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UK venue consultancy Ghostwriter adds Motion Bristol

Richard Maides and Carl Bathgate’s Ghostwriter Consultancy & Events has added Motion in Bristol to its UK venue portfolio, announcing a five-year agreement to oversee and operate all live music events at the venue.

The 1,350-capacity warehouse venue, recently named the second-best club in the UK by DJ Mag, is the latest venue partnership for Ghostwriter, which also recently announced long-term partnerships with Eventim Olympia Liverpool (1,930-cap.) and Arena Racing Company, which runs a number of the UK’s best-known racecourses.

Ghostwriter was founded by former Academy Music Group and VMS Live directors Maides and Bathgate in 2019 and offers services including venue management, concert promotion/production, venue marketing, ticketing, health and safety compliance and event management.

Upcoming Ghostwriter-promoted or programmed events include Kaiser Chiefs at Ffos Las Racecourse in south Wales, Bath Racecourse and Doncaster Racecourse in May and June 2021, Jess Glynne at Newcastle, Lingfield Park, Doncaster and Windsor Racecourses in July and August, and Peter Hook and the Light at O2 Academy Leeds (2,300-cap.) in early 2022.

“We firmly believe [Motion] will present a strong, viable option for touring artists when visiting Bristol”

“I’m delighted to be able to share some much needed positive news for 2020,” says Motion director Martin Page. “Having worked closely over the summer on funding projects we are proud to announce our new partnership with Ghostwriter. Together we are excited to embark upon a fresh new chapter of live music at Motion and [1,600-cap. sister venue] Marble Factory.

“We will be working closely with the Ghostwriter team across a number of exciting projects both in the venues and across Bristol. This is fantastic news for team Motion, Ghostwriter and the city of Bristol.”

“Motion is an award-winning independent venue renowned for electronic music. We are very much looking forward to working with Martin and his team to better position the venue to attract a wider variety of events,” adds Bathgate. “We will be focusing on improving the technical offering for live events and redeveloping the backstage area in order to enhance the experience of touring artists.

“Motion and Marble Factory are already great spaces to watch a gig from a customer’s perspective, and with the newly improved facilities we firmly believe they will present a strong, viable option for touring artists when visiting Bristol.”

 


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VMS Live to open London office, launch marketing arm

Independent British promoter and venue operator VMS Live is making changes to its business model, opening a central London office and creating a new marketing division.

Founded in 2007 by the late Steve Forster, VMS Live operates and/or books mid-size UK venues including Eventim Olympia Liverpool (1,960-cap.), Asylum in Hull (1,100-cap.) and the William Aston Hall in Wrexham (1,200-cap.), and counts Eventim UK, the local arm of Germany’s CTS Eventim, among its clients.

Following the appointment of Bert Van Horck as CEO in September, VMS is undergoing changes to improve customer service and enhance marketing support for venues.

From 6 January 2020, VMS’s booking, ticketing, marketing and music divisions will operate out of a new office in King’s Cross, London, headed by High Voltage festival promoter Abbie Marshall. Central services such as finance and HR will also be based out of the London office.

“To align our aims and those of our clients, we will invest in new systems, and a new office, and create a new marketing department”

The company has also hired Ioana Mosteanu, who formerly worked on music brand partnerships at Red Bull, and digital marketing and design specialist Yara Magarino to work in its newly created marketing division. Mosteanu will also take charge of the ticketing department.

VMS’s former operations assistant, Aoife Niblock, will take on the role of northern regional manager, supervising VMS venues in Wrexham, Liverpool and Hull.

“We have taken a very close look at the heart of the company and consulted with the great team of people working here and fantastic clients to make some well-informed, bold decisions,” comments Van Horck.

“To align our aims and those of our clients, we will invest in new systems, and a new office, and create a new marketing department, for which we have appointed two marketeers.

“This signals our ambitions to help our clients grow their businesses and expand our portfolio of venues.”

 


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VMS announces series of new partnerships and appointments

VMS Live has announced a series of new deals which managing director Steve Forster has said “will be key to their future success.” The deals include two new venue partnerships and the appointment of BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Timzee to the position of development manager.

The first of the deals is with the Liverpool Olympia, which will become the Eventim Olympia Liverpool. The name change is the result of the ‘mutually supportive’ agreement with Eventim, which was made earlier this year. The deal includes a five-year partnership with the venue owners, Argent Leisure, and will see £250k invested into the 1,900-capacity space.

Speaking about the new partnership, Chris Zorba of Argent Leisure comments: “The new agreement with VMS will allow Silver Leisure to invest in the fabric of the building to improve the customer experience.

“We very much feel that the area and the Olympia in particular are on the cusp of another golden age.”

“As an entirely self-funded independent, with no debt or bank loans, we are incredibly proud of the way we have developed the business over the last 7 years”

The second of the new deals is a five-year agreement with the University of Exeter’s Student Guild. VMS will take over the direction of the University’s events and entertainment programme, as well as the operation of their venue, the Lemon Grove. Both sides are hopeful the deal will revamp the fortunes of the Lemon Grove, with Guild director of commercial services Nicola Carter saying it is, “an incredible opportunity to develop our existing programme of events and to showcase the Lemon Grove as a leading venue in Exeter for live music.”

Working closely with this new acquisition will be newly appointed development manager Timzee. Focusing particularly on the student venue section of VMS’s portfolio, he will work on developing new ‘club’ brands for the the company. Tim brings with him an extensive list of experience, additional to being a BBC 1Xtra DJ, he also acts as content director for productions including a 3,000 capacity warehouse brand in his home city.

VMS hopes these new developments will encourage lasting success for the company. Commenting on its success until now, Forster says: “As an entirely self-funded independent, with no debt or bank loans, we are incredibly proud of the way we have developed the business over the last seven years.” He goes on to name this a ‘really important period’ for the company.

 


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