Last week, lost among the shuffle of a slew of bad news stories on the country music front was the news that mega concert promoter Live Nation had purchased a 51% controlling stake in the largest independent music festival in the country—Manchester, Tennessee’s Bonnaroo. The specifics of the deal looked very similar to the deal struck in December of 2014 when they purchased Austin’s C3 Presents.
Just about the worst thing that could happen to the independent live music consumer has just transpired, and the entire landscape of live music, and specifically the environment for live music in Austin, TX, will forever be changed for the worse. A deal first rumored in October for Live Nation to acquire a majority 51% controlling stake in C3 Presents has gone through for an estimated $125 million.
According to multiple unnamed sources, Live Nation is currently negotiating a deal with C3 to purchase 51% of the company for around $125 million. It’s hard to see how Live Nation getting into the independent music business and a further drying up of competition could be good for independent music consumers.