Sources say that Live Nation is in the final stages of closing a deal to purchase a majority stake in Founders Entertainment, producers of Governors Ball, the successful (and, until this year, only) New York music festival.
Governors Ball, held annually each June on Randalls Island, enjoyed its biggest year yet in 2015, drawing about 150,000 in aggregate. The majority stake in Founders is a critically important play for Live Nation, both in the Northeastern U.S., and in the overall festival scene in America. The sixth Governors Ball is set for June 3-5, with Kanye West, The Killers and The Strokes headlining. Founders partner Jordan Wolowitz could not be reached for comment.
In what most would view as an unlikely turn of events, Randall’s Island is now the front line in a fierce battle between Live Nation and AEG Live over the New York festival market, with the latter announcing earlier this year that it would launch its own festival on Randall’s Island with Panorama, scheduled July 22-24. In launching Governors Ball, Founders was the first promoter to crack the code of producing a major rock festival in New York, with the festival hosting top-tier acts and posting consistent growth in box office.