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Sony Music backs new family entertainment agency

Sony Music Masterworks has joined forces with leading US family entertainment bookers Stephen Lindsay and Brett Sirota to launch RoadCo Entertainment, a new booking agency specialising in “live family entertainment experiences”.

As RoadCo, Lindsay and Sirota – the co-founders of The Road Company, which brings musicals, plays and special attractions to venues across North America – will work alongside Mark Cavell, president of Sony Music Masterworks, and Scott Farthing, senior vice-president of Masterworks Broadway, to develop and produce live events based on both existing brands/IP and new formats.

The agency will also work with other Sony companies to identify opportunities to develop live shows based on Sony-owned properties.

RoadCo Entertainment is the latest live-industry venture for Sony Music Entertainment, following its acquisition of classical promoter Raymond Gubbay in 2018 and UK concert business Senbla the following year.

Lindsay and Sirota have previously worked with Masterworks, co-producing 2017’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, which won a Tony Award. The Road Company’s other shows include the North American tours of Wicked, Moulin Rouge, Beetlejuice and Oklahoma!.

“RoadCo is the perfect venue for us to further grow our entertainment division in the US when the touring business is ready to return”

“We are energised and excited at the opportunity to create a second booking agency with our friends at Sony Music Masterworks, who bring a wealth of expertise, resources, and intellectual property,” say the pair in a joint statement. “The Road Company will continue its focus on Broadway and other theatricals, while RoadCo starts a new chapter for us as we build this expansive new enterprise with Sony Music capable of handling a broad roster of live entertainment properties.”

Mark Cavell, president of Sony Music Masterworks, comments: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Stephen Lindsay and Brett Sirota, whose track record as booking experts is well-known throughout the entertainment industry.

“Since first working together on the co-producing team of the Tony Award-winning SpongeBob musical, we have looked for other opportunities to collaborate. RoadCo is the perfect venue for us to join forces and further grow our entertainment division in the US market when the live touring business is ready to return.”

RoadCo is the third new booking agency, and the first focusing on family entertainment, to launch in the US since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, following TBA Agency and Mint Talent Group.

 


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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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