The indie promoter pool continues to shrink as SFX adds Belkin Productions in Cleveland, Ohio to its list of acquired concert promotion companies. Although there has been no official announcement of the purchase, Celebrity Access has learned from various sources that the deal is finalized. The addition of Belkin pretty much locks up the concert business in Ohio for SFX which already has interests at venues in Cincinnati, including the Riverbend Music Center, Crown Arena, Taft Theater and Bogart's nightclub, and owns Polaris Amphitheater and Sunshine Promotions in Columbus.
Belkin was one of 11 independent promoters who joined forces in 1999 and formed the Independent Promoters Organization to provide an alternative to SFX in the national tour promotion game. Jules Belkin, president of Belkin, was one of the IPO's four directors along with Arny Granat (Jam), Bill Reid (Rising Tide), and John Scher (Metropolitan Entertainment Group). Evening Star was also a member of the IPO before being purchased by SFX earlier this year.
Celebrity Access has also learned that SFX and John Scher's Metropolitan Entertainment Group as well as House of Blues are also in discussions about a SFX acquisition.
Belkin and SFX already had a relationship. They are part of a partnership that includes Mekka nightclub owner Tom Higgins (BSH Inc.) that was to buy the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio for $1.85 million in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court-ordered sale in 1999.