Mogul Robert Sillerman Buys Into Opium Group, Looking at Other South Beach Clubs
A media titan who made billions buying up everything from Graceland to American Idol, is poised to become the Tsar of Miami Beach nightlife.
AP Photo/Greg Campbell Robert F. X. Sillerman in front of Graceland.
New York businessman Robert F. X. Sillerman has made a significant investment in the Opium Group -- owners of Mansion, Set, Mokai, Cameo, and Opium at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, sources confirmed Thursday. Signs at Mokai and Set confirm the role of Sillerman's company, SFX Entertainment.
Sillerman, who in June pledged to spend $1 billion on electronic dance music (EDM), is also negotiating with Miami Management Group, which operate virtually the rest of SoBe's clubs including LIV, Story, and Arkadia.
"As of now, there is a deal in the works," said MMG's vice president of marketing Jimmy Vargas. Though there's "not much other information besides that."
The bold move to bring the world renowned South Beach nightlife scene under the control of one financier has drawn mixed reviews. While those who have worked with Sillerman contend he is a back room money man who avoids the limelight and major changes at the places he owns, others including the DJ and producer Deadmau5 are concerned consolidation heralds the demise of EDM.
"EDM has turned into a massively marketed cruise ship, and it's sinking fast," Deadmau5 wrote on his blog last summer after news of Sillerman's intentions to dominate the EDM movement were made public in a New York Times story.
Paul Campbell is co-founder and owner of Life In Color, a Miami company that produces a nationwide series of hugely popular EDM events called Day Glow advertised as "The World's Largest Paint Party." SFX Entertainment invested in the company in August 2012, though Campbell wouldn't disclose the details.
"The deal that they gave us is we run and operate our business, and we have resources to bring this thing bigger," he added. "There is no downside to it, not from a business perspective, not from a fan perspective, not for EDM as a scene."
"Every single person is able to run their business, and that's the first thing that [Sillerman] made clear."
Ed Tagliaferri, a New York City spokesperson for Sillerman, declined to comment on the specifics of the deals as did Opium Group spokesperson Vanessa Menkes.