Raleigh, N.C. — The founder of Etix is purchasing Raleigh's Hopscotch Music Festival, event director Greg Lowenhagen said Tuesday.
Etix's founder, Travis Janovich, and the company's current director of sales for fairs and festivals, Paul Laughter, are in the process of purchasing the festival. Although Etix has been a ticketing partner for the Raleigh festival since its inception five years ago, the men are purchasing the company on their own.
"As a very small startup company, we were assuming significant risk to produce a festival that had grown into a larger and more expensive endeavor each year, so with this sale, we have further stabilized Hopscotch for the future and expect to experience continued growth and sustainability. It’s an exciting time for us as an organization and for anyone who has become a fan of the festival these past five years," Lowenhagen said Tuesday.
Lowenhagen praised Janovich and Laughter for having the "resources and motivation to carry Hopscotch into its next half-decade and beyond."
The past, present and future
The music festival had struggled financially since its beginning, Hopscotch co-owner Steve Schewel told WRAL last year. The festival had several years where it lost money.
Shortly after last year's fest wrapped up, three parties were interested in investing or buying the festival.
"Travis and Paul emerged as the best buyers among that group because of their familiarity with Hopscotch, their fondness for what we’ve created, their desire to continue the general direction of the event, and the fact that they live and work here locally," Lowenhagen said Tuesday. "They became a clear choice for my business partner Steve Schewel and me because they like a lot of the same things about Hopscotch that we love, and that was very important. Paul has worked at the festival onsite every year, and Travis has attended as a fan, so they were comfortable with how we operated. Ultimately, it was just a terrific fit."
This year's festival will go on as planned Sept. 10-12 in downtown Raleigh, Lowenhagen said. He will remain the festival's director.
So far, the transition has been smooth, he said.
"I’ve been doing the same things – booking bands, talking with sponsors, etc. – we always do this time of year. Because Hopscotch has been so small operationally all along, we’re set up to transition from these business dealings into the planning phase of another festival quickly and with little issues," Lowenhagen said.