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.