Welsh rock stars form partnership with sport and entertainment start-up
Mike and Jules Peters of legendary Welsh rockers The Alarm have taken a stake in an exciting new start-up making waves in the event industry.
The angel investors have invested in Arena Projects Sport and Entertainment Management, a new Cardiff based event company specialising in sport, events, and entertainment crossover services.
Formed by two experienced Welsh event producers and promoters, Dave Driscoll and Marcus Lawry, Arena Projects has already had an impressive first year, working across Wales and in Europe on a number of projects, despite launching during a pandemic which seriously impacted the events industry.
Counting the Football Association of Wales and UEFA as clients, Arena Projects helps organisations bridge the gap spanning the twin arenas of sport and entertainment, bringing fans and audience closer to the action. But it’s not just fan engagement, the company delivers full event and project management services, from artist booking, programming through to logistics and production, also working across the corporate and public sectors, offering consultancy as well as project delivery.
Mike & Jules Peters: “We could instantly see the potential for Arena Projects to grow into something very special. As musicians who have toured the globe and independent promoters of our own Gathering and Love Hope Strength charity events, we witness the crossover of music fans with sport and lifestyle activities every day. Dave and Marcus are experts at bringing music and sport together, you only have to look at what they have recently created alongside the Football Association of Wales with Dafydd Iwan and Yma O Hyd as an example of this.
“We have worked particularly closely with Dave Driscoll for many years on such music / lifestyle crossover events including Snowdon Rocks, Rhondda Rocks, Rhuddlan Castle Rocks and various Gathering events in Llandudno and at both the University and Millennium Centre venues in Cardiff, and so with the launch of Arena Projects and the partnership with Marcus Lawry it felt like the next logical step in the evolution of an already excellent working relationship.”
Arena Projects founders Dave Driscoll and Marcus Lawry have been working together at music, media, and events agencies since 2006. From TV production to festivals and international sporting events, the two friends from Rhondda Cynon Taf decided to make the break and work for themselves during the most turbulent of times for the live event industry.
But the pair have sailed out of the other side, delivering projects in Belfast, Milan, St Petersburg and Helsinki with UEFA, as well as working closely with the Football Association of Wales at an incredibly exciting time for Welsh football.
Dave Driscoll: “We found ourselves at a crossroads within the industry. It was now or never moment, a risk. We wanted to take a leap, step out for ourselves, and create something special during a time when the world was in a recession. We knew there would be a range of opportunities that we could grasp through being innovative, flexible and agile.”
Marcus Lawry: “The pandemic changed the industry as we knew it; many left for more stable work and most of those who remained found themselves on shifting sands. But it’s forced a lot of people on to their own paths, resulting in lots of new creative companies entering the market – faster, hungrier, and more agile. It’s happening across the global sector, and we’ve seen it first-hand whilst working on European projects. It’s going to reinvigorate the industry and we’re excited to be part of that change.”
Their partnership with Mike & Jules Peters hasn’t happened by chance though. Dave has been working with The Alarm since the late ’90s as their promoter in Wales. When the couple heard that Dave and Marcus were going to build something of their own, they were keen to get involved.
Dave Driscoll: “As a lifelong fan of the band, it’s been an amazing and brilliant journey with The Alarm since I was a very young boy, growing up in the South Wales valleys, listening to their music and watching them live at every opportunity that I could. Not once during this time, did I ever think that I would be a friend, a promoter, an agent and now a business partner with the band.
“Mike and Jules Peters have been nothing short of magnificent in helping and mentoring me through many years of amazing events and concerts. Even when both have had their battles with cancer and still do, they have always been there as a guiding hand and a voice of calm and reason. It feels natural that we will work closely together on developing the next phase of our business together.
“We are excited about the future, what we can create and where that can take us.”
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