Live Nation Acquires New Zealand's Rhythm and Vines Festival

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Courtesy of Live Nation


Live Nation has acquired a controlling stake in Rhythm and Vines, one of New Zealand’s most popular festival brands. 

Founded in 2003 by University of Otago friends Hamish Pinkham, Tom Gibson, and Andrew Witters, the three-day, year-end camping festival is set among wineries in the coastal town of Gisborne. Over the years, the team has booked such headliners as Public Enemy, Moby, LCD Soundsystem, Wiz Khalifa, Bastille and Chance the Rapperand for its most recent edition, R&V boasted a lineup including Schoolboy Q, Mura Masa, 2manydjs, A-Trak, Baauer and Giggs.

“Over the course of 15 years, Rhythm and Vines has curated a wonderful line up of both domestic and international talent in one of the most beautiful parts of our country,” said Live Nation New Zealand chairman Stuart Clumpas. “It has become a household name in New Zealand and we’re excited to be adding the festival to the Live Nation portfolio and welcoming its experienced team to the company.” Financial terms were not disclosed.

Live Nation has an expanding portfolio of assets on both sides of the Tasman. In 2015, LN’s partner C3 Presents rolled out its Austin City Limits in Auckland City Limits, and the following year the concerts giant bought a majority share in Auckland’s 12,000-capacity Spark Arena (formerly Vector Arena).

Through its partnerships with UNIFIED and Secret Sounds, LN last month presented Download Festival in Melbourne, an event that will return in 2019 with an additional leg in Sydney. Live Nation in 2016 acquired 51 percent of Secret Sounds Group, the Australian company that produces Splendour in the Grass and Falls Music & Arts Festival. 

Kieran Spillane, CEO of Rhythm and Vines Festival, had this to say about the new deal: “By joining forces with the global leaders in entertainment, Live Nation, we can ensure our long-term vision for the event and continue to grow the festival. This partnership will allow us to attract the very best acts, delivering a unique festival experience in New Zealand.”

The company now boasts more than 100 festivals worldwide on its books.