FESTIVAL NEWS

AiE LogoLive music accessibility charity Attitude Is Everything has said that the live sector is missing out on 2.5 million ticket sales a year – equal to about £66 million in annual revenue – because while promoters make events accessible to deaf and disabled customers, they are not making it easy for those fans to buy tickets. In the group’s latest State Of Access report, Attitude Is Everything says that 83% of the disabled gig-goers it surveyed were put off buying tickets because of inaccessible booking systems. So called ‘accessible tickets’ are often sold via telephone booking lines, rather than online, which make it harder for customers who require such tickets to make a purchase.  AIE is now working with the Society Of Ticket Agents & Retailers to facilitate a working party involving the likes of Ticketmaster, See Tickets, Ticketline and Eventim to tackle the problem.

The London edition of Live Nation’s Wireless festival is almost certainly moving to Finsbury Park after Haringey Borough Council approved a licensing application earlier this week, although it seems there is quite some resistance from local residents. The festival will move from its 2013 home at the Olympic Park  – which whilst a good venue in publicity terms, had a number of issues with using the space for a music festival – some of which remain unresolved. The North London park has been host to numerous concerts and festivals over the years, though some critics of the licence Live Nation has secured say that Wireless is significantly bigger than any event previously hosted at the site, and will result in more inconvenience for locals, and more of the park being blocked to the public. The Festival will also take place in Birmingham as well as London in 2014.  Wireless 2013 saw headline performances by Jay Z and Timberlake, with the pair joining together for the first ever Legends Of The Summer show in the UK with Rihanna. Elsewhere, there were performances from Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Emeli Sandé, Rita Ora, Frank Ocean, Katy B, Calvin Harris and Tinie Tempah across the weekend. Wireless 2014 takes place between July 4-6. No artists have been confirmed for the event as yet.

ticket2And more on ticketing – self-ticketing software provider Ticketscript has revealed it had its most successful festive season ever saying seven thousand New Year’s Eve events across Europe chose to use Ticketscript’s software to sell tickets, with December’s events generating gross tickets sales in excess of £10m. While in the UK specifically, tickets sold by existing clients increased by 58 per cent year-on-year. Frans Jonker, CEO, said: “We are proud to finish 2013 on such a high and it gives us the fuel and enthusiasm to kick start what we know will be an exciting year for the company.

Yet more ticket news!  A study from UK consumer group Which? says that  theatre-goers and music fans face massive mark-ups on the value of some online tickets. The study shows that compulsory charges are added to 72% of tickets sold online, and nearly half of those surveyed (49%) said the charges had put them off buying tickets for an event altogether. In one study, only 3% of tickets were being sold at face value without any additional compulsory fees like booking or delivery charges. The survey of 2,000 customers looked at 15 events with tickets sold through 20 different outlets in all. One example given was tickets to comedian Jimmy Carr’s show at Wolverhampton Civic Centre which have a face value of £25. To this a 38% surcharge is added by means of a £3 booking fee and a compulsory delivery fee if £6.50. Tickets to War Horse at the new London Theatre had £18.75 in fees added to by StarGreen to a face value of £62.50 and tickets to Strangers On A Train at the Gielgud Theatre had fees of 35% added. Shows by Miranda Hart, Rizzle Kicks, Ellie Goulding, Russell Brand and Joan Rivers all had 20% (and more) added in charges. Some agencies even charge people to collect in person at the box office,  with Ticketmaster adding £3, and some agencies charged to ‘print at home’ – The Times reported that TicketWeb and Eventim both charged £2.50.

sonisphere1Iron Maiden and Metallica will make history this summer when they co-headline the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, the very first time both bands have appeared together on a British bill. Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson said “We all grew up in England well aware of the importance of the legendary concerts at Knebworth, and scarily it all seems quite recent! Without being clichéd, it really is an honour and privilege to return to play there with the purpose of celebrating some of the finest moments in British rock history from inspirational bands like Pink Floyd, The Who, Zeppelin, The Stones and Genesis. Sonisphere will take place from the 4th – 6th July 2014

And finally, Bon Jovi have topped Billboard’s annual touring chart for the third time, having grossed $205,158,370 through their live activity in 2013, putting themselves some way ahead of the closest competition, Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson tribute show and third placed Pink.

1. Bon Jovi ($205,158,370)
2. Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour ($157,299,100)
3. P!nk ($147,947,543)
4. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band ($147,608,938)
5. Rihanna ($137,982,530)
6. The Rolling Stones ($126,182,391)
7. Taylor Swift ($115,379,331)
8. Beyonce ($104,358,899)
9. Depeche Mode ($99,972,733)
10. Kenny Chesney ($90,932,957)

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