LIVE UK 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.
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  festival is an annual planning-season supplement of LIVE UK, published in December, January, February and March – 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.

  Sister publication to LIVE UK, 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 78 countries worldwide. Circulation includes thousands of promoters, festival organisers, venue operators and key people in dozens of related sectors..


ISSUE 208, May 2017

Watchdog to scrutinise Live Nation’s IoW deal  

THE DEAL in which Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) takes a majority stake in the Isle of Wight Festival (cap. 42,000) is to be examined by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). 

The watchdog is seeking to establish if the shareholding, acquired by LN-Gaiety - the joint venture between LNE and Irish live music entrepreneur Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Holdings (Desmond is also non-executive chairman of LNE UK) – announced in March (see LIVE UK issue 207), will result in a decrease in festival sector competition.

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London show cancelled after gatecrashers storm venue

A CONCERT at London’s O2 Academy Brixton (cap. 4,921) was called off minutes before it was due to start after a crowd attempted to force their way into the venue.

Police were called at around 8pm on 23 April as a large group tried to enter through a fire escape, with singer Alkaline due to take to the stage for the sell-out concert. 

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Crosstown to build on Blackheath potential 

PROMOTER CROSSTOWN Concerts has taken on the promotion of south-east London’s 25,000-capacity OnBlackheath festival.

The Greenwich event has been running for three years and was previously promoted by Harvey Goldsmith and founders Tom Wates, Alex Wicks and Terry Feldgate.

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Commons backs ‘clear benchmarks’ for resale  

THE HOUSE of Commons has voted in favour of an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill stipulating secondary ticketing sites must provide the ticket reference or booking number and any specific conditions to the resale of the ticket. 

The Bill also featured a ban on the use of bots – robotic computer software – by touts to bulk buy tickets, and places yet further obligations on resale site operators, following the recent amendment to the Consumer Rights Act, requiring ticket numbers and location to be given, plus ticket traders to be identified.

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Colston Hall to abandon ‘toxic’ name 

BRISTOL’S Colston Hall is to change name due to its association with the 17th Century slave trader turned philanthropist Edward Colston. 

The decision comes after a petition launched in February, calling for a change, gathered more than 2,000 signatures.

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X-ray is latest to sell a stake to Paradigm 

BOOKING AGENCY X-ray Touring has sold 50 per cent of its busines to US giant Paradigm Talent Agency.

X-ray joins Coda Agency which is 25 per cent owned by Paradigm, while a further  25 per cent held by actors, presenters and media agency Independent Talent Group (ITG). 

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FanFair Alliance questions primary commitment 

FANFAIR ALLIANCE (FFA), the anti-touting pressure group formed by the managers of One Direction, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons, has raised concerns about ticketing for London’s Somerset House (cap. 3,000) concert series.

With primary ticketing handled by Ticketmaster (TM), the FFA questions how large numbers of tickets can be listed by touts on a TM-owned resale site, when tickets are limited to six per transaction.

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Tramlines sale agreed ‘in principle’  

A CROWD-FUNDING bid to buy Sheffield’s 50,000-visitor Tramlines Festival for £1.2 million has been launched.

Non-for-profit organisation Music City Foundation (MCF) is behind the proposal and is seeking to raise half the sum through a crowd-funding campaign, with shares packages starting from £200.

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Escape with BBC Music

SHOWCASE FESTIVAL and convention The Great Escape (TGE) is partnering with BBC Music in a move that will boost the promotion of emerging artistes across its channels.

The Brighton event already works with BBC Introducing, but will also link-up with BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 3 and BBC 6 music for its 12th edition, set for 18-20 May.

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Amazon strengthens AEG ties

AMAZON TICKETS is linking up with AEG to offer its Amazon Prime subscribers enhanced services at its venues and festivals.

Customers will be able to access exclusive 24-hour pre-sales, premium seating and lounges at AEG-operated venues, including London’s The O2 (cap. 20,000) and The SSE Arena, Wembley (12,500), along with its British Summer Time Festival (65,000) in Hyde Park, where an Amazon Prime terrace will be created.

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Rates rise worries grassroots venues

LONDON’S grassroots venues are being threatened by business rates rises, according to a new report for the Mayor of London. 

Conducted by analysts Nordicity, the research found that the total business rates bill for the capital’s 94 grassroots venues went from £3.2 million to £4 million on 1 April – an increase of 26 per cent.

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BH Live wins Fairfield contract

THE PREFERRED operator to run Croyden’s Fairfield Halls (cap. 1,750) complex, following its multi-million pound refurbishment, has been revealed.

South coast-based BH Live has been approved to run the venue and adjacent Ashcroft Theatre (700) by owner Croyden Council, after a tendering process which began in October. 

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Gigantic celebration 

THE FOUNDER of ticketing firm Gigantic, Mark Gasson, says he feels a real sense of achievement in becoming an “established and well-respected” part of such a competitive sector, as the company marks its 10th anniversary.

The Nottingham-based firm launched in 2007 with e-tickets among the major developments since then.

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Fake resale site ensnares 1,500 

A FAKE secondary ticketing website set up to demonstrate the ease with which people can fall victim to ticket fraud tricked more than 1,500 people.

Surfed Arts was set up by the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), the City of London Police, Action Fraud and Get Safe Online. 

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Lords recommendation will help music venues

THE AGENT of Change principle, which would require new developments to take into consideration nearby premises and residents, should become part of national planning and licensing guidance, according to a House of Lords committee. 

Following a 10-month inquiry into the Licensing Act 2003, the committee found existing legislation was “flawed”. Among its recommendations were expanding agent-of-change to further help to safeguard venues and simplify the licensing process.

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SMG makes earlier move into AECC  

ARENA OPERATOR SMG Europe is to manage the 8,500-capacity Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) ahead of its upgrade to a new, larger venue.

With its capacity increased to 12,500-capacity, the new arena is scheduled to open in 2019, as part of a £333 million development of the surrounding area. SMG were awarded a 10-year contract to operate and programme the future AECC in December (see LIVE UK issue 203).

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Works at Warwick Arts Centre 

WARWICK Arts Centre is to undergo a three-year redevelopment to expand and improve its facilities.

Starting in October, the first stage of the Warwick Arts Centre 20:20 Capital Project is focused on improvements to the site’s original building, opened in 1974, which houses the Theatre (cap. 550) and Studio (150). A temporary theatre space will operate while works are underway.

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Quite Great moves into live

CAMBRIDGE-BASED PR company Quite Great has added a live booking sector to its business, to help emerging artistes find their way.

Headed by agent Tom Green, the live element will offer advice on getting shows, what promoters are looking for and planning tours.

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GIG rocks to second Queen’s Award 

WINNING A Queen’s Award demonstrates how the exacting standards of rock and pop can prepare a business for success in other markets, according to Tony Laurenson, CEO and founder of event catering specialist Global Infusion Group (GIG) and its live music subsidiary Eat to the Beat (E2B).  

Last month GIG won its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2017, recognition by the Government of outstanding growth in overseas earnings over six years.

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Agents association rebrands

TRADE ORGANISTAION The Agents’ Association has changed its name to The Entertainment Agents’ Association (TEAA) and introduced a new logo.

The rebrand is intended to make it clear the association represents agents from all parts of the entertainment industry.

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The UK's Best Venues for Contemporary Live Music
Part 2 Open-air venues, stadiums, arenas, campus venues, arts centres, clubs, pubs & bars.

The annual 76-page round-up of the most proactive venue managers and operators working predominantly with contemporary live music, featuring interviews with and profiles of key figures.

The UK's Best Venues for Contemporary Live Music
Part 1 Theatres and Concert Halls (2016).

The annual 80-page round-up of the most proactive venue managers and operators working predominantly with contemporary live music, featuring interviews with and profiles of key figures.