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CTS Eventim confirms Swiss expansion with new firm

CTS Eventim has formalised the expansion of its live entertainment business in Switzerland by establishing new company TAKK ab Entertainment AG.

The firm will be led by three generations of promoters – Swiss concert pioneer André Béchir, TAKK Productions founder Sebastien Vuignier and IQ New Bosses alumnus Théo Quiblier.

It was announced earlier this year that Béchir would be operating a new company under the Eventim Live umbrella, in collaboration with Swiss-French promoter TAKK. Vuignier has been appointed MD of the new venture, with Béchir, to serve as an advisor and Quiblier, who joined TAKK from Lausanne-based Two Gentlemen last September, named VP booking.

“We’re delighted to be further expanding our live entertainment business in Switzerland,” says CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg. “This highly effective, cross-generational team will enable us to unlock even more of the potential in this market.”

“Thanks to the partnership with CTS Eventim, we have laid the foundations for the future growth of our live entertainment activities”

TAKK ab Entertainment will benefit from current TAKK Productions’ team operations based in the French part of Switzerland and staff operating from its new office in Zurich.

“Thanks to the partnership with CTS Eventim, we have laid the foundations for the future growth of our live entertainment activities,” adds Vuignier. “Maximum professionalism, extensive experience and the latest technology will enable us to leverage new synergies that we can use together with great success.”

Pan-European giant CTS reported strong growth for the first quarter of 2023, revealing it has sold 18 million tickets so far in this year.

Béchir’s abc Production was amalgamated with Gadget and Wepromote by CTS shortly before the pandemic hit.

 


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Theo Quiblier moves to Swiss-French promoter Takk

Swiss-French concert promoter and artist booking company Takk has announced that Theo Quiblier will be joining the team from the beginning of September.

Quiblier joins the Grimisuat-based company from Two Gentleman, where he has spent the last five years – most recently as the company’s head of concerts and touring.

He will bring with him a roster that includes The National, Faber, The War on Drugs, Mitski, Fontaines D.C., Polo & Pan, Wet Leg, Shygirl, Caroline Polachek, Self Esteem, Gabriels and Black Country New Road.

Founded in 2009, Takk has worked with the likes of Muse, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave, Florence and the Machine, IDLES, Queens of the Stone Age, The Lumineers, Sam Smith, Sigur Ros, Amy Macdonald and Paolo Nutini.

The company, which was recently profiled in IQ‘s Swiss Market Report, says it will continue to work with Two Gentleman on specific projects and artists.

“Our team will certainly benefit from Theo’s passion and dedication”

“We are convinced that Theo shares the same values, and we have always looked at his achievements with respectful consideration,” says Takk founder Sebastien Vuignier. “We are thrilled that our team can now grow in the best manner, and will certainly benefit from Theo’s passion and dedication.

“As a new team member, Theo will bring his own style and energy, and we are determined to offer him an opportunity to grow with his own acts, being under the same roof as the many exciting acts I’ve been working with for years now.”

Quiblier adds: “I am so thrilled to join a vibrant team like Takk. Everyone across the industry knows how much I always admired Seb’s work ethic, passion and indie spirit. Everything he has accomplished ever since establishing Takk in 2009 has always been nothing but inspirational to me and he has been instrumental in my early career success.

“Getting the chance to team up with a leading player in live like Takk and strengthen our activities together that will benefit all our partners across the board is an opportunity I could not miss. I am so much looking forward to embracing this new challenge and to everything that’s ahead.”

Quiblier has previously held roles at music venue La Parenthèse, as well as festivals Montreux Jazz and Antigel. Last year, he was nominated for The New Bosses 2021, IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today.

As well as appearing on last year’s ILMC panel, Meet the New Bosses, Quiblier penned a comment piece about embracing failure for IQ, which can be read here.

 


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New Bosses name one thing industry must change

Alumni from IQ Magazine‘s most recent class of New Bosses have identified areas of improvement for the international live music business.

A handful of the next-gen leaders shared their thoughts during Meet the New Bosses: The Class of 2021, at last month’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Theo Quiblier, head of concerts at Two Gentlemen in Switzerland, believes the one thing the industry needs to get better at is normalising failure.

“We are in a fantastic industry where everyone is signing the new top artist or selling out venues or sealing huge deals with festivals but that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well’ – as simple as that.

“I feel that we’re all a bit afraid of saying, ‘I went on sale with my favourite band and it didn’t go well'”

“As a promoter, I could say, ‘Oh, I work with this top band,’ and people think, ‘That’s amazing, he must be rich,’ and, in reality, it’s your biggest loss of the year. We need little reality checks, and to say ‘I’m doing my best but I’m not the best’. Sharing insecurities is great because failure happens to everybody.”

Flo Noseda-Littler, agency assistant at Wasserman Music (formerly Paradigm UK), called for better pay for junior staff so more people can viably start their careers in the industry.

“Fair salaries for junior staff and internships so that it enables people in those positions to live in the cities in which they work,” comments Noseda-Littler. “By providing a free internship or a low paid job, you’re cutting off so many people who don’t have the ability to still live with their parents or be subsidised by their parents. And then you’re just reducing the number of people you can recruit and missing out on potentially really ambitious and amazing people.”

Anna Parry, partnerships manager at the O2 in London, echoed Noseda-Littler’s thoughts, adding that companies also need to improve their recruitment strategies in order to reach a more diverse pool of talent.

“This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head”

“Companies really need to put more effort into understanding why people aren’t applying for these jobs, and then they need to create a lower barrier of entry for those types of people,” says Parry. “It’s not just saying, ‘Oh okay, well we posted the job on a different forum than we usually would’. It’s going to take a lot more of that to actually make a difference. We need to focus on that because it’s important our industry is representative of the artists we represent.”

Age Versluis (promoter at Friendly Fire in the Netherlands) on the other hand, is petitioning for a four-day workweek: “This is a job that costs you a lot of time at your desk and a lot of time in your head. Since Covid, we’re seeing a lot of people burning out and having trouble getting to that fourth or fifth gear.

“We forget that moving shows for two years to the same months is quite stressful. I think we could use some extra ‘me’ time.”

Tessie Lammle, agent at UTA in the US, echoed her peers’ points, adding: “I was going to say diversity or work-life balance but Theo’s point is huge. I think the younger generation is getting much better at [sharing insecurities].”

Each of the panellists appeared as part of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses 2021, an annual list celebrating the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business. See the full list of the distinguished dozen here.

 


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The New Bosses 2021: Theo Quiblier, Two Gentlemen

The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview with Tessie Lammle, booking agent at UTA in the US here.

Theo Quiblier started like a lot of people in the industry – in a band with classmates – but quickly realised he was better at finding shows than playing them. He began promoting shows at La Parenthèse in his hometown of Nyon, Switzerland, aged just 16, while also working for festivals such as Montreux Jazz and Antigel.

Spending more time booking shows than studying at university in Geneva, Quiblier was approached by Two Gentlemen’s Patrick David, who offered him a job as a junior booker.

Fast-forward a few years and he is the company’s head of concerts and touring and works with a roster that includes The National, Angel Olsen, The War on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, Squid, Fontaines D.C., Father John Misty, Viagra Boys, as well as powerhouse Swiss supergroup Brandão Faber Hunger. Quiblier also manages Dino Brandão.

 


You’re a promoter, an agent, and an artist manager – which role is your favourite?
It’s the diversity of roles. Being able to work every day with everyone in the team on so many different topics is thrilling. The more you understand each aspect of the industry, the better you can service your clients and partners.

As you began working in the business as a teenager, do you have a mentor or anyone you turn to for advice?
Patrick David. His experience and knowledge are an inexhaustible source of inspiration to me. If we don’t spend at least one hour on the phone a day debating, it’s probably because one of us is sick. Also, Sébastien Vuignier who has always given me his time. A true legend!

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
The National at Samsung Hall in Zürich in 2019. When you do this job you secretly dream of promoting your absolute favourite band.

“You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it”

What are you most looking forward to as the pandemic restrictions are lifted?
Sweaty gigs in small rooms with people flying all over the place! The band comes on stage and the show hasn’t even started yet you already know the night’s going to be electric. I miss that so badly…

Also finally being able to see live some artists we’ve been working with for more than three years and who still have not been able to come over and perform for the reasons we all know.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
Never be afraid to make mistakes. You learn so much from one single mistake simply because you will not forget it. That’s so valuable and entirely part of the process.

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you and Two Gentlemen are taking out of it?
Being able to press pause, sit down together as a company and ask “How are we feeling? How are we doing? How can we improve?”, has been a gift. Also, cooperation with others has never been so good. I can definitely feel a real sense of togetherness.

 


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