Dundee City Council is considering handing the exclusive rights to live gigs in Slessor Gardens to the Liz Hobbs Group, the Tele can reveal.
The deal, likely to net the council a financial return, would see the English event producer given the sole right to put on live music events in the open civic space.
LHG has been responsible for every large music event in Slessor Gardens save for the 3D Festival that opened V&A Dundee in 2018.
It has confirmed it has been in talks with the council.
The authority has refused to acknowledge that discussions have taken place.
However, other music promoters fear such a deal could lead to Dundee missing out on top artists who use other live event firms.
Local promoter Events 105 says it has been “stonewalled” by the council in trying to arrange gigs.
The Dundee company spent most of 2018 attempting to arrange a Slessor Gardens gig for a multi-platinum band with the help of a large production company.
It has declined to name either out of professional courtesy, but says the council has refused to provide it with tour dates on the grounds that an “exclusivity agreement” with LHG is in the works.
Ronnie Smith, a director with Events 105, said: “This has been nearly 12 months we’ve been told the council is about to sign an exclusivity deal – and nothing else.
“The council has point-blank refused to discuss it.
“Dundee would have wanted this band and we’ve ticked every box needed to make this work.
“We fail to see why we can’t be offered the opportunity to put on a show for the people of Dundee.
“The idea that irrespective of who we bring to the table it’s a ‘no’ before discussions start will put promoters off.”
Events 105 is now considering legal action on the grounds that the deal is yet to be agreed.
Other promoters, including DF Concerts boss Geoff Ellis, have spoken of their difficulty in arranging shows for Slessor Gardens.
Mr Ellis said today: “Slessor Gardens is a fantastic space in the heart of Dundee city centre and we would love to bring some more acts to play there.”
Since the venue began hosting gigs three years ago, the Liz Hobbs Group has brought acts such as Rita Ora, Little Mix, UB40 and Simple Minds, with Sir Tom Jones and Craig David on the way.
Other artists on the company’s portfolio include Simply Red, Kaiser Chiefs and Paloma Faith.
A spokeswoman for LHG said: “Discussions are ongoing regarding exclusivity.”
Dundee City Council city development convener Lynne Short said: “There is no exclusivity agreement in place for Slessor Gardens with any promoters. The council is carefully considering the future of the space as a venue.”