Live Nation Acquires Rock In Rio, Adding to South American Festival Presence
Live Nation has acquired South American music festival staple Rock In Rio, which runs its flagship Rio de Janeiro event as well as fests in Portugal spanning two weekends.
“We are delighted to bring together the world’s biggest music festival with the largest entertainment company on the planet,” said Roberto Medina, Rock in Rio’s founder and President. “The partnership will generate a number of synergies that will enable the realization of even greater ambitions for Rock in Rio. We are two companies with a united global vision and the ability to achieve big dreams.”
Medina and his team will remain key stakeholders of Rock in Rio, continuing to manage all aspects of production as well as consulting across the business according to the announcement. A Live Nation representative told Pollstar that, the way the deal is structured, Live Nation will own a majority stake in Rock in Rio by 2019.
“Rock in Rio is a marquee event which set the standard for festivals in South America,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “Roberto and his team have grown Rock in Rio to become a truly global event and the preeminent festival in the emerging live events market in South America. We look forward to integrating their industry expertise into the Live Nation business.”
Rock in Rio has also put on events in Spain and, in 2015, reached the United States with a Las Vegas edition, with headliners including Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, No Doubt and Metallica. At the time, Rock In Rio USA said it notched 172,000 attendees – 82,000 the first weekend and 90,000 the second. While it said the event, which required a venue built from scratch, met expectations of backers — including then-partner SFX — Rock In Rio has not yet returned to North American soil.
Live Nation handles more than 100 festivals around the world, and has seen a healthy demand for festivals in South America, with partner and Lollapalooza producer C3 Presents taking its brand across Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
The announcement says Live Nation has been actively focused on building its profile and scope in the region. Rock in Rio began in 1985, and has hosted 18 editions with over 1,700 artists and 9 million attendees and with more than 11 million followers on social media. The festival has also been live broadcasted and streamed to more than 1 billion viewers worldwide.
Over the years, Rock in Rio’s headlining acts have included iconic artists like Queen, Prince, Guns N’ Roses, Sting, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden, Rihanna, Elton John, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Coldplay, Beyoncé, David Guetta, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears, Roger Waters, the Rolling Stones and many more.