The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


FKPE: Why we’re investing in touring entertainment

FKP Scorpio co-CEO Folkert Koopmans, new president of FKP Scorpio Entertainment James Cassidy, and senior promoter Barry Campbell share their expansion plans

By IQ on 12 Jun 2024

We have to admit, when we first opened Jurassic World: The Exhibition at London’s ExCeL Centre in 2022, we weren’t quite expecting the huge response it got. But it was so successful (selling 314,000 tickets in just over four months) that it cemented our confidence in the exhibition, family entertainment, comedy, and special projects business.

In fact, we’re so excited by the potential for this segment that we’re launching a business division dedicated to it: FKP Scorpio Entertainment (FKPE).

Headquartered in London, FKPE will be led by James Cassidy and Barry Campbell, who launched FKP UK in 2018 with BBC Studios’ very successful Blue Planet II Live In Concert arena tour.

We are now investing significantly, including acquiring exhibition companies, adding staff, and developing new venues across Europe to accommodate the content we will be promoting in the coming years.

Currently, we have Semmel Exhibitions’ Disney 100: The Exhibition at ExCeL (it’s sold over 250,000 tickets so far). We are delighted with the venue, so confirmed an exclusive tenancy deal until 2027 and have many major IP exhibitions and events in the pipeline. Up next, will be London and multi-territory European presentations of Formula 1: The Exhibition (opening doors at ExCeL later this year), plus we are collaborating on a new experiential project with a major global gaming IP, details to be announced soon.

We plan to not only promote experiences but invest in producing content, too ,and will be making some major announcements later this year.

“In addition to our long-term agreement with ExCeL in London, we’re on schedule to complete the renovation and build of our own 8,000sqm exhibition venue”

While there are some crossover skills, promoting exhibitions is a completely different ballgame to concerts. That’s why, alongside James, Barry, and the team, we’re expanding our portfolio through the acquisition of Sweden- based Nordic Exhibitions & Events Ltd. The company was founded by promoter Stefan Papengelis in 2016 and has to date sold approximately 700,000 tickets in the Scandinavian market. Papengelis and his team of six will not only work closely with FKP Sweden managing director Bozo Rasic but will report directly into FKPE London and be responsible for developing the growth of exhibitions and special events in all Nordic markets. As part of the acquisition, FKPE now owns promotion rights to Jurassic World by Brickman, Titanic: The Exhibition, and Van Gogh Alive, which opens in Örebro this summer.

As anyone working in this sector knows, a lack of venue availability is a sticking point across Europe. So, in addition to our long-term agreement with ExCeL in London, we’re on schedule to complete the renovation and build of our own 8,000sqm exhibition venue in Oberhausen, Germany. The new venue will host separate but adaptable exhibition spaces in one location, close to transport links and smack bang in the middle of the Rhine/Ruhr catchment area, which is home to over 15m people. It is our intention for this to become the ultimate German destination for exhibitions and immersive events in years to come. IPs are lining up, there are so many great producers and excellent content out there, but we tend to find that there just aren’t enough venues. Our approach in Oberhausen will be to offer that balance between the tier-one IP and mid-portfolio exhibitions in a fully serviced one-stop venue destination.

In addition to Oberhausen, we also have a touring portable structure in Stockholm, which will be put to use for future exhibitions across Europe, something we are very keen to develop further.

Comedy is another key part of our strategy. In Germany alone, we’ve promoted over 365 shows in the last two years, selling more than 250,000 tickets. To support this German success, we’ve recruited top UK comedy promoter Ollie Catchpole (ex Robomagic/ATG) to join the FKPE international team – he will be working closely with all our offices to bring great comedy tours into UK & Europe.

As you can probably tell from our activities, we’re extremely confident about the future. There are now so many more exhibitions and special project events for people to go to these days, and FKPE can’t wait to be at the heart of it!

This article was first published in the Touring Entertainment Report 2024, which is available exclusively to IQ subscribers in print or as a digital magazineSubscribe now and view the full report. A preview version is below.


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.