Southby Middle East launches in the GCC

As Southby Productions is appointed as a new d&b audiotechnik Sales Partner in the GCC, TPiMEA gets the scoop from Southby’s CEO, Chris Jones, along with d&b Middle East’s VP of Business Development, Brad Maiden…

It’s no secret that d&b audiotechnik has major plans for the Middle East, with the company making a series of strategic moves aiming to increase its presence in the region. In the latest impressive move for the German audio manufacturer, TPiMEA can exclusively reveal that UK-headquartered technical event production company and global d&b Soundscape specialist Southby Productions has been appointed as a new Sales Partner for d&b in the GCC.

The deal will see Southby bring its world-leading London Soho d&b Soundscape facility philosophy to the Saudi Arabian capital in the coming months, offering not only a Soundscape pre-production facility for artists, producers, and engineers, but also an important d&b educational resource, and an optimised d&b Soundscape listening experience. Additionally, Southby Middle East will operate throughout the GCC with three branches across the region.

“We’ve always had a close and long-standing relationship with d&b, and we are delighted to become a Sales Partner across the GCC,” commented Southby Productions CEO, Chris Jones. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the region and it’s clear that the potential for growth is massive.”

The Southby team have a vast back catalogue of project experience to call upon, however Jones was keen to clarify that the company’s Middle East branch will operate as a sales partner only. “We’re not looking to enter the region as a rental house or integrator,” he stated plainly. “We don’t want to go in and compete with the people who we are going to sell to.”

Southby’s Soho London Soundscape Studios

The CEO explained that while Southby Middle East won’t be operating in the same way as its UK forebear, the company’s vast experience across a broad range of world-class projects will only serve to help the company’s clients in the region. “Our USP is that we understand the challenges that the rental houses and integrators are facing because we do it for ourselves in the UK, Europe and elsewhere in the world,” Jones explained. “We will look after our clients as a company that has deep and proven ties with the d&b team and unparalleled knowledge of the d&b product range and software. We are fully geared up to assist our GCC clients with their pitches, quotes, and designs.”

Southby Productions’ UK operation has a well-earned reputation as a provider of world-class equipment, but also as a highly specialised technical event production company delivering high-end audio reinforcement and complex AV installations across a range of top-tier projects.

From deploying d&b Soundscape solutions on rock and pop productions such as Björk’s Cornucopia tour, large-scale concerts in stadiums such as Wembley, installations at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and museums like the London Coliseum and the V&A, corporate work for the likes of Apple and the UK government, the design and build of the record-breaking Lilidorei d&b Soundscape theme park at Alnwick Castle, touring solutions for artists such as Chase & Status and Groove Armada to shows with orchestras like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the company deals at the very top end of the industry, and is proud to do so across a wide range of different genres.

Björk’s Cornucopia Soundscape Tour

Brad Maiden, d&b Middle East’s Vice President of Business Development, is enthusiastic about what Southby brings to the table. “Southby bring to the Middle East their experience working with the world’s top artists and engineers, especially with d&b Soundscape tours and installations of a complex, creative and technical nature,” he stated. “Their role in the Middle East is as a Sales Partner, but having a company like Southby, which understands an artist’s aspirations, has worked with engineers in pre-production, and has designed some of the world’s most complex d&b Soundscape systems, can only add positively to the mix of our partners in the region.”

An essential component of Southby’s GCC expansion is the launch of the company’s new pre-production facility hosting d&b Soundscape in Riyadh. “We are replicating what we have in our Soho d&b Soundscape Studio in Central London, which will serve as our demonstration facility in Riyadh for artists, sound designers and engineers as well as an amazing educational facility where we will offer a range of training sessions,” Jones revealed.

“Southby will play an important role in connecting with artists and end-users, whether they are already d&b users or not,” added d&b’s Maiden. “It is important to d&b that the power of d&b Soundscape as a creative tool is promoted and realised in the region, and Southby Productions has this ability. The increased ability to speak that language in the Middle East is important for us.”

He continued: “At d&b, we believe that experience is everything. The Middle East is at the forefront of technical and creative innovation globally in our industry, and – as technical innovation and creativity embody what we do at d&b – our mission in the region is to be a major contributor to this experience economy with our high-quality sound systems, technical excellence, and customer service as the main drivers. Of course, we need partners who also believe in that mission in order to help us achieve our goals and our network of regional partners share this philosophy.”

Wembley Stadium

The three new Southby Middle East branches are already fully operational and staffed with a mixture of local talent and support from experienced personnel from the UK, including the company’s Technical Director, Head of Soundscape and Head of Sales.

“I will also be embedding myself in the region,” Jones revealed. “We are extremely excited about bringing all our d&b knowledge and experience to the Gulf,” he concluded. “The fact that we know implicitly the challenges faced by rental and integrators means that we can genuinely relate and help them realise their ambitions in what is an exciting and dynamic GCC landscape.”

Photos: Southby Middle East