IMPACT INTERNATIONAL: UK/EURO HONORS
The Best And Worst Is Yet To Come: Alekseev’s Calling
Doing business during these past 18 months felt a lot like “learning to walk again,” says Andrei Alekseev, CEO of A Entertainment Inc. Thanks to a massive team effort, however, he’s hoping “to run when everyone else is just starting to walk.” A Entertainment, while based in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, operates in several territories across Europe. It’s the main reason the company was able to master the crisis. A failed attempt at ticketed livestreaming in early 2020 showed Alekseev that the Russian audience is not yet willing to pay for online concerts. So, the company focused on finding real-life opportunities. After a few shows throughout 2020 wherever restrictions would allow, the first unrestricted arena concerts went ahead in March 2021. Ruki Vverh sold some 23,000 tickets for two shows at Minsk Arena, March 26-27, which Alekseev calls “the first concerts in the world at this difficult time.” A Entertainment subsequently focused on tours and concerts with local artists in local markets, notably a Russian run by Pharaoh and a massive sold-out show by Max Korzh at Chornomorets Stadium in Odessa, Ukraine. Korzh sold out all available 34,297 tickets, grossing $1,112,779 on July 24.
This successful strategy placed A Entertainment at No. 10 on Pollstar’s 2021 Mid-Year Worldwide Top 75 Promoters Chart.
“We believed that we could do it,” Alekseev says. “Our company works from L.A. to Vladivostok, the situation is different everywhere, but we took advantage of the opportunities that were open to us. I worked very closely with my team and tried to move them in the right direction. That’s what got us into the Top 10.”
The ranking, he adds, “gave us confidence and showed us that we were moving in the right direction. It helped motivate the main people on the team and pull the rest of the team up. We learned to ignore temporary difficulties.” And it reinforced a determination in Alekseev, who says he’s never been surer that he wants “to work only in the entertainment field.”
Alekseev expects the coming one to two years to be “very difficult for everyone in entertainment,” and is not even sure the industry has hit bottom yet. He foresees an incredibly crowded market in the coming years, which he says means “there will be a struggle among the companies for a limited amount of money and audience. This will lead to the second stage of the crisis. I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting things that depend on the people themselves. The world, business, politics – everything is changing, and perhaps the hardest and most interesting times – which will change us and business forever – are yet to come.”