Festival Platform Everfest Raises $3.6M From Live Nation, ATX

A general view of the atmosphere during Lollapalooza at Grant Park on July 30, 2016 in Chicago.
Gary Miller/FilmMagic

A view of the atmosphere during Lollapalooza at Grant Park on July 30, 2016 in Chicago. 

Festival editorial and membership platform Everfest has closed a new round of Series A funding, raising $3.6 million from concert promoter Live Nation and ATX Seed Ventures. Founded in 2014, the Everfest platform includes an online magazine highlighting the festival world as well as a database listing 15,000 festivals worldwide.

The investment comes as the Austin, Texas company expands its premium subscription tier for festival-goers, offering discounts and exclusive offerings for 100+ partner festivals including events like Pop Montreal and Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware. For $49 per year, members get special access to artist meet and greets, the ability to purchase VIP tickets at GA prices and other travel and merch perks including exclusive camping offers and special giveaways.

"This is really geared towards super fans who go to five or six festivals a year," Everfest co-founder Jay Manickam tells Billboard. "It's a great value and the idea of belonging to a club that brings all these great events together really resonates with festival goers."

In exchange for discounts and perks, Everfest works with participating festivals on a multi-channel marketing effort that helps promote events through social media, email and editorial packaging.

The investment comes as Live Nation rolls out its own festival passport, giving fans access to 90 music festivals produced by the concert promoter for a one-time fee of $799. The annual pass grants users GA access to events like Lollapalooza (which now takes place in six countries) as well as Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy Carnival, Governor's Ball and Sasquatch!

"They are a perfect partner to work with," Manickam says of Live Nation, adding that it's Everfest's goal to serve as the editorial and marketing platform to connect both Live Nation's growing festival portfolio with the larger festival eco-system. He plans to position Everfest as the TripAdvisor of the festival world, seeing a great opportunity to own the digital festival space. "This is an intriguing category with plenty of room for growth," he said.

This latest round of investment brings the total outside investment in Everfest to approximately $6 million -- Red Frog Events which co-produces Firefly with AEG is also an investor, as well as Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre hotels and an executive at Airbnb. Conley is on the board of Burning Man and is the founder of Fest300, which Everfest acquired last year.

As part of the acquisition, C3 Presents co-founder Charlie Walker will join Everfest's board of directors, as well as Chris Shonk from ATX.

“We love what Everfest is doing to give festivals a true online home,” says Shonk. “This is a massive, growing industry, and Everfest is providing a technology layer that to date has been lacking. We see enormous potential to build efficiencies in connecting the entire festival network, such that the whole industry is driven forward.”