It was around mid-March of 2020 that the first shelter-in-place orders were issued in the United States. That was almost a year ago now, and the future of the live music industry is still uncertain. LiveNation seems to think, though, that they will be able to host large, mostly full concerts this summer.
CEO Michael Rapino said during Live Nation’s Q4 2020 earnings call last week that “a clear outline to a 75 percent to 100 percent” is likely to go forward, noting that 75-plus-percent capacity shows in large US markets are “within sight.” He also noted, “We might have certain states that might not be ready, but we have enough states and enough artists willing to play the open slots if we get to that level in the right markets. So as long as these states open up to the right capacities, we can start in midsummer and in the southern US we can go all the way into November.”
As for shows at a lower capacity, that doesn’t seem to be in LiveNation’s plans, as Rapino said, “[We] have not, to date, done a lot of work in the 0-percent to 50-percent capacity business. We don’t see that as a viable model to ramp back up [considering the] fixed cost.”
This news comes just about a week after Boston Calling decided to cancel its event this year for the second year in a row, so it remains to be seen if other events will follow suit or if LiveNation’s optimism is shared by others.