Live Nation has acquired the company behind Splendour and Falls
Splendour In The Grass 2016, photo by Kylie Keene
The company behind Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival has been acquired by one of the world’s biggest touring companies.
Live Nation Entertainment now owns 51% in Secret Sounds Group, the Australian company run by Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco. It marks the biggest local acquisition since the US live events company entered into the market after buying out promoter Michael Coppel and his company Coppel Presents in 2012, and follows the takeover of Melbourne’s iconic Palais Theatre, which Live Nation secured on a long-term lease in June.
The acquisition effectively relinquishes control of two of Australia’s largest camping festivals to Live Nation: Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival, which Secret Sounds took over in 2012. The new partnership doesn’t include record labels Dew Process and Create Control, Dew Process Publishing and Secret Sounds’ interests in the North Byron Parklands festival site and Brisbane venue The Triffid.
In a joint statement to media today, Ducrou and Piticco said Live Nation would help take their events to another level. “With their support we can continue to curate the lineups that fans love, while also experimenting with new exciting ways for fans to experience live music,” they said.
Secret Sounds was initially set up as a full-service promoter by Piticco and Ducrou in 2002, one year after the first Splendour In The Grass took place in Byron Bay. It is now the umbrella organisation of several entities including Secret Sounds Touring, Secret Service Artist Management, record labels Dew Process and Create Control, and creative sponsorship arm Secret Sounds Connect.
Since entering the Australian market, Live Nation has toured the likes of Slipknot, Prince, Kendrick Lamar, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac and, um, Nickelback. They are also behind Adele’s upcoming debut Australian tour in March. The company’s global festival portfolio already includes Governors Ball, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Electric Daisy Carnival, Reading, Leeds, Rock Werchter and more.