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Live Nation acquires NZ’s Rhythm and Vines

In an acquisition it says highlights the "growing maturity and health of the New Zealand live entertainment market", Live Nation has bought into R&V

By Jon Chapple on 23 Apr 2018

Rhythm and Vines

Rhythm and Vines is New Zealand's biggest music festival

Live Nation has taken a controlling interest in Rhythm and Vines, New Zealand’s largest music festival, expanding its market presence in the Australasian nation.

The live music giant’s investment in Rhythm and Vines (R&V) follows its 2016 majority acquisition of the 12,000-cap. Spark Arena (formerly Vector Arena) in Auckland and the launch of the Auckland City Limits festival, promoted by Live Nation subsidiary C3 Presents, the same year.

“Over the course of 15 years, Rhythm and Vines has curated a wonderful line-up of both domestic and international talent in one of the most beautiful parts of our country,” says Live Nation New Zealand chairman Stuart Clumpas. “It has become a household name in New Zealand and we’re excited to be adding the festival to the Live Nation portfolio and welcoming its experienced team to the company.”

Founded in 2003, the three-day, 25,000-daily capacity festivals takes place annually at the Waiohika Estate vineyard in the coastal town of Gisborne. Previous headliners include Public Enemy, Moby, LCD Soundsystem, Wiz Khalifa, Bastille and Chance the Rapper.

The festival joins Live Nation’s portfolio of more than 100 events worldwide, including Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival and Sydney City Limits in Australia. It is the company’s fifth acquisition of 2018, with Wolfson Entertainment in the US the most recent.

“There has been the long-held view that we’re an extension of the Australian touring market, when in fact NZ delivers unique experiences”

Clumpas says the acquisition “highlights the growing maturity and health of the New Zealand live entertainment market”, which PwC estimates was worth US$122m in 2017. “There has been the long-held view that we’re an extension of the Australian touring market, when in fact New Zealand delivers unique experiences – and Live Nation, as a global player, recognises and invests in that.”

“By joining forces with the global leaders in entertainment, Live Nation, we can ensure our long term vision for the event and continue to grow the festival,” comments R&V CEO Kieran Spillane. “This partnership will allow us to attract the very best acts, delivering a unique festival experience in New Zealand.

Hamish Pinkham, co-founder of Rhythm and Vines, adds: “From humble beginnings, Rhythm and Vines has always tried to do justice to being the first celebration in the world to bring in the new year.

“Over 15 years we have grown the event to become a world-class three day festival. This partnership will ensure this legacy continues and I’m excited for the future of the festival with our partners at Live Nation.”

Rhythm and Vines 2018 takes place across new year’s eve on 29 December 2018–1 January 2019. The line-up has yet to be announced.


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