#137 (copy 01)

The. Hearings.

Today's read ... 7 


The Ticketmaster Senate Hearing dominated the live event news cycle last week, with seemingly everyone chiming in. In other news, the festival lineups continued to roll out, including some big first-time international events from familiar names.

Credit: Drew Angerer/GIThe. Hearings.It should be no surprise that the 3-hour Ticketmaster hearing last week is still top of mind, with industry and [many] non-industry folks weighing in on it. If you missed it, you can watch the full hearing here. We also recommend checking out Clyde Lawrence’s testimony on the challenges of touring in the Live Nation ecosystem here.

So what’s next?Senators hit on high ticket prices and Ticketmaster’s inability to handle the demand of Taylor Swift’s on sale and, while those issues may be at the heart of their constituents' troubles (aka concert-going fans), they are not the real issue. But does Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s market dominance across venues, ticketing, and promoters violate the consent decree put in place during the merger? And if so, will that lead to a dissolution of the merger? It’s unclear. Bonus: Quick primer on Antitrust enforcement in the US

And What Really Happened with Barclays Center?

SeatGeek CEO Jack Groetzinger testified during last week’s hearings that Barclays Center broke its 7-year deal with his company and went back to its ex-ticketing partner Ticketmaster after the venue consistently lost out on Live Nation shows - and their revenue. However, it now appears that SeatGeek made its own bed with its inability to handle the demand of the venue, technical issues, and lack of marketing power. 

$0 Fee MerchThe calls for all venues to drop merch fees are growing louder, especially after the Ticketmaster hearings.

Ineffable Live, a division of Ineffable Music Group, is the first to announce that it will no longer take a cut of artist merch at any of its venues or shows operated by Ineffable, effective immediately. According to CEO Thomas Cussins, it will cost the company “several thousand” per year, but “any action we can take to help to (ensure) a healthy, vibrant concert ecosystem is important.” 

Disco Donnie Does it AgainDisco Donnie Presents has partnered with festival producer Third String to form a new company, Disco Punk. The partnership includes Third String’s festivals, So What?! and Unsilent Night with the goal to expand the events to other locations. Along with the partnership announcement, Disco Punk released dates for So What?!, June 24-25 in Dallas.

Live Nation, Jeezy Not Responsible for 2014 DeathIn other Live Nation legal news, the music titan and Jeezy were found not legally responsible for the 2014 backstage shooting of concert promoter Eric Johnson Jr. after a Wiz Khalifa show in Mountain View, CA. 

Canadian CancellationsBritish Columbia, Canada’s Rockin’ River Music Festival, typically held in August, is officially canceled for 2023. The organizers say they are not able to “overcome a series of economic obstacles.” Similarly, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival announced it was shutting down permanently due to high costs and limited budget. This may not be the end of the road for the folk fest, however, as there have been several funding and support solutions offered since the announcement. 

Super Bowl Lineup GrowsIn addition to Rihanna’s halftime show at the Super Bowl, the NFL has announced Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem alongside signer Troy Kotsur, Babyface will sing “America the Beautiful” alongside signer Colin Denny, and Sheryl Lee Ralph will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” accompanied by signer Justin Miles, who will also sign the halftime show. 

Boeing Center at Tech PortASM Global announced a partnership with Boeing for naming rights of the Tech Port Center + Arena, now known as the Boeing Center at Tech Port. A separate partnership between Boeing, ASM Global, and the Kelly Heritage Foundation will focus on expanding STEM learning and workforce development across South Texas. 

Time to Panic!Brendon Urie, frontman for Panic! At the Disco, announced the beginning of the end. The band will kick off its UK and EU tour in Vienna on February 20th, and when the curtain drops on its last stop in Manchester on March 10th, “Panic! At the Disco will be no more.” Uri plans to focus on his family - he and his wife Sarah are expecting their first child. 

OGX Media Experiences, LLC (Formerly Superfly X) is looking for a General Manager to deliver world-class guest experiences.

SeatGeek is hiring a

to work alongside CEO Jack Groetzinger to grow and improve the company.

Join Founders Entertainment as a

for its Gov Ball, Cat Bird, and Sound on Sound Festivals.

Did you watch the Ticketmaster Hearings?


Last Week's Results:

the Lovers and Friends Festival lineup.

Festival Lineups

  • Okeechobee announced Big Boi and Free Nationals will join its PoWoW! All-Star Jam, modeled after similar jams at Bonnaroo, in addition to its lineup previously announced in September. Okeechobee is in Florida from March 2-5.

  • Ultra Music Festival is heading to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE for the first time with Skrillex, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, and ILLENIUM, March 4-5.

  • Rolling Loud makes its Thailand debut April 13-15 with Cardi B, Chris Brown, and Travis Scott.

  • Cruel World Festival returns to Pasadena, CA, on May 20 with Siouxsie, Iggy Pop, Billy Idol, Love and Rockets (the band’s first performance since 2008), and Echo & the Bunnymen.

  • Adjacent Music Festival takes place on the beach in Atlantic City, NJ, May 27-28, with Paramore and Blink-182 at the top of its lineup.

  • London’s Wireless Festival will feature Travis Scott, Playboi Carti & D-Block Europe at Finsbury Park, July 7-9.

  • Faster Horses turns 10 this year and will celebrate with headliners Luke Bryan, Shania Twain, and Zac Brown Band July 14-16 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI.

  • Toronto’s Veld Music Festival turns 10 with headliners Above & Beyond, ILLENIUM, Loud Luxury, REZZMAU5, Tiësto, and Zedd will take the stage at Downsview Park August 3-5.

  • Watershed Music Festival - also slated for August 3-5 - will feature Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, and Cody Johnson at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA.

  • The Strokes, Billie Eilish, and Florence + The Machine will headline Rock En Seine’s 20th anniversary at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, Paris, August 23-27.

This week's spotlight is on ... Climate Pledge Arena and INTIX 


Credit: https://access.intix.org/Last week, the International Ticketing Association’s annual conference (INTIX) took place in Seattle, WA. One of the many highlights of the conference was the opening keynote, “Changing the World — Live Entertainment Sustainability Leadership,” highlighting the ground-breaking sustainability efforts of Climate Pledge Arena with Rob Johnson, VP of Sustainability and Transportation, and Kristen Fulmer, Senior Director of Sustainability. The arena, named by partner Amazon, is home to the Seattle Kraken (NHL) and Seattle Storm (WNBA), and was officially reopened on October 19, 2021. 

Some of the incredible facts they shared included:

  • The ultimate goal for the arena is to be the first zero-carbon arena in the world. They are doing this with no fossil fuel consumption in the arena, with solar panels and off-site supplementary renewable energy for 100% renewable energy power, and reducing carbon emissions where they can and offsetting where they can’t. 

  • Their “Rain to Rink” system which collects rainwater in a 15,000-gallon underground cistern that is used to clean and resurface the ice.

  • A commitment to be 100% free of all single-use plastics by 2024 and a target of 95% diversion rate (zero waste).

  • Tickets to all events at Climate Pledge Arena also include a monorail ticket, increasing the use of mass transit and decreasing traffic to/from the arena.


Perhaps the headliner of the Ticketmaster hearings was the - often botched - delivery of Taylor Swift puns:


 Content-driven experiences are leading to a new era of concertgoers. Learn more about the cultural shift of capturing that viral moment. 

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