LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
An ILMC Publication. July 2015
BRANDS TAKE CENTRE STAGE
THE EVOLUTION OF LIVE MUSIC SPONSORSHIP KISS AND MAKE-UP • 30 YEARS OF ROCK IN RIO • SWISS MARKET PROFILE • FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT
Cover photo: Cotton Claw performing at Open Air St Gallen in June © Tatjana Rueeggsegger
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 60
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 12 Busy Bodies NEW - Industry associations share business concerns and news 13 New Signings A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the rosters of international agents 18 Techno Files Revealing the hottest new technology in live entertainment
20 Brands Take Centre Stage Giles Fitzgerald unpacks the new rules of deal making in the evolving sponsorship market 26 Like Clockwork It’s time to revisit Switzerland for a market report 36 We Are Family Dr Eugenia Durante conducts her annual health check of the family entertainment sector 42 KISS and Make-Up Olaf Furniss discovers the secret to the thunder gods’ unwavering universal popularity
50 30 Years of Rock In Rio Richard Smirke takes a look back over three decades of the world’s biggest live music event
Comments and Columns 14 The Changing Nature of Festival Booking Richard Moffat discusses the mercurial world of festival booking 16 A Country Worth Touring Tony Nagamaiah talks about Malaysia as a live music touring destination 17 Challenges, Competition and Constrictors Jouni Markkanen on Finland’s Tuska Open Air Metal Festival and Finnish metal events
58 Members’ Noticeboard Keeping you posted on what ILMC members are up to 59 Your Shout Who will be the top five headline acts in 2025? IQ Magazine July 2015
Mixed Fortunes Gordon Masson observes that while many country economies are growing, financial hardship is still having a real impact internationally... For those of us lucky enough to live in countries that have emerged from the global recession, it’s perhaps too easy to forget that many territories elsewhere are still suffering from the economic meltdown. As IQ went to press, the people of Greece were waiting to find out the results of a referendum to decide whether the country should remain part of the European Union. But even in perceived strong economies such as France, the fallout from the recession continues to take its toll, with cuts in public subsidies and high unemployment hitting the live entertainment sector hard (see page 11). Elsewhere in our news pages, there’s a fascinating MMF investigation involving BUMA Stemra in the Netherlands, which has been giving live performance fee ‘discount’ paybacks to promoters, thereby short-changing performers, songwriters and publishers (see page 9). And hot on the heels of the ongoing battle between promoters and collection society SGAE in Spain, artist representatives around the world are now being urged to scrutinise tour settlement accounts to make sure they are not falling victim to similar practices. Away from the news, we’re delivering you an issue packed with some stellar features. On page 20, brands expert Giles Fitzgerald has written a compelling article on the evolving partnership between sponsors and the music business – a must-read for anyone looking to attract sponsorship support for their tour, venue or event. And our market specialist Adam Woods has been interrogating those working in the complex Swiss market (page 26) to examine the repercussions of this year’s controversial currency cap removal. Eugenia Durante reports on the efforts of the family entertainment sector (page
IQ Magazine July 2015
36) to develop new shows and take productions to new markets in their attempts to drive growth. And talking of family attractions, Olaf Furniss talks to the inner circle of rock legends KISS (page 42) to discover the secret behind their 40 years of success and their ability to appeal to fans across the generations, from infants to great-grandparents. Finally, Richard Smirke chronicles the history of Rock in Rio – the world’s biggest live music brand, which this year marks its 30th anniversary. Given exclusive access to founder Roberto Medina, IQ discovers that the evergrowing, country-hopping festival might never have got off the ground, if it hadn’t been for crooning legend Frank Sinatra (page 50). And as if that wasn’t enough to keep you all informed, we’re using this issue to launch a couple of new regular pages: Busy Bodies, which gives the various live music industry associations and societies around the world a platform to share news and concerns; and our New Signings page that agents can use to announce the latest additions to their rosters. Both of these pages are works in progress, so we’d love to hear your feedback about any ways in which they can be improved. And on that note, we’ve gone all 21st century and ramped up our presence on social media. So, as you’ll notice, there are a number of friendly reminders to use our Twitter account to comment on stories and developments reported both in IQ and on the ILMC website. It’s an ideal way to generate and participate in debate and it’s a tool we intend to use to your advantage when planning the agenda topics for next year’s ILMC, so follow us on @iq_mag and we’ll be sure to do likewise.
Issue 60 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE THE ILMC JOURNAL, July 2015
IQ Magazine Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH firstname.lastname@example.org www.iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag
ILMC and Suspicious Marketing
Associate Editor Allan McGowan
Marketing & Advertising Director Terry McNally
Susanna Moro & Ben Delger
Eugenia Durante, Giles Fitzgerald, Olaf Furniss, Jouni Markkanen, Richard Moffat, Tony Nagamaiah, Richard Smirke, Manfred Tari, Dartsya Tarkovska, Adam Woods
Gordon Masson, email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303
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IFF Announces Inaugural Programme The International Festival Forum (IFF) has confirmed legendary agent and festival promoter John Giddings as the subject of the IFF Keynote at the first edition of the global music festival industry event. As an agent, Giddings’ roster is a who’s who of the popular music world (including Madonna, U2, Sting and Lady Gaga), while as a promoter he is responsible for resurrecting the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival. Other topics include The Therapy Session: Difficult Engagements, which sees Glastonbury lawyer Ben Challis air the top five grievances between festival bookers and booking agents in a bid to build better understanding between the two camps. In Great Expectations: Loyalty vs Profit, session chair Stefan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio) examines the growing trend of agents and festivals booking with each other directly and cutting out middle agents and local promoters. Meanwhile, Festivals are Dead: Long Live the Festival!, chaired by Dany Hassenstein (Paléo Festival), will compare the formulae for success in a post-headliner festival world. IFF workshops include Data & Audience Insight, presented by Dan Brown (AXS) and Karim Fanous (Music Ally); and Better Brand Partnerships, hosted by Jeremy Paterson (IF Media Consultancy) featuring experts from the brand agency world. IFF co-organiser Ruud Berends says, “With some of the festival and booking agency world’s leading lights in attendance, the IFF aims to deliver both knowledge and insight into this vibrant industry.” The full programme is online at iff.rocks.
Movers and Shakers Agents Clementine Bunel and Cecile Communal have joined ATC Live. The duo successfully built independent agency 2 For The Road Events over the past five years and bring their entire roster of artists with them including Benjamin Clementine, Songhoy Blues, Stromae, Mulatu Astatqé and Frànçois & the Atlas Mountains. AEG Europe’s Brian Kabatznick has been elected president of the European Arenas Association, bringing his experience from all areas of the entertainment industry, from venue management to event promotion and from marketing to ticketing. At the EAA’s spring meeting in Prague, John Langford from The SSE Hydro, joined the board as a new member, alongside Karin Mårtensson from Malmö Arena and Francesca Battistoni from Forumnet Group, who was re-elected. The board now also includes Peter van der Veer from the Ahoy Arena as treasurer and Nuria Goytre as executive director. Specialist transport provider, KB Event, has added Helen Himmons to the company’s senior management team. Working directly for managing director, Stuart McPherson, Himmons’ role will see her join the executive board, working on the strategic and day-to-day management of the business, and on delivery of key tours, events and projects. Her last six years have been spent working for the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, responsible for the commercial activities at Belvoir Castle, and overseeing public events, concerts and corporate activities on the estate. Lighting crew chief John Slevin is now reporting for work at HSL’s Blackburn HQ, as technical support manager (projects). The lighting and visual production rental company has also announced the appointment of Mick Seddon as group financial director and strategist. David O’Connor has been appointed as president CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company. A former partner at CAA, O’Connor replaces Tad Smith and has been charged with growing the company’s sports, media and entertainment businesses across its venue portfolio. Stephan Kurzawski has been placed in charge of the entertainment, media & creation division of Messe Frankfurt, replacing Kai Hattendorf, who is leaving to take up the post of managing director of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry this autumn. The Agency Group has added Ben Ward to its UK rock department in London, while Chris Richards, founder of boutique agency and management firm Autonomous Music, joins the company as an agent in their Los Angeles office. Ward previously worked at music management operation One Fifteen and has also worked as a tour manager. Through Portland, Oregon-based Autonomous, Richards has helped build the careers of a number of electronic artists.
Take That were honoured by the UK’s Genting Arena, having achieved seven sellout showsin the venue in May and June. The band was presented with commemorative tickets by arena general manager, Guy
Dunstan. Pictured left to right are Dunstan; Mark Owen; senior event manager, Sarah Scriven; Gary Barlow; senior event manager, Tony Hayes; Howard Donald; and senior account manager, Alex Ginever.
IQ Magazine July 2015
The Changing Nature of Festival Booking Richard Moffat, booker for the Falls Festival in Australia, amongst others, delivers some insightful comments about the changing nature of festival booking, and connecting with the young festival audience. All with the help of a handy chart.
n my last ten years of festival booking the frustrating question I get asked most often is ‘who’s the headliner?’ The sincere (but never believed) answer I give is that I didn’t try and book one. This question has always bugged me. Festivals provide dozens of hours of entertainment over multiple days, so why must we reduce all this to a single hour, a single moment, a single act? I realised many years ago that we were losing the culture-defining acts, so tried to start building different kinds of shows…and not the fancy food/poetry/lifestyle blah de blah de blah kind either. I simply want to sell tickets to people who have varied musical taste and can find their own headliner amongst a diverse bill. The first and essential step to this new model is the alphabetical listing of artists. Everyone sees every poster differently. In the world of A-Z, everyone finds their own headliner and chooses their own adventure. The second step is acknowledging everyone has diverse taste (look on anyone’s phone or at their record collection and you will always find a motley group of random selections that rarely look or feel like a collection of anything!). Mix it up and don’t present your show in a scheduled hierarchy. The third step is to add video to your website and actively promote Spotify playlists in order to educate your audience on what you are giving them. All festival marketing should now be focused on this type of promotion – educating ticket buyers is everything. Ads cannot find ticket buyers anymore. Ads merely tell people your show is not selling and are best avoided. The fourth and bravest step is simply to stop forcing people who prefer seeing their favourite acts in a theatre or venue setting to have to see them in a paddock. Exclusivity deals are death, but a slow one. Festivals should be hosting acts that like playing them, and they should be selling tickets only to people who like going to them, yet this is the opposite of what many bookers do. Everyone is searching for the special never-before-seen moment, yet all those moments are becoming less special by nature. The festival problem is not ‘where are the headliners?’, it is that people keep self-fulfilling the idea that we ever needed them in the first place. Let’s move on! So if you see me out and about…find a new question to ask me, eh? I created this chart as a simplistic way to explain (undermine) the ‘who is the headliner?’ myth of festival success. Since I wrote this, a bunch more Australian festivals have gone out of business, all chasing the arms race of headliner bidding wars – none of their shows survived it.
MODERN MUSIC LISTENING CULTURE • Music fans have greater awareness and access to music, simply due to the fact that it is now FREE and available online to all. • People listen to more diverse music via YouTube and Spotify etc than ever before. • People move through music quickly. • People like a lot of different acts a little bit. • People never love anything as deeply or as long as they used to. • Headliners are in diminishing supply. Very few newer acts get to headliner-level due to lack of album sales. • Festival ticket prices have risen way beyond the comfort zone of what people can afford.
WHO FESTIVALS ARE BOOKING
• Festivals are booking the same headliners as they always have and building shows in exactly the same way, but have been spending way more money doing so. • Festivals are booking the same headliners even though the main audience for those acts often has no interest in going to festivals. They would rather see a full set in a conveniently located indoor venue amongst other fans of the same act. • Headliner acts’ audiences are drawn mostly from the period when they first became popular – usually 10-20 years ago. • Headliners no longer get the same media attention and keep preaching only to the converted. • Headliners’ new albums do not sell and rarely get significant airplay. • Most audiences at a festival were not alive when these acts first became popular. They have no emotional attachment to them at all. • Festivals are still building a hierarchy on the myth that there is a closing act that ALL their audience knows, likes and want to see. Those acts do not exist anymore. All headliners are now essentially niche-type acts. • Ticket prices can only go down if artist fees go down. • Headliners are getting paid MORE than ever, simply because there are LESS of them. Festivals have MORE demand than ever for headliners. • The fees have grown exponentially due to the bidding and competition between dying festivals. • To convince the agents of acts to play a festival in place of a headline venue show, festivals are paying more than the equivalent of what the artist can earn at their own shows. • The band fees keep going up. • The bands have less value BUT keep getting paid more.
IQ Magazine July 2015
BRANDS TAKE CENTRE STAGE THE EVOLUTION OF LIVE SPONSORSHIP
With brands stepping up their live music activity, Giles Fitzgerald unpacks the new rules of mutually beneficial deal making in the evolving sponsorship market. Sponsorship itself is not, by any means, a new idea in the live sector. Just ask the Rolling Stones, who pocketed several million in a veritable coup of a deal with the Jovan perfume brand way back in 1981, offsetting vast amounts of touring costs in the process. What is new, however, is the type of role brands now want to play in live music. The old-school model, whereby deal-making largely consisted of a “make the logo bigger” conversation, lacklustre banner sponsorship and a chunky pay cheque, saw brands tentatively aligning themselves with the live music scene. They played a vital financial role, but at arm’s-length – in many ways more akin to the hotdog seller outside the venue than an integrated part of the live experience. This has changed irrevocably over the last few years as a steady influx of brands brought their music-marketing A game – usually reserved to tie-in with wider ‘above the line’ marketing (billboard ads and commercials) – to the fields, venues and artist tours that dominate the musical calendar. Sponsorship from the sidelines is no longer an option, with brands increasingly positioning themselves at the epicentre of the action. Brand expenditure in live music in North America, for example, has risen steadily over the last few years, increasing by almost a third since 2010 to encompass an estimated $1.43billion (€1.31bn) in 2014. Extrapolate that figure out globally across the myriad of festivals, tours and venues large and small, and it’s easy to see why promoters are eager to capitalise on this rekindled interest in sponsorship. If the stats don’t speak for themselves the sheer volume of activity does, with a plethora of big brands making their mark on the live sector this year. The exponential rise in interest in the EDM scene, for instance, has seen the likes of MasterCard, Smirnoff and T-Mobile announce highly committed festival, venue and tour partnerships in 2015. Elsewhere, luxury automotive brand Mercedes recently partnered up with the inaugural US edition of the Rock in Rio Festival in Las Vegas, while mobile handset firm HTC is busy sponsoring numerous UK festivals (including Lovebox and Wilderness) and nine live venues as part of a robust partnership with Mama & Company. Tour sponsorship is equally active this year with cloud computing firm Salesforce inking a two-year deal with U2 on their Innocence + Experience tour, Quicken Loans teaming up with Lady Antebellum along the route of their Wheels Up tour, while the likes of Hotlink, Naver and Asiana Airlines sponsor K-Pop powerhouse Big Bang’s 2015 world tour. Not to mention the occasional bizarre pairing, such as Cottonelle toilet paper sponsoring the first leg of the New Kids on the Block Main Event tour. This steep rise in activity obviously poses a potential risk of saturation, and the ever-present fear of a consumer backlash, however it appears that fans are actually welcoming brands with open arms if they can add genuine value to their live experience. In fact, music fans are 44% more likely to register a positive sentiment towards a brand that sponsors a live music venue, according to a recent GroupM study – some 15% higher than at a sporting event. That said, it’s not just about intangible emotional value here, around 40% are also more likely to consider purchasing a partner product post the final encore and the last tube home – thereby proving that live music has a genuine
IQ Magazine July 2015
economic impact on a brand’s all-important bottom line. Naturally, everyone wants a slice of the action, but it can be a fraught battleground. So, just what are the new rules of engagement when it comes to entering into a sustainable relationship with a brand in the live music sector? We spoke to a number of experts across the festival, tour and venue sponsorship business to find out what sparks the perfect match.
1. FLEX YOUR CREATIVE MUSCLE
Apathy is the enemy of all involved in live sponsorship, and steadfastly following the well-trodden path is of no benefit to either party. Showcasing the statistical audience value of your event certainly has merit, but playing the numbers game hardly captures the imagination. “When you go to see a potential sponsor, take great activation ideas with you”, says Diana Simon, head of marketing and sponsorship at Sónar festival, who advocates not leaving the creative thinking just to the brands and their agencies. “A ‘regular’ sponsorship deck just isn’t useful – ideas are the key to bring the sponsors in.” This is a crucial point – brands are ultimately looking for innovation and differentiation, something they can PR and stand out from their competitors with, and it pays to play into this mind-set. “Understand the strengths and unique facets of your property,” says Scott McNearney, sponsors chief at SXSW – an event that to many is the epitome of brand and band convergence – “be ready to present prospective sponsoring brands with unique engagement concepts tailored to their brand and the brand’s specific objectives that will fit well into your venue/event.”
2. LOOK FOR A VALUE EXCHANGE
The key thing to remember when dealing with a potential sponsor is that the impetus has moved on dramatically from a ‘cash for access’ mind-set, with both parties now leveraging considerable assets that the other can benefit from. The days of a brand writing a cheque and walking away are gone; it’s now very much a two-way relationship – a value exchange. “Be clear on what both parties are trying to achieve out of the partnership at the outset and look for ways to add value. As with all things it’s about trust, and within a relatively complex world such as live music, it’s key to be a partner to brands and help them navigate through”, says James Kent, partnership director, marketing partnerships, at Live Nation. “The best relationships between artist and brand are when both sides acknowledge what’s in it for each other and deliver accordingly,” says Tim Clark, director of IE:music, who manages an artist roster that includes Robbie Williams and Passenger. He cites Robbie’s Take the Crown tour in 2013, sponsored by Samsung, as a prime example of two parties “engaging to define in detail what the aims of the partnership should be”, which ultimately led to a successful value exchange for both brand and artist. “Problems arise when the This is a preview of some content from the latest issue of artist and brandToare when they comprehensive don’t share the IQ Magazine. getmismatched, instant access toiethe magazine’s same audience; when not enough time is spent agreeing features, research, news, analysis and comment, youonwill need what each partyFor wants from the other; when party fails to subscribe. more information about either subscribing to to honour theirIQobligations; and when management doesn’t Magazine, simply click this box. explain to the artist the extent of their responsibilities.”
Despite the fear of impending doom, even the controversial lifting of a currency cap has done little to dent Switzerland’s live music business. Adam Woods talks to some of the professionals who make sure the Swiss industry continues to prosper.
CLOCKWORK IT’S PROBABLY NATURAL that a market that has had it so good for so long should be prone to a few nagging anxieties. In enviably healthy Switzerland, where the long summer throngs with large, largely prosperous festivals – more per capita than any other country in the world, it is said – the live industry appears to share a certain unease: surely something has to go wrong soon? In fact, something did, midway through January, when the Swiss Central Bank abandoned its currency cap against the Euro, sending the Swiss franc soaring and creating a variety of results, depending on whether you happened to be sitting on a pile of Euros, or not, at that moment. “We had a solid stock of Euros before they took a plunge so I can’t say we were very happy about the decision,” says Dany Hassenstein at the country’s largest festival, Paléo. “The Swiss National Bank’s decision took us by surprise, but we are back to where we were a few years ago, with more volatile exchange rates.” Even for those who weren’t immediately and irritatingly exposed, the removal of the currency cap had two key impacts – a good one and a bad one. “The artist fees in Euros became 15-20% lower – thanks for that,” says Johannes Vogel of jazz, world and soul promoter AllBlues. “But since then it’s been getting even more difficult to get any sponsorship.” It wasn’t the worst thing ever to happen to an economy, but in the placid surroundings of Switzerland, it was a dramatic way to start the year. No one, however, seriously expects such concerns to derail the year’s entertainments. 2014 was the best year on record for the Swiss live business. Members of the Swiss Music Promoters Association
(SMPA) drew nearly five million visitors (an increase of 1.7%) to 1,600 musical events of various kinds, generating CHF320million (€305m), an increase of CHF10m (€9.5m), with 3.2m tickets sold. SMPA members account for roughly 80% of tickets sold in the country, so the numbers in full may be around a fifth higher. And while most promoters admit to reservations about the volume of events and the distorting power of the festival season, business goes on. For festival organisers, the perennial nagging misgivings – about a finite talent pool, regrettable ticket prices, the danger of market saturation – are set aside each year as the entire market races to one-up itself somehow. For all other promoters, there is the question of how to maximise the year from early September to late May, and whether to gamble in the summer on headline shows that will run straight up against the world’s busiest festival season. Needless to say, in a market full of huge packages of talent, headline shows become a harder sell. “In Switzerland, the festival scene is apparently stronger than ever, due to the fact that it is good value for fans who have the opportunity to see a lot of new bands for the price of a bit more than a single show,” says Opus One’s Vincent Sager. “According to SMPA figures, 2014 was better than any other year before in terms of the number of events promoted. But the quantity of events is growing faster than the overall demand for tickets. We feel concerned about the risk of a This is a preview of some content from the latest issue of bubble effect, which would badly affect our industry.” IQ Magazine. To get instant access to the magazine’s comprehensive There are those anxieties. be a features, research, news, analysis Nonetheless, and comment, it youwould will need stretch to suggest Switzerland, the back of a record to subscribe. For that more informationonabout subscribing to year, is a live market with anything much IQ Magazine, simply click this more box. serious than a few first-world problems.
Kraftklub performed at Open Air St Gallen Festival 2015 on 28 June © Daniel Gassner
IQ Magazine July 2015
The bi-monthly publication for the live music industry.