Apple Officially Killed Its Annual Music Festival in London

Apple Officially Killed Its Annual Music Festival in London Credit: Twitter
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Apple has pulled the plug on its annual free London-based music festival after a decade of hosting high-profile and star-studded shows, the company confirmed to Music Business Worldwide on Wednesday.

The Apple Music festival has hosted a variety of high-profile artists, including Britney Spears, Elton John, Adele, Alicia Keys, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, Coldplay and Kendrick Lamar, among others. It can trace its beginnings to 2007, where it was dubbed the iTunes music festival. Each September, a litany of artists would perform at the Camden Roundhouse during the event, which typically ran for a month with live concerts each night, Music Business Worldwide reported.

The festival was originally envisioned as a way to boost iTunes’ stature as a dominant force in the music industry, which was especially relevant in 2007 as streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify didn’t exist. Cupertino eventually scaled back the music series in 2015, after it was rebranded as the Apple Music festival. Over the last two years, the event switched gears to a shorter, 10-day and 10-artist festival.

The cancellation of the yearly event doesn’t necessarily signal a shift away from live events for Cupertino. Apple has recently partnered with artists, ranging from Haim to Arcade Fire for live shows. The company also sponsored Drake’s 32-date Summer Sixteen Tour last year. Additionally, the company supports regular sessions for its “Up Next” artists. With the end of its annual festival, Apple will be able to place additional focus on one-off concerts, tour and artist sponsorships, and smaller events.

The move is also indicative of Apple’s increasing focus on creating its own content, The Guardian pointed out. Cupertino recently added several exclusive TV series to its Apple Music platform, including the Shark Tank-like “Planet of the Apps” and a serial spinoff of James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” skit. The company has also hired several Sony executives in the last year to help develop original content for its streaming platform.

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