AEG Presents co-CEOs Steve Homer and Toby Leighton-Pope have lifted the lid on their desire to launch a new camping festival in the UK.
Music Week revealed in September that the promoter was bidding to put on a new multi-day event in Knebworth Park next summer, but it is understood this is no longer being considered for 2018. However, the duo have reiterated their wish to stage a camping event "outside of a city" in the coming years.
“Steve and I have always wanted to do a big camping event and we’re looking into it," said Leighton-Pope (pictured left). "The last thing the UK needs is another festival - what it really needs is a great festival. There are some tired festivals and some tired theories on festivals out there and we think there’s a gap in the market.
"We’ve both got long-term deals at AEG and that it’s something we’re looking to do in the future. We like the idea of having a big event outside of a city. We think it can be done in a different way here; the customer demands it and they’re not getting it right now.”
Plans have been put on hold until 2019 "mainly because of talent, trying to get the right acts", explained Leighton-Pope.
The duo served with Live Nation UK for 15 years prior to their departure in late 2015. Homer (pictured right) launched Live Nation’s Wireless Festival and Leighton-Pope booked Hard Rock Calling, both in Hyde Park, before AEG snared the rights to the site five years ago and launched the British Summer Time Hyde Park concert series in 2013.
Via its Goldenvoice promoting arm, AEG is also behind the new 10-day Victoria Park festival, All Points East, which was unveiled last week. "Hyde Park and All Points East are our big priorities next year and there's some other stuff we're looking at," added Leighton-Pope.
Homer and Leighton-Pope were appointed co-CEOs of AEG Live (since rebranded AEG Presents) last September. “It took a long time to reach the decision [to leave Live Nation], but we made it and we’re not regretting it in the slightest. It’s a far more exciting role and it also gives us the opportunity to grow and expand, which was never something that was offered within Live Nation.”
The pair have already made inroads into Europe - acquiring France's Rock En Seine Festival with a partner in Paris. "We invested in Rock In Seine only because it fitted the overall plan of what we wanted to achieve," said Homer. "We want to then invest into that and give it a bit of the AEG magic to raise its profile."
In the US, AEG is behind acclaimed events such as Coachella and Desert Trip and its parent company runs a vast venue portfolio that includes The O2 and The SSE Arena, both in London, and Staples Center in Los Angeles.