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Yucaipa invests in Day After Day Productions

Ron Burkle’s private equity firm Yucaipa Companies has invested in booking agency Day After Day Productions (DADP).

Founded and led by agent Seth Shomes, the DADP roster includes more than 30 clients such as 98 Degrees, Aaron Lewis, Brian Wilson, Celebrating Meat Loaf, Deal Or No Deal – Live!, Flo Rida, Ice-T presents The Art Of Rap, Jeff Bridges & The Abiders, Matt Fraser, Missy Elliott, Staind, T.I., The Commodores, Tony Orlando, Tyler Henry, War and Wayne Newton.

Industry veteran Shomes relaunched DADP in 2021, having originally founded the agency in 1996. The firm specialises in booking entertainment for casinos, fairs, city events, theatres, PACs and corporate entities. DADP operated independently through 2014 until Shomes joined The Agency Group.

“Over the last decade I have watched with great interest Ron Burkle’s foray into the agency business and I am thrilled to partner with him and Yucaipa,” says Shomes. “As I relaunched DADP in April 2021 with just myself and a laptop, it is a proud moment that our immediate growth has quickly led to a partnership with one of the biggest entrepreneurs out there, and I look forward to finding internal synergies within Yucaipa’s portfolio of agencies and related entertainment companies.”

Yucaipa has existing interests in the live music industry through booking agencies Artist Group International, X-ray Touring, APA and K2, Primavera Sound and Primavera Pro,  and US promoter Danny Wimmer Presents. It also previously had a joint venture with Paradigm Talent Agency.

“Seth’s creative approach and client philosophy is in lockstep with ours”

“We are extremely pleased to be going into business with Seth Shomes,” says David Barnes, partner at Yucaipa. “We greatly admire the company he has built and look forward to having a successful partnership with him for years to come.”

As part of the investment, Danny Wimmer Presents has partnered with DADP to grow its DWP Talent Services (DWPTS) division. Shomes has been named partner of DWPTS, which focuses on the casino and fair business and was launched in 2021 with the acquisition of Billy Alan Productions.

“Billy Brill, Danny Wimmer, Del Williams and I have been looking for the right opportunities to expand our talent buying services for third party clients like casinos and fairs,” says Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents. “I was Seth’s lawyer the first time he built Day After Day, so I know what his unique skill set, relationships and reputation will bring to DWPTS. Seth’s creative approach and client philosophy is in lockstep with ours.”

DWP is one of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in the US, with events including Aftershock, Bourbon & Beyond, GoldenSky Country Music Festival, Inkcarceration Music & Tattoo Festival, Louder Than Life, and Welcome To Rockville.


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UK’s X-ray Touring forms alliance with US’s AGI

London-based X-ray Touring has extended its joint-venture partnership with private-equity firm the Yucaipa Companies, continuing a relationship that began in 2017, and formed a new strategic alliance with New York’s Artist Group International (AGI), part of Yucaipa’s Y Entertainment Group.

The partnership will see the two agencies will work together internationally, with X-ray remaining under the control and direction of founding partners Martin Horne, Ian Huffam, Steve Strange and Scott Thomas and newly added board member Josh Javor.

X-ray’s roster of more than 400 acts includes Coldplay, Eminem, Robbie Williams, Gorillaz, Queens of the Stone Age, Linkin Park, Pixies, Stereophonics, Bombay Bicycle Club, Enter Shikari and Fever 333, while AGI represents Billy Joel, Metallica, Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Linkin Park, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, the Strokes and Cage the Elephant, among others.

Yucaipa also has interests in two other London-based agencies, ITG and K2, Los Angeles-based APA, US promoter Danny Wimmer Presents and Spain’s Primavera Sound festival, as well as management company LBI Entertainment and sports agencies ISE and Steinberg Sports.

X-ray was also formerly allied with Paradigm Talent Agency (then Coda) in London, in which Yucaipa held a stake, though that relationship has now come to an end.

“The synergies between these companies creates even more opportunity for their clients”

“This had been a long time coming and I know all of X-ray is excited by this strategic partnership with AGI and Y Entertainment,” says Huffam. “There will be many changes over the next few years but our proven collective track records offer artists the best route forward to live success.”

“I have long admired what the X-ray team led by Ian, Steve, Scott and Martin have built,” says AGI’s Dennis Arfa. “We have wanted to work with X-ray for many years and are thrilled to finally have the opportunity to do so.”

AGI president Marsha Vlasic adds: “I am thrilled and excited to be joining forces with X-ray, a company that I have long admired and respected. I feel extremely positive about all of us being able to do great things together. During a time like this, which has been so difficult for all us, having this come together has been such a breath of fresh air and energy.”

“I am personally excited and delighted by our renewed joint venture partnership with my good friend Ron Burkle and the Yucaipa group,” says X-ray’s Strange. “I am also looking forward to our new strategic partnership with AGI in the US. I have known Dennis and Marsha and others at AGI for many years and I truly believe that our alliance will work fantastically well. We already feel that the chemistry between both companies can only strengthen our global impact.”

“AGI and X-ray’s leadership and innovation in the industry is unparallelled,” comments Yucaipa founder Ron Burkle. “The synergies between these companies creates even more opportunity for their clients. This is a perfect match both culturally and strategically and I look forward watching their collaboration as they continue to grow globally.“


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PE firm Yucaipa invests in APA

Less than a month after buying into UK metal agency K2, the Yucaipa Companies, the private-equity group controlled by billionaire investor Ron Burkle, has made a strategic investment in Los Angeles-based APA.

APA, the former Agency for the Performing Arts, is headquartered in Hollywood and has offices in New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Toronto and London. Its roster includes Blondie, House of Pain, Fetty Wap, Nickelback, Azealia Banks, Rodriguez, Lil Xan, Gang of Four, King Crimson, Nick Carter, Doves and 50 Cent.

Yucaipa, meanwhile, has stakes in Paradigm’s European business (including X-ray Touring), Spanish festival Primavera Sound and US promoter Danny Wimmer Presents, and owns Artist Group International.

“Ron Burkle and Yucaipa share our philosophy for disciplined growth”

According to Variety, which first reported on the deal, Burkle’s investment in APA is a non-equity arrangement that sees Yucaipa take on APA debt in exchange for cash. Variety’s sources say the cash influx will allow APA to recruit agents and clients at a time when its corporate agency rivals are furloughing and laying off staff.

“With so much uncertainty in the entertainment industry, we’re very pleased to be collaborating with a person and a company so in sync with our vision for the future of our business,” says APA CEO Jim Gosnell. “Ron Burkle and Yucaipa share our philosophy for disciplined growth, and are 100% behind our strategy to expand upon our core business across all media platforms.”

In other APA news, the agency’s head of talent, Jim Osborne (pictured), has been named president, taking over the role from Gosnell.


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K2 joins forces with Y Entertainment Group’s AGI

UK-based international booking agency K2, which represents the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden and Slayer, has announced a joint venture with investment firm Yucaipa’s umbrella of companies.

Under the new partnership, K2 joins the Yucaipa-owned international booking agency Artist Group International (AGI) in the Y Entertainment Group.

Yucaipa’s existing interests in the music industry also include a joint venture with Paradigm Talent Agency, a minority stake in Primavera Sound and Primavera Pro and an acquisition of US promoter Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP).

“I have had the pleasure of collaborating with [AGI chairman] Dennis and the team at AGI for many years,” says K2 founder and renowned music agent John Jackson.

“Not only is there mutual respect between us, but we share a similar philosophy and work ethic when it comes to our artists, agents and staff. As such, joining forces is the perfect fit and an opportunity to flourish on the global stage.”

K2 agency was launched in 2004 and in recent years has acquired UK companies EGO Agency and Factory Music Management and Agency.

“Joining forces is the perfect fit and an opportunity to flourish”

Founder of Factory Music Management and Agency, Sharon Richardson, brought to K2 her roster of over 20 rock and metal artists, which include Delain, Sabaton, Steve Harris’s British Lion and Metal Allegiance. The acquisition of EGO brought over company founder Jim Morewood, agent Yerry Stetter, and EGO’s largely heavy metal-focused roster.

Chairman Dennis Arfa says, “John runs one of the best agencies in the world. We’re thrilled to be working with him and his K2 team. We share many clients including Metallica, Ghost, and Volbeat and over the years have developed a natural synergy. We are pleased that our ownership has staunchly facilitated and supported our expansion efforts.”

AGI was founded in 1986 and represents artists such as Billy Joel, Metallica, Def Leppard, Rod Stewart and Motley Crue.

It was acquired by The Yucaipa Companies in 2011, with an eye towards expanding its reach in the live entertainment space through strategic acquisitions and organic growth.

The companies say plans for collaboration, expansion and diversification will be further revealed in the coming months.


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Paradigm investor Yucaipa ups interest in live

Private-equity firm the Yucaipa Companies has provided backing for another live entertainment company, making a “substantial” investment in independent US festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP).

Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa has existing interests in the live music industry, through its joint venture with Paradigm Talent Agency and minority stake in Primavera Sound and Primavera Pro.

Danny Hayes, CEO of DWP, cites Yucaipa’s “successful investments in the music industry” as the reason for the financial partnership.

“We had several different options for investors, but ultimately selected Yucaipa because they really understood our growth strategy, and they are uniquely situated to help us execute on it,” says Hayes.

“Yucaipa [also] has key relationships in cities where we already operate and others we’d like to enter. We believe they will be able to accelerate our plans to expand into new markets.”

“We believe [Yucaipa] will be able to accelerate our plans to expand into new markets”

Founded in 2011, LA-based DWP produces seven music festivals across the US: Sonic Temple in Ohio, Aftershock in California, Epicenter in North Carolina, Welcome to Rockville in Florida and the Louisville Trifesta series, comprising Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life and Bourbon & Beyond.

DWP festivals attracted almost 750,000 fans in 2019.

The promoter aims to announce its initial acquisitions soon, having also announced new investment from First Horizon Bank and a renewed ticketing partnership with Front Gate Tickets.

“Collectively, the new and renewed partnerships provide DWP with a foundation to aggressively grow the business surrounded by forward-thinking partners,” comments Hayes.

The United Auburn Indian Community, an earlier investor in DWP, continues to hold a position with the company.


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Paradigm partner Yucaipa buys into Primavera Sound

American private-equity firm the Yucaipa Companies has made a minority investment in Primavera Sound and Primavera Pro.

Yucaipa, led by Ron Burkle, has an existing presence in the live music market via its joint venture with Paradigm Talent Agency, X-ray Touring, Coda Agency and ITG, which forms part of larger fund for investing in live entertainment.

The Primavera deal, specifics of which were not disclosed, was first reported by Pollstar and confirmed to IQ by both Yucaipa and the festival.

Yucaipa Companies principal Frank Quintero says the two parties “saw each other as a partner who shared the same ethos and vision to continue to grow the brand”.

Primavera Sound is Spain’s biggest music festival, with a daily capacity of 35,000 at the Parc del Forum in Barcelona. It held its 18th edition, headlined by Nick Cave, Björk, the National, Arctic Monkeys, Migos, Lorde and Asap Rocky, from 30 May to 3 June.


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