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Live Nation acquires another Nordic festival

Live Nation Norway has acquired rock and metal festival Tons of Rock, as the live entertainment behemoth strengthens its presence in the Nordic countries

By Anna Grace on 21 Feb 2019

The Norwegian live music market was worth 1.8 billion krone ($203m) in 2014, a 20 per cent increase on 2012, according to a new report by Arts Council Norway. Music in Numbers 2014 (Musikk i tall 2014) also reveals that the export of Norwegian music – that's live music, recorded music and licensing – generated a total revenue of 223m krone (kr), or $25.2m, in 2014, an increase of kr5m on 2013. The industry as a whole had a turnover of $395m in 2014 – down two per cent on 2013, but up seven per cent compared to 2012 – meaning that, as Norway transitions to "a streaming-based economy", live concerts generated over 51 per cent of its total musical revenue. "The numbers confirm a tendency we have been seeing the last few years: that there is an increasing demand for Norwegian music internationally," says Music Norway director Kathrine Synnes Finnskog.

Tons of Rock

Live Nation Entertainment has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Tons of Rock (10,000-cap.), Norway’s biggest rock and metal festival.

The move comes following last week’s acquisition of Finnish urban music festival, Blockfest, as Live Nation continues to expand its foothold in the Nordic region.

Launched in 2013, the three-day rock and metal festival takes place in Fredrikstemn Fortress, Halden in June each year. The festival received recognition from the Norwegian Concert Organisers (NKA) in 2017, winning the organisation’s best Norwegian festival award.

Tons of Rock organisers have worked with Live Nation Norway since the festival’s first year, securing acts including Slayer, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Ghost and Five Finger Death Punch, among others.

“We have worked with Tons of Rock from the very beginning and are excited about our future with the festival,” says Martin Nielsen, Live Nation Norway head promoter. “The Tons of Rock team have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the festival and to audience experience.”

“We wanted a strong strategic partner who would help us continue to grow, and the answer was obvious – Live Nation Norway”

The announcement comes at a time of change for the Norwegian festival, which moves to its new home in Ekeburg, Oslo for its 2019 edition. Headliners for this year’s Tons of Rock include Kiss, Volbeat and Def Leppard.

“We are ready to take the next step in the festival’s journey and the line-up for the 2019 festival speaks for itself,” comments festival manager and co-founder, Jarle Kvåle. “After five successful years in Halden we saw potential for further growth.”

Kvåle adds: “We found the perfect venue and wanted a strong strategic partner who would help us continue to grow. The answer was obvious – and close at hand – [in] Live Nation Norway.”

Live Nation has acquired a string of festivals, promoters, venue operators and other industry businesses this year, including Tennessee-based event marketing company Neste, Canadian venue operator and promoter Embrace Presents and Spanish Latin music promoter Planet Events.


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