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All change in France as Nous duo go separate ways

Deep-pocketed French live music powerhouse Fimalac has appointed Arnaud Meersseman as the managing director of its promotion business, Miala, as it seeks to aggressively increase its stake in the international concert and festival sector.

Meersseman earlier this year left Nous Productions, where he served as a booker, promoter and A&R. Nous will next month come under the ownership of Live Nation, with president Salomon Hazot becoming president of Live Nation France (“sharing everything” with managing director Angelo Gopee, he tells IQ).

Meersseman’s remit at Miala, which specialises in indie and electronic acts, is to grow its roster of international acts and export French artists to other territories.

Fimalac’s €2.6 billion investment vehicle includes the 3S Entertainment division, which already owns ten Zenith venues throughout France, 35 casinos and a number of clubs, the jewel of which is Faust on the banks of the Seine. Other Parisian venues include the 2,800-capacity Salle Pleyel, the new Flow (700-cap.) and Le Petit Comedia (300-cap.) clubs and five theatres.

Fimalac is also behind the new €600 million, 82,000-cap. Grand Stade for the French rugby federation in Paris – which will be the largest indoor venue in Europe when it opens in 2019 – and owns ten promoters, including Gilbert Coullier Productions, TS3, Auguri Productions, Encore Productions, Anteprima in addition to Miala.

“It’s an exciting move. Until now Miala has been 100% centred on the French market, but now they want to open up to international acts”

“It’s an exciting move,” Meersseman tells IQ. “Up until now, Miala has been 100% centred on the French market and artists, but now they want to open up to international acts, which is why they’ve turned to me.”

Meersseman promoted numerous international acts for Nous in his six-and-a-half years at the company, and was seriously injured in the attack on the Bataclan during the Eagles of Death Metal gig last November.

In addition to promoting around 400 concerts annually, Miala recently bought the Big Festival in Biarritz (2016 headliners were Pharrell, The Kills, The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy) and also owns two other electronic events, Platja in Argeles and Kolorz in Carpentras.

“We have a strategy for festival creation and acquisition, so on top of the existing 25 staff that Miala has, I’ll be bringing in some new people who are already familiar with international booking,” says Meersseman.


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