LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
An ILMC Publication Jan 2016
ILMC 28 “the Game begins” • Le Bataclan • NETHERLANDS MARKET FOCUS • Eurosonic Hits 30 • Etihad Stadium • The Gaffer: Arthur Kemish European Festival REPORT
The top players in the international live music industry are coming to London in March 2016. Turn the pages of this handy gamers guide to find out more...
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Industry Champions Edition
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Calling all gamers, bosses and adventurers… THE 80s WAS A BOOM TIME for both music and gaming, as both found fortune from shifting units of hardware by the millions. But as tech and tastes moved on, the world of online and its new, virtual reality saw numbers decline. But throughout the fall of the 90s as physical product waned, one game held out, defying all odds and built by the increasingly high scores of those who played it: The Game of Live. Once a year, the game’s top players and programmers are invited to London to the Royal Garden ‘Mainframe’ Hotel, for an actual-reality meet-up, which this year is cunningly disguised as the International Legendary Multiplayers Congress. From 3-6 March 2016, over 1,000 professionals will invade the hotel’s space for four days as we journey back to video-game arcades of old, and a world of hi-scores, secret levels and power-ups. This guide contains information on key events, registration information and a host of useful tips on getting the most from the conference. We’ll also be keeping you up to speed in our regular eNews, but for a complete rundown, head to 28.ilmc.com.
ILMC28 Registration Walkthrough
ILMC 28 has more updates than Windows 7, and on top of four days packed full of panels, workshops, five-star lunches, and showcases, a multitude of events and the best networking in the business, we’re expanding the available space for private meetings by taking over our own pub! (What could possibly go wrong?). In addition, the workshop and showcase schedules have been boosted; a new Association Summit invites leading live music bodies from around the world to congregate in London; the Bursary Scheme for young executive talent expands; and the ILMC Production Meeting moves to a newand-improved venue. However, there’s one word of warning for any would-be gamers: ILMC always sells out in advance, so it’s advisable to sign-up quickly or it could truly be game over. So warm-up those digits, insert some coins and sign-up for four power-packed days of programming, networking and events about the international live music game. The favourite annual destination for serious players in the game of live, we look forward to welcoming you to ILMC 28-bit in March 2016.
TER ATFOR ILMC, sign-up online at TO REGIS REGISTER C.COM 28.ILM 28.ilmc.com where you’ll also find up-to-date information about the conference, including event schedules, the networking scheme and details on how to get to the Royal Garden Hotel, along with the most important part of the conference – the agenda, when it is published in February. Please note, that if you haven’t attended before, ILMC is an invitation-only event. All new delegates must be nominated by two existing ILMC members, who have attended on more than one occasion. Please see 28.ilmc.com/registration for more details.
THE ILMC NETWORKING SCHEME is one of the ways that ILMC facilitates dialogue between its members, in addition to the raft of events that take place over the long weekend. The scheme allows all registered delegates to access a secure area of 28.ilmc. com where they can contact fellow delegates and arrange meetings before the conference starts. To take part, please tick the relevant box when registering or contact email@example.com. For first-time delegates, the New Delegates’ Orientation (Friday 4 March at 10:00) is a must. The 30-minute session will provide information on how to get the very most from your conference weekend.
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The ILMC MULTIPLAYERS 28.ILMC.COM
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Levelling up IT S A LL
Lou Percival +44 (0)203 743 0305 firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Parmley +44 (0)203 743 0306 email@example.com
MARKETING & PRESS
Chris Prosser +44 (0)203 743 0302 firstname.lastname@example.org
Allan McGowan +44 (0)7966 446226 email@example.com
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AGENDA Gordon Masson +44 (0)203 743 0303 firstname.lastname@example.org SHOWCASES & NETWORKING Tom Hopewell +44 (0)7739 316518 email@example.com
REGISTRATION MANAGER Amanda Pope +44 (0)203 743 0301 firstname.lastname@example.org
TRAVEL The Tour Company +44 (0)141 353 8800 email@example.com
ILMC28 Registration Walkthrough
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The Mario Bros. Gala Dinner and Super Arthurio Awards THE ONE NIGHT OF THE YEAR when 350 of the live the fields of promoting (Promoters’ Promoter), festivals music businesses’ power players, bosses and princesses (Liggers’ Favourite Festival), agency (Second Least come together, The Mario Bros. Gala Dinner and Super Offensive Agent), venues (First Venue to Come into Your Arthurio Awards takes place in the glittering surrounds of Head), new business talent (Tomorrow’s New Boss), The Savoy – London’s most iconic hotel. This year, Mario ’professional services (Most Professional Professional), A LL (The Golden Ticket), production services (Services IT S ticketing and Luigi’s long-lost sibling, Arthurio, fronts the most AT ONLINE 28.ILMC.COM Above and Beyond) and assistants (People’s Assistant). prestigious evening in the industry’s calendar. TER AT is The Bottle Award, of proceedings The three Mario Bros. are sure to have a few tricks up Finally, the pinnacleREGIS C.COM 28.ILM special hero for their outstanding their sleeves on the night as The Savoy’s not-so-secret where we honour one levels of luxury and service mix with the usual silliness that contribution to the live music industry. Any prior ILMC delegate or IQ Magazine subscriber is the evening is known for. Hosted by AEG Ogden, Etihad Stadium, and Secure eligible to vote for The Arthurs, with voting open until Events and Assets Pty Ltd, the night begins with a 6pm GMT on Friday 19 February. Tickets for The Mario Bros. Gala Dinner and Super champagne reception, followed by a four-course feast with a selection of fine wines and entertainment. After dinner, Arthurio Awards are £175 per person. To attend, tick the highlight of the evening is The Arthur Awards, when the relevant box when registering for ILMC, or email the industry’s Oscar equivalents are handed out to those firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the Gala Dinner typically sells out in most deserving during a spectacular annual ceremony. The awards honour this year’s industry favourites in advance so early booking is advised.
The Space Invaders Opening Party
ILMC KICKS OFF on Thursday 3 March with the Space Invaders Opening Party, hosted by those fine folks at Dot Tickets. Complimentary treats, bites and cocktails await as the weird and wonderful characters of the live music game invade the hotel’s space once more. The party reunites ILMC members and welcomes new delegates, after 12 months of missions and game-playing around the world – it’s a must-attend event. With several private dinners and events taking place on the first night of ILMC, the Opening Party starts early at 18:00, allowing delegates ample time for a few warmup drinks, before heading out for the evening. Look out for a few more surprises on the night… more details coming shortly…
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ILMC28 Registration Walkthrough
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DID YOU KNOW that two other conferences take place around ILMC? On Thursday 3 March, the ILMC Production Meeting will welcome up to 250 of the world’s most renowned production managers; sound and lighting engineers; venue personnel; and suppliers and promoters’ representatives. To cope with demand for delegate places, the 9th edition of IPM sees the event move to a new venue, the Copthorne Tara Hotel, just a short amble from the ILMC’s home at the Royal Garden Hotel, with IPM Closing Drinks taking place back at the Royal Garden Hotel after the event. You can sign-up at 28.ilmc.com/registration with discounts available for ILMC delegates. Further details are available at 28.ilmc.com/ipm. IT’S A LL IPM 9 also sees the launch of the Production Notes • Access to all panels, meetings and social areas ONLINE AT • Five-star buffet lunches on Saturday and Sunday 28.ILMC.COM sessions - a series of 10-minute presentations of • Tea and coffee service ATleading initiatives from the TERand REGIS innovations, case studies C.COM • An annual postal subscription to IQ Magazine 28.ILM global production community. • Participation in the delegates’ networking scheme Also on Thursday 3 March, the Green Events & • A copy of the ILMC Globetrotters Guide featuring Innovations Conference takes place at the Royal Garden contact info of all delegates Hotel. The UK’s leading conference for sustainability at live • An ILMC delegate bag L ’S A L events attracts over 100 innovators, thought leaders and IT throughout ECAOT T •O Wi-Fi the Royal Garden Hotel A R N.LIILN E environmental practitioners from around the world. And M T S MC. EGIwith 8 opportunity OM highest scorers in • T2he to hangR2out 8.ILMC.Cthe the overall theme of the 2016 edition has been announced the global live music industry as “challenging the status quo”. You can sign-up at 28.ilmc.com/registration with discounts available for ILMC delegates. Further details are available 28.ilmc.com/gei.
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AS MOST ILMC MEMBERS will tell you, when it comes to live music industry events, there’s only one game in the arcade worth playing. ILMC is far from a typical conference, and with all events and meetings designed to allow members to meet, network, have fun and do great business, there are more than enough opportunities to gain friends, colleagues (and notoriety!) throughout the long weekend. But! It’s not all crazy events, mind-bending moments and fun…there’s business to be done too! And to ensure that members get the most from the ILMC weekend, each delegate place includes:
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Gaming Tips and Hints WHILE ILMC FEATURES a long line-up of meetings and workshops, for many delegates, the availability of private space for meetings is of prime importance. Last year, we freed up a generous amount of space within the hotel to accommodate demand, but this year we’ve gone one step further and taken over our own pub! Immediately across the road from the Royal Garden Hotel, the Goat Tavern is available exclusively for ILMC delegates to meet during the day on Thursday 3 March and Friday 4 March. The Goat Tavern serves a variety of hot and cold beverages as well as a full menu of snacks and meals. Planning your meetings ahead? Full details of all ILMC private meeting space is online at 28.ilmc.com/features.
Hints and Cheats
Noobs & Newbies FOR THE SECOND YEAR, the ILMC is running its Bursary Scheme for young professionals and start-up companies. The scheme is intended to provide a route for those who would otherwise not be able to attend, to participate in ILMC for the first time. Patrons of the scheme are Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach. If you’re employed by, or own, a company that has not previously attended an ILMC, you may well be eligible. The closing date to apply is 26 January 2016 and more info is online at 28.ilmc.com/features.
ILMC28 Registration Walkthrough
Thursday 3 March ILMC Production Meeting (IPM)
THE 9TH ILMC Production Meeting moves to a new venue this year to accommodate increasing demand from production professionals who converge from across the globe for this annual event. With a full day of panel sessions, discussion, and networking, IPM 9 also sees the addition of a programme of short presentations to the schedule, while increasing in size to accommodate 250 delegates. Hosted by eps, EFM and Megaforce, registration is separate to the main conference but ILMC delegates can benefit from a discounted rate. Visit 28.ilmc.com/ipm for more info.
10:00 - 18:00
Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI)
THE EIGHTH EDITION of the UK’s leading conference for sustainability at live events will welcome around 150 professionals working or with an interest in environmental initiatives at live events. The conference mixes practical case studies and presentations from around the world, alongside complimentary refreshments, lunch and a closing party. ILMC delegates are entitled to a discounted rate and should sign-up when registering for ILMC. Visit 28.ilmc.com/gei for more info. 10:00 - 18:00
ILMC Association Summit
ILMC INVITES MANY key live music associations from around the world to London for a one-off meeting. The idea of the meeting is to draw together the leading, active live music association from each market, as well as a small number of pan-European sector associations, to meet, network and present best-case ideas and initiatives. The summit is a closed meeting - for further information, or to represent your association at the meeting, please email email@example.com. 11:00 - 16:00
The Space Invaders Opening Party
Friday 4 March The IEG Power-Up Lunch
WITH THE FRIDAY CONFERENCE programme now packed more tightly than a Tetris block, and proving that there is such a thing as a free lunch, Istanbul Entertainment Group’s Power-Up Lunch offers delegates a welcome two-hour window in which to load-up on energy pellets and boost their energy before the afternoon sessions begin. Everyone loves a free lunch, so early arrival is a must! 12:30 - 14:30
The United Talent Happy Hour
BEFORE FRIDAY NIGHT’S schedule of dinners and events kicks off, the guys and gals at United Talent Agency have stepped up to lay-on their very own Happy Hour. Taking place in the York Suite on the mezzanine level of the hotel, it’s a chance to meet the outfit until recently known as The Agency Group, while enjoying a complimentary beverage or three… turn up early as this is likely to be packed... 17:30 - 18:30
The Dutch Impact Party
MUSIC, DRINKS, PRESENTATIONS, snacks, competitions...Friday night at ILMC would not be complete without the Dutch Impact Party which this year presents showcases (so far) from Bombay, The Deaf, and DeWolff. In addition, there’s a Eurosonic Noorderslag 2016 registration up for grabs, as well as enough drinks and nibbles to keep the most hardcore player powered up. It all takes place at Bodo’s Schloss, which is conveniently located right next door to the Royal Garden Hotel. 18:00 - 21:30
The Hi-Score Texas Hold’em Poker Tourney
WITH ILMC’S DELEGATES PARTIAL to a high score now and again, the Poker Tourney is always a popular event. Bluff, bravado, high stakes… it’s a great way to make new friends, lie to their faces and win the shirts off their backs! It costs £20 to enter (with all proceeds going to the Nikos Fund) – so sign-up when you register or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win one of the bar tab prizes on offer. 21:30 - 00:00
The Multiplayers Table Football Coupe du Monde
COMPLIMENTARY TREATS, bites and cocktails THE BEST VIDEO GAMES work better in multiplayer await as the weird and wonderful characters of the live ’ mode, which is also true of the Table Football Coupe du ’ music game invade the hotel’s space at ILMC’s Opening Monde. A late-night competition of dubious moral and M Party. Hosted by those fine folks at Dot Tickets, the physical calibre, players sign-up in pairs to fight it ILMC.CO .out M 8 O 2 C . C M party reunites ILMC members once more, and8after L during a series of nail-biting rounds, bravely battling to 2 .I 12 months of missions and game playing around the win the smallest World Cup known to mankind. Be in the world, it’s a must-attend event. See page 6 for more bar by 10pm to sign-up, as Wembley Stadium host this annual showdown. 00:00 - 03:00 info. 18:00 - 20:00
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Saturday 5 March Complimentary Lunch
A MOMENT NOT to be missed as the Royal Garden Hotel’s consummate chefs showcase their considerable talents and lay on a buffet menu to remember. With everything on offer from sushi to hot delights and more, it’s a truly five-star feast, so make like Pacman and gobble gobble gobble your fill. 12:30 - 14:30
Feld’s Ice-Cream Reboot
16:00 - 17:00
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CHASING COINS and getting to the next level is always hard work, but Feld Entertainment provide some welcome relief on Saturday afternoon. The Ice-Cream Reboot is the perfect chance to take five during a busy afternoon’s conferencing, while adding to the kids’ collection of bizarre plastic cups at home.
Match of the Year Football
THE MATCH OF THE YEAR showdown sees the UK take on the Rest of the World in a match of epic proportions, as the giants of the live industry get together for 90-minutes of analogue gameplay. Coaches will transport gameboys (gamegirls are encouraged to play too) from the Royal Garden Hotel and back again. Places are limited and must be booked in advance, so contact email@example.com to get involved. 19:30 - 21:30
The Mario Bros. Gala Dinner & Super Arthurio Awards
Sunday 6 March
A SECOND OPPORTUNITY to partake of the delights offered by the Royal Garden Hotel’s chefs as they showcase their culinary expertise in another impressive buffet offering everything from traditional English roast dinner to salads, sushi and an exceptional range of desserts. It really is a magnificent spread, so make like Pacman and Ms Pacman (waka waka waka!) and get stuck in. 13:30 - 15:30
Nikos Fund Grand Prize Draw
THE ILMC RAISES A SIGNIFICANT amount of money every year for a charity of its choice in honour of the Nikos Fund. Hand in your business cards to the ILMC girls and boys rattling their collection tins and turn up for a 14:45 start for the chance to win some colossal prizes as our chosen charity Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders benefits. But don’t forget - you must be in the room to win. 14:45 - 15:15
The Game-Over Dinner
WITH MANY ILMCERS STILL AROUND on Sunday night, we’ll be reserving tables for dinner at a location not far from the Royal Garden Hotel. Anyone who’d like to join the ILMC team for this informal supper is ’ S A LL ITwelcome. ONLINE ATThere’s no advance booking, no need to sign28.ILMC.COM up in advance, just turn up on the night. It’s a final bonus AT morning...even TER stage before facing theREGIS boss on Monday C.COM 28.ILM if you are the boss. 19:00 - home
THE HEART OF EVERY ILMC and the pinnacle of the live music calendar, The ILMC Gala Dinner welcomes the power players and bosses of the international business to meet, dine and celebrate its most worthy. It all takes place at London’s finest and most iconic hotel, The Savoy, with guests treated to a champagne reception followed by a four-course feast with fine wines, as well as hair-raising entertainment and the annual Arthur Awards ceremony…more details on page 6. 19:30 - 00:00
Grand Theft Auto-Tune Karaoke
A FAVOURITE FOR THE FRUSTRATED pop stars, the karaoke hardcore, the tambourine shakers or anyone drunk enough, the Grand Theft Auto-Tune Karaoke will be the scene of a multitude of crimes, all against music. Largely offensive to anyone with perfect pitch, with a hotel room directly above the bar, or who is sober, expect outrageous ‘performances’ and downright hilarity. 22:30 - game over
ILMC28 Registration Walkthrough
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Provisional Schedule “Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” - Kristian Wilson, Nintendo. 1989
09:00 - 17:00 IPM Registration 10:00 - 18:00 IPM (ILMC Production Meeting) 10:00 - 18:00 GEI (Green Events & Innovations Conference) 11:00 - 16:00 Association Summit (invitation only) 13:00 - 21:00 ILMC Early-Bird Registration 13:00 - 18:00 Travel Desk 14:30 - 18:00 Association Meetings (invitation only) 18:00 - 20:00 IPM Closing Drinks Party 18:00 onwards Park Terrace Table Reservations 18:00 - 20:00 The Space Invaders Opening Party Various Access All Areas Shows
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Thursday 3 March
Friday 4 March
09:00 - 20:00 Registration Desk & Help Desk 09:00 - 18:00 Travel Desk 09:30 - 11:00 Virtual Reali-Tea & Coffee Break 10:00 onwards The Tech Laboratory 10:00 - 10:30 New Delegates’ Orientation 10:00 - 17:00 Association Meetings (invitation only) 10:00 - 18:15 Conference Sessions 12:00 - Late AEG’s Barcade 12:30 - 14:30 The IEG Power-Up Lunch 17:30 - 18:30 The United Talent Happy Hour 18:00 - 21:30 The Dutch Impact Party 18:30 Dinner in The Garden Various Access All Areas Shows 21:30 - 00:00 The Hi-Score Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tourney 00:00 - 03:00 The Multiplayers Table Football Coupe du Monde
Saturday 5 March 07:00 - 13:00 Breakfast Available 09:00 - 18:00 Registration Desk & Travel Desk 09:00 - 19:30 Help Desk 09:30 - 10:30 Virtual Reali-Tea & Coffee Break 10:00 - 13:00 Conference Sessions 11:00 - Late AEG’s Barcade 12:30 - 14:30 Complimentary Lunch & Pay Bar 14:00 - 18:15 Conference Sessions 16:00 - 17:00 Feld’s Ice-Cream Reboot 19:30 - 21:30 Match of the Year Football 19:30 - 00:00 The Mario Bros. Gala Dinner & Super Arthurio Awards Various Access All Areas Shows 22:30 - Late Grand Theft Auto-Tune Karaoke
Sunday 6 March
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07:00 - 13:00 Breakfast on the Mezzanine 10:00 - 11:00 Virtual Reali-Tea & Coffee Break 10:00 - 12:00 Registration Desk 10:00 - 16:00 Travel & Help Desk 10:30 - 13:30 The Breakfast Meeting & Conference Sessions 11:00 - Late AEG’s Barcade 13:30 - 15:30 Complimentary Lunch & Pay Bar 14:45 - 15:15 Nikos Fund Grand Prize Draw 15:30 - 16:30 The ILMC 28 Autopsy 19:00 - home The Game-Over Dinner
THE NOT-SO-SMALL PRINT A full list of terms and conditions can be found online, but please note: • ILMC conference sessions may not be videoed or recorded • Children are not allowed in the conference areas
ILMC28 Registration Walkthrough
• Conference passes must be worn at all times • Lost passes will incur a replacement fee
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European Festival REPORT
IQ Magazine Issue 63
News and Developments 14 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months 16 In Depth Key stories from around the live music world 22 Paris Attacks The live music industry’s response to the attacks on Le Bataclan club in Paris 26 Busy Bodies Industry associations share business concerns and news 27 New Signings A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the rosters of international agents 32 Techno Files Revealing the hottest new technology in live entertainment
3 ILMC 28 The top players in the international live music industry arrive in London in March 2016. 34 European Festival Report 2015 IQ’s eighth annual examination of the festivals sector 44 The Flying Dutchmen (and women) Adam Woods discovers that the Dutch business has rarely been in better shape 54 15 Years of the Etihad Stadium From swampland to entertainment sentinel, Melbourne’s iconic indoor/outdoor venue celebrates 15 years 62 Eurosonic Hits 30 The city of Groningen gets ready to host Eurosonic Noorderslag’s 30th edition
66 The Gaffer 2015 Arthur Kemish reflects on his progression from accidental roadie to production manager for some of the world’s biggest acts
Comments and Columns 28 The View from Paris Allan McGowan examines what’s next for both Le Bataclan and the local industry 29 Security Under Scrutiny David Boswell outlines security measures that are being taken in light of the recent attacks in Paris 30 Planning for the Unforeseen Martin Goebbels looks at the difficult subject of insurance cover following the November atrocities in Paris 31 The Show Must Go On Karsten Schölermann pledges solidarity among the venues community for Le Bataclan 80 Members’ Noticeboard Keeping you posted on what ILMC members are up to 82 Your Shout What valuable life lesson have you learned from 2015?
IQ Magazine January 2016
Issue 63 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, Jan 2016
The Beat Goes On Gordon Masson reflects on a night that irreversibly changed the live music business There’s not a lot that I can say, to be honest, that hasn’t been said a lot more eloquently by others in the aftermath of the killings in Paris on Friday 13 November. It was one of those devastating life moments in which you will always remember where you were when you heard the news. And I, probably like so many others who are reading this, was at a gig. By good fortune, I was in Luxembourg that night. Had I been in Paris, then I may well have gone to see Eagles of Death Metal, who I saw perform an amazing set at Pohoda Festival in July. But that’s one of the aims of terrorism. How many of us were left thinking that could easily have been me? It truly is terrifying. The stories that I’ve heard about what happened that night and the true heroism by many of Le Bataclan’s staff and the fans that endured the horror have reduced me to tears time and again. I sincerely hope that in time France will honour some of those individuals, such as the venue’s security guards, who without thinking about their own safety, saved so many lives. We’ve devoted quite a number of pages in this issue to what happened in Paris that night. It’s almost mercenary to talk about the short- and long-term impact those events will have on the live entertainment industry, given that 130 people lost their lives and others are just at the start of a long period of recovery having suffered physical and psychological injuries. But with the help of some key experts, we’ve attempted to address some of the
IQ Magazine January 2016
issues the business is trying to deal with. If we offend anyone in doing that, then I sincerely apologise on behalf of IQ. But these will doubtless be hot topics of conversation at ILMC in March, so we’d like to encourage early dialogue. In the meantime, it has been humbling to see the way that music fans have reacted to the attack on their culture, with thousands defiantly going to shows in an act of solidarity for those lost and to deliver a message to the terrorists that they will not win. On a happier note, our end of year issue is packed with everything that makes the live music industry the best business on the planet to be involved in. Eamonn Forde celebrates 15 years of the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and also previews the 30th anniversary of the Eurosonic Noorderslag showcase conference. Staying in the Netherlands, Adam Woods talks to the great and the good of the Dutch industry to learn that home-grown talent is flying high in the lowlands. And underlining the demand for music across borders, our European Festival Report highlights the vibrant health of the summertime business, with more and more people attending events. Last, but by no means least, I had the good fortune to speak to production manager Arthur Kemish who is this year’s recipient of The Gaffer Award. Having just concluded Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour, Arthur’s career path makes for a fascinating read for anyone involved in the touring sector.
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
Editorial Assistant Ben Delger, Sina Klüver
David Boswell, Eamonn Forde, Martin Goebbels, Greg Parmley, Karsten Schölermann, Manfred Tari, Adam Woods
Gordon Masson, email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303
Terry McNally, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0304
To subscribe to IQ Magazine: email@example.com An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).
Adele’s Hello reaches 100million YouTube views in less than five days. The London apartment of Jimi Hendrix is to open as a permanent museum in February 2016. Live Nation posts record third-quarter results with a 9.8% gain in fan attendance, and 10% rise in revenues. The prospects for live music in Iran improve as the state lifts its ban on concerts. Nearly 500 people are arrested at electronic music festivals in Pomona, San Bernadino in California. The final day of Voodoo Music + Arts in New Orleans is cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. SFX promotes former IQ new boss Sebastian Solano to CEO of ID&T North America. Russian collection societies call state plans to pass over 75% of revenues to rights holder “unworkable”. Historic London venue The Coronet announces that it will close in 2017. The UK’s live music business now employs 25,000 – the largest employer in the music industry, according to a UK Music report. Documents reveal that Elvis Presley was making plans to tour the UK and Japan before he died. The Rolling Stones announce a 2016 Latin American tour, produced by AEG Live’s Concerts West.
Plans to host concerts for up to 15,000 people at London Zoo draw strong complaints from local residents. US casinos offer One Direction £26m for reunion shows in light of the band’s planned hiatus. FKP Scorpio agrees a five-year deal for exclusive use of the renowned Wiesen festival site in Austria. The death toll from the Romanian nightclub club fire rises to 45 after the drummer of the band performing dies. Adele’s 2016 tour is rumoured to be booking market-by-market, rather than a global deal. The Monsters of Rock festival format will be revived in Germany in 2016 by Shooter Promotions. A Germany v Holland football match is cancelled due to a serious threat of a terror attack in the stadium.
Ex-AEG chief Tim Leiweke forms live entertainment investment firm Oak View Group with Irving Azoff. Media and entertainment law firms Lee and Thompson, and Forbes Anderson Free announce merger. Robert Sillerman withdraws latest SFX buyback offer, as shares hit all-time low of $0.41. A major two-day festival, Common People, will be promoted by Bestival and organised by Rob da Bank in two locations in the UK. Gdańsk’s Euro 2012 stadium is renamed Stadion Energa in a five-year naming-rights deal with power provider Energa (see page 16). SFX stocks slip to $0.24, prompting the very real prospect of bankruptcy. A hearing opens to investigate the death of Radiohead drum technician Scott Johnson at a 2012 stage collapse in Toronto.
IQ Magazine January 2016
Patti Smith and Bono
An Entertainment Consent law is repealed in South Australia making it easier for venues to host late-night live music. The Society of Ticketing Agents and Retailers appoints politician Adrian Sanders as its new chairman (see page 16). Adele’s new album, 25, sells 1.9m copies in just two days in the US. Coldplay confirms 20 dates for 2016 stadium tour across South America and Europe. The Wilma Theater in Pennsylvania is sued for $2.2m by promoter Knitting Factory over “anti-competitive behaviour”. Pearl Jam donates Brazil concert proceeds to mining disaster victims. Australia’s Victoria state parliamentary inquiry looks into the effectiveness of sniffer dogs and drug testing at festivals. The UK’s Music Managers Forum demands action on ‘out of control’ secondary ticketing, ahead of a government review. Michael Eavis warns Glastonbury Festival may be forced to leave its Worthy Farm home amid concerns over gas pipes. Adele announces first tour in four years, including four nights at The O2 arena in London (see page 18).
EDM festival promoter SFX is “exploring debt restructuring” with investment bank Moelis & Co. Sydney music community announces organised response to “draconian” lockout laws at Australia’s Electronic Music Conference. Ex Done Events chief Thomas Ovesen is named CEO of new Dubai-based live music company 117 Live (see page 20). Fans buying Adele tickets via Songkick claim personal data was breached. Legendary Atlanta-based promoter Alex Cooley dies, aged 74. Romanian culture minister makes building new Bucharest concert hall a priority. Le Bataclan’s owners want to re-open by the end of 2016 (see page 26). Coldplay’s, A Head Full of Dreams is not on Spotify, as the service refuses to make the release premium-tier exclusive.
PRS For Music publishes summary of responses to 8-week consultation on live music events tariff (see page 18). Presale tickets for Adele’s forthcoming UK tour sell-out in four hours, swallowing 40% of total allocations. Hungary’s Sziget Festival sells 25% of passes for 2016 in first 24 hours. Coldplay will headline the 2016 Super Bowl halftime show, with Beyoncé in talks to also make an appearance. Facebook introduces a ‘buy tickets’ option on events pages, in a direct move into concert ticketing (see page 21). Reports claim Live Nation’s head of dance music, James Barton, is close to landing a senior job at SFX Entertainment. Festival promoter C3 Presents lobbies Congress to open up National Parks for its events. U2 pays tribute to Paris victims, bringing Patti Smith onstage at Paris concert, while Eagles of Death Metal appear the following night. Coldplay adds fourth Wembley Stadium date to its massive A Head Full of Dreams UK tour in 2016. Warning issued by ITB agency after fraudsters pose as Aerosmith and Pearl Jam representatives in fake email scam. Las Vegas natives The Killers to play first show at the city’s new 20,000-capacity Las Vegas Arena. Two New Jersey casinos are fined $50k after inflating parking rates during free beach concerts.
Viagogo’s Year In Tickets report names AC/DC as most in-demand live music ticket ahead of One Direction. Brazil becomes the 19th nation to host the Ultra Festival, with the event set for October 2016. Ultra Korea announces expansion to three-day festival following the success of its 2015 edition. Media Insight research into Adele ticket touts reports that £4.2m worth of tickets have been saved from secondary markets (see page 18). New York’s Attorney General probes Bruce Springsteen tickets listed on resale sites before the official onsale date. Amazon relocates ticket sales to new Amazon Tickets UK home, with prices ‘inclusive of all booking fees’ (see page 21). Taylor Swift enters exclusive deal with Apple Music to release special concert film of her mega-successful 1989 tour. Nickelback sued by insurer over $13m claim made for cancelled concerts. Burning Man festival organisers challenge Nevada’s live entertainment tax, claiming it “could cost them $3m”. AC/DC are forced offstage for over 30 minutes at a New Zealand concert following technical issues. To subscribe to IQ Magazine: firstname.lastname@example.org An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).
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IQ Magazine January 2016
Senior Execs Depart Live Nation UK Managerial shake-ups at Live Nation UK continue, with two of the company’s senior promoters making their departure as IQ went to press. Details about the exits are sketchy, but it is understood that vice-president Steve Homer and senior vicepresident Toby LeightonPope severed ties with Live Nation in early December. They follow former COO John Probyn after he left the company for pastures new in September. Homer and LeightonPope are among the bestknown promoters in the UK and were both heavily involved in the Wireless Festival, which made its debut in Birmingham last year, twinned with the longstanding London event. However, the Birmingham festival did not have a second year. Live Nation declined to comment.
Movers and Shakers Simon Presswell has been named CEO of Eventim UK, where he will be tasked with the strategic growth and expansion of the company. Presswell was managing director of Ticketmaster UK until last year. His résumé also includes stints at BSkyB and Universal Studios. Kevin Brown has been appointed chairman of the Official Charts Company. Brown, head of European label relations for Spotify, is taking over the position from BMG UK SVP Korda Marshall, who is standing down after a three-year term. Phil Bowdery has been elected as chairman of the UK’s Concert Promoters Association. Bowdery, who is president of international touring at Live Nation, replaces Stuart Littlewood who was chairman for 15 years. Thomas Ovesen has become the CEO of live events company 117 Live, part of the Dubai-based Al Ahil Holding Group, which owns a 25,000-capacity amphitheatre in the city and is also involved in the Asia Pop ComiCon events, theme parks, movie production and social media marketing. Ovesen was COO at Done Events. The UK Music Managers Forum (MMF) has appointed Annabella Coldrick as chief executive. A lawyer with experience of working in Brussels, was most recently director of policy and research at the Design Council. She replaces Jon Webster who will assume the role of MMF president. European RFID solutions provider PlayPass has recruited Festival Awards founder Steve Jenner and live music consultant Howard Monk to lead its expansion into the UK market. The appointments follow a breakthrough year for the Belgium-based company that saw it successfully deploy 100% cashless systems at major live events across Germany, Spain, Thailand and Hong Kong, among others. The Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers (STAR) has appointed former politician Adrian Sanders as chairman. Previously, Sanders was Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Torbay for 18 years, and served on the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee for eight years and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse. Sanders takes over from Tom Wright, who stepped down after 12 years as STAR chairman. Showsec is preparing for further expansion in the South of England by promoting Paul Legge to regional manager for the South East, while former AP Security employee Simon Miller takes up the same position in the South West.
The PGE Arena in Gdańsk, Poland, has secured a new naming-rights sponsor and will now be called the Stadion Energa Gdańsk. The 44,000-capacity building was constructed between 2008-11 as one of the host stadia for the UEFA European Championships in 2012, but it has also staged concerts by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake. Financial details were not disclosed, but electricity provider Energa Group has agreed a five-year contract with the stadium administrator, Arena Gdańsk Operator, and has committed to transferring a number of sporting, educational and cultural events to the arena. Since it opened in 2011, Stadion Energa Gdańsk has been visited by more than two million people.
IQ Magazine January 2016
Edge Delivers £40m Boost to UK’s Creative Industries Edge Investments has raised £40million (€55.4m) in funding, with UK Government support, to invest in high-growth companies in the creative industries. The company’s new Edge Creative Enterprise Fund brings together private sector finances from leading institutions and high net-worth individuals, with a significant investment from the Government’s British Business Bank. Edge will use the money to nurture and assist creative businesses. By their nature, many of these companies start with a small number of employees, and a high degree of entrepreneurial flair. Edge says it will provide the crucial capital and mentoring skills to stimulate growth and innovation at these firms. In this
way, it will create growth and returns for both the management teams of its portfolio companies and its investors. “The creative industries are one of the UK’s great success stories, an area where Britain excels,” notes Edge Investments CEO, David Glick. “Our view is that a high degree of sector knowledge mitigates risk and also allows us to assess the most promising opportunities and most talented executives.” The creative and cultural economy is an important part of the global economy, and Britain’s creative industries sector is thriving – accounting for approximately 10% of the entire UK economy and providing 2.55 million jobs. Indeed, in terms of employment, the sector is growing four times faster than the
economy as a whole. Edge has already had a great deal of success in the live entertainment sector and it’s likely that a proportion of the £40m will be invested in the music business. The company’s previous investments have included live events featuring Jennifer Lopez, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen and the Rolling Stones. The fund is targeting a minimum three times return for its private investors over its seven- to ten-year life. “There are nearly 160,000 creative industries businesses in Britain, yet despite being in this high-growth sector, many of them find it difficult to attract adequate capital to maximise their potential. Our new Edge Creative Enterprise Fund aims to fill that funding gap,” says Glick. “[It] will
bring much-needed growth capital to smaller businesses in the creative industries, and we are grateful to the British Business Bank and all the fund’s investors for their support.” Ken Cooper, MD of venture capital solutions at British Business Bank, adds, “This is the first fund specifically focused on the creative industries backed by the British Business Bank. We look forward to working with Edge Investments, which has extensive experience in this sector and a proven track record. The creative industry is of increasing importance to the wider UK economy and we are particularly pleased that this fund will ensure these high-growth businesses have access to the finance they need to scale.”
Live Music Tariff Review Continues PRS for Music is aiming to present a revised tariff for UK live music events in spring 2016 following a consultation period in which it found itself the subject of criticism. In December, the collection society published a summary of responses from its consultation on the terms of its Popular Music Concerts Tariff that is applied to ticketed live popular music events. That tariff has been set at 3% of gross concert receipts since 1988. The consultation commenced in April 2015 for an initial eight-week response period. However, the deadline was subsequently extended, following
a request from the Concert Promoters Association expressed interest in carrying out its own research as a response to the findings outlined in the consultation documentation. The consultation received a total of 111 direct responses from across the industry, covering the majority of the live market. And people did not hold back in their criticism of the PRS strategy, with a number of responses voicing suspicions that PRS was aiming to extract more money from the live sector and one suggesting any tariff changes would ultimately be made in an attempt to offset PRS revenue declines in other
Adele Tour Smashes Records Demand for tickets for next year’s international tour by Adele is breaking records around the world after her latest album, 25, also smashed sales records in multiple territories. And the team behind the 27-yearold has worked tirelessly to ensure that tickets for the tour do not fall into the wrong hands by identifying and banning touts, and cancelling tickets that appear on resale platforms. At press time, 56 dates at arenas across North America are on sale, while her entire 49-show tour of Europe sold out, often within minutes of tickets going on sale. Adele Live 2016 marks the singer’s first tour in five years. And among the highlights of the 660,000+ tickets sold across UK and Europe will be six March shows in The O2 arena in London. Adele is booked by Kirk Sommer at William Morris
Endeavor in North America, while her agent for the rest of the world is ITB’s Lucy Dickins, whose brother, Jonathan, is the artist’s manager. The tour dates have been placed with numerous promoters rather than a global buy-out. “We wanted to work with promoters who we thought were right for the artist,” says Lucy. At September Management, Jonathan Dickins discloses thatregistration details were carefully monitored and anything suspicious was dealt with. As a result, more than 18,000 ‘known or likely touts’ were eliminated from the ticket sale process. Indeed, research by Media Insight found that £4.2million (€5.8m) worth of tickets were saved from secondary markets. “This is a show for fans who’ve waited years for Adele to perform,” says Jonathan. “Everyone working on it just wants the best outcome for those fans.”
areas, such as recorded music. One group response noted that PRS holds a monopoly position that it is abusing, and is acting in an anti-competitive manner. Other responses noted rising costs from PRS’s financial summaries in areas such as personnel; legal and professional fees; employee bonuses and pensions; and the salary of PRS’s highest paid executive. Responding to IQ’s question about whether there is a ‘them’ and ‘us’ disconnect between PRS and the live music business, the organisation replied, “PRS works closely with the entire live music business on a day-to-day basis. This consulta-
tion was designed in order for us to work even more closely with this part of the industry and better understand the sector to find a tariff that is fit for purpose and to simplify the process for licensees and members.” Denying accusations that PRS will not consider tariff cuts for festivals who spend large parts of their budget on non-music elements, the society says, “The inference that the tariff only looks upwards is wildly speculative. This has been a thorough, robust and detailed consultation process where we gave every opportunity for the industry to comment and contribute, prior to commencing negotiations in the New Year.”
Promoter Discounts Questioned A meeting involving the CEO of German collection society GEMA descended into a surprise debate over “widespread” promoter discounts given by some European societies. GEMA boss Harald Heker was a guest of honour at one of PRS For Music’s regular writer representative meetings in London, on 14 December, when prominent live music executives confronted him about how his society, and others in Europe, can justify giving substantial discounts, of 20% and more to certain promoters. “This is money that is being taken out of the show settlements as PRS income, and given back to promoters in the form of a rebate,” says agent Carl Leighton-Pope who raised the topic at the meeting. “We need some clarity about how much money is being left on the table. Mr Heker was very informative, but none of our questions were answered properly.” The point was made that many agents and managers were unaware that such deductions from show settlements
appear to be the norm in many European countries. “The issue of promoter discounts was first brought to our attention in 1992 by U2’s lawyer Amanda Harcourt, so this is nothing new,” says artist manager Paul Crockford, who was also in attendance. “But a lot of people are unaware of how widespread this is. For instance, there is a 20% discount enshrined in German law, but GEMA gives certain promoters a further 20% discount on top of that and then charges a 15% admin fee itself, so by the time PRS sees any money, 55% might already have been deducted. And it’s not just Germany – it’s Holland, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland as well, and many more.” Crockford has been pushing for PRS For Music to take a more proactive role in finding a solution to the discounts controversy for some time and IQ understands that PRS representatives will attend a January meeting with GEMA in Munich to discuss the situation.
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IQ Magazine January 2016
TPC Launches in 2016
A new ticketing business event will make its debut in early 2016 when the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham, UK, hosts the first Ticketing Professionals Conference. The 25-26 February gathering is being organised by Ticketing Professionals Limited (TPL), whose board consists of Andrew Thomas (The Ticketing Institute), Peter Monks (The Ambassador Theatre Group/ATG Tickets), Jamie Snelgrove (See Tickets), Jenny Gower (Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club) and Peter I’anson (TopTix). The ICC venue will be used to showcase new technologies, alongside an already sold-out exhibition and marketplace of ticketing products and services, delivered by innovative industry suppliers. The event’s educational programme will
be designed to provide a forum to support industry professionals and ensure the success of their organisation by discovering and sharing new ideas, through presentations and round-table discussion. TPL director Andrew Thomas explains that the not-for-profit event is being launched because of a gap in the market for such a forum. “For the last five years, I have been attending the International Ticketing Association Annual Conference in the United States,” he says. “It’s amazing – around 1,000 ticket and data geeks in one place! There is a small European contingent that goes and every year we say ‘why isn’t there something like this in the UK?’ – well, in January 2015 in Denver, a number of colleagues from the industry asked me to try to create one, so here we are.”
Hoxton Square Venue Acquired by Mothership
Bar and events operator Mothership Group has added iconic grass-roots club, the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen to its growing portfolio, which also includes nearby Eats London venues The Book Club, Stories, and the Queen Of Hoxton, as well as famous Brighton seafront club, Patterns. Mothership commercial director, Jon Ross, says, “We’ve been huge fans of
the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for many years. It has an amazing history with some of the best bands on today’s scene having broken there and we’re looking forward to continuing and adding to that story.” Mothership now generates revenues of more than £10million (€14m) per annum and hosts over 1,000 cultural and music events per year across its venues.
Ovesen Heads Up New Promotions Business in Dubai Thomas Ovesen, one of the leading live events promoters in the Middle East, has been poached to become CEO of the newly created 117 Live. Part of the Dubai-based Al Ahil Holding Group (AAHG), 117 Live is the latest operation in the conglomerate’s media and entertainment portfolio, which also includes a planned 25,000-capacity amphitheatre in the city, ownership of the Asia Pop ComiCon events, theme parks and movie production. Recently the group purchased social marketing agency, The Audience, which represents some
of the most influential social media stars in the world. AAHG says the appointment of Ovesen to run 117 Live is the next stage of its growing media and entertainment empire. The former Done Events COO will direct all global activity for the division with a focus on live events, from music through to comedy. He will also lead the expansion of 117’s interests into local and international talent management, venue management and programming. Prior to working at Done Events, Ovesen led AEG’s Middle East operations, while before that he
was general manager for Mirage Promotions. “With all of the exciting developments and acquisitions AAHG have made recently this is a fantastic time to be joining them,” states Ovesen. “I will be working on a joined-up global strategy, ensuring we use all of our various assets to the very best effect. 117 Live will be a driving force in entertainment and we’ll look beyond the Middle East and into the Far East, Asia and US.” 117 Live is immediately launching a temporary 20,000cap greenfield site, while 2017 will see the introduction of a state-of-the-art 25,000-cap
open-air amphitheatre that will feature hosted pavilion boxes, suites and terraces and should dramatically increase the number of events able to be staged in the region. Mohammed Khammas, CEO of AAHG, says, “117 Live will be a key component to our international expansion within lifestyle, entertainment and digital media portfolio. Here at AAHG we ensure that we hire the very best people in the business and Thomas is the perfect person to run 117 Live. He is a smart strategist and a passionate music lover, both qualities that will ensure 117 Live is a great success.”
IQ Magazine January 2016
Digital Giants Test the Ticketing Business The international ticketing business could be in line for a major shake-up as both social media conglomerate Facebook and online retailer Amazon have announced tentative steps to enter this highly competitive sector. On the face of it, Facebook says it is not actually going to sell tickets itself, but is allowing partners to use its services to market events and tours. Amazon, on the other hand, is ramping up its ticketing activities through the creation of the Amazon Tickets desti-
nation on its UK platform, building on earlier initiatives in the theatrical and live events industries. It is also boasting prices that are inclusive of all booking fees and charges, with no hidden extras at checkout. “At the highest management level, Facebook is publicly stating that being in the ticketing business is not an ambition,” ticketing industry consultant Tim Chambers tells IQ. “What they are doing is enabling clients to use the common Facebook platform to encourage ticket sales and reach out to Facebook users.” Turning to Amazon’s strategy, Chambers believes existing ticketing agencies could be concerned by
the online retailer’s game plan. “Amazon’s approach is much more proactive and interventionist,” he observes. “Amazon did the official pre-sales for Take That at British Summertime next year and have engaged a third-party agency to source inventory for Amazon Tickets.” Rumours abound that Amazon has also negotiated agreements for distressed ticketing inventory with at least one major promoter, as it bids to offer its customers enticing deals. Chambers adds, “Certainly, when it comes to Facebook and Amazon’s ticketing aspirations, if I were a ticketing retailer I’d be a lot more
concerned by the latter at the moment. Amazon seems to view ticketing as a tool for customer retention and acquisition, rather than a business in which it wants to make money. But the thing about Amazon is that of the thousands of people, say, in the Bristol postcode who bought Adele tickets, Amazon knows exactly who they are and what they buy culturally, making it relatively easy for them to send the ‘if you liked this, you may also like this’ offers.”
Integro Acquires Robertson Taylor
Global insurance brokerage and risk management firm Integro Insurance Brokers Holdings has acquired London-based Entertainment Insurance Partners Ltd (EIP), the parent company of Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers. Financial details were not disclosed, but the transaction has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, and the deal effectively means that Robertson Taylor and rival firm Doodson are now both owned by Integro, bringing together two of the biggest brands in the live music insurance business. The purchase of EIP encompasses Robertson Tay-
IQ Magazine January 2016
lor Insurance Brokers Ltd., Robertson Taylor International Insurance Brokers Inc, Walton & Parkinson Ltd, Longreach International Ltd, and ESIX LLC. Integro says that EIP has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville. Robertson Taylor CEO John Silcock and James Davies, global sales and marketing director, will continue in leadership roles and report to Neil Clayton, Integro’s global entertainment and sport practice leader. “Integro and EIP have complementary skills and teams, which make this alignment of forces beneficial to clients and very exciting for all of us,” states Clayton. “Our strategy is to continue expanding our global entertainment and sport practice, employing the skills of our combined businesses to add new products and services for clients in all geographies.”
EIP provides customised insurance and risk management services to artists, promoters, venues, productions and companies across the globe. It has insured nine out of the top ten highest grossing music tours of all time and handled 14 of 2014’s top 20 grossing tours. EIP handled insurance premiums of over £100million (€138m) during 2014, with more than 60% generated internationally. The most recent purchase is the latest in an aggressive acquisitions programme by Integro. Other deals include UK-based Ellis Clowes in November, serving the global motorsports industry; Entertainment Risk Management Ltd in August, primarily serving brokers specialising in the film and TV industry; Stonehouse Conseillers in 2014, servicing the needs of commercial film production companies and international adver-
tising agencies; entertainment and sports specialist Doodson Broking Group in 2013; and Allan Chapman James in 2012, specialising in independent film, TV and media industry sectors. North American acquisitions have included Ventura Insurance Brokerage, Inc in 2014, serving the film, TV, media and theatre industries; Canada’s Multimedia Risk Inc in 2013, serving the international film and TV production industry; and Frost Specialty, Inc in 2010, which focuses on the music industry from its Nashville base. Robertson Taylor’s Silcock comments, “Together, EIP and Integro will become a combined force with unrivalled expertise, client and carrier relationships. It’s the start of a fantastic long-term partnership with a company that has a track record for innovation and an unwavering commitment to clients.”
Concert security takes centre stage following Bataclan attacks In the wake of November’s attacks in Paris – and, more specifically, the massacre by Islamic State-affiliated gunmen of 90 Eagles of Death Metal concertgoers at Le Bataclan theatre – promoters and venue owners on both sides of the Atlantic (most notably Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Live) have begun implementing as-yet-unspecified measures to increase venue security. Many in the live music business, however, are predicting a comprehensive re-evaluation of the industry’s entire approach to concert security, especially in small- and mid-sized venues. One artist manager, who asked to remain anonymous, told Rolling Stone that, “a lot of the venues we go to could use a good, hard look at what they have in place and what more they could do to make sure their patrons are safe.” Another source, talking to Billboard, predicts: “In the States, there are metal detectors at a show of this size – that’s
a venue feature. It’s not the case in Europe. That’s gonna change.” Arenas and stadia aside, it’s not actually the case everywhere in the US, either. The fatal on-stage shooting by an obsessed fan of ex-Pantera frontman ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott in 2004 initially prompted “beefed-up security and a little bit more patting down”, says Cannibal Corpse drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz, “but it seems to be more out of sight, out of mind now – back to normal, in a sense.” Eighty-nine concertgoers, including the band’s merchandise manager, Nick Alexander, were killed on the evening of 13 November when four gunmen forced their way into an Eagles of Death Metal concert at Le Bataclan venue and began firing indiscriminately into the crowd. At least five industry professionals lost their lives, including Alexander, Thomas Ayad and Marie Mosser of Mercury Records, Universal
Music France’s Manu Pérez Paredes and experienced Les inRocKuptibles journalist Guillaume B. Decherf. The bloodshed at Le Bataclan (capacity: 1,500) stands in stark contrast to the concurrent attacks at the 80,000-seater Stade de France national stadium, which saw three suicide bombers kill four people including themselves, as they attempted to cause mass casualties in and around a France v Germany football match that French president François Hollande was attending. One bomber had, according to investigators, planned to detonate his vest inside the stadium and force spectators onto the streets, where two other attackers lay in ambush, but that plan was thwarted when the initial terrorist was prevented from entering after a security guard patted him down and discovered his suicide vest. He detonated his bomb a few seconds later,
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes pays tribute to victims at Le Bataclan
IQ Magazine January 2016
Paris Attacks Le Bataclan before the November attacks
killing one bystander, but preventing what would have otherwise been a massive loss of life. Not everyone agrees completely with the sentiments expressed by Rolling Stone’s unnamed artist manager above – Billions’ David ‘Boche’ Viecelli, agent for Arcade Fire and Joanna Newsom, notes that “it wouldn’t matter what metal detector they had, or what bouncer they had at the door; when somebody shows up with Kalashnikovs, they’re getting in” – but the general consensus so far seems to recognise Le Bataclan attacks as a wake-up call for vulnerable venues – even if increased security on the door will inevitably lead to even higher ticket prices for consumers. “I think we’ll see more metal detectors, we’ll see more bag checks, we’ll see more police presence,” Billboard senior editor Ray Waddell told Newsweek on the eve of the former’s annual Touring Conference. “That all costs money. So, ultimately, we’ll see higher concert ticket prices because that is what will pay for it.”
Business Impacts In the immediate aftermath of the atrocities, French culture minister Fleur Pellerin promised aid of €4million for the live entertainment sector. This move was welcomed by promoters’ association Prodiss, but it says the figure is a drop in the ocean and has asked for a total of €50m in state aid to help the industry work through the crisis. “The shock wave [that has hit the sector] needs a medium-term plan,” said Prodiss in a statement, “To minimise the impact we estimate that €50m will be needed.” In the week after the terror attacks, promoters in the French capital said ticket sales fell by about 80%. Shows by numerous acts including U2 and Foo Fighters were cancelled, although the Irish rockers have since fulfilled their two-night run at the AccorHotels Arena (formerly Paris Bercy) and as part of their tribute to the people who lost their lives, they invited Eagles of Death Metal to share the stage with them. Initially, audience numbers attending shows in Paris were down by more than a third, but confidence is quickly
IQ Magazine January 2016
“In the States, there are metal detectors at a show of this size – that’s a venue feature. It’s not the case in Europe. That’s gonna change.” returning and Salomon Hazot of Nous Productions, who was promoting the fateful show at Le Bataclan, tells IQ that, “Business is back to normal.” However, the knock-on effect of a concert being targeted by such barbarity was felt outside of France, with anecdotal reports of large numbers of people failing to turn up for sold-out shows and ticket sales also taking a hit in other countries. “I can confirm that in the ten days post-Bataclan, no-shows went up from 6% average to 13% but we are back to normal now,” revealed Paul Latham, Live Nation COO for UK & Ireland. In Scandinavia, Live Nation’s chairman of international music Thomas Johansson, comments, “In the Nordics we saw a bit of resistance in the immediate aftermath of what
happened in Paris, but now the business is basically back to normal. There was definitely a reaction in the first week, but we did not see any noticeable increase in no-shows.” Meanwhile a spokesman for CTS Eventim commented, “Looking at Europe, CTS did notice only an insignificant dent in ticket sales which, in any case, recovered quickly.” At grass-roots level, Mark Davyd of the Music Venues Trust in the UK reveals, “Many of our members reported a downturn in business immediately after the tragedy in Paris. This impacted not just ticket sales for future events, but even attendance at sold-out shows.” He continues, “Very quickly, however, audiences have returned. Many of them have spoken specifically about their need to be part of a live gig again as a direct reaction to the events at Le Bataclan; that they felt it was even more important to be part of live music.” That solidarity among compatriots in the live music industry and fans alike is going a long way toward live entertainment’s bounceback following the Paris murders. But at the time of IQ going to press, barely a month after the Paris attacks, professionals across all industry sectors are discussing ways to improve safety and security for artists, crews, venue workers and, of course, the fans themselves.
Tightening Security Behind the scenes at industry associations and individual companies, discussions about the industry’s response to what happened at Le Bataclan are moving apace, with sources telling IQ that some operators are seeking advice from the airline industry as this is another business involving ticketed customers needing to gain secure entry. Across Europe, music fans attending gigs are now being patted down by door staff before they are being allowed to enter buildings, while stringent security measures have been adopted by the continent’s football clubs in the wake of the attempted attack on the national stadium in Paris. In addition to bag searches for those attending football matches, fans are now being confronted by security staff before they get anywhere near the stadium turnstiles – lines of stewards around stadium perimeters are routinely stopping all fans and demanding
to see what is under their coats, before they reach the actual venue. For large sporting events, in the UK at least, a greater police presence is obvious, while the use of sniffer dogs has also quickly become the norm. Neither AEG nor Live Nation would officially comment on measures that have been taken at their venues, but one senior executive notes that in addition to extra security staff and gig goers being patted down, security reviews have also gone as far as to change the ways in which packages and deliveries to buildings are handled, while guarding production loadin has also become a priority. Further down the food chain, fears over the increase in costs to improve venue security are causing genuine concerns about long-term prospects for club owners. Karsten Schölermann, president of Hamburg-based venues association LiveKomm, observes, “Improving security will be a big problem for small venues because promoters will not pay for extra security at the door. As just highlighted in the latest German music industry survey, the average cost-recovery
“Dynamic lockdown is the ability to quickly restrict access and egress to a site or building (or part of) through physical measures in response to a threat, either external or internal.”
“I think we’ll see more metal detectors, we’ll see more bag checks, we’ll see more police presence.” for a club of under 1,000-capacity is 99%. Any additional cost, no matter how marginal, will wipe out this tiny balance. Therefore, German clubs cannot afford to pay for extra security.” However, Schölermann reveals that some artists are already requesting additional security measures (see comment piece, page 27), meaning that venue operators will have to bear the brunt of extra costs, at least in the short term.
Previous Incidents Despite statements from a number of individuals proclaiming that the killings at Le Bataclan mark the first time terrorists have targeted music fans, there have been a number of previous incidents that the industry had to deal with. For example, the nightclub bombings in the Indonesian resort of Kuta, Bali in October 2002, which killed 202 people, and also involved a
Liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality, fraternity)
IQ Magazine January 2016
Paris Attacks U2 place tributes outside Le Bataclan
group of perpetrators; and an attack at the gates of the Krylya Festival, held at Tushino Airfield near Moscow, Russia, in July 2003 by two suicide bombers that claimed the lives of 15 people. That latter attack is often cited by security experts as an example of why it is important that event organisers don’t let big queues build up at event entrance points, as these too can become targets for any individuals intent on inflicting mass casualties. And that’s an obvious dilemma for both the police and private security firms that are now being tasked with searching people before they enter venues and festival sites. Such strategic planning is also something that is being scrutinised by insurance companies, which, unsurprisingly, are reporting many new of enquiries about terrorism cover from the likes of venues and touring productions. Martin Goebbels of live music specialist brokers Robertson Taylor, notes in his comment article (see page 24) that terrorism incidents, or even the threat of them, which can see shows cancelled, not only affects the artist or band’s business – they can also impact the agent, promoter, travel agents, production companies, merchandisers, freight operators, trucking companies, etc. Paul Twomey, entertainment director for insurance brokers Doodson, tells IQ that claims for terror-related issues have been limited historically, but he can cite pay-outs for shows cancelled in London’s Hyde Park because of the July 2005 attacks on the city’s public transport network, where 52 people lost their lives. And he also notes the 2008 cancellation of Live Earth Mumbai, which was cancelled after 172 people were killed when terrorists targeted luxury hotels and other attractions in the Indian city. “It’s not just terrorism cover: our policies can also cover civil commotion as well, which was the situation that cancelled many summer shows in Istanbul a couple of years ago,” says
“Improving security will be a big problem for small venues because promoters will not pay for extra security at the door”
IQ Magazine January 2016
Twomey. He reports that queries from clients have inevitably increased since the Paris attacks and, perhaps surprisingly for many, the rates for cover have not gone through the roof. “The rates are higher for Europe than they are for the UK, for instance, so insurers are splitting tours into two quotes to lower the cost for international tours.” On a practical level, insurers are also rating certain destinations as more risky than others, allowing clients to limit the places where they take out cover, or to reduce the overall financial amount of cover for each date on the tour.
What Next? Governments, police and counterterror officials throughout Europe have been quick to draw up advisory checklists for members of the public, should they find themselves caught up in an attack similar to those that took place in Paris. In the UK, security officials say that people should run and hide rather than play dead. The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) offers the following advice: “Escape if you can…insist others leave with you”, and “leave belongings behind”. If escape routes are cut-off, finding cover from gunfire behind “substantial brickwork or heavy reinforced walls” is the advice, or to barricade themselves into a safe place and put their mobile phones on silent. Discussions among the likes of promoters, production companies and venues have so far remained private, but it’s likely that security will be a main
topic of debate at both the ILMC and the ILMC Production Meeting in March. Ahead of those events, however, bodies like NaCTSO are also suggesting businesses train staff to become proficient in “dynamic lockdown” procedures in order to try to stop armed terrorists from gaining entry to premises. That advice – based on what counter-terror experts learned from the incident at Le Bataclan – sets out detailed instructions and urges companies to carry-out regular drills, particularly if their premises are used by members of the public. “Dynamic lockdown is the ability to quickly restrict access and egress to a site or building (or part of) through physical measures in response to a threat, either external or internal,” explains the NaCTSO memo. It adds that alarms, internal messages or a PA system could be used to inform workers of a terrorist assault. Until more stringent venue- and event-specific guidelines can be drawn up, that advice remains the only publicly available instruction for the live music industry to rely on, although it’s understood that many businesses have sought the assistance of private security experts to beef up measures. In the meantime, with the families and friends of those killed and injured in Paris on Friday 13 November facing a heartbreaking end to 2015, promoters association Prodiss is urging its members to contribute to a fund for the victims of the attacks by giving €1 for each ticket sold in December. At press time, the French government had not responded to the organisation’s plea for €50m in state aid.
BUSY BODIES News fr om live music associations ar ound the world
Performance Visas UK Festival Report Goes To UN Climate Summit Debated in Parliament
UK festival industry group, Powerful Thinking, has launched an incisive environmental impact report, The Show Must Go On, detailing a cross-industry response to the global environmental challenge, with a vision for change. The Show Must Go On was introduced during the Sustainable Strategies panel at the UK Festival Conference in November – a session that focused on how festivals can minimise their carbon impact. The report was subsequently presented to the UN Convention on Climate Change in Paris in early December, where 196 countries met to sign a new climate change agreement. The report’s authors hope that by presenting a con-
cise overview and proposed roadmap for reduced carbon impact at festivals, that the UK festival industry sector can lead by example in achieving impact reduction targets by 2025. Based on the most extensive research to date analysing the carbon footprint caused by festivals in the UK, the report details the current impact and discusses where there is potential for reduction. Included is a call for festivals to pledge their commitment to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, in line with overall UK targets. Powerful Thinking’s Chris Johnson states, “This is a critical moment for the future of the world. Festivals can play a valuable role, collectively reducing their own environmental impacts, while showing the 3.17 million ticket buyers that they can also make a difference.” He adds, “The response has been amazingly positive, and we hope that will be reflected in the list of festivals signed up to the pledge that we will be publishing in 2016.”
One Minute of Noise Thousands of venues, music projects and performing arts organisations united under the One Minute of Noise banner paid tribute on Friday 20 November to the victims of the previous week’s attacks in Paris.
The event took place at 22:00 at clubs, theatres and arenas around Europe and beyond, with artists and fans raising the roof with noise to send a defiant message to the terrorists. Explaining the thinking
The tricky process of UK musicians obtaining performance visas to work in the US has been debated in Parliament. Border control red tape has increased significantly in recent years, while the costs have escalated to a point where touring in America now involves serious investment. Industry trade body UK Music recently published its Measuring Music 2015 economic report, which showed that music contributed in excess of £4.1billion (€5.8bn) to the UK economy in 2014, which includes £2.1bn (€3bn) in revenue generated by British music exports abroad. With those numbers in mind, Nigel Adams, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, initiated the debate to press the Government on what support they can provide to improve the system. A music industry taskforce, involving the Musicians’ Union (MU), UK Music and British Underground, is now being established to coordinate industry efforts in the fight to
simplify visa restrictions. Adams states, “It is now time to streamline the US visa process for those in the UK music industry so that musicians and crew members are not put to great expense and inconvenience by a cumbersome, expensive system.” UK Music CEO Jo Dipple comments, “We are troubled by increased reports of UK acts and artists having difficulty getting visas to perform in America. UK Music looks forward to working with the Government, American Embassy and wider music industry in finding workable solutions.” And Dave Webster of the MU adds, “The process of obtaining a US visa is currently long, complicated and extremely expensive, involving face-to-face meetings and sometimes lengthy delays. Whilst we understand the necessity of having a visa system in place, the MU would welcome any moves to reduce the cost and complexity for musicians and to reach a reciprocal arrangement that is fair.”
behind One Minute of Noise, the invite on Live DMA’s Facebook page stated, “We are thousands of venues that will stay open and that will make music sounds all around the world. We are Le Bataclan, we are bars, we are music venues, we are restaurants, we are stadiums. We
are standing. We are cyring, we will cry for a long time, with music, for the ones who are gone. We will dedicate them our next concerts, to the ones who suffered from horror and insanity. We are thousands of venues and cultural projects. We are even more. We are stronger.”
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IQ Magazine January 2016
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world
I HAVE A TRIBE
Agent: Chris Meredith, ATC Live After recording his debut EP with Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey/ Anna Calvi) and Conor O’Brien of Villagers, Patrick O’Laoghaire aka I Have A Tribe, was hand-picked to tour Europe with Anna Calvi, opened for Villagers’ Irish homecoming show and performed at Electric Picnic and CMJ in New York gaining praise from the likes of NME, Pigeons & Planes and The Line Of Best Fit. Other gig highlights include The Great Escape, Reeperbahn Festival, and headlining The Button Factory and The
Workman’s Club in Dublin recently to stunning reviews. I Have A Tribe has just signed to Groenland Records and released his new EP No Countries on 4 December, with a debut album scheduled in 2016.
Abi Wade (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Apollo Junction (UK) Debra Downes, Dawson Breed Music Banff (AU) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Barney Kahn (DE) Ben Start, Elastic Artists Bent Knee (US) Rob Berends, Paperclip Agency Beverly (USA) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Big Deal (UK/USA) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Bill Baird (US) Jack Cox, X-ray Touring Boris Werner (NL) Alasdair Howie, Elastic Artists Box Of Light (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Bugzy Malone (UK) Myles Jessop, Echo Location Talent Cam Cole (UK) Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Camo & Krooked (AT) Obi Asika, Echo Location Talent Charlie Sloth (UK) Myles Jessop, Echo Location Talent Charlotte Carpenter (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Culture Shock (UK) Obi Asika, Echo Location Talent Dancing Years (UK) Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Denis Sulta (UK) Ben Coghill, Elastic Artists Eat (UK) Amber McKenzie, ITB Elijah Simmons (GR) Rebecca Lander, Elastic Artists Agency Erosion Flow (DK) Charlotte Dunckley, Echo Location Talent Fatherson (UK) Steve Zapp, ITB Fenne Lily (UK) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Geko (UK) Obi Asika & Myles Jessop, Echo Location Talent Giggs (UK) Obi Asika & Myles Jessop, Echo Location Talent Gillbanks (UK) James Simmons, ITB Grace Lightman (UK) Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Hannah Lou Clark (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Hannah Trigwell (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Honey Soundsystem (US) Alberto Mombelli & Jim O’Regan, Elastic Artists Agency Howie Payne (UK) Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Hudson Scott (UK) Jack Cox & Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Jalen N’Gonda (US) Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Jeff The Brotherhood (US) Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Jinjé (UK) Rebecca Lander, Elastic Artists Agency JJ Hodari (UK) Jack Cox, X-ray Touring Kaki King (US) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Kris Wadsworth (US/DE) Charlotte Dunckley, Echo Location Talent Lazy Day (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Lexis (CA) Jodie Fischer, Elastic Artists Love Ssega (UK) Liam Keightley & Chris Payne, ITB
THE LAFONTAINES Agent: Steve Zapp, ITB
Hailing from Motherwell, Scotland, The LaFontaines’ debut album, Class, melds together a diverse array of musical influences to produce a sound that is characteristically, unmistakably theirs – rock, hiphop, pop, drum and bass... pretty much everything but country, swirling around and emerging with a strong Scottish accent and a healthy dose of rage. Already enjoying a reputation as a powerful live act, The LaFontaines opened the main stage on the Saturday
at this year’s T in the Park festival – a performance that only added to their growing fan base. “We love it, for us that is what it is all about so it’s what we have spent the last five years doing,” says front man Okan. “You can do tricks in the studio but live there’s no hiding: if you are good, you’re good, if you’re fucking shit then that’s what people will see. Come see us and judge us for yourself.”
LV (UK) Jodie Fischer, Elastic Artists Mim Suleiman (UK) Ollie Seaman, Elastic Artists Alice Gilfillan, Elastic Artists Mono/Poly (US) Mozes & The Firstborn (NL) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Natalie Prass (US) Clemence Renaut, Elastic Artists New Carnival (UK) Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring NxWorries (US) Clemence Renaut, Elastic Artists Porches (US) R3LL (US) Jodie Fischer, Elastic Artists Redlight (UK) Obi Asika & Hannah Shogbola, Echo Location Talent Reg Naylor (UK) Rebecca Lander, Elastic Artists Agency Rita Maia (UK) Jodie Fischer, Elastic Artists Alex Bruford, ATC Live Saint Sister (IE) Sasha (FR) Christophe Quemin, Get Your Acts Together Alasdair Howie & Jim O’Regan, Elastic Artists Sassy J (CH) Walter Laurer, Georg Leitner Productions Sean Paul (JM) Seven Davis Jr (US) Charlotte Dunckley & Hannah Shogbola, Echo Location Talent Seratones (US) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Teengirl Fantasy (US) Ollie Seaman, Elastic Artists The Black Tambourines (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live The Hacker (FR) Rebecca Lander, Elastic Artists Agency Liam Keightley, ITB The Hunna (UK) The Island Club (UK) Jack Cox, X-ray Touring The Parrots (ES) Clemence Renaut, Elastic Artists Chris Meredith, ATC Live The Pearl Harts (UK) Tight Pants AKA Tyson Ballard (DE) Ben Start, Elastic Artists Trends (UK) Jodie Fischer, Elastic Artists Twerps (AU) Clemence Renaut, Elastic Artists Ulrika Spacek (UK) Clemence Renaut, Elastic Artists Walter TV (CA) Clemence Renaut, Elastic Artists Wesley Gonzalez (UK) Joe Ogden, X-ray Touring Whitney (US) Will Church, ATC Live Will & Held (UK) Rebecca Lander, Elastic Artists Agency worriedaboutsatan (UK) Rebecca Lander, Elastic Artists Agency Wovoka Gentle (UK) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Olivia Sime, ITB Youth Club (UK) Yukon Blonde (CA) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Yungen (UK) Obi Asika & Myles Jessop, Echo Location Talent
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IQ Magazine January 2016
The View from Paris In the aftermath of the Paris attack, French concert professionals are gradually getting back to business. Allan McGowan examines what’s next for both Le Bataclan and the local industry?
ittle is being said publicly by France’s promoters or associations in the wake of the Paris attacks. As Jules Frutos, co-director of Le Bataclan told French daily newspaper Le Monde in an exclusive interview on 2 December, “In the days that followed, we refused interview requests as we did not want to add to the horror…The attack has already sufficiently been turned into a media spectacle.” Frutos and co-director Olivier Poubelle own 30% of Le Bataclan, which is majority owned by media conglomerate Lagardère. Also speaking to Le Monde, Poubelle talked about the aftermath of the attack. “Seventy people work in our companies,” he said. “All go to the Bataclan, the largest venue. Our role is to talk to the team. The team needs it, and so do we. But when some people don’t wish to talk, we stay silent. There is a great modesty. Everyone does what he can with this violence. Many have not wanted to speak publicly. They are tight-knit, embrace each other, eat lunch together all the time. It’s difficult to explain this solidarity... There are those who took care of the injured, those who saw death and horrible things, but continue to work without putting themselves forward.”
“The live market is very dynamic in France, and diverse. The Parisians showed clearly their will to ‘culturally resist’ in continuing to attend shows. Art and culture is fully part of our DNA” “Our team forms a family. There is nothing else to do than to try to support them,” added Frutos. The French live music market is typically a buoyant one. According to figures by CNV, the business in 2014 was worth €746million, with a turnover of between €1.3billion and €1.9bn. Over 60,083 events were staged, with an average ticket price of €32. In the days following the attack, French promoters, festivals and venues association Prodiss reported that ticket sales plummeted 80%, with 20-25% no-shows at venues in the city. “Four weeks later, attendance has come back to near normal,” says Prodiss’ communications director Aline Renet. “This no-show ratio is normally around 2 to 10% depending on shows. The live market is very dynamic in France, and diverse. The Parisians showed clearly their will to ‘culturally
resist’ in continuing to attend shows. Art and culture is fully part of our DNA.” Speaking to Le Monde of the return to normal levels of ticket sales, Poubelle said, “Before the attacks, contemporary music was the poor relation of culture, much less recognised than classical music, cinema and museums. Now, people say that contemporary music is more than culture. It’s the symbol of youth and a generation. This recuperation is quite optimistic.” “Figures are now going back to near normal (-20-25% during the week of 14 December) and the professionals are expecting sales back to normal in the next few weeks,” comments Renet. “Some shows on sale this same week sold-out quickly, notably for international acts or popular French acts.” While ticket sales are recovering, Renet also comments that security measures in French venues have, understandably, been stepped up. “Straight after 13 November, security staff were increased and they worked closely with police departments. Organisations such as Prodiss worked together with the government to enable a very quick deployment of security measures. An audit is also currently taking place in order to upgrade security, adapted to the needs of the diversity of venues we have and the events taking place.” Any upgrading of security measures in French venues will undoubtedly carry a price tag, but Renet says that consumers should not be affected. “Public and fans will not suffer from ticket increase. We lobby for some help from the government,” she says. But what fate belies Le Bataclan now? Speaking to Le Monde, both Frutos and Poubelle want to see its doors reopen, hopefully before the end of 2016. “Jules and I headed Bataclan for 12 years and we want to reopen together, with the team, which also wants the reconstruction and none of them wishes to leave,” said Poubelle. “The five permanent staff, for now, are working at Astérios, my show production company. The 20 temporary staff who worked at Le Bataclan will stay in our ‘galaxy’ and continue to work in music. On Facebook, thousands of testimonies are calling for us to reopen. Reconstruction is an objective that helps us to keep going. We need it.” “It is too early to precisely say, added Frutos. “We are not a commercial property like others. We feel ‘dead’ right now... But we are in need of life. It is necessary to see the doors open.” The full ‘Le Monde’ interview with Jules Frutos and Olivier Poubelle can be read online at www.lemonde.fr.
IQ Magazine January 2016
Security Under Scrutiny Tactical Support Group (TSG) was set-up in 2015 to bridge the gap between police and regular stewarding companies. MD David Boswell outlines how event security might change following the coordinated terror attacks in Paris.
he incident at Le Bataclan, in particular, is sure to have serious, far-reaching repercussions for festivals and concerts, with heightened security being the most immediate. The terrorists showed a horrific disregard for human life and the values we stand for. And while Europe as a whole has stayed commendably strong since, people quite rightly refusing to compromise their priorities, it’s vital that live events let their public know they are safe, so that that attitude can prevail.
“Successful public safety strategies in the shadow of Islamic State have to be multiagency, with clear, defined roles and responsibilities for each service provider, and open lines of communication throughout.” The first fixture in the UK post-Paris was very tough, England playing France at Wembley, but rather than everybody staying at home, ticket sales picked up in the wake of the attacks, a telling show of solidarity in the face of extremism. Security was tight, as you would expect, the authorities highlighting their commitment to the public with armed police on the street and an army helicopter in the sky, and we need to see a proportionate response at all events, in the short- and medium-term at the very least. An organised, multi-agency approach is the most effective method to that end, all of the first responders – police, fire services, security/stewarding companies, ambulance and local authority – playing to their strengths and preventing costs spiraling at the same time. Communication between these agencies should be at the forefront of any security plan. Police counter terrorism budgets – in the UK at least – have increased over the last few years and at any major public gathering the service will have information about whether it could be a potential target.
IQ Magazine January 2016
The key, though, is successfully communicating this information and putting the appropriate plan in place. If a festival or concert is faced with determined, armed attackers, there are few affordable or realistic solutions to prevent them gaining access, but a joined-up contingency plan can make a huge difference in saving lives. Half of the conversation is preventing the incident from happening, but the other half is what happens when it does. Can the attackers be contained in specific areas inside the event? Are the security forces sufficiently trained to instruct the audience what to do and where to exit? How quickly can the call to authorities be made to get help? In the event of an attack, reaction times, and everyone on-site knowing the plan, are crucial. Post-Bataclan, it’s likely that security checks at the entrance to events will be increased, with additional human resources. Airport-style metal detectors may become more commonplace, at least in larger venues that can afford them, and while it’s never possible to know what a terrorist looks like, profiling crowds will see trained professionals looking out for suspicious characters or body language. These are all immediate elements that can improve security at an event and increase public reassurance. While the presence of uniformed police has traditionally been unpopular with festival audiences, I expect that it will be much more welcome now. Other measures that we may see are the sweeping of venues for explosives (or narcotics) in advance of shows and the tightening of security back-of-house, checking loading bays and all deliveries coming in. For the artists themselves, especially given that so many US tours were cancelled in the aftermath of Paris, will close protection details become a more common request on a band’s rider? Again, these additional elements add to the bottom line and in many circumstances can be cost-prohibitive. Targeted attacks on the live event scene might still be considered unlikely but after Paris, and the significant security alerts in Belgium, the threat must be taken seriously. Successful public safety strategies in the shadow of Islamic State have to be multi-agency, with clear, defined roles and responsibilities for each service provider and open lines of communication throughout. When that is the case, any opportunities for extremism will be demonstrably diminished and the show can go on. www.tsg-policing.org.uk
Planning for the Unforeseen Martin Goebbels of live entertainment insurance brokers Robertson Taylor, looks at the difficult subject of cover following the November terrorism atrocities in Paris.
ow sad that world events suddenly changed so dramatically that IQ asked me to write this piece. Never have I wished more for it to be useful but so totally irrelevant. The music industry is invincible right, everyone’s a trouper, the show must go on etc but these events are real – very real. Who would have dreamt what U2 would have in common with Rudimental; Eagles of Death Metal with Lianne La Havas; Deftones with Foo Fighters…? They and so many others been subject to cancellations of well-laid plans, both professional and financial. For some the financial impact could be very long reaching.
“Insurance is an optional, personal choice. However, I always recommend that everyone should at least be aware of the options available and to what extent they are perhaps unnecessarily risking their livelihood.” I stressed to IQ that I do not wish any article to appear to be ‘ambulance chasing’, so I start by stating that insurance is an optional, personal choice. However, I always recommend that everyone should at least be aware of the options available and to what extent they are perhaps unnecessarily risking their livelihood. The tragic events in Paris, the quite unique lockdown of Brussels, venue evacuations in Hanover, several problems in Istanbul, Hong Kong and other cities highlight how vulnerable the live entertainment industry is to totally unforeseen circumstances. The potential financial impact is frightening. The misconception has been that artists will not be directly involved, clearly now that is not true but the main point many miss is that it isn’t just a situation at the venue or city of the show that is the problem. What happens when airports, ferry ports or roads are closed or borders grind to near halt causing huge delays, or as happened in Paris the city declares a period of national mourning?
So many people can be affected in different ways: Band – whole or part of a tour cancelled. Promoter – venue closed for indefinite period. Agent – could affect many artists booked to go to one or more venues/cities/countries. Production companies – if gear/trucks/crew are stranded how does that impact on the next project? Merchandisers – loss of vital income if tours are cancelled or venues closed. This throws up many questions: 1) Is any artist, venue or town safe anymore (however large or small)? 2) What happens if an artist or their equipment is stranded in one town and cannot arrive in the next – who pays them? 3) And so, who reads the cancellation clause or dreaded force majeure in show contracts – or crucially who understands them? 4) Does, or should, a force majeure clause make that the responsibility of a promoter in a totally different country? It certainly does on contracts I have seen over the years. 5) Do people realise contract terms will override any insurance? Standard insurance policies of any type do not cover losses due to terrorism (or threat thereof), riots, civil commotion or war. Such insurance always has to be taken under a separate policy and that applies to equipment, cancellation/non-appearance, travel, but again in the case of cancellation/non-appearance policies, I highlight that show contract conditions will override any insurance in place and insurance cannot be used just in case a contract fails, ie if a contract states a promoter is responsible to pay the artist if shows are cancelled for certain forcemajeure reasons (including adverse weather), then it is the promoters’ responsibility and a band’s insurance will not respond. So in summary, please consider what insurances you have in place, whether they are adequate and how aware you are of the extent of insurance provided and particularly the exclusions. Contracts, contracts, contracts – particularly read your show contracts and establish beyond doubt who is responsible for paying artist fees in the event of cancellations. Avoid having that argument after a problem has occurred.
IQ Magazine January 2016
The Show Must Go On After the management of Le Bataclan confirmed that the Paris venue will reopen, Karsten Schölermann, president of venues association LiveKomm, pledges solidarity.
iveKomm is standing in solidarity with all musicians, with club owners and the public, who have been left wondering if severe consequences are called for, following the recent mass murder that has shaken the live music industry. Our answer is: NO! Let us continue to make and enjoy music! LiveKomm calls on all clubs and venues to not be intimidated by terror and fear but to continue to live for the sake of rock & roll. One of the main questions that everyone is now asking, is how do we protect venues and events from terrorist attacks? Improving security will be a big problem for small venues because promoters will not pay for extra security at the door. One way to tighten security might be to personalise ticket sales. If you have a customer account with a ticket-provider, you’re probably not a terrorist. But if someone comes at you with a gun, there is no way to protect you from this. Panic-
room alarm buttons to close the doors could be a possibility, but again, who will pay for it? It’s still early days, so the venue community is not making any recommendations at this time. There is no golden rule. But some bands (mostly from the United States) are already requesting extra security. Admittedly, if the situation remains unsecure, we will have to deal with extra security costs and we will require solutions for that. The recent events were an attack on our way of life. I can’t think of another venue in Paris that better represents our values than Le Bataclan. It was a sincere open-space dedicated to different types of cultural living - without prejudice. Knowing that such a place, so similar to many other European venues, was the target for a brutal attack means that we have all been attacked. We have to stand-up for the purposes of solidarity, for the freedom of art and for our way of living. We will not surrender!
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...
Expect Li-Fi to be one of the buzz words over the next couple of years, as this wireless technology is being tested by boffins around the world – with early trials reporting data transmission of up to 1GB per second, or 100 times the speed of Wi-Fi. The Li-Fi tech transmits high-speed data using visible light communication (VLC) and scientists have achieved a mind-boggling speed of 224GB per second in laboratory conditions. That equates to about 18 movies of 1.5GB each being downloaded every second. Although, in the Baltics, tests in offices and industrial environments have recorded a slightly more sober 1GBps speed. “We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC technology,” says Deepak Solanki, CEO of Estonian tech company Velmenni, which is hoping to introduce Li-Fi broadband LED lights by 2018.
As devices need to be able to ‘see’ the VLC equipment, another advantage of the technology is security, as it will not transmit through walls. The applications for use in multiroomed venues are obvious, while there would also be fewer issues with large numbers of users simultaneously using a Li-Fi system. Li-Fi was invented in 2011 by Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh,
who demonstrated that by flickering the light from a single LED he could transmit far more data than a cellular tower. Haas believes that the environment could benefit as much as communications in the future. “In the future we will not only have 14 billion light bulbs, we may have 14 billion Li-Fis deployed worldwide for a cleaner, greener, and even brighter future,” says Haas.
StreetTeam is peer-to-peer event marketing software that currently powers the ambassador programmes of over 150 festivals and events around the world. StreetTeam’s clients have more than 45,000 ambassadors globally and generate millions of pounds worth of ticket sales each year. StreetTeam turns an event’s most
influential fans into ambassadors who promote and sell tickets to their friends to earn rewards. For the promoter, this drives incremental sales, event loyalty and stronger year-round engagement. Ambassadors also provide valuable feedback to festival organisers so they can ensure their events stay relevant. Ambassadors represent an event’s most passionate and influential fans. They have an average of 600 more conversations with their friends per year about their favourite events and
have five times the influence on an event’s bottom line because of their voice, reach and influence across social networks. StreetTeam’s software provides event owners, organisers and promoters with everything they need to build and manage a successful ambassador programme at scale. Clients can easily create a branded ambassador portal, find their most influential fans and share event content, as well as tracking programme performance and ticket sales.
One of crowdfunding’s rising stars, Gigmor states its mission is to “transform the live music industry by connecting talent buyers with musicians and bands and to become the music industry’s leading digital booking platform.” In a nutshell, Gigmor is a network that connects musicians to each other, facilitates the building of bands and
helps to create paid opportunities. The organisation’s vision is to transform the live music industry by putting talent buyers in contact with independent artists with a mobile app – a process it hopes can establish Gigmor as the go-to booking operation. Gigmor’s paid subscription service allows venues and talent buyers to discover, book and pay registered artists. “There are millions of musicians who struggle to make ends meet for one simple reason: talent buying is a complicated
and time-consuming process,” observes the company website. “Artists often lack the ‘know-how’ to market themselves professionally and talent buyers continue to rely on outmoded technologies to discover and hire talent, like faxes and playing phone tag. Yes, some talent buyers still use fax machines.” The company’s fundraising campaign is ongoing, with a pledge that the money will be used to develop a mobile platform to serve the needs of musicians and talent buyers globally.
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IQ Magazine November 2015
Optimism is the key theme in this year’s European Festival Report, backed up by the fact that attendance has risen across the board and capacities themselves have increased. But there are pressing concerns, not the least of which is soaring artist fees…
On the surface, the results extrapolated from IQ’s annual survey of the European festivals sector are very encouraging indeed. A small rise in ticket costs in 2015 did not dissuade fans from getting their fix of festival fun, while a hike in capacities across festival sites and venues throughout Europe proved a wise move, as more people attended events compared to 2014. Scratch below the surface, however, and there are some worrying trends – the biggest of which appears to be a massive jump in artist fees. Among the many conversations IQ had with festival promoters this year, one theme that was raised time and again was the spiralling booking fees, which are getting steeper, year-on-year. One promoter based in what might be described as an emerging European market reported that he had been forced to cut his festival bill from 180 acts in 2014 to 120 in 2015, purely because of rising artist fees. The knock-on effect for bands lower down the bill to secure festival slots – and therefore build their fan bases – is potentially devastating, given that’s one-third of the acts from two years ago now effectively priced out of the market. And that may get worse in the year ahead, as other festival promoters are regularly bemoaning the huge increase in fees, with at least one highlighting one act whose festival price has doubled in just
one year, while agents for other acts are demanding increases of up to 50% on some artists compared to a year ago. However, with demand vastly outstripping supply when it comes to bands that drive ticket sales for festivals, there don’t seem to be any potential solutions to that particular dilemma. Indeed, when it comes to the top concerns of event organisers, artist fees topped the list in both the first and second factors affecting the industry, while in the survey carried out by European festivals association Yourope, artist fees were also the main fear for its members (see page 40). Other big moves in the European festival sector in 2015 included Lollapalooza’s debut on the continent with its first edition targeting Berlin – a traditionally difficult market for events, given the local population’s relative lack of funds. However, not only did the German capital host Lollapalooza in September, but the same site, Tempelhof Airport, also saw the tenth anniversary of the Berlin Festival in May. Elsewhere in Germany, the mainstream press talked of festival wars in 2015, following a legal battle over the ownership of the Rock Am Ring brand between Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur, Deutsche Entertainment AG and the owners of the Nürburgring race track, which effectively saw rival events going head to head over consecutive weekends. And with Lieberberg moving to
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head up Live Nation Germany in January, the fate of next year’s Rock Am Ring could be subject to yet another twist with ticketing powerhouse CTS Eventim now claiming ownership of MLK assets. Meanwhile, FKP Scorpio continued its growth momentum and having celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, it is looking toward a portfolio of about 25 events in 2016. One significant strategic move that the company made in the past year – and one IQ expects other organisers to follow – was taking catering in-house. Previously, Scorpio contracted out its catering deal on a fee per visitor basis, but unhappy with the service, it decided to de-centralise that aspect and now does individual deals with catering providers, allowing it to entice restaurants to create pop-ups and reportedly eliminating junk food across its festival roster. Jasper Barendregt, who heads up Scorpio’s festival department, explains, “Our new and improved foodstall concept introduced a broad range of products and over 50 food trucks from all over Europe.” Elsewhere, Live Nation’s grip on the UK market strengthened when the company completed its acquisition of Mama Group, which has ownership stakes in festivals such as Lovebox, Wilderness and The Great Escape. One surprising statistic that came out of our 2015 questionnaire was the rapid rise in the number of professionals working at festivals, with the ratio edging ever closer to the numbers of volunteers that organisers rely on to staff their sites. The events that disclosed their staffing numbers said that volunteers totalled 54,181, or 53% of overall staff, compared to 48,183 professionals (47%). In our 2014 European Festival Report, volunteers accounted for a whopping 63%. That 10% difference is a surprising jump, given that in 2013, volunteer numbers were also at 63%, while in 2012 it was 59%, and 2011, 52%. Hinting at one reason behind using more professionals on-site, Paradise City festival in Belgium says it is looking to take on more pros in 2016 as part of its plans for better cost management. FKP Scorpio’s founder, Folkert Koopmans, notes, “Actually we don’t have a lot of volunteers at our events; they are very much a minority for us. We only use volunteers for things like charity campaigns because we cannot rely on them as untrained staff - that’s why you employ professionals.” Unfortunately, given the November terrorist attacks in Paris, one pressing issue for all major event organisers ahead of the 2016 festival season will be how to improve security. That might inevitably lead to more professional security staff being needed everywhere, while festival management will also be liaising more closely with the appropriate authorities to draw up plans on how to deal with terror incidents if the worst happens. In the meantime, another major trend to mention, which seems to be gaining momentum, is the number of events who are making the decision to announce headliners early. In years gone by, the general marketing strategy for festivals
Average Festival Ticket Prices
2015: €149.55 2014: €146.34
IQ Magazine January 2016
European Festival Healthy
REPORT 50% 2015
How would you describe the European festival market? Static
was to drip feed line-up announcements over a series of months, leading up to headliner revelations three or four months out from the event. Now, with so many festivals competing for a finite pool of acts that can sell festival tickets – and with cheap airlines meaning fans can easily pick and choose the events they travel to – many promoters are opting to announce headline artists anything up to eight or nine months in advance. Now, without further ado, let’s get into some of the headline results from the 2015 European Festival Report...
FESTIVAL CAPACITY AND ATTENDANCE Europe’s festival organisers continued to increase the size of their events during 2015, with our surveyed respondents reporting that their average attendance had reached 36,970, compared to 34,626 in the previous year. That 6.3% in capacity comes on top of a 3.3% boost in size last year, suggesting that promoters are trying to generate additional revenue by hiking the numbers of people they can accommodate, rather than significantly increasing the price of tickets. The good news for promoters is that despite the perceived risk that raising capacities will make festival sites and campgrounds more crowded, the paying public did not seem to take umbrage, as attendance in relation to capacity reached 81.7% in 2015 – up from 79% in 2014. In terms of sales, a little more that 46% of our participating events enjoyed a sold-out status in 2015 – another improvement on 2014 when the corresponding sell-out figure was 43%. Tapping into Yourope’s annual report, more than 41% of its members sold out their events in 2015, while nearly 53% said they sold more than 80% of their tickets, leaving a little under 6% who reported selling less than 80% of their full capacity (see chart page 42). “It’s good to know that capacities are rising, but Scorpio did not increase any of our capacities anywhere, to be honest,” says Koopmans. “It is true that more people are attending festivals, but our strategy is to concentrate on quality and that might suffer if we increased capacities.”
European Festival REPORT
REPORT Box Office 11% 2015
3% Walk Up 3%
Online (via Festival Website)
Ticketing by sales outlet
Online (Third-Party Vendor)
TICKETING Despite the fact that the economies of many European countries officially emerged from recession in the last 18 months, the continent’s promoters have resisted the urge to increase the price of festival passes – at least in 2015. Taking out the handful of free events that filled in our survey, the average price for the commercial festivals that participated in this year’s poll was €149.55. The previous year those events had charged an average price of €146.34. That’s a 2.2% price increase, year-on-year, which, although marginal compared to increases in artist fees, is still greater than the rate of inflation in many European markets. When it comes to the variety of passes that festivals sold to their events in 2015, there was a noticeable shift in the proportion of events who decided to offer just one ticket for their entire event. While in 2014, just 12% of our surveyed festivals reported that they only offered one ticket, covering the weekend or entire event, that number increased to 18% (or nearly a fifth of our survey respondents) this year. Interestingly, that move, at the expense of daily tickets, may have backfired, as replies in our sales pattern questions indicate that overall the proportion of daily tickets bought by fans increased from 24.9% in 2014 to 35% in 2015. On the flip side, multi-day tickets, weekend passes and tickets to entire events fell from 75% of overall tickets in 2014 to 65% in 2015, suggesting that fans prefer to have the option to attend certain days rather than the full festival. But the way fans are buying their festival tickets does not seem to be changing too much. Anecdotal evidence that improving economic conditions are leading to healthier levels of disposable income for fans is backed by a drop off in the number of tickets that were sold to walk-up customers at festivals (see pie chart above). Elsewhere, the importance of a strong web presence was underlined by the fact that online ticketing now accounts for 81% of festival sales – up from 75% in 2014. For the first time this year, we asked the festivals how those online sales broke down and our surveyed organisers highlighted the benefits in having the ability to sell passes directly from festival websites, stating that they accounted for 41.7% of sales compared to
39.3% sold through third-party ticket-seller websites. Box office still has a place, selling more than 11.6% of tickets overall – way ahead of call centres (3.2%) and walk up, which, as previously hinted, was less than 3%, compared to 7% in 2014. Among those events that experienced a decline in ticket sales, there was no clear pattern across Europe as to why fewer people had visited events, with organisers citing a variety of reasons for flagging sales. FKP’s Jasper Barendregt stated that the Chiemsee festival didn’t have the best of years, partly caused by the hangover from 2014’s event when bad weather hit the site. Speaking about the 2015 edition, he adds, “The programme wasn’t appreciated as much as the programme in 2014.” And turning to the so-called festival wars in Germany this year, he suggests the company’s Hurricane Festival – which dropped its capacity from 73,000 to 65,000 – suffered from a billing “that didn’t fulfil all potential buyers. Also, the competition with one specific festival caused decreasing sales.” Other events also noted line-up issues, economic crises (in Spain and Greece), competition from other festivals and date changes as reasons for declining sales. But underlining just what an impact uncontrollable factors can have, Ilosaarirock festival cited competition in booking and “very bad weather in general this summer in Finland” as issues that affected sales for the 17-19 July weekender in the eastern side of the country. However, just a month earlier, the organisers of Provinssi, in the west of Finland, had a much better time, reporting, “This year was our all-time second-best year, according to the total number of visitors.”
ATTENDANCE FROM ABROAD The promise of warm weather and/or less experienced festival experiences has, in recent years, seen fans planning trips to other countries to see their favourite bands, or just to experience music in a different cultural setting. While some festivals enjoy a reputation for attracting fans from all around the world to their sites, growing numbers of fans appear to be
What proportion of your audience is from abroad? 0-5% 6-10% 11-20% 21-40 41+
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European Festival REPORT
becoming ever more adventurous when it comes to travelling to events in other territories. This year’s survey saw a handful of events report that they had no international visitors, but for European Festival those that did, 47% said foreigners accounted for up to 5% of their audience – a marginal increase on last year. At the top end, fewer events (6% compared to 8% a year ago) said visitors from abroad made up more than 20% of their audience, but in the 21-40% of overseas fans bracket, signs were more encouraging with 19% reporting such levels, in contrast to 15% a year ago. But before anyone goes reading too much into these numbers, those events that reported foreign visitors of between 11-20% of overall ticket sales halved from 18% in 2014 to 9% in 2015, perhaps underlining that the variance in this annual analysis may have more to do with the acts on the festival billing attracting fans from far flung corners, rather than any long-term overseas marketing campaigns by the festival promoters.
VIP The trend of creating special VIP area and experiences on festival sites around Europe could be on the wane, with just 41% of our survey responders reporting that they sold VIP upgrade packages to their 2015 festivals, in contrast to 45% in our 2014 survey. Although many larger and boutique festivals enjoy significant additional revenues through the sales of VIP packages, the cost of creating these VIP glamping areas and VIP experiences can be prohibitive to smaller events, meaning that many organisers opt to ignore this niche part of the business to concentrate efforts elsewhere. However, among the initiatives that several of our surveyed festivals introduced in 2015 were: various levels of comfort camping; private bars and private toilets for the VIP areas; VIP backstage access; wooden cottages built for well-heeled adults and families; and even a special VIP food court. Taking its luxury packages up a notch, the 14,000-capacity Gibraltar Music Festival said it has a very extensive VIP offering which develops year-on-year. In 2015, its VVIP passes included full catering and an open bar, as well as access to private and corporate boxes, with the festival’s Owen Smith revealing that that a two-starred Michelin chef 8.1%
What percentage of your audience 14.5% took up a VIP or camping upgrade? 0 0-5 6-10 11-20 21+
provided the catering for VVIP ticket holders. In terms of the proportion of the audience that was made up of VIP guests this year, our surveyed festivals reported anything from zero up to 25% in the case of brand new 7,000cap event A Summer’s Tale, held 5-8 August in Luhmühlen, Germany. With an emphasis on cuisine, it’s interesting that the company behind that event, FKP Scorpio, cited rising production costs as a major factor for this boutique gathering. The debut of A Summer’s Tale also highlights a growing trend across Europe for high-end boutique gatherings, aimed at a slightly older, wealthier demographic. In essence, events such as A Summer’s Tale and the UK’s Wilderness festivals take the VIP concept to a full luxury festival vibe, targeting families and older fans who might prefer a more comfortable experience, rather than the traditional rock and pop set-up. In 2015, A Summer’s Tale booked Patti Smith, Damien Rice, Zaz and Calexico as headliners, while Wilderness counted on Björk, George Clinton and Ben Howard to pull in the crowds.
NEW TECHNOLOGY AND RFID Although festival organisers often mention the need to constantly change and develop their events in order to keep them relevant – and, in turn, to make sure they can keep their customers coming back year after year, it would seem that technology did not play much of a part in breaking new ground in 2015, with the vast majority of events telling IQ that
Switzerland’s OpenAir St Gallen Festival
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European Festival REPORT
Festival audiences grew across Europe this summer
they did not introduce any new tech at this year’s gatherings. Nonetheless, some organisers went to town on new tech. Hellfest introduced cashless, RFID, eBeacons and a smartphone to improve things for their audience, while Sweden Rock mixed some old-school moves (a free festival programme) with state-of the-art communication technology (free Wi-Fi). Also in Scandinavia, Copenhagen Jazz Festival used mobile ticketing for the first time, while Genk On Stage intriguingly reports the introduction of “big data analysis”. When it comes to RFID and cashless systems, more than a quarter of our surveyed festivals now use contactless technology in some shape or form. But those numbers have not significantly changed since last year. Nonetheless, the mood among the service providers remains buoyant. Intellitix, for instance, ramped up its RFID and cashless expertise in 2015, having taken Tomorrowland in Belgium and French events Garorock and Electrobeach Festival fully cashless for the first time. And looking to 2016, the company has partnered with Swisscom Event & Media Solutions to delivering a fully cashless experience at OpenAir St. Gallen, which has a daily capacity of 30,000. Intellitix CEO Serge Grimaux comments, “We have a very established presence across North America, South America, and Europe, and we’ll be delivering our event expertise to help OpenAir St. Gallen’s organisers create an immersive RFID and cashless environment for an enhanced guest experience. Customers can make cashless purchases with a simple doubletap of their festival wristband, allowing them to enjoy the music and festivities without worrying about safety or security of their funds, or long queuing and wait times. It’s the future of all events and we’re proud to service one of Switzerland’s most reputable and established music festivals.” Rival RFID outfit PlayPass recently announced its expansion into the UK market (see page 16) and the opening of a New York office following a breakthrough 2015 that saw it successfully deploy 100% cashless systems at Lollapalooza Berlin, Melt! and splash! in Germany; Spain’s Low Festival and Cruïlla Barcelona; Thailand’s Road to Ultra and Together Festival; and the Clockenflap Festival in Hong Kong. The Belgium-based company already enjoys home-grown success through the use of its RFID access control system at the Rock Werchter and Graspop Metal Meeting events. PlayPass CEO David De Wever says, “It’s been an incredible year, and 2016 is set to be even more exciting as we invest in new markets and expand our international staff.”
IMPROVEMENTS Despite seemingly shying away from technological solutions, the majority of festivals who took part in this year’s survey revealed various enhancements to their 2015 editions. The likes of Belladrum Tartan Heart, Provinssi, Wilderness, Copenhagen Jazz, Roskilde and Øya festivals added new stages and venues. Elsewhere widespread attention was given to upgrading camping grounds and increasing the number of toilet and shower facilities, and following FKP Scorpio’s example, a handful of other promoters opted to devote resources to bringing in better caterers and food outlets – Bergenfest in Norway and PortAmerica in Portugal to name but two festivals at the opposite ends of Europe, while Shambala’s Chris Johnston says it will focus on food as a theme in 2016, similar to Germany’s Orange Blossom Special which intends
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European Festival REPORT
Fans relax at the 2015 Pohoda Festival in Slovakia
TOP INDUSTRY CONCERNS
to provide more variety in regional cuisine. INmusic, meanwhile, made significant site changes. “The festival has spread out over three islands in Jarun Lake in Zagreb, providing an even larger and more equipped campsite with beaches and entertainment throughout the day, and extending the campsite working period to seven days, instead of six, which was the case for the year before,” it states. Looking to 2016, the creative minds behind Europe’s festival scene are already busy planning next year’s extravaganzas. Spain’s Festival Internacional de Benicàssim is working on new stages and activities for its campsites, while Wilderness in the UK has committed to improving its kids’ area, at the same time organising more late-night music to entertain its grown-up patrons. And of course, there are always moves to improve the carbon footprint of events with Holland’s Young Art Festival intimating that it will use more green battery systems instead of diesel generators at its next edition, while staff at Greece’s Ejekt festival will collect plastic cups and bottles for recycling starting in 2016.
As usual, we round off our annual health check of Europe’s festival business by finding out what increases the blood pressure of the brave souls who risk their finances, not to mention their sanity hosting music festivals each year. As our bar chart on page 43 reveals, artist fees remain the number one factor affecting the festival business, according to promoters, and if reports of hefty price hikes this year are true, we can only expect more people to highlight those exorbitant demands again when we repeat this exercise twelve months from now. Next in line, repeating last year’s industry concern was competition from other festivals. But one significant shift in issues at the forefront of festival organisers’ minds is the economy, which is no longer such a worry for the majority of festivals, as this concern slid down the list of things that are keeping festival organisers awake at night. Last year, it was the third biggest concern for our survey respondents, while in 2015, improving international finances saw that slide down the chart behind the checklist items of a lack of suitable headliners, production costs and the weather, signalling that, financially at least, better days may be on the horizon. Other festivals cited declining sponsorship opportunities and the cost of implementing environmental measures as growing issues, but despite the almost universal complaints over booking fees, the fact that ticket prices are so low in the pecking order hints at the measures that promoters are taking to keep things affordable for the fans. We started on an optimistic note, so let’s also end this year’s round-up in a positive manner. For the second year in a row, nobody who took the time to fill in our survey described the festival market as being ‘in a terrible state’, whereas just one respondent went as far as to say it is in fantastic health. However, optimism abounds with the number of events
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convinced that it is in a healthy state on the up – 50% compared to just 41% of respondents in our 2014 report (see graph, page 35). For the first time, we asked our festivals to disclose whether they had carried out economic impact studies to gauge what benefits their gatherings pass on to the local community. An impressive 35% of our participating festivals disclosed that they have commissioned such reports and the results they uncovered make for some interesting reading. Events such as The Great Escape state that they contribute “in the single-figure millions” while Primavera Sound claims that over the years cumulatively up to 2014 it had generated more than €94.8m for the Catalan economy. With 250,000 attendees over its 10 days, Copenhagen Jazz adds €10m per year to the city’s tourism revenues, and in Finland, Pori Jazz brings in about €20m locally. Portugal’s PortAmerica reports an economic impact of €8m, Øya puts the figure at NOK100m (€11m), and Hellfest’s study delivered impressive sums of €5m direct and €3.5m indirectly to the area around Clisson in France.
Such data can only help the festival community when it comes to getting local authorities and communities on side, so for those events who have still to commission such a study, there are a number of benefits that level of European information and Festival detail can deliver. Now that most of Europe has emerged from recession, there is no better time to underline the contributions that festivals make, not just culturally, but financially to the wellbeing of the continent. And for those nations still in the doldrums, showing the politicians the impact that gathering thousands of music fans can have, is not the worst idea in the world. Hopefully, the overriding optimism among those who participated in this year’s report can be realised in the year ahead, making 2016 a truly momentous festival season in Europe, because despite the obvious concerns over the cost of artists, this year’s report underlines the fact that the demand from fans across the continent is again on the rise.
What are the first and second most important factors affecting the festival industry currently?
First most important Second most important
20 15 10
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PARTICIPATING FESTIVALS A Summer´s Tale (DE), Amsterdam Woods Festival (NL), Bad Bonn Kilbi Festival (CH), Belladrum Tartan Heart (UK), Bergenfest (NO), Best Kept Secret (NL), Bloodstock Open Air (UK), Cactusfestival (BE), Chiemsee Summer (DE), Citadel (UK), Colours of Ostrava (CZ), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (DK), Cornbury (UK), Das Fest Karlsruhe (DE), Down The Rabbit Hole (NL), Ejekt (GR), Elbjazz (DE), EXIT (RS), Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (ES), Galapagai (LT), Genk on Stage (BE), Gent Jazz Festival (BE), Gibraltar Music Festival (GI), Haldern Pop Festival (DE), Hellfest (FR), Highfield (DE), Hurricane (DE), Ilosaarirock (FI), Immergut Festival (DE), INmusic (HU), , In-Somni Fest (ES), Jazzopen Stuttgart (DE), Jelling Musikfestival (DK), Lovebox (UK), Lowlands (NL), M´era Luna (DE), Melt! (DE), Metal Hammer Paradise (DE), Misty Fest (PT), NorthSide (DE), NOS Alive (PT), OpenAir St.Gallen (CH), Orange Blossom Special (DE), Ostrava in Flames (CZ), Øya (NO), Paléo (CH), Paradise City (BE), Pinkpop (NL), Pohoda (SK), Pori Jazz (FI), PortAmérica (ES), Primavera Sound (ES), Provinssi (FI), Qstock (FI), Rock Werchter (BE), Rolling Stone Weekender (DE), Roskilde (DK), Ruisrock (FI), Shambala (UK), Festival SOS 4.8 (ES), Southside (DE), SummerDays Festival Arbon (CH), Summerjam (DE), Sweden Rock (SE), Sziget (HU), SZIN (HU), The Great Escape (UK), Tuska Open Air Metal Festival (FI), Umsonst & Draußen Festival (DE), Vestrock (NL), Vinterjazz (DK), Wacken Open Air (DE), Way Out West (SE), Week-end au bord de l’eau (CH), Wilderness (UK), With Full Force (DE), Young Art (NL).
IQ Magazine January 2016
Netherlands Map Key Promoter Agent Agent/Promoter Venue Festival 1 Amersfoort Into The Woods Festival 2 Amstelveen Amsterdam Woods Poppodium P60 3 Amsterdam Feld Entertainment ID&T / SFX Earth Beat Full Spectrum Groovmill Radar Agency Agents After All Belmont Bookings Friendly Fire Amsterdam ArenA Bimhuis Heineken Music Hall Melkweg Paradiso Q-Factory Amsterdam Sugarfactory Ziggo Dome Amsterdam Dance Event Appelsap Amsterdam Roots Concert at Sea Festival Mysteryland Pitch Festival 4 Arnhem GelreDome Luxor Live 5 Bergen Op Zoom Poppodium Gebouw-t 6 Biddinghuizen Lowlands 7 Breda Mezz 8 Broek op Langedijk Indian Summer 9 De Meern deBeschaving 10 Delft Mojo Concerts (Live Nation) 11 Den Haag Parkpop State-X New Forms Crossing Border Festival Paard van Troje 12 Deventer Poppodium Burgerweeshuis 13 Eindhoven Bureau Zwaardvis Extrema Network Effenaar Muziekgebouw Extrema Outdoor 14 Ewijk Down the Rabbit Hole 15 Geleen Pinkpop Festival
16 Groningen Buro Gogo Rookies Agency De OosterPoort - Stadsschouwburg Vera Eurosonic Noorderslag 17 Haarlem Patronaat 18 Heerlen Poppodium Nieuwe Nor / Via2018 Parkstad Limburg Theaters 19 Hengelo Metropool 20 Hilvarenbeek Best Kept Secret 21 Hoofddorp Podium Duycker 22 Leeuwarden MBN Producties Neushoorn 23 Leiden Gebr. De Nobel 24 Lichtenvoorde Zwarte Cross 25 Maastricht Momentum Agency 26 Nijmegen Paperclip Agency Doornroosje Fortarock 27 Nijverdal Goomah Music/Ev’Hands 28 Oss Groene Engel
34 Terschelling-Midsland Oerol 35 Tiel Appelpop 36 Tilburg 013 Poppodium Incubate Festival Mundial Roadburn Festival 37 Uden De Pul 38 Utrecht Sedate Bookings De Helling TivoliVredenburg Le Guess Who? 39 Varsselder Huntenpop
29 Rotterdam Missin’ Link Double Vee Concerts Ducos/ACR Greenhouse Talent Ahoy Rotterdam Annabel Bird De Doelen Stichting Live at Rotown Metropolis Festival North Sea Jazz 30 Schijndel Paaspop 31 Schiphol-Rijk Stage Entertainment Touring 32 ‘s-Hertogenbosch W2 Poppodium 33 Sneek DIBA International Concerts
40 Velp International Artists 41 Velsen Dance Valley 42 Venlo Zomerparkfeest 43 Weert Bospop 44 Zeewolde Where The Wild Things Are
8. BROEK OP LANGEDIJK
6. BIDDINGHUIZEN 41. VELSEN 3. AMSTERDAM 27. NIJVERDAL 17. HAARLEM 2. AMSTELVEEN 44. ZEEWOLDE 19. HENGELO 21. HOOFDDORP 12. DEVENTER 31. SCHIPHOL-RIJK 23. LEIDEN 1. AMERSFOORT 38. UTRECHT 11. DEN HAAG 40. VELP 9. DE MEERN 24. LICHTENVOORDE 10. DELFT 4. ARNHEM 14. EWIJK 39. VARSSELDER 29. ROTTERDAM 35. TIEL 26. NIJMEGEN 28. OSS 32. ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH 37. UDEN 7. BREDA 30. SCHIJNDEL 36. TILBURG 20. HILVARENBEEK 5. BERGEN OP ZOOM 13. EINDHOVEN 42. VENLO 43. WEERT
15. GELEEN 18. HEERLEN 25. MAASTRICHT
IQ Magazine January 2016
The Flying Dutchmen (And Women)
A thriving international touring business is being matched by a blossoming domestic music scene in the Netherlands, and years of investment are beginning to pay off for a number of acts crossing borders. Adam Woods reports. Where big festivals, big shows and new talent are concerned, these are high times in the lowlands. From Golden Earring, Shocking Blue and Herman Brood through the electronic years of Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Hardwell and Afrojack – all five of whom, incidentally, were commemorated on Dutch postage stamps last year – the Netherlands has never ceased to produce music of international significance, even if some years have been better than others. These years, as it happens, are pretty good ones, and the key front is the live one. “It is a good time, yes,” says Ruud Berends of national music export agency Dutch Impact. “We are quite happy with how everything is going. We have a lot of talent in Holland that is breaking. There are lot of acts going out, playing the showcase festivals, touring in other countries. We have been working on it for more than a decade now, so we have a momentum, and the artists are pushing each other to a higher level.” Breaking/mature talent includes Dutch-Kiwi blues-funk trio My Baby; solo chart-topper Dotan; metal bands such as Within Temptation, Epica, Heidevolk and The Charm The Fury; and alternative rock bands like De Staat, DeWolff and Birth of Joy. Local rockers Kensington can pull creditable crowds of 1,000 a night in Continental Europe, but they recently sold 35,000 tickets across two nights at the Ziggo Dome, only pausing to book the arena for the same time next year. Foremost Dutch radio station 3FM – whose station manager Wilbert Mutsaers was recently announced as the new man at Mojo Concerts – has worked hard in recent years to build the domestic credibility of Dutch music, and in a country with a largely very solid live infrastructure and a preternatural grasp of English, the conditions are there for international success. “The Dutch scene and the Dutch infrastructure – venues, festivals, that kind of stuff – has always been very good,” says booking agent René Beerens of Momentum Agency, who manages fast-rising local bands Birth of Joy and DeWolff. “The Dutch state actually supports a lot of this infrastructure financially and promotion-wise. We have Buma, but we also have other organisations like Dutch Performing Arts, which is focused on foreign territories, helping to bring Dutch music out of Holland. A lot of countries bring showcases and parties to Reeperbahn, Great Escape, all that stuff, but for some reason the Dutch efforts seem to make the biggest impact.” Commercially speaking, Dutch music needs to export well if it is going to be worth making at all, given the country’s size. “We are kind of fast to go abroad,” says Beerens. “That’s something France and Germany miss, because there isn’t the same pressure. After doing their thing for one, two years in the Netherlands, artists have to travel. And there is quite a budget for Dutch bands to use if they are going to SXSW or doing a foreign tour – from Dutch Performing Arts, sometimes direct from Buma, also Dutch Impact.”
IQ Magazine January 2016
Ruud Berends isn’t so sure Dutch music exports are better subsidised than those of other countries, but he has to acknowledge the Dutch plan is coming together. “You need a certain level [before you head out internationally], but you also see bands like My Baby and Birth of Joy, they were playing abroad and getting popular out there before they were popular in their own country at all,” says Berends. “There’s no one way to do it.” On the domestic scene, local venues and festivals association VNPF reported 9,443 events in 2014, the vast majority of which were music-related – more than half live concerts and around 20% club nights. That year, with 2.9m people through the door, the VNPF’s 49 member venues achieved joint turnover of €90.4 million, including state subsidies of €27m. Given that Live Nation venues such as the thriving Ziggo Dome and Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam don’t come under the VNPF, the picture painted is one of a small (16.9m strong) but flourishing live music nation. In terms of genres, rock and dance remain particularly strong in the Netherlands, but they are coming closer together all the time, and local event safety specialist Mojo Barriers can prove it. “The dance market is very popular, and we are going step by step into that market,” says Holland and Belgium account manager Erwin Sprengers. “Now the DJs are more like artists. At big dance events, they used to be able to just use bike rack barricades, but now, with people wanting to get closer to the DJs, they are using the barriers we do, and that is in the last five years.”
Promoters Through Mojo Concerts and its venue interests, Live Nation is particularly strong in the Netherlands, where an old boss recently unveiled a new one. In early November, ongoing Mojo consultant and interim chief Leon Ramakers lifted the curtain on the January arrival of Wilbert Mutsaers, formerly station manager of Dutch radio lynchpin 3FM. Previous CEO Dick van Zuijlen departed shortly before the announcement was made, though he remains involved with Live Nation venues Ziggo Dome and the GelreDome stadium in Arnhem. Down on the ground, business is brisk, both in terms of stand-alone shows and Mojo’s bulging festival stable. “We have no real dogs,” says Mojo head promoter Rob Trommelen. “Most shows are good. Ziggo Dome is doing very well and we have got a bunch of great shows, no real flops.” Winter shows for Mojo include Madonna, Florence + the Machine and Faithless 2.0 at the Ziggo Dome, which will also host Adele and local heroes Doe Maar in a strong summer
“It’s a bit boring, but the big challenge is always to keep the ticket prices reasonable – that’s the big thing, and that’s our daily task.” Rob Trommelen, Mojo Concerts
Contributors Top row (left to right): Rob Berends (Paperclip Agency), Jan Smeets (Pinkpop), Jeroen van Iersel (Amsterdam ArenA), Middle row (l to r): René Beerens (Momentum Agency), Erwin Sprengers (Mojo Barriers), Ruud Berends (Dutch Impact) Bottom row (l to r): Sjoerd Wynia (ID&T), Rense van Kessel (Friendly Fire), Rob Trommelen (Mojo Concerts)
2016 line-up that will also see Rihanna and Coldplay at Amsterdam ArenA in June, the latter for two nights. With so many of the big guns out and about, challenges for Mojo are mainly of the welcome workload variety, though keeping a steady hand on prices is an everyday struggle too, according to Trommelen. “It’s a bit boring, but the big challenge is always to keep the ticket prices reasonable – that’s the big thing, and that’s our daily task,” he says. “And I think we are not always happy, but it is reasonably under control.” Mojo’s share of the Dutch live music market has been as high as 85% in recent years, but other giants lurk in Dutch waters. The rapacious FKP Scorpio has been in the Netherlands for several years, as a minority partner in Friendly Fire, whose director Rense van Kessel endorses the message about a strengthening Dutch talent pool, speaking in between Kensington’s two Ziggo Dome shows. “It is incredibly strong,” he says. “Kensington are the first of that wave to step up to arena-level shows, but a lot of artists are following them. Before, there was only a handful of acts at that level, and they had been around for 15 or 20 years or more.” For years, Van Kessel says, the Netherlands maintained an inferiority complex about even its successful artists. These days, they hold their own, critically and commercially. “Now, the domestic acts are the strongest-selling – the two Kensington shows sold faster than U2 in Amsterdam,” he adds. Alongside Friendly Fire, other key independents include
Willem Venema’s Double Vee Concerts and Belmont Bookings, who both operate as bookers and promoters in the alternative and indie market. Venema, a former Mojo promoter, says 2015 has been a little quieter than 2014, when John Mayer and Jack Johnson came through, but adds that Yann Tiersen and Joanna Newsom will be around next year, along with plenty of new bands. His charges also include Guus Meeuwis, who brought an army of fans over to London in May to fulfil his dream of a show at the Royal Albert Hall, and will play two shows at the Olympia in Paris next March in a similar spirit.Venema is a periodic and vocal critic of the Dutch live industry, and is currently furious about the floods of tickets going straight to resellers. He points to the fevered market in second-hand Adele tickets for her June 2016 Ziggo Dome shows, with €60 and €125 tickets at one stage clocking in at €4,950 on Live Nation’s Seatwave site. “With Kraftwerk last year, we sold the tickets personalised, and without ID you couldn’t get in,” says Venema. “I don’t see why this can’t be done on the scale of Adele - I can’t believe Live Nation doesn’t have the organisation and the funds to finance it. I don’t think anyone benefits from it except people who have nothing to do with it.”Dance music titan ID&T, in which SFX took a 75% stake in 2013, oversees a mini-industry of its own, from vast festivals and arena-sized club gigs to much smaller events. “You can’t just have big events – not in our country,” says ID&T spokesman Sjoerd Wynia. “A very healthy underground is very important to us, because sometimes something flashes and goes mainstream.” At the upper end of its operations, ID&T presides over an increasingly global network of festivals, including the indoor Sensation events, Mysteryland (which has also run in Chile and the US), Belgium’s vast Tomorrowland event (which likewise has an American spin-off) and the New York-only Electric Zoo.
DeWolff perform at Paradiso © Melanie Marsman
IQ Magazine January 2016
Netherlands ID&T Sensation at Amsterdam ArenA
Its US parent has been taking a pounding on the stock market, but ID&T is selling as many tickets in Europe as it ever has. “Everyone is still very eager to develop, to explore new things, and we have to – a generation in clubbing land is three or four years, and then new people come with new demands, and if you don’t meet them, it’s over,” says Wynia. Among the company’s plans are new international versions of Sensation, an expansion of Mysteryland, which last year went from a one-day to a two-day event, and a possible move from one-day to weekend for Milkshake, which takes place in Westerpark, Amsterdam. From ID&T’s global ventures, Wynia says much has been learned. “We always thought: we have a great event, let’s just do it exactly the same, somewhere else. But we have learned that every country needs a different approach, and for us the challenge is to keep our brand values alive and still adapt to different markets, different ways of organising events.”
Festivals Festivals? The Netherlands has plenty of festivals – around 700 a year, by some counts. Festivals promoted or booked by Mojo alone include season opener Paaspop (three days, 20,000 a day), 25,000-cap rock one-dayer Fortarock, Pinkpop (three days, 60,000 a day), The Hague’s massive, free Parkpop (one day, 500,000), Metropolis in Rotterdam (one day, 50,000), North Sea Jazz (three days, 70,000 across the weekend), Zwarte Cross (60,000 over four days) and Lowlands (three days, 55,000 a day), plus numerous smaller events. Then there’s the ID&T dance roster, plus Friendly Fire’s Best Kept Secret and Indian Summer in Hilvarenbeek and Langedijk respectively, as well as any number of local festivals. Speaking in the midst of the booking season, Trommelen observes that the biggest Dutch festivals also tend to be the most robust, though Mojo also works the niches, with events such as new hip-hop festival Woo Hah in Tilburg, which reckons on between 3,500 and 7,000, and next year’s 4,000-capacity jazz launch Transition.
“Everyone is still very eager to develop, to explore new things, and we have to – a generation in clubbing land is three or four years, and then new people come with new demands, and if you don’t meet them, it’s over.” Sjoerd Wynia, ID&T “Of course, there’s maybe too much, but there are a lot of winning festivals, especially among the established ones,” he says. “Pinkpop is great, Lowlands did very well. Besides the biggest ones, there is a need for small concepts, you know? Not everybody likes to be in a field with 70,000 people.” Up against the Mojo line-up, independent festivals may be reasonably few, but they are a proud bunch. The two-day Concert at SEA in Zeeland, run by full-service promoter/ agent/publisher/manager Agents After All, is both a bighitting indie event and a testament to local talent – Dutch band BLØF are partners. The promoters sold 30,000 weekend tickets in 11 days when the 2016 festival went on sale, with its line-up still unannounced, and 10,000 day tickets in around an hour.“We have a lot of great Dutch artists that can sell a lot of tickets,” says Agents After All managing partner Lesley Grieten. “Next year, we have Faithless as headliners, but we mainly book Dutch acts - the festival was built on BLØF, Typhoon, Racoon, Kensington.” Among the Netherlands’ rich assortment of festivals, the grandfather – indeed, the oldest of all European outdoor festivals – is Pinkpop. The gathering, which now comes under the banner of Mojo, launched in 1970 with the specific intention of marking Pentecost weekend with some music and a free barbecue. Next year, Rammstein and the Red Hot Chili Peppers will mark the event’s 46th birthday. Founder Jan
IQ Magazine January 2016
Netherlands Friendly Fire’s Best Kept Secret festival
Smeets laughs, “Yes, it feels like 46 years. I hope to reach the 50th anniversary, but in January I’m 71 and I feel it in my body. I never expected this. I live a healthy life – I never smoked in my life, I never drank, I never used drugs, so I expect to be 100, but running a festival like Pinkpop, with 5,000 workers, sold out the last ten years, it is a physical challenge.” In all those years, Smeets says he has faced only two disasters – in 1985 and 2005 – owing in one case to a bad bill, and in the other to a dogged determination to stage the festival on the Pentecost weekend, for better or worse. These days, the festival moves when Whitsun comes too early in the calendar, but Pinkpop’s 50th year will fall neatly on the perfect weekend. Smeets acknowledges the mounting competition for acts and punters, and confidently wishes his rivals well. “We have a lot of festivals in the Netherlands. I don’t think there should be any more. But in that whole spectrum of 700 festivals, the oldest are the biggest. I wish everybody good luck, but I always say, we are in the Champions League. Maybe those festivals are going to grow, maybe they are going to pass me. But not in 2016 – because I have Rammstein and Red Hot Chili Peppers already booked.”
Venues Live Nation’s three-year-old, 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome made an immediate impression on the European circuit, drawing the MTV European Music Awards right off the bat and moving on to Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran – you name it. The posters in its lobby currently advertise forthcoming shows by Janet Jackson, Muse, Rod
“We have a lot of festivals in the Netherlands. I don’t think there should be any more.” Jan Smeets, Pinkpop Stewart and the inescapable Adele, with Madonna and Florence + the Machine passing across its stage in the very recent past. In a time ruled by compact, content-packed indoor arenas, the local stadium, Amsterdam ArenA, home of AFC Ajax, has a hard act to follow, but it is not giving up yet. Just a week or two before press time, it confirmed shows by Coldplay and Rihanna, and by 2020 the state-owned, 53,502-cap venue, opened in 1996, will complete a facelift designed to ready it for Euro 2020. “We have already done the VIP areas, but we are also going to triple the size of the concourses behind the stands and give the outside a whole new look,” says marketing manager Jeroen van Iersel. “It is going to be like the Bayern Munich stadium [Allianz Arena], with the lighting on the outside so it can change colours.” The recent bookings, not to mention events such as Sensation, the Amsterdam Music Festival’s two closing parties and mass sing-along The Toppers in Concert (65,000 a night over five nights), makes a case for the ongoing value of the stadium as an entertainment space.
“The trend was towards small arenas, 15,000 people, but now we see two big international stars announcing big stadium tours within one week, to show they are big international stars,” says Van Iersel. The international stardom business, of course, is seldom less than abundantly healthy. It’s further down the funnel that indie promoter Rob Berends of Paperclip Agency identifies problems. Berends is alarmed by the dwindling number of small venues, either lost entirely or committed to expansion, pricing out developing talent in the process. “Venues are getting bigger and they need to cover more and more house costs, so that is an issue. 013 in Tilburg is reopening,” he says, referring to the prominent venue in the south of the country. “The main hall used to be 2,100 and now it’s 3,000. It’s an ongoing process. I can tell the story every year and it doesn’t stop.” Such concerns aside, the Netherlands has quite a number of significant clubs, theatres, and cultural centres, including Vera in Groningen, Doornroosje in Nijmegen, Paradiso and Melkweg in Amsterdam, Paard von Troje in The Hague, the Tivoli venues in Utrecht and the aforementioned 013. As with its musical exports – and following heavy lobbying from the live music business in recent years – the state is fairly generous in its support, with the Performing Arts Fund maintaining a three-tiered subsidy for kernpodia (core venues) that stage pop music. The current list includes 40 venues across the country with capacity for at least 200 people. They can apply for subsidies on a show-by-show basis, for a maximum of €1,000, or no more than 50% of gross artist fees.
AC/DC perform at Etihad Stadium on 6 December
High Flying Etihad Celebrating 15 years of success, Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium has become one of the world’s most iconic, must-play venues for A-listers. But, as Eamonn Forde discovers, the stadium’s flexible configurations make it a viable choice for many other acts… The turn of the millennium saw the opening of a new stadium in Melbourne that, 15 years on, remains the state-ofthe-art leader in the country and a key component in the city’s claim to be both the music and sporting capital of Australia. Construction started in 1997, under the working title of the Victoria Stadium. It may have gone through different namingpartner relationships (Colonial Stadium, Telstra Dome), but the Etihad Stadium Stadium, as it is known today, is the gold standard for major sporting and entertainment events in not just Australia but the southern hemisphere.
The building of the stadium was a catalyst for change in the city, revitalising an old part of town. “The important point here was that the stadium was a new build and it was down in the area known as the Docklands, which was really a rundown area,” explains Paul Sergeant, the CEO of Melbourne Stadiums Limited, who took over running the Etihad in October 2012. “When this place was built, it stood out like a sore thumb. It was here on its own. You wouldn’t recognise [the area] now.” The touring options in the city before its construction were seriously limited. “Prior to Etihad Stadium, major concerts
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“The expectations at the time were, from an industry perspective, [that it was] a little bit of a threat,” says Roger Field, who is now COO of Live Nation Australasia, but at the time the Etihad opened was at Melbourne & Olympic Parks. “I remember there was a clear sense of threat to our concert business as there was now a bigger and covered stadium option coming into the market.” He accepts, however, that the long-term impact of the stadium has been positive as it was more complimentary than cannibalistic. “It definitely opened up a new market,” he says. “One of the challenges in Melbourne at the time was the ability to play outdoor stadium shows.” Michael Gudinski, founder of Mushroom Group and Frontier Touring, adds that the stadium’s relationship with the live business was far from ideal at the start. “I am not saying this to piss in your ear, but the Etihad got off to quite a controversial start,” he says with a typical Australian flourish of brutal honesty. “They had a lot of management issues and so on. Since Paul Sergeant has come in, in the past few years, it has made an enormous difference so far as his understanding of it goes.” O’Connor, however, says that its move into live music was slow but steady and that helped pave the way for the key position the stadium has in the country’s live market. “Etihad Stadium was purpose built for AFL football but almost immediately promoters and other event operators saw the potential for entertainment events,” she says. “Barbra Streisand was the first to perform a concert at the venue and since then there has been a steady stream of massive acts such as Bruce Springsteen, U2, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Andre Rieu and so many more.”
She’ll Be Apples were almost totally restricted to smaller indoor venues such as entertainment centres, arenas, theatres and so on,” says Maria O’Connor, MD of Ticketmaster Australasia (who was also MD of the company when the stadium opened). “The odd concert would be hosted at stadiums around the country, but it was rare and it was always touch and go with the weather. We have provided ticketing services for the venue since 2000 and it is now our biggest client in Australia.” Michael Chugg, founder of Chugg Entertainment, says the building of the stadium was key in the process of gentrification of the area and its proximity to transport hubs has made it a central part of the city’s entertainment offering. “When it was first built it was pretty much a graveyard around there,” he says of the area. “But they have built-up the whole area with restaurants, shops and hotels. It’s really a wonderful entertainment precinct.”
Bumpy Beginnings The stadium debuted with a heavy focus on sporting events but it had a bumpy start, particularly with the country’s live music promoters and rival venues.
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Every Australian promoter IQ spoke to said the appointment of Sergeant and his building up of a new team – notably with director of venue sales Glen Rainsbury joining in January 2013 – was a pivotal moment and ushered in a much richer and mutually beneficial relationship between the stadium and the live sector. Sergeant diplomatically downplays his own centrality here but says he applied important lessons he learned when working in his native UK at both Wembley in London and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. “You have got to bear in mind that the people here were already doing a fantastic job and putting on some major events before I arrived on the scene – such as U2’s 360° tour,” he says. “Part of that change process was to recognise that we are a service provider. If someone is coming to hire our venue, like a concert promoter who has their reputation and their cash on the line, we have to quickly align behind what they are looking for. That is something I learned a long time ago at the Millennium Stadium when we used to treat promoters with disdain. We were the Welsh Rigby Union so you’d have to play by our rules.” He continues, “But the venue is just a shell and it is there to accommodate whoever and whatever someone wants to put in that shell – like concert promoters. That was a massive culture change for the Millennium Stadium and Welsh Rugby. It is not for us to dictate to a promoter what they can do in an event. We have to find a way to make it happen.”
Etihad Stadium One Direction perform under the skies of the Southern Cross in February 2015
Chugg adds that, from the promoter perspective, this was nothing short of revolutionary. “Until Paul Sergeant came there, if you did a show there they’d try and charge you for a brand new oval!” he exclaims. “They’d want to re-turf the oval on our money. Since Paul has been there a lot of that bullshit has gone away.”
Ripper Roof, Mate The biggest selling point of the Etihad, of course, is its flexibility and scale of technological innovation on display, even 15 years in. This is illustrated most by its retractable roof but also in the fact that it can work in multiple configurations, depending on the event. “The stadium has the largest moving roof in the southern hemisphere and it is the only venue in Australia with a closing roof,” says Sergeant. “This provides certainty for events taking place and protects them from the weather.” (Just what a seismic change this has caused in outdoor events will be explained in greater detail below.) “We have up to four entrainment space modes,” explains Rainsbury. “The highest capacity we have ever had at a single event was for an in-the-round show. It was the International Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses where we had 70,000 people in the venue for that [in February 2014]. That was a phenomenal feat.” The other configurations include the end-on stage setup, which puts the capacity at anywhere between 60,000 and 65,000. “By using our retractable stands with an endon stage, that reduces the capacity by a couple of thousand,” says Rainsbury. “That is the mode we are using for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo [across five shows in February 2016]. The final mode is the arena mode, which we did for Justin Timberlake in 2014 [created in conjunction with Ticketmaster]. That involved 180 meters of drape. We basically put it into an auditorium-style configuration by using one side of the venue. You can have 8,000 people on the floor as general admission and seating on a three-tier stand
that gives it a capacity of about 25,000. It is a viable option for arena tours to come into this space.”
In Excess It is not just sports and entertainment happening at the Etihad. “Then we have what is possibly the world’s largest graduation ceremony,” says Sergeant of its versatility. “The local university has a graduation ceremony here and we get about 40,000 people in there. There is a revolving stage in the round and 16 satellite stages. There are around 12,000 students graduating and they bring along about 30,000 family and friends.” The adaptability of the venue has been a godsend for promoters as is the fact that the stadium team have not rested on their laurels, constantly pushing technological innovation and raising the bar for other venues in the country. “It is a great multipurpose venue and the guys have been very commercially savvy and creative in terms of trying to get more content in there,” says Tim McGregor, group managing director at Dainty Group. “That coupled with the connectivity in the venue and getting it fully hooked up with Wi-Fi means that the patron experience [is massively improved]. The fact that Etihad has invested in that technology means the patron experience has been significantly enhanced. They are on the right path, that is one thing that’s for sure.” Field adds, “It also motivated some of the other cities like Brisbane to get on with updating their stadia. On the whole it has made [other venues and cities] more aspirational. And having a retractable roof is still a pretty phenomenal achievement.” That retractable roof has salvaged a number of shows in the past and has also extended the scope of the outdoor touring season in the country, giving promoters (who have to work around multiple sporting fixtures in the stadium) greater viability when planning shows and tours. “In this space, there are a lot of moving parts that determine the seasonality of the touring calendar,” explains Rainsbury. “October through to March is the typical window. It often
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Etihad Stadium The stadium is located in Melbourne’s cosmopolitan Docklands Precinct
hinges off the back of availability of stadia in other markets. Our window is certainly longer and more open than it is in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe.”
Four Seasons in One Day Chugg adds that the particular and unique climate in the city means the roof is a hugely important safety net for both the venue and the promoters. “Melbourne has four seasons in one day,” he says, referencing the Crowded House song that was written about the unpredictable meteorological conditions there. “It can be 40 degrees in the morning, pissing down in the afternoon and freezing at night. To have a stadium where you can close the roof is fantastic.” Activating the roof if necessary is incredibly swift – if they are prepared for it. “It takes eight minutes – as long as we have someone sitting up by the button,” says Rainsbury. “If there is nobody up there, it’s a bloody long walk to get up to the control centre to hit the button!” The same show, where the roof literally saved the day, was mentioned by several people – namely when Foo Fighters played there in February 2015. “It was an enormous show, but it was absolutely pounding with rain and gales outside,” says Gudinski who put on the show. “It was absolutely pissing down with rain. In the venue, Dave Grohl was saying,
‘Why won’t they open the roof?’ He had no idea [how bad the outside weather was]. That’s a great advantage to the venue. If they had been playing a massive outdoor stadium it would certainly have made it a very wet experience. We had a couple of shows in New Zealand with the Eagles that got completely pounded with rain. One show nearly didn’t go ahead because there was a possible cyclone.” Rainsbury adds, “About 10 minutes after we loaded the house [for Foo Fighters], a storm came through that basically decided to redistribute half of our external infrastructure for us. No one inside was any the wiser. We probably would have lost that show if it hadn’t been for that roof. It is an amazing asset.” O’Connor, savouring the symbolism, adds that it also saved a concert by a homegrown act. “I recall in 2010 one of the AC/DC concerts took place during a fierce electrical storm,” she says. “How appropriate for AC/DC.”
Listen Without Prejudice Another area the stadium is praised for is the quality of its acoustics, which makes it very appealing to artists who want to put on a very particular type of show. McGregor says George Michael’s show there in 2010 was a perfect illustration of the venue’s sound quality meeting exacting standards. “George is an absolute stickler as far as the acoustics are
(left to right): Michael Gudinski (Frontier Touring), Michael Chugg (Chugg Entertainment), Roger Field (Live Nation), Paul Sergeant (Melbourne Stadiums Ltd), Tim McGregor (Dainty Group), Glen Rainsbury (Melbourne Stadiums Ltd)
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Etihad Stadium concerned – so he had his team working very closely with the Etihad guys to make sure they absolutely nailed that,” he says. “It was only a few weeks after AC/DC had played a number of shows at the same venue – which was more a case of turning it up as loud as possible and everyone would enjoy it! Which I am sure they did. But George’s show was the polar opposite because at certain moments you would want to be able to hear a pin drop – and they were able to achieve that with the effort they went into with the guys at the venue.” O’Connor is effusive in her praise for the fact that the venue keeps pushing the possibilities where all entertainment sectors (not just the live business) benefit. “The hallmark of Etihad Stadium has always been its eagerness to push the boundaries,” she says. “Who would have imagined they could build a motor racing track in the middle of the field? They have taken chances to bring unique events to this state and the people of Victoria – and indeed Australia – have embraced it.” Sergeant, once more downplaying his role in helping make the venue the benchmark for stadia in the country says, “It was just a few tweaks here and there to have a change in how we approached and dealt with promoters. Sometimes you just have to speak their language.”
Sweet As This is something that promoters all agree the stadium and its staff have more than achieved. “We think the team there are very creative, innovative, forward-thinking and great to work with,” says McGregor. “They spent a lot of time figuring out how it could work acoustically. It is now regarded as a brilliant place to go and see major stadium touring acts that are capable of playing to 60,000 people or doing multiple nights at that sort of level. They have definitely raised the bar
and others will have to follow suit as it’ll become the norm.” Gudinski adds, “With Foo Fighters and Taylor Swift, we found it so much easier dealing with the venue these days than we did in the past. [Since Sergeant’s appointment] it has been noticeably more encouraging and much more open to trying to make the experience for the punters as good as possible – which is what it’s all about.” Asked what the most memorable shows there were, Sergeant and Rainsbury pick different concerts, which in their own ways illustrate what the stadium is capable of. “Coldplay pulled together all the elements in terms of the band engaging with the crowd,” says Sergeant. “They knew how to play a big venue like this. It was a spectacular show. To me, it highlighted how far the industry has come with live music. Out of all the events I have ever done anywhere, Coldplay is right there at the top of the tree.” Rainsbury says, “For me, it was actually Justin Timberlake. That was purely on the production side for the 20/20 Experience World Tour. It was just off the scale. He had a rolling stage 50 meters wide in the centre of the venue. Just from the crowd engagement and the absolute wow factor, it was extraordinary. Elements of what they did from a production and performance perspective in this show will be popping up in other shows for the next 10 or 15 years. It was fantastic.” As for what the future holds, Sergeant says “more of the same”, by which he means ensuring that everyone in the chain – from promoters and agents through to crew and the audience – are comfortable and that the venue keeps refining and improving its offering. “When people hire the building, the structure is only part of it,” he says. “They are actually the people who run it. That’s not just Glen and me; the team here gets behind whatever it is we take on board. Everyone knows what role they have to play to ensure that we collectively deliver what we are being paid to deliver. That is massively important to us.”
Justin Timberlake used the stadium’s arena mode at his September 2014 shows
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Kate Nash played at Eurosonic in 2015 © Bart Heemskerk
of Eurosonic Noorderslag The great and the good of the music industry will gather in the city of Groningen, 13-16 January 2016, when Eurosonic Noorderslag celebrates its 30th year. Eamonn Forde charts the development of the showcase conference. As the seventh biggest city in the Netherlands and with a population of around 200,000 people, Groningen is not somewhere you would automatically presume to be a hothouse for new music. Yet for 30 years it has grown to become one of the key springboards for launching new European acts – and that is entirely down to the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival. Set up in 1986 by Peter Smidt, it had an initially small but precise remit – to redress the balance and give new Dutch and Belgian acts a proper international profile. (It began operations under the Noorderslag name but this was to evolve as it broadened its horizons to cover all of mainland Europe.) “It was a relatively small event if you look at it now, but at the time we thought it was pretty big by doing 20 bands from the Netherlands and Belgium,” explains Smidt of the event’s origins. “We did it because at that time there wasn’t very much awareness and recognition that there were great bands around in Holland.” The impact domestically was swift. “Pretty soon everyone in the [Dutch] music business and the press went there because it saved them 40 different shows and travelling all
over the country to see these new acts,” says Smidt. “It was very convenient for everyone.” It soon became apparent, however, that the initial idea had legs outside of the Netherlands and that it should take on a pan-European focus. With key players in the Dutch music industry in attendance, this was the hook to turn it into an international networking and talent discovery event, drawing in promoters, agents and labels from other countries. The idea was to establish important reciprocal relationships between markets that had previously found it difficult to make an impact internationally. “This was at the time when Urban Dance Squad, Fatal Flowers, The Nits and all these bands were performing,” says Smidt of the Dutch music scene at the time. “We thought they were great, but if you went 200km over the border, no one had ever heard of these bands. And vice versa as we didn’t have a clue what bands were happening in France, Germany, Spain, Portugal or Poland. We felt this was a bit strange. We figured we could create a European event around the Dutch event called Eurosonic and bring in the best new talent from Europe.”
IQ Magazine January 2016
We now have 400 festivals coming. They need smaller acts, not just headliners, so they can bring new things to an audience.” At that stage, the UK was dominating in terms of a European country breaking its acts internationally. While Sweden had ABBA, it was incredibly difficult for most Continental European acts to get a break. There were occasional acts getting various levels of international success but there was a clear need to harness this and create a focal point for them. “People found it a bit strange to focus on continental repertoire,” says Smidt of the uphill struggle the event found itself having to navigate. “At that time, there were some bands breaking out of their territories – like Mano Negra from France. There were some people who were interested, but it was a small group of professionals who were into this. Slowly the business became aware that there was a lot happening in every territory and more and more local repertoire was being used. Of course, at the same time this local repertoire was crossing borders.”
They Will Come Smidt continues, “In most countries on the Continent, it is quite difficult for most acts to get out of the country. I find that a strange situation and it’s not good for the acts as they are not able to reach out to audiences and make a living. That is something I think we should change. The idea was simple. If we bring together all these acts and we bring media and buyers, something will happen. It is a very simple concept in that sense.” Also at the time, the idea of each country having a music export office (now the norm) was very much an anomaly; but the steady growth of Eurosonic was, in many ways, a catalyst for the establishment of such organisations across Europe. Smidt suggests that the event was growing steadily but there was no single flashpoint year where everything suddenly went into overdrive.
Part of that slow burn was the choice of location, which meant it could develop under its own terms and its own steam. Smidt, who was previously in bands and was working as a live music promoter, jokes that the choice of Groningen was down to solipsistic reasons as he was living there at the time. But he also made a prescient call that the event would have struggled to stand out if it was based in the Dutch capital. “I don’t think this would have been possible in Amsterdam because Groningen had, and still has, a very good infrastructure,” he says. “There is an audience that is willing to take a chance and buy a ticket for something they didn’t know. They trusted us.” He adds that the demographic makeup of the city was critical. “It is one of the biggest student towns in Holland,” he explains. “Groningen is a very compact city with a lot of students. There is the unique setting where we have a lot of venues all within walking distance. For a showcase festival, it is very important that you can quickly go from one venue to another. If you have to get into a cab, it’s too much time and hassle.” He also suggested that if the event had been in Amsterdam, then industry attendees would have been tempted to go back to the office in the afternoon or go home in the evening, meaning delegates would have been dispersed and attendances at shows thinned out. Transplanting everyone to a different city, and one that is small enough to walk around and enjoy the serendipity of bumping into existing contacts, as well as new ones, gives the event a sense of having its own ecosystem. “Most of the business, especially at that time, was concentrated in Amsterdam,” Smidt argues. “At first, when we started with the conference, people complained about having to travel; but if we had done it in Amsterdam, people would have gone home after a day. One of the important things in a conference is if the delegates are spending the evening together having a drink.” The city also benefits from a wider array of venues – Smidt estimates there are between 35 and 40 used each year – but the organisers do not want to push it to become bigger as they fear it would lose its specific character and charm. “We have more venues that we can use, but we don’t want to grow much bigger, to be honest,” he says. “This is the right size for the event.” Smidt says the event grew incrementally each year due to word of mouth as more and more industry people from around Europe converged on Groningen to both discover
Long queues can form outside Groningen’s venues for hotly tipped acts © Rene Keijzer
IQ Magazine January 2016
The idea was simple. If we bring together all these acts and we bring media and buyers, something will happen.” international acts to work with as well as showcase the best new music from their home countries. Word of mouth, however, will only get you so far and media partnerships have proven to be an important way for the event to extend its footprint. In the earliest days, Noorderslag was broadcast on Dutch radio but, to be truly international, the event had to go across all radio markets in Europe. It took a lot of knocking on doors (often the wrong doors) until the event struck a partnership with the European Broadcast Union (EBU) so that, today, it has 28 broadcast partners. “For several years, I tried to convince them that this was interesting and they should work with these acts” says Smidt of the long period of fruitless meetings as he tried to get a partnership off the ground. “Somehow I didn’t manage to meet the right people, as radio can be a bureaucratic landscape when it comes to European cooperation.” An American friend of Smidt’s knew the head of radio at the EBU and introduced the two, from which a broadcast
It shows that this is possible; that you can come out of a small territory like Estonia and in a couple of years Seymour Stein is raving about you.”
partnership quickly sprang. “A couple of broadcasters came to have a look and said it was the ideal event for radio to work on,” he says. “Now the Eurosonic broadcast is the biggest radio operation the EBU is doing. They like it a lot and they get a lot out of it.” Key to the event gaining traction in the radio world was the fact that the BBC’s John Peel would regularly broadcast from it. This helped give it all a certain credibility and it also helped open doors with broadcasters in other markets. “My perfect radio is to hear music that I don’t know, and where I am introduced to great sounds,” explains Smidt. “John Peel was the perfect host in this setting. It was really nice to have him as a presenter for the BBC.”
Going Dutch A further part of the festivals push to become a one-stop shop for new music discovery across multiple European territories was the establishment of the European Talent Exchange Programme in 2003. “The idea was quite simple,” suggests Smidt. “We had at that time – and we still have – lots of festivals coming [to Groningen]. We now have 400 festivals coming. They need smaller acts, not just headliners, so they can bring new things to an audience. They [the festival organisers] were coming to our event anyway, looking for new bands. We thought we could do it better and in a more formal way.” To ensure that there is a clear and effective exchange of talent, the attending festivals have a commitment to book some of the acts performing at Eurosonic at their events. Eurosonic does not try and dictate which acts they should pick – just that their attendance is dependent on making at least some of the many hundreds of performing acts an offer to play at their particular festivals.
Flesh & Fell at the first event in 1986 © Ruud van den Houte
IQ Magazine January 2016
Eurosonic’s main stage is outdoors in the city’s Grote Markt © Rene Keijzer
their list of acts from their countries that they think would be ideal for Eurosonic. So we also use our partners as our A&R source.” IQ asks Smidt which act, over the thousands who have played in the past three decades, is his favourite – but he diplomatically declines to pick one. He does, however, pick one act that shows just how powerful the event’s impact can be internationally. “Every band has its own story and what I like a lot is when you see a band really developing,” he says. “Ewert & the Two Dragons is an example of a band coming from a very small territory [Estonia] and the first time they played here, people really liked them. They were then booked by several festivals and got a record deal. The year after they won a European Border Breaker Award because of their European success.” He adds that the enormity of the event’s impact really hit him when he was at a conference in Los Angeles a few years ago and heard Seymour Stein, the founder of Sire Records, enthusing about Ewert & the Two Dragons. “It shows that this is possible; that you can come out of a small territory like Estonia and in a couple of years Seymour Stein is raving about you.” He argues that, 30 years on, Eurosonic has changed the dynamics for acts from Europe having international potential and has eroded much of the prejudice and preconceptions they faced. The idea of an act from Belgium headlining a festival is no longer the punch line to a xenophobic joke but actually a very real possibility.
We felt that if we solved this chicken and egg situation where the festival books the act, then the radio can support the act and then the record label can see this and release the records.” “Often you have a chicken and egg situation in a territory where the festival says they can’t book an act as no one knows them and the radio says they can’t play the act as the acts is not known, and the record company says they can’t release records by the act as there is nothing happening in the territory – so everyone is waiting for each other,” says Smidt of the intention of the European Talent Exchange Programme to break this deadlock. “We felt that if we solved this chicken and egg situation where the festival books the act, then the radio can support the act and then the record label can see this and release the records.” In the first year of Noorderslag, there were just 20 acts playing. Today there are on average 300 acts from multiple countries performing. In the earliest years, it was a relatively straightforward process to pick those acts from two countries (the Netherlands and Belgium), but three decades on it is a much more complex process. “We see and hear a lot,” says Smidt of the selection process. “We travel a lot and we work very closely with all partners involved. All the festivals, export offices and radio stations give us
IQ Magazine January 2016
IQ points out to him that many of the biggest acts in the world now are not only from the dance music sector, but also from countries like the Netherlands that would not have been considered global contenders in 1986. He says this is partly down to the fact that the dance industry was initially ignored or dismissed by the traditional music industry. “This is part of why they created their own system where borders don’t matter so much,” he argues. “A lot of it has also to do with much of the music having no lyrics. That makes it easier to travel. Plus it is a new genre developing next to the traditional music business.” There are, he feels, a lot of lessons for other acts to learn from this. And, in many ways, this runs parallel with what Eurosonic has been working to achieve; that is to create your own centre of gravity and eventually everyone will come round to your way of thinking. With that in mind, what does the future hold for the event? Smidt is adamant that it will stay the same size but that does not mean that its work is done or that it should run on autopilot. “What we are currently working on is looking to create more and more impact for the acts and to facilitate the media to work with these acts,” he says. “We already have this exchange with radio stations being part of our event and we are getting more and more TV stations involved. We don’t want to grow bigger in terms of the number of attendees or acts, but I would like to grow bigger in terms of impact for the performing artists. That is something the media is a crucial player in and they can help spread the word. There are interesting things happening everywhere and I think audiences should be able to listen to it.”
IQ Magazine January 2016
The Gaffer 2015 Having just wrapped the biggest artist tour of the year – Taylor Swift’s 1989 – it’s fitting that veteran production manager Arthur Kemish is the recipient of this year’s Gaffer Award. Gordon Masson caught up with Arthur between tour dates…
s one of the very few production managers who can take on a global stadium tour, Arthur Kemish is at the top of his game. With more than 40 years in live music, Arthur is one of the most experienced production managers in the business but like many of his Gaffer Award predecessors, he confesses that luck played a significant part in his career path. “Working on tours is the only thing I’ve ever known – it’s been my life and I love it,” he says. “The main difference with the new people coming into production is that they are a lot smarter than we ever were. But they have to be because of the high-tech gear they have to work with. They have to fix the lights or the desk on the fly a lot of the time and it’s not a problem for them. So they aspire to the job, whereas we just stumbled into it.” Working with a crew of tech-savvy professionals has been crucial to the Taylor Swift tour, which came to its eightmonth conclusion in Melbourne on 12 December. Talking to IQ from his second home in Maui, just prior to that final Australian leg, Arthur revealed one of the main secrets to the success of the production. “Usually the hardest thing you have to do on tour is when you switch between arenas and stadiums – which is exactly what we’ve been doing on 1989,” he reports. “But for this tour we put in a sub-deck and then built on that, so essentially we can put on the same show no matter what size of arena or stadium we are in. Stageco builds the sub-deck, which is about a metre high and then we just put Taylor’s stage on top of that. The first time I remember seeing it done was in the 1980s on a Mötley Crüe tour with Jake Berry as production manager. It’s not new, but it’s very smart.” That simple ingenuity also helped Arthur and his crew to solve a major issue when it came to one specific summer date. “In London, when Taylor played Hyde Park, we had to set up the show’s giant propeller. To do that we had to level the ground to get the propeller in there – turning that into Taylor’s production overnight was a huge challenge. The
Who played the night before and we arrived and lowered the stage down to the sub-deck so we could put Taylor’s stage in. It was a really satisfying feeling when she came onto the stage that day.”
hat Hyde Park triumph took Arthur on a rare visit back to his hometown. He was born in Winchmore Hill, London on 27 September, 1955, to parents Arthur and Ivy Kemish, and grew up in a typical middle-class working family. “I was not particularly good in school as I thought the way subjects were taught was boring,” he admits. “But I always liked geography and knew I wanted a job that involved travel.” Disenfranchised, he left school aged 15 and worked briefly as “a sort of apprentice painter” until fate intervened. “At that time, friends of mine in a local band had suddenly become known as ‘Kenny’. They had a couple of hits and I thought it would be a good laugh to go with them as their ‘roadie’. That was around 1972.” But that’s not the full story, according to Kenny band member Yan Style (who now works as hire director for SSE Audio). “I met Arthur when we were about 14 years old in our local park. He was walking somebody else’s dog – a big fucking German shepherd that ran up and bit me on the arse. We’ve been friends ever since,” laughs Style. The pair, along with friend Ross Pringle, started a folk group called Mnemosyne. “We rehearsed all the time, which kept us on the straight and narrow, but we’d endlessly play Yes songs in Arthur’s mum’s garage – the neighbours must have loved us,” says Style. When the band was approached by an agent, Style and co were asked if they would form Kenny to release songs by acclaimed songwriters Phil Coulter and
Arthur at the Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco in August 2015
IQ Magazine January 2016
Working on tours is the only thing I’ve ever known – it’s been my life and I love it. Arthur checks some of 1989’s staging
Jet Set Ambitions
rthur’s work with Kenny ultimately helped him realise his dream of travelling the world. “While I was with Kenny they hired two guys – Pat ‘Boiler’ Logue and Mal Cullimore – who had been working for a band called Strider, and we got along really well. Strider were the support act on a Faces tour and when Rod Stewart was starting to gear up to go out on his own, they were asked by his tour manager, Pete Buckland, to do backline.” Arthur’s friendship with the duo worked in his favour and before he knew it, he found himself on the road with Rod Stewart. “Long story short, I ended up as the drum tech for Carmine Appice,” says Arthur. “I had no right to be doing it, as I wasn’t that good, but it was more a question of your face fitting. That lasted for about five years and was way too much fun!” Thanks to Rod Stewart, Arthur’s ambition to travel the world was realised in a fantasy manner. “My first real tour overseas was in Australia – somehow I’d stumbled into the best job in the world.” In fact, some of Arthur’s career highlights hark back to those antipodean adventures. “Playing Wellington Stadium or Melbourne Cricket Ground was phenomenal,” he states. “I’d look out from behind the drum kit and just see all these crazy bastards in the crowd. It was so much fun.”
C Bill Martin. “I tried to persuade Arthur to be the bass player, but he said he couldn’t be bothered. Instead he wanted to be our roadie. It could have been very different, but the rest, I suppose, is history.” Arthur looks back upon those days fondly. “We’d occasionally do little bits here and there in Europe, but mostly we were driving around the UK in a three-tonner,” he says. Style remembers some of the crazier times. “We once stripped Arthur down to his underpants and threw him out of the van somewhere in the hills in Ireland,” he says. “We did terrible things to the crew – we’d gaffer tape eggs to arrows and shoot the crew when we stopped at petrol stations. Actually, the fact Arthur gave me the Taylor Swift tour a couple of years ago is remarkable, considering what we put him through. But he’s always been a mate, so I know he’ll look back on all the madness with a smile.” Indeed he does. “Working with Kenny was just the best fun – we’d play on TV shows like Top of the Pops and Supersonic and it was just amazing, although we didn’t have a clue what we were doing,” he says.
rossing oceans also introduced Arthur to America, and from the moment he set foot on US soil, he knew he wanted to make it his home. “It was 1977 or 78 and England was a pretty grim place back then – it was a bit depressing, the economy was bad and everything just seemed a bit grey. So when I got to America, I decided it was the place for me. So in 1982, I made the move and I’ve lived there ever since.” Initially settling in Los Angeles, Arthur worked odd jobs to earn money until his roadie contacts once again earned him a break. “Terry Price and Paul Newman asked if I wanted to work at Tasco, their audio and lighting company, and through that I toured with acts like Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Ratt and a load of similar acts. That took me through to about 1992.” Adding skills with each tour, Arthur began to standout from other crew members, eventually earning him his first chance in production. “Mark Spring was doing Mötley Crüe but couldn’t finish up the tour when it went to Japan, so he set everything up and I went as the acting production manager,” says Arthur. Word of his success on that short stint soon got around and doors started opening. “When I got home, I got a call to do Danzig. I had worked under people like Jake Berry, Charlie Hernandez, Opie and Mark Spring through the 80s and studied their methods and thought I’d like to try doing that. So it really started from there. After Danzig I worked on Marilyn Manson and Type O Negative for a few years.” Hard work mixed with good timing resulted in Arthur starting out with a band on the cusp of greatness. “The first real time I stepped into the production manager role was with
IQ Magazine January 2016
Gaffer Arthur relays instructions to crew during load-in at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium
From Metallica, Arthur went straight to Taylor Swift, for whom he’s been PM for the past five years. Acknowledging the diverse genres, Arthur relates one of his key work ethics: “It doesn’t matter who is performing. Our job is to present the show and it’s up to the artists what actually happens on stage.”
Accountability Creed. They started out pretty small – maybe two or three trucks – but in 1999 the band just exploded, so I was able to ride that one for a few years.” When that inevitable implosion happened in around 2002, Arthur wasn’t short of offers and did tours for 3 Doors Down, The Cult, Prince, and country superstar Tim McGraw, which led to work with Shania Twain. With Kemish now included in the shortlist of elite production gurus, stadium tours were soon added to his résumé. “After Shania, I had my first run with Metallica, finishing up for Dan Braun who had to leave for other interests.” After that came tours with Weezer and Def Leppard before going back to Metallica for four years. “Metallica was the first time I did stadiums. I’d done festivals before that, which is good preparation. But some of their tours were just huge – we’d have two or three systems on the go for some stadium tours. A stadium audience for Metallica is a lot of fun – they are just crazy.”
s one of the pioneers of international touring, Arthur has witnessed huge changes in the business, but he singles out one key development as a turning point for live music. “Touring changed the first time I saw a tour accountant on the road – it was Tony DiCioccio from Q Prime on a Judas Priest tour back in the 80s,” he muses. “Everything became accountable and that tightened everything up – it was a really good thing.” Holding people accountable for their specific role is part and parcel of the production process, but much of the respect for Arthur revolves around the trust he places in those he works with to get the job done. “I had the pleasure of working with Arthur on Shania’s UP tour in 2003 and established a friendship that continues to this day,” says tour manager Chris Littleton. “Over the course of the tour, Arthur and I realised we shared an outlook on how to handle our teams by simply giving people the ability to do their jobs then letting them go out and do them. We are in an industry that values one’s ability to execute their duties
The Gaffer I’d look out from behind the drum kit and just see all these crazy bastards in the crowd. It was so much fun. and still be crazy as hell – getting the job done but making it ‘interesting’ along the way, yet not losing the individuality that is so important.” For his part, Arthur says, “I’ve had people with me now for years, whether that be stage managers, riggers, carpenters. The secret of the job is that you have to have good people around you – people you can trust. If there’s an issue I get a call on the radio, but otherwise I can just let my core crew loose and know that they’ll just get on with it. “There’s always going to be a truck running late, or whatever, but that just makes it all the more important to have those guys you can trust – they know how to deal with those problems and work around them. People have to work fast in this business, but they also have to do things safely and that’s massively important.” Forever humble, Arthur is quick to thank the people who have trusted him with their tours over the years, as well as those who taught him the ropes. “Through the 1980s, when I worked for Tasco, I got to work with production manager legends like Jake Berry, Charlie Hernandez, Opie (Dale Skjerseth) and Mark Spring and I just learned everything I know from them. I was a sound tech for a long time, but I’d watch those guys at work and learn through their guidance.” Reluctant to have comparisons drawn between him and those “legends”, Arthur also applauds the suppliers that have helped professionalise the touring business. “Things are definitely easier today because of the people who specialise in every aspect of production,” he observes. “The suppliers I use depend on the artist I’m working with, as they might have their own preferences for audio, lights, video, etc. But it also depends on the engineers, because they have their relationships with suppliers and equipment manufacturers. But there are five or six world-class companies in nearly every
Testimonials There aren’t many production managers like Arthur around, (sadly for the industry), who combine his unbelievable skillset, attention to detail, generous spirit of comradeship and a way of making the most difficult issues seem like they were all in a day’s work. It was a big show and tour with some heavy demands on labour calls and coordination, all of which were handled seamlessly. I wish there was some smoking anecdote I could relay to you but sadly attorneys and artists preclude that possibility in the near term. I will set a small scene for you that includes Hawaiian shirts, straw hats, limbo poles and a steaming disco in Frankfurt, but more than that I am not at liberty to discuss. As Tom Cruise once said, “I could tell you but then I would have to kill you.” I can’t think of anyone who more richly deserves this award. Arthur is a man amongst men and a good friend.
Chris Littleton, tour manager It was 2001 when I first met Arthur as a young technician working under Doug Adams for Pyrotek and we were starting a new tour for a small band called Creed. It was an eye-opening experience for me. Watching the amount of equipment provided by some of the best vendors and seeing the coordination required to pull this tour off in the set schedule is where my respect grew for Arthur. It is 14 years later, and I had the pleasure this year of starting up Taylor Swift’s The 1989 World Tour with Arthur, this time as the COO of Pyrotek and once again it was a true pleasure. Arthur, in my years, has always carried himself with dignity, he knows what he wants and always sees it through till the end. Arthur treats you like family when you work with him and will always take a moment to hear both sides of a story without jumping to conclusions. I am proud to hear that this year’s recipient is a person that I have had the pleasure to work with at so many levels. Well-deserved, sir.
Bob Ross, Pyrotek Special Effects Inc.
Metallica at GM Place Stadium Vancouver in 2008
IQ Magazine January 2016
The Gaffer Swift and her dancers atop 1989’s complex hydraulic walkway
Working with Arthur is an honour. He makes things flow like the breeze – everything just keeps rolling down the road. If the sky is falling, you would never know about it because he would take care of it before it actually fell. Arthur is just one of the best ever: always calm, always right with his decisions…everyone loves him. There’s only a handful like him. Congratulations Arthur – a well-deserved honour.
Louis Messina, Messina Touring Group We have worked with Arthur for as long as we care to remember and he is always a pleasure to deal with. He is one of the absolute best: he is precise, extremely knowledgeable and we know what he expects from us – what more could we want from a client!? He really is ‘The Gaffer’ and a true gent to boot!!
department now, so it’s become a very professional business and the very best companies make sure that their equipment is serviced on a daily basis.” Highlighting the huge difference technology has made, he observes, “Look at lasers and how far they’ve come. Not that long ago you had to have a three-phase power supply and a water-cooling system. Now you can just plug them into the wall and they’re ready to go.” He adds, “I worked on a tour with Cinderella and David Lee Roth, where Laurie Quigley had five front-of-house audio desks. That, thankfully, is a thing of the past. But the problem is if you live by tech, then you probably die by tech too. So when something goes wrong, it can go very wrong.” Nevertheless, the suggestion that the buck stops with the production manager when such issues occur does not faze him. Instead he applauds the creative minds behind today’s arena and stadium spectaculars. “The biggest challenge these days is for the designers to come up with something new for each production,” he says. “From a production standpoint, mostly everything is a modification of something that already exists. So although it looks like something new to the audience, most stuff has been done before in a different configuration.”
From 1989 to 2016
uite what is next for Arthur was still uncertain as IQ went to press. “I’m in early conversations about an arena tour in America but nothing is agreed yet, so I can’t really talk about that.” In the meantime, he’s looking forward to a few weeks of holiday back in his main Las Vegas home where he can indulge some of his pastimes. “I like watching football – I’m a long-suffering West Ham United fan,” he confesses. “I also like running and swimming and I love messing about in the garden – it’s a bit like production, you have to create something and nurture it. But that can be a bit of a challenge when you’re away from home for months on end.” Reminiscing on his career, Arthur concedes, “I’d never have thought when I was sitting in that three-tonner back in the Kenny days that I’d one day be in charge of stadium shows. You don’t plan on doing this as a job – it just kind of happens. Of course, there have been loads of ‘oh shit’ moments over the years, but (touch wood) I’ve never lost a
On behalf of Mark Guterres & all at Transam Trucking Ltd Arthur, you are the only West Ham supporter that I love.
Rex King, tour manager Arthur is without doubt an outstanding production director and he epitomises the first rule of all excellent production directors: Remain calm at all times and glide across the pond without causing any ripples on the water. Arthur can certainly do this. Arthur is quiet, unassuming and a thinking man. His technical knowledge is remarkable – and coupled with his vast experience, he is able to find solutions for all problems that I have seen him presented with – so important when dealing with productions on a huge scale! He keeps his feet firmly planted on the ground and provides managers and artists with a secure and comfortable feeling that is invaluable. As a promoter, I am always very proud to work with him.
Barrie Marshall, Marshall Arts Arthur is a top-level pro who always gets the job done without drama. He is a gentleman while maintaining a firm grip on what needs to be done for his clients. It’s always a pleasure to work with him. My only question to Arthur would be: Are you interested in buying a zip line?!
Phil Rodriguez, Move Concerts Arthur, congratulations on The Gaffer Award! I have never figured out why awards are given for the work we do, but if anyone deserves an award it’s you. I actually think a huge bonus would be in order as well, as we all know that being a production manager means that you’re working a minimum of 18 hours a day. You’re a true English gentleman and I enjoyed my time working with you when I was the tour accountant and tour manager for Metallica. I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you for all of your insight when you passed on the Marilyn Manson production gig to me, way back when. You always took my calls and filled me in. I’m glad you have a home there with Taylor – you sure know how to spot a winner. And I sure hope that you have changed that irritating ringtone on your phone. Taxi! Taxi!!
Dick Adams, tour manager
IQ Magazine January 2016
show because of equipment failure and that’s down to the suppliers I work with being able to deliver a replacement or having the expertise to fix something if there is an issue.” Forty-plus years into the job, Arthur’s wanderlust remains a driving force. “There are still places I’d like to see – and plenty I’d like to re-visit. My favourite city is probably Sydney, but I love Istanbul and also Tel Aviv, and places like Vilnius in Lithuania are beautiful. “I wanted to travel when I was a kid and this job has allowed me to do exactly that: seeing Sydney Harbour for the first time; standing at the tip of South Africa looking out at where two oceans meet – those are special moments. And I’ve helped put on shows in some iconic places – the Moscow Music Peace Festival in Red Square, for instance. And driving into Berlin before the wall came down is also a vivid memory. There were three corridors into West Berlin and they would time your drive to make sure you were not stopping anywhere along the route.”
I wanted to travel when I was a kid and this job has allowed me to do exactly that: seeing Sydney Harbour for the first time; standing at the tip of South Africa looking out at where two oceans meet – those are special moments
My friend Arthur Kemish is the total package. Professional, polite and has grace under pressure. He appears to get it done effortlessly, like magic!
Everett Lybolt, Sound Image I have stood side by side with Arthur through the development and birthing of several productions. He is calm, thoughtful and incisive when needed, and firm and direct when called for. But he is never the creator of a crisis. Rather, Arthur is the helmsman guiding the ship through whitecaps into a safe harbour.
John Broderick, production designer The first time I met Arthur was when he was working on a Rod Stewart tour in the late 70s, but I’ve since seen him with artist after artist. I think the last time I worked with him was with Metallica in Moscow. When I know Arthur is in charge, I’m always very calm because I know I don’t have to worry about anything. But he’s also a true, long-time friend and whenever I see that he’s going to be in town I make sure I go to meet him for a coffee or dinner. He’s a lovely man.
Thomas Johansson, Live Nation Arthur is smart, organised and always calm. We have worked with Arthur for many years and find him a pleasure to work with and a true professional.
Robin Shaw, Upstaging Inc
The Gaffer I’ve known Arthur since 1987 when I was assistant tour manager on Mötley Crüe’s Girls, Girls, Girls tour and he was working for Tasco. You come across a handful of people in the business that you can see something in and Arthur was definitely one of those. In parallel careers, we’ve done it – Arthur in production and me in tour management. I think the last time we worked together was on a Type O Negative tour, but we’re firm friends and I was a groomsman at his wedding to Diane. We can go years without seeing each other, but when we do, we just take off from where we left it – that kind of friendship is rare. Arthur is the kind of man people want to emulate. He leads by example and is not afraid to push cases.
Mike Amato, tour manager Some of Arthur’s trucking fleet park up at Swift’s August show in Seattle’s CenturyLink Field
n terms of success, Swift’s 1989 tour is hard to beat on Arthur’s portfolio. In mid-October, Billboard reported that the crossover country star’s 59 dates, to that point, had grossed an astonishing $173million (€160m) – a full two months before the tour’s scheduled conclusion in Australia. Arthur’s role in that achievement has been crucial, but he’s under no illusion about his importance in the overall scheme of things. “The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is that familiarity breeds contempt,” he says. “The artist is not your friend – you work for them. You should never forget that it’s a working relationship and they are the boss.” His latest boss turned 26 years old on 13 December – the day after her sell-out global tour finally ended. Unlike some of the other employers he has worked for in the past, however, even at the age of 21, Taylor Swift was already a huge star. “She had done one headline tour before I got involved – double dates in arenas and stadiums so she’d already made it,” says Arthur, who worked on planning and pre-production for about six months for the most recent tour. “Baz Halpin, the show’s designer, did an amazing job,” he says. “In the United States, we used 27 trucks to get around the arena shows, while in Australia we had 34 trucks on the road. But we only had to use one set of steel because all the Australian shows were at weekends, giving us plenty of time between each show.” Trucking, according to Arthur, has become a priority. “When I know I’ve got a European tour, the first call I make is to the trucking company, even if it’s a full year in advance,” he reveals. “Every single year the trucking guys tell me it’s their busiest on record, so you’ve got to book transport as early as possible or risk losing what are a limited number of trucks to other tours.” And the freight specialists were vital to one of Arthur’s highlights on the latest tour. “Taylor’s first show in the Tokyo Dome was special,” he states. “The logistics of moving everything 6,000 miles on two 747s from Chicago to Japan, was crazy. It’s a bum-clenching moment when you get to Japan and think, ‘I wonder if we’ve forgotten anything?’ But that first show on a tour always gives you such a sense of achievement – and I can’t wait for the next one.”
I’ve been working with Arthur on Taylor Swift for the last three years and he’s very efficient and there’s never any drama or politics with him. I work on the logistics like splitting equipment for airfreight etc, and I go back and forward quite a lot with Arthur on things. As the tour got out of the gate, it has been very straightforward to do and that’s testament to Arthur’s hard work.
Jason Kirschnick, 8th Day Sound Arthur has been in the game a long time. Every crew guy that he has ever had under his wing has always had the best things to say about him. He has their respect. Arthur is one of the good guys of our industry.
Chris Kansy, production manager I first Met Arthur when he was working for Tasco as a PA crew chief in the 80s. We did a few tours together and I must say he was great to work with and a great team player. As long as it was Tasco equipment we were talking about… I remember on the Mötley Crüe Girls Girls Girls tour when we had the drum riser that spun and we would all gather under the stage and do the show. Arthur was responsible for making sure the cables from the riser did not tangle or get caught and break. All I can say is that it didn’t work 100% of the time, if you know what I mean I think it was all the lessons he learned from me about production that made him think he would be a good production manager, which he is not – he is a great production manager. I would like to congratulate him on this award. And Arthur, Who Was The Goalkeeper?
Jake Berry, production manager
The 1989 tour party
IQ Magazine January 2016
ILMC member Arnaud Meersseman of Nous Productions checks out of hospital in Paris. Arnaud was shot in the chest during the terror attack on Le Bataclan, but is now recovering at home. Courage Arnaud!
Mötley Crüe and promoter Andy Copping of Live Nation were presented awards to commemorate the band’s last ever UK show at The SSE Arena, Wembley. Pictured left to right are Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Copping, Nikki Sixx, Wembley venue manager John Drury and Mick Mars.
Group Former Universal Music Hole, International chairman, Max of der man Com his lays disp proudly sh Briti the of er Ord the Most Excellent to him Empire (CBE) medal, presented ham king Buc at rles Cha ce Prin by HRH ces to Palace in recognition for his servi the global music industry.
Delegates from across Europe gathered in Kals, Austria where Yourope hosted the inaugural European Festivals Conference, 2-5 December.
Guitarist Jimmy Page and ITB managing director Rod MacSween were both winners at Classic Rock Magazine’s Roll of Honour. Page collected a statuette on behalf of Led Zeppelin for the reissue of the year, while MacSween won The VIP Award.
CAA’s Ryan Fitzjohn collected the Agency of the Year Award (sponsored by IQ Magazine), at the UK Festival Awards in London.
Florian Fülle of promot ers bigBOX Allgäu proudly shows off the ILMC Mug Award for being the first delegate to register for ILMC 28.
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IQ Magazine January 2016
“What valuable life lesson have you learned from 2015?” TOP SHOUT No matter how full the diary is, there’s always room for another Adele show.
Rebecca Kane, The O2 arena
Aside from the horrific terror attacks, this year I witnessed one of the oldest partners at GLP fall ill with ALS, and my longterm German tour promoter (for over 25 years) and good friend Mike Dürrschmidt pass away. The lesson I learned from 2015 is to become more aware and grateful for every day I can enjoy in good health and spirits, doing what I love, together with great partners across the world – in the best of all businesses. I have become more aware of how precious every moment is that I can spend with my wonderful family and friends – and to avoid taking all these blessings for granted. And last, I have learned to give something back and contribute towards those who are less fortunate, and help them grow to their full potential. With that in mind – 2016 will be fabulous!
I learned that I can step out and create with my voice an event that encompasses the best of what the music industry has to offer. The event I created with my partner, FestForward, brought our industry together here in North America and rewarded attendees with networking, education and finally, an awards ceremony – Best of the Fests – which celebrates the charitable works, innovation and sustainability efforts of festivals in North America. Laurie Kirby, FestForward
The valuable life lesson that I have learned from 2015 is this: If you are dealing with someone who is an arsehole and this arsehole gets one of the cutest, cuddliest dogs you have ever seen, the person is STILL an arsehole. Ed Grossman, Brackman Chopra LLP
I’ve learned that sleep is needed as much as we think it isn’t. Mark Bennett, United Talent Agency
I was left as speechless by the Paris attacks as everyone else. As a cardcarrying old hippy, I can only imagine a world where love and peace are our cultural backbone rather than hate and war. And when I saw that extraordinary video of a man talking to his son outside the Bataclan and saying that the best response to the madness is candles and flowers, I thought: yes indeed, that’s it. Not bombers and prejudice but stepping back and saying that we refuse to be sucked into barbarity ourselves. That for me is the most valuable lesson to be learned from this year of mounting insanity in Europe and the Middle East. Nick Hobbs, Charmenko
Georg Leitner, Georg Leitner Productions
If you want to tell someone you love them, tell them NOW. Ed Bicknell, Damage Management
You gotta live every day, cause you never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow! Gary Smith, Pollstar
Never trust anyone if their eyebrows meet in the middle. Gillian Park, MGR Touring
Never trust anyone with eyebrows… Mooncat, ILMC
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IQ Magazine January 2016
IQ Magazine, issue 63, January 2016