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Stay Nation and AEG Battle for Los Angeles Minifest Market – Billboard


Because the Southern California-Las Vegas hall develops into the most important year-round U.S. pageant market, rival live-industry giants Stay Nation and AEG are battling for management by means of competing minifestivals — genre-specific, commuter-friendly occasions that require little or no journey dedication, have decrease ticket costs and will work nationally, spurring development in a crowded market.

AEG-owned Goldenvoice as soon as dominated that area of interest sector, however {industry} sources say the previous expertise purchaser who delivered them there, Jeff Shuman, might have helped Stay Nation construct a superior mannequin: a minifestival with the potential to generate Coachella-size attendance numbers.

On Oct. 22, 23 and 29, Stay Nation will debut When We Had been Younger, a pop-punk/emo minifest — headlined by My Chemical Romance and Paramore — on the Las Vegas Pageant Grounds. Whereas such genre-specific occasions are usually scaled for venues with capacities of 10,000 to fifteen,000, the Pageant Grounds can accommodate 80,000, and When We Had been Younger hopes to triple that attendance with a single lineup that may repeat all three days. Over 180,000 tickets have already been bought — whereas not a direct comparability, Coachella attracts roughly 250,000 festivalgoers throughout its two weekends — and {industry} sources say it’s anticipated to generate $50 million in gross sales. (Shuman and AEG/Goldenvoice declined to remark for this story.)

It’s an modern mannequin, however one which has raised issues in mild of mishaps which have beset different Stay Nation festivals overseen by Shuman. In March, the Smokin Grooves pageant at Los Angeles’ State Historic Park, which Shuman and Stay Nation licensed this yr, was affected by sound issues and a strict noise ordinance that led to headliner Erykah Badu’s closing set being reduce to lower than half-hour. Of much more concern, final December, Drakeo the Ruler was murdered backstage through the As soon as Upon a Time in LA pageant, and in Might, unconfirmed stories of gunfire brought about a stampede on the Lovers & Mates pageant at Vegas’ Pageant Grounds that led to the hospitalization of a number of attendees, and a 22-year-old girl died after struggling what native police deemed “a medical concern.”

A Stay Nation consultant says the corporate pinpointed and resolved the problems that marred the primary day of Lovers & Mates, and shall be carefully monitoring When We Had been Younger to make sure that the pageant takes place with out incident; it’s “ready to intervene,” if needed.

Shuman, 38, began out a decade in the past creating the Growlers-headlined Seaside Goth pageant whereas working for the Observatory in Santa Ana, Calif. In 2015, he joined Goldenvoice, the place he discovered a possibility for nimbler, extra narrowcast minifests that required hours, not days, of dedication from ticket patrons, such because the regional Mexican/Mexican rock-leaning Tropicalia fest, the place attendance was capped at 15,000 per day.

“From the patron aspect, it permits for followers to see as lots of their favourite bands as attainable with out having to guide a resort,” says Josh Kurfirst, head of festivals at WME, of minifests. “From the promoter aspect — particularly if the pageant sells out a number of days — the manufacturing might be amortized out rising web earnings,” he provides. “And from the artist aspect, the bands can multiply their earnings if the festivals roll into a number of days, once more rising web earnings.”

By 2019, Shuman was curating six one-day festivals at Goldenvoice that generated $10 million to $15 million in annual gross sales. When he departed in 2020 after a disagreement over cash, to the shock of many, he took with him full possession of 5 of the seven pageant manufacturers he had created previous to his partnership with the promoter, together with Lovers & Mates, As soon as Upon a Time in LA and Tropicalia (which has since been renamed Bésame Mucho).

He subsequently fashioned a three way partnership with Stay Nation and this yr is on monitor to generate $150 million to $200 million in gross ticket gross sales with manufacturing assist from C3 Presents, considered one of Stay Nation’s largest pageant promoters, answerable for Lollapalooza and now Bonnaroo.

Goldenvoice additionally not too long ago assembled a minifest crew, which has created new occasions like This Ain’t No Picnic that shall be headlined by LCD Soundsystem and The Strokes in August and the Kacey Musgraves-fronted Palomino, each slated for the Rose Bowl grounds in Pasadena, Calif. However although official numbers aren’t out there, {industry} consensus is that Shuman’s occasions are outselling Goldenvoice’s. Bésame Mucho — which is ready for December at Dodger Stadium — bought out in 12 minutes, whereas AEG’s competing Viva! L.A. minifest — with Daddy Yankee and J Balvin headlining — was canceled earlier in June attributable to poor ticket gross sales, in accordance with sources.

Stay Nation confronted a special disaster when hundreds of ticket holders to Lovers & Mates demanded refunds following the chaos that ensued. Pageant sources say issues there in addition to at Smokin Grooves and different Shuman minifests have chipped away on the profitability of Stay Nation’s three way partnership with him, elevating expectations, and stress, across the execution of When We Had been Younger.

“Operations for each pageant are completely deliberate for and carried out onsite in shut coordination with native authorities,” Stay Nation officers informed Billboard in an announcement. “The identical crew that plans and produces giant multi-day festivals together with Lollapalooza and Austin Metropolis Limits Music Pageant shall be making use of their experience to When We Had been Younger.”

This story initially appeared within the June 25, 2022, concern of Billboard.





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