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TEG MJR acquires Camden Assembly and XOYO

TEG MJR has acquired two of London’s best-loved live music venues, XOYO and the Camden Assembly, both of which will reopen on 21 June, lockdown lifting permitting.

The 400-capacity Camden Assembly (formerly the Barfly) in Camden usually hosts more than 400 events a year and has been played by the likes of Muse, Coldplay, Adele and the 1975. XOYO (800-cap.) in Shoreditch is known for its club nights and DJ shows at the weekend and live music programme on weekdays.

TEG MJR, the UK subsidiary of Sydney-based live entertainment and ticketing firm TEG, says it will host concerts, brand experiences and community events in both venues, “working closely with local and national promoters to curate a full and diverse calendar of artists and genres”.

Dan Ickowitz-Seidler, COO of TEG MJR, says: “We are excited to be a part of London’s diverse night-time culture and to soon be delivering great events and hospitality at two of London’s leading venues.

“We will honour their legacies while bringing new and unbeatable live music experiences”

“The location of both venues is incredible and we are committed to respecting their past and investing in their future, with plans to offer fantastic, contemporary experiences.”

Plans for XOYO include an overhaul of the production infrastructure, with the venue set to relaunch with a three-day residency by dubstep pioneer Skream. Camden Assembly will continue to trade daily with a mix of live shows, club nights and electronic music events upstairs, the company adds.

Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, comments: “These are two of London’s most-loved venues. We will honour their legacies while bringing new and unbeatable live music and event experiences to patrons. This move gives us a presence in the vibrant London music scene.”

Other TEG MJR venues include Digbeth Arena in Birmingham, Tramshed in Cardiff and the Warehouse in Leeds.


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Sky Tickets ramps up music presence with Una buy

Sky Tickets, the new entertainment and sports ticketing venture by telecommunications giant Sky UK, has completed its first major acquisition in the form of British start-up Una TicketsIQ can reveal.

The acquisition of Una, which billed itself as “the UK’s first transparent ticket agency”, will enable Sky to provide “a full end-to-end service to greenfield sites”, says Sky Tickets director Mark Guymer, including new customer Curious Arts Festival in the New Forest.

The terms of the acquisition are confidential, but Guymer says Sky has kept on the entire Una team.

In addition to Curious Arts, Sky will serve as the exclusive ticketing partner of Ben Lovett’s new London venue, Omeara, deploying Una’s fully digital solution for both.

While Sky Tickets’ Alex Kennedy said at FastForward in February the company is trying to “get [its collective] head round the best way for us to get involved with the music world”, Guymer tells IQ the Una buy isn’t a “concerted effort to push into live music, as this is an area that has always been of interest to us. However, with its end-to-end capability it will no doubt give us even more of a presence.”

A major draw for Sky, says Guymer, was Una’s anti-ticket touting/fraud credentials. Una’s product offering comprised both a mobile ticket – which, similar to Dice, is stored in an online wallet and is unique to the buyer – and a physical ‘Una Pass’ (since renamed ‘Sky Pass’), which also serves as an RFID payment system and proof of age. The company also planned to operate a face-value ticket exchange, which has so far not been integrated into the Sky Tickets platform.

“Live music has always been of interest to us. However, with Una’s end-to-end capability it will no doubt give us a bigger presence”

“As we’ve started doing more and more in ticketing, we’ve had more concerns from customers,” explains Guymer. “They’re worried about the security of their ticket: if it’s genuine, if they’re going to be able to get in… [Una’s solution] addresses that problem.”

Guymer says Una’s mobile functionality was also attractive to Sky: “You have to consider mobile devices and what role they’ll play [in future],” he comments. “With the mass adoption of smartphones for consumer content, it’s interesting to consider what ticketing’s going to look like when it’s a fully mobile experience.” Ticketing for both Omeara and Curious Arts will be fully digital, with nary a paper ticket in sight.

While Sky Tickets was founded three years ago, the deal with Omeara is the first major music partnership for a brand hitherto known primarily for its sporting heritage. However, while Sky has a “strong history in sport”, says Guymer, the company “has [sold tickets for] entertainment events” and has “always been involved in music in some way – for example, Sky Arts’ coverage of major festivals and our sponsorship of the backstage area at The O2.”

What, then, can we in the live music world expect from Sky Tickets in future? While Alex Kennedy said “it’s not going to be with gigs at XOYO, with young hip-hop artists – it’s going to be more middle-of-the-road stuff that fits the kind of brand profile that we have”, Guymer isn’t so sure: “While we’ve always had strong coverage across certain demographics such as families, we are constantly broadening our reach: for example, the launch of Now TV, which broadens our traditional customer base.

“I think we’ll focus on the core areas of our customers, but we’ll definitely leave the door open to a complete cross-section in live music, as I believe we are increasingly seeing a complete cross-section of customers using our services.”


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