| NEWS IN THE CURRENT ISSUE
McManus vows to rebuild reputation
AUSTRALIA One World Entertainment founder Andrew McManus says he will embark on rebuilding his career as a promoter, after escaping a prison sentence for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
McManus had pleaded guilty to the charge in relation to a suitcase containing A$702,000 (US$533,629) which was found by police in Sydney’s Hilton Hotel in 2011.
Live loss hits CTS figures, but online ticket sales up
GERMANY Pan-Europe ticketing giant CTS Eventim saw revenue increase by almost €50 million ($53.4m) in 2016, despite the company’s overall revenue falling to €829.9m ($886.4m) from €834.2m ($890.9m) in 2015.
Ticketing revenue rose to €395.1m ($421.9m) from €346.2m ($369.8m) the previous year, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at €166.4m ($177.7m), compared to €142.4m ($152.1m) in 2015.
Traffic test for arena debut
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Dubai’s newest open air venue The Autism Rocks Arena (cap. 30,000) has staged its first maximum capacity concert with a show by Guns N’Roses.
Promoted by 117 Live, the show took place last month, and was followed a week later by a Bryan Adams concert configured for 10,000.
Managers pool their talents
UNITED STATES Artiste management legend Irving Azoff, his son Jeffrey Azoff and Brandon Creed have merged their respective companies under the banner Full Stop Management, based in Los Angeles.
Irving Azoff brought artistes the Eagles, Lindsey Buckingham, Steely Dan, Gwen Stefani, Bon Jovi and John Mayer while Jeffrey Azoff added Harry Styles and Meghan Trainor, and Creed brought Mark Ronson, Troye Sivan, Sara Bareilles from his Creed Company.
Riff focus on local talent promotion
SPAIN Promoter Riff Producciones has signed a strategic partnership with Live Nation Spain to promote and develop national talent.
Founded in 1994, Cordoba-based Riff has promoted shows with artistes such as Mark Knopfler, Depeche Mode and Roger Waters, and stages the 35,000-capacity Blues Cazorla festival.
Viagogo under fire for no-show
UNITED KINGDOM More than 420 people from 26 countries have contacted the Victims of Viagogo social media group, claiming they have been overcharged by the Switzerland-based resale website.
Founder of the Victims group Claire Turnham revealed the extent of the problem to MPs during a Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMSC) hearing in London. She also spoke about the impact that being ripped-off was having on people.
Falls Fest faces lawsuit over crush
AUSTRALIA A class action lawsuit has been filed against the organisers of Falls Music & Arts Festival, following a crowd stampede which injured up to 80 people.
Sixty-five festival-goers are suing owner and producer of the event Falls Secret Sounds Group (FSSG) as a result of the incident, which took place as the audience attempted to leave the Grand Theatre Tent at the 16,000-capacity festival site in Lorne on 30 December last year (see Audience issue 204).
Zepp plans live ‘game-changer’
MALAYSIA Japanese venue management company Zepp Hall Network has signed an agreement with developer BBCC to run a new venue in the country.
The companies will jointly invest 100 million ringgit ($22.58m) in the 2,500-capacity Zepp Kuala Lumpar.
LEAs celebrate industry success
GERMANY More than 1,400 guests attended the 12th PRG Live Entertainment Awards (LEAs) as the work of managers, agents and venue operators in Germany, Switzerland and Austria was recognised.
Held at Frankfurt’s Festhalle on 3 April, the award’s carried extra significance following a challenging 2016 for many.
Call for more transparency
UNITED STATES In an interview with the Financial Times newspaper, eBay-owned StubHub chief executive Scott Cutler calls for the ticketing primary sector to be more open about the way it does business.
Acknowledging that half the people using its platform were “professional” traders, he says, “The business as a whole needs to be a lot more transparent around where the tickets are distributed.
Ticketmaster launch anti-bot filter
UNITED STATES In a bid to reduce the impact of robotic software (bots) used by touts to harvest tickets for resale, Ticketmaster (TM) is rolling out its Verified Fan platform.
The product allows fans to register to buy tickets before they go on sale, normally 48 hours ahead, and once details are collected TM removes any believed to be linked to bots or touts. Individual codes are then sent to fans to buy tickets.
ILMC puts industry issues centre stage
UNITED KINGDOM Debates on secondary ticketing, direct performance royalty licensing and political change were among the highlights of the 29th International Live Music Conference (ILMC), held in London last month.
Others included an interview with former U2 manager Paul McGuinness and developments in the agency business.
Consumer group criticises resale sites
AUSTRALIA Leading consumer advocacy group Choice has lodged a complaint with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) over the activities of resale sites.
Choice names Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale in the complaint, which accuses the companies of allowing touts to sell tickets at highly inflated prices.
New York venue gets new operators
UNITED STATES Venue management company Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE), which manages Brooklyn’s 19,000-capacity Barclays Center, has teamed up with AEG Presents 50 per cent-owned promoter The Bowery Presents (TBP), to take over the operation and long-term lease for Manhattan’s Webster Hall (cap. 1,500).
BSE say they will use the venue, which has seen performances by Frank Sinatra, Prince and Tina Turner over the years, as a stepping stone for acts on the way to playing the Barclays Center – operated by AEG Facilities - with TBP looking after programming.
IMS celebrates its 10th
SPAIN EDM conference and festival the International Music Summit (IMS) is celebrating its 10th anniversary with 10 keynote speakers.
Held on the island of Ibiza, organisers expect the 24-26 May event to attract more than 2,500 people to its music festival and around 1,100 delegates to the conference, held at Hard Rock Hotel.
The event is themed Connecting our Culture.
Adele makes history (again)
AUSTRALIA In a record-breaking tour, Adele sold 600,000 tickets across eight stadium shows.
Promoter Michael Coppel, president of Live Nation Australasia, says the tour is the highest selling he has ever been involved in, and he’s worked with artistes such as U2, Roger Waters and Pink.
Shapiro launches conference
UNITED STATES When the Billboard Touring Conference & Awards abandoned New York for Los Angeles in 2016, it left the former without an equivalent live music event.
Now, concert promoter, venue owner and Relix magazine publisher Peter Shapiro has come to the rescue.
UNITED STATES The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (cap. 99,000), held 14-16 and 19-21 April in Indio, California, was hacked by so-called phishers who accessed information such as website users’ names, email addresses, phone numbers and birth dates.
Elrow announce debut festival
SPAIN Barcelona-based promoter Entretenimiento Musical (Elrow), which recently became part of multi-festival operator Superstruct Entertainment (see Audience issue 206), is to stage its first festival.
Elrow Friends & Family will take place in Salou from 15-16 July and feature three stages, although no artistes or site capacity has been announced.