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Luger expands into Norway

Swedish concert promoter and festival organiser Luger is expanding into Norway, opening an office in Oslo to strengthen its presence in the Scandinavian market.

Luger now operates in three Scandinavian markets, adding to its Swedish headquarters and its Danish office, which opened in Copenhagen in 2018, led by Sarah Sølvsteen.

The expansion into Norway follows the bolstering of a fellow European promoter’s presence in the country last month, with FKP Scorpio’s acquisition of a majority stake in booking agency Nordic Live.

Luger’s new Norwegian office will be headed up by Torgeir Gullaksen, a veteran promoter with over 20 years’ experience putting on shows and events in the country. Gullaksen joined Gunnar Eide Concerts (now Live Nation Norway) in the late 90s, founding his own promotions company, Goldstar (now FKP Scorpio Norway), in 2005.

The Luger Norway head has worked with acts including Arctic Monkeys, Queens Of The Stone Age, Radiohead, Rival Sons, Tame Impala, The Black Keys, Ben Howard, Arcade fire, Belle & Sebastian and Michael Kiwanuka.

“My aim is to firmly establish Luger as a strong brand in Norway”

“I’m delighted to be joining the Luger family and look forward to working close with Ola and the rest of the team,” comments Gullaksen. “Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Luger on both international and domestic acts and consider them the best in class in developing new talent over here.

“My aim is to firmly establish Luger as a strong brand in Norway and continue working with the acts I already have existing relations with, as well as become the natural promoter for emerging acts in Norway.”

Luger Sweden MD Ola Broquist adds that Gullaksen is “a great person, a great promoter and a music lover – the ultimate combination.”

Luger is one of the Nordic’s leading promoters, as well as acting as an agency and tour producer for Swedish artists. The company promotes over 300 a year, in addition to festivals including Way Out West, Åre Sessions and – together with C3 and Live Nation Sweden – Lollapalooza Stockholm.

 


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Xenia Grigat joins Luger Denmark

Three months after stepping down from her role at Down the Drain Concerts, Xenia Grigat, one of Denmark’s most experienced concert promoters, has joined Luger Denmark.

Luger, a Swedish promoter and booking agency owned by Live Nation, expanded into Denmark in early 2018 when it opened an office in Copenhagen. At Luger, Grigat will lead the company’s Danish expansion, as it transforms from being an agency for local artists to promoting shows by international acts.

Sarah Sølvsteen, director of Luger Denmark, comments: “There are good days and then there are absolutely fabulous days, like today, when we can announce the addition of Xenia Grigat to our Danish Luger team. With her sublime taste and love for her artists, Xenia is a perfect match with Luger Denmark’s philosophy and values​, and it makes me really proud that she has chosen to become part of our team.”

Ten acts, including Lord Siva, Efterklang, Ida Laurberg and Hugorm, have joined Luger Denmark this year. They join a roster that includes established artists such as Mø, the Minds of 99, Jada and Phlake.

Grigat, named head of international artists, explains: “I’ve had amazing 12 years working at Beatbox and then Down the Drain promoting shows and festivals, but the time is right for me to take the next step in my career. The opportunity to create a new chapter with Luger Denmark and their team is an offer I can’t resist.

“The time is right for me to take the next step in my career”

“I’m really looking forward to getting started and present artists, agents and managers with a variety of new opportunities, such as our extended Scandinavian reach.”

Adds Ola Broquist, director of Luger Sweden: “It’s a big day for our Scandinavian Luger family. In Sweden, we have clearly seen the synergies when working with both Swedish and international artists under the same roof and how it benefits the artists. With the new offerings structure in Denmark, we will collectively be positioned much stronger in the Scandinavia market.”

“We have clearly seen how Luger Sweden has been able to develop their business for a number of years by heavily focusing on their artists as both agent and promoter,” says Jesper Christensen of Live Nation Denmark. “With Xenia Grigat’s addition to the team, we will have a star capacity on board, which will strengthen Luger Denmark’s position both locally and internationally.

“I have great respect for Xenia as a promoter, and have always admired her unique ability and special care for the many strong artists she has worked with over the years”.

From today (1 November), Luger Denmark’s team consists of Sølvsteen, Grigat, Emma Markvad, Dorthe Hyllested, Freja Becker Anthonsen and Martin Rintza.

 


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Luger’s Fredriksson to oversee LN Sweden partnerships

Luger co-founder Patrick Fredriksson has been appointed director of partnerships for Live Nation Sweden.

Fredriksson (pictured), who co-founded the Swedish promoter with Ola Broquist in 1991, becomes responsible for all Live Nation/Luger partnerships across their concerts, festivals and artists in Sweden, with immediate effect.

In his new role, Fredriksson’s focus on business development and building creative partnerships around Luger’s portfolio of events, which includes festivals such as Way Out West and Åre Sessions.

“There are few people with as much experience of our industry as Patrick,” says Therése Liljedahl, the newly appointed CEO of Live Nation Sweden. “With Way Out West, he has shown the way and set a new standard for how to delive commercial partnerships around events in a modern and creative manner.

“There are few people with as much experience of our industry as Patrick”

“I am also very happy and proud that, with Patrick’s new role, we finally have a partnership department for all our joint operations [Live Nation and Luger].

“How we create and develop partnerships and events is something I’m passionate about, and being more involved in these projects will be very exciting,” adds Fredriksson. “Creative and thoughtful partnerships are hugely important for us and our partners – and equally important to our visitors.”

Luger is a wholly owned subsidiary of Live Nation.

Fredriksson last month joined the board of directors of Swedish promoters’ association Svensk Live.

 


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Luger opens Danish office

Swedish promoter/booking agency Luger has expanded into Denmark, opening a Copenhagen office headed up by agent Sarah Sølvsteen.

Luger has been booking acts and promoting shows and festivals in Sweden since 1991, celebrating its 25th anniversary last year. It has since 2008 been wholly owned by Live Nation.

Its first Danish office, which opened on 1 January, will focus on booking, acting as a European agency for primarily Scandinavian artists, according to a statement from Sølvsteen (pictured).

“We are pleased to announce that as of 1 January 2018, we become part of the Luger family,” says Sølvsteen, most recently of Birdseye Agency. “We open[ed] a Danish branch of the Swedish agency and look forward to continued good cooperation with you all.”

Luger Denmark consists of Sølvsteen and agent Martin Rintza, with more staff to be announced soon. It shares an office with Live Nation Denmark.

 


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Live Nation Sweden appoints new joint MDs

Live Nation Sweden has announced the promotion of its head promoter, Anna Sjölund, and director of marketing and Nordic partnerships, Therése Liljedahl, as joint managing directors.

Both Sjölund and Liljedahl, who commence their new positions immediately, will retain elements of their previous roles: Sjölund remains head promoter, overseeing Live Nation Sweden’s agency, touring and festivals, while Liljedahl will retain responsibility for commercial partnerships in the Nordics while also managing Live Nation Sweden’s marketing, partnership, finance, administration and HR functions.

John Reid, president of concerts for Live Nation Europe, says: “The combined and complementary skill set that Anna and Therése will bring to their roles as managing directors is unparallelled. Together they will continue to grow the business that Thomas [Johansson] and Carl [Pernow] have built and take Live Nation Sweden into the future.”

Carl Pernow, now Live Nation’s president of Nordics, adds: “I am pleased to hand over the leadership of Live Nation Sweden to two exemplary leaders within their respective areas. I look forward to further developing the Nordic business with Anna, Therése and our Nordic colleagues.”

“I am pleased to hand over leadership to two exemplary leaders within their respective areas”

The appointments follow a bumper 2017 for LN Sweden, with concert successes including Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay, Metallica, Depeche Mode and the Rolling Stones. The Stockholm-based company also owns and operates festivals Summerburst, Way Out West (through subsidiary Luger) and Sweden Rock, which it bought last November.

Sjölund comments: “I have spent the majority of my career at Live Nation and had the opportunity to grow together with the business. I am excited to be able to continue my journey in this new role and look forward to what is ahead.”

“I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity,” adds Liljedahl. “I look forward to taking the next step at Live Nation Sweden together with Anna and my fantastic colleagues.”

 


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Luger’s silver bullet

The towns of Gävle and Sandviken, a two-hour drive from Stockholm, were not exactly the centre of the musical universe back in 1991. But thanks to three former residents, the health of Sweden’s live music sector – and beyond – has since benefitted massively following the birth of an organisation that music industry professionals around the world view with a mixture of envy and admiration.

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Luger, but the celebrations in their relaxed Swedish offices haven’t exactly been extravagant. “Is it really 25 years? 1991… yes, well I suppose it is,” says founding partner Ola Broquist. Business partner Patrick Fredriksson laughs: “How can it be 25 years, when I still think of myself as being 25? That’s almost depressing.”

That dry sense of humour resonates through everything at Luger, whose roots in the punk scene are evident to this day, with a collective desire to nurture new, exciting talent. Indeed, the ethos at the company is to work hard and play hard – a mantra underlined by the company’s latest plans to launch a new festival in 2017. But more on that later.

“How can it be 25 years, when I still think of myself as being 25? That’s almost depressing”

Looking back at life pre-Luger, Broquist tells IQ: “In the beginning, me and Morgan [Johansson] lived in Sandviken, while Patrick was in the next town, Gävle. We knew about each other and that we liked the same music so we started working together to bring bands to our towns, because nobody else was organising shows for the punk and hardcore music we liked.

“It’s common in Sweden to have nonprofit cooperatives running music shows, so we got involved in that and started bringing bands to play in our tiny little venues. We quickly got to the point where we needed to find better venues, because we were basically using living rooms. There was no stage and the sound, the lights, everything, were basically shit. But the local authorities didn’t seem willing to help. We tried everything, even occupying buildings and stuff, but the process just dragged out and we were getting nowhere.”

 


Read the rest of this feature in issue 68 of IQ Magazine.

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