AUDIENCE is the world's leading monthly magazine for the international contemporary live music industry, providing news, features and information to professionals in more than 80 countries worldwide. Circulation includes thousands of promoters, festival organisers, venue operators and key people in dozens of related sectors.
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LIVE UK, a sister publication to AUDIENCE, is the only publication dedicated to the country's contemporary live music business, providing news, features, tour plans and information to the people that drive the industry – promoters, festival organisers, venue operators, artiste managers, booking agents, ticketing companies, media and key professionals in dozens of related sectors.
View digital magazine here.

festival is an annual planning-season supplement of LIVE UK, published in December, February, March and April – when the bulk of festival production deals are concluded – providing news, features, information and events data for the business people behind festivals. From April to October, it becomes a two-page section within LIVE UK.

Issue 217, February 2018

Rising ticket prices cited
in 7.1 million fall in sales

GERMANY   A rise in ticket prices played a significant role in helping the country’s live events sector generate revenue of €4.99 billion ($6.1bn) between 2016 and 2017.

However the number of tickets sold has dropped by 7.1 million, according to a new survey.

The revenue figure represents an increase of 31 per cent, compared to the last time a similar survey was carried out in 2013, when total sales reached €3.822bn ($4.68bn).

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Class action lawsuit follows
watchdog’s investigation

CANADA    The Competition Bureau Canada (CBC) is taking action against Ticketmaster (TM) and Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) for allegedly making misleading claims to consumers when advertising prices for entertainment and sports tickets.

A CBC investigation concluded that TM’s advertised prices are “deceptive” because consumers must then pay additional fees that are added later in the process, a practice known as drip-pricing.

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Sillerman’s promises bite back

UNITED STATES   Robert FX Sillerman – the financier who changed the shape of the live music business in the late-‘90s and created what became Live Nation – is fighting yet another civil court case, despite having filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and again in February 2018.

Two Chicago concert promoters, React Presents and Clubtix, filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition against Sillerman in Manhattan Bankruptcy Court. They had won a judgment against Sillerman over a promissory note he guaranteed on behalf of his second EDM-focussed incarnation of SFX Entertainment and are trying to get paid.

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AEG expands in France

FRANCE   AEG Presents, the live division of US venue operator AEG, has opened an office in Paris to expand its interest in the market.

The office will be led by Arnaud Meersseman, who joined promoter Miala - a subsidiary of financial servicescompany Fimalac – in September 2016 (see Audience issue 200). He was previously a booker at national promoter Nous Productions, and has worked with acts including Lana Del Ray, Kendrick Lamar and Major Lazer.

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Rapper settles $10m
dispute with insurer

USA/EUROPE   A $10 million lawsuit between Kanye West and insurance underwriter Lloyd’s of London over cancelled tour dates, has been settled out of court.

West and his company Very Good Touring filed a complaint against Lloyd’s claiming it had withheld payments, following the cancellation of 21 concerts on his Saint Pablo tour (see Audience issue 211). The artiste pulled the shows in November 2016 after falling ill, and spent eight days in a psychiatric centre in Los Angeles.

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Venue war escalates with
MSGC London arena plan

UNITED KINGDOM   Following the revelation several weeks ago in our sister publication LIVE UK that New York’s Madison Square Garden Company (MSGC) was planning to develop a state-of-the-art arena in London, the company has made an announcement.

MSGC says the sphere-shaped music venue, to be located close to London Stadium (cap. 80,000) in the east of the city, would be similar to the MSG Sphere planned for Las Vegas, which will have a capacity of 18,000 seated and 5,000 standing.  No capacity has yet been suggested for the London venue.

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Di and Gi acquired by CTS

ITALY    After 30 years as an independent concert and festival promoter D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi) has been acquired by German pan-European ticketing giant CTS Eventim.

CTS has struck a deal to buy a 60 per cent stake in the promoter, with founders Mimmo D’Alessandro and Adolfo Galli continuing to run the business. 

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Government considers
outright ban of resale

AUSTRALIA  The Government is looking at a range of options to deal with problems associated with the secondary ticketing market, including a nationwide ban on resale.

As part of consultation paper Ticket Reselling in Australia, officials have asked for feedback and submissions from interested parties.

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Google resale restrictions come into force

WORLD   Measures to stop the public being deceived and exploited by secondary ticketing sites have now been introduced by search engine Google.

Revealed in November, the restrictions (see Audience issue 215) aim to improve the transparency of resale sites such as Viagogo, eBay-owned StubHub and Ticketmaster’s Seatwave and Get Me In. 

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Luger’s Fredriksson made director

SWEDEN    The co-founder of agency, promoter and festival organiser Luger, Patrick Fredriksson is to become partnership and creative director for both Luger and Live Nation Sweden, which has owned the company since 2007.

Fredriksson will be responsible for all partnerships involving the companies events, artistes and festivals, which include Way Out West (cap. 30,000) and Are Sessions (10,000).

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Festival Hall’s days numbered

AUSTRALIA       Melbourne’s Festival Hall (cap. 5,445) is expected to be demolished to make way for a AS$65 million ($51.4m) apartment complex.

The owners of the venue, The Wren family who run the building under their company Stadiums Limited, intend to sell the space for redevelopment with plans in place with Melbourne City Council for two apartment towers, shops and office space. Acts which have played the Hall, built in 1915, include the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Johnny Cash, Lorde and Tame Impala.

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CTS files court complaint
over exclusivity deals ban

GERMANY    Ticketing giant CTS Eventim has stepped up its fight against a ruling by competition authority Bundeskartellant which prohibits long-term exclusive ticketing agreements with event organisers and venues.

The watchdog says contracts between CTS and partners that stipulate exclusive or largely exclusive distribution represent an “abuse of market power”, which is banned under German competition law (see Audience issue 215).

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Financial problems won’t
stop festivals, says founder

GERMANY   SSC Festivals, a division of Dusseldorf’s SSC Group, which runs New Fall Festivals, has filed for bankruptcy.

However, SSC MD Shahi-Moghanni says the decision to enter what he refers to as “preliminary bankruptcy”, will not derail the company’s festivals in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart.

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Row over Mariah Carey
cancellations continue

ARGENTINA   A dispute between Mariah Carey and Fenix Entertainment Group (FEG) has taken a twist, with the concert promoter suing the singer over cancelled dates.

Initially Carey was bringing a lawsuit against Buenos Aires-based FEG, claiming she pulled-out of shows in Argentina and Chile in 2016 because it had not paid her properly (see Audience issue 204). 

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Tributes paid to ‘visionary’ Zard

ITALY   David Zard, who promoted shows with artistes such as Pink Floyd, Madonna and Michael Jackson, has died at the age of 75.

Zard became one of the country’s leading promoters after emigrating from Libya in 1967 to escape local unrest. Before arriving in Italy, he had been involved in organising concerts for the Italian community in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

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Tallin Music Week celebrates its 10th 

ESTONIA   More than 250 acts are expected to perform during showcase festival and conference Tallinn Music Week (TMW), set to take place on 2-8 April at venues across the city

Now in its 10th year and organised by telecoms company Telia Estonia, the conference element of the event with cover topics such as the new sources of revenue in the digital age and emerging markets in Asia.

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Mantell becomes ICM partner

UNITED STATES    International agency ICM Partners has promoted six agents including head of international touring Scott Mantell to partner status, bringing the number of partners to 53.

Mantell began at ICM as an assistant in 2003 and became an agent in the concerts department a year later, representing artistes such as Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, D’Angelo, Cyndi Lauper and Jill Scott. He also ha

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APA agent Troy Blakely dies

UNITED STATES  Veteran agent Troy Blakely, most recently managing partner and head of music at the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), died on 10 February at age 68. He had been ill for several years.

Blakely joined APA in 1994, became head of music in 1998, made a partner in 2002 and elevated to managing partner in 2005.

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New Venuepoint CEO

DENMARK   Nordic ticketing provider Venuepoint has appointed Jens Arnesen as CEO, effective from 1 March.

He was previously country manager at streaming service C More Denmark, and has also worked as sales and marketing director at media company Berlingske.

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Focus sharpens on new markets

UNITED KINGDOM   Multi-venue showcase festival and conference Focus Wales is expanding its international partnerships, as it seeks to attract a global audience.

Based in Wrexham, last year’s event attracted around 8,500 visitors. In the run up to the festival, between 12-14 May, founder Neal Thompson has revealed Focus is partnering with BreakOut West and Nova Scotia Music Week in Canada, as well as Australian Music Week.

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Greek’s record year

UNITED STATES   Los Angeles’s iconic open-air venue The Greek Theatre (cap. 5,900) staged a record 70 concerts between April and October last year, welcoming an overall 338,000 people.

The achievement, which helped the venue record net revenue of $5.5 million, resulted in it being awarded the 2017 Red Rocks Award/Best Small Outdoor Venue at the annual conference of industry publication Pollstar.

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The World's Best Arenas For Live Music
is published annually and is free to Audience subscribers worldwide, including the operators of more than 165 leading venues in the sector. It is a must for anyone working internationally in the arena sector, whether venue operators, promoters or service providers.
View digital magazine here.

View digital magazine here.

The Worlds Best Stadiums for Live Music is published annually in March and is free to Audience subscribers worldwide. This 44-page review of the worldwide stadium network for music shows covers topics such as ticketing and the use of social media marketing.
View digital magazine here.