Warner Music Group Expects Improved Revenues in Q4

By Ed Christman, First Posted on Billboard, October 16, 2012

When the Warner Music Group (WMG) reports its financials for the three-month period ended Sept. 30, the company expects revenue to total $721 million to $741 million, an improvement over the $719 million reported in the corresponding period for the prior year. 

Of total revenue for the quarter, recorded music is expected to generate $598 million to $614 million, as compared with $583 million in the prior-year period. Publishing is expected to report $130 million to $134 million, down from the $141 million reported in 2011’s final quarter. 

WMG expects to generate $100 million to $110 million in operating income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — an improvement over the $41 million reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. 

For the full year, WMG expects its earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization to range from $460 million to $470 million. The company also said it had $300 million in cash on hand at years-end, before it made a $54 million interest payment on Oct. 1. 

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Ultra Music Festival Pours Millions into Economy, Study Says

By: Hannah Sampson, First Posted on the Miami Herald, October 10, 2012

A study commissioned by Ultra Music Festival says the three-day event supports 915 jobs and pumps $79 million into Miami-Dade’s economy.

Electronic music extravaganza Ultra Music Festival and its fans pour $40 million directly into the economy every year for everything from equipment rentals to glow sticks, according to a new study.

With indirect and induced spending included, that number totals $79 million, according to the report from the Washington Economics Group, which also said the three-day event supports 915 jobs. The report says the event’s organizers spend about $11.5 million on operational costs.

The festival’s producers commissioned the report to show how the event benefits the area.

“It really benefits all the businesses locally the most and that’s what I think really makes it significant,” said Adam Russakoff, Ultra’s director of business affairs.

Ultra lands in Miami every March, already high season for Miami, bringing an estimated 55,000 people a day to enjoy internationally renowned DJs and performers for hours-long dance parties. Last year’s lineup included DJ Tiesto, David Guetta and an appearance by Madonna.

Next year, the 15th for the event, Ultra will be held from March 22-24 in Bayfront Park.

About 60 percent of attendees hail from outside Miami-Dade, the study says, and they and other late-March visitors appear to have been busy booking hotel stays already.

“We’re trying to book rooms right now for next year, and every hotel we’re reaching out to is sold out,” said Russell Faibisch, the festival’s executive director and one of its creators.

Festivals Go Pop in Appeal to New Crowds

By Bernard Zuel, Originally Posted on the Sydney Morning Harold, October 9, 2012
 
Not that long ago you were as likely to find pop music at a major arts festival as you were to get a genuine apology from Alan Jones. But these days, no self-respecting festival director, mainstream or fringe, would program without it. Indeed, Fergus Linehan, director of four of the most successful Sydney Festivals ever, made his name doing just that with the likes of Antony Hegarty, Lou Reed and Sufjan Stevens as unlikely stars of his programs.

The fact is, says Greg Clarke, director of the Adelaide Fringe, contemporary music is increasingly being seen as the lifeblood of festivals: the source of new audiences and the spur for future programs. His most recent festival featured nearly 300 music performances, outstripping comedy as the major contributor, and next year’s Fringe will likely go further still with the likes of Sydney songwriter Tim Freedman of the Whitlams preparing to pitch new shows.

You may well ask why festivals would need to put on music which in theory you can get fairly easily in any major city through the course of any year. Clarke’s response is demographics – both audiences and directors.

“The old festival goers are those people in their 60s and 70s now and their experience with festivals was going to see international theatre, seeing stuff that wouldn’t normally see in Sydney and Melbourne. They were brought up going to see high art – opera, theatre, classical music,” Clarke says. “Audiences these days who go to festivals, the majority of them are in my age bracket which is 30 to 50, they are the new festival goers, brought up in the 1980s and ’90s, maybe seeing bands and going to see stand-up comedians. And that’s the kind of thing they still want to see.”

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Interested in learning more about choosing performers for your music festival? Join KUT.org Austin, Hang Out Music Festival & Catalpa Music Festival, Alice in Chains, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Pipeline Productions – Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, and Houston International Festival as they discuss the same topics during their panel, “Challenges in Talent Selection” at the upcoming International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Austin, December 2-4.

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Goldenvoice Keeps Music Festivals in Indio


The new proposal could mean more music festivals throughout the year

By Breanna Harry, First Posted in the Chaparral, October 1, 2012

Last month music promoter Goldenvoice submitted an application to the City of Indio that proposes holding up to five concerts a year at the Empire and Eldorado Polo Clubs for a period of 18 years.

It was just this past summer that Goldenvoice threatened to move Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals out of Indio if a proposed ten percent tax on admission was passed. Not long after news broke on Goldenvoice’s threat Indio City Councilman Sam Torres, who was the main backer behind the tax, said he would no longer pursue the petition to get the tax on the ballot in November.

The new proposal by Goldenvoice includes the following changes:

1. Increased attendance, from 95,000 to 99,000 per day for the three spring festivals, and from 65,000 to 75,000 per day for two possible fall festivals.

2. The current maximum attendance, including concert staff, is 95,000 per day for Coachella and 65,000 for Stagecoach.

3. The festival site would increase under the proposed plan, from the 535 acres currently used to 601 acres, most on the Empire and Eldorado polo club sites between avenues 49 and 52 and Madison and Monroe streets.

In an informational meeting held at the Indio City Council Chambers on Tuesday September 18, Skip Paige, vice president of Goldenvoice, said “I don’t have any intent right now to do any more shows. I want to be entitled to do other concerts if the opportunity arises.”

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Interested in learning more about the music festival industry? Join industry leaders and entertainment professionals like Bonnaroo, SXSW, Harmony Festival and many more as they discuss the industry at the upcoming International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Austin, December 2-4.

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Holograms: The Future of Entertainment?

By Richie Valentine, First Posted on LA Music Blog, October 1, 2012

If you asked somebody ten years ago if the could imagine being at a music festival watching a hologram of Tupac on stage with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg Lion, they might have said “Wait 10 years.” Well, they would have been right as this year British company Musion made this Tupac dream (or nightmare) come true at Coachella, an annual three-day music and arts festival held in Indio, CA.

Musion brought a Tupac hologram to Coachella and had “it” perform “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (aka Lion). The hologram was a computer-created image put together from pieces of previously recorded performances, and the audio was tweaked to fit the situation. The experience was either a strange, pop culture necrophiliac’s wet dream or extremely awkward, and I’m definitely not the former. While I’ve only watched videos online, I can’t imagine my opinion would change were I to see such a thing in person. The entire idea of bringing back “famous” dead musicians to perform live strikes me not only as an artistic faux pas, but an immoral one at that.

The entire idea seems like a perversion of the senses to me, starting with the artist himself. Tupac has so much mystery surrounding his death that it is quite possible he had something like this written into a contract somewhere. The event also opens the door to the possibility of using any dead musician to draw a crowd. Who knows? In 30 years we could be seeing the Beatles performThe White Album or watching Jimi Hendrix and the Experience accompanied by Janis Joplin. It just doesn’t seem right.

Part of me wants to see great things like this, to see the musicians that I missed all those years ago perform. It’s not impossible to think that one day we may even have home versions of this technology and be able to watch live performances by ourselves inside our homes. It all seems so wonderful and futuristic that it immediately makes me cautious. As most people learn in their lives, not everything is as it seems.

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Interested in learning more about the music festival industry? Join industry leaders and entertainment professionals like Bonnaroo, SXSW, Harmony Festival and many more as they discuss the industry at the upcoming International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Austin, December 2-4.

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Music Festival Supremos Gather in Morocco

First Posted on EuroNews, September 28, 2012

The people who stage music festivals around the globe have been getting their heads together at their annual European forum at Agadir in Morocco.

The European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals is the biggest federation of its type in the world, and gives organisers the chance to compare notes on potential artistic and administrative pitfalls, particularly with the current universal pressure on financing.

The president of the EFWMF, Alexandra Archetti Stolen, told euronews: “The challenges are always on different levels, I think for Europe, of course, the economical crisis is dramatic so I think this is a big problem with the sponsoring, with the public funding – in a lot of countries the public funding has been cut by 60 percent, by 80 percent. And the audience, the big crowds are disapperaring – festivals who have existed for many years are struggling.”

The forum also provided a prime opportunity to showcase Moroccan music to the people who book artistes for festivals around the world.

There were concerts and business meetings aimed at giving the Moroccan music industry a boost and helping the musicians secure appearances abroad.

Brahim El Mazned, the director of Timitar Festival in Agadir and co-organiser of the EFWWF told us: “Moroccan artistes face many barriers – not just Moroccan actually, but all southern artists have lots of problems selling themselves abroad. There are visa problems and so travelling becomes a pain. Morocco welcomes lots of international artistes but there aren’t many Moroccan artistes appearing abroad.”

Among those being showcased, the fusion music of the singer Oum; Haoussa, who have been at the forefront of Morocco’s music scene for more than 10 years; and “Ribab Fusion” from Agadir who paid tribute to their Berber culture

The group Daqqa Roudania, whose singing tradition goes back to the 12th century, sang away from Agadir in the city of Taroudant. The women’s group The Roudaniates also sang having already toured several cities in Europe.

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Interested in learning more about the music festival industry? Join industry leaders and entertainment professionals like Bonnaroo, SXSW, Harmony Festival and many more as they discuss the industry at the upcoming International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Austin, December 2-4.

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Music Festivals Enjoy Record Expansion in 2012

By Steve Knopper, Originally Posted on the Rolling Stones, September 28, 2012

Events are ‘a rite of passage’ for new generation, says one organizer.

Music festivals are more dominant than ever in the concert business, and they’re still growing – from Coachella, which brought in a record-breaking $47.3 million gross over two weekends in April, to this weekend’s Starry Nights, where fans will be able to enjoy a pancake breakfast and capture-the-flag (along with acts including Cage the Elephant) on a farm in Bowling Green, Kentucky. “All the major ones that have been established for awhile sold out faster than they’ve ever sold out,” says Charles Attal, a partner with C3 Presents, producer of Lollapalooza, which brought 270,000 fans to Chicago in August. “If 10 more festivals popped up in great markets, with great parks and great concepts, I think they’d work.”

With a few poorly organized exceptions, festivals were able to expand and sell out faster than usual throughout 2012. The Electric Daisy Carnival, a dance-music fixture in Las Vegas, drew more than 300,000 fans over three days in June; its May spin-off in East Rutherford, New Jersey, sold 100,000 tickets and grossed $7.2 million, according to concert-industry magazine Pollstar. The Stagecoach country festival, held at the same Southern California site as Coachella, grossed $13 million in April. Both Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo hit their capacities, the latter selling 85,000 tickets. Jay-Z’s Made in America festival in Philadelphia this month sold 80,000 tickets in its first year, and smaller fests including San Francisco’s Outside Lands, New Jersey’s Bamboozle and New York’s Governors Ball had strong sales, too.

“We’ve transferred to that European festival culture, almost,” says Kevin Lyman, producer of the Warped Tour, one of the few holdovers from the late-Nineties days of massive traveling festivals such as Ozzfest, the original Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair. “These stand-alone festivals – we’re a full generation into them now. It’s become a rite of passage.”

A decade ago, festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo had to aggressively present themselves to the public, convincing music fans to lay off expensive amphitheatre shows and fly to fields in the middle of nowhere in order to see dozens of bands. They had to define themselves narrowly at first – Coachella was known as the alternative-rock festival, Bonnaroo was for jam-bands – or book sure-thing headliners such as the Dave Matthews Band or Radiohead in order to fill their venues. But today, the biggest festivals are able to sell out even before they’ve announced their lineups. “For a lot of people in their twenties and thirties, festivals are the summer concert season,” says Rick Farman, co-founder of Superfly Presents, which books Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee.

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Interested in learning more about the music festival industry? Join industry leaders and entertainment professionals like Bonnaroo, SXSW, Harmony Festival and many more as they discuss the industry at the upcoming International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Austin, December 2-4.