LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
ONE DREAM, ONE SOUL, ONE PRIZE, ONE GOAL. ONE GOLDEN GLANCE OF WHAT SHOULD BE
Dua & Daltrey for ILMC 2019 ILMC 31: The Agenda Pino Saglioccoâ€™s 40 Years in Music Cashing in on Live Music On Tour with Snow Patrol Country Goes Global The Marvellous Middle East
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MINISTRY OF MAGIC PROSPECTUS & AGENDA GUIDE
Ministry of Magic WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH 10:00 – 10:30
NEW DELEGATES’ ORIENTATION
Hosts: Lou Percival, ILMC (UK); Gordon Masson ILMC (UK) This session serves as an invaluable introduction for anyone attending ILMC for the first time, or for those who have been members for so many years that they need a reminder. IQ’s editor, Gordon Masson and ILMC’s Lou Percival outline what attendees can expect from this year’s events, networking sessions and conference schedule.
10:00 – 11:00
WORKSHOP: VIP & UPSELLING
This year’s ILMC schedule is the most packed ever, with our agenda team wizards utilising their finest incantations to cram in a whopping 30% more panel sessions than in 2018. So, with a spell of summoning now cast, the greatest international sorcerers and their apprentices will join together in London at the centre of illusion and magic in the live entertainment universe. As you will read in the following pages, the hottest topics, most amazing inventions, and latest prophecies about the business will be unmasked at the Royal Garden Hotel – the industry’s very own magic circle – where more than 1,000 delegates will be able to expand their powers and skills over three days. Major new apparitions this year include a whole new event on Friday 8 March – Futures Forum – which sees the industry’s future leaders consider the evolution of the business. And the Arthur Awards, the live music industry’s Oscar-equivalents, celebrates its 25th anniversary, with the great and good of the live music world in attendance.
TUESDAY 5 MARCH 10:00 – 18:00
GREEN EVENTS & INNOVATIONS CONFERENCE
Hosted by A Greener Festival (UK) GEI11 will welcome representation from some of the top events and the best innovators, to share knowledge and experience; connect and network; and accelerate the transition of events and festivals from environment-costly to environment-friendly. In addition, there will be focused breakout sessions for industry groups working on specific collaborative projects. Along with a larger space, the agenda is also expanding this year and will collaborate more closely with the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM), thereby allowing delegates of both events to share knowledge and experience, and to network.
10:00 – 18:00
ILMC PRODUCTION MEETING
Day Host: Rachel Haughey, Four Corners of the World Ltd (UK) IPM 12 will gather 200 or so of the world’s most renowned production managers; health, safety & security specialists; crewing companies; sound and lighting companies; venue personnel; staging & infrastructure companies; transport & travel specialists; new technology suppliers; and promoters’ representatives under one roof to discuss the latest issues and best practice solutions for the production sector. The IPM programme is a mixture of panel topics and Production Notes sessions, which showcase new ideas and innovations in a short-format. A delegate pass to IPM includes a five-star buffet lunch, which this year has been kindly sponsored by Drone Seeker, access to all conference sessions, tea & coffee breaks, an IPM conference guide with full delegate information, and entry to the IPM Closing Drinks party.
Hosts: Jacqui Harris, AEG Presents (UK); Dale Ballentine, Eventim UK With the breadth of exclusive experiences and luxury concert and festival packages increasing, those working in the VIP and value-added sector need to be constantly developing their offers. AEG Presents’ director of ticketing and hospitality, Jacqui Harris, and Eventim UK chief operating officer Dale Ballentine outline the latest concepts in VIP and upselling, as well as strategies to target new and existing customers.
11:00 – 11:15
THE MAGICAL GUIDE TO ILMC 31
Chair: Greg Parmley, ILMC (UK) Greg dusts off his wizard’s hat for the traditional welcome address and sets a few ground rules, highlights some key features and starts the conference off with a shazam!
11:15 – 12:45
THE OPEN FORUM: WITH OR WITHOUT EU
Chair: Phil Bowdery, Live Nation (UK) With a line up of key industry leaders and the largest congregation of live music professionals anywhere, it’s one not to miss. Reviewing the last 12 months in the business and previewing the year ahead, expect discussion points to include recent radical changes in the secondary market, competition and consolidation. Meanwhile, with the session taking place just weeks before the UK is due to leave the EU, developments related to Brexit and their impacts are sure to be covered.
14:00 – 15:15
TICKETING: IS SELLING OUT LOSING OUT?
Chair: Tim Chambers, TJ Chambers Consultancy (UK) In an age of dynamic ticketing, slow ticketing, always-on ticketing and a dizzying array of ticket types, who’d want to sell out and leave money on the table? As several recent tours have shown, the best ticketing strategy sees the last seat sold minutes before curtain up, so isn’t it time that artists and promoters alike lost their obsession with sell outs? From presale and on-sale, to up-sale and resale, what’s working, what’s new and what’s getting results?
14:00 – 15:15
PARTNERSHIPS: I’M WITH THE BRAND
Chair: Adam Butters, Frukt (UK) A recent study showed that 90% of live music fans believe brands have the power to elevate the concert or festival experience. And as sponsorship revenues drive growth across the business, connecting to the emotional intensity of a show or festival remains a primary objective for many event partners. This session will consider what the next decade will bring for brand activation at festivals and larger events; marketing the brand in the ever-evolving digital space; and how the relationship with the fan is expected to change.
Full details at 31.ilmc.com
Agenda THURSDAY 7 MARCH 14:15 – 15:15
WORKSHOP: TOURISM & DESTINATION BUSINESS
Hosts: Dr Julia Jones & Danny Keir, Sound Diplomacy (UK) The tourism industry can unlock financial support, USP and critical pathways to new markets for festivals and live events. And destinations can provide the support, audience and finance for the live sector to develop new concepts and sell more tickets. Sound Diplomacy summarise their new Music Tourism white paper – published in collaboration with the United Nations – which outlines how live music companies can springboard into new revenues and new business.
15:30 – 16:30
THE MANAGER’S OFFICE: CONJURING CAREERS
Chair: Fiona McGugan, MMF (UK) How do managers see the process of talent development changing, and so live music’s place within it? Is touring still delivering and what could the live music business do better; where are the gaps, and can concerts and festivals deliver more for their artists? A line up of leading artist managers share their thoughts, from the newest trends and emerging income streams they’re most interested in, to how the sector might work better.
15:30 – 16:30
WORKSHOP: DIGITAL MARKETING
Hosts: Ellie Parker, Live Nation (UK); Patrick Ross, Music Ally (UK) Discover the most effective ways to organise your digital marketing campaigns, and where to target your time and money over the coming years to ensure the maximum return on investment. Ellie Parker and Patrick Ross highlight what savvy marketers are doing as they look toward the 2020s in this practical workshop session.
15:30 – 16:45
FESTIVAL FORUM: FAN FIRST?
Chairs: Codruța Vulcu, ARTmania (RO); Dany Hassenstein, Paléo Festival (CH) With ticket prices up but the number of sell outs down in 2018, are audiences falling out of love with festivals? From havens for likeminded free spirits, to experiential days out for the wealthy, is the festival market giving fans what they want or deserve? Or, in the clamour to claw back ever-escalating artist fees and turn a profit, are festivals in danger of turning off their patrons?
17:00 – 18:00
COUNTRY MUSIC: WALKING THE LINE
Chair: Anna-Sophie Mertens, Live Nation (UK) This year’s country session considers the on-going growth and success of this difficult-to-define genre. With attendance and active territories on the up, Anna Sophie-Mertens and her guests debate what’s working and what’s next.
17:00 – 18:00
ARTISTS: THE VIEW FROM THE STAGE
Chair: Roxanne de Bastion, Featured Artists Coalition (UK) While much is made of the fan experience, how well is the live music business taking care of its main client, the artist? The FAC invites a panel of artists to discuss what the business is getting right and where there’s room for improvement.
10:00 – 11:00
Host: Patrick Ross, Music Ally (UK) Patrick Ross leads this 60-minute workshop to show how to best market to streaming consumers, while also dissecting how the live music business can tap into the traffic and engagement surrounding the era of music streaming.
10:00 – 11:15
THE VENUE’S VENUE: CLOSE-UP MAGIC
Chair: Lucy Noble, Royal Albert Hall (UK) The ever-popular Venue’s Venue panel kicks off by identifying major market trends through an exclusive reveal of the NAA and EAA annual results, alongside key findings from IQ’s European Arena Yearbook. Event innovation is high on the agenda, and the session will also profile several new builds that are employing ground-breaking technology to take us into the next decade.
11:30 – 12:30
TOURING ENTERTAINMENT: NEW ILLUSIONS
Chair: Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts (DE) Tired of demanding rock stars and slim margins? Looking for world-class productions ready to do business? The master of alternative spectacle, Christoph Scholz, presides over this popular session, which invites producers and representatives of various non-music productions, exhibitions and alternative entertainment concepts to pitch to the room.
11:30 – 12:30
WORKSHOP: D IS FOR DATA
Hosts: Chris Carey, Media Insight Consulting (UK); Don Pawley, Ticketmaster (UK) With two of the industry’s finest data evangelists as guides, this workshop explores which forms of data are available to stakeholders in the live music business, and how best to use it. Designed to bridge the data gap, this 60-minute session is loaded with tips, tricks and tools to gain better business insight.
11:30 – 12:45
THE AGENCY BUSINESS 2019
Chair: Dan Steinberg, Emporium Presents (US) As both the agency and promoter businesses continue to consolidate and grow aggressively, what position do agents have in the value chain, and how is this status evolving? And with many agencies now offering a wider range of services to their clients than ever, is it enough to focus purely on music, or are brand, corporate, literary and film departments now a must-have for joined-up career planning?
14:00 – 15:00
SECURITY: THE NEW THREATS
Chair: Coralie Berael, Forest National Arena (BE) Recent high-profile data leaks and cyber attacks have shown that digital security is now a key factor, while the rise in drone incidents is prompting questions into how to deal with airbased threats. Coralie Berael invites a panel of sector experts to discuss the best way forward.
14:00 – 15:00
INDUSTRY INVESTMENT: THE POWER BROKERS
Chair: Jessie Merwood, Simkins LLP (UK) As the live music business continues to experience unprecedented growth, it is increasingly attractive to external investors. But how is this flood of new money reshaping the industry it’s flowing into? What additional pressures and expectations do these deals bring, and could the price paid eventually become too high for all?
Full details at 31.ilmc.com
Ministry of Magic
14:00 – 15:00
NEW TECHNOLOGY: IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC
Host: Steve Machin, FanDragon Technologies (UK) With just five minutes to pitch their product, invention or idea, the new technology panel is a popular hour in the ILMC conference schedule. From VR and AR to blockchain, holograms, ticketing, mobile apps and beyond… a must if you want to get ahead on the latest technology to impact the business.
15:15 – 16:15
SECONDARY TICKETING: THE FIGHTBACK
Chair: Olaf Furniss, Born To Be Wide We invite four individuals to outline how they have fought back. With campaigns used to combat resale by Ed Sheeran, Rammstein and Iron Maiden all different, a key figure from each artist camp will present which techniques and tools were used, and summarise the results in each case.
15:15 – 16:15
THINK TANK: THE IMMIGRANTS WITH NICK HOBBS, MARIA O’CONNOR & ADAM PARSONS
Host: Gordon Masson, IQ Magazine (UK) With the Brexit deadline looming, ILMC gathers three ‘immigrants’ to share some memories of their time in exile. This year’s Think Tank includes Irish-born Maria O’Connor who heads up Ticketmaster Australia; Nick Hobbs of Charmenko who grew up in Wales but has lived and worked in Italy, Sweden and Turkey; and artist manager Adam Parsons, an Englishman who these days calls California home.
15:30 – 16:30
DIVERSITY: BREAKING THE SPELL
Chair: Vanessa Reed, PRS Foundation (UK) The live entertainment sector has begun to address the industry’s gender and pay imbalances in recent years. The remaining elephant in the room is how to enable more women to rise to the top and how to proactively create a genuinely diverse workforce, considering intersectional challenges and barriers that exist for everyone who’s currently under-represented in our business. This panel is led by Keychange founder Vanessa Reed, with input from artists and industry pro’s who each have very different perspectives and practical tips to share.
16:45 – 17:45
ACCESSIBILITY: UNLOCKING THE PURPLE POUND
Chair: Suzanne Bull, Attitude Is Everything (UK) Is the industry doing enough to accommodate the growing demographic of deaf and disabled fans who want to attend live shows? What role must promoters play in enabling reasonable adjustments to happen? Which areas still need to improve? And what initiatives and examples of best practice exist that we can learn from?
16:45 – 18:15
THE (LATE) BREAKFAST MEETING WITH ROGER DALTREY
Host: Ed Bicknell, Damage Management As the enigmatic frontman of one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, Roger Daltrey needs no introduction. Famed for his powerful voice and energetic stage presence, Daltrey is among the most charismatic of rock’s vocalists, having sold over 100 million records worldwide across a 50-year career with The Who and as a solo artist. As always, former Dire Straits’ manager and raconteur Ed Bicknell will ask the questions, and with one of the greatest careers in music to cover, it looks like an unforgettable edition of the Breakfast Meeting.
FRIDAY 8 MARCH 10:00 – 11:00
MEET THE NEW BOSSES: CLASS OF 2019
Chair: Oliver Ward, United Talent Agency (US) Is it still possible in 2019 to build a music business from scratch or is being a part of a major operation the only option? Just how do our future industry leaders see the industry changing over time, and what obligations do the current leaders have to the generation coming up through the ranks?
10:00 – 11:00
WORKSHOP: PUBLIC SPEAKING
Host: Emily Scoggins, Marketing Consultant (UK) Whether you’re an experienced public speaker looking to hone your skills, or a complete beginner who’d like to be a more articulate and eloquent speaker, this workshop aims to give you the confidence to shout your ideas from the rooftops.
11:30 – 12:30
Room 1, Lower Ground Floor The first of two sessions featuring four 15-minute talks by innovators, thought leaders and inspiring individuals.
11:30 – 11:45
HOW IT’S DONE… THE BRIT AWARDS
Host: Maggie Crowe, BPI (UK) The Brit Awards are an institution of the British music industry and one of the most watched annual live music events in the world. Maggie Crowe OBE, director of events & charities at BPI, lifts the lid on what goes into organising the annual celebration of British music.
11:45 – 12:00
10 TIPS FOR LIVING AN ECO-FRIENDLY LIFE
Host: Claire O’Neill, A Greener Festival (UK) As the industry increases its focus on implementing more ecofriendly event solutions, A Greener Festival co-founder Claire O’Neill takes things back a step and provides her top ten tips for living a more eco-friendly life.
12:00 – 12:15
CONTENT IS KING!
Host: Ben Tipple, Ticketmaster UK For decades, the traditional means of marketing live music events have held strong, but in this digital age of social media and instantaneous engagement, this session explores the relationship between innovative content, building loyalty, encouraging sales, and ultimately getting tickets in the hands of the fans.
12:15 – 12:30
30 YEARS IN A TOILET: ENJOYING GRASSROOTS VENUES THE LAMACQ WAY
With: Steve Lamacq, BBC Radio 6 Music (UK) & Mark Davyd, Music Venues Trust (UK) Steve Lamacq has spent 25 years at the forefront of broadcasting and in 2018 was awarded the Music Venue Trust Outstanding Contribution to Grassroots Venues Award. In this session, Mark Davyd will ask Steve about his experiences of the grassroots circuit, and the places that inspired him and continue to play a vital role in developing new artists and new music.
Full details at 31.ilmc.com
Ministry of Magic 11:30 – 12:30
WORKSHOP: ADDRESSING SEXUAL HARASSMENT & ASSAULT AT LIVE EVENTS
Host: Renae Brown, Vision Nine (UK) Having managed AIF’s ‘Safer Spaces at Festivals’ campaign in 2017, Renae Brown joins us to share her top tips for addressing sexual harassment and assault at live events.
14:00 – 15:00
FASTFORWARD TO THE FUTURE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS
Chair: Chris Carey, Media Insight Consulting (UK) When it comes to a global string of conferences that foster the next generation of music business talent, FastForward lead the field. Representatives from live, recording, publishing, and digital examine how the broader music industry will develop in the years ahead – and how we can work better together and benefit more.
14:00 – 15:00
SURVIVING THE BUSINESS: HEALTH & WELLBEING IN LIVE
Chair: Jana Watkins, Live Nation Entertainment With research showing alarming levels of mental and physical illness in the live music industry, we debate whether a 24/7 working culture and mandatory social obligations are hurting our collective health. A panel of experts advises on how to survive and thrive in the modern industry.
14:00 – 15:00
THE POWER TRIO
Chair: James Drury, IQ Magazine (UK) With Selina Emeny, Zac Fox & Rauha Kyyrö The Power Trio celebrates International Women’s Day with an inspirational speaker line-up: Live Nation’s EVP business affairs Selina Emeny, the operational lead for Kilimanjaro Live, Zac Fox, and the founder and president of Finland’s leading promoter, Fullsteam’s Rauha Kyyrö. ILMC’s James Drury will be on hand to steer the session – though audience participation is heartily recommended. This informal, intimate session is an opportunity to grill a trio of concert business figures at the top of their game.
15:15 – 16:15
BEYOND TOURING: FULL-STACK FUTURES
Chair: Rhian Jones, Freelance Music Journalist (UK) Whether it’s major agencies offering full-service deals encompassing branding, TV, film, fashion and more, or artists and events striking deals for VR and live-streaming rights to their shows – what new income opportunities are emerging? And as the lines between roles and responsibilities continue to blur, is the industry moving towards a more holistic approach to maximise the value of its creators?
15:30 – 16:30
15:30 – 15:45
CONFESSIONS OF A SUPER-TOUT
Host: Ken Lowson, Wiseguys Tickets Super-scalper Ken Lowson built a $25million ticket touting empire while gaining infamy as the ‘man who broke Ticketmaster.’ Now reformed, Lowson details the rise and fall of Wiseguy – including its demise at the hands of the FBI – and the company’s invention of ticket bots, as well as his current efforts to clean up what he calls the “swamp” of primary ticketing with his new company, Tixfan.
15:45 – 16:00
DRUG TESTING WITH THE LOOP
Host: Dr Henry Fisher The prevention of drug-related harm and deaths is a major concern for festivals and live music events the world over. This session sees senior chemist Dr Henry Fisher explain how The Loop, Britain’s first and only on-site drug safety testing organisation, is tackling this issue head on to make live music events safer.
16:00 – 16:15
Host: Sara Maria Kordek, Good Taste Production Behind every successful tour is a great production manager. In this session, PM Sara Maria Kordek, who has worked with the likes of Hans Zimmer, Jamiroquai and Pat Metheny, shares five things she’s learnt from a life on the road.
16:15 – 16:30
ANCIENT WISDOM FOR MODERN LIVING
Host: Gelong Thubten, Buddhist Monk, Meditation Teacher & Author Tibetan Buddhist monk and mindfulness pioneer Gelong Thubten shows delegates how to integrate mindfulness and meditation into their busy working lives.
16:45 – 17:45
THE FUTURES FORUM KEYNOTE: DUGI & DUA LIPA
Host: Gordon Masson, IQ Magazine (UK) Grammy-winning Dua Lipa was the second-most listened to female in the world in 2018. Central to her meteoric rise has been a commanding schedule of live shows, so it’s appropriate that Dua visits ILMC on International Women’s Day, where she, and her rock-star father, Dugi, will be interviewed by IQ editor Gordon Masson. The father-daughter team will be quizzed about the pivotal role that live music has played in building Dua’s career, as well as the demands of life on the road. And beyond Dua’s own touring career, Dua and Dugi will discuss their Sunny Hill Foundation in Kosovo where Action Bronson and Martin Garrix last year joined them for a massive threeday fundraising festival in the Lipas’ hometown of Pristina.
Full details at 31.ilmc.com
Register at www.31.ilmc.com
Ministry of Magic TUESDAY 5 MARCH 18:00 – 21:00
THE ‘RAISE YOUR SPIRITS’ OPENING PARTY
00:00 – 03:00
THE FUSBALL WIZARD COUPE DU MONDE
Hosts: Semmel Concerts | Stagelink | Megaforce | Noise Now Launching this year’s ILMC – undoubtedly the most magical edition ever – the ‘Raise Your Spirits’ Opening Party is where it all begins. The party reunites friends and colleagues, sorcerers and apprentices, from around the world, and features enough complimentary booze to give people dizzy ‘spells’ for a week. And with the party running relatively early, there’s plenty of time to head out for the evening afterwards… The party reunites ILMC members after 12 months of wizardry around the world, and with plenty of powerful potions and cackle-inducing cocktails on hand, what better way to raise the spirits as ILMC 31 kicks off…
Host: Yas Bay Arena A late-night battle of quick reactions and sometimes skill, The Fusball Wizard Coupe du Monde sees players compete in pairs for international glory and the world’s tiniest trophy. The tournament is refereed by IQ Magazine’s Terry McNally who’ll be keeping a watchful third eye on the t-witch-y fingered participants. Sign-up in pairs on the night as 22 plastic voodoo dolls get busy on ILMC’s two tournament-certified tables. Be in Eyellusion’s Abracadabar with your co-player by 22:00 for heats that start, appropriately, at the witching hour.
WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH
THURSDAY 7 MARCH
12:30 – 14:30
THE GOBLIN-IT DOWN LUNCH
12:30 – 14:30
WEREWOLFING-IT DOWN LUNCH
With the first full day of ILMC underway, this two-hour lunch break will provide ample time for ‘goblin’ up the Royal Garden’s five-star cuisine. With a selection of hot and cold dishes on offer, vegetarian and vegan options, and a bewitching selection of desserts, it’s a magical spread. And for any rock & roll wizards who fancy an early potion or two, a pay bar operates.
With a spellbinding array of five-star dishes, vegetarian and vegan options, and sweet treats, Thursday’s lunch is a sumptuous affair. With cuisine ranging from hot dishes to sushi and salad, it’s a two-course spectacle that will satisfy even the most selective shaman. And for any who fancy an early potion or two, a pay bar operates.
17:00 – 17:45
NIKOS FUND GRAND PRIZE DRAW
CTS EVENTIM PROMOTER GROUP RECEPTION
Host: CTS Eventim Promoter Group CTS Eventim founder and CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg makes his ILMC debut to announce some exciting future plans for the company. Be in the room to hear the news first, and the announcement will be followed by complimentary drinks immediately afterwards.
13:30 – 14:00
The ILMC raises a significant amount of money every year for charities of its choice in honour of the Nikos Fund. Hand in your business cards to the ILMC girls and boys with collection tins and turn up for a 13:30 start for the chance to win some colossal prizes as our chosen charities – Action Aid and Music Venue Trust – benefit. But don’t forget – you must be in the room to win.
18:00 – 19:00
THE WME HAPPY HOUR
Host: WME Entertainment Kicking off Wednesday night at ILMC, the guys and girls at WME Entertainment invite all delegates to join them for the latest version of their ever-popular Happy Hour. A moment to wind down after the day’s mystical meetings and panels, the WME Happy Hour is 60 magical minutes of complimentary booze and nibbles. All delegates are welcome to come and meet and mingle with the WME team and other guests but be warned, it’s a popular pit stop so early arrival is most definitely recommended.
18:45 – 21:30
THE ‘HOCUS POCUS’ DUTCH IMPACT PARTY
Host: Buma Cultuur The Dutch Impact Party is an annual highlight of the ILMC schedule, offering as it does a magical combination of food, booze and tunes. With showcases from three of the hottest new musical exports from the low country, come and join Dutch colleagues and the wider live music industry for a mesmerising evening at a Grade II-listed public house, The Greyhound. This years showcased bands are Lewsberg, EUT and Canshaker Pi.
21:00 – 00:00
THE SLEIGHT OF HAND TEXAS HOLD‘EM POKER TOURNEY
Host: Yas Bay Arena This year, we’re magically transporting players and guests to Las Vegas for the night, as the live industry’s biggest annual card showdown sees a convention of witches and warlocks come together to out-trick each other in a battle for bar tab prizes, alongside a roulette wheel and blackjack tables. If you haven’t already registered, fly by and enquire about any lastminute places before the event commences. The tourney costs £30 to enter and all proceeds go towards the Nikos Fund, which this year is raising money for Music Venue Trust and ActionAid.
16:00 – 17:00
FELD’S ALL-SEEING EYE-SCREAM BREAK
Host: Feld Entertainment Inc. Enjoy an icy spell away from the conference, with souvenirs to take back to the little ones at home.
19:30 – 21:30
MATCH OF THE YEAR FOOTBALL
Host: Aiken Promotions As always this annual sporting ritual will see the UK take on the rest of the world (a bit like after Brexit), in a 90-minute display of footwork and ball skills by the leading players of the live industry. A bus will transport contenders from the Royal Garden Hotel to the grounds and back again, allowing every opportunity for bragging rights afterwards, or time to nurse the odd bruise or three.
19:30 – 00:00
THE ILMC GALA HOU-DINNER & 25TH ARTHUR AWARDS
Hosts: Commerzbank Arena | DEAG | Ticketmaster | Full Metal Holiday Be spellbound! Be dazzled! Be bedazzled!… as The ILMC Gala Houdinner & 25th Arthur Awards invites 350 guests to an enchanting evening of spectacular illusion. To mark a quarter century of The Arthurs, the live music industry’s most respected awards, this year’s Gala Dinner takes place in the stunning surroundings of the Sheraton Grand Park Lane. With its grade II-listed ballroom and Silver Gallery adorned with palladium leaf walls and Grecian muses, the Sheraton Grand is one of London’s most spectacular Art Deco spaces. Carriages will transport guests directly from the Royal Garden Hotel
Full details at 31.ilmc.com
Agenda to the venue, where they will be immersed in the dark edges of Victorian London, the shadowy playground of illusionists and elusive conjurers. Following a champagne reception, guests will be tricked and treated to a supernatural five-star, four-course feast with a selection of fine wines to match. Meanwhile, mysterious forms of entertainment and the annual Pop Quiz will see guests levitated to new heights of enjoyment. The highlight of the evening is The Arthur Awards, where we will be consulting our crystal ball and revealing which stars of the live music industry will be taking one of our cherished statuettes home with them.
22:30 – 02:30
NEVER MIND THE WARLOCKS KARAOKE
Host: FanDragon Technologies It might sound like someone’s sawing a delegate in half but those bloodcurdling cries are actually coming from the ILMC karaoke. Always the scene of a multitude of aural sins, all of them against music, expect some ‘mesmerising’ performances as the event stretches into the early hours of Friday morning. This year’s karaoke features a huge selection of 80s hits to celebrate 25 years of the Arthur Awards, so expect songs from Cliff Witch-ard, Billy Potion and classics such as I Want Your Hex and I Should Be So Warlock-y. With boxes of props and costumes for inspiration on hand, this late-night scene of debauchery and silliness will unravel before your very eyes, and as always, is an event you really don’t want to miss (unless you’re sober). Will the singing ever end? Wiccan only hope.
FRIDAY 8 MARCH 12:30 – 14:00
THE SENSATIONAL CHEW-DINI LUNCH
After a full morning conferencing, ravenous fortune-tellers can recharge with some of the finest five-star dishes the Royal Garden Hotel has to offer. A complimentary ‘Buffy’ lunch offering a range of cuisines, it’s a mouth watering, sensation-bursting two hours, with ample time to catch up with old friends, make new acquaintances and invoke a few demons. And for any delegates keen to start their weekend early, the Eyellusion Abracada-bar will be open for a potion.
17:45 – 20:00
THE VANISHING ACT CLOSING DRINKS
Hosts: Live Nation Entertainment To celebrate International Women’s Day, and to wrap up both ILMC and Futures Forum, Live Nation Entertainment invite all delegates to the Royal Garden Hotel’s well-stocked bar for two hours or so of fun and conversation. After three days of swapping tricks, summoning demons and lifting hexes, this is the final event of ILMC and your last chance to enjoy a potion or two in the company of new friends and colleagues alike.
Full details at 31.ilmc.com
Ministry of Magic
SCHEDULE TUESDAY 5 MARCH 09:00 - 17:00 10:00 - 18:00 10:00 - 18:00 11:00 - 16:00 13:00 - 18:00 13:00 - 21:00 14:30 - 18:30 18:00 - 21:00 Various
IPM & GEI Registration IPM (ILMC Production Meeting) GEI (Green Events & Innovations Conference) Association Summit (invitation only) Travel Desk ILMC Early-Bird Registration Association Meetings (invitation only) The ‘Raise Your Spirits’ Opening Party Access All Areas Shows
WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH 09:00 - 18:00 Travel Desk 09:00 - 20:00 Registration Desk & Help Desk 09:00 The Eyellusion Abracada-bar open 09:30 onwards The Cup & Sorcery Tea & Coffee Break 10:00 - 10:30 New Delegates’ Orientation 10:00 - 18:00 The Music is Great Lounge open 10:00 - 18:00 Conference Sessions 11:15 - 18:00 Association Meetings (invitation only) 12:30 - 14:30 The Goblin-it Down Lunch 17:00 - 17:45 CTS Eventim Promoter Group Reception 18:00 - 19:00 The WME Happy Hour 18:45 - 21:30 The ‘Hocus Pocus’ Dutch Impact Party Various Access All Areas Shows 21:00 - 00:00 The Sleight of Hand Texas Hold‘Em Poker Tourney 00:00 - 03:00 The Fusball Wizard Coupe du Monde
“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Albert Einstein
THURSDAY 7 MARCH 07:00 - 10:00 Breakfast Available 09:00 - 18:00 Registration Desk & Travel Desk 09:00 - 19:30 Help Desk 09:00 onwards The Eyellusion Abracada-bar open 09:30 - 11:30 The Invulnerabili-Tea & Coffee Break 10:00 - 18:00 The Music is Great Lounge open 10:00 - 18:00 Conference Sessions 12:30 - 14:30 Werewolfing-It Down Lunch 13:30 - 14:00 Nikos Fund Grand Prize Draw 16:00 - 17:00 Feld’s All-Seeing Eye-Scream Break 16:00 - 19:00 Association Meetings (invitation only) 19:30 - 21:30 Match of the Year Football 19:30 - 00:00 The ILMC Gala Hou-Dinner & 25th Arthur Awards Various Access All Areas Shows 22:30 - late Never Mind The Warlocks Karaoke
FRIDAY 8 MARCH 07:00 - 10:00 Breakfast Available 09:00 - 10:00 Cloak of Invisibili-Tea & Coffee Break 09:00 - 16:00 Travel & Help Desk 09:00 - 18:00 Registration Desk 09:00 - 18:00 The Music is Great Lounge open 09:00 onwards The Eyellusion Abracada-bar open 10:00 - 11:00 Conference Sessions 11:00 - 11:30 Networking Break 11:30 - 12:30 Conference Sessions 12:30 - 14:00 The Sensational Chew-Dini Lunch 14:00 - 15:00 Conference Sessions 15:00 - 17:00 Coffee Service 15:15 - 17:45 Conference Sessions 17:45 - 20:00 The Vanishing Act Closing Drinks 16:45 - 17:45 Futures Forum Keynote Various Access All Areas Shows
THE NOT-SO-SMALL PRINT A full list of terms and conditions can be found online, but please note: • ILMC conference sessions may not be videoed or recorded • Children are not allowed in the conference areas • Conference passes must be worn at all times
• Lost passes will incur a replacement fee • Don’t leave broomsticks unattended
Full details at 31.ilmc.com
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 82
Cover photo: Dua Lipa at Reading Festival 2018 © Pixie Levinson
News and Developments
20 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months 22 In Depth Key stories and news analysis from around the live music world 28 New Signings & Rising Stars A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the rosters of international agents 36 Techno Files Revealing the cutting-edge tech that’s helping our 21st century business
3 Ministry of Magic Prospectus & Registration Guide ILMC 31 reveals its agenda, and it’s spellbinding 38 Show Patrol As the band celebrate their 25th anniversary, Snow Patrol hit the road with the Wildness tour 50 In Tune With Investors Anna Grace examines the reasons behind the world of high finance’s sudden interest in live entertainment 54 Pino Sagliocco: 40 Years in Music As the “Italian Spaniard” marks a milestone year, his friends and colleagues around the world collaborate with IQ for a surprise celebration of his career
72 My Breakthrough Moment... IQ asks four individuals to describe their breakthrough career moment 74 Big Country Jon Chapple looks at the explosive growth in the country music genre around the world 84 The Middle East Adam Woods talks to some of the people who are working hard to turn this contentious region into a credible touring market
Comments and Columns
30 Live Investment Lisa Boden Shah comments on the professionalisation of the live music industry and its growing attraction for investors 31 Helping Others Through Music Neil Warnock, MBE, talks about his work with Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and the growth of the organisation’s reach 32 The Show Must Go On... Ben Robinson highlights Energy Revolution’s work to improve the environmental impact of event travel 33 Brexit Mustn’t Destroy a Welcome for Live Music Lucie Caswell comments on the international problems that Brexit has stored up for live music 34 The Vital Work of the Teenage Cancer Trust Jane Ashton explains the importance of music in the work of the Teenage Cancer Trust 35 Tent Waste – A Single-Use Plastics Problem Teresa Moore details her extensive studies into the problem of tent waste at festivals 92 Members’ Noticeboard ILMC members’ photos 94 Who’s Better, Who’s best
ILMC members share memories of The Who
IQ Magazine March 2019
The Kids Are Alright As Futures Forum launches, with the aim of encouraging the next generation of professionals to participate in the development of the industry, Gordon Masson looks forward to what promises to be ILMC’s most magical edition to date… If, as the old saying goes, the live music business is a people business, then there should be some record-breaking business done at ILMC this year, thanks to the stellar line-up of speakers and, of course, delegates registered for our March extravaganza. In addition to our keynote interviews with Roger Daltrey, and Dua Lipa and her father Dugi, ILMC’s conference agenda is the most comprehensive in the event’s 31-year history, with around 30% more sessions than ever before, thanks in no small part to Friday’s packed Futures Forum programme. With industry consolidation improbably reaching even greater levels in recent months, both the independents and the corporations are under pressure to protect their interests, so you can bet it’ll be standing-room only when CTS Eventim chief Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and his senior executive team make a special announcement during ILMC. Ahead of that revelation, this issue has an exclusive interview with Herr Schulenberg (see page 26), should you want to get an insight into his strategic thinking. To help plan your other ILMC 31 activities, then our full agenda guide (page 3) contains the full agenda and details of those all-important networking events and get-togethers. Unfortunately, with only a handful of places still available at the time of going to press, if you’ve not already registered for ILMC then you’re probably out of luck. Picking up on the consolidation theme, our new staff writer, Anna Grace, discovers why the worlds of high finance
and private-equity funding are finally paying attention to live entertainment (page 50), while investment also plays a significant role in our Middle East market report (page 84), as Adam Woods learns about large-scale infrastructure developments that promise to transform business in the region. Another sector enjoying unprecedented growth is the country music genre, which Jon Chapple takes the time to explore in his in-depth profile of its international expansion on page 74. Whilst on page 72, we ask a number of ILMC regulars to divulge details of the circumstances that took them to the next level of their careers. Talking of special moments, Richard Smirke goes backstage with Snow Patrol’s road crew to hear about the band’s prolonged break from live performance before returning in their 25th anniversary year with the triumphant Wildness tour. And if all that isn’t enough for you, then we have a corker of a tale in the shape of an anniversary spectacular for the Italian cavaliere who has made Spain his domain – Pino Sagliocco – who celebrates both his 60th birthday and his 40th year in music in 2019. As one of music’s best-connected personalities, we thought it might be difficult to keep our surprise celebration for Pino a secret for so many months but as you’ll read, on page 54, the universal love and respect for the man made the task a joy. And if you need a plot for a Hollywood movie, then look no further than Pino for inspiration, when you line up to buy him a drink at the ILMC bar.
IQ Magazine March 2019
Issue 82 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, March 2019
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
News Editor Jon Chapple
Staff Writer Anna Grace
Associate Editor Allan McGowan
Marketing & Advertising Director Terry McNally
Imogen Battersby and Ben Delger
Jane Ashton, Lucie Caswell, Teresa Moore, Lisa Boden Shah, Richard Smirke, Manfred Tari, Neil Warnock MBE, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).
In Tweets... JANUARY
Neil Warnock, global head of touring for UTA, is appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Victim of Viagogo founder Claire Turnham also receives the award. The O2 in London cements its status as the world’s most successful concert venue, reporting more than 2m tickets sold in 2018. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located on the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, finalises plans for a 50th-anniversary event in August, in partnership with Live Nation. The event will go head to head with Michael Lang’s Woodstock 50. Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission announces an investigation into the acquisition of Denis Desmond’s MCD Productions by LN-Gaiety Holdings, a joint venture between Desmond and Live Nation. In a further blow to Britain’s embattled grassroots venue sector, HM Treasury confirms that music venues – unlike clubs and restaurants – are unable to apply for a discount on their business rates. Showsec renews its contract with the
UK’s leading arena operator, SMG Europe, for a further five years. Veteran promoter Harvey Goldsmith launches new specialist events agency, Nvisible. After a year as VP of programming for Dubai Arena, and COO of its operator, AEG Ogden, Thomas Ovesen exits the company to return to promoting independently. Wave 365 Media, the mysterious company behind Phil Rudd’s ill-fated Head Job European tour, is dissolved with assets of just £14 after failing to file its annual accounts. The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) is readmitted to international authors’ rights association CISAC as an associate member following two years of reform. Leading live music professionals form the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), an organisation dedicated to the promotion of face-value ticket resale across the continent. South Africa’s leading ticket agency, Computicket, is fined ZAR20m ($1.5m) for allegedly abusing its dominant market position to keep competitors out of the market.
@iq_mag Universal-owned branding/merchandising company Bravado acquires US rival Epic Rights, founded by music merch pioneer Dell Furano, for an undisclosed sum. DEAG acquires the remaining 24.9% of shares in MyTicket from German publishing house Axel Springer SE. Scandinavian promoter Beatbox Entertainment rebrands as Down the Drain Concerts, after its parent company Down the Drain Group. AEG, owner and operator of The O2, reveals plans to build more than 262 homes adjacent to its popular entertainment venue in Greenwich, London. Tour manager Richard Ames, who has worked with the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Who and Kate Bush over five decades in the business, releases Live Music Production, the first book covering the early years of the production sector in the UK. Live Nation acquires a controlling interest in Singaporean promoter One Production with which it recently copromoted BTS’s sold-out show at the city-state’s National Stadium. German promoters’ association BDKV secures a judgment against reseller Ticketbande that prevents it listing tickets where resale is prohibited by the promoter. In the UK, Cambridge City Council pays £750,000 (€861,000) to rescue crisis-hit Cambridge Live, the trust that runs Cambridge Folk Festival and the Cambridge Corn Exchange, from collapse.
FEBRUARY A bill that would prevent venues that receive public funding from partnering exclusively with one ticket agency is introduced in Hawaii. The Canadian Competition Bureau closes its investigation into Ticketmaster’s controversial TradeDesk software,
IQ Magazine March 2019
concluding it does not contravene federal competition legislation. Peter van der Veer steps down as CEO of both the European Arenas Association (EAA) and the Ahoy Rotterdam venue. Jolanda Jansen succeeds him at the Ahoy as sole CEO, while the EAA will recruit a new chief exec later this year. More than ten million people “attend” EDM star Marshmello’s virtual concert in the popular free-to-play video game Fortnite. Direct-to-fan marketplace PledgeMusic announces it is in talks with “several interested parties” regarding a potential partnership or acquisition. The company owes thousands of dollars to artists. UK-based festival travel portal Festicket secures a $4.6m (€4.1m) funding round from creative industries investment specialist, Edge Investments. RFID technology company PlayPass acquires Yuflow, a French cashless payments provider. UTA bolsters its roster of digital talent with the acquisition of Digital Brand Architects, which represents more than 140 Internetfamous artists and ‘influencers.’ Live Nation acquires a majority stake in Planet Events, the leading concert promoter of Latin artists in Spain. Broadwick Venues, the venue arm of UK festival promoter Broadwick Live, reveals plans for a major new music venue and events space at the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, west London. Live Nation acquires Embrace Presents, a Canadian venue operator and promoter of concerts, festivals and events in the Toronto area. Croatian concert promoter Jordan Rodić, responsible for bringing international greats including Sting, U2, Depeche Mode, Jamiroquai and Ennio Morricone to his home country, passes away aged 43. Byron Bay Bluesfest founder Peter Noble speaks out against the New South Wales government over heightened licensing and security costs for
music festivals. British collection societies PRS for Music and PPL announce that Suzanne Smith has stepped down as managing director of their public-performance joint venture, PPL PRS Ltd. Songs performed at the 61st Grammy Awards by Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, HER and more, collectively contribute to a 480% increase in digital download sales. Live Nation acquires a majority stake in Tennessee-based event marketing company Neste. Barcelona City Council creates the Espais de Cultura Viva (live culture spaces) classification to protect its small live music venues, allowing flexible capacity limits and relaxing sound restrictions. Irish management company ie:music recruits rock and metal specialist Leander Gloversmith, adding Neck Deep, As It Is and Frost Koffin to its roster. Negotiations on the much talked about European Copyright conclude with an agreement on the final text, including the controversial Article 13 provision. Live Nation Finland announces the acquisition of the country’s leading hiphop festival, Blockfest.
Eventbrite announces the opening of a new development centre and events space in Madrid – the company’s first in Europe. Vivendi Village, the Vivendi business unit that includes the French media giant’s live entertainment and ticketing holdings, grows turnover 12.6%, to €123m, in 2018. Sam Feldman, founder of Canada’s The Feldman Agency (TFA), sells the business to the agency’s president, Jeff Craib, and vice-president, Tom Kemp. A Milan court acquits Live Nation Italy executives and other Italian promoters of all wrongdoing in a secondary ticketing investigation, which alleged they profited from artificially inflating ticket prices. British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and the unrecognised Venezuelan government organise competing antiand pro-regime events, dubbed Venezuela Aid Live and Hands Off Venezuela, respectively. To subscribe to IQ Magazine: email@example.com An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).
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IQ Magazine March 2019
Movers and Shakers Ben Kouijzer has left United Talent Agency to join CAA in London. The agent, whose roster includes the likes of Hayden James, Cedric Gervais, Erick Morillo, Roger Sanchez, Mambo Brothers, Jarami, Nero, Grum, Hot Dub Time Machine and Tough Love, joined The Agency Group in October 2014, shortly before it was acquired by UTA. NEC Group has announced the promotion of managing director Phil Mead to the position of and chairman of The Ticket Factory and arenas and Guy Dunstan who moves from general manager, arenas, to director of arenas. Mead’s new role will focus on governance and strategic direction – including heading up all projects relating to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, when the Group will be hosting nine sports across three venues.
Norbert Plantinga will commence a new role as managing director at Agents After All in Amsterdam in April. He is currently marketing director at Sony Music Benelux and prior to that was managing director at Universal Music for ten years. The Feldman Agency in Canada has announced the promotion of Olivia Ootes from director to vice-president of operations. Ootes has worked at the company for more than 20 years, having joined the Toronto office as a junior co-ordinator in 1998.
Live music entertainment firm LiveXLive Media has hired music industry veteran David Schulhof as chief development officer. In this role, Schulhof will identify and develop merger-and-acquisition opportunities and augment the company’s profile in the banking, investment, advisory and capital communities. Schulhof previously held senior positions in finance at companies including G2 Investment Group, where he focused on the firm’s media investments. He was also the co-founder and CEO of music publisher Evergreen Copyrights.
Olly Goddard, formerly head of ticketing, touring and festivals at Broadwick Live/Global, has joined RFID/ cashless payments provider Weezevent as country manager for the UK. He will spearhead his new employer’s push into the British market, as the French company continues its international expansion. Prior to Global, Goddard spent nine years at promoter Metropolis Music, heading up ticketing strategy and working with artists including Coldplay, Eminem and Oasis.
Far be it from us to be cynical but hats off to the developers of the new arena in Munich’s Olympiapark for their latest PR stunt – the owners of the 11,500-capacity facility, which is scheduled to open in
ketball, has apparently learned from previous viral campaigns where public opinion has championed such monikers as Boaty McBoatface for a polar research vessel, while also on the high seas, suggestions such as S.S. ShouldveBeenABridge and Spirit of the WalletSucker were made in a similar naming ritual by disgruntled passengers of a Canadian ferry service. No such risks are being taken by the Germans, however, as the aforementioned partners will choose a shortlist of names suggested by fans for the arena before opening the contest to a public vote. When finished, the multipurpose venue, designed by Danish firm 3XN, will serve
© FC Bayern Basketball
Miller, a specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, has made a play for a slice of the entertainment market with the appointment of four music insurance specialists – Martin Goebbels, Rose Burgess, Holly Leary and Pamela Choat. Led by industry veteran Goebbels, the quartet all make the move from previous employer Integro. Goebbels will report to James Hands, head of Miller’s accident and health business.
The European Arenas Association will appoint a new CEO at its next meeting in April following the shock resignation of Peter van der Veer. The executive, who only took up the role last year, announced in January that he would be stepping down from his role as joint CEO of the Ahoy Rotterdam venue, effectively also ending his EAA stewardship. Fellow Ahoy CEO, Jolanda Jansen, says Van der Veer’s resignation “came as a surprise” to the venue’s 250 staff but was due to “some differences of opinion” with the Ahoy’s management. Jansen will remain as the Ahoy’s solo chief.
2021, are allowing the general public to choose the name of the venue. But the development team, which includes software giant SAP as naming rights partner, energy drink Red Bull and FC Bayern Bas-
as home to the basketball club, as well as ice hockey’s Munich Red Bulls, whilst it will also enhance the city’s ability to host live music and touring productions. Claiming that they are looking forward to hearing the public’s creative ideas, SAP board member Bernd Leukert says, “In our role as the facility’s naming sponsor, and technology and innovation partner, we believe it’s important that a venue in such a historic place as Munich’s Olympiapark has more than just another name.” Suggestions can be submitted via NameGameOn.com, with the winning entry receiving a personalised seat in the arena for the inaugural season.
IQ Magazine March 2019
IQ Magazine March 2019
AEG-SMG Merger Raises Antitrust Questions Industry observers are predicting that the mega merger of venue behemoths AEG Facilities and SMG will be examined by antitrust and competition regulators, as the companies look to roll up an international portfolio that includes more than 300 venues. Should the deal proceed as the two companies hope, a new venture, known as ASM Global, will be launched, with headquarters in Los Angeles. It would oversee 310 arenas, stadia, convention centres and performing arts venues across five continents, including some of the world’s bestknown live music locations. The merger plans were revealed in early February by private-equity firm Onex, which completed its acquisition of SMG Holdings in January 2018. The investment powerhouse says it and AEG Facilities will each own 50% of ASM Global following the merger – a deal it expects to complete in late 2019. Complicating the merger is a stipulation that certain venues owned by AEG, such as
The O2, AccorHotels Arena, Mercedes-Benz Arena and Staples Center are excluded from the deal, with AEG also retaining control of its owned venues and entertainment districts in Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Berlin, as well as its sports, music and sponsorship divisions. For its part, Onex has committed to contributing its entire equity investment in SMG into the merger. SMG’s assets include Manchester Arena in the UK; König-Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany; and numerous arenas, stadia and convention centres across North America. While the merger hopefuls hailed the deal as “a major step for our industry,” competitors are less enthused about what it could mean internationally. Former AEG president Tim Leiweke, who now heads up Oak View Group, states that the company’s lawyers are poring over the merger agreement to “figure out whether this is anti-competitive,” while others are also expecting a degree of interest from
regulators, given the number of venues that will be under the one roof. “It’s a frightening prospect,” notes one venues veteran. “When Live Nation were mooted to be interested in purchasing SMG, that kinda made sense. But Live Nation is not in the same league as AEG when it comes to venue ownership. “My real fear is that if this goes ahead, there will be zero room for negotiation with ASM Global, which will be so powerful that they could simply dictate terms for the likes of security, caterers, cleaning and other contractors.” A culling of staff across AEG Facilities and SMG would also be expected. Another source notes that the deal could further escalate artist fees should AEG Presents leverage its position with its venues in bidding wars with Live Nation. And he suggests that a resurrection of the bookings feud between AEG and Madison Square Garden could broaden to other rivals, as venue operators look to safeguard
their interests. However, not everyone is against the deal. Brad Mayne, president and CEO of the International Association of Venue Managers, told Convene (a US publication run by the Professional Convention Management Association), that he sees positives in the merger from a business point of view. “The more venues you manage, the greater strength you have to leverage in negotiations,” notes Mayne. “You can say to a vendor that if you’re willing to accept the terms of a deal in one venue that you can help them get into other venues that you manage.” With officials at AEG and SMG gagged during the merger process, one key unanswered question surrounds ASM Global’s business model, as its constituents operate very different strategies: while AEG invests heavily in facility construction and development, SMG has historically collected management fees to run venues.
Live Nation Off to a Flier with 2019 Expansion Plans Hot off the back of its busiest year ever in terms of corporate takeovers, Live Nation appears to be accelerating its plans in 2019 with five deals already announced (as IQ goes to press). The latest acquisition, announced 15 February, involves leading Finnish urban music festival, Blockfest, which was added to the Live Nation Finland portfolio following several years of collaboration. Founded in 2008
in Tampere, Blockfest has become one of the biggest hip-hop festivals in the Nordic countries, boasting 75,000 festivalgoers last year. That buy-out was the second in the month of February, following its acquisition of Tennessee-based event marketing company Neste, with whom it intends to pool resources to create Neste Live!, described as a new talent buying and event production venture for festivals, fairs and corporate clients.
But those aren’t the only 2019 deals that have kept Live Nation’s international legal team busy. In January, they negotiated a majority stake in Planet Events, the leading concert promoter of Latin artists in Spain. Next came a deal in Canada where the company acquired a majority stake in Embrace Presents, a Canadian venue operator and promoter of concerts, festivals and events in the Toronto area. And rounding off
its January shopping spree, the company turned to Asia, where it purchased a controlling interest in Singaporean promoter One Production – a company that co-promoted the recent sold-out BTS show at Singapore’s 55,00-capacity National Stadium. With those five deals already locked down, Live Nation is well on course to beat last year’s record-breaking year when it completed 16 deals internationally.
IQ Magazine March 2019
Schulenberg Outlines Eventim Plans Ahead of a special CTS Eventim announcement during ILMC in March, company founder and CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, agreed to an exclusive interview. IQ’s Manfred Tari reports… acquisition of four companies in a single country reflect a strategic approach? Schulenberg: Italy is one of the most attractive live entertainment markets in Europe. There is a high demand for shows, iconic venues and above all a tremendous variety of artists, both young and established, who are also popular in other countries. Eros Ramazzotti just embarked on his world tour with our subsidiary Vertigo – with performances in 30 countries on three continents. So yes, we have expanded and developed our portfolio in Italy very purposefully. Besides, our four promoters cover different genres. The fact that we became number one in this market within a few months was of course also partly owed to seizing the right opportunities at the right time. IQ: Outside Europe, CTS Eventim only has subsidiaries in Brazil. In general, the company tends to pursue a cautious but systematic purchasing policy. Is there currently nothing suitable in Asia or North America that would allow CTS to gain a foothold or get involved in these markets? Schulenberg: Here, too, it’s all about the right opportunities at the right time. In the past couple of years, the market environment for acquisitions in the live entertainment segment was no doubt more favourable than that in ticketing. However, given our double-digit, organic growth rates in online ticketing we are under no pressure whatsoever to make a move. Since the IPO, CTS Eventim has acquired more than 30 companies. We will continue to grow both organically and through acquisitions going forward. IQ: Live Nation, Superstrukt, and even a Dutch pension fund are all currently on a shopping spree, acquiring international concert promoters and festivals left, right and centre. What role does the acquisition of concert companies play within CTS Eventim’s growth plans? Klaus-Peter Schulenberg: An important one. We don’t consider the European markets as individual countries operating in isolation from each other. More and more artists expect us to provide them with cross-border touring opportunities. International top acts usually don’t just play in Germany or Spain, they do European tours. Besides, many artists are now able to reach a considerable audience outside their domestic markets. This is why we are expanding our promoter network internationally. We now have a presence in ten countries. And more will follow. IQ: In Italy, CTS Eventim recently acquired four concert companies (D’Alessandro & Galli, F&P, Vertigo and VivoConcerti). Was this a coincidence or does the
IQ: In the ticketing sector, CTS Eventim focused on digitalisation and the development of the Internet as a sales channel at an early stage. What impetus for the live entertainment business can be expected from these areas, and is there an internal transfer of knowledge to this end between the two departments (ticketing and live entertainment)? Schulenberg: The fact that we focussed on online ticketing from day one is now paying off in many fields for us: in addressing and serving our customers, as well as in the analysis of large volumes of data. We can offer promoters great added value here – including those who aren’t part of CTS Eventim. We advise them in matters of tour planning, provide them with insights about their visitors, and help them reach even larger audiences. The potential of big data is far from being fully utilised and exploited. Our treasure trove of data is particularly valuable because our online shops also generate high gross transaction value. In Germany, we are already in the top three companies in this connection. IQ: Given the reservations of Germany’s Cartel Office, acquisitions in Germany in the company’s two core business
IQ Magazine March 2019
segments are hardly likely . In Capital 01/19, you noted: “European companies that are considered at the national level are clearly at a disadvantage.” This would suggest that CTS isn’t the only company affected by this. Do you expect a change in policy in this respect? After all, it is precisely in the area of market-leading digital companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook that it is evident that they are marketdominating monopolists... Schulenberg: We are by no means the only company that is speaking out for more of a level playing field here . I would like to see European entertainment and technology companies being able to compete as equals with their competitors from America and Asia on a regulatory level as well. But for this, we need a new kind of antitrust law that thinks as boundlessly as companies do. The new European Parliament, which will be elected in May, has the opportunity to set the right course – it should be in our common interest to ensure that the creative and tech industry is given reliable framework conditions for investment in Europe. IQ: When Amazon announced it was entering the ticketing business, the stock market reacted by immediately discounting the company’s shares. And yet, it could happen at any time that one of the digital giants again seeks to tap into the ticketing business. Given the IT resources and reach of these companies, is this an aspect that might worry you? Schulenberg: Amazon is a fascinating company with extraordinary innovative strength. But developments in both the US and UK suggest that the barriers to market entry are more complex in ticketing than in other industries. Thanks to our broad value chain, we can offer artists outstanding reach, and consumers the biggest possible selection. We have highly professional sales structures and stable, trustful partnerships with promoters. Establishing such a network takes time and patience, and may not necessarily correspond with how American corporate giants do business. So we remain attentive and calm. IQ: Like every large company, CTS Eventim depends on good and qualified employees. Now, due to demographic change, more and more companies are struggling with the shortage of skilled workers. Is this true for CTS Eventim as well? Schulenberg: We operate a scalable business that requires highly qualified and talented employees. We have more than 300 employees alone just to take care of the ongoing technological development of our ticketing platform. In addition, we employ product managers, scrum masters, data scientists and so on. So it’s only natural that we compete with big high-tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google for the best minds. You’ll find state-of-the-art technology and collaboration with outstanding experts here with us, as well as with them. But our core product is live entertainment, which is much more emotional. So we’re the
IQ Magazine March 2019
right place for anyone who shares this enthusiasm for innovative topics and the fascinating live experiences. IQ: Your recent major deal in connection with the car ‘toll collect’ system is a new line of business for CTS Eventim. What does this [new] business mean for CTS Eventim’s company structure? Schulenberg: The award of the contract by the German Federal Ministry of Transport means, first of all, that we are capable of successfully transferring our existing technology and e-commerce expertise to new lines of business. So this commission is a milestone for CTS Eventim. Together with our partner Kapsch TrafficCom, we have set up an operating company that will make the car toll collection as convenient as possible for everyone involved. So while this will be done using our ticketing expertise, it will happen outside the existing Group structure. CTS Eventim will continue to focus on growth in our core businesses – ticketing and live entertainment. The proceeds from this new project will give us additional room to manoeuvre in the future, but tolls won’t become our core business.
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world MarthaGunn
has already made the cover of Guitar Player magazine and released the single California, which reached No. 3 on CMT Pure Charts, while her most recent release, My Gypsy Heart, debuted for eight weeks in the Billboard charts in 11 different categories. Arielle was the guitar player for Avery in the TV show Nashville (also the city where she currently resides), and the purity of her four-octave voice draws comparison to Karen Carpenter and Eva Cassidy.
MORGANE JI (RE/FR)
Agent: Markus Rogue, Agents 4 Music Agent: Steve Backman & Stefan Romer, Primary Talent This five-piece band formed in Brighton and are named after a historic Brighton heroine known as “the priestess of the bath.” Drawing from the band-mates’ various influences, MarthaGunn are mining an eclectic mix of the 70s, indie-rock and classically tinged pop music. A large proportion of the last year has been spent in a remote house in Wales, writing what will be the band’s next batch of releases and eventual first album. During this period they have also toured with AnnenMayKantereit in Germany and Austria; Findlay and Blind Pilot in the UK; and have played a number of festivals including Kendal Calling, The Great Escape and Womad.
Morgane Ji is the perfect example of the successful blending of multiple ancestry with her African, Indian and Asian roots. As for her style and aesthetic approach, no one has managed to put her into any pigeonhole – she strives to create the unexpected. A rock-pop musician and practitioner of world electronic music, Morgane Ji is immediately recognisable thanks to her unique voice – protean, raspy, soft, animal-like. Her wide vocal range, melodic lines, and shamanic cries, offer audiences entertainment and excitement, as her performances feel like journeys through deep emotional and visual worlds. Her album, Woman Soldier, was released last year to critical acclaim and she will be taking her unique talents to Colombia in March for two shows, while she will also be appearing at festivals in Russia, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands this summer. Morgane Ji
Agent: Phyllis Belezos, ITB Arielle is considered a music industry triple threat because she could enjoy an impressive career solely either as a singer or songwriter or guitar player but she has combined all three of those gifts to create a unique artistry that defies genres and borders. She opened for Eric Johnson on his three-month US tour last year, and has also supported and played with the likes of Vince Gill, Gregg Allman, Heart, Joan Jett, Country Joe McDonald, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, and many more. Arielle
IQ Magazine March 2019
30/70 (AU) Sinan Ors, ATC Live A Certain Ratio (UK) Steve Backman & Stefan Romer, Primary Talent Ada Lea (US) Tom Taaffe, Coda Agency AJ (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent ALA.NI (UK) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Alfa Mist (UK) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Alfie Templeman (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Amber Olivier (UK) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Anemone (CA) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Angel Du$t (US) David Sullivan Kaplan, Jeremy Holgerson & Sean Goulding, UTA Apache Indian (UK) Yusuf Bashir, MN2S Arlie (US) Colin Keenan & Stephen Taylor, ATC Live Arlo Parks (UK) Steve Nickolls, UTA Ashley Henry (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Bad Child (CA) Alex Hardee & Ryan Penty, Coda Agency Barney Artist (UK) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Bay Faction (US) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Benny Sings (NL) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Blood Red Shoes (UK) Jo Biddiscombe, X-ray Touring Brooke Bentham (UK) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Childish Major (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Claud (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Connan Mockasin (NZ) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Cosmic Psychos (AU) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Curtis Walsh (IE) Andy Clayton, Coda Agency Cykada (UK) Rob Gibbs, Progressive Artists Darlingside (US) Colin Keenan & Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Daymé Arocena (CU) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Dear Seattle (AU) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Deno (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Discharge (UK) Paul Ryan, UTA DJ Phantasy (UK) Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent DROELOE (NL) Paul McQueen, Primary Talent duendita (US) Andy Duggan, Primary Talent Ekali (CA) Paul McQueen, Primary Talent Ellis (CA) Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Fabiana Palladino (UK) Sinan Ors, ATC Live Fatoumata Diawara (ML) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Fickle Friends (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Flipp Dinero (US) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Geko (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Gouge Away (US) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Greentea Peng (UK) Andy Duggan, Primary Talent Hotel Lux (UK) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touing Imperial Wax (UK) Stephen Taylor, ATC Live Infamousizak (UK) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Inner Wave (US) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Jackie Mendoza (US) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Jungle By Night (NL) Sinan Ors, ATC Live K-Trap (UK) Beckie Sugden & Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring KEYAH/BLU (UK) Andy Duggan, Primary Talent Leo Mandella (UK) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Levela (UK) Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent LGP QUA (US) Beckie Sugden, X-ray Touring Luna Bay (UK) Ryan Penty, Coda Agency Majestic (UK) Dan Saunderson, UTA Martin Buttrich (DE) Steve Nickolls & Dan Saunderson, UTA Metrik (UK) Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent Mipso (US) Colin Keenan & Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Miss Grit (US) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent
MJ Cole (UK) Steve Nickolls, UTA Mystery Jets (UK) Alex Hardee & Adele Slater, Coda Agency Narrow Herad (US) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Novelist (UK) Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent Orchestra Baobab (SN) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Park Hye Jin (KR) Laetitia Descouens, Primary Talent Pip Hall (UK) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Rence (US) Alex Hardee & Mike Malak, Coda Agency Rex Orange County (UK) Lucy Dickins, ITB Roger Eno (UK) Rick Morton, Blow-Up Sarah Tandy (UK) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Shana Cleveland (US) Nikita Lavrinenko, Paper and Iron Sidney Gish (US) Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Sleep (US) Tom Taaffe, Coda Agency Sophomooreik (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Splurge (US) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Stealth (UK) Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Superlove Anna Bewers, Coda Agency The Blue Stones (US) Stephen Taylor, ATC Live The Coathangers (US) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talen The Dirty Nil (CA) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring t The Dip (US) Sinan Ors, ATC Live The Futureheads (UK) Matt Hanner & Chris Meredith, ATC Live The Jesus & Mary Chain (UK) Mick Griffiths, Art & Industry The Smith Street Band (AU) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring The Wave Pictures (UK) Shane Daunt, Progressive Artists Tia Gostelow (AU) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live TSHA (UK) Michael Harvey-Bray, Coda Agency Tshegue (FR/CD) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency Tyler Ramsey (US) Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Unloved (US) Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Vanessa Paradis (FR) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency William Fitzsimmons (US) Matt Hanner, ATC Live Zara McFarlane (UK) Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency
PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT MONTH
(Artists moving through database the quickest) COI LERAY (US), FOOLIO (US), POLO G (US), DOMINIC FIKE (US), EASY LIFE (UK)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Last Month 8 55 82 9 5 15 18 12 92 164 20 41 10 25 16
ARTIST STILL WOOZY (US) LENNON STELLA (US) ARI LENNOX (US) IDLES (UK) LOUD LUXURY (CA) SAM FENDER (UK) JPEGMAFIA (US) YUNGEEN ACE (US) DOMINIC FIKE (US) SLIM JXMMI (US) MEN I TRUST (CA) DUCKWRTH (US) PHOEBE BRIDGERS (US) TIERRA WHACK (US) CRUMB (US)
Fastest growing artists based on online music consumption. Aggregated across a number of online sources.
IQ Magazine March 2019
Live Investment Edition Capital’s Lisa Boden Shah is responsible for sourcing new investment opportunities and deal execution. Here she comments on the professionalisation of the live music industry and its growing attraction for investors.
n the not-too-distant past, whilst working on a potential IPO of a live music operator, I pitched to a large investment fund. Following an in-depth pitch on the growth of the company and the sector as a whole, the fund grandee leaned back in his chair and asked only one question – “What happens to all of the heroin needles after the shows?” Despite explaining the sector had changed and that artists were now far more focused on image rights and licensed merchandise sales than perpetuating the stereotypes of their forebears, the rock & roll image of live music still lingers in certain quarters today. Seen as an industry led by ‘musos’ and without the professionalisation that has since transformed it, the live music industry traditionally struggled with image problems and was shunned by professional investors.
“It is increasingly unreasonable for standalone venues or festivals to compete for global sponsorship revenues from multinational brands unless they can negotiate collectively” Happily, however, as the industry has adapted so has the attitude of professional investors. The collapse of recorded music revenues in the early 2000s led to a restructuring of the business model for artists. Albums ceased to be the principle source of revenue but became launch pads for new global rolling tours – some of which last for years. Ed Sheeran’s ÷ tour started in 2017 and has already grossed more than half a billion dollars. The festival sector exploded as the increase in artists touring every year gave them more choice in line-ups and allowed them to attract new consumers. Hand in hand with this huge increase in scale, a wide range of businesses shifted from being small cottage industries into larger, more professional outfits. This professionalisation, along with the unprecedented growth in revenues has helped to shift perceptions for larger investors and seen a flood of new money coming into the sector. Much of the funding moving into this sector is being used for consolidation. The majority of festivals and live venues
are still small compared to the industry behemoths that stage thousands of concerts and generate revenues in the billions of dollars. Increasingly, the benefits of consolidation and vertical integration within a company have become clear. Live Nation is the prime example. Its rapid acquisition of venues, promoters and festival brands have helped it establish a presence in every key market but it is its integration of ticketing (through Ticketmaster) that has unlocked value for the business. With increasing demands from artists for ever higher fees, as well as competition for market share, there is a persuasive logic for small live music businesses to consider being part of a larger collective and share the resources of that network. It is increasingly unreasonable for standalone venues or festivals to compete for global sponsorship revenues from multinational brands unless they can negotiate collectively. Likewise, they cannot devote significant capital to develop new ticketing, cashless or tech solutions on their own. This dynamic means that there is a new ceiling in how large a business can become without significant external funding or looking to become part of a larger group. It isn’t a straightforward decision for the owners of those businesses once they reach that ceiling. Often, they have run their company without reference to a large board or other owners for several years or even decades, and taking on new professional investors or becoming part of a larger, investorbacked group isn’t without its pitfalls. Understanding the ethos of the acquirer or investor is paramount. Do they share your vision for the business in the future? Are you comfortable working collaboratively with a board? These are all questions that need to be considered carefully when deciding on a partner. My fear is that owners will see the money but not consider the impact, and that both sides will end up paying the price. At Edition, we continue to believe that live music will see exceptional growth and remain an active investor in this sector. We look for businesses that have already developed a compelling product but need that additional financial firepower to push on through to the next level. We believe that the UK will continue to punch well above its weight in developing world-famous talent and brands, and therefore we will continue to look to invest in UK-based firms that can benefit from the underlying trends set out above, and our experience in running live music companies means we can understand both sides of the transaction.
IQ Magazine March 2019
Helping others through music Neil Warnock, United Talent Agency’s global head of touring, was recently made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to music and charity. As chair of fundraising for Nordoff Robbins, he tells IQ about the development of the orgainsation over the decades.
am frequently asked: Why Nordoff Robbins? What is Nordoff Robbins? Back in the mid-70s Clive Robbins and Paul Nordoff had run out of funding for their early music therapy work. Somehow, they ended up in London and were introduced to Andrew Miller, a successful concert promoter, and William Robertson, of Robertson-Taylor, which became the biggest insurance broker operating in the music industry. At that time, I was doing business with Andrew and it was he who originally said to me, “we should do a couple of fundraisers for these guys.” Back then, the main recipient of charity donations was the WWF or PDSA, neither of which struck a chord with us Young Turks for various reasons.
“We are fortunate that the whole of the UK music business is involved with Nordoff Robbins – including so many people at the top of their game…” Nordoff Robbins linked together music with therapy and in those early chaotic days, everything was begged, borrowed and stolen to generate early momentum for the organisation. 1976 saw the first Silver Clef lunch at The Inn on the Park in Park Lane (now called the Four Seasons Park Lane) in London, with The Who as the first recipients of the Silver Clef. I haven’t missed a lunch since 1976! Dave Dee persuaded me to join in a more formal way over a long lunch that went into dinner – which we later turned into a frequent meeting, often joined by Willie Robertson. Those were crazy days. In 1982 the very first Nordoff Robbins Centre opened in North London, housing a music therapy service and training facility under Sybil BeresfordPeirse. Then, in 1990, we put on a show at Knebworth with performances from Paul McCartney, Genesis, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, which raised £6million [€6.9m] – shared between Nordoff Robbins and the BRIT Trust. Over £3m [€3.5m] of that built our centre in Kentish Town in North London, which has now been totally refurbished and
IQ Magazine March 2019
is a splendid building servicing our clients with working rooms for therapists, libraries and offices for all our support staff and leadership teams. Since those early days, I’ve witnessed first-hand how Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy creates change. Using music to create meaningful connections with young people who are struggling with personal difficulties, right the way through to the elderly, such as those suffering from dementia. We have therapists all over the UK in specialist schools, hospitals and old people’s homes as well as a brand-new centre in Newcastle and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Nordoff Robbins Therapy Unit attached to the BRIT School in Croydon, just outside London. Recently, we amalgamated with our colleagues in Scotland to enhance our offering throughout the UK. We even have Nordoff Robbins therapists at the Royal Albert Hall, thanks to their generosity in providing us with rooms to use at the venue. I am always so proud when I go to the graduation ceremonies. At the latest, there were thirteen graduates who had attained their Masters in Nordoff Robbins accreditations at City University and we now have PhD graduates, which makes us extremely proud. Currently, we are financially in a position to employ the vast majority of graduates and send them out to work across the country. Our “Get Loud” campaign (which enables fans to see their favourite artists close up at some of the most iconic and intimate venues) is designed to raise awareness throughout the UK of the work Nordoff Robbins does. Nordoff Robbins might be a clunky name, but we are the leaders in music therapy and our ultimate aim is that “Get Loud” will become our own version of Red Nose Day. We are fortunate that the whole of the UK music business is involved with Nordoff Robbins – including so many people at the top of their game, from the major agencies, management companies, record labels, publicists, publishers and artists, along with sports personalities and executives in the fields of football, rugby, boxing, golf and horse racing. Everyone leaves their ego, dramas and difficulties outside the door to support this amazing charity. There is such a need for Nordoff Robbins that in a strange way it feels as if the work is just starting. The next generation of fundraisers are in the wings to take over. I just feel so blessed that I can play a part in enhancing the positive change and the incredible work that every one of our therapists brings to the community at large.
The Show Must Go On… Ben Robinson is the founding director of From the Fields, promoters, festival organisers and the creative minds behind Kendal Calling, Bluedot and many more events. He is also co-founder and trustee of Energy Revolution, the charity that helps the live events industry tackle the environmental impacts of travel.
n Bohemian Rhapsody, the recent Queen biopic, we see Live Aid broadcast to 1.9 billion people. A moment in music history where the combined forces of music and events came together to try to change the world. Fast forward 30 years, and the power of music and events to bring people together and change their perspectives remains, and is at the heart of Energy Revolution, a charity set up by a collection of industry professionals with first-hand knowledge of running large-scale events in rural locations. It started in 2015, when industry think tank Powerful Thinking laid out the environmental impacts of the UK festival industry and presented them at the COP21 climate change talks in Paris. The report was called, The Show Must Go On (also, incidentally, the final track on Queen’s 1991 album Innuendo) and was a festival industry response to climate change; the current global issue facing the planet, and one that we all need to address in our lifetimes. The report showed that up to 80% of the average festival’s carbon footprint came from audience travel, which is where Energy Revolution’s mission was born. There is no quick fix to the problem of climate change. Positive change must come from both practical action and perceptual shifts. Earlier this year, a single episode of the BBC’s Blue Planet, caused a shift in perception so drastic that social media feeds are still brimming with ways to avoid single-use plastic. What an epic sign that change can come quickly when the message is clear and powerful. Energy Revolution works with over 40 UK festivals, their audiences, suppliers, and artists, to help them understand the practical impacts of their travel choices. We help event organisers engage audiences and encourage them to consider more sustainable travel methods – and people are more engaged than ever. But let’s be honest, most festivals happen in fields or remote locations, and there is little chance that touring headline artists will fit their show production into the boot of a Tesla. In accepting this reality, Energy Revolution calculates impacts from travel by measuring and recording fossil fuel miles, calculating the associated CO2, and then balancing unavoidable emissions via donations that we then invest in projects that create clean renewable energy.
One hundred percent of all donations go to the projects, which have so far included reforestation, wind turbines, and community-owned solar and wind projects. So far, Energy Revolution has balanced over 7.8 million average car miles, that’s the equivalent of 2.5 million kg CO2e. It’s a bold start, but the real power in the project is the framework we’ve created that means all events, venues, gig-goers, crew, and artists can educate themselves on the true impacts of travel emissions, and actively balance that impact in a direct, practical and positive way.
“In the words of Freddie, ‘the show must go on,’ and for that to happen, we need to have a healthy planet for the show to be on.” Times change, Bohemian Rhapsody shows Bob Geldof expressing the plight of the African continent and rallying for £1million (£2.2m in today’s climate). That’s around what one artist of equivalent stature might get for a single show today, and in the region of what Glastonbury donates each year to charity. Charity is also at a point where the perception change required is one that drops, Do they know it’s Christmas? from its vocabulary, and instead empowers the communities they help. Today, the greatest threat to humanity is climate change. We need to utilise the power of music and events to change perceptions and encourage practical action. We have reach through our audiences. Just as our industry has developed standards in health and safety, disability access, and hearing protection, we also need to have sustainability on the tips of our tongues. Kendal Calling, Boomtown, Download, Reading, Shambala, Bluedot are already on-board, and I implore anyone reading this to get on-board, too, and to help spread the word. In the words of Freddie, “the show must go on,” and for that to happen, we need to have a healthy planet for the show to be on.
IQ Magazine March 2019
Brexit Mustn’t Destroy a Welcome for Live Music With contributions from member artists, Lucie Caswell, CEO of the UK’s Featured Artists Coalition, comments on the international problems that Brexit has stored up for live music.
e are used to smoke and mirrors in this business but live exemplifies the fog of dread that Brexit has draped over us. That dread is shared equally between those emerging onto the live scene and established artists like Jeremy Pritchard (Everything Everything) and Sam Lee. Westminster would rather navel gaze than look ahead at the moment; enjoying theatrical heckling more than problem solving. This isn’t entertaining for anyone watching – anyone who will be worse off than before Brexit was launched at our economy and any sense of international pride. No one voted for this. The live industry manifests our country’s funk and some daunting prospects ahead. Despite nationalist rhetoric, we seem to have forgotten our national scenes. The arts have been systemically de-validated politically, venues are squeezed out for ‘luxury’ apartments and our gigging economy is “ranked as one of the lowest paying in Europe” according to Sam Lee. Both artist and programmer, Sam says that our international trouble has already started. Over the past few years, red tape has been making life difficult for programmers of culturally rich festivals. Cultural growth is a process of absorption and evolution; a sharing, exploring, experimental journey that finds a voice and soundtracks a period in time. Barriers to
touring will become “a tourniquet, depriving UK citizens of the opportunity to experience non-British music with enriching ethnic diversity” says Sam. This diversity is the frame of reference we use to express ourselves musically. We are really good at it, too. Barriers to others will weaken our negotiating hand if we need visa dispensations in future. Politicians are first to hawk the cultural superiority of ‘brand UK’; our global supremacy in producing cultural leaders. If the best of the world isn’t welcome and our talent can’t grow with them, then these words could become echoes of history. There is, says Jeremy, “a disheartening sense of isolationism.” Roxanne de Bastion is looking through the lens shared by the great swathe of artists who rely on touring. Live is their “bread and butter” she says; a means to pursue a craft, validation, fans – and food on the table. Restricting movement could put all of those “out of reach” says fellow artist, Eckoes. Music presents an opportunity to generate revenues, influence and resonance beyond borders. We have £4.2billion reasons to be cheerful about music’s economic might. For music’s future however, it needs a supportive, respectful and welcoming home.
The Vital Work of the Teenage Cancer Trust Jane Ashton, head of music & entertainment for Teenage Cancer Trust explains the importance of music in the work of the Trust.
usic plays such an important role in young people’s lives and is part of the DNA of Teenage Cancer Trust, so we are honoured to be ILMC’s charity partner in the year 2020. Teenage Cancer Trust relies solely on donations, and on behalf of the organisation, I am so grateful for the incredible support given to us over many years from the music industry. It’s helped to ensure that no young person or their family faces cancer alone, and that they are provided with specialist nursing and emotional support throughout their treatment and beyond. 2020 is set to be a big year for Teenage Cancer Trust. Not only will the charity be turning 30 years old, but it also marks our 20th annual concert series at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall, where the world’s biggest names in music and comedy come together, raising money to help young people facing the chaos of cancer. Conceived in 2000 and curated by the charity’s honorary patron, Roger Daltrey CBE, legendary frontman of The Who, these annual shows have grown into an iconic week-long series of gigs and are the charity’s flagship event. They are a highlight of the music industry calendar and have featured some of the world’s leading music and comedy acts. The Who actually played the first ever Teenage Cancer Trust show at the Royal Albert Hall back in 2000 as ‘The Who and Friends,’ and we have an extraordinary legacy that has seen
“With the incredible support of the music industry and our supporters, we’ve been able to continue and grow our work.” unique, once-in-a-lifetime performances like Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn performing together for the first time ever in 2013, Sir Paul McCartney in 2012, plus everyone from Muse to The Cure, Ed Sheeran to Tinie Tempah, Olly Murs, Florence + The Machine, Kasabian, Stereophonics, Paul Weller, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Sir Tom Jones and many more. And, of course, some of the greatest concerts of the past 20 years from The Who. The shows have also played host to the cream of British comedy including Ricky Gervais, Little Britain, James Corden, Steve Coogan, Peter Kay, Jimmy Carr, Jason Manford, John Bishop, Kevin Bridges, Russell Howard, Rhod Gilbert and Russell Brand.
“...curated by the charity’s honorary patron, Roger Daltrey CBE [...] these annual shows have grown into an iconic week-long series of gigs...” These incredible shows have raised over £29million (€33m) for Teenage Cancer Trust and played a vital role in helping the charity provide 28 specialist cancer units and over 60 nursing and support staff in NHS hospitals across the UK, making an incredible difference to young people diagnosed with cancer. Teenage Cancer Trust’s units (hospital wards) certainly don’t look or feel like normal wards, instead they’re designed by young people for young people with vibrant colours, music, pool tables, fun activities and Wi-Fi access. These may sound like small things to some but they help enormously to maintain a sense of normality amongst the disruption of cancer. Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK and need expert treatment and specialist support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer.’ Having cancer is tough at any age but as a young person it brings unique challenges. The psychological, social and emotional impact of cancer on young people is enormous. Imagine, just as life is taking off, cancer shatters everything – your confidence, self-esteem, education, work prospects, hopes and future. Combining treatment with school, friendships and all the usual challenges of this turbulent time of life means it’s even more important to be treated as an individual, not a diagnosis. Teenage Cancer Trust is the only charity dedicated to ensuring no young person risks facing cancer isolated and alone. It’s expert team of specialist nurses and youth support co-ordinators work hard to ensure that the emotional and physical needs of young people and their families are met throughout the entire journey. With the incredible support of the music industry and our supporters, we’ve been able to continue and grow our work. This support also allows us to bring more young people together to be treated by experts in teenage and young adult cancer, in an environment designed just for them. A heartfelt thank you from us all – we couldn’t do it without you! www.teenagecancertrust.org
IQ Magazine March 2019
Tent Waste – A Single-Use Plastics Problem A Greener Festival director, Teresa Moore, reveals details of her extensive studies into the problem of tent waste at festivals.
Question: How long does it take for a tent sent to landfill to decompose? Answer: It’s estimated that it will take between 1,000 and 10,000 years, although landfill archaeologists (yes, they exist) haven’t been around long enough to check.
et again in 2018 we were confronted with the aftermath of festival camping, with image after image of campsite waste, mainly tents, appearing in the press. The “teenage wasteland” of our times. But in fact, waste is a problem that besets many different types of event. Just watching the clear up after Notting Hill Carnival with over 60 tons of waste left behind confirms that waste is a problem not just restricted to festivals. But what is a problem unique to festivals and one that we are all too familiar with is that of single-use tent waste. Why? – reasons and myths Reasons for tent waste are variously given as: lazy punters who couldn’t care less; campers too hungover to dismantle pop-up tents; the weather, it’s wet, it’s muddy and many just want to get home after the party; simple economics, a festival tent, chairs and table cost around £40 in the UK and hold little value so why bother to take home something that’s probably broken and that you’re going to get rid of anyway; marketing, the “festival tent” has come to imply disposability; and of course, peer influence, because “everyone else leaves stuff behind.” We’ve also seen the rise of the “it’s ok to leave your tent as they all go to charity” myth. It started with the best of intentions, a couple of festivals teamed up with charities in a genuine attempt to put leftover tents to good use. Suddenly it became the morally right thing to do and resulted in even more tents being left behind. Those charities are only able to salvage one in ten at best, partly because many are in no fit state for reuse and partly because they don’t have the storage capability to hold many before redistribution. As a result, many festivals now tell their audiences not to leave their tents as they don’t go to charity. Scale of the problem This summer it was estimated that around 20% of tents (one in five) had been left at a major camping festival of 60,000-70,000 campers. If the 2018 figures are accurate this would mean that around 14,000 tents were left at a single large festival. Scale this up across the UK and Europe, and we are potentially looking at hundreds of thousands of discarded tents all adding to the plastic pollution problem.
IQ Magazine March 2019
It’s rather ironic that in 2018, when David Attenborough and the so-called “Blue Planet” effect drew attention to a global plastic-waste emergency inspiring the national conscience to wage war on single-use plastics, that the single-use plastic tent somehow slipped the net. And, of course, there is a financial element to all of this. In 2016, it was estimated that it cost Glastonbury £780,000 to dispose of all the rubbish after the festival, the vast majority coming from the campsite.
“In 2016, it was estimated that it cost Glastonbury £780,000 to dispose of all the rubbish after the festival, the vast majority coming from the campsite.” So, what can be done in 2019? The development of compostable tent materials. There are currently several forms on the market. This may work as a short-term solution, but the term “compostable tent” tends to perpetuate the idea of single-use and disposability when we need to move towards reuse. Glamping is likely to continue to grow with pre-erected tents eliminating a proportion of tent waste. Schemes that have been successful are those that focus on green camping and behaviour change, such as Love Your Tent and Respect schemes at the Isle of Wight Festival, Eco-Camp at Download, and Clean Out Loud at Roskilde. In each case, creating clean campsites and no tent waste. It is only surprising that this approach hasn’t gathered more momentum. It’s my belief that festival organisers with tent-waste problems need to take a serious look at long-term strategies to change festival camping behaviour. Festivals need to introduce green camping as an option and those that already do should focus on expanding their green campsites. Green camping can incorporate much of what the festival audience is looking for in terms of a great camping experience in return for a commitment to change their behaviour. I started with the question “How long does it take for a tent sent to landfill to decompose? This is the wrong question. It should be: “How long will it take for festival campsites to become tent-waste free?”
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline...
Festyvent Year on year, millions of fans happily pay to see their favourite bands and attend their favourite festivals. However, the challenge for artists and promoters alike is that in many cases they have no clue as to who the majority of their fans are, and even for the ones they do know, there is no insight as to what they value and how much they would be willing to pay to access it. Creating insight requires the collection of quality audience data and refinement of that data into clusters of similar people based on artist interest, affluence, life stage, digital fluency, etc. Festyvent’s touring and festival apps are a key pillar for collecting quality audience data, which when combined with ticket data, mailing lists and RFID data are the raw materials for the Festyvent data refinery to produce audience insight. This audience insight re-
moves the guesswork for the creation of successful acquisition, retention and crossselling campaigns; simplifies event planning; and improves conversions when pitching for brand activations. “The ability to view an audience at the individual level is increasingly important to reflect the variations in interests, spending power and channel use,” states Festyvent founder David Jacobs. “You wouldn’t target a recently employed millennial with the same campaign as her 50-something parents. So, while they may live in the same house, Festyvent’s apps and data refinery ensure that the messages they’re sent and the channels that they receive them on are relevant.” Festyvent will showcase their products and services during the New Technology: It’s a Kind of Magic session at ILMC 31 on Thursday 7 March.
Snow Business Snow Business is the world’s leading supplier of winter special effects for the film, TV and live events industries. The company trades in 37 countries around the globe and its work has been seen by most of the planet. Its falling-snow FX machines are the most advanced in the world using patented 3D-printed snow nozzles and full DMX 512 control. In 2018, its machines were used to create winter ef-
fects for Blade Runner 2049, which went on to win both an Oscar and BAFTA for best special effects. Currently, the majority of its physical effects are made from recycled, bio-based and increasingly bio-compostable raw materials. The company’s eco falling-snow fluid has been cleared for use in the tropical biome of the Eden Project in Cornwall in the UK, and for many years Snow Business has been a
Blink Identity Blink Identity’s revolutionary ID-in-motion technology recognises concertgoers at full walking speed in any lighting condition using advanced facial recognition for personalised customer experiences and increased venue safety. And it all happens in the blink of an eye. In live event spaces, Blink Identity’s facial recognition solution allows venue/festival management to provide the frictionless identity of people in motion, up to 60 people a minute per sensor, massively cutting down time spent waiting supplier of winter effects to Greenpeace for its “Save the Arctic” campaign. Snow Business is ISO14001 accredited and an Albert supplier. (Albert is an initiative that helps the UK broadcast industry transition to environmental sustainability – Wearealbert.org.) “In 2017, while working at Glastonbury, I realised that falling-snow FX could be used to reflect and refract light from moving spots and
in lines. This process is completely voluntary as ticket holders enrol in advance by taking a selfie with their mobile phone. Users have complete visibility and control over their data. Once at the venue, concertgoers can use their face – literally – for admission, easily and painlessly. “Eventually, the Blink Identity solution will be expanded to enable guests to buy drinks, merchandise, enter VIP areas, and more – simply by walking past our sensor,” comments Blink Identity founder & CEO, Mary Haskett. lasers, opening up a whole new avenue of business, says head of research and development, Paul Denney. “Building on initial success in this field the company is exploring working in the summer festival scene with its eco-friendly alternative to single-use Mylar and confetti.” Snow Business will be discussing its eco product range at this year’s Green Events and Innovations Conference on Tuesday 5 March.
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IQ Magazine March 2019
IQ Magazine March 2019
After a seven-year hiatus, Snow Patrol are back with a tour that will see them traverse Europe, before once again taking them to the Americas. With 2019 also marking the band’s 25th anniversary, Richard Smirke finds out about their triumphant return to the road.
ack in October 2012, when Snow Patrol were nearing the end of their hugely successful year-long Fallen Empires Tour, their manager Peter Mensch flew out to see them play in Santiago, Chile, and offered some choice advice to the Northern Irish rock band. “I said to them, ‘Gee, let’s not wait three years to make another record,’” he recalls.
now Patrol evidently took the advice to heart, as they didn’t take three years to make a follow-up to Fallen Empires. They took seven. “That was not part of the plan,” dead-pans Mensch. “They are the band that’s taken longer off than any band I’ve ever managed, so I’m learning on the job. There isn’t a playbook: Seven-year Absences for Dummies.” The reason for the group’s prolonged withdrawal, singer-songwriter Gary Lightbody explained last year, was down to his personal struggles with writer’s block, depression and alcoholism. Thankfully, the singer gradually overcame his demons, which helped provide the creative fuel for Wildness, Snow Patrol’s seventh studio album, which was released last May, debuting at No. 2 in the United Kingdom, topping the charts in Ireland, and becoming a top-ten hit throughout Europe.
All photos © Bradley Quinn
IQ Magazine March 2019
“I didn’t know if we’d be able to be as big as we were in 2012. Or if we’d be smaller. Or how much smaller.” Peter Mensch, manager
aving not played live in almost five years, 2018 also saw the long overdue return of Snow Patrol to the touring market, beginning with a small run of 900- to 2,000-capacity shows in England, Ireland and America. They were followed by some European festival dates and a three-month stretch supporting Ed Sheeran on a sell-out run of US stadiums. In December, the band kicked off its own European arena tour, which included sell-out shows at Belfast’s SSE Arena, Arena Birmingham, Dublin’s 3Arena, Glasgow’s The SSE Hydro, London’s The O2 and Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome, as well as dates at Hamburg’s Barclaycard Arena and Berlin’s Velodrom. “I didn’t know what to expect,” admits Mensch about the Wildness Tour, which continues throughout 2019 and includes 21 dates in North America; headline shows in Dubai, Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina; as well as European festival dates and a 33,000-capacity homecoming concert at Ward Park, in the band’s hometown of Bangor, Northern Ireland. “I didn’t know if we’d be able to be as big as we were in 2012. Or if we’d be smaller. Or how much smaller,” continues
Mensch. “When your last dates are six years apart in some cases, you don’t know [if the fan base is still there]. As your audience gets older they get tougher to motivate… [Snow Patrol] could have just disappeared altogether.” “When a band is away for seven years there’s always a little bit of a grey area as to what they are going to come back to, especially with such a changed landscape in the industry,” says X-ray Touring’s Steve Strange, who has been Snow Patrol’s agent since their second album, 2001’s When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up, when the band was playing 80- to 200-capacity rooms. Breakthrough album Final Straw, released two years later, and its 4 million-selling follow-up Eyes Open, featuring the huge global hit Chasing Cars, made Snow Patrol one of the UK’s biggest touring rock bands. They’re popularity may have dipped slightly in the years since then, but they’re still a major touring force around the world, as the success of their latest tour proves. “They don’t have a fickle audience. It’s a very loyal one and my prediction has proved correct,” notes Strange, who says he was “never concerned” about the band’s ability to still move tickets, despite their lengthy time out of the spotlight. “They’re a band that has got a great legacy of hits and that has come back with a very strong record. I’m very happy with where we are. We’re in very good shape for a band that has let a seven-year gap happen between cycles.” X-why-z’s Christian Vadillo-Bilda, who promoted five shows in Germany, notes, “It was hard to predict in the beginning which level of venue we should go for, as the band has been away for such a long time. So we decided to go for a mixture of 5,000-capacity venues to arenas in some markets, and it worked well. We sold out the ‘smaller’ venues and did up to 7,000 tickets on the bigger shows.”
Band members Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Paul Wilson, Jonny Quinn and Johnny McDaid with Crosstown Concerts promoter Conal Dodds, X-ray Touring agent Josh Javor and tour manager Neil Mather, backstage at The O2 Arena in London
IQ Magazine March 2019
efore Snow Patrol could return to the road, however, a comprehensive review of the band’s live set-up was required, explains long-standing tour manager Neil Mather. “The technology had changed so much in the six years they had been away from touring. We went to the lockup and there was equipment there that was at least twice the size of what it now is. The backline pretty much required a complete rebuild from top to bottom along with a reevaluation of the whole set-up.” Rehearsals subsequently took place in London at Music Bank and SW19 at the start of 2018, ahead of the band’s keenly anticipated live return at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on 11 April 2018, swiftly followed by dates at New York’s Irving Plaza and Hollywood’s Fonda Theater. From there, the band travelled to Ireland for a brief run of intimate club and theatre shows before jetting back to America, where they spent three months performing to over a million people as the main support on Ed Sheeran’s gigantic stadium tour. The invite to open for Sheeran came direct from the singer, who supported the band on their 2012 Fallen Empires Tour and has written a number of songs with Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid. For Snow Patrol, “the Sheeran tour was a fantastic opportunity to reposition the band in the States,” says Strange, who credits it with boosting ticket sales for the group’s headline run of US shows in April and May, many of which have since sold out. As well as reacquainting American audiences with Snow Patrol, the Sheeran trek also gave members and crew the chance to work on plans for their own headline tour. “Every day while we were in the States there would be conversations going on about how to make things work, production values and who we should use,” remembers production manager Robin Scott, who oversaw pre-production at Wakefield-based LS-Live while the band rehearsed at London’s Sarm Music Bank ahead of the first arena shows. He says Snow Patrol’s members are “very opinionated” about
CONTRIBUTORS Conal Dodds, Crosstown Concerts; Dave Corbet, DF Concerts; Tim Fortnam-King, Beat the Street; Peter Mensch, manager; Robin Scott, production manager; Steve Strange, X-ray Touring; Derrick Thomson, Mainland Music; & Christian Vadillo Bilda, x-why-z Konzertagentur.
the design, look and sound of their live shows and are closely involved in all aspects of the production. “They know what they like and are always keen to push the production values and make sure people get good value for money.”
IQ Magazine March 2019
“Snow Patrol are a band that can make the smallest venues feel huge and the hugest venues feel intimate.” Conal Dodds, Crosstown Concerts
GAUZE & FX
ighting designer Davy Sherwin says his initial brief for the tour was to create an immersive experience that would make arena-sized venues feel smaller and more intimate but also have quite a minimal look. The group also discussed the idea of placing them inside some form of lighting/projection effect for several songs – a concept that the designer was already exploring and would end up placing at the heart of the show. “There was a lot of homework done on just that projection box idea. What size it needed to be and what materials would work. We did a lot of testing, projecting onto different materials and mimicking what effect mobile-phone camera flashes might have on them,” recalls Sherwin, who used three transparent laser voile gauze screens – provided by JC Joel – which are lowered from the top of the stage to achieve the desired effect. When combined with the rear video wall, the effect makes it appear as if Snow Patrol are performing inside a giant transparent light box onto which custom-made visuals are projected. One particularly impressive moment sees thousands of small particles fill the screens, which move and separate in real time as Gary Lightbody moves around the stage. “As far as I know, it’s never been done before. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it on the touring circuit,”
says Sherwin, who utilised the services of Yorkshire-based Brilliant Stages to build the automation system that houses the gauze screens. The production also incorporates a dazzling array of lighting effects, video content and live cameras relaying the band’s performance. Equipment is supplied by Tring-based Universal Pixels, which is delivering 135m2 of transparent LED, 4 x 30k laser projectors, a nine-camera HD portable production unit and Disguise GX2 Servers, along with a touring video crew of seven. Video content is created by London-based production company Atticus Finch. “Every Snow Patrol tour is visually ambitious and Davy Sherwin has come up with a concept that allows for a wide variety of looks at different sections of the show. It’s not just the equipment that we have provided but how well it is used from start to finish during the show that is remarkable,” comments Universal Pixels’ Phil Mercer. “Even though it’s a more subtle and simple design compared to previous tours, I think this has been the most hard-hitting, striking, and had more of an impact,” believes Sherwin, who says the design will be updated for the band’s Ward Park, Bangor show and subsequent festival dates. “The design that Davy has come up with really complements the music without overshadowing it. It’s very clean with great subtle lighting. We’ve got great laser effects and we’re using a lot of new video and projection elements, which work really well with the set list. Personally, I think it’s the best show that Snow Patrol have ever done, both visually and audio wise,” says Scott, whose association with the group stretches back to the early 2000s when he was their tour manager, driving them around tiny venues in the UK in a splitter van. In contrast, for Snow Patrol’s latest UK tour the five band members and its crew travelled in a fleet of four doubledeck buses, provided by Beat the Street, and accompanied by seven trucks, courtesy of McGuinness Trucking. Beat the Street’s Tim Fortnam-King praises Neil Mather and Robin Scott for “running a tight, efficient ship on an ever-changing
IQ Magazine March 2019
“We went to the lock-up and there was equipment there that was at least twice the size of what it now is.” Neil Mather, tour manager schedule” and says the company is delighted to rekindle its long working relationship with the group. “Snow Patrol have had a bit of a sabbatical but are back and as popular as ever, and we’re proud to be involved again,” states Fortnam-King. Another noticeable change since the band’s last tour in 2012 is the absence of amps or equipment onstage with all the members running their instruments through Kempers. “It’s effectively a completely blank stage,” explains Mather, who agrees with Scott that the current show is the best that Snow Patrol have ever taken on the road. “There’s a great deal of thought that has gone into the production, with some spectacular visuals, graphics and projections, and the band puts everything into making it a great show,” says the tour manager. Mainland Music’s Derrick Thomson, who promoted the band’s show at the Samsung Hall in Zürich on 19 January, comments, “The band are better than ever and are full of positive energy. Snow Patrol have always had great visuals and the production for this tour has been put together very tastefully. It complements what the band is doing onstage and adds to the big emotions of their songs.” Thomson says the group’s commitment to their fans is unparalleled and points to an incident in 2009, when Snow Patrol were playing Swiss music festival Open Air Gampel,
as evidence of the lengths they go to. “[Bassist] Pablo had hurt his arm and was in great pain,” recalls the promoter. “Our doctor gave him a couple of injections in his arm minutes before going onstage. He felt good for the first three quarters of the set but was in agony for the last quarter. They did not cut the set by one minute and never considered pulling the show. That’s dedication to the fans!” Mensch, meanwhile, calls Gary Lightbody “one of the great frontmen of all time.” He adds, “He’s tremendously engaging. He’s funny. He’s witty. He talks to the audience. He makes them laugh. The band plays their songs great and it’s a great show. I wish that more people would come out to see them because they never disappoint.”
ike many people who work with Snow Patrol, Mensch’s history with the band stretches back many years, in his case to February 2007, when Q Prime, the New York-based company he runs with Cliff Burnstein, took over the act’s management. For others in the group’s camp, such as Robin Scott and Davy Sherwin, relationships date back to Snow Patrol’s earliest days; tour manager Neil Mather first worked with the group in 2005 and has been with them ever since. Such long-term bonds create a tight-knit family atmosphere on the road, say those involved, with the same sense of loyalty and deep personal connections extending to the group’s promoters.
IQ Magazine March 2019
“When a band is away for seven years there’s always a little bit of a grey area as to what they are going to come back to, especially with such a changed landscape in the industry.” Steve Strange, X-ray Touring “Snow Patrol are like a family on tour. They are very loyal to the people around them, so when they reach certain milestones it means a great deal to everybody who works with them,” says Conal Dodds of Crosstown Concerts, which promoted the band’s recent sell-out shows at London’s The O2 and The SSE Arena, Wembley. Dodds first show with the band was at London’s 300-capacity The Garage some time at the turn of the century and says their potential was obvious even then. “Snow Patrol are a band that can make the smallest venues feel huge and the hugest venues feel intimate,” he states, adding that despite their success the band’s members don’t take anything for granted. “A lot of planning went into the marketing and promotion for this tour and I’ve been amazed at the effort and personal attention the band, and especially Gary, has paid to this,” praises Dodds. “I’ve worked with a lot of big acts over the years and Gary is the first lead singer to ring up personally and say, ‘What can I do to help sell tickets for this tour?’ It’s an admirable quality and one that quite a few other acts could well do with copying.” Dave Corbet of DF Concerts – which promotes Snow Patrol in Scotland, where the group originally formed – has also worked with the band since the days when they would
support visiting acts at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. “They have dual nationality in terms of being both Irish and Scottish, and Scotland has very much taken them to their heart, as has Ireland,” he states. As a result, the band’s January show at the 13,000-capacity SSE Hydro was a “very easy sellout,” says Corbet. “We’ve got a long-term plan for them, so the idea has always been to keep it to just one night. There will be something else for Scotland in 2019,” he promises, declining to reveal details. Further surprises could be instore later in the year to mark 25 years since Snow Patrol (then called Shrug) first got together in 1994, while studying at the University of Dundee. “We’re going to put out some material and maybe do some more shows,” is the most that Mensch will say on the matter for the time being. As for future plans beyond their current tour, “It’s more great songs, more quickly,” semi-jokes the famously forthright manager. In the meantime, the band will remain on the road for much of 2019 with plans for a run of Asia and Australasia dates in the fall currently being finalised. For Steve Strange, the key to their lasting global appeal is simple: “They are a fantastic live act,” he states. “They’ve got a legacy of great songs that is second to none and they still continue to write amazing songs that audiences love. When a band gets to the point where all the audience wants to do is hear the old songs, that’s when you become a heritage act and Snow Patrol are not a heritage act by any stroke. They’re a very current, modern sounding group. As long as they keep writing great songs. And as long as they keep performing them to the ability that they have been doing for the last 20 years, then I can’t see this truck pulling onto the sidewalk anytime soon.”
IQ Magazine March 2019
Cashing in on Live Music
With the live music industry enjoying unprecedented growth in recent years, external investors are flexing their financial muscles to exploit the popularity and profitability of live events with their big money speculation. Anna Grace reports.
The global live music industry has experienced a significant uptick in fortunes over the past decade. A switch in favour – from listening to recorded music at home, to physically attending the live event – has facilitated immense growth and profitability, driven by escalating ticket prices and the desirability to attend high-end live experiences. This financial success has created a world of possibility for live music events, which are becoming more and more appealing to investors and fans alike. Thanks to consumer preference and industry adaptability, “the sector is growing more rapidly than the economy as a whole,” according to Lisa Boden, partner at Edition Capital, an investment company specialising in the entertainment and leisure industry. “It is therefore an attractive space to invest into,” she adds. Journalist and entertainment stock-market analyst Manfred Tari believes that while traditional industries are becoming saturated with investors, private-equity firms are speculating on different business sectors that have not previously been properly explored. “The stock markets are not delivering the profit margins usually required by investors, so investors are looking into other industries to gain that 10% profit margin or more,” says Tari. “The live music industry is providing one of these different investment fields.”
Private-equity firms are pouring money into the live industry like never before, acquiring stakes in major talentbooking agencies, buying up popular festivals, and entering into partnerships with venue management companies. “Whenever a deal takes place, it shows what kind of strategies are being used by investment companies,” explains Tari. “One particular deal that comes to mind is the merger between AEG facilities and SMG, backed by the huge private-equity company, Onex. This merger explains well what is going on in general – private-equity companies are looking for opportunities and just jumping in.” The newly announced ASM Global merger could boast a portfolio of 310 arenas, stadia, convention centres and performing arts venues, if the deal is given the green light by monopoly watchdogs. The venue management colossus would span five continents and has been hailed by supporters as a “major step” for the live music industry. Meanwhile, in the outdoor space, festivals are proving to be a highly lucrative aspect of the industry. Providence Equity Partners is the private-equity backer of Superstruct Entertainment, a festival owner and operator led by Creamfields founder James Barton. The company has acquired stakes in major European festivals, including Barcelona’s Sónar festival, Hungary’s Sziget, Norway’s Øya Festival and Flow Festival in Finland.
IQ Magazine March 2019
Also tapping into the potential profitability of the festivals sector, Edition Capital serves as an example of one of the investment giants gambling on the continued popularity of the business. Investing in festival promoter Impresario Festivals was “one of the most prominent investments that we as a team made,” says Edition partner, Boden. Through the Impresario Festivals investment, the company acquired a number of UK festival brands “with clearly unique audiences,” such as London’s Field Day, 80s-themed Rewind, and laidback surf festival, Boardmasters. “We sold that business in 2016, more than doubling the investors’ money,” Boden tells IQ. Tari notes, “A main effect that we will see from these kinds of investments, like in the case of Superstruct and Waterland Private Equity, is that private-equity firms will now be looking to consolidate their place, investing in multiple similar companies and synchronising between them.” In December 2018, Netherlands-based investment firm Waterland Private Equity acquired six leading Scandinavian promoters and agencies to create All Things Live, which it described as a “new independent market leader in Nordic live entertainment.” The company, comprising ICO Concerts and
The [live music] sector is growing more rapidly than the economy as a whole.” Lisa Boden, Edition Capital IQ Magazine March 2019
ICO Management; Friction and Atomic Soul Booking; Blixten & Co and Maloney Concerts, represents 140 Nordic artists and promotes almost 3,000 local and international events. All Things Live has a combined annual revenue of €85million, according to the company. “Headliners coming to one event can now be supplied to many concerts across the private-equity firm’s portfolio. That is how these kinds of investments will change business structures,” observes Tari.
It’s all about the experience Live shows and events have not always proved as financially fruitful. Indeed, recorded music dominated the industry as the chief generator of cash flow up until a decade ago, and according to collection society PRS for Music, the change in fortunes for live music in the UK occurred in 2008, with the United States following suit a few years later. The origin of this movement of value from recorded content to live experience transcends the music business, extending to the wider entertainment industry and consumer habits in general. “People, particularly millennials and Generation Z,
Investment are spending increasing amounts of disposable income on doing things rather than owning things,” notes Boden. This tendency to favour live experience over material possessions is commonly referred to as the experience economy, of which “the live entertainment sector is at the forefront,” says Boden. That shift is proving enticing for large investment firms who can see that the live music industry is revelling in changing consumer preference, as leading festival and event promoters tap into the specific trends that accompany the era of the experience economy. “The live experience – festivals and events – brings in a lot of other trends, such as personalisation, relevance and the availability of additional content to augment the experience,” says David Fisher, investment director at Edge Investments, a venture-capital company that specialises in creative industries finance. Fisher explains that the businesses with most growth potential are those that “think about the experience economy and live events in a different way,” making a particular effort to target customers and personalise services. “We are seeing this trend towards personalisation in every industry,” says Fisher. “Being able to understand the customer – what they’ve bought before, which kind of content they enjoy – is vital for offering the right solution to each customer’s requirements.” In February 2019, Edge completed a $4.6m (€4m) investment in Festicket, a ticketing platform that packages together festival tickets, travel, accommodation and add-ons. “An attractive element of Festicket is that they get to know their customers,” Fisher tells IQ. “They identify a target, personalise their services and bring that target to specific customers, hence the ease of their tailored packaging, with festival tickets, accommodation and travel all in one place.” Festicket sent 70 million emails last year, according to Fisher, “ensuring the development of a personal relationship with consumers.” An individualised service and fresh outlook is a must for Boden, too. According to the Edition partner, the most attractive element for a potential investor is “an ability to attract and retain a loyal audience.” She adds, “Ultimately, the event needs to have a unique niche – it can’t just be another middle-of-the-road festival or event.” Indeed, the burgeoning international festival scene and the increasing willingness of festivalgoers to travel abroad is allowing further expansion of the festival market and offering ever more lucrative opportunities to investors. Edition recently invested in Mainstage Festivals, a company that blurs the lines between music festivals and travel, offering festivalgoers a holiday as well as a live music experience. Last year, Mainstage launched Kala, the first international music festival to take place in Albania, receiving critical and public acclaim.
…these investments mean that tickets will get a bit more expensive for fans […] the entire industry set-up is going to change.” Manfred Tari, Journalist & entertainment stock-market analyst
A bright future? As long as the experience economy continues to thrive, the trend of external investors injecting funds into the live music industry shows no signs of slowing down. The creativity and inventiveness of industry professionals, as well as swift technological advances, are enhancing the quality of live experiences, prolonging their impact and keeping both consumers and investors hooked. Boden expects to see “increasing numbers of active firms and active funds” taking an interest in the sector in the short term. If larger players become involved in the future – a prospect that she deems likely – investors will gain more exit routes and the public will receive a greater size and diversity of offerings, she says. Fisher is similarly optimistic: “Bringing investment into an industry is a good thing, as it means businesses can then invest themselves, leading to employment, growth and profit,” he says. “In the UK, the creative industries make up 10% of the GDP. It is important to get investment into such a large sector of our economy.” These investments are providing attractive cash flows for many major festivals, agencies and venues, facilitating further expansion of the booming international live music industry and proving beneficial for all involved. However, the influx of investment may serve to change the live music industry in some less favourable ways, especially for concert attendees and festivalgoers. “Firstly, these investments mean that tickets will get a bit more expensive for fans,” warns Tari. “Secondly, the entire industry set-up is going to change.” In the past, the music industry received funding from impresarios or standalone investors who would work with artists and audiences on a more local, personal level. Nowadays, these kinds of investors are making way for huge corporate companies, dealing on a global level. As a result, “agents now almost have the role of a product manager, so direct relations between the artists and the agent are less meaningful and the industry is becoming more corporatised in general,” says Tari. Artists benefit from this, to a certain extent, due to the significant financial and professional advantages corporatisation brings. However, “fans are mostly not aware of these kinds of developments, and most have no idea that they are paying higher ticket prices for the benefit of investors,” Tari believes. Furthermore, the sector cannot rely upon private-equity cash flows to boost the industry indefinitely. “Any sensible financial investor is investing for one reason: to make a return,” explains Fisher. “Recipients of funding in the live events arena need to be able to provide that return, otherwise the money will dry up and go elsewhere,” he says. Tari echoes the sentiment. “These kinds of investors are looking for live events companies that already have a significant number of artists and a certain financial capacity – they aren’t concerned by the talent involved – it’s all about the financial potential.”
IQ Magazine March 2019
Years in Music
PinoSagliocco 2019 is a landmark year for Live Nation Spain chairman, Pino Sagliocco, as he celebrates his 60th birthday, as well as his 40th anniversary in the music business. Gordon Masson spent a year secretly gathering snippets of information from Pino to pull together this surprise feature to celebrate the great man’s many achievements… Just how do you organise a surprise feature for the shrewdest, most organised man in the music business? It began when Pino took part in the Think Tank at ILMC30 and a number of “accidental” meetings and conversations since: lunch, drinks and enough scribbled notes to fill a book. But as we go to press, Pino is still blissfully unaware of our birthday/work anniversary surprise, so thank you to each and every one of you who managed to keep this secret. It’s somewhat ironic that Spain’s most popular promoter is an Italian. Born in the village of Carinaro on the outskirts of Naples, in 1959, Pino contends that he never really fitted in. “I was an alien in my own village,” is how he describes his childhood. “I was pretty good at school but I had no passion for it and I became used to just sitting in class and reading by myself. I was tall and looked a lot older than I was and I simply didn’t belong in my village any more,” is his explanation of why he left home at just 12 years old. Setting off on his adventures, Pino simply walked to the village railway station with no clothes other than the
IQ Magazine March 2019
jeans and t-shirt he was wearing and boarded the first train. When the train stopped, he found a hotel next to the station, asked for a job and began his working life carrying luggage for guests. Next, he found himself selling fruit in the local market, building the foundations of what would become a highly successful entrepreneurial career.
Making Friends with Folk “At the age of about 15 or 16 I joined a hippy community and entered an alternative cultural world,” he says. It was in this environment that he started to become involved in music, organising concerts and events for the likes of The Chieftains and other folk acts.
Pino Sagliocco Then, as is the case in so many epic tales, along came a girl. “She was from Barcelona, so at the age of 18, I moved to Spain,” he recalls. “Franco had recently died and the city of Barcelona was just full of energy, so it was an exciting time and place to be.” Now, with a growing appetite for promoting, Pino set about building his business, starting out with a show by Celtic harp legend Alan Stivell using a local Barcelona church as a venue. “I wanted to do things that nobody had done before, so everything had to be a bit different to make the experience special – I remember doing shows with Greek singer Georges Moustaki, who was the boyfriend of Edith Piaf.” Interested in anything avant garde, Pino found himself falling in love with Studio 54 in Barcelona and, exercising his legendary powers of persuasion, cajoled the club’s owners into allowing him to put on similarly branded events in Ibiza and Madrid. “At the time, all the bands that were coming to Spain were big and established acts – Guy Mercader had the likes of The Stones etc, sewn up. But I got bands like ABC, Spandau Ballet, Talk Talk, Imagination, Simple Minds and Sade to start coming to Spain when they were still relatively unknown,” says Pino. Having established Ibiza as his second home, one evening Pino bumped into Queen drummer Roger Taylor in one of the island’s nightclubs. “It was 1985 and Roger was kind enough to introduce me to the band’s manager, Jim Beach, and on the back of that, I got to work on the Magic Tour.” Pino’s association with Queen and iconic frontman Freddie Mercury started there. The Queen tour broke the mould in Spain, as it visited the country in August, a month when everything traditionally closes down for holidays. Anxious that the three dates in Barcelona, Madrid and Marbella would flop, Pino convinced Mercury to do a press interview ahead of the first show – something that the singer rarely did – and the result was three massively successful nights.
“Franco had recently died and the city of Barcelona was just full of energy, so it was an exciting time and place to be.” “Around the same time, I was getting an idea to do something big for television in Ibiza and one night I was hanging out with a Spanish band at my house when an interview with Queen was shown on TV that I had never seen before. During the programme, Freddie was asked if there were any Spanish artists he would like to work with and he mentioned the opera star, Monserrat Caballé.” Following much collaboration with Jim Beach, Pino managed to arrange a meeting between the two singers on 24 March 1987 at a hotel in Barcelona, where Mercury brought along a demo of a song he had co-written in the hope Cabellé would agree to record a duet with him. “On 29 May they opened my Ibiza 92 show with the premiere of the song Barcelona – it was magical,” says Pino, adding that acts also on the bill for that TV extravaganza from the White Isle included Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Chris Rea, Poison, Nona Hendryx, Marillion and Spanish acts Hombres G and E Último de la Fila. “The TV show was seen in 31 countries worldwide and the collaboration between Monserrat Caballé and Freddie
Pino with the Rolling Stones and Barcelona Mayor, Pasqual Maragall; on the road with Joaquin Cortés; introducing Freddie Mercury to Monserrat Caballé; and meeting Elton John backstage.
IQ Magazine March 2019
Pino Sagliocco Fun times with Lemmy Kilmister
Testimonials I met Pino in a Spanish prison in the 1970s and overnight we became really close. He told me of his dream to be the Spanish president, but, sadly, he only became the Spanish promoter. He and I rarely speak because of the language difficulty but truly he reminds me of a good bottle of Rioja – just be careful not to spill any on your clothes. I love you, Pino, and always will.
Carl Leighton-Pope, Leighton-Pope Organisation Pino – one of a kind. Mercury was a huge hit. They performed together for the last time in 1988 when they sang the song to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Flag in Barcelona from Seoul. I had been asked to organise something for the occasion, so they performed to 100,000 people in front of the Fountains of Montjuïc and shared a stage with Spandau Ballet, Eddie Grant, Jerry Lee Lewis and Suzanne Vega, as well as Rudolf Nureyev and flamenco dancers, with Freddie and Monserrat closing the show. It was amazing – I won a gold medal for the show, which I like to joke was the first gold given for the Barcelona Olympics.” Having chalked up so many landmark moments in his 40-year career, you could forgive Pino Sagliocco for taking some time out to reflect on his achievements. But it’s easier to get him to talk about future projects rather than recount historic successes. “I like to do crazy things,” he admits. “It you can put enough passion into something, then you can make it happen. Rock & roll is up and down but if you deliver a good job then it is enough to survive in this great business.” One of the common themes that emerges from speaking to anyone about Pino Sagliocco, is his hospitality, both for visiting colleagues and, especially, artists. “When people come here, I try to make it as much like home for them as possible,” he explains. “The way I look at it, my job is not just to take care of the business but also to give visitors a flavour of the country. If
Rob Markus, WME Pino is as rock & roll as a promoter can get!
Leon Ramakers, Mojo Concerts Pino is only 60? That makes me feel great… Pino Sagliocco is the consummate party man – he loves good food, good wine and beautiful people.
Barry Dickins, ITB I have known Pino since he was Italian!
Rob Hallett, Robomagic We have to thank Spain for: paella, Manchego, Pata Negra, Cabrales, Rafa Nadal, Real Madrid FC, Barcelona FC, Seve Ballesteros, Vega Sicilia Gran Reserva, and Pino Sagliocco. Feliz cumpleaños!
Bill Curbishley, Trinifold Management I first met Pino with Iain Hill at a Joaquin Cortés show in the Royal Albert Hall. We’ve never actually done business together but that means I’ve never lost Pino any money, so maybe that’s why he greets me like a long-lost cousin.
Steve Hedges, Midnight Mango Pino is a true original who is as passionate about what he does today as he was when I first met him 25 years ago. He’s one of the most creative promoters to work with, and the most hospitable. Many congratulations on 40 years in the business, Pino, and I wish you many more years of success and happiness.
Tony Goldring, WME Entertainment
Pino became good friends with Michael Jackson
IQ Magazine March 2019
Pino Sagliocco Frank Sinatra is among the many musical legends Pino has brought to Barcelona
people have been on the road for weeks and weeks, it’s good to give them the opportunity to have a break in that routine, whether that is by taking them to good restaurants, or parties, or even museums and cultural venues.” Indeed, among the special events he has lined up for visiting artists was a private tour of Museo del Prado for Madonna and a special late-night flamenco show for Mick Jagger. “I try to make everyone’s visit here memorable, whether they are artists, managers, agents or whoever – and in turn they talk about their experiences to others, which sometimes results in another big act requesting to come to Spain.”
Friends & Influences
“Rock & roll is up and down but if you deliver a good job then it is enough to survive in this great business.”
Pino has been responsible for bringing some of the world’s biggest artists to Spain over the last four decades and among the friendships he has enjoyed over the years are Frank Sinatra, who played the Palau Sant Jordi in 1992, Michael Jackson and Frank Zappa. “I’ve had long-term relationships with many people and I’ve been really lucky to meet so many amazingly talented individuals,” he says. But when it comes to mentors, Pino states, “There wasn’t really anybody who taught me about the business – it was the work itself that provided the education.” In saying that, he cites Jim Beach as being hugely influential on his career, while he adds, “If I needed inspiration to do anything, I’d look at the likes of Bill Graham and Barrie Marshall.”
IQ Magazine March 2019
Pino promoted George Michael multiple times in Spain during his career
Testimonials Pino is a first class – World class concert promoter. He always puts the artist first and is one of the most creative concert promoters around. He is a Legend and I am humbled to work alongside him at Live Nation, but even more I am honoured to call him my friend. All my Love to Pino – congratulations!!
Bret Gallagher, Live Nation Pino is one of my favourite people in the world. He\s always given me great help, guidance and advice and he has a vast knowledge of the music industry. It’s amazing how, as a rock n roll promoter, he has embraced EDM music festivals – he came up with the concept for `Barcelona Beach Festival and now all the big DJs around the world want to play that event because it is so good. He has been a huge supporter of me as a female agent and as well as being the most gracious host and friend, he always delivers on the business side too. He is an intelligent and classy human being – a force for good. The music industry needs more Pinos!
Maria May, CAA Pino has all my respect. He was the first to promote concerts at Studio 54 in Barcelona, currently named BARTS. Tina Turner, Simple Minds, Nina Hagen were among those who passed through his hands in a moment that live music in Spain was a tough business. In the late 80’s, when I founded my company The Project, our offices where side by side. We used to lunch together once or twice per week and after, we usually went to his office to have a coffee. Pino did not stop talking about his vision of the business. I was 25-years-old and fascinated. One day he said to me: “Tito, I don’t want to deal anymore with agents, I need to focus on my specials and live TV events and I don’t have time to waste on tours”. So he gave me dozens of faxes and said, “go to your office and work it out.” 25 years later he is still on top of the showbiz world and, of course, dealing with the agents. Grande Pino!
Tito Ramoneda, The Project As a foreigner trying to make it in another country, I always admired how the boy from Naples took it to the Spanish. The old days were dominated by Guy Mercader, and then along came the whirlwind that is Pino. Pino is a promoter in the true sense of the word – when he’s “on” there is no one better at the art of old-fashioned, creative promotion. Part hustler, part salesman but always passionate about his tasks, Pino can not only talk the legs off a donkey but also sell snow to the Eskimos with his marketing talent and skills. Pino remains one of the great entrepreneurial innovative promoters in an age when the world is changing fast. Managers and artists stay loyal to Pino because they can readily see his belief, energy and dedication – not to mention his style! He is one of the great social characters. The great Italian cavaliere – always fun in the bar!
When it comes to the cut-throat nature of the business, Pino is remarkably laid back compared to some of his peers. “I believe in karma,” he reveals. “I’ve never tried to fight my competitors – there is enough room for everyone in this business and it’s great to see other promoters and companies also doing well, for the artists, the fans and the general health of the music industry.”
Frock’n Disaster While there have been thousands of successful shows and tours, it’s not all been plain sailing for Pino in his career and he recalls one particular low point involving one of his heroes. “In 2001, we organised something called Frock ‘n’ Roll, which was a charity fundraising event that brought together fashion and music to try to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Foundation for Children.” The event, held in the Palau Sant Jordi, had a capacity of around 15,000 but on the day just 3,000 turned up for the show, despite the fact that Mandela himself attended. “People just didn’t capture the message and that broke my heart,” admits Pino. “The intention was good but we just didn’t sell out: sometimes the message and endorsement is not understood and in the end, the concept of fashion and rock did not reach out to enough people.” Nonetheless, getting to meet Mandela remains one of Pino’s favourite moments. “He just came across as a very special man, so it was humbling to be in his presence.”
Andrew Zweck, Sensible Events Bono, Joaquin Cortés and Pino
IQ Magazine March 2019
Pino Sagliocco Pino’s relationship wtih Depeche Mode spans many decades
Testimonials Pino has always been guided by the following quotes: “I was always independent, even when I had partners”; and “Get pleasure out of life as much as you can. Nobody ever dies from pleasure.” One area where Pino has excelled is his pioneering work in using television to relay footage of concerts to millions of people around the world, often highlighting social and political messages at the same time. “One of the things I’ve tried to do over the years is to immortalise certain events, and with TV you can do that,” he notes. Among the live show credits Pino has been involved in producing for TV are: the Rolling Stones’ Urban Jungle film, Witness at La Coruña, Paul Simon in San Sebastián, Frank Zappa in Barcelona, George Michael in Madrid, and Frank Sinatra in Barcelona. “These films were a great way to sell cities to the world and to help put Spain on the map for millions of people around the globe,” he observes. One of his most historic televised shows was in 1991 when he helped organise an Amnesty International benefit in Chile’s national stadium to mark the fall of the Pinochet regime. “We brought in the money and the TV to do that show – it was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever been involved with.” And it’s the small-screen medium that delivered him one his proudest achievements, when he encouraged Spanish legend Camarón de la Isla to televise one of his final concerts. Pino explains that having convinced Claude Nobs to promote the flamenco superstar at Montreux Jazz Festival, Quincy Jones became involved, and he, in turn, persuaded Sony Japan to take part in a film project. “So it was filmed in HD and 5:1 sound – the absolute state of the art at the time,” says Pino. “It was just one year before Camarón died but because we have it, future generations will be able to see Camarón live in this superb hi-tech way.” Pino’s love of flamenco is palpable – he once owned a specialist flamenco record label and spent much of his time in the 1990s touring the world with dancer Joaquin Cortés. “I conquered the world with him,” smiles Pino. “It was incredible – Giorgio Armani did the wardrobe and he performed at the Grammy’s, the Oscars, the MTV Awards and became a major
Marcel Avram, European Concert Agency Pino is one of the great characters and visionaries in the business.
Dennis Arfa, Artist Group International The thing I think of most – apart from Pino’s presence and charisma, which is immense – is his passion for music, his creative capabilities, and the overall approach he has to the concerts he is producing – making them major events with additional artist-aligned activities that are in keeping with the artist’s stature. Pino is utterly charming, great fun, and let’s not forget his fantastic taste in wine.
Barrie Marshall, Marshall Arts Congratulations, Pino! I have always admired your courage, madness and creativity over 40 years in the music business. You are one of a kind. All the artists, and us, your colleagues, really appreciate your professionalism.
Chen Castaño, Planet Events I’ve known Pino for 40 years. Who is Pino? Pino is Pino. He is unique. He reminds me of D’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers. Pino is family. Once he told me: “One of your guests at one of my concerts is a guest of mine, and to make him feel comfortable, I’ll put him on the stage to see the show!”
Roberto De Luca, Live Nation Italy Pino is a one-off character – the Italian Spaniard; there is nobody else like him. I can’t imagine there being anyone else who could persuade even the Eagles to join him in a night-club! Pino is full of life and he still attacks the business like he is 20 years old. Pino always looks after his acts and his hospitality is second to none. He’s great fun to be around and I wish him all the very best for a long future in our business.
Phil Bowdery, Live Nation Pino is larger than life. He is very important figure in the Spanish Music Industry - we’ve been partners for a long time and we have a good friendship.
Gay Mercader, Live Nation Pino with the late Amy Winehouse
IQ Magazine March 2019
Pino Sagliocco Pino’s creative vision for Barcelona Beach Festival has seen him become friends with superstar DJs such as David Guetta
Testimonials When Pinochet lost the election to decency in the late 80s, I was asked to produce a two concert in Chile’s national stadium. We needed to find the money, so we used Pino’s inspiration, devotion and professionalism to underwrite and do the concert the way it should be done. We sold over 170,000 seats and Sting called it the best moment in his career. At a key moment, Pino took me to the top of the stadium saying, ‘Jack, look what you have done’. But it was Pino’s present, not mine. I pray for another 60 years at least for my friend – we still need him.
Jack Healy, human rights activist The world has changed a lot, but I am happy to say Pino has not; he is still the same honest, family man, generous friend and, most importantly, man of his word. Working or playing, winning or losing, with or without money, with Pino what you see is what you get. Circumstances have not changed you, Pino. Never change, we are very proud of you.
Mike Hewitt, former owner of Gloris Ibiza and Studio 54 Barcelona I first met Pino whilst I was working at ITB, Rod MacSween introduced us and we hit it off immediately. Some years ago, we went to Amnesia in Ibiza for some fun. I had to bail on him at 7am, utterly broken, and when I called him the next day with the king of hangovers to asked him how he was doing he simply replied, ‘Oh mate, still going, went to straight to Barcelona from the club and I’m having lunch with Elton right now” … so Pino, so annoying. Pino always has time to hear about a problem that might exist for his friends or clients, to which he brings his incredible energy and nine times out of ten fixes it without hesitation. I love him, his beautiful family and all the positive and creative things he stands for.
David Levy, WME Entertainment Spending time with Pino is a life-enhancing experience. Day in, day out Pino lives life to the maximum. He works full out 24/7 and I have seen him close deals in a short taxi ride through London or Los Angeles, that it would take most people weeks to get done. When you spend any amount of time with the mighty Pino you very soon learn a simple maxim: “Resistance is Futile”!
Barnaby Harrod, Mercury Wheels Pino still has the creativity and imagination to invent new events, to have a new approach on promotion and marketing , to enjoy life, to surprise people.
Herman Schueremans, Live Nation
“I’ve been married twice, but to the same woman. Nothing is more important to me than family.” star all over the world. I toured the world with Joaquin for nine years, visiting some incredible countries and meeting some amazing human beings who I’ve been fortunate enough to stay friends with. Dance is a very cultural world, but I used all the rock promoters for Joaquin’s shows and they helped make him into a superstar.”
Developing Spain’s Live Music Industry Looking back over his forty years in the business, Pino has witnessed the professionalism improving by leaps and bounds. “Back in history there were only a few of us promoters to choose from. But now the business is much more corporate and structured and we have amazing people and a load of fantastic festivals that can help artists take their career to the next level,” he says. “With people like Paco Martinez we have built an incredible team at Live Nation who can reach anywhere and everywhere to help bring artists to the best light. I cannot praise the team enough – we all work very hard to offer people what we think is the best way for acts to present themselves, and I’m confident that the next generation of promoters will take the business on to amazing things. “People like Barnaby Harrod are doing great work with all kinds of new talented artists and among the Live Nation promoters there seems to be genuine competition and a desire to find and break the next big star.”
IQ Magazine March 2019
Pino Sagliocco Barcelona resident Shakira is a good friend of Pino
Pino is an incredible guy and always a tonne of fun! As a promoter, he is passionate and creative, and as a person, always warm and sincere. I’m lucky to have him as a friend.
Shane Bourbonnais, Live Nation I’ve known Pino for more than 30 years and during that time I can recall thousands of experiences. But mostly I would like to emphasise what great admiration and respect all artists show him – the biggest global acts have been enchanted by Pino’s creativity and sympathy. I’ve shared with him many funny situations, too, like once he made the Grammy’s director dance for him in her office to convince him that his artist (an unknown act at that time) should perform at the awards alongside a global star. Or another time when he literally dragged an artist to the stage because he was unwilling to perform. Lots of great memories at the after-shows, too.
Marcos Calvo, L.A. Rock Entertainment My relationship with Pino is not only about the historic concert we had in the old stadium, the Vincente Calderón, or the concerts we have had in the Wanda Metropolitano, or even the unbelievable energy he transmits every time you meet him in person – he is an amazing professional and the things he is able to build are astonishing. But for me, there are two attributes I would like to highlight about Pino: firstly, he has a unique capacity to take care of friends and to make them feel special; and secondly, he has an incredible talent when it comes to making spaghetti. I will never eat better pasta than when Pino cooks it, particularly when it is in Ibiza. I believe his spaghetti is something that everyone should taste at least once in their lives.
Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, Atlético Madrid
Family Man In addition to his world-renowned hospitality, Pino has a reputation among agents, artists and acquaintances, for his mastery of the kitchen. Food is mentioned a lot by those fortunate enough to spend any time in his company, but for a very lucky select few, he offers the keys to the gastronomic world of Sagliocco. “I cook for friends only,” he reports. “I make it a real culinary experience but it’s something I love to do. Sometimes I organise parties where I cook with some of the best chefs in the world to make it a special experience for the people I love.” Central to that love are Pino’s family – children Giulia, Luis and Maria, and wife Lorena. “I’ve been married twice, but to the same woman,” he says. “Nothing is more important to me than family. The greatest person in my life has been my wife and there is nobody who is more blessed than me; I’m a very lucky man.” Underlining that desire to put family first, during one conversation in late 2018, Pino finds himself in a kitchen in
Pino came all the way from Ibiza to Edinburgh one day to have dinner with Peter on our last trip to Scotland, at the tail end of 2013, just because Peter said he would like to see him. It was the last time they saw each other in private, and it meant the world to Peter that he came. Then the poor chap had to go all the way back the next day. Pino has always talked about making a movie of his life – he would be played by Antonio Banderas! When he ran away from home, he lived traipsing around Europe, with hobos, druggies and prostitutes, travelling by trains all over the place, and was very well looked after by all and sundry. His introduction to Lorena was dramatic – wooing her with roses every day for a month and persuading her spinster aunts to let her go away with him. It would make a great movie! Sending a huge hug from Peter and I for the most important man in Spain!
Carolyn Grosslight Pino with KISS singer/guitarist Paul Stanley
IQ Magazine March 2019
Testimonials The flamenco dancer Joaquín Cortés was scheduled to perform a number for a Green Cross Gala show at the Royal Albert Hall, in the middle of his hugely successful run of 11 shows. He was being a diva and told Pino he wasn’t going to perform. Pino left him at the hotel and went to the Cortés dressing room in the Albert Hall and proceed to get into Joaquin’s stage clothes (which just happened to be a samurai style, wide-legged outfit, and a bare torso!) The band and dancers thought this hilarious and went along with it, getting ready for the show as normal. Word soon got back to Joaquin, who stormed into the dressing room to confront Pino who by this time was having stage make-up applied. Asked to explain what was going on, Pino’s reply was deadpan: “We committed to this show; it’s a really good cause and it gives you great exposure. I gave my word to the organisers, so one of us is going out there to dance.” Looking back now, it’s a real shame it wasn’t Pino!!!
Iain Hill, Live Nation
Pino’s lust for life is infectious. His dancing is always a delight to behold! Pino was a great friend of Peter Grosslight, who I also greatly admired and miss. When Peter passed away Pino held an event at his home in Ibiza and delivered a spoken tribute, which was heartfelt and full of love. Pino and his wife Lorena are splendid hosts and his family have always shown my family the most generous and gracious hospitality when visiting them. He loves to take care of you and I am happy to let him! Pino, you are a rock star!
“I love music and I still love the craziness of this business, but my biggest passion in life now is my family.” Colorado. “The children are out on the mountain skiing,” he reports. “I do not ski but they love it, so I’m very happy to bring them here – and I’m very happy, too, preparing food for them and opening many very good bottles of wine for me.” And that conversation leads him to some of his favourite family memories, where he annually crowned his mother as the Queen of Ibiza. “I would have a big party at KU Club every year and it was a very, very glamorous event,” he recalls. “My mother was embarrassed to say that she was from a village in the countryside, so I decided to make the party for my mum, where all the guests would come by and pay tribute to her. It was great fun and gave my mother some great memories: she would smile like a baby as these superstars would kiss her hand and introduce themselves, as if she was royalty. “It was also great, for me, that the best party in Ibiza was an Italian night – I’ve always tried to represent Italy to the world.” That ambassadorial role was officially recognised by the country of his birth when, in 2017, Pino was made a cavaliere (knight) of Order of the Star of Italy, an order of chivalry awarded to those who have boosted the profile of Italy abroad. “It was not something that I ever expected,” he says. “My father used to say that his friends would tell him that they would not know what to do with a boy like me. Now they tell him fond stories about when I was a child and used to play with their kids…” He concludes, “I love music and I still love the craziness of this business, but my biggest passion in life now is my family – not just my wife and kids but also my brothers and sister who are great friends. Today, that’s what makes me feel fulfilled. But I’m still in very good health, so I plan to keep doing the job that I love, working with artists who I love and doing it all to allow me to indulge my number one passion – my family.”
Russell Warby, WME Entertainment Our management team has been working with Pino since 2006 and he was one of the first promoters I met in my career. Pino always stands out because of his kind attention and gentlemanliness. He makes you feel very important when you talk to him. He is one of the few (promoters) that emphasises the importance of the venue within a production. Also, he always involves you in the production, for instance, introducing us (the management of the venue) to the artist manager. Pino always treats us exquisitely. He has a very good sense for gastronomy, and he always trusts me for restaurant recommendations when he comes to Madrid. Pino is obviously an essential part of Spain´s music history, and his main asset is that you can see he really enjoys what he does.
Paz Aparicio, Wiz Centre Madrid Paul McCartney’s long career has seen him work with Pino since the 1990s
IQ Magazine March 2019
My Breakthrough Moment... Hard work, knowing the right people and a slice of good luck can all play a part in getting a proper footing on the career ladder. In a new series, IQ Magazine puts some ILMC regulars in the spotlight by asking thems to share the stories of their breakthrough moments…
Joe Schavion, Live Nation
he turning point for me was getting an email out of the blue from a guy called Nick Dewey who was looking for someone to join his festival booking team. It wasn’t a name I’d heard before, so I called up Laura Taylor of Everybody’s Management asking: “Who is he?” She said: “It’s Emily Eavis’s husband.” It was Nick from the festival I grew up idolising. I remember the date very clearly as it was 1 April so I thought it might be a wind-up, but I went to meet Nick and began helping out on bookings for Glastonbury, which was amazing. That experience led to agents taking me more seriously and national promoters getting in touch, including Sam Bush from Global. Sam and I instantly hit it off and worked together for a couple of years before both being offered the opportunity to join Live Nation. I now find myself in the room where the biggest tours in the world – Drake, Taylor Swift, Guns N’ Roses – are being discussed and I’m learning so much all the time. The infrastructure is in place around me, now I just need to become the biggest and best promoter I can be.
Kim Bloem, Mojo Concerts
hen I started as a booker of mostly jazz shows in 2001, there was one artist that I could not imagine ever promoting... Prince. Being a huge fan and just starting as a booker, doing so was completely out of my league, and I thought that IF I did ever do it, I would then quit my job as it would have been the highest achievement possible. Jazz and related music then became more widely supported by the general public through the likes of Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, Michael Bublé and John Legend. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right moment. I had picked up on these artists and suddenly I was going to promote them for bigger audiences than I was used to, and the idea of being a part of what made an artist’s career fly made me feel like I was really contributing to something – it was the first time I ordered champagne and flowers for the dressing rooms. In 2004, Norah Jones sold out two Heineken Music Hall (HMH) shows. This was when the bosses at Mojo asked me to become a promoter and book bigger shows, which was a turning point in my career.
IQ Magazine March 2019
A year later, Jamie Cullum became the new, crazy jazz kid in town and was immensely popular, selling three HMHs, while Bublé started selling a lot of tickets and went from theatre-level to the football stadium GelreDome. John Legend sold from HMH-level to 18,000 tickets in a field, and Jason Mraz did the same, all beyond expectation. And then, in 2010, I received a call asking me to put on a show with Prince in a stadium, within two weeks – a dream come true! But as I had become addicted to this business, I’m still here, and celebrating every show that gets confirmed, big or small.
Steve Tilley, Kilimanjaro Live
was new at Kilimanjaro in August 2008, and the enormity of the challenge to build a roster weighed heavily. I felt I had my work cut out to compete on the national level. I saw Frightened Rabbit go first on at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in early October and knew they had a bright future! It was just a hunch but I enthusiastically told their then-agent Jess that a headline Scala show would be a no-brainer. As a fan, I knew that The Midnight Organ Fight was going to clean up in the end-of-year album polls. Jess was overjoyed to hear my suggestion because rival promoters for the artist were not showing the same ambition. By late November, my first-ever Scala show was confirmed for the following April. Frightened Rabbit were already booked to open for Biffy Clyro at their December 2008 Brixton Academy show and I was introduced to band members as I was flyering the queue myself. No doubt that made some kind of impression! The Scala sold out and on the night Steve Strange turned up as he had just taken on the band. He assured me I was still the guy to promote the band in London (and elsewhere) and a little bit more of me started to really believe I could make it as a national promoter. When Scott Hutchison passed away last year, it was just over nine years since the Scala show. His death happened right on the eve of my huge outdoor gigs with Ed Sheeran, so I had to deal with the tragedy of a lost friend whilst also trying to celebrate a personal career milestone that in 2008 seemed like a world inhabited by others. Talk about mixed emotions. 2018 therefore became my tribute to Scott because the belief he and his band showed in me was something that gave me even more belief in myself. I wish, like many others, that I could bring him back. He was loved by so many. So thank you, Scott (and Grant, Billy and Andy).
IQ Magazine March 2019
Claire O’Neill, A Greener Festival
fter studying music industry management at BCUC (interspersed with psychedelic adventures of cosmic exploration in the woods and across mainland Europe) in 2005, I decided to focus my dissertation on Should UK Music Festivals Implement Environmentally Friendly Practices? The reasoning: there was a staggering disparity between how major festivals were being operated, and what was both possible and necessary for the industry to be greener. There was no way the “big boys” were going to be swayed to change business as usual by rave-culture, revolution rhetoric alone. I needed a strategy! This strategy was to show that paying audiences wanted greener festivals, and to give clear examples of how this was possible. Regardless of the content and the intent, dissertations are destined to gather dust in a draw for eternity. Or so I thought. Luckily for me, my intellectual property and contract law lecturer, Ben Challis, kindly read my dissertation as I sought his sagely critique from his years of work with Glastonbury Festival, Yourope, and the live music industry in general. It was thanks to Ben that our dear friend and my classmate, Luke Westbury, turned the findings of the dissertation into a website – Agreenerfestival.com. Festivals started calling. Ben also suggested to ILMC (I think ILMC 18 or 19) that I should present my research. I found myself fresh out of uni giving my first presentation and panel discussion with a packed room of ILMC delegates, sharing the stage with then-MD of Live Nation, Stuart Galbraith, someone from the aviation industry who provides private jets for artists, and with Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn in the front row. It was a baptism of fire for which I am very grateful. Twelve or so years later, and A Greener Festival has assessed and certified circa 500 festivals worldwide including heavyweights like Glastonbury and Roskilde Festival; organised the Green Events & Innovations Conference (now in its 11th year) alongside ILMC; and trained over 100 sustainability managers and assessors from 15+ countries.
IQ Magazine March 2019
BIG Country A new generation of radio-friendly performers, visionary promoters and international events are at the forefront of a global country music revolution, finds Jon Chapple
official: country music is cool. Long stigmatised as restrictively America-centric, country, shed of many of its unfashionable ‘country and western’ trappings, is finding a new generation of loyal fans in the UK, Europe and Australasia, playlisted on commercial radio and championed by tastemakers at Vice, i-D and the NME. Riding on the rise of festivals like AEG’s UK-born Country to Country phenomenon (now in five countries and counting), crossover success for artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Midland, and Kacey Musgraves; European radio support and the backing of the Country Music Association, country is increasingly big business outside its US heartland – with visiting Nashville A-listers, as well as a mounting number of homegrown acts, helping to build a major new touring market.
A SLICE OF THE AMERICAN PIE
ccording to WME Entertainment agent Akiko Rogers, global bookings for WME’s country and Americana artists have increased 14-fold in the past decade alone. “In 2009, 27 international dates were booked out of Nashville, all comprising country artists,” says Rogers, whose roster includes both country (Thomas Rhett, Frankie Davies) and non-country artists (Greta Van Fleet, Alanis Morissette), as well as those sitting somewhere in between (rising southern rockers The Marcus King Band). “In 2018, that number went to 400 booked international dates comprising country and Americana artists, and sometimes a hybrid of both.”
IQ Magazine March 2019
“The market interest in country music only continues to grow with the demand for US acts to tour internationally,” adds US-born, London-based UTA senior agent Sean Goulding, whose country roster includes Jimmie Allen, Ashley Campbell, Logan Mize, the Wood Brothers and High Valley. “C2C [Country to Country] London, the landmark international country music festival, has been growing steadily since its inception in 2013, which is a good indicator of the genre’s impact. Having expanded to Scotland and Ireland previously, it’s now visiting Amsterdam and Berlin this year. A number of our clients have performed at it over the past few years, using it as a springboard for the international market.” The majority of promoters, agents and managers interviewed by IQ highlighted the C2C phenomenon, as well its various international spin-offs (in addition to Britain, the Irish republic, the Netherlands and Germany, there are also two Country to Country festivals in Australia) as being key to country music’s explosive growth in new markets over the past five years. Chris York of SJM Concerts, which created the C2C in partnership with AEG, says the festival’s genesis formed part of a “conscious decision” to build and grow the market for country music in the UK. “I’d always perceived country as being promoted in a very old-fashioned way,” York explains. It was all about, ‘We’ll pay them some money, put on a show at Wembley, maybe get a tour out of it…’ They weren’t interested in building a community.” In contrast, York continues, C2C – bolstered by support from radio DJs such as Radio 2’s Bob Harris and Chris Country’s
“We’ve got a momentum going now, and more and more fans are discovering they like country music.” Milly Olykan, Country Music Association
Country “Artists who historically did not want to travel outside of the US are standing in a queue to bring their music across the pond.” Akiko Rogers, WME Chris Stevens – helped to establish a tight-knit community of fans, to the point where there is also now a sizeable country touring market in the UK. “We did 45,000 tickets in London [for C2C 2018]. Four or five years ago that would have been beyond comprehension.” Live Nation’s Anna-Sophie Mertens started promoting in her own right three years ago, and is now the “go-to person” for country shows in the company’s UK office, she explains. She says the number of country acts who want to play in the UK has more than doubled since then, including both big names worthy of headlining C2C and smaller emerging acts keen to stake a claim in the increasingly crowded country touring market.
dd hit drama series Nashville into that mix, too, suggests Milly Olykan, vice-president of international relations and development at the influential Nashvillebased Country Music Association (CMA). “The contributing factors in those first five years [since the launch of C2C] were the Internet, the TV show Nashville, and Taylor Swift, but now we can add to that with the growth of C2C and, as a result, the volume of live touring and the radio support of the BBC,” says Olykan, who, as VP of live music at AEG Europe, set up C2C UK alongside York. “Radio 2 and Bob Harris have been long-time supporters, and this year we saw BBC Radio 1 play-listing country for the first time. “We’ve got a momentum going now, and more and more fans are discovering they like country music.” In Germany, promoter Oliver Hoppe of Wizard Promotions also identifies Nashville as being a key driver of interest in country music – and ticket sales. “Our most successful tour so far is Charles Esten from the Nashville TV show,” he says. “One thousand five hundred tickets, five dates, all sold out.” Hoppe, who describes himself as the go-to “country guy” in Germany, says the popularity of country music accelerated “six or seven years ago” after the CMA set its sights on conquering Europe. “A year or two before C2C in London started, we started to pick up shows here in Germany,” he explains. “Ossy [Hoppe, Wizard Promotions founder] used to bring Garth Brooks here in the ’90s. “That was a completely different animal – it was a worldwide phenomenon, and he played arenas over here that sold out instantly. It really picked up when the
CMA put Europe on the agenda and we started doing grassroots work bringing over country and Americana acts.” Hoppe says while the market is still “some years behind” Britain, “country is on the rise in Germany. “It was a trickle at the beginning, but for every show we put on, more people come the second time around. We started with one country tour – The Band Perry, in 2012 – and now we’re at 25. We’ve been growing the market very organically but the interest is definitely there.” The growth of country festivals such as C2C and CMC Rocks has been “instrumental in swinging the pendulum” towards country music outside the US, maintains Rogers. “Artists who historically did not want to travel outside of the US are standing in a queue to bring their music across the pond, to share experiences and life stories… I always love it when they return to the US with their stories of fans in Germany, Sweden, Belgium or Denmark singing all their songs back to them. “It is so gratifying when a country artist plays a support slot on a festival, goes back in six to eight months and plays a headline club tour, goes back in another six to eight months after that and headlines a theatre tour, and then ends up headlining that same original festival.” Like York, Rogers sees radio, as well as record label promo, as being a “huge factor” in country’s rise in Europe. “Country is one of the few genres of music where radio airplay can definitely move the needle,” she says.
THE NEW COUNTRY
orldwide, the Internet has been a “game changer” for engaging a new generation with country, says Nashville-based Jeremy Dylan, who co-owns Australia’s long-running CMC Rocks festival with Michael Chugg. “Even though we don’t have ‘country radio’ as this huge format like they do in the US, the fans here have been able to keep up with who the big stars are, get their records, watch their videos…” Nowhere is that Internet-driven discovery more evident than on music streaming platform Spotify, which reports a 21% increase in the share of country music streaming outside America between 2015 and 2018. “Most country artists now understand that in order to expand their businesses, it’s essential to develop followings in markets outside the United States,” says John Marks, Spotify’s
“I’ve seen lots of egos, but the country acts and their entourages are more friendly, calm, and want to get the best solution for everybody involved.” Oliver Hoppe, Wizard Concerts Christie Lamb at CMC Rocks 2018
IQ Magazine March 2019
Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment; Jeremy Dylan, CMC Rocks; Sean Goulding, UTA; Ali Harnell, AEG Presents; Nigel Hassler, CAA; Oliver Hoppe, Wizard Promotions; John Marks, Spotify; Anna-Sophie Mertens, Live Nation UK; Milly Olykan, Country Music Association; Akiko Rogers, WME; Chris York, SJM Concerts; Tim McGregor, TEG.
“…many newer artists are working to develop their fan base outside the US and in the US simultaneously, with the goal of being a truly global music artist.” John Marks, Spotify head of country music and formerly senior director of country programming for SiriusXM radio in Nashville. “I’ve seen many established artists start paying attention to audiences in countries where they previously hadn’t considered touring – and many newer artists are working to develop their fan base outside the US and in the US simultaneously, with the goal of being a truly global music artist.” “A big part of the change has been that country artists now think globally from the start,” adds Michael Chugg, whose
CMC Rocks event in Queensland regularly attracts more than 60,000 people and has been played by the likes of Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum and the Dixie Chicks. (2019 headliners are Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line and Luke Combs.) “When we first started touring country stars in Australia, it took years of convincing to get acts to even consider touring this far from the US, and they would only do that decades into their careers. Now we’re booking some artists for CMC Rocks on their first single, and it’s a part of the whole strategy to build a fan base around the globe.” Dylan adds that, similar to in the UK, “in the last couple of years, commercial radio in Australia has started to come to the party in a big way. What has happened with Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and Morgan Evans, especially, has been remarkable – and the idea of those stations even playing multiple country songs ten years ago, let alone getting behind them like this and helping turn them into massive hits across Australia, has just been massively inspiring and feels like something that’s going to just keep going now.” Also in Australia, TEG Live managing director, Tim McGregor, has been working in country music since the 1990s and believes that its current growth in popularity owes a lot to the way people now consume music. “The rise of streaming services has grown the country music market exponentially in the youth demographic,” says McGregor. “With the limited number of country radio stations in commercial/metropolitan markets, coupled with the resistance of some programming managers to play any country music in rotation, the country market growth was a bit stagnant during the 2000s. With the increased availability of streaming services, listeners are being served up, and suggested, country songs alongside all other genres of music, as it’s decided by algorithms not programming managers. It means the audience can be developed organically based on the strength of the songs, and artists are recognised and achieve streaming success for the quality of their music.”
t’s clear, then, that – not content with having conquered America – country music is well on its way towards world domination. But why? What is it about country that appeals to a younger generation of fans, many of whom have never set foot in the United States? Part of it lies in the genre’s growing musical diversity, according to Ali Harnell, senior VP at AEG Presents’ Nashville office, who is this year promoting tours by country stars including Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and Midland. “I attribute a lot of the growth to the expanding styles of country music that have evolved over the years,” she comments. “The old ‘country and western’ stigma is gone, and we now have classic, traditional, bro, pop, and other forms of country music.” “The sound of it has changed and moved from a more traditional country and western sound to something that is far more mainstream,” agrees CAA’s Nigel Hassler, whose roster includes Dixie Chicks, Midland, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and The Shires. “Acts such as Lady Antebellum have had genuine hit records, and this has really opened up the
IQ Magazine March 2019
“These days genres are blurred. At the core of country is storytelling, and that transcends across pop, traditional, Americana and so on.” Sean Goulding, UTA market to more acts such as Dan + Shay, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Hunt and Kacey Musgraves, who are crossing over to a more pop and younger demographic.” In the near future, Harnell says, country music artists will likely seek to collaborate more with non-country acts, in the vein of chart successes like Maren Morris’s The Middle, produced by German DJ, Zedd; The Chainsmokers’ This Feeling, featuring Nashville singer Kelsea Ballerini; and Florida Georgia Line’s collaboration with Bebe Rexha, Meant to Be. “I think we will see more collaborations that include noncountry participation, and it will be interesting to see if the pop fans who get exposed get turned on to country,” she continues, adding: “My hope is that we see female country artists get more attention and opportunity through country radio, streaming platforms and touring.” Goulding adds: “These days genres are blurred. At the core of country is storytelling and that transcends across pop, traditional, Americana and so on.” Live Nation UK promoter Anna-Sophie Mertens, who has worked with country and Americana artists including Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Ward Thomas, Brothers Osbourne, Brett Eldredge and Tyler Childers, points to a level of “authenticity, truth and reliability” in country that’s often missing in other genres. With most of the artists on her country roster, Mertens says, “I think you could play them to a lot of people and they speak to them on one level, whether they’re a country fan or not… That authenticity really speaks to people.” Hoppe also highlights that many of the themes typically associated with country music are those of the common human experience, regardless of geographical location. “A few years back I had a discussion with Darius Rucker,” he explains. “I said, country is hard to translate to Germany because we don’t have pick-ups or six packs of beer – we don’t have the experience these guys are singing about. And he said, ‘Country is also a feeling of being home – sometimes it’s very literal, but it’s also often a very universal feeling that translates very well everywhere.’ “Lots of people try and make the comparison between country and schlager, saying that they both give you the opportunity to escape from daily life. But I don’t think that’s what country does. It’s not escapism; it’s about facing your problems and dealing with them through song.” Also key to country music’s international popularity is the strength of the songcraft, suggests Mertens. “What it all comes down to is that they’re fantastic songwriters,” she says. “What I enjoy about country and Americana music is the craft that songwriters and performers bring to the performance,” echoes Goulding. “That kind of authenticity is one of the reasons why we are seeing a spike in country events internationally…” For York, the quality of the songwriting is matched only by the polish of country music shows. “The level of performance is fantastic,” he says. “Go and see any country act worth their salt and you’ll be blown away. Many of these people [US artists] have played hundreds of shows before they ever set foot in the UK.”
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He adds that the country artists SJM has worked with are “very respectful of the fans. You can get an act on tour in the UK and they spend as much time as they can with their fans – they really care about them.” That courtesy extends to their promoters, too, says Hoppe. “Having grown up with metal and hard rock bands in the ’70s and ’80s, I’ve seen lots of egos,” he explains, “but the country acts and their entourages are more friendly, calm, and want to get the best solution for everybody involved. “One of my favourite examples [of this] is when we brought Luke Bryan to Germany. He plays arenas and small stadia in the States, so they sent us a 45-page rider – for a club show! “I said, ‘Look, guys, the venue we’re playing in is as big as the stage you usually put down in the stadiums!’ And they just said, ‘OK, don’t worry about it. We’ll figure it out along the way…’ And that was that.”
ooking to the future, Hassler says he sees country continuing to grow in popularity, especially at home, where “new festivals such as Black Deer and The Long Road give more opportunities to see acts play and help cater for the demand for country music in the UK.” “We have had 15 new festivals in the UK and Europe in the last two years, [so] growth needs to be slow and steady,” says Rogers, who warns against oversaturating the burgeoning European country festival markets. “There have been occasions where I will state to a promoter that they need to move their festival time period if there is too much
“What it all comes down to is that they’re fantastic songwriters.” Anna-Sophie Mertens, Live Nation UK
Americana star Colter Wall plays four German dates with Wizard Promotions beginning in March
COUNTRY TO COUNTRY Last International Country Music Day (16 September 2018), Spotify revealed which nations are streaming the most country music. While the US, unsurprisingly, remains the biggest market for country songs, the figures from the music streaming service also include a few surprises (shout out to South Africa and Scandinavia). Normalised as a share of all listening from January to August 2018, the top country listeners are:
United States Canada Australia New Zealand Norway
Republic of Ireland Sweden South Africa United Kingdom The Netherlands
“I think you can safely say that country as a genre is going to continue to diversify in sound and audience, and grow as a consequence.” Michael Chugg, Michael Chugg Entertainment traffic in the surrounding countries. I am finding country fans will travel quite extensively for someone they admire – they are very loyal fans – but we need to take care that we don’t overpopulate.” Mertens says she’s keeping a close eye on efforts to grow the number of women in a largely male-dominated genre, which has already become a major topic of discussion in the US. “A lot of the emerging talent that I see that are exciting and progressive are female,” she adds. As to the direction country music will take in the years ahead, Chugg comments: “It’s a mug’s game trying to predict the future in music with any accuracy – remember the Decca
“Go and see any country act worth their salt and you’ll be blown away.” Chris York, SJM Concerts executive who told the Beatles ‘groups with guitars are on the way out’? – but I think you can safely say that country as a genre is going to continue to diversify in sound and audience, and grow as a consequence.” Fellow Australian country promoter McGregor states, “The increase in festivals and touring of international artists in Australia helps strengthen and grow our local industry by giving Australian artists the chance to play on the same bill as the biggest names in the genre. This ultimately opens up exposure to bigger audiences, which is only a good thing industry wide. We can definitely look forward to more success for local artists on the world stage like we are seeing now for Morgan Evans, along with the continued evolution of the music, drawing influences from a broad range of musical styles that will re-draw the lines of what defines ‘country’.” That optimism permeates throughout those fortunate enough to work in the genre. “Country will really cross over into the mainstream, much like we’ve seen Latin American music do to an extent,” adds Olykan. “The audience will become younger and we’ll see more artists taking its influence into the mainstream. “I think you will also see streaming platforms pushing it outside of country playlists – and its authenticity and great songwriting will garner broader audiences who won’t mind what it’s labelled as.” “You’ll see more progressive and more traditional sounds blended together,” concludes Dylan, “and more and more young people unafraid to call themselves country fans – and yet more people including country in their everyday listening without thinking about the genre labels at all. Exciting times ahead.”
“Nashville” series finale
IQ Magazine March 2019
EASTERN PROMISE A game-changing new arena in Dubai and the emergence of a live entertainment scene in Saudia Arabia could be set to transform the Middle East into a viable touring destination, offering artists and productions the opportunity to string together dates throughout the region, rather than view shows as the hit-and-run cash grabs that they have historically been known for. Adam Woods reports.
t wouldnâ€™t be right to paint the Middle East as a group of markets in which every show happens against a stifling backdrop of troubling politics or clashing cultures. Israel is coming off the back of several boom years; Dubai and Abu Dhabi regularly welcome megawatt international stars and are developing infrastructure at a rapid pace; and Saudi Arabia appears to be suggesting that it wants to become a place where a boy and a girl might go to a concert at the weekend. But while these are markets of great promise for the western live business, they come with varying degrees of geopolitical complexity, too. In the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh in December, just a year after a resort in the southern port city of Jazan was shut down for hosting a mixed-gender concert, the kingdom staged its first ever unsegregated music festival. The threeday series of concerts featured Jason Derulo, Enrique Iglesias,
David Guetta, Egyptian star Amr Diab and others, in front of a mixed crowd as part of the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix motor sports tournament. Most would agree that represented welcome progress. But equally, if Saudi Arabia is to be the next market every hungry agent or global promoter wants to get their teeth into, how do they nibble around the apparently state-sponsored assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, or the bloody war in Yemen? In Dubai in April, after years of prefab arenas, the emirate will get a permanent one, operated by AEG Ogden with a seated capacity of 20,000, to add to the high-culture opportunities of the two-year-old, 2,000-cap Dubai Opera. An emerging live market with a heavy flow of holidaymakers and expat professionals needs that kind of investment, if only to keep pace with the well-stocked Abu Dhabi down
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Gad Oron Productions LTD Katzrin
Map Key Promoter Agent Agent/Promoter Venue Festival
Jacob’s Ladder Festival
Negev Desert InD-Music Midburn Sunbeat
Cairo Event House Nader Sadek White Sands Entertainment
Cairo Festival City Cairo Opera House Manara Theatre Misr University Theatre MUST Opera House The Marquee Cairo Festival City
Be-er Sheva 010 Yazamut - Forum Faktor Masada Arena The Roman Amphitheatre Herzliya Bluestone Maverick Caesarea Roman amphitheatre Zappa Club Lehavot Habashan Meteor Festival
Jerusalem 2b Vibes Music Bimot 10 Zappa Club Kfar Yona
Sea of Galilee Doof Festival
Tel Aviv 3A Productions Galim Productions Gad Oron Productions Hadran ICP Live IE Productions Live Nation Israel
More Productions BP Plug Productions Generator Shuki Weiss Promotion & Production Talent Productions Tandi Productions The Zappa Group Vivo Productions Zappa Group Zev Eizik Corp Anova Music Zuzz Agency 2b Vibes Music Lidor Entertainment Sabres Media Group Shmuel Zemach Productions Z-Productions
Barby Club Expo Tel Aviv Hanger 11 Live Park Rishon Menora Mivtachim Arena The Block Yarkon Park Zappa Club DGTL Tune in Tel Aviv Zikhron Ya’akov SHUNI Amphitheater Wow Festival
Beirut Buzz Productions EventBox JK58 Mix FM Production 8 RK & A Inc Solicet WE Group Star System Beirut Waterfront Outdoor Biel Forum De Beyrouth Music Hall Byblos
Byblos International Festival
Baalbeck International Festival
Ehden Ehdeniyat International Festival
Jounieh Platea Jounieh International Festival
Maameltein Casino du Liban The Cedars Cedars International Festival
Doha Alive Entertainment Aspire Logistics Liveworks Aspire Dome Jazz at Lincoln Center Qatar International Exhibition
Abu Dhabi Flash Entertainment Vibe Events du Arena du Forum The Rotunda Yas Bay Arena Zayed Sports City Dubai 117 Live Events Broadway Entertainment Group Chillout Productions Done Events Dubai Opera EarthBeat Events Live Nation Middle East
Madinat Jumeirah Thomas Ovesen Sport & Entertainment Solutions Madinat Jumeirah Caesars Palace Rotunda Dubai Arena Dubai Media Centre Amphitheatre Dubai Opera House Dubai World Trade Centre The Autism Rocks Arena The Palladium Dubai Blended Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival Fiesta De Los Muertos Groove On The Grass RedFestDXB What’s On Party in the Park
Sharjah Sharjah Media Centre
Muscat Alive Entertainment Royal Opera House
Jeddah King Abdullah Economic City Riyadh Granada Center King Fahd Cultural Centre King Fahd Stadium
QATAR UAE OMAN SAUDI ARABIA
IQ Magazine March 2019
Middle East the coast. That said, the imprisonment of a British academic on disputed spying charges last year was a reminder of the UAE’s less liberal side. Or you could look away from the Gulf and over to the shores of the Mediterranean, and the short tour of Israel in January by tribute band The UK Pink Floyd Experience, who had personally been asked by strident pro-Palestine activist Roger Waters to pull the shows. They did so, then reinstated them, before finally a stand-in line-up performed only nonWaters Floyd tunes while a local tribute band played the Waters-penned ‘70s favourites. It was a routine, if colourful example of the eleven-year campaign by the Waters-supported Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Israel – and chiefly Tel Aviv – remains a busy international live music spot and is a home to western corporates including Live Nation and CTS Eventim. The shows go on, but there’s no avoiding that Israel is, for now at least, a more than averagely controversial tour stop. Not every year is a good one for concerts – in Tel Aviv, there is talk of a likely slow-down in 2019, though Eurovision in May will raise the city’s profile – but over the longer term, activity is generally increasing in all of these markets. But it is Saudi Arabia, coming from a virtual standing start, that suddenly appears to offer the greatest commercial promise.
wash with wealth and with a population of more than 32m, Saudi is working hard to show a liberal face to the world, and it represents an enticing market to exporters of western culture. Until last April, when US chain AMC moved into Riyadh at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom didn’t even have a public cinema. A mixed-gender concert took place that month, too – the first ever to be sanctioned in the kingdom. Then came the Formula E shows and a first Cirque du Soleil show in Riyadh, amid regular reports of a huge state-backed entertainment push, including plans for NBA basketball, bull runs and dozens of concerts. If these plans come to fruition, Saudi proposes to be the star of the coming few years in the Middle East. Its stated ambition is to become one of the top-ten global entertainment destinations, and to win back a share of the $20billion (€17.5bn) that funseeking Saudi nationals spend overseas each year. At the same time, given the turbulence of the region, markets can come and go at startling speed. “There tend to be peaks and troughs in different countries,” says Lisa Ryan, CCO of EFM Global Logistics, which has a clear overview of the region through its work for promoters, event organisers, government ministries and high-net-worth individuals. “Saudi Arabia opened up a year, 18 months ago, and this year looks set to be big, with this vision that they have. And meanwhile, in Qatar, where it was all happening a few years ago, there has not been anything going on because of their isolation from the rest of the Middle East.”
Oren Arnon, Shuki Weiss Promotion & Production; John Lickrish, Flash Entertainment; Guy Beser, Live Nation Israel; Peter Green, Done Events; Jasper Hope, Dubai Opera; Zaed Maqbool, Live Nation Middle East; Guy Ngata, Dubai Arena; Lisa Ryan, EFM Global Logistics; Hillel Wachs, 2b Vibes; Moussa Abu Taleb, Event House
Live Nation promoted a January show by George Ezra at Dubai World Trade Center
IQ Magazine March 2019
ne of the territories that is slowly developing in the region is Egypt where the likes of Feld Entertainment, Broadway Entertainment Group, Harlem Globetrotters and WWE have taken their touring productions in recent years. “We have a population in Egypt of 95 million, but the class of citizens who can afford premium tickets for show is probably between 3-5% of the total population,” states Moussa Abu Taleb, managing director of local events company Event House. He tells IQ that Alchemy Projects are reportedly launching an Egyptian operation in the near future, which should help further develop the local live entertainment market. And he notes some of the spectacular venues that shows can utilise, making the most of the country’s historic landmarks – upcoming events include a 15 March Red Hot Chili Peppers, 15,000-capacity gig, promoted by White Sands Entertainment at the Great Pyramids of Giza, while Richard Clayderman visited the Manara Theatre on 15 February for a Valentine’s classical night. “There are very high taxes on tickets here – 25%,” countinues Abu Taleb. “Egypt can’t pay the same amounts that other countries in the Middle East do for artist fees, while government support is very poor, as they rarely help with events.” Nonetheless, he is optimistic that live music in particular should be an area of growth in coming years. “All the success factors are available if we have a proper list of artists and reasonable artists fees,” he concludes.
romoters have come and gone in Dubai over the years, some aiming higher than others, often anticipating a profitable boom that has never yet fully materialised. The current line-up chiefly involves Live Nation, veteran Done Events, and a handful of festival and party promoters. Meanwhile, long-serving local promoter Thomas Ovesen, formerly of Done Events and 117Live, will in March depart his role as inaugural chief programming officer at Dubai Arena to go back into the promoting game. Live Nation Middle East, based in Dubai, has enjoyed its best year to date in the region, according to Zaed Maqbool, VP Middle East/South Asia, with George Ezra, Dave Chappelle and French-Canadian-Moroccan comedian Gad Elmaleh all selling out shows in recent months. “We put a bunch of shows onsale in 2018 and every single one of them sold out, and that has got to mean something is happening here,” says Maqbool. “The message to agents and managers booking in this region is that Dubai is no longer a take-the-money-and-run market but one with real potential as a P&L market. I was guilty of this as an agent when I was selling acts to Dubai, seeing it as a bonus stopover on the way to Japan or Australia. It needs nurturing, but it is a market that will pay dividends. Dubai, Abu Dhabi – it is starting to mature now.” The cost of touring in the Middle East, given agents’ high expectations and hefty local production costs, is a problem
IQ Magazine March 2019
“We took a chance with three or four shows in 2018 and every single one of them came off, and that has got to mean something is happening here.” Zaed Maqbool, Live Nation Middle East promoters need to crack, and the regionally focused Maqbool has a sense of how that might be achieved. “What I am trying to do, what I hopefully will succeed in doing in 2019, is to create offers in India, in Dubai, in Lebanon, and make a circuit out of it, so that it becomes a leg of a tour in its own right,” he says. “That will make it financially more viable.” Other challenges for promoters in Dubai are various, including the limited – and, some fear, declining – number of western expats, the challenges of F&B in a country where alcohol is strictly licensed, and the hair-raising local habit that often sees 60-70% of tickets sold in the last couple of weeks before a show or festival. The events season traditionally runs from October to April out of respect for the blistering weather and Ramadan. The arrival of new arenas in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is particularly significant, as they will allow for indoor shows during the fierce summers. “It used to be completely dead in the summer,” says Ryan. “But the last few years, people are bored, they want to go and do things. There are a lot more theatre shows touring now, and things like experiential activations in shopping malls.” While it has promoted stand-alone shows over the years, and still does in the case of comedians such as Michael McIntyre, who will play two 10,000-cap shows at the Dubai World Trade Centre in April, Done Events has largely transferred its energies into its festival brands. Those include pop/hip-hop/R&B festival RedFestDXB in February – which sold 25,000 tickets last year and is headlined in 2019 by G-Eazy, Camila Cabello and Macklemore – and resurgent pop event Blended, which brought Backstreet Boys, Melanie C and Lemar out to the emirate in 2018. Also among the events on the books are the recently acquired Dubai Jazz Festival, on top of the corporate events that underpin the business. The festival model, heavily supported by sponsorship and marketing from radio stations within Done Events’ parent company Arab Media Group, feels like shrewder business than high-risk stand-alone shows, according to Peter Green, the promoter’s manager of live events. “So many promoters before have thought they were going to make millions of dollars from concerts and actually ended up trying very hard to break even,” says Green. “At RedFest, you will see [AMG-owned] Virgin [Radio 104.4]’s logo more than ours. We are enhancing the profile of those radio stations, and as a group that is a better picture than doing a one-nighter for a single artist.” Other festivals in Dubai include electronic music and arts festival Groove On The Grass, which has been running for seven years and recently brought Underworld and Leftfield to the emirate, and What’s On magazine’s Party in the Park. In Abu Dhabi, government-owned Flash Entertainment runs the show, having spearheaded the development of the local market since 2007 and welcomed acts including Justin
“There is going to be a lot of content pushed through [the Yas Arena], and we are going head to head with Dubai [Arena[, which is about to open.” John Lickrish, Flash Entertainment Timberlake, Coldplay, Rihanna and the Stones, as well as organising numerous world-class sporting events. In recent months, the company has managed the Pope’s visit to Abu Dhabi, when he drew an estimated 170,000 Catholics to Zayed Sports City Stadium, as well as events including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and football’s Asian Cup, which took place across the UAE. “Abu Dhabi continues to develop,” says Flash CEO John Lickrish. “We have been here for ten years and we can already see that the next ten years will bring a lot of changes in the entertainment infrastructure. We have a lot of confidence in the market, and we are trying to take Flash from a local company to a regional best-in-class organisation.” Flash programmes the outdoor du Arena on Yas Island, which can hold up to 40,000 people, and its sister venue, the 8,000-capacity indoor du Forum, and it will also be responsible for the 18,000-cap indoor Yas Arena, now under construction, which will enable the emirate to draw bigger shows year-round. “The arena is the big thing for us this year,” says Lickrish. “It is a major asset for Yas Island and the city. There is going to be a lot of content pushed through it, and we are going head to head with Dubai, which is about to open.” Dubai’s long-awaited, fully air-conditioned indoor arena, with venue-owned audio and LED packages, opens in April, kicking off with a run of test and public events, details of which are still to be announced.“In terms of what the arena offers, it’s a home for entertainment in Dubai, to be used all year round,” says Dubai Arena CEO Guy Ngata. “That is something Dubai hasn’t seen before. The arena is state of the art, from the technology integrations inside the arena to the facade on the outside of the building.” Over the years, many have observed that Dubai’s entertainment offering has tended to focus on the needs of western expats. But the city is one of the most diverse in the world, with an 80% foreign workforce, of which only around 3% is western. Dubai Arena aims to address that breadth.
“The fact that Dubai is our home city means we are catering for a huge audience of different nationalities and cultures, from Arabic and Bollywood events to international touring artists, sport, family, cultural and corporate events,” says Ngata. Dubai has also had an injection of culture with the inauguration in late-2016 of the Dubai Opera. The venue, owned by local property group Emaar, has brought a diverse programme of opera, ballet, musicals, pop and comedy. Its first play, English Touring Theatre’s production of Othello, played for a week in January, and chief executive Jasper Hope, formerly COO of the Royal Albert Hall, says the venue is working hard at drawing audiences from across the region. “Right now, our audience is definitely more skewed to UAE residents,” says Hope. “Premium title shows that play for multiple weeks – the next of which will be Phantom of the Opera in October – give us a great opportunity to draw from a much wider regional audience, and we’re using flight and hotel packages specifically to help achieve that.” Also new to Dubai is the Rotunda, a 500-seat venue at the Caesars Palace Bluewaters hotel based on the Pantheon in Rome, which will host Tom Odell in March.
Israel and Lebanon
ne fact on which most Israeli promoters agree is that the year has got off to a slow start. “2018 was the same,” says Guy Beser, co-CEO of Live Nation Israel. “Last year, we got approvals on offers only in March. And from there, we had a great year.” Live Nation Israel last year promoted Avenged Sevenfold, Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, Alanis Morissette, Enrique Iglesias and others, as well as Wow Festival with Jason Derulo and Rita Ora. “I think this summer is going to look not so bad eventually,” says Beser. “We have had a lot of discussions. It’s early to say but things are looking positive.” Oren Arnon, senior promoter at longstanding indie Shuki Weiss, confirms that the summer line-up is late getting settled. “I have a bunch of shows on sale and a bunch that are being confirmed as we speak. But if you look at last year or the year before, in November or December we had more summer shows on sale than we do now. I don’t know if that’s exclusive to Israel or it’s happening all over.” Shuki Weiss has the longest pedigree of any promoter in Israel, and keeps them coming, with Ozzy Osbourne, Ziggy Marley, Alice In Chains and Mark Lanegan among 2018’s shows, and Steven Wilson, Mastodon, Mike Shinoda and Slash coming up. As in Dubai, production in Israel is expensive and travel not uncomplicated. “It is a difficult market, because first of all, geographically, no one is coming in or leaving on the ground, and as tours get logistically bigger and technically
“ Most of the shows and festivals are going through us. We are very aggressive, we are working very hard.” Guy Beser, Live Nation Israel The ancient amphitheatre at Caesarea is a popular venue for international artists visiting Israel
IQ Magazine March 2019
Middle East The AEG Ogden-operated Dubai Arena is predicted to be a game changer for the region when it opens in April 2019
“I think it’s just that coming to Israel now requires a lot of effort in terms of dealing with criticism and online discussion.” Hillel Wachs, 2b Vibes
more complex, that is a challenge,” says Arnon. For tours by bands including Alice In Chains and Mastodon, Shuki Weiss has recently recreated their productions locally to save on freight costs. “That works to a certain level,” says Arnon. “We wouldn’t do it for Madonna, obviously.” Among local promoters, Live Nation, built on the foundations of local promoter Bluestone Entertainment in 2017, takes a notably bullish line. “We took over the market,” says Beser. “Most of the shows and festivals are going through us. We are very aggressive, we are working very hard.” Other promoters coolly dispute the suggestion that Live Nation has conquered the market. But suffice it to say, this is a competitive spot, with promoters including Shuki Weiss, Gad Oron Productions, 2b Vibes, 3A Productions and the Zappa Group, which operates an ever-growing chain of clubs, a ticketing agency and a production company, as well as promoting more than 100 gigs a month. Hillel Wachs of 2b Vibes suspects Israel is in for a quiet time this year, having begun to slow last summer in the wake of 2017’s heavy schedule of shows in Tel Aviv’s Park HaYarkon, when Radiohead, Guns N’ Roses, Britney Spears, the Pet Shop Boys, Aerosmith and Justin Bieber all came through between May and July. Last year, Enrique Iglesias and Maluma were the pillars of the park’s summer schedule. “I would say the entire market slowed down a bit the summer of 2018 compared to the summer of 2017,” says Wachs. “Last year, there was less going on, though we did have five festivals, Alice In Chains and America with Shuki Weiss. We did a lot of shows at the Roman ampitheatre in Caesarea, which is probably one of the nicest venues in the world, both visually and acoustically. But it seems the feeling we are getting is that things are possibly going to slow down even more.” The BDS campaign – which, incidentally, none of Israel’s liberal-leaning promoters oppose in principle – has contributed to an increasing weight of bad PR that must be borne by western artists visiting the country. Nick Cave recently became embroiled with a war of words with Brian Eno and Waters over his decision to play there, and not every artist is eager to wrestle publicly with the issues. “I think it’s not because the artists don’t want to come,” says Wachs. “I think it’s just that coming to Israel now
requires a lot of effort in terms of dealing with criticism and online discussion. We are getting a very clear message that they want to come, the offers are fair, everybody is professional here, but they don’t necessarily want to devote the energy that would be required.” Arnon agrees. “The blockade is trying to call attention to a cause that is a worthy one,” he says. “And artists are saying, ‘I don’t know what’s going on there, it’s too complicated, I don’t need this shit. I’m going to play two more shows in Germany.’ Most of them can fill up their schedules without venturing out to Israel. “But at the same time, I am happy to say we are seeing a lot of acts who are interested in this area. They are saying they want to come out here and learn more, and see why people are using words like ‘apartheid’ and ‘racism’ and discriminatory practices.” In Lebanon, a handful of esteemed events continue to keep the country’s live scene alive, including the Byblos International Festival – which drew acts including The Chainsmokers and Finland’s Tarja Turunen in 2018, and Elton John in 2017 – as well as the Beiteddine Art Festival and the Baalbek International Festival. In July, Shakira performed in Bcharre at the Cedars International Festival. But the civil war in neighbouring Syria has reduced the volume of tourism from elsewhere in the Arab world, and the cash-strapped Lebanese government has reportedly reduced subsidies and hiked taxes on events.
Shuki Weiss brought “The Farewell Tour’”of Ozzy Osbourne to the Live Park in Rishon in July 2018 © Ariel Efron
IQ Magazine March 2019
An unexpected cold snap in California didn’t fool the Europeans in town for Pollstar Live, as they came fully leather-jacketed and scarvedup for the occasion. Keeping warm here are: Baloise Session’s Beatrice Stirnimann; Christian Doll (C2 Concerts); Semmel Concerts’ Oliver Rosenwald and Christoph Scholz; Markus Meier and Thomas Dürr from Act Entertainment; Leo Loers (MPS Hanseatic); and Holger Hübner and Jan Quiel from Wacken Open Air.
IQ’s Gordon Masson had the pleasure of conducting a keynote interview with A Greener Festival co-founder Claire O’Neill at MENT showcase festival in Ljubljana.
The good people at NZME might not have rolled out the red carpet for Michael Chugg’s most recent visit to New Zealand but they put his name in lights. The SSE Arena Wembley marked Don Broco’ s first headline show at the venue by presenting them with comme morative plaques. Pictured are: Don and Dan Jenkins (Raw Power Management); the band’s Matt Donnelly, Simon Delaney, Allen Rowel l, Rob Damiani and Tom Doyle; Alan Day (Kilimanjaro Live); Geoff Meall (Coda); and John Drury (SSE Arena Wembley).
ATC Live agent Colin Keenan and wife Lauren were a bit too busy for the haggis on Burns Day (25 January) this year, as they welcomed son Cillian to the world.
As the Slovak and Czech contingent dominated proceedings at Eurosonic Noorderslag this year, The Ills surprised Pohoda Festival promoter Michal Kaščák by asking him to join them on the Garage stage for a rendition of Génový Inžinier, one of Bez Ladu A Skladu’s best-known songs.
AEG Europe COO John Langford enjoyed a night at the Grammys with Colin and Debbie McWilliams from the Scottis h Event Campus
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IQ Magazine March 2019
“Who’s Better, Who’s Best” TOP SHOUT In the early 80s, there was just one serious live music programme on German television – Rockpalast – and it only broadcast once or twice a year. It started around 10pm and was open-ended. Me and my friends always organised a party around it and recorded everything on tape. Shortly after I promoted my first-ever show with a local band at the school forum, The Who played Rockpalast and we were all overwhelmed by their performance – it showed us what a real rock & roll show was. They were absolute stars for us, far out of reach... I still have the tape. Last year, long-time manager of The Who, Bill Curbishley, asked me about some tickets for one of our Ed Sheeran shows and I felt honoured, thinking “Wow! That guy is asking me for tickets...” By the way, The Grateful Dead were boring... Folkert Koopmans, FKP Scorpio
A long time ago, we used to go to the Marquee Club every week to see The Yardbirds. Suddenly there were adverts for a band called “The Who,” playing on Tuesday nights, which elicited juvenile caustic comments about “stupid name!”, “Who the bleedin’ hell are they?”, “With a name like that they will go nowhere!” etc.. Living in the wilds of Surrey, we could only afford to come up to town once a week, so we never did see them then. My belated apologies on behalf of my mates (most of whom have unfortunately shuffled off this mortal coil) and myself… little did we know. I am so glad we were so totally bloody wrong! Carl A H Martin, cahm.co.uk
I can’t do better than pay homage to my old boss, the late great Willie Robertson, with a true story. The piece below is from Willie’s obituary in The Guardian. Many of their transactions are now the stuff of music business legend. Robertson – gregarious, outgoing, funny and a keen fan of doing business over lunch or dinner – was naturally suited to dealing with fragile egos and towering demands. Little fazed him. Early clients were The Who – acquired when their hellraising drummer Keith Moon challenged Robertson one night, in Tramp nightclub, to walk the length of diners’ tables through their food. Robertson removed his shoes and socks, walked the walk, was banned from Tramp, but got the business. Martin Goebbels, Miller Insurance
Back in the day, I was a Mod and a big Who fan, and I was invited to the stage show of Tommy at The Rainbow in December 1973. The hype leading up to it was huge. The show was the biggest fucking mess ever to haunt a stage. A few years later, my then-girlfriend made me see the film. As we came out the cinema, we broke up. I would like to thank Roger Daltrey in person, as that was a huge favour.
think about it…” That kind of thing. I gave Trinifold my little pitch of why we were keen and why they might like to direct their promoter’s attention to Wembley and didn’t think much more of it. Until I got an irate call from Mags Revell, then at AEG, a few days later. “How dare you try to steal my fucking headliner! I thought better of you…” etc. Bob had taken the opportunity to wind Mags up by mentioning what I’d been up to, as The Who were already booked in to play British Summertime in Hyde Park as headliner in 2015. Oops! I tried to recover the situation by saying to Mags that he was welcome to promote them at Wembley, too. But it was a touch premature for his consideration. So even though I left Wembley two years ago, I’m delighted that my colleague James Taylor has managed to book them all these years later. Well done, James! Jim Frayling, Like This
Ed Grossman, Brackman Chopra
As a life-long Shepherd’s Bush resident, the idea of booking The Who for Wembley Stadium was too appealing to let slip by. I had zero clue what they were up to so I got in touch with Trinifold just to see if they’d consider it. On the way to the management office, I took a call from Bob Angus and told him I was “around Camden seeing if I can make Who management think about Wembley. No, we wouldn’t promote ourselves, I just want them to
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IQ Magazine March 2019