The Dutch theatre/events giant reportedly lost €19m last year and is performing well below owner CVC's expectations
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United Stage Sweden, United Stage Norway and Copenhagen Music join forces to create Nordic behemoth
By IQ on 11 Aug 2020
Nordic agencies United Stage Sweden, United Stage Norway and Copenhagen Music have merged to create a new company called United Stage Group, recruiting Universal Music Sweden as a partner.
United Stage currently represents around 250 artists including Lars Winnerbäck, Darin, Melissa Horn, and annually performs over 3,000 events in Sweden and Norway.
In addition to its activities as agents, tour producers and concert organisers, the company also runs artist management for around 20 artists. United Stage Sweden launched in 1984 and stands as the country’s biggest and most successful agency.
“We at United Stage have a fairly simple philosophy that has pushed us forward since the start. We believe in the magic of the meeting between an artist and an audience,” says Anders Larsson, CEO and founder of United Stage.
“As a market leader in Sweden, and on a strong upswing in Norway, we have for several years strived to broaden the market for our artists to a Nordic platform. With this strategic merger, we are now creating the best possible structure for a really strong Nordic business that will benefit both our staff in their daily work, our partners, but above all our artists who are always the most important to us and are in focus for our entire organisation. I am very much looking forward to the collaboration with Copenhagen Music and our joint effort to build the Nordic region’s best artist company.”
Copenhagen Music was founded in 2008 in Denmark and works with artists such as Lukas Graham, Rasmus Seebach, Suspekt and Medina.
With the merger complete, Copenhagen Music will oversee all touring activities in Denmark for artists signed to United Stage and vice versa. The company will still operate under the same name but as part of the United Stage Group umbrella.
“We want to improve the conditions of our artists, both creatively and financially – this merger will be a way to ensure this”
The company’s managing director, Jimmi Riise, will assume a new role as Nordic CEO of United Stage Group.
“The merger of United Stage and Copenhagen Music is a pioneering collaboration that will pave the way for a creative flow between Sweden, Norway and Denmark,” says Riise. “United Stage has often been our go-to partner in Norway and Sweden, and I strongly admire what Anders and his team have built over the past 30 years.
“This partnership provides completely new conditions for our artists beyond their local stages and introduces them to new fans and arenas throughout the Nordic region. The merger with United Stage is, therefore, the most obvious and strategically important step for our companies and artists. The new collaboration will give us opportunities to develop artist careers throughout our region and take our artists’ careers to completely new heights. Let the music play!”
Joakim Johansson, CEO of Universal Music Sweden, says: “For many years, Universal has been looking for new and innovative ways to develop and establish long-term artist careers, and since music lovers today have access to all the world’s music through a quick click, I am convinced that investing in concert experiences is more important than ever before to create holistic experiences between artists and fans.
“When the live scene reopens, we want to improve the conditions of our artists, both creatively and financially, and this merger will be a way to ensure this. The feeling you experience when the lights are dimmed in the arena and the audience begins to rejoice and when the artist finally enters the stage can create a bond between artist and audience that cannot be reached in any other way. This is a milestone for the Swedish music industry.”
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