AIF renews call for investigation into Live Nation's festival 'dominance'

AIF renews call for investigation into Live Nation's festival 'dominance'

Live Nation now controls over a quarter of UK festivals over 5,000 capacity, according to an ownership map published by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).

The global promoting giant's market share, which includes events such as Reading & Leeds, Download, Creamfields, Lovebox, Parklife, Trnsmt and Isle Of Wight Festival, is more than three times that of nearest rival Global, which controls 8% of the UK’s festivals over 5,000 capacity through promoter Broadwick Live

Global, whose portfolio includes Boardmasters, Festival No.6, Victorious, Rewind and Kendal Calling, is followed by AEG Presents, which now owns 5% of that market through British Summer Time Hyde Park and All Points East.

In comparison, AIF’s members account for 20% of the market over 5,000 capacity, with 65 festivals and 37 individual companies across the membership. The findings have prompted AIF to renew its call for UK competition authorities to "properly scrutinise" Live Nation’s dominance and the "detrimental effect" it has on the indie market.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “AIF’s festival ownership map paints a stark picture of the sector. Allowing a single company to dominate festivals, and the live music sector in general, through vertical integration reduces the amount of choice and value for money for music fans. It can block new entrants to market, result in strangleholds on talent through exclusivity deals and stifle competition throughout the entire live music business."

The map is launched alongside an online ‘stamp’ of independence that will allow music fans to easily identify an independent festival and understand where the money they spend at events ultimately ends up.

“We have also today launched a stamp of independence to celebrate our member events and so that customers can clearly identify when they are buying a ticket to an independent festival," added Reed.  

“AIF has been sounding the alarm for some time now but the effect on the independent festival sector continues. Simply put, this damaging market dominance needs to be given the scrutiny it deserves.”   

The body added that Live Nation also owns Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticketing company, and manages more than 500 artists.

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