Thursday, April 18, 2013
The elusive GoldenVoice - organizer of Coachella Music Fest
On NPR today there was a story about the mayor of Indio California, where the famous (and yet I've never heard of it) Coachella music fest has been held for more than a decade. The music fest brings tens of millions of dollars to the economy, and the mayor was trying to levy a tax on tickets to held city finances. The organizers refused and threatened to move if the tax wasn't repealed. An agreement was struck - it ended amicably.
But the part I was interested in was when the NPR host was referencing the festival's promoter - GoldenVoice - refused to comment on the story and was in fact "secretive." So that's interesting. I tried to Google this group and had a hell of a time finding out anything. And when I weeded out Ted Williams, the homeless guy with the "Golden Voice," there was even less.
The wikipedia page for the group doesn't exist. Rather, if you search for it you get the page for AEG Live which says:
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) Live is a live entertainment promotion subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group. It is the world's second largest live show promoter. 
That's it. One line. No mention of the festival at all. And certainly you'd expect more from a festival that rakes in $60 million, and while it is in the news, too. It definitely seems reasonable to wonder if this information was behind actively deleted. There's not much you can get from AEG's website either. Fortunately, Wikipedia has the magic of transparency, so you can see past versions of the page. This is a tedious process, and a lot of the pages are gobbledegook. But a few are intelligible, like this one:
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) Live is a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group.
AEG and AEG Live own, manage and/or book events for the following, among others.
And then lists dozens of locations in the U.S. and many more in Turkey, the UK, Australia, China, even India. OK, so it's a list of their business holdings. Certainly nothing scandalous about that. Unless, perhaps, you are trying to portray yourself as a homegrown, friendly and approachable organization, and not an multinational concert Goliath. The whole thing is strange.
A little Googling about AEG Live is quite damning - they're being taken to court in connection with the death of Michael Jackson and are being sued for $40 Billion. That's not a bad reason to be covert, I suppose.