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Senbla acquires European promoter GEA Live

Senbla, the Sony-backed promoter and producer based in the UK, has acquired a majority stake (51%) in live music and production business, GEA Live (General Entertainment Associates).

Amsterdam based GEA Live has been developing and producing shows worldwide since 2003, most notably for the late Italian producer Ennio Morricone for the final six years of his career, which encompassed more than 100 arena concerts in Europe.

GEA Live has specialised in the development and exploitation of IP in a live setting, producing official legacy tours such as Elvis Live on Screen, or career highlights productions with composers like James Newton Howard and Giorgio Moroder, as well as in-concert productions of well-known television and film franchises.

The acquisition will see Senbla collaborate with GEA Live on a range of projects including the Live in Concert version of Netflix’s hit series Our Planet (narrated by Sir David Attenborough), a space project with the European Space Agency with music by film composer Ilan Eshkeri, and a new arena show curated by Ennio Morricone.

“Senbla and [CEO] Ollie Rosenblatt have been trusted allies throughout the years,” says Floris Douwes, CEO and co-founder of GEA Live.

“[We want] to bring the best entertainment to fans, whilst engaging IP and rights owners [for] maximum commercial return”

“The new partnership came about almost organically and sets us up for further sustainable growth into new markets. The synergetic advantage it creates, to mutually develop and produce IP with a strategy that is both global in appeal as well as locally informed, is second to none.”

Ollie Rosenblatt, CEO of Senbla, adds: “As we continue to build momentum and scope in the business, I am delighted our next European chapter is with Floris, Ton and the wonderful team and shows they have built at GEA Live. We have a range of creative ideas we are developing, which match our ambition to bring the best entertainment to the fans, whilst really engaging IP and rights owners to provide maximum commercial return”.

The new alliance follows Senbla’s 2020 acquisition of boutique UK festivals Strawberries and Creem and The Cambridge Club.

Through Sony Masterworks, Senbla has also acquired businesses in the experiential space, family entertainment and theatre – both in the UK and the US – most notably Terrapin Station Entertainment and Seaview Productions.

Past Senbla events include concerts by Burt Bacharach, Diana Ross, Marc Almond, Michael Bublé, Ennio Morricone and Quincy Jones, and screenings with live orchestra of Love ActuallyHarry PotterStar WarsBeauty and the Beast and Joker.

 


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Apollo Nights Summer Series to make 2020 return

London-based concert promoter Senbla celebrates the success of the inaugural Apollo Nights Summer Series, which took place from 16 to 20 July in partnership with the 5,000-capacity Eventim Apollo.

The promoter has confirmed that the concert series will return for a second year in July 2020.

The five-night long debut series saw performances from Marc Almond and George Benson, as well as two joint shows from Burt Bacharach and Joss Stone.

Non-dining tickets for the Apollo Nights Summer Series were priced from £39.50 for Marc Almond and £45 for other shows.

Guests could also opt for a dining experience, curated by chef Bryn Williams.

“When I first came to visit the newly restored Apollo, I was struck by what a beautiful venue this really is,” comments Senbla managing director Ollie Rosenblatt. Since opening in 1932, the grade II-listed venue has hosted acts such as the Beatles, David Bowie, Queen, Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue.

“When I first came to visit the newly restored Apollo, I was struck by what a beautiful venue this really is”

Rosenblatt explains that the idea to “combine the best of food with music” came from viewing award shows at the venue.

“The response and feedback from both consumers and artists have been overwhelmingly positive,” adds Rosenblatt. “For 2020 the aim is to build on this.”

Darren Murphy, general manager of the Eventim Apollo, says he was “delighted” to collaborate with Senbla to put on the concert series.

“It was a rare opportunity to work with a promoter who brings music experiences to life and it was a delight to host the shows with these talented artists in our iconic venue,” says Murphy.

Senbla puts on more than 200 concerts and shows a year throughout the UK. Sony Music Masterworks recently took a majority stake in the promoter, as both look to expand offerings in the live industry.

 


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Sony Music expands live offering with Senbla stake

Sony Music Masterworks, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, has acquired a majority stake in UK concert promotion and production company, Senbla.

Senbla founder and chief executive Ollie Rosenblatt will continue to run the company, working alongside Sony Masterworks’ chief operating officer Mark Cavell and UK label head Sarah Thwaites.

“The combination of Senbla with Sony Music Masterworks gives us a broader platform to grow opportunities in live performance,” comments the Senbla boss, who says he is “delighted” with the new partnership.

Cavell says the deal is “exactly the right move” for Masterworks, as the Sony Music division continues to build on a “very successful live business”.

“The combination of Senbla with Sony Music Masterworks gives us a broader platform to grow opportunities in live performance”

Sony Music took full control of UK-based show producer Raymond Gubbay Live (RBL) last year, in a deal with Germany’s Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG).

According to Cavell, the acquisitions “provide the perfect platform to grow the business in the UK and overseas.”

Founded in 2011, Senbla puts on more than 200 concerts and shows annually across the UK. The promoter has worked with artists such as Joss Stone, Burt Bacharach, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Soft Cell and Beverley Knight.

Last year, Senbla teamed up with content creation company Wisebuddah to put on Quincy Jones: A Life in Song at the AEG-owned O2 Arena. Senbla has led productions including Star Wars in Concert, the Apollo Nights Summer Series and Electric Soul Festival.

 


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