Last week, multibillion-dollar media megashark Vice announced that it has "teamed up with concert giant Live Nation" to create a new music site, launching next year. You may be interested to learn that an editor at Vice's other music site absolutely hates Live Nation, his company's new business partner.
Dan Ozzi is an editor of Noisey, Vice's current music-focused site. Dan Ozzi also runs another music blog on the side called Jaded Punk. A few months ago—before Vice's partnership with Live Nation was announced—Dan Ozzi wrote a blog post about his feelings about Live Nation, which runs a large percentage of the most popular live music clubs in the United States. In the spirit of full transparency to Vice's new business partners, here is the relevant portion, with some helpful bolding by us:
If you know anything about Live Nation, it's not news to you that they are a gigantic, dickbag corporation intent on monopolizing live music. Many small venue owners and local promoters have accused them of deliberately trying to undersell them and drive them out of business, much like Amazon takes a financial hit on book sales just to eliminate competitors.
Here's an idea of how bad Live Nation's stranglehold is: Back in 2010, they attempted to merge with fellow live music giant dickbag Ticketmaster and wouldn't you know it, the United States Justice Department said that was a-ok because ha ha our system works so well. But in the middle of this unholy union, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (which includes companies like Google and Microsoft) tried to stop the merger, citing that it would not "protect competition in the primary and secondary markets for live event ticketing." That's bad. When companies that produce the computers used in every office in America and a search engine used by 9 trillion users every single day (source: Google.com) say that your company is an out-of-control money-grubbing scumbag, that's bad news.
But Live Nation taking over the live concert circuit is nothing new. This list on Billboard is just a reminder that while we're constantly bombarded with stories about how badly the music industry is hurting, clearly Live Nation is doing just fine. Of course they are, they own most of it. Here's the thing though: You can only blame Live Nation for so long. Their stranglehold on live music is only going to continue to grow unless we all make a conscientious decision to avoid them. Homogenized commercialization and monopolies are all well and good for our nation's food franchises and pharmaceutical companies, but shouldn't live music belong to the people? That was both rhetorical and overly call to armsy. The answer is yes. Yes it should. So do your part. If you are in a band, book your tours at independently operated venues. Tell your booking agent you don't want to give Live Nation business. Book shows in basements and libraries and in the back of bowling alleys if you can. And if you're just a regular ol' concert-goer, don't buy Live Nation/Ticketmaster's fee-heavy tickets and make an effort to avoid their locations whenever possible. They list them right here on their website.