THE FIRST set of accounts published since radio giant Global purchased a raft of festival businesses in autumn 2016 (see Festival issue 28) shows that Global Media & Entertainment Ltd (GM&E) spent £75.86 million in the year ending 31 March 2017 on festival brands.
The majority are owned by new subsidiary Global Festivals Ltd (GFL) but its 58 per cent share of Broadwick Holdings Ltd, which runs Festival No. 6 (cap. 15,000) and Austria’s Snowbombing (6,000) is held by fellow subsidiary Global Live Ltd (GLL).
The accounts reveal that GM&E, itself owned by Global Radio Group Ltd (Jersey), entered the festival sector to broaden its appeal in a weakening radio advertising market.
Separate documents state the gross value of GFL assets last month at £51.15 million, although the company’s balance sheet put its net worth at £32.85m after creditors’ costs. Meanwheile, GM&E’s total worth grew from £459.7m in 2016 to £557.6m in 2017, but the company made an overall loss of £0.8m in the year to March 2017.
Global’s stakes in festivals include 100 per cent of Count of Ten, organisers of Y Not? (cap. 25,000) and Truck (10,000), 65.5 per cent of Victorious Festivals (organiser of Victorious, 100,000), at 65.7 per cent in Lock ‘n’ Load (organiser of SW4, 20,000, anf Together Winter Music Festival, 10,500) and 66 per cent of Lakeside Creatives (organiser of Kendal Calling, 25,000)
The Association of Independent Festivals estimates Global’s share of the UK festival market at eight per cent, second to Live Nation Entertainment’s at 25 per centincluding it’s interstests in Festival Republic and V Festyival.