fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

AEG Presents-operated venue to open in Olympia London

West London exhibition centre Olympia has announced the £1.3 billion redevelopment of its 14-acre site will include a 4,400 capacity live music venue.

The venue, which will be located above the existing west exhibition hall, will be operated by live entertainment giant AEG Presents after signing a ‘long-term agreement’ with owners Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International who acquired Olympia in 2017 for €330 m.

AEG Presents promotes events such as British Summer Time at Hyde Park in London and the Coachella festival in California. Its parent company AEG Worldwide operates the O2 in Greenwich (cap. 21,000) and Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith (5,039), which will be Olympia’s closest competitor in size and location.

“This is a very exciting opportunity,” says Steve Homer, CEO AEG Presents. “Olympia is steeped in British music history as far back as Jimi Hendrix in the 60s. AEG Presents are delighted to be part of the new development and we plan to create more iconic shows for London audiences.”

“Olympia is steeped in British music history as far back as Jimi Hendrix in the 60s”

Will Dowdy, VP of global partnerships at AEG Presents, says: “The regeneration of Olympia is a huge milestone for entertainment in west London and the opportunities for brands to reach their target audience is vast. Our team have secured some of the very best partnerships across the globe and I have no doubt we will deliver the right deals at both our new music venue and across the whole Olympia campus.”

The 134-year-old landmark has played host to world-renowned artists including Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, Status Quo, Procol Harum, The Cure and Primal Scream.

Only a few major music shows have taken place at the complex in the past decade including Skepta’s sold-out show at the venue last year, but live music programming again became a focus for the venue before the pandemic. Next year’s programme includes indie superstars Foals, who are due to play three rescheduled, sold-out shows next May.

Nigel Nathan, managing director of Olympia London, says: “We’re incredibly excited to have these fantastic brands [including global hotel group Hyatt and affordable luxury lifestyle and hotel brand citizenM] joining us as our new onsite neighbours. Collectively we’re creating richer experiences and more opportunities for all our customers and visitors that we host at our iconic London venue.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Olympia London boosts live offering

The 10,000-capacity Olympia London is widening its live music programming, with upcoming performances from Korean-American rapper Jay Park and UK grime artist Skepta.

The historic event space, which first opened its doors in 1886, attracts more than 1.6 million visitors annually.

Investors including Deutsche Finance International and Yoo Capital purchased Olympia in 2017 for €330 million, following reports that the Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) was eyeing up the London venue. MSG unveiled plans for a new future-facing London arena, MSG Sphere, in February.

After a short hiatus, live music programming is again becoming a focus for the venue.

“Olympia London is perfectly placed to host music concerts within our existing calendar of events,” says venue director Gillian Kiamil. “We are fortunate to not only have the flexibility, but also the capacity to welcome up to 10,000 people standing at any single gig.”

“Olympia London is perfectly placed to host music concerts within our existing calendar of events”

Hatsune Miku, a Japanese singing synthesiser taking the holographic form of a blued-haired, 16-year-old girl, played at Olympia in December, followed by former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft in May.

Korean-American hip hop artist Jay Park is performing at the venue as part of his Sexy4eva tour on October 20, before an SJM-promoted Skepta show on November 29.

According to the venue director, concerts are “operationally very different” to other Olympia events, which include trade conference Blockchain Live and the London Dentistry Show. However, adds Kiamil, “the satisfaction we get from seeing fans really enjoying themselves while watching their icons perform live at Olympia London is priceless.”

Over the years, the venue has played host to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Status Quo, Rod Stewart, the Cure, the Animals and Pink Floyd.

More recent concerts to take place in the venue include the Chemical Brothers in 2008, Bloc Party in 2009 and Primal Scream in 2010.

Tickets for Jay Park and Skepta’s Olympia London shows are priced at £44 and £41.25 respectively.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

MSG reveals high-tech London venue plans

London is to get a striking new large-scale music and entertainment venue courtesy of Madison Square Garden Company (MSG), its first outside the US, IQ can reveal. The venue will be based on the groundbreaking MSG Sphere concept unveiled yesterday in New York and LA.

MSG Sphere – which will debut at the American venue giant’s new 18,000-seat arena in Las Vegas when it breaks ground this June – aims “to make concertgoers part of the experience” through what MSG describes as “game-changing technologies that push the limits of connectivity, acoustics, video and content distribution”.

High-tech innovations include a sound system that individually targets each seat, ensuring everyone hears the same performance, no matter their location, and – most strikingly – ultra-HD video screens that stretch across venue’s walls and ceilings, enveloping attendees in an immersive visual experience. The Vegas venue will also feature high-speed internet at every seat, allowing concertgoers to share their experience on social media and enabling interactive experiences with artists.

While the London venue is still in the early stages of planning, with no concrete details on capacity or design, the company confirms it will be based on the MSG Sphere concept.

MSG Sphere London will be located next to the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London, near the site of the 2012 Olympic games.

 


MSG says Sphere is a natural fit for EDM events

MSG says Sphere is a natural fit for EDM events


 

Madison Square Garden Company – which has long been rumoured to have an interest in London, and was believed to be in the running to buy the Olympia before its acquisition by German investors in April – has purchased nearly five acres of land in the area on which to construct the venue, says MSG CEO James Dolan.

“London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and we are delighted to be taking this first step towards making it the location for MSG’s first international venue,” he says.

The project will be overseen by Jayne McGivern, who joined MSG as executive vice-president, development and construction. McGivern’s previous executive roles have included spells as UK managing director of AEG and CEO of leading contractor Multiplex Europe, which built the new Wembley Stadium.

“We believe that a large-scale, next-generation venue will not only become a premier destination, but also drive growth in London’s overall music and entertainment market,” continues Dolan, “benefiting artists and fans and serving as a long-term investment in the future of this incredible city. MSG Sphere will provide a home where like-minded communities can come together to not only interact with the performance, but also with each other.”

“London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and we are delighted to be taking this first step towards making it the location for MSG’s first international venue”

Preliminary analysis by Ernst & Young shows MSG Sphere London will create approximately 3,200 new jobs annually, contribute £2.7bn to the UK economy over the initial 20 years of operations and generate additional revenues of more than £50m every year for local businesses.

McGivern tells IQ that since the closure of Earls Court (20,000-cap.) in 2014, London has been “underserved by big arenas” – a statement backed up by research undertaken by Sound Diplomacy which found London, Europe’s live music capital, has fewer large arenas relative to population size than other major cities, including Paris, Berlin, Madrid and New York.

Plans for a new arena in east London raise the prospect of an escalation of the much-publicised ‘venue war’ between MSG and The O2 operator AEG, although McGivern says MSG is focused on “growing the market” rather than taking market share from other operators. “It’s absolutely an opportunity to grow the market in London,” she explains. “Whenever we see new venues popping up, the market grows with them – just look at the Forum in LA.”

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says MSG’s confidence in the UK capital is further testament to London’s status as a “music powerhouse”. “From intimate grassroots music venues to spectacular arenas, London’s buzzing live music scene is world renowned,” he comments. “It’s great to welcome another world-class venue to the capital, to confirm London’s position as a music powerhouse and to boost still further our city’s thriving night-time economy.”

 


Audiences will be immersed in multi-sensory environments that can be "as large as the ocean"

Audiences will be immersed in multi-sensory environments that can be “as large as the ocean”


 

“It’s great news that the world-famous Madison Square Garden Company has chosen London to be home for its first international venue,” adds Britain’s secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Matt Hancock. “This cements both the capital and UK’s reputation for leading the world in music and the creative industries.

“This groundbreaking arena in east London will not only create jobs, but help us continue to develop incredible artists, music and innovative technology that will give fans an amazing experience.”

In addition to its plans to build in London and Las Vegas, MSG’s venues include its flagship 20,000-cap. Madison Square Garden venue in New York, along with the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, California; the Chicago Theatre; and the Wang Theatre in Boston.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Olympia London bought – but not by MSG

A consortium of German and British investors has acquired Olympia London, the historic exhibition centre and concert venue, from Capital & Counties Properties (Capco).

The €330 million purchase price was stumped up by Deutsche Finance International, its subsidiary Deutsche Finance Group and UK private-equity firm Yoo Capital, with additional investment from Bayerische Versorgungskammer and Versicherungskammer Bayern. Deutsche Finance says its goal for the West Kensington complex – whose main Olympia Grand venue has a capacity for concerts of 10,000 – is to maximise the “long-term profit potential for the investment”.

“This acquisition marks the successful start to a number of interesting club deals and joint ventures”

The Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the eponymous New York venue and a string of other venues and sports teams, was previously believed to be the favourite to acquire the Olympia, which it reportedly hoped to turn into a rival to arenas such as AEG’s The O2 and SSE Arena Wembley.

Deutsche Finance’s successful bid is the start of “a number of interesting ‘club deals'” – a German term for joint acquisitions of property by groups of investors – “and joint ventures for investors on which we’re current working”, says the company’s chief investment officer Sven Neubauer.

The Olympia opened in 1886 as the National Agricultural Hall, and has since expanded to include four event venues and a conference centre. Bands who’ve played the venue include The Cure, The Chemical Brothers, Primal Scream, Bloc Party, Pink Floyd and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.