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All Things Live acquires comedy agency ROA

Leading Nordic live entertainment company All Things Live has acquired ROA, a Swedish booking agency and management company for comedians, speakers, actors, screenwriters and authors.

Stockholm-based ROA becomes part of All Things Live’s comedy business, which also includes Norway’s Stand Up Norge and Sweden’s Blixten & Co. All ROA employees will remain in their jobs following the acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed.

“I am very pleased that we finally become part of All Things Live,” says Sabina Donoukará, the agency’s CEO. “It is a step in the right direction for ROA as a company, for our clients and our staff. Having the opportunity to realise our full potential feels good.

“This is the ultimate proof of the fantastic job our staff and us have done over the years. I am excited and looking forward to what is to come.”

“We are pleased and proud to welcome ROA and their many gifted comedians to the All Things Live family”

“We have owned this company for 13 years, and it is now time for us to step down as coowners and just be comedians,” says Johan Glans, a comedian who co-founded ROA in 2007 alongside David Batra, Thomas Järvheden, Özz Nûjen, Hasse Brontén and Måns Möller. “We are handing over the reins to people who can really make ROA reach its full potential. And the close collaboration with our Nordic neighbours will, of course, be extra exciting.”

Adds Henrik Berndtson of All Things Live Sweden: “We are pleased and proud to welcome ROA and their many gifted comedians to the All Things Live family. We are looking forward to strengthening our common platform in Sweden and exchanging talent, productions and experience across the other Nordic countries.”

Founded in 2018, All Things Live – backed by private-equity firm Waterland – also includes ICO Concerts and ICO Management and Touring (Denmark), Friction and Atomic Soul Booking (Norway), Maloney Concerts, Monkfish and Big Slap festival (Sweden) and Weekend Festival (Finland).

 


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Comedy promoter Stand Up Norge joins All Things Live

Pan-Nordic live music group All Things Live has acquired Stand Up Norge, Norway’s biggest comedy promoter.

Founded in 1997 by Elina Krantz, Stand Up Norge is a full-service entertainment company which represents 67 comedians (17 permanent and 50 affiliated) and organises nearly 2,000 stand-up shows a year, for an expected 2019 turnover of 200 million krone (€20m).

Stand Up also owns Latter in Oslo, Norway’s biggest comedy club.

With the acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, All Things Live says it aims to export successful Norwegian comedians to the other Nordic countries.

“We have achieved a lot in Norway, and we now turn to the Nordics to delight our neighbours as well,” says Krantz (pictured), who joins All Things Live as a partner and co-owner.

“We have achieved a lot in Norway, and we now turn to the Nordics to delight our neighbours as well”

“We look forward to working with our colleagues in All Things Live aiming to attract even more international stand up stars to Norway.”

All Things Live, backed by private-equity firm Waterland, was formed in December 2018, and includes ICO Concerts and ICO Management and Touring (Denmark), Friction and Atomic Soul Booking (Norway), Blixten & Co and Maloney Concerts (Sweden), and Weekend Festival (Finland).

The combined company has 85 employees, represents over 150 artists and produces more than 3,000 events annually.

“Stand Up Norge is a well-run company with many talented comedians and great prospects in Norway and beyond,” says Kim Worsøe, CEO of All Things Live. “We look forward to strengthening our position in Norway and introducing talents, texts and experiences from Norway in the other Nordic countries.”

 


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Comedy duo smash Swiss ticket sales record

Comic duo Cabaret DivertiMento have broken the record for the highest-ever ticket sales for a single tour of Switzerland.

The pair’s Sabbatical tour, which began in September 2016, has sold more than 350,000 tickets to date. In recognition of the new record, Christof Zogg, CEO of ticket agency Starticket, presented DivertiMento’s Jonny Fischer and Manuel Burkart with a ‘golden ticket award’ before their recent show at the Messehalle in Berne.

Zogg said the level of DivertiMento’s success has not been “achieved by other [local] greats such as Cabaret Rotstift, Marcocello, Cabaret Götterspass, the Schmirinskis or Peach Weber, nor international superstars like AC/DC or Metallica. We congratulate the duo on this success.”

 


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Comedy promoter Michael Clapham joins Kilimanjaro Live

Michael Clapham has joined Kilimanjaro Live, replacing the London-based company’s outgoing comedy promoter, Georgie Donnelly.

Clapham, who joins from Perfect Strangers Comedy, will focus on Kilimanjaro’s comedy events, promoting under the Kilimanjaro Live, Perfect Strangers and Rabbit Rabbit brands, including shows ‘in conversation with’ and the live podcast market. He brings more than six years’ experience of promoting comedy events, with previous work including producing profitable runs at the Edinburgh Festival; programming the comedy at Bluedot; and co-founding the award-winning Group Therapy brand and the first Manchester Podcast Festival.

“I’m extremely pleased to be joining Kilimanjaro Live, working on some incredibly exciting projects,” he says. “I’ll be helping to develop the great work at Kili promoting the finest stand-up comedy shows and working with emerging talent across this growing industry”.

“We look forward to Michael building on our huge successes of the past few years in comedy”

Donnelly, whose departure was announced earlier today, is headed to UTA as a comedy agent.

“We are delighted to welcome Michael into the Kili family and particularly pleased to be working with someone with such an encyclopaedic knowledge of the comedy world,” comments Kilimanjaro CEO Stuart Galbraith. “We look forward to Michael building on our huge successes of the past few years in comedy and developing further into the worlds of spoken word and podcast live entertainment”.

Kili’s tenth-anniversary year in 2018 was its busiest to date, with highlights including comedy tours by Jim Jefferies, Aziz Ansari, Maria Bamford and Tape Face, 15 stadium shows for Ed Sheeran (for which it won an Artist and Manager Award), two stadium shows for Stereophonics and ten additional outdoor shows, including dates at Kew the Music and Live at Chelsea.

 


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Ex-Kili comedy promoter Georgie Donnelly joins UTA

United Talent Agency (UTA) has hired Georgie Donnelly, most recently head of comedy at UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live, as an agent in its comedy touring division.

Based in UTA’s London office, Donnelly will book and represent comedy acts internationally. The hire forms part of an ongoing expansion of the agency’s comedy division, following the hiring last year of agent Bjorn Wentlandt from Avalon Entertainment.

Nick Nuciforo, head of comedy touring for UTA, says: “We are thrilled to have Georgie join our expanding global team. Her extensive and unique experience in promotion will be an invaluable resource to our team.

“She is a respected figure in the industry, and we look forward to working with her.”

“I cannot wait to work closely with market-leading artists and agents at the top of their game”

Donnelly joined Kilimanjaro in 2016, and has toured US comedy greats Jim Jefferies, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe and Amy Schumer,  as well as international talent including Tape Face, Jessica Fostekew and Tony Law, around the UK. She is also a leading producer at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

She comments: “I am absolutely delighted to join the team at UTA, whose roster of brilliant comedic talent is unparallelled in the industry. I cannot wait to work closely with market-leading artists and agents at the top of their game.”

Donnelly’s exit from Kili follows that of promoter Carlo Scarampi, who joined Communion Music last year.

 


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Debut Kaleidoscope festival takes place in Ally Pally grounds

Against the backdrop of London’s skyline, the first ever festival in the grounds of Alexandra Palace took place this weekend (21 July). Kaleidoscope festival saw music, poetry, comedy, art and theatre descend on the grade II listed building and surrounding park slopes and woodland.

The festival isn’t the first to take advantage of a historical spot to attract festivalgoers. Hampton Court Palace Festival, now in its 26th year, celebrated its 2018 edition with a record breaking crowd, and Kenwood House’s Heritage Concert Series saw success this year with its first shows since 2013.

On the main stage of Kaleidoscope’s inaugural year festivalgoers were treated to performances from The Flaming Lips, Mystery Jets and Beth Orton. Elsewhere, comedy performances were delivered by Katherine Ryan, Mark Watson and Dr. John Cooper Clarke.

“It’s been amazing to see so many people of all ages enjoying such a diverse mix of music, theatre, comedy and performing arts”

Guests also had the opportunity to explore the rarely-opened Victorian basements within the palace itself. Inside, an immersive theatre experience paid tribute to Alexandra Palace’s role in the creation of television.

Aimed at festivalgoers of all ages, organisers hoped the first edition of the festival would leave people ready for Kaleidoscope instalments for years to come. Speaking about the success of this year’s event, Simon Fell, founder of the Kaleidoscope, says: “It’s been amazing to see so many people of all ages enjoying such a diverse mix of music, theatre, comedy and performing arts this weekend. And what better place to do so than in one of the most beautiful locations in London.

“Something magical took place on Saturday and we can’t wait to welcome people back next year.”

 


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ICM Partners acquires Just for Laughs comedy festival

Just for Laughs Group, the company behind Montreal’s Just for Laughs, the world’s largest international comedy festival, has been acquired by an investor group led by booking agency ICM Partners and its longtime client, Canadian comedian and actor Howie Mandel.

In addition to Just for Laughs Montreal, the company organises comedy tours, TV specialists and festivals around the world, including in Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney, and has subsidiaries in the US and France and production/distribution business in some 135 other countries.

“Just For Laughs has done a phenomenal job of producing the world’s most respected comedy festival for decades and have built that into a very successful global comedy business,” says Chris Silbermann, managing director of LA-based ICM Partners.

“We see a great opportunity to work with Just for Laughs to grow the global comedy brand”

“We see a great opportunity to work with them to grow the global comedy brand, in both French- and English-speaking comedy, while allowing the team on the ground in Montreal to continue to produce the festival as they have so successfully for all these years.”

ICM made two acquisitions last year, of broadcast news agency Headline Media Management in March and speakers business Royce Carlton in October. Its music roster includes Celine Dion, the Beach Boys, Barry Gibb, Anderson Paak, Dave Stewart, the Skins, Little Simz and Mike Will Made It.

The 36th Just For Laughs Festival will take place in Montreal from 14 to 28 July.

 


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‘Internet-breaking’ Peter Kay Live tour cancelled

British comedian Peter Kay has cancelled his upcoming Peter Kay Live UK arena tour, his first in eight years, citing “unforeseen family circumstances”.

The highly anticipated tour, promoted by SJM Concerts, was reported to have ‘broken the internet’ when tickets went on sale on 19 November due to phenomenal demand.

In statement released today, Kay says: “Due to unforeseen family circumstances I deeply regret that I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects. This unfortunately includes my upcoming stand-up tour, Dance for Life shows and any outstanding live work commitments.

“My sincerest apologies. This decision has not been taken lightly and I’m sure you’ll understand my family must always come first.

“Due to unforeseen family circumstances I deeply regret that I am having to cancel all of my upcoming work projects”

“I’ve always endeavoured to protect my family’s privacy from the media. I hope that the media and the public will continue to respect our privacy at this time. Once again I’m very sorry.”

SJM says all ticket holders will be refunded at the original point of purchase.

Kay’s 2010–11 tour of the UK and Republic of Ireland, The Tour That Doesn’t Tour Tour…Now On Tour, sold more than one million tickets, making its way into the Guinness Book of Records for the most successful stand-up comedy tour of all time.

 


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Kevin Hart, world’s most bankable comedian, ‘finished with touring’

Kevin Hart, the phenomenally successful stand-up who last year became the first comedian to sell out an American football stadium when he played the 69,176-capacity Lincoln Financial Field, has revealed he may never tour again.

Hart (pictured) told cinema-owners at CinemaCon in Las Vegas yesterday: “I don’t know if I’m ever going to go out and do it [tour] again,” reports Variety.

He added that his most recent What Now? tour – which was the 12th-highest-grossing tour of 2015, and the highest entry in Pollstars chart for a non-musical act, earning US$82.2 million from 137 shows, making it one of the most successful comedy tours in history – was his “last fucking tour”.

The What Now? tour wrapped up in Johannesburg on 1 April after visiting 112 cities, 13 countries and five continents over the course of 156 shows.

Watch the trailer for Kevin Hart: What Now?, the concert film of his Lincoln Financial Field show, below: