U GETS ITS IRISH UP

Music pact gives Celtic Heartbeat bit o' green

Buoyed by the success of the music of “Riverdance,” Universal Music Group has inked a worldwide joint-venture pact with Celtic Heartbeat Records, a label designed to focus on the emerging Irish music scene.

The label will be run by artist managers David Kavanaugh, chief of Upfront Management; and Paul McGuinness, owner of Principle Management and manager of rockers U2, who began their 14-month world tour April 25. Celtic co-founder Barbara Galavan will shepherd the operation of the label.

“Riverdance” composer Bill Whelan, credited with kick-starting the Irish music craze, is among the artists signed to the label.

Contemporary Irish artists

Sources said Celtic, which nabbed a seven-figure deal plus a hefty credit line, will focus on signing contemporary Irish artists in a move designed to attract record buyers from the more than 85 million Irish-Americans residing in the U.S.

Back-office functions for the Dublin-based label (sales, marketing, promotion) will likely be handled through Universal Records.

Celtic Heartbeat was jettisoned from the Atlantic Records family last year as part of a restructuring.

Catalog to Atlantic

Celtic’s catalog, which includes Anuna and Francis Black, will revert in stages as Atlantic recoups its investment in the three-year old label.

The pickup by Universal proves particularly timely, as Irish music appears poised to break big here and abroad as evidenced by the success of such acts as The Chieftains, the “Riverdance” legiter and its spinoff, “Lord of the Dance,” both of which have been playing to sellout crowds and have become PBS pledge-drive staples.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading