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Business News/ Companies / News/  Lollapalooza India is on track to break even next year: Bookmyshow
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Lollapalooza India is on track to break even next year: Bookmyshow

BookMyShow, originally a ticketing service, is looking to position live shows as a growth engine

Owen Roncon, chief of business, Live Entertainment, BookMyShow.Premium
Owen Roncon, chief of business, Live Entertainment, BookMyShow.

Mumbai: The Indian edition of the renowned Lollapalooza music festival will reach a break-even point by next year, or in its third edition, said Owen Roncon, chief of business, Live Entertainment, BookMyShow, which is the event's organizer. In a conversation with Mint, Roncon highlighted the significant surge in attendance at live events, particularly those featuring international acts.

“Lolla will break even by next year for sure. We are in the ballpark and it’s going per the plan with no massive deviation," Roncon told Mint, adding that it typically takes three years for a major event like this to become financially stable. 

“…The kind of brand pickup that we've seen in Lolla is unprecedented. I don't think there's any other IP that has picked up this kind of inventory from the market. And it's only increasing. I think by next year, we'll be able to do far more for brands, and our plans are bigger and better for the brands themselves. So therefore I think that that those scales are gonna get better," Roncon said.

Launched in Chicago in 1991, Lollapalooza has become one of the world's premier multi-genre music festivals. It made its Indian debut last January, making it the eighth country and the first in Asia to host the annual festival, in partnership with global producers Perry Farrell, WME, C3 Presents, and co-producer BookMyShow.

The festival's second edition is set for this weekend, featuring partnerships with various brands including Budweiser Beats Energy Drink, Johnnie Walker, NEXA, RuPay, Levi’s, Maybelline New York, CRED, and Bisleri Vedica Himalayan Spring Water. Headlining artists include the Jonas Brothers, Sting, OneRepublic, and Lauv.

Roncon acknowledged the complexities of organizing large-scale events, citing extensive contingency planning due to unpredictable industry variables like the Middle East crisis, which can impact artist arrangements and logistics.

With ticket prices starting at 5,999, Roncon expressed a desire to reduce them going ahead through increased brand support. "We aim to integrate brands into the ticket price conversation, showcasing to consumers that brand participation leads to more budget-friendly tickets. This aligns with our goal to make brands an integral part of price point discussions, ensuring a win-win for both consumers and brand partners," he explained.

BookMyShow, originally a ticketing service, now commands a significant share of film and event ticket sales and has expanded into live events. Roncon emphasized the company's focus on co-producing events, positioning live shows as a growth engine for BookMyShow.

Currently, the company is focussing on Mumbai, Bengaluru, and New Delhi for large-format events. It recently launched a rock music festival, Badland, in Bengaluru and is planning a hip-hop festival in Delhi. 

Discussing the strategy of adapting international formats versus creating original IPs, Roncon noted the longer establishment period for new brands compared to well-known international events. The company engages in profit and loss sharing deals with international partners, like with Lollapalooza.

“With Lolla, we are partners and share profit or loss equally. They have a different vision and are looking at expanding into new geographies etc," he said.

In the past, BookMyShow has brought famous musicals and performances like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Cirque du Soleil to India.

Roncon highlighted the need for purpose-built entertainment venues to reduce production costs and ticket prices while providing a platform for talent. The company is actively pursuing venue development in various cities. "Those can be shared with others too and everyone’s production cost can come down, it brings down the ticket prices and gives talent a platform. We're looking at that very, very aggressively and I think in the next year or two, you should see a few results," he said.

Going ahead, BookMyShow aims to expand its non-music portfolio, including gaming and sports, but focusing on large-scale formats. "The very peculiar situation in India right now is that the consumers want the best or none at all," Roncon said.

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Published: 25 Jan 2024, 01:17 PM IST
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