LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
RAISE A GLASS AND HAVE A LAUGH, HAVE A LAUGH OR TWO
The Unstoppable Steve Zapp Market Report: Germany The Plight of the Small Venue Travel and Transport Live Event Apps International Festival Forum 2016 ISSUE 67
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 67
Cover: Paint Fight, The Secret Garden Party © Giles Smith/Fanatic 2016
News and Developments 6 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months
New Bosses 2016
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 24 Techno Files Revealing the hottest new technology in live entertainment
Features 18 International Festival Forum London prepares for IFF 2016
20 New Bosses IQ’s ten future industry leaders step into the spotlight 26 The Unstoppable Steve Zapp One of the hardest working men in showbiz (behind the scenes) chalks up his 25th anniversary 38 Shiny Appy People Leading live music app developers reveal latest trends 43 Vorsprung Durch Musik German live music market report 60 Keeping the Lights On The international fight to secure music’s grass-roots venues
66 Rolling All Over the World The professionals who pave the way for artist and crew travel
Comments and Columns 14 The New Rights Reality for Festivals Adam Elfin makes the case for direct licensing festival live performances 15 The Complexities of Direct Licensing Maria Forte highlights some of the practical issues with direct licensing 16 Several Nights in Bangkok Dennis Argenzia examines the future of international touring in Asia 17 Safe and Sound Push Management’s Niko wants to communicate safety measures to audiences at shows
76 Members’ Noticeboard Keeping you posted on what ILMC members are up to
78 Your Shout “What is your most prized possession and how did you get it?”
IQ Magazine September 2016
Entrepreneurialism is alive and well Gordon Masson looks at the impressive calibre of this year’s crop of New Bosses
t the time of writing, Reeperbahn Festival and the International Festival Forum are just weeks away, which, for me, spells the end of the summer. How did that happen? It seems barely ten minutes ago that I was saying goodbye to the European summer of 2015. And yet, here we are. Maybe it has something to do with how hard we all work that time appears to be accelerating. Personally, I feel shortchanged. In the 1970s and 80s there was a popular BBC television programme in the UK called Tomorrow’s World and I distinctly remember them telling us that personal computers would help us all have more free time. Instead, I actually dread taking time off, because I come back to an inbox bursting with 2,874 unopened emails – and that’s just after a long weekend. Anyway, now that I’ve shown my age, let’s turn attention to the other end of the scale – the New Bosses 2016. This shortlist (see page 20) marks the ninth year of our New Bosses initiative and reading back over years gone by, it’s heartening to see the number of nominees who have actually fulfilled their promise. This year we have a smattering of young individuals who are effectively already bosses, including ‘brandtrepreneur’ Matt Thorne and artist managers Tobe Onwuka and Tommy Bruce – the latter of whom established Full Stop Management earlier this year with Jeffrey Azoff, a New Boss winner in 2015. So it’s not just policemen and doctors who are looking younger these days – it’s our industry leaders too. The children are our future, sure enough. Elsewhere in issue 67 we pay a visit to Germany (page 43) to find a live entertainment market in rude health, despite a stormy summer for some of the country’s biggest festivals. Talking of which, we also have the latest information about the International Festival Forum 2016 (page 18), for which I’m told
IQ Magazine September 2016
tickets are going fast – around 200 agents have already registered, so it’s now up to you festival organisers to take advantage of having all those elusive ladies and gentlemen all in the same room, in the same city, at the same time. One of those present will be ITB’s Steve Zapp, so if you’re coming to IFF, you can congratulate him in person for his 25 years in the business – a landmark we celebrate in style with his clients, friends and colleagues on page 24. And tying in nicely, we also have a feature on the various apps that festival promoters and others are using to improve their business and make that all-important connection with the fans. That essential reading can be found on page 38. Elsewhere in our September issue, we talk to campaigners fighting for the rights of small venues everywhere (page 60). The problems that dog the grass-roots scene can differ from territory to territory, but the unfortunate commonality is that the sector is under threat internationally. Thankfully, the hard work of bodies like Liveurope, VNPF and the Music Venues Trust is achieving success and their experiences could certainly benefit other venue organisations around the world. Also, in the first of a two-part transportation special (page 66), we find out about the expertise that is required to get personnel – artists and crew – speedily and safely from A to B to Z via Y and without stopping at K, against a background of ever-increasing red tape and tightening border controls. And finally, this month’s Your Shout is also a two-parter in which we asked how you obtained your most prized possession. So if you haven’t already shared your anecdote about finding the Ark of the Covenant in an abandoned flight case, we still have a spare slot or two in issue 68. By which time the summer will be but a distant memory, for us north of the equator…
Issue 67 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, September 2016
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In Tweets... JULY London-based Festicket raises an additional $6.3m (€5.7m) in funding, bringing total investment to $10m (€9m). MLK offers partial refunds to Rock am Ring ticketholders after severe storms force cancellation of final day. New government figures reveal how much the creative sector continues to outperform the British job market as a whole. Ticketmaster reportedly opens Zurich office as it plots entrance into Swiss market. As New York criminalises the use of ticket bots, The Ticket Factory’s Stuart Cain pleads for similar moves in the UK. LCD Soundsystem are confirmed to headline and curate BeachVibes, a new January event at Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Paul Dainty sells his Dainty Group business to Sydney-based ticketing, touring and data analytics firm TEG. Japanese videogame developer Bandai Namco branches out into live events with launch of European concert series. Lollapalooza Colombia is shelved with organisers blaming the late cancellation of an unnamed headliner. Indian event and film ticketing company BookMyShow raises over $81m (€73m) in funding, earmarked for enhancing data analytics, among other investments. UK-based start-up Crowdmix enters administration after burning through over £14m (€17m) in funding. Austrian showcase festival and conference Waves Vienna plugs budget black hole by raising over €18k on German crowdfunding site wemakeit. Matthias Müller, founder and president of Swiss festival Baloise Session, dies, aged 51, after a long illness (see page 9). Artists and managers launch Fan Fair Alliance anti-touting campaign in the UK. StubHub acquires ticket management and distribution software developer Ticket Utils. Sziget Festival’s head of international booking, Dan Panaitescu, is killed in a car accident (see page 9). Metal detectors will be installed at all AEG worldwide venues in the US by the end of the year, the company pledges.
@iq_mag Tragically Hip take a final bow
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson invests in British ‘secret show’ promoter Sofar Sounds. London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire reopens after six months of repairs. 90% of Canadians support prison terms for touts caught using ticket bots, according to research firm Insights West. “Healthiest festival season in living memory” for France as fans lead “cultural resistance” against terror (see page 8). Over 23m people visited a music festival in the Netherlands (population 17m) in 2015, as attendance grows to all-time high. Nearly 360,000 people sign a petition calling for a criminal case against organisers of the 2010 Love Parade festival in Germany. StubHub revenues increase 40% in Q2 2016, earning eBay $225m (€202m). Operators of venues W2 Poppodium, De Toonzaal and Willem II Fabriek in the Netherlands city of Den Bosch announce merger in effort to safeguard their future. Germany’s Reeperbahn Festival introduces a classical music component to its 2016 programme. Pandora reportedly turns down a $3.4bn (€3bn) takeover bid from Live Nation major shareholder, Liberty Media. Secret Garden Party becomes first British music festival to offer on-site pill testing. Germany suffers fourth attack in a week with bombing at Ansbach music festival. Vivendi pledges financial and marketing support for ten French music festivals.
Ticketmaster acquires Greek primary ticketer Tickethour, bolstering its presence in Europe. Music tourism rose 6% in Italy in 2015, with 6.1m tickets sold, says Assomusica report (see page 12). Jimmy Nederlander, long-serving chairman of Nederlander Organization, dies aged 94. Live Nation partners with Snapchat for ‘Live Stories’ at events including V Festival, Way Out West, Creamfields and Reading and Leeds festivals. Pandora plans to start pushing concert tickets to its listeners via Ticketfly. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino highlights Ticketmaster’s embrace of new distribution channels as key to Q2 2016 growth.
AUGUST One Direction reportedly turn down £1m (€1.2m) to endorse a prominent (but unnamed) secondary ticketing website. Secondary ticketing platform SeatGeek enters primary market through strategic partnership with TopTix. Selena Gomez launches fashion line based on stage outfits from her ongoing Revival Tour. New Zealand’s Rhythm and Vines teams with Eventbrite as its exclusive ticket provider. Amsterdam Dance Event and Eurosonic Noorderslag are among a number of
IQ Magazine September 2016
News events denied Dutch Performing Arts Fund subsidies for 2017-2020. UK promoter Robomagic takes first steps into recorded music market with Nova Twins EP release. German metal music festival Wacken bans rucksacks over terror fears. Creative industries added £454.5bn (€540.2bn) to UK’s economy from 20102015, government department reveals. Social start-up Crowdmix is sold to main investor, billionaire property tycoon Nick Candy. The O2 in London agrees pact with SignVideo to benefit hard-of-hearing customers. Artist manager David Enthoven passes away after a short illness, at the age of 72 (see page 9). Skype rolls out StubHub chatbot that ‘talks’ to users and recommends local concerts and events. Agencies and investors partner for $275m (€247m) Unison Fund, to consider buying SFX festivals. London-based promoter Eat Your Own Ears announces concert series marking 40th anniversary of Rough Trade. Audio manufacturer Flare Audio smashes £25k (€30k) funding goal for new Isolate ear protectors (see page 24). Portugal’s Andanças Dance Festival suffers massive car park fire. Live Nation partners with aviation specialist IdentoGo to trial airport-style fast lane at Watershed Festival in Washington. Music-focused virtual reality platform TheWaveVR secures $2.5m (€2.2m) seed funding, amid plans for ‘first VR rave.’ Less than a third of festivalgoers contribute over 50% of spending on festivals in
UK and US, according to Eventbrite. A hologram of the late Ronnie James Dio makes a surprise appearance at Wacken Open Air festival, thanks to L.A. developer Eyellusion. Viagogo alleges breach of contract by SFX Entertainment, as it plans to sue for $1.6m (€1.4m). A railing collapse at a Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa concert injures 42 people in New Jersey. Small live venues are to be protected from redevelopment thanks to new ruling by London’s Wandsworth Council. UK member of parliament Sharon Hodgson urges new culture secretary to act on secondary ticketing. At least 15 people are injured when a ceiling collapses at Oslo music venue, Sentrum Scene, during a Steve Aoki show. Deutsche Telekom reveals plans to live stream the Red Hot Chili Peppers gig at the Kraftwerk Berlin in 360 degrees. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is looking for a ‘night czar’ to oversee the capital’s night-time economy. Instagram unveils strategy to take on Snapchat with its Events channel, collating user-created video from concerts, live events and more. Japanese associations, festivals and artists back a Fan Fair Alliance-style antitouting campaign entitled #ResaleNo. Australian promoter Andrew McManus pleads guilty on a charge of perverting the course of justice in a case involving a suitcase containing AU$700,000 (€473,000) in cash. British production services specialist Star Events turns 40.
DICE secures a further $6m (€5m) in funding to win more fans for its fee-free ticketing platform. Warner Music Group owner, Len Blavatnik, invests a further $15m (€13m) in artist-ticketing and concert discovery platform Songkick. A number of grass-roots Chicago venues are ordered to pay $200,000 (€180,000) in “crippling” back taxes. Live Nation, Snoop Dogg, and Wiz Khalifa are sued over a railing collapse at a New Jersey concert. Kilimanjaro Live owner DEAG talks of further UK acquisition and expansion plans. Ethical tickets exchange operation, Twickets, partners with End of the Road Festival to launch ticket reissue and waiting-list service. Madison Square Garden Company revenues decline by 32% in its financial year ending June 2016, leading to a $59m (€53m) loss. All 17 Tragically Hip albums chart in Canada following the band’s farewell Man Machine Poem Tour. Sydney venues are to be exempted from NSW’s controversial lock-out laws after a supreme court ruling. Israel says it will introduce a dress code for performers at publicly subsidised live events after a performer appears on stage in a bikini top.
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IQ Magazine September 2016
Movers and Shakers Arnaud Meersseman has been appointed as the new managing director of Paris-based promoters Miala (see page 10). He was previously at Nous Productions, which is set to become a Live Nation subsidiary. Lee Charteris has been appointed president of the International Live Events Association – Middle East, and has stepped down as vice-president of operations at Flash Entertainment to pursue other projects. “The past eight years at Flash have been great, we have really built a brand for Abu Dhabi and the UAE to be proud of,” says Charteris. Warner Music Italy has appointed Clemente Zard as the new managing director of its promoter and booking business, Vivo Concerti. He was formerly MD of Saludo Italia, a production and promotion company in the musical and family entertainment business. Former Chugg Entertainment CEO, Matthew Lazarus-Hall, has launched his new company, Uncommon Cord Pty Ltd, a consultancy focused on creating experiential interaction between clients and consumers in the live event sector. ETC has appointed Enrico Nobile as European rigging sales manager, a new position to fuel the growth and development of the company’s rigging division in Europe. Nobile has been involved in the business since 1979 when he established the design and installation company Elettrosistemi. He will be based in Rome. PMY Group, one of Australia’s leading technology enhancement firms, has appointed Chris Charleson as chief financial officer. He previously held the same position at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium. Really Useful Theatres has named Rebecca Kane Burton as its new managing director. She has been vice-president and general manager of The O2 in London for the past four and a half years. Bram de Clerck has joined Robe Lighting s.r.o. as business development manager for touring, TV & live events. He previously worked for the likes of Phlippo Showlights, Luxillag and Controllux. Artist-ticketing and concert discovery service Songkick has added Nick Fishbaugh to its business development staff. Fishbaugh joins the company from Shazam, where he was senior director of global music partnerships. He will be based in Los Angeles. United Talent Agency has hired former Columbia Artists Management’s Mary Petro and Soroka Agency co-founder Ryan Soroka as agents in its New York office. Soroka’s roster includes Against the Current, Flor, Our Last Night, Hands Like Houses and David Garibaldi. Artist management company, Wildlife Entertainment, has named Emma Greengrass as its new managing director. Greengrass joined the music industry as a regional radio plugger at London Records, but more recently was the UK label head at Caroline International. Gary Prosser has been appointed as production manager and art director for the Music Venues Trust.
GOVT FUND BOOSTS FRENCH FESTIVALS France’s minister for culture, Audrey Azoulay, has praised “exceptional” ticket sales for the country’s music festivals this summer, the vast majority of which have seen attendances rise in spite of challenges posed by fear of terrorist attacks. Azoulay attributes the positive results to a strong police response, as well as the fund set-up by the French govern-
ment to help promoters with security costs, which industry association Prodiss estimates at about €7million. The culture minister claims that funding persuaded many festivals to reconsider cancellation. “We mobilised the public security forces and launched a support fund, [which] is still in credit. Many festivals have used this fund,” she says.
Main Square Festival in Arras, promoted by Live Nation France, was one of many events to sell out in 2016
Pill testing at Australian festivals this summer Anti-prohibition activist Will Tregoning says pill testing will be in force at Australian festivals this year, bringing the country into line with “at least ten” other countries. The harm-reduction advocate says pill testing will go ahead, despite the lack of backing from government bodies or the police. Tregoning believes drug checking and pill testing will most likely be introduced in the capital city, Canberra. Tregoning’s Unharm organisation, along with Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation president Alex Wodak and Canberran doctor David Caldicott, previously mooted pill testing in New South Wales, but were
told by police and the state government that they risked prosecution for drug supply and manslaughter, despite the fact that three people died after taking drugs at Stereosonic festival in NSW last November. “Canberra doesn’t have the biggest festival, but there’s an opportunity to prove this is a viable and effective thing that can really work,” Tregoning says. “All these things that people come up with about how we can’t possibly do this in Australia can easily be disproved by showing this can be done. Pill testing is being used in at least ten countries around the world,” he adds. “Absolutely we know it’s working.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
News DAVID ENTHOVEN: 1944-2016 Artist manager David Enthoven has died, five days after being diagnosed with kidney cancer. He was 72. Enthoven started in the business managing King Crimson in 1969 and also forged the careers of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. In the late 60s, he established record label and management firm, EG, with John Gaydon, later signing T. Rex, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Roxy Music. In 1992, Enthoven and Clark set-up ie:music and the duo were instrumental in guiding the solo career of Robbie Williams, as well as Sia, Lily Allen, Ladyhawke, Bryan Ferry and Will Young.
MATTHIAS MÜLLER: 1964-2016 Matthias Müller, founder and president of Swiss festival Baloise Session, has died aged 51 after a long illness.
“This is such a tragic loss,” says Williams’ agent Ian Huffam at X-ray Touring. “Not just for those who worked in music, but to the many who benefited from David’s wisdom, wise words and decency in wider life. “He was a giant man, freely sharing his huge experience with all the artists he worked with over the years. A great big dollop of humour was always used as opposed to the usual heavyhanded behaviour – a lesson to us all.” Enthoven and Clark were jointly awarded the Most Strokeable Manager award at ILMC’s Arthur Awards in 2005. They also appeared as special guests during the ILMC Breakfast Meeting at the same edition of the conference. Session Basel CEO Beatrice Stirnimann – who has, with artist liaison Kerstin Elgass, booked the festival for the past two years – says the festival will continue “according to [Müller’s] wishes, as we have done for the last 30 years.
Müller founded the event – then known as Rheinknie Session – in 1986, as a jazz, blues and gospel festival. A rebranding to AVO Session (after sponsor AVO Cigars) in the late 90s, and then later still to Baloise Session, and a widening of scope to include international rock, pop and soul acts followed, with acts such as Ray Charles, James Brown, Deep Purple, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and Iggy Pop playing the Messe Basel between 1999 and 2015.
“Matthias has left us a big and beautiful legacy that we will cultivate and develop in his honour in the spirit of responsibility and respect. We are sure he is looking down at us at the side of some of his favourite musicians, such as Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis and Ray Charles.”
DAN PANAITESCU: 1955-2016
event to a festival widely considered amongst Europe’s best.
Dan Panaitescu, head of international booking at Sziget Festival promoter Sziget Cultural Management, was killed in a car crash on 15 July.
In a statement, Sziget said its team were “speechless” at the news. “Dan was the one who booked all those great artists to all of our festivals,” adding that Sziget “can thank him for the Best Line-Up award at the European Festival Awards” in January.
Panaitescu trained as an economist, before becoming a roadie and later tour manager for Hungarian artists. A long-time ILMC member, he also served as chief booker for Sziget sister events Volt, Balaton Sound and Strand Fesztivál. Panaitescu was a hugely popular figure in the international live music family. He was with Sziget from its outset in 1993 and was instrumental in transforming it from a small, Hungarian
IQ Magazine September 2016
Müller is survived by his wife, Claudia, and two sons, Roman and Mike.
Fruzsina Szép, Lollapalooza Berlin festival director, says, “Working with Dan for so many years at Sziget, I realised that he was always passionate about his work for the European festival scene. He was a personality that nobody can ever forget. His place in the international festival family will be there forever.”
Miala Makes Meersseman Move
Deep-pocketed, French, live music powerhouse, Fimalac, has appointed Arnaud Meersseman as the managing director of its promoter business, Miala (founded by Antoine Kraft). Earlier this year, Meersseman left Nous Productions, which has since announced that Live Nation will take
over ownership from Warner Music in October. Meersseman’s new employer is aggressively increasing its stake in the live music sector. Fimalac’s €2.6billion investment vehicle includes the 3S Entertainment division, which already owns ten Zenith venues throughout France, as well as 35 casinos and a number of clubs, the jewel of which is Faust Nightclub on the banks of the Seine. Other Parisian venues include the 2,800-capacity Salle Pleyel, the new Flow (700-cap) and Le Petit Comedia (300) venues, and five theatres. The company is also behind the new €600million, 82,000-cap Grand Stade for the French rugby federation
in the capital, which will be the largest indoor venue in Europe when it opens in 2019. On the promoting side, Fimalac owns ten promoters including Gilbert Coullier Productions, TS3, Auguri Productions, Encore Productions, Anteprima and Miala. Meersseman’s remit at Miala, which specialises in indie and electronic acts, is to grow the roster of international acts, as well as export French artists to other territories. “It’s an exciting move,” he tells IQ. “Up until now, Miala has been 100% centred on the French market and artists, but now they want to open up to international acts, which is why they’ve turned to me.” Meersseman promoted numerous inter-
national acts for Nous in his sixand-a-half years at the company and was seriously injured in the attack on Le Bataclan during the Eagles of Death Metal gig last November. In addition to promoting around 400 concerts annually, Miala recently bought the BIG Festival in Biarritz (2016 featured Pharrell, The Kills, Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy) and also owns two other electronic events – Platja in Argeles and Kolorz in Carpentras. “We have a strategy for festival creation and acquisition, so on top of the existing 25 staff that Miala has, I’ll be bringing in some new people who are already familiar with international booking,” says Meersseman.
AUSTRIAN FESTIVAL BIZ REACHING ‘SATURATION POINT’ Austria’s festival market is reaching saturation point, a leading music industry figure has claimed, as news emerges of the cancellation of a third high-profile event in as many months. The 2016 editions of Nuke Festival, in Graz, and One Drop Festival and Jazz Fest, both in Wiesen – all promoted by Vienna-based Arcadia Live – were called off due to poor ticket sales, in what Music Austria’s Rainer Praschak calls a symptom of a market overwhelmed by “too many festivals.” Speaking to IQ, Praschak stops short of calling the current situation unsustainable, but notes that the Austrian festival business is in a period of transition following the entry into the market of a number of new promoters. “There was only one really big festival promoter [Skalar] for quite some time,” he explains, “but in the past
few years there has been a big change...[resulting in] too many festivals with too many artists.” Arcadia Live, a joint venture between FKP Scorpio, Chimperator Live, Kikis Kleiner Tourneeservice and Four Artists Booking Agentur, has exclusive use of the historic 8,000-capacity Wiesen festival site. In addition to Nuke and the long-running Jazz Fest, the company earlier this year unveiled a raft of new events for 2016, including genre festivals One Drop (reggae), HipHop Open Austria (rap), Out of the Woods (indie/alternative) and Nu Forms (drum and bass) – all of which, with the exception of One Drop, went ahead. Arcadia’s head of booking, Silvio Huber, says 2016 was an “interesting year” for festivals in Austria, with one in particular “doing really well; better than expected,” and others struggling.
Austrian festivals traditionally relied on tourists from eastern and central European countries, which invariably lacked their own world-class events. This influx of foreign visitors, Praschak explains, has slowed in recent years, with more choosing to visit home-grown festivals such as Sziget in Hungary, Exit in Serbia, InMusic in Croatia and Positivus in Latvia. Huber agrees: “They’ve grown a good festival scene,” he says, observing that festival traffic is now increasingly heading in the opposite direction, with Austrians
taking advantage of strong line-ups in countries where “everything is cheaper” than at home. However, he’s reluctant to attribute the cancellations solely to a glut of festivals, saying instead it’s going to “take some time” to establish Arcadia Live’s new festival offering in an increasingly competitive marketplace. “Booking a festival is an endless development and adventure,” he says. “Does any booker ever have a point where they say a festival is so perfect they won’t change it for another ten years?”
The Nu Forms Festival enjoyed a successful 2016 edition
IQ Magazine September 2016
BUSY BODIES News fr om live music associations ar ound the world
Italian Business Boosted by Tourists
A report commissioned by Italian industry group Assomusica reveals a 6% increase in the number of music tourists last year, meaning more people are travelling from another part of the country to attend a concert or festival than ever before. Of the 6.1 million concert tickets sold in 2015, 31.4% were bought by people from outside the region
in which the event was held. Indeed, many attendees travelled more than 200km in order to see their favourite artists, with 2.7% coming from other countries. According to Assomusica, the numbers come amid “a wave of optimism for the variety of musical events for the 2016 summer season: whether this be rock, with Bruce Springs-
UK Music Prepares for Brexit Process Despite the horror of many in the UK music industry at Britain’s decision to exit the European Union, trade body UK Music immediately reacted by gathering constituent members together to begin formulating a strategy for the process. Within one business day of the shock result, UK Music established a Brexit working group, involving members from the live, recorded and publishing sides of music, as well as key industry associations and collection societies. The group has produced a paper describing the key threats and opportunities that the music business will face, and has initiated talks with the government about safeguarding the industry. “We’ve told government we want an industrial strategy for the creative industries – just as they will formulate one for the country as a whole,” states UK Music CEO Jo Dipple. “Lots of government departments
are examining what Brexit means and what kind of trading arrangements we’ll have with the European markets, as well as other markets outside Europe.” Dipple’s organisation has already received support from Confederation of British Industry director general Carolyn Fairbairn, while former Intellectual Property Office chief exec John Alty has been appointed acting director general of trade policy in the new Department of International Trade – an appointment Dipple says is positive for the creative industries. “We’re determined that the UK music industry should not suffer, so we’re working hard to protect its interests, as well as capitalise on the potential opportunities that might arise,” adds Dipple. “The challenge will be that all the creative industries come up with similar requests to government so that they can deliver something meaningful to us.”
teen returning to San Siro Stadium in Milan and David Gilmour to Pompeii; or classical music, with major events like the Puccini Festival of Torre del Lago and the Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro.” Assomusica president, Vincenzo Spera, comments, “We’re seeing growth in tourism related to music, in-line with a greater number of con-
certs and performances.” He says that the sector last year generated close to €640million in turnover. Andrea Cortelazzi, head of marketing at tour operator Sipario Musicale, echoes Spera’s remarks, adding, “There’s very strong demand for this segment of the market. Demand is constantly growing.” The association’s full report will be published later this year.
New Rigging Apprenticeship trialled in the UK The N ational R igging Advisory Group is assessing a new apprenticeship scheme that it is hoped can boost the number of trained riggers available to the understaffed live events industry. Earlier this summer, six trainees joined riggers from some of the industry’s biggest names, including Blackout, UK Rigging, RTM Rigging, Production Services Ireland and the NEC Group, to put the Trailblazer rigging apprenticeship through its paces. The trial took place at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, as part of the UK government’s scheme to create three million new apprentices by 2020. The hope is that the Trailblazer programme will provide an influx of qualified personnel for an ever-expanding live industry with a dearth of riggers.
Apprentices will follow on-the-job training accompanied by, among other things, certificated courses and two week-long residentials. Successful candidates will obtain a level-3 national vocational qualification. Trainee volunteers from Blackout and the NEC Group undertook a test rigging installation at the arena, observed by assessors who marked them against six criteria: general health and safety; work methods; rigging skills and techniques; working at height; teamwork; and communication and behaviours. Paul Rowlands, rigging development manager for the NEC Group, says: “The [trial] day provided us with some very insightful feedback that can be used when modifying the final assessment product. This is a big move for the industry, so ensuring the right assessment methods are implemented is paramount to its success.”
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IQ Magazine September 2016
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world THE ILLS (SK)
Agent: Tatiana Lehocká Real Something Martin Krajčír (guitar), Ľuboš Hodás (drums), Peter Berák (bass) and Miro Luky (guitar) have been performing as The Ills since 2008 when the four friends picked up some instruments during a break from a gaming session on PlayStation. It worked and The Ills soon became a regular band. Already making a name for themselves at various showcase festivals, the band’s live performances are electric, with their musical skills fostering an intense atmosphere thanks to punk attitude and almost hardcore drive. With two guitars, bass, drums and no vocals, The Ills 485C (UK) Aldous RH (UK) Alex L’Estrange (AU) Alpines (UK) ArA (UK) AREA11 (UK) Azusena (UK) Bad Sounds (UK) Bryan Ferry (UK) Cheena (US) DBFC (FR) Dej Loaf (US) Dreem Teem (UK) Drugdealer (US) Father (US) Fazerdaze (NZ) GILA (US) Glen Matlock (UK) Gutxi Bibang (ES) Hattie Briggs (UK) Island (UK) Jacques Greene (CA) Jah Wobble (UK) Jarbird (UK) Joe Purdy (US) Joel Culpepper (UK) Kenny G (US) Klangstof (NL) Kllo (AUS) Kwamz & Flava (UK) Kyiki (UK) La Roux (UK) Lou Rhodes (UK) Luxury Death (UK)
have played at various places from small pubs and cellars through art galleries and clubs to bigger stages at festivals such as Pohoda, Colours of Ostrava, Waves Bratislava, Wilsonic, Creepy Teepee and Rock For People. In March 2016, they toured with Japanese band Tricot and a month later released their fourth album, Ornamental or Mental, to impressive critical acclaim.
Jack Cox, X-ray Touring Will Church, ATC Live Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Claire Reilly, Primary Talent Serena Parsons, Primary Talent Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent Matt Bates, Primary Talent Lucy Dickins, ITB Roxana Dumoulin, ATC Live Jack Cox, X-ray Touring Steve Strange/Josh Javor, X-ray Touring Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Will Church, ATC Live Steve Strange/Josh Javor, X-ray Touring Chris Meredith, ATC Live Nick Reddick, Primary Talent Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Phyllis Belezos, ITB Claire Reilly, Primary Talent Naomi Palmer, Earth Agency Serena Parsons, Primary Talent Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Steve Zapp, ITB Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Neil Warnock, UTA Liam Keightley, ITB Jack Cox, X-ray Touring Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Claire Reilly, Primary Talent Clementine Bunel/Cecile Communal, ATC Live Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring
Agents: Steve Strange and Josh Javor X-ray Touring Toronto quartet MAGIC! scored one of 2013’s smash hits with debut single Rude, holding the No.1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 for six weeks, and selling more than 10 million copies globally, while the hit’s video has near to a billion VEVO views. “When Rude got big, my
LVL UP (US) Mammút (IS) Mars Moniz (UK) mewithoutYou (US) Micah P. Hinson (US) Middle Kids (AU) Mist (UK) Moses (UK) Palace (UK) Pavo Pavo (US) Pink Oculus (NL) Pouya (US) Prophets of Rage (US) Pumablue (UK) PVC (UK) RedFaces (UK) Rosborough (IE) Sam Lee (UK) Scarlet (UK) Sigrid (NO) Skott (DK) So Below (NZ) Still Parade (DE) Swifta Beater (UK) Tacocat ((US)) The King’s Parade (UK) The Pale White (UK) The Rifles (UK) The Smashing Pumpkins (US) TOKiMONSTA (US) Tommy Cash (EE) Topaz Jones (US) TWRK (UK) Weirdo (UK)
thought was what do we do with this?” says lead vocalist Nasri. “We used its success to get us around the world a few times and turn those 350 million streams into a fan base.” With new album, Primary Colours, recently released, Nasri’s goal is simple. “I want people to have fun at our shows,” he says. “I want people to be with us. I want them to move their bodies and have fun.”
Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Clementine Bunel/Cecile Communal, ATC Live Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Olivia Sime, ITB Rob Gibbs, Live It Out Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Steve Strange/Josh Javor, X-ray Touring Claire Reilly, Primary Talent Clementine Bunel/Cecile Communal, ATC Live Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring Rod MacSween, ITB Claire Reilly, Primary Talent Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Ben Winchester, Primary Talent Jack Cox, X-ray Touring Clementine Bunel/Cecile Communal, ATC Live Steve Backman, Primary Talent Oliver Ward, UTA Ed Thompson, UTA Nick Reddick, Primary Talent Rob Gibbs, Live It Out Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Phyllis Belezos, ITB Matt Bates, Primary Talent Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Rod MacSween ITB Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Chris Smyth, Primary Talent Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Paul McQueen, Primary Talent Matt Bates, Primary Talent
Has your agency signed the year’s hottest new act? Email email@example.com to be considered for the next issue…
IQ Magazine September 2016
The New Rights Reality for Festivals Adam Elfin of PACE Rights Management in London puts the case for direct licensing bringing about a reduction in the fees imposed by PROs when licensing festival live performances.
ithout songwriters, the live music industry does not exist. Fans paying to see the songs they love being performed by their favourite musicians, provides the income that everyone reading this article has built their livelihoods on. So it’s only right and proper that songwriters are also able to earn a living from the exploitation of their work and talents. The established remuneration mechanism for songwriters (and their publishers) involves signing public performance rights to the relevant performing rights organisation (PRO). The PROs then license the rights to users (in this case festivals), these license fees are used to pay royalties to songwriters and publishers. The various PROs have reciprocal rights agreements (RRAs) with each other, so that international performances can also be licensed, and songwriters paid; a simple and logical process in operation for over 100 years. However, over time, PROs have become monopolistic; large opaque organisations lacking meaningful oversight, seemingly riddled with a self-serving and protectionist culture, having become hypersensitive to criticism, heavy-handed in approach, and dismissive of requests for transparency or progressiveness. Many feel that they have lost sight of the very reason they exist, i.e. to serve the best interests of their writers and publishers. Progressively a deep unhappiness with the established PRO system has developed amongst both PRO members and rights users. With regards to licensing live public performance for festivals, it’s a legal requirement for events to license all the rights they ‘use.’ If a festival doesn’t have a licence for all of these rights, they will be breaking the local copyright law. Feedback regarding rights deals that festivals have done with their PROs indicates that they have agreed to pay the PRO a certain amount of money, perhaps based on a percentage of ticket income, but irrespective of the number of rights that the PRO can license. So when this number of rights reduces, as a result of reassignment and direct licensing for instance, the PRO seems to be trying to force the festival to pay the total amount of money, irrespective of how many rights they can actually license. As shockingly stated by one PRO: “Under the terms of [our] tariff, it only requires the performance of one [PRO] controlled work at a festival for the tariff to apply.” The present formula being used for direct licensing rights to festivals is to take the tariff rate and apply that over the artist fee. This is to reflect that the bigger the artist, the greater the value of the live public performance rights they deliver. Some
may argue that the public is not buying tickets for individual artists or that all artists in a festival situation are equal. But we all know that is not reality. That if a festival had no recognised headliners, and only ‘featured’ artists who would normally only appear as openers on the smallest stage, then attendance would substantially decrease, as would the value of the live rights. To reflect the value of live rights in a festival situation, using the measure of the fee paid to the performer is a straightforward, easily calculated and transparent system.
“Many feel that [performing rights organisations] have lost sight of the very reason they exist, i.e. to serve the best interests of their writers and publishers.” There have been some suggestions made as to how festivals can adjust to the new direct licensing reality. However, it must be remembered, that the performers might not be the writers of some of the works they perform, and therefore can’t agree terms on their behalf. Equally, publishers are stakeholders, and the performing artist won’t be able to agree licence terms on their behalf either. The solution is for an inclusive and transparent forum, involving all the stakeholders, to discuss and create a new standard practice for licensing live public performance rights to festivals. The simplest, most straightforward, and transparent solution would be for the deals between festivals and PROs to be renegotiated, so that the festival pays no more than their present tariff rate, and is also enabled to deduct the amounts they have paid for direct licensing from the fee they pay to the PRO. This would ensure that: 1. Festivals do not have to budget an increased proportion of their income for live public performance rights licence fees. 2. Direct licensing happens in an understandable, straightforward and relaxed way. 3. The PROs continue to license the majority of the works performed, fulfilling their requirement to collectively license. As direct licensing becomes an ever more standard part of our industry, it would seem advisable for festivals negotiating deals with their PROs in the future, that the likelihood of direct licensing applications be taken into account.
IQ Magazine September 2016
The Complexities of Direct Licensing Maria Forte offers consultancy and management skills to artists, writers and music-related businesses. Specialising in rights management, she highlights some of the practical issues with direct licensing.
y initial thoughts in regard to direct licensing were What a good idea! But looking into it and working out the mechanics casts a rather different light on the matter. At face value, the prospect looks simple: an artist, who writes their own material, serves notice on the PRS to exclude the works on their set list. This could be for any number of songs and territories. The artist then directly licenses the concert to the promoter of the day. Seems easy enough, but being involved at a detailed level in the process, I quickly realised how much more complex it was in practice. Additionally, applying this to festivals fragments the process even further, with multiple bands over multiple stages where most will be licensed through the usual established channels.
“Promoters need to earn their crust, much like any of us – but this really needs to happen with less opacity and this effective tax (of either artist or writer/publisher) needs to stop.” Direct licensing encounters so many questions and ‘What ifs.’ Firstly, the set list needs to be disclosed in order to exclude the titles, or a subset of songs that might cover all sets in all dates in territories. (The artists I worked with did not want to disclose tour dates ahead of their announcement to their fan base, nor did they wish to disclose their intended set list). A writer’s music publisher needs to reassign their publisher’s share as well, however in some cases, publishing agreements actually stipulate any writer reassignment reverts to them and not back to the writer, so a further step has to happen to allow a writer to direct license. Then you have questions like: What if there is an outstanding advance with the publisher? Who is going to make the royalty calculations back to them? Will they even want to participate in the process? What is the local performance royalty rate applied in each territory and will a discount apply? What is the main versus support split? What does pro rata really mean? What if the support acts do not want to directly license? What if they cannot (or would not be
IQ Magazine September 2016
released to do so)? What if the artist wants to perform a cover? (Exclusion needs to be total and not partial, and who is going to tell them they can’t?) What if the artist wants to change their set list during the tour? Once on the road, it is too late to change documentation, since the process to direct license is a legal one that is governed by a writer’s society membership agreement. I work closely with the management of a major touring artist (who writes their own songs). Having worked with the PRS to ‘audit’ past tours and now the current tour, we can see the varied picture of the real-time licensing in territories around the world. Interestingly, the industry debate so far seems to have focused very much on the copyright societies, whereas sights should be set on the promoter and then the local societies. Not all promoters fall into the same boat, but let’s not forget: the live performance income flow starts with them. The promoter licenses the show and pays the local society. It is a promoter that receives the discount on the tariff applied to the relevant show box office. Why do some not disclose these discounts to the artist? Why is it that some are still allocating full published tariffs in a settlement, knowing full well that the local society will license to them at a reduced tariff? Why are some under-declaring box office figures to local societies – thus reducing payments to local societies/writers/publishers? There should not be an issue with promoters receiving a discounted tariff as long as this is declared to the artist and the correct box office figures declared to the local society. Promoters need to earn their crust, much like any of us – but this really needs to happen with less opacity and this effective tax (of either artist or writer/publisher) needs to stop. What can we do to mitigate these issues? We need to reinforce the marketplace with greater transparency, with all parties engaging in this process. Riders need to include the requirement that any discounts applied must be passed through to the artist. Promoters should supply invoices received from the local society to the artists’ managements, in this way there can be certainty that the correct box office figure and % tariff has been applied. Territory rates need to be shared between societies and their memberships. Box office settlement information needs to be shared with the PRS to give them the data they need to reconcile. There needs to be a more cohesive working relationship in this area between artists’ managements, promoters, publishers and societies to create much better efficiencies.
Several Nights in Bangkok Dennis Argenzia, vice president of Live Nation’s Asia Tour Division looks at the future of international touring in the Asian market.
s a teenager growing up on the northeast coast of the US, music was my everything. It was the passion and fabric of my life, something I not only consumed but meticulously analysed. So it was no surprise that, years later, a particularly unfulfilling post-university job would trigger my relocation to the west coast’s mecca of music: Los Angeles. In LA, my lack of knowledge about music as an industry, and my equally empty industry contact list, did not stop me from talking my way into a prized internship at A&M Records, followed by my first gig at EMI/Capitol Records, and then a job on the live side of the business under Bill Silva at House of Blues Concerts/Hewitt/Silva.
“Asia is an emerging market with a population that will continue to see an increase in disposable income and a related interest in entertainment and technology.” It was during the HOB years that I discovered my second passion: a 3-week holiday in Thailand opened my eyes to the wonderful world of travel. Exploring other countries, learning about different cultures, getting mundane things done (or not done!) on foreign soil – these still fascinate me. My love of travel is the reason why, toward the end of 2009, I once again pulled myself out of a state of comfort to pursue life abroad, somewhere in Asia. That was almost 7 years ago. Since then, I’ve helped produce shows and tours in Japan, Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia – both as an independent contractor and as a company man. In my current position as vice president of Live Nation’s Asia Tour division, I focus on producing western tours/events and developing touring platforms in the region, where some of my greatest challenges lie in bridging western expectations with cultural, operational or even political differences in each country. What works and translates well in the West, isn’t necessarily desired, popular or appropriate in the East! The Asian market, which is so often treated as a homogenous entity, can have radically different music tastes from country to country: a massive hit in the Philippines could sink in Singapore or South Korea, and vice versa. This
makes touring significantly more challenging in comparison to North America or Europe, especially when an “Asia tour” needs to consists of more than just Japan and Singapore! Essentially, there are three fundamental challenges: (1) Artists want to be paid more to come to Asia vs North America or Europe due to increased expenses for freight and flights; (2) Despite the desire for higher artist fees across the board, many artists simply cannot command the same ticket value across the entire region; and (3) Promoters also shoulder increased expenses such as world-class sound, stage, lights, venues, etc, in comparison to western counterparts. In addition to these competing financial requirements, there are cultural and political issues that cannot be ignored if an artist wants to play in a particular country. These should not be taken lightly. Awareness of political hot button topics and acceptable social norms as well as local holidays is crucial. You don’t want to play China during Spring Festival or Jakarta during Ramadan! As a result of these market differences, Live Nation espouses a ‘boots on the ground’ philosophy where we self-promote our shows through nine regional offices that employ the best on-the-ground, in-market promoters. Despite all these challenges, Asia is an emerging market with a population that will continue to see an increase in disposable income and a related interest in entertainment and technology. The region has become a proven and viable touring route with the development of standalone Asia tours (such as the recent ones for Madonna, Maroon 5, Bon Jovi, Imagine Dragons, etc.) and by offering a high level of service through continuity of production, safety and transparency. We are also starting to see more Asian dates linked to an Australian tour. With Perth less than 5 hours from Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, travel time is shorter than flying from Singapore to Japan! I think the [sustainable] future of the live entertainment business in Asia will depend heavily on a strong mixture of domestic and international talent. In addition, I believe a venue network that can grow emerging talent from clubs to theatres to arenas to stadiums, is essential, as some countries have a crippling shortage of venues and/or availability. In conjunction with this, having a universal streamlined ticketing system in place would help add a layer of efficiency and transparency to the region. Finally, as the Asian market continues to develop, I see sponsorship playing a less crucial role in determining tour viability.
IQ Magazine September 2016
Safe and Sound Niko of Push Management in London emphasises the importance of making audiences aware of emergency exits and safety measures when attending shows.
ollowing the recent terror attacks around the world, all those involved with events in public spaces will obviously have increasing safety concerns. Hopefully, most organisers already have emergency measures in place for their employees, but what about public protection in such environments? I manage musicians and live shows, with musicians and crew being my initial concern, followed by the paying public, as we have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which to enjoy the show. Venues have emergency systems for live shows with promoters being assured that staff are capable of instigating all necessary precautions. One of our tour manager’s first site jobs is to run through the security set-up and emergency measures with local and venue reps, then the same with band and crew. At that point, systems and the necessary knowledge is there hopefully to be effectively applied if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, we cannot communicate these measures to the audiences. I contemplated running through security measures with the public before the show, but this is a major buzz kill for what should be a time of enjoyable escape and also it’s logistically
ineffective. This made me think of flying, a crazy experience most of us take for granted. We speed through the air at tens of thousands of feet above the ground, inside a metal cylinder – hardly batting an eyelid. Mostly we pay no attention as the cabin crew run us through safety measures before take-off. But, we probably all know what to do in the case of crash landing: oxygen masks on first, help those around us, brace… we’ve probably even glanced through the emergency leaflet in the seat pockets… So why don’t we have something like this for the far less complicated process of people attending live music events? People just need to know where the exits are and emergency numbers. Shouldn’t this information be on the back of every ticket or on a leaflet handed out upon entrance to the venue? I’m not absolutely sure, but just an awareness of safety measures would seem to be a good start. Ultimately, by their very nature, terror attacks, natural disasters and freak accidents will continue to occur beyond our control. It would be wrong to live in a constant state of fear, but having been told what to do in that sort of situation could just be enough to help people survive.
28-29 September 2016 • London • iff.rocks
With an increase in showcases, partner agencies and delegates, White out with colour IQ takes a look at just what IFF 2016 has in store. In just a few weeks, the doors will open for the second edition of the International Festival Forum (IFF) – the invitation-only event that provides a focused platform for festival bookers and booking agents, held in early autumn just as booking begins in earnest for the 2017 festival season. A daughter event to ILMC, IFF‘s inaugural edition sold out five weeks in advance and welcomed 400 professionals to its mix of conference sessions, workshops, agency Q&As and showcases featuring future festival favourites. This year, IFF is expecting 200 agents and 300 festival professionals through the doors, having increased the number of showcases and partner agencies (to now include CAA and WME). So what separates IFF from other industry events during the busyoutautumn period? “The conference programming is all based White
around bringing agents and festivals together at the right time of the year,” says Ruud Berends, co-founder of the event. “With all of the agents from each of our ten partner agencies turning up to IFF, the festival bookers know that they’ll get the best opportunity to network and build their line-ups for the following year.” Alongside IFF’s partner agencies, the event is supported by almost every major festival association: Yourope, De Concert!, the International Jazz Festival Organisation and IFEA Europe. “Yourope is excited 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.”
The Delegates Festivals attending IFF 2016 include: 2000 Trees, ARTmania Festival, Baloise Session, Bažant Pohoda, Bergenfest, Best Kept Secret, Bråvalla Festival, Chiemsee Summer, Clockenflap, Colours of Ostrava, Dour Festival, Down The Rabbit Hole, Ejekt, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Festival Rock oz’Arenes, FM4 Frequency, Glastonbury Festival, Hurricane Festival, Iceland Airwaves, Jazz Fest-Wien, Kendal Calling, Le Guess Who?, Lollapalooza, Lowlands Festival, M4Music, Mad Cool Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz, Nova Rock Festival, OpenAir St. Gallen, Oppikoppi, Paléo Festival Nyon, Positivus Festival, Provinssi Rock, Pukkelpop, Reeperbahn Festival, Rock am Ring, Rock Werchter, Roskilde Festival, Slottsfjell, Sonisphere Festival, Southside Festival, Wacken Open Air, and Y Not Festival.
IQ Magazine September 2016
The Conference While IFF’s showcases take place during the afternoon and evening, the morning conference programme focuses on the intersection of the agency and festival worlds. Sessions include: The IFF Keynote: The Lieberbergs. Marek and André Lieberberg take the stage for their first joint keynote interview to discuss this year’s edition of the twin Rock am Ring/Rock im Park festivals, which was undoubtedly their most challenging yet. They will also reveal what life is like running the new Live Nation GSA office. The Therapy Session. An annual sparring match between festival bookers and agents, moderated by Coda’s Cris Hearn, as he examines how working relationships between festivals and agencies could be improved. Contracts & Licensing: A Fair Deal? Chaired by Glastonbury’s Ben Challis, the session discusses a summer affected by bad weather, cancellations and performance licensing issues.
Agent & Festival Roulette. Four agents and four festivals spin IFF’s Wheel of Fortune in order to randomly select anonymously submitted questions… what could possibly go wrong?! The Artists: View from the Stage. Prior to their IFF showcase performances, a panel of future headliners discuss what sets a festival apart, from an artist’s point of view, and how things could improve. The Engagement Session. Tech pioneers showcase their industry-changing solutions first-hand, with quick-fire presentations from Shazam, Fanzone, Intellitix, Fantoad, Stikit, Dot Tickets and more. Turkey 2016: Presentation and drinks reception. The Turkish Promoters Association give an update and host some drinks after a difficult year.
The Showcases In-between the IFF Opening Party on Tuesday 27 September and the final showcase on Thursday 29 September, IFF will present 34 of the best new agency signings, all of whom are available for the 2017 season. And with only one artist performing at once, delegates can catch the entire line-up. Artists confirmed to perform so far include Slaves, Raye, Paradisia, Jake Isaac, Sarah Walk, Muna, Skye and Ross, Youngr, Skinny Living, Dead!, Shame, Bossy Love, Fatherson, Kelly Lee Owens, Tiggs Da Author, Lady Leshurr, The Dunwells, Lido, and Kiko Bun. The full showcase schedule is available at www.iff.rocks/artists
An IFF registration includes • Access to all sessions, showcases and cocktail hours. • Complimentary lunches, dinners and refreshments. • An annual subscription to IQ Magazine (worth £75).
• A copy of the IFF Conference Guide (featuring contact information for all delegates and the available rosters of each agency for the 2017 festival season).
IFF is an invitation-only event – to receive your registration link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IQ Magazine September 2016
New Bosses 2016
With nine years of IQ’s New Bosses now under our belt, we’ve watched as many of our past winners actually became bosses - and this year’s crop already includes company leaders. As usual, it has been a competitive process, but our ten winners represent a good spread of professionals and nationalities, proving that the future of the international business is in good hands.
Gordon Masson Editor – IQ Magazine
Andrej Malogajski | Switzerland Booking director | Pleasure Productions Age 30 Born and raised in Bern, Switzerland, Andrej began organising hip-hop gigs at the tender age of 16. He graduated with a degree in Culture & Arts Management at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art, and since 2008 has been working as a booking agent at Pleasure Productions. Today, Andrej is responsible for all of the company’s indoor shows and is a booker for a number of festivals.
What is the biggest challenge you face working in Switzerland? It’s always a challenge to not affect the exclusivities of other shows. It’s also hard to keep the overview for international agents: Does a show in the French part of Switzerland affect the German part? Does the south of Germany affect Zürich? Does an indoor show in Bern affect a festival in the Italian region? What’s the best thing about your job? There are so many good people and (good) weirdos around and I’m always looking forward to meeting them. And needless to say, those moments when you are looking at a huge crowd, smiling, singing etc in front of the stage, and you know that you are one of the people that made it possible.
What are you currently working on? We have started the booking for our three festivals: Openair Frauenfeld, Open Air Lumnezia and Heitere Open Air Zofingen. I love this stage of booking as it’s super exciting to discuss desired acts and potential line-ups. As a New Boss, what would you like to implement to improve the live music business? More transparency. I was able to build-up strong relationships with a few agents and other partners and it’s crazy how much time you can save if you can trust them and if you can ‘play with open cards.’
New Bosses 2016
Grace O’Grady | UK | Marketing partnerships executive | Academy Music Group Age 24 Grace was a Street Team volunteer at O2 Academy Bournemouth while studying for her advertising and marketing degree at university. She then held part-time roles at the venue and assisted the marketing manager. After she graduated, Grace landed the role of promotions manager at the venue, managing the street team that she had worked for just a year before. In 2014, she transferred to O2 Academy Oxford and the following year, joined Academy Music Group. What’s the best thing about your job? Everyone’s thoughts and opinions are listened to, considered and always valued. The scope of the role is really varied so there is room for development, growth and opportunity, which is incredibly valuable. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at AMG? Teamwork and collaboration, from each department within head office to each individual venue, play a vital role in building our sponsorship relationships, and we certainly couldn’t make them work without the cooperation of and communication with everyone involved. That also includes all of our part-time and casual staff, who are often the ones implementing the activations that make our partnerships so successful. What’s your favourite venue – and dream act? O2 Academy Bournemouth will always have a place in my heart. I wouldn’t mind hearing Oasis perform Live Forever there. A girl can dream… Is there any advice you can give someone who would like to have a career in the venues sector? Get involved and be prepared to work. Venue staff are grafters, dealing with new obstacles every week. However, you will make life-long friends and have amazing memories.
Helen Bousfield | UK Artist rights and touring services manager Universal Music Group Age 24 After graduating with a degree in Music and Entertainment Industry Management from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, Helen undertook various work placements and internships, including World Concert Artists, Reliable Source Music, Discovery Talent, ILMC and Universal, where she remains, a few years and several promotions later. However, she still works for Discovery Talent as stage manager/artist liaison, and is also involved with Shooting Star Management, whose clients include The Darkness and Shirley Collins. What’s the best thing about your job? The fact that I love going to work – not all my friends have the same luxury. I learn something new every day. What’s your proudest achievement to date? The Summer Sizzler I worked on a few years ago with Discovery Talent. It was four stages of unsigned artists who
IQ Magazine September 2016
played to shoppers all day in a shopping centre. It was a tight schedule with many issues; bands stuck in motorway accident traffic, volunteers who were supposed to be escorting bands to stages but were smoking weed in the toilets instead, some just not even turning up... All the usual mishaps. But in the end, it turned out amazing! As a New Boss, what would you like to implement to improve the live music business? I’d like to stop the closure of small venues because of noise complaints. There should be funding initiatives to pay for extra sound-proofing. Or making sure people who buy or rent a property near a venue, clearly know what they’re getting into. You are involved in other music business stuff outside of your Universal job – how do you find the time to make both roles work? I’ve always liked being busy and I like working under pressure. It usually means I’m tired, but I feel like it’s starting to pay off.
Italo Rossi | Peru | Promoter | Move Concerts Age 29 Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Italo studied system engineering at university, while maintaining a Radiohead website and forum. Through constant networking and hard work he landed a position at independent promoter Move Concerts, and completed his master certificate in music business through Berklee School of Music’s online programme. Italo is also the guitarist for The Satellite, who have opened for Sonic Youth and Deafheaven, allowing him to see the business from both angles. What advice would you give anyone who wanted to work in the music industry? You need to start from the very bottom if you want to go far. Team-up with like-minded people who are on the same page as you, so you can aim to grow and learn together. Has studying system engineering given you any advantages in your current role? It provided me with a solid foundation in statistics and simulation, so I’m able to provide the company with very accurate forecasts on sales behaviour. We’re able to tell with just a few days on-sale what we can expect from the whole process and how we can adjust marketing campaigns and overall budgets, in case of a potentially negative outcome. What are you currently working on? Shows with Aerosmith (plus special guest, Bush); Travis and Chris Cornell; as well as the WWE Live Lima event. We’re looking at 2017/18 and we’re very excited at some of the big names we might be bringing to Peru for the very first time. What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? I’d love to be developing large festivals and providing the people of this country with experiences they could previously only see by travelling abroad. I’d love to import some of the best practices in the industry and finally make Peru a nobrainer when it comes to routing a tour of South America.
New Bosses 2016
Katie Stewart | Australia General manager | Lunatic Entertainment/Laneway Festival Age 29 Katie began working at Lunatic Entertainment in 2007 after hearing MD Danny Rogers give a guest lecture at her university. Katie’s role at Laneway Festival has evolved from managing the local Melbourne volunteers in 2008, to general manager of the event. Katie’s strengths lie in live music and touring – having advanced many international tours for the management roster, as well as tour-managing artists on the road across Australia, Asia, Europe and North America. What advice would you give anyone who wants to work in the music industry? Put yourself forward for as many learning opportunities as possible, including volunteer positions or internships. Also commit spare time to researching the industry and keeping up to date on recent trends and music news. What is the biggest challenge about working in Oz? Time zones and separation! The world is a much more connected place in 2016 and keeping up with colleagues and opportunities across Europe and North America can be challenging. What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? Beyond Laneway, I would love to develop new projects for the business and continue to help develop our year-round touring. If you could create your dream three-day festival, who would your headliners be? Because it’s a dream line-up, I’d book the one artist I really regret never seeing live – David Bowie. I would round it out with a few modern favourites who are absolutely killing it at the moment – Sia, CHVRCHES, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett & Jamie XX. As a New Boss, how would you improve the live music business? I’m really excited by accessibility initiatives such as Attitude is Everything, in the UK. I’d love to see more done in Australia, even at smaller events and club shows – that extra level of care can make a huge difference to someone’s day.
Lina Ugrinovska | Macedonia Booking agent | Georg Leitner Productions Age 26 A pianist graduate of the Music & Ballet Center in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, Lina also studied sound engineering at the European Academy of Audio-Visual Arts. In 2010, she began working in artist management and booking at Password Production Skopje, where she was the assistant to the CEO. In early 2016, Lina moved to Vienna where she has taken on the newly created role of agent for indie alternative and urban talent at Georg Leitner Productions. What is the biggest challenge in your day-to-day work? Being an agent to a great talent is not enough. Developing careers develops my career too and I’m very much focused on analysing, eliminating, consuming and staying aware of the responsibility every agent or manager has while working with artists. I enjoy the challenge with the first morning emails,
through the meetings, the artists, unexpected day schedule, shows, touring, and the complete career development process. Your role at GLP is taking the agency into new genres: how do go about finding new talent? My gut is my salvation: it chooses and I listen. The first names on the roster are: The Kooks, Andrew Bird, Elliphant, Maverick Sabre, Adam Ben Ezra, Eva & Manu, Ruth Koleva, Djaikovski, June, Psychic TV, The Orb, Shpongle (Simon Posford), Ana Ćurčin, and Joycut. How nervous were you before moving to Austria? I’m always looking forward to embrace what my life has prepared for me next. My choices were ready for the road to begin, long before I packed my bags. What advice would you give anyone who wants to work in the music industry? If it’s not a passion and a way of life, you shouldn’t be doing it. And if it’s a passion, you don’t need any advice.
Matt Thorne | UK | Founder | Disrupt Ltd Age 29 Matt ‘Sketchy’ Thorne utilised his years of experience working in London’s top digital creative agencies to co-found creative media companies such as BiG! and GRM Daily, which has generated over 100 million engagements across its platform and content. In 2014, Matt established Disrupt – an innovative youth-focussed media group working with brands and more recently DSRPT Music, a distribution platform that first achieved commercial success signing and marketing Ghetts. Where does the nickname ‘Sketchy’ come from? From my artistic passion and drawing ability. Not because sketchiness is one of my behaviour traits. How do you describe what Disrupt does, to people unfamiliar with the company? We are a new-media company that builds and connects brands to youth culture. We specialise in youth culture and influencer marketing. What’s your proudest achievement to date? Launching the first ever Grime Music Awards ceremony with KA Drinks and GRM Daily. In such a new sector, who do you turn to for advice? We’ve been building a board of advisors experienced in building different agencies across advertising, music and social media. We believe together they offer the breadth of experience needed for a hybrid company like ours. As a New Boss, is there anything you would like to implement to make the live music business healthier? I believe there are some great advancements happening – I think DICE is a fantastic platform. I’d like to make live music events more accessible and think that integrated social VR experiences can really push the boundary. What is the biggest challenge in your day-to-day role? Managing an ever-increasing workload, which means that business duties can overtake being creative. It’s important to stay creative and it’s a challenge keeping close to the creativity with so much to build.
IQ Magazine September 2016
New Bosses 2016
Oliver Ward | UK Booking Agent | United Talent Agency Age 29 Olly trained and qualified as a lawyer and landed a job in Live Nation UK’s legal team. In 2013, he met Neil Warnock who gave him the opportunity to intern at what is now United Talent Agency, where he assisted Natasha Bent for two years. Since the end of 2015, Olly has been building a talent roster that now includes Aurora, James Hersey, Ida Mae, Palace Winter, Beaty Heart, and All Them Witches. How difficult a decision was it to make the move away from your legal career to become an intern at UTA? It wasn’t difficult; I hated being a lawyer. It was a risk, but life is too short not to go for the things you are passionate about. I can honestly say it’s the best decision I have ever made. How do you discover new talent for your roster? Meeting with trusted friends and contacts to talk about new music is the best way to find new talent at the moment – sifting through blogs and viral charts is also worthwhile, as there’s some great music out there, but not all the music which is lighting up the blog world will connect live, so you have to tread carefully. Going to early shows is still an important tool for discovery, but the current trend is for agents to be in place before many acts have even played their first show. What are you currently working on? Planning for 2017 touring and preparation for upcoming shows. Currently, we are implementing plans to take Aurora to new markets outside of Europe and also pitching our newer clients to leading showcase festivals. As a New Boss, what would you do to make the business healthier? Both Neil Warnock and Natasha Bent showed me that our business can be conducted in a positive and fair way. I believe the best results for our artists come from an inclusive approach; always treat other people, as you would like to be treated yourself
Tobe Onwuka | UK | Artist manager | Stormzy Age 25 In 2014, Tobe quit his job at a car dealership to manage longtime friend Stormzy. Despite constant pressures to adhere to conventional paths to success, Stormzy and Tobe have made up their own rules and the results have been meteoric, as the duo negotiate their own deals and consistently release top-10 records, leaving every major record label desperate to sign the grime scene’s hottest property. What are the most relevant revenue streams for an artist like Stormzy? Live shows and branding deals. What is the biggest challenge in today’s music business? It’s forever changing! If you don’t keep up with what’s happening you can quickly be out of the loop. What advice would you give anyone who wanted to work in the music industry? Trust your instincts, but never be afraid to ask questions when you face challenges.
IQ Magazine September 2016
Do you think you can remain independent, or will doing a deal be inevitable at some point? Only time will tell. For now we’ll just keep on working. What’s the best thing about your job? I work with my best friends and we build our own dream. What are you currently working on? Stormzy’s album and a few other bits I can’t really talk about yet. It wouldn’t be the #Merky way if I did. Who do you turn to for advice? My mum. She might not have insight on the grime scene or music-chart positions, but she gives the best life/moral advice. What’s your proudest achievement to date? Impossible to pick out a single one! I’m given a new reason to take pride in what I do every single day.
Tommy Bruce | USA Co-founder | Full Stop Management Age 29 As student body president at the University of Arizona, Tommy brought the likes of Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Jay-Z and Katy Perry to perform on campus. In 2009, he landed a job in CAA’s New York office, where he helped sign Meghan Trainor. Tommy moved to Los Angeles in 2015 where he became an agent. Earlier this year, he and Jeffrey Azoff departed CAA to establish Full Stop Management whose early clients include Harry Styles and Meghan Trainor. Do you think your time as an agent will benefit you and the talent you manage? Perspective on different areas of the business is always beneficial, regardless of the industry. It provides a point of view and adds value in a way that others in my position wouldn’t otherwise have if they hadn’t previously been an agent. As one of the young leaders of an even younger company, who do you turn to for advice? I’m fortunate to work with my best friend, Jeffrey. He is my go-to on all things: advice, counsel, eating, and just life in general. What’s your proudest achievement to date? The launch of Full Stop Management. It’s been the ride of my life so far and I couldn’t be more excited to see where we go. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far? Failure, genuine failure, is the best lesson anyone can ask for. I’ve learned more from my failures than from my successes and I am grateful for those experiences early on. What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in the music business? Every position you take, treat it like it was what you were born to do. I guarantee leaders will take notice and it will elevate you. What are you currently working on? Building Full Stop Management. Meghan [Trainor] is on a sold-out North American tour, and Harry [Styles] is finishing his first film, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Gearing up for a massive 2017 for the entire company.
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...
Concert camera blocker Some of us old timers at IQ Towers are ancient enough to remember the days when taking photographs or recording video at concerts was very much taboo – to the extent that those breaking the rules would have their camera equipment confiscated by security staff. Call us old-fashioned, but we rather enjoyed those halcyon days when there weren’t rows and rows of people in front of us recording the gig through their mobile phones – today’s ubiquitous audio-visual tool for capturing those all important moments – never, ever, to be watched again… Well, those clever Cupertino-based fruitopians may just have come up with a solution for artists who don’t want their state-of-the-art production highlights broadcast on the Internet, thus spoiling the surprise factor for fans who have bought tickets to the tour months down the line: in July, Apple was granted a patent for technology that could prevent smartphone cameras being used at concerts. Ha ha.. The company first applied for the patent in 2011 and Apple describes the use of an infrared signal (emitted from the stage or sound desk in a venue, for instance) that can be detected by
ISOLATE The aural geniuses at Flare Audio have utilised a Kickstarter campaign to fund the launch of its latest protection gadgets – the Isolate ear plug. Made from titanium or aluminium (that’s aluminum, for our North American readers), Isolate offers what Flare describes as “perfect sound isolation” for sleeping, travelling, motorsports, working and, of course, concerts and clubs. Unlike traditional in-ear plugs, Isolate can block all sound from entering the user’s ears, including bass frequencies for
the smartphone, thus rendering the camera inoperable for both still and video photography. Apple would not comment on the patent, but the implications go beyond music, as such technology could be used to prevent video recording in cinemas, or by governments to block photography in sensitive locations such as military bases or embassies (or public demonstrations). On a more upbeat note, the application could even provide new revenue streams for artists, if fans could be charged a fee to enable their smartphone cameras at specific gigs.
Anyone working in live entertainment pondering what the European Union has ever done for them should look no further than Online Interactive Risk Assessment (OIRA) tools. Financed by the European Commission, two OIRA tools have been developed through the collaboration of the Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe (PEARLE) on the employers’ side, and the European Arts and Entertainment Alliance (EAEA) on the workers’ side – a tool for venues and another for production companies. Hosted on the web, OIRA allows small businesses to perform health and safety risk assessments through a series of modules that, if irrelevant to a production or venue, can be skipped. Users are asked to identify risks related to general occupational health and safety, stagerelated operations, special considerations for performers, specific spaces inside the venue, special effects, etc, and evaluate them, while the tools suggest means for controlling those risks. As a European tool, OIRA does not address country-specific legislation, but rather makes reference to European legislation. The tools are free to access at OiraProject.eu/oira-tools.
the first time ever, without any batteries or annoying re-charging. Rather than using plastics, silicones and foams to absorb sound, the patent-pending Isolate protectors use metal to reflect sound away from the ears and therefore achieve much greater attenuation, as they do not accept sound into the ear canal. Designed for lifelong use, the Isolate protectors are perfect for those working in live music environments, during the build or the performance, and could particularly help festival organisers and contractors meet their health and safety obligations. Flare founder and inventor, Davies Roberts, explains, “Solid metal is a good
conductor so it has never been considered for use as an ear protector before. But what we discovered was that, in order to conduct sound, metals need a direct connection. Without a direct connection, solid metal blocks and reflects sound perfectly. Using Flare Isolate at a concert is really something else. You can hear every instrument, every detail at a safe low level like never before.” Isolate’s Kickstarter initiative achieved its £25,000 target within two days and by the end of the month-long campaign, a remarkable £462,171 was raised, allowing the global roll-out of the ear plugs.
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 September 2016
Zapp From ents manager to agent extraordinaire, it’s hard to believe that the youthful looking Steve Zapp has been in the business for quarter of a century. Branded one of the hardest working agents around, Zapp tells Eamonn Forde about his work ethic and his first 25 years in music… If your earliest experiences of live music involved sleeping on train platforms, being physically assaulted and getting the sack for booking an act deemed enormously inappropriate, then the chances are you’d probably want to cut your losses and get into a more stable career path. Steve Zapp, despite his placid demeanour and antipathy towards swearing, is made of sterner stuff. He is marking 25 years in the business and 15 years at ITB where he looks after a roster of around 55 acts that include Biffy Clyro, a band he spotted, like an alt-rock Brian Epstein, in The Cavern Club in Liverpool, and has taken to headlining festivals and touring arenas. Born in 1973 and growing up in Folkestone, Zapp was introduced to music via The Smurfs and The Wombles but soon expanded into Adam & the Ants, Wham! and Duran Duran. His dad was into music, but it was Thursday night’s Top of the Pops that really kicked the doors open for him. “I lived in Kent and there weren’t many acts that played live,” he says of the dearth of concerts in his formative years, which amateur psychologists would suggest he has spent his professional career making up for. He cites three London shows as pivotal in his early life – The Wonder Stuff at Brixton Academy, Energy Orchard at The Borderline and Pete Wylie & The Mighty Wah! at Subterranea. “I hung out too long after the Pete Wylie gig
IQ Magazine September 2016
and missed my last train so had to sleep in the station,” he recalls. “I got through it.” Going to Reading University – chosen in part due to its proximity to the Reading Festival – to study human geography in 1991 was where live music really started to dominate Zapp’s life. “I went to loads of shows,” he says. “I was the kid who went to nearly every indie or rock show there was and bought the T-shirt. I saw Paris Angels and there were about 97 people there. I went up to them after and apologised that it was not busier without realising that was probably the average of what a band with a #1 indie hit at the time did.” Positions came up in the student entertainment (ents) committee and Zapp stood for election, winning the job and surprising himself, but this did not go down well with the ents manager who was personally backing another candidate. “On the night of the election, I was walking down the corridor, obviously very happy I had won, and one of his crew punched me in the stomach,” Zapp says. “That was a moment that was less than savoury.” Undeterred, he took to the job with relish, but one of his initial tasks was to cancel two shows due to prior mismanagement that saw the student union run up debts of £500,000. “The first thing I had to do running the ents department as a student was call up Paul Boswell and cancel a Pop Will Eat Itself show and I also had to cancel an EMF
Steve Zapp The three Steves: Zapp, Tilley and Backman; the business card that helped him land Biffy Clyro; and enjoying the sunshine with artist manager Dougie Souness at SXSW in 2009
show,” he recounts. “The official capacity of the main hall was 1,100 and the official capacity of the building was 1,400. The old ents department had been running all the shows at 1,400. As soon as they went, the manager said the capacity was 1,100 and there were two sold-out shows on 1,400 and they wouldn’t let them happen. That was a sharp learning curve. I rang up [Paul] and got a mouthful of abuse for cancelling a sold-out show.” After university, he vacillated between two job offers – one as the ents manager at Goldsmiths University in London, or an economic consultancy position. “I thought I should do what my family and my girlfriend would want me to do – namely the non-music job and to keep music as my hobby,” Zapp says. He began managing a band, Choke, during this time, but a tip off from comedian Ricky Gervais, then running ents at ULU (University of London Union), saw him apply for and get the ents management job at Kingston University. That was, however, to end in ignominy when he booked ribald Australian band TISM as part of a support package with Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine. “The next day I was called into the office by the president and told that TISM were sexist, racist and homophobic,” he says. “They were no more risqué than the average comedy show.” That fell on deaf ears and he was sacked. From there, he helped set up The Fly magazine, acting as its first editor, but left to split his time between booking shows for Cork band The Young Offenders and then working with The Ultra Montanes and Twist.
POP! By this time, Zapp had set-up his own company, Reactor Live, while simultaneously running a non-music consultancy job in Roehampton. “I worked there from 9am to 1pm, then rushed home to book a load of shows,” he says. “It was phone calls and dial-up Internet. I’d set up the shows, go to clubs in the evening, come home and work. My Internet bill was more expensive than any of the £50 shows I was doing. I was losing money doing it but I was really enjoying it.” Zapp then helped out Martin Hopewell at Primary Talent and eventually got a full-time job there. “At the time, I was just one of a few new entrants into the industry in a number of
“I was the kid who went to nearly every indie or rock show there was and bought the T-shirt.” years, working as booking agents,” he says, adding that a new breed of promoters was also coming into the live industry at the same time. “So there were a couple of agents that they could talk to and relate to and who might take them seriously. Equally as a new agent, there were some promoters who were listening to me and taking me seriously.” He moved from Primary to 13 Artists for a year, cutting his teeth along the way and starting to make a name for himself as a keen spotter of talent. In 2001, Rob MacSween and Barry Dickins at ITB offered him a job and he has been with the company ever since. He was working directly with acts like Cooper Temple Clause, Cosmic Rough Riders and JJ72 at the time, as well as helping out with existing ITB artists such as Robert Plant.
It was during In the City festival, the only year it was held in Liverpool, that he was to discover the biggest band on his books and the one he is probably going to be most associated with for years to come. “It was about 3 in the afternoon in The Cavern when I went in and a noisy three piece came on stage,” he says of the first time he saw Biffy Clyro. “I stopped dead watching them. I thought they were amazing. That show I’ll remember forever. I was just in the right place and listened.” He went to Glasgow to see them again at King Tut’s and started working with them, but it was to prove a long slog. “When I took them on, they were on an indie label [Beggars], which made it harder at the time,” he explains. “I had a few people I had to deal with who, at the time, took the mickey out of their name. They’d call them ‘Cliffy Byro’. I believed in the band. They were very driven and lovely people. Despite the first few years being tough, I wanted to be faithful and loyal to them and work really hard.”
THWACK! Kapow! Boom!
IQ Magazine September 2016 Testimonials
POP! The buzz around the band started in their home market of Scotland, but key support slots with InMe, Weezer, The Deftones and Limp Bizkit helped extend that excitement to the rest of the UK. “When they moved to Warner, things continued to grow,” he says. “One of the major differences on Warner was, internationally, it also continued to grow. Before they went to Warner, they were doing 150-200 a night in Germany. Now they sold out 7,000 tickets in a few days at a show earlier this year, and they are doing arenas in Germany, while in the rest of Europe they are doing either arenas or big venues just below arena level.”
Kapow! So what does Zapp look for in a new act? “Sometimes it’s as simple as a gut feeling about something that you just love musically,” he says. “On top of that, if the team are nice and experienced, that helps.” Zapp’s assistant, Amber McKenzie, says when he finds acts he remains incredibly loyal to them. “He was working with Editors when they were called Snowfield,” she says. “One of the most upsetting things is that Steve is SO loyal. He really takes it personally when bands move on from working with us. He invests so much time and effort. He
will always be at shows. He’ll go out to Europe loads to see bands. In one weekend, he could try and do six festivals just to make sure people see him and his bands see him.” Zapp recalls that he was first tipped off about Editors by an A&R friend. “I got on a train to see them in Warwick and Birmingham,” says Zapp. “They were amazing and I wanted to work with them. With the Courteeners, a promoter told me about Liam [Fray, frontman] and I went to see him in a bar in Manchester near the university. He had great charisma, a great voice and great songs. I could tell there was something there and he was going to grow. He put a band together that has done phenomenally well.” Zapp’s other assistant, Olivia Sime, believes he has one of the strongest work ethics in the live business and expects acts to work as hard for him as he will work for them. “He listens to new acts every day and will ask us what we think of them,” she says. “He cares a lot about new music and breaking new bands and he wants us all to be a part of that. Even if the band is playing a festival at midday, he’ll be there and you are almost racing to see if you can get to the stage before him. At the after-shows we are always seeing if we can out-stay Steve Zapp! He’s always pretty much the last man standing. He absolutely loves it. He never stops.”
“Often you see yourself turning down a good opportunity just because the band can’t afford to do it.”
Steve’s long-time clients, Biffy Clyro, headlined this year’s Reading Festival in the UK
IQ Magazine September 2016
Steve Zapp Steve picks up the top agent (Second Least Offensive Agent) award at The Arthurs in 2011
POP! Blam! THWACK!
Watching Biffy Clyro from side of stage at Reading with managers Dee Bahl and Paul Craig
McKenzie adds, “There have been times over the years where I thought it was going to be game over. I think if he took a proper holiday, he’d probably collapse. He’s a machine. I can’t keep up with him and there are a lot of younger agents who can’t keep up with him.” As an illustration of his commitment to his acts and to finding new talent, she recalls how he was turned away from the flight check-in desk on a trip to SXSW. “I turned up at the airport and Steve was there in a panic,” she recounts. “They wouldn’t let him on the plane as his passport was damaged. It has been through the wash loads of times. He said he had to go. I told him that something was telling him he was not supposed to be going. I get to SXSW and 24 hours later he turns up on Sixth Street in Austin. He somehow managed, with the help of Rod [MacSween], to pull some strings and got a new passport sorted in 24 hours. You have to be kidding me!”
“One of the most upsetting things is that Steve is SO loyal. He really takes it personally when bands move on from working with us.” - Amber McKenzie, ITB
THWACK! Boom! Zapp claims he doesn’t go to as many shows as he used to, but says he will see “between five and ten acts a week” and during the summer will attend as many as four different festivals in a weekend. While grass-roots music is his lifeblood, he feels that wider industry changes – notably shirking label tour support and the closure of small venues – are making it harder for acts to develop on the road. “When I started, you might book a tour in the UK or Europe and most of their costs would be covered by tour support or some funding,” he says. “Now there are many times where I will get a tour offer or a support offer for one of my acts where we have to pass on it because the band haven’t got that money anymore and can’t afford to do the tour. Often you see yourself turning down a good opportunity just because the band can’t afford to do it.” This concern is exacerbated with the steady closure of small venues around the UK. “I wish there was more funding that went into grass-roots venues,” he says. “I think what Mark Davyd is doing with the Music Venue Trust is a really key thing and needs to be supported. He is obviously going through legislative means and hopefully through some funding means to help preserve some of the existing venues. On mainland Europe, a lot of venues do get grants and that helps preserve and subsidise some of them. That is something that could be improved in the UK.” Zapp’s passion for live music and touring is infectious and his commitment to his roster is palpable. “If I could take a
IQ Magazine September 2016
Boom! Steve Zapp
Testimonials I am proud to count Steve as one of my friends. Not only is he one of the best in the business, he is also a proper gentleman. He was the first agent I began working with over ten years ago and he already had a vision and an ear. He was also the one to introduce me to my future wife and for this alone I will always be grateful to Steve. I am looking forward to working with him over the next ten years. The sky’s the limit. Vive Steve! Gerome Minchelli – Alias Production Steve is one of the key agents in our business. This is an achievement on its own! Hats off and congratulations on what you’ve achieved so far, Steve. And here’s to 25 even more successful years in the business! Sam Perl – Gracia Live Have you ever noticed at CMJ, SXSW, by:Larm or Eurosonic that Steve is at every single show you go to? Obviously, this isn’t possible for one human being, so we looked into it and after painstaking research, we discovered that there are actually eight Steve Zapps. Pana at Live Nation Germany can confirm this. In other news, I once spent a hundred quid couriering Steve a packet of Zapp’s crawfish flavour potato chips from New Orleans. P-C Rae – Slottsfjell Festival I have worked with Steve since he started at ITB and he has brought almost his complete roster to the Czech Republic. He is one of the nicest people to work with. You just have to figure out what he means when he says, “just checking”, “just chasing” or “by the end of the week.” David Urban – D Smack U Promotion Steve Zapp is a friend as well as an agent. He has always been there for me and all my acts, no matter how small or how controversial. I trust him and adore everything about working with him. I am impressed by the phone calls I get late at night, by the many shows he comes to see us at and by his never-ending good humour. I am blessed to have his loyalty and hard work! Gloria Cavalera – Oasis Management Steve is one agent in the UK that I know can get the job done. Congrats, and here’s to another 25 years, Steve! John Kastner – manager, The Lemonheads Steve is a true pillar of the live music industry. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Steve a lot over the years, both as a promoter and a band manager. He was the first agent to give me my first proper touring show and he inherited me when I started managing a band that was already on his roster. I’ve always found Steve to be conscientious and helpful and always willing to give advice when called upon. He’s one of the good guys! Simon Bailey – manager, The Twang
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Steve on a number of mutual clients over the past 12 years, but I’m even luckier to also have him as a friend. Steve does his job for all the right reasons and it shows in the quality of his work. Here’s hoping that he keeps doing it for another 25 years! Brian Frank – manager, Fu Manchu, Blood Red Shoes, Ra Ra Riot Steve Zapp is a true music lover. I have seem him so often, all over the world, right there staring up at a great band with a great big grin on his face. You know that’s one man who gets to do exactly what he wants with his life. Oliver Ackermann – A Place to Bury Strangers I’ve actually worked with Steve for years now (in my day job at DF) and I can honestly say he is one of the most passionate people I know. He is hard-working, committed to his acts and also extremely likeable. When we (The LaFontaines) were looking for a new agent, Steve was the only person the boys and I wanted to work with. We’re all really looking forward to the future with him as our agent – he and Amber are very valued members of our team. Congrats on the big 25 Steve – you don’t look old enough to have all those years under your belt! Aarti Joshi – manager, The LaFontaines / head of communications, DF Concerts Steve Zapp is one of the nicest people in the industry and is also very hard-working. Steve will take on an act from the very beginning of their career and work extremely hard on their behalf. I cannot believe that Steve is now celebrating 25 years in the industry as he tells me he is only 35 years old. The hairstyle is more than 35 years old though… It has been a pleasure having Steve work at ITB and we look forward to many more years. Thanks, Steve. Barry Dickins – ITB The first time we met Agent Zapp was at the now-defunct Jug of Ale in Moseley, Birmingham. I remember picking up a rather heavy chair to sit on a table for our first meet and accidentally clocking him over the head, maybe this influenced his routing strategies for our tours – the equivalent of throwing darts over your head on to a map. From there on in we are close to 1,000 shows over 11 years with the majority booked my Mr Zapp. We’ve been to places I didn’t know existed, and with his help built us in into an established act in many parts of the world. Thanks Zappie! Russell Leetch – Editors Steve Zapp – as friendly as Editors, as full of energy as Biff Clyro, as funny as Public Service Broadcasting. He’s a legend of Agentland with that trendy haircut, always in black – I wonder where are all the colourful festival t-shirts Igave him? I feel honoured to call him a friend. A great friend, sometimes too good for work – we can speak for hours about kids, girls and football with no mention of bands or festivals. He was the first to show me Barfly and other magic places. He introduced me to Barry, Rod and many other giants, not only from ITB. He’s a true music lover, true life lover. In the body of a calm teddy bear is hidden a passionate volcano – I will never forget the sparkle in his eyes while watching some of his heavy metal bands. That combination with the smile of Benny Hill is a total killer! Michal Kaščák, Pohoda Festival
IQ Magazine September 2016
Steve Zapp Never one to be ‘shellfish’, Steve takes his assistant Amber McKenzie out for a bite...
little bit of his passion and his hard-working ethic and instill it in everyone, I think our industry would be a better place,” says McKenzie. “He has that hard-working ethic that I think a lot of people don’t have any more.” For his part, Zapp reveals the last band he got excited about (and now represents) was October Drift. “I got told by a few promoters that they were a really good band,” he says. “I was struggling to make a show and then I went to see Liverpool FC at Anfield and was trying to get to see them at the Leadmill in Sheffield. It was a really hard weekend with logistics and there was only one way I could catch the gig. I got to Liverpool Lime Street, I got two trains and I made it about a minute before they came on stage and they were absolutely fantastic. I had heard a few demos online that were really good, but live they were just stunning.” With that, he has to race across London to get to the station to catch a 7pm train to Bath in order to see yet another new act he has his eye on. It is relentless, but rushing to catch trains that criss-cross the country is part and parcel of the job and is a clear callback to his early forays into the live music scene in London in the early 1990s. Except this time he hopefully won’t be forced to sleep on the platform. “At the after-shows we are always seeing if we can out-stay Steve Zapp! He’s always pretty much the last man standing. He absolutely loves it. He never stops.”
- Olivia Sime, ITB
Testimonials Continued I have to confess to feeling slightly shocked to find out that Steve Zapp’s been in the business for 25 years. It makes me feel very old… When I first met Steve he was a fresh-faced young chap, determined to bulldoze a place for himself in the live business, and blessed with a voracious appetite for new, upcoming acts. He was something of a talent magnet, with his finger on the pulse of stuff that most people didn’t even know had one. That – along with the luck of being born with one of the best agent names I’ve ever come across – is probably why he’s done so well. I’m grateful to him for the help he gave me during his time with the agency, and also for the work he put into launching the ILMC’s ’New Boss’ idea X years ago at the conference. Well done, Mr Z! Martin Hopewell Steve has been a loyal stalwart and a pivotal senior player in the itb team for many years now. We all love him and he has forged great relationships with some treasured clients. He works very hard, stays close to his clients and is well respected throughout the industry. We’re proud of his achievements. Rod MacSween - ITB
Steve, rather unfairly, tends to bring up that I’m the most obnoxious promoter he works with. This is based on our first encounter at ILMC where I was rather… dismissive of his taste in music. There might’ve been alcohol involved and I doubt he’ll ever let me forget it. Steve is incredibly hard-working and you’ll meet him in the strangest places. From massive arenas to the most depressing small venues imaginable. He also looks after some of the finest artists we have the pleasure to work with at Goldstar and I feel lucky having him as a good friend. Congratulations Steve! Torgeir Gullaksen, Goldstar We’ve worked with Steve since we were back at Gerard Drouot Productions and he’s one of the agents we’re really tight with. He understands the process to build acts in France and knows that sometimes means playing shows where the acts don’t make money. Steve is really career oriented and sees more shows than all the other agents combined. He loves his acts and takes care of them – he’s a long-term vision guy that accepts the sacrifices he has to make for his acts. He’s a real gentleman and a good human being. Armel Campagna and Damien Chamard Boudet, Live Nation France
Shiny ‘appy people Appmiral Running for eight years, Belgian company Appmiral has focussed heavily on festival apps for the past four, building the official app for Rock Werchter in their home market as well as for Groovin the Moo in Australia, amongst others. While most apps are built from a customisable template, Robin Van den Bergh, sales and marketing director, argues it is essential to constantly refresh them – in part to keep up with improvements in smartphone operating systems, but also ever-changing market and consumer expectations. “We have a framework, so that means we have the skeleton of our application there,” he says. “Every two years we do a total rebuild of the skeleton as that is what the industry needs. It also works with the new operating systems on Android and iOS.” Extending the shelf life of an app is increasingly important, he argues, and brands are looking to become more involved to help bankroll them, but while apps can increasingly do more things and link into beacons and Bluetooth networks, Van den Bergh cautions that this should be done sparingly to avoid undermining the consumer experience. “For us it’s really important that we build an app with as little battery drainage as possible,” he says. “Battery power is a commodity – a rare commodity.”
Stikit Active Ticketing was founded by Lee Booth, Ed Goring and Andy Cleary in October 2015, and its Ticketing-as-a-Service (TaaS) platform, Stikit, launches in September this year. The white label offering can be used either as a complete box office solution or in conjunction with existing ticketing systems to deliver a highly-secure, fully immersive ticket. “Stikit has a sophisticated real-time fan experience engine that creates personalised tickets for events,” says CEO Lee Booth. “Tickets can now automatically contain social, travel, F&B, content, artist and event information to augment the fan experience.” Active believes that multiple layers of security, promoter/vendor-owned data, and the ability to create a transactional, emotional and personalised relationship with users will serve Stikit well. And with a football club, an F1 team, several festivals, major artists and a theme park already signed up, they might be right. “Mature ticket markets such as the UK and US have seen year-on-year growth in mobile and are rapidly moving towards ‘mobile-first’ consumer behaviour. Meanwhile, emerging markets such as Africa, South America and Asia have a ‘mobile-only’ generation,” Booth says. “Currently though, a lack of native mobile understanding within ticketing is holding back some companies from delivering genuine leaps of confidence in identity and security.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
The arrival of the iPhone in 2007 catapulted the mobile app into the mainstream as it was no longer a limited tool sitting on a niche operating system. The subsequent rise of the Android platform accelerated things to the point where over two million different apps are now available, most of them free, covering everything from news and weather to games and face-swapping. The live industry has seen a significant part of that growth, with most festivals and venues now having their own apps that help connect and engage audiences in ever-more unique ways. We spoke to some of the leading companies in the space about their tech, and how this dynamic industry will evolve next...
Eventbase Starting off building apps for the Olympics, Eventbase has made the official SXSW app for the past six years leading to the Austin festival becoming an investor. “It’s an intense, immersive collaboration,” says Jamie Vaughan, the company’s MD of EMEA, of their working relationship. He says festival apps need to understand the ways in which consumers might want to use them – from discovering acts to buying merchandise – and deliver solutions. “When people go to a festival, they meet friends, they buy food, they buy merchandise. There are things they will do during their live music experience that we try to embrace within the app.” In the early days of festival apps, they were treated as a marketing and promotion cost, but Vaughan feels they can now become revenue drivers in their own right. “They were always put in with the bottom-line costs, [but] now they are beginning to recognise the opportunities.” For Vaughan, the future involves integration with virtual reality and augmented reality technology – something Coachella is already experimenting with. They could also become payment systems in their own right, replacing cashless wristbands. “Some people say this won’t take the place of smart wristbands as you don’t take your phone to festivals,” he says. “But I think you do.”
Greencopper One of the biggest developers in the space, and operating since 2009, Greencopper makes apps for over 300 festivals including Reading/Leeds, The Great Escape, T in the Park, Latitude, Wireless and Lovebox (as well as being the official supplier of the Live Nation Europe apps). It also launched the software-as-service platform Golive last year to allow festivals to build and customise their own apps. “When we started, mobile apps were very informational in terms of providing line-up information, dates and times when bands were playing,” says CEO Gwenaël Le Bodic. “Now we have many more interactive features like a friend finder and beacon technology for proximity messaging, which allows users to contribute with content.” With apps come unprecedented access to customer data – particularly real-time data – and this is helping events in a multitude of ways. “We use our app for crowd management,” says Le Bodic, noting the company’s partnership with Crowd Connected. “Having features that rely on data, crowd management and targeted messaging are going to be more widely used. You could [in theory] now send a message to all the people who were, six months ago, in front of that stage and invite them to a show in London tonight. The collection of data really allows us to do that sort of targeting.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
Canecom Canecom was founded in 2009 and now works with festivals in Europe, the US and Australia. “We like to develop apps that people are actually using; we are not fans of useless ‘fun’ apps,” says CEO Mark Kubatov of the company’s focus. “They might look boring, but they truly help the lives of people – like full offline compatibility – and they really appreciate it.” The primary function of apps is communication, but they can also develop a commercial role. “In our case [this includes] selling merchandise from the mobile shop, driving audiences to paid iTunes or Google Play downloads for bands and providing sponsorship options with built-in games or features. More and more festivals are transferring their cash payment to pre-paid festival card payment systems; we have the option to integrate the top-up option natively into the apps so people don’t have to stand in lines to do that.” That said, festivals cannot presume that they can just watch the money roll in. “Organisers should not expect fans to use and monetise apps out of the blue; they will have to build mobile and IoT [Internet of things] strategies and execute them over the course of the year. Mobile is no longer a nice thing to have but an essential part of a festival’s circle of life.”
ShoutEm Originally focusing on social networking platforms when it launched in 2011, ShoutEm expanded to allow clients to create apps without having any coding skills. Its client base includes everything from restaurants to clothing companies and major operators like USA Today and Simon & Schuster. In the music space, clients include Gig Pic, a photo-sharing app for concerts and festivals. Social media manager Robert Sekulić, says mobile apps are now “our everyday reality” and, as such, their power and importance grows incrementally. “Artists, festivals, record labels and the whole music industry now have a perfect channel of communication to keep in touch with their listeners 24/7,” he says. “With a single push notification, app owners can [immediately] reach their fans to share [information].” While apps can be used to drive sales, Sekulić feels they can, and should, do much more. “The app of an artist can be a central point for building their audience and engaging the fan base,” he says. “Apps allows you to learn what your users love, when they prefer to read or listen to a certain piece. By understanding their habits and tastes in music, you are able to build a relationship with your audience and offer them the content they will enjoy and highly appreciate.”
CrowdComms Arising from an understanding of the power of users, CrowdComms started developing apps having worked with audience response technology since the mid-1990s. “By 2011, smartphones were everywhere and CrowdComms was set-up to improve the attendees’ experience at events by delivering technology to them via their smartphones,” says co-founder Dee Brannick. CrowdComms’ clients include blue chip brands such as Thomas Cook, Nike, Virgin, Nissan and Barclays who use the apps to guide attendees around their conferences and events, as well as to take part in live polling, discussions and submitting questions to speakers. “[The apps] are important because they are convenient for attendees to use and they have access to the most up-to-date info on sessions, attendees, presentations, documents and so on,” suggests Brannick. “[They] also improve the event experience as they facilitate questions, discussion and networking.” CrowdComms’ co-founder believes a growing focus on data and much richer engagement will shape the future development of apps in this sector. “They will need to use location information within the venue to further improve the event experience for attendees,” says Brannick. “This data will need to be accessible in real time so event planners can tweak the event on the fly.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
Mobile Roadie Mobile Roadie has been a key driver in the apps space since launching in 2009 and has helped push the idea of a self-service app-building platform into the mainstream. Clients include Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Broadway shows, and venues like the Apollo Theater in NYC. “It’s more vital than ever for artists and venues to have a polished app that enriches the fan experience,” says CEO Gino Padua. “Whether it’s releasing exclusive singles via push notifications, fostering a fan community with in-app messaging, or sending special offers via geofencing, apps help fans feel connected.” While self-build apps have lowered the barriers to entry, Padua firmly believes companies need to have a strong idea of what their app is there to do. “Strategic marketing and user acquisition/retention is a must,” he says. “It isn’t enough to just have an app; you truly need to get it in front of your target audience, provide an incentive to download it, and keep them coming back.” In terms of future developments, analytics and richer consumer insights will be key, as will be geolocation functionality. “From providing information on a venue’s shortest bathroom line, to sending a push notification when the artist is about to play an anticipated song, geolocation will prove the app’s usefulness at the right time and in the right place,” says Padua.
Aloompa Founded in 2009, Nashville-based Aloompa was inspired by the potential of Apple’s smartphone ambitions. “When the iPhone first came out we were mesmerised by how different it was from everything that was out before,” says Drew Burchfield, Aloompa’s co-founder. The company secured Bonnaroo as its first client and by 2014 had 118 festival clients globally. “The original mission was to replace the paper guides,” says Burchfield. “Some US festivals were spending $10-20k printing guides to hand out that inevitably got thrown away.” Aloompa’s apps have subsequently become more social, allowing friends to find each other and share their festival schedules. But data and marketing are now key drivers. “The first mission was to make sure attendees had the best experience possible. For the past two years, we’ve been focusing on the people who market, sell tickets and use a variety of data sources to make decisions.” In 2014, Aloompa introduced a new feature set around proximity sensors to get a better understanding of the consumer inside the festival. “We have been really focused around how this data can inform a festival to make smarter decisions – like booking talent and rearranging operation efficiencies, spending more or less on certain areas,” says Burchfield. “In that same system, there is the ability to connect sponsors with attendees.”
Skiddle Established in 2001, Skiddle is a primary ticket outlet for over 100,000 events per year in the UK and Europe, also offering hotel and restaurant bookings, all from one destination. Covering festivals, gigs and club nights, Skiddle’s Weekends Matter app has made attending the UK’s best events even easier. The app has already become a favourite with customers, as more than 150,000 people have downloaded it. The app works using a consumer’s location and musical interests to recommend events tailor made to them, cleverly pulling together personalised suggestions that become smarter the more someone uses the app. Push notifications also alert customers to ensure they beat the rush. The app benefits from two high -profile integrations, with Spotify enabled to deliver short snippets of the music of artists playing at each event so people can discover more. It also works alongside Uber to make transport to the events easier, with new customers receiving their first ride for free. Skiddle also utilises the app to reward loyalty. At any given time there are hundreds of booking fee-free events on sale, with a limited number only available to app users. This has been a particularly popular feature of the existing iOS version, and the release of an Android alternative in August 2016, ensures even more music fans get a fairer deal.
IQ Magazine September 2016
Vorsprung durch musik The German music industry is flourishing. Even severe weather situations and the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, the latest of which took place in front of a German festival, have not impaired the country’s overall economic success.Yet. Karl-Hermann Lipp reports. The most recent numbers available on the German live entertainment market date back to 2014, when the BDV (the German promoters’ association) put the overall revenues across the sector at €3.8billion, €2.7bn of which were generated by music events. “Since, on the one hand, more tours and concerts than ever are taking place, and since ticket prices haven’t gone down over the past years, I think overall revenues continued to grow,” Professor Jens Michow, the president and CEO of BDV, tells IQ, while cautioning that profits may not have risen in-line, “as costs in all areas, especially artist claims, are constantly increasing. And since the audience’s [financial] capabilities are eventually limited, rising costs cannot be passed on to the consumers. Hence, as head of the association, I can only ask all involved – but especially the artists – to be moderate.”
Promoters One of the major developments in Germany has been the market entry of Live Nation. Michow says that while local promoters, in particular, had been apprehensive at the beginning, “many concerns proved to have been unsubstantiated. In Germany, we say: competition invigorates business. My impression is that the new global player in the German market has prompted many contestants to be more transparent and optimise their service offering.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
Indeed, far from any concerns about the entrance of the world’s largest entertainment company, most promoters profess to be happy with their respective businesses. Dieter Semmelmann, founder and CEO of Semmel Concerts, calls the economic climate of the live events market “very positive. Everything indicates a stable market condition and a good market sentiment within the industry.” His first half of 2016 was characterised by the successful film-related tour, Sound of Hollywood, which has become somewhat of a company staple. The company also acts as a local promoter, and as such has celebrated sold-out concerts by Neil Young, Black Sabbath and Paul McCartney at Berlin’s 22,000-capacity Waldbühne venue. The importance of local promoters is a feature that separates the German market from others, which is a result of the country’s historical fragmentation – no one city outshines all others. In addition, most federal states have their own media institutions. A promoter needs to get the recipe right for each particular market and artist. Wizard Promotions celebrated a metal-heavy first half of 2016, with sold-out tours by Disturbed, Megadeth and Sixx:A.M. in addition to Iron Maiden’s sold-out show at Waldbühne. There are at least 250 more shows of all shapes and sizes on the agenda for the remainder of the year, including tours for Böhse Onkelz and Zucchero, for which MD Oliver Hoppe expects to sell around 300,000 tickets. Wizard’s parent company, Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG), also enjoyed a strong start to the year, “with many successful projects from different genres,” says COO/CDO
71.WEISSENHÄUSER STRAND 58.ROSTOCK
29.HANNOVER 6.BIELEFELD 54.OBERHAUSEN 25.GELSENKIRCHEN 18.DORTMUND 47.MÜLHEIM 22.ESSEN 8.BOCHUM 20.DÜSSELDORF 13.COLOGNE
46.MENDIG 39.LORELEY 33.KASTELLAUN 44.MAINZ 56.PUTTLINGEN
59.ROTHENBURG OB DER TAUBER 53.NUREMBERG
64.STUTTGART 62.SEEBRONN 2.BALINGEN
48.MUNICH 23.FELDKIRCHEN 49.NEUHAUSEN OB ECK 41.LÖRRACH 36.KONSTANZ
IQ Magazine September 2016
Germany 1. Aschheim Air-Media
2. Balingen Bang your Head!!!
3. Bayreuth Semmel Concerts Entertainment
4. Berlin AEG Apassionata Concertbüro Zahlmann Four Artists Booking Hörstmann Unternehmensgruppe KBK Konzert- und Künstleragentur Star Entertainment Transmusic Booking Deutsche Entertainment AG F-Cat Productions KKT Landstreicher Booking MCT Agentur Melt! Booking Streetlife International Trinity Music Columbiahalle Max-Schmeling-Halle Mercedes-Benz Arena Olympiastadion Berlin Stadion An der Alten Försterei Velodrom Velomax Berlin Lollapalooza Berlin
5. Beverungen Orange Blossom Special
6. Bielefeld Vibra Agency
7. Bitterfeld Sputnik Spring Break
8. Bochum Contra Promotion Lars Berndt Events
9. Bonn Out4Fame Out4Fame Entertainment
10. Bönningstedt x-why-z Konzertagentur
11. Bremen Hurricane
12. Buchenberg Allgäu Concerts
13. Cologne Dirk Becker Entertainment Just Jazz International Kingstone Konzertbüro Schoneberg La Candela Musikagentur Peter Rieger Konzertagentur Riegerous Artist Management Kölnarena Lanxess Arena Live Music Hall RheinEnergieStadion Stadion Köln C/O Pop Summerjam Festival
14. Diepholz Appletree Garden Festival
15. Dinkelsbühl Summer Breeze Open Air
16. Dornstadt Obstwiesenfestival
17. Dörpstedt ICS Festival Service
18. Dortmund Konzerthaus Dortmund Westfalenhallen Juicy Beats Festival Mayday
19. Dresden A.C.T. Artist Agency
ConcertTeam NRW DR Entertainment SSC Group Esprit Arena ISS Dome Open Source
21. Egmating KBK Konzertagentur Passerotto Concerts
22. Essen Grugahalle Pfingst Open Air
23. Feldkirchen P.S.E. Germany
24. Frankfurt Live Nation Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur Wizard Promotions Commerzbank-Arena Festhalle Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt
25. Gelsenkirchen Veltins-Arena
26. Gräfenhainichen Melt! Festival Ferropolis
27. Halle (Westfalen) Gerry Weber Stadion Picknick Open
28. Hamburg Music Pool Europe Neuland Concerts WB-Entertainment Alsterdorfer Sporthalle Barclaycard Arena A.S.S. Concerts & Promotion Christoph Uerlings Productions FKP Scorpio Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion Mewes Entertainment Group Elbjazz Inferno Events MS Dockville Reeperbahn Festival
29. Hannover HDI-Arena TUI Arena
IQ Magazine September 2016
30. Heidelberg Enjoy Jazz M’era Luna
31. Isernhagen Life-music
32. Karlsruhe Das Fest Happiness Festival
33. Kastellaun Nature One
34. Kempten bigBOX Allgäu
35. Kist Umsonst & Draußen Festival
36. Konstanz Koko & DTK Entertainment
37. Leimen New Star Entertainment
38. Leipzig Arena Leipzig Red Bull Arena Highfield
39. Loreley Picknick Open
40. Löbnitz With Full Force Festival
41. Lörrach Stimmen-Festival/Burghof Lörrach
42. Ludwigsburg Arena Ludwigsburg
43. Luhmühlen A Summer’s Tale
44. Mainz Love Family Park
HR Booking BB Promotion SAP Arena Maifeld Derby
46. Mendig Rock Am Ring
47. Mülheim S.T.E.P.
48. Munich MünchenMusik United Promoters ARTconSCENT DMC Musikmarketing Gary Richmond Music Shamma Concerts Triple M Entertainment Olympiahalle Olympiastadion München Tollwood Festival
49. Neuhausen ob Eck Southside
50. Neustadt-Glewe Airbeat One
51. Neustrelitz Immergutrocken
Map Key Promoter Agent Agent/Promoter Venue Festival
52. Neu-Ulm Ratiopharm Arena
53. Nuremberg Arena Nürnberger Versicherung Frankenstadion Rock Im Park
54. Oberhausen König Pilsener Arena Ruhr in Love
55. Passau MWS Werner Forster
56. Püttlingen Rocco del Schlacko
57. Regensburg Donau Arena
58. Rostock Ostseestadion
59. Rothenburg ob der Tauber Taubertal-Festival
60. Saalburg-Ebersdorf SonneMondSterne
61. Saarbrucken Joybringer ElectroMagnetic Festival
62. Seebronn Rock of Ages
63. Straubing Bluetone, Jazz an der Donau
64. Stuttgart C2 Concerts Contour Music Moderne Welt Opus Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle Porsche-Arena Jazz Open
65. Trebur Trebur Open Air
66. Troisdorf European Event Services
67. Übersee Chiemsee Summer
68. Ubstadt-Weiher ITM Agency
69. Unterföhring Starwatch Entertainment
70. Wacken Wacken Open Air
71. Weissenhäuser Strand Metal Hammer Paradise Rolling Stone Weekender
72. Wolfsburg Volkswagen Arena
73. Wurster Nordseeküste Deichbrand Festival
Germany Christian Diekmann. That momentum has continued thanks to concerts by Limp Bizkit, and open-airs with Joan Baez and Andreas Gablier, who played the biggest gig of any Austrian act in Germany when he sold out Munich’s Olympia Stadium on 30 July. “Our festivals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland were successful and established themselves very well,” continues Diekmann. “We’re also happy about the development of our ticket distributor, Myticket, in Germany and the UK. Our expectations are being met: we’re fully on track and already working towards the entry into another European market.” Ben Mitha, MD of Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion, says the economic climate in the live entertainment market is “still very healthy and poised for growth.” Highlights include the realisation of the AC/DC show in Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion (cap. 57,000) as local promoter; four shows by one of his
“I’m not an economist, but seen through my subjective glasses, we’re doing fine. The purchasing power for tickets seems to be unabated.” Scumeck Sabottka, MCT
personal favourite bands, Cypress Hill; and Beck’s first German appearance in eight years. However, he also points out the difficulty of building new acts and sending them on tour in an economically viable manner. Karsten Jahnke built a solid reputation for building new talent and taking risks on acts, and Mitha is continuing this philosophy, but expanding the company’s portfolio. This includes promoting YouTube and social media stars, branching out into EDM and DJ acts, as well as building Hamburg Artist Management. “We’re hoping to sign one or two more major acts,” Mitha says. Upcoming highlights include Jose Carrera’s farewell tour, many shows as local promoter, and Reeperbahn Festival. Speaking of Reeperbahn, CEO Detlef Schwarte tells IQ that Germany is “probably the most interesting live market in Europe,” because of its size. The fact that there will be more Reeperbahn showcases hosted by international partners at this year’s edition (21-24 September) than ever before, reflects this perception. “I’m not an economist,” says MCT’s Scumeck Sabottka, “but seen through my subjective glasses, we’re doing fine. The purchasing power for tickets seems to be unabated.” The promoter is especially pleased with Paul Kalkbrenner’s sold-out tour of Germany, sold-out concerts by Skunk Anansie, Massive Attack, Muse, Die Antwoord, Damien Rice and many more. Rammstein not only successfully completed their European festival marathon, but also sold out Berlin’s beautiful Waldbühne three times. Right now Sabottka is focusing on Kraftwerk’s USA and South America tour and upcoming concerts by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Trentemøller and many more.
Germany Such is Germany’s scale, that opportunities exist to support a swathe of local and national promoters, including a healthy number of companies whose intention is to do business in non-traditional ways, such as Landstreicher Booking, Melt! Booking, Konzertbüro Schoeneberg, and SSC. According to the latter’s CEO Hamed Shahi: “We’re not simply a conventional concert agency, but are moving in the direction of a 360º pop culture agency. Apart from the tours,we’re also promoting three festivals [New Fall, c/o pop, and Parklife]. Additionally, there’s a department for local events, one for brand consulting and one for gastronomy with its own locations.” More departments are to follow in the future. “For us, it’s not about how many tickets we can sell in a short period of time, but much more about how we can be economical in a sustainable way. “Our colleagues at Live Nation, FKP and Eventim are doing a tremendous job. We’ve got nothing on them. However, our intention is a completely different one. We cannot work in these structures, and we don’t want to. I’m even convinced that ‘indie’ agencies could pose a problem to concert [promoters] in the future,” Shahi adds. Eight months ago, Marek and André Lieberberg formed Live Nation GSA after exiting the CTS Eventim-owned Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur GmbH (along with their entire staff and roster) in summer 2015. Adopting a more formal corporate structure, the job titles changed – long-time employee Matt Schwarz became COO/MD, and Marek and André became CEO and president, respectively. The latter argues that beyond their job descriptions, nothing else has really changed.
In.Stuttgart.de’s Cannstatter Volksfest. Photo © T. Niedermüller
Opus Live’s Jazz Open event in Stuttgart
“Our colleagues at Live Nation, FKP and Eventim are doing a tremendous job. We’ve got nothing on them. However, our intention is a completely different one.” Hamed Shahi, SSC “Nothing has changed for our existing clients,” André tells IQ. “The volume has been enormous from the start, with all the club, mid-size, arena and stadium tours, most of which boasted sensational content and fantastic sales.” “We did not set out to conquer entire countries or take over businesses,” adds Marek. “We set out to deliver professional expertise in three countries, grow organically and focus on us. We want to promote Live Nation’s genuine tours in the most professional way people have come to know Live Nation for. That’s our primary task. In a second step we’ll be looking into how to enhance that. Of course, we have always been and are interested in adding relevant local acts, but the company needs to grow organically and continuously. Brick by brick.” Lieberberg senior has always promoted concerts and events from grass-roots level to stadium tours. “We organise up to 1,000 concerts per year, and that remains our benchmark. Naturally, we’ll continue to be looking into new projects, whether that’s music, theatre or entertainment,” he says.
What it boils down to is that the biggest fish in the pond remains the biggest fish in the pond. At press time, Live Nation GSA had 80 tours on sale. What Marek Lieberberg built over more than 40 years has not been undone by joining the US multinational. On the contrary: it’s the reason nobody really feels anything has changed. Lieberberg had been Live Nation’s de facto exclusive touring-arm for over a decade. The other big fish in Germany is Folkert Koopmans’ FKP Scorpio. Some FKP highlights include Highfields Festival (1921 August), which has expanded its capacity from 25,000 to 35,000 in 2016 – and sold out. The company’s Hurricane and Southside festivals were also sold out earlier than ever. German domestic talent has been enjoying increasing popularity over the past year, a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Revolverheld, for example, are playing more than 30 shows this year, selling in excess of 200,000 tickets. Koopmans says the economic climate in Germany is “very, very good. If you look at it from that side, it’s been a really good year, had it not been for the external influences, that continue to concern us.”
Festivals Koopman’s ‘external influences’ refers to the hot topics of terrorism and bad weather, which have both hit Germany particularly hard this year. The country’s landmark festivals had to be temporarily suspended and even aborted prematurely due to severe rains and thunderstorms. Rock am Ring was suspended on Saturday (4 June) and eventually cancelled in the early hours of Sunday. Marek Lieberberg called it the gravest situation in the festival’s 32-year history.
Megaforce supplies stages and services for World Club Dome in Frankfurt. Photo © Julien Duval
IQ Magazine September 2016
Contributors Top row (l to r): André Lieberberg (Live Nation GSA), Ben Mitha (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion), Christian Diekmann (DEAG), Dieter Semmelmann (Semmel Concerts), Folkert Koopmans (FKP Scorpio), Jürgen Schlensog (Opus Live) Middle row (l to r): Karsten Schölermann (LiveKomm), Marek Lieberberg (Live Nation GSA), Michael Hapka (AEG), Jens Michow (BDV), Moritz Schneider (Stadion Frankfurt), Okan Tombulca (eps) Bottom row (l to r): Oliver Hoppe (Wizard Promotions), Scumeck Sabottka (MCT), Hamed Shahi (SSC), Timo Mathes (Megaforce), Jörg Klopfer (In.Stuttgart.de), Rainer Appel (CTS Eventim)
The two other major events (in addition to a lot of smaller regional festivals) that faced dire weather conditions were FKP Scorpio’s twin festivals Hurricane and Southside. While Hurricane was being suspended on 25 June, Southside was simultaneously being aborted. Live Nation as well as FKP have since compensated festival-goers. The insurance market will be interesting to watch in the coming months, as insurance companies will take a long look at their books after this festival season and perhaps decide against offering all-inclusive weather packages. “At some point, every supplier, artist, staff member and fan may have to insure themselves,” Koopmans muses. The second development on the European continent, which severely hampered the live experience for many, was the recent terrorist attacks in France and at Ansbach Music Festival in Germany. “Naturally, this worries people,” Koopmans says. While FKP hasn’t experienced a decline in ticket sales yet, the current climate “could lead to it.” There’s only so much you can do as a promoter, some risk will always remain. Live Nation GSA released a statement preparing fans for longer waits and more thorough searches at festival entrances, asking them to forgo larger bags, backpacks, handbags and helmets unless necessary. Culture is “an integral attribute of a free and open society,” Lieberberg says. The aim is to maintain this way of life, but recent events make the protection of fans, artists and staff paramount.
“We’re wondering how much longer the upward price spiral should and can be maintained. The industry, as well as musical diversity in general, is going to suffer once customers can only afford to go to very few events.” Oliver Hoppe, Wizard Promotions ICS, the promoters of Wacken Open Air (4-6 August), in conjunction with the safety authorities, decided to ban all backpacks and bags from the event area. And MCT is likely to take a similar route, according to Sabottka. “What exactly are you supposed to do against lunatics?” he asks rhetorically. So far, terrorism hasn’t had any effect on visitor numbers. People in Germany are able and willing to pay good money to go out and see high-profile acts, says Jürgen Schlensog of Opus
IQ Magazine September 2016
Germany Live, who promote the annual Jazz Open Festival in Stuttgart, which celebrated a record number of 36,000 visitors this year, twice as many as in 2013. “We’ve worked on our profile over the years, linking jazz as the basis with neighbouring genres. The audience seems to like it. We were able to increase the quality of the line-up, as well as the capacities of the different stages,” Schlensog explains. If you create an event that’s popular with the people, you will also attract sponsors. “By now we make around 25% of the festival budget through sponsoring. It allows us to produce high quality.” Indeed, despite the turbulent experiences of Hurricane, Southside and Rock am Ring, the vast majority of Germany’s music festivals continue to enjoy healthy visitor numbers, and even the city of Berlin – shunned by most festival organisers for its perceived cash-strapped population – will see the second edition of Lollapalooza in September, albeit at a new site, thanks to its initial home, Tempelhof Airport, now hosting thousands of refugees in a temporary village.
Insurance Bernhard Eberhard of insurance company Eberhard, Raith & Partner Assekuranz Makler (erpam) says: “We’ve always been concerned with the weather issue, and are in constant consultation with underwriters. If we look at the past 30 years (I’ve been in this business since 1985), then we’re on the very safe side in absolute terms. On the other hand, the extreme weather eruptions, that only
seem to get more extreme, are daunting indeed. The frequency may not increase, but the impact does from year to year. Still, we’re not yet at a point where one has to expect price increases. “As far as terrorism is concerned, we in Germany are very relaxed, the clients as well as the underwriters. We’ve got our own terms, and we’ve always insured immediate terrorist attacks without surcharge. The loss ratio is 0.00%. That’s a very good starting situation. We’re offering the co-insurance of threats of attacks and/or terrorist attacks through a separate clause with a surcharge of 20%. The market in London rests at 0.50% and more. The tendency of underwriters to earn money with artificially induced fear is very limited in Germany. And the promoters do not tend to panic, which makes me personally very happy. The weather risks are much more important to them.”
Venues When it comes to large-scale venues, Germany boasts more arenas and stadiums capable of hosting concerts than anywhere outside of North America. Among the top-used facilities are Munich’s Olympic Stadium, which has an official capacity of 70,000 (although played host to 80,000 Bon Jovi fans in 2006) and Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena, which can hold 51,000 football fans or 44,000 concert-goers. Both stadiums have discovered the benefits of hosting multi-day events: DEAG promoted its twin rock festivals Rockavaria at the Olympic
Germany Wizard Promotions broke attendance records with their Böhse Onkelz shows at Hockenheimring. Photo © Klaus Zakowski
Stadium, and Rock im Revier (26-28 May) in Dortmund’s Westfalenhalle. Big City Beats put on the annual World Club Dome in Commerzbank Arena, 2-4 June. “Having your stadium booked for three days – or more if you count production, buildup and dismantling – is always better than just a one off,” says Moritz Schneider, the stadium’s business development manager. Big City Beats also promoted a Tomorrowland spinoff in Schalke’s Veltins-Arena on 23 July in which 30,000 people danced to the sound of top DJs, some of which were flown in from Belgium, where the original Tomorrowland was taking place. Veltins-Arena, which can hold more than 79,000 people for concerts, also banks on the multi-day event format, hosting its own version of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest in, surprisingly, October. While the big stadiums are doing fine, there’s a lack of midsized spaces in Germany, in particular in its capital Berlin, which is why the Mercedes-Benz-Arena is currently in the process of building a new 4,400-capacity venue with the working title of The Music Box, to open in 2018. AEG’s Michael Hapka believes the new space will allow promoters to tour more artists. There may be success at the top end, but small venues in Germany are struggling. A recent report on the German industry showed that operating expenses for small clubs in Germany include one third for artist fees, a third for miscellaneous costs and less than a third for personnel costs. This is only possible because so many volunteers work in clubs. While many artists never make it to arena-level, they still have to be paid by the clubs, who are also in charge of catering and paying the collecting societies, Karsten Schölermann of Germany’s live music commission LiveKomm reminded delegates at this year’s ILMC that, “the club doesn’t evolve with the artist.” Germany also boasts a couple of very scenic outdoor venues, such as the aforementioned Berliner Waldbühne and Hamburg’s Stadtpark, a 148 hectare green oasis in the middle of the city. Its annual concert series is promoted by Karsten Jahnke, who has
already welcomed more than 100,000 guests in 2016 to shows by Lionel Richie, ZZ Top, Simply Red, Cypress Hill and many more, at the time of writing. In.Stuttgart.de developed a model bundling the city’s major events and venues (Schleyer-Halle, Porsche-Arena, Liederhalle, Freilichtbühne, and Wasen) under one roof. “On the one hand, we’re venue operators but we also act as promoters. This facilitates synergies when acquiring events, but also in the areas of marketing and sponsoring. We’ve been successfully operating for more than ten years now,” explains Jörg Klopfer, the company’s spokesperson
Ticketing Germany’s leading ticketing company is CTS Eventim, by far the dominant player over other contenders including Ticketmaster, AD-Ticket/Reservix and Bilettix. DEAG’s Myticket.de was founded in November 2014 and is focused on becoming one of the leading digital ticketing companies within the next three years. Myticket.de sells exclusively online, and most promoters IQ spoke to confirmed that, generally, online is the most important point of sale. Dieter Semmelmann says that Germany’s stable ticket sales are “yet another cause of optimism.” The question is, how long will this continue given the ever-increasing ticket prices? BDV’s Michow explains that artists’ ever-increasing fees leave promoters with ever-increasing costs. Wizard Promotions’ Oliver Hoppe is watching the price developments in the arena space in particular. “We’re wondering how much longer the upward price spiral should and can be maintained. The industry, as well as musical diversity in general, is going to suffer once customers can only afford to go to very few events.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
According to FKP’s Koopmans, prices are still quite low in Germany compared to elsewhere in Europe, especially given the costs of promoting events. “We’re going to have to raise prices for our festivals for sure to be able to fulfill the quality and security expectations of today. We’ve already raised prices quite significantly this year. This is bound to happen again.” Koopmans predicts that the concert space will see more flexibly priced tickets going forward. “You’ll have the super VIP ticket for €2,000, but also regular priced ones. Everything is in demand. It depends on what the artist wants obviously, but I think that, going forward, we’ll see offerings in all price ranges.” The idea that tickets can be priced dynamically may have been inspired by the secondary market where flexible pricing is already happening, albeit in a way uncontrolled by the promoters. So the exorbitant profits some sellers make by reselling tickets never end up with the organisers of the event, thus enabling them to cover production costs etc – a situation Koopmans describes as “unjust.” He adds that, “if we sell those tickets, we can at least provide appropriate value and quality like VIP dinners, a private entrance etc.” FKP will also start personalising tickets in the future, at least for the big tours. Marek Lieberberg echoes the stance taken by Michael Rapino at this year’s ILMC: “It does not make much sense to only point the finger at the secondary market. At the end of the day, it’s the fans’ desires that decide about the acceptance of such offers. The market is moving fast, one has to observe it.
“We organise up to 1,000 concerts per year, and that remains our benchmark. Naturally, we’ll continue to be looking into new projects, whether that’s music, theatre or entertainment.” Marek Lieberberg, Live Nation GSA “Of course, we need to make sure that fans are not discriminated against and know who they’re buying from,” he continues. “The possibility to reasonably trade tickets like any other goods should be a given. We’re one of the few companies in Germany that went to court against secondary platforms. We do not work with companies like StubHub, Viagogo, at all.” Eventim’s senior VP, Rainer Appel, points toward his company’s own offer called fanSALE. “[It’s] a fair, secure and transparent market place for genuine fan-to-fan transactions,
Germany SSC use Tonhalle in Düsseldorf for the New Fall Festival
“The economic climate is very good, because promoters sell enough tickets. At the very least, the mid-sized and large segments are doing well.” Okan Tombulca, eps and we absolutely believe that there is nothing wrong with such transactions,” Appel contends. “If, however, inventory is scooped away from the primary market before the fans can even purchase it, and then put up on so-called secondary platforms at a huge mark-up, that is certainly neither in the interest of the fan nor of the promoter or artist.” As a result, Eventim offers Captcha protection where needed and permanently analyses online transactions in order to detect potential abusive use of its platforms, so it can cancel any rogue orders. “Payment transactions are also closely monitored and we have implemented sophisticated detection mechanisms to prevent payment fraud,” Appel continues. “We also offer ticket personalisation and together with the German Promoter Association have developed a model for promoters to effectively limit the resale of their tickets, which is used successfully for many major tours and shows to the satisfaction of promoters, artists and fans alike.”
Suppliers Ticket price considerations of course have implications for everyone working in the live entertainment business. Timo Mathes of Megaforce tells IQ that the pricing pressure in the market and the speed with which it moves, have been the most significant developments for production and service suppliers over the past few years. “As an event service company you have to adapt to ever-increasing productions in an ever-decreasing timeframe. You have to constantly change and improve, also internally.” He says that the number of EDM events has grown, which means that elaborate Tomorrowland-style stage constructions are in high demand. One of the biggest challenges in the sector is the lack of qualified staging professionals. Mathes says that while “we usually experience a decrease in assignments in the years of major sports events like the Olympics, Euros or World Cup, this isn’t the case so far in 2016. Commissions are similar to last year.” Okan Tombulca, CEO of infrastructure supplier eps, says, “Consulting with authorities is getting more complicated and tightly routed schedules are also on top of the list. When Beyoncé is playing in a different city every two nights, sometimes more than 1,000 kilometres apart, it poses a major strain not only for the personnel but for the materials being transported.” Routing and local authorities aside, Tombulca confirms a common sentiment in Europe’s largest live music playground: that “the economic climate is very good, because promoters sell enough tickets. At the very least, the mid-sized and large segments are doing well.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
IQ Magazine September 2016
Keeping the Lights On
The plight of small live music venues has never been bleaker, as economic and political forces conspire to close their doors for good. But Eamonn Forde learns that like-minded venue owners around the world are staging a battle to preserve music’s grass-roots proving grounds. The Beatles at both The Cavern and The Star Club; The Rolling Stones at The Crawdaddy Club; pretty much every British punk band at the 100 Club, The Nashville Rooms, the Vortex and The Hope & Anchor; every UK indie or alternative rock band of the past 25 years at The Water Rats, The Dublin Castle, King Tut’s and The Leadmill.
Tuning up Without these small venues (and thousands like them all around the world), music today might be very different, and might also be nowhere near as diverse and exciting as it is. These are the tiny spaces where acts cut their teeth, learn their craft and build their following. They are, to paraphrase Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers, where bands and artists put their 10,000 hours in. But these venues are seriously under threat, for a multitude of reasons – relating to rising overheads; unsympathetic local councils; gentrification; opportunistic and avaricious landlords; noise complaints; and demographic changes. There is, however, a vociferous backlash against these ofticonic spaces closing and becoming little more than a fading memory. Mark Davyd is founder and CEO of the Music Venue Trust, as well as the owner of the Tunbridge Wells Forum (a small-capacity venue that has played host to Adele, Coldplay,
Oasis, Mumford & Sons, and Muse amongst others, in the early days of their respective careers). Davyd suggests that the disappearance of small venues started to become a real problem for the British live circuit five years ago. He says that it was normal and accepted that some grass-roots venues would close and others would open to replace them. That stopped happening, however, in around 2011. Venues, some of them famous and emblematic, were indeed closing, but new ones were failing to spring up in order to fill the gap.
We’ll get by with a little help from… “In late 2013, we decided to set-up a charitable trust to protect, secure and improve the UK grass-roots music venues,” Davyd says, pooling the knowledge and experience of people around the country who had worked in live music for years. Its initial focus, when the Music Venue Trust formally launched in January 2014, was to be “a National Trust of venues,” taking over the freehold (permanent tenure) of buildings and leasing them out to the owners on the proviso that their main function was to provide live music.
The Burgerweeshuis venue in the Netherlands city of Deventer is a member of VNPF photo © Dick Leurs
IQ Magazine September 2016
Grass Roots Venues
“[Music venues] are safe havens for up-and-coming talent to perform, make mistakes and learn. They are the start of the chain of talent development and crucial for the start of many musicians’ careers.” Kees Lamers, VNPF Davyd says that 60-70% of the problems small venues face are related to the freehold (and the rent and rates tied to that), so they wanted to nip these challenges in the bud. The Music Venue Trust began a campaign whose focus was to identify the problems, multifarious as they were, that were undermining venues’ long-term success, and to find solutions to those problems. “It is a very badly constructed economic model. It is badly constructed in just about every aspect.” As part of the MVT’s work, it has established the Music Venues Day, which this year will be held on 18 October in London’s Roundhouse. That initiative has attracted some important allies. “Independent live music is what we’re all about, and grassroots music venues are the backbone of the industry,” says Sam Isles, managing director of TicketWeb and VP of artist services at Ticketmaster International. “With these venues, emerging acts have a place to shine and fans have a place to discover amazing new music. This is why we passionately support Music Venue Trust and look forward to sponsoring Venues Day.” And venues are also finding friends among other commercial ventures who can assist with measures to prevent noise complaints, for example. “Audio focus can be the key to noise control, especially when working within smaller venues,” says Dan Thomas, venue technical supervisor at London-based specialists White Light Ltd. “By choosing a system design that is specific to each room, you can minimise unwanted audio spill from both front of house and on stage. A room-specific design and a comprehensive EQ also allows engineers to increase perceived loudness without necessarily increasing sound pressure levels.” Such support is welcome, but it’s not enough. A report the MVT carried out for the Mayor of London in 2015 identified 21 main reasons why music venues were failing in the capital. These included cost structures, policing, interpretations around the licensing act and even the hike in tuition fees that means students have less disposable income. “It is a disaster for the UK music industry,” Davyd says of what is happening to the live music scene. “If these acts don’t have anywhere to perform, we are not going to produce the Adeles and Ed Sheerans of tomorrow.” Davyd complains that the UK is relying on a bottom-up approach to save these venues whereas in mainland Europe, a more effective top-down approach is being used, led by Live DMA. He would like to see many of their initiatives put into place in the UK, but to do that requires a change in government/council thinking as well as the introduction of subsidies for small venues and tariffs on major venues.
Kees Lamers is policy advisor at VNPF (the Dutch Association of Music Venues & Festivals), which represents 58 music venues and 35 music festivals in the Netherlands. He says that 98% of these venues are non-profit associations, but have been facing serious challenges since 2008. “[This was] due to the economic crisis of the previous years and audiences spending less money on tickets, food and beverages.” Lamers adds that Dutch government cuts to the arts and culture sectors have also impacted profoundly, with their own analysis showing that this is having a direct impact on booking policies at venues as they struggle to make ends meet. “If the music venues want to break even financially,” he argues, “they are more likely to book bigger and more established acts.” The cultural consequences here are stark. “Music venues, from the smallest to the largest, are important because they are safe havens for up-and-coming talent to perform, make mistakes and learn. They are the start of the chain of talent development and crucial for the start of many musicians’ careers.”
Tapping into funding According to Lamers, the ideal solution is for grassroots venues to get sufficient funding from local or central government. Indeed, the lobbying efforts of VNPF are starting to reap rewards. The Dutch Minister of Culture wrote a letter to the country’s parliament last year pointing out the real challenges they face. They also commissioned research into the role (culturally and economically) that music venues and festivals play in the Netherlands. Lamers adds that other notable successes driven by VNPF include keeping VAT on performances and tickets at 6% (as opposed to 21%) and negotiating agreements with the Dutch Tax Office and author rights organisations. That said, lobbying must continue, especially in light of elections for local governments (municipalities) in 2018, as they are the main funding partners for music venues (accounting for 97.2% of all subsidies). “In anticipation of those elections, we – together with our members – want to make sure that live music will be on the agendas of the local political parties,” Lamers says. Fabien Miclet is the coordinator at Liveurope, which was set-up in 2014 to support venues in their promotion of emerging European acts, working with Blå in Oslo, Music
Liveurope counts Music Box in Lisbon, Portugal, among its members
IQ Magazine September 2016
Grass Roots Venues Wandsworth Council in London recently protected a number of pubs and clubs from the threat of redevelopment, including popular live music venue The Bedford
“[Music venues] provide an essential part of the cultural landscape and are a key component of what makes a city attractive to youth and tourists.” Fabien Miclet, Liveurope Box in Lisbon, and Village Underground in London. “For many, especially in less densely populated areas, they are the only way to access live music performances,” Miclet says of small venues. “In urban areas, they provide an essential part of the cultural landscape and are a key component of what makes a city attractive to youth and tourists.” He suggests that the two major challenges facing venues today are “adapting to the constant transformation of the urban environment” and maintaining a good and diverse level of concert programming.
The root of all live Economics, however, is the biggest challenge. “If you are going to run a 500-capacity or less venue, taking financial risks is your bread and butter,” he says. “You are always sacrificing something when you want to book a show.” Miclet adds that none of the venues the organisation works with are supported by local governments on a regular basis, and that their sole form of funding is from the Liveurope scheme. “It distributes €35,000 a year on average to its
members,” he says of the scheme. “In two years of work, more than 830 concerts by emerging European bands have been organised with support from our fund. That’s more than 30 shows a year on average, per venue.” Davyd is looking to Europe for a map of the future for the UK. He says the top-tier venues in France and the Netherlands, for example, saw there was a problem around these “feeder” venues and did something about it. “They formed organisations and went to government to say they needed investment in these organisations as, economically, they were not really viable,” he says. He adds that, “The model in France is that there is a tariff on live music where 3.5% of all ticket sales go into a fund [collected by CNV]. When you are a venue at the lower end, you can write a risk-based assessment of how much money you are going to lose by putting on breaking acts and you can apply to draw that out of the fund.” Mapping this across to the UK is, he accepts, not going to be easy. “Your Live Nations and SJMs are, of course, going to object to any unnecessary, in their view, tariffs,” he says. “What you have to do is build the message in a way so that government and artists support it.” Davyd is cautiously excited about the role that brands can play here, talking of how Converse got involved with the 100 Club in London and helped prevent it from shutting down. While a major brand can help bail out a small and historically important venue, the sector must also look to address the underlying problems. “What is Converse paying for?” he asks of the 100 Club deal. “It’s paying for the fact that Westminster Council shouldn’t really be charging £54,000 a year in rates.” Davyd also points out that audience expectations are changing and so venues need to improve accordingly and finally put an end to the cliché of the “toilet circuit,” with its shabby décor and cavalier approach to hygiene. And that requires investment. “At the moment, these venues are being punished for what they were,” he says, “when really they should be rewarded for what they are.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
Rollin’ all over the world The international live music business relies massively on an army of specialists who work tirelessly to ensure crews, artists and their entourages enjoy hassle-free travel as they take shows around the world. Adam Woods talks to those at the sharp end of the travel and transport sector.
irtually every business sector has a knockout reason why the British public shouldn’t have voted for Brexit, but it’s hard to imagine any with better arguments than the live music transport business. For some, a departure from the EU might herald a blessed release from the tyranny of European law. For those in the touring game, it is likely to mean all the same laws, accompanied by a whole new barrage of outsider hassle. UK artists will still visit Europe, of course, and UK transport companies will presumably assist them, but their new touring experience may or may not include: fresh queues at customs; mind-boggling delays at Dover; visa and immigration implications at airports across the continent; new restrictions on market access for British-registered charter jets and buses; plus any number of other administrative and legislative sour grapes. But in other respects, 2016 is turning out to be a good year for the bus companies, air charter brokers, visa experts and travel agents of this world, buoyed by another busy round of global touring, and intensified, no doubt, by the prospect of tougher and trickier times ahead.
nce, the air charter business was a seasonal and rarefied one, catering mainly for big stars and summer tours. But as festivals have proliferated and scattered, charter prices have come down, artists have hit the road to chase the money and all kinds of acts have added flying to their everyday transport options. And meanwhile, the worldwide circuit has created a fully global charter market. “As the southern hemisphere becomes a more common route, our business extends from being just hot in the summer months to being year-round,” says David Young, senior vice president, North America, at touring charter specialist Victor. “It’s always summer somewhere,” he points out. Young, whose YoungJets company was acquired by Victor in June 2015, remembers his first day in aviation in
IQ Magazine September 2016
the early 2000s, after a career in A&R and management, and how it pointed the way forward for everything that has happened since. “I was going through my Rolodex and calling up friends of mine from the record business, telling them what I was up to, and I called up Green Day’s manager Pat Magnarella. I remember him saying to me, ‘Well, the band like their buses, but we’ve just heard the first pass of their new album, and I think it’s going to do really well’ – and that album was American Idiot. “There’s a great example of a band that’s perfectly fine hanging out with their crew on the bus, but the need to make the most of their time overwhelms the ability to do that. A jet is the ultimate tool for maximising your time.” So if it’s about time-maximisation, a charter jet client nowadays might be an EDM DJ with a single hit, rocketing through a booking-stuffed weekend, caning it while the money is good. “I’m finding that the EDM artists are hopping on a jet much sooner in their career,” says Young. “The availability of stage time goes until 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, and they can often do a DJ set in one city and a full set in another.” Many a group of ageing veterans, by contrast, is coaxed out on the road on the basis that they can fly back to the same hotel each night. “They can go out and tour the entire south-east of the US, leave their families at the Four Seasons in Atlanta and fly back to them after every show,” says Young. Equally, the private jet candidate might be a young indie band, packing in European summer festivals in remote, picturesque spots, and judging that the exposure, the fee and the easy access justify the cost. “In the summer festival period, we do get people who might not consider charter any other time, but need to get to some of those out-of-the-way places where either the scheduled airlines don’t serve, or else it’s only the low-fare carriers that get booked up far in advance,” says Adrian Whitmarsh, director at UKbased global charter broker Premier Aviation. “And with the festival fees artists can get, it’s cost-effective to do it.”
Transport and Travel Victor use a variety of aircraft to get their clients from A to B
And then, of course, there’s the kind of megastar we all some of the major airline hub airports,” says Whitmarsh. “99% of imagine flying in private jets in the first place. Most charter the time when we fly, we are avoiding the terminals anyway. That flights are relatively short-haul, but all the same, big stars makes charter a much more secure environment straightaway, appreciate a place to lie down, and perhaps a separate smoking because you are not travelling with every Tom, Dick and Harry; cabin, for those who can’t help themselves. you are travelling with a known group, in private.” “If that is a specific criterion, we can and do find aircraft that Private charter is more convenient than commercial travel will allow that, with compartmentalised, air-conditioned cabins,” in many ways, but there are still challenges in getting artists says Whitmarsh, whose clients include the Rolling Stones, Black where they need to go every time. “French air space continues Sabbath, AC/DC and Lionel Richie. to be Europe’s most crowded “Most of the strangest requests often with private jets, with the UK and “As the southern hemisphere involve the food and catering, normally Germany following close behind,” when a band have been on tour for some says Kindred. “Many Mediterranean becomes a more common time and simply want a taste of home hotspots like Ibiza and Mykonos are comforts, whether it’s fish and chips, suffering the effects of congestion, route, our business extends a curry, KFC, a certain bottle of wine with runway slot availabilities and from being just hot in the or champagne,” says Paul Kindred, Air aircraft parking restrictions.” Partner business development manager, Brexit can be expected to have an summer months to being music and entertainment. “Sometimes impact on the charter business in the year-round... It’s always we’ll simply arrange a birthday cake coming years, Whitmarsh suggests, if – with candles – for a member of the the UK business loses its historically summer somewhere.” band or crew, or even have to fly out a strong international position. The family pet who’s being missed.” implications are stark for UK-based - David Young, Victor International superstars, it is fleets, who could find themselves probably safe to say, don’t tend to sidelined by pragmatic brokers and waste a lot of time deliberating between the charter jet and the concerned clients. tour bus. Some, such as Taylor Swift, keep their own private “What we are going to be looking at is whether the UK planes on standby. business aviation fleet retains access to the European market,” “The people at the top of their career often see this as part says Whitmarsh. “Where we are at the moment, any operator of their lifestyle,” says Young. “For them, it’s certainly not from any EU state has unrestricted access to the whole of just a tool for connecting the dots; they see it as an extension the market. A British operator can fly between Germany and of their five-star hotel.” France, or domestically within Germany or France. But the There are darker reasons why artists might elect to fly question that comes up is: will we retain that access? privately these days too, given the heightened state of security “When Article 50 is triggered, we have 24 months left in the awareness at the world’s major airports – especially those in EU. Well, that’s not a very long time in which to negotiate all of Europe, and particularly when seen through the eyes of the these new requirements. We often book aircraft six or 12 months notably cautious American travelling artist. ahead, planning tours. If we can’t guarantee UK-registered “With the increasing security concerns people have these days, aircraft are going to able to fly that tour right through Europe, we flying directly between regional airports allows them to avoid are going to be using more of the EU states’ aircraft.”
IQ Magazine September 2016
Transport and Travel The lounge area in one of Phoenix Bussing’s luxury coaches
he bus business has been a put-upon one in recent years, having had to cope with a succession of headaches including horrendously high diesel prices (fortunately rather lower lately); EU rules on driving hours (no more than nine hours most days, or 56 in a week, or 90 in any two consecutive weeks, and don’t forget an unbroken rest period of 45 hours every seven days); and now, for the Brits at least, the post-Brexit promise of driving around a Europe in which everyone hates you.
“I can see problems coming up in the near future,” says Paul Hattin, operations manager at Phoenix Bussing, the UK division of Germany’s Beat The Street, a couple of weeks after somewhat pointed French border staff shortages at the Port of Dover caused eight-mile queues for ferries and the Eurotunnel. “The French have never liked us, and Brexit gives them another reason not to like us,” says Hattin. “They will be gunning for us, there’s no doubt about it. They will be making things as difficult as they can. They will be looking for us on the road, looking for GB plates, pulling you over and going through your papers.” Bus operators have long since learned to cope with the hassle of flying double drivers out to relieve those whose hours are all used up. Now there are new headaches: new non-EU passports, new non-EU licence plates, new VAT rules and many others yet to be determined. “It won’t affect us but it will affect us,” says Hattin. “There’s people in Brussels beavering away now, coming up with a new, even worse set of rules which, even though we are out of Europe, as soon as we drive into Europe we’ll be subject to.” Business, however, is just fine. “It depends on the time of the year,” says German broker Daniel Grosse of International Tournee Concepts. “Right now, it’s pretty busy just because of all the festivals, but I also have some tours already booked for September, October, November. I’d say it’s busier than last year.” Hattin agrees. “Last year, we had what we consider to be a bad year, which was objectively a medium year. This year
Transport and Travel
Contributors Adrian Whitmarsh (Premier Aviation), Brande Lindsey (Global Access Worldwide Entertainment Visas), Daniel Grosse (International Tournee Concepts), David Young (Victor), Oleg Gaidar (Artist and Entertainer Visas Global), Paul Hattin (Phoenix Bussing), Paul Kindred (Air Partner)
has been an incredible one. We have got 30 buses coming planned it for one hour, and it lasted three hours. It is very back into the yard today, 30 buses going out, and on and on important to keep up to date with changes in the rules.” through the summer. Elton John and Status Quo are on the Across the touring world, those rules have a way of road, but we’ve also done a couple of buses for Beyoncé, changing faster than anyone can predict. we’ve got David Gilmour, Last Shadow Puppets, Prodigy, In the UK alone, the work permissions guidelines for Chemical Brothers…” entertainers run to 177 pages and are updated several times As with aircraft, clients expect their standard of bus travel each year. Hidden within those pages are all manner of only to improve over time, he says. contradictions and surprises, and “If people get on a bus they were on every time a rule is quietly changed five years ago, they say, ‘Hang on a it can take the entertainment sector “The challenges we face are minute, this bus hasn’t changed in months or even years to fully catch up. generally connected with five years and we are still paying the “The challenges we face are same rate.’ We’ve always got one bus generally connected with bureaucratic bureaucratic mistakes, and in the shop, and you are expected to mistakes, and civil servants tinkering civil servants tinkering with keep up with the latest technology in with the rules without consulting with – terms of TVs and hi-fis.” or even notifying – those they impact,” the rules without consulting And again, as with aircraft, as a says Tina Richard, director of North with – or even notifying – band’s road years tick up, so does the Yorkshire-based visa and immigration sense of expectation and their need for specialist T&S Immigration Services, those they impact.” enhanced comfort. which primarily deals with US talent “If you have an up-and-coming coming into the UK. - Tina Richard, band that is out for the first or second “Border officers make far too T&S Immigration Services time, they don’t expect too much,” many errors with work permissions says Grosse. “If the artist is more for entertainers, despite the established, they want the best bus current system having had eight for the cheapest price. “If you have a small band and they years to bed in,” says Richard. “And it’s very frustrating want a van for a four-week tour in Europe, I usually try to get when the government slips a new requirement into their them in a mini-sleeper, because it’s just a bit more expensive documentation.” All artists can do, most of the time, is chalk but the comfort is way better than in a splitter van. A lot of it up to experience. “What they get most frustrated about are bands that started with the splitter vans are now coming and border guards who don’t seem to know their own systems or asking for a bus.” who treat their artists with a lack of efficiency or respect,” she says. Richard’s husband and business partner, Steve, keeps a list of the border guard errors T&S’s artists have encountered in the last two years. “It’s currently 13 pages long and growing every few days,” says Richard.
Visa and immigration
ext time you see a huge touring production lumbering around the world, swarming with production personnel, spare a thought for the poor soul in a distant office, ensuring every single one of them has the correct visa and immigration papers for every market they enter. You can probably assume, as well, that that person’s life won’t get any easier post-Brexit, when every British artist, crew member, truck driver and charter flight attendant may need a visa to work in any given country in Europe. Because the fact is, it’s complicated enough already. “We just did a Q&A session for artist agents in the UK,’ says Oleg Gaidar at Artist and Entertainer Visas Global. “We
IQ Magazine September 2016
Transport and Travel
In the face of such frustrations, the role of the visa and for band and crew members so that more than one visa immigration professional, as ever, is to keep cool and efficient, application can be made at any one time. remain as friendly as possible with consulates worldwide, and Gaidar’s heaviest workload was for U2’s 360° tour, when see the snarl-ups coming a mile away. “a few hundred” individuals needed smooth passage around “Artists come to us with a proposed touring schedule and the world “including crew, principals, friends and family.” we try to feed all the immigration processes into that schedule,” Brande Lindsey at US-based Global Access Worldwide says Gaidar. “It is very, very rare that we have a situation where Entertainment Visas warns that US immigration is, it’s impossible to get it done, but the predictably, stricter all the time, and challenge is to get people to plan far in they are not the only ones who have advance, because there are limits. “If we “When Article 50 is triggered, clear ideas on the kind of people get a call on Monday saying, ‘we are they don’t want to let in. “Criminal we have 24 months left in due in China for a corporate event in two records are becoming an issue in days,’ of course there is not enough time. Australia, Canada and the US,” she the [European Union]. Well, To get a work permit for the US, China, says. “They are getting smarter, too that’s not a very long time in Russia, takes some time.” – they are going on the internet and “Having good relationships can which to negotiate all of these checking people out.”Needless to say, expedite visas even if it says on the the touring business doesn’t always new requirements.” official website it takes seven days,” entirely have its act together in this adds Gaidar. “Most [international regard. “There’s a lot of new, small - Adrian Whitmarsh, consulates] are quite friendly and promoters coming into play, because willing to help.” the big ones are buying each other Premier Aviation As a rule of thumb, with a decent out,” says Lindsey, “and they don’t immigration professional on your necessarily give their artists the right side, you can get a Japanese work permit in around four information. ‘Come in as a tourist! Sneak in!’ And it’s just not days and a Russian one in two. But don’t leave your Korean a recommendation.”If there’s one rule tour managers need to application late: when they say seven days’ processing time, bear in mind, in the ever more complicated world of global that’s what they mean. business travel, says Lindsey, it’s an old one. “It’s Murphy’s Bands can help by understanding such challenges, and by law: what can go wrong will go wrong. And everyone always planning ahead, for instance by applying for second passports needs to recognise that at the planning stages.”
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band enjoyed a record-breaking visit to Sweden this summer, attracting a total of 190,336 fans across three shows at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg. That decimated the previous record, also held by Springsteen, of 167,000 at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, in 2013. Marking the occasion with The Boss are Live Nation Sweden promoters Tor Nielsen, Anna Sjölund and Thomas Johansson. Photo © Natalie Greppi.
Daniel Cuffe and Jason Cotillard of promoters Cuffe & Taylor presented Rod Stewart with a commemorative plaque to mark the huge success of his UK stadium tour, More than 160,000 tickets were sold for the tour, which resulted in the gigs at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl (28,000) and Norwich Football Club’s Carrow Road (25,000) breaking records for both venues.
hess of York Who frontman Roger Daltrey, Duc Young cancer patients joined The opening of the new the at ges Brid n Kevi edian Sarah Ferguson and Scottish com Glasgow in July. Royal Hospital for Children in Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the in Scotland – as h fourt the – unit the e creat ,000 to The charity invested nearly £400 . costs running well as funding specialist staff and
Staff at The O2 arena presented general manager Rebecca Kane Burton with a special cartoon to mark the end of her four and a half years at the helm of the world’s busiest venue (see page 8). Pictured with Rebecca and husband, Sagi, at her farewell party, is Solo Agency’s John Giddings.
Marking the 20th anniversary of his Pohoda Festival, Slovak promoter Michal Kaščák was given the greatest accolade known to man when he was made an honourary Scotsman during the 7-9 July event. Pictured at the Clan McKaščák gathering are: Vic Galloway (BBC Radio Scotland), Gordon Masson (IQ Magazine), Michal, Ruud Berends (International Festival Forum), Allan McGowan (IQ Magazine), Jeremy Hulsh (3A Productions), Matjaž Manček (MENT Ljubljana) and Dalibor Martinčević (PaF!).
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 September 2016
“What is your most prized possession and how did you get it?” (part one) TOP SHOUT On Eminem’s first tour of Australia in 2001, Marshall and I were in catering sharing a meal and he started to draw on the tablecloth – a full-length self-portrait of himself flipping the viewer off. We started to head off to sound-check and he was going to leave it there, so I asked if I could have it… It’s framed, signed and hanging in my guest room in Nashville. I’ve had numerous offers to purchase it and I’ve had it properly appraised – it’s worth quite a lot – but I would never sell it. Akiko Rogers, WME
No question. My empty ILMC Bottle Award. I sleep with it every night. Oh, and a signed photo of the great jazz drummer Elvin Jones and myself fondling said award. And my ILMC Arthur Award, of course, plus the £10 cab refund for ILMC 25, which I treasure. I’ve had that one framed. Ed Bicknell, Damage Management
In the early 70s, I went to see B.B. King in Watford (‘the home of the blues’). The venue was laid-out cabaret style with tables and chairs, waitress service – you know the type of thing – and I found myself sat at a table as near to the stage as you could get. I had a really close view of the great man and his style of playing. During one particularly impassioned solo something flicked off his guitar catching the light as it spun through the air falling neatly into my outstretched hand. I found myself in possession of a still warm, just used, B.B. King pick (or plectrum if you want to be picky [and if you’ll forgive the pun.]) Ignoring the jealous glances of others at the table I pocketed the precious item. Later, I of course picked up my guitar to try out the thing which I was sure would convey some of the maestro’s skills to my playing, and do you know what – I was still rubbish! Allan McGowan, IQ Magazine
It’s a Tony Iommi signature left-handed SG guitar, signed by the man himself. I got it at this year’s Download Festival before Black Sabbath performed their final UK festival appearance.
Dave Bradley, Live Nation
Pets aside, possessions are just ‘stuff.’ I’d be very upset to lose my flat with its Bosphorus view and Ottoman history. The rest of my mountain of stuff I can let go of and one day will... Nick Hobbs, Charmenko
This T-shirt! Given to me by Wayne Coyne, on what really was the greatest night of my life – the night that I was a Flaming Lips dancing santa at Hammersmith Apollo (November 2006). Gillian Park, MGR Touring
A few years ago, Calvin Harris started a tour in Bristol. A friend of mine, his tour manager at the time, called to ask if I knew where he could get some MDF locally, and perhaps a jigsaw. Two hours later, I’m in the car park outside the venue with a selection of wood, the stuff us blokes of a certain age keep in case of such emergencies; you know, those occasions when an artist is putting the finishing touches to their second album and needs a bespoke work surface attached to the seats at the top of the bus for a laptop and a pair of monitors. A few guts, a few holes, a few cable ties and the temporary studio was built. My most-prized possession from that Saturday morning is the anecdote, for it is all I have. My daughter got a t-shirt. She had no idea who he was but politely said hello when Calvin popped onto the bus. Andy Lenthall, Production Services Association
Got a prized possession you’d like to share the story behind? Then tell editor Gordon Masson via email@example.com
IQ Magazine September 2016