– Arina Domski
Domski, who is considered by many to be the Madonna of the opera world, is one of Lohmann’s clients.
German talent buyer and booking agent Stefan Lohmann recently spoke with Pollstar about working in a non-traditional way in a market with unique taste.
Besides helping his clients find the right artists and entertainment suitable to their budget, his company also creates entire live entertainment concepts, from the welcome reception to the after show party and everything in-between.
I don’t remember a specific first moment, but when I started playing drums it was obvious that I’d never be a successful musician. However, I was a good organizer, and it was always clear to me that I’ll be working in the music industry.
What made you launch your own company? How did it develop from the start, and how did you end up offering all the different services you’re offering today?
I started my own company after I had recovered from a burn-out as a booking agent for international artist in the German market like
Mike + The Mechanics, UB40, Right Said Fred and others. It was obvious that I had to change my life and job, and I contemplated leaving the music business. But then I received an offer from one of the biggest publishers in Germany to work for their artist management department and take care of the bookings.
With a well financed five-year business plan and the opportunities that come with a well connected publisher of hundreds of magazines, newspapers, radio stations and TV partnerships, I thought that this was quite a good restart. We had around five artists and we started to produce stories, interviews and printed promotion material. We were all set, and planned to launch in January 2014, after the holiday season.
However, the publisher called me just a few days before Christmas, informing me that the new CEO had decided to shut down he entire artist management department – despite the multi-million dollar business plan we had made for the next five years.
More bad news so soon after a burn-out. How did that go down?
Yes, these were really bad news, but I hadn’t planned on relying on artists from just one management company anyway. It was time to initiate plan B immediately: the launch of my own company Stefan Lohmann – Talent Buyer and Booking Agent.
I thought it was a good idea to help event organizers and event agencies to book international artists and shows for their events worldwide. The contracts are signed directly between the artist’s representative and the client. We work transparently and based on partnership.
Who were your first clients?
I started to work for Audi, Telekom, the German Sustainability Award, TV stations and other big brands and for the biggest event agencies.
At one point the Radio Station HR1 asked me to put together a three-hour show with 80s music suitable for the day of German unity [Tag der deutschen Einheit, Oct. 3]. We created a show with an orchestra and international 80s stars like Howard Jones, Jimmy Somerville and Nik Kershaw. It was a success, with more than 10,000 fans in attendance.
That was the birth of the
Berlin Show Orchestra, which I represent now. With the orchestra we accompany Stars and create full live entertainment concepts for ballroom events, awards and corporate events like the Leipziger Opernball, Berliner Presseball, Mercedes and the German Sustainability Award.
It is a Show Orchestra, which means we work with video mapping, dancers and aerial acts to create a 360-degree live entertainment experience. The orchestra is open to play with artists of all music genres and is available for touring through Europe alongside international stars. They played shows with Ute Lemper, Marlon Roudette, Roachford, Billy Ocean, and more, and they recorded a DVD with Germany’s most successful electronic music artist Schiller, with whom they also performed at the German Live Entertainment Awards.
Your card says talent buyer and booking agent. Does that mean you’re working on behalf of live events to find talent?
First of all I’m a talent buyer and a creator of live entertainment for events. Additionally I represent some artists like Arina Domski with her Opera Show, the Berlin Show Orchestra, Kate Ryan, and others, and production companies for video projection mappings and aerial acts on an exclusive basis, but this just developed because we worked that well together.
I learned that the combination of star booking and the creation of live entertainment concepts makes us really stand out and interesting for event organizers. We are the one-stop-solution for tailor-made live entertainment. We place international stars and create stunning 360-degree live entertainment concepts.
If you look at the live entertainment business in Germany, what are your thoughts?
There is one thing we all need to take care of if we want to stay in business: the reduction of the pollution we produce with every concert and event.
That’s why we started www.sustainable-event-solutions.de to inform and help event organizers and touring artists reduce their waste and CO2 footprint, and offset their CO2 emissions.
I’m a partner of the German Sustainability Award. My job is there to take care of the artist-relations management. But I’m also an activist. My company and our Berlin Show Orchestra are working in a sustainable and climate-neutral way. With our partners we work on an automated system to offset all unavoidable CO2 emissions produced by flights & travel.
Ina Bohnsack – David Hasselhoff
Lohmann just booked David Hasselhoff for Germany’s biggest 90s party, which takes place March 30 at Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen
How can you help US and international professionals place their artists in Germany?
The easiest way to work with us is to send me an email with artist rooster and to let me know which artist you represent. Let me know everything about the artist, their release and tour plans.
Show me your target group, and which brands the artist likes? What does the artist stand for? What is the singers message? The more I know about the artist the better I can decide which clients might be interested in the artist.
We can help to find the right tour promoter in Germany or Europe, and we assist with local musicians, backing vocals, choirs and orchestras. We also help to create outstanding stage and room-mapping. If you need aerial acts and acrobats, fire shows, dancers – we are the right partner for any type of live entertainment around your artists.
The budget range for international artists we work with at the moment is between $10.000 and up to $1,5 million.
Where do you want to take your business? What’s next?
Our business is growing – that’s good, but the potential is much bigger, also on the international market. Hence we are looking for new partnerships on an international basis especially for the Opera Show by Arina Domski and the Berlin Show Orchestra.
I’m representing one of Europe’s best vocal coaches for professional singers and also for women and men in leadership, Alexandra Pengler. She helps your artists in finding their own voice. She goes where the clients go, but she also works online if your artists need help on tour.
I’m also working on an interactive sport exhibition, which was very successful in Hungary. During this exhibition you can test your abilities to find out which sports suits to you. You can even run against a top athlete on a video wall. This high-tech exhibition also displays the world of famous athletes with huge projections and holograms. It’s a family entertainment event and I’m looking for international touring partners at the moment.
Additionally I’m getting more and more into the esports world: I work with the most successful team in Germany and we offer keynotes of the successful esport experts. We offer our clients to meet the team or fight against the professional players in the first player academy in Berlin.