One of the biggest concerns for the future of music that continues to fly curiously under the radar is concert promoter and ticketing giant Live Nation‘s ongoing campaign to acquire majority stakes in smaller promotional companies all across the world until nearly all live music presented to crowds bigger than the gatherings at local bars is done under the umbrella of the live music juggernaut.
On Friday (1-20) it was announced that Live Nation had taken over yet another independently-owned promotional company with deep local ties, this time in the United Kingdom. Metropolis Music, which is a stakeholder in V Festival and Academy Music Group (AMG), and as one of the U.K.’s biggest live promoters puts on around 500 shows in the U.K. annually, has now merged with Live Nation. The two companies had previously worked together on the V Festival and other events.
The merger comes after two Metropolis employees left the company in November to create a rival promotional company called Crosstown Concerts. “The team and I are excited for this new venture into Metropolis Music,” says founder of Metropolis, Bob Angus. “We’ve been promoting events in the UK since 1985, and we look forward to providing the best for artists and fans across the UK, together as part of the Live Nation family.”
Like with many of Live Nation’s mergers and acquisitions, Metropolis will keep many of the principals of their staff. The artist management portion of Metropolis is not part of the Live Nation deal. Specific details of the deal were not disclosed, but in most of Live Nation’s recent transactions, Live Nation insists on owning a controlling 51% interest in the companies they acquire or partner with.
And that is not all of Live Nation’s recent acquisition activity. On January 13th a deal was announced with Napa Valley’s BottleRock Festival where Live Nation now owns a majority stake of the event. The three-day festival held in May is in its fifth year, and boasts headliners like the Foo Fighters, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Maroon 5 for the 2017 installment. Once again Live Nation keeps all the staff of the festival in place, but benefits from a controlling stake in the company.
BottleRock is yet another major festival that now falls under the auspices of Live Nation. The company also owns controlling interests in destination festivals such as ACL Fest, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Governor’s Ball, and Electric Daisy Carnival.