The two renowned companies in touring and production become one. Cato Music and Production Park – have confirmed that they are to join forces. Touring specialists, Cato Music, will become part of the Production Park family based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
The acquisition will pave the way for Production Park’s popular Backstage Academy and Cato’s specialist Roadie School, Cato Academy, to create a Centre of Excellence for training the next generation of touring and production professionals.
The Cato Academy – based in South West London – is the only training centre in the world that educates future tour and production managers, backline techs and live sound engineers under one roof; whilst the Backstage Academy is renowned for its high quality delivery of degree programmes and courses dedicated to the live events industry. Both Academies have been pioneers in the field of vocational and academic education in the entertainment sector and, together, will provide a comprehensive training solution to emerging, aspiring and talented crew.
Commenting on the partnership, Co-Founder of Production Park, Lee Brooks said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Cato into the Production Park family. We’ve been hugely impressed by how Cato has developed over the last fifteen years and, from the moment we met, it was clear that we both shared the same values and vision for supporting the live music industry. Our Academies are at the forefront of training in touring and production and the synergies are evident. Our teams even share the same infectious mix of professionalism and energy, so we can achieve great things together.”
Cato Music Chief Executive and Tour Director for Muse, Glen Rowe, added: “2016 is a huge year for Cato and the collaboration with Production Park is only just the start. We have exciting plans for working together but perhaps the jewel in the crown of this collaboration is our shared belief in educating the crew of the future. This is a real example of where adding two and two together will make five and we can’t wait to get started.”
The deal sees Cato Music and the Cato Academy join an esteemed line-up of companies that operate under the umbrella of the family-owned Production Park, including LS-Live Stage Rental and Studios,Brilliant Stages, Litestructures, Advanced Profiling Services, Brilliant Automation, Perry Scenic Creative and, of course, Backstage Academy.
Cato Music will continue to operate from the iconic Wandsworth Mansions, formerly home to Mick Jagger and the British Olympic Authority, where its Headquarters are based. Development is currently under way to further expand Cato Music operations to state-of-the-art, purpose-built premises in the Wandsworth Borough.
The new site will house additional storage facilities, two brand new rehearsal studios, and an expanded backline hire department. For now, Cato’s busy rehearsal studios, onsite spares shop, backline hire department, fully-stocked Drum World, and professional crew agency will remain open for business whilst the transition takes place.