Music festivals are popping up all over with more this summer and fall than ever before. As the music industry continues to change at a rapid pace and the revenue coming from ticket sales and sponsorship rather than actual music, more bands are on the road.
This means that buying up festivals have become big business. Just as AEG has a controlling stake in Coachella, Live Nation announced late in April that it has bought a controlling interest in Bonnaroo for an undisclosed amount.
Bonnaroo takes place every June in Manchester, Tennessee, and attracts about 85,000 people. As we’ve written about before, for 3 days, a new city emerges featuring stages of all sizes, a diverse line-up of musicians, the Bonnaroo Cinema, recycling and environmental initiatives and even an Academy with various crafting and music classes.
In addition, there’s a Brooers Fest, a mushroom water fountain, a Bonnaroo Market, food truck oasis, Ferris wheel, water slide, merchandise, and crafting areas. Bonnaroo even has its own post office (made of eco-friendly adobe) that’s fully functioning for 3 days per year.
This year’s lineup includes Billy Joel, Kendrick Lamar and Deadmau5. The purchase will boost Live Nation’s portfolio of music festivals, which attract hundreds of thousands of people paying hefty ticket prices. Late last year, it bought a controlling stake in music festival Lollapalooza.
Superfly and AC Entertainment, which founded Bonnarroo 13 years ago, will continue to run its day-to-day operations.
Live Nation also owns Ticketmaster and has stakes in several music festivals, including Austin City Limits Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival.