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Superstruct buys into Wacken promoter ICS

James Barton's Superstruct Entertainment makes more moves in the German festival market, snapping up International Concert Service (ICS) and W:O:A

By Jon Chapple on 18 Aug 2019

Wacken Foundation unveils corona rescue fund

Sabaton perform at W:O:A 2019

image © ICS

Superstruct Entertainment has invested in Germany’s International Concert Service (ICS), adding leading metal event Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) to its stable of European festivals.

The Superstruct-ICS deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is structured as an “investment and partnership agreement”, in which each company invests in the other, according to Superstruct. The company has similar arrangements with Norway’s Øya Festival, acquired last August, and, more recently, Next Events, the company behind German hip-hop festival Parookaville.

In addition to W:O:A, its flagship festival, ICS produces and promotes ancillary events including Hamburg Metal Dayz, Wacken Winter Nights and motorsports and music festival Werner Race.

ICS founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, and the current leadership team, will remain in place after the transaction (the terms of which were not disclosed) closes.

In a joint statement, the pair say: “Joining the Superstruct network is terrific news for our team and our fans. We will continue providing world-class experiences through our portfolio of live events, and now we are able to additionally benefit from a partner with a global network and experience. This will help us grow further and make what we do even better.

“We are very excited to join forces with ICS, the global leaders in metal”

“We very much look forward to working with the Superstruct team to continue pushing the envelope. Our goal is always to inspire and enthuse heavy metal fans around the world and to make people happy with our live activities.”

All 75,000 tickets for Wacken Open Air 2020 sold out in just 21 hours, following a successful 30th-anniversary event with Slayer, Sabaton and Prophets of Rage this summer.

James Barton, CEO of Superstruct, says: “We are very excited to join forces with ICS, the global leaders in metal. Led by Holger and Thomas, and supported by an experienced team overseeing a portfolio of quality events, we are confident that together we can continue to expand ICS and take the company and its events to the next level.”

Superstruct Entertainment, backed by private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners, additionally owns and operates Sziget (Hungary), Flow Festival (Finland), Sónar (Spain) and Spanish party promoter Elrow. In addition to next events, its most recent acquisitions are Down the Drain (Northside, Tinderbox) in Denmark and several UK events formerly owned by Global.

Read IQ’s special report on 30 years of Wacken Open Air here.


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