Live Nation Entertainment

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Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. is an American multinational entertainment company that was founded in 2010 following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. It promotes, operates and manages ticket sales for live entertainment internationally. It also owns and operates entertainment venues and manages the careers of music artists.

Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.
FormerlyLive Nation, Inc.
Company typePublic
IndustryEntertainment
FoundedJanuary 25, 1995; 29 years ago (1995-01-25)
Headquarters,
United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Services
RevenueIncrease US$22.7 billion (2023)
Increase US$1.07 billion (2023)
Increase US$734 million (2023)
Total assetsIncrease US$19.1 billion (2023)
Total equityNegative increase US$–17 million (2023)
OwnerLiberty Media (30.62%)
Number of employees
14,700 (2023)
Subsidiaries
Websitelivenationentertainment.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2]

The company has faced widespread criticism over its central role in the consolidation of the live events industry, allegations that it proactively engages in anti-competitive practices, poor handling of the ticket sale process for highly popular events, and injuries and deaths that have occurred at many of its events.

As of early 2023, Live Nation's annual shareholders report says the company has controlling interests in 338 venues globally and believes itself to be "the largest live entertainment company in the world," "the largest producer of live music concerts in the world," "the world’s leading live entertainment ticketing sales and marketing company," and "one of" the world's biggest artist management companies and music advertising networks for corporate brands.[3]

History edit

In 2009, Live Nation and Ticketmaster, a concert promotion firm and ticketing company, reached an agreement to merge. The new company received regulatory approval and was named Live Nation Entertainment.[4][5] Michael Rapino, then CEO of Live Nation, became the new company's CEO, while Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff was named executive chairman.[6]

The merger was approved first in Norway and Turkey in 2009.[7] The United Kingdom's Competition Commission provisionally ruled against the merger,[8] but reversed its decision on December 22, 2009.[7]

The merger was opposed in the U.S. by some regulators, artists, fans, and competing firms, who argued it would reduce competition in the industry and increase ticket costs.[9][10] Rock musician Bruce Springsteen was a vocal opponent of the merger at the time.[11]

On January 25, 2010, the U.S. Justice Department approved the merger pending certain conditions.[12] Ticketmaster had to sell ownership of its self-ticketing company, Paciolan,[12] and license its software to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which would allow it to compete "head-to-head" with Ticketmaster for business.[13][14] AEG was given the option after five years to buy the software, replace it with something else, or partner with another ticketing company.[13] Additionally, Live Nation Entertainment was placed under a 10-year court order prohibiting it from retaliating against venues that choose to accept competing ticket contracts.[14]

Investments and growth edit

In 2017, Live Nation Entertainment reported revenue of $10.3 billion.[15][16]

In April 2018, the United States Department of Justice launched an investigation following allegations by AEG that Live Nation pressured them into using Ticketmaster and intentionally avoided booking acts for AEG venues.[17] Live Nation stated that decisions in selecting venues were not punitive, and were instead based on size and management.[17]

In 2020, Live Nation was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with essentially all concerts and sporting events around the world on hold. The company has been sued as it has been reluctant to offer full refunds to customers, though it has since amended its refund rules to address those complaints. On February 25, 2021, Live Nation released its full-year 2020 financial results, of which the company saw revenues fall by 84%.[18]

Northeastern United States edit

In 2016, Live Nation acquired Founders Entertainment, the New York City-based parent company of the Governors Ball Music Festival.[19] In 2017, Live Nation announced New York City-based promotion company Mercury East in partnership with Michael Swier, a founder of The Bowery Presents, since acquired by AEG.[20] The deal brought former "indie" clubs Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom under the Live Nation umbrella,[20] along with other Live Nation-owned venues including Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theatre, and the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island.[21]

In 2021, Live Nation announced a joint venture with Duke Concept, a concert promoter specialising in African artists, in which Duke Concept handles production and logistics with Live Nation providing support and a network of venues, for touring Afrobeat artists.[22]

Western United States edit

In 2013, Live Nation announced a joint venture with Insomniac Events, a promoter focused on electronic dance music.[23][24] The company continued to invest in music festivals and promoters in 2017, purchasing a controlling interest in BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival,[25] Salt Lake City-based concert promoter United Concerts,[26] and CT Touring.[27]

In 2021, Live Nation acquired a majority stake in streaming entertainment company Veeps.[28]

Southern United States edit

In 2013, the company acquired the New Orleans Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.[29] Live Nation later acquired C3 Presents in Austin, Texas (2014),[30] Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee (2015),[31] Knoxville-based AC Entertainment (2016),[32] Red Mountain Entertainment (2018),[33] and Emporium Presents.[34]

In October 2019, Live Nation acquired a majority stake in David Grutman's Groot Hospitality, which includes several nightclubs and restaurants in the Miami metropolitan area, including the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel's LIV nightclub.[35]

Midwestern United States edit

In 2018, the company acquired majority stakes in Wisconsin-based Frank Productions.[36]

International edit

In 2012, the company announced a partnership with Creativeman Productions, based in Tokyo, Japan.[37]

In August 2015, Live Nation announced it would form Live Nation Germany, in partnership with German promoter Marek Lieberberg. Live Nation Germany would also have oversight over Live Nation events in Austria and Switzerland.[38] In February 2016, Live Nation acquired Canada's largest independent concert promoter, Union Events.[39] The following month in March 2016, Live Nation acquired Big Concerts International, South Africa's leading concert promoter.[40]

In 2017, Live Nation purchased a controlling interest in Israeli promoter Blue Stone Entertainment and the United Kingdom's Cuffe & Taylor.[41]

In May 2018, Live Nation Entertainment also acquired a majority stake in Brazil's Rock in Rio festival, including from previous stakeholder SFX Entertainment, which was involved in a failed attempt at a U.S. version of the event in Las Vegas, with its founder Roberto Medina continuing to manage the festival's operations, and providing consulting to Live Nation.[42]

In April 2020, it was disclosed that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) recently acquired a 5.7% stake in Live Nation, as of April 28, 2020, the investment was valued at just shy of $500 million. The transaction, performed on the open market, made the PIF Live Nation's third-largest shareholder.[43][44]

On April 25, 2022, Live Nation acquired Philippines-based promoter Music Management International (MMI) to create its local branch.[45]

Operating divisions edit

Live Nation Entertainment's business segments are concerts, ticketing, and sponsorship and advertising.[15] The company promotes and operates live music events and manages artists under its concerts division Live Nation Concerts.[15] Live Nation Entertainment's artist management arm, called Artist Nation, is included within its concerts division[46][15] and also includes Front Line Management and Roc Nation.[47] Live Nation Entertainment owns and operates hundreds of venues globally.[3] The company sells tickets to live events through Ticketmaster.[15]

Legal issues edit

The company has faced various lawsuits alleging ticket price fixing, hidden fees and anti-competitive practices.[48][49][50]

In May 2022, Representative for New Jersey's 9th congressional district Bill Pascrell stated that he had issued letters to the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice calling for Live Nation to be unwound and broken up, citing its safety record and other factors.[51] These calls were repeated in November 2022 after the Taylor Swift (The Eras Tour) Ticketmaster controversy.[52]

On August 2, 2023, Dynamic Ticket Systems, LLC. sued Ticketmaster and Live Nation for patent infringement.[53][54]

Destiny's Child manager Mathew Knowles unsuccessfully sued Live Nation in 2011, asserting that the company had spread false information about his business dealings with Beyoncé.[55]

Injuries and deaths edit

Live Nation has been linked to at least 200 deaths and 750 injuries at its events in seven countries since 2006. From 2016 to 2019, they had also been cited for at least ten OSHA violations, fined for several more serious incidents, and sued civilly at least once for a concert incident.[56][57]

In June 2013, Live Nation was charged with violating Ontario health and safety laws following a 2012 stage collapse at a Radiohead concert that killed one crew member.[58][59] A 2019 inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.[60] A British inquest later that year found that inadequate technical advice and construction techniques had caused the death.[61]

On October 1, 2017, the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting left 58 people dead and hundreds more injured. It is the deadliest mass shooting in US history. The shooter fired at attendees from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay.[62]

In November 2021, a crowd crushing incident occurred at Astroworld Festival—a Live Nation-promoted concert in Houston organized and headlined by rapper Travis Scott—which resulted in 10 fatalities[63][64] and nearly 5,000 injuries.[65] Live Nation, Scott, and other parties involved have been named in over 387 lawsuits related to the incident, which in January 2022 were combined down into a single case.[66][67][68] In December 2021, the United States Congress House Oversight Committee announced a bipartisan investigation into Live Nation's role in the incident.[69][70]

In February 2022, the family of Drakeo the Ruler filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Live Nation in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, after the rapper was killed in a homicide that occurred backstage at the Once Upon a Time in LA music festival at BMO Stadium. The suit claimed that Live Nation had negligently failed to employ proper and effective security measures at the event. Live Nation sought a motion to dismiss the suit, arguing that the incident was rare and "unforeseen". In January 2023, judge Yolanda Orozc rejected the motion and allowed the suit to continue, ruling that "the fact that defendants knew security would be needed for the event, supports the finding that the performing artists’ safety was a concern for defendants and foreseeable to defendants."[71][72][73]

References edit

  1. ^ "2023 Form 10-K, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 23 February 2024.
  2. ^ "Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. 2022 Proxy statement". Retrieved 2022-07-02.
  3. ^ a b "Live Nation Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Live Nation. p. 2. Retrieved 29 September 2023.
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  5. ^ "Live Nation, Ticketmaster merger official". The Hollywood Reporter. 10 February 2009. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  6. ^ "Live Nation to buy Ticketmaster". Reuters. 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
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  8. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (October 12, 2009). "Live Nation/Ticketmaster Merger Faces Obstacles Here and Abroad". Wired. Retrieved 2009-10-19.
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External links edit