As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, the live music industry has taken a hit. Nearly every festival and concert tour this summer have been postponed or canceled entirely, and live music and touring stocks saw a major dip in value. Live Nation recently reported they were postponing all upcoming stadium concerts, but with the uncertainty of the virus and a vaccine, the organization was purposefully vague about when they planned on returning to normal. In a recent call with investors, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has detailed a firm plan about when the company hopes to resume full-scale operations.
According to Variety, Rapino said on a Thursday call that the company plans on “starting slow and small” over the next six months before revaluating. “Over the next six months, we’ll be starting slow and small, focusing on the basics and testing regionally. But whether it’s in Arkansas or [another] state that is safe, secure and politically fine to proceed in, we’re going to dabble in fan-less concerts with broadcasts and reduced-capacity shows, because we can make the math work,” Rapino said.
Rapino continued that concerts in the fall are dependent on whether or not cases begin to spike after cities start reopening. Venues will begin to reopen in small numbers, but Live Nation’s goal is to resume concerts in the summer of 2021: “I think in the fall you’ll see more experimenting and more shows happening in a theater setting, into some arenas. And then our goal is really to be on sale in the third and fourth quarters for 2021 at full scale.”
Rapino also said that he believes fans are willing to wait to see their favorite artists for as long as it takes: “Fans wanted to see Billie Eilish in March, but they’ll wait ’til October or until February because the average customer goes to two-and-a-half shows a year.”
Elsewhere on the call, Rapino reportedly detailed the company’s recent earnings report to investors, and it was unsurprisingly down. Though the lockdown began the last three weeks of the quarter, Live Nation’s revenues were down 20 percent, concert revenue was down 25 percent, and ticketing was down 16 percent. However, though Live Nation faced backlash over their ticket refund policy, the company found that 90 percent of ticketholders were keeping their passes until the rescheduled show. The company’s numbers show a promising trend that fans are hopeful about the future of live shows, and plan on attending as soon as they are able to.