German concert promoter Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion (KJK) has entered a new era following the retirement of long-time head of ticketing & sports Anja Schwencke.
The Hamburg-based company has appointed Jessica Hübner and Stefanie Gräßler as heads of ticketing, with the dual leadership to be responsible for ticketing for all KJK’s tours, as well as local concerts.
In addition, Sönke Schal will take over the main responsibility for the newly created people & culture department. Hübner and Gräßler started out in PR & marketing at the Hamburg-based company, switching to ticketing in 2016, while Schal was previously booker with the firm for acts such as Sticky Fingers, Hinds, Men I Trust, as well as heading up Way Back When Festival.
“The recent promotions… say more about the KJ company DNA than any glowing speech ever could”
“The recent promotions of Jessica Hübner and Stefanie Gräßler as head of ticketing dual leadership and Sönke Schal to the newly created position of head of people & culture say more about the KJ company DNA than any glowing speech ever could,” says KJK CEO Ben Mitha. “All three of them not only completed their training at our company, some of them have remained loyal to us for decades and have already worked in several departments within the company. In my eyes, there is no better fit for their current leadership positions and I look forward to working with the three of them to further develop and advance KJ’s fortunes.”
Schwencke, who celebrated her 20th anniversary with the promoter in 2020, has been associated with the company since her student days, starting out as an external box office clerk.
“Anja undisputedly had the greatest expertise in ticketing within the industry and continuously developed this area for our company over 20 years and adapted it to the current market conditions,” adds Mitha. “Along the way, she was extremely successful in helping to build up the sports events area in our portfolio. We are very reluctant to let her go, but are happy for her that her well-deserved retirement will now provide her with even more time for traveling, golfing and attending the odd handball match with her husband Karsten.”
“I thank Anja Schwencke from the bottom of my heart for her outstanding commitment to our company”
Schwencke retired last month, having joined KJK full-time in 2000, taking over the ticketing division from Margret Kosanke.
“I thank Anja Schwencke from the bottom of my heart for her outstanding commitment to our company,” adds KJK founder Karsten Jahnke. “Although she was ‘only’ employed with us for 22 years, she has been associated with our company for well over 40 years as the daughter of our long-time financial accountant and personnel manager Monika Diers, as well as her commitment to ticket service and as a box office employee.
“In February 2000, she took over our ticketing as successor to my sister Margret Kosanke and has not only continuously modernised it, but also made our ticket service the most popular ticket provider in Germany. Thanks to her outstanding expertise, Anja is highly respected within the industry and has constantly championed the interests of us independent concert promoters against the big ticket providers. As if this were not enough, she has also established the sports events division in our company.
“She has worked tirelessly for her team and has built up two extremely competent successors in Jessica and Steffi. I wish her all the best for her new phase of life and hope that she will be able to work successfully on her golf handicap together with her husband Karsten from now on and that they both will enjoy many beautiful travels”
Subscribers can read IQ‘s recent 60th anniversary feature on Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion here.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.