Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Promoters seeking a sure-fire event should plough on

Here’s some advice for the lads and lasses at Live Nation looking for some acquistions: give the people at the National Ploughing Championships a call and make an offer. From tour buses to tractors: the new Live Nation business plan …

Fri, Oct 19, 2012, 09:45

   

Here’s some advice for the lads and lasses at Live Nation looking for some acquistions: give the people at the National Ploughing Championships a call and make an offer.


From tour buses to tractors: the new Live Nation business plan

Giant multinational corporations are hungry beasts and are always looking for things to take over. For the likes of Live Nation or AEG, colossal megacorps who specialise in wriging every last cent from entertainment events, this usually means buying promoters here or investing in events there.

For example, Live Nation’s tentacles are already to be found in various corners of the Irish live events market via venue management (including Dublin’s O2) and concert promotion (this summer’s Lady Gaga and Madonna shows in Dublin were Live Nation joints). There’s also the usual speculation about a long-in-the-works MCD takeover, which would make sense seeing as Live Nation and MCD big cheese Denis Desmond are partners in Festival Republic.

But why have crabs when you can have lobster? Why bother with Oxegen when you can have the National Ploughing Championships? Here’s an event which draws massive crowds (187,000 people or thereabouts this year) and generated 36.5 million euro in revenue over the course of three days in 2011. It’s a winner no matter what way how you look at it. The only hassle you get has to do with mud (no change there), traffic and marauding teenagers looking for free stuff.

Of course, the people behind the National Ploughing Championships have no intention whatsoever of selling up, but these are the kinds of deals which a forward-thinking hungry monster like Live Nation should be thinking about. Here’s an event which has become hugely popular in the last few years – there was never much mainstream coverage of the event prior to the 1990s – has a dedicated audience and still has room for growth. Certainly makes more sense than buying into an iffy live music sector.

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