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2022: A Year In Review

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(CelebrityAccess) — As 2022 comes to a close, we would like to take a moment to look back on some of the important stories that helped to shape the industry over the past year.

2022 saw the return of the corporate concert industry after two years of turmoil inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Major promoters such as Live Nation reported record profits in 2022 as touring returned in full force to regions such as North America and Europe.

Tours such as Latin rapper Bad Bunny, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, and Elton John grossed hundreds of millions from tour this year, according to data compiled by Billboard, helping to secure profits for major concert promoters and venue operators.

At the same time, up-and-coming artists, facing a changed post-COVID touring landscape and pressures from inflation, faced increasingly challenges on the road.

Many young artists found touring in 2022 increasing unsustainable with artists such as Little Simz, Bleachers, and Santigold opening up to fans about how expensive touring has become for them. In a social media post following their shows at this year’s SXSW, indie rock band Wednesday revealed that the band spent $2,182 to attend the conference and made just $2,084 for the seven shows they performed.

While Live Nation enjoyed record profits in 2022, the company faced renewed scrutiny from lawmakers following a botched high profile ticket presale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour. The tour, which began presales on November 15, brought Ticketmaster’s website to a halt amid unprecedented demand, with users reporting errors and timeouts, preventing them from acquiring tickets to the highly sought-after tour.

Fan frustration was further fueled by tickets for the tour showing up on secondary market sites for highly inflated prices and fans who didn’t take advantage of the presale never had a chance for tickets as Live Nation subsequently canceled the general onsale for the tour in the face of high demand.

Following the furor, Congress called Live Nation and CEO Michael Rapino on the carpet with questions about the company’s business practices and potentially chilling effects on competition in the North American touring market.

2022 also saw the continued unraveling of rap icon Kanye “Ye” West, whose seemingly erratic behavior and string of antisemitic public comments saw him shed his agency, CAA, and soured multiple sponsors, including The Gap, Balenciaga, and Adidas.

Kanye wasn’t alone in his apparent missteps and billionaire businessman Elon Musk roiled markets with his chaotic acquisition of social media platform Twitter in October. The deal, which was announced earlier this year, resulted in lawsuits after Musk appeared to back away from the deal over the summer. However, on October 27th, Musk walked into Twitter’s office as the company’s new owner after completing the $44 billion dollar all-cash transaction.

Since then, he’s fired numerous staff, including some in key engineering and communications roles, seemingly banned people from the platform for personal reasons, and implemented a controversial plan to sell the coveted ‘blue check’ that marks user accounts as genuine for a monthly subscription fee.

Other social media platforms have faced turmoil as well, including the short-form video sharing service TikTok, which has been banned from government mobile devices by the Federal government and multiple states over concerns about user data protections and the company’s close association with China.

2022 also saw the continued trend of artists selling their music catalogs. Veteran artists such as Sting, Neil Diamond, Phil Collins, and Nancy Wilson sold their music rights, often for hundreds of millions of dollars, but some younger artists, seemingly in the prime of their careers moed followed suit, including country star Blake Shelton, rapper Future, and Justin Bieber, who is reportedly nearing a major deal to sell his catalog to Hipgnosis.

This year brought grim reminders of the importance of crowd safety and management with multiple high profile crowd incidents that left numerous fans dead and injured. Last January, Cameroon saw the tragic stampede ahead of a Africa Cup round of 16 match when a deadly crowd crush occurred at one of the stadium’s entrance gates, killing eight people and injuring thirty-eight.

In October, police sparked a deadly stampede at Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang when the use of tear gas to disperse an unruly crowd, leaving more than 135 fans dead.

Less than a month later, South Korea saw a similar mass causality crowd press when more than 150 holiday revelers were killed during a crowd surge in the narrow streets of Itaewon, Seoul’s popular nightlife district.

We would also like to take a moment to remember the artists and industry figures who passed away during 2022:

Jo Mersa Marley, Tom Harrison, Big Scarr, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Thom Bell, Martin Duffy, Charlie Monk, Terry Hall, Bertha Barbee McNeal, Dino Danelli, Kim Simmonds, Stephen Boss, Don Lewis, Zak Godwin, Jet Black, Peter Cooper, Hamish Kilgour, Jim Stewart, Kirstie Alley, Norman Pattiz, Bob McGrath, Jake Flint, Alex Mair, Irene Cara, Charles Koppelman, Wilko Johnson, Danny Kalb, Budd Friedman, Keith Levine, Gallagher, Gal Costa, Dan McCafferty, Jeff Cook, Aaron Carter, Takeoff, Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Edwards, Mary McCaslin, Mikaben, Art Laboe, Joel Morowitz, Brooks Arthur, Nikki Finke, Judy Tenuta, Jody Miller, Half Ounce, Loretta Lynn, Coolio, Pharoah Sanders, John Hartman, Art Rosenbaum, Lowry Mays, Jesse Powell, PnB Rock, Ramsey Lewis, Paul T. Kwami, Tina Ramirez, David Arnold, Luke Bell, Joey DeFrancesco, Martin Onrot, Creed Taylor, Stuart Anstis, Jerry Allison, Tom Wright, Ben Ferrell, Q Lazarus, Kal David, Bill Pitman, John Eastman, Lamont Dozier, Gord Lewis, Olivia Newton-John, David Muse, Judith Durham, Nicky Moore, Pat Carroll, Archie Roach, Mo Ostin, Nichelle Nichols, David Heckman, Jody Abbott, Sandy Roberton, Bob Heathcote, Robert Rafelson, William “Poogie” Hart, Mark Fleischman, Steve Smith, James Caan, Dave Smith, Manny Charlton, Nick Nemeroff, Patrick Adams, Todd Brodginski, James Rado, Brett Tuggle, Meghan Stabile, Joel Whitburn, Sidhu Moose Wala, Frank Ursoleo, Paul Fitzgerald, Jim Seals, Alec John Such, Kelly Joe Phelps, Deborah McCrary, Warren Costello, Ronnie “The Hawk” Hawkins, Andy Fletcher, Alan White, Bob Neuwirth, Marvin Josephson, Rosmarie Trapp, Naomi Judd, Jethro Lazenby, Brian De Courcy, Mickey Gilley, Jewell Caples, Howie Pyro, Walter Rossi, Ric Parnell, Régine, Gabe Serbian, Bill Gaff, Shane Yellowbird, Andrew Wolfock, Susan Jacks, Robert Ouimet, Jerry Doucette, Taylor Hawkins, Kay Slay, Bill Bourne, Paul Pope, Rio Hackford, Art Rupe, Tim Feerick, Gilbert Gottfried, Pastelle LeBlanc, Chris Bailey, John Rossi, Ken West, Bobby Rydell, Joe Messina, Fitzroy ‘Bunny Diamond’ Simpson, Donald ‘Tabby’ Shaw, Tom Parker, Jeff Carson, Bobby Weinstein, Eric Mercury, William Hurt, Bobby Nelson, Snootie Wild, The Amazing Johnathan, Mark Lanegan, Gary Brooker, Nightbirdie, Dallas Good, Ivan Reitman, Sidney Miller, Betty Davis, Ian McDonald, Kerry Chater, Syl Johnson, Donny Gerrard, Jonny Zazula, Jerry Weber, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Harris Goldberg, Joe Pascarell, Don Wilson, Mel Shaw, Louie Anderson, Meat Loaf, Hana Horka, Rachel Nagy, Ralp Emery, Dallas Frazier, R. Dean Taylor, Ian Greenberg, Robert Richards, Ronnie Spector, Gérard Drouot, Michael Lang, Bob Saget, Marilyn Bergman, and Sidney Poitier.

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