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Stuart Galbraith, Oliver Hoppe join DEAG board

Germany’s Deutsche Entertainment (DEAG) has appointed Kilimanjaro Live’s Stuart Galbraith and Wizard Promotions’ Oliver Hoppe as divisional board members.

Galbraith becomes executive vice president of international touring, and is tasked with the development of the rock/pop/contemporary business within the DEAG Group and in DEAG’s national markets (Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark).

Hoppe, meanwhile, is named executive vice president of product and innovation, and is responsible for the further development of the overarching product acquisition and utilisation.

DEAG says the pair’s tasks will also include the further expansion of the live entertainment business and a stronger interlinking of the DEAG Group companies.

This includes the development of new channels for the evaluation of content as well as the further harmonisation of various distribution channels.

Hoppe and Galbraith will assist DEAG’s executive board with the implementation of M&A projects

In addition, Hoppe and Galbraith will assist DEAG’s executive board with the implementation of M&A projects and create further synergy effects in ticketing and artist acquisition.

Hoppe is managing director of the DEAG subsidiary Wizard Promotions, the main tour and concert promoter within the DEAG Group in Germany. In recent years, the company has organised concerts by Iron Maiden, Bryan Ferry, Zucchero, Papa Roach, KISS, Böhse Onkelz and den Scorpions, among other artists.

Wizard’s portfolio also includes artists like 50 Cent, Limp Bizkit and Jamie Cullum.

Galbraith is CEO of the British promoter Kilimanjaro Live. The DEAG subsidiary has significantly expanded its event portfolio in recent years to include areas such as the spoken word, comedy and sports, and is now one of the largest live entertainment promoters in the UK. Both Galbraith and Hoppe will remain active in these roles.

The executive board is completed by Jacqueline Zich (executive vice president classics & jazz and COO DEAG Classics AG) and Benedikt Alder (executive vice president legal affairs & business development).

 


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Intimate Ed Sheeran show to launch charity series

Ed Sheeran is to kick off the newly created Wellstock x For One Night Only charity event series with a one-off show at London’s 900-cap Union Chapel.

Sheeran will perform an acoustic set at the venue on Tuesday 11 October, promoted by Kilimanjaro Live.

The event is being held in support of confidential mental health text support service Shout, which is powered by Mental Health Innovations – a digital mental health charity founded with the support of The Royal Foundation of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.

No tickets will be on sale for the Sheeran concert or other future For One Night Only events, with the fundraising initiative designed to create “extraordinary experiences that money cannot buy”. A total of 300 pairs of tickets will be available via charity prize draw.

Entrants are asked to make a voluntary donation of £10 to the For One Night Only Fund that will be donated to Shout.  All those who donate but are unsuccessful in securing a ticket will receive an exclusive video from the night.

“The conversation around mental health is such an important one”

“I am excited to announce that I have teamed up with For One Night Only for this very special one-off concert,” says Sheeran. “It’s the first in a series of events they’ll be creating and will be a brilliant night in an intimate and special venue.

“The conversation around mental health is such an important one. We all have mental health, we all need to talk about it and there is also a need to have places to go when we are struggling. You have the chance of joining me in London by entering the charity prize draw at foronenightonly.org and you can support Shout by making a £10 donation.”

For One Night Only has been created by Emmy-award winning content creator Harder Than You Think (HTYT). The original concept for the event has been developed by Kevin Cahill, Sport Relief founder and honorary life president of Comic Relief, and Kim Chappell from Chappell Productions.

“The aims are to use events to bring mental health awareness to the fore whilst also looking at fundraising”

The first For One Night Only event has been developed in collaboration with Wellstock, an initiative created by singer Will Young which is aiming to raise awareness and funds for a variety of mental health charities.

“Wellstock has been an idea of mine for a long time,” says Young. “The aims are to use events to bring mental health awareness to the fore whilst also looking at fundraising and with an overview of acceptance, validation and blowing away the shame that can attach itself to feeling anything other than happiness.

“We are thrilled to align with the charity Shout and For One Night Only to create our first unique event with Ed Sheeran with more to come next year. Ed’s event is going to be super special with more news to come very soon.”

 


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Stuart Galbraith on UK’s huge live music summer

Kilimanjaro Live chief Stuart Galbraith has given his verdict on the UK’s huge summer of live music in a new interview with IQ.

DEAG-owned Kili is coming off a spectacular summer in which it sold 1.5 million tickets for shows including stadium dates with Ed Sheeran and Stereophonics, alongside its annual Kew the Music and Live at Chelsea outdoor concert series and a raft of other tours.

More than one million people in the UK attended concerts in a single weekend in late June, while the past few weeks have been similarly jam-packed. But Galbraith does not expect the level of touring seen in 2022 to become the norm once the huge backlog of rescheduled gigs from 2020/21 clears up.

“Next summer will be busy, but I don’t think it will be as busy as this year has been”

“I think it has to be an outlier,” he tells IQ. “There is so much product that has been rescheduled and I think we will see things settle down as we head into the autumn and then into spring next year, because if you think of the volume [of shows] we have as a medium-sized company and then start to think of the volume that the bigger promoters have carried forward, it’s just too much.

“Next summer will be busy both indoors and outdoors, but I don’t think it will be as busy as this year has been, which is no bad thing. The market needs to readjust, particularly as we come out of Covid and face new challenges for customers’ money such as heating bills, inflation and recession.

“Looking at what we have going forwards, we’re comfortable having fewer shows than we’ve had in the last 12 months, but we’re also comfortable that they are all selling well. This autumn for instance, we’ve got Andrea Bocelli [arena shows originally planned for 2020]. We’ve got a comeback tour with Blue. We’ve got now more dates with Hans Zimmer next spring at arena level and then a whole myriad of tours at theatre level and they’re all doing well. The market’s getting back to normal.”

In September 2020, Kili established Singular Artists with veteran concert promoters Fin O’Leary, Brian Hand and Simon Merriman to organise concerts in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“Running through the spring has been tough but as we head into the autumn and the end of the summer, we’re seeing ticket sales becoming stronger,” says Galbraith. “We’ve got a brand new outdoor concert series with them at Collins Barracks [Dublin] at the end of August and we’re feeling very optimistic about that. We’ve got shows in there with Simply Red, Alt-J, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Fleet Foxes, and we’ve also just had an on sale in arenas in Ireland with The Vamps that has opened up brilliantly.”

“For other festivals in the marketplace, I’m hearing it’s feast or famine”

Kili also has the return of Scotland’s Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival to look forward to from 28-30 July, with a line-up featuring Nile Rodgers + Chic, Van Morrison Emili Sandé, The Fratellis, Passenger and Shed Seven, among others. The festival, which has taken place at the Belladrum Estate near Inverness since 2004, was acquired by DEAG via Kili in 2018.

Last year, DEAG also acquired a majority stake in UK Live, the independent Buckinghamshire-based promoter behind festivals such as Let’s Rock, PennFest and Sunset Sessions. While Galbraith is pleased with the performances of his own events, the picture for the wider sector is more mixed.

“For other festivals in the marketplace, I’m hearing it’s feast or famine – they’re either doing really well or they’re struggling terribly,” he says. “I think it comes down to when the tickets were sold and how strong the brand is, so it’s quite a mixed bag.”

And having debuted “indie and alternative sounds” festival Neck of the Woods in Norwich in May, Galbraith says Kili is always on the lookout for fresh opportunities in the market.

“We’re continuing to expand; we have got several projects that we’re looking at and it’s carrying on our policy of expansion that we had both heading into pandemic and through the pandemic,” he says. “We’ll carry on looking in the marketplace for new friends that we can bring into the group.”

“Cultural VAT lobbying is huge for LIVE”

Galbraith also discusses the formation of the UK’s first live music trade body LIVE last year, which he played a key role in establishing alongside Live Nation’s Phil Bowdery. The organisation appointed hospitality industry expert Jon Collins as its new chief executive officer in the spring.

“LIVE came out of necessity,” he suggests. “There was common crisis, as it were. And one of the key steps forward was putting together a funding model that has given it three years of guaranteed income and enabled us to put in place Jon Collins as its first ever permanent CEO, and give him secretariat support.

“Going forward, I think LIVE has got huge amounts of work to do. Certainly, one of the key asks at the moment is to recognise the huge benefit of a reduced level of VAT on arts and culture. Many societies and countries across the world have reduced cultural rates of value added tax. And what we saw during the pandemic was the massive impact that had on getting that sector going again and also its ability to basically generate new business, so cultural VAT lobbying is huge for LIVE.

“I think there’s a massive piece of work on environmentalism and greening our business sector in readiness for regulations that will be coming down the line to comply with our international commitments as a member of the world community. There are many other things – whether it be supply chain issues, visas and touring in Europe, or employee wellbeing – and I think LIVE will go from strength-to-strength in leading and being the voice in all of those sectors of discussion and conversation going forward.”

Galbraith reflects on how attitudes within the live business have changed since March 2020.

“What’s interesting is during the two years of pandemic, there was certainly a mood switch across so many organisations – and it was very much that we were all in it together,” he says. “There was a massive element of cooperation and sharing of information because we all had one common goal and that was survival.

“It’s not unexpected that competitiveness has since come back in, but I do think that we’ve learned a great deal about each other and there’s a great deal more willingness to pick the phone up and say, ‘This is an issue, how are you dealing with it?’ So I do think that we’ve come up as a more robust sector, but equally, as was expected, we’ve gone back to making sure that we’re doing the best for our employees, artists and shareholders, etc.”

“There is no discrimination of Covid over any other communicable disease”

And following the Covid-enforced shutdown of two years ago and the Omicron spike last winter, Galbraith suggests the business is much better equipped to deal with any further bumps in the road.

“We’ve obviously all learned a great deal during the pandemic,” he says. “I think we’re much better and I think the public are much better equipped to deal with something that would be classed as a resurgence. We’re wary of the months of December, January, February and, in the way that we recognise there’s a seasonal flu season, perhaps we’ve now just got to get ready to be aware that there may be a seasonal Covid season.

“But there is no discrimination of Covid over any other communicable disease. So if you’ve got flu, you stay at home because a) you feel bad and b) you want to be responsible to the other people in and around your office or auditorium, and I think the same is going to be true of Covid.

“I think the only time we’re going to see any major change is if there’s a significant shift in government policy of learning to live with Covid and it gets to the point where they’re having to protect NHS again. But God forbid we never get to that point now  with the endemic level of vaccinations throughout the population.”

 


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Inside Kilimanjaro Live’s spectacular summer

Kilimanjaro Live boss Stuart Galbraith has revealed the company has sold 1.5 million tickets for its summer shows as it roared back from the pandemic.

Kili co-promoted Ed Sheeran’s UK stadium tour with FKP Scorpio UK and staged further stadium dates with Stereophonics, as well as a host of other outdoor concerts including its Kew the Music and Live at Chelsea series.

Galbraith tells IQ the sheer volume of shows delivered – which included a backlog of rescheduled dates from 2020/21 alongside new bookings – has been “remarkable”.

“When we came out of the pandemic for the first time around autumn last year, we actually had 950 shows on sale, which is the most we’ve ever had as a company,” he says. “So what we’ve done, certainly through last autumn and the first seven months of this year, is plough through that huge volume of rescheduled shows.”

“When you step back and look at what the team has achieved, it’s fantastic”

In addition, Kili has been involved in a string of major arena tours with the likes of Simply Red, Craig David, Hans Zimmer, UB40, Jeff Dunham and Sam Fender, plus theatre gigs by the likes of Jeff Beck, Nick Mason, Tony Hadley and Dita VonTeese.

“It’s remarkable to think that’s all done now,” reflects Galbraith. “We’re now almost at the point where the only things left are some Andrea Bocelli shows in October and everything else on sale is new stuff. When you step back and look at what the team has achieved, it’s fantastic.”

The UK leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) tour wrapped up with five dates at Wembley Stadium at the start of this month. Coming on the back of the singer’s record-shattering 2017-19 ÷ (Divide) run, which surpassed U2’s 360° as the highest-grossing tour ever, Galbraith says the 31-year-old’s timing could not have been better.

“Ed Sheeran’s UK tour played to just under a million tickets, which is stunning”

“His timing with regards to the pandemic was just remarkably perfect because he’d stopped working,” notes Galbraith. “We finally finished the Divide tour in Ipswich in 2019 and he had intended to take 2020 and 2021 off anyway. And then we put the tour on sale at the end of September last year, when customer confidence was at its peak. Everything was fine and the world was getting back to normal. Then Omicron reared its head in late November, but by that time we’d sold 95% of the tickets.

“We picked the tour up in late May [2022], starting in Cardiff, and by then, any issues with regards to Covid restrictions and practical arrangements on the road had pretty much disappeared as well. So it was remarkable timing.”

He adds: “The tour was just phenomenal. Ed’s performance, the addition of the band in some elements of the show and the scale of the production, have taken it to a different level. Excluding Ireland, which we’re not involved in, that UK tour played to just under a million tickets, which is stunning.”

Kili also reunited with old friends Stereophonics, who were joined by an all-star cast of Welsh greats headed by Tom Jones for the band’s two homecoming gigs at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in June.

“I’ve worked with Stereos since the early ’90s and these were their two biggest ever shows. We sold 110,000 tickets across the two dates. It was also broadcast not only on BBC Wales, but also on BBC Two, which was the icing on the cake.”

“While the hot stuff is really hot, some of the other stuff has proved hard work to sell”

However, Galbraith is keen to stress the summer has not been without its challenges.

“In terms of selling tickets, there’s a lot out there,” he says. “And while the hot stuff is really hot, some of the other stuff has proved hard work to sell. But again, most of that is rescheduled shows – some of which we put on sale in 2019 and we’re finally delivering in the summer of 2022, so it’s almost three years since the customers have had those tickets.

“A perfect example of that is Belladrum festival which takes place at the end of July. The tickets for Belladrum were sold in August 2019. and so those customers will have held those tickets for a full three years when we actually finally get to deliver the festival that they paid for, it’s quite remarkable.”

Kili is part of the DEAG group of companies and Galbraith suggests the UK market is “a few months ahead” of many of its European contemporaries in terms of its post-pandemic recovery.

“The UK has had a very, very good summer in comparison to other marketplaces”

“While things are up and running now in Germany, certainly there are still levels of restrictions, levels of testing and elements of life that are still not normal,” he says. “And what we’ve seen in the UK is things that only truly come back once society really accepts that Covid is over. But also, that it doesn’t necessarily come back with the roaring ’20s that we’d all hoped it would, because there is just so much demand now for customers’ money, not just from an entertainment point of view, but from other pressures: inflation, heating bills, recession, etc.

“I think the UK has had a very, very good summer in comparison to other marketplaces and we’re seeing ticket sales becoming stronger. We’ve ended up selling a million and a half tickets this summer, which is a huge success for us. And it’s brilliant to finally be back on the road again and doing what we do best – albeit the teams have faced some huge challenges, which we’re very pleased to see that they’ve overcome. But we hope that those challenges will diminish as we head into what will hopefully become a bit more of a normal business sector again.

“I’m hugely proud of the team and hugely proud of everyone that works with Kili across its entire spectrum. We’re very optimistic heading into the autumn.”

 


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UK fest cancelled due to ‘oversaturated market’

The UK’s This is Tomorrow festival has been cancelled for 2022, with organisers blaming an “oversaturated market” for the decision.

The 15,000-cap event in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park sold out last year, when it featured performances by headliners including Sam Fender, Gerry Cinnamon and Dermot Kennedy. It was set to return from 3-5 June, but no acts had been announced and the event has now been pushed back to 2023.

“We are sorry to tell you that we have taken a business decision to not run This Is Tomorrow festival this year,” says a festival statement. “It’s disappointing we know, but we can promise you a seriously strong line up of acts when we come back with a bigger and better event on 26-28 May in 2023.

“We appreciate your support in buying early bird tickets for this year but, with an oversaturated market and an ongoing economic crisis, 2022 is not the time for the festival to expand further and build on last year’s success.”

“The recent discussions and restrictions placed on the licence for Exhibition Park present a challenge, but this is not the reason we are choosing to have a year off”

Kilimanjaro Live stepped in to stage This is Tomorrow 2021, held last September, after allegations of inappropriate behaviour and bad business practices” were levelled against Newcastle-based promoter SSD Concerts. The claims also led to mass cancellations at SSD’s Hit The North Festival in Newcastle last October after the firm released the findings of an independent investigation.

Chronicle Live reports that Newcastle City Council imposed strict new limits on large-scale events in Exhibition Park – including heavier restrictions on noise levels – following a flurry of complaints from residents regarding last year’s festival. However, organisers say that was not a factor in the cancellation.

“The recent discussions and restrictions placed on the licence for Exhibition Park present a challenge, but this is not the reason we are choosing to have a year off, and we are looking forward to This is Tomorrow returning to its traditional place in the calendar during the May bank holiday weekend,” adds the statement.

“We have begun the process of refunding all of you who took advantage of the early bird offer – and we hope to be in a position very soon when we can announce our exciting plans for 2023.”

 


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Stuart Galbraith talks getting back to business

Kilimanjaro Live CEO Stuart Galbraith has told IQ he is “optimistic but nervous” about the concert industry’s return to business.

As co-founder of UK trade body LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment), Galbraith has been a key player in the restart efforts. But despite England lifting remaining restrictions last month, the promoter warns the spectre of Covid is likely to hover over the sector for a little while longer.

“We’ve been very optimistic, but we’re also still very nervous,” says Galbraith. “And I think for the next several weeks and months, we will still see some cancellations and postponements.”

Galbraith points out Kili was forced to hurriedly reschedule seven Simply Red arena concerts in February due to Covid cases in the camp (although, ironically, the band’s shows at The O2 would have been moved anyway due to the original dates falling in the week the London venue was closed due to storm damage).

Earlier this week, Belgium transitioned to ‘code yellow’ on its coronavirus barometer, meaning the majority of measures have now been lifted. Elsewhere in Europe, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Switzerland have all announced plans to lift all remaining limits, with Germany also set to axe most Covid curbs from its 20 March “Freedom Day”.

“Until the rest of Europe catches up with where we’re at in the UK, we’re going to also see some postponements and cancellations due to artists not being able to make the UK work in isolation,” advises Galbraith.

“Now that Covid has no legal status over and above any other disease then that’s it, life is back to normal from an event organiser’s point of view”

Speaking in the new issue of IQ, Galbraith also tackled the matter of ticket refunds as the world emerges from the pandemic.

“Realistically, now that Covid has no legal status over and above any other disease, then that’s it, life is back to normal from an event organiser’s point of view,” he offers. “If somebody has flu, chickenpox, mumps, or whatever, and they can’t go to the show, then unfortunately that’s just part of life and I think the same will be true of Covid.

“In the last two years we have seen a significant increase in the number of customers taking out personal insurance on their tickets. For a very small percentage of the ticket cost, you can insure your ticket in the way that you can a holiday or anything else. That insurance, in many cases, does actually give you illness cover. So I think that is an easy customer solution going forward.”

Discussing no-show rates, Galbraith says concert attendance is rebounding following a pre-Christmas slump, prompted by the Omicron spike.

“Customers were making the decision that they didn’t want to go out and expose themselves in crowded locations, and it crescendoed just prior to Christmas,” he says. “We could see a clear customer trait, which was, ‘I don’t want to catch Covid just before Christmas, so that I miss family Christmas. I don’t want to infect elderly relatives.

“As Omicron started to come into play and we headed into Christmas, [crowds] started to drop again to as little as 70% on some occasions. When we came back after Christmas, almost instantly, those attendance rates went back up to 95-97%, and that’s where they’ve been ever since.

“What was very interesting is that virtually none of those customers who didn’t attend the shows before Christmas asked us for refunds. They’d just decided they weren’t going out and would take it on the chin.”

 


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BMTH reduce emissions by 38% on arena tour

Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) reduced their tour emissions by 38% during their six-date arena run in the UK, according to sustainability experts A Greener Festival (AGF).

The ‘Post Human Tour’ reportedly achieved the reduction through using renewable fuel for trucks, plant-based meals, food waste reduction and energy-efficient equipment among other initiatives.

More than 27 tonnes of CO2e were avoided, 22 tonnes avoided by switching trucking fuel to HVO Renewable Diesel and 3,322 plastic bottles were prevented, according to a new report from AGF.

The September 2021 tour, promoted by Kilimanjaro Live’s rock arm Action! Presents, is said to be the first arena run in the UK since the pandemic.

The six-date run comprised shows at The Bonus Arena in Hull, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, Utilita Arena in Birmingham and the O2 in London.

“These results are undeniable evidence that we can take huge strides to reduce emissions and protect ecosystems immediately”

AGF says that the tour was the first to achieve the aspirational reductions of touring thanks to “unprecedented collaboration between stakeholders”.

Raw Power Management, United Talent Agency (UTA), Kilimanjaro, and the O2 Arena shared the cost of sustainability implementation advice and tour impact audit.

AGF joined the tour to provide advice and consultancy, to implement and report upon proposed mitigation actions producing the Greener Tour Report and CO2 Analysis.

The resulting report is intended to not only provide insight for the internal BMTH touring team to monitor achievements, areas for improvement, and required emissions removals, but also as a resource for other touring productions to use as another step on the road towards A Greener Tour.

Matt Ash, Raw Power Management, says: “Working with an artist in BMTH and a tour production team that was fully behind the approach to sustainable touring was something that we absolutely endorsed and are keen to implement on all future touring whenever possible.”

“Their vision from the start was to produce the tour as environmentally friendly as possible”

Claire O’Neill, CEO at AGF, adds: “During the pandemic, the touring music industry came together on the important topic of sustainability. We’re so happy with the results from walking the talk with the first UK arena tour off the mark. The report shows a direct link between well-being, stress, and environmental sustainability. Culture change and industry restructuring are essential to achieve a green future for artist touring. There is much still to be done, but these results are undeniable evidence that we can take huge strides to reduce emissions and protect ecosystems immediately. There’s no excuse to delay.”

Alan Day, promoter at Kilimanjaro/Action!, comments: “Bring Me The Horizon were the first band in the UK, possibly the world, to complete a full non-rescheduled arena tour after the height of the pandemic. Their vision from the start was to produce the tour as environmentally friendly as possible, whilst still giving the audience the best spectacle achievable. From savings in plastic waste, to transport, to accommodation, to stage production and more, I am proud to have produced such a landmark tour and hopefully an example for the future”.

Steve Sayer, VP & GM of The O2, says: “The O2 were delighted to collaborate with all the other partners on this important project to build back a more sustainable touring and live music industry. Venues are a big part of the live ecosystem and we are keen to learn how we can further reduce our footprint as we develop our plans to get to net zero; and support the tours do the same. Credit to BMTH for taking the lead on this and showing us the way.”

AGF recently announced the first speakers for its 2022 Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI),  the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.

The 14th edition of GEI, in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29 April. Click here for tickets and more information.

 


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Kilimanjaro Live to launch new UK festival

UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live is to launch a new “indie and alternative sounds” festival called Neck of the Woods.

The one-day event will take place at Earlham Park in Norwich on Sunday 29 May with up to 14,000 fans.

The Kooks are set to headline the festival, marking the 15th anniversary of their iconic debut studio album ‘Inside In/Inside Out’.

The Kooks are set to headline the festival, marking the 15th anniversary of their iconic debut studio album

DMN’s, Sea Girls, Dodie, Lottery Winners, Yonaka, Kawala, Crawlers and Stone are also slated to perform across three stages, with more acts to be announced in “due course”. Tickets for Neck of the Woods will be available from 28 January.

Kilimanjaro’s stable of outdoor events includes Kew the Music at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and Live at Chelsea – both of which are in London – as well as Belladrum Festival in the highlands of Scotland.

Alongside Neck of the Woods, Earlham Park, located next to the University of East Anglia, is also due to host Let’s Rock Festival and concerts from Craig David and Simply Red this year.

 


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DEAG acquires Fane Productions via Kilimanjaro

Germany’s DEAG (Deutsche Entertainment AG) has announced the acquisition of literary events production company Fane Productions via its subsidiary Kilimanjaro.

Through the acquisition, DEAG is “successfully expanding its business activities in the UK, the company’s most important secondary market,” according to a statement from the Berlin-based live entertainment group company.

In the UK market, DEAG has already acquired a majority stake in UK Live in June 2021, as well as a majority stake in UK ticketing vendor Gigantic Holdings in December 2019.

This follows the company’s acquisition of promoter The Flying Music Group in 2017 and Belladrum Festival in Scotland in 2018.

Meanwhile, Kilimanjaro acquired a stake in Collective Form in early 2021, and launched Irish promoter Singular Artists in 2020 along with DEAG.

Founded in 2017, Fane Productions has hosted sold-out live events for talent including Margaret Atwood, Malala Yousafzai and Grayson Perry. In 2020, Fane launched an online arm that has “revolutionised” the way virtual book events are delivered. The company has offices in the UK and Australia.

“After a year of exponential growth and our busiest autumn ever, it’s the perfect time to join forces”

Stuart Galbraith, CEO at Kilimanjaro Live, says: “Having known Alex for several years we are pleased to welcome Fane Productions into the Kili Group. We look forward to working with Alex for many years to come and expanding and growing the Fane family both in the UK and internationally.”

Alex Fane, MD at Fane Productions, adds: “I’m delighted to be partnering with DEAG and Kilimanjaro Live as we look to our next steps as a company. After a year of exponential growth and our busiest autumn ever, it’s the perfect time to join forces with an industry leader who understands our business and can offer us the expertise and investment we need to expand our offer within the UK and beyond.”

Jonny Geller, CEO of The Curtis Brown Group, comments: “We were all excited at Curtis Brown to launch Fane Productions into the world of literary and live events back in 2017 and many of our clients have worked happily with their team over the years. We are proud to have seen Fane grow over the years and are delighted that they have found a new home in Kilimanjaro and we wish them many more years of spreading the joy of reading throughout the country.”

Earlier this year, DEAG raised another €6 million to fund acquisitions, and says it recently enlisted the services of a “renowned American investment bank” to identify new opportunities outside its “core markets of Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark”.

 


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Sheeran sales fill European promoters with optimism

Ed Sheeran’s recently announced ‘blockbuster’ tour has filled promoters with optimism about the industry’s post-pandemic recovery.

Tickets for the first leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (‘mathematics’) stadium tour went on sale last Saturday (25 September), with extra dates added due to demand.

The tour, which kicks off in April next year, will see Sheeran play shows across the UK, Ireland, Central Europe and Scandinavia.

The UK leg, which now includes five dates at London’s Wembley Stadium (cap. 90,000), will be largely be staged by Kilimanjaro and FKP Scorpio – both of which say that the demand is a positive sign for the industry’s recovery.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the ticket sales we’ve done on next year’s tour; so much so that we’ve been able to add extra shows everywhere including fourth and fifth nights at London’s Wembley Stadium,” Kilimanjaro’s Steve Tilley tells IQ.

“I know I speak on behalf of both Kilimanjaro and FKP when I say that we’re over the moon to see the strength of the market especially coming out of what’s been a terrible 18 months for the live music industry and associated ecosystem.’’

“This should provide us all with optimism that our industry can recover and even become bigger than ever”

FKP Scorpio UK’s managing director and longtime Sheeran co-promoter, Daniel Ealam, tells IQ: “We are so pleased with the sales on these shows. It not only proves the magnetism of Ed after the incredible success of the [previous] Divide Tour but also shows that blockbuster tours can still sell huge numbers, as we begin to come through the pandemic. This should provide us all with optimism that our industry can recover and even become bigger than ever.”

FKP Scorpio CEO Folkert Koopmans told Germany’s Musik Woche that he was “very satisfied” with ticket sales for ‘+ – = ÷ x’ so far.

According to Musik Woche, a few hours after the start of advance sales, FKP Scorpio had already sold more than a million tickets for the 31 European concerts it is involved with. German shows in Munich, Gelsenkirchen and Frankfurt account for 200,000 of the total.

“We are very satisfied with this result so shortly after the start of advance sales – and more than nine months before the first concert,” Koopmans told the publication.

“Of course, the expectations of a mega-star like EdSheeran are high, but especially with a view to Covid and the resulting uncertainty among concert-goers, more than a million tickets sold within a very short time are a great result and an expression of the unbridled lust of people to finally experience live music again. ”

Sheeran’s agent, Jon Ollier from One Finiix Live, told IQ that dates in Asia, Australia, America and other territories will be announced “as things roll out”. Read the full interview with Ollier here.


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