The curtain has come down on the Apple Music Festival, ending 10 years of annual events at London’s famous Roundhouse venue.
The tech giant confirmed the news to Music Business Worldwide (MBW) this week, though Apple isn’t expected to abandon all involvement with live music events.
Some of you will no doubt recall the original version of Apple’s annual music that was bash held for most years at the Roundhouse in London, U.K. Known as the iTunes Festival, it was rebranded as the Apple Music Festival in 2015, and was last held in 2016.
Over the years the festival secured some big-name artists, among them Adele, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Oasis, Elton John, and Britney Spears.
The event typically ran for a few weeks in September, with tickets handed out for free to music fans around the world via competitions organized by local partners. Of course, winning tickets outside of Europe meant an expensive flight to London to see the acts, but it was a price some dedicated fans were prepared to pay. Those unable to win tickets or unwilling to travel could watch live-streams of the shows, though more recently you had to be an Apple Music subscriber to gain access to the content.
MBW explains that Apple’s move appears to be part of a slight shift in focus as it switches its attention more toward supporting one-off live events. Last year, for example, it sponsored Drake’s Summer Sixteen tour across 32 dates in the U.S. and Canada, while this year it had significant involvement at the SXSW festival in Texas, hosting live concerts and interviews on most days.
Apple Music has also been focusing its efforts on live video content with shows like Carpool Karaoke where stars from the entertainment world pair up for a drive and a sing-along. Launched in early August, guests taking part in the “star-studded, song-filled car ride” have so far included James Corden (who created the format back in 2011 before taking it to the The Late Late Show in 2015) with Will Smith, Alicia Keys with John Legend, Billy Eichner with Metallica, and Shaquille O’Neal with John Cena.
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