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UK: Indie Festivals want CMA to probe Live Nation dominance

 |  August 22, 2017

The Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF) has urged the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to widen its investigation into Live Nation’s position in the British live music business. The competition regulator is already considering the live giant’s proposed acquisition of the Isle Of Wight festival.

Live Nation – which has divisions operating in tour and festival promotion, venue management, primary and secondary ticketing, and artist management – continues to pursue an aggressive acquisition strategy, not least in the UK where it has bought into a number of touring, festival and venue companies in recent years

AIF has now published research which, it says, shows that Live Nation already controls nearly 25% of the larger festivals market – ie festivals over a 5,000 person capacity – and that the proposed Isle of Wight Festival deal will take it much closer to that figure.

The trade group for independently-owned festivals states, “At present, Live Nation either owns or majority-owns a 23% share of [these 5,000+] events by capacity – including Download, V Festival, Reading/Leeds, Parklife, Creamfields, Lovebox, Wilderness and more”. The next biggest festival operator in the UK is the also Global Radio, but “Live Nation are already almost three times bigger” than the live entertainment wing of Global Radio, which – AIF says – control a 8% share of the UK festival market.

AIF also expressed concerns about the synergies between the different strands of the Live Nation business, and the way that allegedly limits the choices available to artists when deciding which business partners to work with. Said the trade group, “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.”

Full Content: Billboard

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