Hard hitting: Billie Eilish's huge global tour will 'impact culture'

Hard hitting: Billie Eilish's huge global tour will 'impact culture'

Billie Eilish’s agent has spoken about the star’s booming live business ahead of her huge tour.

Hit Me Hard And Soft: The Tour, which is produced by Live Nation, launches in September in Quebec. The 81-date run takes in shows in North America, Australia and Europe.

Eilish's third album, Hit Me Hard And Softed, debuted at No.1 in the UK and has spent seven weeks in the Top 5. The LP climbed to No.2 in the latest chart and has sales to date of 167,336 (Official Charts Company). She also has multiple singles chart entries with non-mover Birds Of A Feather leading the way at No.5.

Eilish’s 12 UK dates in July next year include gigs at The O2 in London and four at Co-op Live in Manchester, both co-promoted by Live Nation and SJM. The UK run begins at Glasgow OVO Hydro (July 7-8), promoted with DF Concerts.

“We also did six O2s for the 2022 Happier Than Ever tour,” said Wasserman Music partner Mike Malak, Eilish’s agent for UK, Europe, Middle East & Africa. “I would say Billie could sell more [at the O2] but this time we chose to go wider.”

The strength of her live business was underlined by the fact that all dates were announced at the same time rather than adding shows later.

Speaking about Eilish’s progression, Malak said: “Billie is a very special and unique artist. Touring-wise, she always laid the foundations and played the right rooms and took the right steps. Her rise was quite exponential, but as an artist she continues to evolve over time.”

Eilish will continue her partnership with environmental non-profit organisation REVERB.

Sustainability efforts will include reducing greenhouse gas pollution, as well as encouraging fans to take public transport or share cars where possible. Working with Support + Feed, an initiative founded by Eilish’s mother Maggie Baird, Live Nation and Eilish’s team are partnering with venues to encourage plant-based food options.

“As the tour’s promoter, Live Nation works closely with each venue around the world to make sure the tour’s sustainability goals are being met,” said Lesley Olenik, SVP of global touring at Live Nation. “We make sure our venue partners are helping to lessen the environmental footprint of the tour through reducing or eliminating single-use plastics and diverting landfill waste with compost and recycling. We’ve partnered with all venues to ensure they can deliver plant-based concession offerings that are priced in line with the standard options.”

A portion of the proceeds from all ticket sales will support organisations addressing the impact of food insecurity and climate change.

Eco-Villages will be set up at two locations in the main concourse of every show where fans can take part in the tour’s sustainability efforts.

The album sustainability strategy included recycled vinyl, as well as Eco-mix based on offcuts and Bio-vinyl, which uses non-fossil fuel materials.

Eilish’s last run of dates at The O2 included the high-profile Overheated initiative.

There are also efforts to combat touts for this tour, including mobile-only tickets, delayed delivery until two weeks prior to the show date and setting the purchase limit to four per order. 

Malak described the tour as an entire team effort including management at Best Friends Music, the label teams internationally, Wasserman, Live Nation and the co-promoters.

“There are so many intricate pieces, because we want to make sure that the show is the greatest experience possible, but we also want to be responsible with sustainability,” he said.

Anticipation was heightened when Eilish appeared at listening events for fans at arenas in LA and Brooklyn, while Spotify hosted an immersive experience at Lightroom in London. 

Hit Me Hard And Soft amassed 500 million global streams in its first week. Although it missed out on No.1 in the US to Taylor Swift, first week consumption of 339,000 units (including 191,000 sales) for Eilish’s third album was her biggest opening so far. 

The LP was co-written by Eilish and Finneas, her brother and producer.

“Globally, it feels like there’s real excitement,” said Malak. “The whole campaign is geared up around listening to the album as a whole, and the label has done an incredible job putting all that together with Billie and the team.” 

Hit Me Hard And Soft (Polydor) achieved Eilish’s biggest opening week in the UK with 67,111 sales (Official Charts Company).

Lunch was the most streamed song globally on Spotify and Apple Music in its first week. 

Eilish headlined Glastonbury in 2022 and Reading & Leeds in 2023, but Malak suggested that her live business is even bigger in 2024.

“It feels like Billie has grown exponentially since even as recently as last summer,” he said. “She’s an artist that constantly impacts culture, and that really draws people into the art that both she and Finneas create together.”

As well as reaching the UK summit, Hit Me Hard And Soft made No.1 in multiple countries including Australia, France and Germany.

“We are doing more dates [in Europe] than we’ve done there in a long time,” said Malak. “It’s also nice to be able to do doubles with two nights in cities like Cologne and Krakow in Poland, which she has never been to before.”

While the production is under wraps, Malak said that it would be a “true representation” of the new album recorded by Eilish and Finneas. 

“They never fail to surprise me when it comes to the music they’re making and the way they perform,” said Malak. “They are artists that are truly are on their own path.”


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