OC Music Awards Acquired by PR Firm

M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold accepting an award at the 2011 OC Music Awards for Best Album
M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold accepting an award at the 2011 OC Music Awards for Best Album
Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly

Today the ACE Agency announced it acquired the OC Music Awards. The Santa Ana PR/events company is taking over from producer Luke Allen (who owns rehearsal studio Gemini Studios) and his father, OC Music Awards executive producer Warren Allen.

The Allens bought the Orange County Music Awards from event producer Martin Brown in 2008 and renamed it the OC Music Awards. Back then, they hired ACE Agency and its CEO, Ashley Eckenweiler, to assist in the strategy, direction and production of the event.

In a phone interview, Eckenweiler explained the parties involved thought it would be best for the awards to have an agency behind it. "There are more resources [for the awards show to use] as it expands and gets bigger," she says, adding that nothing will change for the awards show. "It's just going from being owned by individuals to an agency. It's going to remain as it is--about the community and the musicians."

Luke Allen will remain involved as an active advisor for the 2012 event to ensure that the ownership transition is smooth. He will also remain on the Awards Academy and advisory board in years to come. In a statement, he said, "We can't think of a better company to acquire the event than The ACE Agency. Ashley has had such an integral roll in the success of the event since we took it over. I can't wait to see how it continues to grow under the Agency's direction."

The 2012 OC Music Awards will be held at City National Grove of Anaheim on March 3 with the Showcase Series kicking off January 3 at Costa Mesa's Detroit Bar.

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