Richard Wray of The Guardian is reporting that live music's return to popularity helped Sanctuary Group, one of the world's largest independent music companies, buck the downbeat trend set by the industry last year.
The group, which counts IRON MAIDEN, SLAYER and JANE'S ADDICTION among its bankable live acts, saw sales for the year to end September leap to £152 million (approx. $271 million) from £118 million (approx. $211 million) in 2002 and profits rise 5% to £10.8 million (approx. $19 million).
The group's artist services unit, which covers everything from full-scale band and producer management to event booking and merchandising, saw sales almost double to £64 million (approx. $114 million) — about £5 million (approx. $9 million) more than analysts expected.
One of Sanctuary's biggest acts remains its first signing — IRON MAIDEN. The heavy metal band played to more than a million fans across Europe last year, its most successful ever tour. But Sanctuary also acted as agent and merchandise partner for ROBBIE WILLIAMS' concerts at Knebworth last summer. As well as managing JANE'S ADDICTION, it was also agent for acts as diverse as DIDO, THE DARKNESS, EMINEM and the SUGABABES. Read more.