Major event company, SFX Entertainment, which owns digital music store Beatport, ticketing company Paylogic, and several festivals such as Electric Zoo, Mysteryland, TomorrowWorld and Life in Color, was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt when it filed for bankruptcy in February. Now, with the help of former AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips, SFX has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name, LiveStyle, and has named him President and CEO of the company.
Phillips, who joined the company after Robert F.X. Silverman left, explained the name change to Billboard saying,
“Every time I said the name ‘SFX’ to someone, I got this negative reaction – people would make the sign of the cross.”
The former CEO of AEG has experience running Coachella and promoting tours by Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. Phillips also reportedly shuns the term “EDM,” and wants to shift the company’s focus away from electronic dance music.
“We’re going to be a music company that specializes in electronic music,” said Phillips, suggesting that while festivals like Electric Zoo New York will continue to focus on EDM, others like Mysteryland New York, “will be broadened, more like Coachella.”
LiveStyle will continue to run Beatport, which Phillips says is more profitable after dropping its streaming service to focus on selling downloads. While the promoters that LiveStyle owns will continue to operate with some independence, Phillips says the company will go forward with a more integrated model, trimming redundant costs for services like accounting.
LiveStyle is now 70 percent owned by Axar Capital and an investment arm of the German insurance giant Allianz.
Phillips didn’t reveal about why SFX collapsed, but he has a clear point of view, saying, “The problem was that it was put together too quickly – it was based on doing an IPO,” or initial public offering.
Sillerman also “sold a story about sponsorship, but sponsorship has to be the icing on the cake – not the cake itself,” said Phillips, adding, “We have no plans to sell anything. Now is the time to clean this up make it function, and grow it.”