Manresa Joins Gamerco

Gay Mercader has upped his strength in the Spanish live music market by adding Xavi Manresa’s Cap-Cap Productions to his Gamerco stable.

Apart from a nine-month spell working with the Madrid-based Planet Events – which began around ILMC 2002 but was over by the end of the year – Manresa has run Cap-Cap as an independent company since he started it in ’88.

Planet Events, part of Gran Via Musical and the stock-listed Grupo Prisa, specialises in promoting Latin acts and Cap-Cap offered it a foothold in the rock business.

Although Manresa had the freedom to continue to run Cap-Cap from Barcelona, as opposed to moving to the central office in Madrid, the deal didn’t work for either party and he was back on his own by the beginning of 2003.

Mercader says he has no qualms about a similar thing happening between Cap-Cap and Gamerco, telling Pollstar, “This time I don’t think he’ll be leaving. I’m sure he’s going to be very happy with us.”

Although the company has often been rumoured to be the target for a bid from Clear Channel – particular at ILMC time, when the U.S.-based giant seems most active in Europe – Gamerco has been steadily expanding its own business (partly through acquisition) since Mercader, Paco Martinez and Luis Rubira started it in ’86.

Mercader’s faith that Manresa will settle looks supported by the fact that Robert Grima’s Iguapop, which joined Gamerco in ’94, split after a couple of years and then rejoined two years later.

In 2002, Mercader reunited with former partner Pino Sagliocco after 23 years to form Troubleshooters and bring it under the Gamerco umbrella.

Manresa, whose arrival appears to be the outcome of months of casual chats with Martinez rather than an intense period of negotiation, admitted he’s also had a few similar conversations with Mercader and Grima.

Any possible conflict with Grima over developing emerging international talent, an area where both specialise, looks unlikely. Manresa said they’ve spent the last few years openly discussing which acts each of them are going for. Along with Tito Ramoneda (The Project), Sandra Rotondo (Planet Events) and Neo Sala (Doctor Music), both have been very active in establishing the Associacion de Promotores Musicales (a.k.a. Spanish Music Promoters Association).

Since splitting from Planet Events, Manresa has begun focusing on developing more budding local talent. Having impressed Spanish acts with the work he’s done on international tours including The Offspring, Pennywise, Green Day, Blink-182, Cradle Of Filth, the Warped Tour, and Cannibal Corpse, he’s assembled an impressive domestic roster and still managed to latch on to such European growers as Millencolin (Sweden) and Paradise Lost (U.K.).

Manresa’s arrival at Gamerco was ratified at a March 3 meeting of the company’s main board (Mercader, Martinez, Rubira, Grima and Sagliocco) and takes effect April 1.

Upcoming shows in the Gamerco diary include dates with Jamie Cullum, Queen, Rod Stewart, Destiny’s Child, Interpol, Audioslave, Nine Inch Nails, and Judas Priest.