The global Covid-19 pandemic may have brought a halt to music festivals worldwide, but for one firm in the space, it only accelerated an already energetic acquisition schedule. And for such a monumental shift in market share across the festival business, it’s a roll-up that has taken place with barely a press release issued, or comment given.
According to research conducted by IQ, Superstruct Entertainment has now amassed over 85 festivals in Europe and Australia, which makes it the second-largest festival promoter in the world after Live Nation.
Superstruct Entertainment was founded in 2017 by Creamfields founder and former Live Nation president of electronic music James Barton and Roderik Schlosser whilst at Providence Equity Partners.
At the time, Barton said: “The relationship with Providence is – it’s an easy pitch. To bring a level of professionalism and organisation to what we’re trying to do, to try and be not just the most creative festival platform out there but the best run.”
Superstruct has a presence in at least eight markets including the UK, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Australia.
Superstruct has a presence in the UK, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Australia
In the UK, it has interests in Y Not, Truck, Nass, Blue Dot, Victorious, South West Four, Kendal Calling, Tramlines, Boardmasters and Lost Ventures – many of which were acquired when Global’s portfolio was divvied up in April 2019.
Elsewhere in Europe, the company’s network includes leading operators and festivals such as Elrow (ES), Sziget (HU), Wacken Open Air (DE), Mysteryland (NL), Hideout (HR), Sonar (ES), Flow (FI), Defqon1 (NL), Parookaville (DE), Zwarte Cross (NL), Arenal Sound (ES), Øya (NO), O Son do Camiño (ES) and Tinderbox (DK).
Its most recent acquisition, and the first of 2023, was The Music Republic, the Valencia-based organiser behind iconic Spanish festivals Arenal Sound and Benicàssim (FIB).
IQ also understands that Superstruct has an interest in 10–12 festivals in Australia, some of which operate under the same brand.
Alongside festivals, the live entertainment behemoth also owns festival travel and accommodation companies such as Festival Travel and Liffin, both of which are based in the Netherlands.
“[Superstruct] has a commitment to building a strong portfolio of live entertainment brands”
While neither Schlosser nor Barton has rarely spoken publicly about Superstruct’s ambitions, the latter of the two referenced a “commitment to building a strong portfolio of live entertainment brands… and supporting the different festivals in their growth in their respective markets” upon the acquisition of Global’s festival arm in 2019.
And in 2021 they said the ID&T acquisition reflected Superstruct’s “deep conviction in the value of experience-focused live music festivals and our excitement about the significant joint growth opportunities that lie ahead as live events return”.
Superstruct Entertainment is headquartered in Kensington, west London, and employs more than 30 people. The company is directed by Schlosser as CEO and Barton as chairman.
Providence Equity is a global asset management firm with $32 billion aggregate in private equity capital commitments. Since the firm’s inception in 1989, Providence has invested in more than 170 companies spanning media, communications, entertainment, software, and services industries across North America and Europe.
Providence is headquartered in Providence (Rhode Island, US) and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Delhi.
Superstruct Entertainment declined to comment on this article.
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