Voodoo Fest promoter Stephen Rehage has joined Live Nation as President of the company’s North American Festivals division. Live Nation purchased a 51% interest in the 15 year-old Voodoo Music Experience, according to sources. Voodoo Fest, the first Rehage event produced for Live Nation, immediately becomes the largest of the company’s domestic festivals.
The project brings one of the biggest corporations in the music industry to New Orleans, where Rehage will continue to base his office and staff. The business implications for the city are enormous. New Orleans has long been known as a music content provider with no industry to go with it. With Festival Productions (producers of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, among others) and French Quarter Festivals, Inc. producing numerous events and now The Voodoo Experience (VME) representing a $5 billion corporation based in New Orleans, Austin’s official claim to be “live Music Capitol of the World” is in jeopardy.
Rehage, a New Orleans native, has done a skillful job with Voodoo balancing local music with popular rock, hip-hop and electronic music. Voodoo has helped promote the profiles of artists like Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, the Bingo! Show and Preservation Hall, and his bookings for other Live Nation events are likely to help build national awareness of Louisiana music in general.
Next weekend (November 1-3) will mark the first edition of Rehage’s VME festival at New Orleans City Park under this co-proprietorship. View the Voodoo Music Experience (Voodoo Fest) 2013 Line-Up and more here.