New York City’s most popular EDM venue has replaced its premier electronic festival.
Settled earlier this month, the deal includes the crown jewel at the Made Event, Electric Zoo, the largest electronic dance music festival in New York. As a result of the acquisition, Avant Gardner will operate the Electric Zoo this year. The 100,000-capacity fest each year takes place on Labor Day Weekend and boasts a lineup of famous DJs such as Porter Robinson, Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, and Carl Cox.
Despite a strong foothold in New York’s dance music scene, Avant Gardner and Made Event have different backgrounds.
Two Swiss men, concert promoter Billy Bildstein and banker Philipp Wiederkehr, co-founded Avant Gardner in 2017. At the time, Bildstein and Wiederkehr had limited exposure to New York nightlife. However, the experience of early passing by European parties and the later operation of a multi-million dollar private equity and asset management firm — has managed the fortunes of some of the wealthiest companies. and family in Zurich — pushing their quest to conquer the EDM scene in New York City.
Five years ago, Avant Gardner emerged as New York’s most frequent electronic music venue. It regularly attracts the world’s most famous DJs and hordes of hungry fans in the 80,000 square foot area, with three distinct performance venues: Brooklyn Mirage, Great Hall and Kings Hall.
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Made Event has also faced setbacks for many years. Far from Avant Gardner’s European origins, Made Event was founded by husband-and-wife team Mike Bindra and Laura De Palma in Long Island City, Queens. In addition, its problems have little to do with local authorities and more so in the field of financial problems.
In 2014, entertainment industry veteran Bob Sillerman bad SFX bought a Made Event. The acquisition is part of a acquisition aimed at developing a large network of electronic dance music promoters under the SFX banner. Sillerman employed a similar strategy in the 90s, successfully creating the original SFX live events company that eventually became Live Nation.
This time, however, SFX is getting into insurmountable debts. In 2016, the company filed for bankruptcy just two years after acquiring Made Event. Emerging from bankruptcy with AEG Live leader Randy Phillips at the helm, SFX was then rebranded as LiveStyle Inc, retaining many of SFX’s assets, including Made Event.
After Phillips left SFX in 2019, LiveStyle began selling several of the festival’s properties. In 2020, Disco Donnie bought Disco Donnie Presents and LiveXLive, and Obtained The festival’s promoter of Spring Awakening React Presents. And last year, UK -based events promoter Superstruct Entertainment bought Dutch events brand ID&T. Made Event is reportedly the last U.S. festival property planned to be sold to LiveStyle.
Outside of operating Electric Zoo, it’s unclear how Avant Gardner will incorporate Made Event into its business model. But New York electronic music enthusiasts can safely assume that Avant Gardner brought his production expertise to the festival — and with that, a possible return to the animal-themed stages that originally set the “ Zoo “in Electric Zoo.