Condé Nast Sought to Reunite Oasis to "Juice Ticket Sales" for Pitchfork Fest

This "owning a media brand" stuff is easy!

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Feb 6, 2024

The news that Condé Nast would be "restructuring" the editorial operations of Pitchfork by folding it into GQ was an immense blow to music journalism, and new reporting has illustrated just how out to lunch the higher-ups at the publisher actually are about their long-running music property — like believing brand power could bring about a long clamoured-for Oasis reunion.

After breaking the story of the publisher's restructuring plans last month, Semafor's Max Tani has shared a subsequent report outlining "how Condé Nast bought and destroyed America's iconic music publication."

The Oasis tidbit comes via a recollection of "times where it simply seemed like parts of the company still didn't quite get Pitchfork, at least in the eyes of staff," related to Pitchfork's music festival and event planning.

Specifically, Tani writes of "creative friction" between Pitchfork and its parent company over said events — like its annual fest in Chicago, IL — reporting how staff "butted heads with Condé over attempts to further monetize the festival in a way that some felt eroded the brand."

The journalist detailed those instances as follows:

Condé had pushed to make the festival experience more "luxury." In 2016, a group of Condé sales people attended the festival in Chicago. Some complained afterwards that it was "not chic enough." Condé pushed to build out Pitchfork’s VIP ticket experience for the festivals, an easy new potential source of revenue, prompting grumbling within Pitchfork about whether that would interfere with the actual VIP areas the publication already had for artists. In a recent meeting, one Condé senior vice president in charge of events made the outlandish suggestion that Pitchfork could juice ticket sales by reuniting Oasis or the White Stripes.

Of course! How did Pitchfork staffers simply not think of that one? Has that senior exec sought out any new music since getting (What's the Story) Morning Glory? and Elephant stuck in the CD changer of their Benz all those years ago? Would Noel Gallagher move to call them a "slack-jawed fuckwit" for the suggestion?

It's a pitch in line with Condé's courting of Pitchfork's purported "very passionate audience of millennial males," touted upon their 2015 acquisition of the site. If those at the top had bothered digging deeper, they'd find that the relationship between Noel and Liam Gallagher likely remains irreparable, and that not even a Talking Heads-level reunion offer could put an end to the lads' love of trash-talking each other.

Tani later cites two sources who claim that "some corporate executives were taken aback by the strong and vocal response to cuts and reorganization under GQ." If they're hard up for a stroke of business genius, they could always reunite Oasis with AI.

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