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It was announced today that Live Nation, an American global live entertainment company, has entered a “long-term agreement” to promote and operate both Denver’s Summit Music Hall and Marquis Theatre. Currently, Live Nation owns and operates The Fillmore Auditorium here in Denver, books and promotes a majority of the shows at the Pepsi Center as well as some shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. In the past, the company has booked and promoted shows at both Summit and Marquis but now Live Nation will take over from Soda Jerk Presents, a Colorado live entertainment company, to become the exclusive promoter. Last year, Live Nation promoted 250 events including big-name concerts like Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire in Denver.
“To have the #1 promoter in the world carry on the legacy of these two venues is flattering to say the least. The timing is right for this to happen, and I know Live Nation is going to do a great job for all the music fans in Denver,” said Mike Barsch, owner, Soda Jerk Presents.
Both the 450-capacity Marquis Theatre and the 1,100-capacity Summit Music Hall are known for offering a diverse lineup of rock and alternative shows that feature many local artists as well as national ones.
“We couldn’t be more excited to expand our venue portfolio with two of Denver’s best places to see live music. Both The Summit and Marquis continue to see growth year after year. With Live Nation operating and promoting these venues, the sky is the limit,” said President of Live Nation, Colorado Eric Pirritt. “Mike Barsch [of Soda Jerk] and I have been friends for 15 years … It was really organic.”
This is not the first time in the last couple months a promoter has absorbed a new venue. This past September, AEG connected with Cervantes to book and promote shows at the locale.
Rikki Aston, who previously transitioned from Soda Jerk Presents to Live Nation, will spearhead the booking and promoting of shows at the two venues. Aston already has experience working with Summit and the Marquis making this a smooth transition for Live Nation.
“She’s a great fit to take over two places that are a big part of Denver’s live music culture. The Marquis has quietly built this whole vibe and scene around it. That place has hosted 300 shows last year,” said Pirritt to 303.
There’s no word yet on if there will be any additional changes for Soda Jerk Presents. The local company is known for booking and promoting shows at Black Sheep in Colorado Springs and the Aggie Theatre and Hodi’s Half Note in Fort Collins. The company has also partnered with Riot Fest and is said to be the largest independent live music promoter in Colorado.
Additional reporting by Brittany Werges.