Attie Van Wyk Spills On Live Nation’s Acquisition Of Big Concerts
IT’S one of the biggest entertainment acquisitions South Africa has ever seen and Live Nation’s involvement in South Africa means exciting things for the entertainment-loving public.
By: El Broide
OVER the past few years, South Africa has become one of the leading entertainment spots in the world. More and more artists are making a stop here a priority during their various world tours and the South African public are seeing more and more of their favourite acts live thanks to promoters such as Big Concerts. Just this year alone, Big Concerts have secured acts such as Roxette, Mariah Carey, Josh Groban, Rodriguez and Lionel Richie amongst others. Last month, the company announced that American entertainment company, Live Nation, has acquired a controlling interest in Big Concerts.
So, what does this mean for the future of Big Concerts? Attie Van Wyk, chairman of the company, reveals, “The acquisition means that we’re now part of the global business and will be bringing live entertainment to South Africa at scale. We’re going to be launching a sponsorship and advertising business to service brands that want to get involved in music, and we’re going to expand our venue operations business to ensure we can do more shows at more venues in the future.” And this is great news for the consumer.
Live Nation is a renowned company across the globe, so it’s natural that Big Concerts decided to partner with the concern. “Live Nation is the world’s leading live entertainment company and produces over 25 000 events around the world each year. They are market leaders in ticketing, concerts, sponsorship and artist management,” Attie says. “I become the chairman of the company and Justin [van Wyk] takes over as CEO. We will continue to run the business like we always done but with Live Nation as our partners.” With this acquisition, Live Nation expands their global footprint to 38 countries – a phenomenal feat.
South Africa has seen an influx of artists gracing our stages since the 2010 FIFA World Cup took place, proving that the South African market is becoming stronger, and therefore more appealing to international artists. “South Africa has a very robust market for live entertainment, spurred on by explosive growth in the consumption of digital content and new stadium venues. We have one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a lot of opportunities on offer, and the appreciation that South African fans show their favourite artists is amongst the best in the world,” Attie says.
While Attie cannot reveal which other artists will be touring the country just yet, he says that there is ‘a significant pipeline of live entertainment over the next 12 – 36 months’, and that ‘it includes major global concert tours in arenas and stadiums as well as family entertainment and theatre in smaller venues’.
Attie adds that the acquisition also means that it is easier to secure larger acts as their management have most probably worked with Live Nation in other territories around the world. However, it also means a whole lot more for the industry. “It helps improve the profile of the market when we acquire content, it helps the profile of our company when we talk to sponsors about partnering our tours, and it gives property developers comfort when we ask them to build new venues so that we can host more events in the market,” he revealed.
Live Nation is just as excited about bringing their brand into the South African market as Big Concerts is bringing them on board. “Since South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2010, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of artists visiting the country with many acts now playing three or four cities. We look forward to working with Attie and Justin to further develop the South African market, as well as the broader African market as demand for live entertainment grows across the continent,” Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation president of International and Emerging Markets, said.