Acquisition of two festivals | evenko consolidates its dominant position

The promoter and owner of the Beach Club, Olivier Primeau, announced Wednesday that he had “passed the reins” of the Fuego Fuego and Metro Metro festivals to evenko. This important transaction, pleasing for those mainly involved, does not only make people happy in the festival industry.

“In the world of entrepreneurship, there are good times and others that are more difficult, today is one of the good times,” declared Olivier Primeau on his social networks. In an email to The Press confirming the transaction, the promoter evenko indicated that it had acquired the events last December.

The two urban festivals, which take place on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park, were created in 2019 (Metro Metro) and 2022 (Fuego Fuego). “When I acquired Beachclub in 2015, my dream was to organize major music festivals. Purchasing Beachclub proved to be a key decision for me and my team, as it gave us the exposure and recognition needed to launch festivals on the scale I had always imagined. »


Olivier Primeau

“We decided to acquire the festival because we were delighted with its success and its positioning in the market,” explained Evenko, specifying that the details of the transaction will remain confidential.

“We have also noted, in recent years, the resounding success of Latin music shows in our amphitheaters and the presentation of Fuego Fuego seemed to us a logical continuation to further promote Latin music in Montreal. We want to play a role in the success of the festival by improving the experience of festival-goers, taking into account what has already been achieved. »

“From evenko’s point of view, this is an excellent transaction, a very good decision for several reasons,” notes Danilo Dantas, full professor in the marketing department at HEC Montréal, specializing in music marketing.

Compared to their portfolio, there is no cannibalization, this is their first Latin music festival with Fuego Fuego. It creates a synergy with what they already have: they know how to organize festivals, all that changes is the line-up.

Danilo Dantas, full professor in the marketing department of HEC Montréal

By making this purchase, evenko is also ensuring that other developers do not capture this share of the market, Danilo Dantas points out. “There is little chance now that others will try to launch festivals of the same type at the same level of deployment. »

An “experienced” team takes over

In his message, Olivier Primeau emphasizes that he and his partners have “put heart and soul into these festivals to make them what they are today: unmissable and highly anticipated events every year in Montreal.”

Olivier Primeau says he is very proud of this new chapter that is beginning. “This transition represents an important step for us, marking the success of our efforts and our desire to see these festivals develop even further with an experienced and already very well established team. »

evenko is already behind five major Montreal festivals: the Francos, the Jazz Festival, Osheaga, Lasso and ÎleSoniq. With these two new acquisitions, the promoter now covers a very wide range of musical genres with its festivals.

“There are advantages and disadvantages to that,” notes Danilo Dantas. In particular, we could expect an increase in prices for access to these events, he said.

They are now the ones who decide the prices for all major festivals.

Danilo Dantas, full professor in the marketing department of HEC Montréal

From a more positive point of view, evenko being an expert in the field, we can also predict that the service will improve on the side of Metro Metro and Fuego Fuego. “They will be able to offer a better experience, have greater negotiating power to bring in bigger headliners, since [le plus gros promoteur au monde] Live Nation owns 49% of the company. »

“The weakened industry”, say regional festivals

If the news is necessarily rejoicing for evenko as well as for Olivier Primeau, the Group of independent regional artistic festivals (REFRAIN) says it is rather “worried” for the cultural industry, which risks finding itself “weakened” by the monopoly exercised by evenko in the chessboard.

A few hours after the announcement of the transaction, the president of the organization, Patrick Kearney, reported that this acquisition by evenko brought “a large concentration of festivals in the same portfolio”. “Admiring” the fact that these two events managed to exist without financial aid, he laments the fact that this “probably will no longer be the case”.

“The pie will remain the same, but we will have two new major festivals coming up, which will have an impact,” added Patrick Kearney, who also wonders to what extent these events will be major showcases for artists. Quebecers, who are not sufficiently represented in the poster according to him. “For me, we are penalizing the festival ecosystem rather than helping artists. »

According to REFRAIN, the different levels of government need to look into a way to help small and medium-sized festivals in this changing context. “We need to think carefully, and quickly, about the impact of these things,” continues Patrick Kearney. Of course, there will be economic benefits, but we must also remember that 49% [d’evenko] is owned by a foreign company [Live Nation]. This is all very worrying. »

With the collaboration of Josée Lapointe, The Press

Fuego Fuego lineup revealed


The Fuego Fuego festival will take place on May 25 and 26.

The Fuego Fuego festival, now managed by the promoter evenko, will welcome to the Olympic Park the artists Maluma and Rauw Alexandro as headliners, as well as Ivy Queen, J Alvarez, Young Miko and many others. The event, which will be in its third edition this year, will take place on May 25 and 26. A “pre-party” celebration, La Rumba downtown, will be held on May 24. Tickets for the event will go on sale Friday.

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