According to reports, Live Nation is in the final stages of purchasing major stakes in Governors Ball. That sets up a major war with AEG-owned Panorama.
Governors Ball has been running since 2011 and is held at Randall’s Park in New York City. It’s a fairly gigantic festival. Last year was the biggest of their festivals so far, pulling in 150,000 people. The sixth festival will be held this summer, June 3-5, with Kanye West, the Strokes and the Killers headlining.
That sets up a a ruthless festival battle in the Northeast. Live Nation’s major competitor, AEG Live, has Panorama in New York, so Live Nation’s acquisition of Governors Ball brings a second elephant into the game. Both of these giants have plans to majorly extend their festival portfolios, though the involvement of two of the largest concert conglomerates in the New York festival circuit could force fans to choose.
The likelihood of the Governors acquisition actually going through seems pretty high. This isn’t the first time Governors owner Founders Entertainment has joined forces with Live Nation: the group worked together last year on FarmBorough to create a massive east coast country festival.
Enter Live Nation arch-rival AEG Live, which initially tried to bring Panorama to New York in June in a head-to-head scheduling match. In response, Governors Ball quickly petitioned AEG’s proposal to local leaders, arguing that the timing was “an aggressive, greedy attempt by [AEG/Goldenvoice] to push a small independent company of born and bred New Yorkers out of business and out of the market.”
As a result, AEG’s Panorama will now be held in July, though its competitive impact remains real. Now, the question is whether enough room exists for two music festivals of the same genre in the same city at roughly the same time…
To be continued…
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