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The world’s leading promoters & the 55 top markets they operate in.
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Mostly centred in and around the major hubs of Cairo and Alexandria, the live industry in Egypt is important to the country’s cultural fabric. However, promoters
and agencies such as Live Nation Middle East, Nacelle, Dino Activations, and Event House have faced several challenges recently.
“One of the biggest drawbacks to booking international acts is the lack of centralisation when it comes to making decisions,” explains Moussa Abu Taleb, founder of Event House— who has brought over Tiësto and Julio Iglesias in previous years and has Russell Peters later in 2023. “We have to reach out to various different channels, which could enable certain departments to prioritise their own interests.”
He also laments huge taxes on the sector. “Entertainment tax is at 30%, VAT is 14%, then the ticketing platforms charge 5% to 6%, so we give away almost 50% of our sales,” he says.
“One of the biggest drawbacks to booking international acts is the lack of centralisation when it comes to making decisions.”
Another obstacle is a lack of arena-level venues. The only large venue is the 16,900-capacity International Indoor Stadium. Instead, major shows tend to go to temporary outdoor set-ups such as by the Great Pyramids of Giza.
2023 was supposed to see Travis Scott launch his UTOPIA album at the Great Pyramids, but the Live Nation-promoted show was nixed a day beforehand. Also citing the cancelled Kevin Hart show earlier this year, Abu Taleb reckons that another issue is the lack of due diligence from bookers when bringing certain international acts with a penchant for “inappropriate content” over to Egypt. “I don’t want to say that there is sensitive censorship in the country, but I feel that promoters here don’t seek clearance and approvals before proceeding with contracts,” he says.
Other independent promoters worth noting include Kord, which booked Rwala Festival at the Sinai Peninsula; Venture Lifestyle, which has brought over Jennifer Lopez,
John Legend, and Amr Diab; and byGanz, which most recently collaborated with Nacelle on the Together festival at Soma Bay by the Red Sea.