It’s that time of year again – time to reflect on an eventful past 12 months and all that MAC Global has accomplished.
Here are some of the highlights:
Setting the stage
MAC Global’s year started with planning the year’s events and entering into some serious business discussions with a large firm based in New York. This set the stage for some of the major milestones achieved later in the year.
By February, the event season in the Middle East was in full swing and we brought in the Orchestra Italiana del Cinema to perform the ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ movie in concert extravaganza at Ithra in Saudi Arabia (15-19 February).
March saw Canadian comedian Russell Peters bring his hilarious ‘Act Your Age’ show to Bahrain and Dubai, and we played a major role in realising the Expo 2020 Dubai Tennis Week, bringing in an impressive line-up of tennis legends including John McEnroe, Greg Rusedski, Richard Krajicek and Mark Philippoussis.
In Q2, we made some key additions to our team, with Kathryn Watson (formerly of Dubai Opera and KSA’s Maraya venue in Al Ula), joining as Director of Operations and UK music industry veteran, Darren Haynes, bringing his expertise in marketing and social media.
With their help, we were able to strengthen professional partnerships; refresh our brand; and generally improve our online presence to promote the event portfolio.
July gave us the privilege of promoting ex-One Directioner Louis Tomlinson’s world tour in Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena, supported by Dubai-based Scottish singer-songwriter, Greg Pearson.
Brit Award Winners
There was a flurry of ticket sales in early September as we announced upcoming gigs for 2x Brit Award winner and Grammy Award nominated, Lewis Capaldi, and Brit Award winner, George Ezra.
Around the same time, Dan and Rob travelled to New York to participate in the Sony NYC Live Summit where they signed a major deal that would have a significant positive, impact on the future of the business. More about that later.
In October, we brought some of the biggest names in entertainment to the Middle East, including Dutch DJ Tiësto, Brit Award-winning electronic music duo Basement Jaxx, and English singer-songwriter, George Ezra.
Tiësto’s performance at the Al Dana Amphitheatre in Bahrain was a massive success; the venue was packed with excited fans clamouring to see the oft-cited “Greatest DJ of All Time”.
Meanwhile, 2x Brit Award winners, Basement Jaxx, brought their signature sound to Dubai’s Wanderlust Brunch at the JW Marriott Marquis, and George Ezra had everyone on their feet at the Coca-Cola Arena. George was a highlight of the month for many – particularly the Mums In Dubai Facebook Group!
Later in the year, we welcomed Roberta Hickey (she of The Little Pink Book) to the MAC Global team and, along with Dan, she travelled to Saudi’s XP Music Futures Conference where she spoke about female representation in the industry. This was a great opportunity for us to contribute to important discussions and make our voices heard in the burgeoning music industry in the Middle East.
While we’re on the subject, and in the region of Saudi, we also participated in the Tanween Festival at Ithra. We brought in some amazing speakers, such as Rami Afifi, Carlos Mare, Reeps100 and Reebok’s, Joe Foster who shared their insights and experiences during the ‘Season of Creativity’.
But perhaps the biggest news of the year for MAC Global was the conclusion of a deal with New York-based Sony Masterworks, the classical and legacy division of Sony Group.
Their acquisition gave them a 55% stake in MAC Global, and as Dan (our Chief Creative Officer), said in an interview with Arabian Gulf Business Insight, it was “a shot in the arm in terms of the business” and a way to “take the business to the next level”.
The deal will allow us to do more sports, comedy, and orchestral events across the MENA region, and we’re excited about the new opportunities and growth it will bring in the coming years.
The deal even received international attention, with coverage in various news outlets including Gulf News, Arab News, Arabian Marketer, Arabian Business, IQ Magazine, Digital Music News, and Music Business Worldwide.
Unfortunately, disappointment came to visit as Lewis Capaldi’s November gigs in Bahrain and Dubai had to be postponed due to his health. We were pleased, however, to be able to reschedule both gigs for October 2023 and wish the Capaldi lad much love and strength.
As the year came to a close, we booked two more banging gigs on behalf of Dubai’s Bla Bla.
Brit Award and Ivor Novello Award nominee, John Newman tore down the Bla Bla Tent with his superlative set and by the 30th, electronic duo, Saul Milton and Will Kennard aka Chase & Status had blown away any remnants that were left of the Tent.
Goodbye 2022; hello 2023
2022 was a year of MAC Global’s growth both in terms of our team; our venue and promotional partnerships, as well as our reach and impact in the Middle East’s entertainment industry.
Dan, Rob and the team are grateful to everyone who supported us along the way – especially to all the ticket-buyers, concert-goers, venue operators, artists, musicians, performers, and their management.
Goodbye 2022; hello 2023. MAC Global is excited to continue to bring top-notch entertainment to the Middle East and to creating even more memorable experiences for performers and fans alike. Here’s to an even bigger and better 2023.