A (expletive) Tuesday afternoon 🐊

Issue #192 | February 27, 2024

Last week men in Florida competed in a series of absurd games that should have put them in jail, but didn’t; while Live Nation announced earnings for its “biggest year ever” and live events in the UK are either booming or busting, depending who you ask.

Credit: Live NationLive Nation’s biggest year everLive Nation hails 2023 as its biggest year ever in its year-end and Q4 results with revenue up 36% over 2022 to $22.7 billion. The boost was fueled, in part, by over 145 million fans (up 20%) attending over 50,000 events, 50% more international artists, a double-digit increase in per-fan ancillary spending, and increase in ticket sales yielding more ticket fee revenue. And there’s no sign of slowing down; LN says 2024’s strong start is a harbinger for even more growth this year. 

2024 could be bigger 🚀One way Live Nation plans to fuel that growth is by focusing more on dynamic pricing and upselling top-tier guests. CEO Michael Rapino sees dynamic pricing - which so far has been used mostly on higher-end tickets - as “a multiyear opportunity to continue to grow our top line plus bottom line.” He also wants to increase the premium business at amphitheaters from its current average of 9% of the venue to 30-35%.  

AXS and CTS Eventim to ticket LA OlympicsTicketing companies AXS and CTS Eventim formed a joint partnership to submit their RFP to ticket the 2028 Olympic games in Los Angeles, CA. Out of 12 submissions, the combined powerhouse won the bid. It makes sense: CTS Eventim has ticketed Turin, Sochi, Rio, and this summer’s Paris Olympics and AXS has a strong foothold in the LA market. The deal is worth at least $108 million to Eventim; no information on AXS’s deal value. Tickets will be available on each of the companies’ websites as well as the official LA28 site. 

$1.35 million fake festival scamTwo “promoters” have pled guilty after securing $1.35 million in funding from an investor to produce a fake music festival with Justin Bieber, Billy Eilish, and Post Malone unraveled. The men now face a maximum of up to 20 years in jail for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The pair also pled guilty to aggravated identity theft for forging the signature and using the identity of Justin Bieber on fraudulent contracts.  

Rise in UK festival cancelationsThe UK’s Association of Independent Festivals is raising the red flag following the cancelation of Standon Calling, the ninth UK festival to cancel or postpone so far this year. The alarm comes after 36 UK festivals canceled last year and 100 since 2019. AIF’s CEO attributes the loss to rising costs and slow ticket sales caused by the cost of living crisis and is calling for “urgent government intervention”. 

Versus record-breaking UK arena salesOn the flip side, UK’s arenas appear to be immune from the festivals’ plight. London’s O2 Arena - the busiest arena in the world - had a record 2023, selling 2.5 million tickets. SVP and General Manager Steve Sayer expects 2024 and 2025 to be similar, “More blockbuster entertainment, for sure! The diary is incredibly busy with a plethora of shows confirmed.”

DreamHaus 🤝 FKP Scorpio German mega-festivals Rock am Ring/Rock im Park and Hurricane/Southside will now be run by the collaborative efforts of DreamHaus and FKP Scorpio. The two promoters have worked together in the past and plan to continue to take the lead on their respective festivals going forward: FKP Scorpio at Hurricane/Southside, and DreamHaus along with eventimpresents and Argo Konzerte at Rock am Ring/Rock im Park. 

On Location invests in technology partnerOn Location has expanded its partnership with Wiz-Team via a strategic investment in the event and data management platform. Terms were not disclosed. According to On Location, “The investment will support integration of Wiz-Team’s technology and software across the On Location portfolio, with a focus on enhancing guest registration and communication, accreditation, accommodation, and access control.” The investment compliments On Locations plans to scale its US operations ahead of the 2028 Olympics where it is the official hospitality provider.

Ground-breaking arena ahead for NigeriaOVG and Live Nation have partnered with the Persianas Group and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority to construct a new 12,000-cap arena in Lagos, Nigeria. This will be the first arena dedicated to live entertainment in the African country, despite its vibrant music scene. The arena is expected to cost $100 million and open at the end of 2025. A ground-breaking ceremony took place on Saturday, February 24.

Florida Man Games Last weekend at the inaugural Florida Man Games, “the most insane athletic showdown on Earth,” men competed in a series of games making fun of Florida’s notoriety for often unbelievable news stories beginning with a “Florida man” and involving guns, drugs, booze and reptiles. The games included an eat the butt challenge, evading arrest obstacle course, and Florida sumo. When asked about his experience, the winner said, “They’re calling these ‘events.’ I’m calling this (expletive) Tuesday afternoon.”The merch tho’ 🔥 

 Mondgreen Festival (Phish) in Dover, DE is looking for event staff in various positions including box office, credentials, production runner, and hospitality staff.  Sphere Entertainment Co. is seeking a Director of Guest Services for the Las Vegas Sphere. Salary $113,000 - $180,000.  The Two Step Inn Box Office in Georgetown, TX needs a couple of local (Austin area) box office rockstars for April 20 - 21. $17/hr pay rate. Apply via email. Virgin Voyages is hiring a Seagoing Music Program Manager based out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. 

Which will be more successful in North America in 2024?

Lineups, Festival & Tour Announcements

  • Wonderfront Festival’s 2024 lineup includes Beck, Weezer, and The Roots. The San Diego, CA fest moves from November to May (11 - 12) after taking a year off. 

  • Regenerate Festival will return to Civic Center Park in Denver, CO with John Summit, Purple Disco Machine, Kasablanca, Qrion, and Eric Prydz, June 7 - 8. 

  • Goldenvoice enters the punk rock realm with its newest fest: No Values. The Misfits and Iggy Pop top the single-day festival lineup, June 8 at Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, CA. 

  • A Day To Remember, All-American Rejects headline the 10th Anniversary of Four Chord Music Festival, June 22 - 23 at Carrie Furnace in Pittsburgh, PA. 

  • The Head and the Heart, Bleachers, and Carly Rae Jepsen will headline Day In Day Out Festival - with an added third day in 2024 - July 12 - 14 at the Seattle Center in Seattle, WA. 

  • The Peach festival as we know it will take a pause in 2024 and instead The Allman Brothers Band and Live Nation will host Peach at the Beach on July 13 with JRAD in Atlantic City, NJ 

  • Montreal’s OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival will feature Noah Kahan, Green Day, and SZA, at Parc Jean-Drapeau, August 2 - 4. 

  • Baja Beach Fest announced Peso Pluma, Rauw Alejandro, Fuerza Regida, Kali Uchis performing near the beach in Rosarito, Mexico, August 9 - 11.

  • Slayer will reunite to headline Danny Wimmer Presents’ Louder Than Life, along with Motley Crue, Slipknot and Korn, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, September 26 - 29.

  • Beck and The Killers top the Evolution Festival bill, September 28 - 29 at Forest Park in St. Louis, MO.  

 Thursday, February 29 at 2:00 PM ET (online): Dean Budnick and Donick Cary take on The Smartest People in the Room series. FREE, but registration is required.

 How valuable is the Super Bowl for artists? A look at the data behind the record-setting 2024 game.

 Does hosting the Olympics, the World Cup or other major sports events really pay off? Drake asks Canada to make Buffalo a province so his Canadian friends can see his show.  The convoluted business behind Junk Mail (podcast).

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