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‘The potential is immense’: DEAG buys into esports firm

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has become the latest major live music player to invest in the fast-growing esports sector, acquiring a minority stake in Ally4ever Entertainment, a specialist gaming events agency.

The investment, through DEAG subsidiaries Wizard Promotions and Handwerker Promotion, sees Deutsche Entertainment and Ally4ever partner to create a new esports stadium event in Germany. DEAG has the option to increase its minority stake in Verl-based Allyever by 2022.

The format of DEAG’s new event is “unique due to its concept”, says the company, combining a three-day event programme – viewable on television or online, as well as at the venue – with “extensive side attractions” for attendees and appearances by international music, film and sports stars, celebrities and influencers.

Players, meanwhile, will compete for a total prize pool of €3.5 million.

“The potential of the esports segment is immense,” says DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow. “For our company, this offers the opportunity of sustainable expansion into a new, fast-growing live entertainment segment with a young target audience.

“Our esports events are intended to represent the next generation of live entertainment in Europe”

“The objective for DEAG is to gain a knowledge and experience advantage with experienced partners for further growth opportunities in this rapidly growing entertainment format.

Other concert businesses which have an interest in the esports, or competitive videogaming, sports include AEG, Madison Square Garden Company, TEG and Vivendi.

Fred Handwerker, managing director of Handwerker Promotion, comments: “This new partnership sets standards in a still very young and rapidly developing live event sector. We are all the more pleased to be part of this trend-setting event.”

“Our esports events are intended to represent the next generation of live entertainment in Europe,” adds Oliver Hoppe, MD of Wizard Promotions, “and we are delighted to be part of this visionary project.”

DEAG promotes around 4,000 concerts and events, selling more than five million tickets, annually. The Berlin-based company reported 25% organic growth in the first quarter of 2019, with revenue climbing to €25.5m.


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WizPro, Handwerker launch Frankfurt joint venture

German promoters Wizard Promotions and Handwerker Promotion have announced the opening of a new joint office in Frankfurt.

Through a new company, Rhein-Main Concerts, Frankfurt-based Wizard and Unna-based Handwerker – both majority owned by Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) – will jointly organise concerts and other live events in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region, in the south-west of Germany.

Rhein-Main Concerts will be led by senior project manager Jutta Sebastian, with the new office officially open on 1 November, reports Musik Woche. Rhein-Main Concerts shows already on sale include Bryan Ferry (pictured), Joan Baez, Till Brönner and Heartbeat of Home.

DEAG COO Christian Diekmann says: “With [Rhein-Main Concerts’] integrated experience and know-how, we will have the opportunity in future to market our portfolio in Rhine-Main with a high-calibre team.”

“It is a great honour to be more active here in [Frankfurt] and to enrich the cultural life of the region”

Handwerker boss Fred Handwerker describes Frankfurt as “one of the most vital regions” for touring in Germany, saying it was the logical next step “to be present in this promising market with our own local promoter, so we can act faster, and be more agile and precise, to offer the audience diverse concert and event experiences.”

Oliver Hoppe, of Wizard Promotions, says it is “a great honour to be more active here in the local market and to enrich the cultural life of the region”.

In addition to Frankfurt, DEAG also has offices in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zurich and London.


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Semmel wins double at 12th PRG LEAs

The PRG Live Entertainment Awards (LEAs) returned to Frankfurt for 12th time on Monday, honouring the best and brightest in the German live industry.

Accolades were given in 15 categories, including promoter of the year, which went to FKP Scorpio; stadium tour of the year, which was awarded to Think Big for Udo Lindenberg’s Keine Panik! tour; arena tour of the year, presented to Wizard Promotions and Zucchero Fornaciari for the Black Cat world tour; and concert hall tour of the year and the jury prize, both of which went to Semmel Concerts, for Niedeckens BAP’s Jubiläumstour tour and PxP Festival, respectively.

“For 12 years we have been honouring the outstanding event achievements of the past year with the LEAs,” says Jens Michow, producer of the awards ceremony and president of German promoters’ association BDV.

“Twenty-sixteen was a particularly difficult year – with increased security risks , hurricane-like storms, torrential rains and violent thunderstorms that presented the industry with significant challenges – [so] I am all the more pleased by the level of professionalism with which these were overcome.”

A full list of winners is below:

Stadium tour of the year
Udo Lindenberg, Keine Panik! tour 2016 (Think Big Event- und Veranstaltungs)

Arena tour of the year
Zucchero Fornaciari, Black Cat tour 2016 (Wizard Promotions)

Concert hall tour of the year
Niedeckens BAP, Jubiläumstour tour 2016 (Semmel Concerts)

Club tour of the year
Max Giesinger, Der Junge, der rennt tour 2016 (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion)

Festival of the year
OpenAir St Gallen

Concert of the year
David Gilmour, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria (Barracuda Music)

Show of the year
Kaltenberger Ritterturnier (Ritterturnier Kaltenberg Veranstaltungs)

Promoter of the year
FKP Scorpio

Artist development of the year
Popakademie Baden-Württemberg

Manager/agent of the year
Esteban de Alcázar, Sector3 Management

Local promoter of the year
Handwerker Promotion, Unna

Club of the year
Capitol, Hanover

Concert hall/arena of the year
Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt

Jury prize
PxP Festival, P x P Embassy/Semmel Concerts

Lifetime achievement award
Dieter Weidenfeld

A list of 2016 PRG LEA winners is here.


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Oliver Hoppe becomes sole Wizard Promotions MD

Oliver Hoppe has become sole managing director of Germany’s Wizard Promotions.

His father, Ossy Hoppe, stays on as chief advisor, A&R, following Oliver’s accession to the top job at the beginning of 2017.

Hoppe Snr founded Wizard in 2004 and was bought out by Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) in June 2013. He is one of Germany’s most senior promoters and managers, most famous for his work with hard rock acts such as Deep Purple, Kiss, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses and for founding the Monsters of Rock festival in 1981.

On his 60th birthday, he was the subject of a feature in IQ 59 which charted his story from child circus performer to giant of concert promotion.

Oliver had been co-managing director of Wizard since 2012.

“I am extremely pleased … to be able to fully hand over management to my son. It was always my great wish that Oliver would continue my work”

Ossy Hoppe comments: “I am extremely pleased and, at the same time, also reassured to be able to fully hand over the management to my son. It was always my great wish that Oliver would continue my work, and with his many years’ experience, as well as considerable professional expertise, he unites all the elements which will guide the company into a successful future.

“Oliver has already been managing the business for some time now, and the transfer was a smooth process. I will, of course, continue to advise the company and support artists with whom I have a long-standing relationship.

Oliver Hoppe adds: “I thank my father and DEAG for the trust, and feel honoured to continue the history of the Wizard Promotions concert agency into the future as one of the leading concert organisers in Germany.

“With a strong and homogenous team, we have successfully managed to respond to the new challenges of the event market in recent years with the values and core competencies of a traditional tour event organiser as the foundation. I really enjoy the interesting work of combining innovation culture with the classic values of a family business.”


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