LN On Fast Track To China

Live Nation International chief exec Alan Ridgeway has beefed up the company’s presence in China by appointing former record company chief Hung Tik to set up and oversee its tours in the region.

Tik, former managing director of Universal Music in Hong Kong and China, joined the company May 2 as senior vice president for Greater China.

Ridgeway appears to be fast-tracking his team-building. Tik’s appointment comes three months after LN hired Luke Hede, formerly with top Australian promoter Dainty Consolidated Entertainment, as director of booking for Asia.

In December LN announced it will manage Hong Kong’s new 10,000-capacity outdoor Pop TV Arena (Zhong Tian Di), having reached an agreement with venue owner Cosmedia Group.

The company has already promoted shows in the Far East, including Roger Waters, The Cure, Christina Aguilera, Muse and Gwen Stefani. May shows include Elton John’s sold-out dates in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as co-promoting with Scenique Productions the "2 Days of Freedom Festival" in Malaysia.

Ridgeway is boosting his company’s Asian presence at a time when Live Nation and AEG appear to be trying to outflank each other in a bid to get a foothold in new markets.

He oversaw the acquisition of a majority stake in Elissa Murtaza’s Dubai-based Mirage Promotions, which is currently re-branding as Live Nation, and looks to be on the verge of taking South African promoter Big Concerts into the Live Nation fold.

AEG has countered by hiring Thomas Ovesen, who was with Mirage for six years, to set up an office in Dubai to build up the company’s touring and venue businesses throughout the Middle East.

Ridgeway says Tik’s 18 years of experience in the local music industry will be invaluable as LN expands its business in the region to "take advantage of the ever-increasing demand for local and international live music."

"In the last few years, the changes in the music industry in China have followed those in the West with touring becoming an increasingly important revenue stream for regional artists," said Tik, who will base himself between Live Nation’s offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

"I look forward to developing both my existing artist and new artist relationships in order to bring more live concerts to the growing band of live music fans in China and the rest of the region."