Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, is refusing to do business with Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Live Nation joins the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the promoter said in a statement provided to Billboard. “We will not promote shows in Russia, and we will not do business with Russia,”
The statement went on to say, “We’re in the process of reviewing our vendors so we can cease work with any and all Russian-based suppliers.”
Live Nation’s decision comes amid a flurry of other reactions from major companies across several industries to the hostilities in Ukraine. Spotify said it is removing all content from Russian state-backed news channels RT and Sputnik from its platform and had closed its Russian office indefinitely in response to Russia’s “unprovoked attack on Ukraine,” Variety reported Wednesday. That follows actions by Google and Apple to essentially cancel business dealings with the country.
Live Nation also took to social media Wednesday to make its stance clear, with posts accompanied by the image of the Ukrainian flag and the hashtag #STOPWARINUKRAINE. The social media posts added that the company “applauds all the musicians who are using their voices to promote peace.”
Live Nation joins the world in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and applauds all the musicians who are using their voices to promote peace. pic.twitter.com/Kgp0TQHxNw
— Live Nation (@LiveNation) March 2, 2022
AEG Presents — Live Nation’s largest competitor — informs Billboard that the company “has historically had no business presence in Russia, and we have no plans to conduct business there in the future.”
Earlier this week, live entertainment developer Oak View Group also openly condemned Russia’s actions and pledged not to do business in or with the country. In addition, OVG vowed not to serve Russian brands in any of their global venues, effective immediately. OVG runs arenas, stadiums and theaters including the newly renovated Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle and the UBS Arena in New York.
“We stand with the people of Ukraine, we condemn the actions of Russia, and we hope our stance inspires others in our industry to take action where they can,” the OVG statement concluded.
Some artists are also deciding not to do shows in Russia. Rapper Oxxxymiron said earlier this week in an Instagram video that he is canceling his first headline tour in five years, which has been sold out. He was scheduled to perform three dates in St. Petersburg next week and then three shows March 11-13 at Moscow’s Adrenaline Stadium.
The live music industry’s response comes after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Russia’s actions were swiftly condemned by many, including Russian and Ukrainian artists and the Eurovision Song Contest, which banned Russia from competing in 2022.
Yesterday, YouTube also blocked RT and Sputnik – which many argue have become mouthpieces for Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin – throughout Europe and the United Kingdom.
Additional reporting by Richard Smirke.
UPDATE: This article was updated on March 3 at 3:40 pm EST to include a response from AEG.