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BMG targets Las Vegas-style residencies at Berlin’s Theater des Westens

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Global music business BMG has booked out Berlin’s Theater des Westens (TdW) every night until the end of 2024 as it seeks to build its live events business.

The 1,600-seat venue, which has hosted acts such as Marlene Dietrich and Maria Callas during its 120-year history, will be the focus of the group’s productions in Germany’s capital city for the next two years.

Berlin-headquartered BMG plans to fill the TdW schedule with stage musicals and a series of residencies by national and international recording artists. It cited the success of shows featuring Adele and Bruce Springsteen in recent years.

BMG is also working with its fellow Bertelsmann Content Alliance companies to explore the Theater des Westens’ potential for hosting events such as readings by Penguin Random House authors, Bertelsmann Audio Alliance podcast events, or performances by stars from Germany’s largest commercial broadcaster, RTL.

BMG’s notable successes include the musical Ku’damm 56, which has attracted more than 200,000 viewers since it debuted in November 2021.

Dominique Casimir, BMG’s chief content officer, said: “We are committed to making the Theater des Westens the premier venue for entertainment in Berlin. Taking such a long lease on a venue is a first for a music company.

“We are starting with two great shows – Ku’damm 56 and now Romeo & Julia – but there is a lot more to come. Bringing high-end artist residencies to Berlin is a first for Germany. We see a particular opportunity for established artists who want to present a high-end show in a beautiful venue rather than embarking on a regular tour.”

TdW is owned by the City of Berlin and operated by Netherlands-based Stage Entertainment. BMG was founded in 2008, initially as a publishing and recording group before developing its live events business.

Ulf Dewald, director of operations at Stage Entertainment, said: “We are delighted to have found in BMG a renowned and ambitious partner for Theater des Westens and are happy to support the company in all marketing efforts for its compelling artistic concept.”