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UK Independent Music Festivals Accuse Live Nation Of "Stifling Competition"

Live Nation has a 26% share of the market and can lock artists into exclusive deals.
Farr Festival 2017

The association of independent festivals (AIF) in the UK is warning that Live Nation’s grip on the market is leading less competition and the summer festival scene is suffering as a result.

They point to Reading & Leeds both under Live Nation control, as a example of Live Nation “stifling competition.” According to the AIF, Live Nation had a 26% share of the market with 5,000 of more attendees, compared to its nearest competitor Global, which had 8%.

Live Nation’s roster of large festivals includes Parklife, Reading & Leeds, Lovebox & Isle Of Wight.

One anonymous festival organizer said that he has been unable to book bands, even small ones, because they were locked into exclusive deals with Live Nation.

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“This is the height of anticompetitive behavior, restricting bands from playing live shows,” he said via The Guardian.

AIF chief executive Paul Reed said: “Simply put, this damaging market dominance needs to be given the scrutiny it deserves.”

In addition to the festivals, Ticketmaster has a 46% share of the top 61 UK venue box offices.

The AIF wants the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate this.

The AIF also is launching a “stamp of Independence” to help fans know what festivals are owned by who.

We reached out to Live Nation for a comment and have not heard back at press time. 

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