Live Nation has reported a 21% drop in revenue for the first quarter, with concert revenue alone dropping 25% and ticket revenue dropping 16% year over year due to the current halt of concerts due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, shared Live Nation’s CEO Michael Rapino. Live Nation also owns a Ticketmaster, which also seen a loss of 48% since February.
Ticketmaster went under fire with a refund policy controversy as they changed how it would work amid the ongoing global health crisis, which forced the ticketing giant to launch a Ticket Relief Plan, which will now allow fans to get refunds for rescheduled shows that haven’t gotten a new date within 60 days of the postponement.
Live Nation has also announced that 90% of ticket buyers have chosen to keep their tickets rather than get their money back, while awaiting rescheduled dates to be announced or the new show.
President and CEO Michael Rapino said that Live Nation is going to test crowdless broadcasted shows and drive-in concerts and reduced capacity festival shows over the summer to see how that goes until concerts can return to normal touring situations when the pandemic slows or a vaccine is found.
“Whether it’s in Arkansas or a state that is safe, secure and politically is fine to proceed in, we’re going to dabble in fanless concerts with broadcasts, we’re going to go and do reduced capacity shows because we can make the math work,” Rapino explained. “There are a lot of great artists that can sell out an arena, but they’ll do 10 higher end smaller theaters or clubs. We’re seeing lots of artists chomping to get back out once it’s safe.”
He added: “It’s important for us to keep doing drive-in concerts, which we’re going to test and roll out, which we’re having some success with, fanless concerts which have great broadcasting opportunities, reduced capacity festival concerts, which could be outdoors, could be in a theater, could be in a large stadium floor where there’s enough room to be safe. We have all of these plans in place depending on the market and where that local city may sit in their reopening phases.”
Rapino also mentioned Live Nation’s plans to resume to “full scale” concerts in 2021.
“Our goal is really to be on sale in the third and fourth quarters for 2021 at full scale.” said Rapino.