SUNDANCE – EXCLUSIVE ARTIST MANAGEMENT
he story of Oliver Wirtz and his artist management agency began over 25 years ago, somewhere in the middle of Utah near to a ski resort called Sundance. The young marketing student was on a journey to find himself. When visiting with a Native American tribe, he used the time for internal reflection and began to meditate. For what seemed like too long a time, he thought – until it came to him. He must use his skill set to become the master of his own destiny, which in his mind was clearly: managing his own company – and it had to be called “Sundance” in tribute to the source of his new found ambition. And so it was, in 1996 Wirtz founded the event agency “Sundance Art & Entertainment” which over the next decade began to form into “Sundance Artist Management”. Whether managing the success of a single event or the complexities of an artist’s career, the key to success is experience in the managing of relationships, joy in organisation, confidence throughout, and the courage to think big. These are lessons which Wirtz learnt early on.
Born on the 7th of January in Nienburg, Germany; he graduated high school in 1985. As a teen, Wirtz began to dance, becoming a professional and earning many prizes for his skills. Such events gave him his first insight into show business. With projects such as “The Dancing Youth” with whom he toured around the province and entertained crowds, sometimes consisting of up to 700 people. After high school, he joined the armed forces for 2 years and reached the rank of an officer in the reserves as a tank commander, serving in Germany, Wales and Canada. Wirtz then goes to Arizona to study marketing and becomes heavily involved with the international cultural and educational organisation “Up with People”, renowned for their musical shows.
For the next 12 months, he travels with 120 like-minded youths, performing in 20 countries around the world, staying with more than 90 host families- working relentlessly to present shows in stadiums, theatres, schools and hospitals.
When reflecting about his time at “Up with People”, he recognised this formative period as “hugely valuable and playing a vital role in defining (his) goals and ambitions”. In 1989 the young marketing professional starts his first job at VOK DAMS as a trainee but soon becomes a Project Manager. He organises many events with German super-stars and in 1991 he becomes a Management Consultant for British American Tobacco in Hamburg. After 3 years he returns to VOK DAMS and becomes a senior manager responsible for direct marketing and business development. He continues his education by attending diverse management seminars.
In the following years, Wirtz becomes an independent management and event consultant for companies including: British American Tobacco, VOK DAMS, Bacardi, Deutsche Telekom, Mercedes Benz, Philips and Stella Musicals. This included the management of all stages of events, from more intimate VIP Galas to events with up to 10.000 guests. With a wealth of practical knowledge and the drive to realise his Native American premonition, he finally founded his own company “Sundance Art & Entertainment GmbH” in 1996. The following 10 years included projects for Arcor, Talkline, Deutsche Telekom, Olympus, Weight Watchers, BMW, Audi, NIVEA, Lindt, CeBit, Hannover-Messe and many others.
The transition to an artist management agency was catalysed by Tim Mälzer. Mälzer’s curiousity was sparked by Wirtz declining the offer for him to write his cook book. When asked if he would be his manager instead, Wirtz agreed. In the meantime, Sundance has grown to be supported by a team of 12 employees with diverse backgrounds in management, marketing and PR, which work to continuously develop artists such as Tim Mälzer, Jorge González, Thomas Hayo, Jan Hahn, Froonck, Mario Galla, Eveline Hall. Sundance artists are not selected purely by their popularity – the first and last decision in any process will be made in conjunction with their personality.