While it’s extremely difficult to be optimistic right now in the midst of the global Covid-19 which has thrown ambiguity and uncertainty our way, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino seems to be predicting better times in the summer of 2021.
In spite of reporting large losses close to those never seen before in the history of the company, Live Nation usually thrives through the second quarter of the year which falls during the summer festival season. However, this time around, the company which depends largely on live performances and concerts to generate its revenue, saw 98% losses during the quarter.
Even after reporting those grim losses and making adjustments for the prolonged timeline where we still won’t see live events come back in the near future, in a memo sent to shareholders, Rapino made an optimistic prediction for “a robust outdoor summer season in 2021.”
According to the memo, Rapino said, “Importantly, we remain confident that fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so. Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund. Through the end of the second quarter, 86% of concert fans are keeping their tickets for rescheduled shows, demonstrating their continued desire to attend concerts in the future despite the current uncertainty.
Our expectations for a robust outdoor summer season in 2021 are also reinforced by the two-thirds of fans keeping their tickets for cancelled festivals so they can go to next year’s show, along with strong early ticket sales for festivals in the UK next summer – for example, Download and Isle of Wight are pacing well ahead of last year.”
While there are many others in the industry as well as a number of health officials have not been as optimistic and gone so far as to even say that they don’t see large scale festivals and events safely returning till late 2021 or even 2022.
That being said, the industry has been quick to try and adapt trying out innovative ways like drive-in concerts and other ways to socially distance audiences. This, however, has been a hit or miss and requires some work and strict rules in order for them to remain safe gatherings.
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