Independent festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents has announced it “looks to further develop opportunities in 2020” with backing from Ron Burkle’s The Yucaipa Companies, which already backs major concert industry players like Artist Group International and Paradigm Talent Agency.
“We had several different options for investors, but ultimately selected Yucaipa because they really understood our growth strategy, and they are uniquely situated to help us execute on it,” Danny Wimmer Presents CEO Danny Hayes says in a statement. “Yucaipa already has several successful investments in the music industry, as well as key relationships in cities where we already operate and others we’d like to enter. We believe they will be able to accelerate our plans to expand into new markets.”
The announcement says in plain terms that the company has already made “several” deals and expects to announce acquisitions “very soon.” The announcement notes the company has also made deals with First Horizon Bank providing further investment capital and renewed its ticketing agreement with Live Nation’s Front Gate Tickets.
“Collectively, the new and renewed partnerships provide DWP with a foundation to aggressively grow the business surrounded by forward-thinking partners,” Hayes adds.
The Yucaipa Companies is a premier investment founded in 1986 by Ron Burkle and has completed mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $30 billion including significant investments in entertainment and live events companies in the U.S. and internationally. In 2018 Yucaipa announced acquiring a minority stake in Spain’s Primavera Sound festival, which described Yucaipa as “a supporter of their existing plans to grow the brand.”
DWP’s events attracted nearly 750,000 fans in 2019 according to the statement, with its portfolio including Sonic Temple in Ohio, Aftershock in California, Epicenter (North Carolina), Welcome To Rockville (Florida), and the “Louisville Trifesta” trio of Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life and Bourbon & Beyond. Its 2019 was a big one, capped off with its biggest-ever Aftershock Festival yet with 97,500 tickets sold and the announcement that the one and only Metallica would headline all five of DWP’s major rock festivals in 2020, with two nights at each event.
To cap that off, one of the hottest tickets of the summer was announced to be co-headlining Aftershock, in My Chemical Romance. This comes after the Louisville Trifesta moved a total of 289,000 tickets in September to its three events, extra notable when considering the previous year’s Bourbon & Beyond was marred by poor weather.
The victory lap of 2019 is a triumph further when considering in 2018 DWP announced it was splitting with previous partner AEG Presents, citing “differences in vision” and re-branding its “World’s Loudest Month” festivals such as Rock On The Range with new names as fully independent events.
AEG had accused DWP of walking away from previous agreements to stage Rock on the Range and Carolina Rebellion, and filed suit against the company. An attorney for DWP told pollstar at the time that there were no contracts for the 2018 shows and that “the relationship had already broken down by that point.”