Ingenuity, the UK’s leading connector of brands and agencies, this week announced its acquisition of award-winning marketing event business MAD//FEST for an undisclosed sum. MAD//FEST co-founders Ian Houghton and Dan Brain will now report into Ingenuity CEO and Founder Chris Kemp. 

Following the successful acquisition of Future Factory in 2023 and of Reg & Co earlier this year, MAD//FEST is the latest business to join The Ingenuity Group. The deal will give all businesses in the group an opportunity to grow and scale as complementary parts of an interconnected marketing ecosystem with genuinely unrivalled connections to both brands and agencies.

Chris Kemp, CEO and Founder of Ingenuity, said:

“Since MAD//FEST launched I’ve watched their journey and have been so impressed by what they have achieved. Dan and Ian have built an absolutely incredible business with positioning that genuinely aligns with ours. The MAD//FEST team will play a key part in our mission to better connect the marketing world.”

“As we’ve grown The Ingenuity Group, we have made it our mission to acquire like-minded businesses with whom we can collaborate, innovate and scale at pace. The effect is a multidisciplinary team brimming with talented people - which grows more brands and accelerates more agencies than any other organisation. MAD//FEST has a crucial role to play in all this.”

Ian Houghton, Co-Founder and Commercial Lead of MAD//FEST, said:

“From the moment we met Chris and his team, we were really excited by Ingenuity’s plans and ambition. As a group, we already have incredible products, communities and people – and it was easy to see how we could be an integral part of the group’s strategy. We can’t wait to get cracking and explore the opportunities for both brands and agencies that exist across the businesses within the group.” 

“I’d also like to thank all the commercial partners and loyal clients who have backed us at every step of the journey - we look forward to making MAD//FEST’s next chapter even more bold, different and daring. Starting with our first Manchester event in February!” 

Dan Brain, Co-Founder of MAD//FEST, said:

“Ian and I are extremely excited to share the news that MAD//Fest has joined the Ingenuity Group. We’ve had quite a few approaches over the years but Ingenuity’s drive to create something different really stood out. The hires, acquisitions and investments to date show how determined Ingenuity is to create something new that really meets the needs of the industry. 

“We look forward to collaborating with the company’s existing businesses to drive new products, services and growth opportunities for all our clients. On a personal level, I’d like to thank all the people who have supported us to take MAD//FEST from a kernel of an idea in 2018 to the UK’s #1 festival for brands and agencies.”