Thomas Ovesen reveals top entertainment vision

Thomas Ovesen, the leading promoter of the Middle East, has spoken wisdom About your ambitions for your new Dubai-headquartered venture, Top Entertainment.

TOP launched last week with 50 Cent’s show – the first post-pandemic sailing concert at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena – and stage two sold-out nights with Justin Bieber due in partnership with AEG and All Things Live was. weekend, before the show was canceled due to the singer’s ongoing health issues.

Owaisen served as COO and VP of programming for the 17,000-cap Dubai area project before returning to promote independently in 2019, with Saudi Arabia’s Diriyah Gate Development Authority as director of entertainment later that year. (DGDA) was going to join.

“It was always a matter of time when I was going to continue my more than 20 years of regional show and entertainment promotion and production,” Ovesen tells WebMD. wisdom, “It wasn’t necessary that I was promoting under my own brand this time, but it did. With the support of many global industry operators or the desire to participate in events, the regional architecture for my business is still evolving. but the focus will be on maximizing regional opportunities for domestic and touring artists.”

“I will promote and produce the show regionally and will be the go-to promoter for agents and artist managers”

Ovesen, formerly CEO of Dubai-based promoter 117 Live, describes its ethos at Top as “go big or go home” after splitting from rival organization Done Events in late 2015.

“The region is geographically large and very diverse indeed when you consider the particular market conditions in each region, but it is both a challenge and an opportunity,” he says. “Given that I have promoted and produced shows throughout the Middle East since 1999, I should have known a thing or two about the way we work in the region – and really when I am at events as part of my promotion. If I am not doing it then with whom should I work?

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“So with a base in Dubai and partnerships already established in Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt and GCC countries, I will promote and produce the show regionally and want to be the go-to promoter for agents and artist managers who want to play one or more shows regionally.”

Upcoming Top promotions include an already sold-out Disney Princess concert season and two Jose Carreras shows this autumn, and UAE stops with Jackson Wang and Snoop Dogg in 2023, as well as several in the “Q1 and Q2 area”. and pending programs, including co-promotion, programming and producer-formatted participation”.

Owesen stresses that each market in the Middle East is unique, but predicts that the increase of live events in Saudi Arabia will have positive implications for the region as a whole.

“The market is likely to expand faster than the existing market players who can grow their business”

“Saudi Arabia represents a large event budget and shows programming potential, spillover will help all other markets,” he says. “Agents and managers need grassroots intelligence to best navigate the field from an artist’s point of view and experienced industry operators like me who will take risks on their own promotion should be well positioned for real growth.” .

“Ultimately domestic artists and talent will gain real market share and many new event IPs will be launched, leading to even greater demand and appreciation of programming and touring artist pipeline supply. The market is expected to expand faster than existing market players.” Chances are, therefore, international partnerships and new market entries by global operators should also be expected to continue.

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Ovesen, however, raised concerns about market saturation coming out of Covid-19, accelerated by new promoters entering the game and an increase in the number of purpose-built venues.

“Many events will be held that will undercut each other’s ticket sales and increase artist fees,” he warned. “Not unlike any other established market, I’m sure, but there are new challenges here, apart from the new ability to take advantage of premium fees being offered from Saudi.”


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