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AEG Presents acquires remaining Firefly Festival shares

AEG Presents is now the sole owner of the Delaware-based Firefly music festival, it was announced yesterday. The acquisition will see several members of the original Firefly team join AEG Presents, as previous stakeholders Red Frog Events move away from the festival.

The decision to become full owners of the festival was taken after a successful 2018 event and Red Frog’s desire to move on to different projects.  The deal puts an end to a four year partnership between Chicago-based Red Frog and AEG Presents.

Stephanie Mezzano, festival director and co-founder, is one of several team members who will be joining AEG Presents to continue managing the event. Mezzano played a key role in the build up to the festival’s first instalment in 2012, scouting out the festivals long-term home, The Woodlands, in Dover, Delaware, the year before. For her, the move represents new avenues for the festival. “We now have the opportunity to push Firefly in exciting ways and to work more closely with the best in the business,” she says.

“We now have the opportunity to push Firefly in exciting ways and to work more closely with the best in the business.”

The transition will also see the festival welcome Alicia Karlin as its new talent buyer. As vice president and senior event producer for Madison House Presents (operated in partnership with AEG Presents), Karlin’s work has earned her veteran status. Her role as talent buyer for Firefly will be performed alongside her current role as talent buyer for Electric Forest festival.

Since its beginning seven years ago, Firefly has received a stream of positive reviews. Many reported that even its first edition went without problems, with a Billboard review remarking that, “in its debut year, Firefly was surprisingly devoid of on-site hiccups.”

Hopes are already high that this move and management lineup will launch Firefly to never-before-seen levels. Melissa Ormond, chief operating officer of festivals at AEG Presents says, “combined with the full commitment of AEG Presents’ resources, including an unrivalled production team committed exclusively to festivals, there is no doubt that the best is yet to come for the Firefly Music Festival.”


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Multiple injuries in volatile US festival weekend

Two people have died and dozens were injured in a turbulent festival weekend in the United States.

At least 22 people were hurt in the early hours of yesterday morning after a gunman opened fire at a 24-hours arts festival in Trenton, New Jersey. Witnesses told TV station WPVI that attendees at Art All Night Trenton initially mistook the gunfire, which occurred at around 2.45 am on Sunday 17 June, for the sound of fireworks. “All of a sudden, my brother goes to me, ‘You hear that gunfire?’,” said local resident Angelo Nicolo. “I go, ‘It sounds like fireworks.’ He said, ‘No, that’s gunfire.’

“Next thing you know, we turn around and everybody’s running down the street. All hell broke loose.”

Around 1,000 people were believed to have been at the festival, held at the historic Roebling Wire Works venue in south Trenton, at the time of the shooting.

Police said the incident appeared to be part of a gang dispute and not related to terrorism. The suspected perpetrator, 33-year-old Tahaij Wells, who had just been released from prison, was killed by police officers.

Four victims were were left in a critical condition as a result of their wounds, said prosecutor Angelo Onofri – although three of them, including a 13-year-old boy, have, as of this morning, been upgraded to stable. The last person in critical condition is believed to be a suspect, while a 23-year-old man, Amir Armstrong, is in police custody on suspicion of firearms offences.

Attendees at Art All Night-Trenton initially mistook the gunfire for the sound of fireworks

In western Colorado, police are investigating after a man shot himself in the stomach – apparently by accident – at a country music festival in Mesa County.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that the 30-year-old man shot himself on Friday evening while attending the Country Jam festival, promoted by Townsquare/Madison Square Garden Company.

The shooting was an isolated incident, according to Mesa County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Megan Terlecky. “We believe it was accidental, but we’re still investigating,” she said, adding sheriffs are looking into how the gun came to be at the festival, which prohibits firearms and searches all bags.

Meanwhile, at Red Frog Events/Goldenvoice’s Firefly Music Festival – which has taken place at Dover International Speedway, in Dover, Delaware, since 2012 – a 20-year-old woman died after being found unresponsive in the campsite early on Sunday morning.

According to WDEL-FM, the cause of 20-year-old Caroline Friedman’s death is not yet down, but authorities have largely ruled out foul play.

Arctic Monkeys, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar headlined Firefly 2018, which ran from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 June.


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