Controversial EDM mogul Robert Sillerman dies, aged 71

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Controversial EDM mogul Robert Sillerman dies, aged 71Afrojack And Sillermand Nyse Credit Billboard

Robert Sillerman, the former head of SFX Entertainment, died of respiratory failure on Sunday, November 24, according to reports confirmed by Billboard. The controversial entertainment mogul was the center of extended legal woes throughout the decade, after SFX bought up numerous EDM events and platforms including Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, Beatport, and more before tumultuous restructuring efforts and ultimately filing for bankruptcy.

In 2000, Sillerman sold the first iteration of SFX to Clear Channel for $4.4 billion, which would eventually be rebranded as concert giant Live Nation. In 2012, Sillerman relaunched SFX as a dance music promotion venture, successfully grabbing a major chunk of the market behind an aggressive acquisition strategy that ultimately resulted in SFX’s demise. The company would return once again in 2016 thanks to AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips, this time as LiveStyle, the group behind Destructo‘s AMF properties, Electric Zoo, and many more. Earlier this year, Sillerman was ordered to pay $179,000 in a securities fraud case.

Featured image: Robin Marchant

In company first, Live Nation aims to break 100 million ticket sales in 2019

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In company first, Live Nation aims to break 100 million ticket sales in 2019Livenation

This week, Live Nation has released its third-quarter financial report for the year, offering unique insight into the ebbing and flowing live music industry.

Front and center among the company’s growth is the surging global ticket sales, which have exceeded 92 million individual tickets through mid-October. The 6-percent rise since last year sets 2019 up to be the first year that Live Nation breaches 100 million tickets sold. The increase in ticket sales is in part due to Live Nation’s ambition in establishing new venues, with a particular focus on renovating existing venues for something new. This year alone, the company added 36 venues to its global portfolio, including the Brooklyn Bowls in both New York and Las Vegas, as well as Sportpaleis in Belgium. This growth in tickets sold should continue to boom, too, with 1500 stadium, arena and amphitheater shows already booked for 2020, a triple-digit rise from this time last year.

Overall, Live Nation’s reported revenue of 10.8 billion makes 2019 their best year ever, but the company’s stock dropped a drastic 8 percent on Friday when their quarterly report was released. Paramount among contributing factors are the much-enhanced income tax expenses faced by the company as Live Nation continues to expand internationally. 2019 has seen the company’s income tax expensive jump a whopping 60 percent, with 85 percent of the company’s total taxes being accrued in foreign countries. Another reasoning for the dipping stock value is the fact that while the company is reporting record numbers, they still missed Wall Street’s expectations by a significant amount.

Those looking to get their dataset on can view Live Nation’s third quarterly report here.

Live Nation admits to allocating tickets specifically for resale sites

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Live Nation admits to allocating tickets specifically for resale sitesMetallica Performance Bogota Dec 2016 Billboard 1548

Recently, a report from Billboard revealed the worldwide production conglomerate Live Nation puts tickets directly onto resale sites for popular shows. Pundits have suspected this was the case for quite a while after seeing tickets for instantly sold-out Live Nation shows appearing immediately on reseller platforms such as StubHub and ViaGogo.

According to the report, Live Nation engages in this practice to maximize profits by listing tickets on the resale sites at a rate close to the original price, thus mitigating the extreme increases in prices from scalpers, preventing fans from purchasing the tickets at all.

The report also states artists are usually the ones to make the requests for this action.

“…about a dozen artists out of the thousands we work with asked us to do this,” Live Nation said in a statement to Billboard.

Read the full report from Billboard here, which surrounds Metallica’s WorldWired tour.

Photo credit: Jeff Yeager/Metallica/Getty Images

Another gig bites the dust: Swedish House Mafia pull out of Weekend Festival

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Another gig bites the dust: Swedish House Mafia pull out of Weekend FestivalSwedish House Mafia Press Shot

It’s an angsty time to be a Swedish House Mafia fan. A good deal of their followers have complained about the lack of new music from the trio—to which Steve Angello let loose a searing response. On top of that, however, they’ve cancelled yet another gig: Finland’s Weekend Festival.

“We have production issues that can’t be fixed with such short notice and are forced to postpone the show to another date,” explained their posts on social media. The cancellation immediately stirred recent memories of their Ultra Korea dropout, which appeared to be for similar reasons. While it’s impossible to know what’s been going on behind the scenes with the iconic outfit, it is a noteworthy coincidence that these cancellations coincide with previous rumors that they’d signed a deal with Live Nation that would force cancellations of Ultra Korea and other festivals across Europe. They’d also been rumored to be headliners at Tomorrowland’s 2019 edition, but were revealed to have not been officially added to the bill.

Live Nation to eliminate single-use plastic at five major UK festivals

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Live Nation to eliminate single-use plastic at five major UK festivalsWireless Fesitval

By 2021, single-use plastic will be a thing of the past for Download, Latitude, Leeds, Reading, and Wireless festivals, according to organizer Live Nation. The event promotion giant recently announced that it would phase out single-use plastics at the five UK-based events, in a long-term plan to make Live Nation events more environmentally sustainable. Single-use bottles, straws, and toiletries will consequently be removed from Live Nation events in near future, beginning with five of the UK’s most recognizable festival brands. The company also intends to ban glitter and cable ties.

The green initiative is one small step in Live Nation’s larger plan to make all Live Nation venues zero-waste by 2030. The company also aims to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the same year.

“Hosting over 35,000 concerts and festivals each year, Live Nation has the opportunity and responsibility to provide our artists and fans with a live music experience that protects our planet,” said Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment. “The adverse effects of climate change are undeniable, and we want to use our place on the world stage to be part of the solution. Together our concerts, venues, festivals, and offices around the world are setting new sustainability standards for live events.”

Live Nation is not the first to strive for a more environmentally conscious live music experience moving forward; Glastonbury notably eliminated plastic bottles from its 2019 iteration.

Live Nation To Ban All Plastics Use At Festivals

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Music festivals draw huge crowds, usually resulting in a lot of waste and trash. It’s a sad reality to look down and see all the trash on the ground. Especially at big events that draw crowds as big as 50,000 people or more. Trash stacks up quick and overflowing trashcans aren’t unusual sites to see.

The post Live Nation To Ban All Plastics Use At Festivals appeared first on EDM Sauce.

Kaskade cancels forthcoming iteration of SunSoaked festival

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Kaskade cancels forthcoming iteration of SunSoaked festivalSunsoaked

Less than a month before the would-be third edition of SunSoaked music festival, Kaskade has confirmed that his beachfront brainchild will not be returning to Long Beach for its scheduled two-day run mid-July.

“…At a little less than three weeks out, it’s become obvious to me that we are falling short, and I’ve been left with an impossible choice,” reads a Kaskade-signed announcement via the festival’s homepage.

Kaskade was expected to headline the July 13-14 2019 iteration of the festival, alongside Maryland-born rapper, Logic, who, with the backing of Live Nation, was helping champion the festival’s production this year. Canadian singer/songwriter Grimes and Detroit’s Quinn XCII also topped the 2019 ticket. SunSoaked began in 2017, nearly tripling in size for its sold-out follow-up in 2018.

Though Kaskade has yet to expound on the particulars hindering the event, ticket-holders are expected to be fully reimbursed with no action necessary on their parts, per the announcement. With the festival front, an invariably volatile market as it is, more saturated than ever, SunSoaked is one of many promising festivals in recent years to officially fold. But discernment and transparency have certainly proven far more favorable in the long run on organizers’ behalves.

Photo Courtesy of Kaskade

Swedish House Mafia may cancel upcoming festival appearances after alleged deal with Live Nation

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Swedish House Mafia may cancel upcoming festival appearances after alleged deal with Live NationD2iqPbccAUHBBt

While Axwell may have declared that it’s “Swedish House Mafia for life this time” during the trio’s reunion appearance at Ultra Music Festival in 2018, the supergroup’s upcoming festival schedule across Europe may be in jeopardy.

The recent turmoil first ignited this past weekend after Sebastian Ingrosso did not take the stage for a slated back-to-back performance alongside Steve Angello at XS Las Vegas as a result of “passport issues.” In a completely unprecedented announcement just two days following, Ultra Korea was unwillingly forced to cancel the Swede’s closing headlining slot and while the reason has not been disclosed, speculation has arose that it was due to stage production disagreements. At this time, no official statement has been released from Swedish House Mafia or their team.

The story has now taken a striking turn according to a report from DJ Mag Germany, with an intriguing, yet-to-be-substantiated bit of info that they’ve received from sources close to Swedish House Mafia. The report reveals that the Swedes have quietly closed a deal with Live Nation for an upcoming North American stadium tour and it may affect their forthcoming summer festival appearances. Those close to Swedish House Mafia believe that both Live Nation and the trio “have the intention to cancel the festival gigs where Live Nation doesn’t profit directly or indirectly.” It comes as no surprise that an artist’s headlining tour provides an immeasurable ceiling of freedom in determining all event elements and that was evident in the trio’s intricate stage production during their inaugural handful of reunion dates this past May.

Fans across the Eastern Hemisphere would certainly suffer if Swedish House Mafia and Live Nation pull the plug on their festival appearances this summer, which currently include Ultra Europe, Creamfields, Ushuaïa and countless others running through the end of September.

Dancing Astronaut has reached out to Live Nation for comment at time of publishing, with no reply yet received.

H/T: DJ Mag Germany

Featured image: Alive Coverage

Judge rules in Woodstock 50’s favor, festival can continue but remains in deep financial trouble

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Judge rules in Woodstock 50’s favor, festival can continue but remains in deep financial troubleMichael Lang

The fate of Woodstock 50 is now slightly clearer, albeit bleaker, as the New York Supreme Court recently ruled that the anniversary mega-fest may continue, but that Dentsu—the Japanese conglomerate that invested $18 million in the event—is not required to return their investment.

Woodstock 50 has been in limbo since Dentsu rescinded their investment last month; even going so far as to announce the event’s cancellation, though Michael Lang, the festival’s co-founder and one of the lead organizers for Woodstock 50, has been vocally committed to seeing the festival through.

The decision by New York Supreme Court judge, Barry Ostrager, pertained to the rights of Dentsu and their subsidiary Amplfi regarding whether they were contractually permitted to cancel Woodstock 50 of their own accord after ending their relationship with the event. In this regard, the judge ruled in favor of Lang in that the festival can continue, but according to Ostrager’s ruling the attorney for Woodstock 50, Marc Kasowitz, was unable to meet “the high burden entitling it to a mandatory injunction forcing Amplifi to provide W50 with access to the $17.8 million W50 is not contractually entitled to control under (its contract between Dentsu/Amplifi and Woodstock 50).”

Now, the festival is essentially bankrupt. Lang and the rest of Woodstock 50 team will be forced to find new sources of income if the event is to proceed as planned for it’s announced dates of August 16–18 in Watkins Glen, New York. 

Also in his decision, Ostrager noted a number of issues with the festival, contending, “multiple permits necessary to conduct the festival were not in place, tickets had not yet been sold, no budget had been agreed upon, necessary and expensive structural improvements to the festival site and related areas had not yet started, and the production company essential to produce the festival [Superfly] had withdrawn.”

There are also reports that Lang misrepresented the capacity of the festival to Dentsu, claiming an attendance cap of over 150,000 people while Superfly—the production company responsible for producing the festival at the time—gave a figure closer to one third of that total, rounding out near 65,000.

This was just one of the conflicting accounts that created tension between Dentsu, Lang, and Superfly. In emails included in the case, Lang claimed the opposing capacity figures were a deliberate attempt to sabotage the festival into losing millions of dollars. In further emails, Dentsu Chief Operating Officer DJ Martin suggested approaching another production company, CID Entertainment, to gain “leverage” over Superfly.

With the growing contention looming, Superfly severed ties with Woodstock 50 once Dentsu had announced they would terminate their investment, leaving the event without a production company. Lang reportedly reached out to entertainment giants AEG and Live Nation for a $20 million investment, but those negotiations failed.

Despite a situation that is eerily reminiscent of the notorious blunder that was Fyre Festival, Lang maintained this decision in court a win and gave a hopeful statement in response, “We have always relied on the truth and have never lost faith that the Festival would take place,” he said. “I would like to thank all of the talent and their representatives for their patience and support. Woodstock 50 will be an amazing and inspiring festival experience.”

H/T: Billboard

Tinder makes festival hookups easier with new feature

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Tinder makes festival hookups easier with new featureCoachella2019 W2 121430 1

Many people dream of finding a fling to share special moments with at a music festival. Tinder has heard these desires—and also seen them via usage patterns on their platform during said events—and has accordingly launched a new ‘Festival Mode’ in partnership with Live Nation and AEG. Quite a few major festivals have joined on thus far, including EDC Orlando and Las Vegas, Governor’s Ball, HARD Summer, and Bonnaroo. The feature spreads to the UK as well with Parklife, Lovebox, and more on board.

Similar to features on Tinder Plus that allow users to swipe in different locations than their home base, Festival Mode helps facilitate dates ahead of the festival chaos. Users can select their chosen event, swipe right, and chat all before arriving. The press release calls attention to the benefit of this new service, proudly asserting, “No longer are your connections limited to your campsite neighbors or whose shoulders you stood on during the headliner’s performance.”

What a time to be alive (and get laid).

H/T: Stereogum