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Berlin’s Verti Music Hall appoints first GM

Verti Music Hall, the 4,350-capacity venue at AEG’s Mercedes-Platz in Berlin, has appointed its first general manager, 18 months after opening.

Dirk Dreyer joins AEG as Verti Music Hall GM, reporting to Uwe Frommhold, VP and COO of AEG Germany, and working alongside Michael Hapka, VP and managing director of AEG Operations Berlin. Prior to joining the Verti team, Dreyer was managing director of the 25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin.

“The Verti Music Hall has had an extremely successful first 18 months. Nevertheless, we have recognised that in order to further establish the Verti Music Hall in the venue market, we need to employ a general manager,” explains Frommhold.

“It feels a bit like coming home”

“Due to the current governmental ban of events, Dirk Dreyer will be joining us under the most challenging of circumstances; however, we are convinced that his presence will notably impact the Verti Music Hall in the future.”

Before moving into the hotel sector, Dreyer had a long career in the music industry, working at Sony Music, EMI and management company 313 Music, among others.

He comments: “I am really looking forward to this new challenge. As I have spent some years working in the music business previously, it feels a bit like coming home. With the Verti Music Hall, Berlin has gained a great venue with the best sound in town; this makes me even more proud to be the general manager for such a premium product.”

 


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Jack White opens AEG’s new Verti Music Hall

Verti Music Hall hosted its first show on Friday (12 October), with a capacity crowd packing out AEG’s new Berlin venue to mark Jack White’s return to Germany.

The 4,350-capacity Music Hall is located at Mercedes Platz, a new mixed-use entertainment district neighbouring the Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) in Berlin. Insurance company Verti secured a naming-rights deal for the venue last December, leading to the rebranding the former Berlin Music Hall.

According to operator AEG, Verti Music Hall “offer[s] the atmosphere of an intimate venue, paired with the capabilities of a multi-functional arena”.

“We have spent a lot of time and resource during the planning and construction phase to ensure perfect sightlines and optimal sound, as well as the greatest possible flexibility for capacity, seating and different types of events,” says Michael Hapka, vice-president and managing director of AEG Operations GmbH.

“Verti Music Hall will enrich the Berlin venue landscape”

“The interior of the Music Hall is intimate and high-end in appearance, while the outer concourses have a more urban, industrial style. Verti Music Hall will enrich the Berlin venue landscape for concertgoers, as well as for promoters and performing artists.”

Pictured at the launch are, from left to right, Steve Schwenkglenks (GM, Barclaycard Arena Hamburg), John Langford (VP and GM, the O2, London), Marie Lindqvist (VP and GM, Stockholm Live), Christian D’Acuna (head of programming, the O2, London), Emma Bownes (programme director, the O2, London), Darren Murphy (GM, Eventim Apollo, London), Sarah Myring (front-of-house manager, Eventim Apollo, London), John Drury (VP and GM, SSE Arena Wembley), Kara James (WME), and Paul Cheetham (director of booking, Verti Music Hall).

The Mercedes Platz development mirrors similar AEG-led ‘entertainment districts’, which combine an indoor arena with other shopping and entertainment amenities, such as Brisbane Live in Australia,  The O2 in London, LA Live in Los Angeles, Nashville Yards in Tennessee and, most recently, Bangkok Arena and EM Live in Thailand.

 


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Insurance co Verti secures Music Hall naming rights

AEG has agreed a naming-rights deal with insurance firm Verti for the Music Hall venue at Mercedes Platz, the company’s new mixed-use entertainment district centred on the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.

The newly christened Verti Music Hall at Mercedes Platz, owned and operated by AEG, will from autumn 2018 host concerts, shows and corporate events with a capacity of up to 4,500 people.

“The partnership with AEG will be of great benefit to our brand”, says Verti CEO José Ramón Alegre. “Verti represents an insurance culture that conveys optimism and positivity. At the Verti Music Hall this brand ethos will play a part in every visitor experience.”

“It’s an exciting time to be opening a new mid-size venue”

Michael Hapka, vice-president and managing director of Berlin-based AEG Operations GmbH, adds: “We’re glad to have a strong partner like Verti joining our project – their dynamic brand fits perfectly with what we want to achieve in the Music Hall. It’s an exciting time to be opening a new mid-size venue, meaning we are able to offer more variation to entertainment in the area.”

Despite its mid-size capacity, Music Hall is equipped with a rigging capacity in excess of 200 tonnes, says AEG, which more than many arenas. The company expects to host more than 100 events there annually.

 


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Cheetham joins AEG as Mercedes Platz nears completion

AEG has made two appointments in Germany ahead of the 2018 opening of Mercedes Platz, a new mixed-use entertainment district neighbouring the Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) in Berlin.

The 20-hectare Mercedes Platz, which mirrors similar AEG developments at The O2 in London, LA Live in Los Angeles and the recently announced Nashville Yards in Tennessee, includes a cinema, cafés, restaurants, bars, hotels, a bowling alley and a 4,500-capacity music venue, Berlin Music Hall, which will open on Saturday 17 November 2018 with a show by Gloria Gaynor.

Berlin Music Hall will be booked by Paul Cheetham, who joins AEG as booking director for the venue, while long-time Mercedes-Benz Arena booker Aissata Hartmann-Sylla has been promoted to senior director, overseeing event acquisition for both the arena and Music Hall.

Before joining AEG, Cheetham – a 20-year veteran of the live music industry – was managing director for Heartburst Management, where he was involved in staging industry events Popkomm, Berlin Music Week and Reeperbahn Festival. Previously, he worked for Mean Fiddler (now Festival Republic) and Live Nation Scandinavia in Finland.

Both Cheetham and Hartmann-Sylla moved into their new roles on 1 September.

 


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