Breakaway Music Festivals Closes Funding Round, Continues Expansion Plans

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Breakaway Music Festival has announced closing a series A funding round led by private investment firm RSE Ventures that the festival producer says will help it expand and continue its momentum as a growing independent multi-city festival brand.

“For us it’s, one, about expanding to more markets,”  Breakaway co-founder Adam Lynn told Pollstar. We want to see Breakaway in as many cities as possible. Obviously it’s an expensive business and it’s hard to throw festivals with limited cash. It eliminates some of the pain points when trying to expand.

“Even more importantly is being able to build out the team a bit more,” adds Lynn, whose company is based in Columbus, Ohio, while he also splits time between Nashville and Los Angeles.  “Some great new people have joined the team in brand partnerships, operations, there’s new people on the marketing team ,a new talent buyer. We’re really reinforcing the core team for growth.”

 Other participants in the series A funding round include Marshall Sandman’s Animal Capital, Human Ventures, George Ruan, Bustle Digital Group (BDG), New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba, Gross Labs, and Steve Martocci. 

Launched in 2016, Breakaway this year is taking place in seven cities, having just sold out Charlotte’s Zmax Dragway in May, with 20,000 attendees per day over two days and the lineup topped by Illenium, Tiesto, Deadmau5 and Zedd.  Upcoming events with similarly strong mostly electronic talent include Breakaway Festivals in Kansas City, Grand Rapids, Columbs, Boston and San Francisco.  Boston is a first-time Breakaway event.

Lynn says he and partner Zach Ruben’s mission remains as offering a top-notch experience at an affordable price, which has led to success despite uncertainty over the economy since COVID.

Spring Carolina 2023 John Summit Kursza
Breakaway Music Festival Carolina. (John Summit Kursza)

“The reception we get from the artists who are playing, everyone is thankful for the opportunity,” said Lynn. “The opportunity to be growing in this kind of climate gives us a lot of leverage when we’re approaching agencies and now we have 10 cities we’re booking against for next year.” Lynn says the company also looks to build out its artist management and influencer representation business. The long-term goal is for 20 Breakaway festivals nationally. 

William Van Orsdel, Breakaway’s head of growth, added, “As one of the last independent groups in live entertainment, we carry the flag of the ‘underdog’ in the music industry. We are so proud of the group of strategic investors we put together to drive Breakaway’s ascent through reimagined real-life experiences, digital opportunities, and more that will help turn the brand into a household name.”