Ildar Bakeev was born on March 25th 1954 in Kazan. He graduated from the Faculty of Engeneering of the Kazan State Technological University and in the early 1980s became obsessed with arguably the most technological of all types of musical arts – DJ’ing.
“For a while I was a professional DJ, was working the turntables, playing the discs of Western artists in various emerging clubs and restaurants”, Ildar recalls. “But after a while I realised that I lack knowledge so I decided to get a second degree at GITIS [major theatre school], at the faculty that is now called “Theatre Management and Direction“.
During his fourth year of studies, in order to collect the materials for his thesis, Bakeev enrolled on an internship at Gosconcert[state concert management concern] and then became a full-time employee there.
“It’s not that there was a lot of work for me, but I started answering the calls, and the calls were primarily from the managers of concert venues from all over the country, so after couple of weeks I knew who was playing where and who was on which tour better than anyone else”, Ildar recalls and laughs. When my internship was over, I asked my superiors to hire me. Mind you, I was still a full-time student then, but I was older than 30, so they said if your University doesn’t mind, come and work for us. I made arrangements with my faculty”.
In 1989 Bakeev resigned from Gosconcert and started his own business taking Russian artists on tours abroad. He used to work with major names – Bolshoi Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre and others.
“I got a laptop, plus the hotel’s phone and fax – and I could plan a tour in Spain, while still in Japan, and I could start planning Argentinean concerts as soon as I arrived to Spain. I had everything I needed on my computer”, remembers Ildar. “There were just three of us in our firm: me, my wife and a one more guy, and we coped very well. But eventually I just got tired, so in the early 2000s we decided to come back to Russia with my wife”.
In Moscow Bakeev decided to implement an idea he spotted in the west – an automated online ticket sale system, that’s how the major ticket agency Kontramarka.ru. Since then Ildar Bakeev is a well-known person in the show business. He has been directly involved in the management of the Russian tours of Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Madonna. He was one of the people who have introduced the practice of selling VIP tickets at wild prices (for instance it was his idea to set up a VIP luxury pit right in front of the stage at George Michael’s concert in 2007, when the tickets priced at $2,000-3,600 per person had been sold out).
In 2003 Bakeev founded a promoter company Euro Entertainment and started bringing famous international artists, including Sting, Jeff Beck, Garou, stars of the French musical “Notre Dame de Paris” and others.
In 2006 Ildar decided to expand the ticket sales system capabilities and founded a ticket agency www.19-00.ru, based on Kontramarka.ru experience but offering extended features. Among other improvements www.19-00.ru allows buying tickets to different shows in one purchase, use the mobile phone to select and pay for your order.
Another Bakeev’s know-how is “Web 2.0 Tour” – a way to optimise financial and manpower investment in management of the less known artists‘ concerts. Ildar has realised that it is better to ask the audience: who does it want to see onstage rather then act at your own risk or try to force feed them with your own choice. On the popular VK.COM social network he has set up a group called “We invite our favourite artists on a tour ourselves”, where fans can leave requests for the concerts of their favourite acts. This scheme has already proven to be successful during the tours of the francophone stars – Patrick Fiori, Garou and Bruno Pelletier.
In addition to his work as a producer Ildar Bakeyev is a lecturer at RMA Academy in the State University of Management, reading courses on financial aspects of concert and show management and ticket sales management.