Live Nation, Gaiety, SJM Invest In Boomtown UK

GettyImages 1415547405
General view of the crowd at Boowtown Festival, Matterley Estate in South Downs National Park, near Winchester, Hampshire, Aug. 13, 2022. (Photo by Patrick Ford/Redferns)

Live Nation, Gaiety, and SJM have each bought a stake in one of the UK’s most famous festivals, Boomtown.

While Live Nation and Gaiety each took out a 18% stake, SJM purchased 9% of Boomtown, leaving the majority of 55% with the original owners. It was the only way to ensure the event would be able to continue putting on the show its fans have come to expect and love from the event since it launched in 2009.

One of the biggest expenses for promoters is, of course, the production, and in that regard, Boomtown is one of the most epic festivals in the UK. Each year, promotes build an entire city, comprising more than 15 unique districts, filled with equally unique characters played by actors, all of which tell a story that progresses with each edition or, in the case of Boomtown, chapter.

Any event, independent or not, will struggle under the current price hikes. Complex events with an elaborate production like Boomtown, will feel them even more.

As a statement from the festival’s organizers reads, “for us as a business, our vision has always been very clear, we are a festival like no other – a full living theatre which is set around friends, community, and creative spirit. Like many other businesses in our industry, due to COVID our landscape has changed, and to stay ahead we have had to adapt and be agile. It’s been a very tough few years.

“One of the decisions we came to in the last few months, as a direct result of the rising costs in staging such an epic and complex show, was to seek investment; a minority stake in the business from some of the most experienced names in the industry – SJM (9%), Gaiety (18%) and Live Nation (18%).

“This decision will not only allow Boomtown to continue its vision to be one of the most exciting festivals in the world, but it will also ensure the flexibility to continue to uphold independence on all decisions around business and creativity.”

The festival’s co-founder Chris Rutherford said, “We are excited by the possibilities of this move, for us it’s business as usual, we still hold the keys, we are still running the show. We just have the safety of knowing there is now group support to help us pull through the tail end of these tricky years and provide stability for the future. This means we can continue to thrive, provide employment to one of the best festival crews in the world, and deliver to our audience the magic that is Boomtown. We feel incredibly lucky to still be here after such difficult times.”

Subscribe to Pollstar HERE