Live Nation Urban has acquired a significant equity stake in the Washington, D.C.-based Broccoli City Festival, company officials announced Friday (Oct. 14).
Broccoli City has grown every spring since the launch of its first event in 2010; Live Nation Urban notably acquired the stake from festival co-founders and entrepreneurs Marcus Allen and Brandon McEachern.
As part of the acquisition, Live Nation Urban welcomes Allen and McEachern in executive roles. They will work alongside Live Nation Urban president Shawn Gee and his team to scale the Broccoli City brand and “catalyze the creation of new content and culture-centric live experiences and festivals,” according to a press release announcing the deal.
The Broccoli City Festival, described as “a black-owned social enterprise rooted in impact and entertainment that focuses on people and progress,” has notably featured icons such as Lil Wayne, Cardi B, Childish Gambino and the late Nipsey Hussle as well as rising superstars Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Summer Walker, Wizkid and City Girls. Based in D.C., the festival “staunchly supports environmental consciousness in the African-American community and fosters creativity through innovative initiatives at the intersection of technology, music, art, and social impact,” the release continues. “Over the last decade, it has inspired and mobilized 20 million-plus young people through events and online platforms.”
The acquisition highlights a cycle of black entrepreneurship. Beyond the festival, Gee and Live Nation Urban have focused on championing Allen and McEachern and their vision in the long run.
“For us as a company, this investment was an important one,” said Gee, noting that when Live Nation Urban formed in 2018, one of its first deals was a co-promotion agreement with Broccoli City. “I promised the guys that the success of our partnership would lead to greater things, and it was important to me to keep my word. We are not simply investing in a festival; we are investing in these amazing founders. We believe this will be the first of many brands that we will build together with Marcus and Brandon as they have an insatiable entrepreneurial spirit.”
The Broccoli City crew is “super excited about this partnership with LNU/LN, and working closer with Shawn Gee. I really appreciate him encouraging us to be big thinking entrepreneurs and brand builders… not limiting us to event producers,” added McEachern.
To position Broccoli City for further growth, “we are going to focus on curating untapped niche markets, bigger partnerships, and international expansion,” Allen added. “Our big picture goal is to create a 100-million-dollar community at the apex of live entertainment, social impact, and digital media.”