Concert promoter Live Nation has reportedly made a move to buy out Bonnaroo festival’s co-founder Superfly Entertainment.
While Live Nation previously purchased a controlling interest in the Tennessee-based festival back in 2015, the company is planning to exercise a buyout clause in its agreement with Superfly to buy the rest of the festival, Billboard reports. According to the publication, the transaction will take place before Bonnaroo’s 2020 event, which will “effectively end Superfly’s role as festival producer.” Bonnaroo will instead be produced by co-founder AC Entertainment as well as C3 Presents in the future.
Since Live Nation first purchased a stake in the festival, the company added some benefits to Bonnaroo’s grounds, including running water for showers, flushable toilets, and campground upgrades. However, fans have criticized Live Nation’s involvement, noting that the promoter is catering to a younger crowd, opting for EDM and hip-hop artists, rather than classic rock performers. Over the past two years, attendance has been dwindling below 70,000 attendees, but this year, 80,000 tickets were sold during the event that featured acts like The National, Kacey Musgraves, Childish Gambino, and Phish.
Bonnaroo, which was first created back as a jamband fest in 1999, has become one of the staple music festivals in the industry, falling in line with recognized events like Coachella, Austin City Limits, and Lollapalooza.