With several COVID-19 vaccines continuing to roll out across the world, music fans can fairly speculate when they may be able to see their favorite band on stage again. One live events executive predicts the time-honored tradition of the summer festival could take place… This summer.
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Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino spoke about his optimism that music festivals will be able to take place in the U.S this summer, Variety reports. Part of his optimism stems from a timeline the British government released outlining the return of live music events.
The British government gave the all clear for large music events resuming at 100% capacity beginning on June 21. Immediately, Live Nation put tickets up for sale for three festivals, Reading & Leeds Festival on August 27 and 29, and Creamfields taking place August 26-29. Between the three festivals, Live Nation sold around 170,000.
That experience made Rapino optimistic about the return of large music events in America. During the company’s earnings call, Rapino said, “every day we seem to have a new state or country talking about when they’ll open up, so we’re feeling more optimistic than we were a month ago.”
“Lots of artists are calling, looking at how we start up in July, August, September. So for right now, we still believe we’ll have enough open in the U.K., Australia, Canada and the U.S. to keep what we have on the books in amphitheaters booked for now.”
Rapino noted that it’ll be a state-by-state scenario for where and how they’ll be able to hold concerts. “As long as these states open up to the right capacities,” he said, “we can start in midsummer and in the southern U.S. we can go all the way into November.”
Rapino added that the company will likely wait to hold events until they are able to have a high capacity.
“[We] think we’re better off waiting for a high bar capacity moment in most of the states to ramp up and talk to the artists about getting paid properly,” he said.
He doesn’t see a 0%-50% capacity as a viable model that would allow Live Nation to start planning concerts. Instead, the prospect of a 75%-plus capacity is what the company is aiming for as Rapino said those metrics in the largest markets are “within sight.”
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