Topics:

16

PART 5: Live Nation acquisition of AC Entertainment is a “natural progression”

Ashley Capps(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final article in a five-part series focused on internationally known music and concert promoter Ashley Capps, a Knoxville native who maintained his passion for his hometown while building a national brand.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Ashley Capps, Founder of AC Entertainment, described last year’s majority acquisition of the company by Live Nation as a “natural progression” in the evolution of the enterprise he created in 1981.

“The business is a lot more difficult today than it was then,” the Knoxville entrepreneur told us. “It’s hard to make a living if you’re (mainly) at the local level. Live Nation has an international footprint.”

Capps had worked with the global entertainment company in the past and ratcheted-up that relationship in 2015 when Live Nation acquired a majority stake in the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The arrangement advanced further in October 2016 when Live Nation acquired a majority stake in the entire company.

Ironically, Capps says that AC Entertainment’s independence allowed the company to launch Bonnaroo in 2002, but the nature of the business has changed.

“To continue to grow, there needs to be a more strategic partnership,” he explained, adding that he was also at a crossroads personally and at the company.

“I had been independent for 25 years, but independent of what,” Capps asked rhetorically? “It sounds good on paper, but it is difficult. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, but how I did it was less important.”

Good leaders are mindful of succession issues, and those were also a factor for Capps.

“We have a great execution team, but not a successor,” he said. With the Live Nation arrangement, Capps says “the team will outlast me and be part of something larger.”

One senses that one thing that will not change for the native Knoxvillian is the passion he has for his hometown. Managing iconic venues like the Tennessee and Bijou Theaters and hosting the annual Big Ears Festival are clearly his way of showcasing the city while bringing significant music and artistic opportunities to the region’s residents.

As noted in the first article in this series, Capps’ passion and commitment have contributed significantly to advancing the community. Downtown is a thriving area, and the promoter who grew up in Fountain City with a toy phone and 45 rpm record player has been a major part of that transformation.


Tom Ballard

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer,
Pershing Yoakley & Associates. P.C.

eNews & Updates

Sign up to receive posts via email.



Connect With Us

Upcoming Events

  • Feb 19 2019 "Rise and Grind" Session 2: “A Survey of Capital Sources, Timing, and Costs”
    Room 402 of the Haslam Business Building, UT Knoxville
  • Feb 20 2019 "Vol Court Speaker Series & Pitch Competition" Session #4
    TOPIC: “Entrepreneurial Crowdfunding.” Room 104, Haslam Business Building, UT Knoxville
  • Feb 21 2019 Fairview Technology Center Open House
    11020 Solway Road, Knoxville
  • Feb 23 2019 Tennessee Inventors Association Monthly Meeting
    LMU Cedar Bluff Campus, 421 Park 40 North Boulevard, Knoxville
  • Feb 26 2019 Bunker Labs Knoxville Meet-up
    Awaken Coffee, 125 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville
  • Feb 27 2019 "Vol Court Speaker Series & Pitch Competition" Session #5
    TOPIC: “What’s YOUR Story?” Room 104, Haslam Business Building, UT Knoxville
  • Feb 28 2019 Session 5: Maryville College "Scots Innovation Challenge" Pitch Competition
    Lambert Recital Hall at the Clayton Center for the Performing Arts
  • Mar 02 2019 Knoxville City Hackathon
    Pyxl, 625 South Gay Street
  • Mar 03 2019 "What's the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch" Pitch Finale
    Scruffy City Hall, Market Square
  • Mar 03 2019 Knoxville City Hackathon Pitch Finale
    Scruffy City Hall, Market Square
  • Mar 05 2019 Knoxville Mayoral Candidate Forum
    Relix Theatre, 1208 North Central Street, Knoxville
  • Mar 06 2019 "Vol Court Speaker Series & Pitch Competition" Finale
    TOPIC: The pitch competition. Room 104, Haslam Business Building, UT Knoxville

Links to Partners