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The Capitalization of EDM Continues: Live Nation Acquires HARD Events

LiveNationLarge-550x380As electronic dance music (EDM) continues to grow in prevalence, it continues to attract the attention of investors and major concert promoters looking to cash in. Robert Sillerman (the man who launched the concert company SFX, which went on to become Live Nation) has said that his revived SFX company is looking to spend upwards of $1 billion on acquisitions within a year. Sillerman has even reportedly offered $60 million to Insomniac alone, the company that produces the massive Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). Having already acquired Disco Productions earlier this month and Cream Holdings LTD in May, today marks another milestone for Sillerman and Live Nation – the acquisition of HARD Events.

Live Nation announced today that they’ve purchased HARD Events, a leading electronic music concert promoter and festival operator. HARD Events is a well-respected brand within the EDM community with two popular festivals taking place in the Los Angeles area, HARD Summer Music Festival and HARD Haunted Mansion. Typically a one-day event, HARD Summer has expanded to a two-day festival this year (the festival drew over 30,000 fans last year), while HARD Haunted Mansion historically draws around 20,000 attendees.

HARD Events has had hard-hitting artists the likes of Justice, Skrillex, Boys Noize, and Crystal Castles headline some of their largest shows while also bringing the spotlight on some of today’s newer and rising electronic artists like Major Lazer, Knife Party and Gesaffelstein. Founder of HARD Events, Gary Richards, will continue to run HARD Events and will report to James Barton, founder of Cream Holdings and the newly appointed President of Live Nation Electronic Music.

President and CEO of Live Nation, Michael Rapino, seems confident that EDM isn’t going anywhere.

“Live Nation is committed to empowering the electronic dance space with resources and a network of some of the best talent in the industry,” Rapino said. “HARD Events joins a portfolio of electronic dance music and festival promoters and creators including Cream Holdings. We welcome Gary Richards and his team, and look forward to helping him continue to expand the reach of this dynamic genre for fans and artists alike.”

One has to wonder, as many within the EDM community certainly do, if all the corporate influence (and money) that is being pumped into the scene will jeopardize the integrity and creative health of the community.

“EDM has turned into a massively marketed cruise ship, and it’s sinking fast,” said Deadmau5 in a Tumblr post on Tuesday. “All I’m trying to do is put on my life jacket and swim as far away from this shipwreck as fast as I can.”

One thing is for certain: Live Nation has taken a considerable amount initiative to establish itself as a dominant and credible force in the electronic music world. 

Will EDM implode on itself? Is all this corporate influence positive or detrimental to the scene?

Leave your comments below.

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Hypebot.com. Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House, LLC and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud