Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest entertainment promotions company, have announced their acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Australia’s Secret Sounds Group, best known for organising two of Australia’s biggest music festivals – Byron Bay’s Splendour In The Grass and the national Falls Music & Arts Festival.
The sale makes Splendour and Falls the first Australian festivals to join Live Nation’s extensive portfolio, which includes some 80+ festivals around the world, including iconic events such as Governors Ball, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy Carnival, Reading, Leeds, Rock Werchter, and many more.
“Splendour in the Grass and Falls are the two most iconic festivals in Australia,” said Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino in a statement. “Jess and Paul have created events that attract the biggest artists in the world but still feel uniquely Australian. We look forward to partnering with them to find new ways to grow our live event footprint across Australia.”
Meanwhile, local industry veteran and CEO of Live Nation ANZ Michael Coppel said, “We wholeheartedly welcome Jess and Paul and their teams into the rapidly growing Live Nation Australia family. Our new relationship with the Secret Sounds group confirms Live Nation’s position at the forefront of the Australian live performance industry.”
Naturally, Secret Sounds founders Paul Piticco and Jessica Ducrou are more excited than anybody about the change, saying, “We started Secret Sounds with the sole mission of introducing Australians to the best artists, events and music possible, and Live Nation is the perfect partner to help us take this goal to the next level. With their support we can continue to curate the lineups that fans love, while also experimenting with new exciting ways for fans to experience live music.”
In addition to the acquisition of Splendour and Falls, Live Nation will also now have access to Secret Sounds’s respected touring, sponsorship, PR, artist management, and domestic agency arms. However, the partnership does not include “the Dew Process & Create Control Record Labels, Dew Process Publishing and its interests in the North Byron Parklands festival site and The Triffid venue in Brisbane”.
Only time will tell what kind of impact the acquisition will have on Splendour In The Grass, already the biggest major music festival in the country, and Falls Festival, a staple event of the end-of-year holiday calendar. Splendour has never had trouble booking the world’s biggest artists and it’s likely that ability will only be bolstered by Live Nation coming into the fold.
The sale will also likely have ramifications in the wider Australian music industry, with Live Nation expanding their footprint in Australia. Back in February, the industry monolith announced that their Australasian offshoot would be partnering with UNIFIED, the folks behind UNIFY Gathering and bands like Northlane, The Amity Affliction, and In Hearts Wake.