UK live music industry faces stark gender pay disparity

Several live music companies like Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Academy Music Group, and AEG have presented their gender pay gap reports for 2022/23.

After being postponed during the pandemic, UK-based companies are now disclosing their pay gap information again, reflecting data from April 5, 2022, for the 2022-23 period.

The gender pay gaps within Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Academy Music Group, and AEG in the live music industry vary from 16.5% to 37.5%, according to IQ’s report.

Live Nation UK has shown a 24.8% improvement in its median pay gap compared to the previous year, reducing the difference to 6.6% in 2022/23.

Live Nation mentioned that pay discrepancies in senior management and upper quartiles are largely influenced by commercial performance, leading to more significant variations in pay and bonuses than in other business levels. They highlighted ongoing salary reviews and recent job leveling to ensure equal pay for the same roles and experience levels.

At Ticketmaster, women’s median hourly pay remains notably lower than men’s by 25.9% in 2022/23, with a 16.5% difference in mean pay.

Meanwhile, AMG’s latest report revealed a growing pay gap over the last four to five years. Women’s median pay is now 10.7% lower than men’s in 2022/23, up from 6% in 2018/19. The mean pay gap has also increased to 22.9% from the previous report’s 21%.

Anschutz Sports Holdings, the parent company of The O2 and AEG Presents, reported a median gender pay gap of 31.9% (11% in 2021) and a mean pay gap of 37.5% (22% in 2021).

AEG acknowledged the need for continued efforts to narrow the gender pay gap while highlighting the positive impact of their ED&I strategy since 2017. They emphasized their commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where every individual can prosper.

Music Concert Ticket scams leaving fans out of pocket

Ticket scams at concerts have drastically increased by more than 500% in the past year. Fans are being targeted by criminals who sell fake tickets for popular artists like Harry Styles and Lewis Capaldi, causing victims to lose an average of £110.

Even though the live music scene in the UK has been recovering from the pandemic, attendees are being cautioned to be wary of ticket scams, especially as the festival season is gearing up to start.

2022 witnessed a significant rise in the sale of live entertainment tickets in the UK compared to 2019, marking a 43% increase, as indicated by data from O2’s Priority platform. Despite this positive trend, ticket fraud has been on the rise with fraudsters tricking music enthusiasts into purchasing non-existent tickets through bank transfers.

Lloyds Bank research highlighted a staggering 529% surge in reported scams between March 2022 and February 2023. Fans of popular artists like Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Coldplay, and Calvin Harris are prime targets for these fraudulent activities.

Cases of scam attempts for music festivals more than doubled, showing a 128% increase from the previous year. Festivals like Reading and Leeds, Wireless in Finsbury Park, London, and Parklife in Manchester were the most commonly targeted events.

Scammers are strategic in focusing on major events where ticket demand exceeds availability, including comedy and theatre shows. While there’s a smaller volume of scams in these areas, the risks remain significant, according to Lloyds.

Liz Ziegler, the fraud prevention director at Lloyds Banking Group, emphasized that scammers adapt their tactics to deceive victims, especially as the desire to attend live events grows closer with the arrival of warmer weather. We found one such example of a ticketing scam where users were offered a chance to win free tickets to concerts. Music fans are urged to purchase tickets only from reputable vendors and to exercise caution when buying from third parties.

To avoid falling victim to a scam, consumers are advised to stay away from deals that seem too good to be true, such as extremely low prices or tickets for sold-out events. It is crucial to be extra careful when purchasing tickets promoted on social media platforms.

Experts recommend using a debit or credit card instead of bank transfers when buying tickets as it provides added protection in case of any issues. Top events in 2022, such as Peter Kay’s comedy tour and concerts by The Weeknd, Sam Fender, Harry Styles, and Bruce Springsteen, have been popular targets for scammers.

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