There are good reasons to worry about the following news: the giant concert promoter Live Nation has acquired Spaceland Presents, the Los Angeles company which has been promoting independent music for decades. The deal includes some of my favorite venues such as the Echo, the Echoplex, and the Regent and I am not sure this is good news for people like me who have been enjoying perfect freedom in most of these venues for so many years. Shooting photos will probably become very restricted at the Echo-Echoplex, while I have been taking so many pics during these free Mondays residencies… Will the free residencies even continue? Will Echo Park Rising take place? What will happen to the Dirty Penni Fest, promoting many underground bands and scheduled for this summer? Will these awesome events still go on? It’s not even certain at all.
The Echo is the place where I saw hundreds of acts, I even saw artists such as Fidlar, War on Drugs, Phoebe Bridgers for free, before they blew up,… will upcoming bands still have a chance after this big acquisition?
For years, Spaceland Presents, owned by Mitchell Frank, has been one of the most influential music promoters of Los Angeles, the champion of the underground and independent, booking more than 1,200 concerts each year, even getting involved in events beyond the usual venues cited above. Spaceland Presents also promoted Santa Monica Pier concerts, the free concerts at Levitt Pavilion, the First Fridays at the Natural History Museum just to cite a few! The Echo, Echoplex the Regent will then join the already long list of Live Nation’s venues which include The Wiltern, Palladium, Observatory, Ventura Majestic Theatre, Soma, Fox Riverside….
Ben Weeden, COO, Live Nation Clubs & Theaters, declared: ‘We’re looking forward to helping them continue to be champions of artists on multiple fronts ranging from marketing to performance opportunities to help an artist grow from small 250-cap rooms to full potential, whether it’s a 3,000-cap venue or arena. We are excited to have Mitchell and his team join the Live Nation family.’
It’s a done deal, Live Nation, the world’s first largest presenter of live music and entertainment, now owns Spaceland Presents, while, I would like to remind everyone, second-place music promoter AEG owns Goldenvoice, the other LA-based concert promoter which used to be cool. Maybe that’s was the plan since the beginning for Goldenvoice and Spaceland Presents, getting big and selling out… It’s clear that everything now is corporate, and nothing truly independent is left in music promotion.
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