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Rock-it Cargo and Sound Moves, forwarders specialising in live events and music tours, are to market their services together under one brand, Rock-it Global.

Both are subsidiaries of Rock-it Cargo USA and will merge their offices and vendor networks. Happily, the companies confirmed there would be no job losses in the new group.

“In fact, with the emergence of multiple vaccines and the planned return to supporting live events again in 2021, we believe it will create jobs as we grow,” a spokesperson told The Loadstar.

The live music event industry has suffered catastrophically from Covid-19, last year saw some $18bn wiped off the value of the industry, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), while ticket sales and sponsorship fell 64%.

Live music was expected to generate about $10.4bn last year, down from $29bn in 2019 and far from the predicted $31bn, by 2022. Recorded music however generated $30.4bn in 2020.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” said Duane Wood, president and founder of Sound Moves, who will be chief strategy officer of the new operation.

“It’s time to get excited about the future, come together and be the best we can be, jump on all the pent-up energy and optimism of a new year, successful vaccines and the shared will of our client base to get back to business.

David Bernstein, non-executive chairman of Rock-it Cargo Holdings, added: “The time our people have been off the road has allowed us to assess our strengths and ask how we could be stronger and more prepared when our clients signalled it would be time to get back out. This move positions us for what lies ahead.”

The companies said in a statement: “When you put world-class musicians together, it takes time to find their collective sound. Over the next few months, Rock-it and Sound Moves are going to be blending theirs, and in late spring plan to unveil the company logo, website and leadership teams.”

However, they also emphasised continuity – “Same people, same phone numbers, same email addresses, same great experiences,” said Rock-it Cargo president Paul Martins.

But there is little sign of recovery in the music industry. According to the UK’s Independent Festival Association, festivals alone support 85,000 jobs in the UK, but more than half are being made redundant. The UK’s live music scene was worth £1.1bn in 2018, and this year’s largest outdoor festival in the world, Glastonbury, was recently cancelled for the second time in succession, at a loss of tens of millions of pounds to the local economy.

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