VMS Live takes on Exeter's Lemon Grove, agrees Eventim Olympia deal

VMS Live takes on Exeter's Lemon Grove, agrees Eventim Olympia deal

Specialist music and venues company VMS Live has agreed a five-year deal with the University Of Exeter Students' Guild.

VMS will take on the development and delivery of the Guild's events and entertainments programme, as well as the operation of its Lemon Grove venue.

"In many ways Exeter is experiencing similar issues to those at the UEA in Norwich prior to our involvement some four years ago," said VMS operations director Richard Maides. "A once thriving club and live venue had somewhat lost its direction and shine in the face of strong competition both locally and nationally.

"Working in partnership with the Guild we are putting in place a complete revamp of the club brands and venues operation. Plans are already well advanced for the autumn and we can't wait to get started."

VMS has also secured a naming rights agreement with Eventim, winner of Best Ticketing Company at the 2018 Music Week Awards, for Liverpool Olympia, which will become the Eventim Olympia – Liverpool. Eventim UK partnered with VMS earlier this year to become the official ticketing supplier for VMS-promoted shows and partner venues. 

Alongside this arrangement, VMS have also signed a new five-year venue partnership agreement with venue owners Silver Leisure. VMS will be installing a new PA and lights as part of a £250,000 investment in the building.

"Our partnership with the venue and involvement of Eventim mean that Silver Leisure can invest in the building as well, certain that they have the correct partners in place to deliver long term success for the venue," said VMS commercial director Carl Bathgate.

Founded in 2011, VMS promotes shows such as the Inner City Live brand, delivers ARC's Music Live racecourse events and manages venues such as Manchester Academy, and has appointed BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Tim Zee as its new development manager. Zee (pictured) will be tasked with developing new club brands and partnerships for VMS.

"This is a really important period for VMS," said company MD Steve Forster. "Over the last five years we have more or less doubled in size year on year. While retaining the ethos of a small business we are in the position where we have had to decide whether we going to look to expand further or try and consolidate our current position. With the opportunities that were presented to us, we very much decided to go down the route of expansion.

"As an entirely self funded business, this does still mean that we have to carefully select the opportunities that we look to pursue. In this light we will be announcing a series of projects that we believe will be key to our future success and help to balance our portfolio of venues and partners.

"We are in the latter stages of a further number of acquisitions and deals that we hope to announce in the near future."

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