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AEG Presents names Rick Johnson SVP, ticketing

AEG Presents has announced the appointment of Rick Johnson as senior vice president of ticketing and revenue, having frequently advised ticketing outlet AXS.

Based in Los Angeles, Johnson will be responsible for overseeing the department under the company’s global touring division and will report to president of global touring and talent Gary Gersh.

“I have long admired the team at AEG Presents and thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with them across countless tours over the years,” says Johnson. “I couldn’t be more excited to join Gary and the global touring team to drive world-class service and results for their incredible roster of artists.”

“He has the experience of building pricing and revenue products from the ground up”

“Rick brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to the team,” comments Gersh. “He has the experience of building pricing and revenue products from the ground up and seeing them all the way through to implementation. I’m so excited to welcome him to the company in this critical role.”

Johnson began his career in consulting, spending 10 years at both PwC and McKinsey & Company. In 2010, he pivoted to live music when he joined Ticketmaster as director of strategy, where he co-founded their dynamic pricing business unit Pricemaster.

His track record in the ticketing and pricing industry saw him teaming up with some of the biggest names in live music and sports to help drive ticket sales and generate incremental revenue.

 


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Finland’s live association appoints Sami Kerman as CEO

Finland’s Event Industry Association (Tapahtumateollisuus) has appointed Sami Kerman as CEO, effective 16 January 2023.

In his new role, he will be responsible for the organisation’s advocacy and influence work, as well as managing its operations and finances.

Founded during the pandemic, Events Industry Association’s members include more than 260 companies and organisations in the event industry.

Kerman joints the organisation from the Finnish Fire Protection Association where he was communications and public relations manager.

He has also worked as a special assistant to the minister of the interior Maria Ohisalo from 2019 to 2021, and has a master’s degree in production economics.

“The event industry needs its own growth programme in Finland and the operating conditions of the industry must be improved”

“Kermani has versatile social networks and strong political decision-making skills,” says Pekka Timonen, chairman of the board of the Event Industry Association. “He gets to start in a situation where the industry is making a strong return to its pre-corona growth career.”

“The event industry needs its own growth programme in Finland and the operating conditions of the industry must be improved. We need effective and long-term advocacy because the importance of the sector as a factor in employment and tax revenues is still not sufficiently understood.”

Kerman adds: “It is extremely exciting to get involved in building the success story of the event industry. The events have a huge significance not only for the economy and employment but also for people’s social well-being. The corona restrictions have been overcome, but there is a lot of work to be done in the development of labour availability and industry legislation, as well as in establishing and strengthening the position of the industry association.”

 


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88rising hires Sameen Singh as chief strategy officer

88rising, the Asian-American music powerhouse behind Head in the Clouds festival, has announced the appointment of Sameen Singh as chief strategy officer & chief digital officer.

In his new role, Singh will spearhead 88rising’s global strategy, orchestrate partnerships, power digital business development, and shepherd inorganic growth, according to a release.

Additionally, he will lead the cultivation and execution of strategic initiatives and commercial innovation, facilitating 88rising’s growth and evolution as a next-generation media and music company.

Singh will be based in Los Angeles and will report directly to CEO and founder Sean Miyashiro.

“The company that Sean has built is truly ahead of its time in the way it speaks to its audience and empowers its artists”

“I’ve been a day one fan of 88rising so it’s wonderfully thrilling and gratifying to now be a part of it,” says Singh. “I’m excited to help drive 88rising’s ability to be a multi-dimensional music powerhouse connecting culture forward. The company that Sean has built is truly ahead of its time in the way it speaks to its audience and empowers its artists. I look forward to continuing to push the envelope through creative innovation and risk-taking.”

Singh’s previous roles include chief strategy officer at music technology company Create Music Group and director of strategy and operations at pan-European live entertainment giant Superstruct.

He launched his career on Wall Street as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley before becoming an investor at private equity behemoth Providence Equity Partners, which backs Superstruct.

 


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CTS Eventim appoints Holger Horein as CFO

German live entertainment giant CTS Eventim has appointed Holger Horein as chief financial officer, effective from 31 December.

Horein joins from PEAC Finance, a UK-based business-to-business lender focussed on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises with their financing requirements, where he was CFO and chief risk officer.

He takes over from Andreas Grandinger, who has been responsible for finance for three years and “played a crucial role in helping CTS Eventim to overcome the challenging pandemic years”.

“The executive board and supervisory board would like to thank Andreas Grandinger for the excellent work he has done for CTS Eventim,” comments Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim.

“He played a crucial role in helping CTS Eventim to overcome the challenging pandemic years and emerge from the crisis with renewed strength. We wish him the very best in all his future endeavours. At the same time, I am delighted that Holger Hohrein, with his strong management record, has agreed to join us as our new CFO.

“Holger is a respected finance manager with a wealth of professional experience”

“Holger is a respected finance manager with a wealth of professional experience. His versatility and extensive specialist expertise will make him an asset to our management team, where he will undoubtedly provide fresh impetus for our successful growth strategy.”

Hohrein graduated in business administration before launching his career at McKinsey, where he advised financial services providers on strategic treasury and risk management issues.

After nine years with the management consultancy, he moved to a listed online bank, comdirect, in 2008. It was here in 2013 that Hohrein was promoted to the board of managing directors as CFO with responsibility for IT, corporate strategy, business development and innovation management.

In 2017, his career then took him to the Hamburg-based fintech company Deposit Solutions, where as COO he was responsible for the company’s international expansion and for platform development.

From 2020, Hohrein was CFO and CRO at the financial services provider PEAC Finance, where he focused on transitioning the firm’s business model to one of a deposit-taking bank and implementing pan-European transformation projects.

 


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Solo Agency names Jonathan Lomax as managing director

Solo Music Agency has appointed Jonathan Lomax as managing director to work with owners Caroline and John Giddings across the agency and the Isle of Wight festival, in the UK.

Lomax joins Solo after a 20-year career running communications agencies in London. For two years through the Covid pandemic, Jonathan ran the political lobbying and communications work for the live music industry body LIVE. He led a team working with a wide range of industry leaders to help them navigate the ever-shifting sands of policy during the pandemic, and fought to ensure the financial plight of the industry was on the radar of media and government.

In addition, he has also advised and overseen communications activity for international arena development businesses on their plans for new large-scale venues in the UK.

Lomax says: “It was one of the privileges of my career to support the live music industry during the pandemic, when I met the most interesting and committed people. Despite everyone telling me that I was mad, I was determined to work in the industry permanently and I am thrilled that John and Caroline have taken me into the Solo family.

“I find myself feeling incredibly lucky to be working with such legends of the industry”

“Yet again I find myself feeling incredibly lucky to be working with such legends of the industry as we push forward both the Isle of Wight Festival and Solo. I’m very excited and start the job knowing that, at the very least, there will never be a dull day at work.”

Caroline Giddings adds: “At Solo we’re always looking to bring in new ideas and fresh thinking and we’re excited about someone helping us run the company who has extensive experience in other fields. Like many people in the industry, we got to know Jonathan during the dark days of the pandemic and we’re excited to be working together as a team in happier times as we look to turbocharge both the agency and the Isle of Wight Festival.”

John Giddings comments: “Things never stay the same in this business, you either change or die. I’m really pleased that Jonathan is going to be working with the team on Solo’s next phase and I’m looking forward to many more successful days ahead.”

The lineup for Isle of Wight festival 2023 was recently revealed, with acts including Pulp, George Ezra, Chemical Brothers, Sugarbabes, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Anne-Marie, Gabrielle and Blondie.

 


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CAA ups Jenna Park Adler to co-head, hip-hop/R&B

CAA has promoted Jenna Park Adler to co-head of its global hip-hop/R&B touring group, alongside current head Mark Cheatham.

Adler personally reps artists across multiple genres as well as hip-hop and R&B, with a client roster that includes Jennifer Lopez, Doja Cat, Charli XCX, Green Day, Chloe x Halle, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Deftones, and Mark Ronson, among many others.

She is said to have played a key role in Doja Cat’s rise, architected Green Day’s ‘Hella Mega’ tour, and helped Lopez develop her multi-dimensional businesses.

“Jenna’s an undeniable force in the business and an invaluable member of the CAA team”

“Jenna’s an undeniable force in the business and an invaluable member of the CAA team, brilliantly delivering for artists across genres,” says CAA co-head of North American music Darryl Eaton. “Mark and Jenna bring an incredible level of energy, experience and strategic vision to our industry-leading hip-hop/R&B group. Under their leadership, the future is very bright.”

CAA’s hip-hop/R&B team, including specialists in touring, brand partnerships, and cross-over opportunities, comprises 14 agents who service artists including The Weeknd, Doja Cat, A$AP Rocky, Saweetie, Miguel, Ludacris, Jorja Smith, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Logic, Kehlani, Tems, Nav, Q-Tip, Playboi Carti, Wu-Tang Clan, and many others.

“We’re able to support our artists in more ways than ever, thanks to the agency’s tremendous – and ever-growing – number of resources and relationships,” says Adler and Cheatham in a joint statement. “Hip-hop and R&B continue to have a huge influence on the music industry and broader culture, and we couldn’t be more excited to lead our super-talented team into the next evolution of the genre.”

 


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ASM Global taps Live Nation veteran Liam Thornton

ASM Global has appointed former Live Nation veteran Liam Thornton as executive vice president of strategy and development.

In his new role, Thornton will be responsible for strategic planning, market research, site selection, lease and partnership negotiations, development feasibility, site planning, project advisory, and investment analysis.

Thorton joins ASM from Live Nation where he was executive vice president of development between 2017 and 2022.

“We already have unmatched scale and worldwide experience with a multitude of stadiums, arenas, theatres, entertainment centres, convention/event spaces and consumer touchpoints as well as the ability to integrate brands into the unique ASM Global live experience ranging from music to sports to business, tech and more,” says ASM Global president and CEO Ron Bension.

“This will drive tremendous value for private and municipal partners and ultimately guests. We’re going to leverage the coming years for a period of unprecedented growth in our business space. Liam’s extensive experience, particularly in creating new developments and enhancing existing assets, will provide far and away the most diverse and enriching opportunities the industry has ever seen.”

“Liam’s extensive experience will provide far and away the most diverse and enriching opportunities the industry has ever seen”

Thornton, adds: “ASM Global’s growth potential is unlimited. We’re already known as the world’s largest live-event physical platform with a marketing platform to match, which enables us to deliver fans and financial returns on a scale that no one else can deliver. We’re now accelerating our entry into equity investments and strategic partnerships as well as ramping up our project advisory services including feasibility studies, master planning and bringing startup projects to fruition.

“The world is craving live-event experiences more than ever, and ASM Global and investors want to be a part of those moments. No one has the breadth of events, venues, tenant partners and boots on the ground like ASM Global,” he said. “At a full run, there are 164 million people coming through our venues already. We are very excited to grow that number.”

ASM’s portfolio consists of 350 arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers and performing arts venues across five continents.

 


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DWP ups Del Williams to global head of talent

Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP), a leading independent promoter in the US, has elevated Del Williams to global head of talent.

In his new role, Williams will oversee the curation and booking of all festivals, one-offs and special events at the California-based company.

DWP’s stable of events includes Aftershock, Bourbon & Beyond, GoldenSky Country Music Festival, Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival, Louder Than Life and Welcome To Rockville.

Williams will also work closely with Billy Brill and Seth Shomes to grow the representation of DWP Talent Services (DWPTS), a division that focuses on entertainment for casinos and fairs.

“Del is part of the core fabric of DWP, going back to our roots in the Rock On The Range days,” says Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents.

“Del is part of the core fabric of DWP, going back to our roots in the Rock On The Range days”

“He was there when we started this company and it is fitting that he will help guide us as we continue to develop and grow our business. Our relationships with the artists and their representatives are more important than ever and we are thrilled to have someone as respected and skilled as Del to lead that charge.”

Williams brings to his new role 22 years as a talent booker for some of the biggest brands in entertainment including a previous position as the head of national promotion for Elektra Entertainment.

A winner of Billboard‘s National Independent Promoter Award, he is said to have been instrumental in the early success of Radiohead, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, Muse, Sublime, Alanis Morissette and Maroon 5, among others.

Williams has also been the co-creator of some of the biggest music festivals in America, including Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion and KROQ’s Inland Invasion.

 


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Wasserman Music hires Greg Horbal, Adam Krefman

Wasserman Music has appointed Adam Krefman as vice president of brand partnerships and agent Greg Horbal.

Horbal joins Wasserman following seven years at APA, bringing with him clients including Alex G, Beach Bunny, Cavetown, Chloe Moriondo, Indigo De Souza, Jeff Rosenstock, Michelle, Penelope Scott, Pinegrove and The Walters.

His early years included work as a multi-instrumentalist for indie band The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, with whom he toured for two years before becoming an agent. Horbal is based in Wasserman’s Brooklyn office.

“Greg Horbal’s knack for discovering new and developing talent is outstanding,” says Wasserman Music’s EVP & managing executive Jackie Nalpant. “We feel that the commitment to artists and the insight he brings to the team are invaluable and we’re so pleased to welcome him to Wasserman Music.”

Horbal adds: “Throughout my career I’ve admired the work and commitment of Wasserman Music’s agents to delivering for their clients and I am excited to start the next chapter of my career with this team.”

“Greg Horbal’s knack for discovering new and developing talent is outstanding”

Krefman comes to Wasserman following six years at Pitchfork/Condé Nast, where he served as executive director of festivals and activations, working on deals with brands like Pandora, Goose Island, Sonos, MailChimp, Vans, and others.

He has also been a consultant on business development and partnerships for Primavera Sound and its inaugural LA festival, the associate publisher of McSweeney’s, and publisher for Lucky Peach magazine. Krefman will be based in Wasserman’s Chicago office starting in October.

Wasserman Music’s EVP & managing executive Sam Hunt says: “Adam is a highly experienced professional who has dedicated his life to amplifying independent voices and artists, from his work with Dave Eggers at McSweeney’s to David Chang at Lucky Peach and through his many years with Pitchfork. He will be an incredibly valuable resource, benefitting all our clients as they work alongside him on career strategy and brand building.”

Krefman adds: “The people and culture at Wasserman are only surpassed by the insanely talented roster of artists. I’m inspired and humbled by the opportunity, and can’t wait to get to work on building meaningful partnerships with brands on behalf of our clients.”

 


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Live Nation CEE hires promoter Máté Horváth

Live Nation CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) has hired Budapest-based promoter Máté Horváth.

Horváth will work alongside László Borsos, head promoter at Live Nation CEE, to grow the music business in the Hungarian market and other Eastern European countries.

“With his 15 years of experience as a promoter in Hungary, we believe his addition to our Budapest office is a great opportunity to extend Live Nation’s reach in club and hall shows, as well as talent booking, and to bring more exciting bands to the Eastern European fans,” says Borsos.

“We believe his addition to our Budapest office is a great opportunity to extend Live Nation’s reach in club and hall shows”

Horváth started his career in the live music industry as a DIY promoter under the brand New Beat. He eventually became the in-house promoter of iconic underground club Dürer Kert, as well as Budapest Park, the largest open-air music venue in Central Europe. In addition, Horváth booked several festivals in Hungary.

He has promoted big-ticket acts including Rise Against, Sum 41, Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Alt-J, 5 Seconds of Summer, Deftones and My Chemical Romance, as well as burgeoning talents like Son Lux, Seafret, Whispering Sons, Little Big and Tommy Cash.

 


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