Friday, May 8, 2020

Live Nation Losses Widen as Coronavirus Hits Concerts

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. reported a drop in revenue for the most recent quarter as social-distancing protocols and lockdown orders began squeezing the world’s largest concert promoter and ticketing provider.

Executives also began to lay out plans for the eventual return of events, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Live Nation, at the top of a booming live events industry, was expected to have its best year ever in 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, making a business predicated on large gatherings impossible. The company, along with rival Anschutz Entertainment Group, broadly suspended shows March 12, just ahead of the critical summer concert season.

On Thursday the company said 80% of affected shows have been rescheduled, rather than canceled, and that 90% of fans are holding onto tickets for rescheduled dates.

On a call with Wall Street analysts, Live Nation executives said 65,000 shows had been impacted through last weekend.

Chief Executive Michael Rapino said the concert industry is rescheduling shows into next year, with the biggest roadblock being sports leagues that take priority in arenas. Demand for shows remains strong, he added.

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