Friday, 24 February 2017

Record year for Live Nation

Live Nation stocks soared to an all-time high following the announcement of record revenues for the sixth consecutive year, climbing above US$30 for the first time. For the 12 months ended 31 December 2016, Live Nation Entertainment saw revenue rise 15% to $8.4 billion.

Operating income was up 48% to $195 million, while AOI (income before acquisition and stock expenses, depreciation and loss/gains from the disposal of assets) climbed 12% to $646m. Concert attendance was also up 12%, to 71 million people, while Ticketmaster increased gross transaction value 16% to $28bn on a constant-currency basis, boosted by posting six of its ten best-ever months in 2016. Rapino said the integration of Ticketmaster into new partner sites, including Spotify and Facebook, led to the sale of 10 million more tickets.

Festival and Event Industry Tackle Sustainability, Social Division & Censorship

With just 2 weeks to go until A Greener Festival and the ILMC’s eagerly awaited Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI9), London’s Royal Garden Hotel, 7th March, the full line up of top speakers and sessions has been released.

The live event and festival industry are coming together to tackle issues of sustainability and the role that the global live events industry must take in the face of perceived political and social divisions, and artistic censorship.

GEI9 will debate issues from site design and infrastructure, sustainable set and stage design, the impact of fireworks and special effects on the environment, what Brexit and the current political environment means for events, and how censorship and oppression of musicians is reported to have doubled between 2015 and 2016.

This is set to be a pivotal event of lively, challenging and meaningful exchanges.

The UK’s Sustainability Conference for Festivals and Events is back on Tuesday 7th March 2017

GEI9 is A Greener Festival’s annual flagship event delivered in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). Each year welcoming diverse and inspiring speakers and projects from around the world to gather and challenge the way we deliver events towards a better impact for our environment and society.
The theme for GEI9 is “Sustainable Design”. The art of creating every aspect of great events involves both creativity and impeccable production techniques. By instilling ecological, economic and social principles in to all aspects of event design in conception, communication, implementation and review, necessary changes can be achieved.

GEI 9 will explore how sustainable design is being applied to operations, artwork, infrastructure and management, to align events with our natural and technological environment in the 21st century.

This is in addition to the usual program of the most current innovations and developments at festivals and events from around the world, including those assessed by A Greener Festival.

Keynote: Designing Sustainability into the DNA of Events

Lucy Legan, Co-founder, Ecocentro IPEC (BR)

Ecocentro IPEC in Brazil is the largest reference centre of sustainability in Latin America, and demonstrates scalable models of social technologies. Keynote speaker, Lucy Legan MSc, has played an integral role in environmental education in Brazil and is a best-selling author of educational books on sustainability literacy.

Since 2006, Lucy has collaborated with Boom Festival, Portugal, as it transitions to a model of sustainability by implementing permaculture edible gardens for festival-goers, natural construction, composting during the festival on a large-scale (with 90 tons composted on-site during the last edition), and by co-ordinating a highly efficient waste-management team.
Many festivals and events are taking on the challenge of innovation in sustainability. A new paradigm of sustainable and responsible events takes into account the dynamic elements potentially acting as a laboratory for change. The future of green events is in the hands of event producers and event attendees.

Permaculture design offers a framework for thinking and designing sustainable festivals and events, where new economies, ecological landscapes, scaled technological solutions, transition strategies and social redesign can be tried out in a temporary autonomous zone.

Panel: Get Lithe Leccy! Smart Design of Event Energy
Paul Schurink (ZAP Concepts, NL) | Steve Muggeridge (Green Gathering, UK) | Tim Benson (Hybrid Energy Consultant, UK)

Which festival stakeholders need to be involved in changing an event’s energy sources and how should we go about persuading traditional energy suppliers used to providing diesel generators, to completely rethink their business model?

Paul Schurink is an expert in the field of temporary energy supply, sustainability and innovations and has been involved with a variety of large-scale events including the Olympic Games and UEFA EURO 2012. He will present a case study of Zap’s work with DGTL BCN festival in Spain.

Joining Paul will be environmentally conscious event organiser and sustainable event veteran, Steve Muggeridge, of iconic Green Gathering fame, who will reveal how the event’s team go about designing the site layout, their use of power hubs, and even the programming of the entertainment, in order that the entire festival is run on renewable energy.


Launch: The Smart Energy for Outdoor Festivals Guide
Chris Johnson, Powerful Thinking, Shambala Festival (UK)

Five years on from the launch of The Power Behind Festivals Guide, Powerful Thinking has released a comprehensive update to their indispensable industry energy guide – Smart Energy for Outdoor Festivals. And what’s more, this eagerly awaited guide will be exclusively launched by Chris Johnson, during GEI9.

Presentation: Latest Actions & Challenges for Greener Festivals
Claire O’Neill, Co-Founder, A Greener Festival (UK)
Following the assessment of 25 festivals across 11 countries in 2016, A Greener Festival will provide insight into the latest developments and key challenges that events are experiencing in the pursuit of sustainability, and will also be launching the Greener Festival Assessment Report.

Presentation: What Next? Environmental Policy Post-Brexit
Amy Mount, Head of Greener UK Unit & Senior Energy Policy Advisor, Green Alliance (UK)

Greener UK is a group of 13 major environmental organisations with a combined public membership of 7.9 million, united in the belief that the UK leaving the EU will provide us with a pivotal moment to restore and enhance the UK’s environment.

Amy Mount will offer insights into the risks and opportunities that Brexit poses to UK environmental policy, and the work of Greener UK, which includes NGOs such as WWF, Greenpeace, National Trust and the Woodland Trust.

Panel: Wider Environment – Nationalism & Climate Change Denial 
Fruzsina Szép, Yourope (DE) | Holger Jan Schmidt, Co-founder, GO Group (DE) | Stephen Budd, Stephen Budd Music (UK) | Ivan Milivojev, Exit Festival (RS) | Amy Mount, Green Alliance (UK) 

Green events are about more than just lowering our environmental impact. In this session, we will look at the social and cultural effects of recent global political developments, and what role events might play.

Fruzsina Szép will share the actions of European festival association, Yourope, and their recent Take a Stand initiative, aimed at encouraging festival promoters to foster values of “social togetherness, understanding and tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins.”

Fruzsina will be joined by renowned artist manager, Stephen Budd, who will be sharing his recent experiences of artist censorship and oppression with us; along with Exit Festival’s Ivan Milivoje, GO Group’s Holger Jan Schmidt and Amy Mount from Green Alliance.
According to research from the FreeMuse annual report Art Under Threat, such cases have more than doubled since 2015. What action must we take, therefore, to protect our freedom to present an alternative, inclusive vision for society?

Panel: Sustainable Set & Stage Design
Chris Tofu, Continental Drifts (UK) | Bertie Cole, Arcadia Spectacular (UK) | Tim Leigh, Stage One (UK)

With the competition to create sets and stages that are more impressive, more elaborate, and more expensive to build, maintain and shift, this session will ask how innovative approaches to extravagant stage and set design can be delivered without a jarring waste of the world’s resources. Hear from the leading set and stage designers and builders about what techniques are being adopted to reduce the waste without loosing the artistic impact.

Panel: The Environmental Impact of Fireworks
Aymeric Lecomte, A Greener Festival/Bournemouth University (UK)

They might be visually impressive but what is the environmental impact of firework displays at events? Is there a legitimate cause for concern or does the bang really outweigh the bother?

Aymeric Lecomte presents the latest research on this controversial subject, and opens the debate for the future of special effects in the live entertainment industry.

Tom will present an industry and consultant's view on the environmental issues surrounding the use of fireworks and pyrotechnics - and to try and dispel some of the myths that surround their use at events big or small.

Drawing on his experience as a chemist and having worked in the industry since his teenage years and latterly as a consultant to major events such as London NYE and the Olympics, Tom has a unique perspective on what the issues really are.

Panel: The Future World of Special Effects 
Patrick O’Mahoney, Newsubstance (UK) | Aymeric Lecomte, AGF (UK) | Dr Thomas Smith, Pyrotechnics Association (UK) | Dr Thomas Smith, British Pyrotechnics Association (UK) | Stuart Warren-Hill, HoloGauze (UK)

Having turned the spotlight on the environmental impact of fireworks and special FX, Dr Thomas Smith, Patrick and Aymeric will take a subsequent look at alternative methods of providing the wow factor at events without literally costing the earth.

From drones, lasers and holograms to mind boggling chemical compounds – what are the safe alternatives in the explosive world of special effects?

Panel: Designing Inputs for Greener Outputs 
Chris Cooke, CMU (UK) | Sid Sharma, Shambala Festival (UK) | Lucy Legan, Boom Festival (PT) | Mikkel Sander, Roskilde Festival (DK)

Smart events choose smart design. In this panel we will look at how infrastructure can be planned and delivered in a way that it will help events significantly lower their wastage of fuel, water, food, materials and resources.

Where | When
GEI9 will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in London from 10:00 until 18:00 on Tuesday 7 March 2017. 

Immediately after the event, all GEI delegates are invited to attend a closing drinks event that will take place in the York Suite of the hotel for a chance to network, discuss the day's events and enjoy a tipple or six.

Rooms 3 & 4, Lower Ground Floor, Royal Garden Hotel
2-24 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 4PT, UK
10:00 - 18:00, Tuesday 7 March 2017
Registration | Rates

A delegate pass for GEI costs £99 plus booking fee, with a discounted rate of £65 available to ILMC delegates, students, and members of AGF, AIF and Yourope. The ticket price 
includes a five-star lunch, refreshments, and a closing drinks party.

Please note that all our early-bird tickets are now sold-out.

ILMC delegates should tick the relevant box when registering for ILMC.

Members of AGF, AIF and Yourope are limited to two representatives per festival, and should contact

Non-ILMC delegates should click here to register for GEI9.
To see footage and presentations from previous editions of GEI, click here.
For more information and tickets, click here.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Avenged Sevenfold crew member dies in accident

A member of the local crew working on an Avenged Sevenfold concert that took place in Stuttgart earlier this week was killed when another stagehand fell from the rafters and landed on top of him. It appears that the tragedy happened as the stage was being taken down after the gig. In a statement, the band said: "Last night after our show in Stuttgart, Germany, a 26 year old stagehand fell from the rafters while breaking down our stage. He fell a very far distance onto a nineteen year old man on the local crew. Tragically, the nineteen year old died from his injuries. The other man is now in critical condition at the hospital" and "This is beyond heartbreaking to everyone in the band and on our crew. We all send our thoughts and prayers to the man in the hospital, both families involved, all of the local Live Nation crew and everyone else whose lives have been affected by this terrible accident. We love our crew so much as well as the many local staff who are essential to our show every night wherever we are around the world. This is such a stark reminder of how quickly an accident can happen and lives shattered in the process".

Spain's Doctor Music Festival back in 2019

Spain's legendary Doctor Music Festival is being resurrected after a 20-year absence. Last held in 2000, the festival has hosted the likes of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Blur, Lou Reed and Rage Against The Machine. The next event will take place from July 12-14, 2019 at the same location as its first three years up to 1998 - Escalarre, in the Vall d’Àneu, in the Catalan Pyrenees. Neo Sala, CEO and founder of concert music promoter Doctor Music, told Music Week the festival would be 50,000 capacity, with bookings to begin a year in advance.

Ticketmaster buys Czech ticketing company Ticketpro

Live Nation's ticketing arm Ticketmaster has bought Czech ticketing company Ticketpro, boosting its presence in Central Europe and especially the Czech Republic. Ticketmaster International's Mark Yovich said "Acquiring Ticketpro enables us to better service our clients in Central Europe, while providing a world class service to the many fans in these countries" and Ticketpro chief Serge Grimaux added: "Having started our business in the Czech Republic, Ticketpro has established a proven track record in Central Europe and many emerging markets around the world. Combining this with Ticketmaster's global scale and reach will ensure that Ticketpro continues to provide an even better experience to its current fans, while attracting considerably more. This is an exciting time for the business and the live entertainment industry in this part of the world. For me, it is the end of a ticketing journey which has lasted over 25 years".

The BRITS 2017 - the winners

The BRITS 2017 - the winners

British Female Solo Artist: Emeli Sandé 

British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie

British Group: The 1975

British Breakthrough Act: Rag N Bone Man

British Single: Little Mix - Shout Out To My Ex

British Video: One Direction - History

British Album: David Bowie - Blackstar

International Male Solo Artist: Drake

International Female Solo Artist: Beyonce

International Group: A Tribe Called Quest

BRITs Global Success Award: Adele

Critics' Choice: Rag N Bone Man

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Grammys - (some of) the winners

Album Of The Year: 25 — Adele 

Record Of The Year: “Hello” — Adele 

Song Of The Year: “Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters 

Best New Artist: Chance The Rapper

Best Pop Vocal Album: 25 — Adele 

Best Pop Solo Performance: “Hello” — Adele 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots 

Best Dance Recording: “Don’t Let Me Down” — The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya 

Best Dance/Electronic Album: Skin — Flume 

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Culcha Vulcha — Snarky Puppy

Best Rock Performance:“Blackstar” — David Bowie

Best Metal Performance: “Dystopia” — Megadeth

Best Rock Song: “Blackstar” — David Bowie,

Best Rock Album: Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage The Elephant

Best Alternative Music Album: Blackstar — David Bowie 

Best R&B Performance: “Cranes in the Sky” - Solange

Best R&B Song: “Lake By the Ocean” — Hod David & Musze, 

Best Urban Contemporary Album: Lemonade -  Beyoncé 

Best R&B Album: Lalah Hathaway Live — Lalah Hathaway

Best Rap Performance: “No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz 

Best Rap Album: Coloring Book — Chance The Rapper 

Best Country Solo Performance: “My Church”  -  Maren Morris

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “Jolene” — Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton

Best Country Album:  A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Best Jazz Vocal Album: Take Me To The Alley — Gregory Porter 

Best Gospel Album: Losing My Religion — Kirk Franklin

Best Latin Pop Album: Un Besito Mas — Jesse & Joy 

Best Music Video: “Formation” — Beyoncé 

Best Music Film: The Beatles: Eight Days A Week The Touring Years 

NME Awards - the winners

Best British Band -  Biffy Clyro 

Best International Band - mMetallica 

Best British Male - Skepta 

Best British Female - MIA 

Best International Male -Frank Ocean 

Best International Female - Christine & The Queens 

Best New Artist -  Dua Lipa

Best Album - Bastille – ‘Wild World’ 

Best Track - Christine And The Queens – ‘Tilted’ 

Best Live Band - The 1975

Best Video - Slaves – ‘Consume Or Be Consumed’ 

Best Festival - Glastonbury 

Best Music Film - Oasis: Supersonic –

Best Festival Headliner - Adele 

Best Small Festival - End Of The Road 

Hero Of The Year - Beyoncé 

Worst Band - 5 Seconds Of Summer

Godlike genius - Pet Shop Boys

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Drake Named IFPI Global Recording Artist 2016

Drake has been named by IFPI as the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2016, highlighting the huge success of his fourth album, Views, which was released last year.

Drake is the fourth recipient of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, the unique and authoritative accolade that reflects an artist’s worldwide success across physical and digital formats, including downloads and streams.

Views became the first album to reach one billion streams on Apple Music, while One Dance, the album’s second single, was the first song to be played one billion times on Spotify. The follow-up singles Pop Style, Controlla and Too Good also all found huge success across the globe.

In conjunction with the Global Recording Artist award, IFPI issued its annual Global Top 10 list. David Bowie, who took second place on the global chart, had released his album Blackstar two days before his death in January 2016. The album reached number one in 24 countries.

In third and fourth place on the chart, respectively, were Coldplay and Adele whose 2015 albums A Head Full of Dreams and 25 remained immensely popular throughout 2016.

The independently verified IFPI Global Recording Artist chart includes sales of albums – across digital, CD and vinyl formats; singles, both downloaded and physical; and on-demand audio streams and music videos across the calendar year.

The chart includes all the music of each artist featured, not just one track or album. It uses album equivalent units to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists of 2016

1  Drake

2  David Bowie

3  Coldplay

4  Adele

5  Justin Bieber

6  Twenty One Pilots

7  Beyoncé

8  Rihanna

9  Prince

10 The Weeknd                    

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Ticketmaster has hired music industry veteran David Marcus to head a newly-formed music division in North America. As EVP, Head of Music, Marcus will oversee Live Nation’s artist services operation OnTour, the Venues & Promoters ticketing segment and club ticket platform TicketWeb.

Gary Hutchinson, formerly commercial director at English football team Sunderland AFC, has joined Wembley Stadium in London as head of venue sales and commercial partnerships. Other recent staff changes at Wembley, the UK’s largest stadium, include the promotion of Liam Boylan to stadium general manager, where he will work alongside Hutchinson and partnership development manager, music and new events, Danielle Russell to “bring the best of music to the stadium”, says Russell.

United Talent Agency (UTA) has hired branding expert Toni Wallace, most recently senior director of strategic marketing at Columbia Records, as Head of Music Brand Partnerships, based in Beverly Hills, CA

The Chairman & CEO of Sony Music's international operation, Edgar Berger, is leaving the major. Sony Music Chairman & CEO Doug Morris told staff that Berger had "decided to leave the company to pursue new entrepreneurial interests".

Facebook has poached Tamara Hrivnak to lead its global music strategy worldwide. She leaves behind her role as Director Of Music Partnerships at YouTube and Google Play in San Francisco.

Universal Music Publishing Group has made a major appointment in the US, hiring Viacom exec Rochelle Holguin to work with its sync, film/TV and A&R departments as VP Creative Strategy. 

Warner/Chappell Production Music has promoted Aaron Gant to SVP, Production Music. CEO Randy Wachtler called Gant's commitment 'an incredible asset'.

Longtime radio programmer Michael Bryan is joining Creative Artists Agency in a newly created position where he will develop brand strategies and assist in artist development for acts across the CAA roster.

Virgin EMI has bolstered its team with the appointment of Jordan Jay as senior A&R manager. The move marks a return to Universal Music for Jay, who worked at Geffen and Polydor/Fascination between 2006-2012.

Ron Wilcox, WMG's Executive Counsel, Business Affairs, Strategic and Digital Inititatives, has joined the board of SoundExchange, replacing Sony's Jeff Walker. SoundExchange is the independent nonprofit collective management organisation that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to featured artists and copyright holders.The SoundExchange Board of Directors is comprised of 18 individuals, split evenly between artist representatives and label representatives.

Ben Vaughn has been promoted to President of Warner/Chappell Nashville, six years after moving to the company from EMI Music Publishing.

New York-based Sheila Richman has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Press & Media, for Atlantic Records. Richman, who joined Atlantic in 2004, was most recently Senior Vice President of Publicity.

The Musicians' Union has announced the two candidates who are standing for the role of its General Secretary. A new chief is to be elected following the decision of incumbent John Smith to stand down later this year after fifteen years in the job. The two candidates going forward to a ballot of members are MU Executive Committee member Kathy Dyson and current MU Assistant General Secretary Horace Trubridge. The ballot of members will now be held between 6th and 27th March.

Dickinson Wright, PLLC's has hired Nashville-based entertainment attorney Noah McPike and will join the Music Row office of the firm. McPike's practice not only spans representation of independent and major label artists, writers, producers, and industry executives, but also new media, intellectual property and corporate clients.

Apple has hired former Spotify VP of Content Steve Savoca. Savoca will be heading up label relations based out of New York, focusing on relationships with smaller, independent labels.

Dave Berry is departing the London breakfast show at Capital FM for a new job at rival station Absolute Radio.

Janice Min will leave her position running editorial at Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter at the end of February. Mike Bruno will take over as editor of the music title. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Peter Rieger, the founder of Cologne-based promoter Peter Rieger Konzertagentur (PRK), has passed away aged 63. The news was announced today by CTS Eventim – since 2000 the majority stakeholder in PRK – which paid tribute to a man who has provided “thousands of people wonderful memories” and “given numerous artists their breakthrough. Peter was head of Peter Rieger Konzertagentur from 1986 to 2015.

Promoting pioneeer Tim Moffat has died at the age of 85, leaving behind his wife Esther and son Troy. Moffat began his career as a radio DJ before moving into promotion and he brought acts including Elvis Presoey and the Rolling Stones to Hawaii, as well as promoting the Pacific island's Sunshine Festivals. 

BBC Radio 2 presenter Desmond Carrington has died, aged 90. Having worked for the station since the 1950s, he is best known for his weekly show 'The Music Goes Round', which he presented for 35 years, until last October when he stepped down due to ill health.

Larry Steinbachek, former keyboardist with 80s synthpop group Bronski Beat, has died at the age of 56. Steinbachek formed the group with Jimmy Somerville and Steve Bronski in 1983 and they had chart success with songs including "Smalltown Boy" and "Why?" Steinbachek's sister Louise Jones told BBC News that he died last month after a short battle with cancer, with his family and friends at his bedside.

Paul Boyd, the bass player with No Hot Ashes, had died of cancer. He joined the band in 1983. For many years, while NHA were inactive, he played in another Belfast band, the now defunct WorldsEnd. NHA announced Paul's death in an beautiful tribute which begins “It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of Paul Boyd. He was the bassist and founding member of No Hot Ashes, but more importantly a son, husband, father, grandfather and friend." and ends "Paul died on Tuesday 17th January 2017. He will be missed greatly by all, but his legacy carries on in our memories, in our hearts and in the recordings he made. God bless you Paul Boyd.”

Mike Kellie, the  drummer form the Only Ones. and before that Spooky Tooth, has passed away. He also drummed on Johnny Thunders "So Alone"  album and for George Harrison, Maurice Gibb, Jim Capaldi, Peter Frampton, Jerry lee Lewis and many others. The Birmingham born drummer would have been 70 in March.

The Allman Brothers Band co-founder Butch Trucks has passed away at the age of 69. Trucks, played drums alongside Jai "Jaimoe" Johnny Johanson throughout the Allmans' 46-year on-and-off history. He died  in West Palm Beach, Fla. Trucks is survived by his wife, Melinda, their four children and four grandchildren

John Wetton, the bassist and singer for Asia, as well as a former member of King Crimson and U.K., has died at the age of 67 after a battle with cancer.

AEG Live takes a stake in The Bowery Presents

AEG Live has acquired an undisclosed stake in The Bowery Presents, the New York-born concert promoter which presents more than 2,500 shows each year. AEG claims that the move makes it ‘the #1 concert promoter in New York City’.

Ticketing and event technology platform Eventbrite has become Europe's third largest ticketing platform after acquiring self-service specialist Ticketscript. In 2016, the two companies combined European operations processed more than 35 million tickets worth over €500 million (£428m) for nearly one million events. Following the acquisition, around a quarter (23%) of Eventbrite’s global employees will work in Europe.