The Big Day Out Has Another New Owner

International Promoter and ticketing giant Live Nation Entertainment has officially completed a deal to acquire a majority stake in C3 Presents, the promoter who, as of earlier this year, own 100 percent of the iconic Australian festival, the Big Day Out.

Reports the Austin Business Journal, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the two companies announced the deal in a statement confirming that Live Nation Entertainment would take a controlling stake of 51% in C3 Presents.

“We are excited to join Live Nation and become a part of their global family, while continuing to grow our festivals within a culture of entrepreneurship that will empower our team to keep improving these festivals and the fan experience,” C3 partners Charles Attal, Charlie Walker and Charlie Jones said in a statement.

C3 Presents currently runs global music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Austin City Limit and, as revealed by Music Feeds this year, the Big Day Out, after promoter AJ Maddah sold his 50 percent stake in the company.

Upon acquiring the Australian festival, C3 confirmed that the Big Day Out will not return in 2015, but stated their intention to bring the festival back “in future years”. AJ Maddah’s involvement remains unclear.

Maddah previously insisted that although he sold all his shares to C3 for just $1, he has “the option” to buy them back for the same price at a later date, provided he throws in some extra capital. He also said he will still be involved in the running of the Big Day Out which he says will return in some capacity 2016, when “people will see the reboot of Big Day Out Version 2.”

The deal between Live Nation and C3 has been expected for some time. According to a previous reports from The New York Times, C3 Presents is reportedly valued at around US$250 million. It’s flagship festival Lollapalooza already has editions in Brazil, Chile and Argentina and next year will expand to Europe with an instalment in Berlin.

Live Nation too has built a large festival base over the years, with a predominately EDM roster. It has acquired interests in British EDM promoter Cream Holdings, organiser of the Creamfields Music Festival, as well as the Los Angeles-based Hard, who run Hard Summer Music Festival and Insomniac Events, who run Electric Daisy Carnival.

A deal such as this was opposed by former Big Day Out promoter Ken West who spoke in 2011 about his constant struggle to keep the festival independent. “Keeping it out of the Live Nation’s and the big stock market companies that like to gobble up these kinds of things is one of the hardest things for independent promoters to do, because they do offer a lot of money to do it,” he said.

With the acquisition of C3, the leading independent promoter in North America, Live Nation have expanded their portfolio even further to include a mixture of alt rock, indie and and EDM events. It also now boasts the largest festival platform in the world with over 65 festivals.

Photos: Big Day Out Perth – Arena Joondalup, 02/02/14 / Photos by Court McCallister

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