Rocky In The Desert?

Centre Stage Management has pulled out of organising its outdoor events in the United Arab Emirates this year, the second of the region’s promoters to cut back on producing shows with international talent.

A month ago, Flash Entertainment, which brought acts including Coldplay, Aerosmith and The Killers to Abu Dhabi in 2009, said it was reducing the number of international acts it’s bringing to the Emirates because the market’s reaching saturation point.

Two weeks ago, Pollstar discovered CSM has dropped its annual Desert Rock Festival, scheduled for March, but it’s also going to stop doing Desert Rhythm, Urban Desert and Back 2 School Festival “until further notice.”

CSM managing director Jackie Wartanian said the company will focus on international projects and artist management.

“This decision was not taken lightly and was well thought through with my team and in my company’s best interest,” she explained in a statement. “It marks the beginning of a new era for CSM, a human-sized yet international entertainment-specialized company, which I’ve chosen to grow beyond UAE boundaries.

“I have focused uniquely on the Middle East in the past 10 years, which has positioned CSM to build a credible and reputable name. It’s now time to take it to another level.”

Apart from organising a three-month European tour for rock band Nervecell, one of CSM’s management acts, the company’s other international projects include running the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup soccer finals in South Africa.

In 2009 it organised the opening and closing of the Football Confederations’ Cup in South Africa, almost a preparation for the World Cup competition.

The Dubai-based company’s international expansion began in 2008 with the Urban Desert tour, which featured Akon, Fat Joe and Black Violin.

In the same year it opened Los Angeles-based subsidiary Scorpio International Inc., which is engaged in various projects including reality TV shows, theatrical movies and music production.