Welsh rock stars form partnership with sports and entertainment start-up

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Mike Peters, Dave Driscoll, Marcus Lawry, Jules Peters (Credit: Arena Projects)

Mike and Jules Peters of legendary Welsh rockers The Alarm have taken a stake in an exciting new start-up that is making waves in the events industry.

The angel investors have invested in Arena Projects Sport and Entertainment Management, a new Cardiff-based events company specializing in sports, events and entertainment services.

Formed by two experienced Welsh producers and event promoters, Dave Driscoll and Marcus Lawry, Arena Projects have already had an impressive first year, working across Wales and Europe on a number of projects, despite launching in a pandemic that has severely affected the event industry.

Counting the Football Association of Wales and UEFA among its clients, Arena Projects helps organizations bridge the gap between the twin arenas of sport and entertainment, bringing fans and audiences closer to the action. But it’s not just about fan engagement, the company provides full event and project management services, from booking artists, programming to logistics and production, also working in the corporate and public sectors, offering advice as well as carrying out projects.

Mike & Jules Peters: “We could instantly see the potential for Arena Projects to become something very special. As musicians who have toured the world and independent promoters of our own Gathering and Love Hope Strength charity events, we see music fans intersect with sports and lifestyle pursuits every day. Dave and Marcus are experts at bringing music and sport together, just look at what they recently created alongside the Football Association of Wales with Dafydd Iwan and Yma O Hyd as examples.

“We have worked closely with Dave Driscoll for many years on such music/lifestyle crossover events including Snowdon Rocks, Rhondda Rocks, Rhuddlan Castle Rocks and various Gathering events in Llandudno and both at the venues of the he University and the Millennium Center in Cardiff, and so on with the launch of Arena Projects and the partnership with Marcus Lawry seemed like the next logical step in the evolution of an already excellent working relationship.

Mike Peters (photo credit: Andy Labrow).

Arena Projects founders Dave Driscoll and Marcus Lawry have worked together in music, media and event agencies since 2006. From television production to international festivals and sporting events, the two friends of Rhondda Cynon Taf decided to take a break and work for themselves during the most turbulent time for the live events industry.

But the pair have left the other side, carrying out projects in Belfast, Milan, St Petersburg and Helsinki with UEFA, as well as working closely with the Football Association of Wales at an incredibly exciting time for Welsh football.

Dave Driscoll: “We found ourselves at a crossroads within the industry. It was now or never, a risk. We wanted to take a leap, get out of ourselves and create something special at a time when the world was in a recession. We knew there would be a range of opportunities that we could seize by being innovative, flexible and agile.

Marcus Lawry: “The pandemic has changed the industry as we knew it; many left for more stable work, and most of those who remained found themselves in quicksand. But it forced a lot of people to go their own way, which resulted in a lot of new creative businesses hitting the market – faster, hungrier, and nimble. This is happening in the global sector, and we have seen it first hand working on European projects. This will reinvigorate the industry and we are excited to be part of this change.

However, their partnership with Mike & Jules Peters is no coincidence. Dave has worked with The Alarm since the late 90s as a promoter in Wales. When the couple learned that Dave and Marcus were going to build their own project, they were keen to get involved.

Dave Driscoll: “As a lifelong fan of the band, it’s been an amazing and brilliant journey with The Alarm since I was a very young boy, growing up in the valleys of South Wales, listening to their music and watching them live at every opportunity that I could. Not once during this time did I think I would be a friend, promoter, agent and now business partner of the group.

“Mike and Jules Peters have been nothing short of wonderful helping and guiding me through many years of amazing events and gigs. Even when the two have had their battles with cancer and still do, they have always been there as a guiding hand and a voice of calm and reason.It seems only natural that we work closely together to develop the next phase of our business together.

“We are excited about the future, what we can create and where it can take us.”


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