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Tomorrowland operators “considering options” following SFX bankruptcy

By | Published on Wednesday 3 February 2016


As SFX navigates its way through the trials and tribulations of bankruptcy, so too do the many dance music brands it hoovered up over the last few years, even though technically it’s only the parent company that has sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In terms of subsidiaries and business partners, Beatport has already said it’s “business as usual”, while the team behind the Tomorrowland and TomorrowWorld festivals say that “all options are being considered”.

Tomorrowland became allied with SFX after the company took a 75% stake in Dutch promoter ID&T, which in turn had a 50% stake in the festival brand. The US version of the event – TomorrowWorld – was launched as part of this deal, followed by Tomorrowland Brasil last year, which operated in addition to the original Belgium-based festival.

Speaking to Georgia Unfiltered, a spokesperson said that the Belgium and Brazil events would go ahead as planned this year, but “in light of the present situation, no concrete plans have yet been made for TomorrowWorld 2016”, which would be due to take place in September.

“We are currently exploring all possibilities”, they went on. “Tomorrowland has always worked from a long-term philosophy and in this context, all options are being considered to ensure that, like in Belgium and Brazil, the festival will have a bright future in the United States as well”.

The spokesperson also noted that Tomorrowland founders Manu and Michiel Beers bought back ID&T’s stake in the Belgian version of the festival following the SFX deal: “For the past two years, the Tomorrowland festival has been 100% Belgian, but this has entailed an obligation to collaborate with SFX for the foreign editions”.

“The Belgian festival Tomorrowland remains the passion and life’s work of the driving forces behind its creation, Manu and Michiel Beers, and their young, motivated staff in Antwerp, and they intend to continue to bring the same level of ambition to the festivals in Belgium and abroad in the coming years”.

Commenting on that team’s ongoing relationship with SFX, they added: “Since 2013 we have collaborated with SFX for the foreign editions of Tomorrowland held in the USA and Brazil. However, we have noticed that our vision and goals, including a long-term strategy, are different from those of the publicly listed company”.

The future of various other festival brands under SFX’s control – including more via the ID&T deal – remains in question, though the parent company insists everything will proceed as normal while the bankruptcy goes through the motions. Certainly founder Robert FX Sillerman remained positive about the company as he stepped down as CEO on Monday. But he would.