Global hires Live Nation’s Debbie Ward after aggressive UK festival acquisition run

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Global has hired Live Nation exec Debbie Ward following a string of festival acquisitions in the UK.

Ward has been appointed Commercial Director, joining a seven-strong team that will develop strategic campaigns for brands across Global’s growing portfolio of events.

She joined Live Nation in 2015 as VP of Marketing Partnerships after the firm bought MAMA, where Ward spent seven years as Head of Brand Partnerships.

Global now has interest in 17 festivals in the UK, Europe and Canada after recently acquiring majority stakes in Victorious Festival and Hideout Festival.

Last October, the media company added UK events South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters, Rewind and Y Not and Truck to its roster.

The brands join Snowbombing (Austria and Canada), Festival No.6, Transition, and Electric Elephant, as well as interests in Lost Village and Standon Calling.

Global also owns radio stations Capital and Heart, and has artist management, music publishing, touring and events divisions.

Alongside Ward, Wayne Mensah and Amy Oldham have joined the team as Brand Partnership Directors.

Mensah has 15 years’ experience working for music start-ups and media owners including Metro and the Telegraph Media Group. 

Oldham joins from Live Nation where she worked on festivals including The Great Escape and Citadel. 

The new commercial festivals team will also include a brand manager and three account managers.

“In just 12 months Global has become the second biggest player in the UK festivals market, which is why we needed to find the best commercial talent to support our investment in this sector.”

Mike gordon, global

Global’s Chief Commercial Officer Mike Gordon said: “In just 12 months Global has become the second biggest player in the UK festivals market, which is why we needed to find the best commercial talent to support our investment in this sector. 

“I’m delighted that Debbie has joined Global given her very impressive industry credentials, having created some of the most talked about festival partnerships.

“With an enviable portfolio of festivals, access to Global’s talent management and events expertise and of course an audience of 30 million people every week through our media brands, our festival offering is truly unique.”

“The opportunity to join Global and lead the commercial side of their festivals business is incredibly exciting. We are perfectly placed to deliver some of the world’s most exciting campaigns for brands.”

debbie ward

Ward added: “The opportunity to join Global and lead the commercial side of their festivals business is incredibly exciting. 

“We are perfectly placed to deliver some of the world’s most exciting campaigns for brands and I’m looking forward to working with new clients to build some memorable experiences at our festivals.”

While at MAMA, Ward worked on Lovebox and Wilderness, developing creative solutions for brands such as Mulberry, Laurent Perrier, Corona, Jack Daniels and HTC.

She has more than 20 years’ experience in music and media and previously held roles at Bauer Media and Conde Nast.

Music Business Worldwide

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