Broccoli City Festival Brandon McEachern, Marcus Allen
Brandon McEachern and Marcus Allen; courtesy of McEachern and Allen

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Live Nation Urban announced last week that it has acquired a significant equity stake in D.C.’s annual Broccoli City music festival. As part of the deal, festival co-founders Marcus Allen and Brandon McEachern will assume executive positions with Live Nation Urban.

Launched in 2010 in Los Angeles, the festival moved to the Half Street Fairgrounds in D.C. in 2013 with the mission of promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in predominantly Black communities through events. Rapper Big K.R.I.T. was the local fest’s first headliner.

The festival moved to the Gateway Pavilion on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE in 2014 and with each passing year, the lineup grew to include big names such as Erykah Badu, Future, and Rae Sremmurd. Between 2018 and 2020, the festival bounced back and forth between RFK and FedEx Field. In May, the festival expanded to take place over two days at RFK and featured headliners including D.C. natives Ari Lennox and Wale. Live Nation Urban came on board as a co-promoter with Allen and McEachern in 2018.

In an Oct. 14 statement, Live Nation Urban President Shawn Gee notes that the acquisition of Broccoli City Festival is only the beginning of what LNU is looking to create with the co-founders.

“For us as a company, this investment was an important one,” Gee says. “When we formed in 2018, one of the first deals we did was the original co-promotion deal with the Broccoli City team. … We are not simply investing in a festival; we are investing in these amazing founders. We believe this will be the first of many brands that we will build together with Marcus and Brandon as they have an insatiable entrepreneurial spirit.”

McEachern added, “We are super excited about this partnership with LNU/LN, and working closer with Shawn Gee. I really appreciate him encouraging us to be big thinking entrepreneurs and brand builders … not limiting us to event producers.”