Outdoor shows will be the first to return
During the back half of 2021, Live Nation is expecting to produce nearly double the concerts it typically promotes in a single year. Pent-up supply and demand is swiftly approaching as vaccine distribution accelerates and COVID-19 cases decline worldwide. Artists and fans alike are ready to return to shows with 95% of fans likely to attend when restrictions are lifted as 83% have held onto their tickets for rescheduled shows, according to CEO Michael Rapino.
“Given the limited touring activity in 2020 and 2021, the pipeline for 2022 is much stronger than usual, with almost twice as many major touring artists on cycle in 2022 than a typical year – about 45 artists versus the usual 25,” Rapino shares. “And there remains plenty of scheduling availability at arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums to accommodate these additional tours, with over two-thirds of these venues’ nights unused by sporting events or major concerts in a typical year.”
In an earnings call on Friday (Feb 26th), Rapino says “a clear outline to a 75% to 100%” capacity for outdoor U.S. events in 2021 was looking more likely after speaking with state governors.
“For both the U.S. and U.K., projections indicate that everyone who wants to get vaccinated will be able to do so by May or June, with Europe and most other markets following a few months later,” Rapino suggests. “Given the massive social and economic toll that the lockdown has had on the public, we believe there will be strong momentum to reopen society swiftly as soon as vaccines are readily available. And we believe outdoor activities will be the first to happen.”
Rapino believes concerts will likely begin midsummer through November in the southern part of the United States as “long as these states open up to the right capacities.”
Live Nation reduced its spending by $200 million in 2020 after 9000 concerts were either canceled or postponed nearly a year ago due to the pandemic. Last May, the concert giant was forced to get creative with its artists and teams for unique opportunities via livestreaming and reduced capacity in person shows that have been the new normal.