Live Nation Buys 'Controlling Interest' In Bonnaroo Festival

Damon Albarn , Bonnaroo 2014
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival

Damon Albarn performs onstage at What Stage during day 3 of the 2014 Bonnaroo Arts And Music Festival on June 14, 2014 in Manchester, Tennessee.

Live Nation and the founding partners of the Bonnaroo festival, Superfly and AC Entertainment, announced this morning a new partnership that sees Live Nation taking controlling interest in the festival, the 14th annual version of which takes place June 11-14. Superfly and AC Entertainment will continue to plan and execute the day-to-day operations of the festival, the release says. 

"The addition of Bonnaroo builds on Live Nation Entertainment's world leading festival portfolio of over 60 marquee festivals such as: Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park, Electric Daisy Carnival, Rock Werchter, and Watershed Music Festival to name a few," Live Nation CEO and president Michael Rapino said in a statement. "We continue to expand the industry's most unparalleled and scalable festival platform all while driving strong revenue and growth for Live Nation on a global basis. Bonnaroo is another crown jewel in this festival channel strategy, one that appeals to both fans and artists in uniqueness and experience."

Live Nation's investment in Bonnaroo, the largest indie festival, follows the company's acquisition of a controlling stake in C3 Presents this past September. C3, the promoter behind Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, among others, was the largest indie in the festival market before Live Nation's buy-in. The acquisition follows a 9 percent increase in festival attendance last year for the live event giant.

"We are strengthening our commitment to create the best possible experience at Bonnaroo," said Rick Farman, co-founder, Superfly. "Through this partnership with Live Nation, we're even more empowered to enhance the festival while preserving the integrity of the event that we've thoughtfully built over the past 14 years."

"Partnering with Live Nation is a milestone for Bonnaroo. It opens up tremendous opportunities for us to continue to evolve the Bonnaroo experience in an exciting, powerful way," said Ashley Capps, founder, AC Entertainment.

Live Nation also has acquired a share of the Bonnaroo property, Great Stage Park, also known as "the Farm” -- the press release says that “significant investment in the site and enhancements to the festival experience are planned.”