Virtual On The Block?

Steve Jenner’s Virtual Festivals Web site and Virtual Festival Awards are believed to be the subject of interest from outside investors.

That in itself is hardly news, as VF has frequently attracted investor interest. But this time it’s coming from Size 12, a company that already has a financial stake in Festival Awards Ltd.

It’s understood there has been no direct offer from Size 12, a London-based company specialising in event marketing and sponsorship. Any approach will have more likely come from a new company set up by Size 12 and Outgoing, which runs and organises travel packages to such holiday-style events as Summer Break, Beach Brake, Beach Bombing and Snow Bombing.

Size 12 director Chris McCormick confirmed that his company hasn’t put in a straight bid for Virtual, but admitted he’s one of a number of people working on setting up a new company as a vehicle “to put forward a proposal.”

Without referring to any particular approach, Jenner says he’s recently received “a variety of interesting offers.”

“I can confirm that we have not taken any of these up, although I would not rule anything out for the future,” he told Pollstar, admitting Virtual is involved in ongoing conversations.

He said all the good offers he’s ever had have involved him handing over his baby to someone else to bring up.

“I have always had a perverse preference for taking poverty, toil and hardship over money in order to keep control and ownership of my pet monster,” he explained.

In dot-com terms, VF has a solid history and the resurgence of interest in music and fan-related sites may make Jenner’s baby especially appealing at the moment.

Although VF’s never been any sort of money-spinner, it’s just had its best financial start to the year and the Virtual Festivals site is now attracting at least 15,000 unique visitors per day.

Jenner says at the moment he’s excited about VF’s immediate potential for expansion, whether that’s achieved by collaborating with a strategic partner who can help accelerate its ambitions or by continuing under its own steam.