LIVE NATION AMPED UP ON Q2 RETURNS

Live Nation shows mounted between 3/1 and 6/30 brought in twice as much cash as in last year’s second quarter as the concert giant began to crawl out from under the effects of the pandemic. All signs point to a high demand for live music.

Live Nation’s Q2 generated nearly $576m, with concerts earning $287m and ticketing responsible for $244m. A year ago, when live entertainment was in full shutdown mode, the company’s revenue was $74.1m—the new figure thus represents a spike of nearly 700%. More importantly, Live Nation's revenue was up 98% over Q1, when fans started to buy tickets again.

“The momentum for the return to live events has been building every month, with ticket sales and concert attendance pacing faster than expected, underscoring the strength and resiliency of the concert business and live events in general,” said Live Nation Entertainment President and CEO Michael Rapino. “This progress, combined with our cost discipline, has enabled us to deliver positive adjusted operating income for the second quarter, well ahead of where we thought we would be. We expect to see further ramp-up accelerate through the rest of the year, with improving operating income and all segments returning to adjusted operating income profitability for the second half of the year, setting us up for a full-scale 2022.”

In Q2, Live Nation staged 1,124 events in North America and 560 internationally, selling 48.6m tickets.

June was the fourth-best month for transacted-ticket volume in Ticketmaster North America’s history as the U.S. concerts division put the most shows on sale ever during a single month. Rapino reported that more than six million people are expected to attend Live Nation festivals in the second half of the year. Early returns show a double-digit increase over 2019 in average per-fan revenue and on-site spending at recent amphitheater shows.

For next year and 2023, Rapino says every level of venue—arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums—will see double-digit growth in show count and ticket sales compared to 2019 levels. He told analysts on a conference call that new tours for 2022 are not yet on sale and that 2021 shows that have gone on sale in recent months are selling “better than pre-pandemic.”

The logjam has even led Live Nation to start discussions with acts about tours that extend into 2024. The company will "see a good, few-year run with this pent-up inventory," Rapino concluded.

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