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Live Nation buys majority stake in IoW Festival

John Giddings' Isle of Wight Festival has become the latest addition to Live Nation's growing global festival family, in its sixth acquisition of 2017 so far

By Jon Chapple on 17 Mar 2017

John Giddings, Solo Agency, Isle of Wight Festival

Isle of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings

Live Nation has acquired a controlling stake in the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival.

Through LN-Gaiety – its UK joint venture with Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments – the live entertainment giant has become the majority shareholder in the festival, adding it to its portfolio of more than 85 music festivals worldwide.

Agent and promoter John Giddings, who revived the festival in 2002 after a 32-year hiatus, will continue his leadership role.

He comments: “After 15 hugely successful and glorious years, we have been looking at how we can elevate and take the Isle of Wight Festival to the next level. This partnership with Live Nation will give us the ability to access the company’s scale and talent pool, bringing more acts and a better experience to the UK.”

“This partnership with Live Nation will give us the ability to access its scale and talent pool, bringing more acts and a better experience to the UK”

Following a 2016 in which it made eight major acquisitions, Live Nation enters 2017 having accelerated the pace of its current buying spree: The Isle of Wight deal brings its total to six in 2017 alone, after Israel’s Bluestone Entertainment, British promoters Cuffe & Taylor and Metropolis Music, Idaho-based promoter/venue owner CT Touring and the BottleRock Napa Valley music and culinary festival in California.

“John Giddings and the Solo team have developed the Isle of Wight Festival to be one of the most iconic festival brands in the world,” says Live Nation UK chairman Desmond, “and it’s fantastic to be able to add it to our growing and diverse portfolio of festivals.”

Some 42,000 festivalgoers are expected to attend Isle of Wight 2017, headlined by Rod Stewart, Arcade Fire and David Guetta and Run-DMC.

Giddings, whose Solo Agency represents Blondie, Phil Collins, U2 and Iggy Pop, won the award for best agent (Second Least Offensive Agent) at this year’s Arthur Awards in London.


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