Warner Music launches artist service capabilities in touring & merchandising

MUMBAI: Warner Music Central Europe (WMCE) unveiled two newly-formed units that further expand the company’s ability to partner with artists across all aspects of their careers. Neuland Concerts is a tour promotion and booking agency and WMCE Merchandising will create physical music-related products. Both will service a wide variety of artists, functioning as stand-alone units whilst drawing on Warner Music’s infrastructure, resources and commercial footprint.

Neuland Concerts is headed by managing director Christian Gerlach, reporting to Warner Music Central & Eastern Europe chairman & CEO Bernd Dopp.

Neuland has worked on or is currently involved in tours with acts from Warner Music’s international roster including Estelle, The Virgins and Biffy Clyro as well local stars such as Max Mutzke, whose national tour during April is a co-operation with promoters Mario Mendrzycki and Marek Lieberberg. In addition, Neuland is booking and promoting German tours for artists like José Gonzalez and Peter, Bjorn & John in March.

The merchandising team is lead by Merchandising Central Europe head Karsten Lutz, reporting to WMCE managing director Business & Corporate Development Sascha Lazimbat, who in turn reports to Dopp.

Product ranges have already been manufactured for domestic artists Jennifer Rostock and Peter Fox, international acts The Subways, Ashley Tisdale and Mastodon as well as third-party brands including Hamburg’s well-known Reeperbahn Music Festival and 11Freunde, the soccer magazine.

Dopp said “Our new capabilities in touring and merchandising are further evidence of our re-definition of what a modern music company is and does. We continue to evolve our abilities to provide an expanded range of services, forge broader creative partnerships with artists and take a more comprehensive approach to their long-term development. We will also now be well-positioned to bring together different configurations of recorded music, ticketing and merchandise to offer a variety of innovative products and experiences that take fans closer to the artists they love.“

“Christian and Karsten are both passionate, progressive experts in their respective fields. Their skills, knowledge and resource will be important assets in the diversification of our business.”

Gerlach said, “Neuland’s flexibility to either behave as a separate company or collaborate with Warner Music on integrated campaigns presents us and our artists with a wealth of possibilities. We’re particularly focused on fostering up-and-coming acts and building careers. I’m very excited about the future.”

Lutz said “Whilst music fans are embracing the explosion in ways to enjoy digital music, the demand for merchandise and other physical product remains strong. I look forward to building on our initial success and exploring the new opportunities ahead.”

Gerlach joined Warner Music from one of the leading German live promoters, Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion, where he worked for 13 years. As general manager, he was responsible for the touring and booking division as well as for all special events and productions including a role as managing director of Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival.

Lutz arrived at Warner Music from Deutschrock, one of German’s merchandising specialists with clients such as Tokio Hotel , Die Aerzte and Herbert Groenemeyer.