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DEAG and Kilimanjaro buy Let’s Rock makers UK Live

By | Published on Wednesday 16 June 2021


German live music firm DEAG has further expanded its British operations by acquiring the promoter UK Live via its existing UK-based subsidiary Kilimanjaro. Among other things, the deal brings the series of ‘Let’s Rock’ events organised by UK Live into the DEAG and Kilimanjaro group.

Confirming the deal, DEAG director Detlef Kornett said that – despite the latest delay in the lifting of COVID restrictions in England – the group is nevertheless optimistic about the return of live music in the UK and elsewhere later this year, and is now “setting the course for the continuation of our successful business development”, including further expanding “our strong market position in the UK with the acquisition of UK Live”.

UK Live will continue to be lead by its founders and joint MDs Nick Billinghurst and Matt Smith, who also retain a minority interest in the company.

Confirming the deal from his side, Billinghurst added: “We are very excited about our future collaboration with DEAG and look forward to driving our growth journey together. With DEAG, we have a strong partner on our side, with whom we are ideally positioned for the post-corona era. Together we will soon be presenting our audience with top-class concerts and events again. I am sure that both sides will benefit from our merger in the long term”.

Kilimanjaro boss Stuart Galbraith also commented on the deal, saying: “The acquisition of UK Live adds attractive events and concerts to our events portfolio. Nick Billinghurst and Matt Smith have many years of experience in the live entertainment industry and have shaped UK Live from its early days with ‘Let’s Rock The Moor’ with 1000 visitors to a successful company with over a dozen festivals and countless concerts within only a few years”.

Name-checking some of UK Live’s other festivals and regular events, he went on: “Today, the four series of events – Let’s Rock, Penn Fest, Friday Night Live and Sunday Sessions – alone attract over 200,000 visitors annually. We are particularly looking forward to working with Nick, Matt and the UK Live team on the next phase of growth for these brilliant festivals”.