AEG To Shutter Stockholm Office

Within 24 hours of AEG announcing it’s closing its Middle East office, Pollstar has discovered its Swedish office is also likely to be shuttered at the end of summer.

An AEG Live spokesman based in the UK has confirmed the office in Stockholm will be closed and the company will work with partners, as it’s doing in the United Arab Emirates.

“Those two AEG-owned offices were anomalies within AEG’s general strategy of forming strong partnerships with existing, best-in-class local promoters. We are bringing these two offices in line with general strategy in other territories,” the representative explained.

So far AEG hasn’t said when it’ll close the Stockholm office but Swedish live music industry rumours suggest it will be at the end of the summer, three years after the company first planned to set up a Scandinavian base.

In September 2007 Dave Maloney and Mikael Tillman left EMA Telstar – which runs Live Nation’s Nordic operations from Stockholm and is headed by European ops chairman Thomas Johansson – amid rumours they were off to AEG.

Within a month the rumour was confirmed and by the end of the year AEG Live had also bought Supreme Royal Deluxe, which was co-owned by artist manager Petri Lunden and Janne Kleman and had the exclusive right to book Hultsfred Festival. Kleman moved to AEG as part of the deal.

A turf war developed when Live Nation booked The Foo Fighters to headline a Stockholm outdoor show on the same weekend as Hultsfred, which sparked a war of words in the Swedish media.

“I suppose they have to react because [Live Nation] is a huge American company that has had a monopoly here for many years, and now they’re faced with another global competitor,” Hultsfred chief Per Alexanderson told Pollstar at the time. He said he felt it was a knee-jerk reaction to the departures of Maloney and Tillman.

At then end of last year, the festival reviewed Supreme Royal Deluxe’s exclusivity on the booking. It decided it would have an in-house booker who would be free to deal with all promoters and agents. Kleman left AEG to take up the role, thereby continuing his own long involvement with Hultsfred.

Tillman has also left AEG and the Stockholm office is now believed to be Maloney along with three or four others. So far there are no details of who AEG will have as its “best-in-class local promoter” in Scandinavia.