On the EDM gold-rush goes: Live Nation acquires Hard Events
Wed 27th Jun, 2012 News 1226 viewsin
After purchasing the company responsible for UK festival giant Creamfields in May, touring juggernaut Live Nation has just made another big EDM purchase – this time, it’s Los Angeles-based company Hard Events.
The New York Times reports that Live Nation, the largest touring company in the world, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Hard Events, the company behind L.A. festival Hard Summer as well as the Caribbean cruise Holy Ship. This comes a few weeks after media entrepreneur Robert Sillerman declared his intent to buy up $US1 billion in dance-focused acquisitions.
It’s possible in his new role with Live Nation, Cream’s guru James Barton may have had a hand in the Hard purchase. “I’m going to be the President of Electronic and Dance Music for Live Nation moving forward,” inthemix heard him announce in his International Music Summit Keynote interview. “That is a big job that’s never existed in Live Nation before. My job is to help implement the worldwide strategy for dance music for Live Nation, with the main focus being North America.”
Interestingly though, Hard Events founder Gary Richards, who’s bound for Stereosonic in his DJ guise as Destructo, has previously voiced his concern over the EDM spending spree. In an interview earlier this year with the New York Times, Richards stated that big investors he’d spoken to didn’t understand the market, quipping “you can’t just franchise this like McDonalds”. However, he’s defended his decision to sell Hard Events. “This will only be able to help,” he explained. “Because now instead of just L.A. and New York, I will be able to do this in South Africa, South America. It’s only a good thing.”
How much Hard Events sold for wasn’t disclosed, but with the 2013 edition of Holy Ship! already sold out and Hard Summer having expanded to a two-day event for the first time this year, we’d wager it was a lot. Hard has a reputation for doing things differently in the U.S. market. Plying its trade since 2007, the company’s line-ups tend to bypass the big-ticket house names to focus on electro, bass music and live acts. The bill for the upcoming Hard Summer, which is held in downtown L.A. over an August weekend, is more mixed than ever: from crossover acts like Bloc Party, Miike Snow, Chromeo and Little Dragon to scene-leading DJs Boys Noize, Erol Alkan, A-Trak and Brodinski to daring bookings like Squarepusher and Bootsy Collins. A savvy purchase, then.