German live entertainment conglomerate Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) and majority-owned UK partner Kilimanjaro Live have purchased Scotland’s 16,500-capacity Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.
It is the second major UK acquisition by the two companies in the last 10 months.
Last September the pair announced that Kilimanjaro had acquired 60 per share of promoter and show producer Flying Music Group for £5 million and planned further expansion. (see Audience issue 212)
Belladrum, which this year features headliners such as Paloma Faith, Primal Scream and Amy MacDonald and has been exclusively booked by Kilimanjaro for the past eight years, will continue to be managed by founder Joe Gibbs, who launched the festival it 15 years ago.
“It is a profitable festival with high regional importance that has been very well run for many years,” he says. “[Kilimanjaro founder] Stuart Galbraith felt strongly that it would be a good addition to his business and we listened,” says DEAG international business affairs CMO Detlef Kornett, who confirms that a substantial amount of money was paid for the three-day festival.
On the subject of further expansion in the country, he says, “We are committed to growing our UK business, as it is a vibrant market that is growing, so we are actively looking at opportunities in many areas, we are currently spread between rock and pop festivals, classical music, family entertainment and theatre shows.
“We are a diversified business and that opens up a lot of opportunities.”
DEAG owns 51 per cent of promoter Kilimanjaro, with Galbraith owning the bulk of the remaining shares and director Steve Tilley also having a stake.
In the last year Flying Music generated sales of around £18 million internationally and sells around 475,000 tickets annually, some of which will now go through DEAG’s UK ticketing platform myticket.co.uk.