Live Nation CEO forecasts a ‘robust outdoor summer season’ in 2021
Some music industry players are offering hopeful perspectives for a feasibly safe summer festival season in 2021. Now, whether Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino’s optimism comes from a place of altruism or desperation remains to be seen after the concert promotion titan recently reported a staggering near 100 percent loss in revenue. Though, despite steep losses in the second quarter of 2020 as live music generally remains at a total standstill, according to a memo sent to shareholders following the dismal earnings call, Rapino forecasts, “a robust outdoor summer season in 2021,” backing himself up with ticket-buyer data to support the claim. According to Rapino,
“Importantly, we remain confident that fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so. Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund. Through the end of the second quarter, 86% of concert fans are keeping their tickets for rescheduled shows, demonstrating their continued desire to attend concerts in the future despite the current uncertainty.
Our expectations for a robust outdoor summer season in 2021 are also reinforced by the two-thirds of fans keeping their tickets for canceled festivals so they can go to next year’s show, along with strong early ticket sales for festivals in the UK next summer – for example, Download and Isle of Wight are pacing well ahead of last year.”
While Lollapalooza co-founder Marc Geiger recently suggested live events might not return until 2022, and other venerated events like Glastonbury don’t see a 2021 recovery as likely, Rapino is banking on a considerable rebound in next year’s events circuit—perhaps because Live Nation might not live to see 2022 if COVID-19 isn’t under control by then.