SFX Entertainment has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name, LiveStyle, and a new CEO who shuns the term “EDM”.
The electronic music giant, which owns digital music store Beatport, ticketing company Paylogic and several huge festivals – Electric Zoo, Mysteryland and Life in Color – was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt when it filed for bankruptcy in February. Former AEG Live chief Randy Phillips helped lead the company through bankruptcy and was named president and CEO of LiveStyle last week.
“Every time I said the name ‘SFX’ to someone, I got this negative reaction – people would make the sign of the cross,” he told Billboard about the company’s name change.
Phillips plans to shift the company’s focus away from “EDM”. “We’re going to be a music company that specializes in electronic music,” he said, suggesting that while festivals such as Electric Zoo in New York will continue to focus on electronic music, others, like Mysteryland in Bethel, New York, “will be broadened, more like Coachella.”
LiveStyle will also continue to run Beatport, which Phillips says is now profitable after dropping its streaming service to focus on selling downloads.
Phillips’s experience at AEG includes running Coachella and promoting tours by Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. He replaces Robert F.X. Sillerman, the larger-than-life media entrepreneur who went on a shopping spree during his tenure as CEO of SFX, buying up electronic music promoters with the hope of cashing in through a huge stock market launch. His risk-taking didn’t pay off, however. Valued at over $1 billion when it went public in October 2013, SFX had a market value of less than $10 million when it collapsed two and a half years later.
Last year Beatport halted payments to labels and artists for several months as SFX transitioned back to a private company.