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

Randy Phillips steps down as LiveStyle CEO

Randy Phillips, the man who helped to salvage SFX Entertainment post LiveStyle rebrand, is stepping down as the company’s chief executive, as first reported by Billboard.

Phillips will stay on at LiveStyle as a consultant to investors, as the company prepares to sell off several of its assets.

The former LiveStyle boss will now focus on managing US boy band Why Don’t We, whom he states “are really starting to take off”.

Phillips took over the running of Robert Sillerman-founded SFX Entertainment in early 2017. The company had become insolvent two years after launching and Phillips was brought onboard to turn it around as the company emerged from bankruptcy. He led the dance music behemoth, rebranded as LiveStyle, for three years.

In just one year, Phillips turned losses of US$30 million into earnings of $20m.

Randy Phillips, the man who helped to salvage SFX Entertainment post LiveStyle rebrand,  is stepping down as the company’s chief executive

“I was given my mission and I fulfilled my mission,” says Phillips. Under his leadership, LiveStyle sold assets including Paylogic to Vivendi and a minority stake in Rock in Rio to Live Nation and axed the US-leg of festival Mysteryland.

During Phillips’ tenure, LiveStyle made a number of high-profile hires, including Hard Events founder Gary Richards (president, North America), ex-Universal Music Group executive Chris Monaco (chief revenue officer) and NRG Productions founder Neil Ryan (senior vice president and head of North America production).

Prior to his work at LiveStyle, Phillips served as chief executive of AEG Live.

LiveStyle produces dance music festivals including Electric Zoo, Defqon.1 and Awakenings, operating through promoters and entertainment companies including Made Event and All My Friends in the United States, ID&T in the Netherlands and majority DEAG-owned I-Motion in Germany.

SFX founder Sillerman was recently charged with fraud in relation to his online publishing business, Function(x).

 


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.

AEG alum Neil Ryan joins Randy Phillips at LiveStyle

Neil Ryan has joined LiveStyle, the former SFX Entertainment, as senior VP and head of North America production, where he will oversee the company’s event production business from its New York offices.

Ryan comes to LiveStyle from his own firm, NRG Productions, whose clients included Goldenvoice/AEG Presents (main-stage production for Coachella, Stagecoach, Desert Trip and Arroyo Seco) and CID Presents, which promotes ‘destination’ music festivals in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

Prior to launching NRG, Ryan was director of production, north-east, for AEG Live for more than ten years, where he worked with LiveStyle president and CEO Randy Phillips.

“While running AEG Live, I had the pleasure of working with Neil and saw first hand his depth of expertise in the live event/production space,” comments Phillips. “He adds to LiveStyle’s exceptional staff as we continue to bring on the best and the brightest.”

“I am excited to be reunited with Randy and to be working with the team at LiveStyle”

Adds LiveStyle’s executive VP and CFO, Chuck Ciongoli: “Neil is exceptionally experienced and will be a valued addition to the LiveStyle team. His professionalism and hands-on approach is second to none. We are incredibly fortunate to have Neil on our team.”

“After years of working with some of the best people in the music industry across all musical genres, I am excited to be reunited with Randy and to be working with the team at LiveStyle,” comments Ryan.

LiveStyle Inc., formed in September 2016 from the ashes of Robert Sillerman’s SFX Entertainment, is the world’s largest promoter of electronic music festivals. Its festivals include Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, Electric Zoo, Hard Bass, Amsterdam Open Air, Life in Color and rock event Rock in Rio.

 


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.

Hard founder Gary Richards named LiveStyle pres

Hard Events founder Gary Richards has been appointed president, North America, of LiveStyle, joining Randy Phillips at SFX MkII following his departure from Live Nation early last month.

In the newly created role, Richards – for a decade the driving force behind the Hard festival brand (Hard Summer, Holy Ship!, Hard Australia), and arguably the most famous promoter in electronic dance music – will oversee LiveStyle’s US festival operations, including Electric Zoo, its flagship event in New York.

“When Chuck Ciongoli and I took over the former SFX, the global leader in electronic music festivals and the parent company of Beatport, we rebranded it LiveStyle to signal that a new vibrant business was emerging debt free with some of the greatest assets in the live entertainment industry,” says LiveStyle CEO Randy Phillips, who joined the company last November. “To complete our executive suite, we wanted to bring some real authenticity to the management of LiveStyle, and no single candidate to be the president of North America fulfils this role better than Gary Richards, of Hard and Holy Ship! fame.

“In fact, this is a delayed goal for me, since I tried to make a deal with Gary ten years ago while I was running AEG Live. Not only is he an accomplished working DJ (DJ Destructo), he is a very astute businessman with an affinity to his fellow artists. With Gary on board, LiveStyle is prepared for creative and strategic growth in the years ahead.”

Richards adds: “Randy Phillips has been a trailblazer in the music and entertainment industry for as long as I can remember. Having known Randy personally for many years, I’m excited that the stars have aligned and I’m able to build a new platform for live music with him. I look forward to coming on board as president of LiveStyle and have a much larger role to play in the music community.

“This is a delayed goal for me, since I tried to make a deal with Gary ten years ago while I was running AEG Live”

“Their portfolio of brands, such as React, Made Event/Electric Zoo, DDP and Beatport to name a few, is an incredible place to start from and build. In addition, I plan to create new festival concepts and cruises at LiveStyle. We will continue on the path that I created with the Hard and Holy Ship! brands.”

Richards told Variety in April there had been “positive and negative” aspects to Hard’s relationship with Live Nation, by which it was acquired in 2012. “I think that Hard has grown by leaps and bounds and Live Nation has given me a platform to expand monetarily in things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I was funding everything,” he said. “But, then again, there are other forces at play here that are running the electronic scene in different directions [to] me, and they kind of battle with me and that part of it’s not fun – and it’s unnecessary.”

He also reportedly had a fierce rivalry with Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella, whose company was bought by Live Nation the following year.

LiveStyle Inc., formed last September from the ashes of Robert Sillerman’s SFX Entertainment, is the world’s largest promoter of electronic music festivals.

Sillerman, who led SFX into a messy bankruptcy in February 2016, is now CEO of online news company Function(x), which was recently delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange amid allegations of alleged unauthorised withdrawals of company funds by Sillerman.

 


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.

Shareholders fail to halt SFX LiveStyle rebrand

The dance music behemoth formerly known as SFX Entertainment has emerged from bankruptcy ahead of schedule – and with a new name to boot.

SFX, originally slated to exit the chapter 11 (administration) process in early 2017, became officially solvent once more last Friday (2 December) and is henceforth known as LiveStyle Inc., bringing to an end four and a half years of SFX Entertainment.

As confirmed by IQ last month, the newly debt-free LiveStyle is run by CEO Randy Phillips, formerly of AEG Live and Global Entertainment.

“LiveStyle has the same potential that AEG Live had when I assumed the reins of that company as CEO,” says Phillips. “In fact, it has many more assets to build upon, has an impressive management team, especially at the event level, including most of the original founders of these world-renowned festival brands. [SFX/LiveStyle’s festival franchises include Electric Zoo, Tomorrowland, Mysteryland and Spring Awakening.]

“Armed with no debt, a recapitalised financial structure and an incredibly supportive board, we will build LiveStyle into an essential company in the live entertainment sector”

“Armed with no debt, a recapitalised financial structure, and an incredibly supportive board, we will build LiveStyle into an essential company in the live entertainment sector. Having done this once before, my team and I are very excited to get started.”

Phillips elaborated on the name change in an interview with Billboard, telling the magazine: “Every time I said the name ‘SFX’ to someone, I got this negative reaction – people would make the sign of the cross.”

The new CEO also revealed he plans branch out from the “EDM”, or electronic dance music, that made SFX (in)famous, saying: “We’re going to be a music company that specialises in electronic music” (emphasis ours), suggesting that Mysteryland, for example, “will be broadened, more like Coachella”.

The clean slate for LiveStyle was granted over the objections of two major shareholders – Denis Brisson and Valery Burlak – who argued last month SFX had, with its estimation of US$115m–$160m, undervalued itself in order to ensure a swift emergence from administration.

“It is in the public’s interest to not allow bankruptcy to be used as a means for public companies to shield themselves from fraud”

Burlak’s objection was dismissed on 22 November by Delaware bankruptcy judge Mary F. Walrath, who, “after due deliberation”, denied the motion as “moot”.

Brisson, meanwhile, on Wednesday launched a fresh bid to recoup some of his money by having the decision to approve SFX/LiveStyle’s termination of its bankruptcy overturned.

Representing himself, Brisson argued “the merits of his objection to the [reorganisation] plan were not evaluated fairly by the bankruptcy court, and that the court had already prepared a canned response to his objection”.

Among other complaints, Brisson said it is in “the public’s interest to not allow bankruptcy to be used as a means for public companies to shield themselves from fraud” – referring to alleged fraudulent trading by the company’s now-ousted CEO, Robert FX Sillerman – and says the final agreement between debtors and creditors was conducted secretly, when it should have been “provided to the court or released publicly”.

 


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.

Randy Phillips confirmed for SFX 2.0

After months of speculation, it has been has confirmed that former AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips will take over the running of SFX Entertainment when it emerges from bankruptcy in early 2017.

Buried in a mammoth 241-page court document, filed on Friday, is the news that Phillips (pictured) – listed under his real name, Brandon Phillips – will become SFX’s new CEO and president, with Global Entertainment alumni Charles Ciongoli named executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Alan Walter – presumably rival Insomniac’s current senior vice-president of finance, who also previously served at Global – becoming senior vice-president and Jason Barr remaining as senior vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

The new board of directors for what the court calls the “Reorganized [sic] SFXE” is named as Phillips, Ciongoli (appointed by Phillips) and three money men: Axar Capital Management’s Andrew Axelrod, Allianz Global Investors’ Douglas Forsyth and Carlyle Group’s Nils Larsen.

A hearing to approve the new board and reorganisation plan will take place this Wednesday

Adam Richman, festival director of Electric Zoo, will take a senior role in SFX’s festival divisions as senior vice-president of EZ Festivals and Made Event, while Florida nightclub promoter David Grutman will continue as CEO of SFX Nightlife.

A hearing to consider the new board and reorganisation plan will take place this Wednesday (9 November) at 10am eastern time (15.00 GMT).

Also of note is that Viagogo – which is seeking US$1.6 million from SFX for alleged breach of contract – will be given a vote on the plan of reorganisation. While both parties are clear neither accepts the other’s grievances, Viagogo will nevertheless be eligible to cast a ballot: $1 worth.

 


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.

Ex-AEG Live chief rumoured for top SFX role

Randy Phillips, the former CEO of AEG Live, will reportedly take over the running of SFX Entertainment when it emerges imminently from administration.

Two sources – quoted by The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) Matt Jarzemsky and Pollstar’s Dave Brooks – suggest Phillips, who most recently served a seven-month stint as CEO of Ashley Tabor’s Global Entertainment, will be appointed chief executive of the dance music promotion group when it announces a new restructuring plan following the termination of its previous agreement with creditors last month.

Phillips was CEO of AEG Live for 13 years. Under his leadership, the world’s second-largest concert promoter expanded its festival division (Coachella, Stagecoach, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival) and brokered a planned 50-show comeback run by Michael Jackson at The O2 Arena in London. Phillips and AEG were sued by Jackson’s estate in a wrongful death trial following the singer’s passing, although the court found in favour of AEG.

Since filing for bankruptcy on 1 February, SFX has auctioned off ticketing company Flavorus to See Tickets/Vivendi and digital marketing firm Fame House to Universal. Its digital music store, Beatport, was also up for sale before being withdrawn earlier this month.

The new arrangement would, reports WSJ, hand over the company to senior creditors including Allianz and Axar Capital Management, with junior creditors – mostly independent promoters acquired by SFX in recent years – receiving a “small stake”.

 


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.