The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has been urged by the Association of Independent Festivals to expand the investigation into Live Nation’s status in the British live music scene.
Live Nation is an American global entertainment company that was formed from the merger of Live Nation and Ticket Master and amongst other things it likes to acquire touring, festival and venue companies.
Recently the American company purchased a majority stake in the Isle of Wight Festival. Following the acquisition the Competition and Markets Authority announced that it would investigate what impact the acquisition would have on the UK live music and festivals market.
Research by the Association of Independent Festivals has been published and it states that “At present, Live Nation either owns or majority-owns a 23% share of events by capacity [5000 +] – including Download, V Festival, Reading/Leeds, Parklife, Creamfields, Lovebox, Wilderness and more”
Concerns are also raised in relation to the concentration of power across UK live music, and the way in which Live Nation’s business allegedly limits the choices available to artists. The research explains that “With such concentration of power across the live music value chain, most artists will have little choice but to work with the California-based company at some point in their career”.
The research also explains of the impact on independent promoters, “This is already raising concerns around so-called ‘exclusivity deals’, whereby artists can effectively be restrained as to where they can and cannot perform and the pool of talent available to non-Live Nation events is greatly reduced”.
The Association of Independent Festivals is now asking for the Competition and Markets Authority to widen its investigation into the Isle of Wight Festival acquisition and furthermore to examine Live Nation’s position in the UK festival market.