Will Electric Zoo’s Drug-Related Deaths Impact SFX’s IPO?
– Kerry Mason
There was abundant free water, trained security guards, roving medics, regular harm-reduction announcements and multiple medical tents. But even those measures couldn’t keep tragedy from striking the Electric Zoo Festival on New York’s Randall’s Island during the holiday weekend of Aug. 30-Sept. 2, when the drug-related deaths of two young attendees and hospitalization of three more the 5-year-old EDM festival. Promoter Made Event called off Sunday, the third and final day, after intervention from city government agencies.
Cities have shut down nightclubs and raves over drug concerns throughout dance music’s 30-year history. But that was before the arrival of EDM with its giant and young audience, and the massive investment it attracted. Live Nation, Yucaipa and Robert F.X. Sillerman’s revived SFX have all anted up hundreds of millions of dollars for EDM entities in the last 12 months. Sillerman’s now taking SFX to public investors to raise as much as $300 million, according to a filing. The industry believes its rollout to investors is imminent because its deal with German promoter iMotion expires if the initial public offering (IPO) misses an Oct. 16 date.