Limelight Live Entertainment: New German Promoter Launched

Britisches Musical Bodyguard ? Das Musical feiert am 21.November 2015 im Musical Dome Köln Deutschland Premiere
Scene from “Bodyguard – Das Musical,” the German adaption of the British West End original. Ralf Kokemüller produced the German-language version having already co-produced the original. (Photo by Brill/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

German promoters Ralf Kokemüller, and Dieter Semmelmann have joined forced on the launch of Limelight Live Entertainment, which “aims to stage both familiar and innovative types of musicals and live shows, working with established artists and a young generation of creatives to develop new, exciting ideas for audiences,” according to a press release sent out today, April 9.

Kokemüller, who will be the managing partner of the new company, served more than 25 years as CEO of BB Promotion (later: BB Group), which has built a reputation for handling musicals since its inception by the late impresario Michael Brenner in 1987.

By combining this expertise with one of Germany’s most successful promoters Semmel Concerts, Limelight Live Entertainment will “bring together the industry experience of one of Germany’s most notable producers of musicals and live shows, the innovative strength of a young, hungry team, and the stability, know-how and infrastructure of one of Europe’s biggest and most highly regarded promoters of concerts, tours and live shows,” according to the press release.

Limelight Live Entertainment will initially be based in Mannheim, Germany.

2021 Ralf Kokemueller Spezial JensHauer bea
Ralf Kokemüller, managing partner at the newly launched Limelight Live Entertainment.

Ralf Kokemüller commented, “As a promoter of first-class musicals and live shows who is looking to become a market leader over the coming years, I’m delighted to have found a strong partner in the shape of Dieter and Semmel Concerts Entertainment who already play a significant role in this genre and share my philosophy. Working together will enable us to achieve plenty of synergies and build a large portfolio over the coming years. Our passion for putting on first-class stage shows, enthralling our audiences and working together is our motivation.”

Dieter Semmelmann, managing partner of Semmel Concerts, added, “I’m really looking forward to working with Ralf. We’ve known each other for decades and I know that he’s got lots of fantastic ideas up his sleeve for great shows for our European tour business. And it’ll be all the better being able to make them a reality together with Ralf and his new team.”

About Ralf Kokemüller:

Ralf Kokemüller joined BB Promotion, the forerunner of BB Group, in 1995. Working closely with the company’s founder, Michael Brenner, BB Promotion became one of the most successful live entertainment promoters in Germany and Europe as a whole. Responsible for scouting and booking, Kokemüller has been in charge of numerous internationally acclaimed productions such as “STOMP”, “Tanguera” and “Yamato”. After Brenner’s death in 2011, Kokemüller – by then the CEO of the BB Group – upheld the Group’s maxim of discovering new and fascinating shows and artists.

Having already co-produced the original production of “Bodyguard” in London’s West End, Ralf Kokemüller went on to produce the original German-language version of the production in 2015. This ran as a sit-down production in Cologne for 22 months, followed by year-long co-productions in Stuttgart and Vienna.

2015 also saw Ralf Kokemüller introduce new partners to the BB Group in the shape of the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG); three years later, and primarily on his initiative, ATG acquired the Mehr!Entertainment Group and merged it with the BB Group. In the same year, Ralf Kokemüller won the “Promoter of the Year” LEA Award in his role as CEO of BB Promotion, together with his team.

Alongside a portfolio of high-quality productions built up over many years and a network of artists and producers all over the world, Kokemüller’s leadership also provided space in the company for innovative ideas, such as the Cuban “Ballet Revolución”, the “Cats” tent tour or the 1920s revue “Berlin Berlin”. By the end of 2022, he had become co-CEO of Mehr-BB Entertainment, and now spends his time focusing on his producing and consulting work. In April 2024, he founded Limelight Entertaiment together with Semmel Concerts Entertainment.

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