Live Nation Expands Into Russia

MOSCOW (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation has announced that they are expanding operations into Russia and the Ukraine with the opening of a new office in Moscow early next year.

The new division, Live Nation Russia and Ukraine, will be helmed by Tim McWilliams, who is currently Vice President of European Tour Operations for Live Nation Global Touring at the company.

The new offices will serve a region that is becoming increasingly important in international touring, with a population of more than 200 million.

"Establishing an office in Russia is the next step in our global expansion," said Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation Entertainment. "Russia and nearby markets have become an important part of our global tours in recent years, and by establishing a local presence we can rapidly scale our concerts for over 200 million fans."

Eastern Europe has long been in Mr. Rapino's crosshairs. In 2004, Rapino oversaw the acqusition of three major promoters in Eastern Europe for what was then Clear Channel Entertainment — Laszlo Hegedus' Multimedia Concerts in Hungary; Serge Grimaux and Robert Porkert's Interkoncerts in the Czech Republic; Steven Todd and Hubert Stajniak's Odyssey in Poland as well as Tim Dowdall's Multimedia International.

Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation President of International & Emerging Markets, said: "Due to the volume of live events that are already taking place in Russia and the Ukraine and the enormous growth potential, we wanted to establish a team to focus specifically on Live Nation's interests in the region. Tim has gained a wealth of knowledge from working with our Global Touring team, and not only has he worked producing high profile events around the world, but his extensive experience in Russia and the Ukraine makes him a perfect fit to direct Live Nation's business in the region." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers