The proposed merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster is arguably the biggest story in the music industry, but no one from either company wanted to come to one of the biggest music conferences, this week’s SXSW, and talk about it.
But it’s not because SXSW organisers didn’t try to work the story into its four days’ worth of panels and seminars, as Chicago Sun-Times music writer Jim DeRogatis reports:
Panel organisers worked hard to arrange a public interview with Ticketmaster chief Irving Azoff, but Azoff declined. The company also passed on sending any other representatives to speak publicly at SXSW, as did Live Nation.
Their reluctance to show up at the showcase for emerging artists is ironic, DeRogatis notes, considering that both Azoff and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino repeatedly stressed during their Capitol Hill testimonies that the merger would help up-and-coming artists.
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