Report: DOJ opens antitrust investigation into Live Nation

Report: DOJ opens antitrust investigation into Live Nation
The inquiry predates this week’s Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco, according to The New York Times.

By Raphael Helfand

November 18, 2022

Alexandre Schneider
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Getty Images

The United States Department of Justice has opened an antitrust investigation into Live Nation’s alleged abuses of power within the music industry, The New York Times reports based on tips from two anonymous sources close to the matter. Per The Times, the inquiry predates the Taylor Swift ticketing fiasco this week that brought renewed scrutiny from her fans — and several prominent progressive politicians — to the global entertainment conglomerate’s 2010 merger with Ticketmaster.

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The Times‘ David McCabe and Ben Sisario write: “Staff members at the agency’s antitrust division have in recent months contacted music venues and players in the ticket market, asking about Live Nation’s practices and the wider dynamics of the industry… The inquiry appears to be broad, looking at whether the company maintains a monopoly over the industry.”

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The DOJ initially accepted Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation through 2020, but their approval was conditional: Ticketmaster would need to sell a subsidiary ticketing company to one of Live Nation’s rivals, and to license its ticketing software to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Live Nation’s primary competitor in the United States. Separately, the department prohibited Live Nation from threatening concert venues that they would lose access to the tours the corporation promotes if they opted to use third-party ticketing providers. The agreement was amended in 2019, however, when an earlier DOJ investigation found that the company had violated the latter provision of their contract. Nevertheless, the deal was extended through 2025 with new language clarifying the limitations of the company’s negotiation tactics.

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On Tuesday, November 15, millions of Swifties flocked to Ticketmaster’s site during a verified pre-sale for Swift’s Eras Tour. The massive influx of users caused the TM’s servers to crash, and the debacle culminated in a Thursday announcement that the public ticket sale — scheduled to start today (November 18) — was cancelled. It remains unclear whether tickets to the tour will be available for general purchase at a later date.

The FADER has submitted a request to the Justice Department for independent confirmation of the investigation’s existence. We’ve also reached out to representatives of Live Nation for further comment on the matter, and for information on the status of the Eras Tour’s ticket sales.

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Live Nation ceases business operations in Russia

Live Nation ceases business operations in Russia
The live music company will not promote shows in the country following its invasion of Ukraine.

By David Renshaw

March 03, 2022

Getty

Live Nation will no longer operate in Russia in protest at the eastern European country’s invasion of Ukraine, it was announced on Wednesday

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“Live Nation joins the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We will not promote shows in Russia, and we will not do business with Russia,” Live Nation said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “We’re in the process of reviewing our vendors so we can cease work with any and all Russian-based suppliers.”

The company also shared the following statement on social media:

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Live Nation joins the world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and applauds all the musicians who are using their voices to promote peace. pic.twitter.com/Kgp0TQHxNw

— Live Nation (@LiveNation) March 2, 2022

A raft of individual artists and bands have pulled live shows in Russia this week in response to the invasion. These include Green Day, Russian rapper Oxxxymiron, Nick Cave, HEALTH, Yungblud and Franz Ferdinand among others.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, Spotify closed its Russia office indefinitely stating that it “restricted the discoverability of shows owned and operated by Russian state-affiliated media” and “removed all RT and Sputnik content from Spotify in the EU and other markets.”

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Live Nation announces “Lawn Pass,” a $199 ticket for access to over 40 shows in 2022

Live Nation announces “Lawn Pass,” a $199 ticket for access to over 40 shows in 2022
Each pass is tied to one venue and supplies are limited.

By Jordan Darville

March 01, 2022

Photo via Live Nation.

 

Spring is arriving, COVID cases are dropping and there’s renewed optimism that things are getting back to normal. No, it’s not March 2020, but the headspace from that time is where we find ourselves once more as omicron subsides. If you’re in the mood to celebrate the pandemic going away forever once again but for real this time, Live Nation has announced the “Lawn Pass,” a $199 (plus fees) golden ticket that gives its holders access to lawn seating at 40 amphitheater shows this year.

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There are 30 participating venues across the United States, and each ticket is valid for one venue only. Lawn Pass tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 1st at 10 AM PST while supplies last. Each Lawn Pass is attached to the purchaser and is used as a ticket on the day of the show. Concertgoers at Live Nation events are still required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, so perhaps we won’t be dealing with as many superspreader events as we would otherwise.

Find a list of participating venues here.

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Report: Drakeo The Ruler’s brother Ralfy The Plug files new suit against Live Nation

Report: Drakeo The Ruler’s brother Ralfy The Plug files new suit against Live Nation
Drakeo The Ruler was stabbed to death in December at a festival held under the Live Nation banner.

By Jordan Darville

February 25, 2022

Drakeo The Ruler. Photo by Wyatt Winfrey

 

On December 19, acclaimed L.A. rapper Drakeo The Ruler was stabbed and killed at the Once Upon a Time in LA festival, an event organized by Live Nation in Los Angeles. His family filed a $60 million wrongful death suit the following month. On Friday, Ralfy The Plug, Drakeo’s brother and member of his rap collective Stinc Team, filed an additional multi-million dollar lawsuit against Live Nation, according to TMZ.

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The lawsuit alleges that Drakeo’s life was in danger the entire time he was present at the festival. Drakeo was allegedly attacked backstage by a “violent mob” of between 50 to 100 people upon his arrival, Ralfy reportedly claims, accusing Live Nation of “lackadaisical to totally absent” security at the festival.

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The FADER has reached out to Ralfy the Plug’s representative and Live Nation for more information. In a statement obtained by TMZ, a rep for Once Upon a Time in LA said the festival “joins Drakeo’s family, friends, and fans in grieving his loss. The festival is continuing to support local authorities in their investigation as they pursue the facts.”

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Drakeo The Ruler family seeking $20M in Live Nation lawsuit

Drakeo The Ruler family seeking $20M in Live Nation lawsuit
An attorney working for the family of the late rapper said poor security at an LA festival meant he was “essentially lynched.”

By David Renshaw

January 28, 2022

Wyatt Winfrey

The family of late rapper Drakeo The Ruler have announced plans to sue Live Nation over his death. The L.A. rapper was stabbed and killed backstage at the Once Upon A Time In LA festival in December. A lawsuit seen by Billboard accuses organizers Live Nation, plus two more companies involved in the event, of failing to provide adequate security on the day. The family is believed to be seeking upwards of $20 million in damages.

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Family attorney James Bryant claimed in a press conference on Thursday that said Drakeo, who was just 28 at the time of his death, had been “essentially lynched” due to the poor festival security. “His life was taken way too soon. This should never have never happened if those promotors had actually had the proper security protocols. This was a preventable death.”

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A criminal investigation into Drakeo’s death is ongoing.

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Drakeo released his first mixtape, I Am Mr. Mosely, in 2015. He later began his own Stinc Team label and released multiple projects, including Cold Devil and 2020’s Thank You for Using GTL, recorded in prison while he served three years awaiting trial on gang conspiracy and shooting charges. He was released in November 2020. His debut album, The Truth Hurts, came out in February 2021, and his final project, So Cold I Do Em 2.

Drakeo The Ruler’s legacy in 10 tracks

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Travis Scott and Live Nation sued as Astroworld attendees begin taking legal action

Travis Scott and Live Nation sued as Astroworld attendees begin taking legal action
Drake, a guest on the night of the tragedy, has been named in a second lawsuit.

By David Renshaw

November 08, 2021

HELLE ARENSBAK/AFP via Getty

Travis Scott is facing legal action following the deaths of at least eight people at his Astroworld festival over the weekend. Billboard reports that Scott, alongside promoters Live Nation and ScoreMore, are named in a complaint from one attendee, who is seeking at least $1M in damages.

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In addition to the eight confirmed deaths, there were also reports of multiple injuries and scores of cardiac arrests at the festival, which took place on November 5 at Houston’s NRG Park. Scott headlined the event, which was eventually called off during his performance. A second day, scheduled for November 6, was subsequently canceled. Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña has suggested that crowd surging was the cause of the crowd trouble that led to the injuries and deaths.

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The fallout for Scott and his business assosciates has already begun with the rapper named in a suit filed on Saturday by Manuel Souza in Harris County District Court. Billboard reports that Souza describes the events of the day as a “predictable and preventable tragedy” and that he points to a number of signs that organizers had lost control of the festival, including when “concertgoers breached a security gate around the park, stampeded into the premises, and trampled over one another.”

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Souza’s complaint echoes the sentiment of many on social media that Scott’s performance should not have continued when it became clear that many audience members had “suffered serious obvious injury.”

A second lawsuit was filed on Sunday, November 7 by Texas attorney Thomas J. Henry against Scott, Drake (a surprise guest during Scott’s set), Live Nation, and NRG Stadium on behalf of “one of the victims.”

Scott has responded twice since Friday night, first in a public statement in which he stated was “absolutely devastated by what took place.” He added: “My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival. Houston PD has my total support as they continue to look into the tragic loss of life. I am committed to working together with the Houston community to heal and support the families in need.” He also shared an Instagram video in which he addressed the losses via Instagram.

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The FADER has reached out to representatives for Scott, Live Nation, and ScoreMore for comment.

Live Nation to require proof of vaccination or negative test result for artists, concertgoers, and staff

Live Nation to require proof of vaccination or negative test result for artists, concertgoers, and staff
The new rules begin on October 4.

By Jordan Darville

August 16, 2021

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Live Nation

 

Live Nation, one of the largest live entertainment companies in North America, will require all artists, members of their crew, and attendees to show a proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test, according to a Rolling Stone report. Live Nation employees will be required to receive a full vaccination. The rules will kick in on October 4 and be enforced only in states permitted by law.

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Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino shared a statement on the new rules to Rolling Stone. “Vaccines are going to be your ticket back to shows. As of October 4th we will be following the model we developed for Lollapalooza and requiring this for artists, fans and employees at Live Nation venues and festivals everywhere possible in the U.S.”

The announcement comes the week after AEG implemented its own vaccine mandate for concertgoers and staff at the company’s events and shows, beginning October 1. Until that date, either proof of vaccination or negative COVID test will be accepted in states where it is permitted to ask for them.

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JAY-Z reportedly sells TIDAL to Jack Dorsey’s Square for $302 million

JAY-Z reportedly sells TIDAL to Jack Dorsey’s Square for $302 million
The sale was first revealed in March.

By Jordan Darville

May 04, 2021

JAY-Z. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Live Nation.

 

In March, news emerged that Square, the financial payments system co-founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, would acquire JAY-Z‘s music streaming platform TIDAL. The deal was finalized on Monday, according to a report from Music Business Worldwide, with Square paying $302 million for an 80% stake in TIDAL.

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JAY-Z will likely remain on TIDAL’s board as part of the deal. In a statement in March, he said “Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey. Jack and I have had many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities that have made me even more inspired about its future.”

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In 2015, JAY-Z purchased TIDAL for close to $56 million. The streaming platform weathered a number of controversies over the years, including accusations of inflated streaming numbers (which the company has denied) and missed royalty payments to record labels.

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Wild Thoughts

Lyrics to ‘Wild Thoughts’ by Tory Lanez:

–Verse 1: Tory Lanez–
I don’t know if I can take it
But I know I love it when you get naked, naked
Breakfast in bed when I taste it
Good head, pussy wet just to chase it
Girl, I’m wasted, you’re my favorite
Nigga couldn’t play you if you was on a playlist
Shawty, you know you’re my favorite
She my side piece she ain’t even gotta say shit
She give me good vibrations
So bad, she deserve a good citation
Wish a bitch would try hatin’
She can get a one-way ticket out the hood, Live Nation
I’m not a good boy, baby
I fuck her like a rude boy, baby
And If ever I throw this at you, better catch it like you knew Tom Brady
I’m in the mood for some whoosah, baby
Good head on her like whoosah. baby
I see the future
Me and you fucking in the bedroom
Now tell me what you saw, baby
Shawty tell the truth, I’m wavy
Stars in the ceiling, baby, roof goin’ crazy
Swimming in it, I feel like I live in the Matrix, baby
That pussy A-list, red-bottom, baby
New Celine on you, you deserve a whole news crew and team on you
You and me is looking like the Eulogy
I’m ’bout to get you wetter than Katrina, going New Orleans on you
Why, oh why
You got that my, oh my
You got that water, by the water when I slide, I glide, oh why, yeah
When I’m with you all I get is wild thoughts

–Verse 2: Trey Songz–
Heard that pussy for the taking
Know that pussy feel a-motherfuckin-mazin’
Baby sweeter than a pastry
Cake, cake, cake, like a mother fucking bakery
Let me put my face in your waist
Put my taste in your face
Choose on trip like your second set of lips
Put your juice on my stick, first, let me get a sip
Quick, no Trick Daddy, but daddy got dollars
Ain’t that why you wanna be my baby momma
No kids, is that something you can swallow
Got her leg shaking like my vibrato
When I put it all in, no lie, I think I’m fallin’
Drive me crazy with no hands
Goin’ HAM, no romance or slow jams
Goddamn, with the waves in your ocean
This the ride of your life, rollercoaster
Took a ride on the pipe, water flowing
Got your eyes looking blind, how they rollin’
Keep you cumming every time that we go in
Talking dirty and that pussy was poking
Death Row that pussy, I’m West Coastin’
Pray for niggas that’s less fortunate
Slay all day, I’m that focused (I like it)
Call her “bae,” like that’s Oakland, yeah
I’m not a new boy, baby
I see the future and you are, baby
Stains on the sheets, she’s on the floor
Busting all night like an UR, baby
I get around like 2Pac, baby
But, when I’m with you all I get is wild thoughts

Tory Lanez – Wild Thoughts (Remix) Lyrics

Tory Lanez – Wild Thoughts (Remix) Lyrics

Give me good vibrations
So bad, she deserve a good [??]tation
Wish a bitch would try hatin’
She can get a one way ticket out the hood, Live Nation

READ  D.R.A.M. – Misunderstood Lyrics ft Young Thug

[Chorus]
I’m not a good boy, baby
I fuck her like a rude boy, baby
And If I

Tory Lanez – Wild Thoughts (Remix) Lyrics

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