UPDATE: An ongoing battle between AEG Presents and Live Nation, the world’s two biggest concert promoters, came to light on Wednesday when a fiery letter to AEG from Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy Osbourne’s manager, was delivered by a publicist to the media.
In the letter, Sharon criticizes AEG and shares a drafted letter, which she refused to sign, stating that Ozzy’s planned concert at the O2 Arena in London will only be confirmed if his management and Live Nation guarantee that if Ozzy “also plays an indoor arena anywhere within twenty-five (25) miles of the city of Los Angeles as part of the same tour cycle as the aforementioned O2 shows and that the show / these shows is / are being promoted by a a Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. group company, you need to make sure at least one of these Ozzy Osbourne shows in Los Angeles is held at Staples Center.
Osbourne responded, “Shame on AEG for bringing the artists into a power struggle that you go through with your competitor, Live Nation. I can assure you that Live Nation will never force an artist to perform in a venue where they are not comfortable performing.
“In conclusion, without the artists, there would be no AEG, no Live Nation, no promotion agents or managers. Artists should always come first, never forget that! There is enough for everyone without you trying to monopolize the entertainment world.
Live Nation, the world’s largest promoter, is the promoter of the recently announced “No More Tours 2” farewell tour by Osbourne. (Osbourne’s first “No More Tours” tour was 25 years ago.)
Jay Marciano, CEO of AEG Presents, responded:
Thank you for your remark. Please understand that this dispute is between the Forum and the Staples Center and that we can only agree with you. It should always be the artist’s choice. We yearn for the days when artists and fans came first. Regards – Jay
PS The other guys started this!
The “other guys” Marciano is referring to is not Live Nation but Azoff-MSG Entertainment, which has engaged in a separate but related battle with AEG: Staples Center with a capacity of 21,000 against the Azoff Forum. -MSG with a capacity of 17,500.
In response, Irving Azoff said:
“Dear Jay – That’s a bunch of lies. I’ve put artists first my whole career, quote one time you put an artist above your own self-interest. Why do they continue to do business with you? We do not block booking Madison Square Garden and The Forum, it is well established. You continue to use lies to validate your anti-artist and anti-industry behavior. Love, Irving. PS – Sharon, you’re rocking. You are welcome to the Forum at any time.
On Thursday afternoon, a publicist served Sharon Osbourne’s response to the press:
“Jay, thank you for your response,” reads. “In your response, you state that this disagreement is between the Forum and Staples Center. If so, why did your company send the attached Letter of Agreement to Live Nation to sign which clearly states that OZZY cannot play 02 in London unless we legally agree to play at Staples Center in Los Angeles? This is a stunning attempt to blackmail OZZY into your venue in Los Angeles. It is also a total abuse of bargaining power and not conducive to a free market. If you don’t confirm OZZY’s date at O2 London, I will be forced to take legal action against AEG Live! without delay.
Your rating below is at odds with the facts and I find the way you conduct yourself and your business is nothing more than childish playground tactics. I cannot be involved in a quarrel between two promoters who own sites because my interests are only 100% based on OZZY. Sincerely, Sharon Osbourne.
Sources tell Variety that AEG’s O2 / Staples requirement arose in response to a challenge from MSG which sources said revealed the company was refusing to book acts at Madison Square Garden if they played at AEG’s Staples Center in Los Angeles instead of the Forum managed by MSG. In response, according to sources, AEG has informed agents and promoters that acts that occur at the Forum instead of Staples will not be restricted to the O2 Arena in London. The O2 is operated by AEG and is the only site of its class – capacity of 20,000 – in the city. The policy came into effect in July 2017.
The MSG-Staples standoff has affected several performers – including Chance the Rapper, Tom Petty and Hall & Oates – who performed their main New York shows at Forest Hills Stadium with a capacity of around 16,000 instead of the garden. of more than 20,000 seats, amid reports of threats they would also be barred from playing at the Garden on future tours.
Today’s match took place on the first day of Pollstar Live! conference in Los Angeles, which AEG chose not to attend since Azoff’s Oak View Group purchased the live entertainment business publication in July.