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Emporium Presents hires ex-BSE Global exec as COO

Majority Live Nation-owned US promoter Emporium Presents has announced the appointment of Tina Suca as chief operating officer.

Suca will lead Emporium’s business operations and help support the company’s growth.

Suca joins Emporium Presents from BSE Global, where she held the role of vice president of industry relations. In her position, Suca assisted the booking of all BSE properties – 16,800-capacity NYCB Live (formerly Nassau Coliseum), Webster Hall (1,400-cap.) and the recently sold Barclays Center (19,000-cap.).

Prior to BSE, Suca was vice president for ArenaNetwork, general manager and booker for SMG’s Nassau Coliseum and MSG’s the Forum at Inglewood (17,505-cap.), and general manager at Live Nation’s the Wiltern (2,300-cap.).

“We are extremely excited to have Tina join Emporium and use her vast industry experience and relationships to take us to another level”

“We are extremely excited to have Tina join Emporium and use her vast industry experience and relationships to take us to another level,” says Emporium Presents co-director Jason Zink.

Tina Suca will be working out of Emporium Presents’ Colorado office.

Emporium Presents was born in 2016, as the result of a merger between Zink’s Sherpa Concerts and Dan Steinberg’s Square Peg Concerts. Live Nation took a 51% stake in the promoter in 2018. Steinberg and Zink continue to direct the company.

With offices in Colorado and Washington, Emporium promotes over 400 shows annually across the United States and has a growing presence in Canada. The company recently expanded its booking team, hiring talent buyers Laura Vilches and Danny Cohen.


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Live Nation acquires majority stake in Emporium Presents

Live Nation has acquired a 51% stake in Colorado-based promoter Emporium Presents.

Emporium – formed in June 2016 by the merger of Jason Zink’s Sherpa Concerts and Dan Steinberg’s Square Peg Concerts – is headquartered in Golden, Colorado, near Denver, and also has offices in Seattle and Birmingham, Alabama.

The deal with Live Nation sees the acquisition-hungry concert giant take a majority stake in Emporium Presents, although the company will keep its name, corporate identity and all staff. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Emporium becomes the latest independent US promoter to be snapped up by a major corporate this year, following Live Nation’s takeover of Wisconsin’s Frank Productions and Texas’s ScoreMore Shows shows and last week’s acquisition of PromoWest Productions by AEG Presents.

“Dan and Jason are dedicated promoters, through and through. Their industry insight and strong relationships have grown Emporium Presents into a national promoter in just a few short years, and we can’t wait to see what else they achieve now that they are part of Live Nation,” says Bob Roux, president of US concerts at Live Nation.

“Dan and Jason are dedicated promoters, through and through”

“We are looking forward to collaborating with our new partner, Live Nation, and building on what has already been a great long-term relationship between our two companies” says Steinberg.

“Our overall philosophy is to do right by the artists and do right by the fans, and everything else takes care of itself. We know Live Nation is a prime example of that,” adds Zink.

“This new partnership will present a lot of opportunities for the artists we are fortunate enough to work with.

Emporium Presents promotes more than 400 shows annually, including concerts, stand-up comedy and performances by TV personalities.

Steinberg says a knock-on effect of the acquisition is that he will step back from presenting his popular Promoter 101 podcast, given that he “may now have an inside position on things that can’t really be public, and I don’t want people to be uncomfortable about that”. Steinberg’s role as news writer/producer will be taken over by co-host Luke Pierce, with Steinberg restricting his involvement to interviewing and executive producer duties, he tells Pollstar.


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Beese: Balance key for venues promoting own shows

The Roundhouse’s head of music, Jane Beese, has spoken of the challenges involved in venues producing their own shows – and the importance of not “pissing off” promoters in the process.

Beese appeared at ILMC’s new Venue Summit on 9 March, where she was a panellist for the Industry relationships session alongside AEG Ogden’s Tim Horton, Emporium Presents’ Jason Zink, Kilimanjaro Live’s Stuart Galbraith, UTA’s Paul Ryan, Ticketmaster’s Doug Smith and chair Lucy Noble, of the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Noble asked all three venue operators (Beese, Horton and Noble) on the panel whether they promote their own shows – and, if so, how much friction it causes with promoters. Noble said part of her role at the Royal Albert Hall is to develop its own and co-productions, which currently make up around 14% of the venue’s total programming. These shows – although still a relatively small part of its business, so “no one should panic yet!” – are good for the venue as “we can control the brand more, have an input on artistic quality and link in our education and outreach programme,” she continued, “and, being honest, we do quite well financially out of them as well.”

Beese said the north London venue welcomes more than 100 shows a year from external promoters, so “balance is important: balance between promoters coming in, corporate events and our own programming, which also includes circus, spoken-word and performing-arts events.”

“We’ve had steal shows from us – and that’s the last time we’ll work with that venue”

“Promoters are a huge chunk of our business,” she continued, “so it’s not in our interest to be pissing them off.”

UTA agent Paul Ryan said he “see[s] it from both sides.” “The word ‘balance’ was used – I think that’s a good term,” he explained. “As an agent working across multiple territories, we’ve got to look at what’s good for the artist. Venues like the Royal Albert Hall and Roundhouse are a bit different, but if it’s a standard rock ’n’ roll venue […] there’s got to be a good reason why you’d want to go into a venue directly instead of dealing with a national promoter.”

Noble asked Kilimanjaro CEO Stuart Galbraith if he’d be angry if the Royal Albert Hall bid against him for a one-night show. “Yes!” he replied, to laughs. While “there are a lot of reasons why venues should self-promote in certain circumstances,” Galbraith said going promoter-free only works if the show is a “slam-dunk sell-out. If you’ve got a show that stops at 60% there’s nowhere else to go,” he commented. “That’s where we [the promoter] would make a difference.”

The reason he’d be angry if Kili and a venue both bid on the same show, he added, is because “you’d only bid on shows you think are going to sell out,” leaving the promoter to handle the riskier prospects.

Emporium Presents talent buyer Jason Zink said he’s had venues that have “stolen shows from us – and that’s the last time we’ll work with that venue.”

“Promoters are a huge chunk of our business. It’s not in our interest to be pissing them off”

The discussion also touched on ticketing: specifically the merits and drawbacks of venues operating their own box offices. Ticketmaster’s Doug Smith said it’s up to venues whether they want to ticket their own shows, but by doing so they miss out on Ticketmaster’s “good technology line [and] huge market reach.” “We want to assist you in selling out your venue,” he commented.

Zink said venues have be to sure that if they do go the self-ticketing route, they have the infrastructure in place to deal with demand. “We had a case last year – an arena show – where the website went down for an hour after on-sale,” he said. “That’s not acceptable: if people can’t buy tickets when they want to.”

Beese said the Roundhouse holds on to 70% of ticket inventory, with the remaining 30% going to the promoter. That’s not enough, said Galbraith: “Many venues now are saying you need to give us 60–70%, and then the only tickets that aren’t selling are the venue’s allocation. I have to pay to take them out of the box office, which is wrong. […] Venues are stopping us being able to effectively promote.”

“The proportion held back is sometimes an issue,” agreed Ryan. “As an agent, all I really care about is having those tickets spread as widely as possible.”


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