Concert Productions International
Concert Productions International (familiarly, CPI). Major promoter of rock concerts and tours in North America. It was established in Toronto in 1973 as a subsidiary of WBC Productions Ltd by Michael Cohl, William (Bill) Ballard, and David Wolinsky. With the purchase by Cohl and Ballard of Wolinsky's share, and the acquisition of a 45% interest of CPI by John Labatt Ltd, a new parent company, named BCL Entertainment Corp, was established in 1988.
Until 1989 CPI enjoyed what was effectively exclusive access to Maple Leaf Gardens, owned by Bill Ballard's father, Harold Ballard. Under Cohl's direction, and with the Gardens as its base, CPI extended its sphere of influence across Canada through affiliations with Donald K. Donald in Montreal, Perryscope Concert Productions Ltd in Vancouver and other regional promoters. CPI organized many national tours by major rock and pop acts and produced more than 250 concerts and events each year in addition to sporting and theatrical events. With its focus on concert tours, CPI promoted successful tours for the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Pink Floyd. CPI held a 50% interest in Feyline Presentations of Denver, Col, 1986-91 and also entered into partnerships with presenters in Minnesota and South Carolina. In 1989 it began to acquire international touring rights for groups such as the Rolling Stones, whose 115-concert Steel Wheels tour 1989-90 in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Japan generated gross revenues reaching an unprecedented $300 million.
In Toronto CPI began booking attractions at the CNE Grandstand in 1980 and entered into a similar contractual relationship with the SkyDome in 1989. It also presented artists in several smaller Toronto venues and promoted concerts in other Ontario cities. In 1990 Canadian concerts accounted for about half of some 1000 CPI presentations worldwide. A related BCL Entertainment Corp company, The Brockum Group, has specialized in the merchandizing of T-shirts, programs, etc, for the concert tours.
In 1995 BCL Entertainment sold their concert division to Universal Concerts; the sale also included Concert Productions International, Donald K. Donald Productions and Perryscope Concert Productions to MCA Concerts Canada (now Universal Concerts Canada). CPI underwent a name change to The Next Adventure Inc but it continued to focus on promoting worldwide concert tours such as U2's Pop Mart tour and the Bridges to Babylon, Steel Wheels and Voodoo Lounge tours for the Rolling Stones. In 1998 the company was then acquired by SFX Entertainment Inc, which produced tours that included Santana, The Who, Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes, Roger Waters, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam, Britney Spears, NSYNC, and Tina Turner. SFX was in turn bought by Clear Channel Entertainment in 1999.