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Jockey Club Live to develop live music scene at UK horse racing

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The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horse racing and one of the largest music promoters in the UK, has launched a joint venture partnership, Jockey Club Live, to secure, promote and produce music and other forms of live entertainment at its 15 well-known racecourse venues nationwide.

Jockey Club Live is a partnership between Jockey Club Racecourses, the UK’s largest racecourse group, and music and live entertainment specialists Live at the Races, which is a new business established by Andrew Wilkinson and Simon Halden, who between them have worked with a number of major international artists including Elton John, Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Pink Floyd, Take That and Kylie Minogue. Wilkinson is the founder of leading concert tour production and management company, KingStreet Tours, while Halden founded Sports & Outdoor Media International plc and The Frontiers Group. Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

Music events and other forms of live entertainment provide very important commercial opportunities for us, attracting significant numbers of new customers to our racecourses and generating profits we reinvest back into British racing. With the launch of Jockey Club Live, not only will we enhance our offering, we believe we offer an ideal platform for brand partnerships too.

The joint venture partnership, signed after a competitive tender process involving a range of major players in the entertainment industry, aims to increase the popularity and commercial success of The Jockey Club’s live events, through accessing popular artists, well-matched for a given venue; cost-efficiently improving production values; opening up new revenue streams, including producing events beyond The Jockey Club’s own venues; and provides an ideal platform for brand partnerships, helping to reach new customers and enhance the offer and experience.

Jockey Club Racecourses currently welcomes more than 200,000 people a year to enjoy live music on its courses, as part of circa 25 ‘racing + music’ events annually that see a headline act perform in open air surrounds following at least six races at courses from Newmarket to Epsom Downs and Haydock Park to Aintree. Artists who have performed at The Jockey Club’s venues in 2013 included Kaiser Chiefs, Madness, McFly, Meat Loaf and Labrinth. In 2012, Jessie J, Tom Jones, Olly Murs and Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons were amongst those to take the stage. Fisher added:

In an increasingly competitive marketplace it’s essential we have access to talent that has been carefully identified as an excellent fit for each of our venues, as well as the latest marketing expertise. That has been at the heart of this tender process and the Live at the Races team shone through, as well as demonstrating a great understanding of the racing industry and a track record of access to brands who wish to associate themselves with entertainment programmes under commercial terms.

This new joint venture approach as Jockey Club Live sets up both parties to share in success, evolving things from a client-supplier approach we used previously. I am hugely confident our live events will go from strength-to-strength through this partnership and we look forward to announcing a series of exciting developments, including a great line up of acts for 2014.

Andrew Wilkinson, Chief Executive, Jockey Club Live, said:

We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Jockey Club after winning the competitive tender process. The whole team are looking forward to working together to develop a range of initiatives and live entertainment opportunities to unveil soon for Jockey Club Live and positioning the joint venture at the forefront of live music and entertainment in the UK.

Previously Jockey Club Racecourses had a supplier relationship with Liz Hobbs Group for the provision and production of music acts, which it chose not to renew in favour of a joint venture approach.