LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
‘SOMETIMES I WISH THAT LIFE WAS NEVER ENDING, BUT ALL GOOD THINGS, THEY SAY, NEVER LAST.’
ILMC 28 Report Ten Years of Live Nation Finland Market Report The State of Stadia Festival Tech
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 65
News and Developments 6 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months
8 In Depth Key stories from around the live music world 12 Busy Bodies Industry associations share business concerns and news 13 New Signings A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the rosters of international agents 32 Techno Files Revealing the hottest new technology in live entertainment
18 ILMC 28 Report Full review of the conference 34 Ten Years of Live Nation The world’s biggest live music company celebrates its first decade in business 48 The State of Stadia Rhian Jones looks at the world’s biggest venues in what promises to be a record year 54 Festival Tech IQ highlights some of the technological breakthroughs looking to improve this year’s festival scene
56 Crossing the Finnish Line Adam Woods pays a visit to Finland for our latest market report
Comments and Columns 14 Learning from our Mistakes Chris Kemp explains how learning from our mistakes is always the bitterest pill to swallow 15 Group Hug! Kim Bloem calls upon us all to be unafraid to share information and to work more closely together for the sake of the business 17 The Importance of Live Michael Lambert gives a ‘younger’ professional’s view on the importance of live shows and how we approach fans
66 Members’ Noticeboard Keeping you posted on what ILMC members are up to
67 Your Shout “If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what is the one song you would want with you, and why?”
IQ Magazine May 2016
Issue 65 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, May 2016
Sometimes it snows in April Gordon Masson reflects on the death of yet another musical icon In mid April, I was fortunate enough to be at the excellent m4music event in Zurich and had a long and entertaining conversation with Montreux Jazz Festival CEO Mathieu Jaton about Prince, the culmination of which saw Mathieu invite me to the event the next time the artist agreed to perform at what was one of his favourite music festivals. Less than a week later, however, news broke that Prince had been found unresponsive at his home in Minneapolis and despite the efforts of the emergency services to resuscitate him, he did not regain consciousness. Coming so soon after the passing of David Bowie, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is wondering if they’ll have any heroes left by the time 2016 comes to an end. I’m in the extremely lucky position to have seen both of those artists on multiple occasions – Prince at least a dozen times and Bowie on three occasions – and I count a couple of their performances among the top five gigs I’ve ever seen. On the flip side, there are a number of heroes that I never got to see play live – Glen Campbell and the late Michael Jackson, spring to mind – so the sadness that inevitably follows the death of someone as iconic as Prince has come hand-in-hand with a renewed determination to try to see as many artists as I can and never to think ‘I’ll catch them next time they tour.’ And in the meantime, the various stories, videos and, of course, the music that Prince and Bowie have left us with (and the tantalising prospect of unreleased material to come) will mean that they never truly leave us.
IQ Magazine May 2016
With festival season now clicking into second gear, opportunities to see dozens of bands each day abound and I for one am looking forward to a busy summer packed with great musical experiences, hopefully with some suitably sunny weather as an accompaniment. And talking of festival season, this issue of IQ comes with a little guide as to some of the latest tech that might be making a difference for promoters, crews, artists and fans this summer (see page 54). IQ’s editorial team also takes a look at the first ten years of Live Nation (see page 34) and learns where the company’s senior management believe the opportunities for growth will present themselves in the coming decade. Elsewhere, Rhian Jones talks to the operators of some of the world’s biggest venues as the stadia sector prepares for what looks like a record-breaking year on the music side of things (see page 48); and Adam Woods continues his dissection of the business in the Nordics with an in-depth examination of the live music industry in Finland (page 56). And if all that wasn’t enough for you, we have our extended report on the weekend that was ILMC 28 (page 18), reminding those of you who were present of who said what and which individuals and companies left clutching trophies – and for anyone who didn’t make it to this year’s gathering, hopefully our potted report on the various panels and networking shenanigans will prove an incentive to put ILMC 29 into your schedule for 2017…
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ILMC and Suspicious Marketing
News Editor Jon Chapple
Associate Editor Allan McGowan
Marketing & Advertising Director Terry McNally
Editorial Assistants Ben Delger, Sina Klüver
Kim Bloem, Eamonn Forde, Rhian Jones, Chris Kemp, Michael Lambert, 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
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In Tweets... MARCH
SMG Europe appoints Andrew Bolt as CEO of Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (see page 8). Ticket resale sites defend themselves against rip-off accusations during independent review into market. Toronto’s Hi-Fi Musical Adventure collapses after founder slams Kesha in personal Facebook post. Five Australian Laneway Festival shows draw more than 60,000 fans, its most successful run to date. The Rolling Stones confirm media reports, announcing historic free concert in Havana, Cuba on 25 March. Madonna faces potential ban from Philippines after draping flag over her shoulders during concert. Stereosonic event releases statement supporting pill-testing at festivals despite continued opposition from the New South Wales government. Jeffrey Azoff leaves CAA after threeand-a-half years to form new company Full Stop Management (see page 8). AC/DC announcement: Brian Johnson advised by doctors to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss. Concert tracker Bandsintown adds direct-to-fan messaging for artists, as it reaches 23m users. Janet Jackson cancels postponed European tour dates after undergoing surgery. Elvis Presley to play first UK shows “live on screen” in November, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Spanish promoter Doctor Music threatens legal action against ‘harmful’ secondary ticketing sites. Cream drummer Ginger Baker cancels tour dates after being diagnosed with ‘serious heart problems’. Brighton showcase festival The Great Escape announces Latvia and Lithuania as its 2016 country partners. French police and paramedics re-enact Le
Bataclan attack as part of investigation. The inaugural Moonstone Festival in Orlando, Florida, is postponed due to a major cyber fraud crime. Adele announces Glastonbury Festival headline slot while live on stage in London. Trade body Assomusica reports that the Italian live sector enjoyed doubledigit growth for 2015. A worker is injured after the roof of Sydney’s Qantas Credit Union Arena collapses during demolition. Concert tracking app Bandsintown expands its Ticketmaster partnership to introduce in-app sales. Madonna asserts place as highestgrossing solo touring act ever with her Rebel Heart Tour surpassing $1.31billion (€1.1bn). Telecom & tech firm SoftBank makes $250million (€216m) investment in WME IMG, allowing agency to ‘advance global growth strategy.’ Adele fan injured by falling chain from lighting rig during concert at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro. Premium .tickets web addresses go live as the company officially opens sales. P2P ticketing company Physical Network acquires We Represent UK in $3.5m (€3.1m) deal, forming StreetTeam.
Worldwide stadium design, development and construction firm Icon Venue Group is acquired by CAA Sports. Guns N’ Roses reveal 21 cities for 2016 summer tour to be produced by Live Nation. NEC Group-owned The Ticket Factory forms partnership with ethical ticket re-seller Twickets. Mojo Barriers inks three-year deal with Roskilde Festival, continuing 15-year relationship. The Rolling Stones perform a historic free gig to an estimated 500,000 people in Havana, Cuba. Chinese promoter ordered to provide refunds to fans who paid up to $1,500 (€1,300) for half-hour gig by K-pop boy band Exo. Wristband specialist ID&C launches sixth annual £2,500 (€3,167) bursary for small and medium UK festivals. Historic Vancouver venue The Railway Club closes, citing the city’s skyrocketing rents. Marc Thonon, head of indie label Atmospheriques is named MD of French Music Export Office. Ed Sheeran signs with Creative Artists Agency. Guns N’ Roses reveal summer tour plans with 21 stadium shows across the United States.
Indonesian feminist group, Kolektif Betina, are forced to call off concerts after disruption by Islamic fundamentalists. Sally Davies is promoted to managing director of Universal Music Groupowned promoter ULive. A performance fund backed by PRS Foundation, Wigwam Acoustics and the Musicians’ Union offers £10k (€13k) of equipment to touring bands. Ten people charged over the 2010 Love Parade disaster avoid trial as a German court rules that the case lacks sufficient evidence.
IQ Magazine May 2016
Madonna on her record-breaking ‘Rebel Heart’ tour
Austrian police launch an investigation into an illegal concert by a Hungarian Nazi punk band. A New Jersey woman pleads guilty to selling up to 100 tickets to a non-existent Sheryl Crow concert. She will be sentenced in June. Australian ticketing and touring company TEG Live acquires Life Like Touring and The Entertainment Store. Coachella organiser Goldenvoice agrees a ten-year deal to promote new event, Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival, at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Los Angeles, launching in 2017. Stereosonic 2016 becomes the latest SFX festival to be cancelled. T in the Park promoter DF Concerts announces major revamp to the festival arena and promises more stewards for 2016 event. Over 30 Dutch festivals form new association, Verenigde Podiumkunstenfestivals (United Performing Arts Festivals) to strengthen their lobbying position (see page 12). SFX Entertainment lays off 50 New York staff as part of its post-bankruptcy restructuring. Indonesian pop star, Irma Bule (29), dies from a snake bite onstage during a concert in Karawang. The UK’s first cashless venue – Stage, in Basingstoke – is set to open. Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams become the first acts to cancel shows in protest against new ‘anti-gay’ laws in North Carolina and Mississippi. A new ‘long-term agreement’ sees AEG Odgen-operated Sydney SuperDome become the Qudos Bank Arena. Le Bataclan in Paris announces that Pete Doherty will be the first act to headline the venue when it reopens in November. CTS Eventim partners with Sony Music to develop a new ticketing platform for Latin America. Rising rents force Shanghai’s popular 800-cap Mao Livehouse out of business. Montreux Jazz Festival announces its 50th anniversary line-up. Live Nation-Gaiety acquires a majority stake in Manchester’s Parklife Festival
and The Warehouse Project. Muse win an award recognising their record-breaking 21,000 fans at The O2 arena (see page 68). Launching three new festivals in 2015 took a financial toll on DEAG, which reports a loss for the year (see page 9). Cirque du Soleil cancels upcoming shows in North Carolina in protest against anti-LGBT laws. British acts Lush and Skepta are forced to cancel their Coachella appearances because of visa problems. It is rumoured that Goldenvoice is in discussion with The Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Who and others regarding a three-day concert in California later this year. Axl Rose is confirmed to join AC/DC for the remainder of their Rock Or Bust World Tour. The second night of Argentina’s Time Warp festival is cancelled after five people die from suspected drug overdoses (see page 9). Chinese music group, Modern Sky Entertainment, acquires an equity stake in the Liverpool Sound City showcase conference. Pearl Jam “take a stand against prejudice” by cancelling their North Carolina concert. Rock group Boston also boycotts the state.
Calvin Harris’s headline set at Coachella features largest ever light show (see page 10). Liquidators of New Zealand’s Echo Festival announce ticket-holders will not be refunded. China blocks Selena Gomez concerts after seeing picture of her in company of the Dalai Lama. Prince Rogers Nelson dies after being found unconscious at his Paisley Park home. He was 57. Japanese Idol band Arashi takes on ticket touts with facial recognition software for upcoming tour. Six major Belgian music festivals collectively agree to heighten security this summer (see page 10). Ambassadors from ten former Soviet states demand that Lollapalooza Berlin be moved from Berlin’s Treptower Park, where a war memorial to Russian troops is located. World music star Papa Wemba dies after collapsing on stage, aged 66.
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IQ Magazine May 2016
Music Support Aims to Help Music Biz Insiders A new organisation that will provide specialist care for music industry executives, artists, crew and technicians is already helping a number of individuals after being quietly launched in April. Music Support is the brainchild of production manager Andy Franks, artist manager Matt Thomas, musicians Mark Richardson and Rachel Lander (both recovering addicts) and addiction counsellor Johan Sorensen, who, having experienced dark times
themselves, set about creating a network they believe can vastly improve the mental health support for music business employees and freelancers, from apprentices to company bosses. “Working in the music industry can involve some very unique circumstances, so we wanted to create something where people who know the various challenges of the business can help others work through their problems,” explains Franks.
Movers and Shakers The Association of Independent Music, the organisation that represents the interests of over 800 independent music companies in the UK, has appointed long-time team member Lara Baker to the position of director, while paralegal Matt Parnell becomes legal and business affairs manager. Concert promoter Dan Ealam has been appointed director of DHP Live, DHP Family’s new concert, festival and ticketing division. Ealam will oversee the company’s festival portfolio (Splendour, DotToDot, Everywhere, Mirrors), the 1,500 shows it promotes each year and the delivery of ticketing, including its own platform, Alt-Tickets. Sally Davies has been promoted to managing director of U-Live. She was previously chief operating officer of the Universal Music subsidiary, which promotes and produces live music and entertainment. Prior to joining U-Live in 2012, Davies was assistant general manager at The O2 arena.
Music Support has a 24/7 phone line that allows individuals struggling with any kind of issue to speak to an operator who will find a relevant expert counsellor to call the individual back. The organisation promotes other services such as Samaritans and SANE, but it aims to help callers deal with alcoholism, addiction, emotional health, mental health, stress and other issues. “It can be a harsh environment, working away from loved ones for months on
end, and it’s understandable that some people turn to drink or drugs,” adds Franks. “Working in venues where there are thousands of people enjoying themselves can sometimes be the loneliest place, and we have people at the end of the phone who understand that.” Donations for the nonprofit organisation can be made via the website – www. musicsupport.org – while anyone wanting to speak to a sympathetic voice can call +44 (0)20 3432 0449.
Carol Wallace, who recently retired as president and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center, has been appointed temporary executive administrator of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). Wallace effectively takes over the running of the association from interim CEO Steve Flamm. Creative Artists Agency has promoted five of its trainees to fully fledged booking agents. David Ball, Janet Kim, Lanell Rumion, Ben Schildkraut and Phil Quist are the new agents in CAA’s music department. Ball is based in London, Kim, Rumion and Quist in Los Angeles and Schildkraut in New York. Kilimanjaro Live now has Rhea Taylor and Georgie Donnelly to bolster the company’s team of promoters. Taylor joins from MAMA & Company, where she booked venues including The Barfly and Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen in London. Donnelly has six years’ experience as a promoter and producer of both stand-up shows and fringe events in the UK, and comedy festivals around the world.
The French Music Export Office has appointed Marc Thonon as its new managing director. Thonon is head of indie record label Atmosphériques and has served as president of the Victoires de la Musique (France’s Grammy equivalent).
Jeffrey Azoff has left Creative Artists Agency in the US to found a new company called Full Stop Management. Fellow CAA agent Tommy Bruce will go with Azoff, as will his assistant, Noelle Van Nostrand, with One Direction singer Harry Styles expected to become one of the company’s first clients. Azoff, the son of veteran manager Irving Azoff, had been at CAA since 2012, when he joined from his father’s firm, Front Line Management.
Corporate strategy specialist Matteo Perale has joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to lead the agency’s “aggressive growth and diversification” efforts worldwide. Perale was previously at sports marketing giant Infront Sports and Media, where he was director of strategic development.
SMG Europe has appointed former Perth Concert Hall general manager Andrew Bolt as CEO of The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK. Australian-born Bolt replaces outgoing CEO Nick Reed, who has taken up a new role with the Town Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham, UK.
ICM Partners has promoted agents Dennis Ashley and Robert Gibbs, who co-run the company’s West Coast urban music division, to partners. The agents’ powerhouse roster includes J. Cole, Missy Elliott and D’Angelo, as well as Mary J. Blige, who signed with ICM last month.
Paul Hutton has departed Metropolis Music to set-up rival promoter Crosstown Concerts. Hutton was a long-serving director of Metropolis, where he had worked for 28 years. He is joined at the start-up by fellow former Metropolis staffer Conal Dodds.
IQ Magazine May 2016
News to partner on what is fast becoming one of the key international music industry showcases,” says Yourope’s general secretary Christoph Huber. “The format of IFF – being exclusive to festivals and booking agents – fits the needs of our members well at such a crucial period in the festival booking season.” Over 500 festivals and booking agents are expected to attend the invitation-only
event on 28-29 September, with early-bird tickets having already sold-out. IFF takes place across two London venues: Proud Camden and historic music venue Dingwalls, next door. The morning conference features panels and workshops, while the afternoon and evening are dedicated to agency showcases and Q&As. Full event information is online at www.iff.rocks.
Festival losses hit DEAG’s annual results
at the Veltins-Arena, in Gelsenkirchen, while it will move to the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund this year. In related news, DEAG filed a fresh lawsuit against Nürburgring operator Capricorn Nürburgring GmbH, seeking €5m in damages over the botched launch of Rock im Revier. A previous ruling by the district court in Koblenz in January denied DEAG’s claim.
The International Festival Forum (IFF) has announced several new partners for its second edition, including CAA, WME and festival organisation Yourope. Other partners include ATC Live, Coda, ITB, Primary
The bumpy launch of new festivals Rock im Revier, Rock in Vienna and Rockavaria resulted in an expensive 2015 for German concert giant Deutsche Entertainment AG. The Berlin-based concert promoter’s financial results for 2015 were impacted by one-off expenses incurred by
Talent, UTA and X-ray Touring, with each agency showcasing a selection of their hottest festival-ready artists. Association partners include De Concert!, IJFO and IFEA Europe. “Yourope is excited
the launch of three events, amounting to €23m in nonrecurring expenditure. In its annual report for last year, DEAG reported an increase in revenue of 16%, up from €172.6million to €200.4m. However, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) decreased from a profit of €9.1m to a loss of €17.8m –
a decline of nearly 300%. DEAG’s festival ambitions have from the outset been overshadowed by problems. Rock im Revier was originally intended to take place at the Nürburgring racetrack. However, a succession of legal disputes meant the event instead took place
Wide Days Widens International Appeal A record 250 delegates attended this year’s Wide Days convention, while almost 1,000 people registered for the free showcase programme, which featured a majority of female-fronted acts. The 22-23 April event, in Edinburgh, Scotland, attracted representatives from most of
the UK’s key music industry organisations (but ironically not Creative Scotland), as well as delegates from as far afield as Germany, Romania and the United States. Its conference programme included an interview with award-winning producer, Martin “Youth” Glover, a focus on citybased music festivals and the
launch of Creative Carbon Scotland’s Sustainable Music Festivals Guide. The convention also featured a music hustings session, where panellists called upon absentee arts body Creative Scotland to do more to support the contemporary music sector and engage with the industry. “The success of this year’s
event is an endorsement of a programme which is designed to be relevant to the whole industry,” says Wide Days founder Olaf Furniss. “Wide Days is building a reputation throughout the UK and beyond, as a great environment to meet and network. What has made this possible is the amazing team that delivers the convention, and the great community that has grown around it.”
Buenos Aires Bans EDM Festivals The government of Buenos Aires is to cease issuing permits for dance music festivals in the wake of five deaths at the Time Warp festival on 16 April. City mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta says the measure will remain in place until laws are introduced to prevent drug use at dance
IQ Magazine May 2016
music events. “We do not want any more families destroyed by drugs,” he says. According to local reports, all five Time Warp victims took so-called ‘Superman’ pills laced with the drug paraMethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA). At least another five people, including a minor, were initially hospitalised and
event organisers immediately cancelled the second day of the festival. Witnesses said that festivalgoers were openly offered drugs including ecstasy, LSD, cannabis and cocaine. Judge Sebastian Casanello has ordered around 30 people, including employees of Time Warp promoter Dell
Producciones, officials of the municipal government, and an outsourced security firm, to testify before him. In contrast to initial local reports suggesting Dell president Adrián Conci had been arrested, he has reportedly been on the run since Casanello ordered his detention.
Most International PrimaveraPro Ever Around 40 bands from six continents will play at PrimaveraPro 2016, the most international edition of the conference and showcase festival to date. Talent from the likes of South Korea and Peru will make their debuts at the 1-5 June event, which is expected to attract 3,000 industry delegates. A total of 11 countries will present their “most
exciting emerging acts”, say organisers, “with the objective of establishing closer ties between the independent scenes of the countries and boost[ing a] cultural exchange on a worldwide level.” Notable among the performers will be a strong South American contingent, while the Korean Culture Centre, based in Spain, will prove that
K-pop isn’t all to come out of Korea, with three rock acts in the form of wedance, Dead Buttons and DTSQ. Also performing will be bands presented by Sounds from Israel, South Africa’s IMEXSA, Sound Australia, Italy’s A Buzz Supreme and Modernista, Don’t Panic! We’re from Poland, Luxembourg with Music and more.
Heightened Security at Major Belgian Festivals Six major Belgian music festivals are to collectively adopt a number of new security measures ahead of this summer’s festival season. Graspop Metal Meeting, Rock Werchter, TW Classic, Dour Festival, Tomorrowland and Pukkelpop issued a joint statement announcing that, following consultations with local and federal police, local governments and Belgium’s inte-
rior ministry, “clear directives” are to be implemented dictating which items festival-goers will and won’t be allowed to take to this year’s events. While backpacks and other bags won’t be banned, as some initially feared, they will be subject to “thorough inspection.” The other new security measures are a mystery: the festivals say that “for safety reasons, we are not at liberty to communi-
cate in detail on existing or additional safety procedures.” The statement also thanks “fans in advance for their understanding, their willing cooperation, the extra effort they are asked to make and also for their continued vigilance” and says the festivals will do “everything in their power to make sure the additional checks run as smoothly as possible.”
His first-weekend set might have had a mixed reception, but no one could claim it was under-illuminated, as Calvin Harris’s appearance at Coachella featured the largest concentration of lighting ever used in any live show. The Scottish DJ’s production team reportedly deployed every Solaris Flare lighting fixture available in the United States, while Harris also made use of custom software, allowing him to play back any track from his repertoire accompanied by programmed lights, lasers and video on a huge videowall. He was joined onstage by Rihanna, Big Sean and John Newman.
AEG LIVE TO ACQUIRE THE BOWERY PRESENTS AEG Live is reportedly close to completing a deal to acquire a majority stake in independent New York promoter and venue operator, The Bowery Presents. The news comes on the heels of Live Nation Entertainment’s purchase of Founders Entertainment, promoters of The Governors Ball, as the two conglomerates turn the New York/East Coast region into a battleground. AEG Live and Live Nation have long dominated the festival and touring markets in most of America, but have until recently had limited influence in New York. This summer will be the first time both companies have staged major music festivals in the city: the sixth annual Governors Ball will take place on Randalls Island, Manhattan, with a line-up featuring The Strokes, Kanye West, The Killers, Beck, M83 and Haim; while AEG Live will host Panorama, also on Randalls Island – a move Founders Entertainment’s Tom Russell described as “short-sighted and disappointing.” The Bowery Presents, founded in 1993, owns or operates venues in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Maine and promotes shows in both North and South America. Its concerts range from small and mid-size affairs to stadiumlevel shows: it will organise dates by Brand New and Modest Mouse, Ellie Goulding and Adele at Madison Square Garden later in the year.
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IQ Magazine May 2016
BUSY BODIES News fr om live music associations ar ound the world
Brussels Summit for Music Industry
Pictured (l to r) during a break at the workshop are: Paul-Henri Wauters (Les Nuits Botanique), Fruzsina Szep (Lollapalooza Berlin), Karel Bartak (European Commission), Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt (IMMF), Alexander Schulz (Reeperbahn Festival), Manfred Tari (Pop 100) and Greg Parmley (ILMC).
Key organisations involved in the music industry gathered in Brussels last month for a one-day thematic workshop, hosted by the European Commission, to discuss the mobility of artists and circulation of European repertoire. The event, held at the Ancienne Belgique venue in the Belgian capital, was chaired by Karel Bartak, head of the Commission’s culture unit, and was the latest in a series of workshops aimed at improving the cross-border activities for both live and recorded music. Among the live music players involved in the discussions were representatives from ILMC, Reeperbahn Festival, Lollapalooza Berlin, Live DMA, Primavera Sound, Liveurope, Prodiss and Music Finland. The workshop touched upon a swathe of issues affecting the music business in Europe, including: the challenge of monitoring cross-border exchanges; concert venues and festivals as key enablers for the mobility of artists; the absence of representation
of live music organisations at European level; the role of export offices in creating opportunity; the role of radio in cultural diversity; linguistic diversity; and the obstacles to physical mobility, such as visas and taxation. The gathering also discussed the possibility of creating an umbrella organisation to provide information, support and opportunity regarding mobility and cross-border exchange, as well as what type of new European funding tools could be utilised to help venues and festivals. Liveurope coordinator Fabien Miclet says, “This process is a unique opportunity for the music industry, and in particular the live sector, to make its voice heard in Brussels. For almost 30 yeas, the audiovisual sector has got the lion’s share of EU cultural support. Now it’s time for music organisations to work together towards concrete objectives, and hopefully the next generation of EU funding programmes will reflect the importance of live music in people’s lives.”
Dutch Festivals Form New Association More than 30 Dutch festivals have banded together to form Verenigde Podiumkunstenfestivals – the United Performing Arts Festivals (UPAF). The aim, say the members, is a “better anchoring of the role, position and importance” of music and performing arts festivals in the cultural life of the Netherlands, “both financially and in image.” The formation of UPAF stems from the manifesto, Long Live the Festivals, sent by the 34 member events to Dutch culture minister, Jet Bussemaker, last year. That
document raised awareness of the financial plight of Dutch festivals following cuts in public funding and prompted the country’s House of Representatives to increase the festival budget of the Performing Arts Fund by €2.5million. However, Mark Hospers, festival director of Noorderzon festival says, “The [financial] appreciation [of the sector] is inadequate and sometimes there is little understanding of the importance of festivals for the local, national and international infrastructure.”
ILMC Association Summit More than 25 industry trade bodies gathered for the first time at ILMC, which hosted its inaugural Association Summit on 3 March. Designed to allow society representatives to identify and debate shared concerns, the event was widely welcomed and plans are already afoot to expand on the gathering at ILMC 29. Alessandro Senesi, deputy head of the European Commission’s Creative Europe Programme gave delegates an overview on the latest developments regarding a support scheme for the music sector, similar to that already enjoyed by the film industry (see story left). Elsewhere, Mark Davyd, of the UK’s Music Venue Trust, spoke about the number of clubs shrinking year-on-year.
And LiveKomm’s Karsten Schölermann revealed the organisation’s successful lobbying initiative to obtain an investment programme for music venues in Germany. French trade body Prodiss outlined ways in which national security forces have been collaborating with venues and concert promoters in the aftermath of last year’s attacks in Paris. Other topics included discussions regarding the implementation of broader support for emerging talent; the creation, by German promoters’ society BDV, of an agency to collect royalties for promoters on the recordings from their live shows; and the launch of an umbrella organisation representing the European live music business.
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IQ Magazine May 2016
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world
Agent: Matt Bates Primary Talent Santa Barbara surf rats, Clean Spill, might come off as reserved, but their homebrewed mixture of garageflavoured punk rock and power pop is where they let it all out. Influenced by The Growlers,
The Strokes, and Twin Peaks, Clean Spill dish out a blend of crisp, indie surf rock totally indicative of their lifestyle. Led by Pat Curren on vocals, Geoff Shae on bass, Cameron Crabtree on guitar and Charlie Fawcett on drums, this low-key quartet started playing their instruments when they were just groms (young surfers) in between catching waves. They eventually founded the band in 2013 and released EP, XO, last year. Clean Spill plan to release their debut album in 2017.
808INK (UK) Nick Reddick, Primary Talent Chris Meredith & Colin Keenan, ATC Live Admiral Fallow (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Airways (UK/US) Ala.ni (UK) Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live William Church, ATC Live Aldous RH (UK) Clemence Renaut, ATC Live Alex Cameron (AU) Andy Cooper (US) Serena Parsons, Primary Talent Roxane Dumoulin, ATC Live B Boys (US) William Church, ATC Live Bayonne (US) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Bellevue Days (UK) Martje Kremers, Primary Talent Beyond The Wizards Sleeve (UK) William Church, ATC Live Blaue Blume (DK) Blue House (UK) William Church, ATC Live Abbé Rodgers UTA Body Clocks (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Carmody (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Cosmo Pyke (UK) Death By Unga Bunga (NO) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent DJ Tiiny (UK) Steve Zapp, ITB Eliza and the Bear (UK) exmagician (UK) Chris Meredith & Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Fangclub (IE) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Paul Bolton, X-ray Touring Fantastic Negrito (US) Fekky (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Fizzy Blood (UK) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Matt Bates, Primary Talent FREAK (UK) Freja (DK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Gangly (IS) Gilligan Moss (UK) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent GotSome (UK) Hanging Valleys (UK) Georgia Strawson, ATC Live Hannah Faith (UK) Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Jalen N’Gonda (US) Colin Keenan, ATC Live Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker (UK) Julia Jacklin (AU) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Kadhja Bonet (US) Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent Kelsey Lu (US) Andy Duggan, Primary Talent Killing Joke (UK) Paul Ryan & Martin Grech, UTA Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live King (US) Kula Shaker (UK) Mike Dewdney, ITB Laura J Martin (UK) Rob Gibbs, Live It Out Mike Dewdney, ITB Lauren Hill (US) Lea Porcelain (DE/UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Lemar (UK) Lewis Watson (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Rowland Bennett, Primary Talent Lucas Nord (SE) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Lucia Scansetti (ES) Mags (SL) Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Margaret Glaspy (US) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Matt Woods (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Møgen (UK) Colin Keenan, ATC Live
Agent: Will Church ATC Live Dutch quartet PAUW have had a high-octane couple of years. In 2014, they found themselves as the most in-demand act in the history of the Popronde travelling festival. On top of this, the band supported the likes of Temples, Elephant Stone and Kasabian and their single Shambhala topped a number of radio playlists. A sold-out club tour last year
had promoters outside the Netherlands keen to discover PAUW and they played festivals in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Portugal, while a storming set at Eurosonic this year earned them the attention of ATC agent Church. Now, with a debut album on the way, PAUW are ready to take more people on their magical and mesmerising trip.
Nai Harvest (UK) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Night Beats (US) Steve Zapp, ITB Normandie (SE) Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring NYTCLUB (UK) Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Oh Pep! (AU) Oliver Ward, UTA OhBoy! (UK) Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Old Sea Brigade (US) Colin Keenan, ATC Live Olivier Heim (PL) Tom Dunne, ATC Live Peaches (DE) Steve Nickolls UTA Peter, Bjorn & John (SE) Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Pinegrove (US) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Public Access T.V. (US) William Church, ATC Live PWR BTTM (US) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Queen Kwong (US) Chris Meredith, ATC Live RAy BLK (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Riothorse Royale (US) Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring River Tiber (CA) William Church, ATC Live Robbing Millions (BE) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Russ (US) Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring Samuel Ford (UK) Chris Payne, ITB Shame (UK) Alex Bruford and William Church, ATC Live She-Devils (CA) William Church, ATC Live Sigrid (NO) Oliver Ward, UTA Silver Snakes (US) Olivia Sime, ITB Slow Dancer (AU) Tom Dunne, ATC Live Smerz (DK) William Church, ATC Live Sneakbo (UK) Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring Sonia Stein (UK) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Sophie Hunger (CH) Colin Keenan, ATC Live Soulection (US) Steve Nickolls & Sinan Ors, UTA Tall Heights (US) Colin Keenan, ATC Live Tamu Massif (UK) Colin Keenan, ATC Live Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring The Contortionist (US) Olivia Sime, ITB The Hyena Kill (UK) The Lucid Dream (UK) Rob Gibbs, Live It Out Thomas Cohen (UK) Paul Bolton, X-ray Touring Tiny Ruins (NZ) Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Tones (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Tony Hadley (UK) Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent Toothless (UK) Scott Thomas, X-ray Touring Chris Meredith & Georgia Strawson, ATC Live TUSKS (UK) Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown (US) Steve Zapp, ITB Vangoffey (UK) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Vodun (UK) Ben Ward UTA Wakrat (US) Rod MacSween, ITB WALL (US) Joe Ogden, X-ray Touring Matt Bates, Primary Talent Yellow Days (UK)
Has your agency signed the year’s hottest new act? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the next issue…
IQ Magazine May 2016
Learning From Our Mistakes Mind Over Matter CEO Chris Kemp recently received the Passion and Excellence Award at the European Festival Awards. He explains how learning from our mistakes is always the bitterest pill to swallow.
ver the last twenty-five years, the professionalisation of the security and crowd management industries has created a deeper knowledge with regard to the reduction of risk. Confusing the size of the crowd with its safety management can be dangerous and companies are reassessing their venue and event needs and utilising more informative tools to meet growing safety requirements. To do this they are continuing to seek a more interdisciplinary approach in their quest to make crowded space safer.
“Genuine benefit only comes with a true understanding of the scientific/ human interface and without this, most technological deliveries in this area are doomed to failure.” Spurious authenticity, hearsay and unsubstantiated predictions are reducing and being replaced by carefully researched rationales that provide more confidence in the planning framework for these events. Demographics, profiling and regression statistics all have to be taken into consideration to ensure the validity of ingress and egress calculations, evacuation times and many other projections needed to instil confidence into those managing the event. Some venues monitor “time to clear” at the end of an event to create empirical data to support crowd movements and flow rates and this helps to develop patterns of movement when planning for normal egress and evacuation. Although not an exact science it starts to build up a picture over time of how this would work. It is also clear that a safety concept is venue specific and cannot be transferred to another festival or venue due to its idiosyncratic nature. Having said this, some generic points are transferrable in some cases but the specific elements do not provide such an easy fit. Genuine benefit only comes with a true understanding of the scientific/human interface and without this, most technological deliveries in this area are doomed to failure or where they seem to work can be disproved by elements outside science. Sometimes it takes a defining moment to make you think differently or change your perspective on a subject. The recent atrocities in Paris where the inherent vulnerability of the crowd at events was brought into sharp relief was one of these defining
moments. The focus on the execution of a defender of the public (a gendarme) in the Charlie Hebdo massacre should have been warning enough that more was to come. However, our vulnerability and the psychological damage that the Bataclan massacre had on those attending or associated with the attacks could not have been calculated. Discussing accountability, competence and other changes in festivals and events since the Love Parade incident have helped us to review the unknown unknowns bringing together those peripheral to event delivery but central in the decision-making process such as local councils and the licencing authorities with those delivering the event. More and more across Europe these two segments are integrated, creating a common approach to event management. This is not a case of being better qualified but being fit for purpose or having complementary skill sets to those in other positions in the event dynamic. There is not one qualification in the world that can substitute for experience and learning on the job no matter how much I had you believe this in my former life. Now, more complex approaches in the search for the underlying distal effects that cause events to go wrong are being practised. This has been brought about by a resurgence of behaviours at events which mirror practices at Hillsborough, Heysel, and many other disasters where the root cause seems to reside in a failure in the planning and preparation stages coupled with ‘memory loss’ in relation to the causal elements of such disasters. Recent issues at major events in Europe and the US send a chill down the spine as they reflect the same behaviours seen at Roskilde and Heysel, only this time 15-30 years later. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is a laudable strategy and it focuses on the mitigation of as much risk as possible reducing the possibility of issues and providing contingencies. But in all cases this means everyone involved stepping up to the plate and being accountable for their own areas in a collective approach to the event. Without this, it just doesn’t work. People are trying to come to terms with the new threats, and the work continually taking place in organisations to ensure that this happens brings us closer to being ready for the next unknown unknown. However, it is not about thinking outside the box but about seeking the box that we don’t yet know exists, to ensure that by doing so we are ready for new threats. Before Paris, who really dreamed that such an attack would ever happen and so many people would be damaged? It wasn’t that we were not ready; it was that the style and brutality of the attack did not enter the psyche of the rational human mind.
IQ Magazine May 2016
Group Hug! Kim Bloem, head promoter at Mojo/Live Nation in the Netherlands, calls upon us all to be unafraid to share information and to work more closely together in order to create a more efficient and generally better live business.
won’t be pleading for world peace like in the Miss World contests, but please read my plea for more group hugging below: a topic that was a highlight, for me at least, of the Booking Ring panel I took part in at ILMC 28, in which we discussed the current state of the business. Being a woman in a business consisting mainly of men, though fortunately progressing towards a more balanced group, I’d like to share my thoughts on the preservation of a healthy and growing business. A quick sidestep on the tricky subject of gender: adding women to the mix is very healthy, in my opinion. It diverts from the male obsession with he who laughs loudest, and brings every business down to in-depth discussions, different perspectives and more respect for differences. Our business is a group effort between the stakeholders in the food chain (artist, manager, agent and promoter). It is a people’s business and I’d like to think we are all part of building artists’ careers. Or is that being too sentimental and romantic? But don’t we all love hearing the wonderful stories from long ago? I’d say so, since the busiest panels at gatherings such as ILMC, Eurosonic, IFF etc are the Q&As with the major agents and promoters recalling extremely funny situations, stories of lucky signings and bloopers. Or for instance, at the last ILMC Breakfast Meeting where Ed Bicknell interviewed Marc Geiger about his career that had involved both huge successes and quite terrible losses, along with his new ideas on developing and creating the most efficient business, changing to territorial booking, etc. Climbing up, falling down. We revel in those stories. And when we come out of those sessions we’re all inspired, wanting to achieve the same or similar, experiencing what they have experienced, well, preferably just the ‘ups’, of course. In the end, it all comes down to one thing: creating the opportunity for both artists and fans to have a brilliant 75-90-minute experience. Making sure everything falls into place. And, a minor detail, making a living for everybody in the food-chain. With this food-chain being what it is, I think the only way to achieve the above, is by working more closely together, and making it a team effort, as you should within your own company. During The Booking Ring, one of the questions I asked while we were preparing was “Why do agents think of their artists (or managers) as being their only client?” Agents on the panel thought this to be a fair question; needless to say, without promoters there is a lot less business. We put the guarantees on the table for everything including artist fee and commissions. So needing each other as we do, let’s show a good
IQ Magazine May 2016
example in being more loyal and respectful. Let’s try to do a better job by informing ourselves better and sharing this information. I want to hear from the source why I am still waiting for a confirmation, so I can anticipate. Information is crucial for everybody, and when working in teams information can often get lost. Having information is really not always the same as having power, or being more in control, that’s definitely overrated. We can all be a lot more efficient in sharing information instead of creating a bureaucratic business model of moving pieces around without exactly knowing why that is a good thing. By sharing we can understand why we do the things we do, maybe even contribute with a great idea, and more easily shoulder the disappointment when a decision is made to our disadvantage.
“Whether we like global deals or not, whether we like territorial booking or not, we will always be looking for new ways to change the business into a better and hopefully more profitable one for all.” Whether we like global deals or not, whether we like territorial booking or not, we will always be looking for new ways to change the business into a better and hopefully more profitable one for all. Still, artists don’t like to be seen as cash cows (some do like the money though!), or to be just a small part of a big machine. They want to be special, and looked after in a personal way. There’s that ‘people’ business again. Though the business has become more about quick money and less loyalty, we can turn that around by doing all of the above and group hugging more! So, the next time you need a favour, call me and I’ll do you the favour because it’s you, and because it’s ‘we’, and not your CEO calling mine and being a bully about how much business has been done. And then we hug…
The Importance of Live Artist manager Michael Lambert is also a director of the Wide Days conference and showcase event. Here he gives a ‘younger’ professional’s view on the importance of live shows and the way we approach those essential people – the fans.
t can be easy to forget the value of the live show when developing a new artist. Campaigns are increasingly multifaceted, and the list of platforms available to engage with audiences is endless and ever expanding. Artists can spend their lives reTweeting, favouriting, sharing, Shapchatting etc; connecting with fans online and building numbers on each platform as they go. The question is, does this really help artists build loyal fans? Don’t get me wrong, social media is a vital aspect of developing and retaining an audience, and it’s incredible that artists can maintain such intimate relationships with the people who care about the music they make. But the fact of the matter is, a band who put on a great live performance, spend time with their followers afterwards, then engage with them online are much more likely to have a deeper, longlasting connection with their fans. Last month, I attended the ILMC for the first time, and I was surprised at just how vocal and candid some major players in the live business were willing to be in such an open forum. It
reminded me that the passion and emotion connected to a live gig isn’t restricted to the artist/fan relationship, but extends to the people making shows happen all across the globe, from tiny club to world-class arena. They care deeply about their business, and the individuals whose careers they are helping to build. However, I couldn’t help but feel that the focus of many discussions and late-night debates at the bar had their focus in the wrong place. We are in danger of forgetting about the most important people in the chain – the fans. Rather than dissecting the margins on a booking fee and how the pie is shared between promoter, venue and artists, I’d like to see the industry devote more time and effort towards figuring out how to make the ticketing world more customerfriendly. Positive noises made surrounding printing names on tickets to combat the touts were encouraging, but there is still so far to go before the world of ticketing actually works for the real fan, and if we make it too difficult for them, we won’t have a live business left to talk about.
ILMC PRODUCTION MEETING
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Now in its ninth year, the IPM moved for the first time away from the Royal Garden Hotel to accommodate the extra demand for delegate places, which for the first time breached the 200 mark. The Tara Copthorne Hotel made for an excellent host venue, however, and details of all the IPM panel sessions can be found online at the 28.ilmc.com website, or in the IPM Report brochure, which should accompany your hard copy of IQ65.
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GREEN EVENTS & INNOVATIONS CONFERENCE (GEI)
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Thursday 3 March
One common criticism of music business conferences is that the panel topics show little change year on year, but of all the takeaways from ILMC this year, it’s the agenda which stands out the most. The tragic attack on Le Bataclan was omnipresent throughout the weekend, and not least the harrowing first-hand accounts from survivors of that terrible night during the Show Safety session. However, beyond the reactions to this new threat many are facing, the insight provided by the likes of Live Nation’s Michael Rapino and WME’s Marc Geiger proved a sounding board for other discussions. And with tech giants Google and Twitter also on hand to showcase their latest technologies, ILMC covered much of the innovation that continues to change the face of the contemporary live music business. Outside of the panels and workshops, the general buzz around the hotel seemed louder and more optimistic this year. And with many of the events at standing-room only, the appetite to network and do business seemed greater than ever. With the arcade machines packed away, and the space invaders and Tetris blocks confined to storage, the overriding question is ‘how can we top that?’. It’s a question that will no doubt keep the team busy until we go live with ILMC 29 in the autumn. But for now, the following pages should give you a quick recap and a flavour of the weekend that was... Greg Parmley, managing director
The eighth annual GEI conference launched with Joanna Haigh outlining the current state of affairs with regards to climate change, and informing delegates that the world is currently more than half way to the 2°C “dangerous change” threshold. Delegates heard a quick fire round of presentations including Rob Scully of Zap Concepts, who demonstrated how their “Smart Power Plan” helped Xtrema Outdoors to reduce fuel and generator use by 62% and 38% respectively over 4 years. Sarah Chayantz of We Love Green showed their amazing reclaimed stage design and creation project with full circular economy approach. Finally, Dr Jonathan Winfield of UWE’s Bristol Bioenergy Centre impressed the audience with the peepowered toilet, which takes urine as a fuel source and turns it into energy – cleansing the urine in the process! The conference also included discussions on helping refugees, festivals going meat-free, engaging fans to help improve environmental issues. A larger report on the GEI conference can be found online at the 28.ilmc.com website.
Friday 4 March WORKSHOP: SELLING TICKETS WITH GOOGLE & YOUTUBE Hosts: Stephanie Kovach & Matias Llort Lorenz, Google (UK).
Kovach explained just how Google can be a strong partner for the live business and help it work more efficiently. She claimed the average person now checks their smartphone’ screen 150 times a day, leaving an intricate data trail, much of which Google can collate and dissect. “The phone is pretty much engrained in what we do,” Kovach said. “The consumer journey has been fractured into hundreds of real-time intent moments.” These “moments” can help the live business by identifying the optimum moment of the day for promotion and sales. The presentation also focused on the 3 ‘P’s for promoters: people, product and place. “It’s really about fostering loyal fanbases and ensuring you give them the experience you intend to, before, during and after the event,” noted Kovach. She quoted a Millward Brown study that found 26% of people polled claim video impacts on their decision to go to a concert. “How do you win that moment?” she asked. Dropping tour ads into YouTube videos is one way and contextually targeting based on the viewer’s location is another.
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THE OPEN FORUM: THE BOSSES LEVEL Chairs: Phil Bowdery, Live Nation & Greg Parmley, ILMC Guests: Michael Rapino, Live Nation; Michael Gudinski, The Mushroom Group/Frontier Touring; Rick Farman, Superfly; Mike Greek, CAA; James Sandom, Red Light Management; Lucy Dickins, ITB.
THE DANCE CLUB: THE BEAT GOES ON Chair: Maria May, CAA (UK)
Chair: Jon Webster, MMF
PERFORMANCE ROYALTIES: SHOWS, SONGS & SETTLEMENTS
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ILMC MD Greg Parmley launched the 28th edition of the conference by sharing the stage with Michael Rapino, who hammered home the theme that artists need to be braver in how they price the house, suggesting that it is possible to charge $4k for a great seat on the front row. “I’d rather the artist had the $4k and think about subsidising the [other] fan,” he said. “That is how we are going to solve secondary.” He gave the example of a Kid Rock gig that charged $20 a ticket and massively grew the artist’s average venue size from 8,000 to 18,000 a show. They also charged $1k for the best seats and used that to subsidise the $20 tickets. “Demand is bigger than ever and that is good for us,” he said of how the connected world is driving international opportunities. “We know there is global demand and it is unlimited.” In the second part of the session, chaired by Bowdery, the subject of show safety was addressed, following the Colectiv fire in Romania and the terrorist attack in Paris. The panel agreed that there was no way of preventing such things from happening, no matter how much you increase security. “It’s hard to plan for catastrophe,” stated Sandom. The tariffs that promoters pay to authors’ rights societies were also addressed. Specifically, the practice of collecting societies granting promoters discounts that are not repaid to the artists. The panel agreed that this was an unacceptable practice. Discussion then moved onto the state of festivals, where agreement was universal that headliners aren’t necessarily the drivers anymore. The abundance of festivals and the increasing competition overseas sees promoters revealing line-ups as early as December. But Greek pleaded: “Fuck the competition! Allow us to do concerts in January and February, and then announce [your line-ups].” As far as industry consolidation is concerned, Greek reminded the audience that artists simply demand more of their agents. The same is true for the management business, Sandom added. And Farman pointed out companies that were founded in the wake of the consolidation wave that were doing just fine.
European tour and found that the figures didn’t quite add up,” he explained. “To make it a bit more complicated, the collecting society agreements are blanket licensed. Even though you can see what came from the box office and what you should be paid, there are always adjustments from past performances paid.” Vierrath explained GEMA applies different rates depending on the venue size, but said the organisation is hoping to simplify things by seeking a 10% rate across the board – a revelation that shocked many delegates. Crockford said Knopfler’s most recent tour in Germany was self-administered (a situation made simple by the fact that Knopfler only plays his own songs and there is no support act). “I collected direct this time,” he said. “I didn’t use GEMA. I took my artist out and we collected direct. We got it on the night and we got it all.” Forte noted how complex such actions can be for acts of a certain size, saying she was brought in by Iron Maiden’s management as they felt they weren’t getting what they should. Studying the band’s last three tours, she said, “I could see there were big variances with certain territories.” Webster concluded, “This is going to run and run but we are moving in the right direction. I’d like to see us end up with a simpler and much more transparent system. People are beginning to shine a light on this area and it will end up in everyone’s better interest.”
Panellists: Pino Sagliocco, Live Nation Spain; Mark Lawrence, Association for Electronic Music; Roman Trystram, CAA.
The rise of electronic dance music (EDM) in the US, the fall of SFX Entertainment and the thorny issue of government interference in dance music events dominated the panel. “A lot of people look at the EDM scene and see it as being five to seven years old, but we’re over 40 years old,” said Lawrence, referring to the genre’s roots in funk and disco. “There’ve been at least four or five booms and busts before now: the end of disco, the death of the superclubs in the 90s…” Lawrence opined that the implosion of SFX is a “market criticism” of its leadership rather than a collapse of the EDM market. “What happened is a load of ingredients [promoters] got bought and put into a shopping basket and never baked into a bloody good cake!” “SFX never should have happened,” agreed Trystram, “and it’s tarnished EDM. Actually, as soon as we started calling it ‘EDM’, that’s when the problems set in – it’s electronic music! But we’ll
Panellists: Anthony Addis, Brontone Ltd; Paul Crockford, Paul Crockford Management; Maria Forte, Maria Forte Music Services Ltd; Martin Vierrath, GEMA; John Sweeney, SESAC.
This panel pulled no punches as it looked at live performance payments to international collecting societies and the controversy around discounts that are applied. Crockford became aware of the issue in 2010 when Mark Knopfler’s tour accountant discovered some serious issues. “He noticed there was a massive discrepancy between the amount that [Dutch collecting society] Buma had received and passed onto PRS, versus what was in the settlement that Mojo Concerts had deducted,” he said. Crockford claimed that very few people knew this was common practice throughout Europe. Sweeney revealed this has a much longer history. “20 years ago, U2 tried to do a cradle-to-grave royalty account for a
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Live Nation Entertainment supremo Michael Rapino gave a keynote interview to Greg Parmley
get through it. Electronic music is the longest-running youth movement in the world.” With press and government attention increasingly focused on injuries and deaths (especially from drug overdoses) at EDM events, talk turned to official reactions – and overreactions – from local authorities, including the cancelling of shows and festivals and Australia’s notorious lock-out laws. “They can’t just ban events because we had an accident,” commented Sagliocco. “That’s like not flying anymore because there was a plane crash.” However, he recognised that the tragic circumstances of some accidents – including one in which three teenagers were crushed to death at a Steve Aoki gig at an over-capacity Madrid venue – often make it difficult to see them objectively. Lawrence said governments don’t understand rave culture and how well organised most events are, leading to a “passive discrimination” against dance music promoters. EDM is evolving, observed Trystram. “Ten to 15 years ago you had established promoters on one side, and then all these nutcases putting on parties on the other, but it’s getting more serious. There are more professional levels of business everywhere – we don’t want a death at our concerts.”
WORKSHOP: BETTER BRAND PARTNERSHIPS Hosts: Jeremy Paterson, IF Media Consultancy & Lars Oliver-Vogt, The Sponsor People GmbH
Sponsors don’t just want to give you their money. This was the crux of the workshop, which offered delegates expert tips on how to get brands to invest in an event. Brands don’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars just to be the star for a few days. They want to be involved in the event’s communication for months in advance, and post event as well. Data collection is another factor because it offers insight into the audience and helps identify potential customers. The most important factor is knowing what the sponsor is looking for as different types of brand will have different agendas. Having sponsors return and spend more money is the goal. “If you’re getting into sponsorship, make sure that you can deliver what you promise to deliver,” was another tip the hosts had to offer.
FESTIVAL FORUM: OPEN SPACE INVADERS Chairs: Codruţa Vulcu, ARTmania & Anders Wahrén, Roskilde Festival Panellists: Charles Attal, C3 Presents; Natasha Bent, United Talent Agency; András Berta, Sziget Festival; Stuart Galbraith, Kilimanjaro Live; Jim King, AEG Live; Russell Warby, WME; Ivan Milivojev, EXIT Festival.
Wahrén kicked off proceedings by identifying the elephant in the room: rising artist fees. Serbia’s Exit Festival has a pretty straight-forward strategy, since it doesn’t have the money to compete with other festivals, it only works with artists who want to play there, Milivojev explained. Galbraith confirmed that there has been a huge escalation in headliner fees. “You either have to cut your middle bill or lose your lower bill completely,” he said, which is why mid-size festivals are on the rise. One might end up paying less for the middle bill than for one headliner if doing such a boutique event. Bent commented that a balance had to be found between what acts need and the fact that cheaper tickets attract more people and help build the artist. Attal revealed he stopped chasing headliners, because he couldn’t raise ticket prices again and again. The fact that festivals are booking artists earlier and earlier in a highly competitive market led to agents being given deadlines by everyone, said Bent. Additionally, the growth in the American
market means it isn’t necessarily attractive for acts to tour Europe anymore. “We’ll see some thinning,” said Attal referring to the US festival scene. The tragic events in Europe last year were addressed as well. Vulcu believes that Paris will bring to the west what has been a reality in the east forever. Galbraith pointed out the dip in sales, not just in Paris, which was still only recovering, but also in London and New York. “There is very little you can do, whether it’s a festival or a concert. It’s more of a societal issue rather than an organisational one,” he said.
MARKET FOCUS: AUSTRALIA Chair: Tim Worton, AEG Ogden Panellists: Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment; Michael Harrison, Frontier Touring; Cameron Hoy, Ticketek; Peter Noble, Bluesfest; Maria O’Connor, Ticketmaster Australia; Glen Rainsbury, Etihad Stadium.
Australia has experienced close to 25 years of uninterrupted economic growth, said Harrison, and the health of the live sector reflects that, although Worton did admit that the market is “a bit soft now, but only because it’s been strong for so long.” Why so soft? “A lot of acts are now coming in a lot more frequently,” said Harrison, leading to oversaturation in the minds of sparsely populated Australia’s 23 million people. While the festival sector remains strong, many events have failed recently, said Noble, because their margins were just too small. “Costs caught up with them and so when the ticketbuying market dropped just a little bit, they were dinosaurs,” he continued, adding that many were paying far too much for venues, suppliers and headliners. Discussion then touched upon discounted tickets. “It’s terrible,” said Chugg. “People are waiting for tickets to come down in price now before they buy them. It’s just fucked.” Turning to pre-sales, Rainsbury commented, “It’s a great way of taking the temperature of the market. But it’s a problem if by the time you get to the general sale date you only have 10% of your inventory left…” Eventually the debate reverted to a discussion on secondary ticketing, with the panel and enthusiastic members of the audience largely divided into two camps. O’Connor compared the growth of ticket resale sites to the rise of Napster and P2P download services in the recorded music market, stating: “It’s like people downloading music ten years ago. We can either pretend it’s not happening, or we can accept it and try to control it.” Hoy hoped that technology will eventually make secondary a non-issue – “You can make a ticket that just cannot be resold,” he said – while O’Connor raised the interesting point that “some of those [resale] brokers are some of your biggest customers! They’re part of the food chain.”
Panellists at the Festival Forum enjoy a lighter moment during the debate
Saturday 5 March WORKSHOP: A GREENER LIVE
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Hosts: Claire O’Neill, A Greener Festival/GEI & Chiara Badiali, Julie’s Bicycle
The hosts tackled the question of how to reduce the environmental impact of festivals and live events. Badiali stressed the importance of “working together as suppliers, as events and venues, as touring and production companies, and also working with equipment manufacturers, researchers, engineers and policy makers, to figure out where we want to be in five years, or even in 20 years, and how we get there.” O’Neill added, “If you don’t understand where [and what] you’re wasting, you won’t be able to solve it. And you might waste efforts and time.” Badiali said research found many festival electricity generators are being used inefficiently. As a result, some events could operate with far less fewer generators or smaller ones, thereby saving money and fuel. Other green initiatives included incentivising festival attendees to collect and return their trash, refillable water bottles and banning the sale of plastic bottles on site. According to O’Neill, people can be incentivised or punished. “The latter would be achieved through high parking prices for example, the former through car-pooling initiatives,” she added.
THE DIGITAL AUDIENCE: CROSSING STREAMS Chair: Joanna Young, Live Nation (UK) Panellists: Chris Cooke, CMU; Sam Lee, Deezer; Olly Hoppe, Wizard Promotions; Chloe Julien, Bandsquare; Roman Trystram, CAA.
The panel considered how data being generated by sources like Spotify and YouTube can be used to better understand consumers, and to open commercial opportunities. Cooke noted that streaming will become the main revenue source for record labels in the next 18 months. He also pointed out that most streaming services are losing money and are looking for ancillary ways to make money, with ticketing being the obvious next step. Trystram suggested the industry is starting to collectively work smarter. “Where I am seeing the most growth is artist, manager and promoters working together to make the tour stand out,” he said. Hoppe explained how 80s German hard-rock band Böhse Onkelz brought its audience online for the first time and used that to predict demand for its reunion shows. “We needed to establish what relevance the band still had,” he said. Teaser posters prompted fans to register online and 550,000 signed up before any concert announcement was made. “We were quite confident about putting a show on sale!” 200,000 tickets were sold in an hour. Australian festival promoter Richard Moffat detailed how he uses Spotify playlists. “For the first time you have an easy way to tell your customers exactly what you are giving them,” he said. He encourages fans to suggest fantasy line-ups and rewards them with merchandise or tickets when they hit certain follower numbers. Young noted that the promoter is often the last to get streaming data. Instead they have to rely on ticketing data as ’ their main resource. “We also look at the distance people travel, just to see how super the super-fans are,” she said. The panel concluded that the industry is starting to understand that streaming can help boost demand for a tour, while the tour can later drive fans back to streaming their favourite acts’ music. For now, however, it feels that only tentative steps are being taken and that data’s full potential is still some way from being realised.
THE EMERGING MARKETS PLACE: CHANGING GAMES Host: Michal Kaščák, Pohoda Festival Panellists: Dennis Argencia, Live Nation Asia; Semyon Galperin, Ural Production Centre; Jules de Lattre, United Talent Agency; Thomas Ovesen, 117 Live; Codruţa Vulcu, ArtMania.
A bottle of Slovak wine, supplied by Kaščák, was on hand to soothe sore heads at this early morning panel, which examined the challenges and opportunities of promoting shows in emerging markets around the world. De Lattre shared his belief that the limited supply of bands in most emerging markets makes seeing them live “more exceptional than seeing a band in London, where [almost] every band has played at least once.” He used the example of Tel Aviv, where many of his bands have had “the most amazing crowd response.” Russia has lots of potential, claimed Galperin, but the live sector has collapsed since Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and the sanctions that followed. “Before Crimea, we viewed ourselves as a fast-growing emerging market that could pay lots of money to bands,” he said. “Now we can’t, but we’re still trying to do our thing.” The live music industry in Romania, meanwhile, is “still pretty unstable,” reported Vulcu, mostly owing to excessive taxation and a lack of regulatory oversight. “It took a tragedy [the Bucharest club fire] for the government to realise, ‘Wow, we have an underground [music scene]!’” she explained. “After the fire, the government realised the [55,000-capacity] National Arena had no fire licence!” Argenzia said one advantage of multinational promoters’ involvement in developing markets is the introduction of health and safety standards. “A lot of independent promoters think that when you have any problems, you just call your main office and they will save you,” joked Kaščák. Argenzia replied, “I don’t have the Bat-phone in my office. I can’t just call up and say, ‘Hey, Mr Rapino…’” Ovesen highlighted the Middle East as “the only region in the world where Pepsi outsells Coca-Cola – and Live Nation isn’t market leader!” However, he conceded that when 117 Live opens its under-construction 25,000-capacity amphitheatre in Dubai, “Live Nation are going to need to get off the fence and start putting on more shows.” While Argenzia said Live Nation Asia primarily targets locals (“I want my crowd to be 95% Chinese in China”), Ovesen said 117 Live is promoting only international artists, as the UAE has a population of roughly 10 million, of which only 10% are locals.
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AT R E T S I G RE ILMC.COM 28. Chris Cooke delivers his streaming presentation to The Digital Audience session attendees
THE VENUE’S VENUE: THE CONTROL PADS
TICKETING: THE DISRUPTORS
Host: Brian Kabatznick, AEG Facilities (UK)
Host: Tim Chambers, TJ Chambers Consultancy
Panellists: Julien Collette, AccorHotels Arena; Don Elford, AEG Ogden; Martin Ingham, NAA; Karin Mårtensson, Malmö Arena.
Panellists: Lucia Bocankova, Ticketportal; Jason Legg, Street Team; Geoff Meall, United Talent Agency; Andrew Parsons, Ticketmaster; Scumeck Sabottka, MCT Agentur; Lee Booth, Stikit.
This panel’s focus was on making venues workable in the modern era and examined whether renovated buildings or newbuilds are the best solution. Collette spoke of the aftermath of the attacks on Le Bataclan, where armed officers remain stationed outside public venues like concert halls. “The [AccorHotels Arena] looks like a fortress so it is not very business friendly, as you can imagine,” he said. The French government’s state of emergency is forcing venues and promoters to split security costs and this is having a serious impact. Asked whether his venue’s €135m renovation was more cost-effective than building a new venue, he said being centrally located is key to attracting audiences, therefore renovating in a major capital city is not straightforward. Elford discussed the new venue and entertainment precinct AEG is creating in Sydney at a cost of AU$1.5billion. But he noted competition now extends beyond the same city. “There is a lot of competition in South East Asia for conventions,” he said. “We cannot be second-grade.” Mårtensson said Malmö Arena opened in 2008, costing €85m, but the challenge is to maintain it so its lifespan is prolonged. However, a new arena in nearby Copenhagen could be a real disruptor. “We knew about it since 2012 so I would say we are mentally prepared,” she said. Ingham of the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham (UK) said the venue cost £42m to build 15 years ago but £9m has been spent in recent years for maintenance. He told delegates that existing venues are under pressure to improve disability access, but can be hindered by architectural constraints. “It’s a very hot political issue,” he said. “We are making strides in making the venue more accessible and that in turn is creating more demand – that’s a good problem to have.” John Drury of Wembley Arena expanded on that point, reporting that English Heritage insisted that the venue’s look was preserved. However, he believes the venue will die unless they are allowed to push the boundaries of what can be improved. Addressing whether festivals are cannibalising the arena business, Kabatznick observed that festivals also happen indoors. The boundaries are blurring, but the conclusion was that a healthy festival space – where acts can break at outdoor events and get to the arena level – is good for the live business overall.
Is technological disruption bad for the ticketing business, or the best way to push into the future? That theme split the panel, with representatives from start-ups and the established industry debating how all this can be navigated. “I see disruption as a positive word” said Legg. “We want to work with everyone at the table.” His company is focused on disruption at the level of the fan. So too is Stikit. “We don’t care who sells the ticket. We are interested in who has bought the ticket and how they are going to use it,” said Booth. Ticketmaster’s Parsons took a more circumspect stance. “We are market leader in 16 markets but not in every market. We can be a disrupting influence in certain markets.” Ticketmaster itself is not immune, he admitted. “Disruption is a good thing and ensures it keeps us at the top of our game.” Sabottka said in Germany disruption is overthrowing the incumbents who he feels were holding the market back. “Disruption is good – as long as we can control it!” he joked. Agent Meall was forthright in his belief that technological disruption makes his job harder. “To put one show on sale takes so much fucking longer.” He added, “All of this disruption is a pain in the arse!” Booth took a philosophical stance when asked about the rush of new entrants into the space. “If you are talking about more ticketing companies – that’s noise, not disruption,” he said. He also dismissed many as “me too” firms similar in many ways to the old guard they were trying to drive out. Outlining her company’s debut to the business, Geraldine Wilson from Amazon Tickets explained that adding ticketing is part of Amazon’s expansion plans through a fan-first approach. “How can we make the customer experience better and get those tickets at the best price?” she asked, hinting at what Amazon is planning. The session also focused on secondary ticketing, amid calls for names to be put on all tickets to flush out opportunists. Meanwhile, a plea was made to improve the mobile purchasing of tickets because, at present, it is too cumbersome.
WORKSHOP: THE GRASSROOTS VENUE Hosts: Mark Davyd, Music Venue’s Trust & Karsten Schölermann, Livekomm
Davyd summarised London’s Grassroots Venue Rescue Plan which highlights the agent-of-change principle, and would make life easier for venues, as it puts the responsibility for noise management on the incoming individual or business. Schölermann addressed one of the most startling findings of a German report: small venues in Germany on average pay a third for artist fees, a third for miscellaneous costs and not even a third for personnel as so many volunteers work in clubs. Davyd observed that 50% of bookers working for small venues in the UK aren’t getting paid. In terms of solutions, both chairmen highlighted two possibilities: subsidies or getting help from the big boys (“the ones making money off of our work”). The big players could, for example, charge an extra 10 cents on the millions of tickets they sell to create a fund that small venues can use whenever a show fails. Such schemes are already happening in certain countries and are “incredibly cheap to do” Davyd claimed. Geoff Meall, Lee Booth and Scumeck Sabottka discuss the pros and cons of ticketing disruptors
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WORKSHOP: TWITTER AND FAN ENGAGEMENT Host: Georgina Parnell, Twitter
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Parnell detailed Twitter’s expanding range of products and services and demonstrated how the concert industry can start to really exploit it. Where she feels Twitter and live are perfectly matched is in fan engagement. “Live is defined by fan interaction now,” she argued. “Twitter is the easiest way for them to do that.” She promoted Periscope, a live streaming app Twitter acquired and is now integrated into tweets. And she cited Frank Turner doing a broadcast at Alexandra Palace as a strong illustration of this in action. He showed fans around backstage, let them see the sound-check and then answered questions live. “Video is where a lot of the effort should be focused to bring fans closer to live music,” she said of both Periscope and Vine (the short-form, video-looping platform that Twitter also owns). Between both is where the live industry can fit itself most smoothly. “Vine is a nice way to keep sharing content and keep things going and the opportunities with Periscope are really exciting.”
ALTERNATIVE ENTERTAINMENT: NEW GAMES TO PLAY Host: Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts (DE)
SHOW SAFETY: HEALTH POINTS Host: Okan Tombulca, eps (DE) Panellists: Aidan Gibson, London Metropolitan Police; Avisar Savir, SabresPro Group; Michael Hapka, Mercedes-Benz Arena Berlin; Salomon Hazot, Nous Productions; Arnaud Meersseman, Nous Productions; Steve Strange, X-ray Touring.
The session started off with Hazot and Meersseman, who promoted the Eagles of Death Metal (EODM) concert in Le Bataclan on 13 November, recounting the terrorist attack. You could hear a pin drop while Meersseman relived the moment the terrorists opened fire and he was shot in the chest. Malika Séguineau from French venue, festival and promoters association Prodiss revealed the measures taken by the French government to help the live sector, including a €4m fund to cover financial losses. “In the days following the attack, ticket sales fell 80%. Four weeks later attendance was back to normal,” she said, although Hazot disagreed. “Business is not back,” he said. Despite the atrocity, only a few shows were cancelled, and most venues stayed open. “Terrorism doesn’t stop fans from seeing their favourite bands,” Séguineau concluded. According to her, the French music sector is currently working with other industries, including sport, on good practices for future events. Hapka said that his venue increased security measures, body control and bag checks after Paris, and asked fans to arrive earlier because of that. He said the only thing one could really do was to raise the confidence of the audience. Gibson from London’s Metropolitan Police said that even though he could make use of “every tool in the box,” including helicopters and no-fly zones, he’d never give anybody guarantees. Savir said that being from Israel, he is used to a security level that would probably strike most in the western world as over the top. His thoughts after Paris were: “Welcome to our world.” He said that, in Israel, no one even notices the security measures anymore, and he thought that this was where the rest of the world is now headed. The biggest concern for live professionals going forward will obviously be the question of who’s going to pay for increased ’ security. EODM now tour with a personal security guard after the attack on Le Bataclan. Having to pay for one additional staffmember for an entire tour creates costs that have to be offset LMC.COMnoted their agent, Strange. 28.Ielsewhere,
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Salomon Hazot, Arnaud Meersseman & Steve Strange recount their experience of Le Bataclan attack
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Panellists: Corrado Canonici, World Concert Artists; Selen Tamer Lakay, Istanbul Entertainment Group; David King, Spirit Productions; Andrew Leighton-Pope, LPO; Jorge Parra, Monster Truck Entertainment; Nic Wastell, Completely Independent Distribution Limited.
A very busy panel saw a cast of producers and promoters from outside the live music world join Scholz to peddle their wares to an audience of curious rock promoters. First up was Andrew Leighton-Pope from the Leighton Pope Agency who brought the One Man Star Wars Trilogy to venues in the UK, in which one man condenses the three original Star Wars films into one stage show. King played a promo video with clips from Spirit of the Dance, Putting on the Ritz, Jersey Boys, Bohemian Rhapsody, Dancing Queen, Solid Gold Motown and more. “All good, clean family entertainment!” said King, who added that although promoting shows is, by its very definition, gambling, “we’re a lower level of gamble.” “Family entertainment isn’t safe, but it’s safer [than rock concerts],” agreed Canonici. Parra was keen to show the audience his Monster X Tour, which he described as “viable, economical and profitable.” Lakay presented The Art of Banksy, which made its world premiere in Istanbul on 13 January. Since then, IEG has signed-up four more countries to host the exhibition, which contains the world’s largest collection of artwork by the elusive graffiti artist. Wastell closed proceedings with a presentation on his Elvis exhibition, a “family-friendly version” of the King’s life, which attracted rave reviews for its nine-month run at The O2
NEW TECHNOLOGY: BITS AND BOTS Host: Steve Machin, .Tickets (UK) Presentations: The Ticket Fairy; Wi-5; Tixserve; Connect&Go; Google Cardboard; Stikit; OnTourCloud.
Seven companies each had had a tight few minutes to pitch their new technologies. The Ticket Fairy: An event management and marketing platform, it can reward fans for helping promote shows. Through super-focusing a client’s marketing efforts it claims to make their ad-spend work smarter – claiming that companies see 15-30% uplift in revenues as a result.
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ILMC’s networking events have, over the decades, been the element of our annual gathering to set the conference apart from other events. And 2016 was no different, as delegates from around the world let their hair down in spectacular style – even though many are follically challenged. This page: (top) Colleagues and friends, old and new, took advantage of some valuable networking time at the ILMC Space Invaders Opening Party; (middle) once again the Multiplayers Table Football Coupe du Monde proved a popular battlefield among nations and companies; with (bottom) referee Terry McNally presenting Portugal’s Alvaro Ramos from Ritmos E Blues and Nuno Sousa Pinto, Rock in Rio with the winners trophies. Opposite page: (Clockwise from top left) IQ’s Archie Carmichael presents Karl Törnros with his reward as winner of the video games tournament; Jake Szufnarowski and Danny Black from the Brooklyn Bowl in London enjoy some valuable bar time with Dan Steinberg; the UK team line-up before the Match of the Year football at Wembley Stadium; ILMC’s Chris Prosser congratulates UTA’s Sean Goulding on his card skills after winning the Hi-Score Texas Hold’em Poker Tourney; delegates mark the passing of the hotel’s long-serving bar manager, Luis, with an impromptu shot (followed by a rousing chorus of ‘Hey Jude’ sung as ‘Hey Luis’); Gordon Masson and helper Mario (Embla Gisladottir) hand over the spoils of a hotel break in Amsterdam to Klaus Zemke at the Nikos Fund Grand Prize Draw; The Rest of the World Team at Wembley, where they defeated their UK rivals by four goals to three; United Talent Agency’s Neil Warnock, Natasha Bent and Geoff Meall welcome delegates to the company’s first ILMC Happy Hour; .tickets showcase their fun marketing products during their ILMC Space Invaders Opening Party; and guests get into the party spirit during the Grand Theft Auto-tune Karaoke.
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Wi-5: A way to deliver content to users’ smartphones without the need for an Internet connection, it removes the need for users to pre-install an app to access the service and content. As all the content is stored locally, it can stream at incredibly fast rates. Wi-5 also slices and dices rich user data to better understand who has accessed the content.
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Tixserve: A highly secure mobile ticket delivery platform that its founders see as entering a market primed for change. It claims to be able to stem scamming in the secondary market and can be adapted to clients’ needs. Claiming they are not competing with the incumbents, Tixserve says it can help them shift to this mobile environment.
said, “and go direct to artists and managers, [which in turn] is fed by a lot of idiot managers and idiot artists.” Bruford agreed: “[There are] lots of new managers around at the moment, and not a huge amount of experienced management talent.” When pressed for a recent example of ‘disloyalty’, Frank said Wizard has lost two acts to Live Nation Germany since the beginning of this year, including Black Sabbath. “[Wizard] have worked with them for 40 years, but now for their final tour, it’s a Live Nation tour.” Steinberg, however, made himself unpopular with much of the room by arguing that, “Promoters don’t own bands – you’ve made an investment and either made or lost money.” He concluded that national promoters should not “get possessive and get in the way of a band’s growth.”
Connect&Go: An RFID service provider that covers access control, cashless payment and sponsor activation. Riding the RFID boom Connect&Go claims to offer a 4D experience (1. Individual patron. 2. Technology, application and analytics around that individual. 3. Capture and share those moments online. 4. Digital memento.) Samsung has already worked with the company and its owners claim things are almost entirely paid for by sponsors. Google Cardboard: Google’s low-cost entry into the virtual reality market shipped 5m units last year, making it the world’s most popular VR viewer. Google says that VR remains in its infancy and the only way to push it to its next stage is to get the technology into as many hands as possible.
Stikit: A mobile tech company offering secure delivery solutions. It straddles a secure global network and works with many of the major telcos – reaching 3 billion people. Its selling point is harnessing the inherent benefits of mobile: making it harder for touts and robots; offering improved authentication and security; capturing data and insights on attendees; experiential marketing that lengthens the life of an event; easier to personalise and socialise; and cheaper to send.
INDUSTRY RELATIONSHIPS: SETTING THE MORAL COMPASS
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OnTourCloud: A touring and scheduling system that matches demand/availability of artists with the availability of venues. It also allows the booking of flights and hotels through the interface. In essence, it can be seen as a booking agent service.
Hosts: Stephan Thanscheidt, FKP Scorpio & Marc Lambelet, Mainland Music
INDUSTRY OUT-TAKES: IT’LL BE ALRIGHT ON THE NIGHT, PART II
Carl Leighton-Pope hosted a hilarious session of industry out-takes where he and peers from around the world told their favourite horror stories from the business. Although many tales are too libellous to repeat, they included such instances as Barry Dickins reminiscing about his first European tour, aged 17, with The Who. Leighton-Pope disclosed that he was once so naïve that when he managed his first act, when asked about the band’s publishing, he didn’t care because he thought the members were too stupid to write a book. Leon Ramakers told delegates about being on tour with an act and Leighton-Pope’s band stealing their microphones – an admission he had made 40 years later. Ramakers also recalled that he had started in the business because he had a driver’s licence and an artist needed a ride to the next show. Among Ramakers’ other admissions was that on seeing that an artist rider stipulated the need for dry ice, he had asked the caterer to provide a very cold fridge “to make the ice as dry as possible.” Talking about one of his pivotal moments, Leighton-Pope retold the story of managing an act where one member didn’t tell his wife he was going on tour until he arrived in America. He also spoke about an Ozzy Osbourne “marketing plan” that involved Ozzy pissing on the Alamo, in Texas, and his subsequent arrest, which helped to sell tickets.
Panellists: Alex Bruford, ATC Live; Julia Frank, Wizard Promotions; Paul Franklin, CAA; Herman Schueremans, Live Nation Belgium; Dan Steinberg, Emporium Presents.
This session debated the death of the traditional festival booking system and the ethics – or lack thereof – of agents and festivals bypassing long-serving national promoters, who have had a large hand in developing artist careers. Lambelet compared the situation to buying a phone: “You go online, you shop around and find whatever’s cheapest and you buy it, even if it has to come from Singapore rather than the shop down the road.” However, when it comes to live music “just because loyalty is expensive doesn’t mean we don’t pay for it – it has to be paid for.” Franklin said that he is loyal to local promoters who do a good job with his acts, “[That is] having a strategy, being transparent [and being] someone who I can talk through a campaign with and who knows the band.” Schueremans argued that the relationship between artist and promoter, or agent and promoter, is one of “give and take.” “We want to build an act with the agent and the manager,” he commented. “We don’t want one-hit wonders.” Italian promoter Claudio Trotta attributed much of the controversy to the actions of newcomers to the live music industry. “A lot of new people in the business don’t respect the chain,” he
Stephan Thanscheidt and Marc Lambelet led the discussions regarding loyalty and morality.
Sunday 6 March THE BREAKFAST MEETING WITH MARC GEIGER Host: Ed Bicknell, Damage Management
Sunday’s programme began with an inspiring discussion between host-with-the-most Bicknell and industry veteran Geiger. Recalling the early days of his career, Geiger outlined a varied background that first saw him working as the manager for various acts. He spoke about his passion for underground music and the transition of some of those acts into the mainstream. Describing the rise and fall of Artist Direct, he said, “We were sending about 25 million emails a month.” When the tech market collapsed, Geiger was hit hard. “Last week, I was worth $100million dollars, today it’s minus-$10,” he said. “But I got to meet a lot of really interesting and successful people and one CEO told me ‘Now, you’re ready’ and he was right: I couldn’t do what I’m doing today if I hadn’t gone through all that.” Revealing he was $2m in debt, Geiger said it took seven years to recover financially, but he agreed with Bicknell that some of the happiest times of their lives were when they had nothing. Quizzed about how he came up with the Lollapalooza concept, Geiger said he ripped it off from Reading Festival. “We could not get a German to partner with us for Berlin and we ended up partnering with Melvin Benn – a Brit. The Germans told us that Berlin was the capital of poverty and a festival would not work, but we took the risk and it worked.” Predicting future developments, Geiger said the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and other streaming services will play a big part in the health of the live sector. “My passionate belief is that if everyone has a lot of music, we’re going to sell more tickets.” Noting how driven Geiger is, Bicknell asked what prompts that. “Curiosity: I want to fix things and get things done,” he replied. “I want to know more about music than the 20-somethings that work for me.” Bicknell told delegates that the philosophical, laid-back Geiger of today is very different from the man he met 20-plus years ago. Geiger agreed, noting, “Once you’ve had a fall from grace and a messy divorce, it puts things into perspective and you realise how lucky you are to work in a great business with great people. You have to practise attitude, so if little things go wrong, I don’t let it stress me out.”
THE BOOKING RING: THE STREETFIGHTERS Chair: Anna Sjölund, Live Nation Sweden & Greg Lowe, United Talent Agency Panellists: Kim Bloem, Mojo Concerts; Juha Kyyrö, FKP Scorpio/Fullsteam Agency; Steve Zapp, ITB; Adele Slater, Coda Agency; Neil O’Brien, Neil O’Brien Entertainment.
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The panel kicked off with a lengthy discussion about the rise of American-style territorial booking, where an agent is given a geographical territory to book rather than having responsibility for an artist’s whole live career. “As an agent you have to be passionate about what you’re selling,” said Slater, adding that a territory-based system means agents are “only getting specialist knowledge in one territory”, which meant effectively “tying your hands behind your back.” Lowe, whose agency, UTA, switched to territorial booking in the US and Canada in February, agreed, saying that such a system could contribute to diluting relationships between agents and promoters. Zapp said the rise of the territorial model means an agency is only as good as the agent in each territory: “I need to know that the people I’m working on an act with are going to do a good job.” He compared it to the recording model, where “you can sign a worldwide deal with an act and the people in one office might be great, but not so great in another.”
Charmenko’s Nick Hobbs commented that it doesn’t make sense to him that Europe is split as a territory for the purposes of booking, and that he prefers to deal with “one agent who has a relationship with the act.” Bloem countered that the European market, while geographically one territory, can have “such a huge difference” between countries, using the example of the Benelux region, where an act could sell 50,000 tickets in the Netherlands but only 5,000 in Belgium. Other topics covered include the qualities that agents look for in a buyer/promoter. “The promoter who will do the best job is one who’s passionate about the artist,” offered Zapp. While Slater joked: “Try not to have a Hotmail address!” Tackling oversaturation, Lowe said that with so many bands touring, fans need more bang for their buck than in years past, leading to an “enormous amount of investment” for quite small acts. O’Brien believes VIP packages are one way of offering said bang: “Not every act wants to,” he commented, “but many of ours do.” However, Peter Noble from Byron Bay Bluesfest cautioned against “putting a barrier between fan and artist” with overpriced extras. “There’s nothing like an artist just walking out to the merch stand and shaking hands with fans,” he said – something “endemic” in country music shows.
THE UNCONFERENCE SESSION: INDUSTRY HANGOVERS Chair: Gordon Masson, IQ Magazine Panellists: Codruţa Vulcu, ARTMania; Michael Lambert, A Modern Way Management; Allan McGowan, ILMC; Jeremy Hulsh, 3A Productions.
As ILMC’s most random panel discussion, The Unconference Session saw Masson employ lures such as Bloody Marys and Berocca to entice not only delegates but panellists into the room. Using a tombola to select anonymous questions, among those discussing the topics with the panel were Ed Bicknell, Wayne Forte, Martin Hopewell, Don Elford, Claudio Trotta, Freddie Nyathela and Ian Hamilton. Handling a question about agents and promoters not attending the ILMC Production Meeting, Forte countered that perhaps they were unaware that the meeting is open to them to participate in. One of the most interesting discussions began with the question: How can I, as a new promoter, get an agent to take my phone call? Forte and Bicknell opined that promoters should try to do something different and original to stand out from the crowd. This led into a broader debate about relationships between promoters and agents with Hulsh revealing instances where offers he made for certain acts were passed on by an agent to his rival promoters. Asked if they thought virtual reality could harm the live music business, the room was in general agreement that the it would probably bring opportunities rather than be a threat. Bicknell and Hopewell, tackling a question about whether today’s artists play it too safe, agreed that most of the fun has disappeared, with Bicknell suggesting that the moment when performing live turned into a business was the moment the fun stopped. Italian promoter Trotta summed up his feelings when the room was asked, ‘If you have an agent and an artist manager phoning you, which one do you put on hold?’ Trotta stated, “It has to be the manager. My relationship is with the agent and that is who I should build the relationship with.”
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Super Arthurio awards Winners 1. Services Above and Beyond Beat The Street
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Jörg Philipp: Thanks to our clients for our second Arthur Award. There is no downside to winning – it feels forever fabulous! We are very passionate about what we do – let’s hope we can keep up the good work. Long Live Rock & Roll!
2. Tomorrow’s New Boss Joanna Young, Live Nation
It was an honour to win the Tomorrow’s New Boss award, particularly as it’s voted on by so many across the live music industry. You can only be a good boss with an incredible team around you, so this is absolutely dedicated to the LN marketing team past and present who inspire me, and put up with me, every day.
3. The People’s Assistant Amber McKenzie, ITB
I am both honoured and humbled to have received this award, especially considering what great company I was in with the other nominees. Big thanks go out to Steve and Olivia and all the team at ITB Towers for putting up with my blunt opinions and excessive swearing for the past 12 years. And of course a massive thank you to everyone who voted for me. As a certain lady once said: Who runs the world? GIRLS.
4. Most Professional Professional Ben Challis, Glastonbury Festival
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Despite my plan to remain as cool as a cucumber, I was extremely nervous as the list of most excellent nominees was read out and against such a strong list of fellow backroom boys and girls, I was delighted to win the Arthur for the Most Professional Professional. It’s a real honour and one I will treasure. What’s been lovely has been the messages of support from my clients at Yourope, Africa Express, Glastonbury and Arcadia Spectacular. What is more amazing is the fact I got the Arthur home after late-night karaoke – a miracle!
5. The Golden Ticket Ticketmaster
many more to come. To get the recognition of my peers like this is really humbling. Thanks to everyone who voted for me, I will continue to try not to let you down! Oh and to Geoff Meall, “one nomination, one win!’’
8. First Venue to Come Into Your Head The O2 arena, UK
I’m delighted we’re the first venue to come into many people’s heads! The O2 is still a baby in the world of venues – we’ve only been around for nine years. Thank god for the hard work of an excellent team and stonking ticketing sales, which give us this recognition. We’re not about to rest on our laurels and are always striving to be the best and offer the best experience to our fans and the many, many brilliant artists, sports stars and entertainers that play our venue. Thanks to all our friends at ILMC and IQ readers who voted for us; you’ve made us very happy.
9. Liggers’ Favourite Festival Rock am Ring
Marek and André Lieberberg: Utterly amazing and absolutely ambivalent! No other major festival fought longer to convince Arthur. After more than three decades, Germany’s recordbreaking open-air Rock am Ring finally received this overdue acknowledgement from the international live music industry. Indeed an honour – although belated – for one of the most recognised festival brands worldwide. We dedicate this Arthur Award to the many artists and millions of fans that have shaped the legend.
THE BOTTLE Award Jules Frutos, Alias Production
Andrew Parsons: It was a proud moment taking home the Arthur Award for the Golden Ticket. To have our esteemed industry peers be the ones to vote Ticketmaster as the best ticketing company of 2015 makes it all the more special. This award belongs to everyone at Ticketmaster and is a recognition of the fantastic work every single Ticketmaster employee does across the globe – a big congratulations to the team!
6. Second Least Offensive Agent Steve Strange, X-ray Touring
It’s the second time I’ve won the Second Least Offensive Agent award, but it’s still an honour and I did not expect it because I was amongst heavy competition with some other great agents. I’m very honoured, flattered and delighted to have won.
7. The Promoters’ Promoter Steve Tilley, Kilimanjaro Live
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’ When I got the email telling me I had been nominated, I was genuinely flattered. So to actually hear my name read out as .COM the winner was a bit of a shock to say the least. The last seven 2 8 . I L M C years at Kilimanjaro Live have been a thrilling ride and there’s
R AT REGISLMTCE.C OM 28.I
The Mario Bros. Gala dinner
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REGISTER AT 28.ILMC.COM
Clockwise from top left: Mario and Luigi take advantage of the free champagne; while Princess Peach daydreams about where her gallant rescuers might be; guests Ivy Ng and Kitty Tang from Asia-World Expo enjoy their first ILMC Gala Dinner; promoter Donald MacLeod shows some Scottish hospitality to agent Steve Strange and artist Ian Broudie; Dany Hassenstein and Natascha Leach get in the Super Mario Bros party spirit; Alex Hardee takes on his role as pop quiz master; CAA’s Serena Fleming is flummoxed on stage by a member of the Impossible magic show who entertained guests throughout the night.
IT’ SNAELALT ON8.LIILMC.COM 2
AT REGISLMTCE.RCOM 28.I
VIEW THE FULLREPORT ONLINE AT 28.ILMC.COM
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...
Avoid sunburn – because you’re worth it
Hear Here Attendees at this year’s Coachella festivals were treated to a new aural experience thanks to a revolutionary wireless earbud that allows the user to personalise their live audio environment. The festival’s organisers, Goldenvoice, partnered with Silicon Valley start-up Doppler Labs to bring the Here Active Listening System
Ontourcloud Just as you start to get your head around virtual reality, along come Microsoft with their Holoportation technology, which can place users in the same room as friends or family thousands of miles away in 3D and in real-time. The best way to understand this technology is to have a look at the company’s Holoportation demo videos on YouTube, which although somewhat clunky (due to the presenters more than anything else) provide a hint of the possibilities that the virtual teleportation tech might deliver. And apparently one
As millions of festivalgoers prepare for what they hope will be a summer blessed by the weather gods, skincare experts L’Oréal have unveiled what could become an essential part of the festival survival kit. The cosmetics giant has developed the My UV Patch, the first-ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor ultraviolet (UV) exposure to help consumers protect themselves from the sun. The new technology arrives at a time when sun exposure has become a major health issue, with 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. The My UV Patch is a transparent adhesive that stretches and sticks
directly to any area of skin. Measuring approximately one square inch and half the thickness of an average strand of hair, the patch contains photosensitive dyes that factor in the baseline skin tone and change colour when exposed to UV rays to indicate varying levels of sun exposure. Consumers can take a photo of the patch and upload it to the My UV Patch app, which analyses the photosensitive dye squares to determine the UV exposure the wearer has received. “Previous technologies could only tell users the amount of potential sun exposure they were receiving per hour while wearing a rigid, non-stretchable device,” says Guive Balooch of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator. “The key was to design a sensor that was thin, comfortable and virtually weightless so people would actually want to wear it.”
(Here) to the event, where fans were able to buy the devices or check them out at demonstration booths and tents. Here is an in-ear audio system that allows users to control what they hear through a smartphone app. The earbuds can eliminate background sounds, increase bass, adjust reverb or add echo, for example. They allow users to raise or lower the decibel level of a conversation and can cancel out certain sounds, like
a baby crying (handy for flights) or the noise of traffic. The $200-300 earbuds have about five hours of battery life, but the carrying case has a built in charging unit which will provide a further ten hours of use. Using Coachella to launch the system, Doppler Labs reportedly worked with Goldenvoice to create preset audio experiences for different stages at the festival.
of the major markets that will be first on the radar is live music. The system uses 3D cameras and projectors, alongside Microsoft’s Hololens kit, which allows users to plug into the system in separate places and then interact with each other as if they were in the same room. “Communicating and interacting with remote users becomes as natural as face-to-face communication,” says Microsoft in its sales blurb. While those working in the live music industry hold firm to the belief that the live experience cannot be replicated, using the Holoportation technology could place users in the best seat in the house at a concert, without
having to leave their living room. Or by employing multiple cameras, people could enjoy side-of-stage or backstage access, prompting the possibility of purchasing virtual VIP tickets, while others could opt for general admission Holoportation passes. Tech analysts are already predicting that bold promoters and sponsors will start experimenting with AR hologram systems in the not-too-distant future, given its ability to transport viewers into money-can’t-buy proximity to artists as they perform live, so don’t be too surprised to see 360-degree cameras being installed at some of the more progressive festivals and events.
Do you have a new product or technology to contribute to this page? Email email@example.com to be considered for the next issue…
IQ Magazine May 2016
Live Nation is promoting Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band across 28 stadia, arena and festival shows between May and July
IQ Magazine May 2016
Ten years ago, Live Nation made its debut as a publically traded stock and forever changed the landscape of the international live music industry. Talking exclusively to some of the company’s senior management, IQ look s back at the first decade, as well as examining what’s in the pipeline for the next ten years…
he global growth of the live music business owes much of its success to the aggressive expansion strategy employed by Live Nation (and its Clear Channel and SFX ancestors). While the recorded industry has been struggling to come to terms with declining revenues over the past decade, and longer, the executives piloting the live side of the business have seized the opportunity to make live performance central to both the artist and the fan. And Live Nation can claim a major role in that phenomenon. In March, Live Nation president Michael Rapino agreed to a keynote interview to open ILMC, during which he looked back at the company’s first historic decade, while also providing an insight as to where he and his team will be targeting their efforts as the giant company trundles toward the next ten years. “The beautiful part about the live music business, over the last ten years, is that we have gone from being a step up from a car salesman, in the early days, to the pride and joy of the music business,” Rapino told ILMC delegates. “Live is now truly the centre of the wheel for the artist. It has become the most important piece of that artist building his global audience.” Looking back to the inception of Live Nation, Rapino noted, “Ten years ago, [when] Live Nation went public, some 89% of our business was US-based. Today, over 60% of our business, and growing, is outside of the US.” That development is testament to the company’s international expansion programme that has seen it acquire some of the most successful national promoters around the world – the latest of whom include Marek and André Lieberberg in Germany and another father and son outfit, Attie and Justin van Wyk in South Africa. However, looking ahead, Rapino cites two other continents as Live Nation’s focus. Predicting that Latin America and Asia offer the greatest prospects for the growth of the live music industry, Rapino stated, “Our job as the promoter is to keep building what we are doing, building better infrastructure, better marketing internal skill sets and becoming better at adding value to the artist, not just for the
Ten years of Live Nation Beyoncé is back on the road with her Live Nation-promoted ‘Formation’ tour
Citing a newspaper article about ticket pricing, he commented, “Charge $4,000 for the front row and then take $3,500 and give it to charity. I would rather the artist had the $4,000 to figure out how to subsidise, than thinking it is worth $400, someone else makes $3,600 and we do not help the fan. I would much rather the artist takes all the money and then they can give 1,000 tickets to the fanclub owners, their best friends or the sick. They can do what they want with it.” He continued, “Until we price the product at what the market is able to pay, we will be stuck in this zone where we all spend a lot of time debating what the legislation should be to put guardrails around it.” Looking ahead to Live Nation’s future, Rapino was optimistic about the continued expansion of the world’s biggest live music operation. “Over the next 10 years or more, I look at whether our industry is going to grow. Absolutely it is,” he stated. “Will there be more artists on the road touring? Yes. Will there be more fans wanting to go to live? Yes. Will certain markets have some ups and downs in the process? Sure, they will, but a 19-year-old in London does not generally care about [the UK being in] the European Union or not. He just wants to see Kendrick Lamar this summer... Our industry has a very strong outlook.” As for the divisions of Live Nation Entertainment that report into Rapino, IQ’s editorial team has been speaking to decision makers around the world to trace the development of their particular business kingdoms, and to quiz them about their focus over the coming decade...
tour, but for the record, for his merchandise and for every means by which that artist is looking to engage with his fans. Our connection to the artist and fan is going to help them look at us as much more of a marketing partner, rather than just a touring partner.” Indeed, that diversification will be crucial to operations both large and small, Rapino believes. “The margins on promoting are thin, so none of us is paying all of the bills at the door,” he observed. “You have always had to build an ancillary business around it. Live shows, scaling, and more festivals and venues is our core business. From the scale of that customer base, whether it is ticketing, sponsorship or on-site, we will keep building ancillary businesses based on that core scale.” He added, “That is why you still see us aggressively acquire and build businesses. We want to keep building that core scale around our live business.” With Live Nation’s business effectively split into four pillars – concerts, ticketing, Artist Nation (artist management) and sponsorship and advertising – Rapino takes a longterm view for the company and used the forum of ILMC 28 to publicly state his desire (in an ideal world) to eliminate what proved to be one of the corporation’s biggest revenue drivers last year – secondary ticketing. In 2015, Live Nation’s secondary ticketing revenues increased by 34% to $1.2billion (€1bn). But Rapino said he wished “secondary would all go away tomorrow,” and said that if the industry, including Live Nation, could price the house according to the market, then a secondary market would not exist.
hen Live Nation are having a good year, they don’t tend to do it quietly. In Q1 of 2016, the company reported a 10% rise in revenues to $1.2billion, Ticketmaster had its busiest ever month and some of the biggest acts in the world are involved in Live Nation tours: Beyoncé is out, and so are Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Madonna, AC/DC, Rihanna, Drake and Future, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and on and on. And then there are the festivals: Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park, Electric Daisy Carnival, Rock Werchter, Watershed and over 50 others worldwide; and the many, many smaller shows that rounded the total up to 25,000 concerts last year, with audiences of 63 million and $5.2billion (€4.6bn) in revenue for the concert division. Last year’s return was a record, and this one is looking fine. “We are cautious in our optimism, but optimism is the word,” says John Reid, president of Live Nation Europe – concerts. “There’s a lot of work to be done still, but we have a lot of activity and we are rolling off a good year.” There’s no question that these are bumper times for live music across much of the world, and nowhere more than for Live Nation’s concerts division, which spans six continents’ worth of tours, shows and festivals. In a decade, much has changed on all these fronts, but the mega-tours now continually sweeping across the planet
IQ Magazine May 2016
Ten years of Live Nation
Ten years of Live Nation
are perhaps the most visible innovation, and the one that arguably owes most to Live Nation. Between 2005 and 2015, chairman of global music and president of touring, Arthur Fogel, and his team, accounted for grosses of more than $3.2bn (€2.9bn), thanks to U2, Madonna, Roger Waters, The Police and others. Of the 20 top-grossing concert tours of all time, 16 have taken place in Live Nation’s lifetime, and ten of those were promoted by Live Nation. Fogel, memorably described by Bono as “the most important person in live music,” doesn’t have to think too hard to identify the key shifts of the past decade. “The business, certainly from the point at which I came into it a number of years ago, has done a pretty complete 180° in terms of the significance of the live side in developing artists’ profiles and generating the revenue they make,” says Fogel. “It certainly started more than ten years ago, but I think in the last ten years it has completed that shift.” A decade ago, Reid was at Warner Music, watching from a shrinking business as Live Nation was very evidently scaling up. “We said, ‘oh, that makes a bit of sense.’ Did we believe live would become as big a piece of the action as it has? No, I don’t think we did.” The growth of the global touring circuit has been remarkably rapid, as expanding live companies have plugged into huge amounts of untapped demand. “It has been a pretty dramatic widening of the opportunity, when you look at Latin America, South-East Asia, Eastern Europe,” says Fogel. “Again, the process, I suppose, started pre- the last ten years.
But certainly in that time – and for us, as we have rolled out a more complete global footprint – it really has changed the dynamic of touring.” Alan Ridgeway, president of international and emerging markets, identifies a roll call of exciting new frontiers at various stages of maturity, particularly in Asia. Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia promise exciting things, and much as the Latin American international touring circuit has expanded in the last ten years from a handful of cities to a sackful, the Chinese cities of Hangzhou and Chengdu are now joining Shanghai and Beijing as important stops. Looking at ten years of financial results (see page 40), revenue at the company has increased year-on-year for a decade (from $3.2bn in 2006 to $7.25 in 2015). Meanwhile, the often-quoted net losses over the same period (which fell to $32.5m in 2015) are the result of expansion into new markets and an aggressive acquisition strategy (see page 46), all underpinned by healthy cash flow. On paper, Live Nation may be yet to turn a profit, but in practice, it has both rewritten the rulebook and changed the landscape of the global live music business – a landscape that it now dominates. “Several things make it all work,” says Thomas Johansson, once of Sweden’s EMA Telstar, part of SFX’s 1999 shopping spree, and now Live Nation chairman of international music. “First of all, a lot of people in the organisation have worked together before. Attie Van Wyk I have worked with forever. Michael Coppel, Arthur Fogel. Obviously, in Europe, Leon [Ramakers] and Herman [Schueremans] and Roberto
Ten years of Live Nation
Revenue in billion U.S. dollars
4.18 Live Nation4.09 Entertainment’s revenue from 3.64 2006 to 2015 (in US$ billions)* 3.2
7.25 6.87 6.48 5.82
Revenue in billion U.S. dollars
5.06 2010 2009
30 3.2 2 20
2006 2007 2006
Live Nation Entertainment net income/loss from 2006 to 2015 (in US$ millions)*
Net income/loss in million dollars Revenue in billion U.S.U.S. dollars
0 -150 3.2 2006
-200 2 -250
2006 2007 2008
0 Net income/loss in million U.S. dollars
* source Statista.com
2008 - 60.182009
-83.02 Live Nation share price 2006-2016 -90.81
2006 2007 2008
Net income/loss in million U.S. dollars
0 - 19.23
-43.38 - 60.18 -83.02
2006 2007 2008
[De Luca] and Gay Mercader. Same in the UK with Phil [Bowdery] and Denis [Desmond]. That is one thing: they have picked a great team. And it really is a team, like a Man City or a PSG.” As Bowdery, president of international touring, puts it, promoters remain promoters, even when embedded in a multibillion dollar corporation. “We have very good teams that let us do the corporate thing without cutting off our entrepreneurship, our supposedly artistic side. And that entrepreneurial thing sticks with you. If I’m promoting a show, I sit here and there’s still the same thoughts, the same feelings, as if I was taking the money out of my own pocket.” The big money-spinners claim the headlines, but among the mega-tours and the ever more muscular festival lineup that dominates much of the global summer – this year’s acquisitions already include New York’s Governors Ball, the Union Events portfolio in Canada, and under LN-Gaiety, Manchester’s Parklife. With live performance at the core of Live Nation, its vertical business model brings many synergies. In North America, for instance, 8,000 shows a year go through Live Nation’s family of more than 100 North American venues in the 250-4,000 capacity range, and Ron Bension, president of House of Blues Entertainment, whose role is to consolidate that network, sees a clear link between the small and the large. “We have seen lots of bands come up through our buildings and go on to play amphitheatres – and going the other way,” he says. Bension’s manifesto centres around marketing that both guarantees ticket sales and builds artist careers (“If you are playing in Chicago or Minneapolis, I know that we will sell tickets better than anyone else,” he claims), but also the prioritisation of artist experience and fan experience. “We looked at this and said, ‘okay, what can we do that makes us more than just a bunch of venues?’” says Bension. “And it’s best band service, best fan service – all those little things that create some loyalty. So our venues are not just another box with speakers in it.” Whether or not Live Nation has perfected the delicate mechanism that takes bands from the club stage to the arena and the stadium, it is a fact noted by many that the longlamented lack of youthful superstar talent no longer seems to be a matter of concern. The sheer scale of the company affords it a competitive advantage (sometimes lamented by independent promoters and operators) and it is in this area that Live Nation’s muscle may be flexed next: mooted long-term global deals with developing acts appears to be a strategy the company is employing to build those artists into tomorrow’s headliners. “It’s funny, because if you think back to 2008, there was this sense that the touring business was carried by the older, iconic, established artists,” says Fogel. “But in the last five years we have seen a whole new generation of artists that are doing great business, and I see no reason why those artists aren’t going to drive the business forward over the next ten years or longer.” Mark Campana, co-president, North America concerts, has had the same thought. “What’s exciting me is the fact that we have so many young artists that are selling lots of tickets. As a guy who sells tickets for a living, that allows us all to exhale. We don’t have to worry about what we are going to be doing tomorrow. What we are doing is working today.”
Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ world tour with Live Nation saw her regain the crown as top grossing solo artist of all time
IQ Magazine May 2016
Ten years of Live Nation
hen Live Nation came to the market a decade ago, the globalised live music giant’s mainly US-focused sponsorship and advertising arm was about as slick as such divisions got. And it is a measure of the sophistication that has come to the business since then that Live Nation’s mid-noughties offering now sounds fairly quaint. In its Q1 2016 results, Live Nation revealed that its sponsorship and advertising division saw revenues increase by 13%. The company said that, through April, it has have sold more than 70% of its expected sponsorship and advertising for the year, positioning the division for another year of double-digit growth. “Ten years ago, we were really focused on sponsorship of our venues,” says Russell Wallach, Live Nation president of media and sponsorship. “At the time, that was unique, in that we were the only one-stop shop for brands that wanted to associate with all the best outdoor amphitheatres in America.” Fast-forward a decade and behold the difference. “Venues continue to be a part of it, but we have a global festival platform that crosses all major genres and we have one of the largest digital media platforms in the world,” says Wallach. “We didn’t have Ticketmaster ten years ago, and now it gives us incredible data and insights about our customers; we are creating new products and apps for our venues and festivals, new advertising platforms across our websites; we are the world’s leading developer of music content.” Most of these channels were yet to come to fruition a decade ago, but the canny corporate topiary job that would make them possible was well underway. “The important thing in the early stages of the company was the way that Michael Rapino narrowed the focus,” says Campana - “When we first started, we had a lot of diverse interests: theatrical holdings and motorsports holdings and a number of different areas of entertainment that Rapino decided were taking the focus from us going forward. So we saw a great deal of sales taking place.” Back in the early days, open-minded onlookers might have deduced that Michael Rapino was building a large but notably lean, single-minded music conglomerate, with minimal distracting spin-offs. But 2005 eyes were less likely to appreciate the potential of such a company as a media giant in its own right, able to package up global music audiences for advertisers in search of both close targeting and real scale. The results speak for themselves, and Live Nation’s sponsorship division has the highest margin of its four pillars. “We have transformed the business for brands and made it easier for them to work in the music space than ever before,” says Wallach. The power of music, with its emotional, ever-evolving appeal, is no secret, and never really was, but music is a hard culture to bottle. As Wallach points out, a company with a huge stable of events and a clear bead on its audiences – not to mention a management arm that can broker artist involvement and resolve rights issues – has a better claim to being able to do that than most of the rival solutions. “What we are seeing now with our brands is that while ten
IQ Magazine May 2016
The Executives Top row (l to r): Alan Ridgeway, Arthur Fogel, Jared Smith. Second row (l to r): John Reid, Mark Campana, Mark Yovich. Third row (l to r): Michael Rapino, Phil Bowdery, Ron Bension. Bottom row (l to r): Russell Wallach, Thomas Johansson.
years ago they might have sponsored a venue, or sponsored a tour and participated in ticket promotions, their programmes now are much more comprehensive,” says Wallach. “We can give them digital media, give them social – we have a big partnership with Snapchat. We are streaming our shows and our festivals; we are working with YouTube influencers to enhance and expand our campaigns; we are utilising mobile as a way for brands to connect with fans onsite. They want to be part of the fan journey.” In 2015, Live Nation’s sponsorship and advertising business grew by 17% to $352million (€311m), as the group built its global sponsor base by 20% to almost 900 brands. As of last December, 60% of this year’s inventory was already spoken for.
Ten years of Live Nation Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing a swathe of Live Nation festivals internationally this year
still quite dependent on sponsorship to make the numbers work: The Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia. You tend to get a sponsor associated with just a stand-alone show. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, on the whole the brands have moved beyond that.” Where media is concerned, of course, there is always competition, and for large-scale music events, the competition is usually sport. Traditionally, the massive profile of global sporting events has swaggeringly hijacked blue-chip marketing plans with a price tag, and a sense of entitlement, music could scarcely dream of. But Wallach thinks the tide may have begun to turn. “We are continuing to see the growth in brand spend on music,” he says. “And I think we are starting to see dollars that were traditionally spent in sports moving to music, because music does so well with millennials, women, multi-cultural audiences.”
TICKETING “Sponsorship is rapidly developing,” says president of Live Nation Europe-Concerts, John Reid. “It is a great business for us. It is a more subtle and more nuanced business than it ever was before and we offer a better platform than we ever did. It is not even just about talking to the 40-, 50-, 80,000 people in the field on the day. It is about using the brand for themselves, attaching the festival brand to the sponsor’s brand. The activation is much more sophisticated now.” Budweiser, Hilton Hotels, Citibank, Red Bull and Procter & Gamble are among the major advertisers that maintain relationships with Live Nation. Another long-term partner is American Express, Live Nation and Ticketmaster’s official credit card, which offers its users access to pre-sales, reserved tickets and money-can’t-buy experiences. Amex has worked with Live Nation since the beginning, and since 2011 has helped ‘card members’ secure over a million tickets to Live Nation events. “Starting in the US, we now have an important ongoing relationship in our key international markets both across Europe and in Canada and Australia,” says Mehdi Hemici, vice-president, international partnerships and benefits, American Express. The most recent pre-sale – for Beyoncé’s just commenced Formation Tour – was its most successful global release so far, according to Hemici, breaking pre-sale records in several markets. Sponsorship revenues clearly mean different things in different markets. In Western markets, they are bolstering a live industry that has made it its business to replace revenues artists have lost from record sales. In the developing markets of Asia, sponsorship often has the job of bridging the gap between the cost of the show and the return from ticket sales. And where the business is less mature, inevitably sponsorship packages tend to be less sophisticated, though that is changing. “The Asian sponsorship market has been around brands putting their names on an individual date or a tour,” says Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation president of international and emerging markets. “We find some of the Asian markets are
IQ Magazine May 2016
t the start of 2010, having been given European and US regulatory approval, Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged to create Live Nation Entertainment. Ticketing is one of the company’s four central pillars and is arguably the part of the live business that is changing fastest and most profoundly. “It was a logical step to create an end-to-end concert promotion and ticketing company,” says Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster International, of the mega-merger. “For Ticketmaster, there wasn’t that much of a change. Live Nation was one of its biggest clients in most countries. If anything it gave Ticketmaster more strength, stability and investment that benefitted all of [its] clients.” Yovich took up his current role at Ticketmaster in 2011 which was, he says, “a transformative time” for ticketing globally. While the online side of ticketing was well established, the proliferation of smartphones meant the mobile side of the business was where lots of focus was being placed. The importance of CRM (customer relationship management) and simplifying the ticket-buying process was also placed front and centre. “The expectation among customers is to have a more sophisticated and frictionless consumer journey online,” he says. “Historically, these ticketing systems were built before the Internet, so trying to put a modern interface on them for the consumer journey was challenging. In the last five years we have revolutionised that and made it what the customer expects – as few clicks as possible – to get them to the purchase as quickly as possible.” While the technologies and systems are in place for mobile ticketing, there is still something of a consumer lag here. Mobile ticketing is seeing steady uptake in the airline sector but, because concerts are important social and cultural events, consumers still want a memento of shows they attended. “[Mobile ticketing] is going to be a major part of the mix and that is why we have developed other technologies and other solutions that allow people to buy souvenir-type tickets,” says Yovich. “We have a service called Collector Ticket [a credit card-sized ticket on a lanyard] and we are seeing great take up
Ten years of Live Nation
Live Nation’s Major Acquisitions 2006
Promoter and venues chain House of Blues Direct to fan retailer Musictoday Michael Cohl’s Concert Productions International (controlling interest)
French promoter Jackie Lombard Productions (controlling stake) Merchandising company Trunk Ltd House of Blues Canada Academy Music Group (controlling stake) Merch company Anthill Trading Ltd Merch company Signatures Network Inc.
Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. Amsterdam Music Dome Exploitatie B.V. (controlling stake) Scottish promoter DF Concerts(controlling stake) Dubai’s Mirage Promotions (controlling stake) Swedish promoters Luger and Moondog France’s Main Square Festival (controlling stake) Merch company De-Lux Canadian promoter Emerge Media Ventures Ltd.
Dutch promoter Brand New Live (controlling stake) Italian venues operator Parcolimpico (minority stake)
Ticketmaster Front Line Management Italian venues operator Parcolimpico (controlling stake) Hard rock and metal promoter Live in Italy Artist management company Three Six Zero Grp Limited (50% stake) Artist management firm B.A.D. Management (40% stake) Artist management company Gellman (50% stake) French ticket retailer Ticketnet Career Artist Management LLC Artist management firm Marcy Musik
on that. It is hard to find parallels with those other industries [like air travel] because the live experience is so unique.” This is a huge focus for the company in coming years, explains Jared Smith, the president of Ticketmaster North America. “We want to deliver the best ticketing experience for fans, and we know consumer lifestyles are more digital and mobile than ever,” he says. “More than 60% of traffic to Ticketmaster comes from mobile, via the app or mobile browser, and we build for that use case. Mobile lets us know the fan better so we can provide a more personalised experience.” With the sharp growth in online and mobile comes a concurrent rise in data that can be used in CRM and recommendation/discovery – simultaneously helping to retain customers while creating the potential to more effectively sell out shows and tours. “That is our most precious asset,” says Yovich of this explosion in data. “We have invested a lot of time, effort and resources into this over the last eight years, building out a large data scientist team in London with over 40 people. We have a very sophisticated data warehouse that is the infrastructure that enables us to be intelligent in the way we talk to our customers via CRM.” Ticketmaster’s acquisition of data company Big Champagne and subsequent establishment of a data science division in 2011 have been central to fully realising the potential here.
Ticketing business TGLP Live Nation Ontario Concerts (54% stake) Artist management firm Quest Management (UK) Limited (50% stake) Artist management firm Quietus Management Limited (50% stake) Spanish ticketing company Serviticket Artist management companies Vector Management LLC and Vector West LLC Artists management firn Jeff Battaglia Management, LLC (50% stake) Festival promoter Full Circle (56.9% stake) Artist management firm Laffitte Management Group (50% stake) Promoter LN-HS Concerts (controlling interest) Merch company T-Shirt Printers (controlling interest) Data firm BigChampagne (50% stake)
Promoter Michael Coppel Ventures Pty Ltd (controlling interest) Dance promoter Cream Holdings Limited (controlling interest) Dance promoter HARD Events LLC
Dance promoter Insomniac Events (51% stake) New Orleans festival Voodoo Music & Arts Experience Baltics promoter BDG Music Group (controlling interest)
Promoter C3 Presents (controlling interest) Ticket resales marketplace Seatwave Mobile-based ticketing platform, Eventjoy. Belgian ticketing company Sherpa.be Creativeman’s remaining minority stake in Live Nation Japan
German concert promoter Marek Lieberberg Festival ticketer Front Gate Tickets DIY ticketing platform Universe. SPG Live promoter of Sweden’s Summerburst Festival Bonnaroo Festival (controlling stake)
New York’s Governors Ball festival (controlling stake)
Rihanna’s ‘Anti World Tour’ will be promoted by Live Nation across 20 countries this year
IQ Magazine May 2016
Ten years of Live Nation
Ticketmaster 2015 sales volume: 530million tickets Gross transaction value of $25billion Ticketmaster operations in 22 countries 21million fans have TM apps on their devices TM’s $1.6billion revenues in 2015 accounted for nearly 23% of the company’s total revenues
Yovich adds that promoters and venues can also plug into this data to help them work more intelligently. “Pricing the house better” was a key theme in Michael Rapino’s interview at ILMC 28 and the deft use of data is a key part in all of this for Ticketmaster. “From insights, we discovered that people are willing to pay more on a Thursday night than they are on a Saturday night,” reveals Yovich. “Who knew? These kinds of insights and ‘aha’ moments come from digging into the data and looking at the pricing data, and they also come from the secondary business. As we have a big secondary business, we can use all that data. From our platinum business and everything else, we can pull out little nuggets like that and help our clients better price the house from the outset.” He adds, “Now we are looking more at that discovery side of things and using the data science we have got. This year and going into next year, a lot more of our CRM, our website and our mobile apps will be driven by predictive intelligence; that will drive recommendations so that the weekly newsletter we send out to everybody will be personalised and nobody will be getting the same newsletter. Every single one will be different based on a whole bunch of parameters and data insights that we have about each customer.” The company’s opening up of its API (application programming interface) is regarded as core to its future strategy, already allowing integration with Bandsintown and Facebook as new ticketing partners. “By having an API system, we can just enable those partners to transact within their environment,” argues Yovich. “This is the next frontier and is strategically where we are going. It is going to enable much greater reach and distribution for ticket inventory and for our clients to sell more tickets.” He gives the example of France – with its “futuristic ticketing market, which is driven off APIs” – as a model for the future that most other markets around the world will transition towards. “Our goal is to integrate with key partners that make the buying experience simpler for fans and are complementary to our artist and venue clients. When we build new capabilities,
IQ Magazine May 2016
like expanding our API and SDK [software development kit] offerings, we’re constantly driving towards a seamless discovery and purchase experience for fans. This is just the beginning and we see loads of opportunity in the future.” With some 60% of Ticketmaster’s business happening outside of the US, there is a lot of focus on building things further in Europe, but also capitalising on things in key emerging markets. “The Nordics are pretty advanced and they drive a lot of the mobile agenda,” says Yovich. “The Dutch are very digital- and mobile-savvy. They are certainly pushing the other markets. We will ensure we have a great network across Europe over the coming years. Australia and New Zealand are really developing fast; they have a great live music scene and the ticketing business is doing great down there. Then into Asia, South America and South Africa. That is where a lot of the growth is going to come from. We are seeing a lot of exciting developments there.” As all the pieces fall into place, the coming years will see refinement of the things already starting to impact on the market on a technological and a CRM level. “It’s the shift to mobile and the shift to the cloud,” says Yovich, on where he sees the biggest opportunities. “It’s ensuring we remove all the friction from the consumer experience to get them to buy their ticket as quickly as possible. Our API strategy and getting the tickets in front of all the fans wherever they are on the Internet [is part of that]. It’s about realising the great insights we have within all the data we manage – and then offering that insight to our clients so they can make better decisions about how they promote their events and get more people to the shows.” Such goals are the mantra of the Live Nation Entertainment hierarchy. Concluding his keynote interview at ILMC, Rapino noted, “Most industries have to figure out how to build their market, how to expand it and create a new product. We have the greatest gift in life: none of us has to be all that creative, because Kendrick Lamar is, or Adele is. The artists are the ones recreating what we could call iPods. They are the product and they are recreating themselves on an ongoing basis. We know that they are going to be as creative as ever and keep doing what they do. Our job is to determine how to put them together with the right fan, in the right location. The demand and supply are going to be there regardless of any economic challenges, in any market.” Reporting by Eamonn Forde, Gordon Masson and Adam Woods.
Fans in Croke Park, Ireland, await Ed Sheeran during his historic one-man stadium tour
IQ Magazine May 2016
The State of Stadia 2016 looks like it could be a record summer for stadium tours, with an impressive number of A-list acts already scheduled to tour the world’s biggest venues. Rhian Jones reports on the stadia sector’s state of health… The lack of stadium headliners has been a heavily quoted narrative throughout the live music industry in recent years, but if the packed music schedule of stadia worldwide in 2016 is anything to go by, it’s incorrect. Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Rihanna, Billy Joel, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart are all embarking on stadium tours this year, with some venues recording their busiest summer of music ever. Wembley Stadium in London (80,000 capacity) has six different headliners playing a total of ten shows over the next few months, making it their best year since the new stadium opened in 2007. Over at the 65,000-cap Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, the venue is hosting 11 shows this year, while Stadion Frankfurt in Germany is expecting to welcome over 700,000 visitors to non-sporting events over the next few months. MetLife Stadium in New Jersey (82,000 cap), has Coldplay, Guns N’ Roses, Paul McCartney and Kenny Chesney gracing its stage over the summer, whilst the UK’s Brunton Park in Carlisle (20,000 cap) is hosting its first gig in nine years with Rod Stewart.
Moneymaking At Munich’s Olympic Stadium (70,000-cap.), head of events Nils Hoch says 80% of the venue’s revenue come from live music. Upcoming shows include two festivals, Rockavaria and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Austrian act Andreas Gabalier and Rihanna playing headline dates through the summer. Over at Stadion Frankfurt, business development manager Moritz Schneider says around a third of its revenue is derived from music-based
events thanks to its diverse programming that, alongside headline shows this year from Rihanna, Beyoncé and Billy Joel, includes a three-day ‘urban festival’ and a music-related world record attempt. “Outside of the football season, during the summer months we transform our stadium into a multifunctional venue,” Schneider explains. “Every day that the stadium is not used, we still have maintenance people to pay, and electricity and water bills. We make sure that we have as many events as possible and consider the whole summer as a period, draw a line at the end, and work out if we made a profit or not. For the last 10 years we always have.” At Brunton Park there’s a renewed focus on music after securing the Rod Stewart show, which will also boost the local economy thanks to the 15-20,000 people that are expected to descend on the city for the gig. “For a football club of our size that’s outside the Premier League, we’ve got to make the most of the venue as we can from a commercial viewpoint,” says sales and marketing director Phil King. “We’re always keen to say the football club is at the heart of the community so if we can bring an event like Rod Stewart to the club, which benefits the wider community as well, then that’s a real bonus.” At Dublin’s 82,000-cap Croke Park, music contributes around 25% of its annual revenue, which helps it put more investment back into sport, not to mention bringing in around €1,000 worth of economic benefit to the city per person attending an event, says stadium director Peter McKenna. Balancing the books when it comes to music programming isn’t a walk in the park, however, and Wembley Stadium’s head of business development Jim Frayling has had to significantly lower rental costs to ensure Wembley stands a chance next to competition from the Olympic Stadium in
Stadia London and a wealth of outdoor events. “There’s a perception that it’s an incredibly lucrative thing to be a gig venue, but it isn’t and you have to work very hard to earn the money you earn,” he tells IQ. “Quite rightfully, the vast majority of the money on the night goes back to the artist, and the promoter or venue takes a lot of risk for not much reward.” However, thanks to the 2,000 fans signed up to Club Wembley, it’s able to make ends meet. Frayling explains: “Our big multiplier is Club Wembley, if we get enough content in and it helps us keep our box holders happy then that pays for itself. It’s almost like a modern day Robin Hood in reverse in the sense that the people in the boxes are effectively subsidising the rental and the model for hiring out the stadium to the other 78,000 people.”
Urban festivals Contributors Top (l to r): Moritz Schneider (Stadion Frankfurt), Peter McKenna (Croke Park), Tomasz Kowalski (Stadion Energa Gdańsk). Middle (l to r): Glen Rainsbury (Etihad Stadium), Nils Hoch (Olympiapark München), Phil King (Brunton Park). Bottom: Jim Frayling (Wembley Stadium).
“There’s a perception that it’s an incredibly lucrative thing to be a gig venue, but it isn’t and you have to work very hard to earn the money you earn” Jim Frayling, Wembley Stadium
Over at the four-year-old 43,000-cap. Stadion Energa Gdańsk in Poland, the low average salary in the country sometimes makes it hard to shift tickets for its annual music events, that have included gigs by Jennifer Lopez, Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake in recent years. This year, Avicii will be playing his first and what might possibly be his last gig in Poland at the stadium, after announcing a hiatus. It’s a dream booking for CEO Tomasz Kowalski, who’s been trying to secure the DJ for the last few years, but festival-style events are where he sees the real money to be made in future. “I think the music stadium business in Poland will change,” he says. “We have a lot of festivals but with a population of 40 million people and the size of the country – to travel from us to Kraków in the south of Poland it takes six hours by train, eight by car – joint productions moving from stadium to stadium could work really well. The whole event would be about 10-12 hours and we’d have attractions next to the stadium so people come here for a whole day and leave at 1am.” It’s a model that’s worked well for The O2 arena in London, whose annual C2C country music festival had its fourth edition in March. Ticket sales have risen from 17,000 to 60,000 since its launch in 2012. Stadion Frankfurt has its own three-day electronic music urban festival in the annual World Club Dome, an idea that
Bon Jovi visited the Stadion Energa Gdańsk in 2013
IQ Magazine May 2016
Stadia David Guetta headlined theWorld Club Dome in Stadion Frankfurt last year and returns in June 2016
local radio station BigCityBeats approached them with in 2013. The event begins on Friday evening, with doors opening from 11am - 11pm during the weekend. 200 DJs play across different stages and names on the bill this year include David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Guy Gerber, Oliver Heldens and Martin Garrix. Hosting that kind of event may take some sacrifice at the beginning, but it pays off in the long term, says Schneider. “BigCityBeats came to us and said they have the contacts to all the star DJs, and asked if we could do something together, but that they couldn’t afford a fullrental contract at first. So we found an arrangement to help them in the first couple of years, and now they pay as much rent as everybody else. We helped them grow and did a long-term agreement with them. Having your stadium booked for such an event every year is a comfortable situation.” Frayling is considering a similar idea at Wembley after the success of its recurring mini-festival, the Capital FM Summertime Ball. “I love that model because we know we’ve got something coming every year, so you’re starting from step two rather than step one,” he says. “With their partnership on
“It can sometimes take a matter of weeks for an act’s production to be sitting on a boat going from North America or Europe to Australia, so we have to make it as easy as possible for shows to come out here.” Glen Rainsbury, Etihad Stadium
C2C, The O2 identified times where they may not be at their busiest, or in genres they are not necessarily going to rely on for a regular booking. That’s the kind of thing venues should be doing; unafraid to experiment and take a bit of risk. If we had the space and the availability it’s something I’d love us to look at.”
Attracting acts Attracting big name bookings is all down to relationships with promoters and agents, as well as offering various stage set-ups, capacities and protection against unreliable weather conditions. It’s something that’s of vital importance to Glen Rainsbury, director of venue sales at Etihad Stadium, due to the special set of challenges touring in Australia brings. “It can sometimes take a matter of weeks for an act’s production to be sitting on a boat going from North America or Europe to Australia, so we have to make it as easy as possible for shows to come out here, which we do through the flexibility of our venue itself; the various scales [in capacity] you can have, as well as guaranteed conditions, thanks to our roof,” he says. “Our other selling point is very much our team. In recent years we’ve taken a philosophical position of working really closely with promoters, getting into their minds and trying to make sure that the venue is flexible, and that our team is incredibly flexible and solution-orientated.” The sales strategy at Wembley is similarly simple, with Frayling’s team always aiming to be a friendly voice on the end of the telephone, as well as bearing some risk should the need arise. He says: “With Beyoncé, when we heard she was playing shows in Paris, we were like, ‘Hi, there’s a very good stadium here if you want to use it!’. It didn’t come to anything back then, but you have to have a number of bites of the cherry to say you’re keen. “With Global’s Capital Summertime Ball, we made it appealing for them to come to Wembley and worked damn
IQ Magazine May 2016
hard at that relationship to make sure they come back every year. We did a deal whereby we shared some risk and made it comparable. Sometimes you have to get a bit creative in terms of how you take your rent. When the time is right it’s always worth trying to be flexible with people,” adds Frayling.
Challenges Switching from sport to music is no easy feat and there are a wealth of challenges facing stadium operators to ensure venues are in tip-top condition when the sporting season starts again. Kowalski has just one month between football match seasons, and teams are often unable to give more than a few weeks advance notice for when they need to use the stadium. With no roof and a natural pitch to maintain, he tries to convince music promoters to use the space outside of the stadium as well. The Rod Stewart gig at Brunton Park on 21 June is about as late as it could be, while allowing for a sixweek window between the concert and the start of the next football season for any repair or development work on the pitch. The key to navigating timing issues is planning and communication, says King, and having a good relationship with promoters helps when unexpected crisis hits. “We had initial discussions around September time for the Rod gig, and then in December we were hit with floods, so the pitch was under six feet of water, as were all the offices, the concourse areas and bars,” King explains. “It was a difficult one to balance, but we kept in touch with the promoters, Cuffe & Taylor, and told them where we were at in terms of facilities and reassured from our end that the venue would be ready again. They were really good and just said, ‘Let us know as and when you need any help or assistance with it’. It was just about keeping that conversation going.” At Wembley, rainy days have thankfully been few and far
“In December we were hit with floods, so the pitch was under six feet of water, as were all the offices, the concourse areas and bars.” Phil King, Brunton Park
between, and threats in the future will instead come from competition, says Frayling, who is pushing for a more diverse range of bookings like boxing and comedy. Wembley is one of the London venues hoping the Night Tube (24-hour metro service at weekends - launching later this year) might provide an opportunity for later licences, but it’s up to Transport for London and the local authorities to decide if that’s something they’re willing to facilitate. Frayling says: “It might mean you can run a little bit later, which means that you can have more of the show in the dark in the middle of summer, which is good for artists. Roger Waters couldn’t have done The Wall with us in July or June, it would have been too light, so he did it in September and it was a brilliant show. We’re not talking 2am, it’s more like an extra half hour, but for the right event that can make all the difference.” Security should be at the forefront of any venue owner’s mind following the devastating attacks in Paris at Le Bataclan in November, and stadiums are working more closely than ever with local authorities in case there’s any rise in threat level. For now, it’s business as usual, and while a blockbuster year is rarely followed by another, the stadia sector looks set to continue thriving in future thanks to public demand for seminal events, and the potential for a wealth of developments in the stadium event space.
Ed Sheeran was joined on stage by Elton John during his Wembley Stadium run in 2015
IQ Magazine May 2016
Festival Tech May officially marks the start of Europe’s festival season, with the early events attracting live music fans from all around the world to fields, parks and woodland sites. With technological progress forever delivering us new and better ways to do things, IQ editor Gordon Masson takes a look at some of the new tech must-haves for anyone – staff, crew, artists or fans – on offer at this year’s festivals…
Tent Finder As anyone who has ever lost themselves in the hedonistic atmosphere of an outdoor festival can testify, actually getting lost from your weekend accommodation can quickly bring you down to earth with a thump, as the trek to find your tent turns into an epic struggle. But thanks to apps such as Festival Buddy or Boutique Camping’s Tent Finder, such issues should be a thing of the past for those of us with smartphones. Both apps work in the same way: users can mark where their particular canvas real estate is located using GPS so that when they finally make their weary way back after a night of dancing and partying, their phone will direct them to the precise location of their sleeping bags. And, of course, the apps can also be used to tag where festivalgoers park their cars, or where their friends’ tents are located. Indeed, the BC Tent Finder app includes a handy torch, as well as an inbuilt compass to navigate your way using GPS, even when there is no network coverage.
FanZone As more and more event organisers come under scrutiny for the efforts they are employing to reduce environmental impact, one of the common disclaimers is that while they can implement green initiatives via various production tools and technology, it’s harder to change the habits of those fans who drive to festivals. However, Israel-based operation FanZone is delivering impressive results in this sector, as illustrated by their recent partnership on a Bon Jovi concert. The gig attracted 50,000 fans and more than 60% of ticket purchasers downloaded the FanZone app for the show, which helped them to plan their door-to-door travel to the venue. The result for the Bon Jovi contract generated an average of $13 per travelling fan in revenues whilst helping to avoid 12 tons of pollution. With such measurable success, FanZone recently won the deal to become official partner for online transport and fan community services at this year’s UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France. Among its upcoming live music business are concerts for the likes of Elton John, Jason Derulo, Avicii and Sia.
IQ Magazine May 2016
Bakeys Edible Cutlery The issue of disposable plastic cutlery may not be high on everyone’s list of priorities, but in India, where 120 billion plastic eating utensils are thrown away each year, the problem cannot be overstated. That’s why entrepreneur Narayana Peesapaty developed his Bakeys brand of cutlery made from millet, rice and wheat – meaning they not only biodegrade quickly, but they can be eaten. Indeed, Bakeys knives, spoons, forks and chopsticks can be made in a variety of flavours and are described by their inventor as “highly nutricious”. With festivals around the world looking at every conceivable way to cut down on landfill, the Bakeys solution is ideal. The cutlery itself has a shelf life of three years, but a used spoon, for instance, will take less than a week to decompose if it is not eaten. And with prices starting as low as INR275 (€3.65) for 100 spoons, the opportunities for savvy festival organisers to get sponsors involved are obvious.
EE Osprey The clever people at EE always seem to come up with some sort of festival must-have each year – remember the SIM card-enabled tent that would light up when it received a text? Or the Power Wellies that could charge your phone by converting the heat generated by your feet into electricity? Or the pocket-sized Power Bar recharger? Well, this year, they have unveiled the EE Osprey 2 and Osprey 2 Mini – Wi-Fi devices that combine a portable 4G hotspot and a juice pack for charging your smartphones. The Ospreys can connect up to ten devices to the network, meaning groups of friends can all benefit and make sure every single embarrassing photo and video is instantly shared on social media.
Battery HD It might be a very 21st century, First World problem, but relying on your smartphone to plan and guide your festival experience is a reality for many people and having the handset’s battery run out just as the sun begins to set can be a real pain. Step forward the Battery HD app (for Android users), or Battery HD+ (for iPhone owners), which will monitor and minimise the battery usage so that the life of your handset can last from dawn till dusk and through to dawn again. We all know that lining up to recharge the phone can take hours out of your festival fun, so these apps are another essential for anyone planning to spend two, three or more days without their own power point.
Roll Array The time and cost of installing solar power sytems at outdoor events has always been a hindrance to those looking to take advantage of this particular environmentally friendly technology. However, that might be set to change thanks to UK company, Renovagen, and its RollArray product. While conventional rigid solar fields might take up to 22-man hours to deploy, RollArray’s unique flexibility means a vehicle can tow out a 50 metre-long reel of solar panels from a spool within two minutes. Indeed, the manufacturers state that from arrival on site, the technology’s plug-and-play ease of use can mean it’s up and running within five minutes. Additionally, Renovagen claims that RollArray allows it to create transportable power plants with ten times more power capacity than any existing products. It says RollArray can replace diesel gensets in the 1kVA-30 kVA range, while the high power spool-deployable arrays can provide up to 100kWp.
IQ Magazine May 2016
Finland Map Key Promoter Agent Agent/Promoter Venue Festival 1.
Espoo April Jazz Eastway Live Espoo Metro Areena
2. Haapavesi Haapavesi Folk 3. Hämeenlinna Ritari-Areena Verkatehdas 4. Helsinki Sam Agency Blue Buddha Fullsteam Agency/FKP Scorpio Live Nation Finland RedBerg Agency Speed Promotion & Agencyr Flow Festival Musica nova Sideways Tuska Open Air Metal Festival Weekend Festival Eastborder Promotion ISO Loud´n Live Promotions No Fear Warner Music Live Cable Factory Club Liberté Cotton Club Finlandia Hall Gloria Hartwall Areena Helsinki Ice Hall Jäähalli Kulttuuritalo Kuudes linja Nosturi On the Rocks Semifinal Storyville Tavastia UNIQ 5. Jämsä Himos Juhannus Lakeside Blues Festival Puistoblues 6. Joensuu Ilosaarirock Joensuu Areena 7. Jyväskylä Lutakko Synergia-areena 8. Kajaani Congress and Cultural Centre Kaukametsä
15. Nummijärvi Nummirock 16. Oulu Jalometalli Metal Music Festival Qstock 45 Special Energia Areena Valve 17. Pietarsaari After Eight 18. Pori Pori Jazz 19. Porvoo Art Factory 20. Raseborg Faces Etnofestival 21. Rauma Kivikylän Areena 22. Rovaniemi Lappi Areena 23. Ruutana Sandyymi 24. Salo KIVA 25. Seinäjoki Speed Promotion & Agency Provinssi Rytmikorjaamo 26. Taalintehdas Baltic Jazz
27. Tampere Koetinkivit Nem J. Karppanen Prime Time Music Rockadillo Records & Production Blockfest South Park Tampere Biennale Tampere Jazz Happening Hakametsän Jäähalli Klubi Tampere Hall Tullikamari Cultural Centre Yo-talo
28. Tornio/Haparanda Kalott Jazz & Blues Festival 29. Turku Ruisrock Turku Jazz Festival Gong HK Areena 30. Vantaa RL Entertainment Energia Areena
31. Viitasaari Time of Music
9. Keuruu Iso Soitto 10. Kuopio Jäähalli 11. Lahti Summer Up Finlandia club Isku Areena Lahti Concert Hall Sibelius Hall 12. Lappeenranta Kisapuisto 13. Masala Taurus Music 14. Mikkeli Jäähalli
15.NUMMIJÄRVI 18.PORI 21.RAUMA
5.JÄMSÄ 23.RUUTANA 27.TAMPERE
11.LAHTI 3.HÄMEENLINNA 24.SALO 29.TURKU 30.VANTAA 19.PORVOO 13.MASALA 4.HELSINKI 20.RASEBORG 1.ESPOO 26.TAALINTEHDAS
IQ Magazine May 2016
Crossing the Finnish Line It might be the most northern of all tour stops, but the land of a thousand lakes remains a popular destination for many international tours, while Adam Woods discovers that Finland’s homegrown talent also keeps business buoyant. You’d think the live business might have a problem in a country that has a word – Kalsarikännit – for getting drunk at home in your underwear with no intention of going out. And then again, you wouldn’t want to do that every night, which may be one reason why Finland, despite having just 5.4m inhabitants and standing as the third most sparsely populated country in Europe, also has a pretty busy live scene. When we talk about Finns, we’re talking about a dogged, proud people at the chilly top of the world, with sturdy practices, long winters and good reason to make the most of the summertime. That all translates, directly or otherwise, into a notably strong homegrown music business, flush with popular local talent, boasting a short, festival-packed summer and a robust infrastructure. Once something of a sideline for Swedish and Norwegian promoters, Finland in the corporate age is a territory where Live Nation is strong but is matched by the competition, including indies such as recent FKP Scorpio acquisition Fullsteam and diversified major label promoter Warner Music Live. International stars usually make the effort to come – all the more so when nearby Russia is in favour with the western world – but Finnish acts are capable of selling out their own arenas regardless. Meanwhile, the festival scene, with internationally known events such as Provinssi, Ilosaarirock and Ruisrock, packs a lot of excitement into a narrow window, and is driven by long-standing, independently owned events. The economic and political conditions in early 2016 aren’t, it must be said, terribly auspicious for Finland. In 2015, the country just about avoided a fourth consecutive year of declining economic activity, but its GDP remains 7% below late-2007 levels. That doesn’t deter asylum seekers, of course, increasing numbers of whom are trying their luck on the 1,340km RussianFinnish border as controls in southern Europe tighten. More pertinently for live music, western sanctions against Russia have reduced the touring traffic that once flowed between Helsinki and St Petersburg, just 390km to the east.
IQ Magazine May 2016
“The main challenge currently is getting big international tours to Finland,” says Juha Kyyrö, founder of Fullsteam and managing director of FKP Scorpio Nordic. “Not so many artists are going to Russia at the moment, which means they often skip Finland as well.” That might be a more devastating problem in a country less self-reliant than Finland, but here is a nation perfectly capable of producing its own superstar acts, from local rock giants HIM and Nightwish to rappers such as Cheek and Elastinen and pop acts like Kaija Koo and Haloo Helsinki! – the latter four having all headlined Finnish arenas in recent months. “The touring side is dominated by domestic artists at the moment,” says Kyyrö. “There won’t be so many big summer shows by foreign artists this year.” Overseas, these are pretty good times for Finnish artists, according to Music Finland executive director Tuomo Tähtinen. He says Germany remains the strongest market for Finnish music, with Helsinki rockers Sunrise Avenue recently nominated for an Echo Award, but that the USA, the UK, the Nordic countries and Japan are also fruitful. “There seems to be a bigger variety of Finnish artists touring internationally each year,” says Tähtinen. “Traditionally, we’ve been particularly strong in rock and metal, as well as classical music, but that scope is much wider nowadays. According to a study we commission on a regular basis, the exports of Finnish music have been on a steady increase since 2008.” In terms of domestic numbers, live music is the biggest sector in the music industry, accounting for €431.9m, or 50% of total revenues [source: Music Finland]. Anecdotally, roughly 20m tickets are sold each year, with half upfront and half on the door. Those upfront sales are certainly boosted by reasonable weather, and in 2016, festival tickets are selling in improved numbers, in the apparently confident hope of a better summer this year than the country suffered in a soggy 2015. There are encouraging signs, also, in the demographic
Finland appeal of festivals, with the larger events pulling in healthily youthful crowds alongside the long-time faithful. A debate over curfews rumbles on in Helsinki in response to noise complaints, says Kyyrö, while gender equality in the industry and on festival line-ups is another subject being routinely kicked around. But for a small-ish market in the top corner of Europe with persistent economic issues and Russia next door, life isn’t looking too bad.
Promoters In Finland, much as across the rest of the region, Live Nation maintains a muscular presence. In the Nordic roll-up of 2000, Risto Juvonen’s leading Welldone Agency was merged into the SFX-owned EMA Telstar empire, formally becoming Live Nation Finland in 2008, and the rest is history. More unusual is the fact that, in Fullsteam Agency – founded in 2002 and merged into FKP Scorpio in September 2014 – Finland has long had a solid local indie competitor. These days, Fullsteam and Live Nation appear roughly equal as the biggest promoters in Finland, albeit with slightly different priorities. For its part, FKP/Fullsteam – which runs alongside Kyrrö’s successful ongoing record label, publishing, management and distribution operation – owns a two-thirds share in Provinsii and at the time of writing was selling tickets for Ennio Morricone, Frank Turner and Justin Bieber, among very many smaller shows. Recent and imminent Live Nation dates include Mariah Carey, Muse, Mumford & Sons and Neil Young, and though it doesn’t own any major festivals, its one-day blockbuster events bring artists – AC/DC last year, Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath this summer – that would most likely be beyond the budget of most Finnish festivals. “If you look at arena-sized shows and outdoor shows, we are the biggest promoter in Finland,” says Live Nation promoter Zachris Sundell. “In the last 12 months, we have had a really good run: Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, Slayer, Slipknot, Hurts, Motörhead. But we do everything from 200-capacity clubs to arena acts.” Live Nation and Fullsteam may be Finland’s big boys, but it’s not a two-horse race. RL Entertainment, promoter of the youth-focused, fast-expanding Weekend festival brand, is likewise an ambitious independent, co-promoting Bieber with Fullsteam as well as its own Queen and JeanMichel Jarre dates. Another strong indie is Eastway Live, specialising in old-school rock, with Deep Purple, ZZ Top, Procol Harum and Scorpions all on this year’s calendar. Another thriving indie is Loud’n Live Promotions, whose head promoter Kalle Keskinen observes, “The competition in Finland is fierce at the moment and the number of operators increase all the time. [Therefore] it’s always been important for us to operate in three different sectors; organising concerts, specialised music festivals and sporting events.” Last summer Loud’n Live’s music festivals and concerts across Finland attracted around 200,000 visitors. In addition to eight summer festivals this year, the company has already organised the Heavyweight Boxing European Championships and the WBC Silver World Heavyweight Boxing title matches in Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena. “We are currently in negotiations about several concerts
Contributors Top row (l to r): Juha Kyyrö (Fullsteam/FKP Scorpio), Mark Fry (Warner Music), Panu Hattunen (Ilosaarirock Festival). Second row (l to r): Paulina Ahokas (Tampere Hall), Kimmo Kivisilta (Hartwall Arena), Mikkomatti Aro (Pori Jazz Festival). Third row (l to r): Zachris Sundell (Live Nation), Sami Rumpunen (Provinssi Festival), Tuomo Tähtinen (Music Finland). Bottom row (l to r): Kalle Keskinen (Loud’n Live Promotions), Richie Mattila (ISO).
“There seems to be a bigger variety of Finnish artists touring internationally each year. Traditionally, we’ve been particularly strong in rock and metal, as well as classical music, but that scope is much wider nowadays.” Tuomo Tähtinen, Music Finland
IQ Magazine May 2016
“I think this year we are lacking a few big shows – like, huge shows – and some of the interesting clublevel acts. Those are the things we are missing in Finland, but they will come.” Richie Mattila, ISO and work with other Nordic promoters such as ICO from Denmark,” adds Keskinen. “In the past we have organised the concerts of Britney Spears, Bon Jovi, Roxette, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Guns’n Roses, Toto, Avicii, Sex Pistols, Within Temptation and Bryan Adams.” Warner Music, meanwhile, operates an innovative live division in Finland, promoting shows for its own artists and even those of other labels, having moved into live music in 2008 in response to globally declining record sales, acquiring a small live company, called Popgram, and its staff. “The idea was to comprehensively build artist careers under one roof rather than approach the passive rights model,” says
Mark Fry, Warner Music Nordic vice-president, marketing. “We wanted to create a one-stop shop for the artists, where all the key people are sitting around one table in all relevant meetings with a common goal and agenda. Our live side became a natural part of Warner Music’s core business in a short period of time.” The major has extended rights deals, encompassing live, with most of the artists on its roster, and also promotes nonWarner artists such as Haloo Helsinki!, the country’s biggest band, who are signed to Sony. “Co-operation with the band and Sony has been very good, with absolutely no misunderstandings,” says Fry. “We have many other similar examples as well.” Hartwall Arena CEO Kimmo Kivisilta credits the ambition of Warner Music Live with helping to bump local artists up to arena level. “They have a very, very strong local repertoire, for many reasons, and they have been doing most of the local artists,” says Kivisilta. “In the past, [arena shows] were considered a privilege of international artists only,” Fry agrees. “Warner Music has promoted over 20 local arena shows in the past four years in Finland and it is now a norm that a local superstar act can fill an arena.” Perhaps the most impressive example is that of Finnish rapper Cheek, who in late-February wrapped up a 15-date tour of Finnish arenas at Hartwall, having also played arenas in Oulu, Rovaniemi, Tampere, Kuopio, Lahti, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Lappeenranta, Vaasa, Rauma and Turku, among other cities not always added to international touring itineraries. “Cheek is by far the most popular artist in Finland, so he is in his own league, but other Finnish artists are also doing great numbers on arenas,” says Kyyrö, who promoted the shows. Relatively few Russian promoters dabble in Finland, though returning Finn Juha ‘Richie’ Mattila, who does much of his work in Russia, is sizing up opportunities under his own ISO flag. “I think this year we are lacking a few big shows – like, huge shows – and some of the interesting club-level acts,” he says. “Those are the things we are missing in Finland, but they will come.”
Festivals The Finnish festival market is a healthy but unusual one, in several respects. For one thing, the high-summer events are notably densely packed, with Provinssi, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, Ruisrock and Ilosaarirock all on three consecutive weekends between late-June and mid-July. For another, Finland remains an old-school world of time-honoured, stand-alone blockbusters. The 46-year-old Ruisrock – owned, like Tuska, by Juhani Merimaa, operator of Helsinki’s busy Tavastia club – is the second-oldest festival in Europe and remains proudly independent. Another Finnish giant, Ilosaarirock in Joensuu, is only a year behind, and is run by a non-profit organisation to benefit the local North Karelian music scene in Eastern Finland. The third of the vintage biggies, Provinssi (no longer Provinssirock) is 37 and in its second year under an entirely new team since FKP Scorpio took its stake in 2014. Ilosaarirock Festival marks its 45th anniversary this summer ©Arttu Kokkonen
IQ Magazine May 2016
Finland Live Nation brought Anthrax and Slayer to the Hartwall Arena in December 2015 ©Lasse Arkela
“We wanted to create a one-stop shop for the artists, where all the key people are sitting around one table in all relevant meetings with a common goal and agenda.” Mark Fry, Warner Music Other big independent festivals include Blockfest in Tampere, alternative pop and dance event Flow in Helsinki, and Extra Large Music stages major pop and rock events including Himos Juhannus in Jämsä, South Park in Tampere and Summer Up in Lahti, focusing on Finnish artists. Another big Helsinki event, RL Entertainment’s youngster-friendly EDM festival Weekend, last year span off into Weekend Festival Baltic in Pärnu, Estonia, and will additionally head to Stockholm this year, with all three taking place in the first weekend of August. In a consolidated world, Finland manages to carry on doing its own thing. Other than Provinssi, FKP Scorpio currently has only newly launched offbeat Helsinki two-dayer, Sideways. Live Nation has no brands of its own, though it will launch a 4,000-cap inaugural edition of the Swedish Summerburst festival this year at Hernesaarenranta by the sea in Helsinki. “I would say that the festival field is kind of unique in Finland in that many of the established, big festivals are still independent,” says Sundell. And because Live Nation doesn’t own festivals, he adds, they are free to work across the board. In what may well be a further sign of Finnish good manners, Live Nation’s big outdoor rock shows – Iron Maiden play the night before Provinsii on June 29, and Black Sabbath bring their Monsters Of Rock show to Kaisaniemen Puisto in central Helsinki the Thursday after - don’t generally go headto-head with the festivals. The big events, at least, are reporting positive signs for this summer. “I think this summer is looking really good all round for the Finnish festival market,” says Provinssi festival director Sami Rumpunen. “Everyone is sending out positive messages at this point, and I think the market is growing.” Particularly pleasing, says Rumpunen, is that last year, for the first time in at least ten years, the average age of Provinssi festival-goers fell – to just over 26. “It is looking like we are getting a new generation in. I think there was a bit of a scare, a couple of years ago, that festivals are aging audience-wise and the under-20s are all doing something else with their time, but that’s thankfully not the case.” Ilosaarirock has kept a close eye on the same issue, and has likewise been gratified by its own recent findings, which point to a healthy balance of staunch supporters and eager newcomers. “The largest section of our audience is the old ones that have been eight times or more, and the second-largest group is the new ones,” says Panu Hattunen, head of booking at Ilosaarirock and its Kerubi Rock Club in Joensuu. “That is quite a funny situation, and it is something we really want to
maintain. The music we book is very broad – we have death metal, reggae, pop music – and that is what the people who come are used to.” Even older than Finland’s venerable old rock festivals is Pori Jazz, which has taken place in the small city of that name on the west coast of Finland since 1966. Artistic director Mikkomatti Aro believes it is the excitement of the brief, heady summer that keeps the nation’s busy festival programme so buoyant, even in times of economic unease. “The economics have been difficult in Finland, but for some reason, festivals have been doing rather well,” says Aro. “Maybe it is due to the short summer we have – maybe it is something people want to do to get the best out of it.” Staged every year in July, the nine-day Pori Jazz maintains an international reputation – Miles Davis, Bob Dylan and Kanye West have played over the years, and this year’s bill includes Richard Ashcroft and Seal as well as many jazzier artists. The location, so much a part of the festival’s appeal, also presents a restriction, in that it’s a relatively remote situation – a three-hour drive from Helsinki – combined with the limited number of hotels in the city, restrict international visitor numbers. “That’s something that makes marketing Pori Jazz to an international audience a bit difficult,” says Aro. “In a way, I think we have some potential that is not fulfilled.” Nonetheless, the festival brings around 150,000 visitors to the city, who between them fill more than 300,000 seats over nine days.
Finnish fans get ready for Slipknot at the Hartwall Arena last year
IQ Magazine May 2016
Venues and ticketing There are many reasons to visit Finland, but surely the most compelling is that this may be the only country in the world where almost nobody is complaining about the inadequate number of local venues, in the capital or elsewhere. “There has always been an amazing infrastructure around the country, whether it’s arenas or concert halls,” says Paulina Ahokas, managing director of Tampere Hall, the biggest conference and concert centre in the Nordic countries, which stages 350 shows a year, promoting roughly 200 in-house. “There’s a city orchestra in 17 cities around this country, and an absolute wealth of infrastructure in music that exists in very few countries in the world.” Three-quarters of Finland’s live industry business takes place in either Helsinki or Tampere, two hours inland by car. In the capital, Hartwall Arena picks up a good deal of the heavyweight traffic, fitting gigs by Mumford & Sons, Finnish star Lauri Tähkä, 5 Seconds of Summer and Muse in amongst a heavy ice hockey schedule that accounts for roughly 35% of all events. “We have the biggest indoor capacity in Finland, especially in the Helsinki region,” says Kivisilta. “Some of the smaller venues have 6,500, 7,500, whereas we can have 15,500 with a stage in the middle, so that gives us a certain advantage. Of course, there is competition for smaller events, so we have to do our share of marketing for upcoming shows.” In Helsinki, the Ice Hall – you might know it as Helsingin Jäähalli – offers the most direct local competition for indoor big-name shows at scale, with Manic Street Preachers and JeanMichel Jarre coming through this year. At around 1,700-cap, the auditorium at the Finlandia Hall congress centre has lately welcomed Melody Gardot and Tori Amos, with Bryan Ferry about to cruise through. At club level, perhaps the most legendary spot in Helsinki is the 46-year-old Tavastia, a magnet for international acts that
“The economics have been difficult in Finland, but for some reason, festivals have been doing rather well. Maybe it is due to the short summer we have – maybe it is something people want to do to get the best out of it.” Mikkomatti Aro, Pori Jazz holds 700 and is one of Europe’s oldest active rock venues. Also busy is the Nosturi club in the central Punavuori area. Those who feel Helsinki is still missing a cost-effective venue in the 2,000-4,000 capacity range should note that ELMU, Helsinki’s Live Music Association (which runs Nosturi) is working on a plan to build a new venue in the coming years. Also on the cards is a new €500m multi-functional arena in Tampere, the Tampere Central Deck and Arena – effectively a new city district with space for the city’s two professional ice hockey teams - and, of course, for concerts - which is expected to begin construction in a year’s time, although it won’t be ready until 2023. Well, it’s a big thing! The Finnish ticketing market is essentially controlled by three companies: Eventim’s Lippupiste, Ticketmasterowned Lippupalvelu and the locally owned Tiketti, the last of which takes about 10% of the market to Lippupiste’s 56%, with Lippupalvelu on approximately 29% [source: Finnish Trade Register]. Box office sales stand at around 25-30% of the overall market, while e-commerce accounts for about 60%, rising to 90% for artists with a younger profile.
Warner Music promoted Cheek at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki in 2014 ©Ralph Larman
IQ Magazine May 2016
Google Play Music handed over £265k (€342k) to charities associated with the BRIT Awards, thanks to the number of songs streamed or downloaded from the show. Pictured (l to r) are: David Munns (Nordoff-Robbins), Azi Eftekhari (Google Play Music), Max Lousada (chairman, BRIT Awards), and Geoff Taylor (chief exec, BRIT Awards).
The Great Escape founder Martin Elbourne and Paul Cardow of PCL Presents joined Wide Days organiser Olaf Furniss at the conference in Edinburgh last month for the Rise of City Festivals panel.
Plaster does Paris: At press time, Plaster PR’s Graham, Emma, Paul, Nick, Molly and Pascoe were celebrating at the finishing line after an epic fourday, 430km bike ride from Bristol to Paris. The team is raising money for Above and Beyond, which is funding new ultrasound equipment for Bristol Children’s Hospital to treat children with complex heart conditions. Donations can be made via the website: bristoltoparis2016. everydayhero.com/uk/team-plaster-1
EnTEEtainment founder Dick Tee was joined by colleagues, friends and clients at Mary Janes Bar in London to celebrate his 35 years in the business. Pictured with Dick (right) are daughter Frankie and Glastonbury Festival supremo, Michael Eavis.
Muse made history at The O2 arena in April when a record-breaking 21,000 fans attended their ‘in-the-round’ staging for the Drones World Tour on the fourth and final night in the London venue. Presenting the band with a commemorative plaque to mark their achievement were venue marketing director Jules Arnott and programming manager Zoe Swindells.
IQ’s Gordon Masson moderated the USA: Should I Stay or Should I Go? panel at m4music in Zürich, Swtizerland in April. Joining him on stage were Patrick David (Two Gentlemen), Adam Lewis (Planetary Group), Riku Salomaa (Music Finland), Stefan Schurter (deepdive) and Stacey Wilhelm (SXSW). Pictured before and after their epic win in the annual Dragon Boat Race is the host team from the Isle of Wight Festival, who blasted the competition aside with a time of 1:11.32 – a full nine seconds ahead of the second placed United (Live) Nations team. The Isle of Wight Festival’s commercial director, Caroline Giddings, says, “We’re delighted to have Stand Up to Cancer on board this year as our national charity partner to help raise funds and awareness for the incredible work they do. The Dragon Boat Race was the perfect way to launch this exciting new venture.”
If you or any of your ILMC colleagues have any notices or updates to include on the noticeboard, please contact the club secretary, Gordon Masson, via firstname.lastname@example.org
IQ Magazine May 2016
“If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what is the one song you would want with you, and why?” TOP SHOUT As an enthusiastic sailor, the chances are that my sound system would remain intact – in which case, I have hundreds of songs to choose from. If I´m left without an iPod, my memory also contains hundreds of songs. Should my brain degenerate to an extent where there is only one song left (eg because of mentally challenging substances that may be abundant on the island) – the last song I´ll sing is Stairway to Heaven. Georg Leitner, Georg Leitner Productions Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now. It tells you the truth about life: youth, age, love, loss, earth, sky, dreams, reality, fun, sorrow. Music. Andreas Moeller, Konzertbuero Schoneberg GmbH
Rescue Me! by Fontella Bass.
Keith Wood, Production Solutions
The Wonder of You by Elvis, because when I hear it I feel he is talking to me and I would not feel alone. Ed Grossman, Brackman Chopra LLP
Show Me The Way by Peter Frampton from Frampton Comes Alive; it must be the live version. It would help show me the way to get home, the way to survive, and show me the way to smile and laugh and enjoy being on my own in beautiful surroundings – with no people, no traffic, no Internet, no pollution, no politics. I’m off to find a desert island. Mike Donovan, MD Tour Accounting Ltd
Glider by Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band from the Spotlight Kid album. Beefheart kickstarted me into a life of music and Glider is maybe the most uplifting song he ever wrote. No matter what mood I’m in, Glider is guaranteed to make me smile and reconnect with all the pleasure of being alive. 4½ minutes of sublime perfection. Nick Hobbs, Charmenko
I would say Coldplay’s Yellow. I think about it whenever I see stars in the sky. My next choice would be Bruce Springsteen’s New York Serenade. He just paints an amazing picture and the intro is absolutely stunning.
Marty Diamond, Paradigm Agency
My choice of song has to be I Stand Alone by Al Kooper. David Enthoven, ie:music
Katrina and the Waves, Walking on Sunshine. Surf and sun – what more could a South African now living in Glasgow need?! John Langford, SEC Ltd
Skyline Pigeon by Elton John. I think it was on the flip side of the single Daniel. It is in my opinion one of his best but least known songs and I find it really uplifting. It speaks of freedom and escape. Seeking the opportunity to get out into the world and see and experience what life is all about. Check it out! Dick Tee, EnTeetainment Ltd
It would be Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin. This song is about looking (sailing) for someone special and once found there is no need to look any more (no more sailing). If I was shipwrecked I would look for someone special, a rescuer. This is one of my favourite karaoke songs, it is an easy pleasure for me to sing, and on a desert island there would be no one to annoy, so I could sing it over and over! Charlie Shun, Castaway Celebrity Castings
Muse’s Psycho as a constant reminder of the numerous people I escaped from in the first place. But I would absolutely want my wife to escape with me; and her favourite song is Vissi d’arte from Puccini’s opera Tosca. That’s it: I’d have everything I need. Corrado Canonici, World Concert Artists
I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher. It’s a great song with the Wrecking Crew musicians performing, including the great Hal Blaine on drums and Carol Kaye on bass. Arrangement by Harold Battiste. It hasn’t dated...well not to me anyway. Ed Bicknell, Damage Management
It would undoubtedly be Dignity by Deacon Blue. Not only my favourite song, but it would keep me positive about sailing away from the island, along the west coast to the next village or town! Guy Dunstan, NEC Group
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IQ Magazine May 2016