Page 1

IQ

IL

C

Pu

73 blic

ation. Sep

20

An M

17

LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

tem

be

r

IT’S A HOT DAY IN ‘73 AND THIS IS MY WIFE AND MY KID WITH ME

Mike Greek at 50 Green Field Innovations The New Bosses 2017 Market Report: Norway Transport and Travel ISSUE 73


Contents

EVENT SAFETY & SECURITY SUMMIT

IQ Magazine Issue 73

Cover: Savages at OpenAir St. Gallen 2017 © Markus Diggelmann

Business and Analysis

6 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months 8 In Depth  Key stories from around the live music world 12 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 18 Techno Files Revealing the best new technology in live entertainment 19 Busy Bodies IQ’s page for industry associations to share business concerns and news

Features

20 E3S The inaugural Event Safety & Security Summit continues to shape up 22  New Bosses 2017 Our annual look at the cream of the crop demonstrates that the future live biz is in very safe hands 26 Green Field Innovations Eamonn Forde looks at the apps, gadgets, gizmos and thingamajigs taking festivals by storm

20

22

26

32 Greek Philosophy As he approaches his 50th birthday, we take a look at Mike Greek’s 25 years in the agency business 54 Kings of the Road, Air & Sea The logistics behind getting band, crew and gear from A to B 64 Market Focus: Norway Adam Woods shines a northern light on our viking friends in the land of the midnight sun

32

Comments and Columns

14 How Streaming Has Changed the Industry Chrysalis Records’ Chris Wright on live streaming 15 You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Till It’s Gone MP Michael Dugher warns of problems faced by small venues in the UK 16 The Brutal Simplicity of Thought Victor Cobos tells us how to create a successful event, and it has nothing to do with the line-up 17 Staying Up Longer Singer-songwriter Áine Duffy discusses the need for ambition and endurance 72 Members’ Noticeboard Keeping you posted on what ILMC delegates are up to 74 Your Shout We asked “What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever been told?”

IQ Magazine September 2017

54 64

3


Challenging Times Even though the live music business has rarely been healthier, obstacles remain, observes Gordon Masson In its latest financial report, Live Nation declared that revenues from its concert business had increased by a whopping 34% in its second quarter, compared to last year, with a record 7,000+ shows, and ticket sales of 24 million – up 5.5m year on year – driving concert revenue of $2.25billion (€1.87bn). It’s impressive stuff, and has pushed the company’s stock price above the $40 mark for the very first time.

Obviously, using Live Nation as a barometer for the industry isn’t entirely reliable, but anecdotally, the majority of people that the IQ team has spoken to in recent weeks at festivals and shows, suggest that 2017 could potentially be a record year. However, one major alarm bell is being rung by the UK’s Security Industry Authority, which is reporting a near-40% drop in the number of licences it is renewing for trained personnel, compared to four years ago (see page 9). Given the growing number of events, against a background of heightened security because of the threat of terrorism, the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association quite rightly warns that unless that situation can be addressed, it could severely impact safety standards at events in the future. Whether it’s an issue that’s happening elsewhere in the world remains to be seen, but it’s undoubtedly something that will be discussed at the inaugural E3S security conference (see page 20). And while the good times are rolling, the amount of money that unscrupulous secondary ticketing brokers are syphoning out of the market also needs to be taken more seriously – and those who choose to get into bed with such operators, purely because they can

make a buck or two, should really take a serious look at themselves. Although a number of promoters are waging war against the so-called legitimate touts, it’s a member of the general public who deserves the industry’s thanks. Claire Turnham setup the Victim of Viagogo Facebook group after the company attempted to overcharge her by an incredible £1,150 (€1,237) when she tried to purchase tickets for an Ed Sheeran gig. To date, Turnham’s efforts have helped disgruntled fans claim back more than £100,000 (€108,000) in the form of chargebacks and refunds from Viagogo – and that’s in just six months (see page 19). Indeed, if anyone is in any doubt about the dubious practices of such resale sites, I recently heard about a ticketbuyer who found that the £200 tickets she’d agreed to buy would actually cost her £400. Having complained to Viagogo that she could not afford them at such a ridiculous price, the company suggested that she put them back on the market – all the while earning them commission – and, of course, she would have to wait until after the show to recoup any of her money. I’m not naive enough to think that secondary will disappear: there are touts everywhere, not least outside football stadia in the UK, where the practice is illegal, but carried out in plain view of police officers. But if anyone who makes a living from live music thinks that such business models are helpful for the long-term prosperity of the industry, then it’s maybe time to stop lining your pockets thanks to the misery of others, do one, and move aside so that somebody with at least a modicum of moral fibre can take your place.

OLD TEXT

IQ Magazine September 2017

Issue 73 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE

THE ILMC JOURNAL, September 2017

IQ Magazine

Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH info@iq-mag.net www.iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag

Publisher

ILMC and Suspicious Marketing

Editor

Gordon Masson

News Editor Jon Chapple

Associate Editor Allan McGowan

Marketing & Advertising Director

Terry McNally

Design

Martin Hughes

Sub Editor

Michael Muldoon

Editorial Assistants

Imogen Battersby and Ben Delger

Contributors

Victor Cobos, James Drury, Michael Dugher, Áine Duffy, Eamonn Forde, Rhian Jones, Manfred Tari, Adam Woods, Chris Wright

Editorial Contact

Gordon Masson, gordon@iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303

Advertising Contact

Terry McNally, terry@iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0304

To subscribe to IQ Magazine: imogen@iq-mag.net An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).

5


News

In Tweets...

@iq_mag

TEG, the parent company of Australian ticketing giant Ticketek, establishes an Asian division following its acquisition of Malaysia’s TicketCharge. Dutch competition watchdog, the Authority for Consumers and Markets, gives online ticket agencies trading in the Netherlands until 1 October to comply with the legal requirement to include all additional fees in ticket prices. Cincinnati-based LISNR, the creator of an “ultrasonic communication protocol” used to transmit data via sound, enters a new partnership with Ticketmaster. The technology generates an inaudible tone that can be decoded by door staff using an app. Helsinki-based Fullsteam Agency acquires Rähinä Live, whose roster includes some of Finland’s biggest hiphop and pop artists. Aerial acrobat Pedro Aunión Monroy (42) falls to his death during a performance at Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival. Madison Square Garden Company agrees a booking and marketing partnership with Prudential Center, a 19,500cap. arena in New Jersey. Organisers of Electroland, the one-day EDM festival that made its debut at Disneyland Paris, reveal it will return next year after getting off to a “magical start.” Oak View Group, which counts Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke among its founders, completes its acquisition of Pollstar, adding the US-based concert business magazine to its portfolio of trade titles. Paytm, India’s biggest provider of digital payments, acquires a controlling stake in Insider.in, a ticketing platform backed by the country’s leading festival promoter Only Music Louder. Belgium’s Commission for the Protection of Privacy criticises police and local authorities for cancelling several Tomorrowland tickets after buyers’ details were checked against a national police database. Recorded music giant Warner Music

6

Lorde

JULY

Group acquires Songkick’s concertdiscovery app, website and Songkick trademark. The deal does not include the company’s ticketing business, which is in an on-going and expensive legal battle with Live Nation/Ticketmaster. More than one million tickets are sold for Ed Sheeran’s 2018 UK tour, with promoters Kilimanjaro Live, DHP Family and AEG revealing that 10,000 tickets have been invalidated after being touted on Viagogo. Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei tells investors of plans to leverage the company’s stake in Live Nation to bring more live music to Atlanta’s underconstruction entertainment district, The Battery. The district will include the SunTrust Park stadium, home to the Atlanta Braves baseball team. British Summer Time once again delivers double-digit growth for promoter AEG Presents, with a footfall of 450,000 fans across ten. Two UK shows by Olly Murs and a concert by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are cancelled at the eleventh hour after promoter, Stephen C Associates, goes into liquidation. Pia Corporation, which operates Japan’s leading ticket agency, Ticket Pia, announces plans to construct its own 10,000-capacity arena in Yokohama in response to a “venue shortage” in

Japan’s second city. The BBC announces The Biggest Weekend, a one-off, four-day event for 2018, to fill a gap left by Glastonbury’s fallow year. The event will take place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – from 25 to 28 May, with more than 175,000 tickets on offer. Telecoms giant O2 agrees a ten-year deal to retain the naming rights for the Academy Music Group’s network of 19 O2 Academy venues. Help Musicians UK launches Music Minds Matter, to raise funds for a new 24/7 mental-health service for those working in the music industry. Echo Arena Liverpool says it will begin hosting live events in the neighbouring Exhibition Centre Liverpool, increasing its capacity to 7,000. The first edition of Lollapalooza Paris is hailed as a success by promoter Live Nation France, despite fierce criticism from former culture minister Jack Lang who denounces it as an “invasion of the musical life of France by American multinationals.” Eyellusion, the creator of the hologram performances depicting the late Ronnie James Dio, announces 80 initial dates for Dio Returns: The World Tour. The Give a Home concert series, which will raise money for Amnesty Inter-

IQ Magazine September 2017


News

national’s refugee appeal, says the 20 September event now encompasses in excess of 500 concerts across more than 60 countries. Fans will pay £5/$5/€5 (or the local equivalent) for a lottery-ticket chance to win entry to the shows. More than 22,000 fans are evacuated safely from the Unite With Tomorrowland EDM festival in Barcelona, after fire destroys part of the main stage.

AUGUST

Former chief executive of UK Music, Jo Dipple, joins Live Nation as senior vice president public affairs. United Talent Agency closes its Toronto office, two years after acquiring it as part of its takeover of The Agency Group, leaving 23 staff out of work. Madison Square Garden Company makes a significant move into the e-sports sector by acquiring a controlling stake in Counter Logic Gaming. Irish promoter Peter Aiken tells fans to only buy tickets through official channels, after more than 90 people buy fakes to concerts for ZZ Top and Brian Wilson. Paradigm Talent Agency acquires Chicago – and California-based agency Monterey International, including its 14 agents and 200 acts. Victim of Viagogo campaigner, Claire Turnham, says she has helped disgruntled people claim back over £100,000 (€108,000) in refunds and bank chargebacks in six months (see page 19). Viberate – a blockchain-based marketplace that aims to “do for music what Airbnb did for tourism” – says it is gearing up for an initial coin offering of $12m (€10m) worth of Vibes, the first cryptocurrency aimed specifically at the live music industry. Live Nation-Hewitt Silva agrees a tenyear deal to exclusively promote nonclassical concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, beating a rival bid by AEG Presents. AEG-owned ticket agency AXS announces a series of new partnerships as part of its AXS Anywhere programme, including deals with Groupon, Goldstar, Gametime and Entertainment Benefits Group. Festival Republic launches ReBalance

– a funding scheme that aims to combat the “gender imbalance within the music industry” by providing free studio time and festival slots to female artists or female-led bands. A Vienna court rules that CTS Eventim Austria’s practice of charging delivery fees on tickets – including those printed at home – is illegal. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba launches a talent agency as it continues to invest in the global entertainment business. Members of the music community in Iran write to the country’s recently reelected president, Hassan Rouhani, to demand an end to the arbitrary cancellation of concerts under pressure from religious conservatives. Live Nation’s share price tops $40 (€34) for the first time, as the live entertainment giant reports Q2 2017 concert revenues of $2.25bn (€1.89bn), a 34% increase on last year. Self-service ticketing platform TicketWeb acquires US start-up Strobe Labs, a data and marketing platform for venues and promoters (see page 9). Popular Saudi singer, Abdallah Al Shahani, is arrested for ‘dabbing’ at a music festival – a dance move banned in Saudi Arabia for its supposed link to drug culture. Live Nation forms a new electronic music division, Live Nation Electronic Asia. Local promoter Jim Wong will head the operation. Arts Council England insists there is no culture of elitism at the organisation, despite allocating just 0.06% of its total funding to popular music venues in its latest round of grants. Ticketmaster partners with George Egloff’s Tixtec to expand into Switzerland, its 30th interntional territory (see page 9). Snapchat debuts its AI-powered Crowd Surf app during Lorde’s set at Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival (see page 28). Manchester Arena says it will reopen on 9 September with The We Are Manchester benefit, which will raise money for a memorial to the victims of May’s terror attack at the venue. Paradigm Talent Agency hires former UTA staffer Rob Zifarelli to open its first Canadian office in Toronto.

US ticketing platform Paciolan agrees a deal to buy TicketsWest and Broadway show producer WestCoast Entertainment from hotel operator RLH Corporation. Luiz Oscar Niemeyer is named as the leading promoter for Time For Fun, across Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. German live entertainment conglomerate DEAG buys a 60% stake in UKbased Flying Music Group (see page 8). Two die and more than 100 are injured at Zeltfest in Austria, when a severe storm causes a tent to collapse. The Association of Independent Festivals writes to the UK competition watchdog to protest Live Nation’s impending “dominance” of the UK festival market (see page 9). UK promoter DHP Family acquires land in Birmingham to construct a “characterful and creative” new venue. Primary Talent International director and agent Dave Chumbley passes away (see page 10). Six days after a terror attack in Barcelona, a gig by Allah-Las is cancelled in Rotterdam after Dutch police receive a warning from Spanish authorities. Elvis Presley Enterprises proposes to open a 6,200-seat theatre to fill a niche for a large venue in Memphis, Tennessee. German ticketing giant CTS Eventim says it generated revenues of more than €489m in the first half of 2017, bolstered by a record 20.4m digital ticket sales. Mary Cleary, a former booker, tour manager and travel agent, with clients including Prince, Iggy Pop and The Kinks, dies at the age of 68. UK-headquartered security firm, G4S, requests its removal from a lawsuit brought by survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida, saying it had no involvement in any aspect of shooter Omar Mateen’s employment.

To subscribe to IQ Magazine: imogen@iq-mag.net 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 September 2017

7


Analysis

Movers and Shakers The closure of UTA’s operations in Toronto has prompted a glut of new hires and strategic moves by rival firms. Veteran agents Ralph James and Jack Ross have been quickly appointed to head up a new Toronto office for the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), while former UTA colleagues Adam Kreeft and Rob Thornton joined Paquin Entertainment. Meanwhile, Paradigm Talent Agency announced that former UTA agents André Guérette, Adam Countryman and Rob Zifarelli have joined its new Toronto office, with Zifarelli leading the operation. StubHub is looking for a new chief executive following the promotion of its incumbent president, Scott Cutler, to senior VP, Americas, of eBay’s marketplace business. Geraldine Wilson, general manager of Amazon Tickets in the UK, has left the company “for personal reasons and to take some time off from full-time employment.” Brazil-based promoter Time for Fun (T4F) has promoted Luiz Oscar Niemeyer to its head of live music in South America. Having joined T4F last year, his new role will involve overseeing operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. Ticket Arena has appointed Lisa Brown as its client services director. Her previous employers include Ticketmaster, AXS and The Ticket Factory. Brendon Bainbridge, the former managing director of Ticketek New Zealand, is to relocate to Singapore later this year to head up the company’s new TEG Asia division. Replacing him at Ticketek NZ is Trina Tamati, most recently CEO of the NRL Auckland Nines rugby league competition. Independent Hong Kong-based promoter, Jim Wong, has joined Live Nation Electronic Asia to become the boss of the company’s new electronic music division. Guy Ngata, chief executive of New Zealand’s largest stadium, Eden Park, has announced that he is stepping down in November to become general manager of the underconstruction Dubai Arena, which will be managed by his former employer AEG Ogden. Live-streaming service, LiveXLive has launched talent development and management division Life Influencers and has named Amanda Cerny, Andrew Bachelor and Jake Paul among its management team. Former chief executive of UK Music, Jo Dipple, has joined Live Nation as senior vice president public affairs in an

DEAG Lines up Flying Future Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has bolstered its presence in the UK by acquiring a 60% stake in Flying Music Group, which specialises in promoting both stage shows and concerts. The deal, valued at £5million (€5.4m), allows DEAG chairman Peter

8

Schwenkow to achieve his ambition of acquiring another British-based promoter, having already secured controlling interests in Kilimanjaro Live and Raymond Gubbay Ltd. Last year, Schwenkow said that expansion in the UK was a priority because the market

international role, which will also see her representing Ticketmaster. Dipple, who spent eight years at UK Music, previously worked as a strategic advisor to the British Prime Minister, prior to which she enjoyed a successful career at newspaper publisher, Trinity Mirror. Michael Waterson, the British economist who led a government commissioned review of the UK secondary ticketing market, has joined the advisory board of Aventus Systems, the developer of a blockchain-based ticketing system. Industry veteran David Zedeck has joined United Talent Agency to oversee its global music business. Zedeck most recently was Live Nation’s executive vice president/president of global talent and artist development. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has appointed Mary Gu Shuhang as CEO of its newly formed CAA China division. A veteran sports exec, she most recently headed up the Special Olympics in East Asia. Kai Müller, the long-serving senior event manager/ programme co-ordinator at AEG’s Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, has exited the venue to launch a new consultancy business, Elbe Entertainment. Sheffield Arena, which claims to be the UK’s seventh mostvisited arena, has promoted Joe Waldron to the position of general manager. Waldron had been deputy GM for the past 11 years. He replaces Rob O’Shea, who has stepped down to focus on regional promotions business Manifesto Events. Eventbrite has launched in New Zealand and has tasked Brad McIntyre, its marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, with leading its operations. Booking agent Marlon Burton, whose roster includes Roots Manuva, grime duo Splurgeboys, up-and-coming MC Oscar #worldpeace, and soul singer/cellist Izzi Dunn, has joined independent UK agency ATC Live. The Music Managers Forum in the UK has named Diane Wagg of Deluxxe Management as chairperson. Nostromo Management’s Paul Craig becomes vice chair. Really Useful Theatres Group has appointed Vanessa Andreis to the newly created role of commercial partnerships director. She most recently served as executive director of Lime Communications, a brand partnerships agency, and previously spent 12 years at Warner Bros as director of promotions and partnerships. was “highly attractive” despite the Brexit decision. According to DEAG, Flying Music – whose current shows include Thriller Live, The Toxic Avenger: The Musical, The Kite Runner; and musicians John Mayall, Joe Brown and Midge Ure – had revenues of about €20m last year and has “been profitable since

its inception.” Following the acquisition, DEAG expects its UK revenues to top €100m in 2018. The theatrical and family entertainment markets remain a significant focus for DEAG, and the Berlin-based company says it may consider increasing its share in Flying Music “depending on its future business development.”

IQ Magazine September 2017


Analysis

LN/AEG Rivalry Takes New Twist its proposed acquisition of the Isle of Wight Festival. Then, on 23 August, LN itself turned to the authority when it shopped AEG over anti-competitive venue booking practices. The escalating war of words began when Azoff MSG Entertainment, led by former LN

Ticketmaster Buying Spree It was a busy August for Ticketmaster’s bankers and lawyers after the ticketing giant tied up significant deals in Europe and the US. First, the company’s selfservice ticketing platform, TicketWeb, acquired US start-up Strobe Labs, a data and marketing platform for venues and promoters.

Then, the company gained a foothold in its 30th country by securing a deal with Tixtec in Switzerland. Ticketweb says the acquisition of Strobe will give its clients “a simple and powerful way to learn more about their fans and engage them more effectively.” Strobe’s technology allows users to

UK Security Crisis

The prospect of growth for the UK’s live entertainment industry is in jeopardy following a sharp drop in the number of Security Industry Authority licences being reissued. Licence renewals have fallen almost 40% since 2013, according to a report published by the United Kingdom Crowd Management Association (UKCMA) – a situation that, if allowed to continue, could have a “dramatic” effect on safety at venues and large

events in the UK. “Given the on-going heightened security threat levels, the traditional government security services are heavily supplemented by private providers,” reads the report, which follows a February 2017 survey by the University of Derby (backed by UKCMA and the Football Safety Officers Association) that sought to explain the “diminishing numbers” of stewards in the UK. “The impact of diminishing

IQ Magazine September 2017

search and view customer profiles with ticket purchase history and social media activity; build and deploy fan lists for direct marketing and email campaigns; and create and post social-media campaigns without leaving the Strobe dashboard. It will later be rolled out across Ticketmaster proper. Ticketmaster sees Switzerland as a “key market with a

growing live entertainment business and significant venues.” A planned merger between Switzerland’s two current leading ticket agencies, Starticket and Ticketcorner, was blocked by the Federal Competition Commission in May 2017, and industry observers predict that Ticketmaster may now turn its attention to a merger with Starticket to bolster its local market share.

numbers of trained security personnel could be dramatic.” The report suggests that the event security sector “seems to be struggling with financial viability, which is impacting on pay and training budgets.”According to Showsec managing director Mark Harding, who chairs UKCMA: “The government needs to collaborate with industry authorities on an action plan to address the deficiencies in skills and numbers of security personnel. The private industry must have the capability and

capacity to meet not only ongoing business, but [also] any upsurge in demand caused by one-off incidents.” Mike Harding

Association of Independent Festivals urged the CMA to investigate Live Nation over anti-competitive behaviour in the festivals market. And it’s looking likely that the CMA might have to open an entire live music department, as it is already investigating LN over

The Forum in Los Angeles

Just when it seemed the icy relationship between Live Nation and AEG over venue bookings was thawing, the tale has taken another twist with LN making complaints about its rival to the UK’s Consumer and Markets Authority (CMA). On 21 August, the UK’s

chief, Irving Azoff, instigated a booking policy that required artists who wanted to play Madison Square Garden to also commit to shows at the LA Forum. That prompted AEG to insist that any acts wanting to perform at The O2 in London would have to confirm their LA shows at the Staples Center, rather than the Forum. Those restrictive policies seem to have been dropped after Azoff told Billboard that, “A show can play Staples Center and still play the Garden. […] You can still play the Garden no matter where you’ve played before.” At press time, AEG was still to formally confirm that it would drop its retaliatory block-booking deal, but with LN now lodging its CMA complaint, it’s believed that normal service should be resumed imminently.

9


Dave Chumbley 1960-2017 Dave Chumbley, director and booking agent at Primary Talent International, passed away on 22 August after a short illness. In a statement Primary said: “Dave was a great man, a world-class agent, esteemed director and colleague whose dedication to his artists was unmatched. We are extremely lucky to have been touched by his unique humour, exceptional kindness and infectious joie de vivre.” A charismatic and well-liked character, Dave left Warwick University in 1982 where he was cultural affairs officer, before working at The Agency Group and, briefly, Performing Arts Network. He later joined World Service before becoming one of the founding members of Primary Talent. “I was a music agent for 20 years – but it was not until I met Dave Chumbley that I found out what a real agent should be,” says manager Terry Blamey, with whom Dave worked for years representing Kylie Minogue. “Dedicated to his artists to a fault, Dave was responsible for many hugely successful careers in the world music industry. Lynn and I loved him like a brother, a dear friend, and we will miss him dreadfully. Our hearts go out to Rom, Raph and Tom.” Acts represented by Dave included Bloodhound Gang, Lana Del Rey, Dropkick Murphys, Rufus Wainwright, Gwen Stefani, No Doubt, Imogen Heap, Rebecca Ferguson, The Toy Dolls, and Tony Hadley.

George Akins, owner of DHP Family, describes Dave as a “great friend and supporter... He was instrumental in helping DHP family become the national promoter it is today, with key tours by Dropkick Murphys and Rufus Wainwright putting us on the map.” He adds, “A big hole is left in the music industry today. He was a true maverick who ripped up the rulebook and made sure he looked after his artists and supported the good guys. We will be forever in his debt.” Primary co-founder and former MD Martin Hopewell says, “I’m in a state of complete shock – as hundreds of people around the world who knew Dave must be at the moment. He was

such a larger-than-life character, and had such a massive impact on the live business, that this just doesn’t seem possible. “He was a generous, funny and intelligent man, but – most of all – for many of us he was a loyal and trusted friend. The live business is quite literally not going to be the same without him.” Among those paying tribute to Dave are artists Tony Hadley, Imogen Heap, New Model Army, The Toy Dolls, as well as numerous professionals from the live music industry around the world, whose testimonials can be found at www.iq-mag.net. Dave is survived by his wife, Romilly, and children, Raphaella and Tom.

Live Nation launches in Brazil Live Nation has headhunted former Time For Fun (T4F) chief Alexandre Faria Fernandes to lead its expansion into Brazil, as part of a drive to broaden its footprint in Latin America. Faria, who exited T4F in July, becomes LN Brazil’s director and senior vicepresident of talent buying.

10

During his 17 years at T4F (previously CIE Brasil), he worked on tours for U2, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, One Direction and Madonna, and festivals including Lollapalooza Brasil and Electric Daisy Carnival. Bruce Moran, Live Nation’s president of Latin America (to whom Faria

will report) is looking to ramp up the conglomerate’s activities in the continent, beginning in its largest live entertainment market. “Cities throughout Brazil are becoming key tour stops as more global artists visit their fans in Latin America,” states Moran. The knowledge, relationships

and passion Alexandre Faria displays for promotion make him a great asset to Live Nation as we continue to expand concert offerings to meet growing demand across Brazil.” Among the shows on Live Nation Latin America’s slate in 2017 are Coldplay, U2, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Sting, Metallica, Paul McCartney, Justin Bieber and Bon Jovi.

IQ Magazine September 2017


The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world Agent: Steve Backman. Primary Talent Hailing from County Wexford, brothers Cillian and Lorcan Byrne graduated with degrees in music and embarked on their own never-ending tour. Constantly on the road in Ireland, they have built up a formidable home grown following. Basciville took the plunge and released their first EP in 2016. Blues in Red received major critical acclaim for the way it fused their musical history, experience and skill with a sound that instantly captured the sense of a band soundtracking a world as it should be seen. 2017 has seen the duo cement this live reputation with a growing fan base and the release of their next piece of music: Diving Hour, which retains the sensibility of a band clearly at ease with their craft, but eager to comment on the world as they see it. Basciville have just announced an Irish tour and look forward to announcing their UK debut in the near future.

As the music developed, Nosaj Thing began playing live sets at LA’s experimental-music havens such as The Smell and the legendary Low End Theory club alongside Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer. After the breakthrough reception of his 2009 debut solo album Drift, he secured premier slots at Coachella, FYF Fest and other festivals and venues around the world, sharing stages with the likes of Toro Y Moi, and providing official remixes for everyone from Beck to Philip Glass.

Nosaj Thing

BASCIVILLE (IE)

Basciville

IQ Magazine hottest new acts - Sept 2017

NOSAJ THING (US)

Agent: Naomi Palmer, Earth Agency Jason Chung explores various binary flavours on Parallels, the fourth full album released under his distinctive moniker, Nosaj Thing. Masterfully dimensional, Parallels represents the acclaimed Los Angeles-based electronic producer/ composer/performer’s most diverse, vital work yet. Growing up in Los Angeles’ suburbs, Chung began making oddball beats in his bedroom on a PC, influenced by the twin musical poles of his native environment: 90s rave music and West Coast hip-hop spanning indie MCs to Dr. Dre’s G-funk.

12

This Month Last Month 1 4 2 14 3 5 4 10 5 13 6 32 7 7 8 9 41 10 11 11 12 12 35 13 52 14 27 15 31

ARTIST

BILLIE EILISH (US) JAX JONES (UK) DECLAN MCKENNA (UK) BROCKHAMPTON (US) JORJA SMITH (UK) ALVVAYS (US) J HUS (UK) A$AP TWELVYY (US) HER (FR) NONAME (US) GRETA VAN FLEET (US) A R I Z O N A (US) JAPANESE BREAKFAST (US) BIG THIEF (US) JUDAH AND THE LION (US)

Fastest growing artists based on online music consumption (across Facebook, Shazam, Songkick and Spotify).

PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT MONTH (Artists moving through database the quickest) BEDOUINE (US), SAHBABII (US), KANE STRANG (NZ), RHYS LEWIS (UK), CONFIDENCE MAN (AU)

IQ Magazine September 2017


Artist listings 24hrs (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Albuquerque (UK) Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Heulwen Keyte & Emily Robbins, UTA Alexis Ffrench (UK) Paul Buck, Coda Agency Au/Ra (ES) Matt Hanner & Adele Slater, Coda Agency Axel Flóvent (IS) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Bad Gyal (ES) Andy Duggan, Primary Talent BDY_PRTS (UK) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Best Ex (US) Tom Schroeder, Coda Agency BloodPop (US) Boy Azooga (UK) Liam Keightley, ITB Bruno Major (UK) Lucy Dickins, ITB Chris Meredith, ATC Live Catholic Action (UK) Martje Kremers, Primary Talent Charlotte de Witte (BE) Chris Smyth, Primary Talent Choir Vandals (US) CHON (US) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Colin Keenan, ATC Live Chris Robinson Brotherhood (US) Olly Hodgson, Coda Agency Cody Jinks (US) Dave Blackgrove, Coda Agency Cristoph (UK) Adele Slater, Coda Agency Crystal Castles (CA) Cubicolor (NL) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Cut Worms (US) Clemence Renaut, ATC Live Daniel Alexander (UK) Martin Mackay, Primary Talent David August (DE) David Exley, Coda Agency Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent DC (UK) Declan J Donovan (UK) Paul Buck, Coda Agency Earl Gateshead (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Elderbrook (UK) Michael Harvey-Bray & Dave Blackgrove, Coda Agency Sol Parker, Coda Agency Elle Watson (UK) Colin Keenan, ATC Live Esme Patterson (US) Naomi Palmer, Earth Agency Factory Floor (UK) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Faye Webster (US) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Figure Flows (UK) Olivia Sime, ITB Forever Cult (UK) Kane Dansie, Coda Agency Franc Moody (UK) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Free Throw (US) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Gaffa Tape Sandy (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent George Glew (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live GILA (US) Tom Dunne, ATC Live Here Lies Man (US) David Sullivan-Kaplan, UTA Hermitage Green (IE) Illyr (UK) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency In Search of Sun (UK) Olivia Sime, ITB Matt Bates, Primary Talent James Gillespie (UK) Jnthn Stein (US) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Sol Parker, Coda Agency Joel Baker (UK) Paul Buck, Coda Agency Joel Taylor (AU) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Joy Crookes (UK) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Kalm (UK) Phyllis Belezos & Lucia Wade, ITB Kiol (IT) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Life is Better Blonde (AU) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Lil Pump (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Lotto Boyzz (UK) Louisa Johnson (UK) Sol Parker, Coda Agency

IQ Magazine September 2017

New Signings & Risings Stars

Lydmor (DK) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Machinedrum (US) MadeinTYO (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Maleek Berry (UK) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Colin Keenan & Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Mandolin Orange (US) Mansionair (AU) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Wesley Doogan, Primary Talent Martin Luke Brown (DE) Chris Smyth, Primary Talent Maybe April (US) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Mikaela Davis (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Mitch James (NZ) Nick Reddick, Primary Talent MJ Cole (UK) Steve Zapp, ITB Morgan Heritage (US) Paul McQueen, Primary Talent NGHTMRE (US) Ninajirachi (AU) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Noga Erez (IL) Ocean Grove (AU) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Tom Schroeder, Coda Agency Oliver Tree (US) Olivia Holt (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Promiseland (IT) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Ratboys (US) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Rein (SE) Tobbe Lorentz, UTA Remo Drive (US) Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Richard Spaven (UK) Sinan Ors, ATC Live Natasha Bent, Coda Agency Ruby Empress (SE) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Sarah Darling (US) Sinjin Hawke (CA) Paul McQueen, Primary Talent Mike Malak, Coda Agency Ski Mask the Slump God (US) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Sleeper (UK) Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Sofi Tukker (US) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Sons of Raphael (XX) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Stella Donnelly (AU) Adele Slater, Coda Agency The Babe Rainbow (AU) Natasha Bent & Tom Schroeder, Coda Agency The Blaze (FR) Isla Angus, ATC Live The Fernweh (UK) Tina Guo (CN) Heulwen Keyte, Emily Robbins & Darcy Gregoire, UTA Mike Malak, Coda Agency Trinidad Cardona (US) Clementine Bunel & Cecile Communal, ATC Live Tshegue (FR) Paul Buck, Coda Agency Tuvaband (NO) Olly Hodgson, Coda Agency Tyler Childers (US) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Typhoon (US) Sol Parker, Coda Agency Whinnie Williams (UK) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Woodes (AU) Andy Duggan, Primary Talent WWWater (BE) Mike Malak, Coda Agency XXXTentatcion (US) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Yehan Jehan (UK) Tom Schroeder, Coda Agency Zedd (RU) Paul McQueen, Primary Talent Zora Jones (AT)

13


Comment

How streaming has changed the industry Chris Wright, the renowned founder of Chrysalis Records, opines on the effects streaming has had on the music business, and the live industry in particular.

I

n March this year, Ed Sheeran broke the UK Singles Chart top 20 record when, thanks to his streaming figures, his songs occupied 16 places in the list. It’s just one example of the dramatic way that streaming has changed the music industry. At a time when sales of CDs and CD players were starting to decline, streaming suddenly emerged as the dominant way for people to consume their music. Record labels may have had to change what tracks they release, how they release them and how they market them, but in many cases streaming has kept them profitable. For some, like Warner Music Group, streaming has become the most important source of revenue. For others, it’s making them more money than ever before. You might think that with the greater ease of access to music that streaming has brought about, that attendance at live events would be in decline. After all, attendance at cinemas is dwindling as people increasingly choose to watch films on their TVs, computers or smartphones. But in the case of live music, the opposite has happened. In fact, according to UK Music’s Wish You Were Here study, audience attendance at concerts and festivals in the UK is up to a record 30.9million annually. The live sector is one of the most vibrant and profitable parts of the music industry, and it is through ticket sales and merchandise that most musicians generate the majority of their revenue. This may have something to do with the effect streaming has had on the profits of individual artists. Streaming has complicated the way they make money, and reduced the total amount they earn to the extent that some artists, such as Taylor Swift, have tried to boycott streaming altogether. Swift famously pulled her music off Spotify and refused to allow Apple to offer music from her latest album. It may have been a shrewd PR move (her eventual return to streaming was covered by every major newspaper and website) but it’s no secret that one of the challenges facing streaming services

“Organisers understand that the advantage they have over streaming services is that they offer not just music but an experience.”

14

and record labels is appeasing and alleviating the fears of artists while still offering tracks cheaply to their customers. It’s also to the credit of festival and concert organisers that they’ve thrived in the new musical environment. These organisers understand that the advantage they have over streaming services is that they offer not just music but an experience, and they’ve looked to improve all the elements that together make live music an experience, such as the stage design, the lighting and the pyrotechnics. At the same time, they’ve managed to keep the price of tickets at an affordable (though increasing) level. An all-day festival in the UK costs between £50 (€57) and £100 (€113); a single standing ticket to see Drake costs £110 (€125).

“Despite the improving health of the live music industry on the whole, for some festivals, making a profit is no longer a given.” But can this model endure? With the proliferation of outdoor festivals comes the fact that the market is getting pretty saturated. There has been a sharp fall in the amount of money that is spent at smaller venues (those with a capacity below 1,500). In London, where costs are rising, licensing is strict, and property developers wield a lot of power, these venues have declined in number by 35%. With more and more festivals coming on stream, it is the artists who are benefiting most: they are now able to up their fees while different festivals compete to secure their presence. And despite the improving health of the live music industry on the whole, for some festivals, making a profit is no longer a given. One or two of the existing festivals are beginning to pull up stumps. This will be the last year of the Secret Garden Party, for example, and there are rumours that other longestablished festivals might not appear next year. As the figures show, live music has more than weathered the changes to the wider music industry. The live market has always been a valuable revenue generator for established artists, and this will always be the case. Nevertheless, the future may not look so bright for smaller festivals and small music venues. Their fate remains to be seen.

IQ Magazine September 2017


Comment

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Till It’s Gone CEO of UK Music and former MP Michael Dugher discusses the overall good health of the industry but warns of the problems besetting small venues.

“Y

ou don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone…” The lyrics to Joni Mitchell’s 1970 hit Big Yellow Taxi could equally apply to live music in the UK today. Overall, the live music industry is in excellent health. As our new report Wish You Were Here 2017 revealed in July, the number of people at live music events in 2016 rose 12% to 30.9million. Live music tourism fans generated £4billion (€4.5bn) in direct and indirect spending last year as they flocked to concerts and festivals across the UK. When I was a local MP, I helped establish a metropolitan music festival as patron of Live in Barnsley. This fantastic free event provides a stage for over 160 acts at 18 venues. It is also the biggest pay-day of the year for local pubs and bars. But despite events like that across the country, there is an undeniable threat to smaller and grassroots music venues that is putting the whole ecosystem of the live music industry in danger. That threat comes from developers, soaring business rates and overly restrictive licensing rules. Almost all of today’s big stars from Adele to Ed Sheeran started out at small venues. Lose the grassroots venues and we will lose the big stadium-filling acts of the future. Given that backdrop, I was astonished that Arts Council England has just rejected the Music Venue Trust’s application for funding – a charity set up to defend the interests of small and grassroots venues. Beverley Whitrick from the Music Venue Trust, one of Music UK’s members, reported that the UK is now “in a critical position with venues.”

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” The Arts Council gave £367m (€415m) to music. But when you look at where the money goes, it’s the same old story – 85% went towards opera and classical music and institutions like the Royal Opera House. I’m not saying that opera and classical music shouldn’t receive public funding, but it is scandalous that the Music Venue Trust’s bids of only £0.5m (€0.6m) were rejected. Since 2007, London has lost 35% of its grassroots music venues. Elsewhere, clubs such as the Sheffield Boardwalk and

IQ Magazine September 2017

The Cockpit in Leeds, where Amy Winehouse played, have already shut down. Dozens more are under threat, particularly in London where developers are always keen to pounce on potentially lucrative sites. The danger to small and grassroots venues is revealed in the Wish You Were Here report. The figures show a 13% drop in the level of direct spending at smaller music venues (those with a capacity of under 1,500) in 2016, and a 21% fall in the number of overseas visitors to smaller venues. In London, the picture is even more worrying. The amount spent by music tourists at smaller venues in the capital fell by 16% to £65m (€74m) in 2016. According to research commissioned by the Mayor of London, 21 grassroots venues are at risk of closure due to business rate increases. That’s why at UK Music we are pushing the Government to adopt the Agent of Change principle on a statutory basis. Which would mean that those responsible for change are also responsible for handling the impact of that change. Put simply, that means that if a new block of flats is built close to an established live music venue, the building’s developers would have to pay for soundproofing and any required noisereduction measures. Equally, we will be pressing the Government to make sure the impact of Brexit does not damage our export trade or make it harder for UK artists to tour abroad and for overseas acts to come here. However, despite the obvious challenges facing the industry, there is a lot to celebrate when it comes to live music. The increase in the number of music tourists visiting live music events in the UK last year provided a big boost to employment. In 2016, a total of 47,445 full-time jobs were sustained by music tourism in the UK – a 22% increase on the 2015 figure of 39,034. Our message is simple: if you value live music, join us in the fight to preserve the brilliant and vibrant industry that we all love. In  Big Yellow Taxi, Joni Mitchell also sang: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” With remarkable prescience, the lyrics could be applied today to some of our cherished, smaller grassroots music venues. If the whole music community rallies together – creators, investors and, most importantly, music fans – we can ensure that live music in Britain is protected and continues to prosper in the future.

15


Comment

The Brutal Simplicity of Thought Victor Cobos, founder and CEO of Madrid-based M&C Saatchi Sponsorship, explains his approach to creating a successful customer experience at festivals beyond the artist line-up.

I

n January 2016, a festival promoter called me to a meeting to discuss sponsorship for Mad Cool, a massive new festival scheduled to take place in Madrid. It was an enormous challenge, attempted by many before, and so far, achieved by none. Since the early 2000s, Spain had become ‘the land of summer festivals,’ with 851 outdoor events attracting 3.5million spectators in 2016, and with +15% growth compared to the previous year. Mad Cool 2016 reached the very respectable figure of 35,000 attendees for each of its three days, with legendary rockers The Who, and Neil Young providing the headline slots. But what made it such a unique event (it won Best New Festival in the 2016 edition of the European Festival Awards) was that along with a stellar line-up, it focussed on the customer experience from the very beginning. Our launch campaign known as “The Speaker Boy” had a great impact nationwide and foretold of a distinctive new festival that would combine a Coachella-type experience with a truly cosmopolitan flavour. For this project, M&C Saatchi Sponsorship was hired to implement a ‘brutal simplicity of thought’ approach, not only on the creative side but also with regard to sponsorship services.

“Nowadays, promoters are faced with the challenge of creating a distinctive event, a brand in itself, where the customer experience is a key element of an event’s success. Whilst the line-up is important, it’s not enough, in my experience, to guarantee a successful festival.” But how do we implement this approach within our industry? Nowadays, promoters are faced with the challenge of creating a distinctive event, a brand in itself, where the customer experience is a key element of an event’s success. Whilst the line-up is important, it’s not enough, in my experience, to guarantee a successful festival.

16

The phrase ‘brutal simplicity of thought’ sums up M&C Saatchi’s approach, and has its origins in Bertrand Russell’s masterpiece The Conquest of Happiness, in which Russell explains that happiness can only be achieved by “the painful necessity of thought.” The phrase expresses our distaste for waffle and vagueness, and a strong preference for getting to the point. For many years, this phrase has acted like a threshing machine, separating the intellectual wheat from the chaff. It reminds us that simplicity is the outcome of technical subtlety; that it is the goal, not the starting point. Now more than ever, because people are busier than ever, a precis is a modern form of good manners. So how does this concept relate to the sponsorship industry? Is there a simple word to define sponsorship? The answer to both of these questions is ‘credibility.’ Up until the early 80s, sponsorship focussed on gaining exposure and improving awareness, or, in other words: logoflashing. Even today we find corporate sponsors competing for consumers’ attention – and ultimately their purchasing decisions – while maintaining the notion that size is what matters the most. Then came the mid-80s and early 90s and an era characterised by fast-paced sponsorship based on obtaining short-term benefits. This short-lived trend mostly disappeared when the new model took its place. Sponsors then started to look at brand integration, implementing it with better processes and documenting results more efficiently. Fast forward a few years and a very different model of sponsorship arrived. In the past, sponsors concentrated on creating bonds with events, rather than with their target markets. Today’s customers, who are exposed to thousands of logos every minute of every day, don’t even notice them anymore. We are now working on a revised, evolved model that no longer puts the focus on direct gains, but on what we can offer. The focus is no longer on the brand or the event, but on the customer and their experience. Nowadays, our brands position themselves next to their potential customers, sharing their passions and using their event to recreate meaningful and long-lasting memories. We make this connection with credibility – a meaningful gesture, a sharing of values, or a way for your market to become part of the event. Advertising targets the consumer using visual impact and a ‘please like me’ approach, whereas sponsorship touches their soul with a ‘we love music too, and that’s why we are here with you, making this awesome experience possible’ approach.

IQ Magazine September 2017


Comment

Staying Up Longer Singer-songwriter Áine Duffy from West Cork, Ireland, explains what it takes for an ambitious artist to keep touring and build their reputation.

I

am a touring musician, writer, and performer. I started playing gigs in pubs at the age of fifteen. While beautiful Cork is the perfect location for writing, it doesn’t have the advantages of Dublin, where there are many more opportunities for making good connections. Of course, having money previous to entering the music industry is a massive benefit, but I’m not sure for how long, if you don’t have the drive, motivation and talent to back it up. Travelling to other countries with your music can also help you gain respect in your home country. I did this and attracted a following in many cities; working and playing everywhere I could and building up a mailing list. Being Irish, I made a point of making music my business in Ireland. I play support solo slots too, but my main area that is working out is my partnership with the artist known as The Hypnotyst. We are rebranding ourselves as Little Grit, which is easier to pronounce, market and sell. I play electric guitar and sing, whilst The Hypnotyst plays synths. Our transport costs are minimal, and our sound-checks are fast, leading to more stage time. Originally we played everywhere from buses and private parties, to art galleries, barbershops and bookshops.

“Having money previous to entering the music industry is a massive benefit, but I’m not sure for how long, if you don’t have the drive, motivation and talent to back it up.” Essentially, we could be in front of a crowd and let them make up their own mind as to whether they liked us. We built up a fanbase and with so many gigs we developed our sound to a market where people are dancing and having fun. We can perform any night of the week. We specifically target markets and venues that we think will appreciate our music, and tend not to bother with those that aren’t appropriate for us. A friend once told me that “you have to make a long runway to stay up longer.” He was right.


Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...

Liveforce

IndieNinja

Having previous experience in the event industry, the developers behind Liveforce were all too aware of the complexities involved in dealing with multiple spreadsheets, a creaking CRM, endless hours spent on the telephone, and the tedious chore of contacting freelancers via public job boards. Frustrated that there was not an integrated system to make life easier for event organisers and freelancers, the team set about creating Liveforce, which they claim allows users to be more responsive to clients, improves relationships with freelancers, and automates a number of time-consuming processes. “Liveforce lets us share information within the agency – try that with Excel,” states company founder Greg Lusk. “However, it keeps valuable freelancer information confidential to us.” Using Liveforce software, contacting freelancers no long-

er requires checking job boards against in-house contact lists, then contacting individuals to check their availability. “These kinds of processes – the ones you use all day, every day – are integrated and automated,” continues Lusk. “What could take hours, now takes just a few minutes. And, for freelancers, we’ve got a wonderful mobile app that takes care of everything from registration, through applying for jobs, to submitting timesheets and tracking payments.” The technology has already been adopted by Scandinavia’s biggest event agency, Just Cruzin’ Production, Norwegian communications agency We Are Live, and is attracting interest internationally from organisations as diverse as a South African modelling agency to a festival organiser in the USA. Additionally, Liveforce has been shortlisted in the best new technology start-up category at this year’s Event Technology Awards.

Launched as a new services marketplace for the independent music community, IndieNinja is designed to foster simple, reliable connection in the music industry by putting ‘indies’ (artists, managers and labels) in touch with a network of ‘ninjas’ (marketing and promotion experts, accountants, attorneys and road crew.) The venture is the brainchild of Bill Wilson, Laurens Kusters and Constantine Mavromoustakos, who identified the need for a central marketplace, based on their own experience in the industry. Previously, Wilson founded Blackout! Records; Kusters worked as a label executive, publisher and manager; and Mavromoustakos worked in tech and mobile development. “We saw lots of friends posting on social media about needing help for publicity, legal and other essentials, and decided to do something

about it, to create a proper marketplace to connect verified experts to those that need their services,” explains Kusters. “Knowing that you have a qualified rock publicist in North America, a guitar tech in Germany, or a t-shirt designer that understands metal – that’s where IndieNinja comes to the rescue.” The company is currently based in New York and will focus on providing connections within the North American and European independent music communities during its initial phase. Now live, the company requests that potential indies and ninjas register at Indie. ninja. Among the experts already signed up to IndieNinja’s advisory board are: Aileen Atkins, Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt, Bryan Calhoun, Bill Campbell, Doug Keogh, Larry Miller, Neeta Ragoowansi, Benji Rogers, Tom Sarig, Kurt Soto and Ken Umezaki.

OnBeat

OnBeat’s team boasts impressive industry experience with Jack Howell, co-founder of DJ Mag Spain at the helm, commenting, “There is a gap in the market to create interactive festival guides that are both innovative but also good value for money for event companies. Festivalgoers are increasingly planning their lives and communicating through their mobile devices. Our apps represent this natural evolution. Through economies of scale, OnBeat can collate feedback from us-

ers to further improve the app and ensure that costs for event organisers remain low.” OnBeat’s developers believe their apps should be used as a communication tool before and after the event too. They can be used by festival organisers to build excitement prior to an event, and to showcase certain artists and encourage users to listen to their SoundCloud or purchase their latest release. Meanwhile, once the festival has finished, organisers can keep users active on the app

with promotional offers and post-event videos, driving advertising revenue and marketing any future events.

The boffins behind musicevent app-business, OnBeat, have launched a new service for event organisers that allows them to create affordable, bespoke festival-guide apps for iOS and Android users. Through shared technology, OnBeat says that festivals are able to create their own customised apps that both look and feel amazing to use, but at a fraction of the normal cost.

Do you have a new product or technology to contribute to this page? Email gordon@iq-mag.net to be considered for the next issue…

18

IQ Magazine September 2017


BUSY BODIES News fr om live music associations ar ound the world

East European Music Conference

MVT Vows to Continue Campaigning

Romanian concert promoters’ association AROC used the backdrop of ARTmania Festival to launch the inaugural East European Music Conference (EEMC) in July. Many international guests travelled to the Transylvanian capital of Sibiu for the event, one aim of which was to enhance meaningful dialogue between the live music business and government. Despite the mass resignation of Romania’s government shortly before EEMC took place, organisers secured the participation of a number of high-ranking officials, not least from the country’s emergency services, who were given insight into best practices in other European territories, and practical ways in which live events can be improved. “The first edition was really productive and the feedback has been really positive,” says AROC president and EEMC

Vulcu. founder Codruța “We’ve already had university music courses pledging to make EEMC attendance a mandatory part of the student curriculum, while the participation of the Romanian authorities is also set to increase at next year’s conference.” The EEMC examined the duties and responsibilities of state authorities, as well as international taxation and marketing strategies for large-scale events. Crucially, in a country that has suffered two devastating nightclub fires in recent years, a large part of the schedule was devoted to safety and security. “The education elements of EEMC worked really well and we’re determined to build on these foundations to make this into a key annual event, for everyone who wants to improve the industry throughout Eastern Europe and beyond,” says Vulcu.

The Music Venue Trust (MVT) has come out fighting after Arts Council England’s astonishing decision to reject their funding pleas – a move that has prompted widespread condemnation from the industry and prominent politicians. Whereas governments in the likes of Germany, Norway and France give financial support to their grassroots venue sectors, similar endeavours in the UK have frustratingly attracted almost no investment from sources of cultural sector support, with less than 3% of small venues receiving grants or funding, and less than 1% receiving capital funding. That’s why MVT last year announced its Sound + Vision plan to improve 101 grassroots music venues over a five-year period. And although Arts Council England bizarrely declined to help fund the project, MVT has identified alternative routes to pursue in

order to potentially deliver a national programme through a series of capital funds aimed at specific regions. With both the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund and the Good Growth Fund, which was instigated by the Mayor of London, MVT is confident it can bring together clusters of venues to make bids for these funds. “We have already confirmed significant partnership funding from the music industry to make these projects a sound financial investment,” says MVT chief executive Mark Davyd. “The UK’s grassroots music venues are a goldmine of talent worth billions of pounds in future revenue, tourism, copyright and performance royalties,” he adds. “But they are vastly undervalued, underfunded and ignored. The UK deserves and needs a worldclass grassroots venue circuit to ensure we remain a world leader in music.”

#fairgogo

resale market and interviewed a number of Viagogo customers who claim they had been mis-sold tickets via the site and were struggling to obtain refunds. Watchdog also highlighted the company’s aggressive marketing techniques and received clarifications from Trading Standards authorities that Viagogo’s interpretation of UK consumer law is “incorrect.” In the six months since

it launched, Victim of Viagogo’s #fairgogo campaign has helped return more than £100,000 to disgruntled customers in the form of chargebacks and refunds. Adam Webb, campaign manager for FanFair Alliance, comments, “We continue to hear from ticketbuyers who are extremely frustrated when seeking redress from Viagogo, which is why FanFair has teamed up with Claire Turnham to

produce some comprehensive guidance to help them secure a refund.” Turnham adds, “It’s not an easy process but it is possible to claim your money. Indeed, having been supported by Ed Sheeran’s management and promoters, Turnham’s advice is already proving useful for fans that purchased tickets for his 2018 tour, with banks issuing more than £45,000 in chargebacks in less than one month.

The UK’s FanFair Alliance is stepping up its campaign against industrial-scale ticket touting by teaming up with campaigner Claire Turnham, founder of the Victim of Viagogo Facebook group, to produce guidance that assists consumers with obtaining refunds from secondary ticketing sites. Recently, the BBC’s Watchdog investigated the

Does your association have any news or issues to share? Email gordon@iq-mag.net to be considered for the next edition of IQ...

IQ Magazine September 2017

19


EVENT SAFETY & SECURITY SUMMIT

The Event Safety & Security Summit ILMC’s new security-focused conference is shaping up as renowned security, venue and event experts get involved… ILMC’s new Event Safety & Security Summit (E3S) will bring together a host of representatives from major international venues; touring and sporting professionals; and leading security experts, for a packed day of intense discussion, networking and analysis. If you’re in any way involved in security at live shows, run a venue, or hold an event, then you won’t want to miss the inaugural edition of E3S. Produced in close collaboration with the European Arena Association, the UK’s National Arena Association, and numerous other leading organisations, E3S will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel at The O2 in London on 10 October 2017. In light of the recent spate of terrorist attacks carried out at venues across Europe, the motivation behind the event is to help develop and promote best practice in the industry, and for venue

operators and other professionals to share information that will benefit everyone and keep artists, audiences and crew safe. E3S will combine presentations, wider panel discussions and keynote addresses, with topics ranging from behavioural detection, crowd dynamics and search/ screening, to risk assessment, terror methodologies and the latest technologies. “It is imperative that we continually and collectively identify and understand best practice in these areas, and E3S gives us precisely this opportunity, alongside other venues and industry experts,” says NAA chair Martin Ingham. If you are interested in attending this event, please email e3s@ilmc.com or telephone +44 (0) 203 743 0301 for further information.

Presentations

More presentations will be announced in the run up to E3S, but those confirmed so far include...

Behavioural Detection & Security Awareness

High Footfall Screening for Events & Festivals

Presenter: Andy Palmer (Border Security Lead, Gatwick Airport) Under the direction of Andy Palmer, Gatwick Airport’s Behavioural Detection Team has become known as the leader in its field. Andy will present key learnings on utilising behavioural detection specialists alongside an increased security awareness for all staff in a critical national infrastructure/crowded place environment.

Search and screening measures range from the gold standard of airport-style screening (which is both impractical and inappropriate for most events) to the do-nothing approach. But what other options are available for proportionate and cost-effective, middle ground screening measures, and how best can they be employed in the current security climate? The presentation will be given by a UK government security specialist and will challenge and encourage delegates to consider what can be done, whilst focusing on minimising the risk of mass casualty attacks.

Advances in Festival Security Presenter: Chris Kemp (MOM Consultancy) Chris Kemp reviews attack methodologies that have been encountered at festivals and open-air events, and presents a case study of Denmark’s Roskilde Festival. From unique hostile vehicle mitigation, to how the event links with police and alternates search methodologies, and provides a highly innovative and progressive example of interoperability.

Crowd Dynamics at Venues, Events & Festivals Presenter: Simon Ancliffe (Movement Strategies) In this presentation, Simon will describe some of the risks to safety arising specifically from the presence of high-density crowds, when they occur, and how they can be managed.

10 October 2017 @ Intercontinental London, The O2 www.e3s.world • e3s@ilmc.com • +44 (0) 20 3743 0300 20

IQ Magazine September 2017


Panel Discussions

The provisional line-up of panels is below, but if you have any ideas or suggestions regarding speakers or topics, please let us know... we’d love to hear from you.

The 3 Ps: Preparation, Planning & Prevention

The 3 Rs: Reaction, Response & Recovery

Chair: Ian Kerr (ID Resilience) Pre-event planning is the key to a safe event. From understanding the five current terror methodologies to anticipating new methods of attack, or planning sufficient variation of security protocols to prevent predictability, there’s always more to consider. The first E3S session invites a series of expert speakers to discuss how best to set-up clear communication channels between police, local authorities, event stakeholders, security and the artist/s.

Chair: Carl A H Martin (cahm.uk) When the unthinkable happens, the immediate reaction of security, police and staff is crucial, and the timeline for recovery is linked intrinsically to those initial moments. Will previous emergency planning exercises ensure that security, staff and others respond as planned? While considerable time and resources are rightly spent on prevention, there are some who believe more focus should be given to the reaction and response phase of an incident.

Rings of Steel: Securing Your Event Chair: Roger Gomm This panel will consider the operational measures that venues and event organisers can take, from employing behavioural experts and explosive-detection dogs, to hostile vehicle mitigation. What options are currently available, and what new technologies will be shortly coming to the market?. Outside the venue, how far can security perimeters stretch and with mixed land use and ownership, where does responsibility end? Inside, how best can we ensure that deliveries, contractors, inbound productions and staff are kept safe and secure?

Registering For E3S

The Delegates

The Show Goes On: Moving Forward Together Chair: John Langford (The O2 Arena) With the threat of an attack or incident an on-going concern, what sort of reality should venues and event organisers be preparing for? This final panel will consider what security at live events might look like in the future, and – possibly the most pertinent question of all – who will pay for it? From tighter procedures to more publicly visible protocols, there’s now an expectation from the audience to live up to. And beyond individual events and venues, should there be a collective industry response?

E3S is an invitation-only event for venue operators, touring and sport professionals and security experts. To receive your invitation please email E3S@ilmc.com. In order to make E3S accessible for all, a full delegate pass costs just £150 and includes:

• Access to all panels, presentations and conference sessions • A conference guide containing features and the contact information of all delegates • A five-star working lunch • Coffee & tea breaks • A closing drinks party

Companies already confirmed to attend E3S include Live Nation, Mojo Concerts, NEC Group Arenas, SEC, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park festivals, Barclaycard Arena (Hamburg), Feld Entertainment, Rockhal, Royal Albert Hall, The SSE Arena Belfast, G4S, Integro Insurance, Arena Riga, Association of Independent Festivals, The Ahoy, Gatorade Centre Finland, ACC Liverpool, St Jakobshalle Basel, and many more...

IQ Magazine September 2017

21


WITH THIS BEING THE TENTH ANNUAL NEW BOSSES FEATURE, we’ve witnessed many past winners go on to actually become bosses - although this year’s crop already includes company leaders. The selection process for this year’s New Bosses shortlist was fiercer than ever, but the calibre of young professionals that are helping to improve the entertainment industry around the world underlines the maturity of the live music sector in particular and its ability to attract some of the brightest and the best.

Gordon Masson Editor

Anna-Sophie Mertens Promoter, Live Nation (UK)

Anna-Sophie Mertens

Zoe Swindells

Ryan Penty

Andrés Guanipa Figueredo

Summer Marshall

Matt Harrap

Connie Shao

Christine Cao

Sam Wald

Ben Mitha

Age 30

HAILING FROM HAMBURG, ANNA-SOPHIE completed a BA in music, theatre and entertainment management at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in the UK. During her studies, she also worked on projects including Rock am Ring and Rock im Park. She joined Live Nation UK in 2008 as a freelance promoter rep, but in 2015 became a promoter in her own right, working with talent such as Sigrid, Lewis Capaldi, Ariana Grande, John Mayer, Emeli Sandé, Ward Thomas, The Cadillac Three, Greta Van Fleet, Billy Lockett, Joy Crookes, Isaiah Rashad and many more. Was it a difficult decision to move to London?

I didn’t have much of a choice. I stopped by Live Nation’s office for a coffee on Friday afternoon and next thing I know I was offered a temp role starting immediately. I went back to Liverpool, packed a suitcase and was living in London three days later. What are you currently working on?

Wrapping up the last few tour on-sales for 2017 and plotting the next steps for acts like Sigrid; If 2017 is anything to go by, she is going to have an incredible 2018! Would you encourage people to study at university before coming into the live music industry?

I had the best three years in Liverpool and you gain access to an incredible network of people. I continue to bump into alumni, and because you shared the same experience at LIPA they are more inclined to help you out, put you in touch with someone, or point you in the right direction. What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?

More of what I am doing now.

22


Zoe Swindells Programming manager, The O2 (UK)

Age 25

ZOE’S LOVE OF MUSIC LED HER TO THE University of Salford in the UK, where she graduated with a first-class honours degree specialising in music production and music business. Directly after her degree, she moved to London where she landed a position managing recording studios. At The O2, Zoe started out as programming assistant, gradually taking on more responsibility until she was promoted to programming manager in October 2016. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to find a career in the live music industry?

If you can’t find someone to give you experience, make it yourself! Organise a gig, produce a band, network and make friends with as many people as possible. Just put yourself out there.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned todate about being an agent?

Get the money in early! How competitive is it being an agent?

You need to be on acts really early now. Being an agent is becoming more and more about scouting new talent and that’s definitely a strength of Coda. Who do you turn to for advice?

There is no better mentor than Alex Hardee. He’s done it all, seen it all, told some terrible jokes, and still come out on top. If you had to choose one highlight from your career, so far, what would it be?

I’m really proud of how I’ve helped Coda to become the company it is today. It is forward thinking, constantly adapting to the changing industry, and a real testament to all the hard work everyone puts in daily.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Witnessing the growing buzz of the crowd, from when they walk into the arena to the point the house lights dim and the show begins. Nothing beats the power of that one song bringing the artist and audience together – it’s such a ‘goose bump’ moment. What do you see yourself doing in five years’ time?

As long as I’m happy and still working in music in five years, that’s all that matters to me! Is there any practice that you would like to introduce to improve the way the business is done?

I really like the ReBalance project, aimed at female musicians and audio engineers. I’d love to promote and encourage similar initiatives across the whole of the music industry. Where is your favourite small venue and which dream act would you like to see playing there?

It has to be Islington Assembly Hall and my dream act to have seen there would have been Jeff Buckley. However, Portishead might be more of a possibility!

Ryan Penty Agent, Coda Aency (UK)

Age 28

BORN AND RAISED IN MARACAIBO, Venezuela, in 2010 Andrés graduated from a degree in marketing and public relations. For two years, he worked as a production assistant at agent/ promoter Tresymedio, before moving to Argentina in 2013 where he became a marketing assistant and social media manager at Move Concerts. Was it a difficult decision to move to Argentina?

I knew the decision was the right one. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t tough to leave my family, friends and my comfort zone, but if I had to choose, I’d do it again. What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?

Hopefully, I’ll be back in Venezuela bringing international shows and entertainment to big venues again. We need a change of government ASAP, and when it happens this will be an option. What one thing would you like to see happen in Argentina to improve the live music business there?

Age 27

RYAN GRADUATED FROM the University of Hertfordshire in the UK with a degree in music and entertainment industry management in 2011. He joined Coda as an intern and worked his way up to join Alex Hardee’s team in 2013. Since then he has been working with the likes of London Grammar, Sean Paul, Clean Bandit, John Newman, Mika, Hurts and Ella Eyre, as well as hotly tipped newcomers Mullally, Lewis Capaldi and Billy Lockett. What made you decide to get into the agency side of the business?

I originally wanted to be a promoter, but there is a lot more strategic planning involved in being an agent. I love being completely hands-on with the direction of an artist’s career.

IQ Magazine September 2017

Andrés Guanipa Figueredo Marketing & social media manager Move Concerts (AR)

More quality venues. There are few venue options for a country that receives so many great talents, and none of them offer the whole package when you organise a big concert. As a New Boss, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to become involved in the music business?

Never say no to an invitation; don’t stay at home. Opportunities are real and come from real people. Only by communicating will you get results. What is the biggest challenge about working in Argentina?

Everybody knows everybody. So when I arrived, nobody knew who I was and the challenge has been making a good impact on everyone I’ve worked with, because once you make a mistake everyone will remember you for that.

23


Summer Marshall Agent, CAA (UK)

What’s your proudest achievement to date?

Age 30

SUMMER IS BASED IN CAA’S LONDON OFFICE, where she has been instrumental in strategically building the international touring profiles of such artists as Sam Smith, who has headlined arenas around the world, including a massive sold-out Australian tour. Summer is active in a number of industry collectives, including the UK Music Futures Group, and is a member of the BRIT Awards Voting Academy. Do you think you were always destined for a career in music?

While I once daydreamed of being a professional skydiver, I followed my passion for music. I love being an agent. And some might argue it’s just as thrilling. Who do you turn to for advice?

I am fortunate to work with an inspirational group of colleagues. Emma Banks, Mike Greek and Paul Wilson, in particular, are three exceptionally wise and wonderful people. And as a New Boss, what advice would you give anyone who wanted to follow the agency route into the business?

Humanise your approach. We are all in this together to support the artist. As a New Boss, is there any practice that you would like to change, or introduce, to improve the way the business is done?

I would encourage everyone to make more phone calls. Establishing a personal connection goes a long way in building and sustaining a relationship. Plus, one call can be more effective and efficient than a string of emails. If you had to choose one highlight from your career, so far, what would it be?

Being part of writing Sam Smith’s extraordinary story.

Matt Harrap Event Manager, Truck Festival (UK)

Age 26

WHILE STUDYING AT THE UK’S UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH, Matt and some friends set-up a club night that showcased new acts and local talent. During this period he was approached by the founder of Southsea Fest, and asked to help run the event’s social channels. This in turn led to an internship at Count of Ten, which by year two saw him elevated to the position of event manager at Truck Festival, at the age of just 23. What advice would you give to anyone hoping to find a career in the live music business?

It’s nowhere near as glamorous as people tell you. You have to be prepared to really work hard. You need conviction in what you believe in, but most importantly, you need to be willing to listen to feedback from those attending events.

24

It’s pretty lame, but every year at Truck watching the audience go crazy. It makes me feel very proud of what we as a team have done. And what about the challenges?

Tight budgets and artist exclusivity. I’ve learned you have to be creative to make budgets last, and in selecting artists you believe the audience will love. Who do you turn to for advice?

I’ve been really lucky to work with great people since the age of 18, including my old bosses from Count Of Ten, people I used to run nights with at university, the whole team that work on Truck, and the wider team at Broadwick Live who have a vast experience of running awesome events. As a New Boss, is there any practice that you would like to change or introduce, to improve the way the business is done?

Remove red tape, it completely stifles creativity.

Connie Shao Promoter, AEG Presents (CN)

Age 27

While studying at the University of Southern California, Connie worked as college promoter, programming and producing concerts for 15,000 undergraduate students, while also working an internship at Epitaph Records. Post-uni she landed a job at ICM, working in domestic and international bookings, and then in 2014, she moved to Shanghai to join the Asia Pacific office of AEG Presents. What are your language skills like?

I grew up speaking both English and Chinese, however I have a lot more to learn in Chinese reading and writing. What are the biggest challenges about working in Asia?

There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to touring in Asia – it’s a fine balance between establishing consistency across the region while maintaining the unique distinctions of each market. Putting on a 12-date tour means working in 12 vastly different countries, 12 currencies, 12 ticketing companies, and so on. What do you see yourself doing in five years’ time?

I’d love to continue expanding and developing the Asia touring region – we’re starting to see tours go to more markets, also new markets, and doing record-breaking ticket sales. There’s also great potential for global festival brands to launch with a tailored approach in many Asian markets. As a New Boss, is there any practice that you would like to change or introduce, to improve the way the business is done?

I would encourage artists to maintain a presence in Asia beyond the touring cycle. It’s so important to develop and nurture the fan base in these markets, which touch half the world’s population.

IQ Magazine September 2017


Christine Cao Agent, Paradigm (USA)

Age 30

CHRISTINE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY of Colorado and worked as an assistant at AEG Live and CAA before joining The Windish Agency in 2013. Her roster includes Grammy-winner Daya, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Gallant, electronic pop phenomenon Alina Baraz, and Nothing But Thieves, among others. With the majority of her artists hitting the road in support of upcoming releases, 2018 will be Christine’s busiest year yet. What made you decide to become an agent?

I was promoting shows for my college and realised I had a massive passion for live music. I’m thankful to have learned that side of things, but I wanted to be part of an artist’s journey developing into various markets. What’s the worst thing about your job?

If I get a chance to do this forever, I honestly can’t bring myself to think about the worst side of this gig. Maybe airplane food when you forget to grab something before leaving for an outof-town show. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in equality during your time in the industry?

I grew up being told that being a minority both in my race and my gender was going to make things harder. A positive shift has occurred over the years, and I’m thankful for the mentors, both male and female, who have been so supportive and inspirational. Where is your favourite festival, and which three dream acts would you like to see headlining it?

I had the chance to visit Ho Chi Minh City a few times, where my parents are from. That market is aching for live music, though electronic and pop thrive there. I’d headline my festival with The Backstreet Boys, The National, and Ryan Adams.

Sam Wald Agent, WME (AU)

Was it a difficult decision to move to Australia?

Not at all. I saw a great opportunity to move to Australia to work with many of the bands that I loved, at an agency called Artist Voice. They had an amazing roster and were starting to push hard into Asia at a time when no one else in the region had the same foresight. What’s the single best thing about being in Australia?

I get to hang out with my grandfather. I’m half Aussie, so grew up coming here as a kid. What’s the best lesson that you’ve learned while at WME?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of really smart people at WME who have a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Ben Mitha Managing Director, Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion (DE)

Age 29

THE GRANDSON OF LEGENDARY PROMOTER, Karsten Jahnke, Ben started promoting hip-hop parties during his school days in Hamburg, and founded full-service events company, Digga Events, whilst studying for his degree. In 2014, Karsten appointed Ben managing director and he now oversees a roster of 60 international acts, as well as domestic acts like Johannes Oerding, Max Giesinger and Michael Patrick Kelly. How has your family’s legacy affected your industry relationships?

It was a gift at the beginning, but it also took quite a while to define my own profile and not be automatically related to Karsten’s musical profile in the industry.

Age 30

SAM WORKED IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES INCLUDING artist management, tour management, talent buying, and promotion, before he started working at WME’s head office in Beverly Hills in 2010. He was recruited to the Sydney office as an agent in 2013, where his expertise in electronic music led to his appointment as the territorial agent for WME’s electronic roster in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition to his territorial roster, Sam’s clients also include Broods, Elliphant, Gallant, Gang of Youths, Hermitude, Jarryd James, Julia Jacklin, Matoma, Marlon Williams, Middle Kids, Porter Robinson, Starley and ZHU amongst others. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become an agent?

Get involved early and really take the time to learn as many different sides of the industry as possible. Don’t have any ego,

IQ Magazine September 2017

and be willing to take on any tasks (big or small). There is a lot of competition, and not a lot of jobs. You need to make yourself a valuable asset.

Is there any practice that you would like to change, or introduce, to improve the way the business is done?

More loyalty and less global deals. I understand the financial dimensions behind it, but it’s always painful to lose an artist that you have discovered early, invested for, and helped build to a level where they arouse interest for a global deal and, all of a sudden, you’re out of the picture and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Have there been any mistakes that have taught you valuable lessons?

I learn from mistakes daily – passing on an act in the early stages, that takes off later on; miscalculating the market potential of an act and losing money; or not seeing enough potential in an idea or project that somebody else is later really successful with. I guess that’s just part of the business. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose...

25


GREEN FIELD INNOVATIONS The music festival business has undoubtedly reached maturity, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways in which it can be improved. Eamonn Forde looks at some of this season’s hottest innovations...

THIRD DIMENSION 3D disco

STAY22

Festival accommodation solution onLy the most robust festival-goers choose basic camping at a festival, and onsite glamping options are usually very limited, so Canadian company Stay22 has come up with an off-site accommodation solution to assist festival and event organisers. CEO Andrew Lockhead described the way it worked before – where festival organisers would put links to hotels on their websites but were never sure if rooms were sold out – as “a real pain” and wanted to find a better way to do things. That means they can now integrate Stay22’s white-label interactive map widget into their site, which handles everything by linking to the APIs of hotels, hostels and even Airbnb, providing customers with a wider set of accommodation choices. “We do it so they [event organisers] don’t have to negotiate hotel rates or do room blocks,” Lockhead says of why this takes a lot of the hassle away from festivals. “They spend a lot of time and energy trying to make things easier for their attendees. You can get details of how far the accommodation is from the venue, if they are LGBT friendly, if there is nightlife in the area, even where other attendees are staying.” Launched at the end of 2016, Stay22 is platform agnostic meaning it can link to anywhere that deals with accommodation, and is now live in 13 markets. “There are a number of ways the model works,” explains Lockhead. “For events who do not have partners yet, we just integrate the [interactive] map on their site and do a revenue share with them of the booking commission. As of now they don’t have to do anything. They don’t pay for anything and we handle everything for them in a couple of minutes. We believe this is a game changer for all of these people.”

26

the silent disco is a regular fixture at most festivals, allowing the party to continue even after the noise curfew kicks in. Third Dimension, however, felt that the wireless headphones used at silent discos offered a limited experience for the user, and wanted to push the envelope farther with interactive lights and sound. “We developed a 360°-cyclone which is in fact a ceiling of light, and we debuted that at Glastonbury this year,” says Barney Broomer of Office Broomer, the company behind it. “The light beacon is a portable light device that can be mounted on top of the wireless headphone systems.” As it is wireless, headphones in different sections of the audience can be controlled in different ways. “We use our own wireless protocol and at the same time we use an infrared protocol for the positioning.” It was not, however, all plain sailing. “The third dimension of the name is the 3D sound, which we are still doing experiments with,” he says. “But with 3D we noticed that everyone got sick after five minutes. The headphones are on a fixed position over your ears, meaning that the 3D effect is massive. We discovered that it is not good for the audience to have it really heavy.” He adds, The technical breakthrough with it is not the cyclone itself because this is standard equipment. The wireless devices on top of the headphones are really something new. On every set of headphones is a small microprocessor with a battery that can be charged through a USB port. You can also re-programme it. There is not another small device in the world at the moment that has these kinds of features.”

IQ Magazine September 2017


Festival innovations

VESTROCK BLOND The festival as microbrewer

ARMADILLOWW Making late nights more comfortable Lowlands in the Netherlands is unique in that it is one of the few European festivals with a 24-hour licence (negotiated in the early days of the event), and this year’s event is being further enhanced by providing a luxury area in which revellers can carry on partying after the main acts stop playing. “We were a festival with a capacity of 55,000 people and it is a three-day event with camping only, which means there are no day tickets,” explains festival director, Eric van Eerdenburg. “So people are on the festival site from Thursday night until Monday morning. We always had a service area outside of the festival – but it was never big enough and did not look as good as the rest of the festival.” With the construction of the Armadilloww, they are now able to address this. “Immediately, this new approach gives a sense of luxury, and we also have a silent disco for 5,000 people. We keep the festival site partly open and have a service area that is much better than what we had before. We think people will appreciate it.” Van Eerdenburg says that the idea is not to increase consumer spend on food and drink because they already have the highest spend of any Live Nation festival in Europe. “The reason was that we wanted to bring something new and to give better service to the customers,” he says, adding that it is open to everyone and is not treated as a VIP area or upsell option. “At Lowlands, everyone is equal!”

IQ Magazine September 2017

Acts like Iron Maiden, Elbow and AC/DC have all turned their hands to creating their own signature beers, but Vestrock in the Netherlands is the first ever major festival to launch its own blond beer – and has done so with a keen eye on sustainability. Inspired by the audience shift towards craft beer and more gourmet food, organiser Gino Baart – who previously worked in the brewing industry – spotted an opportunity to further enhance the festival brand. “We wanted to distinguish ourselves from other festivals,” he says, adding that there is a green agenda at play here too. “We are a sustainable festival and we are 100% climate neutral. We decided that if we wanted to make our own beer it had to be local in order to reduce the footprint. We buy our malt from a local malt supplier, which is only nine kilometers from the festival site. The hops come from Belgium where there is still a small hop region; it is about 50 kilometers from here and is the closest region to us where you can buy hops. We also get yeast from a private collection at the local university. That’s how we got started.” Only 500 litres are brewed each year, and bespoke labels are made for all of the acts playing and feature their lyrics and song titles. “We are a small festival and we don’t have a huge amount of promotional or marketing budget – but the artists can effectively do advertising for us because they share pictures of the beer on their own social media,” he explains. For now, it will remain a bespoke run of beer – and that is mainly for sponsorship reasons. “I don’t think we will do bigger productions of beers as normally the beer provider is your main sponsor,” he argues. “We could do it but we also have the risk of not selling all the beer. Specialty beers are not for mass consumption anyway.”

27


Festival innovations

CROWD SURF Outside Lands debuts new Snapchat feature

DRONE LIGHT DISPLAYS There’s Something in the Air While the misuse of drones all too often generates negative headlines, a number of companies are embracing the aerial technology to deliver some spectacular results in live entertainment environments. ‘Dronetertainment’ as it has been dubbed this year wowed the crowds at Coachella, while those wily Canadians at Cirque du Soleil are also using LED technology on swarms of quadcopters to enhance their spectacular performances. Still an entertainment form in its infancy, the cost of using drones to programme aerial light shows has, until now, been prohibitive for many event organisers. Step forward the Chinese boffins at Zerotech who have developed a system that promises to make drone shows affordable for all. Using a system it calls Zerospace, the company provides a set of eight small drones that can be controlled via a smartphone app, and has ten pre-programmed flight patterns for the operator to choose from. Taking the concept to the next level, Japanese company Docomo’s drones come fitted with spherical cages containing curved LED strips that spin rapidly as the drone flies to create the illusion of a solid image. Rolling out that technology commercially could take up to 18 months, and in case our imagery above doesn’t grab you, videos of the Zerospace and Docomo drones in action are easily accessible on YouTube.

28

The developers of Snapchat rolled out their state-of-theart Crowd Surf app feature at Outside Lands festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, using a performance by Lorde to showcase the impressive artificial intelligenceenabled technology. The Crowd Surf feature – an extension of the Snapchat Stories concept – uses machine learning to stitch together audience videos to create a seamless, interactive, multipleangle account of live shows. And the tech instantly made headlines around the world as media outlets realised that not only could Crowd Surf change the way that concert footage is viewed, but also other events such as sports, ceremonies or breaking news stories. Using video content from numerous Snapchatters at the Lorde concert, the Crowd Surf wizardry synchronised the audio and within seconds splice together a single seamless audio track of her performance from multiple camera angles, allowing viewers to cycle between different crowd perspectives using a button on their smartphone screen. Crowd Surf taps into machine learning techniques, whereby Snap takes a spectrograph, or sound print, of audio playing in a location. The app uses that audio bassline to automatically edit people’s clips together and then creates near-broadcast quality video, leading many industry observers to herald Crowd Surf as a game-changer. A company spokesperson says Crowd Surf will be available at select events in future, but the potential to roll it out globally to Snap’s 173 million users is prompting much excitement, not the least from Live Nation and AEG Presents, both of which have commercial partnerships around their festivals with Snap.

IQ Magazine September 2017


Festival innovations

GRUB STUB Streamlining crew catering

MOJO BARRIERS The rolling floor Festival headliners are increasingly bringing their own elaborate staging with them, which is fine when there are only one or two acts on the bill. This turns into a problem, however, on a packed festival line-up in which the changeover time between acts has to be timed to the second. This was a growing concern for Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands, so they developed a simple but effective way around this. “Justin Bieber was coming this year and we saw the floor plan for his set and it would have left us with just two metres on the main stage for the other acts to play on,” explains Jasper Caldenhoven of Mojo Barriers on why they had their hand forced this year to find a solution. “The production manager at Pinkpop came up with the idea that if we could bring in the set and then bring it upstage to make more space for the other acts to play on, that would be a great solution,” he says. “It had to be a floor that is just basic, where there are no electronics or high-tech elements that can stop working during the show. It’s a floor that needs to roll and that’s it.” The company worked on prototypes and developed the system they now use, within just five weeks. “For the Bieber set there were 230 interlocking panels that lay on the ground like a jigsaw, where the parts connect to each other and that’s it,” he explains. “There are two winches and you just push the button and the whole floor will move seven metres forward in just two minutes. This headliner issue is not just a problem for Pinkpop Festival. It is a problem for every other major festival.”

IQ Magazine September 2017

An army marches on its stomach and so too does a festival. Hundreds if not thousands of people behind the scenes need to be fed – and this can cause logjams at meal times and result in vast amounts of wasted food. Grub Stub was set-up to streamline this and involves issuing all crew with a stub (featuring a QR code) on a lanyard that stores their meal entitlements, as well as any dietary issues (such as allergies or food preferences), that can then be presented at catering outlets. “It covers one person for the entire event and is all managed digitally,” says Rebecca Martin, marketing manager at Grub Stub. “That has proven to save around 95% of the time previously taken up in managing meals. Prior to Grub Stub, you would have thousands of crew and performers that would need separate tickets for three meals a day, for weeks spent onsite. That is a very labour intensive thing to have to manage.” So far Grub Stub has been used in the UK at Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party and Green Man, as well as at Lightning in a Bottle in California. Not only does it make mealtimes smoother, it gathers data on each user that can be, excuse the pun, fed back to the caterers. “It is not just reducing the time involved in dealing with catering; it is also providing valuable data that can improve business efficiencies, reduce environmental impact and enable sustainability,” says Martin. “It tracks and stores live data so it gives caterers a complete overview of allocations in real time. They can look at the system before and throughout mealtimes and know how many mouths have to be fed and what dietary requirements need to be met. That improves efficiency in the kitchen, reduces food waste and provides long-term insights that enable events to have more control over their budget.”

29


Festival innovations

VERTECH ULTRA Making shows bigger and better

SPARKULAR Ensuring safe fireworks are not damp squibs It is customary that huge headline shows come to an end with a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. But not only can these can come at a huge cost, they can also involve obvious health & safety issues. Sparkular have recently introduced a more safety conscious method of putting on firework displays that can also be safely used for indoor events. “It looks identical but is a completely non-pyrotechnic and a non-hazardous unit, so it can be safely operated by anybody without the need for a specialist or a pyrotechnician,” says Tom Cranmer of Pains Fireworks, the UK distributor of the product. “It has various health & safety benefits. It is reusable, so for festivals and stadiums this is fantastic. It can all be choreographed in with the other effects of the show. And the duration can be varied, which is not something you can usually do with standard pyrotechnics.” But are acts and events wary of using Sparkular because it’s not the real thing? “It’s horses for courses,” suggests Cranmer. “It has very much been done for safety reasons rather than for any creative reasons. It is not delivering an effect that no one has ever seen before. It is just a different, safer and reusable way of delivering the same visual effects. We can use it with nightclubs, so there is scope to use it indoors where normally pyrotechnics are severely restricted, for obvious reasons. It has opened huge doors on that side of things.” Sparkular also comes with the added benefit that, so long as it is the only system you are using, you would not require a fireworks licence. The company, however, regards it more as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, traditional pyrotechnics.

30

The idea of playing in the round is often credited to Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas, and was later embraced in the rock world by Def Leppard in the 1980s. And it is very much back in vogue, with Adele’s recent world tour and Arcade Fire’s upcoming tour both employing this format. Placing the stage in the middle of the crowd, however, comes with huge logistical issues, especially when it comes to ensuring that the audience’s line of vision is not compromised. VerTech Ultra was developed by Star Events especially for the Adele tour, and allowed them to swing into action with plans they had already been working on for a number of years. Although playing in the round is not a format used by the festival community, yet, elements of the VerTech Ultra system have already been used at the likes of British Summer Time in London’s Hyde Park. The octagonal roof, protecting the main performance area from rain and sun, can move during a show, and has to track the 20m diameter screen ‘drum’. Any rain water is pumped away via the guttering in the stage’s roof-mounted production area. “We got the opportunity to solve the massive problems that Adele’s management had by putting her in the round in stadiums the way they wanted to,” explains Roger Barrett, the company’s special projects director, of the original idea behind the Ultra concept.. “There was a very specific request from Adele that she did not want to play behind [structural support] wires.” The height of the wires had to be increased to 26 meters, higher than anyone has ever used before on a production like this. “For this production they wanted to have the VVVIPs directly around the very small stage that Adele has, so that they were actually under the roof of the structure. Because they were at ground level, there couldn’t be anything joining the legs together.” They also had to factor in over 100 tons of lights, screens and speakers hanging from the structure. All of this can not only make the show more intimate but also more profitable. Larger promoters have told me that with them building in the round, it means that effectively the staging and the production become free for the artist due to the extra ticket sales. Those extra ticket sales pay for all of those costs – sometimes more than once over.”become among the public,” says Barendregt. “That will help everybody.”

IQ Magazine September 2017


Greek Philosophy As CAA’s Mike Greek approaches his 50th birthday, he reflects on spending half of his life as an agent and the dramatic evolution of his role, writes Rhian Jones

T

he professional career of CAA agent Mike Greek started where many a music industry story begins; in the pub. Or, more specifically, a number of pubs in Aberdeen. During a two-week placement at DF Concerts (named Dance Factory at the time) working for Stuart Clumpas, Greek was challenged with locating the support act for a Martin Stephenson & The Daintees show who had gone missing on his quest for Dutch courage. “The show was at the Aberdeen Music Hall, and about 30 minutes after doors, we couldn’t find the support artist,” Greek remembers. “I was tasked with going around the pubs of Aberdeen looking for him, and luckily for me, he was in one of the locals near the venue. It was so ridiculous, it was brilliant.” That led to a summer stint with MCP Promotions, led by Tim Parsons and Stuart Galbraith, and involved working in the office and helping out on outdoor shows. “When working at Milton Keynes Bowl on a Bon Jovi concert, everyone else was staying in a Travelodge, but to keep costs down I had to sleep

IQ Magazine September 2017

on the Portakabin floor with the Liverpool scaffolders. It was certainly a baptism of fire and I learnt that my strengths were not on the technical side of things. I gained some valuable insight into what it takes to put an outdoor concert together and loved how everything came together in the end.” Greek has come a long way since those days of Portakabin accommodation. After a chance encounter with Ian Flooks led him to join Wasted Talent at the same time as Emma Banks in 1990, he was involved in building the agency (that later became Helter Skelter) into one of the biggest independent agencies in the world. Since 2006, Greek has had phenomenal success as co-head of CAA’s London office, alongside Banks, representing an eclectic array of artists including Franz Ferdinand, Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Black Keys, The Script, Olly Murs, 5 Seconds of Summer, Jamie Cullum, MGMT, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Tears for Fears and Band of Horses, to name a few. This year, Greek celebrates his 50th birthday after dedicating more than half of his life to music.

33


Mike Greek

Testimonials MIKE GREEK AND I have worked together since we were children (although if he is now 50 then I realise he was much older than me when we started out!) – he was at Wasted Talent for a month before I showed up and he very kindly took me to Ed’s Diner on the Fulham Road for lunch on my first day at work. Later that week, he drove me to see Two Lost Sons at THE VENUE in New Cross – I think they were his first signing and he was exceedingly proud of them. We have worked together ever since and I don’t know what I would do without him. I think everyone needs a sounding board – Mike is that to me and I to him. Mike is a brilliant agent – he is calm, he is fair, and he has a vision that, when joined to the vision of his clients, explains why he works with so many successful artists. He works hard, takes great joy in his family and friends, and occasionally will watch Spurs play when he needs a reality check! In all the years we have worked together, I don’t think we have ever had a major argument – we are at that point where we both know when to shut up (that’s assuming I let him get a word in!) Mike is undoubtedly one of the best agents on the planet and I am very honoured to have accompanied him on his journey.

“WORKING AT MILTON KEYNES BOWL ON A BON JOVI CONCERT, EVERYONE ELSE WAS STAYING IN A TRAVELODGE, BUT TO KEEP COSTS DOWN I HAD TO SLEEP ON THE PORTAKABIN FLOOR WITH THE LIVERPOOL SCAFFOLDERS.”

SEWING THE SEEDS

B

efore music became his profession, London-born and raised Greek was a teenage new romantic who fell in love with Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears, Blancmange and Soft Cell. His most memorable early gigs happened at Hammersmith Apollo - just around the corner from his current offices in CAA’s London HQ - where he recalls being thrown out of a Depeche Mode show for jumping on stage, high on the euphoria of dancing in Tears For Fears’ Shout video earlier that day. “The Depeche Mode show was a real watershed for me,” says Greek. “It was an exhilarating experience and seeing the band up close was such a thrill. It made me want to work in the arts in some capacity, although exactly what I wanted to do was still unclear.” After a six-month stint working in advertising, Greek decided to pursue a performing arts degree at Leicester Polytechnic where a burgeoning live music scene inspired him to stay. “At the time, lots of bands were coming to the

Emma Banks, CAA MIKE HAS CROSSED into the threshold of legend at this point. In the United States, his name is whispered in slightly hushed tones, not out of fear but out of reverence. I think some may think that “Mike – the Greek” may not even be a real person, but a kobiyashi of some sort pulling on the strings of the global touring architecture. But seriously, not only is Mike the absolute best at what he does, he is also thoughtful, fair and kind. In a cut-throat business like this he stands out for his unique ability to empathise with the artist and for his dignity. And for Thirty Seconds To Mars, he is one of the band.

Jared Leto, Thirty Seconds to Mars I LOVE MIKE. He is a font of all knowledge. My fave line to-date from him is when he called me (my phone just says CAA, so it could have been any number of people). His opening line: “Innis, Mike Greek... who else could sound this boring?” Hahaha! He’s a legend!

Innis Ferguson, Lateral Management MIKE GREEK is one of my favourite agents.

Phil Rodriguez, Move Concerts Mike with long-time client Paloma Faith

34

IQ Magazine September 2017


Mike Greek

MIKE GREEK IS AN absolute giant in the music industry! I fucking love him!! He was one of the first people I met in the music business at SXSW 1996 and we have been firm colleagues and (most importantly) friends ever since. Shortly afterwards, I remember him coming out to Australia to launch his new agency – Helter Skelter. I showed him around Sydney and fulfilled his most important request of having a swim at the world-famous Bondi Beach. The only problem was (like most Poms) he had forgotten to bring his bathers, so I lent him a pair of mine. Anyone that knows both of us – knows that there’s a slight difference in height, so my board shorts were more like giant pantaloons on Mike as he dived into the Bondi waters. Didn’t matter to him…no matter how big the pants – he wears them like the boss that he is! That’s just how great the man is! We have had so many great times, worked on so many tours over the years and had many successes – breaking so many bands for Australia and NZ – Franz Ferdinand, MGMT, La Roux, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Script, Ray LaMontagne, and now Harry Styles. Congrats, Mike. On all of the success you have achieved, and this great milestone. We love you and look forward to many great years to come.

Harry and all of your friends at Frontier Touring

“MEETING IAN WAS MY EUREKA MOMENT, AND FROM THAT POINT ON, I KNEW WHAT I WANTED TO DO AND FOCUSED ON SECURING A ROLE WITH HIM.” student union: The Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Eat Itself, All About Eve and Deacon Blue. It really captured my imagination and I started to try to work out how I could get involved.” During his time at Leicester Poly (1987-1990), Greek helped promote campus concerts, during which the Dance Factory placement cemented his ambitions. Also in those early days, Greek worked on a few MCP shows as a local rep during his final year of college and that’s where he met Flooks. “In the spring of 1990, I was repping a Maria McKee show at the Duke of York Theatre in Covent Garden, when Ian walked in. He had a real presence about him and seemed to have everyone’s ear. When I asked Tim Parsons about Ian, he explained to me what the role of the agent was and I immediately felt my skill-set was better suited to that than being a promoter.” Greek continues: “While at Leicester, I realised that my peers were better at performing and I was more suited to getting them there on time, talking to them about why they needed to do something or helping to put the infrastructure in place to run the performances. Meeting Ian was my eureka moment, and from that point on, I knew what I wanted to do and focused on securing a role with him.”


Mike Greek MIKE CAME TO WASTED TALENT straight from university, and stayed there. Mike, you were a huge part of the success of Wasted Talent, for which I’m grateful. You have always been a great agent, but you also have excellent taste, and a rare ability to keep signing the right artists time after time. You have become one of the world’s top talent agents, and deservedly so.

Ian Flooks, Wasted Talent I’VE WORKED WITH MIKE on various projects for well over a decade. He booked 200-capacity clubs for Wolfmother on their earliest UK visits back in 2005, right through to 50,000-capacity festivals for Midnight Oil this summer. The thing I love is that he’s brought exactly the same level of attention to detail and professionalism to every single gig regardless of the commission involved. We’ve shared some great experiences on literally every continent apart from Antartica but my favourite one was his ‘bucket list’ visit to Australia to follow multiple Ashes tests over the summer of 2006/7. Of course, England famously lost that series 5-0. I’m pretty sure Mike hasn’t come back down for a test ever since. He says it’s by choice but I think it’s because the English team has decided he’s their kiss of death!

John Watson, Eleven Music

G

FLOOK GOAL

reek interviewed for a job as a junior agent at Wasted Talent, where clients included U2, Kraftwerk, Eurythmics and The Clash. Impressed by the fact he had already had some experience in the industry and had launched and promoted the first black-tie ball at Leicester Poly, Flooks gave Greek the job. He finished his last day of college on a Friday in 1990, and started at Wasted Talent the following Monday. Flooks instilled in him a philosophy of longevity that Greek has kept to this day. He says: “The most important thing that Ian taught me very early on was that each show has got to be a building block for an artist’s career. If you put those building blocks in the right place, that is a sound footing for a successful career.” While Greek focused on signing and developing new acts, Banks, who joined Wasted Talent a month later in a similar role, worked closely with Flooks on some of his major tours, notably U2’s highly praised 157-date worldwide Zoo TV Tour in support of Achtung Baby, which dominated the office at the time. It gave Greek, who was working with one of the support acts, an eye-opening introduction to the culture of the live music industry. “I went on the road for a few days, which was really exciting, and it gave me a sense of the scale of stadium shows from the inside, which was a real insight,” he remembers. “I watched a promoter in Italy being unable to open the gates for the show because he was refusing to pay a bribe to someone in a local authority. At the time, I had always believed in authority, but seeing what was needed to be done to ensure the show happened was a real life lesson.”


Mike Greek

I HAVE WORKED CLOSELY with Mike for years. When I was an agent at Paradigm, we worked on a few of the same bands but in different territories (MGMT, The Drums etc). It was then that I gained a tremendous amount of respect for him. Now that I am a manager, Mike works on all three of my management clients. We work extremely well together. I have an immense amount of trust in him and his team, and very much value our working relationship as well as our friendship. He also wins serious points for being hilarious, and let’s not forget his outstanding clapping performance as a young lad in Tears For Fears’ Shout video.

Is there anything he’d change from those early years? “Focusing only on signing new acts was naive as I didn’t have a great respect for what had gone on before and felt I knew better. But I don’t regret it,” Greek answers. “What I should have understood was the knowledge and contact base you get from working with established artists and managers is the best way to build on your skill-set and develop your own identity, that would, in turn, open doors for your other clients.”

Heather Kolker, Mick Management

H

I HAVE BEEN WORKING with Mike for the last 15 years. He is a daily inspiration to me with his work ethic, skills and deep knowledge of the business. He works tirelessly for his artists leaving no stone unturned. He is at the forefront of an ever-changing and demanding business. We forgive him for being a Tottenham fan – no one is perfect! I think the biggest compliment I can give Mike is that if I was a manager, I would want him to represent my client. He is a legend and a master of the delivery of the one-liner!

Nigel Hassler, CAA

CLIMBING THE WHITE LADDER

is strategy wasn’t completely flawed: Greek built-up power pop trio Dodgy as a major live act and setup some challenging small-scale outdoor shows for them. He also took David Gray from supporting Ian McNabb at The Borderline in London, to selling 56,000 tickets across three sold-out nights at the city’s Earl’s Court. He recalls: “No artist like David had ever sold that many tickets in London in one go, and everyone thought him playing Earl’s Court was crazy! It probably was, in hindsight, but we had no fear.” The gigs happened in 2002, after Gray’s fourth album White Ladder hit No.1 on the UK charts. Hit single Babylon was re-released in 2000 ahead of a gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, peaking at No.5. Before that, Gray’s career was considered “dead in the water” (according to a Guardian


Mike Greek WE LOVE WORKING WITH MIKE, and there is no doubt that he has been instrumental in developing the live career of Sigur Rós. The band are now uniquely positioned around the world as artists who occupy their own space and continue to evolve whilst delivering a world-class show across a broad range of the world’s finest venues and leading festivals, often with ambitious levels of production. Mike’s meticulous, patient and knowledgeable approach has been vital in that process. He’s tough when you need him to be but importantly, from the perspective of a manager, our promoters like and respect him and are always happy to tell you as much.

Dean O’Connor, Big Dipper MIKE GREEK IS A VERY smart and passionate agent. He always handles himself with intelligence, class, and dignity combined with a touch of humour, and is a fierce defender and advocate of his clients and their passions and goals. The music business is much better off having gentlemen like Mike in it.

Mitch Rose, CAA WORKING WITH MIKE is always straightforward, civilised and a really positive experience. Whether he trusts you with artists like Paloma Faith, The Script, or the biggest touring act at the time, One Direction, you want to prove him right in appointing you, and you know you have a sympathetic ear if you have problems either with the promotion or, God forbid, the tour itself. Mike is a real gentleman. With him I enjoy a relationship I am proud to have earned and one I treasure!

Thomas Ovesen, 117 Live

“ULTIMATELY, WE FELT THAT JOINING UP WITH A GLOBAL COMPANY WAS BETTER FOR OUR ARTISTS.” write-up at the time), but some strategic planning and slight bending of the truth from Greek and Christian Tattersfield, the boss of Gray’s UK label East West, sent Gray’s live business into the stratosphere. “After he released White Ladder in England, we booked a gig at Shepherd’s Bush knowing that he couldn’t sell it out. We were just going to sell the first floor and balcony and assume no one would look up, which they didn’t,” says Greek. “David Gray selling out Shepherd’s Bush Empire was a big statement that Christian was able to use, and which said: Guys, you’re missing something here. “He then did two major slots at Glastonbury on the Other Stage and Pyramid Stage that summer, which was the catalyst for him exploding in England. White Ladder became one of the top-selling albums of the decade and his live business was huge off the back of it. Earl’s Court was a real moment. Without a doubt, that was the highlight of my first years as an agent because it was such a huge achievement.” In terms of Greek’s career, his work at Wasted Talent represents his longest stint in one company, to date, albeit a company that went through a number of incarnations. “Wasted Talent merged with John Jackson’s Fair Warning to become Fair Warning Wasted Talent and then a deal with ICM saw us briefly become ICM Fair Warning Wasted Talent, before we dropped the ICM bit, I think. And then we were taken over by Sanctuary who renamed us Helter Skelter,” he recounts. Although he was a shareholder at the company, Greek does not recall ever being a director, but certainly the experience of running what was the most significant agency of its day was a major step in setting him up for a more up the corporate ladder.

Despite finishing third in 2010 talent show ‘X Factor’, One Direction went on to smash box-office records around the world, thanks to their team of industry professionals, including agent Mike Greek

42

IQ Magazine September 2017


Mike Greek CHRIS DALSTON WAS THE IMPETUS for CAA to open a UK office, but only if we could find the right people who fit our team culture. It was he who suggested we do everything we could to bring Mike and Emma in to help lead our efforts in London. He was spot on, and they have been amazing. Mike is a tenacious, measured, thoughtful, and strategic agent. A steel hand in a velvet glove on behalf of his clients; a key player on any team helping to develop a career or maximise a deal; and a strong leader in our London office’s tremendous growth.

Rob Light, CAA IT’S A TRUE HONOUR to work with Mike, and everyone at Live Nation France is thankful for that. He’s the classiest and most professional agent you can work with, and being able to do so is a great opportunity. Mike is certainly the agent who has more proactive and fresh views on the live music business than anyone else. He is not old-fashioned and doesn’t erect barriers: he will always try new business models, new venue configurations, and new ticket scaling. Working with Mike makes you truly understand the meaning of the “live” music business. Congratulations, and thanks for your trust and for everything you bring to our business, Mike!

Damien Chamard Boudet, Live Nation France

“EMMA IS AN INSPIRATION TO ME AND THE REST OF THE TEAM. SHE IS A FANTASTIC AGENT AND SOMEONE WHOSE JUDGMENT I RELY ON ALL THE TIME.”

“Ian, Steve [Strange] and Jeff [Craft] left and we were left to sort of take things on,” he says, “ although Emma was always involved in the management of the company with Ian on a macro level.” Looking back on the Wasted Talent to Helter Skelter evolution, Greek has many fond memories, but asked about his progression through the ranks, he observes that the way in which he personally developed his skills owes much to his peers. “I learned a lot by working with so many good people,” states Greek. “They were such diverse characters and everyone had their own way of working, so that was an amazing experience. Ian Flooks was my mentor but from early on I was also able to learn and benefit from John Jackson, while Emma and Steve also had completely different approaches to the business. I guess it’s one of the few jobs where you can develop your own style while also taking the best bits from what other people do and add those to your armoury.”


Mike Greek WE HAVE KNOWN MIKE and worked with him since the Helter Skelter days, so we always look forward to his calls. Mike always looks out for the best for each and every show, and is all about the detail, which we like. We always feel that he runs his promoter relationships in a true sense of partnership, which is admirable and always appreciated. We look forward to many more years of fun collaboration.

Michael Roche, Live Nation Lushington MIKE GREEK IS A WONDERFUL MAN and amazing agent. He was one of the first agents I worked with. He has taste, class, he is fair, and understands the bigger picture, so picks the right battles. His proactivity and advance planning are a real benefit for all his clients and promoters. Mike is focused on all details, whether for club, theatre, arena or stadium tours, and he recognises the promoters’ needs to ensure the best possible results. Working with him is a real pleasure – he’s a true professional who can also be funny sometimes. Mazal tov, Mike!

Matt Schwarz, Live Nation GSA WORKING WITH MIKE for many years now has been a great experience for us at MMI Live. He always puts his best foot forward for each and every show, which we always admire. Thank you for the good times we’ve shared working together, Mike, and we look forward to many more years of amazing partnership.

Rhiza Pascua, MMI Live MIKE IS AND ALWAYS was a true gentleman with a good sense of humour and a great and very honest way of doing business with us. A real pleasure. Cheers!

A

CONSTRUCTION TIME AGAIN

fter spending 17 years at Wasted Talent, Greek and Banks decided it was time to look for opportunities elsewhere. Alongside US-based William Morris, CAA courted the duo to set-up shop for them in London, at a time when no American agency had a base in England. With two attractive offers on the table, they chose CAA for its culture and the vision of partners, Richard Lovett, Kevin Huvane, Bryan Lourd, Steve Lafferty, David ‘Doc’ O’Connor and Rob Light, who had, similar to Greek and Banks, been working together for over 15 years. “We felt that CAA was the right home for us – and that’s not to say that William Morris was wrong - it was more to the point that the personalities and make up of CAA was more in tune with us,” explains Greek. He adds, “It felt that the bond that had made the guys at CAA such a formidable team was in tune with our history together. It was a good cultural fit, which was inclusive, open and entrepreneurial.” There may have been a few raised eyebrows in the independent agent community at the idea of Greek and Banks working for a large US-based firm, but Greek reasons, “Ultimately, we felt that joining up with a global company was better for our artists. When you have clients who want additional opportunities in the brand and sponsorship area, or a specialist to help book private and corporate events

“THE WHOLE IDEA OF BEING A BOOKING AGENT AND JUST BOOKING TOURS IS ANTIQUATED.”

Stephan Thanscheidt, FKP Scorpio WE’VE KNOWN MIKE since the first days of his foray into the live music biz. He was hardworking, a thinker, straight and no bull then, and it’s a huge pleasure to see him hold onto to those attributes to this day. Mind you, we clearly didn’t do a very good job in those internship days of persuading him that being a promoter was an upstanding career path and that agenting was the devil’s work ;-)

Stuart Clumpas, Vector Arena IT’S HARD TO DESCRIBE how much I’ve learned merely by sitting within earshot of Mike in the office for the past ten years. The fairness and honesty he employs when doing business, and his class and composure in handling potentially difficult situations are traits I will always try to emulate. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor.

Andy Cook, CAA Mike with wife, Sarah, and children, Jessica and Phoebe

46

IQ Magazine September 2017


Mike Greek I’m dreaming of a Mike Christmas - in the early days at Helter Skelter

rather than just be a booking machine, we felt joining CAA allowed us to deliver those services. Rather than your agent being your island and doing everything for you, we wanted to put teams around acts as they grow, which is very much the American model.” It was a sign of things to come: swift on the heels of Emma and Mike starting their new roles in 2006, rival agency William Morris launched their UK operation three months after CAA arrived. Seven years later, the globalisation of the agency business continued when Paradigm acquired a 50% stake in Coda in 2014, and UTA bought The Agency Group in-house in 2015.

T

MUSIC FOR THE MASSES

he increasingly global and multi-faceted nature of his job is the biggest change Greek has experienced over his career. He says: “Look at Katy Perry as an example of an artist that has a huge live career but also a huge brand and endorsement business. CAA helped put together Daft Punk’s soundtrack for Tron and when Paloma Faith launched her second album, we put together a really innovative campaign with Samsung. The whole idea of being a booking agent and just booking tours is antiquated. The old-school agent booked the show and


Mike Greek

“AN AGENT WHO CONNECTS WITH ALL AREAS OF AN ARTIST’S BUSINESS CAN HELP TO SHAPE CAMPAIGNS, ESPECIALLY WHEN LAUNCHING A WORLD TOUR TO ENSURE THE ROLL-OUT IS TIMED AND TARGETTED TO MAXIMISE THE ARTIST POTENTIAL.”

moved on to booking the next show. The new era demands that an agent becomes involved in the whole eco-system of an artist’s world, from the planning and booking stage of touring, right the way through to announcing the tour, making suggestions on the creative, to reviewing the settlements. “For me, one key differentiator in making someone a great agent is being able to add real value to the launch and marketing of a tour. That is not to do the promoters a disservice – they know how to market tours – but campaigns need to be personalised. An agent who connects with all areas of an artist’s business can help to shape campaigns, especially when launching a world tour to ensure the roll-out is timed and targetted to maximise the artist potential.”

FROM HELTER SKELTER TO ROLLERCOASTER

U

nder Greek’s watch, CAA worked closely with events business Nine Live to secure a groundbreaking sponsorship deal with Coles Supermarkets for One Direction’s huge arena tour of Australia in 2013. As well as bringing in financial dollars, the deal resulted in key marketing initiatives in the weeks leading up to the tour, which had sold-out a year in advance. He adds: “It can be tough to remind people that you’re coming into a market when the tour is sold-out and there’s no reason to advertise. The Coles campaign helped increase the hype around an already hugely successful tour and gave the band a fantastic opportunity to connect with a broader audience.” In this day and age of global megatours, the phenomena that swept One Direction to superstardom can be overlooked. But those involved in the group’s intercontinental shows often talk about the incredible reaction of the audiences wherever they played, with many seasoned production veterans drawing parallels with The Beatles. For his part, Greek says, “One Direction was such a rollercoaster – you never had time to realise how big it actually was when you were in the eye of the storm. It was a meteoric rise. I’ve got a One Direction plaque on my wall at


Mike Greek MIKE IS ONE of the best agents in the world, a true gentleman, loyal and fair, and I have the greatest respect for him. It has been a great pleasure to work with him in the past and I look forward to booking many more great artists with him in the years to come.

Attie van Wyk, Big Concerts International MIKE IS ONE OF THE BEST AGENTS in the world, fact. He’s talented, shrewd, charismatic, elegant in business, with a great eye for talent. I love that man and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for him. Thank you, Mike, for being the greatest of mentors and for being such a generous and kind friend. Happiest of birthdays to you – I’ll throw a shoulder/knee dance move in your honour.

Bex Majors, UTA MIKE IS AN AGENT that listens to all parties involved. He focuses on building careers for his artists, and that’s why I love working with him as we have the same goal: cracking artists big long-term. I think I was one of the first European promoters to book acts with him when he started booking acts in to Europe. Keep going, Mike!

Herman Schueremans, Live Nation Belgium

“HAVING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH PROMOTERS WHO ARE PARTNERS RATHER THAN ADVERSARIES IS THE BEST WAY TO DELIVER FOR YOUR CLIENTS.”

home that says ‘5 years. 368 shows. 36 countries. 8,287,193 tickets sold!’ It’s only when you see that do you realise what a phenomena it was.” Greek has been with CAA for ten years now and couldn’t be happier. The London office has gone from four employees in music to nearly 70, and Greek credits his working relationship with Banks as an integral factor in their joint success. He says: “Emma is an inspiration to me and the rest of the team. She is a fantastic agent and someone whose judgment I rely on all the time. We both value hard work and believe you can be fair and ethical while still delivering the best results for your clients. “This is a business built on relationships, and while pushing for the best opportunity for your clients can mean you have to fight tooth and nail to get what you believe is the right deal, having strong relationships with promoters who are partners rather than adversaries is the best way to deliver for your clients.”


Mike Greek MIKE ‘MR STADIUM’ GREEK. He’s never actually got our act to stadiums yet but he’s been great for other people... In all seriousness, he’s been incredible for Sam Smith’s career and me personally. I’ve learnt a huge amount from him when it comes to the live business and the business in general.

The career of Irish rockers, The Script, owes much to Mike’s booking strategy

Jack Street, Method Music MIKE AND I HAVE BEEN working together for as long as I have been a promoter. We have done gigs together at such salubrious places as Stoke Wheatsheaf and Buckley Tivoli. Probably the most memorable gig from back in history was Dodgy in Sefton Park, Liverpool. The band had played a free gig in the park previously so were very keen to return with their Big Top tour. The logistics of doing a gig in a park next to Toxteth were, to say the least, daunting. There wasn’t a queue of promoters willing to give it a go but as I ran a club gig in Liverpool and had promoted the band, partly through bravado, partly naivety, I felt I could do it, and Mike was happy to let me try. I will always appreciate this, as it was a risk on his part and a testament to how decent a person he is. Amazingly, it worked. I remember standing with Mike in the after-party at The Krazyhouse having a beer and reflecting on what was, in the end, a great gig. Mike is a fantastic agent. His depth of knowledge and understanding is second to none, a consummate professional.

Dave Corbet, DF Concerts I WAS ACTUALLY there when student Mike Greek took his first steps as a promoter rep many moons ago and have had the great pleasure of both knowing and working with Mike in various guises ever since. Unfortunately he never quite made it as a midfield general but Spur’s loss was the live industry’s gain. In a rapidly changing live industry he has built an amazingly successful career and has become the very definition of the consummate professional music agent. His leadership has also been integral to the growth and success of CAA over the past ten years. Mike has the rare skills of being supremely diligent, knowledgeable and personable and then totally unruffled on those (rare) occasions when not everything goes to plan. He is a great guy and a fantastic agent and I know hugely appreciated by artists, managers, promoters and colleagues alike.

Paul Wilson, CAA MIKE GREEK IS A GREAT AGENT to work with. With the big roster he has and his charge at CAA he should be super-busy. And despite this, he is always there, answering every request. Easily and efficiently. It really helps the promoter’s job and it’s a very good service for his artists.

Sebastien Vuignier, Takk Productions

52

Indeed, when it comes to getting the best for his clients, Greek enjoys a formidable reputation among the artist managers who work with him. Asked how he handles the arguments that often kick off over an agent’s phone line, Greek admits, “I take a forceful position, but I’m not one of those people to shout and scream. I believe it’s best to engage in a persuasive, intelligent discussion, rather than yell at someone who has another point of view.” He adds, “But you know when I’m angry because I stand up…”

I

THE THIRD COURSE

n terms of future ambitions: “I want our business to continue to be forward thinking, to be able to move fast with all the technological advances, and to open up to more opportunities for our clients,” Greek continues. “After five years of being an agent, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about being an agent, but when I look back now, I was just scratching the surface. Every day is a continued process of learning and evolving.” Mike is reticent to talk about hobbies, but, when pushed, admits to enjoying fine wines. “I don’t study wine and I’m not a connoisseur, but I do like good wine,” he confesses. “And I get great enjoyment being an investor in an great restaurant called Nobel Rot that is known for its amazing wine list and fantastic food.” Otherwise, life outside of music is fairly simple for Mike Greek, thanks to wife, Sarah and children Jessica (6) and Phoebe (5). “My whole focus is the job that I do, my kids, and occasionally going to sporting events. That’s not a criticism – I love what I do and I love spending time with my family. But the enjoyment I get from spending time with my family means I don’t have a void to fill with anything else.” Nonetheless, when it comes to goals, he does harbour one pipe dream, as he approaches his 50th birthday: “I’d love to

IQ Magazine September 2017


Mike Greek

see Tottenham win the league within the next ten years - or at least in my lifetime, he tells IQ. Professionally, his obectives remain constant. “My ambition is to continue what I’m doing professionally and to be respected for it.” With various One Direction solo projects to contend with, the talent on his roster continues to flourish, and he names two rising stars in particular that he’s excited to be working with. “First there’s Jorja Smith who I’ve been developing for the past couple of years along with Summer Marshall here at CAA. Jorja will be embarking on her own headline tour next year. And another act we expect big things of is Julia Michaels from the USA, who we’re about to announce on a guest slot for a really big tour in 2018.” Forever modest, Mike portrays himself as more of a facilitator than the astute strategist that many of his peers describe him as. And concluding with a reality that sums up the sometimes thankless task of today’s multi-faceted agency business, he says, ““You can work on something for six months or more, and on paper it looks like it could be the best tour in the world, with a perfect set up and all the best production people and promoters on board. But then your artist might fall ill or get offered a big TV role, or something, and before you know it you’re ripping up the entire tour plan. “As infuriating and frustrating as that might be, the bottom line is that you have do what is best for your client, rather than what might be best for yourself.”

Mike with client Olly Murs


Kings of the Road, Air and Sea James Drury speaks to the legion of talented individuals who ensure that the artists, crew, kit, props and scenery make it to the show on time.

“When a driver spends that much time with a band it’s important they’re the right kind of person for the act, so we ensure we match up the right kinds of personality.”

- Phil McDonnell, CSUK

one of tHe Greatest attriButes of people working in the live industry is a problem-solving attitude. And the army of people who ensure artists and their equipment get to shows hassle-free have it in buckets. The dedicated teams toil away in the background ensuring the show goes on, no matter what nature, traffic, or customs officials chuck in their way.

Flying high For the top stars, private jet is the only way to travel. However, increasingly less lofty acts are chartering aircraft to get themselves between dates. David Young heads up the North American touring division at private jet specialist Victor, where business is up 25% on last year. According to Young, the festival season is pushing up demand for charter planes. “With the expansion of the southern hemisphere market in the last decade, there’s always a festival somewhere in the world,” he says. Security is another driver for private jet hire. “If you can be in a private area rather than with the huddled masses, it’s a much more discrete way of slipping in and out of cities,” says Young. Air Partner ensures that artists, such as clients Iron Maiden, get around the globe. Senior account manager Nicola Taylor says: “For those at the top of their career, this is the only way to travel. For others, the reasons are more logistical. Festival performances can be scheduled very close together. A private aircraft can be scheduled more flexibly. Plus it enables them to travel to smaller airports closer to the venues.” For DJs who can play two or three shows a night, flying private makes sense, says Young. “They could be in Croatia doing a set at 9pm and on the outskirts of Moscow for another set at 3am.”

54

IQ Magazine September 2017


Transport and Travel The luxurious interior of one of Beat The Street’s Van Hool superhighdeckers

Both explain that it’s not always plain flying, and where music specialists really come into their own is ensuring they have the contacts and resources to find another aircraft quickly if there are any technical problems. Of course, there are stories of extravagance, such as the artist who wanted their puppy flown out by private jet. It was delivered to them on a $7,000-per-hour plane. Yet, while there are many special requests, particularly among hip-hop artists or newly successful pop artists, for those artists who’ve made it to the top and stayed there, the demands tend to be quite different, says Taylor. “Sometimes, it’s simple home comforts. For example, the finest wines accompanied by fish and chips collected by the crew on the way to the airport.” Premier Aviation has worked on over 125 tours in its 23 years in the business. Broking manager Lizzy Templer says that with so much experience in the industry, clients know that Premier understands not only the demands of the live industry but all the airports and their peculiarities. “We’re available any time on our mobiles, and meet the tour manager at the first airport for the start of a tour to make sure everything goes smoothly. And we usually attend airports where we think there might be a problem. “Sometimes we charter helicopters to ensure the artist makes it to the airport before curfew.” Air X is a comparative newcomer – its role previously was as a ‘white-label’ operator on behalf of the brokers. Now, CEO John Matthews says he wants to create a name for Air X in its own right. “All the costs, complaints and changes would be my responsibility while the brokers made the money, so I thought it would make sense for me to work direct with the clients. “We’ve found bands save money by coming direct to us, and we’ve made more money by working directly with them, so it’s a win-win.” Air X’s 17-strong fleet covers all sizes of craft from a “DJ-sized” Citation X for eight passengers, to an enormous Airbus A340 that features 100 lie-flat seats and can also carry 25 tonnes of cargo.

“We got the customs clearance ready and flew double drivers in, so the truck operated non-stop for three days. We arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule.”

- Stuart McPherson, KB Event

IQ Magazine September 2017

Rolling all over the world However, for most artists, private jets are not the usual mode of getting between shows. Instead they traverse countries in the renowned tour bus. UK-based Phoenix Bussing is a stalwart of the business, with ops manager Paul Hattin having been relied upon by the industry for decades. Now a division of Germany’s Beat The Street (BTS), Phoenix’s vehicles have been a familiar sight on the road since 1988. “It’s been an incredibly busy winter, and one of the busiest summers we’ve ever had,” reports Hattin. “Normally, we don’t start taking winter bookings until the festival season is over, but we’re already getting close to being fully booked. “We’re not like a trucking company where you can just hire a truck if the demand is there – buses are a completely different matter – our clients expect a certain level of service.” Bands the company regularly works with include Biffy Clyro, Arcade Fire, Status Quo, Royal Blood, Mumford & Sons, and Kasabian. Many of the company’s regular clients have grown up with the company. Hattin remembers one of Muse’s first tours, when they went out with a single-decker. “We’d just got a brand-new one and sent them out in it,” he remembers. “They couldn’t believe it. They’ve been with us ever since.” Beat The Street’s UK operation is run by Tim FortnamKing, who says business has been very strong. Apart from heavy regulation in the industry, a key challenge is finding appropriate drivers. “It’s not just about finding someone who can sit behind a wheel,” he says. “Yes, their driving has to be defensive, smooth, safe and calm, but they also have to interact with those on-board and look after the buses. Suffice to say, a few are put off by having to make beds daily, clean up and do the housework to our exacting standards.” The company also has a ground transportation division, offering Mercedes-Benz cars, people carriers and coaches. This service, too, is “flourishing.” “Management, promotors and agents realise they get a far better service from someone who knows the business and its ‘last-minute’ changes, than a standard general chauffeur hire company” says Fortnam-King. Former tour manager Phil McDonnell expanded his freight business Horizon Entertainment Cargo with the launch of

55


Transport and Travel EFM crew load in the ‘Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains’ exhibition at London’s V&A

bussing company CSUK, with partners Jonnie Lewis, Douglas Hamnett and Clemens Behle. He says they had a desire to bring back “some of the old standard of bussing services with a focus on making sure each bus is suited to both the driver and the client.” “When a driver spends that much time with a band it’s important they’re the right kind of person for the act, so we ensure we match up the right kinds of personality,” he says.

Switching gear Getting artists to the show is one thing, getting tonnes of equipment and sets there on time is another. With all kinds of logistical challenges, tight schedules and regulations to deal with, the people moving equipment around the globe need nerves of steel. Increasingly large productions mean that it’s boom time for trucking companies. Fly By Nite MD David Coumbe’s description of business this year being “exceptional – above all expectations” is a fair reflection of the industry’s present buoyancy. The biggest challenge is coping with all the work coming in, he says. Fly By Nite has recently worked with clients such as Foo Fighters, The Killers, The 1975, Little Mix, Madonna and Rihanna.“We also had 44 trucks out for Drake earlier this year,” says Coumbe. Transam Trucking is one of the longest-standing companies in the sector, operating since 1978 with Mark Guterres and Sandie Flatt at the helm. In 2011, it acquired rival EST – better known as Edwin Shirley Trucking. The augmented company now has over 150 trucks in its fleet. “In February, we opened a new depot with state-of-the-art workshops, increasing our yard area from seven acres to 14,” says Guterres, whose clients this year include Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, U2 and Celine Dion. “It will increase efficiency and the workshops are top of the range, which means we’ll be able to carry out maintenance and repairs quicker.” Despite the excellent business results, it’s not all plain sailing (or driving). Like most of the European trucking industry, Transam is suffering from a shortage of HGV drivers. To overcome this, it has launched an apprenticeship scheme for drivers and workshop staff, providing comprehensive training for the young, keen trucking staff of the future. It has five places available on its young drivers scheme, and three for trainee workshop mechanics. With its distinctive purple and yellow fleet, emblazoned with the motto ‘You Rock, We Roll’, as the saying goes “you haven’t really made it until Edwin Shirley is moving your gear around.” Del Roll has been with EST, as it’s more formally known, from the start. “To succeed in this business you can’t be a general freight driver,” he says. “On some of the smaller tours you can become an integral part of the crew, so you need to be prepared for that. On the bigger tours, you’re delivering directly to the ground crew so you need to know when to be seen and not heard. You need to be able to adapt to changing schedules and understand what that means for the many working time regulations.” With so many variables outside logistics departments’ control, such as officious customs officials, traffic accidents and bad weather, how do you survive the stress?

58

“In some ways, we’re our own worst enemy – we get through challenges we said would be impossible, and then that becomes the norm.”

- John Corr, Sound Moves “You follow the six Ps,” says Roll. “Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.” KB Event marks its 25th anniversary this year with bumper results. It’s a stark contrast to 2008, when the global crash took its toll on the company, managing director Stuart McPherson says. “We’d just invested £2million in additional fleet when everything came to a grinding halt,” he remembers. “Fortunately, the company was cash strong, but it made us pull our horns in and trim our costs. “The tough period meant we’ve made many savings and carried that mentality through to today. That means we can pass on efficiencies to customers.” The company has many loyal customers, including Ed Sheeran, who they started working with when ‘+’ was released and when just one truck was needed. Now it’s up to 42, and Sheeran has remained loyal. Another is Rod Stewart, says McPherson. “He was doing a show in Rabat in Morocco and needed to be in Glasgow three days later. “We got the customs clearance ready and flew double drivers in, so the truck operated non-stop for three days. We arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule.” With bases in the UK and Ireland, McGuinness Forwarding has clients including Adele, Aerosmith, Lorde and Radiohead. “When Adele was forced to cancel her last two shows, we were suddenly reassigning 40 trucks while a number of other jobs were in full flow. On Glastonbury weekend,” says Cian McGuinness. “That’s just the nature of working on live events and, thankfully, our staff and drivers have the experience to roll with these occurrences.”

IQ Magazine September 2017


Transport and Travel

60

IQ Magazine September 2017


Transport and Travel

Road hazard Desperate attempts by migrants to get into the UK by stowing away on trucks at the port of Calais have led to many companies doing their best to avoid that area. Redburn Transfer managing director Paul Dawson says the drivers have to run the gauntlet of people attacking their vehicles with pick-axe handles, throwing logs into the road to slow lorries down, and worse. “Drivers shouldn’t have to go through that sort of thing. We try to avoid Calais if we can and route through other ports.” On the smaller end, but just as vital, is John Henry’s, which offers a 7.5-ton truck and a fleet of 3.5-ton trucks for moving equipment around quickly. “We’ve just completed our 40th year and business is still growing,” says founder John Henry. “We’re mad busy, I’m pleased to say.” The main challenge his team faces is deadline related. With so much work and so many clients, it’s about making sure equipment arrives on time, before moving on to the next job. All the while they contend with parking restrictions, congestion, maintenance, paperwork and more. It’s no mean feat accomplishing so much to ensure the shows go ahead on time.

Global giants There are many freight companies in the world, but only a few can handle the demands of touring artists. Sound Moves is one such company, operating globally since 1995, most recently with Guns N’ Roses, U2, Celine Dion and Adele. “We’re very busy at the moment,” says John Corr. “Tours continue to get bigger and need to travel as quickly as possible as people aim to maximise the number of shows in the minimum amount of time. “In some ways, we’re our own worst enemy – we get through challenges we said would be impossible, and then that becomes the norm.”

Edwin Shirley Trucking vehicles are a common sight around the world’s premier venues

As well as working with the likes of The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club, Rihanna and the Pink Floyd Exhibition, EFM is also moving 80 shipping containers for Cirque du Soleil from Perth to Singapore to Shanghai. It also handles largescale touring for Rammstein, including most recently their tour to Iceland, USA, Denmark and Spain. Group CCO Lisa Ryan says: “In 2016 and 2017, we handled all the freight for Lollapalooza in South America including two back-to-back charter moves between Buenos Aires and Santiago. We handled 6,000kg for The Strokes, 7,500kgs for The Weeknd, 6,400kgs for The xx, 1,980kgs for Two Door Cinema Club, and many more.” Rock-it Cargo works with artists such as Sigur Rós, Blossoms, Iron Maiden, Roger Waters and Depeche Mode. “We had an extremely tight ocean freight move for Sigur Rós from New York to Auckland recently,” remembers business development director, Matt Wright. “Due to the potential savings of ocean freight vs air freight, the move could work, albeit with very little time to spare.

Contributors Top row (l to r): John Corr (Sound Moves), David Coumbe (Fly By Nite), Paul Dawson (Redburn Transfer), Tim Fortnam-King (Beat the Street), Marc Guterres (Transam Trucking), Paul Hattin (Phoenix Bussing), Adam Hatton (Global Motion) Middle row (l to r): John Henry (John Henry’s), John Matthews (Air X), Phil McDonnell (CSUK), Cian McGuinness (McGuinness Forwarding), Stuart McPherson (KB Event), Dell Roll (EST), Lisa Ryan (EFM Global) Bottom row (l to r): Nicola Taylor (Air Partner), Lizzie Templer (Premier Aviation), Matt Wright (Rock-it Cargo) & David Young (Victor)

IQ Magazine September 2017

61


Transport and Travel KB Event trucks during load-in

What about Brexit? Moving people and equipment around the world could well be impacted when the UK leaves the European Union. However, as details are still being ‘ironed out,’ no one really knows what the impact will be. “Who knows what’s going to happen,” says Transam’s Mark Guterres. “We buy all our trucks with left-hand drive because 95% of our work is outside the UK, so it’s perfectly possible for us to take our fleet and move it to the EEC and become an EEC company.” Sound Moves’ John Corr wrote a report for the Production Services Association (PSA) on the potential problems Brexit could cause, and was subsequently asked by trade body UK Music to meet with the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport to help ministers understand the issues at stake. “Our business tends to get forgotten about in all the discussions about Brexit because people just think about items coming in or going out permanently, such as items for sale. But we’re moving things in and out on a temporary basis.” EFM Global’s Ryan suggests that Brexit may mean more use of ATA Carnets again. “We raise these in-house on behalf of our clients, and so that will keep the team busy, but it may just complicate and potentially slow down the transits around Europe for cargo.”

“Half the battle is being realistic about what’s possible and what’s not. We have to explain to clients that although a routing might look feasible, if there’s no room for error then they’re risking shows not going ahead.”

- Adam Hatton, Global Motion

62

Premier Aviation delivers cargo, artists and crew

“We had three days from arrival to delivery to work with, which on a journey of that length isn’t too many. We discussed the move for days with the tour production and management. After many calls between myself and the shipping line, we decided to go for it. “Thankfully, the shipping line lived up to their reputation and stats. We even managed to deliver the container 24hrs earlier than planned.” After 27 years on the road, Horizon Entertainment Cargo’s McDonnell set up his freight firm in 1994, and it’s since become one of the best-known in the business. However, having spent years as a tour manager, it was a passion he just couldn’t leave behind. Now Horizon offers an additional full-service bussing, trucking and freight service, called European Production Transport. “I realised as I had been a production manager for 28 years I might as well put that talent to work. So when bands come over, we do everything for them. I love it.” For the past two years, Global Motion’s Adam Hatton has been consumed with Coldplay’s enormous A Head Full of Dreams Tour. He says the firm has had another good year, adding that although there’s increasing competition, the firm is known as one of the few that has the experience to handle the rigours of the touring market. “Half the battle is being realistic about what’s possible and what’s not. We have to explain to clients that although a routing might look feasible, if there’s no room for error then they’re risking shows not going ahead. “If you’re moving 1,500kg in three days, if it misses a commercial flight it’s not such a big deal because there’s almost always another flight. If it’s 150 tonnes, it’s an entirely different matter.”

IQ Magazine September 2017


Norway

Map Key Agent Promoter Agent/Promotor Venue Festival

21. Kristiansand Agder Theater Imperiet Odderøya Live

22. Kvinesdal Norway Rock

23. Lakselv Midnattsrocken

1. Aalgaard

Landstreffet i Stavanger

2. Alta

Alta Kultursal

3. Årdal Målrock

4. Arendal

Canal Street Festival

24. Lillehammer Kulturhuset Banken DølaJazz

Next Step Molde International Jazz Festival

28. Notodden

Brilliance Kjell Kalleklev Management Made Norsk Artist Formidling Standing Ovation Wake Management Wonderland Bergen Live Mount Event Stageway Artistgruppen Talent Farm Bergenhus Fortress BIT Teatergarasjen Carte Blanche Grieg Hall Koengen Lille Ole Bull Ole Bull Scene USF Verftet Bergenfest Ekko Nattjazz

8. Bodø

Bodø Kulturhus Parkenfestivalen

9. Breim

Norsk Country Treff

10. Brønnøysund Rootsfestivalen

11. Bryne

Scandinavia Live Agency Jærnåttå

12. Dalekvam Reel Noise

13. Drøbak

Drøbak Festivalen

14. Førde

Førdehuset Førde Folk Music Festival

15. Fredrikstad Sky Agency

16. Grimstad Skral Festival

17. Haugesund Sildajazz

18. Heimdal Rock Partner

19. Hemnesberget Hemnes Jazz & Blues

20. Kongsberg

Kongsberg Jazzfestival

37. Stjørdal

Hell Artist Booking Blues In Hell

39. Tønsberg

6. Askim

7. Bergen

Stavanger Artistbyrå Checkpoint Charlie Sørmarka Arena Stavanger Konserthus Viking Stadion MaiJazz

26. Molde

27. Nesbru

Rainbow Booking Kraftfestivalen

36. Stavanger

38. Telemark

5. Asker

Asker Kulturhus

PolarJazz

25. Mo i Rana Rød Snø

Hvalstrand

Notodden Blues Festival

29. Oslo

Amber Booking ArtistPartner Artist Vision Nama New Kicks Booking Nordic Live Radar Booking Stageway Talent Waterfall Music HES Just 1 Nordic Beats Norske Konsertarrangører Turbine Agency Waterfall Music Atomic Soul Bureau Storm Goldstar Music Live Nation Norway TimeOut Agency & Concerts UFA Live Blå Black Box Teater Blaest BpopMentometer Café Mono Chat Noir Cosmopolite Det Norske Teatret Gamla Oslo Concert Hall Oslo Music Hall Parkteatret Scene Rockefeller Music Hall Sentrum Scene Spektrum Telenor Arena Vulkan Arena by:Larmfestivalen Djangofestivalen Findings Inferno Metal Festival Musikkfest Norwegian Wood Festival Oslo Jazz Øyafestivalen

35

35. Spitsbergen

Bø Jazzklubb Slottsfjell

SVALBARD

40. Træna

Trænafestivalen

41. Tromsø

8

Kulturhuset Tromsø Bukta-Tromsø Open Air Festival

42. Trondheim

Trondheim Concerts Norway Rock Agency Polar Artist Byscenen Granåsen Arena Moskus Olavshallen Sverresborg Arena Trondheim Spektrum UKA

40

2MEvent

Randaberg Arena

32. Samuelsberg Riddu Riđđu

33. Sandved Sandneshallen

34. Sarpsborg

Liongate Sarpsborg Festival

19 40

19 25

10

25

10

43. Vinstra

Countryfestivalen Vinstra

44. Voss

Vossa Jazz

42.TRONDHEIM 42.TRONDHEIM 37

37

26.MOLDE 26.MOLDE 9 14

9

14 44

43

3 44 12

7.BERGEN 7.BERGEN

17

17

24.LILLEHAMMER 24.LILLEHAMMER

12

5

5

29.OSLO 29.OSLO 13 13 27 27 28 28 34 34 6 6

36.STAVANGER 36.STAVANGER 31 11

43

3

30. Porsgrunn 31. Randaberg

8

38 39 39 18 1820 20 15 33 30 30 11 22 22

31 33

1

381

4

16

21.KRISTIANSAND 21.KRISTIANSAND

4

16

15


Norway

2 32

2

23

23

32

41.TROMSØ 41.TROMSØ

8

25

MER

NORWAY 7.BASEL 7.BASEL

An innate affinity with outdoor pursuits among the Norwegian population has helped festivals become the most popular live entertainment destination in recent times. Adam Woods reports on a business enjoying rude health in Europe’s most northerly nation… IF MONEY DOESN’T MAKE US HAPPY, then how do we explain Norway, which is both the world’s happiest country and, thanks to its oil wealth, Europe’s second richest? Maybe money isn’t such a curse after all. Or maybe Norway’s diverting live scene keeps those rich kid blues at bay. The smallest Scandinavian nation by population, with the fiddliest coastline, it houses a disproportionately deluxe live market, with all the international shows and domestic touring talent a nation of 5.2m people could reasonably expect, and a festival scene that is thoroughly embedded in its culture. “Festivals have taken over Norwegian social life now,” says Torbjørn Heitmann Valum, CEO of Norske Konsertarrangører, the country’s live business trade body. “That’s all people do in the summer – they go to a festival, meet up with friends, and see bands.” Events such as Norwegian Wood, Øya, Findings, Picnic in the Park and OverOslo, that all take place in the capital, are among the prominent evidence of this, but in the summer, Norway is swarming with festivals from top to bottom – not just national ones, but regional and local ones too, in virtually every town.

IQ Magazine September 2017

Likewise, Oslo is the prime destination for most international artists, but second and third cities Bergen and Trondheim have their moments too, and Norwegian music is strong and varied enough that the country’s live business could, if pushed, run on little else. Once famous solely for A-ha, Norway’s talent machine these days produces a far broader range of artists than before. “Yes, it’s a really good time,” says Atomic Soul’s Peer Osmundsvaag. “I remember growing up thinking Norway was probably the most rubbish country in the world, with only A-ha...” These days, artists are breaking out of Norway all over the place. Notable names include hit-making DJ Kygo, pop twins Marcus & Martinus, and X Factor offshoot Astrid S; diverse singer-songwriters such as Susanne Sundfør, Maria Mena, Anna of the North and Aurora; and indie-rockers Kakkmaddafakka – part of the so-called New Bergen Wave, which follows the original wave in the 1990s that produced Röyksopp, Kings of Convenience and Annie. Norwegian artists even occasionally manage to get noticed in Sweden, which would once have been unheard of.

65


Norway

“Swedish music has always gone out into the world since ABBA, but Norwegian music never quite did the same – but that has changed a little bit,” says Live Nation Norway head promoter Martin Nielsen. All of this – the local talent, the prosperous population, the array of choice – puts Norway’s live business in a position of some comfort, even though its international buying power has declined in recent years as the krone has been pulled down by a weak oil price. Inevitably, that has led all those in the business to adjust their sums. “We’ve just had to adapt to the situation,” says Claes Olsen, head booker at Øyafestival. “Our risk is higher because we spend more money on artists, but we really don’t want to compromise and have a poorer bill or anything. We have to try and explain to the agents that because of the exchange rate, we can’t just increase and increase all the time. Do they understand that? Some of them, yes.” Even in the face of such problems – and the oil price has, in fact, recently been on the rise again, hiking the exchange rate with it – the Norwegian bottom line hasn’t conspicuously suffered. Live revenue – comprising ticket sales in Norway and artist fees from concerts by Norwegian acts elsewhere – amounted to NOK1.93billion (€200m) in 2015, up by 4% on the previous year, according to the Norwegian Arts Council (Kulturrådet). The figure was the highest since the council began compiling its Music in Numbers reports in 2012. “It seems like all the arrows are pointing up still in Norway,” says Valum. “The market is expanding, with more and more promoters and festivals popping up, and they don’t seem to be cannibalising each other either. There’s a good market.” Some grumble that the state does little to support the Norwegian live business and that smaller venues have a hard time of it, but there is an effective export agency in Music Norway and music, classical and comedy tickets are all exempt from VAT. It’s also a market largely free of global influence, or even substantial consolidation. Ticketing is perhaps the most corporate sector – Ticketmaster’s Billettservice is the dominant player, with Venuepoint’s Eventim.no as the key challenger. Elsewhere, Live Nation is much in evidence, but otherwise, most of Norway’s live business brands remain in local hands.

“I remember growing up thinking Norway was probably the most rubbish country in the world, with only A-ha...” – Peer Osmundsvaag, Atomic Soul The vast majority of festivals are independent, and few operators appear to nurture an ambition to grow to huge proportions, either in the amount of business they do or the scale of their existing events. “There is a handful of large companies who are running several festivals, but it’s nothing like you see in Germany or Spain,” says Valum. Even the largest Norwegian festivals tend to top out at around 17,500 to 20,000 attendees a day, which, some might

66

Contributors Top: Torbjørn Heitmann Valum, Norske Konsertarrangører; Martin Nielsen, Live Nation Norway; Frank Nes, Bergen Live Bottom: Lars Petter Fosdahl, OverOslo; Claes Olsen, ØyaFestival; Peer Osmundsvaag, Atomic Soul

argue, puts them below the level that gets multinational conglomerates licking their lips. There have also been missteps: Festival Republic’s attempt to hit the Norwegian mainstream with Hove, on Tromøy Island in southern Norway, ended in failure in 2014. Still, it seems improbable that a market as compact and vigorous as Norway hasn’t inspired some interest in distant or nearby capital cities. Surely, in a globalising business, Norway should be bracing itself for fresh invaders? “I don’t know,” says Nielsen. “Everybody is always concerned about something, whether it’s local competition or foreign competition. ‘Is [FKP Scorpio’s] Folkert [Koopmans] going to attempt Norway next?’ People need to talk. I’m not so concerned about it as many others. I’m just focused on what we do best, and whatever happens, happens.”

Promoters LEADING THE LINE in Norway is Live Nation – built on the foundations of long-serving local promoter Gunnar Eide Concerts – and stalwart indie Atomic Soul. Both reported record years in 2016 and are in the midst of very healthy times once again in 2017. “This year has been good – really good,” says Live Nation Norway head promoter Martin Nielsen. “We were looking at it around October, November last year and thought that this would be a pretty bad year, or a slower year, but it’s gone much better than expected.” As many others have found, part of this comes down to the sheer availability of talent. “Obviously, stadium shows are the real driver when it comes to big differences [from year to year] – and arenas, of course,” says Nielsen. “But there’s so many acts touring across Europe that you are able to keep a pretty solid volume.”

IQ Magazine September 2017


Norway

Biffy Clyro helped draw crowds at Bergenfest 2017 © Jarle Hovda

Atomic Soul’s Osmundsvaag has a very similar take on a year that is turning out almost unnervingly well. “I hate saying it because I feel as though I’m tempting fate, but sales are above and beyond what we have cautiously hoped for,” he says of forthcoming shows including J. Cole, Gorillaz and The War on Drugs, all at Oslo Spektrum; Lorde, Future Islands and Fleet Foxes, at Sentrum Scene; as well as numerous domestic shows. Atomic Soul also made a successful swerve into big pop all-dayers with its Oslo Sommertid event at Voldsløkka Park in June, which drew a young crowd of 35,000 to a bill headlined by YouTube stars including Marcus & Martinus, Isac Elliot and Sval. “It was extremely time-consuming but very satisfying,” says Osmundsvaag. “A new site is always a new site – and in a residential area, with all the complications that presents. But it was a success, and we are going to expand the site next year.” In the face of a hungry market, the discipline of Norwegian promoting is straightforward, if not necessarily easy, according to Osmundsvaag. “It’s getting the ticket price right, getting the venue right, and cracking the code on the ever-changing digital marketing,” he says. “And obviously, we are now all used to the krone being weaker than it has been before.” While competition is tight between the market leaders, Norway’s modest size tends to keep the pool of promoters relatively small – perhaps because young Norwegians tend to grasp that it isn’t an easy business. “To be quite honest, being a promoter is an extremely acquired taste, if you know what I mean,” says Osmundsvaag.

“Our risk is higher because we spend more money on artists, but we really don’t want to compromise and have a poorer bill.” – Claes Olsen, Øyafestival Other operators i Oslo include indie specialist Goldstar Music, whose recent shows have included Radiohead and Bon Iver; HES, with its stable of festivals, including Hvalstrand, Drøbak, Rød Snø and Sarpsborg; TimeOut Agency & Concerts, which specialises in local and regional talent including MØ, Thomas Dybdahl and Maria Mena; and punk and metal booker and promoter Radar Booking, whose artists include infamous local black metal legends Mayhem.

IQ Magazine September 2017

Highly active in developing new Nordic talent are agencies such as ArtistPartner and Nordic Live. In Bergen, Bergen Live keeps busy, bringing an eye-popping array of big shows and its own Bergen Calling festival to a city with a population of barely a quarter of a million. “We had a show with Paul McCartney last year at Bergenhus Fortress – a sold-out show, 23,000,” says Bergen Live CEO Frank Nes. “We are the local partners for Live Nation and we were lucky to do that with them. We partnered with them again for Robbie Williams [in early August], which was a huge challenge. That production was a stadium production, playing in a pretty small venue [again the Fortress] – it was like fitting an elephant in a shoebox.” Trondheim Concerts, in Norway’s third city, is the biggest promoter in the central part of the country and, on occasion, another local Live Nation partner. It numbers stars including Elton John, Roxette, Nightwish, Bruce Springsteen, and local heroes Röyksopp and Highasakite on its résumé.

Festivals EVERY MARKET WORTH its salt tends to think it has a particularly impressive festival scene, and Norway is no exception, though this one has the figures to prove it. According to Statistics Norway’s latest Norsk Kulturbarometer, 62% of Norwegians attended a gig last year, and 22% said they are ‘very interested’ in live music, with the number of older concertgoers – those between 25 and 79 – still rising. From events with an international profile down to notfor-profit knees-ups in far-flung rural towns, a report on Norwegian live music could do nothing but list festivals: from the big Oslo names to Slottsfjell in Tønsberg; UKA Festival in Trondheim to Oslo Jazz Festival and Notodden Blues Festival; all the way up to northern institutions such as Parkenfestivalen in Bodø and Tromsø’s Bukta Festival – missing out many significant names. “There has been a sort of festivalisation of the culture here,” says Valum. “Everybody has their local rock festival or pop festival nearby. The good thing is, it’s a rural country so the festivals in each town don’t compete with each other. You can have the same act headlining at 20 local or regional festivals and they don’t affect each other.” Norway doesn’t have a monster festival – though Norwegian Wood is the grand old man of the scene and Øya the hip big name – but it certainly has a lot of small-to-medium ones.

69


Norway

“Norwegians like their scenery, and they like people doing stubborn things, like putting on a festival where you really shouldn’t have.” – Lars Petter Fosdahl, OverOslo “If you look at how many festivals there are in Oslo and you look at the capacity, some only sell 5,000 tickets or 10,000. But if you took all those festivals into one, you’d probably have a Roskilde,” says Nielsen. Live Nation’s own dance music-driven Findings is technically the biggest festival in Norway on the strength of its size per day – it sells 20,000 tickets across two days. But Øya at Tøyen Park, arguably takes the crown overall, with around 17,000 tickets a day over four days. Niches in the capital are harder to find, although OverOslo has recently found one, largely thanks to its location at Grefsenkollen, a 377m hill that looks down on the city. With around 5,000 a day over four days, and headliners that have included both local stars and international names, the festival has made a decent impact since its launch in 2011. “We have challenged the existing festival community in Oslo,” says OverOslo CEO Lars Petter Fosdahl. “And I don’t think the programming itself is the reason. The location of the festival is a large x-factor. Norwegians like their scenery, and they like people doing stubborn things, like putting on a festival where you really shouldn’t have. “And we have also been very careful to offer people a very good level of service: we don’t have any queues; the toilets are always clean. These things might be more important to our crowd than to an average festival crowd,” he says, acknowledging that the festival typically draws a slightly older audience.

“There has been a sort of festivalisation of the culture here.” – Torbjørn Heitmann Valum, Norske Konsertarrangø Like most successful Norwegian festival entrepreneurs, Fosdahl and partner Thorkild Gundersen have toyed with launching more events, but so far have resisted the temptation, choosing to focus on a brand with proven demand and a strong proposition.

70

Oslo’s Telenor Arena will welcome Metallica’s ‘WorldWired Tour’ in 2018

“It’s always tempting – there are always ideas,” says Fosdahl. “But I think we are running quite a healthy festival in terms of economics. The fact that we are always sold out in January or February makes it a very comfortable position.” Not every Norwegian festival is guaranteed success. To add to Hove, whose collapse three years ago many promoters still readily recall, Oslo metal festival Blastfest was pulled in February due to poor ticket sales.

Venues THE 27-YEAR-OLD Oslo Spektrum was once the capital’s largest indoor arena, though it has been trumped twice in the years since, first by the 12,500-cap Valhall Arena, then by the 23,000-cap Telenor Arena. Telenor, and particularly Spektrum, play host to concerts: Telenor has Volbeat and Metallica on the schedule; Spektrum is booked up with Cirque du Soleil and Cats through September, but recently had PJ Harvey and Radiohead through the doors, with Sting, John Legend and Sigur Rós coming soon. The Rockefeller complex, consisting of three venues – the 1,350-cap Rockefeller, the 400-cap Rockefeller, and, over the road, the 1,750-cap Sentrum Scene – is a downtown Oslo focal point, staging scores of Norwegian and international shows. Other notable Oslo venues include Parkteatret Scene, Vulkan Arena and Oslo Music Hall, home of the Oslo Philharmonic but also a busy spot for rock and pop. Among the fixtures of the club scene are Blå, Café Mono and Gamla. In Bergen, the star of the biggest shows is the Bergenhus Fortress, dating back to the 13th century and located in the entrance to the harbour. The Koengen outdoor venue within the complex can take up to 23,000 people and has done for David Bowie, Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Rihanna and many others. Bergen otherwise doesn’t have nearly as many venues as Oslo, but the 700-seated Ole Bull Scene and smaller Lille Ole Bull are important spots, and USF Verftet, once a sardine cannery, is now an art arena with five venues for music, theatre, films and contemporary art. Grieg Hall does service both for classical and pop shows. Trondheim has been drawing big shows lately too, and when it does, it stages them at venues such as the 37,000cap Granåsen Arena and the 10,000-cap Sverresborg Arena. For everyday use, Olavshallen and Trondheim Spektrum are the local concert halls, with Rune Rudberg, Brit Floyd and Susanne Sundfør coming to the former, and Deep Purple and Kent to the latter. Music-supporting clubs in Trondheim include Moskus and Byscenen.

IQ Magazine September 2017


Members’ Noticeboard ABERDEEN EXHIBITION and Conference Centre (AECC) won the Best Conference Venue Customer Service gong at the Global Conference Network’s sixth annual Conference Awards, hosted at London’s Tobacco Dock. Pictured at the ceremony are (from left to right) Liam Reed, from event sponsor StreamAMG, AECC’s Steven Daun and Louise Stewart, and event host, comedian Jo Caulfield.

ROCK-IT CARGO’S David Stone and Aoife enjoyed their July wedding day in the company of family and friends – many from the music industry – at Bury Court Barn in Farnham, Surrey, UK. A DELEGATION PROTESTING the business practices of Viagogo was threatened with arrest for trespassing at the company’s London HQ. Evading the long arm of the law were Nigel Adams MP, Sharon Hodgson MP, Stuart Galbraith of Kilimanjaro Live, FanFair Alliance’s Adam Webb, Claire Turnham (Victim of Viagogo) and MMF chief Annabella Coldrick.

A NUMBER OF MUSIC business MAMILs (middle-aged men in Lycra) competed on behalf of the Warchild charity in July’s 100-mile Prudential RideLondon race.

GO GROUP CO-FOUNDER Holger Schmidt moderated a fascinating panel on festival and event sustainability at the inaugural East European Music Conference in Sibiu, Romania. Joining him in the discussion were Monika Satkova (Pohoda Festival), Bea Gabor and Nico Cirjan (MaiNoi Initiative), Claire O’Neill (A Greener Festival) and Roxana Șunică (Recolamp).

GEORG LEITNER PRODUCTIONS’ Harald Büchel and Georg Leitner enjoyed some backstage time with client Luis Fonsi at his sold-out 8,000-capacity show in Budapest Park.

LIVE NATION execs John Reid and Matt Schwarz worked closely with Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans to organise the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg during the recent G20 Summit in the city.

DEREK ROBERTSON (Drowned in Sound) Artur Rojek (OFF Festival), Chris Smyth (Primary Talent), Matjaž Manček (MENT Ljubljana) Jesse Fayne (William Morris) and journalist Oliver Rehák gave feedback and advice to a number of local acts during a listening session at Pohoda Festival.

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 gordon@iq-mag.net

72

IQ Magazine September 2017


Your Shout

“What’s the most outrageous lie you’ve ever heard?” Promoters never lie! Kim Bloem, Mojo Concerts

Of course we want to wire you the balance of the show fee but there is a full stop missing at the bottom right-hand corner of the invoice. Yes, we do have the original signed contract but that’s only the contract. Ed Grossman, Brackman Chopra

That Austin is the music capital of the world!! Chris Carey, Live Data Agency

Let’s just say that there have been a number of cancellations over the years due to sickness, the symptoms of which weren’t immediately apparent in the early hours of the night before. And were certainly not the symptoms of swine flu… Richard Haswell, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

“I love you.” (From a promoter. A German promoter.) Ed Bicknell, Damage Management

TOP SHOUT There’s a famous “promoter” from Siberia who every couple of months collects cash as advance payments from other promoters around Russia for fabulous inexistent tours, and never gives them back. There are guys who were fucked like ten times and still believe him every time. Semyon Galperin, Tele-Club & Dom Pechati

Don’t worry, Thomas, he/she will not take any paid-for club deals whilst with you for your big gig. And locally, the most regular ‘fake news’ item is attendance numbers. Some promoters (many of whom are no longer in business) even declare attendance numbers exceeding that of the actual known venue capacity – but then again, they are also the ones running weeks of “almost sold-out!” ticket sale advertisements! Thomas Ovesen, 117 Live

If you would like to send feedback, comments or suggestions for future Your Shout topics, please email: info@iq-mag.net

74

IQ Magazine September 2017


IQ73  

IQ Magazine Issue 73 September 2017

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you