Live Music

NTIA-backed Surreal launches in the UK to champion live entertainment and experiences

Featured image credit: Surreal founders Brandon Crimmins, Jeremiah Siemianow and Alan Jin

Featured image credit: Surreal founders Brandon Crimmins, Jeremiah Siemianow and Alan Jin

A new platform has launched in the UK to champion live entertainment and experiences, with backing from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA). 

Surreal is a global live entertainment operating system for the hospitality industry, and has launched with a number of clients already including Boxpark, Eclectic Clubs and Bars, and Dirty Bones.

The platform was initially founded in Australia and facilitates over 48,000 events annually. It pays roughly £12m (€14m/$15m) to entertainers annually through its proprietary software platform.

Surreal has raised over A$5.5m (£3m/€3.4m/$3.7m) from VCs and strategic investors including Rampersand, Investible, Alberts Impact Capital (the family office behind band AC/DC), Unified Music Group, Untitled Group and the founders of Linktree.

The company has now partnered with the NTIA to help grow the amount of live entertainment in the UK. The partnership will help venues and artists to discover each other and manage their live entertainment in a more streamlined fashion.

According to Statista, the UK live entertainment industry contributes £1.1bn annually to the UK economy, with an audience size of 29.8 million. Surreal will focus on all levels of entertainment including comedy, quiz nights, plays and performances.

Jeremiah Siemianow, chief executive and co-founder of Surreal, said: “We’re very excited to work with some of the industry’s leading operators. The hospitality industry understands how technology can unlock growth.

“However, not many businesses have traditionally thought about how their entertainment, arguably one of the biggest footfall drivers, can be automated, leveraged and maximised via technology. The UK has one of the richest and most diverse live entertainment sectors. We want to make collaborating easier for artists, venues, agents and everyone in the ecosystem. Our customers understand the value of live entertainment for their venues and communities. Surreal allows them to leverage technology to take their entertainment to the next level.”

Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA, added: “We have continued to champion new talent and the important role that businesses play in creating a platform for new talent to refine their craft. Our partnership with Surreal is the first step in supporting new music and talent coming into our industry by creating a seamless technology platform which has been hugely successful overseas and will similarly support UK-wide talent to bridge the talent pipeline gaps generated by the recent crises.”

Other companies that have been utilising Surreal over the last year also include the Metropolitan Pub Company, East London Pub Company and Vauxhall Comedy Club.