By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
New Jersey is getting a major rock music festival next summer. Festival Republic, owned by Live Nation and the force behind the hugely successful Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK, has teamed with Austin, TX-based C3 Presents to create the Vineland Music Festival. The new destination music event, which will feature rock, is scheduled for Aug. 8-10, 2008, in Vineland, NJ at a 550-acre site that’s within a few hours’ driving distance of New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
More than 100 bands are expected to play the Vineland Music Festival, though specific groups have not yet been named.
“As the leading festival producer in the UK and Europe we are pleased to be able to bring our expertise in staging multi-day events to this new venture with our partners at Festival Republic,” Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, said in a statement.
The festival presents a marriage of two promoters that are looking to establish a new, branded event and increase their profiles. Upstart C3 is a relatively new concern but with a wealth of experience behind the scenes, as several executives are the brains behind Austin City Limits (Sept. 26-28), which they produce. Vineland would give them a foothold in the Northeast to go with Lollapalooza in Chicago (Aug. 1-3), which the company also produces. As for Festival Republic, the company currently doesn’t host any events in the U.S., so Vineland would give the business fresh exposure stateside.
“I appreciate the support of Live Nation which has enabled us to break new ground with our first festival in the United States. Vineland will be an electrifying event which we expect will be a huge hit with music fans throughout the Northeast and other cities around the world,” Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said in a statement.
Festival Republic, formerly known as Mean Fiddler, was acquired in 2005 by LN Gaiety Holdings which Live Nation controls through its 50.1% ownership interest.
“It is a huge opportunity for C3 to work with Melvin and Live Nation to create a unique festival experience in the Northeast,” Charles Attal, a partner in C3, said in a statement.