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Lyte acquires Festicket and Event Genius assets

Ticketing exchange and technology firm Lyte has confirmed the acquisition of Festicket and Event Genius assets.

The firm says the acquisition represents “significant and immediate growth for Lyte, with a broad expansion of their services and team worldwide”.

London-headquartered Festicket, which acquired Event Genius and the associated Ticket Arena consumer website and brand in 2019, formally entered administration last week, with ReSolve Advisory Limited appointed to oversee the process.

Festicket and Event Genius worked with hundreds of festivals and events across the UK, EU, Australia and Latin America, including BPM Festival, Ibiza Rocks, Summer Daze and Annie Mac’s Lost & Found Festival.

The company has pledged to protect Festicket employees and find “ways to reconcile and rebuild with affected promoter clients”.

The news comes after Australian festival Borderline Music and Arts Festival (cap. 10,000) was cancelled due to the collapse of Festicket, which was its primary ticketing partner.

According to the company, many Festicket clients have begun signing with Lyte, including Slammin Events in the UK and Vic Falls Carnival in Zimbabwe. More signings across the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia are to be confirmed in the coming days.

“To be launching Lyte’s international expansion from the place where it all started, is truly special”

“Lyte’s success to date has been achieved by building a coalition of employees, ticketing companies, and event organisers who share the aspiration to make all aspects of going to a show as great as seeing the talent that graces the stage,” says Lawrence Peryer, Lyte’s chief commercial officer.

“With the assets we have acquired in this transaction – and all of the new team members in the UK, Europe and Australia who we welcome as part of it – we are bringing global opportunities to our existing employees and partners while extending an offer of access to our alternate universe to all promoters, ticket platforms and fans worldwide. The future of live events is here.”

Ant Taylor, Lyte’s CEO and founder, adds: “Ten years ago I visited London for the 2012 Olympic games. The events were sold out, there were no tickets on the streets but the venues were half-full. I was just a fan but that empty seats problem stuck with me and led me to start Lyte a couple years later. To be launching Lyte’s international expansion from the place where it all started, is truly special. Our company vision is to make the live events e-commerce experience magical for fans and event creators, the world over…This is a step in that direction. Now the real work begins.”

Lyte enables fans to reserve tickets without competing with other fans and brokers during on-sales, to return tickets if their plans change and to easily secure tickets to sold-out events.

The company says the results are fuller venues for talent and event stakeholders and a significant reduction in risk for fans of overpaying or being stuck with unusable tickets.

Lyte’s clients include North American festivals such as Life Is Beautiful, Pitchfork Music Festival, BottleRock and Baja Beach Fest.

 


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DEAG acquires Germany’s Classic Open Air

DEAG has enhanced its presence in the classical and jazz market with the acquisition of classical music festival Classic Open Air.

The German live entertainment group has acquired 85% of the shares in the event, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, via its DEAG Classics AG subsidiary.

Launched in 1992, Classic Open Air has grown under the direction of Gerhard Kämpfe und Mario Hempel to attract around 25,000 to 30,000 visitors each year to the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin. Highlights have included evenings with Till Brönner, Sarah Connor, Katie Melua, José Carreras, Al Jarreau, the Scorpions, Earth Wind & Fire, Montserrat Caballé, Udo Jürgens, Chris de Burgh, Roger Cicero and Joja Wendt.

“We are adding an attractive festival series to our event portfolio, which has already hosted many top national and international stars in recent years,” say DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow and Jacqueline Zich, divisional board member of DEAG Classics AG. “We are delighted to be able to contribute to the further development of Classic Open Air with our live expertise and outstanding network.”

“DEAG has the potential to make this unique event even more international”

As well as expanding its activities and market position in the classics and jazz segment, DEAG says it expects to achieve synergy effects in the concert business and in the acquisition of artists, among other areas.  The deal will also increase the volume of DEAG’s ticketing business.

Hempel, MD of Media On-Line, the organiser of Classic Open Air, will remain a shareholder and continue to provide long-term support and advice to the company together with DEAG Classics AG.

“I am very pleased to have found the right partner in Peter Schwenkow and DEAG Classics AG for the further development of Classic Open Air at Gendarmenmarkt, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year,” says Hempel. “DEAG has the potential to make this unique event even more international at one of the world’s most beautiful venues and I am very much looking forward to being able to accompany this.”

 


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OVO Arena Wembley sale completed

Developer and asset manager Quintain has completed the sale of OVO Arena Wembley to Intermediate Capital Group (ICG).

Quintain had put the historic, 12,500-cap London venue up for sale as part of its strategy to focus on its build-to-rent business.

The ASM Global-managed arena is on track to welcome around one million visitors in 2022, with upcoming shows including Machine Gun Kelly, Bon Iver, Billy Idol, Ne-Yo, Jack Harlow, Sigrid and The Cure.

“We’re delighted to be the new custodians of the iconic OVO Arena and to be partnering with ASM, a globally renowned arena operator,” says Andreas Papadolambakis of ICG Real Estate. “The investment represents ICG Real Estate’s first in the content and live entertainment space, a sector which is benefitting from structural tailwinds. As music consumption has pivoted towards streaming, touring has become increasingly important for artists whilst consumers are dedicating an increasing portion of their disposable income to experiences over material goods.

“We expect this to be the first of a programme of investments in the European content and live entertainment market.”

“We look forward to working with new owners, ICG, to enhance Britain’s most iconic arena”

Built in 1934, the arena in Wembley – originally known as the Empire Pool – has been a live music venue for over six decades. London’s second largest arena, it was renamed from SSE Arena Wembley to OVO Arena earlier this yearfollowing in the footsteps of Glasgow’s Hydro (cap. 13,000) in linking with OVO Energy – the UK’s third-biggest energy supplier – which acquired SSE in 2020.

“Quintain have been excellent landlords for the OVO Arena for the last 20 years and we thank them for their stewardship,” adds Chris Bray, EVP Europe of ASM Global. “We look forward to working with new owners, ICG, to enhance Britain’s most iconic arena and continue to bring world class acts and artists to this world-famous entertainment district.”

Quintain, which was bought by US private equity firm Lone Star in 2015, acquired the then Wembley Arena in 2002 as part of its purchase of 44 acres of land in Wembley Park, and went on to transform the venue with an extensive, multi-million pound refurbishment in 2006.

“As we build out the Wembley Park estate, with 3,000 more homes still to deliver, we continue to focus our efforts on our Build to Rent ambition, neighbourhood retail and placemaking,” adds Quintain CEO James Saunders. “Naturally, we will work with ICG and ASM to ensure that the world-famous OVO Arena Wembley will remain an important part of this world class destination and neighbourhood.”

 


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All Things Live seals Musickness acquisition

Nordic live entertainment giant All Things Live has continued its acquisition spree, enhancing its presence in Belgium with the addition of management company Musickness.

Antwerp-based Musickness was founded in 1992 and has a team of eight people representing 24 artists including Tamino, Deus, Balthazar, Eefje De Visser and Tourist LeMC.

The company, which is led by co-founder Christian Pierre, expanded into the Netherlands in 2020 with the opening of a Rotterdam office.

“Our team is excited to be joining All Things Live and eager to contribute to the continued growth of the group based on our 30 years of experience in the music management industry,” says Pierre. “We will build an even stronger business in our existing markets and expand our reach as part of the partnership.”

“We continue to expand the footprint of All Things Live and deepen our local presence and network”

The acquisition strengthens All Things Live’s management business and will contribute to its continued international expansion.

“We continue to expand the footprint of All Things Live and deepen our local presence and network with the acquisition of Musickness and the outstanding team and artists,” adds All Things Live Group executive board member Kim Worsøe. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to the All Things Live family and working together to grow the partnership together.”

Last week, All Things Live signalled its expansion into the Italian market with the acquisition of promoter and agency Radar Concerti and also recently announced the signing of international management firm Then We Take The World.

All Things Live was established in 2018 as “the new independent market leader in Nordic live entertainment” following Waterland Private Equity’s acquisition of six leading Scandinavian promoters and agencies.

 


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Ticketmaster to acquire Thai Ticket Major

Ticketmaster has announced the part acquisition of Bangkok-headquartered Thai Ticket Major (TTM) as it enhances its presence in the Asian market.

Founded in 1999 by Tero Entertainment, TTM is the leading full-service ticketing company in Thailand and also has operations elsewhere within the region. Live Nation announced the acquisition of Tero’s concerts and entertainment division earlier this month.

Ticketmaster says that 90% of Western tours in Asia currently route through Bangkok, while Thailand also has a strong regional market for K-Pop and Japanese talent.

“Thailand’s live entertainment industry has seen immense growth over the past few years,” says Ticketmaster president Mark Yovich. “As we join with Thai Ticket Major, Ticketmaster will enhance the nation’s ticketing experience, bringing event organisers, venues and fans across the country an unrivalled level of service and experience.”

“Being part of Ticketmaster gives us the opportunity to elevate our ticketing solutions for Thailand’s premier venues and event creators”

Home to “several world-class venues and significant fan demand for live entertainment”, the Thai market is considered to be primed for the rapid adoption of digital ticketing, which Ticketmaster will deliver. Current TTM MD Komkrit Sirirat will continue to lead the local team and be responsible for all Thai operations.

“Delivering a market leading ticketing solution has been at the heart of TTM for the last 23 years, so it was the natural next step for us to join the world’s leading ticketing company, Ticketmaster,” adds TTM shareholder Brian Marcar, MD of Tero Entertainment. “Being part of Ticketmaster gives us the opportunity to elevate our ticketing solutions for Thailand’s premier venues and event creators as this market grows into one of the world’s premier live entertainment destinations.”

The announcement marks the latest phase in Ticketmaster’s Asian expansion following the establishment of Ticketmaster Taiwan and Singapore in 2020.

 


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LN-owned Secret Sounds buys Kicks Entertainment

Secret Sounds, the Live Nation-owned promoter behind Australian festivals Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival, has acquired Kicks Entertainment.

Kicks is a premier Australian event management company which founded Foreshore Festival, Warehouse Festival and flagship festival Spilt Milk. The latter has sold out within minutes every year since its 2016 debut and has since expanded to three locations, Canberra, Ballarat and Gold Coast.

Financial terms of the deal between Secret Sounds and Kick Entertainment have not been disclosed.

“As festival and music fans ourselves, it’s exciting for us to have new partners that share our vision for event experiences that are fan-focused,” say Kicks Entertainment co-owners Jeff Drake and Ryan Sabet. “This partnership will evolve our conversations with artists and provide opportunities to activate venues and festivals that can house them. It will strengthen our ability to produce festival tours that deliver on our vision of ensuring quality over quantity.”

“[This] will strengthen our ability to produce festival tours that deliver on our vision of ensuring quality over quantity”

“Partnering with Secret Sounds and Live Nation is a natural step towards securing the future of new events and cementing those currently in the roster. The majority stake acquisition is also a boost for our loyal, local team. It brings new opportunities to enhance the already exceptional Kicks offerings and provides resources at an important time when fan experience is paramount.”

Secret Sounds co-CEOs Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco, add: “We’ve admired Jeff and Ryan’s work for a long time, they are brilliant entrepreneurs and the next generation of Australian promoters.

“We’ve been super impressed with the way they deliver their events and the consistent growth they’ve achieved with Spilt Milk, including the addition of a Gold Coast show which promptly sold out within days. We are very excited about this partnership and we’re looking forward to combining all of our skillsets and knowledge to support Spilt Milk’s further growth in the future.”

Secret Sounds is enjoying a bountiful return to live events, with a sold-out Splendour in the Grass (cap 50,000), the ‘biggest Falls line-up ever’ featuring Lil Nas X and Arctic Monkeys, and a slate of sold-out tours including Gorillaz, The Strokes and Jack Harlow.

Live Nation bought a majority stake in the New South Wales-based company in 2016, acquiring a 51% stake in Splendour and Falls, as well as its touring, sponsorship, PR, artist management and agency divisions.

 


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DEAG acquires majority stake in Airbeat One festival

DEAG has acquired a majority stake in Airbeat One, an electronic music festival which takes place annually in northern Germany.

Founded in 2002 by Music Eggert, the festival typically attracts around 60,000 visitors to Neustadt-Glewe in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern each year.

According to DEAG, Airbeat One is now the largest electronic music festival in northern Germany and one of the largest in Germany.

Following the acquisition, Sebastian Eggert from Music Eggert becomes managing director of Airbeat One GmbH, the new organiser of Airbeat One.

With his team, which will remain entirely with the festival, he will continue to run the event in the long term.

DEAG says it expects the takeover to create “synergy effects in the live entertainment business as well as positive impulses for the ticketing business, especially for DEAG Group company I-Motion”– organiser of electronic music festivals Nature One, Mayday, Syndicate, Toxicator and Ruhr-in-Love.

DEAG says it expects the takeover to create “synergy effects in the live entertainment business”

In addition, the company hopes the acquisition will result in “significant cost synergies as well as added values in purchasing and artist acquisition, among other areas”.

Oliver Vordemvenne, MD of I-Motion, says: “We are all delighted about the partnership and the co-operation with Sebastian and the whole team, who have built up one of the biggest electro music festivals in Germany and inspire thousands of fans from all over the world every year.

“Airbeat One is an excellent addition to DEAG’s portfolio. With Airbeat One, we unite two of the most successful electro music festivals in Germany under one roof and are excellently positioned in this field with now a total of six electro music festivals with over 200,000 visitors annually. With the acquisition of Airbeat One, we have also created very good conditions for the further expansion of our business activities.”

Sebastian Eggert, MD of Airbeat One, adds: “We are all very pleased to have DEAG as a strong partner for the further development of Airbeat One. We share the same vision for the festival with a clear focus on the visitors and want to continue to offer them an exceptional customer experience in the future. We are strongly rooted in the region of northern Germany and will stay here for the long term and drive our growth together with DEAG.”

 


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LN steps up Thailand operations with TERO deal

Live Nation has acquired the concerts and entertainment division of Thailand-based TERO Entertainment (TERO C&E).

The strategic acquisition builds on the existing JV between Live Nation and TERO, launched in 2015, and signals further growth within the country through a commitment to developing local Thai talent, while also continuing to bring major international acts to the region.

Established in 1998, TERO C&E is a leader in domestic touring, family entertainment, exhibitions, musicals, and artist management within Thailand.

“TERO C&E has it all – local expertise delivering outstanding experiences to fans, and career growth for international and local artists,” Live Nation Asia Pacific president Roger Field. “Our deepened partnership with TERO will expand our presence not only in Thailand but across the region, and we are looking forward to bringing an ever-growing and incredible roster of domestic and international talent to fans, connecting them with the magic of live.”

“Our vision is to extend and grow the partnership”

Brian Marcar, MD of Tero Entertainment PLC, says: “Our partnership with Live Nation has grown over the years and we have seen many benefits from this union for international artists. Our vision is to extend and grow the partnership to enable the same benefits to local talent so they too can have the opportunity to develop internationally, making this hugely beneficial to both the local fans and the local artists.”

The deal expands Live Nation’s reach in the region, as well as deepening its strategy to offer new events to brand partners across the region which include Marriot Hotels, Mercedes, Toyota, Pepsi, Budweiser, and Samsung.

Revenue from domestic artist shows across Thailand is predicted to grow rapidly year-on-year between 2022 and 2025.

“We are excited by the growth opportunities of the entertainment business under the one company, this will not only increase the number of leading acts coming to perform in Thailand but now will give local artists the opportunity to work with a global company to manage their live touring here in Thailand, the APAC region and the rest of the world,” adds Neil Thompson, CEO of Live Nation Tero and DMD of Tero Entertainment.

 


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CAA completes acquisition of ICM Partners

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has completed its acquisition of ICM Partners (ICM).

The acquisition, announced last September, was initially planned to close by the end of 2021 but was delayed while the US department of justice (DOJ) investigated its impact on the entertainment industry.

The completion of the deal – valued at $750 million by Hollywood Reporter sources, brings together two of the leading global agencies in entertainment and sports, and is the second major development to impact the agency world in the space of three months, following Wasserman Music’s acquisition of Paradigm UK’s live music business, which was announced in April.

As a result, the international live music agency landscape is now largely consolidated by just four companies – CAA, Wasserman, UTA and WME.

“Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company”

“Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company, positioning us better than ever to deliver extraordinary opportunities for many of the world’s preeminent artists, athletes, thought leaders, brands, and organisations in entertainment, sports, and culture,” says a statement by CAA’s co-chairmen Kevin Huvane, Bryan Lourd and Richard Lovett.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new ICM colleagues to CAA, and look forward to combining their expertise, relationships, and resources with those of our agents and executives around the world. Our diverse range of clients who entertain and inspire large global audiences have never been in more demand, nor have their opportunities been greater. With today’s addition of our new colleagues, the scope of possibilities for helping clients achieve their goals is limitless.”

“We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about our future together”

ICM brings to CAA a global roster of artists in film, television, music, comedy, theatre, games, politics and podcasting. Its music clients include Chaka Khan, Corinne Bailey Rae, D’Angelo, Dan Auerbach, Good Charlotte, J. Cole, Jerry Seinfeld, Jill Scott, Kamasi Washington, Khalid, Migos, Roger Daltrey, Rosanne Cash, Scott Stapp, Sheila E, The Black Keys and Trey Songz.

“Combining with the best-in-class agency to build an even greater representation company for our clients and our colleagues is the core strategic reason for this move,” adds ICM’s Chris Silbermann and Ted Chervin. “We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about our future together, and are energised by the sophisticated, forward-thinking representation we offer clients. This is the ideal next step for our companies.”

 


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Superstruct buys into sports and music fest Nass

Live entertainment powerhouse Superstruct Entertainment has acquired a stake in the UK’s only professional action sport and music festival, Nass (National Adventure Sports Show).

Established in 2008, the annual four-day event brings together a number of sports competitions in Skate, BMX, Inline and FMX with live music spanning drum and bass, hip-hop, grime, garage and house.

The 30,000-capacity event, which takes place at the Royal Bath & West Showground in southwest England, has previously played host to artists including Chase & Status, Giggs, Rudimental, Stormzy, Public Enemy and Loyle Carner.

Nass festival has been created, promoted and managed by Vision Nine, which also produces the Superstruct-owned Boardmasters

Nass festival has been created, promoted and managed by Vision Nine, which also produces Superstruct-owned surf and music festival Boardmasters. The terms of the deal between the two companies have not been disclosed.

Providence Equity-backed Superstruct counts Sziget, Elrow, Parookaville, Wacken Open Air, Boardmasters, Sonar, Tuska and Zwarte Cross among its extensive portfolio of European festivals.

Last month, IQ revealed that Superstruct acquired the UK’s premier science and music event, Blue Dot.

IQ has reached out to Vision Nine for comment on the acquisition.

 


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