Live Nation Sees Live Events Returning “At Scale” Next Summer, But Without Concerts Q3 Sales Plunge 94%

Billie Eilish
John Locher/AP Photo

Live Nation said it expects live events will be back and big next summer judging by the 86% of fans that kept their tickets for rescheduled shows.

Between those tickets held for rescheduled shows and new sales “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,” said CEO Michael Rapino as the company announced expectedly dismal quarterly earnings. “At the same time, surveys continue to show that concerts remain fans’ highest priority social event when it is safe to gather.”

Live events along with movie theaters and theme parks have been hit the hardest by COVID-19. Even worse, while some movie theaters and parks are open, live events are still dark.

Live Nation reported a 94% plunge in revenue last quarter – to $142 million from $2.6 billion. A $588 million ocean of red ink compared with a $172-million profit the year before.

As with cinema chains, liquidity is key. At the end of the second quarter, Live Nation said it had total cash and cash equivalents of $3.3 billion, including $1.8 billion of free cash and $966 million of available debt capacity. All in, the company has over $2.7 billion in available liquidity. Its cash burn rate is about $125 million a month to keep running.

It’s by far the biggest player in the space and said it believes it has the “the ability to fund operations until the expected return of concerts at scale in the summer of 2021, preceded by ticket sales earlier in the year.”

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