Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino shared new information Thursday (Feb. 25) about the company’s plans for the return of live music. Once the concert promoter gets government approval to operate above a 50% capacity in the majority of territories where it hosts concerts, Rapino estimates the rehiring of employees and rescaling of the company will take three months.
“We’ve been talking to our global employees about that kind of timeline when we can [promote] our first show at scale,” Rapino told analysts and investors on a company conference call Thursday for the company’s year-end earnings report. During the three-month period, the company will “start bringing back marketing, production [and] all the kind venue functions” adding that the company can expect to ramp up “between the onsale or the announcement and the actual show.”
On Monday (Feb. 22) U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson released a roadmap for the return of live music with indoor concerts allowed to resume at a reduced capacity in May and full scale return to normalcy with no restrictions on public gathering by late June.
The U.K. plan is contingent on the continued efficacy of the country’s vaccination efforts and no further surges in hospitalizations.
Much of Live Nation’s hope for a return to touring is tied to the distribution of vaccines to the public, an effort that will hopefully speed up following an expected emergency authorization for a new single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine that could be approved by the FDA as soon as Friday.
Rapino also shared an infographic created by his company highlighting the company’s sales pitch for the full scale return to touring which he hopes will be fully underway by 2022.
According to the graphic, two times as many artists are expected to tour in 2022 as did in 2019 and Rapino noted that the company’s portfolio of venues has plenty of availability, noting only one-third of available nights have been booked for 2022.
Rapino also pointed to the success of recent sales for the Leeds and Reading (both Aug. 27-29) festivals in the U.K., noting both went on sale recent and collectively sold 100,000 tickets in 72 hours. “Creamfields went on sale and sold out in 48 hours, over 70,000 [tickets],” Rapino said. [Fans] have been excited to get back to the show as soon as we get the green lights in these markets to open up.”