Hans Zimmer on Tour Live Streaming Family Entertainment Report 2017 Market Report: Switzerland Remembering Alia Dann Swift
LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THROW YOUR BOMBS AND YOUR BLOWS / BUT YOUâ€™RE NOT GONNA BREAK MY SOUL ISSUE 72
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 72
Cover: Katy Perry at the One Love benefit concert in Manchester on 4 June © BBC
Business and Analysis 8 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months 10 In Depth Key stories from around the live music world 14 New Signings and Rising Stars A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the roster of international agents, and insight into some of the world’s hottest emerging acts 24 Techno Files Revealing the best new technology in live entertainment 25 Busy Bodies IQ’s page for industry associations to share business concerns and news
16 Remembering Alia Dann Swift Celebrating the Mother of all conferences 26 Sweet Streams (are made of this) As festival season begins, Eamonn Forde examines the fast developing live streaming business 30 Familiarity Breeds Content IQ’s annual report on the global family entertainment sector 40 Hans on Tour Chris Austin looks behind the scenes at Hans Zimmer’s live shows 54 CH CH Changes Adam Woods examines the evolving business in multicultural Switzerland
Comments and Columns 20 The Evolution of the Internet for a DIY Artist Sean Goulding reflects on how artists are using the power of the Internet creatively and financially 21 Measures of Security Chris Kemp and Pascal Viot discuss the pressing need to make our venues safer 22 Reality Cheque Hayley Brady and James Balfour outline various technological innovations aimed at developing the live entertainment experience 23 Experiencing Festival Luxury Sarah Woodhead observes the increase in demand for the vastly improved festival experience 64 Members’ Noticeboard Keeping you posted on what ILMC members are up to
66 Your Shout “What one issue would you like the live entertainment industry to address at the moment?”
IQ Magazine July 2017
#WeStandTogether Gordon Masson applauds the music industry for its response to terror attacks Anyone that plans the murder of children
attending a pop concert, or couples walking across a bridge, or people shopping at a market, or worshippers making their way home from evening prayers, simply shouldn’t have a place on our planet. And yet that’s the world we find ourselves living in. The bravery of those targeted by such cowards, however, is unwavering and restores faith in the ability of mankind to say a massive ‘fuck you’ to those whose sole, deranged purpose is to inflict pain, terror and carnage. The atrocity that was perpetrated at Manchester Arena in May was hideous beyond words, claiming 22 lives and injuring many more. But the response of the music industry, led by 23-year-old Ariana Grande, made me proud to be associated, even in a tiny way, with it. Hats off to Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn, SJM chief Simon Moran and Grande’s manager Scooter Braun for pulling the One Love Manchester benefit gig together with barely a few days notice, and raising more than £2million for those affected by the bombing. The same sentiments go to all the artists and their teams, as well as all the artist managers, agents, record label execs and the many, many production people who worked so hard to show just exactly what a force for good music can be. The proof of that? Well, who would have thought we would ever see Liam Gallagher and Coldplay sharing a stage?! Terror attacks in the past few months have undoubtedly changed forever the way that the live entertainment business operates. But the fact that those who are working to keep artists, crew and fans safe are leaving no stone unturned to do so, underlines the determination of the industry to keep on delivering the joy that live music brings to millions of people around the world.
Bag searches, airport style X-ray machines and metal detection arches have rapidly become the norm at arenas and festivals, while the willingness, of those tasked with our security, to explore new ways in which to enhance safety is also driving investment into the likes of thermal imaging equipment, sniffer dogs and other surveillance technology. And the good-natured patience of the general public in accepting such intrusions into their personal space, again highlights a steely resolve against the perpetrators of evil. Usually, I like to end my editorial with something upbeat, but the death of our own Alia Dann Swift in May makes that a tricky proposition. Alia had been working on an event in Israel when she fell ill and was quickly diagnosed with a particularly aggressive cancer that took away one of the most inspiring individuals that it’s ever been my pleasure to work with. Please take the time to read some of the heartfelt tributes to Alia on pages 16-19. And I look forward to raising a glass with at least some of you at her memorial in London on 3 July, at where else but the Royal Garden Hotel.
Issue 72 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, July 2017
Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH firstname.lastname@example.org www.iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag
ILMC and Suspicious Marketing
News Editor Jon Chapple
Associate Editor Allan McGowan
Marketing & Advertising Director Terry McNally
Editorial Assistant Ben Delger
Christopher Austin, James Balfour, Hayley Brady, Eamonn Forde, Sean Goulding, Rhian Jones, Chris Kemp, Manfred Tari, Dr Pascal Viot, Sarah Woodhead, Adam Woods
Gordon Masson, email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303
Terry McNally, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0304
To subscribe to IQ Magazine: email@example.com An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic). Photo © Dave Hogan, One Love Manchester
IQ Magazine July 2017
In Tweets... MAY
Luxury Ja Rule-backed boutique event, Fyre Festival, descends into chaos on its first day, with visitors to the Bahamas site comparing conditions to a refugee camp. Twitter signs live-streaming content deals with a number of partners, including Live Nation. British performance rights organisation, PRS for Music, launches an online tool aimed at helping members performing overseas to negotiate fair royalty payments. Sony Music’s Zepp Hall Network reveals plans for two new mid-sized Zepp venues in Singapore (2,333-capacity) and Taipei (2,200-cap). More than 60 members of the UK’s Association of Independent Festivals sign-up to a charter of best practice aimed at promoting increased awareness of sexual assault. AEG enters into a multi-year agreement to manage the biggest stadium in the Nordics, Stockholm’s 75,000-capacity Friends Arena. Amazon launches its Prime Live Events concert series, which will promote shows exclusively to members of Amazon Prime. Ticketmaster-owned white-label firm, Front Gate Tickets, launches operations in the UK.
Britannia Row Productions is acquired by US production support giant Clair Global. Mobile ticket app, Dice, introduces what it claims to be a world first in concert ticketing: refunds for those who can no longer attend. Self-ticketing specialist, Oxynade, secures €1.8m in new funding from Newion Investments. Jay-Z extends his touring contract with Live Nation for a further decade. The two parties signed an initial $150m (€132m), ten-year, 360-degree deal in 2008. Glastonbury Festival founder, Michael Eavis, is confirmed as the keynote interview for the third International Festival Forum on 28 September. Grunge pioneer, Chris Cornell, frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, dies following a show in Detroit. Initial reports indicate suicide. He was 52. Pia Corporation establishes Japan’s first face-value ticket exchange, Tiketore, after high-profile campaigns against the “huge profits” being earned from the secondary ticketing market. The UK’s Music Managers Forum, in partnership with Music Support, publishes the Music Managers’ Guide to Mental Health, providing artist managers with advice to better protect both their own mental health and that of their acts. 22 people, including children, lose their lives after a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena, for which Islamic State terror claims responsibility. The attack targets people leaving the 21,000-cap venue at the end of an Ariana Grande concert (see page 12). The Swiss Federal Competition Commission refuses to sanction the agreed merger of Switzerland’s two largest ticket agencies, Starticket and Ticketcorner. ILMC’s long-time producer, Alia Dann Swift, passes away at her home in Melbourne, Australia, having been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in early April. She was 57 (see page 16).
@iq_mag UK-based ticket exchange site Twickets inks its first deal down under – partnering with Frontier Touring for Ed Sheeran’s 2018 tour of Australia and New Zealand. Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia announces plans for a stock market float of its RedTix event ticketing operation – one of the region’s most popular ticket agencies. Booking agencies, artists and management companies are among those owed a combined CAD$13.2m (€8.8m) by the two holding companies behind Canada’s bankrupt Pemberton Music Festival. Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur bans backpacks from its Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals. Amsterdam-based secondary ticketer TicketSwap, which caps resale at 20% above face value, wins the backing of festivals and promoters including Mysteryland, Sensation, Thunderdome and Amsterdam Open Air. Türk Telekom Arena becomes the first Turkish venue to change its name after president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rules the term ‘arena’ as non-Turkish. It will now be known as Türk Telekom Stadium. Ariana Grande returns to Manchester to headline a benefit gig in aid of the families of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing. She is joined on stage by Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Take That and others. Festival and concert promoters sue Belgian performance rights organisation Sabam over controversial live music tariff increases. UK tech start-up TickX unveils a Facebook chatbot that it hopes will revolutionise the ticket-buying process. Serge Grimaux becomes chairman of RFID specialist Intellitix after the company hires former Blackberry executive Carlo Chiarello as CEO.
IQ Magazine July 2017
News Chris Cornell © Jeff lipsky
One of the UK’s most prominent crowd management specialists, Mick Upton, passes away. Upton founded ShowSec International Ltd in 1982 and was the recipient of numerous awards recognising his contribution to the field. Switzerland’s abc Production becomes the latest promoter to ban backpacks in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing. The ban extends to stadium and arena shows. Venue manager Derick Ion Almena and promoter Max Harris are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with last December’s deadly blaze at the Ghost Ship in Oakland, California. A New York judge orders the seizure of cash, property, shares and other assets from ticket broker, Jason Nissen, who allegedly conned investors out of $32m (€28m) to prop up a ticket-selling scam. The Events Industry Forum publishes The Purple Guide Lite, aimed at the organisers of smaller events. Pandora Media announces the sale of Ticketfly to Eventbrite. Despite purchasing the company for $450m (€396m) less than two years ago, it sells for a package worth $200m (€176m). US college-sports marketing agency, Learfield Communications, acquires white-label ticketing platform Paciolan from Comcast Spectacor. Terms of the deal are not disclosed. Chinese secondary ticketing site Ferris Wheel Ticketing secures $15m (€13m) in series-B funding from a consortium of Chinese and American investors. Nashville tech start-up Hurdl – whose Pixl LED wearables and SMS-
based marketing platform allow promoters and artists to connect directly with audiences at live events – raises $2.5m (€2.2m) in seed funding. Kiss frontman Gene Simmons applies to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the sign-of-the-horns hand gesture as his trademark. Good luck with that. German police claim a spelling mistake was to blame for the disruption of the first day of this year’s Rock am Ring festival. The site was evacuated when two Syrian nationals working at the festival mistakenly showed up on a list of terror suspects. Ticketing platforms AXS and Eventbrite agree separate deals with musicstreaming giant Spotify that will allow the companies to promote their concerts and music festivals to Spotify’s audience of more than 100million music fans. The New Zealand Commerce Commission initiates “preliminary inquiries” into the business practices of Viagogo, joining its counterpart in Australia in investigating the secondary ticketing site for alleged breaches of consumer law. More than 123,000 people make the 24th Sónar the most successful year in the Barcelona festival’s history. StubHub opens its first bricks-and-mortar retail outlet at 1412 Broadway, two blocks south of New York City’s iconic Times Square. AEG purchases four acres (1.62ha) of land in Nashville, Tennessee, to develop a new entertainment complex incorporating two music venues. Nashville Yards will be a $1bn (€0.9bn) entertainment district including a 4,000-capacity venue, and a 600-cap club.
AEG invests in Immortals, one of the world’s leading e-sports teams, with professional players in the North American League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros, Overwatch and Vainglory leagues. The team will now play their Los Angeles tournaments and matches at AEG’s LA Live entertainment district. A German appeals court upholds a ban on charging fees for print-at-home tickets, quashing an appeal by CTS Eventim over its €2.50 fee. Police make 18 arrests as part of an investigation into alleged corruption at troubled Spanish performance rights organisation SGAE. Reportedly, SGAE members and TV execs conspired to create “low-quality music” which was used on late-night TV to generate performance royalties collected by SGAE. Nearly three quarters of tickets placed on secondary sites in Spain are there to be sold for profit, reports Ticketea, which is among those campaigning for the resale market to be regulated. Ticketmaster joins the chatbot craze, unveiling its Ticketmaster Assistant bot for Facebook Messenger and describing it as an event-discovery tool that recommends shows via a ‘conversation’ with the user. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Gene Simmons drops his bid to trademark the devil’s horns hand gesture for use on stage. StubHub is appointed official online ticket seller for the next two editions of Mexico’s Hellow festival. FKP Scorpio founder Folkert Koopmans hails the success of this year’s Hurricane and Southside festivals, after a triumphant and (mostly) sunny return following 2016’s disastrous storms. A total of 138,000 people attended the sold-out twin events. The BBC says its 21st year covering Glastonbury Festival was also its most successful, with television and online coverage of the event reaching a record audience of almost 21million viewers. To subscribe to IQ Magazine: firstname.lastname@example.org An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).
Want to share your views on breaking industry news? Then get involved in the discussion on Twitter: @iq_mag
IQ Magazine July 2017
Movers and Shakers DHP Family has promoted Josh Ward to the position of national concert promoter. Ward, who had already spent a year with the Nottingham-based company as promotions co-ordinator, will be responsible for booking and promoting shows across the UK. He also runs his own promotions business, Girls & Boys, which began as a club night at London venue Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. Really Useful Theatres has appointed ex-Roundhouse head of music Dave Gaydon as its head of programming, tasked with presenting more live music at Really Useful’s venues, particularly the 2,286-capacity London Palladium. Gaydon will remain as a director of GOAT Music, the events agency which last year staged its first festival in Goa, India. Jason Carter, the former BBC Introducing boss recently appointed to head up Amazon’s Prime Live Events, has stepped down. Carter joined Amazon in May, but is taking a career break for personal reasons, according to Amazon. Will Anderson has joined the team at the Barcelona-based promoters Mercury Wheels. Previously an A&R executive at Universal, EMI and MTA Records, Anderson moved to Madrid in 2015 and last year launched the Sail Away electronic music festival.
Steve Harper, director of arenas at Melbourne & Olympic Parks, has been appointed president of the Venue Management Association. He succeeds Trevor Dohnt. Jon Webster has stepped down as president of the UK Music Managers Forum in order to pursue new projects. Webster, who had been in the role since January 2016 following an eight-year stint as CEO, will spend the immediate future writing a memoir about his time at Virgin Records. Christian Steinhof has been appointed head of the newly created corporate communications department at CTS Eventim. He joins from German conglomerate Bertelsmann, where he spent more than a decade and was most recently press officer/vice-president of media relations. German promoter FKP Scorpio has appointed veteran artist manager Freddie de Wall to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Most recently, De Wall was co-owner and managing director of Hamburg-based management firm Heinrich & de Wall. He began his career as a road manager and booker with now-defunct concert promoter Sunrise, and then spent two decades in the label business, working at Phonogram, WEA Records, Metronome, BMG and Edel Music.
Partners Form LDA Analysis Joint Venture
The teams behind Media Insight Consulting (MIC), the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) and IQ Magazine have launched the Live Data Agency (LDA) – a joint venture specialising in big data analysis, consumer research and economic modelling for the live music business. LDA is spearheaded by music business economist, Chris Carey, who was formerly global insight director at Universal Music Group, and senior economist at PRS for Music. “With an overwhelming amount of information available to
the live music business, the challenge is knowing where to start,” he says. “Our aim is to help companies use the data that they already have, or collaborate with them to create new data points, to gain valuable insight into their business.” Having already completed projects for the likes of The O2, Eventbrite, Spotify and IQ Magazine, Carey says LDA has the tools to offer unique insight across the live entertainment sector. “The advantage of specialising in live is that we already know where some of the demons are hiding, so can avoid analytical mistakes that people from outside live might struggle with,” he adds. “Twinning the economic expertise of Chris and his team with the research and content capabilities of IQ
Magazine gives LDA a unique position in the live music space,” comments ILMC head, Greg Parmley. “I would encourage anyone looking at new markets or projects, or wanting to make
more use of their pre-existing data, to get in touch with Chris and the team.” Further details can be found at www.livedata. agency or email info@ livedata.agency.com.
IQ Magazine July 2017
Industry Reacts to Terror Threats always our intention to honour our existing summer events, the damage caused to the main public area outside of the arena has left us with no other option than to remain closed until September.” The statement adds, “We are currently working with the promoters of our June, July and August shows to find suitable solutions for events affected by this unprecedented closure. We would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude to all our customers and friends for their continued support and patience during this time and our on-going thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected.” The industry’s response to the atrocity was remarkable. In just a few short days, a world-class benefit concert was organised and staged, led by Grande herself and co-produced by her manager, Scooter Braun, alongside Festival Republic and SJM Concerts. Staged at Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground on 4 June, One Love Manchester was broadcast live around the world by the BBC and featured
performances by Marcus Mumford, Take That, Robbie Williams, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, Grande, Little Mix, Victoria Monét, Black Eyed Peas, Imogen Heap, Tony Walsh, Mac Miller, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, and Liam Gallagher. Just getting all of those acts to be in the same city at the same time underlines the mammoth collective effort by the music industry to work together on the concert, which reportedly raised more than £2million (€2.3m) for the families of those killed or injured in the attack – many of whom were present at the show. Meanwhile, promoters and event organisers around the world have been enhancing
security procedures. At Glastonbury, additional measures were put in place to screen the 200,000 people onsite; backpacks were banned at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park in Germany; and in Switzerland, abc Production announced a similar restriction on large bags at its stadium and arena shows. Despite those new regulations, the first day of Rock am Ring was disrupted when police ordered an evacuation of the site, in what turned out to be a misunderstanding involving two Syrian nationals working at the festival. However, the event’s audience returned to the site the next day and largely praised organisers for their efforts to keep everyone safe.
New Event Targets Security
EVENT SAFETY & SECURITY SUMMIT
Organisers of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) are launching The Event Safety & Security Summit (E3S), a oneday meeting that will bring together leading international
IQ Magazine July 2017
venues; touring and sports industry professionals; and security experts. E3S is being produced in close collaboration with the European Arenas Association (EAA), and National Arenas Association (NAA) in the UK, with input from other leading theatre and venue organisations and live event security companies. The invitation-only event will take place 10 October 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel, adjacent to The O2, with around 200 delegates ex-
pected to attend. The format of the day will combine practical presentations with panel discussions and keynote addresses. “As pan-Europe’s specialised arena association, we share a responsibility to provide our members with access to industry security professionals, technology experts and counterterrorism specialists,” says EAA president Brian Kabatznick. “The EAA joins the NAA and the ILMC in participating in this important E3S conference with the intention
of providing our venues, staff, guests and tenants with the appropriate procedures and methods to safeguard our facilities and events.” “ES3 will be a forum to share information and best practice, as well as the latest concepts and tools related to security at live events,” adds ILMC head Greg Parmley. “We’re inviting anyone who can contribute to this open, focused dialogue to get in touch via email@example.com.” August. Check out www.e3s. world for further information.
Fans at Rock am Ring make peace signs after returning to the site following a terror alert
The international live entertainment community has reacted quickly to the bombing in Manchester on 22 May by introducing more rigorous searches and, in some cases, banning large bags and rucksacks from venues and festivals. A lone terrorist detonated a bomb on a concourse between Manchester Victoria railway station and the doors of the arena, killing 22 people including children and parents/guardians waiting for youngsters to come out of the Ariana Grande concert that had just ended. At press time, Manchester Arena remained closed for business, meaning that dates by the likes of Take That, KISS, WWE, Kings of Leon, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Céline Dion, Radiohead, Linkin Park, and Blink-182 have either been cancelled or rescheduled. A statement on the venue’s home page reads, “Following last month’s devastating attack on the city, we are now working towards re-opening Manchester Arena in early September. Whilst it was
Festival Cancellations Rack Up
The festival season may be in full swing with many attendances hitting the sell out mark, but the summer has ended abruptly for an unlucky few. Billing itself as an “adventure of a lifetime”, Bahamas-located Fyre Festival descended into what one attendee called “Rich Kids of Instagram meets Lord of Flies” in May when attendees arrived to find a half-built site and no accommodation for their US$1,500-$50,000 tickets. Among the six lawsuits brought since is a $100million class action suit against
organisers rapper Ja Rule and tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland. Massachusettsbased ticketing start-up Tablelist is also suing the organisers for $3.5m in lost earnings after passing over 90% of received ticket income to the organisers before covering refunds. The start-up is laying off 40% of its workforce as a result. Further north, the fallout from Canada’s Permberton Music Festival – which went into receivership in May after facing a $10m shortfall in 2017 – continues. Booking agents, artists and management companies are
among those owed US$9.8m. Among the creditors, WME Entertainment’s head of music Marc Geiger has spoken of his intention to pursue the festival’s organisers “to the full extent of the law”. In Europe, Elrow Friends & Family, the muchanticipated inaugural
festival by Barcelona-based party promoter Elrow, has been called off amid a spat between two Spanish local authorities. The festival was announced in April, less than two months after the acquisition of Elrow by James Barton’s Superstruct Entertainment.
News analysis: Ticketing
The biggest development in the ticketing world in the past two months was the news that Ticketfly – the fast-growing US primary outlet led by
ex-TicketWeb CEO Andrew Dreskin – had been sold to Eventbrite for US$200m. It is Eventbrite’s third acquisition of the year, after Ticketscript in January and US start-up Nvite in April. The sale ended months of speculation over the future of the company, and came as former owner Pandora Media welcomed a $480m lifeline from Liberty Media’s SiriusXM following quarter after quarter of huge losses ($132.3m in Q1 2017). In the secondary world, the Spanish debate over
ticket resale was reignited after self-service ticketer Ticketea revealed that 69% of tickets resold in Spain are touted for profit. Spanish culture minister Íñigo Méndez de Vigo has pledged to “regulate” the online ticket resale market, although he ruled out an outright ban, saying it would be like “putting doors on a field” (“ponerle puertas al campo“) – ie impossible. StubHub, meanwhile, continues its transition from the world’s biggest secondary ticket marketplace into a via-
ble primary outlet, following up its Rock in Rio deal with a partnership with Mexican festival Hellow (Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, DJ Snake). Scott Cutler, president of the eBay-owned company, said in January he wants StubHub to become a one-stop shop for helping customers book anything need in order to attend an event, including primary – and secondary-market tickets, transport, accommodation and dining. “StubHub wants to facilitate that entire experience,” he said.
€1.4billion European Arena Business The European arenas business generated over €1.4billion last year, with live music accounting for more than 60% of that total. Though despite solid income figures, venue bosses stated that 2016 was a tricky period, with fewer touring international artists than in previous years. The statistics are revealed in the inaugural
European Arena Yearbook – a publication produced by ILMC in cooperation with the European Arenas Association (EEA) and the National Arena Association (NAA) in the UK. A total of 63 venues throughout the continent contributed financial and other data toward the report. The EAY tracked more than 5,500 performances across
the continent split between the genres of music, family shows, comedy, sport, dance and miscellaneous and found that the average ticket price to attend an arena event in 2016 was €44.34. However, tickets for music performances averaged out to €54.01 for the year – the top price in any genre – underlining the importance of live music to
the arenas business. Live music accounted for nearly half of all the visitors to arenas last year – 16million of a total 32.4m at the surveyed venues. And with arena executives already talking about more arena tours on the road in 2017, every arena region is predicting continued growth over the next three years.
IQ Magazine July 2017
IQ Magazine July 2017
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world BILLIE EILISH (US)
Fastest growing artists based on online music consumption (across Facebook, Shazam, Songkick and Spotify).
Agent: Mike Malak, Coda Agency Silver-haired, 15-year-old Billie Eilish casts an unbreakable spell. The Los Angeles songstress resembles something of a fairy-tale heroine – albeit one with a Tyler, the Creator obsession, Aurora inspiration, wicked sense of humour, and inimitable fashion sense, filtered through a kaleidoscope of hip-hop, grunge and glam tendencies. It’s this kind of je nais sais quoi that fueled the meteoric rise of her debut single Ocean Eyes, produced by big brother Finneas O’Connell, which generated 40million Spotify streams and 5million YouTube/VEVO views.
AMY SHARK (AU)
This Last ARTIST Month Month 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
6 38 1 7 26 19 8 10 62 5 15 12 23 - 11
J HUS (UK) SIGRID (NO) BILLIE EILISH (US) DECLAN MCKENNA (UK) SEVDALIZA (NL) AMY SHARK (AU) SKIP MARLEY (JA) THE JAPANESE HOUSE (UK) JESSIE REYEZ (CA) SYD (US) JORJA SMITH (UK) HIPPO CAMPUS (US) DEAN LEWIS (AU) REJJIE SNOW (IE) DAVE (UK)
Agent: Will Church, ATC Live No one sets out to make the same record twice, of course, but play Childhood’s new album alongside their debut album, and they sound like they could almost have been produced by different bands, such is the monumental leap forward the Londoners have made. Released just three years ago, Lacuna is a miasma of shimmering guitars and dazed dream pop; a deep dive into swirling pools of shoegazinglike sound that surface in hazy sunbursts of chorus. While it
still maintains the same alluring character and swooping, sleepy-eyed melodies that made its predecessor so alluring, Universal High is another beast altogether – it’s a record that gently traces a finger through classic sounds from the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Shuggie Otis and Prince; slips into rare groove’s slick sensuousness; and shares the magpie eye of MF Doom. Lacuna demonstrated that Childhood were one of the new voices worth listening to. Few would have anticipated this is where they would go to next.
Agents: Natasha Bent and Mike Malak, Coda Agency Gold Coast born and bred, the musically contemplative and soulfully brooding Amy Shark can best be described as the creatively complex girl next door. Her single Adore has been shortlisted for the Top 20 APRA Song of the Year, has had more than 10million streams and has reached No.3 on the ARIA singles chart, going platinum in the process. Amy’s music has struck a chord with many, with a sold-out national tour under her belt, and spots at Groovin the Moo and Bassinthegrass
After further success with Six Feet Under, her 2017 follow-up single Bellyache trots along on bright acoustic guitars before spinning out into a bass boom and unexpectedly cinematic lyrics. Billie’s “gloom pop,” as she appropriately dubs it, is nothing short of magic, and continually surprises.
Photo © Jack McKain
IQ MAGAZINE HOTTEST NEW ACTS - JULY 2017
Festival. Along with a recently announced headline show in New Zealand, and following a headline North American tour in June, Amy Shark is fast becoming a sought-after artist.
PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT MONTH Photo © Joyce NG
(Artists moving through database the quickest) REX ORANGE COUNTY (UK) YELLOW DAYS (UK) HMLTD (UK) RUBY FIELDS (AU) FAZERDAZE (NZ) Has your agency signed the year’s hottest new act? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the next issue…
IQ Magazine July 2017
New Signings & Risings Stars Alfa Mist (UK) Allman Brown (UK) Amy Shark (AU) Angelo De Augustine (US) Bad Breeding (UK) Bakermat (NL) Big Thief (US) Billie Eilish (US) Billy Lockett (UK) Boniface (CA) Broen (NO) Childhood (UK) Connan Mockasin (NZ) Daley (UK) Dan Stock (UK) David August (DE) David Keenan (IE) Do Make Say Think (CA) Dusky Grey (UK) Eli Brown (UK) Federico Gardenghi (IT) Flores (NO) Franc Moody (UK) Frankie Forman (UK) FredWell (NO) Hey Charlie (UK) Hollow Coves (AU) Holy Fuck (CA) HVMM (UK) I’m With Her (US) Insecure Men (UK) Ishmael Ensemble (UK) Jack Wins (NL) Japanese Breakfast (US) John Maus (US) JW Ridley (UK) Keeva (UK) Kiol (IT) Knightstown (UK)
Sinan Ors, ATC Live Sol Parker, Coda Agency Mike Malak & Natasha Bent, Coda Agency Adele Slater, Coda Agency Sarah Besnard, ATC Live Cris Hearn, Coda Agency Will Church, ATC Live Mike Malak, Coda Agency Joanna Ashmore, Coda Agency Rob Challice, Coda Agency Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Will Church, ATC Live Adele Slater & Rob Challice, Coda Agency Mike Malak, Coda Agency Paul Buck, Coda Agency David Exley, Coda Agency Colin Keenan, ATC Live Clemence Renaut, ATC Live Nick Matthews & Jess Kinn, Coda Agency Dave Blackgrove, Coda Agency Sol Parker, Coda Agency Billy Wood, UTA Kane Dansie, Coda Agency Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Mark Bennett, UTA Jess Kinn & Alex Hardee, Coda Agency Olly Hodgson, Coda Agency Will Church, ATC Live Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Colin Keenan, ATC Live Will Church, ATC Live Sinan Ors, ATC Live Nick Matthews, Coda Agency Will Church, ATC Live Isla Angus, ATC Live Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Phyllis Belezos & Lucia Wade, ITB Jack Cox, X-ray Touring
Lefto (BE) Lucianblomkamp (AU) Luis Fonsi (PR) MAAD (US) Machinedrum (US) Masego (US) Mavi Phoenix (AT) Midnight Sister (US) Morgan Heritage (US) MUTO (AU) No Age (US) Oklou (FR) Patoranking (NG) Pip Blom (NL) Pom Poko (NO) Rahh (UK) Riva Starr (IT) Sarah Darling (US) Skott (SE) Snail Mail (US) Soccer Mommy (US) Sonny Fodera (AU) Sturgill Simpson (US) Superorganism (JP/UK) Tamikrest (ML) Team Picture (UK) The Buttertones (US) The Howl & The Hum (UK) Tom Rogerson (UK) TootArd (PS) Virgil Abloh (US) Vulfpeck (US) Waka Flocka Flame (US) Yehan Jehan (UK) Yukon Era (NZ)
Sinan Ors, ATC Live Jack Cox, X-ray Touring Harald Büchel, Georg Leitner Productions Billy Wood, UTA Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Noah Simon, UTA Oliver Ward, UTA Clemence Renaut, ATC Live Steve Zapp, ITB Paul Buck, Coda Agency Clemence Renaut, ATC Live David Exley, Coda Agency Billy Wood, UTA Sally Dunstone & Jamie Wade, X-ray Touring Matt Hanner, Coda Agency James Wright & Mark Bennett, UTA Dave Alcock, UTA Phyllis Belezos, ITB Alex Hardee, Coda Agency Will Church, ATC Live Isla Angus, ATC Live Dave Blackgrove, Coda Agency Rob Challice, Coda Agency Natasha Bent, Coda Agency Isla Angus, ATC Live Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Roxane Dumoulin, ATC Live Olly Hodgson & Paul Buck, Coda Agency Will Church, ATC Live Isla Angus, ATC Live Mike Malak, Coda Agency Joanna Ashmore, Coda Agency Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Jack Cox, X-ray Touring
Alia Dann Swift 1960-2017
Alia Dann Swift 1960 – 2017 ILMC’s long-time producer and grand matriarch, Alia Dann Swift, passed away last month after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer just weeks before. Tributes from across the live music world have been pouring into the ILMC office, expressing shock and sadness at the loss of such a remarkable figure. With dual Australian and British citizenship, Alia lived in the UK between 1990 and 2008 where she tackled a variety of roles in the touring business. From tour manager and production coordinator, to artist liaison, tour accountant and band manager, her attention to detail, stamina and warmth suited the business and her various roles. Able to apply herself to financial, administrative or general management roles, she toured with artists including Paul McCartney, David Gilmour, Sparks, UB40, M People, Art Garfunkel, Ruby Wax, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and REM. Alia was part of the team that brought Roger Waters and David Gilmour together for Live 8 in 2005. She was responsible for the production budget on the event, a role that required diplomacy and the trust of both artists’ management. She also played a key role in the inception of Lord of the Dance, starting the project with just the principal artist, a choreographer and herself. The production went on to tour successfully worldwide for nearly two decades, and expanded to two concurrent productions. “I particularly remember when she was in Dublin with Michael Flatley for the world premiere,” says Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotion. “During a process that at that time was very new to everybody, Alia was the go-to person for everyone
from the cast and crew to the promoter. She had a complete understanding of what was involved in putting together a brand new show and always showed great empathy to all involved.”
The Mother of All Conferences But aside from her efforts on the road, for many Alia was synonymous with the ILMC and her long-term role as producer of the conference, which she undertook from 2000 until 2014. “Without Alia there would be no ILMC now,” said ILMC founder Martin Hopewell. “A handful of years into the conference’s long history she stepped up to take on the job of making it work at a time when the organisation behind the event had fallen apart, and I had almost given up hope of finding a way to continue. “Alia pretty well single-handedly redesigned the way that the ILMC was put together, and became a major driving force in steering the conference towards the status that it now occupies. She was quite literally the mother of the conference, and every single one of us owes her a debt.” Alia’s stewardship of ILMC was instrumental in both managing and growing the conference, and her tenure also saw the launch of IQ Magazine, and the ILMC Production Meeting. “When I first started working for ILMC, Alia was this larger-than-life figure that ruled the roost,” says current conference head Greg Parmley. “Martin was the creative force behind the conference, but if you wanted approval for anything, you asked Alia. She sense-checked everyone’s
Photo © Guido Karp
IQ Magazine July 2017
AliaDann Swift 1960-2017
crazy ideas and was the voice of reason. If you stepped out of line, her email writing skills could be withering, but you always knew where you stood. Alia had time for everyone, and she cared deeply about everyone on the team.” For many first-time ILMC delegates, bewildered by whatever homespun theme had been rolled out that year, Alia was the first point of contact. “At the start of ILMC I think many people felt a little bit lost,” says Jan Gille at Live Nation Sweden. “It was like a whole new world for a lot of us. What a blessing it was to be able to lean against Alia’s professional attitude and positivity in those early years. Through the years that followed, Alia was almost always present, full of whims and new ideas. In an era of stress and lack of time, she always had time to exchange a few kind words.” “Alia was the very first person I ever spoke to at an ILMC many, many years ago,” adds David Garcia at DEAG Concerts. “She spotted me hiding behind a tall Scandinavian promoter and made me introduce myself. Afterwards, we talked and she encouraged me not to be intimidated by all the experienced professionals and to always speak up. It’s advice I have followed all those years and will now be forever linked to the memory of this beautiful soul.” The debt ILMC owes Alia is not one to be understated. “I will miss Alia’s super-human organisational skills, her almost limitless patience, her way of gently keeping me in check, her unfathomable sense of humour – and her disturbing ability to look glamorous in a cow costume,” says Hopewell. “But overall, I will miss having that wonderful, caring person in my life – one of the best friends and allies I have ever known.” “She was the best,” says CAA’s Emma Banks. “A beautiful human being, a great friend, a smart and an inspiring woman.”
Back to Oz Alia and her husband Steve moved from Brighton in the UK back to Melbourne in their home country in 2008, where she continued to work as a freelance tour and logistics coordinator, producer and consultant. She completed tours of Australia and New Zealand with Hunter Hayes, Lady Antebellum, One Direction, Macy Gray, John Fogerty, Liza Minnelli and Simon & Garfunkel. She also oversaw the show and budget development for the 2017 Australian stage version of the musical Cabaret. Her enthusiasm and drive saw her working up until very recently. Both her and Steve had been setting up a Banksy exhibition in Israel when she fell ill and they returned home. Alia was 57 when she passed away, with Steve and their two cats at her side. A memorial get-together was held in Melbourne on 8 June, with another scheduled on Monday 3 July at the Royal Garden Hotel in London. A permanent page has been set-up on ilmc.com to accommodate comments from her friends and colleagues across the world. If you would like to contribute to it, email email@example.com. Pictured from top to bottom: Alia with the crew at ILMC 23; with ILMC founder Martin Hopewell and wife Patsy; with IQ’s founding editor Allan McGowan; and with husband Steve at an ILMC gala dinner.
IQ Magazine July 2017
Alia Dann Swift 1960-2017
Thoughts & Condolences This is a small selection of the eulogies we have received for Alia. A full obituary and photos are online at ilmc.com/obits/alia. I was very sad to read the news about the passing of Alia, she was without doubt one of the nicest people I have ever worked with. Very bright and always willing to help, she was always calm under pressure. Why do all the good people pass on too early? Barry Dickins, ITB
Very, very sad news. I had the pleasure of working with her many times over the years. She was a true and warm person, and will be greatly missed.
Alia was the ultimate ‘diamond geezer’... the best... She may be gone but she has left a million images of her smiling in my head! Carl A H Martin, cahm.uk
I first met and worked with Alia when she came to Asia with REM in 1995. We kept in touch and became friends, a friendship that grew and has lasted over the past 22 years. Alia always was a true professional in whatever project she worked on, no matter how big or small. Her warmth, kindness and that incredible smile that lit up any room, conversation or situation, will be greatly missed. She will be remembered with not only lots of love but with a wry smile – as I’m sure she would want – to celebrate all those fabulous times we all had together.
Thomas Johansson, Live Nation
Colleen Ironside, Live Limited Hong Kong
My life has been enriched enormously by just knowing this lady. Her attitude, her affection for those she loved. If Alia decided you were her friend you really knew it. She might not be on the end of the phone or in the ILMC production office anymore but she will be forever in my life because wonderful human beings like her are very rare indeed. Rest in peace, beautiful.
We had the great joy of working with Alia on various occasions over the years. Particularly on Paul McCartney and Joe Cocker. Of course, for so long, everyone has known her as ‘The Face and the Heart of the ILMC’ – warm, welcoming, creative – FUN!! Seeing so many tributes, it’s quite hard to find more adequate words to describe Alia. It is so clear how many people she touched – and the depth of love and respect she had from each and every one of them. We have been blessed that she was in our lives – and privileged that we were able to share part of her journey.
Don Elford, AEG Ogden
I will miss her kindness, her patience, her sense of humour, and her genuine warmth. Karsten Jahnke, Karsten Jahnke Concerts
Alia has touched many people with her vibrant and largerthan-life personality and I will always remember her with her big smile. May she rest in peace. Mary Telemachou, Half Note Productions
As a frequent ILMC delegate, Alia was always the first and friendliest face I would see. My first time at ILMC was a little bit overwhelming and to have such a friendly Aussie there to help navigate the heavy surf of ILMC was a great help. Forever calm and accommodating, no problem was ever too big to solve or too small for her attention. To sum-up Alia, she was simply one of the most lovely people in the business!! It is tragic that at 57 she has been taken away from us and in such sad circumstances; but the mark she made on the ILMC will live on. As Martin says, “there would be no ILMC without Alia” and I couldn’t agree more. She will be sadly missed by all of her friends at Frontier.
Barrie, Jenny, Doris, Rachel, and all the Marshall Arts family
Wherever in the world you met Alia, she was always so pleased to see you and made sure you were looked after. She was a real lady. Alia was really one of a kind and will be deeply missed by all those in Aiken Promotions who had the good fortune to meet and work with her. Peter Aiken, Aiken Promotions
Michael Harrison, Frontier Touring
Alia was a very special lady and everyone I met had the same opinion: super smart and always had a great human side to the way she went about things. I have many fond memories, but mainly of the special person she was, and will always remember the many, many laughs we had together. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her. Paul Franklin, Creative Artists Agency
I will miss my friend Alia more than I can say. Bryan Grant, Britannia Row
IQ Magazine July 2017
The Evolution of the Internet for a DIY Artist UTA Agent Sean Goulding reflects on the evolution of the touring and tour marketing models, and how artists are using the power of the Internet creatively and financially.
orking with punk rock and DIY acts over the years has taught me the importance of respecting and cultivating a community. With technology catapulting our artists’ work on a global scale, allowing them to create their own communities to speak and listen to, we are in a new and exciting era of the music business. DIY artists currently have the ability to create a powerful and, if properly tuned, extremely beneficial digital engine. Six months ago, two digital agents joined the UTA team here in London, bringing enthusiasm and access to digital strategy, and giving our music agents a new dimension of representation. I’ve since found myself in conversations advising clients on how to effectively fine-tune their digital engine online, and how to think differently about new technology. Similarly, brand partnerships, if executed correctly, can help finance an artist’s creative pursuit in the digital space. I have witnessed this with clients becoming plugged into a larger team in our North American offices.
“When it comes to the essentials of my job as an agent, crafting tours for clients, I too have had to evolve.” When it comes to the essentials of my job as an agent, crafting tours for clients, I too have had to evolve. Being able to make well informed (yet still gut-instinct) decisions with promoters on when and where we tour and how we market to fans is something we still do every day, but exactly how an agent discovers, markets and tours an artist has changed. We no longer rely on traditional indicators like radio and TV stats – now analysing digital stats has become the norm. Tour marketing is vital to our thinking, and knowing how an artist directly communicates with his or her fan base is key to effectively crafting a marketing campaign. We have created tours from scratch for acts on my roster in this new era. Take for example the JUNO award winners for Group of the Year 2016, Walk Off The Earth. The act first made a name for themselves with unique cover versions on YouTube, including a cover of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to know (with all band members playing on one single guitar). Access to YouTube enabled them to create videos gaining a significant
amount of online attention (they currently have over 660 million views on their YouTube channel). To harness this fan base and build up their headline touring, we scrapped the traditional tour-marketing model in order to emphasise digital marketing – a tactic that is now our norm. Consequently, Walk Off The Earth sold out London’s Roundhouse without a shred of print advertising. When I discovered them through their managers Marc and Jonathan (The MGMT Company), the band was selling out 1,000-cap venues with no radio or traditional street promotion. They soon sold out venues across North America and Europe, like London’s Brixton Academy, and Paris Olympia, and are booked for festivals such as Lollapalooza Paris, Pinkpop and Mad Cool Festival Madrid. Another client of ours, Jacob Sartorius, a 14-year-old actor, musician and all-round entertainer, is evolving from online stardom to the mainstream by following a path of his own. Sartorius ignited the Musica.ly movement and is now one of the App’s largest users with 17 million followers. Now, his own music is being consumed in the tens of millions on YouTube, Spotify, etc. His first self-released single Sweatshirt achieved RIAA Gold status in America last year; he selfreleased his first EP, The Last Text, in January 2017, with an accompanying video gaining over 8 million views on YouTube. The release coincided with a world tour within which his first ever European dates sold over 10,000 tickets. While crafting that new tour earlier this year, we looked at things in an innovative way – our digital department was able to study a number of online analytics. That intelligence pointed geographically to cities where we could discuss headline shows with promoters. It was then a matter of developing marketing plans to amplify what would be broadcast on Sartorius’s social channels to promote the tour. Sartorius’s fans listen to his music on YouTube, but his footprint on Facebook and Instagram are now substantial enough to invest marketing dollars for touring in those locations that made sense – money well spent. That said, on one of Sartorius’s shows, we sold a 1,200-cap room with very little spent on advertising. You don’t always have to spend big, but rather spend wisely. Digital strategies are being used across our global roster and the ability to amplify creativity grows by the day. However, one thing still hasn’t changed – if artists deliver a good show, fans will always come back, spread the word and support them.
IQ Magazine July 2017
Measures of Security Security experts Chris Kemp of Mind Over Matter Consulting and Dr Pascal Viot of iSSUE (the Swiss Institute for Security at Events) discuss the pressing need to make our venues safer.
errorist attacks stooped to a new low with the bombing of the Manchester Arena earlier this month, where it was known that large numbers of children would be attending a concert by Ariana Grande. One of the most challenging aspects of the attack was the location of the explosion, which was focused to cause maximum carnage: at a major interface between pedestrians in transit at Victoria Station and the arrival and departure of concertgoers. This juncture is also an egress point to the public car park in the basement of the arena. The early detonation of the device reduced the numbers killed and injured, but the message was loud and clear: any target is legitimate to the terrorist. The venue and its environs encompass the essential principle of accessibility and fluidity enabling the city to function in an effective and efficient manner. Creating checkpoints at all access/egress points would be counterproductive and create blockages and unmanageable congestion. Venues are faced with a complex problem specific to the characteristics of modern cities. Accessibility and fluidity are structural components of contemporary urban planning. Arenas based on the model of the medieval fortress town, surrounded by ramparts with fixed entry points, are counterintuitive, as such meticulous controls may slow down or even block access. Unfortunately, we seem to be reaching the limits of our security capabilities within the current measures and need to try to expand the envelope to stop us repeating the same mistakes. Terrorist attack methodologies will continue to evolve and we must evolve with them. It is important to accept our vulnerability, and not to delude ourselves on the effectiveness of our current systems. We have to accept the fact that, in many cases, there is nothing that we can do – even if we were to multiply the controls – to contain the risk at all costs. The concept of absolute security is almost impossible to achieve, so we need to reduce the risk to as low as is reasonably practicable. What we must do is act now with the tools available to us by accepting the idea that these strategies are partially effective, thus seeking new strategies to keep ahead of attack methodologies. At the same time, security policies must reinvent themselves by changing paradigms. The challenge we face today is how to raise the level of control while guaranteeing fluidity in public spaces. To put it another way and add a more political dimension, we must attempt to protect individuals
IQ Magazine July 2017
whilst still maintaining their public freedom. We will not solve these complex problems with the simple solutions we implemented previously. Multiplying the controls at the ingress points of events is a partial solution, symbolic of our ‘make do and mend’ attitude in the face of raised stakes. A single, fixed-control point creates queues in areas upstream of the event, which may create an obvious target rather than safeguarding the public. The issue here is to balance crowd management with counterterrorism measures to ensure that they are both applied in equal measure. In the case of a terrorist attack, we have two options: firstly, to stop it in the build-up or during hostile reconnaissance periods. To do this, we must train venue operatives and security teams on how to spot different types of behaviour, understand what the baseline venue context is, and then get them to escalate if necessary. Secondly, we must ensure that venue operatives are fully cognisant with differing attack methodologies, and are vigilant and understand how to work with the police and other security services.
“Terrorist attack methodologies will continue to evolve and we must evolve with them. It is important to accept our vulnerability, and not to delude ourselves on the effectiveness of our current systems.” We must rethink our strategies; integrate infrastructure and planning into a control and crowd management approach; and implement remote, non-systematic control points at different locations in the enlarged perimeter, and at different times. Our current approaches are outdated, predictable, and clearly inefficient, creating constraints that make situations unmanageable. It will take time for new strategies to emerge but time is one thing that we lack, so speedy resolution to issues must be a priority to put us one step ahead of this ongoing threat.
Reality Cheque Hayley Brady and James Balfour of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP outline various technological innovations aimed at developing the live entertainment experience.
n 18 May 2014, guests at the Billboard Music Awards were wowed by what was undoubtedly the performance of a ‘lifetime’ by one of the world’s greatest musical talents. Why ‘undoubtedly’? Because the artist in question had died five years previously. Michael Jackson’s posthumous holographic ‘performance’ of Slave to the Rhythm is one of the more high-profile examples of new holographic technology being used to create lifelike virtual performances by artists who do not even need to be alive (let alone physically onstage). Holographic performances represent one strand in a wide array of technological innovations (spanning virtual reality, augmented reality and wearable devices) all aimed at reinventing the live entertainment experience. Global live entertainment revenues have been steadily increasing since 2010, with Technavio predicting that global live ticketing sales will reach nearly $25billion (€22bn) for concerts and over $60bn (€54bn) for sporting events by 2021. These innovations have the potential to accelerate that growth dramatically, not least because they make it possible to simultaneously recreate an event in almost any location. It is now possible for a single live event to generate a venue’s worth of ticket sales multiple times over. Moreover, venues are no longer constrained by their physical capacity since, thanks to VR headsets, spectators can get the same ‘front-row’ experience from their living rooms as if they were attending the event in person.
“It is now possible for a single live event to generate a venue’s worth of ticket sales multiple times over.” The application of these technologies to music concerts is self-evident, but major sporting event organisers (and even sports teams themselves) are beginning to explore the new possibilities that are opening up in this field. Over the last few years, a number of major sports events have been live streamed in VR, including the US Open golf tournament and the 2016 Six Nations Championship. In addition, major sports broadcasters are beginning to partner up with VR/AR technology companies so as to cash in on these potentially lucrative opportunities (a good example is NextVR’s five-
year partnership with Fox Sports). Concurrently, we are witnessing the rise of the ‘smart stadium,’ where real-time data on spectators and sports personalities is combined with technology, not only to enhance the action on the field (through devices which, for example, allow spectators to feel through the bottom of their seats the heartbeat of a player about to take a penalty kick) but also to improve the endto-end spectator experience by making it easier to find your seat, or pick the shortest queue at the hot-dog stand (thereby eliminating traditional points of friction for spectators). These exciting technological developments raise a variety of new and interesting issues from a commercial and legal perspective. On the commercial side, for example, advertisers and broadcasters are grappling with how traditional sponsorship/ advertising models should apply to simultaneous multi-venue or VR-streamed events, and how exclusivity can be enforced. Is it possible that, in the future, the same live performance by a holographic Elvis Presley could be sponsored by CocaCola for a stadium in New York but by Pepsi in a concert hall in Mumbai? Practically speaking, in most existing venues, sponsorship and branding are visually optimised for physical and TV audiences (as opposed to VR audiences) – clearly, the VR-format creates new opportunities for advertisers and sponsors, but existing sponsors of major events may also see some of the sponsorship rights they have traditionally been afforded being eroded away by new entrants and products. On the legal side, it is not immediately obvious what intellectual property rights are at play when it comes to holographic performances and, more importantly, who owns them, particularly if the performance is by an artist who is deceased. Another interesting legal question is where the legal responsibility sits for providing ‘virtual seats’ to spectators. If you have paid a large sum of money for a virtual, front-row seat and there is a connectivity issue during the stream, are you entitled to a refund? And if so, from whom? In addition, there are the usual data protection considerations to be taken into account when collecting, using and passing on real-time personal data as part of the live experience. It is clear that this myriad of opportunities will be seized by companies at all stages of the live entertainment value chain as they seek to explore new sources of revenue growth from their brands and fan bases. This is particularly true in a world where live events represent an increasingly compelling way of monetising a digital entertainment or media relationship in the physical world.
IQ Magazine July 2017
Experiencing Festival Luxury Sarah Woodhead, senior vice president, VIP Nation Europe, Live Nation, co-presented the VIP and premium-ticketing workshop at ILMC 29. Here she expands on the increase in demand for the vastly improved festival experience.
he morning sun illuminates the stretched canvas of your expansive Bedouin tent as you throw back your Siberian goose-down duvet, swing your legs over the edge of your 1,600 pocket-sprung mattress, and retrieve your morning paper from the lush dewy grass. This you’ll read over a cooked breakfast after emerging from a hot shower stocked with luxury scrubs and cleansers. It is little wonder that people who were never festival-goers have become such in recent years. The experience, for those prepared to pay for it, is a far cry from the festival experience that often springs to mind. Many studies have noted the shift in consumer spending over the last decade (led in no small part by millennials), with discretionary household spending decreasing and the demand for live experiences (travel, events, recreation and eating out) steeply and steadily rising. The growth in boutique camping areas and VIP enclosures is, in part, a response to the appetite of the consumer to make live music more of an experience and has, in part, also fuelled it. The idiom build it and they will come holds some water here. For alongside the rise in middle-income consumers dedicating more hard currency to personal consumption spending, and
less on homes, cars and goods, comes the older, more affluent consumers, going to festivals for the first time or returning after an absence – with their children and, dare I say, grandchildren – because the experience is so vastly improved. Retailers too are recognising that consumers value live experiences more than the possessions they stock, with many providing customers with a range of events like pilates, flower arranging, perfume mixing and pop-up restaurants to get them through the door, build brand affinity and increase spending on tangible goods. For many years, VIP activity and live music were uneasy bedfellows. Like water and oil in a pot, they were held together but kept apart, largely due to the festival organiser’s desire to shield the general festival-goer from areas that were considered distasteful, corporate and elitist. Those myths have been dispelled by consumers’ use of social media. Using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to tell people what they’re doing. More than ever before consumers are aware of what they’re missing out on and this continues to fuel the demand. So don’t be shy. Shout about it, but, above all, make it an experience.
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...
Live Concerts in MQA pioneering scientific research into how people hear, UK-based MQA has created a technology that captures the sound of original studio or live performances. The master MQA file is small enough to stream or download, while also being backward compatible, meaning it can be played on any device. In May, Nugs.net users became the latest people to benefit, with the ability to download MQA files. Initial live concert recordings include Metallica and Bruce Springsteen, with Pearl Jam, Phish and Red Hot Chili Peppers to follow soon. “Our pursuit of the highest fidelity in our listeners’ playback experience led us to MQA,” explains Nugs.net founder and CEO Brad Serling. “We were intrigued when we first
read about MQA and were thrilled with the results when the MQA folks first encoded some of our live recordings.” Mike Jbara, MQA CEO, adds, “Nugs.net connects with true music fans like nobody else. Live recordings amplify MQA’s mission perfectly and we are very grateful for this exciting partnership.” Every night of Metallica’s WorldWired tour across North America will be released on LiveMetallica. com, the service that Nugs. net has run for the band since 2004. Additionally, recordings of every night Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band performed on the River Tour are available now for download in MQA at Live.BruceSpringsteen. net, alongside several releases from Springsteen’s legendary archives.
Google Translate App We might be a little late to the party on this (although judging by the conversations we had with overseas delegates at The Great Escape in May, maybe not), but if your life involves any kind of international travel, then do yourself a favour and download the Google Translate App to your smartphone. Us Brits in particular, aren’t exactly renowned for our multilingual skills, but using this app you can use your camera to translate any text in front of you (very
handy for street signs and menus), while it can also translate your spoken word into the language of your choice, either as text or by reading the words aloud to bemused, shoulder-shrugging locals. Language packages can be downloaded, meaning you can use the app offline in remote places that don’t have Wi-Fi, and you could even have a very 21st century conversation with that Chinese musician sitting next to you on your next long-haul flight...
SoundBrake Studies have shown that since people have been able to carry music libraries on their phones, accidents involving people wearing headphones have tripled – with around 70% of those accidents resulting in a death. However, thanks to the boffins at SoundBrake, a solution could be at hand. SoundBrake claims to be the world’s first device that alerts the user to outside sounds while they’re isolated in their headphone audio. The system listens to the user’s surroundings and instantly streams in outside sounds only when they’re above the normal background noise level – sounds like a door knock, phone call, announcement, car honk, or someone trying to get your attention.
The device can be attached to any headphones or audio player, such as a laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet. SoundBrake makes headphones safer. What’s more, the user can control the settings so that if, for example, they’re in a library and want to hear someone just whispering across, they can reduce SoundBrake to level 1. If they want to be interrupted by louder sounds such as someone yelling, then level 5 can be selected.
Do you have a new product or technology to contribute to this page? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the next issue…
IQ Magazine July 2017
BUSY BODIES News fr om live music associations ar ound the world
Drug Testing at Festivals At least nine UK festivals will be providing revellers with drug-testing facilities this summer, following on from two successful pilot schemes at Secret Garden Party and Kendall Calling last year that saw nearly a fifth of participants asking to have their drugs destroyed. The Association of Independent Festivals worked with advocacy group Transform and Fiona Measham, professor of criminology at Durham University, to develop a drug-testing programme that garnered universal praise in 2016. “We’re really pleased with the expansion of activities this year, which will see us at family events, dance music festivals and more general festivals right across the UK,” says Measham. The scheme now has more than 180 volunteers to call upon and Measham reveals that rather than relying on students who
participate simply to gain access to events, the body of volunteers consists solely of professionals, including 30 PhD chemists who will test the drugs, and NHStrained doctors, nurses and drug practitioners who will deliver the results. “We appreciate the enormous responsibility of what we’re doing, so that’s why we’re only choosing competent, experienced professionals as our volunteers,” she tells IQ. And revealing one unexpected outcome from last year’s pilot schemes, she adds, “At the two events last year, we tested 299 samples and 18% of people asked us to dispose of their drugs once they found out what was in them. But there was a sizeable minority among the other 82% who said they’d be going back to their dealer to complain because they were so outraged at what they’d been sold!”
Green Club Label Boosting the number of venues that have benefitted from its energy efficiency programme to more than 50, Germany’s Green Music Initiative recently presented eight clubs with the Green Club Label to mark their completion of the environmental exercise. Representatives from Domicil in Dortmund, Zeche Carl in Essen, Pension Schmidt in Münster, Utopiastadt in Wuppertal, and Cologne venues Building 9, Artheater, King Georg Klubbar and Stadtgarten joined Green Music Initiative founder Jacob Bila-
Project NIMPE Funded to the tune of €200,000 by the European Union, the Network for the Internationalisation of Music Producers in Europe (NIMPE) is a 30-month initiative to support and encourage companies that produce live music throughout the continent. The brainchild of Italian trade body, Assomusica, NIMPE will facilitate the exchange of information and provide practical tools to help small – and medium-sized enterprises develop their business. The project also involves DSI Swinging Europe in Denmark, Drustvo Studentski Kulturni Centre (ŠKUC) in Slovenia, MESO Music Events (Music Events Coordination and Organisation) in Greece, Root Music Ltd in the UK, and France’s Technopole Quimper-Cornouaille innovation project. NIMPE was conceived to address the fact that the international activities of
bel to receive the accreditation, which should see them make significant savings in the future. “People think they will have to make big adjustments, but that’s not true. We use the strapline ‘Bright Colourful Loud’ to describe the programme,” explains Bilabel. “It’s all about common-sense things like looking at your refrigerators and turning off lights when they’re not needed, but on average, venues can generate 15-25% savings in their energy use.” Whilst in Germany, the Ministry for the Environment provides funding to help participating venues, Bilabel says
music and event producers are generally limited by a lack of information about other markets. It also recognises that lack of access to bank loans, the absence of structured institutional support and the shortage of marketing capacity is holding back growth, especially for smaller organisations. As a result, NIMPE is creating a platform for live music producers, technicians and stakeholders in order to develop training, networking and co-producing activities. Those involved in the scheme are also working toward the establishment of the NIMPE Factory – an international event where solutions to the various issues that affect the sector can be implemented. Indeed, the project will foster the circulation of emerging bands, with NIMPE Factory hosting 15 showcases for acts from participating countries.
equivalent programmes are popping up across Europe, with Julie’s Bicycle in the UK tapping into Arts Council funding and organisations elsewhere exploring similar green schemes.
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IQ Magazine July 2017
IQ Magazine July 2017
SWEET STREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS)
Eamonn Forde examines the complexities of live streaming and discovers that as costs tumble, pioneers are rethinking what they offer to consumers... Few outside of the band’s friends and immediate family may recall them, but in June 1993, Californian band Severe Tire Damage made history of sorts by becoming the first act to stream a live performance on the Internet. The Rolling Stones, often a byword for the past, followed suit in November 1994, as the first mega-act to dabble here, but Severe Tire Damage retain the bragging rights. No viewing figures are available, but it’s safe to say in an age of dial-up and low-level PC processing, it was a handful of people watching jittery images on their computer screen. Almost a quarter of a century on and things have changed so dramatically that anyone can broadcast live anywhere on their mobile phone using Periscope, Facebook Live or any of the other apps/platforms that see live content as a high watermark for engagement.
THE TRICKLE EFFECT The story since 1993 has been one of rapidly advancing technologies, lowering costs and a detonation of the need for esoteric knowledge about computers and digital technology. Live streaming is hugely democratised and music concerts have been a very important part of that. “The landscape has changed markedly,” says Richard Cohen, the founder and CEO of LoveLive, a long-standing player in this space and a live delivery partner now for Amazon Prime. “Live streaming for us [moved on] from something that typically required OB trucks and satellite uplinks/downlinks that were very expensive as it was multi-camera shoots. Now with the likes of Periscope and
IQ Magazine July 2017
Facebook Live, it has become more of a DIY approach to live streaming and content consumption.” In the early 2000s, some companies were hoping concert streaming could be a subscription-based premium offering, but that was all blown apart in October 2009, when YouTube, back then a relatively new platform, streamed U2’s show from the Rose Bowl in LA, live and for free. It then went on to stream major festivals like Coachella (offering 360° broadcasts for the past two years) and awards shows like The Brits. Since last year, it has allowed creators to stream live via their mobile devices, lowering the barrier of entry to anyone with over 1,000 subscribers to their channel. “The technology is democratising things and now more and more people can do it – and they are taking a range of approaches to what they live stream,” says David Mogendorff from YouTube’s music partnerships team. “The beauty of mobile live is that it brings that moment to your audience that you have built around other VOD [video on demand] content.”
DIFFERENT APPROACHES Cohen argues it is not an either/or choice between the glossy and the DIY when it comes to live streaming. “There is still a place for high-end production, as ultimately, artists spend a great deal of time honing their craft and writing their music – so they would like that, in certain instances, presented to the world in the best possible way,” he says. “So that means multi-track audio recording and making sure that everything looks amazing. There is certainly still a place for that, but it’s not necessarily within social channels and it doesn’t have to be all the time.”
LIVE-STREAMING DEALS Bonnaroo (US) production by Red Bull Media House
Coachella (US) production by Springboard Productions via YouTube
Glastonbury (UK) production by BBC
Hangout Festival (US) production by LivexLive
Lollapalooza Berlin (DE) production by Arte Concerts
Lowlands (NL) in-house production via 3voor12 and 3FM
Maifeld Derby (DE) production by Arte Concerts
Montreux Jazz Festival (CH) in-house production via Red Bull Media House
Primavera (ES) production by Red Bull and Pitchfork
Rock Werchter (BE) in-house production with telco partner Proximus via vod.rockwerchter.be
Roskilde (DK) production by Red Bull Media House
Sónar (ES) production by Arte Concerts via Culturebox
Stagecoach (US) production by Springboard Productions via Yahoo/Tumblr
Sziget (HU) production by Fesztivál TV and Streamtek via ustream.tv
“The beauty of mobile live is that it brings that moment to your audience that you have built around other VOD [video on demand] content.” David Mogendorff, YouTube
He suggests that, ultimately, what consumers want from live streams is “access and authenticity.” This is also changing what musicians can offer fans in a live stream. The gig is one part of it, but so are backstage access and Q&As. “Katy Perry did an amazing mobile live stream recently [on YouTube],” says Mogendorff. “It was part of the promotion for her Bon Appétit music video and she did a 30-minute live stream from her bed – just on her phone and interacting with fans. That was an incredibly up-close and personal moment with her.” The live Q&A also shows where creativity can really be pushed, with 2D and Murdoch from Gorillaz doing a live interview (with live animation accompanying it) on YouTube in April this year. “It was an incredible technical feat on their part and it was an amazing use of a platform to connect the artists with their fans,” suggests Mogendorff. “This was the first time ever it was possible for the fans to interact with the band [live]. People couldn’t quite believe that it was happening.” While there remains a place for high-end filming and advanced technologies like VR and 360, the idea of user interactivity is becoming increasingly redundant. Cohen talks about a Florence + The Machine show at London’s Albert Hall in 2012 where online viewers could choose between multiple camera feeds to create their own experience. Except this was something they found out that nobody wanted. “On average, for 27 seconds, they mucked around with the various camera angles and for the remainder of the 29 minutes, which was the average view of the live stream, they watched the director’s cut,” he says. “Why? Because the director knows what the hell they are doing! He also happened to have a shooting script. It is pointless staring at the drummer when the guitarist is playing a solo. Technology for its own sake isn’t helpful.” David Thorpe from YouTube’s tech team concurs. “Generally, it’s nice to have these camera angles, but unless you have a real purpose for them, there is not much use for them,” he says. “I think for things like sports, they work really well. For live music, you want it to be more of a lean-back experience for those sort of things. For the multi-camera approach, you really have to think if that’s worth doing or not – as most people want to lean back and be part of the experience.” YouTube’s U2 stream also marked the start of the major digital and social channels moving into this space, as they can promise the sort of reach that a show streamed with media partners can only dream of. “The distribution channels are narrowing,” says Cohen. “So, if people want cut through and impact, that is where they are going. It’s the death of the homepage. No longer do people care that much about putting a video player on the front page of Rolling Stone or The Guardian. The big players are the destinations of choice.” This was part of the reason behind Live Nation’s recent partnership with Twitter to offer live streaming of shows, starting in May with a show by the Zac Brown Band. It is part of a wider push into live broadcasting by the social media channel, alongside sport and news, where Live Nation is the music partner. “We have been working with Twitter for quite a while from a marketing perspective, but it wasn’t until Twitter Live became a real product – and it took us well over a year to put together the partnership – that we were excited to get started,” says Kevin Chernett, the EVP of global partnerships
IQ Magazine July 2017
Sweet Streams & content distribution at Live Nation. “It makes it very easy for us to promote that live concert in the moment, while it’s happening. [Social media] platforms themselves – and Twitter specifically – have great ways of making those who are interested in what is going on right now aware of the concerts and the content that we are producing.”
ANALYSING VIEWER DATA An increasingly important part of live streaming – and something that is accelerated by social media – is data around viewer behaviour. This is helping producers better understand what is working and what it is, exactly, that consumers want, helping them refine their strategies and creative thinking. “We no longer guess what we believe is going to work,” says Cohen. “We have a heavy tech front end, which is all about predictive data and insights. Working for a brand or a platform, we work on a regression model of analysis. We scrape the Internet and we analyse precisely – within a certain demographic and geography – what that particular audience is looking at and engaging with, so that helps us to inform the format choice.” He adds, “Rather than spending bucket loads of money in the hope that if you throw it out there somebody will watch it, you find out first exactly the type of content they are already engaging with and you just serve up more like that.” Data is also a key part of the Live Nation/Twitter partnership. “One of the interesting data points that we are learning about is that there is a lot of need for music – and specifically in VR,” suggests Chernett. “Music is underserved as a whole when you compare it to what is going on with gaming or news. That is exciting and an opportunity right now. That is why we are focusing on continuing and forging more partnerships to make sure people are experiencing it in a unique way.”
EVOLVING BUSINESS MODELS While production costs have fallen, there are still things to pay for around live streams. But there is also the wider industry debate about what, if any, content should be made available for free and what should be monetised. YouTube says its approach is about openness, reaching the largest possible audiences and deriving revenue from ads – just as they do with promo videos. For now, Live Nation is seeing its live-streaming deal with Twitter as about reach and marketing rather than a way to get fans to pay directly. “Currently, we have launched our programmes as all free and ad-supported,” says Chernett. “With some of the content, because of our business, we end up producing without a sponsor because it helps the artist, it helps promote the show or it’s great marketing. It’s not always about making a dollar directly. Our focus now, because it is new, is trying to get as many users as possible and we want to make sure they have a best-in-class experience.” That said, he is not ruling out some direct monetisation strategy in the future, “Once the audiences around the world see that there is a quality broadcast and opportunity, I am sure that down the road we could visit a pay-per-view or things of that nature. But right now we are focused on getting as many people to experience it as possible.”
IQ Magazine July 2017
“We analyse precisely – within a certain demographic and geography – what that particular audience is looking at and engaging with.” Richard Cohen, LoveLive
For Cohen, it’s a wider issue about return on investment (ROI) rather than a simple charge/don’t charge dichotomy. “Once upon a time, people were doing [live streaming] because of the PR value and the story – where they wanted to be seen as innovators and early to the party,” he argues. “People were spending money in the early days, but there was no real measurable return. Now it is led by tech, it is incredibly creative and imaginative – and the third pillar for us is that it needs to have a sustainable ROI. It is really looking at the commercial value we can deliver to all the constituents. That would be a combination of direct revenue in some instances, indirect revenue in others, and a whole raft of ancillary benefits.” Ultimately, it’s about presenting the artists in the best possible and most accessible way you can. It can be used to amplify an act’s appeal, introduce them to new audiences, or give those fans unable to attend shows a gig experience by proxy. If done right, it can be a way of breaking new acts as much as it can be about extending the relevance and appeal of those that have already made it. “Our aspirations are the same as with everything we are doing,” concludes Chernett. “We are looking to extend that concert experience wherever we can, wherever the fans are, and on as many different platforms where fans are willing to consume it.” Ruth Barlow, director of live for London based Beggars Group, provides a brief guide to the licensing process for live streaming: “When a promoter decides to live stream their event, it’s not simply a case of pointing a camera at a stage and broadcasting. Artists are usually signed to long-term exclusive recording and publishing contracts meaning that their live performances are protected under copyright law. “Many festival owners understand that they must seek not only the artist’s permission to live stream but also the permission of their record company and publisher and have been employing music clearance companies to do this on their behalf. “If you do not secure these permissions you maybe infringing someone else’s copyright and may be liable to a lawsuit.”
y increasing interaction and sporting the latest technologies, the family entertainment sector is continuing to meet the growing expectations of audiences, writes Rhian Jones.
While Live Nation entering a new sector might have already established competitors breaking a sweat, there’s no denying it’s a sign of faith in the potential of the market. Last year, Michel Boersma was hired to lead Live Nation’s emerging markets unit from Dubai. As SVP of family entertainment and theatre, he’s tasked with creating family shows and tours in the region, that can also be rolled out
globally. “It’s very difficult to go into these markets with pop or music related content,” Boersma explains. “Sometimes these markets may not be ready technically and venue wise, but often there is a theatre space or small arena that we can bring a family or theatre show into. Additionally, there is more political support for family entertainment than there sometimes is with music.”
IQ Magazine July 2017
Familiarity Content Breeds
Boersma reports a successful first year with tours including bringing Madagascar Live! to Asia in partnership with Dreamworks, launching a Banksy exhibition in Australia that’s now touring Asia, and taking LED show iLuminate to Saudi Arabia where Monster Jam was also introduced together with Feld. Broadway Entertainment Group opened an office in Dubai before Live Nation, having relocated from London two years ago to focus on the Middle East and Asia, where venues and theatres had started to be built. CEO Liz Koops says Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is its greatest success to
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date after touring the musical for 48 weeks internationally. Attendance ranged from 65-85% capacity – depending on the maturity of the market – with ticket prices ranging from $75-100 (€67-90). In terms of market development, “We believe it’s about continuity and more content coming in,” she explains. “For the new markets there is always a traditional expat audience but it’s really about diversifying the local audiences as well and that takes time. In new countries you have to first educate the audience for them to be encouraged to come to new shows. But we’ve been delighted by advance sales – some
‘Geronimo Stilton Live in The Kingdom of Fantasy’ is the latest children’s show developed by MEI Theatrical
countries were incredibly surprising. When word of mouth starts, you can double your sales.” Koops says the new audiences are interested in well-known brands like Disney, Dreamworks and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats – Broadway has taken the latter to Eastern Europe and the Middle East. “It wasn’t one of ours but Mary Poppins was just at the Dubai Opera and that was very successful,” she adds. “The more well-known productions are easier for people to be interested in.” Thanks to support from the Saudi Arabian Government as part of the Vision 2030 project (which outlines long-term ambitions for the country), Live Nation was able to tour Saudi Arabia with what would have been a less well-known brand in Artist of Light – the show by America’s Got Talent finalists iLuminate.
It’s a family a-far Despite trying and failing to negotiate for families to be able to sit together for Monster Jam’s debut stadium show in Riyadh (traditionally, genders are separated for public events in Saudi), Live Nation and its local partners managed to change the rules for iLuminate. “It was so fantastic to see the audience sitting in families together for the first show in Riyadh,” Boersma says. “It was like the Rolling Stones were there, the audience was so loud because for them this was
the first time they saw a significant change. I’m very proud of that first step. Saudi is quite a challenging market but it’s exciting because it’s so different and you know you are doing something special.” So what’s happening in the rest of the world? The Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating their 91st year touring and currently produces 450 shows annually worldwide. Last year, a brand refresh saw the arrival of new logos and a creative line that was incorporated into the show’s video elements. Keeping the YouTube generation engaged is all about innovating the elements of the show they can see, says VP international and development, Denis Sullivan. “Kids tend to consume content very visually so
“It was so fantastic to see the audience sitting in families together for the first show in Riyadh. It was like the Rolling Stones were there, the audience was so loud because for them this was the first time they saw a significant change.” – Michael Boersma, Live Nation
IQ Magazine July 2017
Cirque Eloize is experiencing strong booking interest for its new show ‘Saloon’ © Jim Mneymneh
that’s what we focus on delivering. It can be something simple – case in point, this year we included a DJ stage set into the presentation. So rather than music simply playing through a PA system, there was a visual focus to go along with that. The difference in crowd reaction and engagement was remarkable. “Additionally, some of the newer arenas give us tremendous ability to exploit all our video content; be it animated logos, highlight reels, vignettes – all content which moves the show further along and contributes to the story rather than distracting from it. This is an area we have a lot of growth in and while I can’t give next year’s show away yet, suffice it to say, we have some very exciting things in the works!”
Send out the clowns Earlier this year, Feld Entertainment waved goodbye to its 146-year-old Ringling Bros. Circus, with a decline in attendance, high operating costs and conflict with animal rights groups rendering the legendary show unsustainable. Feld is now focusing on launching a second Marvel Universe Live in the US later this year, expanding to three tours of Disney on Ice in Europe in 2018 and continuing to increase the number of markets Monster Jam presents in. Is the closure of the circus indicative of any changes in the family entertainment market? “Yes and no,” Steven Armstrong, Feld’s VP of Europe, tells us. “Ringling as a brand has been around for over 146 years, it’s exceptional in terms of a product that has stood the test of time and led the way in live entertainment for many, many years. Most products would love to have a 146-year history and can, but will need to be able to adapt to changing times, opinions, technologies, business models, trends—the list is endless. “The family entertainment market is changing and will continue to change as do all markets. Moving with those changes is key to being able to grow over time. People expect a different experience than they did years ago. The experience starts well before you walk through the doors of the arena and there is much more brand engagement on a daily basis.” Feld aims to create that engagement by interacting with fans through Snapchat during Monster Jam, using drones to film from above the stadium for video that gets shown on screens during the show and hosting a Pit Party pre-event, when ticket holders can meet the drivers and take pictures on the arena floor. For Cirque du Soleil, innovation can be seen in the continued evolution of its classic big top productions. SVP of touring shows, Finn Taylor, reports good ticket sales in North America, Europe and Japan with its stable of 18 shows, the latest edition of which, Volta, incorporates extreme sports. In addition, the acrobats will be seen on ice for the first time later this year with new production, Crystal. “We have never worked on ice so it’s something that we really want to try and explore,” Taylor explains. “We are looking to create a new spectacle for our core customers that love and cherish Cirque du Soleil. Our insistence on maintaining the quality of our shows remains our biggest draw-card and the reason people continue to return.” Across Europe, a wealth of new productions will include a touring musical from Semmel Concerts, Boybands Forever; Soy Luna Live (based on the Argentine drama on Disney
IQ Magazine July 2017
“The family entertainment market is changing and will continue to change as do all markets. Moving with those changes is key to being able to grow over time.” – Steven Armstrong, Feld Entertainment Channel Latin America); and, after touring successfully in Israel, the arrival of Spirit Production’s Spirit of the Dance show with Israeli company Mayumana in Germany (and later, South America). Three new productions from CSB Entertainment span circus, comic theatre and magic illusion. CEO Carsten Svoldgaard says there is a robust family entertainment market in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He explains: “People have money again and spend it on entertainment. We had the best ticket sales ever two years in a row with, among other things, Disney on Ice. The grownup audience is also willing to drive a long way for the right show/concert. We have seen an increased number of concert travels all over Europe.” Elsewhere, contemporary circus troupe Cirque Eloize’s new wild-west inspired show Saloon has done 130 dates across the US, Belgium, France and Zürich, with 200 more per year booked for 2017/2018.
10 T O P N E W FA M I LY S HOWS International promoters identify the new shows that they expect to sell out venues Dinosaurs in the Wild A production that uses 3D movie effects, animatronics, sound, lighting and storytelling to offer families the experience of being in a believable prehistoric world. The show has been created by Tim Haines, the director of Walking with Dinosaurs.
Vivaldianno – City of Mirrors Audiences can expect three-dimensional visual effects, modern audio technology and a light show. The production virtually reconstructs the works of Italian composer Vivaldianno and has been created by Czech composer Michal Dvorák. Dates in Macedonia, Russia and Israel start from August.
Volta Cirque du Soleil’s latest big-top production incorporates extreme sports like BMX and stunt bike riding for the first time. It also involves new acrobatic disciplines, with music by DJ M83. Volta launched in Montreal in April, and will next visit Gatineau and Toronto.
Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes The second edition of Marvel Universe Live, created by Feld Entertainment, features different characters, a fresh storyline, bikes, and new technologies involving the costumes. After launching in the US, it will head to Europe in 2019.
In the UK, real-life dinosaur theme park experience Dinosaurs in the Wild is the newest family entertainment experience that’s causing a stir. It has been created by the masterminds behind arena spectacular Walking with Dinosaurs and is being funded by £12million (€13.6m) raised by private investment. The production uses 3D movie effects, animatronics, sound, lighting and storytelling to offer families the experience of being in a believable prehistoric world. NEC Birmingham will be the first venue to host the show for two months beginning at the end of June, followed by EventCity in Manchester from October to January. Producer Jill Bryant says: “This show replicates a new type of entertainment because it’s something that people can enjoy together. Too much of entertainment is about individual time and this is all about the family, which I think is the future. Immersive theatre in the style that we are doing is new, educational and fun. You really feel like you are part of a journey.” Creative director Tim Haines adds: “We’re finding that live shared events are becoming increasingly popular year by year. There was no one else producing what we’re doing – it’s like top feature film quality – the quality
“Our insistence on maintaining the quality of our shows remains our biggest draw-card and the reason people continue to return.” – Finn Taylor, Cirque du Soleil
Saloon After wowing critics with iD, contemporary circus troupe Cirque Eloize is back with a new production, Saloon. Using a combination of circus, dance, theatre, and live music for the first time, the show is loosely based on the Wild West. It’s been touring in the US and Europe for one year.
Cartoon Network Live Live Nation has partnered with Cartoon Network to develop a big production that involves all of its cartoon stars for the first time. The show will open in the Middle East at the end of August, before visiting Europe and the rest of the world.
Spirit of the Dance & Mayumana Spirit Productions joined forces with Israeli company Mayumana to create a show that incorporates its traditional Irish dancing brand Spirit of the Dance, with a form of Stomp, involving instruments, dancing and humour. After touring Israel for four weeks, Germany and South America are next on the cards.
Crystal This brand new creation will bring Cirque du Soleil to the ice for the first time, featuring skating and sliding, remarkable aesthetics and acrobatic feats. Specifically created for arenas, it opens in Louisiana, USA, in October.
Geronimo Geronimo is a musical based on the UK’s pre-school children’s TV series Sarah & Duck. It uses innovative projection to simulate 3D and is produced by Hong Kong-based producer MEI International.
Contributors Top row: Carsten Svoldgaard, CSB Island Entertainment; Finn Taylor, Cirque du Soleil; Jill Bryant, ‘Dinosaurs in the Wild’ Middle row: Liz Koops, Broadway Entertainment Group; Michael Boersma, Live Nation; Steven Armstrong, Feld Entertainment Bottom row: Denis Sullivan, Harlem Globetrotters; Tim Haines, ‘Dinosaurs in the Wild’
IQ Magazine July 2017
“This show replicates a new type of entertainment because it’s something that people can enjoy together. Too much of entertainment is about individual time and this is all about the family, which I think is the future.” – Jill Bryant, ‘Dinosaurs in the Wild’ of the piece is what helps show the audience that they have arrived somewhere different.” While the show itself blends fantasy and reality, so does its marketing. Chronotex Enterprises is a fictitious company that developed time travel, and will be used to tie current events into the prehistoric world around shows. Haines explains: “We are going to start to build the mythology of Dinosaurs in the Wild’s backstory through press releases from Chronotex. They’ll include news of what’s happening at the company, like accidents or political campaigns from people that want it closed down, and all of this will feed into the online community.” While Dinosaurs in the Wild is UK-only for now, there’s “significant interest” from promoters throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and the US. Live Nation’s next show Cartoon Network Live, featuring all the network’s stars, will open at the end of August in
Bahrain, travelling to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Egypt before arriving in Europe and the rest of the world. In terms of what else the future holds, Boersma is confident his activities will thrive by providing audiences with interaction, quality and diversity. He explains: “For me, besides touring live shows, the future of family entertainment also includes creating immersive and educational exhibitions.”
Touring (old) masters Boersma cites Meet Vincent van Gogh – a production Live Nation is partnering on with Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – as an example of this ‘edutainment’ sector. “Audiences get to experience the art of Vincent van Gogh, his history and creativity in a multi-media environment,” he says. “The challenge was to create a new and exciting experience, allowing the visitors to immerse themselves into the world of Vincent. The success of this exhibition paves the path for Live Nation to look at other opportunities within this segment of family entertainment.” Boersma believes that a lot of the Hollywood studios have a renewed interest to turn their movies into live shows or exhibitions. In addition, using technology like VR assists in pushing the technical possibilities and creating unique experiences. He concludes: “The family entertainment market is maturing. There will always be ‘cheap’ shows, but in my opinion we need to produce and tour quality shows, well produced and not dumbed down. That is the only way to build new audiences in emerging markets and beyond.”
Prehistoric productions such as ‘Dinosaurs in the Wild’ remain a perennial favourite with children of all ages
IQ Magazine July 2017
IQ Magazine July 2017
HANS on TOUR A spectacular performance at Coachella has helped make composer Hans Zimmer’s latest tour one of 2017’s hottest tickets. Christopher Austin learns about the evolution of his live career as demand for dates continues to grow internationally…
n 2016, film-score composer Hans Zimmer emerged from his studio to become a new global touring sensation – a reputation he bolstered in April this year as perhaps the most exciting new live performer in the business, thanks to a groundbreaking, peak-time performance on the Outdoor Stage at Coachella. Traditionally the territory of chart-toppers and Pitchfork darlings, Coachella is not the usual haunt of 59-year-old film score composers, and eyebrows were raised when his name appeared on its bill alongside the likes of Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Lorde and Kendrick Lamar. Tour co-producer and promoter Harvey Goldsmith says it wasn’t easy persuading Coachella’s founder Paul Tollett to present Zimmer in such a prominent slot. “Paul was unsure, he wanted to put Hans on in a tent, so we had a battle to persuade him and explain how big the show was and that we really needed the right platform and time to do it justice,” says Goldsmith.
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Zimmer’s agent, William Morris Endeavor‘s head of music Marc Geiger says, “It was a risk for Paul and we talked him in to it, but a main-stage performance at Coachella was always the plan because we all knew it would be a different thing for the festival and one way or another, positive or negative, it would stick out and make some kind of impression.” Goldsmith recalls nervously looking out from the Coachella stage just 20 minutes before Zimmer was due to perform, and seeing only a scattering of people in the audience. “As soon as Hans hit the stage and started playing The Dark Knight people were swarming, like bees to honey, toward the stage and we ended up with an audience of about 70,000 people going absolutely nuts,” he says. The impact of the Coachella performance stretched way beyond the immediate audience in the Empire Polo Club grounds, it garnered rave reviews, and highlights of the show were seen by millions online.
Hans Zimmer Zimmer tours with a core band of musicians, augmented by local orchestras and choirs
“Coachella live-streamed three numbers. They usually get around 160,000 streams per track, but Hans had 1.1 million. That was extraordinary,” says Goldsmith. In the following weeks, the footage of Zimmer’s Coachella performance would be seen by many more, with Inception alone having been watched more than 1.5 million times on YouTube. Following the Coachella performance, this year’s Hans Zimmer Live On Tour has taken in Australia and New Zealand before coming to Europe for 26 shows. From there, Zimmer and his band will return to the US for his very first full US tour, with anticipation high following his triumph at the Californian festival. It is all a long way from the relative isolation of the studio environment, where Zimmer had spent much of the previous decade.
ans Zimmer is the go-to man for remarkable film soundtracks. A multi-award winning, multiinstrumentalist, Zimmer has scored soundtracks to more than 120 films, including Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion King, The Dark Knight and Inception. More recently, his music can be heard accompanying BBC’s Planet Earth II and the hit Netflix Original series The Crown. Zimmer may be best known for his soundtracks, but after moving from Germany to the UK he produced and performed in a succession of bands, and with The Buggles was a member of the first band to feature on MTV when the channel opened with the track Video Killed the Radio Star, in 1981.
“As soon as Hans hit the stage and started playing ‘The Dark Knight’ people were swarming, like bees to honey, toward the stage and we ended up with an audience of about 70,000 people going absolutely nuts.”
Harvey Goldsmith IQ Magazine July 2017
Hans Zimmer Zimmer’s full production involves more than 50 musicians. Photo © J. Norppa
Z “I dropped an email to Harvey saying that this was not a normal concert but a magical musical happening between a musician and his friends on stage and in the audience.”
Christoph Scholz Semmel Concerts IQ Magazine July 2017
immer’s music was familiar to millions around the globe, but the man had barely performed live, before his agents WME, Goldsmith and Zimmer’s business partner Steve Kofsky joined forces to get a Hans Zimmer show on the road. Kofsky says a tour had been in the pipeline for close to a decade. “In 2007, Hans indicated that he would like to go on tour, so we engaged creative director Marc Brickman and we came up with the concept of the show. But then the financial markets collapsed and we decided to stay safe and stick with the film business,” he reveals. From the moment Goldsmith first saw Zimmer on stage making his UK live debut, he was intent on getting a tour organised. “In 2011, we were asked by Dreamworks to perform at Pandemonium in the Park at the Althorp Estate in the UK to celebrate the release of the movie Kung Fu Panda 2,” says Kofsky. The show was promoted by Goldsmith. “We sold 10,000 tickets and we realised we really had something interesting,” he says. As a result, Goldsmith wasted little time following up with Zimmer at his Santa Monica studios, where he tried his best to convince the composer to hit the road as soon as possible. “He was busy with movie commitments at the time and so it took me two years to persuade him to do more live shows,” says Goldsmith. Recalls Geiger, “Hans had been locked in a room for a long time composing film scores and dealing with movie executives and directors. He said, ‘I’ve got to do something different, let’s do this.’”
he first major step toward a tour was two shows at Hammersmith Apollo in London on 10 and 11 October, 2014. Kofsky says that from the start, the Hans Zimmer live experience was going to be a rock show with an orchestra, and that footage from the films would not be shown — the focus would be on the music and performers. “Hans did not want to have his back to the audience conducting a group of people in front of him that looked like they were reading a newspaper. It was always going to be a show with Hans performing with a band,” says Kofsky. Among the key members of the original band was former guitarist with The Smiths Johnny Marr, who had worked with Zimmer on the soundtracks to a number of films, including Inception and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With Zimmer energetically leading the way on piano and guitar, alongside 60 performers split across an orchestra, choir and 20-strong band, the core show that exists today was road tested at the Hammersmith venue; the production’s design having been created by Brickman and orchestrated by production director Jim Baggott. “We spent £6,000 on advertising the shows and they both sold out. We invested heavily in the production because we really wanted to create a great show. We lost money on it but we were building a show for the future,” states Kofsky. With the foundation in place, the Hans Zimmer Revealed
tour kicked off in 2016 with two sold-out shows at London’s SSE Arena, Wembley, before embarking on a 33-city European run.
Word of Mouth Growth
emmel Concerts promoted all Zimmer’s 2016 in Germany and Austria, and did Switzerland with partner Thomas Dürr. This year it has covered the German-speaking countries again, and co-promoted four arena shows in Scandinavia – Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen.
“The kind of audience that Hans attracts is very varied. This is a show for everybody who loves art and emotion.”
Clemente Zard Vivo Concerti
Hans Zimmer The show’s bespoke visuals highlight the artistry of the performers. Photo © J. Norppa
“We had to make sure the audience knew it was more than an orchestra-to-film concert – it was something they’d never seen before; a full arena rock concert with the legendary man himself and a band compiled of some of the best musicians in the world.” Semmel director Christoph Scholz was a convert from the start, having first seen Zimmer live at Hammersmith. “After that show I dropped an email to Harvey saying that this was not a normal concert but a magical musical happening between a musician and his friends on stage and in the audience,” says Scholz. Not everyone had seen the Hammersmith show first-hand and understood the concept as clearly as Scholz. The fact it was Zimmer’s first tour, and it was a show unlike any staged before, presented a few challenges for Goldsmith. “We went to the usual rock promoters, I described the show, and they
Nathan Stone, MJR just didn’t know what I was talking about, so I had to find other people to work with me that had a feel for that kind of entertainment,” says Goldsmith. Among those promoters to work with Goldsmith from the outset was Noel McHale of MCD Productions, who promoted Zimmer’s first show in Ireland at 3Arena in May 2016, and promoted his 13 June date there this year.
Reflecting on that first show McHale says, “It was one of those gigs that was ten times better than anyone expected; it blew everyone away. It was a complete sell out.” Petr Suchánek, production director at the JVS Group in Poland, promoted shows at Gdańsk Ergo Arena, Atlas Arena in Łódź, and Kraków’sTauron Arena in 2016, and handled Zimmer’s shows at the same venues this year. From the outset he had faith in the concept of the show. “We had experience working on similar shows of this scale as we had promoted Ennio Morricone. So we welcomed the opportunity to work with Hans because we knew how we would promote the shows too, even though the music is kind of different – it was much more of a rock and roll show,” says Suchánek. Around the world, promoters have been pleased to see a demographically diverse audience at Zimmer’s shows, with fans ranging from nine years old to 90. Multimedia Concerts founder Laszlo Hegedus, who has promoted Zimmer shows in Eastern European countries including Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, is among them. “We completely focused on the film audience via marketing through cultural media channels, but interest grew beyond our expectations; it turned out that the younger generation and the middle-aged rock and pop audience were equally mesmerised by Hans’ hypnotic music,” he says. Clemente Zard, managing director of Vivo Concerti, which has promoted Zimmer’s Italian shows, says that the uniqueness of the performance was a key selling point. “The kind of audience that Hans attracts is very varied. This is a show for everybody who loves art and emotion.”
“Hans had been locked in a room for a long time composing film scores and dealing with movie executives and directors. He said, ‘I’ve got to do something different, let’s do this.’”
Marc Geiger, WME
Hans Zimmer MJR’s Nathan Stone with Hans
Live Learning Curve
immer’s escape from the studio to the stage has been hugely successful, but it hasn’t been without its challenges for the composer. Says Kofsky, “Stage fright was always an issue for Hans, but his nervous energy carries him and is part of what makes him so endearing on stage. “I remember when Hans had a meeting with Paul McCartney; he mentioned his stage fright and Paul said, ‘Just remember they all love you’” Baggott has been overseeing the production since the Hammersmith shows. He says the lights and video play a key role in creating the atmosphere on stage: at times an intense intimate rock performance and at others an epic scene with all 60 performers in full flight.
Hugs for Irish promoter Noel McHale and tour co-producer Harvey Goldsmith
“The lighting is a very intricate rock and roll set-up with more than 500 cues programmed, and it is a pretty huge lighting rig with over 200 fixtures above the stage,” says Baggott. Lindsay Scoggins was commissioned to create custom video content for the 2017 tour, which is shown on the 10x20metre LED video screen during the shows. “The video is all synched with the music, and Marc worked with Lindsay to create some really interesting visuals,” says Baggott. The stage system has also been updated for the 2017 tour, consisting of a custom-built riser system assembled by Tait Towers. “It looks much better. Also from an operations point of view, it has made a big difference with timing and it takes up much less truck space,” says Baggott. The show packs down into nine trucks, while six buses transport the touring party of 60 people that includes 30 crew, 20 band members and 10 managerial staff. A new orchestra
Top row: Jim Baggott, production director; Marc Geiger, WME; Tony Goldring, WME; Harvey Goldsmith; Laszlo Hegedus, Multimedia Concerts; Steve Kofsky, Zimmer’s business partner. Bottom row: Noel McHale, MCD Productions; Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts; Nathan Stone, MJR; Petr Suchánek, JVS Group; Clemente Zard, Vivo Concerti.
IQ Magazine July 2017
“It was one of those gigs that was ten times better than anyone expected; it blew everyone away. It was a complete sell out.”
Noel McHale, MCD
and choir is hired in each region to reduce transportation and accommodation costs. Prior to returning to Europe in May, Zimmer performed in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth for the first time, with the shows promoted by Nathan Stone at MJR. “It was an interesting show to bring to the market and promote,” comments Stone. “We had to make sure the audience knew it was more than an orchestra-to-film concert – it was something they’d never seen before; a full arena rock concert with the legendary man himself and a band compiled of some of the best musicians in the world.” WME’s Tony Goldring says it was the first time he had worked with MJR, and he was delighted by the result. “The tour did great business in Australia and New Zealand. We are working with promoters that we generally don’t work with, so we are building relationships along the way,” he says. Goldring confirms that the next stage of the Hans Zimmer live adventure will take in Asia, Russia and South Africa, with shows likely to take place there in 2018. His success at Coachella also means that festival dates are more than likely next summer. He adds, “There is no doubt this show will work at a lot of festivals, so that will be the focus going forward.”
Pharrell Williams was a surprise guest during the historic Coachella performances. Photo © Joe Eley
IQ Magazine July 2017
37.SCHAFFHAUSEN 7.BASEL 3.AESCH
14.FRAUENFELD 45.WINTERHUR 19.GLATTPARK 50.ZÜRICH 41.ST GALLEN
40.SOLOTHURN 1.AARAU 9.BIEL 27.LYSS 48.ZOFINGEN 32.NEUCHÂTEL 49.ZUG 2.AARBERG 4.ARCH 31.MURTEN 26.LUZERN 8.BERN 18.GERSAU 5.AVENCHES 36.RUBIGEN 33.NIEDERWANGEN 13.DÜDINGEN 46.YVERDON-LES-BAINS 43.THUN 30.MOUDON 21.INTERLAKEN 34.NYON 15.FRIBOURG 12.DEGEN 22.LAUSANNE 29.MORGES 10.BRIG 35.PULLY 11.COLLONGE 44.VEVEY 20.GRAND 16.GAMPEL-BRATSCH -SACONNEX -BELLERIVE 28.MONTREUX 38.SIERRE 25.LOC 17.GENEVA 42.THONEX 39.SION 47.ZERMATT 24.LOCARNO 23.LE CHAUX-DE-FONDS
Map Key Agent Promoter Agent/Promotor Venue Festival
1. Aarau KIFF
Stars of Sounds AG
Progr BernExpo Dachstock Damfzentrale National Bern Reitschule Stade de Suisse Gurten
Artistpool Kongresszentrum Simplonhalle
Action Booking RFV Basel Act Entertainment AG Reelmusic GmbH Gare du Nord Banhof Fur Neue Musik Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park Kaserne Restaurant Volkshaus Sommercasino Z7 St. Jakobshalle Basel Imagine Festivall Summer Nights
Get Loud Appalooza Productions Hotellounge Intermusic Network Wildpony AG
20. Grand-Saconnex Live Music Production SA Arena
Good News Productions
Mix Max Music
Open Air Lumnezia
Café Bad Bonn Bad Bonn Kilbi
S.O.F.A. Booking et Promotion Fri-Son
16. Gampel-Bratsch Open Air Gampel
TAKK BFM Geneva Arena Grand Casino Grand Theatre de Geneve La Gravière L’Alhambra L’Usine / Le Kab L’Usine / PTR La Traverse Victoria Hall La Bâtie Festival de Genève Vernier sur Rock
Two Gentlemen Ishtar Music Mainland Music Soldout Productions Le Romandie Les Docks Salle Metropole Theatre Beaulieu Zelig Festival de la cite Lausanne Metropop Festival Polaris Festival
23. Le Chaux-de-Fonds Bikini Test
24. Locarno JazzAscona
Moon and Stars
Swiss Musictour Konzerthaus Schuur Sudpol Blue Balls
Kulturfabrik Kufa Lyss
Headstrong Music Montreux Jazz Festival
Theatre de Beausobre
30. Moudon Les Prisons
Stars of Sounds AG
32. Neuchâtel Festi’neuch
33. Niederwangen Eventservice
Opus One Usine a Gaz Caribana Paleo
37. Schaffhausen Stars in Town
Festival Au Bord De L’Eau
Centre Artistique et Cultrel de la Ferme-Asile Sion Sous Les Etoiles
40. Solothurn Kofmehl
41. St. Gallen
OpenAir St. Gallen
Salle Des Fetes
All Blues Konzert Smell A Rat Organizations Eulachhallen
Gaswerk Kulturzentrum All Blues Winterthurer Musikfestwochen
46. Yverdon-les-Bains L’Amalgame
47. Zermatt Zermatt Unplugged
Basitours Heitere Openair
BAKARA MUSIC Rent-A-Show abc Production Dog Promotions Freddy Burger Management Impact Music Inc. Live Nation Maag Music & Arts Act Entertainment AG Gadget Just Because Mainland Music Abart Music Club Dynamo Exil Halle 622 Hallenstadion Kaufleuten Komplex 457 Maag Music Hall Papiersaal Rote Fabrik Samsung Hall Seebad Enge Stadion Letzigrund Volkshaus Zurich X-tra Live At Sunset M4Music Zürich Openair
IQ Magazine July 2017
CH CH CHANGES
Over the past few decades, Switzerland has enjoyed a reputation as one of the healthiest live music markets in the world. Adam Woods learns that the appearance of certain global entities is seeing raised eyebrows among the incumbent promoters in the country. Switzerland is prosperous, politically neutral and stands outside of the EU, a wealthy, land-locked island in the middle of Europe. But in its highly active live business, it is certainly not insulated from competition, external or otherwise. Take the case of the Hallenstadion, Zürich’s 15,000-capacity former Vélodrome, and Switzerland’s most popular arena destination for major incoming touring acts. Until 2013, the venue was booked exclusively by Good News – then the unchallenged market leader. These days, it’s open to all, as everyone knows, but here’s the point: Hallenstadion director Felix Frei estimates that the arena now routinely takes bookings from ten or 15 promoters. “We have a much broader base of promoters in music than before,” says Frei. “We have more concerts but, on average, less attendance. The reason seems to be a really, really strong music market here. Artists are playing five, six, seven times in Switzerland and we can feel that.” Out in the fresh Swiss air too, where it has been joked that every field has its own festival, the open-air market is bulging at the seams. Something like 300 events battle for the attention of fewer than 8.5m Swiss, plus musical tourists. “I think it’s great for the audience,” says Dany Hassenstein, booker at Paléo in Nyon, which has sold out in advance for 16 years in a row. “You travel through Switzerland in the summer and basically in every town you have a music event. It’s great for people who love music.” There are certainly plenty of those in Switzerland. Many events thrive, and surprisingly few fail. But the latest figures from the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA), whose members account for the lion’s share of tickets sold in Switzerland, show a very slight decline in sales, to just over 5 million, and a small reduction in the average ticket price in 2016: CHF78 (€72), down from CHF79 (€73). SMPA members brought in CHF347million (€320m) last year, make no mistake, but actual growth in such a busy market is not easy to find. And while Switzerland is certainly a popular destination for international acts, efforts to help local acts achieve success in other countries are impressive, not the least through Swiss Music Export, annual stalwart showcase event m4music and biannual contest Swiss Live Talents, which identifies emerging acts across a number of genres. “Switzerland has never had more concerts, events and festivals than today – and never more promoters,” says
IQ Magazine July 2017
Johannes Vogel of Winterthur-based promoter Allblues Konzert. “The result is more competition and more offers on the table of the agents. Switzerland is still a small market – the cake is not getting bigger. If we have more and more concerts, we have fewer sold-out shows, and the margins and profits for us promoters are getting smaller.” And that’s the essence of the Swiss live business – a land of plenty, but not always necessarily an easy one to make money in. It’s unlikely to get any easier, either. In the past two years, Live Nation has set up their own Swiss operation with an office based in Zürich. AEG, too, is on its way, having announced a deal in May to manage a new 11,000-capacity sports arena in Malley, near Lausanne. All around, promoters are scaling up. Notably, CTS Eventim’s two leading local promoters, ABC Production and Act Entertainment, are said to be currently thrashing out a merger. Marc Lambelet of Mainland Music, a consolidation of a handful of independent operators formed in 2013, is clearly no stranger to a tie-up. himself, but he isn’t sure he likes everything that is happening to the Swiss business. “We have been lucky in Switzerland for so long,” he says. “We didn’t have to fight too much against foreign competition, but now it is a new situation, and what I hope is that it’s not going to destroy the specific character of this country. The festival situation here, for instance, is special.” And while ticket prices may technically have fallen in 2016 on average, Good News CEO Stefan Matthey fears the top end of the market is unpalatably overpriced, even for Switzerland. “The Stones have just announced their ticket prices and you look at Facebook and you see people screaming,” he says. “If you have reached the level where Swiss people are telling you prices are too high, then it’s a fact and I think you have to think about it.” Of course, such questions are nuanced, as Sébastien Vuignier of Lausanne-based booker and promoter Takk Productions points out. “Yes, cheaper tickets would be better,” he says. “Swiss tickets are often more expensive than neighbouring countries’ tickets. And as people travel to see shows, it can affect our business. “But our ticket prices reflect the level of salaries we have here. [By that standard], I think it’s still quite fair, mostly as our tiny cities can’t compete with big European cities in terms of the amount of tickets sold. These tickets need to be more expensive to get a similar level of gross as in other countries.”
“You travel through Switzerland in the summer and basically in every town you have a music event. It’s great for people who love music.” Dany Hassenstein, Paléo Festival
Promoters Consolidation and competition are the themes for Swiss promoters as the corporate realities of the modern business intrude on a market that until fairly recently was rather placid and largely Swiss-owned. These days, even confirmed indies know they need to buddy up to stand against the big boys. “The opening of the Hallenstadion changed everything,” says Lambelet. “And now obviously we have Live Nation and probably AEG. We have the big media groups; the ticketing companies want to consolidate and merge and go for the big money as well. Everything is really changing rapidly. I know that there will be more alliances, there will be more deals. We can’t remain small in this business anymore. One way or another, we have to connect with other people, at home or abroad, as part of a network.” Live Nation GSA, founded in 2015 and managed by Marek and André Lieberberg, together with Matt Schwarz, also has had major implications for Switzerland, as Live Nation GSA has taken back responsibility for Live Nation touring artists that were once handled by local promoters. Since launching in Switzerland a year-and-a-half ago, Live Nation has staged six stadium shows in Zurich, and 25 gigs in the German-speaking part of Switzerland in the past 12 months. (Business in the French part of the country is handled by Live Nation France boss Angelo Gopee.) “It is a great market,” says Live Nation GSA managing director Matt Schwarz, who works alongside co-director Ralph Schuler. “We sold out two nights with Coldplay at Letzigrund Stadium, grossing CHF12m (€11m). Guns N’ Roses, Depeche Mode, Beyoncé and Rihanna – all stadium shows did really well, we hit target on nearly all our shows from club to stadium level.” With Live Nation reclaiming its acts, Schwarz and Schuler acknowledge something of a shift has taken place, though they don’t see why most of their rivals should have an issue with it. “We don’t really see any potential nervousness from our competitors, because we are mainly promoting the Live Nation portfolio,” says Schuler. Neither he nor Schwarz is inclined to be portrayed as the corporate giant, crashing into the delicate little market. “Nobody mentions it in public, but [the other promoters] all talk to us,” notes Schuler. “We published a job ad, and you wouldn’t believe how many CVs were sent in, from everywhere. There’s a lot of movement in the Swiss market.” Veteran Swiss promoter André Béchir has long promoted many of Live Nation’s star names. In 2009, he moved from Good News to his own ABC Production, and quickly turned that into a powerful promoter too, with half a million tickets sold last year, and shows in the diary for the Rolling Stones, Céline Dion, Kings of Leon and Justin Bieber, variously in Zürich, Geneva and Bern. Now ABC is negotiating a merger with Switzerland’s other leading operator, the likewise Eventim-backed Act Entertainment. Act boss Thomas Dürr is mooted to run the combined business, with Béchir reportedly in the market for no more than an advisory role.
Contributors First row: Vincent Sager, Opus One; Matt Schwarz, Live Nation; Thomas Dürr, Act Entertainment Second row: Dany Hassenstein, Paléo Festival; Christof Huber, OpenAir St.Gallen; Felix Frei, Hallenstadion Third row: Marc Lambelet, Mainland Music; Mathieu Jaton, Montreux Jazz Festival (photo © 2017 FFJM – Marc Ducrest); Stefan Matthey, Good News Fourth row: Beatrice Stirnimann, Baloise Session; Johannes Vogel, Allblues Konzert; Sébastien Vuignier, Takk Productions Fifth row: Philipp Musshafen, Halle 622; Ralph Schuler, Live Nation
“I have heard these rumours as well, but I can’t confirm them,” says Dürr. “I like André Béchir and I have known him for a long time. We work in the same business, and CTS Eventim owns more than 50% of both companies, but our official statement is that we have no comment to make on the rumours.” From the mooted ABC and Act marriage downwards, Switzerland does demonstrate that there are possible options for independents other than simply selling up. Mainland
IQ Magazine July 2017
rolled small promoters including Black Sheep, Cult Agency and Redda Music into one. More recently, OpenAir St. Gallen, Gadget, Incognito, Wildpony and Summer Days Festival launched umbrella brand wepromote to collaborate on new and existing projects. Lambelet suggests ambitious young promoters need to think carefully before dedicating their careers to a corporate cause. “It can be tempting to go that route, because there’s a lot of money,” he says. “If you are part of a big conglomerate, there’s always capital to support your ventures. People may be tempted to think, well, maybe I should do that. But the corporate world is demanding, it wants things its own way. We should explain to the kids who want to go that route that there’s a price to pay.” Opus One’s Vincent Sager believes this year is already looking better than last, with certain caveats. “The offer is huge – it is much bigger than the demand, clearly. What we see quite often is artists who tour too much and don’t bring new material, and it becomes more and more difficult to sell out venues.” Coming up, Opus One has Robbie Williams at Zürich’s Letzigrund Stadium, Gorillaz at the Samsung Hall, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds at the Hallenstadion, and the promoter and agent, part of the Paléo family, recently sold out a 16-show season of Cats in Lausanne. “I would say 2017 will be a better one than 2016 to be a promoter,” says Sager. “So far, so good.” Good News remains a force under Matthey, once of Free & Virgin, who says the market can be fruitful but is always challenging.
“Last year was fantastic,” says Matthey. “We sold over 70,000 tickets with Rammstein and Iron Maiden last summer, and that was a big, big one for us. The rest of the year was the same situation as all promoters – sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. But in general we had a good year.” Matthey finds himself particularly alert to the dangers of the high-stakes business. “I was bankrupt myself in 2011, just because we did not realise we had paid too much money,” he says. This year, he notes, Good News has decided not to push its luck on the blockbuster front. “We have decided not to do a big festival again, because there are so many festivals, so many stadium shows. Instead, we are just going to do what we do,” he says. Last year, that meant 329 shows, from clubs upwards, and Matthey expects to do the same this year: “From death metal to pop, to family entertainment to classical shows. Same number of shows, much less risk,” he predicts. “We have no problem doing a club show with 50 people if we believe in the act. That’s the reason why I promote shows – because I want to promote new stuff.”
“The result is more competition and more offers on the table of the agents. Switzerland is still a small market – the cake is not getting bigger. “ Johannes Vogel, Allblues Konzert
Switzerland Many of Switzerland’s independents espouse a similar philosophy. Takk, which booked Radiohead and Muse into headline slots at major festivals last year and promoted shows for Foals, The Lumineers, Michael Kiwanuka and others, is ploughing much of its energy into new talent. “We are doing a lot of very small shows with new acts and it’s a good sign as it’s the investment for a busy and successful future,” says Vuignier. “And it’s exciting as many of these new talents grow fast, like Aldous Harding, The Amazons, Youngr, Sigrid, Maggie Rogers, July Talk, Charlie Cunningham, just to name a few.” Allblues largely specialises in jazz, world, funk and “legends”, in Vogel’s words. Acts include The Beach Boys, Steve Winwood, Jack Savoretti and Gregory Porter, and even this niche promoter books the odd night at the Hallenstadion for long-term clients Ed Sheeran (14,000 tickets in six minutes) and Joe Bonamassa (in the mid-size, 6,000-cap configuration). Vogel says the best strategy in saturated times remains “high-quality music for a well-funded audience. Obviously,
“The Stones have just announced their ticket prices and you look at Facebook and you see people screaming. If you have reached the level where Swiss people are telling you prices are too high, then it’s a fact and I think you have to think about it.” Stefan Matthey, Good News
the sponsorship situation is not so good anymore as it was ten to 15 years ago,” he adds. “But it is what it is and we have to keep on going strong and focus on our niche. Sold-out and high-quality shows are still the best argument to get sponsors and partners.”
Festivals Switzerland’s festivals dominate the live industry’s summer months, and most promoters know better than to schedule against them. Between May and September, there are roughly 300 of the things, of which the biggies include Paléo, Rock Oz’Arènes and Montreux Jazz in the west; Openair Frauenfeld, OpenAir St. Gallen, Open Air Basel and Zürich Openair, in the north; Open Air Gampel and Moon & Stars in the south; and, in the centre, the Gurtenfestival in Bern and Greenfield in Interlaken. Are there too many festivals? “I personally think that is something the market is regulating itself,” says Hassenstein, reasonably. “The customers will decide.” The indications of this summer are that the big old names are selling very well, with big brands such as Paléo and Gurten long-since sold out at press time, and St. Gallen well on the way. If anyone is taking a risk this summer, says St. Gallen festival director and booker Christof Huber, it is probably superstar acts attempting to sell out stadiums in the middle of the festival season. “Robbie Williams has always sold out stadiums, so he will be fine, but I can see other bands struggling, especially when
Switzerland they are competing with a lot of traditional festivals,” he says. Sager agrees. “The festival market is so powerful,” he says. “In one day, you can see 20 or 30 acts, of which 15 are brand new, for the price of one ticket. It is hard to sell out medium or club shows in fall or winter right after.” Festivals may have the upper hand in Switzerland, but theirs is still a balancing act. Huber has been outspoken about the dangers of over-familiar line-ups diminishing audience enthusiasm for festivals. This year, his abiding concerns are on two fronts: offputting ticket prices, and, simultaneously, narrowing margins. “Some people are getting really sensitive in terms of ticket prices, and that includes festivals, that includes single shows, and honestly, they are right [to be sensitive],” says Huber. “[At the same time] it’s quite tough to compete, and the margin of making a living with your festival or your show gets smaller and smaller. I think we are really risking something at the moment.” Some festivals have a sturdier proposition than others. Paléo, on the fringes of Geneva, is a stone’s throw from France, from which it draws both crowds and acts. “Our advantage is that we have the French market as well, so we are looking for high-stakes international acts, but also French acts, which obviously are less demanding in fees,” says Hassenstein. Paléo sells 220,000 day-tickets over its six days, and this year features the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foals and Arcade Fire. The Swiss festival scene is also picking up on the increasingly prevalent trend for unique, boutique experiences. Wepromote this year launched its Unique Moments series. This started with a four-day stand by Swiss favourites Patent Ochsner in June, at the Landesmuseum (Swiss National Museum) in Zürich, which combined with an exhibition by polymath frontman Büne Huber. “The whole show is based around the paintings,” says Christof Huber. “Every night, 2,500 people, and the reactions are really, really good.” The Montreux Jazz Festival, it might be argued, has been a boutique festival since before the term existed, and it endeavours to maintain its singular character, even in the absence of late founder Claude Nobs. Its programme divides three ways, between the 4,000-capacity Auditorium Stravinski, the 350-seat Montreux Jazz Club, and the experimental, 2,000-cap Montreux Jazz Lab, with an emphasis on smart combinations of artists across its 48 main shows. This year’s festival, for instance, teams Erykah Badu and Solange; Bryan Ferry and Brian Wilson; Tinariwen and Michael Kiwanuka; and Beth Ditto and the Pet Shop Boys. “All festivals have to refresh themselves so we all have to stick to our DNA, our history, and to create something special and different,” says Montreux Jazz CEO Mathieu Jaton. Baloise Session Basel, which takes a comparable approach, has yet to announce this year’s line-up, though CEO Beatrice Stirnimann promises a lot of new faces for the festival’s 32nd
edition, across genres from rock to jazz to world. Like others, she notes the busy market conditions. “There are again new festivals launched in a market that seems to be saturated,” she says. “But at the moment it’s too early to say if the Swiss market is able to absorb all these extra tickets and still be in a healthy condition.”
Venues The consensus in Switzerland has always been that there has long been a reasonable number of clubs and plenty of very big rooms and stadiums, but not much in-between. Promoters in Zürich, at least, have new medium-sized rooms to fill in 2017. A show by Bastille in February saw the opening of the 3,500-capacity Halle 622, a new concert and event venue in Zürich’s central Oerlikon district. Rag’n’Bone Man and Deftones have since been through, with Hurts and Kasabian among those due later in the year. Down the road in Dübendorf, is the new Samsung Hall, a 5,000-cap venue that opened its doors in January and has also made an immediate impression, welcoming Korn, Sting, Emeli Sandé and Little Mix, while Diana Krall, J. Cole, Sigur Rós, Queens of the Stone Age, Gorillaz, Alice Cooper and many more are confirmed before the end of 2017. “A very exciting point is that we can use new venues for the first time in 2017, including the Samsung Hall, where we’ve had Amy Macdonald, Sigur Rós, and more to come; and the Halle 622, where Royal Blood will be playing in November,” says Vuignier. “And we are looking forward to using the fully renovated St. Jakobshalle in Basel soon.” “Halle 622 started its year successfully with performances by renowned acts including Bastille, Avenged Sevenfold and Rag’n’Bone Man. We are pleased to announce that it will continue with highlights such as Kasabian, Royal Blood and Rise Against in the fall,” states the venue’s CEO Philipp Musshafen. The Hallenstadion sold 1.1 million tickets across 137 show days last year, and recently made various technical adaptations to increase its maximum capacity to 15,000 from 13,700, in the hope of drawing the very biggest indoor shows. “The requests are coming now because that message has only been on the market for one or two months, but I think it will be quite important for international acts,” says Frei. In Geneva, the 9,500-cap SEG Geneva Arena performs the corresponding role in Switzerland’s French-speaking centre, with Johnny Hallyday, Bruno Mars and Michel Sardou in the diary at the time of writing. Other diverse key spots include Geneva’s well-heeled Théâtre du Léman, Lausanne’s Les Docks and Zürich’s Kongresshaus and Komplex 457.
The Hallenstadion in Zürich remains the country’s most popular venue for live music
IQ Magazine July 2017
Coda agent Rob Challice attacks a hill during the New Forest Spring Sportive. Rob, along with Geoff Meall (UTA), Jan Chadwick (AEG Presents), Simon Taffe (End of the Road Festival), Kilimanjaro Live’s Stuart Galbraith and Carlo Scarampi will be joining War Child’s Richard Clarke and Jim Benner to raise money for the charity in the RideLondon-Surrey 100mile cycle on 30 July.
NEC Group staff presented stars of the Lionsgate-prod uced and distributed hit series Nashville with commemorative plaques to mark the opening night of their international tour at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on 9 June.
special Barry Dickins The staff at ITB all donned th birthday in April. 70 ’s man masks to mark the great Enjoying the Barcelona sunshine in a break between conference sessions at Primavera Pro were ILMC’s Greg Parmley, Fabien Miclet (Liveurope), Mark Davyd (Music Venues Trust), Audrey Guerre (Live DMA) and Matthieu Philibert (IMPALA).
Ed Sheeran’s agent Jon Ollier, of CAA, toasts the artist’s final show at The O2 arena in London with promoters Steve Tilley (Kilimanjaro Live) and Daniel Ealem (DHP Family).
Swiss Live Talents CEO François Moreillon was in Brighton during the great escape to witness Odd Beholder and One Sentence. Supervisor – both nominated for this year’s talent contest in November – perform sold-out showcases at the 400-capacity Komedia venue.
Glastonbury Festival stalwarts Sarah Neve, Challis and Casey Pur Ben kiss enjoy the calm bef ore the storm of the 200,000-c apacity event.
If you or any of your ILMC colleagues have any notices or updates to include on the noticeboard, please contact the club secretary, Gordon Masson, via firstname.lastname@example.org
IQ Magazine July 2017
“What one issue would you like the live entertainment industry to address at the moment?” Security is obviously an issue that needs to be addressed, but there is no template as every country and venue is different. The issue I think that seriously needs to be addressed is scalped tickets. It is outrageous that people can run a business doing this. It is unfair to everyone: the fans, the promoters, and especially to the artists, that tickets that cost a fan $200 are being on-sold for $1,000. Viagogo, Starhub, Ticketmaster and the other companies that are doing this should be stopped. Bring on mobile phone ticketing where it can be tracked. Coleen Ironside, Live Limited
As much as we as an industry may be targeted by a select few psychopathic individuals, we should promote the fact that we share the universal language of music and that we remain at the forefront of globalisation in the very best sense of the word. Georg Leitner, GLP
Redefining a community-centric approach to improving fans’ access to live, recorded and in-between experiences, keeping current affairs, geographical stress and rights management in mind - what is the new live format in the face of physical, geographical, legal barriers between fan and content? Elif Cemal, Positif Muzik
Clearly every venue from a pub to a stadium is reinforcing and reviewing their security arrangements. Politics for the next several months will be a mess. The entertainment industry is ultimately just bringing joy to people through music, comedy and theatre. What a privilege! Our focus has to be to continue to connect with all our customers, create great entertainment across the whole spectrum of our business, and put a smile on as many faces as possible. Neil Warnock, United Talent Agency
The live entertainment industry as a whole should continue to deliver entertainment in a professional manner, and should maybe put more emphasis on the cultural and social relevance, not only of what’s being presented on stage, but also of how the business side is run. The business could also benefit from a stronger self-cleansing capacity. Music, art and entertainment have the power to bring people together, to increase awareness of other cultures, and to create a more global understanding. The industry should strengthen its efforts to meet standards for corporate social responsibility. Rob Berends, Paperclip Agency
It seems to me that a rather excessive, even paranoid attention is given to artist safety. Excessive because artists are not soft targets. Terrorists primarily go for soft targets, and just about any entertainment event is a soft target – as is any crowded public place. And the focus of our attention needs to be the soft target – the public. But maybe there’s a nearly impossible deeper question. Are there ways the music industry could engage with alienated young Muslim men before a few of them turn to terrorism? Maybe it’s an absurd thought, but all the safety measures in the world won’t prevent attacks on soft targets as long as there are people wanting to commit those attacks and die in the process. Nick Hobbs, Charmenko
Research by LiveStyled suggests that over 93% of visitors to music and entertainment venues feel no value from being a returning customer. Why isn’t the industry doing more to reward its most valuable customers for their loyalty? James Chambers, LiveStyled
My question for the industry is simply: how do you prevent or prepare for the act of a mad man? Dan Steinberg, Emporium Presents
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IQ Magazine July 2017