fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Live Nation resumes acquisition of Ocesa for $444m

Live Nation has resumed its acquisition of Ocesa, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

The US$444 million deal, if completed, would give the world’s largest live entertainment company a 51% stake in one of its largest competitors, which dominates the Latin American market.

The acquisition, which was paused due to the pandemic, is now expected to close by late 2021 or early 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

Live Nation originally agreed to buy 51% of Ocesa for over $400m in summer 2019 but pulled out of the deal in May last year, just a month after Mexican competition regulators approved the deal.

Following the termination of the deal, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said that he was “long term, still bullish on [Ocesa’s] business and ours” but that Live Nation was “not looking to take on any losses from Mexico while they’re going through their six or eight months of business downturn”.

“Ocesa will play a pivotal role in putting together many incredible shows in Mexico and the rest of Latin America”

The joint sellers of the stake are the Inter-American Entertainment Corporation (Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, or CIE) and Grupo Televisa, a media giant in the Spanish-speaking world.

Live Nation is reportedly buying a 40% stake in Ocesa from Grupo Televisa, and 11% of the concert promoter from CIE.

CIE will hold on to the remaining 49% minority stake in Ocesa. Live Nation is expected to hold back 7% of the closing price to cover any potential operating losses for several quarters.

“After serving as Live Nation’s touring, festival, and ticketing partner in Mexico for years, we know Ocesa is a stellar business with deep roots in live entertainment in Mexico,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“Alex has built a remarkable company and as we continue to build on the return to live, Ocesa will play a pivotal role in putting together many incredible shows in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.”

“This deal gives us a unique opportunity to continue Ocesa’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live sector”

Alejandro Soberón Kuri, president and CEO of CIE, added: “We are extremely proud to finally join Live Nation. This is a natural evolution of our long-standing relationship and it gives us a unique opportunity to continue Ocesa’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live entertainment industry. Additionally, it will help us foster CIE’s commitment to the promotion of Mexican artistic talent abroad.”

Soberón Kuri will serve as CEO and sit on the board of the newly-formed joint venture. Rapino will become chairman of the venture’s board of directors.

Ocesa promotes more than 3,100 events for nearly six million fans annually across Mexico and Colombia and has a robust business portfolio in ticketing, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, and venue operation – including 13 premier venues across Mexico with a collective capacity of nearly 250,000 seats.

Ocesa’s primary ticketing business, Ticketmaster Mexico, is a leading ticket company in Mexico.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Mexico embraces drive-in concerts

Promoters in Mexico are the latest to embrace drive-in concerts, with live shows planned for Mexico City and Toluca, following the adoption of the popular Covid-safe show format in Puerto Rico earlier this month.

Drive-in concerts, or autoconciertos as they are known in Spanish, have brought the live experience back to music-deprived fans across the world in recent months.

Move Concerts premiered the format in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the start of the month, with Pedro Capó performing to 1,500 vehicle-bound fans.

Now, the format has made its way Mexico, with the first drive-in concerts set to take place at the beginning of August.

The Foro Pegaso (10,000-capacity), an open-air arena in Toluca, some 60km west of the Mexican capital, is hosting a series of 2,000-carpacity drive-in shows from 7 August, kicking off with Mexican rock band Moderatto.

Subsequent performances will come from rock band El Tri and Tejano group Intocable, who are also playing the first-ever drive-in concert in El Paso, Texas next month, on 14 and 15 August respectively.

Promoters in Mexico are the latest to embrace drive-in concerts, following the adoption of the popular Covid-safe show format in Puerto Rico earlier this month

The Foro Pegaso shows are promoted by Miami-based company MH Music Live. Tickets are available here, costing Mex$1,500 (€59) per car, with up to four people allowed in each.

The Mexico City Arena is also trialling drive-in concerts next month, with a show by blues-rock band Real de Catorce and rock group Salvador y los Eones on 8 August in its special open-air arena. Tickets will become available here on Thursday (16 July).

The arena has been hosting drive-in film screenings and family theatre events since the beginning of July.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Entertainment and Media Outlook Mexico 2016-2020 had estimated the Mexican live industry to be worth US$276 million in 2020, before Covid-19 wiped out much of the year’s event calendar.

In the first quarter of 2020, CIE, one of two parent companies of leading Mexican promoter Ocesa Entertainment, reported a 6% fall in revenue compared to the same period of the previous year, due to over 200 coronavirus-related event cancellations.

CIE had been due to sell its 11% stake in Ocesa to Live Nation, but the deal was called off earlier this year, after the promoter was unable to agree revised terms with CIE and fellow Ocesa stakeholder Televisa Group.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Live Nation pulls out of Ocesa acquisition [updated]

Updated (27 May): Live Nation confirmed in an SEC filing yesterday that the company has terminated its ‘material definitive agreement’ to acquire 51% of Ocesa after being unable to agree revised terms with CIE and Televisa.

“On May 25, 2020, Live Nation notified CIE that it was terminating the CIE purchase agreement as a result of CIE’s failure to comply with its contractual obligation to continue operating the target companies [Ocesa] in the ordinary course of business and the occurrence of a material adverse effect (as that term is defined in the CIE purchase agreement),” reads the 8-K form, dated 25 May, which appears to say CIE and Televisa’s failure to keep Ocesa operating as normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is grounds for cancelling the acquisition.

“Live Nation simultaneously notified TV that it was terminating the TV purchase agreement, which agreement may be terminated if the CIE Purchase Agreement is terminated for any reason.

“Live Nation has commenced binding arbitration proceedings, seated in New York, New York, before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, seeking a declaratory judgment that it has properly terminated the CIE purchase agreement and that any obligations thereunder are excused on the grounds set forth above, among others.”

 


CIE, one of two parent companies of leading Mexican promoter Ocesa Entertainment, has told investors that Live Nation’s impending acquisition of Ocesa is no longer going ahead, after the US concert giant exercised “an alleged right to terminate” the agreement, one “with which CIE disagrees”.

Live Nation announced last July it intended to acquire 51% of Ocesa, which also owns Ticketmaster Mexico, from CIE and Televisa Group for a combined US$480 million, with the transaction expected to close by the end of 2019.

According to CIE, on 5 May (two days before Live Nation announced its Q1 2020 results) the parties signed a ‘standstill agreement’ that put the deal on hold; that agreement, reports Televisa, has now expired, with no agreement on terms of the acquisition reached.

CIE “will continue to analyse its alternatives and reserves all of its rights under the agreements executed in connection with [the] transaction and the applicable laws”, according to a notice filed by the company today (26 May) with the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV).

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino spoke about the deal during the company’s Q1 investor call, saying the company needed to pause the deal; while he is “long term, still bullish on [Ocesa’s] business and ours”, Rapino explained, Live Nation “is not looking to take on any losses from Mexico while they’re going through their six or eight months of business downturn” due to Covid-19, reports MBW.

“We want to delay the cash payment of the deal until we both know how and when we’re on the other side of this crisis,” he added. “So that’s the intent.”

Televisa – which owns 41% of Ocesa compared to CIE’s 11% – said on 7 May it agrees that Live Nation does not have the right to terminate the agreement unilaterally.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Venues open up, but doors remain closed to public

Venues the world over are beginning to experiment with behind-closed-doors gigs, with talent including Laura Marling, Jorge Drexler, Katherine Jenkins, Keith Urban and Pipo Rodríguez among those to perform to empty concert halls.

The coronavirus crisis has seen no end of creative alternatives to traditional live shows, with concerts performed via videocalls, in-game live performances and the rising phenomenon of drive-in concerts.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has said the company is “going to dabble in” some such alternative concert formats, such as fan-less concerts, reduced-capacity shows and drive-in concerts.

Indeed, a handful of venues have already started to bring live events back home, broadcasting performances live from their empty concert halls.

An early pioneer of the fan-less concert format is Uruguayan musician Jorge Drexler, who performed to an empty Teatro Melico Salazar in San José, Costa Rica, on 10 March, after his shows at the venue were cancelled due to the onset of the coronvairus crisis.

A few days later, French ska band Tyro played to a desolate AccorsHotel Arena (20,300-cap.) in Paris, on the very day that prime minster Édouard Philippe outlawed events of more than 100 people in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

The AccorsHotel Arena is set to stage another, larger-scale fan-less event on 19 June. All Together for Music (Tous ensemble pour la musique) will see dozens of artists perform from the arena in support of venues that have been shuttered and festivals called off due to the current crisis. The show will be broadcast on TV channel France 2.

“It’s still magic, still sounds good, feels rich and feels special. That just shows how special this place is”

In the US, country stars Keith Urban and Kelsea Ballerini performed at the 2,362-capacity Grand Ole Opry in Nashville last week. Ballerini, who said she was “interested” to see what it would be like to perform “without full pews”, comments on the night that: “It’s still magic, still sounds good, feels rich and feels special. That just shows how special this place is.”

Other upcoming fan-less shows in the US include Dropkick Murphys’ performance at an empty Fenway Park (37,731-cap.), the home of baseball team the Boston Red Sox, on 29 May. Bruce Sprinsteen will join the band as a “virtual” special guest.

The show will be livestreamed for free at 6 p.m. (EDT), hosted by Boston tech company Pega.

In the UK, where the government recently announced that live events would likely be able to take place behind closed doors from 1 June, venues are taking the opportunity to return to some sort of business.

The 900-capacity Union Chapel in London is putting on a ticketed livestreamed show by singer Laura Marling on 6 June.

“The announcement also offers a tentative step in helping to aid the flagging live sector, and sets a potentially positive new precedent for other artists suffering from the loss of live earnings,” reads a statement from organisers.

Fans in the UK and Europe can purchase tickets for the show, priced at £12 with the option of making an additional charitable donation, here. A separate livestream is available for fans in the United States for US$12.

“This offers a tentative step in helping to aid the flagging live sector, and sets a potentially positive new precedent for those suffering the loss of live earnings”

Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins performed a one-off live show at the 5,272-capacity Royal Albert Hall – the first UK arena to completely shut its doors as a result of the coronavirus outbreak – to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

The sold-out performance, available to watch back here, also featured a virtual duet with Dame Vera Lynn, who sang to British troops during the Second World War.

Elsewhere, London’s 545-capacity Wigmore Hall last week announced a twenty-show concert series, featuring classical musicians including singers Iestyn Davies and Roderick Williams, as well as pianists Benjamin Grosvenor, Angela Hewitt and Paul Lewis.

All concerts will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and will be available for 30 days after the live show.

“When we shut the hall on 16 March we made sure to leave the piano on the stage, and the camera and audio equipment – all of which can be operated remotely – in place,” says the venue’s artistic director, John Gilhooly, tells the Guardian. “With only one or two performers on stage it’s very possible to make this work within government guidelines observing social distancing.”

Fan-less concerts are also taking off in Mexico, with venues in Mexico City and Guadalajara opening up behind closed doors as part of the Reactivation of entertainment and music in Mexico (REMM) programme.

The scheme, which has been initiated by operators of Mexico City’s Pepsi Center WTC (7,500-cap.) and the Conjunto Santander de Artes Escénicas (1,700-cap.) in Guadalajara, along with local booking agencies and promoters, aims to create over 1,000 jobs in the two cities.

“With only one or two performers on stage it’s very possible to make this work within government guidelines observing social distancing”

Artists billed to play at the venues include cumbia singer Pipo Rodríguez, who will perform along with a 20-piece orchestra, rock group El Haragán y Compañía and Afro-Argentinian reggae musician Fidel Nadal.

The performances will be broadcast live via streaming platforms. Those wishing to watch in Mexico can purchase virtual tickets, priced between 60 (€2.35) and 100 pesos (€3.91) on the Acceso ShoWare website.

Shows will be broadcast internationally in collaboration with Mexican telecommunications company Alestra and live entertainment platform Switch it.

All revenue generated by the concerts will be distributed to the musicians and live event professionals involved.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the game for the entertainment world,” Norma Gasca, CEO of REMM co-founder Rock Show Entertainment. “This is a small step forward – once we see the outcome [of these concerts] – to continue proposing different formats until we are able to return to live shows again.”

Rock Show Entertainment is also among companies taking part in the Auto-Conciertos #DesdeTu Auto (Drive-in concerts #FromYourCar) initiative, along with MH Music Live, Switch it, Meximm Mexico Internacional Music Market, Blu2 Entretenimiento, Wild Side Press, Capital Nation and HM Entretenimiento.

The concerts are expected to take place in Mexico City from the end of June.

Read more about the drive-in concert boom here.

 

Drive-in concerts get live back on the road

Photo: © User:Colin /Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-4.0)

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Uncertainty for promoters as Covid-19 spreads in Latam

Promoters in Latin America are facing much uncertainty as shows are shut down, curfews imposed and currency values decline due to the worsening spread of coronavirus

The first case of Covid-19 was reported in Latin America in late February, in the Brazilian city of São Paulo. The virus has now spread to many other countries in the region, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In the region’s biggest touring markets, quarantines are in place in Argentina, Colombia and parts of Brazil. In Chile, the government has imposed a curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m, with over one million residents of its capital, Santiago, put under lockdown today (26 March).

This week, the Mexican government placed a ban on all public and private gatherings of over 100 people for the next month, as the country moved into phase two of the epidemic.

“It is still way too early to gauge the full impact in the mid and long term,” says Phil Rodriguez, CEO of Move Concerts, which has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico, as well as its Miami headquarters. “The first impact is that shows and festivals have been cancelled or rescheduled.”

“For now, we are rescheduling shows from September onwards assuming that is a safe bet, but this could change.”

Major festivals in Latin America affected by the virus include the Lollapalooza festival franchise, which has been rescheduled for 23 to 26 November in Argentina, 27 to 29 November in Chile and 4 to 6 December in Brazil. Estéreo Picnic, due to take place in the Colombian capital of Bogotá in March, has now moved to the start of December.

“For now, we are rescheduling shows from September onwards assuming that is a safe bet, but this could change”

Rodriguez notes that promoters’ associations in all markets have been meeting and reaching out to governments for assistance in various forms, such as “ low interest credit lines, moratorium on taxes and extensions on the time period for reimbursements on cancelled shows.”

Asked what can be expected over the next few months, Rodriguez simply replies: “I wish I knew”.

“This is a continually changing scenario that can change at any minute and has so many parts involved that any speculation is sheer conjecture,” says the Move Concerts boss. “I think we all need a few more weeks to get a better handle on the longer term picture.”

Guillermo Parra, director of international events at Ocesa, the largest promoter in Latin America, agrees that the upcoming weeks “will be crucial”.

Live Nation announced its plan to acquire a controlling stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the world’s fifth-largest promoter and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico, in July last year. The promoter puts around 3,100 shows a year and operates 14 venues across Mexico.

“At the moment, all gatherings have been banned – from movie theaters to concerts – until 19 April,” says Parra, “but I honestly think this will go on for longer.”

“When we wake from the virus nightmare, the economic reality will begin”

In Chile, a market which has seen heavy disruption over the past few months due to wide-spread anti-government protests, promoters are rescheduling shows to June, subject to venue availability and touring schedules, says Carlos Geniso, president of DG Medios.

On 18 March, Chilean president Sebastian Piñera declared a “state of catastrophe” for 90 days in the whole country, including a ban on gatherings in public spaces and the establishing of a quarantine and curfew. After Brazil, the country is currently one of the worst affected in the region, with 1,142 confirmed cases.

“We are trying to move as much we can to the last quarter calendar of 2020,” says Geniso, adding that the income loss for thousands of people working in the country’s live industry “will be great for a long period of time”.

The economic impact of the virus is of great concern for all in Latin America. Rodriguez states that Brazil and Colombia have been hit particularly hard by the virus, not just in terms of numbers – Brazil has reported 2,201 cases and Colombia has 378 – but rather because “the exchange rate with the dollar has skyrocketed”.

One dollar is equivalent to 5.05 Brazilian reales, up from BRL4.45 at the end of February, whereas 4,066 Colombian pesos now equal $1, increasing from COP3,460 a month ago.

In Mexico, Parra states that, between the virus and declining oil prices, “the Mexican peso has been crushed”. The Mexican currency fell to a record low against the dollar earlier this week, with $1 selling for over 25 pesos on Monday.

“When we wake from the virus nightmare, the economic reality will begin,” says Parra.

Photo: Leonardo Samran/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Spain’s Wegow reports record 2019

Spanish concert discovery and ticketing platform Wegow reported a record year in 2019, receiving 38 million visits and opening a new office in Mexico City.

Launched in 2015, the Bilbao- and Madrid-headquartered company is one of a number of B2B digital platforms growing in popularity in Spain, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019. As well as providing ticketing services, Wegow also acts as a concert discovery portal, digital marketing tool and live music-focused social platform.

The start-up recorded a turnover of €25.4 million (£21.1m) in 2019, a 135% increase year-on-year.

Around 2,300 promoters now sell tickets through Wegow, with over one million customers buying tickets via the platform last year – more than double those bought in 2018.

“It is very important to keep offering a live music platform that is complete, fast and secure, both for users and all other industry stakeholders”

Over 28.3m unique users visited the marketplace throughout 2019, with significant increases in visits from the USA, Portugal and UK. The company also strengthened its Latin American footprint in 2019, opening offices in Mexico, adding to operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

“We are extremely satisfied with the 2019 results, which prove that we have a well-established and consolidated business in Spain,” says Wegow CEO and cofounder José María Ozamiz.

“We have also been extremely well received in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Based on this, we will continue to commit to Wegow’s internationalisation. However, beyond the good numbers, we believe it is very important to keep offering a live music platform that is complete, fast and secure, both for users and all other industry stakeholders.”

Wegow currently operates in 17 countries across Europe and Latin America, as well as in the United States and Australia.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Slipknot’s Knotfest to make UK debut

Knotfest, the festival brand created by metal legends Slipknot, is launching in the UK for the first time next year.

The Live Nation-promoted Knotfest UK, which will take place on 22 August 2020 at the 65,000-capacity National Bowl in Milton Keynes, around 80 kilometres northwest of London, is the second European edition of the festival, adding to Knotfest Meets Hellfest which debuted last summer in France.

Slipknot will headline the festival, in their first return to the National Bowl since their performance at Ozzfest in 2001. Full line-up details and onsite activities will be announced in early 2020.

Since launching in 2012, Knotfest has expanded into six countries

Since launching in 2012, Knotfest has expanded into six countries, with events in the USA Colombia, Mexico and Japan, as well as France and, now, the UK. The inaugural cruise-based Slipknot at Sea is set to take place in conjunction with music cruise specialist Sixthman in August 2020.

Prior to Knotfest UK, Slipknot will be embarking on a European arena tour in January, with appearances at London’s O2 Arena (20,000-cap.), Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome (17,000-cap.), the Accorhotels Arena (20,300-cap.) in Paris, Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena (17,000-cap.) and Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe (16,000-cap.), among others.

Members of Slipknot’s official fan club, Outside The 9, will have access to a pre-sale on 19 December at 10 a.m. GMT. Fans can join and get their passcode here.

Picture: © Наиль Якупов/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

‘Deep regret’ over Knotfest Mexico chaos

Live Talent, the promoter of the Mexican edition of Slipknot’s Knotfest, has spoken out after the event descended into “violence” and “vandalism”, sparked by the postponement of performances by Evanescence and Slipknot.

The 50,000-capacity Mexico City edition of Knotfest, Slipknot’s festival brand, took place at the Oceanía Park on Saturday (30 November), with bands including Bullet For My Valentine, Behemoth, Godsmack and Papa Roach. Knotfest has also been held in the US, Japan, Colombia and France, with the inaugural cruise-based version, Slipknot at Sea, taking place next year.

The event was halted around 9 p.m. – before the headline performances of Evanescence and Slipknot – as staff attended to a damaged barricade. According to Live Talent, it was agreed that the two bands would play the following day instead, as part of the promoter’s Force Fest.

However, disturbances broke out in the crowd among fans who were “annoyed by the delay”, with some members of the audience climbing on stage “to destroy and vandalise the instruments of the bands that were still to play”.

“These actions made it impossible to count on the presence of the bands on the Sunday,” explained the promoter in a social media post aiming “to debunk some myths” circulating about the event.

“Live Talent deeply regrets what happened yesterday. Every action was taken to assure the highest level of safety for fans,” writes the promoter. “We want to clarify that, if we took a long time [in fixing the barricade], it was only because we wanted to find a solution to the problem, going above and beyond so that the show could go on.”

“Even though we are devastated by the destruction of our instruments and gear, we do not see the violent end to last night as a representation of our Mexican fans”

The promoter admits that “perhaps our error, and that of the whole security team” lay in not keeping fans up to date with the situation, explaining that “we were instead engaged in talks to ensure that Slipknot and Evanescence performed the following day”.

The bands have also taken to social media to explain what went on, with Slipknot posting on Sunday: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Slipknot were not able to perform at last night’s Knotfest. We had hoped to be able to perform today, but regrettably, a situation arose onstage after the cancellation that damaged or destroyed gear that would been necessary to play.

“We are extremely disappointed that we did not get the chance to perform, but the safety of our fans and our community is our biggest priority. We will look to get back to Mexico sometime in the future.”

Evanescence responded by saying that, “even though we are devastated by the destruction of our instruments and gear, we do not see the violent end to last night as a representation of our Mexican fans, or the Mexican people.

“50,000 people were there, and sadly a handful of them turned to anger and violence after the cancellation. You have shown us an incredible amount of love from the very beginning, and we will always come back for you.”

Live Talent’s Force Fest went on as planned on Sunday, although without the scheduled appearance of Phil Anselmo. The number of barricades and security staff “were doubled” following the Knotfest incident.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Live Nation to acquire Ocesa stake in $480m deal

Live Nation is to acquire a majority stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the largest promoter in Latin America and the fifth-biggest by ticket sales globally.

The US concert giant will acquire 51% of Ocesa – which also owns Ticketmaster Mexico – from the Inter-American Entertainment Corporation (Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, CIE), a vertically integrated entertainment group often described as Mexico’s Live Nation equivalent, and Televisa Group, the largest mass media company in the Spanish-speaking world. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval.

Televisa will receive Mex$5.2 billion (US$273 million) for its 40% stake in Ocesa, along with a dividend of $350m (US$18.3m) on or before the deal’s closing, the company says. CIE, meanwhile, is selling an 11% equity stake, valued at $3.6bn (US$190m), and will retain 49% of Ocesa. In total, Live Nation will pay around US$480m for 51% of Ocesa.

Mexico City-based Ocesa placed fifth in Pollstar’s 2018 top 100 promoters chart, with 3.8m tickets sold, behind Live Nation, AEG Presents, Messina Touring Group and Germany’s Semmel Concerts. Meanwhile, Ticketmaster Mexico, which Ocesa has owned since 1991, is “comfortably the country’s biggest ticket seller”, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, and now claims 37m tickets sold annually.

Ocesa promotes around 3,100 shows every year, and also has interests in sponsorship, merchandise and food and beverage, while its 14 venues across Mexico have a collective capacity of 250,000. Live Nation is to also acquire an interest in Ocesa Seitrack, OCESA’s booking and artist management agency, CREA, a special and corporate event organiser, and Citibanamex Centre, an exhibition and convention venue in Mexico City.

“This next step is a logical extension for both our teams”

“We are extremely proud to join Live Nation,” says Alejandro Soberón Kuri, president and CEO of CIE. “This evolution of our long-standing relationship with Live Nation gives us a unique opportunity to continue Ocesa’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live entertainment industry. In addition, this will further foster CIE´s commitment to the promotion of Mexican artistic talent abroad.”

By IQ’s calculation, Ocesa is Live Nation’s 15th acquisition or equivalent of 2019, following Singapore’s One Production in January, Canada’s Embrace PresentsSpain’s Planet EventsTennessee’s Neste Event MarketingFinland’s BlockfestNorway’s Tons of Rock and Australia’s Moshtix (through Ticketmaster) in February, Belgium’s Antwerps Sportpaleis and New England’s Levitate in April, Denmark’s PHD Music and Los Angeles-based Spaceland Presents in May, Poland’s Go Ahead and Superfly’s share of Bonnaroo in June, and IMM’s stake in Rock in Rio earlier this month.

“Ocesa has been Live Nation’s touring, festival and ticketing partner in Mexico for years, and I admire the business Alex has built,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation. “This next step is a logical extension for both our teams, and we look forward to working on many more shows together.”

Soberón Kuri will serve as CEO and sit on the board of the newly-formed joint venture, while Rapino will become chairman of its board of directors.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

LatAm associations draft gender equality declaration

Musicians’ unions across Latin America have drafted and signed a declaration pledging to work towards gender parity in their memberships.

At an event hosted by the International Federation of Musicians (FIM) in Bogota, Colombia, before Christmas, local artists’ union Ormúsica, as well as its counterparts in Uruguay (Audem and Fudem), Argentina (Sadem), Peru (SIMCCAP), Panama (Sitmas), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Sindmusi), Mexico (SUTM), Cuba (UNEAC) and Costa Rica (UTM), put their names to a document committing to achieving a 50-50 gender split among their members, with 30% women by 2025.

The declaration, entitled Declaración sobre equidad de género en el sector musical sindical (Declaration on gender equality in the musical union sector), also commits the signatories to undertaking an annual census of their memberships to assess the progress made towards gender equality.

In a statement, FIM, which represents some 70 musicians’ unions globally, thanked Ormúsica “for their warm welcome to a successful event”.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.