Italy’s Artist First buys stake in live music company Colorsound Agency

As reported by MBW last month, Italian distribution company and record label Artist First has acquired a stake in Italian live booking agency Colorsound.

Colorsound, in which Artist First has acquired a 30% equity stake, was founded over 40 years ago in Milan by Antonio Colombi and represents a roster of Italian artists who include Ornella Vanoni, Le Vibrazioni , Patty Pravo , Roby Facchinetti and Riccardo Fogli.

The news marks Artist First’s first major investment in the live music sector and follows the recent purchase of digital agency Officine Orange and the launch of its own studio complex.

Founded by Claudio Ferrante in 2009, Artist First has 50 employees in Milan and also has offices in London, overseen by industry veteran Charlie Rapino.

The company works with artists such as Italian superstars Andrea Boccelli and Gazzelle.

Artist First also distributes a wide range of labels including Carosello, one of the largest independents in Italy.

The parent company of Artist First, A1 Entertainment Spa, also has a significant shareholding in 432 Srl, the management company that represents Italian artists Le Vibrazioni, Francesco Gabbani and Tricarico among others.

Speaking to MBW last month, Ferrante said: “We have recently acquired a 30% equity stake in the live entertainment agency Colorsound, an investment that has seen us take a significant step towards becoming a truly 360 degree offering with distribution, record labels, brand divisions, artist management, talent booking, music publishing and merchandising – a unique proposition in Italy.”

“Live music is the keystone of our industry and remains a hugely important part of how artists engage with audiences and vice versa.”

Claudio Ferrante 

Said Ferrante in a media statement issued today: “Live music is the keystone of our industry and remains a hugely important part of how artists engage with audiences and vice versa.

“Although life has been extremely hard for this sector during the last year or so we forsee a boom in live concerts in the near future and are confident this sector will bounce back stronger than ever.

“Colorsound are one of the most revered live music booking agencies in Italy and when the chance to make a significant investment into their business and bring them closer to the A1 family we jumped at the chance.

“It is important to us that we offer a full service to our clients and this is another step towards being able to add even more value to our existing offering.”Music Business Worldwide

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