68,000 Bums On Seats

2 June 2024

This week marks my two-year anniversary of working with MAC Global. It seems like a lifetime ago that I was invited by my two long-time compadres, Dan Goldberg and Rob McIntosh, to join them and steer marketing and communications as they prepared to elevate their brand profile and ramp up event production and output in anticipation of Sony Music Entertainment’s game-changing 55% buy-out deal.

From our OG foursome, to our current crew of ten, we’ve been consistently boxing out successful gigs and events across the Middle East.

In the past two years, I’ve delivered marketing campaigns for 32 gigs in 14 venues across four countries, and in three of the seven Emirates. That translates as almost 68,000 bums on seats (or feet in mosh pits).

Genre-wise, it’s been diverse and all encompassing – from drum N bass and indie rock to boyband pop with a bit of classical, jazz and opera thrown in for good measure.

The highlights? Well, yes, there have been a few stand-outs: the hilarious press junkets with A1 and 911 and an unforgettable abaya shopping spree with Chaka Khan in Riyadh. Professionally, the pinnacle has to be selling out Etihad Arena for André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, making it the UAE’s biggest-selling classical concert ever.

My tenure hasn’t been without a few disappointments. Lewis Capaldi’s Dubai show postponements (all three) and eventual cancellation was heart-breaking and calling off Tom Grennan’s gig at the eleventh hour was a tough pill to swallow. But, as they say, the show must go on (or not).

And so, with Q4 in sight, I’m gearing up for a whirlwind of marketing activity that includes six colossal gigs in five weeks across October and November. Take That, Lang Lang, Goldie, are already on sale, with three other top performers at contract stage. It’s going to be hectic. Bring it on.

By Numbers

  • 14 x venues
  • 4 x countries
  • 3 x Emirates
  • 32 x gigs and concerts
  • 3 x 3-day Festivals
  • 40+ headline artists
  • 2 x comedians
  • 26 x marketing campaigns
  • 2 x aborted marketing campaigns
  • 16 x press releases issued
  • 480 x IG Posts
  • 669 x IG Stories
  • 67,950 x bums on seats