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Rob Hallett’s Robomagic leaves Live Nation

Robomagic, the live entertainment venture founded by veteran promoter Rob Hallett, is leaving Live Nation effective immediately after three years with the company.

The company comprises of Robomagic Live, a boutique touring division, and Robomagic 360, which describes itself as encompassing “touring, recording, publishing and artist/brand management”.

TLC, Sleaford Mods, Goldie and Boy Better Know are among the artists on Robomagic’s roster, as well as Duran Duran, who Hallett represented as an agent in the 80s.

The two companies jointly promoted shows including UK dates by HER, Why Don’t We, Lemz and Jammer of Boy Better Know.

“I feel very positive about the future and embracing the new normal. Enhanced by new technology, the industry will bounce back in a big way. I would like to thank everyone at Live Nation, for their support over the last three years, and look forward to the next instalment of Robomagic Live,” says Hallett.

“I feel positive about the future and embracing the new normal. Enhanced by new technology, the industry will bounce back”

The statement also says Hallett is determined to be ahead of the “ongoing curve” and is keen to develop a smaller, more flexible company, that is well-positioned to benefit from this new landscape.

Hallett established Robomagic in January 2015, following his exit from AEG – where he established AEG Live in the UK in February 2005.

Hallett was instrumental in growing the profile of the company (now AEG Presents) internationally.

Highlights of his AEG tenure include Prince’s landmark 21-night residency at the O2 in London in 2007; three Bon Jovi stadium treks; Cohen’s successful 2008–10 comeback tour; and the debut of BST in 2013 with two huge shows by the Rolling Stones.

He also oversaw global tours for the likes of Leonard Cohen, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez and the launch of British Summer Time Hyde Park.

Prior to joining AEG, he was a director of Mean Fiddler Music Group (later MAMA & Company, now owned by Live Nation), after a decade as an agent and promoter at Barrie Marshall’s Marshall Arts.

 


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Rob Hallett’s Robomagic joins Live Nation

Rob Hallett – the veteran promoter and live music exec who, as president of international touring at AEG Live, oversaw global tours for the likes of Leonard Cohen, Justin Bieber and Jennifer Lopez and the launch of British Summer Time Hyde Park – has joined Live Nation, IQ can reveal.

Robomagic, the live entertainment venture Hallett founded following his exit from AEG in April 2014, is now officially “a Live Nation company”, and the two companies are jointly promoting several upcoming shows, including UK dates by HER, Why Don’t We, Lemz and Jammer of Boy Better Know. Past Robomagic/Live Nation productions include Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen in Montreal last November and Boy Better Know’s O2 Arena takeover in August.

Hallett established AEG Live in the UK in February 2005, and was instrumental in growing the profile of the company (now AEG Presents) internationally. Highlights of his AEG tenure include Prince’s landmark 21-night residency at the O2 in London in 2007; three Bon Jovi stadium treks; Cohen’s successful 2008–10 comeback tour; and the debut of BST in 2013 with two huge shows by the Rolling Stones.

Robomagic is now officially “a Live Nation company”, and the two companies are jointly promoting several upcoming shows

Prior to joining AEG, he was a director of Mean Fiddler Music Group (later MAMA & Company, now owned by Live Nation), after a decade as an agent and promoter at Barrie Marshall’s Marshall Arts.

Hallett established Robomagic – which comprises Robomagic Live, a boutique touring division, and Robomagic 360, which describes itself as encompassing “touring, recording, publishing and artist/brand management” – in January 2015. The company’s artist roster includes TLC, Sleaford Mods, Goldie and Boy Better Know, as well as Duran Duran, who Hallett represented as agent in the ’80s.

Other new Live Nation partnerships in 2018 include the acquisitions of US promoter Frank Productions and the remaining ticketing assets of Songkick.

Both companies were unavailable for comment.

 


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Peter Rieger passes aged 63

Peter Rieger, the founder of Cologne-based promoter Peter Rieger Konzertagentur (PRK), has passed away aged 63.

The news was announced today by CTS Eventim – since 2000 the majority stakeholder in PRK – which paid tribute to a man who has provided “thousands of people wonderful memories” and “given numerous artists their breakthrough”.

“We were deeply moved by the death of our longtime business partner and colleague, Peter Rieger,” reads a statement. “We are mourning for a giant of the live entertainment industry.

“The death of Peter Rieger does not just mean a big loss for the industry, but also a farewell to a long-time companion. Our sincere condolences to his family and relatives.”

“We are mourning for a giant of the live entertainment industry”

PRK, founded in 1983, has been led by managing director Klaus-Peter Matziol since 2015, when Rieger retired. A joint statement from the company’s staff and management described the late promoter, who passed on 29 January, as a “passionate and visionary leader” who “guided our company over many decades, creating unforgettable moments in music performance”.

Solo Agency managing director John Giddings says that despite stepping down from his MD role at PRK, Rieger was “still very much hands-on” with the business – and that the two were co-promoting Phil Collins’ shows in Germany later this year.

Giddings, who had known Rieger since the late 1980s, says his friend died “far too young”. “I’m in shock,” he tells IQ. “He was good for a laugh and generous beyond belief, and helped me out a lot when it was starting out.”

“He was good for a laugh and generous beyond belief”

“Peter was a great character who will be dearly missed throughout the industry,” comments Rob Hallett of Robomagic. “We worked a lot together in the ’80s – my fondest memory probably involves him having the first car phone that I had ever seen. We were in Berlin with Kajagoogoo, and while driving past the Brandenburg gate I telephoned my Mum from the car. She was blown away!”

“When I was an agent, he delighted in calling me ‘Robbery Hallett’, he adds. “I can hear him laughing at his own joke now…”

Danny Gillen, the long-serving road manager for Phil Collins, says Rieger “wasn’t just a promoter: he was my friend, as he was to all touring bands and crew. He was a man who loved his job and loved his life. Peter was funny, generous and a real credit to the music business – but most of all he was a loyal man. Loyalty is a thing you can’t buy – you’ve either got it or you haven’t – Peter had it in spades.”

“Peter was a great character who will be dearly missed throughout the industry”

Agent and International Live Music Conference (ILMC) founder Martin Hopewell describes Rieger as “a significant figure in the development of the European live music scene, one of the all-time great German promoters and a highly valued founder member of the ILMC. He was also an elegant, intelligent man who I’m very grateful to have known. Losing people of Peter’s experience and quality diminishes the live industry in a way that can never really be compensated for.”

Marillion drummer Ian Mosley, for whom Reiger promoted several tours in the early 1980s, says he has “very, very fond memories of Peter”.

Fish, the band’s former frontman, adds: “I was so sorry to hear the news of Peter’s passing. He was a great friend and advisor to me in the ’80s and instrumental in breaking Marillion in Germany. His contribution to the music business over the years on so many levels has been immense. A fantastic character with a sense of humour that could light up any venue.

“My sincere condolences to his family. He will be missed by so many that he touched during his time with us.”

“His contribution to the music business over the years on so many levels has been immense”

Mike + The Mechanics singer Tim Howar calls Rieger “a brilliant man and legend”. On behalf of the band, he says: “We will miss you.”

“This has been a sad and dismal week,” says manager and former agent Ed Bicknell. “I’ve lost three dear pals: John Wetton, of King Crimson, Asia and UK, Deke Leonard, of Man, and now Peter. I did many shows with him back in the day when I was an agent, and he worked with Dire Straits and other acts of mine many times.

“He was a total professional, a pleasure to deal with and funny – definitely funny. Which is what every promoter needs: a sense of humour. This year has got off to a gloomy start already.”

“He was a total professional, a pleasure to deal with and funny – which is what every promoter needs: a sense of humour”

Born on 12 April 1953, Rieger promoted some of Germany’s most memorable shows, including high-profile dates by David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Genesis, U2, George Michael, Eagles and Whitney Houston, and Roger Waters’s The Wall – Live in Berlin.

Prior to founding PRK, Rieger worked for Lippmann + Rau before moving to Mama Concerts, where he promoted his first show by an international act: Level 42.

He was named promoter of the year (promoters’ promoter) at ILMC 16 in 2004.

 

This article will be updated with tributes from those who knew and worked with Peter Rieger as we receive them. If you would like to contribute, please email jon@iq-mag.net.

 


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Hallett announces first Robotunes release

Following two successful festivals so far this year – Nile Rodgers’s FOLD in London in June and dance music event Horizon in Bulgaria in March – UK promoter Robomagic has taken its first step into the recorded music market with the release of an EP on its Robotunes label.

The self-titled release by London duo Nova Twins (pictured) “perfectly encapsulates the cross over between punk and British hip hop”, says Robomagic, and “highlights everything [CEO] Rob Hallett loves about music: passion, raw energy and killer bass lines”.

Former AEG Live UK chief Hallett, who founded Robomagic in 2015, says: “When the Nova Twins arrived in all their snarling glory on my Facebook page I thought to myself, ‘This I have to see.’ Combining my love of punk rock, hip hop and live music, the Nova Twins are the true independent women of their generation, and they can play!”

The band’s first single, ‘Hitlist’, can be listened to on Spotify below.

In a canny move, Hallett announced in June that Glastonbury ticketholders who couldn’t “face the thought of battling the elements” in stormy Somerset could exchange their tickets for FOLD – which took place the same weekend – instead. The festival, at Fulham Palace, was headlined by Labrinth, Beck and Rodgers’s band, Chic.

 


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Don’t fancy Glasto mud? Come to Fulham, says FOLD

For Glastonbury-goers apprehensive about the mud, traffic congestion and threat of further rain awaiting them at Worthy Farm this weekend, promoter Rob Hallett has a solution: Go to FOLD Festival instead!

Hallett’s Robomagic announced this afternoon that all Glastonbury Festival ticketholders who all “can’t face the thought of battling the elements” in Somerset this weekend can exchange their tickets for a weekend pass to the Niles Rodgers-curated festival at Fulham Palace – along with Robomagic’s Caught by the River Thames, the first festivals to ever be held at the palace in its 750-plus-year history – instead.

“FOLD Festival is tent-free and promises that its guests will be mud- and rain-free, with a dry weather forecast for the whole weekend”

FOLD (or ‘Freak Out Let’s Dance’), headlined by Labrinth, Beck and Rodgers’s Chic (pictured), promises that its guests “will be mud- and rain-free, with a dry weather forecast for the whole weekend”.

Those tempted by the offer – and who are happy to take the financial hit: day tickets for FOLD start at £54 (£162 for the weekend), while a three-day Glastonbury pass would have set you back £228 – should simply arrive at the FOLD Festival box office and exchange their Glasto ticket for a FOLD one “on the day(s) of your choice”.

IQ spoke to Hallett in January about the securing of Fulham Palace as a venue, which Hallett he described as “an amazing coup”, especially in light of its being that rarest of things: “a new site in central London in 2016”.

 


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