Concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. has released their financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020. The company revealed a net revenue of $74.1 million — 98% lower than the $3.16 billion the prior year — and an adjusted operating loss of $431.9 million.
Live Nation released a statement weighing in on the results:
“Over the past three months, our top priority has been strengthening our financial position to ensure that we have the liquidity and flexibility to get through an extended period with no live events. Our expectation is that live events will return at scale in the summer of 2021, with ticket sales ramping up in the quarters leading up to these shows.
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.
Between the tickets held by fans for rescheduled shows and these festival onsales, we have already sold 19 million tickets to more than four thousand concerts and festivals scheduled for 2021, creating a strong baseload of demand that is pacing well ahead of this point last year. At the same time, surveys continue to show that concerts remain fans’ highest priority social event when it is safe to gather, with almost 90% of fans globally planning on attending concerts again.
Understanding that it will be some time before we put on concerts at scale, we are innovating to find new and creative ways to help keep artists and fans connected in the meantime. Virtual concerts have proven to be in huge demand with fans, so we established the ‘Live From Home’ platform to provide a convenient place for fans of all types to find performances from their favorite artists.
In the second quarter, we had 67 million fans view over 18 thousand concerts and festivals globally. Among our highlights, this past weekend we streamed 150 performances for our Virtual Lollapalooza Festival. Given the tremendous popularity of these shows, we are seeing the potential for live streaming to become an additional long-term component of our concert business, allowing fans in other cities, or those who can’t attend, to enjoy the concert as well.
At the same time, recognizing fans want to get back to attending concerts in person as soon as possible, we’ve launched socially distanced shows when and where permitted, including New Zealand, France, Denmark, Spain, Germany and Finland, as well as several cities across the United States.
While this is a challenging time for everyone — the live events business in particular — there are a few things that I am confident about: we are well positioned to weather this crisis, and we will get through this; when it is safe to return, we will have an abundance of fans and artists ready to enjoy live music again; and Live Nation will do everything in its power to meet our responsibilities to artists, fans, our employees and everyone else affected by this shutdown by bringing back as much live music as fast as possible when it is responsible to do so.”
Billboard reported in May that Live Nation furloughed 2,100 of its 10,500 employees, which is about 20% of their workforce just to reduce costs during the COVID-19 crisis. Back in June, NIVA provided a bleak update on the state of independent venues, stating 90% of survey venues would be forced to close down permanently over the next few months without some sort of federal aid.