Live Nation now reportedly controls more than a quarter of UK festivals, causing the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) to renew calls for a competition investigation into its dominance.
The AIF has launched an online “stamp” to highlight independent events, and provide customers with a map showing the number of UK festivals owned by Live Nation.
The goal is to give music fans an easy way to identify independent festivals and “understand where the money they spend at events ultimately ends up,” the AIF said.
The national trade organisation is the UK’s leading festival representative body. Founded in 2008, the combined attendance of AIF’s 65 member events exceeds 600,000.
Live Nation, a US company, controls some of the UK’s biggest outdoor live music events including Latitude, Isle of Wight Festival, Reading and Leeds, Parklife and Lovebox.
The AIF reports that Live Nation has a 26 per cent share of the market for events with a capacity of more than 5,000 people, compared to its nearest competitor, Global, with eight per cent.
In addition, Ticketmaster, the Live Nation-owned ticketing giant, now controls an estimated 46 per cent of the top 61 venue box offices in the UK and sells 500 million tickets worldwide annually.
AIF chief executive 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.
“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.
“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.”
Image: Lars Schmidt