Voodoo Fest founder Steve Rehage has parted ways with Live Nation Entertainment, the company to which he sold a majority stake in his New Orleans festival in 2013.
Voodoo now will be managed by C3 Presents, an Austin, Texas-based concert promoter and festival producer that is also a Live Nation property.
“Steve Rehage is no longer with Live Nation or managing Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, but he maintains an equity position in ownership of the festival,” Live Nation spokesman Victor Trevino said in a statement Tuesday. “C3 will lead the day-to-day management of the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience moving forward.”
What that means for the future of one of New Orleans’ major music festivals is unclear. Among other festivals, C3 Presents produces the massive Lollapalooza festival in Chicago and the Austin City Limits festival in Texas.
A C3 Presents representative did not respond to a question about future plans for Voodoo. The dates for the 2016 festival are Oct. 28-30.
The circumstances under which Rehage exited Live Nation have not been disclosed. He could not be reached for comment.
He apparently was out shortly after the conclusion of the 2015 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, which was scheduled for Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 in City Park. Steady rains reduced the City Park festival grounds to a muddy bog, causing the cancellation of the final day. The Zac Brown Band, Deadmau5 and the Cult were among the canceled Nov. 1 acts. The festival offered partial refunds to fans who had purchased three-day passes.
Rehage launched Voodoo in 1999 as an eclectic, multiple-stage festival that featured major rock, rap and electronic acts alongside homegrown Louisiana artists. Over the years, it has occupied various sites within City Park. The 2005 festival, staged just two months after Hurricane Katrina, was moved to Riverview Park alongside the Mississippi River in Uptown New Orleans.
Featured acts have included Metallica, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, the Cure, Eminem, Neil Young, Drake, Ozzy Osbourne, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M., Florence + the Machine, Outkast, Green Day, Skrillex, Snoop Dogg, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, My Morning Jacket and the Black Keys.
In October 2013, Rehage and Live Nation announced that he had sold a majority share in Voodoo to Live Nation, the world’s largest producer of entertainment events. As part of the deal, Rehage was named president of Live Nation’s North American festivals division. He was to oversee the company’s portfolio of major festivals around the country, which numbered about 17 at the time.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Live Nation team,” Rehage said in a statement released through Live Nation around the time of the sale. “Our outlooks on the festival market are aligned, and we look to grow the Live Nation festival roster over the coming years.”
A year later, in late 2014, Live Nation reportedly paid in excess of $100 million for a majority stake in C3 Presents. By doing so, Live Nation acquired C3’s extensive portfolio of festivals.
C3’s website now lists the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience as one of the festivals the company produces.
Live Nation’s concert division, which is separate from its festival division, opened a regional New Orleans office in 2014 headed by Russell Doussan. That office promotes many concerts staged at the Smoothie King Center and Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square. It also produces Gretna Fest.
Live Nation also owns the House of Blues chain and Ticketmaster.