Insomniac Events, who throws EDC and its current five-city spin-offs in New York, Chicago, London, Puerto Rico and Orlando, is rumored to be selling a 50% stake of its company to the Live Nation empire. The Wall Street Journal reports that the cut for half ownership of the Los Angeles based events company is in the $50 million ballpark.
The purchase would give Live Nation, America’s largest concert promoter, a bigger stake in the EDM market. In 2012, Live Nation bought out fellow LA-based dance music promoter HARD Events and the similar U.K. brand Cream, which is a major player in the Ibiza club scene and worldwide Creamfields festivals.
The EDC/Live Nation deal would be another Cinderella story in the dance music world. Insomniac Events was founded by Pasquale Rotella, whose first event was a warehouse party in South Central that only drew 300 people. Today, EDC Las Vegas is Insomniac’s flagship event and in it’s 17th year. It announced last week that it sold out of its entire ticket allotment for 2013.
“The most important key to my career has been simply staying alive — keeping Insomniac afloat through all of the different challenges,” Rotella confided in VIBE last July. “The dance music culture has been so scrutinized and beaten up, and we’ve been at the forefront, holding the torch and defending it as good.”
Indeed, Rotella has faced hardships. The EDC events have been scrutinized for their prior mismanagement of security, that some allege is to blame for the 14 drug-related deaths since 2006 at Insomniac events. Rotella is dealing with bribery and other charges too, though he’s pled not guilty. Additionally, new regulations in Las Vegas are putting the 2014 EDC in jeopardy.
“I am most grateful for being able to survive and continue doing what I love through the ups and downs,” Rotella told VIBE.
EDC considers themselves “no longer simply a music festival” but a “one of a kind entertainment experience combining the worlds top DJs, leading-edge production and art.”
“I want to build out my own festival venue that is perfectly tailored to our unique needs as a music and arts festival producer,” Rotella told VIBE of his future aspirations. “Our team is developing some new event brands. Plus, I hope to expand into new markets, including Brazil – which we’ve been talking about for a while. We’re getting close.”
So, while the structure of ownership looks to change, it’s clear that the music will still rage on.