Astroworld Litigation Fuels Cases Against Live Nation, Ticketmaster Despite Continuous Antitrust Concerns & Taylor Swift Tour Fiasco

Docket Alarm analytics show a dramatic increase in lawsuits involving global entertainment company, Live Nation Entertainment, and its subsidiary,Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., since the Astroworld Festival in November 2021. 

Live Nation Entertainment is a global entertainment company that controls 70% of the ticketing and live event venues market, according to CNBC. Live Nation Entertainment, and its subsidiary, Ticketmaster Entertainment, are in the business of producing, marketing, managing and the ticketing of live events, including concerts, festivals, sports events and theater productions. 

In 2010, Live Nation, Inc. and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. merged to form Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. under the condition of a consent decree imposed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) due to antitrust concerns. In 2019, the DOJ moved to modify and extend the consent decree alleging Live Nation violated certain provisions of the decree intended to promote competition. 

Antitrust concerns involving Live Nation Entertainment have resurfaced following ticketing issues resulting in Ticketmaster canceling its public on-sale for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour in November 2022. On January 24, 2023, Live Nation’s president and CFO Joe Berchtold, spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the failed rollout of a Taylor Swift concert tour.

Despite the Senate’s interest, Docket Alarm analytics show there has only been one antitrust case filed against Live Nation Entertainment resulting from or citing the Eras Tour incident. 

However, Docket Alarm analytics show substantial increase in litigation involving Live Nation Entertainment companies during the time of another high profile incident involving artist Travis Scott. On November 5, 2021, eight people died and others were injured from a stampede of concertgoers during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston. Docket Alarm analytics show a sharp increase in lawsuits against Live Nation and Ticketmaster during the four months following the Astroworld tragedy. 

According to Docket Alarm analytics, there were 148 lawsuits involving Live Nation Entertainment and/or Ticketmaster during the four months following the Astroworld Festival with 37 filed in November 2021 and 49, 42 and 20 filed in December 2021 through February 2022 respectively. Further, 70.7% or 104 of those cases alleged non-automobile personal injury and another 14 involved the Astroworld Multidistrict Litigation. 

Further, Docket Alarm analytics show the Harris County Texas District Court in Houston is the top court for Live Nation Entertainment companies with 104 proceedings since 2020. The next most frequented courts are Los Angeles County State Court with 14 proceedings and the Central District of California with 11, which seems more fitting for a Beverly Hills-based entertainment company. 

Since 2020, the most common type of proceedings against Live Nation Entertainment companies are non-automobile personal injury with 105, the Astroworld Multidistrict Litigation with 23, other injury or damage with 13 and antitrust cases with nine proceedings. 

Latham & Watkins is the top counsel for Live Nation Entertainment companies followed by Jenner & Block. However, the companies also seek counsel from Cummings & Page, Hannum, Feretic, Prendergast & Merlino, Kiernan Trebach, Norton Rose Fulbright, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein, Roetzel & Andress, Benton & Centeno and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.