CTS Eventim at 30 ILMC 31: The Report Sell-out Secrets On Tour with Post Malone Breakthrough Moments Switzerland: Positive Signs
LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
SO, Iâ€™VE DECIDED TO TAKE MY WORK BACK UNDERGROUND, TO STOP IT FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS ISSUE 83
Contents IQ Magazine Issue 83
Cover photo: Post Malone © Adam DeGross
News and Developments 6 In Tweets The main headlines over the last two months
8 In Depth Key stories and news analysis from around the live music world 12 New Signings & Rising Stars A round-up of the latest acts that have been added to the rosters of international agents 18 Techno Files Revealing the cutting-edge tech that’s helping our 21st century business
Features 20 ILMC 31: The Report Highlights of the 2019 edition
34 Just Like a Rock Star On the road with Post Malone 42 My Breakthrough Moment IQ asks some industry leaders to describe their breakthrough career moment 44 Sell-Out Secrets Anna Grace explores how some of the world’s most successful events continually sell out, year after year 50 30 Years of CTS Eventim Klaus-Peter Schulenberg looks toward the future as his company reaches its 30th anniversary 70 Switzerland: Positive signs Adam Woods discovers that Swiss neutrality is out of the window as the corporates battle for market share
Comments and Columns 14 Empowering European Clubs & Venues Elisa Thoma describes Live DMA’s work 15 Go Local to Achieve Global Archie Hamilton advocates the use of local expertise in Asia’s developing markets 16 All Roads Lead to Country Phyllis Belezos outlines country music’s multimedia expansion and growing crossover into the mainstream 17 Do I Need an App? Adam Goodyer provides a simple guide for those considering an app for their event or venue
80 Members’ Noticeboard ILMC members’ photos
82 Your Shout: Who Said What? The best quotations from ILMC 31
IQ Magazine May 2019
A two-horse race?
As corporate acquisitions and mergers continue unabated, Gordon Masson ponders what’s next for the global live music business
Read this issue, or any other edition of IQ in recent memory, and you’ll find references to all kinds of deals involving the multinational corporates buying stakes in independents, or simply buying them outright. In the following pages, for example, you’ll learn about Frontier Touring merging with Chugg Entertainment and then agreeing a joint venture in Australia and New Zealand with AEG Presents (see page 10); the latest on SMG and AEG’s proposed merger (page 9); and a somewhat complex deal involving Superstruct and Broadwick Live dividing and conquering the assets of media group Global (page 10). Elsewhere, our report on Switzerland (page 70) notes the huge changes in that market, where the likes of Live Nation, AEG, Eventim and DEAG have all made significant investments in the past few years in the battle to add Swiss Francs to their annual returns. After years of such deals, there appear to be very few targets left for the corporates to scrap over, in the major live music markets, at least, posing the question: what will their senior executive teams do next to satisfy that all-important shareholder desire to see year-on-year revenue growth? One solution could be for the corporates to look at other sectors in live entertainment. They’ve already started consolidating ticketing operations, so could adding production services – which are also going through a global roll-up of mergers and acquisitions – or security businesses be a potential plan? Or will they simply look at smaller markets where the business is yet to mature? Or explore opportunities in merging operations of national promoters in neighbouring smaller territories, perhaps? Only time will tell, but with the Internetbased mega-companies suddenly being
threatened by the prospect of actually having to pay fair remuneration for the use of musical and video content, it’s inevitable that someone in their hierarchy will realise that if they acquire the entities that own the intellectual property, then, in effect, those usage fees can remain in-house. And that could result in the Live Nations, AEGs, Eventims, DEAGs, TEGs and Ocesas becoming the hunted, rather that the hunters. Talking of global powerhouses, this issue also sees us celebrating CTS Eventim’s 30th anniversary, with news editor Jon Chapple gaining a fascinating insight into the mind-set of Klaus-Peter Schulenberg (KPS) in relation to where the company will be concentrating its resources in order to achieve continued growth (page 50). KPS and his senior management team were at ILMC in March to launch their Eventim Live initiative, so for a recap of what else went on at our annual gathering, we’ve provided some of the week’s highlights in the ILMC 31 Report on page 20. If you require greater detail, however, please check out the full conference review at 31.ilmc.com/report. Page 42 sees us quiz ILMC regulars Carl Leighton-Pope, Steve Strange and Marie Lindqvist about their breakthrough moments in the business; while staff writer Anna Grace poses questions to ten of the world’s most successful festival brands to learn just how they manage to achieve sold-out status, year after year (page 44). And remaining on the sold-out theme, Drowned in Sound editor, Derek Robertson, talks to the various road warriors and touring experts who are helping Post Malone realise his international ambitions, with his ongoing beerbongs & bentleys tour visiting five continents and entertaining hundreds of thousands of fans in the process (see page 34).
IQ Magazine May 2019
Issue 83 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
THE ILMC JOURNAL, May 2019
Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH firstname.lastname@example.org www.iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag
ILMC and Suspicious Marketing
News Editor Jon Chapple
Staff Writer Anna Grace
Associate Editor Allan McGowan
Advertising & Sales Manager Steven Woollett
Imogen Battersby and Ben Delger
Phyllis Belezos, Adam Goodyer, Archie Hamilton, Derek Robertson, Manfred Tari, Elisa Thoma, Adam Woods
Gordon Masson, email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303
Steven Woollett, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0304
To subscribe to IQ Magazine: email@example.com An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).
In Tweets... Global K-pop sensations BTS confirm dates for eight stadia across the Americas, Europe and Asia, as part of the group’s Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour. Live Nation acquires a majority stake in Tons of Rock (10,000-cap), Norway’s biggest rock and metal festival. Tickets for the biggest-ever ILMC sellout, with more than 1,000 of the world’s leading live music professionals confirmed to attend the event. Heather Parry, former president of Live Nation Productions, leaves the company following an investigation into allegations of verbal abuse and workplace bullying. Eminem performs to a record-breaking 80,708 fans at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), surpassing the stadium’s previous attendance record of 80,518. Ticketmaster announces the acquisition of Sydney-based ticketing provider Moshtix, expanding services for the growing live events market in Australia and New Zealand. Providence Equity Partners, the parent company of festival operator Superstruct, buys into industry leading staging specialist Tait. MPs from across the political spectrum back a UK Music request to reduce “discriminatory” business rates for 124 grassroots music venues. European ticketing giant CTS Eventim ends the 2018 financial year with record turnover and earnings, growing group revenue 20.1% after a best-ever fourth quarter. Fourteen music festivals in New South Wales receive the highest risk rating under new licensing regulations, sparking fears for the future of the Australian state’s live music scene. US-based ticketing and event technology platform Eventbrite announces its
expansion into Asia, with the launch of a localised platform in Singapore – the company’s first in an Asian market. Providence Equity Partners-backed Ambassador Theatre Group makes a major move into live music venue operating, as it reopens historic north-east England venue, The Globe Stockton. Britain’s live music industry welcomes new Home Office rules that allow nonEAA artists, to enter the UK from the Irish republic, and work for up to three months, without a visa.
MARCH Live Nation records its eighth consecutive year of record results, increasing revenue to $10.8bn (€9.6bn) and income to $273bn (€244bn) in 2018. Keith Flint, frontman of UK rave legends the Prodigy, dies aged 49. Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC) promotes Debbie McWilliams to director of live entertainment. Coda Agency launches an environmentally friendly artist rider in partnership with A Greener Festival at the Green Innova-
tions and Events Conference in London. Lucy Noble, artistic and commercial director of the Royal Albert Hall, is elected chair of the UK’s National Arenas Association (NAA). Oak View Group (OVG), the US-based venue development, advisory and investment company co-founded by former AEG CEO Tim Leiweke and ex-Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff, launches its new international business at ILMC. CTS Eventim announces plans to combine 26 of its majority-owned promoters into a new London-based, pan-European live entertainment network, called Eventim Live. A US federal judge dismisses a lawsuit brought against Coachella music festival and organisers AEG/Goldenvoice, regarding the festival’s so-called ‘radius clause.’ British singer Joss Stone performs at a bar in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, as part of her effort to play in every country in the world on her Total World Tour. A Facebook spokesperson says the social network is “taking action to stop” ticket fraud, two months after agreeing a £3m (€3.5m) legal settlement over Joss Stone
IQ Magazine May 2019
scam adverts on its platform. Singer-songwriter Scott Walker, who found fame first as one third of 60s heartthrobs The Walker Brothers, and later as an unconventional, cerebral solo performer, passes away aged 76. Australian promoters Michael Gudinski and Michael Chugg announce a new joint venture between their respective companies, Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment. Members of the European parliament approve the European Copyright Directive, including the controversial Article 13 provision. The Madison Square Garden Company submits a planning application to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) for its new music and entertainment venue, MSG Sphere. UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live launches Kilimanjaro Theatricals, a new joint venture that will produce and/or co-produce theatrical productions internationally. Both members of Liverpool-based band
Her’s and their tour manager are killed in a road accident while touring in the US. Ed Sheeran performs his first-ever headline shows in South Africa, breaking existing ticket sales records to put on the biggest concerts in South African history.
companies look to roll up an international portfolio that includes more than 300 venues.
Live Nation Belgium acquires venue operator Antwerps Sportpaleis, which runs the 23,000-cap Sportpaleis arena among others.
FKP Scorpio, Wizard Promotions, Semmel Concerts, Wacken Open Air and Live Nation all pick up prizes at the German Live Entertainment Awards (LEA) in Frankfurt. After reaching a record high in 2017, the Japanese live music market once again increased in value in 2018, according to new data from promoters’ association ACPC. The UK live music business reveals its gender pay gap statistics, showing female employees are still vastly outnumbered by their male colleagues at an executive level. Dubai Arena, AEG Ogden’s new 17,000-capacity venue in the UAE’s largest city, signs a naming-rights deal with Coca-Cola. Broadwick Venues announces the Drumsheds, a ten-acre, 10,000-capacity events space set to launch in north London this June. British Columbia becomes the latest Canadian province to introduce a Ticket Sales Act, banning bots and enforcing transparency requirements for sellers. AEG Presents joins forces with Frontier Touring, Australia’s last major independent promoter, in a strategic joint venture that sees the companies merge operations in Australia and New Zealand. Competition regulators examine the proposed mega-merger of venue behemoths AEG Facilities and SMG, as the
Major US secondary ticketing platform Vivid Seats makes its first acquisition: Toronto-based Fanxchange, in a deal worth $65m (€58m).
Leisure giant Artémis and LVMH, and Stade de France owner Vinci are among those to donate millions to rebuild the burnt-out Notre-Dame Cathedral. Pink’s 156-date Beautiful Trauma world tour shifts 2.9m tickets, with a further six months still to go. The EU Parliament votes for a ticket bot ban across its member states, in its first move against touting and “an important first step” for Europe-wide ticketing laws. The Australian Federal Court finds that Viagogo misled consumers, falsely marketing itself as an official ticket seller, exaggerating the scarcity of tickets and obscuring booking fees. Paradigm Talent Agency appoints Marty Diamond as new head of global music, leading the agency’s representation of artists worldwide. Providence Equity-backed Superstruct Entertainment takes corporate control of Global’s festival arm, amid rumours Broadwick Live is undertaking a management buyback of its events. To subscribe to IQ Magazine: firstname.lastname@example.org An annual subscription to IQ is £75 (print) or £60 (electronic).
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Movers and Shakers Live Nation has named former AEG Presents executive, Ali Harnell, as president and chief strategy officer of the newly created Women Nation division. Her remit will involve expanding on existing Live Nation women’s initiatives, forging partnerships with industry groups, driving research and working to level the playing field for women in the live music industry. At AEG, she was senior vice president of global touring. Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus has promoted Debbie McWilliams to director of live entertainment. She was previously SEC’s head of live entertainment and ticketing. The company has also promoted Julie Carson to head of ticketing and James Graham to head of live entertainment programming. Live Nation China has appointed Song Ke (formerly head of Alibaba Group’s music streaming service, Alibaba Music) as chairman. Based in Beijing, Ke will lead Live Nation’s overall business in China, with a focus on domestic artist touring, artist management and venues. Paradigm Talent Agency has promoted Marty Diamond to head of global music, leading the agency’s representation of artists worldwide. He will head up Paradigm’s music executive group, as well as serving on the boards of Paradigm’s international partners – London-based Coda Agency and X-ray Touring. Diamond succeeds former head of music Chip Hooper, who died in 2006.
and leisure venues. Bergman joins the arena team from Swedish venue operator Stockholm Live. International ticketer StubHub has appointed two new senior members of staff to its leadership team, Amazon’s Stephanie Burns and ex-Walmart executive Arnie Katz. The duo will join StubHub head of international Miguel Giribet Giral in the recently expanded leadership team. Andy Price has been appointed head of commercial at UK venue operator NEC Group Arenas. Working across the 15,800-capacity Arena Birmingham and 16,000-seat Resorts World Arena, Price will focus on both growing existing revenues and generating new streams by identifying new products and business opportunities. Prior to joining the NEC Group, he was regional marketing director for radio brands Free Radio and Gem. PlayPass has promoted Steve Jenner to the role of managing director for the UK and Ireland in order to address growing demand as more festivals go cashless. Jenner, who joined the company in 2015, will lead an expanded team that includes the appointment of Ben Hirons, formerly of Gorilla Events, and Peppermint Bars & Events, who will oversee event delivery.
Alexandra Boutelier has been appointed CEO of Stade de France, the 80,698-seat national stadium in Paris. She succeeds Pierre Coppey, who continues as chairman. Boutelier also chairs the operating companies of MMArena (25,064cap) in Le Mans and Allianz Riviera (35,624) in Nice.
International artist management company Jem Music Group has named Naz Idelji as its managing director. In addition to heading up Jem Music Group, she will also oversee TS5 Presents, the joint venture between Jem Music Group founder Colin Lester and singer Craig David. Idelji’s career includes spells at Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony Music UK and Ministry of Sound.
AEG has appointed Pär Bergman as general manager of the Vaudoise Arena (10,000-cap) in Lausanne, Switzerland, the newest building in AEG’s portfolio of entertainment, sport
DEAG has appointed Roman Velke chief financial officer, succeeding Ralph Quellmalz. Velke joined DEAG in 2011 from accountancy firm BDO.
The owners of Dubai’s new 17,000-capacity indoor arena, Meraas, have signed a tenyear naming rights deal for the venue to carry the name of Coca-Cola Arena. Operated by AEG Ogden, the new facility is set to open on 6 June when Emmy-winning comedian Russell Peters brings his world tour to the venue, which is currently being fitted with scoreboards, lighting and sound systems, and will host 42 hospitality and corporate suites to accommodate the UAE’s more affluent fans. The state-of-the-art multipurpose Coca-Cola Arena
“In addition to major branding and exclusive beverage sales […] the strategic partnership also means the new Coca-Cola Arena will be able to tap into Coca-Cola’s vast network of expertise in
will be fully air-conditioned, with end-stage, central and half-stage configuration capabilities. The venue is designed with sustainability in mind with the incorporation of innovative elements such as humidity capture A/C units, light & water sensors, LED lights and an organic composter. It is also, significantly, the biggest multipurpose arena of its kind between Istanbul and Singapore, according to Meraas. Guy Ngata, AEG Ogden’s CEO of the arena says, “We are proud to partner with Meraas and Coca-Cola as we launch the UAE’s first world-class, multipurpose indoor arena.
the worlds of business and entertainment, while the company will see huge gains from its close, long-term relationship with one of the best live entertainment arenas in the region.”
IQ Magazine May 2019
MSG Sphere takes shape as regulators probe AEG-SMG Merger In a development watched closely by O2 Arena operator AEG Europe, the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) has submitted a 244page planning application for its prospective music and entertainment venue, MSG Sphere London. Sphere, the US venue giant’s first international property, located in Stratford, east London, was first announced last February, with industry figures invited to explore the arena’s technological innovations – including a fully programmable exterior comprising a ‘skin’ of LED displays, and an interior featuring the largest, highest-resolution media display on the planet and an adaptive sound system that targets individual seats – the following month. Among other things, the planning application reveals MSG Sphere would sit on a 4.7-acre site used as a temporary coach park during the London 2012 Olympics;
have a diameter of 120 metres and, at its highest point, would be 90m (295 feet) tall; with a seated capacity of up to 17,500, or 21,500 for mixed seated/standing; and include a smaller venue/nightclub, shops, a café, restaurants and several publicly accessible outdoor spaces, including parks and an outdoor gym. It is unclear whether AEG will appeal the planning application, although a spokesperson says they will be “scrutinising [it] very carefully. It is imperative that Madison Square Garden’s proposals do not add to congestion in the area, especially on the Jubilee [underground] Line, which is critical for the movement of guests to and from the O2 Arena. “AEG always strives to ensure that its guests have the best possible experience when they visit our venues and we will work with local stakeholders to scrutinise the application in detail and en-
sure MSG’s plans do not affect this.” AEG’s own big plans – its impending merger with rival venue operator SMG, to create new company ASM Global – are similarly being scrutinised, in its case by competition regulators on both sides of the Atlantic. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced in April that it had launched a preliminary (“phase-1”) investigation into the merger, following a partial deferment of the case to British authorities by the European Commission.
The CMA investigation, which will examine “whether the creation of [ASM Global] may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services,” also reveals that the new company will be called Wildlife Holdings Inc., presumably trading as ASM Global. Wildlife Holdings – to be jointly owned by AEG and Onex Corporation – applied for the “ASM Global” trademark on 7 February. A decision from the CMA is expected on 24 June. Regulators at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US are also believed to be looking into the merger.
STEVE FORSTER: 1964-2019
At press time, the IQ team were saddened to hear about the death of Steve Forster, founder and managing director of VMS Live and a widely respected figure in the live music industry. Steve was fa-
IQ Magazine May 2019
tally injured in a car crash on the way home from a football match in late March. After a stint as a musician, DJ and roadie in Newcastle, Forster’s live music business began in 1987 when he set up his own company, NPS, promoting shows, managing tours and organising club nights. After three years as operations director at Wembley Stadium, he joined Academy Music Group in 1999, remaining until 2007 when he set up VMS Live, and for three years ran the live music division of MAMA. Since 2011, Forster led VMS as a standalone busi-
ness, opening and acquiring several new venues. “Everyone at VMS Live is deeply shocked and saddened,” said the company in a statement. “He was involved in a serious car accident on Saturday 30 March, heading south after having watched his beloved Leeds United win. Steve sustained a number of serious injuries, which were treated in Sheffield, after which he was transferred to Royal Surrey Hospital. Following complications, Steve passed away peacefully on Friday 19 April 2019. “Whether you knew Steve from his early days in New-
castle or through the many venues and events he worked with, we are sure you will agree that he was a focussed and determined operator, a man who knew his own mind and, overall, a truly unique and talented individual. “Steve was respected and influential throughout the industry and has passed on a great deal of knowledge and experience to those around him, and for this legacy we can all be eternally grateful. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family, friends and all those who were fortunate to have known him.”
AEG Expands its Frontiers with Australian JV Australia’s live music business, long-time home of some of the world’s biggest independent national promoters, has been forever transformed, as the last of those standalones has agreed to partner with AEG Presents. Stepping up to provide serious competition to Live Nation and growing Asian powerhouse TEG, AEG has joined forces with Frontier Touring in a strategic joint venture that will see the two companies merge their operations in both Australia and New Zealand. That partnership follows hot on the heels of Frontier’s March 2019 merger with Chugg Entertainment. According to the new partners, the agreement will combine “Frontier Touring’s broad regional expertise with AEG Presents’ extensive resources, and will continue to grow both companies’ presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region.” Thanks to tours including the likes of Paul McCartney,
Céline Dion, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Rise Against and Ed Sheeran, Frontier reported sales of nearly 2.3million tickets last year. Its relationship with AEG dates back to 2007, since when it has co-promoted a number of A-list acts on their tours down under, namely The Stones, Leonard Cohen, Taylor Swift, Céline Dion, Justin Bieber, Rodriguez and Shawn Mendes. Financial details for the JV were not revealed, but the Wall Street Journal reports that AEG has acquired a 50% stake in Frontier Touring, part of Michael Gudinski’s Mushroom Group of companies. “Frontier Touring has been fiercely independent since its inception in 1979, and there is no doubt that we’ve batted well above the average on a global level in recent years,” states Gudinski. “AEG Presents has had a successful track record of partnering
with independent promoters and allowing them to keep their entrepreneurial roots while also supporting their growth. This next step is about ensuring that Frontier, AEG and our joint-venture partners, Illusive Presents and Chugg Entertainment, raise the bar in the Australasian live market higher than ever before.” Frontier’s deals with Illusive Presents – which is run by Gudinski’s son, Matt – and Chugg Entertainment, will continue under the new arrangement, including Chugg’s stake in country music festival CMC Rocks, which will now fall under the Frontier-AEG JV. The deal does not, however, include the other 24 companies that make up Mushroom Group. Jay Marciano, chairman and CEO of AEG Presents, says: “Frontier Touring and AEG Presents share a passion and commitment to delivering the best music experiences to art-
ists and fans alike. Michael has built an incredibly respected organisation with a proven track record of success and we are pleased that he chose to partner with us. We look forward to working closely with him and his talented team to further grow the Frontier Touring brand.” AEG’s partial acquisition of Frontier Touring, following Frontier’s merger with Chugg Entertainment, marks the end of an era in Australia, one of the last remaining major touring markets not controlled by multinational corporate entities. Live Nation has had a significant footprint in Oz since acquiring Michael Coppel Presents in 2012, while Paul Dainty’s Dainty Group became part of the ambitious TEG three years ago. AEG’s expansion now just leaves provincial players Adrian Bohm Presents and Bluesfest Touring as the country’s only promoters of note.
Global live ambitions end with Superstruct, Broadwick divvying up portfolio Less than four years after it snapped up much of the UK festival market, Global has sold off its portfolio of summer events, effectively bringing to an end the radio giant’s short-lived live music operation. IQ understands that Global’s festivals have been split between Providence Equity Partners’ Superstruct Entertainment, owner of Sziget, Øya Festival and Sónar, and former partner Broadwick Live. While the former has taken control of Global Festivals Ltd, Broadwick is reportedly planning a management buyback of its shares from
Global, according to several industry insiders. After launching into the festival market in 2015, Ashley Tabor’s radio and media conglomerate grew its portfolio to a total of 17 events by March 2017, when it acquired majority stakes in Hideout Festival in Croatia and Victorious Festival in the UK. A spokesperson confirms the festivals acquired by Superstruct include Victorious and Hideout, as well as the UK’s South West Four, Kendal Calling, Truck, Tramlines and Boardmasters. Events not included in the agreement are Field Day,
Festival No. 6 and Snowbombing, as well as Broadwick Venues, which are believed to be remaining under Broadwick’s control. The change in ownership of Global’s festival business comes 18 months after its touring arm, Global Live, was wrapped up following the exit of principals Sam Bush and Joe Schiavon, who both left to join Live Nation. Commenting on the Superstruct-Global deal, terms of which were not disclosed, company CEO James Barton says: “This acquisition further demonstrates that Superstruct is committed to building a
strong portfolio of live entertainment brands. We look forward to supporting the different festivals in their growth in their respective markets.” The move is believed to be the first UK buy for Superstruct, returning James Barton to his home nation, where he cut his teeth building EDM festival Creamfields in the late 90s. It follows a long string of European festival acquisitions for Superstruct over the past year including Finland’s Flow Festival, Øya Festival in Norway, Barcelona’s Sónar, Sziget in Hungary and Spanish electronic music promoter Elrow.
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IQ Magazine May 2019
The latest trades and handshakes from the agency world GEORGE GRETTON (UK)
Agent: Sol Parker, Coda Agency
Agent: Matt Bates, Primary Talent Hailing from Mungia in the Basque Country, Belako (Josu Ximun Billelabeitia, Lore Nekane Billelabeitia, Lander Zalakain and Cristina Lizarraga) have been playing non-stop throughout Europe for the last two years, including at some of Spain’s biggest festivals. They won Radio3 and Gaztea awards in 2012; Best New Band awards from Rolling Stone and MIN in 2015; RNE’s Best Modern Music Band gong in 2016; the Best Live Award at both MIN and The Iberian Music Awards in 2017; and last year saw them add MIN’s Best Band, Best Live and Best Video (for Render Me Numb) to their growing list of accolades. Belako are high intensity with hypnotic melodies, great riffs, amazing bass rhythms, powerful drums... Every live show goes from the darkness to the light, from the 80s through to the 21st century, from sweet vocals to screams. With three albums now under their belts, Belako have been honing their stage presence by playing 100+ gigs per year, and with dates across Europe, the USA, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Korea and the Philippines, they have been steadily growing their international fan base, too.
Art-pop and alternative R&B are two genres that can be easily applied to George Gretton’s transcendent debut Tread Water, but it’s so much more than that. Growing up in Nottingham and now London-based, this multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer defies any box you place him in, sculpting a forward-thinking and trendless sound that’s distinctly his, via expansive atypical arrangements, experimental processing and fitful drum samples. “Tread Water was written at a time when I didn’t really have a musical identity or lyrics to draw inspiration from. I had just started to teach myself basic production and I had become fascinated with vocal manipulation and using a contrast between organic and artificial sounds to tell different sides of the same situation,” he says. “I suddenly found that writing with obscure instrumentation gave me a lot of creative freedom, and the lyrics and arrangement came together pretty quickly after that.” Debut this may be but amateur he is not. Out of that desire for musical identity, his creative freedom flourished, now making music akin to such iconic artists as Ben Khan, James Blake and with echoes of Bon Iver. The genius in the selfproduced Tread Water is in its understated simplicity; organic sounds perfectly collide with electronic, pulling focus to the innovative and stellar songwriting.
IQ Magazine May 2019
68 (US) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Amahia (UK) Serena Parsons, Primary Talent Arlo Day (UK) Martin Mackay, Primary Talent Bexey (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Big Society (UK) Chris Payne, ITB Black Country (UK) Clemence Renaut, ATC Live Blake Rose (AU) Mike Malak, Coda Agency Boy Pablo (NO) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Brodinski (FR) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Cage The Elephant (US) Natasha Bent & Alex Hardee, Coda Agency Cagework (UK) Amber McKenzie, ITB Corella (UK) Andy Clayton, Coda Agency County Lice Runner (UK) Rob Challice, Coda Agency Cowboy Flying Saucer (UK) Tom Hasson, MN2S Craig Charles (UK) Tom Bull, MN2S Dahlia Sleeps (UK) Samuel McGlynn, FMLY Agency Deb Never (US) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Des Rocs (US) Adele Slater & Alex Hardee, Coda Agency Diamond Thug (ZA) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Agency Disq (US) Will Church, ATC Live Do Nothing (UK) Natasha Bent, Coda Agency Eben (IE) Ryan Penty & Nick Matthews, Coda Agency Egyptian Blue (UK) Sarah Besnard, ATC Live Elephant Gym (TW) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Elsa Hewitt (UK) Sinan Ors, ATC Live Franky Wah (UK) Dave Blackgrove, Coda Agency Gerra & Stone (UK) Nick Reddick, Primary Talent Global Roots (UK) Tim Levy, MN2S Good Cop Bad Cop (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Gothboiclique (US) Martin Mackay, Primary Talent Hayden Thorpe (UK) David Exley, Coda Agency High On Fire (US) Tom Taaffe, Coda Agency Holy Fuck (CA) Cris Hearn, Coda Agency Hope Tala (UK) Will Marshall & Matt Bates, Primary Talent House of Pharaohs (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Howie Lee (CN) Isla Angus, ATC Live Infuze (US) Nick Reddick,Primary Talent J Styles (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Jay Robinson (UK) Nick Reddick,Primary Talent Jay Som (US) Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Jimi Somewhere (NO) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Joesef (UK) Peter Elliott, Primary Talent Johnny Lloyd (UK) Ed Sellers, Primary Talent Julien Chang (US) Natasha Bent, Coda Agency July 7 (UK) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Kaylee Bell (NZ) Tom Bull, MN2S Killowen (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Knucks (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Kyan (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Lali (AR) Gary Howard, Jeremy Norkin, Ryan Soroka & Mary Petro, UTA Leio (UK) Gary Howard, UTA Lewis Watson (UK) Ryan Penty, Coda Agency Lisa Mercedez (UK) Yusuf Bashir, MN2S Los Bitchos (UK) Roxane Dumoulin, ATC Live Lunar Vacation (US) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Madonnatron (UK) Sarah Joy, ATC Live Mali-Koa (AU) Jess Kinn & Nick Matthews, Coda Agency Marina Kaye (FR) Shaun Faulkner, X-ray Touring Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (US) Tom Hasson, MN2S Master Peace (UK) Cris Hearn, Coda Agency Maven Grace (IE) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Miami Horror (AU) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Miss Grit (US) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Model Man (UK) Nick Reddick, Primary Talent Naked Giants (US) Sarah Joy & Chris Meredith, ATC Live NANCY (UK) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Nardeydey (UK) David Exley, Coda Agency Nick Cave (AU) Alex Bruford, ATC Live Odunsi (The Engine) (NG) Sally Dunstone, X-ray Touring Particle (UK) Francesco Caccamo, Primary Talent Patience (UK) Isla Angus, ATC Live
IQ Magazine May 2019
Pinty (UK) Nick Reddick, Primary Talent Porridge Radio (UK) Liam Keightley, ITB Prok & Fitch (UK) Ali Tavakoli & Laetitia Descouens, Primary Talent Raintown (UK) Tom Bull, MN2S Ralph TV (UK) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Agency Rose Gray (US) Mike Malak & James Whitting, Coda Agency rum.gold (US) Serena Parsons, Primary Talent Sarah Potenza (US) Tom Bull, MN2S Save Face (US) Olivia Sime, ITB Sebastian Piano (AR) Angie Rance & Heulwen Keyte, UTA Sharky (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Sick Joy (UK) Olivia Sime, ITB Slayyyter (US) Nick Matthews, Coda Agency Slow Magic (US) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Slow Pulp (US) Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Soley (IS) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Spookyghostboy (US) Anna Bewers, Coda Agency Squid (UK) Sarah Joy, ATC Live Take A Daytrip (US) Tom Schroeder & Cris Hearn, Coda Agency Tanita Tikaram (UK) Steve Backman & Stefan Romer, Primary Talent Tebey (CA) Phyllis Belezos, ITB Tera Melos (US) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live The Brand New Heavies (UK) Tom Bull, MN2S The Claque (IE) Sarah Besnard, ATC Live The Intergalactic Republic of Kongo (UK) Steve Backman & Stefan Romer, Primary Talent The Manor (UK) Alex Hardee, Coda Agency Tiffany Calver (UK) Craig D’Souza, Primary Talent Tillie (US) Anna Bewers & Natasha Bent, Coda Agency Torres (US) Nikita Lavrinenko, Paper and Iron Triathlon (US) Guillaume Brevers, ATC Live Tristan (NL) Tom Bull, MN2S Tropicalpurples (MX) Samuel McGlynn, FMLY Agency Tycho (US) Lucy Dickins & James Simmons, ITB UK Apache (UK) Yusuf Bashir, MN2S Underher (CA) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Agency Wives (US) Roxane Dumoulin, ATC Live Wynonna & The Big Noise (US) Rob Challice & Olly Hodgson, Coda Agency XXX (KR) Nick Holroyd, Primary Talent Yves Jarvis (CA) Nikita Lavrinenko, Paper and Iron
PREDICTIONS FOR NEXT MONTH
(Artists moving through database the quickest) SASAMI (US), JNR WILLIAMS (UK), WOOZE (UK), MEREBA (US), LIL KEED (US)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Last Month 33 41 9 55 1 19 2 7 25 29 21 62 42 38 18
ARTIST MEGAN THEE STALLION (US) PINK SWEAT$ (US) TIERRA WHACK (US) LIL TJAY (US) SAM FENDER (UK) BADFLOWER (US) LENNON STELLA (US) POLO G (US) JULIA JACKLIN (AU) STELLA DONNELLY (AU) FINNEAS (US) NLE CHOPPA (US) OCTAVIAN (UK) CHILLINIT (AU) FLORA CASH (SE)
Fastest growing artists based on online music consumption. Aggregated across a number of online sources.
Empowering European Clubs and Venues Elisa Thoma is in charge of communication at DMA Live, a European non-governmental network working to support and to promote the conditions of the live music sector. Here she describes the organisation’s work with clubs and venues.
vibrant and diverse European music industry cannot exist without small venues and clubs. Those places on the corner of the street run by passionate individuals who dedicate their working lives to programming as yet unknown or little known acts. The places that provide the first crucial live experience for artists from the local music scene to place themselves in front of an audience they can trust, an audience of music enthusiasts that considers such venues and clubs places of belonging. These small- and medium-sized venues and clubs are especially important in the local sphere as they significantly contribute to shaping the cultural identities of cities and regions. Yet, those venues and clubs are rarely recognised for their cultural impact, neither by the authorities, nor by the wider music industry, nor by the general public. The stereotype of venues and clubs being dirty, rough and unsafe places tends to stick around. The often unusual and diverse business models of these smallto medium-sized organisations, who might depend on volunteer engagement and a good deal of DIY culture, also feed the perception that these places are dubious or unprofessional.
“A vibrant and diverse European music industry cannot exist without venues and clubs.” Since 2012, Live DMA has been working on raising awareness of the huge impact that venues and clubs have on society. Our vision is that decision makers, the music scene and the public begin to recognise the role that venues and clubs play in the whole music and cultural ecosystem. As a European network uniting 19 live music associations in 15 countries and together representing over 3,000 venues, clubs, and festivals, Live DMA presents a collective voice when it comes to working on such challenges. As part of our capacity building project Live Style Europe, which is supported by the European Commission via the Creative Europe programme, Live DMA aims to empower live music professionals and to enhance the visibility and recognition of smaller live music venues in particular. In order to achieve this ambition, our focus is on promoting the exchange of ideas and collaborative action. We believe that together we are stronger.
Boosting Open Club Day on a European-level is part of our action plan. On Open Club Day, live music venues and clubs all over Europe open their doors during the daytime and invite the general public to come and see what happens behind the scenes. Taking place every year on the first Saturday in February, the objective of Open Club Day is to provide insight into clubs and venues for those that would not normally participate in night-time entertainment. By demonstrating the reality of the work that goes into running a small venue or club, we hope that we can destroy the stereotypes that often lead to a lack of understanding of the true value of these cultural places. Open Club Day promotes exchange between live music professionals, neighbours of the venue, nightlife-activists, families, politicians and curious night owls. Every participating venue and club creates its own programme for the occasion. Activities may include guided club tours, sound & lighting workshops, city safaris, and roundtables to discuss club culture. Initiated in Zürich by the local bar and club commission BCK seven years ago, Open Club Day achieved national interest in Switzerland in 2015 with the support of PETZI (the Swiss federation of live music venues and festivals). Live DMA co-ordinated the first European edition in February 2018 and already participating venues and clubs have noted a shift in the perception of their activities by the general public. Open Club Day provides an opportunity for small venues/ clubs to showcase the live music business in another light and works especially well in smaller neighbourhoods where it can create positive connections between those working in venues and clubs, and the immediate community. In larger cities and nightlife hotspots such as Hamburg and Zürich, local club and live music associations tend to take over the co-ordination of Open Club Day, and in addition to guided tours and workshops, they hold panels and run awareness campaigns in order to discuss live music/club culture with local authorities and decision makers. We have noticed that small initiatives like Open Club Day can have a huge impact and that venues and clubs are eager to participate. Open Club Day strengthens connections between venues/clubs and local communities, and at the same time, local stages all over Europe, with a strong message: that live music venues and clubs are important cultural, economic, and social places and that they deserve recognition for the work they do.
IQ Magazine May 2019
Go Local to Achieve Global Shanghai-based promoter Archie Hamilton advocates the use of local expertise in Asia’s developing markets and flags up Scorched as an agency that is truly helping local and international acts grow their fan bases throughout the world’s most populous continent...
here’s an old joke amongst local music fans that Asia must be an “extra-terrestrial.” Because until very recently, every time a band announced a “world tour,” they’d orbit around the Asian continent like it was an alien moon. Thankfully, the 2010s have seen the business of live music expand to all corners of the globe. Where once, festivals and touring were limited to the core markets of North America, Europe and Australia (with a little Japan and South America thrown in the mix), the last decade has seen dramatic growth in the newly developing markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was estimated that there were nearly 300 music festivals in China alone in 2018, up from a mere three in 2007. An ever-growing number of Western artists come through the region with increasing regularity at all levels of the live spectrum. New venues and festivals have sprung up from Jaipur to Hanoi, Chongqing to Ulaanbaatar, and ticket prices have increased many-fold as disposable income and willingness to spend goes up in all markets. Asian talent is now heading west, with Korean, Chinese and Japanese music touring the US, appearing in showcase festivals in the UK, testing radio waves on and offline, and fans buying billboards for their idols in Times Square. It’s an exciting time to be Asian (or an Asian economic migrant). This region seems like a no-brainer. A huge population with the classic bulge around the younger end of the age range, young people that have both time and money and an awareness of global and local trends, and media and social media that is increasingly receptive to high-quality content from wherever. But like any good opportunity, developing markets require investment, time and patience. The globalisation trend of the last two decades is in reverse as countries become increasingly protectionist, and we are seeing signs that the uplift of the last decade is slowing. The greed and shortsightedness of the global EDM industry has contributed to a four-year Asian boom-and-bust, as overly high talent and licensing fees have all but killed a platinum goose. Internationally, the pressure on individuals in the newly consolidated agency giants have led to increased demands for worldwide rights from their artists and less urgency on territories that are not immediately profitable. Asia demands local know-how and grounded expertise. Diversity is its feature, not a “potential roadblock” to skirt. But the
IQ Magazine May 2019
continuing consolidation of the world’s promoters under the dual aegis of Live Nation and AEG, and the aforementioned roll up of the world’s biggest agencies to create a “big four” have created an increased focus on profits and bottom line, and as such, less focus on building these locally grounded competencies. The focus on global markets and lack of focus on local expertise is creating a contradiction. With consolidation, we’re seeing a race to sign-up “buzzy” artists for “global” rights, for “worldwide” distribution. But many of these words carry the baggage of the past, when much of Asia was indeed extra-terrestrial territory.
“Asia demands local know-how and grounded expertise. Diversity is its feature, not a “potential roadblock” to skirt.” It seems to us that there are two options – invest real time and resource in the region, or cede worldwide rights to regional specialists. Perhaps it’s time to truly go global by ditching the word “global.” Let local differences shine, and recognise local and regional players for what they are: tireless champions of what makes their part of the world special. If our industry’s superstructure is going to be giant monoliths, we can deflect some of the fragility that comes with it by diffusing responsibilities and opportunities down the line. Regional and local specialisation grows the pie for everyone and shows that we’ve learnt our lesson from the Napster days. The best music in the world has always come out of hyper-local specificity. We can make sure that the best shows, the best tours, and the greatest experiences in the world do, too. Of course, we write from from a position of self-interest. We are proud of an artist roster we have built over the last decade for our Asian booking agency. Forward-thinking artists, managers and indeed agents have enabled us to grow some of the world’s most exciting artists in one of the world’s most exciting regions. You can see more at www.scorched.asia.
All Roads Lead To Country As the country music genre continues to explode internationally, ITB agent Phyllis Belezos outlines its multimedia expansion and growing crossover into the mainstream.
veryone is talking about country music now,” I can hear someone saying to their friend who is checking out the current swag in the stalls at C2C Festival in London. “It’s suddenly cool now.” For years, the genre was associated with the Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw die-hards, and further back to the George Straits, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard eras. But anyone who knows their music understands that just as rock music was born from the influence of blues and jazz, so has the umbrella of country music that crosses over from folk to Americana to bluegrass to pop. Ten years ago, if you mentioned country music, you were likely to chat about the icons of the industry, and the chances of seeing them live outside of North America were slim, as the cost of bringing their stage shows to the UK, Europe and beyond was too high. Push forward to the present day and people are talking. Promoters are finding the interest in concerts and events surging and festivals are selling out. People are listening, buying and relishing in all that there is to hear – and there’s a lot. We had our Dolly Parton moment (one of the biggest crowds Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage has seen) and C2C had just had its most successful year to-date including expanded dates in Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam and Berlin. New artists like Lukas Nelson (his father’s namesake has made a huge splash in the country world and is touring worldwide), Thomas Rhett, Ashley McBryde, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, the list goes on. Successful TV shows like Nashville have expanded the fan base and paved the way for artists of the programme to continue their musical journey (Charles Esten recently completed a sold-out tour of Europe and Sam Palladio sold out his first UK headline show at the Roundhouse). But what can we expect for future artists and the business? How dedicated we as industry professionals are in helping to develop these artists achieve a successful career is key, and so far, the future looks bright. National gem “Whispering” Bob Harris has been a huge influence from his early days with The Old Grey Whistle Test, to introducing new artists through his Under the Apple Tree Sessions and hosted stages at festivals around the UK. It was here that I was first introduced to one of the most talented
home-grown Americana artists in the UK, Robert Vincent (winner of Best Album at the UK Americana Awards 2018). There are radio programmes like Chris Country, and Bauer recently debuted the UK’s first national country radio station (Country Hits Radio). New festivals like Black Deer, The Long Road and Nashville Meets London, along with SummerTyne Americana Festival, Ramblin’ Roots and River Town have all been huge supports to these artists. And I look forward to seeing more country/Americana/folk artists crossover to other mainstream festivals as the demand is there.
“...hopefully, one day country artists will just be considered ‘artists.’” It’s great to see that people are taking the music and the artists more seriously, and the fan base is quite diverse. Artists are not only on country music radio and album charts. But who decides what ‘country music’ is? As is the recent story with rapper Lil Nas X whose song Old Town Road was removed from Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart because “it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current form.” He is currently on course for a Top 5 with said single in the UK Official Charts. Women in country have set a huge standard as well and brought a lot more attention to international audiences, including Grammy award-winning acts like Kacey Musgraves and Brandi Carlile (most nominated female artist at this year’s awards). Ward Thomas set a precedent in the UK as the first UK country act to have a number-one album in the Official Music Charts. UK acts like The Shires and Wandering Hearts, alongside US acts like Striking Matches, Sarah Darling and Kelsea Ballerini, are all setting the tone and bringing young audiences on board. It is critically important to help these artists develop and grow and allow more for emerging acts such as Jarrod Dickenson, Kyle Daniel, Megan O’Neill, Laura Oakes etc. It’s human nature to want to tick a box and list an influence or genre but just as the hope one day is that there isn’t a focus on age or sex, hopefully one day country artists will just be considered ‘artists.’
IQ Magazine May 2019
Do I need an app? LiveStyled CEO Adam Goodyer provides a simple guide for those considering whether developing an app could prove helpful for their event or venue.
o I need an app?” is a question LiveStyled is often asked. Our answer: “Maybe not” may seem a surprising response. However, it helps to make a fundamental point: any technology viewed in isolation of a real-world problem is useless. Utilised properly, technology can be transformative to the customer experience and to the business as a whole. But all too often it is implemented for its own sake, in a manner poorly thought through and badly designed. To make technology as effective as possible, the following four-step approach can help: 1. Ask ‘real-world’ questions. These can start as simple as “How do I get more people to my show?” Then through a process of ever-narrow questioning, the problem becomes clearer until you eventually hit on a key set of questions the whole company can focus on. 2. Get your systems to talk to each other. Often, the genus of the answers to these real-world questions will lie somewhere within the data and systems you’ve already got. It’s vital these systems can communicate and share data while being able to digitally track every customer across their journey.
3. Work with people who can analyse your data and generate insights from it. Data is useless unless it’s actually being used to make decisions. At least one element of your technology infrastructure should therefore be able to analyse your data and test it against the fundamental questions you’ve asked. The insight produced should be able to be understood by everyone in the organisation. 4. Employ flexible and dynamic front-end technologies – which may be an app! Once you’ve drawn insights from your data, you need to focus on whether you can change people’s behaviour in relation to your key questions. This is done by targeting the technologies they interact with throughout their journey with you. Speed and flexibility are crucial here, so whatever that technology is, it needs to be able to adapt to the individual instantly. Whether this is an app, social media channels or digital screens in the venue, dynamic adaptability is the most important factor. With all of these steps aligned, the technology you choose and the people within your organisation using it will become much more effective. Whether this includes an app or not, is up to you.
Gig Gadgetry from the Frontline... With festival season now upon us, IQ takes a look at some of the products being packed by savvy campers (and offered for sale by even savvier festival concessionaires)
Wacaco Minipresso GR
Disc-O-Beds Who doesn’t love bunk beds? If your camping budget stretches to more than a bargain-basement effort from your local catalogue store, why not invest in a modular disc bed system? Approved by both the US military and the Red Cross, these beauties will allow you to relive those glorious, childhood days of summer camp. They’re even called Disc-O-Beds! Rugged yet comfortable, they can be as-
sembled and disassembled in minutes, without tools, and come with built-in storage and their own carry bag. And if bunking seems a little juvenile (as if), you can always stick them side by side for some below-the-stars snoozing, or as an upgrade on the humble sleeping mat – either way, festival sleeping just got a whole lot comfier. And bunkier. www.discobed.com
Is there a more depressing feeling than trudging around a muddy festival site the morning after the night before, hunting for some decent coffee to cut through the fug of a hangover? Well, fear not fuzzy headed campers, for the Wacaco Minipresso GR is here to ease your pain! This compact and versatile gadget claims to be the “perfect portable espresso machine,” and is as light as it is simple; just add hot water to ground beans, and you’re a few pumps away from a perfect espresso with a generous crema. It makes 50ml a go – enough for two people – is easy to clean, and can be used with all manner of beans and roasts; pair it with a portable grinder and you’ll
have the freshest brews onsite. So stick one of these in your backpack and those fuzzy mornings will be a lot less painful. www.wacaco.com/products/ minipresso-gr
Chill & Charge Barrels No matter how glamorous your camping set-up is, one thing will likely be lacking – power. For better or worse, we all live through our devices and would be lost without them – especially at festivals – leading to vast hordes of texters and Instagramers constantly on the hunt for charging sockets (and working Wi-Fi but that’s another story). So thank the almighty for Chill & Charge Barrels then, a one-stop solution for outdoor bars and concession stalls that lets patrons top-up the juice while sipping on
something cold. Available with either mains or battery power, each barrel comes with four cables and a wireless charging pad, and has connectors for all common devices (USB-C, Micro USB, Apple Lightning). They look the part, too, crafted from real wood, and are both durable and sturdy – making them ideal for rowdy festivals and the ideal excuse to pop by the craft ale stall or gin bar for a spot of (literal as well as metaphorical) recharging. www.chillandcharge.com
Do you have a new product or technology to contribute to this page? Email email@example.com to be considered for the next issue…
IQ Magazine May 2019
Ministry of Magic TUESDAY 5 MARCH ILMC PRODUCTION MEETING
Sorcerers & Apprentices Unite Well, just when you thought nothing could top ILMC’s 30th anniversary event last year, along comes 2019 and a recordbreaking conference in terms of attendance, thanks largely to Futures Forum, which helped add an additional 30% of panels to proceedings, and around 200 new, young professionals who showed that the future of the business is in very safe hands indeed. While one of the recurring themes throughout the various panel sessions and networking events was delegates talking about a potentially flat year in terms of ticket sales, the general mood during ILMC was nevertheless upbeat. The calibre of guest speakers and experts has, arguably, never been better, topped by keynote sessions involving two artists at opposite ends of their careers – international pop sensation Dua Lipa and veteran rock royalty, Roger Daltrey, who vied for the biggest audiences of the week. To give you a taster/reminder of what went on during our four days of live entertainment business discussions, we’ve highlighted some of the more noteworthy moments over the coming pages. For greater detail, please visit our ILMC report pages on the event’s website: 31.ilmc.com/report.
In addition to a number of production note breakout sessions, the IPM programme was split into four main panels, with the event host, Rachel Haughey overseeing proceedings. Production manager Chris Vaughan chaired the opening panel, The Show Must Go On, But At What Cost? in which delegates discussed the mental and physical wellbeing of crews. “A disproportionate amount of friends and colleagues are not making it to their 60th birthday,” commented Vaughan, presenting the issue that was to underlie the panel. The panel concluded with Vaughan suggesting that a “guideline document” outlining good working practices could be put together by IPM members, while panellist, Dr Kate Bunyan of MB Medical Solutions name-checked several other industries that have similar guidelines. Show Production Ltd’s Martina Pogačić chaired the What The Furk?! Challenges in International Touring session where panellists Alberto Artese of Assomusica (Italy), Renatas Načajus of Falcon Club (Lithuania) and Paddy Hocken of Paddy Hocken Productions (UK) recalled notable incidents where the
Greg Parmley, ILMC
Read the full report at 31.ilmc.com/report
Report needs of international tours and local production crews failed to align – with the response from the latter being, invariably, “What did you expect? This is [insert country name]!” The debates continued after lunch with Rule Out Loud’s Rick Smith presiding over the panel entitled I Like To Move It, Move It, which as it suggests concerned transport and travel. International Talent Booking’s Steve Zapp revealed that agents encounter the same problems surrounding miscommunication and last-minute changes that plague the production industry. “There needs to be conversations between the booking and production sides of tours,” he stressed. Smith closed the session urging increased input and cooperation from all agencies involved in the ever-expanding world of touring. In the wake of the infamous “logistical issues” that plagued Mumford & Sons’ scrapped 2018 UK arena tour, IPM’s final panel – Advancing & Sharing: Oops, They Did It Again – looked at advancing and information sharing, and how the industry can keep things moving in an era of late rider requests and hit-and-miss safety information. Chair Tony Hayes, from Arena Birmingham, directly addressed the Mumfords situation, saying that the first that his arena (slated to be the tour’s third venue) knew about dates being cancelled was when trucks that should have been in Manchester turned up early in Birmingham. Intelligence officer Kevin Walker outlined the work of the UK’s National Events Intelligence Unit (NEIU), which, he explained, is missing crucial security information from arenas, as large venues are reluctant to send data to the NEIU owing to commercial considerations. “We often get 20 pages of information from police, then two paragraphs from the venues,” he concluded.
One of the most heated debates of the day took place during A Greener Tour: Is Green the New Rock n Roll? hosted by Gordon Masson (IQ Mag / ILMC). Touring shows by their very nature are not environmentally friendly, with artists being flown around the world to perform, and their entourages and huge shipments of equipment and stage-sets following suit. To round off the day, delegates were invited to attend an awards ceremony, supported by RES and Video Illusions, which featured all those events that had garnered an A Greener Festival Award for 2018 and, for the first time, the announcement of the International AGF Awards winners for a range of categories including the Greener Transport Award, the Water & Sanitation Award and the first ever overall winner of the International Greener Festival Award, which went to the very deserving DGTL Festival.
GREEN EVENTS & INNOVATIONS CONFERENCE The 11th edition of the Greener Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) saw a record-breaking 200 conscientious delegates arrive to discuss the future of sustainability at festivals and events. After a welcome address from A Greener Festival directors Claire O’Neill and Ben Challis, the first panel titled The Essentials: Food… and Merch?! started with a discussion around best practice in choosing ethical merchandise for both festivals and artist promoters. Later, the conversation moved on to the topic of food, in particular the carbon emissions created by the meat and dairy industries, providing attendees with information about making less environmentally impactful choices. Both DGTL Amsterdam and Eighth Plate described how to create circular systems in order to minimise food waste. In Come Together, Right Now... Over Brexit panellists covered the imminent yet wildly uncertain future of Brexit and the impact it will have on the industry. Everyone agreed that we must develop opportunities to collaborate, and create partnerships for purpose. Frustrations were aired about the uncertainty ahead, but Kierra Box from Friends of the Earth urged people to focus on taking positive steps to safeguard environmental efforts, to use events as platforms to celebrate multiculturalism, and to inform and inspire change.
Read the full report at 31.ilmc.com/report
Ministry of Magic WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH THE OPEN FORUM: WITH OR WITHOUT EU Live Nation’s president of international touring, Phil Bowdery, returned as host and was joined by six industry heavyweights to discuss the last 12 months in the business and such topics as the AEG Facilities/SMG merger, gaming, ticket pricing and the thorny subject of Brexit. After discussing some headline numbers from 2018, Bowdery broached the trend toward rising ticket prices, coupled in many cases with falling attendances. Deutsche Entertainment’s Detlef Kornett surmised that less wealthy fans are being priced out of shows. “Twenty per cent of the population in Germany now can’t afford to go to a show,” he explained. “The P1s keep increasing but the lower end is a concern.” Coda’s Alex Hardee said he felt the overall market is flat. “You’re never going to have a problem selling [new, hot acts like] Billie Eilish but it’s more difficult with bands on their second, third albums… Record labels are the strongest they’ve been since the 80s, but the live industry feels like it’s plateauing.” Tim Leiweke, who now leads venues company Oak View Group (OVG), urged delegates “to address whether we’re pricing people out of concerts,” while Solo Agency’s John Giddings warned: “We push ticket prices all the time – the artists want more money, venues want that peripheral income – so there must be a level it reaches when we say it’s enough.” Marsha Vlasic said her company, Artist Group International, enjoyed a great year thanks to the likes of Billy Joel, Def Leppard and Metallica continuing to sell out shows. But her big concern for the future is “who are the next headliners, and how do we get the next generation of acts to that level?” Asked about the impending merger of AEG Facilities and SMG, Leiweke predicted legal challenges across Europe and said OVG’s lawyers are “looking at it” on anti-competition concerns. Artist manager Bill Silva said live music was small fry compared to the video games business. “Fortnite is a $60billion business, and it doesn’t charge to play,” said Silva. “That’s one game bigger than our entire industry by a multiple [of
two]… There’s a lot to be learnt from what’s going on there.” Kornett agreed, noting that gaming could take live music to a wider audience, using the example of DJ Marshmello’s recent performance in Fortnite, watched by 10m people. Inevitably, talk turned to Brexit, with several delegates revealing they are hedging dollars to prepare for any post-Brexit plunge in the pound. “We’re in a gambling business and that’s just another gamble we’re taking,” said Giddings. Asked about the view from the continent, Kornett said: “The UK industry accounts for almost 25% of Europe’s [performing artists], so if it gets harder to get to the UK from Europe our business gets harder. There should be a vested interest to avoid that.”
TICKETING: IS SELLING OUT LOSING OUT? With dynamic and slow ticketing rewriting the rules, chair Tim Chambers reminded the packed room that content might be king but the cost of talent is increasing. In the light of 90-10% or even 100%-plus deals, is the promoter being less fiscally oriented to reach sell-out, preferring instead to break even and develop incremental incentives, he asked. Chambers said multiple presale dates for various partners can confuse consumers, thus enabling secondary ticketers to take advantage. He cited Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour as an example of dynamic pricing returning more money to the event creator. However, Jules de Lattre of UTA highlighted the importance of capped ticket prices so fans don’t feel they’ve overpaid. Michele Bernstein of WME Entertainment revealed that ticket bundles, including VIP experiences, bundling tickets with records and so on, can generate $1-5m on an arena tour. “A $600-700 package can net $200 for the artist. That’s revenue that didn’t exist before,” she reported. Andrew Cooke, of Flash Entertainment, said that while most artists want to play in full venues, for sponsors and stakeholders it’s vital. “They like to see sold-out crowds so I can’t see the importance of selling out going away for us.” De Lattre voiced concerns that the only way artists get ticketing data is if they have their own ticketing platform but Bernstein argued they don’t really need data because they have social channels to communicate with their fans. Nonetheless, Parsons
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Report said data remains important because 60-70% of inventory shifts during on-sale, making access to past ticket buyers key. AXS’s Paul Newman said email is still an important marketing tool as it enables companies to reach “less than super-fans” and fans of similar artists. And Parsons concluded: “There will always be a need for sold-out signs – we’re a hype business. We just need to be more mindful about what that looks like and take steps to prevent other people from exploiting that.”
FESTIVAL FORUM: FAN FIRST? Co-chairs Codruța Vulcu of Romania’s ARTmania and Dany Hassenstein from Switzerland’s Paléo Festival kick-started this session by offering some stats relating to the state of play. “The good news is that most people still go to festivals for the music,” said Hassenstein, “but as ticket prices are rising, fans are beginning to voice their concerns.” ICM Partners’ Ari Bernstein proclaimed, “the experience of the audience is first and foremost the most important thing,” in terms of customer loyalty. The agent said he’d like to see “fewer multigenre festivals” to vary the types of artists appearing on line-ups. Concentrating on the UK festival scene, Jim King of AEG Presents said there is now limited growth in terms of procuring bigger headliners. “It comes down to experience at this point,” he said. “We need to add as much value to the festival experience as is justifiable.” Talk turned to matching festivals to different cultural markets, a topic of which C3 Presents’ Sophie Lobl has experience: “We definitely tailor Lollapalooza to the country it’s in, whilst keeping it to the level expected of our brand.” However, Nara Pinto of Mad Cool Festival believes Spanish fans value lineup over experience. “We’re struggling with the experience side of things,” she admitted. “We create that bond with the public through our line-ups.” Having established that block-booking acts for multiple events “helps to secure the bands but not to save money,” according to Lobl, the panellists agreed that festivals remain line-up driven in essence. “That’s never going to change,” said King. “Even the best experiential festivals have a lifespan.”
well as being a folk musician runs medium-sized UK promoter The Nest Collective, was the fact that headliners suck up so much of a festival budget. “A question needs to be asked of big artists about the impact of their fees on lower order artists,” he said. As discussion turned to maintaining good mental health, chair Roxanne de Bastion explained that as a peer-run group, the Featured Artists Collective, of which she is a director, offers helpful support because those involved understand the world of touring. Howells said, “It’s useful for us to know what’s normal and what others have done before you.” Foy agreed, saying small gestures of care really make a difference. “Be kind to one another. Think of the little things. Offer kind words when [people] feel stressed,” concluded De Bastion.
ARTISTS: THE VIEW FROM THE STAGE "What makes a good promoter or venue?" was the milliondollar question that opened this panel, which focussed on the artist experience of the live industry. Lyla Foy, who’s been a musician for a decade, said she prefers working with smaller promoters because of their attention to detail – “someone knowing I like hummus rather than ham,” she said. “With bigger promoters, sometimes the rep doesn’t even know your name. The personal touch is so important for artists.” Sarah Howells, who performs as Bryde, urged venues to pay greater attention to the atmosphere they can help create. For example, thinking about whether to use seating or not – and where to place it; and making sure the lighting is appropriate. The panel agreed the need for more funding – especially as the standard £50 support fee in the UK hasn’t changed in years, despite inflation. Indeed, one burning issue for Sam Lee, who as
Ministry of Magic THURSDAY 7 MARCH
the crowd – now you have to do that before the show, because the whole thing has to work with the lighting man, the video man and everything else.” Daltrey closed by talking about his work with Teenage Cancer Trust, as well as his vision for a worldwide network of hospitals designed specifically for teenagers – the people key to the success of The Who. “In the 70s, when it all went tits up and high earners were taxed at 98%, squeezed till the pips squeaked, we were one of the few bands who didn’t go abroad,” he recalled. “We carried on earning but turned ourselves into a charity, putting all the money we earned into this charity and giving it out to other charities we thought were worthy. “That’s how The Who were, and how I still feel. You get out of life what you put in.”
THE AGENCY BUSINESS 2019
DALTREY DOES ILMC Ed Bicknell’s Breakfast Meeting traditionally proves to be one of the most popular sessions at ILMC and this year was no different as The Who’s Roger Daltrey addressed everything from being born during a wartime V-1 raid, to becoming one of the world’s greatest rock frontmen. Daltrey talked candidly about his new memoirs, Thanks a Lot, Mr Kibblewhite, revealing his love of music started as “a choir boy when I was at school.” But it was British skiffle singer Lonnie Donegan “who first made me want to throw my head back and wail. He influenced Robert Plant, all the singers of my generation… Lonnie Donegan, he was the one.” Fast-forward a few years, The Who were riding high on their post-Tommy success, yet despite their profile and critical and commercial success, they were broke. “In 1971, after touring for a whole year, we came back to the great news that our debt, instead of being £1.3million, had gone down to £650,000,” Daltrey recalled. It turned out the band’s management had their hands in the till, with Daltrey, Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon funding their managers’ lavish lifestyles and growing heroin habits. Daltrey first spotted their replacement, Bill Curbishley, working at Track Records. “He used to disappear at the same time every night,” Daltrey said. “I only realised later he was on parole. Turns out he was inside for eight years for a bank robbery! One he didn’t do. He did eight years for someone else, so I knew that if he did a deal with me, he’d be straight with me. And from that day on, we started making money.” Although Daltrey and Townshend are gearing up for a new album, their first since 2006’s Endless Wire, and a Live Nation-promoted stadium tour, Daltrey suggested the pair’s often-fractious relationship remains strained, revealing they are recording the new record separately. Responding to a question from the floor about his opinion of modern big-production shows, Daltrey said: “In some ways I hate it, because we have to play to a set-list. In the old days you’d just shout out the next number, responding to the vibe of
Chair Dan Steinberg kicked off proceedings by exploring the reasons behind the choice of certain territories and venues on a tour, and how new promoters can engage with agents and their acts. Tom Windish of Paradigm said the role of an agent is constantly changing. “I find my clients early in their career, often when we start from zero, and I like to think they remember those difficult early days of trying to find them dates,” he said, adding that acts that sign global deals are potentially missing out on other deals and revenue streams. With many industry observers predicting a downturn in 2019, Coda’s Clementine Bunel admitted it seems harder to sell tickets “at every level” but added, “It’s a bit early to say it’s an off year.” WME’s Brian Ahern reasoned that fewer headline artists are touring but that could provide opportunities to advance other acts as new headliners. X-ray’s Josh Javor shared his opinion that 2019 could be a bit of a boring year, with the acts playing European festivals very similar to 2018. Nonetheless, the agents named the likes of Billie Eilish, Vulfpeck, Kokoroko, Rosalía, Frank Carter and J Balvin as artists to check out over the coming year. Windish revealed that one of the reasons he sold his company was to ensure he had the tools to offer his acts other services, while Ahern said the ability to offer diverse services allows agencies to represent a broader range of artists. Javor and Windish agreed that it’s part of an agent’s job to tell artists to stop playing shows so that they can have a career and avoid audience fatigue, while Bunel disclosed that one of her strategies was to sell-out hard ticket shows to enable sensible conversations about fees and billing with festivals, rather than to simply agree lots of festival slots.
THE VENUE’S VENUE: CLOSE-UP MAGIC Opening the ever-popular venues panel, SEC’s Anne-Marie Harwood presented findings from the National Arenas Association and European Arenas Association surveys for 2018: 48 respondents had 989 unique events over the year, and 4,643 performances that entertained total audiences of 27.5million people. Music accounted for 46% of all performances and 58% of attendance, and saw a 5% year-on-year increase in performance
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Report and attendance. The biggest music genres were pop and rock, where the number of shows rose 28% and attendance was up 36%, compared to 2017. Steve Sayer from The O2 Arena in London said venues need to be more innovative to maintain audiences. He cited country music festival, C2C, which his venue hosts and promotes with SJM, as one example, while he also championed e-sports as a growth sector. Guy Ngata from AEG’s 17,000-capacity Dubai Arena said in addition to western acts, the soon-to-open venue will programme content for the Arabic community and the large Indian subcontinent community in the UAE. Session chair Lucy Noble pondered whether new venues would grow the market or simply increase competition. Noting plans for the new 18,000-capacity MSG Sphere, Sayer said that he was unsure that building a new venue in London would stimulate more demand for tickets. As focus switched from large-capacity venues to grassroots spaces, Noble asked if larger venues should support smaller ones, prompting Music Venue Trust’s Beverley Whitrick to highlight that the majority of grassroots venues are not purpose-built but instead struggle in converted buildings, often at the mercy of rent rises. The gap in customer experience between top-end venues and grassroots is widening and becoming a crisis, she said: “If people only have less than positive experiences at local small venues then that might put them off live music. It’s time for the big venues to play their part in making it more of an obvious pipeline.” However, Adam Goodyer of tech company LiveStyled queried the incentives for large venues to support smaller venues. Instead, he suggested ticketing companies should invest because there’s economic reason to do so.
DIVERSITY: BREAKING THE SPELL Chair Vanessa Reed of PRS Foundation opened proceedings by declaring that “diversity is no longer a mystery subject,” and the priority now is to get more women to the top of the industry.
Offering an artist’s perspective, ReBalance finalist Tilly Scantlebury from indie band Lazy Day, said, “Musicians I love are being celebrated because of their differences and not in spite of them,” indicating the inspiration this gives to young artists. BBC 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova noted that although female DJs are increasing in number, “the imbalance is that it’s still at the grassroots level: in terms of headliners, there’s still a long way to go.” Reiterating this point, UK Music’s head of research, Natalie Williams, highlighted the organisation’s diversity survey: “At entry level, there’s really good representation but that progression is not replicated at a senior level.” Jamie Ahye of Atlantic Records spoke about Pride in Music – a network that aims to “create a community of LGBTQidentifying people to give us a voice in the industry.” Talk turned to the limitations of existing recruitment procedures in improving access for minority groups or those from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds. Williams stressed the importance of implementing a “blind” recruitment process to counter unconscious bias, whereas Supernova and Ahye focused on education. “As a woman of colour, I would like to be less oppressed, and more listened to and valued,” said Supernova, referencing issues of being spoken over, or opinions being discounted or credited to others. Ahye, meanwhile, pointed out that discussions surrounding diversity usually come from “diverse people,” stating “we need an ally” to progress things further. Summarising the session, Scantlebury concluded, “gender equality benefits everybody and comes at the expense of no one.”
Ministry of Magic
EVENTS What sets ILMC apart from other live music industry gatherings is its mix of serious, daytime conference debates, balanced with multiple opportunities to party and network with delegates from around the world, who this year enjoyed a range of magic-themed activities. This page (from top to bottom): The Never Mind The Warlocks Karaoke proved a popular draw, with many of the usual suspects torturing those unfortunate enough to possess perfect pitch; yet more torture; our croupiers in the Wednesday night casino pulled out all the stops with bar tabs on offer for those chancing their arm at the roulette and black-jack tables; and at The Fusball Wizard Coupe du Monde, reigning champions Stefan Bernhard (Alpine Concerts) and Alexander Färber (Färber & Partners) lost their crown to fellow Germans, Nils Hoch and Johannes Schuster from Olympiapark München. Opposite page (clockwise from top left): For the third year running, WME Entertainment hosted their WME Happy Hour offering cocktails and nibbles to their international friends and partners; top-class DJs were on hand to provide entertainment at The ‘Raise Your Spirits’ Opening Party; where delegates met old friends and new over a glass of fizz, thanks to the generosity of sponsors Semmel Concerts, Stagelink, Megaforce and Noise Now; ILMC’s Greg Parmley ensured his popularity by handing out the booty at The Nikos Fund Grand Prize Draw; delegates young and not-so-young were able to rub shoulders at The Vanishing Act Closing Drinks where Live Nation Entertainment hosted a drinks reception to celebrate International Women's Day; North London’s Hive Stadium witnessed arguably the most one-sided Match of the Year in ILMC history, in which team UK defeated the Rest of The World in a 9-3 victory; and LiveStyled’s Tina Kelly underlined the legendary luck of the Irish when she aced The Sleight of Hand Texas Hold’em Poker Tourney to collect the coveted trophy and a £100 bar tab.
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FRIDAY 8 MARCH
FUTURES FORUM KEYNOTE: DUGI AND DUA LIPA Dua Lipa revealed that she played an astonishing 245 shows during the tour cycle for her debut album. The international superstar, fresh off the back of winning two Grammy awards, confirmed her status as the hardest working person in music when she appeared alongside her father, Dukagjin ‘Dugi’ Lipa, and IQ editor Gordon Masson for The Futures Forum Keynote, which marked the final session of the new one-day event for young live music professionals. Dua recalled one of her earliest shows, at the 450-capacity Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, when Tap Management had to “bribe” patrons to watch her perform. “There was no one there,” she said. “My manager had to ask [a group of people] if he bought them drinks, would they come and see his show?” With typical modesty, she added, “It wasn’t so bad, because I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there anyway – and it definitely managed my expectations.” Dugi spoke about his own rock & roll roots as frontman of cult group Oda, who achieved popularity in the 90s, especially amongst the music-loving Kosovar and Albanian diaspora. After having a No.1 hit in Yugoslavia aged 16, Dugi moved to the UK and formed a band in London. “We created a cult band, and with no Instagram, no Facebook, no Twitter… it was all organic, with people buying CDs they could hold in their hands.” Dua also noted the support of her fellow Kosovars. “When I first put out my song New Love on YouTube, everyone was really impressed by how many hits we got,” she joked, “but if you looked at the stats, they were all from Kosovo!” Currently recording album #2, she told delegates, “I guess when I’m in that world [the recording studio] I’m really thinking about the live show.” On plans for the next tour, she teased: “Hopefully, now I’ll get to do shows that are a bit bigger and stages that are a bit bigger, and we’ll get to play around a bit more with that.” Futures Forum took place on International Women’s Day 2019, and Dua also used the platform to illustrate the gender
struggles that exist in music. “As women, we have to work harder to be heard and appreciated,” she said. “It’s just one of those things – when you’re a female artist, unless you’re playing a piano or a guitar, people think you’re manufactured, and you have to take some time to show people your stories and what you’ve gone through. Sometimes it just takes a little bit more explanation and a little more time, but it’s something I’m willing and ready to do to be heard. In addition to helping to shape Dua’s career alongside her management, Tap’s Ben Mawson and Ed Millett; and running London-based PR company Mercy & Wild; Dugi is also founder of the Sunny Hill Foundation, which boasts Dua as a patron. Last year, the father-daughter duo organised the inaugural Sunny Hill Festival in Pristina, which aims to put the young country on the cultural map, while raising funds for underprivileged groups. “We wanted to give something back,” explained Dugi, who said the debut festival, headlined by Dua, Action Bronson and Martin Garrix, grew out of Dua’s 2017 shows in Pristina and Albania’s capital, Tirana, which raised €100,000 for various causes, including music schools and festivals, as well as autism and Down Syndrome charities. “As much as we wanted to help with arts funding, people in Kosovo also need a bit more than that,” added Dua. Masson closed by asking the Lipas about the wealth of ethnicAlbanian talent, including Kosovar-British star Rita Ora and Albanian-Americans Bebe Rexha and Action Bronson, lighting up the charts internationally, and whether it’s still necessary to relocate to a more mature market to achieve success. No, said Dua: “I needed to be somewhere where everything is happening, and that for me was London. But now, with the power of Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming platforms, you can be anywhere and have your music heard.”
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Report HEALTH AND WELLBEING IN LIVE
SOAPBOX SESSIONS The Soapbox saw various experts give TED-style, quickfire presentations across a diverse range of subjects including environmentalism, grassroots venues, touting and meditation. Maggie Crowe OBE, director of events and charities at BPI, took to the stage first to reveal the inner workings of the Brits and its evolution from a small, non-televised event to the UK’s answer to the Grammys. “We’re up for new ideas,” said Crowe, referencing the “lunacy that goes on in the Brits’ world.” Next, A Greener Festival’s Claire O’Neill offered ten tips for an eco-friendly life, stating that “the entire fundamentals of the touring industry are not sustainable.” O’Neill promoted reusable cutlery, public transport, vegan eating, water sharing, and even an environmentally conscious approach to narcotics: “always choose a local dealer,” she joked. Ticketmaster’s Ben Tipple explained the principles of content marketing – being relevant and valuable. He described content as the “fun stuff” between marketing and journalism that “tells a story.” The initial stages of Fyre Festival’s content marketing was “actually really remarkable,” said Tipple, noting that the infamous festival sold on content alone. Radio 6 DJ Steve Lamacq stepped up with Music Venue Trust’s Mark Davyd to stress the importance of grassroots music venues. “Local communities are built around these venues and new bands start to form because of them,” said Lamacq, who estimated he had attended “somewhere in the region of 5,800 gigs” in his life. The afternoon round of Soapbox Sessions kicked off with former ticket tout Ken Lowson, who said that “ticket bots are toast” and spoke of how a hallucination featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi persuaded him to stop scalping and instead serve the fan. “The death of the newsfeed is here,” said Harry Willis from I AM POP. He explained that promoters can push ticket sales, send links to upcoming shows and gain fan data through messenger, stating that the immediate nature of communication is “essential in the live space.” “You can’t control everything, often things do go wrong,” admitted production manager Sara Maria Kordek, who gave top tips on ensuring a smooth production. Maintaining trust, empowering your team and trusting instincts are key, said Kordek, who spoke of production as a puzzle: “combine all the small details and check every piece fits to make the show.” Finally, Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten said that people are “more desperate than ever” for mindfulness and meditation techniques, as “the systems we created to make life simpler are making it more complicated.” Through mindfulness, “you become the boss of your own reality,” said the monk.
During a debate where industry experts discussed the serious topic of mental and physical health issues, Jana Watkins, head of human resources at Live Nation, spoke of her passion for promoting wellbeing within the business, admitting that “the environment in our industry isn’t particularly conducive to leading a healthy lifestyle.” Director of Killing Moon, Achal Dhillon, echoed this sentiment, suggesting the industry encourages “certain types of behaviour” that are detrimental to mental and physical wellbeing. The fact that this behaviour is aspired to or deemed necessary for success, “exacerbates conditions if people have a predisposition to mental illness, or even creates them,” he said. Tristan Hunt from the Association for Electronic Music referenced the recent passing of Prodigy’s Keith Flint and Tim Bergling (Avicii), highlighting the continuing prevalence of mental health problems in live music despite growing awareness of issues. Meanwhile, Jenni Cochrane, director of culture and partnerships at AEI Group spoke of the “excess and problems” that success entails for young artists. MMF’s Fiona McGugan referenced the isolating nature of mental health issues and spoke of the importance of being able to admit issues openly and talk about them with others. Hunt agreed: “The more we have this conversation, the more it destigmatises the issue,” he said. Substance abuse and the industry’s enablement of it, was the next topic of discussion, with Dhillon pointing out the tendency to glamourise artists’ addictions and the ease of access to narcotics. McGugan agreed that the industry needed to focus on its duty of care towards artists, whereas Hunt said the prevalence of drug use and abuse was symptomatic of a wider set of problems. “We do have an exploitative industry,” admitted Hunt, speaking of the focus on financial gain over wellbeing. “We need to call people out and it has to be a collaborative effort,” he said.
Ministry of Magic
THE ILMC GALA HOU-DINNER & 25TH ARTHUR AWARDS The 25th anniversary of the Arthur Awards – the international live music industry’s unique equivalent of the Oscars – took place in the new setting of the opulent art deco ballroom of London’s Sheraton Grand Park Lane. The awards – which have a voting pool of over 6,000 of the world’s leading concert business professionals – were witnessed by a 350-strong sell-out crowd during the magical ILMC Gala Hou-dinner. Entertainment for the silver anniversary event was provided by world-famous illusionist and street-magic pioneer, Paul Zenon, who has appeared on hundreds of TV shows around the world. Glastonbury’s Ben Challis hosted the special anniversary ceremony, which saw a line-up of guest presenters including WME Entertainment partner Michele Bernstein and WME agent Kara James; X-ray Touring partner Steve Strange; Artist Group International president Marsha Vlasic; and NEC Group chairman Phil Mead, amongst others. For a full list of winners, see page 32. “The 25th Arthur Awards were an amazing celebration of the talent we have in our industry, which brings joy to so many millions around the world,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley. “With thousands of votes cast and counted, it was wonderful to see the great and good of the international live business rubbing shoulders to recognise their peers.”
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Ministry of Magic
ARTHUR AWARD WINNERS 2019 1. PROMOTERS’ PROMOTER “After winning this award already in 2013, I wasn’t expecting to win again this year, which made me proud and happy – now I am looking forward to do the hat-trick...” Folkert Koopmans, FKP Scorpio
2. FIRST VENUE TO COME INTO YOUR HEAD “I was thrilled to accept the Arthur Award recently on behalf of the Royal Albert Hall for First Venue To Come Into Your Head. It made me so proud to see that the Royal Albert Hall has such recall in the minds of our promoters. After all, without promoters and their amazing artists, there simply would not be a Royal Albert Hall at all. Thanks to the industry!” Craig Hassall, Royal Albert Hall
3. SECOND LEAST OFFENSIVE AGENT “It’s always nice to win an award, especially when it’s been voted for by peers you have worked with for a very long time. The last Arthur I won was in 2008 for Tomorrow’s New Boss, so I was looking for an upgrade on the glass ornament on my desk since then. The new Arthur might come in handy as a truncheon for any rubbish offers I receive for my acts going forward!!! On a serious note, I am very flattered and it means the world to me.” Lucy Dickins, ITB
4. LIGGERS’ FAVOURITE FESTIVAL “We are incredibly proud of this event and are looking forward to our continued partnership with the Royal Parks this year.” Toby Leighton-Pope, AEG Presents
5. THE PEOPLE’S ASSISTANT “Thanks so much to the ILMC and everyone that voted. I was shocked and honoured to have won given how many excellent assistants were on the list! Special thanks to Team Schroeder, the past 12 years would not have been the same without you!” Claire Bewers, Coda Agency
6. NEW GIG ON THE BLOCK “It’s great to receive this kind of recognition. At this early stage we are 100% focused on improving Mad Cool in every area, and this [award] means we are on the right path.” Nara Pinto, Mad Cool Festival
7. MOST PROFESSIONAL PROFESSIONAL “Thank you ILMC. Another great night out, celebrating our fabulous industry with so many friends and colleagues. Winning your Most Professional Professional award for the second time round, on the eve of International Women’s Day and in my 20th year at Live Nation… what can I say… super cool.” Selina Emeny, Live Nation
8. SERVICES ABOVE AND BEYOND “We are really pleased to win this award as PRG has a fantastic creative team of dedicated staff and crew that work tirelessly to deliver a world-class service to all our amazing customers.” Yvonne Donnelly-Smith, PRG
9. THE GOLDEN TICKET “Taking home The Golden Ticket was the icing on the cake of a memorable ILMC for CTS Eventim. Receiving the award on behalf of the more than 3,000 colleagues who make working for CTS Eventim as much fun as taking home trophies, just one day after launching our new promoter network Eventim Live, was a great privilege.” Christian Steinhof, CTS Eventim
10. THE BOTTLE AWARD “I was genuinely touched to be given this award and to be in the company with those legendary monsters who’ve received it in the past; I was, quite literally, lost for words on the night. It reminds me that when I started in this business, back in the age of ignorance and thinking I’d do it for a couple of weeks, we were all pretty much on the same side, all trying to figure out how this thing worked and all having a great time doing it. Fifty years later, I’m still working on it. I hope that this spirit continues. As I say to the people working for me: ‘if you find yourself just doing it for the money, do something else!'" Bryan Grant, Britannia Row
11. BEST IN SHOW “The entire Cirque du Soleil family is honoured to receive this recognition from our colleagues in the touring industry. The Best In Show Arthur Award trophy is now proudly on display at our international headquarters in Montreal.” David Pitman, Cirque du Soleil
12. TOMORROW’S NEW BOSS “To win an award like this that is voted on solely by my peers within the industry means so much to me. I really value the relationships that I have built through this business over the years, so to see that value and appreciation reciprocated was such a great feeling! Thank you to everyone who voted for me, and to everyone I have worked with over the years. I do my best to learn from you all each day.” Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners
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IQ Magazine May 2019
just like a rock star HAVING CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF YOUNG MUSIC FANS AROUND THE WORLD, POST MALONE IS CURRENTLY IN THE MIDST OF A TOUR THAT WILL SEE HIM PERFORM ON FIVE CONTINENTS. DROWNED IN SOUND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, DEREK ROBERTSON, TALKS TO THE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE HELPING THE RAPPER ACHIEVE HIS GLOBAL AMBITIONS. IT’S BEEN A WHILE since there was a rise quite as meteoric as Post Malone’s. In three short years the rapper born Austin Richard Post in Syracuse, New York has gone from releasing his first mixtape, the ten-track August 26th, to becoming one of the world’s biggest music stars, selling out arenas around the world and collaborating with the likes of Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. It’s a trajectory that’s seen him smash records, dominate the charts, and crash into the mainstream in a way thought almost impossible in today’s fractured media. Stoney, his debut album proper, broke the 34-year-old record for most consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Top R&B and Hip-Hop charts, while beerbongs & bentleys, the triple-platinum follow-up, was streamed an incredible 78.7 million times within 24 hours of its release and nominated for Album of the Year at the 61st Grammys. He’s also achieved such success on his own terms, relying as much on fan engagement and word of mouth as more traditional forms of marketing and promotion. And that passionate fan base has been out in force for Post’s current tour, a 92-date, 20-country trip that has seen him sell over 750,000 tickets and cemented his status as Generation Z’s biggest – and most influential – musical icon. This potential was spotted early – manager Dre London has been with Post since the very beginning, while agent Cheryl Paglierani at UTA came on board three weeks after the release of breakout hit White Iverson. Together with a dedicated team at label Republic Records they’ve guided Post every step of the way, building relationships with an array of talented creatives and a legion of promoters worldwide who tell us all about the tour’s concept and planning below. Announced in January last year, the North American leg covered 29 cities over May and June, including two-night stints in both Toronto and Los Angeles, the latter at the legendary Hollywood Bowl. It all kicked off in Portland, Oregon at the 12,000-cap Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the day before beerbongs & bentleys hit the shelves, but Post’s team had no worries when it came to promotion; most dates sold out almost instantly. “Post had had multiple #1 hits on terrestrial radio,” explains Paglierani, “and together with his success on digital streaming platforms, this has given him the ability to reach the masses. When you come to a Post Malone show, the wide range in audience age is astounding – from young teenagers to middle-aged couples to grandparents.”
winning post TOWARDS THE END of the leg in late June, with beerbongs & bentleys’ fifth single, Better Now, riding high in Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, Post announced a “blockbuster” event, the kind that’s usually the preserve of bona fide, A-list superstars – his very own festival. Dubbed Posty Fest, the all-dayer took over Dallas’s Dos Equis Pavillion on 28 October and saw Post entertain 20,000 fans – tickets sold out in a matter of hours – alongside peers such as Travis Scott, and Tyler, the Creator. All photos © Adam DeGross
IQ Magazine May 2019
“ONE OF THE EASIEST PRODUCTIONS TO WORK WITH I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS.” STANLEY JILESEN – MOJO BARRIERS
Fresh from the triumph of dazzling his adopted home city, Post took time out from performing for the rest of the year to work on album number three, only returning to the stage again in late December for a two-night New Year celebration at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center in front of a combined 38,000 fans. But the break did more than allow Post to recharge mentally and physically before a gruelling 2019 schedule – it also gave his team time to prepare for the unique challenges of taking beerbongs & bentleys to Europe and beyond. “The quality and originality of his music allows him to reach so many people from all different demographics,” manager Dre London tells IQ. “We also had success in major international markets like Europe and Australia because Post had performed there previously in 2015 and 2016.” Those initial performances outside of North America proved to be a perfect set up. “We expected the European leg to sell well because we’ve done a lot to grow his fan base out in the UK from the very beginning, but the fact that the first night [at The O2 Arena] sold out in pre-sale and the second night went that same day exceeded all of our expectations,” says London.
post production AT FIRST GLANCE, Post’s stage setup seems relatively modest by modern pop-show standards – a long, low runway extending out into the crowd (lit from above by a movable lighting pod) in front of a plain backdrop, and flanked by two large video screens. But as production manager Dennis Danneels explains, this was a very deliberate decision – and is underpinned by a surprising amount of complexity. “In today’s touring market, we see a lot of trends with glitz and glamour in show production,” says Danneels. “Collectively, Posty Touring took the opposite approach, designing a rig that did not detract from what fans really come to see – which is Post Malone. The result is large enough for arenas but
intimate in terms of stage deployment to provide fans a oneof-a-kind experience, as well as allowing Post to connect with them and feed off their energy during his performance.” Aaron Siebert of TAIT, a world leading company in the design, construction and delivery of live event solutions, echoes this, adding: “An expansive stage puts more distance between the artist and the fans. By keeping the stage narrow and running it down the middle of the audience, it allows for a closer and more immersive audience experience.” Siebert was instrumental in the design and execution of the rig; together with Danneels, the creative directors Lewis James and the Travis Brothers, and lighting director Ben Dalgleish, he refined the team’s ideas to something that “worked technically and artistically, while also being ‘tourable.’” He also affirms that the simplistic appearance is deceptive. With lighting and pyro below the grated stage, lighting on the sides on a shelf, video walls, and a pod structure full of light effects and lasers, there are, says Danneels, “hundreds of pieces of equipment that required a hefty amount of engineering and staffing to be able to execute on a daily basis.” In total, there is, according to Andy Lovell of Sound Moves, “about 20 tonnes of set and equipment, plus another six or seven Fly By Nite trucks’ worth” that’s been added as the tour has evolved. This is in addition to the seven buses – “a double-decker star-bus for Post, one for his manager, and four double-decker Setras and a single-deck Van Hool for the remainder of the touring party” – provided by Garry Lewis at Beat the Street for the European leg. With experienced tour manager Angela Warner looking after things on the road, everyone testifies to the professionalism of Post’s team and how stress-free the whole tour has been. “It’s been incredibly easy – I feel like I’ve become part of the team already,” says Lovell, a sentiment echoed by Stanley Jilesen of MOJO Barriers. “One of the easiest productions to work with I have ever come across,” he says. Even considering the technical challenges faced by the team, there have been precious few issues. One exception has been pyrotechnics; as Mike Merle of Pyrotek Special Effects Inc. explains, with different regulating authorities for each country or region, it can be difficult to use the exact same effects in each venue. Being creative and carrying a B and C rig is, he explains, “the key to maintaining consistency with the roughly 184 pieces of pyrotechnics deployed during each show.” All these elements added up to a spectacle that exceeded fans’ expectations, and made promoting beerbongs & bentleys very straightforward. “His unique and mind-blowing production really impressed me, and he’s a charismatic superstar with a breathtaking presence on stage,” says Matt Schwarz of Live Nation GSA, who promoted Post’s five shows in Germany and Switzerland. It was his first ever performance in the latter, which makes selling out Zürich’s 11,000 cap Hallenstadion all the more impressive. It was a similar story in Germany, where alongside high demand in the major markets of Hamburg, Berlin, and Munich (he played the Barclaycard Arena, the Mercedes Benz Arena, and the Olympiahalle, respectively) the tour stopped off in Oberhausen, in the industrial west of the country. Twelve thousand tickets for his Koenig Pilsner Arena show were snapped up in just a few days – not bad for a city of just over 200,000 inhabitants. For Schwarz, such devotion comes as no surprise – “His performance feels like a greatest hits set already,” he adds – and across Europe it’s the same. Anna Brink of Live Nation
IQ Magazine May 2019
DK has been promoting Post “since day one,” and has seen him go from playing to 350 people in 2015 to the 16,000cap Royal Arena – one of his biggest European shows – something she attributes to his down-to-earth friendliness and willingness to engage with fans.
CONTRIBUTORS Dre London, artist manager; Anna Brink, Live Nation DK; Stanley Jilesen, MOJO Barriers; Mike Merle, Pyrotek Special Effects; Cheryl Paglierani, UTA; Angela Warner, tour manager; Andrea Flores, Lotus Producciones; Aaron Siebert, TAIT; Matt Schwarz, Live Nation GSA; Alice Hogg, Live Nation International Touring.
“POST MALONE IS ONE OF THE RAWEST AND MOST NATURAL PERFORMERS I’VE HAD THE PLEASURE WORKING WITH, AND FROM A FAN’S PERSPECTIVE HE’S UP ON STAGE HAVING JUST AS MUCH FUN AS THEY ARE.” DENNIS DANNEELS – PRODUCTION MANAGER
IQ Magazine May 2019
“POST HAS, in a very short time, become something of a national treasure in Denmark,” Brink explains. “After playing an amazing show at Smukfest last summer and being spotted in selfies with everyone from the Crown Prince to Suspekt (our local hip-hop heroes) and a couple of hundred other festival guests, he definitely won everyone’s hearts.” Brink praises his “great charisma” and that, for many fans, “he seems like a guy they would love to hang out with.” His team agree that, alongside the music, this drives his appeal. “Post Malone is one of the rawest and most natural performers I’ve had the pleasure working with, and from a fan’s perspective he’s up on stage having just as much fun as they are,” says Danneels. “Post to me carries himself in such a way onstage that there is zero air of ‘ego’ around him. His quirky dance moves and his giant smile all make him so likeable, so it’s easy for people of all age groups to connect with him. I’ve been touring for 19 years and he is by far one of my favourites to watch on stage,” adds tour manager Angela Warner. Such devotion led to one unique issue in the UK, however. Says Danneels: “In Britain, we were consistently confronted with the challenge of making sure Posty’s vocal levels could exceed that of the crowd. There were multiple times when I’d check the dB levels only to find them exceeding 108 dB after a song had concluded.” Unsurprisingly, the UK hosted the most shows of any EU territory, five in total, and was also one of only two countries to have multiple shows in the same city, with Post playing consecutive night’s at London’s O2 Arena. Both sold out within minutes and, according to agent Paglierani, “had the venue been available, we would have added a third.” That was particularly pleasing for the artist’s manager, who, as his name suggests, was born in London. He comments, “Selling out arenas two nights in a row in my hometown made the Europe tour one of the best ones yet.” Paglierani adds that more UK dates would also have been possible, but logistics were against them. “We had a specific window of time we were working with to tour Europe. We built the strategy around which markets to play based on where we could be most impactful over a short period but we knew going into this tour that Post was ready to sell out arenas.” Post’s European promoter, Alice Hogg at Live Nation International Touring, says, “There is a lot of thought and consideration that goes into routing a tour, that is influenced by not only logistics but also the strategy in each territory. We ensured we delivered a plan that hit the key cities across Europe on his first arena tour and, of course, to whet the audience’s appetite for more to come.” While most of the dates were fixed in advanced, this strategy led to Post’s team deliberately leaving open days around both London and Amsterdam, cities where they knew demand was already high, to add second shows. Having
“WHAT EXCITES US MOST IS THAT POST MALONE HAS A VERY STRONG, LOYAL AND GROWING FANBASE. WE EXPECT HIM TO BE AROUND FOR A LONG TIME.” ALICE HOGG – LIVE NATION INTERNATIONAL TOURING
appeared at Lowlands in 2016 and enjoyed significant radio support and chart success, Post’s standing with his Dutch fan base was such that an extra night at the 12,500-cap Ziggo Dome was inevitable. “Our UK shows sold out very quickly,” says Hogg. “We ensured our campaign was impactful and visible in the market space, however, with an artist like Post Malone when the demand is already there, it definitely helps to sell tickets. His live shows have a great reputation and fans have been anticipating this for a while.” Having conquered Europe, Post continued the beerbongs & bentleys tour in an exciting new territory – South America – with dates in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil as part of the Lollapalooza Festival. It was another first for Post, and as such, anticipation and excitement from his Latin followers was high. “The craziest, most intense fans,” says Warner. “Their passion for music runs deep and it’s felt on stage.” With around 100,000 fans attending each Lollapalooza event, the promoters are careful to only invite artists with huge, international appeal, something that Andrea Flores of Chile’s Lotus Producciones believes Post Malone has in abundance. “Here in Chile, urban sounds are dominated by Latin artists, and Post is one of the few North American names that permeates that world in our country,” he says. “He is an important artist among young listeners,” Flores adds. “From the moment we announced the lineup, people were going crazy for him, and he’s one of the most exciting acts on the bill. Lollapalooza is very proud to bring Post to Chile.” London says the game plan to break Post Malone internationally could not have worked better. “The team did an amazing job at strategically planning dates across bigger venues as the demand increased over time. When the arena tour came around, it was just a natural transition for Post and his fans.” Giving an insight into some of that strategy, he adds, “As a team we use data but it doesn’t necessarily dictate where he does press. Post engages with his fans organically over social media – whether that’s at his shows or just in his daily life – but if the dialogue isn’t organic, it doesn’t make sense to make a decision just because the data tells us to.” After a short break, Post will head to Australasia for a 12date run, and the last leg of beerbongs & bentleys. Having previously toured the region in 2017, playing the likes of the 5,500-cap Hordern Pavilion in Sydney and Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds, he returned in January last year to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney as part of the FOMO Festival. Yet demand for Post has soared, and his highly anticipated return will see him play the 15,500-cap RAC Arena in Perth, Adelaide’s AEC Arena (11,300 cap), two nights at both Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena (14,000 cap) and Brisbane’s Entertainment Centre (13,500 cap), and a three-night run at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena that will see him play to a combined 63,000 fans.
After that, the tour will conclude with a two-night stand at Auckland’s Spark Arena, the last of Post’s planned standalone shows, before a summer of festival appearances. In the US, he’s headlining Bonnaroo and Firefly, before a return to Europe to headline Reading & Leeds, Pukklepop, Sziget, Kraków, and Sudoeste. He’ll also be back in Dublin for his biggest solo headline appearance to date at Summer In The City, where he’s sold over 30,000 tickets and counting. “The fans are hard core in Ireland – they love Post there,” states Dre London. “The same can be said about his fans in Australia. To be on the other side of the world and play multiple nights is beyond amazing.”
goal post IN TERMS of where Post goes from here, Paglierani reveals that there are many plans on the drawing board. “We haven’t been to Asia yet but it’s definitely on the horizon,” she says, as is another edition of Posty Fest, at which “we are looking forward to expanding and adding new elements.” ‘Bigger’ and ‘better’ are the watchwords for the next phase, and that will include the size of the venues. “Stadiums have always been a goal for Post, and we’re very confident there will be a Wembley play in his very bright future.” But everyone on the team is sure that one thing will never change, no matter what: Austin Richard Post himself. “Post knows who he is and he stays true to himself. Despite all the negativity thrown at him over the years, he’s never tried to change himself to fit the mould, and his honesty shines through in his music. To me, that authenticity is what makes a real superstar, and is why his songs resonate with so many people,” says Paglierani. Danneels agrees. “The Post Malone that you watch in videos from the Stoney days is the same Post Malone you see to this day in sold-out arenas. He creates a world without boundaries, so that anyone from a grandchild to a grandparent can name a Post Malone song that they like.” European promoter Hogg states, “Post Malone has delivered massive and constant hits. The album went to #1 in the UK and he’s had phenomenal radio support, which are all contributing factors. What excites us most is that Post Malone has a very strong, loyal and growing fan base. We expect him to be around for a long time.” Those sentiments are shared across the board, with his creative team and promoters alike excited about what’s to come. Concludes Warner: “You feel the emotion that’s behind the songs as he’s performing. Not many performers these days can go up as the only person on stage, without a band, and kill it the way that Post does. That’s why everyone who sees the show walks away a fan.” “FROM THE MOMENT WE ANNOUNCED THE LINE UP, PEOPLE WERE GOING CRAZY FOR HIM, AND HE’S ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING ACTS ON THE BILL. LOLLAPALOOZA IS VERY PROUD TO BRING POST TO CHILE.” ANDREA FLORES – LOTUS PRODUCCIONES
IQ Magazine May 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. IQ Magazine puts some more ILMC regulars in the spotlight and asks them to share their breakthrough moments…
Carl Leighton-Pope The Leighton-Pope Organisation
n 1977, the band I was managing, Sassafras, split up and everyone was broke. I was 25 years old and married with four kids, living in Cardiff, but I owed an agent in London £200 and I couldn’t bear the thought of being in debt, so I caught the train to the capital to give the late John Sherry his money. When I was in his office, he asked me what I was going to do next but at that time I didn’t have a clue – I just knew I needed to earn some money to feed my family. He thought about it for a few minutes, then handed me the £200 back and urged me to become an agent, offering me a job for £40 a week, starting the following Monday. So I travelled back to Wales to give my wife, Pamela, the good news/bad news from my trip. She was delighted that we still had the £200, but when I told her about my new job, she said, “But darling, we don’t live in London; we live in Cardiff.” Her mother had a one-bedroom flat in Notting Hill and was kind enough to let me sleep on her sofa during the week, then I’d travel back to Cardiff on a Friday evening with my £40. Pretty quickly, though, I signed The Motors, then Dire Straits, Simple Minds and Patti Smith, and before I knew it, all the other agencies were asking me to come and work for them. But everything I have today is all down to John Sherry giving me back that £200 and convincing me to become an agent – I could never repay him for the faith he showed in me and I’m forever grateful.
IQ Magazine May 2019
Steve Strange X-ray Touring
’d been involved with Ash for a couple of years, but I remember going to the Astoria for the first time with them and standing on the balcony with their manager, Stephen ‘Tav’ Taverner and having a pint as we cheered them on. The band were still at school when I first got involved – in fact, we had to build them and plan all their releases around the school holidays, so tours and promos would take place in the Easter break and summer holidays. But Ash was the first act that I properly helped to break, so standing in the Astoria, in a venue where I’d been so many times myself as a fan at other acts’ shows, was something really special indeed. Twenty-six years later, my roster has grown; Tav also manages the likes of Alt-J, Kodaline and Wolf Alice, and we both still represent Ash, whom we’re really close with – Tim and Mark occasionally stay with me when they’re in town from New York.
Marie Lindqvist Stockholm Live
started my career in the tourism industry working in marketing for some of the major tour operators such as TUI and for a group of amusement parks. In 2006, I was recruited for the role of marketing director at Ericsson Globe, the 14,000-seat multi-venue in Stockholm. I had never imagined I would end up in sports and music, so this was a whole new world to me, even though there are similar challenges and opportunities – and arenas and events are certainly an important part of the tourism industry. AEG took over the operation of the arena from the city in 2008 and all of a sudden I was part of a leading global entertainment company – such a fantastic opportunity! I learned so much and I got to meet so many experienced and smart people from the different areas of our businesses across the globe. After a few years, I was recruited back to the travel industry, but in 2014 I got a message from Richard Krezwick, who was overseeing all the European arenas for AEG, asking if I would like to have a coffee next time he was in Stockholm. Whilst sitting in the sun overlooking the Royal Palace, he asked me if I wanted to come back to AEG and take over as general manager for Ericsson Globe and the new Tele2 Arena, which had opened in 2013. I was thrilled and nervous about the big job but excited to be back at AEG and in the entertainment industry. Since then we have also taken over the operation of Friends Arena and now operate a group of five arenas and stadiums in Sweden. We do about 320 events with 3 million ticket buyers annually. It was not where I thought I was heading in my twenties, but I am so happy to be a part of this amazing industry where the worlds of music, sports, real estate, sponsorship, tourism, food & beverage and much more meet in an exciting mix.
IQ Magazine May 2019
With Coachella opening its festival gates in mid-April, the 2019 festival season is well and truly upon us. As ticket sales remain a point of contention and concern for many events, IQ’s Anna Grace spoke to ten festivals that appear to have no problem shifting tickets and selling out year-on-year, to find out the secrets to their success and how they continue to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded festival arena.
Byron Bay Bluesfest Dates 2019: 18 to 22 April Founded: 1990 (1,200) Capacity 2019: 25,000 Top acts for 2019: Jack Johnson, Iggy Pop, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals Local attendees: 90% Ticket prices: AU$180 (€114, one day) to AU$675 (€428, five days) Australia’s most-awarded live music festival, Byron Bay Bluesfest turns 30 this year – and the landmark edition looks like it will be the most successful to date. Festival director and owner Peter Noble notes that all ticket sale records have already been broken. In order to ensure consistently healthy ticket sales, Bluesfest uses a mixed marketing strategy, including
traditional methods, use of online channels, and face-to-face marketing campaigns. “Our marketing strategies focus on the festival experience and also the great lineups that we have here,” Noble tells IQ. “We have focused on customer retention over the past number of years and around 40% of ticketholders are repeat purchasers, which we are very proud of.” Recognised as an “industry leader” within the management of live music festivals, Noble states that Bluesfest is unworried by the licensing laws imposed by the New South Wales Government on music festivals. “We are well regarded as a safe family event with three generations of patrons joining us annually,” Noble tells IQ. “We will continue to review our extensive procedures and practices in close liaison with emergency services, various government bodies and through a detailed risk management approach.”
IQ Magazine May 2019
Wacken Open Air
Paléo Festival de Nyon
Dates 2019: 1 to 4 August Founded: 1990 (800-cap) Capacity 2019: 75,000 Top acts for 2019: Slayer, Parkway Drive, Prophets of Rage Local attendees: 83% Ticket price: €221
Dates 2019: 23 to 28 July Founded: 1976 (1,800-cap) Capacity 2019: 38,000 Top acts for 2019: The Cure, Lana del Rey, Twenty One Pilots Local attendees: 90-92% Ticket prices: €56 (one day) to €322 (six days)
Wacken Open Air celebrates its 30th edition this year and enthusiasm for the anniversary event is high. Tickets for Wacken 2019 sold out in four days, and in the words of co-founder Thomas Jensen: “Quite obviously, we are doing something right.” In order to improve, the Wacken co-founders have always placed great value on what festival attendees have to say, actively responding to suggestions. “We invite the fans to give us their feedback via means such as our social media channels or in person at a Q&A session with both me and my fellow co-founder Holger Hübner,” explains Jensen. “There is always room for improvement – no matter how well things are working out,” stresses the Wacken boss. Jensen talks about this year’s lineup, saying the festival aims to “maintain the right balance of sticking to our roots and offering innovations,” placing new acts alongside integral, longstanding Wacken Open Air performers. “This is why Parkway Drive can be found next to Slayer as one of our headliners in 2019.” The festival has received some slack for having “a very German touch,” says the Wacken co-founder. However, guests come from all over to attend what is now the world’s biggest heavy metal gathering, and, “since the metal family is probably the most open-minded community on Earth, everybody is welcomed with open arms.”
From its origins in the town assembly rooms of the FrenchSwiss town of Nyon, Paléo Festival has grown to become an important European music event. Each year, more than 280 concerts and shows take place for 230,000 visitors across the 84-hectare festival site. For more than 20 years, the festival has successfully and consistently sold out. “One of the keys to Paléo’s success is that it distinguishes itself from other events by not only providing musical entertainment but by giving place to a whole experience,” says festival director Dany Hassenstein. “Between music, street theatre and performances inspired by the circus or architectural installations, Paléo is an extraordinary global village for the audience,” he says. Audience loyalty is another factor of Paléo’s success. In 2016, 91% of the audience were returning customers and 81% had already attended more than three editions of the festival. Attendees mostly come from the French-speaking part of Switzerland with little marketing done to promote the festival abroad. As a result, Paléo has a very local character. “Inhabitants [of Nyon] say that there are three highlights in the year: Easter, Christmas and Paléo,” says Hassenstein. “It has become a real local summer rendez-vous.”
IQ Magazine May 2019
Down The Rabbit Hole
Dates 2019: 5 to 7 July Founded: 2014 (10,000-cap) Capacity 2019: 35,000 Top acts for 2019: Janelle Monáe, Rosalia, Foals Local attendees: 85-90% Ticket price: €175
Dates 2019: 11 to 13 July Founded: 2016 (45,000-cap) Capacity 2019: 75,000 Top acts for 2019: The Cure, Bon Iver, The National Local attendees: 70% (43% Madrid) Ticket prices: €79 (one day) to €400 (three days VIP)
Mojo Concerts’ Down the Rabbit Hole is a relatively new kid on the block but has already made its mark on the European festival scene. The festival was crowned best medium-sized festival at the European Festival Awards 2017 and went on to sell out for the first time in 2018. “Our marketing philosophy revolves around the gathering itself,” festival director Ide Koffeman tells IQ. “It’s all about things being nice and easy: we have a very well selected music programme, only three stages, plenty of spare time and lots of relaxation.” Down the Rabbit Hole encourages festivalgoers to create their own party, “there’s no strict timetable determining your day, so just wander around and let it happen,” says Koffeman. The setting by the lake of Groene Heuvels [green hills in English] makes for a “spacious and relaxed” set-up and the festival is divided into different themed areas, each with “its own character and distinct music.” All these factors, along with artwork by Dutch illustrator Merijn Hos, have contributed to the popularity of the festival, which is expected to sell out in the coming weeks. “People just keep on coming back, so we have expanded to allow for more,” says Koffeman. “And now we’re here.”
Another newbee, Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival hit the ground running, securing acts including Neil Young, The Who, The Prodigy, Die Antwoord and Biffy Clyro for the event’s inaugural year. “Our first edition was like the fifth for any other festival,” says festival director Javier Arnáiz, “and we knew that for our third edition, we should be positioned in the European music market as a reference for the industry.” According to Arnáiz, the secret behind the festival’s swift growth is careful planning and vigorous market research. “In order to establish the brand in such a short time frame, we analysed data very carefully: looking at the online communication processes, the external influences from other markets, as well as continuously working to position ourselves inside the heads of music fans,” he explains. The festival also sought to serve a gap in the market, with Madrid being one of the only European capital cities without a festival of such magnitude. Despite its success, Mad Cool’s journey has not been obstacle-free, with rapid growth throwing up multiple changes and unforeseen circumstances for the team to deal with. “It’s not been easy but it has been well worth it,” says Arnáiz, “and now we see ourselves as stronger than ever.”
IQ Magazine May 2019
Dates 2019: 6 to 7 July Founded: 2012 (15,000-cap) Capacity 2019: 35,000 Top acts for 2019: The Black Madonna, Nina Kraviz, Peggy Gou Local attendees: 60% Ticket prices: €65 (weekend) to €1,277 (VIP Art&Techno Experience)
Location: A secret location, Northamptonshire, UK Dates 2019: 22 to 25 August Founded: 2000 (250-cap) Capacity 2019: 15,000 Top acts for 2019: Idles, Otis Mensah Local attendees: Almost 100% Ticket prices: £139 (€161) to £179 (€208)
A “giant of the European electronic music scene,” Kappa FuturFestival attracts attendees from all over the world, with 86 different nationalities travelling to Italy for last year’s edition. The international appeal, along with a user-friendly approach, is instrumental to Kappa FuturFestival’s success, says founding partner Maurizio Vitale Jr. “The aim is to give our audience the best and most consumer-friendly experience possible that lasts all year round,” he explains. Organisers ensure that it’s “easy to find information, easy to purchase tickets and easy to access [the festival].” Once onsite, all facilities and services are “at arms’ length and cashless,” reducing logistical challenges for attendees. The post-event strategy is integral for Kappa FuturFestival to maintain its sold-out status. “After the festival, our fans can relive the two days through our digital and multimedia content,” says Vitale. “This way we keep attention high for 12 months and ensure we sell out edition after edition.” The festival is also developing the types of experience on offer, this year introducing the Art&Techno VIP package, which capitalises on Turin’s art scene by including private tours of local art galleries and private collections.
UK-based Shambala Festival began when a group of university students met and bonded over “a shared love of music, good times and a thirst for questioning the world.” “The soul of the festival has not changed a jot since it began,” Shambala co-founder Chris Johnson tells IQ. “It’s got a life of its own – it’s a community of thousands, coming together to share ideas and dance until dawn.” The event is still wholly owned by the same five friends who founded it, but it is “the people” that the organisers attribute its success to. “We’re consistently told that it’s the vibe at Shambala that makes it special, and that comes from our audience, who are the most open-minded, creative, friendly bunch out there,” says Johnson. The festival’s independent nature helps to distinguish it from other events, with zero sponsors, no corporate backing and no brand activations onsite. Shambala is also famed for its efforts with green initiatives. The festival has been fully powered by renewable energy for years, banned single-use plastics in 2013, and went meat- and fish-free in 2016. “We are proud to be leading the charge when it comes to purposeful hedonism and finding ways to keep the party going forever,” comments Johnson.
Dates 2019: 29 June to 7 July Founded: 1971 (10,000-cap) Capacity 2019: 85,000 Top acts for 2019: Bob Dylan, Cardi B, Robyn Local attendees: 85% Ticket prices: €140 (one day) to €281 (weekend)81 (weekend)
Dates 2019: 7 to 12 August Founded: 2009 (1,000-cap) Capacity 2019: 66,000 Top acts for 2019: Ms Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, The Streets Local attendees: 98% Ticket prices: £219 (€254) to £395 (€458, Boomtown Springs camping experience)
The founders of Roskilde – Mogens Sandfær and Jesper Switzer Møller – took inspiration from Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival, and turned that into reality in 1971 when they “decided to take a chance” and put on the first edition of the Danish festival. With a capacity of 85,000, Roskilde is Europe’s biggest festival, as well as one of its oldest. It has also been a nonprofit event since its second edition in 1972. According to head of programming Anders Wahrén, this is the festival’s most distinguishing feature. “[Being non-profit] creates a special bond between festivalgoers as they feel part of something bigger,” he says. Another unique characteristic is that all festival staff at Roskilde work on a voluntary basis. “We put a lot of energy into keeping volunteers happy, so they’ll keep coming back,” explains Wahrén. Although the festival has always attempted to stick to its principles in terms of programming, onsite logistics and sustainability, the programming boss states that “we’ve never been scared of change.” “We have made sure to stay progressive while staying true to our values,” says Wahrén, highlighting another core contributor to the festival’s success.
Boomtown sprang from a desire to offer an “escape from the real world for a few days” through a combination of music, theatre and creative set design,” says the festival’s co-founder and creative director Lak Mitchell. The idea seems to have caught on, with Boomtown’s original single main stage becoming 27, along with over 80 street venues. Mitchell puts this growth down to “the fact we’ve remained independent and stayed true to the values we set out to achieve.” “We have been joined by hundreds of independent, creative crews from all over the world, and collaborated with some amazing people who have all been responsible for creating the Boomtown we see today,” he explains. The festival also uses its platform to tap into current and pressing societal issues, through a mix of music, theatre, art and humour, “to make sure that everyone has an incredible time.” In terms of the the event’s longevity, Mitchell believes that “the only way to safeguard our future is to believe in what we do, carve out our own path and occasionally take a bit of a step back to look to the future to see where we want it all to go.”
IQ Magazine May 2019
Dates 2019: 11 to 12 August Founded: 2000 (25,000-cap) Capacity 2019: 25,000 Top acts for 2019: ASP, VNV Nation, Within Temptation Local attendees: – Ticket prices: €74 to €104
IQ Magazine May 2019
German goth festival M’era Luna traces its origins back to 2000 and has grown considerably in scope and purpose since. “Music is, of course, still at the centre,” says festival director and FKP Scorpio chief executive Stephan Thanscheidt. “At the same time, we’re paying special attention to representing all aspects of gothic life and culture.” Over the years, M’era Luna has supplemented its music programme with lectures, workshops, and an art fair, among other things. This has “really hit the spot with the community” not only in Germany but around the world, boosting the festival’s international presence. Thanscheidt puts M’era Luna’s popularity down to the fact that the event has “created a community and a unique opportunity for its members to meet like-minded people.” “The festival feels more like a family gathering than anything else,” states the FKP Scorpio boss, highlighting the colourful and mutlifaceted nature of goth culture. Festival organisers ensure communication is bilingual, extending the reach of the event to welcome visitors from countries including Chile, Japan, the USA and Russia. However, word-of-mouth is the festival’s most valuable asset, as Thanscheidt says: “M’era Luna fans are happy with us and they let others know.”
IQ Magazine May 2019
Deutsche Courage From humble beginnings at the dawn of the Internet age, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and team have grown CTS Eventim into a €4billion live events powerhouse. As the German company celebrates its 30th birthday, Eventim execs and partners describe the journey to the top, as well as what the future holds for Europe’s leading live music company, writes Jon Chapple.
f any one company can be said to have shaped the direction of the global concert industry over the past three decades, there’s a good argument to be made for CTS Eventim. In the early 2000s, as Live Nation ancestors SFX Entertainment and then Clear Channel Entertainment gobbled up independent promoters across North America, a similar revolution was underway across the Atlantic, with CTS Eventim – under the stewardship of CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg – quietly building a live entertainment powerhouse from its base in Bremen, Germany. As the first company in Europe to sell tickets online – and, perhaps most significantly, the first in the world to run a ticketing operation alongside a concert promotion division – Eventim under Schulenberg set the template for the modern, vertically integrated concert business prevalent in the 21st century. Now, as the company enters the next stage of its evolution with panEuropean promoter network Eventim Live, IQ examines the CTS story so far – and discovers what comes next…
Computer says yes
hile many sources credit Schulenberg as CTS Eventim’s founder, the roots of the business lie in Computer Ticket Service (CTS), founded in 1989 by concert promoter Marcel Avram. Avram, now president of European Concert Agency, was soon joined at the fledgling CTS by Matthias Hoffmann, of Mannheim’s Hoffmann Konzerte, and later by a third partner, Marek Lieberberg (with whom Avram had co-founded Mama Concerts in 1969). Speaking to IQ, Avram says he has “huge respect for what Klaus has, over the years, made out of a small idea I had in the 90s when I created CTS.” The three partners, he explains, were unable to devote the time necessary to develop CTS – the 1990s saw Avram promoting world tours by the likes of Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Eros Ramazzotti – and Avram describes the company’s subsequent growth as CTS Eventim as a “huge achievement” by Schulenberg. “I couldn’t have done it better,” he continues, “not just because of the time, but also because of Schulenberg’s know-how.” “He did a great job,” adds Avram, “and I admire him for it.” As CEO of CTS Eventim, Schulenberg, 67, now presides over a vertically integrated, publicly traded live entertainment powerhouse worth over €4bn by market capitalisation (source: Bloomberg), and which turned over more than €1.2bn in 2018. But it all started – as these stories often do – with a “mediocre” high-school band…
Marcel Avram, European Concert Agency; André Béchir, abc Production; Mimmo D’Alessandro, D’Alessandro e Galli; Uwe Frommhold, AEG Europe; Folkert Koopmans, FKP Scorpio; Stefano Lionetti, TicketOne; Jens Michow, BDKV; Ben Mitha, Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion; Karsten Jahnke, Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion; Marc Oßwald, Vaddi Concerts; Andrea Pieroni, Vertigo; Frithjof Pils, Medusa Music; Clemente Zard, Vivo.
he first indication that Klaus-Peter Schulenberg’s future lay in the music industry came as a 15-year-old student, when he assumed the role of booking agent for his band. “I made sure that our band had enough shows,” he remembers. “The other groups at school would come to me and say, ‘You’re so mediocre but you always have lots of gigs… can you do the same for us?’” 1989 On 4 November, concert promoters Marcel Avram, Matthias Hoffmann and Marek Lieberberg establish a new ticketing company, CTS Computer Ticket Service GmbH, in Munich 1996 CTS, then running at a loss, is acquired by promoter Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, who makes the company profitable within a year 1999 CTS is rebranded CTS Eventim. It also transitions from being a private limited business (GmbH) to a public company, or Aktiengesellschaft (AG)
Rock im Park has long been one of CTS Eventim’s landmark festival assets © Stefan Bausewein
IQ Magazine May 2019
cts eventim Schulenberg became an artist manager, in 1971 discovering teen idol Bernd Clüver while studying economics at the University of Bremen. “He had a wonderful voice – very soft – and was very good looking,” recalls Schulenberg. “All the girls liked him.” At the time, Schulenberg was 19 – then legally a minor – so his father signed the young singer on his behalf. Clüver’s hit Der Junge mit der Mundharmonika (The Boy with the Harmonica) sold more than two million copies, and the proceeds allowed Schulenberg to give up on his studies and reinvest them (“in a solid Hanseatic manner,” notes a 2003 Handelsblatt profile) in his own music company, KPS Concertbüro. Somewhat unbelievably, KPS’s first concert wasn’t with a Bremen, or even a German, act – rather, the company’s maiden event was a 10,000-person show with bona fide rock & roll megastars, the Rolling Stones, in partnership with Fritz Rau (the “Rau” in Lippmann + Rau). “That was the starting point for working together for the next 20 years,” says Schulenberg. From concerts came touring exhibitions, radio stations and newspapers, including the popular Bremen free-sheet Weser Report, and by the early 1990s Schulenberg was looking seriously into the possibilities of a new-fangled technology that would change dramatically the direction of his career: the Internet. “In those days, I went to interactive media conventions in the US, and by the 1990s I’d got to know the Internet,” he recalls. “At that time, you had to buy tickets in an outlet store or on a busy phone line, which was not an enjoyable shopping
experience. I saw the opportunity the Internet presented for ticket sales – for consumers and also for the ticket agent, who could earn a service charge.” By 1996, and the dawn of the digital age, Schulenberg had his sights set on buying a ticketing company. “I could see that CTS wasn’t successful, and in 1996 I made them an offer and Marcel, Marek and Matthias finally accepted.” 2000 On 1 February, CTS Eventim AG makes its debut on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Eventim’s shares are initially listed on the Neuer Markt (‘New Market’) index 2000–2002 CTS Eventim expands beyond ticketing into live entertainment, acquiring stakes in several German promoters, including Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (2000), Peter Rieger Konzertagentur (2000), Semmel Concerts (2000), Argo Konzerte (2000), FKP Scorpio (2000) and Dirk Becker Entertainment (2001). Eventim is the first company to bring ticketing and event promotion under one umbrella 2002 After two years in development, Eventim goes live with its Internet ticketing software. It also acquires Getgo.de, creating the largest web ticketing operation in Europe
Just the ticket
Eventim Live Germany
ndré Béchir, founder and CEO of Switzerland’s abc Production, echoes the sentiments of many Eventim executives and partners when he describes Schulenberg as a “visionary” – someone who, at an early stage, saw the potential both of selling tickets online and of bringing together ticketing with live entertainment (concerts, festivals, other live shows and venues) under one corporate umbrella. “I first met him years ago, when we were both working as promoters,” says Béchir, who is full of praise both for Schulenberg’s personal character and his professional foresight. “He’s much cleverer than I am,” he says. “He concentrated on [digital] ticketing, as he saw that this was the platform of the future, and then he built up an extremely good infrastructure around it.” “He’s a visionary,” Béchir continues. “We, as promoters, can learn a lot from him – because he started the same way as us, but he was cleverer.” Cleverer, maybe – but digital ticketing was far from an overnight success, according to Schulenberg, who remembers an early on-sale when CTS spent two million Deutschmarks on marketing, but sold just 100 tickets. Realising the market was still some way off the mass adoption of electronic tickets (in 2000, just 18.3% of Germans
Semmel Concerts Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur Promoters Group Munich (PGM) Peter Rieger Konzertagentur ARGO Konzerte Vaddi Concerts FKP Scorpio Seekers Event ALDA Germany Dirk Becker Entertainment ESK Events & Promotion
2004 CTS Eventim is awarded the contract to handle ticket sales for the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany. A total of 3.2 million tickets are snapped up by the world’s football fans 2008 Alongside other sponsors, Eventim secures the long-term continuation of the Kontaktstudiengang Popularmusik, a training course for musicians at the HfMT university in Hamburg. The course, now called Eventim Popkurs, boasts graduates including Peter Fox, Johannes Oerding, Revolverheld and Wir sind Helden 2009 CTS Eventim becomes Europe’s leading concert promoter and the world’s third largest – accolades it still holds ten years later
Austria LSK Showfactory Arcadia Live
Norway FKP Scorpio
Finland Fullsteam Agency
Italy Vertigo D’Alessandro e Galli Vivo Concerti Friends & Partners
Spain Doctor Music
Netherlands Friendly Fire
Switzerland abc Production ACT Entertainment Elton John is among many acts to grace the stage at Vaddi Concerts’ spectacular Residenzschloss Rastat Palace
IQ Magazine May 2019
cts eventim Years & Years were one of the first acts to perform at the reopened K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen in January 2019
used the Internet even occasionally, according to Statista), Schulenberg “followed a different path” with CTS Eventim, he continues, buying a majority stake in various German promoters and “putting our tickets in front of their customers.” Marc Oßwald, managing director of CTS-owned Vaddi Concerts, says he believes Schulenberg remains a promoter at heart. “Of course, he is leading a listed company, but he is also still, and will stay, a promoter with a promoter’s heart. He always wants to know how specific shows are running, not only how the business is doing in general.” Karsten Jahnke, founder of independent Hamburg promoter Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion, remembers when his company first started using Eventim’s ticketing software, the development of which was completed in 2002. “At first we were sceptical, because in the age of the printed hard ticket his green computer tickets looked a little too technical for our liking,” he recalls. “Also, the technology you needed to use to be able to use their system was a lot of additional work. “But, after only a short period, everybody got the benefits – and the vision of Klaus-Peter succeeded on a grand level.” One of Schulenberg’s oldest collaborators is FKP Scorpio founder Folkert Koopmans, whose acquaintance with Eventim’s CEO predates the company that now bears that name. “In 1997, Klaus is running his local promoter company in Bremen [KPS Concertbüro] and he’s looking for a managing director. I was already running Scorpio and he made me an offer to close my company and get me as MD. I turned it down – it was a good offer, but I didn’t want to give up on my company.
“In 2000, he came back and offered to buy half of Scorpio. By then, I saw how the world was changing, with Live Nation [then called SFX Entertainment] buying up companies – I had a family and three kids, so I wanted some security. I started Hurricane Festival in 1997, and then ‘98 to 2000 were really good years. On the basis of that, I sold, and it gave me security for my family.” Koopmans says he knew he’d made the right decision when FKP Scorpio’s then-recently acquired Palazzo business, which combines variety entertainment and gourmet food, ran into financial trouble at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. “That’s when you get to know somebody very well,” he explains “Palazzo had lots of debts, and we also had a Beatles exhibition that wasn’t doing very well, and Klaus was very helpful.” For Koopmans, that assistance from Schulenberg is a testament to his business partner’s character: “It’s easy when business is good, but you find out who a good partner is when business is bad.” Jens Michow, co-president of Germany’s Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV), also hails Schulenberg’s contributions to the industry at large. “BDKV wouldn’t have been able to develop some of their biggest assets without Klaus’s support and advice,” says 2010 With the acquisition of Ticketcorner, Eventim becomes the ticketing market leader in Switzerland 2010 In Germany, CTS Eventim acquires Ticket Online/ See Tickets Germany. The company also signs an exclusive ticketing contract with Stage Entertainment 2010 CTS group revenues exceed €500m for the first time 2012 CTS Eventim acquires Lanxess Arena (18,000-cap) in Cologne and Hammersmith Apollo (5,039-cap) in London, the latter in partnership with AEG. The Apollo is renamed the Eventim Apollo a year later
IQ Magazine May 2019
cts eventim ESK Events, now a subsidiary of FKP Scorpio, has established Deichbrand, near the North Sea coastal town of Cuxhaven, as one of Europe’s best mid-sized festivals
Michow. “Whenever we need him, he is available – and that is more than amazing. I would guess that if he wanted to have just a five-minute chat per week with each of his companies he would need to work 20 hours a day. Though that might be his usual work day anyhow…” CTS Eventim, Michow adds, is also “one of the most important sponsors” of the German Live Entertainment Awards (PRG LEA), while Schulenberg played a key role in developing the GWVR, which collects neighbouring rights royalties on behalf of German promoters.
Integrate & consolidate
2013 Eventim wins the ticketing services contract for the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia 2013 CTS Eventim acquires a majority stake in Swiss promoter ABC Production 2014 Stage Entertainment’s ticketing companies in Spain (Entradas See Tickets), the Netherlands (See Tickets Nederland) and France (Top Tickets), are acquired by CTS Eventim. The two parties also agree an exclusive ticketing agreement for Europe and Russia
oopmans’ FKP Scorpio was among the first companies to be acquired by CTS, but far from the last: In 2018, CTS Eventim had live entertainment subsidiaries in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland, and additionally operated ticketing businesses in Britain, France, Brazil, Bulgaria, Israel, Croatia, Poland, Russia, Romania, Hungary and Slovenia. “Our relationship with CTS Eventim began in 2007, when Klaus-Peter Schulenberg decided to invest and believe in TicketOne,” recalls Stefano Lionetti, CEO of Milan-based TicketOne, which has been the market leader in Italy ever since. “At that time, we were on the opposing side, acting in the sellers’ interests, while Klaus-Peter – who immediately became ‘KPS’ – was personally leading the negotiations on Eventim’s side. During the process, we had some differences but at the same time, we learned to appreciate and trust each other: surprisingly, at the end of The Eventim Apollo in London has helped the company establish a strong footprint in the UK © Tom Cronin
IQ Magazine May 2019
the acquisition process, KPS asked us to stay and lead the company on CTS Eventim’s behalf. “So much has changed since those days, and now, after 12 years, we run one of the largest and most successful subsidiaries in the Eventim group, and are proud to be part of it.” “Today, collaboration within the Eventim group has become essential for TicketOne: our technologies, big data and digital marketing activities can only benefit from the best practices, co-operation, scale and synergies we experience within the group,” continues Lionetti. “At Eventim, we are actually colleagues with everyone at the different country subsidiaries and the HQ. At the same time, we benefit from common commercial initiatives such as international marketing campaigns and, for example, cross-border initiatives such as our recent success with the [Volleyball] Men’s World Championship 2018 in Italy and Bulgaria.” According to Schulenberg, Eventim was “the first company in this industry to integrate our business vertically” – a model that was copied by Live Nation (which acquired Ticketmaster in 2010) in the years that followed. (That integration, he adds, was, “for me, a logical step. It’s not rocket science…”) Schulenberg tells IQ that a two-pronged approach – a stock market flotation in 2000, followed by a period of rapid consolidation and integration – proved an instant success, with the former decision providing the finance for a multi-millionEuro investment in ticketing technology. The latter, meanwhile, arguably provided a model for the success of other vertically
integrated live music businesses, such as AEG, DEAG and the aforementioned Live Nation Entertainment, all of which operate various promoters, ticketing companies, festivals and venues. On the subject of Live Nation, opinions are divided as to how much the creation of Eventim Live – CTS’s new 26-company pan-European promoter network (more on that later) – is a response to the US company’s launch in Germany under Marek Lieberberg in 2015. (Lieberberg spent 15 years in the CTS family, and both Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur and its famous twin festivals, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, are still part of the group.) 2014 The company is chosen as exclusive ticketing partner for two major sporting events: the 2017 Ice Hockey World Championship in Cologne and Paris, and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2015 Eventim acquires a stake in German cinema ticketing platform Kinoheld 2016 In partnership with Danish media company Egmont – then the parent company of leading ticket agency Venuepoint – CTS Eventim forms a ticketing joint venture in Scandinavia. Two years later, it acquires Venuepoint completely
cts eventim Koopmans says he had been “pushing hard” for the creation of an entity like Eventim Live, which he describes as being necessary to compete with Live Nation. Schulenberg isn’t so sure: “I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘reaction,’” he says. “We need to be able to make offers for European tours across multiple countries from booking agents based in London. It’s a plan that developed in response to the demand of the market.” Eventim, of course, has long had a complicated relationship with its closest rival in Europe, with a ticketing agreement between the pair abandoned by Live Nation in 2010 following its merger with Ticketmaster. 2018 A new sponsorship business unit, Eventim Brand Connect, launches, connecting Eventim’s marketing partners with its ticketing and live entertainment brands 2018 A consortium jointly owned by CTS and Austrian company Kapsch TrafficCom is commissioned to collect traffic tolls in Germany. It is the first time CTS Eventim’s technology is used for an application outside the ticketing sector 2019 CTS Eventim combines its live entertainment companies into Eventim Live, a London-based, pan-European network comprising 26 promoters in ten countries
“We signed an exclusive ticketing deal didn’t come to fruition” adds Schulenberg, “but it’s history. We still sell tickets for Live Nation.” Eventim Live, he says, is – simply – “beneficial for us. We look at ourselves only. We are not in the revenge market!”
26 become one
ventim Live, for those who missed news of its launch at ILMC in March, is a network of 26 CTS-owned promoters in ten European countries, and aims to provide artists with “cross-border touring opportunities from a single source”: a head office, a short hop from the major booking agencies, in London. The organisation – headed up by Frithjof Pils of Medusa Music, which formerly served as the umbrella company for CTS’s promoters, and Schulenberg – includes all promoters in which CTS Eventim holds a controlling stake (boxout on page 58). “We want to share the benefits Eventim Live offers its promoters with our customers and partners,” explained Pils. “Artist representatives who approach a personal contact at Eventim Live will benefit from our new promoter network in many ways: they can now access 25 other promoters in a one-stop shop, including the option of booking slots at any of our festivals throughout Europe.
cts eventim ALDA’s partnership with CTS Eventim has allowed the Dutch company to expand internationally, including the launch of its hugely successful New Horizons festival at the Nürburgring
“We also offer them our ticketing solutions in more than 20 countries. And, last but not least, besides our marketing reach, we also make our various data-based solutions available to them. In this way, we want to help artists reach as many fans as possible with their live performances.” Schulenberg says he’s pleasantly surprised by the “very positive reaction” to the announcement of Eventim Live, with numerous artists and agents having already approached the company and requested to work together. “Eventim Live will be one of the most important players in the global music business, I have no doubt about it,” adds Mimmo D’Alessandro of D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi), one of four Italian promoters acquired by CTS over an eightmonth period in 2017-18. (The others are Vertigo, Friends & Partners and Vivo Concerti.) “It’s an astonishing combination of professionalism, know-how and skills, and it will surely make an impact on our industry.” “It is a strong sign, especially in our country,” adds Vivo MD Clemente Zard. “CTS Eventim, in Italy, is now the company with the highest revenue compared to our competitors. […] Their expertise allows companies like Vivo Concerti to achieve important goals to stand out in their field.” Andrea Pieroni, CEO of Vertigo, says, “for sure, the panEU plan will help all the promoters involved. It’s great: we can offer a network of very experienced promoters to the artists, as well as 30 festivals all over Europe and some of the best venues on the continent,” he continues. Offering a non-Eventim perspective, Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion MD Ben Mitha says the creation of Eventim Live is a logical consequence of CTS Eventim’s growth over the past three decades. “FKP Scorpio, as the biggest promoter in the CTS Eventim/ Medusa Music group, has been offering and promoting tours
IQ Magazine May 2019
on a pan-European level for years,” says Mitha, “so Eventim Live is just putting a brand name as an umbrella on top of it. “In the end, I think this was just the next logical step in the approach to compete with the big global corporates.” Uwe Frommhold, vice-president and COO AEG Europe, which operates Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap) in Berlin and Barclaycard Arena (16,000-cap) in Hamburg, says his “first personal contacts with CTS Eventim go back to 2002 when we opened Hamburg’s new venue, Color Line Arena, which today is Barclaycard Arena.” He adds: “From day one, the relationship has been much more than just professional; CTS Eventim always went the extra mile to make us a happy partner.” On Eventim Live, Frommhold is similarly predicting success for the new venture. “So far, most, if not all, the businesses Klaus-Peter and his team have launched have been very well thought through,” he explains, “and rarely, if ever, failed, so I’m sure that now officially combining ticketing, marketing and the promoters of the Eventim group under one European-wide roof will have an impact.” 2016 CTS Eventim expands into South America via a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment in Brazil 2017 For the first time in its 28-year history, CTS Eventim’s turnover exceeds €1bn. Its profits, meanwhile, are over €100m. 2017–2018 Following back-to-back acquisitions of Vertigo, Friends and Partners, D’Alessandro e Galli and Vivo Concerti, CTS Eventim becomes the largest promoter in Italy
Taking a toll
hile Eventim Live is undoubtedly one of the biggest developments to come out of Bremen in recent years – perhaps the most significant since the company’s flotation in 2000 – interesting things are also happening away from ticketing, where a CTS-backed consortium recently won a €2bn+ contract to collect traffic tolls in Germany. The new company, jointly owned by CTS Eventim and Austrian company Kapsch TrafficCom, will collect the ‘infrastructure charge’ for passenger vehicles, which goes towards maintaining Germany’s roads. It is the first time an entertainment ticketing company has diversified in this way, says Schulenberg, and will have a “large effect” on CTS’s bottom line. “We are the first ticketing company worldwide to move into a segment like this,” he explains. “We can now call ourselves not only the music market leader, but also the technology leader.”
nlike one of the men he bought CTS from (Marcel Avram told IQ last year he’ll “keep doing this [promoting shows] as long as I have enough energy”), Schulenberg has no intention of working until he drops. “I will retire; I won’t stay on forever,” he says. “I’m not of that school of thought. “Both my mother and father spent the first years of their lives on farms. And when I was a child, I used to spend my holidays on a farm, which I loved. Maybe one day, when I retire, I’ll have
a farm of my own. But that’s still a long way off. I have still many plans in the pipeline with CTS Eventim.” Though Schulenberg’s own personal tastes lean towards classical music, he retains a keen interest in the musical side of CTS’s concert business, says Béchir. “He still has that passion for music,” says the abc Production founder, who likens CTS Eventim’s relationship with its promoters to that of a car, with Schulenberg sitting alongside promoters in the front seat. “He’s not just a stock-market man. He’s still going to lots of shows, listening to music, and is in contact with managers and agents all the time. His interest is in knowing exactly what goes on in the business – he likes everyone to know he has his finger on the pulse.” Here’s to the next 30 years, then? Well, sort of. “I hope the company is still existing,” concludes Schulenberg. “But I do hope I’m not,” he adds, jokingly. “The company has a great future,” he continues. “It has fantastic employees and fantastic technology, and if we judge the market properly there’s no reason we can’t keep going from strength to strength.” As for Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, what will his legacy be (once he’s finally bought that farm)? For a man Forbes estimates is worth $2.5billion, the response is surprising: “None. When you’re dead, you’re dead. “The Rockefellers and all those big business magnates come from a different era – the times now are much faster, and people are willing to forget easier,” he elaborates. “Besides, I don’t belong to these people who think it’s important to be remembered three generations after them.” For his part, Koopmans says the future looks bright, for both Scorpio and its parent company (of which FKP is a “little piece.”) “Business-wise we’re breaking records, both my company and Klaus’s,” he explains, “so the future is looking really good. We have the biggest tours out there and we keep going. “We both see ourselves as solid businessmen – but we’re music lovers first and foremost.”
FKP Scorpio’s festival portfolio, including Hurricane, has contributed significantly to CTS Eventim’s prosperity over the decades
IQ Magazine May 2019
Klaus-Peter Schulenberg has been a game-changer in the live entertainment industry. Over the past 30 years, he has succeeded in building up the number-one company and most powerful brand in Europe’s event market. Having searched for a new shareholder for many years, we at the Lanxess Arena were happy and proud to find it in CTS Eventim. Since 2012, we have been a huge part of the valueadd for CTS Eventim’s Live Entertainment segment. The success story of the Lanxess Arena as part of Klaus-Peter Schulenberg’s company is shown in the yearly arena rankings, where the Lanxess Arena has been a fixture in the global top ten and European top three for years. We look forward to continuing this development together with Klaus-Peter Schulenberg as a strong partner, as we move forward with the next chapters of this success story and continue it around the world. We wish Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and our shareholder company CTS Eventim the very best for the future!
Stefan Löcher, Lanxess Arena When I met Klaus for the first time, I thought he was one of the most impressive people I had ever had a conversation with. Since I have been meeting him regularly as my CEO, I also have to add that he is one of the most challenging bosses! But is there anything better than being challenged?
Christoph Klingler, oeticket/CTS Eventim Austria If there is any problem or challenge, we give Eventim a call and we get every support right away. Eventim has a great bunch of people and they make the difference; it’s always amazing to see that such big companies still have a human touch!
Uwe Frommhold, AEG Germany Klaus is very down to earth for the successful visionary that he is. He is always open to help where he can when he knows it’s for a project that is close to your heart, like co-funding the saving of the Molotow Club or our very own Überjazz Festival. This is something you don’t find very often any more.
testimonials Klaus is a great businessman with strong attention to detail. If I talk to him about a project, he’s on it straight away – he asks the right questions, including ones you don’t expect, so sometimes you’ll go away thinking, “Yeah, maybe this [idea] isn’t that good after all.” He gives really good advice and is always open to new ideas.
Folkert Koopmans, FKP Scorpio It’s no secret that Klaus-Peter likes Italy, and he likes to contribute to steering TicketOne’s business as well. He is always present and available when important decisions need to be taken, while also giving us full empowerment to run the business locally. However, this doesn’t mean that we can just sit back and enjoy la dolce vita as bosses: ‘challenge and support’ is Klaus’s leadership style, and we appreciate the pressure to deliver very high standards and results, as well as his smart and quick business assessments when we go to him with proposed new deals or investments. There is one point where we feel there is room for improvement in connection with KPS: whenever he visits us, the task of choosing a restaurant regularly sends us into a panic. He never seems fully happy with our choices, to the point that we are actually considering taking lessons to become chefs ourselves to try and meet his exacting tastes!
Stefano Lionetti, TicketOne
I never thought we could have been open to a partner in our company but when I met Klaus I felt that I was going to change my mind. My best moment with Klaus was at the Rolling Stones concert at Lucca Summer Festival. He flew all the way to Tuscany to stand besides us on such an important day, we watched the show together drinking a good glass of Sassicaia.
I have known Klaus-Peter since we were both just of full age. At that time, he was the manager of Bernd Clüver and I was managing the singer-songwriter Eva-Maria. We met on a train travelling to a tiny little German island in the North Sea, accompanying our artists, who were booked to participate in a local radio show to mark the New Year. However, since that time our careers have developed in a different way: Klaus-Peter established the biggest ticket sales platform in Europe and is owner, or at least shareholder, of the biggest promoter companies in our country. I, on the other hand, just made it to become a tiny little entertainment lawyer and association creator. Well, things went well for Klaus…
Mimmo D’Alessandro, D’Alessandro e Galli
Jens Michow, Michow & Ulbricht/BDKV
Karsten Jahnke & Ben Mitha, Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion
IQ Magazine May 2019
Switzerland SCHAFFHAUSEN BASEL
WIL BADEN WINTERHUR SOLOTHURN AARAU GLATTPARK LE CHAUX-DE-FONDS ST. GALLEN GRÄNICHEN ZÜRICH BIEL HINWIL LE LOCLE AARBURG LYSS NEUCHÂTEL ZOFINGEN ZUG AARBERG ESTAVAYER-LE-LAC ARCH MURTEN LUZERN BERN GERSAU AVENCHES RUBIGEN NIEDERWANGEN DÜDINGEN YVERDON-LES-BAINS THUN MOUDON INTERLAKEN NYON FRIBOURG DEGEN SPIEZ BULLE LAUSANNE MORGES BRIG PULLY AESCH
GAMPEL-BRATSCH SIERRE ZERMATT
Map Key Agent Promoter Agent/Promotor Venue Festival
Reitschule Stade de Suisse Gurten
Biel/Bienne Royal Arena
Artistpool Kongresszentrum Simplonhalle
Stars of Sounds AG
Riverside Festival Radicalis Music
Open Air Lumnezia Café Bad Bonn Bad Bonn Kilbi
Action Booking RFV Basel Act Entertainment AG Reelmusic GmbH Baloise Session Gare du Nord Banhof Fur Neue Musik Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park Kaserne Restaurant Volkshaus Sommercasino Z7 St. Jakobshalle Basel Imagine Festivall Summer Nights
Get Loud Appalooza Productions Hotellounge Intermusic Network Wildpony AG Progr BernExpo Bierhübeli Dachstock Damfzentrale National Bern
S.O.F.A. Booking et Promotion Fri-Son Le Nouveau Monde Festival Les Georges
Gampel-Bratsch Open Air Gampel
Live Music Production SA BFM Geneva Arena Grand Theatre de Geneve La Gravière L’Alhambra L’Epicentre L’Usine / Le Kab L’Usine / PTR La Traverse Salle Des Fetes Théâtre du Léman Victoria Hall Antigel Festival La Bâtie Festival de Genève Vernier sur Rock
Mix Max Music Good News Productions
Theatre de Beausobre Les Prisons
All Blues Konzert Smell A Rat Organizations Eulachhallen Gaswerk Kulturzentrum All Blues Winterthurer Musikfestwochen
Hinwil Rock The Ring
Open Air Gränichen Greenfield
Two Gentlemen Ishtar Music Mainland Music Soldout Productions Le Romandie Les Docks Salle Metropole Theatre Beaulieu Zelig Balélec Festival de la cite Lausanne Polaris Festival
Le Chaux-de-Fonds Bikini Test
Le Locle Rock Altitude
JazzAscona Moon and Stars
Lugano Estival Jazz
Orange Peel Agency Swiss Musictour Konzerthaus Schuur Sudpol Blue Balls
Kulturfabrik Kufa Lyss
Stars of Sounds AG Festi’neuch
Eventservice Opus One Usine a Gaz Caribana Paleo
Schaffhausen Kammgarn Stars in Town
Port-Franc Festival Au Bord De L’Eau Tohu-Bohu
TAKK Centre Artistique et Cultrel de la Ferme-Asile Sion Sous Les Etoiles
Grabenhalle OpenAir St. Gallen KulturFestival
Pont-Rouge Headstrong Music Montreux Jazz Festival
Wil Gare de Lion
L’Amalgame Zermatt Unplugged
Basitours Heitere Openair
BAKARA MUSIC Rent-A-Show abc Production Dog Promotions Freddy Burger Management Impact Music Inc. Live Nation Act Entertainment AG Gadget Just Because Mainland Music Bogen F Dynamo Exil Halle 622 Hallenstadion Kaufleuten Komplex 457 Maag Music Hall Mascotte Moods Papiersaal Plaza Rote Fabrik Samsung Hall Seebad Enge Stadion Letzigrund Theater 11 Volkshaus Zurich X-tra Live At Sunset M4Music Zürich Openair
IQ Magazine May 2019
SWITZERLAND: POSITIVE SIGNS As the world’s corporate live entertainment giants continue to target new assets and partners to gain footholds in the lucrative Swiss market, some established operators are noticing a strain on ticket sales. Adam Woods reports.
robably the gravest thing you can say about Switzerland as a live music market is that it has all manner of firstworld problems. It’s a fact that not every Swiss ticket sells and not every show is a hit. But in a market of just 8.5million people, where a vast mass of concerts and festivals nonetheless turned over CHF576m (€515m) in 2017 [source: PwC], saturation will always be a threat. It’s also true that a market that has traditionally prided itself on its independence is now squarely on the international corporate map, with Live Nation, DEAG, Eventim and AEG all much in evidence. But that’s the way of the world, for better or worse. And in the meantime, plenty of Swiss independents report healthy trading. This year, by some accounts, feels like a slightly rocky one, if only by Swiss standards. Festival ticket sales are down and a number of promoters are openly steering clear of big, risky events, sensing a softening of demand. And then again, for every cautious projection, you’ll find someone who will happily tell you that business has seldom been better. Live Nation, for one, is on the up. Ask Live Nation GSA COO Matt Schwarz about saturation and he notes the possibility while making it clear that it’s not yet anything resembling a problem for his business. “We don´t feel that at all – our ticket sales are exceptional and still growing,” says Schwarz. “Moreover, international
IQ Magazine May 2019
acts still love playing Switzerland. However, there has been a huge volume of international tours in the market. Spending capital is available but at some point it has its limits. [But] so far, we have not experienced buying resistance in general.” Live Nation acquired large indie player Mainland Music last December, in a move that gives the corporate a Swiss grassroots presence where it has previously dealt mainly in arenas and stadiums. The year before, it treated itself to a majority stake in Openair Frauenfeld, Europe’s largest hip-hop festival. “Numbers are constantly growing,” says Schwarz. “With our new partners we have steady feet on the ground to optimise and increase our number of shows, and subsequently our ticket sales.” Elsewhere, examples of healthy, world-class names are easy to find. Zürich’s 15,000-capacity Hallenstadion is one of the most successful arenas in the world in its size range, while festivals such as Paléo, Montreux Jazz, Frauenfeld and Open Air St.Gallen represent the top end of a huge nationwide offering of outdoor summer music events. By some accounts, all this activity threatens to burst the market’s seams. “The country is still the same size it was in 2017,” says Good News CEO Stefan Matthey, with a nod to the last time IQ covered Switzerland in detail. “It’s got four languages, which means more or less four different markets, and every field has got its own festival.” One thing that has changed, on the domestic talent front, is Switzerland’s hipness to new musical trends. “It used to take everything three years to get to Switzerland, and then
Contributors “All the artists are coming every year and it is not working.” – Thomas Dürr, Act Entertainment there would be a wave of Swiss bands that would go nowhere because the world had moved on,” says Stefan Schurter of booking and management agency Deepdive Music. “Now, people listen to Spotify, like they do everywhere else, and we are no longer two or three years behind the trend. Whereas people used to say [adopts bored voice] ‘oh, Switzerland – that’s the home of Yello and Krokus,’ now it’s, ‘Oh, Switzerland, that’s the home of Sophie Hunger or Zeal & Ardor!’ And there are so many other great Swiss artists now.” Indeed, agent Théo Quiblier at Two Gentlemen in Lausanne, tells IQ that Sophie Hunger’s Molecules tour is on track to sell 20,000 tickets on headline shows in Switzerland alone by the end of the year. “We can see more and more amazing Swiss artists coming through especially within the last couple of years,” he comments. “Each year, more and more Swiss acts are also touring abroad which is great. There’s also now an agency called Orange Peel Agency, run by two amazing young people, taking care of Swiss artists only. All in all, the future seems to be bright for the Swiss scene.”
ith four national languages – French, German, Italian and Romansh – Switzerland could be a recipe for sectarian discord, but in fact it’s generally a model of co-operation. Promoters largely keep to their own parts of the country – German speakers in cities such as Zürich, Bern, Basel and St.Gallen; French in Geneva, Lausanne and Montreux. For shows outside their patch, they work with partners. Many shows are co-promoted, very few promoters operate in isolation and the market is generous but finite. “Normally, you can do one, maybe two shows in Switzerland for an international artist,” says Stefan Wyss, director of multifaceted, Zürich-based indie Gadget, whose home-grown band Hecht plays the Hallenstadion in October – one of a tiny handful of Swiss bands to rise to that level. The French part of Switzerland is smaller and doesn’t support as many tickets as the German part, adds Wyss, “but when your artists play there, you need the expertise of someone local. We work with [Sion-based fellow indie] Takk. We promote all their artists here and they promote all our artists in the French part. That’s how we all work – it’s a different market over there.” Switzerland might be a compartmentalised market but none of its compartments is particularly large. “Swiss cities are small,” says Takk’s Sebastien Vuignier. “Zürich is the largest, but the city itself only has 450,000 people – nothing to compare with Amsterdam, Brussels or Milan, for instance, not to mention London, Paris or Berlin. So we’ll sell far fewer tickets for a show in Zürich or Lausanne than the same act can sell in Paris or Berlin.” For a market of its size, however, Switzerland is bursting with promoters. Abc Production, headed up by the founding
IQ Magazine May 2019
Thomas Dürr, Act Entertainment; Marcus Garbe, Transaction Consulting; Dany Hassenstein, Paléo / Opus One; Marc Lambelet, Mainland Music; Stefan Matthey, Good News; Stefan Schurter, Deepdive Music; Matt Schwarz, Live Nation GSA; Beatrice Stirnimann, Baloise Session; Sebastien Vuignier, Takk; Stefan Wyss, Gadget; Théo Quiblier, Two Gentlemen.
father of the local business, André Béchir, remains a powerful presence in Zürich and across German-speaking Switzerland. The Eventim-owned promoter is putting Shawn Mendes, Claudio Baglioni, Mark Knopfler, David Garrett and Hugh Jackman into the Hallenstadion this spring, with Take That, Cher and Michael Bublé to come this summer, to add to Phil Collins and Pink at the Stadion Letzigrund. Rumours of a merger with fellow Eventim promoter Act Entertainment reliably abound, but so far have come to nothing. Act, meanwhile, runs a widely diversified entertainment business, with big concerts alongside motorcycle extravaganzas, circuses and comedians in various languages, including, latterly, English. Like others, Act chief executive Thomas Dürr has noticed a softening of demand in recent times. “Sales are better now than in the last six months of the old year,” says Dürr. “We realised that there were too many shows around, so we reduced the number we are promoting. All the artists are coming every year and it is not working. “We can see that the outdoor shows are a problem, so we have just one “We can see that the outdoor shows are a
“For us, it is always about music because we don’t do the food markets and the things a lot of other festivals do. Each year, we say: it’s not going to be better, it’s going to be different.” - Beatrice Stirnimann, Baloise Session problem, so we have just one stadium show this year, with Bon Jovi, and we have reduced our Summer Stage festival [in Basel] from three to two days. I think we are in a good place in this market. But there are too many players, too many shows, and the money most of the artists are looking for is not the amount the market wants to give to them.” DEAG-owned Good News, once Béchir’s baby but now run by former Free & Virgin boss Matthey, maintains a heavy schedule including plenty of hard rock. It scored big successes with the Foo Fighters and Die Toten Hosen last year, but though its upcoming shows include nights at the Hallenstadion for Kiss and Dieter Bohlen, they skew towards the small- and the medium-sized. Matthey views the stuffed summer outdoor calendar with a raised eyebrow. “There are so many stadium shows, plus festivals, city events and big traditional events,” he says. “I’m curious how it ends for everybody this year.” This year’s Good News shows include a Limp Bizkit indoor show at Bernexpo Halle 4.1 in July, as well as Disturbed, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Alice In Chains concerts at Zürich’s Halle 622, the last standalone Swiss show with Slayer at the Geneva Arena, and the last hurrah for local heroes Krokus at the Hallenstadion in December, with 13,000 people. “I’m not unhappy to be not involved in all the competition in the summer,” says Matthey. “To book a mainstream stadium show is one thing; to get a good economic result is another. It means we can concentrate ourselves on 2020, when we have some options to do some big green-field festivals. We are just
starting to check out the possibilities. Iron Maiden are going out, and so are various others. In the meantime, we are doing a bunch of younger bands, new bands, baby bands, from 50 people upwards, and then everything from horse shows to ice galas.” Live Nation has been in Switzerland since 2015, run by Schwarz as a part of Live Nation GSA. Its own calendar this year is full. “Summer will be busy with two stadium shows in Zürich: Metallica and Bon Jovi,” says Schwarz. “We have multiple arena shows coming up and a great pipeline.” Mainland, too, keeps busy, having been formed in 2012 from the union of small promoters including Black Sheep, Cult Agency and Redda Music. Though known as a promoter of small, indie and developing acts, Mainstream has dipped into the big leagues since the opening up of the Hallenstadion, once controlled exclusively by Good News. Previously an independent stalwart, Mainland’s Marc Lambelet says the experience of being part of a global group has been invigorating. “It was a leap of faith, after being independent for 28 years,” says Lambelet. “But I must say I feel really good in this new constellation. Being part of a bigger and powerful entity with a lot of resources and steady information flow is brilliant – it has brought a completely new perspective to the job.” Mainland’s priority, he adds – “to promote as many great shows as possible at all levels and all across the country” – remains the same. Lambelet has faith in the Swiss business, while noting that 2019 has seen a slight sag in the market. “Business is still very good here,” he says. “The ticket prices have stabilised and tend to decrease slightly, which is a good thing. Spring 2019 seems to be a bit slow for everyone in terms of ticket sales but I sort of expected it to be so. There is a natural tendency of the markets to vary up and down. It can’t always go higher, and with the good years we have had recently, it was meant to readjust.” From an agency point of view, Quiblier at Two Gentlemen explains that his company also offers label, production, publishing and synchronisation services in an effort to maintain its independent status. He adds, “We thrive on having long-term relationships with all our partners and artists, from the smallest clubs to big headline shows. There is actually
Zürich’s Hallenstadion hosted six Art on Ice shows in February 2019
IQ Magazine May 2019
“From what we observe from the entire market, ticket sales are massively down…” – Dany Hassenstein, Paléo / Opus One nothing more rewarding in this job than promoting the very first Swiss show of an act at, for example, La Parenthèse in Nyon (80 cap) and seeing this act again a couple of years later headlining one of the major events in Switzerland.” Among the other indie promoters are Vincent Sager’s longrunning, Nyon-based Opus One, which focuses largely on Geneva and Lausanne, with Lenny Kravitz at Geneva Arena the largest in a long list of forthcoming shows. Winterthurbased Allblues specialises in jazz, world, funk and “legends.” OpenAir St. Gallen, Gadget, Incognito, Wildpony and Summer Days Festival operate umbrella brand wepromote to collaborate on new and existing projects.
witzerland’s festival scene is a powerful one and accounts for mainstream promoters’ occasional fear of major outdoor summer shows. In a calendar dotted with the packed rosters of Paléo, Rock Oz’Arènes and Montreux Jazz in the French part, and Frauenfeld, OpenAir St. Gallen, Gurten, Gampel and Greenfield in the Germanspeaking territory, to add to many other events too numerous to list, it’s not always easy to sell tickets to an ordinary show. In the past, demand for festival tickets has seemed almost infinite but 2019 appears set to demonstrate that even this market has its limits.
“From what we observe from the entire market, ticket sales are massively down – I would say 10%,” says Paléo and Opus One booker Dany Hassenstein. “That’s what the Swiss Music Promoters Association (SMPA) is saying. I’m very curious to see how it is going to go. I think we will feel it as well.” The Swiss problem is one of over-supply, rather than inadequate demand. “I think it’s like everywhere,” says Hassenstein. “There’s too much and the offer is increasing, not only for concerts but for leisure activities in general.” Frauenfeld has managed an elegant transition from mainstream rock and pop (as Out in the Green) to hip-hop since its inception 15 years ago. Held annually in Allmend Park in Frauenfeld, Thurgau, it draws 170,000 punters a year, and under Live Nation it continues to be produced by Rene Götz. 2018’s event, headlined by Eminem, J. Cole and Wiz Khalifa, was a sell-out, and Cardi B, Future and Travis Scott top the bill this year. “Frauenfeld festival has been a huge success, with record-breaking results,” says Schwarz. The Montreux Jazz Festival, now up to its 53rd edition, drew more than 240,000 people in 2018 and now sprawls across three main venues, in addition to ‘jazz boats,’ ‘jazz trains’ and a variety of free events, including more than 70 shows in the Parc Vernex. Elton John is on a bill that was still to be announced in full at press time. Historically, the Swiss market has thrived on such evolutions. Once a 1970s folk festival, 42 years into its existence Gurten in Bern takes an indie/R&B/dance line, with around 20,000 climbing up to the site – on a wooded hill 858m above sea level – on each of four days. Another biggie, OpenAir St. Gallen, had Krokus on the bill of its first show in 1977, attended by 2,048 visitors. This year, Die Ärzte and Florence and the Machine headline a four-day event that will, if previous years are a guide, be attended by up to 110,000 people. And then there are those that aim to evolve as little as possible. Baloise Session in Basel, with its small-scale,
Organisers of Paléo Festival enjoyed another landmark event in 2018 © Laurent Gilliéron
IQ Magazine May 2019
Switzerland supper-club feel, plots a course through rock, jazz and world music but aims to reach the same destination each year, if by subtly different means. “We want to keep our concept intimate,” says CEO Beatrice Stirnimann. “It is a boutique festival with an intimate atmosphere, club tables and candlelight, because that is what makes us special. For us, it is always about music because we don’t do the food markets and the things a lot of other festivals do. Each year, we say: it’s not going to be better, it’s going to be different.”
witzerland has beefed up its venue estate in recent years, adding the 5,000-cap Samsung Hall and 3,500-capacity Halle 622 in Zürich, and the St Jakobshalle in Basel. The last of those reopened last year after a renovation and will host Mumford & Sons and WWE Live in May, though the local council overruled an attempt to name the 9,000-capacity arena after local boy Roger Federer on its relaunch. Throw in the Hallenstadion, Kongresshaus and Komplex 457 in Zürich, the 9,500-cap Geneva Arena, and Lausanne’s Les Docks, and Switzerland has plenty of venues with international profile. This summer, Lausanne will get a new, 11,500-cap arena for ice hockey and concerts managed by AEG Facilities, adding one more. But Stefan Schurter, who sits on the board of the two-yearold MMF Suisse, pinpoints a couple of flaws in Switzerland’s well-run venue model. One of these – admittedly not a disastrous flaw – is the fact that Swiss bands are paid well for their efforts at club-level. “They get CHF300 to 500, even though they might not be known at all,” says Schurter. “It gives a chance for them to
cover at least part of their expenses. The problem is, when they then go to a market like the US or UK or Germany, where you don’t get fees at the beginning, and you might get 50% of the door if you are lucky, they’re not necessarily used to it.” Such domestic pampering, the thinking goes, might deter some young Swiss bands from attempting international tours. But a bigger problem is one faced by the Swiss clubs themselves – at least those outside the key city of Zürich and in the 500-1,000 range – in their struggle to generate a return on rising international talent. “Bigger promoters will resell artists to local clubs if there isn’t a sufficient amount of money in doing it themselves,” says Schurter. “So the club will promote these newcomers, usually at a loss. And then when the act gets a little bigger and there is money to be made, the bigger promoters take them back and promote them on their own.” The issue is profound enough that PETZI, the Swiss federation of music venues and festivals, has taken on the cause. “There is a discussion going on,” says Schurter. “PETZI raised its voice to some of the promoters and said, if you need these venues at the start, it would be kind if they also got a chance to promote some of the bigger shows.”
n spite of the packed schedule, it is not hard to see why Switzerland remains an attractive prospect for incoming corporates. The Swiss are the best-paid people in Europe, and research into the Swiss ticketing sector by Zürichbased tech M&A advisory firm Transaction Consulting paints a mouth-watering picture of a market in which average ticket prices are more than twice as high as those in neighbouring Germany (CHF68[€61] compared to CHF32[€29], with international acts generating more than 75% of ticket sales. “There is a very high average face value here, which is why all the big guys are coming to Switzerland,” says Transaction managing partner Marcus Garbe. Eventim’s Ticketcorner rules the roost with a share of around 60%, well ahead of Tamedia’s Starticket (14%), Eventfrog (5%) and Ticketmaster (3%) [source: Transaction Consulting estimates]. Due to various factors, Switzerland plays host to an innovative set of ticketing start-ups, particularly in the self-service space. “It is a small but interesting market because you have very high mobile penetration here, very good mobile networks, and people are used to that,” he says. “But you also have very high labour costs, and that is why ticketing companies are very keen to simplify the process.” Eventfrog, winner of a Disruptor Award at this year’s Ticketing Business Awards, is one of those, scrapping the usual customer fee for a model that instead involves selling ad space on tickets. Other local challengers include Ticketino, Ticketpark and Infomaniak.
“Being part of a bigger and powerful entity with a lot of resources and steady information flow is brilliant.” – Marc Lambelet, Mainland Music Takk Productions brought Amy Macdonald to Halle 622 in Zürich in April 2019 © Nicole Roetheli
IQ Magazine May 2019
Marking their A Real Labour of Love & 40th Anniversary Tour, Sam Russell and Alan Day of Kilimanjaro Live, Trinifold Management’s Bill Curbishley, and Gary Howard of United Talent Agency, met UB40’s Ali Campbell and Astro backstage at The O2 Arena in London to present them with commemorative plaques.
Ticketmaster’s senior director, international brand and marketing communications, Jo Young, married Andy Amico in a 16 March ceremony at Clapton Country Club in London.
To celebrate receiving his MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, United Talent Agency’s Neil Warnock held a private lunch at The Ivy in London, where he was congratulated by Nordoff Robbins chairman David Munns, OBE, and the charity’s CEO Julie Whelan. As chairman of Nordoff Robbins’ Fundraising Committee, Warno ck has been an avid supporter since the organisation was formed over 40 years ago and his medal is in recognition for his services to music and charity.
Festival director Rui Torrinha and conference director Nuno Saraiva used the famous watering hole of Tio Julio to host an Artists in Residency debate during their Westway LAB event in Guimarães, Portugal.
Yourope’s head of European marketing and communication, András Berta, recently welcomed the youngest member of his entourage to the world – daughter Leonora, who was born on 11 March.
Delegates at Wide Days conference and showc ase event in Scotland were, of course, treated to one of its organisers’ (Olaf Furniss and Michael Lambert) trademark tours of the city of Edinburgh, culmin ating in a special whisky tasting session on the stage of Edinburgh’s iconic Usher Hall.. The event, which in its tenth year boasted its highest ever attendance, included a Festival Takeover initiative that saw Electric Fields, Tenement Trail and Kelburn Garden Party each programme a stage during the showcase elemen t.
If you or any of your ILMC colleagues have any notices or updates to include on the noticeboard, please contact the club secretary, Gordon Masson, via firstname.lastname@example.org
IQ Magazine May 2019
Who Said What? IQ looks back on some of the headline-making statements made at ILMC 31. “Twenty per cent of the population in Germany now can’t afford to go to a show.” Detlef Kornett, DEAG The Open Forum: With or without EU
“Fortnite is a $60billion business, and it doesn’t charge to play. That’s one game that’s bigger than our entire industry by a multiple [of two]. I think there’s a lot to be learnt from what’s going on there – people are spending their time on that activity, rather than music and concerts – there’s a model around engagement and experience that encourages them to spend.” Bill Silva, Bill Silva Entertainment The Open Forum: With or without EU
“A $600–700 [bundling] package can net $200 for the artist. That’s revenue that didn’t exist before.” Michele Bernstein, WME Entertainment Ticketing: Is selling out losing out?
“Women in country are smashing it out of the park… I have to sometimes consciously add men into the playlist!” Baylen Leonard, BBC Radio 2 Country Music: Walking the line
“A question needs to be asked of big artists about the impact of their fees on lower order artists.” Sam Lee, artist/The Nest Collective Artists: The view from the stage
“There’s a risk that if Amazon are in charge of voice, if you say ‘play me pop’ or ‘play me rock,’ the music that follows is entirely dictated by Amazon, which is quite scary.” Felix Canetty-Clarke, Sony/ATV FastForward to the Future of the Music Business
“It’s our job to resist [global deals] when it’s not in the best interests of our clients.”
“What’s cool for me might be a load of shite for someone else – you have to learn to look at things through their eyes as well.”
“The greatest threat from drones is crowd management – making sure there’s no stampede if people get worried about it.”
“Sleep is the foundation of everything to do with your mental and physical health. Give yourself some quiet headspace, you deserve it.”
Richard Hughes, Drone Seeker Security: The new threats
Jenni Cochrane, AEI Group Surviving the Business: Health & wellbeing in live
“People are spending more money on experiences and investors will follow where the money goes.”
“It’s all about ‘the thumb stop’: what branded content will make someone stop scrolling on their timeline and press play.”
Eamonn Carey, Techstars London Industry Investment: The power brokers
Gary Cohen, ATC Live Beyond Touring: Full-stack futures
“We are 14,000 members strong and have reclaimed over £1m for fans. By joining together we’ve shown we can bring about change.”
“When you’re a female artist, unless you’re playing a piano or a guitar people think you’re manufactured, and you have to take some time to show people your stories and what you’ve gone through. Sometimes it just takes a little bit more explanation and a little more time, but it’s something I’m willing and ready to do to be heard.”
Clementine Bunel, Coda Agency The Agency Business 2019
Claire Turnham, Victim of Viagogo Secondary Ticketing: The fightback
“Musicians I love are being celebrated because of their differences and not in spite of them.” Tilly Scantlebury, Lazy Day Diversity: Breaking the spell
“In the old days you’d just shout out the next number, responding to the vibe of the crowd – now you have to do that before the show, because the whole thing has to work with the lighting man, the video man and everything else… So, in that sense it’s a little less exciting, but we manage it.” Roger Daltrey, The Who The (Late) Breakfast Meeting
Mike Jones, The MJR Group Meet The New Bosses: Class of 2019
Dua Lipa, artist The Future Forum Keynote
“If people only have less than positive experiences at local small venues then that might put them off live music. It’s time for the big venues to play their part in making it more of an obvious pipeline.” Beverley Whitrick, Music Venue Trust The Venue’s Venue: Close-up magic
“Even the best experiential festivals have a lifespan.” Jim King, AEG Presents Festival Forum: Fan first?
If you would like to send feedback, comments or suggestions for future Your Shout topics, please email: email@example.com
IQ Magazine May 2019
IQ Magazine issue 83 May 2019