Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) president and CEO Michael Rapino (pictured) said the US live sector is back in business, with the promoter working on 30 full-capacity amphitheatre tours this summer and having around 15 festivals on sale – including Rolling Loud in Miami that is due to host 200,000 fans from 23-25 July.
He said, “We’re very excited about the American market. You know, 70% of our business is going to be the US and the UK. Those two markets seem on track.
“The big win for us was if we could get the US and the UK back to business by July, and that is happening.”
In an interview with CNBC, the LNE boss said that while the concert giant’s European business should be up and running by autumn, its activity in Asia is not likely to ramp up until next year due to delays rolling out vaccinations there.
Rapino said the promoter will be careful not to saturate the UK and US markets with shows and will instead take a considered approach to the timing of tours and festivals: “Artists are smart, they are not going to go out unless they have the right weekends in the right cities and markets. We look at it as a fabulous 2022 but we are pushing a lot into 2023 also.
“We’re going to make sure that we don’t … give the four shows in one week and you’ve got to pick one. We’ll spread those over a couple of years and a couple markets. So we look at the pent-up demand as lots of availability, but we’re also going to make sure the consumer has time to buy it. We are looking at 2022 and 2023 record years.”
In January, LNE acquired a majority stake in Veeps, a ticketed live stream platform created by artists Joel and Benji Madden of the band Good Charlotte. Asked if he thinks livestreaming will continue to be an important part of the concert business Rapino suggested it would be used to create a hybrid model.
“We think it is an extension to the show,” he said. “We’ve seen overtime that the digital screen doesn’t duplicate that live magic moment, you don’t get goosebumps on your iPad, but to a core fan that didn’t get to the Beyoncé show it’s an extension. So we do think it’s going to be a complementary product for a hardcore fan or a fan that can’t get to the show but we think it will be a small piece of the business given the live show is still the magic.”