part of our future.” Braff warned that anyone wanting to operate in touring expos needed a different mindset. “It is about the effort you have to put in to keeping something running for a long time – which is very different from an act playing one night,” he said. “It’s about spreading a big marketing budget over nine months. Unless you are very lucky, you are not going to sell 40% of your tickets before it opens.” Venues are keen to avail of the opportunities as exhibitions can help draw in crowds during the quiet months and put vacant buildings to use. And there is one category that is outperforming everyone else – dinosaurs. “They are the Rolling Stones of the touring exhibition world,” quipped Scholz.

WORKSHOP: SAFEGUARDING THE MUSIC VENUE Hosts: Mark Davyd (Music Venues Trust), Fabien Miclet (Liveurope) Davyd spoke of the downward spiral during the past few years, in the UK, where an increasing number of venues have closed their doors with little hope of salvation. He explained that years of neglect have led to this, with venues left in precarious conditions, thanks to poor facilities, reduced touring activity and dwindling audience numbers. To combat this dilemma, the MVT has launched its Grassroots Investor programme – a two-phased strategic intervention that it hopes will win widespread support to protect the long-term prospects for the sector. Another interesting initiative to help small venues throughout Europe, was outlined by Miclet, introduced Liveurope as a live music platform for new European talent, with the objective of increasing the programming of emerging European acts. However, it also supports venues by providing opportunities for artists to tour the circuit.

TICKETING: PRESALES & RESALES Chair: John Langford (SEC Ltd) Panellists: Andrew Parsons (Ticketmaster UK), Peter Briffett (YPlan), Neo Sala (Doctor Music), Nuala Donnelly (O2), Todd Sims (AXS) Langford confessed that the heading of this year’s ticketing discussion was somewhat compromised by the fact that none of the major secondary ticketing platforms wanted to participate in the panel.

continued on page 24

Ticketing panellists Andrew Parsons, Peter Briffett, Neo Sala, Nuala Donnelly and Todd Sims


ILMC Events As

usual, ILMC balanced the mix of serious debates and discussions during the day with informal ‘networking’ events and parties at night. This page (clockwise from above): Several couples had a ‘fling’ during the SSE Hydro’s Super Shindig; dotTickets hosted some incredible air guitar performances during the ‘Avengers Assemble’ Opening Party; Sofia Urmancheeva’s powerful tones make the microphone explode at the Sonic Boom Karaoke; while SECC’s Debbie McWilliams, Julie McKinnon and Sue Verlaque show us how harmonies should sound; prompting young couples to get romantic on the dance floor; and others just to throw some serious shapes... Opposite page: ILMC’s winning superheroes included Jeremy Goldsmith and runner-up Markus Wiking in the The World-Famous Texas Hold’em Poker Tourney; Rense van Kessel and Roel Coppen were victorious in the Table Football ‘Coupe du Monde’; Michal Kaščák and Moussa AbuTaleb were among the winners congratulated by Superwoman Embla Gisladottir in the Nikos Fund Prize Draw; and in the Match of the Year Football, the UK team narrowly defeated the Rest of the World XI in a thrilling 5-4 encounter.



Continued from page 21 Noting it “makes sense” for major promoters to have an active role in ticketing, Parsons observed that the remit of ticketing entities has fundamentally changed. “Once upon a time, we had reactive sales systems, but now we provide marketing power too. We can help sell out a show before any adverts are ever placed,” said Parsons. O2’s Donnelly noted that while data capture has been a hot topic for a number of years, there is still confusion about how to use that data. “If you’re not using data to personalise the experience for the fan, then you are missing a trick,” she said. Explaining how his company had established one of Spain’s biggest ticketing platforms, before selling it to Ticketmaster, Sala shared his belief that the use of mobile technology is set to soar. Nonetheless, YPlan’s Briffett was critical at the pace of evolution. “Companies are doing well, but consumers are not,” he blasted. Parsons noted that the success of presales may be a reason for consumer frustrations. “Part of the negativity we get is because we do so well on presale that there is nothing left for the onsale and that generates criticism.” And Sims concluded, “The consumer experience is very lumpy, but if we can use data to ensure that fans who missed out on the latest tour are first in line for the next tour, then that will definitely help improve the experience for all.”

FESTIVAL INCOME: FIELDS OF GREEN Chair: Hugh Phillimore (Cornbury Festival) Panellists: Dan Berkowitz (CID Entertainment), Serge Grimaux (Intellitix), Adam Goodyer (Concert Live Ltd), Gary Pitt (Get In Bed) Getting consumers to spend more at festivals is something everyone wants, and technology is now able to help whip this along. Philllimore revealed, “We were approached last year [to use RFID] but as I am a technophobe I was a bit scared. But now I am ready to be seduced.” Goodyer explained, “When you collect data and manipulate it, you see patterns for what makes people buy things,” he said. “Don’t push people things they don’t want. Push them things they do want.” Berkowitz outlined how VIP packages dramatically change the landscape and earning potential of festivals. At Bonnaroo his company offers the Roll Like A Rock Star package, which costs $3,500 per head, with 250 people a year now signing up. “Do something that’s going to make a difference to someone in the field,” Pitt says he tells brands. Solve a problem for them or make the experience nicer. Post-event research is also critical. “The more you know about that person and how they have come to the event, the more valuable that is to a brand,” Pitt said.

be sent to queuing consumers explaining what outlets are around the corner that may be quicker. In practice, if a customer comes to a venue three times in a certain period the iBeacon can identify them and text an invite to the VIP bar. They still have to buy a drink, so it costs the venue nothing, but helps the customer feel valued. “The volume of data you get,” noted Brown, “is mind-blowing.”

INDUSTRY OUT-TAKES: ‘IT’LL BE ALL RIGHT ON THE NIGHT’ Chairs: Michael Chugg (Chugg Entertainment) and Dave Chumbley (Primary Talent) Panellists: Paul Crockford (Paul Crockford Management), Jessica Koravos (Really Useful Group), Jef Hanlon (Jef Hanlon Promotions), Neil O’Brien (Neil O’Brien Entertainment) This session involved an exposé of some of the most bizarre ‘fuck-ups’ with panellists recounting a handful of their most entertaining war stories to a packed auditorium. Tales included Crockford witnessing a knife fight between Rome and Sicily-based crews – and the moment a crowd watched a band member’s wife being “looked after” under the stage, as her husband played keyboards directly above. Koravos spoke of the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death when the AEG team had to field calls from creditors such as the Las Vegas taxi driver who had been permanently on call for the superstar for the past six years – and the facility in Arizona that claimed to have a contract to cryogenically freeze Jackson and were therefore demanding delivery of his body. Chuggi admitted to a faux pas at a gig in Melbourne, where the stage was built in the wrong place, meaning 15,000 people were behind it. Compounding their misery, someone forgot to book shuttle buses, meaning the audience had to walk ten miles back into the city following the show. Midas Promotions promoter Michael Hosking detailed the lead up to an event in Bahrain when searching for a wrestling ring, his Indian accountant said he had one. When show day approached and he asked where the ring was, the accountant led him into his office and picked up a bell – “See, ring ring…” And finally, Phil Rodriguez of Move Concerts shared his story of a flight with UB40 and their crew, when a heated card game resulted in a drunk roadie fighting to rip open the aircraft door above the Andes.

WORKSHOP: LOCATION DATA AND IBEACON Hosts: Dan Brown (AXS) and James Cobb (Crowd Connected) Brown and Cobb provided an overview of iBeacons and what the live industry can gain from them. “It’s really all about money,” said Cobb, forecasting a sector that will explode in the coming years, driving at-event spending and reducing consumer churn as customers start to feel more valued. There are, however, limits to how far venues and festivals should go, as the hosts cited one festival that used facial recognition software on CCTV, which was generally agreed to be a step too far. The biggest challenge for festivals is moving away from GPS as a tracking system as it is not always sufficiently accurate or energy efficient. iBeacons can tell where people are to within 30 metres. Live data can affect safety and compliance as well as predict arrival rates of audiences and give advance warnings of high crowd density. The technology also allows organisers to understand queue time better. They explained how prompts can


Chumbley and Chuggi enjoy someone else’s misfortune during the Out-Takes panel

Sunday 8 March

ArthuR Fogel ATTRACTS one of the biggest audiences of the CONFERENCE for his breakfast meeting

THE BREAKFAST MEETING WITH ARTHUR FOGEL Host: Ed Bicknell (Damage Management) Bicknell enjoyed a 90-minute exploration into Fogel’s life and career, beginning in childhood with a parent who was a football player, wrestler and bodyguard, “And that was just my mother,” japed Fogel. The audience learned about Fogel’s early days in Toronto, his move into promoting and the decision of the three main promoters in Canada, driven by Michael Cohl, to merge, rather than bid against each other for every act. Fogel then recalled their audacious $40million bid for a Rolling Stones tour. “We didn’t have the money and we’d never done a show outside Canada,” he admitted. Aware of the criticism directed at Live Nation, Fogel countered, “Big is not bad. Paul McGuinness once told someone that the art is figuring out how to use a company to you and your artist’s benefit.” He dismissed many of the gripes against Live Nation by stating, “If you want to get somewhere, you have to take chances and be aggressive. It’s too easy to blame the system or the big, bad wolf.” However, when quizzed about the artist fee auctions that take place between Live Nation, AEG and others, Fogel said, “That’s the stupid part of our business.” He added, “I have a different methodology and different approach with clients I work with – I don’t get in bidding wars. I sit with acts to discuss a strategy to see where we are going.” Asked by Bicknell about the move toward the creation of super management companies and the threat to the traditional agency business, Fogel said, “I don’t see the role of the agent changing very much.” And defending the top end ticket prices for shows by the likes of Madonna and the Rolling Stones, Fogel concluded, “I believe the top end is underpriced and everything else is overpriced.”

THE BOOKING RING: LIVE MUSIC CRIME-FIGHTING Chairs: Julia Frank (Wizard) and Marc Lambelet (Mainland Music) Panellists: Dan Steinberg (Square Peg Concerts), Keith Naisbitt (APA), Josh Javor (X-ray Touring), Steve Zapp (ITB), Alvaro Covoes (Everything Is New) The Booking Ring kicked off on a slight tangent to the advertised topics, focusing on the relationship between promoters and record labels. “I’m counted on to make the act their money now, which is why there’s so much traffic,” said promoter Steinberg. The panel agreed that there is little involvement or investment from record labels in many instances. “The promoters are now promoting the acts as much as they’re promoting their own business,” said Lambelet. Javor flagged issues when a label is promoting an artist. “I prefer not to work with the promoter if they’re the label. If something goes wrong it’s very difficult to get rid of them.” Covoes spoke

about the Portuguese market, and “90% of the advertising is from promoters because the labels don’t have money,” he said. Discussing promoter/agent relationships, Naisbett dismissed first approaches via email. “We have a major problem in America with the young agents coming through where they’re afraid to pick up the phone. They’re scared of talking to people.” Naisbitt added, “I won’t do a deal with people on email.” But Steinberg countered, “It’s a customer service industry. You should learn how to pick up the phone to speak to old agents, and use email to speak with the younger agents.” “You have to be succinct in emails and clear,” commented Pollstar’s Gary Smith from the floor. “But until the younger and tertiary promoters break ground, it’s very difficult for them. You have to persevere for however long it takes until agents call you back.” Lambelet observed, “It’s been like this for 40 years, and I find it unfair that it took me ten years for these people to know me. There are young people worth listening to. The excuse of ‘we’re too busy’ isn’t good enough – you should hire more people. We can’t take that as an excuse.” However, Zapp argued, “We spend a lot of our time chasing promoters on avails,” which saw the session turning its attention toward promoters not calling agents back. That prompted Lambelet to highlight the desperate need for better communication between all parties. “We need to know what we expect from each other,” he said.

THE UNCONFERENCE SESSION: A LOTTO TOPICS Chair: Gordon Masson (IQ Magazine) Panellists: Olaf Furniss (MusikWoche), David Stopps (Friars Management), Allan McGowan (ILMC), Steve Machin (dotTickets), Emma Banks (CAA), Wayne Forte (Entourage Talent) The Unconference session began without a panel, leaving its chairman to press-gang delegates into participating in a forum involving randomly picked topics that had been submitted anonymously. Asked how social media is going to change the live music business in the year ahead, Stopps revealed to the room that he had been told by a Facebook staffer that artists and events would need to start paying for all of their posts to successfully communicate with fans. Asked if venture capitalist investment was a good thing for the business, Banks stated that anyone who wanted to add money to the pot is always welcome. A question suggesting that the older generation are stifling innovation was met with similar derision, however, a representative of RFID specialist Glownet stated that the spread of new technology is being stifled because the older generation are scared of it. A debate about promoters signing multi-tour contracts with artists was a hot topic, with some questioning the sanity of the huge deals that are even being offered to artists who have not played a single live show. But the fact that promoters want a level of security to mitigate such risks was broadly accepted. Perhaps surprisingly, a discussion that questioned the honesty of promoters in their dealings with secondary ticketing platforms, did not cause too much fuss, with Banks noting that she knows promoters have deals with resellers, so there’s no actual need for them to be up front about such agreements.

Josh Javor, Marc Lambelet and Julia Frank listen with interest to a delegate question during The Booking Ring


Arthur award Winners 2

Second Least Offensive Agent Geoff Meall, The Agency Group

Finally, about fucking time! Seventh time lucky…now there’ll be no stopping me going on an Emma Banks-like run and winning it every year....apart from the fact I can’t win it next year, cos I’m disqualified…


Tomorrow’s New Boss Maarten Van Vugt, Greenhouse Talent

Winning an award like this after being in the business for only three and a half years is a big achievement for both myself and our young company. I’m very proud that Greenhouse Talent managed to fight its way into this crowded market and we are getting recognised by the industry. Thanks to everyone who voted.


First Venue To Come Into Your Head Royal Albert Hall, UK

James Ainscough: We are thrilled to win the Arthur! It means so much to us because it’s about the emotional connection between the Hall and our artists and audiences, not just our beautiful building and 140+ years of history. We’re extremely grateful to all those across the music industry who play such crucial roles in helping venues like the Hall come alive night after night. Our staff put huge amounts of hard work and creativity into making sure every event is an extra special experience for everyone in the building, so we’re delighted to be commended in this way again. Little Arthur now has pride of place in our boardroom. Thank you!


Okan Tombulca: We are very proud that we received the Arthur Award for the second time in three years. This prize is one of the most important awards in the entertainment industry as the customers vote and not a jury. The entire eps team would like to thank all its supporters who made this possible.

The People’s Assistant Samantha Henfrey, The Agency Group

I was absolutely thrilled to be voted the People’s Assistant of at this year’s ILMC. I would like to thank everyone who voted and dedicate it to all the hard-working assistants out there. Big thanks to Neil (Warnock) for giving me the opportunity all those years ago and for putting up with me.

The Promoters’ Promoter Phil Bowdery, Live Nation (UK)


I am genuinely honoured to have received the Promoter’s Promoter Award at this year’s Arthur Awards. The fact that this is voted for by my peers and people in the industry that I truly respect makes this an even greater achievement.


The Golden Ticket CTS Eventim

Rainer Appel: We’re thrilled to receive the Arthur Award in the Golden Ticket category. The recognition from our live music industry peers and customers that comes with it means a lot to us at Eventim, and is a major motivation. Thanks to everyone who voted for us, and of course, to all Eventim’s MDs and their teams in 23 countries – this award is for you!”


Services Above and Beyond eps


Most Professional Professional Martin Goebbels, Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach

The Arthur Awards have become so highly respected in the live music industry and it was a huge honour to win the Professional Professional, and to do so for the 3rd time is very humbling. So many awards are given to those more front of house, that it is touching for ILMC to recognise that the suits behind the scenes play an important role too and I am very grateful, as I know other winners before me are too.

Liggers’ Favourite Festival Rock Werchter (Live Nation Belgium)

Herman Scheueremans: I didn’t expect that Rock Werchter was going to win again. But I want to thank my fantastic, dedicated and driven team; the amazing professional suppliers such as EMl/Prg, Stageco, Powershop, Zipolla, Bevers Catering, Jupiler etc; the security managers; all the volunteers from social organisations; The Red Cross and other authorities; our lovey audience; and of course, everybody from the international live music scene who contributes to the continuous success of Rock Werchter (the artists and their dedicated entourage, agents and their assistants, managers, tour managers, production managers, driving crews, bus and truck drivers, security managers and accountants etc). You all had a wonderful time in Werchter - and therefore you voted for Rock Werchter. Consequently, this Arthur Award for Rock Werchter is yours. Music unites. Herman’s award was collected, on his behalf, by Ed Bicknell.

Bottle Award 9

Marcel Avram

This totally took me surprise. My secretary asked me if I would be around at the gala dinner, but I had no idea. Normally I would be prepared and I would insult everyone in the room in my speech, but I had no chance to do that. Martin Hopewell did a very good job, but I was introduced as the first promoter to tour an act without using an agent. This is correct, but it was the artist who chose to work this way. I would prefer to be known as a visionary - the first promoter to do European and world tours. I am thankful and honoured to receive this award. But unfortunately, there was nothing in the bottle - it was empty!












‘A Night on the Tiles’ Gala Dinner With support from some of Latin America’s foremost live music pioneers – DG Medios, Move Concerts and Rock in Rio – ILMC’s annual gala dinner returned to the opulence of The Savoy Hotel. And like the suave and debonair bunch that you are, delegates dressed to impress as they graced the grand old hotel’s Lancaster Ballroom. With string quartet, Dirty Pretty Strings, providing the background music, The Savoy’s staff once again outdid themselves as they served an incredible five-star, threecourse feast fit for our Intergalactic League of Music Crimefighters. Entertainment was also provided by stunt performers Yasmine Amiss and Simon Gravino, while magician Daniel Kramer visited tables to wow guests with his close-up illusions, adding to the variety of acts working the ballroom. However, the star turn of the night was Israeli mentalist Lior Suchard, brought along by delegate Jeremy Hulsh of Oleh! Records, with the goal of finding a European agent. And if he did not find one among the dinner guests, there’s something very wrong indeed, as Suchard’s mind-reading routine was the talk of the ILMC for the next 24 hours – and one German delegate is still looking over his shoulder after the magician ‘guessed’ his credit card pin number.

Photos, clockwise from top: Lior Suchard reads the mind of a dinner guest to name her first love; stunt performers Yasmine and Simon entertain with their Hero and Villain dance routine; four of our gallant superheroes enjoy a night off from saving the planet; Carlos Geniso and Cat Woman enjoy dinner; Arthurs host Emma Banks shares some superhero secrets with pop quiz MC Ben Challis; and Tobbe Lorentz, Juha Kyyrö, Rense van Kessel and Mark Bennett leave their capes at home for the evening to enjoy some Savoy Hotel hospitality.


Techno files Gig Gadgetry fr om the Fr ontline...


Looking for a state-of-the-art system to monitor large audience numbers and react in real-time to incidents as they occur? Then look no further than the boffins at K-Now, a company that began its life in the University of Sheffield’s department of computer science. The company’s SenseSuite allows operators to tap into an amazing stream of real-time, vital crowd safety, along with marketing information and audience feedback, before, during and after an event. K-Now’s data capture, search and visualisation platform enables users to make critical safety decisions, based on real-time data submitted by members of staff and event audiences through bespoke mobile apps or social media. These apps will not only improve management capabilities but also provide control room staff with information regarding the location of team members in relation to an incident, while allowing staff to instantly send images, comments and other critical information. In addition, social media analysis helps organisers to understand the crowd’s mood and intentions and provides them with valuable

K-Now’s SocialSense software at work

management and marketing material. As well as the problems faced during scheduled events, K-Now is also targeted at those tasked with responding to unplanned events and crises. Its apps are being deployed in order to help deal with natural disasters such as flooding, where communication links between those situated in the areas worst affected and those in authority is key in facilitating critical decision making in order to reduce the risk of large-scale damage and help save lives. is a brand new movie creation software that gives consumers a unique way of capturing memories of life’s special events, while at the same time providing brands with after-market, viral engagement, not just with their customers, but with their customers’ friends, family and colleagues. Yoodo will collect smartphone media from a group and send it directly to a feature-packed but simple-to-use, cloud-based editing suite, where the organiser of the group or event can log in afterwards, browse through video clips and photos submitted by the group and create a movie montage of the joint experience to share and to have as a memory keepsake. Yoodo can also automatically brand a user’s end movie with the use of

smart discount vouchers. These can be generated by Yoodo and distributed to companies who sell experiential products or who utilise experiential product in their marketing campaigns. Yoodo also offer plastic gift cards for retail with a scratch-off panel. The cards can be produced with any branding and the code under the panel will also add logos to a user’s movie accordingly.

Made for Music

As anyone in the business of shows knows, concert promotion relies on valuable data, communicated and shared, between a number of different departments, businesses, and people. Promoters, venue managers, marketing executives, production professionals, ticketing agents, and more, all work on the same event, collaboratively, in order for the show to go on. The current industry standard of making this happen is dependent on laborious and costly man-hours using outdated business systems, separate documents, spreadsheets, emails and phone calls. Made for Music is an application that liberates all parties from needlessly wasting time and money by working in this inefficient way. It delivers real-time data and information that is constantly available and freely shared, anywhere, at any time. In essence it allows everyone involved in the chain to work using the same system for an event. Working with IT and data in the UK, for companies such as SJM, Live Nation and DHP amongst others, provided its developers with great insight into the processes of the industry. Made for Music is the result of all of that experience and knowledge and is being continually developed in response to any new issues its creators encounter.

Do you have a new product or technology to contribute to this page? Email to be considered for the next issue…


IQ Magazine May 2015


INTRODUCING... THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL FORUM Responding to the growing demand from event programmers to secure valuable time with agents, this autumn London will host the inaugural International Festival Forum. Gordon Masson previews this innovative, inviteonly, festival-focussed trade show…


espite the ever increasing number of international conference and trade shows that continue to pop up in territories around the world, the most common complaint the IQ team hears from festival promoters is that there is no specific gathering that allows them to sit down with agents to book artists for their events. As a result, the ILMC has partnered with Ruud Berends’ Networking Music to organise the inaugural International Festival Forum (IFF), which has been scheduled to coincide with the time that many festival organisers visit London to do the agency rounds and start booking acts for the following year’s weekenders. Given the specialised nature of IFF, the 30 September to 1 October conference and showcase event will be strictly limited to 250 people, who will be able to participate in festival-oriented panel sessions at the conference, as well as hearing about the latest artist talent directly from the agents who represent them. With participating agencies including ATC Live, Coda, Primary Talent International, The Agency Group, The Leighton-Pope Organisation and X-ray Touring, IFF will be the first business-to-business event to focus exclusively on the global music festival industry. Those agencies have committed to making sure all of their London-based agents will be in attendance at the conference, while each company will also host its own artist showcases. “The idea for the International Festival Forum came about 18 months ago,” explains ILMC managing director Greg Parmley. “The festival business has never been bigger internationally, but outside of North America, there’s no format that allows this booming international community to come together. IFF is very much a trial of a new format, but the reaction so far from both the many festival associations who have signed up, as well as the London agencies, has been compelling.” “ I’m very pleased to be joining the advisory board for the nascent IFF. It’s a fascinating initiative that will strive to bring festival bookers and the agents closer together in a more productive fashion than currently exists.” Geoff Meall - MD, The Agency Group

By the Industry, For the Industry


n addition to the agencies who have already pledged their support for IFF, four industry associations have committed to the event as partners: the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), De Concert!, the International Jazz Festivals Organization (IJFO), and the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), are also on board, collectively representing thousands of events around the world. In order to make sure that both agents and festival organisers set the agenda for IFF, an exemplary advisory board has been established to oversee the schedule and provide input for the various discussion topics that affect the promoter/agent relationship. Board members include Ruud Berends (Networking Music), Donna Busch (Goldenvoice/ Coachella), William Culver-Dodds (IFEA Europe), Carel Hoffman (Hilltop Live), Josh Javor (X-ray Touring), Geoff Meall (The Agency Group), Greg Parmley (ILMC), Paul Reed (AIF), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Fritz Thom (IJFO) and Paul-Henri Wauters (De Concert!). Highlighting the importance of the industry’s input, Parmley reveals, “The format of the afternoon and evening showcases schedule was originally suggested by Jeff Craft at X-ray Touring. Each partner agency will present a one- or two-hour slot that will include showcases by festival-ready artists, followed by a Q&A with the agencies where they can outline availabilities for the next year, introduce the agents, or answer any questions the festival audience might have.”

Double Mission


lthough a number of festival conferences have been introduced to the landscape in recent times, IFF offers a unique opportunity for promoters to engage with agents whose very participation means that they are actively looking to route their acts on next year’s festival circuit. Consequently, IFF has twin aims: to provide a highly effective marketplace for the best new music; and to establish

Photo © Paul Underhill


IQ Magazine May 2015

a dedicated forum for leaders and innovators in the music festival space to meet and share knowledge and best practice. “This is not another general business-to-business event,” states Networking Music’s Ruud Berends. “This one is a very unique, invite-only event designed for festivals and agents in a period of the year where many festivals are in London to meet with the agents to discuss artists for the following year’s festival season. IFF is therefore a very organic event giving a platform and focus to something that is already happening in that period in this town.” Underlining IFF’s unique characteristics, fellow board member, Fritz Thom, of the IJFO, comments, “There is demand for an extensive festival forum, on a large-scale, as there are common issues concerning all genres of music.” He adds,“The marketplace with the agents will be a great feature at IFF. We at IJFO are proud to be one of the founding members, channelling and docking our world to the industry.” Echoing those sentiments, De Concerts! co-president Paul-Henri Wauters says, “IFF will be very helpful for all our members to get good information at the right moment. Having worked with Eurosonic, MaMA and other conventions, De Concert! network is happy to cooperate with IFF in building up a new business model involving our festival members, and UK and local agencies in a new artistic process.”

Heritage Venues


he capital’s iconic Proud Galleries in Camden Town will host the conference elements of the event, which will involve a range of discussion panels, likely to cover such topics as festival health & safety; funding, culture and the role of governments; new models of brand partnerships; production and the festival framework; and alternative content strands. The venue will also play host to a series of market-specific workshops and presentations providing delegates with valuable insight into the likes of festivalisation & event identity; updates in social media; streaming; and data & the new audience. IFF’s afternoon and evening sessions will incorporate agency presentations, Q&A sessions, and artist showcases in the nearby Dingwalls live music venue, where the crème de la crème of emerging talent and breakthrough artists will perform before an industry-only audience, eager to boost their international festival presence.

“ The launch of a new global hub for the music festival business will provide a unique opportunity for our European and global membership to meet, network and engage with colleagues across the global music festival industry, offering us the potential to develop new and exciting collaborations and partnerships.” William Culver-Dodds - vice-chairman, IFEA Europe “Primary Talent International are delighted to be participating in the first IFF,” says the company’s Peter Elliott. “Festivals are an integral part of the development of artists’ international profile, providing a vibrant and exciting outlet for musicians to present their craft.”

Exclusive Membership


ccess to IFF will be on a first come, first served basis, with numbers strictly limited to 250 delegates. Invites to the inaugural IFF have now been sent via email to more than 200 festival organisers and agents. However, a limited number of passes have been retained for those events that are not affiliated with any of IFF’s partner festival trade organisations. Early-bird IFF passes will be available, priced at £155 each, until the end of May, rising to £210 for a walk-up rate, should any delegate places still be available at the 30 September to 1 October gathering. The event has also negotiated discounted rates with local hotels. The IFF board is still finalising the various panel debate topics and are welcoming suggestions for speakers, panels, workshops and presentations from those registering to attend the event. Parmley concludes, “By creating a focussed environment where festivals from around the world can meet and exchange information, network with agents and get a head start on booking their 2016 line up, the hope is that IFF will become a benchmark event in the annual calendar.” IFF is an invitation-only event aimed at festivals and booking agents. To receive your invitation, please visit

• Showcases from hotly tipped agency signings alongside informative Q&As • Exclusive lunches, keynotes, panels, presentations & workshops • Unique opportunity for festivals and agents to meet in a focussed setting • Dual emphasis on the art and commerce of the global festival market • Content concentrated on common issues, innovation & information exchange • Meet colleagues from all genres of festivals and events, to build a truly global network in the capital of the live music industry – London

International Festival Forum • 30 September-1 October 2015 • London •

IQ Magazine May 2015


The Man Behind

The Curtain Ossy Hoppe marks his 65th birthday on 28 April, but in sharp contrast to his lavish 60th party, he will enjoy a relatively quiet day. However, fresh from Wizard collecting Promoter of the Year at Germany’s Live Entertainment Awards, he tells Gordon Masson that retirement isn’t a notion he entertains for long. ith 40-plus years of experience under his belt, Ossy W Hoppe is one of a select group of veterans who pioneered the live music business. But with more than 60 years

in the limelight, few can match him for longevity in showbiz. And far from taking it easy, this summer, Ossy’s company is set to enter the record books. But more about that later. Ossy’s story is truly fascinating. Born in 1950, Oskar Hoppe grew up in the circus and by the age of five, was already wowing crowds with his billing as the youngest elephant trainer in the world, alongside pachyderm co-stars, Bounty and Chandra. “I was born in Munich because that’s where the circus was performing at the time,” states Ossy. “After the war, the allies were very careful about who they trusted. Because my father, Oskar, had hidden Jewish friends from the Nazis, the Americans gave him the authority to grant entertainment licences. He married into a circus family, but then he met my mother who became his fourth wife. And then little Ossy came along.” Growing up in the circus was, perhaps, unusual, but Ossy’s mother, Apollonia, was determined he should receive a proper education. “So my father set up the first permanent circus

IQ Magazine May 2015

school – we had our own wagon and there were about ten kids and one teacher,” recalls Ossy. Although he left circus life decades ago, his connections with friends and family in that business remain strong and he often calls upon them for help. For instance, when a rival touring band thought it would be funny to throw a live snake in Ossy’s face, they didn’t count on receiving a tiger in their room as payback.

Driving Ambition ssy’s formative years were spent at boarding school. But O his mother died when he was just 15 and his father passed away four years later in 1969, which saw Ossy living with

grandparents in Frankfurt, where he studied law at university. Although he did not complete his degree, he enjoyed the work and when asked what he would have been if he was not a promoter, he replies, “A defence lawyer.” Ossy wanted to find a career he’d enjoy so he tried various roles including nightclub doorman, working on building sites,


Ossy Hoppe

My dear Ossy. You’re one of a kind; pretty much tough and loveable at the same time. Except when it comes to flying! I’ve never seen anybody so afraid to fly. I guess at Ossy’s age, life is extremely precious. Lots of love and happy birthday my friend!!

Tico Torres, Bon Jovi

Five-year-old Ossy in the circus ring

delivery driver for a beer brewery, and a job in a printing factory. But his big break came elsewhere. A talented footballer, Ossy played for local team Makkabi Frankfurt, where he was lucky enough to cross paths with Mama Concerts’ emerging promoters Marcel Avram and Marek Lieberberg. But it was a slice of misfortune that started him on the road to his remarkable career. “I was injured and looking for something to do,” Ossy tells IQ. “I liked the sound of what Mama did, so I asked them for a job.” Avram recalls, “Ossy was the best player in the team. He was twice as fast as me and made us all look good, so we liked him. He started out as my driver, but we gave him the chance to work as a tour manager and the rest is history.” Through hard work, Ossy was soon entrusted with more and more responsibility – and was even able to pull on some of the experiences he’d learned while delivering beer. “The Doors were playing in Copenhagen and one day later were supposed to perform in Munich. The truck driver said it wasn’t possible, but I drove it in 18 hours, including the ferry, and we made the gig in Munich.” That can-do attitude obviously impressed one particular band, because enthused by Deep Purple’s impending 1973 American tour, Ossy again went out on a limb and asked for a job. “One week later I was in America,” he says. “I started out as Ian Gillan’s assistant and climbed the ladder to become the band’s tour manager.” But it could have been so different, because on his very first day Ossy almost killed his boss. “He always had fantastic cars and I was driving him in his Lincoln Continental – it was like a spaceship with all the buttons and knobs. Anyway, Ian was leaning out of the car talking to a fan and I somehow closed the electric window, choking him. And I panicked because I didn’t know which knob it was. Years later, he presented an award to me and started his speech by saying, ‘I was almost not here because of that prick!’” Despite that mishap, 1973 was an incredible year for Ossy, because an even greater life moment happened. “A few days before I was due to go to America, I met Barbara,” he reveals. Smitten by the vet’s assistant, there was one minor problem. “Her name was also Hoppe…that’s not a common name in Frankfurt. So I had to check on her background because my father was married five times in total.” Thankfully, those investigations went well and Ossy and Barbara celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary this year. Gillan’s garotting aside, the work with Purple began a lifelong association for Ossy, who enjoyed some seminal moments with the band. “We played a huge festival called Ontario Speedway where Purple co-headlined with Emerson, Lake and Palmer. And there was also the famous time at California Jam when Ritchie Blackmore smashed his guitar head into a TV camera,” says Ossy. Indeed, such was the bond that when Purple split, they persuaded Ossy and Barbara to relocate to Amersham, near London, and even arranged a mortgage. “The house became the headquarters for all of the Deep Purple spin-offs. So I looked after Whitesnake, Rainbow, Paice Ashton Lord and the Ian Gillan Band as they took off.” As those projects gathered momentum, Ossy was forced to make a decision. He chose to stick with David Coverdale and began managing Whitesnake. “It was good fun, but there wasn’t much money in it,” he says. “We’d drive home after

Disembarking from aviation legend The Starship on Deep Purple’s 1974 American tour


IQ Magazine May 2015

Ossy Hoppe gigs because we couldn’t afford hotels. We’d tend to meet a whole load of bands at Watford Gap in the early hours of the morning, because they’d be doing the same thing.” Around the same time, Ossy also found himself working at Jet Records for one of the most infamous characters in rock – Don Arden. “He had a fierce reputation, but I have to say Don was always fair to me.” Indeed, he recalls being dispatched to Birmingham to find a singer called Ozzy Osbourne. “He ended up living with us for a few weeks.” When Ossy left Jet Records he moved on to manage Mike Oldfield. He may have made his own luck when it came to getting into the business, but looking back, Ossy believes it was a perfect career choice. “Because I grew up in the circus I was used to being on the road. I quite like the vagabond life,” he says. “I like to talk to people and, let’s face it, this business is all about relationships.”

I kind of grew up with Ossy – him as a promoter and me as a manager. He’s done every one of my shows in Germany since 1982 and more than a great promoter, Ossy is one of my best friends and someone I trust implicitly. Happy birthday, Ossy!!

Doc McGhee, manager of Kiss

Introducing Rock to Germany 1981, the Hoppes moved back to Germany, where Ossy Iwhennlaunched Top Concerts with Toni Ioannou. “Toni replaced me I left Mama, so we had similar career paths.” Despite some success, cupid got in the way. “Toni ended up falling in love with my secretary and while I was on the road touring, he was spending time with her, rather than being in the office.” As a result, in 1984, Ossy launched a new company, Shooter Promotions, named after a band on Deep Purple’s label, and focussed on a specific genre to break into Germany’s live business.

Ossy Hoppe

Ossy and wife Barbara

Ossy and son Oliver at one of U2’s ‘360’ tour shows

Ossy with The Police band members Sting and Andy Summers

“Mama Concerts and Lippmann & Rau divvied most of the big name acts between them, so there was no space to compete. But nobody wanted to touch hard rock, so that’s what Shooter concentrated on, and I was lucky enough to work with the likes of Bon Jovi, Metallica, Judas Priest, the various Deep Purple spin-offs, Thin Lizzy and Guns N’ Roses.” As rock became the dominant force during the 80s, Ossy’s strategy began to pay off with massive events such as the German editions of Monsters Of Rock, and it wasn’t too long before one of his former bosses wanted a slice of the action. As a result, in 1991, Ossy became a partner in Marek Lieberberg’s MLK. “A lot of my baby bands became the biggest acts in the world,” says Ossy. “Sting was another that I brought in to MLK, as well as the Bee Gees – I’m still great friends with Barry Gibb today. So I brought a lot to the company,” he adds. “It was a healthy partnership.” After nine years at MLK it was time for a change. Longing to be his own boss again, Ossy parted company with Lieberberg in 2000 to launch Coco Tours and Global Concerts with DEAG, and then Wizard Promotions in 2004. “The company was backed by Marvel Avram, who has been one of my greatest mentors and friends over the years.” As for other influential figures, Ossy has a list. “My son’s godfather is a guy called Tony Zivanaris who owned a chain of nightclubs. It was Tony who got David Coverdale to join Deep Purple, as he was a singer in one of his clubs. Other people I’d count as mentors would be Doc McGhee, Bill Curbishley, Ed Bicknell and Peter Mensch.”

Friends and Family ssy’s career is notable for the loyalty he enjoys with artists. O Even when some of those acts have jumped ship, they have remained firm friends with the affable Herr Hoppe.

Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine tells IQ, “Even after we changed promoters, Ossy always remained a trusted and loyal friend. He’s our rock & roll brother!” On his relationship with the band, Ossy comments, “Scorpions were offered 5% more money by another promoter, so I told them I’d give them 10% more, but that meant taking away the cars, the hotel deals and all the ‘fun stuff’, to which Herman, the drummer, said ‘No, no, no’ and I kept the deal.” The epitome of a people person, Ossy is a rare breed who genuinely counts some of his clients as best friends – or even family: while Meine and Avram refer to him as their ‘brother’, boxing legends Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko call him ‘daddy’. Such camaraderie also means some of the biggest names in the business have been victims of his practical jokes, with Kiss manager, Doc McGhee, prompting a particularly vivid memory. “Doc was staying with us in France and he fell beside the pool, breaking the tip of his little finger,” relates Ossy. “At the hospital, I asked one of the nurses how much money she made a week and she said €200. So I offered her €250 if she would put Doc in plaster up to his elbow, which she did. The doctors thought it was a bit strange when they removed the plaster in America a few weeks later, but put it down to French healthcare. I came clean with him a few years later when I was presenting an award to him at an awards ceremony.” McGhee says, “I’m still waiting to exact my revenge. My

Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler shows Ossy some love (not in an elevator)


IQ Magazine May 2015

Ossy Hoppe

My Dear Brother Oskar is one of my most enduring friends, privately and professionally. I met him first after I’d joined Deep Purple over 40 years ago. He was also with me during the very beginning of Whitesnake. Not only do I love him, but I truly love, honour and respect his beautiful family and delight in seeing them whenever we can. I’ve been asked for an anecdote from our somewhat colourful past together, that won’t embarrass him or me…and for the life of me I can’t think of anything quite so innocent! Though, I must warn you, that when I eventually write my autobiography, ‘HOW WHITE WAS MY SNAKE’…I promise ALL WILL BE REVEALED!! Until then, I take this precious moment to sincerely wish my old friend, sorry, my VERY OLD friend the happiest of birthdays… Love to ALL Hoppes and I wish I could be there to celebrate with you…Cheers!! God Bless, Ossy!!!

David Coverdale

arm was itchy as hell for five weeks. And the best thing about that joke is that he didn’t tell me for five years.” Having established Wizard as a force in Germany, Ossy began his own private campaign to lure son, Oliver, back into live music. “It took me three years to convince him,” confesses Ossy. “The first few months working with him were tough, because he basically told me everything I’d been doing wrong for the past 30 years. And to be fair, a lot of what he said made sense.” He adds, “I’m very temperamental and I can blow up pretty quickly. But Olly has taught me to look at things with less emotion and that’s been a revelation for me.” “I didn’t see a lot of dad when I was young because he was so busy, but he always made a big effort,” says Oliver. “For instance, he was on tour with Purple in America when it was my first birthday, but he flew back for one day because it was important to him.” Oliver reveals that working with Ossy was never in his plans. “I interned for dad when I left school, but I always knew I would just be Ossy’s kid, so I decided to make my own path. I went into brand consulting and handled strategic conceptions for the likes of Mercedes Benz. I could have stayed there for my whole career, but Ossy persuaded me to join Wizard. I wasn’t totally convinced, but I thought I should give it a go, rather than maybe regret not taking the chance.” Working together hasn’t always been smooth though. “We are very different people,” says Oliver. “Ossy is a very honest guy that thinks from his gut, whereas I’m ruled by my head. So we clashed. A lot. But when he gets excited about a project, I look around the corner and try to calm him down.”

Ossy Hoppe

One thing son has educated father about is staff wellbeing. “From day one Oliver made time to ask people at Wizard how their family is, do they need anything, things like that. So he’s quickly become the father figure at Wizard, despite his father being there!” admits Ossy. “I’m extremely happy to be working with him. He’s made me a better businessman and we’re genuinely learning from each other all the time.”

Charitable Mindset way from music, Ossy leads a fairly simple life. When not A working, he spends his time with Barbara at their house in the south of France. Unlike others in the business, his walls are It feels like Rudolf [Schenker] and I have known Ossy our whole lives. He’s not only a very special and outstanding promoter, but he’s also been a buddy and we always have fun with him. There are so many good memories – headlining Monsters of Rock, starting Nordoff Robbins, doing the circus fundraiser in Munich, but one of the most important things Ossy did, was introduce us to Peter Amend, who managed us for 23 years until he sadly passed away last year. Put simply, we love you Ossy – rock on!

Klaus Meine, Scorpions

Purple haze: Ossy with Deep Purple vocalist and bass player Glenn Hughes and below, all at sea with Jon Lord


not adorned with music memorabilia. In fact, if burglars broke in, they’d be forgiven for thinking it was the home of a patron of the arts with a penchant for animals. “Barbara was the first female veterinarian’s assistant in Frankfurt and she’s always been a big activist for animals,” says Ossy. “When we lived in Amersham, any dog that didn’t have ID tags would be rescued and fostered to our neighbours – it got so bad that you’d see curtains shutting and lights switching off as we’d walk down the street!” Fast forward 40 years and Barbara has extended that devotion to the farmhouse the Hoppes have rebuilt in France. “We have a couple of rescued dogs – Junko and Nika – and a donkey sanctuary,” reports Ossy. “The first donkey, Pedro, was found tied to a tree and my wife persuaded the farmer to let us look after him. She thought he was lonely, so she found him two girl companions – Adonette and Oceane. I asked her why she didn’t let me have that?!” he laughs. “We’re also the sponsors of elephants in Africa, rhinoceros, orangutans, lions, you name it. And I reckon that when I start to wind down and spend more time in France, the Hoppe menagerie will grow.” Ossy’s Francophile passion dates back to circus life. Fluent in French, he has become an integral part of the community in the picturesque village he calls home. “The current place is an old farm that was in ruins when we bought it. But we fell in love with the local village – it’s not one of those places that has been lost to the Ferraris,” he says. Ever genial, Ossy counts the local policeman, priest and mayor among his friends and every summer he uses his organisational skills to host a charity concert in the village. “Oliver’s band plays, although he now manages them, rather than playing guitar,” he says. “It’s a fun day. We raffle a signed guitar and have German food stalls and stuff. We attract about 1,500 people and all the money goes to local causes, like the school or the fire brigade.” Those efforts earned Ossy the status of honourary member of the village. “It’s a big deal for a German, as this was the heart of resistance country during the war,” he says. Ossy devotes a chunk of time to charity and was even responsible for starting Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy in Germany. “Paul Nordoff died in Dortmund, so there is a link,” explains Ossy. “In 1992, Professor Lutz Neugebauer came to see me and Scorpions at a recording studio to tell us about Nordoff Robbins. We thought rather than just give money, we should establish the charity in Germany. So along with Scorpions, Peter Maffay and a few others, we launched it here. “Instead of asking people for donations, we urged them to

IQ Magazine May 2015

Ossy Hoppe

give us one day out of their year so that they could take part in a tennis tournament or something like that.” That concept helped create one of the most innovative fundraisers in German history. “I persuaded a friend with a circus to donate a day to us. We had Scorpions selling tickets in the box office, Nena selling red balloons and the Bee Gees showing people to their seats. It was great fun and raised a lot of money.”

Deutsche Entertainer n 2013, Ossy sold a majority share of Wizard to DEAG, and Iintervening that decision appears to have been brilliantly timed, as the years have been stellar. “2014 was Wizard’s best Daddy’s boys: Ossy with Klitschko brothers Wladimir and Vitali

Last year with Dolly Parton and her manager Danny Nozell

Backstage with Paul Stanley from Kiss

Ossy and Ozzy


ever year,” reports Ossy. “We did more than 500 concerts, which is pretty good going if you realise that there are only 18 people in the company – Oliver, myself and 16 employees. We don’t want to become the biggest; we just want to stay the best.” In April, Wizard won promoter of the year at the Live Entertainment Awards, while the biggest event of Ossy’s illustrious career is just a matter of weeks away. “We’ve got Onkelz playing to 400,000 people, over four nights, at the Hockenheimring in June. “It will be the biggest stage production ever – we’ve applied to the Guinness Book of Records.” Böhse Onkelz retired in 2005, but two years ago Ossy persuaded them to launch a comeback, with amazing results, thanks to the father-son team at Wizard. “Oliver should take the credit for that,” says Ossy. Detailing the comeback strategy, Ossy reveals that Oliver handled the promotion. Billboards ran in tube stations across eight cities simply featuring a crowd photo, the name of one of Onkelz biggest hits and a line saying ‘register now’. Oliver explains, “Onkelz fan club had disbanded and there was no kind of database, so we needed to gauge how many people might be interested in seeing them live. The first poster said We Still Haven’t Had Enough, the title of one of their hits.” The result was 600,000 registrations, even though people did not know what they were registering for.” Oliver continues, “Stage two was a similar poster using the song title Nothing Lasts Forever and a teaser URL for tickets. Then, one day before the announcement, we faked loads of stories about what it could be, and that went viral. We sold 190,000 tickets in two hours.” Ossy states, “It was just the best campaign I’ve ever seen – and also one of the cheapest. I would have spent a lot of money on billboards, adverts in newspapers and magazines, and all those traditional methods.” A year later, this summer’s Onkelz shows look certain to set new attendance records. But Ossy still has ambitions to do more and despite the lure of the French farmstead, he has no firm plans for retirement. He tells IQ he still has two years to run on his DEAG contract, but another deal is more than likely. “I don’t golf,” he says, “so retirement does not interest me. I’ve committed myself to DEAG, so I plan to keep on working beyond my contract.” He concludes, “The future? I just want to keep going as long as I can. I’ll give more and more to Oliver to do so I can spend more time in France, but I love dealing with the artists who I can call friends and I’ll try to maintain those relationships until I drop – or until they fire me.”

IQ Magazine May 2015

Ossy Hoppe

Testimonials Ossy is a real character, he says what he thinks and he does what he says. With 60 years in show business he is old like a stone and also wise like a stone. It’s good to have him as partner and friend. Prof. Peter Schwenkow, Deutsche Entertainment AG I’ve known Ossy so long I can’t recall when I first met him! It must have been when he had dark hair, so around 1947? A lovely guy with no ‘side’ to him. What you see is what you get, and of course he’s an outstanding promoter who has created a great team in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Complete professionals. What I like most is that he’s never lost his sense of humour, is always positive, uplifting, and generous of spirit. Just one thing, Ossy, that Grecian 2000 isn’t working! Ed Bicknell, Damage Management I have worked with Ossy a few times, played footie against him and even ‘enjoyed’ a journey back from an arena gig… I say enjoyed, but before this trip, I wasn’t aware they made street-legal cars that did 160+mph. Paul Bolton, X-ray Touring The great things about Ossy are that he always delivers, he tells you the truth, he is a good bloke and he works really hard. I’ve worked with Ossy many times on the likes of U2, Sting and Alison Moyet and I can honestly say I would entrust him with any of the artists I represent. John Giddings, Solo Agency I’ve known Ossy for about 40 years – I met him when he was working as Ian Gillan’s driver. We’ve worked together on tours for Sting, Zuchero, and back in the day, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. I’m lucky enough to have worked with some great promoters who I can now call friends, and Ossy definitely falls into that category – he has never let me down, he’s a laugh to be around and he makes being on the road a lot more sociable. I rank Ossy alongside the Leons, Hermans and Andrés of this world – he’s one of the best! Phil Banfield, Coda Agency Ossy is a legendary guy in the business and I love talking to him about football. In fact, we probably talk more about football these days than we do music. His son Oliver is now the day-to-day contact for me and I can see that he’s had a great teacher in his father. I’m also glad to see that there’s someone so capable to take on the baton going forward. Rob Markus, William Morris Endeavor Ossy is the quintessential German rock star! I am quite sure that he is still 35 and not a day over. He is always great company and has fabulous stories. His Doc McGhee/Kiss/’’How do we become world famous?’ story is a classic and while he has told it ten times to me, I love it every time. Happy birthday, Ossy!!! Emma Banks, CAA I don’t do business with him, but Ossy has been a dear friend for decades and is a great person to spend time with. I’m really pleased he has joined DEAG, as I think he has a real opportunity to do something special with Peter Schwenkow and I wish him the very best. Carl Leighton-Pope, The Leighton-Pope Organisation


I’ve known Ossy all the way back to when he was TM for Deep Purple in the 70s. He’s had a long and sparkling career and he’s a great one for hearing the jungle drums and communicating – when I was Dio’s agent, Ossy told me I was about to be sacked and he was right. He knows the artists and managers really well and he manages to stay close to them. He’s also the ultimate party animal – there are very few people from that era who can still party as hard now. He’s also managed to sell himself and his company more times than John Giddings, and still rise to the top again and again. He’s a survivor and he’s consistently promoted some of the premium artists in the world. Neil Warnock, The Agency Group I remember going to an AC/DC concert in East Germany with Ossy and afterwards we decided to drive the same night to Hannover. Ossy is one of the fastest drivers I’ve ever known and we were doing 240kph on the autobahn when he started laughing for no apparent reason, When I asked him what was so funny, he said, “30 years ago I was your driver and 30 years later I’m still driving you to Hannover.” Marcel Avram, United Promoters What I love about Ossy is his reliability: I can always rely on him to be much older than me! Also, I could always expect to find him at the Rock am Ring main stage just before the headliner took to the stage even though he wasn`t the promoter. There is a certain irony to that now… John Jackson, K2 Agency I’ve worked with Ossy a number of times and he’s a better promoter than he is a football player! When you have an artist on the road , you never have to worry when they are with Ossy. I’ve never had anything but great feedback from my acts about him – he is a great host and he makes everyone feel welcome whether they are the opening act or the headliner. Happy birthday Ossy. Keith Naisbitt, APA Agency I’ve known Ossy for many years and have worked with him since the days he was at MLK. He is a titan of the business, that’s for sure. Ossy has crammed a lot into his career since he was tour manager for Deep Purple and worked with Whitesnake. He is a true music lover and always sticks by his acts. And his sense of humour is legendary. Steve Strange, X-ray Touring Ossy is the best boss I have had and I am proud to be part of the Wizard family. He is a ‘Mensch’ and honesty and loyalty are very important values to him. You know what’s on his mind and although conversations can get heated, it’s always with a twinkle in his eye. Julia Frank, Wizard Promotions Dear Ossy, Anyone who was an elephant trainer by the age of five has basically already learned everything there is to know in our business. After that, big animals could never scare you again, on the contrary! You are one of those who always had, and continues to have, a particularly close relationship with your artists, and you never let yourself get bent out of shape. In this industry full of warhorses, I will always consider you the best! Keep swinging! Karsten Jahnke, Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion

IQ Magazine May 2015

Sam Smith

SAM SMITH NOT SO LONELY Virtually unknown a year ago, Sam Smith is now one of the hottest artists on the planet – with no less than four Grammys to his name through his debut album. Christopher Austin witnesses the developing live show as Smith winds up his inaugural international headline tour. “I have never done anything that has moved so quickly in all my life,” says Cyril Thomas, production manager of Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour tour, and a 30-year industry veteran. The pace of Sam Smith’s rise is truly remarkable. In 2012, he would walk home from his full-time bar job to a small East London flat to save money. Just two years later, Smith’s In the Lonely Hour entered the US charts at No.2 – the highest ever entry for a debut album by a British singer. The 22-yearold’s intensely personal, soulful output has been compared to Adele and interest in the US is certainly comparable. Tour manager Paul Allen has been working with Smith since 2013 with early shows in bars and cafés, followed by a UK tour in early 2014 that involved venues like the Birmingham Institute Library. By March they were at SXSW in Austin, Texas, playing more diminutive venues, at unsociable hours, including St David’s Historic Sanctuary and Haven. But it was Smith’s appearance on American TV show Saturday Night Live on 29 March 2014 that proved a game changer. “It went from bars and small clubs to arenas in the space of six months,” says Allen. The current tour kicked off at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on 9 January 2015. A week later, Smith was playing to a full

IQ Magazine May 2015

house at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and before the month was out he had played two sold-out shows at the 17,500-capacity Forum in Los Angeles. Despite a series of No.1 singles, numerous awards and an ability to sell-out arenas in the likes of Australia, New Zealand and Japan without ever having played there before, Smith’s feet appear to be firmly on the ground. “He is a nice down-to-earth guy that understands what is going on and knows exactly what he wants, which makes our lives so much easier,” says stage manager James Gould. The In the Lonely Hour tour has already seen Smith play the US, Canada and much of Europe, and in April he played two shows in Auckland’s Vector Arena, a remarkable result in a country with such a low population. Australia, Japan, Philippines, and more than a month of European dates are followed by another North American stint, and European festivals will then take Smith to Rock In Rio in Brazil. But it doesn’t stop there. “The tour was supposed to end midsummer, then it went to August when an American tour came in, then something for September, and in a couple of weeks, October dates in South American will go on sale,” says Allen. Having played arenas throughout the US and Canada


Sam Smith in January and February, the first European gig was at the 8,000-capacity Forest National arena in Brussels on 1 March. Live Nation Belgium’s Roel Vergauwen first worked with Smith at a sold-out 1,850-capacity Ancienne Belgique in Brussels in November 2014. “We had him in two marquees at Rock Werchter in 2014, which worked really well, and this year he’s playing the festival again, but on the main stage. It’s always nice to see that kind of evolution,” says Vergauwen. Summer Marshall at CAA represents Sam Smith worldwide except for North and South America. The agent’s first ticketed show with the singer was the 100-capacity St Pancras Old Church in North London in May 2013, where Smith played an intimate acoustic show by candlelight. At Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur, promoter Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos has been working with Marshall on Sam Smith since mid 2013, but hosted his German debut in March last year. “We’ve had nine shows with Sam so far,” explains Pana. “The first shows were supposed to be in 200-capacity rooms, but we upgraded to 400-caps. Then we had him back for three shows in November and in March this year he played venues with capacities of 4,000 and 6,000, so the next time he returns will hopefully be for a full arena tour.” Pana reveals that during the most recent tour, MLK had looked for places where they could have upgraded the capacity. “But sometimes it’s good to grow things slow and steady, so we were not too upset that we couldn’t upgrade,” he says. “The great thing about Sam Smith is that he is such a nice guy – and that his whole crew are also really easy to work with, so we’re already looking forward to having them back in Germany on the next tour.” Those sentiments are echoed by Dave Corbett at DF Concerts in Scotland, who has taken Smith from clubs – King Tut’s in Glasgow and the Liquid Room in Edinburgh – to two nights at the 2,500-cap O2 Academy Glasgow on the current tour. “He also played T in the Park last summer and we have him back again there this year, where he’ll no doubt play to a packed stage,” says Corbett. “His audience is just growing and growing, so we’ll be looking to do several nights at the SSE Hydro next time around.” Such is the demand for Sam Smith in 2015 that every show on the current tour has sold out and it appears Smith’s show could stay on the road indefinitely. “One challenge with a campaign moving this quickly has been managing promoters’ expectations across different markets,” says Marshall. “It’s not possible to visit all cities in all countries on album cycle one but there are many places we look forward to Sam playing in the future.” “At some point Sam has got to record a new album,” says Allen, who reveals that Smith has been working on new material in a portable studio installed in his dressing room. Aside from a small number of arena-sized venues, the European leg has seen Smith predominantly play theatres, including three nights at London’s Brixton Academy. By most artists’ standards the 5,000-capacity Brixton Academy is a sizeable venue, but with Smith fresh from huge stages in the US, the comparatively diminutive European venues mean the production has had to be scaled down. “Sam’s career is moving so fast that we have always outgrown the venue before we get to it, and it’s been like that since day one,” says Allen. In North America, it took six trucks to transport the set; in Europe the kit is squeezed into four. “It was a conscious decision not to do UK arenas on the first album. It makes

CORE CREW Paul Allen - Tour Manager Cyril Thomas - Production Manager James Gould - Stage Manager Colin Lish - Head of Security Mikki Pallas - Production Assistant Will Potts - LD/Show Designer Simon Thomas - FOH Sound Brian Evans - Monitor Engineer Brian Collins - Head Rigger Steve Rodd - Keyboard Tech Chris Blastock - Drum Tech Peter Hampson - Guitar Tech Andy Mitchinson - Lighting Crew Chief

FoH sound engineer Simon Thomas at his SSL500 console


IQ Magazine May 2015

Sam Smith Smith celebrates his haul of four Grammys

“We are very proud to be a London-based audio company contributing to the success of a Londonborn artist as they become a worldwide megastar. We are at the very beginning of what could be a very long career.”

Britannia Row – Dave Compton “The production manager, tour manager and artist are all very positive and professional. Sam makes it look effortless on stage, he was born to be a star.”

DF Concerts – Dave Corbet “It has been a pleasure working with Cyril again and having the opportunity to show Paul what we can do. Sam is a real star and interested in the team, he likes to get to know everyone and understand their role.”

Fly by Nite – Matt Jackson “Everybody from management, record label, band, tour manager, production manager to security are motivated, friendly and a real pleasure to work with. Sam Smith is just amazing. Such a lovely man – down to earth and friendly to everybody involved.”

Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur – Ioannis Panagopoulos


sense because if you do arenas on a first album, where do you go from there?” says Thomas. All Access Staging has supplied staging and scenic elements, including custom-built light boxes on which Smith’s ten-piece band perform. Within each box are housed LED video screens supplied by XL Video. The US set included risers and a lift that Smith would use during the opening sequence of the show. It has not been possible to include the lift in the European theatre shows, but an arc-shaped lighting rig supplied by Production Resource Group (PRG) remains central to the show. The full stage set also features a kabuki-style drape that is too extensive to include in the smaller theatres. “Kabuki-style effects can be difficult to achieve in smaller venues and sometimes it’s a challenge to get the band onstage,” says the tour’s lighting director Will Potts, who designed the set. “We are constantly adapting and changing the design to suit the venues in order to maximise the impact – so it’s an advantage to have the show designer on the road, as I am with Sam,” he says. The production’s dynamic simplicity creates a compelling background for the star of the show – Smith’s voice. Mid-gig Smith is accompanied solely by a grand piano for an intimate showpiece that lays his vocal prowess bare; it is one of the most powerful moments of the night. “My aim was to keep the design fairly simple in order to lock Sam in as the centrepiece,” says Potts. “Sam always wanted the show to be clean, clear and classy. He wanted it to be classic, but not old. So I took Busby Berkeley as an inspiration and tried to modernise the same feel. “I’ve enveloped him using the band, the video risers and my curved truss. This brings intimacy to the show even in the larger more cavernous spaces where we have been performing,” adds Potts. Thomas and Gould are charged with maintaining the greatest continuity possible in terms of the look of the show. “That’s very important. Fans are looking at footage online all over the world and they are quick to spot things and write about it on message boards – it only takes one person to notice something and it is being talked about around the world,” observes Thomas. “We need to achieve the same look around the world, which is why we went for global vendors such as Britannia Row, Clair Global and PRG – it means we stand more of a chance in keeping that constancy of look wherever we go.” Zack Eastland, project coordinator at All Access Staging, has been working with Smith’s team since October 2014, providing equipment from its UK facility. “It became a joint effort between myself and my colleagues in LA when the tour went overseas, as although the custom fabrication was handled in the US, the colour-changing Perspex for the LED riser fascias was sourced in the UK,” he says. XL Video’s Gareth Jeanne worked closely with All Access and Potts to create and fit the LED screen custom components inside the light boxes. “It is always great working with Will, he designs lighting and video so the integration is always superb – there is always consistent design across all elements,” says Jeanne. In May 2014, Smith ‘came out’ in the New Yorkbased magazine The Fader, something that clearly hasn’t discouraged the legion of teenage girls queuing around the

IQ Magazine May 2015

Sam Smith Smith at the Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt

block at the Brixton Academy shows. Gould says Smith attracts a diverse crowd with an age range across the board from 7 to 70. “It’s a good natured crowd, there’s no stage diving,” he laughs. Thomas recalls looking at the front row at the Corona Festival in Mexico City and seeing two male fans, one in a Metallica shirt, the other in an Anthrax shirt. “By the end of the show they were in tears and hugging each other. Sam really does attract a very wide spectrum of fans,” he says. There have been many remarkable landmarks for Sam Smith on this tour already, not least selling out Madison Square Garden in 35 minutes. But for the core crew of 13 (see box, page 49) it is not always the big shows that are the most demanding. Gould cites the 22 January show in Detroit’s neo-gothic Masonic Temple Theatre as one of the toughest shows yet. “It is a particularly small theatre with one loading door and a high ramp that you have to back the truck up onto. It was -10 degrees centigrade with the wind blowing through and the stage was significantly smaller than usual, so there was nowhere to store anything. Behind the drape was a wall of cases stacked up and we had to get that out before we could open the door. For the first 45 minutes it was a feverish Tetris game with cases,” recalls Gould. Whether it is playing a festival in Portugal one night and Scotland the next, or moving the tour from Perth to Tokyo in a couple of days, the tight deadlines between shows have meant there has been little time for crew members to visit home. “A lot of humour underpins this tour – there is a lot of laughter, when you are tired that is what gets you through. This is one of the best tours, in terms of crew camaraderie, that I have ever been on,” states Thomas. The schedule is so tight that Allen has been unable to factor in visa application times and has had to get the crew and band to travel with one passport and use another for visa applications. Promo time has been squeezed into any available gap. On one occasion it meant travelling from Los Angeles to Australia and back in three days for a breakfast TV appearance. In order to satisfy record company and media requirement there is an acoustic set-up, a semi-acoustic format and full band option available for promo appearances. Due to the tough scheduling, one backline is used in the UK, Australia, South East Asia and Japan, while a second is used in the Americas and the rest of the world. “Fortunately, we thought ahead a long while ago and have backlines on both sides of the Atlantic. Not having to freight a highly specialised package makes it a lot easier,” says Thomas. For Thomas and Allen, who have been touring shows for the past three decades, the demands of life on the road are all in a day’s work. For Smith, it has been a matter of learning the ropes. “One of the things that impresses me most about Sam is that he really wants it, and for a young kid, he sees everything – as soon as he steps on stage at the soundcheck, he knows how he wants it to look and that enthuses all of us and keeps us all on our toes,” says Thomas. “Considering Sam is 22 and has never really toured before, he is handling it all a lot better than we thought he would. He is very level headed and knows what he wants. He knows reaching the level he is at and staying there involves hard work,” adds Allen.

IQ Magazine May 2015

“Sam has a wonderful, forward-thinking team that understand our role. He has a unique voice and is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.”

OJK – Julie Symes “Sam is a gentleman, an absolute diamond. While stuck in Calais immigration, a coach load of kids turned up and Sam spent ages signing autographs – he is still humble and will take the time for the people that have put him where he is. He treats the crew very well and everyone appreciates that.”

On The Run – Paul Jones “Ultimately, the show reflects how much hard work and effort everyone involved puts in, and this is one great show. It’s an absolute privilege to be involved.”

PRG – Roy Hunt “Sam is an absolute professional. We did a merch shoot with Sam and he works so well and is so natural that we got the most amazing images in a small amount of time. He’s a funny guy and he makes everyone feel part of his gang – even at the gigs when interacting with the audience. His humility and honesty always show.”

Bravado – Rachel Redfearn “Sam has a kindness about him that captivates everyone. His lyrics connect on so many levels – they are timeless.”

CAA – Summer Marshall


Middle East

The Middle East

From a live music perspective, the opportunities offered across the different territories of the Middle East make it one of the most compelling regions in the world for performers to visit. Adam Woods learns about the current economic and political climate in the area’s key markets. In a region troubled by civil war, terrorist pseudo-states, ancient religious conflicts and fallen oil prices, the developing live music business of the Middle East was never likely to jog along entirely unimpeded. Israel, perhaps the healthiest market in the Middle East, is once again temporarily on the back foot as it works to persuade international artists that it is safe (and appropriate) to visit after last year’s Gaza war. The parts of the United Arab Emirates that depend on oil for their income, meanwhile, are feeling poorer than they have in a while, and the crisis in Syria – just the most evident in the ongoing tussle between liberal and conservative forces in the Arab world – casts a long shadow over neighbouring markets. The remarkable aspect of the Middle East, however, is its ability to bounce back. Egypt, a promising live market shut down in 2011 by the Arab Spring, has since endured two regime changes, but is showing strong signs of reopening for business. There is confidence, too, in Lebanon, where in spite of the dangers of neighbouring Syria, the Byblos International Festival steadily sells 45,000 tickets a year. Even in Israel, focus of the world’s concern just last summer, there may be no mega summer shows this year, but there will be a steady stream of visiting artists and an array of tours by local acts. Damien Marley, Incubus, Backstreet Boys and One Republic are all due to enliven a relatively quiet summer in Tel Aviv. It’s in the Gulf, however, that the bigger opportunities potentially exist, given the right conditions and a bit of investment. Dubai, whose ambitious building plans were heavily impacted by the global financial crisis, is once again one of the five fastest-growing cities in the world. “Dubai is on the upswing and has shown little effect from the current oil price,” says Live Nation’s local man Tyler Mervyn. “The city is booming and I think that will only continue with the run up to the World Expo in 2020.” At the time of writing, Kylie Minogue had recently visited for the 2015 Dubai World Cup Concert, with over 70,000 in attendance for the race day and 30,000 for the concert. One Direction was in the emirate for a massive show in early April, while Robbie Williams was expected in nearby Abu Dhabi later in the month.

The Mediterranean – Promoters

Israel, with its strong western connections, is the most mature live music market in the Middle East, but there are obvious reasons why the world’s foremost artists won’t be beating a path to its door this summer – even if Tel Aviv, where 80% of the country’s shows take place, is 70km from the trouble in Gaza. “I don’t think any of the U2s or Madonnas are going to be here this year,” says Oren Arnon, head promoter at Shuki Weiss Promotion, the nation’s leading live music company. “The one big-park event, as far as I know, is Robbie Williams [at HaYarkon Park in May].” Whenever there is a surge in hostilities around the West Bank and a spike in global news coverage, the country’s promoters quickly revert to a weary spiel. “We make a point of explaining to the agencies and management in the West that they need to talk to the artist and understand that the minute they announce, there’s a small but active and internet-savvy group of political activists who will make a lot of noise,” says promoter Hillel Wachs of 2b Vibes. “All we can tell them is: Israel is not an apartheid country. In the occupied territories there’s a different situation, of course, but in Israel proper, Arabs are completely integrated, they have equal rights,” continues Wachs. “A lot of people here don’t agree with what our government is doing. We respect everyone who doesn’t want to come, but everyone who does, I’m very happy they are.” Until last year, Israel’s live business was basking in its best times to date. “2012, ’13 and ’14 were probably three of the best years for live music Israel has ever seen,’ says Arnon. “We had everyone from the Rolling Stones last summer to the Pixies, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Cirque du Soleil.” This summer, as the market works to repair itself, Shuki Weiss is focusing mainly on smaller shows, its 25,000-capacity RockN’Roller Festival and its Hebrew-language, homegrown acts, including Mashina and Fortisakharof, who can play 5,000 to 15,000-cap shows around the country.

Flash Entertainment promoted the Rolling Stones at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi last year

IQ Magazine May 2015


Live Nation promoted Kylie Minogue at Meydan Racecourse, following the Dubai World Cup meeting in March. Photo © Neville Hopwood

Middle East

“ If you invest money in music, rather than a whole load of technology start-ups, you potentially have a much better chance of making a return on your investment.” Hillel Wachs, 2b Vibes Israel’s popularity, in peaceful times, says a lot for a country that isn’t remotely easy to route. “The difficulty with Israel is, first of all, it’s off the beaten path, so it’s expensive and logistically not simple to come out here,” says Arnon. “Any tour that is trekking around Europe and suddenly has to load things into aeroplanes, it makes it a little bit expensive and complicated, and it kills time when you could be doing shows.” The compounding irony of the situation is that the crowds in Tel Aviv are legendarily warm and welcoming. Indeed, politically, and in every other sense, Tel Aviv couldn’t be more distinct from Gaza, says Arnon. “I haven’t had a single artist coming offstage and saying anything but, ‘Holy shit! What an audience!’” he says. “It’s that kind of town. It really is brilliant in every sense, except it happens to be stuck in the middle of the Middle East.” Other active promoters in the country include veteran Zev Eizik, Yellow Brick, ICP Concerts and 3A Productions, not to mention a flood of new money that has poured into the market with mixed results. “It’s a little like Russia, where you have all these people with money who just want to be able to say they brought Rihanna to Israel,” says Arnon. Some new entrants are shysters and dilettantes. However, others are venture capitalists with their heads screwed on. “If you invest money in music, rather than a whole load of technology start-ups, you potentially have a much better chance of making a return on your investment,” says Wachs. “Somebody brings in

somebody big and you’re like, who are these people? But if they get it right, the audience gets a big show, the venture capitalist makes money and the promoter does well.” Up the Mediterranean coast, Lebanon has a well-respected promoter in Nagi Baz, whose Byblos International Festival will this year feature John Legend, The Script, Alt-J and others. While the festival thrives, Baz concedes that the market isn’t necessarily ripe for a glut of stand-alone shows. “We did the Chili Peppers a couple of years ago in downtown Beirut – that was massive,” says Baz. “Here and there we have projects for Dubai and maybe something in Egypt. I think it’s about time to reinvestigate there – to go there cautiously but willing to do things.” Meanwhile, Egypt’s international entertainment market appears to be gradually recovering from the upheavals of recent years, with the focus, so far, on culturally acceptable family entertainment. Local brand activation company DinoActivations’ production of Feld Entertainment’s Disney Live! late last year - a decade after a Disney show last appeared in Cairo - has given heart to local promoters. Cairo-based Event House is responding with imported productions of its own: Beauty and the Beast in October and Shrek in 2016, as well as a dinosaur exhibition this Christmas.“The overall environment is much more positive now, and Disney Live! has made people realise there is a bigger opportunity here,” says Event House founder Moussa AbuTaleb. “We do have some problems with venues,” he adds. “Most of the venues here have capacities of around 1,000 seats, which is not enough, so our shows are going to be mainly in 2,000-capacity tents at Cairo Festival City.”AbuTaleb has a plan for a new venue, but in the meantime, he expects a minimum of 70-80% capacity for Beauty and the Beast over 15 nights. “People’s attitudes towards musicals have changed and they want to see proper stage shows,” he says.

Contributors (left to right): Greg Dufton (DGT), Lee Charteris (Flash Entertainment), Oren Arnon (Shuki Weiss), Hillel Wachs (2b Vibes), Nagi Baz (Byblos International Festival), Thomas Ovesen (Done Events), Tyler Mervyn (Live Nation), Moussa AbuTaleb (Event House)


IQ Magazine May 2015

Middle East

From Thomas Ovesen’s perspective, there are positives and negatives in Dubai this spring. The Done Events COO, who has been in the market for ten years and can count himself as the Gulf’s veteran promoter, staged the Middle East’s biggest ever one-night concert at The Sevens Stadium, where a newly Zayn-less One Direction played before 32,500 fans. The same weekend, the promoter organised a three-day launch party for D3, Dubai’s new design district. These are the positives. Ovesen’s negatives, meanwhile, constitute a longer list: no regulation of the live market in the emirate; a 10% tax on the face value of all tickets sold; no government support for the industry; wealthy neighbours in Qatar and Abu Dhabi distorting the market; cowboys driving up fees and then leaving trails of unpaid bills after loss-making shows; and then there’s the absence of purposebuilt venues, necessitating expensive temporary sites for every major show. “But the sun shines almost every day,” says Ovesen, “so who am I to complain too much?” Clearly, a promoter can survive in Dubai, and do so in reasonable style, if he’s careful – Done Events has brought Justin Bieber, the Stone Roses, Eric Clapton and plenty of others in recent years, latterly establishing two festival brands – Blended and RedFestDXB – in the process. The Dubai Jazz Festival, meanwhile, is the emirate’s longest-running festival brand. Other promoters currently active include DGT, which staged Ed Sheeran at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre and will bring Paolo Nutini to the same venue in May; and Louder Entertainment, which staged Michael Bublé and Drake at the Dubai International Stadium in March. In Abu Dhabi, meanwhile – a 30-minute flight away – Flash Entertainment, owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is the presiding promoter, with Robbie Williams and the Dave Matthews Band on its schedule for the coming months. Qatar’s Alive Entertainment, meanwhile, brought Ed Sheeran to Doha a month or so ago, and also operates in Oman, although a scheduled Justin Bieber show was cancelled in 2013. Dubai, for all its tourism, property and booming wealth, has a relatively small pool of gig-hungry western expats. Ovesen estimates the total UAE market at about a million, from a combined 9m population. Nonetheless, many of them have plenty of disposable income and no good reason not to go out. But in a competitive market, there is also a variety of non-traditional promoters keen to provide them with entertainment. “It’s hotels that want to sell food and beverage; it’s wealthy individuals that want the assumed glamour of being involved in events and are making offers that are well beyond what the market can sustain,” says Ovesen. Greg Dufton of DGT and Think, its sister company, which until recently ran the successful Sandance festivals on the beach of local hotel and resort, Atlantis The Palm, has experience of the former camp. However, he insists hotels don’t simply throw money at artists, though they do find their profit in different ways from normal promoters. “We used to get accused of that with Sandance, but actually that ran as a very, very profitable business for Atlantis,” says Dufton, who brought Florence and the Machine, Clean Bandit and Rudimental to Dubai in the final years of the festival, drawing crowds of up to 6,000 a day. “They wouldn’t just do anything for PR, in spite of what some people might think. We

IQ Magazine May 2015

Shuki Weiss uses the spectacular backdrop of the King Solomon Mines for its Fazamorgana Festival

The Gulf – Promoters

probably had one or two events that were unprofitable, out of 17 or 18. We got the business model to where we could reliably sell 12,000 tickets, and the F&B was a big part of that.” DGT, an independent venture between the Think partners, Dufton and Tim Derry, and local hotel and pub owner Dennis McGettigan, is a straight-ahead promoter, says Dufton, selling 11,500 tickets for Ed Sheeran and aiming for around 7,000 for Nutini. “We are all invested in it, and we certainly can’t afford to write off a lot of money on an event,” says Dufton. “If you get the right act here, you can do well, but it is a very competitive market. I’m not saying everything we do is 100% successful. It’s a very risky business. But I’m sure it is in the UK.” In Abu Dhabi, too, where the government has heavily underwritten some major shows in the past, as part of its efforts to draw traffic to its Yas Island development, Flash’s VP of operations Lee Charteris speaks of a new “commercialisation on all levels”, and an industry that is increasingly aiming to cover its costs. “I think that is reflective generally of the economy in the UAE,” says Charteris. “To pay the guarantees of the artists, you still rely on your sponsors, you still rely on your media partners. But it becomes more and more viable all the time. The industry has grown dramatically in the eight years we have been here.” It is gratifying, according to Charteris, to find artists returning to Abu Dhabi for a second visit or more. “2014 was a great year,” he says. “We had a phenomenal show here with the Rolling Stones. Justin Timberlake came in the middle of last year and there was a closing of the circle, because Flash was born out of a show we did with him in 2007. Quite a few artists have returned, and there is a validation in the fact that they want to come back.”


Flea entertains the masses during Red Hot Chili Peppers’ show at Hayarkon Park, Tel Aviv, in 2012

Middle East

“ To pay the guarantees of the artists, you still rely on your sponsors, you still rely on our media partners. But it becomes more and more viable all the time.”

Lee Charteris, Flash Entertainment

Venues Every live music market in the world grumbles about the quality and quantity of its venues at some level, but Dubai has particular cause. With no purpose-built venue in the emirate, sound, lights, staging, power and toilets must all be brought in for every event, at a typical cost of between $200,000-300,000 (€185,000-277,000). “If we had an arena, and if we could cut some of the crazy costs that we carry to convert a football pitch or a car park into an overnight concert venue, that would allow us to promote more events and start promoting more medium-sized talent,” says Ovesen, who adds that the particular appeal of festivals is that they give a forum for an array of smaller bands. Dubai’s lack of indoor venues is a particular problem in a region where the stifling desert temperatures generally round off the season in May, in time for Ramadan, and begin again in September. “The big limitation here is lack of a proper indoor venues,” says Tyler Mervyn, Live Nation’s Dubai-based SVP for talent in the Middle East, Africa, India and Russia. “Most events take place in non-summer months from October to April, as it’s way too hot for outdoor shows the rest of the year.” Mervyn continues, “There is only one indoor venue in the country big enough to present a full-sized concert, and that’s the Dubai World Trade Centre, where we are presenting Thirty Seconds to Mars in September. But it’s busy 99% of the year so finding any availability is very tough. Even the outdoor venues are getting hard to book now due to the demand from local promoters. This market needs a proper indoor arena, and fast.” All hope that the venues situation in Dubai will change


soon, and some appear to have good cause. Done Events last year announced a long-term strategic alliance with Dubai-based conglomerate, Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG), to produce events, book artists and manage promotions for events in the Middle East, Asia and South American territories, and Ovesen says AAHG plans to commit the equivalent of $30m (€28m) to an amphitheatre with a maximum capacity of as much as 25,000. “We are in the early stages of the consultancy, but we have construction plans ready to break ground before summer, and that means we might even be able to programme some events in Q1/Q2 2016, but if not, autumn next year,” reports Ovesen. Abu Dhabi’s key assets are the du Arena on Yas Island, which can hold around 40,000 people when the need arises, and its sister venue, the 8,000-capacity du Forum. Only the latter is indoor, though the arena has air-conditioning for hot nights. Robbie Williams plays there in April, while Dave Matthews Band is due in October. “When we started Flash in 2008, there was a definite gap in the season of almost three months, but now we have shows virtually all year round,” says Charteris. “There are a couple of months – the Ramadan period and the consecutive month – where it’s too hot to do shows outside, so we move indoors then and do a lot of theatrical, family shows. Families are big here, and that’s a huge growth market.” A circuit for theatresized family events, taking in one or more emirates and Saudi Arabia, is a distinct future possibility, says Charteris. In Tel Aviv, the venue options are more varied, but not necessarily all that much. Rishon LeZion, 8km from Tel Aviv, has a new amphitheatre for up to 11,000, which has hosted Metallica and Sting. The Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv holds up to 8,000 and has welcomed Alicia Keys, Cirque du Soleil and others. There is also a venue at Tel Aviv’s Exhibition Grounds, where The Prodigy played last year. Clubs such as the Barby Club and Hangar 11, and a handful of theatres, complete the picture. “The unfortunate thing here is that no one is building the kind of multipurpose venues we are seeing popping up around Europe and the US these days,” says Arnon. “There’s a new arena in Jerusalem. But that’s a tough city for entertainment.”

IQ Magazine May 2015

Your Shout

“What was your favourite moment at ILMC?” TOP SHOUT At the Thursday meeting of the IPM we discussed a variety of issues, one of which was the subject of fatigue. To me, it was a disappointing session because the impression was that a lot of people, particularly from venues, felt that nothing can be done about having to work long hours. On the Saturday, ILMC allowed Bryan Grant and myself to chair a workshop where the subjects from the IPM were presented. Several agents not only made the effort and turned up to a production seminar, but also made a positive contribution! When we discussed fatigue, one well-known agent stated categorically that if venues write into their contracts that none of their employees or subcontractors are allowed to work more than, say, 14 hours, then agents would need to honour this arrangement. This was such a positive moment I could have burst into a rendition of La Marseillaise!! Thank you to everyone who attended and showed that the passion is still there. Carl A H Martin,

My favourite moment was at the Gala Dinner, as the mentalist Lior Suchard confused, confounded and captivated what must be one of the hardest audiences in the world of entertainment. His public revelation of one unsuspecting diner’s four digit credit card PIN number was both astonishing and amusing. His final 16 box grid where everything added up to 67 was amazing... my explanation can’t do it justice, but it was extraordinary. Ben Challis, Glastonbury Festival

FREE beer at Bertie’s Bar on Thursday night, unheard of at ILMC! Encore in 2016! Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts

Having booking agents not only be in the room but actively participate in the Ten Commandments of Production Heaven session – so refreshing and needed (thanks Jake, Steve). They can make all the difference in striving for safety for everyone. Now for more at IPM 2016. Martin Goebbels, Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach

The interview with Phil Rodriguez was by far my favorite moment…by miles. The worst moment was at Sunday lunch with the discovery that there was no roast beef. That was heartbreaking!! Ed Grossman, MGR Touring

Ed Grossman with the mentalist at the Gala Dinner! I think Geoff Ellis booked Ed for T in the Park. Gillian Park, MGR Touring

Realising that we [Dubai] are no longer the worst-financial-downturnaffected, least-government-regulated, most-artist-fee-overpaying, hardestticket-VAT-hit, no purpose-built-arena market in the world... Thomas Ovesen, Done Events

The moment in the Festivalisation workshop when Chris Tofu referred to the paying public as ‘Punters’ and Fruzsina Szep interpreted this as ‘Panthers’, going on enthusiastically to wonder why just panthers and not any other kind of big cat. I look forward to seeing security guards dressed as Antelopes in future to make the Panthers feel more comfortable.

I very much liked the Emerging Markets panel and the survey the chairmen did. It was very helpful to get statistics about the main topics that concern our market. These types of statistics can help brighten one’s view, identifying possible benefits or threats that one is not aware of. Codruta Vulcu, ARTmania

Apart from going home on Sunday night instead of Monday morning, I think seeing so many new people that I did not know and getting introduced as the ‘new’ old guard! Andrew Leighton-Pope, The Leighton Pope Organisation

After the chairmen’s reception, which was supposed to end around 9:30pm, Michal Kascak and I stayed with Allan McGowan, Martin Hopewell and Ed Bicknell till 1am. The conversation was really interesting for me: those guys are like music business historians… they remember times when Led Zeppelin’s fee was £100. Barış Başaran, Pozitif Live

The most epic and memorable moments at ILMC 27 definitely included Ben Challis playing rockstar on ‘stage’ during the karaoke events. Jeremy Hulsh, Oleh! Records

Ian Thomas, MGR Touring

Smoking while outside the hotel and seeing five of the ten people I’d scheduled to see over the weekend! Max Robertson, Integro Doodson

James Cobb delivers the frightening results of his fatigue survey to IPM delegates

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IQ Magazine May 2015

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