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 214, November 2017

Viagogo and StubHub offices raided 
as part of ticket touting investigation 

UNITED KINGDOM    Two of the Big Four secondary ticketing sites at the centre of an investigation into breaches of consumer law have had their offices raided, it has been revealed.

Viagogo and eBay-owned StubHub both received a visit to their London offices by officials from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Guardian newspaper reports. It is understood information was seized relating to the companies’ dealings with ticket touts.

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Live Nation hails historic quarter

UNITED STATES   In what Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) president and CEO Michael Rapino called “the best quarter in history”, the company’s revenue was up 12 per cent to $3.56 billion. 

Third quarter (Q3) adjusted operating income (AOI) was up 10 per cent to $335 million and operating income was up five per cent to $201m. Q3 earnings were $136.5m, compared with $111.03m in the same period last year.

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Muse agent Meall to leave UTA 

UNITED KINGDOM   Geoff Meall, MD of United Talent Agency (UTA) in the UK, is leaving the company. 

It is understood that Meall, whose roster includes Muse, Paramour, Foals, and Billy Talent has been placed on so-called gardening leave until the end of the year.

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Falls Festival in the clear over crush

AUSTRALIA    An investigation into the 16,000-capacity Falls Festival, which saw more than 70 people injured in a crowd crush at its event in Lorne this year, has been dropped by watchdog WorkSafe Victoria due to “insufficient evidence”. 

The government-operated agency had been investigating whether there were grounds to pursue a prosecution against festival organiser Ash Sounds, part of Secret Sounds, under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. 

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Buyers sort for SMG

WORLD     One of the world’s largest music venue and convention centre venue management companies, SMG, is reportedly up for sale.

According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the company which operates hundreds of venues from theatres to stadiums, has been put on the market by owner US private equity fund Northlane Capital Partners. It is understood a potential sale could be worth up to $750 million.

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Songkick v Live Nation trial set for new year 

UNITED STATES    The long-running legal dispute between Songkick and Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) will run into next year, after the court date was pushed back.

UK-based Songkick, which has now ceased trading following the closure of its ticketing division (see Audience issue 213), was scheduled to face LNE in a Los Angeles court on 14 November. 

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Metallica anti-tout controls abandoned

UNITED KINGDOM     Thousands of fans were allowed to bypass strict restrictions for Metallica’s UK shows, despite the band’s efforts to prevent ticket touting. 

Fans were told that only the original buyer with ID would be permitted entry, after the artiste, promoter Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) and venues including London’s The O2 (cap. 21,000), Manchester Arena (20,000) and Glasgow’s SSE Hydro (13,000) agreed to use personalised tickets.

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CTS makes new friends 

ITALY    Pan-Europe ticketing company CTS Eventim has strengthened its position in the Italian market with the acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in promoter Friends and Partners (F&P).

The deal follows the German giant taking a 51 per cent share in Milan-based promoter Vertigo (see Audience issue 212) two months ago. CTS also owns Italian ticketing company Ticketone.

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Country promoter dies in motorbike accident 

AUSTRALIA   Country music promoter Rob Potts, CEO of Entertainment Edge, has died in a motorbike accident in Tasmania, at the age of 65.

Potts, who worked in the music industry for more than 30 years, was a booking agent for acts including Keith Urban and Tommy Emmanuel. As a promoter, he worked with artistes such as Faith Hill, Zac Brown Band and Tim McGraw to Australia, and was responsible for Taylor Swift’s first shows in the country.

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Promoter admits $95m ‘swindle’

UNITED STATES   Concert promoter Joseph Meli, who fleeced about 130 investors out of $95 million in a ticketing re-selling Ponzi scheme (see Audience issue 212), has pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud.  

Dating from 2015 to this year, investors thought their funds were going to buy and resell blocks of tickets to popular concerts and shows including the Broadway hit Hamilton and were promised 10 per cent returns on their money within eight months.

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V Festival to rebrand and expand

UNITED KINGDOM   The twin V Festivals (cap. 80,000) are to be rebranded after the withdrawal of the events headline sponsor Virgin.

Doubts had been raised about the future of the festival, which is held at Weston Park, Staffordshire and Hylands Park, Chelmsford (see Audience issue 213), although co-organisers Festival Republic – a division of Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) – say the sites will be used next year under a new name.

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Download heads for Australia

AUSTRALIA    UK rock and metal festival Download (cap. 85,000) is to launch a similar event at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne next year. 

Download Festival Australia will take place on 24 March as a one-day event, featuring acts such as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Prophets of Rage, Mastodon and Gojira.

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Spinal Tap creators amend lawsuit

UNITED STATES    The creators of the iconic 1984 film This is Spinal Tap, about an ageing British rock band’s chaotic decline, have streamlined their $400 million lawsuit against French media giant Vivendi, and added its subsidiary Universal Music Group as a co-defendant.

Harry Shearer, who played the part of bassist Derek Small, filed the original lawsuit in October last year (see Audience issue 205) alleging he was defrauded out of $125m, and was then joined by co-creators Rob Reiner, Michael McKean and Christopher Guest, increasing the damages sort.

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Watchdog takes court action against Viagogo 

SWITZERLAND   Government consumer watchdog SECO has brought a civil action against Geneva-based ticket resale platform Viagogo, to stop the company using unfair business practices. 

SECO, which has received more than 260 complaints against Viagogo from across the world, wants the site to be more transparent by clearly displaying the final price paid for a ticket, including sales tax and non-optional surcharges. 

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Broker files lawsuit over 
alleged underpayments

NORTH AMERICA    Ticketmaster (TM) is facing a lawsuit after alleging underpaying brokers using its resale sites.

The Live Nation Entertainment-owned company is accused of failing to account for the exchange rate fluctuation between US and Canadian dollars, when paying so-called brokers for tickets sold through its secondary sites for events in Canada.

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Waldbuehne amphitheatre celebrates record year

GERMANY    The 22,000-capacity Waldbuehne in Berlin has welcomed a record 350,000 people across 22 events this year, making it one of the world’s top performing amphitheatres.

Among the shows at the open-air venue were sell outs by Robbie Williams, Pink and Udo Lindenberg. Over the first three-quarters of the year Waldbuehne, which is operated by pan-European ticketing giant and promoter CTS Eventim, has been ranked No 1 amphitheatre in the world for ticket sales by US industry magazine Pollstar.

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Champions win award 

UNITED KINGDOM     Ariana Grande, her manager Scooter Braun and promoters Melvin Benn of Festival Republic and Simon Moran of SJM Concerts, were recognised as Industry Champions for their efforts organising One Love Manchester, at the Artist & Manager Awards in London. 

The concert was a response to the bomb attack at Manchester Arena in May. 

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Resale cap is introduced

AUSTRALIA   The Government of Victoria has introduced legislation making it illegal to sell or advertise tickets for resale at more than 10 per cent above face value. 

As part of the Major Events Legislation Amendment Bill 2017, concerts, sporting events and theatre shows which attract high demand, will be attributed “declared” status and fall under the new law. 

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YouTube teams up with Ticketmaster

UNITED STATES    YouTube has partnered with Ticketmaster (TM) in a move aimed at increasing ticket sales for live shows.

The deal will allow fans using the Google-owned site to view concert listings within artistes videos, before being directed to TM to buy tickets. To begin with the partnership will only apply in the US, but there are plans for it to be rolled out globally.

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App deal will improve customer experience 

PORTUGAL   Customer experience app LiveStyled has been engaged to provide a mobile app for Lisbon’s 20,000-capacity Altice Arena, formerly the MEO Arena. 

The platform will allow event-goers to access mobile tickets and order food, drink and merchandise.

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ILMC launches 30th edition  

UNITED KINGDOM   Organisers of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) have adopted a UFO theme for the 30th edition of the event.

More than 1,000 agents, promoters, venue operators and festival organisers from around the world are expected to attend the invitation-only conference at London’s Royal Garden Hotel from 6-9 March.  

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Romer takes reins at Bluesfest

AUSTRALIA   Byron Bay’s blues and roots festival Bluesfest (cap. 25,000) and the associated Bluesfest Touring has appointed Steve Romer as chief operating officer.

Romer has previously held senior management roles at venues including the Sydney Entertainment Centre (now closed) and Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. He was also chairman and CEO of the regional Venue Management Association.

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Acts in management reshuffle

UNITED STATES  Two long-time artiste/manager partnerships have ended, amid a flurry of other breakups. 

Green Day has left Pat Magnarella Management after 21 years and moved to Crush Music Media Management, which represents Sia, Fall Out Boy and Lorde, while Jason Mraz ended an 18-year working relationship with Bill Silva to manage his own career.

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Italian sales tax cut is ‘return to normal’

ITALY     The Government is to extend its reduced 10 per cent rate of sales tax (known internationally by the UK acronym VAT for Value Added Tax) for live entertainment to include related services provided by intermediaries.

The move, which is outlined in the country’s 2018 budget and includes production companies and suppliers, has been welcomed by promoters.  

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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.