UNITED STATES/UNITED KINGDOM
The arena block-booking war between venue operators Azoff MSG Entertainment, an offshoot of Madison Square Garden Entertainment, and AEG is over, at least for now.
After Azoff MSG Entertainment ended its insistence that artiste’s who want to play the prestigious 19,000-capacity Madison Square Garden in New York must also play its Los Angeles venue The Forum (cap. 17,000) and not AEG’s Staples Centre (20,000), AEG has followed suit.
AEG has responded to the policy by insisting that artistes who wanted to play its flagship UK arena, The O2 (21,000) in London, must play the Staples Centre rather than The Forum.
The conflict escalated earlier this year when Ozzy Osbourne and manager Sharon Osbourne filed a class action antitrust lawsuit against AEG over its booking practices. That too has now ben dropped.
However, To add further fuel to the flames, MSGC plans to open an arena in London to rival The O2 (see Audience issue 217), so the fight may not be entirely over.