Paul Reed, the chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), has criticised the government’s response to the DCMS select committee’s report into live music.

The government last week issued a response to the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Committee’s report, which was published in March.

In its response, the government said it would not assist the DCMS committee in its request that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) should consider conducting a market study of the music industry to assess whether competition in the market is working effectively for both consumers and those working in the industry.

The government’s response was inadequate according to Reed, the head of the UK’s leading non-profit festival trade association, which represents more than 60 festivals. Reed was unhappy that the government’s response focused too much on secondary ticketing – as it cited the Waterson Report – while the AIF has frequently called for an investigation into Live Nation’s market “dominance”, which it claims now holds more than a quarter of UK festivals over 5,000-capacity.

Reed said, according to Music Week: “Following a robust and wide-ranging inquiry and report into live music from the DCMS select committee, this is a derisory response from government. Professor Waterson’s remit was focused firmly on secondary ticketing. The report did look at primary ticketing, but not to the extent this response implies.

“Regardless, it is well established that competition issues in the live music sector go way beyond ticketing and we will continue to ring the alarm bells around the systemic issues arising from the increasing grip of vertically integrated major corporations along the live music supply chain and the effect this has on competition. The problem is only going to get worse if it is not addressed properly and swiftly. We will be writing to the relevant government Ministers accordingly.”

The CMA has this week referred its investigation of Live Nation-Gaiety’s proposed takeover of Irish promoter MCD for a phase 2 probe.

Image: Martin Fisch