Avant Gardner acquires Made Event, Electric Zoo
The investment group behind Avant Gardner has acquired New York promoter Made Event and its annual festival on Randall’s Island, Electric Zoo, from LiveStyle for $15 million. Under the terms of the purchase, Avant Gardner will operate Electric Zoo’s 2022 installment from September 2 – 4. Billboard broke the news of the acquisition on June 15.
The business move is monumental in the context of the New York dance/electronic music market and cements Avant Gardner’s prominence not only in this landscape, but also in the Northeast region at large. The 80,000-square foot site, situated on the East Williamsburg/Queens border, opened in 2017 under the oversight of Swiss concert promoter Billy Bildstein, the company’s current chief creative officer, and Philipp Wiederkehr, a Swiss banker who owns and operates a multi-million dollar private equity and asset management firm, as well as a real estate investments company. Avant Gardner is home to the famed Brooklyn Mirage, which recently underwent costly but impactful upgrades, Kings Hall, and a 150-person private dance space.
In the context of the Northeast region’s dance/electronic events circuit, Made Event is most noteworthy for its promotion of Electric Zoo, a 100,000-capacity event that has reigned as New York’s sole dance-specific festival of its size since Insomniac retired Electric Daisy Carnival New York in 2017.
The acquisition brings resolution to a tumultuous past for Made Event, which was acquired by SFX in 2014. Two years after the acquisition, SFX filed for bankruptcy. Former chief executive Randy Phillips subsequently rebranded SFX as LiveStyle. According to Billboard, Made Event was “the last U.S. festival property held by LiveStyle to be sold.”
Featured image: Doug Van Sant