Greatest Festivals May Nonetheless Be Consolidated by Market Leaders – Billboard

The Ledger is a weekly publication concerning the economics of the music enterprise despatched to Billboard Professional subscribers. An abbreviated model of the publication is printed on-line.


For all of the consolidation within the live performance business within the final decade, the pageant enterprise stays a various array of occasions operated by unbiased firms slightly than the company behemoths. That’s one takeaway from Billboard’s new checklist of the highest 50 music festivals of 2022 that considers the standard, measurement and cultural affect of the most important and greatest occasions across the globe.

The highest 50 checklist is crammed with potential mergers and acquisitions for growth-minded promoters: 35 of the highest 50 festivals are owned by both unbiased promoters or, in a handful of instances, non-profit organizations. Some festivals are fewer than 10 years outdated and have already got a file of accomplishment and vital model fairness. Lots of their founders additionally promote different festivals that didn’t make the checklist.

In all, 16 of the highest festivals are within the palms of two promoters: Dwell Nation and AEG Presents. Moreover, two publicly traded promoters solely have one spot apiece within the prime 50: MSG Leisure (Boston Calling at No. 29) and Germany’s CTS Eventim (Rock am Ring and Rock im Park at No. 44). Collectively, these companies make up greater than a 3rd of the highest 50.

One would possibly view these numbers as proof the most important firms have taken over the pageant market, but it surely additionally means two-thirds of the highest 50 festivals are nonetheless unbiased. That variety in possession represents a possibility for additional consolidation, nevertheless, as historical past has proven that profitable festivals are enticing acquisition targets.

Dwell Nation owns 12 of the highest 50 festivals and is a companion in one other, Ohana Fest in Dana Level, Calif., that was created by Pearl Jam singer Eddy Vedder. Dwell Nation has purchased — not constructed — its most profitable festivals. Lollapalooza (No. 7) and Austin Metropolis Limits (No. 13) got here by its acquisition of a majority stake in Austin-based C3 Presents in 2014. It acquired Bonnaroo (No. 7) by its acquisition of a controlling curiosity in AC Leisure in 2016 and purchased a majority stake in BottleRock (No. 10) in 2017. Rock in Rio got here (No. 19) was acquired in 2018. Splendour within the Grass (No. 18) went to Dwell Nation by its acquisition of a 51% stake in Australian promoter Secret Sounds Group in 2016. Two Mexican festivals, Vive Latino (No. 40) and Corona Capital Guadalajara (No. 42), are the properties of OCESA, which Dwell Nation acquired in 2021.

Insomniac, of which Dwell Nation purchased “about” a 50% stake in 2013, has three of the highest 50 festivals: Electrical Daisy Carnival Las Vegas (No. 3), Electrical Forest (No. 21) — which it co-owns with Madison Home Presents — and Moonrise (No. 49). HARD Summer season got here from Dwell Nation’s acquisition of EDM promoter HARD in 2012.

AEG’s 2001 acquisition of Southern California promoter Goldenvoice gave it what would develop into the No. 1 pageant, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Competition. Goldenvoice debuted its nation music offshoot, Stagecoach Competition (No. 9) in 2007 and Day N Vegas (No. 14) in 2019 (this 12 months’s version of Day N Vegas was canceled on Friday). Hangout Music Competition (No. 39) entered a three way partnership with Goldenvoice in 2015 to supply the pageant.

Apart from Dwell Nation and AEG, solely two firms have possession in a number of festivals within the prime 50. Penske Media Corp. (proprietor of Billboard) owns a 50% stake in South by Soutwest (No. 5) and a majority stake in Life Is Lovely (No. 26). Danny Wimmer Presents owns Welcome to Rockville (No. 43) and Bourbon & Past (No. 45).

Corporations looking for an even bigger footprint in Latin markets can goal some established manufacturers. Colombia’s Páramo Presenta could possibly be an acquisition goal for its 12-year-old pageant, Estéreo Picnic. Spain’s Primavera Sound (No. 23), beginning with its namesake pageant in Barcelona in 2001, additionally runs festivals in Argentina and Brazil. The four-year-old reggaeton and Latin music-focused Baja Seaside Fest (No. 24) is held simply south of the U.S. border in Rosarito, Mexico, and attracts a U.S. crowd.

Within the U.S., some entrepreneurs have shortly — by pageant requirements — constructed profitable occasions into top-tier manufacturers. Seven-year-old Rolling Loud Miami (No. 12) already has offshoots in New York Metropolis, Toronto, Portugal and the Netherlands. San Francisco’s Exterior Lands Music and Arts Competition (No. 4) was launched in 2008 — that’s younger for such a longtime model — by One other Planet, Superfly Presents and Starr Hill Presents. Float Fest (No. 47) in Gonzales, Texas launched in 2014 and returns in 2022 after taking three years off.

Three of the highest 50 are successfully off limits to M&A as a result of they’re owned by non-profit organizations that act as stewards of the festivals’ legacies. These are the oldest and among the many most revered festivals: New Orleans Jazz Competition (No. 11), Newport Folks Competition (No. 17) and Roskilde Competition (No. 20). That their founders transferred possession to charitable organizations speaks to the best way some festivals transcend company revenue motive and develop into ingrained in communities’ cultures and identities. All festivals contain private-public partnerships to some extent: communities present public sources, and lots of festivals require native authorities permits that enable occasions to happen on public lands. However this ensures a number of the longest-running festivals — and lots of smaller ones not on the checklist — are usually not going to be swept up in company consolidation of the live performance enterprise.



By way of July 1, the % change over the past week, and the year-to-date change.

Common Music Group (AS: UMG): 19.12 euros, -4.4%, -22.8% YTD
Spotify (NYSE: SPOT): $97.52, -8.9%, -58.3% YTD
Warner Music Group (Nasdaq: WMG): $24.57, -6.2%, -43.1% YTD
HYBE (KS 352820): KRW 140,000, -5.4%, -59.9% YTD
Dwell Nation (NYSE: LYV): $83.06, -4.3%, -30.6% YTD
iHeartMedia (Nasdaq: IHRT): $8.07, -1.8%, -61.6% YTD
Cumulus Media (Nasdaq: CMLS): $7.91, +1.2%, -29.7% YTD
Tencent Music Leisure (NYSE: TME): $5.24, +5.6%, -23.5% YTD
Cloud Village (HKE: 9899): HKD 85.40, +5.5%, -45.7% YTD
Reservoir Media (Nasdaq: RSVR): $6.28, -1.9%, -20.6% YTD

NYSE Composite: 14,636.76, -1.2%, -14.7% YTD
Nasdaq: 11,127.85, -4.1%, -28.9% YTD
S&P 500: 3,825.33, -2.2%, -19.7% YTD

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