The Jockey Club launches music and live entertainment venture

7th January 2014

The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing and one of the largest music promoters in the UK, today launched a joint venture partnership, Jockey Club Live, to secure, promote and produce music and other forms of live entertainment at its 15 well-known racecourse venues nationwide.

Jockey Club Live is a partnership between Jockey Club Racecourses, the UK's largest racecourse group, and music and live entertainment specialists Live at the Races, which is a new business established by Andrew Wilkinson and Simon Halden, who between them have worked with a number of major international artists including Elton John, Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Pink Floyd, Take That and Kylie Minogue. Wilkinson is the founder of leading concert tour production and management company, KingStreet Tours, while Halden founded Sports & Outdoor Media International plc and The Frontiers Group.

The joint venture partnership, signed after a competitive tender process involving a range of major players in the entertainment industry, aims to increase the popularity and commercial success of The Jockey Club’s live events, through accessing popular artists, well-matched for a given venue; cost-efficiently improving production values; opening up new revenue streams, including producing events beyond The Jockey Club’s own venues; and provides an ideal platform for brand partnerships, helping to reach new customers and enhance the offer and experience.

Jockey Club Racecourses currently welcomes more than 200,000 people a year to enjoy live music on its courses, as part of circa 25 'racing + music' events annually that see a headline act perform in open air surrounds following at least six races at courses from Newmarket to Epsom Downs and Haydock Park to Aintree. Artists who have performed at The Jockey Club’s venues in 2013 included Kaiser Chiefs, Madness, McFly, Meat Loaf and Labrinth. In 2012, Jessie J, Tom Jones, Olly Murs and Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons were amongst those to take the stage.

Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

“Music events and other forms of live entertainment provide very important commercial opportunities for us, attracting significant numbers of new customers to our racecourses and generating profits we reinvest back into British racing. With the launch of Jockey Club Live, not only will we enhance our offering, we believe we offer an ideal platform for brand partnerships too.

“In an increasingly competitive marketplace it’s essential we have access to talent that has been carefully identified as an excellent fit for each of our venues, as well as the latest marketing expertise. That has been at the heart of this tender process and the Live at the Races team shone through, as well as demonstrating a great understanding of the racing industry and a track record of access to brands who wish to associate themselves with entertainment programmes under commercial terms.

“This new joint venture approach as Jockey Club Live sets up both parties to share in success, evolving things from a client-supplier approach we used previously. I am hugely confident our live events will go from strength-to-strength through this partnership and we look forward to announcing a series of exciting developments, including a great line up of acts for 2014.”

Andrew Wilkinson, Chief Executive, Jockey Club Live, said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Jockey Club after winning the competitive tender process. The whole team are looking forward to working together to develop a range of initiatives and live entertainment opportunities to unveil soon for Jockey Club Live and positioning the joint venture at the forefront of live music and entertainment in the UK.”

Previously Jockey Club Racecourses had a supplier relationship with Liz Hobbs Group for the provision and production of music acts, which it chose not to renew in favour of a joint venture approach.

About Live at the Races
The Live at the Races team has extensive experience in all aspects of live music and entertainment, including production, promotion and marketing; cost-effective access to artists, management and agents; best production operations and facilities; established merchandising and licensing knowledge; and a proven track record with major UK and international sponsors.

The business is run by Chief Executive, Andrew Wilkinson FCA, who is the Founder of KingStreet Tours, and Simon Halden, Commercial Director, the Founder of Sports & Outdoor Media International plc and The Frontiers Group.

Andrew Wilkinson has been at the forefront of concert tour promotions for the last 25 years, working with artists including Elton John, Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams, Pink Floyd and Shakira. He is a non-executive racecourse committee director at The Jockey Club’s Wincanton Racecourse.

Simon Halden has 25 years’ of experience in the advertising and media industry. He founded Sports & Outdoor Media International plc and The Frontiers Group and has recently worked with both Robbie Williams and Take That where he secured major brand partnership agreements with brands including Samsung and VW Commercial Vehicles.

About The Jockey Club
The Jockey Club has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport, The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2012: £142.1m), courses (15) including those at Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, attendances (2012: 1.8m), total prize money (2012: £35.3m), contribution to prize money (2012: £16.5m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket and Lambourn; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing's people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.