Penske Media subsidiary Rolling Stone has acquired a majority interest in Life is Beautiful, the music, arts and ideas festival held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Former Zappos CEO and visionary entrepreneur Tony Hsieh founded the festival in 2013, as part of his vision to transform and revitalize the underserved Downtown Las Vegas community. In the nine years since, it has played host to 600-plus artists and more than 1 million fans, injecting upwards of $350M in economic impact and cultural capital into Downtown Las Vegas and the surrounding area. The most recent edition of the three-day festival, headlined by Billie Eilish, Green Day, and Tame Impala, was attended by an audience of more than 170,000, coming in as one of the highest-grossing events of its kind in the nation in 2021.
Rolling Stone plans to expand Life is Beautiful into new territories and broaden its digital footprint. Together, Rolling Stone and Life is Beautiful will continue to highlight the most important musicians and artists of today, offering exposure to new cultural experiences and contributing to a more beautiful world. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. News of the acquisition comes following Penske’s move to take a stake in both SXSW and the Cannes Film Festival’s American Pavilion.
“Live events are an integral part of Rolling Stone’s future and Life is Beautiful is an incredible platform to realize this vision. Coupled with our significant digital scale and deep journalism, there are infinite possibilities to grow Life is Beautiful in unique and impactful ways,” said Rolling Stone CEO, Gus Wenner. “I am grateful to have worked with Tony on this partnership and am proud to have Rolling Stone help carry forward his mission.”
“Tony understood that his ability to change people’s lives was magnified exponentially by his ability to bring smart, motivated, people-focused entrepreneurs together,” said Richard Hseih, whose son Tony passed away in November of 2020. “The Life Is Beautiful festival is one of the greatest manifestations of Tony’s desire to bring people together.”
“We are thrilled to realize the potential of Life is Beautiful in partnership with Rolling Stone,” added Life is Beautiful CEO David Oehm. “As a landmark institution and touchstone of the music industry for over 50 years, the Rolling Stone team will help to deepen our connection to fans of music everywhere, while also championing the cultural initiatives that make Life is Beautiful so much more than a music festival.”
Five decades since its founding, Rolling Stone today has evolved into a multi-platform content brand, reaching a global audience of over 60 million people per month. The authority for music reviews, in-depth interviews, hard-hitting political commentary, and award-winning journalism across print, digital, mobile, video, social and events, operated and published by Penske Media Corporation, is on a mission to provide “all the news that fits.”
Penske Media Corporation is a leading independent global media and information services company whose award-winning content attracts a passionate monthly audience of more than 310 million. Since 2004, the company has established itself as a pioneer in digital media and a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens across its ever-growing constellation of iconic brands, which also includes Deadline, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, WWD, SHE Media, Robb Report, Sportico, BGR, ARTnews, Art in America, Fairchild Media and Spy.com, among many others. PMC is headquartered in New York and Los Angeles with additional offices in 14 countries worldwide. More information on the company, its 2% Foundation and its portfolio of brands can be found here.
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