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AIF warns of ‘stranglehold’ damaging festival sector

News
19 November 2019

GLOBAL PROMOTING giants Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) and AEG Presents together control almost 30 per cent of the festival market, according to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).

The organisation’s festival ownership map for 2019 reveals that LNE, which owns festivals including Download (cap. 110,000), Creamfields (60,000) and Wireless (45,000), and owns Ticketmaster, controls or owns 22.81 per cent of the sector, says the AIF report.

AEG Presents, which promotes London events Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time (65,000) and All Points East (40,000), and owns ticket company AXS, controls or owns 6.22 per cent of the market.

New entry on the chart, James Barton’s Superstruct is the second largest operator with 6.52 per cent of the market, after taking majority ownership of events formerly owned by radio station giant Global, including Victorious (90,000), Boardmasters (50,000), Tramlines (30,000) and Truck Festival (18,000).

“Despite some significant shifts in the UK festival market over the past year, the dominance of Live Nation remains hugely concerning,” says AIF CEO Paul Reed.

“AIF is a growing community now representing almost 20% of festivals over 5,000 capacity in the UK, and the independent sector is in a strong place despite the encroaching and unrelenting dominance of the major companies and the restrictions that can arise from this.

“However, we repeat our warning: Allowing a single company to dominate festivals, and the live music sector in general through vertical integration, results in a stranglehold that stifles competition throughout the sector,” says Reed.

AIF’s report is based on a survey of 210 festivals with capacities of more than 5,000, with an overall combined capacity of just over 4,371,100.

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