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Kili launches dedicated theatre arm, Kilimanjaro Theatricals

Stuart Galbraith, founder and CEO of UK promoter Kilimanjaro Live, and theatre producer Joshua Andrews have announced the launch of Kilimanjaro Theatricals, a new joint venture which will produce and/or co-produce theatrical productions internationally.

London-based Kilimanjaro Theatricals will develop both its own works and a number of “strategic co-productions” in partnership with other producers on a global basis. The new company’s first projects are 9 to 5: The Musical, currently running in the West End of London, Australian production Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical, playing in Melbourne then Sydney, and Hadestown, now previewing on Broadway in New York.

The launch of Kilimanjaro Theatricals follows the acquisition of a majority stake by Kili’s parent company, Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG), in theatrical promoter Flying Music Group in August 2017.

The UK market accounts for around 40% of DEAG’s group turnover, the Berlin-based company said later that year, with DEAG and its affiliates forming “one of the leading promoters and theatre producers” in Britain.

“Kilimanjaro Group has wanted to land into the world of theatre and musical theatre for several years”

“Kilimanjaro Group has wanted to land into the world of theatre and musical theatre for several years,” says Galbraith, who has led the company since its formation in 2008. “We are hugely excited to combine our ambitions with Josh’s excellent skills and experience in this new venture.”

Two-time Olivier-nominated Andrews, who will also continue to independently produce his existing portfolio, adds: “Stuart and I have been talking about this idea for some time and I am delighted to now be starting this journey with him and the talented Kilimanjaro team.

“We believe that by combining our varied skills, experience and relationships we can create an exciting and successful new theatrical enterprise, and we look forward to developing our own works, as well as co-producing with others around the world.”

Kilimanjaro, whose music touring roster includes Ed Sheeran, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the 1975, celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, following its best-ever year in 2017.

 


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Ridiculous lawsuit of the week: TM sued over Hamilton ticket fiasco

Hit musical Hamilton has put audiences into a frenzy around the world. However, no musical lover has been left quite so frenzied as Texas lawyer Joshua Davis, who is suing Ticketmaster for damages after being refused a refund for his mistakenly purchased Hamilton tickets.

Davis says he intended to buy three tickets for 14 or 15 March to see the musical, which is based on the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton. The tickets were a present for his eldest daughter’s 12th birthday on 9 March.

Yet, the tickets purchased were dated 17 January. The lawyer claims that the date changed after he clicked the “back” button on his browser. Noticing the change, Davis believed to have terminated the purchase, but his card was charged US$2,325.50 for three tickets on the incorrect date.

Davis contacted the ticketing giant immediately after the mistake, waiting on hold for a “prolonged” period of time before speaking to a resolution specialist. TM refused to exchange the tickets for others on the intended date, or to issue a refund. The solution offered was resale through the Ticketmaster website, with an additional administrative fee.

“Ticketmaster’s position within the marketplace constitutes a monopoly on the lawful sale of tickets”

The company instructed Davis he was not to sell the mistakenly purchased tickets for any less than the price he paid for them, “artificially inflating ticket prices and impairing plaintiff’s ability to mitigate his damages and sell his tickets.”

Davis is now suing the ticketing corporation for fraudulent inducement and breach of contract. A court document obtained by Above the Law sets out the case:

“Not only did Ticketmaster’s website fail to respond to Davis’s attempt to cancel the charge, but Ticketmaster failed to refund the most basic of internet browsing errors literally minutes after the mistake is identified.”

“Furthermore, Ticketmaster’s position within the marketplace constitutes a monopoly on the lawful sale of tickets, specifically Hamilton tickets, giving Ticketmaster an unlawful position as a monopolist that can abuse consumers.”

The company has 50 days to respond to Davis’s claims.

 


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Hamilton touts pocket $240,000 a week

The producers of Broadway musical Hamilton are considering doubling the cost of premium tickets to the show in response to high levels of touting.

At least US$30,000 from every show goes to ticket resellers instead of producers, cast and investors, says economics professor Matt Rousu – which, based on eight shows a week, means touts are pocketing $240,000 a week, or almost $12.5 million a year, from the Grammy and Tony Award-winning musical.

Producers “are having discussion after discussion about what they should do about this,” Mitch Weiss, a Broadway manager and analyst, tells Bloomberg. “They don’t want to charge people that much to see a show. But if someone is going to make money, it ought to be the people who work on it.”

“They don’t want to charge people that much to see a show. But if someone is going to make money, it ought to be the people who work on it”

The proposed increase in price would see premium tickets set theatregoers back $995.

Primary tickets for Hamilton – a hip-hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, the Nevis-born founding father of the United States, currently running at New York’s Richard Rogers Theatre – are sold out until at least January 2017.

Lead producer Jeffrey Seller told The New York Times Magazine in April that a broker had bought 20,000 tickets to the show using an automated ticket bot. New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman announced last week that he is to introduce harsher penalties for companies found to be snapping up hard-to-find tickets with the illegal software.