BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (CelebrityAccess) Live Nation has acquired a controlling stake in Rock in Rio, the legendary festival operating biennial events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Lisbon Portugal.
Rock in Rio was the second-highest grossing festival in the world last year with more than 700,000 fans from 62 different countries.
IQ magazine noted that Rock in Rio was formerly 40 percent owned by LiveStyle (aka the descendant of SFX Entertainment). A Live Nation representative told the magazine it acquired its stake from both the festival’s founding partners and the creditor committee for SFX, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2016. The mag also noted that the purchase comes nine months after Live Nation opened its Brazil office.
Rock in Rio began in 1985, and has hosted 18 editions with over 1,700 artists and 9 million attendees and engaging more than 11 million followers on social media. The festival has also been live broadcasted and streamed to more than 1 billion viewers worldwide. Over the years, Rock in Rio’s headlining acts have included iconic artists like Queen, Prince, Guns N’ Roses, Sting, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden, Rihanna, Elton John, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Coldplay, Beyoncé, David Guetta, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears, Roger Waters, the Rolling Stones and many more.
“We are delighted to bring together the world’s biggest music festival with the largest entertainment company on the planet,” said Roberto Medina, Rock in Rio’s founder and President. “The partnership will generate a number of synergies that will enable the realization of even greater ambitions for Rock in Rio. We are two companies with a united global vision and the ability to achieve big dreams.”
Medina and his team will remain key stakeholders of Rock in Rio, continuing to manage all aspects of production as well as consulting across the business.
“Rock in Rio is a marquee event which set the standard for festivals in South America,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “Roberto and his team have grown Rock in Rio to become a truly global event and the preeminent festival in the emerging live events market in South America. We look forward to integrating their industry expertise into the Live Nation business.”