Dedicated to the Business of Contemporary Live Music

Rewind back with founder and consortium takes over

25 September 2019

ONCE BRIEFLY the country’s second-largest festival operator, radio station giant Global has divested its final event, Rewind.

The ‘80s-themed brand comprises three events, the original Rewind (cap. 40,000) in Henley-on-Thames, Rewind Scotland (30,000) in Perthshire and Rewind North (20,000) in Cheshire, although the latter was cancelled this year due to extreme weather.

Global, whose stations include Capital, LBC and Classic FM, acquired Rewind in October 2016 from David Heartfield’s Impresario Festivals for an undisclosed sum, with Heartfield now one of the three parties involved in taking it over.

The other two are Live Nation-Gaiety, the Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) joint venue with Irish live music entrepreneur and LNE non-executive chairman Denis Dsmond and wife Caroline, and SJM Concerts.

Heartfield tells LIVE UK that he was approached by Live Nation to oversee the running of the Rewind and the booking of acts, but it is too early to reveal the division of ownership between
the three entities.

“Rewind will be back under the old management,” he says. “Some of the people who have been working on it for the past two years will stay and a lot of the original people who were involved in it will come back. We will be returning Rewind to what it was.”

The brand was launched in 2009 as the ‘80s Rewind Festival and has continues to feature artistes who largely enjoyed their heyday in that period.

Heartfield says all three festivals will take place next year under the new ownership.

“We need to look at venue contracts and agree deals, hopefully that will be done quickly,” he says. “We are working on the line-up at the moment and coming up with some great acts for next year.”

Global spent tens of millions of pounds building a festival portfolio that totalled more than a dozen events.  It began divesting them this year (see LIVE UK issue 232) and has now fully exited the live music sector. It closed its touring division in 2017 after executives Sam Bush and Joe Schiavon moved to LNE.

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