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Rolling Stone/PMC acquires Life is Beautiful festival

Penske Media subsidiary Rolling Stone has acquired a majority stake in Life is Beautiful, a music and arts festival held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The festival was founded by the late entrepreneur Tony Hsieh in 2013, in a bid to revitalise the underserved downtown Las Vegas community.

In the nine years since, it has played host to 600-plus artists and more than one million fans, injecting upwards of US$350 million in economic impact and cultural capital into the local area.

The 2021 edition of the three-day festival, headlined by Billie Eilish, Green Day, and Tame Impala, was attended by an audience of more than 170,000, making it one of the highest-grossing events of its kind in the nation that year – despite the pandemic.

“There are  infinite  possibilities  to grow Life Is Beautiful in unique and impactful ways”

“Live events are an integral part of Rolling Stone’s future and Life Is Beautiful is an incredible platform to realise this vision,” says Rolling Stone CEO, Gus Wenner. “Coupled with our significant digital scale and deep journalism, there are infinite possibilities to grow Life Is Beautiful in unique and impactful ways. I am grateful to have worked with Tony on this partnership and am proud to have Rolling Stone help carry forward his mission.”

Rolling Stone and PMC plan to “expand Life Is Beautiful into new territories and broaden its digital footprint”. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to realise the potential of Life Is Beautiful in partnership with Rolling Stone,” says David Oehm, CEO of Life Is Beautiful. “As a landmark institution and touchstone of the music industry for over 50 years, the Rolling Stone team will help to deepen our connection to fans of music everywhere, while also championing the cultural initiatives that make Life Is Beautiful so much more than a music festival.”

In addition to Rolling Stone, PMC is also the parent company for Billboard, Art in America, Deadline, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Spy.com, among others. Last year, the company made a deal with SXSW (South by Southwest) that would make the media company a long-term partner and shareholder of the Austin new music festival.

PMC is headquartered in New York and Los Angeles with 14 offices worldwide.

 


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Festival Focus: Life is Beautiful, Off the Record

Las Vegas street festival Life is Beautiful has released details of its daily music line-up ahead of day tickets going on sale tomorrow.

The festival, promoted by Another Planet Entertainment and Las Vegas-based Life is Beautiful LLC, takes place from 23 to 25 September across 18 Las Vegas city blocks and will this year feature performances from Mumford & Sons, J. Cole, Major Lazer, The Lumineers, G-Eazy, The Shins, Flume, Empire of the Sun, Jane’s Addiction, Bassnectar and more.

Life is Beautiful launched in October 2013 and bills itself as an “annual celebration where people from all walks of life – generations, orientation, race, religion and nationality – come together and create an experience centred in music, art, taste and ideas”. In addition to live music, it includes art installations, gourmet food stalls and seminars from “thinkers, doers and talkers” from the worlds of entertainment, business and science. (Major Lazer photo by Jared Eberhardt.)

Major Lazer, Coachella 2010, Jared Eberhardt

The teams behind three independent UK festivals, From the Fields’ Kendal Calling and Bluedot and Liverpool Sound City Ltd’s Sound City, have partnered with music magazine Louder than War for a new multi-venue festival for emerging music.

Off the Record, taking place in the Northern Quarter, Manchester, on 4 November, will feature a line-up chosen by 30 ‘national curators’ (including Guy Garvey, Lara Baker, Huw Stephens, John Kennedy and Tim Burgess) and also include a conference segment with delegates from the agency, promotion and label/publishing A&R.

Dave Pichilingi, Sound City CEO, says: “We’ll be keeping the line-up top secret until the morning of the event because we know that you trust us and we trust you to be interested in the future,” adding that festival will be a celebration of the new, and not the comfy cushion of the old”.

Grace Jones, Carriageworks 2015, Bruce

Afropunk and FYF Fest headliner Grace Jones will headline the second Metropolis festival in Dublin this November.

The indoor event takes place in array of warehouses and venues in the Royal Dublin Society Showground from 3 to 5 November. Also on the bill are DJ Shadow, Solomun, Moderat, SBTRKT (DJ set), Booka Shade, BadBadNotGood, Crystal Castles, The Sugarhill Gang, Fatima Yamaha, Fakear, Girl Band and more “to be announced”. (Grace Jones photo by Bruce/kingArthur_aus on Flickr.)

Biffy Clyro, Ancienne Belgique 2013, Kmeron

This week’s Boardmasters festival in Cornwall will be the venue for the debut of the “UK’s first immersive music video”.

Created by Biffy Clyro and Samsung using virtual reality (VR) technology, the installation will allow viewers wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets to appear alongside Biffy Clyro in their video for ‘Flammable’, which sees the band playing in a perspex box suspended above an abandoned warehouse.

The ‘Hypercube’ will also appear at Glasgow Summer Sessions and Bestival.

Ross Cairns, creative director at Samsung, says: “This project was born out of a desire to bring the best parts of live music to an audience so people can feel closer to the band than ever before. Biffy were the perfect partners for this.

“From inception we focused on marrying music and technology to appear effortlessly synchronised. We’re delighted to bring the wonders of virtual reality to a generation of music fans in this way and demonstrate how we are empowering people to use technology in a way that allow them to experience the extraordinary.” (Biffy Clyro photo by Kmeron.)

Molly Hatchet, Azkena Rock Festival 2009, Alberto Cabello

Close to 1,200 people have signed a petition addressed to ‘music festival organisers’ calling for the minimum age for UK festivalgoers to be raised to 21.

The petition was created by Chris Bell, the father of 17-year-old Megan Bell, one of two people who died at this year’s T in the Park.

“I strongly believe that an adult would not experiment [with drugs and alcohol] or adhere to peer pressure like a child would,” writes Bell. “Children as young as 14–55 are attending these events unsupervised [and] parents are not aware of what they are up to while they are [there]. Please help me in changing all of this.”

White Miles, Raise a Little Hell tour 2015, Julio Gómez Braojos

Another 10 names have been added to the 10th-anniversary edition of Welsh metal festival Hard Rock Hell.

Molly Hatchet, Warrior Soul, White Miles, Leader of Down, Broken Witt Rebels, Cherry Grind, Red Spektor, Cross Eyed Mary, Bright Curse and The Bad Flowers are the newly announced acts for the festival, which takes place from 10 to 13 November at the Haven Hafan y Mor holiday park in Pwllheli. (Molly Hatchet [top] and White Miles photos by Alberto Cabello and Julio Gómez Braojos, respectively.)

 


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