Live Nation is expanding its business in Japan under its newly appointed VP of touring and festivals, James Smith, formerly of Smash
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Live Nation strengthens its presence in Japan, hiring veteran promoter Kei Ikuta as senior vice president of its Japanese office
By Anna Grace on 31 Jan 2020
Live Nation has appointed veteran promoter Kei Ikuta to senior vice president of its Tokyo-based Japanese division.
With over 17 years in the industry, Ikuta has worked on the tours of acts including the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, David Bowie, the Eagles, Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Maroon 5, John Mayer and Norah Jones, as well as local acts X Japan and Yoshiki.
Ikuta, who most recently served as vice president of major Japanese promoter Udo Artists, will focus on touring both international and domestic acts in Japan. He will report to Live Nation Japan president John Boyle.
The Japanese live music market has reached new heights in recent years, generating consecutive record-high revenues in 2017 and 2018. According to IQ’s Japanese market report, the music market in the country is currently the second biggest in the world, behind the US and ahead of Germany.
“We have made immense progress in Japan over the last couple of years bringing an increasing number of artists to Japan, from clubs shows to 50,000 capacity shows at the Tokyo Dome,” says Boyle.
“Japan’s live entertainment market continues to thrive, and Live Nation has fast become a serious player in its growth and success”
“By welcoming Ikuta, an esteemed industry veteran into the team, we are furthering our commitment to the Japanese touring market while enabling us to really move our business forward to meet the ever-growing demand for international concerts.”
Ikuta comments: “Japan’s live entertainment market continues to thrive, and Live Nation has fast become a serious player in its growth and success.
“I’m extremely proud to be joining the talented team here at Live Nation and will work with them to bring more world-class acts to the region and connect the biggest and best acts both locally and globally to even more fans in Japan.”
Recent shows brought to Japan by Live Nation include U2, Mumford and Sons, Bon Iver, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dave Chappelle, Cheap Trick and Dua Lipa. Last year, the company expanded its Download festival brand to Japan, which returns this year, headlined by My Chemical Romance.
Upcoming shows in 2020 include Billie Eilish, Green Day, Yungblud, Halsey and Tori Kelly.
Read IQ’s Japanese market report below:
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