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Isle of Wight Takeover Go Ahead

Live Nation’s controversial takeover of the Isle of Wight festival has been given the green light by regulators.

Earlier this year the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into whether the deal would result in a “substantial lessening of competition”, consulting with other organisers of live music events and industry bodies alongside festival attendees.

The CMA concluded that “The evidence indicates that the merger will not materially strengthen Live Nation’s position in booking artists, and that a sufficient range and quality of artists will continue to be available for rival organisers of live music events”.

The statement continued: “The evidence collected indicates that the Isle of Wight festival and Live Nation’s existing festivals were not competing particularly closely for customers. After the merger, people will continue to be able to choose between festivals owned by Live Nation and a variety of competing festivals. The fact that festival goers also choose between going to a festival and other activities will also ensure that Live Nation continues to face sufficient competition.”

Last month, the Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF) published research revealing that Live Nation, which is the world’s largest live music promotion company, is approaching a 25% market share of all UK festivals over 5,000 capacity. The Isle of Wight deal pushes the transnational company closer to controlling a quarter of the market.

According to the AIF figures, Live Nation currently has a 23% market share by capacity taking into account the 28 festivals it owns or majority-owns, including the likes of Download, V Festival, Reading & Leeds, Parklife, Creamfields, Lovebox and Wilderness.

In our previous edition, The Gen predicted three future trends for festivals including more consolidation involving major players.

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