LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
SEPTEMBER ‘77, PORT ELIZABETH WEATHER FINE...
THE REPORT Steve Strange @ 50 Sam Smith on Tour Kilimanjaro Live’s First Decade Market Focus: Denmark Preparing for GDPR 20 Years of Yourope ISSUE 77
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 77
Cover photo: Paceshifters perform at Eurosonic 2018 ©Martin Hughes @m3hcreative
News and Developments 6 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months 8 In Depth Key stories from around the live music world 12 New Signings and Rising Stars A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the rosters of international agents
18 Busy Bodies Industry associations share business concerns and news 19 Techno Files Revealing the hottest new technology in live entertainment
20 ILMC 30: The Report Full review of the ILMC conference and events 34 Preparing for GDPR A ten-step guide to readying your business for the General Data Protection Regulation 36 Celebrating Ten Years of Kilimanjaro Live The London-based promoter marks its successful first decade in business 46 Focus on Yourope The festival association marks its 20th anniversary 50 Happy 50th Birthday, Steve Strange Friends from around the world contribute to a birthday surprise for the X-ray Touring agent extraordinaire 68 Sam Smith Tour Report Rhian Jones talks to promoters benefitting from The Thrill of It All tour
76 Market Report: Denmark Adam Woods takes a look at the live entertainment business in the world’s happiest country
Comments and Columns 14 Protecting Festivals in 2018 Gavin Hepburn, provides some practical advice on how outdoor events can improve security 15 An Industry Responsibility Mike Malak explains why he established KID Talks to encourage the next generation of music business professionals 16 The 360° Value of Live Music to Society Dr Julia Jones highlights the multitude of areas in society that benefit from live music 17 Simplifying the Live Sector Supply Chain Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt gives an artists’ business perspective 84 Members’ Noticeboard ILMC members’ photos
86 Your Shout “As a new delegate, what was your most memorable moment at ILMC 30?”
IQ Magazine May 2018
Issue 77 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, May 2018
Liberté, égalité, fraternité It’s time for the live music to put its money where its mouth is, contends Gordon Masson.
Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH email@example.com www.iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag
ILMC and Suspicious Marketing
ANYONE WHO ATTENDED the gender session at ILMC 30 will no doubt have left the room with their brains whirring into overdrive about ways in which they can help level the playing field for anyone who wants to pursue a career in the live music industry. It’s usually music that is first to rally when there is an injustice or disaster, so to discover that the industry that we work in is one of the worst when it comes to the gender pay gap is massively disappointing. Although, was anybody genuinely surprised? Our story on page 10 highlights some of the outrageous pay gaps that exist throughout the UK business and, without pointing fingers, surely nobody can defend paying one gender less than another in the 21st century? It’s exploitative and just downright unfair. But, on a positive note, at least the UK government is now asking large companies to divulge such information. With any luck other countries will follow suit and the inequality in pay can start to be addressed internationally. Equality is just one of many topics we’ve packed into this bumper issue of IQ, which also includes a look back on ILMC 30’s panels and events on page 20. This edition also includes IQ’s very first surprise feature, in this case commemorating Steve Strange’s 50th birthday, which you will find on
IQ Magazine May 2018
page 50. It was quite an undertaking to ask so many people in the business to participate in our secret venture without anyone letting the cat out of the bag, so well done everyone for keeping shtum! Talking of celebrations, the May issue also includes a special report on Yourope’s 20th anniversary (see page 46), while scaling the heights on their tenth birthday are the good folk at Kilimanjaro Live (page 36). Elsewhere, Rhian Jones speaks to the promoters around the world who are expecting great things from Sam Smith’s The Thrill of It All tour (page 68), which is selling out arenas everywhere, while our market report guru, Adam Woods, visits Denmark (page 76) to learn just why the Danes are the happiest people on the planet. And if all that wasn’t enough for you, we’ve also got a step-bystep guide on how to prepare your business for GDPR – or the General Data Protection Regulation, to give it its full title. Fall short of these new European guidelines, which effectively govern how companies use and store personal data, and your company could find itself facing a fine of up to €20million. So, unless you’ve got money to burn, the tips that the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Giles Watkins shares on page 34, are essential reading.
News Editor Jon Chapple
Associate Editor Allan McGowan
Marketing & Advertising Director
Ben Delger & Imogen Battersby
Chris Austin, Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt, Gavin Hepburn, Dr Julia Jones, Rhian Jones, Mike Malak, Manfred Tari, Richard Smirke, Giles Watkins, Adam Woods
Gordon Masson, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303
Terry McNally, email@example.com 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).
In Tweets... MARCH The Australasian leg of Ed Sheeran’s massive ÷ world tour, which kicked off on 1 March at the 60,000-seat Optus Stadium in Perth, Western Australia, surpasses one million ticket sales, promoter Frontier Touring reveals. London’s Twickenham Stadium gears up for its biggest-ever summer of live music, as the home of England Rugby stakes its claim as a must-visit concert venue for some of the world’s biggest acts. The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) is ordered to return €1m to TicketOne after an Italian court rejected earlier claims by AGCM that the company had not done enough to prevent the resale of its tickets on the secondary market. The Madison Square Garden Company files a lawsuit against James T. Butts Jr, the mayor of Inglewood, accusing him of defrauding the forum over allegedly secret plans to build a new arena just south of the venue. The UK Advertising Standards Authority orders the ‘big four’ secondary ticketing platforms to remove what it calls the “misleading presentation of pricing information” from their websites. As part of a major campaign to help festival and event organisers to reduce plastics at their events, a practical guide on how to become plastic-free is launched at the Green Events & Innovations Conference 2018, organised by A Greener Festival. The UK’s Music Venue Trust announces the Fightback: Grassroots Promoter initiative, a £100k (€114k) funding scheme aimed at young women interested in a career in live music. Belgian dance music festival brand Tomorrowland reveals plans for Tomor-
rowland Winter, a new event held during the “most magical season of the year.” Musikmesse, the leading Frankfurt trade show for the musical instrument sector, takes on German showcase festivals such as Reeperbahn, Pop-Kultur and c/o pop by inviting several European export offices to showcase at its 2018 event. Norwegian events payment platform TicketCo launches in the UK with partners Junkyard Golf Club and Woking Football Club. British property company Secure Income REIT agrees to buy Manchester Arena, alongside several other hospitality assets, in a deal worth £436m (€499m). Printworks London, the 5,000-cap electronic music venue that opened in the south-east of the city last January, reveals ambitious plans to launch a new 3,000-cap live room for hosting “some of the biggest and most acclaimed live acts today.” Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) president Andrew Lustgarten tells IQ the company intends to grow the London market with plans for a new arena in Stratford (see IQ 76), which was officially launched on 20 March at an event attended by a host of MSG execs and UK industry VIPs. Ozzy Osbourne brings legal action against AEG for its block-booking policy between The O2 and Staples Center, alleging that forcing artists to play both venues is an “explicit” and “brazen” violation of US competition (‘antitrust’) law. CTS Eventim’s turnover exceeds €1bn for the first time, after the German live entertainment group reports revenue growth of 24.6% in 2017. Just for Laughs Group, the company behind Montréal’s Just for Laughs, the world’s largest international comedy festival, is acquired by an investor group
@iq_mag led by booking agency ICM Partners. Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven announces a review of the secondary ticketing market to see if legislation is needed to prevent ticket fraud, and the harvesting of large volumes of tickets for resale. Local authorities in Chaffee County, Colorado, grant Live Nation permission for a new multi-day, country music festival, to be held over the Labor Day (3 September) weekend on the former site of AEG’s short-lived Vertex event. A creditor of Active Ticketing files a petition to wind up the UK mobile ticketing start-up, which is believed to have raised millions through equity investment and bond sales since its launch in 2015. An independent inquiry rules that Manchester Arena operator SMG Europe and security provider Showsec went “above and beyond their roles to provide humanitarian assistance” to victims of the terror attack in May 2017. A classical musician who suffered permanent hearing damage as a result of being exposed to noise levels of more than 130dB wins a legal victory over the Royal Opera House, in a judgment that could have wide-ranging implications for the British music industry.
APRIL More than 20 independent European musicians are each left thousands of pounds out of pocket after allegedly being scammed by a phoney management company, Band Management Universal. The implementation of PRS for Music’s proposed new UK live music tariff grinds to a halt following an objection over the lack of any provision for direct licensing. British promoter Rupert Dell, the for-
IQ Magazine May 2018
mer general manager of The Leadmill, is ordered to pay more than £370k (€423k) in damages and costs to the Sheffield venue for breach of contract. He denies the allegations and accuses Leadmill director Phil Mills of attempting to destroy his reputation. Viagogo is slapped with another fine – this time to the tune of €1m – by the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) for alleged unfair commercial practices, including failing to disclose essential information about tickets on-sale. New York legal firm Bragar, Eagel & Squire announces it is investigating Live Nation’s business practices on behalf of shareholders, amid reports the US Department of Justice is looking into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by the concert giant. Senior figures from across the British live music business tell IQ they are committed to ending the disparity in remuneration received by male and female employees, after all large UK companies publish figures showing their respective gender pay gaps (see page 10). New rules that require all ticket resellers in the UK to provide buyers with a unique ticket number (UTN), along with other information such as the ticket’s face value, come into force. K2 Agency acquires UK rival Eccentric Gent Organisation (EGO), bringing over company founder Jim Morewood and agent Yerry Stetter along with EGO’s largely heavy metal-focused roster.
Live Nation bolsters its Artist Nation management division with the acquisition of Hall & Oates manager Jonathan Wolfson’s Wolfson Entertainment. Mexican concert promoter Jesús ‘Chucho’ Pérez Alvear is barred from doing business in the US over his alleged links to two notorious drug cartels and an international prostitution ring. Live Nation announces the return of its Festival Passport, which offers unlimited entry to 100+ Live Nation festivals globally, more than doubling the amount of passes available after a successful first year. On-site festival pill testing, of the kind common in Austria, the Netherlands and, most recently, Britain, could reduce the harm caused by drug use and potentially save festivalgoers’ lives, according to a major review of drug policy in Australia. Portland, Oregon, festival promoter Soul’d Out Productions files a lawsuit against Coachella Music Festival, along with organisers AEG and Goldenvoice, over what it calls attempts to “monopolise the market for popular music” on America’s West Coast by enforcing a 1,300-mile ‘radius clause.’ The European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) releases its first set of results for 2018, showing hotly tipped, London-based act Superorganism leading the charge. Newly launched, Austrian hard-rock agency Cobra forms an alliance with US management company 5B (Slipknot, Stone Sour, Megadeth), and German promoter ICS Festival Service (Wacken Open Air).
The brainwaves of music listeners synchronise better when they attend a concert, demonstrating that people enjoy music more when it’s live and experienced as part of a group, according to a new study. A new pan-European artist managers’ body – the European Music Managers Alliance – launches, bringing together managers’ associations in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Poland, in a similar format to the long-established International Music Managers Forum. FKP Scorpio sells its stake in its two Danish festivals, NorthSide and Tinderbox, for an undisclosed sum to Down The Drain Holding, which now owns 100% of both events. FKP will continue to own a minority share of Beatbox, which books both festivals (see page 8). Dave Newton, co-founder and longserving director of pioneering UK online ticket seller WeGotTickets, leaves the company after 17 years. Two members of veteran, Greek extreme metal band Rotting Christ are detained on terrorism charges ahead of a show in Georgia (Eastern Europe), after authorities accuse them of practising Satanism. CTS Eventim announces it is to acquire a controlling stake in Clemente Zard’s Vivo Concerti, in its fourth acquisition in Italy in less than eight months. United Talent Agency makes what it calls an “aggressive move” into electronic music by acquiring Circle Talent Agency, the leading independent booking agency for electronic dance music artists. Eventbrite acquires Spanish, self-service ticketing platform Ticketea for an undisclosed sum. The union of Eventbrite and Ticketea – now trading as Ticketea by Eventbrite – will “further the momentum Eventbrite has seen since acquiring Ticketscript in January 2017,” says the company.
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IQ Magazine May 2018
Scorpio Scales Back Danish Interests FKP Scorpio has sold its stake in leading Danish festivals NorthSide and Tinderbox to Down The Drain Holding (DTD). Financial details have not been disclosed but the deal also makes DTD the majority owner of Beatbox Entertainment, in which FKP Scorpio maintains a minority stake. Owned by festival directors Brian Nielsen and Flemming Myllerup, and Beatbox founder Mads Sørensen, DTD also counts the new Haven Festival in Copenhagen among its assets. “We would like to thank the Danish team for their good collaboration so far, and are happy that we will continue to co-operate with Mads Sørensen and the rest of the Beatbox Entertainment team,” says Folkert Koop-
mans, CEO of FKP Scorpio, who tells IQ that his company has “no further plans for Denmark at the moment.” DTD CEO Nielsen says the company will now operate as an independent player in the Danish festival market. “We have long wanted to consolidate the festivals under the Down the Drain umbrella, which today serves as Scandinavia’s largest independent concert and festival organiser,” he says. In addition to Tinderbox, NorthSide and Haven, DTD is this year organising Sommertid i Søndermarken (1-2 June) in Copenhagen; Komos Festival (22-23 June) in Odense and Copenhagen; and, through Beatbox, shows by Arctic Monkeys, Haim, The Black Angels, Calexico, and Bon Iver.
Movers and Shakers Former Leighton-Pope Organisation agent Sarah Casey has moved across London to join United Talent Agency. She takes with her a roster including Dagny, All Tvvins, Beoga, Talos, M.I.L.K., and All Our Exes Live in Texas. Live music video-streaming company LiveXLive Media has hired veteran tech exec Michael Zemetra, who was most recently chief financial officer of cloud-computing giant J2 Global, as its new CFO. Jazz-focused, US boutique booking agency Music Works International (MWI) has hired another two new agents to support its growing roster. Italian agent and promoter Luigi Sidero will assume responsibility for MWI’s bookings in Eastern Europe, while Katie Hattier, a recent graduate from Berklee College of Music, has been appointed a junior agent, focusing on developing artists, and cultivating relationships with international clients, primarily in the UK. Sebastian Carlomagno, partner and managing director of Move Concerts Argentina, has been promoted to chief operating officer of Move Concerts Group. Leading industry consultant Tim Chambers has joined the board of Tixserve, the white-label, digital ticketing company has announced. Chambers has worked in the live entertainment market for more than 20 years, having previously held the posts of VP of European development at Ticketmaster, and SVP of international corporate development for Live Nation Entertainment. He is also the founder of TicketWeb in the UK, and executive editor of IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook. Concert promoter Lenore Kinder, formerly of AEG Live/ Presents, has joined Paradigm’s Nashville office as an agent. Former Paradigm staffer Joel Roman has joined ICM Partners as an agent based in the company’s LA office, where he will focus on creating opportunities for ICM’s music clients in ancillary areas such as film, TV, gaming, branding, and digital platforms, and vice versa with clients in other divisions. Peter van der Veer, CEO and co-owner of Dutch arena Rotterdam Ahoy (15,000-cap), has been named president of the 35-strong European Arenas Association, succeeding Brian Kabatznick of AEG Europe, whose three-year term has come to an end.
Soaring high above the London skyline, the daring aerial acrobat is none other than ILMC member Claire O’Neill, who many of you will know through her day jobs at A Greener Festival and the Green Events & Innovations Conference. Donning her jellyfish costume (designed by Joanna Peacock) for a stunt at the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture, Claire was publicising the 5-6 May Arcadia shows in the capital’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Photo © Liam Arthur
Claire Horseman, the former managing director of Coda Agency, has joined Coalition Talent as a non-executive director. Fast-growing, blockchain ticketing company Aventus Systems has hired Rob Edwards, former managing director of Eventim UK, as chief operations officer.
IQ Magazine May 2018
Societies Faces Challenges to Tariff Hikes Europe’s promoters are becoming increasingly emboldened in taking on the continent’s performance rights organisations, with Belgian courts becoming the latest to side with live music business lawyers. The Commercial Court of Brussels has fined Sabam (Belgian association of authors, composers and publishers) up to €1million after it agreed with a coalition of festival organisers and concert promoters that its unilateral increase in live music tariffs in 2017 was unfair. The collection society had imposed tariff increases of up to 37% for the country’s biggest festivals, after failing to agree a deal with the nation’s promoters.
Sabam has been ordered to pay a fine of €5,000 for each day the newly illegal tariffs have been in force, up to a maximum of €1m, prompting the organisation to say it is now willing to work with the wider industry on a number of points highlighted by the judge. “The organisers of festivals and concerts have offered to renew the dialogue with [Sabam] – a proposal we will be happy to accept,” it says in a statement. The Belgian ruling comes as Sabam’s sister society in the UK, PRS for Music, continues to negotiate with industry groups over the new popular music tariff in Britain – rumoured to be 4% of gross
Fight Back on Plastic Heats Up The live music industry is making strides in the growing international effort to clamp down on the use of plastics. The UK’s major festival operators have pledged to step up the fight against the ocean plastics environmental disaster by banning plastic drinking straws at their events this summer. With hundreds of thousands of people set to attend Britain’s festivals across the summer, Festival Republic, Global/Broadwick Live and AEG/Goldenvoice have joined MAMA Festivals and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) in the move to eradicate plastic straws. As a result of those three corporations committing to a plastic straw ban, both corporate and independent festivals in the UK are united on minimising the environmental harm caused by single-use plastic.
“There’s loads that festivals can do to design-out disposable plastics, such as adopting reusable cups, banning drinks sales in plastic, and encouraging festivalgoers to bring refillable water bottles,” says Chris Johnson, cofounder and operations direc-
box-office receipts – a 33% increase on the 3% tariff that has been in place since 1988. The implementation of that new live music tariff has stalled because PRS neglected to include any provisions for artists that opt to direct license their live performances – a situation that could have widespread implications as no PRO (performing rights organisation) yet offers an opt-out for artists who are not members and who want to license directly. Meanwhile, in Spain, promoters are still in limbo over what they should be budgeting for live music tariffs. Two years ago, the country’s High Court ordered collection soci-
ety SGAE to abolish its “abusive” 10% tariff on box-office receipts in favour of a “fair” payment to copyright-holders. SGAE has since imposed an 8.5% tariff rate, which is also being disputed by APM (Spanish promoters association) and others, who are pushing for a rate closer to 3%. However, APM tells IQ that SGAE is yet to respond to calls for a meaningful negotiation over a fair tariff rate. Indeed, the PRO is still hoping that the Supreme Court will overturn the ruling that the 10% rate was unfair, meaning that APM is also considering challenging the 8.5% rate in court to underline how excessive the tariff is compared to other countries.
tor of AIF member Shambala Festival. “Festivals inspire change in people, so we just need to take the steps collectively and create the new normal – a better normal.” And that sentiment is echoed by Holger Jan Schmidt of Green Operations Europe who observes, “Banning plastic straws is a positive first step as it sparks the thought process: what kind of cups do we put the straws into?; can we get rid of plastic cable ties, gaffer
tape, plastic bottles on the artists’ riders? “Yourope’s Green’n’ Clean initiative has discouraged disposable plastics for some time now and that includes straws. But we’re happy to ask people to adopt the Drastic On Plastic mentality by getting rid of single-use plastic entirely. If we do it at festivals, we can encourage the fans that come to festivals to copy that at home and in their everyday lives.”
A NASA image of ocean garbage patches, which are now said to amount to twice the size of France
IQ Magazine May 2018
Music Ranks Badly in Gender Pay Gap Disclosure Britain’s biggest music industry companies are pledging to do more to level the playing field for their female employees following admissions that the gender pay gap across the board is heavily skewed in favour of men. The disparity was revealed when all companies with more than 250 employees were required to report their gender pay gap figures to the UK government – leading to some shocking statistics that place the music business at the wrong end of the equal opportunities scale. Companies were asked to provide data on hourly pay rates; median rates (the gap between the middle-paid man and middle-paid woman); payment at different levels of seniority; bonus payments; and the difference in those bonus payments between men and women. For the average UK company, the pay gap between men and women is 18.4% according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, while the median pay gap among the more than 10,000 companies who reported details to the government, was 9.7%. However, as our chart depicting the details reported by some of the UK’s larger music companies highlights, the major employers are massively failing their female workforce – with only the NEC Group and not-for-profit collection society PRS for Music coming anywhere close to those national averages. While the figures largely make for grim reading – at both Live Nation UK and AEG UK, men on average earn more than 40% more
than their female colleagues – all concert businesses that published figures told IQ they are taking immediate steps to close the gap. At Live Nation, the average gender pay gap is 46%, dropping to 31% when taken on a median basis. Digging down into the numbers, of the employees who received bonus pay (32% of men and 29% of women), women’s mean bonus pay is 88% lower than men’s, and median bonus pay 36% lower. A Live Nation spokesperson says the company is “committed to increasing women and diversity in our workforce and being an inclusive environment where everyone can succeed.” Indeed, the company says it is employing 17 new apprentices (gender-balanced), and highlighting company role models to create development paths for employees. It is also undertaking talent acquisition strategies to attract more females through schools and colleges, as well as instigating an employee resource group for women, and better family benefits. At AEG’s UK headquarters, the mean pay gap is 43.3% in favour of men, while women also earn 41.2% less on a median basis. Men make up 74% of the highest-paid AEG employees (in the top pay quartile), with 34% of male employees receiving bonuses compared to 22% of female staff. The mean difference in bonus pay is 62.6% (in favour of men), and the median,16.7%. AEG contends that, “women and men are paid equally for
doing equivalent jobs across the company,” but the large number of high-paid male execs in the top quartile skews the statistics. As part of its commitments to increasing gender equality, the company is ensuring at least one woman is in every firstround interview pool for all senior roles (head of department and above). “We fully support the gender pay gap initiative and welcome the spotlight placed on this important issue both in our organisation and in the wider entertainment industry,” says Alex Hill, AEG Europe’s COO and CFO. “We appreciate there is more to do in terms of gender pay neutrality in our industry, and AEG is committed as a business to lead the way on this. We will reduce the gen-
der pay gap, and we have already made commitments, including maintaining a fair approach to recruitment, promoting a culture of inclusion, and gender-neutral pay and reward processes.” Elsewhere, SMG Europe boss John Sharkey says its gender pay gap “is the result of the roles in which men and women work within the organisation and the salaries that these roles attract.” At Birmingham-based rival NEC, which reported a 10.1% mean and 7.1% median pay gap, HR director Jane Jarvis says the company’s stats, “present a reasonably well-balanced picture overall,” adding, “but that will not lead to complacency: there is always more that can be done.”
GENDER PAY GAP
MEDIAN PAY GAP
Academy Music Group
PRS For Music
IQ Magazine May 2018
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world Haiku Hands
The recent signing to First Access Entertainment has had his debut single, Trampoline, playlisted on Radio One, achieving massive success in its first few weeks of release, charting at number 2 on Spotify’s UK Viral 50 chart and gaining more than 500,000 streams since release. His second single, Confused, reached 28 on the iTunes charts on pre-orders alone and is sure to make waves for the 19-year-old indie-pop artist.
Agents: Natasha Bent & Lucy Putman, Coda Agency HAIKU HANDS, THE ELUSIVE trio of artists whose influence can be felt across live performance, visual art, and production has exploded onto the scene with irresistibly danceable single Not About You and a rapidly growing reputation for formidable and rambunctious live performances. Working with some of Australia’s finest writers and producers, such as El Gusto (Hermitude), Joelistics, Jaytee Hazard, and Lewis Cancut, Haiku Hands curate, perform, and collaborate to form genre-bending songs with influences from hip-hop, pop, electronic, dance and disco. A tongue-in-cheek, rave-inspired introduction to some of the country’s coolest creatives, Not About You is four to the floor, pop ‘til you drop.
CASEY LOWRY (UK)
Agent: Mark Bennett, UTA ALREADY FEATURED AS Radio One’s artist of the week, teenager Casey Lowry was selling out club shows across the UK even before his first single was released, thanks to a growing fan base through social media.
PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT MONTH
Artists not in the current top 15 but rapidly rising CALPURNIA (CA), B YOUNG (UK), MORMOR (CA), SASHA SLOAN (US), BLOCBOY JB (US)
HAIKU HANDS (AU)
IQ Magazine hottest new acts - May 2018 This Month Last Month 1 14 2 51 3 43 4 4 5 18 6 12 7 7 8 66 9 10 10 25 11 2 12 15 13 16 14 8 15 17
KHRUANGBIN (US) ALMA (FI) MABEL (UK) TOM WALKER (UK) SOCCER MOMMY (US) LEWIS CAPALDI (UK) YELLOW DAYS (UK) SAWEETIE (US) ALICE MERTON (UK/CA) DERMOT KENNEDY (IE) YAEJI (KR) GUS DAPPERTON (US) PALE WAVES (UK) STEFFLON DON (UK) JAPANESE BREAKFAST (US)
Fastest growing artists in terms of music consumption. Aggregated across a number of online sources.
IQ Magazine May 2018
New Signings & Rising Stars
Artist listings 7 Minutes In Heaven (US) Martin Horne & Gemma Milroy, X-ray Colin Keenan, ATC Live AK Patterson (UK) Colin Keenan, ATC Live ALLIGATOR (UK) Alma (FI) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Erin Coleman, Paper and Iron Anna McClellan (US) ARK (UK) Jess Kinn & Nick Matthews, Coda Agency Matt Hanner, ATC Live Axel Flรณvent (IS) Barrie (US) Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Batida (PT) Bazzi (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Mark Bennett, UTA Belako (ES) Bishop Nehru (US) Ben Walker, MN2S Sol Parker, Coda Agency Blakey (UK) Callum Stewart (UK) Matt Hanner, ATC Live Ben Kouijzer, UTA Cedric Gervais (FR) Ciaran Lavery (UK) Matt Hanner, ATC Live Marlon Burton, ATC Live Cold Callers (UK) Colin Macleod (UK) Rod MacSween, ITB James Fern, MN2S Corduroy (UK) Cuco (US) Rob Challice & Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Billy Wood, UTA Dionne Bromfield (UK) Dizzy Fae (US) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Stuart Kennedy ATC Live DZ Deathrays (AU) Steve Nickolls, UTA Ego Ella May (UK) Zac Peters, DMF Music Emily Capell (UK) Estrons (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Ezra Collective (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Fontaines D.C. (IE) Sarah Besnard, ATC Live Beckie Sugden, X-ray Ghostemane (US) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Giraffes? Giraffes! (US) Gotsome (UK) Ben Kouijzer & Dan Saunderson, UTA Grim Sickers (UK) Samuel Rumsey, MN2S H.C. McEntire (US) Nikita Lavrinenko, Paper and Iron Cecile Communal, ATC Live Harrison Storm (AU) Sinan Ors, ATC Live Henry Green (UK) Highasakite (NO) Matt Hanner, ATC Live I See Rivers (NO) Cecile Communal, ATC Live Invisible Minds (UK) Steve Nickolls, UTA Michael Harvey-Bray & Natasha Bent, Coda Agency Island (UK) Anita Richelli, Paper and Iron Jaala (AU) Jo Passed (CA) Nikita Lavrinenko, Paper and Iron jpegmafia (US) Nick Matthews & Cris Hearn, Coda Agency Marlon Burton, ATC Live Kaleem Taylor (UK) Tim Levy, MN2S Kenny Dope (US)
IQ Magazine May 2018
Kida Kudz (UK) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Klashnekoff (UK) Samuel Rumsey, MN2S Krush Puppies (UK) Sarah Joy, ATC Live Lane 8 (US) Dave Blackgrove, Coda Agency Matt Hanner, ATC Live Lanterns On The Lake (UK) Liza Anne (US) Matt Hanner, ATC Live Jamie Wade, X-ray Lou Stone (UK) Lucia (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Cecile Communal & Chris Meredith, ATC Live Lucy Spraggan (UK) Mak & Pasteman (UK) Ben Kouijzer & Dan Saunderson, UTA Men I Trust (CA) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Alex Hardee, Coda Agency Miriam Bryant (SE) Mt. Joy (US) Matt Hanner & Alex Bruford, ATC Live Nick Brewer (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Marlon Burton, ATC Live Noah Carter (DK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live Partner (CA) Matthew Pidgeon, MN2S Phaeleh (UK) Pom Poko (NO) Matt Hanner, ATC Live Queen Kwong (US) Olivia Sime, ITB Robert Vincent (UK) Phyllis Belezos, ITB S-X (UK) Mark Bennett, UTA Olly Hodgson, Coda Agency Sad Boys Club (UK) Zac Peters, DMF Music Sean McGowan (UK) Adele Slater, Coda Agency Shitkid (SE) Colin Keenan, ATC Live Shovels and Rope (US) Matt Hanner, ATC Live Siv Jakobsen (NO) Samuel Rumsey, MN2S Slimzee (UK) Jamie Wade, X-ray Spielbergs (NO) Sun Arcana (UK) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Teenage Wrist (US) Olivia Sime, ITB Tennis System (US) The Fever 333 (US) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Steve Zapp, ITB The Frights (US) The Holy (FI) Jo Biddiscombe, X-ray The Lottery Winners (UK) Chris Meredith, ATC Live The Score (US) Jamie Wade, X-ray Olly Hodgson, Coda Agency Trampled By Turtles (US) VIVEK (UK) Matthew Pidgeon, MN2S ViVii (SE) Olly Hodgson, Coda Agency Weslee (UK/US) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Billy Wood, UTA Wiley (UK) Sarah Joy, ATC Live Yassassin (UK) Samuel Rumsey, MN2S YGG (UK)
Protecting Festivals in 2018 ATG Access director, Gavin Hepburn, provides some practical advice on how outdoor events, big and small, can improve security around their sites.
he UK is renowned for its summer music festivals, with record numbers of crowds drawn to the likes of Glastonbury, Download and V-Festival each year. During 2016, in fact, the number of attendees at UK festivals rose by 6% to 3.9 million. But, with such large volumes of people expected to attend various events this summer, it is important that security is stepped up to protect the public from a possible terror attack, especially given the surge of attacks that have occurred at public places across Europe. In 2016, the world saw attacks rise by 25% to 24,202 in total, with four attacks taking place in London alone over the past year. It has illustrated how open the country is to an attack and that an incident can never be ruled out. Due to the fact that festivals are filled with large numbers of people crowded into one area, they make an ideal target for an attack whose aim is to cause as much destruction as possible. We just need to look at the attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017, where 23 people were killed and over 500 injured, to see just how severe an attack on a music event can be. Recognising that event venues are a prime target for attacks, festival organisers began to introduce extra security measures following the incident in Manchester. At Glastonbury, for instance, festival-goers were told to pack light, place luggage tags or identification on all their bags and not to wrap them in thick plastic, otherwise they would be searched. In addition, there were also additional car searches carried out and attendees were met with more security personnel when they arrived at the event. At Wireless Festival in London, organisers opted to use a mixture of sniffer dogs and metal detectors at entrance gates. They also banned large bags completely. But, while more security personnel, sniffer dogs and extensive searches will help identify and prevent a terrorist on foot, these security measures will not protect against a vehicle being used as a weapon. Given the recent attacks in New York, London and Barcelona, vehicles now appear to be the preferred weapon of choice for terrorists. Therefore, festival organisers need to turn their attention to implementing physical security solutions, such as temporary bollards and barriers, to mitigate against hostile vehicle risks. With festivals often based in remote locations, attendees may be dropped off either by bus or car a short distance from the site and will then have to walk to the main gate, meaning crowds may congregate inside the festival or outside on the surrounding areas and roads while they’re queuing to get in. Given that thousands of people can be gathered in one area,
it is important that site perimeters are properly protected to safeguard attendees against possible vehicle attacks. One effective way of securing the perimeter would be to use temporary event security barriers. Permanent security measures aren’t always the most appropriate solutions to put in place at events, particularly at festivals that tend to happen just once a year for only a few days. This is where new temporary Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers can provide effective perimeter protection during the course of the event.
“With the summer just a few months away … it is imperative that event organisers start thinking about how they’re going to secure sites.” These solutions can be assembled and put in place in just over 30 minutes – they can also be removed just as quickly. This means that busy streets around the site, as well as entrances to the festivals, can be secured and shut off in a short timeframe. The barrier can then be removed once the event is over, limiting the amount of disruption caused. Some temporary HVM barriers are also capable of stopping a 7,200kg lorry travelling at 32kph within less than five meters of penetration, making them an effective solution to protect the perimeter of temporary events. They have also been designed to be pedestrian permeable, meaning that people and their bags can easily pass through without disruption, but vehicles or any large machinery cannot. We are currently enduring times of great uncertainty, meaning a terror attack can never be ruled out. With the summer just a few months away and thousands of people getting ready for festival season across Europe, it is imperative that event organisers start thinking about how they’re going to secure sites, while ensuring that attendees can still enjoy the event. Unobtrusive temporary event security barriers are an effective solution that can be deployed right before the event, but that also avoid creating a ‘fortress mentality.’We must stand together and take action now to prevent any further vehicle attacks from making contact with their target. For more information, please visit: www.atgaccess.com/
IQ Magazine May 2018
An Industry Responsibility Coda agent Mike Malak outlines why he established KID Talks in order to encourage the next generation of music business professionals.
ID Talks is an initiative that I founded three years ago, with the goal of helping young people to get into the music industry, boosting their self-confidence, and providing the tools for them to get started. We’ve all been there – being young with a passion for music and wanting to be involved in the industry. Each individual embarks on their own journey to kick-start their career in music but the road is never straightforward. It requires a huge amount of hard work, perseverance, and faith that someone will eventually open that door. Prior to joining Coda Agency, there were key individuals who helped my journey. Polo Molina, manager of The Black Eyed Peas, allowed me to be part of the team at 17 when he had no logical reason to do so; Dante Santiago, A&R of The Black Eyed Peas, pushed and encouraged me; and Ian Fletcher, another talented manager, trusted me to book his act LMFAO when they were set for global stardom. These people are all family to me to this day, highlighting the real value of spotting a young person’s desire and encouraging them to go further; it is their pivotal advice and faith that I am extremely thankful for. Having worked in music for over ten years, including time at Warner Bros. Records and with Steve Aoki’s management, I fast discovered the days are challenging. However, through the consistent support I receive from the partners at Coda combined with hard work, I am now in a position of representing worldclass talent of all genres, whilst spearheading the urban music roster and being Coda’s agent of the year.
“We’ve all been there – being young with a passion for music and wanting to be involved in the industry.” I ensure that I don’t forget that several key individuals were pivotal in my career and provided me with a platform. Through this, it’s clear to see that it is our duty to keep our eyes and ears open for young people who have the desire and work ethic but simply need the tools, stimulation and selfbelief to reach and surpass their aspirations. I find myself grateful for being able to work in such an open-minded environment where many years ago Coda partner Alex Hardee provided me with the opportunity to become an agent. Much of Coda’s success lies in it being a business about
IQ Magazine May 2018
people whilst nurturing the team and giving them the platform to flourish and grow. The result being Coda is an agency of people who remain loyal and help propel the company further. It is this support that allows me to remember that a few words or minutes of your time can bring a large amount of value to a young individual who may be needing the motivation or the tools to start building their dream career today. The industry is challenging and volatile – it’s about having a strong mentality to block out the noise whilst allowing
“…no matter how early or late in your career, you must continue to branch out, grow and push the boundaries if you are to be successful in the music industry.” yourself to build, and having faith that what you create will attract those you wish to collaborate with. I continue to work and develop new projects, with some exciting ventures coming this year, but this is only possible through a core belief that no matter how early or late in your career, you must continue to branch out, grow and push the boundaries if you are to be successful in the music industry. So remember that those young ones you inspire today are the next leaders. With the power of social media to amplify work and social circles faster than ever before, young people are leading the way forward. If it is not in the spirit of ‘giving back’ that you do it, it may well be in your own interest to have these people on your side in the coming years! They already are the future. KID will be running more sessions with the Roundhouse over the next year, and some sessions over at IMS Ibiza this summer. We also aim to document as many of the sessions as possible in order to give young people all over the world a chance to access it. Any partners that are interested in getting involved locally or internationally are welcome to do so. The programme is extremely flexible and we encourage more artists and industry talent to get involved. It’s invaluable to share knowledge and experience, however, no journey is ever the same: what’s consistent is the mentality, if you want to get to the top and surpass your ambitions. www.kid-talks.com
The 3600 Value of Live Music to Society Dr Julia Jones, CEO of Found in Music, maintains that to understand the true social value of music one must consider a wide variety of properties.
n recent years, I’ve become obsessed with driving home messages regarding the value of music and live performance. This is largely due to the work I’ve been involved with in London: setting up the Mayor of London’s taskforce to stop busking from being wiped off public streets; sitting on the London Music Board to support the work of the GLA and Music Venue Trust in protecting grassroots venues; providing evidence at the House of Lords for the Music & Dementia Commission; providing evidence regarding the value of music in schools as chair of Young Voices Concerts; examining the decrease in live music in Student Unions. The list goes on. There seems to be an endless number of campaigns, committees, boards, and commissions these days that are all examining the value of music. This is absolutely great news. However, due to the fact that I’m fortunate enough to be involved in most of them I’m realising that the true value of music is being missed. The true value of music to society is when you add them all together into one 3600 ‘super-value.’
“I’m realising that the true value of music is being missed” Music (and live music in particular) has unique properties that when harnessed properly can drive economic development and improve health and wellbeing (in exceptional ways). There are not many other tools that have such a diverse range of benefits. We have also now entered an era where it’s possible to engage multiple generations with popular music. Because the grandparents invented it and the grandchildren are still devouring it. This has opened up new and exciting opportunities for intergenerational line-ups and audiences. This phenomenon is only going to grow stronger in the next two decades as the youth of the 1970s and 80s become OAPs. Music tastes from youth last a lifetime. For the live industry this offers extensive audiences. For towns and cities this offers new opportunities to use music to drive tourism, the local economy, and the health and wellbeing of communities. I had several conversations
about this at ILMC this year with promoters who are expanding their event portfolios to tap this demand. For this 3600 super-value to be properly exploited it’s essential to bring all of the stakeholders around the same table. Decision makers from the music industry, the urban planners, the education system, the health boards, the economic development and licensing teams. As the value of music becomes more and more recognised, there will be more opportunities. Red tape will be removed (or adjusted) in order to support and facilitate more music opportunities. Research already shows that children who learn a musical instrument in school are less likely to develop dementia in later life. Research also shows that music has a unique ability to reach even those with late-stage dementia at the end of their lives. So surely it makes sense for us to examine and value music for both education and dementia together rather than separately – because they are linked. Research also shows that loneliness is reaching epidemic proportions, and we urgently need to ensure that everyone remains socially active. Live music in public spaces is one of the simplest ways to successfully socialise a wide range of age groups, and street performance is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to regularly animate public spaces with live music. Grassroots venues can also play an important role in maintaining social spaces. So again, why are we examining street performance, music, and loneliness separately? They are all connected. So I have made it my mission in 2018 to urge cities, governments, and organisations to stop adopting microapproaches and to instead bring all the stakeholders together into one joined-up conversation. Let’s stop using a silo approach and instead measure the true value of music across all aspects of society. Then we can all work together to make plans that ensure that we get as much music into as many people’s lives as possible. Music makes life better. Music can increase happiness (this is scientifically proven, and is driven by automatic neurochemical reactions). Happiness is key to wellbeing. People buy things that make them happy. Music is the one ‘language’ that everyone on Planet Earth can understand and enjoy.
IQ Magazine May 2018
Simplifying the Live Sector Supply Chain Continuing on from this year’s North American Concert Promoters Association’s themes, Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt from IMMF gives an artists’ business perspective.
t Eurosonic 2018, our members once again touched upon the wide range of rates for public performance licensing of authors’ rights, as payable by promoters. With ranges in rates from around 1% in the US towards 25% in some Central-Eastern European markets, the question ‘which of these rates would artists (authors and performers) prefer?’ is a tricky one. The artist has four sectors of operations: live, publishing, brand, and recording, and in each of these areas music rights and supply chains are complex. Consumers, however, have one demand: access to the artist’s activities. When each sector is chasing the same consumer, running unrelated supply chains is not smart. When building their businesses, artists are increasingly operating independently of traditional service providers, or with simplified B2B relationships. Artists’ SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) need to be able to operate efficiently, without complex barriers. If the music industry is “all about the artist” we should review how the supply chain works. IMMF is debating what simplifying the supply chain means for the live sector; not only in terms of efficiency (authors’ rights) but in terms of investment (the impact on
labels of streaming/recording live events), and of opportunity (identifying artists and rights-holders using metadata and metrics in context-based marketing). Especially in the live sector, the artist, and not the IP (work/ recording), is the common thread and the driver of consumer engagement but artists are often identified only by ambiguous text. How many permutations are there for the name ‘Guns N’ Roses’? Throw in variations in language and alphabets, and remember we have a global music market. IMMF is keen for the industry to take a longer look at ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) a 16-digit (ISO standard) identifier for creators. ISNI, if widely adopted within the music industry, could be used to disambiguate names and so link usage data across all sectors to one point, i.e. by linking data to the relevant authors and performers. If artists’ contracts compelled labels and promoters to identify in the back-end processes each artist by an alphanumeric identifier, this should create connective metadata. That would lead to opportunities for usage data to be collected across all sectors and activities. It would be a great way for the live, publishing, brand, and recording sectors to come together and grow the gross value of our industry.
News fr om live music associations ar ound the world
On the back of its successful debut in 2017, ILMC 30’s Association Summit saw 20 trade bodies gather from around the world. Here we bring you a summary of the most compelling topics that were brought to the table during this one-day gathering…
Association Summit Expansion The ILMC Association Summit attracted representatives from 20 organisations around the world, and attendees noted how necessary such a gathering is for the global industry. As a result, a second summit will take place during Reeperbahn
Festival on 19 September. Hosted by Greg Parmley and Manfred Tari, the closed summit will see one representative from each association invited to participate. Further details will be released in due course.
Take A Stand Christof Huber and Fruzsina Szép from Yourope kicked off the summit with a presentation highlighting the Take A Stand initiative that launched at ILMC in 2017. The first year of the initiative has seen 80 festivals, promoters, clubs, and companies from 20 countries sign their declaration, as well as 13 associations and partners from around the world. Festivals and events that embraced the initiative last summer include Roskilde, Lollapalooza Berlin, OpenAir St.Gallen and Das Fest. Huber and Szép highlighted the Live DMA website as an example of how partners can effectively
spread the Take A Stand message across their platforms. The importance of artists spreading the message was also raised as a direct way to reach event attendees and fans. Take A Stand’s plans and goals for 2018 include presenting the first Take A Stand Award at the European Festival Awards in Groningen next January; participating on various panels, presentations, and workshops at conferences; reaching 200 festivals, promoters, clubs, and partners; and growing its social presence. Prospective partners, associates and representatives can register and access logos and artwork at Take-a-stand.eu.
Safety at Swedish Events Svensk Live’s Joppe Pihlgren spoke about the organisation’s continued work alongside local police to ensure safe and secure events in the country, in light of reported cases of rape and assault at festivals. The initiative has involved the creation of a national knowledge bank of methods and measures for safe and secure events, providing training materials and coordinated communications operations with event organisers, which Pihlgren says is
crucial in turning around the negative media portrayal of music festivals. Pihlgren also detailed a case study of measures taken at Way Out West, which actually reduced the amount of alcohol available to buy (limited to 1 unit per person) when the event organisers felt that the crowd may be in danger of getting out of control. This was one example of a proactive action by an event to promote a safe environment for attendees.
Taxation and Visas European live music umbrella association, Pearle*, used the forum to address the topics of withholding tax rates, and visas for thirdcountry nationals travelling to Schengen countries. The organisation’s director, Anita Debaere, revealed details of a campaign to eliminate the OECD Model Tax Convention’s Article 17 regulations, which identifies entertainers and sportspeople, which she claims penalises the large majority of musicians. Regarding visas for thirdcountry nationals travelling to Schengen countries, Pearle* highlighted that the Schengen visa needed by visa-required, third-country nationals touring within the Schengen zone only allows access to the territory, and does not encom-
pass a work permit, which is dealt with at national level. In 2016, the European Commission proposed the ETIAS (EU Travel and Information Authorisation System), which will be compulsory for all visa-exempt, third-country nationals, who will have to register if they want to enter the Schengen area. It will probably be in place by 2020, costing €5 per application. In March, the European Commission put forward proposals to make the EU visa policy stronger, more efficient, and more secure, with improvements on some of the current rules, which cause an undue administrative burden on applicants. However, the future for UK artists and musicians, postBrexit, still remains unclear.
Does your association have any news or issues to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the next edition of IQ...
IQ Magazine May 2018
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...
Solar Shower BioLite CampStove With Coachella unofficially launching the start of the 2018 festival season, we thought we’d dedicate this issue’s Technofiles to tech ideas specifically for that sector, starting with the ingenious BioLite CampStove. A fire hazard it may be but this gadget doesn’t require any such dangers as gas canisters, as it uses renewable biomass (that’s the likes of twigs and pine cones, to you and me) in order to generate energy, thanks to a cleverly effi-
cient internal fan that minimises energy waste. In addition to looking fairly plush, BioLite’s furnace not only creates enough energy to cook food (if you remember to pack the KettlePot accessory) but can also be used to charge mobile phones and other electronic devices thanks to its power module’s ability to convert heat into electricity. Expect to be envious if the inhabitants of the neighbouring tent, yurt or tepee have splashed out €130 to get their grubby hands on one…
AMPware Crankcase Another innovation helping to keep your phone charged even when the chance of getting any reception is slim, is the AMPware Crankcase, which claims to be the world’s first power-generating, mobile phone case. Using technology similar to that used by wind-up radios and torches, the Crankcase, as its name suggests, features a
crank in order to create kinetic energy, which in turn can be used to power your phone. A snip at around $79 (€64) the case is slim-line and also helps protect the phone, with its manufacturers claiming that just five minutes of winding the dynamo crank can provide up to three hours of power (whilst strengthening the wrists).
After preparing a festival feast courtesy of your BioLite stove, and having worked up a sweat cranking enough energy to power your phone, your mind might turn to thoughts of cleanliness. But how to achieve that without ruining your green credentials? Step forward the solar shower, of which many are on the market, retailing from a trifling €10 right up to a decadent €100-plus, de-
pending on how deep your pockets are. Rather than queue for hours with several thousand other stinking festival fans, simply fill your own personal shower bag with water and let the sun do its job with the help of the bag’s insulating fabric. Then, hey-presto! warm water to wash away the dust. Or mud. Or… whatever. Unless, of course, there’s no sun, in which case, it’s queue or stink.
LUME And if all that isn’t enough to awaken your dormant glamping instincts, then look no further than LUME – the world’s first rechargeable, portable coffee grinder and camp light. If you invest in one of these $89 (€72) gizmos, then you probably have every right to say that you’ve got it all. Combining a camping light with a coffee grinder may seem a little niche but the Kickstarter-funded venture “received tremendous love from all the specialty coffee and outdoor enthusiasts out there,” thanks in no small part to the coffee-shop grade grounds from its professional quality conical ceramic burrs. If Roast Magazine can proclaim “The future looks
bright for the LUME portable grinder,” then who are we to doubt it?!
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IQ Magazine May 2018
TUESDAY 6 MARCH Green Events & Innovations Conference
GUARDIANS OF THE ILMC UNIVERSE
I’m not sure whether it was the big 30th anniversary, or just business being strong right now, but there was an inter-stellar vibe around ILMC this year. From lively discussion in many of the panels, to the general buzz around the hotel and the packed night-time events, the live music business seemed as ‘up’ for its annual meeting as ever. This buoyancy was also reflected in the demand for delegate passes, which were at an all-time high, with well over 1,000 secret agents and galactic explorers turning up. The next few pages should give you a taster/refresher of what happened, but the full report is online at 30.ilmc.com where you’ll find in depth panel and event reviews, comments, and pics of pretty much everything. And what of the trial midweek format that’s been in place for the last two editions? Well, following the survey that went out after this year’s conference, the results are still very much in favour of remaining in the week. Over three quarters of ILMC members that responded said they would prefer to stay midweek, so we’ll be respecting the democratic result and staying as we are for ILMC 31. Now, there’s just the small matter of how to top our biggest birthday party ever next year…
The Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) celebrated its tenth anniversary by attracting a record number of delegates – all with an interest in making their events greener and improving the outlook for the planet and its resources for future generations. The conference involved presentations and debates on how festivals, in particular, can improve their carbon footprint. Proceedings kicked off with a series of organisations showcasing various new innovations and approaches to reducing the environmental impact of events, including Enviro-cup’s reusable stainless-steel cups, ButtiFly’s campaign to stop people discarding cigarette butts on the floor, and a fantastic presentation by 13-yearold Danilo Manuputty and his sister Sisley Beau (17) from Kick Event, reminding the audience that we need to involve the next generation in our efforts to provide a cleaner, greener world for their future. Other presentations included a session on the ECO Coin cryptocurrency; Liz Warwick of Landsdowne Warwick Sustainability Consultancy spoke about ways to reduce the use of vehicles travelling to events; A Greener Festival’s Teresa Moore asked why audiences seem so reluctant to clean up their act; while Ed Cook from Resources Futures detailed advancements in recycling. Panel sessions included fascinating debates on The Climate Justice Movement with Jamie Kelsey-Fry from New Internationalist; Tuned in Travel, hosted by Dawn Kendall and Christian Steele, which looked at ways to reduce travel emissions; Taking A Stand for Social Cohesion; The Facts of Live – Poo, Pee and Water, hosted by CMU’s Chris Cooke; Sustainable Procurements and Circularity, also hosted by Chris Cooke; and Plastic Seas and Campsite Chaos hosted by Natalie Fee from City to Sea. The day’s keynote saw Greenpeace UK’s Bob Wilson provide a fascinating insight into the world of Greenpeace activism over the last three decades from its beginnings to the current day. “ I hope everyone went away feeling well briefed and up to date after hearing from so many passionate and committed speakers,” said Wilson. “Now the real challenge is to spread the word among your audiences. So make the change in yourselves that you want to see in others.” Videos of all GEI’s sessions can be found at www.agreenerfestival.com/gei.
Greg Parmley, ILMC Keynote speaker Bob Wilson from Greenpeace UK
ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT ABOVE TOP SECRET - VGBALPE
ILMC Production Meeting Marking its 11th year, IPM included specialist presentations and the following panels:
Rules & Regulations: Changes & challenges in worldwide production Chaired by the Production Services Association’s Andy Lenthall, this session tackled discrepancies in decibel limitations across Europe and how several countries are starting to implement noise restrictions for children, presenting a new challenge for production professionals. Marcel Kok of dBcontrol highlighted the importance of events having a clear chain of command and responsibility. Using the recent example of a small carnival in Germany, he described how neither promoter nor PA company had been keeping an eye on noise levels, resulting in the promoter being fined €8,000.
Welfare for Workers: Work in progress Discussing the welfare of event staff, particularly those working multi-day events such as festivals, this panel saw James Cobb of Crowd Connected reflect on a presentation on fatigue he gave at IPM 2013, which showed that workers are “not getting enough food, enough sleep, and it’s killing people.” His recommendation five years ago was to comply with the working time directive, but seeing as “no one liked that answer,” this time around he suggested using technology to monitor how much sleep staff are getting. Eat to the Beat’s Mary Shelley-Smith highlighted the role proper nutrition plays in keeping energy levels high, while Jon Drape of festival production company Ground Control said, as an industry, “how we look after workers on festival sites is probably getting worse not better, and it’s having a material impact on how we deliver our shows.” Drape highlighted a chronic lack of qualified security staff, but suggested the way that staff are treated makes recruitment difficult.
and March for our work in the summer, but often by the time the high season comes around, those people might have secured another job or moved abroad.” Delegates from across Europe voiced their concerns that the lack of personnel across multiple sectors is reaching crisis levels, with one German expert noting that although the country had full employment, it was big industry – construction and other careers – that are recruiting young people, rather than the sectors involved in live entertainment.
ILMC’s First Contact 30th Birthday Blast-off Marking the conference’s 30th anniversary, hosts PRS For Music, AEG Ogden and Viberate welcomed hundreds of delegates who had flown from all four corners of the galaxy and beyond for the grand opening party. With the bubbles and cocktails free-flowing and London brewery Fullers providing a selection of beers to thirsty itinerants, the party allowed ILMC members and other invited guests to reacquaint themselves with long-standing colleagues, as well as make new friends in the extended bar area across the hotel’s mezzanine floor to a soundtrack provided by superstar DJ Chris Tofu MBE, while elsewhere Esther Vallee, Bobii Lewis and Zach Said were on hand for the party’s live music element, showcasing their mega-galactic talents. Adding to the intergalactic theme, our space invaders were over the moon at the chance to take their very own space flight in the onsite simulator powered by cutting-edge tech – a VR experience that was the talk of the party for all who participated.
Places & Spaces: The big venue discussion
Chair Paul Sergeant (PSE) and his panellists explored the complex relationships between venues and the shows that populate their diaries. Fellow Australian resident Peter Thorpe (Spotless Stadium) highlighted the different rules and regulations that every venue has, which can make it a real balancing act when it comes to catering to touring productions, while Alice Asbury from the O2 Academy in Oxford addressed increasing venue costs – an issue that most visiting acts would be completely unaware of. Talking from a promoter’s point of view, Nick Handford (Mick Perrin Worldwide) said, “Our sole objective is to put on the show that night, rather than thinking about the long-term upkeep of the venue.” However, McKenna said that meeting the fans’ expectations gave both the venues and the promoters a common objective. “Beer needs to be cold, food needs to be good quality, the sound has to be great – the experience has to be world-class,” he concluded.
Supply & Demand – an imbalance? Tackling the dilemma of a lack of trained and skilled personnel, the final session saw Tony Hayes from Arena Birmingham lead a discussion about how the production industry, and all its constituent parts, can remain sustainable by ensuring that the next generation of staff are coming through the ranks. Panellist Tamás Szabó confirmed that Intellitix, like most companies in the live music industry, suffers from a lack of skilled staff during the summer season. “We need to start training people in February
IN-DEPTH REPORT ONLINE AT WWW.30.ILMC.COM
ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT ABOVE TOP SECRET - VGBALPE The Open Forum: Ruth Barlow and Neil Warnock
Festival Forum: Overjoyed or overblown? Co-chaired by Christof Huber (Yourope) and Clementine Bunel (Coda Agency), 2018’s festival forum examined changing audience expectations, ticket prices, competition for artists, line-up equality, and the influence festivals can have on politics. Summing up the challenges that festivals have to deal with, FKP Scorpio’s Stephan Thanscheidt commented, “In Germany, we had three years of bad weather and terror attacks or threats. This is affecting sales now. We have fantastic line-ups in this country, [tickets are] doing OK but not flying like they would have… We need good weather, no terror threats, and then it will be OK.”
Booking Workshop: Riders
WEDNESDAY 7 MARCH Festival Summit Workshop: The innovators
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This session delved into what’s at the cutting edge of festival innovation, including events such as Wacken’s Full Metal Mountain ski trips and Heavy Metal Cruises; the Paris & New York Heritage Festival; new campaign Festival Safe; and Korea’s Pentaport Rock Fest.
The Open Forum:The big round up As is tradition, Live Nation’s executive president of touring, Phil Bowdery, opened the session with a look at the previous year’s vital statistics, and the remarkable growth of the industry in 2017. Joining Bowdery to discuss diversity, terrorism, streaming, breaking new talent, and the booking war between AEG and MSG were Ruth Barlow (Beggars Group), Ian McAndrew (Wildlife Entertainment), John Meglen (AEG Presents Concerts West), Steve Strange (X-ray Touring) and Neil Warnock (United Talent Agency).
Hosts Dougie Souness (No Half Measures) and Ben Challis (Glastonbury Festival) were joined by Keith Wood (Production Solutions) to explore artist and technical riders in a session that combined serious issues with hilarious road stories. Wood underlined the importance of the technical rider when he described a situation where a tour turned up with a stage “twice the size of the one we went on sale with!” And, from the audience, Martin Hopewell related a tale whereby The Cure realised “every night, they’d turn up to a venue and there’d be a different jar of mayonnaise – and that they were paying for it. So they bought their own jar of mayonnaise.”
Festival Summit: Artist fees Tackling the thorny issue of artist fees, Kim Bloem (Mojo Concerts) and Sophie Lobl (C3Presents) hosted a fascinating panel that saw Peter Elliott (Primary Talent) and David Galea (UTA) provide insight into how agents decide on a fee. The panel also considered the impact of streaming on fees. For some, streaming figures don’t equate to ticket-buying fans. For others, a hot act that’s never come to a territory before but will pick up a lot of media attention could be worth more than one that has been before and sold 5,000 tickets. Ultimately, Michal Kaščák (Pohoda Festival) highlighted one key problem facing promoters, “We used to spend 33% of our budget on our headliners, now it’s 70%,” he said.
Ticketing: Paying the price Chairman Tim Chambers broached a range of subjects including how shows are priced, multiple pre-sales depleting inventory for primary on-sales, and, of course, the ever contentious resale market. Ticketmaster’s David Marcus revealed the market leader is moving toward a situation where it is pricing on an almost seat-by-seat basis. “We can have 24 price levels across a stadium show,” he stated. However, underlining the complexity of the ticketing market from one country to another, Wizard Promotions’ Oliver Hoppe said many fans still buy tickets from box offices while others do not have mobile phones or don’t understand the Internet. “Any solutions have to take those people into consideration too,” concluded Hoppe. Ticketing: Paying the price
ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT ABOVE TOP SECRET - VGBALPE Booking Workshop: Riders
Workshop: GDPR Ticketmaster’s Hannah Mason teamed up with Giles Watkins of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) to provide delegates with a taster of what to expect from the European-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May. Noting that the deadline was just 100 days after the workshop itself, the hosts gave pointers on how businesses could best prepare for the new guidelines, while outlining the serious fines that companies could face if they fail to comply.
Mental Health: Sound minds
Workshop: New frontiers in merchandise Jeremy Goldsmith of Event Merchandising informed delegates of developments in the merchandising business, providing pointers on potential new revenue streams awaiting exploitation. And, shocking many in the room, Goldsmith said that the recent European ban on credit-card fees of 3% has prompted many arenas to inform merchandisers that they would now be charged 28% of sales, rather than the 25% norm, to make up for their loss in credit-card revenues.
Gender: Calm down, what’s the fuss?
The Music Business: United we stand? The concept of 360-degree deals dominated this panel, with lawyer Chloe Forsyth (Harbottle & Lewis) noting, “The problem with 360 deals [in the past, is that] rights were taken by people who weren’t the right people to manage them.” Meanwhile, Jeremy Lascelles (Blue Raincoat Music) opined, “Very soon, an artist will come from nowhere and become a global superstar without any involvement with a traditional record deal.” Underlining the power of streaming to the recorded music business, Korda Marshall (BMG) revealed, “I get paid $5,000 for every million streams, and I pay my artist 75% or 50% of that. Alt J have 1.7 billion streams, so that’s a lot of money.”
Lucy Noble takes the mic during Gender: Calm down, what’s the fuss?
THURSDAY 8 MARCH
Coda Agency’s Natasha Bent piloted a thought-provoking session that examined the live music industry’s shortcomings when it comes to achieving a truly diverse workforce, asking questions such as, is the gender pay gap a sound measure of inequality?; and why is there so little black and minority-ethnic (BAME) representation within promoters and agencies? CAA’s Emma Banks noted, “When we look at the people that work [in our industry], do they look like the people that come to our shows… If you’re missing entire types you’re not going to have the interaction with them that you need. We all want to be represented and see somebody that we can relate to.”
Michael Chugg (Chugg Entertainment) chaired a frank discussion about the effects of the live music business on mental health, revealing that research showed that people working in our business are five times more likely to experience depression and ten times more likely to take their own life than the general population. It was pointed out that the efforts of organisations such as Music Support and Sound Advice are making a difference, and helping to remove the taboo around mental health.
The Music Business: United we stand?
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ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT ABOVE TOP SECRET - VGBALPE The Venue’s Venue: Spaces for stars
The Venue’s Venue: Spaces for stars
Brexit 2025: Looking back
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Those bleary-eyed delegates who made it to the first session of the day were greeted by five interstellar travellers from the year 2025, transported to the present day to share their insights post-Brexit. Oleg Gaidar of Artist & Entertainer Visas Global spoke of the visa troubles experienced in Brazil recently by Phil Collins, as an example of authorities struggling with changes in immigration law. Conversely, eps’s Okan Tombulca said there is “too much panicking” around Brexit at the moment, revealing that the recent launch of eps UK, was because the weak pound is attractive to foreign companies and presents an “opportunity” by stimulating exports.
Workshop: Augmented & virtual realities
This panel reviewed some of the latest findings from the forthcoming 2018 European Arena Yearbook (EAY), which reports average attendance up 5.9% in the last year and average ticket prices up 9.3%. Olivier Toth of Rockhal in Luxembourg said he’s worried that the price of tickets might drive fans away. However, his venue is debating whether to put up rents or leave them flat and work other revenue streams instead. Guy Ngata of AEG Ogden shared plans for the 17,000-seat, underconstruction Dubai Arena. “We will be co-promoting, self-promoting, dry hiring. We have a very supportive owner but it’s not a cash cow,” he said. The likes of Rockhal and the Mercedez-Benz Arena in Berlin, provided details of smaller venues that they own, as a way of helping grassroots music, while other arena management spoke about the importance of flexible capacities to allow local talent, as well as international superstars, to perform.
The Think Tank: Barry Dickins, Pino Sagliocco & Jackie Lombard In the hot seats for ILMC 30 were Lombard, head of French promoter Inter Concerts; Live Nation Spain chairman Sagliocco; and ITB cofounder Dickins, who answered a variety of questions set by host Gordon Masson (IQ), but asked by members of the audience. Among the questions fielded by the trio were: what superpower they would like to have; how to deal with the expectations of upcoming artists when they are greatly out of line with reality; artist fees; and what outside interests they have away from the music business.
Workshop: Blockchain & cryptocurrencies
Conceding that “Even in 100 years [VR & AR], will never replace live music,” Swisscom’s Samuel Hefti nevertheless outlined some of the ways that “breaking out of the rectangle” can compliment and potentially grow the live business. Along with co-host Gareth Deakin (OA Consulting), Hefti cited the ability for music fans to virtually test-drive a venue or festival as one of the ways that immersive tech can drive engagement and ultimately boost ticket sales. The future possibilities of mixed reality VR and holographic live streams beamed into different locations were also raised. “We’re still very much at the early stages,” said Deakin. “But we’re moving really, really fast towards being able to do some really amazing things.”
Karim Fanous (Abbey Road Red) and co-host Katerina Kirillova (Cryptotickets/Tickets Cloud) used the session to explain how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies might transform the live business. Noting that not everything was science fiction, Kirillova cited a 2017 partnership with promoter TCI to sell tickets for a Kraftwerk concert in Moscow via the crypto.tickets platform. This, she said, could help prevent counterfeiting, improve security, and combat the secondary market, while offering a convenient and personalised ‘smart ticket’ product for concert goers.
Brexit 2025: Looking back
The Think Tank with Pino Sagliocco, Barry Dickins and Jackie Lombard
ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT ABOVE TOP SECRET - VGBALPE New Technology: Star makers
According to Lambert, rewards programmes are likely to become more popular and effective for brands that want data. The hosts also noted the importance of tailoring campaigns to timings pre-, during- or post-event, because some fans don’t want to be communicated with while they’re at the event; but there are opportunities during the build-up, or to share memories afterwards.
Business Ethics: Why do we alien-ate each other? Security: Rock and a hard place
Security: Rock and a hard place
New Technology: Star makers 30/45-67
Resident tech guru Steve Machin (.Tickets) kicked off the session by explaining this was the tenth year of the new tech panel, with each year generating at least one idea that became huge, before giving presenters just six minutes each to showcase their products and services, and take questions from an inquisitive audience. Taking advantage of the captive audience were Vadzim Tsitou from Kino-mo; Jake MccGwire from Evopass; LiveStyled’s Adam Goodyer; Paul Adams from Musicians First; Quantum Aviation’s Will Robley; Sam Taylor from POP; chemist Henry Fisher from The Loop; Vasja Veber from Viberate; and artist Imogen Heap with the Mycelia for Music creative passport concept.
Last year, there were 4.3million events in Europe, and you can count on one hand the number of attacks, chair Chris Kemp of MOM Consulting reminded the room. “But the impact on us has been huge,” he added. Paléo Festival’s Pascal Viot reminded delegates not to focus on the last method of attack at the expense of focussing on other types. “High levels of crowd control create huge congestion before security, which makes for an easy target,” he warned. Andy Smith from West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit agreed, adding, “You can’t second guess thoughts of spectrum of terror groups.” The session also learned that the riders of American acts had become far more security centred when in Europe, with U2’s security chief, Tony Duncan stating, “The simple way I put artists at ease is proving people are communicating and that they’ve done pre-event planning.”
The timely subject of ethics and best practice in the live industry provoked an unsurprisingly lively discussion when the question of profit versus fairness was debated. “The music business can be, and has been, a real important and fertile ground for being progressive and trying new ideas,” enthused Adam Tudhope (Everybody’s Management), while artist manager Keith Harris noted, “When it comes down to ethics it’s a question of whether you want to be able to sleep well at night. I’m one of those people who, over the years, has probably made less, but slept better.” It was a view shared by his fellow panellists who went on to question whether booking-fee rebates and hidden kick-backs should be cut out of the business. Tudhope spoke about Mumford & Sons Railroad Revival Tour, where the profits were split evenly between all three bands on the bill, despite the fact that around two-thirds of the audience was there to see Mumford. “The winds of change are blowing,” he surmised, praising the Internet for bringing more transparency and, in turn, more ethical practices to the recorded music industry. Nevertheless, the live side of the business remains “at least ten years behind,” he stated.
Venue Summit: Sponsorship & branding Sharing the growth of the experience economy, hosts Dom Hodge (FRUKT) and Mark Lambert (The O2) said that 45% of marketers cite content and experience management as their top priority in 2018; and that 36% of marketers see delivering personalised experiences in real time as the most exciting area in sponsorship. FRUKT’s research demonstrated that 84% of consumers say that music is the most effective way of communicating with them, while 76% were likely to buy a product from a brand that delivers in music. Hodge said that more and more brands are anchoring investment in tours but are building major content strategies around their investment.
Claudio Trotta takes the mic during Business Ethics: Why do we alien-ate each other?
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ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT
EVENTS As usual, the serious business of ILMC’s daytime conference was balanced by the equally serious business of partying and networking, with delegates enjoying a range of alien-themed activities outside of the conference rooms. This page (clockwise from top left): Arnold Bernard and Christian Doll team up for The ‘Drunk Side of the Moon’ Live Karaoke; George Isaak from 32 Media Enterprises collects his trophy for the Texas Probe ‘Em Poker Tourny from MC Chris Prosser; the IPM and GEI closing party provided a good opportunity for delegates of the separate conferences to meet and network; more karaoke mayhem; and delegates make good use of The Quantum Casino. Opposite page (clockwise from top left): The Table Football Coupe de la Galaxie proved as popular as ever; with German delegates Stefan Bernhard and Alexander Färber emerging victorious; delegates enjoy the UTA Cocktails and Canapés event; the Fuller’s Brewery beer-tasting station proved a popular addition at the ILMC opening party; Peter Aiken and the rest of ILMC’s platinum delegates receive Founder Member certificates from event originator Martin Hopewell to mark 30 years of service to ILMC during a special drinks reception; the Match of the Light Year saw the Rest of the World team claim the bragging rights for 2018; and Gabriella Juhasz tries to hide her excitement at being one of the Nikos Fund Grand Prize Draw winners.
ILMC30 AGENTSâ€™ REPORT
ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT Tales From the Front Line pt ii
Looking back on the first London-based C2C in 2013, Milly Olykan (C2C/AEG International) noted the expansion of the festival to Dublin and Glasgow, proving demand for country music exists beyond just America, while Mojo Concerts’ Bertus de Blaauw said he was pleasantly surprised by the strong business that touring country acts had done in the Netherlands and envisaged further growth. “What we are seeing is that the younger generation of country acts are more willing to go into the European market. The fact that the music is getting more open-minded means the Dutch market can relate to it, which was difficult in the old days with the cowboy hats.”
Tales From the Front Line pt ii
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Venue Summit: Corridors of power For all the talk about artists and managers holding the reigns, this panel debated whether venue operators are the real power brokers in the live music industry these days. Lucy Noble (Royal Albert Hall) summed up the approach that buildings have to the business by explaining it’s not just about selling tickets: “If we can contact the customer regarding security, bars and restaurants; and share photos after, it’s about creating a whole journey for them.” Session host Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live) acknowledged that everyone has one priority: the fan. “But we all have different versions of that priority. It’s about money – the retaining of the database, booking fees. We are not working together as well as we could be in the interests of the fan,” he warned. After some debate about whether promoters felt threatened by venues self-promoting shows, Rainer Appel (CTS Eventim) summarised: “Nobody in this industry has invested more upfront than a venue. They must have long-term recoupment strategy so they depend on the revenues that the artists and sports bring in. Can venues afford to turn down business from a promoter? No.”
Country Music: New worlds
Day two ended with this hugely popular panel in which the great and the good of the live music business compete to see who can be the most indiscreet about their peers and clients. Manager and ex-promoter Paul Crockford and US promoter Dan Steinberg invited a variety of interplanetary music industry travellers to reveal their best tall touring tales and anecdotes, and in some cases, downright fabrications, gathered from experiences on the road. For obvious reasons, details of those indiscretions will remain with those who were in the room, but among the hilarious stories were the members of an Irish boy band mistakenly agreeing a sponsorship deal with a cigarette brand, and a rock royalty frontman who was nearly killed by the electric window of a car.
Venue Summit: Esports With Esports expected to grow to a value of almost $1.5bn (€1.2bn) by the end of the decade, there was an eager and interested audience for this session. Noting the difference between Esports and concerts, Rafal Mrzyglocki (ARAM) said, “Lights have to be TV broadcast quality, but they can’t blind the players or overheat them. Players are not allowed to see each other in some games, so for some stages we build a moving wall.” Patrick Meyer (Commerzbank-Arena) said that from his point of view the difference is that it’s more like a festival because the hours run Saturday and Sunday 11am-11pm. “We underestimated how much beer the audience would drink,” he laughed, “and much more food is consumed than at a concert, because there’s three meals to eat in the 12 hours.” Schwenkglenks agreed: “The day is so long. The amount of staff you need is two shifts. Normally, you have 400 guys working in the arena and suddenly you need 800.”
With Country to Country festival (C2C) taking place in London in the days immediately following ILMC, some of the key figures behind the scene came together to discuss the growing popularity of country music outside the United States. For Country Music Association’s Sarah Trahern, C2C was quite simply a “game-changer.” “C2C is a landmark event,” agreed UTA’s Sean Goulding. “Bands talk to one another. They see the promotion they are getting from radio. There’s an ecosystem that’s being put together here, and word spreads.”
Venue Summit: Esports
ILMC30 AGENTS’ REPORT
FRIDAY 9 MARCH The Breakfast Meeting with Peter Mensch The “mummy bird” to Metallica, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others told Emporium Presents’ Dan Steinberg (who stepped in to replace Ed Bicknell at the 11th hour) that he got into management after a stint as “the world’s worst tour accountant.” He went on to describe the way they choose the artists they work with: “It’s the music. Someone sends us music, we listen to it, someone says ‘it sucks’, end of conversation. Two of us listen and say ‘that’s a good record’… and we decide to manage them.” “So what motivates one of the greatest managers in the world?” asked Steinberg: “I’m fuelled by hate! I’ve had the chip [on my shoulder] since I was ten. “Most music is crap for me. I don’t hear as much amazing music as I used to. I don’t listen to as much new stuff because I only care about my acts… my feeling is if I don’t manage you, fuck you.”
The Agency Business 2018
Live Entertainment: The disruptors Chairing a panel on disruptive, non-traditional entertainment, Christoph Scholz (Semmel Concerts) introduced the first-ever (as far as we know) non-human panel participant at ILMC – his Amazon Alexa. In fact, Alexa turned out to be more of a disruptor than anyone anticipated. Ray Winkler, CEO of Stufish, told how the company had recently worked on an adaptation of a popular Japanese computer game for the stage, Dragon Quest Live, which sold 300,000 tickets. Jesse Solomon, of WME’s Endeavor Content arm said the core of his business is tours based around IP – mainly productions of films backed by a live orchestra, such as Now You See Me, one of the highest-grossing western films in Asia, which was amid a ten-week tour of China.
Global deals, the balance of power between agent and festival, and the Americanisation of the agency world were among the topics discussed at ILMC’s agency panel. Speaking about global deals, ICM Partners’ Scott Mantell described how exclusive deals with major promoters such as Live Nation and AEG are becoming more frequent, adding that offers from promoters for exclusive agreements have “become more aggressive” in recent years. However, UTA’s Bex Majors observed, “With respect, an AEG or Live Nation isn’t fully invested: they’re not going to do a better job [than a local promoter] in a 300-cap, regional venue.”
Peter Mensch at The Breakfast Meeting
Live Entertainment: The disruptors
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THE GALA-CTIC DINNER Thanks to a Danish duo of sponsors – CSB and Roskilde Festival – ILMC’s Gala-ctic Dinner & Arthur Awards took place for the second year in the sumptuous surroundings of 8Northumberland, where 350 interstellar travellers donned their best spacesuits and set a course for an evening of mirth, merriment and glittering gongs. After a champagne reception, ILMC MD Greg Parmley welcomed guests, while space minions Chris Prosser and Gordon Masson were on hand to navigate the prize draw and pop quiz. Providing the night’s entertainment were Arthur Awards’ host Emma Banks, who returned to captain the USS ILMC, and Whitney Houston tribute act Belinda Davids, who gave stirring renditions of I Will Always Love You and One Moment in Time.
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THE ARTHUR AWARDS 1. First Venue To Come Into Your Head The O2, London
7. Tomorrow’s New Boss Anna-Sophie Mertens, Live Nation
Emma Bownes: Now, some may say that the ‘first venue to come in to your head’ could be a bad accolade but we like to think of this as positive, positive, positive. Thanks to all our lovely friends in the industry, it really means so much that we are on the tip of your tongues and front of mind. We don’t take these things lightly and the Arthur has given us all a nice warm fuzzy feeling, and for that we are deeply grateful. We’ll see you next year, if not before.
I am hugely proud and honoured to be Tomorrow’s New Boss and officially be able to boss people around now. All jokes aside, I hope it inspires many more women to join the promoting business as we certainly could do with a more balanced representation. 2017 has been a hugely exciting but also challenging year for me and I thank all agents, managers, and artists for letting me be part of their journey, and also my Live Nation family who have supported me, no matter what.
2. Most Professional Professional Gillian Park, MGR Touring
8. Second Least Offensive Agent Natasha Bent, Coda
I’m flattered and really quite humbled that people took the time to vote for me, so thank you. Thanks also go to Ian, Nyree and Jo – MGR Touring is a team! Oh and let’s not forget Terry McNally who screamed, “She’s here, I’ve seen her, Gillian Park is in the building!” Cheers, Terry! Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll try to make my entry into the room slightly less dramatic/comedic… maybe.
3. Liggers’ Favourite Festival Glastonbury Yasha Morgenstern: We’d just like to thank Michael and Emily Eavis, and everyone who voted for the festival.
4. Services Above and Beyond eps Okan Tombulca: We are galactically proud to have received the Arthur Award as best production service company. This is a very special prize as it is coming from our customers and the industry. Thank you for the trust and the votes. And thanks to the ILMC team for this wonderful gala evening.
5. The Golden Ticket Ticketmaster Mark Yovich: We’d like to thank the artists, promoters and venues that we work with every day for this huge accolade, as well as ILMC for their continued support. The Golden Ticket Award is real testament to the great work that the Ticketmaster team does.
6. The People’s Assistant Eliza-Jane Oliver, AEG Live It was wonderful to be nominated for the award, and a shock to win, although a good shock. It was a great night, and would have been whether I’d won or not, but winning certainly made it memorable! I would like to thank Toby Leighton-Pope and Steve Homer, and all the great promoters I’ve worked with at AEG Presents and Live Nation, and also give a big thanks to all the other assistants I work with. To win an award for this when there are so many amazing people doing what I do is a big honour.
I was totally shocked and humbled by the award. Being supported by my peers means the absolute world. It’s a human business after all. My aim isn’t to be the biggest agent but to just be a good person every day. To work hard, be kind, respectful, supportive of others, and fight for inequalities and positive change. Biggest thanks to my husband and son, my absolute world.
9. The Promoters’ Promoter Anna Sjölund, Live Nation Sweden A great honour to receive recognition from your peers, and also to be presented it by John Giddings who was one of the first agents that actually took my calls when I started promoting. I have never wanted to do anything else than promote shows – I get to work with all this great talent and I get to do it with an amazing team not only in the LN Sweden office but also in the whole Live Nation family. And perfect timing to get this award on International Women’s Day and to get the opportunity to highlight the fact that we need more women in the promoter business, and to give a shout out to some of the extremely hard-working, badass women I work with.
10. The Bottle Award Martin Hopewell I don’t know whether people realise this, but The Bottle Award is always planned as a complete surprise to the person who has it inflicted on them. In my case, I’d been told that I was going to present the thing to someone else (who really deserved it, by the way) and had spent four days writing one of my best Bottle speeches ever – and all evening freaking out because I couldn’t see the winner at the dinner. I was nervously waiting for my moment to walk up to the stage – clutching eight pages of carefully worded notes – when Herman suddenly appeared instead and I realised that I’d been stitched up. The rest was a bit of a blur, to be honest – and people’s response was quite overwhelming. It’s certainly not going to be a moment that I’ll ever forget, but I did discover that although it might not ‘be better to give than to receive’ it’s definitely a lot less stressful!
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ILMC30 AGENTSâ€™ REPORT
9, 4 and 7
10 Tips to Make Sure Your Business is GDPR Compliant
The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25 May will radically change the way the live music industry can use the personal data of its European customers. The new law will considerably strengthen the rights of individuals to control how their data is handled, and will mean companies are under far greater regulatory scrutiny about the use of data entrusted to them. Get it wrong
and organisations could face fines of up to 4% of global turnover, or â‚Ź20million, whichever is the lower, and could result in customers demanding that all the data held on them is deleted. Chris Austin asks Giles Watkins from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) for ten tips on how businesses can best prepare for GDPR.
Appoint a data protection officer
Be upfront and transparent with customers about the way you use their data
Every business that processes personal data should have someone in charge of data privacy who is familiar with the law and can lead the organisation through the GDPR requirements. However, for some organisations, this will be mandatory. They will need to be given a budget and the necessary authority, and should report directly to a senior executive who can make sure things happen efficiently. It will not be easy to find someone with the appropriate skills and qualifications, who knows both the relevant privacy laws and how to apply them to business processes, while also making sure full advantage is taken of the opportunity to engage more deeply with customers. A data protection officer is a mandatory requirement if you are regularly or systematically processing large volumes of personal data. A lot of live music industry organisations will fall into that category. The IAPP has conducted research that suggests the GDPR will result in the need for 75,000 additional privacy officers, worldwide. Currently, there is a massive skills gap in the market. If one is appointed, their name must be registered with the regulator and they must have the freedom to report directly to the regulator without fear of any disciplinary action or other recriminations. It will be possible to outsource the mandatory data protection officer role, so we will doubtless see huge growth in companies offering this service.
Profiling and the use of digital technology to target consumers with offers and messaging provide many advantages for both companies and their customers but it is important to be transparent about how data is gathered and used. If consumers become unnerved by the way their data is being used, the reputation of the organisation using it can be very quickly destroyed.
Invest in training It is vital to invest in data privacy training across the company, the main reason being that there is no quick fix or silver-bullet technology solution that you can put in place to ensure your business is GDPR compliant. It comes down to people knowing what they are dealing with, knowing how to handle the data, and what they are allowed to do with it. They should also know when and who to ask for help. The entire workforce should get some level of basic training and it will be necessary to customise training for certain departments within the organisation, such as HR or marketing. It is vital to get the right training strategy in place as soon as possible.
IQ Magazine May 2018
GDPR Invest in technology There are a number of companies offering technology that can handle key aspects of data privacy, particularly data consent management. There are numerous rules within GDPR about what valid customer consent looks like. GDPR has made it much tougher, so people are increasingly using technology and tools to make that a less intrusive process for customers and a much better managed process for companies. Also, to keep the data stored, organised and managed, you need some kind of technology platform to help meet with the requirement to maintain records of data-use and related risk assessments.
Create an accountability framework The GDPR formally introduces the concept of accountability, i.e. being able to demonstrate that you are taking your data protection responsibilities seriously. Having a formal framework for the day-to-day management of privacy within the organisation is one way in which you can demonstrate this. Having some clear organising principles around privacy helps ensure staff and business partners recognise and understand what the rules on processing personal data are. Clear and consistent rules also help increase the efficiency and minimise the cost impact of GDPR compliance.
Create a proper data inventory It would be advisable, and for many organisations mandatory, to create a register of the personal data you hold, where it is stored within the organisation, and where it flows to, because without proper data mapping you cannot really assess the risks around the data you are collecting and the way it is being used.
Create a system to deal with data breaches Previously, there has not been a mandatory requirement in the EU to issue data breach notifications but, under GDPR, organisations must report breaches to the regulator within 72 hours. If you have a breach, it is important to have a process in place to deal with the ramifications. Your communications team needs to be involved and the CEO informed, as it is a serious issue. If you do not have a process in place that you can switch to, there is a good chance you will not meet the deadline, and not meeting the deadline puts you at serious risk of a huge fine. In extreme cases, regulators also have the power to suspend a company’s processing activities subject to investigation, and consumers will potentially be able to work together to bring class actions.
Prepare for cross-border data movement You have to have permission to move data from one country to another. It you want to move data out of Europe to another country, such as the United States, you have to have a mechanism in place to make sure that the transfer is legal.
Conduct privacy impact assessments
Assess how the new consumer rights will impact your business model
It is mandatory under the GDPR to undertake privacy impact assessments if you are processing data that could present a high risk of harm if things go wrong. The GDPR does not define the harm or high risk, but if you are processing a lot of personal data it is worth undertaking privacy impact assessments because if something does go wrong, an assessment is one of the first things that a regulator will ask to see. In theory, a regulator can drop in at any time and ask to see assessments and other evidence that you are taking your data protection responsibilities seriously.
EU citizens will have enhanced rights under GDPR, including the ability to access and make corrections to any of the data you hold on them. They can also request a copy of all of the data you hold on them, in a form that they can easily pass to others. Consumers will also be able to object to some or all forms of processing or profiling including them being targeted with recommendations based on their previous concert ticket purchases. Consumers also have the ‘right to be forgotten,’ meaning they can request you delete all of their data. Deleting all of a customer’s data is not as easy as it sounds, organisations will need to know where every element of the data is stored. Another key consumer entitlement is data portability, for example, a ticket agency may find a customer insists they move all their data, all the history and profiling that has been done on them, to a competitor. It is important to consider and be aware of what these rights could do to your business model.
IQ Magazine May 2018
As celebrated UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live begins its second decade in business, the bonds between the company and its artists and employees have never been stronger, discovers Jon Chapple
o an outsider looking in, using the word “family” to describe one of the corporate entities behind Ed Sheeran’s massive UK stadium shows may seem a strange description – how can a company that turned over some £26million (€30m) in 2017 even begin to resemble a small business, let alone a household? Yet that’s exactly the picture painted by Kilimanjaro Live’s execs and senior employees – most of whom have been there from almost the beginning – of life inside the company, which has over the past decade firmly established itself as one of Britain’s most important home-grown promoters. “There are people in the company who’ve been here since 2008,” marvels Galbraith, just back from a visit to Australia for a preview of Sheeran’s latest ÷ Tour. He recalls Kili’s first
office, when the company “literally consisted of myself and my then-assistant Fiona Carlisle, in a tiny cupboard in the offices of [PR firm] Outside Organisation. “And here we are ten years on…” A decade later, Kilimanjaro is “pushing 60-odd people,” and while Galbraith admits that he’s not sure he envisaged quite as many employees, the company still maintains an indie ethos that puts a premium on the wellbeing of its growing stable of employees. “We have to make money; if we didn’t we wouldn’t be able to pay people’s salaries,” he explains. “But what’s as important is that we have fun. Our staff have to be happy to come into work – if they’re not, we’ve failed as an employer.
IQ Magazine May 2018
Just like starting over
ilimanjaro Live – initially a joint venture with AEG – officially began life on 1 January 2008, some four months after Galbraith parted ways with Live Nation UK, where he was formerly managing director. “When we started Kili, there were two different agendas,” he says. “From AEG’s perspective, the goal was to help fill their brand-new arena at The O2, and Kili succeeded in that: in the first four years, we had 40 shows there. “The second agenda, from my side of things, was to use AEG’s capital to bring on staff and take a five-year view to establish our promoters and build a roster, which is exactly what we did. In the early part of 2012, we agreed to separate from AEG – there was a put-call option in the contract, and it made sense to let us go.” Galbraith was joined later that year by concert promoters Steve Tilley and Alan Day, both of whom joined the company on the same day in August. “I was based in Stoke-on-Trent at the time,” Tilley recalls. “I’d built myself up a little mini-empire: I was a DJ, I had a rehearsal space, a recording studio, a management company with an act [Agent Blue] signed to Island Records… And I still co-own [400-cap venue] The Sugarmill. But it had got to the point where I’d hit a glass ceiling – I was a big fish in a little pond – and I’d decided it was time to take on the challenge of working as a national promoter.” Tilley says he credits X-ray Touring co-founder Steve Strange with encouraging him to make the move to the capital and, ultimately, Kili. “We were at Reading [festival] in 2007, and he said to me, ‘You could be down in London, booking festivals.’ I had friends who were national promoters, and [from then on] the seed was firmly planted. “Then I met Stuart, and the rest is history…” Day, meanwhile, was working as a regional promoter across a number of UK cities, including Oxford, Reading and Northampton. “Stuart was setting up Kili and I was recommended to him by various people,” remembers Day. “I thought he was a good guy, and that it would be great to work for a company where I could be there from the start and help build it.” Other members of the class of 2008 include Zac Fox, Kilimanjaro Live’s long-time head of operations and a former colleague of Galbraith’s at Midland Concert Promotions (MCP) in the 90s, and promoter Mark Walker, who promoted pop-punk and emo bands under Galbraith at Live Nation and followed him over to Kili. The Kilimanjaro experience, suggests Fox, is “a lot like the MCP days. We really are like a family – you get the swearing and falling outs, but we’ve grown together, and it’s still really enjoyable.” Tilley comments that, like all families, life as a member of the Kili clan “hasn’t always been plain sailing,” with “as many down days as up.” However, he adds, the company’s unity of purpose and drive to succeed means “we’ve managed to stick together and come through our rough patches.”
IQ Magazine May 2018
“Three men and a dog…”
ight from the outset, says Day, Kili has focused on breaking and developing new talent, a mentality that continues to this day. “We could sit back and be content with what we’ve got – which is fantastic – but we’re always looking to discover new bands,” he explains, “and Stuart’s been like that from the very start. “It’s just like how he invested in me, Steve and Carlo – we had no rosters when we came here, and now Steve’s got the biggest act in the world.” The Carlo in question is promoter Carlo Scarampi, who came to Kili from AEG in September 2012. “It’s been the key to our success,” agrees Scarampi, whose successes include Bastille, Jess Glynne and Rag’n’Bone Man. “We’ve broken so many acts now across all genres, which is great. There’s nothing better than seeing that progression in an artist.” “That’s one of the most pleasing elements of Kili,” adds Galbraith, “To find new acts and be part of that breaking process – helping bands get from zero to arenas and hopefully stadia. And that’s true of many of the bands we work with now:
“Our staff have to be happy to come into work – if they’re not, we’ve failed as an employer.”
“…you get the swearing and falling outs, but we’ve grown together, and it’s still really enjoyable.”
heeran is the latest in a run of successful UK concert tours for Kili that also includes Metallica (2009), Katy Perry (2011), Red Hot Chili Peppers (2011-12), Peter Gabriel (2013) and Stereophonics (2013). But the company has also, particularly over the past four years, diversified beyond music – into family entertainment, comedy, gaming, YouTubers and more – most recently acquiring a majority stake in London-based Flying Music Group, accelerating its expansion into West End musicals and theatre. The company also works on spoken-word shows, podcast tours and sporting events such as Extreme Nitro Circus. On the comedy side, promotion duties are headed up by Georgie Donnelly, who joined in 2016, and Kili has since worked with the likes of Jeff Dunham, Jim Jefferies, Trailer Park Boys, Michael Che, David Sedaris, Brian Reed, Mike Birbiglia, Aziz Ansari and Tape Face. It also has a run of multiple shows each year at the Edinburgh Fringe. “We’re happy to try our hand at everything,” explains Galbraith. “Our staff have a combined skillset that’s as good as any promotion/marketing machine anywhere in the world.” Part of the rationale behind that diversification, he explains, is that the margins of music touring are increasingly tight amid both soaring artist fees and the steady increase in the cost of putting on a show. “And when something does go wrong
Zac Fox Whether it’s The 1975, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bastille… we’ve worked with them all from the very beginning.” The most famous product of that process is, of course, Ed Sheeran, the aforementioned biggest act in the world, whose upcoming 2018 UK stadium tour – co-promoted by Kili, DHP Family and AEG Presents – will contribute to what Galbraith predicts will be Kili’s best-ever year, with revenues doubling year on year. But every stadium-filling superstar starts somewhere, and Galbraith recalls the first time Sheeran and Tilley met: “Playing Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, with an audience of three men and a dog.” “The past ten years have absolutely flown by,” continues Tilley. “When I moved down to London, I was under no illusions about how hard it was going to be and how hard I’d have to work. But I really wanted to prove myself. “Stuart said, ‘If you’re lucky, in two to three years you’ll have something at Brixton [Academy], in five to six years in arenas, and in seven to eight years something outdoors. My first outdoor show was Ed at Wembley in 2015.” Did Tilley ever envisage Sheeran being as big as he is, IQ asks? “I did, actually. I remember saying to my girlfriend, ‘If he gets this album [2014’s chart-topping x] right, I think I’ve found ‘my Coldplay.’ “But I kept it to myself. This industry is famous for people going around and shooting their mouths off and then under-delivering – it’s much better to under-promise and over-deliver!”
“It’s much better to under-promise and over-deliver!”
IQ Magazine May 2018
Testimonials with a tour, it has a huge financial impact,” he continues. “That’s why any promoter these days runs a 5-10% margin.” The musical/family entertainment sector is also attractive to promoters because of “the opportunity to create something and own it” – something not possible with touring – adds Galbraith. “On the music side, you only really start making money on arena- and stadium-sized acts,” adds Walker, who has carved out a niche promoting and producing shows by YouTubers and other digital stars. In early 2016, he co-founded Free Focus, a digital management company, as a joint venture with Kilimanjaro and TV and radio agency Triple A Media. “Stuart didn’t take much persuading or convincing,” he recalls. “We’d been chatting for a few years about the limitations in the rock world. “I think the proof was in the pudding, as soon as we started doing our first tours and selling out shows off the back off one Instagram post and one YouTube video!” While Day has a largely rock-focused roster, he says “there’s never been a remit” for the kind of acts he can work with. “I’ve never been told I’m a rock guy,” he explains. “I work with everyone from Suzanne Vega to Nine Inch Nails, Steve Hackett, The Cult, Marillion, Yes… From the word ‘go’ we’ve all slowly built up the company and developed our own rosters. “As we’re totally independent, and not tied into any presales, ticketing deals etc, I have the freedom to work with whoever I want, when I want. And, obviously, I deliver the goods – so if I want to book Anthrax or something, I can!”
Having known Stuart since his days at MCP and then Live Nation I welcomed Kilimanjaro and have worked closely with Alan Day on a number of my acts, including a spectacular Devin Townsend Project show at the Royal Albert Hall which sold out in four days! Enthusiasm, passion, dedication, attention to detail… and stage diving.
Andy Farrow, Northern Music Huge congrats to Kilimanjaro Live on a hugely successful ten years in the business. Always an absolute pleasure to work with, and long may that continue.
Luke Williams, Vector Management Large promoting companies generally lack a crucial element of intimacy. Stuart and his team have bridged this gap, being able to present anything from club shows to stadiums whilst being able to respond to questions quickly and efficiently. In a rapidly changing promoter environment these basic levels of service are always appreciated by artists. Top marks and congratulations.
Ian Huffam, X-ray Touring Happy tenth birthday Stuart to you and all the amazing (for putting up with you) team at Kili. Looking forward to many more successful tours. Congratulations from all at JEM.
Colin Lester, JEM Music Group
n 2012, Galbraith led a management buy-out of AEG’s stake in the business, and in the same year promoted the first two comeback shows by The Rolling Stones and three dates by Robbie Williams, all at London’s O2 Arena. The company continued as an independent operator for another two years, until the acquisition in May 2014 of a 51% stake in Kili and its subsidiary Twin Peaks Ltd (the company behind the dormant Sonisphere festival) by German promoter Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG). Despite Kili once again becoming part of a larger corporate entity, Fox says very little actually changed at the company following DEAG’s buy-in. “With some of the numbers you talk about in this game, it’s a lot of money, and it’s good to know we’ve got someone behind us when we need it,” she explains, but adds that DEAG’s role day-to-day is largely limited to providing that extra layer of financial security. “They’re the best parent company we could ask for,” she continues. “They come in once a week and smile at us!” Despite its growing stable of shows and employees, DEAG-era Kili has also managed to retain its family feel, Fox adds. “Back when MCP was sold to [Live Nation forerunner] Clear Channel, we had so many staff I didn’t know half the people working at the company. I like having that independent feeling.” “DEAG are very hands-off,” agrees Tilley, who became a shareholder in 2013. “Stuart and I are both very much
IQ Magazine May 2018
Testimonials Stuart, Steve, and the entire Kili team have been an integral part of FanFair and all we’ve achieved. As well as dedicating their time and expertise, they’ve really led from the front, and particularly on Ed Sheeran’s upcoming stadium shows – highlighting how promoters and artist teams can take affirmative action to mitigate mass-scale touting and successfully get tickets into the hands of fans.
Adam Webb, FanFair Alliance Many congratulations to all the team on a decade of Kilimanjaro! When I was a new agent with a handful of small bands, Steve Tilley was the first promoter to give me a chance and agree to meet me, and we have worked together ever since. Steve’s attitude sums up that of the whole company: fantastic to deal with. Kili are knowledgeable, passionate, music people and always so supportive of their artists. They thoroughly deserve all the success they have had, and long may it continue.
Alex Bruford, ATC Live Stuart has managed to accomplish that rare feat that entrepreneurs aspire to: build a talented and loyal team to take the company forward in a way that’s not just reliant on him. Which is just as well because when he’s in a hut in northern Greenland next week with no heating or electricity, taking on another of his fearless challenges, he won’t be checking ticket sales!
Ian Grenfell, Quietus Management
entrepreneurs – DEAG describe us as captains of our own ship – but clearly if we needed to use their resources for any reason, they’re there.” That nautical metaphor is also one favoured by Detlef Kornett, DEAG’s chief marketing officer and, since 2014, chairman of Kilimanjaro. “Stuart and I work very closely,” he explains, “but Stuart runs his own ship – that’s our philosophy. We believe in having these ships, each with their own captain, steering their vessel through high and low waters. (DEAG’s other subsidiaries include Wizard Promotions, KBK, and Gold Entertainment in Germany; the Classical Company in Switzerland; and Raymond Gubbay Ltd in the UK.) “It’s a distinct point of difference from the Live Nations, AEGs, Eventims of this world: we believe in entrepreneurs, and the lifestyle and philosophy of being an entrepreneur. I think that’s what interested Stuart when he was looking for a partner.” Kornett says he sees Kili’s investment in talented staff as being its greatest asset. “The most important decision Stuart made for the industry was that he wanted to create a company that had young promoters taking over the business,” he says. “That was unheard of. At times it could be painful – especially in the beginning – but he in turn was rewarded with incredible loyalty and a team of really good people. “[Kilimanjaro] is more than just Stuart – it’s this whole group of promoters.” “Stuart is an entrepreneur, and a great businessman, but he’s surrounded himself with passionate, knowledgeable people,” adds Tilley.
Testimonials Secondary concerns
n contrast to a number of other companies, Kilimanjaro has been notable for its consistent opposition to for-profit secondary ticketing – Galbraith gives regular interviews to both trade and consumer press on the issue, and the company was one of the first signatories of the FanFair Alliance declaration against ‘industrial-scale’ ticket touting. Was there any ever temptation to get in on what has, for some people, proved a lucrative alternative revenue stream? “We saw the numbers and briefly considered it,” recalls Fox, “but it didn’t feel right and we took a stand. We put our money where our mouth is, and I think we’re on the right side of history on this one.” She adds that “three individuals” during staff reviews “have told me they’re really proud to be against it,” indicating the stance has also been welcomed by the company’s rank and file. Galbraith goes further: “Secondary ticketing is bad for the industry and bad for the artists, and we won’t work with any artist that wants to do it.” Kili, DHP and AEG announced last July they were invalidating around 10,000 tickets to Sheeran’s UK stadium shows – 1% of the 1m sold – because they had been bought from unauthorised secondary sites, particularly Viagogo. According to Galbraith, Kilimanjaro’s anti-secondary stand has also been good for business, saying the company is regularly “picking up business because of our position on ticketing.” Although, he adds, “if when I left Live Nation in 2008 I’d set-up a secondary ticketing company, I’d be a lot richer than I am now!”
The future’s bright
s IQ’s time with the various members of the Kilimanjaro family nears its end, talk naturally turns to the next ten years. Is there still room to grow, both as individuals and as a business, or is Kili approaching its peak? Scarampi says he believes Kili’s uniquely personal approach to business will continue to ensure the allegiance of artists – even those as big as Ed Sheeran – for years to come. “We build those relationships with artists, managers and agents right from the beginning, from the ground up,” he explains. “There’s a definite loyalty there, so when that conversation does come” – the dreaded ‘I’m thinking of signing a global deal with a major multinational’ talk – “we’re entrenched well enough and can continue those relationships.” On a personal level, he adds: “I feel really at home here. It’s like a big family: we all get on so well, and Stuart’s a great boss – he’s been really integral to my development.” “The thought of being here another ten years is mindblowing,” says Fox, who admits that she’s usually somebody that gets bored after three years. “But there’s no reason to not be confident about the future. We’re still taking risks, we’re still innovating, and we’re on a steady trajectory… “I’d like us to keep growing, but it would be good if we could slow down a bit – we can’t keep moving offices!”
When Stuart was at MCP, I didn’t particularly like them or their attitude, but he’s a different person since he formed his own company, as he’s been able to operate under his own philosophies. Kilimanjaro has done really well – the country needs competitors – and I enjoy working with Stuart and Alan Day and I look forward to doing business with them in the future.
John Giddings, Solo Agency It’s been a real pleasure working with Stuart and his team producing fantastic shows for maestro Andrea Bocelli during the past ten years. Keep up all the good work and here’s to wishing you decades more of success!
Andrea Primicerio & staff, Klassics Music Management I have known Stuart since the mid-80s when we worked together on shows in Birmingham, when he was with Tim Parsons at MCP. Since then we have worked on several tours and festivals together, and the passion and attention to detail from Stuart and his team of Alan Day, Steve Tilley and Mark Walker has always been there, never been in doubt, and is massively appreciated. Never afraid to take a calculated risk and fiercely loyal to their acts and managers, Raw Power look forward to working together with Kili for many years to come.
Craig Jennings, Raw Power Management Stuart is as sharp as they come, and fiercely competitive, you only have to see him wakeboarding or rock climbing to know that – but he is also a huge family man and it is no coincidence that a combination of these qualities is behind the culture and success of Kilimanjaro. It has been a pleasure to work and socialise (and wakeboard) with him over the years.
Jon Ollier, CAA Kili may have grown quickly from a boutique promoter into a real force to be reckoned with in the UK live industry, yet they’ve always remained true to their core values. It’s admirable that Stuart has built a team that maintains and upholds those values, despite the growth in size and stature of his company. They’ve given us some memorable shows over the years, and their commitment to nurturing artists’ success is none more evident than with Catfish & The Bottlemen’s rise from the back rooms to a sold-out arena show, in just three years. Long may they continue!
John Drury, James Harrison & staff, The SSE Arena, Wembley Congratulations to Stuart and the team on ten incredible years, and countless amazing shows, from all of us at Alexandra Palace. It’s been brilliant working with you, and we can’t wait to see what the next decade brings!
Lucy Fenner, Alexandra Palace Stuart has played an integral part in the iconic music history of Knebworth Park, from the Oasis concerts in 1996 to the more recent award-winning Sonisphere Festivals, and Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. We celebrate their success, and look forward to working again with Kili Live!
Martha Lytton-Cobbold, Knebworth Estates IQ Magazine May 2018
While Kornett notes that, “usually, in this business, promoters get carried out of their offices feet first,” Galbraith says he has no intention of working himself to death – but that he’s not ready to hand over the reins just yet. “I’m not going to work till I’m 75, but I’ve got too much fun to have, and too much growth ahead of us, to step down now,” he says. “I still just feel like a kid who goes to rock shows,” says Day. “I was at Marilyn Manson’s first UK show, and now I’ve got him at Wembley Arena. I thought I could clear it, I told Emma Banks, and we sold it out – I was so proud. “That’s the appeal of working at a company like this: from the get-go, it’s been, ‘Here’s your laptop and phone, now get on with it.’ I’d never book something I didn’t like – if I don’t believe in it, I’m not doing it.” “We’re a small company, but we can deliver at every level,” he concludes. “We can do club shows, we can do Ed in a stadium, or gigs in a massive park… “With this team in place, there’s nothing stopping us.”
“The most important decision Stuart made for the industry was that he wanted to create a company that had young promoters taking over the business.”
Detlef Kornett Stuart and I have worked together for a number of years. I was delighted for him when he set-up Kilimanjaro Live. Stuart is one of the few promoters, like me, who is deeply concerned about how tickets are sold and distributed in the UK. We both continue to fight to rid our business of the secondary market. Here’s to the next ten years.
The reason that Stuart is so universally disliked is that he’s so fucking good at negotiating, and he inevitably pins you down and gets what he wants. I look forward to beating him at least once in a negotiation during Kili’s next ten years!
Harvey Goldsmith, APM
Stuart has not only proved to the big boys that he could compete as an independent but has pushed on to open up new entertainment markets, and continues to do so while harvesting the support of DEAG. Ask anyone who works at Kili and they’ll tell you they love it… and it’s a pleasure to work with them all as a supplier. That’s a true testament to what they’re all about. Here’s to another ten years!
I’ve always been impressed by how thorough and professional the people at Kili are and how they will bend over backwards when needed. Stuart is a true gentleman and has been really good to me over the years. Even as an experienced agent, I’ve learned a lot from him, especially how to conduct oneself and deal with others in this business.
Gary Howard, UTA I’ve known Stuart for close to 20 years but only really got to work closely with him over the last ten. The team he has developed over at Kili are some of the nicest guys you could meet. We look forward to many more shows coming our way over the next ten years.
Geoff Meall, Coda Agency
Ian Greenway, LarMac LIVE Congratulations Stuart and the entire team at Kilimanjaro on your tenth birthday! We will continue to enjoy working with you this summer and for many more years to come!
Daniel Garnett, Nettwerk Management
Phil Sheeran, Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Always a pleasure to have Stuart and the rest of Kili visit our doorstep. Here’s to another ten years, and then some.
Darren Murphy, Eventim Apollo
IQ Magazine May 2018
ust over 20 years ago, on a cold and blustery day in March 1998, some of the biggest festival promoters in Europe gathered in London to formally launch the first and, to this day, only association dedicated exclusively to European music festivals – Yourope. “The basic thinking at the time was that, as festival promoters, we are colleagues in our field long before we are enemies or competitors, so let’s get together and talk about security, band fees, insurance, and the other issues that we all face,” recalls Leif Skov, director of Denmark’s Roskilde Festival from 1977 to 2002, who helped lay the foundations for the organisation and was one of its founder board members. Almost two decades earlier, Skov had launched a pilot version of Yourope alongside Mauro Valenti (Italy’s Arezzo Wave festival) and Gunnar Lagerman (Sweden’s Hultsfred Festival), but soon after its initial meeting in 1981, the informal association went into hibernation. “We used the name Yourope but we did not have a formal general assembly with regulations, otherwise we would now be talking about approaching the 40th jubilee,” explains Skov.
By the late 1990s, the need for a formal alliance of European festivals had become more urgent, and after an inaugural meeting at Roskilde’s offices in November 1997, where terms and conditions were set, the association was officially born the following March with Klaus Maack appointed inaugural president.
t its inception, Yourope had 21 members. Today, the number is almost 90, with festival partners including Norway’s by:Larm, Netherlands’ Lowlands, Serbia’s Exit Festival, Lollapalooza Berlin, Montreux Jazz Festival, Hungary’s Sziget, Primavera Sound in Spain, Pukkelpop in Belgium, France’s Rock en Seine, and founder member Roskilde (one of eight festivals that have been with the association since its inception.) “We are all competitors within the European market, and often we are [taking place on] the same weekend but I don’t feel that within our membership. There’s a lot of friendship.
IQ Magazine May 2018
A lot of openness, which helps to get input from everybody and learn from each other,” says Christof Huber, festival director of Switzerland’s OpenAir St.Gallen and Yourope general secretary since 2003. He cites the St. Gallen-based association’s focus on improving health and safety, and working conditions across the festival business, as one of its biggest achievements over the past two decades. “A lot of festivals work with security and safety standards now that we just didn’t have when we started,” explains Huber. He highlights the work of the YES (Yourope Event Safety) Group, led by Chris Kemp (Mind Over Matter Consultancy) and Henrik Bondo Nielsen (Roskilde Festival) in helping make festivals safer environments for audiences, artists, and crews through its specialist programme of seminars and workshops.
“The basic thinking at the time was that, as festival promoters, we are colleagues in our field long before we are enemies or competitors…” Leif Skov – Yourope “The seminars are far more than just a networking event. It’s a trustful room where you can tell your colleagues without fear that you’ve got challenges that you honestly don’t know how to solve and together come up with solutions,” says Nielsen, who credits Yourope with providing an invaluable support network, following the Roskilde tragedy of 2000 when nine people were crushed to death during a Pearl Jam performance. “We had a huge challenge to [return] in 2001 and we couldn’t have done that without help from our colleagues in Yourope,” he states. Five years later, the YES Group was born out of the existing ILMC Event Safety Group. To date, it’s staged around 25 seminars for Yourope members, held in a variety of European cities, as well as establishing its own professional certificate in Event Safety and Security Management. “The drive has been to make European festivals safer, more aligned with each other, and to try and create good practice that everybody can abide by,” says Kemp. “That ethos has really helped festivals over the past 20 years. It’s all about talking to each other, and if you’re not at the table, you can’t have that dialogue.” Equally important has been Yourope’s work in establishing standard terms that all of its festival members can draw upon when negotiating with agents. “Booking agency contracts tend to be very one-sided and a lot of smaller festivals were finding themselves pushed into a corner and simply being told, ‘sign it or don’t get the act,’” says Ben Challis, general counsel for Glastonbury Festival, who wrote Yourope’s standard terms agreement. The contract covers artist fees, as well as provisions around cancellations, insurance and riders. Since being introduced in March 2012, Yourope has agreed terms with William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency for members to use when negotiating a booking. “Even as Glastonbury’s lawyer, I spend a lot of time
IQ Magazine May 2018
Yourope members met for a special dinner on the eve of ILMC 30 to mark the organisation’s 20th anniversary
crossing out ludicrous provisions in contracts that we could never agree to. With the standard terms, while you still have to negotiate the deal, you know that the small print has been sorted out already. That saves everyone, both festival promoters and booking agencies, a vast amount of time and hopefully makes the industry better because the deal is a fairer one,” says Challis. “What Yourope has done with the standard terms is to make room for [an increase in the number of] festivals without getting into a bidding war with the big concert promoters. That’s a very positive achievement,” states Skov. Sustainability and green issues have been another area of focus for Yourope over the past decade, beginning with the establishment of ‘Green’n’Clean environmental guidelines just over a decade ago. In 2011, GO Group (Green Operations Europe) – an independent, cross-industry think-tank founded by Yourope in partnership with GreenEvents Conference, Green Music Initiative (GMI) and Bucks University – was launched to promote good practice and ecological responsibility across the sector. “It’s been a very fruitful combination,” says Das Fest’s Holger Jan Schmidt, who leads GO Group. “Together we’ve very much pushed sustainability high up the agenda so that nowadays you cannot run a festival without thinking about green issues. We share the information that we acknowledge as being best practice so that we raise standards across the whole industry.”
“It’s all about talking to each other, and if you’re not at the table, you can’t have that dialogue.” Chris Kemp – YES Group / Mind Over Matter In addition to running regular workshops and seminars, GO Group also recognises good practice through the awarding of Green’n’Clean titles to Yourope festival members. Ben Challis calls Yourope and the GO Group “a clear leader across Europe in promoting sustainability.” Other projects and initiatives that Yourope runs or is heavily involved in include the bi-annual European Festival Conference (EFC), its European Marketing & Communication
“Even as Glastonbury’s lawyer, I spend a lot of time crossing out ludicrous provisions in contracts that we could never agree to…” Ben Challis – Glastonbury Festival
Contributors: Top (l to r): Ruud Berends, ETEP/Eurosonic Noorderslag; Ben Challis, Glastonbury Festival; Henrik Bondo Nielsen, Roskilde Festival. Middle (l to r): Holger Jan Schmidt, Green Operations Europe; Christof Huber, Yourope/ OpenAir St.Gallen; Chris Kemp, YES Group/Mind Over Matter.
tackling the thorny issue of direct licensing. “We understand why it’s arisen but for festivals it’s an absolute nightmare. Our advice at the moment is don’t book direct-licensing acts but that’s not always a solution and we’re now starting to look at contractual solutions to protect ourselves, as well as reviewing how our members work with collection societies across Europe,” says Challis. As for the future, Huber believes Yourope has a more crucial role than ever to play in supporting and growing the European festival business. “If you want to develop your festival in all aspects of our business – health and safety, communication, sustainability, social values – then it’s the perfect tool to get to know a lot of good festival people who are open to exchange,” he states. “As much as we have grown over the last 20 years, our agenda and importance is only getting bigger.”
Bottom: Leif Skov, Yourope.
Group (EMAC) platform, and the European Festival Awards, taking place every January in the Dutch city of Groningen as part of Eurosonic Noorderslag. The long-running conference doubles as the first of three Yourope member meetings each year, followed by London’s ILMC in March, and Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg in September. Yourope is also a founding partner of the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), which has helped over 1,250 emerging European artists stage over 3,500 festival shows since its formation in 2003. “Yourope acts as a role model for festivals and their audiences but also as an example on how to run something like this for the whole industry,” praises Eurosonic Noorderslag conference co-ordinator and head of ETEP, Ruud Berends. “Its lasting success is a big compliment to Christof Huber and his board who make Yourope a very well run, efficient and influential European organisation with its heart in the right place.”
ne of the most pertinent examples of Yourope’s commitment to improving not just the festival business, but society as a whole, is its recent Take A Stand campaign. Aimed at encouraging festival promoters to “encourage social cohesion” and foster “tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins,” so far over a dozen associations, and close to 100 festivals, clubs and companies have signed-up to the scheme, which will once again have a strong presence among Yourope members throughout this summer’s festival season. Other current areas of focus for Yourope are lobbying for an EU-funded European music programme called Music Moves Europe; updating its standard terms agreement; and
YOUROPE MEMBER EVENTS Aluna Festival (FR), Aarhus Festival (DK), Arsenal Fest (RS), Arezzo Wave Love Festival (IT), ARTmania (RO), Baloise Session (CH), Bergenfest (NO), Bilbao BBK Live (ES), by:Larm (NO), Colours of Ostrava (CZ), Das Fest (DE), Deichbrand (DE), Down The Rabbit Hole (NL), Exit Festival (RS), Feel Festival (DE), Festi’neuch (CH), Festival Balélec (CH), Festival Week-end au bord de l’eau (CH), Frequency Festival (AT), Greenfield Festival (CH), Gurtenfestival (CH), Haldern Pop (DE), Happiness Festival (DE), Heitere Open Air (CH), INmusic Festival (HR), Ilosaarirock (FI), Kosmonaut Festival (DE), Kraków Live Festival (PL), Le Printemps de Bourges (FR), Les Rencontres Trans Musicales de Rennes (FR), Lollapalooza Berlin (DE), Lowlands (NL), Melt Festival (DE), Metaldays Festival (SI), Montreux Jazz Festival (CH), New Fall Festival (DE), Nilufer Music Festival (TR), NorthSide (DK), Nova Rock (AT), Off Festival (PL), One Love Festival (TR), Openair Frauenfeld (CH), OpenAir St.Gallen (CH), Orange Warsaw Festival (PL), Oslo Sommertid (NO), Øya Festival (NO), Paléo Festival Nyon (CH), Pinkpop (NL), Pohoda Festival (SK), Pori Jazz (FI), Positivus Festival (LV), Primavera Sound (ES), Provinssi (FI), Pukkelpop (BE), Reeperbahn Festival (DE), Open’er Festival (PL), Revolution Festival (RO), Rocco del Schlacko (DE), Rock en Seine (FR), Rock im Park (DE), Rock for People (CZ), Rockwave Festival (GR), Rock Werchter (BE), Roskilde Festival (DK), Ruisrock (FI), Siren’s Call Festival (LU), Skanderborg Festival (DK), Slottsfjell Festival (NO), Stadtpark Open Air (DE), Stars in Town (CH), Summer Breeze (DE), Summerdays Festival (CH), Szene Open Air (AT), Sziget Festival (HU), Taksirat (MK), Taubertal Festival (DE), Tuska Open Air Metal Festival (FI), Untold Festival (RO), Wacken Open Air (DE), Way Out West (SE), We Love Green (FR), Winterthurer Musikfestwochen (CH), Woodstock Festival (PL).
IQ Magazine May 2018
From tech to sport, 2018 presents some exciting opportunities for live and brand partnerships, says Jack Ward, creative strategist at music and sports sponsorship agency Ear to the Ground.
Half Century Trying to keep something secret from the best-connected man in live music is no easy task, discovers Gordon Masson. But at press time, we’ve apparently fulfilled mission impossible and so as you’re reading this, chances are that the subject of this surprise feature is also laying eyes on it for the first time.
Steve Strange turned the big 5-0 on 17 April this year and as you’ll discover over the next 16 pages, numerous friends and colleagues from around the world wanted to mark the occasion by sending birthday wishes and congratulations to the affable Irishman. A party on 13 April to celebrate Strange’s 50th birthday marked the reopening of London’s Subterania, which long-time friend Vince Power has resurrected after a 15-year hiatus. Picking a grassroots club as the destination for his landmark birthday party sums up a man who has dedicated more than half his life to the live music business – and who can be found more often than not in small venues scouting for new talent, or introducing promoters to another of the up-and-coming acts on his roster. For the purposes of this cloak-and-dagger operation, we relied on some of the historic articles that we’ve written in the past about Strange. However, we were able to corner him for an interview for a non-existent profile piece, where he gave us a fascinating insight into how he sees the business developing in the future. More on that later. First, here’s a potted history of the birthday boy’s life and career to date…
IQ Magazine May 2018
Strange Beginnings Born in Lisburn near Belfast on 17 April 1968, Strange was raised in Carrickfergus in nearby County Antrim during the troubles in Northern Ireland. At the age of 11, after his cousin took him to see UFO at Ulster Hall in Belfast, Strange’s love of hard rock was born, which saw him devote his youth to the likes of Rush, AC/DC, Kiss, and Def Leppard. The allure of music also encouraged Strange to become a musician himself and having been introduced to drumming in the Boys’ Brigade youth group, he was able to hone his skills when his father bought him a drum kit at the age of 12, leading to jam sessions with friends at school. His first band, Slack Alice, didn’t reach the heights its members had hoped for, so Strange found himself sitting behind the drums for a couple of cover bands before becoming part of the line-up for popular Belfast outfit No Hot Ashes in 1986. A record deal with GWR, thanks in no small part to Strange’s powers of persuasion, saw the band move to London a year later to record a debut album that, unfortunately, failed to hit the shops after the label’s distribution arm, Pie Records, went bust.
Steve Strange Relaxing by the beach with former Live Nation exec Maggie Wilde, her husband Alex and QOTSA frontman Josh Homme
“You had to push past the rails where the coats were to get to Steve’s desk at the back.” Mark Hamilton, Ash In need of income, Strange accepted an offer from Jon Vyner to join The Bron Agency and book some gigs. “I used to do [that] anyway – it was always left to the drummer to chase support tours and gigs,” Strange told IQ in 2009. Tapping up GWR’s Doug Smith to secure his acts occasional support slots with the likes of Motörhead and Girlschool, Strange worked tirelessly, making himself known around London’s gig circuit, making friends with bands and offering to book shows. “I did a lot of analysing about how the business worked, and it was a steep learning curve. I was intrigued by it – how tours were routed, why some bands played clubs not halls, etc. It was very exciting.”
A Strange Business Strange’s initial steps into the business side of live music involved him hopping from agency to agency. From Bron he joined Adam Parsons’ Big Rock Inc, and from there he switched to Prestige Artists, working with Clive UnderhillSmith and Rob Hallett. Disenchanted with the acts he was asked to book, Strange made the decision to move back to Northern Ireland, where, in 1992, he found a job at The Limelight and spent a year on the other side of the fence promoting shows with Eamonn McCann. That move led to one of Strange’s biggest breaks, when a trio of school kids in a band called Ash started relentlessly hassling him for support slots in the venue. The band’s bass player, Mark Hamilton, recalls that Strange’s office in The Limelight doubled as the cloakroom at the weekend – “you had to push past the rails where the coats were to get to Steve’s desk at the back.” The teenagers’ tenacity impressed Strange Steve was recommended to me by John Curd, and when I gave him a job he was already representing Placebo and Ash. I had David Bowie going out on tour, supported by Morrissey, but Morrissey walked out on us without telling anybody and I was left thinking who do I get as support? So I looked around the office and Placebo ended up on the tour. David Bowie then claimed he discovered them and before we knew it they were playing with him at The Brits – Steve couldn’t believe it.
The next rung of the ladder saw Strange move to Fair Warning/Wasted Talent where Ian Huffam and Jeff Craft took him under their wings. “It just felt like the right place to go,” says Strange. “It was much more a demographically suited agency for me.” Other colleagues at that company, which would later morph into Helter Skelter, were Ian Flukes, John Jackson, Pete Nash, Paul Bolton, Jim Morewood, Emma Banks, Mike Greek, Ian Sales, Paul Franklin and Nigel Hassler.
Strange Breaks That career move coincided with Strange’s move into the big time. Within months of settling into his new environment, he was invited by Interscope Records’ label head Martin Kierszenbaum and A&R chief Don Robinson to take a look at some of the acts they were developing. “I’ve always listened to American music, and a lot of the bands I liked when I was younger were from the United States,” says Strange. “So I started to sign bands from the US or who were America-based, and I spent a lot of time building relationships with people who work in the American business. My relationship with Interscope, for instance, on the back of representing Smash Mouth, led to Martin and Don putting Eminem on my radar before there was even a record released. I remember hearing My Name Is before it had even gone to radio and just being blown away. So I’ve been very fortunate to work with Eminem for a long time now.” While that introduction to Eminem may have been a piece of good fortune, the circumstances owe everything to Steve
Former boss, John Giddings – Solo Agency enough to give the band slots supporting the likes of Elastica, Babes in Toyland, and Ride, and as the fan-base began to grow, he accepted an offer from Ash manager Stephen Taverner to become the band’s agent, and soon found himself working with Rob Challice at Forward Artist Booking. Adding acts to his roster, Strange soon got itchy feet again and felt the need to move to a bigger agency – John Giddings’ Solo. Steve (back, right) and No Hot Ashes
IQ Magazine May 2018
Steve Strange Coldplay surprised Steve with a birthday celebration in 2016, backstage in Mexico
Strange’s philosophy when it comes to making a mark in the North American music sector. “I spend a lot of time in America as I’ve got a house in Los Angeles. But even before I bought that, I went to The States at least four times a year so I could build a network of contacts, whether that was record labels, managers or other people in the industry who have helped me over the years. But, in my opinion, it’s definitely a huge advantage to spend time there.” Indeed, that strategy has helped Strange realise some of his greatest career achievements in representing talent and taking them to superstar status. “What am I proud of? The fact that I was able to sign acts like Queens of the Stone Age and Eminem so early was a big achievement for me,” he says, adding, “You always remember your first girlfriend, so I have to say that working with Ash so early in my career was something I’m really proud of too. I had to learn very quickly as they became big really fast. But I’m enormously proud of the career path I’ve helped build for the likes of QOTSA, Coldplay and Eminem.” I believe I was the first person to give Steve a job in the agency business, or so Steve tells me. So not only does this make me very proud of the man and what he has accomplished but it also started a friendship that is stronger today than ever before. Former boss, Adam Parsons – Siren Artist Management
Strange Boss For the past 13 years, Strange has been piloting the live aspects of his clients’ careers as one of the principals of X-ray Touring. As a founding director, he launched X-ray in 2005 alongside Jeff Craft, Ian Huffam, Martin Horne and Scott Thomas, when the quintet reached the end of their deals with Helter Skelter, and ITB, in the case of the latter duo.
Steve’s working hours are legendary in the business. Back in the 90s, he lived around the corner from me. As a good-employer I used to pick him up and drive him to my office. I swear he moved house just so he could avoid those 8.30am knocks on the door. Former boss, Rob Challice – Coda Agency
The company initially set-up shop in London’s Shoreditch area with just a handful of people but it has grown year on year and moved location a number of times to now encompass 28 staff in its Kings Cross HQ. And, recently, X-ray’s operations have evolved once again as the company agreed to expand its horizons with American partners. “We have a joint venture with both Paradigm and Yucaipa, which is run by entrepreneur Ron Burkle, and that gives us a much bigger global platform and the ability to sign things on a global basis rather than just the international deals,” explains Strange. “More importantly, it’s good to be part of a bigger picture. The decision we at X-ray Touring made took a lot of careful consideration and involved talking to a number of bigger organisations. But, to date, the deal has worked out really well for everyone, and long may that continue.” Strange believes there is still room for independent agencies, although he reckons alliances between indies could become more commonplace looking forward. “Looking around at other independent businesses, Barry and Rod’s leadership at ITB has
“I think it’s a lot easier to get into the agency business now than when I was first starting out – the greasy pole was a lot greasier back then.” Enjoying a celebratory drink with colleague Josh Javor in Singapore
A drum kit is essential in Steve’s homes
Steve is one of the nicest guys in this industry, and his voice, which goes up to eleven, can be heard across continents. He would be my first choice should I ever need an agent. His skill for spotting talent is only bettered by his talent for making them stars. Former boss, John Jackson – K2
been close to faultless,” he says. “They have been a united force for decades and have very strong bonds with their artists – a trait that has been passed down to everyone else in the agency, whether that’s Lucy Dickins or Mike Dewdney or Steve Zapp or any of the younger agents who are learning their trade at ITB. “As for the others, John Giddings has always been in favour of running his ship independently, as the Solo name suggests, while I don’t know what the likes of Primary Talent are planning, or if they want to remain independent. There are always rumours circulating about agencies being bought, or mergers, but I tend to believe these things only when the deal is done. But I think there will always be a place for independent agencies doing business their own way.” Giving an insight into his future, Strange says that his efforts Stateside should also benefit from X-ray’s new North American partners. “I’ve got a great office set-up in my LA house but I am going to have an office in the new Paradigm building in Beverly Hills when it opens in May. It’s a 15-minute drive from my house, so I’m looking forward to that being up and running,” he tells IQ.
Strange Challenges As an agent at the top of his game, looking back over his 27 years in the business doesn’t come easy to someone who prefers to look forward. But Strange observes, “The obvious big changes have been the decline in record sales and the
Belting out another classic with fellow X-ray director Scott Thomas
The moment Steve stepped through our door I was struck by his irrepressible enthusiasm and drive to succeed. I wasn’t at The Bron Agency for long but I guess I got that right. Former boss, Jon Vyner – The Underworld
introduction of the Internet. I remember when you’d think you were a king if you got 30 or 40 faxes a day. Now there are 500 emails a day that need to be dealt with… So it’s a lot more complicated and time consuming than it used to be, but live music is the centre of the business now, so that’s not a complaint. And there are things like social media you can use if a show is struggling in a certain city or market, which we just didn’t have access to before.” He continues, “I think it’s a lot easier to get into the agency business now than when I was first starting out – the greasy pole was a lot greasier back then,” he laughs. “A lot of agents these days require bookers to help them – that wasn’t the case a few years ago. The path in America of starting out in the mailroom then becoming an assistant before moving up the ladder to become a booker, does not seem to be that common in the UK and Europe. But the opportunities to become an assistant and learn the business by becoming a booker seem to be more widespread now than ever before.” But while the prospects for youngsters trying to break into the business may have improved, Strange believes the opposite is true for musicians. “It’s probably harder to forge a career if you are an artist these days, mostly because of the decline in the recorded music business. But that forces people to find different paths to success, and the likes of social media, YouTube and everything else make that possible. For example, I represent Chance The Rapper, who is enormous around the world but still doesn’t have a record deal, so there are amazing possibilities out there now for people with talent and vision.” Providing tips on where agents can gain a leg-up (and where promoters can track Strange down), he reveals, “ILMC is something I need to be at – it’s a great platform for
the business and I try to make sure I don’t miss it. The same used to be true of SXSW but it’s too much of a corporate circus now to be of benefit to me. That’s not to say I’ll never go back but it’s not on my radar at this moment in time. Other events that I try to go to, if I can, are Coachella – where I’ve got Eminem and Bleachers playing this year – Glastonbury, and I never, ever miss Reading and Leeds festivals.” Of course, with live music now central to the industry as a whole, the business has become a lot more cut-throat, with acts continuously being lured to new agencies with the promise of “better” deals. “Losing an act can happen at any time and it’s a learning curve for everyone whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business for 40 years,” says Strange. But he concludes that there’s a simple strategy for keeping artists on your roster: do the best possible job for your clients. “Of course, I’ve lost a few acts over the years. I’m not going to name them but they know who they are,” he snorts. “Mostly, the reasons are down to a change in management, or the band not breaking into other areas and looking for someone to blame. The agent is the obvious target as our deals are not as contractual or potentially litigious as others. “But the bottom line is, if you work hard then it’s mutual success. Basically, you’ll be there if you still do a great job.”
“The fact that I was able to sign acts like Queens of the Stone Age and Eminem so early was a big achievement for me.” Steve with his Arthur Award for Second Least Offensive Agent
IQ Magazine May 2018
HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVE! We love Steve. We attribute his long-running and incredible success to his clean living and ascetic lifestyle. Oh no, wait, hang on a minute…
Coldplay Steve has always been one of the good guys, fair in his deals and never messes you about; it’s a deal or it isn’t. Sometimes he’s even done the deal with you before he’s told you about it. They don’t make them like Steve Strange anymore. Long may he breathe life into our fast-becoming corporate industry.
George Akins, DHP Family Back in the day, it was really difficult to persuade agents to even meet me because I was new. But I chased down Steve and he ended up giving me one of my first international bands – Lambretta. Steve is very open minded – always interested to hear new ideas – and it’s thanks to people like him that Frequency Festival (now in its 18th year) was able to launch. I’ll always be grateful to Steve for giving me a chance to prove myself.
Harry Jenner, Musicnet Entertainment Steve is an absolute one-off – a total legend. I remember talking to him at Reading in 2007 and he told me that I should be in London working for a national promoter. He was one of the first people to really plant the seed in my mind to take a chance and move from Stoke to London. I will forever be grateful for that encouragement and his continued trust over the years working on the artists we do together.
Steve Tilley, Kilimanjaro Live Steve’s not an agent who hands an artist a paintby-numbers routing. He’s truly concerned about the overall experience for the artist on every single night of any tour he books – the right rooms, the right festivals, the right looks. I personally have a tremendous amount of respect for his work ethic and I’m very proud to call him a friend.
Keith Hagan, SKH Music
Steve can remember all the deals we have made going back years, even the most complicated ones, without any notes. He’s got special compartments in his brain! I remember once, he called me the Sunday morning just before Christmas to talk to me about a band … only Steve can do that.
Dominique Revert, Alias Production Steve wasn’t too great on our office computers and when he got a job offer from John Jackson at Fair Warning, he left it on his screen. I put a post-it note on his computer saying ‘You should take this!’ We’ve been firm friends ever since. Steve is unique. He works very hard for his acts and he’s great fun to be with.
John Giddings, Solo Agency I first met Steve in the Stinking Rose restaurant in LA, where the food is all about garlic – a concept that Steve found difficult to grasp, as he is not a garlic fan. Of course, everything on the menu is based around garlic and Steve was looking for a steak and mashed taters. No garlic. Needless to say he was not a happy man.
Ted Gardner, manager – The Brian Jonestown Massacre It took about five years or so for Steve to have the courage to tell me he was a drummer in a metal band. Then another couple of years until he would share the name of the band and show me the album cover. During one of many liquid, late-night ‘conversations’ he belted out a startling a cappella rendition of Mustang Sally – and I knew what Steve’s true calling was: to be an agent!
Paul Rosenberg, Goliath Artists Steve Strange is one of our industry’s legendary figures. Unfortunately, I have only worked with him on two occasions but both were fantastic experiences and I’m looking forward to working with him again, hopefully sooner rather than later...
Attie van Wyk, Big Concerts
IQ Magazine May 2018
The first time I met Steve I was holed up in a hotel near V Festival. In the wee hours of the morning I heard a voice belting out songs from the piano in the reception area and found Steve in full voice with wine and song flowing. The few times I have had the pleasure of working with Steve have been thoroughly enjoyable. He is passionate, humorous and a joy to be around.
Tony Feldman, Showtime Management I’ve known Steve for many years and I’m lucky to call him a friend. I think his strength is his intense loyalty and the fact that he has such a warm personality. He’s very intuitive and as a promoter who works closely with him, I know just how hard he works for his artists. I remember when he persuaded me to put on Ash at King Tut’s, they were still at school and could only play in the holidays. But between us we got creative and put Ash on in the middle of the bill between two local acts so that they could benefit from the other bands’ fans. It sums up that intuition of Steve’s in knowing what to do to get the best for his artists.
Geoff Ellis, DF Concerts
In 2009, Steve was putting together the A-Z tour for Ash and asked us if we could do the Z date. So we booked an 80-capacity village hall in the tiny village of Zennor on the Atlantic Coast of Cornwall. The hall was also holding its Christmas pantomime, so the scenery had to stay up and the band performed to a tiny crowd, including Steve. Later they retired to the local pub who I’m told had their best bar take ever! I’d like to thank Steve for being such a constant supporter of SW1, and for all his wisdom over the years.
Katy Barnes, SW1 Productions Steve is the best person anyone can work with: he is extremely generous with his time; he encourages people around him to flourish; and he is incredibly loyal. I could not have asked for a better mentor. It’s very surprising to find anyone that has a better relationship with artists and managers than Steve does. We have worked together now for over 13 years and he has the same passion for the job now as he did then.
Josh Javor, X-ray Touring
Myself and Ola from Luger made the trip to London for ILMC. For reasons I can’t recall, we met up with Steve at a pub near to the ILMC venue for a quick pint. Needless to say, we never made it across the road to the conference but I’m confident nobody had more fun than us that day. The next year, we did the first of two Eminem shows in Oslo, as well as the first shows with Coldplay and QOTSA. It proved a very fruitful day, in other words, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with Steve on a number of acts ever since.
Torgeir Gullaksen, Goldstar Music
Steve’s honesty has always been his strong point for me. His work for his clients is exemplary. Not only a good man to do business with but he has become a great friend over the years.
Raye Cosbert, Metropolis Music Steve is a real rarity in the agenting world. He is incredibly loyal and supportive to promoters, and he is really fair whilst still doing a great job for his artists. I’ve been friends with Steve for as long as I’ve been a promoter. He is a pleasure to work with and it’s always great fun hanging out with him.
Steve was one of the first agents to trust me and work with me when I started to promote and book shows. The first act he gave me was Queens of the Stone Age at the 500-capacity Abart in Zürich and the 800-cap Usine in Geneva in June 2000. Almost two decades later, Steve and his wonderful and efficient team are still very loyal, and QOTSA are selling out arenas and headlining the biggest festivals. Congratulations, thanks, and cheers to Steve!
Conal Dodds, Crosstown Concerts
Sébastien Vuignier, Takk
Salomon Hazot, Live Nation France
The first time I met Steve was in June 1997 at Rock à Paris Festival and he was just one of the friendliest people I’d ever met. When I asked people who he was, they told me he was Placebo’s agent and I just could not believe it – how can an agent be this nice?! 21 years later, success has not changed him, and he is still as friendly and fun as ever.
When I returned from my gardening leave in 2005 and started out as in independent promoter again after my years at Live Nation, I sent out an email to all my contacts. Five minutes later I had Steve on the phone and he said, “I will make sure that I get you all of my acts back and those I can’t give you, I’ll get you in on a co-pro.” Fact is that he actually did.
Mads Sørensen, Beatbox Entertainment
Once in a while, I receive international calls in the Japanese afternoon – an outrageous time for Westerners to call, but almost always the calls are from Steve. I wonder when this guy sleeps. He is such a loveable guy with a big heart, and the love he has for his artists, and consideration for us promoters are what I love about him!
Naoki Shimizu, Creativeman Productions
I don’t know many agents that are so knowledgeable about their acts’ careers and the venues he places them in. Steve can tell you the intricate details about most venues in the world (because he’s visited most and spends time taking the facility into his knowledge database) and can give a very structured reason that an act should play one venue over another…. Jeez, he even spent 18 hours with me once routing a full European tour, telling me all the reasons my band should play each venue he was suggesting (from capacity, to location, to clientele, to dressing room facilities, to parking, etc), and he wasn’t even the bloody agent!!
I’ve plenty of stories of wild times with Steve over the years but they are not for putting into print. I do remember at my wedding Steve was asleep on a sofa in the bar at 2.30pm, snoring loudly and recovering from his night before. Of course, he was still going strong at 4am. Partying aside, Steve is not only generous and loyal, he is an incredibly gifted agent: creative, smart and tenacious. If he represents your band, you’ll know that already.
Adam Parsons, Siren Artist Management
I remember being at the ILMC when the Royal Garden Hotel still had a grand piano in the lobby. In the early hours, we decided to play some songs in a not-so-sober state. I remember Steve joining us to sing his version of Mustang Sally. We were belting that song out so loudly that the hotel security showed us to the door. The Royal Garden no longer has a piano in the lobby...
Steve and I worked together for many years at Helter Skelter and we had such fun. There was one day when he had been out extremely late the night before and was pretty tired. He disappeared for a while and was eventually found in the stationery cupboard, asleep on top of the office toilet roll stash. After that power nap, he got right back up and was back for another stint booking his beloved clients. He inspires great loyalty in all that work with him. He’s smart, and funny, and one of the kindest people you will ever meet. Long may the legend reign!
Adam Saunders, X-ray Touring
Derrick Thomson, Mainland Music
I’ve had some great, funny times with Steve. Once at SXSW a bunch of us decided to go to a bar in the boondocks in the early hours but when we got there and the taxis had driven away, we found out the place was closed. We started walking back into Austin but then in the distance we saw a car with a light on the roof and Steve took off yelling at the top of his voice and flailing his arms to try to get us a ride. It was only when Ian Huffam managed to explain what was going on to the highway patrol officers that they found it funny and rang us cabs to get us out of there.
Steve is very likely the most dedicated agent I know, for ALL of his clients. I admire his professional and personal commitment to every act on his roster, which is the same for his biggest stadium acts as well as for any baby band he signs. Even though his artists and managements come first, he never gives you the impression of not caring or understanding the promoter perspective. On a personal level I always greatly enjoy seeing him at our shows and festivals, whether we are playing a stadium, open-field or a 200-cap club. The night is always young with Mr. Strange! For his 50th birthday I wish him the best of luck, health, happiness in the world. Mazal-Tov and may he live until 120!
Michael Chugg, Chugg Entertainment
André Lieberberg, Live Nation
Emma Banks, CAA
IQ Magazine May 2018
IQ Magazine May 2018
T h e sky’ s the limit With Sam Smith hitting arena-level worldwide with his second album campaign and accompanying tour, Rhian Jones chats to the promoters behind the shows to discover the factors behind his successful career to date.
ou’d be hard pushed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Sam Smith. The London-born singer has become a household name over the course of a fouryear career that’s now reached arena-level with his current 89-date The Thrill of It All tour. Smith’s trajectory follows that of a small handful of Brits, namely Adele and Ed Sheeran, that have cracked the mainstream market in such a spectacular fashion over the past decade. Alongside live success, he’s had two No.1 albums in the UK – the last of which also topped the charts in the US – multimillion record sales worldwide, along with three BRIT Awards and four Grammys. Agents Mike Greek and Summer Marshall at CAA have been with Smith every step of the way, as have a dedicated team at Method Management, record label Capitol, and a legion of promoters worldwide who tell us all about Smith’s current run of live dates below. The Thrill of It All tour was announced in October last year, a few weeks before the release of Smith’s second album of the same name. It started in the UK with 180,000 tickets sold across 14 dates in March and April, which were promoted by SJM (Sheffield, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham), DF Concerts (Glasgow), MCD (Dublin) and Goldenvoice (London).
After selling out two O2 Arena dates largely through pre-sale in London, two more were added, which also sold out. Smith had last played three dates in the capital at the 4,900-cap Brixton Academy in 2015. Goldenvoice promoter Laura Davidson tells us Smith’s first tour had been underplayed, which made promoting The Thrill of It All plain sailing from the get-go. “We left the last campaign in such a hot place and really held it back,” she says. “With the new album really connecting and coming straight out with a huge song like Too Good at Goodbyes, we didn’t really have any concerns going into arenas. Four O2s seemed very achievable.” The team was keen to keep ticket prices reasonable with the O2 shows priced from £29.50 (€33.50) to £62.50 (€71.50) for front-row seats. A partnership with Twickets helped curb the secondary market. SJM Concerts promoter Luke Temple credits the wider team’s patience and meticulousness with the ease at which his tickets were sold and the quality of the show. He says: “On the first album campaign, Sam could have very easily done arenas but it was the right decision not to after seeing this latest show. With two albums of material to play, and the production, which was spot on, you couldn’t take your eyes off it from start to finish.
All Sam Smith photographs © James Barber
IQ Magazine May 2018
Contributors Top row (l to r): Dave Corbet, DF Concerts; Hidde Pluymert, Mojo Concerts; Ioannis Panagopoulos, Live Nation; Michael Harrison, Frontier Touring Company; Robb Spitzer, AEG Presents; Roel Vergauwen, Live Nation Bottom row (l to r): Ewald Tatar, Nova Music; Sébastien Vuignier, Takk; Kim Worsøe, ICO Concerts
“The first time I saw him at King Tut’s you could tell right away there was something very special there…” Dave Corbet – DF Concerts
“We left the last campaign in such a hot place and really held it back.” Laura Davidson – Goldenvoice
“The best thing about working on Sam’s career is being part of such a great team. Everyone involved cares about every little detail and the production team that put the show together have got great ideas. Everyone put a lot of thought into the show and the tour.” With experienced production manager Wob Roberts pulling the strings on the road, the tour also benefits from the minds of creative producer, Lee Lodge, Jason Sherwood’s set design, lighting design by Tim Routledge and video content put together by Studio Moross. Production includes a long, thin, triangle-shaped stage that puts Smith amongst the audience, creating an intimacy that can sometimes get lost in large venues. DF Concerts’ Dave Corbet, who promoted two sold-out dates at the Glasgow Hydro, explains: “It’s sometimes very difficult in an arena to make an artist feel well connected with the audience, but the way that production was laid out makes you feel that Sam is really in amongst the crowd. “It’s laid out physically to be focused on Sam and is all about connecting with him, which works really well because he gives such a polished performance. The first time I saw him at King Tut’s you could tell right away there was something very special there, he has quite a remarkable voice, especially when you see it live and appreciate the range he has.” Across the rest of Europe, Smith plays 18 dates in April, May and June. After starting the leg at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, he visited Denmark for the first time to play the Royal Arena in Copenhagen on 20 April. ICO Concerts director Kim Worsøe sold 14,500 tickets for the show, which he describes as an “easy process” thanks to chart hits in the region, widespread radio support, and download traction. “We could easily do multiple dates at the Royal Arena,” he explains. “The demand is so strong.”
IQ Magazine May 2018
“Sam is an authentic and wonderfully gifted artist. There are very few around like him at the moment.” Ioannis Panagopoulos – Live Nation Smith also plays his first show in Austria in May at Vienna’s 10,000-cap Stadthalle, and promoter Ewald Tatar of Nova Music expects it to be sold out. Over in Switzerland, a 9 May show at the Hallenstadion in Zürich is Smith’s first headline date in the region and promoter Sébastien Vuignier at TAKK has sold out the venue’s full, seated capacity of 11,000 – an achievement he tells us is matched by Coldplay. “So Sam is on good tracks!” Authenticity and quality songs are behind Smith’s demand in Germany – where he plays the Mercedes Benz Arena in Berlin, Hamburg’s Barclaycard Arena and Lanxess Arena in Cologne – according to Live Nation promoter Ioannis Panagopoulos. “People notice honesty, that he really means it, and is pouring his heart and soul into what he does,” he says. “Sam is an authentic and wonderfully gifted artist. There are very few around like him at the moment.” Smith’s Dutch fan base, who’ll see him play two dates at the 12,500-cap Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, started growing with the release of his early singles Disclosure and Naughty Boy, in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Mojo promoter Hidde Pluymert explains: “The Dutch people picked up quickly on Disclosure and that gave Sam Smith a big push even before his own music came out.
IQ Magazine May 2018
“With the second album, it was wise to stay out of the market for some time and come back with a bang.” Roel Vergauwen – Live Nation “After that, the timing was right and it all came together. Stay With Me impacted just before he played a strong show at Lowlands Festival, and that momentum resulted in selling out Heineken Music Hall in minutes. He’s been hugely underplayed ever since and I am sure the way his career took off in The Netherlands is key to now selling out two Ziggo Domes.” In Belgium, an appearance on the KluB C stage at Rock Werchter festival in 2014 helped kick-start Smith’s career. That was followed by a show in Brussels at the 1,800-cap Ancienne Belgique, then the 8,000-cap Forest National in 2015. Smith has now sold over 16,000 tickets for the Sportpaleis in Antwerp. Roel Vergauwen at Live Nation says of the trajectory: “From a strategic point of view, the artist, management, label, and agent did it step by step – the right way. They haven’t overplayed; and made the right choices. With the second album, it was wise to stay out of the market for some time and come back with a bang.” After a 41-date, North American run, Smith will continue The Thrill of It All tour with six dates in Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Japan and Thailand in October. Venues range from 11k-20k capacity, and more shows in the region are expected to be announced soon. Despite the fact Smith hasn’t yet visited South Korea, AEG Presents’ SVP for Asia, Robb Spitzer, is expecting to sell all 15,000 tickets for the show at the Gocheok Sky Dome
in Seoul. He says Smith’s melodic and emotional ballads chime with music taste in the region, and radio support has seen his hits reach far and wide. Smith’s live career in Australia was momentarily stalled in 2015 after he haemorrhaged his vocal chords in Sydney. He returned to finish the dates later that same year, going into bigger venues than before. Demand has now grown to cover an eight-show run in November across 12-15k cap arenas in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. Before that, Smith plays two shows in Auckland at the Spark Arena. To set-up the Australian leg of the tour, Smith played a special show at the Sydney Opera House in January during a week’s worth of promo. Tour director Michael Harrison of the Frontier Touring Company praises Summer Marshall, Mike Greek and Method for their considered and slick approach. “The whole team came with a very defined strategy and plan for the market but they allow us to collaborate with them really well,” he says. “They genuinely want to win in our market and they are prepared to listen to advice and do the right thing. They respond to the different nuances and know that it’s all about setting up shows correctly.” In terms of where Smith can go next, Harrison says the sky’s the limit. “We’ve just sold one million tickets with an Ed Sheeran sold-out stadium tour, which is the biggest tour of all time in Australasian history, and I can see that sort of trajectory for Sam. He’s got the same ability to relate to people as Ed, which the market really responds to.” That sentiment is shared across the board, with promoters worldwide excited for what’s to come. Concludes Goldenvoice’s Davidson: “The future for Sam’s live career is pretty endless. I imagine there is still going to be something left ticket-wise on this album campaign and it’s only going to go from strength to strength. I feel like he will be in bigger venues than the O2 before too long.”
IQ Magazine May 2018
Map Key Promoter Agent Agent/Promoter Venue Festival
1. Aalborg Aalborg Stadion Café 1000Fryd Gigantium Musikkens Hus
2. Aarhus Down The Drain Production Heartbeat Music Tinderbox Atlas Ceres Park & Arena Musikhuset Aarhus Radar Ridehuset Train VoxHall Aarhus Festuge Aarhus Jazz Festival NorthSide SPOT Festival Stellar Polaris
3. Albertslund Forbraendingen
4. Brabrand DMB Concerts & Promotion
5. Copenhagen AfterRain Entertainment LtD Agenda Group AVH Productions Luger Wallengren Music & Theatre Management WB Concerts 3rd Tsunami Agenzy
Gearbox Agency PDH Music Phatphase Skandinavian Beatbox Copenhagen Music Fairwood Music International ICO Concerts Live Nation Volcano Alice Amager Bio Bella Center Betal Bremen Teater Culture Box Den Grå Hal DR Koncerthuset Forum Copenhagen Hotel Cecil Huset KBH Jazzhus Montmartre KB18 Loppen Mojo Blues Bar Øksnehallen Pumpehuset Royal Arena Rust Stengade TAP1 Telia Parken Tivoli VEGA Copenhagen Jazz Festival
Copenhell Distortion Festival Hafnia Zoo Haven Festival Komos Noisey Festival
Søren Højberg Booking SSM Music Esbjerg Rock Festival
7. Fanø CSB Island Entertainment
8. Farum Langelandsfestivalen
9. Fredericia Det Bruunske Pakhus
10. Frederiksberg Radisson Blu Falconer Center Stellar Polaris Vanguard Festival
11. Frederiksværk Gjethuset
12. Greve Portalen
13. Haderslev Harmonien Kløften Festival
14. Harboøre Haze Over Haarum
25. Roskilde Gimle Roskilde Festival
Lykke Music & Events Fermaten Jyske Bank Boxen MCH Herning Kongrescenter
Horsens & Friends Casa Arena Horsens Horsens NY Teater Scandinavian Country Club
18. Jelling Jelling Musikfestival
19. Kolding Godset Stellar Polaris
20. Middelfart Rock Under Broen
21. Næstved Arena Næstved
22. Nibe Nibe Festival
26. Silkeborg Cristopher Entertainment Riverboat Jazz Festival
27. Skagen Skagen Festival
28. Skanderborg Smukfest
29. Skive Skive Festival
30. Søborg Torben Andersen
31. Sønderborg Stellar Polaris
32. Thisted Alive Festival
33. Tønder Hagge’s Musik Pub Tønder
34. Valby K.B. Hallen
24. Rønne Bornholms Musikhus
IQ Magazine May 2018
DENMARK It might have eye watering taxes and a lack of mid-sized venues, but that doesn’t seen to hinder Denmark’s live music business, and an emerging army of emerging talent is just enhancing an already buoyant market, writes Adam Woods... They’re the best in Europe at badminton; the happiest, hygge-est people in the world (but also among the biggest users of anti-depressants); the producers of some quality television; and they’ve got the highest taxes on the planet. But Denmark hasn’t, despite honourable mentions going to Aqua, Whigfield, and Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, made all that many international pop stars. However, the latter-day rise of MØ and Lukas Graham; the success of Trentemøller, Iceage, Oh Land, and Agnes Obel; and rising names such as Noah Carter, Jamaika, Jada, Off Bloom, Kill J, and Blondage – it might be argued – add up to something of a boom, giving Denmark something to stack up against the habitual pop greatness of neighbour Sweden. And while Denmark may not historically have been the greatest producer of pop music, it has never had any problem consuming it. By most accounts the Danish live business is thriving in its most visible formats, with big festivals and big shows making hay, and interesting new events springing up. Copenhagen is a major tour stop, while second and third cities Aarhus and Odense can also drum up a crowd. And every summer, in and around these three pleasant spots, Roskilde, Smukfest, Copenhell, NorthSide, Tinderbox, Haven and other festivals bring major international and local talent to this scattered but compact nation of islands and peninsulas, and its 5.7m inhabitants. Danish promoters in 2018 queue up to sing the praises of a happy, healthy market. “From a logistical point of view, Copenhagen is always included on a touring cycle,” says Kim Worsøe of ICO, one of Denmark’s longest-serving promoters. “And we are at the moment spoilt for choice in
IQ Magazine May 2018
terms of venues, so in principle we can accommodate all the requests we get from artists.” “Right now, it’s good,” agrees Live Nation promoter Jeppe Nissen. “There’s so many great venues in Denmark and so many great festivals, and everybody seems to be doing well. The last few years have been strong and this year is looking good too. At this point, it looks pretty healthy on all sides.” According to the most recent figures, the Danish live music business was worth DKK4.5billion (€600million) in 2016 (source: Dansk Musikomsætning 2017). That accounts for 60.5% of the Danish music industry, the live business having risen in value by DKK500m (€67.1m) between 2015 and 2016. And adding to the sunny outlook, there is all that Danish talent, which has even seen acts penetrating the Swedish chart. “I guess from a historical point of view, Sweden has always been that cool, Scandinavian pop country, and Norway and Denmark and Finland haven’t had the same status,” says Martin Rintza, an agent at the newly established Copenhagen branch of Swedish-based, Live Nation-owned Luger. “In Sweden, there’s still so much good music, but there’s also great stuff coming out of Denmark and Norway right now. Lukas Graham was number one on Spotify in Sweden, which was an important thing, and MØ is playing all the Swedish festivals. And we are part of a Swedish agency, so we are definitely working to do a lot in Sweden and the rest of Europe.” Not that Denmark doesn’t have its idiosyncrasies. The taxman hits promoters hard – a 25% VAT and 5.5% PRS charge take more than 30% off every krone of revenue, hiking up ticket prices in a country where everything is
“The market is strong on an arena level, but a bit tougher on the new and upcoming acts.” Kim Worsøe – ICO already on the pricey side. And as with everywhere else, the smaller shows can be a worryingly hard sell. Even here, though, there are reasons for optimism. Anderz Nielsen of rock & roll agency Gearbox, whose roster is split between Danish acts like The Courettes, The Haunted Brothers, Baby Woodrose, and the band’s frontman Uffe Lorenzen; and international ones including Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mudhoney, and Deafheaven, believes even out of fashion guitar bands may have turned a corner in Denmark. “It has definitely been growing a bit since papers and magazines have been taking rock & roll seriously again,” says Nielsen. “A band like Zeke from Seattle, we have done them the past 20 years or so, and where it used to be 100, 120, now it’s 200 to 300 people. It feels like guitars are coming back in style again.”
Promoters LiVe Nation is stronG riGht across Scandinavia, and realistically that’s as true in Denmark as anywhere else. This summer, Thirty Seconds to Mars (TAP 1, Copenhagen), Guns N’ Roses (Dyrskuepladsen Odense), Paul Simon (Royal Arena, Copenhagen), Queen and Adam Lambert (Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning) and Jay-Z and Beyoncé (Telia Parken Stadium, Copenhagen) are all on the schedule. That list illustrates not only the pulling power of Scandinavia’s second most populous nation, but the range of large-scale venues and possible city stops for big-time international visitors. Denmark may be small but it has always struck out on an international scale. Long before SFX/EMA Telstar came in for Steen Mariboe and the late Flemming Schmidt’s DKB/ Motor – which rebranded as Live Nation Denmark a decade ago – promoters such as DKB, the late Arne Worsøe’s ICO Concerts, and the Knud Thorbjørnsen Agency made their reputations as promoters of multinational tours. ICO, still operating under Worsøe’s son, Kim, is the last of those independents, and it remains an international operator, serving as Prince’s worldwide promoter until his death, and promoting shows both in Denmark and across the region. Over the coming months, the promoter has shows coming up for Katy Perry, Sam Smith and comedian Kevin Hart in Copenhagen; Rainbow, and Bryan Adams in Helsinki; and James Taylor in the UK; as well as Scandinavian tours for artists including Katie Melua, and Andrea Bocelli. “The market is strong on an arena level but a bit tougher on the new and upcoming acts,” says Worsøe. “We have had five consecutive strong years, and we hope the volume will increase further into 2018, although some of the major artists look like waiting for 2019.” ICO this year launches a new urban festival called Hafnia Zoo, again at TAP1, with an international and local hip-hop line-up including Yung Lean, Trippie Redd and Big Shaq. Worsøe says the plan is to make it a multiday event in 2019. FKP Scorpio recently reduced its presence in the Danish market by divesting its stake in leading festivals NorthSide
and Tinderbox to Down The Drain (see page 8). However, Scorpio’s parent company Eventim remains highly active, with its ticketing company Venuepoint operating the Billetlugen ticketing brand, which vies with Ticketmaster Denmark, each taking roughly 40% of the market. Other promoters include festival specialist Beatbox Entertainment (of whom more in a minute), which also promotes shows for a diverse international clientele including Ben Harper, Franz Ferdinand, Bon Iver, and Fever Ray. On the family entertainment side of things, CSB Island sends tribute shows such as The Simon & Garfunkel Story and The Whitney Houston Show far and wide, in Scandinavia and beyond, as well as promoting forthcoming Danish shows for artists such as Smokie, and John Hiatt.
Festivals The roW that raGed a FeW years ago between a cluster of established festivals and the Beatbox/FKP Scorpio venture Tinderbox, ostensibly focusing on the involvement of sometime agents in a new event, has long since died down. Still, there is a sense of a festival community that remains quietly divided by differing philosophies. “The Danish festival scene is definitely changing,” says Poul Martin Bonde at the 38-year-old Skanderborg near Aarhus, colloquially known as Smukfest. “Many new festivals have started during the last eight years, most of them driven by pro players, compared to the old scene where most of the Danish festivals were non-profit, like ourselves and Roskilde.”
“I’m not best friends with the weather gods, I presume. But at the end of the day, the audience I have can handle it.” Jeppe Nissen, Live Nation/Copenhell
Home-grown talent MØ was one of the headline acts at the 2017 edition of NorthSide Festival. Photo © Magnus Hyltoft Thomsen
IQ Magazine May 2018
“The debate surrounding the potential festival saturation has been silenced, or at least postponed.” Anders Wahrén – Roskilde What seemingly redeems the situation is that there’s apparently plenty of audience to go round. In practice, the old guard remain among the market’s – indeed, Europe’s – most successful festivals. Smukfest, which draws 50,000 a day overall, sold out all 28,000 all-day tickets in an hour this year, and Roskilde is another habitual sell-out. “The debate surrounding the potential festival saturation has been silenced, or at least postponed,” says Roskilde’s head of programme Anders Wahrén. “Whereas there used to be a more designated festival or live crowd, the audience seems to have expanded, with even more demographics to fight for.” The monster Roskilde, established in 1972, now runs over eight days, pulls in 130,000 people and recently announced its completed 2018 line-up, with Eminem, Gorillaz, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dua Lipa, Massive Attack and Cardi B at the top of a beefy bill. Its art and activism programme includes appearances from Chelsea Manning and environmental activist Tuina Nikienta Olivier, as well as a 25m “anti-capitalist serpent” snaking across the site, and an inequality World Cup “on a highly unfair football pitch.” “We have artists from 36 different countries, which may just be a new record for us,” says Wahrén. “The music programme offers 175 acts of all genres, from the biggest headliners to the most progressive stuff. Our arts programme is also bigger than ever.” Smukfest was conceived as “a festival for everybody,” says Bonde, who says it takes its inspiration from a possibly apocryphal notion of an old English pub, “where you could meet both the young and the old, the punk and the businessman, the rocker and the dancer.” Its headliners are more diverse and less specifically alternative-leaning than those of Roskilde, with Britney
Spears, Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, Bananarama, Shawn Mendes, and Jethro Tull jostling on this year’s bill, along with EDM artists like Deadmau5 and Afrojack for the latenight shows. “We don´t have a specific musical direction,” says Bonde. “It is as broad as our audience. In an ever-changing market, we just have to be sharp and focused, and do our best to reinvent Smukfest every year.” Another increasingly long-serving veteran is Live Nation’s Copenhell, the four-day, 25,000-capacity, metal event on the Copenhagen island of Refshaleøen that celebrates its ninth iteration this June with Ozzy Osbourne, Avenged Sevenfold and Ghost on top of the bill. “We have built it slowly, year after year,” says Jeppe Nissen, the festival’s founder and chief booker. “So we have quite a loyal audience because we have built it organically. The last two years have been sold out and I’m looking at the same numbers this year. If everything goes to plan I think we’re going to get there again.” The festival is in the same slot as the past two years too, on the weekend of 20-23 June. “When people talk about Copenhell, everyone knows it’s going to rain,” says Nissen cheerfully. “I’m not best friends with the weather gods, I presume. But at the end of the day, the audience I have can handle it.” Beatbox Entertainment, which is now majority owned by Brian Nielsen and Flemming Myllerup’s Down The Drain Productions, continues to build its stable of events, this year adding the 4,000-capacity Noisey Festival, launched with Vice magazine at the former distillery TAP1 in Copenhagen. Its prospects remain to be determined, says Beatbox partner Xenia Grigat, who says they are happy for festivals to find their optimum size. “It is tough starting a new, big event, so in Noisey we are just going to see how it floats, and whether it can grow or whether it can stay at that level,” says Grigat. “Like with
“The Danish festival scene is definitely changing.” Poul Martin Bonde – Smukfest
The new K.B. Hallen in Valby, near Copenhagen, will add another venue option for visiting acts when it opens later this year
IQ Magazine May 2018
Poul Martin Bonde, Smukfest; Xenia Grigat, Beatbox Entertainment; Kasper Busch Lund, K.B. Hallen; Anderz Nielsen, Gearbox Agency; Jeppe Nissen, Live Nation; Martin Rintza, Luger; Anders Wahrén, Roskilde; Kim Worsøe, ICO.
“Ithasdefinitelybeengrowingabitsincepapers and magazines have been taking rock & roll seriously again.” Anderz Nielsen – Gearbox Agency NorthSide – that just developed into the middle-sized festival it is now, and it is fine with the capacity it holds.” In the Beatbox/Down The Drain portfolio, Noisey sits alongside the 35,000-cap NorthSide, the 40-45,000-cap Tinderbox, and last year’s likewise non-FKP launch, the 20,000-cap Haven, a hip festival that took place in the centre of Copenhagen at the city’s former shipyard, with curatorial input from Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, alongside chef Claus Meyer, and Mikkeller brewery founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. Tinderbox has swiftly emerged as the largest of the Beatbox festivals. “Capacity-wise, it can hold up to 50,000, if we push all boundaries,” says Grigat. “It’s going well,” she adds. “It was worth all the fuss.” Beatbox may be prolific but launching a festival, says Grigat, is not the easiest thing to undertake in Denmark. “It is supercomplicated, and there is a lot going on for a small market. In general, Copenhagen is very open to ideas but we do have a lot of rules and permits, and there’s a lot of steps you have to go through to get your final approval. For instance, you have to reapply every year for most things, which is a nightmare. “But if you find your niche, people will attend, and Denmark has a very healthy financial situation. Especially in Copenhagen, people go out a lot. Shows or festivals or just cultural events – they are very curious, they are very open.” Certainly, the Danish festival market seems able to bear a remarkable number of events, with eponymous jazz festivals in Copenhagen and Aarhus; the 34-year-old, Danish-focused Nibe Festival; SPOT festival in Aarhus for up-and-coming Nordic talent; the free, touring Stella Polaris electronic festival; and the folky Tønder Festival.
a fire in 2011, reimagined, and reborn as an all-new building albeit with a familiar look. “The ambition of the construction project has not been to simply rebuild the old K.B. Hallen,” says director/CEO Kasper Busch Lund. “We are erecting a completely new, state-of-the-art, multipurpose arena – but at the same time our ambition is to preserve the unique DNA of the original venue.” Consequently, the building’s recognisable arch and particular indoor areas refer directly to the old K.B. Hallen. The plan is for a multiuse hall, with music, tennis, and, of course, badminton. “We are obviously experiencing overwhelming interest from sport and especially music promoters, because of our brand, legacy, location and position in general, and especially because of our capacity – 4,900 – and our flexibility,” says Lund, who adds that no opening date has yet been announced, though the launch remains on schedule for later in the year. Of the capital’s club-sized venues, the three-roomed VEGA (a 1,500-cap great hall, a 500-cap middle hall, and a 250-cap bar) is particularly busy, as is the 350-capacity Hotel Cecil, on the site of the former Jazzhouse. But Grigat believes small-to-medium options are still lacking. “1,500-2,000-capacity, we don’t have a lot of options in that size,” she says. “And that’s our preferred size in many cases because Copenhagen isn’t that big.” The 2,000-6,000-capacity TAP1, however, does valiant service in that general ballpark. Aarhus, too, has plenty of useful rooms, including a string of modern venues of between 300- and 1,000-capacity such as Train, VoxHall, Atlas, and Radar, while Odense generally brings fewer international stars but awaits Guns N’ Roses at its Dyrskuepladsen in Kløvermosevej in June.
Venues Another year, another arena in CopenhaGen. Coming hard on the heels of the arrival of Copenhagen’s Live Nationoperated, 16,000-capacity Royal Arena, which opened in February 2017 with three sold-out shows by Metallica, another new hall is due in 2018. This time it’s something of an old friend: the old K.B. Hallen, legendary site of Beatles, Stones, and Hendrix shows, which was severely damaged in Metallica officially opened the Royal Arena in February 2017 Photo © Betina N. Garcia
IQ Magazine May 2018
Arcade Fire were presented with special plaques to commemorate their three sold-out dates in the round at The SSE Arena, Wembley. Pictured (l to r): James Harrison (arena bookings manager), Win Butler, John Drury (arena general manager), Tim Kingsbury, Jeremy Gara, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, Will Butler, and promoter Toby Leighton-Pope (AEG Presents).
Pohoda Festival booker Monika Satková married Andrej Matiašovský on 14 April at a ceremony in St. Sebastian’s Cathedral, Bratislava in Slovakia. Čižmičky!!
X-ray Touring’s Beckie Sugden was beaming with pride when she met her sister Louise, fresh off the plane from the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. Former wheelchair basketball player Louise came home with a heavyweight Para Powerlifting silver medal, despite only taking up the sport nine months previously.
IQ news editor Jon Chapple took cover from the inclement weather in Andalusia, Spain, to moderate the obligatory Touring in the Post-Brexit Era panel at the Granada Experience conference with Charly Beedell-Tuck (Solo Agency), Sam Perl (Gracia Live) and Barnaby Harrod (Mercury Wheels/Live Nation).
As one of the board members and founders of the Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation, Michael Chugg accepts a cheque on behalf of the charity from Chutimon Coffee & Art, Cherngtalay-Laguna. The children’s charity was established on the back of the Wave Aid concert in 2005 to raise funds following the devastating 2004 tsunami, and funds teachers from all over the world to teach English to children across six Thai schools. Allan McGowan (IQ/ILMC) was on hand for the keynote interview with veteran French promoter Alain Lahana at MIL – Lisbon International Music Network.
Delegates at the second Palestinian Music Expo took time out of their schedule to tour parts of the West Bank, including a visit to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, where pictured are (l to r): Sian Evans, Genia Davey, Lucie Caswell, Sarah Williams, Jasmin Albash, Roz Mansfield, Beckie Sugden, Luisa Röbbelen, Isla Angus, and Saskia O’Hara.
Vanessa Reed (PRS For Music Foundation) makes a point during the 50/50 Festivals panel at Wide Days in Edinburgh, where she was joined by Stuart Fleming (PRS), Bev Burton (Killer B Music), Sarah Kiely (Open House Festival), Runa Strindin (Midgardsblot Festival), Nick Roberts (Electric Fields), and Nicola Meighan (BBC Radio Scotland). Wide Days attracted 350 music industry delegates from across Europe – around 100 more than its 2017 edition.
If you or any of your ILMC colleagues have any notices or updates to include on the noticeboard, please contact the club secretary, Gordon Masson, via firstname.lastname@example.org
IQ Magazine May 2018
“As a new delegate, what was your most memorable moment at ILMC 30?” Being sat next to the bionic man – Gordon Masson – at the first panel, and seeing him in the flesh after being so worried at his recent behaviour. Jeremy Thomas, Coda Agency
As first-timers coming from the museum world, we did not know what we could expect from the ILMC. After retiring to our room early on the first night, we were told that we were missing out on the “business at the bar” and should stay up for the real ILMC experience. And so we did. Thanks to everyone for the great time and amazing karaoke performances. Love from Amsterdam, and until next year! Eline Poot, Van Gogh Museum
As a new delegate at ILMC, I have to say I was really impressed with the good vibe. Lots of industry people from all around the globe. Looking back, what stood out most were the chance meetings. I met a lot of people who I had not seen for years. And, of course, the Dutch ‘Brace for’ Impact event was great! Steven Kroon, Pieter Smit Group
The whole experience was great from the start “as a newcomer, anyway” getting my head around the alien thing and the cheesy jokes… to the great food that was served each day, which I needed after having about 15 meetings each day. Zac Peters, DMF Music Ltd
The 30th ILMC was an outstanding, interstellar event. My memorable moments were the three days of worldwide networking, extraordinary information, and perfect organisation; and meeting all the colleagues and new key contacts. Looking forward to the upcoming 31st ILMC. Henrik Häcker, König Pilsener Arena
The Drunk Side of the Moon Karaoke was memorable. And Peter Mensch’s attitude during his breakfast talk was very amusing... “If I don’t work with you, fuck you...” Stefan Penz, Mother’s Cake
TOP SHOUT The most memorable moment for me was a surprise presentation and cake for Neil Warnock’s work anniversary. It was inspiring and close to the heart as nothing moves and motivates us better than to be appreciated by people: colleagues, artists and industry workers. It was such a beautiful thing for a person who has devoted his life to the industry and created so many opportunities for people to work in it. Anastasia Ukraintseva, Spika Concert Agency
ILMC brings together some of the key decision-makers from the music business, so what’s stuck with me most are the talks we had, especially with representatives of the ticketing industry, promoters and different agencies, and the great interest they took in Viberate. Happy hours with some of the biggest companies worldwide allow you to bump into true legends of the business, who give you an invaluable insight into how the industry worked back in the day and how it does now. I can honestly say it was a blast. David Čeplak, Viberate
Immediately when asked this question I thought of meeting Martin Hopewell at the New Delegates’ Orientation session. He broke the ice with some gags and made everyone new feel at home at their first ILMC. I then met him outside the hotel after the Arthur Awards. He was visibly shaken and emotional. He explained that he had been “set up.” After pouring so much of himself into the speech about the winner, he had to then rip that up as he himself was there to receive the award. It was great to see a man so humbled by the award and what the conference means to him. Fran Daly, Troubadour Music Australia
The amazing live shows offered by the Access All Areas programme. From the exuberant Scott Bradley´s Postmodern Jukebox´s full house on a Tuesday evening at Roundhouse, to the delicate Solomon Grey at the intimate St Pancras Old Church, Hot Time Dub Machine at Fulham´s Under The Bridge, to my own ILMC farewell party with New York brass house trio, Too Many Zooz, at Shepherd´s Bush Empire. Ignacio Priego, POST POST
What was really remarkable for me was the Autopsy as it’s a portrait of the honest and fearless behaviour of all the panels: people were never afraid to debate or show a strong position on a subject. When I saw Greg and Gordon at the Autopsy, listening to delegates criticism, compliments, opinions and going through production to content, from food to accreditation, I saw why ILMC has had such a long life. As representatives of this Industry, we should always be open to growing. Even if it’s painful. Fabiana J. Lian, ON Stage Lab
It was the moment when I received the mug (see pic). Steve Schwenkglenks, Barclaycard Arena Berlin
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IQ Magazine May 2018
IQ Magazine issue 77, May 2018