Early this morning an old colleague from Do Androids Dance (DAD) shared an article reporting that Live Nation has officially acquired C3 Presents (promotion company that handles Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits in addition to some of Austin’s concert venues). While finalization of the purchase is newsworthy, it comes as no shock. No secret either, as seen in an October article in The New York Times. The article reported that Live Nation was in advanced talks with ‘the Charlies,’ as C3 is known in the industry. (Three friends named Charlie run C3 Presents.) Sources told the Times C3’s value stood at approximately $250 million. In 2013, the Charlies sold over 2 million tickets with gross sales at $124 million. YourEDM also published an article on the matter, that sourced the article referenced above.
It was speculated that Live Nation was going for 51% of C3, which would make them majority shareholders. Logistical issues like what would happen to Front Gate Tickets when Live Nation owns Ticketmaster were very still very unclear. Officials from both camps declined to comment back in October, obviously wanting to wait until the deal was finalized.
PR Newswire officially broke the story yesterday, and Live Nation posted some interesting details explaining a little about how this will impact our upcoming festival season. Announcements are rolling in and tickets already on sale, so it would behoove festival goers to pay attention to how any of this will affect the consumer or attendee. We will keep you as informed as possible as details in these matters unravel.
Why is this big news to the electronic dance music community?
Two Words: Festival Season
Global dominations of the festival arena seems to be the end game for Live Nation, already such a major player in this game. EDC, Insomniac, Cream, and HARD all under their charge. With this purchase they stand to gain Lollapallooza, Austin City Limits, and venues in Austin, which is a hotbed for music fresh and new. CEO Michael Rapino says, “Adding C3, the leading festival portfolio in North America, to our global portfolio of Insomniac, Festival Republic and Country Nation provides Live Nation with the world’s largest festival platform.”
The Charlies added, “We are excited to join Live Nation and become a part of their global family, while continuing to grow our festivals within a culture of entrepreneurship that will empower our team to keep improving these festivals and the fan experience.”
Things could get interesting this summer, for reasons greater than the amazing experience. The global music community united due to the capitalist processes so many of these countries despise. Also, we really hope that all of these various festivals don’t become uniform. The entire season would be a wash considering the beauty of each festival experience is that it is unique. The sanctity of that experience should be a major concern to any corporation who stands to handle many of the festivals taking place round the world. We will have to wait and see how this pans out.
In the meantime, we know that a giant, fat fish swallowed this big fish and now the giant fish is morbidly obese.