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Live Nation acquires Bonnaroo co-founder

AC Entertainment, which also promotes three other festivals and thousands of shows, will continue under its own name following LN's acquisition of a controlling stake

By IQ on 01 Nov 2016

Ellie Goulding, Which stage, Bonnaroo 2016, AC Entertainment, FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Ellie Goulding on the Which stage at Bonnaroo 2016

image © FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Live Nation Entertainment has acquired a majority stake in Tennessee-based promoter AC Entertainment, best known as the co-founder with Superfly of Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

In addition to Bonnaroo – which has been part of the Live Nation portfolio since 2015 – AC promotes Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, Big Ears Festival in its hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Sloss Music and Arts Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as more than 1,000 shows a year. It also operates four venues in Tennessee, and is the exclusive booker for a number of venues in Tennessee and the Carolinas.

In common with other Live Nation acquisitions, the company will continue to be led by founder Ashley Capps and will operate under its name, with headquarters in Knoxville and regional offices in Nashville and Chattanooga. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“We’ve worked with the Live Nation team in various capacities for years and it became clear they were the best strategic partner for AC’s continuing evolution”

“Ashley and his amazing team have created an impressive roster of live events and developed a strong network and regional expertise that will complement Live Nation’s festival and concert portfolio,” says Bob Roux, Live Nation’s co-president for North American concerts. “This new working relationship with AC will offer exciting synergies that will enable us to continue to grow both of our businesses together in the coming years.”

Capps adds: “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished at AC Entertainment during the past 25 years and are now excited to take the next step. We’ve worked with the Live Nation team in various capacities for years – and especially during the past 18 months on Bonnaroo – and it became clear that they were the best strategic partner for AC’s continuing evolution. There are extraordinary opportunities to come from working together.”

Bonnaroo 2016 was the least-attended in the festival’s history, although a statement from promoters insisted the Manchester, Tennessee, event remains as “vibrant as ever”.


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