|Industry||Concert promoter, music|
|Predecessor||Live Nation (de facto)|
|Founded||June 2012 (as the latter incarnation of SFX Entertainment) |
1996 (as the original incarnation of SFX Entertainment)
2000 (as Clear Channel Entertainment)
2005 (as Live Nation)
|Founder||Robert F. X. Sillerman|
|Randy Phillips, president and CEO|
LiveStyle is a Los Angeles-based live events conglomerate founded by media entrepreneur Robert F. X. Sillerman. The company was formed in June 2012 as SFX Entertainment—the new incarnation of Sillerman's previous company of the same name, which was sold to Clear Channel Communications and later spun-off in 2005 as Live Nation.
The company focuses primarily on live events and other properties relating to electronic music and its associated culture. Its holdings include ownership of various major electronic music promoters and festival brands, such as Tomorrowland , and Electric Zoo , among others. The company also owns Beatport, an online electronic music store, and Paylogic, a provider of online ticketing services.
Growing primarily through the acquisitions of various electronic dance music properties, SFX went public on the NASDAQ on October 9, 2013. However, in 2015, the company began to experience financial issues; in August 2015, the company's stock value fell as low as 91 cents. After a failed bid by Sillerman to buy out or sell the company, and a breached preferred investment, SFX filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2016, and Sillerman stepped down as CEO. In December 2016, the company emerged from bankruptcy as a private company, renamed LiveStyle, and with former AEG Live executive Randy Phillips as a new CEO and Charles Ciongoli, formerly of the Universal Music Group as Executive VP & CFO.
SFX Entertainment was formed by Robert F. X. Sillerman in the 1990s. Its business model surrounded the acquisition and consolidation of regional concert promoters into a single national entity. In 2000, Sillerman sold the company to the radio broadcasting company Clear Channel Communications for $4.4 billion USD. Clear Channel Entertainment was spun off in 2005 to form Live Nation, and merged with Ticketmaster in 2009 to form Live Nation Entertainment. As of 2012, Live Nation is the largest concert promoter in the world.
In June 2012, Sillerman publicized his intent to focus on the growing electronic dance music market by reviving the SFX brand to form a new conglomerate in the electronic music industry. Similarly to the past incarnation of SFX, the company's business model focuses on the consolidation and acquisition of independent EDM promoters, along with an additional focus on providing digital platforms for fans to connect. Sillerman expected to spend close to $1 billion on acquisitions within the first year of operations alone; at the time of the company's launch, SFX was in negotiations with around 50 different promoters for possible acquisitions. SFX's first acquisitions included "Disco" Donnie Estopinal's Disco Productions, Miami nightclub owners Opium Group and Miami Marketing Group, and the tour Life in Color (then known as Dayglow). However, the Opium Group deal fell through during the due diligence phase. As one of Sillerman's first deals, Estopinal assisted him in locating other potential acquisition targets.
By contrast to the previous SFX, Sillerman intended the new company to be more focused on building relationships and experiences for fans. In response to critics who believed that SFX may "commercialize" the largely underground electronic music industry, Sillerman stated that "if you buy great and successful businesses, you try to empower them to do what they do. And in this case, what they do is provide great entertainment. If you or anyone can ever find an example of someone from SFX telling them how much to charge for a bottle of Cristal at LIV, I'll give you my shares of SFX."Sillerman has emphasized his belief that the live events industry can not be operated in a centralized manner, noting that SFX is "decentralized with full power invested in the entrepreneurs who have made these businesses."
In January 2013, SFX named Chris Stephenson as its chief marketing officer —he had previously been the CMO of Interscope Records, and is the CEO of fellow Sillerman venture Viggle. SFX also announced a joint venture with the Dutch promoter ID&T with an intent to organize North American events—ID&T previously partnered with Live Nation to hold the first ever American edition of its Sensation tour at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Sillerman also stated in a Billboard interview that SFX had acquired New Orleans' Voodoo Experience festival, although it was later discovered that this had not actually occurred (in October 2013, a 51% majority was sold to Live Nation).
In February 2013, SFX acquired Beatport, an online music store specializing in electronic music. In particular, Sillerman felt that the website provided a "massive" platform for both artists and fans to interact; being consistent with his goals for the company. million investment from the communications services and marketing company WPP.The following month during the Winter Music Conference in Miami, SFX announced that it would acquire a 75% stake in ID&T, and that it would organize a spin-off of its flagship festival Tomorrowland known as TomorrowWorld in the Atlanta area in September 2013. The company also received a $10
In June 2013, SFX announced an IPO and began trading on the NASDAQ on October 9, 2013. Sillerman was joined by the Dutch producer Afrojack at the NASDAQ MarketSite that morning to ring the opening bell.Following its IPO, SFX also reached deals to acquire companies focused on digital properties; the fan monetization platform Tunezy, and the web development companies Arc90 and Fame House. It also acquired Totem OneLove, an Australian promoter who organizes the Stereosonic festival among others.
In November 2013, SFX acquired Made Event, the organizers of New York City's Electric Zoo festival. Sillerman considered the purchase to be a strategic move, as the company would now have a stronger presence in the New York market. million, and reached a deal with Roberto Midina, organizer of the Rock in Rio festival series, to acquire a 50% stake in a new entity that will own the rock music festival. Sillerman also disclosed plans to bring the festival to the United States for the first time ever.It also acquired the German promoter i-Motion, organizers of the Nature One festival among others, for $21
In December 2013, SFX acquired a 75% stake in Paylogic, a European online ticketing company. Paylogic's services are prominently used by ID&T, and were to be phased in across SFX's other event brands over time as deals with other providers (such as Eventbrite and Disco Donnie) expire. Sillerman singled out Paylogic for its ability to handle large "surges" of ticket sales, as had been demonstrated at TomorrowWorld, the first U.S. event to use the system.
On January 6, 2014, iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Media and Entertainment; the company which, coincidentally, Sillerman sold the original SFX to in 2000) announced a marketing partnership with SFX, which will see the two firms collaborate on EDM-related content for its digital and terrestrial radio outlets, including a Beatport top 20 countdown show (which will air on some of Clear Channel's major-market contemporary hit radio stations), a national talent search, and an "original live music series" in the style of its Jingle Ball concerts. The partnership expanded upon iHeartMedia's existing EDM-oriented outlets, such as Evolution, which encompasses a digital radio station on iHeartRadio, and terrestrial outlets in Boston and Miami. iHeartMedia staff, including John Sykes, believed that the deal (particularly the Beatport countdown show) would help provide a higher level of national exposure to current and upcoming EDM artists—its syndication division also produces the American Top 40 .
In February 2014, SFX acquired React Presents—organizers of Chicago's Spring Awakening, along with Clubtix and West Loop Management.In April 2014, SFX announced a partnership with Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment and T-Mobile to produce a new EDM-focused television reality series, Ultimate DJ.
In September 2014, SFX acquired Brazilian promoter Plus Talent, who organize XXXperience and Tomorrowland Brazil.On October 10, 2014, SFX acquired Listn, a Montreal-based startup that developed a mobile app which allowed users to browse their friends' music collections. Listn's employees were reassigned to Beatport, and the service was phased out.
In November 2014, despite a total revenue of $143.5 million in the third quarter of 2014—a number boosted by the large number of SFX-managed festivals that occurred during the quarter, Sillerman reported that SFX was undergoing a significant restructuring and consolidation process that would involve "a not insignificant shift in assignments and reduction in workforce, all of which will go to improve efficiency and, of course, to improve our EBITDA." Later in the month, SFX acquired a 50% stake in ALDA Events, a Dutch promoter who produces the concert tours of Armin van Buuren and Hardwell, along with the Amsterdam Music Festival. Alda will remain independently operated, but its founder Allan Hardenberg also joined SFX as the managing director of its Global Touring division.
On January 26, 2015, SFX announced restructuring at the executive level: Greg Consiglio was named president and chief operating officer of SFX Entertainment, while Kevin Arrix was named chief revenue officer and executive vice president. Both Consiglio and Arrix hold the same positions at Viggle. ID&T's Ritty van Straalen became CEO of live entertainment. Additionally, it was announced that SFX would, under a three-year pact, assume the operation of Viggle's sales staff, who will work for both SFX and Viggle; Sillerman explained that "the Viggle Revenue team brings an immediate new dimension, while combining the SFX inventory provides Viggle with more scale attractive to a broader base of advertisers."
On February 25, 2015, Sillerman announced a proposal to buy out SFX's public stock at $4.75 per-share to take the company private, and support exploring a potential sale. He felt that the offer would provide "substantial value and flexibility to all shareholders", and was a "substantial premium" to its current value.
By August 2015, the value of SFX stock had decreased considerably, going as low as 91 cents per-share. million into SFX Entertainment. Also in November, Sebastian Solano, founder of SFX's Life in Color brand, was named CEO of ID&T North America and Made Event. On January 13, 2016, the company announced that it had defaulted on a $10.8 million loan after missing a January 3, 2016 interest payment of $3 million. On January 15, 2016, SFX announced that it had received $20 million in new funding.On August 14, 2015, the company failed a takeover bid, initiated by Sillerman, valued at $5.75 a share. According to the Los Angeles Times , SFX Entertainment is looking into "strategic alternatives" until October 2015 to determine the sale of the company. The company extended its takeover bid deadline in October 2015. In November 2015, Sillerman breached a preferred investment of $30
On February 1, 2016, SFX Entertainment filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company planned to restructure as a private entity, and engage in a debt-for-equity swap with its bondholders. Sillerman also stepped down as CEO effective immediately; he remained chairman and retained his 40% stock interest in the company. Of the situation, he stated that "this expression of confidence from our lenders is testimonial to the vibrancy and potential of our business", and that with the restructuring, "we have the opportunity to achieve all that SFX can and will be." The bankruptcy and transition did not affect any of SFX's festivals,although the fate of the U.S. TomorrowWorld festival (whose 2015 edition was marred by infrastructural problems due to bad weather) was uncertain. The Belgian and Brazilian Tomorrowland festivals are managed directly by ID&T or local partners, and are not affected.
On March 1, 2016, SFX announced an intent to sell Beatport and Fame House at auction. million and the assumption of $400,000 in debt. Flavorus was sold to Vivendi for $4 million.In May 2016, the auction of Beatport was suspended, and the site cut its original content and streaming businesses. Later that month, Fame House was sold to Universal Music Group for $1
In an interview with Billboard, Sillerman admitted that there were "no easy answers" surrounding why the company collapsed, but added that he didn't "begrudge the disappointment and anger" of his staff because he was just as disappointed over the company's performance. Former employees also interviewed by Billboard felt that the company did not do enough to leverage its scale, and that the company did not engage in centralization, leading to a lack of coordination between its collection of subsidiaries.
In December 2016, SFX emerged from bankruptcy, reducing its debt by $400 million. Randy Phillips, formerly of AEG Live, was named the company's new CEO. The company was also renamed LiveStyle, with its headquarters re-located to Los Angeles. Phillips felt that SFX as a brand had garnered a negative reputation, and that the company had originally collapsed because it focused too much on growing quickly, performing an IPO, and Sillerman "[selling] a story about sponsorship", which "has to be the icing on the cake – not the cake itself." Phillips also began to describe the company as being oriented towards electronic music in general rather than EDM, and stated that some of their events (such as Mysteryland) will broaden their scope (similarly to the Coachella Festival, which is owned by his former employer), but other events will remain predominantly oriented towards electronic music.
In May 2018, stakes in Rock in Rio, including the stakes held by SFX's creditor committee, were sold to Live Nation Entertainment.
Beatport is an American electronic music-oriented online music store owned by LiveStyle. The company is based in Denver, Los Angeles, and Berlin. Beatport is oriented primarily towards DJs, selling full songs as well as resources that can be used for remixes.
Electronic dance music (EDM), also known as dance music, club music, or simply dance, is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres made largely for nightclubs, raves and festivals. It is generally produced for playback by DJs who create seamless selections of tracks, called a mix, by segueing from one recording to another. EDM producers also perform their music live in a concert or festival setting in what is sometimes called a live PA.
Live Nation is an American events promoter and venue operator based in Beverly Hills, California. Formed in 1996 by Robert F. X. Sillerman as SFX Entertainment, the company's business was built around consolidating concert promoters into a national company. In 2000, the company was sold to Clear Channel Communications for $4.4 billion, and operated as Clear Channel Entertainment until 2005, when it was spun off as Live Nation.
Robert Francis Xavier Sillerman was an American businessman and media entrepreneur. Sillerman was the owner of a range of television and radio stations during the 1970s and 1980s, In 1993 he formed SFX Broadcasting, and then built SFX Entertainment—a concert and stage performance promoter that was sold to Clear Channel in 2000 for $4.4 billion. He refounded SFX Entertainment in 2012 as a promoter of electronic music festivals; that company is now known as LiveStyle. He is also the founder of Viggle and the namesake of The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University. Once on the Forbes 400 list, he also briefly owned the WLAF's New York/New Jersey Knights.
See Tickets is the trading name of an international ticketing services company owned by Vivendi SA. See Tickets' head office is on Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham, but operates throughout Europe and North America under the See Tickets brand, with over 15 offices in cities including; London, Los Angeles, Nashville, Paris, Marseille, Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam, Groningen, Antwerp, Lisbon and Zurich.
The John Gore Organization (JGO), formerly known as Key Brand Entertainment (KBE), is a producer and distributor of live theater in North America, as well as an e-commerce company, focused on theater. KBE was founded in the UK in 2004 by 14-time Tony Award winning Producer John Gore who is the company's Chairman, CEO and Owner.
Live Nation Entertainment is an American global entertainment company, founded in 2010, following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. The company promotes, operates, and manages ticket sales for live entertainment in the United States and internationally. It also owns and operates entertainment venues, and manages the careers of music artists.
Lawrence Vavra is an American Media Entrepreneur and Private Equity Investor. Vavra is best known for co-founding music management company SFX Entertainment and Deckstar.
Tomorrowland is a Belgian electronic dance music festival held in Boom, Belgium. Tomorrowland was first held in 2005. It now stretches over two weekends and usually sells out in minutes.
Gary Richards, known by his stage name Destructo, is an American music executive, concert promoter, and DJ. As of September 1, 2017 he is the President of LiveStyle, North America. Prior to joining LiveStyle, he was the founder and CEO of HARD Events, a concert brand that has put on popular music festivals since 2007, and which was acquired in 2012 by Live Nation Entertainment. He has performed professionally as a DJ under the name Destructo for more than 20 years, having toured around the world. He is credited with being a leader in the Electronic music business in North America, and through his events, has helped bring artists like Deadmau5 and Justice into the mainstream. Richards is included on Rolling Stone's "50 Most Important People in EDM" list, Billboard's "EDM Power Players" lists from 2014 - 2017, and inthemix's list of the "50 Most Powerful People in EDM". As Destructo, he has released four EP's titled Technology, Higher,West Coast, and RENEGADE respectively.
TomorrowWorld was an electronic music festival, held in the Atlanta metropolitan area within the town of Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. Held from 2013 to 2015, the festival was a spinoff of the Belgian festival Tomorrowland. The festival was owned by LiveStyle, Inc. and organized and produced by EDM promoter ID&T, a wholly owned subsidiary of LiveStyle. In its inaugural year, TomorrowWorld received a nomination for Best Music Event at the International Dance Music Awards. The festival did not return in 2016 due to the bankruptcy of SFX as well as the backlash event organizers received due to weather-related and logistical issues during the 2015 edition.
Life in Color is a United States-based EDM event company, best known for their ongoing "paint party" Life in Color concert tours. The company was founded by Sebastian Solano, Paul Campbell, Lukasz Tracz and Patryk Tracz as Committee Entertainment and the concert tour Dayglow in 2006. Billed by its organizers as the "world's largest paint party", the tour features performances by electronic musicians, joined by artistic performers and the tour's signature spraying of the audience with paint throughout the show. The company changed to its current name shortly after it was acquired by Robert F. X. Sillerman's SFX Entertainment in late 2012, with the original founders remaining as partners.
Insomniac is an American electronic music event promoter. Founded by Pasquale Rotella, it is best-known as the organizer of the electronic music festival Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC).
Martijn Gerard Garritsen, professionally known as Martin Garrix, is a Dutch DJ and record producer from Amstelveen. His most known singles are "Animals", "In the Name of Love", and "Scared to Be Lonely". He was ranked number one on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs list for three consecutive years.
Rock in Rio USA was a music festival held in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2015. A spin-off of Rio de Janeiro's Rock in Rio festival, it was held on two consecutive weekends in May 2015 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the Las Vegas Strip. It shared a similar structure and format to its Brazilian counterpart, hosting at least 120 acts for its first and only edition, while its site was developed in cooperation with organizers. The event was a partnership with SFX Entertainment, the festival's Brazilian stakeholder IMX, MGM Resorts International, Yucaipa Companies, and Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.
The Committee is an EDM event production group founded in 2006 as Committee Entertainment by Sebastian Solano, Paul Campbell, Lukasz Tracz, and Patryk Tracz. At the time all four founders were friends and college students in Florida, and they originally started the Committee as an informal party promotion team. Since then, Committee Entertainment has founded the Dayglow tour series and Life in Color, an international EDM concert company. After jointly selling Dayglow/Life in Color to SFX Entertainment in 2012, all four members remained partners, and as of 2015 they continue to operate both Life in Color and Committee Entertainment. On January 5, 2015, Forbes included Life in Color CEO Solano on their annual list of "30 Under 30 In Music" for 2015.
ALDA is a global operating Dutch producer, concept developer and promoter of international DJ and event concepts. ALDA stands for the first two initials of the names of both entrepreneurs; Allan and David. ALDA was founded in 2007 and is based in Amsterdam.
Disco Donnie Presents is an American entertainment company founded by James "Disco Donnie" Estopinal Jr. which focuses primarily on electronic music events. Since their inception in 1994, the company has amassed over 7,000 live events, arena shows and outdoor festivals in over 100 markets around the world, including the North and South America.
Dancing Astronaut is an American media platform founded in 2009 that primarily covers the electronic dance music industry. The website covers concerts and festivals, reports on entertainment news, reviews music, and publishes original content syndicated across on-demand audio platforms.
Randy Phillips is an American music producer, former president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, and current president and CEO of LiveStyle.
SFX Adds Two Major Midwest Festivals with Agreement to Acquire React Presents