The conglomeration of the electronic dance music industry continues as Live Nation announced it has acquired the majority stake of Stureplansgruppen Live, or SPG Live for all us non-Swedes. Live Nation’s acquisition strengthens its global prowess into the European EDM market. SPG Live is responsible for a variety of successful Nordic festivals, including Summerburst Festival and Gothenberg.
Live Nation has a stake in over 100 venues around North America, including the Gorge Amphitheater here in our backyard. In 2013, Live Nation announced a creative partnership with Pasquale Rotella, acquiring 50% of Insomniac Events. Just a year prior, Live Nation added Los Angeles-based HARD Events to the extensive list of companies under its belt.
While it may the largest concert promoter in the world, Live Nation isn’t the only company with a share of the pie. Robert Sillerman’s reincarnation of SFX Entertainment is another heavyweight in the industry, with its ownership in recognizable brands, such as ID&T and Beatport.
So what does this all mean for the Northwest scene and the overall state of the EDM industry? To put it simply: live entertainment companies are growing larger in size and influence, slowly phasing out the local promoters. We’re seeing a dwindling number of local promoters in the Northwest, who are often times unable to compete with big lineup draws and high production value. Marble Productions founder Jason DiGiammarco understands firsthand what it’s like to go head-to-head with the big guys. Recently with the announcement of the Go Hard tour to Seattle on April 25, Jason had to change the date of Marble’s 16-year anniversary event, which had been scheduled on the same day.
I would say that smaller local promoters will always have to deal with this happening. We cant compete with a company like Live Nation. They know it. If they want to put a tour or show on a date they will.
While he recognizes there lies communication issues at times, Jason is optimistic that relationships between entertainment companies and local promoters can be beneficial to both parties.
EDM is a cash cow, bigger companies see and are going to get what they can from it. Not always a bad thing though, I have seen partnerships with local companies and these big ones be good for both sides, Paradiso is an example of that.
Here at Dance Music Northwest, we believe that you can’t have one without the other. It would be impossible to have a thriving EDM scene without local support, and vice versa. We agree with Jason’s statement that the commercialization of the EDM industry isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But is it good? Well, that’s up to you to decide for yourself. However, we would like to see conglomerates, such as Live Nation and SFX, make it point to establish relationships within any community it enters. Marble will now celebrate 16 years in the business on May 30. You can do your part to support the Northwest scene by checking out Bubble Bobble, with headliners Helicopter Showdown and Dodge & Fuski.
Photo cred: Paul Lunderhill