Promoters seeking a sure-fire event should plough on

Fri, Oct 19, 2012, 01:00

ON THE RECORD:HERE’S SOME advice for the lads and lasses at Live Nation looking for some acquisitions: give the people at the National Ploughing Championships a call and make an offer.

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 wringing every last cent from entertainment events, this usually means buying promoters here or investing in events there.

For example, Live Nation’s tentacles have already reached into 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 that draws massive crowds (187,000 people or thereabouts this year) and generated €36.5 million in revenue over the course of three days in 2011. It’s a winner no matter how you look at it. The only hassle would be the mud (no change there), traffic and marauding teenagers looking for free stuff.

Of course, the people behind the ploughing championships have no intention of selling up, but this is the kind of deal a hungry monster like Live Nation should be thinking about. It has become hugely popular in the past few years, 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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For more, see: irish blogs/onthe record

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