Britain’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has asked a competition watchdog to investigate Live Nation’s growing influence in the festivals space.
The request comes as the AIF – which counts Bestival, Eden Sessions and Meltdown Festival among its members -published its own research on the marketplace which reveals LN is “fast approaching” a 25% market share of all U.K. festivals with a capacity upwards of 5,000.
Live Nation, the most powerful concert promoter on the planet, currently operates eight of the U.K.’s nine largest outdoor events and is almost three times bigger than its nearest rival (Global), which controls an 8% share of the U.K. festival market, according to AIF’s research.
The live entertainment powerhouse currently owns or majority-owns 28 U.K. festivals, including Download, V Festival, Reading/Leeds, Parklife, Creamfields, Lovebox and Wilderness and is in the process of acquiring the iconic Isle of Wight Festival. That deal is currently being scrutinised by the Competition & Markets Authority and the AIF wants that investigation expanded into LN’s powerful position in the overall marketplace.
On a global basis, Live Nation reported revenue of US$1.4 billion for the first quarter, up 17% year-on-year and ahead of its projections. For the period, the live entertainment juggernaut boasted “strong operating performance across all concerts, advertising, and ticketing segments” as operating income came in at US$21 million (up 36%) with adjusted operating income tallied at $92 million (up 25%).