Red Bull will be closing and/or selling off its collection of owned music studios as part of a cutting back of the company’s ties with the entertainment industry.
MBW has learned about the shutdowns via whistleblowers at the Austria-based company, who tell us that management at the firm on Monday (July 13) told staff that Red Bull would be “ending all music projects” and that, in addition to the studios news, “all Red Bull music events are cancelled”.
Red Bull currently runs 11 studios in locations such as New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Auckland, Cape Town, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Paris.
Last year, the firm ran its own music festival in London throughout August and September, which saw performances from over 100 artists. It also ran music festivals in Los Angeles and New York earlier in the year.
Red Bull already closed down its Red Bull Music Academy and Red Bull Radio in 2019.
A Red Bull spokesperson told MBW that, despite the new cutbacks, the company would continue to run its Red Bull Records label out of the US.
“Red Bull has decided to strengthen the focus of its culture marketing programs on where it makes most impact,” said the spokesperson. “Culture programs that remain will include Red Bull BC One, Red Bull Dance Your Style and Red Bull Batalla de los Gallos. Many other culture marketing activities will be discontinued.
“In time, we will share the local activations that remain. On the music side Red Bull Records will continue.”
Our Red Bull insider told us the cutbacks will affect “practically every entertainment and culture team worldwide”.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the axing of Red Bull’s studios and music activity follows internal tension at the company caused by its reaction to the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
Reports the WSJ: “Some U.S. employees had recently raised concerns about what they considered the company’s inaction on the Black Lives Matter movement and about a racist slide that was in a presentation given at a company event in February.”
Red Bull GmbH, the Austrian owner of Red Bull, has confirmed that Stefan Kozak, its North America chief executive, and Amy Taylor, its North America president and chief marketing officer, have left the company.
Red Bull said in a statement: “We reject racism in every form, we always have, and we always will.
“Red Bull has always put people and their dreams and accomplishments at its core and values the contribution of each and every person—no matter who they are. We want everyone who feels this way to be welcome in Red Bull.”Music Business Worldwide