Issue #203

Last week Minnesota and Maryland signed ticketing bills into law and the federal government got close, but not close enough. We also saw the first exclusively-battery-powered music festival in the US, and Blue Ridge Rock Festival finally pulled the plug on its 2024 event, promising to issue refunds for those who purchased tickets - while it still waits to settle the 2023 event…

Credit: Smart Energy Solutions

A bill becomes a law

Minnesota’s Governor signed Chapter 94 House File 1989, aka the “Taylor Swift Bill”, into law last week. The law requires ticket sellers to disclose all fees upfront and restricts resellers from selling more than one copy of a ticket. It applies to tickets purchased in Minnesota and for events taking place in Minnesota, regardless of the purchase location.

The Governor of Maryland also signed a ticketing bill last week. SB 539 also requires all-in pricing for ticket sales. Additionally, it bans speculative ticketing and makes resale platforms responsible for any speculative tickets sold on their sites.

Unless it’s denied

On a federal level, the “Fans First Act” bill was appended to an unrelated bill regarding funding for the Federal Aviation Association (FAA). Lawmakers hoped that it would sail through along with the seemingly essential bill, however, it was removed prior to the bill’s passage.

All but one of the ten Astroworld wrongful death lawsuits have been settled, just days before the first trial was set to begin. Settlement terms have not been disclosed. The one remaining lawsuit is related to the youngest victim, 9-year-old Ezra Blount, and it is ready for trial, according to the victim’s lawyer. After that case is heard, the focus will shift to the thousands of other injury lawsuits from the festival that are still waiting to be tried.

In June, the Las Vegas Sphere will be used for two new event types: the NHL Draft and a corporate gathering. The NHL Draft will mark the first time a sports league utilizes the Sphere and will also be the first event televised live from inside the venue. The first corporate event will also take place in the Sphere in June, featuring the Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO giving the keynote address for HPE Discover.

The Sphere also announced that it has acquired the remaining shares of HOLOPLOT GmbH, its partner in developing Sphere Immersive Sound. The now wholly owned subsidiary of Sphere Entertainment will continue to be based in Berlin and will “accelerate its mission to bring its technologies to more applications and markets.”

Mill Valley Music Festival was the first-ever US music festival to operate exclusively on mobile zero-emission batteries. The May 11 - 12 festival outside of San Francisco partnered with Moxion Power to eliminate all diesel generators and avoid approximately 4.5 tons of GHG emissions.

Citizen Ticket, a UK-based ticketing platform, has expanded its reach in the event ticketing market and strengthened its commitment to ethical ticketing practices through the acquisitions of TicketSellers and Eventree. TicketSellers brings expertise in festival and event ticketing, while Eventree offers event management solutions, including accreditation. By combining the offerings of these companies, Citizen Ticket aims to provide a more comprehensive and enhanced solution for event organizers, addressing their diverse needs and enabling seamless event management.

Live Nation got a taste of its own medicine when Ticketmaster crashed during its $25 concert week promotion on sale. At 10 AM Wednesday, many fans were met with error and “page not found” messages. Fans, of course, took to social media to complain, including one who posted this “Congratulations, you outplayed yourself” gif on X. By 11 AM, it appeared to be back up and running.

An exhibition that recreates the moment when Hamas attacked Nova Music Festival on October 7th is on display in Manhattan, NY through May 22. All of the items in the exhibit, including tents, cellphones, forgotten hats, shirts and shoes, bullet-ridden portable toilets and burnt cars, were all once on the festival grounds. Cell phones are frozen at 6:29 AM, the moment the attack began.

  • Tixr: Steve Oberman has been named VP Of Partnerships. Oberman was formerly ​​EVP and Head of Music at See Tickets. 

  • AEG Presents: After 13 years, Rick Mueller has stepped down as President. Brent Fedrizzi has been promoted to President, North American Regional Offices after serving as Co-President and COO of AEG Presents' Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest regions.

  • Intellitix: Peter Fantuz has been promoted to CEO after serving as COO since 2015.

  • FIFA World Cup 2026 is hiring a fixed term, full-time, Manager of the FIFA Fan Festival in Miami. 

  • Outback Presents is seeking a full-time Production Manager in Nashville, TN with at least 15 years of experience.

  • Denver Parks and Recreation is hiring a part-time Events Facilitator to support operations of its rooftop event space at Carla Madison Recreation Center. Hourly rate: $21.47/hr.

  • LA28 is looking for a Director, Ticket Sales Marketing to develop a Ticket Sales, Marketing, and Ticket Operations strategy for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, CA. Salary: $135,000 - $170,000

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Headliners, Lineups, and Festival Announcements 

  • Dua Lipa, Tyler the Creator, Blink-182, and Chris Stapleton were announced as headliners for Austin City Limits, October 4 - 6 and October 11 - 13 at Zilker Park in Austin, TX.

  • "Keith Urban's HIGH in Vegas," a new residency at the Fontainebleau in Las Vegas by Keith Urban, will take over the new resort for 10 dates in October and February.

  • Martin Lawrence will headline his first comedy tour since 2016 with stops at nearly 40 cities across the US. The “Y’all Know What It Is!” tour kicks off July 19 at Gila River Casino in Chandler, AZ and wraps at Simmons Bank Arena in Little Rock, AR on April 5, 2025.

  • Childish Gambino announced “The New World Tour,” making 33 stops across North America. The North American leg begins August 11 in Oklahoma City, OK and ends October 3 in Chicago. The tour then heads to Europe on October 31.

  • SXSW announced plans to expand across the pond with the first SXSW London scheduled for June 2025 in Shoreditch.


  • Atlanta’s Music Midtown at Piedmont Park will go “on hiatus” this year. The organization did not provide any explanation for the cancellation.

  • Blue Ridge Rock Festival has officially pulled the plug on its 2024 edition after last year’s debacle, citing a need to focus on “settling the insurance claim and ensuring resolution for everyone affected by 2023's weather cancellation." All tickets purchased for 2024 will be refunded 🧐.

  • New South Wales’s Return to Rio festival is the latest Australian festival to be canceled this year, citing “a whopping 529%” increase in costs since 2019.

May 23rd at 5 PM ET (online): Bauer Entertainment Marketing Live Q&A with Kris Stewart, CEO of BIGSOUND, Australia's largest entertainment conference. Register here.

  • Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun’s infamous feud is coming to Discovery+ in the UK, with a documentary tentatively titled Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun: Bad Blood. Wonder if she’ll release a (Taylor’s version) in the US?

  • Snoop Dogg officially has his own college bowl game. The Snoop Dogg Arizona Bowl presented by Gin & Juice By Dre and Snoop (previously the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl) will take place December 28.

  • Time to stock up on sriracha! Huy Fong has halted production of the popular spicy sauce because “its red jalapeño peppers are too green.” 

  • I scream, you scream, we should go to all of the best ice cream festivals in the US.

  • The Kentucky Derby celebrated its 150th anniversary this year, check out how the event stays fresh with new experiences each year.

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