Sony Music Masterworks-owned promoter Senbla said it is launching an ‘experiential events’ arm headed by veteran promoter John Empson (pictured below), the promoter of events including Eden Sessions (cap. 6,000), Wilderness (10,000) and Citadel festivals (25,000) as well as last years’ Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival (20,000).
Empson will work as a consultant to London-based Senbla and help it promote and produce the 2021 season of the Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival (pictured) in London next year. The festival brings together immersive theatre, live music and fashion inspired by the hit TV show, along with a cinema screening, a museum, poetry and appearances from cast members.
Senbla CEO Ollie Rosenblatt said, “I have known John for quite some time now – one conversation led to another and we found a great common ground and an area that could really be developed.
“The experiential side is clearly a huge growth area, marrying music and IP, entertainment and interaction. We see huge potential, as do our partners at Sony Music Masterworks with the exploitation of IP.”
Empson said that with the backing of Sony, Senbla is working on “ground-breaking” new live formats, developing a major experiential arm and presenting a raft of original immersive events and festivals.
The development follows Senbla’s acquisition of Cambridge-based festivals Strawberries & Creem (10,000) and The Cambridge Club (5,000) in October. The acquisitions marked Senbla’s first step into the greenfield festival sector.
Sony Music Masterworks acquired a majority stake in the company last year, which is working on major events including concerts at the 15,000-capacity sites the Royal Crescent in Bath and Chewton Glen in Hampshire.
In the US, Rosenblatt was instrumental in the recently announced Sony Music Masterworks 50% acquisition of Broadway producer Seaview Productions. Senbla will collaborate with Seaview on theatre projects
Rosenblatt said, “Although clearly 2020 has thrown up enormous challenges, what is clear is that this has given everyone a moment to reflect. The Senbla family has always been one of diverse productions, creative ideas and a huge appetite to grow. To develop and expand you have to be slightly uncomfortable. Therefore, more than ever we have to be inventive, broad and bold, pushing beyond what we consider to be the norm. The audience expects more from a live experience.”