Live Nation Acquires a Stake in UK Festival Boomtown Fair
Forced to cancel both its 2020 and 2021 iterations because of the global pandemic, UK’s largest independent festival Boomtown Fair was awarded £991,000—a little over one million US dollars—last year via the Culture Recovery Fund provided by the UK government. Boomtown organizers previously stated this generous award would enable them to secure the event in the coming years.
Now, the Hampshire festival has unveiled that juggernaut promotion company Live Nation has acquired a minority stake in the festival, though both parties have not commented on the deal at the time of this writing. Founded in 2009, Boomtown has hosted talented acts such as Lauryn Hill, M.I.A., Wu-Tang Clan, Gorillaz, Cypress Hill, and Chase & Status, among many other revered acts spanning several genres.
Documentation recently filed in Companies House revealed that last month, Live Nation’s UK & Ireland chair Denis Desmond and its COO Stuart Douglas became the official directors of the Boomtown event and became the heads of parent company Circus of Boom. Boomtown’s co-founders, Luke Mitchell and Christopher Rutherford remain on the festival’s board.
Boomtown’s latest iteration transpired on August 10-14 at the Matterley Estate and saw close to 76,000 festival-goers in attendance. Boomtown Chapter One: ‘The Gathering’ included artists of the likes of Four Tet, Kool & The Gang, Shy FX, De La Soul, and Kae Tempest.
Live Nation’s latest stake acquisition in Boomtown is one of several big moves the promotion company has made this summer. The company hired London music and arts IME Music owner Ian Evans earlier this year and further catapulted its reach in the UK by acquiring London-based live events company Parallel Lines Promotions. Additionally, the company’s concerts division saw a change in leadership with the promotion of Maddie Arnold as its new head.
Arnold, who had worked with Festival Republic and WME in the past, has been with Live Nation UK for five years. Now, her growing (almost) all-female roster includes Ashnikko, Jazmin Bean, Lauren Sanderson, Ellie Dixon, and Jazmine Flowers, among many more talented artists. Live Nation UK continues to dominate the live events space as a leader in promotion with its clever leadership additions and high-profile festival grabs.