Europe: Sober Bar, Manchester, Belgium, DEAG, Matchbox

New Sober Live Music Venue In The UK

The Sober Parrot will open in the English borough of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, this summer, offering no alcohol at the bar.

The project is headed up by the Nelson Trust, an addiction treatment center, which has received a capital grant from Public Health England to transform Cheltenham’s Number Seven wine bar into the Sober Parrot.

The Nelson Trust’s Manya Mvula told Pollstar the venue will host live music, comedy and other forms of live entertainment for which there is demand.

The still-to-be-hired bar manager will also take care of event planning. Cheltenham’s first late-night entertainment venue with a strictly alcohol-free offer is part of the Trust’s Hub Project, which consists of a couple of enterprises that employ volunteers in recovery from addiction. The Sober Parrot’s offering, however, is not just for people in recovery, but anyone who likes to enjoy a night out without being surrounded by drunken people, Mvula explained.

The launch of the new venue is supposed to happen at the end of August.

Hope & Glory Fest To Donate Ticket Profits To Manchester Victims

The new Hope & Glory festival, which premieres Aug. 5-6 in Liverpool, England, has pledged to donate all the profits from ticket sales to the victims of the May 22 attack on

The lineup of Hope & Glory’s inaugural edition includes two headliners from Manchester, James and the 70-piece orchestra Hacienda Classical “with fellow Mancunian special guests Shaun Ryder, Bez and Tim Booth,” according to the announcement.

Promoter Lee O’Hanlon said: “I have lost count the number of times I have attended shows at Manchester Arena for professional purposes and personal enjoyment. I attended the vigil the following night in Albert Square and then attended the Simple Minds concert in Manchester that same night. I was moved like I never have been before.

“The defiance and strength the people of Manchester showed that night and in the days after the attack was the most powerful thing I have ever experienced. The images of children and young parents broke my heart so goodness knows what the families are going through. I can’t begin to imagine.

“I just want us to be able to support the friends and families of those injured or who lost their lives as well as the emergency services that supported them, in any way we could. As a North West Festival with two Manchester artists as our headliners, the choice was simple. It’s simply doing what we can, standing with Manchester. These people want to change our way of lives. I grew up on the music of the North West. These people are strong and if we can help them a little then we will.”

O’Hanlon’s business partner Iain Kerr added he “knew in an instant it was the right thing to do.”

Organizers expect some 12,500 people at the premiere. Other confirmed acts include Lucy Spraggan, Public Service Broadcasting, Razorlight and many more.

Belgium: Promoters Sue Sabam

A coalition of festivals and concert promoters are going to court against the tariff increase of Belgium’s performing rights society Sabam. The coalition includes Herman Schueremans’ Rock Werchter, Chokri Mahassine’s Pukkelpop as well as promoters such as Gracia Live and PSE, according to

Sabam announced a tariff increase in November last year.

PSE’s Jan Vereecke told that the amount collected shot up by 30 percent, an amount that could only be compensated by increasing ticket prices.

He explained that the copyright bill for Belgian pop band Clouseau had increased by euro 10,000 between their 2016 and 2017 gigs at Antwerp’s .

Promoters pay almost four instead of three euros on a euro 100 ticket under the new tariff, Vereecke said. Despite the increase, Sabam hasn’t added any services to its offering.

The collecting society justifies the increase by pointing to the rates of its counterparts across Europe.

Germany: DEAG Happy About Q1

German live entertainment company

DEAG’s sales decreased by 38 percent from euro 31.3 million in the previous year to euro 19.5 million in Q1 of 2017. The company states that last year’s European Soccer Championship resulted in higher sales in Q1 and Q4.

The Q1 announcement states that “thanks to very profitable business in the core markets and in the main business areas, the operating profit margins improved significantly compared to the previous year.”

A gross profit from sales of euro 6.1 million amounted to a 31.4 percent operating profit margin, compared with last year’s 21.7 percent.

CEO Peter Schwenkow said “2017 has been going according to plan. Our activities in the UK in particular and in the domestic market have developed quite positively across the board.

In view of the good start to the second quarter and the well-filled event pipeline, DEAG will also be offering high-caliber, high-turnover and high-margin events in the quarters to come.”

Said events include the open air event “Matapaloz” at Hockenheimring, which is headlined by German rock phenomenon Böhse Onkelz and is likely to attract 70,000 visitors, according to DEAG.

Other bestselling acts in the company roster include Iron Maiden, Anna Netrebko and Aerosmith as well as the German tour of The Rolling Stones, which is already sold out.

“For 2017, DEAG expects around 830,000 visitors at seven locations,” Schwenkow said.

Turkey: Erdogan Bans Word ‘Arena’

Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan ordered all stadiums in the country to drop the designation “arena,” because the word reminds him of Roman gladiatorial combat.

Erdogan, who is adamant about keeping Turkey culturally pure, also said there was no such word as “arena” in the Turkish language.

He put his sports minister Akif Cagatay Kilic in charge of implementing the order. Turkey’s Football Federation TFF has already made changes on its website, most notably renaming Galatasaray Istanbul’s Türk Telekom Arena to Türk Telekom Stadyumu, as well as Bestiktas Istanbul’s Vodafone Arena to Vodafone Stadyumu.

The designation would at least make things clearer to those iin the United States, where the word arena is used mainly to describe indoor venues.

South Africa: Pukkelpop Partnership Forms Matchbox

OppiKoppi Festival
Brendan Salzer
– OppiKoppi Festival
South Africa

Pukkelpop Festival is teaming with South African festival

The people behind Pukkelpop Festival and marketing agency Boondoggle from Belgium have partnered with Sho-Sho Communications and promoter Hilltop Live from South Africa to create Matchbox Live.

The aim is to “grow the South African live music industry by producing unique events and festivals with potential for international growth,” an announcement states.

Matchbox Live describes itself as “Southern African entertainment company with social responsibility at its core. It is a commercial business that will use music and the arts to drive social change.”

The collaboration did not come by chance. Pukkelpop and South African festival OppiKoppi share a long history of collaboration, and Boondoggle founders Pieter Goiris and Werner Camps relocated to South Africa in 2016 to open an office on site.

Matchbox Live will be headed by Theresho Selesho, who said: “It’s an exciting time in our vibrant country and continent. The combination of existing events, strong experience and foreign investment is a powerful combination.”

Pukkelpop promoter Chokri Mahassine added: “In the past 20 years we’ve had an excellent relationship with our South African friends. Now the time has come to take our partnership to the next level.”

OppiKoppi 2017 (Oct. 5-7) will be the first Matchbox Live project, followed by DRUMBeat Music Festival and Lekkerland Carnival, all previously promoted by Hilltop Live.

New events will be announced at a later stage.

“Just as Pukkelpop, OppiKoppi wants to keep track of new musical talents without losing sight of the big, established names.We’re convinced that we can help OppiKoppi to grow into one of the most influential festivals on the African continent,” said Mahassine.

Carel Hoffman, Owner & Director of Hilltop Live, added: “The family behind OppiKoppi dropped into the live music business by accident in 1994. That is more than 23 years of gung-ho, Rock’n’Roll management. Along the way conversations with international counterparts started and have lead to the stage where we can bring in strategic partners. We have built a team that can carry the flame forward, which is great news for music fans.”