| NEWS IN THE CURRENT ISSUE
Record revenue for Live
Nation but debt rises too
UNITED STATES Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) posted its sixth consecutive year of record revenue in its 2016 year-end and fourth quarter (Q4) financial report.
However, its debt mountain also increased by $268 million, as a result of it raising $575m in loans (bonds) for debt restructuring and extension, acquisitions and other purposes.
Hoppe to Hoppe
GERMANY Rock promoting legend and founder of Wizard Promotions Ossy Hoppe has passed the MD role in the company to his son Oliver.
Oliver has been co-MD at the Frankfurt-based company, owned by Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG), since 2012. His father who has spent four decades in the industry working with acts including Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Tina Turner and the Rolling Stones, launched the firm in 2004. He will continue as chief advisor A&R.
Paris set to welcome Europe’s
biggest multi-purpose arena
FRANCE A new 40,000-capacity multi-purpose indoor arena in Paris will be the largest in Europe when it opens in October.
Built by Jacky Lorenzetti as the host venue for his Racing 92 rugby team, the U Arena, which will be twice the capacity of the city’sAccorHotels Arena, plans to host 24 concerts and other non-rugby events each year.
Moscow’s taste of Vegas
RUSSIA Arena operator and promoter Crocus Group has expanded its business with the opening of a new concert venue in Moscow.
The 1,500-capacity, multi-functional Vegas City Hall is capable of hosting live music shows, family entertainment, circus events and conferences.
Expansion begins at Superstruct
WORLD Superstruct Entertainment, the company headed by former president of electronic music at Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) James Barton, with financial backing from venture capital firm Providence Equity Partners (see Audience issue 204), has invested in Spanish-based promoter Entretenimiento Musical (Elrow).
Barcelona-based Elrow, which puts on electronic music shows across the world, was founded in 2010 and stages events as part of the Netherland’s Mysteryland (cap. 60,000) in Amsterdam and the UK’s Parklife (70,000) in Manchester.
Creativeman pulls plug on Punkspring
JAPAN The country’s 12-year-old, two-city Punkspring festival is being discontinued after this year’s event, due to what promoter Creativeman believes is a lack of emerging talent strong enough to draw audiences.
The line-up for the final edition features The Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX, Less Than Jake and Snuff, who will also play solo shows around the festival.
Viagogo ordered not to misrepresent
GERMANY Secondary ticketing platform Viagogo has been told to stop violating consumer rights by misleading customers into believing it is a primary site.
Consumer association Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV) says it has received a number of reports that Viagogo is disguising its status as a resale site by claiming to be an official ticket sales portal.
O2 and AEG renew ties
UNITED KINGDOM Venue operator AEG and telecoms company O2 have renewed their naming rights partnership for London’s The O2 (cap. 21,000) in a deal believed to be worth more than £6 million ($7.38m) a year.
The 10-year deal sees O2 double the number of tickets its customers will have available through Priority Tickets, which gives access 48 hours before general release, from 2018.
Fuji Rock celebrates 21st anniversary
JAPAN Tokyo-based promoter Smash Japan will mark the 21st anniversary of its 40,000-capacity Fuji Rock festival at this year’s event in the Niigata Prefecture.
Confirmed acts include Aphex Twin, Bjork, LCD Soundsystem and Lorde, as Smash aims to step outside of the typical festival line-up.
Israel set for ‘best music year’
ISRAEL The country is expected to enjoy its busiest year for live music in the last two decades, according to leading promoter Shuki Weiss.
Already this year shows are planned for Pixies, Gogol Bordello, Dinosaur Jr, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Jacob Collier.
New North America division
to consolidate TM ticketing
UNITED STATES Ticketmaster (TM) has hired music industry veteran David Marcus as executive vice-president, head of Music, to oversee a newly formed division in North America.
Under Marcus, all music activities will be integrated into a single music division, including artist services operation OnTour, Venues & Promoters and the club-oriented TicketWeb.
The Doctor will see you in 2019
SPAIN The Doctor Music Festival which was last held almost 20 years ago is to return, but former fans of the event will have to wait another two years to attend.
Neo Sala, CEO of promoter Doctor Music, which organises the festival, confirms another edition will take place at its original site in Escalarre, Catalonia, from 12-14 July 2019.
EDM boost in Balkans
MACEDONIA Electronic dance music (EDM) is gaining ground in Macedonia with DJs Martin Garrix and Hardwell both visiting for the first time this summer.
Boban Milosheski of regional promoter Avalon Production, which has offices in the country and Serbi, tells Audience that the bookings were in response to a demand in the market.
Coldplay’s 16-year upgrade
THAILAND Coldplay are on course to sell-out the 65,000-capacity Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, in their first show in the country for 16 years.
It is a major step-up from their sole previous performance at the city’s Impact Arena (cap. 10,000) in 2001.
Concerts show a growing confidence
GREECE Although the financial crisis is still gripping the country, the live music sector is seeing signs of improvement.
An indicator of growing confidence is promoter Di Di Music bringing Depeche Mode to Athens’ Terra Vibe Park (cap. 15,000) in May. Tickets cost between €35-105 ($37-110), with a number of different pricing levels.
New festival for Transylvania
ROMANIA A 10,000-capacity boutique music and arts event, AWAKE Festival, is to be launched in Transylvania on 1-3 September by promoter Emagic.
The first headliner to be announced for the three-day event, to be held at the Teleki estate in Gornesti, is Rag’n’Bone Man.
The biggest yet for Latin Lollapalooza
ARGENTINA The local edition of multinational festival brand Lollapalooza has been given a 25 per cent boost in capacity to 100,000, making it the country’s biggest such event to day, says promoter DF Entertainment.
The event will be held at Hipódromo de San Isidro, a 1930s racecourse on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, on 31 March and 1 April. In previous years the capacity was 80,000.
Health checks and upgrade for Jones
UNITED STATES Jones Beach Theater on New York's Long Island has signed a multi-year naming rights deal with Northwell Health to rebrand the 13,855-capacity venue Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater.
Terms have not been revealed, but an industry insider suggests it could be worth between $500,000 and $1.5 million per year.
Nova Sonic to return to Quito
ECUADOR Colombia-based promoter CK Concerts has revealed plans for a follow-up to last year’s inaugural Nova Sonic festival.
Held in the capital Quito, the first edition of the one-day event drew 5,000 people and was headlined by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, with Jack Novak and MAGIC! also on the bill. With the country using the US dollar, tickets were priced at $45, $89 and $149 for VIP treatment.
Awards for a difficult year
EUROPE Recipients of honours at the PRG Live Entertainment Awards will have more reason than usual to celebrate following a challenging 2016.
Recognising the work of event organisers, managers, agents and venue operators in Germany, Switzerland and Austria the 12th edition of the awards will be held at Festhalle Frankfurt (cap. 13,500) on 3 April.
Arena partners focused on sleep
UNITED STATES Live Nation Entertainment’s Sleep Train Amphitheatre, located in Chula Vista and the San Diego area's largest outdoor concert venue, is now known as Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, following acquisition of Sleep Train Mattress by Mattress Firm.
This is the fourth time the 19,942-capacity venue has changed name
since opening in 1998 as Coors Amphitheatre. Subsequent names have been Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre (in 2008), followed by Sleep Train Amphitheatre in 2013.
New Black Sea event for MTV
BULGARIA MTV is linking up with the city authorities of the Black Sea resort of Varna to bring MTV Presents Varna Beach, with a site capacity and artistes yet to be announced.
Set for 15 July, the live music event will be broadcast across MTV’s music channels worldwide.
Stagehand killed in accident
GERMANY A 19-year-old stagehand was killed while helping to take down the stage for the Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed tour, after a show at Stuttgart’s Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle (cap. 15,500).
The man died after a fellow crew member fell while working on the front lighting truss and landed on top of him. A 26-year-old man was also taken to hospital in a critical condition, following the accident on 20 February.