VMS Live expands promotions division with new hires

VMS Live expands promotions division with new hires

Venue management specialist VMS Live has made two new appointments to its promotions division as it plans to expand its outdoor events concept, Inner City Live. 

The company has brought in former Live Nation promoter Isla Miskelly (pictured) as commercial manager to work alongside commercial director Carl Bathgate and promoter/booker Joff Hall. Miskelly has worked on national tours with acts including Imagine Dragons, Fifth Harmony and Halsey.

Also joining the team as promoters’ assistant is Sarah-Louise Jones, who was most recently events management assistant for the 1,200-capacity William Aston Hall, based at Wrexham Glyndwr University. 

“In the last 12 months our business as a whole has continued to develop with the promotions side, both the shows we are promoting ourselves and those on behalf of our clients, having more than doubled in size over that period," VMS Live MD Steve Forster told Music Week.

"While we are certainly a very small player in the greater scheme of things, what we are focusing on is different sorts of events and expanding into different territories."

At Live Nation, Miskelly worked on national tours with acts including Halsey, Imagine Dragons, Fifth Harmony and Alessia Cara. Starting her career as a promoter in Oxford, she booked Truck Festival for a number of years, as well as promoting the multi-venue urban festival, OX4. She went on to work for DHP family for three years, creating and booking Gathering festival, as well as programming No Tomorrow in Wollaton Park, Nottingham. 

"Bringing Isla on board, gives us access to a new range of artists and contacts," added Forster. "We have some exciting plans to develop going into 2018 and to be honest we can’t wait to get stuck into it. 2017 has been a great year for us, but we are very much looking to the future with these new appointments."

VMS, which has managed Manchester Academy since 2012, works with venues such as Liverpool Olympia, UEA and Waterfront Norwich, York Duchess and Warehouse 23 in Wakefield. It also recently secured agreements with the University Of London for the re-opening of he former ULU and Duck N Dive venues, as well as Sheffield University Students’ Union and Preston Guildhall.

The firm’s promotions department is responsible for booking and delivering more than 600 events per year, either in-house or on behalf of its clients. Last year, it staged 10 racecourse shows with Arena Racing Company (ARC), featuring acts such as Tom Jones and Simply Red, along with national tours including Gary Numan, and is increasing its presence in the outdoor event space. 

“This year we have developed the Inner City Live concept in Birmingham and Hull, with a number of other locations asking to work with us for 2018, said Forster. “The basic idea is to hold outdoor events for up to 5,000 people in interesting locations.”

Upcoming concerts include sell-out shows with Primal Scream and Echo And The Bunnymen, Flaming Lips and Public Service Broadcasting and Ocean Colour Scene and The Fratellis , all in Hull at the 16th Century former Courtyard Of The Trinity Maritime School.

It will also stage gigs at Lincoln Showground with The Human League and  Razorlight, and the Meridian Live weekend of events in Cleethorpes, headlined by Craig David and UB40.

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