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SFX rebrands as LiveStyle

By | Published on Thursday 8 December 2016

Randy Phillips

SFX Entertainment has emerged from bankruptcy like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. By which I mean it’s changed its name. Because, as I’m sure you all remember, caterpillars are always called Karen whereas all butterflies are called Betty. And the creepy crawly SFX is now the beautiful LiveStyle Inc. Which might actually be one of the worst company names ever concocted. But, hey, at least it sheds the association to founder Robert FX Sillerman.

Now led by former AEG Live boss Randy Phillips, the dance music focused company actually officially came out of bankruptcy last week. SFX, of course, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, following former CEO Sillerman’s disastrous attempt to take his publicly listed entertainment company back into private ownership.

Discussing the rebrand, Phillips told Billboard: “Every time I said the name ‘SFX’ to someone, I got this negative reaction – people would make the sign of the cross”.

The problem, he said, was that under Sillerman’s direction, the company had launched and grown too quickly, hoping to capitalise on the EDM boom and secure an IPO.

“The problem was that it was put together too quickly”, he said. “It was based on doing an IPO. [Sillerman] sold a story about sponsorship. But sponsorship has to be the icing on the cake – not the cake itself”.

As well as ‘SFX’, LiveStyle is also shrugging off its other three key letters. Don’t call it an EDM company anymore whatever you do. It’s “a music company that specializes in electronic music” now. Because it’s going to be all about AMCTSIEM in 2017.

Phillips added that there are no more plans to sell off any of the company’s assets in a bid to build a cash pile – a strategy that had its ups and downs during bankruptcy. Rather, the new boss’s aim for his new company is to “clean this up, make it function, and grow it”.

So, tough talk from the new SFX, sorry, the new LiveStyle chief. Although he starts on a slightly unsteady footing. As the company came out of bankruptcy last week, it was announced that one of its festivals, Tomorrowland Brasil, was being cancelled in 2017. This follows the cancellation of its US sister festival earlier this year.