- Former Live Nation executive James Barton makes another move into Europe's festival scene.
James Barton's Superstruct Entertainment, the live music-focused arm of US investment firm Providence Equity Partners, has added another European festival to its portfolio.
Superstruct has bought a majority stake in Advanced Music SL, which runs Sónar festival, So´nar+D congress and other festivals globally, including events in Hong Kong, Reykjavik and Bogota. The move was finalised ahead of the festival's 25th anniversary in Barcelona in June.
In a statement provided to Resident Advisor, Advanced Music says, "The agreement with Superstruct allows us to leverage their knowledge, network and resources to grow the current network of So´nar festivals and the So´nar+D congress around the world."
This is the third move Superstruct has made into the European live music market. Last January, Superstruct bought a 70 percent stake in Sziget, a festival company in Hungary, Reuters reported. Then, in February, IQ magazine reported that Superstruct had invested in Elrow.
Following the acquisition of Sziget, Paul Bedford, the firm's CFO and former financial director of Impresario Festivals, said he hopes to add eight to ten festivals to the Superstruct portfolio within a few years. "We have in mind a federation of festival brands. They will work together as much and as often as they want to," he said. "There is some strength in numbers in this game."
In June, another US equity firm, Yucaipa Companies, acquired a minority stake in Spanish festival Primavera Sound and conference Primavera Pro, according to IQ.