LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE FALLING LEAVES DRIFT BY THE WINDOW / THE AUTUMN LEAVES OF RED AND GOLD ISSUE 68
Luger Celebrates 25 Years International Festival Forum 2016 Touring Exhibitions Laura Pausini: A Year in Live Market Focus: Poland Shifting Gear: Transport Spotlight
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 68
Cover: Lady Leshur at IFF2016 © Martin Hughes @m3hcreative
News and Developments 6 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months 8 In Depth Key stories from around the live music world 12 Busy Bodies Industry associations share business concerns and news 13 New Signings A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the rosters of international agents 18 Techno Files Revealing the hottest new technology in live entertainment 20 International Festival Forum Photos from year two of the IFF in London
Features 22 Touring Expo-sed Musician and band-focused shows are making headlines in the touring exhibitions sector 30 Market Focus: Poland Adam Woods looks at the health of the live music business in Poland 38 Luger’s Silver Bullet Celebrating quarter of a century with one of Scandinavia’s most innovative music companies 46 A Year in the Live of Laura Pausini On the back of stadium shows across three continents, it’s been a huge year for team Pausini 52 Trucking & Freight In part two of our transport focus, Adam Woods talks to the specialists that move equipment and tours around the planet
Comments and Columns 14 Working Together Pays Off Anita Debaere highlights the benefits of an organisation that represents 7,000 institutions in the live sector 15 Making the Most of Malaysia Rahul Kukreja explains his ambitions to develop Malaysia’s standing in the South East Asia touring market 16 The Taming of the Queue Judith Clumpas shares her research into arena customer experience design 17 Funding First Steps Vanessa Reed emphasises the importance of nurturing artists’ first steps overseas 60 Members’ Noticeboard Keeping you posted on what ILMC members are up to
62 Your Shout “What is your most prized possession and how did you get it?” (Part two)
IQ Magazine November 2016
Falling into Autumn Gordon Masson celebrates another successful summer for the industry, despite some weather-related problems.
peaking to promoters internationally, 2016 has been another landmark outdoor season for the live music industry with festivals throughout the northern hemisphere selling out and, anecdotally at least, fewer cancellations and festival failures than in recent years. Unfortunately, violent summer storms inevitably played their part, notably in Germany where the likes of Rock Am Ring, Southside and Hurricane were hit by thunderstorms and heavy rain. But on the whole, attendees at September’s International Festival Forum in London were in positive mood when talking about their summer experiences. Personally, I went to events in Slovakia (Pohoda), Romania (ARTmania Bucharest Blast), Germany (Lollapalooza Berlin) and the United States (Desert Trip) – all completely different events, with unique atmospheres. Each event was massively enjoyable, which surely is what we all look for in our annual fix of festival fun. So congratulations to all the organisers of those events and elsewhere – and special commendation to the aforementioned Hurricane, whose staff battled tirelessly to ensure they delivered a memorable experience for the tens of thousands of fans who endured the storms, kept the faith, and witnessed what must be one of the most miraculous overnight rebuilds ever! It’ll be interesting to analyse the results of the season in our European Festival Report in the next issue of the magazine. So for any of you festival promoters that have not already done so, please complete our survey by visiting www.surveymonkey. co.uk/r/Festival_Report_2016, although we’ll be sending reminders over the course of the next few weeks. As we look toward the end of the year, the festivals in the northern hemisphere are all but done, while our friends and colleagues on the other side of the world gear up for the start of their festival season, so there’s something for everyone to check out in our IFF pictorial (page 20), as well as extended coverage of the event on iq-mag.net.
IQ Magazine November 2016
We also put Swedish promoters Luger under the spotlight in this issue, as the company and directors Ola Broquist and Patrick Fredriksson celebrate 25 years in the business (page 38), and reveal plans for a new winter sports-related festival planned for next year. Staying in northern Europe, Adam Woods turns his market reporting skills on Poland (page 30), where despite losing lots of young people who have gone to temporarily work in other countries, the nation’s live music business has never been healthier. Eamonn Forde, meanwhile, tackles our annual look at the touring exhibitions sector (page 22), where the past year or so has seen the launch of a number of rock & roll-related expos. But can the likes of the Stones and Floyd benefit from the experience of existing productions touring the arenas and conference centres of the world? And talking of successful international tours, we also dip into the world of Italian superstar Laura Pausini (page 46), who recently wrapped up an outing that saw her play stadium shows in her own country, as well as arenas throughout the Americas and Europe. And if that wasn’t enough, we also have part two of our transport special features (page 52), this time focussing on the specialists who help move productions from country to country and continent to continent via land, sea and air, whilst dealing with ever increasing red tape at border controls. Finally, it was with heavy hearts that we learned about the tragic death of Bianca Freitas (see page 8). Aged just 34, Bianca was one of the brightest young stars of the live music business and was an inspiring soul who was doing much to educate a new generation of live music professionals in her native Brazil and beyond. It has been devastating news to digest and I’d like to extend the heartfelt condolences of everyone at IQ and ILMC to all of Bianca’s family and friends. She will be sorely missed.
Issue 68 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, November 2016
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In Tweets... SEPTEMBER Austria’s festival market is “reaching saturation point” according to Music Austria’s Rainer Praschak, as three high-profile events are cancelled. Director of live entertainment at the SSE Hydro, John Langford, is appointed vice-president and general manager of The O2 in London (see page 8). DICE becomes the exclusive ticketing partner for 12 independent UK venues. Ticketing industry veteran Rosa Martinez is appointed marketing director of UK-based Vibe Tickets (see page 8). The Spanish promoters association, APM, welcomes politicians’ pledges to reduce the VAT on cultural events. Charging service fees on print-at-home tickets should be outlawed, a German court rules. Wantickets sues Eventbrite, alleging that former staff funnelled business to the company while still employees. Event ticketing and marketing platform, Vendini, hits US$2bn in gross sales, just 18 months after making its first billion. Burning Man stage White Ocean is sabotaged by ‘hooligans’ in an apparent protest attack. Live Nation announces joint venture with live events, cinema & advertising company Elan Group to operate two venues in the Arabic state. London nightclub Fabric is closed after having its licence revoked. Ticket touts made $3m from the last Mumford & Sons tour, according to manager Adam Tudhope. DJ Lethal launches Kashcoin, a cryptocurrency for the music industry. John Denison, promoter of Australia’s short-lived Soulfest is ordered to pay $500k in damages to APRA AMCOS by a Sydney court. Ticketmaster-owned, secondary-ticketing platform Seatwave takes its market footprint to 14 following a Nordic expansion. Live Nation stockholder Liberty Media Corporation agrees to acquire Formula 1. Eventbrite inks a major deal with a trio
of iconic Australian live venues – Sydney’s Newtown Social Club and Melbourne institutions The Corner Hotel and Northcote Social Club. Industry veteran Tim Chambers is named non-executive director of UK ticket search engine TickX (see page 8). Three Love Parade attendees begin fresh civil proceedings against organisers of the tragic 2010 German festival where 21 people died. Electronic Sports League signs a strategic partnership with AEG worldwide allowing it access to 120 AEG-operated venues. AEG Live appoints ex-Apple Music digital marketing head Brooke Kain as chief digital officer. Bruce Springsteen plays his longest U.S. concert, clocking over four hours at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. Chance the Rapper buys nearly 2,000 touted tickets to resell them to fans at fair prices. Ticketfly throws its weight behind the Bots Act, which looks to criminalise ticket bots in the U.S. Facebook introduces payment bots for Messenger, allowing ticketing companies to process in-app transactions. Disneyland introduces fingerprinting Ticket Tag scheme in bid to tackle ticket fraud. Group booking start-up Make it Social partners with Ticketmaster Sport UK Sport and welcomes Tim Chambers as CCO (see page 8). Mojo Concerts’ CEO Wilbert Mutsaers steps down after less than nine months in charge (see page 8). Live Nation’s Caroline Burruss joins AEG as VP of Global Partnerships. Under 25% of European venues are music-exclusive according to a Live DMA 2016 survey. US bankruptcy judge gives Viagogo green light for $1.6m SFX lawsuit. Music Venue Trust announces an October concert, Fightback, at London’s Roundhouse to raise funds for small venues facing closure. Amsterdam’s 6,000-cap Heineken Music Hall to be renamed AFAS Live
@iq_mag Chance The Rapper
following a naming agreement with software developer AFAS. Police find millions of Euros in cash at Ibiza clubs after tax fraud investigation raids. The global market for anti-counterfeiting tech for event tickets and security documents will be worth $38.3bn by 2020, claims Intense Research. The NEC Group reports increased turnover of more than £6m in its first 11 months under private-sector ownership. India’s largest primary ticket agency, Bookmyshow, reveals 85% growth in turnover to $35.2m and profits of $473k for its latest financial year. Spain’s National Court throws out embezzlement claims against exemployees of collection society SGAE. Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group launches Arena Alliance, bringing together 22 North American arenas. New promotion venture Crosstown Live is launched at London’s Magic Roundabout (see page 60). DEAG’s strong-performing ticketing platform MyTicket launches in Austria – its third market to date. Iron Maiden partner with Ticketmaster UK to introduce named and paperless tickets for UK tour. Sky Tickets ramps up its live music presence with the acquisition of Una Tickets for an undisclosed sum. Gametime raises a further $20m to sell last-minute, textable tickets to sporting events and concerts. UK-based touring artist visa specialist
IQ Magazine November 2016
News Re-Production rebrands as VivaLaVisa. DHP Family hires Vice UK’s Ed Lilo to head programming for its three London venues – Oslo (350-cap.), The Borderline (300) and The Garage (600). Ex-Live Nation promoters Toby Leighton-Pope and Steve Homer join AEG Live as co-CEOs (see page 8). Canadian politician Sophie Kiwala takes aim at ticket bots with new bill aiming to criminalise them. Virtual reality users outspend the average American by almost 2:1 on live events according to research by Nielsen. Live Nation begins selling concert tickets via Snapchat in the U.S.
OCTOBER Venture capital cash helps UK-based Vibe Tickets reach £600,000 crowdfunding goal. Global bulks up its festival business with the acquisition of UK events South West 4, Field Day, Boardmasters, Y Not, Rewind and Truck Festival. The organisers of storm-hit Rock Am Ring 2016 will not face legal proceedings, rules a German public prosecutor. Amsterdam-based promoter, ALDA events, reverts to the control of its founders after settling a court case with SFX Entertainment. New York man David Himber sues Live Nation over its practice of charging booking fees on tickets alleging it violates the Truth in Lending Act. Former concert promoter Jack Utsick (73) is sentenced to 18 years in prison for defrauding 3,000 investors of hundreds of millions of dollars. Promoter Marc Hubbard pleads guilty to defrauding the University of Hawaii of $200,000 by promising to produce a Stevie Wonder concert that never happened. A trio of potential buyers, reported to be CTS Eventim and Chinese conglomerates Fosun and Wanda Group, are in talks to acquire Australian live entertainment group TEG. Former See Tickets executive Jamie Snelgrove joins TopTix UK as business development director. European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) reports its best-ever year in 2016 with more than 400 confirmed bookings for participating acts at European festivals.
The International Association of Venue Managers writes to US Congress opposing new overtime legislation introduced by President Obama. Touts overestimate Desert Trip demand, with three-day passes selling for less than face value on StubHub. Ticketing and event marketing company Vendini bulks up its live music division through partnerships with Piknic Électronik and Red Bull Canada. The reunion of 80s boy band Bros becomes The O2 arena’s fastest ever sell-out with tickets snapped up in just seven seconds. Ministry of Sound appoints See Tickets as its primary ticket agency for all events. Edition Capital launches a new media and entertainment fund after doubling its money on the sale of Impresario festival assets to Global. The UK’s Department of Trade partners with the BPI to relaunch the £2.8m Music Export Growth Scheme, supporting up-and-coming talent. Live Performance Australia says new visa fees that increase costs by up to 600% are a “major disincentive” to international acts touring Australia. Creditors of bankrupt direct-to-fan platform Musictoday object to swift sale of its assets. StreetTeam raises $10m to power ambassador programmes for brands. Vivendi partners with the world’s largest eSports promoter, Electronic Sports League, to launch a national league in France. Live Nation festival brands Lollapalooza and Download to increase their European presence in 2017 with events in Paris and Madrid, respectively. Festival association Yourope advises members not to book bands who directly license performance royalties. Montreux Jazz Festival expands to third country with a Brazilian edition planned for 2017. Anti-touting coalition Fan Fair Alliance criticises StubHub’s involvement with the Q Awards. A Norwegian mental health study finds musicians are ‘50% more likely to be on medication.’ New York-based venue management tech developer, VenueNext, raises $15m to invest in hospitality and healthcare, as it eyes overseas expansion.
AEG Facilities wins the contract to operate a new 6,000-seat music and entertainment venue in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A national period of mourning, following the death of the King of Thailand, results in a number of live music events being cancelled or postponed. Cameron Mackintosh takes a stance against ‘horrible’ touts prior to hit musical Hamilton’s launch in London. Beyoncé’s Formation world tour grosses $256m after five-and-a-half months on the road in North America and Europe. CVC Capital Partners buys into ticket reseller inventory management and distribution platform DTI Management. Aerosmith cancels concert in Bolivia following stage collapse. FIFA bans concerts taking place in World Cup stadia ahead of 2018 tournament in Russia. Simon Presswell departs Eventim UK after just ten months as CEO. Australian collection society, APRA AMCOS, reveals it paid out over AU$70m in public performance royalties last year. Last-minute event discovery and ticket sales platform, YPlan, is acquired by Time Out in £1.6m all-stock deal. Opera Australia CEO Craig Hassall is appointed chief executive of the Royal Albert Hall. A Twenty One Pilots concert in Russia is cancelled due to a bomb threat. Veteran concert safety specialist Penny Mellor receives the Unsung Hero award at Festival Congress Awards. Sony Music expands live presence with investment in online talent booking platform Gigmit. StreetTeam poaches Ticketfly’s Jeff Kreinik to head-up expansion into North America. CTS Eventim and ALDA events announce plans for a joint venture to promote dance events in Germany. Prince’s private estate and recording complex, Paisley Park, is to open permanently for public tours.
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IQ Magazine November 2016
Movers and Shakers Former TicketWeb, Ticketmaster and Live Nation executive Tim Chambers has joined Make It Social as chief commercial officer. Chambers has also been named as a nonexecutive director of UK ticket search engine TickX. Mojo Concerts CEO Wilbert Mutsaers has stepped down after less than nine months in charge. The company says it has no immediate plans to replace Mutsaers, who was previously station manager at radio broadcaster NPO 3PM. A difference in opinion over company strategy is given as the reason for his sudden departure. Salomon Hazot has been appointed as president of Live Nation France. The newly created position marks Live Nation’s acquisition of Nous Productions, where Hazot held a similar title. Caroline Burruss joins AEG Global Partnerships as vice president, tasked with securing new branding deals for the company. She previously held the position of VP of national media and sponsorship at Live Nation Entertainment. AEG Live has appointed Brooke Kain to serve in the newly created position of chief digital officer. She was previously head of digital marketing for Apple Music. David Arculus, former ExCeL London chairman, and Mike Rusbridge, former CEO of Reed Exhibitions, have been appointed as non-executive directors of the NEC Group. Universal Music Group has appointed James MurtaghHopkins as senior director, communications. He was most recently director of communications at UK Music.
DHP Family has hired Ed Lilo to head programming for its three London venues – Oslo (350-cap.), The Borderline (300) and The Garage (600). Lilo was head of venues and events at Vice UK. Jamie Snelgrove has joined TopTix UK as business development director. He was most recently head of theatre revenue management at See Tickets UK. John Langford has been appointed vice-president and general manager of The O2 in London. He was director of live entertainment at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, prior to which he was a senior director at Big Concerts in South Africa. Ticketing industry veteran Rosa Martinez has been appointed marketing director of UK-based Vibe Tickets. Promoters Toby Leighton-Pope and Steve Homer have joined AEG Live as co-CEOs. The duo left Live Nation earlier this year. Simon Presswell has departed Eventim UK after just ten months as CEO. Presswell’s resumé includes stints as managing director of Ticketmaster UK, as well as executive roles at Sky UK, NBC Universal and software company Citrix. Opera Australia CEO Craig Hassall has been named chief executive of the Royal Albert Hall. He will succeed Chris Cotton, who is retiring in March. StreetTeam hires Jeff Kreinik as its new vice-president of live entertainment for North America to head-up expansion in Canada and the United States. Kreinik was formerly head of festivals at Ticketfly.
Freitas chaired the Market Focus: Latin America panel at ILMC 27
of dreams. A top professional and always had a smile on her face. She faced her illness with courage and fought till the end like the lioness she was. She will be sorely missed. My world is a sadder place without her.” ILMC head Greg Parmley comments: “As well as being a longstanding ILMC member, Bianca was also an extremely capable chair, and a personal friend of many of the team, including myself. We were all devastated to hear about her sudden passing. From her efforts to bring more young people into the industry to the boundless energy and enthusiasm she brought to each of her projects, she’ll be missed enormously.”
BIANCA FREITAS: 1984-2016 Brazilian concert promoter Bianca Freitas, the founder of São Paulo-based Enjoy Experiences, has passed away. Freitas, who was hospitalised earlier this year after contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome, died from pneumonia in São Paolo. She was 34. Freitas was a hugely popular promoter in the Latin American live scene having produced major shows for clients including Universal Music and Editora Abril. She was also the co-founder of On Stage Lab, which runs music industry training courses. Phil Rodriguez, CEO of Move Concerts, says: “I’m heartbroken. She was such a lovely person. So young and full
Fabiana Lian, Freitas’s partner in On Stage Lab, says: “Bibs was an unlimited source of energy, and was full of joy and generosity. As long as you spoke to her after 8am, that is, and only after her first cup of coffee – otherwise you’d get a freezing look, or a ‘Seriously?’ It’s been weird coming to the office and not having her around for another dose of her daily genius ideas, because the disease stopped this unstoppable woman four months ago. But even at the hospital she insisted on talking about business, and keeping up-to-date with everything around the globe.” John Jackson of K2 Agency comments: “I knew Bianca for many years and considered her a friend. Although I was aware of her illness, it was still devastating news to learn of her sad passing. Bianca was the best of the best and everyone at K2 loved her. I will miss her.”
IQ Magazine November 2016
New Visa Fees Could ‘Stop Acts Touring Australia’ The introduction of a new online visa processing system in Australia will act as a “major disincentive” to international acts touring the country, live industry body Live Performance Australia (LPA) has warned. LPA’s chief executive, Evelyn Richardson, says the new visa application process – which will do away with the long-standing group discount for touring bands – will “hit the financial viability of international tours; leading
to fewer tours; reduced job opportunities for Australian performers and workers in the live performance industry; and higher ticket prices. “Visa processing fees are being increased by up to 600%,” she explains, “which could stop touring artists from coming to Australia altogether.” LPA, which currently handles close to 20% of entertainment visa applications, has called on Australian immigration
minister Peter Dutton to reinstate the groupdiscount system. Without group discounts, festivals that rely heavily on international acts, such as Byron Bay Bluesfest, will also see their visa fees soar. LPA estimates Bluesfest will be out of pocket by AU$55k (€38k) – a 600% increase – with Splendour in the Grass and Falls festivals’ fees rising by more than double. “These new fees add significantly to the cost of
Live Drives Massive Year For NZ Music Industry Live music was responsible for 83% of all growth in New Zealand’s music industry in 2015, and provided almost all of its new music jobs, in a huge year for the country’s concert and festival sectors, new data reveals. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Economic contribution of the New Zealand music industry 2015 report, commissioned by Recorded Music NZ, APRA AMCOS and the NZ Music Commission, the music industry
touring Australia, and will act as a major disincentive for international artists to come here compared to opportunities in other markets,” says Richardson. “Australians who go to a live performance event or who work in the industry will be the biggest losers under this new scheme, as well as those who work in local tourism and hospitality businesses, especially in regional communities.” The new system comes into force 19 November.
NORWAY LEADS RECORDBREAKING YEAR FOR ETEP
them – says Recorded Music NZ. In addition to its direct economic impact, the report found the live music sector accounted for “almost all of the industry’s annual growth in direct employment” last year – a far “greater share of the sector’s direct and total employment than of its GDP impact” – noting “this suggests that it is more labour-intensive and lower in labour productivity than other parts of the sector.”
The European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) has had its bestever year in 2016, with 402 confirmed shows by 148 artists from 27 European countries. Norway finished this year’s festival season on top of the ETEP chart, with Aurora the most-booked act by events participating in ETEP, closely followed by UK act Blossoms appearing at 11 festivals, and Danish/ Finnish group Liima at eight. The final tally is as follows:
SONY MUSIC INVESTS IN BOOKING PLATFORM GIGMIT
1. Aurora (NO), 13 2. Blossoms (UK), 11 3. Liima (DK/FI), 8 4. Amber Arcades (NL), 7 5. Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? (FI), 6 6. Fews (SE), 6 7. Leyva (AT), 6 8. The Academic (IE), 6 9. Lost Frequencies (BE), 5 10. Jain (FR), 5
Sony Music Entertainment has expanded its presence in the live industry with a six-figure investment in online talent booking platform, Gigmit. The Berlin-based company – effectively a digital booking agency with more than 40,000 artists available monthly to venues and promoters – has processed close to €5million in offers since it launched
contributed NZ$484million (€316m) to the country’s economy in 2015. $157.8m (€144m), roughly a third, came from the live market, which increased sales by a massive 54% compared to 2014’s total of $102.2m (€93m), driven primarily by tours from “a number of international heritage acts” – Elton John, Simply Red, Eagles, Billy Idol, Faith No More, Judas Priest and Fleetwood Mac among
in 2012 and supplied acts to Melt! Booking, and the Sziget and Deichbrand festivals. “This is our biggest deal to date,” comments Gigmit CEO Marcus Rüssel. “Through the effective use of synergies, Gigmit will be able to refine its content, which in turn will allow us to strengthen our position and increase our influence in the
IQ Magazine November 2016
German-speaking market.” Philip Ginthör, CEO of Sony Music GSA, says, “The Gigmit business model and our expertise in developing new talent sustainably are a perfect match. Through this partnership we will generate both artistic success and economic growth. We are really looking forward to working with Marcus and his team.”
A total of 2,690 shows by 972 artists from 30 countries have taken place at 100 ETEP member festivals since 2003.
Global Live director Sam Bush
Festivals Acquisition Boosts Global’s Live Portfolio
Global has expanded its UK festival footprint to a total of 11 events with the multimillion pound acquisition of South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters, Rewind, Y Not and Truck festivals, and has purchased a further stake in Snowbombing/Festival №6 promoter Broadwick Live. Financial details have not been disclosed.
Through Broadwick Live, Global – comprising Global Radio (Heart, Capital, Smooth, Classic FM), Global Television (Capital TV, Heart TV) and Global Entertainment – already promotes Standon Calling, Glass Butter Beach and Lost Village, as well as Croatian electronic festival Electric Elephant. The company declined to provide details on its new holding in Broadwick Live, although the original deal, announced last July, was described as involving a “significant strategic stake.” South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters and 80s festival Rewind, in Hen-
ley, were previously part of the Impresario portfolio, while Y Not and Truck were owned by Tramlines promoter Count of Ten. Global says its focus will be to export its festivals, in partnership with big-name international brands, to new markets, following the template of Snowbombing, which will hold its first Canadian edition, sponsored by Coors, next year. Sam Bush, director of Global’s live and touring division, says: “We took a stake in Broadwick Live just over a year ago. We’ve had an incredible first year working together, working hard to bring in some of Europe’s
leading music festivals, as well as some of the most innovative and well-loved up-andcoming festivals. We have a shared ambition to grow the portfolio, and we look forward to doing this with Gareth and the team at Broadwick Live, as well as the founders and managers of the festivals we have acquired.” Gareth Cooper, CEO of Broadwick Live, adds: “These are exciting times. We have a strong partner that offers us unbelievable support and shares our goal to build an international festivals business, starting with our first venture in North America next year.”
No Brexit Slowdown for UK Music Biz The British economy – predicted by economists to show modest growth of 0.3% in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016 in the aftermath of the shock vote to leave the EU in June – in fact grew by 0.5% in Q3, new Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show. The better-than-expected growth, says ONS, is attributable to the service industries, with agriculture, construction and manufacturing all contracting.
In services, ‘transport, storage and communication’ – which includes the creative industries – led the way, with 2.2% growth (it was 0.6% in Q2), indicating the Brexit vote has so far had little effect on the creative sectors (grouped together as ‘motion picture, video and TV programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities’ by ONS). Indeed, the Creative Industries Federation’s Brexit
Report, has since called for “the creative industries to be put at the heart of government thinking as the country develops its new industrial strategy, forges new international trade deals and tackles the fractures in society exposed by June’s EU referendum vote.” John Kampfner, the federation’s chief executive, says: “The challenge is to seize the opportunity sectors in the British economy and prioritise
them in future trade deals and in the new industrial strategy. The creative industries are a massive opportunity for the UK government. “This is the fastest growing sector of the UK economy and includes all the things that Britain is famous for – from our music to our films, television and heritage. We want to work with government to safeguard the jobs, the revenues and the prestige the creative sector offers.”
IQ Magazine November 2016
BUSY BODIES News fr om live music associations ar ound the world
MVT’s Mark Davyd at Venues Day 2016
New MVT initiatives launch at Venues Day 2016
Music Venue Trust (MVT) announced a raft of new initiatives for grass-roots venues during Venues Day, which took place in London on 18 October. Announcements included a national ticketing platform, a scheme to refit 100 sites over five years and an emergency response scheme to provide professional advice. Set-up in partnership with .tickets and Ticketmaster’s TicketWeb, the new national ticketing platform for venues grassrootsvenues.tickets - will add a ‘maintain and sustain’ levy similar to restoration funds seen in theatre (estimated at 50 pence on a £10 ticket). TicketWeb’s platform Backline will act as a client portal, enabling small venues (max 1,500-capacity) and promoters to sell tickets through their own bespoke platforms directly to fans. Services will include end-to-end management, event day functionality, PRS reporting, social inte-
gration and mobile capabilities. Each MVT member will also receive a complimentary .tickets domain to use with the service. “With venues finding it harder than ever to stay afloat, we see it as our duty to do whatever we can to make life easier for them,” says TicketWeb MD Sam Isles. Also announced at Venues Day was Sound + Vision, an ambitious initiative that wants to refit sound, lighting and staging in 100 UK venues over a five-year period. Partners of the scheme include AV supplier White Light, Ents 24, TicketWeb, Jack Daniel’s and Help Musicians UK, which MVT estimates will reduce the £2.2million (€2.5m) annual budget to just £970,000 (€1.1m). “All we need to develop a touring circuit we can be proud of, and that does our artists justice, is £4.85m (€5.44m) over the next five years,” says MVT head Mark Davyd. “The Royal Opera House receives five times that in funding, so we’re calling on the Arts Council and others to support this.” Further initiatives announced include the Emergency Response scheme to help venues with issues relating to planning, licensing and legal issues; and an expansion of MVT activity into Northern Ireland this autumn, and Scotland by early 2017.
Associations sign-up to Celebrate Safe A number of European live music associations have signed up to the Celebrate Safe campaign, which aims to better educate audiences about the risks of attending live events. VNPF, the trade association for music venues and festivals in the Netherlands, along with FEDELIMA, the French network of 145 venues, have both joined the scheme. And with both associations being members of European venue umbrella Live DMA, that network has also joined, and is encouraging all of its members to sign up. In the wake of many drugrelated deaths at electronic music events over the past few years, the Celebrate Safe
platform was set-up by SFX Entertainment “to inform and empower fans and to start a conversation about harm reduction within the entertainment industry.” Pillars of advice for ticket holders cover alcohol and drug use, noise protection, caring for others, being prepared for inclement weather, safe sex, overheating, using medical services, and drink/ drug-driving. “We’re in touch with the team behind Celebrate Safe, examining the possibilities for more Live DMA members to join and develop the campaign in their domestic countries,” says Live DMA’s Amanda Aaen. www.celebratesafe.com
Yourope advises members on direct licensing One of the topics at Yourope’s third members’ meeting in Hamburg on 23 September, was that of artists choosing to direct licence their live performance royalties. The topic was raised after a number of festivals faced separate performance royalty fees this summer by artists who had removed their rights from the traditional collection society system. While acknowledging that songwriters have “been losing out under the traditional system of collecting societies” Yourope issued a statement saying: “There’s no satisfying answer to this question
at the moment, apart from: don’t book direct-licensing acts. Talks are needed.” Yourope’s general counsel, Ben Challis, says the association isn’t instituting a blanket ban of acts that direct-licence, but that many of its members are individually doing so. “We understand why selfcomposing artists want to direct licence, and on a concert tour it makes sense, but for multi-artist/stage/genre festivals, it is a nightmare – and, blanket licences make perfect sense at festivals.” Yourope’s annual General Assembly will take place at ILMC on 7 March 2017.
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IQ Magazine November 2016
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world
ARISTOPHANES (TW) Agent: Peter Elliott, Primary Talent
Aristophanes is a Taipei-based artist, whose striking wordplay, poetry, and forward-thinking delivery has seen her rise to the very forefront of the new sounds emerging from Taiwan. Fusing elements of hip hop, slam poetry, jazz, soul and electronica, her music has been featured by international press including The Fader, Rolling Stone, and Vice; and has received radio play on Zane Lowe’s show on Beats 1, BBC Radio 1, KCRW, and Triple J. Her collaboration with Grimes on the track SCREAM, taken from the latter’s Art Angels, featured on many critics’ choice album of the year listings for 2015 and helped promote her to an international audience. Abel Gray (UK) AJ X Deno (UK) Alex Maxwell (UK) Bad Nerves (UK) Blonde Bunny (UK) Brent Cobb (US) Bud (UK) Call Super (UK) Claude VonStroke (US) Collapsing Scenery (US) Cosima (UK) Count Counsellor (UK) David Rodigan (UK) Digital 21 + Stef Olsdal (UK) EasyLife (UK) Elder Island (UK) Esther Joy Lane (UK) Farro (US) Felix Riebl (AU) FWDSLXSH (UK) Geovarn (UK) Getter (US) Gnash (US) Gothic Tropic (US) Greg Holden (UK) Gucci Mane (US) Gurr (DE) Hopsin (US) IDER (UK) Indigo Husk (UK) Jade Bird (UK) Joe Goddard (UK) Jordan Allen (UK) KC Lights (UK)
Aristophanes has already performed at a number of international music festivals including Coachella (becoming the first Taiwanese artist to do so), SXSW, and Laneway. She is currently working on her debut album, inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with production from Will Butler of Arcade Fire and Grammy award-winning producer, David Kahne.
Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Matt Bates, Primary Talent Phyllis Belezos, ITB Olly Hodgson, Coda Mike Malak, Coda Sandy Marris, Coda Dave Blackgrove & Tom Schroeder, Coda Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Andy Duggan, Primary Talent Tom Schroeder, Coda Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring James Whitting, Coda Steve Nickolls, UTA Andy Duggan, Primary Talent Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent Tom Permaul-Baker, Primary Talent Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Mike Malak, Coda James Whitting, Coda Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Olly Hodgson, Coda Mike Malak, Coda Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Mike Malak, Coda Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Olly Hodgson, Coda Lucy Dickins, ITB Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent Laetitia Descouens, Primary Talent
Agent: Sol Parker, Coda Agency Daya drives pop music down a different path, which is perhaps a result of her classical piano training, or a natural cleverness that’s as striking as her vocal range. It could just be that the 16 year old has always known exactly what she wanted to do. “Ever since
Kove (UK) Lakim (US) Laura Marano (UK) Milky Chance (DE) Miya Folick (US) Noname (US) ONR (UK) Paris Youth Foundation (UK) Pete Wylie & The Mighty Wah (UK) Prayer (UK) Raven Felix (US) Rebecca Ferguson (UK) Ricky Eat Acid (US) Ryan de la Cruz (UK) sAINt JHN (US) Skinny Puppy (CA) Slick Rick (UK) Super Hans (UK) Swet Shop Boys (UK/US) The Night Café (UK) The Sandinistas (UK) Tigress (UK) Tom Demac (UK) Tyga (US) Vera Blue (AU) Wale (US) Wildhood (UK) Zipper Club (US)
I was three years old, I wanted to play music,” she affirms. “It showed me who I am, and I get to tell my story of self-discovery in my songs.” Having switched from classical piano to jazz at the ripe old age of 11, Daya also picked up guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and flute along the way. As a teen, she found her voice studying at the Accelerando Music Conservatory in her native Pittsburgh, where platinum songwriter and producer Gino Barletta first heard her sing, leading to a 2015 invite to a writing session in LA, that yielded debut single Hide Away. Hits 1 on Sirius XM was the first station to fully embrace the single and helped light up radio waves across the country, setting the foundation for the eponymously titled EP, Daya. Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Steve Nickolls, UTA Mike Malak & Nick Matthews, Coda James Whitting, Coda Ben Winchester, Primary Talent Noah Simon, UTA James Whitting, Coda Matt Bates, Primary Talent Andy Woolliscroft, Primary Talent Steve Nickolls, UTA Mike Malak, Coda Dave Chumbley, Primary Talent Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Mike Malak, Coda Mike Malak, Coda Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Serena Parsons, Primary Talent Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent Serena Parsons, Primary Talent Matt Bates, Primary Talent Geoff Meall, UTA Filippo Mei, ITB Laetitia Descouens, Primary Talent Mike Malak, Coda Mike Malak, Coda Mike Malak, Coda Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Ross Warnock, UTA
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IQ Magazine November 2016
Working Together Pays Off As director of Pearle*-Live Performance Europe, Anita Debaere highlights the benefits of belonging to an organisation that represents more than 7,000 institutions in the live sector.
oday we use technology to channel almost every form of communication and interaction. This might lead you to think that associations are anachronistic, belonging firmly to the past. But you would be wrong. In our world of ever more complex politics and regulations, trade associations are increasingly proving their worth as platforms where like-minded people can congregate. At meeting places like the ILMC, professionals have the opportunities they need to discuss common issues, learn from experts, share ideas for new projects, create business partnerships, and much more.
“We have become so accustomed to life in the international context being smoothed out, thanks to a certain degree of European harmonisation” Peers will often agree on the causes of problems that hamper business operations, and usually find consensus on a to-do list of what should change, and how. Any solution that can be found quickly may naturally be used at once. But if discussion reveals that only a change at European level would contribute a satisfactory solution – and this is not an unusual occurrence – then the European association is best placed to wave a magic wand to raise such matters to be discussed amongst peers at a higher level in a more important arena. This prompts major companies and national associations to join European and international associations and federations, with a view to achieving progress by influencing high-level policy makers in order to determine strategies for the right way to do business. Pearle*-Live Performance Europe is one such European federation. It represents the interests of its members in international institutional discussions, steadfastly upholding its mission to create a sustainable environment for the live performance industry in Europe. In an increasingly complex institutional environment where it is lawyers and policy advisers who draft the frameworks and regulations in which our society and economies operate, it is essential to have a Brussels-based office to monitor the situation and be present at meetings where decisions are taken that will be felt right down to the grass-roots level. Pearle has so far identified around 150 regulations that impact
the live performance sector in 20 different policy areas. Some are of general nature, applicable to any part of economy, such as the directives for SEPA and late payments; the huge volume of EU legislation governing the employment, health and safety of workers; and the goal of zero emissions for buildings. Other areas particularly affect the live performance sector, and here Pearle has successfully intervened to achieve (or is still working towards) specific exemptions and special rules for our sector. These areas include: a general block exemption regulation permitting governments to provide state aid for cultural activities (eg the UK’s tax relief system) and direct subsidies to the cultural sector; copyright; VAT (reduced rates for culture in member states may continue); taxation (towards the reduction of double taxation); social security; posting of workers; logistics of crossborder travel with musical instruments; visas for artists visiting Europe or for European artists touring the USA; online ticketing; wireless microphones and radio spectrum, etc. All these activities represent an important part of Pearle’s work in Brussels. As a European federation it also examines transnational domains of common interest such as: education and skills, cultural policy, experience economy, digital agenda, (alternative) sources of financing, cross-sectorial cooperation, external relations and internationalisation, to name a few. At their meetings, Pearle members can report on current developments in their respective countries, attend technical seminars and workshops, and also discuss services and activities delivered by the associations that they represent. Among the advantages of belonging to an association like Pearle is the access it gives to high-quality information, and a true picture of the interests of the live performance sector, plus participation in its actions targeting new achievements. If you represent a national or European association, you are most welcome to join us at one of our forthcoming conferences. It feels rather strange to be writing this article for the next IQ issue in the new post-Brexit era, almost like arguing the devil’s point of view. We have become so accustomed to life in the international context being smoothed out, thanks to a certain degree of European harmonisation. But we have learned to tread with caution, having so often seen member states reverse this process by introducing additional layers of red tape. Yet we are still here, 25 years after the creation of Pearle by the CEOs of live performance sector associations in five EU countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Brexit or not, we are still working to create a sustainable environment across Europe in which the live performance sector may thrive and prosper.
IQ Magazine November 2016
Making the Most of Malaysia Rahul Kukreja is a well-known musician and the director of live events and entertainment for the Livescape Group based in Kuala Lumpur. Here he explains his ambitions to develop Malaysia’s standing in the South East Asia touring market.
started out as a musician, playing and touring in a band called One Buck Short (OBS). We were able to tour and play alongside great regional and international bands around Asia and Australia. Touring was a constant learning experience, seeing both sides of the live industry and learning so much from the concert promoters who had us on their line-ups. So I not only got to pursue my passion for music, but I met a lot of promoters, artists and agents, which helped grow my career in artist booking. I was probably inspired by my first ever concert, many moons ago, seeing Michael Jackson play in Brunei, where I grew up. The production was world-class and I remember being awestruck and thinking: Wow! I have to do something like this! I must’ve been 12 or 13 then. I really look up to people like Michael Chugg as he was one of the first international promoters I assisted with some Asian shows many years ago. He also booked OBS in Australia when we were active. I hope to meet Michael Eavis at Glastonbury and Paul Tollett at Coachella some day, so I can learn how to sustain a music festival and how to overcome the various adversities that all concert promoters face. In our markets in Asia, dealing with government bodies is always a “delicate” process because people don’t like what they don’t understand and recognise. We are a very forward-thinking company known for bringing in products and experiences previously unheard of, such as our floating EDM festival - It’s the Ship. It is difficult selling a completely original product, having to persuade and convince sponsors, government bodies, fans and audiences to pay to attend the show. But this is the job of a concert promoter. We exist to introduce people to new music and experiences. All promoters and festival organisers in the SEA region are the main educators for agents, managers and artists. They have to understand the adversities we encounter when trying to organise a festival, concert or even a club show. The currency and government are prime examples of the difficulties we face, but we are passionate about music and events and fight hard in order to make SEA realise its maximum potential as an entertainment hub. Nowadays, music is accessible on all platforms so finding all kinds of music is not hard, and has been a key factor in developing the musical tastes and knowledge of local audiences. Local acts have also been using these platforms to help people explore their sounds, and not just the music of international artists. This accessibility also helps local artists to develop and improve the quality of their work. We actively
IQ Magazine November 2016
encourage these talents by giving them opportunities to play alongside well-known international acts in all our events. We aim to grow, nurture and promote international recognition by starting a division to develop these acts. Visiting international festivals has led to local audiences wanting something similar, so SEA offers prime markets for new events. Among the few most popular music festivals to date are It’s the Ship, Future Music Festival Asia and Rockaway Festival.
“The currency and government are prime examples of the difficulties we face, but we are passionate about music and events and fight hard in order to make SEA realise its maximum potential as an entertainment hub.” If the Malaysian government continues to shut itself off from the potential of new music and experiences, the country is going to get left behind in the SEA region. If it continues to oppose certain genres of music, music entertainment in the country will lack variety. Currently, countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Philippines are at the forefront of the touring market and there is connectivity between all these markets thanks to low-cost airlines and trains that Malaysians can easily take to another country in order to experience what their own country lacks. When Future Music Festival Asia was at its peak, it grossed RM180million from tourist expenditure alone, in the month of March. We hope to further promote Malaysia as an entertainment hub for tourists and for that to happen, we’ll have to work harder and more closely with the government and relevant authority bodies to educate them on the potential of the music events industry in order to grow Malaysia into the main touring market in SEA.
The Taming of the Queue Co-founder of DF Concerts, King Tut’s and T in the Park, Judith Clumpas has been a director at Auckland’s Vector Arena since 2011. Now back at university, her Master of Design thesis examines arena customer experience design.
ttempting to unravel the ‘curse of the queue’ at arenas has led me into broader territory, questioning a culture that treats customers like a herd, regarding long lines and customer disempowerment as a necessary evil, rather than a problem to be dealt with urgently. Service gamechangers Uber, Airbnb and Spotify have left the concert experience standing. I’m not talking about apps – there are plenty of those to go around – lack of a holistic approach to the customer experience journey sets us apart in a changing world, to our detriment.
“Step up to the plate, strip away your preconceptions and walk in their shoes again; quite possibly something those of us at the top-end of the venue profession have not had to do for a long, long time.” Venues should participate in a co-created entertainment experience way beyond the generic provision of goods and services. Think of the airport experience: concertgoers merely submit in order to gain access to the thing they have actually paid for; the transformative experience that the ticket promises. Given the passion with which customers follow an artist (or yearn to lie on a Mediterranean beach), organisations should be strategically managing the experience, or risk losing repeat business for their territory. Sectors including banking, grocery and technology are successfully embracing service design thinking in order to reinvent the way people access goods and services, and it all begins with empathy for the user and a holistic approach to human-centred design. In my opinion, the scale and fragmented nature of the customer journey is largely to blame, where management are disconnected and disempowered from playing out their true role as host. Reminiscing about our best concert experiences (and I’m not referring to the performance – we have little or no say in that sphere!), there was a vibe and anticipation in arriving at a truly cool music venue, be it bar, club or theatre. Usually, there would be a host character, a manager; the driving force behind the culture of the place. Contrast that to the soulless entertainment arenas we expect our audiences
to embrace with similar passion. Such buildings have largely been created for sports or “entertainment” events, lacking the architectural features that allow for truly visceral pleasure and identity of purpose. Combine that with the fragmented ticketing market and clamour of communication from artist, ticket agencies, promoter and media, and the customer is left wondering whose customer they are. In these days of naming rights deals, the true essence of the venue is trickier to demonstrate with any authenticity. Who has the duty of care? Who is the actual host? And what kind of host are they? Concert arenas are typified by harsh lighting, industrial barricades, institutional-grade signage and subcontracted staffing with no real connection to the venue’s core purpose. There are a few notable exceptions, but generally our audiences are left to navigate their journey much as they would that airport. They are on their own. Addressing isolated issues is not the answer: I am calling for a multidisciplinary, human-centred and strategic approach to what is known in academic circles as a “wicked problem.” Begin with empathy. Step up to the plate, strip away your preconceptions and walk in their shoes again; quite possibly something those of us at the top-end of the venue profession have not had to do for a long, long time. Take your pass off; take public transport or try to park nearby; submit to processes over which you have no control; don’t pull favours, wait your turn; wonder what time the band starts; line up under fluorescent lighting to buy drinks in a queue that seems to be stationary; and try to have a great night out with your mates while you’re at it. Work a few shifts on your own bar and door. Go incognito, wear the uniform… is it fun to work in your venue? If not, why not? Often these low-paid casual staff comprise the only human-to-human encounter in the customer experience journey, so it’s important. You might even enjoy it and remember why you came into this business in the first place! Only then will you gain the true insights needed to foster the right culture within your organisation, and proactively design for the kind of future scenario and relationships we need to survive as an industry. Solving queuing issues and associated disgruntlement are not simply a way of selling more beer; but a way of selling more concerts, and a means to business sustainability for us all. Let’s get some real results.
IQ Magazine November 2016
Funding First Steps In the wake of Brexit, Vanessa Reed of PRS Foundation in London, emphasises the importance of nurturing artists’ first steps overseas.
016 marks the tenth anniversary of PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund, which supports UK acts taking their first steps into overseas markets. Run in partnership with the Department of International Trade, Arts Council England, Musicians’ Union and Pledge Music, this initiative offers advice to export-ready artists and grants that contribute to the costs of attending industry showcases across the world. The findings in a recent evaluation (International Showcase Fund: Impact Report) speak volumes: In 2013-16, every £1 invested by the fund generated an additional £8.90; every act’s live audience and social media footprint doubled; and perhaps most importantly, 89% of the supported artists returned with tangible outcomes and realised the goals they set when applying. Good news all round then? Well, yes and no. Beyond the success stories and statistics, the number of artists we’re supporting is limited when compared with the increasing demands and financial pressures that emerging artists face. In 2015-16, applications increased by 67% and we could only support 1/3 of those who applied. In contrast, many of our colleague funders overseas strive to help all acts that have been invited to showcase at an international event. How then can we help more of the UK’s music talent to
take advantage of this career defining opportunity? Firstly, we’re intensifying our focus on pooling resources with public and private sector partners, ensuring that they reflect the changing dynamics of our industry – direct-to-fan platform Pledge Music is the latest partner to join the fund. Secondly, we’re increasing the range of artists supported because the UK industry thrives from its unique diversity. With the rise of black British music overseas, 23% of acts funded in 2016 were of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) background. Our report also highlights the impact our fund had on grime collective The Square, which has catalysed individual careers for ElfKid, Novelist and more. Finally, post-Brexit, we need to ensure that world-class music created by UK artists continues to flow across European and international borders. In this context, we welcome Wales Arts International as our first UK partner and we hope to identify other ways for UK nations to present an open and united front in less certain times for UK trade. If music is one of our greatest exports, then working together to nurture artists through those tricky first steps has never been more important. Download a copy of the International Showcase Fund: Impact Report 2013-2016 at www.prsformusicfoundation.com
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...
SecondScreen SecondScreen builds tailored social media apps to create local networks for music events and talent. Every SecondScreen app is uniquely branded for artists and events, and offers bespoke features relevant to their audience. The technology also allows artists and events to incorporate everything
Nixie While some events like T in the Park, V Festival and Glastonbury Festival have taken it upon themselves to ban unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones), the development of a small, wearable device could soon see small swarms of them following individuals around festival sites.
from photo and video sharing, to ticket and merchandising purchase, through to custom line-ups and tour dates, with independent newsfeeds for optimum content sharing. The concept is the brainchild of 22-year-old founder Niall Green, and agent, Solomon Parker. The pair worked together to develop a whitelabel service that would bring fans, artists and events closer together via two-way, shareable content. Green says, “As social media became more prevalent and fans were uploading content to various channels, I felt there was a step missing, a gap where we could create a product that was immediate and intimate for music fans. SecondScreen uses white-label technology to give fans instant access to exclusive, behind-thescenes content – bringing them closer to the acts they love!” This year, the Isle of Wight Festival became SecondScreen’s first festival app. Festival promoter, John Giddings, says, “Launching a brand-new app for 2016 was a big undertaking for all involved but SecondScreen provided us with a brilliantly customised platform to inform our users, as well as a whole new channel to engage them with. One in four festival attendees downloaded the app over the weekend, and being able to target almost 20,000 registered users directly via their mobile phone has proved to be an invaluable resource – which we look forward to building on for 2017.”
Live Beacon is a small, batterypowered, cloud-controlled device that transmits web content and notifications to nearby smartphones. It can broadcast any web page, video or web app up to 30 metres (100 feet) and is easy to update using the included Cloud Portal. The free Live Beacon app allows iOS and Android smartphones to receive a notification whenever there’s a beacon nearby, and automatically changes content as the device owner moves from beacon-to-beacon. The system’s developers claim that Live Beacon makes it possible for anyone to send location-specific information – without a single line of code – and create engaging iBeacon experiences, such as: information points; self-guided tours; games and activities; loyalty and rewards; automation and Internet of Things. In an effort to give Live Beacon a meaningful roll-out, in early October the company’s founders, James Grant and Nick Taylor, initiated a month-long Kickstarter campaign in a bid to raise a minimum of £30,000 (€35,000) so that they can manufacture the first batch of retail units. Pricing should be around £30 (€35) per beacon to the end user. “Live Beacon can be used to transmit a single piece of web content to an entire audience, and just that audience,” says Grant. “This could be the lyrics to a hit song (to get everyone singing along), the set list, or audience participation – where everyone gets to cast their vote on the closing song.”
Developers in Silicon Valley have devised the Nixie, a drone that is worn as a wristband and that can be deployed as a remote, flying camera unit. Wired described it as “an invention likely to fly out from the Batcave.” Nixie will be capable of taking a single photo, a burst of photos or a short video clip. The user aims it in the direction they want the photo taken from and a few seconds
later, it returns to its owner, like a welltrained boomerang. Last year, Nixie won the grand prize in Intel’s Make It Wearable Challenge, picking up a cheque for $500,000 (€447,000). However, despite that generous financial injection, the concept is apparently still at the prototype stage with a mooted retail launch in 2017.
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IQ Magazine November 2016
The second edition of IFF took place in London from 27-29 September, with over 550 agents and festivals attending. Selling out three weeks in advance, the event mixed showcases of upcoming artists, conference panels and new debate formats, Q&As and networking. See www.iff.rocks for a full photorial.
White out with colour
IQ Magazine November 2016
White out with colour
IQ Magazine November 2016
The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Jam, David Bowie, ABBA and Björk could now be on the road forever, playing to packed but quietly reverential houses around the world – never missing a show and performing essentially the same ‘set’ wherever they are. But how? And why? Eamonn Forde discovers the latest string to the touring exhibitions’ bow…
here is a post-Napster and post-Spotify maxim in the music business that touring used to be the loss-leader to sell albums, and now that has been inverted so that albums are the loss-leaders to sell tours. How can that revenue be maximised if the act splits up, has passed away or fancies a few years lazing around in one of their multiple homes? By putting everything around them – clothes, artwork, instruments, scribbled lyrics, old contracts, unseen photos – on the road as they slipstream the boom in the touring exhibitions space. Music is, relatively speaking, late to the party here but, as with most things in his career, Bowie was the innovator. His exhibition that opened at the V&A in London in 2013 (David Bowie Is…) proved a watershed moment for music-centric
exhibitions, selling out its run, garnering critical praise, and now touring the rest of the world. The Stones’ Exhibitionism is about to leave the Saatchi Gallery in London and go on the road, starting in New York from November. A major Pink Floyd exhibition will open next year, as will one around ABBA (whose ‘touring’ since their split in 1982 was confined to the Mamma Mia! jukebox musical). It is suddenly getting very busy here. What can music exhibitions learn from those already in the field? What can they do right? What are the mistakes they are likely to make? And how much money can they generate? IQ spoke to experts from around the world (dealing in family exhibitions, celebrity exhibitions, museum exhibitions and more) in order to understand what they do and how they do it.
Solo tour or “In association with…”?
xhibitions live and die on the concept. There are two ways to do this: license in an existing concept from a third party; or create one from scratch. The former might be the safer economic bet, but profits are split across more players; the latter might be a higher risk and cost more to develop, but the end profits could be more substantial. How to choose? “You do market research and everything you can before committing to money and production,” says Corrado Canonici of World Concert Artists, whose exhibitions include Monsters of the Sea and Experience Da Vinci. “You try to understand if there is a market.” Usually his company buys in exhibitions from agents, but their latest one – Travelling Bricks (using Lego but not an official Lego exhibition) – was developed in-house, in part as a result of the company’s growing understanding of the market and what type of concepts connect best. Getting this right is key but, for music, the concept is the artist/band, so that becomes self-fulfilling in a way. That said, only the top 1% of musicians really has enough draw to make it work, more of which below. In order to have the wow factor, however, collaboration is key, so that the widest and richest array of items and
showcase pieces can be collated for the exhibition – as well as the greatest amount of expertise being pooled. “We are seeing more cooperation between museums and private promoters,” says Christoph Scholz, director of SC Exhibitions (the company behind Tutankhamun: His Tomb and His Treasures), pointing out that next May’s Pink Floyd exhibition (Their Mortal Remains) is a collaboration between the V&A and a private promoter. Michael Cohl of Iconic Entertainment Studios tells IQ that Their Mortal Remains has been years in the planning. “It began when Mark Fisher and Storm [Thorgerson] were going through chemotherapy together and came up with this legacy idea as their last event with Pink Floyd. Unfortunately both Mark and Storm passed away, but to honour them, the band and their staff pushed the idea forward and that’s when I was approached to participate.” Cohl continues, “Since the announcement of Their Mortal Remains there has been a flurry of interested parties wanting to host the exhibition – we’re working hard to make it the best exhibition for any act ever. I’ve been involved in exhibitions since the 70s, but I can honestly say this is the most complex I have ever worked on – it will be truly spectacular. The different members of the band are all very interested and are contributing hugely, so it’s a fantastic project to participate in.”
IQStones’ Magazine November The ‘Exhibitionism’ attracted 2016 more than 300,000 visitors to its London residency
IQ Magazine November 2016 23
Touring Expos On a similar rock & roll theme, Tony Cochrane of International Entertainment Consulting succeeded where countless others had failed by persuading the Rolling Stones to trust his company with their touring show, Exhibitionism. And with more than 300,000 visitors to its debut run in London, that trust was well placed. “Exhibitionism was three and a half years in the planning,” discloses Cochrane. “We came up with the concept and because we had some high level contacts with the Stones, we were able to pitch it to the band and their management. The Rolling Stones have had lots of exhibition ideas pitched to them over the years, but we thought we had something different and unique and, thankfully, they agreed.” Elsewhere, Alex Susanna, MD of Expona, says his company’s latest exhibition, 90 Years Ms Monroe: Reflecting on a Female Icon, was put together from the archives of a private collector in Germany. “People know Marilyn Monroe the style icon and as a public person, but only a few people know how she was in private and how she lived,” he says. “This German collector said that he would be interested in telling the private story of Marilyn Monroe through his collection.” The exhibition boasts many iconic items along with others that have never been seen in public before – a mix of the populist and the esoteric that appeals to the casual consumer as well as the super-fan, which is the tricky balancing act for all exhibitions. Sourcing engaging material for exhibits is a major part of the planning process – and where bands are involved, getting the necessary permissions can be arduous. Fortunately, the creators of Exhibtionism were able to go directly to the Rolling Stones in most cases. Cochrane reveals, “The band is a partner on the project and they have helped tremendously in sourcing material. They put us on to some people who also owned material and those people became part of the design team in the end. With nearly all the exhibits we had two or three options and choices, so it took time to work through all the clearances, especially the legals involved in clearing usage rights for photography, video and songwriting.” Floyd also have a wealth of materials to choose from. “The band has archives and they’ve done a hell of a job filming their performances over the years, as well as maintaining relationships with people who have been involved in their careers who have other Pink Floyd material,” notes Cohl.
“A good exhibition works anywhere. But it comes down to knowing the right people in the right markets – the right museums and the right promoters.” Luis Ferreiro – Musealia
Getting the show on the road
ust like a touring band, there are huge logistical challenges to getting an exhibition on the road and knowing what venues and markets it will work in. Bruce Peterson is the owner of Grande Exhibitions whose productions include Van Gough Alive and 101 Inventions That Changed The World, and he says development time for an exhibition can range anywhere from six months to four years. That’s one part, but the other is ensuring the transport costs are viable. “Production costs are the biggest issue in travelling exhibitions,” he explains. “We work very hard to keep the cost of the production down. Most of our exhibitions travel in only two or three 40-foot containers because they are purpose-built as travelling experiences. A lot of other experiences that are developed without that in mind end up blowing out to 6, 8, 10, 12 or even 20 containers. That just becomes really cost prohibitive for most markets to take on.” Daniel Bátyi at Kaleido Entertainment says his company is utilising new technology to make touring its show, The Champion, more efficient. “The exhibition uses various high end technical solutions which make set up, strike down and logistics really effective and fast,” he explains. “The layout is flexible and to a certain point modular, which allows venues between 800-1,500sqm to host. Having the possibility to tailor the exhibition content and adapt it partially to local needs, we believe that these are key factors to be competitive on the market.” Sometimes special transport issues have to be factored in. These are not tour-battered Marshall stacks and flight cases being lugged around, but more often delicate items that are key to customer appeal. “For the original loans, we need fine-art transport because the items are precious,” says Susanna. “Some museums do not want a turnkey exhibition and want to have direct involvement themselves. In our business, you need to be flexible.” Mark Lach, executive director of exhibitions at Premier Exhibitions whose offerings include Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition and Dinosaurs Unearthed, concurs about the development timings, saying a rushed exhibition – from concept to opening – is a huge gamble. “We could take something and in a year have it open,” he says, “but we wouldn’t want to go much faster than that.” Like a well-tuned tour manager, knowing the multiple markets intricately is also a hugely important consideration. “A good exhibition works anywhere,” suggests Luis Ferreiro, director of Musealia whose exhibitions include Human
Announcing ‘Their Mortal Remains’ earlier this year were V&A COO Tim Reeve, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, V&A director Martin Roth, exhibition curator Victoria Broackes and Iconic Entertainment Studios promoter Michael Cohl
IQ Magazine November 2016
“It is only limited by the creativity of people and companies like yourselves to keep coming up with original concepts and original ideas. If we do that well, the exhibition industry will continue to fl ourish.” Bruce Peterson – Grande Exhibitions Bodies. “But it comes down to knowing the right people in the right markets – the right museums and the right promoters.” Unlike most touring bands, exhibitions are about residencies rather than one or two nights in a city. That means there is less pressure on loading in and loading out, but equally they have to ensure they don’t overstay their welcome and see attendance numbers start strong but slowly dwindle. “Usually you have a minimum of three months,” suggests Susanna. “The museums have made a big investment and need time to get their money back.”
Floyd, we’re dealing with the most technically advanced group, so we need to create something that is commensurate with that.” Having concluded its London run, Exhibitionism opens in New York in November before going on to two or three more cities in the United States. “The plan is to fit in 12 cities globally,” says Cochrane. “For instance, we’ll be in Sydney at the tail end of 2018, Japan after that and then back in Europe for the finale in 2020.” Without revealing actual numbers, Cochrane comments, “Bravado have handled the Stones’ merchandise for years. The merch is a hugely important part of the mix, so a great deal of time and effort was devoted into creating specific Exhibitionism products and the sales have justified those efforts.” Peterson says that more and more markets are opening up and this is extending the touring life of exhibitions considerably. “We have been into Eastern Europe and toured every major city in Latin America,” he says. “We have been into China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and so on. We are at well over 100 cities where we have exhibited. We were even in Anchorage last year. They are all opening up. “For us, it is about opening up new exhibitions into existing markets or taking new exhibitions into the new markets by finding different venues or different promoting partners who are able to take on large-scale exhibitions and have got an appetite for that. Every year offers more opportunities, but it is always a fluid cycle. Some people drop off and some people come on.”
Scaling up, scaling down and moving into new markets
nlike arena or stadium tours, which are purpose-built or have been upgraded to accommodate live music production in a similar way, exhibitions have to be much more flexible and adaptable to the venue. This can mean that, at the planning and conceptual stages, multiple iterations have to be developed so they can easily scale up or scale down depending on the venue. “The good thing about these exhibitions is that they have to be able to adapt to the market,” says Canonici, adding that their Monsters of the Sea exhibition requires at least 3,000 square meters for the full experience, although a more compact version with fewer items is available to fit into a smaller venue. “We tend to do stuff that can either be on the big side or the smaller side in a way that means we can approach all markets, including secondary markets.” With regards to the Netherlands venue that is currently housing the Marilyn Monroe exhibition, Susanna adds, “In Amsterdam, they have a venue with more than 1,000 square meters so they have a lot of space. But then sometimes you have venues that have only 500-600 square meters. So we adapt the exhibition to the different venue sizes.” Of course, the financial outlay before a single ticket is sold can reach eight figure sums. Cochrane says he and his team had multiple meetings with the Stones and their representatives in the planning stages for Exhibitionism. “They wanted to be assured that this would set the new bench mark as far as exhibitions are concerned.” And with costs of around $15million and a set-up that requires 1,800 square metres, Exhibitionism has achieved just that. For his part, Cohl says of the Pink Floyd exhibition budget, “The cost will be whatever it needs to be to make it great. In Pink
hile it’s the norm that an exhibition goes to a city, stays there for several months and then moves on, there is the (admittedly rare) opportunity to return to cities where demand has exceeded expectations for another lap of honour. They are not that common, but the possibility of a return visit should not be ruled out at the planning stage. “We first went to Russia with Living Dinosaurs a year and a half ago,” explains Canonici. “We were there for four months and then five months later they brought us back for another five months because it was so successful. It depends on the city and the promoter how long you stay there. It can be anything from one month to nine months.”
‘Exhibitionism’ involved getting permission to use hundreds of historic items
IQ Magazine November 2016
Touring Expos Grande Exhibitions brought the world ‘The Adventures of Alice Experience’
nteractivity is the buzz phrase in all exhibitions today – ranging from items that attendees (usually children) can play with, through touchscreen technology, and into virtual reality (VR). “Exhibitions must have an attractive area because people don’t want to see dead museums,” is how Canonici puts it. “People don’t want to go to 1970s-style museums anymore where there is one thing lined up after the other and you just read the descriptions. Yawn!” Peterson says the smarter exhibitions woke up to the potential of interactivity to stand out and draw in audiences several years ago. “The traditional thing of items in a glass box wasn’t really cutting it for a lot of the audience,” he says of the changes they identified in the market. “We understood that technology and multimedia was going to play a really important role in engaging new audiences going forward. That has proven to be correct. We are now looking to do that stuff everywhere by introducing props and innovative content into a multimedia format, to bring things to life.” The goal with Kaleido Entertainment’s The Champion was to be as interactive as possible, allowing visitors the closest possible interaction with the various champions. “We focused on creating a real life experience, which challenges the visitor in person, but also provides them with extraordinary input using the latest technology.” That, says Bátyi, includes visitors recording results on an NFC wristband throughout the exhibition. “At the end of the visit, guests receive a tailored evaluation and certificate, which shows them their ranking towards other visitors and towards various champions.” Lach says the interactive elements have to be there at the creative stage and not a poorly considered afterthought. “I am a fan of technology and I am a fan of all that can be brought to an experience – whether it’s a video or interactivity, audio enhancement or theatrical touches,” he says. “But it all starts with the story and how well you tell the story.” Scholz concurs, saying that a lack of investment in interactivity could sink exhibitions, and VR should be top of the list in 2016. “It is absolutely necessary,” he asserts. “The audience expects it. If an exhibition today doesn’t even have at least a few interactive elements [it will struggle].” Peterson is more circumspect about the possibilities offered by VR – for now, anyway. “I still think it has a little way to go,” he says of where the technology is right now. “There have been massive leaps and bounds already. I was at a conference [recently, where people were] using virtual reality headsets. What you noticed was that some people just don’t like it. Sometimes putting on the helmet makes them feel uncomfortable and they lose reality. It is a very individualised experience. It will be challenging as to how well that is introduced into an exhibition environment.” Ferreiro is, however, not sold on the hype around VR. “When you look at exhibitions, you see a lot of those words like ‘interactive’ and ‘technologically advanced’,” he says. Sometimes I feel that we as an industry are using those sentences to sell something. I don’t feel like having a lot of technology, screens and shiny devices just for the sake of being able to say that we have a hands-on exhibition. We are only using technology when it adds value to the experience and the narrative of the story – otherwise we don’t do it.”
IQ Magazine November 2016
No need to separate out the brown M&Ms
or road crew, venue owners and tour managers exasperated by the demands and tantrums of artists on the road, touring exhibitions offer blessed relief as the “talent” does everything it has to do, never talks back and can play indefinitely. “The good thing about exhibitions is that when they are there, they are there,” says Canonici. “They don’t ask for champagne at a certain temperature or they won’t play tonight! You bring them there, you open, you close, they stay there. All the work happens before and afterwards, because while they are there, they are there.” It also means that touring is not tied around marketing moments such as albums, plus they have greater endurance than a band – especially as the performers get older. “The good thing then is that you can tour for a longer time than a band can,” Canonici adds. “A band puts out a new album and they tour for a year and that’s it. Exhibitions in general are longer term projects. This is something that goes on for years, so it is a good business in that sense. It is more civilised, if you like. It is easier. You don’t have artists shouting in your ear for absurd requests!”
In the spotlight
he wider exhibition market is evolving and creating a more favourable climate for music-centric and celebrityfocused exhibitions, meaning the potential to grow in the coming years is considerable. “If you look at exhibitions from even five or ten years ago, there were a lot more exhibitions around archaeological finds in the blockbuster rankings each year; now it’s much more
Top row (l to r): Bruce Peterson (Grande Exhibitions), Christoph Scholz (SC Exhibitions), Corrado Canonici (World Concert Artists), Luis Ferreiro (Musealia), Michael Cohl (Iconic Entertainment Studios), Tony Cochrane (International Entertainment Consulting)
“The good thing about exhibitions is that when they are there, they are there. They don’t ask for champagne at a certain temperature or they won’t play tonight! You bring them there, you open, you close, they stay there.” Corrado Canonici – World Concert Artists about music, fashion and film,” says Scholz. “David Bowie was a catalyst for this and I think things like Pink Floyd and The Stones are a little bit a result of that. Overall, it is part of a move towards pop culture.” He adds that the power of celebrity should not be underestimated here and that venues are increasingly looking for the economic upside of star power. “It needs to have a strong name,” he proposes. “If you have David Bowie, a famous director or Marilyn Monroe on the poster, then ticket sales are much easier. The promoters and the venues here who are booking these shows are looking for names.” Susanna agrees and explains this changing climate very much informed their Monroe exhibition. “Things like popular culture, such as the David Bowie exhibition, are topics that are coming through,” he says. “I have the impression that, more and more, people want to hear the stories about famous personalities – people like David Bowie, Nelson Mandela and Marilyn Monroe. People will want to know a bit more about their life and work. I think this is a trend.”
Prices, merch and VIP access
n live music, ticket prices are rising, merchandise is an exploding revenue stream and VIP upsells are where the serious margins are to be made. Only some of these developments, however, apply to the touring exhibition space. “Merchandising is crucial,” says Scholz, bluntly. “Without merchandising I could not do my projects.” He does, however, warn that exhibitions must resist the temptation to hike up prices for events, suggesting there is a psychological threshold of 20 dollars/pounds/euros that exhibitions cross at their peril.
“This year there were a few exhibitions where they tried to increase the pricing a little bit, but it didn’t really work,” he says. “The audience is obviously extremely price sensitive. We try to address this with family offers and coupons deals; but pricing an exhibition right is not so easy.” He also says that trying to upsell attendees to a VIP experience is simply not workable in this space in the same way it would be at an arena show or festival. There is maybe the possibility to charge extra for fast-track entry, but that is probably about it. This would only appeal to super-fans so exhibitions need to understand that most of the business will come from the casually interested rather than the obsessive and therefore need to calibrate prices with that very much in mind. “An exhibition lives on a midweek audience,” he says. “It relies on school trips, hotel packages and coach operators. This is how you do the numbers from Monday to Friday – not only at the weekend when the big fans appear.”
The enduring will always win
hile music exhibitions are growing and finding their place in the market, they need to be based around enduring appeal and not just the flavour of the month. To be harsh about it, there will always be a market for The Beatles; less so for Sam Smith. As Peterson puts it, “Leonardo da Vinci will still be popular in 100 years’ time. Sharks? They’re not going out of fashion. Van Gogh and Alice in Wonderland are cross-generational. We are very careful in the types of exhibitions that we develop to ensure there is longevity in the brands. We have avoided chasing the flavour of the month – the trendy exhibitions like the things that come out from Hollywood.” Everyone agrees, however, that the addition of music into the mix makes the whole touring exhibitions market richer and more appealing – and they are all optimistic there is more growth to come here. But expecting to turn up and quickly make a fortune is for the reckless and misguided. “It is still in its infancy,” concludes Peterson. “It is only limited by the creativity of people and companies like yourselves to keep coming up with original concepts and original ideas. If we do that well, the exhibition industry will continue to flourish. If we don’t and if everyone just keeps copying everyone else, then I don’t think they will last very long in this quickly changing market environment.”
IQ Magazine November 2016
Poland 4.GDYNIA 6.KOŁOBRZEG
16.SZCZECIN 1.BIAŁYSTOK 20.KOSTRZYN NAD ODRĄ 12.PŁOCK
17.WARSZAWA 10.OSTRÓW WIELKOPOLSKI
Map Key Promoter Agent Agent/Promoter Venue Festival
1. Białystok Klub Gwint
2. Chorzów Silesian Stadium Silesia in Love
3. Gdańsk Arena Gdańsk Operator
Ergo Arena Klub B90 Stadion Energa Gdańsk Stary Maneż
4. Gdynia Modern Look Sp. z o.o.
Klub Ucho Modern Look Sp. z o.o. Open’er Fetival
Agencja Independa Metal Mind Productions Paradam Mega Club Spodek Mayday Poland
Off Festival Tauron Nowa Muzyka
6. Kołobrzeg Sunrise 7. Kraków Music Consulting Agency
Klub Fabryka Klub Kwadrat Tauron Arena Kraków Kraków Festival Kraków Live Festival
Fundacja Transatlantyk Elephant Lukić Atlas Arena Stadion Miejski Fundacja Transatlantyk Impact Festival
9. Mysłowice Fundacja Independent 10. Ostrów Wielkopolski Prestige MJM
Fundacja Peace Festival Life Festival
12. Płock Audioriver 13. Poznań Go Ahead
Blue Note Jazz Club Hala nr 2 MTP Klub u Bazyla Klub Eskulap Klub Pod Minogą Malta Festival
14. Radom For Ent. Media 15. Sopot
Bałtycka Agencja Artystyczna PVL Invest Sopot Jazz Festival
16. Szczecin Concerts.pl
Szczecin Music Fest
Adam Mickiewicz Institute Alter Art East West Concert Production Good Music Productions Makroconcert MM Communications Rochstar Events Rockloud Live Snap Event Viva Art Music Central European Organisation Mood Production Nextpop A moeba sp. z o.o. Andrzej Marzec Concerts AMC Charm Music Live Nation Poland STX Jamboree What’s There Congress Hall Klub Hybrydy Klub Hydrozagadka Klub Palladium Klub Proxima
Klub Stodola PGE Narodowy Progresja Music Zone Torwar Hall Alter Art Festival Orange Warsaw
Firlej Klub Alibi Narodowe Forum Muzyki Stary Klasztor Wrocław Stadion Asymmetry Festival Capital of Rock
19. Zakopane Urasch 20. Kostrzyn nad Odrą Przystanek Woodstock
IQ Magazine November 2016
Polska muzyka Poland’s live music sector is thriving, despite a significant chunk of its young population now living abroad. Adam Woods learns that new stadiums are attracting A-listers, but that the lack of smaller venues remains a problem for touring acts.
There are many sides to the migration and Brexit debates that have gripped Europe this year, and the Polish live business has a very particular angle. “Apparently, there are 800,000 Poles between the ages of 18 and 24, in the UK alone, and normally, those are the people you would expect to come to your gigs,” says Steven Todd, Live Nation’s head of Central and Eastern Europe. “We don’t have a problem selling tickets, but in the long-term, it is an issue. If the UK lost a million people of that age, they’d have a problem there too.” The counterweight to the population drain, however, is that Poland is, in the wider analysis, a country on the up, and that goes for its music business too. “There are 40m people in Poland, and the latest economic report said that GDP grew 3.1% in Q2,” says Todd, who reports that 2016 has been “a boom year” for concerts, on the back of a very decent 2015, with 2017 looking better still. If all that migration has put a drag on the market, imagine how fast things would be growing without it. Last time IQ profiled Poland, in 2013, Marcin Matuszewski, CEO of ticketing market leader eBilet, estimated the Polish concert ticket market at 200million Polish Złoty (zł). These days, he puts the figure at zł600m, or €140m, with zł500m of that spent online, indicating both fast growth and a technological shift for a country that scarcely had a concert business 15 years ago. “Sometimes, in the past, not everyone would come here, and often agents would treat Poland like it was some sort of difficult, mysterious eastern country,” says Tomasz Waśko of promoter
IQ Magazine November 2016
Go Ahead. “But now it has changed a lot and I think we are treated more as an integral part of the European music scene.” What’s more, Poland’s live stock may be rising at the expense of some of its neighbours. “Maroon 5 did three shows in Europe and we were one of them,” says Todd. “I handle Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary, and for sure [all major international artists] are going to play one of those. Normally, the prime choice is Prague, but now that Kraków has the Tauron Arena, it’s a lot less clear-cut.” Major festivals such as Open’er, Orange Warsaw and OFF Festival have done much to develop the Polish audience for live music. The stadiums bequeathed by UEFA’s Euro 2012 football tournament, when Poland co-hosted with Ukraine, have put Poland on the superstar circuit, while broader infrastructural improvements have aided the business in general. “Since Euro 2012, there are more and more big events organised in the whole of Poland every year,” says Tomasz Kowalski, CEO of the 43,615-capacity Stadion Energa Gdańsk. “That’s mainly because of new infrastructure that can hold these kinds of shows but also because of the fact that Poland is still developing. “Nowadays, Poland, with its new stadiums and other arenas and all facilities needed – hotels, airports, roads – is one of the best places to organise such events. Moreover, its location in central Europe and cheap flights from all over Europe make it even easier for people from other countries to come. The market is challenging, but also full of opportunities.”
On the subject of those challenges, it wouldn’t be right to ignore various political issues that have drawn international attention. The right wing is in the ascendant, the ultraconservative Law and Justice party having won last year’s parliamentary election. On the one hand, that has meant an interruption in music sponsorship from state-owned companies. And on the other, there are some more troubling consequences to the end of the left wing’s 26-year run in power. “There’s a bit of a challenge with the right-wing government,” says Todd. “They are not very tolerant of LGBT stuff, and who knows what way that is going to go. There’s a bit of censorship of the press and the operation of media, much the same as in Hungary.” If such developments seem a bit abstract in the live music world, the case of legendary Polish free festival Przystanek Woodstock – Woodstock Festival Poland – makes it clear that the danger is already coming closer to home. “The changes that have been happening in Poland since the conservative party took power pose a threat to us,” says founder Jerzy Owsiak. “For the first time in our history, police changed the status of our festival from ‘normal’ to ‘increased risk.’ We were the only festival in the country to receive this status. Practically, it meant that we had to spend half a million Euros on extra infrastructure, fencing, cameras and additional security, which was a huge financial burden for a non-commercial event.”
“Even if the government effectively stops our festival from happening next year, thousands of people from Poland and Europe will show up.” Jerzy Owsiak, Przystanek Woodstock What made things worse was that the decision to change the festival’s status came unexpectedly and only three weeks before this year’s event. “If we hadn’t been able to fulfill these difficult new conditions, Woodstock Festival Poland 2016 wouldn’t have taken place,” says Owsiak. “We worked hard and we did fulfill them, and according to many of our fans, the last edition was the most beautiful one ever.” Owsiak admits the festival could be locked in a year-in, year-out struggle to maintain its right to continue. But the festival is not a minor proposition – each year it draws half
a million campers, and as many as 200,000 who travel from nearby towns. “We are well aware of the fact that next year’s edition of our festival might be met with dislike from the authorities again, but also know that we have managed to make even more great friends,” says Owsiak. “Even if the government effectively stops our festival from happening next year, thousands of people from Poland and Europe will show up.”
Promoters A small but highly competitive knot of promoters accounts for the majority of the Polish business. For years, Live Nation has traditionally been the main promoter of large international shows, while Alter Art has dominated the festival market with Open’er, Kraków Live and, since this summer, the Orange Warsaw Festival. But the picture, some suggest, is a bit more complex now. Go Ahead, which is generally regarded as the number-one promoter of club shows, nowadays ventures into arenas as well – it staged Florence and the Machine last December at Łódź’s Atlas Arena,with shows from Bastille and Biffy Clyro coming up. Fellow indie, Prestige MJM, likewise aims big – arena shows with Justin Bieber, Andrea Bocelli, Dutch EDM prodigy Martin Garrix and German rock & roll violinist David Garrett are all forthcoming, to follow past highlights that include Michael Bublé and Jennifer Lopez. Katowice’s Metal Mind is still strong in its rock and metal niche, but is also selling shows by John Grant and Gregory Porter. Meanwhile, new arrival Rockloud Live is seeking to compete both in festivals and artist shows. Founded in February, Rockloud has the one-day Capital of Rock festival under its belt, featuring Rammstein and Limp Bizkit, as well as a Tauron Arena show by Kings of Leon, with PJ Harvey and Pixies shows coming up in Warsaw and Poznań, respectively. But managing director Michał Wysocki doesn’t pretend the Polish live market is necessarily an easy one to crack. “The competition is very tough,” he says. “Polish promoters tend to keep their cards as close to their chests as possible, and it is hard to come across any real data that you can look at and tell what is selling and what is not.” Wysocki is more candid than most. The 45,000-ticket Capital of Rock show all but sold out. The Kings of Leon show,
Life Festival in Oświęcim
IQ Magazine November 2016
Poland Kings of Leon at Rockloud’s Tauron Arena show in September
which found the reliable tourers back from a long break but not yet playing new material, sold just short of 12,000 in an arena that can contain 18,000 for concerts. “We were happy, actually, because although we would like to have sold more, it was a very successful show from the point of view of media coverage,” he says. “I think that we have proved our quality and our expertise in delivering the show.” While certain strong players have long-ruled different market sectors, Wysocki believes that is unlikely to continue as the market matures. “Every entrepreneur dreams of living in a monopoly environment, but there are no longer any monopolies in the market,” he says. “In the end, competition always strengthens the market.” Live Nation has brought its biggest acts to bear on Poland in recent years, capitalising on the gleaming new National Stadium (PGE Narodowy) to stage the kind of big-name blockbusters it puts on everywhere else in the ticket-buying world. “We are growing 20-25% a year in the number of tickets we are selling, and ticket prices are going up year on year,” says Todd, speaking, of course, from a growing market where rising ticket prices are still a sign of progress. Most promoters operate across the entire country, with Warsaw the key market, thanks to its sheer ticket-buying power. The largest city in Poland, it boasts a metropolitan population of around 2.6m. The capital draws the lion’s share of the stadium acts and has a busy club scene that might not rival London or Berlin, but is a match for Prague or Budapest. But Kraków, Łódź and Poznań are strong markets too, and Poland is big enough and hungry enough that it can support more than one show by international acts with sufficient appeal and time to spare: Archive recently played in Poznań and Warsaw; while in early October, New Model Army stopped in both cities plus Białystok, Katowice and Wrocław. “Poland is definitely a big country with great potential, and it will only get better,” says Waśko.
Festivals The biggest commercial festival in Poland is Alter Art’s four-day Open’er, at Kosakowo Airport in Gdynia on Poland’s north coast. Founded in 2002, it is credited in the local industry as having helped to inaugurate the Polish live business, and this year’s edition of the event boasted headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LCD Soundsystem and Pharrell Williams.
IQ Magazine November 2016
As in other countries, the power of the big brands inevitably has a knock-on effect. “The largest festival in Poland is Open’er, and this year was the 15th edition of the festival and it was the largest ever,” says Matuszewski at eBilet. “Because of the success of Open’er, there might have been some audience missing from other summer festivals.” Alter Art has also taken control of Orange Warsaw, the country’s largest city festival, which now also shares its headline sponsor with Open’er, although these aren’t necessarily entirely frictionless times. Announcing Alter Art’s assumption of the festival, formerly promoted by Warsaw promoter Rochstar, Alter Art chief Mikołaj Ziółkowski suggested that festivals in general, whilst assured in their crowd-pulling headliners, can expect fewer stars in future years, given the rising cost of artists. In addition to Open’er, Alter Art’s Kraków Live, and the leading alternative OFF Festival, key Polish events include the electronic Audioriver in Płock, Katowice’s likewise electronic-leaning new music specialist Tauron Nowa Muzyka and Kołobrzeg’s EDM gathering Sunrise. Also on the schedule are the notably public-spirited Woodstock Festival Poland and Life Festival Oświęcim. The former brings its vast crowds to the small town of Kostrzyn nad Odrą in western Poland in support of Polish hospital charity the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity Foundation, though it has a big heart in general. “There was one incredible moment during the last Woodstock Festival Poland when the audience paid tribute to the victims of the 2016 Nice attack,” says Owsiak. “We gave 120,000 pieces of blue, white and red [cards] to the audience
Contributors Top row (l to r): Krzysztof Czaja (Life Festival), Marcin Matuszewski (eBilet), Michał Wysocki (Rockloud Live), Steven Todd (Live Nation), Tomasz Kowalski (Stadion Energa Gdańsk ), Tomasz Waśko (Go Ahead), Jerzy Owsiak (Przystanek Woodstock)
and announced from the stage that we are all with the friends and families of the victims and with all of France. “Then, the French national anthem was played and thousands of hands went up with the cards creating a huge living French flag. It was a very touching moment and we took the opportunity to say out loud that violence can’t be destroyed with violence; that we can’t let hate grow in our hearts; that we should try to understand others even though sometimes it’s hard and painful.” The Life Festival, staged in the town of Oświęcim, has a similarly positive message – to rescue the town from its history as the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, and to promote a message of peace. “At the beginning, some people thought that the idea of running a festival in such a place was totally crazy,” says LFO (Life Festival Oświęcim) project manager Krzysztof Czaja. “Now LFO is among the leading Polish festivals and the name Oświęcim in the public consciousness is no longer connected solely to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. It doesn’t mean we want to overshadow the history of this place but there is definitely some more light in it now.” This year, the festival brought Elton John, and Queen & Adam Lambert to Oświęcim, having previously drawn Peter Gabriel, Sting, Eric Clapton and others. “Our maximum capacity is a bit more than 18,000 and it can’t be expanded much due to the limitation of the venue,” says Czaja. “However, in the future, we want to move to another venue, which will allow us to plan even more spectacular shows. Then the sky is the limit. I’m sure that acts like U2 or Bruce Springsteen will keenly support the peaceful ideas of LFO and play their debut gigs in Oświęcim before they retire.”
Venues Like any country that has recently hosted a major football tournament, Poland has the venues to show for it, as well as the stadium shows that ideally follow. “We have lots of nice stadiums, so we do lots of stadium shows,” says Live Nation’s Todd. The Warsaw National Stadium, known since last year as PGE Narodowy, is less than five years old and has seen Live Nation tourers such as Rihanna, AC/DC, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Madonna and Depeche Mode, in its short lifetime. Silesian Stadium in Chorzów, previously the home stadium of the national football team, has been out of commission for seven years while a new roof is installed. The ground hosted shows by U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in its previous
“Polish promoters tend to keep their cards as close to their chests as possible, and it is hard to come across any real data that you can look at and tell what is selling and what is not.” Michał Wysocki, Rockloud Live life, and its capacity when reopened next year will be 55,000 for matches and greater for concerts – U2’s 360˚ show brought 70,000 through the turnstiles in 2009. Another stadium, Stadion Miejski, home of football club Widzew Łódź, is undergoing a complete reconstruction, with a planned 18,000 capacity for football, rugby and concerts. Stadion Energa Gdańsk, home of football team Lechia Gdańsk, aims to organise at least one major concert a year in the summer – in recent years, it has hosted Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake, as well as the Avicii-headlined Music Power Explosion this year and beer festival/children’s day event Amber Fest. The experience of Kowalski is that fans are prepared to travel for the right events. “People come from every part of Poland – mainly from Tricity – Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia – but also from Warsaw and other major Polish cities,” he says. “There is also always a large group from Scandinavian countries and the Russian Federation. Other European nations like Germans and British come too.” Nobody is complaining about the Polish stadiums, then. Arenas, however, are a different matter, even after the arrival of the world-class Tauron Arena in Kraków in 2014. “To be honest, the market feels alright in terms of the artists we can bring to Poland,” says Waśko. The biggest problems, he says, are in Warsaw, where, notwithstanding busy clubs like Stodola and the Palladium, the ice hockey arena, Torwar Hall, is the only option in the 3,000-5,000 range. “In Warsaw, there is no proper arena you can do big shows in, and it’s a problem we are all struggling with. So sometimes you need to do a show in Kraków or Łódź where there are nice arenas, but it doesn’t work every time, because younger crowds can’t travel.” The lack of a classy, seated venue in the capital is another bone of contention, with the Congress Hall closed the last two years for a renovation that has not yet concluded. Artists such as Sufjan Stevens have apparently passed on Poland in that time for want of the right kind of venue. “It is frustrating that you can’t show these artists to a Polish audience because of infrastructure,” says Waśko.
IQ Magazine November 2016
Luger’s Silver Bullet
When a trio of friends decided the only way to see the bands they liked was to organise the shows themselves, one of Scandinavia’s most influential music companies was born. Now celebrating 25 years in business, Luger’s directors speak to Gordon Masson about the past quarter of a century…
IQ Magazine November 2016
Luger 25th Anniversary
The towns of Gävle and Sandviken, a two-hour drive from Stockholm, were not exactly the centre of the musical universe back in 1991. But thanks to three former residents, the health of Sweden’s live music sector – and beyond – has since benefitted massively following the birth of an organisation that music industry professionals around the world view with a mixture of envy and admiration. 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Luger, but the celebrations in their relaxed Swedish offices haven’t exactly been extravagant. “Is it really 25 years? 1991… yes, well I suppose it is,” says founding partner Ola Broquist. Business partner Patrick Fredriksson laughs, “How can it be 25 years when I still think of myself as being 25? That’s almost depressing.” That dry sense of humour resonates through everything at Luger, whose roots in the punk scene are evident to this day, with a collective desire to nurture new, exciting talent. Indeed, the ethos at the company is to work hard and play
Way Out West is the jewel in Luger’s extensive Nordic crown
hard – a mantra underlined by the company’s latest plans to launch a new festival in 2017. But more on that later. Looking back at life pre-Luger, Broquist tells IQ, “In the beginning, me and Morgan [Johansson] lived in Sandviken, while Patrick was in the next town, Gävle. We knew about each other and that we liked the same music so we started working together to bring bands to our towns, because nobody else was organising shows for the punk and hardcore music we liked. “It’s common in Sweden to have non-profit cooperatives running music shows, so we got involved in that and started bringing bands to play in our tiny little venues. We quickly got to the point where we needed to find better venues, because we were basically using living rooms. There was no stage and the sound, the lights, everything, were basically shit. But the local authorities didn’t seem willing to help. We tried everything, even occupying buildings and stuff, but the process just dragged out and we were getting nowhere.”
Luger 25th Anniversary
“When we formed Luger, it was still part of the cooperative organisation, but that’s when we formally started as both an agent and promoter.” And why the name? “It has nothing to do with the gun,” Broquist laughs. “To be honest, we didn’t even realise there was a gun called a Luger. For us, it was just a slang word we used to mean having a good time. It’s not even common Swedish slang – it was a word used by a group of friends, so maybe 25 people in total knew what it meant.”
Division of Labour
Frustrated by the lack of cooperation from the city councils, the trio took matters into their own hands. “We thought that if it was so difficult to get a venue in this city, we’d do things the other way around and find better venues in other cities and take the shows there,” says Broquist. Already enjoying a trustworthy reputation among the musical community, the move to expand also opened new doors for the fledgling operation. “We were working with lots of local acts and finding them shows to play, so by accident we became their agents,” says Broquist. “It’s not something we ever planned to do – it just sort of happened.” As the workload of organising shows and tours began to take over their lives, a decision was forced upon them. “In late 1991, we decided to start operating in a more formal way and we sat down to discuss giving our company a name and focus on doing what we did full-time,” recalls Broquist.
“Ola is a music lover – way beyond what is natural.” Patrick Fredriksson
In the early days of Luger, its three principals would scramble together to organise concerts and tours, making up their own rules as they went along – and having a lot of fun along the way. But it wasn’t long before they started to learn their individual business and creative strengths – with Broquist taking point on the promoting side of things and Johansson naturally gravitating toward the burgeoning artist management division. “And I mainly do all the boring stuff,” smiles Fredriksson. “Ola is a music lover – way beyond what is natural – I’m not in the same league. So I deal with F&B and partnerships, but also the creative elements around the festivals. I’ve always been attracted to building brands so I’m really happy with the way things have developed. I’m enjoying myself more than ever.” He continues, “Ola runs the promoting stuff and also the agency side of things in close cooperation with with Niklas Jonsson. And Morgan’s speciality was developing artist’s careers, so that’s why he focused on Moondog, the artist management part of the business.” Now no longer part of Luger, Johansson bought out the management division of the company three years ago. “Morgan is very close to us and is still one of our best friends. He manages the likes of Jose Gonzalez and Refused, so we work with him and his artists regularly,” notes Fredriksson.
A Capital Move Back in the days when Johansson was still very much part of Luger, the founding partners quickly discovered that success always has a price. In this case, it was their quality of life. “Patrick was bringing in international acts like Fugazi and Nomeansno, so dealing with acts from other countries started from there,” says Broquist. “We’d call friends in other cities to ask if they could put on acts in their cities – that’s how we started getting into tour promotion.” Luger finally cut its cooperative ties in 1997. “At that point we were already doing loads of shows in Stockholm,” Broquist explains. “But that meant someone would have to stay sober to drive us back home during the night. It became a very tiring lifestyle for all of us, so in the end, we couldn’t avoid moving Luger to Stockholm.” Relocation to the capital thrust Luger into the spotlight and its partners became ever more aware of competition posed by the country’s more established promoters, as offers they made for acts would often be countered by the likes of EMA Telstar and Motor.
IQ Magazine November 2016
Luger 25th Anniversary
Luger’s approach to work has seen the company involved with festivals from early on, but it’s Way Out West – arguably Sweden’s best-known summer event – that has really put the company on the map. “We’d been delivering our acts to other people’s festivals for years and we were fed up with other promoters’ line-ups. Very simply, we wanted to create a festival that we would actually want to go to ourselves,” says Luger’s Ola Broquist. Thankfully, Luger had some experience running festivals, so the decision to create something more substantial was a logical step. “Accelerator had been running for a few years, catering to a couple of thousand people,” says Broquist. That event, held across Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm, involved upand-coming acts like The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon, and Sonic Youth. “Nowadays those line-ups would be dream programmes.” Unfortunately, Accelerator wasn’t good financially, “but we were enjoying ourselves, so the money wasn’t a huge concern to us,” says Broquist. Now ten years old, Way Out West has been massively successful, thanks in part to its popular Stay Out West nighttime programme utilising venues throughout Gothenburg. The original plan was for Way Out West to be in Stockholm, but the city of Gothenburg proved more enthusiastic and found Luger a fantastic city centre park. “It means the event has the feel of a festival in a field, but people don’t have to
“We’ve struggled many times – we’ve done countless shows and festivals that lost substantial sums.” Ola Broquist
Ever ambitious, Luger’s owners took a brave strategic decision and a year after the move to Stockholm, EMA Telstar acquired a 49% stake in the company. “We’d grown from a really tiny company and were doing pretty well, but we had very strong competition from Motor, which was also a big competitor to EMA Telstar. So for us and EMA, it was a clever way to strike at Motor. Our hope was that Luger could leapfrog Motor. But then EMA also bought Motor, so all of a sudden we didn’t have to worry about them anymore,” laughs Broquist. Having since seen his company become part of Live Nation’s global network, EMA Telstar’s founder, Thomas Johansson, confesses he had been a long-time admirer of Luger and that he had a clear vision of how the companies could work together. “Luger originally came on my radar because they worked with very interesting acts and had a different look from what we did,” says Johansson. “If you compare it to record labels, Luger would be like Island Records and we would be
Way out West
travel for hours to get there. And to be perfectly frank, we’re all a bit tired of camping,” Broquist admits. Another headline grabber for Way Out West came five editions ago when it became meat-free – the brainchild of committed vegetarian, Patrick Fredriksson, who explains that removing meat was the easiest way to improve the event’s green credentials. “By becoming a vegetarian festival, we reduced our carbon footprint by 25% straight away. People don’t realise that meat production is equal to the car industry in terms of pollution,” says Fredriksson. Reactions to Way Out West going veggie were mixed. “The plan was to do it secretly, so if people ordered a burger, they’d be given a veggie burger,” states Fredriksson. But when crews started arriving on site to build the festival, word spread on social media, prompting some very strange reactions – one Swedish newspaper decided to hand out hot dogs outside the gates. Two years ago, Way Out West also removed milk from the menus. “But maybe banning cheese would be the final straw and would prompt a revolution,” says Fredriksson. Such foresight has gone down well with Luger’s parent company. “A festival needs to have soul. Ola and Patrick are the soul of Way Out West and it has become a big asset for us,” says Live Nation chief Thomas Johansson. “It’s an incredibly green festival, but also a high-end event. People go to Gothenburg and stay in hotels or with friends – it is a real destination event.”
Universal Music. Luger involves more indie bands and that type of music, but we also work on the same acts some of the time, with Coldplay being the most significant example.” He adds, “Luger is an integral part of the company, but they have their own tweak to the things we do.”
Learning Through Mistakes Making things work, money-wise, hasn’t always been Luger’s forte. “We’ve struggled many times – we’ve done countless shows and festivals that lost substantial sums,” confesses Broquist. “Sometimes we’ve been too eager. We’ve really wanted to do something, so we’ve just gone for it. But we’ve been lucky because the promoting, festivals and agency businesses have propped each other up when needed.” In 2008, the remaining 51% of Luger was acquired by Live Nation, whose previous incarnation, SFX, had bought EMA Telstar in 1999. But Broquist reveals that deal could have gone one of two ways. “Being 49% owned caused a lot of tension and we even found ourselves competing against Live Nation on a few occasions. So we came to the realisation that we’d either have to go our separate ways or get closer.” It wasn’t a tricky decision. “We knew our brand was strong and valuable and we wanted to create a set up that could deliver a great job for everyone from the tiny acts to the huge acts, and our combined strength created exactly that,” notes Broquist. Live Nation boss Johansson concurs. “Live Nation is a well-oiled machine when it comes to organising shows, from the production guy to the security guy to the marketing guy. Naturally, Luger has access to that team,” he says.
IQ Magazine November 2016
Luger 25th Anniversary Coldplay take a bow at their Friends Arena gig in July
He adds, “Luger is musically driven. We want to put on great shows and we want to deliver great festival experiences and we now know how to do that and make it work financially. We share the leadership of Luger between us.” Pinpointing specific highlights over the last quarter of a century isn’t the easiest task. But Fredriksson offers: “Way Out West – it’s very much our baby that we gave birth to and nurtured. I’m immensely proud of it. It comes from our hearts and we’ve truly created something that we still really want to go to.” He adds, “And when we teamed up with Thomas Johansson and EMA Telstar. He’s a constant source of inspiration and it’s amazing to work with such a fantastic mentor.”
Continued Expansion Nurturing Talent Much of Luger’s reputation amongst agents stems from its ability to identify talent at the very early stages and then help those artists to build meaningful careers, both within Sweden and internationally. As a measure of the company’s strength, upcoming Luger shows in November alone include Dinosaur Jr, Michael Kiwanuka, Brian Wilson, Roni Size, Goat, Nouvelle Vague, Bastille and Tom Odell among many others. Broquist notes that Luger’s biggest show happened earlier this year when Coldplay played the Friends Arena in Stockholm to a sold-out, 53,000-capacity crowd. “We’ve worked with them since the very first day – that steady career progression is exactly the model we want,” he says. “Not every artist has to become a superstar. As long as we work with amazing acts, even if they never get out of the club circuit, then that suits us. In saying that, Coldplay are still a very genuine act that can connect with the audience even when they perform in that huge format.”
“As long as we work with amazing acts, even if they never get out of the club circuit, then that suits us.” Ola Broquist
Now based in the same building as Live Nation Sweden, Luger has a staff of about 20 people – pretty impressive for an operation that promotes 500-600 shows per year. And even more so when you consider a roster of Swedish acts that accounts for an additional 1,200 shows per year – the majority of which Luger also does the production for. “We’re a pretty streamlined operation for the amount of work that we do,” observes Broquist. For the past six years, Luger has also been involved in the Stockholm Music & Arts Festival, held on a small island in the capital. “We’ve had Björk, Patti Smith, Antony and the Johnsons, Prince – a whole host of great acts,” says Broquist. “The island originally hosted Stockholm Jazz Festival but that wasn’t working financially so we joined forces to help. But very late in the day they went in a different direction by moving indoors in October. So we ended up inheriting the festival site and contract, which prompted us to go for it with a new event.” Another festival in Luger’s calendar is Popaganda – a 5050 joint venture with a non-profit organisation of the same name. The event used to be free admission, operating out of the university campus, but Popaganda asked Luger for help to introduce a commercial element. Fredriksson has implemented his Way Out West meat-free policy for that event too. “For the past couple of years we’ve also been doing the Stockholm version of Sónar in February,” adds Fredriksson. “That’s 2,500 capacity, which is a challenging format because the costs are pretty big, and there’s not a lot of income to rely on.” And 2017 will see Luger return to its roots with the launch of a new event in late April that will call upon the ideology behind Accelerator and Way Out West. “Åre Sessions will be similar – something we look forward to going to ourselves,” says Fredriksson. “It’ll be like a small Way Out West in the north of Sweden combined with skiing and outdoor life. The fact we are a bunch of ski bums totally helps with the motivation.” One thing is for sure: if the residents of Åre can tap into the enthusiasm that Luger and its staff will undoubtedly bring, the name of the city will soon be known around the world and visitor numbers should multiply. As for Luger’s plans for the next 25 years, Broquist sums up the philosophy perfectly: “We want to work with great acts, put on fantastic shows for the fans and keep having fun.”
IQ Magazine November 2016
Luger 25th Anniversary
Testimonials I have known Ola for over 20 years and he still does not answer my emails. Happy anniversary, Luger!
Alex Hardee, Coda Agency Ola Broquist at Luger: the quiet Viking with great taste in music and that all-too-rare thing in the music industry – a conscience. Congrats on 25 years in the business.
Adele Slater, Coda Agency Luger is incredibly creative and brave as an organisation. The decision to make WOW completely vegetarian as a festival was exceptionally courageous and one I have massive admiration for; and the industry talks there are really impressive. Patrick and Ola are among my favourite people in the industry. 25 years of knowing them/knowing of them have flown by. Congratulations guys and keep it going.
Melvin Benn, Festival Republic I have not worked with Ola, Morgan and Patrick directly, but I’ve worked with Fredrik “Matazz” Holmstedt and I have always said Matazz is the kindest production manager I know. And a good one. Luger is one of the best companies to work for and I always look forward to working with them again.
Lasse Jedermark, Lars Jedermark Rigging Ola and Patrick have built a great business in Luger. Way out West is a ‘must play/want to play’ for so many artists and that is a testament to their great taste in music. I love doing business with them.
Emma Banks, CAA Luger is innovative and always push their festivals further to create something more for the visitors. At the same time they never comprise the level of quality in all their work, which is of the biggest importance for us working with security on Luger’s festivals and concerts.
Michael Gubril, Show Security Sweden
Since 2010, eps has been a supplier for Luger’s Way Out West festival in Gothenburg’s Slottsskogen. The first year in 2010 was in combination with Sonisphere festival in Stockholm, and it was a disaster weather-wise, but we still managed to get the gear 470km to Gothenburg and do both festivals. Way Out West is not only nicely planned, but also one of the most beautiful, with a huge effort put into creative design. Huge congratulations from everyone at eps – we hope Luger will remain for many more years and continue to the way of doing festivals.
Bo Teichert, eps Scandinavia Over the course of 25 years, we have been dealing with Luger on both domestic and international acts, and it has always been remarkable how Ola, Morgan, Patrick and their team have stayed true to the Luger spirit. They may not always be the quickest to reply to your emails, but their taste in good music in many different genres, makes up for it and in spite of the quarter century mark there’s still a youthful approach that makes it refreshing to work with the whole Luger team.
Anders Wahren, Roskilde Festival Bright Group has been Luger´s main supplier of stage, sound, lights, crew etc. for at least the last 15 years and we are very happy that this is the case! Working with Luger is always very smooth and easy, they really know how to do it! Bright Group really look to many more good years with Luger and, of course, wishes a happy 25th anniversary!!
Håkan Axlid, Bright Group Sweden I have huge respect for Ola, Niklas, Natalie, Robin and all at Luger. They have always been very patient, very calm, (Sometimes perhaps a little too calm – and have needed a little persuading), but never have I doubted that they are in it for the music. Ola especially has impeccable taste, and has done an enormous amount in influencing and reflecting modern music tastes in Sweden with bold and innovative programming at events such as Accelerator and Way Out West. They have been great hosts, and are always a delight to be around.
I’ve worked with Luger since the beginning of my career and the start of their business. I first worked with Patrick Fredriksson who was managing an artist I represented and through that I found out about Luger’s booking and promotion side, which is their main domain. Since then I’ve worked with them on many artists – Eminem, Queens of the Stone Age and Coldplay from the very start, as well as many of by bigger clients. I love Ola and the full Luger team. They have been good partners for me the whole way through and I look forward to many more years in the business with them.
Ola and his team are brilliant to work with. Always ready to help with any challenges and go the extra mile to look after their artists. In addition to the many and varied headline shows that Luger presents, all of the festival events that they are involved with run with typical Swedish precision and efficiency and are always a pleasure to attend. Put simply Luger is a truly great company run by great people. We look forward to many more years of collaborations in the future.
Steve Strange, X-ray Touring
Angus Baskerville and Charlie Myatt, 13 Artists
IQ Magazine November 2016
Russell Warby, William Morris Endeavor
A YEAR IN THE LIVE OF
LAURA PAUSINI 46
As one of Italy’s biggest stars, Laura Pausini has enjoyed yet another record year, selling out stadiums in her homeland, as well as arena shows throughout Europe and the Americas. To celebrate her remarkable year, Adam Woods talks to the team that has taken her spectacular Simili production around the world.
n summer 2007, in the pouring rain, Italian star Laura Pausini became the first woman ever to headline Milan’s San Siro Stadium. Two years later, following the devastating earthquake in the central Italian town of L’Aquila, she returned, with 42 other female singers, to raise money for local charities. This summer, she managed to raise the stakes again, with two nights at the San Siro as part of a full-scale tour of Italian stadiums – the first two-night San Siro stand and the first Italian stadium tour for a female artist. Acknowledging her record-breaking stadium shows in Milan, Pausini tells IQ, “Coming back there this year was amazing –
IQ Magazine November 2016 All photos © Naphtalina
two nights in a row. I was freaking out until the moment I started singing on that enormous stage. I felt that I would be able to embrace all, just like the shape of the stage I drew for this tour.” On her first night at the ‘Meazza’, Pausini made an appropriately weighty dedication from the stage: “Questo concerto è contro la violenza sulle donne,” (“This concert is against violence towards women”). After 23 years on top, Pausini remains a major star, and like all such artists, everything she does needs to make a point. The tour that followed went on to do the same. After five Italian shows, and across two further legs, Pausini toured what you might call the Pausini-speaking world, whirling through
IQ Magazine November 2016 47
North and South American arenas before a set of European dates. For anyone unfamiliar with the 70 million-selling Pausini and her regular world tours, the route is a remarkable one, only partly explained by the fact that she has released both Italian and Spanish versions of eight of her nine most recent albums. Ivana Coluccia, project manager for F&P Group notes that the latest tour took Pausini to a number of new territories, including Ecuador and Paraguay, helping boost total ticket sales to nearly 350,000 for the tour. “Laura has a very enthusiastic and passionate fan base. Her audience has high expectancies and she definitely always delivers great performances. Also we are astonished by the audience knowing all the lyrics even in those countries were the tour was hosted for the very first time.”
“Laura has many of her most loyal fans in Germany and it showed with ticket sales outreaching her previous tours.” Astrid Messerschmitt, United Promoters She adds, “Laura is an amazing and talented performer. She tells her story and reaches the audience emotionally. She can sing fluently in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. These are unusual and extraordinary qualities for an Italian singer and the amazing and energetic way she engages and involves her audiences makes her unique.” Pausini’s reliably high placings in the Latin charts would account for her 2016 shows in the Americas, where she played from Canada down to Brazil, with stops in the US (New York, Miami and LA), Mexico (Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Querétaro City and Puebla), as well as Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Puerto Rico. But to follow with shows in England, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland is the mark of a multinational artist. If it wasn’t for a bout of laryngitis that wiped out five concerts in Spain, France and Luxembourg, the combined tour, promoting last year’s Simili/Similares album, might have formed a complete picture of an artist close to her crowd-pulling, multilingual peak. “She is big everywhere,” says Gracia Live’s Sam Perl, promoter of Pausini’s show at a 5,500-capacity Vorst National in Brussels. “She is massive in the States now, and South America. She has always been a force in Belgium, with top 10 albums and top 10 singles. “The interesting thing is that she also draws the Belgians,” he adds. “A big part of the audience is Italian, but a big part isn’t. She always gets airplay on the radio, and she is well known to the wider audience.” Pausini’s German shows were promoted by United Promoters AG, whose CEO, Astrid Messerschmitt, comments, “Her sold out opening concert in Stuttgart at the Porsche Arena was celebrated by fans and the press. We were also pleased with her first show ever in Essen where she played the Grugahalle. In Munich, also known as the northern-most Italian city, Laura basically played for her home crowd. Fittingly, she moved on
IQ Magazine November 2016
from the Circus Krone venue in 2012 to the Olympiahalle this time around.” Messerschmitt adds, “Laura has many of her most loyal fans in Germany and it showed with ticket sales outreaching her previous tours. Germany is generally a good territory for Italian musicians whose first fans outside of their home country are oftentimes located here.” Pausini has certainly played longer world tours than this one: her 2009 jaunt ran to 88 shows, and Inedito in 2011 included 75. But she has never before played such a high proportion of her dates – 21 out of 33 – outside Europe. And, of course, she has never tested her Italian stadium power to this extent. Initially announcing three Italian stadium dates – one in Milan, one at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, one at Bari’s Arena della Vittoria – promoter and project manager F&P Group soon added two more concerts: a second San Siro and, to kick the tour
off, a hometown show for Faenza-born Pausini at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in nearby Imola, on the fringes of Bologna. Inevitably, the first San Siro show drew the biggest crowd of the tour, with 51,794 tickets sold. “It has been one of the biggest tours of her career,” says Francesco Negroni of F&P. “It is the first time she has played twice at San Siro, and at the same time she had these shows in Rome and Bari as well. So it was four stadiums in two weeks, where normally she plays in venues of 10,000 people and does many shows.” The Simili production was as lavish as Pausini followers have come to expect. And, perhaps more unusually for a stadium/arena show, it had plenty of heart, right down to the staging concept. “The show had to communicate the ‘similarity’ message,” says Simone Conchetto of Milanese production designers Tekset. “She wanted to give a hug to the audience, spread a sense of togetherness, intimacy. In addition to that there was a ‘wish you luck’ message. So we came up with a large stage that literally embraced the audience, crowded with dancers, choir singers, extras and players, to reflect the variety of the show’s viewers – people of every kind of age and origin. And the ‘wish you luck’ message was represented with four-leaf clover-shaped confetti.” As well as such good vibes, Pausini clearly wanted to mount a show of force – one with as much presence, scale and production firepower as virtually any superstar pop show in the world. “The intention was to create a show with the typical characteristics of an important pop show: music, video – the 300m2 of floor LED were essential – dancers, lasers and special props,” says production manager Orazio Caratozzolo. “These were the artist’s wishes. Laura is a true melting pot of ideas and desires. Working with her is very inspiring, and certainly her opinion is essential to determining the production choices of a show. “Like any artist, and especially one as important as Laura, she has big ideas and the budget is available to produce them. But nothing is ever quite enough. And this is the real challenge and the pleasure of working for a great artist like Laura Pausini.”
Pausini with Belgian promoter Sam Perl of Gracia Live
IQ Magazine November 2016
Laura Pausini The most challenging items to produce, according to Conchetto, weren’t the ascending swing from which Pausini sings Sono Solo Nuvole, or the cage of lights she performs inside during Lato Destro del Cuore, or the vast tracts of LED floor. “It was the large wings,” says Conchetto, referring to the 5m-high wings the dancers are carrying when they arrive on stage. And the problem wasn’t necessarily one of inherent complexity, but of last-minute turnaround. “Laura wanted them desperately – she saw something similar at an American show. The point was that she decided about this extra item during the show set-up, so we had just a few days to think, design, produce and deliver these megawings. You can see the outcome on the pictures.” The stadium set was conceived with arenas also in mind, so it required little adaptation when the action moved from June’s Italian dates to the North American run, starting at Brampton, Ontario’s Powerade Centre near the end of July. “The stylistic features remained unchanged because the tight schedule did not allow us to create a totally different production,” says Caratozzolo. “The result was a great show in both stadiums and arenas.” The footprint of the tour was correspondingly hefty. “We are talking about an impressive production, extremely complex,” says Caratozzolo. The band included seven musicians, a string quartet, six backing singers, a DJ set and 30 dancers; and the production incorporated 800m2 of video LED – 300m2 for the floor and the rest for vertical screens – as well as 800 lights and several megawatts of audio. Audio, lighting, video and set design filled 14 trucks – Caratozzolo says it could easily have been more if the schedule hadn’t allowed time to pack them so tightly. ‘We used every cubic centimetre,” he says. A further 14 trucks carried ground support and the stage. “This was a large concert production,” says Clayton Melocik of Clearwing, which supplied full production support for the Canada and US dates, including audio, lighting, video, backline, staging, effects, trucking, and technical crew, who worked with Pausini’s F&P team to design and operate the show. “Laura is a great entertainer,” Melocik adds. “Not only does she perform a great show, but she makes sure the technical aspect of her show is spectacular as well.” For her part, Pausini comments, “It’s fantastic to bring my show to so many different countries – it’s one of the blessings of being a singer, to travel the world and be able to share my music with fans and all the people who are curious to know me better.” However, she admits that travelling so extensively can have its problems. “In order to keep my voice perfect I need to follow some rules,” she says. “Since maestro Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli suggested I should rest my voice the day of a concert, I do not talk until 5pm on the days I have to perform. It helps a lot whole I’m on a world tour because we can go through the four seasons in only a few weeks. But this is a really tough challenge for me because I like so much talking all the time with everybody.” Whereas Pausini has mounted substantial US tours before, she has never explored Latin America to this extent, playing several new markets (Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Costa Rica) in addition to familiar old ones. Christian Krämer, of Colombia-based CK Concerts, promoted Pausini’s show in Ecuador, at Quito’s Coliseo General Rumiñahui, where she drew a crowd of 5,000 – not
IQ Magazine November 2016
“For Ecuador, it was probably the biggest indoor production the country has seen, with seven video walls and a large amount of lights.” Christian Kramer, CK Concerts bad, says Krämer, for a country in the depths of an economic crisis.“It went very well,” he says. “For Ecuador, it was probably the biggest indoor production the country has seen, with seven video walls and a large amount of lights. It is a very nice show. Laura speaks a lot to the people, which gives it a very cosy and close-to-the-people atmosphere. She is lovely, and her crew is also very nice. At the same time, they have the highest expectations and requirements regarding production details.” The loss of shows in Madrid, Barcelona, Marseille, Paris and Luxembourg due to illness was an unfortunate aspect of the October European leg, which was consequently reduced to seven shows – arenas in Brussels, Stuttgart, Zürich, Geneva, Essen and Munich, and one at the Eventim Apollo in London, where the appeal of Pausini has never fully taken root. There are no plans to reschedule the missed dates. Nonetheless, the Pausini camp is chalking the Simili tour up as another high-watermark for an artist with plenty of them already. “What she did [in North and South America] this year, it was the biggest tour she has ever done,” says Negroni. “Our expectations were fully realised and we were very happy about it.”
Transport and Travel
IQ Magazine November 2016
Shifting Gear With artists relying on live performance for the bulk of their earnings these days, the role of those who make sure all their instruments, backline and stage sets are delivered to venues on schedule has never been more important. Adam Woods speaks to the trucking and freight specialists who keep rock rolling…
ertain phrases get used more than others at a time when densely scheduled tours and festival dashes snake seasonally across a jumpy, troubled world. When it comes to scheduling, the key phrase you need is ‘margin for error,’ because there usually isn’t much – which is one reason why freight and trucking specialists, along with production staff, are the under-praised supermen and wonder women of this business. And on the subject of Brexit, you can’t go wrong with ‘nobody knows what’s going to happen,’ because that’s still pretty much all anyone can say about it. You might need ‘wait and see’ as well. So there is a familiar feel to many conversations about live music transport, but that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the more quietly exciting areas of the business, as artists chase the money across the world, from festivals to shows to lastminute private gigs, and leave the freight forwarders and the truckers to make it all join up.
The big stuff
reight forwarding, and logistics in general, comprises a world of very, very big things and very, very small details. One minute you’re packing seven jumbo jets full of superstar stage production. The next you’re telling the roadies off about batteries. At the very, very big end this summer, Beyoncé set new standards of grandiosity with her Es Devlin-designed Formation production, famously featuring a four-sided video structure – ‘the monolith’ – at its heart. At 22m by
IQ IQ Magazine Magazine November November 2016 2016
16m by 9m, the monolith is quite a spectacle, and it’s safe to assume it doesn’t fold up into a small box. Sound Moves was the company tasked with shipping the thing – actually four of them, which crisscrossed each other as the tour stomped across the land. “The monolith is a fairly phenomenal piece of engineering,” says Sound Moves tour principal John Corr. “They are custom-made pieces, built in Belgium. We shipped all four of them to the USA by ocean. But the tour was so successful that they wanted to extend in America before coming to Europe, so they went from being able to move everything by ocean to being able to move only part of it by ocean, due to the time available.” The solution was seven 747s of production and special steel components. “It was just the usual problems, but bigger,” says Corr, cheerily. It’s not a rare insight to say that tours keep getting bigger, but they certainly do, in terms of trucks, 747s and ocean shipments. Beyoncé, it is generally agreed, pushed the envelope this year on every front. “It’s always going up,” says Natasha Flatt at Transam Trucking. “Beyoncé at 63 – that’s the biggest we have seen. It beat U2’s 360° tour in terms of production and trucks. You have always got the extreme, but then you have got the other end, where they are trying to make money so they try to keep things light.” The big productions spend more, of course, to make the really big bucks. But no serious operation, of any size, should embark on a tour without getting the nod from its transport partners. “The accountants obviously have a big say in running a tour,” says Global Motion director Adam Hatton, currently in
Transport and Travel Rock-it Cargo deliver sea freight into Paris for Muse’s ‘Drones’ world tour earlier this year
the middle of Coldplay’s A Head Full Of couldn’t start number-four engine,” he Dreams Tour as it prepares to jump from reflects. “There are circumstances that its third leg to dates in India, New Zealand can conspire against you. If you only and Australia in November and December. have 18 hours to get the gear from one “But on a big tour, like this one, you sit place to the next, that’s the last thing you down with the production manager, look at need.” the dates and work out what’s feasible. Our They were lucky on that occasion, he job really is to give advice as well as make recalls – a back-up plane was close at the moves. Because nine times out of ten hand. Because if it all does go to the wall, the moves just happen: you have set it up in the rule of the modern business is that you Matt Wright, Rock-it Cargo advance; the paperwork is all pre-logged.” simply adjust to the new reality and sort In Coldplay’s case, the feasible it out. “There is no point complaining – recently included a “brutal” South American leg. “It was you just get your head down and make it work,” says Wright. show, day off, show, day off. We had 18 hours to get 100 “There’s no point complaining, because no one listens to you tonnes out of one country and into another,” says Hatton. and it’s a waste of energy.” To some extent, the live music industry’s logistics arm has Apart from anything else, he suggests, the secret truth only itself to blame for today’s litany of punishing schedules. about logistics is that no one knows just how efficient you “If you say yes once, clients then take that as the norm,” are – or are not – until the unexpected happens. says Matt Wright, business development director at Rock-It “Anyone can move something from A to B,” he says. Cargo. “You kind of make a rod for your own back. But it is “It’s when it starts going wrong that you can really tell how a good problem to have, because you are building your future good the company is that you are working with. That’s how I on your past success. The only issue is, it leaves very little believe you actually earn your merit.” margin for error.” On other occasions, all the complications are clear in There’s that phrase. “With anything that moves, there’s a advance, though they are, of course, still complicated. This lot of variables that can change,” says Wright. “If everything year, EFM Global handled one of the big up-and-comers, goes in your favour, 99.9% of the time it goes without a hitch, The 1975, including their Far East trip. Their Malaysian because of the amount of pre-planning you put in place and show ended at 11pm in Kuala Lumpur, recalls EFM Group the fact that the people along the chain are all prepared for it. CEO Mike Llewellyn, “but with no commercial flight options “But you can’t control whether the aeroplane is going to available, we supplied dedicated trucks to drive the backline break down. You can’t control the weather, and whether it’s and production equipment through the night, across the going to put a spanner in the works. You can’t control which Malaysian border into Singapore, including express customs side of bed the customer gets out of in the morning. Those processing. “As soon as the trucks arrived in Singapore the three things, you can’t control.” following morning – nine hours after the band came off-stage Which leaves luck as a terrifyingly important factor in in KL – the kit was prepped and customs-cleared and loaded keeping the show on the road. The art of the transport company, onto the only wide-body aircraft option available, which then of course, is to make your own. “Luck does come into it,” says flew on to Jakarta, arriving around midnight. The kit and ATA Hatton. “Not getting an idiot of a customs official; there being carnets were customs-cleared through the night for the fourth no bad weather; the aircraft not going technical. time in 24 hours and delivered to the venue early morning the “We did actually get an aircraft go technical on us – following day – show day – as required.”
“If you say yes once, clients then take that as the norm.”
IQ Magazine November 2016
Transport and Travel
The delicate stuff
that is what is exciting about going to work,” he says. “Some days are bad, when some dickhead in an airline drops your gear and it doesn’t make the flight, although we have got such a tight organisation now, it is very rare.” McDonnell remembers advice he gave to his own freight partner decades ago, when he was tour-managing Fleetwood Mac. “I said, ‘when you ship this gear, always remember: I don’t care what’s written on my invoice – just be sure I never get to where I’m going and my gear isn’t there.’” That advice still holds, though McDonnell says there are not that many global operators truly capable of following it through. “If you look at the whole industry, there’s really only about six, possible seven, main companies in the business, worldwide, that can do what we do,” he says.
ith its complexities and cultural sensitivities, the Rolling Stones’ show in Cuba in March – the country’s first outdoor rock show, drawing 500,000 to Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva de la Havana – stands as a case study in diplomacy, starting with the freight job. Technically, the USA still doesn’t allow shipments to Cuba, so a 747 of cargo – the first American 747 freighter ever into Cuba – came via Mexico. The original date had to be moved because Barack Obama decided to fly in for his own diplomatic mission on the very day of the show, with all the heightened security that entailed. A new date of 25 March was quickly found, to replace the 20 March in everyone’s diaries. “So we not only had to delay the show, but also get everything done before the airport was bloody shut down for three days,” says Corr, who handled the shipment. After that, the delicate work of cultural relations began. A bviously, festivals have boomed in the last few Brazilian, an Argentine and a Peruvian on the team helped to years,” says Matt Jackson, sales manager at music dissolve the language barrier as the production worked with event trucking specialist Fly-by-Nite. “It becomes a Cuban customs to X-ray an entire plane’s worth of cargo – a weekend away for people and obviously they charge a lot for Cuban condition on all incoming freight from Mexico – before tickets and they get a lot of people through the door, so the the site was cleared by a presidential advance security detail. money the bands get in is very good.” The temptation for many bands is to attack the festival “It was a question of trying to get through the customs circuit with a vengeance, and the procedures for Havana for the first full companies that move their gear have import of a major rock & roll show,” says had to develop ever-sharper skills as a Corr. “They were a little bit wary initially, “Networking with UK result. “Bands will squeeze in as many because we were perhaps coming in companies would be much festivals as they can,” says Jackson. very gung-ho, very enthusiastic and very “Sometimes we are faced with difficult intense, and that is probably not the Cuban more easier in a common drives, over several hundred miles temperament. They are very proud, very Europe without restrictions overnight to get from one to another, professional. I think they wanted it to which obviously is costly but it’s worth work, they wanted it to happen, but they and obstacles. ” the bands doing, because of the money.” have laws and regulations that they are Henning Theune, If you’re going to push your luck, not going to ignore just because it is the Jackson suggests, the summer is the Rolling Stones.” Rock ’N Roll Trucking time to do it. It is in the colder months While the obvious work of freight and that a tight schedule skates closest to trucking companies is the massive loads they shift, the devil is very often in the subtle detail – the disaster. “The advantage you have got in the summer is awareness of global variations in regulations and allowances; that weather conditions are pretty good,” he says. “It can be the careful planning and cultural considerations. And the challenging in the winter, when Scandinavia and much of awareness that a massive shipment could be jeopardised by northern Europe can be affected by snow and bad weather conditions, which is difficult to allow for. that packet of batteries we mentioned earlier. “That is a very serious topic that has to be discussed with the band,” says Wright. “Because most bands carry spare batteries for the effects pedals, the in-ear microphones, that sort of thing.” But spare packets of lithium batteries, you may or may not have realised, are not allowed in checked baggage by many carriers – including British Airways and all American airlines. “There’s all sorts of regulations that have to be followed,” says Wright. “There’s specific batteries some carriers allow you to fly and other countries don’t. A built-in walkie-talkie can ruin everything. There are so many IATA regulations, but then certain countries have their own ones that supersede the IATA regulations. Something so small can be such a thorn in your side.” Phil McDonnell, founder of long-running freight forwarder Horizon Entertainment Cargo, which now operates from nine offices around the world, says the need for constant vigilance keeps the job thrilling. “Every day is a new challenge, and
The festival boom
Beyoncé’s production awaits loading by Sound Moves
IQ Magazine November 2016
Transport and Travel
Contributors Top row: Adam Hatton (Global Motion), Henning Theune (Rock ‘N Roll Trucking), John Corr (Sound Moves) Bottom row: Matt Wright (Rock-it Cargo), Mike Llewellyn (EFM Group), Phil McDonnell (Horizon Entertainment Cargo)
“In the summer, you have got no real worries in that sense, but of course anything can happen on a tight overnight drive. You have only got to have a breakdown, and when you have got a 15-hour overnight drive, you have got absolutely no margin for error. So this is why the maintenance of vehicles has to be absolutely on point, because we can’t afford any breakdowns on the road. Otherwise, you miss gigs, which is just disastrous.” It’s so disastrous, indeed, that it basically can’t be allowed to happen. Which is why both trucking companies and freight forwarders keep a back pocket full of Plan Bs. “With the size that we are, we have got extensive contacts around Europe, so pretty much wherever we are, we can salvage a situation,” says Jackson. “You just have less time on an overnight drive, as opposed to when you have got two or three days to get there. Festival season throws up many situations like that.”
Brexit, borders and security
obody knows what’s going to happen with Brexit. We’ll have to wait and see. Will UK bands and crews need visas for a tour of Europe? Will the entire, complex jigsaw of infrastructure relied upon by freight forwarders and truckers crumble to dust for UK operators? Will anybody bother coming to Britain again? “Whether it will put American bands off coming over, I don’t really know,” says Jackson. “I would like to think they can’t ignore the money that is on offer over here, but it is an added complication. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen.” The uncertainty extends well beyond the UK. Henning Theune of German operator Rock ’N Roll Trucking doesn’t relish the
IQ Magazine November 2016
implications of Brexit any more than his British counterparts. “Does Brexit present an opportunity for us?” he ponders. “I don´t really think so. It depends on the overseas clients. If they should now start to send their freight into Frankfurt or Rotterdam more often, we may benefit. But if the exchange rate for pounds sterling makes it less attractive for US clients to do business with companies who have to be paid in Euro, we may be at a disadvantage. “At this point I am more concerned about having to deal with borders and custom affairs again. What a nuisance! Networking with UK companies would be much more easier in a common Europe without restrictions and obstacles. We considered them long gone. I´d prefer a world without Brexit.” The recent situation in Calais, with its trapped population of migrants, was not specifically a symptom of Brexit, but it felt like a foretaste of the unpredictable chaos many fear Brexit will usher in, as previously friendly borders become problematic ones and allies become surly opponents. “The Calais situation has caused problems,” says Flatt. “Last summer was worse in a way, because it was the first time it started to creep in. So it is now our company policy to avoid it wherever possible. There can be such extreme delays with no warning. And when you get in a queue, you are stuck in that queue.” Transam had a lorry smashed in Calais at the end of July, giving another good reason to avoid the port. “There’s an alternative route that might be slightly more expensive, but you know you are going to get through,” says Flatt. “We tend to use Harwich to the Hook of Holland or Portsmouth to Caen. That’s the way we do things now, because it is still so volatile at times.” Shipping by air, meanwhile, doesn’t elevate you above the border problems of the modern world. Some countries, worryingly or not, are tighter on security than others. Sometimes, the main consideration is whether the flight is chartered or commercial. Needless to say, when gear is going in the hold of a passenger jet, the checks tend to be more vigorous than for a chartered cargo plane with only tour equipment on board. “The thing is security issues at the airports,” says Wright. “Obviously, with the heightened security climate around the world these days, it does tend to slow things down from an aircraft loading point of view. Whereas before you would finish at midnight, get the trucks out by three and get all the aircraft pallets netted and built by five or six in the morning, now everything has to be X-rayed or otherwise checked before you can even start building pallets. “If you have got two or three aeroplanes to move, that’s a hell of a lot of equipment and a hell of a lot of security to go through. And you are not talking minutes, you’re talking hours, depending on the volume of equipment and where you are in the world.” But ultimately, no one in this business operates in isolation, and the touring business needs its transport specialists to link it in to a terrifyingly complex world of variables. Here’s a parting example: the overall fall in global freight shipments since the downturn means that ships have slowed down in turn, to reduce their fuel bills. “You used to be able to get a container from Brisbane to Long Beach in 15 days, and now it’s 26 days,” says Hatton. “That kind of thing – you have just got to stay on it.”
Paul Hutton, Conal Dodds and Fraser Duffin invited the great and the good of the agency world along to the official launch of their new promoting operation, Crosstown Concerts, at a party in London’s Magic Roundabout venue in September. The trio’s new venture got off to a flying start with a sold-out 30,000-capacity show by Massive Attack on the Bristol Downs earlier in the month.
Proving just how tough life can be when you’re a promoter in Scotland, DF Concerts’ Dave Corbet, Craig Johnston, Dave McGeechan and Geoff Ellis braved the elements for a company meeting in September… on the beach… in Barcelona…
PRS For Music Foundation chief executive Vanessa Reed won the h.Club 100 Award for Music at an October ceremony in London. Hosted by the Hospital Club, the annual awards celebrate the 100 most influential and innovative people in the UK’s creative industries.
The Who were presented with commemorative plaques to mark the visit of their 50! tour to Oberhausen’s König-Pilsener Arena in September. Pictured, left to right, are Daniela Stork from the arena, promoter Klaus Bönisch of KBK, Pete Townshend, Michael Hilgers also of promoters KBK, Roger Daltrey and the arena’s Michael Brill.
Fruzsina SzÉp’s extended turned up in force to support her, and everyone else in the Lollapalooza Berlin team, at this summer’s event in the city’s Treptower Park. Despite many challenges, notably from local protest groups and Russian politicians, the weekend was a huge success as headliners Kings of Leon and Radiohead helped sell out 70,000 tickets per day. live music family
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IQ Magazine November 2016
“What is your most prized possession and how did you get it?” (part two) TOP SHOUT My all-time favourite band is Joy Division and their rarest release (1,578 copies pressed) is probably Licht und Blindheit, a 7-inch single released on the French Sordide Sentimental label in March 1980.
I was a chemistry student but also worked at a record shop and at rock venue, Doornroosje Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Licht und Blindheit did not arrive at the shop, not even for the staff, it was that rare. I desperately needed a copy. Earlier that year, Joy Division had played Doornroosje (booked by me). So I called Rob Gretton, the band’s manager, but he said the single was completely sold-out. We chatted and just before Rob hung up, he said he personally had two copies of the single and double-checked my PO Box number with me. About a week later, I saw a UK-style LP carrier in my PO Box that was bent over on one side (the sleeve of Licht und Blindheit is approx. 7 x 12-inches). I opened it a bit too quickly, tearing it open on the fold, and immediately feared I had damaged it. I couldn’t quite believe it was true... but it was! Rob Gretton had sent me his second copy of the single and I had not damaged it! A priceless piece in my record collection, and I’ll never sell it, of course. Still nice to know: average market price currently around €1,000. Rob Berends, Paperclip Agency
It’s actually on my desk not two feet from where I am sitting right now. I have a framed photo, circa 1993 of Mr John Lydon, me, Paul Merson and my then business partner, Lionel Martin. We are holding both cups celebrating Arsenal’s cup double that year. Ed Grossman, Brackman Chopra LLP
My Viola Beach t-shirt. Given to me by the lead singer, Kris, as he got into the car leaving Where’s the Music Festival in Sweden. Mark Bennett, UTA
manager – I would teach guitar at this studio until I had made enough on the books that he would take me to Guitar Center and buy me a guitar. It took over two years. This was more than 15 years ago. I still have that guitar, and her name is Misty on account of her paint job. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think she wants some attention. Boyan Boiadjiev, Sofia Music Enterprises
I was invited to the Quebramar Festival de Música, in Amapá, just north of the Amazon. Being so isolated, the only means of transport are boat or plane. I was imagining an opportunity to check out some indigenous music but instead I found a heavy metal scene on the equator. The bands are learning the Tupi language and want to bring indigenous touches to their music and image. I spent a few days participating in workshops, followed by watching shows on the edge of the Amazon River. Absolutely fantastic. Before I left, one of the bands gave me an Indian funeral urn, where I can eventually have my ashes stored! Roots Bloody Roots! David McLoughlin, Brasil Music Exchange
My most prized thing is my main guitar, probably because I worked extremely hard to get it. When I first moved to the US, I wasn’t allowed to work outside of my university, so I struck a deal with a studio
This coin – my arch nemesis. It was given to me on my 21st birthday by my late father, and is the coin that killed me. When I was three, I used to play a game where my mum and I would take turns to hide something (in this case, said old halfpenny) and when the other was trying to find it, they’d get ‘hotter’ or ‘colder’ clues, depending how near they were to the object. My mum was at the front door speaking to a neighbour, when child genius Gordon discovered that the coin fitted perfectly between the three prongs of a plug. Mummy will never find it here, I no doubt cunningly thought, as I pushed the plug, coin wedged in place, into a socket. You can see the indentations where the coin fused with the UK’s national grid… In that split second, a toddler sailed through the air, only to be brought to an ungraceful halt by the kitchen wall. Fortunately for me, my ‘aunty’ Joan, who my mum was speaking to, was a trained nursery carer and knew CPR (something of a rarity in 1970s Scotland), so here I am to tell this cautionary tale and to edit your favourite bi-monthly live music publication. Gordon Masson, Electricians’ Weekly
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IQ Magazine November 2016