According to the Los Angeles Times, Live Nation acquired the Los Angeles-based concert promoter Spaceland Presents. This acquisition includes music venues Echoplex, the Echo and the Regent which helps the powerhouse events firm expand its footprint throughout Southern California. The acquisition of Spaceland Presents closed Thursday and is the most recent of around a dozen deals that Live Nation has made with music venues throughout Southern California in the past year. With all of the transactions the concert promoter has been a part of, they have spent around $20 million on costs including property purchases, exclusive booking or management arrangement or co-promotions.
According to Live Nation, places like the Echoplex, which hold 660 people, allow more options for musicians and bands because of the range of club sizes and varying locations. For example, the Regent, located in downtown Los Angeles, holds 1,000 people while the Echo on Sunset Boulevard holds 350. Live Nation is excited to get involved with smaller artists who are among the early stages of their career, said Ron Bension, president of Live Nation Clubs & Theaters, a division that focuses on smaller venues with a max capacity of 3,000. “To be able to move bands through these venues … is an advantage to the bands, fans and to us,” Bension said in an interview.
In addition to the venues of Spaceland, Live Nation purchased their promotions business which books performances at event including First Fridays at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. The deal occurs amidst of time of growing concentration in the promotions business. Los Angeles based AEG and Live Nation are two of the biggest competitors in the industry and are making it difficult for independent concert promoters. The president of Spaceland Presents Mitchell Frank said that as an independent concert promoter it is challenging to secure larger venues without working with a bigger partner. Frank will hold the same title at Live Nation, and his company’s headcount of 170 employees is expected to remain the same. The company is hoping to help take smaller artists to larger theaters and eventually an arena-sized event by joining Live Nation. “We want to have the opportunity to grow with an artist,” Frank said, adding that he expects to see more consolidation in the industry. Frank also mentioned his concerns with the consolidations and its effects on ticket prices and the atmosphere of the venues.
About two years ago, Live Nation aimed to grow its profile throughout Southern California by identifying areas where it lacked a presence. For example, they noticed in San Diego they didn’t have a large enough venue for more than 2,000 people so it booked a deal with Soma.
“We felt that we had an opportunity to fill those gaps,” Bension said, adding the company looks for great partners with great venues or influence.