Ben Lovett-Founded TVG Hospitality Announces $50 Million Raise Amid Live-Entertainment Comeback

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Glassnote Records’ Mumford & Sons performing live. Photo Credit: Stefan Schäfer

TVG Hospitality, a music-venue developer and operator established by Mumford & Sons founding member Ben Lovett, has announced the completion of a $50 million raise.

London-headquartered TVG Hospitality, which arrived on the scene in 2016, unveiled the multimillion-dollar funding round today. In addition to operating music venues, as mentioned – including a trio of establishments in London, with several U.S. venues in development – TVG specializes in “hospitality offerings,” according to the company’s announcement message.

Led by Gibson Brands and its chairman, Nat Zilkha – also a senior advisor to KKR and an Apollo Theater and TVG board member – the $50 million raise likewise drew support from Lollapalooza promoter (and Live Nation subsidiary) C3 Presents and Irving Azoff’s Oak View Group.

Among the round’s many other backers are Downtown executive chairman Justin Kalifowitz, veteran agent (and the sister of Adele’s manager) Lucy Dickins, Goldman Sachs, “multiple partners from KKR,” Everybody’s Management owner Adam Tudhope, and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.

TVG Hospitality intends to put the just-raised capital towards expanding its team and its venue portfolio in both the U.S. and the U.K, higher-ups said. One of the previously noted venues that the company is preparing to open in the States, the Orion Amphitheater, is scheduled to begin accommodating fans this coming May. The 8,000-capacity venue is located in Huntsville, Alabama’s largest and most-populous city.

Throughout the release, execs and investors emphasized their plans to equip TVG venues with “elevated hospitality offerings,” challenging “the traditional approach where venues open their doors a few nights a week, welcome audiences to witness a show on stage and then lose their customers as soon as the show ends.”

Bearing in mind this intention, TVG is poised to manage the Orion “and the in-bowl concessions,” besides operating “a food village” next door and a different Huntsville venue yet, the Meridian Social Club at the Lumberyard. The latter property is situated “on downtown’s outskirts,” according to local outlets, and had operated as AM Booth’s Lumberyard until the business permanently closed its doors last year.

Additional TVG venues include London’s Omeara, Lafayette, and The Social, with “numerous other projects” in development in London, D.C., Nashville, Austin, Detroit, New York, and Los Angeles, according to the business.

Addressing his company’s raise in a statement, 35-year-old Ben Lovett said in part: “Music is the ultimate leveler—somewhere between melody and lyric is a truth that calls us away from our phones and out of our living rooms to stand together and sing together.

“The plans we have in mind are rooted in elevating these experiences surrounding live music. I am incredibly grateful for the investments from so many of our industry leaders. It furthers cements our belief that our new thinking is going to be game changing for artists, fans and communities alike,” concluded the Lights producer.

Notwithstanding the unprecedented damage that venues have suffered due to COVID-19 restrictions – as well as the continuing challenges that operators are facing – capital is still pouring into the space. Moreover, many music festivals are returning, while a large number of artists are hitting the road for the first time since the pandemic’s start.

Harry Styles in 2020 became a major investor in Manchester’s 23,500-capacity Co-op Live arena – compared to a capacity of 21,000 for the Manchester Arena and 20,000 for London’s O2 – and the venue is expected to open “by 2023,” per its website. Meanwhile, Universal Music is creating a collection of “music-based experiential hotel properties,” and ABBA built an arena in London for their upcoming hologram shows.