Startups

Live Nation taking over the Queen? That would be huge for Wilmington

A report says that the massive entertainment company is coming to Delaware.

Chance the Rapper was a Live Nation concert hosted by the University of Delaware. (Courtesy of SCPAB at the University of Delaware)

Earlier this week, it was revealed that World Cafe Live will cease its management of the Queen Theatre in downtown Wilmington. That news arrived with word from the mayor’s office that the Queen would remain open with new management on the way.
Delaware news outlet WDEL has it from a source that the management company looking to step in and take over the Queen is Live Nation. Based in Los Angeles, Live Nation is one of the largest entertainment companies in the country.
We’ve reached out to Live Nation for comment on this story, though we haven’t heard back yet. We will update this story if and when that comes.
World Cafe Live’s decision to leave Wilmington came with some negative connotations. The idea that the city’s improvement wasn’t coming along fast enough to support the venue’s business model was problematic for the downtown area.
World Cafe Live’s founder and president Hal Real said, in an email obtained by WDEL, that “even though lots has improved physically on much of Market Street, the revitalization has just not been strong enough and fast enough to support our robust 7-day/week WCL model.”
Initial reports regarding World Cafe Live leaving the Queen indicated that the venue would shut down in May. We received an email from John Rago, deputy chief of staff for policy and communications, that stated: “The Queen is NOT closing. To the contrary, it will be better than ever!!”
“Better than ever” could very well mean Live Nation.
Seeing that Live Nation, a much larger concert company with the ability to bring in big acts consistently, could be filling the spot at the Queen is tremendous news for the city. If true, Wilmington and regional residents could see a classic venue like the Queen play host to tremendous shows.
We’re also curious what this would mean for the organizations like 1313 Innovation that host events at the Queen. We’ll update as we learn more.

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