Siemens Tires Of Rogue Promoters

The Siemens Arena in Vilnius is so fed up with various entrepreneurs booking dates for acts they fail to deliver that its local in-house promoter will vet all future bookings.

UAB Effectus, a promoting company based onsite and owned by the same company that has the arena, has been given an exclusive contract to organise the international shows because Siemens general director Vitalijus Vasiliauskas has had enough of scrubbing bookings from the diary.

"There’s a list of dates that haven’t happened after the promoter has booked the arena," he told Pollstar. The main culprits appear to be new promoters springing up in the region.

"I’m not sure which side – act or promoter – didn’t keep the obligation, but I think it was mainly the local promoters. We had too many promises from promoters, who were just booking the dates and then nothing more was happening," he explained.

The Baltics have been plagued by new promoters trying to put on shows for the first time.

Last month, according to reports in the Baltic Times, Jill Thacker of JBC Entertainment claimed rogue promoters were letting the region down. She was left to foot a US$50,000 bill for the touring party’s flights when a local promoter putting on a 50 Cent concert allegedly ducked out of his obligation to pay.

That show was at the Tallinn Song Festival Ground, and promoter Juri Zitin reportedly left a string of unpaid bills behind him.

Vasiliauskas said Siemens Arena, which opened in October 2004, will stick with established promoters – particularly a partnership between Tallinn-based Baltic Development Group and Finland’s WellDone – to deliver the major international acts.

Vasiliauskas has been trying to get a tighter control on the arena bookings since it opened.

In January 2005, the arena stopped working with Makroconcerts – one of the region’s biggest promoters – saying Makroconcerts had broken the conditions of its agreements and had "left unpaid rents and cheated us."

Makroconcerts chief Giedrius Klimasauskas denied his company is banned from promoting in the building and said "they’d love us to work there."

Klimasauskas said the only reason Makroconcerts doesn’t promote in Siemens is "because of a grudge," and because his company prefers the Utenos Pramogu Arena.

Siemens Arena is in the Vilnius entertainment park, an area still under development and expected to include an indoor water park, family entertainment centre and a natural park area.