Western Canada’s major festival and concert promoter Union Events has been acquired by Live Nation Canada with the Alberta-based firm’s managing partners, Harvey Cohen and Nhaelean McMillan, and other key members joining the global concert firm's home team.
Union Events bankrolled and operated festivals Sonic Boom and Calgary’s X-Fest and Chasing Summer, and other festivals across the country. It has also promoted thousands of concerts across North America — 800 shows annually at times — since being founded in 2000. Under its UnionElectronic brand, the company aggressively promoted the national electronic dance scene.
Union had three offices: Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. The latter city was not mentioned in a Tuesday Live Nation Canada news release.
Union was the third-largest promoter in Canada in 2015, reporting almost 250,000 tickets sold. Last year, the company faced a number of setbacks, including a sodden Sonic Boom and the cancellation of X-Fest at the last minute due to inclement weather.
The acquisition marks a key expansion for Live Nation Canada and will serve as a platform for continued growth in the music festival segment.
Union’s portfolio will join the roster of 10 Live Nation-produced festivals in Canada. Over the course of 2016, Union Events will continue to promote their 400 concerts across the country as their concert bookings are integrated into Live Nation’s touring division, which produces over 1,200 shows annually.
In a media release, Live Nation Canada president Paul Haagenson said that “Harvey and Nhaelean are proven creative entrepreneurs who can help Live Nation continue to build compelling events for music fans in Canada. They are an ideal fit and we are very excited to have them join our team.”
No financial terms of the deal were made available, although they must be disclosed at a later point as Live Nation is a publicly traded company. At the end of 2014, the American concert firm had assets of almost US$6B.
- Sources: Live Nation media release, Edmonton Journal