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VIP- News

premium ›› Vol. 125 ›› MAY 2010

McGowan’s Musings: Since the last News I have dined on very fresh fish on a mountaintop and eaten even fresher seafood in a restaurant in a fjord on a small island accessible only by boat. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it! All will be explained in the Bergenfest/Summer Sundae report in this issue. My trip to Norway was marred only by slight worries about the possibility of volcanic ash clouds grounding flights, but all was well. For the second music business event of May, I had no such travel anxieties, as the business came to me! For the fifth year running I was gracious enough to allow The Great Escape to take place in my home town – city actually – of Brighton. In truth they didn’t ask me they just turned up, but as you will read in this issue they did ask me to chair a couple of panels, and it would have been churlish to refuse! For once the sun came out to greet bands and business from all over. Having arranged meetings with Noorderslag/Eurosonic, The Reeperbahn Festival, MaMA, the new event planned for Paris this October, and the Swiss Music Export Office, amongst others, an outside table at a the pub across the road from the event’s headquarters became the ideal place to relocate my office for a couple of days! Most people were very taken with Brighton, and it appeared that

Allan McGowan

some of them even liked the sight and the sound of the seagulls – there’s no accounting for taste! At one point it seemed that my modest dwelling (with a view of the sea!) was going to be overrun by stranded international music business people when it was announced that UK airports were being closed on the Sunday. This was not helped by train companies that, even in the middle of the Brighton Arts Festival, the second biggest in the UK, never mind The Great Escape, are unable to run a full service, substituting clapped out buses for part of the journey to Gatwick Airport and beyond, still in the end everyone managed to get home, and my mate Ken the taxi driver did very well! An interesting sub-text to the Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger concerns rock

singer Axel Rose of Guns ‘n’ Roses fame. In a dispute over management royalties he is counter-suing the man who could arguably be considered the most powerful man in the music business, his exmanager Irving Azoff, now the Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, and still boss of Front Line Management, which looks after 200 top artists from the Eagles, Van Halen and Christina Aguilera to Willie Nelson and the Kings of Leon. Axel wants $5 million in damages from Azoff, and has included in his suit, amongst many other things I’m sure, an accusation that by coercing and bullying artists he is in violation of the government decree which granted consent for the merger to go ahead. I can’t really see it happening, but as there are many concert companies who expect to be at the very least, shall we say, overshadowed, by the live music giant, it would be remarkable to see the US Government withdraw merger permission on the grounds of bullying! So – talking of monsters, volcanic ash and the worrying prospects of new eruptions permitting, particularly as I am heading in that direction, I will be reporting back from Inverness and Loch Ness next month, as I will be attending Go North. For now I wish you all well and … here is the News!

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20 Years of Live Music Hall Manfred Tari

Last month Micki Pick and business partners Daniel Czichopad and Georg SchmitzBehrenz celebrated the 20th anniversary of their venue, Live Music Hall. The 1.800 capacity venue is located in Cologne Ehrenfeld and is equally well known nationally.

Pick: Every five years we changed things like the backstage facilities and decoration in the venue we use for our party and disco events. We changed a lot of things especially regarding the sound and lighting system. We don’t have an option of not doing it because after a while you simply have to do it. It is not a question of if we want, we simply have to do it. So we changed the sound company and right now I guess we have a really nice sound. VIP-News: Is it the artists or the audience who really require and demand this?

Live Music Hall - Cologne

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In 2004 the business partners of Live Music Hall also took over the concert club The Underground, a smaller concert club with two rooms, one for 400 and one 200 persons. Micki Pick (53) is well known in the concert business. He started in the music business as an agent, working for acts such as the Phantom Band with Jaki Liebezeit, the bass player of Can, and Helmut Zerlett the keyboard player, who later became popular as the band leader for the late night show of Harald Schmidt, a German adaptation of the Jay Leno TV show in the US. Over the years Pick continued to work as an agent. Currently he is setting up a worldwide tour with Swiss Electro pioneers Yello. VIP-News talked with Pick about the difficulties for local promoters, offers from abroad and the level of today’s ticket prices. VIP-News: How were these 20 years for the Live Music Hall in Cologne?

Pick: Actually it’s both. You get a good vibe and good feedback from the audience and the artists. They come in and say “Wow what’s happened here? You changed things and the sound is much better”. VIP-News: When it comes to the business for local promoters in the Cologne area what has changed in the last, let’s say one and a half or two years? Did you see any major changes? Pick: Oh yes. Things changed because we have more clubs, particularly in the area of Cologne-Ehrenfeld. In the early days we started here almost alone and nothing else was happening around our venue. But right now there are six, seven clubs if it’s rock or electronic or whatever. There are more and more people coming. That is good because everybody is doing his or her thing and this is really positive. The more clubs there are the better it is. VIP-News: So you benefit from the competition in your neighbourhood?

Micki Pick: Up and downs. The beginning was amazing, a lot of surprises. During the 20 years we saw a lot of shows, parties and I suppose after a while we just found our way.

Pick: It is good that we have competition. I wish we would even have ten clubs next to us. It is good because in this case Live Musik Hall and our affiliate venue The Underground benefit from so much going on in the neighbourhood. We are very happy with the results due to this development.

VIP-News: Did you need to invest a lot in refurnishing the location and improving PA and Lights?

VIP-News: When it comes to ticketing, what kind of changes have you seen within the last couple of years in the market?


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come to you with direct offers for shows concerts?

Pick: Well, a lot of promoters hire the Live Music Hall. So I can’t tell you really much about their situation. When we are doing our own shows I would say nothing has changed a lot because the settings have been in place for so long. We are selling our tickets through Köln Ticket, and in this case we haven’t found anything new or changed.

casionally doesn’t make sense to pay so much money. Other colleagues should do so if they want to do. I’m already happy when we supply them with the venue and I very much hope that they’re happy with the venue too.

VIP-News: Isn’t there a development in terms of the consumer behaviour? It is still the case that most shows sell out in advance or is there something like a return of the box office walk-up to be seen?

Pick: My experience is that the fee and the whole production costs are much too high. But it wouldn’t change anything because you have always somebody, an agent or promoter who is willing to pay the requested fee. Because even if nine promoters say we don’t agree to pay so much money you will find one, the tenth, who will say “Yes, I’ll pay it”. So, the agent is in a very nice position when he approaches local promoters and says “make me an offer with a ‘like whatever’ guarantee fee and if a local promoter says ‘No’ they will go to the next one, to the third, fourth or whoever. Someone will say yes and is going to pay it.

VIP-News: What’s your impression of the level of prices for tickets? Pick: I guess for club shows they’re ok, but outside the club circuit in particular on the arena level it is too much, too high. But you see the result. I mean club shows are very often sold out. If you take a look on shows with a capacity of ten thousand and more they’re very often not sold out and I suspect they’re even losing the money.

VIP-News: Do you also get offers for artists or shows from agents outside of Germany for instance? Pick: Yes, we get offer from offers from UK agencies, not only once or twice, but indeed very often, even for arena shows. We tell them, “No way, we don’t agree to pay a one hundred or two hundred or three hundred thousand fee”. It does not make sense for us to bear such big risks.

Pick: No, I guess the club business will always be like twenty years ago because this is where the concert business begins. If it’s a club for 100 people or for 1000 people it doesn’t matter, this is the first step to coming to see a live show and this is what the people like, small venues and I expect nothing will change on this level. It was twenty years ago the same, ten years ago, it is still the same today and in ten years it’ll be the same.

VIP-News: Did something like this already take place in the past?

VIP-News: So what are the plans for the Live Music Hall in the near future?

Pick: Yes, of course, it’s happened.

Pick: Well, to do as many shows as we can and of course parties and disco events. This is the basis of or our business and this how we are earn our money, so nothing will change a lot. Sometimes we have a month with more shows and a month later with fewer shows. But on the weekend on Fridays, Saturdays when we have party events it is always the same; we always have a full house.

»Selling tickets in advance is the main thing and selling tickets at the door seems to belong to a long time ago...« - Micki Pick

Pick: No. Selling tickets in advance is the main thing and selling tickets at the door seems to belong to a long time ago, even for Reggae and Electronic Music events. Even these types of audience now buy their a tickets long time in advance. VIP-News: Today there are ticket operators such as Smartticket or Ticketskript, which offer their services to venues to sell tickets directly. Would that also be a solution for the Live Music Hall or do you prefer that tickets are available via the big networks like CTS Eventim or Ticketmaster? Pick: There are still companies that make us offers to sell tickets for the Live Music Hall but we don’t want to do it. We are still handling the ticketing with Köln Ticket because it is much easier for us.

VIP-News: What’s your view on increased fees and production expenses then?

VIP-News: Is there an increase or is it pretty much the same number of agents that

VIP-News: In the past, correct me if I’m wrong, you also promoted many more shows yourself. Doesn’t this make more sense for you? Pick: No, we don’t want to do more ourselves. Of course we promote shows but we rather prefer to promote parties and disco events, which are linked with a far lower risk. The fees and production costs for concerts went up and I believe it oc-

Pick: It is more less the same. I mean actually I’m convinced they tried before somewhere else. Because somebody says no way, they come to us and to sell their act to us. But I’m sure that I wasn’t the first one they approached.

VIP-News: Do you expect that what is happening on the top level in this industry may also sooner or later affect the club business?

VIP-News: Well done and good luck for the next 20 years. Pick: Thank you very much. Micki Pick, Georg Schmitz-Behrenz and Daniel Czichopad


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EinsPlus Expands Rock Am Ring Media Coverage Allan McGowan

60 hours live broadcast on Radio, TV and the Web. For the 25th anniversary of Rock Am Ring public station Suedwestrundfunk will expand its engagement and devote tri-medial coverage to the Rock am Ring Festival. In particular the radio station SWR3 will run a ‘Festivalradio’ within its regular programming and on, the tri-medial youth format DasDing will feature the event via TV, Radio and Online, while the TV-Outlet SWR will screen concert recordings.

The total amount of TV coverage adds up to 30 hours. EinsPlus which is part of the digital TV channel outlet of the public station network ARD will screen live concerts from June 3to 6. The TV-coverage is dedicated to the Alternastage of Rock Am Ring. The ARD-affiliated station Suedwestfunk will act as the lead station and provide the recording facilities for the media coverage. As well as the concert recordings on the Alternastage which features acts including Jan Delay & Disko Nr.1, Editors, Kate

Nash, Mötorhead, Slayer, Them Crooked Vultures and The Hives, the station will show interview features and background reports with artists and celebrities and the promoters. SRW3, the Suedwestrundfunk radio outlet announced the broadcast of 60 hours live from the festival on an extra frequency While the coverage by the public station is reserved to Alternastage, commercial station MTV will screen some shows from the Rock Am Ring Centre Stage, but at the time of asking the MTV press office had no details concerning the acts to be featured.

Rock Am Ring festival


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Yourope Takes A Lead on Event Health and Safety Allan McGowan

The European Festival Association YOUROPE has taken the lead in health and safety issues and has delivered seminars throughout Europe over the past ten years. Now integrated with the ILMC Safety Focus Group, the YOUROPE Event Safety group (YES) will continue this mission and act as a catalyst in the context of event safety, crowd management and associated disciplines. The non-profit group will facilitate partners across Europe to engage in dialogue and activities, which support the development of best practice at events. The group has a vision to enhance the knowledge of, and enable participation in, the support of initiatives, which continually strive to create safer event environments in Europe.

The focus of the group is on the following areas; • • • •

Crowd Management Health & Safety Event Security Risk Assessment, Analysis and Management • Systems and Procedures • Business Continuity • Disaster Management

Through an active approach to the subject and support from agencies and event businesses, the Group intends to support the development of a generic safety culture through the following aims and objectives:

• To encourage dialogue related to health and safety, crowd management and associated disciplines at events through conferences, projects and other forms • To create a forum through which existing knowledge can be shared by the widest possible audience • To create new knowledge through projects based in the live event environment and through academic approaches

• To encourage knowledge exchange/transfer and the dissemination of best practice from existing events to others • To make Governmental Organisations aware where conflicting practices or confusing legislation have been identified • To seek funding for individual projects through the network of industrial partners and organisations • To create original data in an available format accessible easily by those working in events across Europe • To identify and discuss issues pertinent to the event environment Over the last ten years the group has delivered seminars throughout Europe focusing on the real issues on health and safety at concerts. The group in partnership with industry and education received funding from the European Council for Health and Safety to create a health and safety database for those working at events to enable them to use good practice to help them develop and deliver risk assessment, safety procedures and view and utilise a range of tools including job descriptions and guidance from across Europe. Presently the group is working on a range of activities and focusing on show stop procedures, new configurations of event venues and topics such as weather and unusual conditions at events. Whenever issues occur the group makes it possible for those at events to discuss these in detail, learn and then apply good practice to their own events. Headed up by Chris Kemp from Bucks New University the seminars and workshops have already had a big impact on YOUROPE and have taken place across Europe in Groningen, Berlin and Great Missenden. There are two seminars a year. The first exclusively for YOUROPE members and the second is opened up to a wider audience from a range of disciplines working at events and festivals.


One of the main focuses of the group is to make as much progress as possible in stopping deaths and injury at events. The use of Roskilde as a model has been very useful for this and in conjunction with Bucks New University a series of research projects have been carried out trialled firstly at Roskilde and then pushed out into a range of festivals around Europe. The pressure barrier study, questionnaires on health and safety and most recently the pressure suit project have all followed this pattern. A new education course for those at events is currently being developed and will be available to YOUROPE members in September. The next seminar on September 23/24, 2010 during the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg/Germany promises an exciting and progressive programme and we hope to attract as many members as possible to share ideas and knowledge in the development of practical health and safety cultures across the festival arena.

About YOUROPE: YOUROPE was founded in November 1998. The association currently has over 60 members which are among the most well established festivals in Europe. All YOUROPE’s members are dedicated to improving the European festival scene in terms of working conditions, health and safety music talent. The overall aim of the association is to collaborate and share best practice, and to pinpoint areas that would benefit from a joint approach. YOUROPE is founding partner of the European Talent Exchange Program and the live music lobby European Live Music Forum Contacts: For more information about The Yourope Event Safety Group - The YES Group, please contact Professor Chris Kemp Executive Dean, The Faculty of Design, Media & Management Buckinghamshire New University

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Glade Festival Cancelled Allan McGowan

Elsewhere in this issue festival news has been very upbeat – in the Great Escape article we refer to the PRS for Music findings that the festival sector was responsible for a large percentage of the 2009 growth in live revenue, and the Bergenfest, Summer Sundae link up has got the festival twinning project off to a very good start. But not all events are experiencing good times and much as we have talked about the support of local authorities for events, the police can still decide to forbid a festival taking place, even if there is local authority support. Lawyer Ben Challis finds this worrying and alerted VIP-News about the cancellation of The Glade Festival. Amongst other things Ben acts as General Counsel for the Glastonbury Festival and helped found non-profit organisation A Greener Festival with the aim of encouraging music festivals to adopt environmentally conscious initiatives. He also pointed out other

Ben Challis

events that have become casualties in similar circumstances, such as Moonfest 2008, and this year’s Strawberry Fayre. The Glade Festival scheduled for what would have been its 7th edition on July 15-18 this year at Matterly Bowl near Win-

chester has been cancelled, even though, as organiser Nick Ladd states, “The Police themselves said that the Glade 2009 was ‘a well run event with low crime figures’. The local council was in full support of the event and the local people were in and almost 2 to 1 majority support of it but the police still tried to stop it. Ticket sales weren’t strong but they weren’t that bad either – the thing that tipped us into cancelling was the fact that at police and licensing authority insistence we had to spend a total of £310,000 on stewards security and policing. That’s more than we spend on music. The police bill alone had gone up from £29.000 in 2009 to £90,000 this year.” The Glade Festival, started out as a stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2001 aiming to provide a dedicated underground electronic music stage for the best of nonmainstream dance music within Glastonbury.


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(Glade will continue to host this stage.) In late 2003, after a combination of a series of free parties being stopped by the police and the fact that the Glade at Glastonbury was such a success, the idea to bring the often unlicensed free party vibe under the umbrella of a proper music festival. In July 2004 the idea came to fruition, and it worked. In 2009 Glade moved to Matterley Bowl to present what was considered the best ever edition. Hopes were high for 2010, but things didn’t work out. Nick ladd continues, “It’s difficult because the vast majority of policemen and women we come into contact with are really good people but somewhere at decision making level there are people who really couldn’t care less about cultural diversity, art or music. What they are interested in is numbers on a spreadsheet and how they are gonna’ look personally at the end of the year, based on those figures. I don’t see how that is serving the public interest in any way at all. I think they need to be reminded that life is

The Glade Festival cancelled

for enjoying as well as being safe and free from crime.” There is an official statement regarding the cancellation and ticket refunds at:

Nick Ladd concludes, “The communities and families behind the Glade are still strong and there is nothing but love for the event; that’s not just gonna’ go away. First we’re gonna’ get through this latest chapter and then we’ll go from there.”



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Bergenfest – The First of The Festival Twins Allan McGowan

Visiting Bergenfest for the festival’s first edition as the ‘twin’ of Leicester’s Summer Sundae event, we journalists could not have received better hospitality from the organisers or from the Norwegian City. Leicester will have to look to its laurels when returning the favour to a Bergen delegation! But how does a city in the midlands of the UK find activities to compare with lunch on a mountain top accessed by cable car with – when the clouds cleared – a more than spectacular view, and another lunch at a restaurant accessible only by boat, which cultivates its own seafood? Coda’s Rob Challice and his Summer Sundae team, and the Leicester City Council are, I’m sure, working on it! If the Association of Independent Festivals idea of twinning international festivals is to work then the local authorities must offer support, after all the tourism opportunities are obvious, and who knows what other cooperation’s may evolve. After years of initial disapproval, followed by grudging tolerance, followed by a realisation of just how much in both economic and cultural terms, a festival brought to various locations, national, city and regional authorities have in many cases come to realise that festivals are quantifiable assets, and that they should work with, rather than restrict, the organisers. The report on The Great Escape elsewhere in this issue includes a message of support from a city Council representative. Some realised the worth of these events earlier than others.

Frode Aasheim, Manager of the Bergen Convention Bureau, part of the Bergen Tourist Board, told VIP-News, “Bergenfest started in 1993, and is now one of the leading music festivals in Norway. The festival has during the years made the city of Bergen highly visible on the musical scene, both nationally and internationally. The festival received the Prize of Honour from Bergen Tourist Board in 2001 for ‘Excellent Marketing of Bergen’, and I am sure that the twinning of Bergenfest and Summer Sundae, not only will strengthen both festivals in the years to come, but also further contribute to promote our city as an exciting and popular destination for cultural events. We highly appreciate it and are looking forward to working even closer with Bergenfest in the future.” Bergenfest promoter Frank Nes was equally as hospitable as the City, and concerned himself with all aspects of our promotional visit. VIP-News spoke to him about the event, his relationship with the City, and his year round business: Frank Nes: We do all year round promotions through a company called Bergen Live, a company with six employees which promotes shows in Bergen. This company also has a management agreement with the foundation that promotes Bergenfest. Bergen Live promotes some 45-50 shows a year. Over the last few years we have sold between 135.000 – 145.000 tickets per year for the Bergen Live promoted shows. In addition Bergenfest attracts about 35.000 punters yearly (the festival is presented over 5 days – this year April 27 – May 2.). Bergen’s population is approximately 250.000, thus a large chuck of the city’s population attend shows. VIP-News: When and how did you start promoting, and what acts have you have worked with over the years? Nes: I started with concert promotions as a student in the early nineties at a club then called Maxime. Then, for ten years I worked

Frode Aasheim, Manager of the Bergen Convention Bureau



with Bergenfest as a part time employee along with being head of the western Norwegian branch office for Norway’s fiction writers. In 2001 I joined Stageway, then the largest artist management and agency in Norway, and worked with concert promotions and artist management. From 2003 onwards I have worked full time with Bergen Live and Bergenfest. Acts I have worked with are as diverse as they can be, I guess. With Bergenfest we present just about any type of musical genre you can think of. (This is true, on this visit to Bergenfest I saw Randy Newman, The Residents (very strange!) The New York Dolls, Femi Kuti and various rock acts – very eclectic! – Ed.) This is also the strength of the festival. Acts include everything from Robert Plant, Neil Young and Nick Cave to seminal world music and folk acts. With Bergen Live we have promoted acts such as The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen and Foo Fighters at the main open air venue Bergenhus Festning – a 22.000 capacity medieval fortress in the middle of the city - but we also do small club shows with artists like Jackie Leven and The Handsome Family, to name a few. We pride ourselves in treating the artists and our audience in such a manner that they leave our show and Bergen wanting to come back. It’s as easy as that, really. Being a local promoter is basically being able to supply the goods all the way through the supply chain, and you must acknowledge that everyone is important to make a show a success. VIP-News: Has the City always been as supportive as it now appears to be? How’s the competition - is Live Nation a worry to you?

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Nes: The City’s support has grown along with our own development as a promoter, i.e. bringing bigger artists to Bergen has opened the City’s eyes to the importance of having a local promoter such as Bergen Live and Bergenfest. The Bergen people pride themselves in standing out from the rest of our countrymen and our relative success with bringing big name acts to Bergen and making Bergenfest into one of Norway’s best festivals certainly adds to the pride of being from Bergen. Bergen, Norway

As for Live Nation, we do a lot of shows with them, most of our big shows are co-promotions with Live Nation in Oslo and without Rune Lem and his team we would never have made it this far with Bergen Live. The Norwegian market is pretty transparent and even though Live Nation is the biggest player in our country it is my impression that the market works pretty well and there is a place for everyone. We work with all the agencies that can bring talent to Bergen.

centre of the city, the Norwegian event uses 10 indoor venues of varying size and the Leicester festival takes place in the De Montfort Hall and on outdoor stages in the surrounding gardens. Organiser Rob Challice of Coda Agency took a distinctly hands on approach to promotion on the Bergen trip! – (See photo) This year’s tenth edition of Summer Sundae includes, Seasick Steve, Tinchy Stryder and Mumford & Sons, over three days, August 13-15.

Summer Sundae: Bergenfest and Leicester’s Summer Sundae are similar in as much as they present a range of genres and are staged in the

Not to be outdone by Bergen’s comments on supporting the festival Tess Booth of One Leicester Marketing told us, “When I heard that Leicester’s Summer Sundae

Weekender was to be twinned with Bergenfest - I thought what a great idea! Leicester is well known for its many festivals throughout the year - with Summer Sundae Weekender now in it’s tenth year it is recognised as a key event in the calendar both locally and nationally. I really believe twinning with Bergenfest will encourage continued friendship, understanding and mutual benefit between people across Europe. Leicester is a very continental city, so we encourage visitors who have just visited Bergenfest to come over and experience the delights of our Summer Sundae Weekender at Leicester’s De Montfort Hall - we know they’ll be impressed!”

Having the right tools for the job is often the key to success. Through our ongoing communication with key Live Entertainment Industry Professionals, we have developed a range of services to meet the demands of agents, promoters, talent buyers, venue bookers etc. It’s no coincidence that we are now considered to be the No. 1 information provider for this thriving industry.







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???????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????? ? is now the most widely used online information service for the European Live Entertainment Industry with subscribers in over 25 countries. Using the latest technology and state of the art tools, the service provides indepth information streamlining the day-to-day operations of industry professionals, saving both time and money.


The VIP-Book The ultimate print directory for the European Entertainment Industry, packed with contacts and easy to use. An essential reference book for every office providing basic contact information and a solid overview.



VIP-News Written by our highly merited journalists, Allan McGowan and Manfred Tari, with over 50 years of experience between them in the Entertainment Industry, VIP-News brings the latest news and views directly to your computer keeping you up to date at all times.


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The 2011 ediTion is my 25Th birThdAy! Are you Coming To my pArTy?

euroSonic noorderSlag The European music conference and showcase festival 25th Anniversary edition - focus on The netherlands

The European Border Breaker Awards & The European Festival Awards

EuroSonic Conference

Noorderslag EuroSonic GRONINGEN Conference Conference


Conference registrations The conference registrations for EuroSonic Noorderslag are now available. The early bird registration is available till 18th of June 2010.

Artist submissions Showcase applications are available through and Deadline for application is 1st of September 2010


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The Sun Shines on The Great Escape Allan McGowan

The Great Escape music convention and festival took place by the sea in from Thursday 13th - Saturday 15th May. Groove Armada closed the festival playing to capacity crowd at Brighton’s Corn Exchange. According to the organizers, this fifth edition attracted a record-breaking 16,000 ticket buying fans and music industry executives to the Brighton during the City’s month long Arts Festival, to see 300 up and coming acts from around the world playing at over 30 venues, and a full programme of panel discussions and talks featuring speakers from the global music business. The Great Escape has not been particularly fortunate with the weather for previous editions, it seemed that, as is often the case with traveling fun-fairs, the event inevitably brought rain and wind with it. However, although the evenings turned cold, 2010 was the year that the sun decided to shine on The Great Escape. Throughout the sunny days it appeared that there were bands playing in every available space, on tops of bars, on the beach, in the streets, and in the case of The King Blues in the sewer system under Brighton Pier – talk about getting down and dirty!

The Great Escape

As usual with so many acts to see it was as much about what you missed as what you saw and everybody seemed to have their own, ‘you should have seen…’ report. Of those that I saw, LA all girl band Warpaint will be big, and although being added at the last minute, resulting in a small crowd, Holland’s De Staadt were really worth seeing. Although UK acts were in the majority there was a strong international element, with Australians ( I missed their BBQ!) and Canadians alongside European acts.

Conference: The 3-day programme of talks, Q&As, debates and networking events were hosted by PRS for Music, we:LIVE and Music Ally. Interesting talks included Great Escape co-founder Martin Elbourne discussed the emerging Indian market with last year’s Young Entrepreneur Award winner Vijay Nair and CODA’s Rob Challice interviewing Tom Windish founder of the Windish Agency in the US. Amongst other points I was interested to hear that Windish’s com-

pany had been investigating and beginning to work with alternative venues and spaces for their artist’s such as Museums. The agent’s role is still the most traditional and basically unchanged in an increasingly volatile music business, and it’s good to see some imagination being applied in this sector.

New Figures for Live: Focusing, as VIP-News and I tend to, on the live business I attended the ‘What is Driving the Boom in Live [Music]?’ session presented by PRS for Music economist and statistician, Will Page. On the first day he presented an overview of the live music sector in a very well attended Pavilion Theatre. At ILMC 21 in 2009, Page announced that live had started to outperform the recorded music sector in terms of revenues in 2008, and according to his team’s stats, 2009 saw revenues up an inflation beating 4%. Primary ticket sales were up 3.4% while, according to ticketing stats people Tixdaq, the secondary ticketing sector saw its revenues shoot up 15%. Page told TGE delegates: “The UK live music industry continues to exceed expectations, especially during an economic downturn. In a week when it was shown that recorded music revenues [according to BPI stats] may be starting to turn a corner, it’s important to ‘follow the money’ and appreciate the

The Great Escape

The Great Escape


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consumers insatiable appetite for live music, with more bands and more tickets than ever before. It’s fascinating to consider that events-based industries such as live music have succeeded in growing their overall pie, whilst so much of the digital media debate is about cannibalisation”.

counted for 20% of revenues and most of the growth in 2009, with another 20% going to middle-sized venues leaving nearly 50% of live revenues being generated in stadium and arena venues.

However as has been noted at ILMC 22 and in various reports, there are still problems with the small, ‘start-up’, and mid level venues and businesses accounting for just 10% of revenue. The festivals sector ac-

The Saturday sessions in the Pavilion Theatre were devoted to live industry topics with the day being hosted by promoter and venue association we:LIVE. The first panel, chaired by association founder Dominique Czopor dealt with noise, and with the problems of venues being faced with closure due to local complaints and lack of support from local and national authorities. The session produced some results with A representative of the Noise Abatement Society being given a lot of information to take back to digest concerning issues venues and promoters face. Also we:LIVE has been asked to speak at a con-

Live Panels:

The Great Escape


ference in London which will be running workshops for Local Councils on noise on the 16 September, in attendance will be approx 200 EHOs Environmental Health Officers) from around the country.WMF ( Welsh Music Foundation) are to team up with NAS on Live Music Study, and will be working with we:LIVE on the bringing the new promoter qualification AMP (see last issue of VIP-News) to promoters in Wales. Brighton venue The Freebutt, currently facing a Noise Abatement Notice are going to liaise with NAS, and also Brighton Creative to hopefully secure some help and advise. The Delegate feedback was that the lack of communication/understanding between councils and promoters/venue owners/ festival organisers is at the heart of a lot of the issues- we:LIVE hopes to work with other music trade associations to lobby the Government.

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A second session covered Independent Festivals, looking at their relationships with agents amongst other things. Steve Zapp of ITB was refreshingly open on the question od festivals wanting exclusive appearances from his acts. Two afternoon sessions were chaired by your VIP-News Editor. The first, ‘The Next Stage - New Approaches to Promoting’, looked at changing roles for promoters, with panellists Dominique Czopor (we:LIVE), Steve Machin, ex of Tixdaq, now MD of Stormcrowd, Dave Newton MD of We Got Tickets, Juha Kyrro of Fullsteam in Finland, and young promoters Callum Negus-Fancey of Lets Go Crazy, promoters of shows for under-age audiences and Russ Tannen of London Venue The Old Blue Last. The younger promoters gave an insight into their business models and promoting techniques, and discussion focused on how the promoter defines his role. Also how promoters are diversifying revenue streams, but offering acts more than simply a show, how promoters engage with their audiences, and brand deals.

» From now on, those of us that have been knocking around that little bit longer should probably shut up about how “we remember it when it was all fields round here” « - Dave Newton

Dave Newton summed up the panel findings, “I think that what came out of it for me was that it was obvious that things had changed significantly compared to, say 20 or even 10 years ago with those now involved in live shows all playing their part in the promotion of the show as well as having direct regular communication with all the other parties

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

involved (including the artist in many cases). The potential for the ‘fan’ to be an active part of the promotional mix in a structured (and possibly rewarded) way is possible to realise with the distinction between the ‘fan’ and the ‘customer’ being more clearly visible than it was. However the change in this structure is largely irrelevant as it was obvious from the newer promoters on the panel and in the room that they just viewed the landscape as it was now and not in comparison to how it used to me. Their approach is based on how it is and not how it has changed. From now on, those of us that have been knocking around that little bit longer should probably shut up about how “we remember it when it was all fields round here”! The title of the second panel was, ‘Who Puts the Fun in Funding?, with Chris Carey - Economist, PRS for Music, Lord Tim Clement-Jones – Liberal-Democrat spokesman on Arts and culture in The House of Lords, Gary McClarnan - Sparkle Street, Benji Rogers - Pledge Music, Laura Whitticase of the PRS Foundation, Pip McEvoy of UK Trade and Investment, and Robert Hacker Jessett of the band Morton Valence (UK):

ent financial state of the music business, in response to the question, ‘Is this still an industry considered worth funding?!’ Having established that the figures confirmed that it definitely is, the ‘establishment’ representatives outlined what they have available and how to make approaches. UKTI talked about budgets, and gave an overview of what they do, PRSF also did the same discussing funding options. Lord Tim Clement-Jones explained the efforts he has made to ease the licensing strictures on small venues in order, amongst other things, to make it more viable for them to be able to present and even pay start up acts. He agreed that the UK should move more towards the setting up of a dedicated UK Export Music Office to extend the work of UKTI and to explore with Music UK ways of making sure that we support the development of new artists to retain our music industry’s leading position in the future. Perhaps his party’s new role in Government may help to make this happen – eventually.

The session kicked off with Chris Carey giving a concise run down on the pres-

The Great Escape


The Great Escape

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Pledge music really engaged the audience with their fan –funding business model, and discussed the importance of NOT looking like you are begging for money! Robert Hacker Jessett explained the fan funding, or as he says crowd funding, of their release, and discussed how it had worked for them. Gary McClarnan looked at legalities of funding by donation, and discussed various options for artists. (Gary later suggested that a follow up session should be, ‘How to put the ding! in funding’) Strangely enough the stage was not rushed by people with open hands or begging bowls, but notes were being taken and it appears that the session engendered some optimism and a realisation that there are other doors to knock on if the first one gets closed in your face! As one might expect from a city that continually profiles itself as a centre for the Arts, The Great Escape is supported and

The Great Escape

encouraged by the local authorities. Donna Close of Brighton & Hove City Council and Made In Brighton, commented, “ Once again Brighton was delighted to host The Great Escape offering up 3 days of exciting new talent from around the world at Europe’s most exciting festival and networking event for new music. We were also delighted to have so many Brighton based artists and acts on the bill as part of our new Made In Brighton initiative.” For further info on The Great Escape check out

The Great Escape


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Business News Manfred Tari

Oops, CTS Eventim did it again! First quarter results underline growth-strategy. In the first three months of 2010 CTS Eventim managed once again to increase all relevant key positions. The turnover rose by 7.5 percent from 119 to 127.8 million Euros. The Earnings before Interests & Taxes (EBIT) rose 25.3 percent growing from 18.1 to 22.7 million Euro, the Earnings before Interests, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 23.8 percent from 20.2 to 25 million Euro. According to CTS Eventim the growth, driven by the international subsidiaries and online sales, was mainly within its Ticketing division. The company sold 3.9 million tickets via the web compared with 3.2 million tickets in Q1-2009. The turnover for the ticketing segment of CTS Eventim before consolidation went up from 35.9 to 40.3 million Euro, the EBIT from 10.6 to12.3 million Euro, and the EBITDA from 12.2 to 14.1 million Euros. For the Live-Entertainment business segment the company even achieved a new record for its Q1-results. Last year’s Q1- turnover result was 83.9, this year it is 89.1 million Euro. The indicated EBIT was 10.4 million Euro which is an increase of 38.1 percent com-

pared to 7.5 million Euro in Q1-2009. Also the EBITDA went up 36.2% from 8.0 to 10.9 million Euro. The entire business report will be published on May 27. However, the good results are currently not mirrored in the share price of CTS Eventim. Impacted by the volatile situation on the financial markets the share price is currently at 37.06 Euro. On April 7 the share peaked at 40 Euros. At the annual general assembly the shareholders approved pay out of the highest dividend ever. In total the company distributes 19.9 million Euro which is an Earning Per Share (EPS) of 0.83 Euro. Currently CTS Eventim has a share capital of 24 million shares. The market capitalisation is 902 million Euro.

Oops, Live Nation did it again! Once again Live Nation produces a loss. Whilst due to the merger with Ticketmaster turnover rose 49.1%in Q1-2010 from $484.9 million to $723.0 million, it’s the net loss of $112 million ($0.76 per share) that burdens the company. For Q12009 the net loss was $103 million or $1.29 per share. Live Nation furthermore reported that the company had been able to complete a refinancing measure worth $1.45 billion and as a result had been able to improve its liquidity management. Within the various segments of the company, Live Nation reported a turnover decline for its Concerts division of minus 1.2 % from $413.2 to $408.1 million. The turnover for its subsidiary Artist Nation went up 66.4 % from $41.7 to $69.4 million, that of the Ticketing division jumped thanks to Ticketmaster from $9 to $208.9 million. The Sponsorship division also gained and went up 10.4 % from $19.2 to $21.2 million, E-Commerce revenue leapt from $1.8 to $18.1 million.

and ticketing businesses are entering the busiest time of the year and show count and ticket sales globally remain on track to achieve our plan for 2010.” Live Nation reported long term debts of $1,526.8 million. Since the beginning of May the share went down from $15.83 to $12.83. Currently Live Nation has a market capitalisation of $851,79 million (690 million Euro) lower than the CTS Eventim figure of 902 million Euro.

Michael Rapino, CEO and president of the company was quoted in the business report as saying: “We remain on track in eliminating redundancies and driving a minimum of $40 million in merger synergies across our operations in 2010. In addition, we believe that our recently closed debt refinancing will further improve our financial position by providing operating benefits through a simplified capital structure and substantially improved liquidity. Our core concert Michael Rapino - CEO Live Nation


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notice board ›› Another new service in the improved and redesigned VIP-News is the Notice-board, which is available for all readers. Reader’s messages will be posted on the Notice-board as a free service, passing on announcements, job postings, buying and selling notices, inquiries or alike. Announcements should be emailed to

Popkomm 2010 - Airport Berlin Tempelhof EARLY BIRD tickets available until 31st May – register until 31st May and save 33% off the normal price! Register now and get your ticket for 156 Euro instead of 236 Euro and get full access to: B2B marketplace from 8 to 10.09., networking events, Jazzkomm, Berlin Music Week Congress powered by a2n, Popkomm opening party incl. New Music Award on 7.09, listing in Popkomm guide and online database, Popkomm Festival @ Tempelhof and Kulturbrauerei, Berlin Festival @ Tempelhof (10 + 11.09), free public transportation (BVG ticket)   Online registration: Popkomm GmbH Messedamm 22 14055 Berlin Tel. +49 (0)30 3038 3009 Fax +49 (0)30 3038 2149

VIP-Booking ApS cannot be held responsible for loss or damages incurred as a result of transactions with individuals or companies through the notice board. We recommend all to make the necessary enquiries before entering into any agreements.

artist avails ›› Admiral T Territory: Period: Agency: Agent: Phone: E-mail: Homepage:

Worldwide 2010-2011 CARAMBA Spectacles Clotaire +33 1 4218 1718

Lady GaGa Territory: Period: Agency: Agent: Phone: E-mail: Homepage:

Europe Spring 2010 onwards William Morris Endeavor Ent. David Levy +44 20 7534 6800

Christelle Territory: Period: Agency: Agent: Phone: E-mail: Homepage:

Worldwide 2010 McGann Music Don McGann +1 702 927 0100

Fischer-Z Territory: Period: Agency: Agent: Phone: E-mail: Homepage:

Europe 01/07/2010 - 31/12/2010 Artist Agency Bart Quintens +32 1677 7670

Sass Jordan Territory: Period: Agency: Agent: Phone: E-mail: Homepage:

Europe November 2010 Paperclip Agency Hilde Spille +31 24 323 9322

Sweet Territory: Period: Agency: Agent: Phone: E-mail: Homepage:

Worldwide Generally available ABS Agency Nigel Kerr +44 208 399 3474

More Artist avails on:

VIP-Booking ApS may not, for reason of space, be able to post all announcements received. Announcements should be emailed to, including name and email address. Please shorten your message to the extent possible, to make room for as many notices as possible.

Post your Artist avails on:


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Member presentation ›› In In this this section section we we offer offer members members of of some some space space to to present present their their company company to to VIP-News VIP-News readers. readers. If you would also like to present your company please contact Peter Briggs at If you would also like to present your company please contact Peter Briggs at

MKE MKE is an internationally-oriented commercial agency for star acts, personalities and high-carat artistes with a focus on the event sector, the advertising and industrial sector Nationally and internationally renowned stars and artistes offer a wide variety of options in event marketing and other sectors of the communications industry for image transfer to products and services as well as effective media presentations of very different kinds. Our direct contacts with celebrities and our know-how in event marketing enable us to offer professional consulting when it comes to the stars and personalities for your special events - perhaps the appearance of an artiste, a patron or a guest of honour at an evening gala, trade fair, product presentation, kick-off function, company anniversary or incentive event.

But our work doesn’t stop with negotiating a celebrity appearance. We also offer professional advice in all legal aspects of the events industry. Examples include contract law, non-performance or deficient performance of contracts, limited tax liability (known as non-resident tax), sales tax, artists’ national insurance contributions, copyright and ancillary copyright / GEMA and GVL [German performing rights and ancillary copyright associations]. We can, on request, see to all the logistical arrangements, such as flight and hotel reservations, transfers, security and other services associated with the usually comprehensive contracts for stars and artistes.

We advise you on what stars fit in with your concept and we offer cost-effective celebrity endorsements according to the type of event, your budget and their availability.

About Our Company VIP-Booking’s core product is the Internet’s oldest and largest database for the European Live Entertainment Industry developed as a tool for industry professionals. Since it’s launch in the year 2000, we have consistently offered our subscribers the very best in database services and now boast subscribers in over 30 countries.

Today VIP-Booking offers a range of tools for the industry – including VIP-News, VIP-Booking, VIP-Book and VIP-Contract. Please visit for further information. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.


VIP-BOOKING.COM VIP-BOOKING.COM | 26 York Street | UK - London W1U 6pZ | Phone +44 870 755 0092 | Fax +44 870 622 1953 | e-mail:


VIP-News May 2010  

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