The company behind the Electric Picnic music festival made a profit of almost €2.4 million in 2020 despite no revenue after the event was canceled due to Covid-19.
EP Republic, ultimately owned by a joint venture between Live Nation and concert promoter Denis Desmond, recorded the profit following an insurance payout on the canceled event of more than 3.6 million euros.
Profit for the year was up 50% on the event’s profit for 2019, the last year Electric Picnic was held in Laois, when it generated revenue of almost €17 million.
The company’s 2020 accounts were closed six weeks ago. They show that the company had cash on the balance sheet of almost 7.3 million euros at the end of 2020. Its retained earnings at that time were close to 7.9 million euros.
It employed eight casual employees during the year. Its directors, including musical director Melvin Benn and Zach Desmond, son of Denis Desmond, were paid by other group companies.
Electric Picnic has been organized since 2004 on the Stadbally domain in Laois. It was canceled due to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, but its organizers recently announced its return in 2022. The three-day festival will take place on the first weekend of September with a capacity of 70,000 ticket holders.
This year’s lineup includes bands such as Snow Patrol, Arctic Monkeys and Dublin post-punk band Fontaines DC.
Mr Desmond has previously said Covid cancellations last year cost concert promoter MCD €20 million. Last year, EP Republic applied for financial support from a state fund for the live music industry.
LN-Gaiety Holdings, the Live Nation joint venture with Mr Desmond which owns EP Republic, paid £48.3m (€56.4m) for Mr Desmond’s MCD Productions, recently filed accounts for the joint venture issue.
It also received a total of £30.6million in insurance payments in 2020 for all of its events in Ireland and Britain, including Latitude, Leeds and Reading festivals in England.
The total figure would also have included the 3.6 million euros for Electric Picnic.