Update – Monday, April 11th at 9:30 p.m. CT: The New York Times reports that Live Nation has finalized its purchase of Governors Ball. Festival organizers “insisted that they would have been able to continue presenting Governors Ball on their own, but also acknowledged that Live Nation’s resources were essential for Founders to remain competitive and match the high costs of booking top talent for its events,” the New York Times notes.
Live Nation has been gobbling up several North American festivals as it competes in a sort of arms race with fellow concert promotions conglomerate AEG Live. Governors Ball joins a stable of recent Live Nation acquisitions that also includes Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, and Electric Daisy Carnival.
Founders Entertainment had been one of the largest independent music producers in the US, and its owners previously expressed disinterest in selling the company. “We’ve shown that, right now, we don’t need to [partner] — yet,” co-founder Jordan Wolowitz told Billboard earlier this year. But the emergence of AEG Live’s own New York City festival, Panorama, may have convinced Founders to partner with Live Nation to ensure Governors Ball’s existence going forward.
This year’s Governors Ball is set for June 3rd – 5th at Randall’s Island Park. Its lineup includes Kanye West, The Strokes, The Killers, Beck, Robyn, HAIM, Death Cab For Cutie, and more.
Representatives for Founders/Governors Ball did not respond to our request for comment.