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By BEN SISARIO for The NY TImes
May 9, 2012, 12:34 pm

In a deal that demonstrates how important electronic dance music has become to the concert industry, Live Nation Entertainment has bought Cream Holdings, the British promoter behind Creamfields and one of the biggest names in European dance festivals.

In an announcement Wednesday morning, Live Nation — the world’s biggest live music company, whose divisions include Ticketmaster — also said that James Barton, Cream’s founder, would become the president of its Live Nation Electronic Music division, and that the company planned more dance events.

“With this acquisition, Live Nation further establishes its position in electronic music and expands its concert platform,” Michael Rapino, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We intend to launch new festivals in key markets in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In its most recent filings with British regulators, Cream Holdings reported that for the year that ended in January 2011, it had almost $7.8 million in assets. The company, which started in 1998, puts on festivals in Britain and Spain and also has a record division. According to Live Nation’s announcement, Cream expects to sell 350,000 tickets to its concerts this year.

While consistently popular overseas, electronic dance music — or techno, or electronica, or whatever you want to call it — has long been considered marginal in the United States, with a mixed history of success in the mainstream. In 2001, for example, Creamfields tried to expand to the United States with events in Las Vegas and on Long Island , but both were canceled.

Over the last couple of years, however, the genre has become one of music’s biggest success stories, with major companies like Live Nation and A.E.G. Live putting on more dance events and the network of independent promoters behind many of the biggest events being wooed by Wall Street investors. Depending on how those promoters feel about selling their companies, there could be more such deals this year.

Next weekend, one of the biggest music festivals in the United States, Electric Daisy Carnival, which has sold hundreds of thousands of tickets in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and elsewhere, is coming to the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for three shows.

Read more at http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/live-nation-joins-the-dance-party-buying-promoter-of-creamfields/
 


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