The world’s biggest concert and festival promoter Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) has reported a 79% year-on-year decline in revenue during the quarter to 31 March – down from $1,365.7m (£982m) in the period last year to $290.6m (£209m).
LNE, which owns Ticketmaster, saw declines across all divisions but its ticketing operation was hardest hit with revenue down 90% on the same period in 2020 to $28m (£20m).
The promoter said it worked on just 300 events in North America during the quarter, a mere fraction of the 4,277 in Q1 2020. Outside North America, it produced 364 shows during the period compared to 2,323 during the first quarter of 2020.
Despite the financial landslide, Live Nation said it was well placed to bounce back once restrictions are lifted. It reported $2.1bn (£1.51bn) of available liquidity and $964m (£694m) in available credit.
The company said it had $750m (£540m) cost reduction and $1.5bn (£1.08bn) cash management program targets in 2021.
Looking ahead LNE president & CEO Michael Rapino said he was increasingly confident that the industry would bounce back strongly, with the “concert pipeline” for 2022 up double digits on 2019.
He said demand for live music appeared stronger than ever with its major festivals including Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy and Rolling Loud selling out at record rates: “In the UK we have 11 festivals planned for this summer, including our largest ones – Reading, Leeds and Parklife – where tickets have already sold out, and in New Zealand, the country’s largest festival, Rhythm and Vines, also quickly sold out.”
He continued, “Given the longer lead times associated with global arena and stadium tours, we expect these will start later this year and into 2022. We are already seeing confirmed major tour dates for 2022 up double digits from the same time pre-pandemic in 2019 for 2020. Many of these artists will have multi-year tours, spanning the U.S., Europe and often either Asia or Latin America, setting us up for a strong multi-year growth run.”