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Live Nation Urban launches Black History Month event series

Live Nation Urban has launched a multi-event series across six US cities to mark Black History Month this February.

The series, Afro-Renaissance, will showcase and amplify Black artists working within the comedy, poetry and live music spheres.

The month-long event kicked off on 2 February with The Garden: A Soul Jam, a jam session amplifying emerging Black talent in soul, R&B, and hip-hop, with a focus on cultivating creative communities across industries.

Throughout the month, Afro-Renaissance will amplify Black voices, create spaces for Black creativity, and spotlight resources and industry executives for those looking to grow and learn more about the entertainment business.

Events will also act as a recruiting platform for HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) students from Clark Atlanta University and Howard University and will partner with local Black-owned businesses and organisations such as Uncle Nearest, Broccoli City, and Wtmove.app.

See the full list of Afro-Renaissance events below.

The Garden: A Soul Jam
February 2nd – Los Angeles, CA @ The Peppermint Club

Meet The Execs
February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th – Instagram Live @livenationurban
A series of conversations with Black executives across various industries such as Victoria Eady Butler, 4-time Master Blender of the Year and Nearest Green’s great-great-granddaughter, along with Stacy Muhammad, Director (The Wonder Years, The Best Man: Final Chapters, Power Book II: Raising Kanan, Queen Sugar), hosted by Brandon Pankey, VP of Business Development at Live Nation Urban.

Black Tour Directory Mixer
February 10th – Washington, D.C at Soundcheck
Presented by the Black Tour Directory, a listing of Black professionals and companies for those actively seeking to hire Black crew members on their tours and events, this mixer will feature Black creatives that specialise in live event production to create an authentic space for Black professionals interested in live music and an opportunity to network, apply for roles, and showcase their talent. This mixer will also feature a live performance by Zoney Sound, a Black-owned music collective based in the DMV/Baltimore area.

Black Love Mixtape
February 17th – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues Chicago – Foundation Room
Extending Black Love Day and Valentine’s Day, this poetry mixer will highlight self-love, romantic love, and love for community featuring poetry from Justus Pugh, Soulah, and Matt Muse with a special DJ set from Sky Jetta.

Cocktails and Convos – Studio to Stage
February 23rd – Los Angeles, CA @ Live Nation LA
Black songwriters discuss their journey from songwriting for some of the hottest artists to setting the stage as performers themselves with a special performance from Farrah Fawx to end the night.

Black Joy Comedy Show
February 23rd – Atlanta, GA @ Live Nation Atlanta
Time to revel in some Black Joy! Join us for a night of comedy and drinks featuring comedians DJ Swole, Daniel Dellanno, Plug Chapman and Frankie Benz.

Diaspora: A Celebration of Black Dance Music
February 24th – New York, NY @ Live Nation NY
Black dance culture has always played an integral part in the way Black people express themselves. This happy hour mixer will highlight Black dance music with DJ No Brakes spinning Jersey Club, New Orleans Bounce, Afrobeats, and other dance genres all night, featuring a special guest performance from viral sensation and Jersey Club artist Cookiee Kawaii.

The Houston Mixtape
February 24th – Houston, TX @ HOB Houston
Happy birthday, Hip-Hop! We’re celebrating Hip-Hop’s 50th birthday and Houston’s unique impact on Hip-Hop music and culture with LNE employees, emerging Houston artists, and Houston Hip-Hop legends for drinks, jams, and community.


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Live Nation Urban acquires Broccoli City festival

Live Nation Urban has taken a “significant equity stake” in Broccoli City, a Washington DC-based festival touted as “the largest event in the US for Black people under 30-years-old”.

The festival’s co-founders Marcus Allen and Brandon McEachern will now take on executive roles at Live Nation Urban, where they will work with president Shawn Gee to “scale the Broccoli City brand and catalyse the creation of new content and culture-centric live experiences and festivals”.

Launched in 2010, Broccoli City describes itself as a “Black-owned social enterprise” and has featured artists such as Lil Wayne, Cardi B, Childish Gambino, and the late Nipsey Hussle, as well as rising superstars Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Summer Walker, Wizkid, and City Girls.

The festival supports environmental consciousness in the African-American community and promotes creativity through innovative initiatives in the areas of technology, music, art, and social impact.

“For us as a company, this investment was an important one,” says Gee. “When we formed in 2018, one of the first deals we did was the original co-promotion deal with the Broccoli City team. I promised the guys that the success of our partnership would lead to greater things, and it was important to me to keep my word.

“For us as a company, this investment was an important one”

“We are not simply investing in a festival; we are investing in these amazing founders. We believe this will be the first of many brands that we will build together with Marcus and Brandon as they have an insatiable entrepreneurial spirit. One of the core tenants of Live Nation Urban is identifying young black entrepreneurs in the live space and investing in their vision. I’m looking forward to continuing to build with Brandon and Marcus.”

McEachern adds: “We are super excited about this partnership with LNU/LN, and working closer with Shawn Gee. I really appreciate him encouraging us to be big thinking entrepreneurs and brand builders… not limiting us to event producers.”

Allen comments: “We are going to focus on curating untapped niche markets, bigger partnerships, and international expansion. Reimage the future of live cultural experiences. Our big picture goal is to create a 100-million-dollar community at the apex of live entertainment, social impact, and digital media.”

Broccoli City returned this May after a two-year pandemic-induced break, with a lineup topped by 21 Savage, Ari Lennox, Summer Walker and Wizkid.


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Femme It Forward: LN Urban hosts all-female events

Live Nation Urban has announced the launch of Femme It Forward, a multi-format series of all-female curated line-ups, spotlighting the women of the entertainment industry, both on stage and behind the scenes.

The events series will see a host of live shows by legacy artists and emerging acts including Cardi B, City Girls, Jorja Smith, Ari Lennox, Jill Smith, Teyana Taylor and Mahalia, with more to be announced.

The multi-market initiative will also include immersive activations, panel discussions and comedy shows.

“Since our inception in 2017, Live Nation Urban continues to create opportunities for emerging and established urban artists – both on the stage and behind the scenes,” says Heather Lowery, Live Nation Urban vice president of talent and touring.

“It is fitting that we honour the future of music and its continued steps on the path to inclusion”

“This past year has been an exceptional one for women in music and entertainment, and with the incredible contributions of women, it is fitting that we honour the future of music and its continued steps on the path to inclusion,” adds Lowery, who will chair the Black Women in the C-Suite panel, held at the Broccoli City festival on April 26.

Live Nation Urban focuses specifically on hip-hop, R&B and gospel, putting on events including Broccoli City festival in Washington and Philadelphia’s Roots Picnic festival. The company is headed by Shawn Gee, a founding member of management consortium Maverick and manager of hip-hop group the Roots.

Tickets go on sale for the inaugural event series on Friday 19 April at 10 a.m. EST, exclusively on the Live Nation website.

All Femme It Forward shows will donate a portion of proceeds from ticket sales to charitable organisations that support the advancement of women.


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