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2020 in review: August

Ticketmaster combined its North America and International teams into one global entity, with Jared Smith (pictured), previously Ticketmaster president, becoming chairman of the merged operation.

Mark Yovich, Ticketmaster’s president of international operations, was elevated to become the Live Nation-owned company’s president of global business. In addition, the firm’s president of North America, Amy Howe, was appointed as the new global chief operating officer.

Germany’s sports industry suffered a double-whammy with the authorities halting the anticipated return of fans to Bundesliga football matches for the start of the 2020-21 season and announcing plans to ban almost all large events until 2021.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers of Germany’s federal states decided on a new package of measures amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the country. The ban on large events included any gatherings where contacts could not be traced, and the organisers could not comply with strict hygiene regulations.

There was more bad news in the UK, where the Bectu trade union reported that redundancies made by Cameron Mackintosh’s two UK theatre firms were set to surpass 850. Mackintosh produces West End theatres shows such as Les Misérables and Hamilton. Bectu, which represents workers in the entertainment sector, said Delfont Mackintosh group would cut 669 employees and Cameron Mackintosh Ltd would cut 185 jobs.

US Senator Chuck Schumer expressed his support for the $10bn bipartisan Save Our Stages Act, designed to provide Federal aid to independent music venues facing closure due to COVID-19. Schumer, the Minority Leader of the US Senate, stood with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Rev. Moose of the National Association of Independent Venues (NIVA) and others at a press conference outside of Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn to declare his backing.

MelodyVR struck a $70m deal to acquire Napster in an agreement designed to combine music streaming and live music virtual reality. The subsidiary of EVR Holdings, which allows users to experience live concerts and festivals in VR through the Oculus platform, snapped up Rhapsody International, which operates as Napster.