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Global scales back touring business as live team joins LN

Global Entertainment, the UK’s second-largest festival operator, is downsizing its touring business in favour of a renewed focus on its portfolio of festivals, following former Global Live chief Sam Bush and promoter Joe Schiavon’s move to rival Live Nation, IQ has learnt.

While some sources tell IQ Global’s decision came as a result of Bush and Schiavon’s departure, the company says the reorientation is down to “significant growth” in its festivals division, with the business now holding 8% marketshare in the UK less than two years after its launch.

“Two years after we made our first move into the festivals business, we’re the second largest operator in the UK, and we’re seeing significant growth,” says the spokesperson. “We’ve therefore made the decision to focus on this part of the business, and while we will still do some touring, we’re prioritising growing our festivals business. As a result, Sam and Joe have moved on, and we wish them all the best.

“We’re continuing to expand the festivals business in the UK and internationally. All the festivals have their own established bookers, who will continue to programme the festivals and book acts.”

Global Live launched as a division of Global Entertainment in April 2015, with Bush, formerly head of live music at AEG UK, as director. Global Entertainment – which also includes music publishing and management divisions – was initially headed up by former AEG CEO Randy Phillips, although he exited after seven months, with his role being absorbed by Global founder Ashley Tabor (Phillips later turned up at SFX Entertainment successor LiveStyle).

“While we will still do some touring, we’re prioritising growing our festivals business”

The company entered the festival business in June 2015, buying into Broadwick Live (Festival №6, Snowbombing, Boardmasters), and recently grew its portfolio to a total of 17 events by by acquiring majority stakes in Hideout Festival in Croatia and Victorious Festival in the UK.

Bush, who is now Live Nation’s president of UK touring, and Schiavon, who continues in a national promoter role, join Live Nation UK after a record summer for the company, with more than three million people attending its events, including a string of sell-out stadium shows and several successful festivals.

They are joined by new promoters Kamran Haq – who cut his teeth as a local promoter in Manchester, before moving on to work with acts such as Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes, Creeper, Neck Deep, State Champs and Basement – and Sean Ryman, who joins from Academy Music Group, where he promoted nationally shows by Taking Back Sunday, Slaves, Less than Jake and The Used.

All four new hirings underscore Live Nation UK’s “commitment to invest in and develop new talent”, says the company. Recent LNUK artist break-outs include Dua Lipa, Giggs, Pvris, Creeper, Mura Masa and Nothing but Thieves, while upcoming shows by emerging artists include Sigrid, Stefflon Don, Blackbear, Lil Peep, Tom Tripp, Greta Van Fleet and Rolling Blackouts.

Andy Copping, Live Nation executive president of touring, UK, comments: “It is with great pleasure that I welcome Sam, Joe, Kamran and Sean to Live Nation. Following our partnership with Metropolis Music this year and the addition of these hires, we have further strengthened a formidable promotions team who are dedicated to breaking artists, building careers and bringing even more incredible live experiences to fans in the UK.”


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