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Metropolis Music joins Live Nation

Live Nation today announced the launch of a joint venture with Bob Angus’s Metropolis Music, with the British promoter – long rumoured to be in acquisition talks with the live entertainment giant – becoming “part of the Live Nation family” with immediate effect.

A Live Nation spokesperson tells IQ the deal is not an acquisition, and a statement from the company describes the new set-up as a “reconfiguration” of Metropolis that sees the V Festival promoter “integrating into the Live Nation team”.

Angus will lead the new-look Metropolis Music as chairman, with Raye Cosbert as managing director, Andy Robbins, Kiarn Eslami and Tony Dobson on artist bookings, Sophie Pitchforth as executive booking coordinator and Ronnie Lee as production coordinator.

“We look forward to providing the best for artists and fans across the UK, together as part of the Live Nation family”

Denis Desmond, chairman of Live Nation UK, says the deal marks “another step in our commitment to promotions and world-class events in the UK. We’re bringing Metropolis on board and bolstering their existing promotions expertise with Live Nation’s established frameworks, relationships and a team of experts to grow the business together.”

Angus adds: “The team and I are excited for this new venture into Metropolis Music. We’ve been promoting events in the UK since 1985, and we look forward to providing the best for artists and fans across the UK, together as part of the Live Nation family.”

Long-serving Metropolis directors Paul Hutton and Conal Dodds left Metropolis last year for new venture Crosstown Concerts.

The tie-up with Metropolis is Live Nation’s third such deal of 2016, after its acquisition of Idaho’s CT Touring and the Bottle Rock festival.


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Bob Angus: Metropolitan man

… but, as he tells Eamonn Forde, he is preparing to take a stand against the volume game that promoting seems to have become…

Bob Angus walks into his north London kitchen with his arm in a complex cast, the result of a Christmas Eve fall putting out the rubbish. IQ jokes that he now looks like Mean Machine, the psychotic, metal-armed arch-enemy of Judge Dredd. This goes down well with Angus, as he is a huge fan of 2000 AD, the eagle logo on Dredd’s badge directly inspiring the logo for Metropolis Music, the company he set up just over 30 years ago and which has grown to become one of the UK’s biggest and most respected live promoters.

We are here to talk about how the company was started; how it became the powerhouse it is today; why it has diversified in recent years into management; where the live business has changed (not always for the better); and why his company has stayed determinedly independent.

Angus (pictured) grew up in Tottenham, not far from where he lives now, and the first music he got into was glam. “Then David Bowie – that was the thing,” he says of his epiphany on hearing The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. “He was the first serious artist that got me into music.”

He recalls how he and his brother would obsess over the chart show on radio and it was through radio that he got to his first gig: Dutch prog-rock band Focus at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park, after winning tickets on Capital Radio when he was 15. “They weren’t that visually stunning,” he says of the band that introduced him to live music. “They just happened to be the first show I went to.”

Read the rest of this feature in issue 64 of IQ Magazine.

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