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Live Nation owns “hugely concerning” proportion of the UK festival market, says AIF

By | Published on Thursday 7 November 2019


The Association Of Independent Festivals has published an updated version of its UK festival ownership stats, plotting the ownership of all the country’s music festivals with a capacity of over 5000.

The study shows that just under 30% of the UK festival market is controlled by the global live giants Live Nation and AEG. Live Nation takes the largest share with 22.8%, although this is down from 25.3% in 2018.

AEG’s share, meanwhile, is 6.2%, which actually puts it into third place overall in the list of festival owners. Just ahead – and a new entry on that list – is the James Barton-led Superstruct, with 6.5%. That company has grown rapidly after taking over a number of events previously owned by Global, which departed the festival market earlier this year.

Collectively, AIF members now account for 19.5% of the market – up on last year – with the remaining 49.5% made up of events not owned by one of the major companies or affiliated with AIF.

“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. “It’s our intention to carry out this competition health check for our sector annually to track the industry and in order to keep attention on this important issue”.

“AIF is a growing community now representing almost 20% of festivals over 5000 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”, he continues.

“However”, he concludes, “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”.

The research was launched at AIF’s Festival Congress yesterday, which continues in Sheffield today.