Live Nation stole millions in Federal aid meant for independent venues

Congress wrote a pandemic relief law that excluded Live Nation and companies like it. But the Small Business Administration gave nearly $19 million to Live Nation subsidiaries or companies in which it has a significant investment.

"When we wrote this, we specifically didn't want these publicly traded companies -- Live Nation foremost among them -- to get their hands on this money," said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a key co-sponsor of the relief legislation. "I did not want Live Nation getting a nickel."

Live Nation as a parent company did not directly receive any money from the program, but the government relief to its subsidiaries still protected its investments and improved its long-term outlook [...] One of the companies that received funds from the SBA borrowed money from Live Nation and its other owners in the first months after covid hit, showing how the parent company played an active role in its survival. [...]

Live Nation initially sought to shape the bill so it could qualify for the funds [...] Live Nation ramped up its lobbying in the fall of 2020, seeking to make it easier for the company -- and its many subsidiaries, large and small -- to access the money. They specifically opposed language barring aid to publicly traded companies [...]

The amount that Live Nation spent on lobbying the federal government on a variety of issues, including the grants, more than doubled in 2020 from the prior year to more than $1 million, and increased again in 2021.

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4 Responses:

  1. CSL3 says:

    "When we wrote this, we specifically didn't want these publicly traded companies -- Live Nation foremost among them -- to get their hands on this money," said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)

    And since this quote comes from a Democrat, that quote will be the strongest push-back we see regarding this situation. I mean, it's not as if the have the White House and the majority of seats that could actually enact real repercussion and change, right?

    But seriously...

    The amount that Live Nation spent on lobbying the federal government on a variety of issues, including the grants, more than doubled in 2020 from the prior year to more than $1 million, and increased again in 2021.

    As previously mentioned: LN, AEG, Goldenvoice, and TicketBastard "can burn $150 million-a-month [..] without any concern”. Just soooo fuckin' glad their franchises got money that, in a perfect world, would have kept DNA able to stay "masks only" for at least a little longer.
  2. Jeff L says:

    Ugh.
    Are these TicketBastart posts getting frequent enough to warrant their own tag like #undeadnation?

    And when did the phone app (TicketBastart, AXS and others I suppose) become the only ticket delivery mechanism? As a veteran concert goer with a ticket collection going back to 1985, is my criticism of phone only tickets a "get off my lawn" moment? Or are their sufficient privacy, reliability, and resale concerns, in addition to the "must have new phone" requirement, to prefer the (now) old fashioned pdf ticket?

    • Carlos says:
      3

      the (now) old fashioned pdf ticket

      Jebus.  Are PDF tickets really considered old-fashioned now?  I went to a few dozen concerts where the only way to get a ticket was to line up at the box office, hand over your cash, and receive a semi-colourful piece of cardboard in return.

      C.

    • cdavies says:

      I'd happily defend locked to a device tickets if the aim was to stop touting, but the cynic in me believes the aim is to stop touting except via Ticketbastard's own secondary marketplace.

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