In early June 2012, billionaire entertainment mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman announced that he would be moving back into the entertainment business, placing his focus on the up-and-coming world of Electronic Dance Music (EDM). To that end, Sillerman has since purchased two major EDM players, and is poised to pay nearly $1 billion in further acquisitions.
Sillerman rose to the top of the entertainment world in the early 1990s through his dominance within the music concert scene. Sillerman compiled a stable of music promoters within his SFX Entertainment company, which he later sold to Clear Channel Communications for $4.4 billion in 2000. Clear Channel transformed SFX Entertainment into Live Nation, which later merged with Ticketmaster to create a media ticketing juggernaut.
Prior to his June 2012 announcement, Sillerman had been largely absent from the live entertainment industry. However, his recent high profile EDM acquisitions have thrust him back into the live entertainment spotlight and have those within the industry wondering if this latest gamble will pay off with the same returns as SFX Entertainment.
Sillerman’s first EDM acquisition was Disco Donnie Presents, an EDM promotions business that is run by high profile party promoter Donnie Estopinal. The deal made waves at the EDMBiz conference, with news breaking that a number of promoters were contemplating similar deals with Sillerman. According to Estopinal’s comments at the conference, the deal with Sillerman will still allow Estopinal to maintain creative control over Disco Donnie Presents.
Estopinal believes that the deal will serve as a positive for the company and allow those who have worked alongside him an opportunity for a more secure future. “I want to reward the promoters who have been doing this for a long time and get them all under one umbrella,” Estopinal said according to Billboard.biz. “People who have put their blood, sweat, and tears into the scene can finally make some money and have an exit strategy for the future. Right now, we’re doubling our gross income every year; this [deal] will give us an opportunity to build an infrastructure to keep growing.”
Sillerman’s second EDM purchase, which was announced on August 2, 2012, was of DayGlow Productions. Billed as “The World’s Largest Paint Party,” DayGlow was created approximately six years ago, and has presented over 125 parties around the world. One of the trademarks of a DayGlow party, which attract some of the hottest names in EDM to perform, is its “paint blast,” wherein the company derives its name.
The purchase of DayGlow marks only the second in what is anticipated to be many purchases by Sillerman. Reports indicate that Sillerman is poised to purchase between 30-50 EDM based companies for his newly revived SFX Entertainment brand. In addition to upcoming purchases, Sillerman has announced that he hopes to make EDM events more than simply a show. Instead, Sillerman hopes to engage consumers both before and after EDM events.
“Most EDM fans attend three to five events a year,” Sillerman said in a statement obtained by Billboard.com. “There are 360 other days in a year. We want to extend the experience well past the time they are attending an event and enjoying it.”
EDM has taken the country by storm, signaling that perhaps the newest age of music has arrived. Skrillex, one of EDM’s hottest talents, was a huge draw at Coachella. Kaskade managed to sell out the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. While EDM may not have taken hold of Top 40 radio, it is certainly creating a revolution in the realm of concerts and performance.
It is with this knowledge that Sillerman is betting it all on EDM continuing to gain a foothold in popular culture. Should the EDM revolution continue to build, SFX Entertainment’s stable of promoters and production companies will place SFX on the cutting edge. Judging from the success of Sillerman’s previous music gambles, it seems likely that Sillerman’s latest bet will pay-out.