Citizens of the Lawn

Issue #189 | February 6, 2024

If Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow wasn’t enough of a sign that warmer weather is on its way, all of the amphitheater news in this week’s issue should help.  

Credit: Burning ManNew live music climate change studyThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (MIT ESI), Coldplay, Live Nation, and Warner Music Group are working together to conduct a study of the live music industry’s carbon footprint. The study, expected to be completed in July, will include “actions and policies that can be implemented and replicated across the live music industry.” 

Sphere still operating at a lossSphere Entertainment posted $314 million in revenue last quarter (fiscal Q2), with $167.8 million coming from the Sphere itself, yet is still operating at a loss of $159.7 million. The bulk of the Sphere’s revenue was generated by 191 performances of “Postcard from Earth,” ($92.9 million). According to the report, a significant portion of the company’s loss is due to the abandoned Sphere London project. 

Ed Sheeran sets UAE recordEd Sheeran broke ticket sales records in UAE with both of his shows at the 30,000-cap Sevens Stadium in Dubai, January 19 and 20. The sold-out shows bested his 2017 show there (23,272 tickets) and Justin Bieber’s 2013 show (28,544 tickets) to become the best-selling concerts in UAE history, according to promoter All Things Live Middle East.  

Live Nation doubles down on lobbying $Live Nation increased its federal lobbying spend by 118% in 2023, from $1.1 million to $2.4 million as legislators upped their efforts to break up the ticketing behemoth. “It’s no secret we’ve stepped up our advocacy efforts this past year. More than ever, Congress is focused on ticketing policies, and there is an unprecedented amount of lobbying going on by ticket resellers and competitors,” said Dan Wall of Live Nation.      

UK venues struggleUK’s Music Venue Trust (MVT) released its annual report showing that many venues are still struggling to survive. 38% of grassroots venues operated at a loss and the other venue members of MVT operated at just 0.5% profit margin, despite the industry as a whole seeing record revenues. The venues cite high - and increasing - energy costs as the top cause.  

New Arizona entertainment resortVAI Resort, a new hotel, resort, and live entertainment destination, broke ground near Phoenix, AZ. The $1 billion project includes the $50 million VAI Amphitheater, which will be booked and promoted jointly by C3 Presents and Live Nation. The state-of-the-art amphitheater is poised to open at the end of the year and to host 100 events annually. 

Calling all LawniesAccording to Live Nation, Lawnies “are the citizens of the lawn. The heart and soul of outdoor concert season. Mosh-pit starters, grass grinders and roof raisers. The first in and last to leave.” Therefore it makes sense that the newly-rebranded Lawnie Pass holders get lawn seats to all summer shows at select LN-owned amphitheaters across the country for $239. 

One Republic to christen new CO amphitheaterColorado Springs, CO’s newest amphitheater, The Sunset Amphitheater, will open on August 9 with One Republic on stage. The 8,000-cap facility is owned by Notes Live, who recently merged with Fresh Vine Wine, Inc., a California-based wine company, in an all-stock transaction.

Nashville Yards gets naming partnerThe 4,500-cap indoor music venue within the forthcoming Nashville Yards entertainment center officially has a name: The Pinnacle. Pinnacle Financial Partners opened a branch in the Amazon Tower within the development complex in 2022 and plans to move its headquarters into the Pinnacle Tower when it is completed later this year. Nashville Yards is being co-developed by Southwest Value Partners and AEG.

New Macon, GA venue opening in MarchNext month, the newly named Atrium Health Amphitheater will open in Macon, GA with Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. The 10-year, $4 million+ naming-rights deal for the 10,000-cap venue was brokered by OVG Global Partnerships and OVG360 will book and operate it.

 Live! Hospitality & Entertainment is hiring a Production Manager in Louisville, KY. Legends is looking for a part-time Catering / Special Events Supervisor at LA Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.  Amplified Marketing is hiring a hybrid Manager, Experiential in New York, NY.

Will there be a wardrobe malfunction during the halftime show?

Lineups, Festival & Tour Announcements

  • Andy Shauf, King Krule, JPEGMAFIA lead the inaugural Pitchfork Music Festival in Mexico City, MX, March 6 - 9. 

  • Breakaway Music Festival is expanding to Tampa, FL this year with Illenium, Kaskade, Zedd, and Sofi Tukker at Raymond James Stadium, April 26 - 27.

  • The 40th Anniversary of SunFest will feature Nelly, Shaggy, Billy Idol, and Cole Swindell, May 3 - 5 in West Palm Beach, FL. 

  • SZA, Snoh Aalegra, and Kaytranada will headline Sol Blume May 3 - 5 at Discovery Park in Sacramento, CA.

  • Mexican group Los Bukis will become the first Latin and all Spanish-language group to have a residency in Las Vegas as they take over Dolby Live at Park MGM starting May 3.

  • Just 2 weeks later, another Las Vegas residency begins with Dead & Company Dead Forever, moving into the Las Vegas Sphere for 18 shows between May 16 - June 22. 

  • Minnesota Yacht Club Festival, a new event from C3 Presents, will feature Gwen Stefani, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Alanis Morissette; July 19 - 20 at Harriet Island Regional Park in St. Paul, MN.

  • Burning Man announced its theme for 2024: Curiouser & Curiouser. It returns to Black Rock City, NV August 25 - September 2.

  • Above & Beyond, Alan Walker, DJ Diesel, Illenium will perform at North Coast Music Festival, August 30 - September 1 at Seatgeek Stadium in Chicago, IL.

  • Fresh off her first Grammy performance, Joni Mitchell announced Joni Mitchell and the Joni Jam at The Hollywood Bowl featuring Brandi Carlile, October 19 and October 20. The second show was added due to “overwhelming demand.” 

 Joni, Tracy, Miley, Meryl, and of course, Taylor: The highs, lows, and whoas of the Grammys. Plus, a look at the show’s stage designTicket prices for the Super Bowl are up 70% from 2023. 

 Can’t wait for the big game? Check out some of the commercials ahead of time.  In other football news, the finals for the 2026 FIFA World Cup will officially take place at  NJ’s MetLife Stadium.  The Talking Heads turned down $80 million to reunite for a short tour, including Coachella.  

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