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Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival Bought by US Festival Giant Live Nation

Two of Australia's biggest music festivals will be mostly American-owned.
By Libby Curran
December 05, 2016
By Libby Curran
December 05, 2016

In huge news for the Australian music industry and fans alike, US music events giant Live Nation has announced it's snapped up a controlling stake in Secret Sounds Group — the organisation behind both Falls Festival and Splendour in the Grass, run by Jess Ducruo and Paul Piticco.

This 51 percent stake marks the first Aussie acquisition for the enormous LA-based company, which already lays claim to over 80 global festivals, including Lollapalooza, Reading, Leeds, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Governor's Ball, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Rock Werchter. According to Music Business Worldwide, the deal excludes Secret Sounds Group-owned record labels Dew Process and Create Control, and Dew Process Publishing.

Helmed by Michael Rapino, Live Nation has been buying up especially big in the music biz of late, with France's Nous Productions, South Africa's Big Concerts, and a majority stake in Tennessee's AC Entertainment just some of the 2016 additions to its ever-bulging portfolio. Nine months into this year, the group had already forked out a cool $113.1 million on net acquisitions.

"Splendour in the Grass and Falls are the two most iconic festivals in Australia," said Rapino in a statement announcing the deal. "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."

Secret Sounds co-CEOs Ducrou and Piticco echoed the sentiment in their statement. "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."

That such a big global player is now shouldering in on the Aussie festival scene and in control of two of our most prominent music events, could spell dramatic changes ahead.

Via Pedestrian and Music Business Worldwide.

Image: Splendour/Bianca Holderness. Home page image: A. Catt.

Published on December 05, 2016 by Libby Curran

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