The concert industry clearly wants to get back to work, as a flurry of announcements on Friday proved. But what those announcements also proved is that getting back to work will require a leap of faith by all involved, most prominently, the government.
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, speaking during an earnings call and citing conversations with state governors, said that “a clear outline to a 75% to 100%” capacity for outdoor US events in 2021 was looking likely to be green-lit.”
“We are seeing… what we’ve been talking about: [fans] are excited to get back to the show as soon as we get the green lights in these markets to open up,” he added.
That point of view was bolstered this week across the pond. On Monday, the British government said that large music events in the U.K. could resume at 100% capacity beginning on June 21. Live Nation leaped into action, putting 100,000 tickets on sale for the August 27 and 29 Reading & Leeds festival. The concert was sold out by the end of the week. Live Nation also sold tickets for the dance-music-based Creamfields fest Aug. 26 to 29. That sold out 70,000 tickets in 48 hours.
What this means is it’s likely that at least some states will see live outdoor concerts by the end of summer. “So as long as these states open up to the right capacities, we can start in midsummer and in the southern US we can go all the way into November,” Rapino said.
That enthusiasm was tempered by a Friday announcement from Taylor Swift. She officially canceled her previously postponed “Lover Fest” tour dates. Swift said on Twitter that “No one knows what the touring landscape is going to look like in the future.”
With sporting events, indoor dining, and movie theaters reopening across the country with pandemic protections in place, it looks like we will have at least some events this summer. The desire is apparently there on the part of the fans. Now it will take the courage of the marketplace and government to allow mass gatherings to resume.
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