There is a bright blue neon sign letting guests know they have arrived at the Breakaway House. But in keeping with the conspicuous tone of their new neighborhood, the lit up sign isn’t visible to visitors until after they’ve made their way inside of the gates of the 4,000 square foot home housing the offices of one of North America’s fastest-growing festival brands.
The neon sign is one of a half-dozen Breakaway Festival art pieces inside the house, where Breakaway’s marketing team works around a large kitchen table, while another groups gathers around a poolside table for a midday strategy session. Breakaway co-founder Adam Lynn and chief growth officer William Van Orsdell serve as host to a rotating door of music executives, finance advisors and journalists booked for another day of meetings inside the new L.A. digs to discuss the company’s recent expansion.
“William and I have no fundraising experience at all, but we went out and and raised quite a bit of money,” Lynn tells Billboard. “We’re now closing our $6 million series A, which has given us a lot of growth capital to expand our boutique festival to seven markets this year, with a focus on dance music and pop music.
The $6 million investment round was led by private investment firm RSE Ventures with participation from Marshall Sandman‘s Animal Capital, Honey founder George Ruan, New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba, Splice co-founder Steve Martocci and investment firms Human Ventures, Bustle Digital Group (BDG) and Gross Labs. Breakaway also recently signed a partnership with Another Planet Entertainment for a San Francisco event and has eyes to expansion in other markets.
Launched in 2016 in Columbus, Ohio with EDM and hip-hop acts including Alison Wonderland, Dillon Francis, Rae Sremmurd and RL Grime to college towns, the festival expanded to three locations the following year and modeled itself as a dance and pop-driven Vans Warped Tour, bringing an approachable high-end dance experience to underserved markets.
Fast forward to 2023 and Breakaway has expanded to seven U.S. cities and launched Spring Break(away) with emerging curated events company All Roads Traveled, hosting five weekends in March of entertainment and immersive experiences in Mexico. Built for Gen Z and young Millennial music fans, Breakaway has worked with The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kygo, Zedd, Migos, Odesza, Post Malone, Future, Illenium, Khalid, Twenty One Pilots, Jack Harlow, Machine Gun Kelly, Chelsea Cutler and Juice WRLD, among many others
Lynn said he sees Breakaway as platform for connecting young music fans with artists, experiences and brands and partners looking to connect with Gen Z and young millennials, deploying new capital to expand its national footprint and support its ultimate mission of “powering the voice of today’s generation through music, community, art, technology and digital content.”
“This marks an important milestone for Breakaway as we look to the future, opening the door to even more opportunities for innovation as we expand both the breadth and depth of experiences for Millennial and Gen Z consumers,” Lynn says. “When you can actually see your favorite artist on a stage and not just on a jumbo screen, it changes the way you listen to music — it becomes an unforgettable experience. We are building a boutique brand at scale and trying to give every fan that one moment they can remember.”
Van Orsdel adds, “As one of the last independent groups in live entertainment, we carry the flag of the ‘underdog’ in the music industry. We are so proud of the group of strategic investors we put together to drive Breakaway’s ascent through reimagined real-life experiences, digital opportunities and more that will help turn the brand into a household name.”