Live Nation is expanding its operations in the Middle East after acquiring a majority stake in leading Israeli promoter, Bluestone Entertainment.
Formed in 2014 as a joint venture between Guy Oseary, Guy Beser, Shay Mor Yosef and Gadi Veinrib, Bluestone has quickly become the biggest promoter in the region, bringing sold out shows by Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Enrique Iglesias, Major Lazer and One Republic to the market. Among its scheduled shows for the year ahead are concerts by Aerosmith (May 17) and Guns ‘n' Roses (July 15) in Tel Aviv.
As part of the deal, the two parties have partnered on the launch of Ticketmaster Israel, bringing the number of markets that Ticketmaster now operates in to 28.
Live Nation has been active in the Middle East since 2008. In 2013 it launched Ticketmaster in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and last year struck a deal with the Qatar Ministry of Culture and Sports to operate two of the country's biggest arena venues -- Lusail Multipurpose Arena in Lusail and Ali Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Multipurpose Arena in Al Sadd -- as a joint venture with Elan Group.
"We have seen a considerable demand for live entertainment with the shows that Live Nation has brought to the market over the last few years and have been very impressed when working with Guy, Shay and the rest of the Bluestone team," said Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation's president of international and emerging markets. "Formalizing our partnership and bringing the Ticketmaster brand and technology to the market was the natural next step," he went on to say.
Guy Beser and Shay Mor Yosef of Bluestone cited Israel's improving venue infrastructure as a factor behind the market's growth and said that they see "huge potential for international artists in Israel." They also praised the "strategic involvement, guidance and mentorship" of Guy Oseary in establishing Bluestone Entertainment and opening the door to their partnership with Live Nation.
"The Israeli fans have proved in the last three years that there is a real market and demand for live international shows," said Guy Beser and Shay Mor Yosef. "The collaboration between Live Nation and Bluestone will firmly establish Israel as a ‘must-play' market on any world tour."