UK & Euro Promoters Show No Signs Of Slowing Down: ‘A Very Exciting Place To Be’ (6th Annual Magna Charta Special)

Damon Albarn of Blur Rock band performs live at Lucca Summer
Damon Albarn of Blur performs live at Lucca Summer Festival in Lucca, Italy, on July 22, 2023. Italy is one of the European markets that has recovered the quickest post-pandemic. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Live Nation and Eventim Live, the two dominant forces in live business in Europe, both take number one spots on this year’s Magna Charta promoters ranking, depending on whether you look at the gross or ticket sales figure. Eventim Live’s network of promoters reported a combined 17,696,696 sales in the period (Feb. 1, 2023–Jan. 31, 2024), compared to the LN family, which reported 14,154,083 tickets sold. It bears mentioning that Live Nation only reports its data once a tour finishes, which is why the current ranking could change literally the day after this magazine prints. But it also bears repeating what Pollstar founder Gary Bongiovanni used to always say: Pollstar’s charts are a picture of our living database at the time they run.

In terms of gross, Live Nation takes the top spot, with a reported $1,373,317,509, compared to Eventim Live’s $1,181,313,767. For both companies it has been a very successful year. Live Nation’s president EMEA, John Reid, told Pollstar, “2023 was an incredible year for the live music industry and Live Nation – particularly across the international markets. International fan growth was up 34% last year and we’re continuing to see growth potential this year, which makes it a very exciting place to be.”

According to Eventim Live managing director Frithjof Pils, “the live business has been thriving since the pandemic, and we don’t expect that to change in 2024. It is true that small and medium-sized artists had it harder than bigger acts after the pandemic. But the non-blockbuster artists are also incredibly talented, so they’re finding their feet again. Brexit obviously created a lot of new obstacles, but our promoter network has been solving those challenges for artists at all levels of touring ever since the landscape changed. As for the economic crisis, inflation is certainly hitting promoters hard and touring costs are going up. This is especially true for international artists coming to Europe. Our network helps promoters leverage synergies and find optimal solutions to those economic challenges—so artists can still reach their fans and deliver fantastic live experiences.”

Eventim Live’s 2024 strategy isn’t limited to Europe. Having firmly planted a foot in the U.S. over the past two years, the company will be investing structures tor facilitate cross-border touring.

The independent businesses seem to be doing great, too, as they make the most of strong demand for local talent and festivals. Clipper’s Music Group president Juli Guiu Marquina said, “2023 has been a great year for the Clipper’s Group, adding to its portfolio of festivals Les Nits de Barcelona in the Pedralbes Palace gardens, and White Summer, consolidating its position as the leader in the organization, management and execution of festivals in Catalonia. We doubled the number of attendees from 79,000 in 2022 to 162,000 last summer.”

And there are no signs of business in 2024 slowing down. “We are convinced that 2024 will be an even more successful year for Clipper’s, reaching maximum sales and attendance levels and promoting new talent with great outlook,” said Marquina.

According to Reid, the international touring potential was only growing, as “fans can find and discover new favorite acts online from anywhere in the world.” That’s in addition to all the megastars coming to Europe next year, who need no introduction.

One of Live Nation’s highlights: Adele’s run of 10 shows in a bespoke open air stadium in Munich in August, which “is going to be pretty incredible,” according to Reid, who said, “there’s something for everyone with the massive variety of shows this year, and with new markets opening up fans have never had so much choice.”

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