Americana artist Ryan Bingham announced that he will be hosting and curating an inaugural festival in legendary Luckenbach, TX called The Western Music Festival. The only problem is Ryan Bingham and Live Nation are holding the festival on the same weekend as the 32-year-old not-for-profit Old Settler’s Festival.
One of the biggest concerns for the future of music that continues to fly curiously under the radar is concert promoter and ticketing giant Live Nation’s ongoing campaign to acquire majority stakes in smaller promotional companies all across the world until nearly all live music presented is done under the umbrella of the live music juggernaut.
The misplaced political anger that has sent entertainment media scurrying to find anyone they can tie to the “alt-right” and then character assassinate for the benefit of their web traffic has claimed yet another victim in the music realm. This time it is Philip Anschutz, the billionaire owner of AEG Live—the second-largest concert promoter in the United States.
Monday morning, when Live Nation announced that the headliners would be Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and Lady Antebellum, as well as all the new provisions on coolers and camping, an outright revolt took place among long-time attendees. Over 3,500 1 star reviews were posted on the event’s Facebook page, and hundreds of negative comments were left on the lineup announcement.
Festivals are an efficient and enjoyable way for music consumers to see many different acts in the short time span, and they look to continue to become one of the best meal tickets and opportunities for exposure for country music artists. But too much of a good thing has lead to the bursting of the country music festival bubble in 2015.
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.
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.
72 hours have passed since Toby Keith delivered a drunken performance at the Klipsch Music Center just outside of Indianapolis on Saturday Night, and angry fans, some of which spent upwards of $300 for tickets, have still yet to receive any apologies or explanation. Though the complicit country music media has completely avoided this story, many major local news outlets in Indianapolis and elsewhere.
Just a few quick things: Drive By Truckers on Austin City Limits: In an attempt to conceal the fact that they have completely sold out and abandoned their roots of supporting local Texas music and other great independent country artists, Austin City Limits upon occasion will still put on a decent act, and this Saturday […]