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VIP- News

premium ›› Vol. 131 ›› DECEMBER 2010

McGowan’s Musings:

So here we go with the very last News of

the year, also the last of the first decade of

the twenty first century. They say time flies

when you’re having fun so at the rate this

last year seems to have shot past I must

be having the time of my life! I’ll probably

consider that when I’m snowed in somewhere

for Christmas. Of course one of the

worst things about snow is that it provides

perfect camouflage for seagulls – they can

creep right up on you before you know and

they’re famous for pecking the eyes out

of snowmen! Well, they’re not really, but I

just thought I’d have another go at them to

wind up the year!

It’s not been the greatest year for everyone

in the live music industry, particularly in the

US. However it’s not been too bad for Bon

Jovi who were the most successful live act

of the year with takings of $146.5m. The

hard work on coming up with these and

many other sets of figures, which the industry

finds fascinating and useful, is often undertaken

by Billboard magazine, but even

this seemingly rock solid journal of the music

industry is having its problems and had

announced the closure of its London office.

Advertising revenues, the lifeblood of print

Allan McGowan

magazines have dropped off in all areas

during the economic crisis, but of course

the music industry has been particularly hit

with the demise of the majors and the space

left where the new album release full pages

used to be is harder and harder to fill.

Still back to Bon Jovi who sold 1,591,154

tickets for 69 gigs between 20 November

2009 and 28 November 2010 on their ‘The

Circle’ tour, they were also the highestgrossing

live act of 2008, having taken

$210m (£133.4m) on its Lost Highway tour.

Jon Bon Jovi is reported as saying that fans

bought tickets “because they’re willing to

spend their disposable dollars”. Which is

a bit strange when the likes of Live Nation

spent the better part of last year cutting

prices because presumably in an uncertain

economic climate people didn’t have disposable

dollars to spend?! Oh well Jon’s got

lots of disposable dollars of his own now to

do as he wants with, and more to come as

the tour when it finishes in Portugal on 31

July 2011, will have played 135 shows in 30

countries.

So it seems that some people are definitely

still making money out of playing live even

though worldwide figures indicate a 26.4

percent decrease in gross, a 12.3 percent

decrease in attendance and a 14 percent

decrease in the number of shows reported.

It was not an easy year, but it should still be

remembered that these worrying figures

still report concert attendances of slightly

more than 65 million people. That’s a big

market! The US figures were down by twice

the drop off reflected in global numbers.

But even there some still reported success,

Certain sectors, including country,

most major festivals and tours by superstars

in pop, urban and dance/electronicperformed

well and whilst Live Nation languished

AEG had one of its best years yet.

As AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips says. “If an

artist is hot, people are motivated to find a

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VIP- News - December 2010

way to go. If they’re not, I don’t care how

much money you spend on marketing or

how you package things, it’s not going to

work.”

Interview with

Ticketscript

Allan McGowan am@vip-booking.com

Colophon ››

VIP-News is published by:

VIP-Booking

26 York Street

London W1U 6pZ

Managing Director:

Ronni Didriksen

rd@vip-booking.com

General Manager:

Peter Briggs

pb@vip-booking.com

Writer and editorial:

Allan McGowan

am@vip-booking.com

So the live music industry, for so many

years now, the sector that others in the

music industry looked to for salvation,

enters 2011 leaner and more wary than it

has for some time, but maybe this is not

such a bad thing, There are pitfalls to be

looked out for, such as alienation of fans

through overpricing in both primary and

definitely secondary ticketing, and the

fact that younger fans are dropping off

in attending live shows, and maybe as

an industry more concentration will be

brought to bear on these areas, which

will be good for the future.

So, lets start the new decade on a positive

note, we wish you all a great holiday

and health and prosperity in the New

Year. And as ever, let us know what you’re

doing, there is no News without you!

Ticketing has become a tough market,

software for distributing tickets is something

everyone can make easily nowadays.

So what does it take to be a player in this

competitive market?

Ticketscript is a fast growing operator in

Europe, VIP-News asked CEO Frans Jonker

about the way to success…

VIP-News: Please give us a few facts on

your company; you have offices in Germany,

UK, Belgium and the Netherlands,

right?

Frans Jonker: Ticketscript is a European

market leader in the next generation of

ticket sales through SaaS (software as a

service) solutions. Ticketscript is a multinational

company as a result of mer-ging

Ticketscript (pan European) with Trinity

Mobile, the leading UK mobile ticketing

platform provider. Ticketscript now

operates across 5 European countries.

A new office has recently opened in

London and we will soon be operating

out of Manchester as well. In addition

to this, we have offices in Amsterdam in

the Netherlands, Berlin and Dusseldorf

in Germany and Antwerp in Belgium.

The company provides events with an

online plug-and-play ticket shop for selling

e- and mobile tickets from the event’s

own website. The company is actively involved

across music events, nightclubs,

pop venues, festivals, fairs, sporting and

other events. Ticketscript was runner-up

in the 2008 Accenture Innovation Award

and has been nominated for the Van

Speijk Innovation Prize.

Writer:

Manfred Tari

mt@vip-booking.com

For advertising enquiries pls. contact

Peter Briggs pb@vip-booking.com

or +44 870 755 0092

Lay-out:

Pekaye Graphics, Phuket – Thailand

info@pekayegraphics.com

VIP-News: In a world with a lot of competition

in the ticketing market, why should

a promoter choose your service instead

of some of the other service providers?

Frans Jonker: To receive our service,

there is no cost to set up the ticketshop

and no hidden costs at all. We also

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VIP- News - December 2010

boast very low service fees. Our service

includes mobile ticketing so all customers

need to do is bring their phone to

the event and not worry about any paper

tickets. Through mobile ticke-ting we can

collect data on ticket buyers for marketing

purposes.

Customers are able to set up their own online

ticket shop. There are over 50 national

and inter-national payment methods for

transactions. We can also connect your

ticket shop with social media networks to

promote ticket sales. We provide free entrance

solutions and an unmatched personal

service for our clients. Payout is also

extremely fast.

Since its launch in 2006, more than 2000

event organizers across the Netherlands,

Belgium, Germany, Austria and UK have utilized

ticketscript’s free web application.

VIP-News: Mobile ticketing, will that be the

next big thing or what do you think?

Frans Jonker: Since our recent merge, our

focus has turned to increasing the usage

of mobile tickets across Europe and utilizing

the mobile database for event promotion/customer

contact to drive ticket sales.

Ticketing is the ideal product for mobile

phones, it is efficient and there is no need

to see it, try it out or anything else before

you buy! Not only that, we will be able to

offer mobile marke-ting capabilities, the

ability to buy tickets via mobile phones

and provide mobile entrance Apps.

We feel that over the next two years, mobile

will be very important and big in the

ticketing and event industry.

VIP-News: What is your goal for the future,

do you intend to expand to the rest of Europe

or will you fo-cus on the countries you

are now represented in?

Frans Jonker: Having recently received

significant investment, we will continue to

grow in 2011 and by the end of 2011 will

Frans Jonker

have a presence in at least one more large

European destination. Our goal is to remain

one of the market leaders in Europe.

We will be a pan-European company but

our solution and service for each location

will be tailor-made for that country.

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German Promoter Fights Fake Tickets Resellers

Manfred Tari mt@vip-booking.com

The upcoming three Take That shows in

Germany in July 2011 have set new standards

in many terms. Except for the Munich

show all ticketing is handled exclusively

by Smart Tickets and as such excludes not

only the market leader CTS Eventim and

its rival Ticketmaster.de from selling Take

That tickets, apart from a small number of

high price VIP-packages.

MCT, the German promoter of the three

shows in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Munich

have undertaken a promising attempt

to exclude secondary ticketing platforms.

Smart Tickets provides a state of the art ticketing

platform and MCT is using all possible

features to make the ticketing for these

concerts very different. All tickets will be

sold personalized and ticket buyers need to

produce ID-cards at the shows. Another remarkable

move involves the business terms

that accompany purchase of these tickets.

Conditions for the resale of tickets are clearly

defined and can only be done through

a ticket exchange provided by Smart Tickets.

Resale is made consumer friendly by

restricting surcharges to a maximum of 15

percent of the original purchase price.

But what has upset many promoters since

resale platforms such as Ebay, Fansale.de,

Seatwave and Viagogo entered the ticketing

market has happened again. While all

the afore mentioned business terms and

conditions that go with Take That-tickets

are well displayed on the website of Smart

Tickets and MCT, there are, as usual, lots

of overpriced tickets on sale at the mentioned

resale platforms.

When asked about this Scumeck Sabottka,

MD of MCT said: “MCT and our assigned

law firm CMS Hasche Sigle will take action

against every unauthorized vendor that is

offering tickets.” To further confirm that

Seatwave & Co aren’t eligible to sell Take

That tickets, Sabottka said: “There are,

apart from Tickets.de and München Ticket

(Munich Ticket) no other authorised platforms.”

In reference to the legal consequences

arising from the unwanted resale of tickets,

Sabottka said: “There are manifold legal

options, which we prefer not to make

public in detail.”

One problem is communication 2.0. In the

beginning when tickets went on sale for

the tour, the German version of the search

engine Google ranked the official website

takethat.tickets.de in places five to seven

in the top ten search results.

Meanwhile this has changed and the official

ticket sale website is in first place. But

with Seatwave and Viagogo placing online

advertisements at Google linked with the

match words ‘take that’ & “tickets”, Google.de

also benefits indirectly very well from

the upcoming Take That tour. The search

results for the tour are spiked with several

advertisements of questionable ticket sellers

that certainly can’t be considered as

legal ticketing platforms at all.

As regards the business terms of MCT and

Smart Tickets for this tour, Google simply

misdirects punters to non-eligible ticketing

platforms for this tour. Adapting the

search words ‘Take That’ & ‘tickets’ & ‘Düsseldorf’

bring up at least two referrals to

press articles in the newspapers Rheinische

Post and the tabloid paper Bild, warning

about extortionate prices for Take Thattickets

by not only the usual suspects.

But this is only the case for search results

for the show in Düsseldorf. Top ten

search results by Google.de for shows in

Hamburg and Munich do not display any

articles warning about the strict business

terms that are linked with these tickets.

The main problem is that punters can’t see

on the first view who legally sells these

tickets. Besides this, normal concertgoers

in general have no idea how secondary

ticketing works and they are fooled by

touts on many of these platforms.

Having asked Sabottka about the communication

strategy regarding the business

terms he said: “Before the pre-ticket

sale started a press release with information

about ‘regulated pre ticket sale’ was

send out. Additionally on our website mctagentur.com

we display information about

this too. Furthermore we are going to do

interviews regarding this matter.”

Take That

While Seatwave has a disclaimer on the

web site informing that Take That tickets

are only sold personalized, Viagogo only

inform purchasers about this restriction

after they have bought a Take That ticket.

But that’s it. Both companies actually undertake

no efforts to inform that they are

actually not allowed to sell Take That-tickets.

And of course, ticket prices are rising

on these platforms. The most expensive

ticket for a single ticket in the standing

room in Hamburg is 550 Euro plus a serv-

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VIP- News - December 2010

ice charge of 82.50 Euro for Viagogo plus

postal service charges.

However, the law firm that Sabottka have

engaged is an international company that

employ 600 lawyers and is specialized in

antitrust and competition right. Bearing

this in mind and considering the very strict

terms and conditions that apply for Take

That tickets in Germany, Sabottka seems

to be the very first promoter that is able to

cut out ticket resellers.

Unfortunately other promoters like Marek

Lieberberg do not seem to back Sabottka’s

efforts in doing something against secondary

ticketing. In the trade paper Musikwoche

Lieberberg said in a press conference

regarding the upcoming Herbert Grönemeyer

tour in Germany in 2011, “On the

Grönemeyer 2011 tour there are already

tickets available for just only 36 Euro, this is

very reasonable for a stadium concert compared

to U2 or other international artists”

Lieberberg furthermore says in Musikwoche

that he does not work with these ticketing

platforms. Whatever he means by

that, the fact is that Viagogo and Seatwave

are selling tickets for this tour as well.

A Viagogo View on Secondary Ticketing and the

German Take That-Tour

Manfred Tari mt@vip-booking.com

Peter Feldmeier is the national manager of

Viagogo in Germany. He has had a career

in economic science and of course was a

banker for a short time before he started

working for Viagogo.

VIP-News: How would you describe the

secondary ticketing market these days?

»Over the last four years,

the secondary market has

been widely embraced by

major sporting, music and

festival organisers«

- Peter Feldmeier

Peter Feldmeier: Since Viagogo launched

in 2006, the business has grown in multiples

as opposed to percentages which is a

testament to how much consumers value

the safe and secure service viagogo offers

in the secondary market.

Over the last four years, the secondary market

has been widely embraced by major

sporting, music and festival organisers and

this is evident from the partnerships Viagogo

has formed. Viagogo holds partnerships

with many of Germany’s leading sports,

music and publishing properties, including

FC Bayern Munich, Kaiserslautern and Bild

and has partnered with artists such as Madonna

on major European concert tours.

By working with Viagogo, event organisers

are able to manage how their tickets are

resold and protect fans from online fraud

and ticket scams by offering a safe and secure

place to buy and sell tickets.

VIP-News: Has Viagogo experienced a

change in terms of consumer behaviour

recently?

Feldmeier: Prior to Viagogo, there was little

choice for consumers who wanted to purchase

tickets to sold-out events. Many consumers

met touts on street corners or dingy

pubs with no idea if the ticket was ‘fake’

and/or how much to pay for the ticket.

The service Viagogo offers has been widely

accepted by consumers as they understand

that they if they buy a ticket on Viagogo that

they are guaranteed to get the ticket they

paid for in time for the event. This level of

service and security didn’t exist before and

consumers have welcomed this change.

VIP-News: The German promoter for the

upcoming Take That tour included in his

business terms that the resale of tickets

for these three concerts in Germany, other

than at Tickets.de, is forbidden. Are you

concerned that more tour & concert promoters

might adopt such a sales policy?

Feldmeier: Viagogo believes that once a

person has purchased a ticket, it is their

property and they should be allowed to

sell it if they wish. In the same way that

someone who has purchased a book or a

car that they no longer need can resell it

on, they should be able to resell a ticket.

Viagogo’s own research confirms that the

majority of consumers agree, that if they

cannot use a ticket, they should have the

right to recoup the cost of that ticket.

Viagogo believes that T&Cs that prevent

people from reselling their unwanted tickets

are unfair on consumers. Consumers

would not accept such restrictions on any

other item, why should they accept such

restrictions on tickets.

VIP-News: Has Viagogo had to lay off any

staff in the last couple of months?

Feldmeier: As highlighted above, Viagogo

has grown in multiples as opposed

to percentages in the past four years and

now operates local language websites in

26 countries and local offices in the UK,

Germany, France and Holland. Viagogo is

headquartered in London and employs

over 100 people in the UK.

Peter Feldmeier - Viagogo

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Joybringer Concerts Celebrates 40 Years In Business

Allan McGowan am@vip-booking.com

To survive in a business as volatile as the

Live Music Business is something that not

many people do but to survive for 40 years

with the same company and with the same

man at the helm is an achievement worthy

of recognition. VIP-News asked Dragan

Nikitovic, the man behind Joybringer

Concerts, about his experiences along the

road from 1970 – 2010.

VIP-News: How did you come into the

concert business and what was your first

show?

Dragan: I started promoting shows already

when I was at school. We started

Joybringer in 1970. Our first show was a

concert with the German act Guru Guru

on November 3, 1970 at the University in

SAARBRÜCKEN / Germany.

VIP-News: What have been the major

changes in the business from the early

days until today?

Dragan: Due to the technical evolution

and the development of communication

tools the promotion of concerts has become

much easier and more effective. Doing

concerts in the Seventies used to be

much more adventurous. We considered

promoting concerts as being fun rather

than just being a business.

VIP-News: Which concerts, artists or maybe

stage riders have provided you with

the most remarkable memories in your

career?

Dragan: We did a show with the Rolling

Stones in the late eighties. In their stage

rider they requested 40 phone lines on

the site. We had to go all the way to the

former Post Minister to fulfill this request,

as everybody at the Deutsche Telekom

just laughed about it and asked us, “do

the Rolling Stones want to play a concert

or do they just want to make phone

calls”?

VIP-News: Who are the artists you’ve enjoyed

working with for many years?

Dragan: BB King and Joe Cocker. After

many concerts BB King gave us one of his

guitars as present. The guitar is named

Lucille and has been hanging in my office

ever since.

VIP-News: Joybringer runs offices in three

markets. Please tell us about the differences

between these markets.

Dragan

Dragan: In fact there aren’t that many differences

between these markets as our

offices are located close to each other. But

since ten years back we have also been

promoting shows in the East in countries

such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and

also in Albania, Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia.

VIP-News: Are there differences in terms

of the audience’s demands and in particular

also in terms of their behavior in these

markets?

Dragan: At the end of the nineties there

was a strong demand only for classic

rock acts in Eastern Europe, artists who

had their biggest success in the seventies

and eighties. But over the years this has

changed and now the audience over there

wants to see the same acts that are popular

in Western Europe.

VIP-News: As a local promoter you are

mainly active in provincial regions. Is this

an advantage business wise in these times

and if so why?

Dragan: No, I wouldn’t say so, it is almost

the same as in more urban regions.

VIP-News: What kind of productions do

you like the most, small or big ones?

Elton & Dragan

Dragan: Small, because these kind of concerts

are more intimate and personally

I enjoy this. I feel like the music is near to

the people...

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VIP-News: Would you say that business has

become more competitive over the years?

Dragan: Yes.

VIP-News: Joybringer is an independent

company. What is your opinion of corporate

concert companies?

Dragan: We have to persist alongside

those companies and nonetheless have

to find interesting artists we are able to do

business with.

VIP-News: What are your personal recommendations

to newcomers in the Live Music

Industry?

Dragan: The concert industry is now much

more difficult than it was 40 years ago. Today

there is a lot of competition and new

players on the market have to bring loads

of money with them in order to launch a

new concert company successfully.

Dragan with his wife and son

ILMC 23 to ‘Explore the Unknown’

Allan McGowan am@vip-booking.com

The 23rd edition of the International Live

Music Conference will again take place at

The Royal Garden Hotel, London, UK from

11th – 13th March 2011.

As usual the ILMC which has seen attendance

grow every year for last three

editions, will continue its tradition of

balancing the serious intent of the Conference

Agenda with a tongue-in-cheek

approach to the look and feel of the décor

and dressing of the conference rooms

and related events. Next year’s theme

will centre on ‘Lost Worlds’. The following

press release says it all really….

Legend tells of a lost world cut off from

civilization by the towering cliff face

of a forgotten plateau and the impenetrable

jungle that surrounds it. Forever

shrouded from curious eyes by a veil of

mist, it is a land where for aeons time has

stood still, where the once great edifices

of long lost civilizations now lie in ruins

and where savage prehistoric beasts still

roam, feeding on each other for their survival.

A mysterious place where fortunes

are to be won and lives lost...

In March 2011, the International Live Music

Conference (ILMC) is launching its 23rd

major expedition – a voyage of discovery

to explore and chart this realm beyond

the imagination. With 1000 of the most

celebrated and intrepid adventurers on

the planet expected to land at the adventures

starting point in London we expect

the journey to be a perilous undertaking.

With a year of doubt ahead of us the potential

perils and pitfalls will be discussed

across the reaches of the ILMC’s home the

Royal Garden Hotel. With three days of

panels, networking events and awards

dinners the journey should be a memorable

one.

The “Lost Supper and Arthur Awards”

will be at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in

Knishtsbridge, London and promises to

be the biggest celebration of the leaders

in the international live music business

since the dawn of time! For those of

you who don’t know, The Arthurs are the

awards for the international live music industry

which started off as a bit of irreverent

fun but recently have become highly

sought after accolades.

Martin Hopewell as Indiana Jones at ILMC 23

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Market Features

ITALY: An Overview

Allan McGowan am@vip-booking.com

Continuing our occasional series of spotlights

on European Markets, we take a

brief look at the state of the live business

in Italy, with the help of Claudio Trotta

of Barley Arts and Attilio Perissinotti of

Virus Concerts. We also feature an article

by guest writer, Christoph Storbeck of

Striker Entertainment.

A recent (Oct. 26), report produced by Milan-based

university Libera Università di

Lingue e Comunicazione (IULM) in association

with collecting societies SIAE, SCF and

publishers trade body FEM, estimated the

total financial worth of the Italian music industry

in 2009 at €3.7 billion ($5.1 billion)

- a 9% decline on the previous year.

According to the report the 2009 turnover

on physical music sales retail of €375 million

(518.2 million) indicated a drop of 25%

from the previous year. On a more positive

note IULM professor Luca Barbarito, who

presented the report’s finding’s in Milan

yesterday identified growth of 13% in the

digital market with online sales generating

€44 million ($60.8 million) in 2009. But,

he noted that despite the growth in sales

revenue, the market remained “a tenth the

size of the British market and a fifth of the

French and German markets.”

The Report produced overall figures for

the live industry indicating an overall

worth of €781 ($1.07 billion) in 2009, an

increase of 3% on 2008. However Barbarito

cited an increase in ticket prices as

a key factor in the sector’s growth.

Commenting on the report Claudio Buja,

MD of Italian publisher Universal Music

Ricordi Publishing, noted that the French

music industry, “…which has reported

growth for the last four quarters, is clearly

doing better. This is not because their industry

is better than ours, but because

their politicians actually help it. Politics in

Italy is, across the spectrum, pure demagoguery.”

He continued, “We need legislation

that will help the music industry

and we need responsible politicians who

aren’t scared of the electorate.”

Politics, right or wrong certainly appear

to figure prominently in music industry

events in Italy; recently The European

Commission investigated the spending of

approximately 600,000 euros of European

Union regional development funding on

an Elton John concert held in Naples last

year. The organisers of the Piedigrotta festival,

of which the concert was part, claim

it helped promote Naples, and brought

in new custom for local businesses, but

controversial right wing Euro MP Mario

Borghezio from the north of the country,

says the gig was a “shameful” misuse of EU

funds. The money may have to be repaid.

The Professionals’ Point of View:

Claudio Trotta of Barley Arts is one of

Italy’s most established and well-known

characters, having promoted some 5000

concerts in a thirty-year plus career. Italy

was not seen as an organised or trustworthy

market by US and UK agents when he

started making offers for international

acts. But starting off with mid-level acts

he built up trust in both his Company and

the territory, and soon progressed to presenting

major artists such as Bruce Springsteen,

Kiss, Elvis Costello and many others.

Attilio

In November this year, Attilio Perissinotti

of Virus Concerti was presented with the

official Italian independent music prize

PIMI 2010 at the 14th edition of the annual

M.E.I (Independent Labels Meeting Festival).

The Award recognises his work as an

Agent, and a promoter, over the last twenty

years. His roster includes Il Teatro Degli

Orrori, Linea 77, T.A.R.M., Casino Royale,

One Dimensional Man. In the mid 1990’s

he started the Music in Village Festival

and the Beach Bum Rock Festival. He promotes

Italian and international artists such

as Placebo, Simple Minds and Iggy & The

Stooges. In 2007 he founded TIJ Events

in London, to bring the best Italian musicians,

such as Ligabue, Roberto Benigni,

Franco Battiato, Giovanni Allevi, Beppe

Grillo, Tiromancino, Negramaro, Vinicio

Capossela to the city.

VIP-News asked Claudio and Attilio to give

us their views on business in Italy today

and in the future:

VIP-News: Currently the live industry is

facing problems in certain sectors and

particularly in certain territories. The US

and some European territories are suffering

due to the economic downturn. How

do you see the overall state of the market

in Italy at the moment?

»The Italian Music Market is

suffering a public crisis due

to a lack of investment by the

Government, particularly in

small capacity venues«

- Attilio

Claudio: Quite bad, most of the shows are

not selling out and not even getting close

and I believe the worst has still to come...

Attilio: The Italian Music Market is suffering

a public crisis due to a lack of investment

by the Government, particularly

in small capacity venues. Concerts with

capacities of 4000 and more are doing

pretty well.

11

VIP-BOOKING.COM


VIP- News - December 2010

VIP-News: Are certain sectors doing particularly

well, or particularly badly at the moment?

It appears to me that Italy should

be a good territory for Festivals, but apart

from Arezzo Wave and some City events

the Festival market seems to be, shall we

say, inconsistent? What is your view?

Attilio: Alternative music is doing well

now, but has never been a good territory

for festivals. There are a lot of new free

events under 5000 capacity that are doing

well but are really unlike events in the rest

of Europe. It’s a problem of our culture,

and I don’t think it’s only a matter of music

culture!

Claudio: Italy is NOT the country for festivals...people

are too conservative and

snobby, locations are not guaranteed for

years as they should be to create a real

following, not dependent only on headliners.

On the top of this HEINEKEN JAMMIN

FESTIVAL have illogically overpaid acts for

the last 10 years, going nowhere, and using

wrong sites, like the one in Venice recently.

This all makes it impossible for real

entrepreneurs to develop events based on

reality and not on simply throwing money

away...the only sectors still doing well are

a few big Italian acts, a few new acts, outstanding

rock superstars like Bruce Springsteen,

AC/Dc, Bon Jovi and Iron Maiden,

and a few high class acts performing in

high class venues both in and outdoors.

VIP-News: How are major concerts doing -

is there a worry as elsewhere that there is

a lack of headliners, or that the available

headliners are trying to play the same cities

too often?

Claudio: Yes, it is getting worse with a lack

of acts able to play arenas, stadium and

open air sites and I guess this is an international

issue and not only an Italian one

Attilio: Major Concerts are going well, but

yes, there is a lack of headliners or better

new bands/artists that could be future

headliners.

VIP-News: How is the club and middlesized

venue circuit doing? Do any of these

venues receive subsidies or other support?

Is sponsorship still readily available in

Italy?

Attilio: Club and mid-size venues are closing

or book cover bands. It’s unlikely that

anyone receives subsidies from the Government.

Claudio: They are suffering, no support or

subsidies, sponsors are only on big acts

and they do not support new music and

newcomers at all

VIP-News: How is the market for local acts?

Are there many Italian acts becoming ‘export-ready’?

Claudio: Now the only new acts breaking

are the ones from reality shows like X Factor,

Amici and so on. Most of the time they

do not have any skill or personality unfortunately

and I personally hate these horrible

TV shows and the way they treat music

and musicians. Not really any new acts

ready to be exported, we still have only a

few acts with international appeal, Laura

Pausini, Eros Ramazotti, Paolo Conte, Zucchero

and that’s it...

Attilio: At the moment there are some new

acts that could be ‘exportable artists, that

don’t sing in Italian or produce a specific

‘melodic’ sound. Acts such as Crookers,

Bloody Beatroots, ZU, Aucan, Motel Connection,

Heike Has The Giggles are surely

the new generation of music that is ready,

and European Promoters are becoming

aware of it.

VIP-News: A recent IULM report (see intro)

said that although the overall music market

had declined, Italy’s live music industry

was worth €781 ($1.07 billion) in 2009, an

increase of 3% with respect to 2008. The

report cited an increase in ticket prices

as a key factor in the sector’s growth. Do

you agree with this and do you feel that

the live market is actually growing? How

is your own business at the moment? Have

you had to adapt the way you do things recently

or is business much the same?

Attilio: The Market is not growing , the

ticket price yes! My own business has increased

by 45% in 2010 because all of our

artists toured across Italy, three of them

with great new albums.

Claudio: It is not so easy to change the way

you work as a booking agent but we are

developing some projects with sponsors,

as well as expanding beyond Italy setting

up offices in major European capital cities.

Claudio: Yes it grows only because of the

crazy ticket prices we all charge. My business

is stable but all is so very very difficult

and the costs are too high to make

real money and to think happily about the

future.

VIP-News: How do you see the future?

Attilio: Hard for new acts and promoters

will not be so big.

Claudio: Tough, tough and tough!

Christoph Storbeck

Striker Entertainment:

Claudio Trotta with Springsteen

For several years now, I have been touring

and running around international fairs

and events; either for my own artists and

business, or representing the international

affairs of AudioCoop, MMF Italy, or

of course being hired as a booker or tour

12

VIP-BOOKING.COM


VIP- News - December 2010

manager. Exchanging opinions about Italian

music and culture with people from all

around the world has been inspiring and

has raised one question in particular: What

is needed to generate hope in the midst

of a cultural and economic crisis, not just

specific to the music industry?

important festival in Italy, with exclusive

acts and international first class booking,

which generated a huge turnover in that

little northern Italian region. To deny the

licenses and to finally expel the festival

the organizers were accused of promoting

drug abuse.

gifted voices. Some songs appear to be

squeeze thousands of years of melodramatic

history into three-and-a-half minutes.

Eros, Gianna, Laura, Tiziano… like it

or not: it is undeniably well produced and

succeeds in international markets.

Politics and music

Cultural distinctions

Italy is generally threatened by bureaucratic

and political problems. Public funding is

an obscure experience. The FUS, the public

funding for performing arts and music,

has been widely discussed by politicians. It

has been increased, decreased and might

be totally cut. Right now almost half of it

supports Opera, and less than 14% goes

to all other kinds of music. In Italy a public

funding of popular music through the FUS

will probably remain at best science fiction,

or even more remote regarding the

tendency towards constant cuts.

A dubious driver of the current Italian Live

business are the free public funded shows

staged in squares, streets, town parties

and at religious events. Here the artists

perform as a grand finale and are mostly

pretty overpaid. This business often suffers

from favouritism and supports only

the commissioners, which include political

and other organizations.

There is no official export bureau. Past

initiatives between the trade associations

have come to a bad end. Any public funding

through other entities like the chamber

of commerce, the Ministry for Youth,

appears erratic – so it’s best not to count

on it. Artistic and business criteria are often

secondary and success is often related

to how good the political connections are.

As in some other European countries, a

huge drift to right wing, ultra conservative

and sometimes just profit-oriented power

politics have been affecting Italy for quite

some time now. This obviously hinders

concerts, Milan for example, has an almost

ridiculous dB limit of 78 (!).

A recent fatal example is the migration of

Rototom Sunsplash from Osoppo to Benicassim

in Spain: After 16 years, Europe’s

biggest reggae festival was kicked out of

the country. Rototom had been the most

Besides the cultural and geographical differences

between north and south, there’s

another problem that comes to light when

promoting acts abroad. The music management

educational programs have only

been introduced within the past few years,

so there’s still a lack of professionalism in

the industry. Also the artists, and not only

the Italians, have to decide: Stay in the box

or get out of it.

For international export, the language

barrier is still a problem. Especially in the

contemporary rock/indie scene, English

is a must. Artists that are accepted both

in Italy and in English speaking countries

are rare. To succeed, the only card they can

play is to be seen as cool and exotic.

For a long time the Italian market has been

self-sufficient. Realizing that markets other

than Italy are necessary partners and that

the rules are not made in Italy must be a

shock. Here is another: To play a role in the

21st century, the Italian music market has

to change. If it does not, sooner or later the

international business, and potential audiences,

will move on and it will be a matter

of “next please”.

Excellent!

However there are many good things

about Italy, everybody loves Italy! Bill Emmott

former director of the English journal

The Economist obviously does so and

makes some supportive suggestions on

Italy’s development in his new book ‘Forza,

Italia’. According to him, Italians need

to gain a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. It is

not surprising that at a music conference

organised by AudioCoop/MEI at Sangiorgi

in north-Italian Como the consensus was

pretty much the same.

The Italians excel in producing romantic

love songs delivered by outstandingly

Bloody Beetroots

There are a lot of Italian acts that definitely

could make it internationally. Some have

done well so far: The Crookers and the

Bloody Beetroots are definitely poster

boys of a let us call it ‘Italo-Dance’ revival.

Reggae-Star Alborosie attracts huge attention

in the reggae community worldwide.

Lacuna Coil has always had a huge

fanbase abroad. For international success

it seems important to have some particular

international link like heritage, residence

or management. Funnily enough most of

these international careers do not automatically

include national success within

Italy. Yet there is hope.

Today the number of international careers

starting from an Italian career increases.

You might know the excellent Jovanotti,

Vinicio Capossela and Carmen Consoli

who frequently perform in the US and

have gained some serious media coverage

(NY times, NPR). For all three the same NY

PR and marketing-company MG Limited

does a great job. Also ‘Very Italian’ Roy

Paci, Bandabardò and Modena City Ramblers

tour pretty successfully abroad, as

do Italo-Alternative #1 Afterhours sometimes.

Lately, Italo-stadium-softrocker Vasco

Rossi filled out the Tempeldrome in Berlin

and Italian ‘Bruce Springsteen Ligabue has

his eye on foreign countries as well. Vasco-

‘UK’-shirts are sold at the Italian megastores

and the news speak about the “conquering

of foreign lands”. This sounds very

promising but let us take a look behind

the scenes: Thanks to discount airlines

fans can follow their idols all over Europe.

13

VIP-BOOKING.COM


VIP- News - December 2010

It is quite common for crowds of Italian

fans to jump on a plane for the chance

to meet face to face with their Italian superstar

in a small club in London, Paris

or Berlin. The recruitment of the strong

Italian ex-pat communities plays an important

role, too.

True or false - it is the news of ‘Italy touring

the world’ that encourages Italian

musicians and that can generate a ‘real’

international audience in the end.

Thanks to the increasing interest, International

promoter TIJ Events very successfully

promotes Italian artists around Europe.

Italo-music promo event Hitweek

looks into the States (LA and NY, for 2010

in the two weeks before CMJ) and features

big names, supported by FIMI (major

record company association), trade

commissions and government as well.

The problem for the artist is how to make

up in a short time for what has not been

treated properly in the past. So thumbs

up to those, who have the courage to

set up international careers from the beginning:

Ghost Records who have great

returns; Calibro 35 who have just been

merged into RED with Bruce Willis and

Mojomatics who must be exhausted after

touring the globe.

Highlights in Italy

Second Grace

insights on that in all-italian onlinemag

www.rockit.it)

Definitely a place to be is the Sicilian

Ypsigrock festival which is set up in the

medieval castle of Sicily’s most avantguard

town Castelbuono. The festival

surprises with a selective indie/electro/

rock-line up and has built a fine reputation

over the last years.

Those of you who already have been

touring in Italy will confirm: For the major

part it’s good fun, nice clubs, great

food and cool people. And these days

you get paid as well, even if you’re almost

unknown!

How to become rich and wealthy

For sure Italian artists can refer inherited

assets such as their understanding of

melody and vocal traditions, which are

to their comparative advantage, and to

my mind, something to be proud of. Do

Italians write the better songs? Not necessarily,

but including the Italian heart

and soul in a business-plan seems a

good idea to me.

Let get to heart of the aspiring Italian

music business where the Indie-Label La

Tempesta provides excellent taste and

spirit. Having a strong focus on Italian

language, La Tempesta has been signing

many of the most popular Italian

speaking Indie/Rock music. Their portfolio

might turnout as the jackpot. (More

It is necessary to open up and understand

where the actual status quo in the

international network: Being ‘Famous

in Italy’ doesn’t really matter right now.

Considering foreign culture and habits

in everyday business is what I am trying

to do in my small, grass roots business

with Second Grace, Waines and others.

Installing a solid ground in the home

country through a change of politics and

offering good international education to

professionals could definitely improve

the situation, particularly for working

abroad.

Calibro 35

Anyway, if I had already found the passepar-tout-solution

I would probably be

rich and wealthy, instead of muddling

through all the time, but I believe myself,

and Italy, to be on the right track.

14

VIP-BOOKING.COM


VIP- News - December 2010

Business News

Manfred Tari mt@vip-booking.com

Music In Shares – the Annual Round Up

Live Nation – Looking Forward to 2011

One year ago the share price of Live Nation was $8.0. Until April 26

the share price only went up, even reaching the level of $16.70 before

melting down on August 16 to $8.17. But since then the share

price was on the rise again and recovered up to $11.50.

Live Nation still is alive, but a bit less kicking as the company has

had to dismiss staff. In the Netherlands the subsidiary Mojo Concerts

laid off 11 of the 90 staff. The attempt by Live Nation to set

up an office in Germany failed. However, in a research report by

Goldman Sachs from the beginning of December the share price

recommendation for the next 6 months was $12.50.

In reference to Live Nation and the concert market in general the

analysts came to some interesting conclusions. One is: “Further

constraining demand, we believe that the North American concert

industry is losing the young concert-goer. Roughly 2/3rds of

the acts that made up the top 50 tours in 2009 were over the age

of 45.”

In addition to this the analysts prdict, “After an expected doubledigit

attendance decline for the industry in North America in 2010,

we do expect attendance to grow modestly in 2011, especially as

U2, Prince, Lady Gaga and Kenny Chesney return to the road.”

15

VIP-BOOKING.COM


VIP- News - December 2010

CTS Eventim – Moving Up

As usual, the share price of the German market leader is on its way up. One

year ago at 33.10 Euro, the share is now at 45.50 Euro. After maintaining its

price level until end of February, the share maintained from March onwards to

mid July when it dropped down to 34.40 Euro until August. But since then it

has climbed more than 11 Euro.

The financial market seems to be impressed by latest business reports and

forgets that CTS Eventim once intended to become a global ticketing concern

due to its deal with Live Nation. Now the company is focusing on expansion

in Europe only, but nevertheless is able therewith to compensate income expectations

linked with that deal.

artist avails ››

Alannah Myles - Acoustic/Unplugged Tour

Territory: Europe

Period: 1/3/2011 - 30/4/2011

Agency: ARM Entertainment

Phone: +1 651 483 8754

E-mail: ds@armentertainment.com

Homepage: www.alannahmyles.com

Sass Jordan

Territory: Europe

Period: February / March

Agency: Paperclip Agency

Agent: Hilde Spille

Phone: +31 24 323 9322

E-mail: hilde@paperclip-agency.com

Homepage: www.paperclip-agency.com

Admiral T

Territory: Worldwide

Period: 2011

Agency: CARAMBA Spectacles

Agent: Clotaire

Phone: +33 1 4218 1718

E-mail: caramba@clotaire.fr

Homepage: www.caramba.fr

DEAG – The December Increase

It took the DEAG share until the middle of August to raise the price level. In

2009 on December 15 the share was just hitting the two Euro border at 2.01.

On May 24 it even went down to 1.6 Euro, but on November 30 the share

climbed up to 2.74 Euro before it went down until November 15 to 2.47 Euro.

Basically the share prices of these three companies are better than one year

ago. While the market in the US appears to be experiencing more difficult

times than in Europe, it is the case that market over here is also shifting. Lower

sales of high price shows and in general less stadium and arena shows have an

impact on the big ones of this industry. So far it is too early to do an outlook

for 2011 but it seems to be like 2010. The announcements for very big shows

in the top segment of this business are not in sight yet except for a very few

such as Take That.

However, the progress of these companies in the last two years is already a

good sign because it is not so long ago that the world economy was considered

crushed.

LA Guns (feat. Phil Lewis & Steve Riley)

Territory: Europe

Period: 1/9/2011 - 30/11/2011

Agency: ARM Entertainment

Agent: Dana Strutz

Phone: +1 651 483 8754

E-mail: ds@armentertainment.com

Homepage: www.armentertainment.com

Ledfoot

Territory: Europe

Period: March - August

Agency: Vox Artist

Agent: Eivind Brydoy

E-mail: eivind@voxartist.no

Homepage: www.ledfoot.no

Martha Reeves and The Vendellas

Territory: Europe

Period: 15/02/2011 - 30/03/2011

Agency: Sport Star Management ApS

Agent: Carsten Hilding Larsen

Phone: +45 4071 7722

E-mail: chl@sportstarmanagement.dk

Homepage: www.sportstarmanagement.dk

More Artist avails on:

www.vip-booking.com

Post your Artist avails on:

www.vip-booking.com

16

VIP-BOOKING.COM


VIP- News - August - December 2005 2010

Monthly featured Artist ››

NEIL BROPHY BAND

Origin:

England

Style:

Folk Roots Rock / Celtic

Tour period: Summer 2011

Territory: Scandinavia / UK / Benelux / Germany

Agency:

Brophy Bookings

Name:

Neil Brophy

Email:

info@brophybookings.com

Phone: +45 2023 7149

EIL BROPHY BAND (based in Copenhagen)

would like to play at your festival in 2011.

NEIL BROPHY BAND are currently recording

new tracks for next years CD RAG &

BONE. Some of these tracks are taken from

the solo album ROOTS BOOTS & BARS.

Earlier on this year The Record Collector

7” EP Red Vinyl Single was released

on Record Collector 7. on international

Record Store Day. This label will also be

releasing all of Neil’s back catologue on

CD and MP3.

NEIL BROPHY BAND 2011

Songsmiths, Crowdsmiths, Folksmiths &

Rocksmiths are what make this band boil.

Both Brian Armstrong & Martin Dale are

tradesmen of live performance coming

from a rich woolly background of folk / rock

and backed by the driving rythms of the

native New Zealander Sharne Nathan. The

band always deliver an energetic upbeat

performance with their anthemic choruses

and catchy melodies fronted by Neil Brophy

and his charmful approach to personally

delivering his songs to the audience.

THE RECORD COLLECTOR 7” EP was released

on International Record Store Day

in april and received some great reviews

and national airplay in Denmark & the UK

where it was played on BBC 2’s Glory Days

program hosted by record producer Pete

Waterman.

“Another gem from one of the unsung

heroes of English songwriting. Essential

listening for everyone who enjoys proper

music.” - GRAHAM JONES author of Last

Shop Standing (Whatever Happened to

Record Shops?)

One to watch, On this 4-track EP. Brophy’s

Billy Bragg-like social commentary covers

collecting records, football and life in

general, Paul Rigby’s Most Wanted. - THE

RECORD COLLECTOR

Festival Reviews

Oysterbands Big Session Festival:

Following Curtis is Denmark based Neil

Brophy. Neil is a man with a unique voice,

versed in the traditions of English folk and

Dylan-esque protest. His songs talk of a

land where the Devil can be found in a

whisky jar and brave honest local lads defend

their jobs and homes against wicked

Iron Masters. Its great stuff, entirely predictable,

and all the better for it.

www.virtualfetsival.com

Levellers Beautiful Days Festival:

Neil is known for his English/Celtic acoustic

folk anthems, catchy, lively charming

songs that have been going down a

storm across Europes festivals. His charismatic

stage presence oozes warmth,

the songs push out the melody and the

choruses are irrepressible. Flitting across

the musical mores, a little folk here, a little

rock there a lot of fun everywhere, he

is a real crowd pleaser.

Middlewich Festival

So, Neil Brophy, not only one of the nice

guys in the business but a competent performer

who’s songs paint pictures. He’s

your real contemporary folkie not out of

place on folk club or main stage and he

has been around a bit, seen a bit of life and

sings about it because it means something

to him, a genuine professional. He opened

up for Nick Harper at Middlewich this year

and audience wanted more. Main stage for

Neil next year without a doubt.

Niel Brophy Band

.........Liz Rosenfield Middlewich Folk and

Boat Festival Event Organiser

17

VIP-BOOKING.COM


VIP- News - December 2010

Member presentation ››

In this section we offer members of VIP-Booking.com some space to present their company to VIP-News readers.

If you would also like to present your company please contact Peter Briggs at pb@vip-booking.com

Christopher Entertainment

Christopher Entertainment is a Danish owned management,

promotor and booking agency, established in 1986.

Christopher Entertainment has over the years presented some of

the world’s finest artists such as: Whitney Houston, Tina Turner,

Santana, Boyzone, The Corrs etc. As a booking agency Christopher

Entertainment has delivered artists to major festivals such

as: The Roskilde Festival, The Midtfyns Festival, The Langeland

Festival, The Skanderborg Festival, The Jelling Musicfestival etc.

Christopher Entertainment is management for mostly Danish

artists: Stig Rossen, Gudrun, Jacob Andersen etc and we represent

Andrew Strong and Barrage in Scandinavia.

For more info please see www.christopher.dk

About Our Company

VIP-Booking’s core product is the Internet’s oldest and largest database

for the European Live Entertainment Industry www.vip-booking.com

developed as a tool for industry professionals. Since it’s

launch in the year 2000, we have consistently offered our subscribers

the very best in database services and now boast subscribers in

over 30 countries.

Today VIP-Booking offers a range of tools for the industry – including

VIP-News, VIP-Booking, VIP-Book and VIP-Contract.

Please visit vip-booking.com for further information.

Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.

®

vip-booking.com

18

VIP-BOOKING.COM

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