Live Nation accused of “stifling competition” with huge control of UK music festivals

“This is the height of anticompetitive behaviour, restricting bands from playing live shows.”

Some of the UK’s leading independent music festivals have called for the competition watchdog to investigate the apparent dominance of Live Nation, claiming that it could have a severe effect on UK festivals.

At present, Live Nation are responsible for controlling some of the UK’s leading festivals including Reading & Leeds, Latitude, Parklife and Lovebox.

But the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) says that the company’s dominance means that it is able to “stifle competition”.

In order to illustrate the point, the AIF has now created a map that highlights precisely how many UK festivals are now owned by LiveNation. According to the AIF, Live Nation controls a 25.26% share of the market for events which boast a capacity of more than 5,000 people.

Speaking to The Guardian, one festival organiser claimed that it was an attempt to secure bands for exclusivity deals that mean they can only play Live Nation events.

“Nobody wins from that,” he said. “We’ve all got an interest in the bands and the scene flourishing. Muse, U2, Madonna, they all learned their trade by playing festivals where they can.

“This is the height of anticompetitive behaviour, restricting bands from playing live shows.”

AIF chief executive Paul Reed added: “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.”

Mr Reed also claims that Live Nation risked reducing fans value for money, given their extensive presence in the market.

Live Nationa are yet to comment on the claims.