Co-owners of the Hammersmith Apollo – AEG Live and CTS Eventim – announced last week that the renovated venue would forthwith be known as the Eventim Apollo. Make a note of that. Or just carry on calling it the Hammersmith Apollo like everyone else. Actually, I still like to refer to it as the Labatt’s Apollo Hammersmith. I think that was definitely its best name.
As previously reported, AEG Live and CTS Eventim’s joint venture, Stage C, bought the Apollo as part of HMV’s sale of its live division, the MAMA Group, last year, which also saw the formation of MAMA & Company.
The name change, it is hoped, will boost German ticketing firm Eventim’s profile in the UK, or so explained CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, saying: “With this name sponsorship, we are making a commitment to the quality of the experience that music and comedy fans will enjoy at the Eventim Apollo, and also to the quality of the ticketing services Eventim is offering to the British fans. We are here to stay. And while Eventim may not be a household name in the UK yet, we are determined to make it one!”
This is interesting, given that AEG now also has its own ticketing service, AXS.com, and while the development of that business has been mainly centred on the US to date, it launched in the UK last year to handle ticket sales for the live giant’s O2 Dome complex and has been quietly expanding since, directly competing with Eventim.
But either way, the companies are clearly just great mates, and as such they’ve been chummily refurbishing The Apollo, restoring many of its 1930s art deco features under the guidance of Foster Wilson Architects. As previously reported, work began in July and will continue until early next year. However, events in the venue will resume later this month.
Discussing the refurb, AEG Live’s COO Colin Chapple said: “When AEG Live and CTS Eventim purchased the business twelve months ago we knew the venue needed some serious TLC. Both of our companies are synonymous with delivering a high level of customer comfort and quality in our venues and at AEG, it’s in our DNA to ensure we continually innovate and invest in our properties – keeping our venues current and up to date, and ensuring our fans needs are being met”.
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