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Live Nation Will Reportedly Acquire Governors Ball

The live events operator is reportedly in the final stages of talks to purchase a majority stake in Founders Entertainment, the independent production company that puts on Governors Ball.

by Andrea Domanick
19 March 2016, 12:13am

Photo courtesy Governors Ball

Concert and touring events giant Live Nation is reportedly on the verge of acquiring NYC's Governors Ball festival.

According to a report from Billboard, the live events operator is in the final stages of talks to purchase a majority stake in Founders Entertainment, the production company that puts on Governors Ball, which has operated independently since its inception in 2011. Governors Ball returns for a fifth year June 3-5 on Randall's Island and features headliners Kanye West, The Strokes, and The Killers.

GovBall has remained a standout in the fiercely competitive Northeast concert and festival market, landing record ticket sales in 2015, and the acquisition would mark a major get for Live Nation.

The move would come in the wake of Coachella producer and Live Nation rival AEG Live's recent foray into the New York market with the inaugural Panorama Festival. The event is scheduled for Randall's Island July 22-24 and will be headlined by LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, and Arcade Fire.

The alternative festivals' similarities in both timing and location has been a source of tension between their operators, with Governors Ball organizers expressing concern over being pushed out the market by a powerhouse AEG Live. However, in an interview with Billboard earlier this year, Founders partner Justin Wolowitz deflected the suggestion that the company would team up with a corporate giant like Live Nation, pointing out that 2016's onsales for Governors Ball have been their strongest yet.

“We’ve shown that, right now, we don’t need to [partner] — yet," Wolowitz said. "Who knows what the future may bring.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Andrea Domanick is the West Coast Editor of Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.

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