Summer 2021 At Scale
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino anticipates a robust outdoor concert season next summer. While events continue to be postponed and cancelled, he made the announcement in a memo surrounding the company’s Q2 earnings.
In a section titled Confidence in the Future of Live, the reason for optimism focuses on key statistics around fan sentiment. Some 86% of fans are holding onto tickets for rescheduled shows instead of refunding. Additionally, 2/3 of buyers of cancelled festivals are opting to keep the tickets for guaranteed ticket to next year’s show. It says demand outpaces last year. It also references surveys where people say concerts on near the top of their list of things to do once it is safe to do so.
These are all good signs and reason for optimism for all involved in the live event industry. The 2021 summer benchmark is also far enough out to not be unrealistic.
There are two considerations to pay attention to about the comments. The first is Rapino references “outdoor” summer season. This is likely purposeful as outdoor events are obviously more likely to be the first to come back. Indoor venues will either lag behind and/or face interesting socially distanced capacity configurations.
The other consideration is the statistics show that demand seems to be there. What needs to be fixed first though are restrictions around events. COVID-19 needs to be solved or else the demand of fans will be meaningless. Again the summer 2021 timeline is realistic. Treatments and vaccines are being fast tracked and showing positive signs. Hopefully it continues progress to a point where we have better solutions by next summer.
If we do what we can now to reduce the spread of the virus and treatments/vaccines help make removing public gathering restrictions a safe decision, then Rapino’s summer 2021 projection may come true. We know Live Nation needs it, and so do many of us.