Even though we've been expecting to hear this news for quite some time, SFX Entertainment has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy plan filed by SFX Entertainment will not only erase $300 million in debt but also replace Robert Sillerman as acting CEO.
For those unfamiliar with SFX Entertainment, SFX was founded by media entrepreneur Robert Sillerman back in June of 2012. Its holdings include ownership of various major electronic music promoters and festival brands, such as Tomorrowland, Beatport, Disco Donnie Presents, ID&T (75% ownership), Rock in Rio (50% ownership), Sterosonic, Voodoo Experience, TomorrowWorld, Electric Zoo, LIV nightclub, Story nightclub, Nature One, Creamfields Australia, Flavorus, Tunezy, Fame House, Arc90 and Paylogic (75%).
Read the full statement from Tomorrowland spokesperson Debby Wilmsen:
Both the festival in Boom (Belgium) and the one in Itu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) will go ahead without any disruption due to the current situation. In light of the present situation, no concrete plans have yet been made for TomorrowWorld 2016.
We are currently exploring all possibilities. Tomorrowland has always worked from a long-term philosophy and in this context, all options are being considered to ensure that, like in Belgium and Brazil, the festival will have a bright future in the United States as well.
In the past few months, it had been clear that SFX, our partner for TomorrowWorld and Tomorrowland Brasil, is experiencing financial difficulties. Last night we received the News that SFX Entertainment, the publicly listed American company founded by Robert F.X. Sillerman, has applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors. In the coming weeks, SFX will be undergoing a financial and operational reorganization. SFX Entertainment is a stakeholder in numerous events and projects including Awakenings, Sensation, Nature One, Electric Zoo and Rock in Rio.
Since 2013 we have collaborated with SFX for the foreign editions of Tomorrowland held in the USA and Brazil. However, we have noticed that our vision and goals, including a long-term strategy, are different from those of the publicly listed company.
In 2013 the Dutch company ID&T, which then owned 50% of the shares in Tomorrowland, sold its business to the American SFX. Manu & Michiel Beers then decided to buy back the 50% stake that the Dutch ID&T held in Tomorrowland in Belgium, with the result that for the past two years, the Tomorrowland festival has been 100% Belgian, but this has entailed an obligation to collaborate SFX for the foreign editions.
The Belgian festival Tomorrowland remains the passion and life’s work of the driving forces behind its creation, Manu & Michiel Beers and their young, motivated staff in Antwerp and they intend to continue to bring the same level of ambition to the festivals in Belgium and abroad in the coming years.
The Chapter 11 procedure will have no consequences for Tomorrowland in Boom. The festival in Belgium is created, organized and managed for 100 % by the Belgian team. Tomorrowland Brazil will also take place as planned two months from now in Itu (Sao Paulo). Tomorrowland Brazil is being organized in close consultation with the Belgian team by a motivated Brazilian team that is able to work independently of SFX in North America for all aspects of the event.